Larger font
Smaller font
Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mission - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    A. The Vindication of the Seventh Month Movement

    The Adventists were deeply disappointed that Jesus did not return at the end of the prophetic time calculations. Although some of them rejected the Advent movement altogether immediately after the passing of the expected time, the hopes of many continued to be strong, and there was for awhile a constant state of expectancy that Christ would return at any time.FSDA 104.1

    This great disappointment was interpreted as another and “more searching test” than the first disappointment, and it was seen to be destined to purify the believers. 4Editorial, “Address to the Public,” AH, November 13, 1844, p. 109. Later the necessity was recognized of a spiritual regeneration through the “furnace of affliction” (Editorial, “The Body of Christ,” The Day-Star, June 13, 1846, p. 9). Cf. E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:148, 157. An analogy was drawn with the experience of Jonah in Nineveh. In the Jonah experience an explanation was found which “justified the preaching of time, although the event did not occur as predicted.” 5Editorial, “Public,” p. 109. Cf. E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:254. It was pointed out that “we have done the will of God in thus sounding the alarm, as we believe that Jonah did when he entered into Nineveh.” 6Editorial, “Public,” p. 109. Another analogy which brought comfort was found in the experience of Abraham when he was going to offer Isaac on Mount Moriah. On the basis of typology it was argued that no one will say that Abraham was mistaken in believing that he was to slay his son; but God chose this very way to test his faith. Even so do we believe that God permitted the preaching of this last time for the same purpose respecting his children now, to test their faith. And we should have sinned none the less, had we desired in our hearts to delay the Lord’s coming, than Abraham would, had he withheld his son. God has brought us to mount Moriah, and he will deliver us, or provide for us a lamb. 1Ibid.FSDA 104.2

    Furthermore a topological significance was seen in the experience of the disciples who participated in the triumphal entry of Jesus, which was a fulfillment of prophecy (Mt. 21:1-11), but who were utterly disappointed at His crucifixion. J. B. Cook, 2John B. Cook (1804-74) advocated the validity of the Seventh Month movement and the idea of a shut door in 1844. Immediately after the Disappointment he published together with J. D. Pickands a periodical, the Voice of the Fourth Angel. In 1846 he joined the Sabbatarian Adventists and for some time he advocated the Sabbath. But after 1849 he became one of their opponents. an Adventist lecturer and a former Baptist minister, stated that the disciples “were disappointed, because they misconceived his design in fulfilling that predicted event. The prophecy was however, just as really fulfilled, as if they had correctly conceived God’s purposes, and realized their expectations.” 3[J. B. Cook], “The Doctrine of Providence,” AT, March 1846, p. 4. Through typological argumentation he pointed out thatFSDA 105.1

    the mistake was of precisely the same nature with that of the Holy Twelve, and others, Mat. 21:4. They overlooked the events which were to intervene between that prophetic fulfillment and the Kingdom. They mistook our Lord’s design in that fulfillment. It was however a fulfillment. So in our case precisely, God’s will was done. 4[Cook], “Providence,” p. 5. Cf. E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:253, 254; E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 351, 352, 404, 405.FSDA 105.2

    Cook’s argument was influenced by his philosophy of divine providence which said that God did not guide His people “into their mistakes, but He employs them, notwithstanding their mistakes. He verifies His promises to them in spite of all their weaknesses, and gradually brings them to ‘understand,’ both his word and Providence.” 5[Cook], “The Necessity and Certainty of Divine Guidance,” AT, March 1846, p. 6. He added that “the Apostles exhibited their full share of human infirmity, by misconceiving the purposes of Jesus, though they were honored, to fulfill the prophecies concerning his first Advent. They were ‘willing to do his will;’ therefore they were guided ‘into all truth.’ They did understand as the unfolding purpose of Jehovah was gradually opened to their minds. In every instance their weakness, as well as ignorance was overruled to fulfill scripture.... So with the 2nd Advent people, God has led them in ‘His way,’ at every turn, and in every trial they fulfill scripture.”FSDA 105.3

    Hiram Edson, who became a pioneer among the Sabbatarian Adventists, interpreted the Disappointment in the context of Revelation 10:8-10, stating that “the seventh angel had begun to sound; we had eaten the little book; it had been sweet in our mouths, and it had now become bitter in our belly, embittering our whole being.” 6Edson, MS, pp. 9, 10.FSDA 105.4

    Interpretations of the Disappointment in the context of a shut door and Christ’s high-priestly ministry 1See infra, pp. 115-32. provided an additional reason why the Second Advent did not take place on the 10th day of the seventh month, 1844. Later, Sabbatarian Adventists pointed to the fact that the seventh-day Sabbath had to be restored before the return of Christ could occur.FSDA 105.5

    1. The immediate soteriological-missiological consequences of the Disappointment

    And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Mt. 25:10-12.FSDA 106.1

    Immediately after the Disappointment there was among nearly all Adventists a feeling that the door of Mt. 25:10, which had been identified as the door of mercy for the churches and the world, had been shut forever on the 10th day of the seventh month, 1844. For a short period of time this “extreme” shut-door concept, which excluded the possibility of salvation for all who had not participated in the Seventh Month movement and separated themselves from the churches, 2See supra, pp. 96-98. The shut-door question was especially related to the message of the Seventh Month movement. Because the Seventh Month movement mainly affected the North American continent, the discussion on the shut-door idea pertained especially to that part of the world. Therefore hardly any reference was made regarding the conditions for salvation in areas outside North America. However, one can conjecture that, according to many Millerites, salvation was within the reach of those who had accepted their Second Advent doctrine because it had been distributed through literature on a world-wide scope. Those who had rejected that message were considered lost. brought nearly all missionary efforts of Adventists among non-Adventists to a complete stop. Some weeks after the Disappointment Miller wrote:FSDA 106.2

    We have done our work in warning sinners, and in trying to awake a formal church. God in his providence had shut the door; we can only stir one another up to be patient; and be diligent to make our calling and election sure. We are now living in the time specified by Malachi 3:18, also Daniel 12:10, Revelation 22:10-12. In this passage we cannot help but see that a little while before Christ should come, there would be a separation between the just and unjust, the righteous and wicked, between those who love his appearing and those who hate it. And never since the days of the apostles has there been such a division line drawn, as was drawn about the 10th or 23rd day of the 7th Jewish month. 3Letter, Miller to Himes, AH, December 11, 1844, p. 142. Cf. Letter, Brown to Bliss, AH, December 11, 1844, p. 139. For an elaborate statement on Miller’s reasons for a shut door, see Letter, Miller to Bliss, AH, February 12, 1845, pp. 2, 3. Later he denied his shut-door convictions (Letter, Miller to Brother, MC, March 20, 1845, pp. 91, 92) Cf. supra, pp. 43, 44.FSDA 106.3

    The reaction of society in general against the Adventists was to them evidence of the correctness of their shut-door views. Miller described this reaction as follows:FSDA 106.4

    The amount of scoffing and mocking at the present time, is beyond any calculation. We can hardly pass a man, professor or non-professor, but what he scoffingly inquires “You have not gone up,” or “God cannot burn the world,” etc., ridiculing the Bible itself, and blaspheming the word and power of God. And yet ministers and moral editors wink at it. And some of them are performing the same, to the no small joy of the most depraved characters in [the] community. 1Letter, Miner to Himes, AH, December 11, 1844, p. 142. Cf. Letter, Wm. Gage to Enoch Jacobs, The Day-Star, September 20, 1845, p. 27. In 1845 J. White summarized the public reaction in the State of Maine: “We have been brought before magistrates-publically whipped-put in the jail-workhouse, and families torn asunder-all to prevent us from following the Lamb: but to no effect” (Letter, J. White to Jacobs, The Day-Star, September 6, 1845, p. 17). Cf. C., “‘In Prison,’” HI, April 17, 1845, p. 3.FSDA 106.5

    The reaction of Adventists who rejected the Advent movement immediately after the Disappointment was no less hostile than that of society at large, causing Miller to question whether this group had not “sinned against the Holy Ghost.” 2Letter, Miller to I. E. Jones, AH, December 25, 1844, p. 154. Cf. Letter, Miller to J. O. Orr, Dec. 13, 1844.FSDA 107.1

    In the January issue of the Advent Mirror, which was devoted to a new interpretation of the coming of the Bridegroom as a rationale for the Disappointment, the editors Apollos Hale and Joseph Turner 3Joseph Turner was a Millerite preacher. After the Disappointment he seemed to be co-editor of the HI. At first he had cordial relations with E. G. Harmon and her family but when he became involved in fanaticism the friendship was terminated and he became her opponent (E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 2:49, 50, 62, 63, 67, 68). saw the shut-door concept confirmed by the contemporary religious situation. 4They remarked that “it is confessed, by those who could never be suspected of any desire to favor our position, that there has not been such a time of religious indifference for many years. It may be shown from a large number of facts that the last cases of spiritual interest among the professed churches were the result, directly or indirectly of the Advent doctrine; that where that doctrine has been avowedly opposed, and its believers silenced, spiritual death has followed, our enemies being judges. And we do not know of a single case of noticeable religious interest but where the doctrine is received, or at least not opposed; and these cases are so limited in their extent and number, that they can form no objection to the supposition that the door is shut, but rather go to confirm it” (A. Hale and J. Turner, “Has Not the Savior Come as the Bridegroom?” Advent Mirror, Jan. 1845, p. [3]). Some historians from the Advent Christian tradition have argued that the shut-door concept originated with Turner and Hale (Wellcome, Second Advent Message, p. 397; Arthur, “After the Great Disappointment: To Albany and Beyond,” Adventist Heritage, Jan. 1974, p. 6). However, as has been shown above, this concept existed already for some time before it was more extensively worked out by Hale and Turner. At this time Turner advocated also the view that Christ’s atonement had been completed on October 22, 1844. 6See infra, p. 113. The attitude of both editors toward the possibility of new conversions must be interpreted against the contemporary polemic among Adventists regarding the validity of the Seventh Month movement. Toward the end of 1844 various Adventists began to question the correctness of the Seventh Month movement and the idea of the shut door on the basis of rumors regarding new conversions. It was therefore no surprise that in general the acceptance of the idea of new converts was equated with the rejection of the validity of the Seventh Month movement and the shut-door concept. In describing the attitudes of Adventists who reported new conversions, J. D. Pickands, a fervent supporter of the Seventh Month movement, said that these individuals were “already deeply committed in opposition” to the new interpretations which affirmed the divine guidance of this movement. According to him, Adventists were faced with the difficult dilemma either “to deny the reality of sound conversions as reported by our brethren, or to deny the whole history of Adventism. 1Letter, J. D. Pickands to Snow, JS, June 19, 1845, p. 120. It is in this light that the rejection of reports about new conversions by Hale and Turner has to be interpreted. Their shut-door concept, which was associated with “the closing of the door of mercy,” was defined on the basis of the rejection of truth and signified “the exclusion from all farther access to saving mercy, those who have rejected its offers during their time of probation.” 2Hale and Turner, “Bridegroom,” pp. [3, 4]. E. G. White’s first vision also defined the shut-door concept in the context of rejection of truth, but no mention was made of those who had not rejected the Midnight Cry (infra, pp. 112, 149, 150). As a result they denied the possibility of genuine conversions among “sinners,” though “changes that may appear to be conversions may take place.” 3Ibid., p. [4]. This they supported through the following reasoning:FSDA 107.2

    As it is a fundamental principle in the economy of heaven that “it is accepted according to what a man hath” [2 Corinthians 8:12], we know that at the closing of the door of mercy, all who fear God and work righteousness, according to the light they have, must be embraced by the arms of his mercy; though as the measure of light they have differs, the apparent form of their character must differ. And there may be changes in the form of their character, which we might call conversions, though it would imply no change in their inward character before God. That such may be found for whom we should labor, there can be no doubt; and in fact, it is with such a class only, few indeed is their number, that our labors are in any sense successful. 4Ibid. Cf. Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” AH, March 5, 1845, p. 26. Except for this quotation little is known as to whether they saw as the ground of salvation the mercy of Christ, or the fear of God and the working of righteousness. The interconfessional nature of Adventism and the absence of sufficient data prohibit the making of generalizations. However, one thing was clear to them: Those who had rejected the Seventh Month movement did not have the fear of God but had rejected truth and the mercy of Christ so that they were beyond the possibility of salvation.FSDA 108.1

    This group seemed to consist of God’s children outside of the Adventists and formed the limits of their mission efforts, “but to think of laboring to convert the great mass of the world at such a time, would be as idle as it would have been for the Israelites, when they were down by the Red sea, to have turned about to convert the Egyptians.” 5Hale and Turner, “Bridegroom,” p. [3].FSDA 108.2

    However, the fact that Christ had not yet returned led many to the conclusion that the door of mercy was still open, so that the shut door had to be placed in the future. From this time onward Adventists entered into a period of confusion as to the interpretation of the meaning of the shut door.FSDA 108.3

    The periodical which most stoutly affirmed the validity of the Seventh Month movement and published correspondence of several Adventists who later became Sabbatarian Adventists was the Day-Star. 1The Day-Star, called the Western Midnight Cry before Feb. 18, 1845, was for some time representative of some of the theological positions among Sabbatarian Adventists until the middle of 1846, when it started to advocate various views of the Shakers. Other periodicals which affirmed the validity of the 1844 movement were the Jubilee Standard, the Hope of Israel, the Hope Within the Veil, the Voice of the Shepherd, the Advent Testimony, and the True Day Star. In 1845 the Voice of Truth occupied a position between these periodicals and the Advent Herald. This periodical published a variety of shut-door views, which seems to indicate that it was possible to believe in the correctness of the Seventh Month movement without necessarily holding to shut-door views as originally advocated by Miller, Hale and Turner. Soon after the Disappointment its editor, Enoch Jacobs, a former Methodist minister, opposed the idea of proclaiming the end of human probation, or that Christ had left the mediatorial throne, because this was unbiblical. 2[Enoch Jacobs], “The Time,” WMC, Nov. 29, 1844, p.20. Cf. Editorial, “Matthew 24th chapter and Matthew 25th chapter,” WMC, May 11, 1844, p. 67; [Jacobs], “The Door of Matthew 25:10 Is Shut,” The Day-Star, June 24, 1845, p. 26; Letter, O. R. L. Crosier to Pearson, HI, April 17, 1845, p. [4]. F. B. Hahn, a friend of Crosier and Edson, had similar ideas (Editorial, “A Mistake Corrected,” VT, July 2, 1845, p. 368). He stated that he always should feel it his duty “to point the enquiring penitent to Christ” but added that “now especially, do I believe it our duty to comfort God’s people.4[Jacobs], “Revelation 22:11, 12,” The Day-Star, April 29, 1845, p. 46-48. Several months later Jacobs concluded from the condition among Adventists and their absence of missionary zeal for sinners that the time described in Revelation 22:11, 12 had arrived. This implied, according to him, that the “ceasing of labor for an ‘apostate church and dying world’ a ‘little while’ before our mortal career is done, is not only a duty imposed upon those that ‘are alive and remain,’ but a process or exercise through which every child of God is called.” His shut-door concept, however, was not an extreme one, for he added that Revelation 22:11, 12 did not exclude the possibility of people changing “their character, IF they make use of the means provided.” Thus he still could accept an invitation from individuals who did not make any profession of religion to lecture in a place where the Second Advent had never been presented. In commenting on this meeting he said that “if God has any children in that place I doubt not that that occasion will bring them out where they will be ‘discerned.’” The door of Mt. 25:10 Jacobs defined as the door of the “Kingdom of heaven” and not as the door of mercy. He also interpreted it as “this gospel of the kingdom” (Mt. 24:14) or “the everlasting gospel” (Revelation 14:6), which was the proclamation immediately preceding the establishing of the kingdom, which led him to conclude that “the truths concerning the Kingdom are its door.1Ibid., p.27. He further indicated that in the early 1840s the Lord opened the “effectual door” to the world so that the proclamation of the coming kingdom gained access to the people and millions of Second Advent publications were scattered on a world-wide scope. He felt that this successful missionary enterprise was a fulfillment of the words to the Philadelphian church in Revelation 3:8: “I have set before thee an open door, and no man CAN SHUT IT.” 2Ibid., pp. 27, 28. He added, however, that after October 22, 1844 the Adventists learned from experience that further mission efforts were unsuccessful because “there was no more access to the people-no more openings for proclaiming the ‘original ground of the Advent faith.’ ‘THE DOOR WAS SHUT’!” 4[Jacobs], “Door of Matthew 25:10,” p. 28. Cf. [Jacobs], “The Two Covenants,” The Day-Star, September 27, 1845, p. 32; Letter, Cook to Jacobs, The Day-Star, July 8, 1845, p. 36; Letter, Pickands to Jacobs, The Day-Star, September 20, 1845, p. 25. This understanding of the shut door was a reason that the door of Mt. 25:10 was also called the “door of access.” As a theological reason behind the shutting of the door Jacobs pointed to a change in Christ’s ministry. The possibility of individual conversions, he said, had to be left in the hands of God. Cook, who joined the Sabbatarian Adventists for a while in 1846, stated emphatically that the door had been shut against those who had rejected the Advent truths. However, he felt that mercy was still available so that “honest souls, to whose minds these truths have not been fairly presented, may yet receive them.” He added that Christ had not left His mediatorial throne and had never pleaded for sinners in general, but still mediated as He had always done “for those only that commit their cause to him.” Soon after this Cook baptized several persons and through his influence a few others were persuaded to leave the Baptist Church. After having visited various groups of Adventists who affirmed the validity of the 1844 movement, he observed that different individuals expressed themselves differently regarding the shut door. 1Letter, Cook to Jacobs, The Day-Star, June 24, 1845, p. 26. Cook’s shut-door view was that “the great and effectual door that God had opened for proclaiming the ‘Everlasting Gospel’” (Revelation 14:6), the “door of access” to the world, was closed. 2Cook, “Extracts from a Discourse by J. B. Cook,” The Day-Star, July 8, 1845, p. 36; Letter, Cook to Jacobs, The Day-Star, July 8, 1845, p. 36. He remarked that “our sympathies now belong to Jesus-His truth and His people.... Now it is not my duty, nor yours to run about giving invitations among those who have rejected the call.” 4Letter, Daniel Ashton to Jacobs, The Day-Star, July 29, 1845, p. 47. The fact that this individual agreed to examine the subject presented by Cook might suggest that he had not fully investigated the Advent doctrine as set forth by Adventists (see ibid.). Yet at the same time he would attend a Baptist church service and afterward give a Bible study to the preacher. This indicated that his shut-door concept was not an extreme one and allowed for an outreach to non-Adventists who had not rejected the Advent doctrine. Later, however, he compared the contemporary situation of the Adventists with that of Noah after the animals were in the ark. Pickands argued that the door of Revelation 3:8 was the “door of access” which shut out the world and the churches from the Second Advent doctrine in the autumn of 1844, while the door of Mt. 25:10 would shut out the foolish virgins at the Second Advent. One correspondent suggested that in October 1844 the door of Mt. 25:10 was shut to the “foolish virgins” who had rejected the new interpretation of the coming of the Bridegroom but not to “the nominal professors of the different churches” and “unbelievers who made no profession of religion” in as far as they had not “sinned away their day of grace.” To another correspondent new baptisms were evidence that “God’s administration of grace for the salvation of sinners, is yet extended!” In 1846 the Day-Star published the first vision of E. G. Harmon. It seems that immediately after the Disappointment she held for a short time, “in common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was then for ever closed to the world.” 1E. G. White, Manuscript 4, 1883 (Selected Messages 1:63); Letter, E. G. White to Loughborough, No. 2, 1874 (Selected Messages 1:74). However, before she received her first vision in December 1844, she “had given up the midnight-cry, and shut door, as being in the past.” 2J. White, ed., A Word to the Little Flock, 1847, 22. Cf. E. G. White to Bates, No. 3, 1847. It was through this vision that she became convinced of the validity of the Seventh Month movement and that there was a shut door on October 22, 1844. 4From now on the term “Midnight Cry” signifies the True Midnight Cry of the Seventh Month movement. The equating of these expressions with each other became the practice among those who affirmed the validity of this movement. Her shut-door view that was published pertained to Adventists who had rejected the Midnight Cry and also to the wicked world.FSDA 109.1

    The Day-Star also printed articles advocating the “extreme” shut-door position. 6Cf. Letter, Brown to Editor, HI, repr. in The Day-Star, April 15, 1845, p. 34; Letter, Emily C. Clemons to Editor, JS, repr. in The Day-Star, April 15, 1845, p. 35; Snow, “Behold He Cometh!!” JS, repr. in The Day-Star, April 22, 1845, p. 41; C. S. Minor, “‘The Harvest Is Past,’” JS, repr. in The Day-Star, April 22, 1845, p. 42. One of them criticized the idea of some Adventists that, because of the refusal to accept truth, the church and the world had been rejected “as a whole” with the exception only of some parts of the world on the basis that “all have not had the same light that some have.” 7“To the Believers Scattered Abroad,” HI, repr. in The Day-Star, March 25, 1845, p. 23. This writer then proceeded to argue that such a shut-door concept was incorrect because it was based on the rejection of truth and not on the completion of Christ’s atonement on October 22, 1844. He insisted that “if the door is shut, it is done by finishing the atonement, on the 10th day of the 7th month, and if the atonement is not finished, then the door is not shut, and all who come to Christ, in any land, may yet be saved.” 9“To the Believers Scattered Abroad,” p. 21. Cf. Minor, “‘Harvest,’” p. 42. This writer also implied that the mystery of God was finished.FSDA 112.1

    According to other Adventists, the new interest in the Advent message and rumors of new conversions were evidence that probation for mankind had not yet been closed. In December 1844 an editorial in the Advent Herald stated: “The Tide Turning-Already our friends are sending in new subscribers” and “we are happy to know that the efforts of our enemies to destroy us have gained the sympathy of many who had been indifferent, have made us many new friends, and greatly strengthened our old ones.” 1Editorial, AH, December 11, 1844, p. 141. Cf. Marsh, “Door of Mercy,” VT, Feb. 26, 1845, pp. 18, 19.FSDA 113.1

    At the Low Hampton Conference of Adventists (December 28, 29, 1844) Himes urged three aspects of future missionary activity: (1) Comforting the saints who are still looking for the kingdom at hand; (2) arousing the professed Christian world once more to prepare for the Advent; (3) fully and freely proclaiming salvation to lost and perishing sinners. 2Editorial, “Low-Hampton Conference,” AH, January 15, 1845, p. 182. A few weeks later the Advent press was again in operation, and Himes declared, “I am more and more convinced that the door of salvation is open wide, and that we are to ‘preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to all the world,’ in the faith that sinners may and will be converted, until the end comes.3Himes, “Meetings in New London, Ct,” AH, February 5, 1845, p. 205. Cf. “Mutual Conference of Adventists at Albany,” AH, May 14, 1845, p. 107. In response to reports about new conversions 5See e.g., Letter, Bliss to Miller, Feb. 11, 1845; Letter, Himes, March 12 and 29, 1845. Cf. Rowe, “Millerite Movement,” pp. 274-76. and pressure of some of his colleagues Miller became gradually less dogmatic on the extreme shut-door concept and after the Jewish Karaite year 1844 had passed he gave it up and returned to his original view of the Midnight Cry.FSDA 113.2

    However, new interpretations of the Disappointment, relating it to Christ’s heavenly ministry, seemed to some to confirm the validity of the Seventh Month movement and some kind of a shut-door concept, and created a strong controversy-even fanaticism-among Adventists.FSDA 113.3

    At the end of April 1845 at Albany, New York, a conference of Adventists was called together by Himes 8Letter, T. Wrightson to Miller, March 18, 1845. with the object of ending the confusion and division. Miller commented, “It need not be replied that it was convened to deliberate respecting, and if possible to extricate ourselves from the anarchy and confusion of BABYLON in which we had so unexpectedly found ourselves.” 1Miller, “The Albany Conference,” AH, June 4, 1845, p. 129. On the contemporary confusion, see Letter, I. E. Jones to Miller, Feb. 15, 1845; Letter, T. M. Preble to Bliss, AH, March 12, 1845, p. 40; Letter, J. F. Wardwell to Crosier, DD, April 16, 1847, p. 10. At the Albany Conference, chaired by Miller, it was decided to reject all new theological interpretations which had been developed since the Disappointment. 2“Mutual Conference,” p. 107. It was resolved “that we can have no sympathy or fellowship with those things which have only a show of wisdom in will-worship and neglecting of the body, after the commandments and doctrines of men. That we have no fellowship with any of the new tests as conditions of salvation, in addition to repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and a looking for and loving his appearing. That we have no fellowship for Jewish fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth, or for any of the distinctive characteristics of modern Judaism. And that the act of promiscuous feet-washing and the salutation kiss, as practiced by some professing Adventists as religious ceremonies, sitting on the floor as an act of voluntary humility, shaving the head to humble one’s self, and acting like children in understanding, are not only unscriptural, but subversive,-if persevered in,-of purity and morality” (ibid.). Thus the conference refused to accept the newly developed views which recognized the special significance of the Seventh Month movement in salvation history.FSDA 113.4

    The Albany Conference was not very successful in uniting the believers. Some months later Hale was able to distinguish four major classes of Adventists: (1) Those who deplored or even condemned their past Advent experience and were strongly opposed to any further time calculations; (2) those who expressed confidence in the former calculations and felt that the predicted events had taken place; (3) those whose confidence had been shaken by the Disappointment so that they were now afflicted with doubt; (4) those who continued setting time, building their calculations upon anything they could find. 3Hale, “Editorial Correspondence,” AH, September 10, 1845, p. 40. In 1847 the situation among the Adventists seemed to be even more confused. An editorial stated, “are there not ‘Albany Conference’ Adventists, ‘Hartford Convention’ Adventists, and Anti-conference Adventists? Seventh day, first day, and every day Adventists? Workers and no workers? Shut-door, open-door, feetwashers? ‘Whole truth,’ and ‘apostate’ Adventists? Baptist, Methodist, Calvinist, Episcopal, Congregational and Presbyterian Adventists?” (Editorial, “The Advent Question,” AH, November 27, 1847, p. 133). On the confusion among certain Adventists in 1847, see Letter, Wardwell to Crosier, p. 10. Hale’s own position and that of the Adventist leaders in general may be described as a modified form of the fourth group. Convinced that the period of 2300 days had not yet expired, they continued to look with much caution for a new date for the Second Advent. 4See e.g., Letter, Miller to Himes, Nov. 15, 1845. Storrs belonged to the first group. Fitch died a few days before the Disappointment. The basic difference between the second and fourth group was that the former affirmed that the 2300 days had indeed ended on October 22, 1844, while the latter considered their fulfillment still in the future,-leading them to continue setting time for decades. 5For some time after the Disappointment the second group also engaged in time settings. The fundamental difference was that theirs was based on the validity of Oct. 22, 1844 as the end of the 2300 days. However, they felt there were additional time predictions which would reach beyond the 2300 days and would provide the exact date of the parousia. See infra, p. 156, n. 303. It is on the second group, which became a minority without much influence among other Adventists after the Albany Conference, that attention will be focused here, for out of it emerged the SDA theology of mission. From these groups there arose in time the following major bodies: Evangelical Adventists, SDA, Advent Christians, Life and Advent Union, and “Age-to-come” Adventists. 1Evangelical Adventists disappeared in the beginning of the 20th century. The Life and Advent Union united with the Advent Christian Church in 1964 while the Primitive Advent Christian Church recently separated from it. “Age-to-come” Adventists were nationally organized as the Churches of God in Jesus Christ (1888), and as the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith (1921). Their current name is Church of God General Conference, Oregon, Illinois. Sabbatarian Adventists who did not accept the adoption of the name SDA, the subsequent organization into the SDA Church (1863), and the authority of E. G. White, formed themselves into the Church of God (Adventist). As a result of a 1933 schism, there are presently two bodies: The Church of God (Seventh Day), Denver, Colo., and the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Salem, West Virginia.FSDA 114.1

    Adventists in Hale’s second group, which acknowledged the validity of the Seventh Month movement and the fulfillment of the time calculations, had in their search for a new interpretation of the Disappointment two major problems to solve: (1) What was the coming of the Bridegroom if the parable of Mt. 25:1-10 had its fulfillment in the Seventh Month movement and the coming of the Bridegroom did not signify the Second Advent? (2) What was the meaning of the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 if the 2300 days had terminated on October 22, 1844? In the search for a biblical solution to these two problems the subject of Christ’s high-priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary seemed to provide a key. The result was a development of two new interpretations: The coming of the Bridegroom (Mt. 25:10) signified Christ’s coming to the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary on October 22, 1844, and the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 indicated the nature of Christ’s ministry after that date. After the completion of this ministry it was thought that He would return to earth. Although both of these new interpretations could be described in an integrated way, the method followed below is to treat them as distinct (though related) as was generally done in the primary source material of 1845-46.FSDA 115.1

    2. The sanctuary theology

    From 1845-49 the second group mentioned above gradually declined in numbers. Although they were united on the validity of the Seventh Month movement, they were divided as to the significance of October 22, 1844 in salvation history. About the middle of 1845 Cook described his experience among this group:FSDA 115.2

    The prevailing, nay almost universal conviction of the brethren is that the Lord has been leading us.... Different individuals express themselves differently relative to the Midnight Cry,-the shutting of the door, and the sounding of the 7th trumpet, yet the prevailing sentiment seems to have come from the same source,-our experience as molded by God’s word. 2Letter, Cook to Jacobs, The Day-Star, June 24, 1845, p. 26. Cf. Letter, Jones to Miller, Feb. 15, 1845.FSDA 115.3

    A survey of the divergence of opinion on some of the contemporary issues discussed immediately after the Disappointment provides ample evidence of the heterogeneous structure of this group. As has been noticed above, interpretations of the expression “the door was shut” (Mt. 25:10) were as follows: (1) The “extreme” position that the door of mercy was closed to all who had not participated in the Seventh Month movement. The underlying assumption here was that their non-participation in this movement was based on either their rejection of the Second Advent proclamation or on the completion of the atonement on October 22, 1844, or both; (2) the view that the door of mercy was closed to all who had consciously rejected the Advent truth. Those who had not participated in the 1844 movement because they were ignorant of its significance but who had lived up to such light as they had could still join the Adventists; (3) the position which rejected the use of the term “door of mercy” as being unbiblical; (4) the concept that the door of the kingdom or the door of access to the people was closed because missionary activity had no practical results.FSDA 116.1

    The ministry of Christ on and after October 22, 1844, was also subject to a variety of opinions: (1) After the completion of the atonement on October 22, Christ came out of the most holy place of heaven and went as the Bridegroom to the Ancient of Days to the marriage to receive the kingdom; 1Letter, Pickands to Marsh, VT, Feb. 12, 1845, p. 12. On the completion of the atonement, see e.g., Letter, Turner, p. 398; Letter, Snow to Marsh, VT, April 16, 1845, p. 20; Letter, J. White to Jacobs, The Day-Star, September 20, 1845, p. 26. (2) before coming to the marriage Christ terminated His daily ministrations on October 22, entered into the “holiest of all” to make an atonement, and came out of that place on the same day; 2Letter, Peavey to Snow and Matthias, p. 55. This atonement covered all unknown sins committed by those who had received pardon on Oct. 22, 1844 (ibid.). Peavey, “‘Unto Two Thousand and Three Hundred Days ...,’” JS, Aug. 7, 1845, p. 166. Cf. Clemons, “Letter from Sister Clemons,” JS, April 17, 1845, p. 42. (3) the atonement on the antitypical Day of Atonement was not completed on October 22, but would continue for some time; 4Cf. Letter, Jones to Miller, Feb. 15, 1845; Editorial, “‘The Hope within the Veil,’” JS, July 3, 1845, pp. 132, 133; Snow, “Remarks,” JS, June 5, 1845, p. 102; Editorial, “Hope of Israel,” VT, May 14, 1845, p. 56. Editorial, “Where is Christ?” VT, March 5, 1845, p. 26. (4) the atonement began after October 22, when Jesus entered into the holy of holies; (5) the return of Christ was spiritual, not personal, and had already taken place in the hearts of the saints.FSDA 116.2

    As to the sealing (Revelation 7:1-4), some felt that it had been completed on October 22, 1Letter, Edson to Snow, JS, May 29, 1845, p. 91; Letter, Wm. J. Greenleaf to Jacobs, The Day-Star, June 3, 1845, p. 14; Snow, “The Confederacy,” JS, June 12, 1845, p. 109. Cf. Hotchkiss, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” VS, Sept. 1845, pp. 26, 27. In Maine, during the summer of 1844, various Millerites believed that the sealing process was a present reality (Editorial, “Advent Herald,” p. 93; infra, p. 150, n. 273). while others suggested that it was a present process or imminent reality. 2H. B. Woodcock, “The True Millennium,” WMC, Dec. 30, 1844, p.31; Letter, Nichols to Miller, April 20, 1846. Cf. Letter, E. G. Harmon to Jacobs, The Day-Star, March 14, 1846, p. 7. In regard to the judgment some of the following views were expressed: (1) The “judiciary” phase or the “sitting of judgment” had been accomplished because the antitypical Day of Atonement was also a day of judgment through which the fate of mankind had been decided; 4See infra, p. 118, n. 96. (2) the “judiciary” phase of the judgment was a present reality and preceded the “executive” phase of the judgment; (3) the judgment was imminent.FSDA 117.1

    From now on the development of the SDA theology of mission will be traced from this heterogeneous group of Adventists who all affirmed the prophetic role of the Seventh Month movement.FSDA 117.2

    a. The Bridegroom theme.FSDA 117.3

    One of the earliest interpretations of the Disappointment which endorsed the validity of the Seventh Month movement and the October 22, 1844, time calculations seems to have come from Hiram Edson. On the very day following the Disappointment he felt impressed, after prayer, that a mistake had been made in the manner in which the Adventists had expected Christ to come as the Bridegroom, but not in the predicted time. He stated:FSDA 117.4

    After breakfast I said to one of my brethren, “Let us go and see, and encourage some of our brn [brethren].” We started, and while passing through a large field I was stopped about midway of the field. Heaven seemed open to my view, and I saw distinctly and clearly that instead of our High Priest coming out of the Most Holy of the heavenly sanctuary to come to this earth on the tenth day of the seventh month, at the end of the 2300 days, that He for the first time entered on that day the second apartment of that sanctuary; and that He had a work to perform in the Most Holy before coming to this earth. That he came to the marriage at that time; in other words, to the Ancient of days to receive a kingdom, dominion, and glory; and we must wait for his return from the wedding. 6Edson, MS, p. 9. Cf. Letter, T. Greer Clayton to Miller, Oct. 26, 1844; Letter, Edson to Snow, p. 91. For accounts of the Edson experience, see H. M. Kelley, “The Spirit of 1844,” RH, June 23, 1921, p. 5; Loughborough, “The Second Advent Movement-No. 8,” RH, Sept. 15, 1921, p. 5; W. A. Spicer, “A Meeting with O. R. L. Crosier,” RH, March 29, 1945, p. 5. Although Edson’s MS is an autobiographical source, it has been used because to SDA it represents the classical illustration of the interpretation of the Disappointment. As such, it is a valuable source for understanding the SDA self-image. This source does not contradict 1845 source material, though it is possible that the MS reflects later influences. For Edson’s pre-Disappointment supernatural experiences, see MS, pp. 5-7.FSDA 117.5

    In Edson’s interpretation, the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 was seen to be the heavenly sanctuary and not the earth or the church. He blamed “modern orthodoxy” for the interpretation of Mt. 25:10 which held “that the coming of the Bridegroom to the marriage would be fulfilled in the personal second advent of Christ to this earth.” 1Ibid., p. 8. The coming of the Bridegroom to the marriage he placed in the context of Daniel 7:13, 14 and related it to the coming of Christ as the High Priest to the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Thus, according to Edson, on the 10th day of the seventh month, 1844, Christ came to the “marriage,” that is, to His reception of the kingdom, dominion, and glory. The time of the parousia he interpreted in the context of Luke 12:36, which calls on believers to wait until Christ returns from the marriage. For awhile he anticipated the Second Advent in 1845. 2Letter, Edson to Snow, pp. 90, 91.FSDA 118.1

    An editorial by Jacobs in the Western Midnight Cry, December 1844, alluded to the coming of Christ in the setting of the judgment and made a distinction between a pre-Advent judgment and an executive judgment at the time of the Second Advent. 3The article stated that “1st. There are certain brethren who believe that Christ did in some ‘sense,’ come on ‘the tenth day,’ ‘more than he has come since or for centuries previous.’ 2nd. They argue that Christ did on the ‘tenth day,’ ‘come’ from his ‘Father’s throne,’ to his ‘judgment seat,’ where he is now sitting in judgment on our world, Exodus 28:15, 29, 30; Numbers 27:18-21; Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16:29-31; Leviticus 23:29, 31; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:8; 9:6-12, 19-26; Leviticus 9:22-24; Acts 3:19-21. Whether the judgment has yet set upon the ‘living,’ they do not pretend to say. 3rd. They give us further evidence, that the judgment must set before Christ personally appears to ‘execute judgment.’ Revelation 11:15-18; 20:12; Matthew 5:25; Daniel 7:9, 10; Ezekiel 21:30; Isaiah 11:3, 4; Psalm 98:8, 9; 50:3-5; 82:8; 96:11-13; 76:8; 2:7-9; Revelation 4:1-6; 20:11;14:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17” ([Jacobs], “Intolerance,” WMC, Dec. 30, 1844, p. 30). Cf. [Jacobs], “Time,” pp. 19, 20; Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” AH, February 26, 1845, p. 18; Snow, “‘And the Door Was Shut,’” JS, April 24, 1845, p. 53; “The Judgment Dispensation,” The Day-Star, June 6, 1846, p. 4. For Millerite views on a pre-Advent judgment, see Litch, PE, I, 50, 51, 53; Hale, Herald of the Bridegroom ..., 1843, p. 22, Editorial, “Advent Herald,” p. 93.FSDA 118.2

    One of the most extensive early treatments of the Bridegroom theme appeared in the first and only issue of the Advent Mirror, January 1845. According to its editors, Hale and Turner, the parable of Mt. 25:1-13 had to be interpreted in a “spiritual or figurative sense.” 4Hale and Turner, “Bridegroom,” p. [2]. Turner wrote Miller that the mistake had been that no distinction was made “between Christ as the Bridegroom, and Christ the King of glory” (Letter, Turner to Miller, Jan. 20, 1845). Cf. Letter, Turner to Miller, Feb. 7, 1845; Letter, Clemons to Miller, Feb. 17, 1845. The current issue, they said, was whether Christ was represented in Mt. 25:10 as the Bridegroom coming as the “King of glory” to the earth or as the Bridegroom coming to the marriage in heaven. They resolved the issue by alluding to the heavenly marriage of the Lamb. From Revelation 21:9-14 they inferred that the bride was the “great city, the holy Jerusalem,” 5Hale and Turner, “Bridegroom,” p. [1]. citing as collaborative evidence the topological relationship between Galatians 4:26 and Ezek. 16: “What Old Jerusalem was to the Church under the old covenant, that the New Jerusalem is to be, to the Church under the new covenant in its perfected state. As Jehovah declares that he married the old Jerusalem, Ezekiel 16., so the Son of God is to be married to the new Jerusalem.” 1Ibid. The prevailing opinion that the church is the bride and the marriage the reception of the church was rejected. The testimony of Revelation was taken as normative for the new covenant times so that Paul’s allusions to the church as the bride were only seen as allegorical. It was stated that “under the old covenant God is the husband, ‘Jerusalem,’ ‘the land,’ or country is the wife, and the church are the children. Hosea 1; Ezek. 16, 23, 24: 15-27; Galatians 4:25: Under the new covenant, Christ the husband, the New Jerusalem the wife, and believers the children. Gal. iv:26-31” (ibid., p. [2]). See also J. White, Life, pp. 202-4. On the basis of Mt. 22:8-14 they said that the believers were the guests at the marriage of the Lamb. Their conclusion was that the marriage had to take place before Christ would come as the King of glory to this earth and that His actual return was symbolized by His return from the wedding (Luke 12:35-37). The marriage they defined as the inauguration of Christ as King of glory, at which occasion He would receive His “kingdom, city and throne,” 2Hale and Turner, “Bridegroom,” pp. [1], [3]. and as “the actual investment of Christ with ‘the throne.’” 4Ibid., p. [1]. Therefore, they said, the coming of the Bridegroom (Mt. 25:10) denoted “that change in his [Christ’s] heavenly state, in which he comes to the Ancient of Days to receive dominion, and glory, which we know must take place before he can come in his glory.”FSDA 118.3

    Because Adventists were guests at the heavenly marriage, the editors suggested that the believers were “now in the guest-chamber, where all depends on our keeping our garments,” 5Ibid., p. [2]. indicating an intimate relationship between the change in Christ’s work in heaven and a change in the believers’ responsibility on earth:FSDA 119.1

    The coming of the bridegroom would point out some change of work or office, on the part of our Lord, in the invisible world; and the going in with him a corresponding change on the part of his true people. With him it is within the veil-where he has gone to prepare a place for us; with them it is outside the veil where they are to wait and keep themselves ready till they pass in to the marriage supper. 6Ibid., p. [3].FSDA 119.2

    In February and March of 1845 Hale published two articles on the same subject in which he provided a hermeneutical foundation for the new interpretation of Mt. 25:10 aimed at harmonizing the various passages regarding Christ’s marriage. He indicated that in the historicization of the parable of Mt. 25 Miller’s rules (IX, X, XI) 7See Appendix I. had not been applied consistently but the new interpretation had eliminated this inaccuracy by a more precise application of the principles of analogy of Scripture and of “good sense.” 8Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” pp. 18, 19. Hale also stressed the necessity of a preparatory work to be done in the city in connection with the inauguration of Christ as King on His throne. This preparatory work he explained in the light of Christ’s atoning ministry for the purification of the “true tabernacle” (Hebrews 8:2; 9:23) which was identified with the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2, 3). 1Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” p. 27. He said: “We do not suppose there is any bride to ‘make herself ready’ [Revelation 19:7]; but that this figurative expression denotes some important preparatory work, in case of the city, in connection with its becoming ‘the throne of the Lord.’ And what that work is it is not difficult to determine. The ‘holy city’ is called also ‘the tabernacle of God’-Revelation 21. Christ is ‘the minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man’-Hebrews 8:2. The typical tabernacle had to be ‘purified,’ and Paul tells us the true tabernacle must also be purified:-‘It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in heaven should be purified with these, (the blood of calves and of goats,) but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.’-Hebrews 9:23. The typical work of ‘atonement for the holy sanctuary, and for the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar,’ as well as for ‘the priests and for all the people of the congregation,’ was on the tenth day of the seventh month.-Leviticus 16:29, 33. And when that work of atonement for ‘the heavenly things themselves’ shall have been accomplished by Christ, then we suppose that preparation denoted in the figure, will have been effected:-what had been hitherto the tabernacle of our Great High Priest is ‘ready’ to become his throne” (ibid.). Hale concluded his view of this preparatory work in the context of Revelation 19:8; 7:14 and Hebrews 9:12 with the remark that “the holy city-the heavenly Jerusalem-is indebted to the same atoning blood for her purity, that the saints are indebted to for theirs” (ibid.). No further comment was made on the nature of this atonement which was currently going on in heaven as a preparation and purification of the New Jerusalem. Some months later, however, Hale repudiated the Bridegroom theme (Editorial, “Anniversary Week in Boston,” AH, June 11, 1845, p. 138). This work of purification, however, should not be identified with the sanctuary cleansing of Daniel 8:14, but was to precede that process. 2Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” p. 27; Hale, “End of the Prophetic Periods,” AH, March 12, 1845, pp. 38, 39.FSDA 119.3

    For awhile even Miller was impressed by the various aspects of the Bridegroom theme as presented by Hale and Turner. In a letter to Marsh he admitted that Mt. 25:10 could not refer to the Second Advent, this event being referred to in Luke 12:36, but affirmed that Christ had come in the sense spoken of in Mt. 25:10. 3Letter, Miller to Marsh, VT [Feb. 19, 1845], repr. in The Day-Star, March 11, 1845, p. 13. After the Albany Conference, however, he gave up this view.FSDA 120.1

    In January of 1846 the Day-Star published E. G. Harmon’s December 1844 vision which depicted a place in heaven similar to the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary and described it in the context of Hebrews 9:3-5 and the marriage supper of the Lamb, 4E. G. White [E. G. Harmon], “RSA,” p. 16. For the reality of the heavenly sanctuary see also E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:161; E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:260, 261. which suggested the physical reality of a heavenly sanctuary. In March 1846 the Day-Star published another vision of E. G. Harmon received in February 1845, picturing the coming of the Bridegroom to the marriage, a view also held by Edson, Hale, and Turner. It described a transition in the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. Jesus, as the Intercessor for His people, was seen sitting on a throne with the Father in the holy place of the sanctuary. Both then left this throne and entered into the most holy place where Jesus as “a great High Priest,” standing before the place where the Father sat, would receive the Kingdom (Daniel 7:13, 14). 5On this transition Nichols commented: “The Ancient of days, did change his place where Jesus was sitting at his right hand, to the throne of judgment in the Holy of holies and did sit. Daniel 7:9” (Letter, Nichols to Miller, April 20, 1846). Later E. G. White said that Daniel 7:13; 8:14; Malachi 3:1; and Matthew 25:10 were representations of the same event (The Great Controversy, 426). The commission given to the Adventists was to keep their “garments spotless,” for in “a little while” Christ would “return from the wedding” to His followers (Luke 12:36). Adventists who had been deceived, were ignorant of the view of the coming of the Bridegroom and were described as being under the influence of Satan. 1Letter, E. G. Harmon to Jacobs, The Day-Star, March 14, 1846, p. 7 (Early Writings, 54-56). Cf. Letter, E. G. White to Bates, No. 3, 1847. On April 6, 1846 the vision was published as part of a broadside “To the Little Remnant Scattered Abroad.” She denied she had any knowledge of the Bridegroom theme previous to the vision (Letter, E. G. White to Bates, No. 3, 1847).FSDA 120.2

    Because these ideas had been communicated in a vision, they were accepted by some Adventists as a confirmation by God of the correctness of the Bridegroom theme and the Seventh Month movement. However, though Ellen Harmon’s revelations seem to have been “well known, and much talked about at that time,” 2Miles Grant, “‘Visions and Prophecies,’” WC, July 1, 1874, p. 50 (The True Sabbath ..., 1874, p. 68). most Adventists remained rather skeptical of visions. 3Regarding E. G. White [E. G. Harmon], see e.g., Editorial, “Topsham, Me,” AH, April 30, 1845, pp. 94, 95; Letter, M. L. Clark to Himes, AH, May 14, 1850, p. 111; A. N. Seymour, “Delusion-E. White’s Visions,” AHBA, March 26, 1853, p. 323 (cf. E. G. White, “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” RH, April 14, 1853, p. 192). Regarding other manifestations, see Storrs, “Note from Brother Storrs,” MC, Oct. 31, 1844, p. 138; Editorial, “Vision of C. R. Gorgas,” MC, Oct. 31, 1844, pp. 143, 144; Letter, Jones to Miller, Nov. 23, 1844; Letter Himes to Miller, March 12 and 29, 1845. In 1845 in Portland J. and C. H. Pearson published The Christian Experience of William E. Foy Together with the Two Visions He Received in the Months of Jan. and Feb. 1842 as an encouragement and comfort to the Adventists.FSDA 121.1

    Although the Bridegroom theme enabled Adventists to adhere to the validity of the Seventh Month movement and the contemporary shut-door opinions, gradually it was rejected by most of them. They preferred to explain the Disappointment as an error in the time calculations and not as a mistake in the manner they had expected Christ to come. One of their main arguments for rejecting the interpretation of Mt. 25:10, that Christ as the Bridegroom had come to the Ancient of Days and that the door was shut, was that it was considered as a departure from the traditional view that this text symbolized the Second Advent. Opposing the new interpretations, Himes stated that “the recent movement, relating to the coming of the Bridegroom, and the shutting of the door of salvation, consequent on the cry of the seventh month we believe to be an error.” 4Himes, “A Word to the Advent Brethren,” MW, April 3, 1845, p. 112. Cf. Letter, Himes to Miller, March 12 and 29, 1845; Miller, Apology, p. 28. After the Albany Conference Miller criticized those advocating the Bridegroom theme as “spiritualizers” because he thought they had renounced “the personal appearing of Christ.” 5Letter, Miller to Himes, AH, May 6, 1846, p. 99. Cf. Letter, Bliss to Miller, Feb. 11, 1845. A strong controversy developed between those accepting the Bridegroom theme and a shut door, and those who rejected it. According to Eli Curtis, who had accepted this new view, there was “no other prophecy than that of the parable of the ten virgins” which caused so much opposition and division among Adventists.” 6Letter, Curtis to Snow, JS, June 19, 1845, p. 116. Cf. Snow, “Visit to Philadelphia,” JS, April 3, 1845, p. 28. Toward the end of 1845 a correspondent of the Advent Herald stated: “I view the Bridegroom-come-theory, as the leading error of the dread train that has scattered ‘fire-brands, arrows, and death’ in our ranks.” 1Letter, Clemons to Himes, AH, December 31, 1845, p. 163. Cf. A. Mussey, “Confession and Exhortation,” AH, November 5, 1845, p. 99. I. E. Jones said that “Turner’s views since adopted by ... Hale, have done more to distruct [sic] us than all the rest together” (Letter, Jones to Miller, Feb. 15, 1845). For Sabbatarian Adventists, however, the Bridegroom theme was seen as one of the strongest evidences of the genuineness of the Advent experience.FSDA 121.2

    b. New dimensions in soteriology.FSDA 122.1

    After the Disappointment various Adventists restudied the subject of the sanctuary and its cleansing (Daniel 8:14) in an attempt to harmonize it with their time calculations and the delay of the Second Advent. Through a new interpretation of Daniel 8:14 new concepts of soteriology were developed. One of the earliest new interpretations was provided by Edson, who pointed out that Christ did not come out of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary as generally had been expected, but that He entered for the first time into the second apartment to perform a special work-the reception of the kingdom, dominion, and glory. 2Edson, MS, p. 9. See supra, pp. 95, 96. Some time later he indicated that the “dispensation of the fullness of times” had arrived. This time was described in the context of Christ’s present ministry as “‘the times of restitution of all things,’ and the time of blotting out of sins, when the ‘refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,’ and the time of the Covenant, when He ‘shall take away their sins;’ Romans 8:23; 11:25-27; Ephesians 1:14; 4:30; Acts 3:19-21” (Letter, Edson to Snow, p. 91). See infra, pp. 130, 131. Cf. Letter, Clemons to Editor, p. 35. In February 1845 a corresponding view seems to have been known in Boston. 3Letter, Jones to Miller, Feb. 15, 1845. About the same time, E. G. Harmon received her Bridegroom vision with a similar content in Exeter, Maine. 5Unfortunately hardly any copies of these periodicals seem to be in existence. Some data on their positions, however, could be obtained from critical evaluations in other contemporary Adventist periodicals. Soon after this two Adventist periodicals, the Hope within the Veil and the Hope of Israel, which were published in Portland, Maine, where E. G. Harmon had related her views, began to circulate similar concepts and carried their influence as far as New York State and Ohio. The Hope within the Veil seems to have advocated the position that the two apartments of the tabernacle represented “two dispensations, or two divisions of the covenant,” and that Jesus had entered into the “holy of holies” to begin His atonement on October 22, 1844. The Hope of Israel said that now Adventists were “in the marriage, in the holiest with Jesus.” In April 1845 it published an article by Owen R. L. Crosier, who was a friend of Edson’s and a Sabbatarian Adventist for a short time, claiming that the antitypical Day of Atonement was not to be finished in one literal day but would continue for a year. 1Letter, Crosier to Pearson, p. [4]. This year was dated from the spring of 1844 to the spring of 1845 (ibid.). Cf. Crosier, “Prophetic Day and Hour,” VT, April 9, 1845, p. 15. Crosier remarked that “the last call of mercy to the world” was completed in the fall of 1844 and that on the 10th day of the seventh month Jesus had entered “upon the office of bridegroom as the final atonement for his people.... Our great High Priest is now making the atonement for his whole Israel.” 2Letter, Crosier to Pearson, p. [4]. The idea that Christ had “left the mercy seat, and hence that all access by prayer is cut off,” he rejected, stating that “the mercy seat is in the Holiest of all.... So that he has approached directly to the mercy seat.” With reference to Hebrews 10:19-27 he pointed out that “here Paul teaches us that now we have liberty (margin) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus who is the High Priest over the house of God.4Otis Nichols (1798-1876) was one of the first Adventists to accept Bates’ Sabbath teaching and E. G. Harmon’s visions. He published prophetic charts used by Sabbatarian Adventists. In September 1845 Otis Nichols, who seems to have been familiar with the Bridegroom vision, employed the analogy-of-Scripture principle to the subject of the sanctuary and concluded that “the 10th of the 7th month is a landmark and a glorious light for us to look back upon” because at that time the Bridegroom “suddenly came to his temple, Malachi 3:1, which ‘was opened in heaven,’ [Revelation 11:19] after the 7th angel began to sound, Leviticus 16:33, Hebrews 9:3-4 to finish the atonement for the people, and cleansing of the Sanctuary, Hebrews 9:23.”FSDA 122.2

    In March 1845 Hale had explained the delay of the Second Advent by referring to a purification (Hebrews 8, 9; Leviticus 16) of the heavenly Jerusalem-the true tabernacle and antitype of the earthly tabernacle-a process which he designated as “atonement” and believed must be accomplished before Christ’s return. 6Hale, “Has the Bridegroom Come?” p. 27. See supra, p. 120, n. 107. Around this time a view was published which tried by typology to harmonize the Levitical high-priestly ministry with the completion of Christ’s atoning ministry on the antitypical Day of Atonement. It was concluded that prior to October 22, 1844 Christ, as man’s advocate, fulfilled the antitype of the Jewish high priest in his daily ministry, but that on the 10th day of the seventh month Jesus as the antitype of the “dead and living goat” (Leviticus 16) entered into “the Holy place, or inner court ... and shut the door” to make the atonement. On the same day that the atonement was completed (October 22, 1844) He came out of that place as the Bridegroom to receive His kingdom. Since that day His work as Mediator and High Priest was confined to God’s people. 1“To the Believers Scattered Abroad,” p. 23. Later G. W. Peavey, a strong defender of the Seventh Month movement, stated that Christ had “closed the work typified by the daily ministrations previous to the 10th day of the 7th month, and on that day went into the holiest of all, presenting his blood once for all for those who had accepted of his mediation that time.” 2Letter, Peavey to Snow and Matthias, p. 55. He interpreted Daniel 8:14 in the context of Hebrews 9:23, 24 and Leviticus 16:16 and concluded that the “heavenly things” needed purification with Christ’s blood because of the “uncleanness of the children of Israel.” According to him, both the cleansing of the sanctuary and the termination of the atonement occurred on October 22, 1844. 4Letter, Snow to Marsh, p. 20. It was through the influence of Turner that Snow had accepted the Bridegroom theme and the idea that the atonement was finished. Now Snow interpreted the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 as the Lord’s dwelling place-Zion, or the heavenly Jerusalem, which was “the inheritance of our Lord and his people.” Its justification, he said, was to be achieved “by the atonement or reconciliation.” Employing typological reasoning he stated that like the type in Leviticus 16, “so also in the antitype, the ‘HOLY SANCTUARY,’ i.e. Zion or Jerusalem must receive the atonement or reconciling on the same day, and thus be pardoned or ‘JUSTIFIED.’” After its completion at the end of the 2300 days Isaiah 40:1, 2 had a “binding force upon God’s ministers.”FSDA 123.1

    In the search for a new interpretation of their former predictions, a current controversy among those affirming the validity of the Seventh Month movement, whether or not Christ’s atoning ministry in heaven had been finished since the autumn of 1844, was of specific missiological significance. In October 1845 Crosier again pointed out that the atonement had not been completed, 6In Sept. 1845, J. White also stated that the atonement had ended at the end of the 2300 days (Letter, J. White to Jacobs, The Day-Star, September 20, 1845, p. 26). stating that “the brethren do not search it [atonement] close enough. It is not yet finished; but we are in the Antitype of the tenth day of Atonement.” 7Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, October 11, 1845, p. 51. The duration of the antitypical Day of Atonement, he remarked, was “not one literal day nor year, but must be many years” (Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, November 15, 1845, p. 23). In February 1846, already familiar with many of the above mentioned positions, he published an extensive treatise on the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 in the light of Christ’s continuing atoning ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. This treatise, “The Law of Moses,” was quickly recommended by E. G. White 1She said: “The Lord shew [sic] me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, etc; and that it was his will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint” (Letter, E. G. White to Curtis, A Word to the Little Flock, 12). SDA have usually interpreted this statement to mean that Crosier’s presentation was not without mistakes, but that his major typological argumentation was correct. Reprints of the article omitted the aspects which they felt to be inaccurate. and became of vital significance in the development of the SDA theology of mission.FSDA 124.1

    This article, while affirming that “righteousness comes not by the Law, but by faith in the promises [of God],” advocated the relevance of the law of Moses for the period after the Disappointment. 2Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 37. His basic arguments underlying this article were stated earlier in Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, November 15, 1845, p. 23. Crosier started out by modifying the Seventh Month movement position regarding the typological significance of the vernal Jewish festivals. 3See supra, pp. 88, 95. The complete fulfillment of these festivals, he said, did not take place at a point of time at the first Advent; the incarnation of Christ was only the beginning of their antitypical fulfillment which was to be completed after many years at the end of the “gospel dispensation,” at the Second Advent. Reasoning from analogy, he stated that the complete fulfillment of the autumnal Jewish festivals, in particular of Yom Kippur (Leviticus 23:26-32), would also cover “a dispensation of many years.4Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 37. Cf. Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, November 15, 1845, p. 23. In his opinion the antitype of the Day of Atonement, a time of restoration, would cover a period from the “end of the 2300 days” till the end of the millennium, when redemptive history would be complete.FSDA 125.1

    Before discussing this period of restoration Crosier dealt with the interpretation of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 and the topological implications of the Old Testament sanctuary ministry to the priestly ministry of Christ. His interpretation rejected the previously held general opinion that at the end of the 2300 days Christ would come out of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to the earth after completing the atonement in that place. 5See supra, pp. 95, 96. Instead, interpreting Daniel 8:14 in the context of Christ’s high-priestly ministry, he spoke of two phases of that ministry, one beginning at His ascension, when Christ entered the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, and a second beginning on October 22, 1844, when Christ for the first time entered the most holy place.FSDA 125.2

    The biblical rationale for his interpretation he predominantly based on two hermeneutical principles: The analogy of Scripture and typology. Through the former he analyzed scriptural references on the subject of the sanctuary and its services, through the latter the relationship between the Levitical priestly ministry in the earthly sanctuary and the priestly ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. 6Crosier analyzed the priesthood of Christ in the context of the priesthoods of both Melchisedec and Aaron. His conclusion was that Christ “fulfills both the Priesthood of Melchisedec and Aaron. In some respects the priesthood of Christ resembles that of Melchisedec; and in others that of Aaron or Levi” (“Law of Moses,” p. 39). Regarding the Levitical priesthood, he said, “there is a resemblance in every instance, but Christ’s is superior to Levi’s” (ibid.). These hermeneutical principles led Crosier to interpret the true tabernacle or sanctuary of the new covenant in which Christ ministers (Hebrews 8:1, 2, 6) as a literal heavenly sanctuary. He associated it with the New Jerusalem, “like the Sanctuary of the first covenant was with Old Jerusalem.” 1Ibid., p. 38.FSDA 125.3

    When interpreting Daniel 8:14 he introduced, in addition to the above hermeneutic, another principle which could broadly be described as follows: Old Testament prophetic symbolism ought to be interpreted in a New Testament new-covenant sense if these prophecies refer to a historical period after the Crucifixion. This principle led him to interpret the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 as the heavenly sanctuary of the new covenant. He stated that “the Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days is also the Sanctuary of the new covenant, for the vision of the treading down and cleansing, is after the crucifixion.” 2Ibid. On the casting down of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:11 he commented that “this casting down was in the days and by the means of the Roman power; therefore the Sanctuary of this text was not the Earth, nor Palestine, because the former was cast down at the fall, more than 4000 years, and the latter at the captivity, more than 700 years previous to the event of this passage, and neither by Roman agency. The Sanctuary cast down is his against whom Rome magnified himself, which was the Prince of the host, Jesus Christ; and Paul teaches that his Sanctuary is in heaven. Again, Daniel 11:30, 31, ‘For the ships of Chittim shall come against him; therefore shall he be grieved and return, and have indignation [the staff to chastise] against the holy covenant [Christianity,] so shall he do; he shall even return and have intelligence with them [priest and bishops] that forsake the holy covenant. And arms (civil and religious) shall stand on his part, and they [Rome and those that forsake the holy covenant] shall pollute the Sanctuary of strength.’ What was this that Rome and the apostles of Christianity should jointly pollute? This combination was formed against the ‘holy covenant’ and it was the Sanctuary of that covenant they polluted; which they could do as well as to pollute the name of God; Jeremiah 34:16; Ezekiel 20:1; Malachi 1:7. This was the same as profaning or blaspheming his name. In this sense this ‘politico-religious’ beast polluted the Sanctuary (Revelation 13:6) and cast it down from its place in heaven (Psalm 102:19; Jeremiah 17:12; Hebrews 8:1, 2) when they called Rome the holy city (Revelation 21:2) and enstalled the Pope there with the tittles, ‘Lord God the Pope,’ ‘Holy Father,’ ‘Head of the Church,’ etc., and there, in the counterfeit ‘temple of God’ he professes to do what Jesus actually does in his Sanctuary; 2 Thes. 2:1-8. The Sanctuary had been trodden underfoot (Daniel 8:13) the same as the Son of God has; Hebrews 10:29” (ibid.). (Brackets his.) Cf. Bates, The Opening Heavens ... , 1846, p. 32; U. Smith, “The Sanctuary,” RH, March 28, 1854, p. 78 (The 2300 Days and the Sanctuary, 1854, p. 22); Andrews, “The Opening of the Temple in Heaven,” RH, April 6, 1869, p. 115. In another article Crosier criticized Miller’s interpretation of the daily sacrifice in Daniel. He stated that Miller had violated his hermeneutical rule that “Scripture must be its own expositor.” Explaining his new insights he said: “When first mentioned in Daniel, ch. 8:11, it is so introduced as to make it positively certain that it belonged originally to Christ. No construction of the prepositions in that verse can, as we see, apply it to Rome.... Again, it should be noticed that God’s people, under the Gospel dispensation, were punished for their ‘transgression against the Daily Sacrifice,’ v. 12, (margin)-the ancient Daily Sacrifice was a Jewish institution-this, its antitype, must be a Christian institution.” Referring to Litch’s description of the beginning of “the first Papal war” (PE, II, 78-87)-A.D. 508-Crosier stated that its achievement was “the suppression in the church of the doctrine, that Christ ‘WAS CRUCIFIED FOR US.’ This was the Daily Sacrifice they took away, Daniel 11:31, and the direct object was, ‘to set up the abomination that maketh desolate,’ the Papacy, ch. 12.11, (margin,) with its human merit, intercessions and institutions in the place of Christ’s. Now we see plainly, that the Daily Sacrifice was taken from Christ by the little horn, ch. 8.11” ([Crosier], Remarks to Weston, DD, March 19, 1847, p. 2). Cf. “Daily,” p. 52. This change in interpretation did not affect the time calculations of Daniel 12:11, 12 but helped “rather [to] facilitate” one’s understanding of them ([Crosier], Remarks, p. 2).FSDA 126.1

    Then he proceeded to the central issue of his presentation: The typological relevance of the Levitical atonement to Christ’s high-priestly ministry in heaven. In doing this he referred to the various aspects of the atonement in the Old Testament sanctuary service:FSDA 127.1

    The atonement which the priest made for the people in connection with their daily ministration was different from that made on the tenth day of the 7th month. In making the former they went no further than in the Holy; but to make the latter they entered the Holy of Holies—The former was made for individual cases, the latter for the whole nation of Israel collectively—The former was made for the forgiveness of sins, the latter for blotting them out—the former could be made at any time, the latter only on the tenth day of the seventh month. Hence the former may be called the daily atonement and the latter the yearly, or the former the individual, and the latter the national atonement. 1Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 40.FSDA 127.2

    This distinction between the forgiveness of sins and the blotting out of sins was one of the major aspects of his argumentation. In the context of Leviticus 16 he stated that “the whole nation having had their sins previously forgiven by the atonement made in the Holy, now assemble about their Sanctuary, while the High Priest ... enters the Holy of Holies to make an atonement to cleanse them, that they may be clean from all their sins before the Lord, ver. 30.” 2Ibid.FSDA 127.3

    The antitype of the Levitical priesthood was fulfilled in Christ’s priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, the true tabernacle (Hebrews 8, 9). According to Crosier, the heavenly sanctuary, like the earthly, had two apartments, not one apartment as other Christians seemed to believe. Earlier, Edson and E. G. Harmon had already pointed to this division in the heavenly sanctuary. Crosier found scriptural support in Hebrews 9:8; 10:19. Referring to the Douai-Rheims Bible 3See e.g., The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate ... , rev. and cor., 1816. Other Bible translations in which the Book of Hebrews was referred to as evidence for the concept of a divided heavenly sanctuary were: (1) Macknight, Apostolic Epistles; (2) George Campbell, James Macknight, and Philip Doddridge, The Sacred Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ, Commonly Styled the New Testament, 1826. (The Book of Hebrews had been translated by Macknight.) he said that “the word in ch. 9:8, 10:19, is Hagion, ‘of the Holies,’ instead of ‘holiest of all’ [KJV]; and shows that the blood of Christ is the way or means by which he, as our High Priest, was to enter both apartments of the heavenly tabernacle.” 4Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 41. Later Andrews stated that “Paul plainly states that ‘the holy places [plural] made with hands’ ‘are the figures [plural] of the true.’ And that the tabernacle, and its vessels, are ‘patterns of things in the heavens.’ Hebrews 9:23, 24. This is direct evidence that, in the greater and more perfect tabernacle, there are two holy places, even as in the ‘figure,’ ‘example’ or ‘pattern.’ ... The Apostle actually uses the word holies, [plural] in speaking of the heavenly sanctuary. The expression ‘holiest of all,’ in Hebrews 9:8; 10:19, has been supposed by some to prove that Christ began to minister in the most holy place at his ascension. But the expression is not ‘hagia hagion,’ holy of holies, as in chapter 9:3; but is simply ‘hagion,’ holies. It is the same word that is rendered sanctuary in Hebrews 8:2. In each of these three texts, [Hebrews 8:2; 9:8; 10:19] Macknight renders the word, ‘holy places.’ The Doway Bible renders it ‘the holies.’ And thus we learn that the heavenly sanctuary consists of two ‘holy places’” (“Sanctuary,” RH, Feb. 3, 1853, p. 145 [Sanctuary, p. 53]). (Brackets his.) Thus the view that after His ascension Christ entered into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary was seen as unscriptural. Cf. E. G. White, Christ in His Sanctuary, 1969, pp. 11-13. The expression, “a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices” (Hebrews 9:9), E. G. White applied to the whole earthly sanctuary, not merely its holy place (The Spirit of Prophecy 4:260). Thus, to be consistent with the topological relationship between the Levitical priestly ministry and that of Christ, Crosier understood the heavenly sanctuary to be divided into two different sections, reflecting two distinct phases of Christ’s atonement: the atonement of forgiveness of sins in the first apartment and the atonement of the blotting out of sins in the second. He stated that Christ’s atoning ministry did not commence on the cross but after His ascension when He entered the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary to begin the antitypical daily ministration. 1Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 41. Miller had similar views on the relation of the cross to atonement (supra, p. 50). Crosier supported this view with the following arguments: “1. If the atonement was made on Calvary by whom was it made? The making of the atonement is the work of a Priest; but who officiated on Calvary? Roman soldiers and wicked Jews. 2. The slaying of the victim was not making the atonement; the sinner slew the victim, Leviticus 4:1-4, 13-15, etc., after that the Priest took the blood and made the atonement. Leviticus 4:5-12, 16-21. 3. Christ was the appointed High Priest to make the atonement, and he certainly could not have acted in that capacity till after his resurrection, and we have no record of his doing anything on earth after his resurrection, which could be called the atonement. 4. The atonement was made in the Sanctuary, but Calvary was not such a place. 5. He could not, according to Hebrews 8:4, make the atonement while on earth. ‘If he were on earth, he should not be a Priest.’ The Levitical was the earthly priesthood, the Divine, the heavenly. 6. Therefore, he did not begin the work of making the atonement, whatever the nature of that work may be, till after his ascension, when by his own blood he entered his heavenly Sanctuary for us” (“Law of Moses,” p. 41). Romans 5:11 was interpreted to indicate “a present possession of the atonement at the time the apostle wrote; but by no means proves that the entire atonement was then in the past” (ibid.). Cf. infra, pp. 174, 175. His atoning ministry would be completed with “blotting out of sin with all its direful effects” during the antitypical Day of Atonement. 2Ibid., p. 42. Crosier found New Testament evidence for two phases in Christ’s heavenly atonement in Peter’s appeal on the day of Pentecost: “Repent ye therefore; and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). He interpreted this text as a statement of two successive chronological periods in which repentance and conversion pertained to Christ’s daily atoning ministry in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the blotting out of sins to His atoning ministry that would cleanse both the sanctuary and God’s people during the antitypical Day of Atonement commencing on the 10th day of the seventh month 1844: 3Ibid., pp. 41, 42. Cf. Letter, Clemons to Editor, p. 35; Snow, “‘Door was Shut,’” p. 54; Letter, Edson to Snow, p. 91; E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:308, 309; E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 485, 612.FSDA 127.4

    The atonement of the Gospel dispensation is the antitype of that made by the priests in their daily service, and that prepared for and made necessary the yearly atonement, and cleansed the Sanctuary and the people from all their sins. It appears like certainty, that the antitypes of the daily ministration of priests and the vernal types stretch through the Gospel Dispensation, as that composed but part of the atonement and antitypes, we have good reason to believe that the remaining antitype, the autumnal, and the remainder of the atonement, the yearly, will be fulfilled on the same principle as to time and occupy a period or dispensation of at least 1000 years. 1Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 42. The Gospel dispensation was terminated at the Resurrection while the antitype of Yom Kippur would last till the restoration of all things (ibid, p. 44). He stated that “the antitype of the legal tenth day, the Dispensation of the fulness of times, must begin long enough before the 1000 years of Revelation 20: to give time for the cleansing of the Sanctuary, and the antitype of confessing and putting the sins on the head of the scape-goat” (ibid., p. 43). Not all aspects of Crosier’s views on the dispensation of the fulness of times or “the age to come” received the endorsement of the Sabbatarian Adventist leadership, so that their reprints of his treatise appear without these disputed sections. Cf. infra, p. 132.FSDA 128.1

    Crosier rejected the common contemporary view that Christ entered into the holy of holies after His ascension. 2Ibid., p. 41.FSDA 129.1

    Christ’s cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary (Daniel 8:14) before the Resurrection, 3It seems that at this time he held the view that the Resurrection (end of the 1335 days) would occur in the spring of 1847. The cleansing of the sanctuary was to be completed before that time ([Crosier], “The Advent This Spring,” DD, April 2, 1847, p. 7). Crosier identified with the removal of the moral uncleanness which had defiled it. The sanctuary, he said, could only be “defiled by mortals through his [Christ’s] agency, and for them cleansed by the same agency.” 4Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 42. Some months earlier Crosier stated that “the Sanctuary of the New Covenant, to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days, was not the church nor the earth, but the New Jerusalem, and that the ‘Sanctuary and Host’ are [also to be cleansed], that the Host is the temple of the Holy Ghost, but the Sanctuary the temple of Christ.... That Christ, after he has finished the atonement in which he will have redeemed his entire kingdom-the Capitol, New Jerusalem, in cleansing it, the Sanctuary-the subjects by raising his saints from their graves-and the territory, by purifying the earth, will, as the Son of David according to the flesh, inherit his father David’s throne, in the New Jerusalem forever” (Letter, Crosier to Marsh, VT, Oct. 29, 1845, p. 505) The cleansing he interpreted in the context of the reconciliation of the “things on earth” with the “things in heaven” (Colossians 1:19, 20), the preparation of a place for the believers (John 14:2, 3), and the purification of the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 9:23). 5Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 43 On the necessity of the purification mentioned in Hebrews 9:23 he remarked:FSDA 129.2

    The necessity of cleansing the heavenly things, is induced by the atonement being made therein by the blood of Christ for the remission or forgiveness of sins and purifying of our consciences. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood. The patterns were purified “every year” (ver. 25) with the blood of bulls and goats; but in the antitype of that yearly expiation the heavenly things themselves must be purified with the blood of the better sacrifice of Christ himself once offered. This reconciles the “things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20) and cleanses the Sanctuary of the new Covenant, Daniel 8:14. 6Ibid.FSDA 129.3

    Crosier opposed the common interpretation of the scapegoat (Leviticus 16:8, 10, 20-22) as a symbol of Christ and insisted, instead, that it was a type of Satan. 1Ibid. His arguments were: “1st, That goat was not sent away till after the High Priest had made an end of cleansing the Sanctuary, Leviticus 16:20, 21; hence, that event cannot meet its antitype till after the end of the 2300 days. 2nd, It was sent away from Israel into the wilderness, a land not inhabited, to receive them. If our blessed Saviour is its anti-type, He also must be sent away, not his body alone, but soul and body, for the goat was sent away alive, from, not to nor into his people; neither into heaven, for that is not a wilderness or land not inhabited. 3rd, It received and retained all the iniquities of Israel; but when Christ appears the second time He will be ‘without sin.’ 4th, The goat received the iniquities from the hands of the priest and he sent it away. As Christ is the Priest, the goat must be something else besides himself and which he can send away. 5th, This was one of two goats chosen for that day, one was the Lord’s and offered for a sin-offering; but the other was not called the Lord’s, neither offered as a sacrifice. Its only office was to receive the iniquities for the priest after he had cleansed the Sanctuary for them, and bear them into a land not inhabited, leaving the Sanctuary, priest and people behind and free from their iniquities. Leviticus 16:7-10, 22. 6th, The Hebrew name of the scape-goat, as will be seen from the margin of ver. 8, is ‘Azazel.’ On this verse, Wm. Jenks in his Comp. Com. [The Comprehensive Commentary on the Holy Bible ..., 1835] has the following remarks: ‘Scape-goat. See diff. opin. in Bochart. Spencer, after the oldest opinion of the Hebrews and Christians, thinks Azazel is the name of the devil; and so Rosemire [Rosenmüller], whom see. The Syriac has Azzael [sic], the angel (Strong one) who revolted.’ 7th, At the appearing of Christ, as taught from Revelation 20: Satan is to be bound and cast into the bottomless pit, which act and place are significantly symbolized by the ancient High Priest sending the scape-goat into a separate and uninhabited wilderness. 8th, Thus we have [in] the Scripture the definition of the name in two ancient languages both spoken at the same time, & the oldest opinion of the Christians in favor of regarding the scape-goat as a type of Satan” (“Law of Moses,” p. 43). Cf. E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:266. After the cleansing of the sanctuary but before the beginning of the millennium “the antitype of confessing and putting the sins on the head of the scapegoat” would take place. 2Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 43. Cf. Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, November 15, 1845, p. 23.FSDA 129.4

    The antitypical Day of Atonement he identified with “the dispensation of the fulness of the times” 3Various Adventists used this term to designate the period following the Disappointment: Editorial, “The Types,” p. 117; Letter, Pickands to Marsh, p. 12; Letter, Edson to Snow, p. 91. in which the Father “might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). During this dispensation “the different and sundered parts of the kingdom, Capitol and King ‘in heaven,’ the subjects and territory ‘on earth,’ are to be redeemed or gathered again into one kingdom under one ‘Head,’ of the Son of David.” 4Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 42. This period he also named an “age to come,” an age of repairs, and a time of restitution and restoration. 6Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 42. Said he, “This is the period of inheritance and follows that of heirship, the dispensation of grace, ch. 3:2, 6 [Eph.].” During this period of restoration-“blotting out of sin with all its direful effects”-the following major events would occur: (1) The cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14; (2) the marriage between Christ and the New Jerusalem; (3) the transference of sin to the scapegoat; (4) Christ’s return; (5) the cleansing of God’s people; (6) the millennium. 1Ibid., pp. 42-44. Although the validity of the Bridegroom theme was recognized, he did not fully integrate it into the sanctuary theology (cf. ibid, pp. 42, 44). Cf. Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, October 11, 1845, p. 51. Earlier, however, he stated that Christ had entered “upon the office of bridegroom or the final atonement for his people” since the autumn of 1844 (Letter, Crosier to Pearson, p. [4]). Cf. E. G. White, Spiritual Gifts 1:162, 163 Although the dispensation of the fulness of the times began in the fall of 1844, the Gospel dispensation or dispensation of grace did not end at that time. The expression “there should be time no more” (Revelation 10:6) could not refer to the Second Advent, according to Crosier, for after this oath came the commission to prophesy again (Revelation 10:11). 2Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 44. He pointed to Revelation 10:6, 7 for a description of “the manner in which time should close.” 4Ibid. He defined the mystery of God (Revelation 10:6) on the basis of Ephesians 6:19, Colossians 1:27 and Ephesians 2:4-6 as the dispensation of the grace of God or the Gospel dispensation (ibid.). To Bates the mystery of God was finished in a point of time (SAWH, pp. 42, 43). The “days” in Revelation 10:7 indicated “a short period of time, in which not only the 7th angel begins to sound, but the mystery of God is finished. Thus we see that the mystery is finished, not in a point, but in a period, and while the mystery is finishing, the 7th angel is beginning to sound.” In other words,FSDA 130.1

    as the Dispensation of the fulness of times begins with the 7th trumpet, and the Gos. Dis. reaches to the resurrection, it is manifest that the Dis. of the fulness of times, begins before the Gos. Dis. ends.-There is a short period of overlapping or running together of the two Dispensations, in which the peculiarities of both mingle like the twilight, minglings of light and darkness. 5Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 44. Some months earlier he posed the question: “Did not the legal Covenant overlap the Covenant of grace 7 years, the last week of the 70? and will not the Covenant of grace overlap the ‘Dispensation of the fulness of times’ a corresponding length of time?” (Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, November 15, 1845, p. 23). However, in the present article he saw “no evidence that the latter must be of the same length of the former” (“Law of Moses,” p. 44). Other source material seems to indicate that at this time he held the view that the Resurrection (end of the 1335 days) would take place in the spring of 1847 ([Crosier], Remarks, p. 2; [Crosier], “Advent This Spring,” p. 7). This implied also the termination of the Gospel dispensation.FSDA 131.1

    These statements indicate that Crosier’s shut-door view was not of an extreme nature, for he advocated a continuation of the atonement process, the Gospel dispensation, and the mystery of God 6He indicated that the Gospel dispensation was “the period of hope and heirship” which implied that as long as “we hope the mystery is not finished.” Thus it was concluded that “the mystery of God will end with the mysterious change from mortal to immortality, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54” (“Law of Moses,” p. 44). See infra, p. 157. after October 22, 1844.FSDA 131.2

    Besides providing an explanation for the Disappointment, a major soteriological contribution of Crosier’s treatise was that it pointed out that the atonement was not yet finished.FSDA 131.3

    Some months later Crosier expanded his view of the cleansing of the sanctuary, making it apply to both the sanctuary in heaven and the church on earth:FSDA 131.4

    Many seem not to have discovered that there is a literal and a spiritual temple-the literal being the Sanctuary New Jerusalem (literal city), and the spiritual the church-the literal occupied by Jesus Christ, our King and Priest, Jno. 14:2, Hebrews 8:2, 911; the spiritual by the Holy Ghost, 1 Corinthians 3:17; 6:19; Ephesians 2:20-22. Between these two there is a perfect concert of action; as Christ “prepares the place” the Spirit does the people. When he came to his temple, the sanctuary, to cleanse it; the Spirit commenced the special cleansing of the people, Malachi 3:1-13. 1Letter, Crosier to Jacobs, The Day-Star, April 18, 1846, p. 31. Cf. Bates, Opening Heavens, p. 31.FSDA 132.1

    Crosier’s interpretation of the antitypical Day of Atonement shed additional light on the nature of the pre-Advent judgment. 2Wardwell commented on Daniel 12:13: “And when I speak of Daniel standing in his lot in the judgment, I would be understood as saying, that when our great High Priest entered the Most Holy Place with the names of all Israel inscribed upon his breastplate, Daniel was judged worthy or unworthy to be thus borne before the Father. This is what I understand by the dead standing before God in the judgment” (Letter, Wardwell to Crosier, p. 10). Regarding the breastplate of judgment, see Peavey, “‘Hour of His Judgment,’” p. 114; Crosier, “Law of Moses,” p. 40. See supra, p. 118, n. 96. The view of a pre-Advent judgment was only gradually adopted by J. White (J. White, A Word to the Little Flock, 24; J. White, “The Day of Judgment,” AdR, Sept. 1850, pp. 49, 50; [J. White], “The Seventh Angel ...,” RH, March 7, 1854, p. 52; J. White, “The Judgment,” RH, Jan. 29, 1857, p. 100). It was also in harmony with the view of the conditional immortality of man-a doctrine which had been advocated by some Millerites and came to be one of the SDA teachings. 3See Appendix II and III. Conditional immortality was introduced into the Millerite movement by Storrs. It was also accepted by Fitch. Early publications of J. White and E. G. White reflect a similar view on the nature of man. They were also annihilationists (J. White, A Word to the Little Flock, 3, 11, 12, 24). Cf. Froom, The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers ..., II, 1965, pp. 300-14, 671-79.FSDA 132.2

    Soon other Sabbatarian Adventists limited Crosier’s view on the duration of the antitypical Day of Atonement to Jesus’ cleansing ministry in the sanctuary before His return. The time of the blotting out of sins of the living believers was closely associated with the sanctuary cleansing and seen as a present or imminent event. 4See e.g., Bates, SLG, pp. 20, 38; E. G. White, “DBS,” The Present Truth, September 1849, p. 32 (Early Writings, 48); Edson, “An Appeal to the Laodicean Church,” AdR, Extra, Sept. 1850, pp. 3, 14; Bates, “The Laodicean Church,” RH, Nov. 1850, p. 8; Bates, TAS, 1850, pp. 11, 15. Cf. E. G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy 4:309; E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 422, 483-86.FSDA 132.3

    3. Evaluation of the Seventh Month movement

    The sanctuary theology provided an explanation of the Disappointment and interpreted the event as an important factor in God’s plan of redemption. A number of Adventists saw the importance of the Seventh Month movement not only confirmed by their personal experience but also by the first two visions of E. G. Harmon. The vision of December 1844 pictured the validity of the Midnight Cry of the Seventh Month movement and an 1844 shut door. 1E. G. White [E. G. Harmon], “RSA,” p. 14. She said: I saw “a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the City which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out which left their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again & go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected” (ibid.). Cf. Letter, J. White to Jacobs, The Day-Star, September 6, 1845, p. 17. For her first autobiographical account on the Advent movement and the Seventh Month movement in the context of salvation history, see Spiritual Gifts 1:133-73. The immediate results of the vision was that she and about 60 other believers in Portland, Maine, “acknowledged their 7th month experience to be the work of God.” 2J. White, A Word to the Little Flock, 22.FSDA 132.4

    In February 1845 E. G. Harmon received another vision in which the Midnight Cry again was symbolized as a great light from Christ. It pictured a throne in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary with two groups of people before it. One group was bowed down and represented the Adventists; the other stood uninterested and careless, symbolizing the church and the world. Then an exceeding bright light passed from the Father to Christ and waved over the individuals before the throne. Many opposed this great light and came out from under it; a few accepted it and bowed down with the little praying company. Then Jesus went as the Bridegroom to the wedding in the second apartment, where He officiated as High Priest before the Father. Those who by faith followed the change of Christ’s ministry were blessed but those who, being deceived, did not know of the change came under the influence of Satan. 3Letter, E. G. Harmon to Jacobs, The Day-Star, March 14, 1846, p. 7 (Early Writings, 54-56). Thus, like Edson, E. G. Harmon placed the coming of the Bridegroom to the wedding in the setting of Christ’s high-priestly ministry.FSDA 133.1

    In 1847 one of the earliest extensive historical evaluations of the Millerite movement was written by Joseph Bates, an active participant who accepted the Sabbath in 1845. He strongly stressed the validity of both the Millerite movement in general and the Midnight Cry of the Seventh Month movement as phases in salvation history. 4Bates, SAWH, pp. 6-16, 30-33. Similar views were found in later Sabbatarian Adventist publications. During this time Miller had a dream 5Letter, Miller to Himes, AH, January 8, 1848, p. 182 (CEV, 2nd ed., 1882, pp. 70, 71 [Early Writings, 81-83]). In 1826 Miller had a dream which was not published until after his death (“A Dream,” AH, February 2, 1850, pp. 2, 3). David Arnold interpreted this as another confirmation of the Advent movement (“Dream of William Miller,” RH, Extra, 100. 1851). which J. White interpreted as being of divine origin and confirmed his confidence in the prophetic significance of the past Advent experience. 1[J. White], “Miller’s Dream,” pp. 73-75 (Miller’s Dream). Cf. Arnold, “Dream of Miller.”FSDA 133.2

    The majority of Adventists, however, gradually lost confidence in the new interpretations which emphasized the validity of the Seventh Month movement. This was especially evident after the Albany Conference in the spring of 1845, held after the termination of the Jewish Karaite year. During the summer of 1845 Miller remarked thatFSDA 134.1

    some are disposed to lay stress on the seventh month movement which is not warranted by the Word....FSDA 134.2

    I have no confidence in any of the new theories that have grown out of that movement, viz., that Christ then came as the Bridegroom, that the door of mercy was closed, that there is no salvation for sinners, that the seventh trumpet then sounded, or that it was a fulfillment of prophecy in any sense. 2Miller, Apology, p. 28. See supra, pp. 40-43. Himes said that “the Cry that was then made, was a part of the general cry, and not the only, and final one” (Editorial, “A Word to the Advent Brethren,” MW, April 3, 1845, p. 112). Cf. Letter, B. Matthias to Miller, JS, April 24, 1845, p. 56. Lindén designated the Seventh Month movement as the ultraistic stage of the Millerite movement (Biblicism, p. 57). Cf. supra, pp. 78, 83.FSDA 134.3

    Miller, according to Himes, returned to his original view of the Midnight Cry as set forth in his lecture, “The Ten Virgins,” which Himes also considered as the correct interpretation. 3See supra, p. 113. Until his death in December 1849, Miller expressed confidence in the divine guidance of the Advent movement of the 1840s and felt that some minor error in the calculations would explain the Disappointment.FSDA 134.4

    4. Summary

    One of the most important problems which confronted Adventists after October 22, 1844, was how to evaluate and interpret the Seventh Month movement and the Disappointment. Initially the general opinion was that the Midnight Cry of the parable of Mt. 25 had met its fulfillment in the Seventh Month movement and that the Second Advent would take place at any time. The immediate soteriological and missiological consequences of the Disappointment were that Adventists thought their mission had been completed and the door of mercy closed against the churches and the world which had rejected the Advent proclamation of Christ’s imminent personal return. They also felt that their shut-door views were confirmed by the hostile reaction of the public after the Disappointment. As time continued and the Second Coming still tarried, Adventists entered a period of controversy which destroyed their unity. The majority of the approximately 50,000 Adventists lost confidence in the validity of the Seventh Month movement and all shut-door ideas. A gradually diminishing minority, from which the Sabbatarian Adventists arose, continued to express their belief that no mistake had been made in the time calculations of the Seventh Month movement, but only in the prediction of the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. They explained their error as an incorrect application of some of Miller’s hermeneutical principles. The major questions which confronted them were that if the parable of the ten virgins had its fulfillment in the Seventh Month movement, what was the significance of the coming of the Bridegroom and that of the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14? To solve these questions the sanctuary theology was developed dealing with the nature of Christ’s heavenly ministry. Within the context of the sanctuary theology a variety of views emerged, contributing to the heterogeneous character of this minority. On the basis of a more consistent application of Miller’s hermeneutical principles, the early Sabbatarian Adventists concluded that the coming of the Bridegroom signified Christ’s coming to the marriage in the heavenly sanctuary on October 22, 1844, while Daniel 8:14 announced the beginning of Christ’s high-priestly ministry on the antitypical Day of Atonement. When these two aspects of Christ’s final ministry were completed, they expected the Second Advent to take place. Because of the fact that this interpretation presupposed the validity of the Seventh Month movement, its vindication became of crucial importance for Sabbatarian Adventists.FSDA 134.5

    Most Adventists considered the new interpretation to be a spiritualization of the Advent expectancy; Sabbatarian Adventists, however, denied this charge. Those who did not accept the sanctuary theology but still adhered to the validity of the Seventh Month movement did advocate a spiritual return of Christ and not a personal one. Sabbatarian Adventists designated such interpretation as spiritualism.FSDA 135.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font