Archive for April, 2008


April 27, 2008

Signs of the Times, August 1, 1840


by Josiah Litch


A very general impression prevails at the present time among all classes and in all countries so far as •we have information, that we are 011 the point of some great revolution, both in the political and mor- al world. And it is most strikingly illustrative ot the declaration of the Savior, Luke 21: 25, 26, that there should be “on earth distress of nations with perplexity. And men’s hearts failing them with fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.”

Even the most sceptical, respecting the speedy appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, are constrained to believe that something is to take place. But what that “something” is to be, can only be known from the Holy Scriptures. What then do they teach us of the events of futurity ? should be the serious inquiry of every sincere inquirer after truth The public mind seems at the present time to be directed especially towards the affairs of the east— Constantinople, and the surrounding nations. This state, of things has probably been brought about in a great measure by Brother Miller’s lectures; and other works on the same subject.

This being the case it is important at the present time, that something definite should be spread before the public in relation to the event we may anticipate. It will not come within the compass of my design to go into a full explanation of the prophecy on which the following calculations are founded; but simply to give a synopsis of the calculations themselves, and some general reasons for them.

The prophecy in question is, 9th chapter of Revelation. That chapter is by general consent applied to the Mahomedan Religion, and the Otto- man government, as arising out of the Mahomedan system.

The sounding of the fifth apocalyptic trumpet Rev. 9, 1, and the accompanying event, is believed to represent the rise of Mahomedanism, and a host of warlike armies, by which that religion was propagated. These armies were for several centuries led on by the chieftains of the several clans into which they were divided: but in the one of the 13th century the different factions of Mahomedans were gathered under one leader or king, and formed one general government which has continued to the present time; I mean the Ottoman or Turkish empire. From the time of this organization under one leader, and he hath a temporal and ecclesiastical ruler, [for he was both king and angel, or minister, of the bottomless pit] they were commissioned to torment men for five prophetic months, or 150 years. They were to be restrained from killing, politically, those who were the subjects of their oppressions; but they had power to torment them five months. The five months were to close up the period of the fifth trumpet. I think it is very generally agreed that the Greek empire was the people whom they were to torment, and ultimately politically to put to death.

When then did the five month of Turkish torment on the Greeks commence? Not until they had a king over them, or were gathered under one government. The Ottoman government was established about A. D. 1298 or 9. And. according to Gibbon, Ottoman first entered the territory of Nicomedia, and commenced his attack on the Greeks on July 27th, 1299. The time, 150 years would bring us to 1449, when the fifth trumpet would end, and the sixth begin to sound.

‘And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns, of the golden alter, which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the great River Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men.” Chap iii. verses 13, 15.

According to the prediction, at the termination of the five months, the first woe or fifth trumpet was past; and when the second woe or sixth angel began, the restraining power by which the nations composing the Ottoman empire ware held in check and only permitted to torment men, was taken off, and power given them to slay, politically, a third part of men or the third part of the old Roman empire; that part included in the Greek empire.

Accordingly, from 1299 to 1449, the Turks were continually tormenting the Greeks by petty incursions and wars, yet without conquering them. But in 1449 a circumstance took place which strikingly fulfilled the prophecy of the sounding of the sixth angel.

The Greek emperor died in that year and left his throne to his brother. But although it was a time of peace in the empire, before that brother dared ascend the throne of Constantinople and reign, he sent his ambassadors to Anereth, the Turkish sultan, and requested and obtained his permission to reign ; and was then proclaimed emperor of Greece. Thus voluntarily did he acknowledge that his independence was done and that the Greek empire only existed by permission of its deadly foe. The Turkish nations were therefore loosed by divine command.

The time during which they were to continue their conquests, was an hour, 15 days, a day, one year, a month, 30 years, and a year, 360 years, the whole amounting to 391 years 15 days.

Allowing the first period 150 years to have been exactly fulfilled before Deacozes ascended the throne by permission of the Turks, and that the 391 years 15 days commenced at the close of the first period, it will end in the 11th of August, 1840, when the Ottoman power in Constantinople may be expected to be broken. And this, I believe, will be found to be the case.

But still there is no positive evidence that the first period was exactly to a day, fulfilled; nor yet that the second period began to a day, where the first closed. If they began and ended so, the above calculation will be correct. If they did not then there will be a variation in the conclusion; but the evidence is clear that there cannot be a years variation from that calculation; we must wait patiently for the issue.

But what, it is asked, will be the effect on your own mind, if it does not come out according to the above calculation? Will not your confidence in your theory be shaken? I reply, not all. The prophecy in hand is an isolated one; and a failure in the calculation does not necessarily affect any other calculation. But yet, whenever it is fulfilled, whether in 1840, or at a future period, it will open the way for the scenes of the last day. Let no man, therefore, triumph, even if there should be an error of a few months in our calculation on this prophesy. L.


Watch the changes. 1840 is not represented here as important to the Fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Changes in the Ottoman Empire

This map can be found at this link.


More Links on the History of the Ottoman Empire:

The Ottoman Empire

Myths (a pdf file)

Ottomon Empire (1301-1922). A BBC Religion and Ethics Report.

Sabbath School Lessons – 1904 to 1908

April 19, 2008

Sabbath School Quarterly    


January 1, 1904    

The Prophecies of Daniel    

April 1, 1904    

Revelation 1 to 11    

July 1, 1904    

Revelation 12 to 22    

October 1, 1904    

Second Advent and the Sabbath    

January 1, 1905    

Religious Liberty and Health    

April 1, 1905    

Man, Angels, Holy Spirit, Ceremonies    

July 1, 1905    

Tithes and Offerings    

October 1, 1905    


January 1, 1906    

Basic Doctrines    

April 1, 1906    

1 John    

July 1, 1906    

Family Life and Fruit of the Spirit    

October 1, 1906    

Agencies of Salvation    

January 1, 1907    


April 1, 1907    

Bible Election and Benefits    

July 1, 1907    

God’s Everlasting Covenant    

October 1, 1907    

A Synopsis of Present Truth No. 1    

January 1, 1908    

A Synopsis of Present Truth No. 2    

April 1, 1908    

Great Reform Movements    

July 1, 1908    


October 1, 1908    


This I believe about Ellen G. White

April 12, 2008


Interesting study and research has been going on in our church in the past several years. Among the areas being examined is the role of Ellen White in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In this area, as in all others, we want to know all that can be known, because truth has a way of invigorating the believer.

For some time there have been reports circulating that in her special writing ministry Ellen White drew an “alarming” amount of material from non-inspired books. Most, if not all, such books are known to have been in Ellen White’s library, and some of them have been mentioned in her books and letters. Those who have been investigating this matter include Walter Rea, one of our pastors in the Southern California Conference. Over the past few years he has spent a great deal of time and effort in researching this subject. On January 28 and 29, G. Ralph Thompson, a General Conference general vice- president, chaired a 19-member committee composed of Biblical and other scholars, Seventh-day Adventist professionals, and administrative leaders. The committee met in the conference room of the Glendale Adventist Hospital in California to review not only the quantity but the quality of the work done by Elder Rea.

The initial report from this very competent committee indicates that in her writing Ellen White used sources more extensively than we have heretofore been aware of or recognized. The committee, however, cautions against the loose use of such terms as “literary dependency,” and “extensive borrowing and paraphrasing.” When such phrases are not clearly and precisely defined their use can result in irresponsible and misleading conclusions.

Even though I have carefully read the report and listened to the proceedings of this committee, it is not my purpose in this communication to evaluate the helpful comments of the members of the committee. That will follow, in due time, along with certain positive recommendations. Instead, I write in order to give my personal reaction to this and other developments that must be faced honestly and openly. I can identify with the members of the special committee and with the apostle Peter when he affirmed, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16).

In spite of what some would have you believe, there is no internal upheaval or major crisis in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is God’s church, and He has made Himself responsible for its success. There is no reason to become alarmed, unnerved, or panicky. On the other hand, I do not want to lull you into false and comfortable spiritual security. There are still lessons of truth and faith that we will be called upon to learn and exercise. It is evident that the individual members of the church need to understand more clearly the doctrine of inspiration and just how God reveals Himself to His people.

The articles by Arthur L. White in the ADVENTIST REVIEW (January, February, 1978; July and August, 1979, now available in reprint) were especially helpful. In the 1978 articles Elder White reviewed the doctrine of inspiration as generally understood by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The second (1979) series reviewed Ellen White’s method of preparing her publications. How she used her editorial assistants and other people in her effort to present her materials to the public, free from literary and factual inadequacies, is a fascinating story. In observing the methodology of a modern prophet, we are able to understand better how God used men and women in the past when He revealed His gracious will to the lost, needy world.

Other Adventist researchers have made their studies available to us in various periodicals. Several viewpoints have been expressed, but all seem to be contributing to our storehouse of understanding. In fact, my heart rejoices with every new study that gives us a fresh look at how God used Ellen White as His last-day messenger. I would like to share with you what these studies are saying to me.

1. Originality is not a test of inspiration. A prophet’s use of sources other than visions does not invalidate or diminish the prophet’s teaching authority. Ellen White’s comment that the Holy Spirit “guided the mind [of the Bible writer] in the selection of what to speak and what to write” (The Great Controversy, p. vi) explains also how she was assisted in selecting or rejecting information from existing materials. In the marvelous operation of revelation God gives the thought “in many and various ways” (Heb. 1:1, R.S.V.), and then inspires the human messenger with perceptions whereby he or she fills out the “message” with the information available. This assisting function of the Holy Spirit guards the messenger from using materials that would misrepresent the intent of the message given directly to the messenger.

The Bible writers have also given us an insight into how they wrote their works that eventually were recognized as inspired documents. In Luke’s preface to his Gospel, he explains to Theophilus his burden. Apparently many reports were being written regarding the life and teachings of Jesus, and he felt the compulsion, after ‘ ‘having followed all things closely . . . , to write an orderly account . . . , that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed”
(verses 3, 4, R.S.V.).

Luke was not an eyewitness. He used the materials available. One of his source materials, though he did not mention his indebtedness to it, was Mark’s Gospel, much of which was directly copied, often word for word.

Luke’s final product was an extended, more complete life of Jesus, which included material not found in Matthew, Mark, or John. Luke’s insight as a physician is reflected in the way he describes some events (Luke 4:38; 5:12; 8:43, etc.).

The compilers of the books of Kings and Chronicles note extra-Biblical sources for their work (1 Kings 11:41; 1 Chron. 9:1). Other Bible authors such as Jude and Isaiah give evidence of borrowing from either other inspired sources or non-Biblical sources.

In other words, Bible writers frequently used the materials of others as the need arose. The Holy Spirit assisted them in the selection of appropriate materials. And that same principle of guarding and guiding by the Holy Spirit is seen in the experience of God’s messenger in these last days.

2. God inspires people, not words. Seventh-day Adventists are not verbal inspirationists. They have never believed that the Holy Spirit, in some way, has dictated to the prophet the actual words that appeared in the autographs. They identify with those who believe that God inspires thoughts through visions, dreams, or direct address, but, except in rare instances, not the forms of expression by which those thoughts are to be conveyed to others. The messenger operates within his or her mental and spiritual capacity, and uses his or her style of expression, skilled or common, guarded always by the Holy Spirit from misrepresenting the revealed message.

This principle, of course, relieves all anxiety when it is learned that a messenger of the Lord has used existing materials, even another’s phrases. We are not alarmed when we discover that a prophet uses editors to improve style, or specialists in certain areas to review pertinent information.

This principle of thought inspiration is one example of the fact that God does not do for people what they can do for themselves. God made men and women who could respond to Him in love and appreciate Him for the freedom implicit in love. He could have created us so that we could not sin, but then we could not love. After sin, He could have overpowered our rebellious will to prove His sovereign power, but that would not have left us as responsible beings. He simply appeals to us to respond to His gracious offer of love and pardon, to accept His power to do what He asks. The responding is up to us. God makes it possible for us to breathe, but we must do the breathing. God makes it possible for us to have faith, but we must do the trusting and submitting.

In much the same way, God gives His messenger the message, but not as a heavenly telex; He gives the thought, but not the encyclopedia to check out all the historical dates, or the dictionary on how to spell words. God does not necessarily provide that which men and women can provide for themselves. But He does guide and guard His messenger by the Holy Spirit, who will protect the integrity of the message intended.

3. The Holy Spirit helps the messenger to select his material carefully. Frequently, while tracing Ellen White’s use of such men as William Hanna or John Harris in writing The Desire of Ages, we find that she would not only not use much of what they wrote, but that at times, after using a part of a paragraph, would go on to take positions contrary to their writings. This selective skill is another instance of the guiding, guarding role of the Holy Spirit. There is no question about it—prophets, ancient or modern, selected their material well. Ellen White used authors of recognized quality such as Geikie, Farrar, Hanna, Clarke, and Edersheim. This says to me that where they helped to fill out what she had been shown to be true, she wisely used them; when they gave evidence that they did not see the whole truth, she plainly stated the facts as they had been revealed to her by the Holy Spirit.

4. The prophet’s use of existing materials does not necessarily mean that the prophet is dependent upon these sources. No; the prophet begins with the message received; the messenger knows what must be said; in general his or her thought structure has been given by God. But the responsibility for finding historical back- ground, descriptive amplification, and thought clarification is left up to the messenger. The employment of other authors to make the message attractive and convincing should not imply that the prophet is dependent upon others for his or her message.

The most important discovery

5. Whenever we recognize similarities we must also see the dissimilarities. This is probably the most important discovery that I have made, over the years, when I think about how Ellen White has made use of existing sources. The principle also applies to Biblical writers.

Biblical writers, as well as Ellen White, set forth a theological contribution that is more expansive, more complete, and more integrated than the authors they used for descriptive amplification. The dissimilarities between Ellen White and the authors she at times used are of kind and not degree.

She did more than merely gather together those gems of thought that had lain rather disconnected through the centuries. Ellen White’s theological system, her organizing principle—the great controversy theme—is unique in the continuum of historical theology. Her concept of truth regarding how sin developed; why Jesus came to earth; the integral role of the Holy Spirit in His life and in the believer’s; the sanctuary doctrine, illustrating how the plan of redemption operates—all this gives special character to her prophetic, teaching authority in these last days.

Our responsibility is to listen to truth from wherever God speaks. And we are not left to wonder whether we are listening to the Word of God. John wrote, “He who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true” (John 3:33, R.S.V.). The psalmist spoke out of experience: “The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130, R.S.V.). God has made us with the ability to hear Him, either through the inner word of His Holy Spirit (1 John 3:24; 4:13) or the exterior word of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:15, 16).

After 25 years of translating the New Testament into modern English, J. B. Phillips wrote a remarkable testimony to his experience as a translator, called Ring of Truth. He pitied the modern generation, which knows so little about genuine Christianity, primarily because they have never given the Bible a fair hearing.

I agree with Dr. Phillips “that we have in the New Testament, words that bear the hallmark of reality and the ring of truth” (page 125). Such has been my experience and the experience of many people I have known. The same experience applies to those who have heard “the ring of truth” in the writings of Ellen White. No one can take that “ring” from the soul. No “new” information can shake that self-authenticating experience.

But if one’s knowledge of the Bible or of Ellen White is only theoretical, as it would be with an anatomy book or the evening newspaper, then most any allegation against the Bible or Ellen White would be either alarming or just another reason to doubt.

It may be that certain things I have written in this article will sound new to some. I recognize that we are not all at the same place on the road of information or even experience. But I assure you, the confidence we may have in these agencies God has used to reveal truth to men and women will be in proportion to how much we learn and accept from the Bible and Ellen White.

I have heard the ring of truth in the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. Our mandate is to preach from the Bible, enriching our sermons by insights on the gospel found in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. I believe with all my heart that Ellen White was an inspired messenger of God. Based on my understanding of revelation and inspiration as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I must conclude that she is a reliable teaching authority and that she is a part of God’s continuing revelation and corroboration of doctrine and truth.

As the psalmist said, “O taste and see” (Ps. 34:8, R.S.V.). As Samuel responded, ” ‘ “Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears”‘” (1 Sam. 3:9, R.S.V.). As Jehoshaphat challenged Israel, ” ‘Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed’ ” (2 Chron. 20:20, R.S.V.). D

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April 6, 2008





Superintendent of the Sanitarium School of Cookery and of the Bay View Assembly School of Cookery, and Chairman of the World’s Fair Committee on Food Supplies, for Michigan



The interest in scientific cookery, particularly in cookery as related to health, has manifestly increased in this country within the last decade as is evidenced by the success which has attended every intelligent effort for the establishment of schools for instruction in cookery in various parts of the United States. While those in charge of these schools have presented to their pupils excellent opportunities for the acquirement of dexterity in the preparation of toothsome and tempting viands, but little attention has been paid to the science of dietetics, or what might be termed the hygiene of cookery.

A little less than ten years ago the Sanitarium at Battle Creek Mich., established an experimental kitchen and a school of cookery under the supervision of Mrs. Dr. Kellogg, since which time, researches in the various lines of cookery and dietetics have been in constant progress in the experimental kitchen, and regular sessions of the school of cookery have been held. The school has gradually gained in popularity, and the demand for instruction has become so great that classes are in session during almost the entire year.

During this time, Mrs. Kellogg has had constant oversight of the cuisine of both the Sanitarium and the Sanitarium Hospital, preparing bills of fare for the general and diet tables, and supplying constantly new methods and original recipes to meet the changing and growing demands of an institution numbering always from 500 to 700 inmates.

These large opportunities for observation, research, and experience, have gradually developed a system of cookery, the leading features of which are so entirely novel and so much in advance of the methods heretofore in use, that it may be justly styled, A New System of Cookery. It is a singular and lamentable fact, the evil consequences of which are wide-spread, that the preparation of food, although involving both chemical and physical processes, has been less advanced by the results of modern researches and discoveries in chemistry and physics, than any other department of human industry. Iron mining, glass-making, even the homely art of brick-making, and many of the operations of the farm and the dairy, have been advantageously modified by the results of the fruitful labors of modern scientific investigators. But the art of cookery is at least a century behind in the march of scientific progress. The mistress of the kitchen is still groping her way amid the uncertainties of mediæval methods, and daily bemoaning the sad results of the “rule of thumb.” The chemistry of cookery is as little known to the average housewife as were the results of modern chemistry to the old alchemists; and the attempt to make wholesome, palatable, and nourishing food by the methods commonly employed, is rarely more successful than that of those misguided alchemists in transmuting lead and copper into silver and gold.

The new cookery brings order from out the confusion of mixtures and messes, often incongruence and incompatible, which surrounds the average cook, by the elucidation of the principles which govern the operations of the kitchen, with the same certainty with which the law of gravity rules the planets.

Those who have made themselves familiar with Mrs. Kellogg’s system of cookery, invariably express themselves as trebly astonished: first, at the simplicity of the methods employed; secondly, at the marvelous results both as regards palatableness, wholesomeness, and attractiveness; thirdly, that it had never occurred to them “to do this way before.”

This system does not consist simply of a rehash of what is found in every cook book, but of new methods, which are the result of the application of the scientific principles of chemistry and physics to the preparation of food in such a manner as to make it the most nourishing, the most digestible, and the most inviting to the eye and to the palate.

Those who have tested the results of Mrs. Kellogg’s system of cookery at the Sanitarium tables, or in their own homes through the instruction of her pupils, have been most enthusiastic in their expressions of satisfaction and commendation. Hundreds of original recipes which have appeared in her department in Good Health, “Science in the Household”, have been copied into other journals, and are also quite largely represented in the pages of several cook books which have appeared within the last few years.

The great success which attended the cooking school in connection with the Bay View Assembly (the Michigan Chautauqua), as well as the uniform success which has met the efforts of many of the graduates of the Sanitarium school of cookery who have undertaken to introduce the new system through the means of cooking classes in various parts of the United States, has created a demand for a fuller knowledge of the system.

This volume is the outgrowth of the practical and experimental work, and the popular demand above referred to. Its preparation has occupied the entire leisure time of the author during the last five or six years. No pains or expense has been spared to render the work authoritative on all questions upon which it treats, and in presenting it to the public, the publishers feel the utmost confidence that the work will meet the highest expectations of those who have waited impatiently for its appearance during the months which have elapsed since its preparation was first announced. PUBLISHERS.

Her book can be found online at:

First G.C. Session – Part 2 – Constitution

April 6, 2008



The following brethren were then appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws for the government of this Conference:

Brethren J. N. Andrews, N. Fuller, I. Sanborn, W. Morse, H. F. Baker, B. F. Snook, J. H. Waggoner, and J. N. Loughborough. After due deliberation the committee presented the following constitution for the consideration of the Conference:



For the purpose of securing unity and efficiency in labor, and promoting the general interests of the cause of present truth, and of perfecting the (3–GCS 63-88) organization of the Seventh-day Adventists, we, the delegates from the several State Conferences, hereby proceed to organize a General Conference, and adopt the following constitution for the government thereof:

Article I. (NAME) This Conference shall be called the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Article II. (OFFICERS) The officers of this Conference shall be a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and an Executive Committee of three, of whom the President shall be one.

Article III. (DUTIES) The duties of the President and Secretary shall be such respectively as usually pertain to those offices.

Article IV. (DUTIES OF THE TREASURER) It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and disburse means under the direction of the Executive Committee, and keep an account of the same, and make a full report thereof to the regular meetings of the Conference.


Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to take the general supervision of all ministerial labor, and see that the same is properly distributed; and they shall take the special supervision of all missionary labor, and as a missionary board shall have the power to decide where such labor is needed, and who shall go as missionaries to perform the same.

Section 2. Means for missionary operations may be received by donation from State Conferences, churches, or individuals; and the Committee are authorized to call for means when needed.

Section 3. When any State Conference desires ministerial labor from a minister not a resident within the bounds of such Conference, their request shall be made to the General Conference Executive Committee, and ministers sent by said Committee shall be considered under the jurisdiction of the Conference Committee of such State:

PROVIDED, 1. That if such minister consider the State Committee inefficient, or their action so far wrong as to render his labor ineffectual, he may appeal to the General Conference Executive Committee;

PROVIDED, 2. That if such State committee consider such minister inefficient they may appeal to the General Conference Committee, who shall decide on the matter of complaint, and take such action as they may think proper.

Article VI. (SELECTING DELEGATES) Each State Conference shall be entitled to one delegate in the General Conference, and one additional delegate for every twenty delegates in the State Conference, such delegates to the General conference to be chosen by the State Conferences or their Committees:

PROVIDED, That the delegates to such State Conferences be elected according to the following ratio, to wit:

Each church to the number of twenty members or under shall be entitled to one delegate, and one delegate for every additional fifteen members.

Article VII. (TERM OF OFFICE) The officers shall hold their offices for the term of one year, and shall be elected at the regular meetings of the Conference.


Section 1. The regular meetings of the Conference shall be held annually, and the time and place of holding the same shall be determined by the Executive Committee, by whom due notice thereof shall be given through the Review.

Section 2. Special meetings may be called at the option of the Committee. (4–GCS 63-88)

Article IX. (CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE) This constitution may be altered or amended by a two-third’s vote of the delegates present at any regular meeting:

PROVIDED, That any proposed amendment shall be communicated to the Executive Committee, and notice thereof given by them in their call for the meeting of the Conference.

The report was accepted and the committee discharged.

The Conference then took up the reported constitution item by item, for consideration and discussion, which resulted in its entire adoption.

Source: Transcription of minutes of GC sessions from 1863 to 1888 (a pdf file)

The First General Conference Session – Part One

April 6, 2008


May 20, 1863

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists convened according to appointment at Battle Creek, Michigan, May 20, at 6 o’clock p.m. The meeting was temporarily organized by choosing

J. M. Aldrich, chairman, and

U. Smith, secretary.

The Conference was then opened by singing the hymn on page 233, and prayer by Brother Snook. A committee to receive and judge of the credentials of delegates being called for, it was

VOTED, That we have a committee of three on credentials.

The following brethren were thereupon chosen as that committee:

Elder J. N. Loughborough, of Michigan;

C. O. Taylor, of New York; and

Isaac Sanborn, of Wisconsin.

The remainder of this session was occupied in the presentation of credentials to the committee, and the meeting adjourned to the following morning, May 21, at 9 o’clock.

In the morning session, the committee announced the following brethren as the duly elected delegates from their respective states:

from New York, Brethren

J. N. Andrews,

N. Fuller, C. O. Taylor, and J. M. Aldrich;

from Ohio, I. N. Van Gorder;

from Michigan, the ministers present from that state, namely, Brethren







Cornell, and


with a lay representation of Brethren James Harvey, of North Liberty, Indiana, and William S. Higley, Jr., of Lapeer, Michigan;

from Wisconsin, Isaac Sanborn;

from Iowa, Brethren B. F. Snook, and W. H. Brinkerhoff;

from Minnesota,

Washington Morse.

The report of the committee was accepted.

VOTED, That Brother H. F. Baker be received as an additional delegate from Ohio.

The following brethren were then appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws for the government of this Conference: Brethren J. N. Andrews, N. Fuller, I. Sanborn, W. Morse, H. F. Baker, B. F. Snook, J. H. Waggoner, and J. N. Loughborough.

After due deliberation the committee presented the following constitution for the consideration of the Conference:


For the purpose of securing unity and efficiency in labor, and promoting the general interests of the cause of present truth, and of perfecting the (3–GCS 63-88) organization of the Seventh-day Adventists, we, the delegates from the several State Conferences, hereby proceed to organize a General Conference, and adopt the following constitution for the government thereof:…

Source: Transcription of minutes of GC sessions from 1863 to 1888 (a pdf file)


Whittier Visits a Millerite Camp Meeting

April 6, 2008

Howitt’s Journal
John Greenleaf Whittier
London: 9 October 1847

Singular Sects


“Old Father Time is weak and gray,
Awaiting for the better day,
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling his old palsied hands.”

SHELLEY’S “Masque of Anarchy”

  “Stage ready, gentlemen”—”Stage for camp ground, Derry Second-Advent Camp-meeting!”

  Accustomed, as I begin to feel, to the ordinary sights and sounds of this busy city, I was, I confess, somewhat startled by this business-like annunciation from the driver of a stage, who stood beside his horses, swinging his whip with some degree of impatience: “Seventy-five cents to the second advent camp-ground!”

  The stage was soon filled; the driver cracked his whip, and went rattling down the street.

  The Second Advent!—the coming of our Lord in person upon this earth, with signs and wonders and terrible judgments—the heavens rolling together like a scroll, the elements melting with fervent heat! The mighty consummation of all things at hand, with its destructions and its triumphs, sad wailings of the lost, and rejoicing songs of the glorified! From this overswarming hive of industry—from these crowded treadmills of gain—here were men and women going out in solemn earnestness to prepare for the dread moment, which they verily suppose is only a few months distant, to lift up their warning voices in the midst of scoffers and doubters, and to cry aloud to blind priests and careless churches, “BEHOLD, THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH!”

  It was one of the most lovely mornings of this loveliest season of the year—a warm, soft atmosphere—clear sunshine falling on the city spires and roofs—the hills of Darcut quiet and green in the distance, with ( page 231) their white farmhouses and scattered trees; around me the continual tread of footsteps hurrying to the toils of the day—merchants spreading out their wares for the eyes of purchasers—sounds of hammers, the sharp clink of trowels, the murmur of the great manufactories subdued by distance!

How was it possible, in the midst of so much life, in that sunrise light, and in view of all abounding beauty, that the idea of the death of nature—the baptism of the world in fire—could take such a practical shape as this? Yet here were sober, intelligent men, gentle and pious women, who, verily believing the end to be at hand, had left their counting-rooms, and workshops, and household cares, to publish the great tidings; and to startle, if possible, a careless and unbelieving generation into preparation for the day of the Lord, and for the blessed millennium—the restored paradise—when, renovated and renewed by its fire-purgation, the earth shall become, as of old, the garden of the Lord, and the saints alone shall inherit it.   

Very serious and impressive is the fact that this idea of a radical change in our planet, is not only predicted in the Scriptures, but that the earth herself, in her primitive rocks and varying formations, on which are lithographed the history of successive convulsions, darkly prophesies of others to come. The old poet-prophets, all the world over, have sung of a renovated world. A vision of it haunted the contemplations of Plato. It is seen in the half-inspired speculations of the old Indian mystics. The Cumoean Sybil saw it in her trances. The apostles and martyrs of our faith looked for it anxiously and hopefully. Gray anchorites in the deserts, pilgrims to the holy places of Jewish and Christian tradition, prayed for its coming. It inspired the gorgeous visions of the early fathers.

In every age since the Christian era, from the caves and forests and secluded “upper chambers” of the times of the first missionaries of the Cross, from the Gothic temples of the middle ages, from the bleak mountain gorges of the Alps, where the hunted heretics put up this expostulation, “How long, O Lord, how long!” down to the present time; and from this Derry camp-ground, have been uttered the prophecy and the prayer for its fulfillment.  

How this great idea manifests itself in the lives of the enthusiasts of the days of Cromwell! Think of Sir Henry Vane, cool, sagacious statesman as he was, waiting with eagerness for the foreshadowings of the millenium, and listening even in the very council-hall for the blast of the last trumpet! Think of the Fifth-Monarchy men, weary with waiting for the long-desired consummation, rushing out with drawn swords and loaded matchlocks into the streets of London to establish at once the rule of King Jesus!

Think of the wild enthusiasts at Munster, verily imagining that the millenium had commenced in their city! Still later, think of Granville Sharp, diligently labouring in his vocation of philanthropy, laying plans for the slow but beneficent amelioration of the condition of his country and the world, and at the same time maintaining, with the zeal of Father Miller himself, that the earth was just on the point of combustion, and that the millenium would render all his benevolent schemes of no consequence!  

And, after all, is the idea itself a vain one? Shall to-morrow be the same as to-day—shall the antagonism of good and evil continue as heretofore forever? Is there no hope that this world-wide prophecy of the human soul, uttered in all climes, in all times, shall yet be fulfilled? Who shall say it may not be true? Nay, is not its truth proved by its universality? The hope of all earnest souls must be realised. That which, through a distorted and doubtful medium, shone even upon the martyr-enthusiasts of the French Revolution—soft gleams of Heaven’s light rising over the hell of man’s passions and crimes—the glorious idea of Shelley, who, atheist as he was, through early prejudice and defective education, saw the horizon of the world’s future kindling with the light of a better day,—that hope and that faith which constitute, as it were, the world’s life, without which it would be dark and dead, cannot be in vain.

  I do not, I confess, sympathize with my Second Advent friends in their lamentable depreciation of mother earth, even in its present state. I find it extremely difficult to comprehend how it is that this goodly, green, sunlit home of ours is resting under a curse. It really does not seem to me to be altogether like the roll which the angel bore in the prophet’s vision, “written within and without with mourning, lamentation, and woe!” September sunsets—changing forests—moonrise and cloud—sun and rain,—I, for one, am contented with them; they fill my heart with a sense of beauty. I see in them the perfect work of Infinite Love as well as wisdom. It may be that our Advent friends, however, coincide with the opinions of an old writer on the prophecies, who considered the hills and valleys of the earth’s surface and its changes of seasons as so many visible manifestations of God’s curse; and that in the millenium, as in the days of Adam’s innocence, all these picturesque inequalities would be levelled nicely away, and the flat surface laid handsomely down to grass!

  As might be expected, the effect of this belief in the speedy destruction of the world and the personal coming of the Messiah, acting upon a class of uncultivated, and in some cases gross minds, is not always in keeping with the enlightened Christian’s ideal of “the better day.” One is shocked in reading some of the “Hymns” of these believers. Sensual images—semi-Mahommedan descriptions of the condition of the “saints”—exultation over the destruction of the “sinners”—mingle with the beautiful and soothing promises of the prophets. There are indeed occasionally to be found among the believers men of refined and exalted spiritualism, who in their lives and conversation remind one of Tennyson’s Christian Knight-errant in his yearning towards the “hope set before him.”

“To me is given
Such hope I may not fear;
I long to breathe the airs of heaven,
Which sometimes meet me here.
I muse on joys which cannot fade,
Pure spaces filled with living beams;
While lilies of eternal peace
With odours haunt my dreams.”

  One of the most ludicrous examples of the sensual phase of Millerism—the incongruous blending of the sublime with the ridiculous—was mentioned to me not long since. A fashionable young woman, in the western part of this state, became an enthusiastic believer in the doctrine. On the day which had been designated as the closing one of Time, she packed all her fine dresses and soiled valuables in the large trunk, with long straps attached to it; and seating herself upon it, buckled the straps over her shoulders, patiently awaiting the crisis,—shrewdly calculating, that as she must herself go upwards, her goods and chattels would of necessity follow.

  Three or four years ago, on my way eastward, I spent an hour or two and a camp-ground of the Second Advent, in East Kingston. The spot was well chosen. A tall growth of pine and hemlock threw its melancholy over the multitude, who were arranged upon rough seats of boards and logs. Several hundred—perhaps a thousand—people were present, and more were rapidly coming. Drawn about in a circle, forming a background of snowy whiteness to the dark masses of men and foliage, were the white tents, and at the back of them the provision stalls and cook-shops. When I (page 232) reached the ground, a hymn the words of which I could not distinguish, was pealing through the dim aisles of the forest. I could readily perceive that it had its effect upon the multitude before me, kindling to higher intensity their already excited enthusiasm.

The preachers were placed in a rude pulpit of rough boards, carpeted only by the dead forest leaves and flowers, and tasseled, not with silk and velvet, but with the green boughs of the hemlocks around it. One of them followed the music in an earnest exhortation on the duty of preparing for the great event. Occasionally he was really eloquent; and his description of the last day had all the terrible distinctness of Anelli’s painting of the “End of the World.”   Suspended from the front of the rude pulpit, were two broad sheets of canvass, upon one of which was the figure of a man; the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and feet of clay,—the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. On the other were depicted the wonders of the Apocalyptic vision;—the beasts—the dragons—the scarlet woman seen by the seer of Patmos—oriental types, figures, and mystic symbols, translated into staring Yankee realities, and exhibited like the beasts of a travelling menagerie.

One horrible image, with its hideous heads and scaly caudal extremity, reminded me of the tremendous line of Milton, who in speaking of the same evil Dragon describes him as—

“Swinging in scaly horrors of his folded tail.”

  To an imaginative mind the scene was full of novel interest: the white circle of tents—the dim wood arches—the upturned earnest faces—the loud voices of the speakers, burdened with the awful symbolic language of the Bible—the smoke from the fires rising like incense—carried me back to those days of primitive worship which tradition faintly whispers of when on hill-tops and in the shade of old woods religion had her first altars, with every man for her priest, and the whole universe for her temple.

  Beautifully and truthfully has Dr. Channing spoken of this doctrine of the Second Advent in his memorable discourse in Berkshire, a little before his death:—

  “There are some among us at the present moment who are waiting for the speedy coming of Christ. They expect, before another year closes, to see him in the clouds, to hear his voice, to stand before his judgment-seat. These illusions spring from misinterpretations of Scripture language. Christ, in the New Testament, is said to come, whenever his religion breaks out in new glory, or gains new triumphs. He came in the Holy Spirit in the Day of Pentecost. He came in the destruction of Jerusalem, which, by subverting the old ritual law, and breaking the power of the worst enemies of His religion, insured to it new victories. He came in the Reformation of the Church. He came on this day four years ago, when, through his religion, eight hundred thousand men were raised from the lowest degradation to the rights and dignity and fellowship of men. Christ’s outward appearance is of little moment compared with the brighter manifestations of his Spirit.

The Christian, whose inward eyes and ears are touched by God, discerns the coming of Christ, hears the sound of his chariot wheels and the voice of his trumpet, when no other perceives them. He discerns the Saviour’s advent in the dawning of higher truth on the world, in new aspirations of the Church after perfection, in the prostration of prejudice and error, in brighter expressions of Christian love, in more enlightened and intense consecration of the Christian to the cause of humanity, freedom, and religion. Christ comes in the conversion, the regeneration, the emancipation of the world.”


Author: Whittier, John Greenleaf
File Size: 14KB
Publisher: Stephen Railton; Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities; Electronic Text Center
Place: Charlottesville, Virginia
Date: 1999

[In the article’s byline Whittier is identified as “F. G. Whittier.” In editions of Whittier’s prose this piece is identified as “The End of the World.”]©1999 Stephen Railton & the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Title: Singular Sects
File Size: 3 pp.
Publisher: WIlliam Lovett
Place: London
Date: 1847 October 9

Sabbath School Lessons – 1898 to 1903

April 5, 2008

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Sabbath School Quarterly 


July 1, 1898 

Genesis 1 to 22 

October 1, 1898 

Genesis 24 to 49 

January 1, 1899 

Life of Christ, Matt 1 to John 4 

April 1, 1899 

Life of Christ, John 4 to Matt. 10 

July 1, 1899 

Life of Christ, Matt 14 to Matt. 20 

October 1, 1899 

Life of Christ, Matt 26 

January 1, 1900 

Life of Christ, Matt 26 to Matt 28 

April 1, 1900 

Life of Christ, Matt 28 to Matt 5-7 

July 1, 1900 

Galatians 1:1 to 3:7 

October 1, 1900 

Galatians 3:5 to 5:1 

January 1, 1901 

Gal 4:30 to 6:18; Malachi 

April 1, 1901 


July 1, 1901 


October 1, 1901 

The Parables of Jesus 

January 1, 1902 

The Parables of Jesus 

April 1, 1902 

Studies in the Gospel Message 

July 1, 1902 

Studies in the Gospel Message 

October 1, 1902 

Studies in the Gospel Message 

January 1, 1903 

Studies in the Psalms 

April 1, 1903 

1 and 2 Thessalonians 

July 1, 1903 


October 1, 1903 

God’s Kingdom in this World 

Sabbath School Lessons – 1893 to 1898

April 5, 2008

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Sabbath School Quarterly 


January 1, 1893 

The Word and Spirit 

April 1, 1893 

The Coming of the Lord 

July 1, 1893 

1 Peter 

October 1, 1893 

1 John 

January 1, 1894 

Luke 1:1 to 6:49 

April 1, 1894 

Luke 7:1 to 11:54 

July 1, 1894 

Luke 12:1 to 19:48 

October 1, 1894 

Luke 20:1 to 24:53 

January 1, 1895 

Sanctuary of the Bible 

April 1, 1895 


July 1, 1895 

Sabbath (10) and Tithing (3) 

October 1, 1895 

Religious Liberty 

January 1, 1896 

The Great Threefold Message 

April 1, 1896 

Life in Christ / The Saints’ Inheritance 

July 1, 1896 

John 1:1 to 6:14 

October 1, 1896 

John 6:15 to 9:41 

January 1, 1897 

John 10:1 to 14:31 

April 2, 1897 

John 15:1 to 21:25 

July 1, 1897 

Acts 1:1 to 8:4 

October 1, 1897 

Acts 8:5 to 13:52 

January 1, 1898 

Acts 14:1 to 20:38 

April 1, 1898 

Acts 21:1 to 28:31 



Sabbath School Lessons – 1888 to 1892

April 5, 2008

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Sabbath School Quarterly       


January 1, 1888       

Creation to Moses – OT History       

July 1, 1888       

The Third Angels Message and 2nd Peter       

January 1, 1889       

Call of Moses to Balaam – OT History       

July 1, 1889       

Tithes and Offerings       

October 1, 1889       

Hebrews 1:1 to 7:26       

January 4, 1890       

Hebrews 7:27 to 10:25       

March 1, 1890       

Life of Christ       

April 5, 1890       

Hebrews 10:23 to 13:21       

April 15, 1890       

Prophecy: Daniel 2, 7; Revelation 13, 14       

May 1, 1890       

Sin and Righteousness       

July 5, 1890       

Joshua – OT History       

October 4, 1890       

Judges to Death of Saul – OT History       

January 3, 1891       


February 1, 1891       


June 1, 1891       

Mark 1:1 to 8:38       

October 1, 1891       

Mark 9:1 to 16:20       

January 1, 1892       

Isaiah and Jeremiah       

April 1, 1892       

Psalms and Daniel 1, 2, 3, 6       

July 1, 1892       

Acts 1:1 to Acts 7:50       

October 1, 1892       

Acts 9:1 to Acts 15:31