Archive for May, 2008

The Two Bodies

May 1, 2008


Review and Herald, October 12, 1876, p. 116

ON the broad platform of the divine law, and redemption from its transgression through the death and mediation of the divine Son, both the Seventh-day Baptists and the Seventh-day Adventists stand in general agreement. Here are the great tests of the Christian life, and a fitness for Heaven; and besides these there are no others. s

The principal difference between the two bodies is the immortality question. The S. D. Adventists hold the divinity of Christ so nearly with the trinitarian, that we apprehend no trial here. And as the practical application of the subject of the Gifts of the Spirit to our people and to our work is better understood by our S. D. Baptist brethren, they manifest less concern for us on this account.

But the views which both bodies entertain respecting free investigation and the right to personal opinion forbid any restriction whatever to be laid upon each other in the proper advo- cacy of the sentiments in which both cannot at present agree. We recommend, however, that there be no controversy between the two bodies. The differences between us are of such a nature, an,d we have in common so broad a field of labor with those who differ with us respect- ing the fundamentals, upon which hangs the destiny of a world lying in wickedness, that Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Bap- tists cannot afford a controversy on doctrines which neither regard as tests of Christian char- acter.

Both bodies have a specific work to do. God bless them both in all their efforts for its ac- complishment. The field is a wide one. And we further recommend that Seventh-day Ad- ventists in their agressive work avoid laboring to build up Seventh-day Adventist churches wliere Seventh-day Baptist churches are already established. If ministers or members from the

Seventh-day Baptists regard it their duty to come with us, under the impression that they can serve the cause of God better, we shall give them a place with us. But we see no reasons why there should be any effort put forth on the part of our people to weaken the hands of our Seventh-day Baptist brethren in order to add to our numbers from those who were before us in revering the ancient Sabbath of the Lord.
If it please our Seventh-day Baptist brethten, let the interchange of courtesies in the appoint- ment of delegates be continued, and be conduct- ed in a manner to secure mutual benefit. The visits of the worthy delegates from the Seventh- day Baptists, Pres. Alien, Elders Wardner, Burdick, Rogers, Hull, and Prof. Whitford, have done our people good. And if the dele- gates from our people to that body, Elders An- drews, Smith, Canright, and others, have failed to do that people good, it has been from want of ability and a knowledge how to work out that good which was in their hearts to do.

What God in his wise providence has marked out for these two bodies in their future labors and destiny, the future alone can unfold. But whatever that may be, it seems a certainty to us to-day, while looking with faith and hope toward that untried future, and cherishing a filial love for those whose history of loyalty to High Heaven stretches across long centuries, that no good can result to either from controversy and proselyting, and no harm can come to either from those courtesies and labors of love calcu- lated to build each other up on our common faith.

We do not say that we have seen the proper relation between the two bodies as clearly and joyfully as we do to-day ; neither do we wish to be held responsible for what some of our people have done, or may do, not in harmony with the foregoing. But that our settled convictions on the subject for more than five years may be un- derstood, we quote from our report of the Clear Lake (Wis.) camp-meeting, which appeared in REVIEW AND HEBALD for July 4, 1871 :—

” At the close of the Sabbath morning ser- vice, we were cordially greeted by many who re- ported .themselves Seventh-day Baptists, who gave Our hand the very next thing to it, if not the real Advent shake. Among these was Prof. Cornwall, of the Albion, Wis., S. D. Baptist Academy, who invited us to speak to the citi- zens of his place. Nothing could have given us greater pleasure than to have responded to this, and similar courtesies by speaking freely to this people upon the great fundamentals of our common faith—the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ; but hoarseness, fatigue, and the labors of the Minnesota Camp- meeting the next week, compelled us to pass on without even calling on any of our S. D. Bap- tist friends.

“Here we may, by divine grace, enjoy a strong union ; and while Seventh-day Adventists may prize very highly, and tenaciously hold, their views upon the immortality question, and may cherish as important to the glory of God and their own prosperity, their definite views of the manifestation of spiritual gifts, they will agree that it will be mnch better to seek for that union that may be enjoyed upon the broad fundamentals of onr faith, than to sacrifice that union in urging upon the Seventh-day Baptists sentiments peculiar to Adventists.”

We are happy to say here that a full state- ment of our views and feelings, outlined in this article, was given by the writer before the re- cent General Conference of the S. D. Baptists, which apparently met with a full approval from that body. It is with great pleasure that we look back to the happy hours spent with that good people, and only regret that we could re- main no longer with them. j. w.


Further Study

Review, November 20, 1879
Review, December 4, 1879, Volume 54, #23, page 180
Review, December 11, 1879