Archive for the ‘1844 to 1849’ Category

Storrs on Laodicea, 1844

December 25, 2008

Review and Herald, May 16, 1854

EXAMINATION OF ISAIAH II, AND MICAH IV.

… Look at the so called church of the present day. Who is she most pleased with, the humble, self- denying, cross-bearing members, who are crucified to this world, or the rich, the “respectable” in the sight of the world, and those that can make show? Which do they most regard? Is it not a fact, that the latter are more pleasing to an exalted church than the former? And are not the churches “multiplying a spurious brood of strange children?” Where is their deadness to the world, its praise and its frowns? They dare not speak out against a popular sin, nor defend an unpopular truth. Reputation is at stake, and every other principle must give place to that. Said an old pilgrim, not long since, “When our church was small and poor, we were spiritual, lively in religion, and a happy band; but now we are numerous, fashionable, and like the world, and I do not feel at home.”

The church had multiplied a spurious brood of strange children; and such is the case almost universally. Yet she is saying, like the Laodicean church, “I am rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing,”Yes, she boasts of her schools, her colleges, her theological seminaries, her talented ministry, her richly endowed institutions. In her own eyes she sits “as a queen,” and is “no widow and shall see no sorrow.” So has the world fallen in love with the church that even the soldiers, with their guns, cannons, drums and fifes, will all join with it in celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace; and Ministers are to be educated at the Military Academy to be Chaplains in the army and navy! Truly, how much that looks like “learning war no more!”

Not only that, but our churches at Christmas and other holidays, can have exhibitions in their meetinghouses that please the children of strangers about as well as the theatre! No wonder the church of this age is talking of conquering the the world, when she herself has fairly gone over to the world, and has become like the intoxicated man who thinks the ground rises up to him when he has fallen down to that. No wonder such a church is in convulsions on hearing the dreadful sound, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh.” She wish to see him! No, she is pleasing herself with the children of strangers.

But let us inquire, what else does the prophet say of this “peace and safety” crying church? He says, [verse 7,] “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures.” See the thousands and millions that these churches have laid up in one form or another; either in the hands of individual members, or corporate bodies; if possible to show their contempt of him” who though he was rich, for our sakes became poor;” acting as if their greatest desire was to be independent of God himself, and showing that they have no confidence in him…

— Geo. Storrs, in Mid. Cry 1844

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH1854-V05-17/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=3

Hiram Edson’s Daughter Remembers

December 14, 2008

SOUTHWESTERN UNION RECORD , March 2, 1920

EXPERIENCES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF THE MESSAGE

I have just been reading the Anniversary Number of the Review and Herald, and as I have looked into the faces of old familiar friends, it has aroused many recollections of the past. My whole life has been in close connection with the Advent Message. I was born about the time my parents accepted the Advent doctrine under the preaching of Wm. Miller in 1843. They were firm and true to the cause of truth to the close of their lives, and it called for such self-denial and and sacrifice in those early days, for its friends were few and mostly poor in this worlds goods.

After the passing of the time when they expected the Lord would come on the 22nd of October, 1844, a few of the most earnest and faithful ones were at the home of my father, (Hiram Edson), praying and studying the prophecies to learn the cause of the disappointment. After prayer they started out to visit some that had been interested, and were going through a corn field when suddenly father saw a bright light shining around him and heard these words, as of an audible voice: “The temple of God was opend in heaven and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.” The others passed on, but soon noticed he was not with them, and, looking back, asked what was the matter. He replied, “Brethren, there is new light for us.” They went to studying the prophecies, and the light on the subject of the Sanctuary was then brought out, which fully explained the cause of the disappointment. O. R. L. Crozer then wrote the article mentioned in the Review a few months ago. He was at father’s, and, finances being low, those interested in the Message having used all their ready means in proclaiming the Message, my mother sold her solid silver teaspoons and half of her large spoons to pay for having the article printed in the “Day Dawn.” That also opened up the subject of the seventh-day Sabbath.

The conference to which Brother and Sister White were invited, as noticed on page 8 of the Review, was held at father’s house, near Port Gibson, New York. Nearly all the Sabbath-keepers at that time met there, and my parents entertained them, the sisters sleeping in the house and the brethren in the haymow. Father cleaned and seated his barn floor to have a place for the meetings. That was a time that called for self-denial and sacrifice. Brother and Sister White were in very close circumstances. Father sold his sheep and gave $1500 to help them.

Another conference was held at father’s not long after this, and a mob of forty gathered in the dooryard, intent on breaking up the meeting. They rushed into the house and laid hold of one brother and dragged him to the door. Another brother stepped up and ordered them to let him go, when one of the mob took a griddle from off the stove and struck him, cutting him badly over the eye. Father then walked boldly out into the crowd and said: “I won’t give up my faith if you cut me into inch pieces and feed my flesh to the foxes of the desert and to the fowls of the air.” The Spirit of God accompanied the words with such power that the crowd all withdrew and they had a quiet meeting.

I, with my parents, attended the meeting at Balston Springs, at which it was decided to move the Review office to Rochester, N. Y., and buy a Washington hand press. I well remember hearing father say, “We, no doubt, will have a power press before the close—and maybe two or three.” That required a great stretch of faith at that time, but what do we see today?—many large power presses in various parts of the world, all of them running day and night, sending out the message of truth by the tons. The work, begun in such poverty and weakness, has grown mighty and strong, and God will carry it to a glorious consummation. There is still a great work to be done, but He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness.

Nearly all of the faces shown in the Anniversary Number of the Review and Herald are familiar to me. The first page of the Present Truth looks very familiar. I well remember reading it when a child. I have no recollection of my parents keeping Sunday.

I truly praise the Lord that He has kept me in the love of the truth, while many bright and shining lights have gone out in darkness. Time has continued much longer than we expected, but it has been through the longsuffering of God, who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But it will not always wait. Jesus will soon come, and may reader and writer be able to say, “This is the Lord—we have waited for Him and He will save us.”

From one who has been long looking for the appearing of Christ.

MRS. V. O. CROSS.
Houston, Texas, Jan. 15, 1920.

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/SUR/SUR19200302-V19-13__B/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=6

TIME TO COMMENCE THE SABBATH – James White

September 7, 2008

IT is generally known to most of the readers of the Review that for several years in the early history of Seventh-day Adventists, believers adopted six o’clock P. M. as the time for the Sabbath to commence and close. It is also known that in the autumn of 1855, the Review taught that sunset was the Bible time to commence the Sabbath, and that our people generally changed from six o’clock to sunset. Some of the circumstances connected with this change I wish here to state:

1. The six o’clock time was called in question by a portion of believers as early as 1847, some maintaining that the Sabbath commenced at sun-rise, while others claimed Bible evidence in favor of sunset.

2. Eld. Joseph Bates, who was the first to teach the Sabbath in its importance, and faithfully labor to bring out a people from among the Adventists to observe it, was very decided upon the six o’clock time. His decided stand upon the question, and respect for his years, and his godly life, might have been among the reasons why this point was not sooner investigated as thoroughly as some other points.

3. In the autumn of 1855 Eld. J. N. Andrews called on me at Battle Creek, on his way to Iowa, and set before me the scriptural reasons for commencing the Sabbath at sunset. He had written a clear article upon the subject which he left with me, and which appeared in the Review for Dec. 4, 1855. This article, however, before it appeared in the Review was read at the Conference at Battle Creek about that time, and the subject was discussed resulting in settling the minds of the : brethren on the sunset-time, with the exception of Bro. Bates, and a few others. Since that time there has been general agreement among us upon the subject.

But there are persons who seek to injure us as a people– and this class we hope to help by this article— who “report and publish to the world that Mrs. White did profess to be shown that the time to commence the Sabbath, was six o’clock, and that at a later period she was shown that sunset was the true time. It is also stated that in vision she saw the dial-plate of a clock with one hand pointing to vi, the other to xii, showing that six o’clock was the commencement and close of the Sabbath.

A simple statement of the facts in the case are sufficient to show these reports false. Hence, we give the following statements which we are ready to prove by most competent witnesses.

1. Mrs. W. has in two visions been shown something in regard to the time of the commencement of the Sabbath. The first was as early as 1847, at Topsham, Me. In that vision she was shown that to commence the Sabbath at sunrise was wrong. She then heard an angel repeat these words, “From even unto even shall ye celebrate your Sabbaths.” Bro. Bates was present, and succeeded in satisfying all present that “even” was six o’clock. Mark this: The vision at Topsham did not teach the six o’clock time. It only corrected sunrise time. I never received the idea that the six o’clock time was sustained by the visions, hence the following which I copy from a statement I made in the Review upon this subject, Dec. 4, 1855, as follows:

“We have, never been fully satisfied with the testimony presented in favor of six o’clock, while the various communications received for a few years past advocating both sunrise and sunset time, have been almost destitute of argument, and the spirit of humility and candor. The subject has troubled us, yet we have never found time to thoroughly investigate it.
” In June, 1854 we urged Eld. D. P. Hall to prepare an article on the subject for the Review. When with him in Penn. last winter we repeated the request. When in Maine last summer we stated our feelings on this subject to Bro. Andrews, and have fears of division unless the question could be settled by good testimony. He decided to devote his time to the subject till he ascertained what the Bible taught in regard to it, and his article in this number is the result of his investigation. Some have the impression that six o’clock time has been taught among us by the direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This is a mistake, ‘From even unto even’ was the teaching for which six o’clock time has been inferred.”

2. In regard to the clock face, twenty competent witnesses are ready to testify that neither Mrs. W. nor her visions had anything to do with it whatever. When at Rocky Hill, Conn., in 1849, at a meeting on the Sabbath at the house of Bro. Albert Belden, the time to commence the Sabbath was agitated. A brother present in whose spiritual exercises there was great confidence, seemed to be very powerfully exercised, and, amid groans and tears, he called for the chalk, and marked out upon the floor the figure of a clock face, the hands pointing out six o’clock. A general impression prevailed that this was the work of the Spirit of God; but Mrs. W. had nothing to do with it whatever.

3. At the close of the conference at Battle Creek referred to above, the ministers and others, especially interested in the cause had a special season of prayer for the prosperity of the cause, and in that meeting Mrs. W. had a vision, one item of which was that sunset time was correct. This settled the matter with Bro. Bates and others, and general harmony has since prevailed among us upon this point.

But the question naturally arises, If the visions are given to correct the erring, why did she not sooner see the error of the six o’clock time? For one I have ever been thankful that God corrected the error in his own good time, and did not suffer an unhappy division to “exist among us upon the point. But, dear reader, the work of the Lord upon this point is in perfect harmony with his manifestations to us on others, and in harmony with the correct position upon spiritual gifts.

It does not appear to be the desire of the Lord to teach his people by the gifts of the Spirit on the Bible questions until his servants have diligently searched his word. When this was done upon the subject of time to commence the Sabbath, and most were established, and some were in danger of being out of harmony with the body on this subject, then, yes, then, was the very time for God to magnify his goodness in the manifestation of the gift of his Spirit in the accomplishment of its proper work.

The sacred Scriptures are given us as the rule of faith and duty, and we are commanded to search them. If we fail to understand and fully obey the truths in consequence of not searching the Scriptures as we should, or a want of consecration’ and spiritual discernment, and God in mercy in his own time corrects us by some manifestation of the gifts of his Holy Spirit, instead of murmuring that he did not do it before, let us humbly acknowledge his mercy, and praise him for his infinite goodness in condescending to correct us at all.

Let the gifts have their proper place in the church. God has never set them in the very front, and commanded us to look to them to lead us in the path of truth, and the way to Heaven. His word he has magnified. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are man’s lamp to light up his path to the kingdom. Follow that. But if you err from Bible truth, and are in danger of being lost, it may be that God will in the time of his choice correct you, and bring you back to the Bible, and save you. And would it become you in such a case to murmur and say, “Lord, why didst thou not do this before?” Take care! “Be still, and know that I am God.” Our necessity is his opportunity to teach us by the gifts of his Holy Spirit.

JAMES WHITE

The Review and Herald, February 25, 1868, Vol. 31, No. 11, page 168
http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH18680225-V31-11/index.djvu

The Sabbath Debate – Starting/Ending Time

September 7, 2008

Testimonies Volume One

Chap. 16 – Time to Begin the Sabbath

I saw that it is even so: “From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” Said the angel: “Take the word of God, read it, understand, and ye cannot err. Read carefully, and ye shall there find what even is, and when it is. I asked the angel if the frown of God had been upon His people for commencing the Sabbath as they had. I was directed back to the first rise of the Sabbath, and followed the people of God up to this time, but did not see that the Lord was displeased, or frowned upon them. I inquired why it had been thus, that at this late day we must change the time of commencing the Sabbath. Said the angel: “Ye shall understand, but not yet, not yet.” Said the angel: “If light come, and that light is set aside or rejected, then comes condemnation and the frown of God; but before the light comes, there is no sin, for there is no light for them to reject.” I saw that it was in the minds of some that the Lord had shown that the Sabbath commenced at six o’clock, when I had only seen that it commenced at “even,” and it was inferred that even was at six. I saw that the servants of God must draw together, press together. (1T 116.1)

Testimonies Volume One, Appendix

PAGE 116, “TIME TO BEGIN THE SABBATH”

FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT TEN YEARS SABBATHKEEPING ADVENTISTS OBSERVED THE SABBATH FROM 6 P. M. FRIDAY TO 6 P. M. SATURDAY. ELDER JOSEPH BATES IN HIS FIRST PAMPHLET ON THE PERPETUITY OF THE SABBATH OF THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT, PUBLISHED IN 1846, HAD GIVEN REASONS FOR THE SUPPOSED SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT FOR THE OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH IN THIS WAY. HE CITED THE PARABLE OF THE LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD, THE LAST GROUP OF WHICH HAD BEEN CALLED AT “THE ELEVENTH HOUR” OF THE DAY AND HAD WROUGHT BUT ONE HOUR. THE RECKONING WAS MADE WITH THEM “WHEN EVEN WAS COME.” MATTHEW 20:6, 8, 12. COMPARING THIS WITH CHRIST’S QUESTION, “ARE THERE NOT TWELVE HOURS IN THE DAY?” HE ARGUED THAT THE “EVEN” BEGAN WITH THE TWELFTH HOUR, OR SIX O’CLOCK, RECKONING WITH EQUATORIAL TIME OR THE BEGINNING OF THE SACRED YEAR. RESPECT FOR HIS YEARS AND EXPERIENCE AND HIS GODLY LIFE MAY HAVE BEEN THE MAIN REASONS FOR ACCEPTING HIS CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT FURTHER INVESTIGATION. (1T 713.2)

AS TIME PASSED AND THE MESSAGE SPREAD, AN INCREASING NUMBER OF SABBATHKEEPERS QUESTIONED THE PRACTICE AND ADVOCATED THE SUNSET TIME FOR RECKONING THE BEGINNING OF THE SABBATH. A THOROUGH BIBLE INVESTIGATION OF THE QUESTION WAS MADE BY ELDER J. N. ANDREWS, WHO WROTE A PAPER SETTING FORTH THE BIBLICAL REASONS IN FAVOR OF THE SUNSET TIME. THIS PAPER WAS INTRODUCED AND DISCUSSED ON SABBATH, NOVEMBER 17, 1855, AT THE CONFERENCE IN BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, WITH THE RESULT THAT NEARLY, BUT NOT QUITE, ALL PRESENT WERE CONVINCED THAT ELDER ANDREW’S CONCLUSION WAS CORRECT. THE PRESENTATION OF THE SUBJECT TO MRS. WHITE IN THIS VISION, GIVEN TWO DAYS LATER, ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS LINGERING IN SOME MINDS AND EFFECTED UNITY AMONG THE BELIEVERS. COMMENTING ON THIS EXPERIENCE, AS ILLUSTRATING THE OFFICE OF THE VISIONS TO CONFIRM CONCLUSIONS BASED ON BIBLICAL STUDY RATHER THAN TO INTRODUCE NEW TEACHINGS, ELDER JAMES WHITE WROTE LATER: (1T 713.3)

“THE QUESTION NATURALLY ARISES, IF THE VISIONS ARE GIVEN TO CORRECT THE ERRING, WHY DID SHE NOT SOONER SEE THE ERROR OF THE SIX O’CLOCK TIME? I HAVE EVER BEEN THANKFUL THAT GOD CORRECTED THE ERROR IN HIS OWN GOOD TIME, AND DID NOT SUFFER AN UNHAPPY DIVISION TO EXIST AMONG US UPON THIS POINT. BUT, DEAR READER, THE WORK OF THE LORD UPON THIS POINT IS IN PERFECT HARMONY WITH HIS MANIFESTATIONS TO US ON OTHERS, AND IN HARMONY WITH THE CORRECT POSITION UPON SPIRITUAL GIFTS. IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE THE DESIRE OF THE LORD TO TEACH HIS PEOPLE BY THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT ON THE BIBLE QUESTIONS UNTIL HIS SERVANTS HAVE DILIGENTLY SEARCHED HIS WORD. WHEN THIS WAS DONE UPON THE SUBJECT OF THE TIME TO COMMENCE THE SABBATH, AND MOST WERE ESTABLISHED, AND SOME WERE IN DANGER OF BEING OUT OF HARMONY WITH THE BODY ON THIS SUBJECT, THEN, YES, THEN, WAS THE VERY TIME FOR GOD TO MAGNIFY HIS GOODNESS IN THE MANIFESTATION OF THE GIFT OF HIS SPIRIT IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ITS PROPER WORK.”

–REVIEW AND HERALD, FEB. 25, 1868. (1T 713.4)