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in the great movement, in the face of a scoffing world and church, and amid violent opposition from those who were drawing back from the faith, was a severe trial of faith and patience. And the numbers who had the moral courage, and shared sufficiently in the grace of God, to do this, were found to be small.
Those who cowardly yielded to the clamors of opponents, to confess that they had been in error on the time, occupied the unhappy position of wearing the Advent name after giving up as error the very means which had made them Adventists. While those who apostatized so far as to give up the Advent faith, hope, and name, for a place in some one of the nominal churches, were destined to be regarded as vacillating, and ever feel the sting of remorse for so great a weakness as embracing the "blessed hope." Those who wished to renounce the Advent faith, and free themselves from the reproach suffered by those who adhered to it, might find a degree of relief for the present in confessing their way back into the church. But of those who have been imbued with the spirit of the Advent faith and hope, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have been partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, and have apostatized, there are few who can again enjoy the insipid piety of the popular churches. In fact such persons are very unhappy and dissatisfied with their position and relations in religious matters, unless their apostasy has been so sinful as to obliterate from the soul all traces of Christian experience, and they be given over to the sensual pleasures of this life. May God pity this unhappy class, and may they again stand with those who are looking for the blessed hope.
But the position of those who discard the great movement which made them Adventists, and yet cherish some of the leading views of William Miller, and rejoice in the Advent name, is more inconsistent, and their course far more sinful in the sight of God, than that of those who made an entire surrender of both position and name. What a position in the sight of God, angels and men! They bless the Advent faith, hope and name, and curse the very means which has made them what they profess to be! These may hold the doctrines of the personal coming of Christ, the literal resurrection of the dead, and life and immortality alone through Christ to be given at the resurrection of the just, but while failing to acknowledge the hand of God in the Advent movement in the past, and standing opposed to the third angel's message of the present, have no well-defined position as to the plan of God in warning the world and proving his people preparatory to the coming of the Son of man. And it is because of the ignorance of the people as to the true position, and because there is no real cross in what these men do teach, that they have influence. Some of them speak of Millerism and Miller, as they would of Mormonism and the notorious Smith, and yet claim to be Adventists. But if the hand of God has been with those who have borne the Advent name at any time, it was during the great time movement of 1843 and 1844. More recent time movements and operations of various kinds, by those who regard that grand movement as an error of Millerism, compare with it about the same as a rushlight compares with the noonday sun.
And these men will speak proudly of their Advent faith, and bless the Advent name, while they curse the great Advent movement, which has brought the Advent
doctrine before the present generation. The sin against the Holy Ghost, which had no forgiveness in the days of Christ, was to attribute the work of the Spirit, in the miracles of Jesus, to Satan. How much less, think you, is the sin of those who deny the work of the Spirit of God in the Advent movement, and attribute the power which attended that work to human and satanic influences? I do not say that all Adventists, besides Seventh-day Adventists, take the foregoing positions. Most of them, however, do; and the candid reader who regards the view of the great Advent movement taken in these pages with favor, will not fail to see both the glaring inconsistencies and the sinfulness of the positions taken by these professed Adventists.
But the true position is free from such absurdities, and is harmonious in itself. It honors God, vindicates his word, and sustains Christian experience. It explains the past, definitely points out present duty, and lights up the glorious future. It presents a connected system of truth, the most beautiful in all its parts, that the mind of man ever contemplated.
The period of the third message dates from the disappointment in 1844, and from that time to the present the development of its great truths has been progressive. Immediately after the passing of the time, not a few took a firm stand that the first and second messages were in the past, that the midnight cry had been given, that the 2300 days had ended, and that we had reached the patient waiting, watching time. But it was not until the subject of the cleansing of the sanctuary was brought out in 1846, that the termination of the 2300 days became one of the clearest points in the entire system of Second-Advent truth. This established us in the fulfillment of the first and second messages in the past, opened
before us the ark of God containing the ten precepts of his holy law in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, and called our attention to the third message, with its solemn warning to flee the worship of the beast and his image, and in its stead keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. How forcible the closing words of the third angel: "Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." And how natural the conclusion that the Sabbath reform should come in right here.
INTRODUCTION OF THE SABBATH.
As early as 1844, sister Preston, a Seventh-day Baptist, who was a believer in the soon coming of Christ, introduced the Sabbath to the Adventists of Washington, N. H., and made a good impression. With the help of the publications of her people, and the blessing of God, about forty embraced the Sabbath. The truth on this subject reached other points in New Hampshire. About that time Elder T. M. Preble embraced the Sabbath, and began to teach it. He called the attention of Adventists to the question, by a pamphlet on the subject, dated February 13, 1845. After showing the claims of the Bible Sabbath, and the fact that it was changed to Sunday by the Papacy, he said; "Thus we see Dan. vii, 25, fulfilled, the little horn changing times and laws. Therefore it appears to me that all who keep the first day for the Sabbath, are the Pope's Sundaykeepers, and God's Sabbath-breakers." But Elder Preble, not seeing the Sabbath reform under the message of the third angel, and that in the ripening of the harvest of the earth, the Sabbath was to be a test, con
tinued his ministerial labors in connection with those who bitterly opposed it. He soon lost his interest in the subject, and has since become one of its bitterest opposers. The same is true of Elder J. B. Cook, and a few other Advent ministers, who at a later point of time, embraced the Sabbath and abandoned it. Elder Preble had, however, called the attention of Adventists to this subject, and several in different parts of New England embraced the Sabbath, whose interest in it did not prove as transient as his had been.
In 1845, Elder Joseph Bates, then of Fairhaven, Mass., began to teach the Sabbath of the Bible, and several in Massachusetts, and Maine, embraced it as the fruit of his labors. He wrote and circulated gratuitously a small work upon the subject. By reading this little pamphlet, I was established upon the Sabbath, and began to teach it. This little work reached several in Connecticut, and with Bro. Bates' personal labors, brought over to the Sabbath a number in western New York and different parts of New England.
But these were generally the poor of this world, and the very few among them who had means, did not realize that on them rested the responsibility of sending the truth to others. Hence the cause moved slowly.
In the autumn of 1847, Bro. Bates sat down to write a work of more than one hundred pages, with only a York shilling at his command. And I was chopping cord-wood for my daily bread for the support of my little family, where I could earn but fifty cents a day. We two were alone in publicly teaching the Sabbath. Under such circumstances we could do but little in the cause. I state these things to show the reader the humble manner in which this cause commenced, and the sacrifices then made to spread the truth.