The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress


Chapter 10 — The Midnight Cry

“AT midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.” 1 GSAM 160.1

We have already spoken of the tarrying time brought to view in this parable of the “ten virgins,” and will now give special attention to that part of it introduced in the above text, designated by the Adventist people as the “midnight cry.” A prominent writer upon this subject, in a periodical called the Midnight Cry, Oct. 3, 1844, says:— GSAM 160.2

“But how came we into this tarrying night? Because we commenced the vision [the vision of the twenty-three hundred days] in the spring, instead of the fall, 457 B.C. We fell short of reaching the destined port six months and a few days over. It threw us into the tarrying night, six months.” GSAM 160.3

Another writer, S. S. Snow, in the Cry of Aug. 22, 1844, speaking of the twenty-three hundred days, said:— GSAM 160.4

“They began at the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem. The decree was made at the first by Cyrus, renewed by Darius, and completed by Artaxerxes Longimanus in the seventh year of his reign. It was promulgated and went into effect in the autumn of the year B.C. 457, when Ezra, having arrived at Jerusalem by the good hand of the Lord, restored the Jewish commonwealth, appointed magistrates and judges, and commenced the building of the wall.” 2 GSAM 160.5

As the time of the vision was twenty-three hundred full years, it would require all of 457 and all of 1843 to make twenty-three hundred, and if the decree did not go forth until the seventh month of 457 B.C., it was taught that the period would not end until the seventh month of 1844. As the observance of the tenth day of the seventh month seemed to be the event which marked the beginning of the period, so it was shown conclusively that on the tenth day of the seventh month (Jewish time), Oct. 22, 1844, the twenty-three hundred days would end, and the time come for the sanctuary to be cleansed. All the evidence used for the close of the period in 1843 applied with equal force to the reckoning for 1844, and with it an assurance that they had discovered what seemed a certain solution of the cause of their disappointment. The manner in which the Adventists proclaimed the “true midnight cry,” as it was then denominated, cannot be better illustrated than by quoting from the writings of those who were prominently engaged in the work at that time. GSAM 160.6