Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists



In many places where the power of the clergy was exercised to prevent the preaching of the advent truth, the Lord was pleased to send the message through little children. As they were under age, the law of the State could not restrain them, and they were permitted to speak freely and unmolested. Thus the warning of the soon-coming Judgment was given to the people. This continued about nine months. After that, the influence upon the children was declared by the authorities to be a disease, and some of them were taken to the hospitals; but their mouths were not stopped; for they preached as long as God chose to use them as witnesses. HS 205.4

The movement began in the fall of 1842, and continued through the winter of 1843. An eye witness, speaking of the work accomplished through these children, says: “The weather was providentially very favorable that winter. There was little snow, but the marshes, lakes, and rivers were frozen over so that they could be used as a high-road, and the people went in masses to the places where these child-preachers were, who were mostly poor cottagers. A little girl began preaching but a few miles from the place were I lived, and as the news of the wonderful movement was noised about, I went with my wife to see and hear for myself. When we arrived at the cottage, it was filled with people. The child, who was six or eight years old, moved around among them, and they asked her questions, which she answered as a child usually does. The people flocked together, till the house was surrounded by a great number. When the last had arrived, her manner changed entirely, both in boldness and movements, clearly indicating that she was moved by an invisible power, and not by her own natural gifts. When she commenced speaking, her voice also changed. She said, ‘Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come.’ She reproved sins, such as drinking, theft, adultery, swearing, and backbiting, and also reproved churchgoers for attending church with worldly business in view, instead of listening to God's word and conforming their lives to it. Her voice and words were impressive. Many were weeping and sighing. They were told that time was given them to repent, but they must do it immediately, and not put it off. HS 205.5

“We went home with stricken and trembling hearts. I felt that I must take my Bible, which I thought I had carefully studied, and search it yet deeper. I could hardly work the following week. My thoughts were constantly running on God's word, and the sharp reproofs and expositions I had heard from that little child, who probably had not even learned to read. HS 206.1

“A great awakening commenced among the people. Many drunkards became sober men; thieves returned stolen property, and confessed their sins; forgiveness was asked for wrongs done. A work was accomplished such as no preacher with learning and great talent could have effected.” HS 206.2

“A girl who resided in Ljung Parish continued also to preach as long as the first angel's message was proclaimed. When that ceased, she was imbued with a spirit of prayer, and often went out into the woods and other solitary places, and these earnestly besought the Lord to have mercy on the fallen race of humanity. She was very quiet and reserved, and showed by her Christian walk and conversation that she loved the Saviour, and was trying to live in obedience to God's holy requirements.” HS 206.3

Years ago, the work of the first message in these countries was presented before me, and I was shown circumstances similar to those related above. It was God's will that the tidings of the Saviour's coming should be given in Sweden, and when the voices of his servants were silenced, he put his Spirit upon the children, that the work might be accomplished. When Jesus drew near to Jerusalem attended by the rejoicing multitudes who with shouts of triumph and the waving of palm branches heralded him as the Son of David, the jealous Pharisees called upon him to silence them; but Jesus answered that all this was the fulfillment of prophecy, and if these should hold their peace the very stones would cry out. The people, intimidated by the threats of the priests and rulers, ceased their joyful proclamation as they entered the gates of Jerusalem; but the children in the temple courts afterward took up the refrain, and, waving their branches of palm, they cried, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” When the Pharisees, sorely displeased, said unto him, “Hearest thou what these say?” Jesus answered, “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” As God wrought through children in Christ's day, so he wrought through them in giving the first message. God's word must be fulfilled, that the proclamation of Christ's advent near should be given to all peoples, tongues, and nations. HS 206.4

God speaks to nations and to cities, sending them messages of mercy, which, if accepted, would save them from great calamities. If they would be guided by his voice, he would be their protector, their front guard and their rear ward. But like the Jews they know not the time of their visitation. In their pride of heart they refuse his guidance, and are left to walk in their own counsels, and, like God's ancient people, to reap the harvest which they have sown. HS 206.5