The First Report of the General Conference of Christians Expecting the Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ




It is with deep emotion, friends and brethren, I stand before you at this time and on this interesting occasion. The purposes of our meeting are so novel, the objects to be accomplished so grand and vast, and the theme to be discussed and contemplated so glorious, as to inspire the heart with the most sublime and ennobling views and feelings. For we meet from various and distant places, on an occasion such as our own country, if not the world, has never before looked upon. We meet to contemplate our blessed Savior’s glorious advent near. We meet to comfort one another with these words, and to exhort one another, and so much the more as we see the day approaching. FRGC 24.5

The objects to be accomplished by the convocation of this conference, are not to assail others who do not see with us on this momentous subject; not to contend with each other on points of minor importance connected with the doctrine we hold, and on which we do not all see alike as yet; for we have one rallying point on which we are all agreed, viz: That the glorious kingdom and personal appearance and reign of our Savior is at hand, near, even at the door: on this ground we meet and unite. On all other points we think and let think, and hold each one alone responsible for his own sentiments. Nor yet do we meet thinking to hasten or retard the glorious day when Christ shall reign universally; for we are well assured that God, in his time, will show who is the Blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But we meet with the hope- FRGC 24.6

1. Of deepening in our own minds the habitual conviction of the near approach of the day of God, and the importance of constant preparation for the event. FRGC 24.7

2. We hope to do something toward awakening the world generally, but especially the church, to turn their attention to this subject, examine the evidence which now is before the public, and which is every day developing itself, of the kingdom of heaven at hand. FRGC 24.8

3. We meet for the purpose of attempting to embody a series of arguments relative to this subject, and of presenting them to the public for their consideration and instruction. FRGC 24.9

4. And, finally, we meet to drink more into the spirit, to strengthen the bond of union among ourselves, and to devise ways and means for the more rapid spread of this, to us, soul-cheering doctrine of the kingdom near. FRGC 24.10

Those who have called and will be active in the support of the present conference, make no pretension to worldly honors, wealth or fame; but consider it their highest glory and greatest joy, Mary-like, to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn of him who is meek and lowly in heart; for well assured they are, that if they do but rightly understand the kingdom of God, they will, like good house-holders, be able out of God’s treasury of truth to bring forth things new and old, and minister to each one a portion in due season. FRGC 26.1

As it has fallen to the lot of your speaker to address you on the present occasion, your attention is invited to the consideration of the following subject. FRGC 26.2