[Bates’ Pamphlet #2] Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps



A Proclamation of the everlasting Gospel! John in vision says, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every creature, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.” 14:6,7. Now every one knows, or must see, that this angel symbolizes messengers or teachers preaching the everlasting gospel just before the judgment; for the next angel that follows announces the fall of Babylon just before the end of time. Furthermore, invisible angels have never been known to preach to men. Respecting ‘the hour of God’s judgment is come,’ there must be order and time, for God in his judicial character to decide the cases of all the righteous, that their names may be registered in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and they be fully prepared for that eventful moment of their change from mortal to immortality. BP2 48.3

Respecting the time and order of this everlasting gospel, Jesus has given the same view in the 24th ch. of Matthew, his answer to his disciples respecting his coming and the end of the world, (or as Campbell translates it, ‘the conclusion of this state,’) he says in 14 v., “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.” What end? See Campbell’s translation. “And these good tidings of the reign shall be published through all the world for the information of all nations, and then shall come the end,” or as he said in the 3v., “the conclusion of this state,” the closing of the gospel dispensation. It is clear that it is not the same in time that Paul speaks of in A. D. 64 to the Col. that this gospel had then been “preached to every creature under heaven.” Now at the hour of God’s judgment it is to be published only to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, and not as it had been to “every creature under heaven.” BP2 49.1

Without pursuing the subject any farther, we say the only clear understanding of this proclamation at the hour of God’s judgment in Rev., is the preaching of the Second Advent, and the reign of Christ in the new heavens and new earth, and that the angel that John saw represents messengers delivering a message with a loud voice (that the sound may be heard throughout all these nations,) was William Miller, of Low Hampton, N. Y., and all others who believed and honestly taught the same doctrine, and that this doctrine has been published, by books and preaching, to every nation under heaven, is clear, and not now disputed; and that I have given what all Advent believers admit and teach is the clear understanding of the text. Is it possible for any one to show that this proclamation in the text has ever been published to every nation and kindred under heaven since the days of the Apostles. I think history will be searched in vain for it, and if it has not been faithfully given since 1840, then I think it cannot through the instrumentality of man. Then if, as we have shown, this prophecy is fulfilled, it never can occur again. That it is done I have not the shadow of a doubt. BP2 49.2

The commencing of the way. Father Miller says his first lecture on the Second Advent was in August, 1833. Advent Shield, page 57, says, “His first course of lectures in Chardon Street Chapel, Boston, constituted altogether a new era in the history of Adventism.” This was in the winter of 1840. In March following the first paper was issued by J. V. Himes, called the SIGNS OF THE TIMES, relating to the second coming of Christ. By this means the subject was made public throughout the land. BP2 49.3

October 14 same year the first Second Advent Conference convened in Boston, at the close of which they sent out their first circular to the world. Before the close of the memorable year 1840 this glorious doctrine of our coming Lord was fairly under way. The flying angel or messengers now began to move from the very same quarter of the Globe where, sixty years before, the sun was darkened and the moon refused her light, to issue the Proclamation of the reign of Christ and give the world their last warning. BP2 50.1

To show how this glorious work was progressing, I will make an extract from two letters published in the Signs of the Times, April 15th, 1840. The first is from the pen of Elder D. Millard, Portsmouth, N.H.; he says: “On the 23rd of January brother William Miller came into town and commenced a course of lectures in our chapel on the second coming of Christ. During the nine days he remained, crowds flocked to hear him. Before he concluded his lectures a large number of anxious souls came forward for prayers. Our meetings continued every day and evening for a length of time after he left. Such an intense state of feeling as now pervaded our congregation, we never witnessed before in any place. Not unfrequently from sixty to eighty would come forward for prayers in an evening. Such an awful spirit of solemnity seemed to settle down on the place, that hard must be the sinner’s heart that could withstand it. All was order and solemnity. Generally as soon as souls found deliverance, they were ready to proclaim it, and exhort their friends in the most moving language to come to the fountain of life. Our meetings thus continued on evenings for six weeks. For weeks together the ringing of bells for daily meetings rendered our town like a continual Sabbath. Indeed such a season of revival was never before witnessed in Portsmouth, by the oldest inhabitant. It would be difficult at present to ascertain the exact number of conversions in town. It is variously estimated at from 500 to 700. Never while I linger on the shore of mortality, do I expect to enjoy more of heaven than we have in some of our late meetings, and on baptizing occasions. At the water side thousands would gather to witness this solemn institution, and many would return from the place weeping. BP2 50.2

The second letter is from Elder Fleming of Portland. “Things here are moving here powerfully. Last evening about 200 requested prayers, and the interest seems constantly increasing. The whole city seems to be agitated. Br. Miller’s lectures have not the least effect to affright; they are far from it. The great alarm is among those that did not come near. But those who candidly heard are far from excitement and alarm. The interest awakened by the lectures is of the most deliberate kind, and though it is the greatest revival I ever saw, yet there is the least passionate excitement. It seems to take the greatest hold on the male part of the community. What produces the effect is this - Br. Miller simply takes the sword of the spirit, unsheathed and naked, and lays its sharp edge on the naked heart, and it cuts!! that is all. Before the edge of this mighty weapon Infidelity falls and Universalism withers. False foundations vanish, and babel’s merchants wonder. It seems to me that this must be a little the nearest like Apostolic revivals of any thing modern times have witnessed.” April 6th he writes again, - “There has probably never been so much religious interest among the inhabitants of this place generally, as at present; and Mr. Miller must be regarded directly as the instrument, although many no doubt will deny it; as some are very unwilling to admit that a good work of God can follow his labors; and yet we have the most indubitable evidence that this is the work of the Lord. At some of our meetings since Br. M. left, as many as 250, it has been estimated, have expressed a desire for religion, by coming forward for prayers; and probably between one and two hundred have professed conversion at our meetings; and now the fire is being kindled through this whole city, and all the adjacent country. A number of Rumsellers have turned their shops into meeting rooms, and those places that were once devoted to intemperance and revelry, are now devoted to prayer and praise. Infidels, Deists, Universalists, and the most abandoned profligates have been converted. Prayer meetings have been established in every part of the city by the different denominations, or by individuals, and at almost every hour - I was conducted into a room over one of the banks, where I found from thirty to forty men of different denominations, engaged with one accord in prayer, at eleven o’clock in the day time! In short it would be almost impossible to give an adequate idea of the interest now felt in this city. One of the principal booksellers informed me that he had sold more bibles in one month, since Br. Miller came here, than he had in any four months previous.” BP2 51.1

We might go on multiplying accounts of the like nature from other places if it were necessary; but we think this will suffice to convince the honest hearted. BP2 52.1

The Second Conference was another glorious gathering, in the city of Lowell, June 15 - 17, 1841. This was another time of deep interest, and gave a new impulse to the cause here. Br. J. Litch gave the history of the Ottoman empire, which closed up the sounding of the sixth angel and second woe, as he had stated would take place on the eleventh day of August, 1840, some two years previous, by calculating the prophetical numbers in 9 chap. of Revelation. The attention of most all classes had been turned to the proceedings in the East, to see if this prediction would be fulfilled. Here then was where the flying messengers began to make their message tell! and faith in the Advent was much strengthened, and the believer’s ranks hourly increasing. In the spring of this year, Father Miller, Elder J. V. Himes, and Elder Cole, visited the southern part of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In Fairhaven and New Bedford the subject had been previously presented, but now it seemed to be fanned up to a flame that the luke warm and cold hearted professors could not withstand. The clergy were called upon to hold a meeting to canvass this subject. A large majority of them met and organized; read and prayed, and undertook to examine the visions of Daniel. Adjourned for further consideration; reassembled the next day; and closed their convention by giving the vision to a dead man, even Antiochus Epiphanes. “And so they wrapt up the matter.” Opposition from various quarters began to rise; but the cause was hourly increasing and spreading through the land among the honest and faithful. - In October the third conference was held in Portland, Me. Here a new impulse was given to the cause in that section of the country. Conferences were held in other places during the winter particularly in New York city, Ct., N. H., Vt., etc. BP2 52.2

In May, 1842, a general conference was again convened in Boston, Mass. At the opening of this meeting Br. Chs. Fitch and A. Hale of Haverhill, presented us the Visions of Daniel and John which they had painted on cloth, with the prophetic numbers and ending of the vision, which they called a chart. Br. F., in explaining the subject said in substance as follows: he had been turning it over in his mind, and felt that if something of this kind could be done, it would simplify the subject, and make it much easier for him to present it to the people. Here new light seemed to spring up. These brethren had fulfilled a prophecy given by Hab. 2468 years before, where it says, “And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” This thing now became so plain to all, that it was unanimously voted to have three hundred of these charts lithographed forthwith, that those who felt the message may read and run with it. A camp meeting also was appointed for the first time, and convened the last week in June, at East Kingston, N. H., where an immense multitude assembled to hear the glad tidings of the reign of Christ. Now - to use a figure - the Advent ship was making such rapid onward progress under her cloud of well trimmed sails, that all the opposition of currents and adverse winds, (traditions of men) could not check her career. Camp meetings and conferences were being multiplied throughout the middle and northern States and Canada, and the flying angels or messengers of this “judgment hour cry” were seen moving, with all the speed of locomotives, on railroads and in steamboats, passing from place to place, “saying with a loud voice, the hour of his judgment is come.” Here too, God, “looking down from the height of his sanctuary,” fulfilled his promise, and multiplied earthquakes in divers places, and fearful sights, and great signs in the heavens. Also, as said the Apostle Peter, they should prophecy, dream dreams, and see visions. I believe it was generally admitted on all hands, that history had never recorded the like within the compass of so few years, since the days of the first Advent. Who among the many thousands that crowded to the camp and great tent meetings about this time, at East Kingston, Littleton, Taunton, Salem, etc., does not distinctly remember the crowded steamboats, the overflowing cars, the jammed stage coaches, and almost all kinds of travelling vehicles, filled with men women and children; besides foot passengers crossing and re-crossing from every cross road, and almost every by-path, pressing into the great thoroughfares, all making their way to or from the Second Advent campground; many of them probably to gratify their vain curiosity, while thousands of others were filled with anxiety to learn the truth of this (said to be) new doctrine, by listening to these flying messengers of God, who were “saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come,” in other words, “the end of all things is at hand.” We believe that Christ will come in 1843. It was also called the “midnight cry.” And who does not also remember the thousands of happy converts to this glorious doctrine, who began immediately to purify themselves (as said the angel Gabriel) by breaking off from all their sins and turning to God, so that not only on the camp ground, but from the highways, stages, steamboats and rail cars, the songs of “Alleluia” to the Lamb, and shoutings to the most high God, resounded and filled the air as we passed along. - Were these people mad or crazy? Why were they not afraid or ashamed so to disturb their fellow passengers, who had paid their fare for quiet and respectable accommodations? Because they believed the Message was true. It said “fear God and give glory to him,” and as they obeyed, the fear of man departed. Some said we were crazy - but we heeded them not. Many say we are not only crazy, but fools, for the position we have taken, since the time past - but this does not trouble us much. We believe this will soon be tested, and we fear not the result. How was it that the city authorities, and the railroad directors at the Salem depot allowed so many hundreds of these crazy fanatics to fill up their buildings and re-commence their meeting, in shouting and praising the Lord, for about two hours, while waiting for the cars that had been detained on the track? One reason no doubt was they did not see that we were so much out of the way, as they were reaping such a rich harvest from our fare; and another perhaps more powerful reason was, that they were convicted of the truth of this doctrine. For according to accounts from there soon after, it appeared that the whole city was shaken by the power of these truths. Here I might go on and multiply facts of a similar nature in various places, but my limits will not admit of it. BP2 52.3

Laborers now began to cross the great Atlantic to sound the cry. A paper was now established in New York called the “Midnight Cry.” As 1843 was ushered in the cause seemed to move forward with redoubled energy. It might well be said the virgins now took their lamps (bible) and went forth to meet the Bridegroom. Do not forget this literal fulfillment. Hardly an Advent believer in their camp and conference meetings, but what was furnished with a bible, to give them light. BP2 54.1

As it is not my object to enlarge this work, I would again refer the reader to the Advent Shield for information respecting the many interesting events, scenes and disappointments, in the passing of times, and so forth, down to the end of the Jewish year 1843. BP2 54.2

Before the close of this memorable year, conferences were appointed to be held in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and finally Washington city to re-arouse and give the last warning, and if possible, wake up and warn the household of Caesar! This was a season of thrilling interest to all who truly loved the Second Advent doctrine. Br. G. and myself passed through these cities down into the slaveholding States, where we found a great number of white people ready and anxious to hear the doctrine. But the poor slaves feasted upon it, especially when they learned that the Jubilee was so near at hand. They seemed to drink it down as the ox drinks water, and from what I have since heard, I believe that many of them will be ready when Jesus comes. As we passed on from county to county holding meetings, I one evening observed one of my hearers very uneasy. He came and got hold of me after we had closed the meeting, and says, you must go home with me. I introduced him to Br. Gurney, my companion. He said we must both go. After we were in his coach underway for his plantation, he asked his wife if she remembered the dream which he related to her a few mornings since. She said yes. Well, said he, these are the two angels which I saw in that dream. Said he, while I was listening to your discourse, I thought I had seen you before: I now remembered my dream of seeing two angels, that had come with good news, or something to this amount, and much more that I don’t now remember. - Your countenance and sallow complexion and mark (mole) on your cheek, are clear and distinct. This so impressed his mind and his neighbor’s also, to whom he related the dream and the message which we had delivered in five lectures, that we were earnestly entreated to stop and give them more light on this absorbing subject. We could not, for our appointments were ahead. What gratified us much was, he gave his coachman orders for all hands (his slaves) to go to the meeting. This was just the thing we wanted, for we had ere this learned that the great burden of our message was to the down trodden and oppressed slave, and we trust some will be found there on the rock when Jesus comes. BP2 55.1

When we had closed our lectures here, the coach of Mr. H. was ready to convey us some 25 miles to our next appointment. He related his dream to his friends on the way and where we arrived, and said at parting, “I would be willing to sacrifice all the property I have if I could be in your situation.” God grant he may be saved, with all that are willing to make the like sacrifice. BP2 55.2

As I have quoted Peter on this subject to prove that these things would be in the last days, I will just give one instance more out of the thousands that could be named of others, indifferent places, during this loud cry. For some days my mind had been burdened to go with this message to Block Island, some thirty miles at sea from Newport, R. I. Objections and entreaties were thrown in my way, as in the case just mentioned, that the slaveholders would kill me because I was an abolitionist. Now there was no way for me to go in the dead of winter, and I never had been there; I was an entire stranger, and what did I expect to do? I said, God knows best. This I know. I have got to go. Finally all objections were removed. If God had directed it was of course my duty. Through much anxiety and difficulty, mingled with joy and satisfaction, I at length reached there on Sunday, (not the Sabbath) I met the Minister and people coming from the forenoon meeting. After making myself known to the Minister, he introduced me to the Deacon. He said to his companion, (as it was soon afterward told,) that is the man I saw in my dream, I think he said night before last. He came from here from the east to bring us news, or good news. The Justice of the peace pressed me to call and see him. I did so, and at the time I had in my hand an unbound book. He seemed somewhat agitated, and wanted to know the contents of the book, and if I would not let him have it. Said he, in my dream the other night, I saw a man here from the east with good news; he held a letter in his hand, and I thought there was fifty dollars in it for me. A few evenings after this, to the astonishment of his neighbors he heartily confessed his opposition, came over on the side of truth, related his conviction for sin, his singular dream, and conversion. Said he, my dream is interpreted: instead of fifty dollars in that letter, (I had been reading some extracts from Litch’s Prophetic expressions) I have received that which is far beyond it, (or to this effect,) and that’s the man I saw. From another neighborhood here, a woman related her dream about the chart, which had not been known here, described is hung up over the pulpit; as the house was constructed, this was the only place we could hang it to explain from. Now I ask, were these dreams from God or the Devil, judge ye? One thing I know, that I never had such a peculiar burden for any other place I visited during this loud cry, as these two, and I returned perfectly free and joyful, satisfied in my own mind that I had obeyed the Lord, and all that was done would result to his cause. “To him be all the glory, Amen.” BP2 56.1

All attention was now called to the long looked for period, the end of the Jewish year, viz, the 17th of April, 1844. We had rallied down to this point buoyant with hope and expectation, bible in hand, (our lamps) to meet the bridegroom, expecting certainly that “the Lord himself would descend from heaven with a shout, and Daniel with all the just would stand in their lot.” Here we were sadly disappointed. But the world was glad, and said to us, “You see now what we told you - we were right. You thought you knew more than your neighbors. Now go and make your confession, and be reinstated in your former position.” Though we could not see the meaning of our disappointed hopes, the response to our prayers was, God will justify his word, it will “not return to him void.” And this word said, “Light is sown for the righteous,” (Proverbs 2:7,) and our minds were made up to wait for it. Our reply was, never! Go back to what? darkness, confusion, Babylon! No, no. We have experienced too much of the power and glory of God, to yield this “waymark in our pathway”. If there is no other difference to be seen, one mark is sure; we have been honest, and you have not. BP2 57.1

At this important crisis the “Advent Shield” was published, reviewing all the past, especially the prophetic chronology, showing positively that our waymark was sure. BP2 57.2

Now see page 87. “We look upon the proclamation which has been made, as being the cry of the angel who proclaimed, “The hour of his judgment is come.” (Revelation 14:6-7.) It is a sound which is to reach all nations; it is the proclamation of the everlasting gospel. In one shape or other this cry has gone abroad through the earth, wherever human beings are found, and we have had opportunity to hear of the fact. The story for instance, which was started by the New York Sun, that Mr. Miller had fixed on the 23rd of April, 1843 as the time for Christ to come. - There was scarcely a place known, where this report was not heard, and an interest awakened. Again, 92nd page - “No cause of a moral or religious character, probably, ever made so rapid advances, as the cause of Adventism. Its votaries have usually been the most humble, pious, devoted members of the different churches, men and women who love their Lord, and to whom the thought of his glorious advent has been a source of the sweetest pleasure. Never have a set of men labored more faithfully and zealously in the cause of God, or with purer motives. Their record is on high.” BP2 57.3

What shall we say more? What need of multiplying more testimony to prove this point? All advent believers have agreed down to this point. Here then we say is demonstrated our first great waymark with heaps to sustain it. Not heaps of stones, but scripture testimony, proved out in our actual experience, which has so completely blocked up the pathway, that it cannot be retraced but at the utter destruction of the whole man, body, soul and spirit. This brings us to our BP2 58.1