Sabbath, February 10, 2007


1. When was the name “Millerite” used for the first time and by whom?
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.


[William Miller] wrote [in 1832] of a ‘Brother Sawyer’ who had adopted some of his views, but who had ‘not improved so much in Bible knowledge as he might’ because, added Miller, he ‘was afraid of being a Millerite’. Here is the first reference to the idea of converts as followers of a particular man. The word ‘Millerite’ was soon to be heard over the whole land, and was generally employed by the user as a term of contempt.

“We may remark in passing that after the lapse of a hundred years we shall use the term ‘Millerite’ without in any way implying contempt or ridicule, but merely as the simplest way to describe that group of people who believed the preaching of Miller.” –Francis

2. What name for this movement was preferred by some Millerites?
2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

“The editor of The Advent Herald explained that they had ‘no particular objection to being called ‘Millerites,’ the current name applied to us by those who are in the habit of using nicknames, in speaking of their neighbors; but there are many of our number who do not believe with Mr. Miller in several important particulars. It is also his special wish that we should not be distinguished by that appellation.’ [March 20, 1944]. The most exact title or name they could assume, the editor concluded, would be Adventists. The name ‘marks the real ground of difference between us and the great body of our opponents.’” –Francis D. Nichol, The Midnight Cry, pp. 219, 220.


3. Who were the most famous followers of William Miller?
Hebrews 11:32-34 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

• Prominent leaders in the movement: Joshua V. Himes, Henry Jones, Joseph Bates, Silas Hawley, Charles Fitch, and Josiah Litch. –Francis D. Nichol, The Midnight Cry, pp. 187-201.
• Other Millerite spokesmen: George Storrs, Nathaniel Southard, Henry Dana Ward, N. N. Whiting, Joseph Marsh, Samuel S. Snow, James White, Ezekiel Hale, Jr., [Levi S. Stockman], and others. –Francis

4. In what specific activities were some of them involved?
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

• Joshua V. Himes was involved with Abolitionism, a movement to abolish slavery. This movement was developed under the most adverse conditions and bitter opposition. He was also involved in the Non-Resistance Society. –Francis D. Nichol, The Midnight Cry, pp. 187, 188.

• Henry Jones supported the Temperance Society, a society dedicated to fighting the evils of drink. “Temperance was one of the reforms beginning to receive serious attention, and which met with bitter opposition on all sides, including opposition from many of the clergy.” –Francis D. Nichol, The Midnight Cry, p. 190.

• Joseph Bates organized in his town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, the Fairhaven Temperance Society, one of the very first temperance societies formed in America. –Francis D. Nichol, The Midnight Cry, p. 194.


5. Who were the first Seventh-day Adventists?
Isaiah 58:12
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

“As we trace the story of the beginning of Sabbath-keeping among the early Adventists, we go to a little church in the township of Washington in the heart of New Hampshire, the State that adjoins Maine on the east and whose western boundary is within sixty miles of the New York State line. Here the members of an independent Christian church in 1843 heard and accepted the preaching of the Advent message. It was an earnest group. Into their midst came a Seventh Day Baptist, Rachel Oakes, who distributed tracts setting forth the binding claims of the fourth commandment. Some in 1844 saw and accepted this Bible truth. One of their number, William Farnsworth, in a Sunday morning service, stood to his feet and declared that he intended to keep God’s Sabbath of the fourth commandment. A dozen others joined him, taking their stand firmly on all of God’s commandments. They were the first Seventh-day Adventists.” –Early Writings, p. xx.

6. Who was the first minister who accepted the Sabbath?
Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.

“The minister who cared for this church group, Frederick Wheeler, soon accepted the seventh-day Sabbath and was the first Adventist minister to do so.” –Early Writings, p. xx.