"Midnight Cry" (Millerite) and "History of 2nd Advent Message" online

by cabasilas 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cabasilas

    I don't know if others have mentioned this or not before. These are sources that I've wanted to read for quite awhile and I've discovered they are online via Loma Linda University.

    The Midnight Cry (Millerite paper from the 1840s) 26 issues up online in pdf:


    History of the Second Advent Message by Wellcome (Advent Christian Church), published 1874 in djvu format:


    George Storrs was very involved in the 1844 Millerite movement. I've noticed his name in one of the Midnight Cry issues so far.

    Wellcome is an Advent Christian resource which should give us more about Storrs and others who influenced Russell.

    Some great resources for history researchers!

  • cabasilas

    At another SDA site the earlier "Signs of the Times" (1840-1841) is also online:


    These are in djvu format so you have to have that plug in to read them. Anyone know if there's an easy way to convert them to pdf?

  • stev

    Wellcome's book gives a good feel for what the Second Adventists were like around 1874. Barbour is mentioned in the book, and the 1873 time movement that he was associated with. I think Jonas Wendell is mentioned too.

    The passage of time since the book was written shows the folly of the attempts to predict the date of Christ's return. The Miller Movement was based on such predictions, and unfortunately the Second Adventists could not give up the practice. It appears to be addictive.

    Storrs was one of the leaders in the Miller Movement, and was one of most outspoken preachers in favor of the 1844 date. When it passed unfulfilled, he abandoned it, and denied that God was in the movement. After that he was opposed to definite time (that the date of Christ's return could be known), although he continued to be interested in prophecy. He was inclined to accept the Great Pyramid as being a prophetic indicator.

    But it is interesting that he opposed Barbour/Russell in their belief that Christ had come invisibly in 1874, and that the rapture would occur in 1878. He stated this opinion in his magazine The Bible Examiner, which can found on the internet somewhere. Although Russell acknowledged Storrs as an influence, and Storrs acknowledged Russell as a friend, they did not agree on this. Storrs' earlier experience of disillusionment and perhaps guilt must have been very intense and no doubt played a big part in writing against Barbour/Russell. Russell must have been familiar with Storrs' background and Millerite prominence.

    Unfortunately they did not heed Storrs' warning, and Russell and his followers were doomed to repeat the mistakes of the Miller Movement.

  • Leolaia

    I'm not able to get Wellcome's book...it's an empty file.

    Interesting that a SDA church institution has their early (potentially embarassing) newspapers online. Contrasts nicely with the very secretive way the WTS tries to keep its early stuff offline and out of reach.

  • DannyHaszard

    Love the thread title! I have always felt that the JW Millerite 'mutation' spin-off was more compelling evidence against Watchtower claims to purity than 607 vs. 587 debates

    When i saw this clip from the HISTORY channel i gasped in horror!

    The Millerites: Armageddon (History Channel)

    modem (low bandwidth) version

    DSl/Cable (high bandwidth) version

  • cabasilas

    I can read Wellcome's book but cannot seem to download it or save it to my computer. Anyone know what the trick is?

  • cabasilas

    Storrs' reviews of "The Three Worlds," "The Herald of the Morning" and "The Object and Manner of our Lord's Return" can be found at:


    Storrs rejected the idea of time-setting and the idea that Christ was now present invisbly. He does call Russell "a dear friend."

  • stev

    The Herald website is to be commended for putting so much of the Adventist/early Bible student/Russell documents online.

    The SDA still keep the 1844 date, hence their historical interest in the Miller Movement. There are two books by the SDA that are great religious history books. One is the Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, 4 volumes, and the other is The Conditionalist Faith of our Fathers. Storrs in mentioned in both, and , as I recall, C. T. Russell is mentioned in the latter.

    The Russell/Adventist connection got lost. In the early years of the WT, there were references to other Adventist magazines, through the 1880s, and some of the letters printed were from Adventists or former Adventists. John Paton, a former Advent Christian minister and associate of Barbour and a contributor to the WT and author of Day Dawn, parted company with Russell around 1882, and founded his own paper. But they engaged in a paper war that lasted through the 1880s. They likely shared readers between them. The group was very small yet. Gradually the Adventist connections and tone of the early WT faded away. By the 1900s Russell and the WT had a broader focus and was reaching out to a mainstream audience. Although Russell referred to Stetson and Storrs, he did not label them Adventists. He credited Adventist preacher Jonas Wendell with restoring his faith in the Bible, but only mentions one chance meeting. Most importantly, he denied learning a single truth from the Adventists. And he denied that he ever was an Adventist. The JWs lost track of Russell. It is only in the last few decades that we can retrace these roots.

    It is likely that Russell continued to have some association with the Advent Christian church in the Pittsburgh area after his initial encounter with Wendell. Stetson was the preacher there in 1871-1873 and this must have been when he influenced Russell in his beliefs, and Russell must certainly would have gone to hear him preach. Russell wrote about the disappointment of the 1873 time movement which he did not espouse at the time, so he must have had some acquaintance with them. Wendell in 1870 had written a book of proofs for the Second Advent in 1873, and Russell wrote that he was acquainted with the proofs, because in 1876 when he read Barbour's proofs, he recognized them. If Russell had no acquaintance with Adventists after his first meeting with Wendell, how did he know this?

    A likely scenario: the Adventists located in Pittsburgh/Allegheny were themselves divided on issues and had an uneasy relationship, sometimes meeting together, and other times not. There are hints that there was a division among them, and a reunion under Stetson. At some point Russell parted company, whether after Stetson left in 1873, or with his assocation with Barbour in 1876. The disagreements that Russell mentions that he had with the Adventists could reflect the issues of disagreement among different camps of the Adventists there. Wendell likely gained followers to the 1873 time movement in Pittsburgh. Stetson appears not to have followed this. Stetson preached age-to-come views, and preached a view of restitution similar to Storrs. The Adventists were divided on this subject. Russell rejected the 1873 movement because they expected the burning of the world, instead of a change of dispensation, allowing the living at the time to live into the kingdom.

    Another issue could have been the name. Some of the notices of the church say that it was an Advent Christian Church, a denominational name. But other notices, with Stetson, give the Church of God. Stetson's Advent Christian Church in Norwalk, Ohio was also called the Church of God. This might reflect that Adventists divided into two groups, maybe one meeting in Pittsburgh, and other in Allegheny.

    So Russell's disagreements with the Second Adventists really are issues of controversy among the Adventists at that time, and shows that he fit into the post-Millerite Adventist milieu, whether he called himself an Adventist or not. Many others also refused the label.

    BTW, Russell's true roots are in the Adventists, and not in anything Mason/occultist/Satanic. The Great Pyramid can be found in several Adventist papers. Direct historical connections can be traced between Russell and the Adventists, unlike much of what is found on the internet, which is based on unsubstantiated speculation.

Share this