Originally Entitled: "I saw, for the first time, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God"
Just discovered this wonderful testimony from the Adventist Archives. It was sent as a letter to the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald and published in the November 3, 1868 issue.
It was a blessing to see the spiritual progress of a dear soul as they began to understand the truths they were learning from Scripture and through the Advent movement. What struck me is a marvelous declaration as the writer shares the key to seeing Jesus Christ as the Son of God. I believe this is something we could all benefit from as the simplicity of the key still holds true today.
The simple truth did not come without cost, as you will see what I've highlighted near the end of the letter. Many of us face the same things today and we stand with this precious voice from the past entreating your prayers.
IN the fore part of 1842, two small tracts fell into my hands; one by Wm. Miller, of Low Hampton, N. Y., the other by Lewis H. Hersey, Boston, Mass. Both contained the same startling declaration, that the twenty-three hundred days, of the prophecy of Daniel, ended in 1843. I read, and believed. The Midnight Cry fell into my hands in the same manner. I took, and read it until it ceased to be published.
In 1844 I attended a meeting at MoConnelsville, Ohio, where I heard Wm. Miller, J. V, Himes, and others, lecture on the first angel's message. After that I was a reader of the Advent Herald until 1860. I knew not what was going on outside of the Advent Herald; although I was aware of something being said on the Sabbath question; but the editor of that paper calmed the waves so nicely that I only saw a gentle ripple.
In 1844, I got possession of the works of Elds. French, Fitch, and Storrs, on the Life and Death question. I read, and saw that man had no immortality by creation, or, at least, he lost all claim to it at the fall.
In 1857, I heard of Advent papers, issued at Battle Creek, Mich., and saw a small tract claiming the seventh, day to be the Sabbath. This I was disposed to believe, but I had grown cold, and was almost lost in the cares of the world. But it pleased the Lord to trouble me, and that tribulation compelled me to visit Iowa City, where I met with Seventh-day Adventists who gave me their books to read. Among these was a work on the sanctuary, and twenty-three hundred days of Daniel. I examined it, and believed the truth set forth. The fact is, I had only given my assent to the teaching that the earth was the sanctuary; for I considered the argument very weak. Then I read, to my astonishment, that the earth was to roll on in silence for one thousand years after the second coming of the Lord Jesus. This was just what I needed; for the idea of the wicked dead rising out of the new earth was irreconcilable with the views I had imbibed of the destiny of the unjust.
Then I read, and saw that the two-horned beast, of Rev. xiii, was the symbol of the United States. This I had no trouble in believing, as the testimony was clear, and besides this, I had never fully subscribed to any of the conflicting theories that the two-horned beast was the Roman Hierarchy—the Eastern Empire of Greece and Turkey, or that it was France and Italy under Napoleon the first.
Then I saw the claims of the fourth commandment, and commenced keeping the Sabbath, August, 1861. Then the errors of the trinity were dispelled, and I saw, for the first time, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Then the law of God, as a basis of both the old and new covenants, the cause and nature of conviction, of repentance, of conversion, the atonement, the seal of the living God, the new birth, etc., came in like floods of light. Praise God, O my soul, for such heavenly wisdom.
Then the visions of Sr. White were handed to me, and I read a few chapters, but did not commit myself, as I read with indifference. But some months after, I read Spiritual Gifts, and Testimonies for the Church, with care, and found my mind filled with solemnity; for I believed they were dictated by the Spirit of truth.
Then the health reform was presented, and I saw the necessity of taking hold of it. I had lectured on temperance, and given my voice against the use of tobacco, in 1840; but I concluded that the story was only half told, as I saw there was more intemperance in eating than in drinking. But the great trial with me was to quit the use of coffee. It was the only stimulant I used, and to give it up was almost like taking off my right arm, and I am not yet free from its temptations.
Then to obey the second angel's message required some courage; for I had united with the church when a student, in New York City, and to separate from my kind brethren in the West, was making some sacrifice.
And now, in reviewing my past life, I am astonished at the goodness and mercy of God toward me, at my conversion, the glorious truths of the three angels' messages, Spiritual Gifts, the health reform, &o. What do I owe to him? Eternal obedience to his law and the sayings of Jesus. But to overcome appears, at times, almost too great a task; for I am so weak, so vile, compared with the requirements of God's holy law. I am sad and weary, having been so long alone, surrounded by scoffers and persecutors. The only Seventh-day Advent messengers I ever heard were Elds. Snook and Brinkerhoff, and where are they?
Brethren and sisters, please remember me in your prayers. It is the first time I ever asked you, this being my first communication for the REVIEW.
Yours striving to overcome.