Joseph Bates 4

Incidents  in My Past Life 37.


Revival at Sea—Arrive in New York—Bethel Ships

 and Meetings Friendless Young Men—Arrival in 

New Bedford—Temperance

Reform— Voyage Ended.

DURING our homeward-bound passage our crew seemed more thoughtful and attentive to the religious instruction we were endeavoring to impart to them. It was evident that the Spirit of  the Lord was at work in our midst. One James S. gave good evidence of a thorough conversion to God, and was very happy during our voyage home. Religion seemed to be his whole theme. One night in his watch on deck while relating to me his experience, said he,

"Don't you remember the first night out on our voyage from home, when you had all hands called aft on the quarter-deck, and gave them rules for the voyage?" "Yes," I replied. "Well, sir, I was then at the helm, and when you finished, and knelt down on the quarter-deck and prayed with us, if at that time you had taken up a handspike and knocked me down at the helm, I should not have felt worse; for I had never seen such a thing before." Thomas B. also professed conversion at that time.

Our passage home was pleasant, with the exception of a heavy gale which troubled us some, but the good Lord delivered us from its overwhelming influence, and we soon after arrived safely in the harbor of New York City. The first news from home was, that my honored father had died some six weeks before my arrival. This was a trying providence for which I was not prepared. He had lived nearly seventy-nine years, and I had always found him in his place at the head of the family after my long voyages, and it seemed to me that I had not one serious thought but what I should see him there again if I lived to return home.

While in the city, I had the pleasure of attending an evening, Bethel prayer-meeting on board a ship lying at the wharf. I enjoyed it very much. Such meetings were then in their infancy, but since that time it is common enough to see the Bethel flag on Sunday morning on board the ships for meeting, on both the east and north sides of the river, for the benefit of sailors and young men that are often wandering about the city without home or friends. Many doubtless have been saved from ruin by the efforts of those engaged in these benevolent institutions, while other homeless ones have been driven to deeds of desperation, or yielded to feelings of despair. The trying experience of my early days made me familiar with such scenes.

On one of my previous voyages I had prevailed on a young man to accompany me to his home in Massachusetts. And while I was in the city this time, as I was passing through the park, among many others whom I saw was a young man seated in the shade, looking very melancholy, quite similar to the one just mentioned, and not far from the same place. I seated myself beside him, and asked him why he appeared so melancholy. At first he hesitated, but soon began to inform me that he was in a destitute state, nothing to do, and nowhere to go. He said his brother had employed him in his apothecary store in the city, but he had recently failed and broken up, and left the city, and that, he was now without home and friends. I asked him where his parents lived. He replied, in Massachusetts.

"My father," said he, "is a Congregationalist preacher, near Boston." I invited him to go on board my vessel and be one of my crew, and I would land him within sixty miles of his home. He readily accepted my offer, and on our arrival in New Bedford, Mass., his father came for him and expressed much gratitude to me for his safe return, and the privilege of again meeting with his son.

On our arrival in New York, my crew, with one exception, chose to remain on board and discharge the cargo, and not have their discharge as was customary on arriving from a foreign port. They preferred also to continue in their stations until we arrived in New Bedford, where the Empress was to proceed, to fit out for another voyage. After discharging our cargo, we sailed and arrived in New Bedford about the 20th of June, 1828 twenty-one years from the time I sailed from thence on my first European voyage in the capacity of a cabin boy.

Some of my men inquired when I was going on another voyage, and expressed a wish to wait for me, and also their satisfaction about the last as being their best voyage. It was some satisfaction to me to know that seaman were susceptible of moral reform on the ocean (as proved in this instance) as well as on the land; and I believe that such reforms can generally be accomplished where the officers are ready and willing to enter into it. It has been argued by too many that sailors continue to addict themselves to so many bad habits that it is about useless to attempt their reform. I think it will be safe to say that the habitual use of intoxicating drink is the most debasing and formidable of all their habits. But if governments, ship owners, and captains, had not always provided it for them on board their war and trading ships, as an article of beverage, then tens of thousands of intelligent and moat enterprising young men would have been saved, and been as great a blessing to their friends, their country and the church, as farmers, doctors, lawyers, and other tradesmen and professional men have been.

Having had some knowledge of these things, I had resolved in the fear of God to attempt a reform, though temperance societies were then in their infancy, and temperance ships unknown. And when I made the announcement at the commencement of our last voyage that there was no intoxicating drink on board, only what pertained to the medicine chest, and one man shouted that he was "glad of it," this lone voice on the ocean in behalf of this work of reform, from a stranger, manifesting his joy because there was no liquor on board to tempt him, was cheering to me, and a strong evidence of

the power of human influence. I believe that he was also deeply affected, and I cannot now recollect that he used it in any way while under my command, nor any of the others, except one Wm. Dunn, whom I had to reprove once or twice during the voyage for drinking while he was on duty on shore.

Then what had been considered so necessary an article to stimulate the sailor in the performance of his duty, proved a great blessing, in our case, by withholding it.

Some time after this voyage, being in company with a ship owner of New Bedford, who was personally interested in fitting out his own ships and storing them with provisions, liquors, and all the necessaries for long voyages, we had been agitating the importance of reform in strong drink, when he observed, " I understand, Captain Bates, that you performed your last voyage without the use of ardent spirits." "Yes sir," I replied. Said he, "Yours is the first temperance vessel I have ever heard of." My brother F. now took command of the Empress, and sailed again for South America, being fitted out to perform the voyage on the principles of temperance, as on her former voyage. During my last voyage I had reflected much on the enjoyments of social life with my family and friends, of which I had deprived myself for so many years; and I desired to be more exclusively engaged to better my condition, and those with whom I should be called to associate, on the subject of religion and moral reform.

Joseph Bates


 Dec. 12, 1861.

IT is easier to do a great deal of mischief

than to do a little good.

Incidents in My Past Life   No. 38.


At Home Religion—Temperance—Farming My

 Promise—Seaman's Friend Society—Missions

 American Tract Society

American Colonization Society Meeting-house—

Religious Revival—Its Effects—Tea and Coffee,

 THE last number closed with the account of my last voyage, leaving me in the enjoyment of the blessings of social life on the land, with my family and friends.

My seafaring life was now finished. I once more esteemed it a great privilege to unite with my brethren in the Christian Church. I also gladly re-engaged in the temperance reform with my former associates, who had been progressing in the work during my absence.

My father in his last will requested that I should unite with my mother in the settlement of his estate. Before the year came round my mother was also removed by death. I now turned my attention to farming, and commenced improving a small farm, which my father had bequeathed me. Through the aid of an agricultural weekly paper, called the New England Farmer, for a theory, and with some of my ready cash, I soon made some perceptible alterations on the farm, but with little or no income.

My companion had often said that she wished I had some way to sustain my family by living at home. I promised her that when I had gained a competency by following the sea, then I would relinquish the business and stay on shore. When asked what I considered a competency, I answered, Ten thousand dollars. After tasting the sweets of the Christian's hope, I found it much easier, with all the opening prospects before me, to say where I would stop in this business, if the Lord prospered me.

I now enjoyed the privilege of reading some of the periodicals of the times, especially those on religion and morals. The sailors'   to be agitated through a periodical called "The Sailor's Magazine." A few friends of the cause came together and we organized the "Fairhaven Seaman's Friend Society." A little pamphlet called "The Missionary Herald," advocating the cause of foreign missions, also enlisted my feelings, and engaged my attention to some extent. My intercourse with what the Herald called the heathen, enabled me to see more clearly their moral and religious wants. I also became much interested in the work of the "American Tract Society," which was organized in Boston, Mass., in the year 1814, and was embracing all the evangelical denominations in the United States. I read with pleasure and helped to circulate many of their tracts on religious subjects and temperance reform; but my interest began to wane when they manifested their unwillingness and determination not to publish any tracts in favor of the down-trodden and oppressed slave in their own land, when they were solicited by antislavery men so to do. It became manifest and clear that their professed unbounded benevolence embraced the whole human race, of all colors and complexion, except those who were suffering under their task-masters, and perishing for lack of religious knowledge within the sound of their voice, in their own churches, and by their firesides. Such inconsistency rests heavily on the managers of the Society.

About this time I began also to read "The African Repository," the organ of the American Colonization Society, organized in the city of Washington, D. C., in the year 1817. The character and tendency of this Society was after this fully set forth by Wm. Jay, of N. Y., in 1835. He says, "Of the seventeen vice-presidents, only five were selected from the free States, while the twelve managers were, it is believed, without one exception, slave-holders.

The first two articles of the constitution are the only ones relating to the Society. They are as follows:" Art. I. This Society shall be called The American Society for colonizing the free people of color of the United States. Art. II. The object to which its attention is to be exclusively directed, is to promote and execute a plan for colonizing (with their consent) the free people of color residing in our country, in Africa, or such other place as Congress shall deem most expedient.

And the Society shall act to effect this object in co-operation with the general government, and such of the States as may adopt regulations on the subject. The subject was new to me, having had but little knowledge of it while following the sea. For a while it appeared that the movers of this work were honest in their declarations respecting the free people of color, and the abolition of slavery from the Union. But when anti-slavery societies began, and were being organized, from 1831 to 1834, it became evidentthat they were the worst enemies of the free people of color, and clearly manifest that they labored to perpetuate slavery in the slave-holding States, and manifested the most bitter opposition to anti-slavery men and measures.

Up to 1832 the Christian church in Fairhaven, with which I had united, had occupied a rented hall, and now began to feel the need of having a house of worship of their own, in a more convenient place.

Four of the brethren united together and built one, which was called " The Washington-street Christian Meeting-house." Soon after it was finished and dedicated we commenced a series of religious meetings, in the which, the Lord graciously answered our prayers and poured out his Spirit upon us, and many souls were converted. The other churches became zealously affected, and the work of God spread throughout the village. For many weeks in succession the church-bells were ringing morning, afternoon, and evening, for preaching, and social meetings. It was thought by those who spoke of it that the whole population of the unconverted, were under the deep movings of God's Holy Spirit.

Our village had been blessed with several revivals before, but I was from home, except during two, the last of which I have just mentioned. The first one was in the year 1807, when the people were immersed in the love and pleasures of the world, and pride of life. The work was wonderful to them, and altogether unexpected. Although we had a stated ministry and regular preaching, it was ascertained that there were but two family altars in the place, viz., at Mr. J.'s, and my father's. I remember that I felt deeply interested in that work, and loved to attend their prayer-meetings, and have often thought that the Lord at that time forgave me my sins, but I, like too many other youth, neglected to tell my feelings to my parents, or any one, feeling that religion was for older ones than myself; and before the revival wholly subsided, my mind was occupied in preparing for my first European voyage.

From the year 1824, when I made my covenant with God, I had lived up to the principles of total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks, but had continued the use of tea and coffee without much conviction about their poisonous and stimulating effects for about seven years longer. With my small stock of knowledge on the subject, I was unwilling to be fairly convicted that these stimulants had any effect on me, until on a social visit with my wife at one of our neighbors, where tea was served us somewhat stronger than our usual habit of drinking. It had such an effect on my whole system that I could not rest nor sleep until after midnight.

I then became fully satisfied (and have never seen cause to change my belief since), that it was the tea I had drank which so affected me. From thence I became convicted of its intoxicating qualities and I discarded the use of it. Soon after this, on the same principle, I discarded the use of coffee, so that now it is about thirty years since I have allowed  myself knowingly to taste of either. If the reader should ask how much I have gained in this matter, I answer that my health is better, my mind is clearer, and my conscience in this respect is void of offense. Sylvester Graham, in his lectures on the science of human life, says: "There is no truth in science more fully ascertained, than that both tea and coffee are among the most powerful poisons of the vegetable kingdom."

Tea is spoken of in the Transylvania Journal of Medicine, as an anodyne, in some cases as truly so as opium. The Encyclopedia Americana says: "The effects of tea on the human system are those of every mild narcotic, taken in small quantities exhilarating." Dr. Combe, in his work on digestion and dietetics, observes that  "when made very strong, or taken in large quantities, especially late in the evening, they (tea and coffee) not only ruin the stomach, but very seriously derange the health of the brain and nervous system."

Joseph Bates

Brady, Kal. Co., Michigan.

 Jan. 21, 1862.

Incidents In My Past Life   No. 39.


Change of Residence. Progress of the

 Temperance Cause—Progress of the Anti-

Slavery Cause—My own Position Mob in Boston,

 Mass. Falling Stars,

I  SOLD my place of residence in the year 1831, and was occupied much of my time in 1832 in  locating my dwelling house and out buildings on my little farm, and was also associated with three of my Christian friends in building the Washington-street meeting-house. In 1831 it was stated that three thousand temperance societies were organized in the United States, with three hundred thousand members. (See Daniel Haskell's Chronological View of the World, p. 247.) Thus in four years or from 1827 temperance societies had progressed from our small beginning in Fairhaven.

Many ships were also adopting the temperance reform. About the close of 1831, and commencement of 1832, anti-slavery societies began to be organized again in the United States, advocating immediate emancipation. As the work progressed, anti-slavery advocates were mal-treated and mobbed in many places where they attempted to organize or hold meetings to plead for the poor oppressed slave; in our land. Colonization societies and their advocates were foremost in this shameful work, as any one may learn by reading William Jay's " Inquiry into their Character and Tendency." All their declarations of benevolence for the free people of color, and ardent desire to benefit the poor oppressed slaves, and finally save our country from the curse of slavery, vanished like the morning cloud and early dew, when reading of their disgraceful acts of violence in the city of New York and other places, to shut out the pleadings of humanity for the down trodden and oppressed slave. The New York Commercial Advertiser, and Courier and Enquirer, were then among the best friends of colonization, and slave holding. I then began to feel the importance of taking a decided stand on the side of the oppressed. My labor in the cause of temperance had caused a pretty thorough sifting of my friends, and I felt that I had no more that I wished to part with; but duty was clear that I could not be a consistent Christian if I stood on the side of the oppressor, for God was not there. Neither could I claim his promises if I stood on neutral ground. Hence my only alternative was to plead for the slave, and thus I decided. In our religious meetings we talked and prayed, remembering "them that are in bonds, as bound with them." Hebrews 13. Some were offended, and some feared disunion. Notwithstanding the conflicting views and feelings in our midst, there were some in the churches that held to the principles of anti slavery. And as the work advanced onward during the years of 1832 to 1835, in which there was much contention from all quarters of the Union about this matter, a call was made for a meeting in which about forty citizens of Fairhaven came together and organized the Fairhaven anti-slavery Society, auxiliary to the New England anti-slavery Society. This drew down the wrath of a certain class of our neighbors, who also called opposition meetings in the which they passed resolutions denouncing us in very severe terms. Not for the principles, which we had adopted in our constitution, for they were not contrary to the constitution of the United States, but because we had united together to plead for the abolition of American slavery, which they declared unconstitutional, and very unpopular. Threats were often made that our meetings would be broken up, &c., but fortunate we were left to go onward.

One of our members on going to Charleston, Carolina, was arraigned before the authority of the city, charged with being a member of the Fairhaven anti-slavery Society. To save himself from being dealt with in their way, he renounced his abolitionism, as he afterwards declared. But opposition was more clearly manifest in the North where societies were continually organizing, than in the South.

William Lloyd Garrison, editor of an anti-slavery paper, called, The Liberator, published in Boston, Mass., was heralded in many of the periodicals of that time (1835), as a most notorious abolitionist.  Rewards, some as high I think as fifty thousand dollars, were offered for his head! The citizens of Boston, in and about Washington street and vicinity, where the anti-slavery meetings were held, became most furiously excited, and assembled on a certain afternoon around the building which they learned he occupied, and pursued him to a carpenter's shop, where he had fled from them, and brought him forth to the assembled multitude in the street and placed a rope around his neck, to put an end to his life. Some of his friends who were watching their movements, seeing his imminent danger, rushed around him, assuming in the confusion to engage with them, by laying hold of the rope so as to keep it from lightning round his neck, while some of the mob with the other end of the rope, and all rushing furiously, with hallooing and shouting, along the street, leaving the great body of the assembled multitude of "gentlemen of property and standing" listening with breathless anxiety to learn what was being done with their victim. Meantime the mob and Mr. Garrison's friends had continued running on unrestrained until they found themselves at the portals of Leverett street jail. Once there, by some measures of his friends, the jail was opened, and Mr. Garrison, to the astonishment of his wicked persecutors, was placed out of their reach; nor would the jailer bring him forth without orders from the law-abiding officers. As soon as the storm abated Mr. G. was honorably released and resumed his position, again pleading for the abolition of American slavery. The pro-slavery papers of Boston, in attempting to remove the stain and disgrace of this uncivilized work from the capital of the pilgrims, and a portion of its citizens, labored hard to prevent its being recorded as the work of a mob, and they declared that the people assembled on that occasion were "gentlemen of property and standing."

Previous to the foregoing occurrence, and while the subject of anti-slavery and pro-slavery was agitating the Union, a wonderful phenomenon occurred in the heavens, which caused consternation and dismay among the people, namely, the stars falling from heaven! Many watchmen in the cities, and sailors in their night watches on the ocean, together with those that were up and their friends which they called up to witness the exhibition of the falling stars, were now relating what they had witnessed, and also the newspapers of the times. I will here give a few extracts. First from the N. Y. Journal of Commerce, Nov. 15, 1833. Henry Dana Ward in closing up his account of this thrilling scene (which has been so often re-published) says, "We asked the watchman how long this had been. He said, 'about four o'clock it was the thickest.'

We gazed until the rising sun put out the lesser falling stars with the lesser fixed stars, and until the morning star stood alone in the east, to introduce the bright orb of day. And here take the remark of one of my friends in mercantile life, who is as well informed in polite learning as most intelligent merchants of our city, who have not made science their study. Sitting down to breakfast we spoke of the scene, and he said, 'I kept my eyes fixed on the morning star. I thought while that stood firm we were safe; but I feared every moment that it would go and all would go with it.

The reader will see that this remark proceeded from an almost irresistible impression of an intelligent eye witness, that the firmament had given way, that the whole host of stars had broken up, yet hope clung to the morning star, which never shone more glorious.'" In a subsequent statement he adds, "The dawn was a full hour, that morning, earlier than usual, and the whole eastern sky was transparent like molten glass, so as I never witnessed before or since. An open arch of brilliant light arose from the east, above which arch stood the morning star, inexpressibly glorious for its brilliance and firmness on the face of the dark, transparent, and bursting firmament."

From the Baltimore Patriot:

"MR. MUNROE: Being up this morning (Nov. 13, 1833) I witnessed one of the most grand and alarming spectacles which ever beamed upon the eye of man. The light in my room was so great, that I could see the hour of the morning by my watch which hung over my mantle, and supposing there was a fire near at hand, probably on my own premises, I sprung to the window, and behold, the stars or some other bodies presenting a fiery appearance, were descending in torrents as rapid and as numerous as I ever saw flakes of snow, or drops of rain, in the midst of a storm." From the Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833: 

"The meteoric phenomenon which occurred on the morning of the 13th of Nov. last, was of so extraordinary and interesting a character as to be entitled to more than a passing notice. The lively and graphic descriptions, which have appeared in various public journals, do not exceed the reality. No language indeed can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display. I hesitate not to say that no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point, near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted thousands swiftly followed in the tracks of thousands, as if created for the occasion, and illuminated the firmament with lines of irradiating light."

Joseph Bates

Monterey, Michigan

Incidents In My Past Life   No. 40.


Falling Stars—Moral Reform—Raising Trees—

Culture of Silk—

Second Advent of Christ.

I last closed with some extracts relative to the falling stars in 1833. Here are a few more from other authors: The Commercial Observer of Nov. 25, 1833, copied from the Old Countryman, reads as follows:

"We pronounce the raining of fire, which we saw on Wednesday morning last, an awful type, a sure forerunner, a merciful sign, of that great day, which the inhabitants of the earth will witness when the sixth seal will be opened. The time is just at hand, described, not only in the New Testament, but in the Old. A more correct picture of a fig tree casting its leaves (or green figs), when blown by a mighty wind, it is not possible to behold."

Extracts from the People's Magazine, Boston, Jan. 1834, on the falling stars of Nov. 13, 1833:

"The Rockingham, Va., Register" calls it a "rain of fire" " thousands of stars being seen at once."

Some said, "It began with a considerable noise."

The Lancaster, Pa., Examiner says:

"The air was filled with innumerable meteors or stars. . . . Hundreds of thousands of brilliant bodies might be seen falling at every moment, . . , sloping their descent toward the earth, at an angle of about forty-five degrees, resembling flashes of fire."

The Salem Register speaks of their being seen "in Hoca, in the Red Sea."

The Journal of Commerce informs us that "three hundred miles this side of Liverpool, the show was as splendid as here," and that in St. Lawrence Co., "there was a snow storm, during the phenomenon, in which the falling stars appeared like lightning." .... That in Germantown, Pa., "they seemed like showers of great hail."

A captain of a New Bedford whale ship, one of my acquaintances, says that "while lying at anchor that night on the coast of California, in the Pacific Ocean, I saw the stars falling all around me." Prof. Olmstead, of Yale College, says: "The extent of the shower of 1833 was such as to cover no inconsiderable part of the earth's surface, from the middle of the Atlantic on the east, to the Pacific on the west; and from the northern coast of South America, to undefined regions among the British Possessions on the north, the exhibition was visible, and everywhere presented nearly the same appearance. Those who were so fortunate as to witness the exhibition of shooting stars on the morning of Nov. 13, 1833, probably saw the greatest display of celestial fireworks that has ever been seen since the creation of the world! 'In connection with these portentous signs in the heavens, moral reform was working its way like leaven throughout the United States. To all appearance some unseen agency was assisting those that were struggling in the up-hill work of opposing the masses, while they were soliciting and enlisting the energies and sympathies of men, women, and children, to help stay the tide of intemperance and slavery, which to all human appearance, if not stayed, would demoralize and debase us below the moral standard of all the civilized nations of the earth, before the close of the then rising generation.

What appeared the most inexplicable in moving forward this work, was to see ministers, whose Christian characters were before unsullied in the community, pleading in favor of slavery, upholding rum-drinking and rum-selling, and keeping a large majority of their church and congregation under their influence. Others were mute, waiting to see how their friends decided. Some there were, however, who took a noble stand in the work of reform. Moral Reform Societies were multiplied in various places, as were also Peace Societies, having for their object the abolition of war. They proposed to settle all disputes or difficulties of importance, by reference to a Congress of Nations.

After finishing my buildings on my farm, before referred to, I commenced the work of raising mulberry-trees, to obtain their foliage to feed the silk-worm, designing to enter into the culture of silk. I had erected a school-house on my place, in which I designed to have a manual-labor school for youth. I calculated to employ them a certain portion of the time to gather the mulberry foliage, and attend to the feeding of the silk-worms: and as the work advanced, other branches of the business also, such as reeling and preparing the silk for market. By an examination of able writers on the subject, I was satisfied that silk could be produced to advantage in New England as well as in Europe. While my trees were maturing, we raised and fed the silk-worm two or three seasons on a small scale, which satisfied me that by attention and care the business could be made profitable. Many that commenced the business about the time I did, also entered into the speculation and excitement about raising the Chinese Multicaulis .Tree for sale, which enriched some, disappointed many, and caused a failure, because silk-culture could not be made a money-making business in its infancy. I was endeavoring to raise my trees first, before entering upon the business, and had many trees, which had begun to bear fruit, and my third orchard in a thriving condition, designing, if I lived, to attend to that business only.

In the fall of 1839, while engaged in my orchard, one Eld. R., an acquaintance of mine, and preacher in the Christian connection, called upon me and enquired if I would like to go to New Bedford, about two miles distant, that evening, and hear him preach on the SECOND COMING or CHRIST. I asked Eld. R. if he thought he could show or prove anything about the Saviour's coming. He answered that he thought he could. He stated that the North Christian Meeting-house in New Bedford was offered him to give a course of five lectures on that subject. I promised to go with him, but I was very much surprised to learn that any one could show anything about the time of the Saviour's second coming. A little previous to this, while spending an evening in a social company of friends, Eld. H. stated that he had heard that there was a Mr. Miller preaching in the state of New York that the Lord Jesus Christ was coming in about 1843. I believe this was the first time I had ever heard the subject mentioned. It appeared so impossible, that I attempted to raise an objection, but was told that he brought a great deal of scripture to prove it. But when I heard Eld. R. present the scripture testimony on the subject in his first lecture, I was deeply interested, as was also my companion. After meeting, we had rode some distance toward home, absorbed in this important subject, when at length I broke the silence by saying, "That is the truth!"

My companion replied, "O, you are so sanguine, always!" I argued that Eld. R. had made it very clear to my mind, but we would hear further. The meeting continued with crowded congregations and increasing interest to the close, and I felt that my mind was much enlightened on this important subject.

I now obtained Wm. Miller's books of nineteen lectures, which I read with deep interest, especially his argument on the prophetic periods of Daniel's vision, which heretofore, when I read the Bible in course, appeared to me so intricate, and led me to wonder what importance there could be attached to those days connected with his pictorial prophecy of chapters 7 and 8. But I now began to learn that those days were so many years, and those years were now to close in about 1843, at which period of time, according to Mr. Miller's view of the prophecies, Christ would personally appear the second time.

Joseph Bates


March 19, 1862.


Incidents In My Past Life.   No. 41.


William Miller's Theory—Sis Lectures in Boston—

First Second-

Advent Paper—Eld. D. Millard's Letter—Eld. L. D.


Letter—H. Hawley's Letter—From the Maine 

Wesleyan Journal,

W ITH my limited views of the subject of the Second Advent, I saw that if Mr. Miller was correct respecting the soon coming of the Saviour, then the most important point in his theory was to learn WHERE to commence Daniel's prophetic periods, and trace them to their termination. The first issue in pamphlet form by Mr. Miller, is dated 1832. Some say his first lecture on the second coming of Christ, was delivered in August, 1833. His first lectures in Boston, Mass., in the Chardon-street and Marlborough chapels, were in the winter of 1840. This opened the way for Eld. Josh. V. Himes, of Boston, to issue, as editor, the first periodical or newspaper published on the second advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, called, "Signs of the Times," in Boston, Mass., March, 1840.

As Eld. J. V. Himes was as destitute of means as any other minister at that time who boldly preached and advocated the necessity of moral reform, and was expressing an anxious desire to get up a paper on the subject of the second advent, an aged sea captain, from the State of Maine, being present, landed him a silver dollar. "With this one dollar," said Eld. Himes, "we commenced to publish the Signs of the Times."

To give some idea of the effect of Mr. Miller's preaching on the second coming of Christ, in New England, I will here give some extracts from letters published in the Signs of the Times, April 15, 1840. The first is from the pen of Eld. D. Millard, Portsmouth, N. H. He writes: "On the 23d of January Bro. 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 the evening. Such an awful spirit of solemnity seemed to settle down on the place, that hard must have been the sinner's heart that could withstand it. All was order and solemnity. Generally as soon as souls were delivered, 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 inhabitants. It would be difficult at present to ascertain the number of conversions in town.  It is variously estimated at from 500 to 700.

  Never, while I linger on the shores 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."

Another letter is from Eld. L. D. Fleming, of Portsmouth, N. H. He says: "Things here are moving powerfully. Last evening about 200 came forward for prayers, and the interest seems constantly increasing. The whole city seems to be agitated. Bro. 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 Bro. Miller simply takes the sword of the Spirit, unsheathed and naked, and lays its sharp edge on the naked heart, and it cuts that's 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 anything modern times have witnessed." April 6 he writes again: 

"There has probably never been so much religious interest among the inhabitants of this place generally, as at present; God and Mr. Miller must be regarded directly as the instrument, although no doubt many 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 Bro. 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 the whole city, and all the adjacent country. A number of rum-sellers 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 to 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 daytime! 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 Bro. Miller came here, than he had in any four months previous."


H. Hawley, writing from Groton, Mass., to Eld. Himes, April 10, 1840, said: "During an interview I had with you a few days since, you requested me to give a statement of the results, so far as I had witnessed them, of Mr. Miller's lectures in this vicinity. Before complying with your request, I beg leave to say, that I am not a believer in the theory of Mr. Miller. But I am decidedly in favor of the discussion of the subject. I believe that Mr. Miller's lectures are so fraught with gospel truth, that, whatever may be his error in regard to the time of our Lord's appearing, he will do great good. I rejoice that there is a subject being discussed in the community, so happily adapted to wake up the public mind to the great things of religion, and to check the growing worldliness and sensuality of the present age. Mr. Miller has lectured in this and other adjoining towns, with marked success, by precious revivals of religion in all of these places. I am bold to declare that I see nothing in the theory at all calculated to make men immoral; but I do believe it will have the opposite effect. Facts speak too plain on this subject not to be credited." 

From the Maine Wesleyan Journal, of May, 1840.

"Mr. Miller has been in Portland, lecturing to crowded houses in Casco Street Church, on his favorite theme, the end of the world. As faithful chroniclers of passing events, it will be expected of us that we say something of the man and his peculiar views.

"Mr. Miller is about 60 years of age; a plain farmer, from Hampton, in the State of New York. He is a member of the Baptist church in that place, from which he brings satisfactory testimonials of good standing, and license to improve publicly. He has, we understand, numerous testimonials from clergymen of different denominations, favorable to his general character. We should think him a man of but common school education; evidently possessing strong powers of mind, which for about fourteen years have been almost exclusively bent on the investigation of scripture prophecy. The last eight years of his life has been devoted to lecturing on this favorite subject. Mr. Miller's theory is, that in 1843, Christ will make his personal appearance on earth. In a very ingenuous manner he brings all the mystic numbers in the scripture prophecy to bear upon the important epoch of 1843. First, he makes the 2300 days (or years) of Dan. 8:14, to commence at the same time as the 70 weeks (or 490 years), which latter period terminated in the cutting off of the Messiah, A. D. 33. The former period, then, extends 1810 years longer, or till 1843, when the end will come. "Mr. Miller is a great stickler for literal interpretation, never admitting the figurative, unless absolutely required to make correct sense, or meet the event which is intended to be pointed out. He doubtless believes, most unwaveringly, all he teaches to others. His lectures are interspersed with powerful admonitions to the wicked, and he handles universalism with gloves of steel."

Joseph Bates

Byron Center,


Incidents In My Past Life.   No. 42.


First call for a conference to discuss the subject

 of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ—

Convened in Boston, Mass.—

Conference address sent forth to the world 

Diving bell—Gathering

stones from the bottom of the sea.—

First Second Advent Conference.

Yes!  THE Signs of the Times, of Boston, Mass., ON Sept. 1 & 15, 1840, published a call for a General Conference, on the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, saying:

"The undersigned, believers in the second coming and kingdom of the Messiah at hand, cordially unite in the call for a General Conference of our brethren of the United States, and elsewhere, who are also looking for the Advent near, to meet at Boston, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 1840, at 10 o'clock, A. M., to continue two days, or as long as may then be found best. The object of the Conference will not be to form a new organization in the faith of Christ, nor to assail others of our brethren who differ from us in regard to the period and manner of the Advent, but to discuss the whole subject faithfully and fairly, in the exercise of that spirit of Christ, in which it will be safe to meet him immediately at the judgment seat.

















"We have received other names, but too late for insertion. No person will be expected to take any active part in the Conference, except he confesses his faith in the near approach of our Lord in his kingdom; nor will any one be expected to take a part in the discussions until he has been introduced to the committee of arrangements, and has made known to them the part or point he is prepared to discuss."

In accordance with the call, the General Conference convened in Chardon Street Chapel, Boston, Mass., Oct. 14, 1840, and continued two days with increasing interest; at the close of which the communion of the Lord's supper was administered to about two hundred communicants of different denominations.

Many of them were from remote distances. The meeting closed by singing the hymn beginning,

"When thou, my righteous Judge, Shalt come."

The Spirit of the Lord had pervaded the meeting from its commencement, but now it seemed to vibrate and move the whole congregation. The singing of the hymn just mentioned, was "with the Spirit and with the understanding also." Thank the Lord now for that joyous occasion. From this Conference, an address in pamphlet form, of 150 pages, was circulated to thousands that were in (and those not in), the faith of Christ's second coming, in the United States and foreign lands. Eld. Joshua V. Himes entered into this work apparently with all the zeal of Joshua of old, in his preaching and editorial department, in circulating all the light, which could be elicited from every quarter on the subject of the second advent of the Saviour. Not because he believed that Christ was coming in 1843, for in conversation with him some time after he commenced the editorial department of the Signs of the Times, he told me in confidence that he could not see it satisfactorily to his mind, and therefore did not believe it. "Why," said I, "if this is your position," or words to that import, "why do you advocate it in this public manner?"

His answer was that he voluntarily took this position to bring out all the light that could be obtained on this subject, and it was possible that he should see it clear, and yet believe it as he afterwards did, and admitted it. I had known Eld. Himes from his youth, and for many years had been intimately acquainted, and associated with him in the reforms of the day, and often cheered, strengthened, and edified, under his preaching. I knew him to be zealously affected in the cause of God, but not fanatical. And the instance here narrated was evidence of the strongest character to my mind, even to this time, that he was not moved out to take such a peculiar stand before the world altogether by human instrumentalities. Previous to the Conference I had engaged myself as one of the proprietors of the New Bedford Bridge, to superintend its repairs, and at the same time keep it passable for carriages and footmen; hence there was some doubt about my getting to the meeting. At that time we were engaged with a vessel and diving bell in removing the stones, that by some means had got into the channel of the draw-bridge, and were an obstruction to the heavy laden ships passing through at low tides.

As some of my readers may wish to understand something respecting the operation of picking up rocks and stones from the bottom of the ocean, twenty-five or thirty feet under water, I will try to explain it. A schooner, or two-masted vessel, is hauled up and secured by ropes, close to the draw-bridge. There is a tackle between her mast-heads, the lower part of which is, hooked into an iron eye strap, which was fastened at the top of a diving-bell, standing on the schooner's deck.

The bell itself was in the form of a sugar-loaf, or cone, about nine feet high, and six feet in diameter at the bottom. It was provided with a seat inside for two persons, and when sunk to the bottom of the sea, the water would rise up about three feet in the open bottom. (Sink a teacup or bowl bottom side up in a pail of water, and you will have a very fair illustration of a diving-bell.) The space inside, above water, contained our allowance of air for two persons it would last about an hour and a half; then it became necessary to be hoisted up to the surface for a refreshment of fresh air. To communicate with our companion's on deck, three telegraphic lines  (or cords) were in working order the lower ends being hitched up inside of the bell.

A few small glass blocks were set into the upper: part of the bell, which lighted up our apartment while under water, about equal to the light above at sunset.

I went down with the diver a few times, for the purpose of ascertaining more correctly how the work could be accomplished. The bell was provided with guys to change its position when at the bottom, and a kind of basket to put the stones in. I was then hoisted from the deck, and we crawled underneath and up into the seats about four feet from the bottom. When the bell reached the water by lowering the tackle, and began to shut all the air out except what was contained where we were it produced a shuddering sensation, and singular cracking noise in our heads, more especially on the ears, causing an involuntary working of the finger there, to let more air in, and relieve us of the painful sensation which continued to some extent while under water.

After the bell reached the bottom, we could telegraph to be moved any way within a small circle, then the diver loaded the basket with rocks and stones by means of his iron instruments, it was made known to those on deck by pulling one of the cords, and then it was hoisted up and emptied, by means of a rope attached to the lower end of the basket, the diver would pull it back again, and thus he might continue his risky work until admonished for life to pull the telegraphic cord, and be hoisted up for a fresh supply of God's free air. While at the bottom of the sea, we could learn very quick when the tide turned to flow in, or ebb out, by its motion over the shells and stones, which we could see as plainly as in a little brook of water, no matter how deep the water, its ebbing and flowing moves the whole body alike from top to bottom.

Where the tide ebbs and flows, the vast bodies of river and harbor waters are in constant rushing motion, from the top to the bottom. But this is only while the change of tide is taking place. And twice, every twenty-four hours a new body of rushing waters are rolled into the harbors from the mother ocean, adding fresh sources of healthy action to the fish that swim, and the stationary shellfish, and those buried beneath the sand at low water mark, all for the benefit of man, and especially the poor who live near the sea coast.

By persevering in our new business in picking up rocks and stones from the bottom of the sea, the ship channel was cleared in time for me to leave, and with my companion, be present at the opening of the first Second Advent Conference in the world, much to our gratification and pleasure. Bro. Miller, in the wisdom of God was suddenly taken ill about this time, and could not leave his home in Low Hampton, N. Y., to attend the Conference, which was a disappointment to many.

Joseph Bates

Pine Creek, Allegan Co.,



  Incidents In My Past Life,  No. 43.


Wm. Miller's lectures in Fairhaven, Mass.—

Also in New Bedford

—Address to ministers—Ministers' meeting—

Antiochus  Epiphanes—

Thirty-two square rods for every person—

Second Second' Advent Conference.

AFTER the great Conference, mentioned in my last article, Second Advent preaching was called for in many places. In March, 1841, Bro. Miller commenced a course of lectures in the Washington-street Meeting-house, in Fairhaven, Mass. I thought if he could be obtained to lecture on the second coming of Christ, to my friends and neighbors, I would willingly give my seat in the meeting-house to others, if the house should be crowded. I had been reading his lectures, and supposed I understood the most he would preach. But after hearing his first lecture, I felt that I could not be denied the privilege of hearing the whole course, for his preaching was deeply interesting, and very far in advance of his written lectures.

The house was so crowded that a great portion could not be seated, and yet all was quiet and still as night. It seemed as though the people were hearing for themselves. I believe they did then.

Passing round among them the day after the lecture, one would hear another inquiring of his neighbor, "Was you at the meeting last night?" "Yes." “Did you ever hear such preaching before?"

"No." "What do you think of this doctrine?" &c., &c. Many called on Bro. Miller to converse with him relative to the doctrine he taught, and seemed highly pleased with his prompt and ready quotations of scripture in reply. Elders Himes and Cole accompanied him to Fairhaven. His week's labor with us seemed to work a very apparent change among the people. His next course of lectures commenced the next week, in the North Christian Meeting-house, in the city of New Bedford, about two miles distant. It was supposed that here he had about fifteen hundred hearers, the number that the house would accommodate at one time. A large portion of the aristocracy and ministers were in attendance. No such religious excitement for the time was ever heard of there. The interest seemed deep and widespread.

At the close of the last meeting, Bro. Miller affectionately addressed the ministers, and exhorted them to faithfulness in their responsible work, and said, "I have been preaching to your people on the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as I understand it from the Scriptures," and added that, if they thought he was right, it was highly important that they should teach it to their respective congregations. But if he was wrong, he much desired to be set right, and expressed a strong desire to meet with them before he left the place, and examine the subject with them. The Baptist minister proposed the vestry of his church, in William-street, at nine o'clock next morning. I was not a minister then, but I had a strong desire to attend this meeting, to learn how the ministers received the Second Advent doctrine. By request, a number of lay members, with myself, were permitted to attend. When the meeting commenced in the morning, I counted twenty-two ministers present, belonging to the place and within a circle of a few miles around the city, and about forty lay members. After the meeting was organized, Bro. Miller proposed that they begin with the prophecy of Daniel, and requested the reader of the scriptures to commence with the second chapter. Occasionally Bro. Miller would request the reader to pause, and then ask the ministers how they understood what had just been read. At first they looked upon each other in silence, seemingly unwilling to expose their ignorance in this matter, or to see who would reply. After some time, one of the learned ministers replied, "We believe it as you do, sir." "Well," said Bro. M., "if you are all agreed on this point, we will proceed." No other one replied.

The reader proceeded until another question. All was silent again until the same learned minister answered, "We believe this as you do, sir." And thus they professed to believe with him to the end of the chapter. It was truly cheering to see how all these ministers of the various denominations were admitting and believing the doctrine of the Second Advent. They then commenced with chap, 7, and continued in harmony with Bro. M. until an objection was raised respecting the little horn of the fourth kingdom. The reader of the scriptures, who raised the objection, said he wanted a little time for consideration here, and wished to know if the meeting could not be adjourned until the next day. A motion was made for an adjournment, and carried.

The next morning the adjourned meeting convened, when the reader of the scriptures introduced his commentary, and attempted to prove there from that Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the kings which had ruled in the kingdom of Syria, was the little horn of the fourth kingdom. Bro. M.'s statement that it could not be so, but that the little horn was Rome, failed to satisfy them. Here the meeting closed without any further effort on their part.

Since that time the subject of the little horn of Dan. 8, has been thoroughly criticized and settled that Rome is the power in question. Says Eld. J. N. Andrews on this subject, "Out of many reasons that might be added to the above, we name but one. This power was to stand up against the Prince of princes. Verse 25. The Prince of princes is Jesus Christ.

 Rev. 1:5; 17:14; 6:16.

But Antiochus died one hundred and sixty-four years before our Lord was born. It is settled therefore that another power is the subject of this prophecy. To avoid the application of this prophecy to the Roman power, Pagan and Papal, the Papists have shifted it from Rome to Antiochus Epiphanes, a Syrian king, who could not resist the mandates of Rome. See notes of the Douay [Romish] Bible on Dan. 7, 8, 9. This application is made by Papists to save their church from any share in the fulfillment of the prophecy; and in this they have been followed by the mass of opposers to the Advent faith." See his work on The Sanctuary and Twenty-three Hundred Days, pp. 7-10.

For further proof that Rome was the power, and that our Lord and Saviour was the Prince which that power stood up against, as noted in the prophecy, see Acts 3:15; 5:31; 4:26, 27. Among the many questions with reference to the Second Advent of the Saviour, Bro. Miller was asked the following: "How can the whole human race stand upon the earth at one time, as mentioned in Rev. 20, at the last judgment? "ANSWER. "Allow 800,000,000 for every thirty years in six thousand years, and it will give 160,000,000,000. Allow 50,000,000 square miles for the earth, and it would make five trillion one hundred and twenty thousand millions of square rods. This, divided among 160,000,000,030 of inhabitants, would leave thirty-two square rods to every individual on the globe! The second Second-Advent Conference was held in the city of Lowell, Mass., June 15-17,1841. At this meeting, was present Bro. Josiah Litch, of Boston, Mass. Bro. L. in the year 1838 sent out his exposition of the ninth chapter of Revelation, predicting the fall of the Ottoman empire, at the close of the prophetic period, "an hour and a day and a month and a. year," which would expire August 11,1840, when the sixth angel would cease to sound, and the second woe be past. Having obtained official accounts of the revolution that had then just closed in the Ottoman empire, he came to this meeting prepared to prove the accomplishment of his prediction, to which tens of thousands with intense anxiety had been looking. The mass of evidence in the official accounts connected with the prophecy of his interesting discourse, proved that the Ottoman supremacy did cease on the 11th day of August, 1840. "And the second woe was passed, and behold the third woe cometh quickly." This wonderfully aroused the people of God, and gave a mighty impulse to the Advent movement.

 Joseph Bates


Incidents In My Past Life    No. 44.


Fall of the Ottoman empire in August, 1840

 Passing of the second

woe—Quickly—Space of time to proclaim, the

 first angel's

message, Rev. 14:6, 7 Conferences—Trials on 

leaving the

church—Moral Reform Societies—Boston

 conference in 1842

1843 Charts--First camp meeting,

I last closed with the conference in the city of Lowel, Mass. The history of the fall of the Ottoman Supremacy will be found in J. Litch's Prophetic Expositions, Vol. ii, pages 181-200. On pages 198 and 199 is the summing up of his conclusive argument, showing how clearly the prophecy in Rev. 9:13-15 was fulfilled on the 11th of August 1840. On pages 189 and 190 will be found the reliable testimony of an eye-witness, who states facts to prove the same point, seemingly without any knowledge of the prophecy, or Litch's exposition of it. Here it is: "The following is from Rev. Mr. Gobdell, missionary of the American Board at Constantinople, addressed to the Board, and by them published in the Missionary Herald, for April 1841," p. 160 "The power of Islamism is broken forever; and there is no concealing the fact even from themselves.

They exist now by mere sufferance. And though there is a mighty effort made by the Christian governments to sustain them, yet at every step they sink lower and lower with fearful velocity. And though there is a great endeavor made to graft the institutions of civilized and Christian countries upon  the decayed trunk, yet the very root itself is fast wasting away by the venom of its own poison. How wonderful it is, that, when all Christendom combined together, to check the progress of Mohammedan power, it waxed exceedingly great in spite of every opposition; and now when all the mighty potentates of Christian Europe, who feel fully competent to settle all the quarrels, and arrange the affairs of the whole world, are leagued together for its protection and defense, down it comes, in spite of all their fostering care."

These astounding facts prove that the prophecy of the sounding of the sixth angel for three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days, ended on the 11th day of August, 1840, and at the same time the second woe passed, and behold the third woe cometh quickly. Mark, this short space of time called "quickly," is the whole period of time from the passing of the second woe and sixth angel, to the commencing of the third woe, and sounding of the seventh angel." This space of time called quickly, defines the time to announce to every nation and kindred and tongue and people that Christ is coming, by the proclamation of the angel's message in Rev. 14:6, 7. This is in accordance with the testimony of the Saviour, Matthew 24:3, 14.

No marvel, then, that those who had been looking with intense anxiety for the passing away of the Ottoman supremacy, saw with such clearness that the time had come for a body of people to proclaim the message in question from thence down to the ending of the prophetic periods of Daniel's vision. And that the time had then come for this message to go to every nation, was still further demonstrated by a call for a Second Advent conference to be held in Boston about the time the Ottoman empire lost its supremacy, and many weeks before the news of its fall reached the United States. At the close of this conference, which was convened a few weeks after the call, in October, 1840, an address of the conference setting forth their views respecting the second advent of our Lord, was sent forth to the world, and from thence the work continued until the message ended in the Fall of 1844.

Opposition from various quarters was now being made manifest, nevertheless the cause was hourly increasing. In October, 1841, the third conference was held in Portland, Maine, which gave a new impulse to the cause in that section of country. Conferences  were held in other places during the winter, particularly in New York city, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Early in the spring of this year, Elders Himes and Fitch held a conference in Providence, R. I. Here for the first time I became acquainted with Bro. Fitch. His clear exposition of the prophecies relative to the second coming of our Lord, were listened to with deep interest.

In connection with Elder Himes, their preaching deeply affected the hearts of the people, and a great many professed strong faith in the near coming of the Lord.

It was truly wonderful to learn how fast professed Christians could believe the evidences of the near coming of the Lord from the teaching of the Bible and history, and then disbelieve on no better authority than "a sneer," "a laugh," or "how do you know? Nobody knows anything about it," etc. Some of my brethren of the Washington-street Christian church, also began to wane in their Advent faith, and would say to me sometimes at the close of our social meetings, " Bro. Bates, we wish you would not say so much about the second coming of Christ." "Why," said I, "don't you believe it is as true now as it was when Bro. Miller preached it here last year, and you believed it?"

"Well, we believe Christ is coming, but no one knows when. Bro. Miller taught that it would be in about 1843. But we don't think so. We like to hear you exhort and pray, but we don't like to hear you say so much about the second coming of Christ, and the time."

About this time the church elected a pastor, which was a source of deep trial to those who were more deeply interested in the Advent movement. Several of these interested ones sought and obtained their dismiss-ion. I continued in deep trial on this point for several weeks, hoping for some change for the better. I besought the Lord for light in this matter, and that which was granted me was to quietly withdraw and be free. I did so, and notified the trustees of the meeting-house that I was ready to dispose of my interest to them which I held in the premises. They declined my offer, which left me at liberty to dispose of it publicly, which I did at quite a sacrifice. I was now relieved from about twelve years' responsibilities and care, in aiding to build up and sustain a free church, who took the Bible for their only rule of faith and practice.

Four of us, members of the church, had united and built the meeting-house at a cost of over nine thousand dollars, nearly three-quarters of which belonged to us at the time I withdrew. Some of my good friends that were engaged in the temperance and abolition cause, came to know why I could not attend their stated meetings as formerly, and argued that my belief in the coming of the Saviour should make me more ardent in endeavoring to suppress these growing evils. My reply was, that in embracing the doctrine of the second coming of the Saviour, I found enough to engage my whole time in getting ready for such an event, and aiding others to do the same, and that all who embraced this doctrine would and must necessarily be advocates of temperance and the abolition of slavery; and those who opposed the doctrine of the second advent could not be very effective laborers in moral reform. And further, I could not see duty in leaving such a great work to labor single-handed as we had done, when so much more could be accomplished in working at the fountain head, and make us every way right as we should be for the coming of the Lord.

In May, 1842, a general conference was convened in Boston, Mass. At the opening of this meeting Brn. Charles Fitch and "Apollos Hale, of Haverhill, presented the pictorial prophecies of Daniel and John, which they had painted on cloth, with the prophetic numbers, showing their fulfillment. Bro. Fitch in explaining from his chart before the conference, said, while examining these prophecies he had thought if he could get out something of the kind as here presented it would simplify the subject and make it much easier for him to present to an audience. Here was more light in our pathway.

These brethren had been doing what the Lord had shown Habbakuk in his vision 2468 years before, saying, "Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time." Hab. 2:2.

After some discussion on the subject, it was voted unanimously to have three hundred similar to this one lithographed, which was soon accomplished. They were called "the '43 charts." This was a very important conference. A camp-meeting was now appointed to convene the last week in June, at East Kingston, N. H., where an immense multitude assembled to hear the good news and glad tidings of the coming of our blessed Lord. I had not the pleasure of attending this meeting, but heard most stirring reports of what was accomplished there. Camp-meetings and conferences were now being multiplied throughout the Middle and Northern States, and Canada, and the messengers were proclaiming in the language of the message, "THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT IS COME!"

Joseph Bates

Monterey, Michigan,

 July 14, 1862.


  Incidents In My Past Life.   No. 45.


Camp-meetings in the Summer and Fall of 1842 

In Littleton,

Mass., in August—Taunton, Mass., in September

—Salem, Mass.,

in October—Power and work of the First Angel's


  DURING the month of August, 1842, a Second-Advent camp-meeting was held in Littleton, Mass. This was the first camp meeting that I had ever attended. It was quite a novel thing to see such a variety of tents pitched around the ministers' stand, among the tall shady trees. At the opening of the meeting we learned that those who occupied them were families from the various towns in the vicinity of the camp, and the city of Lowell, who were interested in the Advent doctrine.

The subject of the prophecies, connected with the second coming of our blessed Lord and Saviour, was the theme of ministers and people. All, except a mob who came to break up the meeting, seemed deeply interested; and these, after becoming acquainted with the nature of the meeting, ceased to trouble us, and peace, harmony and love prevailed during the entire meeting.

In September following, another camp-meeting was held in the southern part of Massachusetts, in the town of Taunton, in a beautiful grove of tall pines, by the railroad, between Boston and New Bedford, Mass., and New Providence, R. I. This meeting was one of deep interest to the Advent cause, and opened the way for tens of thousands to attend and hear the proclamation of a coming Saviour. The cars, passing to and from these cities twice a day, landed the people in crowds on the camp-ground. A large number of ministers were in attendance. Eld. Josiah Litch took the lead of this meeting, which continued for about a week.

At one of our morning prayer-meetings, as the invitation was given for those to come forward who wished to be prayed for, among the mourners it was said there were about thirty ministers that prostrated themselves, some of them on their faces, beseeching God for mercy, and a preparation to meet their coming Lord! The preaching was so clear, and accompanied with so much power of the Holy Spirit, that it seemed like sin to doubt.

During this meeting, Eld. Millard on his way home from a tour in Palestine, stopped at the campground. Eld. Litch asked him a number of questions before the congregation, in relation to his mission what he had learned while abroad in that country relative to the doctrine of the Second Advent. He replied that it was known and spoken of there. This information was reliable and cheering. We had believed, but this was knowledge from another quarter, that the message of the flying angel was crossing land and sea to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. On Sunday, it was judged that there were ten thousand people in the camp. The clear, weighty, and solemn preaching of the second coming of Christ, and the fervent prayers and animated singing of the new Second-Advent hymns, accompanied by the Spirit of the living God, sent such thrills through the camp, that many were shouting aloud for joy.

While the committee were moving around in the congregation, receiving contributions to defray the expenses of the meeting, some of the sisters began to take out their ear rings and strip off their finger rings and other jewelry, which example was followed by many others; and all thrown into the contribution. From this a report was soon circulated abroad, that the Taunton camp-meeting had taken up in their collection about three flour barrels full of jewelry! The committee of arrangements anticipating some wrong report about this matter, dispatched one of their number on the first train to New Bedford, instructing him to sell all the jewelry for cash. He did so, and returned with seven dollars! We considered this about six times less than what it should have sold for, the whole of which would have filled a pint measure. This was in keeping with many other false reports from Second Advent meetings, and then retailed about the world for facts. This meeting was a very important one, and it opened the way for hundreds of Second Advent meetings in the various towns and villages in that region of country.

In about four weeks another camp-meeting commenced, about three miles back of Salem city, Mass. This surpassed any meeting for interest and numbers that I had ever attended. Eld. Joshua V. Himes had the charge, and pitched his big tent there said to hold about seven thousand people. On approaching this meeting from the city of Salem, the main streets, cross roads, lanes, and paths, seemed almost utterly jammed and crowded with teams and carriages loaded with people, beside the jam of foot passengers all crowding through the thick smothering dust to the campground.

Here in the large stone wall pasture ground, interspersed with high ragged rocks, clumps of bushes and straggling trees, bounded by woods on two sides and water on another, the city of Salem in the distance in another direction, were pitched the numerous tents for the great meeting.

The big tent loomed above them all like a lighthouse, pointing to the looked-for harbor of the mariner, inviting the pressing multitude to enter and listen to the messengers of God proclaiming with stentorian voices the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The preaching was on the great leading doctrines of the Second Advent. Ministers and people listened with profound attention, desiring to know if these things were so, and what to do to fit them for that day. The ministers present who preached were Elders Himes, Litch, Fitch, Hale, Plumer, Cole, and many others. So anxious were the people to hear on this great subject, that those who could not be accommodated in the big tent, could be seen in the distance congregated under trees and clumps of trees, listening to selected ministers, explaining from the '43 Chart, fastened to the trees. When the preaching meetings closed, prayer meetings and praying circles for the unconverted commenced in the tents. The evenings were more especially devoted to this part of the work. Anxious souls who became fully convinced by listening to the truth, sought and found relief in these praying circles. Sometimes after listening to the united, earnest prayers, the shout of victory would follow, and then the rush to the tents to learn who was converted, and hear them tell what Jesus had done for them, and how they loved His appearing. And those who wished to see the onward progress of this work of God, could join with the groups of men and women with their selected ministers passing down to the water-bound side of the camp, and there, -in accordance with their faith, and in obedience to Him who had set them free from sin, see them buried with him by baptism, and while returning on their way rejoicing, meet with others going to be buried in like manner.

Bro. Miller, with others, was attending conferences and camp-meetings in other States, and his engagements were such that he could not see it duty to be at either of these meetings in Massachusetts which I have mentioned. Eld. Cole, while speaking of his last meeting, on the preachers' stand, said, "Last evening I preached in the meetinghouse in Merideth, N. H., to a crowded house, and the people were so absorbed in the subject of the coming of Christ, that they remained on their knees after I had closed the meeting, so that I had to pick out my way by stepping over their heads, to be out of the meeting in time to secure my passage to the Salem camp-meeting, and when I got out of the house the people in the yard were also on their knees, and thus I passed on, obliged to leave them."

At the time the train of cars were coming in from Newburyport, N. H., to Boston, Bro. Litch had reached a point in his discourse respecting the prophecy of Nahum, how that "in the day of his preparation the chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings," when he cried out, "Don't you hear them?" Yes, we did; for they were then dashing by us like a streak of light for the Salem station. The time and manner to prove to his audience the fulfillment of this prophecy, and make us feel that we had most clearly entered into the day of God's preparation, produced a thrilling sensation in the camp.

On Sunday it was judged there were fifteen thousand people in the camp. Here Bro. Fitch took leave of his brethren and started for the West, to spread the glad tidings of a coming Saviour. Two brethren in the ministry also started about this time to preach the Second Advent of Christ in England.

This meeting gave an impetus to the cause that was wide-spread and lasting. When the camp broke up, a multitude from thence repaired to the Salem depot to secure their passages for Boston and vicinity. Some accident occurring to the trains from Newburyport, detained us in the Salem station for some two hours. Here our company commenced singing Advent hymns, and became so animated and deeply engaged that the people in the city came out in crowds, and seemed to listen with breathless attention until the cars came and changed the scene. Elder S. Hawley, a Congregationalist preacher who confessed faith in the Advent doctrine about this time, was invited to preach on the subject in the city of Salem on Sunday. -On attending to his appointment a few weeks afterward, he reported that the excitement there on this subject was intense. It was judged that he had seven thousand hearers.

Second Advent publications were now multiplying, and through the daily journals it was astonishing to learn with what rapidity this glorious doctrine was being proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the Union and the Canadas. The people in the various States, counties, towns, cities, and villages were all being aroused to hear the glad tidings.

Elder E. R. Pinney of New York, in his Exposition of Matt, 24, says: "As early as 1842, Second Advent publications had been sent to every missionary station in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and both sides of the Rocky Mountains." As no work of God had ever aroused the nations of the earth in such a powerful and sudden manner since the first advent of the Saviour and day of Pentecost, the evidence was powerful and prevailing that this work was the fulfilling of the prophecy of the flying angel "in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, 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."

Joseph Bates

Allegan, Michigan,

 Aug., 18, 1862.

Incidents In My Past life.   No. 46.


Opposition to the Proclamation of the Second

 Advent of the Saviour—

Mr. Miller's Statement of facts, 

from his "Apology and

Defense-- The Singular Manner in which 

he was called out to

Proclaim the Advent Doctrine.

AS Second Advent Conferences, social, and prayer meetings, were multiplying in various directions in the land, so in like manner opposition arose. Presidents and Professors of theological seminaries, learned and unlearned, ministers and laymen, religious and political newspapers, and prejudiced individuals, labored hard to disprove what they called Miller's doctrine. Many of them assailed his character, and denounced him in most violent terms. That they were unacquainted with his reputation, and also the work in which he was engaged, will be manifestly evident from the following extracts from his Apology and Defense.

He dates his conversion from A. D. 1816, and says: "I was constrained to admit that the Scriptures must be a revelation from God; they became my delight, and in Jesus I found a friend. I then devoted myself to prayer and reading of the word. . . .

I commenced with Genesis, and read verse by verse, proceeding no faster than the meaning of the several passages should be so unfolded as to leave me free from embarrassment respecting any mysticism or contradictions.  Whenever I found anything obscure, my practice was to compare it with all collateral passages; and by the help of Cruden I examined all the texts of Scripture in which were found any of the prominent words contained in any obscure portion. Then by letting every word have its proper bearing on the subject of the text, if my view of it harmonized with every collateral passage in the Bible, it ceased to be a difficulty. In this way I pursued the study of the Bible, in my first perusal of it, for about two years, and was fully satisfied that it is its own interpreter.

"I was thus brought in 1818 at the close of my two years' study of the Scriptures, to the solemn conclusion that in about twenty-five years from that time all the affairs of our present state would be wound up. . . . With the solemn conviction that such momentous events were predicted in the Scriptures to be fulfilled in so short a space of time, the question came home to me with mighty power, regarding my duty to the world in view of the evidence that had affected my own mind. If the end was so near, it was important that the world should know it. ... Various difficulties and objections would arise in my mind from time to time. ... In this way I was occupied for five years from 1818 to 1823. "I continued to study the Scriptures, and was more and more convinced that I had a personal duty to perform respecting the matter. When I was about my business it was continually ringing in my ears, 'Go and tell the world of their danger.' This text was constantly occurring to me. Eze. 33:8,9.

"I did all I could to avoid the conviction that anything was required of me; and I thought that by freely speaking of it to all, I should perform my duty, and that God would raise up the necessary instrumentality for the accomplishment of the work. I prayed that some minister might see the truth, and devote himself to its promulgation; but still I was impressed, 'Go and tell it to the world; their blood will I require at thy hand.' ... I tried to excuse myself to the Lord for not going out and proclaiming it to the world. I told the Lord that I was not used to public speaking, that I had not the necessary qualifications to gain the attention of an audience, that I was very diffident, and feared to go before the world, that they would not believe me, nor hearken to my voice, that I was slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. But I could get no relief.

In this way I struggled on for nine years longer, pursuing the study of the Bible. ... I was then fifty years old, and it seemed impossible for me to surmount the obstacles which lay in my path to successfully  present it in a public manner. "One Saturday, after breakfast, in the summer of 1833, I sat down at my desk to examine some point, and as I arose to go out to work, it came home to me with more force than ever, 'Go and tell it to the world.' The impression was so sudden, and came with such force, that I settled down into my chair, saying, 'I can't go, Lord.' 'Why not?' seemed to be the response; and then all my excuses came up, my want of ability, &c.; but my distress became so great, I entered into solemn covenant with God that if he would open the way I would go and perform my duty to the world. 'What do you mean by opening the way?' seemed to come to me.

'Why, 'said I, ' if I should have an invitation to speak publicly in any place, I will go and tell them what I find in the Bible about the Lord's coming.' 

Instantly, all my burden was gone, and I rejoiced that I should not probably be thus called upon; for I had never had such an invitation: my trials were not known, and I had but little expectation of being invited to any field of labor. "In about half an hour from this time, before I had left the room, a son of Mr. Guilford, of Dresden, about sixteen miles from my residence, came in and said that his father had sent for me, and wished me to come home with him. Supposing that he wished to see me on some business, I asked him what he wanted? He replied that there was to be no preaching in their church the next day, and his father wished to have me come and talk to the people on the subject of the Lord's coming, I was immediately angry with myself for having made the covenant I had; I rebelled at once against the Lord, and determined not to go. I left the boy without giving him any answer, and retired in great distress to a grove near by. There I struggled with the Lord for about an hour, endeavoring to release myself from the covenant I had made with him; but I could get no relief. It was impressed upon my conscience, 'Will you make a covenant with God, and break it so soon?' and the exceeding sinfulness of thus doing overwhelmed me. I finally submitted, and promised the Lord that if he would sustain me I would go, trusting in him to give me grace and ability to perform all he should require of me. I returned to the house and found the boy still waiting; he remained until after dinner, and I returned with him to Dresden. "The next day, which, as nearly as I can remember, was about the first Sunday in August, 1833, I delivered my first public lecture on the Second Advent. The house was well filled with an attentive audience. As soon as I commenced speaking, all my diffidence and embarrassment were gone, and I felt impressed only with the greatness of the subject, which by the providence of God I was enabled to present. At the close of the services I was requested to remain and lecture during the week, with which I complied. They flocked in from the neighboring towns, a revival commenced, and it was said that in thirteen families all but two persons were hopefully converted. On Monday following I returned home, and found a letter from Eld. Fuller, of Poultney, Vt., requesting me to go and lecture there on the same subject. "The most pressing invitations from the ministry and the leading members of the churches, poured in continually from that time during the whole period of my public labors, and with more than one half of which I was unable to comply. I received so many urgent calls for information and to visit places, with which I could not comply, that in 1834 I concluded to publish my views in pamphlet form, which I did in a little tract of 64 pages. The first assistance I received from any source to defray my expenses, was two half-dollars which I received in Canada, in 1835. The next assistance I received was the payment of my stage-fare to Lansingburgh, in 1837. Since then I have never received enough to pay my traveling expenses. ... I should not have alluded to this, were it not for the extravagant stories, which have been circulated to my injury. "From the commencement of that publication (Signs of the Times, in 1840) I was overwhelmed with invitations to labor in various places, with which I complied as far as my health and time would allow. I labored extensively in all the New England and Middle States, in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and in Canada East and West, giving about four thousand lectures in something like five hundred different towns. "I should think that about two hundred ministers embraced my views, in all the different parts of the United States and Canada, and that there have been about five hundred public lecturers. . . . In nearly a thousand places Advent congregations have been raised up, numbering, as nearly as I can estimate, some fifty thousand believers. On recalling to mind the several places of my labors, I can reckon up about six thousand instances of conversion from nature's darkness to God's marvelous light, the result of my personal labors alone; and I should judge the number to be much greater. Of this number I can call to mind about seven hundred who were, previously to attending my lectures, infidels; and their number may have been twice as great. Great results have also followed from the labors of my brethren, many of whom I would like to mention here, if my limits would permit."

From the foregoing statement of facts we learn, first, how deeply Mr. Miller's mind was impressed with the importance and necessity of proclaiming the doctrine of the Second Advent of Christ, after his first two years' study of the Bible; second, how that he continued to make the Bible his study fourteen years longer under the same conviction that he must proclaim it to the world; third, the peculiar and clear manner in which he was finally moved out to proclaim it; and then the final results of his labors all go to prove that he was moved upon in a most extraordinary manner to discharge his duty, by leading out in the proclamation of this important doctrine, and that, too, as we have before shown, in the right time.

Joseph Bates

Monterey, Michigan


Incidents In My Past Life 47.

Signs and Wonders in the Heavens.

THE year 1843 was remarkable for signs and wonders in the heavens; so much so that people said those Adventists were the most fortunate people in the world, for they had signs in the heavens to help prove their doctrine. I will here name one that was seen by millions of witnesses, which I believe was supernatural. It was a brilliant stream of light, which suddenly made its appearance in the path of the setting sun, a short distance above the horizon, soon after dark, and was very visible every clear night for three weeks in the month of March. While attending an evening meeting in Rhode Island during this time, the awfully grand and sublime appearance of this light was the cause of much excitement.

During the time of this phenomenon, many sought to quiet their feelings by saying it was a comet, but without proof. I will here give a few statements from different authors, selected from a small pamphlet entitled, "Modern Phenomena of the Heavens,"

by Henry Jones. From the N. Y. Herald.

"The strange sign in the heavens. —The mystery which continues to hang over this strange and unknown visitor, to our usually quiet solar-system, has very greatly increased the excitement in relation to it."

Hydrographical Office.

The strange light. —Soon after we had retired, 2 officers of the watch announced the appearance of the comet in the west. The phenomenon was sublime and beautiful. The needle was greatly agitated, and a strongly-marked pencil of light was streaming up from the path of the sun in an oblique direction to the southward and eastward; its edges were parallel. It was about 1° 30' (90 miles) broad, and 30° (1800 miles) long."

M. F, Haury, Lieut.

U. S. Navy.

Henry Jones makes the following statement concerning the appearance of this phenomenon in Connecticut:

"Messrs. Editors: On the evening of the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th instants., or commencing with Sunday evening last, the inhabitants of this town witnessed such a phenomenon as they had never before seen or heard of, being seen for about the space of an hour on each occasion, and mostly between 7 and 8 o'clock. Just about in the west on each of these evenings, the heavens being clear, there appeared a white streak of light, similar in color to the more common light in the north. It seemed about twice the width of the sun when in the same direction, and arose from the place of the setting sun." 

East Hampton, Ct., March 10, 1843.

He further says: "Bro. Geo. Storrs, late of this city, and having recently called here on his way from the South, informs us that at Norfolk, Va., the late streak of light in the west, or the great comet so-called, appeared of a blood red color, that it caused great excitement among the inhabitants."

In closing his statements he adds: "With regard to further notices of the comet, I have before me a host of them in print which need not now be copied, concerning it, all combining to establish the important facts that the same phenomenon was seen during about the same period, or three weeks of time, through the length and breadth of the Union and Eastern continent; that it was something strange. " In regard to the natural cause of this wonder of the world, I would be the last man to attempt to assign any other than that Jehovah himself is the solo cause of it, that he has done it by his own omnipotence to fulfill his word of promise concerning it, and to apprize his oppressed, cast down, and suffering saints, that he is now very soon coming for their deliverance."

Should the young reader desire any further facts about this strange light of 1843, or other signs equally startling, he can be gratified by reading the pamphlet referred to in this article.

Joseph Bates

Allegan, Michigan

Incidents In My Past Life   No.  48.


The stated year for the Coming of the Lord—

Set my place of residence—

Go with the message to the Slave States—

Meetings on

Kent Island—Meetings in Centreville, Eastern 

Shore of Maryland—Judge Hopper.

AS Mr. Miller had always stated the time for the coming of the Lord to be about 1843, he was now pressed to state the point of time more definitely. He said the Lord would come "some time between the 21st of March, 1843, and March 21st, 1844." Before the close of this memorable year, Conferences were appointed to be held by Brn. Miller, Himes,' and others in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, to re-arouse and give the last warning, and if possible wake up and warn the household of Caesar. It was a season of thrilling interest to all who truly loved the Second Advent doctrine.

About this time I sold my place of residence, including the greater portion of my real estate, paid up all my debts, so that I could say once more I owed "no man anything." For some time I had been looking and waiting for an open way to go down South into the slaveholding States with the message. I was aware that slaveholders in the South were rejecting the doctrine of the Second Advent, and but a few months before had ordered Brn. Storrs and Brown from the city of Norfolk, Virginia, and I was told if I went South the slaveholders would kill me for being an abolitionist. I saw there was some danger, but imperative duty and a desire to benefit them and unburden my own soul, overbalanced all such obstacles.

Bro. H. S. Gurney, now a mechanic in Jackson, Mich., said he would accompany me as far as Philadelphia.

The steamer on which we took passage from Massachusetts, had much difficulty in getting through the floating sheet-ice on the last end of her passage, through Long Island Sound and Hurl Gate to the city of New York. In Philadelphia we attended some of the crowded meetings of Bro. Miller and others. It was truly wonderful to see the multitudes of people gathered to hear him preach the coming of the Lord. Bro. G. now concluded to accompany me South. We reached the city of Annapolis, Maryland, by the way of Washington, and crossed the Chesapeake bay through the ice to the central part of Kent Island, on which I had been cast away some twenty-seven winters before. (See Nos. 15 & 16.) At the tavern we found the people assembled for town meeting. The trustees of two meeting-houses present were unwilling to open their doors for us, and intimated the danger of preaching the doctrine of Christ's coming among the slaves. We applied to the tavern-keeper for his house; he replied that we could have it

as soon as the town meeting closed.

We then made an appointment before them, that preaching on the Second Advent would commence in the tavern the next afternoon at a given hour. Said the keeper of the tavern, "Is your name Joseph Bates?" I answered, "Yes." He said that he remembered my visiting his father's house when he was a small boy, and informed me that his mother and family were in another room and would be glad to see me. His mother said she thought she knew me when I first came to the house.

The notice of our meeting soon spread over the Island, and the people came to hear, and soon became deeply interested about the coming of the Lord. Our meetings continued here, I think, for five successive afternoons. The mud was so deep on account of a sudden thaw, that we held no evening meetings. The tavern was a temperance house, and accommodated us much better than any other place we could have found in the vicinity.

At the commencement of our last afternoon meeting, a brother who had become deeply interested in the cause, called Bro. G. and myself aside to inform us that there was a company about two miles off at a rum store, preparing to come and take us.

We assured him that we were not much troubled about it, and urged him to go into the meeting with us and leave the matter in their hands. The people seemed so earnest to hear that my anxiety increased to make the subject as clear as I could for them, so that the idea of being taken from the meeting had entirely passed from me. But before I had time to sit down, a man who was at the meeting for the first time, whom I knew to be a Methodist class-leader, and one of the trustees that refused us the use of their meeting-house, arose and commenced denouncing the doctrine of the advent in a violent manner, saying, that he could destroy or put down the whole of it in ten minutes. I remained standing and replied, "We will hear you." In a few moments he seemed to be lost in his arguments, and began to talk about riding us on a rail. I said, "We are all ready for that, sir. If you will put a saddle on it we would rather ride than walk." This caused such a sensation in the meeting that the man seemed to be at a loss to know which way to look for his friends.

I then said to him, "You must not think that we have come some six hundred miles through the ice and snow, at our own expense, to give you the Midnight Cry, without first sitting down and counting the cost. And now, if the Lord has no more for us to do, we had as well lie at the bottom of the Chesapeake bay as anywhere else until the Lord comes. But if he has any more work for us to do, you can't touch us!" 

One Dr. Harper arose and said, "Kent, you know better! This man has been giving us the truth, and reading it out of the Bible, and I believe it!"

In a few minutes more Mr. Kent shook me heartily by the hand and said, "Bates, come and see us!" I thanked him and said my work was so pressing I did not think I should have time; but I would come if I could. But we had no time to visit only those who had become deeply interested, and wished us to meet with them in their praying circles.

At the close of our meeting we stated that we had the means, and were prepared to defray all the expenses of the meeting cheerfully, unless some of them wished to share with us. They decided that they would defray the expenses of the meeting, and not allow us to pay one cent.

On leaving Kent Island we passed along on the east side of the Chesapeake bay, called the Eastern Shore of Maryland, to the county town of Centreville about thirty miles distant, where we had sent an appointment to hold meetings. We chose to walk that we might have a better opportunity to converse with the slaves and others, and furnish them with tracts, which we had with us. On reaching Centreville we inquired for a Mr. Harper. On arriving at his store we presented our introductory letter, and was introduced to Judge Hopper who was engaged in writing. A number of men and boys came crowding into the store, apparently full of expectation, when one of them began to question us respecting our views, and soon came to the point that Christ could not come now, because the gospel had not been preached to all the world. I replied that it had been preached to every creature. When he showed his unwillingness to believe, I inquired for a Bible and read the following: " If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, &c." Col. 1:23. Said the man, "Where are you going to preach?"

Judge Hopper said in their "new meeting-house." "Well," said he, "I will come and hear you." Mr. Harper invited us, and the Judge to tea and to spend the evening. The Judge had a great many questions to ask us respecting our faith, and at about ten o'clock insisted on our going home with him to spend the night. Before reaching his house, which was a about a mile out of town, said he, "Mr. Bates, I understand that you are an abolitionist, and have come here to get away our slaves." Said I, "Yes, Judge, I am an abolitionist, and I have come here to get your slaves, and you, too! As to getting your slaves from you, we have no such intention; for if you should give us all you have (and I was informed he owned quite a number), we should not know what to do with them. We teach that Christ is coming, and we want you all saved."

He appeared satisfied and pleased with our reply, and in a few moments more we were introduced to his family. The Judge and Mr. Harper were the principal owners in a new meeting-house (as I understood), just erected for a new sect called "The New-Sides," which had seceded from the Methodist Episcopal church, called "The Old-Sides." These two friends stated that their new meetinghouse was free for us to occupy. We commenced there the next forenoon with a large congregation. Judge Hopper invited us to make his house our home during our series of meetings.

Joseph Bates

Monterey, Michigan,

 Nov. 19, 1862.


A Child's Questions.


WHO heaped the mountain up so high?

Who made the rivers flow?

Who put the water in the sea?

Dear mother, do you know?


It was the Lord, my little one,

Who made the earth so wide;

He filled the rivers and the seas,

And shaped the mountain side.


Who sent my baby brother here?

Who gave him hands and feet?

Who put that dimple in his cheek?

And made his lips so sweet?


God gave our little baby life,

And formed its body too;

He is the Maker of us all,

And, darling, He made you.


How came the trees to be so tall,

And bear such pleasant fruit?

How can the pretty flowers grow?

From such an ugly root?


We cannot tell how trees can rise,

And flowers bloom so fair;

'Tis God who makes them live and grow,

And plants them everywhere.


Who taught the bird to build his nest,

And line it soft with hair?

Who taught the bee to make his cell,

And store the honey there?


God made the little bee, so wise

In all his busy ways;

He taught the bird to build his nest,

And line it soft with hair?

Who taught the bee to make his cell,

And store the honey there?


God made the little bee, so wise

In all his busy ways;

He taught the bird to build his nest,

And sing his song of praise.


Who put the sky so far away,

And painted it so blue?

Who makes the sun to shine on us,

And sends the evening dew?


God makes the sun to shine on us,

He formed the sky above;

He sends the dew upon the flowers,

For, dearest, God is love.


Who drops the snow-flakes gently down,

And spreads them over all?

Who rolls the thunder through the clouds,

And lets the lightning fall?


God has a treasure-house of snow,

The winds are in his care;

He kindly sends the thunder-showers

To purify the air.


Dear mother, very strong and great

This mighty God must be!

He seems too wise to give a thought

To little ones like me.


Ah no, my child. Though God on high

Is wonderful in might,

The humblest child who kneels to him

Is precious in his sight.

So dearly did He love man-kind,

He sent his Son from heaven,

To die upon the cross for us,

That we might be forgiven.

Since He has done so much for us,

How grateful we should be:

We should obey his Ten Commands,

And love him heartily.

You think this world so very fair,

And very fair it is;

But God has made a brighter world,

More beautiful than this.

There sin and sorrow, death and care,

Can never come, my boy;

There those who love the Lord shall dwell


   "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;  

   These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.  

   For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  

   They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  

   They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.  

   Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.  

  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  

   Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.  

  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" 

Psalms  107:23-31