Relation to Millerism
Conflicting statements are frequently heard as to whether we were or were not integrally connected with the Miller movement, dictated apparently by viewpoint or expediency to avoid the odium of Millerism. What are the facts in the case?
To sometimes claim that we sprang from and therefore have an integral- relationship to the Miller movement, and at other times to deny that we had any integral part in the mistaken positions of that movement,—in fact, that "we were not organized until 1861,"—is but an unworthy technical evasion. It is unbecoming to shift position as need or convenience may dictate. We either did or did not spring organically from the Miller movement, and the historic facts fulfilling the prophetic delineations aver that we did.
Joseph Bates was an important figure in the first angel's message. He was one of the group authorizing and calling the first General Conference of Christians Expecting the Advent, held in 1840, and a member of its committee on arrangements. Indeed, in 1842 he was chairman, and Joshua V. Himes secretary, of one in a series of such epochal conferences. James White was likewise a First Day Adventist preacher and full-fledged participant prior to the disappointment. The Harmon family, including Ellen Harmon [White], was expelled from the Methodist Church in 1843 for accepting the same Adventist teaching. T. M. Preble, who brought the Sabbath truth, and 0. R. L. Crosier, who introduced the sanctuary light, were in the 1843-44 movement, as was Hiram Edson and many others.
Never should we seek to avoid the odium that attaches to aspects of the Miller movement, and then claim spiritual kinship and chronological heritage for the threefold message. Such a course does not comport with Christian ethics. Let us be meticulously consistent and honest in the historicity of this movement.
L. E. F.