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The Day Jesus Didn’t Come

I really need to keep better track of my chronology of American religious history. One hundred and sixty-three years ago today, William Miller and the soon-to-be Seventh Day Adventists were really disappointed.

Update: The entry on SDAs in America’s Alternative Religions is dry. As is my grandfather’s book, Seventh-Day Adventists: The Sabbath and The Covenants (which has the strange distinction of having a different title on the cover—complete with double question marks, it’s Seventh Day Adventists??—than on the title page). Like so much of his work, it’s organization as argument, which is to say, argument by textual proxy. The texts he cites speak for themselves—he only compiles them. The thesis is remarkable for the fact that the man who argues is absent from it: “In this book the claims of [Ellen G. White, an SDA prophet from the early twentieth century] are tested by comparing what she says about the Sabbath and the covenants with what the Bible teaches. She cannot be sent of God for she contradicts the word of God in the Bible.” The book’s also intriguing for its preoccupation with origins: White was nearly 70 years dead when he published the thing. In other words, he tried to dismantle the SDAs by attacking their foundations—which is, I suppose, not a bad decision if your intent is to dismantle a faith. Anyway, JH, for now, what it says isn’t as important as the fact that it’s an orange book with a white spine. Look for the double question marks and, obviously, the name on the cover.

 

Comments

I remember reading about that back in the day, but I’d forgotten all about it. It’s really remarkable, isn’t it?

I didn’t know that was the background of the 7day Adventists. The only thing I recall reading about them is an old book of my grandfather’s that detailed their doctrinal errors from a CoC perspective, you know, in case you should ever be challenged to a debate by one.

In honor of the Millerites, I think tonight I’ll read the their entry in America’s Alternative Religions and report back anything new.

I bet your grandfather’s book was written by my grandfather.

2a: By “new” I mean relatively speaking, of course.

2b: Quite possibly. I can let you know in a few months.

I hope my parents haven’t given my gf’s books to Goodwill, or something like that. (Though I doubt any charity would take them.)