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The Great Second Advent Movement: Its Rise and Progress

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    Joshua V. Himes

    Concerning this earnest worker in this great movement we cannot do better than to quote from his biographer, who says:—GSAM 121.3

    “Joshua V. Himes was born at Wickford, R.I., May 19, 1805. His father was well known as a West India trader, and was prominent as a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal church in Wickford. His mother possessed an amiable disposition, and a love for the Saviour, which she poured into the willing ears of her son.GSAM 121.4

    “It had been the intention of the father to educate his son, Joshua, to the ministry of the church to which he belonged himself, but circumstances prevented it. God had another work for that son to do, and he was ordering things in that way which should bring about the desired result. In 1817 the father sent out a valuable cargo in charge of Captain Carter, with Alexander Stewart as supercargo. These men proved unfaithful, and having reached a West Indian port, sold both vessel and cargo, and fled. This event changed all the plans which had been made for the future of the young Joshua, who was to have been sent to Brown University, in Providence, R.I. Instead, in April, 1821, he was taken to New Bedford, Mass., and bound to William Knights to learn the cabinet-maker’s trade.GSAM 121.5

    “Reaching his new home, he entered earnestly upon the work assigned him, determined to become a master at his trade. He soon found, however, that his religious surroundings were not altogether to his taste. He says, ‘My master was a Unitarian, and he took me to his church. The Rev. Orville Dewey was the pastor. He was a late convert from orthodoxy. My training under Bishop Griswold and Rev. William Burge, rector of St. Paul’s, Wickford, and often hearing the eloquent Dr. Crocker of St. John’s, in Providence, R.I., quite unfitted me for accepting Mr. Dewey’s eloquent negations of the teachings of Christ and his apostles.’GSAM 122.1

    “There being at that time no Episcopal church in New Bedford, he decided to attend the First Christian church [not Disciple] and subsequently united with that body. ‘Here,’ he says, ‘I found the open Bible and liberty of thought, and made good use of both.’ This church was under the pastoral care of Rev. Moses Howe. Rev. Mr. Clough baptized Joshua V. Himes on Feb. 2, 1823. With a heart burning with zeal for his Master, he began at once, at the age of eighteen years, to tell the story of the cross and to urge men to repent. He says of himself:—GSAM 122.2

    ” ‘I soon became an exhorter, and license was given me to improve my gift.... I served out my apprenticeship with satisfaction, and received commendation. But for five or six years I was in the habit of doing overwork and thus obtained one or two days in the week for study and missionary work in destitute neighborhoods, the fruits of which I gave to my pastor.’GSAM 122.3

    “In 1825 he was commissioned as missionary of the conference of Christian churches in southern Massachusetts. ‘There was no plan or means for the support of missionaries,’ says Elder Himes, ‘and I resolved to enter into business for my support, and preach what I could.’GSAM 123.1

    “In 1828 he left New Bedford, not with misgivings or lack of energy, but with a determination that was bound to win, going to Plymouth, where he preached God’s word in school-houses, in improvised rooms, and wherever he could get a hearing. In 1829 he prosecuted the same character of work at Fall River until 1830, when he moved to Boston as pastor of the First and Second Christian churches; and here he remained for thirty-three years. In 1839 he became a convert to the Advent cause, as expounded by the famous Elder William Miller. He entered the new cause with all the enthusiasm he possessed, and his ministrations were full of fire and power. In 1840, he began the publication of the Signs of the Times, advocating the cause into which he had thrown his whole heart. All his money, all his labor, all his energy were thrown into the lap of this cause, and thousands of converts were won.”GSAM 123.2

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