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    09 THE ORIGINAL ADVENT FAITH

    SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS are sometimes charged with being a mere offshoot from the Advent body, followers of side issues and newly created hobbies. We claim, and shall show, that we are the only ones who adhere to the original principles of interpretation on which the whole Advent movement was founded, and that we are the only ones who are following out that movement to its logical results and conclusions.STTHD 102.1

    The reader has seen something of the strength of the argument by which the original application of the prophetic periods is sustained. Those who have attempted to re-adjust those periods, in order to extend them to some future point of time when Palestine or the earth should be purified by fire, have found themselves in an extremely embarrassing position. Their own confessions have proved this; and the reader will be interested to see some of them.STTHD 102.2

    Josiah Litch, a prominent writer and laborer in the early stage of the Advent movement, spoke as follows in the Advent Herald of Dec.28, 1850:—STTHD 102.3

    “Chronologically, the period [2300 days] is at an end, according to the best light to be obtained on the subject; and where the discrepancy is, I am unable to decide. But of this we shall know more in due time.STTHD 103.1

    ‘God is his own interpreter,
    And he will make it plain.’”
    STTHD 103.2

    The Advent Herald, seeing the utter inconsistency of denying the termination of the 2300 days in the past, while at the same time it was setting forth unanswerable arguments in vindication of the original date for the commencement of the period, as it long continued to do, in connection with the seventy weeks, it at last denied the connection between the seventy weeks and the 2300 days, and thus cut this latter period adrift upon the prophetic sea. This appears from the following queries by a correspondent, and the answers of the then editor of the Herald, inclosed in brackets, which appeared in the Herald of May 22, 1852:—STTHD 103.3

    “In your ‘chronology’ the cross is placed in A.D. 31. What are the principal objections which bear against its being placed in A.D. 39?STTHD 103.4

    [Ans. 1. The absence of any evidence placing it there. 2. The contradiction of the wonderful astronomical, chronological, and historical co-incidences, which show beyond the shadow of controversy that the seventh of Artaxerxes was in B.C. 457-8, that the birth of Christ was B.C. 4-5, that the thirtieth year of Christ was 483 years from the seventh of Artaxerxes, that the crucifixion was in A.D. 31, and that that was the point of time in the last week, when the sacrifice and oblation should cease.]STTHD 104.1

    “If the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 do not commence in the twentieth of Artaxerxes, how can the 2300 days begin at the same time with them, and yet terminate in the future? [Ans. They cannot.] Must we not henceforth consider that they have different starting-points? [Ans. Yes.]”STTHD 104.2

    To understand how serious a departure this was from the “original Advent faith,” the reader should bear in mind the following statements which under the significant heading of “Points of Difference between Us and our Opponents,” once formed a standing notice in the Advent papers:—STTHD 104.3

    “We claim that the 9th of Daniel is an appendix to the 8th, and that the seventy weeks and the 2300 days or years commence together. Our opponents deny this.” See Signs of the Times, 1843.STTHD 104.4

    Who now deny this? All who call themselves Adventists, so far as we know, except the Seventh-day Adventists. And in what position do they place themselves by this denial? In the position of those who were originally the opponents of the Advent faith. Gone over to the side of their opponents, and yet claiming to be the adherents of the original Advent faith!STTHD 105.1

    The declaration above quoted is as good for us to-day as it was for the Signs of the Times in 1843. It still flies from our mast-head.STTHD 105.2

    We claim that the 9th of Daniel is an appendix to the 8th, and that the seventy weeks and 2300 days or years commence together. OUR opponents [apostatized Adventists] DENY THIS.”STTHD 105.3

    Who, then, are the original Adventists?STTHD 105.4

    Again, to show the importance which was formerly attached to this matter, we quote from the Advent Shield, p.49, art., “The Rise and Progress of Adventism”:—STTHD 105.5

    “The grand principle involved in the interpretation of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, is, that the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24, are the first 490 days of the 2300 of the 8th chapter.”STTHD 105.6

    Those who have yielded this point have therefore given up the “grand principle involved in the interpretation of the 2300 days.” If to do this, and go over to the position of “our [their] opponents,” is not a serious defection from the original Advent faith, we greatly err.STTHD 105.7

    The following well-founded opinion was expressed by Apollos Hale in 1846:—STTHD 106.1

    “The second point to be settled, in explaining the text [Daniel 9:24], is to show what vision it is which the seventy weeks are said to seal. And it should be understood this involves one of the great questions which constitute the main pillars of our system of interpretation, so far as prophetic times are concerned. If the connection between the seventy weeks of Daniel 9, and the 2300 days of Daniel 8, does not exist, the whole system is shaken to its foundation; if it does exist, as we suppose, the system must stand.”—Harmony of Prophetic Chronology, p.33.STTHD 106.2

    Mark this language. The connection between Daniel 8 and 9 constitutes one of the “main pillars” of our system of interpretation. If it does not exist, the whole system is shaken to its foundation. If it does exist, the system must stand. We rejoice in the fact to-day that this connection does exist, and the system stands.STTHD 106.3

    And now, what are the reasons offered for taking a position which denies one of the main pillars of this system of interpretation, and shakes it to its very foundation? Simply this:—STTHD 106.4

    “We have no new light respecting the connection between the seventy weeks and 2300 days. The only argument against their connection is, the passing of the time. Why that has passed, is a mystery to us, which we wait to have revealed.”—Advent Herald, Sept.7, 1850.STTHD 107.1

    The same paper, in its issue of Feb.22, 1851, further said:—STTHD 107.2

    “Before 1843, we became satisfied of the validity of the arguments sustaining their connection and simultaneous commencement. There has nothing transpired to weaken the force of those arguments but the passing of the time we expected for their termination. We now have no other fact to advance against their connection; and, therefore, can only wait for the mystery of the passing of time to be explained. But of the commencement and termination of the seventy weeks, we are satisfied that they cannot be removed from the position which Protestants have always assigned them.”STTHD 107.3

    Before such a matter-of-course surrender was made of the strongest evidence and clearest proofs that can be drawn from the word of God on any subject, we submit to the reader if it would not have been more logical to inquire whether there might not possibly be some mistake in the view that the earth is the sanctuary, and that the cleansing of the sanctuary is to be by fire at the second coming of Christ; whether the days may not have ended, and the work to which they brought us, whatever it is, be now in process of fulfillment. S.D. Adventists, before rejecting the past movement, raised this inquiry, and the result has repaid our researches a thousand-fold, as will hereafter appear.STTHD 107.4

    And how do those who disconnect the seventy weeks and 2300 days dispose of this latter period? for something must be done with it. They attempt to date it from the point at which Daniel saw the ram pushing westward and northward and southward so that no beast might stand before him; and that pushing they make to be the decree issued against the Jews, as recorded in the book of Esther. As the result of the pushing in the prophecy, no beast could stand before him. This view therefore makes the Jews to be the beasts. But how did this matter come out? A counter decree was issued; fear of the Jews fell upon all the people; many joined themselves to them; and when the day of slaughter came, no man could withstand the Jews. Esther 9:2. They smote all their enemies. Verse 5. Seventy and five thousand Persians fell before them; and it was to them a day of triumph and joy. This, forsooth, was the ram pushing and doing according to his will, and becoming “great,” so that none could deliver out of his hand! To such absurdities are men driven in trying to avoid the plain and evident conclusions to be derived from God’s word. That men should seriously argue in this manner is one of those strange phenomena that sometimes appear in the workings of the human mind.STTHD 108.1

    But even dating from this point, and recklessly changing the date of it as some have done to as late a year as B.C. 426, the time has now run out. Every limit to which the 2300 days can be extended is passed by. Time has thus demonstrated that these days have ended. All we now ask of any one is to accede to unquestionable facts, and admit that these days are in the past.STTHD 109.1

    But if time has demonstrated that these days are in the past, it has also demonstrated that the earth is not the sanctuary, the very point claimed by those who offer this fact as the explanation of our disappointment in 1844; for no change has come over the earth except, physically, increasing signs of infirmity and old age, and, morally, a deeper plunge into wickedness and sin, on the part of its fast-degenerating sons and daughters. The former view, that the earth is the sanctuary, being thus demonstrated to be incorrect, the inquiry, What is the Sanctuary? is now fairly in hand, and peremptorily demands an answer.STTHD 109.2

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