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Heavenly Visions

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    NOTES ON EARLY TIMES IN THIS ADVENT MOVEMENT NO. 3. A GREAT OPENING OF DOORS IN THE DAYS OF 1844

    IT is very evident that the angels were especially at work as this advent movement rose, to prepare the way for it into all lands.HEVI 100.2

    In Scripture we repeatedly find that angels are sent as messengers to kings and rulers, to influence this and that course in favor of the cause of God. So, we may take it, the angels were God’s agencies to open ways into long-closed lands as the time came.HEVI 100.3

    The Spirit of prophecy has told us how great a work might have been quickly done, if all the forces of the 1844 movement had marched straight on into the full light of this definite message. The agent of this gift was shown:HEVI 100.4

    “In this age God has set His hand to gather unto Himself a people from every nation, kindred, and tongue. In the advent movement He has wrought for His heritage, even as He wrought for the Israelites in leading them from Egypt. In the great disappointment of 1844, the faith of his people was tested as was that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Had the Adventists in the early days still trusted to the guiding hand that had been with them in their past experience, they would have seen the salvation of God. If all who had labored unitedly in the work of 1844 had received the third angel’s message, and proclaimed it in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts. A flood of light would have been shed upon the world. Years ago the inhabitants of the earth would have been warned, the closing work would have been completed, and Christ would have come for the redemption of his people.”-Testimonies for the Church 8:115, 116.HEVI 100.5

    As we look over the earth, we see how surely providential agencies-the angels, I suppose-must have been at work opening barred doors into far lands, as truly as ever the angels of the book of Acts opened barred doors for Christ’s workers in apostolic times.HEVI 100.6

    In 1844 the time of the judgment hour came, and from that time the special message for the hour was to be carried to the whole world. If only all the old Adventist believers had held fast, what a wonderful work would have been seen long ere this, as the paragraph quoted tells us. The delay has given us the privilege of having a part in the movement. It is of no use to try to think out these mysteries as to God’s providences in time’s continuance, which bring us now a part to act. We only know, as regards delays in the carrying out of divine purposes, that the purposes will never fail, even though the time of fulfillment may be extended. As the apostle said -HEVI 100.7

    “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come.” 2 Peter 3:9, 10.HEVI 100.8

    The failure of the great multitude of the advent hosts of 1844 to move straight forward into the fully equipped movement, with all the truths for the judgment hour, brings to us who are now living the responsibility of “pressing the battle to the gates,” as a favorite phrase of our old pioneer believers used so often to express it. The doors of entrance that were opening in 1844 have been missionary providences for us through all our days. Note some of the great things of that time:HEVI 100.9

    1844.-Livingstone was planting his own first station in Africa, at Mabotsa. And then the history records: “Livingstone’s overmastering thoughts began to grow upon him in 1845. We find him saying: ‘Who will penetrate through Africa?’”-“Africa Waiting,” p. 74. Under that heaven-sent commission Livingstone laid down his life to open up Africa, under God. From those days the doors into the vast unknown interior began to swing open.HEVI 100.10

    1844.-Captain Allen Gardiner organized the Patagonian Missionary Society, the first to call attention to the great mission fields of South America. He and associates laid down their lives on wild Tierra del Fuego, where now we have believers.HEVI 101.1

    1844.-Turkey, head of the Mohammedan lands, took the step that made it possible for a Moslem to become a Christian and live. The sultan issued a decree: “The Sublime Porte engages to take effectual measures to prevent henceforward the execution and putting to death of the Christian who is an apostate.” It was a great moment in the approach to the Mohammedan peoples.HEVI 101.2

    1844.-In 1842 two ports on the China coast were opened to foreigners; and then, in 1844, long-closed China entered into treaty relations with one Western power. The greatest feature in connection with it is thus related in Magowan’s history:HEVI 101.3

    “A very important event happened [in this treaty of 1844], viz., the issuing of a decree by the emperor that Christianity should be tolerated throughout the empire, and no person professing it should be molested in the exercise of his religion.”-“Imperial History of China”.HEVI 101.4

    The waiting missionary bands flocked in at last. All this swinging open of doors, so much of it centering round the year 1844, was not only for the saving of souls in the general preaching of the gospel, but it was preparing the way for the final advent message. We cannot fail to see in it the preparations of God for this movement.HEVI 101.5

    In our cause the fifties marked the establishment of our first little printing house in Rochester, New York, the removal of the headquarters to the West, the building of the Review and Herald office, the launching of evangelistic tent efforts, the development of the tithing system as the great basis of support. The foundations generally were being laid in preparation for a world work.HEVI 101.6

    Note how in that same time the history records as further distinct preparation in the world field to receive light and truth. In this “Modern Mission Century,” A. T. Pierson wrote of this period:HEVI 101.7

    “Most countries shut out Christian missions by organized opposition, so that to attempt to bear the good tidings was simply to dare death for Christ’s sake; the only welcome awaiting God’s messengers was that of cannibal ovens, merciless prisons, or martyr graves. But as the little band advanced, on every hand the walls of Jericho fell, and the iron gates opened of their own accord. India, Siam, Burma, China, Japan, Turkey, Africa, Mexico, South America, the Papal States, and Korea were successively and successfully entered. Within five years, from 1853 to 1858, new facilities were given to the entrance and occupation of seven different countries, together embracing half the world’s population.”-Page 25.HEVI 101.8

    We thank God for the power that opened these barred doors, and for the work of the brave missionary pioneers of all the churches who blazed the first trails. For these many years our own missionaries have been sharing in the task, and we are working in every one of those lands mentioned and in many others. From the days of 1844, when the advent movement rose, we see the hand of God preparing the way for the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the message of Christ’s soon coming.HEVI 101.9

    And in what a wonderful way did the advent message come to our pioneers as the hour struck for it to begin to sound! W. A. S. The Review and Herald, October 26, 1939HEVI 101.10