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    Chapter 12—John Changes His Mind

    In Rochester lived a young First-day Adventist preacher about twenty-three years old named John Loughborough, who supported himself and his wife by selling Arnold’s patent window-sash locks. Five and a half days each week he worked at his business. Then on Saturday afternoon he would drive to a nearby settlement, preach Sunday forenoon, visit his parishioners in the afternoon, and return home in the evening.SMG 87.1

    One day Mr. Orton, a friend, said to him, “John, some of your members are joining the Seventh-day people at the mission. Hadn’t you better go over there and get them out of their Saturday-keeping?” Orton did not tell him that he and some friends were the ones who were joining the mission.SMG 87.2

    Alarmed, Loughborough went at once with Mr. Orton and several others to a meeting at the mission. He was fully armed with texts and arguments to show up the errors of these Seventh-day preachers.SMG 87.3

    When the time came for the lecture, John Andrews, the evangelist, who was about the age of John Loughborough, arose and said, “I had prepared to speak on a certain subject, but I am impressed that I should change and consider those texts which are supposed to teach that the Ten Commandment law was abolished at the cross and that we are no longer required to keep the Sabbath of the commandment.” He then read Colossians 2:14-17, which spoke of “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”SMG 87.4

    Said he, “The Bible mentions two laws. First, there is the great moral law of Ten Commandments, graven on tablets of stone by the finger of God, thus indicating that it is changeless and will endure through endless ages. Second, there is the ceremonial law, which was written by Moses on parchment and given to the Israelites for a time. It consisted of regulations pertaining to the offering of sacrifices connected with their religious service. These sacrifices pointed forward to the Lamb of God who is sacrificed for us. Notice the scripture carefully, and you will see that it is this ceremonial law that was nailed to the cross.SMG 88.1

    “When the Son of God, the real sacrifice for the sins of the world, offered up His life on Calvary, there was no further need of sacrifices to remind God’s people that He was coming. Nor was there further need of the ceremonial law, which directed them in their observances. This is the law that was nailed to the cross.”SMG 88.2

    John Loughborough drew a pencil mark through Colossians 2:14-17, which headed his list of texts. Then, as the speaker continued, he struck out the second text on his list, Ephesians 2:15, which said that Christ had abolished in His flesh “the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” As the sermon progressed, one by one he crossed off all the other texts from his list. Not one of them taught that the Ten Commandment law had been abolished.SMG 88.3

    Last of all, the preacher read Christ’s words in Matthew 5:17, 18, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”SMG 88.4

    “God’s great law of Ten Commandments is still in force,” said Andrews. “Every letter and point of a letter in it is to stand until all God’s prophecies have been fulfilled and the present heaven and earth have passed away.”SMG 89.1

    After listening to that sermon, Loughborough said, “It was to me like a grand door opening into a region of light.” Later, when he stated his intention to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, he learned that Orton and his friends who had persuaded him to accompany them that evening had been attending the Bible lectures there for some time and had already decided to keep the Sabbath.SMG 89.2

    Soon after this Loughborough met James and Ellen White at the mission. Oswald Stowell, one of the young men who ran the handpress, was seriously ill and had been given up to die. During the meeting he lay in an adjoining room suffering intensely. At the close of the service he requested that Elder and Mrs. White pray for his healing. Elder White invited John Loughborough to go with them into the sickroom.SMG 89.3

    The three bowed in prayer, while the others prayed silently in the meeting room. Elder White anointed Oswald, and when they arose from their knees, the patient sat up in the bed. “I’m fully healed; I’ll be able to work the handpress tomorrow,” he said. He did work it two days later.SMG 89.4

    Mrs. White remained on her knees after the others arose. Her husband said, “My wife is in vision.” He invited those who wished to do so to come close and see for themselves that she did not breathe at such times. John Loughborough had never seen her in vision. As he watched her graceful movements, he saw that her pulse was regular, her eyes were open, her cheeks kept their natural color. She did not breathe even when speaking occasional words and sentences. He was amazed! Sometimes she would point with her hand as she moved her head as if viewing various scenes. After about half an hour she drew several deep breaths, and the vision ended. Soon she was telling those around her what she had seen.SMG 89.5

    Turning to Loughborough, she said, “I saw three men trying to keep you from joining the Sabbathkeepers. I heard unkind words spoken to you by your fellow ministers.” She even told him what he had been thinking about while he was making up his mind to keep the Sabbath. As she told what his inmost thoughts had been—thoughts that he had not expressed even to his wife—he said to himself, “Surely a power more than human is connected with these visions.”SMG 90.1

    God gave Ellen White a special commission for the young preacher. She said to him, “The Lord wants you to give yourself wholly to the preaching of the message.”SMG 90.2

    After he returned home from the service, he went alone to his room to pray. “Lord, if You will open the way, I will follow,” he promised. As he continued praying, his faith grew stronger, and he said, “I will obey, Lord, and Thou wilt open the way.”SMG 90.3

    The next Monday morning his wife said to him, “John, can you let me have some money? I need to buy matches and thread.”SMG 90.4

    He reached into his pocket and brought out a silver three-cent piece. Handing it to her, he said, “Mary, this is all the money I have in the world. Get only one cent’s worth of matches and one cent’s worth of thread, and bring me the other cent so that we shall not be entirely out of money. The Lord has not prospered my business of late. For some time no orders have come in for sash locks. I think it’s because I’m not following my duty to preach the Sabbath message.”SMG 90.5

    Bursting into tears, his young wife said, “John, what in the world are we going to do? If you go preaching, what support will we have?”SMG 91.1

    Then he reminded her of the Sabbath vision and God’s call. He told her of his decision to obey the call, giving his full time to the ministry.SMG 91.2

    After a good cry in her room, Mrs. Loughborough went to town and bought the matches and thread. When she came home, she found her husband singing cheerily.SMG 91.3

    “While you were gone, a man came with an order for sash locks and paid cash for the whole order,” he told her. “My commission on the sale is $26. That will buy firewood and provisions and cover all our immediate needs. The Lord has opened the way for me to answer His call.”SMG 91.4

    Within a few days old Charlie was harnessed to the carriage, and John Loughborough and Hiram Edson started on a six weeks’ preaching tour in southern New York State and Pennsylvania. That was the beginning of Elder Loughborough’s seventy years as a Seventh-day Adventist minister. For several years he traveled and labored with Elder and Mrs. White. He had the privilege of seeing my grandmother in vision nearly fifty times.SMG 91.5

    In his later years he was often one of the principal speakers at camp meetings and conventions. Whenever it was announced that he would preach in the main pavilion, the tent would be well filled; and usually we young people were there on the front seats, eager to hear his stories of pioneer days. How he loved to tell experiences that he had witnessed with his own eyes on those delightful occasions when heaven seemed to touch earth, and celestial beings came down from the heights of glory to talk with one of God’s humble handmaids, to open up mysteries of past and future ages, and to give instruction, counsel, and encouragement for His remnant church who have the “testimony of Jesus,” which is “the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 12:17; 19:10.)SMG 91.6

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