Some of Our Pioneers - DRURY W. REAVIS

Some of Our Pioneers - DRURY W. REAVIS

IT seems fitting, in this special seventieth anniversary issue of the REVIEW, to recall in appreciative remembrance some of our honored pioneers who rest from their labors, and who, through unprecedented sacrifice and untiring labor, made it possible for us to have the REVIEW, and the great world-wide developing Advent Movement of today. To these, more than to us, belongs the credit of what we hear and see at this time of the fulfilment of the Saviour's prophecy concerning the preaching of " this gospel of the kingdom " in all the world for a witness unto all nations before the end.

Leading all these early workers were Brother and. Sister James White. In response to urgent messages coming to him through the visions of Sister White, Brother White began to write on the prophecies, the Sabbath, and the practical teachings of the Bible. These writings were printed first in a little sheet he named The Present Truth, which later became the REVIEW. He did his writing by pen, lived in rented rooms, and worked in every conceivable way to secure needed means. Sister White did her own work, made her own clothes, and besides, spoke often, and wrote more than any one today would think of doing.

They lived and labored exclusively for the cause they loved. It took strong courage and unswerving faith to face the tasks assigned them, which had to be performed under most unfavorable and trying circumstances. They had no money and no following. All they had was themselves, with deep convictions, poor health, and one of the greatest tasks ever assigned to human beings,— that of launching a most unpopular and sacrificing movement. Too much cannot be said in commendation of their efforts, and too great respect and honor cannot be bestowed upon their memory.

Associated with Brother and Sister White, we recall the names of other sacrificing men, to whom much credit and honor belongs for their untiring efforts in planting and nourishing the third angel's message in days of great want and most intense prejudice and opposition. The names of some of these we mention without attempting even a limited biographical sketch of any of them. Such an account would require far more space than is provided in this issue of the REVIEW. We shall not refer in this list to several of the pioneers still living.

There was Joseph Bates, a man of great faith and power, one who gave himself and all that he had to the cause he regarded of greater importance than anything the world could offer to a man of even his demonstrated abilities.

Urged by Elder White, Uriah Smith began to write for the REVIEW when he was a young man. In fact, he wrote and preached at first only as Elder White insisted upon his doing so. Though one of the meekest of men, he was also among the most talented men of the denomination, and was one of the great pillars of the cause in his time.

Elder J. N. Andrews was our first foreign missionary, and the historian of the denomination in his day. His " History of the Sabbath " still stands as an authority on the Sabbath question.

Elder J. H. Waggoner, a deep thinker and sound reasoner, did a great work in preaching and writing during the establishment of the foundation of the denomination.

Elder George I. Butler, who served twice as General Conference president, was a man of marked ability and true devotion to God. In some ways he was a combined Peter and Paul, modified by the tender spirit of John.

Prof. G. H. Bell was the leader of our early educational work. Perhaps the least appreciated man in his day, he is today fondly cherished in the hearts of hundreds of his pupils. While he sleeps, he still works through those whom he trained for service in the cause of Christ.

Elders 0. A. Olsen and G. A. Irwin were strong General Conference presidents, each giving the mold to the general work providentially demanded during his administration.

There is a long list of names of workers who rest from their labors, whom we should like to mention, and to specify in what marked ways they served the cause in the days when to be a worker meant sacril fice, privation, and the scorn and contempt of the world; but we can mention with deep appreciation, only a few of their names; however, these will be sufficient to awaken fond memories in the minds of thousands of the readers of the REVIEW. B. L. Whitney, D. A. Robinson, I. D. Van Horn, R. C. Porter, A. S. Hutchins, J. B. Frisbie, R. J. Lawrence, J. H. Rogers, R. M. Kilgore, E. B. and S. H. Lane, D. T. and A. C. Bourdeau, T. M. Steward, J. L. Prescott, J. H. Morrison, John Sisley, R. S. Owen, R. F. Cottrell, G. W. Amadon, J. W. Bacheller, E. S. Walker, J. M. Aldrich, L. 0. Stowell, F. L. Mead, George A. King,— all were pioneers in the ministerial, publishing, and colporteur work.

It is not possible for the present generation, blessed with decidedly more favorable conditions, to realize how much all these faithful pioneers sacrificed and really suffered for the most common necessities of life in order that the cause they loved more than any personal consideration, might be advanced. Nothing but a full sense of personal responsibility, divinely impressed upon the souls of men, could compel them so cheerfully to sacrifice and to labor as they did.' To them, we who celebrate this seventieth anniversary of " the good old REVIEW " give the first place in our hearts for brotherly love and keen appreciation.

From the magazine: Adventist Review Anniversary Issues 31(96)-1919
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