Looking Backward - JOHN N. LOUGHBOROUGH

Looking Backward - JOHN N. LOUGHBOROUGH

MY first acquaintance with Seventh-day Adventists and the ADVENT REVIEW was made on Sunday evening, Sept. 26, 1852, when eight of us First Day Adventists assembled with a few others at a private residence, 124 Mount Hope Ave., Rochester, N. Y., the home of the REVIEW and its printers. There we listened to a discourse by Elder J. N. Andrews, in which he reviewed all the texts used to prove that the ten commandments were abolished at the cross. By that discourse every one of us was convinced that the decalogue was still binding. Through the week following he held studies with us in our homes, on the 2300 days, the sanctuary, and the three messages. We all accepted the views presented by him, and kept the next Sabbath. I have kept it ever since.

Up to March, 1852, all the Seventh-day Adventist printing had been done in outside offices, subject to delays in the issue of the REVIEW. Brother White decided that if they could only have a hand press and type of their own in some private residence, these delays would be avoided. So he made a call through the REVIEW for $700 in gifts for this purpose.

Just then a favorable providence hastened the accomplishment of his plan. Brother Hiram Edson, of Port Gibson, N. Y., succeeded in selling his home, and let Brother White have the use of $700 until means should come in. So the printing outfit was at once ordered. But now there must be typesetters, a foreman to make up the forms, a pressman, and a roller boy for inking the type on the press. Stephen Belden, Oswald Stowell, and Warren Bacheller partly met the needs, but who was to be the foreman to instruct these men ? Luman Masten, an exemplary young man twentythree years old, but not a professed Christian, had taken such a liking t our people while he was associated with them during a year's work in the office at Saratoga Springs, that he proposed to go to Rochester with them and instruct those selected to do this work. He agreed not to infringe on the Sabbath, and offered to do the work for less wages than he had been receiving. Brother White was glad to aceept this offer.

In April Brother White secured a building on Mount Hope Avenue, an old-fashioned, square house of two stories, with a " lean-to " on the back which would serve for a kitchen. The parlor and diningroom, connected by folding doors, served as a meeting- room. In one of the lower rooms the printing office was established. The premises included a barn, woodshed, etc. The rent was $70 a year. The workers, eleven persons in all, lived together as one family. Here the first number of Volume III of the REVIEW was printed, under date of May 6, 1852.

In the month of June, Brother and Sister White started on a tour through the New England States, for the purpose of holding meetings. In July of that year a great epidemic of cholera visited Rochester, and hundreds died. Luman Masten, the foreman, was attacked. Through careful nursing he was making a recovery, but as the consequence of beginning work too soon, he suffered a relapse, and his physician told him he must die. In addition to the sorrow that would be felt at the loss of one of their number, the family realized that they would be in a sad plight with their workers only partially trained. Sister Bonfoey, one of the family, was deeply impressed that if Masten would yield himself to the Lord, he would be healed in response to their prayers. When she presented the matter to him, he readily yielded his heart to the Lord, and in answer to their prayers was restored to health. In a short time he resumed his training of the workers. The cholera, however, had left him with seeds of consumption in his system: After the workers had been well instructed in their duties, he gradually failed in health, and died on March 1, 1854, aged 25. years. Brother and Sister White arrived, in Rochester from their eastern tour October 28. They found

Brother Stowell, the one who worked the hand press, prostrate with an attack of pleurisy, and given up by his physician to die. I had never met Brother and Sister White until I saw them at the Sabbath meeting, October 29. Brother Stowell had requested prayers, believing the Lord would heal him. I was introduced to Brother and Sister White as " an advent minister who had accepted the truth during their absence." Brother White requested that I join them in praying for Brother Stowell, and that those remaining in the room engage in silent prayer while we were praying with the sick man. Brother White anointed him and prayed, then Sister White prayed, and I prayed. Brother Stowell followed us in prayer, claiming victory in the name of the Lord, and was instantly healed.

The same blessing that healed Brother Stowell placed Sister White in an " open vision." So in about thirty minutes from the time I was introduced to Sister White I saw her in vision, and have seen her in vision more than forty times since. After the vision she related to the Rochester company some of the things that had been shown her. Pages 318- 320 of " The Great Second Advent Movement " give an account of this vision.

At the close of that Sabbath service Brother White presented me with copies of the REVIEW published in Maine, the volume printed at Saratoga Springs, and all the numbers of Volume III up to that date. These I read, and have had the privilege of reading every copy of the paper since that time. When I read what Sister White said, not long before her last illness,— " To those who fail to read the REVIEW and keep track of the progress of the work, the loud cry of the message may come, and they not know it,"— I decided that I must see every number of the REVIEW.

During the winter of 1852-53 Brother Andrews wrote his eighty-page pamphlet on the 2300 days and the sanctuary. This was printed on the hand press in the early spring of 1853. The office had then no stitching or trimming machines, such work being done at the city bindery. Brother White was anxious to send copies of the pamphlet to all the brethren, so he called " a bee " of the Rocfiester members, who folded the signatures for nearly one hundred of the books. I perforated them with a shoemaker's pegging awl, the sisters stitched them with needle and thread, Sister Mary Patten (afterward Mrs. Robert Sawyer) put on the covers, and Brother Uriah Smith trimmed them with his pocketknife and a straightedge. Sister White wrapped them, and Brother White addressed them for the mail. We were a happy company together, for we were " getting off the first book printed on a press owned by Seventhday Adventists."

At the end of the first year at Mount Hope Avenue, the family of workers was increased, Brother Uriah Smith coming in as 8ssistant editor of the REVIEW (on which his sister Annie was already working), and George Amadon to learn typesetting. The pressroom being needed now for the family, two other rooms were secured, one for the printing work and a smaller one for an editorial room. These were on the second floor of Stone's Block, near the center of the city, and on the corner of a street running through the city from east to west. That was the home of the REVIEW until the fall of 1855, when the printing plant was transferred to Battle Creek, Mich.

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