gospel-herald.com Exodus and Advent Movement

Taylor G. Bunch

page 88

An Outstanding Book

In this connection be sure and read chapter 36, "The Lord Our Saviour," in Captains of the Host, by A. W. Spalding. Here is given a most graphic picture of the 1888 message of Righteousness by Faith and the attitude of leaders toward it and the messengers.

Another Testimony

Just before his death Elder L. H. Christian wrote a manuscript for a new book (never published) entitled, The Challenge of Our Pioneers. Speaking of Elder O. A. Olsen he wrote: "With his administration came by far the largest and deepest spiritual revival our people have hitherto known. Everywhere there was a turning to God for new power to win more souls for Christ and to live the victorious life of genuine sanctification. Those were indeed days of strong experimental religion. Hundreds of Adventist youth as well as lukewarm members came into an entirely new and happy experience. Elder Olsen himself was one of the strongest revival preachers Adventists ever had. …

"Elder Olsen came to a beautiful close of his nine year revival administration in 1897. Students of Adventist history have not, it seems to me, given the General Conference at College View, Nebraska, that year the attention and the credit it deserves. It was a turning point of promise in the experience of many and the threshold of a great Mission Advance, It was Adventism at its best. God had marvelously blessed His work and there was rapid progress in all lands. It was one of the most spiritual sessions Adventists ever enjoyed. No bulletin or report can do justice to such a divinely led mission meeting. …

"The highpoint of the session came one day in a prayer and testimony council that continued from nine in the morning until five in the afternoon. Personally, I have never known a meeting like it. … It was my last year in college. … Elder Olsen won the hearts of all by his firm hold on God and his sincere humility. The delegates all trusted him."

Report by Another

In 1921, A. T. Jones said that during the eight hour testimony service on the last Sabbath of the College View General Conference session the delegates "confessed to one another," and "loved and prayed for one another." It was doubtless at this meeting that Elder J. H. Morrison made his confession regarding his opposition to the message of righteousness by faith and his part in the Minneapolis crisis, and "cleared himself of all connection with the opposition, and put himself body, soul, and spirit, into the truth and blessings of righteousness by faith, in one of the finest and noblest confessions I have ever heard." (Jones). But this revival was not permanent in its results. The glorious spirit of revival was not followed by a spiritual reformation and soon afterwards came the greatest apostasy in our history. The Advent movement turned back into the wilderness of sin for many more years of wandering and thus a further delay in the finishing of the work and the return of Christ.