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Overview

When New York farmer William Miller prophesied that on October 22, 1844, the world would end and that Christ would come to reign for a thousand years, a million followers believed him. And even after the "Great Disappointment" dashed their immediate hopes, most of the believers remained faithful to their new church and maintained their belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ.

The Millerites were the original nucleus of today's Seventh-Day Adventist and Adventist Christian Churches, and this historical collection provides the necessary materials for a thorough study of the millenial philosophy. Researchers and students in American religious movements, nineteenth-century social historians, futurologists, hymnologists, and historians of the religious press will discover many research opportunities through the 1,000 early books and pamphlets, 2,500 issues of rare periodicals, and more than 1,000 letters featured here.

The Millerites and Early Adventists presents the birth, growth, and change of what remains a major religious group today. The collection is divided into five sections:

 

  • Historical works pertaining to Adventism, including David T. Arthur's 1870 study "Come Out of Babylon"; A Study of Millerite Separatism and Denominationalism, 1840-1865, and Joseph Bates's 1850 memoir, Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps
  • Pre-Disappointment to 1844, containing national and international works on Second Advent prophecies and beliefs. Featured are Millerite and anti-Millerite publications such as Miller's 1836 Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ about the Year 1843 and the famous anonymous rebuttal, Miller Overthrown, the False Prophet Confounded, by a Cosmopolite.
  • Post-Disappointment works spanning the years 1844-1870, which include the writings of and studies about post-Millerite factions. Again, both Adventist and anti-Adventist publications and positions are presented, and students can compare Joshua Himes's 1858 Defence of the Personal Reign of Christ and His Saints on Earth to the 1845 comedy, The Millerite Humbug; or, The Raising of the Wind!
  • Secondary writings by Advent Christians and Seventh-Day Adventists, including proceedings of the Seventh-Day Adventist General Conference of 1859, 1863, and 1866
  • Extant periodicals from 1831-1869, the correspondence of William Miller and Joshua Himes, and Adventist hymnals

Based on the critically acclaimed bibliographic essay by Carner, Kubo, and Rice first published in The Rise of Adventism, the collection is a valuable research key to serious studies of millenialist history and doctrine as well as to comparative studies of religion and religious movements.

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