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This attitude was the prevailing one with the Adventists for some years following the separation. During this time there were no regular church records of any kind, not so much as a bare list of members. If a person sincerely believed and was baptized, his name was entered in the Lamb's book of life. What need of other record? There was no regular election of church officers, and with one or two exceptions, no ordaining of preachers.

Those who felt disposed to do so, gave what they could spare directly to the ministers, there being no system of denominational finance. On this plan, naturally, some ministers were fairly well paid; others received practically nothing.

This loose condition of things existing among the Adventists as a class, it was only natural that Seventh-day Adventists should be affected by it, and share the prejudices against gospel order entertained by their brethren. But the inconvenience

of such anarchy became obvious, and the leaders in the work early set about seeking a remedy.

A beginning was made with the ministry. It seemed no more than proper for the church to look carefully into the lives of the men engaged more or less in public labor, consider their qualifications, and then designate in some way those who gave manifest evidence of having received a divine call. It was decided to issue to such, a card stating that they had been approved in the work of the gospel ministry, and recommending them to the fellowship of the Adventist believers everywhere. The cards were dated, and were signed by two of the leading ministers, usually James White and Joseph Bates.

This plan began to be carried out in January, 1853. Naturally, cards were not issued to some who were opposed to the principles of gospel order, and wished to go and come as they pleased, regardless of the wishes of their brethren. These withdrew, and for a time formed an opposition party. But the effect, on the whole, was good. James White, writing retrospectively at the close of the year 1854, said:

"There never has been such a strong union as seems to exist with the remnant at the present time, and there seems to be a general waking up to the work of the Lord."

The next move was in the direction of proper support for the gospel messengers who had been duly approved. With the renewed confidence springing from unity of effort, the number of ministers was increasing. In the summer of 1854 tents began to be used for holding meetings, and being somewhat new, they attracted large crowds of people. The situation demanded

a considerable number of ministers who could give practically all their time to the work. Obviously, they could not do this to the best advantage without regular support for their families.

This lack of definite support was seriously interfering with aggressive evangelistic work. In a note appearing in the Review about this time, Elder White suggested that no more tents be put in the field than could be well manned and sustained. Then he added the significant words:

"Is it not too late to talk about working on the farm part of the time, and going as a preacher with a tent the rest of the time? Should not every tent company be free from worldly care and embarrassment? Brethren, think of these things, and may the Lord direct His people."

The brethren did think it over, and the conviction became general that some feasible plan for financing evangelistic effort would be necessary in order to put the cause on vantage ground. The liberality of the people must somehow take a more systematic and definite form, but what that form should be was a difficult question.

Recourse was had, as in other times of perplexity, to a prayerful study of the Bible. In the month of April, 1858, a little company of interested ones formed themselves into a Bible class under the direction of J. N. Andrews, for the purpose of ascertaining the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the support of the gospel ministry. The outcome of that Bible class was the recommendation of what was called "systematic benevolence on the tithing principle."

The plan was adopted by vote by the Battle Creek church Jan. 26, 1859, and was published in full, with reasons for its adoption, in the Review of February 6. An address on the same subject was presented at a general gathering of Sabbath keepers in Battle Creek, June 3-6, 1859, and the plan adopted. A majority of believers began to carry out the plan at once. Some held back, but it was not long till the principle was thoroughly established. The liberally inclined felt that a tithe was too little, the penurious, that it was too much; but the plan prevailed in the end.

The next forward step to be taken in the matter of conducting the affairs of the denomination in a safe and orderly manner, was the creation of a legal organization for holding church property. Here opposition appeared. Those who led out in this much-needed reform, were charged with desiring to make a name so as to be like the churches around them. They were also said to be going back to Babylon. These and other objections were duly published in the Review, and were followed by



REVIEW AND HERALD PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION Showing Its Development in Battle Creek, Mich., from 1855 to 1887

a common-sense reply by James White, in the course of which he pointed out that the Lord's goods could be managed in the present state of things only according to the laws of the country; and further, that it is vain to talk of church property if the church is not in a position to hold it legally.

By the autumn of 1860 it seemed that the time had come to act. At a general meeting held September 26 to October 1,

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This was the first legal organization of the Seventh-day Adventist body.

the question of organization was thoroughly discussed in all its various phases. The outcome was a unanimous vote to organize legally a publishing association, and a committee of five was appointed to create such a corporation as soon as practicable.

Organizing the publishing house, which was at the time the chief denominational institution, virtually meant finding a name for the denomination. Various suggestions were made, among others the "Church of God," which was rejected as not at all distinctive. It seemed desirable that a name should be found which would embody the outstanding features of the denominational belief. The name "Seventh-day Adventist" accordingly won increasing favor, and when the matter was put to a vote, only one person voted in opposition, and that one afterward changed his mind.

The Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association was accordingly organized May 3, 1861, and it formed the first of the corporations identified with the work of the denomination.

The one institution of the denomination thus provided for, it was next in order to organize the evangelistic affairs of the denomination. The writings of Mrs. White had been urging the value of mature plans, and of counseling frequently together. In 1855 came the word:

"There is too much of an independence of spirit indulged in among the messengers. This must be laid aside, and there must be a drawing together of the servants of the Lord. . . . 'Press together, press together.'”—“ Testimonies for the Church," Vol. I, pp. 113, 114.


"God is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals, here and there, one believing this thing, another that."- Id., p. 207.

And again:

"The people of God should move understandingly, and should be united in their efforts. They should be of the same mind, of the same judgment; then their efforts will not be scattered, but will tell forcibly in the upbuilding of the cause of present truth. Order must be observed, and there must be union in maintaining order, or Satan will take the advantage."-Id., p. 210. The situation called loudly for something to be done. Ministers had no specified fields of labor, and though they tried to keep in touch with one another, their efforts were not always successful. There might be three ministers at one church at one time; while other churches equally needing labor might not be visited for many months. Moreover, the labor was all of a scattered character, there being no way of following it up systematically.

Under a sense of the pressing need of some orderly way of securing unity of action and an effective organization, James White suggested, in an article in the Review of July 21, 1859, that it might be well for the believers in each State to hold a yearly meeting, at which plans could be laid for the evangelistic work in that State during the ensuing year. The suggestion met with favor, and beginning with the year 1860, such meetings were held in the States where there were sufficient believers.

These somewhat informal gatherings for counsel grew into regularly elected bodies of delegates. Before they could become such, however, it was necessary that the churches should be properly organized. Elder White accordingly addressed the Conference assembled in Battle Creek in the spring of 1861, calling for a more complete and effective organization of the churches. Recommendations were passed favoring such a course

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