Joshua V. Himes,



The Great Publicity Agent



     Joshua Vaughn Himes was born May 19, 1805, in North Kingston, Rhode Island. His father, a man of some means, was a West India trader and a prominent member of the Episcopal Church. It had been the plan of the elder Himes to educate Joshua for the   Episcopal ministry at Brown University at Providence, Rhode Island. When Joshua was still a lad, however, a great financial disaster overtook his father. In 1817 he sent a valuable cargo to the West Indies under the charge of a ship captain who proved unfaithful to the trust, sold the ship laden with goods, and disappeared. This disaster ruined the father financially and was destined to change the whole life of Joshua, who was obliged to give up going to college. Mr. Himes was convinced his son should learn a trade, and accordingly apprenticed him to a cabinetmaker in the vicinity of New Bedford.  

     While there, during the years of his apprenticeship, he began to attend the meetings of the Christian Church held in New Bedford. He united with that group at the age of eighteen. Exhibiting talent, he was encouraged to develop his aptitude; and conducted evangelistic services in neighboring schoolhouses, where success crowned his efforts. By the time he had completed his apprenticeship he had developed into a full fledged minister. At the age of twenty-two he raised up a church of one hundred twenty-five members at Fall River, Massachusetts; and in 1830, while still in his twenties, he went to Boston as pastor of the Christian church there. He was very progressive and active, and consequently he and a number of the congregation moved too fast for the major portion of the group. As a result, his special friends and admirers withdrew, formed the Second Christian church, and elected him their pastor. From a little handful numbering less than fifty, this congregation grew under the leadership of the youthful pastor until the Chardon Street Chapel, with a capacity of about five hundred, was built for a church home. 

     Like Joseph Bates, Himes was a reformer by nature and found his greatest satisfaction in crusading against the prevailing evils of his day. He was an energetic temperance reformer and had associated with Joseph Bates in the great crusade against liquor. He was one of the outstanding assistants of William Lloyd Garrison in his spectacular battle against slavery. Indeed, the Chardon Street Chapel was the birthplace of William Lloyd Garrison's New England Anti-Slavery Society.  

     The following item in the Liberator, Garrison's historic abolition paper, gives the reader an idea of the prominent place which this church, built by Himes, occupied in reform movements in Boston:  

     "Chardon Street Chapel-The meetings of the New England convention will be held in this chapel-a building which is destined to be honorably famous in the history of Boston, and for which we entertain more respect and affection than we do for any other in the city."-Liberator, May 20, 1842.  

     Garrison reluctantly and regretfully released his friend when Himes felt he must give his full time to the advent movement. Mrs. Himes was an officer in the women's division of the abolition society. Mr. Himes was also an organizer and officer of the Non-Resistance Society, which was one of the forerunners of our present-day peace associations or societies for the prevention of war and strife. His church was open for reform meetings, and became the reform headquarters of Boston.  

     On the eleventh day of November, 1839, William Miller began a series of meetings at  Exeter, New Hampshire.

      On the twelfth, a conference of Christian ministers convened there, and during their session, prompted by curiosity, they called on Mr. Miller in a body. Mr. Himes had previously written a letter inviting Mr. Miller to give a series of lectures in his church. He now made the acquaintance of Mr. Miller and renewed the invitation in person. The meeting that November day was an eventful one in the lives of both men for Miller, who had worked so untiringly in the rural sections and small towns for six years, was introduced to the world by the indefatigable Himes.  

     And Himes gave up his other reform activity and became the publicity agent for Mr. Miller. At this time Mr. Himes was barely thirty-five. He was described as pleasant, urbane, and congenial. His neat dress, charming personality, sharp black eyes glistening with ardor as though zeal were burning in him, and his entire manner and bearing begat confidence and the assurance that he was a very honest, sincere young man. One who knew him declared critically that only with the greatest difficulty was an interview obtainable, for he could not be kept still long enough for a person to obtain much satisfaction on any point. While .this criticism was no doubt overdrawn, there is little question that this minister who espoused Miller's cause was a restless and energetic crusader.  

     Mr. Miller stayed at the home of Mr. Himes while he gave his first series of lectures in Boston. The two men had many talks about the advent message, Mr. Himes' plans for the future, and his responsibilities. Although at this time not fully in accord with Mr. Miller's views, he was convinced of their general correctness in regard to the soon coming of Christ, and he felt a deep interest in getting this great truth before the people.    

     Mr. Himes, in relating his experience later, reported the following conversation with Mr. Miller:  

     "But why have you not been into the large cities?"  

     "He replied that his rule was to visit those places where invited, and that he had not been invited into any of the large cities."  

     "Well, said I, will you go with me where doors are opened?"  

     "Yes, I am ready to go anywhere, and labor to the extent of my ability to the end."    

     "I then told him he might prepare for the campaign; for doors should be opened in every city in the Union, and the warning should go to the ends of the earth! Here I began to 'help' Father Miller."  

     Miller had greatly felt the need of a medium of communication to the public that would give his views and act as a shield against abusive stories circulated in other journals. He had made several attempts to start such a journal, but had not been able to find a man who would risk his reputation and possible financial loss in order to establish the desired publication. While giving another series of lectures in the Chardon Street Chapel, Mr. Miller confided to Himes his great need. Mr. Himes immediately offered to start such a paper, and shortly afterward, on March 20, 1840, the Signs of the Times began its regular appearance. Mr. Himes made an arrangement with an antislavery firm in Boston whereby he would furnish the editorial matter and act as editor free of charge and the establishment would take all pecuniary risks and receive the proceeds. This arrangement was continued for one year, at which time Mr. Himes bought the paper for one hundred dollars and the promise to give the firm the printing. Ten years later one of the members of the firm, in commenting on the transaction, said they had never had reason to regret their bargain, for Mr. Himes did all he agreed to do and gave them a large job of printing, paying them as often as they desired.  

     The paper grew steadily. By July 15 the circulation list had grown to 800, by October I it stood at 1,000, and at the end of one year it had climbed to 1,500. The announced policy was to make the paper a medium for the discussion of the condition of the church and the world in reference to Christ's Second Coming, with the hope that the paper would promote prayer, Bible study, revivals, and entire consecration among the church members. The paper was nonsectarian, and during the first year its columns became a veritable forum where both opponents and proponents were given an opportunity of presenting their views. As time passed and the arguments were fairly well exhausted, old arguments were not republished, and the editor adopted the policy of printing only arguments in favor of the advent views. 

      Next Mr. Himes took in hand the publication of a third edition of Miller's lectures at a time when it was thought it was a bad financial venture, since it was supposed that with opposition developing the demand was declining. This work, which was the progenitor of the thousands of pages of literature on the subject, was kept in print by the vigorous work of Himes. From this time forth Himes was in charge of the publication and distribution of literature. He published large charts, small charts, stationery, pamphlets, songbooks, tracts, books, and various other types of printed matter.

     The distribution of literature and the preaching of the message went hand in hand, for wherever the lecturer went, there was an immediate call for literature, and wherever literature was sent, there was a demand for preachers. The scarcity of lecturers hindered the spread of literature, but the ever ingenious Himes bundled up quantities of papers and sent them to the post offices and newspaper offices over the country. Ship and harbor workers placed publications on the ships for the sailors and bundles of papers to be left for distribution at various points.  

     The lighthouse tender who sailed up and down the Atlantic coast supplying the lighthouses with oil was an advent believer, and along with his various duties, he distributed literature in order that the isolated lighthouse keepers might prepare for the day of the Lord. This man's work was described by Mr. Himes: 

     "Captain H. has just returned from a long tour, in visiting the principal lighthouses in the U.S., to supply them with oil. Before he left Boston on his way south he took a good stock of light from our office and has thereby scattered the light along the entire coast. We trust many a weary voyager, by this light, will be guided into the port of life." 

     In an effort to acquaint New York with the message, in the fall of 1842 Himes and Miller determined to launch a big campaign in that great metropolis. Himes accordingly established a daily paper, the Midnight Cry, in connection with this mighty evangelistic "drive." Ten thousand copies were printed daily and hawked on the streets of the city by newsboys, or given away. After the close of the evangelistic meetings the paper continued publication as a weekly.  

     This policy of starting a paper to run a few weeks in a new place while a big evangelistic effort was in progress was followed more or less consistently after this time. This policy was certainly not a money-making scheme, for the first few weeks of a periodical's existence there is almost sure to be financial loss. It was felt, however, that the money thus lost was well spent. Papers so started in connection with a big campaign held at certain vantage points, were usually discontinued when the effort was concluded, but sometimes the interest was so great that the periodical was continued.    

     Rochester seemed to present a vantage point for attack, located as it was at the gateway to the lake region. In connection with the evangelistic effort conducted there, Mr. Himes established the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom to Come, which he announced in the first issue would run for thirteen weeks "if time continues". Hundreds of dollars worth of literature was distributed free of charge.    

     From the beginning of his connection with the advent message Mr. Himes held a key position. Although "Father Miller," as he fondly called him, was the unquestioned leader of the movement, he delegated a great deal of the activity in connection with the work to his younger associate. The latter held the complete confidence of his chief, who was drawn to him as a father to a son. The very nature of his work threw great responsibility into the hands of Mr. Himes. The first general conference of advent believers met in his church at Boston, and the Chardon Street Chapel, which had reechoed to the voices of Emerson, Theodore Parker, William Lloyd Garrison, and Wendell Phillips as they planned their campaign to strike the fetters from the slave, now became the cradle of the second advent movement in America. Mr. Himes, who had seen much dissension in other reform meetings held in his church, used the utmost caution in arranging for the conduct of this first meeting. He proposed the raising of $500 for printing the report of it for the public. Indeed, as editor of the paper, he became the center of the loosely formed Come, which he announced in the first issue would run for thirteen weeks "if time continue." Hundreds of dollars' worth of literature was distributed free of charge. 

     From the beginning of his connection with the advent message Mr. Himes held a key position. Although "Father Miller," as he fondly called him, was the unquestioned leader of the movement, he delegated a great deal of the activity in connection with the work to his younger associate. The latter held the complete confidence of his chief, who was drawn to him as a father to a son. The very nature of his work threw great responsibility into the hands of Mr. Himes. The first general conference of advent believers met in his church at Boston, and the Chardon Street Chapel, which had reechoed to the voices of Emerson, Theodore Parker, William Lloyd Garrison, and Wendell Phillips as they planned their campaign to strike the fetters from the slave, now became the cradle of the second advent movement in America. Mr. Himes, who had seen much dissension in other reform meetings held in his church, used the utmost caution in arranging for the conduct of this first meeting. He proposed the raising of $500 for printing the report of it for the public. Indeed, as editor of the paper, he became the center of the loosely formed movement and furnished the dynamic power which enabled it to burst forth into full. bloom. He never held any higher office than secretary, but was always there boosting and planning. As editor of the paper he made calls for needy fields and dispensed money where he felt there was an opportunity to do good.

     Of all Himes' contributions to the advent movement, perhaps none is more interesting than his part in the great camp meetings. The camp meeting as an institution had come down to the advent believers from the Methodists. At the general conference held in Boston in May, 1842, it was determined, in the face of some misgivings, to hold three of these meetings that season. As it turned out, the first meeting of this nature was held in Canada as a result of the hearty reception of Josiah Litch, who visited there immediately after this conference. The interest was so intense that he entered into plans for a camp meeting, although the first one had been planned for the United States. The one originally planned as the first under Adventist auspices was held at East Kingston, Massachusetts, in the last week in June, 1842.  

     Mr. Himes was the superintendent, and with his usual efficiency had arranged everything in a most satisfactory manner.  The location was exceedingly favorable. The ground was only a hundred feet from the Boston and Portland Railroad. There was an abundance of pure cold water, tall hemlock trees furnished cool shade, and secluded adjacent groves provided retreats for retirement for private prayer and devotion. Although from seven to ten thousand people from all over New England attended this meeting, excellent order and harmony prevailed.    

     During this first general assembly of believers, at one meeting individuals were given the opportunity of telling how the message came to them. One received the light from reading part of a copy of the Signs of the Times which the storekeeper had used to wrap a package of tea. Many other interesting means were reported. The offering in gold, silver, jewelry, and other items amounted to a thousand dollars.  

     Although Mr. Himes led out in the camp meeting project, personally superintending the first one, the camp meeting program soon grew beyond all expectation, and was beyond the ability of any one man to superintend. During 1842 thirty-one camp meetings were held. In 1843 there were forty, and during the season of 1844 at least fifty-four were conducted. These meetings were much larger than present-day camp meetings, the reported attendance running from four thousand to fifteen thousand. Whole country sides flocked to hear the stirring message of Christ's soon return. It is estimated that in the 125 camp meetings held during the 1844 movement between five hundred thousand and a million people were in attendance.  

     The Adventist camp meeting of Mr. Himes' day was different from that of the present time in a number of respects. The camp superintendent leased a suitable tract of woodland, well watered and accessible. The place of assembly consisted of an oval clearing furnished with rude seats and a platform at one end. Here under the boughs of the great trees the worshipers had their sanctuary. Surrounding this place of assembly, drawn in a huge circle, were the tents. It was not customary to have small family tents such as are used today. The entire church or believers of a given town occupied one tent. Some of these church tents were thirty by fifty feet. At the East Kingston meeting, for example, might be found the Salem tent, the Roxbury tent, and perhaps the Lynn tent. If there were a large number of delegates from one place, several tents were brought. If rain prohibited holding the meeting in the open air, services were conducted in the several tents at the same time.  

     The regular program called for three meetings a day in the general assembly: at ten in the forenoon, at two in the afternoon, and at "six and one half" in the evening, as it was quaintly put. During intermissions, prayer meetings and labor for sinners took place in the living tents. At the close of the meeting, before camp was struck, it was customary for the camp secretary to call at each church tent on the last day and ascertain the number of conversions during the session. His report of the meeting appeared in one of the Adventist papers shortly afterward.  

     A long dining tent was pitched, where the campers could procure meals for $1.42 to $2 a week. Stable tents were erected, and horses were cared for at the rate of twenty-five cents a day. Scores of vehicles stood in the woods, and large numbers of horses were tied under the trees. Stages and omnibuses from the neighboring towns were coming and leaving. As the number and size of camp meetings increased, the railroads provided a tent for a temporary depot on or near the campground, and the trains stopped to accommodate passengers. Laymen rode for half fare and ministers were carried free. 

     The group occupying a given tent was known as a tent company, and it chose a leader whose duty it was to keep order and represent the group in the general committee of the camp. This man was called the tent master. This is the origin of the term which has come down to us today. During meetings in the general assembly the men sat on one side and the women on the other.    

     At the East Kingston camp meeting it was voted to procure a large tent at a cost of $800. Immediately the larger portion of this amount was raised, and Mr. Himes purchased the tent. The reasons for this move were: first, nearly all the churches were closed to Adventist preachers; second, the crowds were altogether too large for the buildings, even when these could be procured. Buildings were crowded to suffocation, and many were turned away. With the tent the lecturers had only to secure a plot of ground and raise their tabernacle. There was no exorbitant rent to pay and no moving from church to hall or other meeting place as the owners changed their minds about allowing their buildings to be used. Himes wrote that the tent answered the. purpose in every respect.    

     The tent purchased at this time was said by the Newark Daily Advertiser to be the biggest in America. It was 120 feet in diameter and had a pole 55 feet high. Mr. Himes reported that there were seats for four thousand people and that an additional two thousand could be crowded into the aisles. The immense size of the tent won for it the name "the great tent," and it was heralded in the newspapers over the entire country. Everywhere people flocked to see "the great tent," and remained to hear the message. One writer in recent times has said of Himes: "He spread more canvas than any circus in America."    

     Four persons were detailed to travel with the tent, and these became known as the tent company. The use of "the great tent" soon developed a new type of meeting, the combination tent meeting and camp meeting. When "the great tent" was pitched on the outskirts of a town, people flocked in from neighboring towns, and the big tent was used as a place of assembly for the camp meeting. This anticipated the modern camp meeting, where the worshipers are protected in their meeting place by a canvas pavilion.    

     The camp meetings were conducted with a minimum amount of disorder and confusion. At the time of the Salem (Massachusetts) camp meeting, the Salem Gazette voiced its approval of the conduct of the meeting, stating that it had expected an influx of rowdyism, but because of the precautions of the city authorities and the energetic care of J. V. Himes, the camp had been free from outside interference and fanaticism alike.

     The editor spoke highly of the good order, the talent among the ministers, and the spiritual tone of the services. In fact, he stated that many who went to scoff remained to pray.  

     Even that tent of such enormous spread was unable to accommodate the tremendous crowds, and Joseph Bates, who attended this meeting, tells us that on Sunday the crowd filled the tent and the circle of the tents, and overflowed the whole ground, and here and there under the shade of the trees, groups gathered to listen to lecturers explain the advent doctrine from the ... 43 charts hung up on the trees.  

     "The great tent" enabled the brethren to hold camp meetings as late as November. At Newark, New jersey, stoves were placed in the tents for heating purposes. In the spring of 1843 the great tent was pitched at Rochester. While T. F. Barry was preaching, a severe rain and storm blew the tent over. Although a large audience was in attendance, providentially not a single person was injured. When the heavy squall struck the tent, fifteen of the guy chains and several inch ropes parted. In an instant the windward side was pressed in toward the audience, and by the pressure of the wind, the leeward side was raised up, so that the audience passed out without harm. The expense of repairing and raising the tent was so heavy that the tent company at first despaired of erecting it again in that city, but so great was the interest of the people that the public offered to pay all expenses connected with repairing it and putting it up once more.    

     While the tent was down, Mr. Himes in one day gave three addresses to several thousand people from the surrounding country. These sermons consumed about eight hours. In spite of the fact that the people had to stand, they gave excellent attention. This day's program gives us some insight into the character and activity of J. V. Himes. He was general manager, as it were, of a chain of papers; he was in charge of a great tent effort. The tent was being repaired, and in the midst of this he took time to do a full day's work preaching to the interested people who swarmed into the town.  

     In the Signs of the Times of January 11, 1843, Mr. Himes announced that there was such an anxiety to hear the momentous truths of the times at Boston that only a small portion of the people who desired to hear could gain admittance to the Chardon Street Chapel, and since no other place large enough could be secured to accommodate the immense crowds which nightly flocked to hear the message, the brethren of Boston had determined to build an inexpensive tabernacle. The building was in progress at the time. An elevated roof running to a point like a circus tent was built thirty-five feet high. The building, 110 feet by 84 feet, was capable of serving an immense congregation. At the dedication sermon preached in May, 1843, it was judged there were not less than three thousand five hundred present.  

     Miller, whose age had begun to lessen his activity and at times took him out of the field, was sick with boils during the summer of 1843. Never, apparently, caring for active leadership, Miller allowed his young adjutant a free hand. Himes, ever an aggressive leader and organizer, was at his best during the year 1843. With his chief inactive in camp, he dashed here and there on the field of battle, strengthening the weak places, helping repel fierce attacks, and taking personal command of a gallant assault on the enemies' lines.  

     On one occasion he is seen making an appeal for $500 to spread the message in Canada. Another time he is urging the sustention of "the great tent." Again he is supporting the distribution of $2,500 worth of literature in the West. At another time he pleads for $100 to contribute to the American Bible Society for the benefit of the blind. On another occasion he is raising money to help the poor people of New York. A project to send a mission to Great Britain next claims his attention.  

     The fact that Mr. Himes held the ownership of the publishing work in his hands as his private property brought severe criticism on the part of unbelievers. He handled large sums of money, and the distribution of vast quantities gave rise to stories that he was using his position to enrich himself. No proof was ever offered for these stories, and Mr. Himes maintained the fullest confidence of the brethren. Certainly he was in a position to take money if he desired to do so. Time and time again, however, he urged the support of projects and appropriated money from the treasury which it was evident would not be returned in money. In April, 1843, he wrote to Charles Fitch concerning the paper, the Second Advent of Christ:  

     "The paper which you have started is of the utmost importance to the cause, and must be sustained. I shall send you more publications soon, but nevertheless the paper must be kept alive. You must write more for it, and bestow more labor upon it if possible; it can be made to speak trumpet-tongued. I have sent you one hundred dollars to sustain it, twenty-five of which was from a friend in Providence, Rhode Island, the rest from the Lord's Treasury, 14 Devonshire Street." (He spoke thus of the Signs office.)  

     The Voice of Elijah, a paper published in Montreal, was largely supported by people in the United States through the efforts of Mr. Himes. It became an important means of carrying the message to England. Transportation of papers between England and Canada was free, and many packet boats plying the waters between the daughter and the mother country carried quantities of the Voice of Elijah and other literature.     

     Himes reported, September 2, 1843, that 12,000 copies of the Voice of Elijah had been scattered the last few months in the Canadian provinces, and in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The paper continued to send its message in "trumpet tones" until the great disappointment.  

     Following the meeting at Rochester in the summer of 1843, "the great tent" was moved to Buffalo. After a short trip back to Boston, Mr. Himes returned to the West for the big offensive of the season, the tent meeting at Cincinnati. This city was the big metropolis of the frontier region. Several days before the big tent arrived in Cincinnati, the daily papers began to comment on the plans of Himes and his associates. Mr. Himes wrote: "We hope and expect to see one mighty gathering in the West." He planned on scattering $2,000 worth of literature in Ohio and that part of the Union, to establish an advent library in every town, and to furnish all the ministers with literature. The progress of "the great tent" across the country had aroused the keenest anticipation, and on the opening night there was a great assemblage. People came from one hundred fifty miles around. Mr. Himes started the Western Midnight Cry in connection with this great meeting. Although it never did have enough subscriptions to be self-sustaining, it was continued for thirty nine weeks because its strategic position seemed to warrant it.  

      During the summer of 1844 Himes and Miller made an extended preaching tour into the West. This was Father Miller's first appearance in Cincinnati, and all were anxious to hear him. On his return to the East, Mr. Himes announced that he now felt he had done his duty by America, and that he and Josiah Litch would go to England. Although there was not much money available, he declared on September 25, that he would trust God, as he felt a burden for the work in the British Isles. For three years he had cherished the idea of a trip across the Atlantic. At two different times he had been persuaded to give up making the journey in deference to the counsel of his brethren, who felt that the cause in America needed the services of Litch and himself. But now when this plan was on the verge of consummation, at this third proposal, a new movement arrested him. 

     While he and Miller had been in the West, the brethren in the East had begun to teach a new doctrine. These brethren were convinced that Christ would return to earth on October 22, 1844. It was thought that the Day of Atonement was a type of the cleansing of the earth, for the sanctuary was thought to be the. earth, which would be cleansed by fire at the end of the 2300 days. About the middle of August at a camp meeting at Exeter, New Hampshire, S. S. Snow presented his view that Christ would return at the regular time for the Jewish cleansing of the sanctuary on the tenth day of the seventh month, which corresponded to the twenty-second day of October in 1844. Upon returning to the East, Himes and Miller opposed it. The papers which were in the control of Himes naturally did likewise. Cautiously the Advent Herald suggested that if one day might be looked to above others as the day of the advent, October 22 would be the day. It was not until the first of October that the tried leaders began to fall into line. At that time the Advent Herald printed Mr. Snow's argument and advised the readers to consider the question carefully.  

     One writer in speaking of this experience said there seemed to be an irresistible power attending its proclamation, which prostrated all before it. It swept over the land with the velocity of a tornado, and it reached hearts in different places almost simultaneously, and in a manner which can be accounted for only on the supposition that God was in it. When these leaders saw the tenth-day-of-the seventh-month message spreading over the land with the rapidity of a prairie fire, there was a feeling that the movement was of God, and that they dare not resist it further. One by one they declared in favor of it. On October 9, Mr. Himes came out in favor of the new view, confessing his imperfection, pride of opinion and self, and his slowness to receive new truths when they came to him. 

     A stir and bustle of preparation was seen everywhere throughout the land. This was as apparent in the daily press as in the advent papers. As early as February in 1844 a general conference resolution had exhorted the believers to have their hearts, their property, and their all on the altar as the first Christians had and to consecrate themselves, their houses, lands, goods, and all they possessed to spread the "glad tidings." Early in October the following item, which shows the tense feeling of the time, appeared: 

     "We are living at an awful point of time; the world so long ripening for destruction, has almost filled its cup of crime, and in a few short days, the fearful hour will have come. . . . Brethren in the advent cause, do you really believe it? -Has the solemn and thrilling truth become a living reality in your soul? Do you truly believe that but an inch of time more, as it were, and probation is forever ended? Then let it speak in all your looks, your words, your actions. Every second now is unspeakably precious. . . . Is your all upon the altar?   Are you there? Are your talents, your property, there? O be diligent. Time is almost gone. . . . and immortality in a few fleeting days is yours."  

     An editorial in the Midnight Cry at this time gives an indication of the earnest devotion:  

     "By works is faith made manifest." The brethren in this city (New York) and Philadelphia, are waked up as they were never before. . . . In both cities stores are being closed, and they preach in tones the world understands though they may not heed it.

     "We are printing the Bible Examiner and True Midnight Cry as fast as steam can carry off the presses. We shall issue our next paper probably before this week closes." 

     There was a general preparation in temporal matters, with merchants closing their, stores, mechanics locking their shops, laborers forsaking their employ, farmers abandoning their crops, and a complete putting away of worldly things.  

     The newspapers of the day give a graphic story of this period of preparation. A Brooklyn paper reported a sign in a window of that city bearing these words: "This store is closed on account of the near dissolution of all things. The articles in this store will be given to those who may call for them on Monday."  

     In Luzerne. County, Pennsylvania, a storekeeper gave notice that he would give away his goods to the public, and invited the sheriff to assist him in the distribution of the goods. Farmers left their corn standing unharvested, the potatoes in the ground undug, the hay uncut, and the apples on the ground. In some instances, the town councils appointed guardians to harvest the crops for the brethren who, were believed demented. 

     As on a deathbed, expecting soon to close his eyes on earthly scenes, a person makes preparation for the end, so the advent believer prepared for Christ's return on the twenty second of October. The last confessions were made, and wrongs were made right. Newspapers printed accounts of criminals' giving themselves up for trial, of men making restitution for money ill gotten, and of earnest attempts to make all wrongs right. The mayor of New York received three dollars from a man who said he owed that amount to the city. The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States acknowledged the receipt of five dollars from an anonymous person who sent the following note: "Sir, I am indebted to the revenues of the United States the amount enclosed, $5. I wish you to understand the reason of my doing this is to make me at peace with God and my fellow men."  

     The Merchant's Exchange Bank of New York received a letter of the same tenor, enclosing one hundred dollars which the writer had wrongfully secured, asking forgiveness, and signed "Repentance." One brother, anxious that nothing be left undone in straightening up his worldly affairs, published the following: "NOTICE. If any human being has a just pecuniary claim against me, he is requested to inform me instantly. Signed: N. SOUTHARD." 

     The Biblical injunction, "Owe no man anything," was carried out to the letter. A spirit of brotherly love and mutual trust abounded. Large sums of money were brought to the meetings by those who had settled their business. Some of the brethren owed debts for grocery bills or other things. Quickly they were given the money to straighten up their business. Notes held by believers to the amount of hundreds of dollars were canceled. The steam presses ran continually, turning out papers, and the messengers of the kingdom went from house to house distributing by the thousand the printed page, the final warning. Amid all of this hurried preparation, Joshua V. Himes rushed here and there directing the stirring activities.  

     As the appointed date for the glorious appearing approached, the ministers returned to their homes and "the great tent" was furled for the last time, as they thought, never to be unrolled until the heavens were rolled together as a parchment scroll. Day and night the believers met in their places of worship to await the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God. The presses stopped running, with no provision for the publication of a paper beyond October 19. Joshua V. Himes journeyed from Boston to Low Hampton, New York, to spend the day of expectation with his beloved Father Miller. 

     October 22 dawned a beautiful day in New York. As the congregations met together in quiet, solemn expectancy, such words as these were on the lips of the worshipers: "The last hours of time," "On the brink of eternity," "Time will soon be over." The day wore on, and far into the night the faithful ones kept their vigil. On the morning of the twenty-third the sun rose as usual, and the worn and weary watchers wended their way homeward.  

     No one except those who passed through the bitter experience will ever realize the awful blow which these believers suffered. Hope failed them, and, stunned, they withdrew to the seclusion of their homes. When the believers appeared in public, they were greeted with scoffing and ridicule. Neighbors reminded their acquaintances, and relatives reminded believers, that they were still in the mortal state by such talk as, "Well I thought you were going up the other day," or, "Well, I see you haven't gone up yet." In connection with this, persecution broke out. Mobs burned meeting places, destroyed property, and even surrounded homes where meetings were held, breaking windows and bemeaning the worshipers. The terrible blow to their hopes left the believers groping in dense darkness. Many had impoverished themselves financially also.

     In the midst of this confusion, like a general rallying his broken columns at a disastrous defeat, appeared Joshua V. Himes. He started the Advent Herald, the successor to the Signs of the Times, once more. He also resumed publication of the Midnight Cry, changing the title of the periodical to The Morning Watch. One of the first matters which he urged was that of raising funds for the destitute. Some still sat at home studying their Bibles, looking for Christ's coming. Others believed that probation had ceased, and that the people of God had entered into the great Sabbath and it was therefore wrong to work. Mr. Himes counseled the brethren to prepare for another winter, and traveled about gathering funds to care for those who needed clothing and fuel for the cold season. He urged the advent believers who still had funds to help the others, lest they become a public charge and thus bring reproach to the cause.  

     Little by little the leaders began to bring order out of the chaotic condition which existed for some time following the great disappointment. In April, 1845, a conference, which convened at Albany, organized an Adventist church. William Miller was chairman, and Joshua V. Himes was secretary of this convention. Mr. Himes spent the summer of 1846 in Great Britain.  

     During the following years he was among those who set different times for the expected advent. This group was called timists by George Storrs, on account of their having set various times when they expected the Lord's return. Mr. Himes never accepted the Sabbath, but continued to look for Christ's return all his long life. He continued to publish the Advent Herald for some years, and later moved to the West, where he published the Voice of the West at Buchanan, Michigan, and still later the Advent Christian Times at Chicago.  

     Through an unfortunate misunderstanding, in 1879 he left the Advent Christian Church to which he had belonged for a number of years, and returned to the church of his birth, the Episcopal denomination. He spent his declining years in the ministry of that church. But he never lost his love for Christ's coming. During his last sickness he went to the Battle Creek Sanitarium, where he remained for a long course of treatment for cancer. He received much help temporarily from his treatment; and greatly enjoyed associating with old friends of the advent movement with whom he had a bond of interest and friendship, and who never forgot his magnificent leadership in the 1844 movement.

     While in Michigan, he was invited to attend the regular Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting.

     He spoke in the large tent to an immense crowd, and although he was ninety years of age, and was afflicted with the dreadful malady which was to carry him to his grave, he spoke with the old-time fire and vigor. The old warrior, as he stood under that huge canvas, addressing that great congregation, must have been carried back in thought to the time when he held thousands spellbound in "the great tent," when he was a central figure in the 1844 movement.

     While at the sanitarium, he gave the flag which flew over "the great tent" to the medical superintendent of the sanitarium. One of the staff, Dr. D. H. Cress, recounts that Mr.   Himes was always pleasant and cheerful in spite of his affliction, and down through the nearly half a century since that time, rings his answer in response to the doctor's cheery,  "Good morning! How are you this morning?" "I'm comfortable, thank you. I serve a God of peace, and every day He gives me a portion." 

     In spite of the best of care, his disease proved incurable, and on July 27, 1895, the great foe of the human race, death, carried him away at his home at Elk Point, South Dakota.   Uriah Smith, in writing an obituary, correctly stated: "All through that movement [1844 movement] he was the leading and most aggressive human instrumentality, pushing on the cause of publishing, preaching, and organizing the various enterprises connected with that work. Mr. Miller acknowledged and appreciated his great services, and Seventh day Adventists have always respected and honored him for the noble part he acted in that great prophetic religious awakening."

1938 END, FOME 69-100