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The Earliest Ascension

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Post by Admin Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:02 am

Well this was the mans introduction to his attack on Spiritualism. I had known Miller predicted a particular day for the return of Jesus Christ but had not realised he only intended to come to collect the worthy just like the spacecraft in a later outburst of the ascension idea. Both of course driven by chanelling from the "Spirits"

Transatlantic Tracings by John Ross Dix, United States - 1853 CHAPTER XIV.


But, before I relate my experiences, let me pen a reminiscence of the "Miller" delusion, which created so vast a sensation, and caused so much mischief in America, some seven years, ago.

I chanced to be visiting the city of Philadelphia in the year 1844. At that time Father Miller was in the height of his glory: he had predicted to his insane followers that Christ would come on the ensuing 21st of September, (it was then the 19th) and take the "Saints" back with him to glory. Thousands implicitly believed this, and it will scarcely be credited that hundreds provided themselves with robes in which to soar from earth. The very next house to my hotel was occupied by a draper, at whose door hung long strips of linen labelled thus: "For Ascension Robes, 10 CENTS PER YARD" and a hatter, close by, on the day before the expected emigration to Paradise, actually gave away all his property, believing that after the twenty-first he should have no further use for it.

I chanced to enter this man's store for the purpose of buying a hat; he politely fitted me, but refused payment. I asked him in some astonishment whether he really believed in the Millerite doctrines? "The best proof of my sincerity, sir," said he, pitying my scepticism, "is, that I am disposing of all my goods and money."

"Well," I hinted, " as I am not over-rich, perhaps you would give me a ten dollar bill. He said nothing, but with a bland smile opened his wallet, drew from thence a note of the amount mentioned, and presented it to me. Anxious to see how far the joke would go, I took and pocketed it.

But on the twenty-second of that same month my liberal friend called on me, and with rather a sheepish face, said :—" Well, mister, I guess I'll take that ten again, and you may as well pay for the hat, too —that'll make fifteen dollars."

It seems that he didn't "go up." Father Miller had persuaded his dupes that in his apocalyptic calculations he had made a slight mistake in the day, so that the great flight upwards would not "come off" until some future time, of which he would advise them.

Of course I gave him back his money, and paid for the hat. I understand that he is still a well-to-do hatter in the city of Brotherly Love, having resigned all ideas of a premature flight to the skies.

This Father Miller was a short, stout, red-faced, farmer-looking man—as ignorant as a Kaffir, but possessed of all a Kaffir's cunning. I went to hear him on the Ascension Day that was to be, and seldom have I felt more disgusted with a humbug and his dupes.

Fancy, reader, some twelve or fifteen hundred people crammed into a large chapel, all believing and expecting that Christ was immediately about to come. Imagine cries of " Glory be” "Come, Lord!" "Come quickly!" and the like from hundreds of tongues. Picture to yourself some praying, others bowing, many crying, and all wild with excitement; and that the presiding genius of the place is Father Miller himself, who exhorts, encourages, and persuades, and you have some idea of the scene at the Millerite Tabernacle on Ascension Day. These foolish folks remained two days and nights in the building, waiting and watching, but no Saviour came; and then, crest-fallen, but yet believing in their prophet, they slunk to their homes, a half-famished and cruelly-disappointed people.

Father Miller died and quitted this world in the usual manner about four years since. I believe his sect is now extinct—the great body of the Millerites having embraced the doctrines of the Mormon community. (Admin Note factually incorrect this became the start of the Seventh day Adventists)

Last edited by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by obiwan Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:53 am

I think Miller was also followed by Charles Taize Russell who started the the Jehovah's Witnesses movement.


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Post by zerdini Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:09 am

A friend of mine who has a diploma in Religious Studies wrote an article for the Humanist magazine detailing the origin of Jehovahs's Witnesses.

Charles Taze Russell, also known as Pastor Russell, was a Protestant evangelist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and founder of the Bible Student movement.

Following Russell's death, a controversy arose concerning the practices of the new president of the Society, and a widespread schism erupted, dividing the movement.

The majority of the membership broke away, eventually resulting in the formation of several smaller groups that retained the name, Bible Students, while those who remained in fellowship with the Watch Tower Society took on the name Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931.


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