"Hark, the Sinner thus lamenting
At the thought of future pain;
Cries, and tears he now is venting,
But he cries and weeps in vain;
That he ne'er was born again."
The Millenial Harp, 1843
April passed, and the earth, instead
of being torn asunder and swept by fire, donned her garments of spring and burst into leaf and song.
At first there was evidence of surprise
and disappointment among the Millerites, but it quickly gave way
to renewed confidence. "After all," they reminded one
another, "there is a whole year in which to look for the
Coming; - we looked for it too soon, that was all" - and
the singing and exhorting took on a new fervor.
While all this had been going on, a great wooden structure known as the Millerite Tabernacle was in process of building on Howard Street, Boston, the site being the same on which the theatre known as the Howard Athenaeum stood in later years. The building was circular, about one hundred and fifteen feet in diameter, and so arranged as to hold several thousand people. This was the great rallying-point of the Millerites in Boston and the suburbs, and the public, whose curiosity in regard to their doings knew no bounds, kept incessant watch upon it. There was a story current that the building had been insured for seven years, but a denial of this appeared in "The Midnight Cry" of May 18, 1843, as follows:
"The false statement that the
Tabernacle in Boston has been insured for seven years has been
repeated by many newspapers. We are authorized by the Secretary
of the Committee to say the building is insured for one year,
as a matter of necessity, for the security of payment of expenses.
A company offered to insure it for seven years, but the offer
The idea of building a Tabernacle germinated
in the fertile brain of Elder Joshua V. Himes. It was to have
been finished early in the year, but delays protracted the work,
and it was not dedicated until May 6, 1843.
The dedication took place in the presence
of a huge audience, and as Prophet Miller was very ill at the
time Elder Himes was the grand master of ceremonies.
It needed a shrewd and quick mind like his to deal with the situation, which was a somewhat delicate one. April had passed, and Miller's followers as well as the public were very evidently awaiting some sort of explanation. Instead of delivering the address himself, Elder Himes laid that task upon the Reverend S. Hawley, a former Presbyterian clergyman who had become a convert, and who could be relied upon to bring out in strong relief certain statements which Elder Himes wished emphasized. In referring to the question concerning the coming of the end, every word was carefully chosen, as the following extract will show:
"With regard to that event, we
expect it in 'the fullness of time'; in the fulfillment of all
the prophetic periods, none of which have yet been shown to extend
beyond A.D. 1843. We are therefore looking for it at this time.
Six thousand years from creation was the time when the primitive
church was expecting the Advent, and Luther, Bengal, Burnet, Fletcher,
Wesley, and others, all had their eye at about this period of
time. And now the fulfillment of the prophecies and the end of
the prophetic periods, and the signs of the times, admonish us
that it is truly at the doors."
Following this came a statement which certainly must have astonished the audience, especially those who had been attending the camp-meetings in the early part of the year:
"The public has been deceived by the secular and religious press with regard to the particular days and months that it is said the Saviour was expected. There are too many difficulties in the way of fixing with certainty on any particular day to render it safe to point to such with any degree of positiveness, although to some minds more probable circumstances may seem to point to some particular days than others. When these days have been name by our Brethren they have been only their own individual opinions, and not the opinion of their friends. The cause is therefore not responsible for any such limited views and calculations. We occupy the same ground we have always occupied, in accordance with the title-page of all Mr. Miller's lectures, viz. - that the Second Advent will be about the year 1843. The 23rd of April, to which all our opponents have looked, was never named by any of our friends - but only by our enemies.
"We should avoid all extravagant
notions, and everything which may tend to fanaticism. God is
not the author of confusion. 'Let everything be done decently
and in order,' says the Apostle."
The Tabernacle Committee then made this specific statement, though it was soon forgotten in the agitation of the succeeding months:
"We are commanded to occupy until Christ comes. We are to sow our seed and gather our harvests so long as God gives us seed-time and harvest. If we improve the coming seed-time, and have no harvest, we shall have done our duty, and if a harvest should be granted us, we shall be prepared to reap. It is as much our duty now to be continually employed, either in providing for the wants of those dependent upon us, or in alleviating the distress of others, as it ever was. We are to do good as we have the opportunity, and by no means spend out time in idleness. That would bring reproach on our Saviour. Let us see to it that our hearts are right in the sight of God, and then, whether we wake or sleep, are laboring to save souls or are engaged in our daily avocations, we shall meet our Lord in peace. May the God of peace give all who profess to love His appearing, that wisdom that shall guide us aright, and lead us in the way of all truth, and redound the most to His honor and glory.
[Signed] "Prescott Dickinson
"Wm. M. Halstat
"Joseph G. Hamlin
"Joshua V. Himes
Having settled these points to the apparent
satisfaction of Miller's following, Elder Joshua V. Himes and
his committee held daily meetings at the Tabernacle in which the
crowds filled every available space. The singing could be heard
for a long distance, and those unable to gain entrance to the
building thronged the streets outside. In all this agitation
one psychological fact was brought out very clearly, and that
was the entire inability on the part of the crowds as well as
on the part of most of Miller's followers to take in so stupendous
and overpowering a thought as the sudden appearing of our Lord
- the earth dissolved in flames, the lightening change from this
material world to either heaven or hell. Lips could utter the
words, but brains failed to register them, consequently the behavior
of the scoffing crowds and that of the believers were often inconsequent
to the last degree. To exemplify this, while the meetings were
going on in the Tabernacle, there was a general impression outside
that during the meeting the Millerites expected to rise through
the roof and float heavenward, and a great concourse of people
would gather on the Common in the hope of catching a glimpse of
them after they had risen above the intervening buildings and
were well on their way. This is no fairy tale - it is a fact.
The author of this book has a relative whose father was taken
to the Common as a small boy "to see the Millerites go up"
on one of these occasions!
On the 28th of May, Prophet
Miller's son wrote the following lines to Elder Himes: "Father's
health is no better, on the whole. He continues very weak and
low, confined to his bed most of the time."
During this period and through the summer
he was too ill to take any part in what was going on, and Elder
Himes had it all his own way; - or at least tried to. He could
not have had it with the Reverend John Starkweather, who continued
to go about casting his mesmeric influence over unsuspecting audiences,
and who appeared at a camp-meeting which commenced on the 9th
of August, 1843, at Plainfield, Connecticut, where, according
to Miller's biographer, "some manifestations were exhibited
which were entirely new to those present, and for which they could
But it did not need Brother Starkweather
now to incite abnormal conditions. At Stepney, near Bridgeport,
that same month, Elder Bliss tells us that some young men, professing
to have the gift of discerning spirits, "were hurried into
Later on, in September, an article protesting against the actions on this occasion appeared in "The Midnight Cry." Signed by Elder J. Litch"
"A more disgraceful scene under
the garb of piety," he writes, "I have rarely witnessed.
For the last ten years I have come in contact nearly every year,
more or less, with the same spirit, and have marked its developments,
its beginnings, and its results; and am now prepared to say that
it is evil, and only evil, and that continually. I have uniformly
opposed it wherever it has made its appearance, and as uniformly
have been denounced as being opposed to the power of God, and
as resisting the operations of the Spirit. The origin of it is
the idea that the individuals thus exercised are entirely under
the influence of the Spirit of God, are His children, and that
He will not deceive them or lead them astray; hence every impulse
which comes to them is yielded to as coming from God, and, following
it there is no length of fanaticism to which they will not go."
[The Midnight Cry, September
By this time all sorts of rumors were circulating in regard to the money which was being taken in by Joshua V. Himes through his publications, and from collections taken at the camp-meetings, etc., which the public estimated as reaching large sums. As a matter of fact, a large percentage of the pamphlets he published were distributed gratuitously which cut down the receipts considerably. To be sure, the sale of Miller's lectures must have been large as well as the sale of "The Midnight Cry," but the expenses were heavy. There was the building of the Tabernacle, and the constant transportation and erection of the huge Tabernacle tent which was such a feature in aiding to spread Prophet Miller's doctrine; there were the expenses of travelling here and there and everywhere incurred by a very large number of preachers who were not able to pay their own way. These things the public did not take into account. There was also a rumor that as a proof that Prophet Miller did not believe his own prophecy, a high stone wall was being built about his farm. There are two accounts of visits made to his home which are interesting. One entirely contradicts the other. The first is an extract from a letter which appeared in "The Midnight Cry" of July 6, 1843, signed by A. Spaulding, and tells of going to see Miller during his illness:
"I had been there but a short time when he manifested his hospitality by inquiring if my horse had been taken care of. We freely exchanged views on the prophecies and conversed on the Coming of our Lord I said to him that I had not seen the high wall around his farm that I had so often heard of. He said that Mr. Tilden, who was present, would go with me to look for it. So we took a walk round the farm. There is some common stone wall, like that on all the farms in the vicinity. The land being stony and uneven, it is as cheap as any other fencing. Though his farm does not bear the marks of neglect, I saw no recent improvements, except one common gate. The buildings are in good condition, and everything in order. It is worked by his sons, plain, industrious farmers, who support his family and pay him a yearly sum for his personal expenses. His house, like a number of others in the neighborhood, is a good two-story house with green blinds, and front and ends painted white. The furniture is plain, being all made for use, not for ornament. I saw nothing extravagant. In one room is a shoemaker's bench, used by one of his sons, who is a cripple.
"Brother Miller occupies one of the lower front rooms, where he has his bed, a few common chairs, his old bookcase, and a clock. In the other room is a portrait, painted some twenty years ago; a large diagram of the vision of Daniel and John, painted on canvas some like the miniature one in the last part of his book. The most elegant article in the house was a Bible, presented by a friend in Boston.
"The farm with its improvements
is the product of many years of hard labor and economy. Everything
connected with it seems to indicate that he believes what he preaches.
He worked on his farm, studied his Bible, became convinced of
the truth, and then declared it fearlessly to his fellow-men (travelling
in most cases at his own expense), and they have in return said
all manner of evil against him falsely."
The other letter appeared in the "Troy
Times" of July, 1894, containing an account by the Reverend
Professor Wentworth, then in the Troy Conference Academy, of a
visit made by him to Prophet Miller on the day before the great
expected conflagration. He states in it that, "although
the final judgment was so near, and the faithful were casting
away their worldly goods in contempt of all things perishable,
it was not so with Miller himself. He believed in the Scripture
injunction, 'Occupy till I come,' and his fields were clean-mowed
and cropped, his woodhouse was full of wood sawed and piled for
winter use. Forty rods of new stone wall had been built that
fall, and a drag stood ready with boulders as a cargo to be laid
upon the wall the next day." [Daniel
Treadwell, Personal Reminiscences of Men and Things on Long
It is possible that Prophet Miller's
sons who ran the farm thought it best to err on the safe side!
By September Miller had so far recovered
his health as to enter the field of action again, and he made
quite an extended tour in New Hampshire, taking in the towns of
Claremont, Springfield, Wilmot, Andover, Franklin, Guilford, Gilmantown,
Concord, and Exeter. From there he came into Massachusetts and
lectured in Lowell; finally ending up with three lectures in Boston,
after which he returned to his home in Low Hampton to rest.
During his sickness he had had no opportunity of discovering the spread of the fanaticism which had by this time become a serious problem wherever his followers congregated. On his last visit to Massachusetts, however, he came face to face with conditions that surprised and troubled him, and he wrote a letter of protest which was published in "Signs of the Times" on November 8, 1843.
"My heart was deeply pained
during my tour," he writes, "to see in some few of my
former friends a proneness to wild and foolish extremes and vain
delusions, such as working miracles, discerning of spirits, vague
and loose views on sanctification, etc. As it respects the working
of miracles, I have no faith in those who pretend beforehand that
they can work miracles. Whenever God has seen fit to work miracles,
the instruments have seemingly been unconscious of having the
power, until the work was done. They have, in no instance that
I recollect, proclaimed as with a trumpet that they could or would
work a miracle. Moses and the Prophets were more modest than
those modern pretenders to this power. You may depend upon it,
whosoever claims the power has the spirit of the Anti-Christ.
The discerning of spirits is, I fear, another fanatical movement
to draw off Adventists from the truth, and to lead men to depend
on the feeling, exercise, and conceit of their own mind, more
than on the word of God
I have observed that those persons
who think they have been baptized by the Holy Ghost, as they term
it, become more sensitive of themselves, and very jealous of their
own glory; less patient, and full of denunciatory spirit against
others, who are not so fortunate as themselves. There are many
spirits gone out into the world, and we are commanded to try the
But even Prophet Miller - the man who
had sown the seeds of this fanaticism - had not sufficient power
to prevent the rank weeds that sprang from them spreading their
tentacles in all directions and smothering the growth of healthy
vegetation within reach. He emerged from his seclusion of many
months of illness to find that his followers had gone far beyond
him. Moreover, they were now being directed by a host of other
preachers of the doctrine, especially Elder Joshua V. Himes, who
was the editor of the various newspapers and pamphlets promoting
the Advent cause, thus controlling the reading matter meted out
to the faithful, and who did little to stay this excess of fanaticism
while professing to deplore it.
A few extracts from "The Midnight Cry" will give an idea of the way the doctrine was being spread:
"Charles Fitch, formerly pastor of the Free Presbyterian Church, Newark, New Jersey, will preach on the Second Coming of Christ at Hand, at the corner of Catherine and Madison Streets, next Sabbath morning. His stay in New York will be short. A collection will be taken to defray his expenses in the West." [The Midnight Cry, June 1, 1843.]
"Rev. Mr. Thimball will deliver a discourse on unfulfilled Prophecy next Sunday evening in the large Chapel of the New York University, Washington Square." [New York.] [The Midnight Cry, June, 1843.]
"Lectures will be continued three times on the Sabbath at the Apollo Hall, 410 Broadway, and at Columbia Hall, 263 Grant Street on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. Prayer Meetings will be held on Thursday evening at several private dwellings." [New York.] [The Midnight Cry, June 3, 1843.]
"Second Advent Camp-Meeting on the farm of Michael N. Stoner (if time continues) about one and one-half miles from Middleton, in sight of Harrisburg & Lancaster Railroad Turnpike and Pennsylvania Canal, to commence on Friday, 28th of July, and continue ten days. All who love the appearing of the Lord are solicited to attend and bring with them their tents. Comfortable lodging tents will be provided for all who may come from a distance, and boarding can be had on the ground at the rate of $1.50 per week, or 12½ cents per meal.
"All disorderly persons are forbid coming on or near the camp-ground; and all kinds of articles of traffic, spirituous liquors, Wine, Porter, Beer, Cider, etc., as prohibited by law to be sold within three miles of any religious meeting. The strictest order will be required from all during the whole time of the meeting.
"The public generally are invited
to attend." [The Midnight
Cry, July 27, 1843.]
The Camp-Meeting at Buffalo, New York
The editor, Elder Joshua V. Himes, says of it:
"On the Sabbath we had a large crowd of the citizens of the City and vicinity; and of all places I have yet visited with the Tent, I must say we were never greeted with greater respect, or had better order among the multitude than in this place. The impression made has been favorable and powerful. The whole city is roused. The people are anxious for light. We have distributed publications by the thousands, and they are being read in every part of the city."
"Brother Himes visited Toronto, Canada, on the 9th instant. Arrangements were made for Brother Fitch to give a course of lectures in that city about the first of September." [The Midnight Cry, August 17, 1843.]
"Our next general move will be in Ohio - probably in Cincinnati, or vicinity, or where the Brethren may judge best. We intend if permitted to meet with our Brethren in that part of the country, to distribute about $2000 worth of publications in that part of the Union. We shall supply every town with a library as far as practical. We intend also to furnish all the ministers, who will read on the subject, with publications. If they cannot furnish them themselves, we will furnish them. They shall be left without excuse.
"We hope to see one mighty gathering in the West. Several efficient teachers will be there to lay before the people the strong reasons we have for our glorious hope." [The Midnight Cry, August 3, 1843.]
"Brother Hutchinson writes that he is doing all he can to spread the Cry in Canada and other places Any assistance that can be rendered him will be gladly received.
"Camp Meeting at Groton, Massachusetts,
about two miles from the village, on the main road from Groton
to Keene, commencing August 15th. Able advocates of
the doctrine will be present." [The
Midnight Cry, August 10, 1843.]
As the months went by, the situation
became even more tense for Prophet Miller's followers, and what
with the excitement of camp-meetings, the singing and the exhortations,
and the perpetual tremors of fear created by the hourly watching
for the end, hysteria repeatedly crossed over the border-line
into insanity, and the asylums became crowded with poor deluded
men and women who were mentally unable to stand the strain. In
a book entitled "Boston Notions," printed by Nathaniel
Dearborn in 1848, and sold by W.D. Ticknor & Co., Boston,
and Wm. A. Colman, Broadway, New York, an account is given of
the Miller Movement in which the following statement is made:
"Hundreds of these unfortunate fanatics are now in the
hospitals, and in the official report from that of Worcester,
the number there on account of religious frenzies nearly equals
the number caused by intemperance."
There is an interesting article written by the late Festus C. Currier, of Fitchburg, under the title of "Observations on the Nineteenth Century, under the title of "Observations on the Nineteenth Century," which he read before the Fitchburg Historical Society in 1902. Having personally seen Prophet Miller and having heard him lecture, his statements are of distinct value. In commenting upon the many and pitiful cases of insanity noticeable during that period, he mentions an occurrence he witnessed on June 17, 1843.
"Late in the afternoon,"
he states, "I was returning from Boston where I had been
to the celebration of the completion of Bunker Hill Monument,
and to hear Daniel Webster and see president John Tyler (who was
a guest of the Monument Association). Riding on the outside of
a stage-coach when passing along the street near the station of
Wellesley Hills on the Boston and Albany Railroad, then known
as Grantville Station, we observed four men carrying along in
the direction of the station a man whom we supposed was drunk,
or in a fit; but inquiry brought out the fact that he was being
taken to the Worcester Insane Asylum. The morning papers the
next day reported the case. He was represented as a man about
fifty years of age, in good standing and circumstances, but under
the influence of Miller's doctrine had become hopelessly insane.
This was only one of many unfortunates reported led away from
reason and calm judgment. But the approach of 'the last day,'
as Miller termed it, only increased the excitement, and many substantial
citizens were affected by it, particularly those of strong religious
feelings and emotional temperaments."
If those of mature years were affected, children were no less so. In a sermon preached by the Reverend James A. Hayne in the Congregational Church in South Wilbraham during that period, he told the following anecdote as a warning to his parishioners in regard to the influence of Prophet Miller's prophecy on a child's mind.
"A little girl," he
stated, "terrified by the talk of the world coming to
an end and the burning up of the wicked, said, 'Mother I want
to die this summer - I don't want to live next year and be
An account of what children went through at that time appeared in "The Outlook" of May 18, 1908, written by Jane Marsh Parker who wrote from personal experience. Brother Marsh was a familiar figure in "The Midnight Cry," being quoted repeatedly, and his daughter's reminiscences, therefore, are doubly interesting. A few extracts will reveal the pressure under which these little people lived:
"I was six years old [A.D. 1843] when my father, the pastor of a country parish in eastern New York, 'come out of Babylon,' burned his ships behind him, and moved his family to Rochester to fill the place designated for him by Father Miller as head of the western centre of the Movement, becoming the head of the weekly journal and of countless publications of the cause. His home was a port of storms for the travelling preachers, and their families as well, and its elastic hospitality included a large contingent of the faithful from the country roundabout, who had left their all to spend the remnant of time remaining in constant attendance upon the meetings of the believers. The prospect of 'all going up together with a shout' was ample compensation for sleeping on our parlor floor, as many had to do, and for leaving their babies overmuch through the day to the compulsory care of my mother's children.
"That the trumpet might sound any moment we children were in no danger of forgetting that summer, for, although a day had been set for the End, there was a possibility of another mistake in calculating periods; in misinterpretations, in missing links, etc. That it would not do to run any risks in disobedience was heavy on our infantile minds. We must do our best in caring for the babies left all too often on our hands. Dread expectancy of hearing the 'awful trump' became wonderfully dulled in the long tarrying - happily - but that the day was coming nearer that would burn as an oven, we never forgot. I knew what the heat of an old-fashioned brick oven was like - the sudden opening of a door once had singed my hair. I threw my rag doll upon a blaze of garden rubbish one day and, watching it shrivel to ashes, I learned what to be 'burned up root and branch' was like - and I with a green apple in my pocket that minute! 'If the Lord comes before morning, may I be caught up to meet Him in the air,' I never failed to say at night. Poor little Millerite! 'Father would see that I was caught up in time out of the fire' (I said to myself), 'but then there were three of us little girls, and mother besides - and thunder and lightening always made her faint dead away.' Of course my kitten would have to go! - and a little boy I liked who said swear words! But these moods were brief, and came only when I had been very naughty. So all in all I did not have such a very bad time that summer, for there was no going to school, nor multiplication table, nor spelling book; - but then we had to read a good deal in our Bibles, and recite from a catechism on the Book of Daniel, making it plain as could be that the world was coming to and end that very year.
"I would give a good deal now to see one of those children's catechisms on Daniel prepared for the little Millerites. That there was also a text book on the Apocalypse I am quite sure, for how else is my marked preference as a child for the vision of 'St. John' to those of the Book of Daniel to be accounted for? Or my precocious acquaintance with all the sevens - candlesticks, angels, churches, seals, vials - each a well-spring for my imagination? - and with those locusts with lion's teeth and scorpion's tails. Which relegated to the background even the fascinating he-goat of Daniel, who stamped not only upon the terrific ram, but the stars of heaven as well?
"'Going to Meeting' as much as we children did that summer (and oh! - so many fast days!) was wonderfully relieved by the rowdy scoffers who occasionally diversified the long sermons by noisy interruptions, when the police would arrive - always an impressive episode for us! Then sometimes a woman would fall into a trance and see strange things, or Brother Somebody would speak with tongues and have to be sung down! That we always enjoyed immensely. Or we had baptism by immersion in the river, when the great crowd upon the banks would sing
"'You will see your Lord a-coming, On the resurrection morning,
While the band of music, Will be sounding through the air.'
"Children used to rise for prayers in those big meetings, and tell their '`speriences.' Mother advised our keeping out of that, and we did.
"Another feature was the great wooden image of Nebuchadnezzar's first dream that used to stand under Father Miller's pictorial chart of the prophecies - those grim portraitures of Daniel's dream and John's visions - beasts unknown to zoology! The image could be taken apart, kingdom by kingdom, until nothing was left but the feet of iron and clay, doomed to be broken in pieces 'on the tenth day of the seventh month of Jubilee!'
"Telling stories, always from the Bible, like playing prayer-meeting, was a favorite pastime with the little Millerites. They always ended with these words: 'And that's the way the world is coming to and end 'tenth day of the seventh month, year of Jubilee!'
"The fate of Nebuchadnezzar was thereupon recited by us all in concert:
"'He was driven from the sons of men; His dwelling was with the wild asses;
He did eat grass with the oxen, And his body was wet with the dews of heaven
Till his hair was grown like eagles' feathers, And his nails like bird's claws.'
"'Who is the king of the North?' we could tell with confidence; and 'Who is the king of the South?' The peculiar features of each of the terrible beasts - the woe of each vial - the names of the Hebrew children - the list of the musical instruments used at the dedication of the great image that the King of Babylon set up - how glibly we answered any questions of our catechism upon Daniel the Prophet!
"And the day went by and still
the vision tarried
. Blessed is he that waiteth, Selah!'"
A little anecdote revealing the simple
credulity of a child's mind was obtained from Mrs. Theodore C.
Parsons, of Agawam, Massachusetts, whose mother had many memories
of the agitation created by William Miller's prophecy during the
years 1843 and 1844 - her home being in South Scituate, Rhode
Island, at that time.
There was a man named Barker who also
lived there, who was an enthusiastic follower of the Prophet.
One day a small boy was seen perched upon the fence in front
of this good man's house, his eyes wide-open looking at it with
a fixed stare. He sat there so long that some of the neighbors
became curious, and one of them went across the road and asked
him what he was looking at. The small youngster glanced up at
her with a look in which fear, curiosity, and wonder were mingled.
"I'm waiting to see Mr. Barker go up!" he whispered
in awe-struck tones.
Another example of the fear hidden in the depths of children's hearts during this period of agitation came from Miss Eugenie J. Gibson, of Woodsville, New Hampshire, whose uncle had many recollections of the excitement that prevailed in 1843 and 1844, as he was ten years old at the time. His family lived in a little village in southern Vermont.
"He was much impressed,"
Miss Gibson states, "with
the neighbors' preparations for the day when the Angel Gabriel
was to blow his trumpet. Many were selling their farms and stock
(it never occurred to him to ask what they expected to do with
the money!) and all were making white shrouds. He was much distressed
at this mother's lack of interest, and one day begged to know
when she was going to begin making their shrouds? When told she
did not intend to make any, he decided the only thing for him
to do was to keep near farmer Jones, who was big and strong, and
hang on to his shroud when the signal came - ascending to heaven
Mrs. Paul Ruggles, of Camden, Maine,
remembers her mother frequently telling of an experience she had
when she took one of her little daughters to a Millerite camp-meeting
in 1844, on which occasion men and women "threw themselves
upon the floor - rolling around and shouting." Her poor
child was so terrified, and screamed so wildly, that she had to
be taken home.
Mr. John M. Fountain, of Eastport, Maine (who was born in 1835), requested his daughter to send the author the following amusing anecdote about himself as a child, when all were awaiting the end:
"He says he remembers the time
very distinctly," so his daughter wrote, "and
he was a small boy, and that was all the people talked of, and
much excitement was caused at the time. One thing he especially
remembers is that he told his mother, as long s the world was
coming to an end, why not kill all the chickens and hens, and
have a good feed before the time came? She told him to
shut up and keep still!"
"Now, hark! the trumpet rends the skies;
See slumbering millions wake and rise!
What joy, what terror and surprise!
The last Great Day has come!
From "The Millenial Harp," published by Joshua V. Himes, 1843.