TWO YEARS OF CHANGE
At the commencement of his fifth and final year in Britain Loughborough had concluded that they had "now reached a point demanding careful deliberations and new departures," a need for "a practical application of the knowledge of the situation already gained." He believed that only such planning would ensure "future progress will excel the past."1
Unfortunately, with Loughborough's departure for America on 10 October 1883 the British Mission was left with no specific leadership until March 1885, almost 18 months. Although two new workers joined the Mission at the beginning of 1884 they were comparatively inexperienced. As individuals John, Drew, and Thayer had no general working knowledge or overview of the entire work of the Mission. Consequently, in the absence of a British Mission Superintendent, the Second European Council that met at the end of May 1884 appointed an executive committee consisting of Wilcox, John, and Durland, the three ministers in the field, to oversee the work and make local decisions.2ï¿½No doubt Whitney and Butler believed they could control this committee as appropriate. When the experienced man did arrive in 1885 he had no more background for work in Britain than did these three younger persons. Certainly there were few capable of making advanced recommendations from past experience. The death of Andrews in October 1883 also complicated matters as Whitney had little knowledge of the British field. Had the leadership in America sent an experienced, qualified man to assist Loughborough before his departure such perhaps would have been in a better position to fill his shoes so that future progress could indeed immediately begin to excell the past.
New Workers M. C. Wilcox and J. H. Durland
The General Conference meetings of November 1883 had recommended that a paper be published in Britain, that two "additional" laborers be appointed to the mission, and that Butler, the General Conference President, visit the European field in 1884 with "one of the principal objects" being to bring about the publication in Britain of a new journal. The two new men to the field could hardly be termed "additional" workers as they served only as replacements. The committee selected J. H. Durland and M. C. Wilcox to go to England.3
Milton Charles Wilcox (1853-1935) was converted and accepted the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at the age of 25 years. Up until this time he had worked as a farmer, lumberman, and teacher. He had become a minister of the church and had been ordained in l880 after two years of evangelistic work. He had received his education at Ives Seminary and Battle Creek College and had developed a keen interest in Biblical studies. He had been an assistant to Smith, editor of Review, during 1882-1883, and it was here that he gained experience for his appointment in 1884 as first editor of Present Truth, soon to be published in Grimsby. Wilcox had just turned 30 years of age when he arrived in England and appears to have been single. He was to stay with the English mission for three years.4ï¿½It was obvious to some that he found missionary work not to his liking and he would have willingly returned home earlier than he did.5
Little is known of John H. Durland prior to his coming to Britain. He was still a young man with a wife and young family. He had not been long in the work of the Church and, in fact, had been ordained to the ministry only the previous summer of 1883. He could preach "with the fear of God" and he "tried to be humble."6ï¿½He had been State Secretary of the new Sabbath School Department in Forest City, Iowa.7
Butler made the trip to Europe to accompany these new workers and introduce them to their new field. They departed New York 16 February 1884. Butler and his party, consisting of Wilcox, the Durland family, and A. C. Bourdeau who was travelling to Switzerland, arrived Glasgow, Scotland 27 February. They went straight to Grimsby, arriving 29 February to assess the work.8ï¿½In the Grimsby area the group attended meetings and visited the members, the fifteen keeping the seventh day Sabbath in Grimsby, the eleven in Ulceby, and the two in each of the towns of Berton and Hull. They attended "seven religious meetings and two or three others."9
One such meeting introduced them to at least one difficulty faced by John. Soon after arrival in Grimsby the party attended "an opposition meeting" at Ulceby, where John had been lecturing for a number of months. For some time the Vicar of the Church of England had been working "to quiet the feelings of the people on the Sabbath question" and the hall was reported "crowded" by people anxious to know what could be said against the seventh-day Sabbath. The Vicar had had little success to date and had consequently sent to London for support. A Mr Scott, "secretary of the society organized to secure the better observance of the Lord's day," came as the speaker. Butler reported that he was "quite a good speaker" and made "a really shrewed speech." He made no appeal to Scripture but rather to his hearers' sense of national pride. Butler felt that he helped his cause in the minds of the people by using this approach. He made no personal thrusts and made no direct references to the lectures of John or to Sabbatarianism. He said many good things about the institution of the Sabbath and how the day should be observed, "assuming all the time that Sunday was the Lord's day, or Sabbath." He, in fact, credited the "great prosperity of Great Britain and the United States" to these countries' regard for the Sabbath and the sacredness with which the day was kept, compared with "the Continental nations." Butler summed up his feelings on the meeting with the observation:
I could but see the same influence moving here in England to exalt the sacredness of Sunday that we know are at work in America. There are many here that stoutly resist the liberal spirit of the age, which tends to make Sunday a day of recreation rather than a religious day. The people loudly applauded the speaker whenever he made a good point to show the importance of Sunday as a day of religious rest; yet it was plain to see there were many who were disappointed that no evidence whatever was brought from the Bible to show it was the Sabbath. Many of the people seemed intelligent, and gave good attention.10
Butler and his party spent two Sabbaths at Grimsby speaking both in the morning and the afternoon to the members meeting in John's house. Attendance was small, but "excellent attention was paid to the word spoken" on the themes of "the closing message and the work of God for this time." A social or testimony meeting convinced Butler that "the God we have served in America lives and reigns in Old England." He believed that many could be reached by the truth in this area. After launching the new British Mission publication Present Truth, visiting Southampton the weekend of Sabbath 8 March, and introducing Durland to that membership, he departed for Europe.
Between 28 May and 1 June 1884 the Third European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions was held in Basle, Switzerland to coincide with the visit to Europe of Butler. Little is known of these meetings although the British Mission was represented by Durland, John, Drew, Wilcox, and Thayer.11ï¿½It is of interest to note that during 1884 eight new papers "have been or will be started," in Europe, published in "some ten different languages," and recommendations were made to establish schools for the training of workers for the cause. Butler was able to return to America "with high hopes of seeing great growth" in the work in Europe.12
Launching the Present Truth
Obviously certain decisions had to be made in regards to the administration of the British Mission, specific decisions had to be made and the work responsibilities designated. Because "one of the principal objects" of Butler's visit to Britain was to bring about a locally published paper, and because Wilcox had been trained and sent for that specific purpose, he immediately called together John, Drew, Thayer, and Whitney, along with the new arrivals, Wilcox and Durland, and others to discuss the project and other matters relating to the Mission. There were in total fourteen persons in attendance, half of those present being American.13
The decision was made, after "prayerful consideration," to issue a 16-page monthly known as the Present Truth, about the size of Signs, and to commence publication 1 April 1884. The title of this new journal was given after a careful examination of the list of names of other papers being published in Great Britain. They discovered in their search that there were many Heralds and Reviews and one called the Signs of Our Times with a large circulation. It was felt the name chosen was "peculiar to our work and expressive of its nature." Management of the paper was placed in the hands of a committee of three, namely Wilcox, John, and Thayer. Wilcox was to be managing editor. The Committee would be linked to the Church's mission in Europe through Whitney, chairman of the European Council, and to America through Smith and Waggoner, editors of Review, as "corresponding editors."14
The importance of this paper is best expressed by the new British Mission Superintendent Sands Harvey Lane appointed a year later:
. . . in proportion as our reading matter has been distributed, just in that ratio has the cause advanced by souls embracing it. . .
This is true to that extent that it has been truthfully stated that if we had to dispense with one or the other - the ministers or the publications - we should suffer less loss by discharging the ministers. Both are absolutely essential in these last days, and are ordained means in the hands of God to the accomplishment of grand results. The reading matter can enter many homes, especially in our large cities, and deliver a silent message, which the minister cannot. After the reading has performed its part, then the minister can follow to encourage, strengthen, build up, organize, and complete the work which cannot be consummated by publications unaided by the minister.15
Deciding where the paper should be published caused "some perplexity." It would obviously involve some difficulties to move the depository from Southampton and change the address both of Signs and of the British Supplement. Eventually it was decided by "all in the council" to move the headquarters from Southampton to Grimsby, "for the present." Butler pointed out that "there seemed to be important reasons why a change should be made." They found that the cost of printing in Grimsby would be less than in Southampton, and they considered they could secure "excellent terms" for press work and other work they could not do themselves. Rent and other expenses they felt would be less in Grimsby than in a larger town like Southampton. In choosing Grimsby for headquarters they also considered "its location is more central." "More central" could not have meant geographically but rather closer to the Mission's present major work effort and interest growth. More interest was "kindling" in Grimsby than in Southampton. They also had "some friends of the cause" in Grimsby that would show an interest in the work of the paper.16ï¿½Consequently the committee considered that their decision was confirmed by Providence:
When we looked around for a suitable place to rent in which to carry on the work, we found a new building with very suitable rooms, and a moderate rent. We could not have secured a place more suitable for our present wants. The way seemed to open before us in an exceedingly favorable manner, far more so than any of us had expected. We all felt that the finger of the Lord was in it preparing the way before us.17
The cost of the new journal was set at an annual subscription price of two shillings and six pence in order to encourage "missionary effort" and a large circulation. Reduced rates were made available to those taking larger "club" quantities. Five copies or more could be obtained at two shillings each; twenty-five or more at one shilling and six pence each. The fourteen persons on the committee were encouraged to participate in subscribing to the paper, resulting in 1000 copies pledged to be taken. One person living in Grimsby subscribed to over 500. The church in Southampton subscribed to "one or two hundred."18ï¿½Drew himself indicated his need of at least 1,200 copies per month for the ship work in Liverpool alone.19ï¿½The membership in America were given the opportunity to subscribe, both for their own reading and in clubs to be used in missionary work.20
Commenting on the initial pledging support for Present Truth, Butler expressed:
We felt that this was very encouraging from such a small beginning. We all feel to thank God that our new enterprise of starting the paper in England is moving off so well. Material is being purchased, and the paper will soon be brought out, and one more Seventh-day Adventist journal will be heralding the notes of warning to the world. So the work continues to move forward all along the line. . . . We expect to have an excellent paper, and we want it to go by the thousands of copies to all this great empire.21
Butler also had high hopes for the journal believing it would improve the results of the work in the Mission:
We are greatly behind in our work in this country, but we expect to see a great advance in the near future. May God greatly bless the mission in England.22
The new building at 72 Heneage Street, Grimsby, was rented for $200 per year and sub-let to the workers of the Mission for about $100 per year.23ï¿½The Johns immediately moved into the newly rented building along with Wilcox. Several rooms were put aside for the work of the depository connected with the Mission. Thayer was to move from Southampton and continue caring for the depository and to "render important assistance on the paper." It was intended that Wilcox should spend only "a portion of his time in editing the paper" and to work in the field the rest of the time available.24
After "working early and late"25ï¿½the first issue of Present Truth was published from "Great Grimsby, May 1884" and published for "The International Tract and Missionary Society."26ï¿½The first editorial described its purpose as "devoted to the exposition of the scriptures in general" and to "certain great Bible truths of intense interest and special application at the present time."27ï¿½There were to be a variety of writers on an extensive coverage of Bible topics and current affairs as the journal was introduced over the following years.
On his return home to America Butler made another stop-over with the British Mission at Grimsby allowing him to address about forty or fifty persons "waiting anxiously to hear some preaching." He would rather have been excused from the responsibility after "the hurried labors of the past few weeks" but he did it anyway.28ï¿½He was glad to find "friends" enthusiastic to work as colporters and canvassers. Two issues of Present Truth had been published during Butler's visit to Europe and on his return was being wel1 received, "with many expressions of pleasure." However the work of publishing was proving to be time consuming for Wilcox, Thayer, and "one or two others" and they were only just meeting their dead-lines. It was, however, a "very creditable sheet."29
The work load for Wilcox did not change. On 14 November l884 he was writing to Review giving his reason for not reporting on a regular basis as having no time. The entire first four months after his arrival had been taken up with the paper. The efforts paid off and by the end of the year there were sales of two to three hundred Present Truth in the borough of Grimsby alone. John was using it as his missionary paper and had persuaded his regular Signs readers to change to the new journal. The paper was "reaching many" and favorable responses were being received. The American members had responded to the new paper and were taking at least some subscriptions.30
During 1885 Henry Judd, originally of Southampton, had been working specifically with Present Truth in different towns and villages of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire and meeting with "much encouragement" in the use of "these silent messengers." It would appear that he also had opportunity to speak with "many" publicly, but whether in the home or market place it is not clearly understood.31ï¿½Unfortunately Judd died 4 August 1885 after dissemenating Mission literature in Southampton, Preston, Glasgow, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Norfolk.32
At the time of W. C. White's visit to England in 1885 he observed good openings for other colporteurs to work in England with "quite a number" entering the field and others waiting to be instructed.[33ï¿½Consequently the Third European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions, 1885, observed that colporteurs need to be "intelligent" and recommended instruction "from time to time." An "institute" for this purpose was proposed for Grimsby for a period of three or four weeks the coming winter of 1886.34ï¿½Colporteurs already in the field, such as William O'Neil who had been working in Southampton and on ships in Liverpool, had ideas of their own which had grown out of experience. They requested that attention be given to placing illustrations in pamphlets and tracts, that the Present Truth be published more than monthly, and of a size that could be sold for a penny, the popular price of papers in England at the time. The request also fitted the need of the Australian field.35ï¿½The European Council voted these requests, that illustrations be obtained and used in all publications and that Present Truth be published semi-monthly, which it was from November 1885.36
By September 1885 over 9,000 copies of Present Truth were being sent out each month and its influence, together with that of Signs, was already being felt throughout England. W. C. White, after just a two week visit to England, gained the impression that Present Truth was "moulding the opinions of many" and "preparing the way for the living preacher."37
Reporting on the Third European Council, in October 1885, Thayer indicated 102,500 copies of Present Truth had been issued with 74,800 being given away gratuitously.38ï¿½By the end of 1885 Wilcox was still reporting that most of his time was being spent in the office of publication, but the Present Truth was being received "favorably" wherever it went. He now had 514 regular subscribers in England and 300 in America, and the journal was also being used in Australia. In eleven months the office in Grimsby had printed 103,500 copies. In the first fifteen months of publication 77,800 copies had been sent to names just simply taken from various directories. He had received on Present Truth $550.39
The Mission had also been using the Church's health publication quite extensively and sent them to "nearly all the British possessions, Russia and the islands of the sea." Postage rates still proved to be "very high" compared with other places and Lane believed the amount spent "would be sufficient to support several colporteurs."40ï¿½Consequently by the end of 1885 it was not thought advisable to continue the practice "largely."41
Lane took this kind of interest as another excuse to focus on the Mission's need for having its own printing facilities:
The truth is affecting hearts in England, in fact throughout the United Kingdom; and the time will come when its millions will be warned of the last message of mercy. The time can be materially hastened if we can have presses and a small weekly paper which can visit our many large cities by the aid of our canvassers, and can be readily sold by hundreds and thousands, as many of the leading papers are thus circulated here. Canvassers are now being educated in connection with our tent meetings for missionary work in our cities.42
Several colporteurs were being employed a part of the time and others full time, visiting families, selling and distributing many tracts and papers, and obtaining subscriptions for Present Truth. Some training programs were carried out for those willing to work on selling subscriptions and single copies of Present Truth and other literature. By mid l885 a number of these canvassers were already at work in connection with ministers holding evangelistic meetings in the larger towns such as Exeter. Three persons were connected with the Riseley series conducted by Lane and Durland, and in fact made their headquarters the evangelistic tent. They not only worked Riseley but the surrounding villages and countryside, covering a radius of five miles. They also spent some days exploring sales in the city of Bedford where they were granted free accomodation with the sister of an evangelistic interest in Riseley. They were able to conduct two Bible readings in her home. These canvassers reported selling approximately twenty-five cents to one dollar's worth of publications a day, besides taking orders for Present Truth. For example, in Bedford they sold eight dollars worth of publications during one week. In the Riseley area itself the canvassers had obtained some thirty-five subscriptions to Present Truth and sold more than 400 copies of single issue Present Truth and Signs, mostly at four cents a copy, besides books and tracts, some of which were sold from the tent.43ï¿½A canvasser, working the large village of Rothwell a few miles from Riseley, sold "some two hundred papers, beside hundreds of pages of tracts."44ï¿½Wilcox made the point that the ladies made better colporteurs than men, but only because they were better received.45
Evangelizing in the South West of England
It was agreed that Durland should locate in Southampton.[46ï¿½On Friday 7 March 1884 Butler visited Southampton, taking Durland with him. The purpose was to view the situation there and to introduce Durland to the Southampton church membership, with the intent of his setting up residence there and caring for the Church's interests in the area. Butler held three meetings on Sabbath 8 March and observed that "the people seem sincere and have a love for the truth." There was no doubt in his mind however that since Loughborough's departure four months earlier "they doubtless need instruction and encouragement." The spiritual condition of the membership was low and the appearance of the church not good. However, he discovered that "some are inquiring after the truth."47
It was decided that Durland should spend "some time" in Southampton, laboring to advance the truth in that city. He located in the house rented for the depository, although with plans for the relocating of the depository "this arrangement may not be permanent."48
After settling in Southampton with his family Durland immediately began public meetings, reporting to Butler one month later on 2 April, that he was "still holding meetings here" as the interest would not let him close the series. Two people had begun keeping the Sabbath and four or five more were "on the turning point." He baptized four persons at the local baths on 1 April and expected another baptism soon.49ï¿½He also reported enjoying "better freedom in preaching" than ever before and resolved to continue the series for as long as there was a desire to hear.50ï¿½By 23 April the interest was still very good, "considering our location." Apparently he had only a small room in which to hold his meetings and it was not conducive to drawing those "not of our faith". The room had less than forty chairs and church members had to sit on the stairs. He had tried to obtain a larger room but without success. However, four individuals were baptised by early May and he was hoping for more before actually closing the meetings. One of those baptised had been keeping the Sabbath for two weeks, two others "had but recently begun." By mid May Durland had given more than sixty lectures, nine people had accepted "the truth of the third angel's message," and seven people had actually begun keeping the Sabbath, one an eighty-five year old man.51
By the end of June, after three months of working in Southampton, Durland reported that twelve persons had signed the covenant, ten had been baptized, and eleven had united with the church in that city.52ï¿½As a result of continuing involvment in the work of the Mission Durland became conviced that "the time has come for the truth to go forward in this country." People appeared anxious to investigate Bible subjects and the Sabbath question was receiving attention in the news media. He emphasized the need to get the Mission tracts into the hands of the people. Yet he had serious doubts as to how "three or four men" could warn "the large number of people in this kingdom" when Southampton alone, with its 70,000 population, would keep the total missionary staff all busy "for a year at least." He himself was "so pressed with work" that he apologized to his friends for neglecting his personal correspondence.53
Butler made a return visit to Southampton at the close of his four month visit to Europe and on his way back to America. He met with the Southampon church members on a Wednesday evening and found forty present. He noticed with some satisfaction "the marked improvement in the appearance of the church since our previous visit" and also considered "the spiritual condition has improved." He believed God had blessed the work of Durland, despite his youth and inexperience in the mission:
Young men who are unacquainted with the manner and customs of the people can labor with success in bringing souls to the truth in old England. Bro. Durland is a laborer who has not been long in the work, being ordained only last summer. But he has preached with the fear of God and tried to be humble, and the good Spirit has affected many hearts, and good results have been seen, and this, too, where old and experienced laborers have been in the past. This encouraged me. In fact, I believe that the work in England will prove a success where our brethren enter upon it with faith and humility, with souls all aglow with the spirit of the message. Bro. Durland and family are contented to labor on, and we trust God will make them a blessing to the cause in the British Empire.54
Not long after Butler's visit Durland was disappointed to find that two of those signing the covenant proved to be "stoney ground hearers,"55ï¿½and during the month of August l884 "some unpleasant experiences" took place at Southampton. What these were we do not know but Durland hoped things would work out so as not to damage the cause. At the end of 1884 Wilcox had to meet with the Southampton church and take steps to "cause greater prosperity" in the church. He presided over the election of an elder, deacon, and church clerk. Durland consequently reported in January l885 that the church had disfellowshipped one person from church membership and censured two. He believed that in time the experience "may yet prove a blessing."56
It did not take Durland long to discover and report that he was finding it more difficult for people to accept the Sabbath belief in England than in America. However, he felt that if individuals made the "proper effort to assist themselves" the way would be opened for them. Some that had recently begun observing the Sabbath found that on request their employers "permitted them to have the seventh day to themselves." He did find the English to be very earnest when they accepted the truth, "anxious to assist in the work," and nearly all were "very particular in paying tithes" in support of the Church ministry. This latter fact he wanted the American membership to know for their encouragement:
If they make but two or three dollars a week, they are careful to give the Lord His part. I believe the Lord blesses them for it, in opening up the way for them to have work, while so many are out of employment. Besides paying their tithes, they are quite free to make donations. We were quite surprised after service one evening to find a fifty pound note in our contribution box, besides some small pieces of silver. The note would amount to nearly two hundred and fifty dollars in American money. Besides this we have received some ten dollars.
I mention the above items for the encouragement of our American brethren who have been donating of their means to carry forward the work in this country. I wish them to see that the people here do not wish them to do all the giving, but are willing to help all they can.57
Durland certainly found England "more favorable for presenting the truth than expected." He considered that there were many "who will accept this truth, if properly presented," and he "never had better courage and more faith in the work than at present." His family were enjoying good health and "are better satisfied here than we expected to be."58
From June 1884 Durland was able to report a new venture in Totton, a village close to Southampton. He was assisted by O'Neil working as a colporteur.59ï¿½The meetings began the week following his return from the European Council. Where earlier he had had cause for encouragement in his public efforts he now had cause for some discouragement, even though he indicated "my courage is good." He had "little interest" in Totton due to the fact that it was a busy season in the countryside and the local people "worked till a late hour." This necessitated the closing of the meetings after two weeks, with a view to commencing again later in the season. Durland then took his meetings back to Southampton where each Sunday he conducted meetings on The Avenue in the open-air. Attendance was good and "some seem to be interested."60
Durland favored summer open-air meetings while in Southampton, as a means to overcome the difficulty of obtaining suitable halls for meetings and to keep his financial costs down. He saw the advantages and disadvantages of such gatherings:
More people can be reached in this way than in any other. Although I was so inexperienced in this work, yet I find my meetings last summer were the means of bringing the truth before a class that I could not have reached in any other way. I occasionally meet influencial men in Southampton whom I never knew, who speak of the meetings, and admit we have the truth. I believe open-air meetings followed by visiting from house, (sic) will be an avenue through which we can reach more people than in any other way.61
Despite hard work, Durland continued to find work at Southampton somewhat slow and therefore discouraging. Although colporteurs had been meeting with some success in the area he did not see "the advancement in the cause we should desire."62ï¿½By the beginning of 1885 he felt it necessary to apologise to Review readers for his silence, not due to any idleness on his part, but rather he had waited hoping that he could "make a more encouraging report." He goes on to comment that "there has not been anything very remarkable in the progress of the work here, yet I feel that it is moving."63
Durland did not confine his evangelistic outreach to the Southampton area alone but tried to push west with his beliefs. In September 1884 he made a trip of one hundred miles into Devonshire and held meetings at Paignton over a two week period. He went at the invitation of the Life and Advent Church, a society of believers in conditional immortality and the near coming of Jesus Christ, and conducted the meetings in their church. He believed prejudice prevented a good interest. Although not agreeing with him on the Sabbath doctrine the church did not prevent him from speaking on the subject in their church and, in fact, one "promising young man" began observing the Sabbath, subscribed to several Present Truth, and commenced missionary work in his spare time. Others wrote to thank him for the light they had seen.64
Since his arrival Durland had contemplated a series of meetings on the Isle of Wight at the mouth of Southampton waters. This had been at the request of the Sargents, the only Sabbath-keepers on the island. He had, however, stayed with the meeting in Southampton "while having so good a prospect of good results."65ï¿½But at the end of October did investigate holding meetings on the Island. He was impressed with the Sargent family and with the "sanctifying influence upon their lives" and found them conducting Sabbath School and a prayer meeting each week in their home.66
During December 1884 Durland spent three weeks holding meetings in East and West Cowes, Isle of Wight. Wilcox came to assist him for three meetings. The meeting place situated in East Cowes was not ideal but the meetings were "well attended." Because of Christmas holidays he closed the meetings early with only one showing any serious interest, and planned to return to visit with other possible interests.67
In March 1885 Durland reported "interesting meetings" at Dartmouth,68ï¿½and by May he had commenced meetings in Exeter, Devonshire. These later meetings caused "quite a stir" in this cathedral town:
Some of the local preachers became greatly excited, yes, "mad" with wrath while some of the pet doctrines of orthodoxy were being examined, because they could not find the scriptures they needed with which to sustain themselves.69
This incident reminded Durland of "the wrath of man in apostolic times" and Butler commented, "we are glad to hear the truth is stirring up something - anything but a dead calm."70
Evangelizing in the North of England
At the time of the relocation of the British Mission headquarters from Southampton to Great Grimsby the work of the Mission in Lincolnshire had been going for two years. Under the enthusiastic leadership of John interest had been developing in Grimsby, Ulceby, Barrow, and more recently in Barton some 33 miles north of Grimsby, where in April the attendance had been "quite large" and some had made decisions "to obey the truth."71ï¿½John had been "so busy" he had "not had time to get discouraged."72ï¿½Now he was to have some help from Wilcox and together they were to maintain and strengthen the developing interest in the area, at which time a more experienced superintendent of the Mission would arrive and they would branch out to other areas.
After launching the new mission journal Present Truth, and attending the Second European Council in Switzerland, Wilcox turned his attention to evangelizing with John from the beginning of July 1884. For the next five months he often spoke three to four times each week, with a total of over forty sermons and some fifteen or sixteen Bible readings. These were mainly in Grimsby, in the regular meeting room or in the market place.73
John conducted few meetings during April and May 1884 occupying his time soliciting orders for Present Truth, chiefly through the mail but also with his regular readers of Signs. In May he visited Switzerland for the Second European Council and was away for nearly two weeks.74ï¿½In June John had planned a series of "Plain Talks on Bible Topics" to be conducted at different market places on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 7.15 P.M. With Wilcox planning to assist, readers of Present Truth were invited to attend.75ï¿½In all the two men worked village areas along the southern shore of the mouth of the Humber north of Grimsby, covering a line about 25 miles and including Grimsby, Ulceby, and Barrow, with hall meetings conducted in East Halton. As late as February 1885 they were still conducting meetings in four places preaching 6 times a week.76ï¿½In March 1885 John suffered a mild attack of measles but it seemed not to have slowed him down.77
During a visit from Whitney in early 1884 a tract society was organized and several people consequently devoted all or part of their time to missionary work.78ï¿½It was probably at this time that the Grimsby church organization was "perfected." Wilcox was appointed local elder, Hollingsworth was made a deacon, and Thayer the church clerk.79ï¿½This organization perhaps released John from some local administration responsibilities and allowed him to concentrate his efforts in evangelizing.
After his return from Switzerland John began his open-air meetings again which continued throughout the summer months. They were "unusually interesting" and attendance "greater than common."[80ï¿½The two men met with opposition after they had presented the Sabbath question at these meetings which "caused much agitation and discussion". A prominent Wesleyan Methodist layman in the area took it upon himself to lecture on the round-world theory and "advertized it through the town." Much to Wilcox's apparent amusement the preacher "defeated himself." John did however call a meeting in reply and had an attendance of 250 and the local ministers remained silent in public on the question.81
John continued with these open-air meetings in the Grimsby market place throughout 1884 and they continued to be very well attended. John believed "our work is to sow the seed, God will give the increase."[82ï¿½Wilcox first assessed open-air meetings "a novelty" and confessed "it requires some time to get used to the work."83ï¿½It did not help when at the end of the series there was only one person "who is trying to live out the truth" as a result of the meetings. Two more persons did join the Grimsby church bringing the official membership to twenty-two. All remained faithful in donating tithes, which in one quarter amounted to $47, and $l2 to cover the expenses of the church.84
During early 1884 John continued his "Bible Studies" in Ulceby where "quite a number" commenced to observe the Sabbath. Four had been baptized by April with others "anxious to go forward."[85ï¿½In June he commenced open-air meetings in the town, to continue as long as the interest justified.86
At the end of August 1884 John and his family stayed in Ulceby "a few weeks" where, one year from the commencement of the work in that town, they organized a Sabbath School for children. During that year twenty-one persons had been brought to observe the Sabbath, some of whom were baptized. Others he hoped to baptize during his stay.87ï¿½By September it was thought advisable to organize a church officially. Wilcox assisted in the organization in which a number were baptized and twelve persons taken into membership. The appointment of an elder and deacon however had to wait until January 1885.88ï¿½New officers for the Sabbath School and the Tract and Missionary Society also were appointed in January 1885 but no mention is made of an elder or deacon.89ï¿½In addition to the regular meetings in Ulceby at this time John also conducted a "cottage meeting" about two miles away from the village during the early part of 1885, and he again met with opposition which served only to "strengthen the cause."90ï¿½By May 1885 he had added another five in baptism.91
The open-air meetings in Barrow commenced in June 1884 as a part of the planned series.92ï¿½Attendance of up to 200 "was regular from the first." John covered doctrinal questions and matters relating to "holy living" and was assisted by friends who sang and helped in other ways.[93ï¿½By 9 October the Sabbath question had been presented at these meetings and "several persons are carefully investigating the subject." In addition to the meetings one of the "missionaries" had also been selling "a large number" of Sabbath tracts in the village.94ï¿½By the end of the first quarter of 1885 John had baptized five persons. He believed the past three months to have been one of "real growth" for the church.95
During October 1884 John conducted meetings in East Halton at the Odd Fellows Hall with good attendance. Wilcox spoke at least once, on a Sunday afternoon. The two men also reported conducting an "autumn temperance campaign" in the town in conjunction with the meetings.96ï¿½By January the Sabbath question had been presented with much interest, and meetings continued.97ï¿½John was still preaching in East Halton in February 1885 despite unfortunate weather.98
In February 1885 John reported a new hall meeting in Keelby, a village ten miles due west of Grimsby where he had a large attendance with standing room only. Whether this was one meeting or a series we do not know.99
During the early part of 1884 we hear little from or about Drew in Liverpool, apart from the fact that he and his wife now lived at 16 Rodney Street, Birkenhead, Cheshire, England.100ï¿½He was at the British Mission Council at the beginning of the year and joined in the discussion concerning Mission activities and the launching of Present Truth. He himself pledged to take 1,200 copies of the new journal for his work. He also attended the Second European Council in Switzerland. Drew found Present Truth "much appreciated" in Liverpool where he continued to sell literature. Much of this literature was taken to Egypt, the East Indies and other parts of the world and he continued to be responsible for sending literature and tracts to such places as Calcutta, India, and to Denmark.101ï¿½In March 1885 Drew was still reporting "excellent interest" in Liverpool.102ï¿½Butler visited with Drew at the time of his return to America 7 June 1884 and believed him to be "doing a good work" in Liverpool.103ï¿½John visited him in November 1884, enjoying the hospitality of his home, visiting with Irvine of Liverpool, and with a sister Pullen of Southport. Pullen had been one of the first individuals to accept the church's teachings at Grimsby where she had been involved in missionary work. Hearing that a church had been organized at Grimsby she promptly requested membership in it.104
In May 1885 John again met with brief sickness but was once more soon on his feet reporting his intention "soon to proclaim the truth elsewhere."105ï¿½Some time late in 1884 or early 1885 it had been agreed that John and his family should leave Grimsby and relocate in the Principality of Wales, "in harmony with the recommendation of the General Conference Committee." This was possibly part of a planned effort to move the Mission work into the other countries of the British Isles, namely Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. This move brought to an end two years of pioneering work for the British Mission in Lincolnshire. Speaking of his developing aim as a missionary in the Grimsby area of North England and of his inovative ideas John stated:
We have tried to take a broad view of the situation, and have aimed to get the message before as many as possible. In market places, streets, crossroads, on shipboard, in private houses, and in the halls the truth has been proclaimed to thousands. From what we can learn, Bible readings now so popular among our people, and meetings in market places and streets were first introduced among S. D. Adventists at Great Grimsby.
At all our meetings we have given opportunity for inquiry and objections, with satisfactory results. While seeking to appear not to court discussion we have endeavored to let the people see that the third angel's message could bear the heat of the closest criticism, and that we were not ashamed of it.106
Reading of John's accomplishments on behalf of the Mission during those first years one cannot but be impressed by the amount of consistant, hard work he had carried out for what, in the minds of many, must have seemed such meager results for such dedication. Summing up those results John informed the American membership:
By the blessing of God two companies although scattered ones have accepted the message and are organized into two churches; one at Great Grimsby, and the other at Ulceby, about ten miles distant. Upwards of fifty, including a few Sabbath school children, have embraced the truth in North Lincolnshire. And from this broadcast sowing we confidently expect that other laborers will continue to reap. If so we shall hope to rejoice with them when the sheaves are gathered into the heavenly garner.107
More New Workers
At the twenty-third annual session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 30 October - 20 November 1884, the Session delegates discussed the "magnitude of the work" in Britain and considered it their "duty" to send two additional workers to the British Mission.108ï¿½They were immediately promised a warm welcome to the "Empire" through the January 1885 issue of Present Truth.[109ï¿½The coming of these new workers was no doubt discussed by the British Mission Committee at their meeting in Grimsby 26-31 December 1884,110ï¿½and plans for John's relocation made to coincide with their arrival.
The General Conference in voting Sands Harvey Lane (1844-1906) and wife to go to England did so in order that he would take "a leading part in the British Mission, and the printing work of that mission."[111ï¿½Lane had just turned 40 years old when he accepted the call to work in the British Mission as superintendent and evangelist. Born the year of the Great Disappointment, he spoke of hearing "the present truth, though a mere lad," about 1853.112ï¿½As a youth Lane had been employed in the print shop of the Review but in 1869 had joined his brother in evangelism in Indiana. Since 1877 he had been president of the Indiana Conference.[113ï¿½In the past year his conference had added 200 new members114ï¿½and he was considered a man of some experience in the work of the Church.
R. F. Andrews came from Illinois where he had been president of that field for some years.115ï¿½He was sent to the British Mission specifically "to labor in Scotland and Ireland, as the way may open." Andrews came alone it seems,116ï¿½and may have intended to stay only a short while for he left his wife behind.
The party embarked at Boston 9 May 1885 on the Cunard steamship Catalina117ï¿½and arrived in Liverpool "in good spirits, and hopeful of good results."118ï¿½They came to join three fellow ministers and to care for three churches with a total of sixty-six members. The previous year these ministers and members had made 16,578 missionary visits, written 32,594 letters and donated $330 in tithe.119ï¿½Butler believed these "experienced ministers" would be a great help for "a great enlargement of the British Mission" adding, "it must be made a success."120ï¿½On the same day of their departure, and from the same port, Haskell and a party left to open up the Church's mission in Australia.121
Lane took up residence in Grimsby, from which place he would superintend the work of the Mission. Mrs P. H. Lane, who had held an "important position" at the Review office would help with Present Truth. R. F. Andrews began work in "his native land" of Ireland. Three other persons had travelled with the party to visit relatives and friends in their native England. Professor E. Barnes and wife went about their personal business but W. C. Wallis engaged in missionary work upon his arrival, with the possibility of staying on to serve the Mission,122ï¿½and was still engaged in colporteur work in 1886.123
Experimenting in Wales and Ireland
With the arrival of Lane and R. F. Andrews, John relocated in Wales, "the home of his ancestors," on 1 June 1885. He was now 29 years old and it would seem had at least one addition to what was now classed in reports as a family.124
In Wales the Johns felt more like strangers than they had on arrival in Grimsby, especially as they located in the northwest town of Aberystwith, the home of the University College of Wales. They were now to "proclaim the return of our loving Saviour, and to persuade men to prepare to meet him" in a country with a population of 1,200,000. One-third of the population could not speak or understand the English language, some 400,000 could understand both English and Welsh, and the remaining third were Englishmen. John asked only that "the Lord qualifies us for the work until some more efficient laborers can be raised up."125
John planned from the start to study hard and obtain a knowledge of the Welsh language, and put it into practice by visiting house to house. He also hoped that in a short while the literature of the Mission would be available in the Welsh language.126ï¿½He did indeed study the language a little but mainly found himself working for English people, especially during the first months.127
The John family rented a house with two rooms on the ground, or "first floor" which were connected by folding doors from which they could conduct their missionary program. Writing on 13 July, just after obtaining his rented accomodation in Aberystwith, John could say "but little about Welsh people" for they had visited only one family to whom they had received a letter of introduction. John sensed the "people seem friendly" and, judging from "the large attendance at funerals," he was inclined to think there was less aristocracy than he had found in England. It reminded him of his "own native land." Apart from the family they had visited there appears to have been no other contact names. In fact, John had to appeal to friends in America to send him names and addresses of relatives and friends they had in the Principality.128
John found himself still recovering from the illness of the previous spring and had unfortunately to limit his initial work. Having found open-air meetings a "satisfactory way" of presenting the Church's message in England and with the weather favorable for services on the beach he conducted three meetings a week at "a large watering place." This was obviously less than he would have liked. He had "large" attendance and "excellent" interest, speaking with people from India, America, Scotland, and from all the principal cities of England and Wales. More people from abroad visited John in his first three months in Wales than during his three years in England. His wife gave "valuable assistance" at the beach meetings selling tracts and giving away papers,129ï¿½and she was also lending tracts on a week to week basis. John explained how this plan called for leaving reading matter with different families. They placed a printed cover on the tracts and loaned them out to these families, placing one in each home every week and changing it for another the next. The Third European Council considered this a good idea and promptly formed a committee to discuss topics that he ought to use!130ï¿½Being alone in Wales was not easy and John requested prayers for "health, grace, and wisdom" so that he could "continue in the field."131
Loughborough had had correspondence with a Mrs. Lester of Belfast, Ireland during 1881132ï¿½but no other information is known of Mission contacts in that country until in November 1884. After a visit to Manchester to attend meetings of the United Kingdom Alliance and to Liverpool to spent time with Drew, John paid a visit to Ireland crossing the Irish Sea to Dublin. This visit would be the first visit of an official Church representative to Ireland despite the earlier requests going back to the 1860's.133ï¿½The purpose seems to have been to obtain information "concerning the nation, and the prospects for the extension of our work there."
The weather was "unpleasant" but was counterbalanced by the kindness shown him by "the warm-hearted, intelligent people" of Dublin. In Dublin he met with the widow and daughter of the late Dr. Herbert Panmure Ribton (d.1882).134ï¿½Mrs Ribton and her daughter were "strong," practicing members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and through their influence "many" had had their attention directed to the Church's beliefs. John found two persons keeping the Sabbath with them, one being Mrs Ribton's sister and another a solicitor, "a young man of promise." John was able to conduct three meetings in the drawing-room of the sister. He left Ireland with a prayer that workers might be found to work in Ireland.135
Certainly R. F. Andrews was specifically appointed to work in Ireland, his "native land," and may even have volunteered his services because he had relatives in Northern Ireland.136ï¿½We know of a Mrs Foster who opened her home in Clones to Andrews, and it is known that R. F. Andrews had a cousin living in Keady and possibly other relatives elsewhere in the area. Parts of a letter addressed to Mrs R. F. Andrews, 1iving in Onarga, Illinois, were printed by Review concerning the cause in Ireland and without this information we would know little concerning the early visits by the Mission in this new field. From these letters we know that R. F. Andrews was in Northern Ireland by July 1885, when he preached for "Mr.W., Third Presbyterian congregation of Armagh." Between this date and November he gave Bible readings and preached "to audiences of from one to a private house full," although not in Armagh, since he left that city after his first visit and did not return until that November, when he was asked by Dr.S., of the First, and Mr.E., of the Second Presbyterian churches to preach for them. This was an opening to the people of Armagh in the eyes of R. F. Andrews, for Dr.S. had been Moderator of the General Assembly and was still "the leading man in the Presbytery."137
On 10 December R. F. Andrews returned to Clones, 26 miles south-west of Armagh, where he conducted meetings in the home of Foster, preaching to "quite a roomful of earnest listeners." By the beginning of December Andrews was also conducting some kind of meetings in the area of Keady, where the Presbyterian minister was his friend. He asked him to preach on a number of Sundays prior to 11 December. Such preaching opportunities made him many friends, and "quite a number of candid people in and around Ready (sic) are reading and investigating."138
In Tassagh a "Mr.M.," brother-in-law to Andrews' cousin, took a stand concerning the Sabbath and the nature of man, much to the annoyance of the minister of his church where he was "ruling elder." The minister consequently called R. F. Andrews "a dangerous man" for taking away "the intelligent hearer and elder." He also condemned R. F. Andrews' Presbyterian minister friend, "threatening to have him brought up before the Presbytery." R. F. Andrews consoled himself with the thought that if his friend was called before the governing body of the Presbyterian church others of his friends would have to appear also, one of whom, Dr. S., was a Presbytor. He commented, "we may have an interesting time."
Obviously R. F. Andrews did not preach controversial sermons from these guest pulpits, but he did seek to influence interested ones afterwards and Dr. S. and Mr. E. were no exceptions. This is especially seen in regard to his beliefs concerning the Sabbath:
Last Sunday, when I came out of Dr.S's pulpit, and went into the anteroom, he came and took me by the hand, and thanked me for 'the good gospel sermon I had preached to his people.' I told him I was glad of the opportunity, and expressed a wish that it might do good, and that God would accept the effort. I then took out of my pocket the tract 'One Hundred Facts about the Sabbath,' and, doubling it lengthwise to cover the title, presented it to him, asking him to give it a careful reading and tell me his opinion of it, as it was a matter I was deeply interested in. He promised to do so.
Dr.S replied promptly acknowledging those points on which he could agree. Andrews seems to have left it at that:
He acknowledged the first thirty-three of the facts in the tract, and said no honest Christian could dispute them. He took exceptions to number thirty-four and one or two others, misapprehending one of them entirely. I wrote thanking him for reading it, and so promptly giving his opinion. I commended him for the noble admission he made, stating that all men did not have grace to even admit all the truth they might see. With the note I sent Bro. J. N. Andrews's 'History of the Sabbath,' telling him on what pages the points he found fault with were made clear.
R. F. Andrews approached Mr. E. in the same manner the Sunday following, and three members came to talk with him the next day. Perhaps as a result of these contacts he saw a benefit in holding some meetings in the Armagh town hall in the new year, after the Christmas holidays, for these demonstrations of a lack of prejudice were encouraging to him. Writing on 11 December he stated:
I never had so much hope that Ireland will have the light of truth planted in it as I have now. I believe some will yet accept the blessed commandments of the Lord, and that a few will be gleaned from Ireland when the Lord comes.
But R. F. Andrews was realistic. On one occasion a clergyman had sought to ruin his influence "by lying insinuations" and, although the incident was turned to the advantage of the truth, he had written home indicating that the work was not easy:
The Irish people are hard to move, and I have had a great deal of intolerance and bigotry to contend with. . . . There are obstacles here to hinder the work such as the people of America could not understand without being here to see for themselves. The strong arm of the law is waiting for those who teach the truth, as soon as their converts are found obeying it. The law in Ireland imposes a heavy fine and imprisonment for working upon Sunday. What can be done for those that will take their stand for the truth here? This state of things makes people consider the matter carefully, and will doubtless deter all but those who really mean to obey God in all things. Our only safety is in obeying the Lord. And if we seek to save our life, we shall lose it; and if we are not willing to lay it down for Christ's sake, we cannot be his disciples. But the Lord is our refuge and strength.
A number had been convinced on the Sabbath question and the nature of man, yet R. F. Andrews believed that to get people to take a firm stand on these truths "takes patience and double strength energetically applied to endure here." Some went so far as to inform him that if they were in America they would keep the Sabbath. This convinced him that "if they do take hold of the truth, they will stand."
At the meeting of the Third European Council, 15-22 September 1885, R. F. Andrews delivered a report in which he indicated that in Northern Ireland he had discovered that "caste, prejudice, an unwillingness to attend open-air meetings, and meetings in halls" were some of the difficulties to be met. However, he was able to report a large number becoming interested.139
New Work in the West Country and Central England
From April through to July 1885 Durland spent his time conducting meetings in Dartmouth, Exeter and Topsham. In each place he reported good meetings although results were not as favorable as he would have liked to see.140
While working in Exeter Durland conducted a series of meetings with the assistance of O'Neil and Herd as colporteurs going house to house and selling publications in the market places. O'Neil took "quite a number" of subscriptions to Present Truth.141ï¿½On 23 April Wilcox, after a weekend in Southampton, joined Durland for a few days, returning to Grimsby on 6 May "somewhat worn." At the time of Wilcox's visit to Exeter the two men visited Paignton to attend the Life and Advent West of England Conference at the invitation of its members. They were treated kindly but after listening to lectures including two by Burlington B. Wade of Malvern on the nature of man and the punishment of the wicked, and observing the spirit of the gathering, announced their disappointment in the lack of spirituality manifest. The two men took the opportunity however to visit with "friends of the truth" in Paignton, and found some who were "almost persuaded."142
After his arrival in mid-May Lane spent two whole weeks in Exeter with Durland rendering valuable assistance.143ï¿½At the close of the meetings they left six persons "keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Again business and family ties held some back from making a decision.144
Durland must have made an impression on Lane for immediately on the ending of meetings in the west country the two men joined together on 22 July 1885 to conduct a series of meetings in Riseley, Bedfordshire in the southeast of England. Meetings in the tent lasted for about twelve weeks, ending 18 October.145
Riseley was a village of some eleven hundred people about forty miles northeast from London. More interestingly to American readers of Review it was just twelve miles from the home once occupied by John Bunyan, and ten miles from the jail house of the city of Bedford where Bunyan had spent twelve years of his life "for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" and where he wrote Pilgrim's Progress.146
With halls "very expensive and quite unsatisfactory" a tent of "linen," 27x50 feet, was used.147ï¿½This evangelistic tent was pitched in a "pleasant and convenient place" on land in the center of town at Harold, well protected by hedges all around, but with an understanding that "should orders come from certain quarters we would have to leave." No reason was given for this rider but obviously Lane did not have a problem with it initially. Colporteurs were set to work to canvass in the area and did well selling publications considering the scarcity of money in the area.148
Attendance at the meetings was good from the beginning and Durland was able to gain some experience in public tent evangelism, no doubt for the first time. The two men covered such topics as the prophecies of the Bible, the messages of the three angels, the Sabbath question "quite thoroughly," and a number of "practical discources."149ï¿½After only twelve days, fourteen lectures, and one Bible reading, it was reported that on the night of 2 August four hundred were still in attendance. Although the number fluctuated between 80-200 the usual was "about one hundred and seventy-five" on week evenings and over 400 on Sunday nights. The "best" citizens attended the meetings and listened "with marked attention." They also proved to be "very friendly." Some interested people even invited the ministers to their homes for tea and they "enjoyed good visits and partook of all but the 'tea'," leaving after "a good season of prayer on each occasion."150
Donations of vegetables, groceries, and fruit were also made to the evangelists by those of more wealth:
Persons are sent to our rooms or tent with these donations, and, politely bowing, say in a pleasant tone of voice, "My master" or "mistress," as the case may be, "hopes you will not be offended at the smallness of the gift," and when we say, "thank you," they heartily respond, "Oh, do not mention it: you are quite deserving." We cannot always learn who sends them, but when the donor becomes deeply interested we learn by some means.151
Beside this support, contributions were nearly sufficient to pay all the running expenses of the meetings. The Riseley evangelistic series cost $38.48 for transportation of tent, furnishings of pulpit, lamps and lantern, and for house rent. By the end of August donations had amounted to $27.02.152
At the end of August the interest in Riseley had not decreased, Lane and Durland were still attracting between 150 and 200 persons each evening. If it had not been the time of harvest they believed the numbers would have been greater. In a tent seating 240 persons they found it "nicely accomodates our regular congregation." Even with two meetings on Sunday the evening meetings continued to be standing room only and many would leave unable to find seating or standing room close enough to the preacher.
Besides the two Sunday lectures, the ministers continued to conduct one meeting each evening of the week and an afternoon Bible reading twice a week. These earlier meetings enabled elderly people to come who were unable to attend at night, so the age of the audience at these afternoon meetings ranged between 75 and 93 years old. The Bible studies covered the doctrines of the Church previously presented in the evenings. Those present took part in the reading, and the afternoon meeting usually concluded with a social meeting of testimony and personal expression.153
Some people, living out of Riseley but contacted by the canvassers, and having read the papers, became interested enough to attend the tent meetings, even though it meant travelling "several miles distance." Two ladies were reported walking four miles each way in an attempt to hear the evangelists.154
It is of interest to note that Lane's lectures ten and eleven were on the Sabbath question. It would appear that Lane covered this controversial topic much earlier than Loughborough had done, and it landed him in some trouble early in his campaign. On Sunday evening 16 August a local Baptist minister "of some ability" preached a sermon against the Sabbath position. He treated the evangelists "kindly" and spoke of their efforts "respectfully." He claimed to have some knowledge regarding Seventh-day Adventists but Lane, who it would seem was in attendance, felt that "he did not handle even the common so-called objections well." Lane explained to Present Truth readers that his argument was "about the weakest we ever heard presented" and "full of contradictions." Apparently he believed the ten commandments were unchangable and that Jesus Christ came to fulfill that law, changing the Sabbath to the first day of the week in the process. He believed there was no commandment in the New Testament for Sunday-keeping, and in fact it did not really matter much what day of the week people observed. Lane quoted the minister as saying that he regretted that "intelligent, earnest men should spend their time, means, and breath in agitating a subject which does not really amount to much."155
Lane and Durland spoke of the incident at the tent the next evening, although at first they thought to pay no attention to it. Speaking of the minister in "high terms" they exposed each of his arguments. Some of his friends tried to interrupt and disturb by asking questions and disagreeing but this was "discountenanced" by the congregation. On the Wednesday morning, a day Lane had put aside for meetings in Grimsby, someone in "a high position" informed the owner of the land on which the tent was pitched that it had to be moved. Immediately another gentleman sent word that they could pitch on his land and volunteers of "boys, girls, men, and women" moved the tent in the rain so that Durland was able to preach in it that same evening. One week later, on 26 August, White herself would preach there.156
Sabbath day services were commenced at Riseley in August with 35 adults in attendance, five of whom, all ladies, kept the day as the Sabbath. They became the first Sabbath-keepers in "Central England." A Sabbath school and other Sabbath meetings continued throughout the series, and were "quite well attended." In all, "ten or more" persons embraced the teachings of the Church and became members. When the tent was eventually removed one of these ladies offered her own home for Sabbath meetings. Several others planned to keep the day holy but were not able to see the way clear "to step out." Some men were "deeply moved" by the truth but "have not sufficient faith to take a stand" due to anticipated problems relative to work that this would create.157
The Riseley tent meetings closed 18 October 1885 due to the weather becoming cold and rainy and making the congregation uncomfortable. The tent was taken down and stored and Durland and Lane mutually decided that "it had proved a success." By using the tent "several good souls" had embraced the truth and the expenses to the Mission had been reduced. Lane believed that if a hall had been used for these meetings the rent and their board would have cost at least $l00. With the tent all the expenses were paid except for a few dollars. He felt also that the tent served as a means of advertizing for "several miles square," whereas meetings in a hall would have been scarcely known outside of the town. He believed "hundreds" came to the tent out of curiosity who would not have come to a hall and availed themselves of the Mission's papers, tracts, and books.158
About the beginning of November Durland and his family moved from Southampton to Riseley in order to pastor the interests developed through the summer tent meetings. One of the ladies who had joined the church during that summer owned a building which she fitted up, at her own expense, and turned into a small "mission hall" for the use of the company of believers, so making this "the first meeting-house that has been owned by S. D. Adventists in England."159
Durland proceeded to conduct a second series of meetings in Riseley, "nearly every night," probably in the newly acquired building. During the day he visited house-to-house and in this way secured more interests. We know of one who fully "embraced the truth." By the end of the year his Sabbath-school numbered as many as 51 persons and he was "much encouraged by the presence of so many."160
Writing on 27 December 1885 Durland reported the meetings still continuing, with three more beginning to observe the Sabbath, and attendance at Sabbath school also increasing, despite the fact that so few of the Riseley Sabbath-keepers had children of their own. The last Sabbath of the year saw 54 in attendance and "all engaged in the exercises with an earnestness that showed they were interested."161
In the new year four "more" signed the covenant and the Sabbath school was still increasing in attendance. By the end of February 1886 there was a company of fifteen Sabbath-keepers with an average of forty-two attending Sabbath school. They still worshiped in the "pleasant hall" rent free. The second week in March a further five persons were baptized.162
One year later, on 14 and 15 December 1886, Lane conducted two meetings in Riseley, amid rain and floods that hindered his intentions, and found "the friends" there still faithful. He left thanking God that the Church's message had found a home in some honest hearts in that part of the Kingdom.163
1"British Mission," RH, 20 February 1883, p.124, British Supplement 19.
3Wilcox, HS, p.86; Butler, "The New Paper in England," ST, 17 April 1884, p.249.
4SDAE, art., "Wilcox, Milton Charles;" Wilcox, HS, p.86.
6Butler, "A Few Days in England," RH, 24 June l884, p.410; Wilcox, HS, p.86.
7Durland, "Attention, Iowa S. S. Secretaries," RH, 27 September 1881, p.224.
9Butler, "Meetings in England," RH, 1 April 1884, p. 217.
12Butler, "The Work in Europe," PT, July 1884, p.43.
13Butler, "The New Paper in England," RH, 1 April 1884, pp.217,218; ST, 17 April 1884, p.249.
15Lane, "Our Publications in England," RH, 25 August 1885, p.539.
16Butler, "The New Paper in England," RH, 1 April 1884, pp, 217,218; ST, 17 April 1884, p.249.
18Butler, "The New Paper In England," ST, 17 April 1884, p.250; RH, 1 April 1884, p.217. In the end about 1,000 copies were subscribed for in England this first year. Wilcox, HS, p.87.
19Butler, "International Tract and Missionary Society," RH, 1 April l884, p, 218.
20Butler, "The New Paper in England," RH, 1 April 1884, p.217.
24Butler, "The New Paper In England," ST, 17 April 1884, p.250; RH, 1 April 1884, p.217.
25John, ST, 22 May 1884, p.315.
26Present Truth, (Great Grimsby, England: International Tract and Missionary Society), May 1884. Hereafter PT.
27"The Present Truth," PT, May 1884, p.8.
28Butler, "A Few Days in England," RH, 24 June 1884, p.409.
30"England," RH, 9 December l884, p.780; John, ST, 22 May 1884, p.315.
31Judd, "Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire," PT, May 1885, pp.205,206; "England," RH, 19 May 1885, p.315; "Lincolnshire," PT, August 1885, p.253.
33W. C. White, "The Work in Europe," ST, 22 October 1885, p.634.
34Thayer, "European Council," PT, 3 November 1885, p.294; W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885, p.667.
35W. C. White, "The Work in Europe," ST, 22 October 1885, p.634.
36W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885, pp.666,667; Thayer, "European Council," PT, 3 November 1885, p.294.
37W. C. White, "The Work in Europe," ST, 22 October 1885, p.634; Lane, "Our Publications in England," 25 August 1885, p.539.
38"European Council," PT, 3 November 1885, p.294.
39W. C. White, "The Work in Europe," ST, 22 October 1885, p.634; "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885, p.666; RH, 3 November 1884, pp.682,683.
40"European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," RH, 3 November 1885, pp.682,683.
41Thayer, "European Council," PT, 3 November 1885, p.294.
42Lane, "Our Publications in England," RH, 25 August 1885, p.539.
43Lane, "Our Publications in England," RH, 25 August l885, p.539; Lane and Durland, "England," 1 September l885, p.355; Land, "England," 22 September 1885, p.604; Thayer, "European Council," PT, 3 November 1885, p.294.
44Lane, "England," RH, 12 January 1886, p.27.
45European Council Committee, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventists," RH, 3 November 1885, p.683.
46Butler, "The New Paper In England," ST, 17 April 1884, pp.249,250.
47ibid.; Butler, "A Few Days In England," RH, 24 June 1884, pp.409,410.
48Butler, "The New Paper in England," ST, 17 April 1884, p.250.
49Durland to Butler, "Good News from Southampton, England," ST, 22 May 1884, p.315.
50"Southampton," PT, May 1884, p.14.
51ibid.; Durland, "Good News from Southampton," ST, 22 May 1884, p.315; "Southampton," PT, June 1884, p.29; "England," RH, 13 May 1884, p.315; 3 June 1884, p.364.
52"Southampton," PT, July 1884, p.46.
53Durland, "England," RH, 3 June l884, p.364.
54Butler, "A Few Days in England," RH, 24 June 1884, p.409.
55"England," RH, 16 September 1884, p.603; "Hampshire," PT, September 1884, p.76.
56Durland, "England," RH, 16 September 1884, p.603; "Southern England," RH, 3 February l885, p.76; PT, February 1885, p.158.
57Durland, "England," RH, 3 June 1884, p.364.
58ibid., 13 May 1884, p.315; 3 June 1884, p.364.
59Durland, "Southampton," PT, July 1884, p.46.
60Durland, "England," RH, 16 September 1884, p.603; "Hampshire," PT, September 1884, p.76.
61"Southern England," RH, 3 February 1885, p.76.
62Durland, "Southern England," PT, December 1884, p.125.
63Durland, "Southern England," RH, 3 February 1885, p.76.
64Durland, "Southern England," PT, November 1884, p.109; December 1884, p.125; RH, 3 February 1885, p.76.
65Durland, "Good News from Southampton," ST, 22 May 1884, p.315.
66Durland, "Southern England," PT, December 1884, p.125.
67ibid., February 1885, pp.157,158.
68Wilcox, "Progress of Truth," PT, April 1885, p.192.
69Butler, "Progress in the British Islands," RH, 9 June 1885, p.368. This information came from private letters.
71John, "Lincolnshire," PT, May 1884, p.14.
72John, "From England," ST, 6 March 1884, p.155.
73Wilcox, "England," RH, 9 December 1884, p.780.
74John, "Grimsby," PT, June 1884, p.29.
75John, "Lincolnshire," PT, July 1884, p.46.
76ibid., March 1885, p.174.
77Wilcox, "Progress of Truth," PT, April 1885, p.192.
78John, "Lincolnshire," PT, July 1884, p.46.
79ibid., September 1884, p.603.
80ibid., July 1884, p.46.
81Wilcox, "England," RH, 9 December 1884, p.780.
82John, "Lincolnshire," PT, September 1884, p.76; "England," RH, 16 September l884, p.603.
83Wilcox, "England," RH, 9 December 1884, p.780.
85John, "Lincolnshire," PT, May 1884, p.14.
86ibid., July 1884, p.46.
87ibid., RH, 16 September 1884, p.603.
88John, "Lincolnshire," PT, November 1884, p.109; Wilcox, "England," RH, 9 December 1884, p.780.
89John, "Lincolnshire," PT, February 1885, p.157.
91"England," RH, 19 May 1885, p.315.
92John, "Lincolnshire," PT, 1884, p.46.
93ibid., September 1884, p.76; "England," RH, 16 September 1884, p.603.
94John, "Lincolnshire," PT, February 1885, p.157.
95ibid., May 1885, p.206.
96ibid., November 1884, p.109.
97ibid., February 1885, p.157.
98ibid., March 1885, p.174.
99ibid., March 1885, p.174.
100"International Tract and Missionary Society," RH, 1 April 1884, p.218.
101Drew, "From England," ST, 31 July 1884, p.459.
102Wilcox, "Progress of Truth," PT, April 1885, p.193; "England," RH, 19 May 1885, p.315.
103Butler, "A Few Days In England," RH, 24 June 1884, p.410.
104John, "A Missionary Tour," PT, December 1884, p.125.
105John, "England," RH, 19 May 1885, p.315.
106John, "England and Wales," RH, 4 August 1885, pp.490,491.
110Durland, "Southampton, England," PT, February 1885, p.158.
111RH, 18 November 1884, p.728; SDAYB, 1885, p.26.
112SDAE, art., "Lane, Sands Harvey;" Lane, "Our Publications in England," RH, 25 August 1885, p.539.
113SDAE, art., "Land, Sands Harvey."
116RH, 18 November 1884, p.728; SDAYB, 1885, p.26; Wilcox, "Arrivals and Departures," PT, July 1885, p.240.
117Wilcox, "Arrivals and Departures," PT, July 1885, p.240; Butler, "Progress In The British Isles," RH, 9 June 1885, p.368.
118"Progress In The British Isles," RH, 9 June 1885, p.368.
119SDAYB, "Seventh-day Adventist Statistics, 1844," 1844, p.38, Statistical Supplement.
120"Progress in the British Isles," RH, 9 June 1885, p.368.
121"Australian Mission," ST, 14 May 1885, p.304.
122Wilcox, "Arrivals and Departures," PT, July 1885, p.240.
124John, "England and Wales," RH, 4 August 1885, p.491; Wilcox, "Arrivals and Departures," PT, July 1885, p.240.
125John, "England and Wales," RH, 4 August 1885, p.491; W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885, p.666.
126John, "England," RH, 4 August 1885, p.491.
127W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885, p.666.
128John, "England and Wales," RH, 4 August l885, p.491.
129John, "Wales," PT, October 1885, p.286; W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885, p.666.
130ibid.; European Council Committee, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," RH, 3 November 1885, p.684.
131John, "Wales," PT, October 1885, p.286.
132Loughborough, Diary, 3 May 1881.
133John, "A Missionary Tour," PT, December 1884, pp.125,126.
134Ribton had studied at the University of Dublin and was perhaps, like his wife, of Irish descent. As a physician he was living in Naples, Italy, where he was baptized by J. N. Andrews in 1877. See SDAE, art., "Ribton, Herbert Panmure." Ribton was the Church's first self-supporting missionary physician. As a representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Central European Mission in Egypt, he was murdered in the Alexandria riots of 1882.
135John, "A Missionary Tour," PT, December 1884, p.125,126.
136Wilcox, "Personal Local," PT, 18 March 1886, p.48.
137R. F. Andrews to Mrs R. F. Andrews, "The Beginnings in Ireland," RH, 5 January 1886, p.10. All information during this section on Ireland comes from this source unless otherwise stated.
138There appears to be a misreading of Andrews' writing which caused the Review editor to print Keady as "Ready" throughout the article.
139W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Mission," ST, 5 November 1885, p.666.
140Durland, "Southern England," PT, August 1885, p.253.
142Wilcox, "A Trip South," PT, June 1885, p.224.
144Durland, "Southern England," PT, August 1885, p.253.
145W. C. White, "The Work in Europe," ST, 22 October 1885, p.634; Lane and Durland, "Riseley, Bedfordshire," PT, September 1885, p.269; Lane, "England," RH, 12 January 1886, p.27. W. C. White gives the number of weeks as "about eight weeks," which would be about right up to the time of the Fourth European Council.
146Lane, "England," RH, 25 August l885, p.539; White, "Notes of Travel," 6 October 1885, p.609,610.
147W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885, p.666.
148Land, "England," RH, 22 September 1885, p.604; Lane and Durland, "Riseley, Bedfordshire," PT, September 1885, p.269; RH, 20 July 1886, p.457.
149Lane and Durland, "Riseley, Bedfordshire," PT, September 1885, p.269.
150ibid.; Lane, "England," RH, 25 August 1885, p.539; Lane and Durland, "England," 1 September l885, p.355.
151ibid., pp.355,356; See also Lane and Durland, "Riseley, Bedfordshire," PT, September 1885, p.269.
152W. C. White, "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," ST, 5 November 1885 p.666; RH, 3 November 1885, p.682; Lane, "England," RH, 22 September 1885, p.604.
153Lane and Durland, "England," RH, 1 September l885, p.355; Lane, "England," 22 September 1885, p.604.
154Lane and Durland, "England," RH, 1 September 1885, pp.355,356.
155Lane, "England," RH, 22 September 1885, p.604; Land and Durland, "Riseley, Bedfordshire," PT, September 1885, p.269.
156ibid.; White, "Notes of Travel," RH, 6 October l885, pp.609,610.
157Lane and Durland, "England," RH, 1 September 1885, p.355; Lane "England," 22 September 1885, p.604; Lane and Durland, "Riseley, Bedfordshire," PT, September 1885, p.269; "European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Missions," RH, 3 November 1885, p.682.
158Lane, "England," RH, 12 January 1886, p.27.
159Durland, "England," RH, 5 January 1886, p.12; Lane, "England," 12 January 1886, p.21.
160Durland, "England," RH, 5 January l886, p.12; Lane "England," 12 January 1886, p.27.
161Durland, "England," 19 January 1886, p.43.
162Durland, "Riseley, Kettering and Southampton," PT, 21 January 1886, p.14; "The Cause in England," ST, 25 March 1886, p.185.
163Lane, "The Work in the British Isles," PT, 6 January 1887, p.13; RH, 1 March l887, p.140.