Pioneers of the church

    Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                P I o n e e r s    o f    t h e    c h u r c h            (  3  RELATED  PHRASES  )                      

             The  phrase  'Pioneers of the church'  appears  1x times in the published writings of EGW                            See page on Original site                                       Related phrase:    pioneers of the cause  ( below )  - -  pioneers in our work  ( below )  - -  Adventist pioneers

  Watching the pioneers of the church as they struggled to bring permanency to the cause is somewhat like watching parents teaching a child to walk, except that the former process was long and drawn out. James White, with insights --in spite of faltering health-- that seemed to outdistance those of his brethren, labored constantly to inspire his associates to shoulder their tasks with the devotion, energy, and skill that had marked his own labors through the previous twenty or more years. When they dallied, he sometimes grew impatient and wrote and spoke in severe terms. Disregarding his limited physical condition, he would throw himself without reserve into meeting the current needs. Up to the beginning of 1873, he had suffered three strokes of paralysis, the first one very severe (RH, July 8, 1873).  {2BIO 372.1}


  But because the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church held that prophecy was fulfilled on October 22, 1844, and that an important work began in heaven in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary at that time, and because the Adventists who had become spiritualizers took the position that Christ had come into their hearts on October 22, 1844, and that His kingdom was in their hearts, the founders of the church, and notably Ellen White, were classed by the world generally, and also by those that SDAs have termed first-day Adventists, as one and the same group. Here again the great enemy cast aspersion upon the true, paralleling it with a false, spurious experience.  {1BIO 80.2}


  She also drew from denominational authors, such as Uriah Smith and J. N. Andrews, in presenting views on prophecy. She had been with the pioneers of the church as they earnestly studied the Bible, and conclusions had been arrived at jointly, hence at times one would be the writer to set them before the public, and at times another. Thus she acknowledged: “In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has been made of their published works” ( Ibid.). { WV 270.3 } 
  She had drawn from denominational authors also in presenting views on prophecy. She had been with the pioneers of the church as they earnestly studied Bible doctrines and prophecy. Conclusions were arrived at jointly, and at times one would be the writer to set them before the public, and at times another. She informed her readers:  {3BIO 441.6}


  She had not, but she did. They carried the title "Danger in Adopting Extreme Views," and portrayed some of the weaknesses and mistakes of the apostles, the Reformers, and the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ellen White, either by vision or experience or both, was so closely linked with these noble and fearless men who had been in God's service that to touch them pierced her heart.  {4BIO 133.5}


  Clearly the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church had come to "the gathering time." James White used this term as he reported in November, 1850, of Mrs. Bates, the wife of Joseph Bates, taking her stand for the Sabbath.  {1BIO 191.5}

              The Crucial Yet Productive Years of the "Scattering Time" 

   It will be appropriate to further review and sum up what took place in the emerging remnant church in the six years between 1844 and 1850. A hundred or more years later, some have been rather amazed and baffled because the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church were not engaged in public evangelism, preaching "the message" immediately after the 1844 disappointment. "What message?" might be asked. And what's more, "Who would listen?"  {1BIO 191.6}


  With the citing of New Testament support, a scriptural framework was assembled for the projected procedures, and it was suggested that "we gather from these facts some instruction relative to our own duty." The pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church could have gone more easily to the Old Testament and brought in the obligation of the tithe, but at this juncture, regardless of the attractiveness of the tithe, they were not sure that it was not one of those ceremonial obligations that ceased at the cross. In the occasional mention of organization they were looking to the New Testament with its seven deacons, not to the Old Testament with the appointment by Moses of the seventy. In finance they were looking to the New Testament and Paul's counsel in 1 Corinthians 16:2 that "upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, "rather than to Malachi's direction to "bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house" (Mal. 3:10). They conceded that the tithing system was a good plan, and it did have a strong bearing on the conclusions reached and set before the church. Here is the argument set forth in the address:  {1BIO 389.6}


  Elder Andross then explained that Ballenger did not realize the source from which Elder Smith obtained the sanctuary truth. There was earnest Bible study by the pioneers of the Advent Movement, and with them was the messenger of the Lord. As the brethren continued their study, there was in their midst one through whom the Spirit of God was able to point out what was truth and what was error.  {5BIO 406.2}
  George I. Butler (1834-1918): One of the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, Butler served in many positions in the church, most notably as General Conference president from 1871-1874 and 1880-1888. Butler received more letters from Ellen White than anyone else mentioning the Oakwood School. When she wrote these letters, he was the president of the Southern Union Conference and the Southern Publishing Association. { PCO ii.5 } 


            P I o n e e r s    o f    t h e    c a u s e                                    


   Let not those who have been placed in responsible positions think that God has given them light to controvert the work of the faithful ones who have died in the faith. God wrought through these old pioneers of the cause, and no voice or pen should be brought into action to demerit their labor, which was full of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Their works were wrought in God. { 9MR 132.3 } 
   After those who led out in this work have labored hard to prepare the truth and bring the work up ready to your hand, you embrace it and go out to labor, presenting the precious arguments which others, with inexpressible anxiety, have searched out for you. While you are amply provided for in point of means, your weekly wages sure, leaving you no reason for care or anxiety in this direction, these pioneers of the cause suffered deprivations of every kind. They had no assurance of anything. They were dependent upon God and upon the few truehearted ones who received their labors. While you have sympathizing brethren to sustain you and fully appreciate your labors, the first laborers in this work had but very few to stand by them. All could be counted in a few minutes. We knew what it was to go hungry for want of food and to suffer with cold for the want of suitable clothing. We have traveled all night by private conveyance to visit the brethren, because we had no means with which to defray the expenses of hotel fare. We traveled miles on foot, time and again, because we had no money to hire a carriage. Oh, how precious was the truth to us! how valuable souls purchased by the blood of Christ!  {3T 317.1}


  Before leaving Australia and since coming to this country, I have been instructed that there is a great work to be done in America. Those who were in the work at the beginning are passing away. Few are left of the pioneers of the cause. The work must fall on the younger brethren. The world is filled with strife for the supremacy. The spirit of pulling apart, of war, or animosity and disorganization, is in the very air we breathe. Our only hope is to remember that we are little children—God’s little children. “Behold the nations before Him are as a drop of a bucket and are counted as the small dust of the balance.” We are inclined to exalt self. But God wants no self-exaltation in His work. He wants us to labor in simplicity and humility, as His little children, learning daily of Him. We must bring His word into the practical life. We talk the truth, we preach the truth, but we do not live the truth.—Manuscript 11, 1903, 1. (“Words of Counsel”, March 26, 1903.) { 4MR 353.3 } 
  Before leaving Australia, and since coming to this country, I have been instructed that there is a great work to be done in America. Those who were in the work at the beginning are passing away. Only a few of the pioneers of the cause now remain among us. Many of the heavy burdens formerly borne by men of long experience are now falling upon younger men.  {9T 257.1}  also  { GW 486.1} 
  Those who were in our work at the beginning are passing away. Only a few of the pioneers of the cause now remain among us. Many of the heavy burdens formerly borne by men of long experience are now falling upon younger men. { TM 488.3} 


  Another faithful standard-bearer is gone. His life-work is ended; his armor is laid off at the feet of his Redeemer. How many who were among the pioneers of the cause in Vermont have left us,-- Bro. and Sr. Barrows, Bro. and Sr. Gardner, Bro. and Sr. Morse, Bro. and Sr. Childs, Bro. and Sr. Sperry, Bro. and Sr. Lockwood, Bro. and Sr. Butler, Bro. Bingham, Sr. Benson, and her husband, who embraced the truth at a later date, and others, whose names I cannot recall. I looked upon the care-worn features of our aged Bro. and Sr. Loveland, and thought, How soon their faces too will be missing. These have let their light shine day by day in steady beams. May the Lord continue to give them a large measure of his Spirit, that while they live they may sow the seed of truth.  {RH, November 11, 1884 par. 5}


                                                     pioneers  in  our  work                                               


God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it?-- He has said that the dead are to speak. How? --Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced. And in the Signs of the Times let not the articles be long or the print fine. Do not try to crowd everything into one number of the paper. Let the print be good, and let earnest, living experiences be put into the paper.  {CW 28.1}


  Moreover, I was instructed that I must call attention to the history of our first work among the people when these aged pioneers were men of earnest, enduring action. These men have their work to do, an important work. Even in their age their testimony and their endeavors bear witness that the wheels of providence are not constructed to stand still or roll backward. In their labor is their happiness. It is not work that wears men out, but sadness, anxiety, and worry. If Elder _____ and Elder _____ break down, it will be because of the heavy perplexity that has come upon them in trying, without sufficient means or helpers, to accomplish the urgent work before them in the Southern field.  {SW, August 29, 1905 par. 8}






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Pioneers of Advent Movement A.T. Jones Messages Pioneers of the Advent Message