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A lest we forget

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  V UME 2 FIRSTQUARTER, 1992N UMBER 1   DVENTIST PIONEER LI R RY   ã LessonsfromtheBeginnings of theSDAChurch n theLife of JohnByington ã  r A s ourSeventh-dayAdv,entistpioneersconsideredtheissue of  h urchorganizetion,theycamewiththeirownuniqueblend of Biblicalandhistoricalunderstandingsandtheir own lifeexperiences.TheSpiritworkedthroughthesefactors(asHedoeswitheach of us)inHisattempttofurtherthework of Godatthattime.WhatwereingeneraltermsthemoldinginfluencesthatledtoorganizingtheSeventh-dayAdventistChurch?TheAdventbelieversthatsurvivedtheGreatDisappointment,whowentbacktoScripture,andcametoanunderstanding of theSanctuaryandtheThirdAngel sMessage,livedhereandthereinfamiliesandsmallcompanies,andwereoftendesignated thescatteredflock .Other than theinfluence of theSpirit,theirunderstanding of Scripture,theprintedperiodicals,andthosewhotravelledamongthem(onethinksparticularlyhere of JamesandEllenWhite,JosephBates,andJohnLoughborough),therewasnotmuchthatheldthemtogether.  n astrictsense,theywerecongregational,eachgroupquiteindependentinterms of organization.. This independencereflectedinpartthesociety of theUnitedStatesatthattime,itspopulationmoresparselypopulated,andbyfamiliesthatwerequiteself-reliant.Those of thattimewerealsowellversedinthehistory of theabuses of authorityintheOldWorld,bothincivilgovernmentaswellaschurchstructure.Thepositionmanytookonchurchorganizationreflectedtheirindependentspirit,springingfromtheirunderstanding of howcreed-boundchurches,oftenladenwithahierarchythatlordeditoverthemembership,wereungodlystructuresthathinderedratherthatfacilitatedthegospel sspread,sincetheydidnotreflecthowGodrunstheuniverse.Notafewhadbeenpubliclyexpelledfromsuchchurcheswithtrialsbasedoncreedsandnotonan  t iswritten .JohnByingtonhimselfcamefromafamil,whichinstandingfortruthhadhadtomeetautocraticchurchleaders.Hisministerfatherhadevenhelpedtoestablishalessautocraticdenomination than theMethodistonetowhichhehadoncebelonged.Tothem,suchorganizationsclearlyfellundertheBiblicallabel of  Babylon , Continuedpage  P G 1st Quarter 1992 L ST W ORG T Beforeshedied sheaskedhimtogiveuphischores  n cares n visitthebrethren Sheknewthiswashisfirstlove Thishedidaslongashewasable Thinking of otherswasanimportantqualityinthisfamily ontinuedpage John  yington s family:Mary aroline CatharineFletcherMartha  eresa Luther  illiam rowingupinthefamily of acircuitpreacherlefttheyoungfamilywithouttheirspiritual headmuch of thetime.Asmost of  is brothersandsistersmadenoprofession of religion,andhismotherwasquitereserved,John had theresponsibilityforfamilyworshipfrom12years of age whenhis father was absent.Althoughhefeltitaburdenatthetime,itwasahelpandblessingasafoundation in hisreligiousexperience.HemarriedMaryFerrisinVermont,andtheirfirstchild,Caroline, wasborn in1828.After Mary s death,John moved toBuck sBridge, New York.TherehemarriedCatharineNewtonfromVermontin1830, and shewasarealhelp-meetforJohnfor55years.Shegavebirthtofivechildren,theoldestbeingJohnFletcherByington, born in1832.Marthawastwoyearsyounger,andTeresawas born in1837.   wasatTeresa sfuneral,atage15,thatJohn madehis decisiontoobservetheseventh-daySabbath.Thenameshe gave hissons,JohnFletcher,LutherLee, born in1838,andWilliamWilberforce,bornin1840,mimedafterMethodistanti-slaverypreachers,reflect  is own sympathiesfortheoppressedrace.AfterbecomingSeventh-dayAdventistsin1852,theByingtons were influentialevangelistsfortruth.  n 1853,atthe Aaron Hilliardhomein Buck s Bridge,Martha,then19,beganthe church s firstelementaryschool.Later,in1855,JohnFletcherByington was theteacher.Vermontand New YorkAdventistsoftenconvenedatBuck sBridge. One yearCatharine wove longwebs of clothonherloom,and thensewed thestripstogetherforatentinwhichtomeet.   waspitchedinthepastureandfencedin. The ByingtonfamilyrememberedthevisionEllenWhitewasgivenatthismeetingaboutthecomingCivilWar.Sherepeatedseveraltimes, Thiscountryistobedelugedwithblood. Seeingherinvisionhelpedtoestablishtheir belief inherasaprophetfor God s peopleinthelastdays. They alwaysappreciatedJamesandEllenWhite svisits to theirhome.   is notknown how involvedtheByingtonfamilywasinthe UndergroundRailway , but theywouldnot tum thoseawaywhotheyknewneededassistance. Theold slave,Sojourner  PAGE 3 st Quarter, 1992   ã JO N  YIN TON LEST PIONEER MINISTER WRITER HUSBAND F ATHER·CHRISTIAN ã PE E  Thereforebeing justifiedbyfaith,wehave WITH peacewithGodthrough our LordJesusChrist:by whom alsowehaveac-  O cess by faithinto this gracewhereinwestand, and rejoiceinhope of theglory of God. Rom. 5:1,2. Idonotdesigntowriteasermon,orindulgeinalongtalk, on thisallimportantportion of the word of God;butafewthoughts may help some honestsoulinthenarrowwaytoheaven.Herearefouritems of truth of greatimportance:1.Justifiedbyfaith;2.PeacewithGod;3.Accesstograce;and,4.Bythis,rejoicinginhope of theglory of God.Justificationherehasnoreferenceto our goodworks,buttoourevilworks;inotherwords,itreferstothepardon of our pastsins.A poor lostsinnerseeshimself,assuch,condemned. He knowsnopeace,hasacarnalmind,hasdonenothing but sinallhisdays; but believingthereisaSaviour,hecries out infaith,Godbemercifulto me asinner Then how sweettheSaviour'svoice, Thy sinsareforgiven.Goinpeace, and sin no more Oh,whatachange,passingfromdeathtolife Canweknowthis?Manissoconstitutedthat he can receivetheHolySpirit,thatwhichhedid nothave before.Theuncleanspiritiscastout,theHolySpiritfillstheheart;andthereis not onlypardon,butalsoregeneration,beingbornoftheSpirit. Now thereispeacewithGodthroughourLordJesusChrist.Oh,thedanger of comingshort of this Wemaybebaptized, and have our nameswritteninthechurch book -allgood in itsplace; but unlesstheHolySpirit fills theheart, we cannothavepeacewithGod;weshallhavenopowertowithstandthepower of darkness.We not onlyreceivethispeace,thisgrace,orHolySpirit,atconversion, but throughfaithwehaveaccesstothisgrace,orpower,whereinwestand.Nowthenew man notonlylivesinus, but itisthe newman thatworks;therefore our worksarenotmeritorious,fortheyareall of graceordivinepower,whichshouldinfluenceallwesay and all we do.Languagecannotexpressthesweetnessthereisinthe work of GodwhendoneintheSpirit,thoughmanytimesitmaybetrying. Howmuch betterthisthanadailyround of dutywithoutspirit,withoutlife Suchare ourown works,whichwillneverformacharacterforheaven.Butthespiritual-minded and spiritual-working man rejoicesinhope of theglory of God.Yes,hopereachesforwardtotheheavenlyrest, and thefaithfulwillsoonbethere. .J. Byington. BattleCreek.MI. ReviewandHerald October26.1886. pp  S~ PREMILLENIALCONVICTIONS WhileataWesleyanGeneralConferencesessionin1844, which wouldsetuptheir new denominationalorganization, John ByingtonslippedawayfromtheirmeetingandheardaMilleritesermon.Because of beingsopreoccupiedwithhis own conference,he hadnotbeen greatlyimpressed, but itdidmake him reflect thatsuchpreachingwouldgofartowardcorrectingthedoctrine of the world'sconversion-asentimentwhich he never endorsed. (Quotationfromthe Reviewand  erald January25,1887). In July,1850,in the TrueWesleyan beforebecomingaSeventh-dayAdventist,JohnByingtonwrote,  The gospeldoes not design,under the underthepresentorder of things,tofitupthisworldforahomeforallsaints;buttofit themwho arewillingto work asheworked,fora home he isgonetoprepareforthem.Thereforewe are strangersandpilgrims on theearth.'.' Thiswas in opposition to the Wesleyanpostmillenialistbeliefina1000years of ChristianutopiabeforeChrist'sreturn. In manywayshewas more inharmonywiththeMilleriteteaching on thisthantheWesleyanunderstanding. Waller. John 0.,  ~ aridHerald December13,1979.pp10,11.  P G 1stQuarter 1992 L ST   ORG T hestory of JohnByingtonisremarkable,notbecauseanydoctrinehaditssrcinwithhim,orbecause of anyroleinthegreatdisappointment.Hisstoryisremarkable,solelyduetothe.multitude of waysheprovidedforthespiritualandphysicalneeds of thechurch,bothasanorginizationandtoitsmembersindividually.Hewasborn on October8,1798,Thesixth often children of  r andMrs.JustusByington of Hinesburg,Vermont. 1. HisfatherwasaMethodistpreacherandhadservedasasoldierintheRevolutionaryWar of independence;havingvolunteeredformilitaryserviceatthetenderage of sixteen. Much of hiscommitmentandmoralcourageisseenreproducedinthelifework of his son.JohnwasbaptizedintotheMethodistchurchshortlyafterhisseventeenthbirthday.Notlongafterhebecameone of thechurchleaders,andwasgivenlicensetopreachasalaypreacher,thencalled  an Exhorter .Asacircuitridingpastor,heworkedtosupporthimself,rode,andpreached,visitinghomes of theneedyinhisdistrict.Oftentherewasgreaterneedtosupplyforthephysical than thespiritual.Attheage of twenty-onehesufferedanalmostcompletecollapse of health,andmovedtoNewHaven,Connecticut,where JOHN YIN TON S RV NT   VENTISM hecouldbenearrelativesandhaveaccesstobettermedicalhelp.Hereheworkedinthefishingindustryforaboutthreeyearsashishealthreturned.Whencompletelywell,hemovedbacktoVermontandreturnedtocircuitpreachingandfarming.Hesaid, thesoil,theplow,andpreachingonthecircuitareformeandmine. 3. AfterhismovetoBuck sBridge,neartheSt.LawrenceRiverinnorthwestNewYork,hehelpedbuildahouse of worshipfortheMethodistChurcharound1837.SlaverybecameamajorissueintheMethodistchurches,andagreaterissuetoJohnByington. In hislocalchurchhedescribeditinthestrongestterms. Slaveryisanoutrage.Itisasin.Letuspledgeourselvestousealllegalmeansinourpowerbypreaching,praying,andvotingagainstthisunchristianinstitution. 4. In 1836,LutherLee,thelocalpastoratFulton,becameinvolvedwithacrusade-theanti-slaverymovement. This soonbroughthimintoacrisiswiththeMethodistEpiscopalhierarchy.TheMethodistleaders,anxioustoavoidarupturebetweenNorthernandSouthernconstituencies,triedincreasingly,thoughunsuccessfully,toprohibitabolitionistactivityamongMethodistministers. In 1843, this growingrifteventuallyledtothewide-spreadsecessionthatformedthenewWesleyandenominationwhichbothLeeand Byingtonjoined, JohnalsohelpedbuildtheWesleyanMethodistChurchandparsonageinMorley,twomilesaway. In 1844,Byingtonheardsermonsonthesooncoming of Christ. The lectures of WilliamMillerhadstirredhisentirecommunity.Hehimselfhadmadeathoroughstudy of theprophecies,buthedidnotunderstandsomepoints.Beingacautiousman,hewasslowtoacceptnewtheories.Eightyearslater,in1852,H.W.Lawrencegavehimacopy of the Review  n erald containingarticlesontheseventh-daySabbath.OnMarch20,1852,theday of thefuneral of hisfifteenyear-olddaughter,Teresa,hemadehisdecision toobserve theseventh-day.OnJuly3,G. W HoltbaptizedJohnandCatharineandtwo of theolderchildrenintheGrasse  ontinuednextpage
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