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|October 22||Great Disappointment. Christ fails to return on the date predicted by William Miller.|
Most Millerites have returned to their previous churches.
Some continue to insist the movement was correct. They teach:
|December 11||William Miller writes, "We have done our work in warning sinners and in trying to awake a formal church. God in his providence has shut the door; we can only stir up one another to be patient" (Advent Herald, Dec. 11, 1844).|
|Jan. - Dec.||Ellen White begins having visions regarding the "shut door."
One who witnessed her visions in his home, John Megquier, wrote:
"We well know the course of Ellen
G. White, the visionist, while in the state of Maine. About the
first visions she had were at my house in Poland. She said that
God had told her in vision that the door of mercy had closed, and
there was no more chance for the world."
(The True Sabbath, by Miles Grant, p. 70)
Mrs. L.S. Burdick was well acquainted with Mrs. White. She wrote: "I became acquainted with James White and Ellen Harmon (now Mrs. White) early in 1845. . . Ellen was having what was called visions: said that God had shown her in vision that Jesus Christ arose and on the tenth day of the seventh month, 1844, shut the door of mercy; had left forever the mediatorial throne; the whole world was doomed and lost; and there never could be another sinner saved." (The True Sabbath, p. 72).
|February 7||O.R.L. Crosier publishes his understanding of Christ entering the Most Holy Place on Oct. 22, 1844, in the Day Star. Mrs. White later endorses this publication as "true light."|
|February 19||William Miller expresses his belief that no sinners have been converted on the earth during the last five months: "I have not seen a genuine conversion since [Oct. 22, 1844]." Voice of Truth, Feb. 19,1845.|
|April 20||Otis Nichols, a believer in Ellen White and a witness to her visions, writes to William Miller: "Her message...encouraged them to hold on to the faith, and the seventh month movement; and that our work was done for the nominal church and the world, and what remained to be done was for the household of faith."|
|Fall||Joseph Bates meets Ellen and James White. They accept Bate's teaching that the Day of Atonement would last seven years, ending in the fall of 1851. Bates later wrote out his theories: "The seven spots of blood on the Golden Altar and before the mercy seat, I fully believe, represent the duration of the judicial proceedings on the living saints in the Most Holy, all of which time they will be in their affliction, even seven years; God by his voice will deliver them, 'for it is the blood that maketh the atonement for the soul' (Lev. 17:11). Then the number seven will finish the day of atonement. (The Typical and Anti-typical Sanctuary, p. 10, 1850)|
|April||James White published "A Word to the Little Flock." In it
|Jan. - Dec.||Many of the Millerites give up the "shut door" teaching by the end of the year. O.R.L. Crosier, the originator of the SDA teaching on the Sanctuary tells of his experience in 1848: "I kept the seventh day nearly a year, about 1848. In 1846 I explained the idea of the sanctuary in an article in an extra number of the Day Star, Cincinnati, O. The object of that article was to support the theory that the door of mercy was shut, a theory which I, and nearly all Adventists who had adopted William Miller's views, held from 1844 to 1848. Yes, I know that Ellen G. Harmon - now Mrs. White - held that shut-door theory at that time."|
|Joseph Bates announces the time of trouble has begun: "And now the time of trouble has began..." ("A Seal of the Living God", 1849)|
|March 24||Mrs. White receives visions in Topsham, Maine, that confirm belief in the shut door: "God gave me two visions while there, much to the comfort and strength of the brethren and sisters. Brother Stowell was established in the shut door and all the present truth he had doubted." Manuscript Releases, Vol. 5, p. 93|
|August||Ellen White places the "shut door" doctrine as a central
teaching of the church, the message of the Testimony of Jesus:
"There I was shown that the commandments of God, and the testimony
of Jesus Christ, relating to the shut door, could not be separated..."
Later in the same article an angel describes the condition of sinners to her: "My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past." (Present Truth, August, 1849).
|September||A local pestilence is seen as a fulfillment of the end of the world. Mrs. White predicts this pestilence will become widespread: "What we have seen and heard of the pestilence, is but the beginning of what we shall see and hear. Soon the dead and dying will be all around us." (Present Truth, Sept. 1849).|
|December||David Arnold writes in the Present Truth: "Therefore, we are brought, by the force of circumstances, and the fulfillment of events, to the irresistible conclusion that, on the tenth day of the seventh month, (Jewish time,) in the autumn of 1844, Christ did close his daily, or continual ministration or mediation in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and SHUT THE DOOR, which no man can open; and opened a door, in the second apartment, or Holiest of all, which no man can shut, (see Rev.iii,7,8,) and passed within the second veil, bearing before the Father, on the breast-plate of judgment, all for whom he is now acting as intercessor." (Present Truth, Dec. 1849)|
|February 10||The "shut door" is opened a crack to allow in those people who were Christians in 1844 but never heard Miller's message. In her letter to Brother and Sister Collins, Feb. 10, 1850, Mrs. White says "Souls are coming out upon the truth all around here. They are those who have not heard the Advent doctrine..."|
|April||Ellen White states: "The mighty shaking has commenced." (Present Truth, April, 1850)|
|April||The "shut door" is cracked open a little further to let the children of the saints enter: "As they [little children] were then  in a state of innocence, they were entitled to a record upon the breastplate of judgment as much as those who had sinned and received pardon; and are, therefore subjects of the present intercession of our great high priest" (Present Truth, April, 1850).|
|April||James White writes that God's people have already left
Babylon [Protestant churches]:
"Babylon, the nominal church is fallen. God's people
have come out of her. She is now the 'synagogue of Satan' (Rev. 3:9). 'The habitation of devils, and
the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird' (Rev. 18:2)."
(Present Truth, April, 1850)
||James White writes:
"But says the objector - 'The door of mercy will not be closed until Jesus comes.' We do
not read of such a door as 'the door of mercy' in the Bible; neither do we teach that such
a door was shut in 1844. God's 'mercy endureth for ever.' See Ps.cxxxvi; cvi,1; cxviii,1.
He is still merciful to his saints, and ever will be; and Jesus is still their advocate and
priest. But the sinner, to whom Jesus had stretched out his arms all the day long, and who
had rejected the offers of salvation, was left without an advocate, when Jesus passed from
the Holy Place, and shut that door in 1844."
(Present Truth, May, 1850)
||Mrs. White has a vision of the soon return of Christ:
"My accompanying angel said,
'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' . . .
now time is almost finished. . . and what we have been years learning,
they will have to learn in a few months." (Early Writings, pp. 64-67).
||Miss Sarah B. Harmon, older sister of Mrs. White, in a letter written from Brookfield, N.Y., to
Mrs. P.D. Lawrence, July 29/30, 1850, said: "I believe this is the last winter we shall see before
Jesus, our great High Priest, comes out. Oh, let us live for God and sacrifice for him faithfully."
||Ellen White writes in a letter regarding the Present Truth
"...the lines that were being published were written in the Spirit of God, and would rejoice the
hearts of the trusting ones, and Satan knew it would hurt his cause because it would be seen by
these testimonies that most of the Advent people once believed as we do that
there was a shut door in '44. And to have the plain, clean truth come out in the
paper . . . would cause many to decide for the truth and to take a firm and unyielding stand for
God and His truth" (Ms 7, 1850)
The "shut door" was opened another crack to let in Herman Churchill,
a man who was unconverted in 1844.
According to General Conference president George Butler, the
Adventists were "quite surprised" a non-believer would manifest
interest in their message!
||Mrs. White announces time is almost finished:
"Some are looking too far off for the coming of the Lord. Time has continued a few years
longer than they expected, therefore they think it may continue a few years more. . . I saw
that the time for Jesus to be in the Holy Place was nearly finished, and that time can not
last but a little longer." (Early Writings, p. 58, ed. 1907)
||Sister White says that to oppose the shut door is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:
"Then I saw the Laodiceans [first-day Adventists].... Dare they admit that the door is shut? The sin against the Holy Ghost was to ascribe to Satan what belongs to God or what the Holy Ghost has done. They said the shut door was of the devil and now admit it is against their own lives. They shall die the death."
(Ms 11, 1850, pp. 3, 4)
||Mrs. White's vision at Camden, NY:
"Then I saw
that Jesus prayed for his enemies; but that should not cause us to pray for the
wicked world, whom God has rejected. When he prayed for his enemies, there
was hope for them, and they could be benefited and saved by his prayers, and
also after he was a mediator in the outer apartment for the whole world; but
now his spirit and sympathy were withdrawn from the world; and our
sympathy must be with Jesus, and must be withdrawn from the ungodly."
||Joseph Bates wrote: "We understand that he [Christ]
was a Mediator for all the world, ministering in the Holy Place (Heb. 9:26), in the Tabernacle called
the Sanctuary, from the day of Pentecost (A.D. 31) until his appointed time, the end of the
twenty-three hundred days, or years - the fall of 1844. At this point of time, then, the door was shut
against the Sardis church [the Protestant church] and the wicked world."
Review and Herald, Aug. 19, 1851
||James and Ellen White publish "Experience and Views", a little
pamphlet of 64 pages. No reference is made in
this to "A Word to the Little Flock," nor to Present Truth,
although all but seven introductory pages of "Experience and Views"
is copied word for word from these two publications. All references
to the "shut door" were omitted from the publication.
|James White admits the shut door has opened slightly: "While the great work of saving men closed with the 2300 days, a few are now coming to Christ..." Review and Herald, No. 3, p. 176