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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

the name of a recent sect of Millenarians, which owes its origin to William Miller, from whom they are frequently called Millerites. About 1833 Miller began to teach that the "Second Advent" of the Lord would occur in 1843. He soon found disciples; among whom was Joshua V. Himes, a member of the "Disciples of Christ" (q.v.), who had a great deal of energy and proselytizing spirit. He commenced a journal called The Signs of the Times, and, later, the Advent Herald, to disseminate the doctrines of the sect. Multitudes of people, chiefly of the ignorant, became believers; and, at the time appointed, it is said that thousands were out all night, waiting, in anxiety, for "the coming of the Lord," according to the prediction of the leaders of the sect. They were disappointed, of course, but many still gave credit to new predictions, fixing the time at new periods. As these successive times arrived, the predictions still failed, and many of the believers fell off. There is still in existence, however, a sect bearing the name Adventists, who look for the "coming of the Lord," but who do not fix dates as definitely as Messrs. Miller and Himes used to do. A large camp-meeting of Adventists has for many years been annually held at Wilbraham.

As to doctrine, they differ from the Evangelical Churches generally only in their peculiar belief in the personal coming of Christ, and his bodily reign with the saints on the earth. They have no regular creed or form of discipline. It is a common belief among the Adventists that the wicked will be annihilated. American Christian Record, p. 21. (See Millenarians). See articles in the Supplement.