James and Ellen Accept the Seventh-Day Sabbath


Soon after their marriage Ellen and James began keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. Scriptural evidence for this had first been given to them by Joseph Bates, a retired sea captain living in Fairhaven, near New Bedford, the Massachusetts whaling seaport center. Bates had taken his stand in 1845, having had his attention called to it through an article in The Hope of Israel, written by T. M. Preble. A man of conviction and action, Bates in turn prepared a 48-page pamphlet, which he published in August 1846 under the title The Seventh-day Sabbath a Perpetual Sign From the Beginning to the Entering Into the Gates of the Holy City According to the Commandment. James White took a copy home with him after a funeral service he conducted at Falmouth. As he and Ellen studied the biblical evidences for the sacredness of the seventh day, they took their stand and began to teach it as they met with their fellow Adventists. At this time there were about 50 Sabbathkeepers in New England and New York State (1T, p. 77).