O.R.L. Crozier letter to A.F. Dugger
Feb. 20, 1899, published in The Sabbath Advocate, Mar. 7, 1899
Mr. A. F. Dugger, Bassett, Neb.:
Dear Brother: I was born Feb. 2, 1820. I have received and answered many such letters as yours on the same subjects. It is unfortunate that many good people are unwilling to correct their mistakes. Denying them, covering them up, explaining around them, is not so honorable, not so Christian, as acknowledging them. A candid confession,-"I was mistaken,"-is a spiritual tonic.
The visions you speak of, having been a cheap and powerful means of financial and party success, the temptation to defend and encourage them has been very strong. Having known their history quite well for fifty-thee years, I have always believed their inspiration to be entirely human, seldom unselfish, and often false as to facts, and obviously unscriptural as to doctrine.
I did not "originate their present sanctuary view." The facts in the case are: William Miller deserves the credit for shut-doorism among the Advent people; and he got the idea from some of the most learned commentators of the "orthodox" churches. I am not aware that either he or they built it upon the sanctuary service. They inferred it chiefly from passages in the New Testament. Mr. Miller expressed his opinion that the door of mercy would be closed in 1838. When "the 10th day of the 7th month" time passed in the fall of 1844, he and others (with few exceptions,) who were interested in that midnight cry, as they called it, believed that the door of mercy was then shut,—that no more sinners would or could be converted. That opinion prevailed in 1845 and 1846. In the latter year I published in an Extra of The Day Star, a paper published by Enoch Jacobs, at Cincinnati, an exposition of the Sanctuary and its Service in the law of Moses, to explain how and why the door of mercy was shut. On account of our ignorance of the Scriptures my argument was more fully and more widely accepted than it deserved to be. In the next three years ('47-49) I saw and published its defects as to the shut door. They were:
You ask, "Did you hold to the shut-door theory, that salvation was past, and that there was no more pardon for sinners?" I did.
"And did . . . the author of the visions, and those who believed them, adopt these views?" They did; and were among the first to declare them and the most persistent in retaining and publishing them; and what is more, they must still hold those views, because they still adhere to my sanctuary exposition, which was written to prove the shut-door. They even make (or did make a few years ago,) a foolish excuse for the conversions that have occurred since the fall of 1844, viz., that the names of those millions of converts were borne into the holy of holies on the breastplate of the high priest on the 10th day of the 7th month in that year—most of them yet unborn! There was no hint of any such thing in the type. The first shut-door believers put the issue on higher and more obvious ground, viz., that the Lord would very soon come—was actually on his way, some said,—and the world would be immediately destroyed. But as he did not come, and as conversions could not be prevented, nor denied even under the labors of shut-door believers, the names of future converts on the breastplate was a Yankee invention to suit the emergency. But, in the type, the names of the twelve tribes—not the names of all faithful individuals—were on the breastplate.
In the love of the truth, in the blessed hope, and in the precious work of the gospel,
O. R. L. CROZIER.