Advent Testimony Addresses
During its first year, our Movement inaugurated by the 1917 Queen's Hall meetings was known as the Advent Testimony Movement, and the name was a fitting one, for the testimony to the Second Advent was bourne in many parts of the world. Meetings held in America were so large that was impossible to find buildings big enough to accommodate the crowds. When a convention was held in Philadelphia for example, it filled the largest hall in the city and for other churches at the same time. Tremendous gatherings were also held in Australia, South Africa and other countries as well as at many missionary stations. A thrill went through missionary circles when the Student Volunteer Movement took as its motto, “The evangelisation of the world in generation.” A similar thrill swept through the world at the witness of the A.T.M. and the sense of expectancy created through its teaching. It is probably difficult today to realise through the narration of the bare historical facts, how the breath of the Holy Spirit stirred the people of God in those earlier days.
Speaking at the Queen’s Hall on the 4th December, 1918, Dr. F. B. Meyer gave another new vision when he declared that “there must be one more great cry to the world, that may prepare itself for the coming Christ,” and went on to emphasise the need for a sanctified church. “I shall never forget,” he said, “the way in which the Holy Spirit fell on group of us one early morning when this truth broke on us, and when we saw ‘the pillar of cloud’ moving in advance and calling us to strike our tents and follow. I never shall forget that breakfast that we had about a month ago, when we resolved that, whereas we had spent a year of Advent Testimony, we must now change the Movement to one of Advent Preparation; and that we should specially promulgate its practical bearing, first upon the church of God, and then upon the outside world.” He was, of course, undoubtedly right, and the Movement was accordingly renamed the Advent Preparation Movement. At a later date, both aspects of the witness were incorporated in the title Advent Testimony and Preparation Movement, providing a perfect balance to the work.
The addresses given at the Queen's Hall, London, on December 13th 1917, were published in book form, but since the book is now unobtainable, a summary of some of the addresses is given here (as published in Prophetic Witness magazine in 2015). Readers may be able to recapture some of the atmosphere and inspiration of these memorable gatherings.
Addresses were given by Dr. A. C. Dixon, Preb. H. E. Fox, Pastor W. Fuller Gooch, Dr. J. Stuart Holden, Rev. E. L. Langston, Dr. F. B. Meyer, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, Dr. A. T. Schofield, Preb. H. W. Webb-Peploe, Preb. F. S. Webster and Dr. Dinsdale T. Young, which stirred the great audiences to the depths. The speakers themselves spoke with the inspiration of the prophets of old, and Dr F.B. Meyer can well recollect being present as a young man and experiencing the thrill of the dynamic and challenging messages brought by these statements of the Christian faith to a crowded hail and a responsive audience.