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Autobiography of Joseph Bates, The

At age 15, Joseph Bates signed on as a cabin boy on a commercial ship. For the next 21 years he lived the life of a sailor, rising to the position of ship’s captain. He returned to civilian life in 1828, a the age of 36, with a small fortune and more adventures behind him than most men experience in a lifetime. During the Advent Awakening, this retired sea captain became a respected evangelist and spiritual leader among the Adventists.

In early 1845, Bates was providentially led to an understanding of the truth of the seventh-day Sabbath, and in 1846 he published a 48-page tract on the subject. This respected, retired sea captain was the oldest member of our Advent church pioneers, and became the first local conference president (Michigan, 1861) as the fledgling church grew and expanded.

Bates lived to the age of 80, which was quite remarkable during that time. One reason for his physical endurance, in spite of many sacrifices during his lifetime, was his simple diet and temperate habits. He organized one of the first temperance societies in the United States. He was a spiritual man, with clear-cut views and the courage of a lion. He did not hesitate to sacrifice when the need arose. From venerable ship’s captain to apostle of the Sabbath truth. He witnessed an incredible amount of our church history, and shares it in his own words.

Paper, 250 p.


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