“This shop is closed in honor of the King of kings, who will appear about the 20th of October…”read the sign that a shop owner tacked up on his store in Philadelphia in October of 1844. Over the summer of 1844, eighteen Apostles came to the Bab while on the other side of the world, the Millerites were looking to October as the new time of the return of Jesus.
After the March disappointment, the Millerites were filled with a new spirit of hope. With a new reading of the parable of the Ten Virgins from the Gospel of Mathew Snow in which ten virgins fall asleep while waiting for the bridegroom who is “tarrying”, the Millerites believed that they were living in an ‘in-between’, a tarrying time. The virgins were woken by a midnight cry” announcing the return of the bridegroom.
The Millerites calculated that the “midnight cry” which was Christ’s return would be on October 22, 1844.
Some began giving away their belongings: one store owner invited people to come help themselves to his stock, debts were forgive, crops were left to rot, children were pulled out school…
But again, Jesus Christ did not come, and the disappointment was crushing. William Miller was publicly ridiculed. His neighbor wrote to him: “I should be ashamed to have my head seen in Publick had I sayed as much as you have and have it all prove false…,” that Miller had been the cause of “…more suicide and more insanity in the last 5 or 6 years than has been known for 50 or 60 years before…”
That same month the Bab was bound for Mecca, the spiritual center of Islam, where he would proclaim that he was the fulfillment of Islamic prophecy.
Click videos below for the Adventist recreation of some of the above events.