Apollos Hale

Photo by John A. Heard, Boston, via blkpanthers, ancestry.com, 21 Mar 2019. Courtesy of Kevin L. Morgan.

Hale, Apollos (1807–1898)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: January 3, 2023

Apollos Hale was prominent in the Millerite Movement as a preacher, an organizer of camp meetings and conferences, an author of pamphlets, and an editor of the Advent Herald.

Early Years

Apollos Hale was born in Rockport, northeast Massachusetts, about 1807.1 In 1833 he began his career as a Methodist Episcopal preacher in Charlestown and Medford, suburban Boston, Massachusetts.2 By 1836 he had transferred to Tolland, Connecticut.

He returned to Ipswich, near his birthplace, to marry Rebecca Appleton Waite on December 1, 1836. The next year they relocated to Bradford, Massachusetts, where their first child, Martha, was born on September 13, 1837. Their other children were born in Charlestown: Mary (b. 1839), Joseph (b. 1841), Rebecca (b. 1843), Caroline (b. 1847), Alice (b. 1849) and Charles (b. 1853). They lost Joseph, in 1851, to scrofula.3

Preacher and Organizer

In 1842, Hale left the Methodist Episcopal Church to preach the Second Advent message.4 His name first appears in the Millerite periodical Advent Herald in June 1842 as a member of the Committee on Business at the Boston Second Advent Conference.5 He subsequently became connected with many of the early conferences and camp meetings. He was a member of a committee of five in charge of the conference and camp meeting at Concord, New Hampshire, in July 1842.6 He was a member of a committee of seven in charge of a camp meeting on the farm of Charles Perkins at Castine, Maine, in September 1842.7 On his visit to Maine, Hale preached at Bangor and at Upper Gilmanton, where it was reported that a number of ministers became convicted of the Second Advent message.8 Later, in November, he travelled south to preach in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.9

In September 1842 Hale was at Taunton, Massachusetts, helping to organize a camp meeting held in a grove.10 He then traveled north to Salem in October to assist with the organization of meetings held in the “Great Tent,” widely noted for its exceptionally large size.11 At the Boston Advent Conference, late May and early June 1843, Hale served as chairman of the meetings.12 He followed to assist with the planning of camp meetings at Groton, Massachusetts, and Tuftonborough, New Hampshire.13

The year 1843 found Hale preaching more often. He toured towns at the foothills of the Appalachians in Pennsylvania, preaching in the Bethel and Methodist churches at Harrisburg, the Lutheran church at Middletown and in a public venue at Shiremanstown.14 Later, he travelled north along the coast to preach at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Portland, Maine.15 He returned to Massachusetts in November to preach in the extreme south at New Bedford16 and Mattapoiset.17 In April 1844 it was reported he preached at Lynn, just north of Boston.18 He remained in the area to help organize another conference in Boston that ran, as in the two previous years, from late May to early June.19 Following the conference he journeyed north to Portsmouth “to get a little sea air for his health.”20

Author and Editor

In his history of the Second Advent movement, Isaac Wellcome wrote that Hale was reputed to have “designed several of the symbolic charts which have been published and used in the public ministrations of our lecturers.” 21 The best-known of these was the “1843 Chart” that he assisted Charles Fitch in creating. This chart was endorsed at the 1842 General Conference in Boston and widely used as an easily portable visual aid that could enhance presentation of the message in any setting.22

Wellcome described Hale as a pious man, “a deep thinker” and a writer with few equals for “logic and pointedness.”23 It was these qualities that earned him a chair on the committee for the publication of Advent Herald, March 1844 through February 1846. He functioned as associate editor of the periodical, working with Joshua V. Himes and Sylvester Bliss. He also worked with Himes and Bliss in editing the Advent Shield and Review, a quarterly journal that featured lengthy articles covering the history of the Millerite Movement and its chief teachings.24

The first of a series of pamphlets written by Hale was a discourse about the imminent Second Coming titled Review of Dr. Pond that appeared in early 1843.25 Others followed in 1844, namely Second Advent Manual,26 The Herald of the Bridegroom27 and Breakers Ahead! A Warning From the Faithful Pilot.28 He also wrote Review of Professor Chase, Sealed Book of Daniel Opened and Review of Thurman’s Chronology. The latter was typical of the academic style and logic used by Hale to answer Millerite critics.29

Hale initially opposed the interpretation that specified October 22, 1844, as the date of Christ’s second advent, a belief that gained increasing momentum as the date drew near.30 However, on October 9 there appeared a retraction of his stand, an eleventh-hour acceptance of the date and a chagrined confession because he feared missing out on salvation if he showed skepticism.31

Post-1844

When Christ did not return to earth on October 22, 1844, Hale along with Joseph Turner, proposed, in an article published in January 1845, that prophecy had been fulfilled on that date. As depicted in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25), the bridegroom (Christ) had returned but rather than coming to earth he entered the wedding banquet in heaven and received the kingdom from the “Ancient of Days” as prophesied in Daniel 7. This meant that the door to the wedding feast had been shut and that the opportunity for sinners to gain salvation had ended.32

Hale, however, quickly abandoned this interpretation. Four months later, at the landmark Albany Conference of April 1845, he was among the majority Second Advent preachers who, under the leadership of Miller and Himes, repudiated the claim that scriptural prophecy pointed to October 22, 1844. They also reaffirmed the mission of preaching the near second advent of Christ without setting any date.33

Though Hale persevered in his convictions about the soon return of Christ, his health did not permit him to preach on a regular basis after 1846. He lived in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and earned a living selling footwear. Hale’s wife, Rebecca, died of tuberculosis at Charlestown on August 13, 1862, leaving him with their six children who survived her. The three elder daughters were still at home and able to care for the younger ones and all joined in the domestic duties.34

Hale lived to be approximately 90 years of age. He passed away at the home of his widowed daughter Rebecca in Washington, D.C., on February 13, 1898, and was laid to rest in the local Rock Creek Cemetery to await the Second Advent.35

Sources

Advent Herald/Signs of the Times. Adventist Digital Library. https://adventistdigitallibrary.org/islandora/search/advent%20herald?type=edismax.

Advent Mirror. Ellen G. White Writings. https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/1647.2000004#2000004.

Advent Shield and Review. Adventist Digital Library. https://adventdigitallibrary.org/adl-14810/advent-shield-and-review.

“Apollos Hale.” FamilySearch. Accessed November 6, 2022. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/K6S5-G4K.

“Apollos Hale.” Find A Grave. Memorial ID 159377998, March 13, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2022. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/159377998/apollos-hale.

Wellcome, Isaac C. History of the Second Advent Message and Mission, Doctrine and People. Boston MA: Advent Christian Publication Society, 1874.

Notes

  1. “Apollos Hale,” FamilySearch, accessed November 6, 2022, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/K6S5-G4K.

  2. “Apollos Hale,” Find A Grave, Memorial ID 159377998, March 13, 2016, accessed November 6, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/159377998/apollos-hale.

  3. “Apollos Hale,” FamilySearch.

  4. Isaac C. Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message and Mission, Doctrine and People (Boston MA: Advent Christian Publication Society, 1874), 235.

  5. “Boston Second Advent Conference,” Signs of the Times, June 1, 1842, 69-70.

  6. “Conference and Campmeeting at Concord, NH,” Signs of the Times, July 13, 1842, 116.

  7. “Second Advent Campmeeting,” Signs of the Times, July 27, 1842, 136.

  8. “The Gilmanton campmeeting closed . . . ,” Signs of the Times, September 7, 1842, 178; Apollos Hale, “Concord Second Advent Meeting,” Signs of the Times, August 17, 1842, 157

  9. Josiah Litch, “Editorial Correspondence,” Signs of the Times, November 30, 1842, 86.

  10. “Second Advent Campmeeting,” Signs of the Times, August 24, 1842, 165.

  11. “A Meeting in the Great Tent,” Signs of the Times, September 14, 1842, 189.

  12. “Boston Advent Conference,” Signs of the Times, June 7, 1843, 107.

  13. “Doings of Campmeeting Committee,” Signs of the Times, July 5, 143, 144.

  14. Apollos Hale, “From A. Hale,” Signs of the Times, February 22, 1843, 178.

  15. Letter from A. Hale to S. Bliss, September 7, 1843, Signs of the Times, September 20, 1843, 38-39.

  16. “New Bedford. Bro. Hale . . . ,” Signs of the Times, November 29, 1843, 128.

  17. “Brother Hale lectured the last Sabbath . . . ,” Signs of the Times, December 13, 1843, 144.

  18. “Brother Hale lectured in Lynn . . . ,” Advent Herald, April 17, 1844, 88.

  19. “Address of the Conference,” Advent Herald, June 5, 1844, 140-141.

  20. “Brother Himes and Hale left here . . . ,” Advent Herald, July 17, 1844, 192.

  21. Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message, 235-236.

  22. George R. Knight, Millennial Fever and the End of the World (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1993), 112.

  23. Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message, 235.

  24. Three extant issues, dated May 1844, January 1845, and April 1845, of Advent Shield and Review are accessible at Adventist Digital Library, https://adventistdigitallibrary.org/adl-14810/advent-shield-and-review.

  25. “Depot of Second Advent Publications,” Signs of the Times, March 8, 1843, 8.

  26. “Cheap Library,” Signs of the Times, January 10, 1844, 516.

  27. “Cheap Library,” Signs of the Times, February 14, 1844, 16.

  28. “Advent Tracts,” Advent Herald, March 20, 1844, 56.

  29. Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message, 236.

  30. Apollos Hale, “The Tenth Day of the Seventh Month,” Advent Herald, September 18, 25, 1844, 52-53, 60-62.

  31. Apollos Hale, “The Time of the Advent,” Advent Herald, October 9, 1844, 80.

  32. A. Hale and J. Turner, “Has Not the Savior Come as a Bridegroom?,” Advent Mirror, January 1845, 1-48.

  33. Knight, Millennial Fever, 272. For an overview of the historical significance of Hale and Turner’s January 1845 article and Hale’s shift to an “open door” outlook, see Knight, Millennial Fever, Chapter 12, “Adventism’s Radical Fringe” (245-266), Chapter 13, “The Albany Reaction” (267-293), and Chapter 14, “The Sabbatarian Disentanglement” (295-325).

  34. Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message, 236; “Apollos Hale,” FamilySearch.

  35. “Apollos Hale,” Find A Grave.

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Hook, Milton. "Hale, Apollos (1807–1898)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 03, 2023. Accessed June 13, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7INS.

Hook, Milton. "Hale, Apollos (1807–1898)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 03, 2023. Date of access June 13, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7INS.

Hook, Milton (2023, January 03). Hale, Apollos (1807–1898). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 13, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7INS.