The Day-Star was a Millerite periodical published weekly in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1845 to 1847.
The masthead of the Day-Star disclosed that it was a continuation of the Western Midnight Cry, also issued in Ohio. The volume numbering of the two periodicals was continuous, that is, volumes 1 through 4 from 1843 to early 1845 under the title Western Midnight Cry and volumes 5 through 13 were published 1845 through 1847 as the Day-Star. Volume numbering did not follow the usual annual system. For example, volumes 5 through 8 spanned 1845. The subscription price was fifty cents for thirteen issues (one volume). It was offered free for those “really unable to pay.” Most issues were of two pages (four sides) but occasionally two issues were combined to make four pages. Its editor and publisher was Enoch Jacobs, a dedicated Millerite lay preacher.1
E. Jacobs, Publisher and Editor
Jacobs was born in Vermont in 1809 and married a local young lady named Electa Whitney. The first two of their four children perished in infancy, 1836 and 1837. The thought of an imminent resurrection and a reunion with their precious infants likely intensified the fervency of the hope stirred in them by the expectation that the Second Advent would occur in 1844.2 In 1843 they removed to Ohio where there were many Millerite adherents expecting the Second Advent according to their calculations from biblical prophecy.
After the “Great Disappointment” when Christ did not appear on October 22, 1844, some adherents returned to their former church communities but many, including the Jacobs, maintained their Adventist faith in the imminence of Christ’s return. Enoch owned an iron foundry in Cincinnati where he manufactured prison cells. His work as publisher of the Day-Star was something he adopted as his contribution to Christian evangelism.3
Re-thinking the Second Advent
Following the Great Disappointment the Day-Star described the setting of further dates for the Second Advent, one earmarking the Passover in 1845 but that came and went with further disappointment.4 Supposed signs in the heavens were noted such as spots on the sun that had “the appearance of being opaque moving masses considerably nearer to us than the body of the sun.”5 The inference was apparently that these could be clouds of angels preparing to usher Christ to the waiting saints on earth.
The Day-Star reported on a conference of Millerites held in Cleveland, Ohio, over the new year period of 1845-1846. Jacobs noted that many had reached the conclusion that the Second Advent was a personal spiritual experience rather than a literal appearance of Christ in the heavens.6 “Christ has already come,” they proclaimed. In the next issue of the Day-Star James White, the future Seventh-day Adventist leader, attempted to counter the claim with wry humor, advising the readers that he was wading through knee-deep snow in Portland, Maine, and was quite sure it was not a feature of the new earth.7
Ellen Harmon’s Letter of Encouragement
In that same issue (January 24, 1846), Jacobs published a letter from Ellen Harmon (who would marry James White in August 1846). In it, Ellen described what she had seen in her first public vision, experienced in Portland, Maine, in December 1844. It was a graphic depiction of the Millerites climbing a narrow upward track with some individuals losing their faith and falling into the chasm below. The vision progressed to vivid scenes of heaven and the new earth. The letter was followed by a note stating that it had been written “for the encouragement of all who may see it, and be encouraged by it.”8 Most of the columns in the Day-Star were filled with letters in a similar vein from near and far, urging fellow believers to maintain their faith in an imminent Second Advent and not fall by the wayside.
Crosier and the “Cleansing of the Sanctuary”
In the following month, February 1846, Jacobs devoted almost an entire issue to an article titled “The Law of Moses,” written by another Millerite preacher, Owen Crosier of Canandaigua in western New York. Crosier proposed that:
the “cleansing of the sanctuary” spoken of in Daniel 8:14 (KJV) referred to the sanctuary of the new covenant – not the earth, as the Millerites had believed, but instead the prototype sanctuary in heaven;
the atonements offered in the Mosaic rituals were two-phased, that is, the daily atonements granted forgiveness of sins and the atonement granted at Yom Kippur, prescribed in Leviticus 16, achieved a final blotting out of the same sins;
Christ thus initiated the real Yom Kippur – the cosmic Day of Atonement -- in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844;
the sacrificial blood of the daily services ceremonially contaminated the Mosaic sanctuary but the sacrificial blood sprinkled on Yom Kippur ceremonially served the opposite purpose of cleansing the sanctuary;
the scapegoat that was to be released in the wilderness on Yom Kippur, bearing all the iniquities of the people, represented the devil. 9
The main purpose of Crosier’s article was to offer reasons why Christ had not returned to the earth in 1844. It was a landmark article in that its “general tenor”10 informed the beliefs about the significance of 1844 that the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would formulate over the ensuing decade. At the same time it would prove to be the genesis of much ongoing controversy.
The Fading of the Day-Star
Jacobs continued to issue the Day-Star until at least July 1847.11 He and his wife joined the Shakers and accepted that the Second Advent was, after all, not a worldwide literal event but a spiritual experience for individual Christians.12 Later, Enoch became the United States Consul in Montevideo, Uruguay. He and Electa retired to Ohio, she passing away in 1887 and he in 1894. They rest alongside each other in the Miami Cemetery, Corwin, Ohio.13
Burt, Merlin. “Jacobs, Enoch.” In The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, edited by Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon, 427. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2013.
Day-Star. Adventist Digital Library. Accessed January 12, 2021. https://adventistdigitallibrary.org/adl-426638/day-star.
“Enoch Jacobs.” FamilySearch. Accessed January 8, 2021. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/27H8-LG9.
“Enoch Jacobs.” Find A Grave. Memorial ID no. 14212034. Accessed January 8, 2021. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/14212034/enoch-jacobs.
“Enoch Jacobs Letter 1879.” Brattleboro History, n.d. Accessed January 9, 2021. www.brattleborohistory.com/early-settlement/enoch-jacobs-letter-1879.html.
Thomas, N. Gordon. “The Millerite Movement in Ohio.” Ohio History Journal 81, no. 2 (Spring 1972): 95-107. Ohio History Connection. Accessed January 15, 2021. https://resources.ohiohistory.org/ohj/search/display.php?page=1&ipp=20&searchterm=shakers&vol=81&pages=95-107.
Timm, Alberto. “Crosier (or Crozier), Owen Russell Loomis.” In The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, edited by Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon, 354-355. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2013.
Day-Star, February 18, 1845, Adventist Digital Library, accessed January 12, 2021, https://adventistdigitallibrary.org/adl-426638/day-star; Merlin Burt, “Jacobs, Enoch,” in The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, eds. Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2013), 427.↩
“Enoch Jacobs,” FamilySearch, accessed January 8, 2021, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/27H8-LG9.↩
“Enoch Jacobs Letter 1879,” Brattleboro History, n.d., accessed January 9, 2021, www.brattleborohistory.com/early-settlement/enoch-jacobs-letter-1879.html.↩
Day-Star, April 29, 1845.↩
Day-Star, January 17, 1846.↩
Day-Star, January 24, 1846, 1.↩
Day-Star, February 7, 1846.↩
Alberto Timm, “Crosier (or Crozier), Owen Russell Loomis,” in The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, eds. Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2013), 355. See also Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2nd rev. edition (1996), s.v. “Sanctuary” and “Investigative Judgment.”↩
Day-Star, July 1, 1847.↩
N. Gordon Thomas, “The Millerite Movement in Ohio,” Ohio History Journal 81, no. 2 (Spring 1972): 95-107, Ohio History Connection, accessed January 15, 2021, https://resources.ohiohistory.org/ohj/search/display.php?page=1&ipp=20&searchterm=shakers&vol=81&pages=95-107.↩
“Enoch Jacobs,” Find A Grave, Memorial ID no. 14212034, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/14212034/enoch-jacobs.↩