THE YEAR 1844. 

AMONG Adventists, the year 1844 is a very important year; and our youth often hear those who lived at that time allude to the '44 movement as a time of intense interest. It was during the same year, in a land for various reasons entitled to a place among the first of the civilized nations, that a movement of an entirely different character took place, which I will very briefly describe. 

From the 8th of August to the 6th of October, 1844, there was exhibited in Treves, Rhenish Prussia, what is pretended to be the seamless coat of our Saviour, mentioned in John 19:23, 24. This was said to have healing virtue, so that sick and impotent folk need but to look upon or touch it in order to be healed. This exhibition occurs only once in fifty years. 

At this time, at least ten hundred thousand believers came from all parts of the world, especially from Germany and France, to worship by doing homage to the garment, or to be healed. Daily you might have seen the streets crowded by processions of pilgrims, usually marching two by two, and chanting, in monotonous measure, some litany of the church. 

Day after day, too, in the square in front of the cathedral are congregated eager throngs, who are seeking a blessing. The priests tell them, that articles of wearing apparel, such as ribbons, hoods, aprons, handkerchiefs, etc., having come in contact with the holy coat, are consecrated and sanctified thereby, and become of virtue in effecting cures or as a protection against disease. Representations of the coat in silk or on paper are at hand also, for which the same virtue is claimed as for the holy coat itself. Medals are struck, with the image of the coat on their face. These various trinkets, as well as the privilege of touch, are sold for money. 

Probably as much as $500,000 has been realized from the sale of these articles alone, not to mention the free-will offerings of the faithful, which are estimated at $100,000. 

Thousands of people in nearly all countries have implicit faith in these things, and in many families of those countries you may now find these trinkets treasured up as amulets of sacred value. 

Whilst the '44 movement in our own country was the result of the light of truth making its way into the human mind, this movement in Germany, which aroused over a million of deluded people to trust the blasphemous claims of a covetous priesthood rather than their own reason, was the out-growth of that darkness and error which the enemy of all truth has sown in minds willing to receive it, ever since man lived on the earth. 

How thankful ought we to be that God has preserved us from such dark superstition, and has given us the light of his truth, whereby we may be guided into the way everlasting! Let us pay good heed to it. 

A. Kura.