And What Happened To T. M. Preble

March 8 - And What Happened To T. M. Preble And Rachel oakes?


Choose you this day whom ye will serve. Joshua. 24:15.


Today we need to ask about the fate of T. M. Preble and Rachel Oakes, two of those instrumental in the chain of events that led Joseph Bates to the Sabbath.


Preble, unfortunately, give up the seventh-day Sabbath. "After conscientiously observing the seventh day for the Sabbath, for about three years," he wrote in 1849, "I have satisfactory reasons for giving it up, and now keep the first day as heretofore." In 1867 he published The First-day Sabbath: Clearly Proved by Showing That the Old Covenant, or Ten Commandments, Have Been Changed, or Made Complete, in the Christian Dispensation.


Commenting on that book from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective, Uriah Smith suggested in no uncertain terms that Preble's volume on the seventh-day Sabbath had been the better of the two.


And Preble's brother-in-law doubted his sincerity in the change back to Sunday. According to him, Preble had become the administrator of a large estate, and when the Sabbath interfered with his business, he gave it up. "The no law theory was his after excuse in the matter."


But even though Preble rejected the Sabbath in his personal experience, he made an impact on the heart and mind of Joseph Bates that nothing could reverse.


And Bates wouldn't be the only major leader of Sabbatarian Adventism influenced by Preble's 1845 tract. In the spring of that year it fell into the hands of 15-year-old John Nevins Andrews and converted him on the topic of the seventh day. Andrews would later become Adventism's major scholar on the Sabbath, publishing the first edition of his important History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week in 1873.


What about Rachel Oakes, the person indirectly responsible for bringing the Sabbath to Preble? She observed the Sabbath for the rest of her life, but did not join the Seventh-day Adventist Church because of certain rumors she had heard about James and Ellen White. When those rumors were cleared up in the late 1860s, she was baptized a short time before her death.


"She sleeps," S. N. Haskell wrote in her obituary, "but the result of her introducing the Sabbath among Adventists lives."

Praise God for the mysterious ways he leads His children!