Hiram Edson was the instrument whom God used to reveal to the early Sabbath-keeping Adventists the meaning of the cleansing of the sanctuary. With Bates and White, he was one of the deep-thinking students who developed the Seventh-day Adventist faith, a self-sacrificing servant of God, an ardent evangelist, and faithful all of his long life on his devotion to Christ. He was at one time a Methodist.
In the 1840’s he lived on a farm near Port Gibson, New York, a little town on the Erie Canal almost midway between Albany and Buffalo. A small company of Adventist believers mostly farmers, lived in this area, and they looked to Edson as their leader. His farm was about a mile south of town. At that place the Adventists gathered on October 22, 1844 to await the coming of the King. But Christ did not come as they expected.
The following day in answer to their prayers for light, God opened to Edson - as if in a vision - a scene of wonderment; Christ, our High Priest, entering into the Most Holy place of the Heavenly Sanctuary to begin a special work of judgment prior to His return. Edson shared this light with his friends, Owen Crosier and Dr. F. B. Hahn of nearby Canandaigua. They determined to study the sanctuary and its cleansing from the Biblical viewpoint. The results of their research appeared in their little advent paper published in Canandaigua, the Day Dawn. Later also in the Day Star, Cincinnati. From this point on, light came to the disappointed Adventists and the “why” of their pain and disappointment began to dawn upon them.
It was Edson who advanced funds to purchase the first Seventh-day Adventist press. It was at Edson’s home in Port Gibson that the third Sabbath Conference of 1848 was held. Edson sold his farm, turned to preaching and became a successful evangelist. In his later life he labored near Roosevelt, New York. For years he was leader of our work there. He lies buried in the Roosevelt cemetery.