RF Cottrel = Roswell Fenner Cottrell (1814 – 1892)

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Roswell Fenner Cottrell
(January 17, 1814 – March 22, 1892)

Cottrell; Roswell F.

“Let the aged men who were pioneers in our work speak plainly, and let those who are dead speak also, by the reprinting of their articles in our periodicals”—Ellen White, Manuscript 62, 1905, cited in “The Integrity of the Sanctuary Message.”

Ellen White warns: “We are to REPEAT THE WORDS of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced”—Ellen White, Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.
(1814-1892). One of the early Adventist pioneers; writer, poet, minister. He descended from the Huguenots and was born in a Seventh Day Baptist family in the state of New York. Through reading the Review and Herald some time about 1851 and comparing its message with the Scriptures, he was led to join the developing group of Seventh-day Adventists and immediately began to contribute his talents as a writer and poet to the propagation of the faith that he had espoused.

Cottrell died at 78 years of age in 1892. S. H. Lane reported that the entire Three Angel's (Rev 14:6-12) Messages Movement had become familiar with his initials "R. F. C." and that his poetry has been read and sung with delight everywhere. According to Lane, Cottrell was a 'superlative' writer. Right up to the time, Cottrell studied his bible and wrote both prose and poetry. The last night of his life, with a pencil and tablet, he wrote nearly all night and up to the time he died. At the time of his funeral, neighbors and friends, the SDA pioneers of the Three Angel's early 7th day Adventist Messages movement and otherwise, remembered him as a true Christian; a person true to his faith and to his God.

The Three Angels Messages Fulfilled Chronogically
Early sabbatarian Adventists, including R. F. Cottrell, taught that the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14:6-12 came one after the other chronologically. Cottrell wrote, "Do you say you do not believe that the second and third messages have been announced? It is a historical fact that they have. How came you to believe that Persia, Greece and Rome were the kingdoms that were to succeed Babylon, the first of the series in Daniel's prophecy? It is simply because they came as predicted. Well, that is the way to believe the prophecy of the three messages...

Sunday-keeping and the Mark of the Beast
Cottrell was one of the first Adventists to link Sunday-keeping and the Mark of the Beast. Cited in [Froom, Leroy Edwin (1954). The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers: The Historical Development of Prophetic Interpretation. Vol. 4. Washington D.C. Review and Herald Publishing Association, p. 1084].

The gift of prophecy expected in the last days.
Cottrell taught that God will provide the church with the prophetic gift in the last days.

Like J. N. Longborough, R. F. Cottrell did not favor any formal organization of the SDA denomination when such was first discussed in 1860.

“If the Scriptures say He is the Son of God, I believe it. If it is declared that the Father sent His Son into the world, I believe He had a Son to send” - R. F. Cottrell.

The Sanctuary in Heaven Reveals God's Law
Of the centrality of the sanctuary in Sabbatarian belief, Roswell F Cottrell wrote in 1863: "We find, not only that the sanctuary is the grand centre of the Christian system, as the earthly was of the typical, but that this subject is the centre (middle: focus, concentrate, pivot, hinge, revolve, be based) and citadel (a fortress, typically on high ground, protecting or dominating a city; synonyms: fortress, fort, stronghold, fortification, castle; archaichold) of present truth. And since our temple is in heaven, and in that temple, 'the ark of the testament.' containing 'the commandments of God,' and in the midst of these commandments, the Sabbath of the Lord, fenced around by nine moral precepts that can- not be overthrown, it is no wonder that the enemies of the Sabbath should, not only strive to abolish the Ten Commandments, but to abolish the true sanctuary (our body) in which they are deposited (written to our hearts (daily choices) by the 2,000 year old both human and divine Spirit of Christ 1 Cor 15:45; Rom 8:9)."

Should Christians Vote
Cottrell opposed voting because the United States was prophesied to make an image to the beast.[31]
Health Reform
Cottrell took the Adventist principles of health reform seriously. He tried them himself and then advocated them to others.[32]
Property and Life Insurance
Cottrell took a strong stand against Christians depending on insurance. James White, as editor and leader of the sabbatarian Adventists, encouraged the publishing of the various views on the subject. As people presented their Biblical reasons, their motto was "Truth shall stand." [20]

"Men have gone to opposite extremes in the discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity. Some have made Christ a mere man, commencing his existence at his birth in Bethlehem; others have not been satisfied with holding him to be what the Scriptures so clearly reveal him, the pre-existing Son of God, but have made him the 'God and Father' of himself." Review and Herald, July 6, 1869.

"But if I am asked what I think of Jesus Christ, my reply is, 'I believe all that the Scriptures say of him. If the testimony represents him as being in glory with the Father before the world was, I believe it. If it is said that he was in the beginning with God, that he was God, that all things were made by him and for him, and that without him was not anything made that was made, I believe it. If the Scriptures say he is the Son of God, I believe it. If it is declared that the Father sent his Son into the world, I believe he had a Son to send...

"It may be objected, If the Father and the Son are two distinct beings, do you not, in worshipping the Son and calling him God, break the first commandment of the decalogue? "No; it is the Father's will 'That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.' We cannot break the commandment and dishonor God by obeying him. The Fathers says of the Son, 'Let all the angels of God worship him.' Should angels refuse to worship the Son, they would rebel against the Father. Children inherit the name of their Father. The Son of God 'hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than' the angels. That name is the name of his Father. The Father says to the Son, 'Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.' Heb.1. The Son is called 'The mighty God.' Isa. 9:6. And when he comes again to earth his waiting people will exclaim, 'This is our God.' Isa. 25:9.

It is the will of the Father that we should thus honor the Son. In doing so we render supreme honor to the Father. If we dishonor the Son, we dishonor the Father; for he requires us to honor his son. "But though the Son is called God yet there is a 'God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ' 1Pet. 1:3. Though the Father says to the Son, 'Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever,' yet, that throne is given him of his Father; and because he loved righteousness and hated iniquity, he further says, 'Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee.' Heb. 1:9. 'God hath made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ.' Acts. 2:36. The Son is 'the everlasting Father,' not of himself, nor of his Father, but of his children. His language is, 'I and the children which God hath given me.' Heb. 2:13" R. F. Cottrell, Review and Herald, June 1, 1869.


"My reasons for not adopting and defending it, are 1. Its name is unscriptural the Trinity, or the triune God, is unknown to the Bible; and I have entertained the idea that doctrines which require words coined in the human mind to express them, are coined doctrines. 2. I have never felt called upon to adopt and explain that which is contrary to all the sense and reason that God has given me. All my attempts at an explanation of such a subject would make it no clearer to my friends..." R. F. Cottrell, Review and Herald, June 1, 1869.


"That one person is three persons, and that three persons are only one person, is the doctrine which we claim is contrary to reason and common sense. The being and attributes of God are above, beyond, out of reach of my sense and reason, yet I believe them": But the doctrine I object to is contrary, yes, that is the word, to the very sense and reason that God has himself implanted in us. Such a doctrine he does not ask us to believe. A miracle is beyond our comprehension, but we all believe in miracles who believe our own senses. What we see and hear convinces us that there is a power that effected the most wonderful miracle of creation. But our Creator has made it an absurdity to us that one person should be three persons, and three persons but one person; and in his revealed word he has never asked us to believe it. This our friend thinks objectionable... "But to hold the doctrine of the Trinity is not so much an evidence of evil intention as of intoxication from that wine of which all the nations have drunk. The fact that this was one of the leading doctrines, if not the very chief, upon which the bishop of Rome was exalted to the popedom, does not say much in its favor. This should cause men to investigate it for themselves; as when the spirits of devils working miracles undertake the advocacy of the immortality of the soul. Had I never doubted it before, I would now probe it to the bottom, by that word which modern Spiritualism sets at nought... "Revelation goes beyond us; but in no instance does it go contrary to right reason and common sense. God has not claimed, as the popes have, that he could 'make justice of injustice,' nor has he, after teaching us to count, told us that there is no difference between the singular and plural numbers. Let us believe all he has revealed, and add nothing to it." Review and Herald, July 6, 1869.

The Youth Instructor

James White asked Cottrell to develop and present a series of youth Sabbath School lessons. These were published in the Youth's Instructor in 1854 and 1855. He wrote one of the earlier (1854) series of Bible lessons for the young people that was published in the Youth’s Instructor. In 1855 these lessons were bound together into a book that served as a guide to biblical study among the SDA pioneers for several years afterward. 

The editor wrote in the first issue, “We design that the Instructor shall be filled with sensible matter, not only for the benefit of small children, but for the instruction of the youth from 16 to 20 years of age.” What started out as a monthly, in 1879 became a weekly magazine and was published continuously until April, 1970. 

Ellen White contributed an article to the very first issue of The Youth’s Instructor and during her lifetime contributed nearly 500. The vast majority of them were especially written for the younger audience of the Instructor. They were designed by Inspiration to make a significant contribution in the preparation of God’s youth for Christ’s soon return. It is the desire of the present publisher that that purpose will indeed be achieved in those who read these messages in this late hour.

The Youth's Instructor articles in a PDF here.

The Youth's Instructor text: read here.

You can get a Kindle edition of The Youth Instructor here.

Elder Cottrell wrote a number of poems through the years that were published in the Review and Herald. In addition, he wrote several hymns, two of which are included in the current Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. His poetry is playful and thought-provoking.

Our Beloved Early Pioneer R. F. Cottrell was a Poet and Hymn Writer

Elder Cottrell wrote a number of poems through the years that were published in the Review and Herald.

Titles for Cottrell's poems [35]

1.   As drowsy earth is dreaming still
2.   As time rolls on amid earth's gloom
3.   Behold God's own exalted Son
4.   Blessed are they henceforth that die
5.   By living faith we now can see
6.   Cheer up, ye soldiers of the cross
7.   Delightful day, best gift of heaven
8.   Erected high in heaven stands
9.   God loved the world, the ruined world
10. Here through a wilderness of sorrow
11. Holy Sabbath, sacred rest
12. O lift up your heads, your redemption draws news
13. O perfect law of the Most High! Law ever holy, just, and good!
14. O solemn thought, and can it be
15. There is a house in heaven built
16. The God that made the earth and all the worlds
17. The time is near when Zion's sons
18. The wonders of redeeming love our highest thoughts exceed
19. 'Twas wondrous depth of heavenly love
20. It's Jewish.[36]


1878-1970 Roy Franklin Cottrell[edit]

Roswell's grandson, Roy, was born at Ridgeway, New York, in 1878. He graduated from Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio and Pacific Union College in California. After a period of service as pastor-evangelist, he became Bible teacher at the South Lancaster Academy. In 1908, he and his wife Myrtie accepted a call to mission service in China, where they worked for twelve years to 1920.

While in China, he travelled extensively. He baptized hundreds of native converts, and wrote numerous tracts and booklets in the Mandarin language. He prepared the first subscription book, HERALDS OF THE KING, used by Seventh-day Adventist colporters in China.

Since 1920, Roy lived in southern California where he worked as a pastor in GlendaleSanta MonicaLong BeachHuntington Parkand Los Angeles. He wrote for various religious journals, prepared eight series of international senior Sabbath School lessons, and for a considerable time conducted a weekly column entitled "The Newspaper Pulpit" which appeared in the three leading metropolitan papers of Los Angeles. He authored twenty-five books and booklets, ten in the Chinese language and fifteen in English. He retired from active pastoral service in 1950 and lived in Escondido, California. Roy Franklin Cottrell died in 1970.[37]

1912-2003 Raymond Forrest Cottrell

Raymond Cottrell, the great-grandson of Roswell Fenner Cottrell and nephew of Roy Franklin Cottrell, was born in Glendale, Calif., in 1912. He is a graduate of La Sierra Academy and received his B.A, and :M.A, degrees from Pacific Union College.

After his marriage to Elizabeth Landis of Phoenix, Ariz., and a period of service as teacher, evangelist and pastor, he was called to mission endeavor in Manchuria, China, where he labored for seven years. Returning to America, he taught in the Bible departments of Lodi Academy, Pacific Union Academy and Pacific Union College.

In 1952, Mr. Cottrell accented the invitation to connect with the Review and Herald Publishing Association as Associate Editor in the production of the seven-volume Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, On completion of that monumental project, he became Associate Editor of the "Review & Herald'.

(Raymond F. Cottrell died in 2003) http://mytreewebsite.com/cccottrell/cottrellbooklet-18.html

"The greatest fault we can find in the Reformation is, the Reformers stopped reforming. Had they gone on, and onward [like the VIRGIN BAND of SDA PIONEERS DID IN 1841-1846 and got rid of the Trinity concept and the Papal Sabbath etc], till they had left the last vestige of Papacy behind, such as natural immortality, sprinkling, the trinity, and Sunday- keeping, the church would now be free from her unscriptural errors” —James White, February 7, 1856, Review & Herald, vol. 7, no. 19, page 148, par. 26.

The modern SDA 501c3 EIN # 52-0643036 has rejected the early SDA pioneer teachings of the Three Angel's Messages (Rev 14:6-12) and have discarded them to the historical trash heap by adopting doctrines in common with the papacy, adopted "marks" (doctrines) of the papacy that the original SDA pioneers had gotten RID of during 1840-1894.

“The third angel's message (Revelation 14:9-12) was, and still is, a WARNING to the saints [TODAY = 2016!] to "hold fast," and not go back, and "receive" the marks (of the Papal beast=TRINITY, SUNDAY WORSHIP, Sprinkling) which the virgin band got rid of, during the second angel's [1843-1844] cry” —A Word to the "Little Flock" JAMES WHITE, Topsham, Maine April 21, 1847.