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Miller’s Works, vol. 1. Views of the Prophecies and Prophetic Chronology

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    BRIEF REVIEW OF S. COBB’S LECTURES ON THE “MILLER MANIA.”

    THE Rev. S. Cobb, of Waltham, Mass., some time last year gave a course of lectures to the Universalist society in that town, and has since published them in the “Christian Freeman,” under the caption of the “Miller Mania.” The following passing notice of them, by brother Miller, will give the reader some idea of their merit.MWV1 192.1

    DEAR BRO. HIMES: I have by your politeness received Rev. S. Cobb’s Lectures on the “Miller Mania.” I think a few such lectures would do good among the followers of Universalism here. For they have been taught here that Christ will never come again to the earth, that his second coming was at Jerusalem; and Mr. Cobb has admitted that the “glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” is yet future. He has also admitted that Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, means a coming that is yet future. Admitting these two passages to apply to the future coming of Christ, it follows, of course, that all Mr. Miller claims may be true; for the passages of like import and expression must have a like meaning. 1st. Take Titus 2:13: “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Then the text in Hebrews 9:28 must have a similar meaning and the same fulfilment. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him (looking for, says Paul to Titus) shall he appear (glorious appearing) the second time (first time was when he was offered, second time will be when he comes to bless his people and consummate their hopes) without sin unto salvation.” Where then can his coming to Jerusalem be placed? It cannot be his first, for that was before. It cannot be his second, for that is the one we are looking for, and yet in the future. Can Mr. Cobb get a space between one and two? Try again, my dear sir; it is a difficult task, but try again; you can wrest the scripture. A desperate cause needs a desperate effort.MWV1 192.2

    Again; let Mr. Cobb compare 1 John 2:28: “And now, little children, abide in him; that when he shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” Was this written before Jerusalem was destroyed? Be careful, Mr. Cobb; you may yet prove that John was dead before Jerusalem was destroyed, and if so, your theory all goes to the wind. If, then, this text from John’s epistle was written twenty years after Jerusalem was destroyed, then his appearing must be in the future. And why this caution, “Little children, abide in him,” etc.? How is this? who can be ashamed before him at his coming, if all will be happy and holy? This text does favor my views, surely. “Some to shame and everlasting contempt.”MWV1 193.1

    Mr. Cobb admits that 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first,” is a future coming of Christ. This is admitting the whole ground; for the following verses, to the fourth verse of the fifth chapter,-“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape,” - must mean the same coming. And three things are plain and obvious: -MWV1 193.2

    1. The duty of brethren to comfort one another with talking and preaching this doctrine of Christ’s coming, which Mr. Cobb opposes.MWV1 194.1

    2. That the brethren have no need that he write of the times and seasons, for they very well knew, yes, they perfectly knew, that the day of the Lord would come as a thief in the night, to some, and they would be destroyed, and should not escape. I ask, how did they know this thing? I answer, by Christ’s words. Matthew 24:38-44: “For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch, therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Mark 13:32-37: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye, therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh; at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning: lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.” Luke 12:35-40: “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching; verily, I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye, therefore, ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” By these texts they knew it perfectly. And this proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Christ in Matthew had reference to a yet future coming, according to Mr. Cobb’s own admission.MWV1 194.2

    3. That those who say “peace and safety” are the ones that will be destroyed. And “when they shall say it,” we know that the time is at hand when they shall be destroyed, and that suddenly.MWV1 195.1

    Here we have a strong evidence that the coming of the Lord, according to Mr. Cobb’s own concession, is near at hand. See “Christian Freeman,” vol.i. No.43, p.1.2nd col.: “And the accomplishment of the great and glorious purpose of God, in the resurrection of all men from the dead, is also in a few instances called the coming of Christ; as in 1 Thessalonians 4:16: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead shall rise in Christ first.” And in whom, I inquire, will they rise next? The Bible says, “And the dead in Christ shall rise first.” But Mr. Cobb can transpose and say, “And the dead shall rise in Christ first.” This wresting of scripture to suit our own creed would make even the notorious Whittemore blush. But this is proving 2 Peter 3:16,-“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction,”-to be fulfilled, and completes Paul’s sign, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then (at that time) sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, (surely the Universalists are in great trouble,) and they shall not escape.” This “great and glorious purpose of God” is what I am trying to prove. Mr. C., why in so much trouble, then? Do you not like to have the “glorious purpose” of God done? Why so much perplexity and distress? The “glorious purpose of God” will be done in earth as in heaven. “Ah! yes, Oh! Oh!! that is what I am afraid off,” said the guilty man. You are safe, and need have no fear; why are you all in such a bluster?MWV1 195.2

    Again; in the introduction to his first lecture, Mr. Cobb has tried to make out that I am governed by some corrupt motive, such as vain-glory, marvellousness, design to deceive, etc. This shows the true character of the man. No man can have an honest motive in writing or giving his views of scripture. Why not? Because he judges out of his own heart, and from his own conduct. And as he does not pretend to know me personally, of course his judgment must proceed from his knowledge of his own motives, (James 4:12;) and as such a course was not called for to put down an error, so easily disposed of, as he says, it cannot but satisfy every thinking mind that he had grappled with arguments too powerful for him to encounter, without the aid of misrepresentation and lying, to prejudice his hearers and blind their judgment. This mode of beginning a religious discourse is calculated to destroy all confidence in the man, as a Christian or an honest opponent.MWV1 196.1

    Again; his main argument is that all judgment was fulfilled at Jerusalem. And this view of our Savior’s predictions, hatched up between our D.D.s’ standard authors on the one part, and Universalists, or modern Deists, or scoffers, on the other part, has produced a doctrine which will be the means of carrying thousands of the unthinking part of the world to endless ruin. All that Mr. Cobb does is to bring one of these D.D.s to prove his point; no matter what the Bible may say, one of these will put down all the Bible in the world. They feed on all rotten carcasses, and will find themselves in the end where John has placed them, Revelation 22:18, 19, and 15: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” This hobby of the Universalists has been confuted a thousand times; yet they will harp on a broken string their discordant notes, to lull mortals to sleep, and to prevent the lost children of men from hearing the midnight cry and preparing for judgment.MWV1 196.2

    I will confute them once more. Acts 17:30-32: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.” This judgment day is at the resurrection, evidently; and this day is appointed, and I am showing the appointed time. Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets;” and I have plainly shown that he has so done it, Phelps, Cambell, Skinner and Whittemore to the contrary notwithstanding. WILLIAM MILLER. Low Hampton, Aug. 1, 1840.MWV1 197.1

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