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    “MILLER AND THE PROPHECIES

    “‘We took a prejudice against this good man when he first came among us, on account of what we supposed a glaring error in interpreting the Scripture prophecies so that the world would come to an end in 1843. We are still inclined to believe this an error or miscalculation. At the same time we have overcome our prejudices against him by attending his lectures, and learning more of the excellent character of the man, and of the great good he has done and is doing. Mr. Miller is a plain farmer, and pretends to nothing except that he has made the Scripture prophecies an intense study for many years, understands some of them differently from most other people, and wishes, for the good of others, to spread his views before the public. No one can hear him five minutes without being convinced of his sincerity, and instructed by his reasoning and information. All acknowledge his lectures to be replete with useful and interesting matter. His knowledge of Scripture is very extensive and minute; that of the prophecies, especially, surprisingly familiar. His application of the prophecies to the great events which have taken place in the natural and moral world is such, generally, as to produce conviction of their truth, and gain the ready assent of his hearers. We have reason to believe that the preaching or lecturing of Mr. Miller has been productive of great and extensive good. Revivals have followed in his train. He has been heard with attention wherever he has been.LIFIN 65.2

    “‘There is nothing very peculiar in the manner or appearance of Mr. Miller. Both are at least equal to the style and appearance of ministers in general. His gestures are easy and expressive, and his personal appearance every way decorous. His Scripture explanations and illustrations are strikingly simple, natural, and forcible; and the great eagerness of the people to hear him has been manifested wherever he has preached. ’LIFIN 66.1

    “On his way home he lectured at the following places: Commencing on the 16th of June at Westford, Vt.; the 23rd, at Cambridge, Vt.; and on the 30th, at Colchester, Vt. As a result of his labors in Colchester, twenty-three were added to the Baptist church between that time and the 2nd of December following.LIFIN 66.2

    “The letters addressed to him and his son at this period show that a report was in circulation that he was dead; and as soon as that was successfully contradicted, another was current, that, on re-examining his calculations, he had discovered a mistake of one hundred years. Both of these rumors were several times subsequently revived, and had to be as often contradicted.LIFIN 66.3

    “On the 15th of September, in compliance with the wish of many in Rutland, Vt., who were very anxious to hear his course of lectures, he visited that place, and lectured each day, to the 22nd, when he returned to his family, and made arrangements for a second visit to Massachusetts.LIFIN 66.4

    “He commenced his labors at Groton, Mass., on the 13th of October, and lectured ten days. In reference to these lectures and others in neighboring towns, Silas Hawley, Congregational minister, wrote from Groton, on the 10th of April, 1840, as follows:LIFIN 67.1

    “‘Mr.Miller has lectured in this and adjoining towns with marked success. His lectures have been succeeded by precious revivals of religion in all those places. A class of minds are reached by him not within the influence of other men. His lectures are well adapted, so far as I have learned, for shaking the supremacy of the various forms of error that are rife in the community. ’LIFIN 67.2

    “Closing his lectures in Groton, Mr. Miller gave a third course of lectures in Lowell, continuing from the 23rd of October to the 1st of November. These, like the previous lectures in that place, were attended with precious fruits.LIFIN 67.3

    “From the 2nd to the 10th of November, he lectured in Haverhill, Mass., where he made the acquaintance of Elder Henry Plummer, pastor of the Christian church, who embraced his views, and was a steadfast friend till Mr. Miller’s decease.LIFIN 67.4

    “On the 11th of November, Mr. Miller commenced a course of lectures in Exeter, N. H., which continued till the 19th. On the 12th, a Conference of the Christian connection was in session there, and they called on Mr. Miller in a body. He was a stranger to nearly all of them; and few of them regarded his views with anything more than mere curiosity. Several of them questioned him respecting his faith; but they were speedily silenced by the quotation of appropriate texts of Scripture.LIFIN 67.5

    “He arrived in Boston on the 7th of December, and from the 8th to the 16th lectured in Chardon-street chapel, - his first course of lectures in that city.LIFIN 68.1

    “On the 12th of December, Mr. Miller writes from Boston to his son: ‘I am now in this place lecturing twice a day, to large audiences. Many, very many, go away unable to gain admittance. Many, I am informed, are under serious convictions. I hope God will work in this city. ’LIFIN 68.2

    “On the 19th of November, he commenced a course of lectures in New Haven, Ct., in the M.E. Church, Rev. Mr. Law, pastor. On Sunday, the 20th, although the house was large, it was crowded; and in the evening many were unable to gain admittance. He continued there till the 26th, the interest continuing during the entire course. The Fountain, a temperance paper published in that city, gave the following account of the meeting:LIFIN 68.3

    “‘Mr. William Miller, the celebrated writer and lecturer on the second advent of our Saviour, and the speedy destruction of the world, has recently visited our city, and delivered a course of lectures to an immense concourse of eager listeners in the First Methodist Church. It is estimated that not less than three thousand persons were in attendance at the church, on each evening, for a week; and if the almost breathless silence which reigned throughout the immense throng for two or three hours at a time is any evidence of interest in the subject of the lectures, it cannot be said that our community are devoid of feeling on this momentous question.LIFIN 68.4

    “‘Mr. Miller was accompanied and assisted by Elder J.V. Himes, who is by no means an inefficient coadjutor in this great and important work. We did not attend the whole course, the last three lectures being all we had an opportunity of hearing. We are utterly disappointed. So many extravagant things had been said of the “fanatics” in the public prints, and such distorted statements published in reference to their articles of faith, that we were prepared to witness disgusting and perhaps blasphemous exhibitions of Millerism, as the doctrine of the second advent is called.LIFIN 68.5

    “‘In justice to Mr. Miller we are constrained to say, that he is one of the most interesting lecturers we have any recollection of ever having heard. We have not the least doubt that he is fully convinced of the truth of the doctrine he labors so diligently to inculcate, and he certainly evinces great candor and fairness in his manner of proving his points. And he proves them, too, to the satisfaction of every hearer; - that is, allowing his premises to be correct, there is no getting away from his conclusions.LIFIN 69.1

    “‘There was quite a number of believers in attendance from other places, and a happier company we have never seen. We have no means of ascertaining the precise effect of these meetings on this community, but we know that many minds have been induced to contemplate the Scripture prophecies in a new light, and not a few are studying the Bible with unwonted interest. For our own part, this new view of the world’s destiny is so completely at variance with previous habits of thought and anticipation, that we are not prepared to give it entire credence, though we should not dare hazard an attempt to disprove it.LIFIN 69.2

    “‘The best part of the story is, that a powerful revival has followed the labors of Messrs. Miller and company. We learn that over fifty persons presented themselves for prayers at the altar of the Methodist church on Sunday evening. On Monday evening the number was about eighty. ’”LIFIN 69.3

    “From the 6th to the 9th of March [1842], Mr. Miller lectured in Medford, Mass. While here, a friend took him to the phrenologist in Boston, with whom he was himself acquainted, but who had no suspicion whose head he was about to examine. The phrenologist commenced by saying that the person under examination had a large, well-developed, and well-balanced head. While examining the moral and intellectual organs, he said to Mr. Miller’s friend:LIFIN 70.1

    “‘I tell you what it is, Mr. Miller could not easily make a convert of this man to his hair-brained theory. He has too much good sense. ’LIFIN 70.2

    “Thus he proceeded, making comparisons between the head he was examining and the head of Mr. Miller, as he fancied it would be.LIFIN 70.3

    “‘Oh, how I should like to examine Mr. Miller’s head!’ said he; ‘I would give it one squeezing. ’LIFIN 70.4

    “The phrenologist, knowing that the gentleman was a particular friend of Mr. Miller, spared no pains in going out of the way to make remarks upon him. Putting his hand on the organ of marvelousness, he said: ‘There! I’ll bet you anything that old Miller has got a bump on his head there as big as my fist;’ at the same time doubling up his fist as an illustration.LIFIN 70.5

    “The others present laughed at the perfection of the joke, and he heartily joined them, supposing they were laughing at his witticisms on Mr. Miller.LIFIN 70.6

    “He pronounced the head of the gentleman under examination the reverse, in every particular, of what he declared Mr. Miller’s must be. When through, he made out his chart, and politely asked Mr. Miller his name.LIFIN 70.7

    “Mr. Miller said it was of no consequence about putting his name upon the chart; but the phrenologist insisted.LIFIN 71.1

    “‘Very well,’ said Mr. M.; ‘you may call it Miller, if you choose. ’LIFIN 71.2

    “‘Miller, Miller,’ said he; ‘what is your first name? ’LIFIN 71.3

    “‘They call me William Miller. ’LIFIN 71.4

    “‘What! the gentleman who is lecturing on the prophecies? ’LIFIN 71.5

    “‘Yes, sir, the same. ’LIFIN 71.6

    “At this the phrenologist settled back in his chair, the personation of astonishment and dismay, and spoke not a word while the company remained. His feelings may be more easily imagined than described.”LIFIN 71.7

    Concerning his personal appearance and private character, we must do the reader the service of giving him the following portrait, drawn by a delicate pencil:LIFIN 71.8

    “I have just had the privilege of meeting with this humble servant of God, at the fireside of a friend, and I can truly say that my earnest expectations were more than realized in the interview. There is a kindness of soul, simplicity, and power, peculiarly original, combined in his manner, and he is affable and attentive to all, without any affectation of superiority. He is of about medium stature, a little corpulent, and in temperament a mixture of sanguine and nervous. His intellectual developments are unusually full, and we see in his head, great benevolence and firmness, united with a lack of self-esteem. He is also wanting in marvelousness, and is NATURALLY skeptical. His countenance is full and round, and much like the engraving we have seen, while there is a peculiar depth of expression in his blue eye, of shrewdness and love. Although about sixty-two years of age, his hair is not grey, but of a light glossy auburn, his voice is full and distinct, and his pronunciation somewhat northern-antique. In his social relations, he is gentle and affectionate, and insures the esteem of all with whom he mingles. In giving this charcoal sketch to the public, I have merely sought to correct numerous misstatements, and gratify the honest desire of many distant believers, with a faint outline of the character and appearance of the man whom God has chosen to give the ‘Midnight Cry’ to a sleeping world.” - Midnight Cry.LIFIN 71.9

    Here we must leave William Miller for the present, to be introduced again in a brief sketch of the rise and progress of Adventism.LIFIN 72.1

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