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    As I returned to the Lord, it was with strong convictions that I should renounce my worldly plans and give myself to the work of warning the people to prepare for the day of God. I had loved books generally, but, in my backslidden state, had neither time nor taste for the study of the sacred Scriptures, hence was ignorant of the prophecies. I had, however, some knowledge of the Bible history of man, and had the idea that the race in six thousand years had depreciated physically, and, consequently, mentally. The subject came before my mind in this form: Man once lived nearly one thousand years. In length of days he has dwindled to seventy. In a few centuries, should time continue, with the same results upon the lifetime of man, the race would cease to exist. I had renounced the doctrine of the conversion of the world, and the temporal millennium, in which the soil and man were to be gradually restored to their Eden state, as taught me by my father. I therefore saw the necessity, in the very nature of things, for some great change, and the second coming of Christ seemed to be the event which would most probably bring about the change in man, and in the earth, to remove the curse and its results, and restore all to its Eden perfection and glory.LIFIN 17.2

    My mind turned to the young people of the school I had just left. In that school of fifty scholars, twenty were near my own age, several were older. My school was a happy one. I loved my scholars, and this love was mutual. As we parted, at the close of the last day of school, I said to them, “I am engaged to teach this school next winter, and should I fulfill this engagement, I will not ask one of you to obey my orders better than you have this term.” As I found comfort in prayer, I began to pray for my scholars, and would sometimes wake myself in the night praying vocally for them. A strong impression came upon me, as if a voice said, Visit your scholars from house to house and pray with them. I could not conceive of a heavier cross than this. I prayed to be excused, that I might pursue my studies; but no relief came. I prayed for clearer evidence, and the same impression seemed to say, Visit your scholars.LIFIN 18.1

    In this state of mind I went into my father’s field, hoping that I could work off the feelings under which I suffered. But they followed me, and increased. I went to the grove to pray for relief. None came. But the impression, Visit your scholars, was still more distinct. My spirit rose in rebellion against God, and I recklessly said, I will not go. These words were accompanied with a firm stamp of the foot upon the ground, and in five minutes I was at the house, packing my books and clothes for Newport Academy. That afternoon I rode to the place with Eld. Bridges, who talked to me all the way upon the subject of preaching, greatly to my discomfort.LIFIN 19.1

    The next morning I secured a boarding place, and took my position in several classes in the school, and commenced study with a will to drive off my convictions. But in this I did not succeed. I became distressed and agitated. After spending several hours over my books, I tried to call to mind what I had been studying. This I could not do. My mental confusion was complete. The Spirit of God had followed me into the school-room in mercy, notwithstanding my rebellion, and I could find no rest there. Finally I resolved that I would do my duty, and immediately took my cap and went directly from the door of that school-room, on foot, to the town of Troy, the place of my last school. I had gone but a few rods on my way, when sweet peace from God flowed into my mind, and Heaven seemed to shine around me. I raised my hands and praised God with the voice of triumph.LIFIN 19.2

    With a light heart and cheerful step I walked on till sundown, when I came to a humble cottage which attracted my special attention. I was strongly impressed to call, but had no reason for so doing, as it was but a few miles to the school district, where I should find a hearty welcome. I decided to go past this house, as I did not wish to find myself in the awkward position of calling upon strangers without some good reason. But the impression to call increased, and the excuse to ask for a drink of water occurred to me, and I stepped to the door and called for water. A man in the noon of life waited upon me, then kindly said, “Walk in.” I saw that he had been weeping. In one hand he held the Bible. When I had taken the chair he offered me, this sad stranger addressed me in a most mournful manner, as follows: “I am in trouble. I am in deep affliction. To-day I have buried my dear son, and I have not the grace of God to sustain me. I am not a Christian, and my burden seems greater that I can bear. Will you please stop all night with me?”LIFIN 19.3

    He wept bitterly. Why he should so directly open his afflicted mind to a young stranger, has ever been to me a mystery. I could not refuse his invitation, and concluded to stop for the night. I told him my brief experience, and pointed him to Christ, who says, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” We bowed in prayer, and my new friend seemed relieved. Then we sought rest in sleep. In the morning I assisted him in erecting the family altar, and went on my way. I have neither seen nor heard from him since.LIFIN 20.1

    But I had walked only two miles on that delightful spring morning, when all nature, animate and inanimate, seemed to join my glad heart in the praise of God, before the same impression came upon me, as I was passing a neat log cottage. Something said to me, Go into the house. I stepped to the door, and called for a drink of water. And who should bring it to me but a young lady who had attended my school the past winter. As she recognized me, she exclaimed, “Why, schoolmaster, walk in.” This family had just moved from the district, three miles, to a new settlement surrounded by forests. The father was absent. The mother and children greeted me with more than usual cordiality, each calling me, Master. There was the place for my work to commence. I told my errand, and asked the privilege to pray.LIFIN 20.2

    “Oh, yes!” said the already weeping woman. “But let me send out the children and call in my neighbors.” Some half-dozen little boys and girls received dispatches from their mother, and cheerfully ran to as many log cottages with the word, “Our schoolmaster is at our house, and wishes to pray, and mother wants you to come as soon as you can.” In less than half an hour I had before me a congregation of about twenty-five. In conversing with them, I learned that not one of that company professed Christianity. Lectures on the second advent had been given near them, and a general conviction that the doctrine might be true rested upon the people. And as I related my experience of the few weeks in the past, stating my convictions relative to the soon coming of Christ, all were interested. I then bowed to pray, and was astonished to find that these twenty-five sinners all bowed with me. I could but weep. They all wept with me. And after pointing them to Christ, as best I could with my limited experience and knowledge of the Scriptures, I shook their hands, said farewell, and joyfully pursued my journey.LIFIN 21.1

    As I entered the district I had so recently left, all seemed changed, yet no changes worthy of note had taken place but in me. The school-house, where I had spent happy hours in teaching willing minds, was closed, and my scholars were pursuing their daily tasks in the field and kitchen. I had left them, a proud, prayerless backslider, but now had come to pray with them. It seemed to me that the Lord could not have selected a duty more humbling to my pride. The district was made up of Universalists, formal professors, respectable sinners, and infidels. My employer, who had also engaged me to teach their school the next winter, was an infidel. I lost no time in making known the object of my visit, and in visiting and praying from house to house. No one opposed me. Some were deeply affected and bowed with me. My infidel friend said to me as I asked permission to pray in his house,LIFIN 22.1

    “I am very sorry, Mr. White, to find you in this state of mind. You are a good teacher, and a gentleman. I shall not forbid you.”LIFIN 22.2

    This reception was decidedly cold when compared with what I had met from others. This infidel was evidently much disgusted and disappointed, but tried to conceal his feelings out of respect to mine. I tried to pray, and passed to the next house. In a few days my work in this direction was finished for that time, and I returned home with the sweet assurance that I had done my duty. A few weeks afterward, however, I visited the place again. A general reformation was in progress, under the labors of a Christian minister. On Sunday, the meeting was held in a barn. The interest was general, and the congregation large. After the minister closed his remarks, I improved a few moments. I felt deeply, and my testimony reached the people, especially my scholars and their parents. The following summer, lectures were given in the town-house, and the next winter most of the people of that town embraced religion.LIFIN 22.3

    Much of the summer I was unsettled as to duty. I had visited my scholars, and sometimes hoped to be excused from anything further of the kind, and feel free to pursue my studies. But the definite idea of proclaiming the soon coming of Christ, and warning the people to prepare for the day of the Lord, was impressed upon my mind. I did not dare attend school. The Spirit of the Lord had driven me from the school-room once, and in following a sense of duty I had been greatly blessed. How could I resist present convictions, and again try to shut myself away from the Lord, over my books? But how could I renounce all my fondly-cherished hopes of the future? My brother in Ohio said to me by letter: “Come out into the sunny West, James, and I will help you.” “Well,” said I, “when I become a scholar.” How could I give up my school books, and with my small stock of education think of becoming a preacher?LIFIN 23.1

    A school-mate, Elbridge Smith, who had also been a room-mate at St. Albans and at Reedfield, was a special friend of mine. He was a fine young man, of good habits, yet not a Christian. I loved him for what he was, and we mutually in confidence freely stated to each other all our plans, hopes and difficulties. To this young man I first opened my mind freely upon the subject of the second advent, and my convictions of duty to preach the doctrine. He treated the matter with candor, and seemed troubled as he learned from my own lips that I was inclined to believe that Christ would come about the year 1843. He had given the subject no study, but evidently feared it might be so. He replied as follows:LIFIN 23.2

    “You know I am not a Christian, and therefore am poorly prepared to give you advice in relation to religious duty. I think of these things more than many suppose, though I publicly take no personal interest in them. I, however, think it well for me, and safe for you, to say at this time, Follow the convictions of your own mind.”LIFIN 24.1

    I highly esteem this friend of my youth for his candor and good counsel. Who could have done better? We have met but a few times since, as I soon left that part of the State to proclaim the coming of the Lord, and he for Bowdoin College. He graduated in two years from that time, studied law, and now Elbridge Smith is a judge somewhere in the West.LIFIN 24.2

    The struggle with duty was a severe one. But I finally gave out an appointment, and had some freedom. I soon sent an appointment to speak at the Troy town-house. The congregation was large. Had rather a lean time, and felt embarrassed. And what seemed to well-nigh finish me, a good, honest, simple-hearted woman came up to me at the close of the meeting and said:LIFIN 24.3

    “Elder White, please come to our house and take dinner.”LIFIN 24.4

    The word Elder cut me to the heart. I was confused and almost paralyzed. I will not attempt to narrate anything further that occurred on that day. The remaining portion of the day has ever seemed like a blank. I can only remember my confusion and anguish of spirit as I heard the unexpected word, Elder. I was unreconciled at the prospect before me, yet dared not refuse what seemed to be duty, and turn to my books. I was urged to speak in the presence of two young preachers, and attempted to preach. In twenty minutes became confused and embarrassed, and sat down. I lacked resignation and humility, therefore was not sustained. I finally gave all for Christ and his gospel, and found peace and freedom.LIFIN 24.5

    Soon my mind was especially called to the second advent by hearing Elders J.V. Himes and A. Hale speak several times upon the subject, in the city of Bangor, Me. I then saw that it was a subject that required study, and felt the importance of commencing in earnest to prepare myself to teach others. I purchased Advent publications, read them closely, studied my Bible, and spoke a few times during the summer on the second coming of Christ with freedom, and felt encouraged. WILLIAM MILLERLIFIN 25.1

    In September, Elders Himes, Miller, and others, held a meeting in the mammoth tent in Eastern Maine. In company with one Moses Polly, a Christian minister of my acquaintance, I attended that meeting. I there for the first time saw that great and good man, William Miller. His form and features showed great physical and mental strength. The benevolent, affable, and kind spirit manifested by him in conversation with numerous strangers who called on him to ask questions, proved him a humble, Christian gentleman. Infidels, Universalists, and some others came to him with opposing questions. He was quick to perceive their designs, and with becoming firmness and dignity promptly met their objections and sent them away in silence. So long had he, even then, been in the field, meeting opposition from every quarter, that he was prepared for any emergency.LIFIN 25.2

    In his public labors his arguments were clear, and his appeals and exhortations most powerful. The tent in which he spoke was a circle whose diameter was one hundred and twenty feet. On one occasion, when this tent was full, and thousands stood around, he was unfortunate in the use of language, which the baser sort in the crowd turned against him by a general burst of laughter. He left his subject with ease, and in a moment his spirit rose above the mob-like spirit that prevailed, and in language the most scorching he spoke of the corruption of the hearts of those who chose to understand him to be as vile as they were. In a moment all was quiet. And the speaker continued to describe the terrible end of the ungodly in a solemn and impressive manner. He then affectionately exhorted them to repent of their sins, come to Christ, and be ready for his appearing. Many in that vast crowd wept. He then resumed his subject, and spoke with clearness and spirit, as though nothing had happened. In fact, it seemed that nothing could have occurred to fully give him the ears of the thousands before him, and to make his subject so impressive as this circumstance.LIFIN 26.1

    God raised up Paul to do a great work in his time. In order that the Gentiles might be clearly taught the great plan of redemption through Jesus, and that the infidelity of the Jews might be met, a great man was selected.LIFIN 26.2

    Martin Luther was the man for his time. He was daring and sometimes rash, yet was a great and good man. The little horn had prevailed, and millions of the saints of the Most High had been put to death. To fearlessly expose the vileness of the papal monks, and to meet their learning and their rage, and also to win the hearts of the common people with all the tenderness and affection of the gospel, called for just such a man as Martin Luther. He could battle with the lion, or feed and tenderly nurse the lambs of Christ’s fold.LIFIN 26.3

    So William Miller, in the hands of God, was the man for his time. True, he was a farmer, and had been in the service of his country, and had not the benefits of an early classical education. And it was not till he had passed the noon of life that God called him to search his word and open the prophecies to the people. He was, however, a historian from his love of history, and had a good practical knowledge of men and things. He had been an infidel. But on receiving the Bible as a revelation from God, he did not also receive the popular, contradictory ideas that many of its prophecies were clad in impenetrable mystery. Said William Miller: “The Bible, it is what it purports to be, will explain itself.”LIFIN 27.1

    He sought for the harmony of Scripture and found it. And in the benevolence of his great and good heart and head, he spent the balance of his life in teaching it to the people in his written and oral lectures, and in warning and exhorting them to prepare for the second coming of Christ.LIFIN 27.2

    Much of the fruits of his labors are now seen. Much more will be seen hereafter. Heaven will be hung with the fruits of the labors of this truly great and good man. He sleeps. But if it can be said of any who have toiled and worn and suffered amid vile persecutions, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them,” it can be said of Wm. Miller. He nobly and faithfully did his duty, and the popular church, united with the world, paid him in persecutions and reproaches.LIFIN 27.3

    The very name of Wm. Miller was despised everywhere, and Millerism was the jeer of the people from the pulpit to the brothel.LIFIN 28.1

    But, dear reader, if your deed of real estate be registered at the office of the county clerk, rough hands may tear the paper you hold in your hand which you call a deed, and your title is no less secure. And however roughly and wickedly men may have handled the name of Wm. Miller here, when the final triumphant deliverance of all who are written in the Book of Life comes, his will be found among the worthies, safe from the wrath of men and the rage of demons, securing to him the reward of immortality according to his works.LIFIN 28.2

    As I have introduced to the reader the man whom God raised up to lead off in the great advent movement, it may be expected that something of his life, experience and labors should here be given. I have room for only a very few sketches from his memoir. He was born in Pittsfield, Mass., February, 1782. His biographer says:LIFIN 28.3

    “In his early childhood, marks of more than ordinary intellectual strength and activity were manifested. A few years made these marks more and more noticeable to all who fell into his society. But where were the powers of the inner man to find the nutriment to satisfy their cravings, and the field for their exercise?LIFIN 28.4

    “Besides the natural elements of education, the objects, the scenes, and the changes of the natural world, which have ever furnished to all truly great minds their noblest aliment, the inspiring historical recollections associated with well-known localities of the neighboring country, and the society of domestic life, there was nothing within William’s reach but the Bible, the psalter and prayer-book, till he had resided at Low Hampton several years.LIFIN 28.5

    “His mother had taught him to read, so that he soon mastered the few books belonging to the family; and this prepared him to enter the senior class when the district school opened. But if the terms were short, the winter nights were long. Pine knots could be made to supply the want of candles, lamps, or gas. And the spacious fireplace in the log house was ample enough as a substitute for the school-house and lecture-room.LIFIN 29.1

    “He possessed a strong physical constitution, an active and naturally well-developed intellect, and an irreproachable moral character. He had appropriated to his use and amusement the small stock of literature afforded by the family while a child. He had enjoyed the limited advantages of the district school but a few years before it was generally admitted that his attainments exceeded those of the teachers usually employed. He drank in the inspiration of the natural world around him, and of the most exciting events of his country’s history. His imagination had been quickened, and his heart warmed, by the adventures and gallantries of fiction, and his intellect enriched by history. And some of his earliest efforts with the pen, as well as the testimony of his associates, show that his mind and heart were ennobled by the lessons, if not by the spirit and power of religion. What, now, would have been the effect of what is called a regular course of education? Would it have perverted him, as it has thousands? or would it have made him instrumental of greater good in the cause of God?LIFIN 29.2

    “Whatever might have been the result of any established course of education in the case of Wm. Miller, such a course was beyond his reach: he was deprived of the benefit, he has escaped the perversion. Let us be satisfied.”LIFIN 29.3

    William Miller was married in 1802, and settled in Poultney, Vt. His biographer continues:LIFIN 30.1

    “But the men with whom he associated from the time of his removal to Poultney, and to whom he was considerably indebted for his worldly favors, were deeply affected with skeptical principles and deistical theories. They were not immoral men; but, as a class, were good citizens, and generally of serious deportment, humane, and benevolent. However, they rejected the Bible as the standard of religious truth, and endeavored to make its rejection plausible by such aid as could be obtained from the writings of Voltaire, Hume, Volney, Paine, Ethan Allen, and others. Mr. Miller studied these works closely, and at length avowed himself a deist. As he has stated the period must have begun in 1804; for he embraced or returned to the Christian faith in 1816. It may fairly be doubted, however, notwithstanding his known thoroughness and consistency, whether Mr. Miller ever was fully settled in that form of deism which reduces man to a level with the brutes, as to the supposed duration of their existence. And the question is worthy of a little inquiry, to what extent was he a deist?”LIFIN 30.2

    He received a captain’s commission, and entered the army in 1810. He returned from the army, and moved his family to Low Hampton, N.Y., to begin there the occupation of farming, in 1812.LIFIN 30.3

    “As a farmer, he had more leisure for reading; and he was at an age when the future of man’s existence will demand a portion of his thoughts. He found that his former views gave him no assurance of happiness beyond the present life. Beyond the grave all was dark and gloomy. To use his own words: ‘Annihilation was a cold and chilling thought, and accountability was sure destruction to all. The heavens were as brass over my head, and the earth as iron under my feet. Eternity! - what was it? And death! - why was it? The more I reasoned, the further I was from demonstration. The more I thought, the more scattered were my conclusions. I tried to stop thinking, but my thoughts would not understand the cause. I murmured and complained, but knew not of whom. I knew that there was a wrong, but knew not how or where to find the right. I mourned, but without hope.’ He continued in this state of mind for some months, feeling that eternal consequences might hang on the nature and object of his belief.LIFIN 30.4

    “It devolved on Captain Miller, as usual in the minister’s absence, to read a discourse of the deacons’ selection. They had chosen one on the Importance of Parental Duties. Soon after commencing, he was overpowered by the inward struggle of emotion, with which the entire congregation sympathized, and took his seat. His deistical principles seemed an almost insurmountable difficulty with him. ‘Soon after, suddenly,’ he says, ‘the character of the Saviour was vividly impressed upon my mind. It seemed that there might be a being so good and compassionate as to himself atone for our transgressions, and thereby save us from suffering the penalty of sin. I immediately felt how lovely such a being must be; and imagined that I could cast myself into the arms of, and trust in the mercy of, such an one. But the question arose, How can it be proved that such a being does exist? Aside from the Bible, I found that I could get no evidence of the existence of such a Saviour, or even of a future state. I felt that to believe in such a Saviour, without evidence, would be visionary in the extreme.LIFIN 31.1

    “‘I saw that the Bible did bring to view just such a Saviour as I needed; and I was perplexed to find how an uninspired book should develop principles so perfectly adapted to the wants of a fallen world. I was constrained to admit that the Scriptures must be a revelation from God. They became my delight; and in Jesus I found a friend. The Saviour became to me the chiefest among ten thousand; and the Scriptures, which before were dark and contradictory, now became the lamp to my feet and light to my path. My mind became settled and satisfied. I found the Lord God to be a rock in the midst of the ocean of life. The Bible now became my chief study, and I can truly say, I searched it with great delight. I found the half was never told me. I wondered why I had not seen its beauty and glory before, and marveled that I could have ever rejected it. I found everything revealed that my heart could desire, and a remedy for every disease of the soul. I lost all taste for other reading, and applied my heart to get wisdom from God. ’LIFIN 32.1

    “Mr. Miller immediately erected the family altar; publicly professed his faith in that religion which had been food for his mirth, by connecting himself with the little church that he had despised; opened his house for meetings of prayer; and became an ornament and pillar in the church, and an aid to both pastor and people. The die was cast, and he had taken his stand for life as a soldier of the cross, as all who knew him felt assured; and henceforth the badge of discipleship, in the church or world, in his family or closet, indicated whose he was, and whom he served.LIFIN 32.2

    “His pious relations had witnessed with pain his former irreligious opinions; how great were their rejoicings now! The church, favored with his liberality, and edified by his reading, but pained by his attacks on their faith, could now rejoice with the rejoicing. His infidel friends regarded his departure from them as the loss of a standard-bearer. And the new convert felt that henceforth, wherever he was, he must deport himself as a Christian, and perform his whole duty. His subsequent history must show how well this was done.LIFIN 33.1

    “Soon after his renunciation of deism, in conversing with a friend respecting the hope of a glorious eternity through the merits and intercessions of Christ, he was asked how he knew there was such a Saviour. He replied, “It is revealed in the Bible.” “How do you know the Bible is true?” was the response, with a reiteration of his former arguments on the contradictions and mysticisms in which he had claimed it was shrouded.LIFIN 33.2

    “Mr. Miller felt such taunts in their full force. He was at first perplexed; but, on reflection, he considered that if the Bible is a revelation of God, it must be consistent with itself; all its parts must harmonize, must have been given for man’s instruction, and, consequently, must be adapted to his understanding. He therefore said, ‘Give me time, and I will harmonize all those apparent contradictions to my own satisfaction, or I will be a deist still. ’LIFIN 33.3

    “He then devoted himself to a prayerful reading of the word. He laid aside all commentaries, and used the marginal references and his Concordance as his only helps. He saw that he must distinguish between the Bible and all the peculiar partisan interpretations of it.LIFIN 33.4

    The Bible was older than them all, must be above them all; and he placed it there. He saw that it must correct all interpretations; and in correcting them, its own pure light would shine without the mists which traditionary belief had involved it in. He resolved to lay aside all preconceived opinions, and to receive with child-like simplicity the natural and obvious meaning of the Scripture. He pursued the study of the Bible with the most intense interest - whole nights as well as days being devoted to that object. At times delighted with truth, which shone forth from the sacred volume, making clear to his understanding the great plan of God for the redemption of fallen man; and at times puzzled and almost distracted by seemingly inexplicable or contradictory passages, he persevered until the application of his great principle of interpretation was triumphant. He became puzzled only to be delighted, and delighted only to persevere the more in penetrating its beauties and mysteries.LIFIN 34.1

    “His manner of studying the Bible is thus described by himself: ‘I determined to lay aside all my prepossessions, to thoroughly compare Scripture with Scripture, and to pursue its study in a regular, methodical manner. I commenced with Genesis, and read verse by verse, proceeding no faster than the meaning of the several passages should be so unfolded as to leave me free from embarrassment respecting any mysticisms or contradictions. Whenever I found anything obscure, my practice was to compare it will all collateral passages; and, by the help of Cruden, I examined all the texts of Scripture in which were found any of the prominent words contained in any obscure portion. Then, by letting every word have its proper bearing on the subject of the text, if my view of it harmonized with every collateral passage in the Bible, it ceased to be a difficulty. In this way I pursued the study of the Bible, in my first perusal of it, for about two years, and was fully satisfied that it is its own interpreter. I found that by a comparison of Scripture with history, all the prophecies, as far as they have been fulfilled, had been fulfilled literally; that all the various figures, metaphors, parables, similitudes, etc., of the Bible, were either explained in their immediate connection, or the terms in which they were expressed were defined in other portions of the word; and when thus explained, are to be literally understood in accordance with such explanation. I was thus satisfied that the Bible is a system of revealed truths, so clearly and simply given, that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.’ In pursuing his study of the Holy Scriptures, Mr. Miller adopted the following rules of interpretation:LIFIN 34.2

    “1. Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible. Proof, Matthew 5:18.LIFIN 35.1

    “2. All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by a diligent application and study. Proof, 2 Timothy 3:15-17.LIFIN 35.2

    “3. Nothing revealed in the Scriptures can or will be hid from those who ask in faith, not wavering. Proof, Deuteronomy 29:29; Matthew 10:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 2:10; Philippians 3:15; Isaiah 45:11; Matthew 21:22; John 14:13, 14; 15:7; James 1:5, 6; 1 John 5:13-15.LIFIN 35.3

    “4. To understand doctrine, bring all the scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence; and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error. Proof, Isaiah 28:7-29; 35:8; Proverbs 29:27; Luke 24:27, 44, 45; Romans 16:26; James 5:19; 2 Peter 1:19, 20.LIFIN 35.4

    “5. Scripture must be its own expositor, since it is a rule of itself. If I depend on a teacher to expound to me, and he should guess at its meaning, or desire to have it so on account of his sectarian creed, or to be thought wise, then his guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom, is my rule, and not the Bible. Proof, Psalm 19:7-11; 119:97-105; Matthew 23:8-10; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; Ezekiel 34:18, 19; Luke 11:52; Matthew 2:7, 8.LIFIN 36.1

    “6. God has revealed things to come, by visions, in figures and parables; and in this way the same things are oftentime revealed again and again, by different visions, or in different figures and parables. If you wish to understand them, you must combine them all in one. Proof, Psalm 89:19; Hosea 12:10; Habakkuk 2:2; Acts 2:17; 1 Corinthians 10:6; Hebrews 9:9, 24; Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13:13, 34; Genesis 41:1-32; Daniel 2:7 and 8; Acts 10:9-16.LIFIN 36.2

    “7. Visions are always mentioned as such. 2 Corinthians 12:1.LIFIN 36.3

    “8. Figures always have a figurative meaning, and are used much in prophecy to represent future things, times and events - such as mountains, meaning governments, Daniel 2:35, 44; beasts, meaning kingdoms, Daniel 7:8, 17; waters, meaning people, Revelation 17:1, 15; day meaning year, etc. Ezekiel 4:6.LIFIN 36.4

    “9. Parables are used as comparisons, to illustrate subjects, and must be explained in the same way as figures, by the subject and Bible. Mark 4:13.LIFIN 36.5

    “10. Figures sometimes have two or more different significations, as day is used in a figurative sense to represent three different periods of time, namely: first, indefinite, Ecclesiastes 7:14; and second, definite, a day for a year, Ezekiel 4:6; and third, a day for a thousand years, 2 Peter 3:8.LIFIN 36.6

    “The right construction will harmonize with the Bible, and make good sense; other constructions will not.LIFIN 37.1

    “11. If a word makes good sense as it stands, and does no violence to the simple laws of nature, it is to be understood literally; if not, figuratively. Revelation 12:1, 2; 17:3-7.LIFIN 37.2

    “12. To learn the meaning of a figure, trace the word through your Bible, and when you find it explained, substitute the explanation for the word used; and if it make good sense, you need not look further; if not, look again.LIFIN 37.3

    “13. To know whether we have the true historical event for the fulfillment of prophecy: If you find every word of the prophecy (after the figures are understood) is literally fulfilled, then you may know that your history is the true event; but if one word lacks a fulfillment, then you must look for another event, or wait its future development; for God takes care that history and prophecy shall agree, so that the true believing children of God may never be ashamed. Psalm 22:5; Isaiah 45:17-19; 1 Peter 2:6; Revelation 17:17; Acts 3:18.LIFIN 37.4

    “14. The most important rule of all is, that you must have faith. It must be a faith that requires a sacrifice, and, if tried, would give up the dearest object on earth, the world and all its desires - character, living, occupation, friends, home, comforts, and wordly honors. If any of these should hinder our believing any part of God’s word, it would show our faith to be vain. Nor can we ever believe so long as one of these motives lies lurking in our hearts. We must believe that God will never forfeit his word; and we can have confidence that He who takes notice of the sparrow’s fall, and numbers the hairs of our head, will guard the translation. of his own word, and throw a barrier around it, and prevent those who sincerely trust in God, and put implicit confidence in his word, from erring far from the truth.LIFIN 37.5

    “While thus studying the Scriptures,” continuing the words of his own narrative, “I became satisfied if the prophecies which have fulfilled in the past are any criterion by which to judge of the manner of the fulfillment of those which are future, that the popular views of the spiritual reign of Christ - a temporal millennium before the end of the world, and the Jews’ return - are not sustained by the word of God; for I found that all the scriptures on which those favorite theories are based, are as clearly expressed as are those that were literally fulfilled at the first advent, or at any other period in the past. I found it plainly taught in the Scriptures that Jesus Christ will again descend to this earth, coming in the clouds of heaven, in all the glory of his Father.LIFIN 38.1

    “I need not speak of the joy that filled my heart in view of the delightful prospect, nor of the ardent longings of my soul for a participation in the joys of the redeemed. The Bible was now to me a new book. It was indeed a feast of reason; all that was dark, mystical or obscure, to me, in its teachings, had been dissipated from my mind before the clear light that now dawned from its sacred pages; and oh, how bright and glorious the truth appeared! All the contradictions and inconsistencies I had before found in the word were gone; and, although there were many portions of which I was not satisfied I had a full understanding, yet so much light had emanated from it to the illumination of my before darkened mind, that I felt a delight in studying the Scriptures which I had not before supposed could be derived from its teachings. I commenced their study with no expectation of finding the time of the Saviour’s coming, and I could at first hardly believe the result to which I had arrived; but the evidence struck me with such force that I could not resist my convictions. I became nearly settled in my conclusions, and began to wait, and watch, and pray, for my Saviour’s coming.”LIFIN 38.2

    “From the time that Mr. Miller became established in his religious faith, till he commenced his public labors - a period of twelve or fourteen years - there were few prominent incidents in his life to distinguish him from other men. He was a good citizen, a kind neighbor, an affectionate husband and parent, and a devoted Christian; good to the poor, and benevolent, as objects of charity were presented; in the Sunday school was teacher and superintendent; in the church he performed important service as reader and exhorter, and, in the support of religious worship, no other member, perhaps, did as much as he. He was very exemplary in his life and conversation, endeavored at all times to perform the duties, whether public or private, which devolved on him, and whatever he did was done cheerfully, as for the glory of God. His leisure hours were devoted to reading and meditation; he kept himself well informed respecting the current events of the time; occasionally communicated his thoughts through the press, and often for his own private amusement, or for the entertainment of friends, indulged in various poetical effusions, which, for unstudied productions, are possessed of some merit; but his principal enjoyment was derived from the study of the Bible.”LIFIN 39.1

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