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Sketches of the Christian Life and Public Labors of William Miller - Contents
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    To the dear Second Advent brethren, scattered abroad: despised, but not forsaken; poor, yet making many rich; discarded by the proud Pharisees of our day, yet not discouraged; cruelly treated for the doctrine you love, and yet holding firmly to your hope of salvation at the door.SLWM 320.2

    “‘We the undersigned, partakers of the same hope, children of the same faith, looking for the same deliverance, loving the same Lord, feeding on the same word, enjoying the same Spirit, suffering the same trials, subjected to like disappointments, and having the same care and fellowship for your welfare and furtherance in the truth, as ye have one for another and for us, address you by this our epistle, in the way of consolation and advice; knowing that while we may comfort and console your hearts, we are establishing and strengthening our own. For if through many disappointments, temptations and trials, you stand fast in the faith once delivered to the saints, we rejoice in your steadfastness, are comforted together with you, and are strengthened even in the inner and the outer man.SLWM 320.3

    “‘We thank God always on your behalf, when we her, as we already have heard, that your and our late disappointment has produced in you, and we hope in us also, a deep humiliation and close inspection of our hearts; and although we are humbled, and in some measure pained in our hearts to see and hear the scoffs and jeers of a wicked and perverse generation, yet we are in no-wise terrified or cast down by the adversaries of our faith. We pray you, then, brethren, to “let patience have its perfect work,” knowing “that patience worketh experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed.” No, we are not ashamed, for we all know why we hope. You can and will, all of you, from the least of you to the greatest, old or young, when inquired of for the reason of your hope, open your Bibles and with meekness and fear show the inquirer why you hope in the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. You need not in a single instance refer the inquirer to your minister to give the reason of your faith and hope.SLWM 321.1

    “‘We bless God for you, my brethren, that you are all taught of the Lord. Your creed is the Scriptures; your spelling-book is the Bible; your grammar is the word indited by the Spirit; your geography respects the promised inheritance of the holy land; your astronomy respects the bright starry crown of righteousness; your philosophy is the wisdom which cometh down from God; your bond of union is the love and fellowship of the saints; your teacher is the Holy Ghost; and your professor, the Lord Jesus Christ; your recitation room is your closet; your recitations are heard in your prayers, and your songs fill up your vacations. We speak not of rewards, diplomas, and degrees, for these are reserved in Heaven for us, when these dusty walls of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, and we are called home into the new heavens and new earth, to a full fruition of that hope of which we are not ashamed. Ashamed of this hope? No. Ashamed of looking for this hope? No. Ashamed of expecting Jesus? Why, what a question!! When we look do we not expect? The ministers of our formal churches, some of them, say “they look, but do not expect.” Yet, brethren, we have expected time and again and have been disappointed, but are not ashamed.SLWM 321.2

    “‘We would not yield a hair’s breadth of our expectations for all the honors of Caesar’s household, with all the popular applause of a worldly church. We exhort you, then, by all the love and fellowship of the saints, to hold fast to this hope. It is warranted by every promise of the word of God. It is secured to you by the two immutable things, the council and oath of God, in which it is impossible for God to lie. It is ratified and sealed by the death, blood, resurrection and life of Jesus Christ. You have already had a fortaste of the bliss of this hope, in the seventh month, when every moment you looked for the heavens to open and reveal unto your anxious gaze the King of glory. Yes, then your whole soul was ravished with a holy joy, when you expected every moment to hear the shout of the heavenly host descending from the Father’s glory, to welcome you, a weary pilgrim, to your blessed abode of eternal rest. In that eventful period where was the world with all its vain allurements and empty show? It was gone.SLWM 322.1

    “‘If our Saviour then had come as we expected, no tears would have fallen for a receding world, nor sighs have heaved our breasts for a dissolving earth, with all its pomp, its pleasures, or its praises. All this was then no more to us than is a bubble in Niagara’s cataract. God’s goodness gave us then a slight repast, like Elijah’s meat, that lasted forty days. And how can you, or we, give up a hope so full of joy, of holy love and heavenly anticipation, as is this? The world may frown and scoff; the unbelieving church may laugh and sneer and try to call us back. They may and will report their slanderous tales to complete our trials, vainly supposing they can wound our pride, and by this means take away our hope, and make us, like themselves, a whited sepulcher. In all our trials those who have obtained this blessed hope by the study of the Scriptures have remained steadfast and immovable among the scoffs and jeers with which we have been assailed.SLWM 323.1

    “‘This, to us, is a source of great joy; and it shows conclusively where our faith is founded and our hope predicated. It is upon the sure word of prophecy, and no other evidence, that we rely. This is our main support, as even our opposers will, and do, admit; or why do they, in their attacks upon us, first try to show that prophecy is not to be understood, or if it is, that it is couched in such mystical and ambiguous language, that the ignorant and unlearned (as they are pleased to call us poor Bible students, in their mighty elemency) cannot comprehend its true import? Or why do they ridicule us as a set of fanatical, unlearned heretics, in trying to understand the sure word of prophecy, without first coming to our bishops, or themselves, to learn what the original text may mean? Why do they use these and similar arguments in order to overthrow us if they are not sensible of the fact that the prophecies of God’s word are our main pillar? Why do they, without any discrimination, try to make our sure word of prophecy so dark, mysterious, and incomprehensible, and in many instances acknowledge their own ignorance, and then call us heretics because we search and believe what to us looks clear, consistent, and harmonious with every part of God’s holy word? But, say they, “time has proved you in an error; unerring time has favored us, and proved what you say we failed to do.”SLWM 323.2

    “‘True, gentleman, time has failed us in one or two instances, yet you cannot show why? And as you do not show any reason for the failure, permit us to give ours before we take your ground and deny that prophecy can be understood. Every man of common intellect and information knows that we are dependent in some things on what we call human chronology for the conclusion of our premises as it respects time. Again, they well know that our most learned and studious writers and historians disagree in the chronology of the events from which we date, some four or five years. It is true that we who have been most efficient in presenting this subject before the public, have chosen and we think wisely too, the earliest possible time at which these momentous things might be expected to transpire, believing that it would be infinitely better for the souls of our fellow-beings to come short of the time, rather than to pass over. And indeed, we do not see any good reason now why we should not have done in this matter as we have; for if we had looked only to the very last point of disputed time, and the accomplishment had come before that, or even at that time, how could there have been a tarrying time as the Bible predicts?SLWM 324.1

    “‘How could there have been a time for the trial of our faith and patience, and the purifying and sanctifying of the whole house of the true Israel? If we had not anticipated the time a little, with what propriety could the wicked scoffer and those who professedly belong to the house of Israel say, “The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth”? and what has God said we shall answer this rebellious house of Israel with? With another specified time? No. How then shall we ever silence their caviling and scoffing, if we can fix no future time? We answer, That is not our work to do. God has promised to do that work. Hark! and hear what the Lord saith. “I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.” God will perform his engagements in his own time and manner. We have only to believe and be patient.SLWM 325.1

    “‘But we are taunted with, “Oh! you have prolonged your vision again and again; and you have failed every time; now don’t you give it up and come back to us? You are not honest if you will not.” When they thus call us dishonest, have we nothing we can say? If we altogether hold our peace, they will be wise in their own conceits, and go and report that they have shut up our mouths so that we could not say a word for ourselves; and thus the cause would be injured. But never fear, brethren; God has told you what to say; do as he bids you, and he will take care of the consequences. God says, “But say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.” See Ezekiel 12:21-25. So we see God has been in this thing; he well knew into what a straightened place we should be brought; he knew what the rebellious house of Israel would say, and he has given us the best weapon of defense.SLWM 325.2

    “‘The word of God has a sufficiency of all armor, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work. We therefore hope that none of us will try to change the chronology of the visions; for they must all fail in all our eyes; and if any vision should be so construed as to fix on another definite time in the future, we cannot conceive how the Scripture would be fulfilled, that “every vision faileth.” Let us then be satisfied in patiently waiting for God’s time. But let us be careful that we do not lay off our armor, cease our watching, go to sleep at our post, or be caught in a snare, when the Son of man shall come. It is better to be ready before the time, and wait a while, than not to be ready when the time shall come, and be lost. We exhort you then with the Lord’s advice, “be like men waiting for their Lord, that when he cometh they may open to him immediately.”SLWM 326.1

    “‘Again, we exhort you, brethren, that every one may edify, and be edified, that ye forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as often as your situation and circumstances shall permit; that we may comfort and console each other in our trials, be established ourselves in the present truth, and our minds be stirred up to remember that our Judge is now standing at the door. How can we who have taken so great delight in the study of the blessed Bible, again return to the beggarly elements of vain philosophy and tradition of the fathers? We cannot sit under preaching where the Bible is discarded from the pulpit, except as a text-book, and the plainest passages of Scripture are mysticised and explained away, our hope in the resurrection of the body taken from us, and the kingdom of Heaven preached as in this state of division, persecution and death, and the promise of being caught up in the air, ridiculed by the oft-repeated slang of ascension robes. These things we cannot fellowship; we will not hear them repeated. We therefore advise you, dear brethren, to hold meetings for prayer, reading of the Scriptures, exhortation and singing, if you may not be able to obtain a lecturer or preacher. And may the Spirit of God bless you with his presence, and preserve you blameless unto his coming.SLWM 326.2

    “‘Again we exhort you, brethren, to be faithful in business. Let every one labor with his hands, in the several callings in which God has placed us, that none of us may be a burden to any, and that we may all of us have wherewith to communicate and do good, for it is more blessed to give than to receive; and that we may none of us give any occasion to our enemies to reproach us with being busybodies in other men’s matters, or as not providing for our own house. In thus doing we may put to silence the reproaches of those who are seeking every occasion to destroy the doctrine that we rejoice to believe. We may, while we are engaged in our several occupations, be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. If we could not, it would be evidence that we were not engaged in a proper calling; or, that our hearts were not right with God. Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, labored with his hands, that he might not be chargeable to the saints; and what was duty then, will be duty as long as the gospel remains to be preached. And we thank God we have never preached any other doctrine, you yourselves being our judges.SLWM 327.1

    “‘We also beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye be not led about by every spirit; but try the spirits. For every spirit is not of God; and it is now evident that there are many spirits in the earth, - even the three unclean spirits which are working miracles and deceiving not only kings, but the whole earth. It therefore becomes us to be very cautious by what spirit we are led. The spirit of error will lead us from the truth; and the Spirit of God will lead us into truth. But, say you, a man may be in error, and think he has the truth. What then? We answer, The spirit and word agree. If a man judges himself by the word of God, and finds a perfect harmony through the whole word, then we must believe we have the truth; but if he finds the spirit by which he is led does not harmonize with the whole tenor of God’s law, or book, then let us walk carefully, lest we be caught in the snare of the devil and fall from our own steadfastness; and so be deceived, and lose the crown for which we are running. Let us follow the teachings of the apostle Paul in Titus 2:12, “That denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Or, as Peter tells us in his second epistle, chap. 3:11, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” In both cases the context teaches us to look for the coming of the day of God; or, which is the same thing, “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”SLWM 328.1

    “‘There are a few individuals among us who are teaching that Christ has come, and that we were not mistaken in the time, but only in the manner of his coming. Let us be careful lest we cease from our watchfulness and so that day come upon us unawares. Remember that the same Jesus will come in like manner as they saw him ascend; and every eye shall see him, and we shall see him as he is, and be like him, when that day shall come for which we look; and then “the heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements melt with fervent heat.” If the one can be spiritualized away, all the rest must of course be spiritualized in like manner; and it would make the whole description of the Judgment but a jumble of nonsense. We hope but few will be carried away by such vain trifling with the Bible.SLWM 329.1

    “‘If God does not mean what he says, to whom shall we go for instruction? Who has been his counselor? and who has set in the council chamber of the Almighty? Man is but grass, and the flower thereof fadeth. He is but of yesterday, and his life but a breath. “Cursed is the man who trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” Hold on then, brethren, to the sure word of Prophecy, for you will reap soon the fruits of your faith, if you faint not.’SLWM 329.2

    “January 29, 1845, by the action of an ecclesiastical council, Mr. Miller and the majority of the church in Low Hampton were virtually separated from the Baptist denomination. About this time Mr. Miller wrote the following, which appeared in the Advent Herald for Feb. 12, 1845:-SLWM 330.1

    “‘DEAR BRO. BLISS: I have received a number of letters from almost every part of the country, almost all of them propounding the same questions, viz., What I thought of the experience we had in what was denominated the seventh month? And also, What was my opinion, concerning the closing of the door of mercy, or probation for sinners? To save a multiplicity of letters, I thought best to answer these queries through the Herald, if you should think proper.SLWM 330.2

    “‘1. The experience of the seventh month. The sympathetic and simultaneous movement on the minds of almost all the Second Advent brethren, and on many others preceding the tenth, the rapidity with which that sentiment was received, the general credence that was given to it, by nearly all of those who were looking for immediate redemption, the humbling effect it produced on the hearts and conduct of those who believed, - in the abandonment of all worldly objects, the sacrifice of earthly goods, and in many cases the total dedication of soul and body to God, - the deep and anxious feelings of heart which many of us felt, all marked its character. Then we expected every moment the heavens would open and reveal to us the dear Saviour with all his shining hosts, and we should see the graves open and the loved forms of our relations rising from their dusty beds in immortal bloom and eternal life; and we ourselves pass the sudden change from mortality to immortality, from time to eternity. Then, as we verily thought, we had bid adieu to this world of sin, of misery and woe, and expected to be ushered into the new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Oh, blissful day! How solemn, yet how interesting. I hope to see another day like this, and literally realize what I then expected. It was a day long to be remembered, and I cannot account for it on any other principle, than to suppose God’s benevolent hand and wisdom was in the movement........SLWM 330.3

    “‘But you ask why I do not show whether the probation of sinners is ended. 1From this communication, the reader will be able to gather much relative to the trials of the time when it was written. Mr. Miller had not the true light upon the sanctuary question, consequently held that the 2300 and 1335 days reached to the second coming of Christ. But at the same time, his convictions were so very strong that the hand of God had been in the distinct movements of 1843 and 1844, that leading Adventists could not influence him to reject the work of God in his past deep experience. This communication called out a reply nearly twice its length from the editors of the Herald. He respected and loved these his fellow-laborers; and any statement that he was not influenced by them to a greater or less extent would be unreasonable. And although at a later period he did enter the lecturing field, he held firmly, to the day of his death, that he was fully justified in preaching the time. J.W. I answer, It is a close point, and if handled at all, it ought to be done very wisely and with a great deal of humility. I would not grieve, if possible to avoid it, one of Christ’s little ones. There is much sensitiveness on this point among our good brethren, therefore I would much rather keep my views in my own breast, if I could, and do right, than run the risk of hurting the oil and the wine. You will, therefore, permit me to give my views by the Scripture; and first, Daniel 12:10, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” It will be readily seen by this text, that before the end, the people of God must be “purified, made white, and tried. ” Now if probation goes on until the last moment of time, how can those who are regenerated in this last moment have their faith and patience tried?SLWM 331.1

    “‘Again, Revelation 7:13, 14, “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” How can it be said, that those made white “came out of great tribulation,” if in the next moment after they experience the new birth, they are beyond all tribulation and trial? Also in the first passage, the wicked are to do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand. Yet if one of these wicked is converted after the time specified, then the word none could not be true in fact. This must be in time, it cannot mean in eternity.SLWM 332.1

    “‘Zechariah 13:9, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them; I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” Here we learn that they are tried in this state, where they will need to pray.SLWM 332.2

    “‘Malachi 3:18, “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” When shall that test be given, which shall make us discern between the righteous and the wicked? The answer is plain, before the day cometh that shall burn as an oven. For in that day no doubt could rest on any mind, who is who, or what is the character each individual would appear in.SLWM 333.1

    “‘Revelation 22:11, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” This text is perfectly plain and needs no comment. The 12th verse, “And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be,” shows that a little while before Christ comes, every character will be determined. “He,” that is, any one, or every one who is unjust or filthy, let him be so still; and so on the other hand, he that is righteous or holy, let them be so still. “And behold,” connects the sentence before and what follows after, and is a caution for us to take particular notice of the reason why they are in this peculiar situation or fixed state, as though the idle servants could have no more time to mind their day’s work, which God had given them in their day of probation to perform.SLWM 333.2

    “‘The eleventh hour was passed, an no chance for them to enter the master’s vineyard now, in this last hour. While on the other hand, the good servant might know that the good master was at the door, and he would quickly pay them their wages, and relieve them from their toils. See Matthew 20:1-16.SLWM 333.3

    “‘Then this agrees with St. Paul, Hebrews 10:36, 37, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” After we have done our work, we have need of patience to wait for the Master, “for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” I did believe, and must honestly confess I do now, that I have done my work in warning sinners, and that in the seventh month. I know my feelings are no rule for others; therefore, let every one who feels he has a duty to do for sinners, let him do it. I will have no hard feelings. But I must be honest; when I am inquired of, I must state my own conviction honestly. I have done it, and given my reasons from the word of God. And now let me say, brethren, we will have no contention on this point, for we be brethren. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind, and so let them speak or preach, as God and their own consciences may dictate.SLWM 334.1

    “‘I have a strong expectation that Christ will come before the Jewish year will expire; but let us all see to it that we are ready every day, so that when he comes we shall not be ashamed before him. This letter must suffice for all those friends who have requested my views on the subject. My love to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ and pray for his kingdom.SLWM 334.2

    “‘WM. MILLER.’

    “The editors of the Advent Herald replied to Mr. Miller’s arguments, and contended that probation only terminated with the personal coming of Christ. His letter, as published, gave little satisfaction to either party. Both claimed him. To determine his actual position, Prof. N.N. Whiting wrote him, and Mr. Miller replied as follows:- “LOW HAMPTON, MARCH 10, 1845.SLWM 335.1

    “‘MY DEAR BROTHER:- Your favor of the 5th was gladly received, and I take this early opportunity to answer your inquiries as far as my memory or knowledge will admit.SLWM 335.2

    “‘As it respects your first question, whether, in my judgment, “the time of probation came to an end on the 22nd of October or not,” I answer, My mind was not definite on that day. But the experience and scenes of that month were astounding to me, and my mind was brought to a conclusion that God, by his invisible angels, was separating the two classes of men, the chaff from the wheat. But to say my judgment was fully convinced that it was closed, I must say, No. I know it is true that, in answer to a score of letters, making the same inquiries as yourself, in my letter, published in the Herald, of February 12, I gave several texts, which, to me, were evidence that, before Christ came, there would be a time when men would seek, knock, and cry, and it would not be opened; for, how sinners could or would knock in the eternal state, I have no means of knowing. The editors of the Herald, knowing more about the controversy which had begun in the ranks of the Adventists than I did or could, in order to prevent the mischief or harm which they supposed my letter might do, attached their notes, which gave the brethren on the other side of the question more reason to suppose I had taken the ground that the door was shut in the seventh month.........................SLWM 335.3

    “‘With our present light, it would be impossible for any man to prove that the door is shut; it can only be a conjecture, founded upon circumstances in the case. There are two cases which I will mention: one would be the cessation of the operation of the Spirit upon the hearts of the truly pious in laboring and praying for sinners; and the other must be the fearful looking for the fiery indignation, which, I think, according to the Scripture, must seize upon the hearts of those who have willfully rejected Christ. The hypocrite is given over to believe a lie, considering himself safe in his profession; and, consequently, the despair of some, and the perfect recklessness of others, and the restraint of the Holy Spirit being withdrawn from the minds of the impenitent, would immediately produce a time of trouble such as Daniel 12:1 speaks of: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” These would at least be evidences to my suspicion, if not to my full assurance. It was a fact, for a few days in the seventh month in the circle of my acquaintance, that the reports I heard from every quarter led me to have strong suspicion that we had approached the time which I cannot but believe we must experience before the end. I think at present the evidence is strong against the idea of the door being shut; but those brethren who have adopted the suspicion at least ought to be treated with a great deal of kindness. I do not like much I have seen published and spoken on both sides of the question. It is one of that kind of questions which is calculated to divide warm friends: for it cannot be settled satisfactorily but by time and experience.SLWM 336.1

    “‘The arguments, in my humble opinion on both sides, want a great quantity of brotherly love to make them digest easily. I, then, beg and pray, my brethren, that we may let contention alone before it is meddled with. 1The leading object in giving matter of this kind from the pen of Mr. Miller is to let the Christian character and tender spirit of the man appear, whom God had raised up to do a great work. He had been a brave soldier in the service of his country, and had fearlessly stood in defense of unpopular truth, and had dared to meet opposition, scoffs, and even scandal, from the popular churches. But now, under the most trying circumstances, we see the aged Christian warrior, clothed with humility as with a garment, and his spirit all softened and sweetened by divine grace, tenderly entreating his brethren to be patient, gentle, true, and kind. J.W. And I now plead with those who have supposed the door to be shut to yield the point to our brethren of the opposite view; for it is evident at present that all the evidence is against its being now shut, if we can believe the reports of our brethren from different parts; and surely my soul will not permit me to doubt their veracity who have been with us as pioneers in the work of calling up the world to this important point of our faith, the second advent of Jesus. Let us be silent at least for two months, if Christ does not come before, and by that time I think we shall obtain more light; and if Christ does come, we shall not wish to be found contending with brethren of a like precious faith on a subject dependent wholly on circumstances in which we may be so likely to err. I do hope my advice will be heeded in this thing, and that we will be patient, and not grieve each other; for the Judge is at the door.....SLWM 337.1


    Writing on the 7th of April, he referred to these things as follows:-” ‘LOW HAMPTON, APRIL 7, 1845.SLWM 338.1

    “‘MY DEAR BRO. HIMES: I should utterly despair of the second advent cause were it not evident, by its past and present history, that God is for us. You know, my dear brother, there was a time when you and I, with a few choice brethren, stood alone.... We acknowledged our weakness, and claimed no superiority over our fellows. We provoked no one to combat, and made no attack on the prevailing or popular institutions of the day; yet they began to be alarmed. Why? Because, as the people began to hear the foolish reports of our enemies, they became more and more anxious to know what these things meant....SLWM 338.2

    “‘Among the many pious who took sides with us were some of those uneasy, ever-changing, unstable, insubordinate, and self-exalted spirits, who stood ready to jump on and ride into notice and power the moment they saw how the case would go. This kind of spirits have always seized the reins of government, are never satisfied with their present position, and will change with every new moon. There are many of this class among us, if not of us, at the present time, who are trying to lead away followers after them.SLWM 338.3

    “‘This is a peculiar time. The greatest variety of fanciful interpretations of Scripture are now being presented by new luminaries, reflecting their rays of light and heat in every direction. Some of these are wandering stars, and some emit only twilight. I am sick of this everlasting changing; but, my dear brother, we must learn to have patience. If Christ comes this spring, we shall not need it long; and if he comes not, we shall need much more. I am prepared for the worst, and hope for the best. God will not forsake us, unless we forsake him....SLWM 339.1

    “‘It is a small thing to be judged of man’s judgment, says the apostle; so that you need not fear man. I have often been consigned to perdition, and yet I have a blessed hope. I often think, when I hear a brother judging and condemning another, what an excellent pope he would make. Therefore, fear them not; for if we judge and condemn our brother, we are making ourselves “judges of the law, rather than doers of the law.” ....SLWM 339.2

    WM. MILLER.’

    We find in The Signs of the Times, March 12, 1845, a statement from Mr. Miller relative to himself and the Bible, taken from The Investigator, an infidel paper published in Boston.SLWM 339.3


    “‘Sir, - Your kind offer to publish all the letters from those who have been converted from infidelity to Millerism, prompts me to give you a short account of my own conversion, which may enable you the better to judge what Millerism is.SLWM 339.5

    “‘When I was of age, I settled in a village where all the heads of the families were deists, as they were then called, and they put into my hands all the deistical writings of that age. I soon became one of them, and the consequence was, I denied the Bible being of divine origin, calling it a “book of priestcraft,” and argued that the professors of it themselves must, if honest, concede that it could not be from God; because it professed to be a revelation from God, and yet more than half was a mystery which could not be understood. And some went as far as to say we ought not to try to understand it. This, to my mind, was a plain and palpable contradiction. I therefore rejected the Bible, when I ought to have rejected the expounders of it. Thus, from 1804 to 1816, I was a firm, and, as I then thought, a consistent, opposer of the Christian faith. In 1816, by the grace of God, my eyes were opened to see the weakness and folly of my own faith, founded on nothing but the philosophy, assumptions and fancies of erring mortals. I saw a great want of evidence for a faith in these matters, more substantial and certain than anything I then had. I felt in my inmost soul that eternal consequences might hang upon my faith in these things, for anything to the contrary which I could show. I had often laughed at my Christian friends for having a “blind faith,” believing what they could not understand. I now saw that my faith was as blind as theirs, if not more so, for I could prove nothing hereafter, and of course I had no reasonable hope.SLWM 340.1

    “‘This brought me to examine for myself the evidence of the Christian’s hope. I therefore laid by my former prejudices, prepossessions, commentators, writers, pro and con, and determined in my own mind to examine the Bible for myself. And if the Bible did prove itself to be of divine origin, I would believe it, let the consequences be as they might; but if it did not, then I would reject it and be a deist still. Then I began the Bible, determined in my own mind to know whether God or man was the author. I spent the greater part of two years in reading and comparing scripture with scripture, prophecy with history, and I had not gone half through with the reading of it, before I was perfectly satisfied of its divine origin. No mortal man, or men, could have written with such harmony, wisdom and truth, without inspiration. The Bible answered all my inquiries, settled all my doubts, established my faith, and gave me hope which has been nearly or quite twenty-seven years an anchor to my soul. I have seen much of it fulfilled, since then, and I can truly say, If there is any one thing on earth which I love above all others, it is the Bible.SLWM 341.1

    “‘And now, sir, let me tell you, Millerism is to believe, try to understand, love, and proclaim to others, the good news contained in the Bible. This is all I have ever done to call down the slander of the several sects which I have received. I can say, honestly, I have never designed to proclaim or publish any sentiment, word, or doctrine, but such as I found clearly taught in that blessed inspired volume. Let God be my judge, I know I believe it. And I pray God that you, my dear sir, may become a Millerite too.SLWM 341.2

    “‘For I believe there is no religion in our world that gives such a blessed hope as the religion of the Bible. All others are dark and incomprehensible concerning a future state. “To be, or not to be,” was a question which the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome could never settle among themselves. Nor all the wisdom of our modern writers were able to settle this important point for our hope. But you will acknowledge, if the Bible is the word of inspiration, then that point is forever settled, and we have an answer to the question of immortality and eternal life.SLWM 342.1

    “‘I admire your frankness and generosity as an opponent, and believe you are not wishing to bind men to your particular views or creed; but are willing to search yourself, and to let all others search for true light, on so important a subject as I think this matter is, - the truth or falsity of what I call the blessed Bible. I have strong hope, my dear sir, that you will give this subject a thorough investigation. As it respects the statement of Br. Himes, if you will keep open your columns as fairly as you hitherto have done, you will soon be convinced it was not a very random shot. I am, sir, a lover of an honest man.SLWM 342.2

    Yours, etc., WM. MILLER.’