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    III. THE TIME OF HIS COMING

    On this part of our subject, many are willing to admit that it is near, yet are not willing to tell how near. A few are of the opinion that the year is defined in Scripture, and those who believe in the time vary only about twenty-three years. The writer of this letter, in common with a large majority of those who believe in the time, in America, has been forced by the Scriptures to fix on the year 1843. As a matter of course, nearly all the calumny of the scoffers has been thrown upon them. Those who have fixed on the year 1847 have received less abuse from the clergy, editors, and scoffers than their brethren who believe in the earlier date; while those writers who have fixed the time as late as 1866 have received little or no obloquy, or notice from these babblers and complainers. Why is this so? you may inquire: for each class of these writers try to prove one important point in the theory, that is, that the time is actually revealed in the Bible; for this must first be established before either class of these expositors could be credited a moment by a well-balanced mind. And if this objection were all these men had against the “Miller doctrine,” they would as soon complain of the believers in 1866, as of Miller and others who believe in any earlier dates. But this is not the case; it is only used as a subterfuge to parry off the force of the argument of the time itself. They know in their consciences that time is revealed, and they are not able to confute it. Therefore, what cannot be put down by fair means, must be by ridicule or persecution: for they are not willing to have it true. The professed ministers of Christ know, if it is true, they are under the most serious, solemn, and awful obligation to preach it, and warn and entreat the people to be ready for the event. But not possessing faith enough to risk their character on the word of God, or courage enough to meet the opposition this doctrine would of necessity raise; they will, as a matter of course, do all they can to keep their people ignorant, and cry out against excitements, even after they have been for years trying to excite their people to support the popular institutions of the day. No wonder then, brethren, you meet with so much opposition from this source. Yet we ought to be thankful that there are, even at this time, many of the ministers of Christ who are willing to be called fools for Christ’s sake, and have, and are examining this important subject; a great number of whom are satisfied that their former views of a temporal or spiritual millennium was but a tradition of men and have, and are preaching the kingdom of God at hand. Numbers of these are now satisfied that it is at the door, and a few of these believe in the time, 1843. Thus far, then, my dear brethren, we have reason to be thankful to God, and take courage. We ought to do all we can to get our ministers to look at this subject.MWV3 86.1

    The Editors. This class of men among us are capable of doing much good or much hurt. They are instruments to convey light, or lull the community to sleep, and communicate darkness. With these we have been less fortunate than with the priesthood. And the reason is obvious: they are more worldly, if possible, and are catering more for popular applause, and are more depraved by the fashionable and vain taste of public sentiment. Yet the same motives operate upon their minds, as upon the minds of the opposition among the clergy: a want of faith, and a lack of courage. Therefore the scurrilous paragraphs which abound in many of our religious publications, which serve to keep the world in ignorance and darkness on this important subject. I believe every newspaper paragraph, that I have seen, which is opposed to the doctrine that we advocate, has been based upon some foolish story, or vile misrepresentation of our views or conduct. And this shows plainly, to every man of sense, the weakness of their side of the question, or their ignorance of the question itself. Yet in this thing we have much reason for gratitude to God; for three years since, but two or three editors could be found in the United States that would publish anything from us, or correct any misrepresentation which they or others had made concerning our views; now, we can number more than a score of friendly or honest editors. Some are with us, heart and hand; others are willing to do us justice. Let us then take courage, brethren. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”MWV3 88.1

    There is another class of our fellow-men, whom we should do all in our power to enlighten, and to whom we should cry night and day with tears, if possible that we might be instrumental in saving them from ruin - I mean the unbelieving world. They are enemies to the coming of Christ, from a natural cause. They are enemies to God by wicked works. They love the present evil world, and have no faith in the future. They hate the light, and will not come to it, lest their deeds reprove them. They are strangers to the covenant of promise, and have no inheritance with the household of faith. They know that they are unprepared to meet God; therefore, they are opposed to the second advent. But, brethren, we have reason to rejoice, for many hundreds, if not thousands of these characters, by the preaching of the things of the kingdom, and that kingdom at hand, have been brought to repent and believe, and are now “looking for the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ.” If angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner that repenteth, surely we have reason for much joy when thousands have been converted to Christ, and that too by preaching and teaching a doctrine which our enemies ridicule and misrepresent. Go on then, brethren; your cause is the cause of God and the truth.MWV3 90.1

    Have faith, have courage, have works, and the Lord Jesus will bruise Satan under your feet shortly. I know some, who have received the light, and for a season seemed to run well, and gave evidence that they rejoiced in it, have fallen away, and given our enemies occasion to exult over us. Let us pray that such may be delivered from the snares and temptations into which they are fallen. And let us desire mercies of the God of all grace, that we may stand fast in the faith, not giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.MWV3 91.1

    But to the time. - There are some who tell us that God has nowhere revealed the time of Christ’s second coming, or of the end of the world; and by their sceptical mode of reasoning destroy the faith of some. We are told by Solomon, “A wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment: because to every purpose there is time and judgment.” Daniel says, “The wise shall understand,” that is the time of the end, and the resurrection. Peter tells us that the prophets did prophesy of the grace that should come unto us, and that they did diligently search into the time and manner; and that the spirit of Christ, which was in them, did testify beforehand “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow; unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought into you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:10-13. I consider the words of the wise man, of Daniel and Peter, of more force than all the sceptics and scoffers of our age. These three, Solomon, Daniel and Peter, have been tried and found true; while those murmurers and complainers of the opposition are walking after their own lusts; while their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage, etc. See Jude 14-21.MWV3 91.2

    That God has revealed the time, if not the hour or day, is certainly proved by these three witnesses which I have quoted. And Christ himself has told us that we may know when it is near, even at the door. But, says the scoffer, he has not told us anywhere in the New Testament when the end will come.MWV3 92.1

    Well, suppose he has not; do you not believe Moses and the prophets? It would be proof enough for me to find it in either of the Testaments.MWV3 92.2

    Time is revealed in both the Old and New Testaments, in the most plain and simple manner, in the same way that Christ’s first coming, or any other part of the gospel, was revealed.MWV3 92.3

    1st. It is revealed by types. As in the creation God was six days creating the heavens and earth, and all that are therein; so Christ will be six days creating the new heavens and new earth, and all the hosts thereof. Was that a regular time? So will the other be. “And God rested on the seventh day.” So Christ will enter into his rest, and cease from his labors, on the seventh day. God has said, “My sabbaths shall ye keep, for it is a sign,” etc. Exodus 31:13-17: “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath-day he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” See Hebrews 4:1-11.MWV3 93.1

    It is revealed again in the typical law of seven years’ bondage and of the year of release. All slaves of the Hebrews were released after seven years. See Deuteronomy 15:1, also 31:10. So must the year of release come to the people of God; after seven years they will go free. Here is time revealed; and if the time was a regular time in the type, it must be so in the anti-type. Again, time is revealed and shown in the typical jubilee, when the redemption of the people of God will be completed, and death gives up the bodies of the just; when the saints will enter into their inheritance, and possess the kingdom designed for them from the foundation of the world. This type was marked by a regular time of fifty years, and must have a fulfilment in as regular time in its anti-type; or that would be no type, and no agreement or affinity in the shadow. Who but an infidel will pretend to deny these things, as shadows or types of good things to come? See Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 10:1. But, says the objector, if these are types, and times are measured, you cannot tell when the time of the true anti-type will come. No matter; my argument is, God has revealed the time; if in the shadow, then also in the substance; for a wise man can measure a tree by the shadow. “The wise shall understand.”MWV3 94.1

    2nd. God has revealed the time by his prophets. Daniel was told when the end should be. “At the time appointed the end should be;” Daniel 8:19. The appointed time was given, Daniel 8:14: “Unto 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Again, he was expressly told when the resurrection of the just would take place, by his own time being measured; and none can dispute but the coming of Christ and the resurrection of his saints are at the same time. 1 Corinthians 15:23; Daniel 12:12, 13: “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”MWV3 95.1

    Again, Hosea prophesied when the saints should be revived, raised up and live with Christ; also, the coming of Christ, first and second time. Hosea 6:1-3: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”MWV3 95.2

    Christ also gave the Pharisees to understand, if they had been wise, how long his church should be in a state of trial and temptation, and when they would be made perfect; which all must agree is at his second coming. 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” “To-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32: “And he said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Not in his own person, but in his body the church. Also, John has given us the length of the fifth and sixth trumpets, and then tells us, “when the seventh trumpet begins to sound the mystery of God shall be finished.” Revelation 9:5, 15; 10:7. But, says the objector, all this may be true; God may have alluded to the time, in this typical and allegorical sense; but who can tell when these times will all end? I answer, the “wise shall understand.” It is enough for me to prove that God has revealed the time; for what is revealed is for us and our children. No man but a sceptic or a Jew will deny but that God has from the beginning revealed the end by types and allegories. I know that the sceptic and Jew will inquire, “Why did not God tell us what year these numbers would all end?” Christ and the prophets have told us plainly why. Mark 4:11, 12: “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Isaiah 6:9; Acts 28:26: “Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive.” So then, brethren, I believe it is given unto you to know the things of the kingdom; but to them who, by their unbelief or haughty pride, have blinded their own eyes, it is not given to understand. “For the wicked shall not understand.” You will next inquire, How shall we know when these times will all end? I answer, when you or any other man can show by scripture rule that they all harmonize and come out in one and the same year, they cannot be far from the truth. This you know, my brethren, I have attempted, at least; and I say I have done it. How far I have Scripture and facts to support my constructions, you must be the judge. One thing I will say - let my enemies or opposers show any other year in which these numbers will all centre, and have as fair a construction of Scripture as I have; then, I, for one, will acknowledge I may be mistaken, and they may be right. But if they will not do this, let them cease their murmuring and complaining, lest they be found fighting against God.MWV3 96.1

    May the God of peace be with you all, until you are made perfect in Him who will be all, and in all. WILLIAM MILLER. Low Hampton, Sept. 5, 1841.MWV3 98.1

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