Apology and Defense
by William Miller
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Corvallis, Oregon Seventh Day Adventists 757-8983
As all men are responsible to the community for the sentiments they may promulgate, the public has a right to expect from me, a candid statement in reference to my disappointment in not realizing the Advent of Christ in A. D. 1843-4, which I had confidently believed. I have therefore, considered it not presumptuous in me to lay before the Christian public a retrospective view of the whole question, the motives that actuated me, and the reasons by which I was guided.
It may not become me to speak particularly of "my manner of life from my youth," which is known to an extensive circle of neighbors and acquaintances; but I have ever endeavored to live "in all good conscience before God until this day," and to discharge conscientiously my obligations to my fellow men. I was early educated to reverence the Scriptures as a revelation from God to man; and I was more or less a reader of the Word, without being savingly affected by it. I was, however, always perplexed with what I then deemed inconsistences and contradictions in the Bible, which I was unable to harmonize; and yet I knew that if the Bible was what it purports to be, it must in some way all be harmonized.
Not having any serious doubts of its authenticity, I was exceedingly anxious to reconcile all its various parts, and, unsuccessfully, resorted to all means within my reach. I was particularly anxious to have them harmonized by the preachers of the word; and accordingly embraced every opportunity, to present for their removal, the difficulties under which I labored. But I obtained from them no satisfaction; they usually adduced the opinions of various commentators, which were as contradictory as were their own, or told me they did not understand them, and that I could not, because God had hidden their meaning under a mystical veil. This served more to perplex my mind than to shed light on the questions at issue.
In this state of mind, at the age of twenty-two, I removed from Hampton, N. Y., where I had resided from the age of four years, to Poultney, Vt. There I became acquainted with the principal men in that village, who were professedly Deists; but they were good citizens, and of a moral and serious deportment. They put into my hands the works of Voltaire, Hume, Paine, Ethan Allen, and other deistical writers, in which the difficulties that had perplexed my own mind were discussed in so plausible a manner, that I concluded the Bible was only the work of designing men; and I discarded it accordingly. I, however, believed in a Supreme Being as brought to view by the works of Nature and Providence; and believed that there was to be an hereafter, in which our happiness would be proportioned to the virtue of our lives in the present state. With these views, I was associated with others in the defence of deistical sentiments, for about twelve years.
Before the close of this period, however, I began to suspect that Deism tended to a belief of annihilation, which was always very abhorrent to my feelings. In the fall of 1812, as I was returning to Poultney from the court at Rutland, in company with Judge Stanley, I asked him his opinion respecting our condition in another state. He replied by comparing it to that of a tree which flourishes for a time, and turns again to earth; and to that of a candle which burns to nothing. I was then satisfied that Deism was inseparably connected with, and did tend to, the denial of a future existence. And I thought to myself, that rather than embrace such a view, I should prefer the heaven and hell of the Scriptures, and take my chance respecting them. Still I could not regard the Bible as inspired.
In 1813, I received a Captain's commission in the U. S. service, and continued in the army until peace was declared. While there, many occurrences served to weaken my confidence in the correctness of Deistical principles. I was led frequently to compare this country to that of the children of Israel, before whom God drove out the inhabitants of their land. It seemed to me that the Supreme Being must have watched over the interests of this country in an especial manner, and delivered us from the hands of our enemies. I was particularly impressed with this view when I was in the battle of Platsburg, when with 1500 regulars, and about 4,000 volunteers, we defeated the British, who were 15,000 strong; we being also successful at the same time in an engagement with the British fleet on the lake. At the commencement of the battle, we looked upon our own defeat as almost certain, and yet we were victorious. So surprising a result against such odds, did seem to me like the work of a mightier power than man.
At the close of the war, I removed to my present residence in Low Hampton, N. Y.; and being retired from public life, in the busy scenes of which I had been engaged for ten years, I had more leisure for reading and reflection respecting another state. I could, however, find no assurance of happiness beyond the grave; all was dim and uncertain there. One day in May, 1816, I detected myself in the act of taking the name of God in vain, a habit I had acquired in the service; and I was instantly convicted of its sinfulness. I was then led to inquire how a just Being could consistently save those who should violate the laws of justice. The works of Nature or of Providence, could give no answer to this question; and I was almost led to despair. In this state of mind, I continued for some months, when suddenly the character of a Savior 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 Savior, or even of a future state. I felt that to believe in such a Savior without evidence, would be visionary in the extreme. I saw that the Bible did bring to view just such a Savior 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.
Soon after this, in the fall of 1816, I was conversing with a friend respecting my hope of a glorious eternity through the merits and intercessions of the Savior, and he asked me how I knew there was a Savior? I replied that He was revealed in the Bible. He then asked me how I knew the Bible was true? and advanced my former deistical arguments on the inconsistences, the contradictions, and the mysticisms in which I had claimed it was shrouded. I replied that if the Bible was the word of God, every thing contained therein might be understood, and all its parts be made to harmonize; and I said to him that if he would give me time, I would harmonize all these apparent contradictions, to my own satisfaction, or I would be a Deist still.
I then devoted myself to prayer and to the reading of the word. I determined to lay aside all my prepossessions, to thoroughly compare Scripture with Scripture, and to pursue its study in a regular and 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 mysticism or contradictions. Whenever I found any thing obscure, my practice was to compare it with 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, &c. 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."
While thus studying the Scriptures, I became satisfied, if the prophecies which have been fulfilled in the past are any criterion by which to judge of the manner of the fulfilment 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: that at his coming the kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven will be given to Him and the saints of the Most High, who will possess it for ever, even for ever and ever: that as the old world perished by the deluge, so the earth that now is, is reserved unto fire, to be melted with fervent heat at Christ's coming, after which, according to the promise, it is to become the new earth wherein the righteous will for ever dwell: that at his coming the bodies of all the righteous dead will be raised, and all the righteous living be changed from a corruptible to an incorruptible, from a mortal to an immortal state, that they will all be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, and will reign with him for ever in the regenerated earth: that the controversy of Zion will then be finished, her children be delivered from bondage, and from the power of the tempter, and the saints be all presented to God blameless, without spot or wrinkle in love: of the wicked will then all be destroyed, and their spirits be reserved in prison until their resurrection and damnation: and that when the earth is thus regenerated, the righteous raised, and the wicked destroyed, the kingdom of God will have come, when his will will be done on earth as it is done in heaven, that the meek will inherit it, and the kingdom become the saints. I found that the only millennium taught in the word of God is the thousand years which are to intervene between the first resurrection and that of the rest of the dead, as inculcated in the xx. of Revelation; and that it must necessarily follow the personal coming of Christ and the regeneration of the earth: that till Christ's coming and the end of the world, the righteous and wicked are to continue together on the earth, and that the horn of Papacy is to war against the saints until his appearing and kingdom, when it will be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming; so that there can be no conversion of the world before the advent: and that as the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, is located by Peter after the conflagration, and is declared by him to be the same for which we look, according to the promise of Isa.lxv.17, and is the same that John saw in vision after the passing away of the former heavens and earth; it must necessarily follow that the various portions of Scripture that refer to the millennial state, must have their fulfilment after the resurrection of all the saints that sleep in Jesus. are Christ's, - the putting on of Christ constituting them Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
I was then satisfied, as I saw conclusive evidence to prove the advent personal and pre-millennial, that all the events for which the church look to be fulfilled before the advent, must be subsequent to it; and that unless there were other unfulfilled prophecies, the advent of the Lord, instead of being looked for only in the distant future, might be a continually expected event. In examining the prophecies on that point, I found that only four universal monarchies are any where predicted in the Bible to precede the setting up of God's everlasting kingdom; that three of those had passed away, - Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Grecia, - and that the fourth, Rome, had already passed into its last state, the state in which it is to be when the stone cut out of the mountain without hands shall smite the image on the feet, and break to pieces all the kingdoms of this world. I was unable to find any prediction of events which presented any clear evidence of their fulfilment before the scenes that usher in the advent. And finding all the signs of the times and the present condition of the world, to compare harmoniously with the prophetic descriptions of the last days, I was compelled to believe that this world had about reached the limits of the period alloted for its continuance. As I regarded the evidence, I could arrive at no other conclusion.
Another kind of evidence that vitally affected my mind, was the chronology of the Scriptures. I found, on pursuing the study of the Bible, various chronological periods extending, according to my understanding of them, to the coming of the Savior. I found that predicted events which had been fulfilled in the past, often occurred within a given time. The one hundred and twenty years to the flood, Gen.vi.3; the seven days that were to precede it, with forty days of predicted rain, Gen.vii.4; the four hundred years of the sojourn of Abraham's seed, Gen.xv.13; the three days of the butler's and baker's dreams, Gen.xl.12-20; the seven years of Pharaoh's, Gen.xli.28-54; the forty years in the wilderness, Num.xiv.34; the three and a half years of famine, 1Kings xvii.1; the sixty-five years to the breaking of Ephraim, - Isa.vii.8; the seventy years captivity, Jer.xxv.11; Nebuchadnezzar's seven times, Dan.iv.13-16; and the seven weeks, three score and two weeks, and the one week, making seventy weeks determined upon the Jews, Dan.ix.24-27; the events limited by these times, were all once only a matter of prophecy, and were fulfilled in accordance with the predictions.
When, therefore, I found the 2300 prophetic days which were to mark the length of the vision from the Persian to the end of the fourth kingdom, the seven times continuance of the dispersion of God's people, and the 1335 prophetic days to the standing of Daniel in his lot, all evidently extending to the advent, with other prophetical periods, I could but regard them as "the times before appointed," which God had revealed "unto his servants the prophets." As I was fully convinced that "all Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable," that it came not at any time by the will of man, but was written as holy men were moved by the Holy Ghost, and was written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope, I could but regard the chronological portions of the Bible as being as much a portion of the word of God, and as much entitled to our serious consideration, as any other portion of the Scriptures.
I therefore felt, that in endeavoring to comprehend what God had in his mercy seen fit to reveal to us, I had no right to pass over the prophetic periods.
I saw that as the events predicted to be fulfilled in prophetic days had been extended over about as many literal years; as God in Num.xiv.34, and Ezek.iv.4-6, had appointed each day for a year; as the seventy weeks to the Messiah were fulfilled in 490 years, and the 1260 prophetic days of the Papal supremacy in 1260 years; and as these prophetical days extending to the advent were given in connection with symbolical prophecy, I could only regard the time as symbolical, and as standing each day for a year, in accordance with the opinions of all the standard Protestant commentators. If, then, we could obtain any clue to the time of their commencement, I conceived we should be guided to the probably time of their termination; and as God would not bestow upon us an useless revelation, I regarded them as conducting us to the time when we might confidently look for the coming of the Chiefest of ten thousand - One altogether lovely.
From a farther study of the Scriptures, I concluded that the seven times of Gentile supremacy must commence when the Jews ceased to be an independent nation at the captivity of Manasseh, which the best chronologers assigned to B. C. 677; that the 2300 days commenced with the seventy weeks, which the best chronologers dated from B. C. 457; and that the 1335 days commencing with the taking away of the daily, and the setting up of the abomination that maketh desolate, Dan.xii.11, were to be dated from the setting up of the Papal supremacy, after the taking away of Pagan abominations, and which, according to the best historians I could consult, should be dated from about A. D. 508. Reckoning all these prophetic periods from the several dates assigned by the best chronologers for the events from which they should evidently be reckoned, they all would terminate together, about A. D. 1843. I was thus brought, in 1818, at the close of my two years study of the Scriptures, to the solemn conclusion, that in about twenty-five years from that time all the affairs of our present state would be wound up; that all its pride & power, pomp and vanity, wickedness and oppression would come to an end; and that in the place of the kingdoms of this world, the peaceful and long desired kingdom of the Messiah would be established under the whole heaven: that in about twenty-five years the glory of the Lord would be revealed, and all flesh see it together, the desert bud and blossom as the rose, the fir-tree come up instead of the thorn, and instead of the briar the myrtle-tree, the curse be removed from off the earth, death be destroyed, reward be given to the servants of God - the prophets and saints and them who fear his name, and those be destroyed that destroy the earth.
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 O how bright and glorious the truth appeared. All the contradictions and inconsistences 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 Savior'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 Savior's coming.
With the solemn conviction that such momentous events were predicted in the Scriptures to be fulfilled in so short a space of time, the question came home to me with mighty power regarding my duty to the world in view of the evidence that had affected my own mind. If the end was so near, it was important that the world should know it. I supposed that it would call forth the opposition of the ungodly; but it never came into my mind that any Christian would oppose it. I supposed that all such would be so rejoiced in view of the glorious prospect, that it would only be necessary to present it, for them to receive it. My great fear was, that in their joy at the hope of a glorious inheritance so soon to be revealed, they would receive the doctrine without sufficiently examining the Scriptures in demonstration of its truth. I therefore feared to present it, lest by some possibility I should be in error, and be the means of misleading any.
Various difficulties and objections would arise in my mind, from time to time; certain texts would occur to me, which seemed to weigh against my conclusions; and I would not present a view to others, while any difficulty appeared to militate against it. I therefore continued the study of the Bible, to see if I could sustain any of these objections. My object was not merely to remove them, but I wished to see if they were valid.
Sometimes when at work, a text would arise like this, "Of that day and hour knoweth no man," &c.: and how then could the Bible reveal the time of the advent? I would then immediately examine the context in which it was found, and I saw at once, that in the same connection we are informed how we may know when it is nigh, even at the doors: consequently that text could not teach that we could know nothing of the time of that event. Other texts which are advanced in support of the doctrine of a temporal millennium, would arise; but on examining their context, I invariably found that they were applicable only to the eternal state, or were so illustrative of the spread of the Gospel here, as to be entirely irrelevant to the position they were adduced to support.
Thus all those passages that speak of the will of God being done on earth as in heaven, of the earth being full of the knowledge of the glory of God, &c. could not be applicable to a time when the Man of Sin was prevailing against the saints, or when the righteous and wicked were dwelling together, which is to be the case until the end of the world. Those which speak of the gospel being preached in all the world, teach that as soon as it should be thus preached, the end was to come, so that it could not be delayed 1000 years from that time, nor long enough for the world's conversion after the preaching of the gospel as a witness.
The question of the resurrection and judgment, was for a time an obstacle in the way: being instructed that all the dead would be raised at the same time, I supposed it must be so taught in the Bible; but I soon saw it was one of the traditions of the elders.
So also with the return of the Jews: that question I saw could only be sustained by denying the positive declarations of the New Testament which assert, "there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek" - that "the promise that he shall be the heir of the world was not to Abraham and his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith" - that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female," but that "if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." I was therefore obliged to discard an objection which asserts there is a difference between the Jew and Greek - that the children of the flesh are accounted for the seed, &c.
In this way I was occupied for five years, from 1818 to 1823, in weighing the various objections which were being presented to my mind. During that time, more objections arose in my mind, than have been advanced by my opponents since; and I know of no objection that has been since advanced, which did not then occur to me. But however strong they at first appeared, after examining them in the light of the divine word, I could only compare them to straws laid down singly as obstacles, on a well beaten road: the car of truth rolled over them, unimpeded in its progress.
I was then fully settled in the conclusions which seven years previously had begun to bear with such impressive force upon my mind; and the duty of presenting the evidence of the nearness of the advent to others, - which I had managed to evade while I could find the shadow of an objection remaining against its truth - again came home to me with great force. I had, previously, only thrown out occasional hints of my views. I then began to speak more clearly my opinions to my neighbors, to ministers, and others. To my astonishment, I found very few who listened with any interest. Occasionally, one would see the force of the evidence; but the great majority passed it by as an idle tale. I was, therefore, disappointed in finding any who would declare this doctrine, as I felt it should be, for the comfort of saints, and as a warning to sinners.
I continued to study the Scriptures, and was more and more convinced that I had a personal duty to perform respecting this matter. When I was about my business, it was continually ringing in my ears, "Go and tell the world of their danger." This text was constantly occurring to me, "When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." - Ezek.xxxiii.8,9. I felt that if the wicked could be effectually warned, multitudes of them would repent; and that if they were not warned, their blood might be required at my hand. I did all I could to avoid the conviction that any thing was required of me; and I thought that by freely speaking of it to all, I should perform my duty, and that God would raise up the necessary instrumentality for the accomplishment of the work. I prayed that some minister might see the truth, and devote himself to its promulgation; but still it was impressed upon me, "Go and tell it to the world: their blood will I require at thy hand."
The more I presented it in conversation, the more dissatisfied I felt with myself for withholding it from the public. I tried to excuse myself to the Lord for not going out and proclaiming it to the world. I told the Lord that I was not used to public speaking, that I had not the necessary qualifications to gain the attention of an audience, that I was very diffident and feared to go before the world, that they would "not believe me nor hearken to my voice," that I was "slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." But I could get no relief.
In this way I struggled on for nine years longer, pursuing the study of the Bible, doing all I could to present the nearness of Christ's coming to those whom circumstances threw in my way, but resisting my impressions of duty, to go out as a public teacher. I was then fifty years old, and it seemed impossible for me to surmount the obstacles which lay in my path, to successfully present it in a public manner.
Quite a number wished me to write out my views. I accordingly prepared a series of articles over the signature of W. M. and sent them to the Vermont Telegraph, a Baptist paper, then published at Brandon, Vt. The editor refused to publish them unless he could know the name of the writer. I accordingly communicated it to him, supposing that he would not make it public. The articles then appeared in a series of sixteen numbers, the first of which was published in the paper dated May 15th, 1832.
I had supposed in communicating my views to the world in this series of articles, that I should have performed all that was required of me; but I could not escape the impression, "Go and tell it to the world, their blood will I require at thy hand." It some how became known that I was the writer of those articles; I began to be flooded with letters of inquiry respecting my views; and visitors flocked to converse with me on the subject. I became more distressed, lest the blood of souls should be required of me.
One Saturday after breakfast, in the summer of 1833, I sat down at my desk to examine some point; and as I arose to go out to work, it came home to me with more force than ever, "Go and tell it to the world." The impression was so sudden, and came with such force, that I settled down into my chair, saying, I can't go, Lord. "Why not?" seemed to be the response; and then all my excuses came up, my want of ability, &c.; but my distress became so great, I entered into a solemn covenant with God, that if he would open the way, I would go and perform my duty to the world. "What do you mean by opening the way?" seemed to come to me. Why, said I, if I should have an invitation to speak publicly in any place, I will go and tell them what I find in the Bible about the Lord's coming. Instantly all my burden was gone; and I rejoiced that I should not probably be thus called upon; for I had never had such an invitation: my trials were not known, and I had but little expectation of being invited to any field of labor.
In about half an hour from this time, before I had left the room, a son of Mr. Guilford, of Dresden, about sixteen miles from my residence, came in and said that his father had sent for me, and wished me to go home with him. Supposing that he wished to see me on some business, I asked him what he wanted? He replied that there was to be no preaching in their church the next day, and his father wished to have me come and talk to the people on the subject of the Lord's coming. I was immediately angry with myself for having made the covenant I had; I rebelled at once against the Lord, and determined not to go. I left the boy without giving him any answer, and retired in great distress to a grove near by. There I struggled with the Lord for about an hour, endeavoring to release myself from the covenant I had made with him; but I could get no relief. It was impressed upon my conscience, "Will you make a covenant with God, and break it so soon?" and the exceeding sinfulness of thus doing overwhelmed me. I finally submitted, and promised the Lord that if he would sustain me, I would go, trusting in him to give me grace and ability to perform all he should require of me. I returned to the house, and found the boy still waiting; he remained till after dinner, and I returned with him to Dresden.
The next day, which, as nearly as I can remember, was about the first Sabbath in August, 1833, I delivered my first public lecture on the Second Advent. The house was well filled with an attentive audience. As soon as I commenced speaking, all my diffidence and embarrassment were gone, and I felt impressed only with the greatness of the subject, which, by the providence of God, I was enabled to present. At the close of the services on the Sabbath, I was requested to remain and lecture during the week, with which I complied. They flocked in from the neighboring towns, a revival commenced, and it was said that in thirteen families all but two persons were hopefully converted.
On the Monday following I returned home and found a letter from Elder Fuller, of Poultney, Vt., requesting me to go and lecture there on the same subject. They had not heard of my going to Dresden. I went to Poultney and lectured there with similar effect.
From thence I went by invitation to Pawlet and other towns in that vicinity. The churches of Congregationalists, Baptists and Methodists were thrown open. In almost every place I visited, my labors resulted in the reclaiming of backsliders, and the conversion of sinners. I was usually invited to fields of labor by the ministers of the several congregations whom I visited, who gave me their countenance; and I have never labored in any place to which I was not previously invited. The most pressing invitations from the ministry, and the leading members of the churches poured in continually, from that time, during the whole period of my public labors, and with more than one half of which I was unable to comply. Churches were thrown open every where, and I lectured to crowded houses, through the western part of Vermont, the northern part of New York, and in Canada East. And powerful reformations were the results of my labors.
I received so many urgent calls for information, and to visit places with which I could not comply, that in 1834 I concluded to publish my views in pamphlet form, which I did in a little tract of 64 pages. These I scattered, the most of them gratuitously, sending them in reply to letters of inquiry, and to places which I could not visit. In the same year, unknown to myself, a license to preach was granted me by my Baptist brethren. About the same time I received a recommendation to the public as a lecturer on the prophecies, which was signed by about fifty ministers of my Baptist brethren, and by some twenty or thirty from other denominations.
I continued to labor and travel at my own charges until 1838; and many churches thereby greatly added to their numbers. The first clergyman that embraced my views in full, was Elder Fuller, of Poultney, Vt. Many others previous to 1838, expressed themselves favorably, but none of them came out in full, or if they did, they all, with that exception, relapsed and abandoned their advocacy.
In 1836 I wrote my series of sixteen lectures, which were published by Elder Wescott, in Troy, New York, the profits of which I gave to him. - All the copies I received of that edition, I purchased at his regular prices.
The first assistance I received from any source to defray my expenses, were two half dollars which I received in Canada, in 1835. The next assistance I received was the payment of my stage fare to Lansingburg, in 1837. Since then I have never received enough to pay my travelling expenses; so that my labors have been of no pecuniary advantage to me. I should not have alluded to this, were it not for the extravagant stories which have been circulated to my injury.
I received an invitation from Randolph, Mass., to visit that place, which I did on the 21st day of April, 1839. This was my first visit to that State. I lectured there, and in Stoughton, East Randolph, Lowell, Groton, and Lynn. I closed my lectures at Lynn on the 10th of June following, making 800 lectures which I had given since June 9th, 1834. - At Lowell, May 14th, I became acquainted with Elder T. Cole, who had written to me to visit him before I left home. He was among the first ministers in that State who embraced these views, and was the means of introducing me into many of the churches of the Christian connection. Elder Plumer of Haverhill soon after embraced them.
At Lowell I also became acquainted with my Bro. J. Litch, who had previously embraced my views, and who has since so aided their extension, by his faithful lectures and writings, and energetic and consistent course.
The first church that was ever closed against me was the Congregational church in Westford, Mass., December 17th, of the same year.
I visited Exeter, in November, 1839, and on the 12th, I became acquainted with my Bro. J. V. Himes, who with about twenty other ministers of the Christian connection, were present to hear me lecture. He invited me to Boston, which I visited December 8th, of the same year. I then gave my first course of lectures in the Chardon St. Chapel. Soon after this, about the 1st of January, 1840, Mr. B. B. Mussey republished my course of lectures in an edition of 5000, of which he gave me 200 copies.
For a long time previous to this, the papers had been filled with abusive stories respecting my labors, and they had refused to publish any thing from me in reply. I had greatly felt the need of some medium of communication to the public. Efforts had been frequently made to commence the publication of a paper which should be devoted to the advocacy of the doctrine, and the communication of information on the fulfilment of prophecy. We had, however, never been able to find a man who was willing to run the risk of his reputation and the pecuniary expense, in such a publication.
On my visit to Boston in the winter of 1840, I mentioned to Brother Himes my wishes respecting a paper and the difficulties I had experienced in the establishment of one. He promptly offered to commence a paper which should be devoted to this question, - if I thought the cause of truth would be thereby advanced. The next week, without a subscriber or any promise of assistance, he issued the first No. of the Signs of the Times on the 20th of March, 1840, - a publication which has been continued to the present time.
With this commenced an entire new era in the spread of information on the peculiar points of my belief. Mr. Mussey gave up to him the publication of my Lectures, and he published them in connection with other works on the prophecies, which, aided by devoted friends, he scattered broad cast every where to the extent of his means. I cannot here withhold my testimony for the efficiency and integrity of my Br. Himes. He has stood by me at all times, periled his reputation, and by the position in which he has been placed, has been more instrumental in the spread of these views than any other ten men who have embarked in the cause. His course, both in laboring as a lecturer, and in the manner that he has managed his publications, meets my full approval.
From the commencement of that publication, I was overwhelmed with invitations to labor in various places; with which I complied as far as my health and time would allow. I labored extensively in all the New England and Middle States, in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and in Canada East and West, giving about four thousand lectures in something like five hundred different towns.
I should think that about two hundred ministers embraced my views, in all the different parts of the United States and Canada; and that there have been about five hundred public lecturers. In all the sections of country where I labored, not only in the towns I visited, but in those in their vicinity, there were more or less that embraced the doctrine of the Advent: in some places only a very few, and in other places there have been a large number.
In nearly a thousand places Advent congregations have been raised up, numbering, as near as I can estimate, some fifty thousand believers. On recalling to mind the several places of my labors, I can reckon up about six thousand instances of conversion from nature's darkness to God's marvellous light, - the result of my personal labors alone; and I should judge the number to be much greater. Of this number I can recall to mind about 700 who were previously to their attending my lectures, infidels; and their number may have been twice as great. Great results have also followed from the labors of my brethren, many of whom I would like to mention here, if my limits would permit.
In all my labors I never had the desire, or thought to establish any separate interest from that of existing denominations; or to benefit one at the expense of another. I thought to benefit all. Supposing that all Christians would rejoice in the prospect of Christ's coming; and that those who could not see as I did, would not love any the less those who should embrace this doctrine, I did not conceive there would ever be any necessity for separate meetings. My whole object was a desire to convert souls to God, to notify the world of a coming judgment, and to induce my fellow-men to make that preparation of heart which will enable them to meet their God in peace. The great majority of those who were converted under my labors, united with the various existing churches. When individuals came to me to enquire respecting their duty, I always told them to go where they would feel at home: and I never favored any one denomination in my advice to such.
But my brethren began to complain that they were not fed by their ministers; and wanted expository preaching. I told them it was their duty to interest their ministers in the prophecies, but if they could not receive the teachings under which they sat, they must act in accordance with their own sense of duty. They then began to complain that they had not liberty in the churches to present their views freely, or to exhort their brethren to prepare for the judgment. Those in the neighborhood of Advent preaching, felt that when they could listen to these glorious truths, it was their privilege so to do. For this many of them were treated coldly, some came out of their churches, and some were expelled. - Where the blame lay, it is not necessary here to enquire; there was doubtless wrong on both sides. The result was, that a general feeling of opposition arose, on the part of the ministers and churches that did not embrace these views, against those who were looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
I had never been positive as to any particular day for the Lord's appearing, believing that no man could know the day and hour. In all my published lectures, it will be seen on the title page, "about the year 1843." In all my oral lectures, I invariably told my audiences that the periods would terminate in 1843, if there were no mistake in my calculation; but that I could not say the end might not come even before that time, and they should be continually prepared. In 1842, some of my brethren preached with great positiveness the exact year, and censured me for putting in an IF. The public press had also published that I had fixed upon a definite day, the 23d of April, for the Lord's Advent. Therefore, in December of that year, as I could see no error in my reckoning, I published my belief, that sometime between March 21st, 1843, and March 21st, 1844, the Lord would come. Some had their minds fixed on particular days; but I could see no evidence for such, unless the types of the Mosaic law pointed to the feast of Tabernacles.
During the year '43, the most violent denunciations were heaped upon me, and those associated with me, by the press, and some pulpits. Our motives were assailed, our principles misrepresented, and our characters traduced. Time passed on: and the 21st of March, 1844 went by, without our witnessing the appearing of the Lord. Our disappointment was great; and many walked no more with us.
Previously to this, in the fall of '43, some of my brethren began to call the churches Babylon, and to urge that it was the duty of Adventists to come out of them. With this I was much grieved, as not only the effect was very bad, but I regarded it as a perversion of the word of God, - a wresting of Scripture. But the practice spread extensively; and from that time the churches, as might have been expected, were closed against us. It prejudiced many against us so that they would not listen to the truth. It created a deep feeling of hostility between Adventists and those who did not embrace the doctrine; so that most of the Adventists were separated from their respective churches. This was a result, which I never desired, nor expected; but it was brought about by unforeseen circumstances. We could then only act in accordance with the position in which we were thus placed.
On the passing of my published time, I frankly acknowledged my disappointment in reference to the exact period; but my faith was unchanged in any essential feature. I therefore continued my labors, principally at the West during the summer of '44, until "the seventh month movement," as it is called. I had had no participation in this, only as I wrote a letter eighteen months previously, presenting the observances under the Mosaic law, which pointed to that month as a probable time when the Advent might be expected. This was written because some were looking to definite days in the Spring. I had, however, no expectation that so unwarranted a use would be made of those types, that any should regard a belief in such mere inferential evidence a test of salvation. I therefore had no fellowship with that movement until about two or three weeks previous to the 22d of October, when seeing it had obtained such prevalence, and considering it was at a probable point of time, I was persuaded that it was a work of God, and felt that if it should pass by I should be more disappointed than I was in my first published time.
But that time passed; and I was again disappointed. The movement was of such a character, that for a time it was very mysterious to me, and the results following it were so unaccountable that I supposed our work might be completed, and that a few weeks only might elapse between that time and the appearing of Christ. However that might be, I regarded my own work as completed; and that what was to be done for the extension of these views, must be done by younger brethren, except an occasional discourse from myself.
As time has progressed, I have been pained to see many errors which have been embraced in different sections of the country by some who have labored in connection with myself; errors which I cannot countenance, and of which I wish to speak freely, although I may lose the fellowship of some for faithfully doing my duty.
I have been pained to see a spirit of sectarianism and bigotry, in some sections, which disfellowships everything that does not square with the narrow prejudices of individual minds. There is a tendency to exalt individual opinions as a standard for all to submit to; a disposition to piece the results of individual investigation upon a level with solemn conclusions to which the great body of brethren have arrived. This is very wrong; for, while we are in this world, we are so short-sighted that we should never regard our conclusions as infallible, should bear with the imperfections of others, and receive those that are weak in the faith, but not to doubtful disputations.
Some have an inclination to indulge in harsh and denunciatory remarks against all who do not agree with them. We are all liable to err; but we should avoid thus giving occasion of offence. We should instruct with meekness those that oppose themselves, and avoid foolish and unlearned questions, that gender strifes.
There may be causes operating on the minds of others, of which we know nothing, that influence them contrary to the truth, as we have received it. We should therefore, in all our intercourse with those we deem in error, treat them with kindness and affection, and show them that we would do them good, and not evil; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Some are prone to indulge in a spirit of uneasiness and disorder, and looseness with regard to church government and doctrine. In all the essential doctrines of the Bible, as they have been held by the pious of the church in all ages, were given to the saints, and for which we are commanded earnestly to contend, I have never seen any reason to change my faith. Jesus I regard as my all sufficient Savior, by whose merits alone I can be saved. No being but Him "whose goings forth were of old, from everlasting," who should take upon himself our nature, and bear our sins in his own body, could make an atonement, on the efficacy of which I should dare to rely. The Bible speaks as plainly of my Savior's divinity as it does of his humanity. He is therefore Emanuel, God with us. The Bible tells us plainly what the Savior is. That should satisfy us without venturing beyond the Bible to say what he is not.
It is in the use of terms not found in the Scriptures, that disputations arise. For instance, the difference between the Calvinist and Arminian, I often thus explain: Both are in the same dilemma. They are like a company of men in the lower story of a house when the tide is entering, and from which there is no escape only by a rope by which they may be drawn up. All endeavor to lay hold of the rope; the one is continually afraid he has not hold of the right rope; if he was sure he had the right rope he would have no fears. The other has no fear but he has hold of the right rope; he is continually afraid his rope will break. - Now both are equally fearful they may perchance not escape: their fears arise from different causes. How foolish it is, then, for them to begin to quarrel with each other, because the one supposes the rope may break, and the other that it is the wrong rope.
Now I have found Christians among those who believed they were born again, but might fall away; and among those that believed that if they were ever born again they should certainly persevere. The difference between them I regard as a mere matter of education; both have their fears; and both believe that those only who persevere unto the end will be saved. I therefore look on men as bigots who quarrel with others, and deny that those are Christians who cannot see just as they do.
Some are disposed to lay a stress on the seventh month movement which is not warranted by the Word. There was then a dedication of heart in view of the Lord's coming, that was well pleasing in the sight of God. Desire for the Lord's coming and preparation for that event are acceptable to Him. But because we then ardently desired his coming, and sought that preparation that was necessary, it does not follow that our expectations were then realized. For we were certainly disappointed. We expected the personal coming of Christ at that time; and now to contend that we were not mistaken, is dishonest. We should never be ashamed to frankly confess all our errors.
I have no confidence in any of the new theories that have grown out of that movement, viz., that Christ then came as the Bridegroom, that the door of mercy was closed, that there is no salvation for sinners, that the seventh trumpet then sounded, or that it was a fulfilment of prophecy in any sense. The spirit of fanaticism which has resulted from it, in some places, leading to extravagance and excess, I regard as of the same nature as those which retarded the reformation in Germany; and the same as have been connected with every religious movement since the first advent. The truth is not responsible for such devices of Satan to destroy it. I have never taught a neglect of any of the duties of life, which make us good parents, children, neighbors or citizens. I have ever inculcated a faithful performance of all those duties, enjoining good works with faith and repentance. Those who have taught the neglect of these, instead of acting with me or being my followers, as they are called, have departed from my counsels and acted in opposition to my uniform teachings: men have crept in unawares, who have given heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, teaching lies in hypocrisy, denying any personal existence of Christ, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from certain kinds of food, denying the right to pray for sinners, and commanding to violate our social duties, &c. With such things, I have no sympathy.
The doctrine of annihilation and the soul's unconsciousness in death, has been connected in the minds of some with the doctrine of the Advent. With this there is no necessary connection. This its advocates acknowledge. The doctrine of the Advent was the faith of the primitive church; while the doctrine of annihilation was no part of their faith. It evidently arises from a mistaken use of Bible terms, and a stress on words not warranted by parallel Scriptures. The fact that no trace of this doctrine is found among the ancient Jews, except the Saducees, who were reproved for not believing in angels, spirits, and the resurrection, shows that none of the pious of that nation attached a meaning to the words of the Old Testament that would sustain such a doctrine. And the fact that no trace of such a belief is found among the early Christians, shows that those who sat under the teachings of the apostles and martyrs gathered no such doctrine from their instructions. - Therefore when such a doctrine is taught, a meaning must be attached to words that they would not bear at the time the Scriptures were written: to get the correct understanding of Scripture we must use words as they were used at that time.
The translators of the Bible had no faith in such a doctrine; therefore they attached no such meaning to the language they used in rendering the original as is attached to the words of the texts by those who quote them to maintain that doctrine. All the arguments in its favor rest on a certain meaning attached to such words as perish, destroy, death, &c. But when we find that the old world being only overflowed with water, perished; and that when our Savior told the Jews to destroy the temple of his body, and in three days he would raise it up, John ii.19, he did not mean that his body should cease to be a body during those three days; we see that such words do not necessarily convey a meaning that proves that doctrine. In fact, one evangelist uses the word destroy, Wilt thou "destroy" us before the time? where another does the word torment, Wilt thou torment us before the time? compare Mark i.24 and Matt.viii.29. God said that in the flood he would destroy man with the earth, Gen.vi,23, but the earth did not cease to be. Therefore we learn that these words cannot set aside the declarations that the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, &c.
If the word death implies that there can be no part of the man then conscious, it would follow that when Christ died, there could be no part of Him that was conscious; and if there could be no part of Christ conscious after his body was dead, there could have been no part of Christ conscious before he was born of Mary. Death, therefore, can only apply to the body. But that doctrine carried out, must lead to a denial of the divinity of Christ; and we find that in all past history, in the different periods when it has come up for a time, it has been connected with that and other heresies.
The calling of all churches, that do not embrace the doctrine of the advent, Babylon, I before remarked, was the means of our not being listened to with candor; and also, that I regarded it as a perversion of Scripture. This I think all will see who compare Rev.xiv, and xviii., and observe the chronology of the fall of Babylon.
Rev.xiv.6,7, represents an angel flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming the hour of God's judgment as having come. This proclamation must of course continue until Christ shall actually come to judge the quick and dead at his appearing and kingdom. In the 8th v. another angel follows, crying, Babylon is fallen; but as the first continues till Christ comes, this cannot follow till Christ comes. But, on turning to Rev.xviii,1,2, we find the angel that follows, crying Babylon is fallen, is one that comes down from heaven, having great power, and lightens the earth with his glory. This angel that follows must therefore be the Lord Jesus Christ descending from heaven to take the kingdom; and when he takes to himself his great power to reign, Satan is no longer the god of this world. It may then be well said, Babylon is fallen, i.e. it has lost the supremacy, Christ has taken that; but while it has fallen it is not destroyed: before that can be done, the saints must be taken out, that they may not partake of the consequences of her sins, nor receive of her plagues, which shall be poured out when Great Babylon shall come in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. When the angel has cried the hour of his judgment come, and the angel has come down from heaven, declaring the fall of Babylon, then in Rev.xiv,9-12 another angel follows, pronouncing the fate of the worshippers of the beast, which they are to experience when the cup is poured upon them; then in v. 13 a voice is heard from heaven, declaring those who died in the Lord blessed from thenceforth. The time has then come when the dead are to be raised; and this must synchronize with the voice from heaven in Rev.xviii,4, saying, "Come out of her, my people." To come, is to go in the direction of the invitation. It must therefore be the invitation from where Christ will then have come to meet him in the air.
In Rev.xiv,14-16 Christ is symbolized as seated on a cloud, the cry is given to reap the earth, and the earth is reaped; the saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Then, in vs.17-20, the vine of the earth is reaped and cast into the wine press of God's wrath; Babylon is thus destroyed.
Thus we have a harmonious view of those Scriptures. If this is the correct application, to apply them differently is to pervert them. And if it is, then everything, of whatever name, that is conformed to this world, that loves this world more than the kingdom of God, must have its portion with it: it is Babylonish.
The "woman," or mystical Babylon, I regard as the fallen church, that ruled by means of the kings of the earth; and all churches that have the papal spirit of formality, or persecution, are partaking of her abominations. But it does not therefore follow that there can be no churches that love the Lord in sincerity.
Intimately connected with the construction which has been given to this portion of God's word, is a notion respecting the writing out of our belief. It is said by some to be Babylon to be associated together, to write out a synopsis of our belief, or to subscribe our names to our opinions. I am never afraid to put my name to whatever I may believe; and I can find no text of Scripture that forbids it. When the Jews went up from the Babylonian captivity, they made a sure covenant, and wrote it, and the princes, Levites and priests sealed unto it, Neh.ix,38.
With regard to the association of the church, her practice has varied in different ages, according to the circumstances in which she has been placed. - When all thought alike, or understood the Bible alike, there was no necessity for an expression of opinion respecting its meaning. But when heresy crept in, it was necessary to guard the meaning of Scripture by expressing, in plain and unequivocal language, our understanding of it. It is because the early Christians did this that we are enabled to ascertain the understanding which the primitive church had of the faith once delivered to the saints. When this has not been done, the history of the church shows that error has spread with the greatest rapidity. For instance, Theodore Parker, among the Unitarians, celebrated for his transcendentalism, takes ground that his brethren have not the right to disfellowship him on account of his constructions of Scripture; and as they have heretofore denied the right of the church to express its belief, they must, on their own ground, fellowship him with all his infidel sentiments; for the dispute between them respects only interpretations of Scripture. To guard against such evils, I am in favor, where erroneous views prevail, of expressing my understanding of the word in such plain terms, that all may be able to compare my views with the Bible, and see whether I make a faithful application of it. And if the world wishes to see, in short, the peculiar characteristics of my faith, and of those who associate with me, I see no harm in giving, as did the mutual Conference of Adventists at Albany, a synopsis of the views in which we can unite and act, and which among others, we believe the Bible teaches.
I have thus given a plain and simple statement of the manner of my arriving at the views I have inculcated, with a history of my course up to the present time. That I have been mistaken in the time, I freely confess; and I have no desire to defend my course any further than I have been actuated by pure motives, and it has resulted to God's glory. My mistakes and errors God, I trust, will forgive. I cannot, however, reproach myself for having preached definite time; for as I believe that whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning, the prophetic periods are as much a subject of investigation, as any other portion of the word.
I therefore still feel that it was my duty to present all the evidence that was apparent to my mind; and were I now in the same circumstances, I should be compelled to act as I have done. I should not however have so done, had I seen that the time would pass by; but not knowing that it would, I feel even now more satisfaction in having warned my fellow men, than I should feel, were I conscious that I had believed them in danger, and had not raised my voice. How keen would have been my regret, had I refrained to present what in my soul I believed to be truth, and the result had proved that souls must perish through my neglect! I cannot therefore censure myself for having conscientiously performed what I believed to be my duty.
But while I frankly acknowledge my disappointment in the exact time, I wish to enquire whether my teachings have been thereby materially affected. My view of exact time depended entirely upon the accuracy of chronology: of this I had no absolute demonstration; but as no evidence was presented to invalidate it, I deemed it my duty to rely on it as certain, until it should be disproved. Besides, I not only rested on received chronology, but I selected the earliest dates in the circle of a few years on which chronologers have relied for the date of the events from which to reckon, because I believed them to be best sustained, and because I wished to have my eye on the earliest time at which the Lord might be expected. Other chronologers had assigned later dates for the events from which I reckoned; and if they are correct, we are only brought into a circle of a few years, during which we may rationally look for the Lord's appearing. As the prophetic periods, counting from the dates from which I have reckoned, have not brought us to the end; and as I cannot tell the exact time that chronology may vary from my calculations, I can only live in continual expectation of the event. I am persuaded that I cannot be far out of the way, and I believe that God will still justify my preaching to the world.
With respect to other features of my views, I can see no reason to change my belief. We are living under the last form of the divided fourth kingdom, which brings us to the end. The prophecies which were to be fulfilled previous to the end, have been so far fulfilled that I find nothing in them to delay the Lord's coming. The signs of the times thicken on every hand; and the prophetic periods I think must certainly have brought us into the neighborhood of the event.
There is not a point in my belief in which I am not sustained by some one of the numerous writers who have opposed my views. Prof. Bush, the most gentlemanly of my opponents, admits that I am correct in the time, with the exception of the precise day or year; and this is all for which I contend. That the 70 weeks are 490 years, and the 1260 and 2300 days are so many years are admitted by Messrs Bush, Hinton and Jarvis. That the 2300 days and 70 weeks commence at the same time Prof. Bush does not deny. And Dr. Jarvis admits that the former carry us to the resurrection and judgment. Prof. Bush, Dr. Jarvis, Mr. Hinton, and Mr. Morris admit that the legs of iron and fourth beast are Rome, and that the little horn of Daniel 7th is papacy. While Dr. Jarvis and Mr. Hinton admit that the exceeding great horn of Dan. 8th, is Rome. The literal resurrection of the body the end of the world and a personal coming of Christ have not been questioned by several who have written against me.
Thus there is not a point for which I have contended, that has not been admitted by some of those who have written to disprove my opinions. I have candidly weighed the objections advanced against these views, but I have seen no arguments that were sustained by the scriptures, that in my opinion, invalidated my position. I cannot therefore conscientiously refrain from looking for my Lord; or from exhorting my fellow men as I have opportunity, to be in readiness for that great event. For my indiscretions and errors, I ask pardon; and all who have spoken evil of me without cause, I freely forgive. My labors are principally ended. I shall leave to my younger brethren the task of contending for the truth. Many years I toiled alone; God has now raised up those who will fill my place. I shall not cease to pray for the spread of truth.
In conclusion, suffer a word of exhortation. You, my brethren, who are called by the name of Christ, will you not examine the Scriptures respecting the nearness of the advent? The great and good of all ages have had their minds directed to about this period of time; and a multitude are impressed with the solemn conviction that these are emphatically the last days. Is not a question of such moment worthy of your consideration? I do not ask you to embrace an opinion of mine; but I ask you to weigh well the evidence contained in the Bible. If I am in any error, I desire to see it; and I should certainly renounce it; but do look at the question, and in view of the teachings of the inspired word, decide for eternity.
What shall I say to my unconverted friends? I have faithfully exhorted you these many years to believe in Christ; you have excused yourselves. What can I say more? Will not all the considerations that are presented in the Scriptures of truth move your hearts to lay down the weapons of your rebellion? You have no lease of your lives, and if the Lord should not come, your eyes may be soon closed in death. - Why will you not improve the present moment, and flee from the wrath to come? Go to Christ, I beseech you; lay hold on the promise of God, trust in his grace, and he will cleanse you by his blood.
I would exhort my advent brethren to study the Word diligently. Let no man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit. Avoid everything that shall cause offences. Let your lives be models of goodness and propriety. Let the adversary get no advantage over you. We have been disappointed; but disappointments will work for our good, if we make the right use of them. Be faithful. Be vigilant. Exhort with all long-suffering and patience. - Let your conversation be in heaven, from whence you look for the blessed hope. Avoid unnecessary controversy, and questions that gender strifes. Be not many masters; all are not competent to advise and direct. God will raise up those to whom he will commit the direction of his cause. Be humble. Be watchful; be patient, be persevering. And may the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and preserve you blameless unto the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Low Hampton, N. Y., August 1, 1845.
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