Participants: Jim Nix
Series Code: AOT
Program Code: AOT000142
00:12 Welcome to Anchors Of Truth,
00:15 live from the 3ABN Worship Center.
00:21 Indeed, we do welcome you to the 3ABN Worship Center
00:25 and to night and presentation number two of,
00:29 A Heritage Worth Remembering.
00:31 Our speaker is the director of the Ellen White Estate,
00:36 and he is Jim Nix.
00:38 And we are so very, very pleased to have him with us.
00:41 On last night, we got an overview of the times
00:46 in which the second coming movement had its birth.
00:51 And we realized that it was not just a North American phenomena,
00:56 but a worldwide phenomena.
00:58 So that when God moves, He doesn't usually
01:00 move in one place.
01:01 He moves everywhere at the same time.
01:03 And it was really quite an interesting presentation.
01:06 As one who loves history, I find this series
01:09 very, very intriguing, very, very interesting.
01:12 Informative, but also very, very inspirational.
01:15 And it does make you, dare I say, humbly proud
01:18 that we come in a line of people that stretches
01:22 all the way back to the very beginning of this earth
01:24 of men and women who follow the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
01:27 And we will discover that again this evening.
01:31 I have with me an artifact that I want to show you.
01:33 I've had it 20 years this year.
01:36 I got this actually the very first time I met Jim Nix.
01:38 This is a slate tile from the roof of William Miller's home.
01:44 Back in 1994, the church was celebrating the
01:47 150th anniversary of the 1844 movement,
01:51 and they were refurbishing the William Miller home
01:53 because the roof beams were rotting.
01:55 So they had to take down all the slate tile,
01:57 and they had this huge pile on the ground.
02:00 And since it was on the ground and I didn't have to climb up
02:02 to the roof to get it, I figured the Lord wanted me to have it.
02:05 And actually, they were trying to get rid of them.
02:07 Because as you can see, it is broken.
02:09 And many of them were broken,
02:10 in being taken down they were broken.
02:12 So I wanted my very own William Miller roof slate tile
02:16 from the original home.
02:18 And so I've had this, yea, these 20 years
02:21 from a big meeting we had at the William Miller farm in 1994.
02:26 So I thought I'd bring this out.
02:28 It doesn't get too much daylight,
02:29 I don't bring it out that much.
02:31 But it's my artifact from the William Miller home.
02:34 We're going to be talking about William Miller tonight,
02:36 and a number of other individuals.
02:38 And I'm, as I've said, very excited and anxious to hear
02:41 Jim Nix's presentation.
02:43 He has done these things all over the world.
02:45 And he is a lover of history and a great speaker
02:48 for the Lord and for our church.
02:51 So without further ado, we're going to have prayer.
02:54 Then after prayer we will have music from Celestine Berry,
02:58 Mike will accompany her on the piano.
03:00 She's going to be singing, The Warrior Is A Child.
03:03 And then after she shall have sung, the next voice that
03:05 you will hear will be that of our friend, Pastor Jim Nix.
03:09 Shall we pray.
03:11 Gracious Father, we praise You and thank You so very, very much
03:16 for Your Word, and we thank You that we can look back
03:21 and see the evidences of Your guiding power
03:24 in the establishment of this church, and we can see a
03:28 remnant line of faithful soldiers of Christ
03:32 stretching all the way back to faithful Adam.
03:35 And so, Father, now as we take a look at our church,
03:39 its formation, those who built the foundation blocks
03:43 that became the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
03:45 the forerunners of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
03:48 may we rededicate ourselves to go forward in faith
03:53 as we look back and see Your guiding hand
03:56 in our past history.
03:58 For truly, we have nothing to fear for the future
04:00 except that we shall forget the Lord's leading in our past.
04:05 Help us, Lord, always to remember that we are
04:07 never alone, but that God is by our side.
04:10 And if we would but follow Him, He will lead us safely home.
04:15 Bless now our speaker this night.
04:17 Give him words that shall be of inspiration
04:21 and information for us.
04:23 Help us to be hearers of the Word and doers thereof.
04:26 And we thank You, dear Father, in Jesus' name, amen.
04:31 Mike and Celestine.
04:56 Lately I've been winning battles left and right,
05:05 but even winners can get wounded in the fight.
05:15 People say that I'm amazing and strong beyond my years,
05:24 but they don't see inside of me;
05:28 I'm hiding all the tears.
05:35 They don't know that I come running home when I fall down.
05:44 They don't know who picks me up when no one is around.
05:54 I drop my sword and cry for just a while;
06:04 because deep inside this armor
06:10 the warrior is a child.
06:23 Unafraid because His armor is the best,
06:32 but even soldiers need a quiet place to rest.
06:41 People say that I'm amazing, I never face retreat;
06:49 but they don't see the enemies that lay me at His feet.
07:01 They don't know that I go running home when I fall down.
07:10 They don't know who picks me up when no one is around.
07:19 I drop my sword and cry for just a while;
07:29 because deep inside this armor
07:35 the warrior is a child.
07:48 They don't know that I come running home when I fall down.
07:57 They don't know who picks me up when no one is around.
08:06 I drop my sword and look up for a smile;
08:15 because deep inside this armor,
08:21 deep inside this armor,
08:30 deep inside this armor
08:38 the warrior is a child.
09:04 Good evening.
09:06 Glad to see some people back tonight to listen
09:10 to a little more history.
09:11 Always amazes me.
09:12 History is usually not the most popular class in school,
09:16 so I'm always surprised when people show up
09:18 to listen to history.
09:19 Anyway, we're going to talk tonight,
09:20 as has already been announced, about William Miller.
09:23 We're not going to do, like last night, we're not going to
09:25 talk about his theology.
09:26 Others will discuss that.
09:29 We're going to talk about him as a person,
09:30 what kind of a person was he,
09:32 and see if we can share a few things, insights about him
09:35 that maybe you don't know or remind you
09:37 if you've already heard them before.
09:39 I want to start by reading a text.
09:41 This is a text that William Miller marked
09:44 in one of his preaching Bibles.
09:46 It's Psalm 69 verses 3 to 5.
09:49 You probably thought I was going to turn to Daniel 8:14.
09:52 But it's Psalm 69 verses 3 to 5.
09:56 "I am weary of my crying; my throat is dried;
10:02 mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
10:05 They that hate me without a cause are more than the
10:09 hairs of mine head.
10:11 They that would destroy me, being mine enemies
10:13 wrongfully, are mighty.
10:15 Then I restored that which I took not away.
10:19 O God, thou knowest my foolishness;
10:22 and my sins are not hid from thee."
10:26 Why in the world would Miller, of all people, the person that
10:31 we trace historically the "Adventist" part of our
10:34 church name, Seventh-day Adventist, back to Miller,
10:36 why would he mark a text like that?
10:39 Well as I said, let's try to unpack a little bit of the story
10:41 and maybe you'll better understand what he was
10:45 thinking when he marked that particular text.
10:48 He was born February 15, 1782 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
10:53 His father, who was also named William Miller,
10:56 was a veteran of the American Revolution.
10:59 And so from his father he learned the kind of things
11:02 that you would expect a child to learn that was
11:05 the son of a patriot; duty, honor of country, patriotism.
11:09 Those kind of things.
11:10 His mother was named, her name was Paulina Phelps Miller.
11:14 She was the daughter of a Baptist minister.
11:18 So from his mother he learned the kind of things
11:21 that you would expect a devout Christian to teach her children.
11:24 And that is love of God, the value of prayer,
11:27 spiritual values; those kinds of things.
11:30 And there were actually sixteen children in the family.
11:35 Miller, our Miller, William Miller, was the oldest
11:38 of the sixteen.
11:39 They were not all born down in Massachusetts, though,
11:42 because when our William Miller, the one that we're talking about
11:45 this evening, was just four years of age,
11:47 they moved, the family moved from Massachusetts
11:49 up to a little place called, Low Hampton, New York.
11:53 There is no such place now as Low Hampton, New York.
11:56 It was a little community back there in the mid 1780's.
12:01 But today, it is only in the history books,
12:03 or the archives, the county records,
12:05 those kinds of places.
12:07 And there Miller grew up.
12:09 It was very isolated. It's still isolated.
12:11 If you go to the Miller home, which is open to the public
12:15 as a museum, if you go to William Miller's home,
12:17 you'll see it's still isolated all these many years later.
12:20 But not quite as isolated as back then.
12:22 So he's growing up there, he's a farm kid.
12:24 His father owned some land.
12:26 Or at least trying to buy.
12:27 He never did get the mortgage paid off,
12:29 but he was trying to acquire some land.
12:32 And Miller grows up, and there was not much of an opportunity
12:36 to get an education in those days.
12:38 I mean, in the late fall or early winter a school teacher
12:43 would come around maybe for five or six months at the most,
12:46 four or five was probably more apt,
12:49 and would try to teach the kids together a little bit about
12:52 reading, writing, and arithmetic, as they say.
12:54 And that was about it.
12:56 But Miller, Bill Miller as he was known as a young man,
12:59 Bill Miller wanted more.
13:00 He was not happy, he was not satisfied,
13:03 with the limited education that he was getting
13:06 from those country school teachers
13:08 that came through every year and held classes.
13:11 And so as he got a little bit older he would borrow books.
13:14 He would go to the local lawyer or to a physician,
13:17 someone that had maybe more books than what they had
13:20 in the Miller family, and he would borrow them.
13:22 Now the Miller family, we're told, they had three books;
13:25 they had a Bible, they had a hymn book, and a prayer book.
13:29 And Bill Miller had devoured those and still wanted more.
13:33 So that's why he would go borrow books.
13:35 And like Abraham Lincoln did a decade or two later,
13:40 why, at night after the family had gone to bed,
13:43 Bill would get back up, go downstairs,
13:46 light a fire, and by the light of the pine knots,
13:49 the glow of the pine knots, he would read more,
13:53 trying to just become a little more educated.
13:57 His father apparently didn't have a lot of interest
13:58 in education, but one night, not realizing that his son
14:01 did this, he woke up and he saw the glow.
14:04 He thought the house was on fire.
14:06 And he later found out it was just his firstborn
14:08 trying to get an education.
14:11 Now I'm sure you're not going to believe what I'm going to
14:13 tell you next, but when he was a late teenager,
14:17 in the late 1700's, he went about 8 or 10 miles
14:22 east of where they lived to a place called Poultney, Vermont.
14:26 As far as I know, he went over there to work in the summer.
14:29 And while he was over there, guess what.
14:32 He met a young lady.
14:34 Now this is a part of the story I know you'll never believe.
14:36 But from then on, Bill could find more excuses
14:40 to get over to Poultney to be in the company
14:43 of this young lady whose name was Lucy Smith.
14:48 And so he's there and he's courting Lucy.
14:51 And finally in 1803, June 29, Lucy P. Smith becomes
14:56 Lucy P. Miller.
14:58 And now Miller moves over to Poultney himself.
15:02 And unfortunately, we don't know where they lived
15:04 because there was a fire a number of years ago
15:05 that burned all the property records.
15:07 But we do know that the newlyweds
15:10 lived over there in Poultney.
15:11 Now Miller must have...
15:13 And this is not good Adventist theology,
15:15 but I'm going to put it this way anyway.
15:17 When he arrived in Poultney, he must have thought
15:21 he had died and gone straight to heaven.
15:23 Now why do I say that?
15:25 Well according to one history book I was looking at,
15:27 Poultney was the first village in the entire state of Vermont
15:31 to have a free public library.
15:34 He didn't have to go borrow books any more from the lawyer,
15:37 or the teacher, or the physician, or whoever.
15:40 He could go to the public library.
15:42 And his new bride realized that she had married
15:45 this farm kid, and so she thought, "Well if I let him
15:50 go and I let him read, he will become refined.
15:55 And if he becomes refined, he will make a better husband
15:59 and father to any children that we might have."
16:02 And eventually they did have ten children.
16:04 Eight of them grew up, two died young.
16:07 And so he's there reading.
16:09 And he is also...
16:11 I don't want you to think he did nothing besides just read.
16:13 No, no, no, no.
16:14 He was an up and coming young man in that community.
16:17 We know that, for instance, he became a deputy sheriff.
16:21 In 1810 when they took the federal census,
16:24 he was the census taker for Poultney.
16:27 He was also a tax collector for a while.
16:31 He was a good tax collector.
16:33 That may sound like an oxymoron, but anyway
16:35 he was a good tax collector.
16:37 We'll come back to that in a minute.
16:38 Anyway, he's there.
16:39 He also had something else that's kind of interesting.
16:41 He earned a nickname.
16:43 Scribbler General.
16:45 Now what in the world?
16:47 What did he do to get the nickname, Scribbler General?
16:49 Well now remember, he is more educated,
16:52 primarily self educated, he's more educated
16:55 than most of the guys that lived there in Poultney.
16:58 So when some young man would see some lovely young lady
17:02 that he wanted to impress, but he had no idea
17:05 how to go about saying all the wonderful things
17:08 that he wanted to say to the young lady to impress her,
17:10 he would come to Bill Miller.
17:12 And he would describe all the attributes of this
17:15 wonderful young lady, and then Bill Miller
17:18 would write these flowery love letters for the guys
17:21 to give to their girlfriends.
17:23 Or the ones who wanted to have the girlfriends, at least.
17:26 And so he got the nickname of Scribbler General
17:30 because of all the love letters he wrote for these guys
17:32 who couldn't express themselves as they wanted to.
17:35 My point is, he is an up and coming young man.
17:38 As an up and coming young citizen of that town,
17:40 he also joined the deist society.
17:44 Deists were these people, a very popular philosophy,
17:47 that many, many, who knows how long ago,
17:50 somewhere in the dim distant past
17:51 God created the universe.
17:53 And when He created it, created the earth,
17:56 it was sort of like winding up an old fashion clock.
17:58 And He wound it up and set it going,
18:00 and let it tick, tick, tick, tick away.
18:01 He never came back. Had no interest in us.
18:03 And so Miller, this is the popular philosophy of the day.
18:07 He joins the debating society, the deist society,
18:10 there in Poultney.
18:11 In fact, if you go to Poultney today, the local historical
18:14 society has restored what is called the Union Academy.
18:18 It was a school building.
18:19 Downstairs they had the school,
18:21 upstairs they had a big open room.
18:23 You can go in that room if you make arrangements
18:25 with the historical society.
18:27 And you can see where the deists use to meet.
18:29 And there, they would talk about all this philosophy.
18:31 He had been reading, Miller had also been reading the writings
18:35 of Voltaire, and Hume, and Thomas Paine;
18:37 these skeptics, these deists.
18:39 And now he's sharing all of this, what he's been reading,
18:42 there going back and forth talking.
18:44 But sometimes they would really get Miller going.
18:47 And he would begin to mimic the piety of his grandfather
18:51 who was a Baptist minister, of his mother who was a
18:53 pious Baptist, of his wife who was a pious Baptist.
18:57 He loved to mimic their piety.
19:00 And of course, all these deists would sit and
19:02 laugh and laugh and laugh.
19:03 And the more he mimicked, the more they laughed.
19:05 And he had no idea that all of this scorn
19:09 that he was heaping in absentia on his pious relatives
19:14 would come back many times over in the future.
19:18 Now Miller's mother was, of course, concerned about her son.
19:22 And so was his wife.
19:23 They could see what was happening.
19:25 And she went to talk to her father.
19:27 And her father said, "The Lord has a work.
19:29 Just be patient.
19:30 The Lord has a work for Miller."
19:33 And so she was.
19:35 So there he is in the town, an up and coming young man.
19:39 And the United States gets into what we call, the war of 1812.
19:42 Sometimes referred to as the second war
19:45 of American independence.
19:46 The president called for men to come and defend the honor
19:51 of the United States.
19:52 Now guess what.
19:53 Here is the son of a revolutionary war veteran.
19:57 And the country needs to be defended.
20:00 And so what does he do? Obviously he signs up.
20:03 Now I mentioned a couple of minutes ago
20:05 that he was a good tax collector.
20:07 Now here's why I'm saying he was a good tax collector.
20:12 Forty-seven men, forty-seven citizens,
20:16 in that little town of Poultney signed up to go off to war
20:22 on one condition.
20:24 That William Miller be appointed their officer.
20:28 Now I ask you, those that are watching also,
20:31 how many today would go defend the honor of the United States,
20:35 or your home country, but go defend the honor of your country
20:38 on one condition; that your tax agent was made your officer?
20:45 So he had to be a fair tax collector to get that kind of
20:48 response from the citizens.
20:50 Now in the war of 1812, Miller himself was not involved
20:54 in any battles except for one.
20:57 And we're trying, like we did last night,
20:58 to look to see how God moves in the lives of these people,
21:02 tonight it's Miller, how God moves in the lives of these
21:06 people to get them where He wants them to be
21:09 so He can use them to His glory.
21:11 And Miller, as I say, was not in any battles,
21:14 he did mostly recruiting, except for one.
21:18 And it was at the end of the war of 1812,
21:21 and it was a crucial battle.
21:23 The Battle of Plattsburgh.
21:25 Now Plattsburgh; there's a long finger lake called,
21:28 Lake Champlain, that comes from Canada, the Canadian border,
21:31 clear down to Whitehall, New York.
21:33 It's a long skinny lake.
21:35 And on the west side of that, up not too far south
21:38 of the Canadian border, was Plattsburgh.
21:41 And Miller is stationed up there.
21:43 And apparently had a little agreement with his wife
21:45 about letter writing.
21:47 Now remember, there was no texting or email,
21:49 or anything in those days.
21:51 So it's old fashion hand written letters.
21:54 And apparently Lucy was not producing letters
21:58 quite as rapidly as her husband thought.
22:02 And so he wrote to her from up there in Plattsburgh,
22:04 and he said, "Dear Lucy, have you departed this life?
22:09 Or are you so engaged that you cannot devote one hour in a week
22:12 to your humble servant?
22:14 The following are the words you wrote me not long since, to wit;
22:18 quote, 'If I am alive, I shall write to you weekly,
22:21 and put a letter into the post office every Monday morning.'
22:26 Ever since Wednesday noon, I have been dressed in mourning.
22:31 Shall I ever see my Lucy again?
22:33 I have often exclaimed, 'Ah, no.
22:35 She could not tell me a falsehood.
22:37 She must be dead.'
22:39 What can I write to her if she's gone?
22:42 I cannot write anything; she cannot hear me.
22:45 I can only write to my children, into whose hands I hope
22:48 this letter will fall.
22:50 Dear children, you have lost your mother;
22:53 and but a little while, your father must follow."
22:56 Etcetera, etcetera. You get the idea.
22:57 He's using a little humor to get the letter started
22:59 with his wife once again.
23:00 Which apparently they did.
23:02 Anyway, he's up there at Plattsburgh.
23:03 And as I say, it's one of the crucial,
23:06 it is, I guess, one of the most crucial battles in the war.
23:09 Because once the word got to Europe,
23:12 they went ahead and signed the peace treaty over there
23:14 and ended the war.
23:15 Now remember, it took several weeks for
23:16 the news to get over there.
23:17 But in essence, what happened was that the Americans
23:21 were outnumbered at that battle
23:23 fifty-five hundred to fifteen thousand.
23:26 Now you don't have to be a rational logical thinking deist
23:28 even to think, to know that with those kind of odds;
23:31 5500 on our side, and the scouts tell us that were sent out
23:35 to find out what we're up against, there's about 15000
23:38 British troops, who's going to win?
23:40 Obviously, the British are going to win.
23:43 And Miller goes into the battle of Plattsburgh.
23:45 He writes to a friend of his just a day or two before
23:48 the battle, and he all but says, "I know I'm going to
23:52 die in this thing.
23:54 But I'm going to, you know, I'm going to be honorable.
23:56 I'm going to do what's expected of me.
23:58 I'm going to defend the honor of the country."
24:00 And then comes the battle.
24:01 And it was a land battle, and also the British Navy
24:05 was all in full force.
24:06 Well, those Navy's back then, kind of little tiny lakes.
24:09 You know, there not like today.
24:11 But anyway, a few little ships came down from Canada.
24:15 And the Americans had a few ships.
24:17 And to make a long story short, after the 3 or 4 hour battle
24:21 was finished, those British ships that had not found
24:24 their way to the bottom of Lake Champlain
24:27 they crippled, you know, what was left of them,
24:29 they tried to make their way back up to Canada.
24:32 And again, telling the story from Miller's side,
24:34 he is so excited.
24:36 He cannot believe that the Americans have won.
24:40 And he writes to the same friend that he had written to
24:42 a few days before thinking he was going to die.
24:44 Now he's writing, "Huzzah, huzzah, I'm a man.
24:47 I've learned I can fight."
24:48 So he's all, you know, he's really excited about this.
24:51 Now why I say, not only did this battle convince
24:55 those that were negotiating an end to the war
24:58 over in Europe to finally sign off the peace treaty
25:01 so the war could end.
25:02 But again, according to one source that I was looking at,
25:07 of all the battles the Unites States has ever been in
25:11 in its entire history, there is only one battle
25:14 where the commanding officer, when he filed his initial report
25:18 with his superiors, gave all credit for the victory
25:22 to the Almighty.
25:24 There was no reason, humanly speaking,
25:28 anyone could conceive why the Americans won.
25:32 This is the battle that Miller is in.
25:34 Now of course, he's still a deist.
25:36 He's not thinking about any kind of spiritual things.
25:38 He's not having any impact on his thinking yet.
25:41 He is just, as I said, caught up in the euphoria of,
25:44 "The Americans have won!
25:45 The Americans have won!"
25:46 He's discharged from the army.
25:48 By the way, the battle was September 11th.
25:51 That should be a date you can remember.
25:53 September 11th, 1814.
25:54 He is discharged from the army the next year.
25:57 He goes back home, he builds a house.
26:00 An old, we have an old woodcut of the house
26:03 that he built.
26:04 And that's where he moved his family, was into the house,
26:07 now near where his mother was living.
26:10 Because his father had died while he was in the army.
26:12 And so, now his father never paid off the mortgage.
26:15 So Miller pays off the mortgage, gives the other house to her,
26:18 and he builds the house that is still standing.
26:21 It doesn't look quite like this today.
26:22 This is the way it looked back in Miller's time.
26:25 But he builds that house.
26:27 And he begins to settle in.
26:29 He becomes the justice of the peace.
26:31 Again, like over in Poultney, he is respected.
26:33 Now he's living in Low Hampton, but he's a respected person
26:36 in that community.
26:38 But some thoughts are beginning to go through his mind,
26:40 and during the next year or two.
26:42 He's thinking to himself, "Why, why did the Americans win?
26:48 There's no reason the Americans should have won.
26:51 Could it possibly be that there is a God
26:54 who takes an interest in the affairs of nations?"
26:58 And something else that I forgot to mention to you was that
27:00 during the battle, while he was in the thick of it all
27:04 that September 11th day, why, a cannon ball
27:07 came and landed about a meter, three feet, from where he was,
27:11 exploded, and Miller wasn't even touched.
27:14 And he's beginning to think, "Oh, so could it be...
27:18 Now a deist wouldn't think like this, but could it be
27:21 that there is a God out there that actually protects us?"
27:26 And so these thoughts are beginning
27:28 to go through his mind.
27:29 He still hasn't become a Christian.
27:31 But the Holy Spirit, you can see when you read his life story,
27:34 is beginning to work on him.
27:36 And another thing that bothered him
27:38 was that a deist does not believe in any afterlife.
27:42 So as he described it, "Is there no more to life
27:46 than just a taper?"
27:47 Or we would today say, a candle.
27:49 You know how a candle just will burn down, down, down, down.
27:52 And finally, there'd be one last puff of smoke, and that's it.
27:56 Is there nothing more to life than a taper?
27:59 To use the old term.
28:00 And he said, "Annihilation was a cold and chilling thought.
28:04 The heavens were as brass over my head,
28:06 and the earth as iron under my feet.
28:08 Eternity; what was it?
28:10 Death; why was it?"
28:11 These kinds of thoughts are going through his mind
28:15 as the Holy Spirit is working on him.
28:18 Now down the road from where Miller lived...
28:21 If you kind of imagine, Miller's mother is on a corner up here.
28:25 And she's in the house that Miller had grown up in.
28:27 And he'd paid it off and given it to her after his father died.
28:30 He builds a house half a mile or so down the
28:32 same side of the road.
28:33 And you go down another quarter of a mile or so,
28:34 across the road, there was a little Baptist church.
28:37 Now because it was the proper thing to do,
28:40 Miller would go to church on Sunday.
28:42 He didn't believe it, but that's where you got business.
28:44 And that's, you know.
28:45 Religion, as far as he was concerned at this point
28:48 in his life, "Religion was good for women and children,
28:51 and all that, but not a sophisticated man like me.
28:54 No, so. No, no, no."
28:55 So he would go to church some Sundays,
28:57 but other Sundays he didn't go.
28:59 Now the pastor of that church was his father's brother,
29:03 Elihu Miller.
29:04 Uncle Elihu.
29:06 And so he's pastoring the little Baptist church.
29:10 And the mother is down here on the corner,
29:12 and she notices that some Sundays her son is in church
29:15 and some Sundays he's not in church.
29:17 And she can't quite get it all figured out
29:19 as to what's going on.
29:20 So one day she asked him, she said, "Why is it that
29:23 some Sundays you go to church, and some Sundays you stay home?
29:27 What's going on?"
29:29 Well it so happened that Uncle Elihu Miller
29:32 was a circuit riding preacher.
29:33 In other words, he had several churches
29:35 that he was responsible for.
29:38 And when he was not there in that little church
29:41 in Low Hampton, why, they had sets of books of sermons.
29:45 And one of the deacons would select a sermon,
29:48 and then one of these farmer types would get up and read.
29:51 And they were not use to public speaking,
29:53 and they'd, "Uh, uh, uh, uh."
29:54 And Miller couldn't stand it.
29:56 So he told his mother, "When Uncle Elihu is there,
29:58 I always go to church.
30:01 But when he's not there, I stay home."
30:05 And then he added, "Now if when Uncle Elihu was away
30:10 they invited me to read the sermon,
30:13 I'd always be present."
30:16 Now any mother that's worth her salt, as we would say,
30:20 what is she going to make certain happens?
30:21 Whenever her brother-in-law is called away,
30:24 guess who is going to be invited to read the sermon.
30:27 He didn't have to select it, the deacons could select it,
30:30 but he was asked to read it.
30:32 And that's how he happened to be in church
30:35 on the Sunday closest to the second anniversary
30:38 of the battle of Plattsburgh.
30:40 It was a very patriotic time.
30:41 There had been speeches given, and all that,
30:43 on the weekend, during the weekend.
30:45 And now on Sunday he's there, and he is reading a sermon
30:50 written by a man named Alexander Proudfit.
30:53 Now the sermon is one that's about duty of parents
30:57 to their children, how we should raise our children.
31:00 Believe me, they raised children a little differently,
31:02 especially with discipline and things, back in those days
31:04 than what they do today.
31:05 But anyway, he was reading this sermon.
31:08 And it's interesting what happened to him.
31:11 He himself tells us that partway through the sermon,
31:15 he broke down and began to weep.
31:18 He could not finish the sermon.
31:20 And he had to go sit down.
31:22 And my guess is, he handed the book to one of those people
31:26 that he despised listening to and let him
31:28 finish reading the sermon.
31:29 Anyway, whatever happened in that regard,
31:31 Miller did not read the whole sermon.
31:34 But the Holy Spirit was once again moving on him.
31:37 And he later would write, "Suddenly, the character
31:41 of a Savior was vividly impressed upon my mind.
31:44 It seemed that there might be a Being so good
31:47 and compassionate as to Himself atone for our transgressions,
31:51 and thereby save us from suffering the penalty of sin."
31:54 And so, now for the first time in his life
31:56 he wants to know what kind of a God is revealed in Scripture.
32:00 And he tells us his method of study.
32:02 It's not what I would recommend that we do today
32:04 with all the various resources we have available to help us
32:07 understand the Bible.
32:08 But his method was, you take your Bible
32:11 and you take your concordance, nothing else.
32:14 He didn't want any commentaries, he didn't want anything.
32:16 Your Bible and your concordance.
32:18 He would start with Genesis 1,
32:19 he would read right straight through the Bible.
32:21 Every time he came to a word he didn't understand,
32:24 he looked it up in his Cruden's Concordance.
32:27 And then he would look up all the text in the Bible
32:29 where that particular word was used.
32:31 And by then he had a pretty good idea how the Bible
32:34 defined the word.
32:35 And he kept on reading.
32:36 This began in 1816.
32:38 And during this next two years he had this intense Bible study.
32:42 And he would later write, "I saw that the Bible
32:45 did bring to view just such a Savior as I needed."
32:49 And he kept reading.
32:50 And again, reading from his description that he wrote
32:53 years later about this time in his life, he said,
32:55 "I was constrained..." As he read.
32:57 "I was constrained..." What does that mean?
32:59 "I was forced."
33:00 "I was forced to admit that the Scriptures
33:03 must be a Revelation from God.
33:06 They became my delight."
33:08 What is, "they?" The Scriptures.
33:09 "...became my delight.
33:11 And in Jesus I found a friend."
33:14 If you don't remember anything else I say about William Miller,
33:17 you need to remember that.
33:18 First and foremost, Jesus became Miller's friend.
33:23 That's the key that unlocks his entire experience.
33:26 Why he did what he did was because Jesus
33:29 became his best friend.
33:30 He went on to say, "The Bible now became my chief study.
33:33 And I can truly say, I searched it with great delight."
33:37 Now during this period of time, he of course is reading
33:40 Daniel and Revelation.
33:42 And I can see him coming to Daniel 8:14,
33:45 "Unto to 2300 days, then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed."
33:48 Well what does, "sanctuary," mean?
33:49 I can see him, if he hadn't already defined it for himself,
33:51 looking it up in Cruden's Concordance,
33:53 and he finds different ways that the word,
33:57 "sanctuary," is defined.
33:58 It's used to talk about the body,
34:00 the Old Testament Sanctuary, the earth.
34:03 You know, so there's various ways that the word was used.
34:06 And Miller also, because of back there when he was studying
34:10 all these books in the little public library in Poultney
34:13 many years before, he'd reveled in reading history,
34:16 now with uncanny ability he was able to decipher
34:20 when that great time prophecy of Daniel 8:14 began and ended.
34:24 And he makes his fatal mistake.
34:27 He concludes that the Sanctuary that's to be cleansed,
34:30 he could not imagine anything in heaven
34:33 that needed to be cleansed, that the Sanctuary must be the earth.
34:37 And it will be destroyed when Jesus comes.
34:40 It will be cleansed at the second coming of Christ.
34:44 And there he is sitting in his study up there in that
34:46 little house, well not so little, but his house
34:49 there in Low Hampton, and he's saying, "Can it be
34:53 that my new best friend Jesus really is going to be
34:57 coming back in about 25 years?
35:00 No, no. That can't be.
35:03 But yes, that's what's so clear here."
35:04 And so he keeps studying.
35:05 For the next five years he studies and restudies.
35:07 And the more he studies, the more convinced he becomes
35:10 that the great time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation
35:12 were about to meet their fulfillment.
35:14 And as he mistakenly understood it,
35:17 when the 2300 day prophecy ended
35:19 Jesus would return.
35:21 Now, when you have that kind of light,
35:24 what do you have to do with it?
35:26 You have to share it, right?
35:29 "But how can I share it?
35:31 I'm a farmer, I'm not a preacher.
35:33 Who'd listen to me?"
35:34 He referred to himself sometimes as the old man.
35:37 "Who'd listen to the old man? Or the farmer?
35:39 Who would possibly listen to me?"
35:42 And yet, he feels compelled he must share.
35:47 Now it's during this period of time that one of those
35:49 interesting stories happened that we like to tell
35:53 when we're talking about Miller.
35:56 And so let's just use a little prop here in a minute.
36:01 One day, one of Miller's children became ill.
36:05 I don't know which one.
36:07 As I said, they had eight of them that grew up.
36:09 So he had plenty.
36:10 I don't know which room in the house.
36:11 I wish I did because it would be fun to go to the room
36:13 where the story happened.
36:14 But one of the children became ill.
36:18 Now there was a doctor in that area
36:20 that had heard about Miller's studying of the prophecies.
36:23 And he thought it was all a bunch of foolishness.
36:25 In fact, the doctor went around telling people
36:28 when they discussed Miller, "You know, he's a good guy.
36:30 He's the justice of the peace,
36:32 he's fair when he renders decisions.
36:34 He's a good guy, except when you get him started
36:37 talking about the prophecies."
36:38 Then he'd say, "Mono maniac."
36:41 Mono, of course, is what? On one topic.
36:44 You get him going on one topic.
36:46 Maniac is crazy.
36:47 So he's crazy on one topic.
36:48 Everything else he's fine.
36:50 Now obviously in a small community, especially
36:53 if you're making that kind of comments about someone,
36:56 guess what.
36:57 Miller is going to hear about it.
36:59 So when one of his children becomes ill,
37:02 guess which doctor he sent for.
37:05 Back in those day, no hospitals with emergency rooms
37:07 and all that, they were house calls.
37:08 So guess which doctor he sent for.
37:11 Well the doctor came, examined the child,
37:14 prescribed something.
37:16 Knowing the state of medicine in the United States
37:18 in those days, it probably would have been better if the child
37:20 had not taken whatever it was that the doctor prescribed.
37:24 But anyway.
37:25 And the doctor is ready to leave, and Miller is
37:27 sitting there by the door.
37:29 And he is looking very down and dejected,
37:33 like he's got something wrong with him.
37:35 And the doctor looks at him and says,
37:36 "Are you alright today?"
37:38 "Well I really don't know," Miller said.
37:43 And then he held out his hand so the doctor
37:46 could check his pulse.
37:48 "Well that seems to be fine.
37:49 What's wrong? How are you feeling?"
37:52 "Well," Miller said, "I really don't know.
37:58 Do you think, doctor, that maybe I could be a mono maniac?"
38:04 Now the doctor knew he was cornered.
38:06 What he didn't know was that once Miller had you cornered,
38:08 he didn't let go.
38:10 He went right on.
38:11 He said, "Doctor, would you really know a mono maniac
38:15 if you saw one?"
38:16 Well the doctor stammered and stuttered,
38:18 according to the old story.
38:19 But Miller is not going to let him off that easily.
38:22 He's going right on.
38:23 He says, "You've got to examine me.
38:26 You know, it's for my mental, my mind."
38:29 Well, some things haven't changed.
38:30 Our mental health we still have to know about.
38:32 "My mind.
38:33 You've got to examine me.
38:35 Find out if I'm really a mono maniac.
38:38 And by the way, doctor, when you give the examination,
38:43 you can charge your normal fee."
38:46 Now do you realize what Miller was just saying?
38:48 Miller knew there was only one way that this doctor
38:51 was going to find out whether or not Miller was a mono maniac
38:54 on these prophecies that he'd been studying.
38:57 And that is, he was going to have to have a Bible study.
39:01 And Miller was so interested in that doctor's soul
39:05 that he was willing to pay the examination fee to that doctor
39:08 if he could just share with that man
39:11 why he thought his best friend Jesus
39:13 would be coming back before long.
39:15 Well there was obviously no way that the
39:16 doctor could get out of it.
39:17 So what do they do? They go to Miller's study.
39:20 And there, they go in and sit down.
39:22 They open the Bible to Daniel 8; they work down through Daniel 8.
39:25 They go back to Daniel 2; they work through Daniel 2.
39:28 They go forward then to Daniel 7, and on into Daniel 9.
39:32 And guess what.
39:33 The doctor can't believe his eyes or his ears,
39:35 what he's learning.
39:36 It makes sense.
39:38 It is not some crazy gobbledygook.
39:41 It makes sense.
39:43 And away he headed out the door.
39:46 Because, you know, that's the last thing he could admit.
39:48 The next morning, according to the old story,
39:50 there's a knock on the door.
39:52 And who's there but the doctor.
39:54 He looks like he hasn't slept a wink all night.
39:56 He confirms, when Miller comes to the door, that in fact
39:58 he had not slept all night.
40:00 And he says to Miller, "You've got to study with me.
40:03 I'm a lost man.
40:05 I'm not ready to meet the Lord.
40:07 You have to study with me."
40:08 And so they set up a course of studies.
40:11 Sometimes the old 19th century English gets in the way,
40:14 but other times it is so quaint it's really kind of beautiful.
40:18 And the old story tells us that Miller set up the
40:21 course of study and pointed the doctor to the ark of safety.
40:26 And at the end of that series of studies,
40:28 the story tells us the doctor went away rejoicing,
40:32 as much a mono maniac on the prophecies
40:35 as William Miller.
40:37 Now this is one on one witnessing.
40:40 There is no way that Miller thinks he could stand up
40:43 and preach a series of sermons.
40:45 No way. Couldn't do it.
40:48 But he could witness one on one.
40:51 Then in August of 1831 according to some accounts,
40:56 1833 according to other accounts...
40:58 Anyway, sometime this happened whether it was 31 or 33.
41:02 I don't think any of us were there, so we're not going to
41:04 be able to discuss which one it really was.
41:06 But one of those years.
41:08 Miller, on a Saturday morning...
41:11 Why didn't I say Sabbath?
41:13 He's a Baptist. When was his Sabbath?
41:16 Sunday, right?
41:17 So on this Saturday morning, it's not his Sabbath,
41:19 so he's in his study and he is studying.
41:22 And he's coming under conviction.
41:25 The Holy Spirit is moving in on Miller
41:28 and telling him, "Go tell the world."
41:29 "I can't go tell the world.
41:30 Who'd listen to me?"
41:32 "Go share what you've been..."
41:33 "No," he says to his conscience, "I can't go."
41:35 And his conscience, the Holy Spirit is working on him.
41:38 Finally, to shut up his conscience, Miller says,
41:41 "If I'm ever asked to preach, I'll go.
41:47 Oh yeah, he's read sermons that somebody else has written.
41:51 But to be asked to preach?
41:53 Nobody has asked the farmer, or the old man, to go preach.
41:58 Well, as probably most of you have discovered,
42:01 you don't make a commitment to God unless you're serious.
42:04 Because within 30 minutes of having told God,
42:07 "If I'm ever asked to preach, I will go and preach,"
42:11 there is a knock on the door.
42:13 He goes to the door and there is his 16 year old nephew,
42:16 Irving Guilford, his sister's son,
42:18 who lived over in Dresden about 16 miles or so to the west.
42:22 And he's just ridden up on a horse.
42:24 Now remember, in 1831 or 33, whichever year this happened,
42:27 there's no telephones, no way to make communication.
42:30 I can imagine the first thing that went through Miller's mind
42:33 as he saw his nephew there and the horse panting, probably...
42:36 I mean, he's a teenager. He probably rode the horse fast.
42:38 Anyway, panting you know, and the kid is, young man
42:42 is out of breath a bit himself.
42:44 And I'm sure Miller is thinking, "What in the world?
42:46 Something happened. Is everything okay?"
42:48 "No, it's all fine. It's fine Uncle Bill.
42:50 But the pastor has been called away unexpectedly.
42:54 And father is responsible for church tomorrow.
42:59 And he's wondering, would you come over
43:01 and share with us what you've been studying
43:04 from the books of Daniel and Revelation?"
43:07 Wow, now this is not what Miller was expecting
43:10 when he told God 30 minutes earlier,
43:11 "If I'm ever asked, I'll go."
43:13 He is so mad, he goes out into the maple grove
43:17 out to the west of his house.
43:18 And there like Jacob of old, he wrestles with God.
43:21 Whether he was jumping around, whether he was waving his fists
43:23 at God, what, I don't know.
43:25 He was angry, he was loud probably out there.
43:27 His little daughter, Lucy, his youngest child,
43:30 comes out of the house, sees her father out there
43:32 in the maple grove, gets scared, runs back into the house
43:35 and says, "Mama, mama, come quick.
43:37 Something's happened to papa."
43:39 And sure enough, something had happened to papa.
43:42 As an Adventist historian described it many years ago,
43:45 Miller went into that grove of trees a farmer.
43:50 He came out a preacher.
43:53 And so he went with his nephew later that day
43:57 over to the home in Dresden, to his sister's home.
44:01 And there, not in a little white, you know,
44:03 not a little white framed church with a steeple, and all that...
44:06 No, that's not where the movement began.
44:09 He still wasn't quite over his shyness.
44:12 So his sister and her husband, they arranged for the people,
44:16 for the members of the little church to come over there
44:19 to their own home.
44:20 And Miller, we're told, sat with a Bible
44:23 in his sister's armchair and opened it up to them,
44:27 and began to share with them why he thought
44:29 his best friend Jesus would be coming back in a few years.
44:32 And guess what. They got excited.
44:34 And guess what else happened.
44:35 Now remember, this is 1831 or 33,
44:37 depending on which year you want.
44:39 And he's been studying this since 1817 or 1818 back there.
44:42 He's got a lot of stuff up here in his mind.
44:44 And they asked him to stay all week and hold meetings.
44:47 And he did.
44:49 And then when he got home, there was a letter
44:51 from over in Poultney, the Baptist church in Poultney
44:53 where he'd lived years before.
44:55 The associate pastor asked him to come and share.
44:59 So within one week of telling God, "If I'm ever asked
45:01 to preach, I'll go preach," he had his first two invitations.
45:05 And over the next few years he kept preaching and preaching.
45:09 He kept a log book or a journal where he wrote all the places,
45:13 the dates, the text that he opened his talks with
45:16 at every place; it's quite interesting.
45:18 And if you plot it on a map, it's sort of like dropping a
45:20 pebble in a lake or throwing a pebble out in the lake
45:23 and you see the ripples.
45:24 Well that's the way it was with Miller.
45:26 It just seems to get larger and larger.
45:28 So you plot a place here, and here, and here, and here.
45:32 Because as one pastor would talk to another pastor and say,
45:34 "You know, if you want to get revival and reformation
45:36 in your church, get that Miller guy to come.
45:39 I mean, the Lord honors and revival will
45:42 break out in your church."
45:43 And pastors wanted that.
45:44 So this is safe, it's still several years before
45:47 Miller is saying the Lord will come sometime
45:49 around the year 1843 or 1844.
45:51 So it's way in the future, so sure.
45:53 Revival and reformation is breaking out.
45:55 And Miller is getting more and more speaking appointments.
45:58 And as I say, if you plot them on a map,
46:00 it's sort of like dropping a pebble in the water.
46:03 By 1839, early 1839, Miller had not yet preached
46:08 in any of the large cities of the United States
46:11 back in those days, like Portland, Maine,
46:13 Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc.
46:16 He had not preached in any of those at that point.
46:20 But there was a pastor by the name of Timothy Cole
46:24 who lived in Lowell, Massachusetts.
46:26 He was the pastor of a church in Lowell, Massachusetts.
46:29 And Cole heard about what happened when Miller
46:33 was invited to preach.
46:35 And of course, he wanted that in his congregation.
46:39 So he wrote to Miller and he asked Miller if he would come
46:42 and hold meetings in his church.
46:45 Now Cole... Remember this is 1839.
46:47 There were no newspapers that had pictures.
46:49 Photography was very new.
46:50 The newspapers didn't know how to produce
46:53 pictures to put in there.
46:54 They had some primitive woodcuts, but no pictures.
46:57 And so Cole really didn't know what Miller looked like.
47:00 And he wrote to Miller and asked Miller, "Now when you come
47:02 on the train, what will you look like?
47:05 What will you be wearing? How will I know you?"
47:08 You know, I mean, he must make certain that he's
47:10 getting this impressive person that has such an impact.
47:15 He wants to make certain he knows what he looks like.
47:16 So anyway, Miller writes back and says,
47:18 "I'll be wearing a white hat and a camlet coat."
47:22 A certain kind of cloth.
47:23 Camlet coat.
47:24 And so I can imagine this young man marching up and down
47:27 there waiting for that early train to come in.
47:30 Now the train is not the kind you're probably thinking about.
47:32 They were very primitive still in 1839.
47:35 And they probably did all of 18 or 20 miles an hour
47:39 at top speed.
47:40 But anyway, pretty soon...
47:41 Yeah, that's the way they looked.
47:43 There's a picture of one.
47:44 Thank you for showing us that.
47:45 So here they came, the train came in squeaking, you know,
47:49 and the brakes, and all that.
47:50 You can just kind of imagine.
47:51 And the people start getting off the train.
47:53 And Cole is looking for somebody, as we would say,
47:57 tall, distinguished, handsome.
47:59 Anybody that's having that kind of impact must be
48:01 really impressive looking.
48:03 But, what? What?
48:05 There's nobody tall that's wearing a white hat.
48:07 Pretty soon there is a gentleman over there.
48:11 He's an older gentleman.
48:12 He's got a white hat.
48:14 He's wearing a camlet coat.
48:17 But look at him.
48:19 That can't be the guy.
48:20 The newspapers tell us that Miller had auburn hair,
48:23 reddish hair, a round face, a bull neck,
48:28 a body that's corpulent.
48:30 You know that old word, corpulent.
48:32 Fat, in other words. Heavy, overweight.
48:34 He was corpulent.
48:35 And I can imagine Cole looking and saying,
48:38 "That can't possibly be the guy."
48:40 And so he goes over, and he doesn't put his hand out
48:42 and say, "Hello, are you brother Miller?
48:44 I'm Pastor Cole."
48:45 No, he whispers in his ear, "Are you William Miller?"
48:49 Because there might be people on the platform
48:51 or on the station there that knew that wasn't Miller.
48:53 It would be embarrassing, wouldn't it, to not know
48:56 the speaker yourself.
48:58 And Miller said, "Yes, I am."
49:00 And so, away they go to home.
49:02 And Cole, being younger, he heads off first.
49:05 Miller is coming along with this trunk trying to
49:07 follow along as best as he could.
49:09 They go to Cole's house for a meal,
49:12 and then they go to the church.
49:13 And during this period of time Cole is thinking,
49:15 "Oh my, look at that."
49:16 Now something else I haven't mentioned to you is,
49:18 the newspapers mention, describe, that when
49:22 Miller spoke his hands would shake.
49:25 And some also talk about his head shaking.
49:28 So put that with the auburn hair, and the round face,
49:31 and the bull neck, and the corpulent body.
49:33 And you can see why this younger minister is thinking,
49:35 "Oh my word.
49:36 Oh I hope everybody has misunderstood."
49:39 But he gets to the church and it's full.
49:41 It's always full when Miller was going to preach.
49:43 And so he shows Miller to the pulpit.
49:46 I think Miller knew what a pulpit was, frankly.
49:48 He had been preaching two sermons a day
49:50 for I don't know how many years.
49:52 I think he knew what a pulpit was.
49:53 But anyway, the story says he showed him to the pulpit,
49:55 and Cole goes and sits down somewhere out there,
49:57 and Miller begins to speak.
50:00 He gets up, he lines out a hymn, teaches it to them line by line.
50:04 They sang a cappella in those days.
50:05 He lined out a second hymn.
50:07 And then he turned to the text that he used to open more series
50:11 of meetings than any other; Titus 2:13.
50:14 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing
50:17 of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ."
50:19 And he began to share with them why he thought
50:22 his best friend Jesus would be coming back in a few years.
50:26 Timothy Cole has gone out there and sat down
50:28 somewhere in the congregation.
50:29 He's listening.
50:30 He's forgotten all about the auburn hair.
50:32 He's forgotten all about the bull neck.
50:34 He's forgotten all about the tremor.
50:36 What he's hearing is a message that's touching his heart.
50:38 And the story tells us that within 15 minutes he gets up,
50:41 he walks up on the platform, sits down behind Miller.
50:44 He waits until the sermon is over, he rushes over,
50:47 thanks him profusely, and said, "Will you stay
50:49 and hold meetings in my church?"
50:52 And at the end of that series of meetings, Timothy Cole himself
50:55 decided to become a Millerite lecturer.
50:59 That's the kind of impact that Miller's preaching was having.
51:03 And during the next few years, they began to publish papers.
51:06 Things were getting...
51:07 The movement is having a great impact.
51:11 You read the newspapers, and they're mostly critical,
51:14 but you do realize that the newspapers are reporting
51:16 on the fact that things are happening.
51:18 The Millerites are holding meetings
51:19 even though almost all of them are critical.
51:22 Now Miller himself, of course, had said the Lord would come
51:24 sometime about 1843 or 1844.
51:29 The reason he didn't set a date is because the Bible tells us,
51:31 no man knows the day nor the hour.
51:33 But Miller said, if you have 2300 years,
51:35 why, certainly at the end of the 2300 years
51:38 you've got a whole year.
51:39 So he expected that the Lord would come sometime between
51:42 the beginning of the Jewish year March 21, 1843
51:45 and March 21, 1844.
51:47 When the Lord did not come in the spring of 1844 as Miller had
51:51 first thought, why, we call it the spring disappoint.
51:55 There was a lot of disappointment.
51:56 The newspapers had been full of all kinds of
51:59 terrible things they were saying about the Millerites
52:01 just leading up to the March/April era of time in 1844.
52:06 And somebody wrote to Miller a little while later
52:10 and said to him, "How are you doing?"
52:13 And Miller writes back, and I want to read
52:14 just a few lines from his...
52:16 It gives you the measure of this man, actually.
52:19 A few lines of the response that he sent to Elon Galusha.
52:22 He said, "I'm doing fine. Thanks for asking."
52:24 And then he goes on to say, and I'm quoting now,
52:26 "Why then should I complain if God should give a few days
52:29 or even months more as a probation time
52:31 for some to find salvation.
52:33 It is my Savior's will.
52:36 And I rejoice that He will do things right."
52:40 It's as if Miller is saying, "Let them ridicule me
52:42 from the pulpit.
52:43 Let them say whatever they want on the street corners about me.
52:46 Let them call me names. I don't care.
52:48 If God, my best friend, Jesus, if He wants
52:52 to wait just a little longer to save someone else
52:55 for whom He died, what's it to me?"
52:59 What an attitude.
53:01 Well, then you go through the summer of 1844.
53:04 They don't know what's going on.
53:05 Someone else comes up with the October 22 date.
53:08 And that's Samuel Snow.
53:09 Miller does not accept it until October 6th.
53:11 But he sees the power of what is known as the
53:15 first angel's message; the preaching, the power.
53:17 He cannot deny that something is going on.
53:19 And so on October 6th, he writes and says,
53:22 "Glory, glory, I'm almost home."
53:25 And then comes October 22, which we call now in history,
53:28 the great disappointment.
53:30 And as you probably know, Miller again, he's devastated.
53:37 But he's not totally devastated.
53:39 He says that he has fixed his mind on another time.
53:44 "And here I mean to stand until God gives me more light.
53:47 And that is today, today, today until He comes."
53:53 Miller died December 20, 1849.
53:56 No, he never accepted the seventh-day Sabbath.
53:59 No, he never understood why the Lord had not come
54:02 and returned on October 22, 1844.
54:06 Miller gave his life preaching the first angel's message.
54:11 And some may say, "Well, he didn't have the full message."
54:14 But he did what God called him to do.
54:17 And in, Early Writings, Ellen White has written that,
54:20 "Angels watch the precious dust of this servant of God,
54:24 and he will come forth at the sound of the last trump."
54:29 Early Writings, page 258.
54:31 Now as we come to the end of this meeting this evening,
54:35 I want to share with you a description of the
54:39 second coming of Christ that was written by William Miller.
54:42 Now this was not written in the heat of the anticipation of
54:46 October 22, 1844.
54:48 No, no, no, this was written way back in 1832
54:53 to a Brother Truman Hendryx.
54:56 And listen to how excited and how real, how vivid
55:00 the second coming of Christ was to William Miller.
55:04 Here's what he wrote.
55:05 This is just the last part of a letter,
55:07 but the last part of the final paragraph.
55:09 "Look! Look again!
55:12 See crowns, and kings, and kingdoms tumbling to the dust!
55:16 See lords and nobles, captains and mighty men,
55:19 all arming for the bloody, demon fight!
55:21 See the carnivorous fowls fly screaming through the air!
55:25 See, see these signs!
55:27 Behold, the heavens grow black with clouds;
55:30 the sun has veiled himself; the moon, pale and forsaken,
55:34 hangs in middle air; the hail descends; the seven thunders
55:37 utter loud their voices; the lightnings send their
55:40 vivid gleams of sulfurous flame abroad; and the great city of
55:43 the nations falls to rise no more forever and forever!
55:48 At this dread moment, look, look!
55:51 O, look and see! What means that ray of light?
55:55 The clouds have burst asunder; the heavens appear;
55:58 the great white throne is in sight!
56:00 Amazement fills the universe with awe!
56:03 He comes! He comes!
56:05 Behold, the Saviour comes!
56:07 Lift up your heads, ye saints; He comes! He comes! He comes!"
56:14 And he signed it, William Miller.
56:17 I wish you could see all the exclamation points here
56:20 in his written description.
56:23 And here we are, Seventh-day what?
56:26 Seventh-day Adventists.
56:29 What does that mean?
56:31 That means we're looking for the coming of the Lord.
56:35 And the question that I think we must ask ourselves
56:38 as we think about Miller's story is,
56:40 how real, how vivid, is the second coming
56:45 still in our lives today?
56:47 For Miller, it overarched everything he did.
56:50 Every person he saw was a candidate,
56:53 a potential citizen for heaven.
56:56 Is that the way we view things today?
56:59 Or have we kind of just become so use to hearing about
57:03 the second coming that we don't think much
57:06 about it really anymore, and it doesn't impact the decisions
57:10 that we make in our lives.
57:12 William Miller, the man for whom the "Adventist" part
57:16 of our name, Seventh-day Adventists, our church name,
57:20 historically is traced back to.
57:23 William Miller was thoroughly in love with Jesus.
57:27 He could hardly wait for Him to return.