COMMENCEMENT OF PUBLIC LABORS--PUBLISHES HIS VIEWS IN PAMPHLET--INTERVIEW ON THE HUDSON RIVER BOAT--HIS REGARD FOR THE BIBLE--CORRESPONDENCE--BECOMES A LICENSED PREACHER--LETTER ON UNIVERSALISM--RECORD OF HIS LABORS.
"THE public labors of Mr. Miller, according to the best evidence to be obtained, date from the autumn of 1831. He had continued to be much distressed respecting his duty to 'go and tell it to the world,' which was constantly impressed on his mind. One Saturday, after breakfast, he sat down at his desk to examine some point, and, as he arose to go out to work, it came home to him with more force than ever, 'Go and tell it to the world.' He thus writes:--
"'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 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, 1831, 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 request 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 Eld. 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 everywhere, and I lectured, to crowded houses, through the western part of Vermont, the northren part of New York, and in Canada East; and powerful reformations were the result of my labor.'
"Soon after he began to lecture on the subject, Mr. Miller began to be importuned to write out and publish his view. In a letter to Elder Hendryx, dated January 25, 1832, he says:--
"'I have written a few numbers on the coming of Christ and the final destruction of the beast, when his body shall be given to the burning flame. They may appear in the Vermont Telegraph; if not, in pamphlet form. They are written in letters to Elder Smith of, Poultney, and he has liberty to publish.'
"On the same occasion, he adds: 'I am more and more astonished at the harmony and strength of the word of God; and the more I read, the more I see of the folly of the infidel in rejecting this word.'
"The articles referred to were sent as anonymous to the editor of the Telegraph, who declined their publication unless informed of the name of the writer. This being communicated to him, they appeared, in a series of sixteen articles, over the initials of W. M. The first article was published in the paper of May 15, 1832, and they caused much conversation and discussion.
"Soon after this, he addressed another letter to Elder Hendryx, which is so quaintly written, contains so much of general interest, and is so illustrative of his habits of thought and modes of expression, that it is here given:--
"'HAMPTON, MARCH 26, 1832.
"'DEAR BRO. HENDRYX:--I received your favor of the 19th inst. day before yesterday, and should have begun to answer it then, but, on coming home, I found Bro. D. at my house, a licentiate from Hamilton, who came on purpose to learn these strange notions of "crazy Miller," or at least to save Bro. Miller, if possible, from going down to the grave with such an error. He was a stranger to me; but, after he introduced himself, we went to work, night and day, and he has just left me,--Monday, 3 o'clock P.M. He has got his load, and, as he says, he never was so loaded before.
"'You may say this is boasting. No, no, Bro. Hendryx, you know better. I only made him read the Bible, and I held the concordance. No praise to me; give God the glory. At any rate, he will find it hard to resist the truth. He wants me to let him come and board with me, two or three months, to study the Bible. He is a young man, of brilliant talents; he preached two sermons here yesterday, and they were very well done. I have somebody to labor with almost daily. I have been into Poultney, and some other places, to lecture on the coming of Christ; and, in every instance, I have had large assemblies. There is increasing anxiety on the subject in this quarter; but they will see greater signs of these times soon, so that Christians will believe in his coming and kingdom. The harvest is about closing up, and the wrath of God is about to be poured upon our world. Pestilence, sword, and famine, will succeed each other in swift succession, and the kingdoms of this world will soon be destroyed by the "stone cut out of the mountain without hands." Yes, brother, it will soon be over when sinners can be converted. I would, therefore, advise you to lead your hearers by slow and sure steps to Jesus Christ.
"'I say slow, because I expect all are not strong enough to run yet; and sure, because the Bible is a sure word; and where your hearers are not well indoctrinated, you must preach Bible; you must prove all things by Bible; you must talk Bible; you must exhort Bible; you must pray Bible; and love Bible; and do all in your power to make others love Bible, too. One great means to do good is to make your parishioners sensible that you are in earnest, and fully and solemnly believe what you preach. If you wish your people to feel, feel yourself. If you wish them to believe as you do, show them, by your constant assiduity in teaching, that you sincerely wish it. You can do more good by the fireside, and in your conference circles, than in the pulpit. Pulpit preaching is, and has long been, considered as no more than a trade. "Why, he is hired to preach!--he must, of course, tell a good story," &c., &c. And the very reason why there is more good done in conference meetings and protracted meetings is simply this: The god of this world is shut out. They will say, He expects nothing for this; surely our salvation is his anxious desire. Reflections of this sort make strong impressions of conviction on the mind. If this man of God will make so much sacrifice, surely I ought to think, at least, how much my brother has my benefit in view in his preaching.
"'May 20, 1832. It is now almost two months since I began this letter, and I ought to make some apology for my long neglect. But I hate apologies; for we never tell the whole truth. You have, undoubtedly, seen, or will see, two numbers in the Telegraph before you receive this letter. A number more will soon follow. I expect it will start some queries, if nothing more. There is much opposition expressed by some who ought to have taught the same things. But people will think and reflect; and truth will in the end prevail. Do come, on the 13th and 14th of June, to our Association. I expect Bro. Sawyer will be ordained then. Do come. I have much to say to you; but I cannot write as I wish. . . . . . . .
"'I have just come from a prayer-meeting this morning, at our school-house, at sunrise. We are praying for the second coming of our dear Redeemer, when the "sanctuary will be cleansed." Pray with us, my brother. I am more and more satisfied that the end of the world is at hand. The evidence flows in from every quarter "The earth is reeling to and fro, like a drunkard." One short year ago, and Zion was rejoicing with her multiplied converts; now she is down "by the cold streams of Babylon." One year since, and we were enjoying a plentiful harvest; now we are sleeping in the cold, and the staff of life is neglected. Is the harvest over and past? If so, soon, very soon, God will arise in his anger, and the vine of the earth will be reaped. See, see!--the angel with his sharp sickle is about to take the field! See yonder trembling victim fall before his pestilential breath! High and low, rich and poor, trembling and falling before the appalling grave, the dreadful cholera.
"'Hark!--hear those dreadful bellowings of the angry nations! It is the presage of horrid and terrific war. Look!--look again! See crowns, and kings, and kingdoms tumbling to the dust! See lords and nobles, captains and mighty men, all arming for the bloody, demon fight! See the carnivorous fowls fly screaming through the air! See--see these signs! Behold, the heavens grow black with clouds; the sun has veiled himself; the moon, pale and forsaken, hangs in middle air; the hail descends; the seven thunders utter loud their voices; the lightnings send their vivid gleams of sulphurous flame abroad; and the great city of the nations falls to rise no more forever and forever! At this dread moment, look! look!--O, look and see! What means that ray of light? The clouds have burst asunder; the heavens appear; the great white throne is in sight! Amazement fills the universe with awe! He comes!--he comes! Behold, the Saviour comes! Lift up your heads, ye saints,--he comes!--he comes!--he comes!
"A letter written about the same time with the above, to a sister of Mr. Miller's whose husband was a Universalist, is particularly severe on those sentiments. Beginning with subjects of mere family interest, he proceeds to those of a religious; and, in speaking of the nearness of the advent, he says:--
"'I now tell you that I am more and more convinced of its truth. I have lectured on it, in a number of places this winter, and many people believe that the calculation is right. Some are afraid of it, and others will not believe; but among them all it makes a great deal of talk. Some say Esq. Miller is crazy; others, that he is a fool--and neither of them are wide from the truth. But Bro. J. and sister A. will say, "We wish Bro. William would let that subject alone. We do not want to hear so much about Christ's second coming, the end of the world, the judgment-day, and the destruction of the wicked. He knows no more about it than the man in the moon." So say I. But the Bible tells us; and that will never fail. You will see, within a few weeks, some numbers in the Vermont Telegraph, signed W. M. Read, and then judge. If it is not printed in the paper, I will send it to you in pamphlet form. I think it will be printed, at any rate.
"'I want to know if J---is a Universalist yet; and, if so, whether he can tell me who are the partakers of the second death, and what the second death is? You will find the description of them in Rev. 20th chapter, and 21:8. Be sure you are not deceived, Bro. J.; for the time is shortly coming that will try every man's work, whether it be good or evil; and if you love the Lord Jesus, show your love by believing his word, and being reconciled to his word and will. How little love to Christ do we show when we are unreconciled to his justice, his word, or the righteous judgment of God on the finally impenitent! Yes, brother; it is not contrary to the carnal mind of man to be happy, if we can be happy in our own way. Neither should we be very angry with God, if he made all others so, if we thought that was the only hope for us. But if the Universalists could contrive any plan that would be plausible, to save themselves and condemn the Calvinists, or those who preach endless misery, their actions show that they would do it quickly; or why do they rail at those who preach as Christ did? "Except a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment." Why do they oppose those meetings where souls are brought to cry out, as in the days of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do to be saved?" Did you ever hear such a cry in a Universalist meeting--where brethren and sisters were all together in prayer, with one accord praying and agonizing for the souls of their brethren according to the flesh? No!
"'Do you think they are fools, brother William? You know they do not believe in damnation. They preach all men will be saved.' 'Ah, ha! What fools the apostles were! If they had preached thus they would have saved many a bitter cry; and Father Paul might have saved himself many a bitter groan in endeavoring to save his kinsmen according to the flesh, and not have wished himself accursed from Christ for their sakes. I really wish--if it is true that all men will be saved--that Paul had known it before he made that expression, that he might save "some," when he might have said that he had the promise of God that "all" would be saved. Paul must have been as crazy as Bro. William. Oh, how many long arguments it would have saved, how many twistings of texts, and windings and turnings, if Paul, Peter, John, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Jude, and even Christ, had not said anything about two classes of mankind in a future state, and nothing about punishment being everlasting! But the Universalist is wiser than all these, now-a-days; for they do not preach so now, do they J---? WM. MILLER.
"'March 27, 1832.'
"During the summer of 1832, Mr. Miller appears to have been much engaged in attending protracted meetings, which were at that time very common in many parts of the country. Under date of 'Hampton, Oct. 1, 1832,' he wrote to Elder Hendryx:--
"' . . . When your letter arrived, I was attending a protracted meeting in Westport; and the next day after I got home I went to Poultney to attend one there. I went to Keesville to attend one as soon as we left Poultney, and only arrived home last Saturday. . . . . I have spent a great share of my time in attending protracted meetings this summer and fall.'
"In the same letter he thus exhibits his fondness for the Bible, and points out the great doctrines which he believed it inculcated:--
"'I want to see you more than ever, and when we have less company. The light is continually breaking in; and I am more and more confirmed in those things of which I told you, namely, redemption by grace; the efficacy of Christ's blood; justification by his righteousness imputed to us; sanctification through the operation of the divine Spirit; and the glorification by our gathering together unto him at his appearing. I also believe those things to be founded upon election, particular, personal, and certain; governed by the mind, will, and plan of God, which was, is, and will be eternal; and which is revealed to us so far as to give us confidence, hope, and full assurance that nothing in the divine plan, either of the means or end, can or will fail of their accomplishment.'
"The church in Low Hampton being destitute of a pastor, in a letter to the same, dated Nov. 17, 1832, Mr. Miller describes the kind of minister they wished for:--
"'We do not want one who thinks much of his own gifts, and is lifted up with pride; neither do we want a novice--I mean, a fool; one who knows nothing about the gospel of Christ. We want one who will stir up our minds, will visit, is good to learn, apt to teach, modest, unassuming, pious, devotional, and faithful to his calling. If his natural talents are brilliant, with those qualifications, they would not hurt him. If they are only moderate, they may do well enough for us. Some of our people want "a quick gab." But I should prefer a quick understanding. . . . . I set out for Salem to-morrow morning.'
"In a letter to the same, dated Hampton, Feb. 8, 1833, he writes: 'The Lord is scattering the seed. I can now reckon eight ministers who preach this doctrine, more or less, besides yourself. I know of more than one hundred private brethren who say that they have adopted my views. Be that as it may, "truth is mighty and will prevail." If I should get my views printed, how many can you dispose of, in pamphlet form? . . . Our people are about giving me a license to lecture. I hardly know what to do. I am too old, too wicked, and too proud. I want your advice. Be plain, and tell me the whole truth.'
"Shortly after, he published his views, in a pamphlet of sixty-four pages, entitled: 'Evidences from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, about the year 1843; and of his Personal Reign of One Thousand Years. By William Miller. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thess. 5:21. Brandon, Vermont, Telegraph Office, 1833.'
"Soon after the publication of this pamphlet, he had occasion to visit the city of New York. As he was passing down the Hudson, in a steamboat, a company of men standing near him were conversing respecting the wonderful improvements of the day. One of them remarked that it was impossible for things to progress for thirty years to come in the same ratio as they had done; 'for,' said he, 'man will attain to something more than human.' Mr. Miller replied to him that it reminded him of Dan. 12:4, 'Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.' A pause ensuing, Mr. M. continued, and observed that the improvements of the present day were just what we should expect at this time in the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy. He then commenced with the 11th chapter of Daniel, and, comparing the prophecy with the history, showed its fulfillment, all listening with close attention.
"He then remarked, that he had not intended trespassing so long on their patience, and, leaving them, walked to the other end of the boat. The entire company followed, and wished to hear more on the subject. He then then took up the 2d, 7th, 8th, and 9th, chapters of Daniel. His hearers wished to know if he had ever written on the subject. He told them that he had published the above pamphlet, and distributed among them what copies he had with him.
"This was one of his first audiences, and some gentlemen of high standing listened to his remarks. He scattered the most of his pamphlets gratuitously, sending them as a response to letters of inquiry respecting his views, and to places which he could not visit. Under date of April 10, 1833, in writing to Elder Hendryx, and speaking of the evil of resorting to excommunication from the church for slight causes, in view of a particular case, he says:--
"'Is the remedy better than the disease? Should we cut off a man's leg because he has a thorn in his toe? I think not. Should we set a wheat field on fire and burn the whole crop, because of a few tares in the field? No; let both grow until the harvest. Oh, how much injury is done in church discipline! The hypocrite uses it as a tool to make others think that he is very pious. The envious use it as a weapon to bring down those they imagine are getting above them. The bigot uses it to bring others to his faith; and the sectarian, to bring others to his creed, &c. But, my dear brother, how many difficulties do you think we have in our churches where the spirit of Christ is manifested through the whole trial, or where it began with "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do"? Therefore, I can frankly and honestly say that the remedy which has been applied to cure this moral disease is worse, a thousand times worse, than the original cause.'
"In the same letter, he says: 'We have no preacher, as yet, except the old man [Mr. M.] with his concordance. Last Sunday I tried to hold forth the truth from Isa. 65:25; the Sabbath before, from the same chapter, verses 17-19. I wish I had the tongue of an Apollos, and the mental power of a Paul; what a field might I not explore; and what powerful arguments might be brought to prove the authenticity of the Scriptures! But I want one thing more than either--the Spirit of Christ and of God; for he is able to take worms and thresh mountains. O my brother, let us pray for each other, especially on the Sabbath, each that the Lord would bestow this gift of the Holy Spirit upon the other. Peradventure the Lord will answer.'
"In the same letter he thus expresses his regard for the word of God: 'O may the Bible be to us a rock, a pillar, a compass, a chart, a statute, a directory, a polar star, a traveler's guide, a pilgrim's companion, a shield of faith, a ground of hope, a history, a chronology, an armory, a storehouse, a mirror, a toilet, a closet, a prayer-book, an epistle, a love letter, a friend, a foe, a revenue, a treasury, a bank, a fountain, a cistern, a garden, a lodge, a field, a haven, a sun, a moon, a star, a door, a window, a light, a lamp, a luminary, a morning, a noon, an evening, an hour-glass, a daysman, a servant.
"'It is meat, food, drink, raiment, shelter, warmth, heat, a feast, fruit, apples, pictures, wine, milk, honey, bread, butter, oil, refreshment, rest, strength, stability, wisdom, life, eyes, ears, hands, feet, breath; it is a help to hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, understanding, forgiving, loving, hoping, enjoying, adoring, and saving; it teaches salvation, justification, sanctification, redemption, and glorification; it declares condemnation, destruction and desolation; it tells us what we were, are, and shall be; begins with the beginning, carries us through the intermediate, and ends only with the end; it is past, present, and to come; it discovers the first great cause, the cause of all effects, and the effects of all causes; it speaks of life, death, and judgment, body, soul, and spirit, Heaven, earth, and hell; it makes use of all nature as figures, to sum up the value of the gospel; and declares itself to be the WORD OF GOD. And your friend and brother believes it.
"'Hampton, April 10, 1833.'
"In the autumn of this year, Mr. Miller received a license to preach, from the church of which he was a member, as follows:--
"'Let brotherly love continue: the Baptist church of Christ, in Hampton and Whitehall, do certify that Bro. William Miller is a member in regular standing in this church. Bro. Miller has been improving his gifts with us in expounding the words of divine truth in public, for some time past, to the approbation and edification of the church. We are satisfied that Bro. Miller has a gift to improve in public, and are willing he should improve the same wherever his lot may be cast among the Zion of God, that the name of the Lord may be glorified, and his followers edified. Done in church meeting, Saturday, Sept. 14, 1833. By order of the church.
"'(Signed) BYRON S. HARLOW,
"'Clerk, pro tem.'
"In a letter to his sister, before referred to, written two days subsequent to the date of the above, and dated, 'Low Hampton, Sept. 16, 1833,' he speaks of the above license, and of his labors, as follows:--
"'I have just returned from Dresden, where I have been to spend a Sabbath, and to preach to them the word of life. My texts, yesterday, were Hosea 13:1; Isa. 61:7; and Ps. 102:16. . . . I do feel anxious to come and see you; and, if the Lord will, and your people should not object, to try to speak to them of the things of the kingdom. My brethren have given me a license--unworthy and old, and disobedient as I am. Oh, to grace how great a debtor!'
"He then proceeds with matters of mere family interests, and closes with the following exhortation to his brother-in-law, respecting the doctrine of Universalism:--
"'Just as sure as the word of God is true, depend upon it, universal salvation is not true. Was this what David saw when he saw the end of the wicked? Enter into the sanctuary of your own conscience, my brother, and you will find, "NO," responded with appalling force. Enter into the sanctuary of God's word, and, in every page, you will have to meet this little word, "NO," or declarations as plain. "Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able."
"'Look at Dan. 12:9, 10; here we have the end described. What does conscience say? Be careful, my brother; remember that eternal consequences hang on your decision; and what is the answer? "Many [not all] shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand." See Mal. 4:1-3. Where are the wicked, the proud, and all that do wickedly? Do they enjoy the healing beams of the Sun of Righteousness? No. Again, in Matt. 13:49, 50. Are the wicked permitted to dwell with the just? Is Heaven and happiness their abode? Enter into the sanctuary, and what do you hear? No! No!
"'Again, in Matt. 25:12, 30, and 46. Do the foolish virgins enter in to the marriage supper? or are they ever married to the Lamb? No! Is the unprofitable servant "in light and glory"? No! No! And are the goats enjoying the same communion with the sheep? or are they going "into life eternal"? No! No! NO! Read, again, Rom. 1:18, to the fifth verse of the second chapter. Would it be unjust for God to condemn the characters there described? Your judgment tells you, No! Your conscience responds the same answer, No! Your tongue must one day answer, NO! For every tongue must and will confess to the glory of God. O my brother, enter into the sanctuary and knock while the door may be opened; seek while you may find; look while you may live; and you will most assuredly learn "their end." All the plausible reasoning of all the Universalists under the whole canopy of heaven cannot save one soul. "Except a man is born of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God."'
"During the fall of 1833, and the ensuing winter, Mr. Miller seems to have been constantly occupied in lecturing in Dresden and other towns in New York and Vermont. The very modest estimate which he had of his own abilities and qualifications as a preacher, is apparent in all his correspondence, where any reference is made to his public labors. In writing to Eld. Hendryx, under date of Low Hampton, Feb. 25, 1834, he says:--
"'You have undoubtedly heard that I have been trying to preach (as some call it) about in this vicinity. I have been laboring, it is true, in my weak manner, in Dresden, two or three months; and the Lord has seen fit to bless us with a little reformation. I have likewise preached in Putnam, Wrentham, Poultney, and in this place. You laugh, Bro. Hendryx, to think old Bro. Miller is preaching! But laugh on; you are not the only one that laughs; and it is all right--I deserve it. If I could preach the truth, it is all I could ask.'
"Being now recognized as a regularly licensed preacher his brother Hendryx naturally addressed him as the 'Rev. William Miller.' To a letter thus directed, Mr. Miller, under date of 'Hampton, March 22, 1834,' thus replied:--
"'DEAR BRO. HENDRYX:--I wish you would look into your Bible and see if you can find the word Rev. applied to a sinful mortal like myself; and govern yourself accordingly . . . . Let us be determined to live and die on the Bible. God is about to rise and punish the inhabitants of the world. The proud, the high, the lofty, must be brought low; and the humble, the meek, and the contrite, will be exalted. Then, what care I for what the world calls great or honorable? Give me Jesus, and a knowledge of his word, faith in his name, hope in his grace, interest in his love, and let me be clothed in his righteousness, and the world may enjoy all the high-sounding titles, the riches it can boast, the vanities it is heir to, and all the pleasures of sin; and they will be no more than a drop in the ocean.
"'Yes, let me have Jesus Christ, and then vanish all earthly toys. What glory has God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ! In him all power centers. In him all power dwells. He is the evidence of all truth, the fountain of all mercy, the giver of all grace, the object of all adoration, and the source of all light; and I hope to enjoy him to all eternity. What! such a sinful wretch as I enjoy Christ? How can this be? Yes, yes; through the electing love of God, the sprinkling of the blood of the covenant, and the work of regeneration, such a sinner as I may be cleansed from sin, purified, and made white, and glorified in the New Jerusalem, together with him, and with all who love our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and who love his appearing.
"'Bro. H., shall you and I appear together in that general assembly and church of the firstborn? If God will, I hope we shall there meet, to part no more. How can I realize the glory that will there be manifested? And how could I bear the thought to be banished from the face of Jesus, and from the glory of his power? Forbid it, O my Redeemer! Forbid! and let grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.'
"The same devotional feelings are manifest in all his epistles, and also evince that he experienced nearness of access to God, and great religious enjoyment.
"Mr. Miller kept no journal, nor any record of the places he visited, till October, 1834. Beginning at a place called 'The Forks,' supposed to be 'Moore's Forks' in Clinton County, N. Y., the names of places where, the dates when, and the texts from which, he preached, are given in two small memorandum-books as follows:--
"PLACE. TIME. TEXT. TEXT.
Forks, N. Y., Oct. 1. Luke 15:18. Rev. 8:13.
Keesville, N. Y., " 5. Rev. 1:20. Job 23:24.
Beekmantown, " 6. Dan. 8:13, 14. " 10:14.
Plattsburgh, " 8. Dan. 8:13,14. Rev. 20:6.
Keesville, " 11. 1 Cor. 3:11.
" " 12. Rom. 8:6, 7. Luke 15:18.
Westport, " 14. Dan. 8:13, 14. " 10:14.
" " 15. Rev. 20:6.
"After visiting the above places, he returned home to Low Hampton, and soon after wrote to Eld. Hendryx, as follows:--
"'NORTH HAMPTON, OCT. 23, 1834.
"'MY DEAR BROTHER HENDRYX:--Your favor of Sept. 17 came to hand while I was absent on a tour into Clinton County, of about six weeks. I gave thirty-six lectures on the second coming of Christ, was at two covenant meetings, attended two protracted meetings in said time, saw a number of new-born babes in Christ; and now, being at home, I shall write to Bro. H. and rest myself a little.
"'I am every day more convinced that the whole word of God is given for our instruction, reproof, and correction; and that the prophecies contain the strongest evidences of the divinity and truth of the Bible; and present to saint and sinner the strongest motives for a holy life, and repentance and faith toward God, that can be produced. When John preached repentance, he prophesied that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand, as a principal motive. The apostles prophesied that God had appointed a day, in which he would judge the world in righteousness, by that man, Jesus Christ; and your unworthy brother in Christ proclaims that the day is at hand, when "he that is filthy will be filthy still, and he that is holy will be holy still;" and that Christ is now standing at the door and knocking for the last time. And, my dear brother, I can truly say that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." And yet how many professed ministers of Christ, at the present day, treat that part of the word with total neglect, and even laugh and jeer at those who would warn the people of their approaching danger. But God has supported me beyond my most sanguine expectation. And although they say much before they hear, yet when they do hear they seem confounded.
"'The evidence is so clear, the testimony is so strong, that we live on the eve of the present dispensation, toward the dawn of the glorious day, that I wonder why ministers and people do not wake up and trim their lamps. Yes, my brother, almost two years since you heard the news, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh!"--and yet you cry, A little more sleep, a little more slumber. Blame not your people if they go to sleep under your preaching. You have done the same. Bear with me, my brother. In every letter you have written me, you have promised to study this all-important subject, and in every letter you confess your negligence. The day draws near. More than one-sixth of the time is gone since my brother Hendryx promised, and yet asleep! O God, forgive him! Are you waiting for all the world to wake up before you dare get up? Where has your courage fled? Awake! awake! O sluggard! Defend your own castle, or take sides with the word of God; destroy or build. You must not, you cannot, you shall not be neutral. Awake! awake! Tell Deacon Smith to help wake you. Tell him, for me, to shake you, and not give out shaking, until Bro. H. will put on the whole armor of light.
"'In every church where I have lectured on this important subject, many, very many, seem to awake, rub open their eyes, and then fall back to sleep again. But the enemy is waking up. In one town (North Beekmantown) I received a letter, the day after my first lecture, from some bullies and blackguards, that if I did not clear out of the State, they would put me where the dogs could never find me. The letter was signed by ten of them. I stayed, and, blessed be God! he poured out his Spirit, and began a work which gainsayers could not resist.
"'Some ministers try to persuade their people not to hear me; but the people will go, and every additional lecture will bring an additional multitude, until their meeting-houses cannot hold them. Depend upon it, my brother, God is in this thing; and he will be glorified; and blessed be his holy name! Do pray for me, my brother, that I may have grace equal to my need, and that I may always see my need, feel my weakness, and be kept humble, and that I may always declare the truth. Do pray!
"'I think, if the Lord will, I shall be in your section of country next spring or summer. Do give me a list of some brethren between here and your place, if you can.
"'I remain yours in Christ,
"Two days subsequent to the date of the above, Mr. M. was again in the field; and, according to his memorandum-book, gave lectures as follows: Oct. 25 and 26, at Paulet, Vt.; Nov. 6, 8, and 9, at Orwell, Vt.; 10 and 12, Cornwall, Vt.; and Nov. 16, in Hampton, N. Y. His success in the above places is indicated in the following extract from a letter which he wrote Elder Hendryx from Low Hampton, on the 28th of Nov., 1834:--
"'I have had good success since I wrote you before. The Lord has been with me. I have been into a number of towns in Vermont. Some old, hardened rebels have been brought to plead for mercy, even before my course of lectures was finished. Blessed be the holy name of God! He has given me more than I should have dared to ask. How good, my brother, it is to preach, having God for paymaster! He pays down. He pays in souls. He paid the Shepherd thus, and he was satisfied; will he not pay his servants too? Yes, yes. Bless his name, O my soul, for all his benefits!
"'I find that studious Christians are the best hearers: and the reason is obvious. The more we know of mankind, the less room there is for bigotry, superstition, and prejudice. Those are evils always attending ignorance.'
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