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"The doctor subtracted 490 from 2300, and replied, 1810. Why,' said he, 'that is past.
But,' said Mr. Miller, there were 1810 from 33; in what year would that come?"
"The doctor saw at once that the 33 should be added, and set down 33 and 1810, and, adding them, replied, '1843.'
"At this unexpected result, the doctor settled back in his chair and colored; but immediately took his hat and left the house in a rage.
"The next day he again called on Mr. Miller, and looked as though he had been in the greatest mental agony.
"Why, Mr. Miller,' said he, I am going to hell. I have not slept a wink since I was here yesterday. I have looked at the question in every light, and the vision must terminate about A. D. 1843; and I am unprepared, and must go to hell.'
“Mr. Miller calmed him, and pointed him to the ark of safety; and in about a week, calling each day on Mr. Miller, he found peace to his soul, and went on his way rejoicing, as great a monomaniac as Mr. Miller. He afterward acknowledged that, till he made the figures. 1843, he had no idea of the result to which he was coming.
HIS PUBLIC 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. c. ; but my distress became so great, I entered into a solemn covenant with God that if he would open the way, I would go and perform my duty to the world. What do you mean by opening the way? seemed to come to me. Why, said I, if I should have an invitation to speak publicly in any place, I will go and tell them what I find in the Bible about the Lord's coming. Instantly all my burden was gone, and I rejoiced that I should not probably be thus called upon; for I had never had such an invitation. My trials were not known, and I had but little expectation of being invited to any field of labor.
"In about half an hour from this time, before I had left the room, a son of Mr. Guilford, of Dresden, about sixteen miles from my residence, came in, and said that his father had sent for me, and wished me to go home with him. Supposing that he wished to see me on some business, I asked him what he wanted. He replied that there was to be no preaching in their church the next day, and his father wished to have me come and talk to the people on the subject of the Lord's coming. I was immediately angry with myself for having made the covenant I had; I rebelled at once against the Lord, and determined not to go. I left the boy without giving him any answer, and retired in great distress to a grove near by. There I struggled with the Lord for about an hour, endeavoring to release myself from the covenant I had made with him; but I could get no
relief. It was impressed upon my conscience, Will you make a covenant with God, and break it so soon? 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 I complied. They flocked in from the neighboring towns; a revival commenced, and it was said that in thirteen families all but two persons were hopefully converted.
"On the Monday following I returned home, and found a letter from Elder Fuller, of Poultney, Vt., requesting me to go and lecture there on the same subject. They had not heard of my going to Dresden. I went to Poultney, and lectured there with similar effect.
"From thence I went by invitation to Pawlet, and other towns in that vicinity. The churches of Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists, were thrown open. In almost every place I visited, my labors resulted in the reclaiming of backsliders, and the conversion of sinners. I was usually invited to fields of labor by the ministers of the several congregations whom I visited, who gave
me their countenance; and I have never labored in any place to which I was not previously invited. The most pressing invitations from the ministry, and the leading members of the churches, poured in continually from that time, during the whole period of my public labors, and with more than one-half of which I was unable to comply. Churches were thrown open everywhere, and I lectured to crowded houses, through the western part of Vermont, the northern part of New York, and in Canada East; and powerful reformations were the results of my labors."
"CONVERSION OF ONE HUNDRED INFIDELS.
"With the 1st of January, 1838, he commenced a second course of lectures at Lansingburgh, N. Y., in compliance with the urgent request of the Baptist church in that place, and of E. B. Crandall, their pastor. The lectures continued nine days, and were listened to by crowded and attentive audiences. The result also was most heart-cheering. Infidelity had several strongholds in that neighborhood, and many of that class attended his lectures, and were greatly affected by them. In a letter dated on the 25th of that month, two weeks after the close of the lectures, a gentleman of that place writes to Mr. Miller :
"I have never witnessed so powerful an effect in any place as in this, on all who heard. I am of the opinion that not less than one hundred persons who held infidel sentiments are brought to believe the Bible. Infidelity is dumb in this place, as if frightened, and converts are many.'
"The following testimony of one who was converted from infidelity during these lectures, is copied from the
Boston Investigator (an infidel paper) of January, 1845: "Mr. Editor: I was a warm supporter of the views of Abner Kneeland, attended his lectures and protracted dances, disbelieved in Divine revelation and a future existence, and fully accorded with Mr. Kneeland's views. of religion. Having read every work of note that I could obtain, and having heard many lectures opposed to God and the Bible, I considered myself prepared to overthrow the Christian faith, and feared no argument that could be brought from the Bible. With these feelings, I attended a full course of Mr. Miller's lectures. He gave his rules of interpretation, and pledged himself to prove his position. I approved of his rules,-to which I refer you,—and the result was, he established the fact that the Bible is what it purports to be-the word of God-to my mind, beyond a doubt; and I have taken it as the man of my counsel. I notice your doubts of the truth of the statement in relation to hundreds of infidels being converted under the preaching of Mr. Miller. This may possibly be owing to your never having given Mr. Miller a candid and thorough hearing. He is a man mighty in the Scriptures, and has done terrible execution in the ranks of the "King's enemies," with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I am personally acquainted with nearly one hundred who held to similar views with Abner Kneeland, who were converted under the preaching of Mr. Miller; and we did not yield the point without a struggle, nor without due consideration. Each and every prop and refuge of infidelity and unbelief was taken away from us, and our sandy foundation was swept by the truth of the Almighty as chaff is driven by the wind. Yet we parted with them much as a man parts with a diseased tooth. We tried to cure and keep it there, and when made to