William Miller’s Apology and Defence, August 1



From the commencement of that publication, I was overwhelmed with invitations to labor in various places; with which I complied as far as my health and time would allow. I labored extensively in all the New England and Middle States, in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and in Canada East and West, giving about four thousand lectures in something like five hundred different towns. WMAD 22.2

I should think that about two hundred ministers embraced my views, in all the different parts of the United States and Canada; and that there have been about five hundred public lecturers. In all the sections of country where I labored, not only in the towns I visited, but in those in their vicinity, there were more or less that embraced the doctrine of the Advent: in some places only a very few, and in other places there have been a large number. WMAD 22.3

In nearly a thousand places Advent congregations have been raised up, numbering, as near as I can estimate, some fifty thousand believers. On recalling to mind the several places of my labors, I can reckon up about six thousand instances of conversion from nature’s darkness to God’s marvellous light, - the result of my personal labors alone; and I should judge the number to be much greater. Of this number I can recall to mind about 700 who were previously to their attending my lectures, infidels; and their number may have been twice as great. Great results have also followed from the labors of my brethren, many of whom I would like to mention here, if my limits would permit. WMAD 22.4

In all my labors I never had the desire, or thought to establish any separate interest from that of existing denominations; or to benefit one at the expense of another. I thought to benefit all. Supposing that all Christians would rejoice in the prospect of Christ’s coming; and that those who could not see as I did, would not love any the less those who should embrace this doctrine, I did not conceive there would ever be any necessity for separate meetings. My whole object was a desire to convert souls to God, to notify the world of a coming judgment, and to induce my fellow-men to make that preparation of heart which will enable them to meet their God in peace. The great majority of those who were converted under my labors, united with the various existing churches. When individuals came to me to enquire respecting their duty, I always told them to go where they would feel at home: and I never favored any one denomination in my advice to such. WMAD 23.1

But my brethren began to complain that they were not fed by their ministers; and wanted expository preaching. I told them it was their duty to interest their ministers in the prophecies, but if they could not receive the teachings under which they sat, they must act in accordance with their own sense of duty. They then began to complain that they had not liberty in the churches to present their views freely, or to exhort their brethren to prepare for the judgment. Those in the neighborhood of Advent preaching, felt that when they could listen to these glorious truths, it was their privilege so to do. For this many of them were treated coldly, some came out of their churches, and some were expelled. - Where the blame lay, it is not necessary here to enquire; there was doubtless wrong on both sides. The result was, that a general feeling of opposition arose, on the part of the ministers and churches that did not embrace these views, against those who were looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. WMAD 23.2