William Miller’s Apology and Defence, August 1



Various difficulties and objections would arise in my mind, from time to time; certain texts would occur to me, which seemed to weigh against my conclusions; and I would not present a view to others, while any difficulty appeared to militate against it. I therefore continued the study of the Bible, to see if I could sustain any of these objections. My object was not merely to remove them, but I wished to see if they were valid. WMAD 13.2

Sometimes when at work, a text would arise like this, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man,” etc.: and how then could the Bible reveal the time of the advent? I would then immediately examine the context in which it was found, and I saw at once, that in the same connection we are informed how we may know when it is nigh, even at the doors: consequently that text could not teach that we could know nothing of the time of that event. Other texts which are advanced in support of the doctrine of a temporal millennium, would arise; but on examining their context, I invariably found that they were applicable only to the eternal state, or were so illustrative of the spread of the Gospel here, as to be entirely irrelevant to the position they were adduced to support. WMAD 13.3

Thus all those passages that speak of the will of God being done on earth as in heaven, of the earth being full of the knowledge of the glory of God, etc. could not be applicable to a time when the Man of Sin was prevailing against the saints, or when the righteous and wicked were dwelling together, which is to be the case until the end of the world. Those which speak of the gospel being preached in all the world, teach that as soon as it should be thus preached, the end was to come, so that it could not be delayed 1000 years from that time, nor long enough for the world’s conversion after the preaching of the gospel as a witness. WMAD 14.1

The question of the resurrection and judgment, was for a time an obstacle in the way: being instructed that all the dead would be raised at the same time, I supposed it must be so taught in the Bible; but I soon saw it was one of the traditions of the elders. WMAD 14.2

So also with the return of the Jews: that question I saw could only be sustained by denying the positive declarations of the New Testament which assert, “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek” - that “the promise that he shall be the heir of the world was not to Abraham and his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith” - that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female,” but that “if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” I was therefore obliged to discard an objection which asserts there is a difference between the Jew and Greek - that the children of the flesh are accounted for the seed, etc. WMAD 14.3

In this way I was occupied for five years, from 1818 to 1823, in weighing the various objections which were being presented to my mind. During that time, more objections arose in my mind, than have been advanced by my opponents since; and I know of no objection that has been since advanced, which did not then occur to me. But however strong they at first appeared, after examining them in the light of the divine word, I could only compare them to straws laid down singly as obstacles, on a well beaten road: the car of truth rolled over them, unimpeded in its progress. WMAD 15.1