William Miller’s Apology and Defence, August 1



I was then fully settled in the conclusions which seven years previously had begun to bear with such impressive force upon my mind; and the duty of presenting the evidence of the nearness of the advent to others, - which I had managed to evade while I could find the shadow of an objection remaining against its truth - again came home to me with great force. I had, previously, only thrown out occasional hints of my views. I then began to speak more clearly my opinions to my neighbors, to ministers, and others. To my astonishment, I found very few who listened with any interest. Occasionally, one would see the force of the evidence; but the great majority passed it by as an idle tale. I was, therefore, disappointed in finding any who would declare this doctrine, as I felt it should be, for the comfort of saints, and as a warning to sinners. WMAD 15.2

I continued to study the Scriptures, and was more and more convinced that I had a personal duty to perform respecting this matter. When I was about my business, it was continually ringing in my ears, “Go and tell the world of their danger.” This text was constantly occurring to me, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” - Ezekiel 33:8, 9. I felt that if the wicked could be effectually warned, multitudes of them would repent; and that if they were not warned, their blood might be required at my hand. I did all I could to avoid the conviction that any thing was required of me; and I thought that by freely speaking of it to all, I should perform my duty, and that God would raise up the necessary instrumentality for the accomplishment of the work. I prayed that some minister might see the truth, and devote himself to its promulgation; but still it was impressed upon me, “Go and tell it to the world: their blood will I require at thy hand.” WMAD 15.3

The more I presented it in conversation, the more dissatisfied I felt with myself for withholding it from the public. I tried to excuse myself to the Lord for not going out and proclaiming it to the world. I told the Lord that I was not used to public speaking, that I had not the necessary qualifications to gain the attention of an audience, that I was very diffident and feared to go before the world, that they would “not believe me nor hearken to my voice,” that I was “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” But I could get no relief. WMAD 16.1

In this way I struggled on for nine years longer, pursuing the study of the Bible, doing all I could to present the nearness of Christ’s coming to those whom circumstances threw in my way, but resisting my impressions of duty, to go out as a public teacher. I was then fifty years old, and it seemed impossible for me to surmount the obstacles which lay in my path, to successfully present it in a public manner. WMAD 16.2