William Miller’s Apology and Defence, August 1



One Saturday after breakfast, in the summer of 1833, I sat down at my desk to examine some point; and as I arose to go out to work, it came home to me with more force than ever, “Go and tell it to the world.” 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, etc.; 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. WMAD 17.2

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?” 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. WMAD 18.1