A Higher Standard – Part 3

TimeWatch Editorial
January 26, 2017

Continuing from where we left off in our last Editorial, we see that having received a preacher’s license, and having made clear his beliefs, William Miller went forth to deliver the word. He received the following approval of his colleagues in the Baptist Church. The Certificate was dates March 19, 1835.

"This may certify, to whom it may concern, that we, whose names are hereunto affixed, - being ministers in the denomination of regular Baptists, - are personally acquainted with Bro. William Miller, the bearer of this certificate; that he is a member, and a licentiate in good regular standing, in the particular Baptist church, in Hampton, N. Y.; that we have heard his lectures on the subject of the Second Coming and Reign of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that we believe his views on that particular subject, as well as others pertaining to the gospel, are worthy to be known and read of all men. As such an one, we commend him to God, and the affectionate acceptance of our brethren in the precious Saviour.”
SIGNED: J. Sawyer, Jr., South Reading, E. Halping, Hampton, Amos Stearns, Fort Ann, and Emerson Andrews, Lansingburgh

Often, when we consider the reach of Mr. Miller’s messages, we fail to recognize the fact that his message was embraced by many of his colleagues. On June 28, 1836, the following statement was signed by those listed below.

"Having heard the above-mentioned lectures, I see no way to avoid the conclusion that the coming of Christ will be as soon as 1843.

SIGNED: R. S. Palmer, Stockholm, N. Y.           Joel H. Green, Parishville.

Silas Pratt, Nicholsville.                                    Wareham Walker, Shaftsbury, Vt.

Edw. B. Crandell, Lansingburgh, N. Y.             James Ten Brooke, Panton, Vt.

Edward Mitchell, Canada.                                 Samuel B. Ryder, Jr., Canada.

S. C. Dillaway, West Granville, N. Y.                  Wakeman G. Johnson, Whiting, Vt.

B. Carpenter, Addison.                                       J. Fuller, Poultney.

Holland Turner, Plattsburg.                                A. Jones, Jr., Middlebury.

Anthony Case, Cornwall.                                    Albert Stone, Johnston.

Prosper Powell, Troy, Vt.                                    Samuel Marshall, Fort Ann, N. Y.

Isaac Wescott, Stillwater.                                   William W. Moor, Bristol.

Edward S. Soullard, Middletown.

Sylvester Bliss and Joshua V. Himes, “Memoirs of William Miller,” 1853, page 103

The recommendation continues as follows: "I do cordially recommend the above, and its bearer, Brother Miller.” Then these other signatures followed:


George Norris, Granville.                          Jehial K. Wright, Weybridge.

M. D. Miller, Monkton.                                Simon Fletcher, Bridgeport, Vt.

John A Dodge, Ferrisburg.                                  Elias Hurlbut, Andover, Vt.

Samuel Pollard, Weston, "                                   Edmund Goodnough, Agent B.G.T.S.

Arurah Allen, West Haven.                                   Hiram Safford, Keeseville.

Friend Blood, Brookfield.                                    Benjamin Willard, East Williamstwn.

Lyman Culver, Barre.                                            Isaiah Huntley, Jericho.

John Lord, East Randolph, Mass.                       James M. Beeman, Westford, Vt.

Oliver Ayer, Littleton, Mass."

Sylvester Bliss and Joshua V. Himes, “Memoirs of William Miller,” 1853, page 103

The above recommendation is then completed with the following signed statement.

"The above I certify to be a true copy of an original Ministerial Recommendation, signed by the above-named persons. The sentiments I believe correct, and according to the word of God. I think it will be fulfilled in 1843, or thereabouts.

SIGNED: Justus Da Lee, Cambridge."

Sylvester Bliss and Joshua V. Himes, “Memoirs of William Miller,” 1853, page 103

Clearly then, the anticipated coming of Christ in the year 1843 was well accepted by a number of Miller’s colleagues and associates in the ministry. Not only was his message generally accepted but he had an incredibly busy schedule. Notice the following.

“After visiting Fort Ann, N. Y., on the 3rd of May, he lectured in Whitehall, N. Y., on the 10th and 17th of the same month; in West Haven, on the 7th of June, and in Middlebury, Vt., on the 14th. From that place he went into the province of Lower Canada, and lectured, on the 21st and 23rd, at Bolton; the 25th, at Hutting; the 28th, 29th, and July 1st, at Derby; July 2nd, at Georgeville; the 5th and 6th, at Bolton, again; the 7th, at Outlet; and the 8th and 9th at Stanstead Plain. On the 12th, he lectured at Derby, Vt.; the 13th, at Troy, Vt.; the 14th, at Lowell, Vt.; the 15th, at Eden, Vt.; the 16th, at Cambridge, Vt.; the 17th, at Jericho, Vt.; and the 19th, at Orwell, Vt. During this tour, while in Canada, a woman placed two half-dollars in his hand, which was all the assistance he received previous to 1836. His expenses for travel, etc., were paid from his own funds.” Sylvester Bliss and Joshua V. Himes, “Memoirs of William Miller,” 1853, page 104

William Miller’s driving force is described in a letter he wrote to Elder Hendryx, from Low Hampton, in which he says:

"I am yet engaged in warning the inhabitants to be prepared for the great day of God Almighty, and am endeavoring to prove by the Scriptures that it is near, even at the doors ... I always present this as an inducement for men to repent. I call on them in the name of my dear Master to turn, repent, believe, and obey him. I beseech them, for the value of their souls, to believe in Christ. I implore them to lay up treasures in heaven. I importune with them, again and again, to read, reflect, examine, and see if the word of God is not true. I show them its complete fulfillment thus far, and then I pray God to direct the arrow to the heart. I ask God, through Jesus Christ, to nerve the arm that pulls the bow, and to sharpen the arrow that twangs from it. I then put all my confidence in God, and in his promise, 'Lo, I am with you even to the end of the world.'” Sylvester Bliss and Joshua V. Himes, “Memoirs of William Miller,”
1853, page 104

It is not surprising that he had the level of impact upon those with whom he came in contact. His commitment and devotion is certainly the sort of example we should pattern.

Cameron A. Bowen

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