William Miller 1782-1849
William Miller had a strong religious background, but he became attached to the wrong “crowd”. His friends set aside the Bible and had vague ideas about God and His personality. When Miller was thirty-four years of age he became dissatisfied with his views. The Holy Spirit impressed his heart, and he turned to the study of the Word of God. He found in Christ the answer to all his needs. His study led him to the great prophecies that pointed to the first and to the second advent of our Lord. The time prophecies interested him, particularly the prophecies of Daniel and The Revelation.
In the year 1818, as a result of his study of the prophecies of Daniel 8 and 9, he came to the conclusion that Christ would come some time in the year 1843 or 1844. He hesitated until 1831 before he began to announce his findings. From his first public service we may mark the beginnings of the Advent movement in North America. In the months and years that followed, roughly 100,000 persons came to believe in the imminence of Christ’s second coming.
Following the great disappointment of 1844, Miller lived for several years. He fell asleep in Christ in 1849. A small chapel stands near his home in Low Hampton, New York, built by Miller before he died. In spite of his misunderstanding of the event that was to transpire in 1844, God used him to awaken the world to the nearness of the end and to prepare sinners for the time of judgment.
(Vol. 1, No. 2 of “Lest We Forget” features William Miller.)