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Miller’s Works, vol. 1. Views of the Prophecies and Prophetic Chronology

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    BRIEF REVIEW OF DOWLING’S REPLY TO MILLER. No.I

    DEAR BRO. HIMES:-I thank you for the book you sent me,-“Dowling’s Reply to Miller.” I was in hopes, when I read his introduction, we should have fair argument at least; yet when he gave his reasons for exposing my expositions, (as he calls them,) I had some fears that I had not found in him an honest, disinterested opponent.MWV1 182.1

    “Were the doctrine of Mr. Miller established upon evidence satisfactory to my own mind, I would not rest till I had published in the streets, and proclaimed in the ears of my fellow-townsmen, and especially of my beloved flock, ‘“THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND!” Build no more houses! plant no more fields and gardens! forsake your shops and farms, and all secular pursuits, and give every moment to preparation for this great event! for in three short years this earth shall be burned up, and Christ shall come in the clouds, awake the sleeping dead, and call all the living before his dread tribunal.’ It is not, therefore, in a captious spirit that the following pages are sent into the world, but in order to vindicate myself, as a minister of the gospel, from what would be a most criminal neglect in not sounding such an ALARM.”MWV1 182.2

    The amount of the above extract is simply this: he would disobey the positive command of Christ, “occupy till I come,” and counteract a prophecy of the dear Savior, Luke 17:28-30, “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed,”-and be a fanatic. No danger, Mr. Dowling; with these motives, God will never call you to warn mankind: your wisdom would be folly with God. But I have read the work, and, if I am not in an “egregious error,” I plainly saw that Mr. Dowling was laboring in an uphill business. It was like the prayer we heard in Boston last winter, when the speaker prayed to God, “begging that he would not suffer men to burn up their Bibles after 1843.” I find it, also, to be full of the same spirit of boasting and bragging which we find in “Miller Overthrown,” “Miller Exploded,” “Boston Resolution,” etc.; all of which are signs of the last days. See 2 Timothy 3:1, 2: “This know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” Our great men were in trouble; therefore Mr. Dowling must throw darkness upon the Bible-he must preach up that men cannot understand the Bible unless we come to him or some other A.M. or a D.D. Let me here say, once for all, I do not despise good men who may have worn or now wear these titles. I do not despise learning; for of all things on earth which I ever beheld, a humble, learned man I truly love. But I do despise these baubles or titles, which have become too common in the christian world, which the Son of God never wore, and taught his followers to reject.MWV1 182.3

    Mr. Dowling begins first with the seventy weeks; and, after shifting, twisting, and turning, he says, page 49, “Mr. Miller says the 490 years begin B.C. 457, which is correct. He says they end A.D. 33, which is also correct.” This is all I ask. If it ended in 33, then 1810 would end in 1843. Let this part of the controversy be settled here. No matter when Christ died, it has nothing to do with the argument. We are then agreed that 70 weeks or 490 days were just fulfilled in 490 years, ending A.D. 33. So far we agree. In his next section, page 53, after quotingMWV1 183.1

    Daniel’s vision, he then begins to confuse the minds of his readers, by quoting all the ancient and modern opinions of men;-he dares not stand on Bible alone. But I shall not follow him in his confusion of tongues. We wish to understand the question, Daniel 8:13, “For how long a time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue, to give both the sanctuary and host to be trodden under foot?” Answer, “Unto two thousand three hundred days.” With this translation, I have no difficulty. But what vision? I answer, the ram, he-goat, and little horn. Mr. Dowling, on pages 85 and 86, has endeavored to make people believe that I fix the rise of the little horn at the beginning of the vision. I cannot impute this to his ignorance; it cannot be less than a wanton disregard to truth; for he well knew I had applied the “little horn” to Rome pagan and papal. See page 59 of his own work. The text inquires, “For how long time shall the vision last?” not how long shall the little horn last? So all that he has said on that point is sheer duplicity, to blind, and draw his readers from the point at issue. The point at issue is, doth the vision contain any thing, or time, but the history of Antiochus, and the time he defiled the temple? I answer, it does; and every reader must see that it contains a part, if not all, of the Persian history, all of the Grecian, and all of the “little horn,” which evidently includes Antichrist, which power is to end only with Christ’s coming. See Daniel 7:21, 22. 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Remember the question: “For how long time shall the vision last?” The vision begins with the ram pushing westward, which is Persia warring against Grecia, according to Mr. Dowling’s own showing. Then for him to say the answer only includes Antiochus Epiphanes, is a perversion of the question. It includes Grecia under Alexander, the four kingdoms into which his was divided, then another power, called a “little horn,” when the transgression of the Jews should come to the full. See the instruction of the angel, Daniel 8:23-25: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes: but he shall be broken without hand.” Was this all done under Antiochus? was it not his own power which defiled the temple? Surely it was. But Mr. Dowling says this “little horn” means a person, not a kingdom. He says, “To this it may be replied, that while in most instances in this prophecy,” and he ought to have said in every instance, “a horn does signify a kingdom, to assert that it does so in this case is begging the question.” Is this your logic, Mr. Dowling? Suppose, sir, you write me a letter; in that letter you use the word “student” ten times-nine times you explain yourself to mean a “wise man;” would it be begging the question to call the tenth a “wise man?” And if my opponent called it “a fool,” would he not be put upon his proof to show you meant in this isolated case “a fool?” And as Mr. Dowling has admitted my proof, and brought not a particle of proof from the Bible to support his assertion, I can safely rest my view, that it means the Roman kingdom, or that abomination spoken of by Christ, Matthew 24:15, which would destroy the city and sanctuary, the Jews as a people, and magnify himself, and stand up against Christ.MWV1 184.1

    I shall now examine the evidence he has brought against the seventy weeks being a part of the vision. In this he evidently has tried to blind people’s eyes, by hiding the truth and throwing dust.MWV1 185.1

    “But the reader who has not read Mr. Miller’s book will inquire, Does he place the date so far back without a shadow of a reason? I reply, I have read his third lecture very carefully, to discover whether he has any reason whatever for placing the commencement of the 2300 years at the same time as the commencement of the 70 weeks, and I can discover none, except a most singular inference he draws from the words in Daniel 8:21, ‘the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision, at the beginning, touched me,’ etc.”MWV1 185.2

    He says I have brought no other proof but Daniel 8:21. Now let the reader turn to my lectures, page 57, twenty-second and twenty-third lines from the top. “Does not the angel say to Daniel 9:23, [not 8. or 9:21,] Therefore understand the matter and consider the vision?” He has quoted a wrong verse, and then says the word “the” is not in the Hebrew; he dares not say the word “the” is not in the twenty-third and twenty-fourth verses,-“to seal up the vision,” etc. You see, my dear reader, how your ministers will stoop to the meanest subterfuges to deceive you, and “cry peace.” But not all of them. No: I bless God there are a few honest ones left yet. But this book is evidently got up to throw darkness upon the people, to misrepresent my views, and to clothe the scripture in a mantle of darkness.MWV1 186.1

    In pages 84-86 he has misrepresented my views entirely: I have nowhere said the “little horn” began the vision, or had its rise until 158 years B.C., when the Grecians ceased to trouble the Jews, and the Romans began to work deceitfully. All his arguments, then, are founded on false premises. And I may well say the whole of his arguments are built upon false premises and conjectures. His four years, of which he attempts to make so much, has no effect on my system at all. I think Christ died A.D. 33. He thinks Christ died A.D. 29. But the end of the 70 weeks, he says, was A.D. 33. Very well, sir, this is all I ask; you may think what you please about Christ’s death, it is the year I want, whether you reckon 453 and add 37, or reckon 457 and add 33. We agree it is 33, according to our chronology. And from the end of the 70 weeks I may reckon “backwards or forwards” as I please. Now, sir, if the instruction that Gabriel gives Daniel in the 9th chapter is concerning the vision of the 8th chapter, then I am right. If not, then I may be wrong.MWV1 186.2

    Let all of our readers examine for themselves, and then their blood must be on their own heads. I wish not to deceive any—nor be deceived. I ask the reader to read Daniel 8:16-19; then read Daniel 9:21 to 24; and determine for himself what “vision” the angel came to make Daniel understand, and what “vision and prophet or prophecy” would be sealed up by the 70 weeks. This is the turning point, and Mr. Dowling knows it, or he would never have tried so hard to misquote and darken my arguments, which he will not call “arguments,” and by which expression he has discovered his prejudice, and his unfitness to review any serious or candid work. “Let no man deceive you by any means.” WILLIAM MILLER. Low Hampton, July 13, 1840.MWV1 187.1

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