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

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    REVIEW OF DOWLING. No. II

    DEAR BRO. HIMES:-I am pained to the heart when I see the deceit and art that are used at the present day to lull the church to sleep and deceive souls. Yes, I see even those who profess to be servants of Christ and lovers of souls, taking sides with the scoffer, and ridiculing and treating with contempt an important doctrine of the Bible, which has eternal consequences hanging upon a right understanding and a just appreciation of its truth. Of all the writers which I have seen, none is equal to “John Dowling, A.M., pastor of the Pine-street Baptist church, Providence, R.I.” He, in my opinion, will be the means of sinking more souls into perdition, than your “ParsonsMWV1 187.2

    Cooke, Whittemore, Skinner, Cobb, Thomas,” and all the host of scoffers put together. For they have only prompted men to read and hear with more attention and profit. But Dowling steals upon men in that sly, deceitful, and artful manner, that they are chilled before they know it, and poisoned with a noxious vapor by the air they breathe. The effects will be easily seen, wherever Dowling’s work is read and believed: the Bible will be neglected, reformations will cease, and indifference succeed.MWV1 188.1

    Permit me, now, in a farther review of this work, to examine a few of his main attacks on my “four pillars,” as he calls them. 1. The 2300 days, Daniel 8:13, 14. This he has endeavored to destroy, root and branch; and if his assertion were evidence, I would give it up; but to a rational and free mind it is not sufficient. He begins with the 70 weeks, at the last end of my argument. (He calls it no argument.) You may inquire why he begins with the seventy weeks. This is very evident;-he wishes to avoid the main argument. And first, he asserts, over and over again, that I am ignorant. This would throw some dust in the reader’s eyes. What is his final conclusion? I answer-he finally concludes, that 70 weeks were fulfilled in 490 years, and ended A.D. 33. Ignorant as I am, we agree in this to a charm. Very well. What is his next argument? His next argument of any bearing or force is, that “the vision of the ram and he-goat” was Antiochus Epiphanes. Here, he is very careful to keep out of sight my argument that the three visions, had at three several times, are but one prophecy: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel 2:26-45; also Daniel 7.; and then Daniel 8., the ram and he-goat. My argument was, that these three visions are but one prophecy. “The dreams are the same,” as Joseph said to Pharaoh. And if this be true, then the little horn, instead of being Antiochus, must be the Roman kingdom. This would be natural; and then, to be consistent, all the proof that I should be under any obligation to show would be the agreement between the little hornMWV1 188.2

    and the Roman kingdom. The little horn in the 7th chapter is explained to mean the fourth or Roman kingdom. See Daniel 7:7, 8. And what rule has Mr. Dowling to apply the same “little horn,” in the next vision, to some other kingdom, when the inspired writer has nowhere told us he meant another kingdom, but the reverse? See Daniel 8:1: “After (or like) that which appeared unto me at the first.” Then he sees the vision of the Medes and Persians; (compare Daniel 7:5, with 8:3, 4;) then of the Grecian, Daniel 7:6, with 8:5-8. Then the little horn answers to the fourth kingdom. Now let us compare Daniel 7:7, 8, with 8:9, 10. The first was “dreadful, and terrible, and strong exceedingly.” The other “waxed exceeding great towards the south, towards the east, and towards the pleasant land.” The first “devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.” The next, “It cast down some (or residue) of the host and stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.” The first, Daniel 7:21, “made war with the saints and prevailed against them.” The other “waxed great against the host of heaven.” The first “shall speak great words against the Most High,” Daniel 7:25. The last, “Yea, he magnified himself against the Prince of the host.” The Roman kingdom is described by Moses, Deuteronomy 28:49, 50, as “a nation of fierce countenance,” “a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand.” Daniel says this little horn is “a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences.” The first, Daniel 7:25, 26: “And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time, and times, and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” Now, 8:24, 25: “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.”MWV1 189.1

    Surely, Mr. Dowling, this is an argument that you cannot guess away; nor can all the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and soothsayers of Babylon confute it.MWV1 190.1

    The next argument Mr. Dowling brings is, “that he does not regard the 2300 evenings and mornings as prophetical days or years,” page 84. What do I care what he regards? Shall we crouch and fawn to his dogmatism? No, my dear reader; if you have read my lectures, you know I have proved as clearly that the 70 weeks is a part of the vision, as he has proved that the 70 weeks were 490 years. And if 490 years were included in the same vision, (see Daniel 9:23, 24,) then of course his 3 years and 55 days, and all his long struggle on that point, is but wind. For the question is, as he has shown, page 70,-“For how long a time shall the vision last?” I answer, as he says, page 71, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days.” But what was to be done in the vision? The text says, as Mr. Lowth translates it, “The daily sacrifice be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue.” What does Daniel say about taking away daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation continuing? Daniel 12:11: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Here, Mr. Dowling, are 1290 days, and you acknowledge, page 71, that these are probably years; where then are your “1150 evenings and mornings?” A lame conclusion, poor logic, this! What else must be done in the vision? “To give both the sanctuary and host to be trodden under foot.” What do Daniel and John say about treading under foot? Daniel 7:7, 19, 25: “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time, and times, and the dividing of time.” Revelation 11:2: “But the court which is without the temple, leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”MWV1 190.2

    These times spoken of in Daniel and Revelation mean 1260 years, he admits, on page 71. Where then is your 1150 common days, Mr. Dowling? Is there no argument in this? The argument about the little horn, page 86, “Placing the little horn which was to spring from the head of the goat, before the time when the goat began to exist,” which he charges me as having done, is a subterfuge too base to be replied to, and an argument too silly to need a serious answer. The vision began 457 B.C., not the little horn.MWV1 191.1

    If Mr. Dowling’s cause is so weak that he must descend to such misrepresentations, and contradictory arguments, I would advise him to apply to the Boston clergy for a “resolution” in his favor, or to get a few more puffs from the “Watchman” and “Secretary,” to sustain him in his inconsistent course!MWV1 191.2

    I have removed the principal difficulties that he has thrown in the way of sincere seekers after truth, and now take my leave of the work.MWV1 191.3

    WILLIAM MILLER.
    Low Hampton, July 18,1840.

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