With the 1st of January, 1838, William Miller commenced a second course of lectures at Lansingburgh, New York, in compliance with the urgent request of the Baptist Church in that place, and of E. B. Crandall, their pastor. The lectures continued nine days, and were listened to by crowded and attentive audiences. The result also was most heart cheering. Infidelity had several strongholds in that neighborhood, and many of that class attended his lectures, and were greatly affected by them. In a letter dated on the 25th of that month, two weeks after the close of the lectures, a gentleman of that place writes to Mr. Miller:
“I have never witnessed so powerful an effect in any place as in this, on all who heard. I am of the opinion that not less than one hundred persons who held infidel sentiments are brought to believe the Bible. Infidelity is dumb in this place, as if frightened, and converts are many.”
Testimony of One Converted
The following testimony of one who was converted from infidelity during these lectures is copied from the Boston Investigator (an infidel paper) of January, 1845.
“Mr. Editor: I was a warm supporter of the views of Abner Kneeland, attended his lectures and protracted dances, disbelieved in Divine revelation and a future existence, and fully accorded with Mr. Kneeland’s views of religion. Having read every work of note that I could obtain, and having heard many lectures opposed to God and the Bible, I considered myself prepared to overthrow the Christian faith, and feared no argument that could be brought from the Bible. With these feelings, I attended a full course of Mr. Miller’s lectures. He gave rules of interpretation, and pledged himself to prove his position. I approved of his rules,—to which I refer you,—and the result was, he established the fact that the Bible is what it purports to be—the Word of God—to my mind, beyond a doubt; and I have taken it as the man of my counsel. I notice your doubts of the truth of the statement in relation to hundreds of infidels being converted under the preaching of Mr. Miller. This may possibly be owing to your never having given Mr. Miller a candid and thorough hearing. He is a man mighty in the Scriptures, and has done terrible execution in the ranks of the ‘King’s enemies,’ with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. I am personally acquainted with nearly one hundred who held to similar views with Abner Kneeland, who were converted under the preaching of Mr. Miller; and we did not yield the point without a struggle, nor without due consideration. Each and every prop and refuge of infidelity and unbelief was swept by the truth of the Almighty as chaff is driven by the wind. Yet we parted with them much as a man parts with a diseased tooth. We tried to cure and keep it there, and when made to know that the root and foundation was rotten, it was painful to part with; but we rejoiced and felt better after the separation; for there is balm in Gilead—there is a Physician there.”