Cannot Predict Second Coming
The great year of Millerite expectation was 1842. Between March of 1842 and March of 1843, Christ, however, was nowhere to be seen. You see, they had set the date: "Christ is coming back, 1842." They waited in vain. Miller was a disappointed man, aware that he had made a mistake and incapable of finding out why.
The Millerite hopes were down, but not out--1844 dragged on; meetings went on flatly. And in New Hampshire, on August 12, a camp meeting was dragging on, when rather suddenly, as if driven by the silent demand of a grieving multitude, one of the brothers stood up and announced the return of Christ would be on the seventh month of the current Jewish year. The proposal caught on. The fading hopes lived again. Excitement thrilled the place. A fixed date was set. And once again, more fervently than ever, the Millerites set out to warn the world. Only this time, Miller was to catch the fire rather than start it. October 22--the end of the world was announced.
In ten weeks the great day was at hand. In a Philadelphia store window the following sign was displayed: "This shop is closed in honor of the King of kings who will appear about the twentieth of October. Get ready, friends, to crown Him Lord of all." A group of 200 people left the city, as Lot had left Sodom before impending doom. Most of the Millerites gave up their occupations during the last days. Farmers left their crops in the fields, as they awaited the coming of Christ. On October 22--Christ never came.
Again they set a date that Christ would come in five years, but of course Christ did not come. Soon after this time, Miller died. Today, his tombstone reads, "At the time appointed, the end shall be."
The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, p. 507.