1. How tedious and lonesome the hours,
    While Jesus, my Saviour delays!
I’ve sought Him in solitude’s bow’rs,
    And looked for Him all the long days.

2. He lingers—I pray tell me why
    His chariot no sooner returns?
To see Him in clouds of the sky,
    My soul with intensity burns.

3. I long to be with Him at home,
    My heart swallowed up in His love,
On fields of New Eden to roam,
    To dwell with my Saviour above.


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William MillerThe words to this poem were written by William Miller, leader in the Second Advent movement of the early to mid 1800’s. He wrote it just after the great disappointment in the fall of 1844, when Jesus did not come to the earth as they had expected.

Prior to the disappointment, those who believed in the solemn message, had searched their hearts diligently for anything that might be more precious to them than Jesus and His kingdom. They counted the privilege of being ready to meet their Lord without shame as more valuable than any pleasure or satisfaction to be gained in worldly pursuits or worldly living. They made a full and entire sacrifice and commitment to the Lord’s work, which is exceedingly rare in these days of ease and plenty.

But the prophecies, which they based their expectation on, had not failed. Just like the apostles, who at the cross of Christ were completely surprised and confused because of their expectations of a worldly kingdom, so had these Advent believers also been disappointed because of some wrong expectations that they had inherited from their forefathers. And just as Jesus appeared to the apostles to teach them how the cross was not a failure, but had fulfilled the prophecies in an even more glorious way, so did Christ visit His Advent people with further revelations of truth that showed how the prophecies had been fulfilled in an even more glorious manner.

I’ve tried to select a melody that expresses the unsatisfied longing and the consequent anguish experienced by the true believers. I think (but am not sure) that the melody came from Jeremiah Ingall’s Christian Harmony (1805).

It is perhaps proper to close these comments with a few words from William Miller himself, which were written in his letters shortly after the disappointment:

Were I to live my life over again, with the same evidence that I then had, to be honest with God and men I should have to do as I have done….I hope I have cleansed my garments from the blood of souls; I feel that, as far as possible, I have freed myself from all guilt in their condemnation.

Although I have been twice disappointed, I am not yet cast down or discouraged. My hope in the coming of Christ is as strong as ever. I have done only what, after years of sober consideration, I felt it my solemn duty to do. If I have erred, it has been on the side of charity, the love of my fellow-man, and my conviction of duty to God.

One thing I do know, I have preached nothing but what I believed; and God’s hand has been with me, his power has been manifested in the work, and much good has been effected. Many thousands, to all human appearance, have been made to study the Scriptures by the preaching of the time; and by that means, through faith and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, have been reconciled to God.

I have never courted the smiles of the proud, nor quailed when the world frowned. I shall not now purchase their favor, nor shall I go beyond duty to tempt their hate. I shall never seek my life at their hands, nor shrink, I hope, from losing it, if God in his good providence so orders.

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