Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of
the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the
Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James 5:11.
Not infrequently the minds of the people, and even of God's servants,
are so blinded by human opinions, the traditions and false teaching
of men, that they are able only partially to grasp the great things
which He has revealed in His word. Thus it was with the disciples
of Christ, even when the Savior was with them in person. Their minds
had become imbued with the popular conception of the Messiah as
a temporal prince, who was to exalt Israel to the throne of the
universal empire, and they could not understand the meaning of His
words foretelling His sufferings and death. . . .
From their very birth their hearts had been set upon the anticipated
glory of an earthly empire, and this blinded their understanding....
The experience of the disciples who preached the "gospel of
the kingdom" at the first advent of Christ, had its counterpart
in the experience of those who proclaimed the message of His second
advent. . . .
Like the first disciples, William Miller and his associates did
not, themselves, fully comprehend the import of the message which
they bore. Errors that had been long established in the church prevented
them from arriving at a correct interpretation of an important point
in the prophecy. Therefore, though they proclaimed the message which
God had committed to them to be given to the world, yet through
a misapprehension of its meaning they suffered disappointment. .
With these believers, as with the first disciples, that which in
the hour of trial seemed dark to their understanding would afterward
be made plain. When they should see the "end of the Lord"
they would know that, notwithstanding the trial resulting from their
errors, His purposes of love toward them had been steadily fulfilling.
They would learn by a blessed experience that He is "very pitiful,
and of tender mercy;" that all His paths "are mercy and
truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies."
From Maranatha - Page 16