Seventh-day Adventists see them selves as a movement arriving at a preordained time, and so have recorded their origins from its early days. We need to understand our roots without allowing nostalgia to enmesh us in our past.
At a time when there are several scholarly studies of Millerism, Gordon has written a popular account of Miller's life and ministry to "serve as a strong reminder to those of today who might have forgotten what it means to be an Adventist."
Since this is a short account of William Miller's life, one inevitably compares this book with The Urgent Voice, by Robert Gale (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1975). Only a limited amount of source material exists, and the two works inevitably overlap. Written for believers, both books adopt a noncritical viewpoint on Miller and the Advent movement..But Gordon uses a wider range of sources.
Gordon includes a chapter on fanaticism. While admitting excesses on the part of a few, he demonstrates how level headed the majority of Millerites remained.
The author of this book does not refer to any modern research on Millerism, making the book one for easy reading rather than study. Some will question why he includes the Edson report of the cornfield vision, printed in 1921, since it leaves the reader feeling that Adventist historical writing has moved little in the past 50 years. He does include endnotes, but the addition of an annotated bibliography would have been useful for the reader who wants further information.
I recommend Herald of the Midnight Cry to the reader who wants a brief introduction to the subject. One will need to look further for an in-depth, objective analysis. However, pastors should be aware of this book and obtain it for their church libraries.