This sermon on child training by Alexander Proudfit is valuable in its own right.  It holds special, additional interest, however, because it played a direct role in converting William Miller from being a deist to being a Christian.

The story is told by Sylvester Bliss in his “Memoirs of William Miller” (though Bliss slightly misspelled the author’s name as “Proudfoot”).  “Tell it to the World” retells the story this way:              September 11, 1816, rolled around, the second anniversary of the victory at Plattsburg (at which Captain William Miller had helped defeat the British).  A public dance was scheduled; a sermon, too, on the night before.  The visiting evangelist sent the people home bathed in tears.  A revival was on and the dance was off.  Next Sunday it was Miller’s turn to read again (in the local Baptist church), this time a homily Proudfit called, “The Duty of Parents to Their Children”.  Overcome by emotion in the middle, he could not make it to the end.

Miller’s awakening conscience soon afterward led him into deep Bible study and the discovery, he says, “of just such a Saviour as I needed.”  The Scriptures “became my delight, and in Jesus I found a friend.”