Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35.
Instead of arguments from the Scriptures, the opponents of the Advent faith chose to employ ridicule and scoffing. The careless and ungodly, emboldened by the position of religious teachers, resorted to opprobrious epithets, to base and blasphemous witticisms, in their efforts to heap contumely upon William Miller and his work. The gray-headed man who had left a comfortable home to travel at his own expense from city to city, from town to village, toiling unceasingly to bear to the world the solemn warning of the judgment near, was sneeringly denounced as a fanatic, a liar, a speculating knave.
Time, means, and talents were employed in misrepresenting and maligning Adventists, in exciting prejudice against them, and holding them up to public contempt. Ministers occupied themselves in gathering up damaging reports, absurd and malicious fabrications, and dealing them out from the pulpit. Earnest were the efforts put forth to draw away the minds of the people from the subject of the Second Advent. But in seeking to crush out Adventism, the popular ministry undermined faith in the Word of God. It was made to appear a sin, something of which people should be ashamed, to study the prophecies that relate to the coming of Christ and the end of the world. This teaching made some infidels, and many took license to walk after their own ungodly lusts. Then the authors of the evil charged it all upon Adventists.
The Wesleys encountered similar accusations from the ease-loving, godless ministers who were constantly intercepting their labors and seeking to destroy their influence. They were pronounced uncharitable, and accused of pride and vanity, because they did not pay homage to the popular teachers of their time. They were accused of skepticism, of disorderly practices, and of contempt of authority. John Wesley fearlessly threw back these charges upon those who framed them, showing that they themselves were responsible for the very evils of which they accused the Methodists.... The great controversy between truth and error has been carried forward from century to century since the fall of man. God and angels, and those united with them, have been inviting, urging people to repentance and holiness and heaven; while Satan and his angels, and human agents inspired by them, have been opposing every effort to benefit and save the fallen race.—The Spirit of Prophecy 4:218-220.