The early church doctrine was revived after the Reformation.
PROPOSITION 78. The early church doctrine was revived after the Reformation.
Several hundred names, including some of the most eminent, learned, and pious in the church, are given in such works, as Taylor’s Voice of the Church, Brooks’s El. Proph. Interpretation, Seiss’s Last Times, Elliott’s Horœ. Apoc., Shimeall’s Eschatology, Cox’s Millenarian’s Answer, Anderson’s Apology, Time of the End, West’s Essay on His. of Doc., and various others, embracing many living after the Reformation, who again revived the early faith of the church in the Kingdom of Christ still future, and to be set up at the Sec. Advent.[*]
Note. The works alluded to give many interesting extracts confirmatory of the Chiliastic views held at this revival of the doctrine. Bh. Newton (Dis. On Proph., No. 25). after referring to the suppression of the doctrine through the influence of Rome, says: “No wonder, therefore, that this doctrine lay depressed for many ages; but it sprang up again at the Reformation, and will flourish together with the study of Revelation.” Appleton’s Cyclop., Art. “Mill.,” with all its one-sidedness, frankly remarks: “The Reformation of the 16th century gave a new impulse to Millenarian views,” that the Anabaptist movement was only a “caricature of the old Christian doctrine,” that “it was preached with enthusiasm by many sects and theologians of the 16th and 17th centuries,” mentioning Wiegel, Comenius, Jurieu, Mede, Bengal, Oettinger, Hahn, Stilling, Lavater, and also Hass, Rothe, Hoffman, Delitzsch, Kurtz, Hebart, Thiersch, Nitzsch, P. Lange, Ebrard, Irving, Cumming, and others, as its advocates during this period and later. Abbott and Conant (Dic. of Relig. Knowledge) say: “These views (Chiliastic) may be traced to the earliest history of the church, and were advocated by the fathers up to the 4th century. They then declined, till the Reformation gave them a new impulse, since which time they have prevailed through the entire church to a large extent.
Obs. 1. Candor requires of us to state this peculiarity attached to those who were thus Chiliastic. (1) Some held strictly to the Primitive view, as contained in our argument, believing only in one Kingdom (while acknowledging the general Divine Sovereignty, etc.), still future, which was to accord with the Davidic covenant and related prophecies. The church, exceedingly precious, was regarded as only provisional and introductory to this Kingdom. (2) Others, with a cordial faith in such a future Kingdom, also upheld a Kingdom as present existing in the church—a kind of prelude to the coming one—thus retaining in part the Origenistic or Augustinian idea. (3) Some declare for a present Kingdom in the church, and also for a future one here on earth at the Sec. Advent, but incorporate with the latter mystical conceptions or spiritualizing deductions (which detract from the early view), as e.g. making the reign of the Messiah invisible, retaining the Son of Man during this period in the third heaven, etc., thus violating the express terms of the covenant and promises. (4) Others, again, with or without a decisive Church-Kingdom theory, have adopted certain salient features of Chiliasm (as e.g. the nearness of the Advent, the restoration of all things, the rise of the Antichrist and his destruction by the personal coming of Jesus, the first resurrection literal, the Sabbatism, etc.), so directly antagonistic to prevailing views and so much in harmony with our doctrine that they may be classed as, at least, partly Chiliastic. The first three, and some of the fourth class, reject the notion that the present dispensation, in any sense, contained the covenanted, predicted Kingdom of the Messiah; they all looked, however they may regard the church as provisional and even an introductory reign, to the Sec. Advent for the realization of the glorious Kingdom as promised by the prophets, as covenanted by God, and as believed in by the early church. This Kingdom, pre-eminently Messianic, they all believed was introduced by a personal Advent and a prior resurrection of the saints.[*]
Note. Hence on the great outlines they are a unit, however they may differ as to details. For they are all Pre-Millenarian in view, and look to the Kingdom to be set up here on earth after the Sec. Advent for the fulfilment of covenant and prophecy. In a subject so vast and complicated, it is reasonable, owing to human weakness and infirmity, to expect a divergence of view as to details, the order of events, and the meaning of various predictions. A greater divergency and antagonism of view, even pertaining to fundamentals, exist among our opponents, but this is no reason why we should reject their views, seeing that no doctrine of the Bible has escaped such treatment. It is therefore unfair to (as Brown) object to our doctrine because differences of opinion exist as to the fulfilment of details, and conceal the greater differences prevailing on their own side. Besides this, as our argument progresses, it will be shown that these differences largely and almost invariably result from a departure from the oath-bound covenants and the plain grammatical sense of the Word. The truth is, that some Pre-Millenarians are so largely leavened by the prevailing spiritualizing interpretations, that they cannot entirely rid themselves of its influence. It is also true, as the crudeness of the works indicate, that some Pre-Millenarians, without a careful study of the subject, have rushed into print and presented but a meagre and one-sided aspect of the doctrine, utterly failing to observe the force of the fundamental covenants.
Obs. 2. While some of the Reformers entertained partly Chiliastic views, others expressed themselves in a way contradictory to pure Millenarianism. But whatever their sentiments, not one of tham believed in the modern Whitbyan view of the Millennium. Those who were not Chiliastic, at least supported, as we shall show, the Chiliastic position thus far, that they did not adopt the idea of a Millennium still future, to be ushered in before the Sec. Advent. They were Augustinian in doctrine, and utterly refused the modern prevailing doctrine as anti-Scriptural and delusive (comp. e.g. the quotations from them under Prop. 175).[*]
Note. In reference to the Reformers we give place to no one in deep respect for them as devoted men of the church, but we have greater esteem for the authority of Scripture (Props. 9 and 10). The Reformers, with all their greatness, were fallible, and differed among themselves. Now it is the distinguishing feature of the Protestant Church in opposition to the Romish that when men differ among themselves the question of such difference is to be decided by an appeal, not to church authority, or to the weight of any man’s writings, but to the Scriptures. This was the position of the Reformers themselves, and they frequently asserted that they themselves should only be followed in so far as their views corresponded with the Scriptures. They themselves acknowledged their liability to error; that many things in the Bible were still obscure to them; and that by study, prayer, continued application, progress would be made in the knowledge of the truth. A pompous amount of quotations might be adduced from them to sustain these points, but we think no one will dispute a fact that is so apparent and essential to progress.* For, if we blindly believe and only believe what some great and good men have said, we (a) yield the liberty of private judgment given by God; (b) set up an infallibility unrecognized by the Word; (c) render ourselves liable to error; (d) dishonor the doctrinal position of Holy Writ; (e) remove advancement in the knowledge of the truth; (f) and place the writer whom we indorse in a false position. Augustine has so happily and delicately expressed this, when he answered a Donatist who had quoted the authority of Cyprian against him, that it may properly be introduced as illustrative of our opinion: “But now seeing that it is not canonical which thou recitest, with that liberty to which the Lord hath called us, I do not receive the opinion, differing from Scripture, of that man whose praise I cannot reach, to whose great learning I do not compare my writings, whose wit I love, in whose speech I delight, whose charity I admire, whose martyrdom I reverence.”
2. It has been asserted by numerous writers that the Eschatology of the Reformers is, more or less, defective. Thus e.g. Auberlen (Div. Rev., p. 224, seq.) says, that “the Eschatology of the elder Protestantism is now generally admitted to be imperfect” (comp. Dorner’s His. Prot. Theol., vol. 2, p. 170, etc., also Art. 2, Evang. Quarterly Review for Jan., 1875, written either by Dr. Brown or Dr. Valentine, one of the editors, Martenson, Ch. Dog., etc.). Various reasons are assigned for this by different writers, such as, that the defectiveness arose from their recent emergence from Popery (being unable to rid themselves entirely from its influence), from the bias obtained through the teaching of the later Fathers, especially Augustine, from their being trammelled by the popish notion of the church, from their attention being specially diverted to other subjects at that time more the objects of controversy, from their not being placed in a favorable position for the developing of the truth in this direction, etc. However explained, the fact remains, and their language, whatever the reason may be, sometimes implies doubt, sometimes a feeling after the old paths, and sometimes it is contradictory.*
3. After the Reformers occurred what they themselves were directly opposed to, viz.: their writings and confessions (especially the latter) were elevated to an authority equal to that of the Scriptures. All historians sadly testify to this unfortunate procedure. The impartial student must acknowledge that there is justice in the strictures of certain writers respecting the course taken by some of the followers of the Reformers. Thus e.g. Hallam (Introd. Lit. of Europe, vol. 2, p. 200) alludes to the right of Private Judgment, as an essential principle of Protestantism, but which was afterward constantly violated by the stringent imposition of Confessions, in the understanding of which Confessions no liberty was allowed, even in non-essentials. This gave force to one of the reproaches cast upon the Reformation by the adherents of Rome (and reproduced by Free Religionists, etc., of the present day), viz.: that after according liberty of judgment to reject the authority of the Romish church and form others, it then withdraws that liberty and devotes all who dissent from them to obloquy, heresy, and even to bonds and death. Hallam remarks: “these reproaches, it may be a shame for us to own, can be uttered and cannot be refuted” (comp. Milner’s His. Literature, etc.). Hence it has been said (vol. 1, p. 370) that the Reformation “was but a change of masters”; and if we are to credit certain rigid symbolists of our country and Europe, these old confessions (with a mass of superadded matter) are still to be our masters, to be received unqualifiedly, placed on a Romish footing of equality with the Scriptures. This spirit necessarily excluded proper development and true advancement; fettered by a bigoted confessional of standard by which everything drawn from the Scriptures is to be measured, the Confessions became the measurer of Scripture. But this is only part of the truth; for however extended this spirit, yet good and true men, followers of the Reformers, endeavored to restrain this spirit, so fatal to advance in knowledge. German, English, French, and other theologians of eminence have protested against this extreme confessional observance, and have shown that, owing to this proscription and the virulent controversies engendered by it, a fruitful source of continued ignorance upon various points, and a shutting of the door to advance in the truth, have been entailed. Hallam and others overlook this protest, because in the earlier period it unfortunately proved itself a small minority, which by degrees, however, has swelled to a large number. It is somewhat remarkable, illustrative of human prejudice and passion, that while, on the one hand, it was acknowledged that such confessions were fallible—the then expressed understanding of the Scriptures by their authors—they still were, on the other hand, held as certain, from which there could be no dissent without meriting censure and punishment. From all this (comp. Prop. 10) we learn, that while it is a duty and pleasure to honor the Reformers and their utterances (in so far as they accord with truth), we cannot, without detracting from our Christian manhood, and from the honor due alone to the Scriptures, elevate these men and their works to the position of the inspired prophets and apostles. If God had intended the Scriptures to be circumscribed by such assigned limits, provision undoubtedly would have been made to secure to us a confession not evidencing in its very construction the marks of human workmanship.
4. Simply as a reminder to our opponents (as e.g. Seiffarth) who urge the Reformers as if they were infallible, we illustrate the fact that, with all their greatness and valuable labors, they may also be in error in their interpretation of Scripture. Thus e.g. both Luther (Table Talk) and Melanchthon (Initia Doctrinœ Physica), as shown by White (The Warfare of Science; and see his references to Bretschneider, Lange, and Prowe), opposed the Copernican system by appeals to Scripture, Joshua, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, etc., proving that the earth is the centre of the universe. In their conscientiousness Luther calls Copernicus “an upstart astrologer” and “fool,” while Melanchthon pronounces him guilty of “a want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publicly.” This teaches us that good and great men may misjudge and misinterpret, under the impression that they are doing God’s service.
Obs. 3. The subject requires that we should more particularly allude to the views of the Reformers, and those after them, who were not directly Chiliastic in doctrine. They (as e.g. Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Calvin, and Knox) occupied the Augustinian or Popish position (see works giving extracts from their writings, such as Elliott’s Horœ Apoc., Taylor’s Voice of the Church, etc.), viz.: that the church, in some sense, was the Kingdom of God (preparatory to a higher stage), and that the Millennial period (one thousand years) included this dispensation or gospel period (some of the Millennial descriptions being applicable only to a future period either in heaven or the renewed earth), and hence was nearing its close. But each of these recorded their belief, in the duty of every believer to be constantly looking for the Advent, in a speedy Advent, in there being no future Millennial glory before the coming of Jesus, in the church remaining a mixed state to the end, in the design of the present dispensation, in the principle of interpretation adopted, in unbelief again extending and widening before the Advent, in the renewal of this earth, etc.—doctrines in unison with Chiliasm. The simple truth in reference to them is this: that they were not Chiliasts, although teaching several points that materially aid in sustaining Chiliasm (as e.g. in those enumerated), and in some, as Luther and Melanchthon, holding that at the end of the 6th Chiliad—the close of six thousand years—Christ would appear and introduce a glorious Sabbatism (Prop. 143). They were thus really Anti-Millenarian in the sense of expressing faith in a proper Millennium yet to come, or in that of believing in a Millennium already past, and this can be abundantly proven from their writings, in their declarations of the future anticipated condition of the world, in their hopes of an Advent drawing nigh, and in their emphatic denial of a conversion of the world prior to the expected Advent. Therefore it is that neither Millenarians (excepting in the features stated) nor Whitbyans (i.e. believers in a future Millennium brought about without the Advent through present agencies) can wholly claim them.
Note 1. Because Millenarians quote Luther, etc., to sustain certain features of our doctrine, we are sometimes unjustly charged as if we referred to them as express Chiliasts; and this too notwithstanding the explicit statements given by us respecting their doctrinal position. Many Millenarian works (as Elliott’s, Brooks’, Cox’s, Seiss’, Taylor’s, and others) allow in full their Augustinian position, but only refer to them (1) to show that nowhere do they endorse the modern Whitbyan doctrine; (2) that they pointedly condemn the present prevailing view; (3) and that, in important points, they fully and unreservedly coincide with our Millenarian attitude. Our opponents of the Whitbyan school cannot claim them, seeing that their position is directly hostile to that of the Reformers. In the course of extended reading, we have yet to find a single sentence in the Reformer’s writings, that our opponents can directly quote in their behalf as being in sympathy with the Whitbyan hypothesis. Our ability to do this in behalf of some of our views seems to be a tender matter with Whitbyan folowers.
Our opponents very artfully quote from the Reformers such matter as they suppose is Antichiliastic, but are very careful to avoid two kinds of utterances given by the same men: (1) those that are in cordial sympathy with Chiliastic doctrine; (2) those that are in direct conflict with the modern, Whitbyan notion. Prof. Briggs, in the N. Y. Evangelist, 1879 (republished in the Lutheran Quarterly), endeavors, by a concealment of the actual facts, to leave the impression that the Reformers were in accord with the prevailing modern view. Articles like these—and they are numerous—are insidiously constructed, and well calculated to prejudice the ignorant or unwary. Our opponents, when driven to the wall, fully acknowledge that the Reformers were wrong in their Eschatology relating to the Millennium. Scarcely any theologian adopts their view to-day, it having been discarded for the futurity of the Mill., is a question no longer debated. Consequently the Reformers are immensely more in agreement with us than with our opposers, as we show by our quotations from them. No one denies that the Reformers held to a present spiritual Kingdom preparatory to a future one (as many Millenarians also do), or that they rejected a proper Mill. age in the future (which is just as hostile to our Post-Mill. friends as it is to us), for the simple fact, which colored their Eschatology, is that they, more or less, adopted the Augustinian notion of a past, present, or existing Mill. age, identifying it with this dispensation. That the Reformers were opposed to the carnal, fanatical Anabaptist movement is what every Chiliast does, on the ground of locating the Mill. age after the Advent and after the res. and translation of the saints. Whitbyans, certainly, ought not to seek the shelter and authority of the Reformers in this indirect method (which is both unscholarly and dishonest, because it seeks by the suppression of their real views to make them seem favorably disposed), when, in the most fundamental things pertaining to their theory, they were directly in antagonism (comp. quotations from them e.g. under Prop. 175). It is strange that men have not the acuteness to see that when they endeavor to array others against us who have less sympathy with their own theory than with ours, they are only heaping up material condemnatory of their own views. What service is gained, or what proof is obtained in behalf of the Whitbyan “hypothesis,” by showing that certain persons were not favorable to Chiliasm proper (although they adopted and taught certain prominent Chiliastic doctrines), when the same persons plainly reject the Whitbyan theory as unscriptural and misleading? What weight should be given to such testimony, which forms the staple of numerous essays against us? Compare for the Reformer’s views Elliott’s Horæ Apoc., and Arts. in Herzog, M’Clintock & Strong, etc. Lange, Introd. to Rev., p. 67, etc., refers to Luther’s view as that “the thousand years extend from the time of the Apocalyptist to Gregory VII.,” and this is stated in numerous Pre-Millenarian works.
Note 2. The same is true of many theologians who followed the Reformers, for while opposed to the direct ancient Chiliasm of the Primitive Church they, adopting the views of the Reformers, held to no future Millennium before the Advent of Christ. Thus to illustrate: for example, Quenstedt (Theolog. Didactico-polemica, 4. p. 649), Hunnius (Epit. Credendorum, pp. 266, sex. 291), Hutter (Compend., p. 171), and others given by Dr. Seiss (A Question in Eschatology), with which compare Schmid’s Dogmatics, etc. The intelligent and careful student will also notice (what happens frequently in late commentaries, etc.) that some theologians of this class while stating succinctly their belief in no future Millennium before the Advent of Christ, in other places drop expressions which either make their utterances contradictory or leave the impression that they were in doubt respecting their own position. The fact, however, as stated by us is this: that such a view is held by but few at present. The Protestant position has (as noticed by Hengstenberg, Apoc., vol. 2, p. 334, Stuart, Apoc., vol. 2, p. 463), in view of its Apocalyptic application to the Papacy, approached a Chiliastic one, and locates the 1000 years’ reign in the future, after the overthrow and destruction of the Antichrist. It is unnecessary, because of the almost universal rejection of their Millennial theory, to enter into a detailed statement. Under other Props. will be shown (e.g. Prop. 158, etc.), the Scriptural and historical reasons which lead, inevitably, to its abandonment. The advocates of this view are mentioned e.g. by Lange, Introd. to Rev., and the denouncement of these “servile adherents to orthodoxy,” etc., is given p. 401, etc.
Obs. 4. In noticing the history of Chiliasm, it is very important for the student to discriminate between the various beliefs in antagonism to it. By overlooking this some writers have made serious mistakes, (1) in calling those Millenarians who, before the personal Advent and the resurrection of the saints (both cardinal doctrines in our system) look for a Millennium (as e.g. Anabaptists, Shakers, Swedenborgians, etc.); (2) in making out those favorable to the Whitbyan theory (a) who oppose us and are really Anti-Millenarian, or (b) who decry Chiliasm, but are themselves Post-Millenarian, or (c) in producing those who are Millenarians as if opposed to it, as e.g. in quoting from their writings, as in the case of Bunyan and others, the belief in the conversion of the world, without knowing that when they come specifically to explain the manner of its accomplishment it is purely in the Chiliastic order. Hence the careful writer on the subject will distinguish between the various theories: (1) Pure Chiliasm as entertained by the early church, which held as distinguishing characteristics that the church was not the Kingdom, but that the Kingdom was dependent on a Pre-Millennial personal Advent, a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the saints, etc., when, after such an Advent and resurrection, the personal reign of Christ and the saints would be introduced; (2) mixed Chiliasm, (a) holding to the early view as stated, with the exception of making also the church a preliminary Kingdom, and (b) receiving all of the second, including the personal Advent and resurrection, but making the reign one in heaven, or invisibly; (3) the Augustinian or Popish view, which makes the church in this dispensation the Kingdom, and does not look for one to come in a still future Millennial period; (4) another Popish view, indorsed also by a few Protestants (Grotius, Prideaux, Bush, Vint, etc.), that the church is the Kingdom, and that the Millennial era is to be dated from Constantine’s conversion; (5) the Anti-Millenarian theory, which, without any Millennial doctrine (or else making the Millennial descriptions apply to heaven), regards the church as a Kingdom, and denies that there will be any Millennium in the future; (6) the Post-Millennial view (which adopts either 3 or 4), but extends the church already (as Swedenborgians) into a New Jerusalem state; (7) the view of those who regard the church a Kingdom, but (as Shakers, etc.) have it in Millennial glory in their own organization; (8) the doctrine of such, who, without any Chiliastic Kingdom—also making the church a Kingdom—simply teach the nearness of the Advent and the destruction of the world (as Millerites, etc.); (9) the singular opinion of some (as Seventh-Day Adventists), who, also teaching that the church is a Kingdom, declare the nearness of the Advent, but consign the reign of the Messiah and of the saints during the one thousand years to the third heaven, to be followed by a renewal, etc.; (10) the Whitbyan hypothesis, which makes the church a Kingdom, and looks for a higher stage of it in the future Millennial age, merging ultimately into the heavenly Kingdom; (11) the opinion of a few, that the church is no Kingdom, but will ultimately be incorporated into one in the third heaven; (12) the development theory, which teaches that, while an invisible Kingdom exists in the church, the church will still more and more develop itself into the outward form of a Kingdom, without noting any particular era for the same; (13) the Rationalistic view, that the church is no Kingdom, and none, in any proper sense, is to be expected; (14) and the notion of some (as Anabaptists, Fifth Monarchy men), that prior to the Advent and resurrection they could, through violence, etc., introduce the Kingdom of Christ in its Millennial greatness.[*]
Note. The reader will observe that nearly all in this list are based on the Alexandrian interpretation, and are the offshoots of the Origenistic system, discarding a grammatical interpretation of covenant and prophecy. Hence their direct antagonism to the Davidic covenant, and the promises founded on the same, and which is sought to be reconciled by special spiritualizing to suit the theory.
Obs. 5. A number of writers have sought to bring discredit on our doctrine by declaring that it never was embraced in any public and acknowledged confession of the church, either before or after the Reformation. A few remarks, indicative of the facts, may be in place, in order that the reader may decide for himself what weight is in the objection.
1. Even if this were true, two things are worthy of attention: (1) That Creeds and Confessions do not circumscribe the Word of God, or prevent a deeper and more Scriptural insight in Divine things, seeing that they are simply the expression of the understanding that certain persons or bodies have of the truth at a particular period. The fallibility of these Confessions is apparent, in that no two of them coincide in all particulars, and that one is antagonistic to another. (See Props. 9 and 10.) (2) Our opponents who present this objection weaken their own cause by urging it, because some of these Confessions contain Chiliastic features, or are in greater sympathy with our doctrine than with their own, and none of the leading ones indorse the Whitbyan theory. The objection would have force if the Confessions directly taught their own Millennium doctrine, but as this is not the case, it can only prejudice the ignorant or unreflecting.
2. If we take the quite early creeds, the Apostolic and the Nicene, we find them held equally by Chiliasts and Anti-Chiliasts, for they contain nothing respecting the Kingdom or Millennium. If we are to take Gelasius’ (Prop. 77, Obs. 7, note 1) explanation of the Nicene, then they were regarded as embracing Chiliastic views. Writers of ability have traced the Apostles’ Creed to express Chiliasts, as e.g. to Irenæus and Tertullian. One thing, at least, is very evident to the student, that the brief allusions to Eschatology are of such a nature that both parties can heartily adopt them, since they only embrace some salient features without attempting to explain how, or in what order, they are to be realized.
3. Coming to later confessions, we find them, the leading ones, to express Eschatology in such a form (as e.g. the fact of a resurrection, of an Advent, of a judgment, etc.) that Millenarians, Post- and Anti-Millenarians can cordially subscribe to them. It is, however, alleged that some have been specifically hostile to Chiliasm, and two, with evident relish, are brought forward as evidence, viz.: the Augsburg Confession and the English Confession of Edward VI.
(1) The Augsburg Confession. Knapp, Schmid, Shedd, and a number of writers assert that the Augsburg Confession positively condemns Chiliasm. On the other hand, Semisch, Auberlen, Floerke, Delitzsch, Spener, Bengel, Crusius, and others affirm the contrary. The intelligent reader will, in such a discussion, be influenced by the statements of eminent men who disinterestedly, and after mature consideration of the subject, declare that the Confession does not reprove and reprobate ancient Chiliasm as held by the Fathers, but only the form of doctrine as advocated by the Anabaptists. We refer in illustration to the paper drawn up by members of the Faculty of the University of Dorpat in reply to questions proposed by the Lutheran Synod of Iowa. It is signed by Drs. Havernach, Kurtz, Von Oetengen, Von Engelhart, and Volck, and fully answers the question, whether Chiliasm is in conflict with the Confession and the Lutheran Church, in the most decisive negative.4. Several Confessions (confined to small bodies of believers) have Chiliastic Articles. One of the most noticeable of these is that drawn up by the Baptists (for since they form a large organization, the same is discarded, or held only by individuals, or small portions of the Baptists) in A.D. 1660, and presented to Charles II., signed by John Bunyan and others (said to have represented “more than twenty thousand Baptists”), in which the purest early Patristic Millenarian doctrine is contained, discriminating the order of resurrection, making a literal first resurrection to occur at the Sec. Advent, having a glorious Messianic Kingdom then established, etc.
(2) The Confession of Edward VI., brought forward by Shedd and others, can only be fairly and scholarly treated by considering: (a) That the Art., adopted in 1553, to which they refer, was only nine years afterward withdrawn (which fact they are very careful to keep from their readers), thus indicating that any censure intended was fully revoked. (b) That in the later revisions it continued to be omitted, thus showing that a condemnatory spirit was not indorsed. (c) That in immediate connection with the Confession was published “The Catechism of Edward VI.,” drawn up by his Prelates (said to be Cranmer, Burnet’s His., vol. 3, B. 4; or Neale, His. Puritans, vol. 1, p. 63, Poynet, afterward Bh. of Winchester), which contains, on the questions respecting “Thy Kingdom come,” the strongest Chiliastic views (see them given e.g. by Brooks, Cox, Taylor, etc.). (d) And that prominent Prelates (as Bh. Latimer, Arch. Cranmer, Bradford, etc.) who received the Confession entertained Millenarian doctrine.
(3) Coming to other Confessions, we find upholders of our doctrine and opposers of it, both holding to the same. Thus e.g. the Westminster Assembly. In proof of our position we refer to the fact stated by an Anti-Millenarian (hence disinterested), Dr. Baillie, that “the most of the chief Divines here” (meaning the Assembly) “not only Independents but others, such as Twiss, Marshall, Palmer, and many more, are express Chiliasts.” Again, if we refer to the Belgic Confession, produced by Shedd, Millenarians can most cordially subscribe to the Art respecting the time of the Advent and the completion of the number of the elect. The same is true of many others, and it appears as if the language was purposely guarded to allow a common confessional union, which could only be done by avoiding direct Chiliasm or its opposite.
Note 1. That they are directly opposed to the Whitbyan doctrine, looking for the righteous to predominate in government, etc., is evident by looking at e.g. Augsburg Confession, Art. 17, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, and Articles of Smalcald (Müller’s Symb. Buch., p. 245, 298). The Latter Confession of Helvitia (Niemeyer’s Col. Conf., p. 485–6), and the Confession of the Westminster Assembly, and others as given by Seiss in A Question in Eschatology, pp. 33–40, with extracts. (Comp. Prop. 175.) The reasoning therefore of Prof. Briggs, and others, is totally irrelevant, and if it has any force whatever, must be decisive against themselves. For, while there is no creed or confession which directly and positively teaches the Whitbyan theory, we have some creeds (which we shall quote hereafter) that directly teach Chiliasm, and we have all the great leading ones to directly present prominent Chiliastic doctrines held by us, and such as are utterly irreconcilable with the modern “hypothesis.”
Note 2. Comp. King’s His. Apos. Creed, Bh. Pearson On the Creed, Mosheim’s Eccl. His., vol. 1, p. 79, and Murdock’s note, etc., and notice the reference to Irenæus and Tertullian. Observe also that in the enlargement of the Creed, as now used, by the Romish Church the same features are retained so that both partie could still receive it. The eschatology of the Athanasian Creed follows the others, with more of a leaning toward Romanism. See the Creeds as given by Dr. Schaff in Creeds of Christendom. The Scriptural statements (using the exact phraseology), or the general expressions (without any attempt to explain order, etc.), were of such a nature as to allow both parties to adopt them as true; the difference and antagonism only appeared when the manner of fulfilment or realization was expounded. Thus e.g. to believe in a res. of the dead is the faith of all, but when the order and manner of the res. is afterward discussed (aside from the creeds) differences appear, etc.
Note 3. The reply is so admirable in spirit that we append a few extracts. It has been published in German as a Tract, and in English in the Evang. Quarterly Review and The Lutheran. Giving reasons drawn from Melanchthon, Luther, and others, for the declaration: “There is no doubt that our Confession here (art. XVII.), has not in view the Old Catholic Chiliasm in its various forms, but that of the Münzer Anabaptists, and the fanatical errorists akin to them,” the writers proceed as follows: “The fact, therefore, is incontrovertibly this, that the Augsburg Confession has only to do with the Anabaptist errors and efforts of those times. It places affirmatively the chief eschatological facts, in their principal features, over against the rejected error, without, for example, any special explanation as to how we are to understand the Coming of Christ, or the Last Day, what the Scriptures teach concerning the resurrection of the dead, and how the passage in Rev. 20:1–6, in connection with the entire Scripture, is to be explained. Especially has it not at all yet expressed itself concerning the precise substance of the last question, namely: whether this prophecy must be looked upon as one already fulfilled, or as one, the fulfilment of which is yet future. Each one may answer these for himself, in such way as he may deem defensible by the Word of God and the concensus of church doctrine. We look upon these questions, neither as finally determined, nor as allowing, in attempts to solve them, a departure from the prophetic and apostolic word; further, that the attention which this subject commands is a characteristic feature, and one worthy of notice of the Church and theology of the present day. They are, in fact, yet open exegetical questions, every solution of which cannot be assented to; nor, on the other hand, is every Christian and theological conviction, resting upon an earnest and churchly-minded Scriptural investigation, which does not agree with old dogmatists, to be at once rejected with fanatical Chiliasm, or even to be suspected as Chiliastic.” After showing that church fellowship cannot Confessionally be denied to any one “on account of differences in the doctrine of the Chiliastic Kingdom, concerning which our confession has not at all yet expressed itself,” the writers continue: “We are indeed not able to see, under what churchly confessional claim it can be forbidden to the individual, and especially to the theologian, in the Lutheran Church, to search the prophetical Scriptures in the manner designated, and upon their basis to form a Christian and theological faith—conviction concerning the final acts of redemption; nor with what churchly right, inasmuch as our Church recognizes no exegetical tribunal, we can refuse to regard similar questions of doctrine, so long as the expressed saving faith remains, as anything else than they really are, namely: open questions.” They add: “It is our conviction, that it is an error to suppose that there is nothing more given for faith and the Church to search after and to learn; or that it lies in the power of the Church, especially the more she nears her final goal, to go out of the way of these questions.”
That the reader can see for himself that it does not, and cannot, condemn the Chiliasm of the Apostolic and later Fathers, we reproduce that portion of art. XVII. which is alleged as condemnatory: “they condemn those who spread abroad Jewish opinions, that before the resurrection of the dead, the pious will engross the government of the world and the wicked be everywhere oppressed,” (the German: “they condemn those who circulate the Judaizing notion, that prior to the resurrection of the dead, the godly will establish a world-dominion and all the wicked will be exterminated”)*. Now every one can see that the form of doctrine here condemned is not the one entertained by the ancient Chiliasts, for not one of them locates this Kingdom prior to, or before, the resurrection, and not one of them teaches that this can be effected by the pious but only by the Sec. Advent and the power of the Messiah. The error thus reprobated belongs to the Anabaptists, and all that class (including also the Whitbyans) who teach that before the resurrection, and consequently before the Advent, and before the end of this dispensation, the Church will so advance, etc., that “the pious will engross the government of the world,” institute a “world-dominion,” and suppress the wicked. The Millenarian view, having for cardinal doctrines a prior Advent and resurrection, is not chargeable with so gross an error; and those who urge this Confessional objection are not sufficiently candid to acknowledge that it is condemnatory—if it has any logical force whatever—of the present prevailing Whitbyan theory of the Millennium.
The reader is referred to an art. on the question, “Does the Augsburg Confession condemn Chiliasm?” by Dr. Seiss in the Append. (Note D.) to The Last Times. He makes at length the following points: (1) By name Chiliasm is not condemned. (2) The description of the opinions condemned does not describe Millenarianism, for it is no doctrine of ours “that the pious are to have a separate Kingdom to themselves before the resurrection of the dead.” We look for a Kingdom only after the resurrection, and the authorities in behalf of our doctrine are given. (3) Reference is made in the Confession to the Anabaptists, and it is decisively shown from historical authorities that the doctrine of the Anabaptists widely differed from the Millenarian. (4) The declarations of Luther, Melanchthon, and others, are produced to indicate the same. (5) Millenarians of eminence and ability are adduced, who subscribed to the Confession, such as Spener, Bengel, and others. (6) That the Confessors did not sit in judgment over, and condemn the Apostolic and Primitive Fathers, who were Chiliastic, for whom in other places they profess esteem.
It is unfortunate and misleading, that even in Cyclopædias, His. of Doctrines, etc., efforts are made to link ancient and modern Chiliasm with the vagaries of Anabaptists and the Fifth Monarchy men, and hastily to infer that when these are confessionally or otherwise condemned by the Reformers and others, that this also is condemnatory of Chiliasm in all its phases. Such a line of procedure if applied to other doctrine, would leave but little for us to receive. The vagaries of Anabaptists, such as, that before the Advent and resurrection the promised Kingdom is to be established, that it is to be set up by human means and instrumentalities, that Christ will then reign through self-appointed prophets, vicars, kings, etc.—which Chiliasm pointedly repudiates, are fully described by Mosheim, Ranke, Hardwick, Miller, Walch, etc., so that a student cannot plead ignorance when indorsing such an error. So also with the Fifth Monarchy men; history (Burnet, Wilson, etc.), attests, that the Fifth Monarchy of Daniel, they expected (with perhaps few exceptions, as Tillinghast and others) to raise up through their own agency before the Coming of Christ, and contended, therefore, that all power, civil and spiritual, should be already given to them. Hence they entered into open rebellion against the existing powers, etc., a principle utterly at variance with ancient and modern Chiliasm.
Numerous testimonies expressive of the intended meaning of the art. could be given. And as our opponents persistently urge it as an objection, a few more are appended. Dr. Lange in several places (e.g. Rev. p. 351, Amer. Ed.) refers to this misinterpretation of the Confession, e.g. saying: “The elder Lutheran theology continues most involved in the toils of mediæval tradition. The slavish theology of the letter has found a support in the view of John Gerhard in particular. The Apocalypse, Gerhard declares, is a deutero-canonical book—the Kingdom of Christ will never on earth, not even at the end of the days, be one of external sovereignty (a sentiment dictated, doubtless by a misunderstanding of art. XVII. of the Augsburg Confession)—all the dead are to arise in one day—there is to be but one general resurrection of the dead at the Parousia of the Lord. Accordingly, it is further stated, the beginning of the Mill. Kingdom probably falls in the time of Constantine—Gog and Magog are to be regarded as significant of the Turks. A partiality for this prejudiced tradition can in general be regarded only as the sad fruit of partyism.” (Comp. p. 401.) In Richter’s Erklarte Haus Bibel, Tom. 6, 1134, in advocacy of our views, it is said: “The doctrine of the one thousand years’ Kingdom, or Flower and Golden Time of the Church upon this present earth—which the prophets have so amply pictured—is thoroughly in accordance with the Evangelical Church doctrine, for in the 17th art. of the Augsburg Confession there is not a syllable (steht kein wort) about the one thousand years, nor about the one thousand years’ Kingdom,” etc. So the Berlenberg Bibel, Tom. 6, pp. 397–399, advocates Chiliasm, and declares that the art. is not in conflict with it, but that “a mere carnal, world-kingdom is justly rejected.” Thus others might be quoted, as Olshausen, Bengel, Steir, Auberlen, Delitzsch, Koppe, Piscator, Spener, Ebrard, Lisco, Roos, Kohler, Bauer Fr., and many others. Mallery (Prop. Times, vol. 5, p. 97) justly, in reply to Shedd, observes: “What the Augsburg Confession does condemn, is the now prevalent notion of a Millennium of righteousness and good government before the Lord’s coming. It condemns the notion of the conversion of the world under the present dispensation, the idea now regarded as orthodox, but one which Luther constantly condemned.” The student, too, will observe the force of the word “prior” or “before” used designedly, for, as we shall hereafter show by numerous quotations, the Reformers did believe that after the resurrection and after the Sec. Advent this earth renewed, etc., would be given to the pious and that they would gloriously reign—thus incorporating into their faith doctrines in sympathy with Chiliastic views. As illustrative of view, we quote Koch (Das Tausendjährige Reich), who says: “Here, first of all, the false Chiliasm advocated in the time of the Reformation by the fanatical Anabaptists, is to be mentioned. They taught a future glorious Kingdom of Christ on earth, but imagined that the immediate erection of this Kingdom was a matter of the first importance to the Christian Church. By her own might, sword in hand, it must be established, just as it was attempted by Thomas Munzer to overthrow the Christ-opposed powers of this world (even as Israel overthrew the Canaanites formerly), in order to proclaim the Kingdom of Christ as the Fifth Monarchy, which was to succeed the four universal monarchies described by Daniel. Against this conception of the 1000 years’ Kingdom—and only against this—was the 17th art. of the Augsburg Confession directed, which rejected the Jewish opinion that believers should enjoy on earth, before the resurrection, a worldly kingdom, after a general crushing out of the wicked. But not merely by the Augustana, but also by the Scriptures, is this false Chiliasm condemned, because, as already shown, the erection of the Millennial Kingdom, according to the prophets’ words, is not the result of any such Church action, but comes only by means of the returning Lord, an event which the Church awaits with patience, and which at last it can only realize, not by works, but by suffering. Kindred with this false Chiliasm, is a conception of modern theology, according to which the Kingdom of Christ is to be realized by means of Church action, not, indeed, violently, but gradually and in a peaceful way. The sanctifying influence of Christianity is to evermore powerfully extend itself, in ever-widening circles, the power of sin evermore retreating before it, until, finally at the close of its historical development, all humanity shall be glorified into a Kingdom of God. Even this finer form of Chiliasm” (as e.g. given by Whitby, Edwards, Brown, Glasgow, etc.), “like the coarse form advocated by the Anabaptists, is condemned by the Apoc. of John. According to this, wickedness does not decline in the course of history, but rather ascends to its most fearful antichristian height, while on the other hand, also, the Church is purified by means of her tribulation, in the last time. Not the preaching of the Gospel, the moral influence of Christianity, puts an end to antichristianity, but the judgment of the returning Lord, with which the glorious Kingdom of God on earth makes an entrance.” (Compare Starke, Steffann and Ebrard, p. 440, Lange’s Com. Rev.)
Note 4. Brooks’ El. Proph. Interp., Taylor’s Voice of the Church, Cox’s Millenarian’s Answer, The Time of the End by a Congregationalist, Shimeall’s Eschatology, and other works give the evidence respecting this Confession, and copious extracts from the Catechism and from the Prelates indorsing it, unmistakably proving that many who were Chiliastic received it; and that, therefore, the withdrawal of the article was intentional “either” (so Brooks) “from the increase of Millenarian principles at this time; or at least from the conviction that they were not to be confounded with the extravagances of Cerinthus or of Munzer.” Bickersteth (Prom. Glory, p. 93, note) refers to the opinion of the Reformers (Tyndale, Bradford, Latimer, Becon) and of Edward VI.’s Catechism, and then to the speedy withdrawal of this art., adding: “The idea of a carnal Mill. of worldly pleasures is justly denounced by all thoughtful Christians. The common idea of the Reformers, derived from Rome and continued for some time after the Reformation, was, that the Mill. was past, an opinion generally now abandoned. The 41st art. was wholly withdrawn from the authorized Articles of 1562. The prevailing opinion of the Reformers was, that the judgment to come was to be expected speedily, without any intervening Mill., and that our Saviour would soon return in His glory; and hence the services have nothing that interferes with our looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; and have also many expressions of confidence in His return, and the Kingdom then to be inherited by the saints.”
Note 5. Brooks, El. Proph. Interp., p. 72, quotes the letter from Baillie (Let. No. 117, presented also in Anderson’s Letter to the Author of Millenarianism Indefensible,” and quoted in various works), and gives among the “many more” known to have been Millenarian, Ash, Bridge, Burroughs, Caryll, Goodwin, Gouge, Langley, and Sterry, all members of the Assembly. To these as expressing Chiliastic views to some extent, Shimeall (Eschatology, p. 89) adds: Selden, Ainsworth, Gataker, and Featly. No wonder that Baillie writes that this “error so famous in antiquity” is “so troublesome among us.” Prof. Briggs in his bitterness against Chiliasm affirms, most unjustly, that the Westminster Conf. rejects Pre-Mill. as error and heresy (Dr. Macdill follows him closely in the same unhistorical charge); now Dr. Craven in his reply to the grave charge (N. Y. Evangelist, Jan. and Feb. 1879), makes the following points, which serve as a most ample refutation. (1) The majority of the committee (viz.: Goodwin, Bridge, Caryll, and Greenhill—who had been members of the Westminster Assembly), who framed the Savoy Confession, were express Pre-Millenarians. (2) Pre-Millenarians prominently took part in framing the Confession, and evidently—as a compromise—to preserve unity and harmony, so worded the same, giving general and Scriptural statements (without any intimation of order or manner) that all could accept of it. (3) As a diversity of opinion existed relating to the events preceding and connected with the Sec. Advent, the only basis of union was to avoid a discussion of the order and manner of fulfilment, which was done. (4) The use of the phrases “day of judgment,” “Kingdom,” etc., as well as the adoption of Scripture on controverted subjects without explanation, did not forbid Pre-Mills. or Post-Mills. to accept of the same. (5) That the admission of Prof. Briggs that Pre-Mills. (as Sterry, Burroughs, and Goodwin) were in the Westminster Assembly, and utterly unconscious of being denounced and condemned, is sufficient evidence in our favor. (6) That these and other Pre-Mills. labored with Post-Mills, in the same Church, and were never tried and disciplined for their doctrinal views, is conclusive proof how the same were regarded. (7) That Homes’ intensely Pre-Mill. work “The Res. Revealed,” was indorsed by a committee (Caryll and Sterry) of the Assembly, is decisive that no condemnatory idea was ever entertained. (8) That the testimony of Baillie (Letters, vol. 2, p. 414–15), and of Masson (Life of Milton, vol. 2, p. 146), both opponents, as to the extent of the belief, and the eminence of its believers, is irresistible to any unprejudiced mind. (9) That Twisse, “a thoroughgoing Pre-Millenarian, should have been selected for the position of Moderator,” is evidence either of the esteem in which Chiliasts were held, or of the number of Chiliastic adherents in the Assembly, or of both. (10) Caryll, as one of the committee to whom Homes’ Chiliastic work was given, not only pronounces the book “very useful for the saints and worthy of public view,” but states that its doctrines have “gained ground in the hearts and judgments of very many, both grave and godly men, who have left us divers essays and discourses on the subject.” We leave the candid reader to say whether, in view of such facts, there is the slightest foundation for Prof. B.’s uncharitable deductions; and whether the latter do not spring more from the heart than from the mind. The feeling and opinion even later is illustrated e.g. in the Life of Ed. Irving (by Mrs. Oliphant, p. 335); it being stated that the authorities of the Church tacitly admitted, by non-interference, attendance, etc., that the doctrine of the Millennium was “open to a diversity of view.” We shall have occasion to quote this Confession under another Prop., as in sympathy with some Chiliastic views, viz.: the looking for the Advent enforced as a duty without an intervening Millennial age, and the nonconversion of the world.
Note 6. The student is referred to Crosby’s His. of the Baptists, vol. 2, App. 85. We give a few extracts to illustrate. The Confession declares the unalterable faith of the signers, saying, “for which we are not only resolved to suffer persecution to the loss of our goods, but also life itself, rather than decline from the same;” and this enforces the Chiliasm as a deliberate conviction. It then plainly announces: “We believe that there will be an order in the resurrection; Christ is the first-fruits, and then next, or after, they that are Christ’s at His Coming; then, or afterward, cometh the end. Concerning the Kingdom and reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we do believe that He is now in heaven at His Father’s right hand, so we do believe that, at the time appointed by the Father, He shall come again in power and great glory; and that at or after His coming the second time, He will not only raise the dead, and judge and restore the world, but will also take to Himself His Kingdom, and will, according to the Scriptures, reign on the throne of His father David, on Mount Zion, in Jerusalem, forever.” “We believe that the Kingdom of our Lord will be an universal Kingdom, and that in this Kingdom the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will be alone, visible, supreme God and King of the whole earth. We believe that as this Kingdom will be universal, so it will be also an everlasting Kingdom, that shall have no end, nor cannot be shaken; in which Kingdom the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus shall receive the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls; where the Lord is they shall be also. We believe that the New Jerusalem that shall come down from God out of heaven, when the tabernacle of God shall be with them, and He will dwell among them, will be the Metropolitan City of the Kingdom, and will be the glorious place of residence of both Christ and His saints forever, and will be so situated as that the Kingly palace will be on Mount Zion, the holy hill of David, where His throne was.” The Confession insists on a personal Advent, upon Christ’s obtaining the government of the world, the saints reigning on the earth with Him, applying Dan. 7:27; Rev. 19:16; Ps. 22:28; Zech. 14:9 etc., to this period. The contrast in the present and future condition of saints is thus drawn: “ ‘For unto the saints shall be given the Kingdom, and the greatness of the Kingdom, under (mark that) the whole heaven’ (Dan. 7:27). Though (alas!) now many men be scarce content that the saints should have so much as a being among them; but when Christ shall appear, then shall be their day, then shall be given unto them power over the nations, to rule them with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26, 27). Then shall they receive a crown of life, which no man shall take from them, nor they by any means turned or overturned from it, for the oppressor shall be broken in pieces (Ps. 72:4), and their vain rejoicings turned into mourning and bitter lamentations, as it is written (Job 22:5–7).”
As to other Confessions, a number, indicative of the extent of belief, may thus be specified. The “Free Chris. Church of Italy,” in Genl. Assembly at Milan, June, 1870, adopted the following Chiliastic doctrine: “Art. VIII. The Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven and transform our body of humiliation into a glorious body. In that day the dead in Christ shall rise first, and the living who are found faithful shall be transformed, and thus together shall we be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, to be forever with the Lord; and, after His Kingdom, all the rest shall rise to be judged in judgment.” The “Second Adventists,” in their public expression of Faith (Taylor’s Voice of the Church), declare their belief in the speedy Advent, the first and second resurrections separated by an interval of a 1000 years, the reign of Christ and the saints on the earth, etc. They are far more Chiliastic than the Millerites—the latter being chiefly distinguished for belief in an immediate coming and fixing the time for the same. “The Catholic Apostolic Church” (a succession of the Irvingites) presents in its Confession of Faith a strong Chiliastic belief, for which they are noted. Its leading doctrine is a belief in the speedy Coming of Jesus, and expresses it “as the only hope of deliverance to the sin-burdened and weary creation.” (Comp. art. on, in M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop. It has extended itself in England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Germany, America, etc.) The “Seventh-Day Adventists,” entertain several of the Chiliastic tenets. “The Brethren,” or “Dunkards,” as represented by Nead, in Nead’s Theolog. Writings (see ch. 20, on “The Sec. Advent”), hold to the personal return and reign of Jesus, to a previous fearful lack of faith and persecution, to a restoration of the Jews, to a glorious Mill., to a first res. preceding, and to a second res. at the end of the 1000 years, to a great battle between Christ and His enemies, to the perpetuity of the race after the Advent, and to the removal of the curse and the Sabbatism. Thus many of the essential points of Primitive and Scriptural Chiliasm are incorporated. What number or particular body are thus presented the writer does not know. A few copies of The Brethren at Work, a Brethren or Dunkard periodical published at Lanark, Ill., fell into my hands, and they contained the advocacy of the Mill. and the personal reign of Christ (as e.g. March 21st, 1878), by James Wirt. “The Church of God” (see art. by Winebrenner, in Rupp’s Orig. His. of Relig. Denom.) gives as an art. of Faith: “She believes in the personal coming and reign of Jesus Christ, Matt. 24:42–44; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20, 21; 1 Thess. 4:16, 17; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 1:17.” “She believes in the resurrection ‘both of the just and the unjust;’ that the res. of the just will precede the res. of the unjust.” (In 1867, the Church numbered 11 elderships, 400 churches, 350 ministers, and over 25,000 members.) In conversing with ministers and members of this Church, they exhibited an intelligent Chiliastic belief, in marked contrast with many others. The “Plymouth Brethren,” or Darbyites, entertain a prominent Chiliastic belief, being one of their chief characteristics, as any reference to their expressed faith will abundantly show. The “Harmony Society,” or the Rappists (followers of Rapp, settled at Economy, Pa.), hold Pre-Mill. views. The nearness of the Millennium, introduced by the Sec. Advent, is a cardinal doctrine with them. The “Mennonites” (art. in M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop. says) “in the 16th cent., held, in common with the Anabaptists, the belief in Christ’s personal reign during the Millennium.” Buck’s Theol. Dic., art. “Mennonites,” remarks, that Menno discarded the extravagant views of certain Anabaptists, but retained the doctrine of “the Millennium, or 1000 years’ reign of Christ upon earth.” How largely this doctrine continued among them, the writer is unable to say, for they now number altogether, it is supposed, about 200,000, divided into several branches. The “Apostoolians” (Ency. Relig. Knowl.), one of the branches, is decidedly Millennarian. The “Christadelphians” have largely incorporated Chiliasm, and make it essential to their system. It is most prominently presented in their published “Principles,” and other works. Various offshoots of the “Pietistic movement” were largely affected by Chiliasm, as for e.g. the “Society of Korn” (art. on, M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.), which was under “the Millenarian influence of Jung Stilling and Michael Hahn.” (The followers of Hahn in 1817 “numbered 18,000.”) The “Moravians” favored Chiliastic views, however perverted by ideal and mystical conceptions. Writers professing to give the faith of the “Unitas Fratrum,” present the Millenarian view, as e.g. Bish. Spangenberg in his last ch. of Exposition of Ch. Doctrine. Various parties, imbibing Spener’s pietism and Oetinger’s theosophy, incorporated Chiliasm, as e.g. the “Michaleans” (and in contrast with them the “Pregizerians”), of whom Kurtz (Ch. His., vol. 2, p. 291) says: “They had a common ground in their Chiliasm, and in the doctrine of restoration.” Chiliastic views are dominant in small parties, as in the “One-faith people,” in the adherents of Barbour, of Rochester, N. Y., and in the followers of Russell, of Pittsburg, Pa., as well as in others whose location has escaped the writer’s recollection. The same is true of some German Millenarians near Tiflis, the capital of Georgia (Henderson’s Bib. Researches in Russia, pp. 524–529, and Pinkerton’s Russia, pp. 143–151). The first attempt to form a Universalist sect embraced distinctive features of Chiliasm allied with Universalism, as seen in the “Rellyanites or Rellyan Universalists” (Art. on, M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.), whose theory of Restitution is in the main allied with Chiliastic views, revived by Barbour, Russell, etc., in the Three Worlds and their respective newspapers. As this fact is not generally known, we quote the following from James Relly’s (at one time connected with Whitefield) and his followers’ belief: “In general they appear to believe that there will be a resurrection to life and a res. to condemnation; that believers only will be among the former, who, as firstfruits, and kings and priests, will have part in the first resurrection, and shall reign with Christ in His Kingdom of the Millennium; that unbelievers who are after raised must wait the manifestation of the Saviour of the world under that condemnation of conscience which a mind in darkness and wrath must necessarily feel; that believers, called kings and priests, will be made the medium of communicating to their condemned brethren, who, like Joseph to his brethren, though he spoke roughly to them, in reality overflowed with affection and tenderness; that ultimately every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that in the Lord they have righteousness and strength, and thus every enemy shall be subdued to the Kingdom and glory of the great Mediator.” (Those who have recently revived this Restitution scheme, change some features, as e.g. the obstinate and recalcitrant are given over to “the second death,” etc.) Even the Mormons, together with much that the Church receives in general, incorporate Chiliastic features Jos. Smith in his His. of the Latter Day Saints (Rupp’s Orig. His. of Relig. Denoms.) says: “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes;” “That Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.” But (Art. “Mormons,” M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.) teach a gross future, illustrated by the future marriage, etc. (The influence that the association of Chiliasm with singular or fanatical views has upon many—who overlook the fact that the most precious and fundamental Christian doctrines are similarly treated—will be treated under Prop. 179)
Obs. 6. The Chiliastic doctrine is not confined to any one branch of the Protestant Church. Its advocates are to be found in all denominations, more or less, and embrace men eminent for piety, abundant labors, and ability. The lists that are given in various works include Reformers, Martyrs, English Church Divines, Lutherans, Reformed, Westminster Assembly Divines, English Dissenters, New England Divines, Baptists, Presbyterians, American Episcopal Divines, Congregationalists, Missionaries, etc., forming a noble band of adherents to the early faith.[*]
Note. The student is referred to the lists given in Brooks’s El. Proph. Interp., Taylor’s Voice of the Church, The Time of the End by a Congregationalist, Seiss’s Last Times, Shimeall’s Eschatology, Elliott’s Horœ Apoc., McCaul’s The Old Paths, Wood’s Believer’s Guide, The Investigator, 4th vol., Manford’s Apology for Millenarianism, Drummond’s Dialogues on Prophecy, and Defence of the Students of Prophecy, Bryant’s Millenarian Views, West’s His. Pre-Mill. Doc., etc. Macaulay (Essays on the Jews, 1831) referred to this feature: “Many Christians believe that the Messiah will shortly establish a Kingdom on the earth and reign visibly over all its inhabitants. Whether this doctrine be orthodox or not, we shall not inquire. The number of people who hold it is very much greater than the number of Jews residing in England. Many of those who hold it are distinguished by rank, wealth, and ability; it is preached from pulpits both of the Scottish and of the English Church. Noblemen and members of Parliament have written in defence of it, who expect “that before this generation shall pass away, all the kingdoms of the earth will be swallowed up in one Divine Empire.” While many of the names that we give are verified by a personal perusal of their works or extracts from them, many are presented on the authority of others, and we may thus inadvertently place some of those who are more thoroughly Millenarian with those who are less so, and the reverse. A complete list of writers, classified as to their exact views, is still a desideratum, and until this is done, injustice may unintentionally be done to authors.
Obs. 7. After the Reformation, however, the Reformers and others indorsed certain distinctive features belonging, as parts of the system, to Millenarian doctrine, we are chiefly indebted to a few leading minds for bringing forth a return to the old Patristic faith in all its essential forms. Prominently among these are the following: the profound Biblical scholar Joseph Mede (born 1586, died 1638), in his still celebrated Clavis Apocalyptica (translated into English) and Exposition on Peter; Th. Brightman (1644), Expositions of Daniel and Apoc.; J. A. Bengel (a learned divine, born 1687, died 1752), Exposition of the Apocalypse and Addresses on the same; also the writings of Th. Goodwin (1679); Ch. Daubuz (1730); Piscator (1646); M. F. Roos (1770); Alstedius (1643 and earlier); Cressener (1689); Farmer (1660); Fleming (1708); Hartley (1764); J. J. Hess (1774); Homes (1654); Jurieu (1686); Maton (1642); Peterson (1692); Sherwin (1665); and others (such as Conrade, Gallus, Brahe, Kett, Broughton, Marten, Sir I. Newton, Whiston, etc.), materially aided in directing attention to the Millenarian doctrine and to influence persons to Biblical study on the subject. When these were followed by men eminent for learning and marked ability (some have been mentioned, others will follow); when the leading poets and commentaries gave an additional impulse to Millenarian doctrine by their forcible portrayals and exegetical comments; when persons of the highest and lowest position, in all ranks and professions, of undoubted piety and usefulness, thus united in expressing Chiliastic views, the doctrine of the early church received correspondingly a revival and renewed strength in the hearts and hopes of believers.[*]
Note. The student is aware that when the revival of Pietism (a movement against a cold Philosophical and Symbolistic tendency) took place under Spener, Francke, and others, there was also a return to the Chiliastic faith. Admitting that in some cases it might have been allied with fanaticism, as Mosheim (vol. 3, p. 381) intimates, yet Mosheim (himself Anti-Millenarian) is uncandid when he says that they “also recalled upon the stage opinions long since condemned; asserted that the reign of a thousand years, mentioned by John, was at hand.” The unfairness consists in this: (1) He seems to sanction the condemnation of the doctrine by the Romish Church; (2) he links this doctrine with extravagances, as if inseparable; (3) he forgets, having highly praised Spener, that Spener himself defended the Millenarian view as Scriptural, and not opposed by the Augsburg Confession; (4) that works, specially written to set forth what were the real views of the Pietists (as e.g. Klettwich’s), were suppressed, and that their doctrine, in the bitter controversies that ensued, was caricatured, etc.; (5) Mosheim permits his spirit of hatred to the doctrine (as e.g. in the case of Peterson, etc.) to appear on several occasions, and hence is to be received with caution; (6) the best devotional hymns and books, as well as practical works on religion, have sprung from that movement. It would be well, if the detractors of the Pietists possessed their piety, sincerity, usefulness, and ability.
Dr. Fisher in Art. “Mill.” (M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.) remarks: “The Mill. doctrine, in its essential characteristics, has had adherents among some of the most sober-minded theologians of the Lutheran Church in later times. Of these, one of the most distinguished is John Albert Bengel, the author of The Gnomon, who defended his opinion in his Com. on the Apoc., published in 1740. He has been followed by other divines of repute; and the doctrine has not been without prominent supporters among the Lutherans down to the present time. One of the latest of their number who has discussed this question is the Rev. A. Koch (Das Tausendjährige Reich, Basle, 1872). This writer endeavors in particular to refute the arguments adduced against the doctrine of a Millennium by the German commentators Hengstenberg, Keil, and Kleifoth.” (Comp. Lange’s estimate of Hengstenberg, etc., in his Introd. to Rev.) The Dr. also says: “In all the other various orthodox Protestant bodies, there are many who believe in the personal Advent of Christ for the purpose of establishing a Millennial Kingdom.”
Obs. 8. There is a class of able men whose sentiments were favorable to Millenarians—who either express these in their writings, or speak approvingly of Chiliastic works—and yet by many, at the present day, are supposed to be the contrary. In illustration of this, a number may appropriately be mentioned. John Wesley has often been claimed as Chiliastic (and is so given by Taylor, Shimeall, and others), because of his chiefly adopting Bengel’s views in Revelation, and of the views presented in some of his sermons. This has been denied, and utterances seemingly contradictory presented in proof. But this has finally been settled by a Methodist historian, Tyerman, in his Life of John Wesley, vol. 2, p. 523, etc. After giving very candidly Hartley’s Mill. views from “Paradise Restored” (affirming the Pre-Mill. Advent, and the Mill. reign of Jesus, etc., which Wesley indorsed, see Works, vol. 6, p. 743), Tyerman then gives the fact that John Wesley read and approved of the same, writing (Meth. Mag., 1783, p. 498) to the author: “Your book on the Millennium was lately put into my hands. I cannot but thank you for your strong and seasonable confirmation of that comfortable doctrine, of which I cannot entertain the least doubt, as long as I believe the Bible.” Tyerman most frankly and honestly (worthy of special notice) adds: “With such a statement, in reference to such a book, there can be no doubt that Wesley, like his father before him, was a Millenarian, a believer in the Sec. Advent of Christ to reign on earth, visibly and gloriously, for a thousand years. This is a matter which none of Wesley’s biographers have noticed; and yet the above is not the only evidence in support of it.” He then refers us to a letter to Dr. Middleton (published 1749), in which Wesley indorses Justin Martyr’s Mill, views, saying: “To say that they” (i.e. the Fathers of the second and third cents.) “believed this, was neither more nor less than to say they believed the Bible.” Reference is also made to an article, “The Renovation of All Things,” in Wesley’s Arminian Mag., 1784, p. 154, etc. The adoption of the Millenarian Bengel’s notes for the Apoc., in his Com. on the New Test., his expressed views on the Judgment Day (which we quote, Prop. 133), the deliverance of creation (which we quote, Prop. 146), and related subjects, is ample testimony.
Some few have denied that Dr. Chalmers was Pre-Millenarian, against the express sentiments quoted by us of a Pre-Mill. Sec. Advent, a non-conversion of the world preceding that Advent (see Prop. 175), the renovation of the earth (Prop. 146). However he may have been influenced by some of the vagaries of Irvingism not to give great prominency to his views on the subject, yet, in behalf of the truth, his utterances are decided, as can be seen e.g. by comparing his Sabbath Readings, vol. 1, pp. 311 and 108 (comp. Proph. Times, vol. 4, p. 110, etc., for detailed statement). So also some have tried to claim Spener as Post-Millenarian, against the testimony of history and his own writings. It is well known to students that Spener defended Chiliasm, and showed that the Augsburg Confession was not opposed to a Scriptural doctrine. The enemies of Spener made his Chiliastic views one of their points of attack, and Pietism (comp. Kurtz’s Ch. His., Neander, Mosheim, etc.) was always, more or less, allied with Millenarianism. Some, attracted by his name, attempt to make out a very mild form of Chiliasm, but Dr. Kling, Art. Eschatology in Herzog’s Encyclop., pronounces Spener a most decided Chiliast, inclined even to the fanatical. (?) Prof. Stuart, and many others of our opponents, concede him to us. Dr. Brown of Gettysburg, in an Art. published in the Luth. Observer, even attempted to take John Bunyan from us, but the Confession of Faith (with which compare him on the “First Chapters of Genesis”) quoted under Obs. 4, is a complete and overwhelming answer. As to Bish. Butler, it is sufficient to refer to his Analogy, Part 2, ch. 7, and to his Memoirs, p. 298 (quoted by Taylor, and others), where occur sentiments only in accordance with pure Chiliasm. In reference to Rev. Hall, the celebrated Baptist, it is evident that in his early life he was opposed to Chiliasm, as is seen in the production “Chris. Consistent with Love of Freedom,” where occurs the phrase “the long-exploded tradition of Papias respecting the personal reign,” but in the closing years of his life he materially modified his views, coming nearer to Bunyan’s Confession. For (Duffield On Proph., p. 259) Mr. Thorp, of Bristol, England, conversed with him on the subject a few days before his decease, and he “regretted that he had not preached the Millenarian views he entertained.” (May not others be found in this category; for the writer personally knows men who privately entertain Chiliasm, but never present it publicly).
Note 1. Tyerman unhesitatingly classes among Millenarians, Charles Wesley (as various hymns evidence), Fletcher (as a letter to John Wesley positively asserts, written A.D. 1755, Fletcher’s Works, vol. 16), Piers, and others. John and Charles Wesley’s testimony is the more disinterested and valuable, since on the one hand they had to resist the indifference of others, and on the other, the fanaticism of Bell and others, who (so Tyerman) predicted the speedy end of the world. Rev. Dr. Nast (himself a leading Methodist) says (Art. “Christ’s Mill. reign,” in the West. Ch. Advocate, July 23d, 1879), after referring to the able Pre-Mill. advocates in the various denominations: “I admit that the Methodist Church is not so largely represented, and that at present Pre-Mill. views are unpopular among us, but it was not always so. Both John and Charles Wesley, Dr. Coke, as well as Fletcher and Whitefield, occupied Pre-Mill. ground, and also, as I am credibly informed, in our day, the late revered Secretary of our Miss. Soc., Dr. J. P. Durbin.” Now in contrast we present the following: Prof. Worman, in his extended Art. “Methodism” (M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.), says: “The Sermons of Jno. Wesley, and his Notes on the New Test., are recognized by his followers in Great Britain and America as the standard of Methodism, and as the basis of their theological creed.” If so, then there has been a wide departure on Eschatology. To indicate the same by way of illustration, we copy this notice, without comment, from the Luth. Observer, March 1st, 1878: “The Rev. Arthur P. Adams, Beverly, Mass., so Zion’s Herald states, has been suspended from the Methodist ministry for holding and teaching doctrines at variance with those of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He held that Christ’s Sec. Coming is near at hand, and that not until after the resurrection occurs can the redemption scheme of Christ be complete” (i.e. in results). It is proper to add, as Tyerman remarks, that Wesley was guarded, so as not to give place to extravagances; as e.g. on fixing the date of the Advent, Wesley (Meth. Mag., 1827, p. 392) says: “I have no opinion at all upon when the Mill. reign of Christ will begin; I can determine nothing at all about it; these calculations are far above, out of my sight.” Tyerman then repeats: “Still, Wesley was a believer in the certainty of such a reign, and so was Fletcher, as we have already seen, and so was Wesley’s friend, the Vicar of Bexley, Mr. Piers, and so seem to have been the writers of some of the hymns in the Meth. Hymn Book” (quoting several hymns with Pre-Mill. sentiments). Charles Wesley’s Pre-Mill. hymns are quoted in detail in Proph. Times, 1866, p. 111, etc., Taylor’s Voice of the church, Time of the End, etc., and they are so decided in sentiment that it is a matter of surprise that any one should fail to appreciate them.
Note 2. Others, who entertained distinctive Chiliastic features and located the predicted Kingdom of Dan. 2 and 7 after the Second Advent, might be mentioned, as Archb. Cranmer (see the Catechism authorized by Edward VI., and written by him, on the phrase “Thy Kingdom come”), Archb. Newcome (see Bickersteth’s Diss. on Proph., p. 106), Dr. Benson (see Notes on Ps. 76:10–12, and 98:4–9), Rudd (see Time of the End, p. 325), Toplady (see Sermons, Lib. 3, p. 470), etc. (Comp. Taylor’s Voice of the Church and Seiss’s Ap. to the Last Times, from whom a large number might be added.)
Obs. 9. It would be interesting to trace the rise of Millenarianism in this country. That it was early incorporated into the belief of many of the first preachers of this country is evident from the testimony of Cotton Mather, who himself heartily indorsed it. Thus e.g. in the Magnalia he testifies of Rev. John Davenport (died in Boston 1668), that he apprehended “the true notion of the Chiliad,” and “preached and wrote” about the “coming of the Lord, the calling of the Jews, and the first and second resurrection of the dead, which do now of late years get more ground against the opposition of the otherwise minded, and find a kinder entertainment among them that ‘search the Scriptures;’ and that” he asserted “a personal, visible, powerful, and glorious coming of the Lord Jesus Christ unto judgment, long before the end of the world.” He calls Rev. Thomas Walley (died 1679), “our pious Chiliast, Walley,” who was like Mede, Davenport, Hook, and who understood “the First Resurrection to be corporeal,” just as “some of the first and eminent teachers in the church believed.” Reference is made to Rev. John Eliot (died 1690), as constantly pressing “the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;” the same intimations are given respecting Whiting, Samuel Mather, Increase Mather (Pres. Harvard College), himself, and others.[*]
Note. We append additional testimony. In the Preface to The Magnalia, Mather says: “The first and famous pastors in the New England churches did, in their public ministry, frequently insist on the doctrine of Christ’s glorious Kingdom on earth which will take place after the conversion of the Jews, and when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in. It is a pity that this doctrine is no more inculcated by the present ministry, which has induced me the rather to preach and now by the press to publish, what is emitted herewith.” And now that this must be understood in a purely Chiliastic sense, is evident from both what Cotton Mather and his father, Increase Mather, have taught on the subject. Thus e.g. Increase Mather, in his Discourse on Faith (A.D. 1710), and The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation, teaches: “He (Christ) will then (at Coming) remove His throne from heaven to this visible world. Then will His visible Kingdom appear in the greatest glory; when also there will be a personal reign and residence of Christ in this lower world.” “When they that corrupt the earth are destroyed, a new earth will succeed, in which shall dwell righteousness. Then will the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever,” etc. But Cotton Mather is more plain: “It is well known, that in the earliest of the primitive times the faithful did, in a literal sense, believe the ‘second coming’ of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the rising and the reigning of the saints with Him, a thousand years before, the rest of the dead live again,’ a doctrine which, however, some of later years have counted heretical; yet in the days of Irenæus, were questioned by none but such as were counted heretics. It is evident from Justin Martyr that the doctrine of the Chiliad was in his days embraced among all orthodox Christians; nor did this Kingdom of our Lord begin to be doubted until the Kingdom of Antichrist began to advance into a considerable figure, and then it fell chiefly under the reproaches of such men as were fain to deny the divine authority of the Book of Revelation, and of the Second Epistle of Peter. He is a stranger to antiquity who does not find and own the ancients generally of the persuasion. Nevertheless, at last men came, not only to lay aside the modesty expressed by one of the first Anti-Millenarians, namely, Jerome, but also with violence to persecute the Millenary truth as an heretical pravity. So the mystery of our Lord’s ‘appearing in His Kingdom’ lay buried in Popish darkness, till the light thereof had a fresh dawn. Since the Antichrist entered into the last half-time of the period allotted for him, and now within the last sevens of years, as things grow nearer to accomplishment, learned and pious men, in great numbers, everywhere come to receive, explain, and maintain, the old faith about it.” In the Student and Preacher, Mather is equally decisive: “The Son of God, about to descend, will inflict vengeance on them who know not God and obey not His Gospel; but He will manifest His Kingdom of the saints in the earth, which is to be possessed by our second and heavenly Adam; and this, we confess, is ascertained to us by promise, but in another state, as being after the resurrection.” “They indulge themselves in a vain dream, not to say insane, who think, pray, and hope, contrary to the whole sacred Scripture and sound reason, that the promised happiness of the Church on earth will be before the Lord Jesus shall appear in His Kingdom.” “Without doubt the kingdom of this world will not become the Kingdom of God and His Christ, before the preordained time of the dead, in which the reward shall be given to the servants of God and to those that fear His name.” “The rest of the saints, and the promised Sabbath, and the Kingdom of God, in which His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, and those great things of which God hath spoken by the mouths of His prophets, all prophesying as with one voice; all shall be confirmed by their fulfilment in the new earth, not in our defiled and accursed earth.” Rev. Joshua Spalding (Lectures, pp. 221–2, etc.) speaks of “many Christians, who were looking, not for the modern Millennium, but for the Sec. Coming of Christ,” etc., and adds: “I have had the testimony of elderly Christian people, in several parts of New England, that within their remembrance this doctrine was first advanced in the places where they lived, and have heard them name the ministers who first preached it in their churches. No doctrine can be more indisputably proved to have been the doctrine of the Primitive Church than those we call Millenarian; and, beyond all dispute, the same were favorite doctrines with the fathers of New England; with the words of one of whom, writing upon this subject, we shall conclude our observations upon their antiquity: ‘They are not new, but old; they may be new to some men, but I cannot say it is to their honor.’ ” In another place (p. 191) he says: “The doctrine of the Millennium is truth; and the prevailing expectation, that it is fast approaching, and is now very near, is doubtless rational,” etc. The same is true doctrinally of Thomas Prince (A.D. 1728 to 1758), pastor at Boston (so Spaulding’s Lectures), of Dr. B. Gale (see Barber’s His. Collections of Connecticut, p. 531, who also says: “This (Millenarianism) appears to have been the belief of pious persons at the time of the first settlement of New England,” etc.).
The same early Chiliasm is traceable in other denominations. Thus e.g. in the early Lutheran and Reformed Churches quite a number of ministers entertained it. The writer was informed by his grandparents and parents that they conversed with such and heard them occasionally present Millenarianism. The brief biographical sketches remaining give us no idea of the form in which they held it, but a clue is obtained by the fact that the works of Bengel, Stilling, and others like them, were favorites and largely circulated. Books of German and English Chiliasts were held in esteem, and the writer has often been surprised to find among old people a detailed and correct knowledge of the doctrine, and on inquiry the reception of the same was generally attributed to the instruction of some old pastor or the reading of such works. In conversation with others, they recalled similar reminiscences.
Obs. 10. The progress of Chiliastic doctrine in this country, while immensely in the minority, has been highly respectable, as admitted even by our opponents. It embraces many of the ablest, most devoted and scholarly men that the church has produced.[*]
Note. The Luth. Observer (always, more or less, an opponent), in a notice (Oct. 25th, 1878) of a Pre-Mill. pamphlet, “Jesus is Coming,” by W. E. B., says that our doctrine “has had eminent supporters in the Church. Such men as Sir I. Newton, Dr. Chalmers, Dean Alford, and Dr. Breckenridge have been among its advocates. And among the signatures to a call for a series of public meetings to be held in New York, in the month of October, are the names of learned and pious men representing all the denominations of Protestantism.” Prof. Briggs, and a few others, evidently angry at the increase of Chiliasm in the Presbyterian Church, suggested discipline on the charge of “heresy,” to which Rev. Dr. Mutchmore (quoted Messiah’s Herald, Jan. 15th, 1879), of the same Church, replies: “It is best to allow our pastors to use their own judgment in preaching on the matter. What are we to do? Some of our most eminent men are Pre-Millenarians, and we have no article which is against the idea of Christ’s personal reign on earth. It is all a question of interpretation, on which our highest bodies have never made any deliverance, and, in my opinion, they never should.” Rev. Dr. Mackay, in his address at the Milday Conference (1879), speaking in reference to Chiliastic advocates as observed in his recent visit to the U. S. and Canada, said: “I thank God that in every city that I visited, in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere, the most spiritual men are rousing up to inquire and look into these things.” Many such declarations might be given, but the reader can soon satisfy himself by glancing over the names following. We append a list—imperfect at best—of American and Canadian Chiliasts, according to their Church relationship as far as known.
Prot. Episcopal Church: Dr. S. H. Tyng, sen., Dr. Tyng, jr., Dr. R. Newton, H. Dana Ward, Rev. J. S. Alwell, Rev. E. T. Perkins, Rev. Th. W. Haskins, Rev. Rob. C. Booth, Rev. L. W. Bancroft, Felix R. Brunot, Dr. Julius E. Grammer, Bh. T. H. Vail, Rev. T. W. Hastings, Bh. W. W. Niles, Canon Baldwin, Canon W. Bond, Bh. Southgate, Dr. F. Vinton, Rev. Morell, Bh. Mcllvaine, Bh. Henshaw, Rev. E. Winthrop, Rev. Morgan, Rev. Johnson, Rev. Farrer, Rev. Dobbs, Rev. Smith, Rev. Trenwith, Rev. Newton (Gambier), Bh. Bedell, Bh. Hopkins, Bh. Williams, Bh. Huntingdon, Bh. Odenheimer, D. N. Lord.
Reformed Episcopal: Bh. W. R. Nicholson, Rev. G. A. Reddles, Rev. W. V. Feltwell, Rev. B. B. Leacock, Rev. M. B. Smith.
Presbyterian: Dr. C. K. Imbrie, Dr. S. H. Kellogg, Dr. E. R. Craven, Dr. J. H. Brookes, Rev. W. J. Gillespie, Rev. H. M. Parsons, Dr. N. West, Rev. W. J. Erdman, William Reynolds, John Wannamaker, Rev. F. W. Flint, Rev. E. P. Adams, Rev. J. S. Stewart, Rev. D. E. Bierce, Rev. C. C. Foote, Rev. L.C. Baker, Rev. W. B. Lee, Rev. E. R. Davis, Dr. S. R. Wilson, B. Dubois Wyckoff, Rev. B. F. Sample, Rev. H. M. Bacon, Rev. D. Mack, Rev. E. P. Marvin, Dr. R. Patterson, Rev. R. C. Mathews, Rev. A. Erdman, Rev. J. R. Berry, Prof. J. T. Duffield, Saml. Ashhurst, Rev. Prof. R. D. Morris, Rev. D. R. Eddy, Rev. Wm. P. Paxon, Dr. Willis Lord, Dr. J. G. Reaser, Dr. Marshall, Dr. Felix Johnson, Dr. Kalb, Dr. F. E. Brown, Dr. Stanton, Dr. McCartee, Dr. Geo. Duffield, Dr. R. J. Breckenridge, Dr. Krebs, Dr. J. Lillie, Rev. R. C. Shimeall, Dr. Poor, Dr. Van Doren, Rev. Blauvelt, Rev. Dinwiddie, Rev. Laird, Matthews, Marquis, Congdon, Rev. Adair, Rev. Prof. McGill, Rev. J. C. Randolph, Rev. W. Hogarth.
United Presbyterian: Dr. J. T. Cooper, Dr. W. Y. Moorehead, Rev. J. P. Sankey, Rev. W. J. Gillespie, Rev. R. W. French. Rev. S. B. Reed, Rev. R. A. McAycal, Rev. D. A. Wallace, Rev. J. G. Galloway, Rev. J. S. McCulloch, Rev. W. W. Barr, Rev. G. Hayser.
Baptists: Dr. A. J. Gordon, Rev. J. D. Herr, Rev. J. Hyatt Smith, Dr. J. W. Bancroft, Rev. H. M. Saunders, Rev. J. P. Farrer, Rev. Alf. Harris, Rev. Jos. Evans, Rev. J. M. Stiffler, Rev. G. M. Peters, Rev. F. E. Tower, Dr. J. E. Jones, Rev. J. T. Beckley, Rev. J. J. Miller, Ed. S. White, B. F. Jacobs, Rev. C. Perrin, Rev. F. L. Chappell, Rev. Rob. Cameron, Rev. H. F. Titus, Rev. H. A. Cordo, Rev. G. M. Stone, Dr. S. H. Ford, Rev. A. J. Frost, Rev. J. C. Wilmarth, Prof. Dr. Weston, Rev. Barralle, Rev. Brown, Rev. Colgrove, Rev. Wm. Knapp, Rev. H. Knapp, Rev. J. C. Waller, Rev. Taylor.
Congregationalist: Dr. E. P. Goodwin, Rev. W. W. Clarke, Dr. H. D. Kitchell, Dr. J. Wild, Rev. W. R. Joyslin, Rev. G. C. Miln, Rev. E. C. Hood, Rev. W. W. Syle, Rev. Myron Adams, Rev. G. R. Milton, Abner Kingman, Rev. Burton, Rev. Francis Russell, C. M. Whittlesey, Rev. Lorimer, Rev. Morton, Rev. Bancroft, Rev. Andrews, Rev. Cunningham.
Reformed Church: Dr. Rufus W. Clarke, Rev. C. Parker, Rev. J. B. Thompson, Rev. W. H. Clarke, Dr. W. R. Gordon, Dr. J. T. Demarest, Dr. G. S. Bishop, Rev. R. F. Clarke, Rev. Merritt, Rev. Ballagh, Rev. Brown, Rev. Dr. Forsyth, Dr. S. H. Giesy.
Methodists: Prof. H. Lummis, Rev. Jno. Parker, Dr. H. Foster, Rev. Jesse M. Gilbert, Geo. Hall, T. W. Harney, Rev. W. E. Blackstone, W. E. Grim, Dr. Geo. W. Brown, Geo. A. Hall, Dr. Marshall, Excell, Dr. J. P. Durbin, Rev. Dr. Nast.
Lutheran: Dr. J. A. Seiss, Rev. Laird, Rev. Dr. Oswald, Rev. A. R. Brown, Dr. J. G. Schmucker (and Drs. Helmuth, Lachman, and D. Kurtz, who recommended his Chiliastic work).
Moravian: Rev. E. Reineke, J. G. Zipple.
Chiliastic writers belonging to various bodies, such as Second Adventists, or branches: Hastings, Taylor, Andrews, Crozier, Bliss, Himes, Litch, Hale, Thomas, Wilson, Campbell, Reed, Coghill, Lyon, Chown, Cook, Woodruff, Catlin, Allen, Ramsey, Fancher, Parry, Chase, Coombe, Niles, Jacobs, Seymour, Champlin, Lumbard, Carpenter, Batchelor, Wellcome, Grant, Smith, Burnham, Libby, Brewer, Pratt, Shepherd, Flagg, Sutherland, White, Couch, Higgins, Burbank, Piper, Simpson, Cole, Hancock, Bellows, Austin, York, Teeple, Morgan, Preble, Chittenden, Cotton, Moore, Pearson, Miller, C. Palmer, E. K. Barnhill, S. A. Chaplin, etc.
Among other organizations are writers of the “Catholic Apostolic Church,” “Plymouth Brethren,” “Christadelphians” (Dr. J. Thomas and followers), and others.
Miscellaneous. Names that have fallen under observation as Chiliasts, but whose exact Church relationship is unknown to the writer, such as Storrs, Beegle, Wendell, Ramsey, Woodworth, Bh. Ives, Dr. Broadhead, Dr. McCarty, Lindsey, Forsyth, Rev. Geo. C. Lorimer, R. C. Matlack, Geo. R. Cramer, Rev. L. Osler, J. M. Orrick, L. B. Rogers, Geo. W. Tew, Rev. C. M. Morton, Rich. Aorton, Rev. Almond Barrelle, Prof. T. W. Bancroft (Brown Univ.), Wm. Reynolds, Rev. C. Cunningham, S. J. Andrews, Rev. F. W. Dobbs, Dr. A. W. Pilzer, J. M. Haldeman, D. C. H. Marquis, Rev. Dr. Watson, Rev. Dr. Miller, Dr. J. R. Davenport, Dr. W. Lloyd, Rev. A. J. Patton, Rev. J. P. Newman, Dr. R. Jeffrey, M. Baldwin, Rev. Dr. Simpson (Louisville), Rev. Dr. Shaw (Rochester), Rev. Graves, Rev. Brookman, Dr. Williamson, Dr. Robinson, Geo. Reynolds (the last four in Canada), Rev. R. Campbell, Rev. W. Cadman, Thomas (of Canada), Rev. J. M. Weaver, Walter, John H. Graff, Rev. B. Philpot, Rev. S. Bonhomme, J. Harper, Anna Siliman, Dr. J. W. Hatherell, Darby, Thomas, Harkness, Bryant, Davis, Holgate, James Inglis, Dr. J. J. Janeway, Rob. Kirkwood, Rev. W. Newton, J. P. Labagh, Seth Lewis, Granville Penn, Dr. Wm. Ramsey, Hollis Read, Hugh White, Rev. John G. Wilson (Ed. Proph. Times), Jno. F. Graff (“Greybeard”), Woodbury Davis, D. M. Lord, Dr. Ramsey, Dr. Halsey, Dr. Harkness, A. D. Jones, B. S. Dwiggens, C. T. Russell, N. H. Barbour, J. M. Stevenson, J. P. Wheethee, Wiley Jones, J. H. Patton, W. J. Mann, B. Wilson, J. A. Simonds, B. W. Keith, G. M. Myers, A. B. Magruder, H. V. Reed, L. A. Allen, W. Laing, E. Hoyt, J. Pierce, T. Wilson.
Obs. 11. The advocates of Chiliasm in England, Germany, France, and other European countries form a band that contains names highly honored by the church, both as to attainments and usefulness in the service of Jesus.[*]
Note. We present the following without reference to their Church relationship.
England, Scotland, and Ireland: Dr. A. R. Fausset, Dr. W. P. Mackay, Bh. Newton, Sir I. Newton, Dr. Chalmers, Dr. Candlish, Horne, Bh. Trench, Bh. Ellicott, Twisse, Marshall, Elliott, Maitland, Birks, the Drs. Bonars, Bickersteth, Auriol, Fremantle, Ryle, Palmer, Ash, Noel, Canon Hoare, Rainsford, Wood, E. Garbett, Bridge, Burroughs, Kelly, Cox, Caryll, Goodwin, Gouge, Wilson, Brock, Smith, Trotter, Langley, Sterry, Selden, Ainsworth, Gataker, Fealty, Greenhill, Stevenson, Shepherd, Dean Alford, Brooks, Pym, Dalton, Greswell, Burgh, Todd, Irving, Hewitson, Dr. M’Caul, Anderson, Begg, McCheyne, Burns, Gilfillan, Hamilton, Cumming, Adolph Saphir, Frazer, Jamieson, Cochrane, Cunningham, Sabine, Hugh Miller, the Duke of Manchester, Lord, Jones, Habershon, Alexander, Tycho Brahe, Lord Napier, Leut. Gen. Goodwyn, Haldane, Stewart, Rob. Montgomery, Preb. Auriol, Rev. M. Rainsford, Dean Fremantle, the Earl of Shaftesbury, Bell, Pruden, Baxter, Lord Radstock, Earl Russell, Rev. C. Skrine, Rev. E. Nangle, Rev. R. Chester, Capt. J. E. Dutton, Th. W. Greenwell, Rev. S. V. Edwards, J. Denham Smith, Capt. Moreton, Dr. C. B. Egan, Bh. Wordsworth, Rev. Gordon Calthrop, Rev. J. Gosset-Tanner, Rev. C. H. Hamilton, Rev. Grattan Guinness, Rev. S. Grarvatt, Mr. Soltau, F. G. Bellett, Mr. Hyslop, Mr. Jenour, Dr. A. Saphir, Rev. E. Wilkes, Rev. C. H. Hamilton, Lord Carlizle, T. R. Andrews, Col. Sandwith, Preb. Cadman, Col. Rowlandson, Rev. E. H. Brooke, Rev. T. Flavel Cook, Rev. H. W. Webb-Peploe, Preb. Dalton, Rev. C. J. Goodheart, Rev. J. Wilkinson, Rev. H. E. Fox, Rev. F. A. C. Lillington, Canon Garbett, Rev. Rev. Frank White, E. J. Hytche, Rev. G. A. Sparks, R. J. Mahoney, Cheyne Brady, Bh. Horsley, Tillotson (a Westm. divine), Mede, Burnet, F. E. Hastings, Chas. Maude, Rev. W. Frith, Durant, Farmer, the Bishop of Cashel, the Bishop of Ripon, Admiral Vernon Harcourt, Hon. A. Kinnaird, Capt. John Trotter, Rev. Capel Moleneux, Rev. James Cochrane, Rev. Walter Wood, Geo. Ogilvie, Hon. S. R. Maxwell, Rev. James Kelly, Rev. Dr. Wilson, Rev. W. Brock, Rev. W. Trotter, Rev. B. Wills Newton, Rev. Dr. Stevenson, Rev. W. Niven, Wattson, Waples, Roach, Pirie, Mansford, Mandeville, McCausland, Gregory, Bellamy, Rev. S. E. Pierce, Keach, Tait, Sirr, Wells, Coke, the Wesleys, Fletcher, Piers, Skeen, Brightman, Frere, Pitcairn, Carleton, Waple, Archer, Dallas, Brightman, Woodhouse, Wickes, Bayford, Villiers, J. Biencho, Beverly, Grimshawe, Woodroofe, Barker, Marsh, Dibdin, Fisk, Fremantle, Wilson, Reichart, Harrison, Holland, Wigram, Nolan, Burgh, Bh. Clayton, Cooper, Drummond, Eyre, Farmer, Ed. King, A. Jukes, Flemming, jr., W. Vint, Keith, R. Hort, Dr. J. Knight, P. Lancaster, Flemming, Ferer, Th. Loader, Frey, Gregg, Girdlestone, Habershon, Hallet, Maitland, Hartly, the Duke of Manchester, Manford, Hawtrey, Homes, Dr. W. Marsh, Rob. Maton, J. Hooper, Rev. Hugh McNeile, Hon. and Rev. G. T. Noel, Dr. F. Nolan, J. Hussey, W. Perry, Rev. A. Pirie, Rev. A. R. Purdon, J. Purnes, Forster, Nath. Ranew, R. Roach, B. W. Saville, James Scott, Dr. Sayer Rudd, F. Sergent, Wm. Sherman, Peter Sterry, J. G. Zipple, H. W. Woodward, J. H. Stewart, Tillinghast, Th. L. Strange, Wm. Thorpe, Wm. Whiston, Jos. Tyso, Jos. Tyson, El. Winchester, Jer. White, Leut.-G. H. Wood, Walter Wood, Wm. Witherby, H. W. Woodward, T. Whowell, Benson, Ambrose, Rev. Ch. Brown, Spurgeon, Burnet, Burk, Pope, Sherwood, Dr. G. Sharpe, Dr. S. Charnock, Wm. Cowper, Spalding, R. Clarke, Wm. Clayton, Bh. Cranmer, Charlotte Elizabeth, Gilfillan, J. Glass, Dr. R. Hurd, Wm. Wogan, Dr. I. Watts, Bh. Heber, Gen. J. Harlan, Rev. S. Johnson, Jno. Keble, Jno. Milton, A. M. Toplady, M. F. Tupper, Dr. Jno. Thompson, J. L. Towers, Rev. L. Way, Cressener, Jno. Fox, Dr. Margoliouth, Denham, Niven, Nangle, Harker, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Stephenson, French, Dr. Leask, Gillson, Berks, J. Verner, Foskett, Scott, Phillips, Dr. T. J. Bell, W. S. Ross, Purdon, Harris, Code, Rob. Howard, Hon. W. Wellesley, Rob. Baxter, Henry Drummond, Dr. Rob. Anderson, Rev. Wm. Maude, Rev. N. Starkey, M. Redman, Esq., Rev. S. Garrett, E. Phair, Rev. J. Sabine Knight, Rev. J. Cochrane, Hon. S. R. Maxwell, Reads, Wood, Moleneux, H. Smith, J. Kelly, Brack, W. Trotter, Wills Newton, Niven, H. Shepheard, Dr. J. Wilson, Dr. Stevenson, Geo. Ogilvie, B. Wills Newton, Rev. T. J. Malyon, Rev. E. J. Hytche, H. Weymott, Rev. G. H. Pember, Rev. N. S. Godfrey.
Germany: Bengel, Jung Stilling, P. J. Spener, M. F. Roos, P. M. Hahn, J. M. Hahn, Peterson, Rothe, Auberlen, Martensen, Dorner, Christlieb, Luthardt, Delitzsch, Lange, Olshausen, Ebrard, Meyer, Baumgarten, T. C. K. Von Hofmann, Lechler, Riggenbach, Floerke, Schlegel, Krummacher, Steir, Kurtz, Christiani, Rinck, Pfleiderer, Koch, Schmid, Steffan, Düsterdieck, F. Semler, Typke, Gerken, Opitz, Leutwein, Rühle, von Lilienstern, Sander, Oetinger, Lavater, Crusius, Cocceius, Breithaupt, Piscator, Passavant, Lisco, Kohler, C. F. P. Leutwein, Dr. V. U. Maywahlen, Huss, Clöter, Michael, Hebart, Schneider, Gotlob Schultze, Jno. Dav. Schaeffer, Daubuz, Koppe, Fr. Bauer, Freiderick Kletwick, Dr. J. Lange, Jno. G. Schoner, Dr. F. V. Reinhard, C. R. Reichel, Osiander, J. Nissen, Kling, Thomasius, H. Wilh. J. Thiersch, Alb. Köppen.
France and Switzerland: Prof. Godet of Lausanne, Gaussen, Dr. J. Abbadie, Père Amelote, E. Guers, P. Jurieu, Lambert, Pierre Poiret, Lavater.
Holland: Van Oosterzee, Da Costa, Capadose.
Miscellaneous: F. W. Stuckert, Rev. D. G. Mallery, Rev. Paul, Roorda, Hebert, Gneis, Madam De Gasparin, Rev. R. Hamilton (Melbourne, Australia), Comenius, Jurien, Seranius, Altingius, Alsted, Riemann, Worthington, Seitz, Dreissenius, Jarchi, Kimchi, Abrabanel, Alabaster, Durant, Chas. Jerram, Mejanel, Coleman, Ben Ezra, Crool, S. A. Blackwood, J. G. Bellett, H. W. Soltau, Wm. Lincoln. H. Snell, Bh. Spangenberg (Moravian), H. Meynott, Esq. (Australia).
Obs. 12. The number of able commentators favoring, indorsing, and teaching Chiliastic doctrine is not only creditable, but extremely satisfactory to the faithful believer, showing that men who specially devote themselves to the study and explanation of the Scriptures find Millenarianism clearly taught therein.[*]
Note. We instance the following: Bengel’s Gnomon of the N. T., a work still in the highest esteem; Olshausen’s Com. on the New. Test., a work repeatedly republished; Gill’s Expos. of the Old and New Tests.; Steir’s Words of the Lord Jesus, still republished; Alford’s Greek Test. with Proleg. and Com., a standard work; Lange’s Com. of the Old and New Tests., especially the Amer. Edition, and particularly 1 and 2 Thess., Ed. by Dr. Lillie; Meyer’s Com. on New Test., recently republished; Cocceius’ Commentaries in “Opera Omnia”—was charged by his enemies with Chiliasm, Kurtz’s Ch. His., vol. 2, p. 213; Die Berlenburger Bibel, 1726, 4 vols. large fol.; Richter’s Erklärte Haus Bibel; Starke’s Synopsis of the New Test.; Piscator’s Com. on Old and New Test.; Coke’s Com. on Old and New Test.; Jamieson, Brown, and Fausset’s Com. on the Old and New Tests., a recent one, and Pre-Mill. in the parts edited by Fausset; Judge Jones’s Notes on Scripture (in the republication this title was changed); Dr. Nast’s Com. on New Test., only a part published.
Commentaries and Expositions on detached portions of the Scriptures. Greswell (Parables), Keach (Parables), Bonar (Lev. and Psalms), Tait (Hebrews), Ryle (Exp. Thoughts, Gospels), Seiss (Lev. and Hebrews), Cumming (Parables, Rev., etc.), Lillie (Thess.), Schmucker (Rev.), Daubuz (Rev.), Koppe (Thess.), Fry (Rom. and Psalms), Sirr (Notes on Luke), C. H. M. (Notes on Gen., etc.), Wells (Dan. and Rev.), Demarest (Peter), Delitzsch (Gen.), Sir I. Newton (Dan. and Rev.), Ebrard (Rev.), Skeen (Rev.), Haldane (Rom.), Mede (Apoc. and Peter), Brightman (Dan. and Rev.), Bengel (Apoc.), Goodwin (Rev.), I. Lange (Apoc.), Auberlen (Dan. and Rev.), Elliott (Apoc.), Lord (Apoc.), Buck (Math. 24,) Frere (Dan., Esd., and Rev.), Pitcairn (Ps. 2,) Carleton (Matt. 24), Waple (Apoc.), Woodhouse (Apoc.), Wickes (Apoc.), Bliss (Apoc.), Roos (Dan. and Rev.), Sander (Rev.), Kohler (Hag.), Birks (Dan.), Cressener (Apoc.), Hooper (Apoc.), Knight (Peter), W. Newton (Dan.), Pewn (Ezek.), Thompson (Matt. 25), Tyso (Ezek. etc.), Gaussen (Dan.), Cunninghame (Apoc.), Darby (Dan.), Holmes (Apoc. and Dan.), Tregelles (Dan.), Brown (Apoc.), Irving (Apoc.), Ward (Rev.), Wickes, (Rev.), Mandeville (Heb.), Waples (Apoc.), and others. Commentaries and Expositions that present some of the Chiliastic features. Clarke’s Com. on the Old and New Test.; Jarchi’s Com. Hebraicus; Kimchi’s Com. on Prophets; Abrabanel’s Com. on Prophets; Stuart’s Com. Apoc. (gives the doctrine of a literal first resurrection); Altingius’ Com. Jeremiah; Piscator’s Com. on Old and New Tests.; Caryll’s Exp. on Job; Gouge’s Com. Hebrews; Passavant’s Phil. and Eph.; Lisco’s New Test.; Deprez On Daniel; and others.
We append a few statements respecting Pre-Mill. commentators. Alford (N. T., vol. 2, p. 350), speaking of the Apocalyptic interpreters since the French Revolution, says: “The majority, both in number, learning, and research, adopt the Pre-Millennial Advent, following the plain and undeniable sense of the sacred text.” Dr. Ed. Beecher in The Independent (Aug. 24th, 1871), laments over the “increase” of Millenarian “power” as exhibited in recent commentators, saying: “This is true of Alford, Ellicott, Lange, and his co-laborers, especially Drs. Lillie, Auberlen, and Riggenbach. To these we must add the writings of English and American Millenarians, the older and the more recent. And there is at present no adequate counterpoise to the weight of authority of the commentators whom we have mentioned.” This feature, thus frankly acknowledged by an opponent, is a source of gratification to us, and of thankfulness to God in raising up such advocates.
Obs. 13. Numerous writers, who, in their occasional works, give expression to Chiliastic belief, without entering largely in details.[*]
Note. Such as e.g. Milton, the various Pre-Mill. Commentators, Chalmers, Charnock, Wogan, Dorner, Mather, Nissen, Spurgeon, Talmage (somewhat contradictory), Gilfillan, Moody, Burroughs, Clayton, Coleman, Fox, and many others.
Obs. 14. Authors, who prominently set forth one or more essential features of our system, either in elucidation or defence of the same.[*]
Note. Such e.g. Woodward, Essays on Mill.: Thorp, Destinies of the Brit. Emp.; Crool, Rest of Israel; Frey, Judah and Israel; Winthrop, Premium Essay on Symbols; Abdiel, Essays; Begg, Argument for the Coming of the Lord; Nathan Lord, The Millennium; W. Newton, Lec. on the first two visions of Dan.; and the writings of White, Thompson, Burgh, Tyso, Strange, Stewart, Beverly, Eyre, Flemming, Sirr, Labaugh, and many others.
Obs. 15. Writers who give a very fair exhibit of the system of doctrine, showing the relationship that one part sustains to the other, are also quite numerous.[*]
Note. Thus e.g. Seiss’ Last Times; Brooke’s Maranatha; Demarest and Gordon’s Christocracy; Bickersteth’s Practical Guide; Brooks’ El. of Proph. Interpretation; D. N. Lord’s Coming and Reign of Christ; Dr. McCaul’s Old Paths, etc.; McNeile’s Sermons on the Sec. Advent.; Noel’s Prospects of the Church of Christ; Duffield’s Diss. on the Prophecies; and the writings of the Bonars, Pym, Shimeall, Molyneux, Lord, Birks, Bryant, Ramsey, and many others.
Obs. 16. The controversial writers who have directly written in defence of Millenarianism against the attacks of opponents are worthy of notice.[*]
Note. Works specially designed to defend Chiliasm against objections are numerous. The following may be designated: Duffield’s Mill. Defended, and Reply to Stuart; Shimeall’s Reply to Shedd; The Theol. and Lit. Journal, Ed. by D. N. Lord, contains a large number of such articles; Dr. Craven’s Reply to Prof. Briggs (N. Y. Evangelist, 1879); Dr. Moorehead’s series of arts. in reply to Dr. Macgill (Chicago Instructor, 1879); Randolph’s series of arts. (Danville Tribune, 1879); The Prophetic Times in its entire old and new series; Lillie’s Notes on the Mill. Controversy (in his “Perpetuity of the Earth”); Anderson’s Apology for the Mill. Doc.: Christocracy, by Drs. Demarest and Gordon; Bayford’s Reply to Jones; Tyson’s Defence of the Personal Reign; Drummond’s Defence of the Students of Prophecy; The Literalist (5 vols.) contains some able articles; Manford’s Apology; Spence’s Defence of the Hope of Better Times; Sirr’s First Res.; Prudon’s Last Vials; Bryant’s Mill. Views; Pym’s Thoughts on Mill.; Maton’s Israel’s Redemption Redeemed; Ogilvie’s Popular Objections; Cox’s Millenarian’s Answer; and, in brief, the writings of Seiss, Brookes, Bonar, Bickersteth, Cunninghame, and many others (for nearly all Chiliastic works devote some space to the consideration of objections), besides the quarterlies, monthlies, and papers specially devoted to the advocacy of Pre-Mill. The work of Dr. Brown (Sec. Coming) was answered by Lord (Lit. and Theol. Journal), Bonar (The Com. and Kingd. of the Lord Jesus Christ), the Duke of Manchester (Ap. to the Finished Mystery), Wood (Tract), Scott, and others.
Obs. 17. Various writers in our religious papers, periodicals, simply either give their initials or conceal their identity by a nom de plume, while presenting articles of a Chiliastic tenor, are not to be overlooked in considering the number of advocates.[*]
Note. Hence it is difficult to form anything like a correct estimate of numbers. In my own denomination (Evang. Lutheran) quite a number of persons are only known to me by occasional articles signed in this way. This is true of many others. Rev. Ebaugh in his brief His. of Mill. in Rupp’s Orig. His. of Relig. Denom’s, says: “The number of Christians who hold substantially the foregoing views of the Millennium [Chiliastic], cannot be computed with any degree of certainty, but from the writings of distingushed divines, both in the European and American churches, we are warranted in estimating their number at many thousands already.” We have also quite a number of Chiliastic works given anonymously, such e.g. Time of the End, Spes Fidelium, or The Believer’s Hope, Theopolis, The Sec. Com. of the Lord, Review of Scripture, Reign of Christ on Earth, Millennial Church, A Tenet of Millennium, Multum in Parvo; or the Jubilee of Jubilees, The First Resurrection, Enoch, An Inquiry into the Sec. Coming, Das Tausendjährige Reich, Christ’s Speedy Return in Glory, Abdiel’s Essays, Second Advent, and others.
Obs. 18. Writers who are utterly opposed to the prevailing Whitbyan theory, and declare the nearness of the Advent, the non-conversion of the world before the Advent; the renewal of the earth, etc., are also to be considered, because on some salient points, essentially connected with our system, they manifest a decided leaning favorable to Chiliasm.[*]
Note. We instance e.g. Richard Baxter, Bh. Bale, Th. Watson, Th. Vincent, Jno. Durant, A. Grosse, Arch. Usher, Arch. Cranmer, Bh. Davenant, Bh. Ridley, Matthew Henry, Sayer Rudd, Geo. Benson, Jno. Howe, Bh. Latimer, Archd. Woodhouse, Romaine, Bh. Russell, Hammond, Alberus, Nicolai, Ringwald, Grotius, Prideaux, Bh. Taylor, Paul Gerhard, Lee, Quenstadt, Hutter, Jno. Knox, Hunninus, the Reformers (as quoted), Jos. Alleine, Aretius, Bradford, Toplady, Tholuck, Dr. Scott, Pareus, Archb. Newcome, Knapp, Dr. E. Hitchcock, Dr. Hales. Bh. Davenant, Flacius, Chytræus, Sandys, Keith, Gale, Dodwell, King, and many others.
Obs. 19. The controversial works, essays, and articles against us fully indicate the extent in which our doctrine is held.[*]
Note. Works that are directly written against Chiliasm may also be noticed, both as indicative of the extent of Millenarianism, and that the student may compare them with our line of argument. The controversial works of importance on the other side are the following: Brown’s Second Coming; Gipp’s On the First Res.; Hall’s Reply to Homes; Hamilton On the Mill.; Jefferson On the Mill.; an anon. work, The Kingdom of Grace; Morrison Christ’s Personal Reign; Waldegrave’s Bamp. Lectures, 1854, Williamson’s Letters to a Millenarian; Stuart’s Strictures on Dr. Duffield; Vint’s New Illustrations of Prophecy; Bogue’s Dis. on Mill.; Bush On the Mill.; Pro. Brigg’s arts. in N. Y. Evangelist, 1879, and repub. in Luth. Quarterly; numerous arts. in the reviews, quarterlies, relig. weeklies, etc., reiterate the statements of the above works; the brief statements found in works such as Barnes’ Notes on Rev., Shedd’s His. of Ch. Doc., Hodge’s Sys. Div., etc. In our argument we freely present these and other opposing works, give their objections (overlooking none), and meet them in detail. We really are desirous for the reader to know, Scripturally and historically, the arguments on both sides, so that he may intelligently compare them, and decide for himself. We feel assured that in a candid comparison, our doctrine will lose nothing by it. Hence we commend the preceding for perusal, as well as the following: Carson’s Personal Reign of Christ during the Millennium proved to be impossible; Hopkins’ and Boyd’s Second Adventism in the light of Jewish History; Warren’s Parousia; Merrill’s Sec. Coming of Christ; Clemens’ Spiritual Reign, and the writings of Berg, Hengstenberg, Davidson, and many others.
Obs. 20. The greatest and most decided opposition to Chiliasm is that which springs from the adoption of the Whitbyan theory—a view that is incorporated in systems of theology, sermons, etc., and is the prevailing one.[*]
Note. Prof. Briggs, in his series of articles (in the N. Y. Evangelist, 1878), states that he Dr. Hatfield, and others, hold “that the Millennium began in the past, and corresponds with the period of the church, or the Kingdom of God, on earth, in whole or in part.” (See this view adverted to under Prop. 158.) This he pronounces “the church view,” and the Editor of the Evangelist (Oct. 10th), flatly contradicts him, saying that “the common doctrine of the church” is the one that Whitby introduced, viz.: that the Mill. is still future and that it shall be ushered in by the preaching of the Gospel, etc. Now while neither are taught in the leading confessions of the church (but are contradicted by the statements in reference to the condition of the church itself, the nearness of the Advent, etc.), the editor is correct when he makes the Whitbyan theory the present prevailing one. Prof. Briggs’ view is held by an exceeding small minority of Protestants, however popular it has been with the Papacy as “the church view.” A few remarks, indicative of the modern origin—so recent as to be amazing, when its progress is considered—of the Whitbyan theory is in place. The His. of Doctrines informs us that when the Augustinean view was introduced it became, as opposed to Chiliasm, the popular doctrine of the Roman Church; and that it was, more or less, entertained by the Reformers. This continued until the appearance of Daniel Whitby (comp. Prop. 175, Obs. 4, and Prop. 127, Obs. on Rev. 20), an English commentator (b. A.D. 1638 and d. 1726), who in explaining Rev. 20:1–6, advocated what he calls a “New Hypothesis,” viz.: a spiritual Millennium still future to be introduced by existing Gospel instrumentalities. This appropriation by Whitby of a new, unheard-of application has been unquestioned by able scholars, such as Bh. Russell, Archd. Woodhouse, Prof. Bush, and others. Indeed it materially differs from the Popish and Jesuitical dreams of a subjugation and conversion of the world under Papal supremacy; because such dreams of conquest were allied with the Augustinean theory, and regarded as the result of an already existing Mill. period—the latter being regarded as equivalent to the existing dispensation, while Whitby located his as future and distinctive in time and results. The nearest ancient approach, although differing from it, to Whitby’s theory are the prophecies of Joachim (comp. arts. on in Cyclops. and Von Döllinger’s Proph. of the Middle Ages, VII.), or the declarations of Roger Bacon, Dolcino, and men of that stamp. So the fanatical Anabaptist movement materially differs in the instrumentality used, but only sympathizes with it (Prop. 156, Obs. 4) in the effort to secure a world-wide dominion without the personal Advent preceding, and before the res. of the saints. Hence Pre-Millenarians, unwilling to associate the Whitbyan theory with such Popish and Anabaptist vagaries and dreams of conquest, assert (as Bh. Henshaw, Bickersteth, Dr. Lillie, Dr. Duffield, Dr. Seiss, Dr. Brookes, and others) that Whitby is the first writer who systematically presented the opinion, now so prevailing, that the Mill. age (1000 years) is future and will be introduced, without any Advent of Christ, by the preaching of the Gospel.* This theory denies the Pre-Mill. Advent of Jesus, the prior res. of the saints, the personal reign of Jesus and the saints on earth, and holds simply to a conversion of the nations then living, and to a spiritual reign of the then existing church. It has thousands of talented advocates, and is held by multitudes of pious and devoted Christians, being found entrenched in Sys. Divinities, religious works of all kinds, books of worship, hymnals, periodicals, etc. It is a matter of surprise that a theory of such “recent origin” (so Dr. John Lillie, who adds, “it is very questionable whether even so late as two hundred years ago, it had yet been heard of among good men,”—quoted by Brookes, Maranatha, p. 321–2) should have such an extended reception, and be so perseveringly upheld, when bringing the church into the predicted position of unbelief (comp. Prop. 177). Bh. Henshaw (An Inquiry concerning the Sec. Advent) pronounces it “a novel doctrine, unknown to the Church for the space of 1600 years. So far as we have been able to investigate its history, it was first advanced by Rev. Dr. Whitby, the commentator.” (Comp. Dr. Seiss’ Question in Eschatology, p. 47–50.) Some have questioned these statements, but no one has been able to produce a single writer of ability preceding Dan. Whitby. Historically, the modern view has no foundation whatever; it is “a novelty.”
Obs. 21. Many, without having a definite Mill. doctrine (their notions of Mill. prophecies being vague), are influenced by the general deductions of the Whitbyan theory, and reject our doctrine chiefly on the ground of a still future conversion of the world under present instrumentalities, which is supposed to bring about an ample fulfilment of predictions relating to the Messianic Kingdom. (Comp. Props. 175 and 176, where this matter is discussed in detail.)[*]
Note. We have men, who will in eccles. bodies oppose our views, and yet at the same time confess (e.g. The Mass. Gen. Conference on the Mill., Proph. Times, vol. 4, No. 12), that they have not given the subject “that critical study which it demanded,” and that “with all the objections to Mill. views, it is still difficult to see how many passages of Scriptures can be otherwise explained.” And, without such study, and with such a confession of weakness, they are content with their Modern Whitbyan theory. Indeed, many of this class cannot be induced to study the subject. The Examiner (N. Y.), commenting on the late “Proph. Conference,” after speaking favorably of the men conducting it, says: “But the great facts of Christ’s personal Sec. Coming, that it may occur at any time, that there will be a first res. of the righteous dead, and a second res. of the wicked dead, and that the final general judgment will then come, do not belong to the shadowy and fanciful imaginings of mere theorists.”
Obs. 22. However respectable the number of adherents to our doctrine in whole or in part, yet they form but a small minority in comparison with the immense body that rejects the belief once so prevailing in the church. The retention of the Augustinian theory or Constantinian view by some; the general adoption of a spiritualizing interpretation to sustain a Church-Kingdom view; the reception of the Whitbyan hypothesis; the issuing of works in which our doctrine is caricatured, misrepresented, and ridiculed; the linking of our doctrine with the vagaries and fanaticism of certain parties to make it odious; the incorporation of some parts of our system by smaller organizations that exerted but little influence; the parading of mistakes made by some rash writers both as to time and details; the influence of leading societies in their publications, their endowments, commentaries for popular use, periodicals, etc.; in brief, the unfriendliness of worldliness, sect, indifference, unbelief, prejudice, etc., has been exerted to overpower this ancient faith. Numerous instances will be cited as we proceed. The fact that great and good men—men eminent for piety and ability in the church—have aided in decrying the doctrine has had a powerful influence upon the minds of many (comp. Props. 177–180). Doctrinal belief is not, however, decided by numbers (Matt. 8:13, 14, and 22:14; 1 Cor. 1:26, 27, etc.).
Obs. 23. Writers that are evidently unacquainted with the literature and history of our doctrine dismiss it with some contemptuous allusion to “the ignorance and fanaticism” of its upholders. Certainly the eminent and venerable names presented are sufficient to redeem it from such charges. We are not concerned in eulogizing its advocates; this is done by our opponents and others.[*]
Note. As indicative of the treatment received, we present several illustrations. Dr. Mosheim (Ch. His., vol. 3, p. 393). notwithstanding the important concessions given by him, exhibits his animosity to the doctrine as follows: “The expectation of the Millennial Kingdom, which seldom exists in well informed minds, and which generally produces extravagant opinions.” The editor of the N. Y. Evangelist eulogizes Prof. Briggs’s one-sided articles, and then says (Editorial, Jan. 9, 1879) of Chiliasm, that it is “a delusion exploded many times,” having a “a sporadic existence”; and even designates “the blessed hope” sneeringly, “the blessed appearance, as they call it.” The slightest acquaintance with the history of Chiliasm, and the long line of revered advocates, should undoubtedly prevent the use of such language, unless the parties employing it desire the same to be attributed to improper motives. Consequently we find scholarly men, who desire to act honorably and justly, express themselves, although opposing our doctrine, as reverencing the pious and eminent Chiliastic advocates; they know enough concerning their honored lives, their labors of love, their sufferings for Christ, that, supposing them even to be in error on this point, they find sufficient redeeming qualities to secure a high respect and cordial esteem. Prof. Bush, whose eulogy on Millenarians we quote in the Preface, is an example followed by others. The Princeton Review, Ap., 1851, p. 187, concedes, as it well may, that we have in our ranks “minds too of devotedly pious men, who are also highly reputable scholars.” Even Harris, in his Great Commission, where (pp. 115–117) he grossly misrepresents our doctrine and its advocates (comp. for a reply. Prop. 175), is still forced in candor to acknowledge: “We are aware, indeed, that among those who, for the sake of distinction, are called Millenarians, there are to be found divines of considerable reputation, and Christians of the greatest sanctity.”
We leave a recent writer, an opponent (the author of God is Love—3 vols.—a work specially devoted against our doctrine), to testify both respecting its adherents and extent. He says (Pref., vol. 1) that he is personally acquainted with “a very large number of my most revered private friends, both among the clergy and laity, (who) are firm believers in the doctrine of a personal reign of Christ on earth.” “They are alike eminent for the greatness of their talents, for their deep and sustained spirituality of mind, for their habitually close walk with God, for their exemplary conduct in the society and sight of their fellow men, and for their devotedness to the cause of Christ and of souls.” He refers “to the fact that so many of my greatest Christian friends, equally remarkable for their gifts and graces, believe in the personal reign as the great central doctrine,” etc. He refers to “the great extent to which that class of views are now adopted,” especially in “in the Church of England,” “among the Independents, the Baptists, and the Presbyterians,” and largely advocated by “the Plymouth Brethren.” He adds: “Millenarianism is spreading rapidly in nearly all parts of the country at the time at which I write.” He remarks that all converted Jews are Millenarian, and referring to the efforts of “The Prophecy Investigating Society” in propagating the doctrine, says: “The clerical members of this society are, in the majority of cases, men of eminence in the religious world; while the laymen are, in every instance, men of acknowledged piety and high social position.” He remarks, “Among the vice-presidents are the Bish. of Cashel, the Bish. of Ripon, Admiral Vernon Harcourt, the Hon. A. Kinnaird, M.P., and Captain John Trotter.” He speaks of the preachers, whose sermons are published on the subject, as “most of them men of eminence;” refers to the ability of its advocates in Ireland, and then gives a list of publications, interspersed with high eulogies of various writers, who hold to what he is pleased to call “the Millennial delusion.” He declares that “Millenarianism is making such rapid progress among all Evangelical denominations,” so that he advocates the “adopting measures to arrest its progress” (his book being one based on the rejecting from Scripture, as interpolations, all teaching that favors our views!). This confirms Moody’s (the Evangelist) statement in a sermon on the Sec. Advent: “Many spiritual men in the pulpits of Great Britain are firm in the faith. Spurgeon preaches it. I have heard Newman Hall say that he knew no reason why Christ might not come before he got through with his sermon.” Dr. Fisher, Art. Mill. (M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.) says that an anon work, The End of All Things (which is opposed to us), frankly declares that “more than half of the evangelical clergy of the Church of England are at this moment Millenarians.” Dr. Moore writes from Wartburg, Ger., to the Central Presbyterian (1867), and after delineating the religious condition, says: “I find among the Evangelicals a great deal of Millenarianism; and the Sec. Coming of Christ is the great feature of the Gospel that swallows up all others with them.” This agrees with Nast’s (Com. Matt., 6:10) declaration, who speaks of “many Evangelical divines of Germany,” and of “the most learned theologians of England and America” as Millenarian. Such testimony from opponents and sympathizers should certainly have sufficient weight to prevent that spirit of detraction so prevalent with some.
Obs. 24. Ignorance or malice, alone, can produce the charge of “heresy,” so often, with evident relish, urged against Pre-Millenarians.[*]
Note. We give a few illustrations out of many such charges. Prof. Briggs, in the N. Y. Evangelist, Sept. 12th, 1878, pronounces Pre-Millenarianism a “heresy,” and “the basis of a most pernicious series of doctrines, ever rejected by the Church as fanatical, visionary, and dangerous.” (This certainly comes with good grace from one who professes to believe that the Church has been in the past, and now is, enjoying the predicted Millennium.) Dr. Berg in “The Sec. Advent of Jesus Christ, not Pre-Millennial,” follows the same tenor, pronouncing “the doctrine of the Pre-Mill. Advent, and the so-called Personal Reign of Christ” to be not only “erroneous” but “pernicious,” “yoked to the car of fanaticism,” “the motive power of the wildest vagaries.” characterized by “eccentric variations”; being “the favorite hobby upon which wild delusion has careered with whip and spur to perdition,” “changing sincere fanatics into shameless impostors,” etc. (This reads remarkable well from the man who strives to make the stone of Dan. 2 to represent the American Republic!) If the doctrine produces all this, it is exceedingly unfortunate for the wisdom of the Bible, that it contains so much in its plain, grammatical sense, in its structure and analogy, as to induce multitudes in the Primitive Church, and since, to believe and adopt it. If the doctrine has this tendency, and produces such persons, then it follows, that the Church has honored, and now reverences, men for their piety, usefulness, learning, etc., who are only “heretics.” If the doctrine is so bad, demoralizing, and destructive, it is especially unfortunate for the Ch. Church, that through the first centuries of its existence, it can only trace its progress through such successful martyr, but hated “heretics.” Our decided impression is, when we look at the men thus defamed—men who sealed their love for Jesus and His truth by abundant labors, toils, sufferings, and even death—that the time will come—if it be at the throne of Jesus Himself—when such wholesale, unchristian and most unjust charges will be deeply, if not bitterly, regretted by the persons urging them. The persons who bring this charge ought to have some consideration of their own accountability. Dr. West (Essay before the Proph. Conference on the His. of the Doc.) remarks: “And equally powerless is the attempt to stigmatize the holders of this hope as aiders and abettors of ‘heresy.’ That is a weapon that cuts fearfully in the opposite direction. Never has there existed a persecutor of God’s saints on earth, since the dawn of Christianity, who was not an Anti-Chiliast. The Apostate Church of Rome, idolatrous corrupter of every truth of God, and red with the blood of God’s saints, was built and nurtured on an Anti-Chiliastic creed. The first perversion of this hope was by a heretic, Cerinthus or Montanus. The first assault upon it was by the rationalizing Origen, who became a Universalist. The next was by Dionysius, who denied the Apoc. of John. The first official condemnation of it was by a Roman Pope. The early mis-representator of it was Eusebius, an Arian, and let him who can, defend Whitby from the charge of becoming a Socinian. I dismiss the imputation with the remark, that if, in days to come, a personal Antichrist, more God-defying and blaspheming than he who sits in Rome, shall rise, one of the marks that will signalize him as the concentration of satanic energy and hate, will be that he is a pronounced Anti-Chiliast. And just in proportion as such time shall approach, will this glorious martyr-truth revive, as all history shows, and to suffering saints will it be given again to witness for that same hope under which the first confessors of Jesus, comforted, supported and strengthened, sank singing to their tombs.” The absurdity, the injustice, and the sinfulness of thus designating the founders, martyrs, confessors, missionaries, and ablest divines of the Church, is self-evident, but it is something that we are led to anticipate, Isa. 66:5. It is the old charge reproduced: Spener (Dorner’s “His. Prot. Theol.,” vol. 2, p. 211) was opposed on account of his Millenarianism, and those who received his views were denounced as heretics—his name lives in freshness of honor, while the opponents are almost forgotten. So Auberlen (Dis. Rev. p. 315) quotes Delitzsch as saying in reference to the wide-spread influence of Bengel: “To whom do we owe it, that the orthodox church of the present day, no longer brands the Chiliastic view of the last times, as all books of systematic doctrine do, as heterodoxy, but has woven it into her own inmost life so deeply, that hardly a believing Christian can be found who does not hold it.” (Thus indicating its hold in the Evangelical portion of believers.)
Obs. 25. Pre-Millenarianism is frequently, either through lack of knowledge or animosity, represented as indorsing the belief of bodies (e.g. the fanatical Anabaptists. Fifth Monarchy men, etc.) whose faith is directly opposite to it.[*]
Note. For Anabaptists, etc., see Props. 175, 179, etc., where their views are given in detail. We, however, present another illustration of our meaning. The Editor of the N. Y. Observer, (Sept. 1866) makes out “that Shakerism is composed of Millenarianism and Spiritualism.” And as the result of his visit to the Shakers in Columbia Co., N. Y., says: “The Shakers believe He (Jesus) is now present in them, and that it is high noon of the millennium all around here.” The truth is, that there is not a particle of affinity between Shakerism and Millenarianism. Their doctrine of the Second Coming of Jesus in the person of Ann Lee and of a present resulting Millennium is utterly opposed by our fundamental principles. No Chiliast ever advocated such a delusion. Their doctrine best suits the Whitbyan spiritual reign theory, being the result of the spiritual, mystical system of interpretation repudiated by us. As to the Doctrine of a present Millennium, that accords best with Prof. Briggs’ theory of a present existing Millennium. The fundamental position which distinguishes Millenarians from all others, is this: No Millennium without the personal coming and intervention of the same identical Jesus who ascended to heaven. To accommodate all this covenant and prophesies, to Ann Lee, is a complete perversion of the truth,—a sad prostitution of the promises pertaining to the Christship and the Messianic kingdom.
Obs. 26. Pre-Millenarianism is unjustly held accountable for the extravagances of its votaries, and even of its opposers.[*]
Note. We have referred to this, and give instances of both. It is only necessary to say, that no doctrine of the Bible has ever yet escaped being allied with error and fanaticism (but on that account ought not to be discarded), so this doctrine has not escaped the usual lot. We find it allied with error and extravagance from the days of Montanus down to the present day, but this should not deter any one from the reception of Biblical truth (which is not responsible for the affiliated error and fanaticism), especially when so many able and pious men have received it without incorporating those extravagancies, etc. (Compare Prop. 179.)
Obs. 27. Pre-Millenarianism, being chiefly related to Eschatology, is adopted by persons in all (or nearly all) denominations, but our opponents, overlooking this fact and its historical status, eagerly hold it up as related to some sect or sects, who incorporate it with other doctrines that are objectionable (compare Prop. 179).
Obs. 28. The newspapers and periodicals, partly or wholly devoted to an exhibit of Chiliastic doctrine, also evidence its extent.[*]
Note. The Theol. and Lit. Journal, Ed. by D. N. Lord, a Quarterly Review, only 13 vols., 8vo, published in New York; The Jewish Repository, changed to Expositor and Friend of Israel, London; The Investigator of Prophecy, London; The Bloomsbury Lent Lectures, 10 vols., London; The Literalist, 5 vols., Philad.; Purdon’s Last Vials, London; The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy, Ed. by Dr. Bonar, London; The Presbyterian Review (Organ of the Scotch church, a no. of articles); The Prophetic Times, Philad.,—the old series edited by Dr. Seiss, the new by Rev. Wilson; The Israelite Indeed, or Nathaniel, New York, edited by Lederer; Way-Marks in the Wilderness, New York, edited by James Inglis; The Truth, St. Louis, edited by Rev. Dr. Brookes; The Rainbow, London, Ed. by Dr. Leask; Old Truths (Eng.), Ed. by Rev. Cox; The Watchman of Ephraim, England. Also such papers as “The Christian Herald” (London and New York), “The Christian Observer,” “Revivalist,” etc., contain Chiliastic articles. Besides these are the periodicals published by the Second Adventists, Christadelphians, Seventh-day Adventists, and various other bodies, which, more or less, largely teach Chiliastic doctrine, such as “The World’s Crisis” (Boston), “The Gospel Banner and Mill. Advocate” (Geneva, III.), “The Proph. Watchman” (Harvard, III.) “The Herald of Life and of the Coming Kingdom” (New York), “The True Herald” (Plano, III.), “Herald of the Kingdom” (Birmingham, Eng.), “The Proph. Key” (Versailles, Ky.), and others.
Obs. 29. The survival of Chiliasm, amidst the opposition, ridicule, persecution, etc., of the past centuries, is worthy of notice. Dr. West (His. of the Doc.) has some forcible remarks on this point, showing “that only because it is an imperishable truth of God has it been able to survive the ordeal which it has passed.” Considering the reproach attending it—the debasements and admixtures to which it has been subject; how offensive it was to Gentile rulers, to Gnostic and Alexandrian teachers, to Papal claims; the persecutions to which it was exposed; the obloquy heaped on it as heresy to crush it; the misrepresentations, abuse, hostility, etc., heaped upon it, as found in thousands of works; and considering the pious and eminent men who clung to it, taught it, and urged it upon others, it must be—as Chiliasts affirm—a truth found in the Divine Record, planted there by God Himself to inspire faith and hope.
Obs. 30. The number of missionaries holding our doctrine, who have gone to foreign lands and among the heathen, is not only gratifying, but evidences how widespread must be Chiliastic teaching.[*]
Note. Compare our remarks on the missionaries and missionary spirit, given more in detail, under Props. 175–178. In this connection we only say that a long list of missionaries, extending from the Apostolic church down to the present, who are Chiliastic might be given. Dr. West (“His. of the Doc.”) says of its advocates: “that devoted missionaries like Duff the opener of India, Gutlaff the opener of China, Bettleheim the opener of Japan, Heber, Bertram, Wolff, Herschel, Poor, Lowry, and many more, were Pre-Millenarians, and are followed, if recent information is correct, by a majority of missionaries now in the foreign field, of the same faith.” (Comp. Brookes, Maranatha, Seiss, Last Times, etc., for similar statements.)
Obs. 31. The Evangelists and Revivalists who are Chiliastic is conclusive evidence of two facts, viz.: that Chiliasm is not opposed (as some allege) to personal effort to bring men to Jesus, and that Chiliasm is taught by men who have access to large numbers of hearers.[*]
Note. The Evangelists, well known, who present our hope, are the following: D. L. Moody, Rev. G. F. Pentecost, G. C. Needham, T. W. Bonham, Halsey W. Knapp, Maj. D. W. Whittle, B. F. Jacobs, Rev. H. W. Brown, F. M. Rockwell, H. P. Welton,—Harry,—Moorehouse, P. P. Bliss, (see testimony of chairman of the Proph. Conf. held at N. York, 1878, Trib. Sup., p. 18),—Sankey, John G. Vassar.
Obs. 32. One remarkable feature connected with the history of Chiliasm must not be overlooked. It has been held by believers of all classes and the most opposite tendencies—men of the strongest Confessional tendency and men the most unconfessional; men hierarchical in teaching and men the most determined against it; persons who prided themselves in their orthodoxy and persons who rejoiced in their heterodoxy; persons highly Calvinistic and persons low Arminian—in brief, nearly all classes are represented. This arises from the fact that the doctrine is mainly confined to Eschatology (having, however, as we show, an important bearing on many related subjects), and could readily be incorporated in the various systems. Scarcely any other doctrine is found more widely diffused.[*]
Note. Simply to illustrate how parties the most diverse in view entertain it we point to organizations of believers who hold to it as a prominent article of faith. The “Holy Apostolic Church” is exceedingly high-church and ritualistic; on the other hand “The Plymouth Brethren” are the direct opposite. On the one hand the “Michaelians” (following Spener’s pietism and Oetinger’s theosophy); on the other the “Pregizerians” (Kurtz. Ch. His. Vol. 2, p. 290–1) who laid the greatest stress on ordinances. The names that we give of its Primitive and succeeding advocates, down to the present day, clearly evidences this feature. This fact evidently indorses the idea that the doctrine must be distinctively taught in the Scriptures, seeing that so many, who are not united on other doctrine, find here a common scriptural basis,—some indeed more distinctively and systematically than others.
Obs. 33. The Conferences held at London, Milday, New York, and other places, in which the most eminent ministers and laymen of the various Protestant denominations participated, evidence the extent of the doctrine and its practical realization.[*]
Note. These Conferences, in view of the eminence, ability, etc., of their supporters, the various denominations so largely represented by leading divines and laymen, have directed public attention to the doctrine and its extent. It has alarmed Post- and Ante-Millenarians, so that Prof. Briggs and others protest, under the threat of Eccles. action, against their continuance, and call for a disbandonment. Such menaces are a good sign, both of felt weakness in support of their own theories and of the strength manifested by Pre-Millenarians.
Obs. 34. The poets who have presented Chiliastic views are both numerous and eminent.[*]
Note. The following may be instanced: Milton (Paradise Lost), Alex. Pope (The Messiah), Jno. Keble (The Christian Year), Charles Wesley (Hymns), Bh. R. Heber (Hymns), M. F. Tupper (Poems), Isaac Watts (Hymns and Psalms), Wm. Cowper (Task), Ed. Bickersteth (Yesterday, To-day and Forever), H. Bonar, (Hymns of Faith and Hope), Rev. L. Way (Palingenesia), Jno. G. Wilson (Psalms), S. B. Monsell (Hymns), Gerard Moultrie (Hymns), M. Habershaw (Hymns), and many others. Hundreds of hymns and psalms in the older Christian Psalmody are so opposed to the Whitbyan and Augustinian theories, so full of longing for the Sec. Coming as the “the Blessed Hope,” so utterly faithless of the world’s progress without the Christ, etc., that they strongly express Chiliastic views.
Obs. 35. The design that God has, in thus greatly reviving the doctrine, is worthy of attention. He does not leave His truth without testimony.[*]
Note. Dr. West (His. of Doc.), pertinently, after referring to “the galaxy of illustrious names by which it is adorned, by what piety it is commended, by what unquestioned orthodoxy and scholarship supported, and how the Church seems to be rallying around it, as in the martyr age,” says: “What an All-Wise Providence means to intimate, it is well to consider.” (Comp. Prop. 174.)
Obs. 36. In conclusion, a brief résumé of our historical argument, to show its connection, is in place. The evidence in support of each step is ample and conclusive. Indeed, no other doctrine has a more clear and decisive proof in its behalf drawn from historical ground than this one. 1. We have shown that the Jews, before and at the First Advent, held to it, professing to derive it from covenant and prophecy. (Compare e.g. Props. 20, 21, 40, 44, 72, 74.) 2. Then we prove that John the Baptist and the disciples both entertained and preached the doctrine. (Compare Props. 38, 39, 43.) 3. Next, that the doctrine was still held after the death of Jesus. (Compare Props. 69, 70.) 4. Extended evidence is given that the apostles, after the ascension and after the day of Pentecost, still adhered to it. (Compare Props. 71, 72 with Props. 66–68.) 5. It is proven that our doctrine was generally, if not universally, received by the early churches, East and West, North and South. (Compare Props. 72, 73, 74, 75.) 6. This doctrine was perpetuated by the followers and successors of the first teachers. (Compare Prop. 75.) 7. That it was only changed and opposed under the Gnostic and Alexandrian influences. (Comp. Prop. 76.) 8. That the Papacy materially aided in crushing the doctrine, because obnoxious to her teaching, claims, etc. (Comp. Prop. 77.) 9. That, thus almost exterminated under Papal influence, there was a revival after the Reformation, since which time it has again been taught by able and devout sons of the church, as shown in this Prop.