Bookshelf/ Vol.I / Vol. IV. Part VI. Contents. Chapter I. 1. 2. 3. II. 1. 2. 3. III. 1. 2. 3. IV. 1. 2. V. 1. 2. Appendix I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. II. 1a. 1b. 2a. 2b. 2c. 3. 4. III 1. 2a. 2b.



IN revising this part of my Work for its 5th Edition, the important bearing of a right view of the Apocalyptic Millennium on the interpretation, not only of the future, but also of the past, seems to me to require that I should not close this Chapter without a notice of millennary views counter to my own, such as may have been set forth by writers more or less of eminence since the publication of my 4th Edition, notwithstanding the large space allotted to the discussion of it in the last chapter but one of my Commentary; in case perchance any new light may have been thrown by modern research on the subject. I propose, therefore, here to pass under review the millennary counter-explanations advocated respectively by Dr. Wordsworth in his IIulscan Lectures, by Professor Hengstenberg in his Apocalyptic Commentary, by Dr. Fairbairn in his work on Prophecy, and by Bishop Waldegrave in his Bampton Lectures on the Millennium. The two first of these writers, it will be seen, explain the millennium as an æra of the past, or in part of the present; the third, like Whitby, Vitringa, and Brown, as an æra of blessedness still future, but antecedent to Christ’s 2nd advent; the last, like Hengstenberg, (after carefully weighing the evidence in favor of each and every one of the counter-solutions hitherto suggested,) as an æra wholly past, though not the same æra as Hengstenberg’s - Proceed we to consider them in succession.

And, as regards both Wordsworth and Hengstenberg, though the one point of Apocalyptic Interpretation on which I have proposed to exhibit their views is the millennary question, yet, as their names have a certain literary prestige attached to them in the minds of many, as names of authority, I think it may be interesting to all such if I briefly sketch their general views of the prophecy in the first instance. The rather as it will be not interesting only, but most useful to my present object. For, if I mistake not, the fact will then in either case be sufficiently apparent that, whatever their prestige and authority on other literary subjects, there attaches to them little indeed in their character as expositors of the Apocalypse.

1. Dr. Wordsworth.

As regards this expositor, he states at the beginning of his commentary, (and this I doubt not most justly,) that St. John in the Apocalypse “lays open a long avenue of events rising up, one after another, in clear perspective, through the whole interval of time from the Lord’s day in which he was in the Spirit upon the shores of the Isle of Patmos even to the day of doom.” But how does he make good and illustrate the thus asserted clear prophetic perspective of the future in his actual commentary? how prove it to have clearly prefigured the grand and most characteristic events such as have been subsequently in fact unfolded in the now far advanced history of the Church and of the world? Says he; “Alike the seven Epistles, seven Seals, seven Trumpets, and seven Vials, foreshow in parallel chronological lines, though in different points of view, the whole history of the Church and world from St. John’s time to the consummation. The seven Epistles indeed are not orderly in respect of succession; but only vaguely anticipatory in their church-picturings of certain points more fully illustrated in the other three series. The seven Seals depict respectively, and in chronological succession, Christ’s gospel-progress, the Pagan Roman Emperors’ persecution of Christians, the outbreak of heresies, the ravages of barbarian invaders, (such as of Goths, Saracens, etc.,) the martyrdoms of Christians, the convulsions of the last judgment, and finally, in the half-hour’s silence in heaven, the promised everlasting sabbath. The seven Trumpets “contain a rapid view of the conflicts and sufferings of the Church, and of the judgments inflicted from heaven on its enemies:” - the first, (designated as one of judgment on the earth,) symbolizing the chastisement on heathen Rome for its persecution of the Church, as inflicted in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries; the 2nd, the judgments on the Roman world in the 5th century; the 3rd, heresies such as of the Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, &c.; the 6th, the binding of the gospel (under figure of the four angels bound) in the great river of the mystical Babylon, or Church of Rome; which gospel is prepared for the hour of retribution, the day of wrath, the month of God’s harvest, the year of his visitation, in the contest of the mystical Armageddon. But how all these things prefigured? With any definiteness of etching? Any pointedness in the prophetic symbols such as to admit of application to the thing supposed to be foreshown, and nothing else? By no means. All is vague, both in the figures and the things prefigured, according to Dr. W. Take here a notable example. Between what is said in Apoc. ix. of the four Angels bound in the Euphrates, and what is said in chap. xi. of the two Witnesses, (signifying the two Testaments of the Law and the Gospel,) “there is (says our Expositor) a wonderful resemblance.” For, as fire comes out of the mouth of the Euphratean horses, so fire came out of the mouth of the Witnesses; as the four angels were imprisoned in the river of Babylon, so the two Witnesses are said to be killed, and lie unburied in the great city, Babylon; as “the Angels were accompanied with the heavenly host, and endured with tremendous power,” so the two slain Witnesses rise again, and “ascend in the clouds of Christ’s glory to heaven,” to the terror of their foes. In fine, both “the loosing of the four Angels is called the second woe; and the preaching of the two Witnesses is also expressly called the second woe.” (!!) Yes, says Dr. W. again, p. 251, “this is alike the 2nd woe, the 6th trumpet, the 6th seal, the eve of the end.” - And so we are brought to the 7th and last trumpet, under which the proclamation is made that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ; and that the time has arrived in which the saints are to be rewarded, and the dead judged at the tribunal of Christ, “without any intervening millennium.” [1]

Yet, once more, as regards the seven Vials, they “represent spiritual benefits converted into banes to the faithless, means of grace into plagues;” the 1st, or that of a grievous sore on those who have the mark of the Beast, indicating a corrupt profession of faith such as that of the Church of Rome; the 2nd, by which the sea became blood, the outpouring of God’s judgments on the waters on which the harlot sate, signifying peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues; the 3rd, which turned the rivers and fountains into blood, the poisoning of Rome of the Holy Scripture and sacraments; the 4th, under which the sun scorched men with fire, so that they blasphemed God, Christ the Sun of Righteousness, made to all who disobey him a consuming fire; the 5th, poured on the throne of the Beast, the “perplexity, panic, anguish, and despair, “ caused in the very heart of the mystical Babylon; the 6th, under which the water of the Euphrates was dried up, the drying up of the glory and strength of the mystical Babylon, i.e. of Papal Rome; and therewith a way opened for the kings from the East, i.e. for the faithful soldiers and servants of Christ.

Such is a sketch of the intent of the four septenary series of the Apocalyptic Epistles, Seals, Trumpets, and Vials according to Dr Wordsworth; such the “clear definite perspective,” thereby exhibited to St. John in Patmos, of the grand mutations and events coming on the world and the Church, in the interval between the revelation shown to him in Patmos and the consummation. For these with the two important additions only, 1st, of the prophecy concerning the Beast and Babylon (which Dr. W. rightly, ably, and at large explains, in accord with the great body of Protestant Interpreters, of Papal Rome,) 2ndly, of that concerning the millennium, make up the Apocalypse.

To refute all this is quite needless. It refutes itself. My readers will see that it was not without reason that I glanced at Dr. W.’s general Apocalyptic interpretation as sufficient to set aside all the prestige and authority of his otherwise respected name on any Apocalyptic subject expounded by him; such e.g. as the millennary question.

Which premised, and being thus the better prepared for inquiring into his view of that question, we find that he explains the millennium of Satan’s being bound in the abyss, and the saints reigning with Christ, to have commenced with Christ’s triumph over Satan by his miracles and death; and to have been perpetuated ever after to all baptized Christians, by the power over Satan imparted to them on their regeneration by baptism. This, in his view, is their first resurrection. - But how could Satan be truly said to be bound for the 1000 years, so as not to deceive baptized individuals, or baptized people nationally, consistently with the fact, also prominently put forth by Dr. Wordsworth, of the Papal Beast Antichrist, who was Satan’s grand agent for deceiving the nations, having reigned in power during much of the self-same 1000 years? To this objection Dr. W.’s answer is curious, but certainly most untenable. It turns on the force of the Greek preposition ina,in the clause esfragisen epanw autu ina mh planhsh ta eqnh eti “sealed him in order that he should not deceive the nations any more. For here, argues Dr. W, the intended object of the sealing is declared, but not the actual result. “The corruptions of Popish times and countries show that men have despised what Christ has done for them, and have loosed the enemy who was bound by Christ.” (So pp. 50, 51.) How again could this consist with what is said of the time of Satan’s being loosed, viz. as not to take place until the end of the 1000 years; so that to those who lived before the end of the 1000 years, or end (so Dr. W.) of the present dispensation, in Christendom, he could not be loosed. [2] Moreover, St. John’s declaration, “I saw on the thrones. . . whosoever had not worshipped the Beast nor his image; and they (i.e. all of them) reigned with Christ 1000 years,” implies obviously that the conflicts of all of the enthroned that had not worshipped the Beast most have preceded the 1000 years’ reign: just in fact as in (Dan. vii. 9, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”) - the time of the enthronization of the saints is fixed to the time of the destruction of the little horn; which little horn Dr. W., in common with most Protestant expositors, admits fully to symbolize the Popes of Rome, or Antichrist.

2. Hengstenberg. [3]

On the next (page 4) I have given a Tubular View of this expositor’s Apocalyptic Scheme - [Editor: I have placed all Tabular Views in a separate file intitled<Tabular Views>]. From a mere glance at which it will be seen that of actual definite predictions of the future there is in the Apocalypse, according to him, very much as in the case of Dr. Wordsworth’s exposition, really next to nothing. Three times indeed we find it stated that in the visions shown in St. John there was to be a revelation of the things which would shortly come to pass; in Apoc. i. 1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John”,Again: i. 19, “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” and once again, iv. 1, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Yet, according to Hengstenberg’s scheme, the whole amount of revelation concerning the then coming future contained in the symbolizations of all the seven Seals, seven Trumpets, and seven Vials, which make up full half of the prophetic chapters of the Book, and which are themselves both arranged with the most marked regard to order of succession, and often full of detail, as well as very varied, in their figurings, was this: - that Christ had gone forth conquering and to conquer; that in his train, and as means to that end, there would be a recurrence from time to time of the desolating judgments of war, scarcity, famine, and pestilence against his enemies; and that meanwhile neither should the Church of the faithful ever fail, nor witnesses for Christ’s truth be ever wanting, whatever the visible Church’s corruption: the latter, wheresoever destroyed in appearance, soon reviving and springing up again. Did it need a new Apocalypse to assure the disciples of this? Had not Christ himself, and his apostles, already again and again declared as much? [4] - In order to reduce the visions to this nothingness of meaning it needed of course that the Apocalyptic numeral terms, like the visible symbols, should be fritted away by some generalizing process, so as to signify nothing definite or specific. And so accordingly it is in H’s exposition. The 4th part of the earth in the 4th Seal simply “points to this, that fearful judgments were still to come.” [5] The 3rd part of the earth in the Trumpets shows that “it is still not the final judgment.” [6] The “hour, day, month, and year,” at which (or after which) the third part of the men were to be slain, means simply that the exact time is fixed in God’s councils. [7] The 5 months of the scorpion-locusts of the 5th Trumpet denote “a very long period, though still not the longest.” [8] The 3 1/2 years of the Church in the wilderness, (which is “the world’s signature,”) though eight times as long as the 5 months, denote “a broken and short period.” [9] Alone the thousand years of the millennium are to be understood in a definite and chronological sense, to signify literally one thousand years: a singularity in his exposition of the prophetic numerals the reason of which, as we shall see at the end of our critique, is not difficult of conjecture.

As to Professor’s H.’s view of the Apocalyptic Beast  as the ruling world-power, and of its heads as denoting the various kingdoms to which the world’s chief supremacy has successively belonged, viz. the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and 6thly Roman, - there is this obvious and fatal objection against it, that the Beast’s seven heads were declared to symbolize those seven hills on which the woman Babylon in Apoc. xvii., that is Rome, sate: - a definition infinitely important to the right understanding of this symbol; and which ties down the Beast, under all its successive heads and phases, from first to last, to that self-same well-known site of Rome’s seven hills. [10] So that the only debatable question is the meaning of those several successive heads, in relation to the one Roman State: and whether to be confined to the times and rulers of heathen Rome, or to admit of application also to the times and rulers of Papal Rome. And really it does seem to me monstrous to suppose the Apocalyptic symbol of Babylon, with the Beast under its last head sustaining her, (Apoc xvii.) to be restricted in its meaning to heathen, or rather imperial Rome; [11] and Babylon’s destruction, as immediately after figured, (Apoc. xviii.) to be by consequence imperial Rome’s temporary desolation by the Goths in the 5th and 6th centuries, when the very strongest conceivable language is Apocalyptically used to express the eternity of that desolation; “Her smoke rose up eiv tov aiwnav twn aiwnwn, for ever and ever.” [12] Let but the inquirer look for himself; and he will find that this phrase is never used in Scripture but of that which is absolutely and in the strongest sense of the word, eternal. [13] Hengstenberg’s justificatory reason for explaining it in reference to imperial Rome’s destruction is given in the Note below in its entireness. [14] And surely the citation will be thought by each discerning reader to illustrate the foolishness, and on sacred subjects worse than foolishness, of  attempting an impossibility.

As to his view of the Apocalyptic millennium, as the thousand years of Church rule (Papal Church rule) from about 800 to 1800 A.D., there needs to justify it that something be shown from history before the commencement of that period, not only answering to Babylon’s everlasting destruction, but also that may answer to the Lamb’s predicted victory over the kings of the earth, or ten horns of the Beast, [15] Rome’s destined temporary desolators. For the latter, as well as the former, is set forth as a premillennary event in (Apoc. xvii. 14, “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” and xix. 19, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”, compared with Dan. vii.) Now the obviousness of a consistent historic explanation of this particular, as well as of all other particulars in the visions, on the usual Protestant anti-Papal view of Babylon and its ten-horned supporting Beast, has been long since shown by me. The Germano-Gothic horns, before receiving their kingdoms, did, we know from history, tear, burn, and desolate imperial Rome: [16] then, so soon as Rome became Papal, (in which form she is depicted in the vision of Apoc. xvii., [17] not the imperial,) having just succeeded in portioning out among themselves in different kingdoms the old Roman empire, they combined to acknowledge Christ’s Vicar, the Pope, as their common father and head. And so they did thenceforth not only give their power to the Roman Popes, the Beast’s new head, (called the Beast by the interpreting Angel, [18] ) but also afterwards, except during a brief interval in the French revolutionary wars, foreshadowed I suppose in the Apocalyptic Vials, [19] furnished its real sustaining support to Papal Rome. - As to their final predicted conflict with the Lamb, and the Lamb’s victory over them, it is surely to be regarded as an event yet future, which will accompany, or immediately follow after, Papal Rome’s everlasting destruction, introductorily to the world’s millennary Jubilee. - But since in Hengstenberg’s scheme, as I said, the Lamb’s victory over the ten horns must precede A.D. 800, he seeks to explain it by reference to the Gothic kings’ conversion to orthodox Christianity, resulting, he says, from their desolating wars with each other in the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries. [20] But could their fighting with each other, before their conversion to orthodox Christianity, be figured as fighting with the Lamb? Again, could their conversion to Christianity, which he designates (not very correctly) as the result of these wars, answer to the terrible Apocalyptic figuring of the end of the ten horns’ conflict with the Lamb; viz. a slaughter like as for the supper of the great God, in which all the fowls of the heaven are to fill themselves with their flesh; and one in which the Lamb will tread the winepress of the wrath of God? - Once more, as to Hengstenberg’s millennium itself, and his theory of its answering, with its prefigured rule of the saints and binding of Satan, to the Christian Church’s (mainly the Papal Church’s) supremacy throughout the middle ages, and after it, let not his own admission be forgotten that at times “the Papacy did indeed look very like the Beast.” [21] So that the saints’ rule, and the rule of that which was very like the Beast, were then, according to him, not only coexistent but identical.

Most assuredly Hengstenberg has not more succeeded than Mr. W. II. Scott, or others of the Millennario-Præteristic school before him, in making out even a locus standi for the theory of a past millennium. As little has he succeeded in making out a case against the old Protestant view of the Apocalyptic Babylon, and Beast that upheld here, as symbols of Papal Rome, and the Popes, or Popedom. [22] One marvels how a man of his literary attainments and reputation could have deluded himself into the scheme of belief expressed in this Book. I incline from certain passages in it that the revolutionary outbreaks of the year 1848, amidst which he wrote much of it, [23] acted with a kind of bewildering effect on his mind; and impelled him, coûte que coûe, to regard those outbreaks round him as signs of Satan’s predicted outbreak from his prison. Nor, in this state of feeling, could he fail to look with more sympathy and even favor on the Papacy than his great predecessors in Apocalyptic interpretation, whom he so often refers to, Virtringa and Bengel; seeing that the Papal authorities, as well as the kingly and social, were objects of the then prevalent revolutionary hatred and violence. [24]

3. Fairbairn.

Preliminarily to speaking of Dr. F’s view of the millennium, and Christ’s promised second coming and kingdom, I must observe, just as in the cases of Wordsworth ad Hengstenberg, on the utter nothingness of meaning to which his exposition would reduce the glorious Apocalyptic prophecy. It was given, as the interpreting Angel said, to reveal to God’s servants the things that were to happen afterwards; meaning of course the chief grand mutations and events in the coming future of the Church and of the world, from St. John’s time until the consummation; and this with sufficient precision and definiteness in the figurations to fix such its application in each case when rightly understood. But what did it reveal according to Fairbairn? Just thus much; - that there were to be wars, famines, and pestilences, from time to time, more or less, [25] in consequence of the world’s refusing to receive the preached gospel, and persecuting its preachers and witnesses: “that all the departments of nature, or rather what might then correspond to them in the political or social sphere,” would be visited successively as by hail, fire, burning mountains, and darkness: moreover that an apostasy would at length arise in the Church, as St. Paul had before predicted; and Daniel’s prediction also be realized that the 4th of the four great worldly empires, that is the Roman, would change into a professedly Christian, but really anti-christian power, made up of ten kingdoms, and with its central seat on Rome’s seven hills, so constituting the last phase of the worldly power opposed to God: - that the witness for Christ however would still be maintained, and at length rise to ascendancy; so that, as Daniel, Christ, and Paul has before predicted, the saints would in fine possess the kingdom. - This, I believe, is pretty nearly all that Dr. F. would suppose foreshown in the Apocalypse, or Book of Divine Revelation, down to its prediction of the millennium; so that in fact it might seem to be called the Book of Revelation in burlesque, from its revealing nothing new, or at the most next to nothing.

Alike in regard of the prophetic indications of time, and the prophetic geographical and topographical indications, Dr. F. would on principle reduce what seems most definite into indefiniteness. The 1260 days he explains as a period reaching from the Church’s first institution even to our own times; the Beast’s number 666 as “six highly potentialized,” in contrast with seven, the sacred number of Divinity. My explanation of the 1st Seal’s rider as designating the Cretico-imperial line of Nerva, Trajan, and the Antonines, he sets aside, not because of any failure in my asserted and very remarkable fittings between the prophecy so explained in the history; but “because a Scripture image ought to be contemplated in its broader aspects, such as would present itself to persons acquainted with the works and ways of God.” [26] The common Protestant reference of the four first trumpets to the Gothic, Vandal, Hunnic, and Ostro-Gothic invasions of the Western Roman Empire he sets aside as out of the question, however otherwise suitable, because of the land, sea, rivers, &c., being treated as literal localities. He denies the application of the Euphrates of the 6th Trumpet to the Turks who from that Euphratean locality invaded Greek Christendom, because the Euphrates, according to him, must not be treated as a literal river, notwithstanding the well-known parallel in (Isa. viii. 7, “Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:”). - And even in the one notable case in which he does defer to the Apocalyptic definition of locality as to be taken literally, I mean the case of the seven-hilled Babylon as signifying Rome, he cannot allow himself to do this without qualification. For he makes this Babylon to comprehend “all that is worldly in the Protestant churches of England, Scotland, and America, (his own Scotch Free Church, I presume, inclusive,) as well as in the Papal Church; and similarly the Apocalyptic Beast connected with Babylon to be not distinctively recognition of the Roman Pope as Christ’s Vicegerent on earth, but generally the worldly power opposed to God throughout European Christendom.

The origin of all this may be traced, I think, to Dr. F.’s strong prejudice against the admission of any measure of literal explanation in a symbolic prophecy like the Apocalypse; that “intermingling of the literal with the symbolical which (he says) has so greatly retarded the proper understanding of the prophetical Scriptures.” A prejudice this which may have resulted from his long typological researches: but which, if applied to the many definite Messianic prophecies indicative of the time, place, family, character, and history of the true Messiah, would surely justify a Jewish Rabbi in denying the Messiahship of the Lord Jesus Christ. Extreme spiritualism would, on this vital point of the evidence for an historical Messiah already come, be just as fatal as extreme literalism.

As to Dr. Fairbairn’s views respecting the Millennium, and Christ’s second coming to take the kingdom, he is thus far clear and decided in the expression of his judgment that that coming is to be post-millennial, not pre-millennial. In his arguments however as justificatory of this opinion, he is, I must say, not only most inconclusive, but most inconsistent. Thus, as regards two out of the many extra-Apocalyptic passages urged by myself and others as strongly pre-millennial in their bearing, viz. the prophecy in (2 Thess. ii. 2, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”) respecting the man of sin, and St. Peter’s statement in Acts iii. 19-21. about Christ’s coming at the epoch of the restitution of all things, he slurs over the former, and its declaration that the destruction of the Man of Sin is to synchronize with Christ’s second personal coming, and gathering of his saints to him, in a manner quite unworthy of himself and of the subject. On the other hand he presents us with a long criticism of five or six pages on the passage in the Acts, in order to rescue it from the pre-millennial construction. He admits indeed that the correct rendering of the passage is beyond doubt that for which I have contended in my book; “Repent ye therefore and be converted, for the blotting out of your sins, in order that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus; whom the heavens must receive till those times of the restitution of all things of which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy Prophets from the beginning of the world.” Which translation admitted, the Jews’ conversion, times of refreshing from God’s presence, and his sending Jesus Christ to them, seem connected together in the first part of the passage as events synchronous, or immediately consequent the one on the other: while what is said in the latter part of the passage seems to be but a more direct and explanatory statement to the same effect; viz. that it was God’s fixed purpose that Jesus should not return personally from the heavens to which he had ascended till those refreshing times of the restitution of all things which had been the theme of all prophecy from the beginning of the world. On which construction of the passage Christ’s second coming would be fixed as synchronizing with the Jews’ conversion, and so (according to Fairbairn’s own views) with the commencement and introduction of the Millennium. How then does he escape from this inference? While admitting that the times of refreshing might very naturally be identified with the times of restitution, he supposes them to be here in fact quite distinct from each other; the refreshing times being such, says he, as already had occurred at the Pentecost, (Dr. F. forgets that this was the time then actually present,) and might often again occur afterwards, so as we know it to have done at the Reformation, and may expect it to do again yet more at the Jews’ conversion; while the refreshing at the restitution of all things can be but once, and this post-millennially at Christ’s second coming. But mark how this exposition confutes itself. According to it St. Peter would have said to the Jews: “Repent, that now your sins may be blotted out; and moreover that, at the interval of some thousand years, the Father may send Jesus Christ again from heaven!”

Then, reverting to the Apocalypse, need it be said that the time of Christ’s entering on his kingdom and inheritance must needs be the time of his second coming? Yet observe how confused and self-contradictory Dr. F. is on this point, and consequently on the position of the millennium which is so closely connected with it. Respecting the saints’ inheritance we find him at p. 261 referring to St. Peter’s description of it as an inheritance incorruptible, unfading, reserved in heaven for those who should be kept by the power of faith unto salvation; and consequently as that which would really be entered on by them personally at the time of the creation of the new heavens and the new earth, which Dr. F. makes post-millennial. On the other hand, in his Apocalyptic comment, he makes the seven-sealed Book in Christ’s hand to be the book of the inheritance; and the difficulties to entering on it as surmounted at the opening of the seventh Seal, synchronic in his view with the millennium. Similarly, at p. 395, he notes, as the two great works of which the procreation was to be foreshadowed in the Apocalypse, “the gathering out and preparing a people to inherit, and then the preparing of the earth for their inheritance, by dispossessing of the powers of evil” (p. 396:) also “how the mystery of God (thus Apocalyptically unfolded) would be ended (i.e. at the 7th Trumpet) by the installation of the Church, with regal power and glory, in the possession of the inheritance.” Again at p. 303 this is made to synchronize with “the Beast’s destruction, [27] and the saints living and reigning with Christ upon the earth, in other words, possessing the kingdom.” Is not this the distinctive character of the millennial state? At pp. 301, 302, to the same effect, he refers to what is said in (Dan. vii. 27, “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”) - of the saints taking the kingdom on the little horn’s destruction. But all this only in the sense of the saints’ and church’s cause, not of the departed saints themselves.

Where, what, and when, we have then still to ask, is the saints’ - the risen, living, perfected saints - actual own inheritance, in Dr. Fairbairn’s view? I am myself quite at a loss to answer. Amidst these self-contradicting statements, and arguments, I shall best perhaps approximate to a true judgment by saying that, whereas the Doctor’s directly expressed voice is post-millennial, his reasoning voice is quite as decidedly pre-millennial. [28]

4. Dr. (now Bishop) Waldegrave.

Beautiful is the spirit in which these Bampton Lectures of Dr. Waldegrave are written; so affectionate, so earnest, so thoroughly spiritual and evangelical! But, though professedly intended as a refutation of the pre-millennial doctrine generally, I know not that there is anything very new in his arguments against my own; or which has not been replied to in my long chapter on the Millennium. Much of his reasoning is pointed against what may be called Judaizing pre-millennarianism; such, for example, as would suppose that the old Jewish ritual and animal sacrifices are to be restored during the millennium at Jerusalem; in the which I heartily agree with him. For it seems to me that in the Epistle to the Hebrews all such ideas are decisively set aside. Moreover in the two fundamental principles of prophetic interpretation early laid down by him as what should guide us on the subject I quite agree with him; viz. “1st, that, in the settling of controversy, those passages of God’s word which are literal, dogmatic, and clear take precedence of those with are figurative, mysterious, and obscure:” 2ndly, “that in all points on which the New Testament gives us instruction, it is, as containing the full, clear, and final manifestation of the divine will, our rightful guide in the interpretation of the Old.” It is in the application only of these rules that I differ. Now so, however, in regard of the two propositions which constitute the heading of his second and third Lectures: viz. “that the kingdom of heaven as now existing is the proper kingdom of Christ:” and, that the kingdom of Christ as now existing is in the view of ancient prophecy the true kingdom of his father David.” Instead of using the adjective proper in the one proposition, and of the apparent limitation of Christ’s kingdom to its present state of existence, according to the wording of both, I should rather speak of its present state as but the incipient and imperfect state of the kingdom; the proper and perfect state being when Christ comes again at his appearing and kingdom. These differences have in fact a direct and strong bearing on our respective and discrepant conclusions as to the time and nature of the Apocalyptic millennium.

Reverting to Dr. W.’s two fundamental interpretative principles, and his application of them, as what I should here alone demur to, it may be well that I a little illustrate. Instead then of my pre-millennial view resting altogether , so as Dr. W. seems to imply, on what is said in Apoc. xx. concerning the millennium, it was (as abundantly appears in the millennial argument in my book) by other statements in the un-symbolic parts of the New Testament Scripture, which seemed to me clear and all but decisive on the point, that my judgment was swayed in that direction in the first instance: - such passages, for example, as the clause in the Lord’s Prayer taught by Christ to His disciples, “May thy kingdom come, may thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven:” - that in Acts iii. 19-21, (dwelt on a little while since in my review of Fairbairn,) where St. Peter speaks of that 2nd coming of Christ from heaven at which is to be the restitution of all things predicted by the Old Testament prophets, as what would follow the conversion of the Jew to Christianity: - that in Rom. viii. 19-23, where the visible creation is spoken of as looking for its emancipation from the bondage of corruption at the epoch of the manifestation in glory of the completed body of saints of God: - that, finally, in the prophecy of 2 Thess. ii., which marks the epoch of the destruction of the man of sin, or Apocalyptic Beast, as that of the personal coming of Christ, and gathering to Him of His saints, both dead and living. It was under the influence of these and other such like clear and distinct statements, let me repeat, in the un-symbolic books of the New Testament, respecting the time, circumstances, and consequences of Christ’s 2nd coming, that I came to my conclusion, contrary to all my early notions, as to Christ’s coming being antecedent and introductory to the Apocalyptic millennium, not its consequent. Nor does Dr. W. appear to me to have at all shaken the force of these SS. to the effect I ascribed to them. Some, I think, he decidedly misconstrues. [29] Of other, however unconsciously, he evades the natural sense of its bearing against him; while of the last of the four just enumerated (2 Thess. ii) he takes pretty much the same view with myself; as (conjointly with one or two others) decisive against the theory of a yet future spiritual millennium before Christ’s second coming.

With regard to the difficulties attendant on the pre-millennial theory, such as he sets forth very much at large after Faber, Gipps, and above all Dr. Brown, it is not my intention here to dwell on them. I have sufficiently expressed myself respecting them elsewhere. They are difficulties as regards the final future which, If my view of it be Scriptural, we may trust to God Himself to solve, even though we may be unable to solve them. What remains for me to do in this notice of Dr. W.’s lectures is simply to state his own counterview, as given in Lecture vii., respecting the millennium; and therewith to show my readers how evidently Dr. Waldegrave is at a loss to satisfy himself respecting it as to what may be rested on as clearly the truth. His plan is to enumerate all the counter-premillennial theories that have ever been broached. So, 1st, he sets forth the post-millennial view of Christ’s advent, or spiritual view of a millennium still future, such as we have seen advocated by Whitby and Vitringa. But, after doing so, and stating not only very fully, but also with apparent approbation, the arguments in its favor, he confesses (as just before noted by me) that the prophecy of 2 Thess ii., to the effect that the Man of Son, or Papal Antichrist, [30] is to be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming, - a coming which he cannot but admit to be personal, - taken in conjunction with what is said in the parable of the tares and wheat as mixed together until the harvest, so seems to render it probable that Popery, among other delusions, will survive to the coming of the Lord, that he feels obliged to set that solution aside.- Which being so, the only alternative solution that remains to him in his anti-premillennial character, is that of a millennium past, or in part present.  Accordingly he just passes before the eye of his readers (over and above the Augustinian view) Dr. Wordsworth’s ecclesiastical solution explaining Satan’s binding in reference to the privileges of baptism, during the whole mystical millennial period from Christ’s first to his second coming;- that of Fox, Brightman, Grotius, &c., explaining the binding of Satan nationally, as begun on the theatre of Christendom with the overthrow of Paganism in the 4th century, and ending with the irruption of the Turks in the 14th; - that of Hengstenberg, just noted by me, also national  in its character, but measured from the conversion of the northern nations in the time of Charlemagne to “the outbreak of modern nations in the time of Charlemagne to “the outbreak in modern times of the spirit of unbridled infidelity and licentiousness;” - and that of Mr. Gipps, which, as stated by me long since, in my chapter on the millennial subject, makes the prophecy of the first resurrection to have had its fulfillment in the rising up of the witnesses for Christ, such as the followers of Claude of Turin, Waldenses, Lollards, &c.; the second resurrection being intended of the yet future national conversion of the Jews; that event which Ezekiel prophesied of under the figure of the resurrection of the dry bones, and which St. Paul speaks of as what would prove to the world as life from the dead.  Unsatisfied, however, with any of those solutions, Dr. W. suggests as perhaps a preferable solution, the idea of its meaning that Satan is for the 1000 years “forbidden to invent and propagate any new religious imposture among nominal Christians;” the ten centuries intended being those preceding the blessed Reformation. But how so, since at the beginning of those ten centuries there was the outbreak of both the Papal and Mahommedan delusions? In part by making the ten centuries to be only nine; and the millennial period to have begun with the outbreak of those delusions. But did not those Satanic delusions reign in power all through the period; and is not this fact prominent in the Apocalyptic prefigurations of that æra of the coming future? Assuredly, Dr. W. denies it not. And so no wonder at his evidently feeling his theory to be open, like the rest, to gave objection. Like Mede, he knows not where to find a place for a past millennium. [31] And so he finally rests on the idea that there is no need for him, in support of his strong anti-pre-millennarianism, to do more than to show that other solutions than the pre-millennarian have been suggested, and “are possible.” A conclusion surely most lame and impotent: and which, taken in conjunction with what has been here, and much more fully elsewhere, urged in favor of the pre-millennial view, may well leave on the mind of candid readers of Dr. W.’s book a feeling in its favor; and so constitute him effectively a helper, instead of a destroyer, of the pre-millennial theory. [32]

[1] Dr. W. here takes for granted what he should have proved; viz. that the 7th Trumpet, in what it says of the judgments on the world, contained under it, and the reward of the saints, does not include (besides the Vials) the millennium, and judgment of the great white throne after it.

[2] Indeed, at p. 75, Dr. W. speaks of Satan’s loosing as of an event yet future.

[3] I use the Translation by Dr. Fairbairn; Edinb. 1852.

[4] E.g. in Matt. xxiv. 6-11, xvi. 18, and xxviii. 20, we find as much, or more told of the future.

[5] Vol. i. p. 259.

[6] i. 343.

[7] i. 368.

[8] i. 359.

[9] i. 464, 477, 396.

[10] Let me beg to refer the inquirer on this most important point of indication to my II. A Vol. iii. pp. 111-114.

[11] I have already urged the truth of the case, as here hinted, in my Review of Bossuet’s Apocalyptic Scheme, p. 280 suprà. “Was it really Rome Pagan that was desolated by the Goths? Surely, if there be a fact clear in history it is this, that it was Rome Christianized in profession, - I might almost say Rome Papal, - that was the subject of these desolations” This fact is there further illustrated from history; as the reader will see. It constitutes of itself a fatal objection to Hengstenberg’s view.

He notes, and attempts to reply to, this objection, Vol. ii. pp. 243-245. But how? - 1st, he says, When the judgment first began to be executed, Rome was heathen: referring, I suppose, to the times of the Germanic irruptions into the empire in the 3rd century, before Constantine. But whence does he himself date the rise of the ten horns? Just like other expositors, from the times of Alaric, &c., at the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century. See his p. 205. - 2ndly, he says that Rome was very corrupt, even “after its formal conversion to Christianity.” No doubt; and on this corruption the Papacy was founded. But herein Hengstenberg’s argument is against himself. It is in favor of the Apocalyptic Babylon in Apoc. xvii. meaning Rome Papal, not Rome Pagan. - On re-considering all this and also my argument, as drawn out pp. 305, 306 suprà, on the hypothesis of reading kia in Apoc. xvii. 16, I find myself forced back to my original conviction that Tertullian’s and Jerome’s reading of epi is the true one.

[12] Apoc. xix. 3, “And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever”.

[13] It occurs Gal. i. 5, Phil. iv. 20, 1 Tim. i. 17, 2 Tim. iv. 18, Heb. xiii. 21, 1 Peter iv. 11, v. 11; and in all these passages with reference to the glory ascribed to God everlastingly. In the Apocalypse it is used Apoc. i. 6, 18, iv. 9, 10, v. 13, 14, vii. 12, x. 6, xv. 7, xxii. 5, with reference to the everlasting glory, existence, or kingdom of Christ. The only other passage where the phrase occurs in this book are the three cognate ones of Apoc. xiv. 11, xix. 3, xx. 10: where the devil’s eternal torment is spoken of, in the lake of fire; as also that of Babylon, the Beast, and the Beast’s worshippers.

[14] “In Isa. xxxiv. 9, 10, - it is said of Edom, the type of the ungodly heathen world, ‘Her land shall be burning pitch: day and night it shall not be extinguished; its smoke shall go up for ever and ever.’ This fundamental passage shows that here (viz. on Apoc. xix. 3, about Babylon’s destruction) Apoc. xviii. 9, 18 is to be compared! and not Apoc. xiv. 11, where everlasting fire is used as an image of the torments of hell.” Hengstenberg, ii. 242. - But who told the Professor that Edom, in this passage of Isaiah, was only meant as a type of the ungodly heathen world? Such was not the general notion of either Jewish or Christian expositors.

[15] “These ten kings are the only powers in amity with the Beast, and in hostility to Christ, which still remain on the field; the only ones therefore which can be understood here by the kings of the earth.” So Hengstenberg on Apoc. xix. 10, 11, p. 258.

[16] As the Angel’s explanation in Apoc. xvii. included the Beast’s history, prior to his existence under the 8th head under which the vision represents him as upholding the cup-bearing or Papal Rome, (see my H A, iv. 31, and the Papal medal there given illustrative of this ?) so it included also the history of the woman, or Rome, prior to her existence in the Papal form depicted in the vision.

[17] The cupbearing form, referred to in my preceding Note.

[18] Apoc. xvii. 11, “ And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

[19] Especially the 5th Vial. See my H. A. ad loc.

[20] Hengst. ii. 259.

[21] ii. 67

[22] The Popes being the ruling head, as I conceive, of the Beast in his last form; the Popedom, or Papal European empire, the body of the Beast.

Hengstenberg’s argument on this head against Bengel and other occupies in his 2nd Volume from p. 56 to p. 67; and is as follows: -

1st, he says, the Papal application of the prophecy does not square with his own view of the meaning of Apoc. xii., of the Seals and Trumpets, or moreover of Dan. vii., where he makes the Beast the world-power, as in the Apocalypse. - But is his own view on these points right? Those he argues against would say not.

2. There is, says he, nothing pseudo-Christian, ecclesiastical, or hypocritical in the characteristics either of the Beast in Apoc. xiii., of the cognate Man of Sin in 2 Thessalonians, or of Babylon in Apoc. xviii; but only open profest impiety and blasphemy. - Yet he admits that the temple of God, in which the Man of Sin was to sit, must mean the Christian professing Church; though he would have the predicted enemy to press in upon it ab extrà. But, if he sits in it afterwards, he must needs have left it standing; which H. conceives the Man of Sin and Beast will not do. Moreover, he admits that the lamb-like False Prophet, attendant on the Beast in Apoc. xiii., may mean pseudo- Christian teachers. He only argues (not correctly if we rest ourselves on the fundamental passage Matt. vii. 15, “ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”) that the symbol may also mean other false teachers. - On this point not only are the Patristic expositors, such as Irenæus, Hippolytus, Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine, &c., &c., against Hengstenberg, but also the mass of Papal expositors. Says Bossuet on Apoc. xx. 14, about his expected future Antichrist; “On doit attendre sous l’Antichrist les signes lus plus trompeurs qu’on sit jamais vues; avoc in malico la plus cachée, Phypocisiu la plus fine, et la peau du loup la mieux converte de cello des brebis.” - As regards Babylon with is pictured cupbearing in Apoc. xvii., the medals of Papal Rome, already alluded to, do themselves illustrate the propriety of such its application. [Editor: We are sorry that we could not reproduce the pictures of these medals for your inspection]

3. The unsatisfactoriness of the explanations by Protestant expositors, on this theory of the Beast’s heads and Beast’s image, is urged by Hengstenberg. In reply I must beg to say that I have nowhere seen, though the matter has been well sifted by hostile critics, any argument of the least strength against the explanations given by myself in the H. A. of these symbols: - the Beast’s 7th head being, according to it, the diademed quadripartite Dicletianic form of government, the 8th the Papal government, or Popes; and the Beast’s image the Papal General Councils.

[23] See the Preface; also ii. 67, &c.

[24] The chief and almost only really valuable part of Hengstenberg’s Commentary seems to me to be his elaborate argument for the Domitianic date of the Apocalypse.

[25] Very much as in Moore’s old Almanack; that at such a time there would be rain or stormy weather, more or less, two or three days before, or two or three days after.

[26] Another example of the loose and (as I judge) wrong principle of Apocalyptic interpretation which I noticed, in contrast with my own; Please see pp. 265, 266 suprà

[27] As Dr. F. resolves what is said in Apoc. xviii. of the destined destruction of the Apocalyptic Babylon, with all its accompanying terrors, into the simple fact of its conversion to Christ, so, it might be presumed, in regard of what is predicted concerning the Beast’s destruction. Very much as what is said in Dan. ii. about the stone cut out without hands smiting the great image on its feet is explained elsewhere by Dr. F. (pp. 292, 293,) as the gentile pressure of the gospel against it, begun in Christ’s time, and to have its full effect at the consummation!

[28] There is the same confusedness in Dr. F.’s views respecting the Apocalyptic New Jerusalem. At pp. 483-4, he speaks of the New Jerusalem, the Lamb’s bride, as St. John speaks it; i.e. as constituted of God’s elect alone, whose names are in the Book of Life. At p. 445, on the other hand, he speaks of the early Christian professing Church (including tares of course as well as wheat, false as well as true) as “the New Jerusalem in its commencement.” Again at p. 411 he speaks of the great apostasy converting the New Jerusalem into Babylon.” How does our Professor reconcile these statements?

[29] So in his adoption of the versions of Acts iii. 19-21 in our English authorized New Testament; not that which I have shown, and, as Dr. Fairbairn admits in common with most critical expositors, fairly, to be the current version.

[30] Dr. W. is quite decided as to the Papal reference of this prophecy.

[31] See p. 236 suprà.

[32] Though overprest with matter I must not close this Chapter without a notice however brief, of a late little publication “on the Millennium,” by “A Barrister;” feeling bound not to omit this alike from a sense of the very warm and kindly sentiments expressed by the writer respecting my Commentary generally, and also on account of the earnestness and thoughtfulness manifest in it.

Basing his views of the Apocalyptic Millennium all but entirely on the Apocalyptic description itself, he notices now there are throughout this prophetic Book references from time to time to things enacted in the heavenly spiritual world, as well as things on earth, distinct, though connected closely together. Thus, advancing towards the consummation, after the destruction of Babylon or Papal Rome on earth, Alleluias, he observes, are described as heard in heaven, a song in which the 24 elders and four living creatures are said to participate: then, next, after the further destruction on earth of the Beasts and False Prophet, thrones are spoken of as placed, (thrones being a word of heavenly reference,) - The Barrister forgets, in thus speaking, Apoc. xiii. 2, “the Dragon gave him his throne, &c.” -- This sitting said to take place upon them, not he thinks by the souls of the martyrs, but by the 24 elders previously referred to; and the souls of martyrs said to reign with Christ a thousand years. All this, he judges, in heaven; while on earth Satan is spoken of as bound, so as not any more to deceive the nations, during the same millennial period. In which latter statement our Author calls attention to the fact of the nations, (ta eqnh) meaning elsewhere in the Apocalypse distinctively the nations of the Roman earth; So e.g. Apoc. xii. 5, “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” And also infers from other SS. that Satan’s binding may simply mean the loss of his former power and influence over man’s evil propensities. Thus, on the whole, he concludes that the force of the Apocalyptic Millennial Prophecy is to this effect: - that within the limits of the old Roman earth the Papal and Mahometan apostasies well be succeeded by a Christianity pure, though still imperfect: (nothing being said to designate the religious state of other parts of the world:) while in heaven there will be the reigning and rejoicing at the earthly triumph of the Christian cause, on the grand arena of its long conflicts.

The fact of this reigning being in heaven sets aside the idea of any earthly visible reign of Christ and the saints, such as pre-millennianism supposes; nor indeed does the expression “they lived and reigned with Christ,” imply more than that they had the enjoyment of a higher spiritual life than their former earthly life, with the happy consciousness of Christ’s spiritual presence surrounding them. - Such is the Barrister’s millennial theory, drawn, as was said, exclusively from the Apocalypse.

There is sufficient similarity in all this to Mr. Brown’s theory in part, and in part to Bishop Waldegrave’s, to make much of what I have said in reply to them applicable to the Barrister. But one thing peculiar to his argument calls for particular notice. Turning to certain extra-Apocalyptic N. T. passages, referred to largely by me in my millennial argument, he thinks me wrong for giving them the weight I have; and fashioning my view of the Apocalyptic Millennium very much by them, instead of construing them by the fuller light of the later and fuller prophecy of the Apocalypse. Compare Bishop Waldegrave’s directly contrary statement about me -p.326  suprà. He is wrong on this point; the Barrister right. For he considers the knowledge possessed by the apostles to have been progressive. And, more especially, applying this principle of interpretation to St. Peter’s ever memorable prophecy about the Man of Sin in 2 Thess. ii., - which, as I have elsewhere stated, forced me perhaps more than any other scriptural passage, to the pre-millennial view of Christ’s second advent. - he admits fully and altogether the correctness of my explanation of the controverted points in the prophecy; and the justice, indeed necessity, of my inference from it (considered by itself) as to Christ’s second advent synchronizing with the destruction of the Man of Sin, and so being pre-millennial. But, like Professor Jowett, (though unconscious I imagine of the companionship,) he judges on the principle above-mentioned, that Paul, being not sufficiently advanced in knowledge on these points, was mistaken in the idea here expressed by him; the Apocalypse alone giving us full and true information on the subject. A theory this which I cannot but think as dangerous as unfounded. And so I still adhere to my view of the Thessalonian prophecy as, conjointly with the many other extra-Apocalyptic passages of Scripture argued from by me as to the same effect, determining Christ’s advent to be pre-millennial

Had I space and time I should feel it right to observe more fully on the doubt the Barrister seems to entertain of the possibility of a bodily resurrection. As it is let me only say that St. Paul’s most beautiful comparison of the grain of corn sown in the earth, which, though dying, yet springs up again in natural form, - the same, and yet not the same Let me beg to suggest on this subject a reference to the Introduction Chapter of Bishop Butlers’ Analogy. -This thought furnishes all the analogy necessary to solve his difficulties. Here too the Barrister is in skeptical companionship, such as I think he would little approve.