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The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4

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    IV. Scott (Baptist)—Crisis Approaching in 1843-1844

    DR. ROBERT SCOTT 53ROBERT SCOTT (1760-1834). born in Norfolk, England, of Anglican ancestry, received a liberal classical education at Oxford, specializing in Greek and Hebrew. From 1782-1798 he served as pastor, successively, at Norwich, Grimsby, and Gainsborough, then of Nottingham and Horncastle for at that time Methodist preachers were expected to move yearly. But as a result of his studies in Greek and Hebrew he became perturbed over the matter of baptism. This, and the death of Wesley, led Scott to leave England for America in 1794. In the New World Scott opened a school, whose various pupils later became men of distinction, one being Robert Colgate. Later Scott was offered the presidency of Colgate University, but declined for health reasons. Uniting with the Baptist Church, he began preaching the Baptist faith in his schoolhouse. In 1821, at the age of sixty, he was ordained and made pastor of the Rhineback, New York, Baptist Church. He neither asked for, nor received, any compensation for his preaching. Oddly, he wrote his own funeral sermon two years in advance. physician as well as minister, was a devoted friend of John Wesley. He was one of that band of earnest young men dubbed the Holy Club, and was one of a hundred clergymen who in 1784 signed “The Deed of Declaration,” which laid the foundation of the Wesleyan Church. Prophecy had long had a vital place in Scott’s thought and action. His expressed reasons for coming to America were threefold: (1) to be assured of religious liberty, (2) to be assured of civil liberty, and (3), what is particularly significant, to find an asylum from trouble. “I thought I saw from Scripture prophecy that the time was at hand when all those kingdoms which sprang from the Roman monarchy and had been subject to Papal Jurisdiction would undergo great calamities by the pouring of the Vials and that this country [the United States] would probably prove an Asylum during the troubles.” 54One Hundred Twenty-Fifth Anniversary (1821-1946) of the First Baptist Church, Rhinebeck, N.Y., p. 6. In 1810 he produced a Chronology, From the Creation of the World, to the Year ... 1810. In 1816 he issued An Antidote for Deism, or, Scripture Prophecy Fulfilled. And in 1834, the year of his death, he published his Free Thoughts on the Millennium. (His portrait appears on p. 227.)PFF4 317.2


    He divides prophecy into five categories regarding persons, cities, families, nations, and the kingdom of Christ. The infidels’ zeal to “free” men from the “shackles of superstition,” and the “restraints of revealed religion,” contending for “the all-sufficiency of reason” as a guide, open the floodgates to vice and immorality. The conflict is vital, and Scott holds that the “standing miracle” of Bible prediction, God’s peculiar prerogative, could only come from “a BEING of infinite knowledge.” 55Robert Scott, An Antidote for Deism, pp. 5-9. The detailed prophecies of Christ’s origin, His life and death, together with its exact timing, have all been meticulously fulfilled. Scott begins the 70 weeks at the third of four possible decrees the seventh year of Artaxerxes (citing Prideaux). And as the prophecies regarding Jerusalem were fulfilled in detail, so the predicted mountain kingdom of Christ in rebuilt Jerusalem is to fill the whole earth in the latter days. 56Ibid., pp. 9-18, 35-39. But that is not all.PFF4 317.3


    The four empires of Daniel 2 and 7 begin with Babylon, but chapters 8 and 11 begin with Persia. Expositors are confused over the persecuting power of the latter part of Daniel 11 whether it be Antiochus, the Turks (as in Mede), the Papacy, France (as Faber), or the Roman Empire. Scott at that time applied the prophecy to Antiochus, to whom he assigns the 2300 evenings and mornings as only 1,150 actual days. But following the Babylonian, Persian, and Grecian empires, the ten-horned fourth beast was the pagan Roman Empire and the ten horns its later division into kingdoms. The same is represented by the pagan dragon followed by the first beast of Revelation 13, and paralleled by that of Revelation 17. The 1260 prophetic “days” are clearly years, and the two witnesses are clustered in Piedmont and Britain. The woman in the wilderness is the true church, which has no fellowship with the “whore of Babylon.”PFF4 318.1

    Scott stresses the quest for soul liberty, asserting that toleration is not liberty. In the line of the four kingdoms, Western Rome ends in division into ten kingdoms, which was accomplished in part by Alaric and his Goths, Genseric and the Vandals, and Odoacer and others. The ten kingdoms are listed as the toes of the image and the ten horns of the beast. The three horns plucked up were the Heruli, Ostrogoths, and Lombards. 57Ibid., pp. 67, 72. 79-93, 40-42, 111-116.PFF4 318.2


    The Little Horn of Daniel 7 is the Papacy, beginning “as a temporality” in its 1260-year period dated from A.D. 606. And as the downfall of Western Rome was accomplished by the first four trumpets, so the Eastern was overturned by the fifth and sixth trumpets. Mohammedanism also started on its period of imposture in 606. The fifth trumpet is the Saracen conquests, with its “five months” or 150 years, extending from 606 to 756, and setting up of its kingdom in Spain. The onslaught of the Turks is intended by the sixth trumpet, beginning with their entrance into Nicomedia on July 27, 1299.PFF4 319.1

    So the 391 “prophetic years” (of Revelation 9:13-16) are from 1299 to 1690, when the siege of Vienna was raised. The seventh trumpet begins perhaps in the time of the American Revolution the first government to be established with complete separation of church and state, and liberty of conscience established by solemn compact. Thus, he says, the kingdoms of this world have started to become the kingdoms of our Lord. 58Ibid., pp. 116-122. In his 1834 work he dates the 150 and 391 years at A.D. 622 and 1299 1691. (See his Free Thoughts on the Millennium, pp. 14, 15.)PFF4 319.2


    Most of the seven vials are yet future; hence their course of fulfillment must still be conjectural. But we have entered “upon this part, of scripture prophecy.” The first vial begins with the French Revolution, the fifth will be darkness upon the “seat of the beast” either Rome, the seat of the papal two-horned beast, or “civil darkness” of the beast empire; and the sixth will pertain to the Turkish Empire. Armageddon will see the great destruction, under the outpouring of the seventh vial, and then comes the time of harvest. It is the time of the mountain phase of the stone kingdom, and the millennium. 59Robert Scott, An Antidote for Deism, pp. 123-130.PFF4 319.3


    The great falling away, or departure from the faith in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 1 Timothy 4:1-3, and 2 Timothy 3:1-5, as well as 2 Peter 2:12 eventuated in the Papacy. The dragon is pagan Rome, and the ten-horned and two-horned beasts are the Roman Empire and the Papacy. The mystery of iniquity is the “man of sin in the papal chair,” and was already working in apostolic times through pastors grasping for power.” 60Ibid., pp. 131-138. The Reformers refused obedience to the see of Rome. But, in making a union of church and state, some Protestant churches, like their mother, the “whore of Babylon,” who is drunk with the blood of saints, have also made an image to the Beast. 61Ibid., pp. 93, 94.PFF4 320.1


    Scott’s important Free Thoughts on the Millennium; or Grand Sabbatical Year of the World (1834), was written after fifty years of intensive study of the Word. Here he earnestly contends for literal exposition, and decries the frequent practice of “spiritualizing plain prophecies,” which device led the Jews to reject Jesus as Messiah (referring Isaiah 53 simply to the Jewish nation), and has led many Christians today to reject the literal second coming of Christ for a “spiritual resurrection and a spiritual millennium.” But will the world be thus converted to the Catholic or to the Protestant faith? How will all the sects become one? All the Christian sects will attempt to convert the Jews. As the fulfillment of any prophetic period “seems to draw near,” Scott declares, the minds of men become “anxiously inquisitive” concerning it. And so at this very time there is “a general expectation that the Millennial state,” is “near at hand.” 62Robert Scott, Free Thoughts on the Millennium, pp. 3-5.PFF4 320.2


    But during Christ’s long absence many have forsaken the founding principles of the church, and perverted its practices. There is great need of the Master’s return. And Scott observes:PFF4 320.3

    “As the first coming of Messiah was foretold in plain literal language, we may well conclude that his second coming, and the glory that shall follow, will be literally fulfilled also.” 63Ibid., p. 7.PFF4 321.1

    Then, after quoting various Old Testament Scriptures, he adds:PFF4 321.2

    “I think no man can doubt but that a second coming of Messiah is foretold in these scriptures. Add to this that in the New Testament, saints are directed to look for his appearing to wait for it, to love it, and to pray for it which all in effect foretell the same. His second coming being fully proved.” 64Ibid., p. 8.PFF4 321.3

    Scott contends that before the second coming of Christ the “great river Euphrates” (Mohammedanism Persia and Turkey) must be dried up, the Jews from the West and “scattered Israel from the East” will return to Canaan, divide the land, build a temple, and worship the God of Israel (not Christ). Armageddon will impend as the “great army comes up from the North Country.” Then suddenly Christ will appear, seen by every eye, and in one rotation of the earth will raise the dead saints, change the living saints, and catch them up to Him in the air. Then He will descend with ten thousand of His saints to stand upon the Mount of Olives. And the effect of Jesus’ personal, visible coming will be to convert the children of Israel; He will destroy the attacking armies, sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem, and rule the twelve tribes through the twelve apostles. Thus will be brought about the millennial blessedness foretold. 65Ibid., pp. 8-11.PFF4 321.4

    8. 70 “WEEKS” TO A.D. 33; 2300 YEARS TO 1843-1844

    Scott now comes to the crucial question, “When shall these things be?” And he answers succinctly: After the falling away and the rise of the ten-horned and the two-horned beasts, and the binding of the dragon. Then he turns to the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years of Daniel 9, from the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This he begins with the seventh year of Artaxerxes, “A.M. 3547” (which would be 458/7 B.C. according to Ussher’s A.M. dating); thence 490 years lead to the death of Christ in A.M. 4037, or “the year 33, according to the computation.” Then comes the next remarkable conclusion:PFF4 321.5

    “If the 2300 days may be reckoned from the same period, A.M. 3547 [458 1/7 B.C.], they will end A.M. 5847, answering to A.D. 1843 or 1844, when the Jews from the West may begin to return, carried home by the ships of Tarshish.” 66Ibid., p. 14. Scott adds that if reckoned from the 20th of Artaxerxes they would end in A.D. 1859 [sic].PFF4 322.1

    9. 666 YEARS FROM 1177 LEAD TO 1843

    Turning next to the time prophecies of the ten-horned and the two-horned beasts, and the number of the beast, Scott figures the “666” (of Revelation 13:8) as years, from 1177, when Pope Alexander III brought Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to submission and made him the pope’s vassal. Scott adds: “If to this period we add the number 666, which is said to be the number of the beast, we arrive at the year 1843.” 67Ibid., pp. 15, 16.PFF4 322.2


    Then, at the end of the 1335 year-days, foretold near the close of Daniel’s book of prophecy, Daniel was assured he would “stand in his lot,” at “the time of the first resurrection.” Those days are to be “reckoned from the taking away of the daily sacrifice.” Could that be from the time the Mohammedans built a mosque where the Temple of Solomon had stood? If to the conjectured date A.D. 660 we add the 1260 and 1290, we arrive at 1920 and 1950; and if to the same year we add the 1335, we come to 1995, or A.M. 6999 (he obviously means 5999), after which, evidently, the traditional 6000 years will end and the seventh thousand years will begin the grand Sabbatical year. 68Ibid., pp. 17, 18. By carefully serving the guiding stars of prophecy, he adds, one sees more than beauty; the skilled astronomer and navigator can calculate the approximate time of the night, and know when day is at hand. The lesson is obvious.PFF4 322.3


    Scott then adds a few points: The dragon of paganism, which as pagan Rome gave his persecuting authority over to the ten-horned and two-horned beasts, is to be bound before the millennium in those countries where the gospel may not now be published.PFF4 323.1

    “The binding of the Pagan Dragon may imply such a change in those countries; as that a door may be opened for the admission of the Gospel. If this shall take place at the end of the time, times and half, then will this binding of Satan (the adversary) take place 75 years before the Millennium; and end the same period of time before the great white Throne is erected. In which period the Devil being loosed out of prison goeth forth to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth.” 69Ibid., p. 20. (Seventy-five years is the difference between the 1260 and 1335 years.) The three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon (paganism or skepticism), the beast (the Papacy), and the false prophet (Mohammedanism) are their missionaries sent out to gather them together for the battle of the great day.PFF4 323.2

    Such was the mature conviction of this highly trained Baptist minister and successful educator. The cumulative volume of voice after voice, speaking in similar vein in various denominations, states, and countries, could not be without significance or effect.PFF4 323.3

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