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The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4

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    V. President Junkin-University Expounder of Prophecy

    Many early American college presidents of different religious persuasions—of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Queen’s, or Rutgers—were prominent interpreters of prophecy. 34See Prophetic Faith, Vol. Ill, Part I. President Dwight of Yale was a noted expositor at the dawn of the nineteenth century. And now in the fourth decade we find other college presidents expounding prophecy, this time farther west and south. One was George Junkin, D.D. 35GEORGE JUNKIN (1790-1868) was graduated in 1813 from Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. He was soundly converted, pursued the study of theology, and was ordained in 1818. From then on to 1830 he served as pastor, teacher, and editor. He was president of Lafayette College, Easton. Pennsylvania, from 1832-1841; of Miami University. Oxford, Ohio, from 1841-1844; and of Washington College, Lexington, Virginia, from 1848-1861. Upon the secession of Virginia, however, Junkin left Washington College, and his home and property there, returning North. His life compassed an amazing amount of work. His preaching record alone surpassed that of most pastors. At the same time he built up colleges, participated in church court trials, held a professor’s chair and an editor’s desk, and was author of numerous works. How he found time for all his accomplishment, his associates could not understand. He was exceptionally well informed, a keen logician, and an effective debater. He published six volumes. Presbyterian divine of note, and president of three colleges-in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.PFF4 361.3

    The occasion for Junkin’s lectures on The Little Stone and the Great Image (1844) was the sharp resurgence of Roman Catholicism around 1834 and his belief that until “the purple veil is lifted by the prophetic hand,” its “hideous deformity “ cannot be understood and avoided. So he followed the “track of the beast,” and “traced the chain of dependent causes” back over the course of prophecy to ancient Babylon. He determined to lay the results before his students at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, which he did in 1836. Four years later he presented the same studies to the German Reformed Church of Easton. He gave them a third time, after 1841, in the form of thirty-five consecutive lectures, to the students of Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio. 36George Junkin, The Little Stone and the Great Image, pp. vi-viii.PFF4 361.4


    President Junkin believed the prophecies of Sacred Scripture constitute a system linked to the eternal throne. Here is his fundamental thesis:PFF4 362.1

    “We have in the Bible an extended system of prophecy, containing a history, written by the infallible Author of revelation, of the four great despotic monarchies—the Babylonish, or Assyrio-Chaldaic, the Medo-Persian, the Graeco-Macedonian, and the Roman. Parallel with this, and connected occasionally, there is another history—that of the Church of God. These prophetic histories are complete and consistent in themselves.” 37Ibid., p. 16.PFF4 362.2

    So he begins with lecture 2, on Daniel 2, with the history of the four great monarchies and of the fifth, and the church of God throughout the history of the four empires. To this he couples lectures on the four beasts of Daniel and on the Persian ram and the victorious Grecian goat of Daniel 8. Into these outlines are merged the 1260 year-days of religious apostasy with which he ends the 2300 years in A.D. 1866, when the church, or the sanctuary, is to be cleansed from papal and Mohammedan apostasy. 38Ibid., pp. 72, 73.PFF4 362.3


    Lecture 9 identifies the Little Horn of Daniel 7. “Our position is, that the little horn of the fourth beast is the Papal hierarchy, ... the ecclesiastical, political power, that stupendous, complex despotism, which has trodden under foot the nations for so many PREMILLENNIALISM RALLIES DEFENDERS 363 centuries.” And its 1260 days are years, just as the 70 weeks, unto Messiah’s cutting off, are 490 common years. The 1260 years were, he thought personally, from Phocas in 606 to 1866. But at the same time he was cognizant of the popularity, among various contemporary British writers, of the years 533 to 1793—from Justinian to the French Revolution. 39Ibid., lecture 9.PFF4 362.4


    Dr. Junkin sees the Mohammedan power in the little horn of the Grecian goat (Daniel 8), with the same period, 606-1866. 40Ibid., lecture 8. For the Christian Era before 606 he turns, in lecture 10, to the Apocalypse. He surveys the early church in its struggle with the dragon of imperial Rome, seated in the seven-hilled city. In lecture 12 he discusses the seven-sealed scroll opened by the hand that was nailed to the cross for our redemption. This scroll “runs down to the end of time, and the judgment day. “The seals are confined by Junkin to the early centuries, with the seventh divided into seven parts—the seven trumpets—and the seventh trumpet, including the seven vials, followed by the millennium. The first four trumpets include Alaric and the Goths, Attila and the Huns, and Genseric and the Vandals. 41Ibid., pp. 109, 142-147.PFF4 363.1

    The fifth trumpet unfolds the Saracenic conquests—the Mohammedan “locusts” with their “five months” of prophetic time, or 150 years of tormenting from 612 to 762. The sixth trumpet, or second woe, indicates the Ottoman Turks. Their hour-day-month-and-year period, or the 391 years and 15 days of Revelation 9:15, he extends from 1281 (the capture of Cutahi) to their last conquest (of Kameniec) in 1672. 42Ibid., lectures 17, 18.PFF4 363.2


    Junkin identifies the two witnesses as the ministers and people of the true church during the 1260 years of papal oppression. 43Ibid., lecture 20. The great red dragon is pagan and papal Rome; the woman clothed with the sun, the true church; and the child, her converts during the Reformation. The wilderness embraces the American colonies, providing refuge for the Huguenots from France, the Scottish refugees from Holland, the English Independents, and the Scottish and English Presbyterians.” 44Ibid., lecture 23. The first beast of Revelation 13 is tied in with the beasts of Daniel, rising from the “ocean of human population.” The ten-horned beast is the Roman civil power. The seven heads are its forms of government, and the ten horns the “civil kingdoms of the Western Roman Empire.” The two-horned beast is the Roman church with its twofold clergy, which followed the former. Lateinos provides the “666.” 45Ibid., lectures 24, 25.PFF4 363.3

    The three angelic messengers of Revelation 14 he identifies as (1) the Waldenses, (2) the Protestant Reformation declaring the fall of Babylon, (3) the bearers of future but imminent warnings against the divine right of kings, state religion, and the papal image of the secular beast. 46Ibid., lecture 26.PFF4 364.1


    The first four vials he connects with widespread infidelity, the French Revolution, and Napoleon; the fifth with the end of the “Roman” Empire in Europe, and the deadly wound of 1814. The sixth is the current drying up of the Turks to prepare for the restoration of Israel. The unclean spirits are believed to be the Franciscans, the Dominicans, and the Jesuits. The great judgment scene, depicted in Daniel 7:9-15, is matched with the events of Revelation 17. There the woman is clad in scarlet, the favorite color of papal Rome. She governs the animal that upbears her, and her name is Mystery. The proposition that this “mother of harlots” is the Roman Catholic Church is “so perfectly demonstrated” that the denial of it can be regarded in no other light but that of the “most abandoned effrontery.” 47Ibid., lectures 27-29,PFF4 364.2


    With the 1260-year period of the Papacy and Islam, Dr. Junkin ties in Daniel 11 and 12, and the increased knowledge to shine on prophecy in the latter times. Notice is also taken of the Literal School placement of “Israel’s depression” as advocated by Bickersteth 48On Bickersteth. see Prophetic Faith, Vol. III, pp. 647-652. the “seven times,” or 2520 years, calculated as from the captivity of Manasseh (677 B.C.) to 1843. The king of the North, Junkin says, is the papal Antichrist, in alliance with the nations of Europe, including Russia (Rosh, etc.). The king of the South is an Anglo-American Protestant confederation.’ 49Ibid., lecture 32.PFF4 364.3


    The weakest of all of Junkin’s exposition is his mystical treatment of the millennium. He contends that the second advent personal and literal, postmillennial, at the end of the world, to destroy the tares and cast them into the furnace. 50Ibid., lecture 33. The angel that binds the devil is the body of spiritual ministers, Jew and Gentile, whom God will raise up, who by world evangelism will seize Satan, as it were, bind him in chains, and thrust him into the abyss of his own restricted place for the thousand years. 51Ibid., p. 301.PFF4 365.1


    Harmonizing with this, the first resurrection is declared spiritual—“a revival of religion which brings back, as it were, the spirit of the long-since-beheaded martyrs.” It will be “like life from the dead.” The rest of the dead “revived not.” The ministry rescues the world from the domination of Satan. They are to bind the devil—“to chain the spirit, to curb the licentious passions, to bring the self-will of man under the power of law.” Satan is thus localized and prevented from roaming abroad.” 52Ibid., pp. 303-308. Such was Junkin’s concept of the millennium.PFF4 365.2

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