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The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4

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    VI. Other Foreign Works Drawn Upon


    CHARLES BUCK (1771-1815), theological writer and minister of Independent congregations at Sheerness, Hackney, and London, was author of the well-known, oft-reprinted A Theological Dictionary, used by practically all Protestants in the first half of the nineteenth century. There were six London editions, the first being published at London in 1802. American reprints were spread as follows: 1807, 1810, 1814, 1815, 1818, 1820, 1821, and almost yearly until after 1850. They were found in practically every clergyman’s study.PFF4 126.2

    Buck’s Dictionary touches prophecy in some of its definitions. The Church of Rome is Antichrist, as “most authors agree,” for no form of government arose “after Rome was broken to pieces by the barbarians, but that of the papal power.” He equates it with “the great apostacy, the man of sin, the mystery of iniquity, and the son of perdition,” and the Beast, whose 1260 years began, he believes, in 606. Antichrist is now fast declining. The sixth trumpet, Mohammedanism, is ended by Buck about 1844—the terminus of the 391 years (Revelation 9:15), presumably from the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The millennium, perhaps the seventh thousand years, is near, to be marked by the worldwide triumph of the church and the conversion of the Jews 31Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary, articles on Antichrist, Millennium, Mahometanism.PFF4 126.3


    A French work, CHARLES ROLLIN 32CHARLES ROLLIN (1661-1741), eminent French historian and professor of belles-lettres, was born in Paris and held chairs of rhetoric and eloquence in different colleges, and was twice rector of the University of Paris. He revived the study of Greek and made educational reforms. ‘SM Histoire Ancienne, or Ancient History (1730-38), is included here because it was translated immediately into English. It passed through many editions in England, and in America after 1800—almost yearly for the greater part of the century. Rollin’s history does not go into prophetic interpretation as such, but in speaking of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar he refers to the standard four monarchies, beginning with the “Assyrian” (Neo-Babylonian), which series is followed by the kingdom of Christ, also to Alexander’s conquest and the horn-divisions of his empire, with Antiochus, as the exceeding great horn, a type of Antichrist. 33Charles Rollin, Ancient History (1825 American reprint), vol. 1, pp. 288, 292, 352-354; vol. 4, pp. 143, 144. He is widely cited by prophetic interpreters for his dating of the 70 weeks, taken from Ussher—from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, which he places at 454 B.C.—and extending approximately to the cross. Rollin, however, quotes the prophetic text and refers the reader to “other writers” for the interpretation 34Ibid., vol. 2, p. 109.PFF4 127.1


    HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX’S 35HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX (1648-1724), Orientalist, historian, and dean of Norwich, was born in Cornwall. He graduated from Oxford in 1672, with a B.A., followed by an M.A., a B.D., and a D.D. He was distinguished for his scholarship, and was for many years rector of St. Clement’s, Oxford, as well as Hebrew lecturer in Christ Church College, Oxford. He was an able controversialist over the Roman Catholic issue, and was author of nine works. The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews and Neighboring Nations (1716-18) ran through some twenty editions up to 1845. There were American reprints in 1815-16, 1824, 1825, 1832, 1833, 1836, 1845 (the fifteenth American edition), et cetera. Prideaux is cited chiefly for the historical events and for his lengthy discussion of the 70 weeks, which he dates from the seventh year of Artaxerxes, placed from 458 B.C. (J.P. 4245) to A.D. 33 (J.P. 4746), with the cross at the close 36See Prophetic Faith, Vol. II, pp. 429-431.PFF4 127.2


    THOMAS HARTWELL HORNE’s 37THOMAS HAHTWELL HORNE (1780-1862), English Biblical scholar, bibliographer, and polemicist, was born in London. About 1802 he joined the Wesleyan Methodists. He became literary assistant to several noted scholars, meanwhile devoting his early mornings and late evenings to compiling works on various subjects and to editing law books. He was small of stature but stalwart in intellect, and was author of forty-five volumes. He began to write in 1800, at the age of nineteen, and received his M.A. from King’s College, Aberdeen, and later a B.D. from Cambridge in 1829. He was ordained to the curacy of Christ’s Church, Newgate, and after several similar posts, was made prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was also one of the librarians of the British Museum. Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures (first published in 1818), after “17 years’ prayerful, solitary, persistent, and not infrequently midnight labour,” went through ten editions in Britain and was reprinted in America in 1827. Home gives the old standard interpretations of Daniel—the four kingdoms, the kingdom of the Messiah, the various lists of the ten horn—kingdoms following Rome; and the pope as the Little Horn of Daniel 7, the Willful King, and the Man of Sin. He diverges on the Little Horn of Daniel 8 as Roman temporal power, taking away the Jewish Temple and polity. By implication, though not by actual statement, he makes the 2300 year-days cover the long desolation of the Jewish Temple after the Roman destruction of the sanctuary. He reckons the 70 weeks from the seventh year of Artaxerxes (the precise date not given) to the cross, in A.D. 33. He looks for the restoration of the Jews and the destruction of Antichrist (the Papacy) at the beginning of the millennium. He has little on the interpretation of Revelation. Papal Rome is the beast and Antichrist, but the book in general applies “to the progressive church of Christ,” and the “kingdom” is spiritual, the triumph of true religion 38Thomas Hartwell Home, Introduction to ... the Holy Scriptures, vol. 4, pp. 188-192, 486, 492.PFF4 128.1


    The prophetic interpretations of GEORGE STANLEY FABER 39GEORGE STANLEY FABER (1773-1854), “controversialist,” and prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral, was born in Yorkshire and thoroughly educated at Oxford, with B.A., M.A., and B.D. degrees. He served at Long Newton for 21 years, and was an uncompromising advocate of his own convictions and conclusions. He was author of forty-two works. Among these werehis Dissertation on the Prophecies ...Relative to the Great Period of 1260 Years (1806), which ran through five editions in Britain (the first American edition was a Boston reprint of 1808); his General and Connected View of the Prophecies (1808); and The Sacred Calendar of Prophecy (1828). His productions evince great learning and research. (On the quasi scientific theory of the days of creation, see Shimeall in the present volume.) sv(discussed in Prophetic Faith, Vol. III) were widely quoted by American expositors, frequently in reprints, as authority for the termination of the 2300 years, synchronous with the 1260 years, in 1866, and other interpretations, as well as for post-millennialism and for a curious extension of the 6000-year theory.PFF4 129.1


    Another British reprint that exerted the full force of an original American publication because of constant citation, was The Apocalypse of St. John (Philadelphia, 1827), by GEORGE CROLY(1780-1860), Irish rector, expositor, and literary critic. A fleeting glimpse of Croly’s key positions must suffice 40Full sketch appeared in Prophetic Faith, Vol. Ill, pp. 544-548. One basic feature is that this cogent writer reckons the 1260 years, which arerepeated some seven times in prophecy, as from Justinian in 533 to the French Revolution in 1793, rather than beginning them later with the decree of Phocas in 606, which directive he said was merely a confirmation of the original grant of Justinian. And the slaying of the Two Witnesses, interpreted as the Old and New Testaments, came at their close for three and one-half year-days, or from November, 1793, to June, 1797. Others were encouraged to make a similar application.PFF4 129.2

    France was clearly the “tenth part” of Europe’s “city,” and the political “earthquake” was obviously the French Revolution. Moreover, Croly made the seals, trumpets, and vials contemporaneous rather than consecutive—thus contrary to Mede. The seals, for example, cover the entire Christian Era. By the pure and impure “women” are indicated the true church and false or papal church. The beasts denominate the Papacy and the Dominican, or persecuting, order. The ten horns are, naturally, the kingdoms of Europe, and the angels’ messages are steps by which the triumph of the church is accomplished. The thousand years are future. That is Croly in a nutshell. And these were some of the principal tools, the British handbooks, available to the American students of prophecy.PFF4 129.3


    The printing of more than fifty American editions surely justifies the inclusion of the impressive poem, The Course of Time (published in Edinburgh in 1827), by the Scottish poet ROBERT POLLOK 41ROBERT POLLOK (1798-1827) was born in Renfrewshire, was graduated from the University of Glasgow (M.A.) in 1822, and studied for the ministry- He began preaching as a minister of the United Secession Church, but his health was fatally impaired by excessive study. In 1825 he began writing The Course of Time, comprising ten books of blank verse, a considerable portion of which was composed in bed, and issued just six months before his death.’ Pollok had only preached four sermons, in 1827, when his health broke. He planned to recuperate in Italy, but died shortly after arranging his itinerary. although it does not deal with time prophecy. This extraordinary didactic poem, dotted with beautiful and powerful passages, came-“like a comet on the literary circles of Edinburgh and London. In less than one week after it appeared, it became the absorbing topic of conversation. The harp of Scotland had suddenly been struck by the Master hand to notes of holy minstrelsy 42James Scott, The Life, Letters and Remains of Robert Pollok, A.M., p. 283. Reprinted in America in 1828. It appeared here in fifteen editions by 1833, and thereafter several publishers brought out simultaneous editions. In Britain the 78th thousand was printed by 1869. There was a German edition as well.PFF4 130.1

    In this, the great Calvinistic poem of the church of Christ and redemption, the poet uses striking metaphors, such as “bright candle of the Lord” and “star of eternity,” to exalt the Bible 43Robert Pollok, The Course of Time, bk. 2 in Thomson and Pollok, p. 187.PFF4 130.2

    this holy book, on every line arked with the seal of high divinity 44Ibid., pp. 189, 190.PFF4 130.3

    The bard then turns to the great churchly perversion, that fatal union of church and state, “To bind religion, free by birth, ... behind the wheels of state 45. bid., p. 194.PFF4 130.4

    He speaks of the “unfaithful priest,” who wished—PFF4 131.1

    “To mount to place, and power of worldly sort;
    To ape the gaudy pomp and equipage
    Of earthly state, and on his mitred brow
    To place a royal crown, ... and for this
    Made merchandise of the immortal souls
    Committed to his care.”
    PFF4 131.2

    Thus it was that religion was “wounded sore at her own altars 46. Ibid., pp. 195, 196.PFF4 131.3

    In book 4 Pollok tells of the “captive prophet” who saw—PFF4 131.4

    “A dreadful beast, and terrible, and strong
    Exceedingly, with mighty iron teeth;
    And, lo, it brake in pieces, and devoured,
    And stamped the residue beneath its feet!” 47Ibid., bk. 4, p. 242.
    PFF4 131.5

    Then in book 5 he contrasts the “kingly and ... priestly tyranny,” clearly the Papacy, with the true church. He describes the rulers who had been—PFF4 131.6

    “Cruel, rapacious, tyrannous, and vile,
    And had with equal shoulder propped the Beast 48Ibid., bk. 5, p. 289.
    PFF4 131.7

    The true church was in the wilderness “debased in sackcloth and forlorn in tears,” while—PFF4 131.8

    “As yet had sung the scarlet-colored Whore,
    Who on the breast of civil power reposed
    Her harlot head, (the Church a harlot then
    When first she wedded civil power,) and drank
    The blood of martyred saints,—whose priests were lords,
    Whose coffers held the gold of every land,
    Who held a cup of all pollutions full,
    Who with a double horn the people pushed,
    And raised her forehead, full of blasphemy,
    Above the holy God, usurping oft
    Jehovah’s incommunicable names.” 49Ibid., p. 290.
    PFF4 131.9

    Yet retribution’s day is near. The prophetic picture is unrolled:PFF4 132.1

    “Wise men had read the number of the name:
    The prophet—years had rolled; the time,
    and times, And half a time, were now fulfilled complete;
    The seven fierce vials of the wrath of God,
    Poured by seven angels strong, were shed abroad
    Upon the earth and emptied to the dregs;
    The prophecy for confirmation stood;
    And all was ready for the sword of God.
    PFF4 132.2

    Earth shook, the kingdoms shook,
    The Beast, the lying Seer, dominions, fell;
    Thrones, tyrants fell, confounded in the dust,
    PFF4 132.3

    “And, lo! another angel stood in heaven,
    Crying aloud with mighty voice, ‘Fallen, fallen,
    Is Babylon the Great,’ to rise no more.
    PFF4 132.4

    “Kings, who drank her cup of whoredoms,
    Captains, and admirals, and mighty men,
    Who lived deliciously; and merchants, rich
    With merchandise of gold, and wine, and oil;
    And those who traded in the souls of men,
    Known by their gaudy robes of priestly pomp;
    All these afar off stood, crying, Alas! 50Ibid., pp. 290-293.
    PFF4 132.5

    Then, with Satan bound for the prophesied millennial period, the glories of righteous peace and restoration follow, and the poet adds, “And Earth kept Jubilee a thousand years 51Ibid., pp. 293-297.PFF4 132.6

    Of its approach he forecasts:PFF4 132.7

    The day is near,
    Great day of God Almighty and the Lamb!
    The harvest of the earth is fully ripe;
    Vengeance begins to tread the great wine-press 52Ibid., bk. 6, p. 301.
    PFF4 132.8

    Even thus is prophecy vindicated.PFF4 133.1

    “These prophecies had tarried long, so long
    That many wagged the head, and, taunting, asked,
    ‘When shall they come?’ but asked no more, nor mocked:
    For the reproach of prophecy was wiped
    Away, and every word of God found true 53Ibid., bk. 9, p. 403.
    PFF4 133.2

    Thus Pollok wrote his powerful exposition in verse in a day when prophecy was a dominant note, when its symbols were employed by many and recognized by all.PFF4 133.3

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