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The post-millennial advent: when the church may expect the second coming of Christ online

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By Rev. Alexander Kardie.

How shall not rather the ministration of the
spirit be with glofy?" — 2 Cor. iii, 8.




Copyright, 1894, by A. Hardie.

Copyright, 1900, by Eaton & Mains.

Eaton & Mains Press,
[50 Fifth Avenue, New York.


This book is written because :

1. There is a great deal of harmful
pre-millennial literature.

2. Some persons are quite disturbed
in mind about the Second Advent.

3. It is hoped that aid may be given
to some who are perplexed, and who
have not access to the great authors on
this subject.

University, Los Angeles, Cal. 1900.


Apocalypse means disclosure or


Chiliast. a believer in the

personal reign of
Christ on earth for
1,000 years.

Esckatological. . . .from Eschatology,
' • the doctrine of
the last or final
things, as death,
judgment, and the
events therewith

ffermeneutics ... .the science of inter-
pretation, exegesis.

Millennium a happy period of

1,000 years.

Pre-millenarian. . a person who believes
that Christ will
come before the

Post-niillenarian . a person who believes
that Christ will not
come till after the

Parousia presence or coming

of Christ.


The Church has always held
the doctrine of the Second Ad-
vent. But occasionally, and only
occasionally to any considerable
extent, has the question of the
time of the coming agitated the
minds of Christians.

At Thessalonica after the re-
ception of Paul's first epistle
there was a pre-millennial ex-
citement, which was caused by
hasty interpretations of certain
passages. On this account and
more fully to instruct the erring,
the apostle said in his second let-
ter, " Now we beseech you, breth-
ren, touching the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and our gath-
ering together unto him ; to the
end that ye be not quickly shaken
from your mind, nor yet be

Post-Millennial Advent

troubled, either by spirit, or by
word, or by letter as from us, as
that the day of the Lord is now
present ; let no man beguile you
in any wise." — 2 Thess. ii, 1-3.

Again, in the midnight of the
Dark Ages, in the year 999, when
the lamp of knowledge was well-
nigh extinguished, many people
imagined that the Saviour was
then coming. Indeed, so greatly
were some disturbed in mind
that in the churches and in the
shadow of the churches multi-
tudes slept during the last nights
of the tenth century. But this
planet and the heavenly bodies
went on in their usual courses,
and the excitement died away.

Even in the present day there
have been premature expecta-
tions concerning this great event.
In 1843 unwise speculations on
this subject disturbed some com-
munities in New England.

Post-Millennial Advent

But the doctrines of Pre-mil-
lenarianism are conspicuous by
their absence from the great
Creeds of Christendom.

In the Apostles' Creed, which
had its origin in the days of
primitive Christianity, are these
statements : " From thence he
shall come to judge the quick
and the dead ; " "I believe in
the resurrection of the body."

The Nicene Creed, which was
formulated in 325 A. D., de-
clares : " And he shall come
again with glory to judge the
quick and the dead ; " "I look
for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to

The Athanasian Creed, which
is placed in the fifth century,
contains the following : " From
whence he shall come to judge
the quick and the dead. At
whose coming all men shall rise

Post-Millennial Advent

again with their bodies ; and
shall give account for their own
works. And they that have done
good shall go into life everlast-
ing, and they that have done
evil into everlasting fire."

It is highly significant that
these three great Catholic Creeds
contain no pre-millennial claus-
es, while, on the other hand, they
do most unmistakably favor the
post-millennial view. Dr. Wil-
liam B. Pope affirms that Mil-
lenarianism was " by no means
at any time the faith of the
Church, as is proved by its ab-
sence from all the early Creeds."
He further states that " the doc-
trine of a pre-millennial coming
of Christ was excluded from
every form of early Creeds, the
keynote of all these being, from


DEAD." From these facts it is fair

Post-Millennial Advent

to conclude that whatever unwar-
ranted speculations on the pa-
rousia may have occurred, they
never disturbed the theological
thinkings of primitive Christian-

Furthermore, in addition to
these Creeds, the Christian world
possesses six pre-eminently val-
uable documents — documents
that really give a consensus of
the faith of the Church Uni-

The Prayer Book of Episco-
palianism is a venerable embod-
iment of holy teaching. Its
Thirty-nine Articles give doubt-
less a good summary of the
Christian faith of the sixteenth
century, and its fourth article,
on the Resurrection of Christ,
affirms : '* Christ did truly rise
again, and took again his body,
. . . wherewith he ascended into
heaven, and there sitteth until

Post-Millennial Advent

he return to judge all men at the
last day."

There is another very vener-
able document, the Westminster
Confession of Faith of Presby-
terianism. In reference to
Christ, the Mediator, in chapter
eight, article four, it declares:
" On the third day he rose from
the dead with the same body in
which he suffered ; with which
he also ascended into heaven,
and there he sitteth at the right
hand of the Father, making in-
tercession ; and shall return to
judge men and angels at the end
of the world."

The Augsburg Confession was
drawn up under the supervision
of Luther and Melanchthon.
The original document was read
before Charles V. in 1530. This
Confession is the chief standard
of faith in the Lutheran Church,
and largely represents the Prot-

Post-Millennial Advent

estantism of Europe. In its
eighteenth article—" Of Christ's
Return to Judgment " — are these
words : " Our Churches also
teach that at the end of the
world Christ will appear for
judgment ; that he will raise all
the dead ; that he will bestow
upon the pious and elect eter-
nal life and endless joys, but will
condemn wicked men and devils
to be punished without end."

Likewise the Heidelberg Cat-
echism is a largely representative
theological statement. " It was
compiled at the request of the
Elector Frederick III.," was pub-
lished in 1563, was " recognized "
as an authoritative by the Synod
of Dort in 1610, and has been
translated into all the languages
of Europe. It is the standard
of all the Dutch and German
Reformed Churches of America.
In this compilation of doctrine

Post-Millennial Advent

we find these words in answer to
question forty-six : " That Christ
was taken up in sight of his dis- 1
ciples into heaven, and in our
behalf thus continues, until he
shall come again to judge the
living and the dead."

The Larger Catechism of the
Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern
Church, which is the Greek
Church, teaches the same doc-
trine concerning the parousia.
This Catechism was approved by
the Holy Synod and received the
sanction of the Czar of Russia
in 1859. (Schaffs Creeds of
Christendom, vol. ii, pp. 445,
542. See especially pp. 479-481.
Questions 226-234.)

The Discipline of Methodism,
though not a venerable, is a
highly venerated, influential doc-
ument. It gives both polity and
theology to one of the most
spiritual and intelligent post-

Post-Millennial Advent

reformation, ecclesiastical organ-
izations. Its evangelistic work
and its Scriptural teachings are
held in honor by the piety and
learning of Christendom, and its
third article, '' Of the Resurrec-
tion of Christ," declares : " Christ
did truly rise again from the
dead and took again his body
. . . . wherewith he ascended
into heaven, and there sitteth
until he return to judge all men
at the last day."
^ Surely it may be asserted that
the three Creeds of the primitive
Church and the great Confes-
sions of Protestantism, so far as
their doctrinal statements have
any bearing on the question,
most decidedly favor Post-mil-
lenarianism. Dr. William B.
Pope says that " Mediaeval Chil-
iasm was generally the badge of
fanatica.1 and heretical sects,"
and that " there have been no
2 13

Post-Millennial Advent

sects based solely upon opinions
on this subject." (Pope's The-
ology, vol. iii, p. 396.) In ref-
erence to this subject the una-
nimity is quite remarkable, and
is a rebuke to those writers who
maintain that Christians have
generally given the Bible a pre-
millennial interpretation. The
truth is that these condensed
formulas, which give a consen-
sus of Christian faith from prim-
itive times to the present day,
are decidedly post-millennial.
Well-nigh the whole of the hi.s-
torical argument favors the con-
clusion that Christ will not come
till after the millennium.

Yet the question under con-
sideration is not satisfactorily
settled. While the testimony of
Fathers, Confessors, and Re-
formers on any point of doctrine
may be instructive, still our final

appeal must always be made to

Post-Millennial Advent

the Holy Scriptures. This being
the case, let us turn to the Word
of God and pray that the spirit
of interpretation may be given as
we inquire of the Lord concern-
ing the //w

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Online LibraryAlexander HardieThe post-millennial advent: when the church may expect the second coming of Christ → online text (page 1 of 3)