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trace it back to the days of the Apostles, nay, to the very lips of the Apostles."


The chronological calculus of the early church, leading them to expect the termination of the 6000 years in their day or later, the reader will perceive is incorrect. Says Gibbon, "The primitive church of Antioch, computed almost 6000 years from the creation of the world to the birth of Christ." Their calculations were founded on the Septuagint, i. e., the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament, which was universally received during the first six centuries, on which Dr. Burnet says: "The reason why so many of the Fathers were mistaken in supposing the end at hand was because they reckoned the 6000 years according to the chronology of the Septuagint; which, setting back the beginning of the world many ages beyond the Hebrew, the six thousand years were nearly expired in the times of those Fathers; and this made them conclude the world was very near an end."* Prof. George Bush thus observes of the primitive Christians :— "Owing to a radical error in their chronological calculus, they conceived themselves as actually having arrived at the eve of the world's seventh Millennary, or in other words, as having their lot cast on the Saturday of the great anti-typical week of the creation." Dr. Elliott also affirms the same, and exhibiting a vast discrepancy of hundreds of years between the chronology of the Hebrew and Septuagint text, there being then extant different copies of the latter, he instances, Clement of Alexandria, as terminating from then the 6000 years about A. D. 374; (others earlier), Eustathius, Lactantius, Hillarion, Jerome, and perhaps Hippolytus, in A. D. 500; Sulpitius Severus, in A. D. 581; Augustine, in A. D. 650; and Cyprian, about A. D. 243; this being, he says, te earliest application of the world's supposed nearness to its † On the Mill., p. 23

*Theory of the Earth, vol. ii.



seventh Millennary in proof of the nearness of the consummation, save the Sibylline Oracles, Book seventh which fix on A. D. 196. As proof of the incorrectness of the chronology of the Septuagint, he observes that it makes Methuselah to have lived till fourteen years after the flood!*

And now taking our leave of the early church, after noticing more at length the decline of the primitive doctrine of the Millennium, and the introduction of a new Millennial theory we plunge into the ages of darkness.

Hor. Apoc., vol. ii. pp 206-7, &c.



"In the latter times some shall depart from the farth." 1 Tim. 4: 1. "Others were tortured not, accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection."-Heb. 11: 35.

PRE-MILLENNIALISM, we hold, is Apostolic; but in


reviewing the testimony of the early church on the question of Chiliasm, it is of course admitted that they mixed errors with the doctrine. We remember that "the mystery of iniquity" worked in Paul's day, and we have read his solemn prediction in his farewell charge given to the church at EpheAn English writer has well observed, "I do not appeal to the writings of the early Christians as authority; so far from it, I regard their writings as the history of truth. perverted; so that while on the one hand I should be surprised to find any truth taught by the apostles, unnoticed in the Fathers, I should be almost equally surprised to find it taught Scripturally and unincumbered by human additions, so early did the apostacy begin to work." Above antiquity, tradition or human opinion, in the words of Burnet, “we should always require a higher witness, viz: the Bible." This is the first. But we highly esteem the faith of that church whose characteristics, says Milner, were "to believe, to love, and to suffer." "Whatever is first," says Tertul lian, "is true, whatever is later is adulterate," and Mr. Faber has truly said: "If a doctrine totally unknown to

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the primitive church, which received her theology immedi ately from the hands of the apostles, and which continued long to receive it from the hands of the disciples of the apostles, springs up in a subsequent age, let that age be the fifth century, or let it be the tenth century, or let it be the sixteenth century, such doctrine stands on its very front, im pressed with the brand of mere human invention.”* Such, we argue, is Post-millennialism, and such also Anti-millennialism, of which we are now to speak, after first giving the character of the times.

Having now arrived in our history of Millennarianism at the commencement of the fifth century, when the great apostacy had begun, and this Apocalyptic truth was deemed a heresy and accounted unpopular, we here purpose giving, through the combined testimony of many voices, a brief but fuller account of its decline. Paganism was fallen, but the Papacy was hastening to its birth, and even in its embryo was hung all over with idolatry. From Gibbon, Neander and Mosheim, we learn that in the fourth century monks, monasteries, convents, penance, church councils, with church control of conscience, excommunication, the perfume of flowers, the smoke of incense, wax tapers in the churches at noon day, prostrate crowds at the altar drunk with fanaticism or wine, imprinting devout kisses on the walls and supplicating the concealed blood, bones, or ashes of the saints, idolatrous frequenting martyrs' tombs, pictures and images of tutelar saints, veneration of bones and relics, gorgeous robes, tiaras, croises, pomp, splendor and mysticism, were seen everywhere, and were the order of the day; and says Mosheim "The new species of philosophy imprudently adopted by Origen and many other Christians, was extremely prejudicial to the cause of the gospel, and to the beautiful simplicity of its celestial doctrines," and Gibbon writes that

* Primitive Doctrine of Election, p. 158

"If in the beginning of the fifth century Tertullian or Lactantius had been suddenly raised from the dead to assist at the festival of some popular saint or martyr, they would have gazed with astonishment and indignation at the profane spectacle which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship of a Christian congregation." Martyr worship was very common, and Eunapius the Pagan, A. D. 396, exclaimed, "These are the gods that the earth now-a-days brings forth, these the intercessors with the gods-men called martyrs: before whose bones and skulls, pickled and salted, the monks kneel and lay prostrate, covered with filth and dust." The mystery of iniquity worked like leaven, and to use the words of Coleridge, "The Pastors of the Church had gradually changed the life and light of the gospel into the very superstitions they were commissioned to disperse; and thus pa ganized Christianity in order to christen Paganism." Dr. Cumming remarks that "The great multitude consisted of embryo papists, and what we call Pusyism in the nineteenth century, was the predominating religion of the fourth." Milner says that "while there was much outward religion the true doctrines of justification were scarcely seen." All of this Dr. Duffield does not hesitate to affirm was the genuine offspring of the allegorical system and Platonic philosophy of Origen, who made the church on earth the mystic kingdom of heaven. "Vigilantius," says Elliott, "remained true, and was the Protestant of his times," but Jerome, remarks Dr. Cumming, "became utterly corrupted," and Augustine, as Elliott has shown, scarcely escaped the universal contagion. Eusebius said "the church of the fourth century looked like the very image of the kingdom of Christ," but it was not the Millennium, as he dreamed, says Cumming, but the mystery of iniquity, ripening and maturing. It rapidly approached its predicted maturity, and Antichrist loomed into view. Such was the character of the times, and need we wonder that the true Millennium was laid aside, and

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