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found in its support; prominent among whom is the eloquent Lactantius. Jerome, if he did not reject or directly oppose the doctrine, spoke of it in such an ironical manner as was well calculated to bring it into disrepute, whilst Augustine did much to banish it from the church, by placing it in the catalogue of heresies. From the time of Augustine, for more than a thousand years, it had little countenance or support from the church. Its currency was not of long duration, and its spurious character was soon detected and branded by the advocates of a pure faith. Dr. Shedd with truth remarks, that "the period between the year 150 and 250 is the blooming age of Millenarianism; and yet even in this period it does not become the catholic faith, as embodied in the catholic creed" (History of Doctrines, Vol. ii. 392). But its bloom soon passed into utter decay; for if we regard the statement of Baronius as a little highly colored, yet its general truth cannot be questioned, when in the annals of A.D. 411 he says "the figments of the Millenaries being now rejected everywhere, and derided by the learned with hisses and laughter, and also being put under the ban, were entirely extirpated."

As it is not the design of this Article to give the history of this doctrine, but to bring it into comparison with the creeds of the church, we may pass on more than a thousand years and resume our task with the creeds of modern times. During these thousand years no changes were made in this article of faith. The second great period in the history of creeds begins with the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Protestants found it necessary to give to the world a declaration of their faith; and as the hosts of Protestantism became divided, each new party defined by a creed or confession its doctrinal position. The Romish church also set forth new definitions and explanations of her faith, to meet the supposed exigencies of her case. Compared with the creeds of the earlier period, those of this later age are distinguished for their length, minuteness of detail, and introduction of minor differences of opinion. Each denomination or sect deemed it important to give the utmost prominence to its own dis

tinctive peculiarity, and thus the ranks of Protestantism were divided, and have been kept divided, by differences upon points that were tolerated in the early church without the least division or discord.

But we have only at this time to do with the most prominent of these confessious as bearing upon our subject; and we begin with the mother symbol of Protestantism.

The Augsburg Confession, A.D. 1530.

The Seventeenth Article treats of "Christ's return to Judgmen," De Christi Reditu ad Judicium. Referring to this Article, Hagenbach, in his History of Doctrine, observes: "The fanatical notions of the Anabaptists concerning the restitution of all things, and Millenarianism, were rejected by the Protestants" (Vol. ii. 370). Melanchthon, in the Apology, says: "Our adversaries receive, without exception, the Seventeenth Article, in which we confess that Christ will come at the end of the world, to raise up all the dead," etc. How decidedly their Romish adversaries were opposed to everything in the shape of Millenarianism is well known to all in any degree conversant with the history and doctrines of that church. So that the Augsburg Confession was understood on all sides as in complete harmony with the old received catholic faith on this subject.

The Article itself reads as follows: Item docent, quod Christus apparebit in consummatione mundi ad judicandum, et mortuos omnes resuscitabit, piis et electis dabit vitam aeternam et perpetua gaudia, impios autem homines ac diabolos condemnabit, ut sine fine crucientur.

Damnant Anabaptistas, qui sentiunt hominibus damnatis ac diabolis finem poenarum futurum esse.

Damnant et alios, qui nunc spargunt judaicas opiniones, quod ante resurrectionem mortuorum pii regnum mundi occupaturi sint, ubique oppressis impiis.1

1 It may serve to illustrate the views of Melanchthon, the writer of this Confession, to quote a brief extract from his Loci Communes (Pars ii. De regno Christi): "Atque hoc Judaicum delirium saepe in ecclesiam irrepsit: fuerunt VOL. XXIV. No. 96.


"It is taught that Christ will appear at the end of the world (German, 'am yungsten Tage, at the last day') to sit in judgment, and that he will raise all the dead, and will give to the righteous and elect eternal life and endless joys; but wicked men and devils he will condemn, and they shall be tormented without end.

"The Anabaptists are condemned, who hold that there will be an end to the punishment of condemned men and devils.

"Others are also condemned, who are now scattering Jewish notions, that prior to the resurrection the righteous will possess a temporal kingdom (German, 'ein weltlich Reich '), and all the wicked will be exterminated."

Upon the import of this Article it is unnecessary to offer a lengthy criticism. Besides not one word to favor the Millenarian theory, and in express terms condemning such views, as "Jewish notions," it distinctly places the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world, and the object of his coming to be to exercise his office as Judge of the quick and the dead. Holding most firmly, as the Reformers did, to the ancient creeds, they could teach no other doctrine, and could not but condemn any views so directly in conflict with this doctrine as Millenarianism manifestly is. And such is the view of all who adhere to the Augsburg Confession in good faith, and where Millenarian views have prevailed in the Lutheran church, they have been tolerated only as not being fundamental errors. They have no place in, and can find no shelter under, this oldest and most celebrated Protestant confession.

The Tetrapolitan Confession, A.D. 1530.

This confession presented at the same Diet of Augsburg, on the part of those who could not subscribe the Augsburg Confession, is an additional witness to the faith as then held. It has, as it professes to "differ in nothing from the Fathers and the common consent of Christians (nihil a patribus, nihil enim et olim fanatici spiritus Chiliastae et Pepusiani, qui tale regnum anabaptisticum somniarunt."

a communi Christianorum consensu variamus)," the declaration in harmony with the settled faith, concerning Christ's coming: Ad dextram patris evectus est unde eum expectamus judicem vivorum et mortuorum, "Whence we expect him as Judge of the quick and the dead." — Cap. ii. (Niemeyer's Collectio Confessionium, p. 746).


The First Confession of Basle, A.D. 1534.

Art. iv. Disput. x. Inde venturum esse ad judicandum vivos it mortuos, "Whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead" (Niemeyer, p. 92).


The First Helvetic or Second Basle Confession, A.D. 1536.

Art. xi. Hunc (Christum) venturum ad saeculorum omnium finem, verum, rectumque judicum, ac sententiam, in omnium carnem, ad id judicium prius suscitatam, laturum expectamus, "We expect him to come at the end of the world (German, am end der welt), the true and righteous Judge, and to pass sentence upon all flesh, being raised up first for this judgment" (Niemeyer, p. 117).

The Second Helvetic Confession, A.D. 1564.

Art. xi. Redibit autem Christus, adserturus suos, et aboliturus adventu suo Antichristum, judicaturusque vivos et mortuos. Resurgent enim mortui et qui illa die (quae omnibus incognita est creaturis) superstites futuro sunt, mutabuntur in momento oculi, etc. Damnamus praeterea Judaica somnia quod ante judicii diem aureum in terris sit futurum seculum, et pii regna mundi occupaturi oppressis suis hostibus impiis, "But Christ will return to receive his own, to destroy by his coming Antichrist, and to judge the quick and the dead. For the dead will rise, and those who on that day (which is unknown to all creatures) shall be alive, will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. ... Moreover, we condemn Jewish dreams, that before the day of judgment there will be a golden age in the earth,

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and that the righteous will possess the kingdom of the world, and their wicked enemies be destroyed" (Niemeyer, p. 486).

These two Helvetic confessions are quite decisive in their statements, and entirely agree with other Protestant confestions, as well as with the ancient symbols on this subject: 1. They place Christ's coming at the end of the world (ad saeculorum omnium finem," am end der welt "); not at the beginning of the millenium, or a thousand years before the last great conflict between Christ and Satan. 2. He comes to raise up the dead and pass judgment upon all men. men. This is distinctly stated to be the object of his coming. He comes, not to establish a kingdom on the earth, but to receive his own to himself (in sedes beatas sine fine). 3. These “Jewish dreams" of a temporal kingdom are severely condemned.

The Heidelberg Catechism, A.D. 1562.

Quaest. xlvi. Quomodo intelliges illud: Ascendit ad coelos? Quod aspicientibus discipulis, Christus de terra in coelum sublatus est, atque etiamnum nostra causa ibidem est, et erit, donec redeat ad judicandum vivos et mortuos, "That Christ, in the sight of his disciples, was taken up from the earth into heaven; and that he continues there for our interest, until he come again to judge the quick and the dead" (Niemeyer, p. 440).

According to this Christ remains in heaven, acting in behalf of his people, until he comes to the judgment of the last day. There is no personal coming prior to that grand and solemn occasion.

The Belgic Confession, A.D. 1562.

Art. xxxvii. Postremo credimus ex Dei verbo, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, quando tempus a Deo praestitutum, quod omnibus creaturis est ignotum, advenerit, et numerus Electorum completus fuerit, e coelo rursus venturum, idque corporaliter et visibiliter, sicuti olim illuc asscendit, cum gloria et majestate, ut se declaret judicem vivorum et mortuorum. .... Omnes enim antea mortui e terra tunc

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