Good morning all! I was going to do the Part 2 of the 19th century introductions for today, but when I moved from John Darby into explaining about the views of the Millennium and Dispensationism I realized that I couldn’t do a half-way job of it, and it was going to be long enough for a post of it’s own. So, I’ve moved everything I wrote about John Darby to a new Part 2 post that will come out shortly, and I’m giving this current topic it’s own, long post.
The two main systems that Darby formalized were Premillennialism and Dispensationalism. Unfortunately, those who disagree with these systems have spent years claiming that Darby made them up, as well as the so-called “secret rapture”.
First, a few words about the Rapture. Those opposed to a Pre-tribulation Rapture claim that Darby got the idea from a 15 year old Scottish girl who had “visions”. I’ve read part of one of her visions…it pretty much follows the Bible. Others have reported variances from the Bible in her visions, making it sound rather like it came from demons…I can’t comment on that as I don’t want to waste time reading all of her visions. As to Darby, there is no direct evidence that he had any contact with Margaret MacDonald, and, he was talking about the Rapture in 1827, when he says he realized the distinction between Israel and the church; while MacDonald revealed her “visions” in 1830.
Here’s quote from an 1861 account of Margaret MacDonald’s visions:
Good morning! Today we’ll start on the 19th century books. I have far too many to use all of them (though I will be looking at all of them when we’re doing the verse by verse) so we’ll just try to look at some representative books. Depending on how much you are into reading commentaries, you might recognize some of the authors.
We’ll start with John C. Woodhouse’s book THE APOCALYPSE, OR, REVELATION OF SAINT JOHN, TRANSLATED; WITH NOTES, published in 1805. This is from the Introduction:
“The Prophecies of the Apocalypse, though illustrated by commentators of all ages, have not been so successfully explained, as to afford general satisfaction. From the interpretations most commonly received, many of the learned have withheld their assent; and doubts have been expressed, whether we are yet in possession of the fortunate clues to be derived from human sagacity or Divine inspiration; or of the necessary aids of learning; or of the events in history; which, at some future period, may be destined to ascertain the completion of these predictions.
“Under such circumstances, opportunity is fairly afforded for attempts to explain this mystical book by new methods of inquiry. And, while the rash precipitancy of the enthusiastic and unqualified interpreter is to be discouraged, indulgence will justly be thought due to those, who with pious caution, with laborious investigations, and literary research, endeavor to explore its sacred recesses. To illustrate it in all its parts, to prove the completion of all its predictions, to exhibit it as that perfect evidence of the divine origin of our religion, for which it is perhaps intended, ‘in the latter days’, can only be the work of time, and must employ the labors of succeeding generations.“