The Premillennialism of the Disruption Worthies

Status
Not open for further replies.

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I am currently reading Andrew Bonar's Memoirs and Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne wherein Bonar is at pains to emphasise the premillennialism of both M'Cheyne and his evangelical contemporaries, most of whom joined the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843. (M'Cheyne died shortly before the Disruption but probably would have joined it had he lived a bit longer.) While premillennialism was not a unanimously held opinion among the Disruption Worthies, it does seem to have been fairly popular. I have only occasionally read material from the writers of that era dealing with the subject. Was their premillennialism similar to that of Thomas Goodwin et al., who believed that Christ would physically reign on the earth for a thousand years but did not believe in a rebuilt temple or in the institution of the animal sacrifices? Or did the premillennial Disruption Worthies believe that prophecy indicated that there would be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and that the sacrifices would be observed?
 
Last edited:

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
I am currently reading Andrew Bonar's Memoirs and Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne wherein Bonar is at pains to emphasise the premillennialism of both M'Cheyne and his evangelical contemporaries, most of whom joined the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843. (M'Cheyne died shortly before the Disruption but probably would have joined it had he lived a bit longer.) While premillennialism was not a unanimously held opinion among the Disruption Worthies, it does seem to have been fairly popular. I have only occasionally read material from the writers of that era dealing with the subject. Was their premillennialism similar to that of Thomas Goodwin et al., who believed that Christ would physically reign on the earth for a thousand years but did not believe in a rebuilt temple or in the institution of the animal sacrifices? Or did the premillennial Disruption Worthies believe that prophecy indicated that there would be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and that the sacrifices would be observed?

Following.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I am currently reading Andrew Bonar's Memoirs and Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne wherein Bonar is at pains to emphasise the premillennialism of both M'Cheyne and his evangelical contemporaries, most of whom joined the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843. (M'Cheyne died shortly before the Disruption but probably would have joined it had he lived a bit longer.) While premillennialism was not a unanimously held opinion among the Disruption Worthies, it does seem to have been fairly popular. I have only occasionally read material from the writers of that era dealing with the subject. Was their premillennialism similar to that of Thomas Goodwin et al., who believed that Christ would physically reign on the earth for a thousand years but did not believe in a rebuilt temple or in the institution of the animal sacrifices? Or did the premillennial Disruption Worthies believe that prophecy indicated that there would be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and that the sacrifices would be observed?

The most systematic or thorough presentation of eschatology from that school that I know of is Horatius Bonar’s “Prophetical Landmarks.” He also edited a Quarterly Journal of Biblical Prophecy for about 25 years. (I think that’s the name.) I haven’t gotten around to reading much of his writing even though I have a CD-ROM that basically includes all of his works. Andrew Bonar also wrote a book on premil, but the name escapes me. That (along with Prophetical Landmarks) should be available on Google Books and/or Archive.

I’m not sure what they thought on those questions. That they were Zionists, there is no doubt. (So were some postmils.) But there are even some dispensationalists who reject the idea of literal sacrifices. I think they probably maintained the view of pope as antichrist, and so were more historicist.

I’m not sure if there is anything that unique about their views compared with English contemporaries like Ryle and Spurgeon, along with maybe Bickersteth and others. In his “Coming Events and Present Duties”, (More recently republished as “Are You Ready for the End of Time?”) Ryle says at the outset that he’s not going to get sidetracked by rapture theories, etc.

I’d have to check again to make sure, but I think that somewhere in the JFB commentary, AR Fausset says there will be a rebuilt temple. I want to say that Fausset was an Anglican. As you may know, David Brown was a postmil.

To some extent, the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony is the heir of this form of premil, although they are probably associated more with BW Newton, a futurist, than with anything else. (At any rate, a big part of what they have done is to keep Newton in print.) I once read something from one of their teachers asserting that there would be another temple, although it would be against the revealed will of God.

One aspect of “historic” or covenant premil is that, unlike classic dispensationalism, they generally don’t think that coming events are laid out for us in explicit detail, like a five act play or something. I guess that’s both good and bad. It’s bad if you don’t seem to have an answer for some parts of Ezekiel and the Dispensationalists do. I think someone like Ryle would say that we need to keep the main thing the main thing and that the fact that Israel is to be restored is a lot more clear than some of the other questions.

In a nutshell, as you may have deduced, these covenant premils were quite a bit more literalist than modern “historic” premils, but not as much as dispensationalists.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top