(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation
Oswald T. Allis
John A. Broadus
Wilhelm De Wette
Charles Homer Giblin
Johann von Hug
J, F, and Brown
Jean Le Clerc
Jack P. Lewis
Sir Isaac Newton
Dr. John Owen
William W. Patton
Rudolph E. Stier
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation
John L. Bray
Dr. John Brown
Francis X. Gumerlock
J. Marcellus Kik
Ovid Need, Jr
Milton S. Terry
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st
C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any
Alan Patrick Boyd
John N. Darby
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
John N.D. Kelly
Dr. John Smith
George Fox |
Margaret Fell (Fox) |
PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM |
MODERN PRETERISM |
"Described by Henry Crabb Robinson
as a political fanatic with 'the pale complexion and mild features of a
saint, a most gentle creature in domestic life and a very amiable man; but
when he took part in political or religious controversy, his pen was
dipped in gall.'"
(On Matthew 10:15)
"In a day of vengeance, punishment, or trial. This is undoubtedly the
genuine sense of the phrase, which has not the least reference to the day of
general judgment. All that our Saviour intends to say is, that, when the
temporal calamities of that place come upon it, they will be more severe
than even those of Sodom and Gomorrah. See this phrase employed in precisely
the same meaning by the LXX, in Prov. vi. 34, where, instead of kriseos,
Aquila and Iheodotion have ekdikeseos; Isa. xxxiv. 8, and my Commentary on
this place. Our Saviour, I apprehend, had Jerusalem principally in view in
this declaration." (Note in loc.)
(On Matthew 12:31)
'Age; aioni; i. e., the Jewish dispensation, which was then in being, or the
Christian, which was going to be established. But an attentive reader of the
Scriptures will perceive, that, under this sort of phraseology, a comparison
is intended to be made, as if he had said — though the Christian religion is
a dispensation of mercy, this sin shall no more be forgiven by the laws of
the gospel, than it is by the law of Moses, under which the punishment was
death. Lev. xxiv. 16." (Note in loc.)
CH. XXIV. And Jesus went out of the
temple, and was going 2 away; when his disciples came up to shew him the
buildings 3 of the temple. Then Jesus said unto them: Do ye gaze on all
these things? Verily, I say unto you, there is not here a stone upon a
stone, that will not be loosened and thrown down. 3 Now, as he was
sitting on the mount of Olives, the disciples came up to him privately,
and said : Tell us, when these things will be ; and what will be the
sign of thy coming and 4 of the end of the age ? And Jesus answered and
said unto 5 them : Take heed that no one deceive you : for many will
come in my name, saying, I am the Christ : and will deceive 6 many. But
ye will hear of wars and rumours of wars : see that ye trouble not
yourselves ; for these things must come to 7 pass : but the end is not
yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
; and there will be fam- 8 ines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in
divers places. Yet 9 all these things are but a beginning of sorrows.
Then too ye will be delivered up to affliction, and be killed : and ye
will 10 be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then will many
fall off; and deliver up one another, and hate one anoth- 11 er. And
many false prophets will arise, and deceive many ; 12 and, because
iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many of 13 my disciples will
become cold. But he, who endureth to the 14 end, will be safe. And these
glad tidings of the kingdom of God, will be proclaimed in all the world,
for a testimony to 15 all nations : and then will the end come. When,
therefore, ye see on the holy ground that destructive abomination,
spoken of by Daniel the prophet (let him, who readeth, understand) 16
then let them in Judea flee into the mountains : let not him, 17 that is
upon the roof, go down to take away any thing out of 18 his house: and
let not him, that is at his farm, turn back to19 take away his clothes
with him. But alas for them that are 20 with child, and them that give
suck in those days ! And pray that your flight be not in rainy weather,
nor in a sabbatical 21 year: for then will be great affliction, such as
was not since the beginning of the world to that very time : nor ever
will be. 22 And, unless those days were shortened, no flesh could be
preserved ; but, for the sake of the chosen, those days will be
shortened. 23 Then, if any one say unto you, Lo! here is the Christ, or
24 there ! believe him not : for false Christs will rise up, and false
prophets ; and will propose great signs and wonders, so 25 as to draw
after them, if they can, even the chosen. Behold ! 26 I have forewarned
you. Therefore, if they say unto you, Behold ! he is in the wilderness ;
go not forth : Behold : he 27 is in a retired chamber; believe them not.
For, as the lightning issueth from the east and shineth to the west, so
sudden 28 also will this coming of the son of man bo. For, wheresoever
the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 Now,
immediately after this tribulation of those days, the sun will be
darkened, and the moon will not give her light : the stars will fall
from heaven, and the firmament of the 30 heavens will be shaken. And
then will the sign of the son of man appear in heaven ; and then will
all the tribes of the land lament, and see the son of man coming on the
clouds of 31 heaven with power and great glory. And he will send forth
his messengers with a loud-sounding trumpet, and they will gather
together his chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the
other. 32 Learn the comparison of the fig-tree. When its tender branch
is already come, and the leaves spring forth, 33 ye know that the summer
is nigh : so likewise know, when ye see all these things, that he is
nigh, even at the door. 34 Verily, I say unto you, this very
generation will not pass 35 away, till all these things be done. The
heaven and the earth will sooner pass away, than these words of mine
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
Matthew 5:"5. They shall inherit the earth : or, as Campbell and
Wakefield, the land : i. e. the land of Judea. This phrase is
supposed by Hammond and Whitby to allude to the language of the fifth
commandment in the decalogue ; the general sense being the same, of temporal
blessings. It implies a calm, placid enjoyment of life, to promote which,
meekness greatly tends, and which anger obstructs." (Annotations, p. 10)
Matthew 10:"32. Either in this age or that which is to come :
Wakefield's Tr. He adds, " though the Christian be a dispensation of
mercy, this sin shall no more be forgiven by the law of the gospel, than it
is by the law of Moses, under which the punishment was death. (Levit.
xxiv. 16)." By others, these phrases are considered as an expressive
mode of affirming that it can never be forgiven ; as Kuinoel and Whitby."
Gilbert Wakefield (1756 - 1801), scholar and controversialist, born at
Nottingham, educated at Cambridge, took orders, but becoming a Unitarian
renounced them and acted as classical tutor in various Unitarian academies.
He was a strong defender of the French Revolution, and was imprisoned for
two years for writing a seditious pamphlet. He published editions of various
classical writers, and among his theological writings are Early Christian
Writers on the Person of Christ (1784), An Examination of Paine's Age of
Reason (1794), and Silva Critica (1789-95), illustrations of the Scriptures.
"GILBERT WAKEFIELD, a commentator and critic of some celebrity, born at
Nottingham, 22nd February, 1756, was the son of the Reverend George
Wakefield, Rector of the parish of St. Nicolas.
He was observed in his earliest infancy to be of a
serious turn of mind, and he made a rapid progress in the first elements of
literature. At the age of seven, he was sent to a free school at Nottingham,
and remained there two years, chiefly under the tuition of Mr. Beardmore,
afterwards master of the Charterhouse : he was then sent to a school kept by
the Reverend S. Pickthall, at Wilford, an institution which seems to have
been only distinguished by the regular imprisonment of the boys for no less
than eleven hours a day. After this, when his father obtained the vicarage
of Kingston in Surrey, with the chapelry of Richmond, he was placed under
the care of his curate, who kept a school at Richmond; he was, however,
removed in 1769 to a better conducted establishment in the same
neighbourhood, kept by the Reverend R. Wooddeson, of whom he speaks in his
Memoirs with high approbation.
At sixteen he went to Jesus College, Cambridge, where his
classical studies still continued to be the principal object of his
attention, although he was so fortunate as to obtain the rank of second
wrangler at the termination of his academical studies in 1776. He has,
indeed, the candour to observe, that the year was below mediocrity, with
regard to the performances of the candidates in general; and that, when he
obtained the second classical medal, on the Duke of Newcastle's foundation,
he had only one competitor ; still, it must not be denied, that to be both
second wrangler and second medallist, in any year, implies no ordinary
portion of application, as well as some con- siderable talent. Mr. Wakefield
was however distinguished throughout his life, by a singular mixture of
opposite habits ; and, in the midst of his studies, he confesses, that " he
sometimes felt himself almost incapable of reading a single page for months
together," and in summer especially, he could only wander about the fields
in a state of perfect inactivity. On the other hand, he says, that " for
five years, he rose, almost without exception, by five o'clock, winter and
summer, but never breakfasted, drank tea, or supt (supped)," or of course
dined, " alone, half a dozen times during all that space, enjoying society,
from the first, beyond measure."
He became a Fellow of Jesus College in 1776, and he
gained, in two successive years, the second Bachelor's prizes given by the
Chancellor: in 1778 he was ordained by the Bishop of Peterborough, though he
did not subscribe the Articles without great reluctance. He obtained a
curacy first at Stockport in Cheshire, and then at Liverpool. The year after
he married Miss Watson, a niece of the Rector of Stockport, and thus vacated
his fellowship: his domestic life appears to have been happy and harmonious,
though the only merit of his wife, that he has left upon record, is the
singular hereditary qualification, that her great grandfather and great
grandmother had lived together as man and wife for seventy- five years.
Soon after his marriage, he became classical tutor in the
dissenting Academy at Warrington, though he did not professedly unite with
any specific community of dissenters as adopting all their opinions; but he
soon began openly to attack those of the established church in a multitude
of controversial writings, and especially in the notes accompanying his new
translations of some parts of the Scriptures ; a work for which he had
diligently laboured to prepare himself by the study of various dialects of
the Oriental languages.
After the dissolution of the Academy of Warrington, he
lived at Bramcote in Nottinghamshire, at Richmond, and at Nottingham ;
partly occupied in the instruction of a few pupils, and partly in pursuing
his own studies and illustrations of antiquity. In 1786, and for two or
three years after, he suffered greatly from an acute pain in his shoulder,
which interfered materially with the prosecution of his theological
In the year 1790, he accepted the classical professorship
at Hackney; here his lectures and instructions were generally approved and
admired, but he carried his dissent from the articles of faith of any
established society of Christians so much further than any of his
colleagues, that he was thought too independent to continue in his
situation, and he consequently left the institution in 1791; and for a
similar reason he failed of obtaining the charge of two private pupils whom
he expected to have been placed with him.
He continued to reside at Hackney, employing himself
partly as an author and editor, and partly in the education of his own
children. Among his original productions were several polemical and
political pamphlets, relating to the war with France, and to the various
controversies of the day; of these, the most remarkable for its consequences
to himself was his Reply to the Bishop of Llandaff's Address, which
occasioned a prosecution to be brought by the Attorney General against his
publisher first, and then against himself; and he was sentenced to be
confined for two years in Dorchester jail; a punishment which was probably
intended to be somewhat severe, but which was
most fortunate in its operation on his subsequent comfort, since it was the
cause of his obtaining, by the exertions of his friends and his partisans at
large, a subscription of about 5,000/. ; a sum which not only alleviated the
rigour of his imprisonment, but also enabled him to leave his family in a
state of comparative affluence.
He was principally occupied during his confinement in
continuing his literary labours for the press, and in preparing a series of
classical lectures, beginning with the illustration of the second book of
Virgil's Eneid, the first course of which he delivered in London immediately
after his liberation in May, 1801. The effect of unusual exertions of body
and mind, after so long a cessation of exercise, and in hot summer weather,
appears to have predisposed his constitution to a typhous fever, of which he
died, after a fortnight's illness, the 9th of Septem- her, 1801, leaving a
widow and six children, four sons and two daughters. His brother, the Rev.
Thomas Wakefield of Richmond, also survived him, and died in 1806. The
catalogue of his literary offspring is so multitudinous, that it partly
tells its own story by its length, and admits of very few particular
1. Poemata : quibus accedunt quondam i?i Horalium Obser-
vationes. 4. Cambr. 1776.
2. A Plain and Short Account of the Nature of Baptism. 12. Warr. 1781.
3. An Essay on Inspiration. 8. Warr. 1781.
4. A new Translation of tlie First Epistle to the Thessalonians. 8. Warr.
5. A new Translation of the Gospel of St. Matthew. 4. Warr. 1782.
6. Directions for the Student in Theology. 12. Lond.1784.
7. A Sermon preached at Richmond on the Peace. 8. Lond. 1784.
8. An Inquiry concerning the Person of Jesus Christ. 8. Lond. 1784.
9. On the Origin of Alphabetical Characters. Manch. Mem. I. 1785. Life, II.
Attempting to cut the knot of
their invention by referring it to inspiration.
10. Several Letters signed Nepiodidascalos, in the Theological Repository.
11. The Poems of Mr. Gray, with Notes. 8. Lond. 1786.
12. Virgilii Georgica. 8. Cambr. 1788.
13. Remarks on Dr. Horsley's Ordination Sermon.
12. Lond. 1788.
14. Four Marks of Antichrist. 8. Lond. 1788.
15. A new Translation of Parts of the New Testament wrongly translated. 8.
16. An Address to the Inhabitants of Nottingham. 8. Lond. 1789.
17. Remarks on tJte Internal Evidence of the Christian Religion. 8. Lond.
18. Silva Critica. I. 8. Cambr. 1789. II. 1790. . III. 1792. IV. Lond. 1793.
V. 1795. Intended for the Illustration
of the Scriptures from the Greek and Roman writers. The last two parts were
printed at the expense of the Rev. R. Tyrrwhitt.
19. An Address to the Bishop of St. David's. 8. Birm. 1790. On the Liturgy.
20. Cursory Reflections. 8. Birm. 1790. On the Corporation and Test Acts.
21. An Inquiry into the Expediency and Propriety of Public or Social
Worship. 8. Lond. 1791. Ed. 3. 1792.
22. Memoirs of his Life. 8. Lond. 1792. 2. Ed. 2 v. 8. 1804. Continued by
Mr. Rutt and Mr. Wainewright.
23. A Translation of the New Testament. 3 v. 8. Lond. 1792. 2d ed. 2 v. 8.
24. Strictures on Dr. Priestley's Letter concerning Public Worship. 8. Lond.
25. Reply to the Arguments against the Inquiry. 8. Lond. 1792.
26. Evidences of Christianity. 8. Lond. 1793.
27. The Spirit of Christianity compared with the Spirit of the Times. 8.
Lond. 1794. 2 editions.
28. An Examination of the Age of Reason. 8. Lond. 1794. 2 editions.
29. Remarks on the General Orders of the Duke of York. 8. Lond. 1794.
30. Horatii qua: supersunt. 12. Lond. 1794.
31. Tragosdiarum Grcecarum delectus. '2 v. 8. Lond. 1794. The Eumenides,
Trachinia;, Philoctetes, Hercules, Alcestes, and Ion.
32. Pope's Works, with Remarks and Illustrations. Vol. I. 8. Warr. 1794.
33. A Reply to Paine s Second Part of the Age of Reason. 8. Lond. 1795.
34. Poetical Translations. 12. Lond. 1795. Especially from Horace and
35. Bionis et Moschi qua; supersunt. 12. Lond. 1795.
36. Virgilii Opera. 12. Lond. 1796.
37. Observations on Pope. 8. Lond. 1796. 38. A Reply to the Letter of Edmund
Burke, Esq. 8. Lond. 1796. Twice reprinted.
39. Homer's Iliad by Pope, with Notes. 11 v. 8. Lond. 1796.
40. Lucretius de Rerum Natura. 3 v. 4. and 8. Lond. 1796, 1797. A splendid
book, with some collations of manuscripts, and some notes of Bentley. But
the collations are said to be inaccurate, and the commentary more prolix
than judicious See Porson in Br. Critic, 1801, XVII. p. 452, and Elmsley in
the Classical Journal. He received, however, many grateful and panegyrical
acknowledgments from his German corre spondents. The edition is dedicated to
Mr. Fox, with whom he commenced an acquaintance on the occasion.
41. In Euripidis Hecubam Diatribe. Lond. 1794. On Person's Hecuba.
42. A Letter to Jacob Bryant, Esq., on the War of Troy. 4. Lond. 1797.
43. A Letter to William Wilberforce, Esq. 8. Lond. 1797. Reprinted.
44. A Reply to some parts of tlie Bishop of Llandajfs Address to the People
of Great Britain. 8. Lond. 1798. Twice reprinted.
45. A Letter to Sir John Scott, his Majesty's Attorney General, on the
subject of a late Trial. 8. Lond. 1798.
46. Defence delivered in the Court of King's Bench. 47. Address to the
Judges in April. 48. Address to the Judges in May. Printed but not
49. The First Satire of Juvenal Imitated. 12. 1800. Life, Vol. H.
50. Correspondence with the late Right Hon. C. J. Fox. 8. Lond. 1813.
Chiefly on subjects of Classical Literature.
But few of the characters that
have ever employed the pen of a biographer, have exhibited more remarkable
contrasts, either in a moral or in a literary point of view, than that of
Gilbert Wakefield: and he has accordingly been depicted, by critics and
historians of various sentiments, in colours the most opposite and the most
discordant. " Of his particular modes of thinking on religious and political
subjects," says Mr. Lind- say, " different men will form different opinions:
concerning the integrity of his heart, and the consistency of his character,
there can be but one opinion amongst those who enjoyed the happiness of his
acquaintance." It would, indeed, be difficult to find out a more splendid
example of high honour and self denial, and of magnificent liberality, even
under actual pecuniary embarrassment, than Mr. Wakefield displayed, at a
time when he had to support himself, with a wife and six or seven children,
on about 150/. a year, in voluntarily paying the expenses of Mr. Cuthell on
his prosecution for publishing the Reply to the Bishop of LlandafFs Address,
which exceeded the whole yearly amount of his income. " His
devotedness to study," says his friend Dr. Aikin, " was by no means attended
witli a reserved or unsocial disposition; for no one could delight more in
free conversation, or bear his part in it with a more truly social spirit:
and if, in controversial and critical writings, he was apt to indulge in the
contemptuous and severe expressions which he found too much sanctioned by
polemical use, in disputation by word of mouth he was singularly calm and
gentle, patient in hearing, and placid in replying. To conclude the topic of
(his) moral character, it was marked by an openness, a simplicity, a good
faith, an affectionate ardour, a noble elevation of soul, which made way to
the hearts of all who nearly approached him, and rendered him the object of
their warmest attachment." But " he wanted time or patience," says Dr. Parr
very justly, " for that discrimination which would have made his conjectures
fewer indeed, but more probable, and his principles more exact: (yet) I
shall ever think of him as one of the best scholars produced by my own
country in my own age." The compliments of Heyne, and of his pupil Jacobs,
are still more elaborate : but it is well known that when Porson was one day
asked for a toast, with a sentiment from Shakespeare, he gave " Gilbert
Wakefield, Whafs Hecuba to him, en- he to Hecuba ?" and there was quite as
much of truth as there was of neatness in the application. A reviewer of his
Life in the British Critic, by no means favourably disposed towards him,
readily admits, that " he was strictly and enthusiastically honest, and
seems to have acquired even a passion for priva- tions: these feelings,
added to his pride of independent thinking, led him, we doubt not," he says,
" to abstain from wine; to have relinquished in part, and to be tending
entirely to give up, the use of animal food, with various other instances of
peculiarity. Knowing his own assiduity, and giving himself ample credit for
sagacity, he thought that he was equal to the decision of every possible
question : and thus he became bigoted to almost every paradox which had once
possessed his very eccentric understanding. He was as violent against Greek
accents as he was against the Trinity, and anathematized the final N as
strongly as Episcopacy. Whatever coincided not with his ideas of rectitude,
justice, elegance, or whatever else it might be, was to give way at once,
and to be rescinded at his pleasure, on pain of the most violent
reprehension to all opponents; whether it were an article of faith, a
principle of policy, a doctrine of morality, or a reading in an ancient
author, away it must go, vultures. the and dogs. These
exterminating sentences were also given with such precipitancy, as not to
allow even a minute for consideration. To the paper, to the press, to the
(public), all was given at once, frequently to the incurring of the most
palpable absurdity. Thus the simple elegance of O beats Sexti, in Horace,
was proposed, in an edition of that author, to be changed to 0 bea Te Sexti,
though the alteration, besides being most bald and taste-- less, produced a
blunder in quantity so gross, that no boy, even in the middle part of a
public school, would have been thought pardonable in committing it. By
faults (either) original or habitual, his sincerity became offensive, his
honesty haughty and uncharitable, his intrepidity factious, his acuteness
delusive, and his memory, assisted by much diligence, a vast weapon which
his judgment was totally unable to wield." It is not impossible that Mr.
Wakefield might have been more successful in his studies, if he could have
found sufficient motives for directing them rather to scientific than to
philological pursuits: for he seems to have been fully impressed with the
superior dignity of science to that of any department
of philology. " Compared with the noble theories of mathematical
philosophy," he says, "our classical lucubrations are as the glimmering of a
taper to the meridian splendour of an equatorial sun." He would, however,
scarcely have had perseverance enough to distinguish himself in that
solitary labour which is required for the minute investigation of natural
phenomena : and it is seldom that any collateral encouragement is held out,
in this country, for the continued cultivation of abstract science; while
the classical scholar, though he is supposed to be principally occupied with
nouns, and verbs, and particles, is in fact unconsciously, and, therefore,
most effectually, learning the arts of poetry, and rhetoric, and logic,
which have furnished, in all ages, the spur and the reins for urging on and
directing the mighty bulk of the body politic, in church and in state, at
the will of its leaders. The young man, on the other hand, who commences the
pursuit of science with ardour, obtains, if he is most successful, and
untormented by unnecessary scruples, a quiet fellowship, a comfortable
apartment, and an excellent plain dinner for the remainder of his life : and
if he fails of these, he may chance to be made an exciseman ; or, in the
improved arrangements of the present auspicious days, a computer or an
assistant astronomer: but with respect to any influence that his pursuits
might be supposed to have on the elevation of his rank in life, or in the
independent provision for a family, he must lay no such flattering unctions
to his soul, but must at all times place his pride and his happiness in the
reflection that AT MIHI PLA.UDO IPSE DOMI, which is, in truth, the best
sublunary support of the wise and the good in every circumstance of human
life. " (LIFE OF WAKEFIELD. )
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