Millenarianism -- By: E. D. Sanborn

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 012:47 (Jul 1855)
Article: Millenarianism
Author: E. D. Sanborn


E. D. Sanborn

Here,” said a student to Casaubon, as they entered the old Hall of the Sorbonne, “is a building in which men have disputed for four hundred years.” “And,” asked Casaubon, “what has been settled?” How does it happen that the labors of learned men so often prove utterly worthless, and rather encumber than aid the honest inquirer after truth? It is simply because they mistake the proper objects of human inquiry, and exceed the limits which God has set to the understanding of man. They investigate subjects that cannot be known, and attempt to solve questions that cannot be answered. It is probable that one-half, at least, of the works of philosophers and theologians might be annihilated, in a moment, without abridging the means

of human improvement, or injuring the cause of true science. “Our public libraries,” says Hallam, “are cemeteries of departed reputation; and the dust accumulating upon their untouched volumes speaks as forcibly as the grass that waves over the ruins of Babylon.” Fortunate would it be for mankind, if the Babylon of controversial theology were sleeping, side by side, with its great prototype; but, modern enthusiasts build again the tombs of the old prophets and those potent heresiarchs, who ruled among the nations, in former ages, “even all of them lie in glory, each in his own house.” If their tomes were as innocuous as their tombs, we would “let the dead bury their dead,” in quiet; but the literature which bewilders and misleads the humble inquirer after Divine truth, is infinitely more pernicious than that which caters to the passions of the carnal heart There is hope that the “very chief of sinners” may be converted and saved; but the state of those fanatics, “whose little reading and less meditating hold over with hardest obstinacy that which they took up with easiest credulity,” is truly desperate. Of all the books that have

“Escaped decay’s effacing fingers,”

none are more worthless than commentaries on prophetic symbols. It is our honest conviction, that, if every theory and speculation, advanced by scheming theologians respecting the future history of the world, and based, as they pretend, upon the dark imagery of the Apocalypse and the book of Daniel, were obliterated from the minds of men, sound doctrine and true religion would be promoted. Do we, by this declaration, disparage the study of prophecy? By no means. The predictions of the Bible already fulfilled present a field of research broad enough and ample enough to employ the best thoughts both of men and angels who “desire to look into these things.” Besides, “the pure word of prophec...

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