The Second Advent And The Creeds Of Christendom -- By: J. A. Brown

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 024:96 (Oct 1867)
Article: The Second Advent And The Creeds Of Christendom
Author: J. A. Brown


The Second Advent And The Creeds Of Christendom

J. A. Brown

The rule of faith with all genuine Protestants is the infallible word of God. In all matters, both of faith and practice, its authority is supreme. In every question of which it professes to treat, or upon which it distinctly touches, the decisive inquiry must be: What does the word of God say? Against all doctors and decrees, all councils and confessions, it stands, and must stand, as the only infallible authority and final arbiter.

But the creeds or confessions of the church are entitled to the greatest respect, and must have weight with all who do not prefer their own wisdom to the collected and tried wisdom of ages. Some creeds are the common inheritance, and express the common faith of all, or nearly all, who name the name of Christ. Others, though less generally received, yet embrace large portions of the church, and, on most points, teach what is recognized as “the faith once delivered to the saints.” The creeds universally received, in ancient and modern times, by the Roman, Greek, and Protestant churches, as well as those portions of other creeds or confessions, containing doctrines in harmony with them, and recognized by all orthodox denominations, must be presumed to accord with the divine word. Were it not so, the whole church of every age, and in every land, must have been allowed to fall into error, a supposition scarcely reconcilable with the care which Christ exercises over his church, or with the gracious promises he has given. The quod semper, quod ubique, quod ah omnibus must, if not absolutely authoritative and final, at least weigh much with all who do not despise authority.

It is proposed in this Article to submit the doctrine of the

Second Advent, or certain features of it, as currently held and zealously taught by many at the present day, to this ordeal, and thus to judge how it agrees with the general faith of the church, as set forth in the standards of highest authority. Millenarians vaunt the antiquity and catholicity of their views. They profess their doctrines to be not only the doctrines of the Bible, but of the church in her best and purest days, and as taught and defended by her greatest teachers. Indeed, were we to believe some of this school, to question their dogmas is to doubt not only the voice of the church, but the very voice of God himself, and to incur the guilt of disbelieving divine revelation. It is boldly taught that the reason men do not believe the doctrine of Millenarians is because they do not believe the Bible. The biblical view of this important subject we do not intend here to discuss, but to compare the prominent and distinguishing points of Millenarianism with the cre...

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