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Introduction and Key


Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator







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070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

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175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World




1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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The following letters, were published in the Universalist Magazine, in the years 1820, and 1821, and signed ' An Inquirer after truth.1 They were addressed to MoSes Stuart, associate Professor of Sacred Literature, in the Theological Seminary at Andover. In presenting them to the public, now in a small book, and with my real name affixed to them, a brief statement of the circumstances which gave rise to them, seems to be necessary. Without this, some might suppose, they were written since I became a Universalist, whereas they were expressly written to avoid becoming one.

Until the year 1819, a serious thought never occupied my mind, that the doctrine of endless punishment might be false. In the belief of this doctrine I had been educated from my childhood. The books I read; the preaching I heard; and all my religious intercourse; tended to deepen my early impressions, that it waa scriptural. Believing it to be so, I had preached it for several years both in Scotland and America. In the course of my reading, I had perused several books on the subject of universal restoration, but they only tended to confirm me in the belief, that endless punishment

was true, and that reformation in hell and^salvation from it, could not be established from the bible. I deemed Universalism a great error, sometimes discussed the subject with Universalists and always thought I had the best of the argument.

The first thing, which staggered my faith in the doctrine of endless punishment, was reading that paragraph of Mr. Stuart's letters to Dr. Channing quoted in my first letter. His statements, I was unable to controvert, and the texts on which they were founded, seemed to support them. This gave rise to the three first letters, and as the reader will see, they were written to solicit from Mr. Stuart some explanation, and how he reconciled his statements with this doctrine. As he had shaken my faith in it, I thought I had some claim on him to say something to reestablish it.

The signature I assumed, ' An Inquirer after truth,' though in one sense fictitious, was in another real, for my letters were written in sincerity, anxious to see where the truth lay on this subject. And believing as I had done, that Universalists were in a great error, I was also desirous, that Mr. Stuart should so answer my letters, as to convince them of it. It will be easily perceived by the reader, that the three first letters were only embraced in my original design. The others, were occasioned by observing other things in Mr. Stuart's book, and my own investigations of some Greek phrases, which he had explained. In investigating the scriptural sense of these phrases, my doubts were increased, as to the truth of the doctrine of endless punishment. This

made me still more anxious, that he should come forward with some explanation.

The last of the three first letters, was published in the Magazine for March 4th 1820, to which Mr. Stuart made no reply whatever. After waiting until the 4th of July for some explanation on the subject, I wrote him by mail, urging him to do this. After waiting several months, and still no reply being made, I sent the copy of this letter to the editor of the Magizine for publication. The remaining letters of the whole series soon followed, as their dates show. At last, Mr. Stuart condescended to write a brief note, declining all compliance with my urgent requests for an explanation. This note will be given in its proper place. The reader can judge, whether his professed reasons, for declining all explanation, are satisfactory. In his letter, he blames me for not giving my real name, and seeking a private interview with him for my own satisfaction. My reasons for declining this, are given in the letters, and of them the reader can also judge.

When Mr. Stuart declined all explanation, how he reconciled his statements with the doctrine of endless punishment, I determined to make a pretty thorough examination of the subject for my own satisfaction. The substance of my investigations have been published in my first and second Inquiries, Essays, and other publications. Whether my books, have done any good or evil to the world, they have Mr. Stuart to thank for them. A little timely explanation from him, might have prevented them from being written. When I wrote those letters, I had as little thought of writing a book in favor of universal salvation, as of creating a new world. All my prejudices, and habits of thinking, as well as my honor and interest, were strongly in favor of the doctrine of endless punishment. To Mr. Stuart of Andover, I am indebted for making me a Universalist, and to him the world are indebted for my books. If I have embraced an error, and .have published it to the world, let all who think so, know, that he is the man who led me astray ; was urged to give some explanation, but declined it; and that nothing has been said by him or any other person, to shew me my error. His exegetical essays, do not touch the points discussed in the following letters.

But, perhaps it may be asked, why republish these letters? Why not let the subject rest in oblivion? We have several reasons to offer. 1. We have been repeatedly solicited, to republish these letters in pamphlet form, for general circulation. The Magazine in which they first appeared, was not adapted to this ; it was read comparatively by few; nor was it preserve'd by many for future reading. Besides, all know, tracts and pamphlets are widely circulated to put down Universalism, and why should not Universalists circulate some in its defence ?

2. Many people know, that I am a Universalist, but a great many of them do not know, Mr. Stuart was the cause of my becoming one. It is nothing more, than a duty I owe to myself and to them, to give them correct information on this subject. It is certainly proper, they should see, that a highly orthodox Professor's statements) were the occasion of my giving up the doctrine of endless 'punishment. Many 'of my former orthodox brethren, and other well meaning people, have condemned me for becoming a Universalist, who may moderate the severity of my condemnation, when they know the real facts of the case. I wish to furnish them with these, and let them judge accordingly. If they believe I have strayed from the truth, let them see who led me astray, and the pains I took to avoid straying. Mr. Stuart certainly was the person who led me into Universalism, and all ought to know, how little he did to prevent it. But

3. The importance of the texts, and Mr. Stuart's comments on them, brought forward in these letters, is the principal reason with me for publishing them. IJntil his statements and comments, are shown false, Universalism never can be proved unscriptural. They are foundation stones, on which it rests. Mr. Stuart's statements, comments, and principles of scripture interpretation, when universally understood and adopted, must make all men Universalists. Strong as my prejudices were, they were overcome by them. No Universalist wishes his statements altered to suit him. Is it not then proper, these texts with Mr. Stuart's comments, should be generally diffused in the community ? Let all see, how much he has done to promote Universalism. But

4. No doubt Mr. Stuart, and many others, still believe Universalism a great error. Well, we publish these letters, to afford Mr. Stuart a fair opportunity, either to retract his statements and comments, or show how he reconciles them with the doctrine of endless punishment. In his letter, he declares, he had no particular objection, or any fears to discuss the subject. His principal objections are thus stated.' ' But I must know the name and the object of my antagonist, before I enter the lists; and contend on some other ground than that of a newspaper.' These objections I now remove out of Mr, Stuart's way for

1. I now give him my real name affixed to these letters. About this, there can now be no mistake ; no fighting in the dark; no discussion with a real name on the one side, and a fictitious one on the other.

The object of his antagonist must now also be well known. It has always been, a strong desire to see, how Mr. Stuart reconciled his statements and comments with his belief in the doctrine of endless punishment. Before God and all the world, I etill declare this to be my sincere desire.

3. He wished to ' contend on some other ground than that of a newspaper.' This objection is now also removed, by publishing these letters in regular book form. His objections being then removed, we may expect to see, how he makes his statements and comments agree with the endless punishment of a part of mankind. This, we hope Mr. Stuart will now do, seeing the doctrine is an article in the Andover creed, and he is set for the defence of the gospel. This duty he ought to have performed more than ten years ago, and had it been done in a satisfactory manner then, he might have saved me from Universalism.

When Mr. Stuart's exegetical essays were announced,

we expected to see in them a powerful vindication of the doctrine of endless punishment, and also his statements and comments reconciled with it. But we were entirely disappointed. If Mr. Stuart can reconcile them, we shall confess it to be one of the most extraordinary things we have ever seen accomplished. Want of time» can not now be pled as an excuse, for he finds time to write books on far less important subjects. Why not then/make one mighty effort, to refute ' the widely spread belief of universal salvation ? Stay its progress now, or the United States, the whole world must be filled with this doctrine. Let the reader judge, if Mr. Stuart's statements discussed in the following pages, are not admirably calculated to promote its progress.

Respecting the following letters it is proper to apprise the reader of the following circumstances. 1. When published in the Universalist Magazine, no dates were affixed to them, the one sent by mail to Mr. Stuart excepted. They are now dated according to the time in which they appeared in the Magazine.

2. All the letters, and also Mr. Stuart's note in reply, are given in their regular order, without note, alteration, or addition. We should have preferred making some slight alterations and some considerable additions. But, as it might lead some to say, we had altered the letters, we give them as they appeared in the Magazine, merely correcting the errors of the press, and substituting our own proper name for the fictitous one,' An Inquirer after truth.'

3. We have added a number of concluding remarks founded on some other parts of Mr. Stuart's Letters We were not aware until we gave them another perusal, that he had said so many things in favor of universal salvation. The candid reader, we think, will consider the concluding remarks a valuable addition to the letters.

Walter Balfour. Charkstown, July 29, 1833.




January 29, 1820.

Sib,—I have read your letters to Mr. Channing. It is not my object to interfere in the controversy between you, but to call your attention to one thing in them, which is not likely to be noticed by your opponents, but which struck my mind with great force while reading them. As the paragraph, is not very long on which I wish to remark I shall quote it. In your third edition, proving that divine honors and worship, are ascribed to Christ, you have the following quotations from scripture, and observations.

' Phillip, ii: 10,11, ' That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.' Things in heaven, earth, and under the earth, is a common periphrasis of the Hebrew and New

Testament writers, for the Universe ; (ta pan or ta panta.) What can be meant by things in heaven, i. e. beings in heaven, bowing the knee to Jesus, if spiritual worship be not meant ? What other worship can heaven render ? And if the worship of Christ in heaven be spiritual should not that of others, who ought to be in temper united with them, be spiritual also ? Rev. v: 8 —14, ' And when he (i. e. Christ, see ver. 6, 7,) took the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests ; and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders ; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for

ever and ever. And the four beasts said Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth forever and ever.' If this be not spiritual worship—and if Christ be not the object of it here ; I am unable to produce a case, where worship can be called spiritual and divine.' pp. 100—103.

Such Sir, are the scriptures you have quoted, and such are the comments you have given, and this is the paragraph, which arrested my attention. Upon reading it, the following ideas rushed into my mind with much violence.—' Things in heaven, earth, and under the earth is a periphrasis for the universe ; this universe worships Christ with spiritual and divine worship, and yet Mr. Stuart believes that many in this very universe, are to be punished in hell for ever. I paused, and concluded, that I certainly must have read or understood you wrong. I returned, and reacj with careful attention, the whole division of your subject, in which the above quotation occurs, but found to my surprise I had not. After repeated perusals of it, and after much reflection upon it, I am constrained to think, that you either are, or ought to be, a Universalist. Sure I am, that nothing which -I have ever read or heard, in so few words, so conclusively establishes the doctrine of universal salvation. Having received the impression, from reading your letters, that you are a candid, honest man, it has led me thus to address you. I cannot suffer myself to think, that you secretly believe all will finally be saved,




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