been chosen by Christ himself to announce his return.11 Jesus
allegedly appeared to Barbara Cadell in London in 1694.12 The Revd
John Mason had the same vision in Water-Stratford; he believed the
Millennium was to begin the same year and that he would live for
another thousand years, while his two disciples, Thomas Ward and
Valentine Evans, claimed to be the two witnesses of the Apocalypse
(Revelation 11:3).13 Similarly, the Independent minister Thomas Beverley predicted the Second Coming for 1697, which the Origenist
Thomas Moor(e) claimed to fulfil as the new
The religion of the first ages:
primitivism and the primitive Church
n September 1735, Matthias Symson visited the London bookseller George
Strahan to gauge Strahan’s interest in publishing his friend Zachary Grey’s
response to Isaac Newton’s Observations upon the prophecies of Daniel, and the
Apocalypse of St. John (1733). Strahan, owner of one of London’s largest printing houses, had no interest, explaining to Symson that ‘he did not care to
meddle: it being an abstruse subject, he did not know how it would take’:
he worried that Grey’s retort
Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to
James (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999).
26 Warren Johnston, Revelation Restored: The Apocalypse in Later
Seventeenth-Century England (Woodbridge and Rochester, NY: Boydell
27 Anon., ‘The Last Seven Shakers in the World’, The Economist (13–19
February 1999), 61. Stacey Chase, ‘The Last Ones Standing’, The Boston Globe (23 July 2006). Jane Harrigan, ‘New Hampshire’s Shaker
History: The Enduring Simplicity of the Shakers’, New Hampshire
Magazine (October 2013), www
This lesson was perhaps laced with secrecy because in these meetings Tinker would foretell of the ‘day of dome’. 61 Similarly, John Ryburne met in a farmyard to prophesy ‘that a tyme shall come that no eleuation shall bee made’. 62 John Harrys and his friend Richard Colyns met together with their wives to talk of the Apocalypse, and Foxe reported that the Lyvord conventicle met to read a book of exposition on Revelation, where they ‘communed concernyng the matter of openyng the booke with seuen clapses [ sic ]’. 63
Instruction and learning
, National Geographic
magazine, in its December 2015 issue, ran a front-page story entitled, ‘Mary: The
Most Powerful Woman in the World’.
Meanwhile, a number of new atheist philosophers, and four in particular, have
become known as the Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse, and their prominence has been obvious since the turn of the millennium. These are Richard
Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. Many of today’s
atheists do not accept that religion should be tolerated but argue that it should be
countered and expunged from the public square
wary eye. Of Newton’s Observations upon the Prophecies of
Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St John (1732), he reckoned that ‘tho’ [Newton]
was a prodigy in His way, yet I never expected great things of this kind (which
The triumph of Christ over Julian
requires a perfect knowledge of ancient literature, History and Mankind) from
a man who spent all his days in looking through a Telescope’.65 Warburton
approved more fully of Newton’s natural philosophical writings, which
informed his understanding of divine action in the natural world.66 ‘And
the immortal Theory of
the vernacular Bible and the lollard tracts that were found in their possession. Norwich Trials , 10.
3 AM , 233.
4 On lollard anti-fraternalism, see Penn R. Szittya, The Antifraternal Tradition in Medieval Literature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), 195–198; PR , 46–55. Recent research has underscored connections between Wycliffites and the Franciscans, shading the traditional picture of mere animosity; see, for instance, Ian Christopher Levy, ‘Wycliffites, Franciscan Poverty, and the Apocalypse
the light of the family hearth. It must be resisted until it is overcome either by
revolution, apocalypse or gnosis. Sands maintains that although these responses
appear to be contradictory they are in fact twins born of the same parent. ‘Under
pressure rationalism splits into dualism; at ease dualism softens into
rationalism. Always one pattern shadows the other’ (1994: 4). Their
progenitor is a benefi -cent and ultimately triumphant divine power.
In a kaleidoscopic examination of the theodical enterprise from Augustine
through Kant to Barth, Tillich and the
forms of Trinitarian thought, that is to say rejecting Protestantism
and Catholicism – something we know Isaac Newton did in his
posthumous Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the
The English deist movement
Apocalypse of St John (1733). We also know that Newton’s chronology of priestcraft was very similar to that of such thinkers as
Trenchard, Dennis and Howard.32 Rejection of the traditional
Christian ministry, then, is no necessary sign of deism.
It seems that Unitarians grew in number in late-seventeenthcentury England, although to say that this
35 BC , sigs A8r–B1r.
36 Richard Bauckham, Tudor Apocalypse: Sixteenth Century Apocalypticism, Millenarianism, and the English Reformation: From John Bale to John Foxe and Thomas Brightman (Oxford: Sutton Courtenay Press, 1978), 58.
37 Fairfield, John Bale , 71; King, English Reformation Literature , 63; Gretchen E. Minton, ‘“Suffer Me Not to be Separated, and Let my Cry Come unto Thee”: John Bale’s Apocalypse and the Exilic Imagination’, Reformation 15 (2010): 83–97.