Yet again, the list of famous postmillennials continues to grow. I have already shown 10 different theologians in two previous articles who affirmed postmillennial thought. Here are five more to add to the list!
Matthew Henry’s Commentary is a vastly famous biblical reference tool that has been the standard since the 18th century. It will come as a surprise to many to know that Henry himself was a postmillennial theologian. One of his more famous quotes on the subject is
“David rose gradually; he was first anointed king in reversion, then in possession of one tribe only, and at last of all the tribes. Thus the Kingdom of the Messiah, the Son of David, is set up by degrees; he is Lord of all by divine designation, but we see not yet all things put under Him”
John Cotton is yet another famous postmillennial theologian. Cotton, the famous puritan Massechussets Bay Colony Clergyman, was known for advocating many significant reforms in the church. His legacy also holds him as a stalwart theologian and a healthy postmillennial proponent. Not only was he a postmillennial but he was also a theonomist who wrote “An Abstract of the Laws of New-England, as They Are Now Established” as his personal draft for the book of law for New England in the 17th century. Here are just a few excerpts from this great work of writing.
[This model] far surpasseth all the municipal laws and statutes of any of the Gentile nations and corporations under the cope of Heaven. Wherefore I thought it not unmeet to publish it to the view of all, for the common good. . . . Judge equally and impartially, whether there be any laws in any state in the world, so just and equal as these be. Which, were they duly attended unto, would undoubtedly preserve inviolable the liberty of the subject against all tyrannical and usurping powers. . . .
This Abstract may serve for this use principally (which I conceive was the main scope of that good man, who was the author of it) to show the complete sufficiency of the word of God alone, to direct his people in judgment of all causes, both civil and criminal…. But the truth is, both they and we, and other the Gentile nations, are loth to be persuaded to . . . lay aside our old earthly forms of governments, to submit to the government of Christ. Nor shall we Gentiles be willing I fear, to take up his yoke which is easy, and burthen light, until he bath broken us under the hard and heavy yokes of men, and thereby weaned us from all our old forms and customs. . . .
So that there will be a necessity, that the little stone, cut out of the mountain without hands should crush and break these obstacles ere the way can be prepared for erecting his kingdom, wherein dwells righteousness. — And verily great will be the benefit of this kingdom of Christ, when it shall be submitted unto by the nations . . . [Ps. 95: 10; Isa. 66:12]. All burdens and tyrannical exactions will be removed; God will make their officers peace, and their exactors righteousness, Isa. 60:17.
- If any man after legal conviction shall have or worship any other god, but the Lord God, he shall be put to death.
Deut. 13:6, 10 Deut. 17:2, 6 Ex. 22:20
- If any man or woman be a witch (that is, has or consults with a familiar spirit), they shall be put to death.
Ex. 22:18; Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:10
- If any man shall blaspheme the name of God the Father, Son, or Holy Ghost, with direct, express, presumptuous, or high handed blasphemy, or shall curse God in the like manner, he shall be put to death.
- If any person commits any willful murder, which is manslaughter, committed upon premeditated malice, hatred, or cruelty, not in a man’s necessary and just defense, nor by mere casualty against his will, he shall be put to death.
Ex. 21:12; Num. 35:13; 14,30,31
- If any person slays another suddenly in his anger or cruelty of passion, he shall be put to death.
Num. 25 [351: 20,21; Lev. 24:17
- If any person shall slay another through guile, either by poisoning or other such devilish practice, he shall be put to death.
- If any man or woman shall lie with any beast or brute creature by carnal copulation, they shall surely be put to death. And the beast shall be slain and buried, and not eaten.
Lev. 20:15, 16
- If any man lies with mankind as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed abomination, they both shall surely be put to death.
- If any person commits adultery with a married or espoused wife, the adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Lev. 20:19, and 18, 20 Deut. 22:23, 24
- If any person steals a man or mankind, he shall surely be put to death.
- If any man rises up by false witness, wittingly and of purpose to take away any man’s life, he shall be put to death.
Deut. 19:16, 18,19
- If any man shall conspire and attempt any invasion, insurrection, or public rebellion against our commonwealth, or shall endeavor to surprise any town or towns, fort or forts therein, or shall treacherously and perfidiously attempt the alteration and subversion of our frame of polity of government fundamentally, be shall be put to death.
Archibald Alexander, the founder of Princeton Theologian Seminary and the first professor therein, was indeed a postmillennial theologian. His son elucidates his views the clearest:
“The prophet sees the church, at some distant period, exalted and conspicuous, and the nations resorting to it for instruction in the true religion, as a consequence of which he sees war cease and universal peace prevail….The prophecy begins with an abrupt prediction of the exaltation of the church, the confluence of nations to it, and a general pacification as the consequence….This confluence of nations is described more fully, and its motive stated in their own words, namely, a desire to be instructed in the true religion. He who appeared in the preceding verses as the lawgiver and teacher of the nations, is now represented as an arbiter or umpire, ending their disputes by a pacific intervention, as a necessary consequence of which war ceases, the very knowledge of the art is lost, and its implements applied to other uses….The event is suspended upon a previous condition, viz., the confluence of nations to the church, which has not yet taken place; a strong inducement to diffuse the gospel, which, in the mean time, is peaceful in its spirit, tendency, and actual effect, wherever and so far as it exerts its influence without obstruction”
Charles Hodge was a professor of Theology at Princeton Theologian Seminary, the author of a three-volume Systematic Theology, and was even the principal of Princeton. In his Systematic Theology, Hodge outlined his eschatology as
1. The universal diffusion of the Gospel; or, as our Lord expresses it, the ingathering of the elect; this is the vocation of the Christian Church.
2. The conversion of the Jews, which is to be national. As their casting away was national, although a remnant was saved; so their conversion may be national, although some may remain obdurate.
3. The coming of Antichrist.
1. The resurrection of the dead, of the just and the unjust.
2. The general judgment.
3. The end of the world. And,
4. The consummation of Christ’s kingdom.
Benjamin B. Warfield
Though sometimes erroneously classified as an Amillennial, Warfield was actually on the optimistic side of the fence. Warfield was the last principal of Princeton and is considered the last great theologian of the seminary before it’s split in 1929 that formed Westminster Theological Seminary. On the subject of eschatology he wrote,
The earth — the whole world — must be won to Christ before He comes: and that is precisely this conquest of it that He is accomplishing during the progress of this inter-adventual period.
Whether [these verses] go so far as to say that this winning of the world implies the complete elimination of evil from it may be more doubtful. . . . Perhaps it may be affirmed that what is thus true of each individual must be true of the congeries of these individuals which we call the world. Perhaps it may be maintained on such grounds as these that as the perfecting of the individual waits for the next life, so the perfecting of the world must wait until the conquest is over — the last assize is held — and the New Jerusalem descends from heaven. . . . There is a ‘golden age’ before the Church — at least an age relatively golden gradually ripening to higher and higher glories as the Church more and more fully conquers the world and all the evil of the world; and ultimately an age absolutely golden when the perfected Church is filled with the glory of the Lord in the new earth and under the new heavens.”