Ernest Hampden Cook
The Christ Has Come (1891)
“It is clear that we are now living in the midst of the Millennium.” (TCHC, ch. 13)
IS E.H. COOK A FULL PRETERIST?
Mathison believes that he is, based on an AD70 Second Coming
In the New Testament, there are also clear and definite announcements of a world-wide resurrection and a world-wide judgment still future. “The times of the Gentiles” are to run their appointed course and have an end (Luke xxi. 24; Ephes. i. 10). Christ’s Millennial Kingdom in which we are now living is not to last for ever. To Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall own that He is Lord (Phil. ii. 10, 11), and then, having put all His enemies under His feet, He will surrender the Kingdom to the Father-that God may be all in all (1.Cor. xv. 28).“
“All Christians believe in the good time that is yet to be. Most speak of this good time as the Millennium, and expect it to be inaugurated by the Lord’s Second Advent. But with far better scriptural warrant, we may call it “the new heaven and the new earth” (Rev. xxi. 1), and may believe that it will be inaugurated by Christ’s Third Advent, when, all His foes being at last under His feet, He will surrender the now-existing Kingdom to God – even the Father; that God may be all in all. If this view be correct, human history is simply a step further advanced than is commonly supposed.”
He is simply a modern preterist along the lines of Lightfoot, Hammond or Farrar — who likewise reckoned AD70 as a return of Christ.. yet also taught that there would be a third or final coming at the end of the world.
“The belief that Christ’s Second Advent, with its accompaniments of a resurrection and a judgment, took place at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, rests on precisely the same basis as the expectation of these events ever taking place; namely, on the plain, emphatic, and continually-repeated statements of our Lord and His apostles given beforehand… To Christian believers this affords the strongest possible presumption that they did take place, for to Christian believers His predictions are history anticipated! The burden of proof in the argument rests not on those who assert, but on those who deny, the past advent… To deny the truth of His predictions because we are unable historically to verify a certain portion of them is simply to make manifest the shallowness of our faith in Him. To disprove the truth of those predictions would be to shake the Christian religion to its very foundations. Let God and God’s Son be true, and, if need be, every mere man a liar!”
(On the Significance of A.D.70)
“In 70 A.D. the heavenly Kingdom was fully established over the earth. For it was then that the ringleader of evil was cast into the abyss, and the saints began to reign with Christ.”
“But if, as we confidently believe, the Second Advent really took place within the narrow limits of time assigned to it by Christ Himself, then, in 70 A.D., the Old Testament saints and the saints of the primitive Church entered into the joy of their Lord and shared to the utmost in the twofold victory which He, as man and on man’s behalf, bad, at His resurrection, gained over the grave and over all the powers of evil.” (preface, The Christ has Come)
“The belief that Christ’s Second Advent, with its accompaniments of a resurrection and a judgment, took place at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem rests on precisely the same basis as the expectation of the events ever taking place; namely, on the plain, emphatic, and continually repeated statements of our Lord and His apostles given beforehand…He himself predicted that these events would take place at the close of the Jewish dispensation. To Christian believers this affords the strongest possible presumption that they did take place…The burden of proof in the argument rests not on those who assert, but on those who deny the past advent…To deny the truth of His predictions because we are unable historically to verify a certain portion of them is simply to make manifest the shallowness of our faith in Him. To disprove the truth of those predictions would be to shake the Christian religion to its very foundations. Let God and God’s Son be true, and, if need be, every mere man a liar!”
(On The Fulfillment of Prophecy)
“The belief that the second coming of the Son of man is still future cannot be reconciled with any reasonable interpretation of the New Testament as a divinely-inspired message and record. The error is none the less in error because for centuries it has remained undetected. The truth which must sooner or later supersede it formed part of the most ancient, faith of the Christian church. The most ancient faith of the Christian church associated together the destruction of Jerusalem, the winding up of the Jewish dispensation, and a personal return of Christ to the earth, as events which were certain to happen at one and the same time. Jesus and His apostles believed and taught that the Second Advent would take place in the lifetime of some who had been His earthly contemporaries. Confident that the founders of Christianity were neither deceived nor mistaken we joyfully accept on their authority the fact that the Christ has already come the second time.” (ibid.)
(On the ‘literal method’ of interpretation ; ‘Double Fulfillment’ Theory)
“The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament are not poetry, but plain, practical prose. Common-sense, therefore, requires that their language should be interpreted not indeed literally, but in accordance with the usages of every-day life. Not a few of the unhappy divisions of Christendom may be directly traced to the neglect of this principle. For endless diversity of religious opinion has arisen, because, by processes of ‘allegorising’ and ‘spiritualizing,’ men have found it possible to explain away whatever ran counter to their own beliefs, and to read into Scripture almost any meaning which fancy or prejudice may have suggested. Systems of ‘double’ interpretation, and of ‘partial’ and ‘complete’ fulfilments, have been at once the delight and the shame of traditional theology. It is surely time for such systems to be renounced, as being utterly foreign to the real meaning and intention of the original speakers or writers. ‘Far be it from us to make God speak with two tongues, or to attach a variety of senses to His word, in which we ought rather to behold the simplicity of its divine author reflected as In a clear mirror.’ (Maresius.)” (preface, The Christ has Come)
(On The Rise of Civilization in Christ)
“The fact is that bad as the world still is, yet morally it is a vastly better world than it was when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea. It is said for example that at the present time there are not anywhere on the earth outside of Christendom ten square miles where the life of a man or the honour of a woman is safe. But this, which is now true of only part of the world, was probably true 1,860 years ago, of the whole world. Few people in these days have any adequate conception of the misery and degradation which were then the common lot of almost all mankind, owing to the monstrous wickedness of the times, to continual war, and to the cruelties of political despotism, and of the everywhere-prevailing slavery.
“This earth of ours is a new world compared with what it was two thousand years ago. Let anyone who doubts it read C. L. Brace’s Gesta Christi, or Dr. R. S. Storrs’ Divine Origin of Christianity indicated by its historical effects Whence has come the change for the better? There can be no reasonable doubt that it is largely due to the fact that the supreme spiritual influence which has been at work in men’s hearts and lives during that long period has been the influence of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (ibid.)
What do YOU think ?