Approach to Eighteen Eighty-One
The subject we consider in this chapter is much distorted without context. America with much of the Christian world was religious. Faith was serious business. If churches differed in doctrine, sometimes hated each other condemning others to a fiery Hell – Protestants listened to the Scripture’s prophetic voice. Historians who write about this period tend to focus on extremist and Adventist movements. But interest in prophecy was not limited to fringe movements. It was a main-stream phenomenon. Baptists of various stripe, Anglicans, Presbyterians and nearly everyone else had well defined interest in prophetic fulfillment. Some Catholic writers believed Christ’s return impended. In 1881, a French priest, Charles Arminjon, published a series of lectures predicting the near return of Jesus, translated into English and published at The End of the Present World, and the Mysteries of the Future Life.
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