About the Book
See the Wikipedia article for information about Lacunza, his book and the importance of its availability on the Internet. Jonathan Tillin has kindly made a version of this very rare and important text available in PDF format for which we give him credit and thanks.
The restoration of God's chosen people at the close of this age and the
millenial reign of Christ was a truth obscured since the time of Origen. Around
the start of the nineteenth century the literal significance of the prophecies
began to be considered once again.
During this period - in 1812 - 'The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty'
was published in Spain during a brief period of respite from the Roman Catholic
Inquisition. The work reached Britain, and was taken up and translated by
Edward Irving, a minister of the Church of Scotland.
Why do we now offer it?
Primarily as a research tool for those studying the context of
millenarianism in the church. However, the tool is no dull instrument: it has a
great deal to say to us today concerning the literal truth of Holy Scripture.
The first reason for republishing the work is to make available to serious
students of church history a work published at a time when our understanding of
'the Church' and the rapture of the saints was beginning to be discussed with
renewed fervor amongst Christians. It is not the purpose of this preface to
discuss the relative significance of J. N. Darby, Edward Irving or Emmanuel
Lacunza: others have given that fuller attention that I might ever hope to do.
I simply offer this so that you may see what Lacunza (and Irving) does, and
does not say. We will not agree with everything, indeed we may agree with
nothing; but then all Lacunza ever asks of us is that we read and consider.
The doctrine of Replacement Theology, as typified by Augustine and many of
the Protestant Reformers, is today strongly advocated from so many pulpits and
convention platforms. Yet such a position was not to be found in the writings
of the early church. Lacunza was not the first, but is certainly one of the
most influential writers, to suggest that the church needed to review her
position and look again at what the Word of God has to say on the subject. The
work has, of course, been out of print for almost two centuries yet it or its
author are commonly quoted (or misquoted) as saying things and starting
doctrines not actually mentioned in the book.
Lacunza's contribution to present day Evangelicalism was to go back to the
literal truth of Scripture; to reassert the restoration of the Jews in the
end-times; the two-fold coming of the Lord; the millenial reign; the setting up
of the temple sacrifice once again; and, the restoration of the earth following
the yet future and final defeat of Satan. His position has been described
technically as 'futurist post-tribulational'.
Who was Lacunza?
'Ben Ezra' is the pseudonym for a Roman Jesuit priest named Manuel
(sometimes Emmanuel) de Lacunza (1731 - 1801). The pseudonym may be seen
as a way of making the work acceptable to Jewish readers and diverting
attention from the station of the author.
This information will occasion many Protestants to read no further, but if
Luther was correct in demanding 'Sola Scriptura' (and we would not dare to
disagree) then Lacunza may be taken as a model of those that would follow
Luther's call. If ever an author was to insist absolutely on the veracity and
primacy of the Word of God these pages show such a one. Indeed, one of the
prime reasons for his work was to rebut the centuries old claims of the
'doctors of the Church' who sought to put the Church in the position of the
Jews both now and during the end times. Lacunza takes us back again and again
to the inerrant word of God and sweeps away 12 centuries of replacement and
amillenial theology to show again the teaching of the early church and the
scriptures. For these reasons, and despite the support of his peers who read
the work, the Catholic Church banned the book.
None-the-less, we have to recognise the Lacunza was a Roman Catholic and a
Jesuit; where Lacunza does occasionally quote church teaching rather than
scripture we find doctrinal views that fail the test of scripture. The present
publisher is not, nor would ever wish to be, an apologist for the Roman
'church'. Roman dogma and her peculiar doctrines are contrary to Scripture. The
reader will also find some seemingly odd conclusions (for example the concept
of Antichrist as a moral body rather than a person) although the logic by which
they are derived is not unreasonable.
Who was Irving?
Edward Irving (1792 -1834) was a Scottish minister associated with the
origins of the 'Catholic Apostolic Church', a group many Pentecostals look to
when seeking awakenings of charismatic activities in the church. Irving's
personality was certainly magnetic and he drew vast crowds to his Caledonian
chapel in London. Two influences greatly affected his emerging millenarian
views: the first was Henry Drummond, a wealthy banker who held study meetings
at Albury, his estate in Surrey; the other was 'The Coming of Messiah' which
Irving translated and published in English in 1827. The 1827 publication
contains a lengthy 'Preliminary Discourse' written by Irving as a vehicle for
his emerging views. Irving's doctrinal views (in one pamphlet he declared
Christ's human nature to be sinful) led him to be excommunicated by the
presbytery in 1830. The fledgling Catholic Apostolic Church gradually removed
him from the centre of power, and in 1834 he died in Glasgow, the city in which
he had so faithfully served the poor during his early ministry.
The copying and transcribing work that this version represents would not
have been possible without the aid of modern electronic techniques and a strong
conviction as to the necessity of the work during its lengthy gestation. I have
undertaken the work with all the diligence of which I am capable: any
inconsistencies with the original publication are the unwitting fault of the
present 'scribe'; none have been intended. However, obvious typographical
errors have been corrected (though I may have inadvertently created some of my
own in such a large undertaking). This edition is intended to be a facsimile of
the original and therefore no editing has taken place.
The reader should note that any text unique to this edition has been
presented in a sans-serif font to distinguish it from the original.
© Copyright J. G. Tillin 2008. Please notice!
I ask you to respect the copyright of this version. I make it freely
available to all but you are not permitted to:
- make use of it for any commercial gain;
- duplicate it in any form of publication or place it on any other website;
- amend the format or content.
Downloading of either file signifies your acceptance of the terms of this
|If you wish to discuss any publication issues kindly drop me a line
"The Coming Of Messiah" is composed of three parts. The 1827 edition was
published as two volumes comprising the three parts and Irving's Preliminary
Part I: Which containeth Certain
Necessary Preparations for a Right View of the Subject
Part II: Which Comprehendeth the
Observation of Certain Particular Phenomenon in the Prophecy of Daniel, and the
Coming of Antichrist.
Part III: Which Containeth the
Fruit of the Previous Observations.
Note: The files have been put up as they currently stand;
however some small work still needs to be done to place bookmarks and links in
the Consulting Index and the Contents List may not be completely correct. This
will be attended to as soon as practicable and new versions uploaded
|You may freely download Adobe Acrobat Reader® via this link
If you were wondering about Lacunza's style and content here is a sample:
These things which I have pointed out, and others of the same kind, are
doubtless the things upon which they (the doctors) have their eye, when they
set forth and exaggerate the great danger we are in from reading the scriptures
without the light and help of their commentaries. It may not be, that as we
believe without difficulty everything we read in the scriptures against the
Jews and in favour of the Christianized Gentiles, we should likewise believe
with simplicity what we find in the same scriptures to be written against, and
in disparagement of the Christian nations, and in favour of the Jews. It may
not be, that we should fall into the error of thinking, or suspecting, that the
great affliction which befell the people of God, and his first spouse, may
likewise befall the new people and the second spouse, likewise so much beloved
by God. It may not be, finally, That we should open our eyes and regard even as
possible, that the first spouse of God, or the house of Jacob, may one day
return to the favour of her husband; may one day with great honours be recalled
to her antient dignity; may one day occupy the place now filled by her who
succeeded; -when she also shall have become faithless and ungrateful as the
former, and when she shall have surpassed her in malice, and make her appear
just, by the abundance of her own iniquity. All these things which I have
pointed out as it were merely in the sketch, will, as we proceed, open out by
little and little; for it is not possible to explain in a few words such great,
and at the same time such delicate mysteries. Part II PH V