"The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty"

by Manuel Lacunza


See this 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.

Publisher's Notices

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; or
  • amend the format or content.

Downloading of either file signifies your acceptance of the terms of this notice

Downloadable Files

"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 Discourse.

  • 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.

COM Vol 1 (1.3Mb) To open in Acrobat Reader use a mouse left-click.
COM Vol 2 (811Kb) To save from the site right-click and select 'save target as'.

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.

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

© 2013 Tricia Tillin-Booth. All rights reserved. Birthpangs Website:  This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information.   One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.