Edward Irving, The Last Days (pgs 21-24)


  1. Again, do not read Irving in the Darby (Dispensasionalist) manner.
    Tim Grass on Irving in Prisoners of Hope commented as follows on Irving:...in which he portrayed the Second Coming as Imminent, altough not literal."
    AL Drummond in his book on Edward Irving wrote: "The sage of Evangelical hope of seeing the world's conversion and a gradual progress into the millennial age for a pessimist which only foresaw a steady decline until all the institutions of society should be overthrown and destroyed, a decline which the Church would share unless, it were afforded supernatural assistance." p97
    On Babylon and Infidelity Foredoomed" Tim Grass state on p98 that Irving did not "view the Second Coming" literally
    On the Preliminary Discourse (1833) Grass (p100) state "...that Christ would prepare another ark of testimony, and would probably use faitful Gentiles to bring about revival among the Jews (God's elect, not natural Jews): This outpouring of the latter rain would lead to opposition, antichristianity against the Gentiles and infidelity against the Jews.
    The Albury Conference stated that (p101) that the "present Christian Dispensation is not to pass insensibly into the millennial state by gratial increase of the preaching of the Gospels; but that it is to be terminated by judgements, ending in the destruction of the visible Church and polity, in the same manner as the Jewish dispensation has been terminated. The Albury Conference also stated that the judgement will principally, and exclusively fall upon Christendom.
    Later (105) Grass state that Irving believed a remnant of the faithful in the Christian Church will be called to separate from the apostate religion (Christianity) in the face of imminent judgement.
    To sum it all up, Irving stated that Christianity would collapse in similar manner as has happened with the Jewish religion in the first century. The Christian Church would be destroyed from within itself. The faithful will be called out of it, and would become the new Spiritual Israel (OAC) and it would be under the protection of God.
    In 1823 as Irving described, was the start of the Apostolic Movement that led to the formation of the Church Gathered under Apostles in 1833. Irving calculated then a period of 40 years wherein the Apostolic Church will have been totally restored. That would mean that the final act of restoration was the introduction of serving the Sacraments to the dead.
    As Irving did predicted, the Christian Church is now currently on a path of self-destruction, and it is clearly evident in the state it is in.
    Above quotations is from Prisoners of Hope, by C Gribben, et all. Paternoster Press. 2004.
    Tim Grass is currently the foremost expert on Edward Irving.

    1. In April/May 1826 Irving spoke at a London Hibernian Society meeting held to discuss Ireland and Catholic Emancipation. His address in its published form was called “The Cause and the Remedy of Ireland’s Evil Condition.” He had used as his text Revelation 9:20–21, which spoke of those who refused to repent in spite of the plagues inflicted upon them. He sympathized with the Irish people in their sad state. Their condition was caused, he believed, not by governments, but by “some disordered state of the inward organs of spiritual life, and the continual administration of unwholesome food to the soul’s necessities, rather than by the operation of any outward cause.” Thus the Catholic Church was the real cause of the problems, for “the root of the evil is in the [people’s] religion.” His solution to Ireland’s ills was threefold: the “preaching of the living Word,” the distribution of “the written Word,” and genuine, uncompromised Christian education in the schools (Irving, “Cause and the Remedy,” in Irving, CW, 3:430–34, 468). Irving was not a friend of Catholic emancipation or democracy (Oliphant, Life, 1:229).

      Edward Irving proclaimed that the recent events in France and beyond were clearly predicted in the book of Revelation and in Daniel (Irving, Babylon, 1:191–93, 218–26, 233–34, 240–41; 2:11–35). In addition, he dubbed the papacy the beast of Revelation, a common belief throughout Protestant history that Irving feared was being watered down (Irving, Babylon, 1:26, 206–208). In fact, throughout this book Irving was highly negative about Catholicism, he viewed it as Babylon. He also expected that Christ would return soon and set up an earthly Millennium (Irving, Babylon, 1:32, 192, 205–206; 2:8, 138–47, 155–56). Indeed, he even went as far as to say that he expected the Jews to return to Palestine by 1847 (Irving, Babylon, 2:225–28) and that Christ would come back by 1868 (Irving, Babylon, 1:173–75, 2:152, 218–19).

      However, Irving did express some doubts as to whether Christ would return and reign in a “personal or corporeal” sense (Irving, Babylon, 2:168–69. Also see 2:150). In other words, he was unsure whether Christ would reign from heaven or on earth during the Millennium. This is the spiritual interpretation which you’re referring to which is nothing like the OAC’s interpretation of “spiritual”.

      He was sure that the days in which they lived were “the last time, because it is written [2 Pet 3:3–4], ‘there shall come in the last days scoffers saying, “Where is the hope of his coming?”’” (Irving, “Dedication,” in Ben-Ezra, Coming, 1:i–ii.)

      I don’t know how well stocked your library is, but you may also want to add the following books to your reading list:
      ‘Trial of Mr Edward Irving before the Presbytery of Annan’ - Dumfries, 1833
      ‘Edward Irving Reconsidered; The Man, His Controversies, and the Pentecostal Movement’ - David Malcolm Bennet

      Like I said, Irving was a false prophet. I have way more regard for the Bible than Irving’s books.

  2. Another interesting question: Are you quoting from the 1828 edition or the 1850 "Bonar" edition?
    I suggest you use the 1828 edition. Make sure of it.

    1. The scans of the above pages are not my quotes; they are direct scans from Edward Irving’s book (September 1828). You say you’ve read his book, surely then you have his book and you’re able to compare it word for word?