This volume, now appearing in its fourth edition, was first run in the magazine “Grace and Truth” more than thirty years ago (1899). Later, published by the Baptist Standard Publishing Company of Dallas, Texas; a second edition by the Charles Cook Company, New York, and the S. W. Partridge Company, 22 Old Bailey, London, England. The third edition was published by the Book Stall, 113 Fulton Street, New York City.
This fourth edition, from the Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich., contains some essential corrections and slight additions.
It will be discovered that the authors quoted from most extensively, both con and pro, are the outstanding names of thirty years since. We have deliberately left these in for two reasons:
First: Because such writers as Snowden, Bruce, Boardman and Goodspeed, were frankly post-millennial; and, their positions, being openly opposed to pre-millennialism, created a fair and square issue to be settled by careful Scripture study.
Second: While in the progress of the argument certain of these men, (excepting Goodspeed) were guilty of forgetting multiplied Scriptures and wittingly relying upon reason (so-called) for their conclusions; none of them were given to the present-day method of discrediting Scripture as uninspired; nor did they ever descend to the contorting method of that school of theological nondescripts who now define “The Kingdom of God” as “an economic philosophy,” “a proletariat rule,” “a collective bargaining,” or even that unknown thing, that impossible hyphenation “Christian-Communism.”
In individual addresses we have held this last company to the illuminating light of Sacred Scripture; but we do not regard them worthy a full volume.
We trust this fourth edition may impress its readers as did the third edition move that prince among premillennial scholars and preachers, I. M, Haldeman, who said of it:
“The book is its own certificate. The treatment is clear as sunlight. The method is directness itself. No man who follows its propositions can do otherwise than to reach its conclusions. I rejoice in this day of fumbling exegesis, and useless concessions to childish doubts, in one who speaks with authority.”
That “Blessed Hope” is a theme that will continue to charm the Christian heart so long as our Lord delays His Coming. The men that entertain it most heartily and intelligently never deny the deity of Christ, nor dispute the authority of the Bible, nor decline from “the faith once for all delivered.”
It is so fundamental in Scripture study; so essential to spiritual living and so stimulating to Christian service, that it well-nigh represents the sufficient, if not the solitary, antidote to the present day apostasy.
We add the fourth edition of this volume to the splendid library of literature upon the same general subject already in circulation, confidently expecting that the Kingdom and Coming of our Lord will be made to appear both important and precious to as many as shall choose to read and study the same. We ask no greater return than the gratitude of as many hearts as shall be led to the careful consideration of this subject.
Yours “till He come,”
Wm. B. Riley