English Millennialism: The English Prophetic Movement and the Albury ‘Apostles’
The late 1820s and early 1830s were marked by controversy and fragmentation in English Evangelicalism. Out of this period emerged a small number of sterner groups who were seized by millennial expectation and a desire to return to pure, radical ‘apostolic’ practices. These groups were restless, and their pessimism tore a number of prominent Evangelicals, lay and clerical, away from the mother Church of England into new religious bodies. In this climate of anxiety, millennial speculation became the subject of intense study by well-educated clergymen like Edward Bickersteth and MPs like Henry Drummond. For the most part, this millennial fervour was contained within the Established Church. Yet there were latent tendencies within the prophetic movement, which coalesced around Drummond and Edward Irving, that could easily carry its devotees into outright secession. Drummond's ecclesiology was curious and eclectic, combining a strictly hierarchical view of social order, high Toryism, a determined Protestantism, a High Church view of the liturgy, and a belief in the pre-millennial advent of Christ.
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