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A Criticism of Millennial Hopes Examined.

"This Millennial doctrine encounters a very serious difficulty. If the world's population had doubled each century for the past sixty - which seems a very reasonable estimate - the present population of the earth would be two and one-third quintillions of people. That would cover over the fifty millions of square miles of land surface on this globe with people as thickly as they could stand, four thousand feet deep. If each were five feet high they would reach up into the sky nearly four miles. No doubt people enough have been born to make that number."
The above remarks were addressed by Reverend E. L. Eaton, D.D., to the M. E. ministers of Pittsburg at a meeting held April 27, 1903. The address was favorably received by the learned gentlemen present and thought so highly of that it was printed for circulation.
Six months later, on Oct. 29,1903, the same Reverend E. L. Eaton, D. D., in debate with Pastor C. T. Russell, the author of this volume, repeated so much of the above as applied to his method of calculation, but revised his figures as to the total of humanity for the past six thousand years. As illustrating the large concession, we place his figures side by side:

First statement.........................2,333,333,333,333,333,333
Second statement...................98,098,300,000,000

Shrinkage in six months.......2,333,235,235,033,333,333

Let us hope that a man of so liberal a mind and so easy a pencil may yet get to see the question he was discussing in
its true and reasonable light. Let us hope that the intelligent, thoughtful, educated clergymen who so innocently swallowed the first exaggeration will be as ready to receive the truth on the subject as they were to accept the error. It is not our thought to speak slightingly of any one's honest endeavor to ascertain truth, however egregiously he may err in his attempts; neither is it our wish to make personal criticisms; but extravagantly erroneous statements have been so freely made by men of large reputation and deficient comprehension, that it is necessary in defence of the truth, and for the assistance of the unlearned and non-professional, that this matter be critically examined. Our statements, therefore, are not to be considered personal, but a general criticism of all the learned men who have talked so foolishly upon this subject. Dr. Eaton and his figures merely come in conveniently at the present time. Our criticisms apply equally to the thousands of other great heads which have similarly misapprehended the truth on this subject.
Before showing the reasonable figures for the total of humanity who have ever lived on this earth, let us give a simple illustration of the inaccuracy of Dr. Eaton's computations that will be proof positive of the grossness of his error, even in his revised figures, to every one possessing a sufficiency of "gray matter" to be able to reason on any subject. Any one can demonstrate this matter, for the Doctor has told us his method of computation, namely, the doubling the population each century. Accordingly, the last century of the sixty would be the one-half of the entire sum. The demonstration follows:

According to Dr. Eaton's largest figures the total population of the world at the present time would be.1,166,666,666,666,666,666
According to his second statement .......................49,049,150,000,000
According to the census taken the figures should be..........1,600,000,000
We cannot suppose that Brother Eaton questions the accuracy of our last census returns, for he surety knows that at the present time the "50,000,000 sq. miles of land surface on this globe" are not covered "with people as thick as they could stand" two thousand deep - reaching up in the sky nearly two miles. Yet, above, he tells us that to him all this "seems a very reasonable estimate" and adds that he has "no doubt" on the subject. Evidently the Brother's desire to make the doctrine of the Millennium "look like thirty cents" as he expressed it - "to strike that doctrine a blow between the eyes from which it would never recover" -blinded him to the antics of his pencil. But, alas, Dr. Eaton, and many of those who applauded his ludicrous statements, are as far from the truth in their general understanding of the divine plan as they are in error on this simple mundane proposition. The secret of this unwisdom lies in rejecting the clear testimony of the Bible and opposing it - claiming that the Apostles and early Church in looking for a Millennium were misled by their ignorance of matters now well known (?) by modern theologians of the higher criticism school. Well says the Apostle that to these the teaching of the cross is foolishness - they have no use for the doctrine of the ransom, that we are bought back from destruction by the ransom price, even the precious blood of Christ. The words of the Prophet quoted by the Apostle are still applicable to such, and still explain why it is that worldly wisdom is so liable to err unguided by the letter and the spirit of revelation. The quotation is - "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" - 1 Cor. 1: 19, 20.


We should reason of unknown things from the basis of that which is known. We know that the world's population today is approximately 1,600,000,000. We know that the present rate of increase is eight per cent. for the past ten
years; this would give exactly 115 per cent. increase for a century. However, that the increase has not been so great in the past we are certain. This is easily demonstrated, for if we should reckon backward at this ratio of increase we would get back to the first pair (Adam and Eve) in about three thousand years, and we have Scriptural grounds for believing that it is fully six thousand years since the creation of our first parents. We believe that every careful, thoughtful calculator, who with us will take Bible history and secular history, will come to close agreement with our conclusions on this subject. Our figures for the whole number of people who have ever been born on this earth are 28,441,126,838 to date - including the present population. It is our conviction that these figures are probably double the actual number, but we desire to make them so generous that even opponents can find no fault with them. We arrive at these figures as follows: (See also "ANOTHER CALCULATION," p. 13.)
During the first sixteen hundred and fifty-six years, down to the flood, the Scriptures show us that humanity lived longer and reached development more slowly than now, many of the children not being born until the parents were more than a hundred years old. Thus Seth, the son of Adam, was one hundred and five years old when Enos, his son, was born; Enos was ninety years old at the birth of his first son, Cainan; Cainan was seventy years old when he begat Mahalaleel; the latter was sixty-five when he begat Jared, who was one hundred and sixty-two when he begat Enoch. The latter when sixty-five begat Methuselah, who when one hundred and eighty-seven begat Lamech, the father of Noah. We are inclined to believe that the whole population in that time may not have exceeded one hundred thousand, but to be liberal we have placed it in the foregoing estimate at one million. After the flood humanity began again with eight persons, and for a time evidently the increase in population was much more rapid than before the flood. In our liberal estimate we reckon the population to have multiplied five
times in each century for the first five centuries, which would bring us down to about the time of Abraham, and show a population in Abraham's day of under fifty-eight thousand, although it is our opinion that these figures are double the actual facts. "Higher critics" are so in the habit of using wild unreason in respect to matters of ancient times, that we make this concession. They will declare, for instance, that Assyria was a great nation at this time, and that evidences have been unearthed mentioning the great King Chedorlaomer, whom they estimate as probably the ruler of millions - taking no thought of the flood and the impossibility of having more than fifty thousand in the world at that time. The Scripture narrative, however, will save the Lord's people from such errors of judgment, for this great King Chedorlaomer is distinctly mentioned in Genesis xiv, in connection with three associated kings, who, joining their combined forces, attacked five other kings in the vale of Siddim. The great Chedorlaomer and his valiants conquered, and carried away the spoil, including Lot, Abraham's nephew, and his goods. The narrative shows that these kings, though great for their time, when there were few people in the world, had very small armies, for they did not venture to attack (King) Abraham, who was "very rich" in flocks, herds, etc. On the contrary, when (King) Abraham heard that his nephew Lot was taken prisoner, he armed his three hundred and eighteen servants and pursued after the four great kings and their armies, smote them hip and thigh, and brought back Lot and all his goods. To the Bible student, therefore, the biggest thing about King Chedorlaomer was his name, and such will not be confused by the exaggerated estimates of the higher critics respecting the millions of those days; for their figures are just as reliable as Dr. Eaton's given above. Continuing our liberal allowances, we have estimated that during the next five centuries the world's population multiplied three times each century. This would give us as the world's population at the time of the exodus 14.241,744,*
We now reach the time of wars and must reckon the increase of population more slowly than during the pastoral period. Proceeding, we group the next six centuries together and remember that the Israelites in Canaan were some eighteen times in bondage to their enemies during this period, and that a census taken near the close of David's reign by Joab showed the numbers competent to serve in the army to be 1,300,000; the entire population of Palestine, therefore, at that time can not have been much, if any, above 5,000,000. The same warfaring spirit affected other nations and similarly hindered rapid propagation; hence our estimate is that the race doubled during those six centuries, which would show a population in Solomon's time of over 37,000,000 throughout the world - again, a very liberal estimate according to all reliable information at our command, probably double the actual number.
We group the next twelve centuries together, concluding that the race doubled during those twelve centuries. To some this may appear too slow a ratio of increase, but we should consider the immense wars of that period, during which Assyria went down and Babylon rose and conquered the whole world, destroying many nations entirely; and that it subsequently fell before the Medes and Persians, who also shed blood in a wholesale manner, and who in turn fell before the Greeks; and that the latter, under Alexander the Great, conquered and dominated the world, but in turn fell before the Romans; and that these, at a cost of thousands upon thousands in the prime of life, did their share also in staying the rapid propagation of the race. These figures would give a world population of 82,000,000 in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, of 100,000,000 in the time of Christ, and of 113,000,000 at the time when the Roman Empire was at its zenith - its boundaries extending over Europe, Africa and a considerable portion of Asia. The historian estimates the population of the Roman world then at 50,000,000, and our estimate shows a surplus therefore of 63,000,000 for the known and unknown portions of the earth at that time - again, evidently, a very liberal reckoning. (Round numbers are given as estimates. Events named did not occur at exact closing of centuries.)
We estimate the next four centuries as increasing the population twenty-five per cent. each century: for the decrease of war resulting from the firm establishment of the Roman power must have had. such an effect. This gives us at the time of Charlemagne, at the closing of the eighth century, a world population of over 227,000,000.
Following came the centuries of the Crusades, etc., in which millions of the youth of the world perished. Our reckoning is that the world's population doubled during these six centuries - from the year 800 to 1399, A. D, This gives us as the population of the world for the year 1400 the sum of 455,733,808.
The next four centuries were more favorable to the multiplying of tile race, great battles and desolating plagues being fewer. The religious reformation belongs to this period. We reckon the population to have doubled during these four centuries, and this would give us the world population for the year 1700 of 911,467,616. These figures, so far as we know, are very greatly in excess of any reliable statistics.
We reckon the period from 1700 to 1800, A. D., at a twenty per cent. rate of increase, giving the population in the year 1800 at 1,093,759,939.
For the century just closed, from the year 1800 to the year 1900, we have estimated an increase of forty per cent., which shows the population for the year 1900, 1,531,163,915. Although, as already stated, the ratio of increase in population for the ten years of the last census was eight per cent., representing an increase of 115 per cent, for the century, it is manifest that the increase during the earlier portion of the nineteenth century was at a much slower rate. Present conditions are increasingly favorable to the propagation of the race, as well as to its longevity; and it would not surprise as if the increase would show much greater in the near future.
The following tables of estimates of the world's population, made during the nineteenth century, show clearly that the estimates we have given are exceedingly liberal; besides, in reckoning the total we have counted the entire century at the figures of its close.

Volney in 1804 estimated the population of the world at 437,000,000
Pinkerton in 1805 estimated the population of the world at700,000,000
Malte-Brun in 1810 estimated the population of the world at640,000,000
Morse in 1812 estimated the population of the world at766,000,000
Graberg v. Hemso in 1813 estimated the population of the world at 686,000,000
Balbi in 1816 estimated the population of the world at704,000,000
Balbi in 1843 estimated the population of the world at739,000,000

"We believe that the liberality of our figures will be conceded by all careful, thoughtful people, and in our opinion they are as a whole double the truth.
Our next step was to approximate the number that died each century. We have estimated that twice the number of the whole population died every century down to the time of Solomon; and that since then to the present time three times the number of the whole population have died each century. It is on the basis of this calculation that we have already stated the number 28,441,126,838. Be it remembered also that in this calculation we have nearly doubled the actual facts. Take, for instance, the last century, which began with 1,093,759,939 and closed with 1,531,163,915. In estimating this we did not multiply by three the supposed number living in the middle of the century, 1850, but multiplied by three the total number living at the close of the century.
Now with this large allowance and liberal estimate everywhere of probably double, what can we say respecting the ability of the earth to furnish these habitation and food? Remembering the Lord's promise that in that millennial period "the earth shall yield her increase" and that the desert and wilderness places of the earth shall become as a garden of Eden, we may safely estimate upon all the land
- which we find, according to recent estimates, to be 57,000,000 square miles, or over 36,000,000,000 acres.
What would this mean as to space for each individual who has ever lived in the world according to this very large, liberal estimate? It means that there would be twelve hundred and seventy-five acres for each little village of two hundred families (one thousand persons). Quite a sufficiency of room, all will agree, under the new conditions promised; but if more space be necessary, let us have a little of the faith which father Abraham exercised when he counted that God, to keep his promise, was able to raise Isaac from the dead. With this faith we will see readily that it will be quite within the divine power to raise vast continents from the depths of the oceans, or indeed to give a literal as well as a symbolical fulfilment to the declaration, "There shall be no more sea,"
Our conclusion then must be that those who hold to the teachings of the Lord and the faith of the Apostles and primitive Church have not been put to shame in any degree by the wisdom of this world,
Now let us look on the other side of the question, and see If it be not true respecting the worldly wise as was written nearly three thousand years ago, "The wise are taken in their own craftiness" - "They hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai." - Esther 7:10.


Whose who stand loyally in support of the teachings of our Lord and his Apostles in respect to the coming Kingdom "tinder the whole heavens" have generally been content to be on the defensive. Those who trust fully in the promise of God to Abraham, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," have too long endured the sneers of the worldly wise and refrained from pricking their bubbles of self-complacency, pride, sarcasm and folly set afloat by
those who think themselves to be somebody, and discredit the inspired revelation and those who stick closely to the Book.
The time is come to forever silence these opposers of the divine Word, and we shall now proceed to do so. Again, we must use Brother Eaton's words, but we again disclaim any personality and recognize that he is merely one of a class - a large class, an influential class, a D. D. class - whose minds and expressions on the subject are the same as Brother Eaton's. We take his words rather than those of some one else because they were uttered recently and in public contention with this very subject of the Millennium, were heard by hundreds and read by thousands. We must have some positive statement to deal with, and his is the nearest and most suitable one; therefore, and not for any personal reasons, his words are criticised. Dr. Eaton's words in his argument against the reasonableness of expecting a Millennium not only were as above quoted, and criticised, but additionally he said that he did not expect the second coming of our Lord until the conversion of the world and the end of this dispensation, which would not be for probably


Brother Eaton by this time has gotten used to the treachery of his pencil, and we trust will conclude that while it may be safe to use the pencil ad lib. on the subject of astronomy, where a few hundred thousand solar systems will not be noticed by the credulous public, it is nevertheless a very uncertain pencil to use in respect to earthly things.
Now let us weigh carefully this statement, made not only by Rev. E. L. Eaton, D. D., but by hundreds of other equally titled gentlemen, whose position before God's people and before the world as teachers has been trusted too confidingly by their flocks. We hope that on the subject under discussion and on all subjects they will revise their methods of "foolish talking," and remember that those who pose as ministers of the gospel of Christ should, according to the exhortation of the Apostle Paul, "Speak as the oracles of
God" - truthfully, accurately - in a manner to be depended upon. Meantime we hope their followers will give them no more credit for accuracy in other features of their religious teaching than in the one under consideration.
Let us do a little figuring; let us do it in a manner that any schoolboy can follow. We want to inquire how many people will be living on the earth at the end of fifty thousand years - about the time Dr. Eaton estimates that Christ will come. We will take as the basis of our calculation the present population of the world as 1,600,000,000. We will take as the basis of our reckoning for increase the census returns for the last decade, namely, eight per cent., which would mean 115 per cent, increase for the century. If the favorable conditions of the present continue, no doubt the increase will be far in excess of eighty per cent., but let us confine ourselves to present conditions. A little figuring shows us that at the end of the first of these fifty thousand years the living population of the world would be over 3,491,000,090,000, and at the same ratio of increase the close of the second thousand years would find a living population on this earth of over 7,249,000,000,000,000.
What do these figures mean? They mean that if God's Word is not true, if the great change of dispensation which we preach is not soon inaugurated, the whole world of mankind will be in great distress, not only for food to eat, but for standing room. We have only counted two of Dr. Eaton's fifty thousand years! What would the figures be it we were to run them up further?


Those who deny the teaching of a Millennium must of course ignore the promises which declare that "the wilderness will blossom as the rose and the solitary places be glad," and consequently any reckoning from their standpoint must exclude all the at present useless portions of the earth's surface. Approximately estimating the habitable and tillable portion of the earth at 25,000,000 square miles, we find, that this would give us 16.000.000,000 acres OF 696,960,000,000,000 square feet.
Comparing these figures with the above reckoning as to population we find that at the close of the first thousand years there would be two hundred and eighteen people for each acre of the habitable earth. At the close of the second thousand there would be 10 per sq. foot, and for the third 10,400 for each square foot of the habitable earth, or in other words they would be standing on each other's heads about twenty thousand persons high; or, if we include the polar regions and waste portions of the earth, they would be about ten thousand persons high on each other's heads; or, if we include the water surface as well as all the land surface, there would be seventeen hundred persons for each square foot. Allowing two square feet for each individual, the population would need to stand in piles thirty-four hundred deep, closely packed together all over the surface of land and sea.
What would the figures be at the end of fifty thousand years if each of the succeeding forty-eight were estimated on the reasonable basis of the two already calculated!


Is it not time that those who do not believe in a coming Millennium should begin to pray that God would arrange for one? Is it not evident that if Christ's Kingdom were delayed even three hundred years the world would be in terrible straits. The population at the present rate of increase would then be over 16,000,000,000 - with less than one habitable acre apiece, and only by very "intensive farming" could they subsist at all.
Ah! says some one, You are neglecting to count that death will keep things balanced, about as they now are, always. No, we are not over-looking death, but averaging it as at present. We are merely reckoning the increase of population on the basis of the last census reports.
Very evidently the facts, as we look backward and forward, ell indicate that we are just at the right time for the establishment of "the Kingdom of God's dear Son." The declaration of the Lord at the beginning was, that the earth should be filled, and according to our computations we have
reached a place where a sufficient number of people have been born into the world to about reasonably and properly fill it, if they were recovered from the tomb. On the contrary, looking into the future, we see not only an impossibility of long continuance under present conditions, but we see likewise that even three centuries more at the present rate of increase would add to the numbers of the dead 59,000,000,000, or over double the number of our above liberal estimate of all the past dead - making the total number 87,000,000,000. Add to this number of the dead, at the close of three centuries future, the number then living at present rate of increase, viz. 16,000,000,000, the total would be over one hundred and three thousand millions. There would then be room for an argument on the possibility of God's promise of "restitution of all things spoken." (Acts 3: 19-21.) The awakening of such a host would furnish only one acre of at present usable land for six persons. Three centuries are not far ahead either!
The more we investigate this question upon a proper basis, the more strong our faith must become in the promises of the divine Word respecting the "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," and which are to commence with the second coming of our Lord. (Acts 3: 19-21.) They are surely nigh at hand: these facts agreeing well with the Bible testimonies. See Millennial Dawn, Vol. II.
In the light of the foregoing we find all of Brother Eaton's figures quite erroneous. His revised figures are more than three thousand times too large; while those first presented were more than seventy millions of times too large! Let us ail the more closely stick to the Book - to God's Word. "The Word of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." - Psalm 19:7.


Another calculation would be to take the known beginning after the Flood - eight persons - and the known population in A. D. 1900 - - 1,600,000,000 - and viewing the whole as a wedge, reckon a gradual percentage of increase from the one number to the other. Reckoning thus, and counting three generations to die each century, the total of
humanity that ever lived would count less than (10,000,000,000) ten thousand millions.
We still stick to the figures based upon our previous estimate (28,000,000,000) twenty-eight thousand millions; but we merely give these figures based on the "wedge" as corroborative evidence that our first calculations are in every way liberal.


. Some may be disposed to question our figures of the Exodus, and cite the fact that at that time Israel had 603,550 men capable of bearing arms and burdens, besides women and children. (Num. 1:45,46.) We accept those figures with the statement that there were none infirm amongst the Israelites. Accordingly we would reckon that this included all the males from twenty years old and upward, that there were as many females and as many young children, and estimate the whole at 2,000,000. The increase of the Israelites was phenomenal, miraculous. In no other way could we possibly understand how Jacob and his twelve sons and their families could in the short space of 198 years increase from seventy persons to 2,000,000; nor did the miracle continue, for we find that forty years later, when entering Canaan, their male forces numbered less than when they left Egypt. (Num. 26.) Several centuries later, King Saul numbered the entire army preparatory to a war with the Amalekites, and the total was 210,000 fighting men - little more than one-third of the number that left Egypt, (1 Sam. 15:4.) Nor are such decreases of population exceptions. Where are the former peoples of Palestine and Egypt? In more modern times note the disappearance of the Aztecs and Montezumas of Central America and the rapid fading away of the North American Indian.
Evidently the fertile country and temperate climate in the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea made that region the cradle of the race after the flood. From thence the people spread abroad. Palestine itself was the home of seven of the great nations of that time, enumerated as greater and mightier than Israel, (Deut. 7:1.) But this must mean that combinedly they were greater and mightier, or eke it signified that these people were larger-bodied - giants. This latter thought is in accord with the report of the spies (Num. 13:22, 28, 33), and agrees with the words of Moses. (Deut. 9:2.) Certainly the entire seven great nations of that time cannot have numbered much over a million souls, else how could that little land have supported them? Its entire area is only 6,040 square miles - less than one-seventh that of the State of Pennsylvania, - less than one-fortieth that of the State of Texas.
We repeat that at that time Israel was a great nation - that "the nations under the whole heaven" feared them. (Deut. 2:25.) Unquestionably Egypt was the principal nation of that time, and the King of Egypt freely conceded that the Israelites were "more and [physically] mightier" than the Egyptians. - Ex. 1:9; Deut, l:10; Psa. 105:24,25,37.

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