John Cumming (clergyman)

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Carte de visite depicting John Cumming, 1860s.

John Cumming (November 10, 1807[1] in Fintray (Aberdeenshire) – July 5, 1881) was a Scottish clergyman.

Life[edit]

In 1832, Cumming was appointed to the Crown Court Church in Covent Garden, London, a Church of Scotland congregation that catered for Scots living in London. At the time, the congregation had approximately 80 members, but Cumming was able to grow his congregation to around 900, and he regularly preached to congregations of 500-600 on Sundays.

Comming was a controversial figure in his day, George Eliot being the most prominent figure to criticize him for his anti-Catholicism, obsession with the End Times, and perceived intellectual dishonesty.[citation needed]

Cumming retired in 1879. In total, he published approximately 180 books during his lifetime.

Views[edit]

Cumming was one of the most virulently anti-Catholic preachers of his day. Several of his books attacked Catholicism, including The Romish Church a Dumb Church (Arthur Hall, 1853) and Ritualism, the Highway to Rome (James Nisbet & Co., 1867). He gave public lectures denouncing Cardinals Nicholas Wiseman and John Henry Newman. The Times also frequently printed letters from Cumming in which he pointed to perceived misdeeds on the part of the Roman Catholic Church.

"The End of the World"
As depicted by Adriano Cecioni in Vanity Fair, 13 April 1872

Cumming also took a deep interest in Christian eschatology, adhering to the Historicist school of Christian eschatology. He believed that historical events such as the French Revolution and the Irish Potato Famine had fulfilled prophecies contained in the biblical Books of Daniel and Revelation. He preached that the sixth vial of judgment (discussed in Revelation 16) had been poured out in 1820. Cumming therefore taught that Judgment Day would occur some time between 1848 and 1867.

Works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^  "Cumming, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  • Robert H. Ellison, "Prophecy and Anti-Popery in Victorian London: John Cumming Reconsidered," Victorian Literature and Culture 31.1 (2003): 373-389.

External links[edit]