Over half a century ago I had the privilege of spending a most pleasant couple of hours with a man I admired deeply for his Biblical learning. It was a sunny summer’s afternoon, and we sat in the garden of his Devonshire home, talking about his brief chronological thesis, then recently published. This was Eustace Mills, who had written a booklet entitled “Sabbatical Typology”, and it had riveted my attention from the moment I first set eyes on it. As we sat and talked, he helped me to understand a principle that was quite new to me, namely that Bible Chronology was not just a series of dates, such as may be found for example in any British history book, showing the progression of the reign of monarchs. On the contrary, it was clear to Mills that God had made a pattern of the time sequence of His works with humanity, as well as the pattern more obvious to view of the works themselves.
I have his booklet before me now, as I write this first chapter, and although it contains mere 61 pages, it is crammed full of the most delightful correspondences from Scripture, a joy to read. His main thesis was to show that the pattern of the week found in Genesis chapter one, is the key to understanding the progress of human history. And as we are now far advanced along the time-line, it is possible to look back and see in perspective the way in which this divine pattern has been written indelibly upon the chronology. Each day of the week, he said, is a millennial day, and therefore history should be concluded after seven thousand years.
In those eventful years in the 1950s I was introduced to a young man by the name of Charles Ozanne, who was then studying at Oxford University for a doctorate. He and I spent many hours together. I was anxious to absorb anything available on the subject of Biblical exposition, and Charles was able to give me much gold from his treasures. We have been good friends ever since. His knowledge of Hebrew and his in-depth study of all matters relating to Biblical chronology were put to good use in publishing his book entitled “The First 7000 Years.” Charles had also read Eustace Mills’ book, and had taken the subject a step further by finding numerous patterns of time in the Old Testament. Like Mills, he believed in a pattern based on the Sabbatic principle, hence the title of his book. But although nothing was explicitly stated in the volume of his writing, the title showed that he believed in something beyond the termination of the Sabbatic Millennial Week.
It was also in those early years of my Christian life that I had the privilege of being given a book written in the last decade of the 19th century by George F. Trench, B.A. entitled, “After the Thousand Years.” In this volume the subject was taken one step further, namely to show that the Bible indicated a further period of a thousand years beyond the expiry of the Millennial Sabbath. Trench showed very clearly that many of the prophetic words of the Bible were not related to the Millennium of Revelation 20, but to a further period of time. Hence the sub-title of his book was “The Glorious Reign of Christ as Son of Man in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.”
This is the background to my present study, and it gives me pleasure to remember those early days, and the earnest studies Charles and I made in pursuit of chronology. From recent correspondence, I understand that he is now in process of writing a new book on the subject, even as I endeavour to do the same from my own perspective.