King – Presence Ministries – Planet Preterist

Web of Influence




- Robert Townely -

Robert Townely is a Universalist who published one of the earliest full Preterist books known, setting forth the "corporate body" view of which Max King is the modern proponent.  It is not Preterism, but the corporate body view and covenant creation ideas that lead to Universalism, as the follow quotes show.


Corporate Body View/Universalism

"Now we are of the opinion that the expression, ‘there is a natural body,’ may be predicated most justly of the Jewish body of worship, which body was then in existence in all its primitive force, when the apostle indited I Cor. XV., as much as when Moses indited the book of Leviticus….We know that the apostle was a Hebrew of Hebrews: and we apprehend, therefore, that when he expresses his soul’s desire, “O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of death,” he is speaking in reference to the Jewish worship, which was the ministration of condemnation and death…we apprehend, moreover, that when he speaks of an earthly house of this tabernacle being dissolved, of a groaning, being burdened, and such like, his mind is still upon the worship under the law; for it may well be asked, how can he speak of human bodies of clay as houses builded with hands?”  Robert Townley, The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ a Past Event (London, 1845), 119


"The mystical body of Christ, say we, was a natural body, at that time, as far as its ordinances, its officers, its gifts, prophesying, tongues, healing, helps, and governments were concerned.  All these were, if the expression may be allowed, borrowed from the Jewish body of worshipThat body was to give way to a spiritual body…the old covenant administration of death, which in Paul’s day was shaken and ready to vanish, should entirely disappear – then should be brought to pass the saying that was written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  Robert Townley, The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ a Past Event (London, 1845), 120


"The Apostle, when he writes, 'we all,' is discoursing of the one body which Christ had reconciled, of which he has many things to say to these Corinthian believers.  The change which he intimates is not any remodeling, any alteration, any glorifying of the natural bodies of these believers, but it is a change from the ministration of condemnation and death, of which he speaks in the former verses of the chapter, to the ministration of righteousness and life; or, in other words, from the first inferior and temporal covenant, which was added because of the Adam transgression, to the second superior and spiritual covenant."  Robert Townley, The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ a Past Event (London, 1845), p. 91


Imputed Adamic Guilt/Universalism

"In this state or constitution all the family of God, who were of the existing generation, were interested, independent of their knowledge. For instance, the Philipian jailor, as he was judged in the first Adam head, so he was justified in the resurrection of the second Adam head.  Did his ignorance of these facts, prior to Paul's preaching, absolve him from the judgment any more than it precluded him from justification?  By no means.  As he had been in the state of condemnation by the first Adam, so was he then in the state of justification by the second.  He was reconciled to God by death of the Son, and not by the knowledge of that death."  Robert Townley, The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ a Past Event (London, 1845),p. 90.

(Comment: Here we see how the erroneous idea of imputed Adamic death leads to Universalism.  If all men were vicariously condemned based upon what Adam did, should not all men be justified based upon what the second Adam did?    This is the Calvinist route to Universalism.  Just as King's Mosaic law view imputes condemnation to all, so does  imputed Adamic death.  Removal of these thus leads unavoidably to Universalism.  The error of this view lies in the assumption that God imputes the guilt of Adam to infants and others.)

Top of page

To receive Kurt Simmons’ e-mail newsletter, The Sword & The Plow, click the Subscribe link:



All rights reserved.