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‘Day and the Hour, The, by Capt. W. A. Baker’ (review).

Baker, a mathematician for the Royal Bombay Engineers, insanely devised these prophecies, based on arithmetical applications to the Book of Revelation. Examples: Victoria will abdicate in favour of a Prince Regent; Christ will descend over Mount Olivet at sunset on 20 September 1878; Napoleon III will be named Pope and prove himself the Antichrist. Fortnightly Review (15 September 1865), 379–80. Anne K. Lyons

The Day and the Hour : Captain Baker sat himself down to 'make prophetical arithmetic exact, and in four months produced a work which, as he says with carefully weighed humility, is "to some extent inspired." " What I have written is true. I comprehend my position clearly, for it is that which St. Paul describes of himself. 'For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of, for necessity is laid upon me ;...... Asserting that this work is to some extent at least inspired, I am bound to show what grounds I have for the assertion, that the public may form a fair judgment." ... Captain Baker, it will be perceived, does not claim, he is only inspired " to some extent," and, moreover, he as Engineer and Englishman thinks that the public has a right to investigate the grounds of new dogma, and would rather that evidence amounted to mathematical proof. So he gives reasons as well as assertions, formulates those reasons after the most exact style, goes into arithmetical calculations with a will, and produces the most extraordinary farrago of arithmetically exact nonsense that we ever remember to have seen written by a man not fit for the interior of an asylum. Such nonsense is it indeed that we should not notice it, but for an impression that the book, with its " exact " figures and definite prophecies, and carefully defended calculations will produce among minds which think Dr. Cumming great a certain sensation.

Extracted from much longer article at http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/26th-