Изображения страниц
[merged small][ocr errors]

WE E are now come to the third Inquiry, lill all the

numbers of Danic and John, which refer to the state of things that we are looking for, agree with the present time? Let us examine. ,

In discussing the numbers of Daniel, I shall not take up much time in examining questions, and in endeavouring to solve difficulties which might be started, nor in inquiring whether any of these numbers terminated in Antiochus Epiphanes. I think, and I have very respectable authorities on my side, that they refer to the overthrow of the papal apostacy, and all those systems of tyranny which have been so much at enmity with the kingdom of Christ ; to the purification of the Gentile church, and to the restoration and conversion of the Jews. To save time, and to spare the reader's patience, I shall take some things for granted, which may be seen argued at length in more voluminous writings.

In the first place, let us consider Daniel's vision in chap. viii. It opens with the appearance of a ram, (ver. 4.) baving two horns, pushing westward, and northward, and southward. This the angel interprets (ver. 20.) to be the kings of Media and Persia. The next object in the vision is an he-gout, (ver. 5.) which came from the west, with a notable horn between his eyes. This the angel says (ver. 21.) is the king of Grecia, the Grecian empire; and the great horn between his eyes, the first king, or kingdom, under Alexander, his brother, and two sons. This horn , was broken, (ver, 8.) and after it came up four others; the four empires which sprung up out of the conquests of Alexander. And out of one of them came a little horn, (ver. 9.) which wared exceeding great, towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the pleasant land, and by him the place of the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down, &c. Ver. 13. Then I heard one suint speaking, and another saint said unto' that certain saint which spuke, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolution, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me,

[ocr errors]

Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

It scems natural to reckon these 2300 days (or years) either from the first part of the vision, the pushing of the ram, or the latter end, the violences cf the little horn, or from the time when Daniel saw the vision.* If we calcu. late from the time when Daniel saw the vision, the termination of the 2300 years is past forty or fifty years, and the sanctuary is not cleansed. If from the latter part of the vision (as understood of Antiochus) it will carry us to about the year A. D. 2130, which appears too far; for supposing the 1260 years power of the beast, predicted in the Apocalypse, were to be calculated from the time when the Pope became a temporal prince, from the exarchate of . Ravenna being given to him by Pepin, A. D. 755, or by Charlemagne A. D. 774, this would fall short of Daniel's number by more than a hundred years; but seeing that the power, idolatry, corruptions, and usurpations of the Papacy, were such, at least in the sixth century, as appear sufficient to denominate it a beast, and it is certain, that he began to rise much earlier; the most probable time for the fixing the commencement of Daniel's 2300 years, and that which will altogether agree best with the other numbers of Daniel, and the predictions in the Apocalypse, is, the beginning of the vision, the pushing of the ram, by which is intended some distinguished exertions of the Persian empire for conquests, And to what period of that empire does this so well agree as to the times of Xerxes, and that particular push which he made when he invaded Greecet with an army of 2,641,610 fighting men, reckoning 517,610 on board his fleet, which consisted of 1207 ships of the line of battle, 3000 gallies, transports, victuallers, &c. beside the 220 ships which the nations on this

* Dr. Newton, Bishop of Bristol, concludes from ver. 13, that these days are to be calculated from the beginning of the vision.

" As the question was asked,” says he," not how long the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue, but also, how long the vision shall last; so the answer is to be understood, and these two thousand and three hundred days denote the whole time from the beginning of the vision, to the cleansing of the sanctuary. Dissert, on the Proph. vol. i. p. 331. Dr. Lowth, in his comment on this passage, says, “The words may be rendered more agreeably to the Hebreui, thus : For how long a time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken quay, and the transgression of desolation continue ? † Prideaux's Connect, Part I. Book 4. p. 233.

side the Hellespont added, on board of which were 24,000 men? Of bis land forces, 80,000 were horse. And besides this maltitude, as many more are reckoned to have followed the camp, servants, eunuchs, &c. so that the whole number of people engaged in this expedition was at least 5,000,000. "What a push was this for conquest ! And, (though he had been pushing for three or four years before, yet) nothing else forbidding it, what period could be more proper for the angel to begin his reckoning from? He passed the Hellespont B. C. 480: four years before this he pushed at Egypt and reduced it; the next year he prepared for this invasion; the following he entered into a league with the Carthaginians against the Greeks, and in the year 481 B. C. marches as far as Sardis, on his

way towards Greece, where he winters, and in the spring passes the Hellespont,

Suppose we fix the year 481 B. C. for the commencement of Daniel's 2300 years, (allowing our chronology to be correct,) this carries us to the year of Christ 1819, when the sanctuary and host are no longer to be trodden under foot, i.e. the land of Palestine is no longer to be in possession of the enemies of the Jews, but they are to be restored, and the church freed from Antichristian abo. minations. But it


be objected, that as the Jewish year consisted but of 60 days, five days and a quarter short of our solar year, this will make a difference of thirty-one years short. To which I answer, A single Jewish year consisted but of 860 days, and when we consider three or four years only, this mode of reckoning may be admitted, but, as we have leap-years to regulate our measurement of time, so had the Jews. When it was necessary, they intercalated their month Adar; sometimes even a whole month, and this they were obliged to do to make their feasts of the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, happen at their proper seasons, The Targum of Chron. xii. 32. says of the children of Issachar, that “ They were skilful in the knowledge of times, and wise to fix the beginning of the years; dextrous at setting the new moons and fixing their feasts at their seasons.” Hence it follows, that though the Jewish ordinary year is to be attended to when but a few years are under consideration, yet, in a long succession of time, they are not to be noticed, for by intercalations they amount to the same with solar years,

In Dan. xii. we have three different numbers. (The

first agrees with that in chap. vii. 25.) Ver. 7. I heard the man cloathed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and a half time. Three years and an half, or forty-two months of years, viz. 1260. And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. Again ver. 11. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Ver. 12. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand and three hundred and five and thirty days. As the first number agrees with the predictions in the Revelation of John, respecting the continuance of the power and prosperity of the Antichristian beast; and as the numbers appear to contradict each other if they are confined to the tyranny of Antiochus, (though he might be pointed at as the type of Antichrist, I consider them as harmonizing with the New-Testament predictions. According to Rev. xi. 2. the holy city is to be trodden under foot of the Gentiles forty and two months; and in ver. 3. the two witnesses are to prophesy twelve hundred and sixty days clothed in sackcloth. Chap. xii. 7. we have the same number; and in ver. 14. we learn that the woman was to be nourished in the wilderness for a time, and times, and half a time, Chap. xiii. 5. power is given to the beast (the first beast remember, not the second) to continue or practise forty and two months. The same time, 1260 years, is intended by all these numbers. *

But how can we reconcile those three different numbers of Daniel with the seven (two in Daniel and five in the Apocalypse) which agree?

In the first place, let it be allowed, that the convulsions which are to bring about the predicted final overthrow of Antichrist began with the revolution in France in 1789, and then reckon thus.

Daniel's time, times, and half a time (1960 years) begin and end with the five numbers in the à pocalypse, and

* Here let me again remind the reader, that in the style of the prophets, a day is a year, a month thirty years, and a year 360 years, there being so many days in the Jewish month and year. A time is the same as a year, (Dan. iv. 16.) times, two years, and the dividing of time, half a year, which put together, ainounts to 1260 prophetic days, or years.

as they are 1260 years, and supposed to end at the French revolution, they must begin A. D. 529, and end in 1789. Daniel's 2300 years begin 481 years before Christ, and end in 1819, when some other great event or events, will take place. The beast and the false prophet, (Rev. xix. 20.) i.e. the Papacy and the French tvranny having previously been brought to an end, then, perhaps, if these events have not previously been realized, the dragon, will be bound, (Rev. xx. 2.) and the Jews, the dry bones in the valley of yision, (Ezek. xxxvii.) be raised to political life, and restored to their own land.- Daniel's 1990 years begin with his time, times, and half a time, and with the former five numbers of John in the Apocalypse, i. e. at the commencement of the reign of the beast, A. D. 529, and end with the former number, (2300) in 1819, and which they must, for they are to accomplish the saine erent, as may be seen by comparing Dan. viii. 13. with chap. xii. 11. This agreement deserves particular attention. His 1335 years (the end of which, according to him, will emi. nently be a blessed time) begin in the same year of Christ 529, and terminate in 1864, when perhaps the Jews are to be converted by that remarkable appearance of the Lord in their favour which is predicted in Ezek. Xxxviii. xxxix. and in Zech. xii. and xiv. Thus the final attack on the beast commencés in 1789. Thirty years are employed in the overthrow of the Papacy, the Turks, and other tyrannies : a season, it is likely, of great calamities, but especially to the enemies of Christ's kingdom. The next forty-five years, to 1864, to which time Daniel's 1335 years extend, may be spent in gathering the Jews, (who, according to Jer. xvi. 16. will be unwilling to return to their own land,) and in purifying them by those trials which, according to the prophets*, are to take place on their first return; as well as in purifying, and in bringing to an end all the sects and parties of the Gentile Christians; and which may be effected by that greater light which is to shine upon the Christian church in the latter days, previous to that greater glory and superior state of felicity which is to commence, perhaps, (as we have conjectured from Daniel's number of 1335), about the year 1864, on the conversion of the Jews, and of those heathen nations not before gathered to Christ.

* Jer. xxx. 3.--8. 11.–16. Ezek, xx. 32.-38. xxxvi. 21. 36. Zeph. M. 7.-80. Zech, xii. xii. xiv.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »