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being years consisting of only 360 natural days each, are in reality no more than 1242 solar years ; and that they must be estimated as such in all computations that are made respecting them.* Independent however of the confusion introduced by such a mode of reckoning (for, would we be perfectly exact in it, we ought to attend both to the surplus of days above the 1242 years, t and to the hours and minutes by which the true solar year exceeds 365 days,) the Apocalypse itself, I think, affords us a sufficient proof of its erroneousness. Many other numbers are mentioned in that mysterious book besides the 1260 years ; we must unavoidably therefore conclude, that the same mode of reckoning, which is used in one case, must be used likewise in another. Now Mr. Fleming himself allows, compelled thereto by the exact accomplishment of the prediction, that the five prophetic months of the Suracenic locusts are 150 natural years, not 150 years of no more than 360 days each ; # and Bp. Newton has admirably shewn from the event, that the prophetic hour, and day, and month, and year, allotted to the victories of the Euphratèan horsemen, are equivalent to 391 solar years and 15 days, being the period comprehended between A. D. 1281 and A. D. 1672.8 Such then being the case, since both these sets of numbers are evidently to be computed by solar the number 1260 must, if we would preserve consistency, be computed by solar years likewise. Consequently the 1260 prophetic days of Daniel and St. John are 1260 complete solar years, not, as Mr. Fleming supposes, only 1242 solar
* Fleming's Apoc. Key, p. 20, 21, 22. † 1260 gears of 360 days each are equivalent to 1242 years and 270 days.
270. 1260 X 360=453600.
| Apoc. Key, p. 37, 38. $ Mr. Fleming attempts to reconcile this period with his own scheme by computing it from the rise of the Turkish empire to the taking of Constantinople : but he forgets that the prophet direct us to compute it from the time when tbe four Sultanies were prepared to be let loose against the Greek empire ; an expression, which implies that they were already in existence, though as yet bound fast by the dispensations of Providence, previous to the commencement of the period in question. See Apoc. Key, P. 39, 40.
To conclude : whatever may be the faults of the present work, they are exclusively my own. Had this, and my two former publications, been perused by the eminent characters to whom they are respectively inscribed, previous to their being sent to the press, they doubtless would have been much more perfect than they are : as it is, I alone am responsible for the errors which they
Jan. 20, 1805.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
WHEN the first edition of this work was published, we had not received intelligence of the disastrous termination of the campaign of 1805, at the battle of Austerlitz : now, although one decisive victory has been gained over the armies of Prussia, we are nevertheless in a state of soinewhat similar uncertainty respecting the final issue of the present contest. I can therefore only again observe, as I then observed, that “the Christian cannot reasonably doubt, that the hand of God is stretched forth over the earth in a peculiar and remarkable manner; and that all things will assuredly work together to fulfil those prophecies which yet remain unaccomplished, and to prepare a way for the last tremendous manifestations of God's wrath."
The Work, of which a second edition is now offered to the public, was wholly written in the
1804. After it was written, and even while I was revising and correcting it for the press, so many important events occurred, that I soon found it an endless labour perpetually to alter the text : hence I adopted the plan of preserving the text substantially the same as it was originally written, and of introducing into additional notes any remarkable passing circumstances that seemed to throw fresh light on my subject. The same plan is still pursued in the present edition. Except where I have corrected some errors (of no very great moment so far as my main subject is concerned,) into which I have since seen reason to believe that I had fallen, the text remains the same as it stood in the year 1804 : and whatever matters of importance have occurred previous to my sending to the press, in June 1806, the revised copy from which this second edition has been printed, are all thrown into the notes. Yet so rapidly do great events succeed each other, that even this has not been sufficient
to bring the present edition perfectly down to the day of its publication :, and it is only in a Preface that I have an opportunity of mentioning the formal resignation of the Roman Carlovingian emperorship by the chief of the house of Austria, the entire dissolution of the Germanic body, and the rapid formation of a new feudal empire subject to France under the title of the Rhenish confederacy.* While the reader therefore is requested to consider the body of the work as written in the year 1804, he will find its proper date annexed to every note which has been subsequently added. Such, when the peculiar nature of my subject is considered, a subject on which every day throws new light, was thought to be on the whole the best plan which I could adopt.
Nothing is more favourable to the cause of truth than fair and open discussion. My work has been attacked ; and I have answered the attack. As yet I have seen no reason to alter any of my main positions : however both the attack and the reply are before the public. Though I am little inclined to be swayed entirely by mere authority, it would nevertheless argue an intolerable degree of presumption to slight with wayward petulance the opinions of those, whose superiority of learning and talents is acknowledged by all. Two of my positions, which were impugned with peculiar acrimony, were the application of Daniel's wilful kingt to infidel France, which I conceived to be the great Antichrist of the last days ; and the reference of the remarkable expedition against Palestine and Egypt,t not to the king of the north, but to this wilful king. Yet in both these positions I have the satisfaction to say that I am supported by the very high authority of the late Bp. Horsley. A letter, which I received from him, contains the following passage. “I entirely agree with you, that the latter part of the 11th chapter of Daniel (i. e. all that follows the 301h verse) has no sort of relation to Antiochus or any of the Syrian kings. And the wilfu) king of the last ten verses I can understand of nothing but the great Antichrist of the last ages.” This alone is a sufficiently explicit declaration, that his Lordship conceived the wilful king to be the subject of all the last ten verses of the 11th chapter, and that he did not refer the six last of those ten verses to the king of the north, as Mr. Whitaker main. tains that we ought to do. If however the declaration contained in the Bishop's letter to me required any ex. planation, a most full explanation of it would be found in his Lordship's letter to Mr. King on Isaiah xviii. He there scruples not to avow his belief, that in the monstrous tyranny of infidel France, he beheld the rise of the Antichrist of the West, or at least of a principal and conspicuous branch of Antichrist ; and to this Antichrist thus interpreted, the Antichrist depicted in Dan. xi. 36-39, he unreservedly ascribes the whole expedition into Palestine, foretold in Dan. xi. 40–45; adding, in perfect harmony with ver. 45, that he thinks there is ground for believing, as the early fathers believed, “ that Palestine is the stage on which Antichrist, in the height of his impiety, will perish.”* Thus it appears, that his Lordship held the very opinion which drew upon me the censure of Mr. Whitaker. He supposed Daniel's wilful king to be the great Antichrist of the last ages ; he supposed the great Antichrist of the last ages to be infidel France ; and he supposed, that the expedition into Palestine would be undertaken by the great Antichrist or the wilful king, and consequently not by the king of the north.
* In one of the last sheets, which was sent to me previous to the impression being struck off, I have had it in my power to notice the assembling of the Jews by Buonaparte : but I have carefully avoided indulging myself in any speculations on this event. + Dan, si. 36.-89.
Dan. ii. 40–45. VOL. I.