« FöregåendeFortsätt »
In Dan, xji. we have three different numbers. (The first agrees with that in chap. vii. 25.) Ver. 7. I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and fware by Him that liv. eth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and an half time. Three years and a 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 hall be finished. Again, ver., 11. And from the time that the daily facrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh defolate fet 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 predi&tions 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 fixty days clothed in fackcloth. 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 unto 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 Da. niel with the seven (two in Daniel and five in the Apocalyple) 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 * 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 day: in the Jewish month and year. A time is the same as a year, (Din. iv. ib.) times, two years, and the dividing of timi, half a year, which put together amount to 1260 prophetic days, or years.
Daniel's time, times, and half a time (1260 years) begin and end with the five numbers in the Apocalypse, and 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 tyranny having previ. ously been brought to an end, then, perhaps, the dragon, civil defpotism, will be bound, (Rev. xx. 2.) and the Jews, the dry bones in the valley of vision, (Ezek. xxxvii.) be raised to political life, and restored to their own land.—Daniel's 1290 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 same event, 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 eminently 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 favor, which is predicted in Ezek. xxxviii. xxxix, and in Zech. xii. and xiv, Thus the final attack on the beast commences 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 kingdo:n. 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, und in bringing to an end all the sects and partics of the Gentile Chriitians; 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.
. But † Jer, xxx. 3-8. 11-16. Ezek, xx. 32–38. XXXV, 24, 25, 31, 33. Zephi
iii. 9–14. 2tch, xij. xiii.div.
But, perhaps it may be asked, What arguments are there which favor the conjecture of the 529th year of Christ being that from which the power of the beast is to be dated ? I own I have put this year down by accident, as the measurement back from 1789. To demonstrate, that in this year he came to such a state of matu. rity (for this mystery of iniquity was forming in the apostle's days, t and continued to grow for ages) as to constitute him a beast, is not essential to the making good our hypothesis. But though no man, from the history of past times, can determine the exact year from which God dates the kingdom of antichrist, yet there are good reasons from which a probable conje&ture may be formed, that it was as early as the fixth century.
The apoitle Paul, speaking of that which hindered the progress of this wicked one, says, (2 Theff. ii. 6—12.) The mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way; and then shall that wicked one be revealed, &c. Our most approved commentators suppose, that by he who letteth, the imperial power is intended, and that we must not expect to find this wicked one arrived at maturity till the fall of the western empire. This took place A. D. 476. . Soon after this therefore we may expect the ecclesiastical tyranny to be matured.
Some of our most able critics, as Bishop Newton and Mr. Lowe man, are of opinion, that by the wound which the first beast received, chap. xiii. 3. we are to understand the blow which was given to the majesty and power of Rome, by subjecting it to the exarchate of Ravenna ; and, that by its being healed, is intended its restoration to its former dignity, by this exarchate being given to the Pope, by which he became a temporal prince. Now, this wounding took place A. D. 568, and continued 206 years. If this be well considered, it tends much to strengthen our argument; for though, when the Pope was made a temporal prince, at the time of this healing, the world wondered more than ever after the beast, (Rev. xiii. 3.) yet the, papal beast existed before, and this only gave him increasing eclat. But farther to confirm our hypothesis, consider the state of society, and particularly the state of what was called the church, in this fixth century. Now, magis. tratès were tyrants, and priests were wicked, superstitious, and intolerant, beyond any former age. Now, numberless laws and re- ?
gulations were obtruded upon the church by human authority, which at once violated the authority of Christ, defaced Christianity, and robbed Christians of their deareft liberties. And in this very year 529, which we are looking for, the Justinian code was first published, by which thofe powers, privileges, and immunities were secured to the clergy; that union perfected between things civil and ecclesiastical, and those laws imposed on the church, which have proved so injurious to Christianity, and so calamitous to mankind. And which code, through the zeal of the clergy, has been received, more or less, as the foundation of the jurisprudence of almost every state in Christendom; and that not only in things civil but ecclefiaftical ; and by this means, as some author has obferved, the old fancy of the Romans, about the eternity of their command, is thus far verified. We may add also, that this fame Juftinian, if not in 529, yet as early as 534, declared the Pope the head of all churches; all were to be subject to his judgment, but himself to be judged by none.t
That this pamphlet, which is already larger than intended, may not be swelled into a volume, permit me to refer to Mofheim's Eccio Hift. Cent. VI. and especially part II. chap. 2d, 3d, and 4th. All sorts of absurdities were imposed, the groffest ignorance and wickedness prevailed among the clergy; the Bishop of Rome grasped at abfolute authority over conscience, and' unlimited fupremacy over the whole Christian church ; and though he did not altogether succeed in the east, in this western part of the world, where the scene of John's visions chiefly lay, his dominion was acknowledged, and parasitical panegyrists, among other blasphemous afsertions, maintained, that the Roman Pontiff was constituted judge in the place of God, which he filled as the vicegerent of the Most High; so that now was fulfilled that prediction of the apostle, 2 Thess. xi. 3; 4. As-God he fitteth in the temple of God, shewing himSelf that he is God. Now, the wicked were taught that remission
of + Mr. Mann, explaining the heads of the Roman beaft, writes, “ Quis igitur rex feptimus eric? Nimirum ipse papa. Nam ex quo A. D. $34, eum ecclefiarum oinniuin caput declaravic Justinianus, alii omnium judicem, ipsum' a · nullo judicandum, tanta reverentia & obsequio ab imp. ipfis cultus eft, tanta aus thoritate ipfos fubinde reprehendit, interdum etiarn anathemate perculit, ution zninus dicendus ft regnaffe in spiritualibus, quamvis se subditum femper fervumque fervorum diceret, quam in temporalibus imperatores," &c. See Bishat
of sins was to be purchased by their liberalities to the church and its ministers; now those doctrines which taught men the worship of saints and images, the efficacy of observing human rites and institutions towards the attainment of salvation, the power of relics, and a thousand more errors and absurdities were brought to perfection. Now did monkery over-run the world, and marriage was forbidden, as unworthy of those who aspired to be saints.--And in this very year 529 also, a new order of monks, which in a manner absorbed all the others established in the west, was instituted by Benedi&t of Nurfa. In process of time, this order having acquired immense riches, they funk into luxury, intemperance, and sloth; abandoned themselves to all sorts of vices; extended their zeal and attention to worldly affairs ; insinuated themselves into the cabinets of princes; took part in political cabals and court factions; made a vast augmentation of superstitious rites; and, among other meritorious enterprizes, labored most ardently to fwell the arrogance, by enlarging the power and authority of the Roman Pontiff. This and the other monastic orders, (links of ignorance, indolence, and vice!) were the fountains from whence issued all sorts of abominations, and the rivers which carried superftition, oppression, and violence, to all parts of the earth. They taught princes to tyrannize, and the people to cringe. · Was not the time of the publishing of the forementioned code of Justinian, and of the rising of this order of monks, a period, in the history of the apostacy, in which we may suppose the Almighty, with distinguished propriety, to begin to reckon the 1360 years of the beast's power, and the treading down of the holy city ? The conjecture is probable a priori : but, if present events, and these compared with other events, agree to recommend this date, 529, the probability is much increased.
To say no more of this concurrence of several numbers, thus áfsuing from different periods, and these the most interesting in the history of nations, and of the church, and yet harmonizing in their termination so conformable to what the prophets seem to point out, respecting the events of the last days; a concurrence which is not the effect of labored contrivance, as some, at first sight, may imagine, but the natural and necessary consequence of taking the French Revolution, in 1789, as the termination of the 1260 years of the prophets, and the point from which to measure all their