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in order to get anything clear, the Bible student must study the whole. And as it respects the matter under consideration, days being put for years: If God had revealed himself plainly by using plain language instead of figures; if he had said, “Ūnto 2300 years from the time that Ezra would be sent up from Babylon to restore the law and captives, &c., to the time when the end of the world should come,” many men of the world would reject the whole Bible because of these words.
Again, others, during past ages, if they could have known that the judgment day was yet many years to come, they would have abused the mercies of God, because vengeance was not executed speedily. Yet God had determined times, and set bounds, and must reveal it to his prophets, or he would deny himself, (Amos iii. 7: Surely the Lord God will do nos thing,” &c.) that that day may not overtake the true believer as a thief, 1 Thes. v. 4. It is in the manner of Christ's parables, Matt. xiii. 14, 16: “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.” 6 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear."
That God has used days as a figure of years, none will or can deny. With Moses, Num. xiv. 34: “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, (each day for a year,) shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years; and ye shall know my breach of promise.” With Ezek. iv. 4-6: “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Also the seventy weeks in
Dan. ix. 24–27. These are samples. But you will inquire, How shall we know when days are used for years? I answer, you will know by the subject mat. ter to be performed in the given time: for instance, the seven of the seventy weeks, “The streets and walls of the city should be built again, in troublous times;" every man must know this could not be performed in forty-nine days; or even in seventy weeks, 490 common days. So we are to look for another meaning to days; and we find it, as above, to mean years.
Again, the 2300 days. This is an answer given to the question, For how long a time the vision," of the ram, the he-goat and the little horn, “ shall be ?" Answer, unto 2300 days. Who cannot see at a glance, that these three kingdoms could not conquer each other, rule over the whole world, each one separately for a time, and do this in six years and four nionths?. Thus the infidel rejects his Bible, and the worldly scribe and priest try to explain away, by their own wisdom, what God has made plain by his word. “By hearing ye shall hear, and not under. stand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive."
But apply our rule,"years for days," and all is simple, plain, and intelligible.
I might here show how God has revealed time by types in his word, by Jewish sabbaths, by the jubilee, and by the day of rest; but I am warned that I have already trespassed on your patience. May we all apply our hearts unto that wisdom which compares scripture with scripture, and understand "times and seasons,” which God has put within our power by his revelation unto us.
For the time is at hand, “when the wise shall understand.-but the wicked shall not understand.” Amen.*
* See Sermon on the Sabbath, in PART SECOND.
TO THE BELIEVERS IN THE SECOND AD.
VENT NEAR, SCATTERED ABROAD.
My Dear BRETHREN AND FRIENDS :
GRACE, mercy and peace be multiplied unto you, from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
In time past, I have travelled quite extensively in the U. States and in Canada, publishing the glorious news of the near approach of the Second Coming of the dear Savior, to tens of thousands, both of saints and sinners. With many of these, I have formed the happiest acquaintance. It would afford me the greatest pleasure to meet those friends again, and renew an acquaintance so happy and endearing. But for this I cannot hope in this world. You will therefore permit me to address you, through the only medium now left me, on the glorious subject which has occupied your and my attention for several years past. It may be the last time I shall be favored with of addressing my friends scattered abroad, to whom I am bound by so many tender ties. As a friend na mine has conceived the idea of publishing anotser volume of my productions, which may fall into the hands of very many of my old friends who will see my face no more in this world, I avail myself of the privilege of appending to the same this address, containing my solemn, and, perhaps, last advice to you all, and thereby clearing the skirts of my garments of the blood of all.
It is about nine years since I first began to publish the doctrine of the Advent near; though I had been fully convinced of its truth long before, by a close and patient study of the Bible. But such were the difficulties attending its promulgation, that I was restrained from the duty for a long time. And when you consider the circumstances in which I was pla ed, you will not wonder that I shrunk, for a time, from the responsibility. I was alone; stood with me" for a number of years. I had to con. tend against the prepossessions and prejudices of the entire christian community; the systems, talents, as also the superior education of the clergy; the religious press, and the political also, throughout the country; the institutions of learning, both literary and theological ; the unbelief of the church ; and, in short, the whole world were against me. Had you have seen the old farmer then, without education, with but limited means, almost unknown, unaccus. tomed to public speaking ; without sympathy, au. thority, or recommendation from men; going into the world with the Bible alone in his hand to bear a solemn message to a sleeping church and a stupid world ;-a message so alarming as the announcement of the speedy coming of the last judgment, and the conflagration of the world ;-a doctrine so contrary to the human heart, so opposed to all the received opinions of the community ;-had you have seen me under these circumstances, I am dísposed to believe that you would have pronounced me very visionary and fanatical. I speak not these things boastingly; God forbid; but rather to show my weakness and incom. petency, and to magnify the wisdom and power of God, who is able to take worms to thresh mountains, and the weak things of the world to confound the wise and mighty; and that you may value these things the more, as being of God, and remain steada fast, watching unto prayer.
This view of the instrumentality which God has seen fit to employ in connection with the effects pro duced, will show that this cause and doctrine are of God. What other object could I have had in view, in preaching this doctrine, under the trying circum. stances specified above, but to glorify God and save my fellow-men? Yet how many unworthy objects and motives have been attributed to me, by many of the professed disciples of Christ, and by a.scolfing and unbelieving world! Take for examples the folo lowing from among the thousand lying reports circu. lated through the land:-
“That it was for worldly gain!" How can this be true? Look at the circumstances. Accord. ing to my calculation of “prophetic times,” there were but iwelve years to the consummation of all things.” If I ever got rich, it must be within this period of time. Now what were the facts ? Four years of the time were spent in New York, Vermont, and Canada; and all that the old man received would not amount to one dollar! Not that the brethren were not willing to give. No; for they often urged me to take; but it was wholly refused. Since which time, I have received some contributions, in order to bear my heavy travelling expenses; but my receipts have never exceeded my expenditures. But say they, “he has made it by his books.” But, my brethren, this cannot be a motive; for my books were not thought of nor written until a number of years after I had gone out and published the doctrine. And then, again, the books were not published by me; but by those to whom I gave the privilege of publishing the first and second editions without charge. Does this look like speculation ? “Well, then,” says
“ he does it to get a name, like the man who set a city on fire that he might obtain notoriety.” This needs no argument to confute it. The man who could conceive so ridiculous and silly a motive, or impute to others such motives, would be considered, if justly dealt with, either a madman or a fool; particularly where there is not a particle of evidence to support such imputations. Then he does it “ to raise up a sect or party.” This needs no more argument than the