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of Man to reap the harvest of which they themselves are the first fruits, and finally to tread the wine press of the wrath of Almighty God, which is the judgment of the apostate church of Christendom. The xvth chapter presents the same company translated above the firmament, and glorifying God's coming judgments, and then issuing forth from the temple, or church in heaven, to pour them forth upon the nations of the earth, subjugated unto, and deluded by, Antichrist, after that which did let, namely, the sealed spiritual church, had been removed out of the way. But now they are not the one hundred and forty-four thousand only, but all the dead who have died in the Lord, and been rewarded along with them. This increase of their company by the children of the first resurrection is set forth in the 12th and 13th verses of chap. xiv. The work of cleansing and ridding the world of their enemies, being accomplished, the same company, thus increased, is represented in ch. xix. as the triumphant hosts in ch. xx. as the enthroned rulers of the earth, the spiritual Israel; in ch. xxi. and ch. xxii., as the bride of the Lamb, his espoused wife, the New Jerusalem in which he presenteth himself as the light and life of the world. We stand upon the eve of this spiritual work in the church; it is already begun : a few have been born as it were out of season, in whom the Spirit witnessing, might lead us into these glorious truths, that we, being filled with the faith of them, might pour out our souls in prayer and supplication until the Lord come forth in his excellent glory to accomplish all these things. What is it all! It is God's demonstration against, and triumph over, the personal Antichrist who is embodying himself in lineaments of light and glory, building upon the doctrines of Jesus concerning faith and love, light and liberty, peace and blessedness, the most wonderful system of ungodliness and error, of atheism and apostasy, of natural reason, art, polity, and society, which hath been ever known. All which system, now working under ground, to unmask and reprove and warn against, this spiritual church through faith in the word of God, is foreordained in these prophecies; and also meekly to suffer persecution and martyrdom at the hand of hell's first-born, the man of sin, then to ascend into glory from the bed of death, leading with them the dead who have died in the Lord, and all the living who have not been called upon to seal their testimony with their blood, and thereafter to come in the power of the Father with Christ, in order to gather the harvest of their testimony, which Antichrist hath threshed out of the fleshly husk, and to destroy him and all his crew, who have drawn long their furrows upon the back of Christ's people left to be ripened by judgments, seeing they would not be ripened by words of grace and mercy. As Jesus, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which he received at his baptism with water, did,
in his ministry of three years and a half, unmask the hypocrisy and wickedness of the Jewish Church, and then lay down his life, a seed which ripened a glorious harvest, whereof the first fruits were at Pentecost; the full harvest at or before the destruction of Jerusalem, the grand type of the coming of Christ in judgment upon the Gentiles and as Christ at his resurrection carried from their graves many of the bodies of the saints who had preceded him in their faithful testimony against the Jewish apostasy; even so now, when the Gentile apostasy is consummated, both in the Papacy and in Protestantism, and the abomination that maketh desolate, the word of man, standeth in the holy place where alone the word of God should be, Christ will seal a company of witnesses, who, like the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy Disciples, shall go into all nations of the world with proper credentials of a coming judgment, and with powers sufficient to avouch it; with part and parcel of the thing which they announce; with words also of grace and mercy, and power in the Holy Ghost to seal all who shall believe in their testimony, and set themselves to live a godly life: for the Spirit is a sanctuary and an ark; and there is no other way of passing into the bridal chamber, save by having our vessels filled with oil. And after these witnesses have stood forth in giant strength, and being ministered to of angels for power and speed, have explored the habitable world, and summoned every heart of the children of men, their time to suffer and die is come; and they shall, like Jesus, be yielded unto the power of Antichrist, in order that he and his false prophet and their followers may manifest forth their supreme contempt and hatred of the Holy Ghost, by making away with his anointed ones who stand before the God of the whole earth. This done, the witness is wound up, and the judgment proceedeth apace. And descending with these very witnesses, who had knocked at every heart, he shall come and divide the sheep from the goats, by the rule whether they received them or received them not. It hath been testified that this land is the right hand of Antichrist-that in this land the witnesses shall be slain that in this land the sealing shall commence-and from this land the witnesses shall go forth. It hath been testified that the churches in this land are Babylon; that the abomination which maketh desolate hath been set up, and now standeth in the holy place; and that every one should flee out of the spiritual Babylon with which we are surrounded, by testifying against it, and keeping ourselves apart from the unholy thing. That they which are in Judea should flee unto the mountainmount Zion, where is the temple of God, and hide themselves there in the shadow of the curtains of the Almighty till the evil days be overpast. In one word, that none save such as are sealed with the Father's seal upon their foreheads, shall enter into the
dignity of the bride for ever, though others may attain unto the servants' place;-which seal is the perfection of love unto the perfection of suffering for righteousness sake. These great revelations of the Spirit of God which are daily made in the midst of the church, or before me his minister, will more fully and orderly appear in the sequel of this exposition, if the Lord do not in the mean time call us to higher work. Meanwhile I rest in having unfolded the great idea which in these latter days we have been led into by the teaching of the Spirit; that like as out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent, so, to resist him, out of Jesse's root hath come forth a church clothed with the sun, and crowned with twelve stars; and her fruit shall be the man child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and of this man child the manifestation shall be in the flesh first, before it be in glory from the clouds above. It is a great mystery unveiled. Blessed are the ears which hear it, and blessed shall the eyes be which behold it. It is a glorious consummation in the church, worthy of the glorious commencement in the Head of the church.
(To be continued, D. V.)
INTERPRETATION OF DANIEL'S SEVENTY WEEKS.
FEELING that, in the unity of the universal church, it becomes the duty of each individual member to bring of that little which he may possess, and add to the common property of the church of Christ, for the establishment, help, and edification of the whole; feeling that this duty becomes imperative when it appears possible to free from its entanglement and represent in simple consistency with its contiguous portion of the word of God, any one passage of the Sacred Writings; I have presumed to offer a few remarks upon the remarkable prophecy in Daniel, relative to the first coming of the Messiah, contained in Dan. ix. 24, &c. In addressing myself to this task, I am too perfectly aware of my own insufficiency in many most important respects, for the full interpretation of a difficult passage, not to know that I expose myself to the charge of presumption and ignorance; but I trust that such accusers will be disarmed, or at least contented to lay aside their weapons, when I assure them that what I am about to offer, in reference to this passage, is thrown out with a view to excite the attentive inquiry of the learned and spiritually minded students of the sure word of prophecy, rather than arrogantly to establish a point upon which I myself am most anxious to be taught of God, and to
receive such instruction from the labours of others as His Spirit may supply to me through them. The prophecy before us is this: 66 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan. ix. 24-27). That this prophecy (ver. 24) refers to the seventy years' captivity of Judah; and verses 25, 26, 27, to the coming of Messiah the Prince; and the events that followed in the destruction of Jerusalem is, we believe, universally admitted; but great difficulty appears to have arisen in the minds of commentators respecting the numbers mentioned in these prophecies; namely, the "seventy weeks" (ver. 24); the "seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" (ver. 25); the "threescore and two weeks" (ver. 24, 26); and "the one week" (ver. 27). It may not be unprofitable to examine these verses a little in detail. That the 24th has no connection with the 25th, et seq., is evident. And, as it stands in our Authorized Version, it appears to have as little connection with any of the verses that precede it. A note appears in the margins of our Bibles, fixing the commencement of these seventy weeks, at the twentieth year of Artaxerxes (Longimanus), B. c. 444, without any warrant; but gratuitous as is this assumption, the annotator has not shewn how this agrees with the time of the fulfilment. Other writers, following the account in the Book of Ezra (vii. 11), have assigned the seventh year of Artaxerxes, B. c. 457, as the commencement of this period of seventy weeks; and thus numbering 490 years, arrive at the date of the crucifixion; but whether that be the time to which Dan. ix. 24 refers, remains to be considered. How it is designated by the words in that verse, it appears difficult to understand; but if commentators argue upon erroneous premises, we cannot be surprized if they
arrive at unintelligible conclusions. As a specimen of the manner in which learned and pious writers have been led in their expositions, to outrage all laws of interprepation, to say nothing of the insult offered to the common sense of their readers, we may be allowed to quote the commentary of the excellent Matthew Henry, on this very passage: "The times here determined are somewhat hard to be understood. In general it is seventy weeks, i. e. seventy times seven years, which make just four hundred and ninety years; i. e. the great affairs which are yet to come concerning the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem will be within the compass of these years. These years are thus described by weeks: First, in conformity to the prophetical style, which is for the most part abstruse, and out of the common mode of speaking, that the things foretold might not be too obvious." (Surely this is rather an unworthy motive to ascribe to the mode of teaching which the Holy Spirit uses, especially when we consider that the angel was sent to Daniel expressly to inform him, and to give him wisdom and understanding of the matter, ver. 22). Second," says Henry, "to put an honour upon the division of time into weeks (what honour?), which is made purely by the Sabbathday; and to signify that that should be perpetual." (How does this specification of a definite period signify any thing of the kind?) "Thirdly, With reference to the seventy years of the captivity, as they had been so long kept out of the possession of their own land; so being now restored to it, they should seven times as long be kept in the possession of it; so much more does God delight in shewing mercy than in punishing." So much more do good men love to mystify the plain word of God, when following up a favourite hypothesis! Can any thing be more unsatisfactory than such a method of spiritualizing expressions, which (as I think we shall be able to shew), if interpreted literally, would have presented no difficulty at all. We will not follow Henry into the maze of difficulties which perplex his interpretation, but endeavour at once from the context of the passage, to discover what authority there is for the use of the word "weeks" at all; and to ascertain whether it is not altogether a mistake which has crept into our translations through the mysticisms of the old cabbalistic writers. The substance of the following remarks is chiefly extracted from Jahn, (Appendix ad Enchiridion Hermeneutica. Fasc. I. p. 124, et seq. Ed. Viennæ 1813.) In the 2d verse of this chapter it is written, "In the first year of his reign (Darius) I Daniel, understood by books the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. (See Jerem. xxv. 8, 12.) Then follows the prayer of Daniel, the