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by these wars the Roman empire itself was divided into ten kingdoms, according to Daniel's prophecy, chap. vii. 24 : « The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings [kingdoms] that shall arise." All this took place before the end came" to paganism, or the 16 daily," as Daniel calls it.
Verse 9 : “ Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you," &c. "Then"—when? While these commotions are going on in the Roman empire.
Verse 10 : “ Then shall many be offended, [stumbled, apostatize,] and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."
It does not come within my design to show particularly how this prophecy was fully accomplished under heathen or pagan Rome. All acquainted with history know it was fulfilled to the very letter; and it is supposed that not less than three millions of Christians suffered death under that persecuting power.
Verse 11 : “ And many false prophets [teachers] shall arise, and shall deceive many." The history of the church shows that many such teachers did arise at the period here indicated.
Verse 12 : "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." When Christianity became, by profession, the religion of the Roman empire, then the church was corrupted by a worldly policy, and the introduction of heathen customs into their religious services, so that iniquity abounded, and the love of many waxed cold ; then came the “ falling away," spoken of by Paul, 2 Thess. ii. 3; thus preparing the way for the appearing of the “ man of sin."
Verse 13: " But he that shall endure unto the end [death—see Rev. ii. 10,] the same shall be saved." The trials of those days should be severe, but faithfulness “ unto death" should be rewarded with "a crown of life." Verse 14 : “ And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations ; and then shall the end come."
The inquiry arises—The end of what? Some say, the end of the Jewish economy, or of their nationality; others say, the end of the world. I cannot adopt the first position ; because, it appears to me, our Saviour was speaking of an end that was to come after a bloody persecution of his followers, and a falling away in consequence of the abounding of iniquity, [verse 12,] and not that only, but also of many wars. These things did not all take place before the destruction of Jerusalem. If I am not much mistaken, the first war, of any importance, after our Saviour, was that in which Jerusalem was destroyed ; and the Saviour told his disciples that the end was not yet" when those wars commenced. See verse 6.
I cannot adopt the interpretation, that the end spoken of in the 14th verse is the end of the world. Not that that interpretation is an objection to the end of the world being now at hand, as some suppose, but because, if that construction is true, the world should have come to an end long ago. The apostle, in his Epistle to the Romans, x. 16, says, “ They have not all obeyed the gospel ;" and adds, 18th verse, “ I say, Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." Compare this with Acts ii. 1—5: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, OUT OF EVERY NATION UNDER HEAVEN." Thus it was true that the sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world, in the days of the apostles. And
again, in Colossians i. 5, 6: “ The truth of the gospel, which is come unto you, as it is in all the world." And again, at the 23d verse : “ If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven ; whereof I, Paul, am made a minister." To my mind, it seems next to impossible to reconcile this testimony of the apostle with the idea that the gospel has not, hundreds of years ago, been“ preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations." Hence, I an. compelled to look for some other interpretation of the 14th verse. The " end" of something is spoken of in that verse, which, it would seem, was brought about by the agency of the gospel. By the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom in all the world for a witness, or testimony, some kind of a change or revolution was to be effected that should bring an "end" to something. The inquiry returns—what is that something? In my opinion, it was that persecuting power of which the Saviour had spoken in the previous verses; in other words, it was Pagan Rome, paganism, or the same power called by Daniel "THE DAILY."
Let us see if we can determine what we are to understand by the “ daily sacrifice," spoken of in Daniel 8th, 11th, and 12th. It will be seen by a reference to those chapters, that the word " sacrifice, connected with “ daily," is in italics, and therefore is not in the original text, but has been supplied by our translators. The expression in those texts is perfect without the supplied word, and the sense much clearer. The text, Dan. viii. 13, is simply " the daily, and the transgression of desolation :" and in the 11th chap. 31st verse, it is, "They shall take away the daily, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." This language shows that “ the daily" is a daily or continual abomination, or desolating power, that should desolate the people and church of God till it was taken "away," and that then should come up another aboin
ination to take its place, still more desolating : then, in the 12th chap. 11th verse, the time is given us from the taking away of the daily " to set up [as the margin has it] the abomination that maketh desolate," and that time carries us to the taking 6 away the dominion" [Dan. vii. 26] of this last abomination.
That these things do not relate to anything done by Antiochus Epiphanes, is certain from the fact that Antiochus died 164 years before our Lord's birth, and Christ directed his followers to look for the “ abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel," as still future.
Some tell us the “ daily" is the daily sacrifice of the Jews, which was taken away at the destruction of Jerusalem. If so, can they tell what event took place answering to the 1290 days, which, if understood as literal days, can be made to agree with no event? Then it is added, “ Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the 1335 days." What took place then? Nothing that marks that as a peculiar period. It was at the end of those days that Daniel was to stand in his lot, or have his resurrection. Did he have it 1335 days after the destruction of Jerusalem ? If the days stand for years, what event, answering to the prophecy, took place 1290 years from the cessation of the Jewish sacrifices? It was in the darkness of Papal Rome. Did Daniel have his resurrection under the dark reign of Papacy? We have nothing in history to show that anything took place at the end of those days, if reckoned from Jerusalem's destruction.
We are now led to inquire what “ daily" it was that was "taken away." I answer, it appears to me, clearly, it was the daily or continual abomination of paganism, which oppressed the people and church of God till it was “ taken out of the way ;'' which event, it seems, from Gibbon's History of Rome, took place about A. D. 508, when “ Vitalian, a Gothic chieftain, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, declared themselves the champions of the Catholic faith." Thus an end came to pagan sacrifices at Rome, or paganism
was " taken out of the way" and no longer "hindered" the revelation of the "man of sin," or "abomination that maketh desolate," i. e., Papacy. What event transpired 1290 days from the taking away of paganism, or the “ daily," in 508? 1290 years from that time, viz., in 1798, Berthier, a French general, entered Rome, deposed the Pope, abolished the Justinian code of laws, under which the Pope had carried on his 6 war with the saints" for 1260 years, and gave to Italy a republican form of government, carried the Pope captive to France, where he died in 1799:thus was the “ dominion" of Papacy taken “ away, to consume and destroy unto the end." See Dan. vii. 26. The 1335 days, or years, from the taking away of “ the daily" in 508, carry us down to 1843, when Daniel, with all the saints, will stand in their lot, i.e., will be raised from the dead.
The daily," then, and “ the abomination of desolation," are two desolating powers acting against the people and church of God. An end comes to one, and then the other comes up in its place.
The gospel of the kingdom, Mark says, xiii. 10, "must first be published among all nations." This was done in the apostles' days, as we have already seen; but the influence of it did not at once work the revolution by which paganism fell : but it began to work its fall, and at length produced that change, by which Constantine declared in favor of Christianity in the fourth century; but paganism had its temple and altar at Rome still, and was not utterly thrown down, or “ taken away," till about A. D. 508, when “ Vitalian, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, mostly idolaters, declared themselves the champions of the Catholic faith." That mighty revolution caused the taking away of the pagan rites at Rome, as we have seen, and thus "the end came" to the pagan persecuting power. But, observe, this was not till after "a falling away," as Paul calls it, and " the love of many waxing 6 cold,'' as our Saviour saith. This took place from the time the Roman emperors espoused