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Lord my God, for the holy mountain of my God; yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me, about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.”
1. Gabriel, whom he had seen in the vision at the beginning, was sent to him again. But the vision in the 8th chapter is the first one in which he saw Gabriel. That vision he did not understand. The same divine messenger is sent again, -2. To give him what he had not at the close of the former vision, “ skill and understanding." “ Therefore, understand the matter, and consider the vision.” What matter and what vision was he to understand and consider ? Why, evidently, the one concerning which Gabriel had before ina structed him, the “ evening and morning" vision, chapter viii. 14.
He then gave Daniel a key, by which to understand the nature of the time, and when to commence the 2300 days. Dan. ix. 24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, (the Jews,) and thy holy city, (Jerusalem)-1. “To finish the TRANSGRESSION;" the transgression whereby the national doom of the Jews and Jerusalem should be sealed-the rejection and death of Christ. 2. “To make an end of sin;" by satisfying Divine justice, by the one sin-offering of Jesus Christ. 3. “ To make reconciliation for iniquity ;” by the atonement of the Savior ; for •God hath reconciled us to himself by the death of his Son." 4. "To bring in everlasting
righteousness ;” as distinguished from the righteousness obtained by the offerings made under the law, where there was a remembrance of sins again every year. But Christ, by his own blood, entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 5. “ To seal up the VISION and prophecy ;" to confirm or make sure the vision and prophecy, of which this 70 weeks is a supplement and key. For if the first was fulfilled, we may look for the fulfilment of the other in due time. 6. • To anoint the Most Holy,” or “holiest of all,” or “holy of holies.” Thus Christ did, when he entered into the holiest, by his own blood. He consecrated it for us. And we now have boldness by the blood of Jesus to enter into the holiest by a new and living way, which he consecrated.
Thus all which was predicted to take place in the 70 weeks, was accomplished by the death of Christ.
Then follows the time when the seventy weeks were to begin, viz., at “ the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem." That commandment was given B. C. 457, by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, in the seventh year of his reign. See Ezra, 7th chapter. From B. C. 457 to A. D. 33, the time of the crucifixion, is 490 years; the exact number of days in 70 weeks. Hence the 70 weeks or 490 days are to be understood as standing each day-for a year, 490 years.
If, then, the 70 weeks are a key to the 2300 “ evenings and mornings," then they also stand for so many years; and beginning B. C. 457, at the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, they will bring us to A. D. 1843, when “the sanctuary is to be cleansed," and “the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
The inquiry, perhaps, may arise, Why commence the 2300 days with the 70 weeks? I re. ply,-1. Because the 70 weeks was given as a key to the 2300 days, to show when they began. 2. There is no other time to commence but that. For, if we understand them literal days, we are equally at a loss where to begin. If they commenced when the vision was given, the third year of Belshazzar, it is not true that the sanctuary was in any sense cleansed in 2300 days. If they represent 2300 years, and commenced then, they would have ended A. D. 1747, when no event transpired which could be called the cleansing of the sanctuary. But, leaving that point, we have no other period at which to commence but the one designated in the 70 weeks' prophecy. Indeed, it is now admitted by the strongest opponents of these views, that the two periods were to begin together; but then they contend that the cleansing of the sanctuary means the restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem, and the commencement of a temporal millennium. But it has already been shown, from Luke xxi. 24, that “ Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled ;” and that “then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.” So that the Jews will never be restored to Jerusalem, until the Son of Man comes to possess his everasting kingdom. Again; Gabriel declared expressly, “At the time of the end shall be the
vision.” And the time of the end will be shown to be, from the fall of Popery, 1798, to the end itself.
Once more. The same divine messenger declares, verse 19th, “At the time appointed (2300 days) the end shall be.” So, when the 2300 days are ended, the end of the reign of wickedness will come, and “the sanctuary be cleansed.”
If it be asked, “ If your calculation on this point should fail, will it not shake your confidence in the Bible ?" I reply, by no means. I admit there is a possibility of an error in our chronology, and if so, it will affect this calculation. But I must, even then, believe that the great event is at the door. But I now believe our chronological reckoning to be correct, and that 1843 will witness the cleansing of the sanctuary.
If it is true that we stand upon the verge of the great event, is it not vastly important that the world were awake to it? And can ministers of the gospel be guiltless, and yet refuse even to give the subject a candid and thorough investigation ? They are God's watchmen, placed on Zion's walls to mark the signs of the times, and receive the word at God's mouth, and give the people warning from him. But if, instead of doing their duty, and candidly looking at this subject as presented in the word of God, the history of the world, and the present signs of the times, they content themselves with believing the old doctrine of “ the Jews' return,” “the temporal millennium,” &c., thus crying, “ My Lord delayeth his coming,” and lull their flock to sleep on the subject, how will they answer it at "the great tribunal ?". ...
THE TIME OF THE END, AND END ITSELF.
THE MEDO-PERSIAN AND MACEDONIAN KINGDOMS.
The prophecy of Daniel, in the 11th and 121h chapters, unlike the former, is communicated, not by prophetic emblems, but by direct revelation of the events of futurity. But, like the others, it furnishes us with a train of events from the days of Daniel to the resurrection and glorification of the righteous.
In entering on the examination of this prophecy, I shall not dwell particularly on the first part of the 11th chapter, as it is so plain that there is little dispute as to its application, and a sufficient explanation may be found in most of the commentaries of the day. But on the latter part of the chapter I shall dwell inore fully.
Dan. xi. 2. “There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia." This vision was in the third year of Cyrus, who was the then reigning monarch. After him reigned three other Persian kings, viz., Cambyses, Smyrdis, and Darius