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either to prevent or correct mistakes in the chronology of our Lord's life and ministry. Ulher had involved the subject in such perplexity and confusion as to defeat the primary uses and ends of all the septenary periods, whether measured by weeks of days, or of years. Sir Ifaac Newton, at a venture, assumed the postulate, that e sabbatical year characterised that of the crucifixion, without the least apprehension, that such years were computed from two different sources.
THE 70 weeks of Daniel begin and end in Abib, or Nisan, of the sacred Hebrew year. This criterion is common to each part of the entire number, and consequently to the 70th or last week. The prophet had no retrospect to the original ordinance concerning periodical rests for the land, release for bond servants, remisSion of debts, &c. ;-usages which had become obsolete almost fix centuries before his time. Nothing less. Of his commission it was the ultimate object to define, by certain notes of number, a point in remote futurity, · when a notable personage, often foretold by former prophets, and then first denominated THE MESSIAH, should be cut off, but not for himself, as the signal of a momentous revolution soon after to succeed.
NATURAL it is to conjecture, that a prediction of events, so grand and awful, would rouse the attention of every inquisitive mind, to unfold the mystical terms in which it was delivered, and, if poflible to ascertain the time of its completion.
From the first year of Darius the Mede, A. M. 3471, when this prophecy was cmitted, to the seventh of
Longimanus, Longimanus, in 3551, when the first of the 70 weeks began, is an interval of 80 years. From the month Abib, in the year last mentioned, count forward 131 years, the reckoning is continued to Tizri, in the 21st of the same Longimanus ;-that very month, when Nehemiah, with the concurrence of the princes, priests, Levites, and the collective body of the people, entered into a curse, and into an oath, that they would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt *. Thus is the coincidence of the last year of the second prophetical week, with the first sabbatical year, in the series from Nehemiah, demonstrated. It has been already shewn, that every fabbatical year, in the original series, falls in the center of a prophetical week from the date of Ezra's commission. According to this rule the seventh of the original series must likewise be the fourth of the 70th week, from the 21st of Artaxerxes. In the first year of this week John the Baptist began his ministry, in the month Abib, A.M. 4034. Add 31 years, the reckoning terminates in Tizri 4038. About the time of the verrel equinox Jesus was baptised, and ** soon after opened his commission to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, in the synagogue at Nazareth. Prolong the computation downward, from that cardinal point, 31 years more, the crucifixion is fixed by infallible chronological characters to the beginning of Abib, 4041: the latter part of which year was, by the new series, fabbatical.
To prevent the censure of audacious presumption, in controverting the authority, not only of archbishop Usher, but of Sir Isaac Newton, and of ftill more recent writers, eminent in the republic of letters, the author judged it necessary to elucidate the chronology and history of our Lord's ministry, and that of his forerunner, by evidences derived from genuine records. The result is, that the last prophetical week, divided into two equal portions, comprehends and exhausts the duration of both, in exact harmony with the prophecies of Daniel, the testimony of the Evangelists, and the repetitions of the three famous septenary cycles, that of natural days from the creation, of astronomical years from the division of Canaan, and also from the 21st of Artaxerxes, rightly computed. To ascertain the true sources of these circulating periods, has been a work of labour and patience. But no merit is claimed from the discovery. That the ministry of John the Baptist, and of Jesus Christ, was circumscribed within the limits of seven years, has, from time immemorial, been the uniform belief of plain unlettered Christians, and of the learned before the reception of an erroneous chronology, which the accurate arrangements of Dr. Prideaux have not been sufficient to explode. The subject is now brought to the test of strict calculation, and submitted to the tri. bunal of impartial criticism.
FROM Sir Isaac Newton to Dr. Joseph Priestly, a great majority of the writers, on the chronology of the Evangelists, has incurred the imputation of adopting ambiguous principles, and of resting in absurd conclusions *. They generally compute by the Dionyfian era, and the Catonian years of Rome; and so compress, within' too scanty limits, the interval from our Lord's nativity to his passion. Thus the ministry, either of Christ or of John, or of both, is, without necessity, and contrary to historical evidence, abridged. But if seven years be allowed for both, and this period brought down to April A. M. 4041, coincident with the number of the Jul. Per. 4746, every difficulty is surmounted, consistently with every criterion of time.
• An eminent commentator on the Gospels, contemporary with both and inferior to neither in Biblical criticism, Dr. Pearce, late bishop of Rochester, incurs this cenfure of adopting contracted epochs, and deficient measures. Dodwell had framed the Chronology of Vell. Paterculus to an agreement with Varro's Computation, which niakes the first Julian year run parailel with 709, and the 78th with 786. The Right Reverend Critic, with a rash, unskilful hand, accommodated the Chronology of Jofephus and Paterculus to the Catonian scheme, which retrenches two years from the Varronian. Ace cording to him Christ was born in the 41st Julian year, and suffered in the 74th;-not as the truth of computation requires; -in the 40th and 77th.—Thus is the first, and consequently the 15th of Tiberius, anticipated by two years; the crucifixion by no less than five : and the result is, that the 70th and last prophetical week began with the month Abib, about the middle of which the Mellialı was cut off. Thus, in effect, the ministry both of Christ and his forerunner is anticipated, the clear in. terpretation of a very coherent prophecy distorted, the whole computation by fabbatical termas set aside, and the most confiftent history ever written by ihe pen of man, involved in a deep gloom of artificial darkness.
HIS monarchy, founded by Alexander of Mace
don, rose into political importance on the ruins of the Persian. He is the mighty king, of whom it had been foretold, (257 years before the event), “ that he should stand up, rule with great dominion, and do according to his will *.” The supremacy of Providence is wonderfully displayed, in overruling the wills of princes, and in rendering their enterprises subservient to the accomplishment of its gracious designs, even when the means employed seem to human wisdom inadequate, or of a contrary tendency.
.« This kingdom is compared to a leopard to signify its fierceness. Its four heads and four 'wings signify, that it should be divided into four kingdoms ; for it continued in a monarchical form, during the reign of Alexander, of his brother Aridæus, and of his young fons, Alexander and Hercules; and then brake into four kingdoms, by the governors of provinces putting crowns on their own heads, reigning over their own provinces;-Gaffan Cassander over Macedon,