Obrazy na stronie

for the completion of the building again of the street and the wall in troublous times (ver. 25); A.D.30 for the commencement of the week during which the covenant was confirmed with many of the Jewish people; A.D. 33 the ceasing of sacrifice and oblation by the sacrifice of Christ; A.D. 37 the expiration of the seventy weeks during which the Jews continued the people of God, and had the exclusive offer of salvation, till God commanded Peter to go to Cornelius, and Paul and the other Apostles turned to the Gentiles. After this time, " till the end of the war, desolations are determined;" the period of which desolations is marked by the larger number of the preceding chapter, the expiration of which shall mark "the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the DESOLATOR (ix. 27).

[ocr errors]

The DESOLATOR of the end of the prophecy of seventy weeks is manifestly the impersonation of the "transgression of desolation" of the preceding vision (viii. 13), even the king of fierce countenance of the latter time (ver. 23); a time called the last end of the indignation (ver. 19). The king, called a little horn (ver. 9) in the vision, is generally allowed to be Mohammed; but its interpretation should not be limited to the person of Mohammed, for it extends to the whole system of which he was the head, as the little horn of the preceding chapter (vii. 8, 20) extends to the whole system of the Papacy. Mohammed did remarkably fulfil many of the things predicted of the desolator; and the Pope did remarkably fulfil many of the things predicted of the horn having eyes: but one yet more remarkably fulfilling them all shall yet arise; having both the horns like a lamb on the same head (Rev. xiii. 11); having the stout look of the western and the fierce countenance of the eastern apostasy, swaying the empire of both; being at the same time the beast and the false prophet. In the western empire, in the foul nest of the Papacy, this monster is hatching; and he gradually attains maturity there before he spreads his ravages to the east, where his career shall be short, and where he shall come to his end. This end, alone, is marked in the vision we are now considering; and it is declared to be after 2300 years: "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" (viii. 14): and, commencing this period from the same date as the seventy weeks, which is that portion of it which concerns the Jewish people exclusively, it gives us the time of the Gentile ascendency ;- from B. C. 453 to A. D. 1847 is this period;-after which, the sanctuary and the host shall be no more trodden under foot (viii. 13), for the last Antichrist shall then come to his end, and none shall help him (xi. 45).

Thus, being shewn the end of the time of oppression, Daniel is instructed, in the subsequent revelations, concerning the times immediately preceding the end, called the time of the end;

because his people are then being prepared for that final blessedness spoken of by all the prophets. It should be carefully noted, that the two periods we have been considering are not spoken of as days-the first being called 2300 evening-mornings, the second being called seventy weeks; and we have assumed that this symbolical form of expression was sufficient warrant for interpreting these periods to mean years not days. We also take the same for granted, in the symbolical expressions "time, times, and the dividing of time" (vii. 25), "time, times and an half" (xii. 7); assuming that these terms denote three and a half prophetic years, or 1260 years literally. But two other periods are revealed to Daniel (xii. 11, 12) of 1290 and 1335 days;" and these, being expressed in literal and not in symbolical language, we interpret literally, and believe them to mark portions of the time of the end, for the information of Daniel and his people.

[ocr errors]

The Papal period of 1260 years finished in 1793; after which the saints were no longer under the hand of the little horn (vii. 25), and the Gentile horns ceased to scatter the power of the holy people (xii. 7). From that time to the present, the saints and the Jewish people have been in a wilderness state, answering in character to the wanderings of the children of Israel; and which shall, in all appearance, answer to it in time; for the principal events of both periods have hitherto agreed with an interval of forty years between.

When this wilderness period draws to its close, the destruction of Babylon and the desolation of the Roman earth begins, by the last form of the beast of the Apocalypse (Rev. xvii.), who is beheld in the wilderness ver. 3, and whose actings are revealed Isai. xxi. in that grievous vision which is "the burden of the desert of the sea.' Now we believe that this wilderness period is near its close, and that all the burdens of woe contained in Scripture shall have their accomplishment within fifteen years of the present time. When they shall begin we presume not to say; and let not any one presume to say till when they shall not begin. Constant watchfulness and hourly expectation is the only safe attitude of the church now; " for in such an hour as we think not the Son of Man cometh."

But, without presuming to fix the exact time when the man of sin shall be revealed, whom the Lord shall come to destroy, we can fix, from Scripture, the time of Antichrist's actings, and the period during which he shall oppress the earth, and the time when that oppression shall have ceased. The rise of the Antichrist to come, like that of the Papal Antichrist, shall be among the ten horns, or kingdoms of Christendom; and under the last personal head, who is the eighth, and also of the seven, these kings reign but one hour, the symbolical expression for a

month or thirty days (Rev. xvii. 12). During this hour of thirty days, Babylon, or the Papacy, is finally subverted (xviii. 10); though some mimicry of its external form may be borne about in triumph by the Antichrist. This career is 1260 literal days; and the thirty days' reign of the kings will make the 1290 days of Daniel (xii. 11); at the beginning of which period the Papacy will set itself up as the abomination that maketh desolate, and so provoke the wrath of the ten kings to its immediate destruction. Probably at the same time some Mohammedan abomination will be set up in Jerusalem, which will bring upon it at the same time the wrath of the man of sin, and make it necessary to flee to the mountains, and find a hidingplace in Moab (Matt. xxiv. 16; Isai. xvi. 4).

In like manner the 1335 days (xii. 12) may indicate another month after the destruction of Antichrist for the purification of the land, and fifteen days for the songs of degrees (Ps. cxx.— cxxxv.) and the coming down of the heavenly Jerusalem (p. 266.)

The only point we mean to insist upon concerning these numbers in Daniel, is, that they define the time of the end (xi. 40); and that they all have their completion about the same time, namely, A. D. 1847; after which period the Jewish people shall be no more driven out of their land, but shall possess it for ever and ever. And as the date we have given to the going forth of the commandment is the latest that has been assigned by interpreters-some of whom make the vision to commence B. c. 533, and others down to 458-the year 1847 is the latest which can with probability be assigned to the final settlement of the Jews.

The numbers of Daniel have special reference to the Jewish people; the numbers of the Apocalypse, on the other hand, refer solely to the Christian church and its oppressors. The chrono

logical numbers in the Apocalypse are but two, 1260 and 666. The former of these is expressed in three forms. First, as a time, times, and half a time, to identify it with the period of the little horn of Daniel vii.; and, of this, three and a half is sometimes used as the symbolic equivalent. Secondly, fortytwo months, which is the same period expressed in lunar time, and used in speaking of the church, of which the moon is the symbol. Thirdly, 1260 days, symbolizing so many years, and used in reference to the nations, or Gentiles.

Of the number 1260, little need be said; we have only to remember that each vision must be interpreted on one principleeither the whole vision and its numbers are literal, or they are symbolical. Homogeneity requires, that where the rest of the vision consists of symbols, the numbers should be symbolical also. Thus the woman (Rev. xii.) symbolizes the church; therefore the 1260 days of that vision symbolize 1260 years and

so of the beast (xiii. 5). The witnesses, again, of the eleventh chapter, if they symbolize the Scriptures, must have their numbers symbolically interpreted-the days to denote years;but if the witnesses be taken to denote literal men, the numbers must be taken literally, as so many days. We believe that they cannot be taken literally, because the witnesses are also called olive-trees and candlesticks (xi. 4), and it would be absurd to call them symbolical and literal in the same vision. But we believe that the number which, under the symbol of days, numbered the period of the woman, or the horns, or the olive-trees; and which consistency forces us to render into years, when we render the symbols into a church, or a king, or a witness; may have a literal fulfilment also in a literal Antichrist, and literal men witnessing against him for so many literal days. This, however, we maintain is not deducible from interpretation, but is only an inference from analogy.

The period of the last beast-the personal Antichrist—is not expressly revealed; as the church, which alone could or would be guided by it, will then have been translated to meet their Lord in the air. But we have strong grounds for concluding, with the majority of the primitive fathers, that the reign of the man of sin will be three years and a half; during which time all that are left on the earth will be compelled to worship him, or fly to the rocks and caves of the earth to escape his deadly rage. This personal Antichrist is the last beast; whose power is equal to that of both the preceding beasts, with miracles added thereto (xiii. 11, 14). Before the rage of this last persecution, the faithful followers of the Lamb are translated to glory: these are the wise virgins, and the wise alone understand (Dan. xii. 10). But the number of this beast requires special wisdom and understanding (Rev. xiii. 18); and, seeing there shall be none of the wise upon earth to count the time of his reign, we believe that the number will indicate his character then, and not his time; and that, as a number of time, it has a retrospective reference.

The character of Antichrist, therefore, as revealed by the number of the beast, is that which we are first interested in discovering, that we may avoid all approach to, and participation in, the same spirit and character. It was argued, in a preceding paper (Vol. IV. p. 264), that the number of the beast is an expression tantamount to the parts of Leviathan: "that there will be a manifestation of the devil's children to mock that of the sons of God; and that the parts of Leviathan will be found to express the mystical body of Antichrist." The mystical body of Christ, especially that part of it which shall be alive and remain to his coming, has its characteristics given in many parts of Scripture; which characteristics we have only to reverse to ascertain the character of Antichrist and his fol

lowers. Christ is the Lamb, and the Leader; and the 144,000 follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth (Rev. xiv. 4): the Antichrist is the false lamb, auvos adikos, and the wicked leader, κακος οδηγος. Christ is the Captain, and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful: the Antichrist is an earthly conqueror, o viênτns, and they that are with him are deniers of the truth, aprovue. Christ is the Morning Star; and Antichrist αρνουμε. has the splendour (λaureriç) of Lucifer. Each of these words sums up into 666, and characterises Antichrist and his followers. But Antichrist has a locality also; and shall arise in the Roman earth, the territory of the fourth beast of Daniel, or Christendom. This locality is contained in Xareɩvos, and in Л”—the Latin or Roman name of the fourth and last monarchy-which words also make 666.

The last Antichrist, however, though rising in Rome, and out of the Papacy, shall not be limited in power to the western Roman empire, nor, in crime, to the vices which characterise the Papacy. He shall sway the whole power of the east as well as of the west. He shall be the false prophet of both the apostasies-the Mohammedan as well as the Papal. He shall combine the vices both of Pagan and of Papal Rome. He shall usurp both civil and ecclesiastical supremacy, holding both the swords.

;מחמדד מלד

This is indicated by his rise in Rome, and his being also Mohammed, and a king, μoaμeris, TN; by his being both the Papal church and the Mohammedan horn, η Βασιλεια λατινη and o kɛpas o μoaμped; by his followers vexing the righteous, as Lot was vexed in Sodom, DD; and their ruler shall be another Pharoah, peopaiμos Terav; and he shall even have the ruler of Tyrus for a coadjutor at the least, if they do not become identified to that degree as to have but one common

.משל צור,name

Now let any one take into consideration all these characters, the name of each forming the numeral 666; and let him further consider that the principle of Antichrist in every form is the denial of Christ, and crucifying him afresh; and that the place where the witnesses are slain is spiritually Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Rev. xi. 8.); then combine the characters of Sennacherib, Pharaoh, Mohammed, and the Pope, into one individual, who shall be the last oppressor of the church, and destroyed by the Lord coming in person, with his saints. If it be asked how these things are possible, how such contrary characters can be united in the same individual, we say that it has been foreshadowed in Bonaparte, who began his career, at the time when all religion was denied and persecuted, in the seat of him who was called "eldest son of the

« PoprzedniaDalej »