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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1 - Contents
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    The grand question, Is the time of the second advent of the Saviour revealed in the word of God? seems to lie at the foundation of our investigations of the prophecies. If it is not revealed, we shall labor in vain to ascertain it; if it is matter of revelation, it is a proper subject of discussion and examination until we arrive at the truth on the subject. That there is a diversity of opinion on the meaning of the prophecies, is no reason why we should not study and endeavor to understand the subject; for there is probably not a subject in the Bible which is not controverted, and on which great and learned men do not disagree. If this fact is a valid reason for the neglect of the prophecies, it is a good reason why we should throw away the whole Bible.PREX1 112.1

    The great argument usually urged against the investigation of the prophetic periods is, that the Saviour declared (Matthew 24.) of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only.” To this objection I shall for the present only reply, that what was not known either to men or angels 1800 years ago, may, for all that, be a matter of revelation, and be understood at the time and by the age for whose benefit the prediction was specially given. In the proper place this objection will be more fully met.PREX1 112.2

    I shall now endeavor to show, 1st, that the fact and lime of Christ’s second coming are both revealed in the 8th chapter of Daniel; and 2nd, when, according to that revelation, the event will take place.PREX1 113.1

    The question and answer contained in Daniel 8:13, 14, has so often been examined and put to the torture, that one would be almost inclined to the opinion that nearly all has been said upon it that can be said. But yet I have a disposition to try it once more. I shall give the text without the italicised or inserted words.PREX1 113.2

    1. The question. “How long the vision, the daily and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?”PREX1 113.3

    It is presumed no one will dispute that this is the true and correct reading of the original. First, “How long the vision?” What vision? The true answer to this question will be a decision of the dispute, whether the days are to be understood literally or figuratively. If the vision includes only the little horn, and that little horn is Antiochus, then the days are literal, or rather general and indefinite. But if the vision includes the ram with his two horns, the tough goat with his great horn between his eyes, and the four horns, together with the little horn out of one of the four, then, let the little horn be what it may, the days must be figurative, and mean something more than literal days. Now, reader, just read the text again, together with the context. “How long the vision, the daily and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” What is the vision? Reader, think. Were not the ram and goat a part of the vision? Does not Daniel, when relating the vision, commence it with the ram having two horns? Does not Gabriel, when told to make Daniel understand the vision, begin his instruction on the import of the imagery, by saying, “The ram which thou sawest, having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia?” Then the ram was a part of the vision. If this be correct, then professor Stuart, professor Chase, and a host of others who follow in their wake, are incorrect in restricting the vision to the little horn out of one of the four notable horns of the goat.PREX1 113.4

    2. The answer. “Unto two thousand three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The literal rendering is, 2300 evening morning, the Hebrew mode of expressing a day; as in Genesis 1st chapter:—“The evening and the morning is the first day,” “second day,” etc.PREX1 114.1

    Mr. Dowling contends that the period is only 1150 days. That the number relates to the Jewish sacrifices; and there being two Jewish sacrifices a day, there would be only half as many days as there were sacrifices. According to him, it was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, by his taking away or prohibiting the Jewish offerings 1150 days. Professor Stuart, however, allows them to be 2300 literal days, and finds them fulfilled in the same person. But one thing is very unfortunate for their cause; neither of them have yet been able to show from history the fulfilment of the period either in whole or part. I assert it without fear of contradiction, that it has never yet been shown that the time was fulfilled in Antiochus.PREX1 114.2