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The Probability of the Second Coming of Christ About A.D. 1843

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    As there has been some objection made to Mr. Miller’s calculations, as given in his Lectures; and as those calculations form the basis of the foregoing chapter, I propose in this to give the objectionable points a more thorough investigation. As the use he makes of the two thousand three hundred days’ vision, is the foundation of the whole theory, I shall be justified in detaining the reader until it has received a full examination. If it can be fairly proved,PSC 21.2

    I. That the vision related in the eighth chapter of Daniel, relates to the Roman government; and includes the papal reign, and its final overthrow;PSC 22.1

    II. That the two thousand three hundred days are to be reckoned as years; and,PSC 22.2

    III. That they commence with the seventy weeks of chapter ninth, at the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem;-Then the conclusion is inevitable, that the sanctuary, (let the event be what it may,) will be cleansed, A. D. 1843.PSC 22.3

    It has been objected to Mr. Miller’s theory, 1. That the vision in Daniel, eighth chapter, is not identical with the visions in chapters second and seventh. 2. That it does not relate to the Romans at all, either pagan or papal, but to the Mahommedans. 3. That he has failed to show the connection between the two thousand three hundred days’ vision and the vision of seventy weeks.PSC 22.4

    In regard to the first objection, it will be sufficient to my purpose to identity Romanism, both pagan and papal, in the eighth chapter; for it is conceded on all hands, or by all protestant writers, that it is noticed in the second and seventh chapters.PSC 22.5

    Before I enter on the proof that Romanism is noticed in this vision, I will first dispose of some objections made against such, a disposition of the prophecy; and also of some reasons which have been given for applying it to the Mahommedans.PSC 22.6

    It is acknowledged, that the little horn, in the seventh chapter, is Popery. “But how unlikely is it,” says a late writer, “that another vision should follow, giving the same Popery over again!” But why not? 1st. If he acknowledges it is found in the seventh chapter, he must also agree that it is found in the second chapter. If it is given twice, why is it any thing so very strange, that it should be given three or even four times? 2nd. Besides, there may be some special reasons, why it should be given three times. The first vision, (Daniel 2.) was given to Daniel for the special instruction of Nebuchadnezzar; see ver. 30. “That thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.” ver. 45. “The great God hath made known unto the king what shall come to pass hereafter.” The vision was written in Chaldee, and not in Hebrew. The next vision was given Daniel; and was written in the same language, for the instruction of those Jews who lived in Babylon, and who understood only the Chaldean language. This too was the language they used even after their return from Babylon. The third was written in pure Hebrew, as the most of the Old Testament was, for the benefit of the world in all time. The second reason may be, that by repeating the same events three times, every word might be established. A third reason might be, to give the time when all the visions would end. There had been no clue given to Daniel as yet, when the time, times and a half, of the little horn (chap. 7.) should begin or end; but by the aid of the two thousand three hundred days, and some other numbers, which were given in a subsequent vision, he could find its beginning. 3rdly. Daniel was so conscious of a sameness in the visions with the former, that he, to prevent the suspicion that it was only the former vision, and the character changed, expressly states, “Another vision appeared unto me, even unto me, Daniel, after the one which appeared unto me at the first.”PSC 22.7

    The first reason for applying this vision to the Mahommedans, is, if they are not noticed in this chapter, they are not noticed at all in the Old Testament. To this I reply; they may not be noticed in the Old Testament,-nor can I see any reason why it was necessary that they should be.PSC 24.1

    1st. The object of all Daniel’s visions evidently was, to give an outline or connected view of the great events which were to succeed each other down to the end of the reign of sin in the world. That succession of events can be traced through the Chaldeans, Medes and Persians, Grecians, and Romans 2ndly. Another design was to give the prophetic history of those nations with which the Church should be in alliance. This is also the object of sacred, history; to give the history of other people, only so far as they were connected with the Church. The Mahommedans were not the successors of any of the great governing powers of antiquity; with them the Church has never been in league. But with all the above-named powers it has, and with each one of them, as they have succeeded PSC 24.2

    Again, I object to the application of the vision to the Mahommedans, 1. Because it is not true that they came out of one of the four kingdoms into which Alexander’s was divided. Mahomet was an Arabian. The Arabians have, as yet, never been subdued by any other nation. “Sesostris, Cyrus, Pompey, and Trajan, all endeavored to conquer Arabia, but in vain. From the beginning to the present day, they have maintained their independency.”-Dr. A. Clarke. I object, 2nd. Because it cannot be shewn than any one of the four kingdoms into which Alexander’s was divided after his death, existed as one of the Macedonian horns, when the Arabian imposture first arose. If we date the rise of Mahommedanism in A. D. 606, the last of those horns, Egypt, became a Roman province 636 years before that time. Now even admitting, for argument sake, that Arabia was tributary to one of the Macedonian horns in their best days, can we suppose that the Holy Ghost would pass over six or seven hundred years after their final subjection to another power, and give the Mahommedans as springing from them? Once more; if that imposture arose in the South, (as is contended by a late writer,) it would have been a more correct description to have said, “he enlarged or waxed exceeding great, toward the west, toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” But the vision says, “toward the south, toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” But another reason, given, by the above writer, for thus applying the vision, is, he had adopted the theory many years ago! He commenced the two thousand three hundred days with the rise of the Macedonian empire, which is given about 481 B. C. Then the time ends A. D. 1819. Then, he confidently expected the Turkish empire would fall. He waited patiently for the time to come, and the result confirmed him in his theory; for in 1819, some incipient efforts were made toward the Greek revolution, and this has proved the entering wedge to the overthrow of the Turkish power. I ask, was there any event which happened that year, which, by any stretch of imagination, could be construed into a cleansing of the sanctuary?-the event which it is predicted shall take place at the expiration of two thousand three hundred days. Let the term “sanctuary” be applied to what it may, Palestine in general, Jerusalem, the Jewish people, the Christian Church in general, or the Greek Church; there is no good sense, in which the sanctuary was cleansed in 1819.PSC 25.1

    I object to the above theory, also, because there is no authority for commencing the time at the rise of the Macedonian empires. There is no reason given by those who date the vision then, why they do it, nor can I see any, except if it were commenced sooner, that is, when the vision was given, B. C. 553, it would confirm the Shaker calculation, that the two thousand three hundred days ended 1747, with the second coming of Christ in the person of Ann Lee. Or if at the fall of Babylon, and the beginning of the Medo-Persian reign in Babylon, B. C. 538, it would have brought its close A. D. 1762, when there was no great event to which it could with any propriety be applied. The only alternative then was, to leave out an important part of the vision, viz: the Medo-Persian reign, and commence with the rise of the Macedonian empire; but the result of beginning then is too absurd to be received. There are many other considerations which might be urged, against applying the vision to the Mahommedans, but the foregoing must suffice.PSC 26.1

    I. The way is now prepared to enter on the evidence that the vision of the eighth chapter of Daniel does refer to the Roman government.PSC 27.1

    The first argument in favor of applying the vision to the Romans, is, the description of the little horn agrees better with the history of Rome than any other power. We have already seen that the original of the little horn cannot be applied to the Mahommedans, and there is no other power to which it can be applied so well as to the Romans. They were in their origin, it is true, a small people, but soon found means of enlarging their borders, until they became a mighty people, so that no power could stand before their arms. The little horn is represented in the vision, verse 9th, as coming out of one of the four horns of the Macedonian kingdom. In the twenty-third verse, when the angel explained the vision, he says, “And in the latter part of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences shall stand up.” The little horn, then, was to be a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, in the latter part of the four kingdoms of the goat. Now one would think that there could be no dispute as to the fact, what was the predominant power of that time, and swallowed up all the Grecian kingdoms! When the transgressors came to the full in those kingdoms, God dealt with them as he hath with all other nations when their cup of iniquity was full; raised up another nation to subdue them. In this case the Romans were his instrument. The four notable horns of the goat were reduced to Roman provinces, as follows:-Macedon, B. C. one hundred and sixty-eight years; the kingdom of Pergamos, about one hundred and thirty-three years; Syria about sixty-five years, and Egypt about thirty years. Rome also has been proverbial for her learning, and continues to be, even to the present time. Daniel saw this little horn wax great, or, exceeding, great, toward the south, Egypt, toward the east, Syria, and toward the pleasant land, Palestine. All these we know, before Christ, became Roman Provinces.PSC 27.2

    We have now learned four traits in the character of the little horn. 1. His small beginning. 2. His conquests of other kingdoms; toward the south, the east and the pleasant land. 3. The period when he thus enlarged or waxed exceeding great, viz: “In the latter part” of the four Macedonian kingdoms. 4. That the little horn was to be famed for his deep understanding or great learning. To the Pagan Roman power all these traits will apply in every particular; and to none other will they apply with one half of the propriety they do to Rome.PSC 29.1

    Having identified Pagan Rome, in the vision, I will endeavor to show that Papal Rome is also included. This may be satisfactorily done by comparing the description of the little horn of the seventh chapter, which all agree represents Papal Rome, with the description of the little horn of the eighth chapter.PSC 29.2

    Daniel 7:8. I considered the horns, (the ten horns of the fourth beast,) and behold there came up among them another little horn.PSC 29.3

    Daniel 8:9. And out of one of them, (the four horns of the goat,) came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great.PSC 29.4

    There is some difficulty in reconciling the different origin of the little horn, given in the two chapters. One is said to rise from the dreadful or Roman beast; the other from one of the four horns of the he goat.PSC 29.5

    But let us consider the design of the two visions. The first was, to give a full view of the Roman power, both pagan and papal, and also to give the time which the little horn should tyrannize over the saints, before his power should be broken. The time, was, “a time, times, and the dividing of time.” But as yet there was no clue given by which Daniel would know any thing when that period would begin or end. The fourth beast was one in which Daniel felt peculiarly interested, especially that little horn whose look was more stout than his fellows. Daniel was, in part, gratified with an immediate explanation of the matters, but not in full. He declares afterward, “As for me, Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me, but I kept the matter in my heart.” He was perplexed with the vision, and knew not what to make of it. Then two years after, the vision of the eighth chapter was given him; the design of which seems to have been, to give Daniel a more perfect knowledge of the little horn. To do this it was not important that the whole Roman beast should again be brought to view, but simply to introduce the little horn in a way that it should be identified as the successor of the former great universal monarchy. This was done effectually by giving the time when the little horn was a king of fierce countenance, viz: in the latter time of their kingdom, (the four horns of the goat.) Again, let it be considered, the Roman power is represented as one beast or image, from the first rise of the power until he is destroyed and his body given to the burning flame. His heads are forms of government, and his horns appendages to his kingdom.PSC 29.6

    This being the case, and the appendage of the little, horn having been given to Daniel before, and his attention being deeply interested in that little horn, the whole Roman power might with propriety be described by it. And more, the little horn, it is agreed, even by those who refer it to Mahommedanism, represents a spiritual or an ecclesiastical power. It is well known that the Roman government, even in its pagan form, took cognizance of, and regulated religion by law, and was, to all intents and purposes, always an ecclesiastical kingdom. If so, it is fitly represented by the little horn through its whole existence. Again, the learning of Rome, much of it, was derived from Greece; and with their learning many of their religious opinions and ceremonies were introduced into Rome. So that it may be justly said, that out of one of the four horns of the goat, (Greece,) the little horn, ecclesiastical Pagan Rome originated. The religion of Rome spread with her civil conquests, until it might, in truth, be said, the little pagan horn became exceeding great. The horn now has only to change its character from pagan to Christian, to become the little horn of the fourth beast. This change takes place when he waxes great, even to the Host of heaven. The two horns are now the same persecuting papal power. I will now resume the comparison of the horns.PSC 31.1

    Daniel 7:25. And he shall speak great words against the Most High.PSC 32.1

    Daniel 7:21. I beheld and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them.PSC 32.2

    Daniel 7:25. And shall wear out the saints of the Most High.PSC 32.3

    Daniel 7:25. And think to change times and laws, and they shall be given unto his hand.PSC 32.4

    Daniel 8:11. Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the Host.PSC 32.5

    Daniel 8:24. And he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.PSC 32.6

    Daniel 8:10. And it cast down some of the Host and stars to the ground and stamped upon them.PSC 32.7

    Daniel 8:12. And it cast down truth to the ground, and practised and prospered.PSC 32.8

    It is also pretty generally agreed that the man of sin, described by Paul, 2 Thessalonians 2nd chapter, describes Papal Rome. I will therefore contrast Paul’s description of the man of sin with Daniel’s little horn of the eighth chapter.PSC 32.9

    Daniel 8:11. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the Host.PSC 32.10

    Daniel 8:11. By him the daily sacrifice was taken away and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.PSC 32.11

    Daniel 8:25. He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.PSC 32.12

    2 Thessalonians 2:4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.PSC 32.13

    2 Thessalonians 2:7, 8. Only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed.PSC 32.14

    2 Thessalonians 2:2-8. Whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.PSC 32.15

    The above collateral texts, I think, are sufficient to identify the principal actors in the three descriptions to be the same power. If so, then the host of heaven means the Christian Church; the stars, Ministers of the Gospel; the Prince of the Host, Christ; and the little horn, Rome, both in its Pagan and Papal form.PSC 33.1

    I will now consider “the daily sacrifice.” That it could not be the Jewish sacrifices, is evident from the following considerations:-1. They were taken, away when the Jewish temple at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans.” But this daily sacrifice was to be taken away one thousand two hundred and ninety prophetic days before the end of the civil reign of the little horn. See Daniel 12:11, 12. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Verse 13. “But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end op the days.”PSC 33.2

    Here we learn that one thousand three hundred and thirty-five years from the taking away of the daily sacrifice, Daniel was to stand in his lot, and the reign of wickedness cease. One thousand two hundred and ninety years from the taking away of the daily sacrifice the reign of the little horn was to be broken. If it was the Jewish sacrifices which were meant, then they ceased. A. D. 70, when the temple was cast down. One thousand two hundred and ninety years from that would end A. D. 1360. And one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days or years from then would bring the resurrection of Daniel, A. D. 1405; but Popery was in its glory A. D. 1360; nor was there any event in 1405, which could amount to the resurrection of Daniel. Therefore it could not mean Jewish sacrifices, taken away by Pagan Rome. But the word “sacrifice” is not in the original; it is supplied by the translators. The probable reason why they supplied the word, “sacrifice” rather than some other, was because they believed it referred to Jewish sacrifices taken away by the Romans. The word not being in the original, and, as we have also seen, the term not applicable to the Jewish sacrifices, we have a right to substitute another term instead of it We will then read it “daily abomination.” In this sense I shall hereafter refer to the text. So, whether “sacrifice” or “abomination” is used, it may be understood as abomination. The passages where the term is used in Daniel, eighth chapter, will then read as follows, verses 11, 12, 13: “Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the Host and by him the daily abomination was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily abomination, by reason of transgression, and it cast down truth to the ground and practised and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, how long shall be the vision concerning (also supplied, and is not necessary to the sense,) the daily abomination, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary (the Jewish Church and temple) and the host (the Christian Church) to be trodden under foot? (Verse 14.) And be said unto me, Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Again, chapter 11:31: “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily abomination, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Also, chapter 12:11: “And from the time that the daily abomination shall be taken away and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”PSC 33.3

    The above are all the passages in which the phrase occurs in the book of Daniel. In each of the above texts, the evident meaning of “daily abomination,” is, the abominations of paganism in heathen Rome. “The transgression of desolation;” “the abomination that maketh desolate,” etc., mean, the transgressions, or the abominations of Popery, which have for so long a period made the Church of Christ desolate, and have trodden it under foot. Can there be any doubt but this is the true meaning? What power trod down and defiled the sanctuary? If history be permitted to answer, it will proclaim, Rome! Pagan Rome! What power first authoritatively persecuted the Church of Christ? Pagan Rome! What power succeeded paganism, both in local situation and spirit? Papal Rome! Who has continued the persecutions of paganism against Christians till now? Popery! Popery!! Through what influence was paganism destroyed, or the daily abomination taken away, and the place of his sanctuary east down? The influence of Christianity. The Roman empire was destroyed or overrun by a horde of barbarians and divided among them. These barbarian kings were pagans; and when Rome was taken, they are said to have, offered sacrifices of men, women and children, to their supposed deities, in the city of Rome. In the course of a few years those heathen kings became converts to Christianity. Thus, “a host was given him;” or the empire became Christian, and pagan abominations were taken away. Since the conversion of those pagan kings, pagan rites and sacrifices have not been known in Rome. Thus, “the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” Soon after this the man of sin appeared, and St. Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians was fulfilled.2 Thessalonians 2:7, 8: “Only he who now letteth (or hindereth) will let (or hinder) until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed.” “The daily abomination” was taken away, and the transgression of desolation, Popery, set up in its place.PSC 35.1

    I think I have now proved, that the Roman power is spoken of in the vision, both pagan and papal. It now only remains, under this head, that I prove the destruction of the Roman beast to be included in the vision. The first evidence I will present, is, the parallel which has already been drawn between Daniel’s little horn, and Paul’s “man of sin,” or “that wicked.” Paul says, “The Lord will consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming.” Daniel, that he will “be broken without hand.” Both agree that his destruction will be supernatural.PSC 37.1

    2. The brightness of Christ’s coming is to be, when he comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to judgment. The angel said to Daniel, (chap. 8:17,) “For at the time of the end shall be the vision.” Popery then will be destroyed, when Christ comes to judgment, at the end of the world; the vision is to that time, therefore it includes the destruction of Popery.PSC 37.2

    3. The sanctuary will not he cleansed, nor the host be delivered, until the polluting and oppressing power, the Roman beast, is destroyed. But the vision does include the cleansing of the sanctuary; therefore the destruction of Romanism is included in the vision.PSC 37.3

    II. The second proposition now demands our attention, viz. That the two thousand three hundred days of the vision are to be reckoned years.PSC 38.1

    1. Those who, in their exposition of the vision, reckon them common days; apply them to the time which Antiochus afflicted the Jews and polluted the temple. To this I object, 1st. Because it has not been, nor can it be proved that Antiochus persecuted the Jews just that number of days. 2nd. The sanctuary was not cleansed at the end of that persecution or at the death of Antiochus, but continues to this day to be trodden under foot. 3rd. The sanctuary was to be cleansed at the time of the end. Now, giving the most liberal construction to that sentence which any one can ask, that “the time of the end” means the whole Gospel period, it cannot be applied to Antiochus’s profanation of the temple. The above is the only application of the time, with which I have ever met, by those who call them common days. But they cannot be proved to have been fulfilled in that sense. The sanctuary was not cleansed at the death of Antiochus, nor is it to be till the time of the end. Therefore the days must mean something beside common days.PSC 38.2

    2. Daniel informs us (Daniel 8:26, 8;) after Gabriel had explained the vision, and informed him that it should “be for many days,” “I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” It is evident then, that there were some things in the vision which neither Daniel nor any one else did understand. Part of the vision he did understand, for the angel had told him in plain language what it meant, but to the meaning of a day he had not had a clue. After his prayer, in the ninth chapter, the angel Gabriel, whom he had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched him, about the time of the evening oblation. Chap 9:22, 23. “And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.”PSC 38.3

    What matter was Daniel to understand, and what vision was he to consider? There are several considerations which seem to indicate, that it was the vision of the ram and he-goat; and that he was now to understand those parts of the vision which he did not before understand. Daniel takes pains to inform the reader, that that vision was explained to him by Gabriel, but none understood it. Also, that the same messenger, Gabriel, whom he had seen in his vision at the beginning, came again. What was this but saying, that Gabriel came to resume the vision, and make plain what was before dark? Daniel complained, “None understood it.” The, angel now says, I am come to give thee skill and understanding. Daniel said before, “I was astonished at the vision.” The angel says, “Understand the matter, and consider the vision.”PSC 39.1

    We will suppose Daniel to have inquired thus;-and the angel to answer.PSC 40.1

    “What part of the vision shall I first consider?”PSC 40.2

    “The time of the vision.”PSC 40.3

    “What shall I understand in regard to it?”PSC 40.4

    “1st. What it means; 2nd. When it commences.”PSC 40.5

    The only vision in which the man Gabriel is named before, is that in the eighth chapter. That vision then is the one which he calls the beginning. After the vision was explained, then Daniel declared none understood it. The same messenger is now sent the second time to explain it more fully. He addressed Daniel, and said, “O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved; therefore understand the matter and consider the vision.” What did Daniel not understand in the former vision? He did understand, 1. The governments and powers which were to be the actors. 2. He did understand that the vision reached to the end of the desolation of the Church, or sanctuary, and the introduction of Christ’s reign on earth. But he did not understand, l. How the days were to be reckoned, for he had received no information on that point; nor, 2. When the time was to commence. The angel came to give him skill and understanding, on points of which he was before ignorant,-to teach him the meaning of a prophetic day. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy holy city,” etc. ver. 24. The Jews had, first, a week of days; second, a week of years. It must be one of these weeks which was meant, but which, the 24th verse did not determine. Verse 25-“From the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall he seven weeks and threescore and two weeks, and the street shall be built again, and the wall in troublous times.” Daniel now knew the week which was meant. It would be impossible to build the wall and streets of that great city in seven weeks or forty-nine common days, and in troublous times too. It must therefore be seven weeks of years, or seven Jubilees. But as there is no dispute but the seventy weeks were four hundred and ninety years, as it was proved by the death of Christ, four hundred and ninety years from the going forth of the decree of Artaxerxes, I shall not dwell longer on this point. For a full examination of this point, I must refer the reader to the first chapter. This vision or instruction, then, established the meaning of a prophetic day, as it is used in this book, and as there is no other meaning given in any particular case, it must be so understood, in every case where it is used. Therefore two thousand three hundred days must mean so many years. It now only remains to prove that the time commenced with the seventy weeks, viz. at the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem. To do this, I shall notice some other theories which have been adopted.PSC 40.6

    I have already alluded to the Shaker theory, which began B. C. 553, and ended A. D. 1747, with the second coming of Christ in the person of Ann Lee. This is too idle to require notice. The next is that which begins with the rise of the Macedonian empire, and ends A. D. 1819, in the beginning of the Greek revolution. On that scheme I have already sufficiently remarked. The next, and that which most generally obtains, is, to commence the time with the invasion of Asia by Alexander, B. C. 434 and ends in A. D. 1866. To this, most of the objections made to the former scheme will apply. 1st. There is no reason why we should begin at that time, and leave out of the vision entirely the Medo-Persian reign. 2nd. There is no intimation in the Bible that it should begin then. 3rd. The signs of the times, and the present state of popery, forbid our belief that popery can exist in the world one hundred and twenty-eight years from the present time.PSC 42.1

    What reasons are there why we should commence reckoning with the seventy weeks? Answer. 1st. To begin before, the vision would have ended previous to the present time, which we know it has not. 2nd. To begin with the next great event with which there is any probability that it should commence, would set the event too far forward for other prophecies, and the signs of the, times. 3rd. There are intimations, that the two thousand three hundred days’ vision should begin with the seventy weeks. 4th. The signs of the times strikingly corroborate these suggestions.PSC 42.2

    The two last reasons we will now examine:PSC 43.1

    1st. We have already seen, that there were some parts of the vision in the eighth chapter, which Daniel did not understand, even after the angel had explained it to him. One of those things which he did understand, was when to commence the vision.PSC 43.2

    2nd. The same angel which appeared to him, to explain the eighth chapter vision, appeared again in the seventy weeks’ vision, for the purpose of giving him skill and understanding of those parts which he did not before understand.PSC 43.3

    3rd. The angel told him to understand the matter and consider the vision. What vision! Was it not the one he had before explained, but which Daniel did not understand?PSC 43.4

    4th. To aid him in understanding the matter and considering the vision, he gave him the seventy weeks to determine the meaning of a day; and the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem, as the time of commencing the two thousand three hundred days.PSC 43.5

    5th. One of the declared objects of the seventy weeks’ vision was to seal up the vision and prophecy. “That is,” says Dr. Clarke, “to put an end to the necessity of any farther revelation, by ending the canon of Scripture.” Now, I ask, did the seventy weeks fulfil this design? Certainly not. The New Testament was all written after the seventy weeks ended. But it was to seal up or confirm the vision and prophecy; some particular vision and prophecy. The meaning seems to be this; if the Messiah is cut off just at the time four hundred and ninety years are fulfilled, then depend upon the cleansing of the sanctuary at the end, of two thousand three hundred years.PSC 43.6

    6th. When the angel gave the time of commencing the seventy weeks, he commanded him to do what Daniel did not do before, and what the angel came to aid him in doing. “Know, therefore, and understand,” etc.PSC 44.1

    “How shall I understand what is meant by a day?”PSC 44.2

    “I will give you a key. ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.’”PSC 44.3

    Daniel knew that the Jews had two kinds of weeks. One was a week of days, being seven days. The other was a week of years, being seven years, or a jubilee. Daniel as yet could not know certainly which week was intended, whether days or years. The angel goes on and divides the time into three periods: seven weeks for rebuilding Jerusalem, sixty-two weeks from that to the public preaching of the Gospel, and from that one week to the death of Messiah. He now must understand which week was meant. Seven weeks, or forty-nine common days, he must have known would not be sufficient to restore the wall and streets of Jerusalem, and in troublous times too. It must therefore be seven weeks of years, or forty-nine years. The whole time then would be four hundred and ninety years.PSC 44.4

    The exact fulfillment of this time has been shown in the former chapter; I will however very briefly recapitulate it here. It was there shown, 1st. That the decree of Artaxerxes, for the Jews to go up and restore and build Jerusalem, was given in the seventh year of his reign. See Ezra 7:7; also 7:21, and 8:31. Ezra left the river Ahava the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem with the decree. This was two days before the passover of the Jews. 2nd. I then showed, that four hundred and ninety years from that time brought us down to the twenty-second year of Tiberius Cæsar of Rome, two days before the passover, when Christ was betrayed to be crucified. Thus it is demonstrated, that a prophetic day in Daniel means a year. 3rd. There is no intimation in this book, when prophetic time is spoken of, that it has any other meaning than it has here. Therefore, in every place, a day must be understood to mean a year.PSC 45.1

    III. I will now, in the third place, prove, that the two thousand three hundred days commence at the same time with the seventy weeks.PSC 45.2

    I have already remarked upon the connection between the visions of the eighth and ninth chapters. I will however return to that point, and make it a little more clear. Daniel 9:21. “The man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning,” etc. What does Daniel mean by the vision? Evidently some particular vision. “At the beginning.” Beginning of what? Not of time, nor yet of his life. “The vision,” says the objector, “which he had first.” That was Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. But there is nothing said, in that vision, of the man. Gabriel, nor any other messenger. Was it the second vision? There is no sense in which that could be called the beginning. Neither is there any intimation that Daniel saw the angel Gabriel at that time. But he “said unto one of them that stood by.” In the eight chapter, he saw Gabriel, and heard his name announced for the first time. The vision of the eighth chapter then, is the one which he calls, “at the beginning.” But it was not at the beginning of his visions, for it was fifty years after his first vision, or Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The meaning then is simply, “The man Gabriel, whom he saw in the beginning of this vision, the explanation of which, or the key to which, had just been given him in the vision of seventy weeks.PSC 45.3

    Again. The seventy weeks were to seal up the vision and prophecy. “That is,” says Dr. Clarke, “to put an end to the necessity of any further revelation by ending the canon of scripture.” I ask, Did the seventy weeks fulfil this design? Certainly not. The entire New Testament was written after the seventy weeks ended.PSC 46.1

    To seal up, means, 1. To close, so that it may not be read or understood. Daniel 12:4. “Shut up the words, and seal the book.” 2. It means, to confirm or make sure. Matthew 27:64, 66. “Command that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day.” “So they went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone.” A legal instrument is also sealed when it is designed to confirm any one’s title to property. The seal of government on public documents, makes them sure; we may depend on them as genuine. So Daniel was instructed; if the seventy weeks are just fulfilled when the Messiah is cut off, then the two thousand three hundred days’ vision is sealed up, or made sure. It could not be the first sense of the word which is meant here, for the death of Christ explained, not obscured, the prophecy. It gave evidence of the meaning of a prophetic day.PSC 47.1

    I have already remarked, that Daniel was directed to understand when the time of the vision commenced. How, he might inquire, shall I know that? “Know and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem,” etc. Begin at that time; and if the Messiah is cut off in seventy weeks from that date, the vision you had before, will end at the time appointed, at the end of two thousand three hundred days.PSC 47.2

    I will now produce some corroborative evidence, that the seventy weeks’ vision was designed as a key to the two thousand three hundred days’ vision. At the close of the eighth chapter, Daniel declared, none understood the vision. In the next chapter we are told, the man Gabriel made his second appearance to Daniel, and directed him to consider the vision, and understand the matter. He then gave him a key, by which he might learn the important facts, but which he before had no means of knowing; 1. The length of a prophetic day; 2. The time when to commence or date the days of the vision. In the tenth chapter, another vision is introduced, relating to the same great governing powers of the earth, and extending to the end of the reign of wickedness, and the resurrection. Daniel introduces the vision by saying, “the time was long,” but he understood the thing and had understanding of the vision. He now did just what the angel in the former vision directed him. He understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. He also intimates what part of the vision he understood, viz. the time appointed for its fulfillment. Now, I ask, if the key for understanding prophetic time, both as to its nature and when to commence that “long time,” is found in the Bible, if it is not in ‘the ninth chapter of Daniel?PSC 47.3

    I know there is presumptive evidence, in several, texts, that, in reckoning prophetic time, a day should be reckoned a year; but there is no other positive testimony that those long periods in Daniel and Revelations are to be so reckoned, save the seventy weeks vision. Daniel, in the twelfth chapter, had several numbers given him, but no intimation was given when they would commence or end. Yet he informs us he understood the thing, and intimates that it was in respect to the time. With the aid of the visions of the eighth and ninth chapters, he could understand the vision which occupies the remainder of the book; but without that aid, he had no clue to the meaning of the times and seasons spoken of in the eleventh and twelfth chapters. But more on this point hereafter.PSC 48.1

    I will now show that the signs of the times favor the idea that the two thousand three hundred days began at or near the time of the seventy weeks. I do not design to enter into a full examination of the signs of the times, but simply notice a few, in relation to popery. Daniel 7:26. “They shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the end.” This was spoken of the papal little horn. Now what are the facts in the case? They are these. In A. D. 1798, Berthier, a French general, entered Rome with a French army, without resistance, deposed the Pope, and led him into captivity. In that captivity he died, in A. D. 1799. His power was broken, and his dominion taken away. Italy was now erected into a republic, by the authority of the French. It is true, the Pope of Rome has since been restored to his see; but he has never as yet obtained his former power over the kings of the earth, nor exercised his persecuting spirit toward Protestants, as he used to do.PSC 49.1

    From the time of the fall of his civil power, popery has been gradually but surely wasting away. Light has spread through popish countries with a celerity before unknown. A spirit of liberty prevails throughout Europe, which is irresistible in its march, and must ere long overwhelm all that interposes to impede its triumphant progress. They shall consume and destroy, it unto the end. France has never been, since the fall of Rome, any thing more than nominally papal. The thunders of the Vatican have fallen harmlessly at the feet of a nation who had dared to think and act for themselves. Spain, too, has thrown off her superstitious fears of papal bulls, and a war of extermination has been declared against monastic institutions. Even in Portugal, ever faithful to her holy mother, the anathemas of the successor of St. Peter cease to produce their wonted effect on the minds of a superstitious and deluded people. In oppressed and down-trodden Ireland, the ignorance and superstition of ages is receding before the melting beams of the light of truth. Austria, that powerful ally of “the man of sin,” also feels the magic touch of the wand of liberal principles, and recent developments attest the fact, that even in that strong hold of papal abominations, the doctrine no longer obtains devotees, that ignorance is the mother of devotion. The late law of Austria, making an ability to, read and write a qualification to enter the marriage state, will, if carried out, soon place that nation above the power of papal terrors. Even the sovereign Pontiff, clothed with all power in heaven and earth, is safe from the assassin’s dirk only from the protection of a body-guard of hired Austrian soldiers. So certainly has the dominion of the little horn been taken away; and so surely have they consumed and destroyed his dominion from that to the present time.PSC 50.1

    There is one more prophecy, to which I wish to call the reader’s attention. Revelation 17:16-18. It relates to the ten horns of the Roman beast. These all have one mind; and shall agree and give their power to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Then these ten horns “shall hate the whore, (popery) and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire.” Of the above prophecy, two points have been most strikingly fulfilled; 1. The kingdoms did agree, and give their kingdom to the Roman beast. 2. The kingdoms of Europe do now literally hate the whore. There is not a kingdom in Europe, but abominates the Church of Rome. 3. The other, or third point, cannot long delay. Their wrath must be soon kindled against her, and her overthrow be accomplished. The spirit of revolution which now prevails throughout the world, indicates too, that we are on the eve of some great revolution. The elements of that revolution are every day developing themselves and concentrating their force. The event may be delayed yet for a little season, but delay will only increase its terror when it does burst its massive barriers, and deluge our world in a flood of anarchy and wo.PSC 51.1

    These signs of the times forbid the indulgence of an idea which places the final catastrophe of popery at as great a distance from the present time as most of the writers on prophecy place it. The general opinion on the two thousand three hundred days vision is, that it should begin at the time Alexander the Great invaded Asia. It will then end A. D. 1966. But it is morally impossible for the present state of things to exist one hundred and twenty-eight years longer before some great and decisive revolution takes place, and great Babylon comes in remembrance before God to give unto her the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. I know of no other period which has been fixed on, from which to date the two thousand three hundred days, that will carry them into futurity, except the one adopted in these essays; unless indeed it be Mr. Faber’s opinion. He, after Jerome, reads them two thousand two hundred days, and ends them A. D. 1866. But this is scarcely less objectionable than the other scheme.PSC 52.1

    The evidence, that the vision should be reckoned from the going forth of Artaxerxes’ decree, is now before the reader. With him I must leave the subject. If I have succeeded in doing what I proposed, the conclusion is inevitable. The great, day of the wrath of God is just at hand; it is nigh, even at the door. If the time began four hundred and ninety years before the death of Christ, then one thousand eight hundred and ten after his death, the sanctuary will be cleansed. Thirty-three years, the age of Christ at his death, taken from four hundred and ninety, the time from the decree of Artaxerxes to his death, leaves four hundred and fifty-seven years of that time before his birth. Add the thirty-three years of his age, at his death, to one thousand eight hundred and ten years, which were to be after his death, and it will bring the time for cleansing the sanctuary, A. D. 1843. Reader, examine, reflect, and be diligent, that you may be found of him in peace at his coming.PSC 52.2

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