Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    December 20, 1843

    Vol. VI.—No. 18. Boston, Whole No. 138

    Joshua V. Himes

    SIGNS OF THE TIMES
    AND EXPOSITOR OF PROPHECY.

    Terms.—$1,00 per Vol. (24 Nos.) in advance Office No. 14 Devonshire Street, Boston.

    J. V. Himes, J. Litch, and S. Bliss, Editors.
    Dow & Jackson, Printers, Boston.

    FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES on which the SECOND ADVENT CAUSE IS BASED

    JVHe

    I.—The word of God teaches that this earth is to be regenerated, in the restitution of all things, and restored to its Eden state as it came from the hand of its Maker be fore the fall, and is to be the eternal abode of the righteous in their resurrection state.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.1

    II.—The only Millenium found in the word of God, is the 1000 years which are to intervene between the first and second resurrections as brought to view in the 20th of Revelations And the various portions of Scripture which are adduced as evidence of such a period in time, are to have their fulfilment only in the New Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.2

    III.—The only restoration of Israel yet future, is the restoration of the Saints to the New Earth, when the Lord my God shnll come, and all his saints with him.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.3

    IV.—The signs which were to precede the coming of our Savior, have all been given; and the prophecies have all been fulfilled but those which relate to the coming of Christ, the end of this world, and the restitution of all things.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.4

    V.—There are none of the prophetic periods, as we understand them, extending beyond the [Jewish] year 1843.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.5

    The above we shall ever maintain as the immutable truths of the word of God. and therefore, till our Lord come. we shall ever look for his return as the next event in historical prophecy.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.6

    AN ARGUMENT FOUNDED ON THE PHRASE “THE MIDST OF THE WEEK,” TO SHOW THAT THE 2300 DAYS DO NOT EXPIRE TILL 1847. (continued.)

    No Authorcode

    By Silas Hawley Jr.

    Is it not so?

    JVHe

    Objections considered

    An attempt is made to establish the point that Christ preached seven years, by a chronological process of reasoning. This is the common and the strong resort. In this process of proof, one point is assumed to be well established—to wit, that the Messiah appeared at the end of the 69 weeks; and, assuming that, it is attempted to be shown that his ministry was seven years in duration, thus exhausting the whole remaining week This is a summary method of disposing of the argument I have offered. But we will examine it a little.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.7

    A resort to chronology to settle the meaning of prophecy, is wholly inadmissible. The meaning of prophecy must be determined apart from all chronological questions; because the two have no necessary connection. The design and office of chronology is to note the time of the occurrence of prophetic events, not to determine their character, or the meaning of the language fixing their dates. Prophecy first; chronology afterwards. Or, in other words, chronology must conform to prophecy, and not prophecy to chronology. At the same time, it is proper to introduce an argument derived from chronology, as a collateral evidence in favor of the obvious meaning of prophecy, but not against that meaning.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.8

    Further, if Christ preached seven years, the seventy weeks terminated, not at his ascension, or at the day of Pentecost, or at any point of time farther future, but at the crucifixion. Now, the notion that those weeks ended at that point, has been given up, as the events looked for at the conclusion of the whole period in conformity with that view, have not occurred. And, since that view has been given up, the notion of the seven years’ ministry has been surrendered with it. [See note 1.]HST December 20, 1843, page 145.9

    Once more. This process of reasoning make sjust as strongly against the point assumed, i. e. the time of the appearance of the Messiah, as the other. In the prophecy, we have two declarations equally positive and explicit, which confine us to the limits of three and a half years, as the period of the ministry. Unto the Messiah, sixty-nine weeks—in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. Now the chronological argument that he preached seven years, must have the effect, if it have any, to extend these points: for it is not possible to put seven years into the space of three years and a half. The points, then, must be extended, so as to afford space for the other three and a half years.—This forces us to abandon the obvious meaning of one or both of the prophetic declarations. Probably none will insist that the natural meaning of bothshould relinquished, to surmount the difficulty. Which, then, shall be? I answer, that of neither; because the two together constitute the highest proof of the invalidity of the chronological argument. But, if it should be insisted that the legitimate sense of one of them must be departed from, I remark, that it should be the sense of that which would do the least violence to the spirit and design of the prophecy. And without hesitation, I pronounce that to be the first. Though the act of proclaiming Jesus the Messiah was an important one, and the period given fixing the time of that act was important, yet neither that act nor the period of its performance, could be so important as the crucifixion, and the time given for its accomplishment. That it was the main design of this prophecy to make known the fact and the time of the death of the Messiah, is evident from its main features. The fact of that death and its effects on the human race, are the principal things mentioned in the 24th verse, for the accomplishment of which the 70 weeks were determined. And as a prophecy of his death necessarily involved the event of his coming, that event and the time of its occurrence are given in the explanations which follow. But that could not be the primary or most important event, or time, as they are included in the general prophecy. This view is much strengthened by the testimony of the apostle Peter, that the time of the sufferings of Christ was revealed to the prophets, as though that was the most important thing to be made known. (See 1 Peter 1:11.) And, as before stated, if that time was revealed to Daniel, the only prophet to whom the period was disclosed, it was by the clause, in the midst of the week. Now, if our Lords’s ministry was seven years in extent, he must have appeared before the end of sixty nine weeks; because that is the point to be changed if either. The other is fixed, and must not for any consideration be disturbed. But I trust I shall show that neither is to be moved.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.10

    I wish now to meet the objections upon its merits. I unhesitatingly take the ground, that the ministry of Christ was not, in extent, seven years, but three years and a half. This I shall maintain by a variety of considerations and proofs. [See note 2.]HST December 20, 1843, page 145.11

    1. The prophecy, as explained, must be proof of this. All must acknowledge this the plain and natural sense of the clause in dispute.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.12

    2, The fact that the apostles confirmed the covenant, as already plainly shown the last half of the week, is strong corroborative evidence of the truth of the position taken. This would necessarily limit his ministry to three years and a half.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.13

    3, The Saviour, daring his ministry, did not observe but four passovers, and the last of those was on the evening before his crucifixion As the passover was a yearly feast, the four he kept must have occurred in less than four full years. The last he observed having been on the evening before his death, it was the commencement of the fourth full year of his ministry. And this would make the first occur, as it is noted in the chronological index of our larger Bibles, [see note 3] in the spring of the year 30, according to the vulgar reckoning. The fourth and last fell in the year 33, the year in which he was crucified. (See John 2:135:16:48:1, 2.) This one fact of itself is sufficient to settle the question as to the length of our Lord’s ministry. If he preached seven years, he must have kept not less than eight passovers! If he did, what an omission on the part of the Evangelists! They have given us an account of the observance of four, and only that number. And Mr. Miller, I observe, reduces the number of passovers he kept to three. He says, “Christ kept three passovers with the Jews after he began his ministry, and before he nailed the ceremonial law to his cross.” (Lectures, p. 64.) Though I think Mr. Miller mistakes as to the number of passovers kept, yet his testimony confirms the position I have taken. Now, I ask, with what propriety or truth it can be maintained, in view of the number of passovers observed, that Christ’s ministry was seven years? I confess I cannot see.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.14

    4, The chronologies agree in giving but three years and a half to the ministry of the Messiah. I deem it unsafe to depend upon the chronologies, as to those points in reference to which they differ. But I observe, that, amid all their discrepancies and conflicting opinions, they agree as to the length of the ministry. The larger Bibles, the Polyglott, and the Greek, all agree here. It has occasioned not a little surprise, after some examination, that it should be said by lecturers and writers on this subject, with the confidence that would be justified only in reference to an undisputed point that the chronologies of all our Bibles favor the idea that Christ preached seven years. A brother in New York, I believe, has written the most confidently and fully on this point. But a greater mistake could not be made. My attention was more particularly drawn to this subject, by an attempt of a brother to convince me of my error respecting the age of Christ, by a reference to the chronologicalindex of one of our large Bibles. He found that the refeence was an unhappy one for him, as the arrangement favored my view. The baptism and commencement of the ministry of the Savior, were placed between the last of the year 29 and the first of the year 30, of the common reckoning. This was made to correspond with the chronological dates given in the margins of the Bible. And I have since examined more than a score of different Bibles of the larger class, and I find them all to agree. And while they agree as to the time of the baptism, they concur as to the time of the crucifixion, which in all is placed in the year 33.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.15

    I have a large Bible now before me, printed in Edinburgh, in 1807, in which the chronological dates are placed along the margins, marking the time of particular events with more precision and accuracy than the others I have noticed. It makes the baptism of Christ to have occurred between the year 29 and 30. He is in the full tide of his ministry in the beginning of the year 30. The chronological tables of this in the last part, are like those of the others.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.16

    And let any one look for a moment at any of our Polyglott Bibles, and he will satisfy hinself that the statement is no more just or true in regard to them Let him open to the first chapter of Mark of the common size Polyglott Bible, and be undeceived. He will see A. D 26 inserted at the beginning of the Gospel, on the left hand page; on the opposite page he will observe that the chronological date is 30. Under the latter date we see Jusus only in the commencement of his ministry. Now, since there are four years between the two dates, at the top of the two pages, who cannot see that if we give all the events of the left hand page to the year 26, we leave four years without an event? A great chasm for that part of his ministry! The fallacy in the case lics in the supposition, that all that is recorded under a general date took place at the time indicated by that date; whereas a more minute and particular notation of time would divide the events of a page, affixing different years as the periods of their occurrence. This must be so in this case, or there was a hiatus or chasm of four years. The necessity of this rule will appear the more striking and obvious, in Mathew, on the second page, where are found in my smaller Polyglott Bible, all the third, and nearly the whole of the fourth chapter. At the head of the page, I observe the chronological date is, A. M. 4001; on the opposite page it is, A. D. 31; making a difference of 30 years. Under the first date, or in the year I, there is an account of our Lord’s baptism and the commencement of his ministry, an account almost as long as that on the first page of Mark’s Gospel. Now am I to understand that Christ began to preach in the year I, and that there is a chasm here of 30 years? Or shall I not rather pursue the rational course, and divide the events of that page between the 30 years, and make the last to have occurred in the years 29 and 30, which are the baptism and the beginning of the ministry? This would then harmonize with Mark, and it would make the chroology of the Polyglott and of the large Bibles agree.HST December 20, 1843, page 145.17

    But a portion of the larger Polyglott Bibles [see note 4] follow the Greek, and place the baptism in the year 26, and the crucifixion in the year 29; giving only the same time to the ministry as the others. And I am yet to find the chronologer or historian, who allows any longer space for the Lord’s teaching. There is such an agreement on this point, among all such, as to make it not a little hazardous to question it. The contrary, certainly, should not be asserted, without the best of evidence.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.1

    5, As further proof of this point, I here give in full the opinion of Eusebius, [note 5] the earliest and most faithful ecclesiactical historian. He almost belonged to the Apostolic age, and his opinion, especially when founded on the proof he gives, must have no small weight with the candid and intelligent reader. “It was about the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, according to the Evangelist, in the fourth year, that Pilate was procurator of Judea, when Herod, Lysanias, and Phillip, us tetrarchs, held the government of the rest of Judea, when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was in his thirtieth year, [see note 6] that he came to the baptism of John, and there made the beginning of promulgating his gospel. The holy scriptures, moreover, relate that he passed the whole time of his public ministry under the high priests Annas and Caiaphas; intimating, that, during the years of their priesthood, the whole time of his ministry was terminated. For beginning with the pontificate of Annas, and continuing after that of Caiaphas, the whole of this interval does not even give us four years. The rites, indeed, of the law, having been already abolished since that period, with it were also annulled the privileges of the priesthood, viz. of continuing it for life, and of hereditary discent. Under the Roman governors, however, different persons at different times were appointed as high priests, who did not continue in office more than a year. Josephus, indeed, relates that there were four high priests in succession from Annas to Caiaphas. Thus in his book of Antiquities, he writes in the following manner: “Valerius Gratus, having put a period to the priesthood of Annas, promoted Ishmael, the son of Baphi to the office; and removing him also, not long after, he appointed Eleazar, the son of Annas, who had been high priest, to the office. After the lapse of a year, removing also him, he transfers the priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus. But he, also, did not continue to hold the honor longer than a year, when he was succeeded by Josephus, surnamed Caiaphas,” Hence the whole time of our Saviour’s ministry is proved not to embrace four entire years; there being four high priests for four years, from Annas to the appointment of Caiaphas, each of which held the office a year respectively. Caiaphas, indeed, is justly shown by the gospel narrative, to have been high priest in that year in which our Savior’s sufferings were finished. With which present observation, the time of Christ’s ministry is also proved to agree. (See Ecc. Hist. pp. 39, 40.)HST December 20, 1843, page 146.2

    This passage from Eusebius is of double value, inasmuch as it cantains his opinion, and a new and perfectly conclusive argument in its defence. I commend it to all as such.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.3

    6, As an act of justice to him, and to give additional support to the view presented in the estimation of his friends, I here give the opinion of Mr. Miller. It should be borne in mind that Mr Miller never held that the ministry of Christ, in extent, was more than three and a half years; the other opinion having originated with others who had embraced his general views. He followed Ferguson, the chronologers, and tha scriptures, in reference to this point. He says, “The gospel of Jesus Christ, preached by John three and a half years, and by Christ three and a half years, making seven years.”—(Lectures, page 71.) And yet it is plain enough tobe seen, why a different opinion was embraced. Mr. M’s view, though correct as to the length of the ministry, involved a serious and insurmountable difficulty, as to the end of the 69 weeks. He makes the 69 weeks terminate at the commencement of John’s ministry, in the year 26, and the baptism of Christ to occur in the middle or last of the year 29. He says, “Then the sixty-two weeks (the seven included) ended when John began to preach the gospel, A. D. 26; and the one week was fulfilled in A. D. 33, when Christ offered himself upon the cross.” [Lectures, pp, 68, 69.] The difficulty is this: as the sixty nine weeks were to reach to Messiah the Prince, how they could end at the beginning of John’s preaching, three years and a half before he was anointed and proclaimed the Messiah. And the same difficulty is found in the fact, that, at the commencement of his preaching, he said, “The time is fulfilled.” meaning, as all the advocates of the seven years’ ministry believe, the 69 weeks. It was seen therefore, that the 69 weeks reached to the beginning of the Savior’s ministry, which view alone could surmount the difficulty, another theory must be sought for as to the length of that ministry. The result was, the notion of the seven years’ ministry, beginning in the year 26, and closing in the year 33.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.4

    But they have certainly fallen upon Chyrybdis, in their anxiety and effort to escape Scylla. When one difficulty has been avoided, into several, equally serious and formidable, have they plunged. How much easier, and more direct, and away from all difficulty, would have been the course, to have taken Mr. Miller’s view of the time of the commencement of the Lord’s ministry, in the middle of the year 29, and made that the point, as the Savior said, when the 69 weeks were fulfilled, and thence measured three and a half years to the year 33, in the middle of the last week, when the crucifixion transpired. This was the path that lay nearest, and it certainly was the best every way. But the common opinion that the 70 weeks were fulfilled at the death of Christ, undoubtedly had much to do in determining that course. We shall soon see, however, that, in differing with Mr. Miller on that point, nothing has been gained.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.5

    The foregoing proofs must, we think, settle the point so as to leave no room for dispute, as to the duration of the Messiah’s ministry. The obvious sense of the prophecy, the fact that the apostles helped to confirm the covenant, the number of passovers kept by the Savior during his ministry, the perfect agreement of the chronologies, the opinion and argument of Eusebius, and the testimony of Mr. Miller, all constitute an amount of evidence not to be resisted or set aside. The candid and reflecting must regard the point as established. If it is then settled, that the ministry of Christ was only three and a half years in duration, the next point is when it began. If in the year 26 of the common reckoning, it must have closed in the year 29. If so, 1810 years, the last part of the 2300, reckon from that point, were fulfilled in the year 1839—four years ago! [See note 7.] Then the vision ended, or the connection between the two periods was proved not to exist. But as neither of these will be admitted by the believers in the advent this year, another period for the commencement of the ministry must be sought, or another view of the meaning of the clause “midst of the week,” must be taken. But it is argued, that Christ’s death occurred in the year 29 or 30, in the middle of the week, making the week begin in A. D. 26 or 27, and end in 33. This, to my surprise, is the ground now taken by some of our most acute and able brethren, in opposition to the view supported in this article, But to this ground several fatal objections offer themselves.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.6

    1. Such a shift, effected under such circumstances, cannot but be liable to some suspicion. It bears the marks of having originated in the most argent necessity. And this fact must make any position not a little questionable. The case stands thus: my construction of the clause of the prophecy under consideration, was stoutly opposed, because, with the view then entertained of the time of the crucifixion, it would extend the time of the end a few years beyond the present year. But it seems to have been discovered, that, by carrying the point of the crucifixion a few years back, this view could be adopted and the time of the end remain unchanged. And it was necessary to do this, to meet the argument demonstrating the ministr of Christ to have been but three and a half years in extent, For, if the last week of Daniel began with the ministry of our Lord, as all admit, and that ministry was but three and a half years long, and he was crucified in A. D 33, it would appear, both from prophetic and chronological testimony, that he was cut off in the middle of the week, and also that the whole week did not expire until A. D. 37. The idea of a seven year’s ministry had been, before, opposed to my view. But that was seen to be wholly indefensible, and this was the only course remaining for those committed to the view that prophetic time closes the present year. By this change of the period of the death of Christ, the time of the end would remain unaltered, and my whole argument would be made to appear entirely unavailing for the purpose for which it has been given. But the change involves a surrender of two important points which have been all along contended for—namely, that the clause “midst of the week,” means the last part or extreme end of the week, and that the crucifixion took place in A. D. 33.—The construction of the clause becomes essential in this change, that I have contended for in this article, and also the period A. D. 30, as the middle of the week, when Messiah was cut off. But, if the former construction of the clause referred to had been sustained, the change would have been fatal to the system. Since, in that case, the whole time would have run by some three or four years. For, if Christ was cut off in A. D 30, at the end of the week, the 1810 years, the remaining portion of the time of the vision, would have expired in A. D. 1840! This was the very result aimed to be produced by Dr. Weeks, in one of his articles against Mr. Miller’s views. So if this ground had been taken six months ago, with the view then entertained of the prophecy, it would have amounted to a surrender of the whole system. It is then by adopting the view of the meaning of the prophecy set forth in this article, that the system can be maintained, with the alteration of the time of the crucifixion. Hence no reader should hesitate to adopt the general conclusion I have arrived at, on account of the novelty of the interpretation of the clause under examination. It remains for all to decide, whether, with the adoption of that, they will embrace a new and very questionable date for the crucifixion. For it is admitted, on the ground now taken, that the only point that can be disputable, is, whether the middle of the last week was reached in A. D. 30, or 33, at which point the death of Christ occurred. The other, then, ceases to be a disputed point. Therefore, to adopt the two, to avoid the conclusion derived from one and the facts previously admitted, is a change not bearing all the marks of fairness or candor.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.7

    Such a view cannot be adopted, for—HST December 20, 1843, page 146.8

    II. The proofs brought for the purpose do not sustain it.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.9

    The whole process of demonstration is circuitous, indirect, [see note 8] and often an assumption of the point to be proved. 1, The time of the birth of Christ, [see note 9,] which is attempted to be proved, and which is essential to the support of that view is not, and cannot be demonstrated. Our most accurate and able chronologists are not agreed on this point. Prideaux says it was about a year before the death of Herod; Mosheim says the most probable opinion is, that it was about a year and six months before Herod’s death.—See Prid. vol. ii, p. 433. Mosh. in one vol., p. 16. Another writer puts the birth of Christ and the death of Herod the same year. See Cyclopedia of Hist., article Herod. Dionysius Exigus, the one who established the vulgar era, as is well known, put it four years later. A point so doubtful should not be assumed as proved. But if it could be shown beyond a doubt, it would not establish the point in dispute, as will soon be made evident.—2, The position has not been, and I am persuaded cannot be sustained, that the ministry of our Lord began in A. D. 26 or 27. The method of proof is too indirect and inconclusive to have any real force. There is nothing in the gospel narrative that furnishes a chronological clue to the year. To prove when John began his ministry, is not to prove when Christ began his, it this could be satisfactorily done. But this is the method taken. The process is this: John the Baptist, according to Luke, began to preach in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, in A. D. 26: now as he was a regular priest, he could not enter upon his office until he was thirty years of age, and as the Savior was but six months younger than John, and did, according to the same evangelist, begin his ministry when he was about 30, he must have entered upon it about six months later, which was in 26 or 27 A. D. This is the argument. But several points are here assumed. 1, That the 15th of Tiberius, intended by the Evangelist, was the fifteenth year after he was associated with Augustus in the administration of the government, which is not certain. All admit that A. D. 26, was the 12th of Tiberius’ sole reign, though the 15th, reckoning from the time of his association with Augustus. Which we are to understand is not proved, and which will make a difference of some three years. If we are to understand the 15th of his sole reign, it was A. D. 29, and not 26. 2, Another point assumed is, that John was a regular priest. Tins is not proved, and I am confident cannot be. This is no where intimated, nor was there anything in his course favoring the idea. His mission and office were both peculiar. This is evident from the wonder excited among the people respecting him. The Sanhedrim deputed some of their number to go and ascertain who he was, or what he claimed to be. See John 1st chapter. This would not have been so, if he had been a regular priest, officiating regularly in that capacity. 3, That, supposing him a regular priest, he did not begin his public preaching until he was 30. Some entered upon their ministry, that were regular priests, before that age. See Dr. A Clark’s statement, in his com. on Luke, chap. 3:4. That Luke aims at accuracy and precision, in stating what he does respecting the age of Christ, when he was baptised, which is far from being evident. His language is the highest proof to the contrary. “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age.” Or, ‘Jesus was about thirty years old, when he began to teach.’ This is the rendering of Griesback, Doddridge, and Lardner. Dr. Bloomfield says,—“The very use of this adverb (“about”) plainly teaches, that nothing certain can be defined respecting the age of Christ at his baptism, and commencement of his ministry. Hence it is no wonder that the conjectures of commentators should be so various.”—Scott says,—“But the word about, and the decimal number, concur in warranting an opinion, that he might be rather above thirty at this time.” See Comprehensive Commentary on the place.—Another evidence that Luke did not aim at chronological exactness in his statements, is found in what he says of the time of the issuing the decree of Augustus, that the world should be taxed. See Luke 2:1. Prideaux says this decree was issued three years before the birth of Christ. See vol. ii. p. 415. Then Luke could not have aimed at precision or exactness. 5, That the Savior began his ministry soon after his baptism, which is not certain.—The 69 weeks ended when he began to preach, and not when he was baptized. From Matthew 4:12-16, we should infer that some time elapsed from the period he was baptized, to that when he eatered upon his public ministry.HST December 20, 1843, page 146.10

    As the above points are assumed, not proved, it must be plain that the argument fails of being conclusive. And this is the fundamental point in that view. In an elaborate article from the pen of S. Bliss, on this subject, which appeared in the Signs of the Times of July 12 ‘43, it is said, ‘We thus have a fixed period for the terminus ad quem of the sixty nine weeks in A. D. 26, and as there is some dispute about the time of the crucifixion, it is the only fixed period from which we can date.” See reply to Turner. We see on what a slight foundation this “fixed period” rests!—3. It has not been, and cannot be shown, that the death of the Messiah occurred in A. D. 29 or 30.—The whole proof rests upon two assumptions. 1, That his ministry was entered upon in 26 or 27, which is an assumption as has been seen. 2, That the Caraite Jews are correct as to the proper time for the observance of the passover.—To say they are correct, as to a point of difference between them and the Rabbinistic Jews, is not only an assumption, but it is to take one disputed point, and a very remote and insufficient one, to prove another. But it is evident from another sentence in the article from which I have just quoted, that there is little or no confidence in this evidence. “We must therefore reckon the 1810 years, the ballance of the 2300, not from the crucifixion. as there it some uncertainty of that date, but from the end of the seventy weeks in A. D. 33.” This, then, is the extent of the proof by which that view is attempted to be sustained That it is wholly insufficient, I need not say. This all must see.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.1

    This view cannot be received for—HST December 20, 1843, page 147.2

    III. To maintain that the crucifixion occurred in the year 30 is to do it in the face of the evidence as to the time of that event. Some of these I will present. 1, Fergusson’s astronomical calculations. To these calculations, the believers in the Advent this year are so committed, that they cannot consistently abandon them. [See note 10.] The following extract from Ferguson’s Astronomy, has had, with them, nearly the same authority as the prophecy of Daniel to which it refers. It has been bound up in the “Bible Student’s Manual” with Mr. Miller’s “Rules for Interpretation:” and forms a part of nearly every work published on this subject by the press at Boston.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.3

    “Our Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath; and it is plain from St. Mark, ch. 15. ver. 42, and St. Luke, ch. 23. ver. 54. that Christ was crucified on Friday, seeing the crucifixion was on the day next before the Jewish Sabbath; and according to St. John, ch. 18. ver. 28, on the day that the passover was to be eaten, at least by many of the Jews.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.4

    The Jews reckoned their months by the moon, and their years by the apparent revolution of the sun; and they are the passover on the 14th day of the month Nisan, which was the first month of the year, reckoning from the first appearance of the new moon, which at that time of the year might be on the evening of the day next after the change, if the sky was clear. So that their 11th day of the month answers to our 15th day of the moon, on which she is full. Consequently, the passover was always kept on the day of full moon.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.5

    And the full moon at which it was kept, was that one which happened next after the vernal equinox. For Josephus expressly says, (Antiq. B. iii. ch. 10,) the passover was kept on the 14th day of the month Nisan, according to the moon, when the sun was in Aries. And the sun always enters Aries at the instant of the vernal equinox; which in our Savior’s time, fell on the 22nd day of March.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.6

    The dispute among chronologers about the year of Christ’s death, is limited to four or five years at most. But as we have shown that he was crucified on the day of a paschal full moon, and on a Friday, all that we have to do, in order to ascertain the year of his death, is only to compute in which of those years there was a passover full moon on a Friday. For the full moons anticipate eleven days every year, (12 lunar months being so much short of a solar year,) and therefore one in every three years, at least, the Jews were obliged to set their passover a month farther forward than it fell by the course of the moon on the year next before, in order to keep it at the full moon next after the equinox. Therefore there could not be two passovers on the same day of the week, within the compass of a few neighboring years. And I find by calculation, the only passover full moon that fell on a Friday, for several years before or after the disputed year of the crucifixion, was on the 3rd day of April, in the 4746th year of the Julian period, which was the 490th [see note 11] year after Ezra received the above-mentioned commission from Artaxerxes Longimanus, according to Ptolomy’s canon, and the year in which the Messiah was to be cut off, according to the prophecy, reckoning from the going forth of that commission or commandment: and this 490th year was the 33rd year of our Savior’s age, reckoning from the vulgar era of his birth; but the 37th, reckoning from the the true era thereof.”HST December 20, 1843, page 147.7

    And he adds, that the extraordinary darkness, spoken of by Phlegon a heathen writer, and which he calls a most remarkable eclipse, was experienced in A. D. 33, [see note 12] which must have been the supernatural darkness at the time of the crucifixion, as there was no eclipse, in a natural way, that year.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.8

    2, Rollin’s Chronology. Rollin, [see note 13] not without reason, dates the 70 weeks at the commission given to Nehemiah by Artaxerxes, in the twentieth year of his reign. Indeed, the more I reflect on the subject, the stronger is my conviction that he is right. The commission given to Ezra, thirteen years before that, never has seemed to my mind to answer the prophetic description. It is too limited, too reserved, and too confined to a specific object, to be the one intended by the prophecy. The other is ample, full, and general, and answers in all its features to the prophetic description. I see that bro. Litch has adopted the view of Rollin. He says,—“That decree given by Artaxerxes in the seventh year of his reign, is the one usually adopted by commentators, as the date of the seventy weeks. Following the great body of the commentators, I have formerly inclined to the same opinion, and adopted it without a very critical examination. But I confess my confidence has been shaken in that date, by a more careful examination of the various decrees, and the chronology since that decree. The marginal reading of Daniel 9:24, shows the opinion of the translators to have been, that the decree of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes was the date of the seventy weeks.” See Prophetic Expos., vol. i. p. 135. Bro. Litch then presents a chronological table, taken as he says from Rollin, which gives 457 years from the twentieth of Artaxerxes, to A. D. 1. But he falls into two mistakes, which I think he will readily discover. He will see that Rollin fixes the twentieth year of the reign of that king, in A. M. 3550, and 454 before Christ. His table does not vary more than a year from this computation. Bro. Litch’s principal mistake consists in giving Ptolomy Soter, king of Egypt, five years of the time he allowed for the space between the death of Alexander, and the division of his kingdom between his four generals. Ptolomy Soter did indeed reign twenty years, as bro. L. states; but not that length of time after the division of Alexander’s kingdom. Rollin gives him but 15 years after that. And he gives Darius Codomanus 6 years, and Alexander seven years and 8 months, which would give one year more than bro. L allows for this part of the time. The following is a correct chronological table from Rollin, from the 20th of Artaxerxes, to A. D. 1.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.9

    Yrs. m. d.
    Artaxerxes. after his 20th year, reigned 28
    Xerxes and Sogdianus, 7 15
    Darius Nothus, 19
    Artaxerxes Mnemon 43
    Ochus, 24
    Arses, 3
    Darius Codomanus, 6
    Alexander the Great, 7 8
    From Alexander’s death, to the division of his kingdom, 22
    Ptolemy Soter, king of Egypt, reigned, 15
    Ptolemy Philodelphus,        ” 39
    Ptolemy Euergetes,           ” 25
    Ptolemy Philopater,          ” 17
    Ptolemy Epiphanes,           ” 24
    Ptolemy Philometer,          ” 35
    Ptolemy Physcon,            ” 28
    Ptolemy Lathyrus,            ” 10
    Alexander II.,              ” 16
    Ptolemy Aulutes and Berenice his daughter, 14
    Cleopatra and her brother,       ” 21
    The Romans became masters of Egypt B. C., 30

    Total, 453 3 15HST December 20, 1843, page 147.10

    According to this chronology, which I am disposed to think is as accurate as any, both as to its starting point and reckoning, Christ could not have been crucified earlier than A. D. 33, or the 70 weeks have expired before 37. If he was cut off in A. D. 30, it must have been, according to this chronological arrangement, at the beginning of the last week, which I think none will pretend. This I present as strong proof of my correctness, both as to the time of the crucifixion, and of the termination of the 70 weeks.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.11

    3, Prideuax’s Chronolgy. Prideux’s tablet [see note 14] are pronounced, by our friends, to be the best extant. But they confirm the view I have taken, as to the time of the commencement of the Lord’s ministry, and the crucifixion.—He fixes the first in A. D. 29, and the last in A. D. 33. His only error is, that he supposes the sixty nine weeks ended at the beginning of John’s preaching in A. D. 26, and not at the beginning of Christ’s, in A. D. 29. And this all will concede to be an error who embrace our general views. It is admitted by all such, that the sixty nine weeks reached to the time the Savior entered upon his ministry, whatever that time might have been. But the following table from Prideuax, will show, that these week ended in A. D. 29, when our Lord entered upon his public preaching.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.12

    Succession in the time of the High Ppriesthood, from the time of the commencement of the second division of Daniel’s seventy weeks, or the 434 years, to the beginning of Christ’s ministry. The table therefore covers the whole space from the close of the “7 weeks” or 49 years, to the beginning of the last week, in A. D. 29, when our Lord entered upon his public preaching.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.13

    Succession. Years. References.
    1. Joiada. 35 13Joiada held his office 40 years. It was in the fifth year of his pontificate that the fast division of the seventy weeks, or 49 years, ended. He, therefore, officiated 33 years after that. See reference above. Neh xii 10 Pried’s vol i p 433.
    2. Johanan, (Jonathan,) 32 “   ”    11    “   265 to 290
    3. Jaddua, 20 “   ”    11    “    290  ”  350
    4. Onias, I. 21 Prid vol. ii. 350  ”  395
    5. Simon the just, 9 “   ”    395  “  411
    6. Elenzer, 15 “   ”    411
    7. Manesseh, 26 ”   vol. iii. 113   ”  225
    8. Onias II. 33 “   ”    113  ” 154
    9. Simon II. 22 “  ”  154 “ 185
    10. Onanias III, 27 “  ”  183 “ 215
    11. Jason, “  ”  215 “ 220
    12. Manelaus, “  ”  220 “ 299
    Princes of Judea
    1. Judas Maccabeus, 6 “   ”  252 “ 335
    2. Jonathan, 17 “  ”  335 “ 375
    3. Simon, 8 “  ”  375 “ 395
    4. John Hyrcanus, 29 “  ”  895 iv 7

    No Authorcode

    Kings of Judea
    1. Ariatobulus, I., 1 “  vol. iv.  7 to 13
    2. Alex. Jannaeus, 27 “  ”  13 to 43
    3. Alexandra, 9 “  ”  43 “ 62
    4. Aristobulus II., 6 “  ”  “  62  ”  99
    5. Hyrcanus, II., 24 “  ”  99  “  193
    6. Antigonus, 2 “  ”  193  “  204
    7. Herod The Gr’t, 33 “  ”  359  “  362
    Christ born in his 33rd year, Herod’s last yr. 1 “  ”  368  “  370
    8. Archaelaus, 10 “  ”  371 “ 373
    9. Augustus, 6 14The table gives Augustus 6 years from the deposition of Archaelaus, though three years of that time Tiberius was associated with him. But the 15 years given to the latter are of his sole reign, though the number should be 18, reckoning from the time of his association with Augustus. All will see it is the same. “  ”  373 “ 379
    10. Tiberius, 15 “  ”  379 “ 384
    ‘63 wks of Daniel 9:26 434 Ezra 13  Ezra 7:11-do.
    Add ‘7 wks. ’ Daniel 9:25, 49 Nehemiah 1  2:13, 15.190.
    First commis. Nehemiah 2:1-6.
    Ch’ts min’y 3yrs. 6 mo second do. 11 “  v. 6. Prid
    conver. of Con., 3yr 6m 7 7 his return ii. 146-151
    make 1 or last wk. Daniel 9:27 to Persia, 5 “  v. 14; 2:6,
    Third com. 19 “  ii 151. xiii
    to close of the “  6, 7. do ii 190.
    Old Test. Canon. “  7-22. do ii.
    49 208-225
    Total 490

    JVHe

    4. Usher’s Chronology. See our Bibles. [See note 15.]HST December 20, 1843, page 147.14

    5. Whiston [see note 16] the translator and commentator of Josephus, puts the crucifixion in A. D. 33. See notes vol. p. 45,HST December 20, 1843, page 147.15

    6. Kiddle thus fixes it. See Eccl. Chronology, p. 1. [See note 17.]HST December 20, 1843, page 147.16

    7. Lempier does likewise. See chronological tables at the beginning of Clas. Dict.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.17

    This list of authorities of the highest character, might be extended almost indefinitely. The opinion is nearly universal, that the death of our Lord took place in the year fixed for that event by the preceding authors. With them and the religions world generally, on this point, I think it the most safe and prudent to stand. Whoever attempts to fix upon another point of time for that event, on the slight gorunds reviewed above, is doomed, I am persuaded, to certain failure. And here I rest.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.18

    There is but one remaining view, to which our friends who hold that the seventy weeks terminated at Christ’s death, or in A. D. 33, can resort, and that is, that he entered upon his ministry in the thirty fourth year of his age, in the middle or last of A. D., 29 according to Ferguson and Prideaux. This would make him confirm the covenant the last half of the week, and come to his end in A. D. 33, in the thirty seventh year of his age. But this view has no less difculties than the other with that theory.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.19

    It will not be entertained for the reason that the year 26 has been taken as the date of Christ’s ministry, by those who differ with Mr. Miller. The sixty nine weeks were to reach to the time of the commencement of his public ministry, according to the language of the prophecy, and which is proved beyond dispute to have been so by the fact, that, when he entered upon his work, he said, “The time—the sixty nine weeks—is fulfilled.” Now, if this was in the middle or last part of A. D. 29, and in the thirty-fourth year of his age, his ministry of three and a half year’s continnance would end in 33 A. D. IN THE MIDDLE OF DANIEL’S LAST WEEK! (See note 18.) So, if Ferguson and Prideuax are correct as to the time our Lord began to preach, and the sixty nine weeks extended to that point as the prophecy declares they shall, and as our friends admit, my view is sustained, though the Savior might have been thirty four years old when he entered upon his work. For, in whatever year we make the ministry of Christ to have begun, we must begin to reckon the last week. If that was the last part of A. D. 29, the whole of the week did not end until the last of the year 36, or the beginning of the year 37. And as no one pretends that he was crucified later than 33 A. D., he must have been cut off in the middle of the week. Hence if the Savior was thirty seven years of age, at his death, as Ferguson and Prideaux maintain, and as our friends contend, it cannot make any possible difference as to the point in the week of his death; since in that case, he was in his thirty-fourth year at the time of entering upon his ministry. The sixty nine weeks were fulfilled when he began, and by the time he was thirty seven, he had but just arrived at the middle of the last week. The difference as to his age would then only affect the time of the going forth of the commandment, from which point are reckoned the seventy weeks. But there is some difficulty in reconciling the declaration of Luke with the view that he was so old when he began his public labor.—Should any one think otherwise, he will have to admit that his death transpired in the middle of the last week.HST December 20, 1843, page 147.20

    Amid this doubt and discrepancy of views, there seems to be but one course that is safe and void of difficulty that can be taken, and that is, to make three well-settled points our guide, and steer as they shall lead the way. The first is, that the 69 weeks ended at the commencement of Messiah’s ministry. The second is. that the ministry embraced but three and a half years. Third, that he was cut off in A. D. 33. This would make the last week begin where the chronologies commence it, in the last part of the year 29. Hence the crucifixion, transpiring in A. D. 33, was in the middle of the last week. And to my surprise, I find it so arranged in the chronological tables in the back part of all our large Bibles. Let any one turn to them, and he will read, at the time of the crucifixion,—“The fourth passover, in which Christ our passover is sacrificed, and so an end is put to all legal sacrifices prefiguring this great expiation. The fourth or middle year of Daniel’s last week begins,” And in conformity with this arrangement, the week is made to begin with his ministry. This is proof from an unexpected quarter, and proof of the greater value from the fact that this Chronology has been claimed in support of the view that the ministry commenced in the year 26.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.1

    Now, in the light of these well-established points, we can run back, free from all chronological dificulties, and find the commencement of the seventy weeks. And this we shall find to have been before Christ 453.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.2

    Thus—Before Christ— 453
    To the crucifixion— 33
    Making 486

    entire years. But to reckon the fractions would give 486 1-2 years. The remaining three and a half years, to complete the 490, in which the Apostles finished the confirmation of the covenant, expired the last of A. D. 36, or the beginning of the year 37. (See note 19) I use this last number as it is a round-number, and as near exactness as any other. And from 37 A. D., reckon 1810 years, the remainder of the length of the vision, and they will expire 1847. This, as it appears to me, is the most probable period of the termination of the vision of 2300 days. As the whole ground of the chronology is disputed, from the death of Christ back, I deem this the only safe, and, I might say, practicable course to take. This harmonizes the views of all, in all the main points. Every other view is attended with difficulties from which there is no hope of extrication. This view leaves the prophecy in possession of its obvious meaning: gives an intelligible and consistent exposition of the confirmation of the covenant; explains the reason why the apostles were so long confined to the Jews after the crucifixion: affords the proper length of time for the Savior’s ministry, and relieves us of all chronological difficulties. (See note 20) I, therefore, adopt it, in preference of any other.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.3

    But, if, after all, it should be said, in opposition to this view, that as the chronologies admit the common reckoning to have been dated four years too late, Christ must have been 37 years old in A. D. 33, I have only to reply, that since the whole host of chronologers maintain that his ministry did not embrace but three and a half years, he must if this be so, have entered upon it in the thirty fourth year of his age; and further, that as the last week began with his ministry, as already shown, his crucifixion must have occurred in the middle of that week. So the result is the same, after the difference with Luke is reconciled.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.4

    But if any should be startled because I have changed the date of the commencement from 457 to 453, I have but to observe, that I have only done what must be doneon supposition that the vulgar reckoning is four years too late. This is all.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.5

    NOTES ON THE FOREGOING

    JVHe

    (1.) Our brother speaks of the opinion that Christ preached seven years, as being given up. On this point we would remark, that the junior editor of this paper, relinquished that view some six months since, when we saw that the correctness of Ferguson’s calculation, as to the day of the week on which the first moon after the equinox would full, could not determine the year of the crucifixion, on account of the impossibility which Dr. Prideaux, (one of the authors on whom our brother relies) shows there is in fixing within one month, the day of the Julian year, on which any day of the Jewish would fall. But neither of the senior editors of this paper, or Mr. Miller, regard this point any differently than they have always expressed it. They consider that the prophecy fixes the date of the crucifixion where they reckon it; but if they could be brought to see, that the crucifixion in the middle of the week could be reconciled with the prophecy, their great argument for its being in 33 would at once be taken from them, as it would be from all the modern writers who have thus dated it. While therefore our brother is alone responsible for his view, we are alone responsible for our view.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.6

    (2) Our readers are referred to No. 16 of the “Signs,” two weeks since, for our view of the length of Christ’s ministry.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.7

    (3.) It will be remembered that the Chronology placed in the margin of all Bibles is never considered as more than collateral evidence, it being in all cases there placed according to the opinion of the editor or publisher, as to the probable time when the respective events occurred. Thus every one who has published an edition of the Scriptures, has adopted what to him, were the most probable dates. Some follow Usher, others do not. While, therefore, reference may be made to them as mere evidence of the opinion of the men by whom they are arranged, it will be seen, that they are of no authority whatever in settling a disputed point in chronology, as the author of such arrangement is seldom given, and the evidence upon which it is arranged is never found in the same connection. In the previous number, our brother himself rejected the marginal date for the conversion of Cornelius, when it made against him, as “wholly arbitrary and unsupported.” If it is thus “wholly arbitrary and unsupported” in one case, it loses its authority in the other cases. For this cause no modern chronological table is of any value, aside from the name of the compiler, and the evidence upon which the arrangment rests. Feeling therefore, that our readers demanded of us something more than mere opinion—reference to the margin of the Bible, or extracts from Chronological Tables, and having access to, we have spent some weeks in the examination of the works of nearly all the great chronologers now extant. We have examined in reference to this point, the works of Jackson, Blair, Bishop Lloyd, Playfair, Petavius, Kennedy, Dr. Hales, Arch-Bishop Usher, Dr. Prideaux; with the works of Ferguson, Eusebius, Rollin, Josephus, and others, which are not chronological; and we have given the dates, arguments, epochs, and coincidences by which the historical events are adjusted to the chronology, by astronomical, historical, and prophetic agreements. The evidence thus collected, can only be set aside by like chronological agreements.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.8

    (4.) If this question were to be settled by a reference to the margin of the Polyglott Bibles, it would be necessary to show that those which place the crucifixion in 29, are of less authority than the more modern ones which place it in 33.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.9

    (5.) If Eusebius is good authority for the length of Christ’s ministry, his testimony as to the date of the crucifixion in A. D.31, should not be rejected.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.10

    (6.) If Eusebius is authority, Christ began his ministry when he was thirty, A. D. 26.7HST December 20, 1843, page 148.11

    (7.) This argument is not valid: for when it is admitted that the crucifixion is in the middle of the week, there are 1813 1-2 years, and not 1810 years to be reckoned from that point.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.12

    (8.) Of this circuitousness our readers will judge.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.13

    (9.) No one can hope to fix the birth of Christ within a less circle than about a year. With all the testimony Herod could gather, Christ was “two years old and under” when that monarch sought to slay him. He was born before Herod died. But the death of Herod is a period respecting which, two opinions cannot be found among chronologists. No chronologist or historian raises a doubt respecting that date.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.14

    (10.) We trust all Adventists will have consistency enough to believe what they find to be the truth, whether on the one side or the other.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.15

    (11.) If Ferguson is good authority, his testimony will tend to prove that 490 years from the decree given to Ezra terminated about A. D., 33.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.16

    (12.) We would refer our readers to the extracts two weeks since, from Dr. Hales, on this question. The evidence that Phlegon records this darkness in A. D. 33, or how it can be adjusted to the vulgar era, we have not seen. He knew nothing of this era, and could not date from it, as it was not invented till 500 years from his day. Its adjustment to the vulgar era must be shown before its evidence will be of much weight.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.17

    (13.) It should be remembered that Rollin makes no pretensions as a chronologist. He is a good historian, but is only a copyist: and is not relied on for chronological accuracy. To date the 20th of Artaxerxes B. C. 453, is in opposition to all astronomical observations by which dates are accurately settled. This period was to begin, not with a decree, but with the decree to restore and to build Jerusalem. In the first year of Cyrus, 2 Chronicles 36:23, a decree was given to rebuild the temple, but not the city. Under this decree the temple was commenced, but on account of the Jews’ enemies, the work was made to cease till the second year of Darius, king of Persia, when another decree was made which only confirmed the first decree, Ezra 4:6. The decree to restore and to build Jerusaem, was given in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, Ezra 7. This must be the decree, as after provision was made for the sacrifices of the temple, which was now finished, Ezra was permitted to do with the rest of the money what should ‘seem good’ to him; and whatsoever Ezra should require of the treasurers beyond the river, they were commanded to do speedily. And in Ezra’s prayer, as recorded in the 9th chapter, he praised God that he had extended mercy to them in the sight of the kings of Persia, etc. ‘and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.’ This decree, according to the margin of most polyglott Bibles, the canon of Ptolomy and the undoubted era of Nabonassar was in the year B. C. 457.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.18

    (14.) Prideaux’s tables are good authority, because in the body of his work he has gone into the argument, and shown how history and chronology are harmonised. He also triumphantly sustains us in the commencement of the 70 weeks, the end of the 69, the middle of the last, and the end of the 70. He has placed our Savior’s ministry in the last half, instead of the first half of the week, because he conceived it must close the 70 weeks, otherwise it would have been placed in the first half. To quote an authority in support of a single point, when the same authority is rejected on all other points, is not conclusively proving the one point.HST December 20, 1843, page 148.19

    (15.) Usher’s Chronology is not followed in all our Bibles. Where it is, all parts of the 70 weeks correspond with our view of them, and harmonise at the same points. He places the ministry of our Lord the same as Dr. Prideaux, and for the same reason. If he is authority, we are fairly entitled to it.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.1

    (16.) Whiston does not claim to be a chronologist: he is a mere copyist in dates, and quotes from Usher.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.2

    (17.) Riddle and Lempriere are similarly situated. They are good compilers, but their chronological dates are second handed.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.3

    (18.) If Ferguson and Prideaux are correct, and the sixty-nine weeks reach to Christ’s ministry, as they both show from the canon of Ptolomy and the era of Nabonassar, that the sixty-nine weeks ended in A. D. 26—7, it follows that his ministry must have then commenced, and consequently, the 70 weeks ended in A. D. 33—4.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.4

    (19.) Three and a half years added to April 3rd A. D. 33 carry us only to Oct. 3rd. A. D. 36.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.5

    (20.) We cannot see that any chronological difficulties are relieved. It appears to us to unsettle every chronological point on which the question has been based, by a doubtful criticism on the translation of a Hebrew word. The more we examine this point, the more we are confirmed in the belief that it is not so. See article “Vulgar Era” on next page. Ed.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.6

    English Charities. One fourth of the tithes in England, were originally designed for the poor, to be dispensed by the clergy; but of late great complaint has been made, as somehow or other funds committed to the clergy for the benefit of the poor, have been diverted to the uses of the reverend trustees, and found their way into the pockects of the holy men. The revenues of the Church are only about six millions!! and it is supposed that they have mistaken themselves for the poor!HST December 20, 1843, page 149.7

    An English paper says that there are no class of men, who consider themselves so poor as the Bishops who rejoice in a revenue of 20,0001, a year, and who usually accumulate an estate larger than any other class of men in personal property (only,) upwards of 70,0001. each. “It is then very clear that these holy men have mistaken their own families for the poor, and applied their means accordingly; their charity, according to the proverb, beginning at home, and ending there too. It is not therefore surprising that the people should begin to feel that their charities are not well appropriated; or that the Bishops are not looking for the Lord. They love this world.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.8

    LETTER FROM BRO. A. S. RICHADRSON

    JVHe

    Brothers, hold on to the faith, for he that hath promised that he will come, will come, and he will not tarry, and if we would make sure of the promise our faith must endure unto the end. Let us be of the faithful few, watch and pray, “that when he comes we may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless.” Do we know that we have passed from death unto life? If so, what better evidence than that we love his appearing. The oil of joy and gladness ever in our hearts, with the oil of faith that our lamps may be well trimmed and filled, so that the world may have evidence, and have none occasion to stumble. Behold the bridegroom cometh, let us go forth to meet him. Let us pray for one another, for them that are of like precious faith, for all men have not faith. Yours truly,HST December 20, 1843, page 149.9

    SIGNS OF THE TIMES

    JVHe

    “The Lord is at Hand.”

    BOSTON, DECEMBER 20, 1843.

    All communications for the Signs of the Times, or orders for Books or remittances, should be directed toJ. V. Himes, Boston, Mass,” post paid.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.10

    Post Masters are authorized by the Post Office Department to forward free of expense all orders for, or to discontinue publications, and also money to pay for the sameHST December 20, 1843, page 149.11

    Subscribers’ names with the State and Post Office should be distinctly given when money is forwarded. Where the Post Office is not given, we are liable to misdirect the paper, or credit to the wrong person, as there are often several of the same name, or several Post Offices in the same town.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.12

    Religious News.—The papers abound with accounts of ordinations, the constitution of churches, the dedication of meeting houses, the changes of pastoral relations, etc. etc. We regret to observe, however, that the accounts of revivals of religion have come to be so few and far between. Can it be that the late unusual excitements at the North, were in any way connected with the Miller mania; and that now the year 1843 has drawn so near to a close, the people feel less concern for spiritual and eternal things.—Biblical Recorder.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.13

    Will Bro. Merideth read the following well known epistle from Revelation 3:14-22.—“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and misereable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich: and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.14

    We can see no difference between the power to work miracles, discern spirits, etc. and that required to foretell future events. We have no idea that any one of this day, can justly or rationally make pretentions to either. We have, therefore, regarded the whole system of the Millerites, first and last, as having its foundation in a gross, and absorbing fanaticism, which could know no limit short of the most monstrous excesses. Biblical Recorder.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.15

    Does Bro. Merideth labor under the delusion that Mr. Miller makes any pretentions to the power of foretelling future events? It would so seem from the above. Mr Miller makes no such pretentions; he only claims that God has revealed in his word so that none may be ignorant of the time of the Advent. As Bro. Merideth has rejected this system from the supposition that it was based on private revelation only, would it not be well to examine the Scriptural evidence by which its truth is sustained, before it is rejected for a misapprehension of the “foundation” on which it rests? And further, would it not be an act of justice to undeceive the readers of the Recorder, respecting Mr. Miller’s pretentions to the spirit of prophecy? By the article from which the above is taken, they would gain a wrong impression.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.16

    Baptist circular—Extraordinary statement

    JVHe

    The following is an extract from the circular letter of the Ministers and Messengers of the Fairfield (Ct.) Co. Baptist Association, to the churches belonging thereto. According do the Hartford Secretary, it was written by J. H. Linsley, of Stratford Ct.HST December 20, 1843, page 149.17

    “The Bible declares the day of judgment is unknown to man, to angels, and even to Christ himself as man, but to the Father or Godhead only.—But the strange doctrine has been advanced to the great disturbance, perplexity and trial of the pastors and churches of Christ; that a new revelation has been given to certain individuals calling themselves the wise, who have been made to understand certain things not revealed to the church generally, that the day of final judgment and the burning of the world are to occur in the year 1843.”HST December 20, 1843, page 149.18

    The above is a sample of what is continually being promulgated by the so called religious press, and from the pnlpit, by men who have been set apart as God’s ministers. Now, all who know anything respecting the doctrine of the Advent, know perfectly that we make no pretensions to any new revelation, or that anything is revealed to us which is not equally revealed for all, and that we only profess to read from the word of God the things which are therein revealed—only claiming to believe what we there read. As we have never made any pretensions to any new revelation, but have always asserted the contrary, and have promulgated the same far and wide, so that those who will, may have a correct knowledge of our true position. It follows that all who were instrumental in giving publicity to the above address, were guilty of publishing an absolute and wilful falsehood, knowing it to be false; or else were guilty of unpardonable ignorance on a point respecting which they assumed to enlighten the public. And either horn of the dilemma will render such men unfit to be entrusted with the care of souls. No wonder such “pastors” should feel great “disturbance” and “perplexity,” that the doctrine of an immediate advent should be preached!! Are Christians willing to entrust themselves in the hands of such teachers? We will however say for those men, that, probably they really thought they were stating the truth, and had never informed themselves of the evidence of our hope. Cannot some faithful and godly missionary be sent to the benighted of that region?HST December 20, 1843, page 149.19

    Br. N. Trull—writes from New Boston, that the brethren in that place continue strong in the faith, the work of grace being deep in the heart. He says, “we hold our meetings separate from the church as usual; and the church thinking our names not worthy a place on their book, on Tuesday last rejected five of us from their ranks, but I trust our names are all registered in the Lamb’s book of Life.”HST December 20, 1843, page 149.20

    Bro. Whiting writes, that the cause of truth is onward in the region of Williamsburg, N. Y.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.1

    Br. H. B. Skinner writes from Buffalo, N. Y., that the cause never looked more prosperous than it now does in that place.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.2

    Bro L. Caldwell writes from the same place, that the brethren there were never stronger.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.3

    Bro. Joel Spaulding writes:—“I recently visited a number of towns and plantations in the northern section of the state, where I lectured last year, and was happy to find, that nearly all of the converts were still persevering in the way of holiness: many of them, and the older brethren, were very happy in the love of Christ.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.4

    I administered the ordinances in a number of sections, while with them. J. S.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.5

    Brother Litch in Baltimore.—We perceive by the Baltimore Sun, that Bro. Litch has commenced a course of lectures in that city.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.6

    Mr. Miller in Buffalo.—Father Miller is creating quite a sensation this town. Not that there are a great number who have been convened to his way of thinking, but the earnestness and sincerity, and deep research withal, with which he urges his doctrines, causes all to have a curiosity to hear him. The theatre on Sunday evening was crowded to a jam from pit to gallery, and hundreds could not find admittance. But notwithstanding this large and miscellaneous audience, there was perfect order and decorum manifested throughout, which we are glad to see. Let all speak freely their sentiments upon all questions without let or hinderance, is our motto.—Buffalo Gaz.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.7

    New Works.—A True Picture, or a thrilling description of the state of the churches throughout Christendom: extracted from a discourse recently preached in London, by Rev. Robert Atkins of Liverpool. We have republished this as No. 39 of the Second Advent Library, price 4 cents, or $2 per hundred, for distribution.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.8

    A Warning to Watchfulness.—This is from the pen of Bro. F. G. Brown; and constitutes the 40th No. of the Library. Price 6 cents, or $4 per hundred.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.9

    Ministers not to be Trusted! At a meeting of the Amer. Bible Society, at Cincinnati, Nov. 1., the following resolution was moved by Dr. Beecher:HST December 20, 1843, page 150.10

    Resolved, That to withhold the Bible from the common people, and leave them to learn its contents from the lips of the ministry, is more absurd and dangerous than would be the practice of placing the Constitution of our country in the hands of office-bearers to be expounded as their judgment or interest might dictate.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.11

    We like this doctrine. We hope “the ministry” will let the people practice it, without reproaching them. We say to the people everywhere, read your Bibles for yourselves. Think for yourselves. The ministry of this time need looking after, quite as much as the office-bearers, that expound the Constitution.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.12

    Second Baptist Church in Newton

    JVHe

    Brother Himes:—We find in the Minutes of the Boston Baptist Association, held Sept. 20 & 21st, 1843, the following statement headed Second Newton. ‘This Church parted with their Pastor in February last, since which time their pulpit has been supplied from the Theological Institution. They speak of the introduction of the Second Advent doctrine as the occasion of intercepting their harmony and stopping the progress of a work of grace, to which has succeeded a lamentable apathy.”HST December 20, 1843, page 150.13

    Now we know the above statement, so far as the Second Advent doctrine is concerned, to be utterly untrue. There was no appearance of any revival during the winter, until our pastor obtained brother N. Hervey, to give a course of lectures on the Second Coming of Christ. His labors were much blessed, both to the Church and to the awakening of sinners. The seats for the anxious were crowded, and there was a prospect of a glorious revival. At this time, our pastor who had been absent some days returned, bringing with him a quantity of Mr. Colver’s Literal Fulfilment of the Book of Daniel, which he offered for sale at one of the meetings, after brother Hervey left. Some members of the Society offered to buy these books to lay aside, but he would not sell to them for that purpose. They had a most unhappy effect. Those who were opposed to the preaching of the Second Advent doctrine, were strengthened and encouraged in this opposition; the attention of the anxious was drawn from the concerns of their souls, and the Holy Spirit, who like a “peaceful dove leaves the abode of noise and strife,” left the Church to that “state of apathy” of which they now complain.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.14

    Aaron Hastings,
    Francis F. Keyes,
    Joshua Ramsdell,
    Liberty Bullough,
    Charles Bullough.
    Newton, Oct. 17, 1843.

    The Vulgar Era

    JVHe

    Of this era Dr. Hales says,—HST December 20, 1843, page 150.15

    “The vulgar Christian era commencing with the Julian year, Jan. 1, U. C. 754, (A. J. P. 4714) according to the Varronian computation though now acknowledged to be incorrect, if referred to the nativity of Christ, (which its inventor Dionysius, mistakingly placed in the preceding year U. C. 753,) is still to be retained as a long established era, commencing from a known fixed epoch, both forwards and backwards, and furnishing the most convenient standard of comparison for all others.” Dr. Hales Anal. Chro. Vol. I. p. 8. See also Petavius tom. 2, p. 215.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.16

    U. C. or A. U. C. is the abbreviation used for Anno urbis condilo—in the year from the building of the city of Rome.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.17

    A. J. P. is the abbreviation for the year of the Julian period.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.18

    Dr. Hales says that the Varonian era of the foundation of Rome, B. C. 753, is fully established by the combined weigh of historical and astronomical evidence. Anal. Vol. I. p. 49HST December 20, 1843, page 150.19

    It was not until A. D. 532, that the Christian era was invented by Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian by birth, and a Roman Abbot, who flourished in the reign of Justinian. Dionysius began his era with the year U. C. 753 of the Varronian computation. But by some mistake or misconception of his meaning. Bede who lived in the next century after Dionysius, adopted his year of the nativity, U. C. 753, yet began the vulgar era, which he first introduced the year after, and made it commence Jan. 1, U. C. 754, which was an alteration for the worse, as making the Christian era recede a year further from the true nativity. The vulgar era began to prevail in the west, about A. D. 730, but was not sanctioned by any public act, till A. D. 742, nor established till the time of Pope Eugenius, IV. A. D. 1431, who ordered it to be used in the public registers. See Anal. Chro. Vol. I. pp. 188, 189.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.20

    Lest any should doubt the accuracy of the adjustment of the various eras, we give the following extracts.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.21

    Of the correctness of the Olympiads, Dr. Hales says.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.22

    “The adjustment of this era to the Christian, is fully ascertained by historical and astronomical evidence.” This he thus proves.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.23

    “Polybius, relates that in the third year of the 140th Olympiad, during the spring, there happened two memorable battles; the former between the Romans and Carthaginians, at the Lake of Thrasymene, in Italy; the latter between Antiochus and Ptolemy, at Raphia, in Calo-Syria. And also that in the course of the same year, there was an eclipse of the moon, which terrified the Gallic auxiliaries whom Attalus was bringing over from Europe, in consequence of which, they refused to proceed. Liv. v. p. 442. The third year of the 140th Olympiad, began July, B. C. 218, and ended July, B. C. 217; but in the former Julian year, there was a great eclipse of the moon 1st, Sept. an hour after midnight, in which the moon was near an hour and a half immersed in the earth’s shadow, and which, therefore, was fully sufficient to terrify the ignorant and superstitious; and the battle of Thrasymene was fought in the next Julian year, B. C. 217, in the consullate Servilius Geminus, and C. Flaminius II. but as it was in the spring, it fell in the compass of the same Olympic year. But 139 Olympiads, and two years over, make 558 years, which, added to B. C. 218, give B. C. 776 for the date of the first Olympiad. These demonstrative characters are furnished by Petavius, tom, 2, p. 56.” Hales New Anal. Chro, Vol. I, p. 245.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.24

    The above is a single specimen of this agreement; but a like agreement in all cases settles the accuracy of the adjustment of the two eras.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.25

    Of the era of Nabonassar, Dr. Hales shows a like adjustment by similar evidence. He says “the commencement of it, B. C. 747 is critically defined both from history and astronomy.” Ib. p. 269.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.26

    “This scientific Chaldean era commenced soon after the Grecian and Roman; combined with the Christian, they form the four cardinal eras of sacred and prophane chronology.” Ib. p. 268.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.27

    The vulgar era is therefore seen to be a fixed period, synchronizing with A. J. P. 4714, and A. U. C. 754, from which we may reckon backwards and forwards as from a fixed point; and is also accurately adjusted with the famous calendar of Ptolemy, the undoubted era of Nabonassar, the era of the building of Rome, and the era of the Olympiads, by astronomical and historical evidences. This, then, is to be regarded as the grand centre of all chronological computation, the cardinal point from which all dates are to be reckoned, whether preceding or subsequent to that era.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.28

    The Birth of Christ

    JVHe

    The vulgar era was at first, reckoned from what was supposed to be the birth of our Savior. When it was afterwards ascertained that the birth of Christ was prior to the A. J. P. 4714, the era being fixed continued in use, and the nativity ante-dates it four years. The date of the nativity is thus shown.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.29

    Josephus, in giving an account of the last sickness of Herod. among other circumstances, mentions the burning of Matthias, and says, “And that very night there was an eclipse of the moon.” Book 17, chap. 6, sect. 4.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.30

    William Whiston. A. M. Prof. of Mathematics in the university of Cambridge, says, “This eclipse of the moon (which is the only eclipse of either of the luminaries mentioned by our Josephus in any of his writings) is of the greatest consequence for the death of Herod and Antipater, and the birth and entire chronology of Jesus Christ. It happened March 13th, in the year of the Julian period, 4710, and the fourth year before the Christian era.” See the calculation by the rules of astronomy at the end of the astronomical lectures, edit. Lat. pp. 451, 452.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.31

    According to the astronomical table of Ferguson, it was in the same year of the Julian period, 4710, March 13th, three hours past midnight at Jerusalem.HST December 20, 1843, page 150.32

    Dr. Hales says,—HST December 20, 1843, page 150.33

    “Eclipses are justly reckoned among the surest and most unering characters of chronology, for they can be calculated with great exactness, backwards as well as forwards, and there is such a variety of distinct circumstances of the time when, and the place where they were seen; of the duration or beginning, middle or end, of every eclipse, and of the quantity or number of digits eclipsed; and there is no danger of confounding any two eclipses together, where the circumstances attending each, are noticed with any tolerable degree of precision. Thus, to an eclipse of the moon incidentally noticed by the great Jewish chronologer, Josephus, shortly before the death of Herod the Great, we owe the true year of our Savior’s nativity.”HST December 20, 1843, page 150.34

    “During Herod’s last illness, and not many days before his death, there happened an eclipse of the moon, on the very night that he burnt alive Matthias, and the ringleaders of a sedition, in which the golden eagle which he had consecrated and set up over the gate of the temple, was pulled down and broke to pieces by these zealots. This eclipse happened, by calculation, March 13, U. C. 750. B. C. 4, Ant. 17, 6, 4, p. 798, Hudsons Ed.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.1

    Dr. Hales reckons the year of the nativity as B. C. 1; his B. C. 4 is, therefore, our B. C. 3, as we reckon the year before the nativity, as B. C. 1.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.2

    “But it is certain from Scripture, that Christ was born during Herod’s reign; and from the visit of the Magi to Jerusalem from the east, from the Parthian empire, to enquire for the true born King of the Jews, whose star they had seen at its rising; and also from the age of the infants massacred at Bethlehem, from two years old and under. It is no less certain that Jesus could not have been born later than U. C. 749, or B. C. 5, which is the year assigned to the nativity by Chrysostom, Petavius, and Prideaux.” Dr. Hales New Anal. Chro. Vol. I. p. 180.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.3

    “That Herod’s death is rightly assigned to the year U. C. 750, is confirmed from the duration of his reign; for Josephus states, that by the interest of Anthony, Herod was appointed king by the Roman Senate, in the 184th Olympiad, when Caius, Domitius, Calvinus, the second time, and Caius Asiuins Pollio, were consuls, U. C. 714. Antiq. 14, 14, 5. And that he was established in the kingdom by the death of his rival Antigonus, who had been set up by the Parthians, when Marcus Agrippa, and Canmius Gallus, were consuls, U. C. 717, Antiq. 14, 16, 4.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.4

    And he adds, Herod reigned thirty-seven years from his first appointment by the Senate.” Antiq. 17, 8, 1.“Now if we take these as current years, according to the usage of Josephus, the death was U. C. 714-|-36=U. C. 750. Such a critical conformity of astronomical and historical evidence, both furnished by an author the most competent to procure genuine information, establishes both, and decides the question that Herod could not have died later than the year U. C. 750; though Lardner professed himself unable to determine between that year or U. C. 751.” Dr. Hales New Anal. Chro. Vol. I. p. 190.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.5

    Playtair gives a similar argument to that of Dr. Hales, as follows.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.6

    “The incarnation of our blessed Lord must have happened sometime before the death of Herod the Great, and during the reign of Augustus, (Matthew 2:1, 22; Luke 2:1.) Josephus (Antiq. L. 14, c. 29,) informs us that Herod was appointed king, at Rome, A. U. C. 714. Olym. 112, 4, i. e. before the vulgar era 40, when C. Domit. Calvinus, and C. Asin Pollio, were consuls. The same historian observes that he died in the 37th year of his reign, and 34th after the death of Antigonus, viz. in the 42nd Julian year. (Antiq. L. 17, 10.) If to 713 we add 37, the sum will be 750, the year of Rome in which this prince made his exit. Immediately before his death, there was an eclipse of the moon, (Antiq. L. 17, c. 6,) which, by calculation, is found to have happened early in the morning of March 13th, 42nd Julian year. This date is confirmed by the history of Herod’s successors. Archelaus, in the beginning of the 10th year after his father’s death, was accused before Augustus, by the Jews and Samaritans. M. Amilius Lepidus, and L. Aruntius were at that time Roman consuls; therefore the 10th of Archelaus must have coincided with the 759th of Rome, and 51st Julian year. If 9 be substracted, there will be a remainder of 750, and of 42, the date of Herod’s death and of Archelaus’ reign. (Joseph. Antiq. L. 17, c. ult. Dio. L. 54.) Philip obtained a share of his fathers dominions, and died in the 20th year of Tiberius, after having governed his province 37 years. (Joseph. L. 18, 6.) The 20th of Tiberius corresponded with the 79th Julian year. Substract 37, the sum of Philip’s reign, and 42 will remain as the year of his father’s death. Once more, Cyrenius seized Archelaus’ estate, and finished the assessment in Judea, in the 37th year after the defeat of Anthony at Actium, by Cesar Augustus. The victory of Actium was obtained Sept. 2nd, in the 723 year of Rome Therefore the 37th year from that epoch begins Sept. 2nd, A. U. C. 759, and ends Sept. A. U. C. 760.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.7

    If 37 be added to 15, the sum will be 52, the Julian year which coincides with the 10th of Archelaus. If 10 be substracted, 42 will remain as the date required. Having ascertained the time of Herod’s death, I proceed to observe, that the incarnation could not have happened in the month of Dec. preceding. An interval of about three months could not have afforded time sufficient for the purification of the virgin Mary, for her return to Nazareth, for the journey of the wise men, the flight of Joseph and his family into Egypt, and these in exile at least some months, until the death of Herod and the accession of Archelaus. On the other hand, it is highly probable that our Savior was born not much more than a year before Herod’s death. Luke observes that John began to baptize in the 15th year of Tiberius, and that Jesus soon after came to be baptized by him. (Luke 3:21, 23.) The reign of Tiberius had two dates or commencements; one when Augustus admitted him as his colleague after his return from Germany, A. U. C. 765, which answers to the 12th year of the vulgar Christian era; and another in the 14th year of that era, when he began to reign alone after the death of Augustus. By what has been already observed, it is evident, that the evangelist must have reckoned from the first of these when he dated John’s ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign, viz. A. U. C. 779, [A. D. 26, and A. J. P. 4740.] Now if we suppose that John began his ministry in Nov. of that year, and that Jesus being some months more than thirty years of age, and of A. D. 27, we will be led to conclude that Jesus was born in the middle of A. U. C. 749, or perhaps in he end of the foregoing year, viz. about one year, somewhat more or less, before the death of Herod, and about four years prior to the date of the vulgar Christian era, which commenced Jan. 1st, A. U. C. 753—4, (A. J. P. 4714. (Lardner’s Credibility of the Gospel Hist. B. 2 c. 3, and App. Macknight’s Harmony, v. i. Chron. Dissert, 2nd and 3rd.”) Chronology Fo. Education, 49, 50.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.8

    The next chronological point which we shall have occasion to examine, is theHST December 20, 1843, page 151.9

    End of the Sixty-Nine Weeks

    JVHe

    The sixty-nine weeks were to extend to the commencement of Christ’s ministry.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.10

    In Daniel 9:25, the angel Gabriel instructed the prophet to “KNOW therefore and UNDERSTAND, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks, and three-score and two weeks;” or sixty-nine weeks, making 483 prophetic days, (years.)HST December 20, 1843, page 151.11

    This must extend to the time our Savior was baptized of John in Jordan, when straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: and there came a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. This was when “Jesus began to be about thirty years of age;” and he “came into Gallilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel.” The time which was then fulfilled, was evidently the time of the commencement of Christ’s ministry, the end of the sixty-nine weeks.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.12

    And because the Jews were unable to discern this time, they received the severest rebuke of our Savior. At one time the Pharisees with the Sadducees came to Christ, and tempting, desired that he would show them a sign from heaven, he answered and said unto them, “When it is evening ye say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red: and in the morning, it will be foul weather to-day, for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites! ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” On another occasion he said to the people, “When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites! ye can discern the face of the sky, and of the earth: but how is it, that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?”HST December 20, 1843, page 151.13

    John being of the family of the Priests, could not begin his ministry till the age of thirty; and as our Savior commenced his ministry when he was about thirty years of age, and was six months younger than John, by finding the year John began his ministry we learn about when the 69 weeks ended and our Savior began his ministry. As the sixty-nine weeks—483 years—commenced before the vulgar era 457, they would bring us down to about the end of A. D. 26; and as our Savior was born about four years B. C. he would be about thirty years of age at that time. A. D. 26 corresponds with the 15th year of Tiberius Cesar; and this was the year that John began his ministry; says Luke 3:1-3,“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Gallilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high Priest, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness and he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins.”HST December 20, 1843, page 151.14

    The sixty-nine weeks then must terminate about A. D. 26—27; and the one week must have then commenced.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.15

    Dr Hales offers the following testimony on this point.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.16

    “The 15th year of Tiberius reckoned from the death of Augustus, Aug. 19th, U. C. 767, is indisputably fixed by means of the great lunar eclipse soon after, Sept. 27th, U. C. 767, which contributed to quell the dangerous mutiny of the Pannonian Legions, on the death of Augustus, and to induce them to swear fidelity to Tiberius, recorded by Tacitus, Annal. I. 28, and Dio. Lib. 57, p. 604.”HST December 20, 1843, page 151.17

    “We learn from the testimony of the Roman and Grecian historians, Velleius Paterculus, (the contemporary of Tiberius) Tacitus, Suetonius, and Dio Cassius, who all agree that Tiberius was admitted by Augustus colleague of the empire, or partner in the government and in the administration of the imperial provinces (among which was Judea) and in the command of the armies, two or three years before his death, either in U. C. 764, of most probably U. C. 765; and that this partnership was confirmed by a decree of the Senate. But the 15th year of Tiberius, reckoned from U. C. 765, would be U. C. 780, from which, subtracting the year of Christ’s nativity, U. C. 749, the remainder, 31 years, more or less, sufficiently agrees with the latitude of the expression about 30 years of age.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.18

    This solution agrees with the other historical characters of Luke 3:1, 2.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.19

    1. ‘When Pontius Pilate was governor Judea. ’HST December 20, 1843, page 151.20

    After the death of Herod the Great, the Jewish nation, weary of his tyranny and cruelties, petitioned the emperor Augustus that they might be permitted to live according to their own laws, under the Roman government. But the emperor did not think proper, at that time, to comply with their wishes. In the mean time, Archelaus assumed the government of Judea, according to his father’s will until it should be confirmed from Rome; and at the ensuing passover, April 12th, slew above 3000 Jews in a tumult. At length, in the tenth year of his reign, the chiefs of the Jews and Samaritans, no longer brooking his tyranny, preferred an accusation against him to Augustus, who having heard both sides, deposed Archelaus, and banished him to Vienne, in Gaul, and confiscated his property; and thenceforth governed Judea by his procurators or commissaries. Josep. Ant. 17, cap. 9—15.HST December 20, 1843, page 151.21

    The first procurator was Coponius, appointed by the trusty Cyrenius, whom Augustus sent a second time, in quality of governor of Syria, U. C. 760, to transact these important affairs, and to levy the assessment of properties, or carry ‘the taxing’ into effect, preparatory to which, he had made an ‘enrolment of persons,’ U. C. 749, at the time of Christ’s birth, as the emperor’s procurator, Luke 2:1-7.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.1

    The second Procurator who succeeded Coponius about two years, was Marcus Ambivius, about four years; then Annius Rufus, about one year, and Valerius Gratus eleven years, who was succeeded by Pontius Pilate to U. C. 760. Therefore the date of the appointment of Coponius, adding the amount of the several administrations, 18 years, will bring the appointment of Pilate to U. C. 778. The same year may be collected by a backward reckoning from the end of his government. Pilate continued ten years in the government of Judea, and was then deposed for the massacre of the Samaritans, sometime before the passover of U. C. 789, which preceded the death of Tiberius, March 16, 790. Compare Ant. 18, 5, 2, 3; and Ant. 18 6 3. If then he was deposed about the end of U. C. 788, it would bring his appointment to U. C. 778, as before; but this was the year before John’s preaching; or in the 14th year of the joint reign of Tiberius. Pilate, therefore, was undoubtedly governor of Judea at the time of John the Baptist’s ministry, and till after our Savior’s crucifixion.” Lardner Credib. Vol. I. p. 381.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.2

    2. ‘Herod (Antipas) being tetrarch of Gallilee. ’HST December 20, 1843, page 152.3

    Augustus divided Herod the Great’s dominions, at his death into four tetrarchies; the first of Judea was given to Archelaus, with the title of Ethnarch, and a promise of that of king, if he should deserve it by his good conduct. He was therefore considered as king, by the Jews. Hence, the expression ‘reigned,’ was applied to him at his accession by the evangelist, Matthew 2:22. But the bad character he bore, and the divine warning, deterred the holy family from returning into Judea after Herod’s death, from Egypt; and induced them to settle again under the milder government of Herod Antipas, in Gallilee at Nazareth, Matthew 2:19-23. This was the same Herod who married Herodius, his brother Philip’s wife, and when rebuked for it by the Baptist, imprisoned, and at his wife’s instigation beheaded him, Mark 6:17-23. To whom also Christ was sent to be examined by Pilate. Luke 23:6, 7.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.4

    3. ‘His brother Philip, tetrarch of Iturea, and of the region of Trachonitis.’ Josephus informs us that he died in the 20th year of Tiberius U. C. 787, after he had governed Trachonitus, Batanea, and Gailanitis 37 years. Ant. 18, 5, 6. This brings the beginning of his reign to U. C. 750, and therefore furnishes an additional argument that Herod’s death has been rightly assigned to that year.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.5

    When Caligula succeeded Tiberius in the empire, he gave Philip’s dominions, which were vacant, to Agrippa, the brother of Herodius, with the title of king. But this wicked and ambitious woman, envying her brother’s superior rank, urged and prevailed on her husband to go to Rome, and solicit the same title from the emperor; who, instead of granting his petition, having received some unfavorable information of his conduct. not only took away his government, and gave it to Agrippa, but also banished him to Lyons in Gaul, whither his wife and ill-adviser followed him; thus justly punished for her ambitious envy, and her husband for following her vain councils, as Josephus observes. Ant. 18, cap. 7—8HST December 20, 1843, page 152.6

    4. ‘And Lysannias tetrarch of Abilene. ’HST December 20, 1843, page 152.7

    This quarter of Herod the Great’s dominions, had originally belonged to a former Lysannias, who was put to death by Anthony during his government in the east; Augustus afterwards granted it to Herod, and on his death, restored it to a descendant of the former proprietor, of the same name. When Caligula appointed Agrippa king of the tetrarchy of Philip. he promised also to give him the tetrarchy of Lysannias, when it should be vacant; which was afterwards given to him on the death of Lysannias, by the emperor Claudius, who thus restored to Agrippa the whole of his grandfather Herod’s dominions. Ant. 18, 7 10; and 19, 5, 1; and Bell. Jude 2, 11, 5.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.8

    This Agrippa was ‘Herod the king,’ who, to court popularity with the Jews, persecuted the apostles, and beheaded James the elder, the brother of John; and for his pride and arrogance, was smitten by an angel of the Lord, because he received the blasphemous adulation of the people, ‘without giving God the glory,’ and was devoured by worms, as recorded by the evangelist, Acts 12:1-23; and paraphrased by Josephus. Ant. 19, 8, 2.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.9

    His son was ‘the king Agrippa,’ before whom Paul so powerfully pleaded his cause, Acts 26:1-32.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.10

    5. ‘Annas and Caiaphas being high priests. ’HST December 20, 1843, page 152.11

    Ananus or Annas, was appointed high priest by Quirinus, or Cyrenius, when he was sent by Augustus to confiscate the property of Archelaus, U. C. 760, in the 37th year after the battle of Actium, U. C. 723. Joseph. Antiq. 18, 2, 1. Ananus continued in office about 14 years, until the administration of Valerius Gratus the fifth governor of Judea; who deposed him about U. C. 774, and appointed Ismael, Eleazer, son of Ananus, and Simon, high priests, in succession, none of whom remained above a year in office. Near the end of his administration, he appointed Joseph, called Caiaphas, the son-in-law of Ananus, about U. C. 777; who therefore was high priest during the whole of the administration of Pilate; for Vitellius, his successor, removed Caiaphas about the passover of U. C. 789, and appointed Jonathan, another son of Ananus, high priest in his room. Joseph. Ant. 18, 2, 2, and 18, 5, 3. Ananus, therefore, was the coadjutor of Caiaphas, the reigning high priest at this time; and on account of his age rank and consequence, as a man of the first consideration and influence in the state, is named first. To this we may attribute the taking Jesus, when he was apprehended, ‘first to the house of Annas’ who sent ‘him bound to Caiaphas’ the high priest.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.12

    From this historical review, it appears how intimately acquainted the evangelist Luke was with the affairs of Judea, the neighboring states and the Romans. He spent some time himself at Rome, and could not have been ignorant of the various modes of computing the reigns of their emperors: and that he did not reckon the 15th year of Tiberius from the death of Augustus, is demonstrated by the opinion of several early Christians, Tertullian, Africanus. Lactantius etc. that the crucifixion of Christ happened in the 15th of Tiberius, when the two Gemini were consuls, U. C. 782, or A. D. 29, evidently reckoning from the sole empire of Tiberius. But it is impossible that Luke could have referred a transaction early as John’s ministry, to the same date, understood in the same sense. This argument appears to be decisive; especially if we consider that their opinion was incorrect, and retrenched two years from the most probable date of the crucifixion, U. C. 784, or A. D. 31, which would throw back the date of John’s baptism still earlier.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.13

    This solution of dating the 15th of Tiberius from his joint reign with Augustus, U. C. 765, has been adopted in the margin of our English Bible, dating the 15th of Tiberius, A D. 26, or U. C. 779, and either U. C. 764, or U C. 765, are reckoned the beginning of the joint reign of Tiberius, by Usher, Pagius, Herwaert, Clericus, Prideaux. Mann, Playfair. etc.” Dr. Hales Anal. of Chro. Vol. I. pp. 191—196.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.14

    It will be seen by the foregoing, that no point can be more strongly fortified in Chronology, than the birth of Christ, the vulgar era, and the end of the 69 weeks; the vulgar era being a fixed period, and the birth of Christ with the 15th of Tiberius, being fixed, each within the circle of one year. Any argument which can unsettle these points, would unsettle all chronology, and leave the dates of all historical events entirely uncertain. With this fixed period for the commencement of the last of the seventy weeks, they must have ended about the Jewish year, A. D. 33, independent of the time in the week that the crucifixion took place: so that the remaining 1810 years, bring us down to about the Jewish year 1843.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.15

    The Lord’s Prayer.—How many millions and millions of times has this prayer been offered by Christians of all denominations? So wide indeed, is the sound thereof gone forth, that daily, and almost without intermission, from the ends of the earth, and afar off upon the sea, it is ascending to heaven like incense and a pure offering. Nor needs it the gift of prophecy to foretell, that though “heaven and earth shall pass away,” these words of our blessed Lord “shall not pass away,” till every petition has been answered, till the kingdom of God shall come, and his will be done as it is in heaven—Montgomery.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.16

    Letters received to Dec. 16 1843

    JVHe

    P M, Swanville, Me; H French, $2; David Plumb, (ves); N Mason, by P M, $1; John Pearson, $13; P M, Northville, Ms; T L Tullock, drft $3; David Austin, $1; S Spooner, please say what papers have nor been received and we will send: E Braisbin, by P. M, $2; Charles Wheeler, by P. M, $1: C Dubois and S Strong, 50 cents each by P. M: Clark Severn, by P. M, $1: Stephen Ashley by P. M, $1: Dexter W Read, $2: Truworth Fisk, by P M, $1; S Kimball. and L M Merrill, by P. M, 50 cents each; Ben’n Dudley, by P M, $1; J Marsh; M O Pray; P M Wrentham; H V Davis; Catharine Bond, by P M, $1; J D Royer $10; J Brackett, by P M, 1; Rebecca Dudley, we think the fault cannot be at this office; the papers are regularly mailed; J J Parker. and Lucy A Gifford, 1 each by P M; R Sherman, by P M, 2; BF Brown, by P M, don 3; A McLa ugldn.; M Waterford, Me; T L Tullcok; Dea Reed, by P M, 1; Miss Polly Blake, by P M, 1; J Marsh; J Weston. 5; A C Foot, by P M, 1; Isaac C Baker, by P M, l; P M, N Haven Mills, Vt; Dr. Jeo Baker by P M, 1; Henry Flagg; J Wheeler; P M, Acton Mr; J Percival, by P M, 1: Geo Storrs; S Hawley, Jr; W C Cooley, 2; J I Taylor, by P M, 1; Cordelia Hawley, 1; Miss P Wetherbee, by P M, 1.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.17

    Packages Sent

    JVHe

    J V Himes, 9 Spruce St. N. York; Jon Peirson, Portland, Me; J Howe, Jamacai, Vt; M O and H W Pray-N Scituate R I; Dexter W Reed, Seekonk, Ms; E Bris bain, Champlain, N Y; H B Skinner, 8 Niagara St, Buffalo, N Y.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.18

    Notice. Bro. White will lecture all day and evening in North Scituate, on Sunday, 31st inst.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.19

    SECOND ADVENT DEPOTS

    JVHe

    Boston, Mass.—No. 16 Devonshire Street.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.20

    Address J. V. HIMES.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.21

    New York City—No. 9 Spruce Street.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.22

    Address J. V. HIMES.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.23

    Albany, N. Y.—(Agent please give st. and number.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.24

    Address S MILES.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.25

    Rochester, N. Y.—No. 17 Arcade Building.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.26

    Address E. C. GALUSHA.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.27

    Buffalo, N. Y.—No. 8 Niagara Street.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.28

    Address H. B. SKINNER.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.29

    Utica, N. Y.—(Agent please give street and No.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.30

    Address HORACE PATTEN.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.31

    Philadelphia, Pa.—Nos. 40 & 41 Arcade,HST December 20, 1843, page 152.32

    Address J. LITCH.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.33

    Cincinnati, Ohio—Third Street, few doors east of Walnut, south side, add. GEO. STORRS.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.34

    St. Louis, Mo.—No. 88 Market Street.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.35

    Address H. A. CHITTENDEN.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.36

    Louisville, Ky.—Jefferson House.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.37

    Address Dr. NATH’L FIELD.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.38

    Montreal, C. W.—No. 158 Notre Dame Street.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.39

    Address R. HUTCHINSON.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.40

    Portland, Me.—Casco St.—address J. PEARSON.HST December 20, 1843, page 152.41

    Persons wishing for books will please call at the nearest depotHST December 20, 1843, page 152.42

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents