Page images
PDF
EPUB

When did that take place? The ten tribes were made tributary after the dismemberment of the kingdom, under Rehoboam and Jeroboam ; but the other two tribes retained their distinct and independent existence till the time of Manasseh. The captivity of Judah, under Manasseh, took place A.M. 3480. If we add to 3480, the year of the world, the period from that to the advent of Christ, namely 652; and also add A.D., or the year, 1868, it will make exactly 6000

years, the 6000 years that constitute the world's week, previous to the sabbatical rest or millennial sabbath. In other words, if you add to the year of the world 3480, when the pride of Judah was broken, the seven times, or 2520 years, we shall find that it makes exactly 6000 years. If this be correct, the affliction of the Jews should cease about the end of 1867 or 1868, the Jews should soon after be restored, the Gentile oppression should come to an end, and Jerusalem should be no longer trodden under foot. I may be wrong

in this estimate of the commencement of the date: every reader must judge for himself. I give data. I refuse to decide.

Daniel, under another figure, and applicable in another way, refers to the very same period, in speaking of Nebuchadnezzar reduced to the level of the beasts of the earth. If this account were literal, personal, and applicable only to him, of course the prophetic interpretation could not be sustained. But certain phrases employed by the sacred writer indicate that the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar's mania

1

relate to something larger, and cover a vaster area than the limits of the life of that monarch. He says: “Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him;"—the very words of Leviticus. Primarily, no doubt, this relates to the personal madness of the Babylonish king; but as it is connected with a series of symbols-and very remarkable symbols too —which continue during the whole period of the four great monarchies, it is reasonable to infer, from the words employed, that the “seven times,” if it has a literal application to the person, has also a larger application to the wide world and to the history of mankind. For instance, it is said: “The height of the tree reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; " "leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass ;” words signifying prolonged duration. Then the colossal image, too, which foretokens the fall of the four great monarchies, the kingdom of gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, is also associated with and mixed up with this remarkable judgment, pronounced upon the Babylonian king. And, therefore, we read that “in the days of these kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever and ever." These expressions indicate that the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar's mania is merely in epitome, or in brief, the setting forth of the seven times during which the kings of the earth are to con

tinue as they now are. When did the seven times of Daniel begin? We find, from an expression used by the inspired historian, that they are the same seven times Moses refers to. The inspired historian merges Zedekiah, who was carried to Babylon, and dates the sufferings of Israel from Manasseh. Now hear his words: “Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this on Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins," not of Zedekiah, he is a personal and immediate instrument, but " for the sins of Manasseh.” That brings us to what we brought out in Leviticus, the date at which the pride of the power of that nation was broken in the days of Manasseh. We begin, therefore, Daniel's commencement of his seven times at A.M. 3480; we add the

years

before Christ, 652; and then the year 1868 of the Christian economy or dispensation added to that brings it to 6000 years; at the end of which 6000

years, correct, Judah should be restored. God will remember his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and bring them back to their own land; and they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn as one in bitterness for his first-born.

Let us turn to another date, and see if we can cast light upon it, namely, the 2300 days, or strictly and properly years. In the 8th chapter of Daniel, at the 13th verse, we read, “I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, ‘How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to

if I am

give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot'”—he is speaking of the Jewish people. How long shall they be trodden under foot ? how long shall there be no sacrifice, no true religion, among that race? His answer is not a period at the end of which the Jews shall be restored, but a period at the end of which the sanctuary shall be cleansed, or, as it might be translated, shall be justified; on the exhaustion of which period we should expect to see some preparation at least for the restoration of Palestine and Jerusalem; and for God's ancient people returning once more to their own land. When did the 2300 years begin? It was at the period when the two-horned ram put forth his whole strength against the Greek he-goat, and was broken. Xerxes was humbled, and the Asiatic Greeks emancipated; for Daniel is speaking of these empires under their respective dynastic figures; that is to say, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, and the Roman empires. It was about the year B.c. 480-481 that this took place, it may be a year on either side; I take what seems to be the probable date, much more or much less it cannot possibly be. Assuming it was 481, add 2300 years to 481 years B.C., and the years that have elapsed since, and you come down to the year A.D. 1821. Do we find anything occurring in the eastern kingdom that would at all justify the inference that the sanctuary at least began then to be cleansed? What now pollutes the sanctuary? Who now possesses Palestine? What is the great domin

ant power that triumphs in the east, and prevents the possibility of the restoration of the Jews ? Take this in connection with the sixth vial, where we are told that the sixth vial was poured out upon the great river Euphrates, which is the symbol of the Turkish power, that started on its conquering march into Europe from the banks of the Euphrates; and “the waters thereof came to be dried up; " that is, the Turco-Moslem power began to recede, like a flood that had overflown Palestine and eastern Europe: in order that the way for kings, or royal ones, from the sunrising, might be prepared. These kings from the sunrising are God's ancient people, his kings and his priests ceremonially, as Christians are spiritually. Connect these two predictions, and the inference seems to me fair, that about 1821 we should expect to see at least an initial receding of the Euphratean flood, and the sanctuary which has lain under that great flood of superstition beginning to emerge, and to get ready for the restoration of God's ancient people. Has anything, then, taken place to justify this interpretation? In 1821, I think, or the end of 1820, the Greek Insurrection took place; and the whole of that ancient realm broke loose from the dominion of the Sultan. After that, in 1827, was fought the battle of Navarino. From 1821 to the present year Bosnia, Wallachia, Moldavia, Algiers, all in succession, like great land-slips, have fallen off from the dominion of the Sultan. We find the very peculiarities of Mahometanism ceasing daily, even the dress

« PreviousContinue »