« PreviousContinue »
he would give him absolution is the present condition of Pius IX! What a change from him to whom England used to pay Peter pence, in order to stave off his anathemas! What a change from him who shook the nations ! He begs support, implores help, blesses cannon, and is in all respects a clerical recruiting sergeant. It is not improbable that the 1260 years began about 533, seeing that the termination of the 1260 years comes out so clearly in 1793.
Daniel in his last chapter speaks of two additional periods; one of 30 years to be added to the 1260, making 1290; then another period of 45, to be added to the 1290, making 1335. Add 30 years to 1792, and we reach A.D. 1822 or 1823; a period that synchronizes with one view of the exhaustion of the 2300 years previously referred to. Add 45 years, which Daniel adds to the 1290, and it brings us down to 1867 or the beginning of 1868; at which period, if this interpretation be correct, they that arrive are “ blessed.”
Barnabas, the earliest of the Fathers, in the first century, thus writes : “ The Lord God will finish all things in 6000 years ; in six days, id est, 6000 years, shall all things be consummated.” Lactantius, the most eloquent and classic of the Fathers, whose Latin is distinguished for its purity, says: “Because the works of God were finished in six days, it is necessary that the world should remain in this state six ages, that is, 6000 years.” Cyprian, the celebrated Bishop of Carthage, says: “In the
creation of the world seven days were spent; and in those seven days 7000 years were figuratively typified.” And Bishop Latimer, the great Reformer, says: “The world was ordained of God to continue, as Scripture and all learned men agree, 6000 years.” Now these testimonies, to which many others might be added, are at least remarkable for their extent and unanimity. When we connect with this the constant use of the number seven, as, for instance, six days' creation, culminating in a seventh, the sabbath ; seven weeks, or seven times seven, in the year of jubilee; the seven lamps, the seven candlesticks, the seven stars, the seven angels, the seven seals; seven being the symbol, the numerical symbol of perfection, it seems the more probable. Confirmatory of this we read that Adam was a figure of Christ; and there we have the key to this interpretation, and so far an evidence that it is not a fancy, but a fair interpretation of Scripture; and lastly we have a hint of it in the passage, “A day with the Lord is as a thousand years;
which also has been adduced.
But the world, it may be answered, has not nearly exhausted its 6000 years, because in 1867 it is nearly 133 years to the close of the 6000. It has been ascertained since the days of Usher and the earlier chronologists, that a mistake was made in the computation of the patriarchal periods; and that our Christian era, now comprehending 1867 years, began not when the world was 4004 years old, as popularly
accepted, but more probably when the world was 4132 years old.
The learned Clinton gives A. M. 4138 as the time when our Christian era began. According to this, the 6000 years end about the year 1862. But our Lord's birth took place a year before Herod began his reign ; that is, five years before Clinton's date of the Christian era. Shimeall of New York, in his recent elaborate work on the “Chronology of Scripture," and the Rev. B. Saville, in his valuable compilation called “The First and Second Advent,” have shown that the date of the Christian era, and the true year of the birth of Christ, synchronize in all likelihood in anno mundi 4132. If so, the 6000 years run out in 1867.
If these calculations be just in either aspect, we are on the margin of great events. But it rests with the reader to attach to these explanations the force his judgment decides on. When I speak the truths of the Gospel, there is no question, and I have no hesitation, and I put no if ; but when I try to explain the dates of unfulfilled prophecy, I must always admit I
I have submitted data ; the reader can weigh, and accept the conclusion he thinks most clearly borne out. But in both estimates of the 1260 years considered in this discussion, it will be seen that both point to-1867 as a year of crisis primarily to the Papacy, and also to the whole of decem-regal Europe. “ Blessed is he that watcheth.”
FOR WHAT WILL HE COME ?
He comes to punish and destroy His enemies. It is not charity to conceal or explain away this awful end of the Lord's return. “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking (yielding) vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thess. i. 7.) The justice of this retribution is found in the fact that its subjects wilfully rejected or neglected the great salvation. They were offered eternal life in the Name of Jesus, and they would not accept it. They perish because they would not be saved. They disbelieved the ruin and despised the remedy. Should we not follow them into all their refuges, and reason with them and try to persuade them to flee from the wrath to come ? Ought we not to impress on them their guilt, and implore them no longer to tread under foot the Son of God, and count the blood of the covenant
an unholy thing, and do despite unto the Spirit of Grace? God has revealed one way only of salvation, one Name only by which we can be saved. Are we wending onward and upward along that only way, and pleading from the heart at the throne of Grace that only Name?
He comes “to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all that believe." Glorified and honoured as their Ransom, Redeemer, Priest, and King—they the monuments of His love and power, He the object of their adoration and praise; they casting before His feet the crowns they received, and He presenting them to Himself—a glorious Church without spot or blemish. Then will be the marriage supper of the Lamb—the bridal of heaven and earth—the consummation of a long-promised betrothal—the universal spread of a sunshine which shall bathe heaven and earth with a glory that will not fade, and a blessedness that will never ebb away.
He comes to restore the earth to its Eden blessedness; to convert and gather together the long-scattered children of Israel; to fill the wide world with the knowledge of God; to dwell with men and reign from sea to sea; to make all things new, and to eject Satan for ever from the world, and to make Jerusalem the beauty and the glory of the earth ; to raise the pious dead and change the pious living; to reward His servants; to destroy utterly the Papal antichrist. These final issues are contained in innumerable pro