Page images
PDF
EPUB

come.

of the ladies becoming European; the Sultan conforming to European habits; the Janissaries, the peculiar soldiers of the Turks, utterly annihilated; English banks, English capital, English newspapers, English railroads, English tastes, and steamships, penetrating the realms of the Sultan. In 1854 our country resolved to support Turkey; not that we loved Mahometanism, but because Turkey was a wall —no doubt a very frail one-between us and our eastern empire, and that gigantic autocrat, whose shadow spreads over China; whose influence may be traced in India and Persia, and in our troubles there; whose destiny, if I understand prophecy, is yet to

Our well-meant attempt in 1854–1856 to prevent Turkey being destroyed, or, to use the apocalyptic language, to prevent the Euphratean flood from being too soon evaporated, was not successful. We have simply hastened the decay of Turkey. The Sultan's power, the Crescent, and his dominion, are at the present moment much nearer exhaustion than at any former period of its history. Lamartine says: “The Ottoman empire is no empire now at all; its breath of life, religious fanaticism, is extinct; and Turkey,” to use his memorable saying, “is literally perishing from want of Turks.”

We take the 2300 years as expiring about the end of 1821. Accordingly we find the Crescent, under which Palestine is at this moment a suffering province, began steadily to wane and to relax its grasp. There are more Jews returned to Jerusalem to-day

than there have been for 1800 years; more Jews have been converted in New York and Philadelphia during a pentecostal revival. Enlightened Jews say that if the Messiah do not come speedily they will give up the hope altogether; that they believe the time is arrived when He ought to come; and that if He do not come, they will give up all expectation of the Messiah. It has been stated that, for the first time, the fountains of Palestine have begun to overflow with sweet spring water; for the first time the early and the latter rains have returned; for the first time, colonies of Jews have settled in Palestine, cultivating its land, and sending home reports of their progress. All these passing scenes seem excessively like the receding of the Euphratean flood from Syria, or the waning of the Mahometan Crescent. The instant that Turkey falls—for Constantinople is to Palestine and to the Mahometan empire what Rome is to the Roman Catholic apostate empires—Jerusalem becomes free. It is impossible Mahometan Turkey can last much longer. Under the Sultan are nine millions of professing Christians, and scarcely three millions of Mahometans in Turkey in Europe. We find also from the daily correspondence of the papers, that the old Mahometans are crossing the Bosphorus in crowds, in order to find a carpet to pray on, and a grave to lie down in, in Asia, from whence they

A daily paper, giving an account of this, says: “The Turks are encamped in Europe”—which is exactly the idea—"and they are rapidly decamping,

came.

and returning to their own place again.” The instant the power of the Sultan is broken, Palestine comes up. The Jews have an indefeasible right to it by a charter ancient as the days of Moses, by titledeeds in comparison with which the title-deeds of England's proudest nobility are only of yesterdaythey are the people whose land it was, and to whom it is promised: “I will gather you out of all nations, and will bring you into your own land; and ye shall be to me a people, and I will be to you a God.”*

There is an illustration of dates confirmatory of the principle of interpretation here laid down. About its meaning there can be no possible dispute. It is Daniel's 70 weeks. Assuming that the week is 7 prophetic days, 70 prophetic weeks would be 70 times 7, or 490 literal years. Daniel first of all speaks of 7 weeks, that is, 49 years; during which certain events are to take place. Then he says there shall be additional to that 62 weeks, making 483 years ; and then remains the other one week, making 490 years. He divides it into three periods: first 7 weeks, or 49 years; then 62 weeks, or 434 years; then an additional week, or 7 years, making a total of 490 years. When did these begin ? Daniel says, in the middle of the last week shall the Messiah be cut off,

* In my former work, “The Last Woe,” I have given the interpretation of a recent writer, who dates the 2300 years B.C. 433, and applies to the Papacy this prophetic symbol. The 2300 years thus dated and applied end in A.D. 1867. See Last Woe, pp. 406-408.

and God's kingdom begin in this world, never more to cease. We read in the 9th chapter of Daniel, at the 24th verse, “Seventy weeks"—that is, 490 years —“are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem "-we have, therefore, the date of their commencement—"unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” When did this period begin? It began at the command to rebuild the temple, which was in the year of the world 3679, and must therefore end in the year of the world 4162. But this prophecy relates not to the birth of Christ, but to His manifestation and death. He was baptized, and attested to be the Son of God, and anointed as the Holy One, when a voice from heaven came at His baptism, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him;” and the Spirit like a dove settled upon Him. Jesus then, we are told, was 30 years of age. Deduct, therefore, from the year 4162, when Daniel's 490 years, or 70 weeks, expired, 30, which was Christ's age, and you find

that the date of Christ's birth must have been A.M. 4132, at which A.D. began; “ After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, and he shall confirm the covenant with many

for one week; and in the midst of the week”-in the midst of that last week of seven years—"he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” If we add the 7

years to 4162, the close of the 483, it will bring us down to the year of the world 4169, or 37 years after the birth of Christ; or, 7 years after His baptism. We assume that His baptism or manifestation was the anointing, or setting forth, or proclamation of Christ. For one week more He was to confirm the covenant; in the midst of that week he was to be cut off; and accordingly we shall find that in the

very midst of that week, namely, at the last of the four passovers in April, at full moon, on a Friday, the death of the Messiah occurred; that is, exactly at the end of three and a half years of the seven. During the whole of the week in the midst of which He was cut off, He confirmed the covenant himself with the Jews; preaching to Abraham's children; telling them He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. From the day of His baptism to the day of His death, i.e. three and a half years, He opened the door of the Gospel to the Jews; and then after His death to the day that Cornelius, the first of the Gentiles, was converted, and the Gentiles were admitted to the covenant, there were three and a half years more, making in all precisely 490 years to the conversion

« PreviousContinue »