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be dated. Twelve hundred and sixty years from this date, 756, will end near the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world. But as he rose to this height gradually, and was a beast in a lower sense long before this, it is reasonable to suppose that he will fall by degrees, until his usurped power is wholly taken from him, and the false church of Rome, the great whore, utterly destroyed; and that he has been falling many years, and that as the time of his reign draws nearer to a close, inore remarkable events, by which he and that church will come to total ruin, will take place in a more rapid succession. But this will be more particularly considered in the next section.
Therefore, these prophecies of the rise and fall of antis. christ, or the beast, and the time of his reign, and of the afflicted state of the church of Christ, fix the end of these and of the reign of Satan in the world of mankind, near the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world, when the millennium will be introduced, though many things will take place before that time, by which the pope and his interest will gradually decline and sink, and in favor of the church and kingdom of Christ, to prepare the way for the introduction of the millennium.
In the Book of Daniel, the same idolatrous, persecuting power, and the time of the continuance of it, and of the oppressed state of the church, are predicted; and the time is fixed and expressed by a time and times and a half, or the dividing of time, (Dan. vii. 25; xii. 7,) which is the same mentioned by St. John in the Revelation, and is one thousand two hundred and sixty prophetic days; that is, so many years, as has been observed above. There it is said by him who interpreted to Daniel the vision of the four beasts, "the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and tread it down and break it in pieces." This is the Roman empire. “ And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise. And another shall arise after them, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Dan. vii. 23–25.) This last horn, king, or ruling power, is evidently the same with the little horn mentioned in the eighth chapter, and is the same with the beast when he was recovered to life, after he had been wounded unto death, which St. John saw; that is, the pope of Rome, ir whom the power and idolatry of this empire is revived and
continued. The character given of each is the same in substance, and the time of their continuance is the same,
which must end, according to every probable calculation, at or about the end of the sixth thousand years of the world, or about two thousand years after the incarnation of Christ.* And at the end of this time, this power and kingdom is to be destroyed, and a total end put to the Roman empire, represented by the beast; and the kingdom of Christ, in its fulness and glory, shall then take place, in the universal prevalence and reign of his church and people, which is expressed in the following words: “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it to the end; and the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Dan. vii. 26, 27.)
In the eighth chapter of Daniel we have a different representation of this same kingdom, power, or empire, by a little horn which came forth out of one of the four horns, into which the Grecian empire, founded by Alexander the Great, was divided some time after his death. This is the Roman, or fourth and last empire, upon the destruction of which the kingdom of Christ is to prevail and fill the world. Daniel describes this little horn as it appeared to him in the vision, in the following words: “ And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great towards the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land; and it waxed great even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice, by reason of transgression, and it cast down · the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered.” (Dan. viii. 9–12.) And this vision is explained by the angel interpreter in the following part of the chapter. (Verses 23–25.) What is said of this horn respects the Roman kingdom and empire, from the beginning and end of it, the ruin of which shall open the way for the kingdom of Christ to flourish in the world and the reign of the saints on the earth. And what is said of this power or kingdom here respects the idolatry that should be supported and practised by it, and the opposition it should make to God and his people, in which it
See Bishop Newton's Dissertation on the Prophecies.
should prevail, and have power to oppress and persecute the saints; and there is special reference to the pope and those under his influence and direction, when he should be at the head of this empire and rule in it, who is particularly designed in the seventh chapter, denoted by the little horn, “which had eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things, which should make war with the saints and prevail against them, and speak great words against the Most High, and wear out the saints of the Most High.” (Dan. vii. 8, 21, 25.) This power, indeed, did oppose and destroy the mighty and holy people, and stand up against the Prince of princes before it existed, and was exercised by antichrist in the church of Rome. Jesus Christ, the Prince of princes, was put to death by this power. And this horn persecuted the church, especially at times; for near three hundred years after the death of Christ; all of which is included in the description of the horn or kingdom which is the chief subject of this chapter; but there is particular and chief reference to what this power would be and do, when in the hands of antichrist, for he, above all others, has spoken great things, and opened his mouth to blaspheme God and the saints. He has introduced and promoted the grossest idolatry, and stood up against the Prince of princes; has magnified himself in his heart even to the Prince of the host, the Lord Jesus Christ, and has been the most cruel and bloody persecutor of the saints for many ages; he has cast down the truth to the ground, and practised and prospered, and has destroyed vast numbers of the holy people, or the saints. Gabriel, who was ordered to make Daniel understand the vision, said to him, “Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation; for at the time appointed the end shall be.” (Dan. viii. 19.) His interpretation had chief respect to the latter end of this kingdom under the reign of antichrist, in whose end the kingdom should be ruined, and exist no more.
The question is here asked, “ How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot ?” Bishop Newton says, “In the original there is no such word as concerning; and Mr. Lowth rightly observes, that the words may be rendered more agreeably to the H
rew thus: For how long a time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken away, and the transgression of the desolation continue ? etc. After the same manner the question is translated by the Seventy, and in the Arabic version, and in the vulgar Latin."
The answer is, “ Unto two thousand and three hundred
days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Dan. viii. 13, 14.) These are no doubt prophetical days, a day being put for a year. The time therefore specified is two thousand and three hundred years. All the difficulty in fixing on the time of the end of these days lies in determining at what time the reckoning begins. This is left in a degree of uncertainty, as is the beginning of the reign of antichrist, which is to continue twelve hundred and sixty years; the reason of which doubtless is, that it should not be precisely known to a day or year when this time will end till it shall be actually accomplished, while it is made certain the time of the end is fixed, and they who are willing to attend to the subject, and make use of all the light that is offered, may have sufficient evidence to determine within a few years when the time will be, and not be left in a total uncertainty about it.
The little horn, which is the chief subject of this vision, and was to do such great things against the holy people, the church, came forth out of one of the four notable hoțns, towards the four winds of heaven, which grew out of the goat, after the one great horn was broken which the goat had at first. (Verse 8.) The goat is the king of Grecia, or the Grecian empire, erected by Alexander the Great, who was the first king, or the great horn. (Verse 21.) After the death of Alexander, and when his successors in his family were extinct, four kings were set up, and divided the great empire between them into four kingdoms, which division was towards, or according to the four winds, east, west, north, and south. Cassander, one of the four kings, took the western part of the empire, or the western kingdom, containing Macedon, Greece, etc. Out of this horn came forth the little horn, which waxed exceeding great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land." (Verse 9.) This horn Gabriel explains to be " a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences, who shall stand up.” (Verse 23.) The Romans are meant by this horn, who were west of Greece, and may be considered as included in the western part of the empire, which was one of the four horns out of which they rose, and soon were conspicuous; and Prideaux says, “ Their name began to grow of great note and fame among foreign nations, by their conquests in a few, not above five or six and twenty years after the above-mentioned partition of the empire of the goat into four horns or kingdoms. And they were a distinct people, and doubtless made some figure when the four horns first existed. From this time, and this small beginning, the Romans arose by their policy, power, and conquests, until they arrived to a vast and universal empire. And as they existed as a people when the Grecian empire was divided into four kingdoms or horns, and they were really included in the western horn, and soon rose out of it, and went on and grew to universal empire, their beginning may properly be reckoned from the time when the western horn or kingdom arose, in which they were included, as they soon after that became a distinct power and kingdom, and were a little horn, and proceeded to conquer and destroy the horn out of which they came, and to subdue all the other horns.
This partition of the Grecian empire into four kingdoms, or horns, was just about three hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, or the beginning of the Christian era; and as the incarnation of Christ was about the beginning of the fifth thousand years of the world, two thousand and three hundred years from the rise of the four horns will end at or near the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world. Or, if the beginning of the little horn should not be reckoned from that time, but from the time when the Roman power or horn began to be conspicuous and acknowledged among the nations, two thousand three hundred years from that time will carry them but a few years beyond the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world; so that this number serves to confirm what has been observed from the other numbers in Daniel and the Revelation, viz., that the reign of antichrist, who is the last head of the Roman empire, will end about the beginning of the seventh millenary of the world, when the millennium will begin, and the meek, the saints, shall inherit the earth, take the kingdom, and reign with Christ.
In the last chapter of Daniel, “one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ?" The answer is made in a very solemn manner, in the following words : “ It shall be for a time, times, and a half. And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” He who shall scatter the power of the holy people or the saints, is the same with the horn mentioned in the seventh chapter, who should “wear out the saints of the Most High,” which is the same event which is here expressed in different words; and the time of his doing this is the same which is mentioned here: “ And they shall be given into his hand, until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Dan. vii. 25.) That is, three prophetical years and a half, in which are one thousand two hundred and sixty prophetical days, which are put for so many years; and this is the same power which is called a beast in the Revelation, who was to do the same thing mentioned here, viz., it was