Page images

that respecting the little horn of the fourth beast. So lax a mode of interpretation as this ought ever to be warmlv protested against, because it utterly destroys all defioiteness and precision in the sacred oracles. If the same prophecy may be construed to relate to so many totally different periods and events, we must bid an everlasting farewell to all certainty of exposition. So far as any knowledge is concerned that we can derive from a prophecy of such a nature, it must, so long as this world endures, remain to us a sealed book. Sir Isaac Newton and the bishop have amply refuted the opinion, that the little horn of the he-goat is Antiochus Epiphanes : and, how far their application of it to the Roman empire be tenable, the reader must judge for himself from what has been said upon that subject. As for Mr. Kett's conjecture, that it relates ultimately to the infidel power of France, it will be sufficient to observe respecting it, that a horn, which was to spring up in the East, can never be designed to typify a power, which has arisen in the West. In the right interpretation of prophecy it is not enough to discover mere partial resemblances, and thence to infer that such a symbol belongs to such an event : before we venture to decide, we ought to point out a perfect similitude between the type and its antitype, a similitude of such a nature as utterly to exclude all events which will not tally in every respect with the symbolical history under consideration. Thus, in the present instance, Antiochus Epiphanes has some features which very much resemble those of the little horn; but the period of his persecution cannot be accommodated either to the 2300 days mentioned in the vision of the ram and the he-goat or to the three prophetic periods of 1260, 1290, and 1335, days, specified towards the conclusion of Daniel's last vision, even if those days, contrary to the whole method of prophecy, be computed as natural ones: therefore the little horn cannot be Antiochus Epiphanes. So again : the Romans have many features in common with the little horn, insomuch that the grand characteristic of both is designated by the very same phrase of setting up the abomination of desolation ; yet the era of the sacking of Jerusalem can in no wise be reconciled

with the periods of 1260, 1290, and 1335, years: therefore the little horn cannot be the Roman empire.* Lastly, the impious wretches, who converted France into an atheistical democracy, have doubtless, like the little horn, waxed great against the host of heaven, have magnified themselves even against the prince of the host, and have cast down the truth to the ground; nevertheless, those hardened miscreants, Voltaire and his associates, did not arise in the East, but in the West, and the period of the French revolution can as little be accommodated to the prophetic numbers as either of the two foregoing periods : therefore French Infidelity cannot be the little horn.

I shall now endeavour to ascertain, what that power is, which alone is designated by this symbol.

Daniel informs us, in his account of the vision of the ram and the he-goat, that he heard a certain saint inquiring, “ For how long a time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot ?" The answer made to this question was, “ Unto two thousand and three hundred days," or, as the Seventy read, “ two thousand four hundred days ;" or as certain copies mentioned by Jerome read, two thousand two hundred days : then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Bp. Newton doubts, whether these prophetic days are to be calculated from the establishment of the Persian empire, from the invasion of Asia by Alexander, or from the beginning of the history of the little horn. Whatever doubt there may be upon this point, and whatever difficulty there may be in ascertaining which of the three readings is the true one, I cannot but think it sufficiently evident, both that the 1260 days are a certain part of the 2300 days, and that these two periods exactly terminate together in the self same year. We are expressly told, that the vision of the ram and the hegoat, whenever it begins, reaches to the time of the end :t

* I have already assigned other reasons, besides this chronological one, why it is scarcely probable, that the beagoat's little born should have been designed to symbolize the Romans.

† “ Understand, O son of man, for the vision shall reach even unto the time of the end it shall reach even to the appointed time of the end." Dan. viji, 17, 19.

and we are no less expressly informed, that to the end of the period of the wonders, there shall be three times and a half or 1260 days :* hence it necessarily follows, that, since the period of 2300 days, and the period of 1260 days, both equally reach to the time of the end, or to the end of the period of the wonders, they both exactly terminate together. Thus it appears, that the period of 1260 days is in fact the latter part of the greater period of 2300 days. This opin. ion perfectly harmonizes with what we are repeatedly told, both by Daniel and St. John, respecting the termination of the 2300 and the 1260 days. We are informed, for instance, that the sanctuary, which had been polluted by the abomination of desolation connected with the little horn of the he-goal, shall be cleansed at the end of the 2300, the 2200, or the 2400 days, t whichever of these three be the proper reading :f that the saints are to be delivered into the hand of the little horn of the fourth beast, which has been shewn to be the Papacy, until a time, times, and the dividing of time, or 1260 days ; consequently that they are to be freed from his tyranny at the end of that period : 8 that the Jews shall begin to be restored at the end of the same time, times, and a half, or 1260 days :|| that the king, who is to magnify himself above every god, shall come to his end contemporaneously with the restoration of the Jews; and consequently at the end of the same 1260 days : that the court of the temple, and the holy city, shall be trodden under foot of the gentiles during the same space of 42 prophetic months, or 1260 days ; and consequently that they shall cease to be trodden under foot at the end of that period :** that the ten-hornede beast shall practise prosperously in his revived state, during the same space of 42 months, or 1260 days; and con

“ Until how long shall be the end of the wonders ?--It shall be until a time and times and a half; and, when he shall have finished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what is the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." Daniel xü. 6.-9.

+ I shall hereafter shew, that the sanctuary, which was to be cleansed at the end of this prophetic period, was the spiritual sanctuary of the Christian Church, not the literal sanctuary of the Tervish temple. (See. Rev. xi. 1, 2.) This spiritual sanctuary will be cleansed by the overthrow of the two little borns of the third and fourth beasts. Dan. viii. 14. 9 Dan. vii. 25.

|| Dan. vii. 7. ( Dan, xi. 45, xii. 1.

** Rev, xi. 2. VOL. 1.


scquently shall cease to practise prosperously at the end of that period :* that the witnesses shall propbesy in sackcloth during the same 1260 duys; and consequently shall cease to prophesy in sackcloth at the end of that period :t and lastly, that the symbolical woman, or the spiritual church, shall be driven into the wilderness during the same space of 1260 days, or three prophetic years and a half ; and consequently that she shall be delivered from her thraldom at the end of that period. I

We are likewise taught, that the end of these two conterminating periods of 2300 and 1260 days will be marked by a wonderful display of the power of God. Al the end of the 2300 days, the little horn of the he-goat will be broken without hand :& ut the cnd of the 1260 days, the judgment will sit, and the dominion of the papal horn or the little horn of the fourth beast, will be utterly destroyed by the Son of man :|| at the end of the same 1260 days, the king, who magnified himself above every god, will undertake the expedition which will terminate in his destruction ; and at that very time the restoration of the Jews will commence: at the end of the same 1260 days, the ten-horned beast, which was to practise prosperously in his revived state 42 prophetic months, and along with him his false prophet, will be ultimately, that is at the end of those 42 months, defeated in a great battle with the personal Word of God :** and lastly, the man of sin will finally, and therefore at the end of the same 1260 days, be consumed with the spirit of the mouth of the Lord, and destroyed with the brightness of his

From an attentive consideration of all these different

* Rev. xiii. 5.

Rev. xi. 3. Rev. xii. 6, 14. Throughout the whole of this statement, the reader will of course understand me to mean, not that the sanctuary will be perfectly cleansed, or that the beast and the king and the borns will be perfectly overthrown ; but only that those great events will then begin to take place, that God's controversy with the nations will then commence. Matters of such moment may begin, but cannot be accomplished, in a single day. Accordingly we have reason to believe from Daniel, that the whole length of God's controversy will be no less than 30 years. § Dan. viii. 14, 25.

I Dan. vii. 25, 26.
Dan. xi. 40. xii. 1, 7.

** Rev. xix. 19, 20. t. 2 Thess. ii. 8. The reader will here again understand me to mean, that these events will begin to take place at the end of the two conterminating periods.

passages, and from the plain declaration of the angel both in the vision of the ram and the he-goat, and in the last chapter of Daniel's prophecies, it must, I think, undeniably follow, that the 2300 days, and the 1260 days, terminate together: that, in the course of the memorable period which commences at the termination of these days, the papal horn, the little horn of the he-goat, the ten-horned beast or revived Roman empire, the king who magnified himself above every god, and the man of sin, (whatever powers they may severally prefigure) will all be overthrown, in some manner or another, natural, or supernatural, by the victorious Word of God : and that in the course of the same memorable period, the abomination of desolation connected with the he-goat's little horn, will be removed ; the sanctuary of the spiritual temple be cleansed; and the Jews be restored to their own land.

It has been shewn, that the period, whence the 1260 days ought apparently at least to be computed, is the year 606 ; because in that year the saints were given into the hand of the papal little horn. Having therefore ascertained this period, as far as matters of this nature can be ascertained, we shall now be able both to point out the power symbolized by the little horn of the he-goat, and to determine whether 2200, 2300, or 2400 days, be the proper reading of that greater number, of which the 1260 days constitute the last part.

Since the angel informs Daniel, that all the wonders shall be finished at the end of 1260 days; and afterwards computes two other periods, namely 1290 and 1335 days, (the one period reaching 30 days, and the other 75 days, beyond the 1260 days,) from the setting up of the abomination of desolation: it is manifest, that this abomination, which I have shewn to be the abomination connected with the he-goat's little horn, was set up at the beginning of the 1260 days : for, since all the wonders were to be finished at the end of the 1260 days, the pollution of the sanctuary by the abomination connected with the he-goat's little horn was likewise to be finished at that period, and therefore its cleansing was to begin at that same period; and, since Daniel dates 1290 and 1335 days from the abomination of desolation, (the first of these numbers

« PreviousContinue »