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This truth may be traced in almost every part of the Christian Church, and every step of the Gospel histories. There is a new and spiritual Israel, in place of the Jews after the flesh : " As many as walk after this rule, peace be on them and mercy, even on the Israel of God." There is a mystical and heavenly Mount Zion, in contrast to the earthly Jerusalem : “ Ye are come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God." 66 Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." There is a spiritual passover, with its distinct paschal Lamb: “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.' 6. Ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." There is an antitypical circumcision: “In whom ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” There is an antitypical Exodus: “ All our fathers were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Now these things happened unto them for types." There is a feast of spiritual first-fruits : “ These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb." There is an antitypical harvest and feast of tabernacles (Rev. vii. xiv.) There is a counterpart to the Sabbath; and the year of jubilee itself was a type of “the acceptable year of the Lord.” There is also a wilderness sojourn of the Church (Rev. xii.), answering to the journey of Israel through the desert from Egypt to the land of promise.
It is in evident harmony with all these analogies, which link the times of the Gospel with the previous dispensation, to interpret these dates, in the symbolical prophecies, on a principle of analogy also. Such an analogy, and one of the simplest kind, is presented by the year-day system; and there is, consequently, no light presumption in favour of this, or some similar explanation.
VII. THE MYSTERIOUS INTRODUCTION, by which these dates are prefaced in several of the visions, forms another argument that they are not designed to be taken for short periods of natural days only.
There is nothing spoken in vain in the word of God. Every part, as it proceeds from Infinite Wisdom, is suited, in the most minute particulars, to the special truth which has to be revealed. Wherever there is a peculiar solemnity in the introduction of any statement, there must clearly be something answerable in the truth which that statement was designed to convey.
Now, in the case of most of these numbers, this peculiarity appears very striking in the manner of their introduction. They are not given in passing, nor as matters of subordinate importance. On the contrary, the most various methods are used to point out their peculiar character, and the deep significance of the message they contain. It is in connexion with one of these dates that our Lord receives the title of the 6 Wonderful Numberer.” Two of the celestial company are introduced as fresh persons in the sacred drama, and one of them propounds the question to which this date forms the reply-ma reply given by the Lord himself. This surely implies some meaning deeper than appears on the first glance at the words of the vision.
The time, times, and half, exhibit the same character still more clearly. They are twice revealed to Daniel, in two visions at an interval of twenty years. In the second of these they are introduced with peculiar solemnity. Two saints are again exhibited as the speakers. One of them inquires the duration of the predicted wonders. The reply is given by the Lord himself, with all the solemnity of a direct appeal to God: “I heard the man clothed with linen, which was. upon the waters of the river, when he lifted up his hand to
heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, and times, and the dividing of a time." No words could well be more expressive of deep mystery, and of the special importance to the Church of the period thus revealed.
The same character appears conspicuously in the book of Revelation. The five months, under the first woe, are twice mentioned. The period named in the second woe has a singular and unusual form. In the tenth chapter, as in the twelfth of Daniel, there is a most impressive oath, the only one of a direct kind which appears in the New Testament; and here, also, it is connected with these sacred times. The oral mese sage of Christ to the apostle, in the following chapter, consists mainly in a revelation of chronology. The same period, again, which has been twice mentioned in Daniel, and twice under the temple vision, is three times repeated in the succeeding chapters. And thus, wherever these sacred numbers occur, there is always some mark given to us, apparently to lead our thoughts beyond the surface to a deeper truth which they really contain.
These general presumptions, against a barely literal sense of the dates, may be confirmed by several others of the same kind. They clearly suggest the conclusion that the words are to be taken in some analogical signification, which may restore their harmony with the wider range of the prophecies to which they belong. Such a principle is found in the year-day system, which enlarges the scope of these numbers, and yet maintains the definite and precise character of each interval that is revealed.
It may just be observed, however, before entering on this second stage of the inquiry, that the direct testimony of early times to the shorter acceptation of these
dates has often been over-rated.
Their mysterious adjuncts had led to hesitation and doubt as to their being meant literally, long before the period when the yearday system could have been understood without injury to the hopes of the Church. The five months of the first woe, the period of the second, the twelve hundred and sixty days, the forty-two months, and, most of all, the time, times, and a half, were figuratively expounded by very early writers. Primasius, Ambrose, Ansbert, and not a few others, explained this last phrase to denote the whole time of the Church's sufferings. And we learn from Justin that, before his time, the same expression in Daniel was commonly supposed by the Jews to have a century for its unit, and to denote three hundred and fifty years.
THE YEAR-DAY THEORY CONTINUED.
From the nine general indications of a figurative meaning which occur in these sacred numbers, let us now proceed to examine the special evidence for the yearday system. This also branches into several distinct arguments, which may be exhibited in succession, and the objections by which it has been endeavoured to overthrow them.
1. THE PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS has always held the foremost place in the direct arguments for the year-day system. The reasoning is very simple in its nature. The word week, or shabua, is used elsewhere in Scripture to denote seven days ; but in this prophecy it denotes seven years.
Hence the words of time are enlarged beyond their literal or usual sense, in the proportion of a year to a day. And since all these predictions of time bear one common character, occur in the same prophets, and have the same general object, they ought to be explained by one cominon rule. In the one instance, which is decisively fulfilled, the proportion holds of a year to a day; and therefore it must be applied, in consistency, to all the rest.
Two different replies, and on contradictory grounds, have been made to this argument. First, Dr. Todd, with some hesitation, and Mr. Tyso and Mr. Govett more boldly, deny the fact. They assert that the pro