« AnteriorContinuar »
head*, and as that upon which her own patience and faith are to be peculiarly exercisedt.
Now this period of the 1260 years captivity of the Gentile Church, during which she is delivered into the hands of the Babylon of the Apocalypse, i. e. the little Papal horn of Daniel, who makes war with the saints and prevails against them, as also the farther extended periods of the 1290, and of the 1335 years, (Dan, vii. 25. xii. 7, 11, 12,) are stated to commence from the establishment of the abomination that maketh desolate" (ver. 11), which event is at the present day almost universally dated A.D. 533, when the emperor Justinian issued an edict wherein, anathematizing all heretics, he acknowledged the Pope as head of all the churches of the western empire, and supreme judge in matters of faith, by this means giving the Papacy, in conjunction with the civil authority, a persecuting power against the saints; which periods thus commencing, respectively terminate, A.D, 1792-3, 1822-3, and 1867-8, as was shewn to be the case, with regard to the period of the 1260 years, by the great event of the first French revolution, completed by the deposition of the king, and the total abolition of royalty in France, on 20th September, 1792.
The succession of the second period of the thirty years during which the judgment begins to sit upon the little Papal horn, “to consume and destroy it unto the end,” (Dan. vii. 26) was manifested immediately after the French revolution, by the pouring out of the first six Apocalyptic vials of wrath, upon the Papacy and the Papal nations; the symbolical actions of which accurately describe the six successive principal political events, and judgments of that period. Thus the breaking out of the noisome and grievous sore of Atheism, or the national and authoritative profession of Infidelity in papal France, answers to the description of the first vial. The bloodshed of the reign of terror in the time of Robespierre, to that of the second vial.— The judgment upon the priesthood, or the overthrow of the Papal government of Rome by the Republican French arms, to that of the third vial.—The imperial tyranny of Buonaparte, to that of the fourth vial.The occupation of the territory of France, the seat of the Infidel Beast, by the allied armies of Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Great Britain, to that of the fifth vial.---And the revolt of the Greek provinces from their subjection to the Ottoman empire in the east, to that of the sixth vial; contemporaneously with which the miraculous spread of revolutionary principles in the western Roman empire' took place, as manifested in the revolutions of Naples, Piedmont, Spain, and Portugal; described by the going forth of the three unclean spirits of Rev. xvi. 13, 14; which revolutions were put down in Italy, by the power of the Austrian arms, and in Spain, by the prevalence of the French arms over those of the revolutionary government of the Spanish Cortes, in the month of September, 1823; an event which marked the termination of the sixth vial in the west, and the end of the period of the 1290 years.
* And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half. Dan. xii. 7.;and the Angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever... that... in the days of the voice of the seventh angel the mystery of God should be finished. Rev. x. 5–7.
# He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Rev. xiii. 10.
The period of the forty-five years began when the preceding period terminated, viz. in September, 1823; and the events which peculiarly belong to it were first manifested on 27th July, 1830, by the breaking out in France of that great continental popular revolution, or symbolical earthquake, which is the first event of the seventh vial, and of the final judgment of the Papal Roman empire ; to which general revolution those of the preceding period were only preparatory. With such connected and conclusive evidence, therefore, as the course of events has afforded to the fulfilment of prophecy within certain appointed times, we may fix with certainty the commencement of the period of millennial blessedness, and the expiration of the only remaining ecclesiastical period yet uncompleted, the 1335 years of Daniel, to the year 1867-8. And it will appear, that, as with the symbols, so also with the periods, the understanding those connected with the fulfilled prophecies, necessarily removes the ambiguity of the unfulfilled ; and that the prophetical records of the Christian Church may hence be expected to obtain, or rather have obtained, in this the time of the end, an extraordinary accession of interest and importance, after having, as to their main design and use, been sealed until that time, according to the prediction they themselves contain *
It would then be manifestly erroneous, on the grounds of the experience of the limited use which the Church has hitherto derived from the prophecies, to form any judgment of the degree of importance which may now attach to them, or of the purposes which they may be designed to serve in these the last days. And if it has pleased God through his written word, to reveal things to come, who will say that this revelation shall be suppressed, and his gift rejected ? Does the Church feel herself so rich and increased with goods, that she has need of nothing ? Do not the awful signs of the times, and the thick gathering storm, rather give her reason to think that the period may shortly arrive when, destitute of outward support, and amidst furious and inveterate enemies, she may find in the knowledge that such things must first come to pass, which the word of prophecy affords, and in the assurance to be thence derived of the watchful care of her divine head, who will seem to address her in these words, “Behold I have told you before," — a support sufficient, and not more than sufficient, to carry her triumphant through her trials, in the joyful hope of that grace which shall hereafter be bestowed upon her ?
* But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end-Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed, till the time of the end. Dan. xii, 4, 9.
On the Civil Prophetic Periods indicated by the Visions of
Daniel ii. and viii.; by the Woe-trumpets of St. John; and by the type of the Jubilee connected with the day of Atonement.
In addition to the ecclesiastical periods already examined, which relate to the history of the Gentile church, and are specified in the vision of the four Beasts of Dan. vii. in the prophecy of the Things noted in the Scripture of truth, Dan. x.—xii., and in a part of the little opened Book of St. John, there are a series of civil periods, which have reference to the history of the kingdoms of the world, or of the four Gentile monarchies as succeeded by that of the Jews, and are the periods of time respectively embraced by the remaining prophecies of the great Image of Dan. ii., of the Ram and He-goat of Dan. viii., and by a part of the Sealed book of St. John, viz., the three woetrumpets ; each vision of Daniel commencing from the year in which it was seen; and the period of the woe-trumpets from the rise of Mahometanism, and ending with the common final object of this class of prophecies, the re-establishment of Jerusalem as the ruling metropolis of the world, and the cleansing of its sanctuary from the Mahometan superstition upon the destruction of the four Gentile monarchies ; when it is said, Dan. ii. 44, that “ the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed."
The symbols which describe the ecclesiastical periods are derived, as we have formerly seen, from the usual divisions of the natural year, consisting of 42 months, or