Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

are most certainly not to be understood of the Jews, but of genuine Christians ; so in like manner there is reason to believe, that that kindred expression, the holy people, has in ch. xii. exactly the same signification28. The clause containing these words Waple29 endeavors to illustrate by referring to a passage in the Apocalypse. By the accomplishment of the scattering, or dispersion of the power of the holy people can,' he says, “be meant no other than the woman's coming out of the wilderness3o, where the holy people were dispersed and scattered. But I do not conceive, that the prophet's words oblige us to conclude, that genuine Christians will cease to be oppressed, immediately at the expiration of the 1260 years. When he says, that it shall be for a time, times, and an half ; and that when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished; the meaning may be, that it is, for the 1260 years, that the whole body of true Christians shall be principally exposed to the attacks of civil and ecclesiastical tyranny; and that some time afterwards, when the period of their being in a dispersed and precarious and persecuted state shall be completely accom

p. 185.

28 That the holy people, in eh. xii. v. 7 of Dan. is to be understood of genuine Christians, the learned Dr. Goodwin conceived to be unquestionable,

• The Christians may,' says bp. Newton (on Dan. vol. II. p. 48), • full as well as the Jews be comprehended under the name of the holy people.' By the holy people,' says a learned writer, who was quoted in the last chapter, and whose signature is Synergus ( Comment, and Ess. p. 481), 'I understand the Christians distinguished by that general title from the rest of the world, without any regard to their moral character, or any thing besides their outward profession. Thus it appears, that the appellation of the holy people, with respect to extent of import, is differently understood by different writers.

29 On Rev, x. 7.

30 It is in ch. xii. v. 6 of the Rev. that the symbolic woman is represented as • flying into a wilderness,' (I am now quoting from Mr. Lowman,) ' to intimate, the condition of the church would be difficult and dangerous in these times, like the Israelites, when they wandered in the wilderness The wilderness into which she fled intimates,' says a foreign writer, the church's obscurity, poverty, and distress.' New Syst. of Apoc. p. 60.

plished, then that all the principal events foretold by Daniel shall be finished. I shall shortly have occasion to introduce a quotation from St. John, wherein he has mani. festly copied from the 7th v. of the xiith ch. of Daniel, at the very time when he is.speaking of the seventh trumpet and the destruction of the antichristian empire. Here then the reader will be furnished with a new reason for concluding, that each of the prophets is speaking of the same period and the same events.

Many, says Daniel, shall be purified, and made white, and tried. · The persecutions of the faithful,' says Mr. Lowth, are designed for the trial of their faith, and purifying their lives. And

from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. That this computation cannot refer to the desolate state of Jerusalem and the profanation of its temple, appears evident, because a much longer period than 1290 years has elapsed, since the city and the temple were exposed to the insults of Antiochus, or Titus, or Hadrian. • The same expressions,' says Mr. Lowth, “made use of to describe Antiochus's persecution, chap. xi. 31, are here applied to the desolations made by Antichrist, of which the former was a figure.' Mr. Wintle, to whom the public are indebted for a New Translation of Daniel, observes, that the language is borrowed from the service of the Jewish temple, and applicable to the church of God in a variety of states and forms: that it is here particularly meant to have its illustration during the times of the Christian church must,' says Mr. Wintle, “be evident, not only from the whole series of the foregoing remarks, but because the days cannot be taken in their strict sense, but must be understood for so many years. The setting up of the abomination of desolation,' bp. Newton in like manner remarks,

31 See the note from Vitringa. at the bottom of p. 266.

is a general phrase32.' To set up the abomination that maketh desolate, says Mr. Parker, is to establish antichristian idolatries and superstitions, corrupt doctrine and unlawful worship;' and to take away the daily sacrifice is to take away the true doctrine and worship instituted by Christ}}.' Here,' says Mr. Lowth, the time allotted for the persecutions of Antichrist, till the church be entirely cleansed and purified, is enlarged from 1260 days, denoted by time, times, and an half, ver. 7, to 1290 days. The prophet immediately adds, Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. The state of mankind, at the end of this second period of 45 years, is to be substantially meliorated34.

Mr. Bicheno, who calculates, that the first period which Daniel specifies, a time, and times, and an half, or the 1260 years terminated in the year 1789, about which time also the resurrection of the witnesses and the earthquake in the Tenth Part of the city took place, consequently supposes, that the 1290 years will end in the year 1819, and the 1335 years in 1864. During the first of these periods, reaching from the year 1789 to 1819, he concludes, that all the seven vials are to be poured out; "a season,' says he,

it is likely of great calamities, but especially to the enemies of Christ's kingdom.-To gather and try the Jews preparatory to their conversion, to destroy the remains of tyranny, and to purify and enlarge the Gentile church, will occupy forty-five years more. This is the time of which

32 Vol. II. p. 193.

33 Parker on Dan. p. 109, 133. • The offering daily sacrifices is an expression very proper to denote the external of the Christian worship' Comment and Ess. ut supra, signature Synergus, vol. I. p. 473.

34 Bp. Newton says, “it is, I conceive, to these great events, the fall of Antichrist, the restoration of the Jews, and the beginning of the glo. rious millennium, that the three different dates in Daniel of 1260 years, 1290 years, and 1335 years, are to be referred,' vol. III. p. 393. That the Jews will be restored to their own land in the course of 30 years, after the conclusion of the 1260, I do not, however, myself conceive to be at all probable. See Rom. xi. 25.

Daniel

says, Blessed is he that cometh to it, and which is the year 186435.7 Such is the statement of Mr. Bicheno.

On the probability of it the reader must judge for himself. Persuaded that the fixing of future dates is a business of infinite delicacy, I should certainly myself have been very unwilling to have spoken in so peremptory a manner respecting the epochas of Daniel, or on the period when any unaccomplished events are destined to happen. With respect to the time when the proper millenniary period shall commence, I do not allow myself even to conjecture? and, on the number of years which will be occupied in the effusion of the vials, I likewise conceive myself incompetent to give any opinion. Of this, however, I am persuaded, that they will be poured out much sooner than many commentators have supposed.

The following is the opinion of an ingenious French commentator. It

may

be affirmed as certain and indubitable, that when the vials come to be poured out, there shall be no long distance between the pouring out of one of them, and the effusion of the rest. Because it is said in the xth chapter, v. 6, that the angel sware that there should be time no longer. That is to say, that there should be no more delay; that the judgments of God shall overtake the Beast, without any respite betwixt one and another.-Before the pouring forth of the first vial.be ended, the second shall begin, and so the rest??' The whole of the angelic oath, relating to the period of the seventh trumpet, which I have alluded to as being copied from Daniel, is thus sublimely expressed. 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, who created heaven and the things that are therein, and the earth and the things that are therein,

35 Signs of the Times, p. 60, 65.

36 In Justice to Mr. Bicheno it ought, however, to be observed, that he speaks in a far less confident tone, than that which many preceding calculators have employed.

37 New Syst. of the Apoc. p. 250.

and the sea and the things which are therein, that there should be no longer delay38 : but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound39, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets40. By Mr. Pile a part of this passage is thus paraphrased. Having lifted up his hands to heaven, in the same manner as the angel in Daniel is represented to have doneos, he, 'in the name of the Almighty and Eternal Father of all things, protested, that whatever the said Daniel, or any other prophet had foretold concerning the kingdom of Christ, and the glorious success of it here upon earth, in the latter times, should be all punctually fulfilled. And particularly that part of Daniel's prediction, that the reign of the antichristian kingdom of idolatry and persecution was to continue, after it is in its full height, but for a time, and times, and a half time (i. e. for 1260 years and no longer), should be verified in the period of this seventh trumpet.' With respect to the expression, the mystery of God, it signifies, says Vitringa, the oracles of the prophets, which interpret the secret will of God;' and it consists, adds this eminent commentator, of the great concluding events which they foretell; namely, of the remarkable judgments by which the enemies of Christ's kingdom shall be destroyed, the establishment of that kingdom throughout the globe, and the consequent universal prevalence of virtue and holiness.

[ocr errors]

38 Thus Mr. Wakefield translates this clause. In our common translation it is, that there should be time no longer. That Xpovos signifies delay may be seen in the lexicons of Constantine and Hederic ; that it here bears that signification is the statement of Brightman, of Doddridge, and of Vitringa; and it is observed by Daubuz, that in this place it is thus un. derstood by most interpreters and versions.'

39 Daubuz renders the words, in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finishec; and adds, that the original might have been translated, when he shall HAVE sounded. 40 X. 5, 6, 7.

41 XII. 7.

« AnteriorContinuar »