Page images

It ap

called that period three days and a half, not a time times and half a time-Once more, and the subject shall be disinissed: Daniel has given us a special mark, whereby we may know when the three years and a half, during which the little horn was to wear out the saints of the Most High, shall have expired. 66 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, Until how long shall be the end of the wonders? 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 until a time, times, and a half; and, when he shall have finished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."* It pears then, that the three years and a half were to expire, when God should have ceased to scatter the Jews, whose restoration Daniel had predicted at the beginning of the chapter, and when the period of the wonders should be finished : in other words, when the three years und a half, whether natural or prophetic, shall have expired, the restoration of the Jews will commence, and all the wonders comprehended within the period of the 1260 years will be accomplished. Now, from the termination of the three years and a half, during which religion was put down by law in France (that is to say, from the latter end of March 1796, when those three years and a half expired) full eight years have elapsed at the moment that I am now writing : consequently, if those three years and a half were the three years and a half intended by Daniel, the restoration of the Jews would have commenced, and the series of events, predicted under the seventh vial and at the close of the 11th chapter of Daniel, t as leading to the destruction of the two little horns (one of them upon Mr. Galloway's scheme revolutionary France) and of some kingdom notorious for magnifying itself above every god, would have begun to be accomplished, exactly when those three years and a

and a half expired. None of

* Dan, xii. 6, 7.

+ Dan. xi. 40–45. + That the seventh vial did not then begin to be poured out, is manifest indeed from this circumstance. The sixth vial, which will produce the downfall of the Ottoman empire, remains even yet to be poured out : consequently the seventh vial, which succeeds it, cannot have begun to be emptied in the year 1796.

these great events however took place in March 1796 : it follows therefore, as a necessary consequence, that the three years and a half of legalized French atheism, horrible as were the enormities of the then miscreant rulers of the infidel republic, cannot be the time, times, and a half, during which the little horn was to wear out the saints of the Most High.

Having now sufficiently pointed out what I conceive to be the errors of Mr. Kett and Mr. Galloway, I shall endeavour to ascertain the true interpretation of the history of the little persecuting horn, which was to spring up out of the fourth or Roman beast.

Upon this subject I heartily agree in the general with Sir Isaac Newton, Mr. Mede, and Bp. Newton ; though I cannot entirely assent to their precise mode of exposition. The points, wherein 1 differ from them, are these : their supposition, that the little horn means the temporal kingdom of the Papacy : and their respective interpretations of that part of the prophecy which relates to the eradication of the three horns before the little horn.

In the figurative language of Scripture, the same symbol, as I have already abundantly shewn, represents both temporal and spiritual things, provided only those things are connected with each other by a common leading idea. Thus a star typifies either a prince or a minister of religion, the one being in the state what the other is in the church : whence we are accustomed familiarly to style both a king and a priest, in their different capacities, a shepherd of the people. In a similar manner, a beast means an empire, either secular or ecclesiastical : and a mountain denotes a kingdom either temporal or spiritual.* By a parity of reasoning therefore the present symbol, a horn, signifies either a temporal or an ecclesiastical kingdom. 'Those three eminent commentators Sir Isaac Newton, Mr. Mede, and Bp. Newton, adopt the former of the two significations ; and suppose the little horn of the Roman beast to mean the temporal kingdom of the Papacy, that Italian principality which bears the general name of The States of the Church or St. Peter's Patrimony. They further conceive, that the Papacy was not

* Compare Jeremiah li. 25. with Dan. ii. 35.

a little horn till it acquired this principality ; and that it became a horn by the subversion of the three horns which were destined to fall before it.

To this scheme there appear to me to be insuperable objections : it will not accord with the prophecy itself ; and therefore, as we might naturally expect, it will not accord with the events.

1. The actions, ascribed to the little horn, were never performed by the Pope, as a temporal horn, as the sovereign of his Itulian principality, but as an ecclesiastical power.

2. The little horn is represented by the prophet as being already in existence previous to the eradication of the three horns : but the scheme at present under consideration supposes, that the Papacy became a horn by such eradication. Now, if the Papacy only became a horn by the eradication of the three horns, how can it be said that those three horns, were plucked up before it, or that the power typified by the little horn should subdue the three powers typified by the three horns, when at that very period, according to the scheme, the papal horn was not as yet in existence ? The prophecy places the rise of the little horn before the eradication of the three horns : the scheme supposes it to rise in consequence of that eradication. Hence it is manifest, that the scheme makes the horn both to exist and to act, previous to the supposed date of its existence.

3. The contradiction becomes more glaring and the difficulties increase, when we begin to consider the period of three times and a half or 1260 years. Daniel teaches us, that the saints should be given into the hand of the little horn during that space of time : whence we may naturally conclude, that they were given into his hand both by some formal deed, and by some specific person. Now Mr. Mede supposes (with what propriety we shall hereafter consider), that the first of the three horns was plucked up in the year 727, when the Pope caused the Italians to revolt from the Emperor Leo : yet he hesitates whether to date the 1260 years from the yeur 365, when the Goths began to invade the Empire ; from the year 410, when Alarac sacked Rome ; or from the

He supposes,

year 455, when Valentinian died, whom he makes to be the last Emperor of the West.* Independent of the confutation which all these opinions respecting the date of the 1260 years have received from the event, independent of its being impossible to shew how the saints were given into the hand of the Pope at any one of those eras, who can avoid observing the palpable contradictoriness of such a scheme? According to Mr. Mede, the little horn began to exist in the year 727: but the saints were given into the hand of that little horn about the year 455 (for that is the date which he seems to prefer): in other words, the saints were given into his hand near three centuries before he began to exist. The scheme of Bp. Newton leads him into the very same contradiction, though he rejects all Mr. Mede's dates, having seen his theory confuted by the event. that the first of the three horns was plucked up in the year 755, when the Pope became master of the Exarchate of Ravenna, and consequently that the little horn then began to exist : yet he is inclined to date the 1260 years from the year 727.1 Thus he, like Mr. Mede, dates the 1260 years from an era when by his own account the little horn was not yet in existence; and from an era likewise at which it would be impossible to shew how the saints were given up to the little horn, even supposing the little horn had then first begun to exist.

On these grounds I am rather inclined to think, that the little horn typifies, not the temporal, but the spiritual, kingdom of the Pope ; that tyrannical ecclesiastical domination, which at first was only a small and harmless kingdom, but which afterwards became a pretended catholic empire, symbolized in the Apocalypse by a two-horned beast rising up out of the earth or Roman empire, as the little horn rises up out of the ten-horned beast. In short I conceive, that the little horn and the two-horned beast represent the very same ecclesiastical power : the one symbolizing that power at its first rise, and describing it as afterwards having a look more stout than its fellows and as influencing the actions of the whole ten-horned beust ;* the other symbolizing it, when it had grown up into a catholic empire by having had the saints delivered into its hand. Hence we find, that Daniel, who, largely describes the little horn, makes no mention of the two-horned beast : while St. John, who as largely describes the two-horned beast styling him a false prophet, makes no mention of the little horn.

* The reason, why Mr. Mede dates the 1260 years so early, is, because he imagined that the rise of the man of sin was immediately to succeed the downfall of the Western empire, or that which letted. The little born indeed began to arise along with the incursions of the northern nations : but it did not become the apostate man of sin till the saints were delivered into its hand. Accordingly we are taught by Daniel to date the 1260 years, not from the rise of the little born, but from the commencement of its spiritual catholic tyranny. See Mede's Apostacy of the latter Times, Part I. Chap. 14.

* Dissert. XXVI. $.

I have asserted, that the little horn, at its first rise among the ten other horns, was harmless. This appears both from the prophecy, and from the accomplishment of the prophecy. The little horn was already in existence when the saints were delivered into his hand : but the apostacy of the 1260 days did not commence in its dominant state till the era of their being so delivered : consequently the little horn was already in existence before the beginning of the apostacy : that is to say, it existed as a horn previous to its existence as an apostate horn. The spiritual kingdom of the Pope sprung up after the Empire had become Christian, or during the period of what St. John styles its non-existence as a beast.t When the ancient pagan beast, that had been wounded to death by the preaching of the Gospel, revived, and set up an idolatrous spiritual tyrant in the Church by constituting Boniface the third Universal Bishop; then were the saints delivered into the hand of the little horn; then did the little horn begin to have a look more stout than his fellows; then did the universal spiritual empire of the Pope commence. This happened in the year 606 : consequently I esteem this year the most probable date of the 1260 days.

The errors, that have arisen from not attending to the plain language of Daniel relative to the date of that period are almost endless. Scarcely any commentator has

* “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake : I beheld even till the beast was slain." Dan. vii. 11.

† «The beast, that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Rev. xvii. 8.) The death and revival of the Roman beast will be discussed at large hereafter.

« PreviousContinue »