Page images

church, when he was solemnly acknowledged by Jugtinian as head of the church. The pope and his clergy exercised their authority against the daily sacrifice of the church, or the pure worship of God; they cast down the truth to the ground and cruelly persecuted the saints, and thus practised and prospered.* This power was set up in the church by the Roman emperors of the east, and therefore it in all respects answers the description given of the symbolical host in the passage now before us.

In thus comparing the exploits of the horn of the he-goat, which was at first little, but afterwards increased by conquest to a gigantic stature, and reached even unto the host of heaven, with the history of the Roman empiré, in its connection with the dominions of the he-goat, and with the Jewish and Christian churches, we discover the most minute and circumstantial correspondence between them, Moreover, the rise of the horn was to be at the end or latter part of the four kingdoms (verse 23), when transgressors were come to the full. The Romans accordingly became an horn of the he-goat, and

* If the reader would see a remarkable illustration, of 'the manner in which the papal power exercised its authority against the pure worship of God, let him 'refer to the epistles of Pope Gregory II, to the emperor Leo the Isaurian in defence of image worship, which I.eo had exeried all his authority to repress. In these epistles, the following expressions are to be seen. * Num tibi justum videtur 'imperator “ has imagines venerari an erroris diaboloci ?” “ Non animadvertis “hunc tuum conatum quo adversus imagines insurrexisti facinus est “ turbulentum et insolens et superbum. Cum ecclesiæ Dei alta pace “ fruerentur, 'tu pugnas, et. odia,' et scandala suscitasti.” These Epistles are to be found in the Acts of the Council of Nice.--Vide Sacro Sancta Concil. Lutetiæ Parisiorum 1671, Tom. vii. p. 3-22. Gibbon also quotes the Epistles, see vol. ix. p. 134.

established themselves in his dominions exactly at the end of the four kingdoms, and when the transgressors of the Jewish nation were come to the full, as there was at that time a great falling away from the true religion among the Jews, “ the customs of “ the heathen nations were introduced, the youth “were trained up and exercised after the manner “ of the Greeks, and the people apostatized from the “ true religion, and even the priests, 2 Macc. iv. 14. had no courage to serve any more at the altar, but despising the temple and neglecting the sa

crifices, they hastened to be partakers of unlawful diversions."*

set upon

* Vide Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, Dissertation XV.-It may

be proper to observe, that the first part of the 23d verse is by the Septuagint rendered as follows: “ At the end of their kingdom, “ when their iniquities are filled up," i. e. the iniquities of the four kingdoms. Accordingly, in the very year that Paulus Æmilius vanquished Perseus, the last king of Macedonia, and thereby put an end to that kingdom, the temple of Jerusalem was, by command of Antiochus Epiphanes, consecrated to Jupiter Olympius, and his image


altar : : thus the daring iniquities of these kingdoms were filled up.

I shall here give my reasons for rejecting the application of the little horn of the he-goat, to the religion and spiritual empire of Mahummud.

1st. The little horn was to arise at the latter end of the four Greek kingdoms, symbolized by the four horns of the goat, Dan. viii. 23. Now Mahummud did not appear till near seven centuries after the fall of the last of these kingdoms. To get quit of this chronological ob. jection, Mr. Faber translates the Hebrew phrase in the above clause, Dnia 170x) in the futurity of their kingdom: that is, according to his view, in some period subsequent to the termination of these kingdoms. I myself believe that the word ning will bear no such meaning, nor does Mr. Faber support his argument by the authority of any version ancient or modern. The literal rendering of the words is at the end of their reign, or exactly at the period when their reign or dominion ceases. It is rendered by the Seventy

I have already observed, that it is not my purpose to enter into the consideration of the present vision of Daniel, any further than is necessary to elucidate the more immediate object of my researches. I now, therefore, proceed to that part of it which has an immediate relation to the inquiry concerning the twelve hundred and sixty years.

Dan. viii. 13. “And I heard one saint speaking, “ and another saint said unto that certain saint

which spake, How long (shall be) the vision (con“ cerning) the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the “ host to be trodden under foot ?" Bishop Newton remarks, “ In the original there is no such word as


εσχατων της βασιλείας αυτων, and no other version that I have seen gives a different sense.

2dly, The spiritual daily sacrifice of the Christian Church, never was taken away by the false religion of Mahummud, That religion is indeed an abomination, but it is an abomination without the church. Neither the Saracens nor Turks have interfered with the worship or doctrines of the Greek Church, or refused to tolerate its worship. It is impossible therefore to show, that they have in any sense whatever taken away the daily sacrifice of the church, and placed in it the abomination of desolations. To affirm that the conquest of the Greek empire by the Mahomedan power, was the taking away the daily sacrifice of the Church, is to mingle things secular and spiritual, in a manner which iņtroduces utter confusion into the symbolicaj style of prophecy.

3dly, The Roman power, by conferring on the Pope the title of Head of the church, and by introducing idolatry into the Greek and Latin churches, had taken away the daily sacrifice, and placed the abomination of desolations in both these churches, before the ap pearance of Mahummud.

For these reasons, which I advanced nine years ago, and to which it appears to me that no sufficient answer has ever been given, I must continue to think, that the novel application of the foregoing symbol to the Mahomedan power, plausible as it certainly is at first view, has yet no foundation in truth.

concerning ;” and Mr. Lowth rightly observes, that the words may be rendered more agreeably to the Hebrew thus: “ For how long a time shall the “ vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken away, and “the transgression of desolation continue?” &c. The answer to this question is, “Unto two thousand “ three hundred days” (or, evenings and mornings); " then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Bishop Newton maintains that, "as the question was asked, “ not only how long the daily sacrifice shall be "taken away, and the transgression of desolation "continue ; but also, how long the vision shall " last? so the answer is to be understood, and these “two thousand and three hundred days denote the “ whole time from the beginning of the vision to “ the cleansing of the sanctuary.” In the justice of this observation I entirely concur. The cleansing of the sanctuary is a symbolical phrase, the meaning of which cannot be misunderstood. It will receive its accomplishment when the visible church of Christ shall be freed from those Gentiles which were to tread it under foot, during the space of forty-two prophetical months, or twelve hundred and sixty years.

The cleansing of the sanctuary, therefore, begins at the same time with the finishing of the mystery of God,* namely, on the sounding of the seventh Apocalyptic trumpet, (when the destruction of the papal power takes place,) and on the sitting of the judgment mentioned in Dan. vii. 9, 10, for at that period the wrath of God goes forth against the apostate nations of the Roman empire, and the time is declared to be come, to give reward unto his

* Rev. X. T.

servants the prophets, and to them that fear his name, and to destroy them which destroy the earth.*

This is further apparent from what is communi. cated to Daniel, by the angel Gabriel, in the 17th verse of the chapter under consideration. It is there said, that the vision (shall be) unto the time of the end, i. e. it shall reach-unto the time of the end. Now the time of the end is that of the seventh trumpet, and of the judgment mentioned in Dan. vii. and also of the seven vials of wrath. Therefore we may conclude that this vision of Daniel reaches to the close of the period during which the saints were to be given into the hand of the little horn, Dan. vii. 25. i. e. to the end of the twelve hundred and sixty years. Consequently the two thousand three hundred days of the vision must be prophetical days, used for years; and these two thousand three hundred years end precisely at the same time with the twelve hundred and sixty years.

Now in the series of scriptural propositions which were discussed in the last chapter, I arrived at the conclusion, that the twelve hundred and sixty prophetical years expired in the year 1792, it therefore follows, that the two thousand three hundred years which are shown to conterminate with the former period, must also have ended in the same year 1792.

But if this conclusion be right concerning the close of these two prophetical periods, then the commencement of the two thousand three hundred years, when calculated backward from their supposed termination, ought to be found to coincide with the opening of the vision of the ram. Accordingly, if

* Rev. xi. 18.

« PreviousContinue »