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years, and that the restoration of the Jews will commence at the expiration of that period. In other words it will follow, that the period of the wonders is the same as the period of the 1260 years; and consequently that the end of the period of the wonders, or the time of the end, denotes the termination, not the continuance, of the period of the 1260 years.
This will yet further appear from comparing together what Daniel says relative to the time of the end and what he says relative to the expiration of the 1260 years.
If all the wonders are to be finished at the close of the 1260 years, and if they are likewise to be finished at the time of the end; it is manifest that the time of the end must so synchronize with the expiration of the 1260 years, that it must commence exactly when the 1260 years terminate.
Dan. viii. 17.
Accordingly we shall find, that the wonders, which are generally declared to be finished at the close of the 1260 years, are severally declared to be likewise finished at this very time of the end. Thus the vision of the ram and the he-goat, which comprehends the wonders of Mohammedism or a portion of the wonders of the 1260 years, is to reach unto the time of the end.* Thus the reformation from the great apóstacy, or the prophesying of the two witnesses, is to continue in a progressive state to the time of the end.† Thus the little horn is to have the saints given into his hand during the space of three times and a half: and, although his dominion is to begin to be taken away before the expiration of that period, even at the era of the Reformation, yet it will not be completely consumed till the end. Thus the war of the atheistical king with the kings of the south and the north, his invasion of Palestine and Egypt, and his subsequent destruction between the seas, are at once to take place at the time of the end, and to synchronize with the restoration of the Jews; which will commence at the expiration of the 1260 years, or at the time when all the wonders are finished. § Thus the prophecies of Daniel are to be sealed, or, in other words,
Dan. vii. 25, 26.
+ Dan. xi. 35.
§ Compare Dan. xi. 40-45. with xii. 1, 6—9.
not receive their full accomplishment so as to be completely understood, till the time of the end. And thus the prophet himself is commanded to wait patiently till the end, with an assurance that he shall stand in his lot at the end of the days.†
In absolute strictness of speech then, the end is the very moment when the 1260 years expire: but Daniel teaches us to extend it somewhat more widely. He styles this termination both the end of the wonders and the time of the end; by which it appears we must understand the time at or about the end or the cutting off of the 1260 years: for he informs us, that both the two little horns will be destroyed, and that the whole expedition of the wilful king will take place, at this time of the end; events of such magnitude, that, although they may commence at the end of the period of the wonders, they plainly cannot be finished in a single day or a single year. He does not indeed acquaint us what precise length of time will be occupied in the full accomplishment of these important events, but he teaches us that 75 years will elapse between the termination of the 1260 years and the commencement of the time of blessedness or the Millennium.‡ Hence it seems most reasonable to conclude, that these 75 years constitute what Daniel styles the end or the time of the
Dan. xii. 4, 9.
+ Dan. xii. 13. "The end (Ketz not Aarith) of the days." This curious passage both shews plainly, that the end or the time of the end cannot mean the whole period of the 1260 years; and gives some warrant to Mr. Mede's opinion, that the first resurrection, which immediately precedes the Millennium, and which consequently takes place during the lapse of that intermediate period which I believe to be styled the time of the end, will be a literal resurrection of the saints and martyrs. Daniel will certainly not stand in his lot during the 1260 years: but he is directed to wait for that purpose till the end: therefore the end cannot mean the 1260 years.
Much the same argument may be deduced from the time specified for the unsealing of Daniel's prophecies. If they are to remain sealed till the time of the end, and if the time of the end denote the whole period of the 1260 days, as Mr. Mede supposes; then they will be opened either at the beginning, or during the lapse, of the 1260 years: but we know, that even now they are not perfectly opened, and moreover that they will not be perfectly opened till after the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy at Armageddon, which takes place subsequent to the expiration of the 1260 years, and at some era during the lapse of the 75 years which intervene between the end of the 1260 years and the beginning of the Millennium: therefore the time of the end cannot denote the whole period of the 1260 years, but must denote the intervening period of 75 years, in the course of which the now partly sealed prophecies of Daniel will be completely. opened; that is to say, so fully accomplished as to be completely understood,
Dan. xii. 11, 12.
end; as being that short portion of intermediate time, which cuts off and divides the great period of 1260 years from the great period of the Millennium.
Concerning the two first prophecies of Daniel and the little horn of the fourth beast.
THE prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar, and the vision of the four beasts, equally predict, that, from the era of the Babylonian monarchy to the commencement of the Millennium, there should be four, and no more than four empires, universal so far as the Church is concerned.
The first, or Babylonian empire, is symbolized by the golden head of the image; and by the lion with eagle's
The second, or Medo-Persian empire, is symbolized by the silver breast and arms of the image; and by the bear with three ribs in its mouth.
The third, or Macedonian empire, is symbolized by the brazen belly and thighs of the image; and by the leopard with four wings and four heads.
And the fourth, or Roman empire, is symbolized by the iron and clayey feet of the image, branching out into ten toes; and by the fourth beast diverse from all the others, being compounded of the three preceding symbols, a lion, a bear, and a leopard,* and having ten horns.
The accuracy, with which the three first sets of these double hieroglyphics describe the three first great monarchies, has been so amply shewn by writers upon the prophecies, that it is superfluous for me to discuss the subject afresh: I shall therefore confine myself to the history of the fourth empire, symbolized by the feet of the image, and by the ten-horned beast.
* See Rev. xiii. 2.
The account of this fourth empire in Nebuchadnezzar's dream is simply, that it should be as strong as iron, and break in pieces and bruise the three preceding empires; but that it should afterwards be divided into ten kingdoms, answering to the ten toes of the image, which, like a mixture of clay and iron, should not be equally powerful, but partly strong, and partly weak: that the sovereigns of these different kingdoms should be perpetually contracting matrimonial alliances with each other, but that nevertheless they should not cohere together the better on that account; for, although one or two of the kingdoms might be thus united together under a single government, yet that the principle of adhesion should be so completely destroyed, that there never should be a fifth universal monarchy like the four preceding ones: on the contrary, that the only fifth empire should be of a spiritua nature, which was to break in pieces and consume all the other kingdoms, and stand, itself, for ever.
To see how exactly the whole of this prophecy has been accomplished, excepting the last particular which is still future, we need only read the modern history of Europe.
The account of the fourth empire, in the second prophecy of Daniel, varies from that, in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, only by the introduction of another power, not mentioned before among the ten sovereigns, which is termed a little horn. The description given of this eleventh power is, that it came up among the other ten horns: that three of the first horns were plucked up before it : that it had eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things: that its look was more stout than its fellows and that it "made war upon the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came,
* "Whereas thou sawest iron mingled with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay." (Dan. ii. 43.) The interpretation of this passage, which I have adopted, seems to me by much the most simple and natural. (See Bp. Newton's Dissert. in loc.)
+ The empire of Charlemagne forms a seeming exception to this statement: but, as we shall hereafter see, that empire is predicted under the symbol of the last head of the great Roman beast, a head that should be commensurate with the whole beast. After the death of Charlemagne, his vast dominions soon fell asunder, and the Roman empire again returned to its divided state,
and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." Upon Daniel's inquiring the meaning of this symbol, he is informed by the interpreting angel, that it represents a power, which was to rise up behind the ten kings, and was to subdue or depress three of them that it was, in some respect or another, to be different from all the rest of the kings: that it was to speak great words by the side of the Most High that it was to wear out or persecute the saints of the Most High: that it was to change times and laws and that it was to continue in the possession of a tyrannical authority until a time, and times, and the dividing of time, or three prophetic years and a half; in other words, till the commencement of the time of the end, which ushers in the reign of the saints or the apocalyptic millennium: for, since the little horn was to prevail both to the beginning of this reign of the saints, and to the end of the three years and a half, it is manifest, that, when the three years and a half end, the reign of the saints will be about beginning.* Exactly at the same time, the Roman beast, or the fourth great empire, from among whose ten horns the little horn was to arise, will be slain; and that on account of the sin which he has contracted by tolerating and sanctioning the great words spoken by his little horn:† for the Roman beast in his revived state, and his little tyrannical horn, are each to continue in power during the very same period of three years and a half or 42 months; consequently they are to begin and end their career together.§
At the termination then of this period, the fourth beast and his little horn will be utterly destroyed, and given to the burning flame; and the triumphant reign of Christ, or the kingdom of the mountain, will commence. ||
* Compare Dan. vii-21, 22 with Ver. 25, 26.
"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.
This revived state of the Roman beast is expressly mentioned by St. John, though not particularly noticed by Daniel. (See Rev. xiii. 1. and xvii—8, 11.) The subject of his revival will be resumed hereafter.
Dan. vii. 25-- Rev. xiii. 5.
|| I may here repeat, what I have already observed, that, after the expiration of the 1260 years, God's controversy with the nations, in the course of which the beast