« НазадПродовжити »
been inventing for 1800 years, will probably issue in the PARTICULAR OG PERSONAL ANTICHRIST, an avowed and open opposition to the Lord; the Man of Sin in his fulness, and gathering under his banner all that wickedness which has hitherto been working in secret.
We see now how infidels and Papists have united together; liberals contributing to the erection of Roman Catholic chapels, schools, and nunneries; Roman Catholies, with the added strength of liberals, ejecting the Bible from the schools, and seeking to divert the property of the Established Church to other purposes, and to remove remaining vestiges of our national acknowledgment of Christ.
 Abroad Popery unites with infidelity as well as with despotism, to accomplish its objects. The Paris correspondent of the Record, March 12, 1836, says, “The whole liberal and radical press seems no longer to object to the restoration of the Papal power, now that the Pope's Belgian, Irish, and lastly French policy, indicates a transference of confidence on the part of his holiness, from crowned heads to the democracy and its leaders.”
Every where we see an open advance in the expressions of infidelity. The growth of piety will more and more call forth the enmity of Satan, and that enmity will become more marked and more vivid, till it assumes its last shape and its highest rage. The ten horns, or kingdoms of the Roman empire, shall hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. This seems to imply the progress in that wasting of Papal dominance and wealth, which we now witness, till it be exhausted. We are also told that the ten horns have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast (Antichrist in his last form). "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Rev. xvii. 13-16.
The author sees then considerable ground for the opinion entertained by some, that there may yet take place a heading up, as it were, of the Prophecies in these last days; a concentrated and combined exhibition of the apostacy, of short continuance, under avowed INFIDELITY, in a more glaring and blasphemous defiance of God, and possibly under some individual person, and accompanied with bitter  sufferings of the church.* After these statements let us say, however, with
* The author gives the following extract of a letter from the able correspondent of the Record, dated Paris, Oct. 2, 1838.
“So utterly in fact has the Christian faith been abjured in this country that an Editor of one of the most popular journals here, and a distinguished author, declared to me a few days ago, in conversation, that he was strongly of opi
Irenæus, “it is more certain, and without danger, to wait the fulfilment of the prophecy, than to guess at it." Whether there be any farther exhibition of Antichrist or not, the very uncertainty leads us still to be in the posture of looking and waiting for our Lord's coming.
In the mean while our duties are perfectly clear, to come out of the Antichrist already exhibited, whether in its more open manifestations of Popery and of infidelity; or in its more subtle workings of a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. 2 Tim. iii. 5. The spirit of antichrist is in the natural heart of all men: we are all opposed to entire self-renunciation, simple dependence on the righteousness and strength of our divine Redeemer, crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts, and hearty confidence and trust in the love of our heavenly Father, and devotedness to him, and it is dislike  to these things that is the root of Antichrist: we have theresore within our own hearts the very seeds of Antichrist.
May we also be prepared for whatever assaults and temptations may yet come upon the church, in these last days, so as to be faithful to our divine Lord. May we pray much for grace to stand fast in the Lord, a direction given by the apostle in immediate connection with looking for the Saviour. Phil. iii. 20, 21; iv. 1.)
The final destruction of Antichrist, and of all opponents of the Lord Christ at his coming, is the burden of many a prophecy through the sacred volume, and is made palpably clear in the apostolic statement, “Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Thess. ii. 8.
nion that the world was travailing to the production of a new religion, which would finally abolish Christianity. I told him that I agreed with him thus far: that new doctrines, which might be called a new religion, might at no distant time overspread many nations to such an extent as to blot out over wide tracts all who believe in the Christian Revelation; but that far from looking forward to the consummation with hope as a promise of good to mankind, I anticipated it with the utmost horror, as the most dreadful darkness and delusion that could fall upon the human race. 'Oh! then,' said he, 'I perceive you are a believer in that absurd fable about Antichrist?"\And you also,' I replied; 'the religion which you have described and which you tell me you are expecting-what is but Antichrist?' I relate to you this anecdote, because it affords a striking example of the utter ignominy into which Christianity has fallen in the estimation of highly intelleciual, and in every worldly sense respectable Frenchmen."
THE SCRIPTURAL MEANING OF TIME.
 The scriptures distinguish between time in the reckoning of man, and time in the account of God, and it is very important in the interpretation of prophecy to keep this distinction in view. Thus Psalm xc. 4, “A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday.” We are especially charged, “Be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day, (2 Peter iii. 8.) There are set before us man’s day, ay@portivas npeepas (1 Cor. iv. 3.) comprehending the whole period of the absence of our Lord; the day of salvation, (2 Cor. vi. 2.) the present season of grace; the day of vengeance (Isa. Ixiii. 4.) a period of wrath; and the day of the Lord, (1 Cor. v. 5; 2 Cor. i. 14.) comprehending a period yet to come, when our Lord shall be manifested. There is also the day of elernity, nuper cuavos, (2 Peter iii. 18.) Thus, in God's reckoning of days, Adam died in body, as well as by immediate spiritual death, on the day in which he sinned; nor has any son of Adam every reached that one thousand years in man's reckoning, which is but as  one day in the view of God. This very first threatening in the Bible may lead us to see that there is a deeper view of time than appears on the surface, and we may get into a false literalness by confining God's words in one part to the letter, without taking in view those further discoveries of his will which shew a fuller meaning and design.
It is manifestly God's purpose, with regard to some of his predictions, that the period of their accomplishment should, at the time they were given, be in a great degree hidden. There were many wise and holy ends in this, especially that the church might be kept in a waiting, hoping posture. It could not have been profitable to have had them opened till the time of the end. Daniel xii. 9. Besides this, knowledge was then to be increased. ver. 4. We may then presume that a mystery was to be unfolded. Our Lord himself, when expressly asked by the apostles, declines telling them then those times and seasons (Acts i. 6.) which the Father had put in his own power. St. Peter, alluding apparently to Daniel's inquiry, “What shall be the end of these things?" (Dan. xii. 8.) says, “the prophets have inquired and searched diligently.... what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.... to whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you." 1 Peter i. 10, 11. The answer given to Daniel illustrates this. Dan. xii. 9-13. The prediction was explained in some measure, but still sealed up-so that hereafter there would only be needed the unfolding of the truth already given.
The times mentioned in the Book of Daniel are as follows: 1. Seven times, (Dan. iv. 16.) which were to pass over Nebuchadnezzar, when he was driven from men and a beast's heart was given to him. As Nebuchadnezzar is expressly called the head of gold, this seems plainly to denote the season during which the Gentile dominion of the four monarchies should be corrupt and worldly, as afterwards exhibited in the four beasts coming up from the sea.
2. Time, times, and dividing of times, (Dan. vii. 25; xii. 7.) This is the half of the larger period.
3. Two thousand three hundred, a numeral which stands by itself and might be equally applied to days or years, since the term evening and morning appears to apply to the whole, when compared with the reference made to it at the close of the chapter. Dan. viii. 14, 26.
4. Seventy weeks, seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week, and the dividing of a week; where the term week in itself may denote days or years. Dan. ix. 24.
5. A thousand two hundred and ninety days. Dan. xii. 11.
6. The thousand, three hundred, and five and thirty days. Dan. xii. 12.
The terms in the first four instances are in themselves quite ambiguous and general. There is nothing to determine, respecting the number 2300, and the seventy weeks, whether years or days be intended; but analogy would lead us to suppose that all were to be interpreted on a common principle.
In the law we have many analogies which may help us in the interpretation. We have six days followed by a sabbath day, and six years followed by a sabbatic year of rest, (Lev. xxv. 4); seven sabbaths were to be numbered from the Passover,  and the fiftieth day was the feast of Pentecost, and seven sabbaths of
years, and then the fifty years a Jubilee year. Lev. xxv. 8, 9. The spies searched the land forty days in unbelief, and a penalty of forty years wandering in the wilderness was inflicted, a day for a year. Numb. xiv. 34. Ezekiel was ordered to lie on his side 390 days to bear the 390 years iniquity of Israel, and forty days for the forty years iniquity of Judah, each day for a year. Ezekiel iv. 5, 6. The seventy sevens of Daniel are by common consent, weeks of years. The period of 2300 consists of two parts, one of the daily sacrifice, restored in part, and the other of desolation, and it is so connected with the seventy sevens as to lead us to interpret both
The word year tres in symbolical prophecy seems purposely avoided, till the close of revelation, and time given instead, to shew us it is not a mere year. The days are also reckoned in a way quite unusual when days exceed the length of a year, if only literal days were meant: 1,260 instead of three years and a half; 2,300 instead of six years and so many days.
The seven times have a correspondence with the three times and a half, being their double; now the latter terminate with the kingdom of Christ, and the former seem evidently to commence with the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, and to denote the whole season of the bestial debasement of the corrupt Gentile kingdoms. The seven times would then answer to the times of the Gentiles mentioned by our Lord, (Luke xxi. 24.) and the latter three and a half to the latter times mentioned. 1 Tim. iv. 1. It
appears from Dan. xii. 7, that the close of the three times and a half is closely connected with the  gathering of the Jews; and from Zech. i. 18—21. that the power of the four Gentile monarchies is then broken: and this confirms the extended meaning of both. God looks at the whole course of this world's history as but a few days.
Daniel, when he heard the period of the times and a half announced by the angel, understood not, and on inquiry received the answer, The words are sealed to the time of the end: and an intimation is given that even when unsealed, only the wise would understand. We thus learn that the meaning couched under this expression was purposely concealed for a time, but was afterwards to be unfolded to the wise. The promise is not of a fresh revelation, but of an explanation of a period already given. And there seems to have been a wise end in this veiling of the time, as it would have been staggering to the faith, and deadening to the hopes of the Israelites, if the whole of the interval had been openly and explicitly declared.
The last chapter of Daniel compared with the tenth of Revelation, gives a still clearer warrant for the enlarged or Protestant interpretation of the times. The prophet writes thus: "And one said to the man clothed in linen which was
upon waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these 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 swore by Him that liveth