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lxvi. 15, 16), and again a crisis at the close (Rev. xx. 9) of the millennial kingdom. (Matt. xxiv. 21; Luke xxi. 22—24; Daniel xii. 1; Jer. xxx. 7; Rev. xix. 20; xx. 9.) Soon the Lord descends visibly on Mount Olivet, with his glorified saints, (Acts i. 11; Zech. xiv. 4, 5; Isaiah Ixiv. 1; lxvi. 15; 1x. 13; Ezek. xliii. 7-9,) in the sight of his people Israel, (Isaiah lxvi. 18, 19; Zech. xii. 10–14; Isaiah xxv. 9; Matt. xxiii. 29; Rom. xi. 26; Isaiah lix. 20; Zech. ii. 10–12.) These, humbled at length by their great affliction, and brought to penitence by beholding their pierced Saviour, welcome his return. Zech. xii. 10–14; Jer. xxxi. 8–12; Acts iii. 19--21; Isaiah xii. 2, 4; Psalm cxvii. cxviii. xcvüi.; Rev. xix. 1, 3, 4, 6. Oh glorious consummation of the Divine patience and faithfulness! How amazing the riches of his loving kindness to them! How fearful too his judgment, when his fire consumes his enemies! Satan is then bound, and our Lord, rewarding all his faithful followers for every loss and sacrifice made for him, begins his glorious millennial reign, with his saints over the earth, and over the nations who have escaped those awful judgments which have consumed his foes. Isaiah xxxii. 1; Dan. vii. 18, 27; xii. 4; Luke xxii. 28–30; John i. 51; Rev. xi. 18; xx. 4, 6. But, though the spiritual blessedness of this reign far exceeds that of any former dispensation, and the new heavens and earth begin in the heavenly reign of the saints, and the glory of the land of Israel (Isaiah Ixv. 17-19,) yet the spirit of rebellion still secretly lurks among the [212] nations (Zech. xiv. 17–19), which, aster ripening for a time, is at length permitted to display itself, by the loosing of Satan for a little season, that it may then be put down for ever. Rev. xx. 9. Our Lord reigns till he shall have completely put all enemies under his feet; Satan himself is cast into the lake of fire; the final judgment of all the dead takes place, and then death and hell, and whosoever is not found written in the book of life, are cast into the lake of fire. Rev. xx. 10–15. The new heavens and the new earth, being now perfected, and there being no more sea (Rev. xxi. 1.) the Holy City descends, and the happiest state arrives, when Christ surrenders the mediatorial kingdom, and God is all in all, and his saints reign for ever and ever. Rev. xxi. xxij. 5. These are some of the immensely important events which are connected with the coming of our Lord. Though the details of them may be more hid in obscurity, the events themselves are clearly revealed. And if these events are before the church and the world, they ought to be made known, that men every where may be awakened from their present slumber, and free from the wrath to come.

TO BE NEAR THEIR CLOSE.

In the close of this chapter it may be useful to refer the reader to CERTAIN SPECIFIC DATES which have been SUPPOSED

The circumstance of so many scriptural dates having probable terminations about the same time, and the possibility that these terminations may be near, both calls for attention, and, in proportion as we see they have a real foundation, they are well calculated to impress our minds and increase our watchfulness. Yet the author would be far from dogmatising on such dates.

1,260 years.-Rev. xiii. 5. [213] This date occurs frequently, and in three different forms. Dan. vii. 23—25, time, times, and dividing of a time, Rev. xii. 6, 1,260 days; Rev. xiii. 5, forty-two months. All, after the length of the Jewish year and month, point out 1,260. This date refers to the duration of Popery.

If we take its rise in 533 it reaches to 1793, when Popery began to fall; if we take its fuller establishment (Rev. xi. 2; xiii. 8.) in 608 to its final fall, it reaches 1868. The interval

is 75 years.

666.-Rev. xiii. 18.

Λατείνος.

This, by the Lutheran expositors, has been considered as a name of date, as well as of person and character.

Three words seem specially intended to be set before us, as having Greek letters that make 666.

-The king who gave name to the Latin empire. ATOstatns. — The character of the power ruling it.

Η λατινη βασιλεια.--The only Greek name of an empire among two or three thousand that has the number 666.

If taken as a date. We have before 1,260 days, a date veiled under a mystery, and afterwards an explicit 1,000 years. In 666 the mystery begins to break: the number of a man counted by human reckoning.

If taken as a period both of rise and fall.-In its rise from 533-666 brings us to 1198-9, the time of Innocent III. Popery was then at its height, the inquisition was established, there was a crusade [214] against the Albigenses, and the number was applied by that Pope to Mahomedanism, as expected to be then near its end from the time of its rise.

From 1198—9, 666 brings us to 1864, just before Daniel's time of blessedness, leaving us only a period of half a week, mentioned in Daniel ix. 27, for the infidel persecution, from which the Philadelphian church was saved (Rev. iii. 10; xviii. 20,) but the Laodicean part left in it to be purified, and to be the last gathering of the church to the marriage supper.

2,300.-Dan. viii. 13. There are two things in this number, the restoration of the daily sacrifice, and the time of desolation. The first, the restoration of the daily sacrifice, was to be determined, or rather cut off (mana) Dan. ix. 24, from the 2,300 years to the completing of the perfect sacrifice of Christ.

If this 2,300 years be taken from Ezra's decree, 457 years before Christ, it will bring us to 1843, the beginning of the cleansing of the sanctuary, and of the restoration of the Jews, and of the approach of the great tribulation. If taken from Nehemiah's completed cleansing in 433—4, it will bring us to 1867-8, the completed Jewish restoration.

390.-Ezek. iv. 5; Rev. ix, 15. This might be rendered (Rev. ix. 15,) The four angels prepared against (us) the hour and day (the hour of judgment and the day of wrath,) were loosed for a month and a year (elautor), that is 390 years.*

If this 390 years commence in 1063, the beginning of the Turkish power, it will bring us to 1453, the height of their power in the fall of Constantinople. [215] And if taken onward, it will bring us to 1843, the time of the fall of the Turkish empire.

1,290 and 1335.-Dan. xii. 11, 12. These years date from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up. This is connected also with the time, times, and a half,

It is the spiritual aspect of, and the counterpart to, the interruption of the temple service and the daily worship; or the rise of Popery in the Christian church, A. D. 533.

From 533, the period of 1290 would bring us to 1822, which is remarkable for the separation of Greece from Turkey; the pouring out of the sixth vial, and the preaching of the second advent.

From 533, the period of 1335 years would bring us to 1868, as the commencement of the full blessedness of the earth. A time no longer, or not 360 years. (x povos oux SOTUL ETI) Rev. x. 6.

The oath in Revelation is in many respects similar to that in Daniel xii. The speaker the same; shewn to be the Redeemer by the rainbow round his head and his face as the sun. It does not mean time should end-events occur after; and delay no longer; seems too vague: but, it may be taken there should be

* See addendum, page 440.

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a time no longer, in the same sense as time, times, and a half. Formerly the angel had said, there were three times and a half, (Dan. xii. 7, now not a single time. Rev. x. 6. This is quite in accordance with the spirit of prophecy, seeking to produce an impression of the nearness of the time. As soon as the times of the Gentiles are within the verge of one [216] time, lest men should think the end was indefinitely prolonged, the angel swears there shall be a time no longer.

The era of this chapter (Rev. x.) is supposed to be that of the Reformation. It follows the two woe trumpets of the Saracens and the Turks, and is the next great event of history. It was then that the little book, or the Bible, in contrast with the larger sealed book of all God's Providence, was first fully opened to the church, and light dawned upon Europe (his countenance as the sun).

If the date of the Reformation be 1517, a time, or 360 years, carries us to 1877, the period within which the mystery of God should be finished. This mystery is described in other parts of scripture. The mystery of the blindness of Israel, and the consequent reception of the Gentiles. Rom. xi. 25. The resurrection of the dead saints, and the change of the living saints, and their being caught up to Christ. 1 Cor. xv. 51; 1 Thess. iv. 17. The union of Jew and Gentile as fellow-heirs and of the same body, and partakers of the promises in Christ. Ephes. iii. 4-9. The marriage union of the church to Christ. Ephes. v. 31, 32; Rev. xix. 7.

These events, the appearance of our Lord, and the first resurrection of the saints, would in this view take place within 360 years from the Reformation 1517, that is before 1877.

Mr. Clinton, one of the ablest chronologers of the present times, gives an additional period of 132 years to the interval in the time of the judges, on the ground of St. Paul's statement (Acts xiii. 20). If this be correct, it would bring the year 1864 to the close of the 6000th year of the world, or the 6th Millennium: 1864 is the date [217] when the 666 years close above, and assigned by Mr. Faber for the time of the end.

If these periods, (except the last, the close of which is less definite,) be correctly commenced, without fixing precise dates for each event, they point out that, within the next thirty years, Popery shall fall, the Jews shall be restored, the Turkish empire shall perish, the time of great tribulation will take place, our Lord Jesus Christ will return to our earth, the saints shall be raised, and the time of their full blessedness, and the kingdoms of this world becoming Christ's kingdom shall have arrived.*

* The time of the rise of the Papacy materially affects prophetical dates. CHAPTER XIV.

ON VARIED INTERPRETATIONS OF THE MORE OBSCURE

PROPHECIES.

[218] The subject of prophecy, in one important respect, is brought at present, in an unfavourable, not to say erroneous aspect, before the public mind. The mass of clear prophecy that has been remarkably fulfilled, is very great. This having been fully developed in former works, to the general satisfaction of men's minds, many modern authors have given comparatively little attention to the plain prophecies that have been clearly fulfilled; but chiefly discuss the more difficult predictions.

Hence a bystander may be ready to think that the whole subject of prophecy is full of nothing but difficulties; but the reading of such books as Keith's first work, and Bishop Newtons's Dissertations, may shew that this is by no means the case, and that there is evidence, irresistible by a candid mind, of God's foreknowledge, and the inspiration of his word, in prophecies, unquestionably written long before the events took place, and already fulfilled in corresponding history,

[219] It is important, however, to remove this stumbling block from the differences of eminently pious and good men on obscurer prophecies, and to lessen the impediment which this presents to the pursuit of so deeply interesting and practical a subject. As it is greatly to be desired that these differences should never be discussed in a spirit that may pain a

The mystery of iniquity was even at work, we know, in the apostolic age (2 Thess. ii. 7; 3 John 9.), but Popish errors began to be sanctioned by authorities in the 6th and 7th centuries. Spanheim mentions these innovations in the 6th century; prayers to saints, public use of images, veneration of relics, purgatory, Litanies to the Virgin Mary, canon of mass. And in the 7th century; the dedication of the Pantheon to the saints; tonsure and celibacy of the clergy were commanded by Pope Martin, and the service in Latin by Vitalian; prayers for the dead and abstaining from meats.

Mr. Lathbury gives the following dates, as the times when Popish errors were made articles of faith by general councils. 700 Invocation of saints

1547 Seven sacraments 787 Image worship

Apocryphal books 1076 Infallibility

Priestly intention 1215 Transubstantiation

1563 Sacrifice of mass Supremacy

Venal sins 1415 Half Communion

Indulgences. 1438 Purgatory

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