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our spiritual kings and priests being clothed in sackcloth, nor, it may be added, in their being covered with ashes; because their glory consisted not in externals; their riches, strength, perseverance, success, stood in a power communicated to the soul purely by the influence of a Spirit, which the world neither seeth nor can see : and, happy would it have been for millions, if their crown of rejoicing here had never been worn with other garments and adornings than those of sackcloth and ashes. Besides, this phraseology harmonises perfectly with that language of the New Testament which belongs to this period.
With regard to the latter of these two periods (ver. 8– 10), it corresponds, in all its parts, so exactly with that in which Satan is said to have been let loose, that it appears to me impossible to avoid the conviction that this period must have been meant. In the first place, it is said, ver. 7: “ The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and (apparently) kill them" (see Rev. xiu. 7, 8; xx. 7–9): where we have relations perfectly parallel ; and in the first, the period of his confinement, is termed a thousand years. Now, if we turn back to chap. xiii. 4, we shall find the victory ascribed to the beast, during, as I suppose, the period of his liberty; “Who,” it is said, “is able to make war with him ?” Some of the saints have been slain (the witnesses are thought to be dead); and here the victory is, accordingly, assumed. At ver. 5 (chap. xiii.), however, this power, &c., we are told, is to continue no longer than forty-two months, i. e. the prophetical years or days, three and a half, as mentioned before : and this is manifestly the latter half of the period predicted. It has already been remarked, that St. Peter, speaking of the first period (or millennium, according to my view), mentions a day, in allusion perhaps to a passage in Zechariah (xiv. 6, 7), as well as to another in Psalm xl. 4; both of which can be shewn, I think, to allude to none but this period. That the context of St. Peter belongs to it, it is impossible to doubt; and, from his phraseology, it is equally impossible to suppose, that he intended to be understood as speaking of a strict chronological period. The passage in the Revelations is, beyond all doubt (with me at least), an allusion to this place in St. Peter ; because, it must fall in the very same
period : and, if this be the case, it must also be identical with the day mentioned by Zechariah, and the generation marked by our Lord (Matt. xxiv. 14, 34), at the expiration of which the general persecutions were to commence, but during which his disciples should enjoy the kingdom, and judge the tribes of Israel. Again, in Rev. xii. 6, we have another allusion to the latter period of persecution; and there it is limited in continuance to one thousand two hundred and sixty days (the period of three and a half prophetical years, or one half of the week of Daniel): and here, ver. 7-9, the Destroyer is cast out. In ver. 12-17, this period is denominated short, and is measured ver. 14 by a time, times, and half a time; i. e. the number three and a half, as before.
In Rev. xx. 3, this period is said to be a little seuson ; whence I think we may conclude, that these periods must have been intended to be considered as identical. * It would be almost endless to cite all the instances quoted from the Prophets, and explained by the Evangelists and Apostles, as relating to these times, or alluded to in this book : some of them have already been adduced, and in number sufficiently great, it is believed, to identify the predictions with the allusions made to them, and the periods limited for their fulfilment in the less involved declarations of the New Testament. One circumstance more we may notice here; and, as this is one of great importance in our inquiry, we shall the more readily be excused in doing this.
In the predictions made by Daniel, and indeed by all the prophets, the end, times of the end, latter days, last days, the end of the world, and the like, are constantly adverted to:t and, from other places we learn, that from this period whenever it should happen, another termed the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of the saints, a new heaven, new Jerusalem, &c. should commence ; and that this state of things should continue for ever. I In Dan. vii. 26, 27, these two
* If it be objected, that these periods bear no just proportion in their continuance to those laid down by Daniel, my answer will be: If the Prophet did not intend them to mark strict chronological periods, there can be no probability that he intended they should be mathematically proportional.
+ See the remarks offered on this phraseology at p. 56, &c. of this work.
circumstances are closely linked together and determined ; so much so that they seem inseparable: and, as the times of the tyranny of the last empire, of the end, &c. have been so precisely determined by our Lord, no doubt ought to remain that the commencement of the new empire has also been so determined. See chap. viii. 24–26; ix. 26, 27; xi. 30—35; xii. 6—13; compare with Matt. xxiv. 3--14, 15—34. Luke, i. 33, &c.
We now proceed to notice a few of those predictions on this subject which have been limited in the New Testament; and then to endeavour to determine the limits of some others which have not been there determined. In Acts, ii. 16–36, we have two prophecies,-one of Joel, and another of David, -applied to the apostolic age, which is there (ver. 17) termed the last days (in Joel 17 708, afterwards thus). Now, I would only entreat the reader to con- • sider in how many instances this prophecy has been enounced and applied both in the Old and New Testament, not excepting the Book of Revelation, and carefully to note whether it does not, in every case, apply to the same period, and to the very same particulars. In like manner let the
of heaven, as having been established throughout the world in the times of the Apostles. Those of a later date join them in this, but reserve the times of the millennium to some period still future, in which Antichrist, of whom they seem to have entertained very vague notions, was to be destroyed. So Justin Martyr, speaking of the conversions made to Christ in his days, says: και εύχομαι κατά ΠΑΝ ΓΕΝΟΣ ανθρώπων τοιούτους δείξαι τι γαρ και λίγομεν το αναρίθμητον πλήθος των εξ ακολασίας μεταβαλόντων, και ταυτα μαθόντων. Apol. p. 28. And Ephræm Syrus on Dan. xii. 9: “Sermones clausi signatique, alii pertinebant ad regnum statuto tempore casurum, quodque prædictum fuerat a Christo evertendum ; alii ad ipsum Christum ejusdem eversorem.” And on chap. ii. 34, 35: ... “ Lapis excisus sine manibus, Dominus est ... de stirpe videlicet Abrahami natus ... Et implevit universam terram. Quod ad evangelii promulgationem referendum est, per quam Christi imperium in omnes mundi partes celerrime propagatum est.” And again on chap. vii. 14 : “ Prophetia tamen in Domino consummata est; ipsi namque data est potestas et imperium in omnes populos, nationes, et linguas juxta illud : Data est mihi, &c. Matt. xxviii. 18. Philip. ii. 10. Luc. i. 33." Tertullian's testimony to this effect will be found in the Bishop of Lincoln's work, pp. 91--4. And it is a fact worthy of remark, and noticed by Eusebius as such (compare Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cap. 37, with lib. iv. capp. 7, 22), that during the apostolic age, and for some time after, heresy, which he ascribes to the immediate agency of Satan, made no considerable progress.
other prediction be examined (ver. 25, &c.), and carefully let the bearings of the passages alluded to be observed. In Acts, iii. 24, we are told, that all the prophets have foretold of these days ; a circumstance difficult to be accounted for on any other view of the prophecies.
In 1 Cor. x. 1-11, we are instructed, that Christ followed the Israelites in the wilderness, &c.; and then it is added : “All these things happened unto them for ensamples ; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom THE
ARE COME” (τα τέλη των αιώνων rarávanocv). Again, Heb. i. 1, 2: “God, who at sundry times ... spake by the prophets, hath in These LAST DAYS spoken unto us by his Son.” And ib. ix. 26 : “ Now once in THE END OF THE WORLD huth He appeared to put away sin.” 1 John, ii. 18:“It is THE LAST TIME:.... we know that it is THE LAST TIME.” That the apostolic times are meant by these expressions, it is impossible to doubt ;* and that some of the passages here adduced have been appealed to by the author of the book of the Revelation, is equally clear.
The following are a few passages which seem also to relate to this period. Gen. xlix. 1, 8-12. Comp. Deut. iv. 30. xxxi. 29. xxxiii. 7 ; Num. xxiv. 14, 17; Dan. ii. 28. x. 14, &c.; Hos. iii. 5. So also Is. ii. 2; Micah, iv. 1; Zechariah, xiv. 1-11; Malachi, iv. 1–6, compared with their several parallels. To these very many others may be added, which, if they relate to the apostolic times, and to those parallel places found in the book of the Revelation, will afford us a chain of evidence identifying the fulfilment of the visions there given, which must be irresistible.
Another question may now be raised; but on this we shall not say much ; viz. Whether any particular prophecies still remain unfulfilled ? I believe there are none; for these reasons : Ist. The 'expressions of Scripture intimate that at
Some have supposed, by a very lax method of interpretation, that any of the times of the Christian dispensation may be meant by this phraseology. We have an end, or completion, here had in view; we have, moreover, predicted, the establishment of a new heaven and earth,-a new kingdom, which is never to end. That this signifies the last dispensation, there can be no doubt; but how it can be called the end, the time of the end, or the like, I am at a loss to discover, particularly as the time of the prophetical end has so exactly been determined in the New Testament.
this end of time, days, &c. vision and prophecy should be sealed, or cease (Dan. ix. 24).* And again, Luke, xviii. 31. xxi. 22, “ For these be the days of vengeance, that ALL THINGS which are written may be fulfilled." Ib. xxii. 37. xxiv. 25—27, 44; Acts, iii. 21-26; Rom. xv. 4; 1 Cor. x. 11. xiii. 8; Rev. x. 6, 7. xvi. 17. “ It is done,” xxi. 1-6. And 2dly. I know of no such prophecies occurring in the sacred volume. General prophecy, indeed, stands now there in all its primitive extent and force; but of that which relates to particular events, I cannot find so much as a jot or tittle unfulfilled. There is, however, one often cited as decisive to the contrary, viz. Is. xi. 9 : “ The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” See also Hab. ii. 14. I must remark here, that the chapter in which this is found manifestly refers to the times of our Lord and his Apostles, and that it has been so applied by inspired authority :t see Rom. xv. 10, 12, &c. And if this
* We have in our version, “the vision and prophecy;" which is incorrect; for in the original no definite article is attached to either of these words. The passage stands thus : N22771ņ ohny, to seal (or finish) vision and prophet. The translators seem to have been led astray here by attending to a similar passage in chap. xii. 9. But there, the words are sealed to the time of the end : here we are told what is to come to pass at that time : in that case, too, we have the definite article regularly affixed (0497707), but in this we have not. So Theodoret on the place: @pazioses ögato mai προφήτην, τουτέστι, του δούναι μεν τίλος “ΑΠΑΣΑΙΣ ΤΑΙΣ ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕΙΑΙΣ· τέλος γαρ, κ. τ. λ. (Rom. Χ. 4.) παύσαι δε λοιπόν την προφητικήν χάριν από των Ιουδαίων έθνους.... πληροί τοίνυν, και οιονεί σφραγίζει, και βεβαιοι τα υπό των προφητών προρρηθέντα, ποιών άπαντα και πάσχων τα υπ' εκείνων χρησμωδηθέντα. So also Ephrem Syrus on the passage, and Tertullian adversus Judæos, who held the same opinion. I may now offer a remark on the words, " And to anoint the most holy." This, as it stands, is ambiguous; it may signify either the most holy person, or thing: our translators seem to have understood the most holy person, i e. of Christ;
(), or holy of holies, i.e. the sanctuary. Now, if the Jewish temple was to have an end, or rather to be perpetuated under the new form of the Christian Church, this prediction must relate to the Church, and not to the old sanctuary; and if so, it had its fulfilment in the unction first given on the day of Pentecost.
† The Holy mountain mentioned in this verse is identified by Theodoret with the Rock upon which Christ's Church is said to be built, see Matt. xvi. 18. "Εοικεν η ευαγγελική φωνή του Κυρίου επί ταύτη τη πίτρα οικοδομήσω μου την εκκλησίαν, κ. τ. λ. όρος τοίνυν άγιον το υψηλόν και ισχυρών και ακίνητος της θείας
,(קדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים) while the original clearly intimates the most holy thing