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(Dan. viii. 14) as commencing from the restoration of the sacrifice, continued in the desolation, and closing with the cleansed sanctuary. If this date be reckoned from Ezra's decree, 457 years before Christ, it terminates in 1843. A third date I will add. The half of the times of the Gentiles is 1260 years, a date frequently brought before us in Daniel, and the book of Revelation, as descriptive of the duration of Antichrist. The East has always been the scene of what is more visible, and open, and less spiritual and mystical, in God's revelations. And the Mahommedan Antichrist has fixed the era himself when his own rise is to be dated, by the Hegira, in the 622d year of our Lord. As the Turks and Arabs calculate not by solar, but by lunar years, the present is the universally proclaimed 1257th year of Mahommedanism, and its 1260 years expires also in 1843.* At the close of this 1260 years, Daniel explicitly shows that the Antichrist who wears out the saints of the Most High (Dan. vii. 25), and the
* The commencement of the seven times, or 2,520 years reckoned by lunar years, may be taken in the year 599 before Christ, as Nebuchadnezzar then first besieged Jerusalem, and took JUDAH 'captive to Babylon, and as Ezekiel dates his reckoning of the captivity from this period (Ezek. i. 2). Thus there are 1260 years from the captivity of Judah to the Hegira, and 1260 years from the Hegira to 1843.
Wilful King who exalts himself above even God (Dan. xi. 36), shall have accomplished his time to scatter the power of the holy people. (Dan. xii. 7.)
If these dates be correctly calculated, the predictions connected with them would show us that whatever previous turbulences may arise, the first steps towards the restoration of the Jews may commence, probably under the resumed dominion or protection of the leading powers of the Western Roman empire over Palestine, within three years of this time. That restoration also leads on, at a comparatively brief interval, to those momentous events which characterize the last days of the Gentile apostacy, and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ to our world.
But I would further endeavour still to guard what I have said. I give these expositions of dates, not as divinely revealed truths, but as suggestions of signs of the times, that are calculated to excite and increase our earnest attention, and to quicken our watchfulness. Ever let us carefully distinguish between the events and the times when they shall take place. The events are certain ; there is a decreed hiddenness about the exact time. Our Lord's first coming was certain ; but the time was so mysteriously revealed, that only the pious were in a state of expectancy, waiting for the consolation of Israel. Our Lord's second
coming is certain; but no man knows the day or the hour, yet to them that look for him, he will appear the second time without sin unto salvation. 1, and those who think with me on this subject, may be quite mistaken in any suggestions about the dates ; but, should it be so, let not our faith be in the least shaken as to the events themselves, which shall assuredly take place.
We must now hasten to consider the last part of our subject.
III. THE GLORIOUS RESULTS WHICH WILL FOLLOW.
They may be viewed in two respects :-The glory which thereby redounds to God, and the effects on the world at large.
1. THE GLORY WHICH REDOUNDS TO God. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them.
THE PUBLIC NATURE OF THE FINAL RESTORATION of Israel is here made clear. It shall be before all the nations of the earth. It will not be confined to one kingdom, or interest only one nation. This publicity is often spoken of. All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye. In that time shall the present be brought unto
the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled. (Isaiah xviii. 3, 7.) It is a sign and token to all nations of the near approach of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the full triumph of his kingdom. Great as was their deliverance from Egypt, it affected but one part of the earth. Every nation will be affected by their future restoration. Every nation will have a sensible and manifest witness and proof of Jehovah's faithfulness and lovingkindness to Israel. Very decided is the testimony which Micah bears to this (vii. 15–17), According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things. The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might : they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth : they shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and shall fear because of thee.
THE JOY OF THE LORD IN ISRAEL'S REDEMPTION is stated : It shall be to me a name of joy. God delighteth in mercy.
His joy is in receiving and saving returning sinners. It is his pleasure to accomplish all his purposes of grace. O that this love of God were more shed abroad in all our hearts by the Holy Ghost! You see something of it in the father receiving and joyfully embracing the prodigal son; you see it in the conversion of St.
Paul, and his becoming a chosen vessel. But the highest exhibition of it is yet to come, when the posterity of those who murdered his only-begotten Son are to be received again. What a view Zephaniah presents of this (iii. 17): The Lord thy God in the midst of thee (Jerusalem) is mighty ; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will rejoice over thee with singing. Surely this overflowing goodness to returning sinners should draw and win our hearts also. In restored Jerusalem being a name of joy, we have the very heart of God opened to us.
God also accounts it A PRAISE AND HONOUR TO HIM. In their restoration all his glorious attributes and perfections will be illustrated and displayed. Recovered Israel will, in the sight of all nations, be such a full manifestation of the truth of God's covenant love, of the riches of his abounding mercy, of the deep wisdom of all his providence, of the righteousness of all his dealing, even with his elect people, and of the comprehensive and widening reaches of all his goodness, as will, through eternity, bring glory to his great name. It will be such an unveiling of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God and his completed righteousness, that, in the strong language of Jeremiah, the very name