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positively determine the point, it seems to me most natural to compute it from some time or another during the settled existence of the Persian empire. The prophet represents the two-horned Medo-Persian ram, not as rising from the sea, but as standing by his river : in other words, he does not speak of the origin of the united monarchy, which is a fixed determinate period ; but of some period, which he does not specify, in the course of its regular and settled government.* Now the Medo-Persian ram rose out of the political sea of nations in the year A. C. 536, when the two kingdoms of Media and Persia, the two horns of the ram, were united under the single government of Cyrus; whence that year is termed the first year of Cyrus :t but he continued standing upon the bank of his symbolical river, till the he-goat “ smote him, and brake his two horns, and cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him." This happened, in the year A. C. 330, when the unfortunate Darius, after the last decisive battle of Gaugamela, was basely murdered by Bessus, and the Persian empire thus completely extinguished. The ram therefore continued standing from the year A. C. 536 to the year A. C. 330 : but he continued standing undisturbed only till the year A. C. 334, when the Macedonian he-goat began to smite him by invading his territories, and by gaining his first victory over him at the River Granicus. I If then we ought to seek the date of the vision during the standing of the ram, or the settled existence of the Persian empire, it will be found somewhere between the
* The ram, or, as he is termed in the former vision, the bear, is said, in the prophetic language, to arise out of tbe sea; to denote the rise of the Persian empire amidst wars and tumults : but, when Daniel beheld him in bis present vision, he was standing by the river ; to denote, that the Persian empire had already arisen, and was then standing in a tranquil, regular, and firmly established, state. (See tbe preceding remarks upon the two symbols of the sea, and a river, in the 2d chapter of the present work.) To rise out of the sea, and to stand upon the bank of a river, certainly denote, according to the analogy and precision of symbolical language, two very different states of an empire, the one posterior to the other. Tbe river Ulai, near the palace Shushan, is here used as a symbol of the Persian monareby, in the same manner as the apocalyptic Expbrates represents tbe Turkish empire. Rev. ix. 14. and xvi. 12.
+ Anno A. C. 536, Cyrus, Cambyse patre in Persia et Cyaxare socero in Media vita functis, Orientis monarchia potitus est : a qua et aegnis illius annos septem, in 8o. Taidelas ipsius dinumerat Xenophon ; et primum illius annum, ex ipsis Medoritini et Persarum archivis, sacra deducit Scriptura. Usser. Annal. p. 146.
#Usser Annal. p. 285, 286, 312, 321, 323, 324.
Hear A. C. 536, when the ram began to stand, and the Hear A. C. 330, when he was completely overthrown.*
Now, if I be right in dating the 1260 days from the year 606, the year in which the Mohammedan abomination of desolation commenced, the year in which the Roman beast revived, the year in which the saints were given into the hand of the papal little horn; the 1260 days will expire in the year 1866. These 1260 days, as we have already seen, synchronize with the last 1260 days of the 2200, 2300, or 2400, days, whichever of these numbers be the proper reading ; because, as we are expressly informed by the two interpreting angels, the 2200, 3300, or 2400, days, and the 1260 days, both equally bring us down to the time of the end, and consequently terminate together. This being the case, we have only to compute backward 2200, 2300, and 2400, years from the year of our Lord 1866 ; and, according to the epochs to which they respectively lead us, we shall be able to decide with some degree of probability which of those three numbers is the true reading, and consequently from what era we are to date the vision of the ram and the he
If then we compute backward 2200 years from the year of our Lord 1866, we shall arrive at the year A.C. 334 : if 2300 years from the same period, at the year A. C. 434 : and if lastly 2400 years, at the year A. C. 534. All these three dates, namely the years A. C. 334, 434, and 534, fall within the period, during which the ram continued standing upon the bank of his river; for he stood there, as we have seen, from the first year of Cyrus or the year A. C. 536, to the murder of Darius in the year A: C. 330 when the Persian monarchy was dissolved : we must be guided therefore by circumstances in making our choice among them. The year A. C. 534,
The Persian monarchy is not reckoned to have ended till the death of Darius ; so long therefore the ram may be considered as standing : for, although the be-goat began to “ smite” him in the year A. C. 334, he had not finally “cast him down to the ground" till the year A. C. 330. Hence Abp. Usher observes from Justin, that Darius was seized by Bessus in Thara or Dara, a town of the Parthians, as if it had happened by a kind of fatality, that the empire of the Persians should end in the land of those, who were destined hereafter to be their successors. Fato quodam factum hoc fuisse, ut in terra eorum, qui successuri imperio erant, Persarum regnum finiretur. Useer. Annal. p. 321.
to which we are led by adopting the reading of the Seventy or 2400 days, is the third year of Cyrus ; a year, in in which nothing very remarkable' happened, and from which therefore we can scarcely suppose the vision to be dated.* The year A. C. 434, to which we are led by adopting the reading of the Hebrew or 2300 days, is equally devoid of any striking incident that peculiarly affected the empire of the ram ; from this year therefore we can with as little reason suppose the vision to be dated as from the former year. But the year A. C. 334, to which we are led by adopting the reading mentioned by Jerome or 2200 days, is big with events most materially important to the Persian monarchy : for, in this very year, the Macedonian he-goat " came from the West on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground;" in this very year, he first w ran unto the ram in the fury of his power," and smote him upon the banks of the river Granicus :hence I cannot refrain from thinking it most probable, that the year A. C. 334, in which the hegoat began to attack the ram as he was standing in the hitherto undisputed possession of his authority, is the real date of the vision ; and consequently that the number 2200 is the true reading. I
* It was in this year that Daniel saw the vision with which his book concludes : but it seems harsh, merely on that account, to date from it the present vision, which he saw in the third year of Belshazzar, or in the year A. C. 553. Had he seen them both in the third year of Cyrus, I should have thought the year A. C. 534 a probable date.
+ Alexander, says Dean Prideaux, “ flew with victory swifter than others can travel, often with his horse pursuing his enemies upon the spur whole days and nights, and sometimes making long marches for several days one after the other, as once he did in pursuit of Darius of near forty miles a day for eleven days together. So that by the speed of his marches he came upon his enemy before they were aware of him, and conquered them before they could be in a posture to resist him. Which exactly agreeth with the description given of him in the prophecies of Daniel some ages before, he being in them set forth under the similitude of a pantber or leopard witb four wings : for he was impetuous and fierce in his warlike expeditions, as a panther after its prey; and came on upon his enemies with that speed, as if he flew with a double pair of wings. And to this purpose he is in another place of those prophecies compared to a be-goat coming from the West with that swiftness upon the king of Media and Persia, that he seemed as if his feet did not touch the ground. And his actions, as well in this comparison as in the former, fully verified the prophecy." (Cited by Bp. Newton.) So astonishingly rapid indeed was the progress of Alexander, that, between the years A. C. 334 and 330, he began and completed the conquest of the whole Persian empire.
It is rather a curious circumstance, that this very year, to which I have been led by calculation, is one of the three years, which Bp. Newton conjectured to afford probable dates for the commencement of the period of 2500, 2200, or 2100, years. Sce Dissert. xv.
The sum of what has been said respecting the date of the 1260 years amounts then to this. Since the desolating transgression of Mohammedism is to flourish 1260 years, since the saints are to be delivered into the hand of the papal little horn for the space of 1260 years, since the Roman beast is to practise prosperously in his revived state during the same space of 42 prophetic months, and since the two horns and the beast are all to perish together at the time of the end, which commences at the termination of the 1260 years ; it seems necessarily to follow that the date of those years can only be an era. marked by the following triple coincidence :-the rise of the desolating transgression of Mohammedism :-the commencement of the papal little horn's spiritual universal empire ;-and the revival of the Roman beast by conferring upon his little horn that spiritual universal empire, or, in the language of prophecy, by giving the saints into his hand. If therefore we pitch upon any era not mark. ed by this triple coincidence, we shall have reason to suspect that it cannot be the true date of the 1260 years ; because, since the 1260 years of Mohammedism, the 1260 years of the papal horn, and the 1260 years of the revived Roman beast, all apparently terminate together at the time of the end, they must in that case all necessarily begin together.
This however is not the only test which the prophet has given us to ascertain the true date of the 1260 years. He has checked (if I may use the expression) this period by another larger period, which comprehends it, and which terminates along with it. This larger period is stated by three different readings to be 2200, 2300, or, 2400 years.
Thus it appears, that, after we have discovered an era for the date of the 1260 years marked by the triple coincidence of the rise of Mohammedism, the giving up of the saints into the hand of the papal little horn, and the revival of the Roman beast by thus giving up the saints : we must next examine, whether a computation deduced from this era will make the larger period of 2200, 2300, or 2400, years, and the smaller period of 1260 years, rightly correspond together. This must be done by first
computing forwards 1260 years from the date which we have pitched upon, and afterwards by computing backwards 2200, 2300, and 2400, years from the era to which the first computation brought us down : for, since this era is equally the supposed termination of both the periods, it is evident, that, if we compute backwards from it the number of years which compose the larger period, we shall arrive at the beginning of that period. Three different numbers of years however are assigned by three different readings to the larger period. If then the second computation backwards from the era, to which the first computation forwards brought us down, bring us, through the medium of any one of the three numbers mentioned by the three different readings, to an era from which the vision of the ram and the he-goat may be reasonably dated; we shall have attained to a very high degree of probability, both that that reading is the true one, and that we have pitched upon the right date of the 1260 years, because the two periods, larger and smaller, are found upon trial exactly to check each other. But if, on the contrary, the second computation backwards from the era, to which the first computation forwards brought us down, does not bring us, through the medium of any one of the three numbers mentioned by the three different readings, to an era from which the vision of the ram and the he-goat may be reasonably dated ; we may then be morally certain, that we have not pitched upon the right date of the 1260 years, because the two periods, larger and smaller, are not found upon trial to check each other.
Now I am strongly inclined to believe, that the year of our Lord 606 is the only era which answers to both these tests. It was in this year that the Mohammedan abomination of desolation was set up ; and it was in this year that the Roman beast revived by giving the saints into the hand of the little papal horn. Moreover, if we first compute forwards from this era 1260 years, we shall arrive at the year 1866, the supposed termination both of the larger and the smaller period ; and, if we next compute backwards 2200 years from the year 1866 in order to arrive at the commencement of the larger period, the computation will bring us to the year A. C. 334,