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wbich is one of the most probable dates that could have been assigned even a priori to the larger period, for it was in this very year that the he-goat began to smite the ram as he was standing upon the bank of his river.
The propriety of fixing upon the year 606 as the date of the 1260 years will be yet further manifest, if it be shewn that, to all appearance at least, no other era whatsoever can answer to the tests furnished by the prophet. Mr. Mede supposes, that the 1260 years ought to be dated from the year 455 or 456, when the power of Rome was completely broken by the Vandals though the name of Emperor was yet continued.* Independent however of this opinion's having been confuted by the event, † the erroneousness of it might easily have been detected even when it was first advanced. The year 456 was neither marked by the rise of any power which answers to the description of the desolating transgression connected with the he-goat's little horn, nor by any formal giving up of the saints into the hand of the papal horn ; nor yet, when it is checked by the larger period, according to any one of its three readings, will it bring us to an era from which the vision of the ram and the hegoat can be reasonably dated. Bp. Newton seems to hesitate between the ycur 727, when the Pope and the Romans finally broke their connection with the Eastern Emperor; the year 755, when the Pope obtained the Exarchale of Ravenna ; the year 774, when he acquired by the assistance of Charlemagne the greatest part of the kingdom of Lombardy ; and the year 787, when the worship of images was fully established, and the supremacy of the Pope acknowledged by the second council of Nice : of these different dates however he is inclined to prefer the first. Now, upon examination, not one
• At least he seems to hesitate between this year, and the years 365 and 410. He was induced to look to so early a period from an idea, that, as soon as be that letted was taken out of the way, the man of sin should immediately be revealed. St. Paul however does not specify any precise time. He only intimates, in general terms, that tbat Wicked One should not make his appearance till after the removal of bim ibat letted. See Apostacy of latter times Part. I. Chap. 13, 14.
If tbe 1260 years be dated from the year 456, they will expire in the year 1716. That year however has certainly not been the time of the end." Both the little borns are still in existence, and the Jews are yet scattered over the face of the earth
| Bp. Newton's Dissert, Ixvj. 3,
of them will be found to answer to the tests furnished by the prophet. In none of these years, except the last, were the saints given into the hand of the papal horn ; and, as for the acknowledgment made by the council of Nice, it was only a repetition of the grant already made by the sixth head of the beast : in none of them did
any abomination of desolation connected with the little horn of the he-goat arise : and none of them will bear to be checked by the larger number according to any one of its three readings. There is yet another date fixed upon by Mr. Mann, which prima facie was more probable than any of the preceding ones. About the year 539 or 534,* the Emperor Justinian declared the Pope to be the head of all the churches : whence it seemed not unlikely, that the 1260 years ought to be dated from that era. + This opinion however, like that of Mr. Mede, has both been confuted by the event, and might have
* Mr. Sharpe asserts, that this happened in the year 540. (Append. to three Tracts on the Hebrew pronunciation p. 30.) Exactly the same objections apply to this year as to either of the others.
+ See Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xiii.
# If we compute the 1260 years from tbe gear 533 or 534 we shall arrive at the gear 1793 or 1794, when neither the series of events (Dan. xi. 40–45. Rev. xvi. 17--21. xviii. xix.) which terminate in the destruction of Popery and Mobammedisma had commenced, and when the restoration of the Jews was still future. The remarkable events, which lately took place in the year 1798, led many to suppose, that Popery was then overthrown, and consequently that the 1260 days must be expired. Hence Dr. Valpy and Mr. King named tbe year 538 as the era from which that period ought to be dated. Much the same opinion was entertained by the Archdeacon of Northumberland and Archdeacon Daubeny. I need not therefore be ashamed to mention, that I also had once adopted a similar opinion. Our error arose from not sufficiently attending to the general tenor of prophecy. The expi. ration of the 1260 years is to usher in, not only tbe downfall of Popery, but likewise the subversion of Mobammedism, the overfbow of the Infidel tyrant, and the commencement of the restoration of the Jews. These events moreover, or at least the greater part of them, are to take place in Pelestine, not in Europe. Hence it is manifest, that the 1260 years have not yet expired. I cannot refrain from transcribing the judicious remarks of Dr. Zouch upon this subject. « Though the reduction of Rome in 1798, and the consequent subversion of the papal power in that city, have been declared to be events which determine the final accomplishment of the prophecies relative to the fall of Antichrist, it should be remembered that similar events have occurred in former times. Rome has been frequently taken and plundered by a foreign enemy; and perhaps the late conquest of it was attended with less atrocious acts of rapine and horror, than those whích history records, as the dreadful concomitants of its former subjugations. The historian thus describes the enormities committed 3t Rome, when it was laid waste in 1527. Quanta fuerit militum Germanorum ac Hise panorum atrocitas et violentia Romæ , verbis explicari vix potest. Nam præter borrendas lanienas, direptiones, libidines, devastationes, contumelia ac ludibrii genus nullum in Pontificem Cardinalesque reliquamque turbam prætermissum fuit.” (Preface to Zouch on Prophecy.) When Dr. Zouch wrote, Cardinal Chiaromonte had been elected Pope in
been confuted before the event. Mr. Mann's assertion I do not contradict, but I doubt whether he has not greatly mistaken the nature of Justinian's grant. Phocas declared the Pope to be at once head of all the churches which is a title of dignity, and sole universal bishop which is a title of authority : whereas Justinian conferred upon him only the first of these titles, styling at the very same time the patriarch of Constantinople head of all other churches.* A comparison is accord. ingly drawn very judiciously by Brightman between the grant of Justinian and the grant of Phocas : in which he states, that the former only gave the Pope precedence over all other bishops, and did not, like the latter exclusively, constitute him Universal Bishop.t Upon examining the passage in the Novello to which he refers, I find him perfectly accurate. The Emperor is simply laying down the precedency of the different patriarchs and prelates throughout his dominions. Of these, the patriarchs come first ; next, the archbishops ; and last, the bishops : and, of the patriarchs, the first place is assigned to Rome ; and the second, to Constantinople. I Thus it appears, that the supposed grant of universal episcopacy dwindles into a mere question of empty precedency. Indeed had Gregory himself borne the title of Universal Bishop, or had it been generally borne by his predecessors, he could not, in common decency, have cen
the year 1800, but had not yet been enthroned at Rome : we have since beheld Popery formally reestablished in France, and a compact entered into between the present usurper of the throne of the Bourbons and the sovereign pontiff.
• « Omnium aliarum caput." This plainly shews, that in the mind of Justinian both the titles were mere titles. Head of all the churcbes, and Head of all the other shurcbes, remind one of Primate of all England, and Primate of England. The two first as little confer universal episcopacy in the Roman empire, as the two last do in our own country. Nay even the title of Ecumenical seems to have been borne both by the patriarch of Constantinople and by the other eastern patriarchs ; and consequently, when borne by more than one, was a mere title. Phocas was the first, who gave it exclusively to the Pope, and forbad all other prelates to assume it.
* « Anno 606 to, - hic (Phocas) Bonifacio III. concessit, ut Romanis Universalis Episcopus haberetur : non solum ut ordine ac honore reliquos antecederet, uti decrevit Justinianus primatum sacrarum synodorum definiens, sed cuitotus orbis sua diæcesis foret." Apoc. Apoc. Fol. 205.
“Sancimus, secundum earum (scil. sacrarum synodorum) definitiones, sanctissimum senioris Roma Papam primum esse omnium sacerdotum : beatissimum autem archiepiscopum Constantinopoleos novæ Romæ secundum habere locum post sanctam apostolicam senioris Romæ sedem : aliis autem omnibus sedibus præponatur.” Justin. Novell, Tit. 14. Constitut. cxxxi. Cap. 2.
sured his Byzantine brother as the precursor of Antichrist for assuming it. In addition to this reason, the prophetic tests afford the same insurmountable objection to the date proposed by Mr. Mann as they have already afforded to those proposed by Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton. No desolating transgression connected with the little horn of the he-horn arose in the years 533 and 534 ; nor will either of those years bear to be checked by any of the numbers which the different readings assign to the larger period. It is somewhat remarkable, that, although Bp. Newton acknowledges that “the religion of Mohammed will prevail in the East for as long a period of time as the tyranny of the little horn in the West,” and although he is struck with the wonderful coincidence of « Mohammed's having first contrived his imposture in the year 606, the very same year wherein the tyrant Phocas made a grant of the supremacy to the Pope ;" yet he is unwilling to date the 1260 years from that era, merely because the Pope did not attain to the height of his temporal dominion till the eighth century.* The saints however were given into his hand, not surely by the grant of the Exarchate and the kingdom of Lombardy which in itself conveys not an atom of catholic spiritual power in the Church, but by constituting him supreme in ecclesiastical matters by making him a Bishop of all other Bishops : and the prophet expressly informs us, that the 1260 years are to be dated from the era, when the saints were thus given into his hand. +
Dissert. xvii. " A time times and a balf are three propbetic gears and a half; and three prophetic years and a balf are 1260 prophetic days; and 1260 propbetic days are 1260 years. The same time therefore is prefixed for the desolation and oppression of the eastern cburcb, as for the tyranny of the little born in the western church : and it is wonderfully remarkable, that the doctrine of Mohammed was first forged at Mecca, and the supremacy of the Pope was established by virtue of a grant from the wicked tyrant Phocas, in the very same year of Christ 606.” Ibid.
+ Mr. Bicheno has proposed a scheme differing both from mine, and from those of all the preceding authors.—He supposes, that the 1260 years are to be computed from the year 529, when the code of Justinian, which he styles the strong bold of clerical tyranny, was first published. They terminated consequently in the year 1789, when the French revolution took place. To the 1260 years thas commencing he adds 30 years, in order to complete Daniel's 1290 years. This second operation brings us down to the year 1819 ; at which period he conceives that tbe antichristian powers (against whom the judgments of God began to go forth at the close of the 1260 gears in the year 1789) will be finally broken, and that tbe restoration of tbe Jews will commence.-From tbe year 1819, when the sanctuary will be completely cleansed by
The result of the whole is, that, since the year 606 is the only era which perfectly answers to the prophetic
the overthrow of the Papacy which he assumes to be the desclating transgression men. tioned in Dan. viii. 13. and xii. 11, he next computes backwards 2300 years, in order to arrive at the beginning of the vision of the ram and the be-goat. This third operation brings us to the year A. C. 481; at which period Xerxes set out to invade Greece, for Mr. Bicheno supposes that the wars of that prince are foretold in Dan. viii. 4, 20.- Lastly to the 1290 years, terminating in the year 1819, he adds 45 years, in order to complete Daniel's 1935 years. This final operation brings us down to tbe year 1864 ; when tbe restoration of the Jas (to which he assigns the space of 45 gears) will be completed, and when the distant heathen nations will be converted to Christianity. (Signs of the times Part I. p. 52–61.)
I feel some degree of unwillingness to urge any objections against this scheme of Mr. Bicheno; because so very short a space of time, about 10 years only, will either practically demonstrate it to be right (at least so far as the restoration of the Jews is concerned,) or effectually preclude the necessity of any verbal confutation. With my present views of the subject, it certainly appears to me erroneous in every point ; and it is my firm belief that the rapidly approaching year 1819 will prove it to be 80.-I first object to the era, from which the 1260 years are computed. The Justinian code, says Mr. Bicheno, granted vast powers and privileges to the clergy, and perfected the union between things civil and ecclesiastical. All this may be very true: but how can a grant of privileges to tbe clergy in general, borb in the east and in the west, be a delivering of tbe saints into the hand of the papal born in particular, whose jurisdiction was confined to tbe patriarchate of the West ? Mr. Bicheno replies, If Justinian did not declare the Pope bead of all the churches in the gear 529, be certainly did as early as the year 534. Now, even supposing that Justinian bad conferred the power of Universal Episcopacy upon ibe Pope, which he certainly did not for he granted him nothing more than an empty precedence over all the other patriarchs, what has this to do with the date which Mr. Bicheno has chosen ? If tbe 1260 years be computed from the year 534, they carry us beyond the year 1789; and an error of five years as effectually invalidates a numerical calculation as an error of five centuries : if they be not computed from the gear 534, but from the year 529, they will no doubt bring us exactly to the year 1789; but, in that case, what can an event which happened in the year 534 have to do with a date which is declared to be the year 529?--I next object to the supposed termination of the 1260 years. Though I think Mr. Bicheno perfectly right in supposing that the judgments of God will begin to go forth against his enemies at the end of the 1260 years, and that 30 years will elapse before those enemies are finally destroyed ; I believe him to be quite mistaken in assigning the termination of those 30 years as the proper date of the commencement of the restoration of the Jews. Daniel plainly teaches us, that tbe Jews will begin to be restored, not at the end of the 30 years, but at tbe beginning of them; that is to say, not at the end of the 1290 years, but at the end of ibe tbree times and a balf or ibe 1260 years. (Dan. xii, 6, 7.) Accordingly, after having described the expedition and overthrow of the king who magnified bimself above every god as taking place at the time of the end or at the termination of ibe 1260 years, he adds that at that same time the nation of the Jews should be delivered. (Dan. xi. 40—45. xi. 1.) What probably led Mr. Bicheno into his mistake was his referring the expression at tbat time (xii. 1.) to the overtbrow of the king (xi. 45.) instead of referring it (as he ought to have done) to the beginning of the king's expedition or the come mencement of tbe time of tbe end. (xi. 40.) That the latter reference is the proper one, is manifest both from the subsequent declaration of Daniel (xii. 6, 7.) and from the unvarying tenor of all the prophecies which speak of the restoration of the Yews. They unanimously represent them as being opposed in their own land, and even besieged in their own capital city, by the anticbristian confederacy : hence it is plain, that their restoration must have commenced, not contemporaneously with the overthrow of that confederacy, but some time previous to its overthrow; otherwise how can the various matters, which are predicted respecting them, receive their accomplishment ! How long indeed before this overthrow their restoration will commence, the unchro rological prophets no where tell us; but Daniel, as we have seen, amply makes up