« PreviousContinue »
SO soon as
justice”*. Whenever I have gone into detail, I have always however expressed myself accurately on this point. From the contents of the seventh vial, which terminates with the destruction of the beast, the false propbet, and the kings of the earth, at Armageddon, and from the circumstance of its being manifest that that seventb vial must begin to be poured out at some remarkable and determinate epoch; I think we cannot have much reason to doubt that its effusion commences the 1260 years terminate: for it seems more natural to fix their termination to the incipient effusion of the seventh vial which particularly treats of the overthrow of the mystic Babylon, than to that of any of the other vials which do not treat of it, The seventh vial exactly synchronizes, I apprehend, with Daniel's time of the end. The wilful king will then set forth on his expedition against Palestine, which is the same as the contemporaneous expedition of the bestial confederacy; and the Jews will begin to be restored during a
time of unexampled trouble. At the end of 30 years, for I know not why Daniel should else divide his 75 intermediate years into 30 years and
I think it probable, that the wilful king will come to his end and the bestial confederacy be broken at Megiddo in the land of Palestine between the seas, and that the restoration and conversion of Judab will be accomplished. The remaining 45 years seem to be devoted to the restoration of the house of Israel, and the gathering of all nations into the pale of the pure Christian Church. At their
* Dissert. xxvi,
expiration commences the Millennium. “Blessed “ is he that waiteth and cometh to the 1335 days”.
2. In treating of the little born of the be-goat, I have frequently been guilty of another verbal inaccuracy. I have spoken of this born, which I conceive to typify the Mohammedan apostasy, as springing up in the year 606; and I have represented its alotted period as being 1260 years. This, although sufficiently true in the spirit, is not quite true in the letter. Mobammedism or the desolating transgression of the East, arose indeed in the year 606; and will, I believe, prevail more or less 1260 years: but, it did not become a born of the be-goat till about 30 years after its rise. I ought therefore, in absolute strictness, to have said, that the desolating transgression, which afterwards became a born of the be-goat, arose in the year
606: not that the born itself arose in that year. Yet here likewise, when I descend to detail, I express myself accurately*. It is worthy of notice, that the prophet himself never directs us to date the 1260 and the 1290 years from the rise of the little born; but, on the contrary, from the incipient taking away of the daily sacrifice and the setting up of the desolating abominationt.
3. In another part of my exposition of the vision of the ram and the be-goat, I have too positively asserted, that the number, mentioned in Dan, viii. 14, must necessarily be computed from the very beginning of the whole vision. This I now believe to be by no means so plainly the case; though I still retain, as the most probable, the date which I
* Dissert, Vol. 1. p. 253, + Dan, xii, 11.
had pitched upon, namely the year A. C. 334. There is a passage in Daniel, which shews plainly, that we are not absolutely bound to compute a number, connected with a vision, from the
very beginning of that vision. When it is inquired, in the last chapter, how long it should be to the end of the wonders; the answer is, three times and a balf or 1260 years. It is certain however that these years are not to be computed from the beginning either of Daniel's last vision, or of any one of his preceding visions; but from the time whenthe saints were given into the hand of the little born of the Roman beast. I retract the whole note, which commences at p. 207 of my first Volume.
4. My statement of what may be collected from prophecy respecting the restoration of the Jews is very imperfect. While my attention was more strongly directed to the prophecies which treat of the period of the 1260 years, I too implicitly rested satisfied with Bp. Newton's idea that the ten tribes will be no further restored than as included and lost in Judab*. Hence I was led to speak of the restoration of the tribe of Judah only. I have since thoroughly considered the subject, and have studied every prophecy that treats of it. Should life and health by the divine blessing be spared to me, I purpose at some future time to publish A general and connected view of the prophecies relative to the restoration of Israel and the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy. These are represented by Daniel as being contemporary; and, in perfect accordance with him, the two events are so insepa
ably blended together by the other prophets who treat of them, that it is impossible to discuss the one without discussing the other likewise. There is reason to believe from the concurrent voice of prophecy, that, as soon as the 1260 years shall have expired, the tribe of Judab will begin to be restored. We may collect, I think, trom various predictions, that one division of this tribe will be brought back in an unconverted state by the Antichristian faction, which in spite of the opposition of the kings of the south and the north will pass over the narrow channel of the Constantinopolitan sea, and force its way by land into Palestine: while the otber division will be brought back in a converted state by the fleets of some mighty maritime power. The unconverted Jews, whom Antichrist will have placed in Jerusalem and the neighbouring country, will at first oppose their converted brethren; but at length will suddenly see their error, and heartily embrace the religion of Christ. At this period, Antichrist will be prosecuting his conquests in Egypt; when, enraged at these tidings which will come to him in that country from the north and from the east, he will go forth in his rage, and proclaim a crusade against his enemies. Success will at first attend his steps, and he will sack Jerusalem with circumstances of great cruelty. Thence he will direct his course to Megiddo near the sea-coast with a full determination to crush his maritime opponent and such of the converted and fugitive Jews as shall be with him. At this critical moment, the vengeance of heaven will descend upon him, and utterly overthrow his immense army. I think there is great reason for believing with Mr. Mede, that there will
be a visible manifestation of our blessed Saviour in the midst (as of old) of the glory of the Shechinah; though I think my excellent predecessor ascribes this manifestation to a wrong era.
As far as I can collect from prophecy, it will succeed, not precede, the restoration and conversion of Judah; and the object of it will be to overthrow the Antichristian faction, to effect the conversion and restoration of Israel, and to gather all nations into the fold of the Church. It seems to me to be probable, that the first 30 years of the 75 years, which Daniel represents as intervening between the end of the 1260 years and the commencement of the Millennium, will expire with the overthrow of Antichrist and the complete restoration of Judab; and that the last 45 years will be occupied in the bringing back the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and in spreading the glorious light of the Gospel through all the world*. One third part of the Antichristian army will be spared and converted. These will be scattered over the face of the whole earth, and will be instrumental in spreading the wonderful tidings and in moving the nations to begin the task of bringing back the ten tribes. In 45 years, the whole will be effected, and the Millennium will commence. brief sketch I think it superfluous to give any refer. ences, because the subject will be fully discussed in the Work as yet unpublished which I have mentioned above.
To this very
Bp. Horsely most justly asserts, that the ten tribes will be restored distinct from and subsequent to the tribe of Judah, not conjointly as Bp. Newton imagines and as I had imagined from him when I published my Dissertation on the 1260 years. See his translation of Hosea, p. 3, 4, 9, and particularly 59,