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before the total diffolution of the Jewish ftate-or while the second temple was yet standing: And, when it was determinately foretold to be after the expiration of Seventy weeks, from the going forth of the commandment to return'ond to build Jerusalem, still, besides the prophetic and somewhat obscure fense of the word weeks, we cannot beforehand calculate exactly when these weeks commence [9], or in what term they are to be accomplished. Yet, notwith standing these uncertainties, the Jews faw

:[?] “ Whatsoever time of Mefliah's appearing Al

mighty God pointed out by Daniel's Lxx Weeks, yet

I believe not that any Jew, before the event, « could infallibly design the time without some lati* tude; because they could not know infallibly where very clearly, and, from them, the rest of the world conceived an expectation, that the person predicted was to appear in that age, or about that time, in which he did appear, and which, from the tenour of the prophecies, they had computed would be the time of his appearance.

to pitch the head of their accounts, until the event 6 discovered it: yet in some latitude they might. Mede, Works, p. 757.

And so in other instances. " I do not believe that " the Jews themselves could certainly tell from which " of their three captivities to begin that reckoning of “ LXX years, whose end should bring their return " from Babylop, until the event assured them thereof." Mede, Works, p. 662.

very

In like manner, the season of Antichrift's appearance in the world is left to be collected from general intimations; and, when the duration of his tyranny is limited to twelve hundred and fixty days, besides that the expression, as before, is ænigmatical, we have no means of fixing the commencement of that period fo precisely, but that fome doubts may arise about it, till the accomplishment of the prophecy shall give light and certainty to · the computation. Yet fill, as in the former case, we have fuch data to proceed upon in calculating the reign of Antichrist, as may let us see about what time it was to be expected.

Thus

Thus much being premised, I have now only to remind you of what the prophets expressly declare concerning the rise of Antichrist. The eldest of these, the prophet Daniel, says it was to be in the time of the fourth kingdom, that is, of the Roman; which, for the convenience of the prophetic calculations, is considered as subfisting, though in a new form, under the ten kings, among whom it was to be divided. He further tells us, that Antichrift was to arise from among, and after, the ten kings; that is, we are to look for him then (and not before) when the Roman empire has undergone that change of government [r].

Next, St. Paul, it seems, had told the Thessalonians, what it was that, for a time, prevented the appearance of Antichrist : But that information hath not been transmitted to us. However, he says to them-re know what witb-boldeth that he might be revealed in his time : and fur[r] Dan. vii.

ther this

ther adds, He, who now lettetb, will let, until be be taken out of the way [s].

Now, by putting these passages together, and by comparing them with the predictions of Daniel, not we of these later times only, before whom the man of fin is supposed to be evidently displayed, but the early fathers of the church, long before the events happened to which these prophetic notices could be applied, clearly saw, or at least generally conjectured, that the impediment, here mentioned, was the then subsisting power of the Cæsarean government; which, they said, was first to be taken away, and then Antichrist would be revealed [t].

Lastly, the Apostle St. John not only confirms the prophecies of Daniel, that Antichrist should arife out of the ten kings, who were to have the western empire shared out among them, but adds

[s] 2 Theff. ii. 6, 7.

[1] Sermon VII. p. 15-17. But see especially Mede's Works, p. 657.

1

this remarkable circumstance, That he should ride the ten kings (u); which implies, that he should co-exist with them: And it further appears, that he was to receive his whole power from them, and was finally to be destroyed by them.

Now, turn to the history of the fourth kingdom, and see how it corresponds to these prophecies. Observe, when the western empire under its Cæsarean head, was taken away; how it was, afterwards, dismembered by the northern nations; by what degrees it fell at length, into ten, that is, many diftinct, independent kingdoms ; at what time this partition was made, or rather fully settled and completed. . From this time, and not before, you are to look for Antichrist, now gradually rearing himself up among the ten kings; and at length, in a condition, by the power, which they gave to him, to ride, that is, to direct and govern them. From this time, again, compute the 1260 years, the predicted

VOL. II.

[w] Rev. xvii. 7.

O

period

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