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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 e. qually devoid of any striking incident that peculiarly af. fected 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 “ ran unto the ram in the fury of his power," and smote him upon the banks of the riv. er Granicus :f hence I cannot refrain from thinking it most probable, that the year A. C. 334, in which the he. goat 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, inerely 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.
of 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 be 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 panther or leopard with 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-roat 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, thai, 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 protable dates for the commencement of the period of 2500, 2200, or 2400, years. See Dissert. xv.
The sum of what has been said respecting the date of the 1260 years amounts then to this. Since the deso. lating transgression of Mohammedism is to flourish 1260 years, since the saints are to be delivered into the hand
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 marked by this triple coincidence, we shall have reason to
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 be. gin 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
Eman beast by her a compra of 2200
computing forwards 1260 years from the date which we have pitched upon, and afterwards by computing back. wards 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-gout may be reasonably dated; we shall have attained to a very bigb 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 1960 years, we shall arrive at the year 1966, 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, which 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,t 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-gout'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 year 727, when the Pope and the Romans finally broke their connection with the Eastern Emperor; the year 755, when the Pope obtained the Exarchate 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 tbe 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, tbe man of sin should immediately be revealed. St. Paul however does not specify any precise time. He only intimates, in general terms, that that Wicked One should not make his appearance till after the removal of bin ibat letted. See Apostacy of latter times Part. I. Chap. 13, 14.
+ If the 1260 years be dated from the year 456, they will expire in the gear 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. xxvi. 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 533 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, I 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 the year 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 Mobammedism 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 the 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 expiration of the 1260 years is to usher in, irut ouly the downfall of Popery, but likewise tbe subversion of Mobammedism, the overtbow of the Infidel tyrant, and ibe 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 tbe 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 which history records, as the dreadful concomitants of its former subjugations. The historian thus describes the enormities committed at 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 horrendas lenienas, direptiones, libidines, devastationes, contumelie ac tudibrii genus nullum in Pontificem Cardinalesque reliquamque turbam prætermissum fuit." (Preface to Zouch on Pro. phecy.) When Dr. Zouch wrote, Cardinal Chiaromonte had been elected Pope in