HORAE APOCALYPTICAE,

OR

A COMMENTARY ON THE APOCALYPSE,

 

CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL;

 

INCLUDING ALSO AN EXAMINATION OF

THE CHIEF PROPHECIES OF DANIEL.

 

ILLUSTRATED BY AN APOCALYPTIC CHART, AND ENGRAVINGS

FROM MEDALS AND OTHER EXTANT MONUMENTS

OF ANTIQUITY.

 

 

 

WITH APPENDICES,


CONTAINING, BESIDES OTHER MATTER,

A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF APOCALYPTIC INTERPRETATION, CRITICAL REVIEWS OF

THE CHIEF APOCALYPTIC COUNTER-SCHEMES, AND INDICES.

 

 

BY THE REV. E. B. ELLIOTT, A. M.

LATE VICAR OF TUXFORD, AND FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

 

 

FOURTH EDITION,

 

CAREFULLY REVISED, CORRECTED, ENLARGED, AND IMPROVED THROUGHOUT;

AND WITH MANY ADDITIONAL PLATES.

 

 

VOL. IV.

 

SEELEY, BURNSIDE, AND SEELEY, FLEET STREET, LONDON.

 

MDCCCLI.


1851

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HA227

 

In the arrangement of the great calendar of prophecy, and the adjustment of our own position on it, whether nearer to the final end or less near, it is evident that the chronological predictions (I mean those which involve chronological periods) must needs demand our most particular attention. -- First and foremost in importance is the memorable prophecy of the 1260 years of the Beast or Antichrist, six times repeated in the Apocalyptic vision, and three in Daniel. This measures the Beast's reign, in recognized supremacy over the Roman Empire, in its last divided and apostatized state; or rather the reign of the Beast's last Head, Antichrist. And we have seen that by that grand illustrative event of our latter day, the French Revolution, the primary commencement and end of the period may be deemed to have been fixed, on strong probable evidence to about the years A.D. 530 and 1790 respectively, at just 1260 years' interval: the one the epoch of Justinian's Decree and Code,

 

Which was a virtual imperial recognition of the Pope's supremacy, in his then assumed character of Christ's Vicar or Antichrist; {1} the other that of the French revolutionary outbreak and code, giving to the Pope's supremacy and power a deadly blow through Western Christendom: {2} We also saw that in one of his prophecies Daniel appended to what seemed to be the same period of the 1260 years yet a further addition of 30 and 45, or conjointly of 75 years, as if to still to intervene before the times of blessedness: {3} so fixing the year 1865, or thereabouts, as the probable epoch of the consummation. And I think it may be here well worth the reader's while to stop and mark with me the consistency of this view of the

 

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{1} See Vol. iii. Pp. 274-276, with the references.

 

{2} See Vol. iii. 365-377.

 

{3} See p. 106 supra -- I say seemed, because of the peculiar ambiguities and difficulties of that last prophecy. Alike, however, a priori probabilities, and the analogy of the 70 years predicted Babylonish captivity, (see Vol. iii. 274,) favor the idea of there being some such definitely extended time of the end.

 

 

HA228

 

commencing date of Daniel's 75 years of the time of the end, with other prophetic chronological periods, bearing on the time of consummation; -- three more especially. 1st, on our progressing mundane chronology reaching the thirtieth year beyond, A.D. 1790, it meets the end of the long line of 2300 years in one of Daniel's visions, calculated from the epoch of the emblematic Persian ram's acme of conquering power, and which was to mark the destined epoch of the fall of the Turkman empire: -- a view of that prophecy realized by fact, let it be remembered, on the coming and passing of the year 1820. {1} -- 2ndly, on its advancing yet forty-five years further, i.e. at the epoch of about A.D. 1865, it meets the secondary terminating epoch of the 1260 years, calculated from that which may be deemed a secondary commencement of them in the Popedom-favoring Decree of Phocas. {2} -- 3. At that self same epoch of 1865, or thereabouts, it falls in with the probable termination of 6000 years from the Creation, according to the highest literary authority on such a matter: in other words, the concurrence at that chronological point of the opening epoch of the world's seventh millenary, and therefore (as would seem probable) of that of the sabbatism of rest promised to the saints of God.

 

On which last point, as one never yet duly discussed in this Work, I must beg for a while to request the reader's attention.

 

The fact of the Jewish pre-christian church having long and fixedly entertained the opinion that Messiah's kingdom of blessedness would occupy the seventh millennium of the world, agreeably with the type of the seventh day's sabbatism of rest after the six days of creation, is well known. {3}

 

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{1} See Vol. iii. Pp. 413-416.

 

{2} See Vol. iii. Pp. 276-278.

 

{3} So the Rabbi Eliezer, cap. xxviii. p. 41: - "The blessed Lord created seven worlds; (i.e. ages) but one of them is all sabbath and the rest is life eternal." "Where," observes Dr. Whitby on Heb. iv. 9, "he refers to their (the Jew's) common opinion that the world should continue 6000 years, and then a perpetual sabbath begin, typified by God's resting the seventh day, and blessing it." (For perpetual Whitby should have perhaps said a millennial sabbath; it being aiwniov in the sense in which the aiwnev, ages, before mentioned, were each millennial.


HA229

 

And, as I have observed in my preceeding Chapter, {1},  St. Paul's use of the word sabbatismov, sabbatism, to designate the saints' expected glorious time of rest with Christ, might also perhaps be construed that it was Hebrew Christians whom he was then addressing; and that by them the word thus chosen could not but be almost necessarily associated, from long national usage, with some chronological septenary {2} In fact among the Christian fathers that succeeded on the apostolic age, this view of the matter was universally received and promulgated. {3} --


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So in the Midras Till. p. 4, the same Rabbi Eliezer says, "The days of Messiah are 1000 years."*) - Similarly the Bereschith Rabba, quoted also by Whitby; "If we expound the seventh day of the seventh thousand years, which is the world to come, the exposition is, 'He blessed it,' because that in the seventh thousand all souls shall be bound in the bundle of life. . . So our Rabbins of blessed memory have said in their Commentaries on 'God blessed the seventh day,' that the Holy Ghost blessed the world to come, which beginneth in the seventh thousand of years." - Again, Philo is copious on the same subject: stating that the sabbaths of the law were allegories, or figurative expressions. With which view we may compare St. Paul's declaration in Col. ii. 16, 17; "in respect of the sabbath-days, which are a shadow of things to come:" akia twn mellontwn.


* So Hancock, Feast of Tabernacles, p. 53.

The general opinion of the Jews was, that the world was to be 2000 years without the law, 2000 under the law, and 2000 under the Messiah. This is still called by the Jews" a tradition of the house of Elias," an eminent Rabbi that lived before the birth of Christ: - who also taught that in the seventh millennary the earth would be renewed, and the righteous dead raised, no more again to be turned to dust: and that the just then alive should mount up with wings as eagles: so that in that day they would not need to fear, though the mountains (Psalm xlvi. 2) should be cast into the midst of the sea. Mede, Book iv.

 

{1} p183 supra.

 

{2} So Whitby says on Heb. iv. 9, that "the apostle by changing the word anapausin, rest, into sabbatism, clearly leads us . . to the spiritual sabbath of which the Jewish doctors speak so generally as the great thing signified by their sabbath." Similarly Osiander, about the time of the Reformation. "De quà requie sempiteruà ad Hebræos, cap. 4, ita loquitur Apostolus, ut hoc ipsum mysterium nobis, veluti digito, commonstrare videatur."

 

Mr. Brown disputes this from the etmology of the word sabbath, as simply meaning rest: (see p. 95, Note 809, suprà:) but the meaning conveyed to the Hebrew mind by the word cannot surely be with reason overlooked. So much were sabbath and septenary associated together in it that, as Schleusner observes on the word Sabbiaton, the Septuagint translators sometimes render the Hebrew word by ebdoman.

 

It is a word applied to the seventh year of the rest in the Mosaic law, as well as to the seventh day of rest. See Lev. xxv. 4, &c.

 

{3} I may specify more particularly the pseudo-Barnabas, a writer of unquestionably a very early age in the Church; 2 - Which being so, the chronological

 

[Editor: In Elliott's original manuscript we have it written in Greek. Fortunately I have English Translations of Barnabas' writings in my possession  which will replace Elliott's Greek: -

 

1. Barnabas. Further, also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, "And sanctify ye the Sabbath of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart." And He says in another place, "If my sons keep the Sabbath, then will I cause my mercy to rest upon them." The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]: "And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it." Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, "He finished in six days." This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth, saying, "Behold, to-day will be as a thousand years." Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. "And He rested on the seventh day." This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day. Moreover, He says, "Thou shalt sanctify it with pure hands and a pure heart." If, therefore, any one can now sanctify the day which God hath sanctified, except he is pure in heart in all things, we are deceived. Behold, therefore: certainly then one properly resting sanctifies it, when we ourselves, having received the promise, wickedness no longer existing, and all things having been made new by the Lord, shall be able to work righteousness. Then we shall be able to sanctify it, having been first sanctified ourselves. Further, He says to them, "Your new moons and your Sabbath I cannot endure." Ye perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead. And when He had manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens.

 

* See Appendix ad init.

 

 

HA230

 

Which being so, the chronological question on which I am now entering becomes one of really important bearing on the point in hand; I mean the question, what the world's present age, dated from Adam's creation, and when is the termination of its sixth millenary. Nor is there wanting the evidence requisite for our attaining a near probable approximation to this notable epoch. Mr. Flynes Clinton, in his Essay on the Hebrew Chronology, appended to the third volume of his late learned work entitled Fasti Hellenici, has greatly elucidated the subject. For, setting aside the many comparatively mundane chronologies, such as Hales has enumerated, based (if such a word may be used) on the baseless foundation of authorities that altogether lack authority, only only real appeal is to Scripture. -- And here, on the great primary disputed question of the Patriarchal chronologies, and whether it be the Hebrew text with its shorter chronology, that has by fraud been robbed of eleven centuries, or the Septuagint with its longer, that has had them fraudulently added, {1} (for that the difference in the result of design

 

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[Editor: Likewise we have taken the liberty to include for your inspection some excerpts taken from Irenæus which relate to his mind on the Jewish Sabbaths: -

 

2. Irenæua.  Moreover, we learn from the Scripture itself, that God gave circumcision, not as the completer of righteousness, but as a sign, that the race of Abraham might continue recognizable. For it declares: "God said unto Abraham, Every male among you shall be circumcised; and ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, as a token of the covenant between Me and you." This same does Ezekiel the prophet say with regard to the Sabbaths: "Also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord, that sanctify them." And in Exodus, God says to Moses: "And ye shall observe My Sabbaths; for it shall be a sign between Me and you for your generations." These things, then, were given for a sign; but the signs were not unsymbolical, that is, neither unmeaning nor to no purpose, inasmuch as they were given by a wise Artist; but the circumcision after the flesh typified that after the Spirit. For "we," says the apostle, "have been circumcised with the circumcision made without hands." And the prophet declares, "Circumcise the hardness of your heart." But the Sabbaths taught that we should continue day by day in God's service. "For we have been counted," says the Apostle Paul, "all the day long as sheep for the slaughter;" that is, consecrated [to God], and ministering continually to our faith, and persevering in it, and abstaining from all avarice, and not acquiring or possessing treasures upon earth. Moreover, the Sabbath of God (requietio Dei), that is, the kingdom, was, as it were, indicated by created things; in which [kingdom], the man who shall have persevered in serving God (Deo assistere) shall, in a state of rest, partake of God's table.

 

 Thus, then, in the day that they did eat, in the same did they die, and became death's debtors, since it was one day of the creation. For it is said, "There was made in the evening, and there was made in the morning, one day." Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die. But according to the cycle and progress of the days, after which one is termed first, another second, and another third, if anybody seeks diligently to learn upon what day out of the seven it was that Adam died, he will find it by examining the dispensation of the Lord. For by summing up in Himself the whole human race from the beginning to the end, He has also summed up its death. From this it is clear that the Lord suffered death, in obedience to His Father, upon that day on which Adam died while he disobeyed God. Now he died on the same day in which he did eat. For God said, "In that day on which ye shall eat of it, ye shall die by death." The Lord, therefore, recapitulating in Himself this day, underwent His sufferings upon the day preceding the Sabbath, that is, the sixth day of the creation, on which day man was created; thus granting him a second creation by means of His passion, which is that [creation] out of death. And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since "a day of the Lord is as a thousand years," he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin. Whether, therefore, with respect to disobedience, which is death; whether [we consider] that, on account of that, they were delivered over to death, and made debtors to it; whether with respect to [the fact that on] one and the same day on which they ate they also died (for it is one day of the creation); whether [we regard this point], that, with respect to this cycle of days, they died on the day in which they did also eat, that is, the day] of the preparation, which is termed "the pure supper," that is, the sixth day of the feast, which the Lord also exhibited when He suffered on that day; or whether [we reflect] that he (Adam) did not overstep the thousand years, but died within their limit, - it follows that, in regard to all these significations, God is indeed true. For they died who tasted of the tree; and the serpent is proved a liar and a murderer, as the Lord said of him: "For he is a murderer from the beginning, and the truth is not in him."

 

These are [to take place] in the times of the kingdom, that is, upon the seventh day, which has been sanctified, in which God rested from all the works which He created, which is the true Sabbath of the righteous, which they shall not be engaged in any earthly occupation; but shall have a table at hand prepared for them by God, supplying them with all sorts of dishes. ]

 

3. Quæst. et Respons. which go under the name of Justin Martyr. - No 71: [Editor: We are unable to read the scanned treatise with regard to this excerpt, and further, we cannot find any reference in the writings of Justin Martyr which relates to the chronological aspects of Elliott's discussion.]

 

4. Cyprian. "Ut primi in dispositione divinà septem dies annorum septeim millia continentes." De Exh. Murt. 11. flae sexti millesimi anni malitia omnis abolcatur è terrà, et regnet perannos mille justitia." vii. 14.

 

5. Lactanius. "Quoniam sex diebus euneta Dei opera perfecta sunt, per secula sex, id est annorum sex millis manere in hoc statu mundum necessu est. . . Et rursus quoniam perfectis operibus requievit die septimo, eumque bettesixit, necease est ut in fiae sexti millesimi anni malitia omnis aboleatur è terrà, et regnet per annos mille justitia." vii. 14.

 

6. Ambrose. "Quia cum septimo die requieverit Deus ab omnibus operibus suis, post hebdomadam istius mundi quies diuturna promittitur." in Luc. viii. 23.

 

For notices to the same effect from Jerome and Augustine see my Vol. i. p. 396, 397. Besides the passage there cited Augustine speaks of it also in his C. D. xx. 7. 1. Feuardentius, in his Note on the passage quoted above from Irenæus, adds Hilary on Matt. xviii.

 

It is to be observed that the anti-premillennarian fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries explained the sabbatical seventh day as typical, not of a seventh sabbatical Millennium of rest, but an eternal sabbath: -a view generally adopted afterwards. In the pseudo-Barnabas' view (ibid.) it seems to have been rather the Christian sabbath on the "eighth" day that typified the saints' eternal rest; the Jewish seventh-day sabbath the millennial.

 

{1} The following tabular schemes exhibit the variations: the numbers expressing

 

 

HA231

 

is a thing evident, and long since noted by Augustine, 2b as also whether its authority is to be set aside from respect to the Samaritan text, and its smaller variations, the answer seems on every account to be in favor of the Hebrew text: - considering, first, the superior reverence and almost superstitious care with which the Hebrew text was watched over, as compared with the Septuagint; 3c. - next, the wonderful uniformity of the numerals of the Hebrew text, in all its multitudes of manuscripts existing in different parts of the world, contrasted with the varieties and uncertainty of the numerals in the Septuagint and Samaritan; 4d-considering, further, the general agreement of the Samaritan with the Hebrew in the chronology of the antediluvian Patriarchs, 5e and its thus fixing the fraud in that table at least, and by probable consequence in the postdiluvian  table also, on the Septuagint: Septuagint; 6f- considering moreover the better agreement of the historical fact with the Hebrew than with the and the more easily supposable object with the Septuagint translators 7g - than with the keepers of the Hebrew text, as well as better opportunity, 8h for falsifying in the matter.

 

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the parent's age at the son's birth, except in the cases of Noah and Shem; and Abraham's birth assigned to Terah's 130th year, the true date. (See Note † p. 236. infrà.)

 

\-

            ANTIDELUVIAN PATRIARCHS

 

                        Hebr.  Samr.  lxx.  Joseph.

1.  Adam .............  130    130    230   230              

2.  Seth .............  105    105    205   205

3.  Enos .............   90     90    190   190                    

4.  Cainan ...........   70     70    170   170
5.  Mahalaleel .......   65     65    163   165                 

8.  Jared ............  162     62    162   162                   

7.  Enoch ............   65     65    165  (1)65*                

8.  Methuselah .......  187     67    187   187             

9.  Lamech ...........  182     53    188   182

10. Noah (at the flood) 600    600    600   600

               Total.. 1656   1307   2262  2256


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* 165 is doubtless the correct reading.
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            POSTDILUVIAN PATRIARCHS

 

                        Hebr.  Samr.  lxx.  Joseph.

11. Shem (aged 100 ?

        at the Flood)..    2      2     2    12

12. Arphaxad ....         35    135   135   135

    [Cainan spurious                  130    ..]

13. Salah .............   30    130   130   130

14. Heber .............   34    134   134   134

15. Peleg .............   30    130   130   130

16. Reu ...............   32    132   132   130

17. Serug .............   30    130   130   132

18. Nahor .............   29     79    79   120

19. Terah .............  130    130   130   130

   (Gen. xi:32, xii:4.)

     So to Abraham ....  352   1002  1002  1053

\+

 

Jerom (Vol. ii. p. 573) In his Letter to Evangelius about Melchisedek, thus gives and reasons on the numerals.

 

\-

They say that Shem was 390 years when Abram was born. For

   Shem at   100 begot Arphaxad, and lived 500 years after.

   Arphaxad.. 35 .... Salem.

   Salem .... 30 .... Eber.

   Eber...... 34 .... Phaleg.

   Phaleg.... 30 .... Rehu.

   Rehu...... 32 .... Saleg.

   Saleg..... 30 .... Nahor.

   Nahor..... 70 .... Abram, Nahor, and Horan.

And Abraham died at 175. Therefore Shem overlived him 35 years.

\+

 

{1} In the Antediluvian Table (where the question is between the Hebrew and Josephus ), the years before the son's birth and the residence agree in all cases with the totals of the lives; except that in the Samaritan the residence in the sixth, eighth, and ninth are shortened, to adapt them to the shorter period between Jared and the Flood. Thus,

 

                in the Hebrew and Samaritan Adam has  130 + 800 - 930.

 

                Septuagint and Josephus   230 + 700 - 930.

 

And in the Hebrew and Samaritan Seth has    105 + 807 - 912.

 

                Septuagint and Josephus   205 + 707 - 912.

 

This can only have been by design. So Augustine Civ. Dei, sv. 13.1; "Videtur habere quamdam, si diei potest, error ipse constantiam; nee casum redolet, sed industriam." And so Mr. Clinton.

 

{2} The Jews even counted the letters of their Bible.

 

{3} Professor Baumgarten, of Halle, in his Remarks on Universal History, observes; "Both the Samaritan copy and the Greek version abound in various readings,

 

 

HA232

 

Of the Samaritan with the Hebrew in the chronology of the antediluvian patriarchs, {1} and its thus fixing the fraud in that table at least, and by probably consequence in the postdiluvian table also, on the Septuagint: -- considering moreover the better agreement of historical fact with the Hebrew than with the Septuagint; {2} and the more easily

 

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with respect to their different chronologies, and frequently contradict themselves: whereas the Hebrew is uniform and consistent in all its copies." And Mr. Kennedy, in his Chronology of the World, says, that in examining the Hebrew Text he "was not able to discover one various reading in that multitude of numeral words and letters which constitute the scriptural series of years from Creation to the death of Nebuchadnezzar."

 

I quote this from a Paper on the subject in the Christian Observer for May, 1802, p. 287; and, in further illustration of the uniformity of the Hebrew copies in respect of their numerals, may add from it that the Chaldee Paraphrase of Onkelos, written probably near about the time of Christ, agrees with the Hebrew chronologies, and that the same are recognized in the two Talmuds; - also that Dr. Wolff informs me that "in the ancient manuscripts which he saw at Bokhara, the chronological notices were exactly according to the received Hebrew text, though the letters of the manuscripts resembled Samaritan."

 

As regards the Samaritan, it is to be observed that the manuscript from which our Samaritan Pentateuch was published, being written about A.D. 1400, was consequently not nearly so old as many Hebrew manuscripts. And in earlier existing copies of it we know that there were certain variations to the numerals, more accordant with the Hebrew. So the English Universal History, referred to in the Christian Observer. See Note 5a infrà.

 

Of the errors of the Septuagint numerals in many copies a notable example is given by Augustine, C.D. xv. 11. For it seems that in almost all the copies then extant Methuselah was made to have begotten Lamech at the age of 167, and to have lived 802 years after: that is, fourteen years after the Flood, according to the Septuagint chronology itself; though we know that no man but Noah, and his three sons Shem, Ham, and Japhet, were preserved alive through it.

 

{1} Viz. in the cases of all but the sixth, eighth, and ninth Patriarchs. Here the Samaritan residues are shortened to adapt them to the shorter period, made by the shorter genealogies corresponding between Jared and the Flood; to the intent that these Patriarchs might not be thought to have been involved in it. But we are told by Jerome (so the compilers of our English Universal History have remarked) that in his time there were some Samaritan copies which made Methuselah's and Lamech's ages, at the birth of their sons, the same as the Hebrew.

 

{2} On the two points alleged in their own favor by the advocates of the Septuagint Chronology, Mr. Clinton quite turns the tables against them. - 1. As to the age of the paioogonia, which these writers have placed after the lapse of one third of life, Mr. C. says that it appears from Scripture to have been in the Patriarchal age as early as it is now; Judah being at forty-eight a great-grandfather, - Benjamin having, under thirty, ten sons, &c. - 2. As to the Dispersion at Babel, which the Septuagintarians say implies a mundane population such as could not have been according to the Hebrew postdiluvian chronology, Mr. C. answers, that under favorable circumstances, even now, it has been known where it has doubled for short periods in less than thirteen years; and that in older cases of the Israelites in Egypt, and later of certain parts of the North American colonies, the population doubled itself in fifteen years: - that the circumstances of the first families after the Flood were precisely the most favorable to increase of population, with all the arts of the antediluvian world, unoccupied land to a boundless extent before them, and lives extended to 500, 400, and 200 years: - that thus we may reasonably assume twelve years, at the most, as that of the population doubling itself: on which assumption the population of the earth, derived from the stock of six parents, would in 276 years amount to above fifty millions, and in 300 years to two hundred millions. Even at the rate of fifteen years it would have reached two hundred millions in 373 years from the Flood; i.e. in the twenty-fourth year of Abraham. - Now at the time of the Dispersion, had the world's population then amounted to many millions, men would have been forced by their wants to disperse; whereas the Sacred History tells us that it took place contrary to the wishes of men, who desired all to dwell together. A population of about 50,000 would just answer the probabilities of the case. And this number must have been reached within 100 years from the Flood; i.e. about the thirtieth year of Peleg (according to the Hebrew chronology); in whose days it is said, Gen. x. 25, that the Dispersion occurred.

 

 

HA233

 

Supposable object {1} with the Septuagint translators than with the keepers of the Hebrew text, as well as better opportunity, {2} for falsifying in the matter. -- This point settled, {3} there remain but two small chasms in the Hebrew chronology to fill up, and one doubtful point to settle, arising from a difference between an Old Testament statement and one in the New Testament, in order to the completion of our chronological table. The chasms are, 1st, that from Moses' death to the first servitude; {4} 2ndly, that between Samuel

 

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{1} Jackson allows that it is difficult to see the motives of the Jews in shortening the patriarchal genealogies. On the other hand the Septuagint translator's had an obvious motive for enlarging the chronology. The Chaldeans and Egyptians (whose histories were about this time published by Borosus and Manetho) had claim to a remote antiquity. Hence these translators of the Pentateuch might have been led in a spirit of rivalry to augment the amount of the generations of their ancestors, alike by the centenary additions, and by the interpolation (as Hales himself allows it is) of the second Cainaan.

 

{2} Augustine, whose four chapters on this subject (C. D. xv. 10-14) well deserve attentive perusal, has put this point very strongly. Which, says he, is most credible, - that the Jews, dispersed over all the world, should have conspired together to defraud their scriptures and themselves of truth, the exclusive possession of which is so much their boast; or that the seventy Greek translators, united together in conclave by King Ptolemy, should have managed to falsify the numerals? He adds, 13.2,) as his own solution of the matter, that it was after all probably not the translators, but the first transcriber of the manuscript from the original in the royal library, that introduced the error; "Scripture tribustur errori qui de Bibliothech supradleti Regle codicem describendum primus accepit:" and concluses thus: "El lingus polise erodatur unde est lu aliam per iuterpretes facta translatia." - Augustine's testimony is the more valuable and remarkable because he was himself originally (see my Note Vol. i. p. 307) a Septuagintarian in chronology. At the conclusion of the C. D. however he measures the six periods of the world proceeding its septenary period, or sabbath, by æras, not millennaries; the 1st to the Flood, 2nd to Abraham, 3rd to David, 4th to the Babylonish Captivity, 5th to Christ, and 6th that after Christ. C. D. xxll. 30. 5.

 

{3} It is to be observed, as Clinton remarks, p. 203, that the question is not an indefinite one, from want of testimony, so as in the case of the early chronology of Greece. The uncertainty is one arising from two different distinct testimonies. We have only to decide which is the genuine and authentic copy. Either the space before the Flood was 1656 years, or it was 2256. Either the period from the Flood to the call of Abraham was 352 years, or it was 1002. "These periods could not be greater than the highest of these numbers, or less than the lowest."

 

{4} This period is that comprehended in Josh. xxiv. 31; "And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord that he had done for Israel."

 

 

HA234

 

Death and Saul's election to the kingdom: {1} of neither of which could the length be much longer or shorter than thirty or forty years. {2} The doubtful point alluded to concerns the same period of the Judges: it being whether the reckoning given in 1 Kings 6:1 of the interval from the Exodus to the building of Solomon's temple at 480 years be the correct one, {3} or that by St. Paul, in Acts 13:18-22, at about 580. {4} Mr. Clinton, not without reason as it seems to me, prefers the latter. {5} And thus, completing

 

-------------------------

 

{1) Compare Judg. xv. 20, xvi. 31, and 1 Sam. iv. 1, vii. 13, xii. 2.

 

{2} Mr. Brooks, in the Preface to his late history of the Jews, p. xiii., argues that the interval from Moses' death to Joshua's most probably have been longer, because of Joshua being called r["n" a young man, in Exod. xxxiii. 11, and Numb. xi. 28, with reference to the second year after the Exodus. But this Hebrew word is used to designate servants also (compare Gen. xxiii. 3, &c.); and Joshua is called in the places above cited as the servant of Moses. (So Kimchi explains this appellative of Joshua, in Zech. ii. 7: and so, I may add, Ambrose comments on Gen. xxiv. 2: "Etiam senioris ætatis servuli pueri dicantur à dominis.") Thus the appellation can no more be argued from than the French word garcon or English postboy. - Moreover, at the time of the division of the land, seven years after Moses' death, (Josh xiv. 10) Joshua is said (ibid. xiii. 1) to have been "old and stricken in years." - Thus Mr. Clinton seems fairly to have estimated Joshua's age at the time of the spies at about forty; it being the then age of his associate Caleb also, who overlived him. See Judg. i. 1, 9-12. If so, as Joshua was 110 years at his death, (see Josh. xxiv. 29,) the interval must have been 110-(38+40)=32.

 

{3} 1 Kings vi. 1; "It came to pass in the 480th year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, that he began to build the house of the Lord."

 

{4} Acts xiii. 18; "Forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness: and when he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot: and after that, he gave unto them judges about the space of 450 years, and Samuel the prophet. And afterwards they desired a king: and God gave them Saul."

 

{5} Because the servitudes must be included in the periods of rest, on the shorter system; which inclusion seems directly contrary to the tenor of the Scripture statements. (But for this the Hebrew might reasonably be deemed of the greater weight; and St. Paul's 450 years be explained either, as Whitby prefers, by reference to the then current Septuagint chronology; or possibly, not probably, as Usher, by supposing it the measure of the time from Abraham to the division of the lands, not from the division of the lands to Samuel.) * -- A chronological table of this period

 

-------------------------
-------------------------


* So too Calmet, quoted to that effect by Dr. A. Clarke. In order to this construction of the passage from near the beginning of verse 17, to the end of verse 19, in Acts 13 must be construed parenthetically thus: --

 

 

HA235

 

His table, he makes the date of the Creation to be about 4138 B.C.; and consequently the end of the 6000 years of the world, and the opening of the seventh Millennium, by approximation, about A.D. 1862: -- the same year, very nearly, that we before fixed on as the epoch of the

 

-------------------------

 

formed from the express declarations in the Book of Judges, is given below: -- it being premised that Chushan's oppression followed (Judges 3:7) on Israel's first apostasy to the worship of  Baalim, on the death of the elders that overlived Joshua.

 

\-

Servitudes                         years             Rests and Judges                          years

 

1st. Chusan (Judg. iii:8.)            8

 

                                                     lst Rest (Judg. iii:11.)                     40

2nd. Eglon (Judg. iii:14.)           18

                                                     2nd . . . (Judg. iii:30.)                    80

3rd. Jabin (Judg. iv:3.)             20

                                                     3rd . . . (Judg. v:31.)                      40

4th. Midian (Judg. vi:1.)             7

                                                     4th (" the days of Gideon," Judg. viii:28.)  40

                                                     Abimelech's judging (Judg. ix:22.)            3

                                                     Tola's do. (Judg. x:2.)                      23

                                                     Jair's do. (Judg. x:3.)                      22

5th. Ammon (?. d.)                   18

                                                     Jepthah do. (xii.:7.)                         6

                                                     Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, (xii:8-?4.)              25

 

6th. Philistines (Judg. xiii:1.) .   40                     [Samson 20 years, and Eli.]

                                  ---------                                                ---------

                                    111                                                          279

 

\+

 

This last Philistinian servitude of forty years appears to have included the judgeships of both Samson and Eli: the former being said (xv. 20, xvi. 31) to have judged Israel "in the days of the Philistines;" and the latter to have died from grief at their defeat of Israel, and capture of the ark. Their supremacy continued until Samuel's defeat of them near Mizpeh, of which the stone Ebenezer was the record, 1 Sam. vii. 12: after which Israel had rest "all the days of Samuel;" (ib. 13;) until he was old, (viii. 1, xii. 2) and anointed Saul king.

 

Thus the time of Judges, exclusive of Joshua and Samuel, appears from these numbers to have been 390 years: and, if we add 30 years for Joshua and the Egypt-born elders that overlived Joshua, reckoned from the time of the conquest and division of Canaan, (about 7 years having intervened between the event and Moses' death,) and 30 years more for Samuel's judgeship after the Philistine's defeat, it exactly makes up St. Paul's "about the space of 450 years." Add 7 for the conquest of Canaan, 40 for the wilderness, 40 for Saul, and 40 for David: and then the 4th year of Solomon comes to about the 580th year from the Exodus; instead of the 480th, as the Hebrew text defines it in 1 Kings vi. 1. - Taking this view of the chronology, therefore, the only solution of the difficulty from 1 Kings vi. 1 that I see is by supposing a mistaken reading in our Hebrew copies of 480 for 580.

 

-------------------------

-------------------------

 

chronological system to make out the time from the "choosing of the fathers," to the division of Canaan not more than 450 years, constitutes a strong objection to this solution of the passage. Besides that the (EDITOR: the Greek is not reproduced here), after these things, in the plural, seems to make it almost imperative on us that we should take the 450 years from the end of the succession of events that the apostle had just been particularizing, not from the one event of the choice of the fathers first mentioned.

 

 

HA236

 

Consummation, on quite different data. {1} -- I cannot but add that this conclusion by Mr. Clinton as to the world's age,

 

-------------------------

 

\-

B.C.    A.M.                                       years

4138          Adam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2482   1656   The Deluge*  . . . . . . . . . . . .  1656

2130   2008   Birth of Abraham . . . . . . . . . .   352

2955   2083   The Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    75

1625   2513   The Exode  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   430

1585   2553   Death of Moses . . . . . . . . . . .    40

1558   2580   First Servitude (by conjecture). . .    27

1128   3010   Death of Eli . . . . . . . . . . . .   430

1096   3042   Election of Saul (by conjecture) . .    32

1056   3082   David  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    40

1016   3122   Solomon  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    40

 976   3162   Rebohoam . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    40

 587   3551   Zedekiah's Captivity . . . . . . . .   389

\+

 

-------------------------

 

* I am informed by the Rev. Mr. Squire, who was some time in China, that there is on two important epochs of early mundane chronology, a considerable correspondence between the Chinese and the Scriptural Chronology; viz. that of the Deluge, and of the seven years of general famine under Joseph. The Chinese date the Deluge, A.M. 1713, and the seven years of famine, B.C. 1729. So, he says, in Morrison's View of China, and a work by Professor Kidd. -- As to the seven years of famine, many of my readers may have seen the very interesting apparent reference to it in one of the ancient Hamyaritic inscriptions on the rocks of the Southern Arab coast, beyond Aden, explained by Mr. Forster, in his

Historical Geography of Arabia. On which, see my Note 6, Vol. i. p. 415.

 

-------------------------

 

On the fly leaf is appended a Tabular Scheme of this Scripture Chronology, with the scriptural authorities in brief; drawn up by the Rev. C. Bowen. **

 

-------------------------

 

** In the Jewish Calendar, as lately edited by Mr. Linde, (a publication replete with Jewish learning, and sanctioned by the Chief Rabbi in London, Solomon Hirschell,) there appear several most material variations from the above Chronological Table; involving a difference from Mr. Clinton's in the aera of the World altogether of 340 years. The following are the points of variation: --

 

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HA236: FLYLEAF

  THE SCRIPTURE CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD

 

 

A.M.

   1 Creation of Adam                to the birth of Seth        130 years #Ge 5:3       "Adam lived 130 years and begat a son, ... and called his name Seth."

 130 Seth born                       to the birth of Enos        105 years #Ge 5:6       "Seth lived 105 years, and begat Enos."

 235 Enos born                       to the birth of Cainan       90 years #Ge 5:9       "Enos lived 90 years, and begat Cainan."

 325 Cainan born                     to the birth of Mahalaleel   70 years #Ge 5:12      "Cainan lived 70 years, and begat Mahalaleel."

 395 Mahalaleel born                 to the birth of Jared        65 years #Ge 5:15      "Mahalaleel lived 65 years, and begat Jared."

 460 Jared born                      to the birth of Enoch       162 years #Ge 5:18      "Jared lived 162 years, and begat Enoch."

 622 Enoch born                      to the birth of Methusela    65 years #Ge 5:21      "Enoch lived 65 years, and begat Methuselah."

 687 Methuselah born                 to the birth of Lamech      187 years #Ge 5:25      "Methuselah lived 187 years, and begat Lamech."

 874 Lamech born                     to the birth of Noah        182 years #Ge 5:28,29   "Lamech lived 182 years, and begat a son, and he  called his name Noah."

1056 Noah born                       to the Flood                600 years #Ge 7:6       "Noah was 600 years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth."

1656 The Flood                       to the birth of Arphaxad      2 years #Ge 11:10     "Shem begat Arphaxad 2 years after the Flood."

1658 Arphaxad born                   to the birth of Salah        35 years #Ge 11:12     "Arphaxad lived 35 years, and begat Salah."

1693 Salah born                      to the birth of Eber         30 years #Ge 11:14     "Salah lived 30 years, and begat Eber."

1723 Eber born                       to the birth of Peleg        34 years #Ge 11:16     "Eber lived 34 years, and begat Peleg."

1757 Peleg born                      to the birth of Reu          30 years #Ge 11:18     "Peleg lived 30 years, and begat Reu."

1787 Reu born                        to the birth of Serug        32 years #Ge 11:20     "Reu lived 32 years, and begat Serug."

1819 Serug born                      to the birth of Nahor        30 years #Ge 11:22     "Serug lived 30 years, and begat Nahor."

1849 Nahor born                      to the birth of Terah        29 years #Ge 11:24     "Nahor lived 29 years, and begat Terah."

1878 Terah born                      to his death                205 years #Ge 11:32     "The days of Terah were 205 years:and Terah died." (#Ge 12:1) "Now the Lord," etc.

2083 The Covenant made with Abram    to the giving of the Law    430 years #Ga 3:17      "The Covenant ... the Law, which was 430 years after, cannot disannul."

2513 The Giving of the Law           to the return of the Spies    1 years #Nu 10:11     (Compare #Ex 19:1)

2514 Promise to Caleb on return of Spies to division of the Land  45 years #Jos 14:10    "These 45 years, ever since the Lord spake this word unto Moses."

2559 The division of the Land        to Samuel the Prophet       450 years #Ac 13:20     "After that, he gave unto them Judges, about the space of 450 years, until Samuel."

3009 Saul anointed                   to the death of Saul         40 years #Ac 13:21     "Afterward ... God gave unto them Saul ... by the space of 40 years."

3049 David began to reign            to his death                 40 years #1Ki 2:11     "The days that David reigned over all Israel were 40 years."

3089 Solomon began to reign          to his death                 40 years #2Ch 9:30     "Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel 40 years."

3129 Rehoboam began to reign         to his death                 17 years #2Ch 12:13    "He reigned 17 years in Jerusalem."

3146 Abijah began to reign           to his death                  3 years #2Ch 13:2     "He reigned 3 years in Jerusalem."

3149 Asa began to reign              to his death                 41 years #2Ch 16:13    "As a ... died in the 41st year of his reign."

3190 Jehoshaphat began to reign      to his death                 25 years #2Ch 20:31    "He reigned 25 years in Jerusalem."

3215 Jehoram began to reign          to his death                  8 years #2Ch 21:20    "He reigned in Jerusalem 8 years."

3223 Ahaziah began to reign          to his death                  1 years #2Ch 22:2     "He reigned 1 year in Jerusalem."

3224 Athaliah’s usurpation           to her death                  6 years #2Ch 22:12    "He (Joash) was with them hid in the house of God 6 years:and Athaliah reigned."

3230 Joash began to reign            to his death                 40 years #2Ch 24:1     "He reigned 40 years in Jerusalem."

3270 Amaziah began to reign          to his death                 29 years #2Ch 25:1     "He reigned 29 years in Jerusalem."

3299 Uzziah began to reign           to his death                 52 years #2Ch 26:3     "He reigned 52 years in Jerusalem."

3351 Jotham began to reign           to his death                 16 years #2Ch 27:1     "He reigned 16 years in Jerusalem."

3367 Ahaz began to reign             to his death                 16 years #2Ch 28:1     "He reigned 16 years in Jerusalem."

3383 Hezekiah began to reign         to his death                 29 years #2Ch 29:1     "He reigned 29 years in Jerusalem."

3412 Manasseh began to reign         to his death                 55 years #2Ch 33:1     "He reigned 55 years in Jerusalem."

3467 Amon began to reign             to his death                  2 years #2Ch 33:21    "(Amon) reigned 2 years in Jerusalem."

3469 Josiah began to reign           to his death                 31 years #2Ch 34:1     "He reigned in Jerusalem 31 years."

3500 Jehoahaz began to reign         to his deposition             0 years #2Ch 36:2     "He reigned 3 months in Jerusalem."

3500 Jehoiakim began to reign        to his death                 11 years #2Ch 36:5     "He reigned 11 years in Jerusalem."

3511 Jehoiachim began to reign       to his deposition             0 years #2Ch 36:9     "He reigned 3 months and 10 days in Jerusalem."

3511 Zedekiah began to reign         to the Captivity             11 years #2Ch 36:11    "(Zedekiah) reigned 11 years in Jerusalem."

3522 The Captivity                   to the proclamation of Cyrus 70 years #Jer 25:11    "These nations shall serve the king of Babylon 70 years." (See #2Ch 36:22)

3592 The Decree of Cyrus             to the birth of Christ      536 years According to the commonly received Chronology

4128 The Christian Æra               to the present year        1851 years According to the commonly received Chronology

                                                                         ————————

5974 The present year A.D. 1846                                 5974 years since the Creation of Man

 

 

This chart brings the end of 6000 years to the year 1872 A.D.

 

-------------------------

 

1. Agreeing with Mr. C. in dating the Deluge, A.M. 1656, it makes the birth, and consequently the call too, of Abraham sixty years earlier. This arises from the supposition of Abraham's being the eldest of Terah's three sons, born when Terah was seventy" years old, Gen. xi:26. -- a supposition quite unnecessary; as Abraham's first mention among the three sons no more implies his primogeniture than Shem's first mention, Gen. x:1, among Noah's three sons, of whom however Japbet is in Gen. x:21 expressly declared the eldest: and which is directly contradicted by the statement, Gen. xii:4, that Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran; compared with Acts vii:4, which says that it was at Terah's death that Abraham left that country, and with Gen. xi:32, which says that Terah died in Haran at the age of 205 years -- 2. There is in it the further difference of 100 years less between this event and-Solomon's completion of the Temple; a difference grounded mainly on the circumstance of the Jews calculating by the chronological statement in 1 Kings vi:1, noted by me in the text. 3. The Jewish Calendar shortens the interval between Solomon and Zedekiah's captivity fifteen years: and 4. that between Zedekiah and the Christian Era yet 165 years. By the latter most gross and extraordinary falsification of a period as well ascertained as that between our Richard the First and the time now present, the Jewish Rabbies make the interval between the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and second by the Romans, just about 490 years. -- Thus there is nothing in the Jewish mundane chronology to affect the accuracy of Mr. Clinton's.

 

Let me add that the early Reformers noticed, and were struck with, the last mentioned strange error in the Jewish chronology; and, refer it to the Jews'

 

 

HA237

 

from purely literary data, agrees remarkably with the celebrated Cuvier's from geological data: for he thence infers that the date of our earth's last great physical revolution cannot go back much further than 5000 or 6000 years. {1}

 

I must not leave this subject without a word, in passing, on yet another more dubious, but very interesting prophetic period. I allude to the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and state of bestialism. {2} These, calculated after the year day system, upon the hypothesis of the Babylonish king's insanity figuring that of the great empires which he then headed, in their state of heathen aberration from God, (an hypothesis on the truth of which I do not myself entertain much doubt,) terminate, -- if dated from the time, B.C. 727, when the Assyrians under Shalmanezer first acted the wild beast's part against Israel, {3} --

 

-------------------------

{1} I cite from the Roman Catholic Bishop Wiseman's 6th interesting Lecture on the connection between science and religion; Vol. i. P. 354. (3rd edition.)

 

"It is, in fact," Cuvier says, "one of the most certain, though least expected, results of sound geological pursuits, that the last revolution which disturbed the surface of the globe, is not very ancient." And in another place he adds; "I think, therefore, with MM. Deluc and Dolomieu, that if there be anything demonstrated in geology, it is that the surface of our globe has been the victim of a great and sudden revolution, of which the date cannot go back much farther than five or six thousand years." (Discours, pp. 139, 282.) "And allow me to observe," adds Dr. Wiseman, "that Cuvier intimates with sufficient clearness, that in his researches he has not allowed himself to be swayed by any wish to vindicate the Mosaic history." (Ib. p. 352.)

 

{2} Dan. 4. If not symbolic, wherefore the so expressly noted band to the tree's stump of iron and brass? The figure is somewhat otherwise applied by Cowper to the wretchedness and ruined hopes of a prisoner;

 

----------Like the visionary emblem seen

By him of Babylon, life stands a stump;

And filleted about with hoops of brass

Still lives, though all his pleasant boughs are gone.

 

{3} Jer. 1:17; "Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first

 

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-------------------------

identification of Darius Hysiaspis (father to Xerxes) with the last Darius conquered by Alexander, and obliteration from their calendar of all the Persian kings intervening. So Melancthon on Dan. ix: "Haec series (i. e. of tile Persian kings) nota est eruditis omnibus; et inscitia Judaeorum recentium vituperanda est, qui fingunt non plures fuisse reges Persicos guam quatuor, et propter hanc inscitiam omittunt ex serie annorum mundi centum annos." And Osiander, De Ult. Tempor. eh. i: " Quod autem Judaei ab orbe condito ad Christum 200 annis fete minus numerant quhm nos, in causa sunt, cum alii multi etrotes, tzim veto ille omnium maximus qubd Darium Hystaspis, sub quo templum mdificatum est, et Darium ab Alexandro devictum pro eodem habeant, ac sex tantum annis regnasse putent; cum ab initio tegni unius (Darii) usque ad finem alterius, etiam secundum Ytolemmum, 192 anni intercesserint." -- But why this abbreviation? I have no where seen a reason stated. It is curious, however, that by it the interval between the first destruction of the Temple and the second is reduced, as before observed, to about 490 years; the precise equivalent to the seventy weeks of Daniel: and is (as I learn from a Jew) so stated by tile Jews, by a kind of memoria technica. I cannot therefore but suspect that to constitute the interval this prophetic term of years may have been the abbreviator's object.

 


HA238


about the year 1793; that is, at the epoch of the French Revolution, and the coincident going forth of the gospel-message to evangelize the heathen. This seems to me a remarkable synchronism: especially considering that the bisecting point of these seven times is then A. D. 533; the very commencing epoch, with Justinian's Decree, of the three and a half times of the Papal Antichrist. -- Of course they might be calculated from Nebuchadnezzar's own accession and invasion of Judah, B.C. 606. Considering however not merely the long and intimate connection of Babylon and Assyria, (a connection recognized alike by ancient classic and ancient Christian authors,) {1} but yet more the Assyrian character of Daniel's symbol of the winged lion, {2} designative of the first of the four great empires, i.e. the Babylonish, it seems to me that the earlier Assyrian reference and date are admissible. {3}

-------------------------

{
1} So e.g. Tacitus, Hist. v.8; "Dum Assyrios penes, Medosque et Persas, oriens fuit." Again, the Christian expositor Theodoret on Dan. 2 Says; "The head of gold is not Nebuchadnezzar himself; but the entire kingdom of the Assyrians or Babylonians."

 

{2} See Layard's engraving.

 

{3} Mr. Bickersteth and Br. Birks have supposed another prophetic synchronism with the epoch of consummation above specified to arise out of the (EDITORS NOTE: The Greek from the original is not reproduced here) in Rev. X:7; as if meaning, "A year shall not elapse ere the consummation." For they explain this as a prophetic year, whether of 360, or 365 natural years. Admitting which, the termination of this period also will fall on our chronological line yet but a little distance further, and there mark the bounding limit, -- the ne plus ultra, if I may so call it, of our present mundane chronology, -- at A.D. 1877 or 1882. The Angel's use however of the word (EDITORS NOTE: The Greek from the original is not reproduced here), not (EDITORS NOTE: The Greek from the original is not reproduced here), seems to me fatal to it: this latter being the word always used in the Septuagint and Apocalypse of the mystical periods of the time, times, and half a time. See my Vol. ii. P.123.

 

The want of the article is the point most in favor of Mr. Birks' view: but the passage is simply and satisfactorily explainable, as I have shown, otherwise. It is curious that on one occasion, according to his Table Talk, Luther expressed an opinion that perhaps the world might last yet 300 years more, before the consummation. But this, however, was contrary alike to his earlier anticipations and latest aspirations. See Vol. ii. p.132-136.

 

I cannot but suspect that we have a truer ne plus ultra in our Lord's celebrated saying, "This generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled," &c, Luke 21:32: -- by supposing the saying to have had a double reference; 1st, to the fulfillment of the judgments on Jerusalem, ere the generation then alive should have past away; 2nd, to the final judgment of the consummation, ere the generation should have wholly past away that witnessed the signs in the sun and moon, &c, (verse 25, &c.) which signs I suppose to have begun at the French Revolution. See my Vol. iii. p.361, Note1: also my Paper in the Investigator, Vol. iv. p.341.

 

It is to be observed that the word (EDITORS NOTE: The Greek from the original is not reproduced here), this, in the clause (EDITORS NOTE: The Greek from the original is not reproduced here), needs not necessarily to be aspirated: as there were no aspirates in the uncial characters of the older MSS. And if without the aspirate, then (EDITORS NOTE: The Greek from the original is not reproduced here) would mean that, -- "that generation shall not have passed away, &c;" with reference distinctly to the generation that was alive at the time of the signs in the sun and moon &c, appearing. But the view I advocate does not depend on the absence of the aspirate. Because

 

 

HA239

 

In fine, notwithstanding, what is fully allowed, the doubtfulness of some of these periods, and their other possible epochs of commencement, yet the fact is clear that, construed consistently on the year-day system, they have all a probably ending somewhere within the extreme dates, distant only 75 years apart, of A.D. 1790 and 1865. In regard of the 17 long centuries preceding, that intervene between the Apocalyptic Revelation and French Revolution, there is none within which they can, with at all the same probability, be similarly made to converge. And I must say that the fact of their thus traveling, as they are alike found to do, to a close within our present era, from their several sources more or less remote in the depth of antecedent ages, much impresses my own mind, as confirmatory of the conclusion which was primarily deduced by me from the evidence simply of the Apocalyptic prophecy. Like as the convergency of many lines of road to a geographical center indicates that center to be the place of some several chronological lines to an ending within the present century, now above one-half run out, {1} seems to mark this century as an important era of crisis, big with momentous issues as to the destinies of the world. {2}

 

To all which chronological evidence there needs to be added, in corroboration and confirmation, that of the many and extraordinary signs of the times: signs which have drawn attention, not from prophetic students only, but from the man of the world, the philosopher, the statesman; and made not a few even of the irreligious and unthinking to

 

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our Lord might mean by "this generation," the generation of the time he was then speaking of: just as in Luke 27:34, where, speaking of the time of his second coming, he says (EDITORS NOTE: The Greek from the original is not reproduced here), "On this night shall two be in one bed; one shall be taken," &c: meaning thereby the night of his coming; and so rendered in our English version, "In that night."

 

I had mentioned, though quite doubtfully, in my former Editions, Mr. Habershon's idea that the hour day month and year of the Turkish Euphratean horsemen might possibly be meant to signify the time during which the Turks should hold Constantinople, as well as the time within which they should take it: it being stated as my own persuasion that the time within which was in any case the main point signified. Had Mr. Habershon's idea been correct the Turkish empire would have fallen in 1849. But the even has disproved it.

 

Perhaps the two religious delusions of Popery and Mahommedism, each symbolized as originating from the abyss, are not to be finally ended till the time answering to the Devil's being sealed up in the abyss, so as to delude the nations no more.

 

{1} I mean as reckoned from 1790.

 

{2} See the Diagram. The more dubious line, in my judgment, is dotted.

 

 

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pause and reflect. -- Thus there is, 1st, the drying up, still ever going forward, of the Turkman Mahommedan power, or mystic flood from the Euphrates: -- 2. the interest felt by Protestant Christians for the conversion and restoration of Israel; an interest unknown for eighteen centuries, but now strong, fervent, prayerful, extending even to royalty itself, and answering precisely to that memorable prediction of the Psalmist, "Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favor her, yea the set time is come; for thy servants think upon her stones, and it pitieth them to see her in the dust:" {1} -- 3. the universal preaching of the Gospel over the world: that sign of which Augustine said, that could we but see it, we might indeed think the time of the consummation at hand: {2} -- 4. the marked political ascendancy before the whole world, alike Heathen, Mahommedan, and Jewish, of the chief nations of the old Roman earth, i.e. professing Christendom, and ever increasing political, scientific, and commercial intercourse, "many running to and fro, and knowledge being increased;" {3} such as to force the eyes of all nations on this same Roman earth, as (conjointly at least with the mighty offshoot from England of the American United States) the central focus alike of commerce, science, and political, power: -- 5ly, and connectedly, the outgoing thence almost as universally among them of religious Christian and Antichristian missions, under the protection and auspices respectively of the chief Roman-Catholic and Protestant European powers; the Romish and Antichristian full of zeal and bitterness, and with conflict already so begun against Protestant evangelic missions and Bible-circulation, as to have forced the

 

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{1} Psalm 102:13,14 - The general political emancipation of the Jews is a sign too very observable. As the Jews in Pagan times had to pay tribute to Rome's Pagan worship, so too, subsequently, to Rome's Papal idolatrous worship. (See my Vol. i. p. 54, Note 4.) In 1848 the Marquis Azeglio published an interesting Memoir on the oppression of the Jews at Rome and in Italy. And in that same year the tax was abolished; and the Pope himself attended to see the gate of the Ghetto, or quarter of Jewish insulation, broken down even in Rome.

 

{2} Epistle to Hesychius, numbered 197 in the late Paris Benedictine Edition, Tom. ii. col. 1107;  "Opportunitas vero illius temporis (sc. Finis hujus sacculi et adventus Domini) non erit antequam praedicetur Evangelium in universo orbe in testimonium omnibus gentibus. Apertissima enim de hac re legitur sentential Salvatoris, Matt. 24:14 ... Unde si jam nobis certissime nuntiatum fuisset in omnibus gentibus Euangelium praedicari, nec sic possemus dicere quantum temporis remaneret usque ad finem; sed magis magisque propinquare merito diceremus."

 

{3} Dan. 12:12. - How extraordinary in this respect are the effects, even already, of the late golden discoveries in California!

 

 

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attention of Jews, Heathens, and Mohammedans to the grand subject of the Lord's controversy with Roman Anti-Christendom, and to be preparing them (almost as by providential voice)1 for being intelligent spectators of its tremendous issue: -- and this the more, 6thly, because of yet other two spirits of religious delusion having also gone forth of late to deceive men, in power and influence quite extraordinary; which, conjunctively with the one before mentioned, answer well, in respect both of character and of time, to the three spirits like frogs from out of the mouths of Dragon Beast and False Prophet, (or spirits of infidelity popery and priestcraft,) that, after the drying up had begun of the Euphratean waters, were to gather the powers of the earth together to the war of the great day of God Almighty;2 all the great hostile dramatis personae of the history of Christendom thus coming on the stage before the drama's consummation: -- 7. the revolutionary internal heavings of the European nations, alike with infidel and democratic agitation, accordantly with Christ's and the apostles' descriptions of the latter days; and their preparation for deadly conflict, with new and increased powers of destruction, of which the extraordinary outbreaks of 1848 in half the countries of Western Europe may have been but the prelibation. - Such, I say, is the combination of signs of the times now visible; signs predicted more or less clearly in Scripture prophecy, as signs which were to precede the end. And, considering that they all point to the quickly coming future as the very crisis of consummation,3 concurrently with the other various evidence that has been


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1 "He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people ... He hath called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof." Psalm 1:1,4.

 

2 See my Part v. Ch. 9.

 

2 So, for example, Schlegel in his Philosophy of History, Lect. 28; "Never was there a period that pointed so strongly, so clearly, so generally towards the future, as our own." &c. Robertson's translation, Vol. ii. p. 319.

 

And having given this from a German, let me add the opinions of two learned Professors from the other side of the Atlantic; writers of different prophetic sentiments from each other and from myself. Says Professor Bush: (Millennium p.88;) "We are now actually arrived at the very borders of that period which is to be signalized by the winding up of the grand despotic (?) drama that has been for ages enacting in transatlantic Christendom." - And Professor Robinson: "Before another half century shall have rolled away, in the Providence of  God there will be seen revolutions in the oriental mind and the oriental world, of which no one now has even a foreboding. The time is short: the crisis rushes on. Let us awake, and be prepared!" Biblioth. Sacra, ii. 252.

 

 

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detailed before (and more might yet be added,) {1} is it likely that we can be mistaken in so construing them? Does there not seem to be in them before our eyes that budding of the fig-tree which our Lord spoke of; {2} and respecting which he said that whosoever might see was to mark them,

 

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{1} I must quote a remarkable passage to this effect from the late lamented Dr. Arnold's Lectures on Modern History, p. 38.

 

"Modern history appears to be not only a step in advance of ancient history, but the last step: it appears to bear marks of the fullness of time, as if there would be no future history beyond it. For the last eighteen hundred years Greece has fed the human intellect: Rome, taught by Greece, and improving upon her teacher, has been the source of law and government and social civilization: and what neither Greece nor Rome could furnish, the perfection of moral and spiritual truth has been given by Christianity. The changes which have been wrought have arisen out of the reception of these elements by new races; -- races endowed with such force of character, that what was old in itself, when exhibited in them, seemed to become something new. But races so gifted are, and have been from the beginning of the world, few in number: the mass of mankind have no such power ... Now, looking anxiously round the world for any new races, which may receive the seed (so to speak) of our present history into a kindly yet vigorous soil, and may reproduce it, the same and yet new, for a future period, we know not where such are to be found. Some appear exhausted, others incapable; and yet the surface of the whole globe is known to us ... Everywhere the search has been made, and the report has been received. We have the full amount of earth's resources before us, and they seem inadequate to supply life for a third period of human history.

 

"I am well aware that to state this as a matter of positive belief would be the extreme of presumption. There may be nations reserved hereafter for great purposes of God's providence, whose fitness for their appointed work will not betray itself till the work and the time for doing it be come. ... But, without any presumptuous confidence, if there be any signs, however uncertain, that we are living in the latest period of the world's history, that no other races remain behind to perform what we have neglected, or to restore what we have ruined, then indeed the interest of modern history does become intense."

 

{2} It may be interesting to compare Tertullian's view of the signs that were to precede and foreshow the consummation, and coming of the "diem Domini magnum, diem irae et retributionis, diem ultimum et occultum, nec ulli praeterquam Patri notum, et tamen signis atque portentis, et concussionibus elementorum, et conflictationibus nationum praenotatum." (De Resur. Carn. 22.) Then he proceeds to the unrolling of the prophecies, in order to fix the aera, as follows.

 

1st he notes the prophecy in Matt. 24, about Jerusalem being trodden of the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled: ("donec adimpleantur tempora nationum, allegandarum scilicet a Deo, et congregandarum cum reliquiis Israelis:") on which he adds, that both Joel and Daniel and the whole Council of the Prophets predict signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and on earth the straitening of the nations, and powers of heaven being shaken; and that then the Son of Man is to be seen coming in the clouds with power and great glory: so that these signs, like the sign of the budding fig tree, should make Christians lift up their heads, as knowing that Christ's coming and the time of the resurrection are at hand.

 

2ly he notes St. Paul's prophecy in 2 Thess. 2, of the apostasy and the Man of Sin, or Antichrist; who is to be revealed, and reign, and then to be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming.

 

3rd comes the prophecy connected with the vision of the souls under the altar in Rev. 6; in a passage already quoted from Tertullian in my Vol. i. p. 217: -- whence he inferred that first Antichrist was to appear, and kill fresh martyrs for Christ; then the vials of God's wrath to be poured out on the apostate harlot-city; then the devil to be bound, and the souls of the martyrs to reign with Christ; and then, afterwards, the general resurrection to take place.

 

 

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and know therefrom that summer would be then nigh at hand? {1}


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{1} They who are fond of quoting Christ's saying to the disciples then alive, "It is not for you to know the times and seasons," and again, "That hour and day knoweth no man," as if a prohibition of all calculation of prophetic times before their fulfillment, should remember this saying of Christ also, intended specially for such of his servants as might be living near the time of the end. We are meant, it would seem, to know the nearness of the advent, when at hand, though not the exact time; and if negligent in marking the signs given, may subject ourselves justly to the same rebuke as the Pharisees and Sadducees of old, "Are ye not able to discern the signs of the times?" (Matt 26:3) Is not Daniel an example for imitation on this point? Dan. 9:2.