NELSON H. BARBOUR
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
. . . Two o'clock P.M. At this hour Dr. N.H. Barbour, late of New York, gave a very interesting discourse on the parable of the ten virgins, showing a beautiful harmony between it and the movements of the Advent people since 1843, and looking to 1873 for the return of the Bridegroom. . .
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 1871
N. H. BARBOUR
This is the title of a pamphlet of one hundred pages, presenting evidences for the coming of the Lord in 1873. By Nelson H. Barbour. Price 25 cents per copy; $1.80 per dozen. For sale at this office, and by D.T. Cooper, 72 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, N.Y.
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1871
Brethren: -- There are so many views of the above prophecy, that I am almost afraid to offer the following for publication; and only venture in the hope that for the sake of sweet charity, which not only believeth, but "endureth all things," they will be kindly looked at, at least, if not entertained.
These periods were given in answer to a single question, and seem to refer exclusively to God's people; and not, like most other prophecies, to political events. They are twin periods; for the definite article "the," in the 12th verse, implies that the thousand years belong equally to both.
If they refer to political events, why should not the world understand them, as they do that of the taking away of the dominion of papacy, and many other prophetic periods? If the 1290 days were not given to mark the beginning of the Advent movement, why are they coupled with the period which is designed to mark the end of that movement? And I might ask one more question: Why, in their fulfillment, do they apply only to God's people? Permit me to explain.
If the abomination was "set up" in A.D. 538, when the "woman" of Revelation 17 took her seat on the Roman beast, then the thousand years, to which such special reference is made, would have ended in 1538, at which time that terrible despotism was broken in upon, and God opened a door for his Philadelphian church, which no man can shut. See Church History by Charles Hase, N.Y., 1855, page 391. -- "In A.D. 1538 was formed the holy league against papacy, by the Archbishop of Mentz, the Archbishop of Strasburgh, the Duke of Bavaria, George of Saxony, Henry of Brunswick, supported by Frances of France, Henry of England, and other northern powers." "If those days had not been shortened, viz., the 1260 of papal dominion, by the Lutheran Reformation, there should no flesh have been saved, but for the elect's sake, God hath shortened them."
If the above is the correct application of the thousand years (not of Revelation 20), then the remainder, (290) ended when the Advent movement began, in 1828. Not only does Bro. Miller state in his lectures, published in 1840, that he began the study of these periods twelve years previous, viz., in 1828, but I have a book before me now, published in London in 1831, in which the author states that he began to look for this glorious hope in 1828. And in different parts of the world there were many who began about that time to look and wait "for his Son from heaven."
"The wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand." The world will consider the beginning of Millerism a small matter to be a subject of prophecy. The movement of great men and kings may fill the prophetic page, but that so small a matter as the gathering out of a waiting people who should "go forth to meet the bridegroom," should be worthy of mention is simply nonsense. They do not understand that one of the least of God's little flock, to say nothing of his accumulated jewels, is of more importance in the courts of heaven, than a whole regiment of Alexanders. And some of our brethren in their humility, think this beginning pretty small.
If God should tell us that when the commotion caused by the falling of a certain pebble into the ocean, had reached to the uttermost drop of water, the blast from that trump which calls the nations to judgment, should be heard, we would consider the falling of the pebble as an important event.
If God is gathering out a waiting people there must needs have been a beginning, however small, and the standard by which he measures, who lets not a sparrow fall to the ground without his notice, differs widely from that of the world. "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened" etc., began in 1828; and when the longer of these twin periods ends, it shall be said, "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him." Amen.
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
In the last number of the Crisis (Feb. 14), I find a criticism on the chronology as given by me in the "Midnight Cry." The brother in referring to the "Midnight Cry," begins -- "Which is said to give the true time for the Lord's coming." This, although not found in the book, is in quotation marks, implying that we claim to be able to give the true time. Now, my brethren, the writer has never made any such claim. Long years of disappointment and waiting have taught him to mistrust human ability. And when speaking of "that blessed hope," either on paper, or by word of mouth, the feeling of modesty has ever been in the ascendant. "I find the chief dependence is on the chronology," says the brother, "which the writer seems to think shows the six thousand years to end in A.D. 1873, without fail, and Christ to come." "Without fail" is also in quotation marks.
I do not object to being understood as holding this faith; but I do object to being represented as dogmatical and positive on these great and momentous truths. Because nothing is further from the fact, as all who have heard me speak, or carefully read the book in question, can testify. The brother is mistaken, and evidently has not read carefully, when he says "he finds the chief dependence is on the chronology." The signs and types are in themselves very strong evidence in favor of 1872. There are many ways of showing, by the types, that the tarrying was to be thirty years; or from 1843 to 1873. But aside from these, and the chronology, there are three prophecies, each one of which, if standing alone, would be sufficient to make us look for our deliverance in 1873 with an earnest, trusting faith.
The brother objects to our position that the sum total given in God's word, are reliable. He thinks some of them may, and in fact must, overrun the time stated in the Bible, while none could fall short; therefore these God given periods are unreliable. I will give his own words -- "While the round years of patriarchs, judges and kings are given to us without mentioning months and days, none can doubt that such fractions existed."
Now I submit that we have no right to assume that Adam, or any other patriarch, or king, was one minute older than God declares him to be, simply because common sense teaches us that there must have been fraction of years, unless we also at the same time assume that some other periods may have run enough short to make the sum total correct, as God has given it. To this, however, the brother objects.
But he admits that if proof could be brought that some of these periods are short of the time given, then this position held in the "Midnight Cry" would be plausible. I am happy to be able to give the desired proof. But first I will say that I agree with the brother that we are not called upon to believe that Adam was just one hundred and thirty years old when Seth was born, and that every patriarch was born on the same day of the month and year, and that each and every king was born, crowned, and died on their birthday. But we have no right to assume one side of the question, and not the other. I should be willing to take my stand on God's word, taking the full years unquestioned, and all the fractions are given. There are but four or five, all of which will be referred to in this article, and if we use them all it only shortens the time one year and ten days, and would make the six thousand end this side of 1873, and not beyond it.
In the "Midnight Cry" we gave the full years without the fractions, because we believe God has so taught. But we will give the proof that a fraction of a year which overrun was not reckoned, and also that one which fall short was not reckoned in summing up the full years, by the pen of inspiration. "David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years." (2 Samuel 5:4.) The next verse (2 Samuel 5:5) tells us that he actually reigned six months over forty years, and yet this fraction is left out in the sum total here, as in two other places, vix., 1 Kings 2:11 -- "And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years." Again, in 1 Chron. 29:27 -- "And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years." Now for the fraction on the other side. "And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign." 2 Chron. 16:13. If he died in the one and fortieth year of his reign, then he did not reign forty-one full years. Now hear the word of the Lord -- "And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, reigned Asa over Judah, and forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem." 1 Kings 15:9-10. The brother notices, he says, that two kings' reigns are left out; Jehoahaz, who reigns three months (2 Chron. 37:2), and Jehoiachin, who reigns three months and ten days. (2 Chron. 37:9) I confess that when I published the "Midnight Cry," these two fractions were left out of the chronology, because after the above teaching, in relation to fractions, I was at a loss what to do I now believe these are exceptional, and should be reckoned in their place. They stand alone. No other period of less than a year is given in the whole of the chronology, and one of these is given to a day, making together six months and ten days. Reckoning these, the six thousand, according to this chronology, will end in the autumn of 1872, six months and ten days prior to the end of the Jewish year terminating in the Spring of 1873. From many Scriptures, I am now convinced that such is the case; and that the time of trouble will begin this coming autumn, at the end of the six thousand. This would carry us about six months into the time of trouble, before Christ comes for our deliverance.
"The third error to which I wish to call attention," says the brother, "is in the reign of the judges. Forty-five years are given as the period from the sending of the spies, when Joshua was forty years old, to the division of the land." I first supposed this misstatement of the brother's naming Joshua for Caleb was a mistake of the printer, but he continues to reason from this premise, and says -- "This makes Joshua eighty-five years old at the division of the land." He then goes on and shows that Joshua being eighty-five at this time, lives twenty-five years after the land was divided. This would be very pretty reasoning if Joshua had been Caleb, and Caleb Joshua. Perhaps the brother will be a little surprised when he looks at Joshua 14:7-10, and discovers his mistake; and that there is not a place in the Bible where Joshua's age is given in connection with any of these events. We simply know that he died at one hundred and ten years of age.
Notwithstanding the fact, so apparent, that the brother has read neither the Bible or my book, on this point, with any benefit to himself, still he has touched the point here where this chronology is vulnerable, if it is so at any place. These four hundred and fifty years of the judges is an old battlefield over which many chronological writers have met and broken lances. The ground has been contested inch by inch until the marks of the struggle are familiar to all passers by. And we give the brother credit due for his discovery. But would it not have been better if he had given the answer to this admitted difficulty, which is already found in the book he was criticizing, instead of ignoring that answer?
The argument on this four hundred and fifty years of the judges has continued since the beginning of the Christian era, at least, and filled many pages of history. It will not be expected, therefore, that I should exhaust the subject at the end of a short article in a paper; still I will do the best I can under present circumstances. In the world's chronology we find an unbroken line from Adam to the end of Caleb's forty-five years, at the division of the land. Joshua 14:7-10. And this without the necessity of appealing to Josephus, or any other uninspired writer. Then come these four hundred and fifty years which we think measures from the point where the chronology is dropped, by Caleb, at the division of the land, until Samuel the prophet. Now for our reasons for so thinking.
The first chronological period given, after the division of the land, is that of Judges 3:8, where they serve the king of Mesopotamia eight years. On through the book of Judges, to the death of Eli (1 Samuel 4:18), we find nineteen short periods (chapter and verse for which may be found in the "Midnight Cry"). Thirteen of these periods measure the time given under their thirteen judges. The other six are the periods when their enemies prevail, between and prior to the reign of these various judges. Hence they are actually under judges but three hundred and thirty-nine years, and one hundred and eleven years under their enemies, making in all four hundred and fifty. In Acts 13:19-20, we read -- "And when he had destroyed seven nations, he divided unto them their land by lot. After that he gave them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet." As the judges were scattered over the greater part of this time with continual breaks between them, no other language would be so appropriate to cover this whole ground as that used by St. Paul. "He gave to them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years." I admit that it is reasonable to suppose, from Joshua 24:31, and other passages, that a considerable time elapsed after the division of the land, and even after Joshua's death, before the eight year period of Judges 3:8 begins. But there is time given to cover that apparent break in the chronology, without going outside of God's word. I am the last one to try to cover up the fact that there is a difficulty here. I believe this chronology was so arranged for the express purpose that men should stumble, as a part of the great plan of closing up the words and sealing the book "even to the time of the end." If the chronology of the six thousand years had pointed to 1873, without obscurity, it would have been a key to unseal the time centuries before God designed it to be understood.
There is an apparent break in the chronology during the time the children of Israel serve the Lord, after the land is divided, and prior to the first eight years which to make up these four hundred and fifty years, which twenty years would fairly cover. And on the other hand, there are twenty years too much time given in the period itself; which must be accepted if we take God at his word. Paul evidently makes these four hundred and fifty years measure from the division of the land until Samuel. (I admit he does not positively so affirm, but he certainly implies that the four hundred and fifty years cover that period of time.) These nineteen periods in the Judges run down as chronology with all the apparent clearness and positiveness of any other portion of chronology, not excepting that from Adam to the flood. A judge delivers them so many years, then they are under their enemies another given period, then another judge, and so on. "And the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years." Judges 13:1. Then we have the story of Samson, which winds up with the sixteenth chapter -- "And he judged Israel twenty years." This twenty is one of the nineteen periods which, added together, make four hundred and fifty for us, as they did for St. Paul. And yet in Judges 15:20 we learn that these twenty years are a part of the preceding period, viz., the forty years already given to the Philistines -- "And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years."
From the above I learn, first, that these four hundred and fifty years are twenty years too long to reach from the time they are sold into the hand of the king of Mesopotamia (Judges 3:8) until Samuel the prophet. Acts 13:20. Second, that it appears to be the right length to reach from the division of the land until Samuel. Third, Paul certainly implies that it does cover that ground. Fourth, that the peculiar way in which God has arranged these numbers, so that the chronology could be given perfect, unbroken, and in full, and yet in a way that men would stumble at it, and finally have to go back and take the simple word of God unquestioned, in order to arrive at the truth, is just like the Lord.
The four hundred and thirty years at the end of which the children of Israel came out of Egypt, is another very similar case. We should have remained in the dark as to where the four hundred and thirty years began, if Paul had not come to the rescue. And strange to relate, the time in the thirteenth of Acts, and the one from the covenant to the law, are the only places where chronology is so much as mentioned in the New Testament. The simple fact is recorded (Ex. 12:41), that when the four hundred and thirty years were fulfilled, on the self same day all the hosts of the Lord came out of Egypt. But not a word is found in the Old Testament as to where these four hundred and thirty years began, nor could we have known, without Galatians 3:17. So with these four hundred and fifty years of the judges. In both these cases the right number of years is given in the Old Testament, but in such a way that we could not place them without further light from the New Testament.
By taking this, and all other chronological periods, as found in the Bible, down to the reliable historic era, at the first year of Cyrus, B.C. 536, unquestioned: the six thousand years will end either the coming autumn, or, at the furthest, with the Jewish year ending in the spring of 1873; at the very time indicated by the 1335 years of Daniel, and other prophecies found in Isaiah and Jeremiah, together with the signs and types, as the end of this dispensation, May we all be ready to meet the Bridegroom, and go in to the marriage feast.
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1872
In accordance with the published invitation of the A.C. church of Worcester, Mass, a special conference was held in their chapel, beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 6th, and continuing over the following Sunday. The object of this meeting was to examine the evidence relating to the time of the Lord's return to earth, and from the large attendance from abroad, particularly of preachers, it was very evident there was a great interest felt in the subject. Besides Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut were represented.
First Day. -- The afternoon of Tuesday was spent in prayer and exhortation, and by the spirit manifested in this first meeting, it became evident that this special gathering of saints was to be of more than common interest. In the evening Bro. Simpson occupied the pulpit, and briefly dwelt upon the various chronological and prophetic periods which would be likely to come before the meeting for discussion. The effort seemed designed, not so much to confirm any special theory, as it was to show the relation the periods had to the time of the Lord's coming, and also their relation to one another.
Second Day. -- On Wednesday morning, at ten o'clock, Dr. H. W. Buxton, in behalf of the Worcester brethren, formally welcomed those present, assuring them that their coming together as they had was an event that gave great pleasure to the church, and that their hearts and homes were open to welcome them. The conference was then formally opened by appointing C.F. Horn Chairman, and C.E. Barnes Secretary. The rule regulating the addresses was, that those desiring to address the meeting should hand their names to the Chairman, and speak in the order said names were presented, each address not to exceed an hour and a half. Bro. L.T. Cunningham was the first to take the floor, and occupied about forty minutes. The "points" in his speech were (1) that definite time regarding the Lord's second coming is in the Bible; namely, the several prophetic periods; and (2) that they are to be understood, inasmuch as all inspiration is profitable (2 Tim. 3:16), and these cannot be profitable except they be understood. (3) He argued that the taking away of the "daily," and the setting up of the "abomination" (Dan. 12:11), was fulfilled in the taking away of paganism, and establishment of the papacy; (4) that the 120 days are to be reckoned from 508 A.D., when paganism was removed from Rome, and the 1260 days from 538 A.D., when the papacy was established, thus terminating both periods in 1798 A.D. (5) The 1335 days are to be reckoned from the establishment of papacy, and extend to 1873 A.D., at which time Christ will redeem his people.
After a short time spent in general comment on the foregoing, Bro. A. Simpson addressed the meeting. He did not differ materially from Bro. C., and spent thirty-five minutes in confirming him in his applications of the prophetic numbers. He advanced, in addition to Bro. C., the following: (1) "The holy city" (Rev. 11:2) is the church of God; (2) the "two witnesses" represent the Bible during the treading under foot of the holy city; (3) Rev. 13:10 was fulfilled when the pope was taken captive in 1798 A.D.; (4) Rev. 13:2 has its fulfillment as follows: the "power" was given to the pope in 533 by Justinian, but the "seat" not until 538. From this period the papacy was supreme just 1260 years. In proving the correctness of the foregoing positions, he read quite copiously from a number of historians, such as Gibbon, Allioson, Thiers, King, Marsh, and others.
A rule controlling those who wished to question the speakers was, that questions should be written and handed to the Chairman. In the P.M. Bro. C. answered a number, among which were the following: (1) What event marked the taking away of the "daily"? Ans. The conversion of the ten kings of divided Rome to Christianity. (2) What constitutes the "little horn" of Dan. 8? Ans. It refers to Rome. The "little horn" is synonymous with the fourth beast of Dan. 7.
Bro. Henry Pratt next took the stand for an hour, and gave an exposition of Dan. 8:13-14. His object was to prove that the 2300 days end with the 1335 days. Once his brethren had seven years intervene, and now but two, and he hoped ere long to see them agreeing that they end simultaneously. In proving that the end in 1873, he located the termination of the seventy weeks in A.D. 63, at which time the Jewish war began. To prove this, Josephus was read by the speaker quite extensively. This claim brought on quite an animated discussion as to the beginning of the Jewish war, some claiming it began in 65 A.D., and others in 63 A.D. To prove their respective points, both parties appealed to Josephus, and both sides ceased very confident of having gained their respective positions.
Before adjourning, it was voted to spend two hours each day during the meeting in a general Bible class; namely, from nine to ten o'clock A.M., and from four to five o'clock P.M., each speaker to be limited to five minutes. Adjourned to ten o'clock A.M.
Third day. -- After the meeting was called to order and opened with prayer, Bro. Orion green addressed the meeting fifty minutes. This speaker differed from those of the day before, in that he terminated the seventy weeks of Dan. 9 at the end of the Jewish war, which he located in A.D. 70. He claimed that the remaining 1810 days (during which Jerusalem was to be trodden down by the Gentiles) begin at this point, thus ending them in 1880.
The next speaker was Bro. Edw'd Daniels, who occupied about fifteen minutes. His claims were (1), that the 1260 years of papal supremacy ended in 1871, when Victor Emmanuel entered Rome. He referred to no event to mark the commencement of them. (2) He also claimed that the "two horned beast" of Rev. 13 is Victor Emmanuel, though he made no effort to identify the two horns.
Bro. N. H. Barbour next took the stand, and gave a brief exposition of Rev. 13. His positions were as follows: (1) The "beast" (Rev. 13:2) is the papacy. (2) The "image of the beast" is papacy restored, which restoration was brought about by the first Napoleon. (3) The "two horned beast" is the two Napoleons. Napoleon I gave life to the "image," or restored papacy, and Napoleon III sustained it until he fell, and then the "image" fell also. In establishing the above, he argued that the allied powers, or Holy Alliance, could not be the "image," as some claimed. Time, fifteen minutes.
The foregoing elicited considerable discussion, after which Bro. S.S. Brewer took the floor, and gave his views of the chapter. (1) The phrase "he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him' was explained: "Before" does not mean priority in point of time, but in the presence of. (2) The "two horned beast" is papacy; the "image" is its system of worship. The features attributed to this power from Rev. 13:12-18 are exactly fulfilled in the papacy. At the request of one of the brethren, Bro. B. then read the paraphrase of Father Miller on this chapter, after which the meeting adjourned to two o'clock P.M.
In the afternoon, after some promiscuous discussion, Bro. G.W. Brown occupied the pulpit and presented his ideas in the form of a sermon on Rev. 11:1-2, as follows: (1) the "angel" is identical with the one in Rev. 14:6. It is the Advent angel, or people who are proclaiming the advent. (2) The "temple of God" mentioned in the text is the Christian church. (3) The "man of sin" was to sit in the temple. He did obtain this seat in the church of Rome, 538 A.D. (4) The "forty two months" reach to 1798, and the 1335 days, beginning at the same point, reach to 1873, at which time Christ will return to earth. Time, sixty minutes. Adjourned to ten o'clock A.M.
Fourth Day. -- Met according to adjournment. After prayer, Bro. Barbour addressed the meeting for the purpose of showing that the six thousand years of the world's history, since the creation of man, will end with the year 1872 A.D. His measurements were as follows: --
From creation to end of flood 1656 years
From Flood to death of Terah 427 "
Abrahamic Covenant to giving of law 430 "
Exodus to sending of spies 1 "
Sending of spies to division of land 45 "
From division of land to Samuel 450 "
From Samuel (under kings) to Zedekiah 513 "
From Zedekiah to end of Captivity 70 "
From end of captivity in first year of
Cyrus (536 B.C.) to Anno Domini 536 "
From A.D. to 1872 1872 "
Having thus presented his chronology, Bro. B. next presented an argument concerning the punishing of Israel "double," founded on Jer. 16:13-18. He claimed that the "double" punishment would extend beyond their rejection eighteen hundred years ago, a period of time equal to what they had existed at that time. At the time of their rejection (A.D. 30) they had existed as a nation eighteen hundred and forty-three (1843) years; to be punished "double" would be to extend their desolations an equal period beyond, which would accomplish their punishment in 1873. In proving the foregoing, Bro. B. argued that the Jewish nationality began at the death of Jacob, from which event to the coming of Shiloh (which was when Christ entered upon his ministry in A.D. 30, according to Bro. B.), there were eighteen hundred and forty three (1843) years, which he reckoned as follows: --
From Jacob's death to giving of law 198 years
Giving of law to sending of spies 1 "
Sending of spies to division of land 45 "
From division of land to Samuel 450 "
From Samuel (under kings) to Zedekiah 513 "
From Zedekiah to end of Captivity 70 "
From end of captivity in first year of
Cyrus (536 B.C.) to Anno Domini 536 "
From A.D. to coming of Shiloh 30 "
This is the period of their existence as a nation up to their rejection, from which the "double" is to be reckoned, bringing us to 1873, at which time Israel will be gathered. Following this the speaker gave an exposition of the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25), in which he claimed that the Advent people since 1843 had fulfilled it exactly.
The preceding expositions gave rise to a general discussion, which was terminated by voting, on motion of Bro. W.N. Pile, that the afternoon session from one to three o'clock be spent in a discussion between Bros. Simpson and Cunningham, and bro. Barbour (the latter to have half the time), in order to learn wherein the variation of two years occurred between their respective chronologies, that of Bro. B. ending the six thousand years in 1873, while Bros. S. and C.'s extended to 1875. Adjourned to one o'clock P.M.
Met according to adjournment. Bro. Simpson took the stand, and gave the following as being his system of chronology: --
From creation of man to flood 1656 yrs
From beginning to end of flood 1 yr
From flood to end of Noahic age 427 "
Sojourn in wilderness 40 "
Under Joshua 25 "
Anarchy 18 "
Judges 450 "
Samuel 12 "
Kings 509 "
From captivity to first of Cyrus 70 "
From Cyrus to Christ 483 "
From Christ to A.D. 5 "
From the expiration for Bro. S.'s time (each speaker being allowed ten minutes), until four o'clock, the time was spent in discussion between Bro. Barbour on one side, and Bros. Simpson and Cunningham on the other. Bro. Barbour claimed their chronology was wrong in the addition of one year for the duration of the flood, whereas he claimed the sixteen hundred and fifty-six years from the creation included the year of the flood. The discussion of this one point consumed the greater part of the time, in which discussion Bro. B. showed very plainly and unmistakably that in this place his opponents had inserted a year which did not belong there. His proof was in Gen. 7:11; 8:13; 9:28-29. By referring to the tables above, the reader will perceive wherein the variation occurs. His opponents did not acknowledge the mistake, although the feeling was almost universal among the listeners that they should have done so, as Bro. Barbour, on this point at least, was decidedly in the right.
Bro. Cunningham's speeches during this discussion were mainly for the object of proving Bro. B's reckoning wrong in dating the first year of Cyrus in 536 B.C. He argued that as the birth of Messiah was to be sixty nine weeks or four hundred and eighty three years from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem; and as Christ was born five months before A.D., the years would extend backward to 488 B.C. Now as Cyrus issued this decree in the first year of his reign (Ezra 1), it follows that 488 B.C. is the correct date. Although the two chronologies differ but two years in their termination, it must be evident to all that there is really a much greater difference between them, as at the first year of Cyrus they are forty eight years apart. Query. This being so, how is it they can be made to come out so near together? Surely there must be a gross error somewhere.
[We do not learn from the "Report" to which day the following notes belong. -- ED.]
On motion of E.G. Higgins, E.P. Woodward was appointed Secretary in absence of C.E. Barnes.
Barbour -- Bro. Cunningham said that these events might go beyond the seventy weeks. It seems to me that when the events are finished the weeks must be.
Cunningham -- I did not mean that they were specific events which commenced at a definite point, and ended at a definite point. There was nothing to specify when he should be born in the seventy weeks.
Pratt -- In his prayer, Daniel refers to his covenant by Moses, and says he has confirmed his word. If the covenant is to be a blessing, to confirm it is to bring blessings, and vice versa. The leader is to be the man of fierce countenance, who is to destroy the city. Titus comes, and does he do these things? The Savior says these be the days of vengeance. The transgression is to be restrained four hundred and ninety years, and then the Romans come. When the time is out, they come, confirm the covenant, destroy the city, and take away the sacrifices.
Pile -- a covenant is an agreement between two parties. It always has sanctions, that is, penalties attached to it, in case of breach. If the people broke it then the curses came upon them. What covenant was this, the old or the new? If one ends with Christ, how can it relate to the Jews? And about the seven weeks and sixty two weeks, are they separate or joined?
Ewell -- The question looks clear to me. How much of the time belongs to the Jews? Seventy weeks. IF I lease a house for five years, it is not four years and eleven months, but five years. If I do not comply with the terms of the lease, when the time has expired the owner has control of the house. It will take him some time to get possession, perhaps seven days.
Brown -- There were two covenants made with the Jews. The one referred to by Daniel is in Deut. 29:28. Gabriel comes along and says, I have come forth to give thee skill; therefore understand the matter. What matter? The matter you have been praying about. In regard to the "new covenant," it is not spoken of at all in Dan. 9. There are seventy weeks to restrain the evil that is to come upon you. When they are run out, and the people of the Prince shall confirm the covenant for one week, and cause the sacrifice to cease, and cease forever. They will take away all you have. We do not want to put the new covenant where it does not belong. Pile quoted from Deut. 26:27 -- "He that confirmeth not," etc.
Hemenway -- What does Bro. Brown mean by "confirm?"
Brown -- I suppose it means to make sure; so that it will never fail.
Pratt -- God makes the covenant himself. He says, if you do so and so, blessings will follow; if not, curses. What will it be to confirm the covenant? To bring these blessings or curses. Who will confirm it? Somebody else has got to do that. I say to my child, if you are a good boy, I will bring you something; otherwise, I will punish you. To confirm that is to do what he did to the Jews. The Savior says, these be the days of vengeance, etc. Nobody had confirmed the latter part of that covenant. It was not confirmed to that people, but "to you and to your seed." We go down a great many generations, and it is the Jewish people still. The leader that came did destroy the city, did confirm the covenant in besieging the city, did take away the daily, and so it is fulfilled.
Barbour. -- Bro. Pratt confuses the idea of word and covenant. Is it necessarily the same thing?
Pratt -- I will read one verse. Dan. 9:11 (here quoted) -- hath confirmed his words." It refers to the covenant.
Cunningham -- The word covenant in Deut. and the word covenant in Daniel, come from the same Hebrew word. It must be the same in both instances. It cannot apply to Christ. God used the Roman army as his scourge. The seventy weeks are for the restraining of transgressions that length of time. Echol is to restrain, -- always rendered with the sense of restraint. They should be afflicted, but not destroyed till the seventy weeks were ended. After sixty two weeks from the completion of the wall, Messiah should be cut off.
Pratt -- Gabriel comes to instruct about that vision. He says there are seventy weeks allotted to the people and the city. The remainder, or 1810 years, was "the time of the Gentiles."
Pile -- The question is whether they are really cut off from the 2300 days. Bro. Cunningham said the Romans were simply the scourge in the hands of the Lord. If that be so, the Lord confirmed the covenant. As to the sixty two weeks, it seems to me the last clause of the twenty sixth verse is simply and explanation; and that the only commencement of any period is from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem.
Hemenway -- In the phrase "confirm the covenant," it is not the covenant, but a covenant. I have no question but what is the covenant God made with his people. The seventy weeks spanned the whole thing. Then to make the matter clear, the prophet touches events to transpire in the seventy weeks. Who shall confirm the covenant? You apply it to Titus. You chastise a boy with a stick. You chastise him, not the stick. I think God would not apply the word confirm to the stick he used. He would not say the stick, but himself did it.
Green -- It is evident that a mistake has been made in this prophecy, and that is in the word "he." There is only one place to begin; that is, the birth of Christ.
Hobbs -- There are five points in the seventy weeks that are fulfilled in Christ. Reference has been made to the sixty two weeks, that (it?) is translated by some, after the weeks, and that it is identical with the other threescore and two weeks. That would prove conclusively that the last week of the seventy was to bring in everlasting righteousness, etc. This is seen by the connection. He shall cause the ----- to cease, not destroy it.
Cunningham -- The attempt to make a distinction where there is no difference seems unnecessary; ---- make to cease, and cause to cease. I have quoted from the Hebrew in order to show that "cut off" is the only correct translation.
Pile -- Bro. Cunningham is coming to the point. If these sixty nine weeks are an integral part of the seventy, then it follows that the sixty nine could not have ended at Christ. The word "determine" does not express what the angel meant to express. It is either cut off, or cut in pieces. The word is generally used in the sense of "cutting off," or divided. The form here is unusual, showing there is a triple division of the seventy weeks. But what evidence have we that the sixty two weeks commence with the completion of the walls?
Brown -- I think we are advancing a little. We must place ourselves a little in the place of Daniel. Gabriel said, Make this man to understand the vision; and he told him what the ram and the goat were, and "then I fainted, and was sick certain days, and was astonished at the vision." The next you hear of Daniel he was praying to God. What about? About the time. Then he is told about the 2300 days. The first thing was the seventy weeks cut off, to restrain the transgression, etc. He was going to make reconciliation for iniquity. This was God's time when the Messiah should be cut off.
Pile -- Does Bro. Brown commence the sixty nine weeks with the thirty second year of Artaxerxes?
Brown -- Messiah will be cut off in sixty nine weeks from the first of Cyrus.
Cunningham -- The apostle says, "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God." I think we had better apply ourselves as Daniel did. We read that seventy weeks are to be cut off upon his people: there will be an attempt made, at a point when it will not do to have that people destroyed. The "restraint" shall commence at this point. If the vision had not been broken off there, it would never have been "shut up."
Barbour -- I believe the coming of the Lord is what we want to learn about; but we do not seem to be coming any nearer together. Suppose this theory, or that, is true; I would rather talk about the coming of the Lord. What interest have we in that? Paul and the apostles did not look any further.
Brown -- I do not want to be identified with those who believe that the 2300 days go beyond the end. And I expect that the 1335 days end at the same place. The war commenced with the end of the seventy weeks. There was a seven years' war commencing with A.D. 63. 1810 years will carry us to 1873.
Pile -- Have been profited by this meeting. Prophetic time is a proper subject for investigation. The more we keep the Lord's coming before us, the nearer we can live to him.
Brown -- What the "restraint" is off, the war will commence. The war will be for seven years, and in the midst of this time the sacrifices should cease. Where do the weeks commence? We can tell by running back from the time the war commenced.
Pile -- The trouble is, it does not hit any time. There must be a commencement for the 2300 days, as well as for the 1810. If we run back, it brings us to 428 B.C.
Brown -- What of it? Is it anything wonderful that there is a difference of two years? Here we have to depend upon Josephus; but when I get down to A.D. 70, I am at home.
Barbour -- If we can make it end in 1873, I would be willing to let it go so; but our other brethren run the 2300 years to 1875, so that they can run two years beyond the end.
Cunningham -- Br. Brown must show us some event in 428.
Brown -- I think there is nothing wonderful if there should be a mistake somewhere.
F.W. Higgins -- The question is in reference to the seventy weeks; what portion of the sixty two, or sixty nine, or seventy, extend from the death of Christ to the war?
Cunningham -- He says in the first place that seventy weeks are cut off upon thy people. Then there is Christ's coming introduced, and the reconciliation for iniquity to be made. Then he says the walls shall be built, and after sixty two weeks Messiah shall be cut off. There is a distinct work to be accomplished at the termination. When we come to the one week, we have the Messiah not introduced, but the people of the Prince that shall come.
E.G. Higgins -- Which part of the sixty nine weeks reaches to Christ?
Cunningham -- They do not terminate at the birth of Christ. The sixty two and sixty nine weeks are distinct from each other.
Pile -- The transgression was not restrained after 63 A.D. Does it not follow that the four hundred and ninety years must commence with the seventy (?) weeks? How shall we make the four hundred and ninety years reach from Cyrus to Christ?
Brown -- I do not believe the four hundred and ninety years commence with the first year of Cyrus. But I believe the sixty nine weeks do. If they commence together, they end forty nine years before he was born.
E.G. Higgins -- It says first that seventy weeks are cut off, and then that is divided up into sixty two and seven, which make sixty nine.
Brown -- I don't believe a word of it.
Pratt -- If the seventy weeks end with the crucifixion, the 2300 days run out in 1843 somewhere, and we are all afloat. It must have ended when the desolation of Jerusalem commenced. If the Jews' time ended in 63, we have the end in 1873; if in 65, the end is in 1875; if in 70, 1880.
Cunningham -- The brother admits the meaning of the word "restrain." When the restraint is taken off, the 490 years end. Josephus was in the war, and it seems that he might settle the matter. (Extract read respecting the last act of the war in 72, when nine hundred slew each other.) the war ended 72 A.D.
AFTERNOON BIBLE CLASS
Letter read from D. Clow, Janesville, Wis. Sisters invited to speak by Bro. Higgins. Bro. Barbour spoke on the Commune, as foretold in Revelation. He understood the beast of Rev. 11, Rev. 12 and 7, to be the Roman beast, tracing its various developments to the beast that was, is not, and yet is, which is of (not one of) the seven, being the general uprising of the people for power, * or Commune, as the last form.
* I think Bro. Barbour had better be asked to set forth these views in an article. I know I could not fully understand him, and fear others did not. Perhaps a repart of his words would do him injustice. -- E.T.W.
Bro. Pratt spoke of the designs of the Pope to repossess himself of kingly power, and the societies which oppose his plans, and the consequent certainty that those who look for "peace and safety" will be mistaken. (Remarks somewhat extended).
Barbour -- When Israel came out of Egypt, the last seven plagues were poured out on the Egyptians alone. So in the last seven plagues, the Lord will hide his people. And the world knows something is coming, yet they know not what.
Pile -- Read extract from the Report of the Troy Convention of American Spiritualists, showing the chances of union between Communists and Spiritualists to be consummated soon. Considers the Commune the last form of the Dragon. They aim at a Universal Republic, and Spiritualists aim at the same object.
Bro. Brittan thought property would not be worth much in this world soon. It was a good time to draw out what we had. Had nothing himself invested there. It is a great deal better to be burned out than to be burned up. Brethren say they cannot go into the churches, as they cannot get anything there; then go and carry something. Feed my sheep.
Bro. Pratt -- Had nine houses in Springfield he would dispose of in a manner that would satisfy everyone of his belief, if he could only be sure the Lord was coming in 1873. Adjourned.
THE BIBLE CLASS
As already mentioned, two hours each day were spent in a general Bible class, each speaker being allowed five minutes, and not to speak more than three times in a session without permission of the class. The hours thus spent were very profitable and interesting. The following are a few of the topics which occasioned considerable discussion: --
(1) Did Noah enter the ark seven days prior to, or on the day of, the flood? Gen. 7:11-13 were quoted as proving the latter supposition.
(2) Were the words in Matt. 24:15-22 fulfilled in part at the destruction of Jerusalem, and in part in the papal persecution, or is their fulfillment wholly in the latter? On this, it was clearly proved that the entire passage referred to but one event, and that was the papal persecution.
(3) Are the weeks in Dan. 9:25, reaching to Messiah the Prince, to be computed from the birth of Christ, or when he entered upon his public ministry, or from his resurrection and ascension? This question elicited a variety of opinions, and its discussion was very animated.
(4) Are the "weeks" in Dan. 9:25 to be considered as wholly distinct form the "seventy weeks" of the preceding verse; or does verse 25 enumerate the divisions of time into which the "seventy weeks" are to be divided? In proving the latter, the words "know therefore and understand" were appealed to as being proof that the periods in verse 25 were intimately connected with that of verse 24.
In their rejoinders one to another, as a general thing, kindness and brotherly love were very prominent. A word, however, concerning an occasional feature of the discussions, may not be out of place here. In trying to prove certain positions, after reading portions of Scripture and advancing certain deductions therefrom, the speaker would sometimes close with an appeal something like this: "Now which are you going to believe, the word of God, or men? Les us believe God!" and in a short time one or the other side would close his argument and deductions with the triumphant appeal, "Thus you see what the Bible says on this point. For my part, I choose to believe God!"
Would it not be well for brethren to remember that Christians may differ greatly from one another, and yet each have an abiding faith in the teachings of the Bible? When different views of the same passage are presented, the difference of opinion is not because one believes the Bible and the other does not, but merely because they differ in their interpretation of a text which both firmly believe.
The discussions were confined to the sessions during the day, the evenings being devoted to preaching. Bro. Simpson preached the first evening (see supra), and Bro. Carpenter the second, who gave a very interesting exposition of the seventh chapter of Daniel. In his remarks he considered France as the Euphrates of mystic Babylon, which was "dried up." Rev. 15:12. On Thursday evening Bro. Simpson gave an exposition of Matt. 24, and on Friday evening Bro. Pile preached on "The Coming Reign of Terror," in which discourse he argued that the same agencies that produced the French Revolution in the last century; namely , Spiritualis, Infidelity, Socialism, Free Love, etc., are not working in the world and tending to a similar result. (This discourse is printed in a tract of twenty four pages, which can be had of the author, Springfield, Mass.)
C.E. BARNES, Secretary.
As a whole, the meeting was undoubtedly profitable; new ideas were developed, and some old ones, supposed to be indisputable, were found to be unwarranted. So far as a united agreement upon the prophetic periods is concerned, no conclusion is reached. The point on which there seemed to be any general unanimity was the ending of the thirteen hundred and thirty five days in 1873. If any did not endorse this conclusion, they made no public statement to that effect. Harmony prevailed, and the meeting assured all that brethren can dwell together in unity, even though not agreed in all their opinions.
C.E. BARNES, Secretary.
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy [koh-desh] sanctuary." Dan. 9:24. The same word occurs in Dan. 8:14. "Then shall the koh-desh be cleansed." These seventy weeks were evidently given to measure the remnant of, the Jewish dispensation. Most Bible students think they ended at, or about the time of the crucifixion; while some recent writers extend them to the destruction of Jerusalem. Objections to both views have been raise by those who take opposite sides. If the former be true, the balance of the 2300 days, from which these seventy weeks were cut off, must have ended 1810 years after the crucifixion, or about A.D. 1843. The objection to this application is with the ending of the longer period of 2300 days, and not with the seventy weeks themselves. If the latter view be taken, there are objections to the ending of the seventy weeks, and also that of the longer period. Those who believe they ending in A.D. 65, divide the 2300 days thus; seventy weeks or 490 years, "determined," or cut off on the Jews, and 1810 measure "the time of the Gentiles."
OBJECTIONS TO THIS VIEW
If the seventy weeks which were "determined" on that people ended at A.D. 65, it follows that their nationality and organization must have continued until that time; for when the organization which constituted them a peculiar people ended, they must have ceased to be "thy people," in every sense in which they are not "they people" today. Hence the "seventy weeks" must have been the measure of their dispensation, probation, or organization. The affirmative on this question, say their nationality, priesthood, sacrifices and organization did continue until A.D. 65. And this is in a certain sense correct. Hence they are right in making this assertion as they do, unsupported by Bible evidence; the burden of proof lying with the negative. Romanists assert that the bread is the body of Christ. "Take eat, this is my body." This is correct in letter. Protestants affirm that it represents his body. This is true in Spirit. The affirmative on the question before us, are correct in letter, and therefore have a plausible position. But we shall show theya re not correct in spirit. "The letter killeth, but the spirit maketh alive." Hence, whatever is based on the letter alone, is worthless.
Paul teaches that Christ made an end of sacrifice. The affirmative declares that Titus made an end of sacrifice. Both are correct in a certain sense. But which is true? It is not a handsome application of prophecy alone, but the true application, for which we are in search. "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the law." Here we perceive the law was changed Moses to Christ with the priesthood. The Aaronic priesthood ended when Christ, who was of the tribe of Judah, took the office of Priest upon himself, is the teaching of Paul. The Aaronic priesthood did not end until Jerusalem was destroyed, say they. "The law was, until John, says Christ. The law was until Titus, say they. The partition wall which made the distinction between Jew and Gentile, was broken down and removed by the gospel, is the teaching of Paul. The partition wall which made that people distinct, was not broken down, say they until A.D. 65, notwithstanding our Lord said "their house was left unto them desolate."
Under the gospel dispensation, Paul teaches that they that were Jews outwardly had ceased to be Jews. The outward Jew continued to be "thy people" until A.D. 65, say they. If nothing else, certainly their nationality continued until A.D. 65, say the affirmative. (From their stand point, I should say it continued until A.D. 70; but this would be five years too long.) The simple fact of their having a city, did not make or mar their nationality. They were a nation before they had a city. See Deut. 26:5. They were "a royal priesthood, a holy nation," so called of God. And the two characters were one and inseparable. When their priesthood ended and the kingdom of God was taken from them, they ceased to be a nation, in the true sense of the language of Inspiration. For under the gospel dispensation "we are a royal priesthood; we are a holy nation," says the Apostle. Did God have two royal priesthoods, two holy nations, two dispensations, two doors to the kingdom, at one and the same time? He did if that old Hagar and her children continued to be "thy people and thy holy city' until A.D. 65, in any sense in which they are not his today.
"They shall take away the daily, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate" (Dan. 11:31) doubtless refers to the Romans. And the Romans did stop the burning of sheep and oxen. But when they took away the "daily," it was not a sacrifice. A sacrifice means an offering made to God, by his own appointed ministers, says Cruden. As the priesthood had been changed to Christ, there was no priest or minister among that God forsaken people to offer a sacrifice. Hence, the prophet calls it "the daily" simply; but not sacrifice, as our translators have. I should have called it "abomination." They -- the Romans -- took away the daily abomination, to please the one that "maketh desolate." Let no man deceive you, however plausible his theory may appear, when it is opposed by the whole spirit and teaching of the gospel, as this one is. That dispensation, covenant, law, priesthood, nationality, and organization ended with the introduction of a new order of things; when Christ became the minister of a better covenant. "And he shall confirm the covenant with man for one week." Dan. 9:27. This 'he" cannot refer to the prince of the preceding verse, for it is "the people of the prince" who accomplish the destruction. Hence if it is the work of destruction which confirms the covenant, as some of our brethren assert, it should have been, "they shall confirm the covenant," not "he." There is, to my mind, far more propriety in referring this "he" to "the Messiah." But to make an application of a prophecy as dark as this one is conceded to be, and with such a variety of renderings, hinge on the supposed application of a pronoun, as given in this one rendering, would be very unsatisfactory to me, unless it were supported by other evidence. A covenant, testament, or agreement, is an obligation or contract between two or more parties, and must be confirmed by the party who obligate themselves to accomplish or bring about certain results, and not by a third party who have no interest in it.
Again. A covenant, or testament (synonymous terms), must be confirmed before it comes into operation; not after it has expired. See Heb. 9:16, 18. "The first covenant had ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary." This "first covenant," referred to by Paul, was evidently the Jewish covenant, and could not have continued after "the seventy weeks" determined on that people had ended. The seventy weeks ended, as our brethren say, at A.D. 65. Hence, by this theory of application, the Jewish covenant was confirmed after it had expired, and by Titus, who had no connection with it. All of which is opposed to Scripture and reason. Moses was the mediator of the first covenant, Christ of the second. The first covenant, confirmed by the shedding of blood; so was the second, -- but not the blood of Titus. "If that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." Heb. 8:7. "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old; now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." Heb. 8:13. "Then saith he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." Heb. 10:9. It was "he," the Messiah, and not Titus, who came "to do thy will, O God," and "took away the first, that he might establish the second." The whole tenor of Paul's rasoning, and of the gospel itself, teaches, beyond all question, that the first covenant was taken away to make place for a better one, long before Jerusalem was destroyed.
The "he" that confirms the covenant (Dan. 9:26) is the same "he" that causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease. And if Paul's testimony can be received, Messiah made the sacrifice and oblation to cease, "nailing them to his cross." The fact that the "one week" is mentioned after the destruction of the city, certainly does not prove that its chronological place is during its destruction. Events are often mentioned in prophecy without regard to their chronology. In Micah 5:1-2, for instance, they are said to "smite the judge of Israel on the cheek" in the first verse; after which his birth is mentioned in the second. In Zech. 9:9-11, the everlasting kingdom and gospel dispensation are strangely mingled, as also in many other places.
This stretching of the seventy weeks to the destruction of Jerusalem, does great injustice to the unity of the prophecy, as well as to its language. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city," to accomplish certain definitely specified things, all of which were accomplished at and by the death of Christ, as we can prove from the New Testament. "Know therefore" -- in consequence of these seventy weeks being determined on thy people, that it shall be divided so and so -- "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks." This ended when Christ began his ministry, after John the forerunner had fulfilled his course. For as the Messiah, or Anointed, he did not come until after John had baptized. Acts 13:24. "And after threescore and two weeks [those just mentioned, not a new period] shall Messiah be cut off." Whether it was three and a half years after, or seven, we can never know, for Inspiration and history are alike silent on that point. "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." Whether Christ confirmed it in his own person, during the whole week, or a portion of the time through those who heard him, we cannot tell; doubtless the latter; for as he causes "the sacrifice and oblation to cease in the midst of the week," and this occurs when he offers himself on the cross, it is probably that he preached only three and a half years.
By destroying the unity of this prophecy, and separating the seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks, and one week, into periods having no relation to each other, or to the seventy, of which it is so clearly implied they are a part, our brethren make them cover seventy nine weeks. Sixty nine weeks reach to the birth of our Lord, say they; while the one week, by some wonderful arrangement, is made to reach to A.D. 70, or ten weeks further on. Hence there were really seventy nine weeks determined on that people, it would appear.
It seems to me enough has been said to show that this whole theory is based on the one fact that Jerusalem was not destroyed for some thirty or forty years after God had given it up, and it had ceased to be "the holy city," and without one atom of Scripture support, but in the face of a perfect avalanche of inspired testimony against such application.
"The times of the Gentiles' must refer to Gentile dominion, or Gentile probation; there is nothing else to which they can refer. If to the first, they began with Babylon, the first universal Gentile kingdom. IF they refer to their probation, hey began when the gospel was first preached to the Gentiles. In either case the balance of the 2300 days, or 1810 years, is too short to cover "the times of the Gentiles." And to say that they began at A.D. 65, is like all the rest of this application, founded on pure assertion, entirely unsupported by Scripture. God had given them up long before that; and Christ had told them that by and by an army should come and destroy the old Hagar and her children.
OBJECTIONS TO THE 2300 DAYS ENDING IN 1843
The evidence that the Jewish covenant, law, ordinances, seventy weeks, and all that pertained to that dispensation ended with the last, or "one week," during which our Lord takes away the old, and confirms the new covenant, and "causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease," by instituting a better sacrifice and a "better covenant," is beyond all question. Therefore, it follows that the balance of the 2300 days must have ended 1810 years after the termination of that "one week," or at about 1843. But as we have clearly shown these 1810 years are not long enough to cover "the times of the Gentiles," we are forced to the conclusion that the Gentile times extend beyond the 2300. And there is nothing in the language of Dan. 8:14, which forbids it. "Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," certainly does not imply that it had been cleansed before the days ended, nor does it imply that it must be accomplished instantly at the end of the days. When 2300 days have ended, there was something in the future, something still to be done. "Then" implies time, and means the next even. You go to England, then to China. "How long the voyage from the time you leaven the shores of England, until you pass the last inch of water, and plant your feet on the soil of China? And he said unto me, until 2300 days, then shall the passengers go ashore." The question in the vision, like this question, covers the whole time, "even to the last end of the indignation;" but the answer is indefinite. You might go ashore in a few minutes, or, if night had come on, not until morning. In the case before us, night did come on. The vision tarried at the end of the 2300 days; "and while the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept." A similar case occurs in the twelfth chapter. A question which covers the whole time down to the resurrection, is asked -- "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" The answer is, that it shall be for a "time, times and a half;" then something was to be done which the time given in the answer does not cover. Daniel then asks, "What shall be the end of these things?" and is informed that "there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." And even this period does not cover it all; for after these days end, there is something still future -- a waiting time -- "blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the month and a half added thereto"; as some old translation read.
None of these periods so far given in the book of Daniel, reach to the end; for there is a positive declaration, that after each one of them there was something as yet unaccomplished. And whether that something would be accomplished in five minutes or fifty years, there is not the slightest hint, until the last period is given. Here, with "the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days," (1335) is the final and complete answer, to which God, the angels, and the prophet have been gradually bringing us, through all these past visions, questions, and answers. This final answer is clear and positive. Of this period it is said -- "Thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot, AT THE END OF THE DAYS."
This makes the book of Daniel, a unity, not broken fragments, independent of each other. The vision of the second chapter was a mere outline; the seventh adds new features; the eighth still more, and finally, with the last words that fall from the lips of the "man clothed in linen," we reach the solution of the great problem. The book was then "closed up and sealed, even to the time of the end." "Behold I will make thee to know what shall be in the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed the end shall be." Verse 19. From this to the twenty fifth verse the angel shows him what shall be, even to the last end, where the "fourth beast" is "broken without hands." This was the time God had appointed in the second chapter for the end, when the stone cut out "without hands" should smite the image. Two prophetic periods had been mentioned prior to this -- "the time, times and a half" (1260) of the seventh chapter, and the 2300 days of this vision; but it does not necessarily follow that either of these periods was the time God had appointed for the end. God speaks of things that are not as though they were; and though he had declared the end from the beginning, he did not reveal it to Daniel until the last sentence of his communications was completed.
God appointed the time long before Daniel's day. He says to David, in Psalm 102 -- "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory" -- just what we are looking for at the end of the days -- "Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favor her, yea, the set time is come."
The Bible is a unit; and the plan of salvation, stretching from the garden of Eden till the "last trump" shall call the sleeping millions from the dust, is one progressive and unbroken work. A word uttered in some dark corner by an ancient seer, echoes down the centuries until the stream is caught by other lips, and used as if the language had but just burst forth from their own inspiration. "Let us then take heed unto the sure word of prophecy, as unto a light shining in a dark place, . . . . knowing this first, that no prophecy is given of any private interpretation;….but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," and their words are linked together in one great comprehensive plan. The several parts not perfect in themselves, or containing the whole truth; but each one dependent on, and perfect only in connection with, its fellows. The 1260 days reach to "the time of the end" -- 1798. The 2300 days reach to the tarrying time -- 1843. The 1290 days reach to the waiting time, or to where the Advent movement began -- 1828. The 1335 days reach to the time when Daniel will stand in his lot -- 1873.
The different phases of the Advent movement, like all of God's work, are consistent in themselves, and form a united whole. The first "going out to meet the bridegroom," began at the end of the 1290 days, and reached to 1843. Then came the disappointment, just as our Lord had said -- "And while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept." This accounts for the divisions and mistakes of this phase of the movement. "At midnight," viz., the middle of this tarrying, or sleeping time, from 1843 to 1873, there was a cry -- the true one -- to be made. The 1873 cry began in the middle of this thirty years of tarrying, just where our Lord said it would begin. And now at that cry the virgins are waking up, and trimming their lamps by hundreds and by thousands, and still the cry goes on. But in order to preach 1873 time, we must go back to the platform occupied by "the virgins" before they went to sleep. Bro. Miller's dream is coming true. During this sleeping time the virgins have taken those "jewels," or prophetic periods which God gave to him, and scattering them to the four winds, have put counterfeit ones in their place. But these lost jewels are being found and reset, and are indeed "shining brighter than before."
There are many overwhelming evidences for 1873. Some of our brethren see one of these, the 1335 days, and are preaching it; others see more; but just so far as they are preaching 1873 time, they are on the old 1843 platform. And when they get completely back into the position occupied before they went to sleep, they will get such a blaze of light from the sure word of prophecy as will make their hearts glad, and their words powerful. Seen from this high eminence, all the disappointments and strange history of the Advent people come out in strong relief; and what has hitherto appeared like confusion, is seen to take its place as a part of a systematic plan through which God designed to lead us to our deliverance. And as the beginning, or first movement, was based in truth, we shall find a good tree will bring forth good fruit, notwithstanding the unripe fruit has been bitter.
Convince me that the 1843 movement was based in falsehood, and that the past has been only confusion and error, and I will admit, with the world, that the chances are a hundred to one that this 1873 movement will be of a like nature, and end in disappointment. But as its foundation was laid in truth, depend upon it, at the end "the vision will speak and not lie."
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
"When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory."
"Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favor her, yea, the set time is come." - Psalm 102.
God has certainly set the time when he will bring again Zion; when her warfare will be ended, and his people see eye to eye; and it is then "he will appear in his glory." Many of our brethren seem shy of these portions of God's word in which definite time is mentioned. But if the subject be investigated in the right spirit; with no dogmatical assertions; simply with the view to learn what God has spoken, I think harm to the cause of Christ could not result. Surely it cannot be wrong to investigate Scripture on this subject. IT is true, men have no right to set the time for the coming of Jesus. But it is not only right, it is a positive duty, to search for all the light we can get on this most important event. Many say -- "It makes no difference when the Lord comes, if we are only ready." To me it does make a difference. I cannot say to our High Priest -- "Come, Lord Jesus, and come QUICKLY,' and then turn to my brother and say -- "It makes no difference to me when he comes."
Angels and patriarchs, holy men, apostles and prophets, have all earnestly desired to know when Christ would come in his glory. I, too, feel the same earnest desire, deep down in my heart, to know "what, and what manner of TIME" the Spirit of Christ which was in the prophet, did signify. And God being my helper, I will continue to search, and "search diligently," and never, NEVER give over until I fall asleep, or see the King in his beauty. Disappointments may be bitter; that of 1843 was exceedingly so to me; and I have never seen an argument that satisfied me since then, until the four strong arguments which God has given for 1873. The eating of that "open book" in the 1843 message was sweet. O what love, what unity, what strong faith we then had! But the digestion was to be bitter. The disappointment followed; and those who passed through it will never forget the bitterness of that cup. Perhaps that which God put to the lips of Abraham was not more so, when the old man started on that three days' journey to offer his son, his only son, as a burnt offering. He stood the trial, and did not draw back. He went on his way; built the altar, prepared the wood, bound his son, and nerving himself for the last sad act of obedience, grasped the knife, and with uplifted arm aimed at the life of his boy. But God's eye was on him, and quicker than thought an angel was sent to stay his hand. "Stay thy hand, Abraham," said God. Now I know thee.
If God would try us, -- and surely nothing has been so severe a trial to the Advent people, as the passing of the time -- shall we turn our backs on this part of god's word, and say "no more time for me" -- "A burnt child dreads the fire," etc., etc? "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
God has called out the Advent people. A hundred years ago, men were waiting for death; and so many good Christians are today, and pray that God will prepare them for death; but when he comes, he will have a few, at least, who can say -- "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us." Now he has a waiting people. They came out on time. What could the 1843 movement been with the 1843 left out? They will go in on time. At the end, the vision will speak and not lie. And depend upon it, "the wise shall understand." Then, dearly beloved, do not be afraid to investigate, but let us be meek and have the Spirit of Christ.
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
"Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go yet out to meet him."
To those who accept the Bible as the standard of truth, there can be nothing plainer than are the indications that we are on the eve of the world's dissolution. The sings in the sun, moon, and stars; the perplexity of the nations; the downfall and gradual consumption of the papacy; the disintegration of social and political organizations; all together speak in language too plain to be misunderstood, and tell us that the "times of the Gentiles" are about fulfilled, and earth's history under the curse drawing to a close. Then will come the day when Zion's warfare will end, and death be swallowed up in victory. A few more days and the grave must give up its sleeping millions; a few more days and we shall greet the loved ones who sleep in Jesus.
This being true, the history of the present time is one of interest to the prophetic student; especially that portion which refers to God's people. When the Lord comes there is to be a "waiting" people on the earth. "In the day when he takes the rebuke of his people from off all the earth, it shall be said, "lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us." "Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty (1335) days." All living will come to the end of the days, but the blessing is for those who wait and come.
No one would say they were waiting for a friend if that friend should come upon them by surprise, and when they were not expecting him. O no, beloved, let no man deceive you; God will have a people, when he comes, who are waiting, not for death, as all men were before this Advent movement began, and as many are even to this day; but a people who are waiting for him. And that people have a prophetic history in the parable of the "ten virgins," which is now being fulfilled. May God give us wisdom to see and believe the truth.
The going forth of the virgins was fulfilled in the 1843 movement. "The Bridegroom tarried," and we were disappointed. "They all slumbered and slept," and hence, we have been in darkness. The 1873 cry answers to the midnight cry; and the virgins are rising and trimming their lamps. Thus the parable has been literally fulfilled, as we shall show, and the going in of the wise virgins remains before us.
Some suppose parables ought not to be applied in detail, but teach one, and only leading idea. This, however, cannot be true, for our Lord does not so apply them. Look at that of the "tares and wheat," where every part is fully carried out in the application. Again, in the parable of the "sower." Mark 4. And the application of this one is made a sample, or rule, by which all parables are to be explained. For when asked for an explanation he says -- "Know ye not this parable? How then shall ye know all parables?" ver. 13. Then follows the interpretation. The seed, the birds of the air, the wayside, the stony ground, the thorns, the scorching of the sun, choking by the thorns, want of earth, the good ground, etc. All parts have their meaning. Not a though expressed in the parable but finds a full application. Hence, we may expect every detail of the parable of the ten virgins to be accurately fulfilled.
Let us first notice its chronology, which unlike all others is put in the future. "then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened," viz., at some future time. All others are given in the present tense. The kingdom of heaven is likened to a sower, to a net, to a nobleman, etc. These refer to the whole gospel dispensation; while that of the ten virgins was placed in the future, and ends with the coming of the Bridegroom, and hence is clearly located at the end of the dispensation.
This is so apparent that I am surprised at the blindness of those who try to make it apply to the whole gospel dispensation. Then again, it has been literally fulfilled by the Adventists during this present generation.
The signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and upon earth distress of nations with perplexity, were to be seen by the last generation, "and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads." Luke 21:28. This movement which has made us "look up, and lift up our heads," began in 1828, after the sun had been darkened, but before the falling of the stars, or when these things began to come to pass.
The first public labor of Bro. Miller, as an Adventist, began in Feb. 1828 (see his Life), and was followed by a revival. It is true he had studied the subject for many years before this; and that he did not publish his lectures until two or three years subsequent (1831); nor did he at this time call himself a preacher; but here is where he began his public work. The movement continued for about fifteen years, and ended in the great disappointment of 1843-1844. Never was there such a taking of the lamp. ("Thy word is a lamp.") Everybody had a Bible, and searched to see if these things were so. Ministers read it as they had never done before. Farmers, mechanics, lawyers, and laborers, women and children, male and female, everywhere, at home and abroad. Bibles were in demand; and the near approach of the judgment stirred the hearts of the multitude. They took their lamps and went forth; some with fear and trembling, and others with joy and rejoicing. But we were disappointed -- "The Bridegroom tarried."
With the passing of the time it seemed almost as if God's word had failed. We were in darkness on this subject; our unity was gone; discord and confusion seemed to reign; and these things have continued, more or less, until the present time. "While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept." Truly this much of the parable has been fulfilled.
Objections have been raised that the 1843 movement was confined principally to this country, and therefore was not of sufficient extent to answer to the prophecy. This may also be raised against the signs in the sun, moon, and stars; for they were seen very little, if any, except by those on this continent.
The gospel began in the East and is ending in the West. Hence the last prophecies which refer to God's people find their fulfillment here. If this movement has not been extensive enough to answer to the parable, it simply follows that its fulfillment is yet in the future, and must be enacted on a larger scale. What then become of the signs, and "this generation," now almost dwindled to an end?
But that 1843 movement was extensive enough; the sound went to the uttermost parts of the earth, and was more fully disseminated than were the events pertaining to the first coming of Christ during an equal period of time.
The night of this parable, or slumbering and sleeping time, is while the Bridegroom tarried, and has been so fulfilled. This has been the time of our darkness; the shut doors, Elijahs, and all the strange applications of prophecy, from which time has compelled us to retreat in almost every instance. These things may not be pleasant to talk about, but all know they are true.
Prior to the tarrying our Lord exhorts the virgins to be awake. And here let me remark what we all know to be true, that during this slumbering and sleeping, every definite time which has been preached, and every prophecy applied, has been by tearing down those things taught by the virgins before they went to sleep. Take, for instance the 2300 days of Dan. 8. If they did not end in 1844, 1854 did as well. That time passed, and they moved them on to 1867, 1868, 1870, 1873, 1875, and some to 1880.
When Bro. Miller's argument that the seventy weeks were part of the 2300 days, and ended at the cross, the only landmark God has given, was thrown away, we were all afloat. One place to end them would do as well as another. So with the "abomination of desolation," which, in 1843 times, we understood and proved was "set up" in A.D. 538, and its "dominion" taken away in 1798. These great landmarks were forsaken, while the virgins slept, and the "days" made to fit almost any place.
Now we are driven back to the platform on which the virgins stood before they went to sleep, in the application of every prophecy. And just so far as we get back we begin to see the light for 1873. The unfolding of events during the last thirty years has strengthened every application of prophecy, as it was applied at that time, and the only change has been in a few jots and titles of light added to those positions; and every independent application of prophecy made since then has to be swept out of the way.
The mistake of 1843 was in beginning the
"thousand" (Dan. 12:11) thirty years before the abomination was
"set up," or in 508, when we supposed the "daily sacrifice was
The Advent movement may be likened to a man who builds a house. He digs deep, and lays his foundation on a rock. Night comes on, and he dreams his beautiful structure is all in ruins. With the debris he essays to build again; but having no foundation, it soon falls. He moves a portion of the crumbling mass a little further on, and tries again and again, with like results. When almost in despair the morning light begins to shine. He awakens and beholds it was all a dream. The noble structure is still secure. The winds blew, the rain fell, and the floods came, but it was founded on a rock. He thanks God, and with a light heart goes back to where he left off the day before, and adds a few jots and tittles and completes the building. Would not all who beheld him know that his dreams were at an end, and that he was now awake?
Even so in this 1873 movement, it is based on the old foundation of 1843; not a stone has fallen. The dark night is passing away, and "Behold the Bridegroom cometh."
Some suppose, in order to understand this parable, we must learn how a marriage feast, was conducted in the East. Christ drew upon eastern customs to illustrate this movement of the virgins, or going out of his people, the Adventists, at this time, it is true; but he presumed to have understood what he wished to illustrate, and to have drawn as many features of an eastern feast as it was necessary to complete the illustrations. We have no right to add to his parable, and say that because wedding feasts were sometimes consummated in the night, therefore Christ will come and the resurrection take place in a symbolic night.
If he had said -- "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to an eastern wedding feast, and you may fill up the picture for yourself;" then indeed we might have taken some liberty. But what he say is, that it would be likened to ten virgins who go out to meet him; he tarries, and they slumber and sleep. At midnight a cry is made -- "go ye out to meet him." A second movement. At that cry they rise and trim their lamps.f He comes, and they that are ready to go in, and the door is shut. Thus the parable ends with the coming and the resurrection. The night and darkness connected with the movement have been since the tarrying and slumbering and sleeping. And when the Bridegroom comes, the glorious morning will be when Christ comes. And therefore the parable cannot end until morning. Any other conclusion is a forced one.
Midnight means the middle of the night; hence the cry -- "Behold the Bridegroom cometh! Go ye out to meet him,": must be made in the middle of this symbolic night, or tarrying time. Otherwise, his parable would fail of being accurately fulfilled. The midnight cry brings to view a second movement. The first one in which they took their lamps and went forth, continued about fifteen years, or from 1828 to 1843-1844. Hence the last going out must necessarily consume time. He does not come when the cry is made, or begins to be made; for there is much to be accomplished under the cry; still it is the true cry in accordance with which he does eventually come, and they that are ready to go in; and there is no failure or disappointment associated with it by our Lord.
Therefore the 1844, 1854, or 1867 time, can neither of them answer to the midnight cry, as they all ended in disappointment. They may represent the "watches," as many think; but they cannot represent the true cry at which he comes. Nor have we a right to join these watches as given in Mark 13:35, with this parable of the virgins. Both are perfect in themselves; and though they may cover the same ground, still they remain two separate and distinct parables; the midnight watch and the midnight cry having nothing in common.
In the parable under consideration there are but two movements spoken of. The first was to end in disappointment; the last in glory. "At midnight," said our Lord, this cry should be made. Hence, if it is not already made, we have not yet, after twenty nine years of tarrying, reached midnight, and the morning must be at least twenty nine years in the future. What then becomes of this generation? The only objection to this clear and positive application of the parable is, that we make too much of Christ's words. I do not believe it, for not one jot can fail. The midnight cry has been made, thank god; and there are seven different ways of proving that this night is to be but thirty years long, and will end in 1873.
We believe the 1873 cry is the midnight cry, because we believe the Lord will come in 1873; and the midnight cry is the true cry. Hence all the evidences which go to prove that the Lord will come at that time, also proves the cry of his coming to be the midnight cry. And more than that, this 1873 cry began at midnight, viz., in the middle of the tarrying, or about fifteen years after the spring of 1844. And though small in its beginning, it has continued as a persistent cry until it has swelled to its present proportions. As with the first movement, the virgins come in slowly for many years, and at last by thousands; so it has been with this; and now the virgins are rising and trimming their lamps (examining the truth of this matter) all over the land.
Many have supposed the 1854 cry was the midnight cry, but as that ended in disappointment, and this does not, they cannot be the same. Others suppose the midnight cry is not yet made, and is to be at His appearing. This, however, is not possible, for a midnight cry cannot be made in the morning. Again, some have supposed there was to be no conversions after they "cry" was made, because the foolish get no oil. If because the "foolish" do not become "wise," proves there are no conversions under the last movement, then there have been none since 1828; for in the symbol; the five wise and five foolish started in that condition, and so remain until the end. But of course the symbol has nothing to do with individual changes. The foolish were never ready. The only way to learn is to be wise.
If it were not for the light thrown on the Advent movement by this parable, we could never expect to gain the confidence or faith of the people in another time movement. But when we are taught by our Lord so clearly that the past would be precisely what it has been, and yet there was to be a true cry in which they that were ready would go in, our disappointments, slumbering and sleeping, and confusion even, become additional evidence that we are on the right track.
The going out to meet the Bridegroom, which was to precede the disappointment, has been made. He has tarried, and have they not all slumbered and slept? Who that knows out past history, as a people, but will answer yes? The midnight cry has been made. Of this there is abundance of evidence. Some will say that 1873 was spoken of long before the midnight hour. That indeed is true. Bro. Miller said soon after 1843 passed, that he "could see no light this side of 1873," and many others might have said as much; but it was soon lost sight of, and did not begin as a persistent cry until God's time, the midnight hour, had come.
Others again insist upon it that it must be made by an angel. They are willing to admit that the cry made by the angel (Rev. 14:6) was fulfilled in the Advent movement, while here, where nothing is said of any such personage, they expect a miraculous appearance of an angel. Again, there are others who say the movement has not been large enough either in its beginning or present proportions, and so they can all find excuses.
God's work has always been done in a way that men could find excuses, if they chose, to disregard it. But the facts of our past history have met this parable, and fulfilled it in all its details. There is nothing before us but the separation between the wise and foolish, and the coming Bridegroom. God grant that we be found among the wise. I believe with all my heart, Christ is coming in 1873. "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus, and come quickly."
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
"And from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination of desolation set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand and three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." -- Dan. 12:11-13.
No prophecy of the Scriptures is of any "private interpretation"; that is, no prophecy can be fully understood alone and by itself; each one hinges on another. Hence the understanding of the whole truth, especially on so great a subject as the time for the coming of the Lord, has been a progressive work. Prophecies which we once thought contained the whole matter, we now learn gave us but a part of the truth. Our text can only be understood from the basis of the "time, times and a half" of the seventh chapter. Hence the angel has brought it forward in this connection, as found in the preceding verses.
"And from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away." The word "daily" occurs in Dan. 8:11; 11:31, and in our text; and refers, as we shall try to show, to the Jewish daily sacrifices. In the eighth chapter, the 2300 days are given in answer to the questions -- "How long the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation?" The vision covers the daily and the transgression of desolation; and seventy weeks of this vision were "determined" on the Jews, as a dispensation based on a "continue" or daily sacrifice. Therefore it seems very arbitrary to refer the first part of this vision -- "the daily" -- which was determined on the Jews, to something which has no connection with the Jewish dispensation, or the seventy weeks.
Some suppose the "daily" refers to paganism. If so, the seventy weeks would not be long enough o measure it. And yet the natural division is, "the daily, and the transgression of desolation"; not the "abomination of desolation"; that was that was the papacy; while the "transgression of desolation," to my mind, refers to both pagan and papal Rome.
Another view held by some is, that the "daily" refers to the true worship. But that was never taken away by force of arms, either in Rome or in any other place. Being in the heart, and not with outward form, it can neither be taken away nor established by human laws. Oh no, beloved friends, this "daily" was the Jewish daily sacrifice. It ceased when Christ made an end of sacrifice, but was not taken away by force of arms until Jerusalem was destroyed. "Arms shall stand on is part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and they shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." Dan. 11:31. God's people had forsaken the holy covenant, and he let the Romans pollute their sanctuary of strength, and take away their "daily." (when taken away it was not a sacrifice, but an abomination.) "The daily was taken away and the place of his sanctuary [the temple] cast down." Dan. 8:11. "The days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee, because thou knewest not the time of they visitation." Luke 19:43-44. "The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." Dan. 9:26.
It may be asked if the daily was taken away at the destruction of Jerusalem, and the abomination of desolation not set up until some centuries after, would there not be a break, a want of connection, in the prophecy? If the abomination refers to papacy, or the man of sin, I answer, No! "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work," said St. Paul, even in his day; "only he who letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way; then shall that wicked be revealed." The abomination began to grow before the daily was taken away, and continued to enlarge until he that "let" (pagan Rome) was taken out of the way; then the Roman arms "set up" this abomination in the seat of the dragon.
THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
This we can prove refers to the Roman Catholic Church. The great tribulation on the church of God, "such as was not from the creation of God to that same time; no, nor ever shall be," spoken of by our Lord in the thirteenth of Mark (Mark 13) and twenty fourth of Matthew (Matt. 24) was to be under "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet." And all know the papacy has filled the picture. It was to stand "in the holy place," or "where it ought not." The holy place was in the temple of God. The Roman army never stood in the holy place; the temple was burned while they were breaking up the city. And more than that, there was no holy place in the temple at the time, for God had left their house desolate long before Jerusalem was destroyed. Then, again, the Romans did not put to death the "elect"; they had all fled from the city; hence the days might have been "shortened" or lengthened, without affecting them. The greater tribulation on the disciples of Christ, i.e., his people to whom he was talking, was under the Roman Catholic Church. Hence the abomination must refer to that. Papacy did get into the "holy place," that is, the Church, or temple of God. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of the living God?"
"I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast." Rev. 17:3.This woman, or church, drunken with the blood of the saints, is the papacy, which we have proven to be "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." She was "set up" when she took her seat on the beast, or civil power. And we understand the papacy was to maintain its seat or hold "times and laws" for 1260 years, and that the dragon was to give him his seat -- Rome. Hence if we can learn when the papal church was supported for an unbroken term of 1260 years by the civil power in Rome and Italy, we shall certainly have learned when the abomination of desolation was "set up."
Some have supposed we must find where the papacy plucked up three horns or divisions of the empire. This, however, does not follow. It says (Dan. 7:24) -- "He shall subdue three kings; and he shall speak great words against the Most High; and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws." Here are four things this horn is said to do; and it must exist before it does either of them. What right, then, have we to fix upon any one thing it was to do, in preference to another, to mark its setting up? Certainly not because of their chronological order in the prophecy; for things are often mentioned first which occur last. See Micah 5:1-2, where Christ's death and being smitten on the cheek are mentioned before his birth. No one supposes these things occurred chronologically; that he first subdued three kings, then spake great words, then wore out the saints, and last of all thought to change times and laws.
To fix on the overthrow of these three horns as the time when the 1260 years began, is not only arbitrary, but impossible. The prophecy does not inform us whether the days should begin before, or after, or during the time they were being plucked up; and to guess that it was when the third one was plucked up, would savor too much of the way prophecy has been applied during all these years in which the virgins have been slumbering and sleeping. And what is more, expositors do not even agree on which three were plucked up. We do know the papacy wears a triple crown, as a sign of thee kingdoms plucked up, and also that he has spoken "great words." But God has given a much more simple way to determine when the abomination of desolation was set up, than by arbitrarily fixing on some one thing that horn was to do; viz., finding when the woman took her seat on the beast. In other words, when the church was first supported by the civil power, as per conditions. It must be in Rome, the seat of the dragon; and for an unbroken term of 1260 years. On this point history is so clear that the question becomes one of the simplest of all historical facts. Both the beginning and the end are clearly marked, and the end of that period is within the memory of some now living.
This horn -- papacy -- does not come up until after the ten divisions of the empire were complete. See Dan. 7:24. And Rome was not so divided until about the fourth century; then we find it in the possession of the Goths for nearly a century more. During this Gothic reign thirteen popes lived and exercised their priestly functions by permission of these non-Catholic powers, or barbarians, as they called them> Hence the papal church was not yet set up, or supported by the civil power; for she only existed in Rom by sufferance.
In A.D. 538, Rome and Italy were freed from the control of the barbarians, and the provinces of Italy embraced the part of Justinian, the Catholic emperor. See Gibbon, Lon. Ed., p. 707, from which I will quote -- "Belisarius entered Rome Dec. 10th, 536, and the city after sixty years servitude was delivered from the yoke of the barbarians. The Goths, however, assembled in vast numbers for the defense of their country, and besieged the city; which siege was maintained for one year and nine days. . . . The Goths raised the siege of Rome, March, 538; and the Gothic army, lately so strong, was not reduced to the walls of Ravenna and a few fortresses destitute of natural support, and the provinces of Italy embraced the part of the emperor."
Now in 538, the civil power has embraced the part of the emperor and become Catholic. And the Catholic arms, which had long been trying to establish the papacy as head of Rome, were successful. Justinian had issued a decree to that effect some hears before, it is true, but here is where it goes into effect. The prophecy does not imply that the church would receive any accessions of power at this time, nor did it. "They," the same dragon power who took away the "daily," have not by force of arms "set up the abomination that maketh desolate." Maketh desolate is in the present tense, when set up. The papacy had desolated God's people before it was set up as head of Rome, and was to continue that work after it loses its seat. "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them, until the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." It was to occupy the dragon's seat, and sway "times and laws" for 1260 years. Papacy was supported by the civil power, or people of Rome and Italy, the heart and center of the Roman empire, from A.D. 538 to 1798; just 1260 years. This fact remains unquestioned by all the world.
It is true the Goths were not entirely expelled from their last stronghold in Italy until the next year; that they invaded the city a number of times after that, in the next few years; and popes were taken prisoners and put to death time and time again during the 1260 years of papal rule. But the people, or civil power, remained true to the papacy (not to individual popes) until 1798.Then, when the beast had carried the woman until God's words -- "time, times and a half" -- were fulfilled, he let them throw her off and establish a republic. "The judgment sat, and they took away its dominion"; viz., the same "they," the people, who set it up. See French Revolution, by Christopher Kelly, Lon. Ed., p. 243 -- "the Roman republic was proclaimed Feb. 15th, 1798. The arrival of the French army, and the proclamation of the general, had given the fatal blow to the papal sovereignty."
This is the argument, and these are the dates, 538 and 1798, given to the world in the 1843 movement, for the setting up of the abomination of desolation, and the taking away of its dominion. Thus we find ourselves back on the old platform where the virgins stood before they went to sleep. Nor can we preach 1873 from any other standpoint. Our mistake in 1843, and the only one we made in all the prophecies, was in calling the "daily" some pagan institution, taken away as we thought some thirty years before the abomination of desolation was set up, in 508; and began the "thousand" there. If we had begun to reckon from the time the abomination was set up, it would have come to 1873 instead of 1843. The "virgins" would not have gone forth at that time, and Christ's words would have failed. But it is all coming out right, thank god! He had this trial for us, and some of us, by the grace of God, will stand the test and not "draw back."
Having learned that the abomination was set up in 538, we can easily add up the numbers given by the angel. "A thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." This thousand evidently belongs to both periods. In other words, it is a single period with two extremities; on reaching forty five years beyond the other, and given in answer to a single question -- "What shall be the end of these things?" I answer, the end of these things was to be the Advent movement, which covers all the wonders Daniel and the angels had been talking about, -- the running to and fro, the increase of knowledge, the many being tried and purified and made white, the wise understanding, and the resurrection of many who are sleeping in the dust of the earth. The period had been given for us Adventists, and we alone can understand it. This final answer was given in such a way as to measure this movement. The shorter extremity ended in 1828, where the Advent movement began; and the longer one will end in 1873, where the movement will end.
Who can doubt that God has given his waiting people a place in prophecy as well as an Alexander or Napoleon? Form A.D. 538 "there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. (1290) blessed is he that waiteth and cometh" to the end of the longer period. No political event so much as hinted at. Nothing but a waiting. Why not be satisfied with what God has given? There are those even among Adventists who think this "Millerite" movement, or waiting time, was too small in its beginning to be noticed in prophecy. The gospel itself began too small to suit some people. But God's ways are not our ways.
The answer given to Daniel in these last periods refers solely to God's waiting people; therefore the wicked cannot understand them. They must admit this movement to be of God if they would understand. They know the dominion was taken from papacy in 1798, just as well as God's people know it. But here is something they cannot comprehend. The Millerite movement to have a place in prophecy; away with such nonsense! Not one of them can understand, or admit it. But "the wise shall understand."
THE SHORTENING OF THE DAYS
"And except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matt. 24:22. It has been thought by some that the thousand two hundred and ninety days were shortened to 1260; but there is no Bible or fact in history to support this idea. The days of tribulation under the Catholic church were shortened by the Lutheran Reformation, as all men know. One prophetic period was not shortened into another. NO prophetic period had ever been fixed upon during which the papacy should make war on and persecute the elect of God. "I beheld and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them until the Ancient of days came; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." Dan. 7;21-22. Times and laws were given into his hands for 1260 years, it is true; but the 1290 days of the twelfth chapter had nothing to do with the measuring papacy; the only measure put upon it was already determined here in the seventh chapter; while the 1290 days were given to measure quite another thing. "From the time the abomination was set up," there would be 1290 days to the waiting time."
But it is said Christ connects the shortening of these days with the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet. Then why not go to where Daniel speaks of this abomination, and connects it with a shortening or reducing of the tribulation? In. Dan. 11:31, this abomination of desolation is first spoken of; and certainly we ought to first look here for the application of Christ's words; and here we find there is a real shortening of the days of tribulation, answering perfectly to what our Savior said. "they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate; and they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little hope. . . And some of them of understanding shall fall even to the time of the end; because it is yet for a time appointed." Dan. 11:31-35. Here we find a parallel to Chris's words. Under this papal power there was a tribulation on his elect, such as was not from the creation of God unto that same time. It continued until his church, the elect, were almost extinct. Then by the Lutheran Reformation God did help his people, and shorten the days of persecution. And yet some "continue to fall even to the time of the end"; for the Scriptures could not be broken. It was not the taking away of the dominion of papacy in 1798, but the Lutheran Reformation, which saved the "elect" from becoming extinct. Supposing the papal dominion had not been taken away for thirty years after, or not until 1828, the end of the 1290 days; what then? It would not have affected the elect, God's church, one particle. Persecution had already practically ceased before the 1260 expired. Then how were the 1290 shortened to 1260 to save God's elect? But by the Lutheran Reformation the days of tribulation were shortened, and for a purpose; to save his church. "For the elect's sake those days shall be shortened," said Christ. This application means something. There is a ring about it, and common sense, facts, and Bible, to support it. Christ's words and Daniel's and history synchronize.
THE THOUSAND YEARS
This thousand is mentioned twice, and in a way to give it significance. It is the thousand from which most of God's martyrs will date their experience. From A.D. 538 a thousand years bring us to 1538, where seven of the powers of Europe form the holy league, for the protection of the seed of the woman, or true church, which had fled into the wilderness. "The earth opened her mouth and helped the woman." And thus it was that God "helped his people with a little help." See Church History by Charles Hose, p. 391. "The holy league between the Archbishop of Mentz, the Archbishop of Strasbuourg, the Due of Bavaria, George of Saxony, Henry of Brunswick, Francis of France, Henry the VIII of England, and other northern powers, was formed in 1538, to stay the papal persecution, and protect the Reformation." Thus were the days of tribulation shortened to one thousand years. (This thousand has nothing in common with that of Rev. 20, which is till in the future.)
DARKENING OF THE SUN
"In those days," viz., the 1260 set apart for the papacy, or the abomination of desolation, "and after that tribulation, shall the sun be darkened." Mark 13:24. The sun was darkened May 19th, 1780, or eighteen years before the 1260 ended. Thus it was in those days, and yet after the tribulation. Matthew says -- "Immediately after the tribulation of those days"; thus making the tribulation something distinct from the days. Immediately means soon after; the next thing in order.
We have proven by facts which no one can question, that the papacy, or abomination of desolation, was set up in A.D. 538. Form which date the 1260 years bring us to 1798, where all men know "its dominion was taken away." That a "thousand" years from the time it was set up brings us to 1538, where God did help his people, and shorten the days of tribulation. That the "two hundred and ninety" end in 1828, where the Advent movement, or waiting time, began. That the waiting is all God has given to mark the end of those days. "blessed is he that waiteth and cometh." The thousand, from 538, ended in 1538; the three hundred in 1838; the five in 1843, and the thirty in 1873. Not one of these landmarks -- 538, 1538, 1798, 1828, or 1873 -- can be moved, without moving all the rest. They are joined together in history and in prophecy. Each point is supported by facts, not theory. And these facts harmonize exactly with what God had said should mark each date.
What do you think of if? Was "the daily sacrifice' taken away by Roman armies? Did "they," the Roman arms, set up the abomination of desolation? Did it continue as head of Rome for 1260 years, or until 1798? Was its dominion taken away at the appointed time? Has it been undergoing a gradual consumption since then? Did God shorten the days of tribulation on his people by means of the Lutheran Reformation? Was the sun darkened "in those days," and yet after that tribulation? Did papacy, notwithstanding the shortening of the days, maintain its seat, and some continue to fall, even to the time of the end? Did God continue to call out this waiting people, whoa re to say, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him," in 1828, at the time appointed? If these all have come at their appointed time, and in their place, have you not faith to believe the one even still future will come true? If so, you must admit that we have but a few short months to settle the question with ourselves and others, of eternal life or eternal death.
God help us to redeem the time, for at the end the vision will speak, and not lie. Amen.
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
THE COMMUNE, OR INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY AND "TIME OF TROUBLE"
BEING AN EXPOSITION OF REVELATION 17
The power referred to as having "seven heads and ten horns," whether in the twelfth, thirteenth, or seventeenth chapter of Revelation, I understand to refer, not to Constantinople, or France, or any other fractional part, but always to the whole Roman empire; -- that the heads mean governments, and the horns geographical divisions. God is not a God of confusion. And to call a division of the empire a "horn" today, a "head" tomorrow, and the beast itself the next day, brings utter confusion. This loose way of applying prophecy which has obtained during the last few years, can only be accounted for by the fact that "while the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept."
Divisions of the Grecian empire were called "heads." "The beast had also four heads." Dan. 7:6. But in that place it brought no confusion. But the heads of the Roman beast cannot be synonymous with horns, for "the beast had seven heads and ten horns." And lest we should fall into the error, God has told us that these "seven heads are seven mountains." Mountains, when used as a symbol, represent governments, and not parts of a kingdom. See Jer. 17:2-3, where God calls the kingdom of Israel -- "O my mountain in the field,' etc. In Jer. 51:24-25, it is said of Babylon, "O destroying mountain, I will make a burnt mountain of thee." Again in Dan. 2:35, Christ's kingdom is called a mountain. "The stone became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." "I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, having seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition." Rev. 17:7-8. A "beast" means, in prophecy, a political power, or earthly kingdom. "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth." Dan. 7:23. The Roman beast, "having seven heads and ten horns," while under its pagan form, and called "the dragon," "was." That is, it was as a beast, or a purely political power. When the nations composing that empire passed under the dominion of the church, it "was not" as a beast simple, for it had now become an ecclesiastical power. "The bottomless pit" is a condition, and not a locality. The Saracens, who overran the Eastern empire, are said to "come out of the smoke that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit." Rev. 9. That is, they came out from an inert to an active condition. The Roman beast, viz., the "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues," which have been under "the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth," are to "ascend out of this bottomless pit, and go into perdition." And in Rev. 17:11, we are told that this beast of Rev. 17:7-8, viz., "the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."
The beast had but seven heads; this "eighth," therefore, is not a head. It is the beast itself. It is the peoples and nations without a head; or, in other words, without a government.
The Commune, or International Society, answers perfectly to this prophecy. There never has existed, since the origin of civilization, so strong an organization. It already numbers many millions, reaching from one end of the earth to the other. (See "Edinburgh Review" of Oct., 1871.) It claims to be a unit; and yet it has no head. Like the sea monster of which we have heard -- all lungs, all heart, all body. Its economy is perfect in every part. Cut it into a thousand pieces, and it only multiplies the parts, without hurting its vitality. This same organization, under the name of "Commune," has been developing for nearly a century. It cropped out during the French Revolution, near the close of the last century. Men wondered when they beheld this monster, even in its incipient state. Human life and property withered away before it, like stubble before the flame. Now it is coming up, not in France alone, but over the whole earth. "And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names are not written in the book of life, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." Rev. 9:8. For "there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." And in that reign of terror "every man's hand shall be against his brother."
This last phase of the fourth empire cannot fully develop until the seventh head has had the "short space" allotted to it; then it will ascend out of this bottomless pit, or from under church state organizations, "and go into perdition." During the French Revolution, the papal head "received a deadly wound," and the Commune, or this beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, came to the surface and accomplished a work which God had foretold. "And the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them [the two witnesses], and shall overcome them, and kill them." Rev. 11:7. The deadly wound was healed, papacy was restored, in a new character, and the Commune, or headless beast, was not fully delivered from the pit at that time, and was soon lost sight of. It reads, "The beast that ascendeth out," shall make war on the two witnesses; clearly showing that he was only in the act of coming out at that time. But it is the same beast that "shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition."
This war on "the two witnesses" by the Commune occurred in France; hence some have supposed that France was the beast." But when we understand that this beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit is the one which had "the seven heads and ten horns," France makes a poor fit, for it never had seven heads and ten horns. And nothing ever did but Rome, the fourth universal empire. The Commune, or Internationals, cropped out in 1793-1795, and again in 1870, in that one division of the Roman empire. But now the seventh "head," under Victor Immanuel, as we shall show, has had its "short space," and lo! The monster is seen coming to the surface in every part of the civilized world. It may be objected that papacy itself was called "the beast" in the thirteenth chapter. Papacy was both church and state. Its power was civil and ecclesiastical; hence it was the beast. The same people and nations which composed the body of the beast under pagan Rome, became the body of the church, or papal Rome. With its change of character, there was a change of name; but it was still the Roman empire, "having seven heads and ten horns." "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies." Here the church character is made to appear, as it is in the "mouth and eyes" of the little horn of Dan. 7.
The fourth universal empire is the only one with which the Revelator has to do; the other three having passed away before the Christian era. "That great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Rev. 17:18), as all admit, must refer to Rome. And what is true of Rome is applied to the church, or woman, while she represents Rome. Just as what is true of Babylon, literal and mystical, is applied to mystical Babylon. Babylon literal, destroyed God's ancient people, and mystical Babylon the Christian church. And while this harlot woman represents Babylon, God says, "In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." Rev. 18:24. "The seven heads," which were seven mountain, or governments, belong to the beast on which the woman sat; for it was the beast which had the seven heads. And while the woman represents Rome, she is said to sit on, or be supported by, what had supported "that great city."
How was the blood of all that had been slain upon the earth found in mystical Babylon, when there were millions slain before she existed? Simply because she was a representative character. if a building firm should send their agent to you and demand payment for a block of houses, and you reply, "Sir, that block of building you put up for me was not finished according to contract"; and he should answer, "I have built nothing for you," you would call him a fool: "You built no houses! you represent the firm, do you not? Then I say again, those houses you built were not according to contract."
While "the woman" represented that great city, what is true of Rome was applied to her. Thus "the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth"; and the "woman is that great city." This is God's way, and man's way, of talking of a representative character. "And there are seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh he must continue a short space." Rev. 17:10.
In order to understand this, and know what "five had fallen," and what head was present, and the one still future, we must get the true standpoint of the prophet, which is given in the first verse. "come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great harlot." Rev. 17:3. "So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness." In other words, he carried him in spirit down the stream of time, or history of the people ("wilderness" means the people; see Ezek. 20:45), to where the papacy was to receive her judgment, or be stripped and made desolate and naked. And Daniel gives the chronology of this judgment. Speaking of the same power he says "times and laws" were given into its hands "for a time, times, and the dividing of time; but the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume, and to destroy it unto the end." Dan. 7:25-26. This judgment on the papacy is prior to the end, and final judgment on the nations; for after the judgment sat on the papacy, it was to be consumed "unto the end." This judgment sat during the French Revolution, and in 1798 they took away its dominion. Papacy was soon after restored in another character, which continued from 1800 to 1870, during which time that judgment has been undergoing execution; in other words, the papacy has been undergoing its gradual consumption. "These ten kings shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." Rev. 17:16.
Since her restoration in March, 1800, these divisions of the Roman empire -- England, France, Prussia, Austria, Spain, Italy, etc., have all had a hand in humbling the Papacy. They have gradually withdrawn their influence and support from that church. They have permitted her territory to be taken from her piece by piece. They have confiscated church property in the various countries, until she has indeed become "desolate and naked." It is during this time -- from 1800 to 1870 -- the "great harlot" has been passing through her judgment; hence, this must be the standpoint of the prophet while the vision is passing before him. "Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great harlot." Rev. 17:9-10. -- "Here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh he must continue a short space." The Bible Union translation reads -- "The seven heads are seven mountains, and they are seven kings."
That these "heads" are governments, and not literal mountains, is evident from the fact that in the twelfth chapter they are said to have "seven crowns upon them"; and in the thirteenth chapter, "one of the heads received a deadly wound." Some contend that because this is an explanation, therefore the word "mountain" must be literal. This, however, does not follow. See Rev. 11:3-4 -- "And I will give power unto my two witnesses . . . . These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks." This also is an explanation, and yet no one believes the two witnesses are two literal "olive trees." From the standpoint of the prophet, five of these heads were fallen, one is, and the other had not ye come. Rome has had just seven governments since the time it conquered Grecia and came into prophetic existence; and the last one, under Victor Immanuel, has been in existence a little more than two years. Rome does not take its place in prophecy until it subdued, or was subduing, the Grecian empire, no more than did Medo-Persia prior to the fall of Babylon. "Thou art this head of gold; and after thee shall arise another kingdom," said the prophet.
The last part of Alexander's divided kingdom -- Egypt -- was conquered by the Romans in the year 30 B.C., at which time the "head" of Rome was Consular. In about three years after, or 27 B.C., it was changed to Imperial, under Augustus Caesar, and continued until about the fifth century, when the empire was broken up. The third head, under the Goths, who broke up the empire, was kingly, and continued nearly a century. In A.D. 538, the Goths were expelled from Italy, and from that time until 1798 the Papacy was head of Rome. Bear in mind that papacy is a double character. As a "beast," or political power, it was head of Rome; as a church, it is represented as the woman "sitting on the beast." In 1798, the papal head "received a deadly wound," and a Republic took its place as the fifth head, or government of Rome. In March, 1800, papacy was restored; but it was another and new character. The old "forty and two months" beast had come to its end. Papacy still survived, and must until Christ comes. "The deadly wound was healed," but "Times and laws" had been taken from it, and it was only an image of its former self. Still it was the sixth head of Rome, during the seventy years that "harlot" was undergoing her judgment.
"Five have fallen," the Consular, Imperial, Kingly, Papal, and Republic. "And one is," the sixth. That one fell in September, 1870. From the stand point of the prophet, the other had not yet come. Now it has come, under Victor Immanuel, and has continued more than two years. "And when he cometh he must continue a short space." These seven complete the number; the picture is finished. The beast has had its "ten horns," and its "seven heads." And now there remains but the closing scene, and earth's history under Gentile rule will be ended. "The beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." Rev. 17:11. This is so plain as scarcely to require and explanation. This "eighth" cannot be a head, for the beast had but seven. Read the seventh and eighth verses (Rev. 17:7-8), and you will see that "the beast that was, and is not," is the one which had the seven heads and ten horns; the one on which "the woman sat" for 1260 years; the body of which was represented by the waters, or "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Rev. 17:15. As "The beast that was, and is not, is the eighth," and is also the "peoples, and nations," and does not come up until the seventh and last "head" has had its "short space," it follows that it must be the nations which represent the fourth universal kingdom, without a head.
"And is of the seven." The people, or body of the beast, have been "of the seven." The people have been a part of each of those heads. As one government passed away and another took its place, the people were 'of" it and supported it. And now, as we approach the last act in the drama, who is so blind as not to see the gathering storm? Take a look over the world today and behold the Commune, or Internationals, numbering their millions, silently gathering their forces to hurl monarch and thrones into the dust; at the organizations of working men to oppose capitalists ("go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you"); at the universal determination of the people to put down despotism. And on the other hand, watch the marshaling hosts, and the accumulation of material for war, such as the past has never yet witnessed. And tell me, O man of the world, what does the immediate future promise? the weakest power in Europe is stronger today, in hellish inventions for destroying life, and England was fifty years ago. "Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up; beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into speakers; let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves and come, . . . for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." "Knowledge is power." The press and telegraph have been doing their work, and there is a movement deep down in the hearts of the millions, before which the "divine right of kings" and their armies will reel and totter and fall. If you cannot see this, reader, may God help you, for the world see and believe. They believe this great uprising of the people is just at hand. They believe the "thrones" are about to be "cast down." And when that occurs God says the Ancient of days will sit, and the books be opened.
With the eleventh verse (Rev. 17:11) the vision ends; though in some sense it might be said to end with the sixth verse (Rev. 17:6), where the angel begins to "show" him the "mystery." But as there was more to be revealed,, it does not fully end until the "beast goes into perdition"; which, of course ends all Gentile dominion. While the prophet was having this vision he was in the spirit, and down near the end of time where the papacy was being judged. When the vision terminated, he was back again on the "isle of Patmos, on the Lord's day," A.D. 96.
Rev. 17:12 -- "The ten horns which thou sawest [in the vision] are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet." John was commanded to write "the things which thou hast seen, the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter." Rev. 1:19. The beast, and its second head, were then in existence; the first head had been, but the ten horns were then among "The things which shall be hereafter." Rome was not then divided. Those "kings" he had seen in vision had "received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast."
The division of the empire was scarcely completed before they became "of one mind, and gave their power and strength unto the [papal] beast." Rev. 17:13. "For God had put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God [the 1260 years] shall be fulfilled." Rev. 17:17. After which they were to take it away, and make her "desolate and naked." "These [ten kings] shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them." Rev. 17:14. because three of these horns were said to be "plucked up by the roots," in the symbol (Dan. 7:8), it does not follow that they were annihilated; they were simply "subdued," as the angel says in the explanation, Dan. 7:24. Grecia subdued Medo-Persia, and was in turn subdued by the Romans, and yet they exist today. "Their dominion was taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time." Dan. 7:12. And the elements of each -- the mouth of the lion, the feet of the bear, and the body of the leopard -- are found in the fourth empire. Rev. 13:2. When the papacy ceases to wear the three crowns, those three horns will again appear; for neither of these ten divisions can unite permanently, "even as iron is not mixed with clay." And though some of them are not lost to sight, like the "beast that was, and is not," yet they must again appear, to finish their work on the "harlot" of Rome, and then be themselves destroyed at the hand of the King of kings.
The following facts are well known to all the world; Rome was the fourth universal empire. Early in the Christian era, it was divided into ten parts. The present government is the seventh government of Rome which has been endorsed by the people, since Rome conquered the Grecian empire. The papacy was undergoing her judgment, being made desolate from 1800-1870; at which time constituted the sixth head of Rome. Five had fallen previous to that time. The seventh had not then come. It has now come, and continued a short space. "The eighth," viz., "the beast that was, and is not," the great "sea" of peoples and tongues, is already surging to the very bottom, with the breath of the coming storm.
Can it be true that these things happen by chance? that Rome happened to have these seven governments? that the stand point of the prophet, which was certainly during the existence of the sixth head, happened to be the very time papacy was receiving her judgment? that the angel calling him to that position -- "Come hither; I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot" -- means nothing? that the five heads had fallen? that the last one which was to continue "a short space" has continued barely two years, and now a condition of things obtains which perfectly answers to the closing scene? and last of all, that the Advent people happened, just at this time, to be looking for the end, for so many other reasons? Is it not more likely that this is the correct application of the prophecy; and if so, that the end is indeed at hand?
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
The first thought of the reader will doubtless be that chronology is uninteresting and obscure, and can therefore give but little light on the consummation of our "blessed hope." Indeed, Adventists generally look at chronology with as little interest as the churches do at the prophetic periods. But as a knowledge of the true time for the ending of the prophetic periods has been withheld and must necessarily be until the last message to the world, so too has the chronology. God has withheld these things from "the wise and prudent," until his time should come for them to be understood; and now they are so plain that "he may run who readeth."
If the reader will take pencil, paper, and Bible, and follow me over the subject, carefully reading every text, I promise chapter and verse for every year from Adam to Cyrus. And here let me say, this is something never before accomplished, or even claimed, by any chronological writer. Hitherto men have taken it for granted that God's chronology was imperfect; that in a number of places there were gaps, and nothing more reliable than Josephus to bridge them over. If it be true that God's chronology is broken, and Josephus our only reliance, all expectation of accuracy may as well be discarded, and indeed has been by all historians; for Josephus differs from the Bible in almost every place. But, thank God, the light is shining, the seals are broken, and the time has come when "the wise shall understand."
In the fifth of Genesis, the time is given from Adam to Noah. Adam's age is reckoned until he begat Seth, and the age of Seth until Enos the third in order; and so on, through all the patriarchs.
Adam 130 years. Gen. 5:3
Seth 105 " Gen. 5:6
Enos 90 " Gen. 5:9
Cainan 70 " Gen. 5:12
Mahalaleel 65 " Gen. 5:15
Cainan 162 " Gen. 5:18
Cainan 65 " Gen. 5:21
Cainan 187 " Gen. 5:25
Cainan 182 " Gen. 5:28
Cainan 600 " Gen. 7:6
Total 1656 years.
When Noah completed his five hundred and ninety-ninth year, he would enter on his six hundredth. "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up." Gen. 7:11. And for the remaining ten months and thirteen days of his six hundredth year, the waters remained on the earth. "And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth." Gen. 8:13. The very day Noah entered on his six hundred and first year, the waters had disappeared. Thus the 1656 years from Adam ended the very day the flood ended.
If these texts are true, there can be no further question on this point. But to make surety doubly sure, God tells us that "Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years; and all the days of Noah's life were nine hundred and fifty years." Gen. 9:28-29.
FRACTIONS OF YEARS
Chronology is given in full years, yet we cannot doubt that fractions occurred. That Adam lived just one hundred and thirty years, and on his birthday begat Seth; and that Seth lived one hundred and five years and began Enos, and so on through the line of patriarchs; and that ever king was born, and crowned, and died on Adam's birthday, no one is inclined to believe; indeed, we are informed in the clearest manner that such was not the case. The literal application of the Bible must in a certain sense be governed by what it is the design to teach. "Take, eat, this is my body," said Christ. "The letter killeth, the spirit maketh alive." The sum total of chronology is all that gives useful information, and we have believe and accept it. Some of the ages of the patriarchs might overrun a few days, or months, and others fall short enough to balance, without doing injustice to the spirit of the subject. That such is the case, we have positive Bible testimony. God has given four illustrations; two that overrun, and two that fall short. And in each case he has summed up in full years and left out the fraction. Who questions the fact, so oftern mentioned in the Bible, of the forty years in the wilderness? Yet they lacked five days. They left Egypt on the fifteenth, and crossed Jordan on the tenth of the first month. Again. "And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years." 1 Kings 2:11. Also in 2 Chron. "David the son of Jesse reinged over all Israel; and the time that he reigned was forty years." Now read 2 Sam. 4:5 -- "David reigned forty years." In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years.
Once more. "Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem." 2 Chron. 36:11. The statement that he reigned eleven years is repeated in 2 Kings, and three times in Jeremiah. Now read 2 Kings 25:3-7, and you will find that his reign terminated on the ninth day of the fourth month of his eleventh year. Hence he only reigned ten years, three months, and nine days; and yet God calls it eleven years. Where God sums up the time for himself, I think it safe to follow his arithmetic. Were we to reject this plain teaching, and the reckoning God has given, and fix it for ourselves, it would not vary the sum total of six thousand years so much as one month. These fractions balance each other, or nearly so.
Now we can understand the difficulty in relation to the age of Methuselah. Reckoning full years, he would have been nine hundred and sixty eight years old the day that Noah was five hundred and ninety nine. The flood did not come until the seventeenth day of the second month of Noah's six hundredth year. Therefore Methuselah could have lived one month and seventeen days after he entered on his nine hundred and sixty ninth year. And as with Zedekiah, his last year was counted.
FLOOD TO COVENANT, 427 YEARS
"Shem began Arphaxad two years after the flood."
Shem 2 years Gen. 11:10
Arphaxad 35 " Gen. 11:12
Selah 30 " Gen. 11:14
Eber 34 " Gen. 11:16
Peleg 30 " Gen. 11:18
Rue 32 " Gen. 11:20
Serug 30 " Gen. 11:22
Nahor 29 " Gen. 11:24
Terah 205 " Gen. 11:32
Total 427 years
On the death of Terah, Abram came into Canaan, and God made him the promise -- "From thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land wherein ye now dwell, and gave him none inheritance in it; yet he promised that he would give it to him." Acts 7:2-5. And this promise of the land constituted the covenant. See Psalm 105:9-11. "Which covenant he made with Abraham . . . saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan."
COVENANT TO LAW, 430 YEARS
"And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul." Gal. 3:17. "And it came to pass when the four hundred and thirty years were fulfilled, even the self same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord came out from the land of Egypt." Exodus 12:40-41
LAW TO SENDING OF SPIES, ONE YEAR
They go to the wilderness of "Paran" in the beginning of the second year after leaving Egypt. Numbers 10:11-12. It is from Paran the spies were sent. Numbers 13:2. Kadishbarnea is the place in Paran from which they went. Numbers 32:8. From the time they left Kadishbarnea for the coast of Moab, was thirty-eight years. Deut. 2:14-18. And this was before Aaron's death. Aaron dies on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year. Numbers 33:37-38. Therefore from the time they left Kadish, to the end of the forty years, was at least thirty-eight years and eight months. But the spies ere forty days gone, and they did not leave Kadish till after their return. Hence, from the sending of the spies to the end of the forty years must have been at least thirty-eight years, nine months, and ten days. Consequently, the time from their leaving Egypt to the sending of the spies was one year, two months, and twenty days, at the most. But for the reason already given we do not reckon the fraction of a year.
SPIES TO DIVISION OF LAND, 45 YEARS
"Forty years old was I when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadishbarnea to spy out the land . . . . And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years. And now, lo! I am this day fourscore and five years old." Joshua 14:7, 10. "Now, therefore, give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day . . . . And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephupeh Hebron for an inheritance." This ended the division of the land. And the land had rest from war." Joshua 14:12-15.
DIVISION OF LAND TO SAMUEL, 450 YEARS
Here is where chronological writers have all stumbled; there is not one exception; and I believe God arranged it as he has for that very purpose. There is an apparent break in chronology at this place; and men have resorted to every conceivable means, except the very simple one God has given, to clear it up. All chronological writers, without exception, I believe, reject a portion of Bible chronology here, and take Josephus as a substitute. Those unacquainted with the subject will scarcely credit this; nevertheless, it is true. They actually reject God's chronology, and then patch up the breaks with human material. Of course they have a plausible reason for doing so. They were learned and honest men. But still the fact remains the same. "Samson judged Israel twenty years." This is given by the pen of Inspiration as a part of chronology, and yet it appears superfluous, as if crowded in where it did not belong; hence they have rejected it. Even Bowen's Chronology, that adopted by Elliott, which proves the human race to be six thousand years old in 1873, fell into this error; but, for some reason, supplied enough from Josephus to balance it. That God designed to veil their eyes so that they could not see until his time had come, we must believe; for now these difficulties in chronology, which have defied the most careful investigations of the best of men, are so simple of solution that a child may understand them; and God's chronology, reaching from Adam to Cyrus, is found without a break.
From the division of the land, where our chronology stopped, to the beginning of this four hundred and fifty years found in Judges, there is an apparent break, which, if we can not mend, other than by applying to Josephus (and thus daubing with untempered mortar), leaves the chronology worthless. But we will try what virtue there is in God's word to heal the breach.
After the division of the land, "the children of Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua." Judges 2:7. Then they rebel, and he sold them "into the hand of the king of Mesopotamia eight years." And this eighty years is the next chronological period found in the Bible. Here is a gap from the division of the land to the king of Mesopotamia, measuring about twenty years, more or less. How shall we cover it? Take Josephus, or any other inspired testimony, I will not. If the bridge that shall cover it is not from the hand of God, better proceed no further, and let the subject drop. There are nineteen short periods of chronology beginning with these eight years and ending with Eli. Let us examine them.
This king 8 years Judges 3:8
Othniel 40 " Judges 3:11
Moab 18 " Judges 3:14
Ehud 80 " Judges 3:30
Jabin 20 " Judges 4:3
Deborah 40 " Judges 5:31
Midian 7 " Judges 6:1
Gideon 40 " Judges 8:28
Abimalech 3 " Judges 9:22
Tola 23 " Judges 10:2
Jair 22 " Judges 10:3
Philistines 18 " Judges 10:8
Jephthah 6 " Judges 12:7
Ebzan 7 " Judges 12:9
Eglon 10 " Judges 12:11
Abdon 8 " Judges 12:14
Philistines 40 " Judges 13:1
Samson 20 " Judges 16:31
Eli 40 " 1 Samuel 4:18
Total 450 years
Eli was the last judge. Samuel was a prophet. Here God has given four hundred and fifty years of chronology. At first sight it appears to reach from the time they are sold into the hand of the king of Mesopotamia to Samuel the prophet. But upon further examination we shall find that it laps just twenty years. Samson's twenty years, which in this regular line of chronology follow the forty of the Philistines, were, as we learn in another place (Judges 15:20), "in the days of the Philistines." That is, his twenty years were in their forty. And such we know was the case. He never delivered Israel; and himself died a prisoner to the Philistines.
Here is this four hundred and fifty years, reaching from the King of Mesopotamia to Samuel the prophet, lapping on itself twenty years. If we only dare straighten out that lap, and the gap from the division of the land to the king of Mesopotamian should prove to be just twenty years long, it would make a nice drawbridge to cover it; and the timber of the bridge could be trusted, for nothing unsound ever took root where that timber grew. But dare we take such liberty: I answer, No! I would as soon put forth my hand to the ark of God; and almost as soon reject this twenty years entirely, as other have. "And if any man take away from the words of the book of this prophecy (the Bible), God shall take away his part out of the book of life." If God would show the bridge across the chasm, and so straighten out the lap of twenty years, and make his own work perfect, I am sure it would suit me better than anything Josephus has built. We will search the Scriptures. Perhaps if we let God be his own interpreter, he will make it plain.
There are two places in the New Testament, and only two, where the chronology is referred to. The first is the four hundred and thirty years from the covenant to the law. The time is given in Exodus 12:40-41, where they came out of Egypt the day the four hundred and thirty years ended; but not a word is said as to where they began; and we should forever have remained in the dark, had not St. Paul made the connection, and informed us that they measure from the covenant. Gal. 3:17.
Acts 13 is the second place where Paul comes to the rescue. This four hundred and fifty years of the judges, like the other period, is given in so obscure a way that we should have forever remained in the dark without assistance. Now let us see if Paul does not shove the drawbridge, close up the break, and make the four hundred and fifty years reach from the division of the land until Samuel the prophet. "And when he had destroyed seven nations, he divided their land to them by lot. And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet." Acts 13:19-20. Paul says "about" the space of four hundred and fifty years, because the first eight years of that period were under the king of Mesopotamia, and prior to the first judge; hence the judges did not extend over quite the whole period. But his words clearly imply that the space of time to be measured by that period was "from the division of the land, ' until Samuel. I like Paul's way of fixing it better than I do the rejecting of a part of God's chronology, and taking Josephus. Others will do as they please.
This "space" of time extended to Samuel; then there is another "space" of forty years reaching to David. Acts 3:21 -- "And afterward they desired a king, and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, by the space [or in the space] of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up David." The preposition "by" is not in the Greek, and may be rendered "in" -- in the space.
Samuel was a prophet, and though he judged Israel, was cotemporary with Eli and Saul; therefore God has not reckoned his time in the chronology; and for us to figure on it, and try to force in a few years for him (twelve years, as some do), when God has given him none, is an attempt to fix God's chronology as foolish in its beginning as it is fruitless in its end. Thus we have reached the end of Saul's and the beginning of David's reign without appealing to human testimony, and without a break.
In the chronology of the kings there are two lines; the kings of Judah and the kings of Israel. The first is clear, accurate and unbroken, from David to the captivity. The second is a side line; it continues only a short time, and is full of irregularities. It changes families eight times. There are interregnums between the various kings. Again, father and son reign cotemporary. In fact, it is given in such a way as to make it impossible to get a chronology from it. We have to assume interregnums in some places, and the lapping of the reign of the father and son in others, to harmonize it with itself. In first and second Kings the line of Judah interlaps with that of Israel. Each king of the different lines is said to begin to reign in a certain year of the opposite line. Thus the confusion that belongs to the line of Israel works confusion with that of Judah.
IF the kings of Judah had been left in this confusion, we should have known most of these irregularities belonged to the line of Israel; that connected with Hoshea (2 Kings 15:30; 17:1), also the changing of families. But God did not leave them in that confusion. Every king of Judah is recorded a second time, and by themselves, in the Chronicles of the kings of Judah, where there is not the first symptom of an irregularity. And why men go to the kings of Israel and search for chronological difficulties, when God has given the true line, the line of Judah, on which they must begin and end, void of confusion, I cannot see for the life of me, only that they love darkness rather than light.
Why not reject the four hundred and thirty years from the covenant to the law, and insist upon getting a chronology from the age of the patriarchs while they were in Egypt? This would certainly be a difficult undertaking, if not impossible; and about as foolish as to attempt a chronology from the kings of Israel, where it does not exist.
(To be continued.)
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
UNDER THE KINGS, 513 YEARS
Saul 40 years Acts 13:21
David 40 " 1 Chron. 29:27
Solomon 40 " 2 Chron. 9:30
Rehoboam 17 " 2 Chron. 12:13
Abijah 3 " 2 Chron. 13:2
Asa 41 " 2 Chron. 16:13
Jehosaphat 25 " 2 Chron. 20:31
Jerhoram 8 " 2 Chron. 21:5
Ahaziah 1 " 2 Chron. 22:2
Athaliah 6 " 2 Chron. 22:12
Joash 40 " 2 Chron. 24:1
Amaziah 29 " 2 Chron. 25:1
Uzziah 52 " 2 Chron. 26:3
Jotham 16 " 2 Chron. 27:1
Ahaz 16 " 2 Chron. 28:1
Hezekiah 29 " 2 Chron. 29:1
Manessah 55 " 2 Chron. 32:1
Amon 2 " 2 Chron. 32:21
Josiah 31 " 2 Chron. 39:1
Jehoiakim 11 " 2 Chron. 36:5
Zedekiah 11 " 2 Chron. 36:11
Total 513 years
Again we stop to answer objections.
Nearly all writers on chronology leave out the eleven years reign of Zedekiah, and commence the "seventy years" with Jehoiakim's captivity. As there is so much authority against me here, I will try and show very clearly why the seventy years captivity cannot begin until after Zedekiah's reign. "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and those nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass when seventy years are accomplished, I will punish the King of Babylon." Jer. 25:11-12. This is the prophecy on which that captivity, and all that is said in relation to it, is based. The whole land was to be a desolation. Again -- "Them that had escaped carried he away to Babylon, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths; for as long as she lay desolate, she kept Sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years." 2 Chron. 36:21. here, again, we learn that the "seventy years" cover the time during which "the land" should be desolate. If, then, we can learn at what time the land became desolate, we shall know when the seventy years began.
It is assumed by these writers that the land was desolate when Jehoiakim and the principal part of the people were carried away. This, however, is not the time when God understood that the land was made desolate, for he distinctly says that it was not until after Zedekiah's reign. "And Zedekiah, king of Judah, will I give into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, . . . . and I will make [in the future] the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant." Jeremiah 34:21-22. So it appears that it was not until after Zedekiah's reign that the land was made desolate.
Now read the story, as told by Jeremiah, and see what God understood by a desolate land, and at what time this desolation was accomplished. Read from the twenty-ninth to the forty-fourth chapters (Jeremiah 29-44) inclusive, and see what became of the remnant of the people after Zedekiah was carried to Babylon, which was in the beginning of his eleventh year.
Those who were left in the land went down to Egypt, "even men and women and children; every person the captain of the guard had left." Jer. 43:6. And in the second verse of the next chapter (Jer. 44:2), the story is summed up with these words -- "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day, they are a desolation without an inhabitant."
The reason so many chronological writers began this seventy years captivity with Jehoiakim, is found in the following passage -- "For thus saith the Lord, After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word towards you, in causing you to return to this place." Jer. 29:10. And this is spoken to those who had been carried away prior to Zedekiah's reign. If this passage stood alone, we might infer that this "seventy years,' spoken of by Jeremiah, during which the land should be desolate, began with Johoiakim's captivity. But the positive declaration that the land was not desolate until after Zedekiah's reign, makes such assumption groundless.
God was here telling the children of the captivity "to build houses, and plant gardens," etc. for their stay in Babylon would be long, and not to let false prophets deceive them, He had already fixed on the time when they should return, viz., when seventy years desolation of their own land had been accomplished. But he does not tell them that the "seventy years" began with their captivity. That has been purely an assumption of chronological writers, and against a perfect avalanche of testimony to the contrary.
If the "seventy years" had already begun, with Jehoiakim's captivity, and the land was desolate, why did God complain of the people under Zedekiah's reign; that the chief priests and people transgressed and polluted the house of God, and misused his prophets, until there was no remedy? "Therefore he brought upon them the Chaldeans, who slew their young m en, and carried all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, to Babylon; and burnt the house of God, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem, and carried all that had escaped the sword to Babylon, to fulfill the word of the Lord by Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths; for as long as she lay desolate, she kept Sabbaths, to fulfill threescore and ten years." 2 Chron. 36:13-21.
I say, if Jeremiah's prophecy was already being fulfilled, and the land had been enjoying her Sabbaths ever since Jehoiakim's captivity, why did God say that Zedekiah and the remnant of the people were carried away, and the house burnt, and the wall broken down, to fulfill that prophecy? I sometimes think modesty is very becoming a writer who takes issue with all or nearly all the world, on a given subject; but when supported from the word of God by such arguments as these, my modesty does not trouble me.
All I can say is, that the great mistake in rejecting the eleven years of Zedekiah's reign, as a part of chronology, must be accredited to the same cause which has kept the world in darkness on all other matters pertaining to the coming of the Lord.
CAPTIVITY TO CYRUS, 70 YEARS
As proof that the seventy years captivity ended with the first year of Cyrus, one would suppose that the reading of 2 Chron. 36:20-22 would suffice. But it will not do to assume anything. The Bible is full of pit holes. God spake dark and many times contradictory sayings, on purpose that the careless might stumble -- so he declares. A good illustration is where God said by the mouth of one prophet, that Zedekiah "should go to Babylon, and there he should die"; and by another, that "he should be taken, and slain, and should not se Babylon."
Some have supposed these "seventy years" ended "the night Belshazzar was slain, and Darius the Median took the kingdom." And as God had said they should "serve the king of Babylon seventy years," this looks plausible. But to establish these dates, we want no plausibilities, but a "thus saith the Lord."
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram, which had two horns; and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. Dan. 8:3. "The ram which thou sawest, having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia." Dan. 8:20. The Median horn was the first. "In that night Belshazzar was slain, and Darius the Median took the kingdom." Dan. 5:30-31.
In the sixth of Daniel, there is an account of this Median kingdom under Darius. Then in the tenth chapter the Persian horn, which came up last, under Cyrus, is mentioned. "And them that had escaped from the sword, carried he away to Babylon, where they were servants to him and his sons, until the reign of the kingdom of Persia; to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah." 2 Chron. 36:20. "Now in the first years of Cyrus, that the word of the Lord by Jeremiah might be fulfilled," he stirred up Cyrus to make a decree. After much testimony, there can be no question as to where the seventy years end.
FIRST YEAR OF CYRUS, B.C. 536
With the first year of Cyrus, we reach a reliable historic era, and Bible chronology ceases. God helps us only until we can help ourselves.
A written language, based on the alphabet -- which God gave to Moses on the Mount -- was first introduced among the nations in the Persian era. Prior to that, the Babylonians, Egyptians, and other intelligent nations, wrote in hieroglyphics, a pictorial language, which necessarily left the details of history obscure. The Persian is a living language; it exists today; and the recorded facts of history from that time are accurate and clear. Almost as much is known of Alexander, for instance, who lived only about two hundred years subsequent to Cyrus, as is known of Napoleon. Since the beginning of the Persian era, events marked by scores and hundreds of eclipses have been carefully recorded; and thus the other great book of God, "the ordinances of heaven," are made to determine chronological dates.
Back of the Persian era, history immediately drops off into twilight. It is tolerably clear to the time of Nebuchadnezzar, but beyond that almost nothing of the dates or details of profane history are known with any certainty. Eclipses, which are not associated with events, cannot help us, and the Bible mentions none. If the darkening of the sun, so often spoken of in prophecy, is simply an eclipse, then it has been darkened too often to answer for a definite sign of the coming of the Lord; but, as only the prophecies, and not historical parts of the Bible, refer to any such thing, we could not fix their date, even if eclipses were referred to in such prophecies.
Previous to the first year of Cyrus, men differ widely as to the age of the human race. Since that date, "Ptolemy's Canon," based on eclipses, is the only standard of truth. Hence, from that time there is but one chronology, and this one is endorsed by all historians. Ptolemy's Canon, of which Smith, in his Bible Dictionary, remarks, "No intelligent man of the present day will question," places the first year of Cyrus, B.C. 536. Writers differ as to the length of the reign of certain kings, and other minor events under Ptolemy's Canon; some making one king's reign a year or two shorter than some other writers; but not in a way to touch the points established by eclipses. (When I say "all writers," I do not mean Adventists who have written within the last twenty odd years; since our Lord says they have "all slumbered and slept.")
The best light we have, and which has been endorsed by all the world, places the first year of Cyrus, B.C. 536, before the (so called) Vulgar Christian era; and there inspired chronology stopped. If it is not correct, it is to late for us to set it right. God knew this fact when he left us to ourselves; therefore we endorse it, as we do the other periods, unquestioned. We have not labored to attack either this, or any time, as given in the Bible, but to support every period as we find it recorded; hence no charge can be brought that we are endeavoring to make the six thousand years end with some cherished theory.
This date (536) has recently been questioned by some of our Advent brethren, on the ground that, "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks." Dan. 9:25. And they assume that this four hundred and eighty-three years, or sixty-nine weeks, began with the first year of Cyrus. And this assumption, at first sight, seems plausible. But it all rests on the answer to the following question, What did God mean by the "going forth" of that commandment? Some say the "going forth" was when it was given by Cyrus. Others think it "went forth" when it actually went into execution. This last view is certainly worth looking at, before we attach the authority of history, eclipses, and the universal opinion of all the Christian and Jewish churches, from the time of the prophecy was fulfilled to the present hour. And all this on a special application of a prophecy made by a few Adventists since they have been asleep.
All that is known of a commandment "to restore and to build Jerusalem," is of a negative character. We must believe Cyrus gave such a commandment; for God had said, "He shall build my city." And though no such commandment is recorded in the Bible, yet the city was built, long after Cyrus was dead, and built by his commandment.
To say that the commandment recorded in Ezra 1, which was "to go up and build the house of God which is at Jerusalem," was the commandment referred to in Daniel, is an assumption from which I beg to differ. And yet, from Ezra 9:9, we are sure there was a commandment to build the city. Ezra went up to Jerusalem B.C. 457. And it is at this time we get the first inkling of such a commandment.
I know while the Jews were trying "to build the house of God, as Cyrus the king had commanded" (Ezra 4:8), Bishlam, Tabeel, and their companions, wrote a lying letter to the king of Persa, accusing them to building the "bad city." Ezra 4:12. But that was false. I do not deny, for I do not know but what Cyrus wrote the commandment to build the city at the same time he commanded them to build the house; and they may have been part of one commandment. All I claim is, that we hear nothing of a commandment to "restore and to build Jerusalem" at that time.
During the late Rebellion, Lincoln made a proclamation (or commandment) to set free the Negroes, -- a perfectly parallel case. He had the document carefully drawn, showed it to his friends, and then laid it aside for a few weeks in his cabinet, until the proper time for it to go forth. It was then brought out from its resting place and sent forth. Would you date "the going forth" of that document when he wrote it, after which it was lost sight of for a time? Or at the time steps were taken to vitalize and put it into an active condition. I think no one would hesitate in saying that the latter point of time was when it went forth. Then why may not that be the time the commandment "to restore and to build Jerusalem" "went forth"? Even the decree to build the house was put aside until it was forgotten. See Ezra 5:17 -- "Now, therefore, if it please the king, let search be made whether it be so that a decree was made of Cyrus to build this house."
If the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem "went forth" at the time steps were taken to put it into effect, then the date, 536 remains intact. And actual facts of history established by eclipses, which cannot lie, do not, clash with the prophetic word.
Adam to flood 1656 years
Flood to covenant 427 "
Covenant to law 430 "
To sending of spies 1 "
To division of land 45 "
To Samuel the prophet 450 "
Under the kings 513 "
Captivity 70 "
Cyrus to Christ 536 "
To present date 1872 "
Total 6000 "
With the end of the year 1872, or rather with the end of the true Bible year, as it began in Eden, partly synchronizing with our year 1872, we believe end the six thousand years from Adam.
The two fractions, amounting to six months and ten days, found in 2 Chron. 26:2, 9, we omit saying anything about. Our brother, who advocates a chronology of six thousand years ending in 1875, claims a synchronizing of the "jubilees" with his chronology. But he is just two years out in his reckoning, as I will prove. Each seventh year was a Sabbath for the land. Lev. 25:2. They were to number seven Sabbaths of years; then the trumpet was to sound to proclaim the fiftieth year a jubilee. See Lev. 25:8-10. Our brother begins to reckon these cycles of seven when they had been seven years in the wilderness, or thirty-three years before they entered the promised land. Five times seven are thirty five. Thus they would have been two years in the promised land at the end of the fifth cycle of seven years. He should not have begun these cycles of Sabbaths for the land until the entered the promised land. "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath unto the Lord. Six years shalt thou sow they field, . . . . but in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land." Num. 25:2.
Here we see the brother begins the sixth cycle of seven, two years after they had entered the promised land, instead of "when ye come into the land," where God told them to begin to reckon; or two years in advance. Hence, all his arguments from the jubilees favor his chronology for 1873, instead of 1875.
The chronology here presented has one advantage, at least, over all others: it finds no break in Bible chronology, and therefore no trusting to man to patch up and fix God's word. Every year given in the Bible as chronology, is taken just as we find it. We have not tried to lengthen any single period, by arguing in a year or two; nor have we tried to squeeze them into less space than this full round number, just as God has given them. And from Cyrus down to the present time we take it as we find it endorsed by all the world. God left us there to human aid. Down to that time he carefully led, and we have as carefully followed, trusting all to him. Where he left us to help ourselves, we have taken the best light the world has. We do not claim to know this chronology is correct; but it is plain and direct, and looks like truth. It will not do to make chronology out of some theory of applying prophetic periods. History and facts cannot be made to said prophecy. It is the other way; prophecy must meet history.
In closing, permit me, dear reader, to make one request. I believe this 1873 message is from God, and the last of the sweet story of the gospel. Let me beg of you to join some friend, one with the Bible to read the texts, the other with paper and pencil, and go over the chronology. Get it out of God's word and add it up for yourselves, and it will give you faith. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1872
N. H. BARBOUR
Many persons have an idea that prophecy is beyond ordinary human comprehension; that very learned men may get a glimmering of its true application; but to say with certainty, "This is that spoken by the prophet," requires almost the pen of inspiration. How mistaken are such people! Prophecy is simply telling things before they come to pass; and the application is, seeing if they have come to pass. A simple way to find the application is to inquire, first, What things were to be accomplished? Second, Have they been accomplished? Third, Who accomplished them?
The first beast of Revelation 13, "having seven heads and ten horns," was the Roman empire, call "the dragon" in the twelfth chapter. But it was that empire after it had changed from pagan to papal. With its change of character there was of necessity a change of the symbol by which it represented; and under this last symbol it was to continue "forty and two months" (42 months). Papacy itself must continue until Christ comes. "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them until the Ancient of days came, … and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." Daniel 7:21. Therefore it is evident that papacy must exist in some other character after it has ceased to exist as the "forty and two months" (42 months) beast. When its time was up, that beast received a deadly wound, or was "slain by the sword." (Whether a wound is in the head or body of the beast, it is the beast which is wounded.)
Papacy in its civil character was head of Rome during this forty and two months. In 1798 the beast was wounded unto death in its papal head, and a republic took its place. These statements require no proof, for the same reason that proof would not be required if one should say that such a man as Napoleon once lived. When this first beast was killed with the sword, Revelation 13:10, the two horned beast came up, the deadly wound to the Papacy was healed, and it was made to exist in another character, viz., "There was an image made to the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live." An image must be like its prototype, or it would not be an image. Hence, in the image we must have a facsimile of the old forty and two months beast.
Papacy was restored in 1800, and until 1870 was a facsimile of its prototype. The old papal beast was civil and ecclesiastical in character, so was the "image." The first beast was head of Rome, so was the "image." In fact, the image had all the features of its original, excepting its power over times and laws. That power had passed away with the forty two months beast. This application is at least plausible, but to prove whether it be the true one, we must now inquire what the image was to do? And if the work given it has been accomplished by the papacy within the last seventy years, or during its existence as the supposed "image," then we shall know this application is the true one. "And he [the two horned beast] had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." Revelation 13:15. The first beast had power to speak great words and blaspheme, so also had the image. And he has spoken, in a symbolic sense, of course, and words greater than ever the old forty two months beast was heard to utter -- "infallibility."
This image was also to kill, as many as would not worship the image. And it has killed its millions. (This word "killeth" is symbolic, of course, otherwise it would be entirely out of keeping with the rest of the subject.) There are two ways of killing, in a symbolic senses, viz., politically, and ecclesiastically. The first is used in Revelation 9:5, where the Saracens were not to kill men, but to torment them five months. "And men should seek death and should not find it."
The eastern part of the Roman empire was overrun from A.D. 1299, to A.D. 1449, or five prophetic months, by the Saracens. They robbed, murdered, and oppressed the people; while at the same time the Roman government taxed, robbed and oppressed them. Between two masters, they were tormented until they preferred political death, and sought it, but could not find it. That is, they preferred that their own government, which could not protect them from the Saracens, should be abolished, and leave them but one set of masters.
The image of the beast could not kill politically, for it had no power over "times and laws." That power had ended with the forty and two months (42 months), but it had the power to kill ecclesiastically, and it has exercised that power to a wonderful extent -- "all that would not worship it." It has killed or excommunicated more than a hundred millions; nearly all of Italy, Victor Emmanuel and all his supporters, Dollinger, and all Catholic Germany. No prophecy could be more perfectly fulfilled. It was to speak, and to kill; and it has done both in the superlative degree. Then we know to what "the image of the beast" refers, and cannot be mistaken; for the restored papacy has completely filled the picture.
Now if we can find who it was that "said to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image, . . . . and he had power to give life unto the image," we shall find the two horned beast, which for the present we will assume to be the Napoleonic dynasties. "I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." Revelation 13:11.
The first or papal beast, came up out of the sea. Revelation 13:1. It was evolved out of the religious wars and commotion of the "waters," or people, at the breaking up of the Roman empire. This two horned beast comes up "out of the earth," and the horns were like a lamb -- mild. Both Napoleonic dynasties began as republics; the mildest form among earthly governments. They came up by the vote of the people, an earthly government changing its character without strife, and without bloodshed; the first in 1799, the second in 1848. "And he spake as a dragon." Imperial Rome was called "the dragon." These republics changed almost immediately to empires; the first in 1800, the second in 1852. "He exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him." Revelation 13:12. If the words "before him" were not qualified by "first beast," they might mean, as many have supposed, "in presence of"; but "first beast before him" must necessarily mean the first beast, or one which had preceded him; viz., the forty two months beast.
And now the question is, Did the two horned beast exercise all the power of the "first beast"? the first, or papal beast, exercised great power. Nearly the whole of the Roman world was under his control during a part of his existence. Hence the two horned beast must have exercised a wonderful amount of power, if it equaled that of the "first beast." But I will quote from Mitchell's "Life of Napoleon": --
"In 1805, Napoleon was crowned king of Italy. In 1806, he made his brother Louis king of Holland. In 1808, he made Joseph king of Spain. In 1798, he conquered Egypt. In 1805, he conquered Vienna. In 1810, Holland was annexed to France. In 1811, he entered Moscow. Complete master of Germany, he erected the territories of Brunswick, Cassel, and other dominions into the kingdom of Westphalia, which he gave to his brother Jerome. At Dresden he held levees, which were crowded by kings and princes of Germany, arrived to render homage to their real lord and superior."
Did the popes crown and uncrown kings at their pleasure? so did Napoleon. Did they have kings and emperors in their antechamber? so had Napoleon. Did they hold "times and laws" in their hand, and distribute kingdoms and principalities to their favorites? so did Napoleon. Again I quote from p. 145 -- "Were I only king of France, says Napoleon, I should be obliged to act as Louis XIV, and Louis XV acted; but I am emperor of the continent, and it is necessary to go back to Charlemagne to form an idea of the power I possess." the same writer continues -- "We have not sought to compare the French to the Roman empire, the similarity of means to which both resorted for the purpose of obtaining similar ends force the comparison." "He spake like" imperial Rome. "He exerciseth all the power" of papal Rome.
This two horned beast fills the picture, nor could there be a more complete fulfillment of the prophecy. "He exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him; and causeth the earth, and them that dwell therein, to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed."
How did Napoleon cause the Roman world to worship the first beast? By bringing it to life, I answer. That beast had been killed with the sword. Revelation 13:10. And for a time there was no papal organization, or "beast." Men could not worship what did not exist. But "the deadly wound was healed," and it lived again in its "image;" and it was the two horned beast that gave life to that image. Thus it was "he made them that dwell upon the earth to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed." The papacy was the "first beast"; the papacy was the image of the beast. The first beast lives, but lives in his image; therefore the two horned beast does his work "in the sight of the beast." Revelation 13:14. Revelation 13:13 -- "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." "Fire" means judgment, or punishment. Eternal fire is eternal judgment, or punishment. Napoleon was the scourge of God on the nations. Revelation 13:14 -- "And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live; and he had power to give life unto the image of the beast." If I should say to a sculptor, "Make an image of a man," and I had power to give life to that image, that it should both walk and speak and kill as many as would worship it, you would think there was miraculous power displayed. So it was this two horned beast, in a symbolic sense, worked miracles, "saying to them that dwell upon the earth, that they should make an image," "and he had power to give life unto the image."
The French and Roman republics destroyed the papacy. Napoleon always insisted that every nation should be permitted to enjoy their religion, whether Mohammedan or Catholic; and it was chiefly the influence he exerted in Europe which crushed out the commune, or infidel spirit, and restored the old order of society, including papacy. The two horned beast was not to make the image, but "say to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image." In 1800, Napoleon was the ruling spirit of the continent; and the thirty five cardinals who met at Venice during that year, to elect a new pope and restore the papacy, did so with the tacit permission, if not at the instigation, of Napoleon.
Revelation 13:15 -- "And he had the power to give life unto the image of the beast." The first Napoleon gave life to and supported the papacy, and as it were, held that image in his hand during his whole career. Sometimes he would call the pope to France; again he would confiscate his patrimony; once, in 1805, he proclaimed himself king of Italy; -- all of which proves that the" image" held its life by and through the two horned beast. No power could come between and rescue the papacy. And yet, during all this time the "image" continued as "head" of Rome. He was only such by the permission of Napoleon, I grant; but yet these two facts remain: the papacy was the acknowledged head of Rome, and he held that position mainly by the will of Napoleon.
The second horn of the two horned beast does precisely a similar work. He also maintained the pope as head of Rome. Time and time again, the Italians threatened to remove him, but the French troops would not permit it. At last, in September, 1870, the second horn of that beast went down at Sedan. The news flashed across the continent to Rome; and within three days the "image of the beast" fell from his pedestal, like a wooden image. The two horned beast that gave it life had ceased to be, and of course the image could no longer live.
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
Revelation 13:16-17 -- "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
A "beast" means a political power, or Gentile government. When the church married, or became a part of the civil power, it took its mark upon it. When you say of a person who is slightly colored, that he has the mark of the Negro, you mean that he is part Negro. So when the church became a part of political organizations, it received the mark of the beast. And it was when church and state first became one under the empire, that God calls it by the name of its husband, "the beast."
It matters not whether a church is Catholic or Protestant; wherever church and state are united, that church has "the mark of the beast," if "beast" means civil power; and God says, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth." Therefore not only every church, but every individual who belongs to or is part of a political organization, has "the mark of the beast." There is no dodging this. Some say it is their duty as men and citizens to look after their property, and hence they must help make the laws. Very good; if you are a citizen, it is your duty; but "pilgrims and strangers" have no such duties and no such rights. "Come out, and be ye separate." "If ye were of this world, the world would love his own; . . . . but I have chosen you out of the world."
IN THEIR FOREHEADS
God puts his mark in the forehead. See Ezekiel 9:4; Revelation 7:3. He writes his name there. Revelation 14:1. And such are his true worshipers, and believe in him; and his mark is in their forehead. There are others who walk hand and hand with these organizations, members of churches, and yet belong to and are a part of some political organization. These have the mark in the hand, and some one of the "number of the name." You can get along very well with the world, whether it be with a purely civil power, or with a "harlot" church -- state organization -- if you will carry their mark, or some one of the number of their names, even in your hand. If "the number of his name" was simply the numerals of "Latin Church<" or even "Napoleon," I can not see how one would be entitled to stand on the sea of glass, having the harp of God in his hand, because he had gotten the victory over these numerals. But I can understand how those who get the victory over "the beast," with its millions of worshipers, "and over his image, and over his mark," and over the millions of those who belong to these worldly minded, popular, harlot organizations, who serve God with the one hand and the devil with the other, -- I can understand, I say, how those who get the victory over all these, may be found with harps of God in their hands.
The various forces which were at work breaking up and disorganizing society prior to and during the French Revolution, were infidel in character; and for a time infidelity reared its head, and a storm of unbelief swept over the Roman world. But with the restoration of order, these church state and sectarian bands were drawn closer than ever; and indeed, "no man could buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." "Come unto me and buy wine, and milk, without money and without price," does not mean literally to buy. In Rev. 6:6, we read of "a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny." These are ecclesiastical matters.
During the breaking up of the religious element in Europe, men could dispense whatever doctrines they pleased, whether it was the true faith or infidelity; the world cared little about it. But with the restoration of religious order, this license was withheld, and no man could buy or sell save he who had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man ["the man of sin"]; and his number is six hundred threescore and six" (666).
THE WORLD'S CRISIS
AND SECOND ADVENT MESSENGER
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 1873
N. H. BARBOUR
"Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favor her, yea, the set time has come." Psalm 102:12.
All who believe the bible must admit that God has set the time when he will bring again Zion. And having set the time, it is revealed, "For surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets." "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he will appear in his glory." Psalm 102:16. And again we read -- "Say unto Zion, Ye are my people, saith your God."
From the above, we learn that there is a definite time fixed upon when God will bring again his people; and that he will at the same time appear in his glory. Hence if we can learn when God will bring again his people, and Zion's warfare be ended, we shall know the time of the second advent and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Christ was the chief corner stone laid in Zion, and his people under the gospel represent Zion, as much as they did under the former dispensation. Hence, whenever God speaks to his people, I understand him to refer to all the true Israel, of both dispensations. This comprehensive view is necessary if we would understand much of what is written concerning Israel. It requires both dispensations to complete the plan of salvation. "The law was our schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ." That is, its teaching is a necessary help in order to understand the gospel. The first dispensation was typical, it is true; and was founded in blood, and therefore based upon death, and pointed to the Lamb slain on Calvary; while the second and better covenant points to the resurrection and restitution. But both were necessary, and each dependent on the other. If Christ had not died, our sins could never had been blotted out; "and if Christ be not risen, then they who have fallen asleep in him are perished."
Zion's warfare goes through both dispensations; but the conditions surrounding her were of an entirely different character. While they represented God's kingdom, and obeyed him, they were permitted to reign over their enemies, and suffered only when disobedient. Under the gospel dispensation, if they will live godly, they shall suffer persecution. In the former case, if they would obey they were exalted above the nations. Now, if they will be Israelites indeed, they are to submit to their enemies. Then, to be a son was to hold a dominion. "Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword." Here, "if ye receive not chastisement, then are ye bastards and not sons." Here, they must fall by the sword, and by spoil, and by flame, and by captivity. There, they could carry the sword and flame and captivity to their enemies. here, the "man of sin" is permitted to make war and prevail against them until the judgment sits, and the time again comes for them to take the kingdom.
Without a kingdom, there is no protection. Hence we pray, "Thy kingdom come." Now "the times of the Gentiles" are being fulfilled. Dives has his good things, and Lazarus his evil things. but when Zion's warfare is accomplished, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" will come and sit upon the throne of his father David, and the saints of the Most High will sway the empire of the world. In Jer. 16:13, God says to Zion, his people, represented by the name of "children of Israel" -- "Therefore will I cast you out of this land, into a land ye know not, neither ye, nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor." This had its fulfillment at the first advent. Then it was he who took the kingdom of God from them and ceased to show them favor. His people, Zion, "were cast off to serve other gods day and night." "Other gods" means other rulers, or judges. See Exodus 22:28, marginal reading. Under the first dispensation, while God had a kingdom upon earth, he always showed them favor. If they were in the hand of their enemies, and cried unto God, and turned to him with a full purpose of heart, he would repent him of the evil, and deliver them. While to an Israelite under the present dispensation is to bear the cross, and be made perfect through sufferings. It is "to fall by sword, and flame, and spoil, and captivity." "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came, and the judgment did sit." When the souls under the altar cried "How long?" they were told that their brethren must fall, as they had fallen, before deliverance would come. Indeed, God's people have been cast off to serve other rulers day and night, during all these Gentile times.
This prophecy could not have been fulfilled at the Babylonian captivity, for it was to be "into a land ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers." Abraham came from "Ur of the Chaldees," and Jacob and his family from Syria. And then again, at the death of Jacob the scepter given to Judah was not to depart "till Shiloh come." Then the scepter departed, and God will not show them favor again as a nation until "the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled," and "he comes whose right it is" to reign. After his people were cast off where he would not show them favor, we learn in the balance of Jer. 16 that the days would come when He would bring them again into their own land. Jer. 16:15. "And first, I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double." Jer. 16:18. Here we learn that when God's people were cast off, as above, the time is fixed for the continuance of their punishment, and their final restoration to the land, viz., when their sin has been recompensed "double."
Under the first dispensation this punishment was conditional, and would cease at any time they would repent. "How often would I have gathered thy children, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." Now it is too late; no "your house is left unto you desolate," and "ye shall see me no more until" the set time; until the Gentiles have had their day; until ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. The first dispensation, and their conditional punishment, continued just one thousand eight hundred and forty-three (1843) years, and ended with the introduction of the gospel, when Christ at thirty years of age came into Galilee preaching the gospel. Mark 1:14. then the scepter departed from Judah, the kingdom was taken from God's Zion, their unconditional punishment began, and must continue until they have received "double." One thousand eight hundred and forty-three (1843) years of bearing the cross will fill the picture, and Zion's warfare must end.
Double means twice, as the addition of an equal quantity. A prisoner punished conditionally for ten years, is informed that his punishment must continue until he has received double, at which time his sin shall be pardoned, and he restored to his home. At the end of the second ten years we should say his appointed time was accomplished, and his iniquity pardoned, for he has received double for all his sins. Now hear what God says to his people, under precisely similar conditions. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God; speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, and her iniquity pardoned, for she has received double, at the hands of the Lord, for all her sons." Isa. 40:1-2. See margin. If this "double" during which they were to be punished does not refer to time, why does God say, "Cry unto her, that her appointed time is accomplished, for [or because] she has received double"? If this means nothing, it is at least a strange coincidence that Zion's warfare should have continued under the twelve tribes; just eighteen hundred and forty three years (1843); and now, when we are all looking for her warfare to end, for so many other reasons, it should have an equal number of years since the gospel dispensation began.
Perhaps we make too much of these prophecies, as some think, but here are the simple facts: God said by the mouth of Jeremiah, that he would show them favor (as a nation, he shows all men favor as individuals), with the promise that after they were so cast off, they should be brought again to their promised inheritance; but first, he would recompense their iniquity and their sin double. Then, as Isaiah looks down the vista of time to its fulfillment, he makes him say, "Comfort . . . my people, and say unto them that their appointed time is accomplished, and their iniquity pardoned, for they have received double, at the hands of the Lord, for all their sins." And all the Advent people, just here, where the "double" is about complete, are looking for the immediate restoration of Zion to her promised inheritance. Hence I humbly submit that God meant just what he said, and that, when she has received double, her appointed time will be accomplished, and her iniquity pardoned. And as the gospel did not begin until Christ was thirty years of age, so the thousand eight hundred and forty-three (1843) years under the gospel will not be completed until eighteen hundred and seventy-three (1873) years from the birth of Christ, at which time Zion's warfare must end. If it continues one year longer, it will be more than "double." If it comes one year sooner, it will be less than double, and in either case the Scriptures would be broken, for God has said that when she has received double, her appointed time will be accomplished.
Some will think that this teaches the return of the literal Jew, but I submit that it does not touch that question. It simply teaches us when God will bring again his people, and fulfill "his promise to Abraham, his oath to Isaac, which was confirmed unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant; saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan; the lot of your inheritance." And we all believe this promise is to be fulfilled "at the appearing and kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." If, then, we can prove these positions, that the twelve tribes did exist as God's representative people just eighteen hundred and forty-three (1843) years; and that the very day the gospel began, the second part, or "double," began, we shall have established our position and proven that when Zion shall have been one thousand eight hundred and forty-three years under the gospel dispensation, her warfare will end; for she will then have received "double"; and God's word for it, when she has received double, her appointed time will be accomplished.
The twelve tribes become the representatives of "Israel" at the death of Jacob and end of the patriarchal age. While he lived he was responsible for and represented his family. "A Syrian ready to perish was my father; and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation great, mighty, and populous." At the death of Jacob the twelve tribes not only became the representatives of "Israel,' but the scepter, a symbol of authority, was at that time given to the tribe of Judah, with the promise that it should not depart till Shiloh came. Gen. 39:10. Here, then, we have the measure or time during which the literal see were to bear the scepter and represent God's "holy nation." And if we can measure its length, we shall know how long that people represented God's people.
The covenant was made with Abram when he was seventy-five years old. See Gen. 12:4-7. The promise of the land was the covenant. See Psalm 105:9-11. Twenty-five years after that Isaac was born, when Abram was an hundred. Gen. 21:5. Isaac was sixty when Jacob was born. Gen. 25:26. Jacob died at the age of one hundred and forty-seven. Gen. 47:28. Hence, from the covenant to the death of Jacob was twenty-five, sixty, and one hundred and forty-seven years, or two hundred and thirty two (232) years. From the covenant to the law was four hundred and thirty years (430 [Gal. 3:17]). Therefore from the death of Jacob to the law was one hundred and ninety-eight (198) years. In measuring the dispensation under the twelve tribes, we have to measure from the death of Jacob until "Shiloh," or Christ; hence, this is our first period of time.
To the law . . . . . . . . . . 198 years
To the spies . . . . . . . . . 1 year
To division of land . . . . . 45 years
To Samuel the Prophet . . . . 450 "
Under the Kings . . . . . . . 513 "
Captivity . . . . . . . . . . 70 "
Cyrus to Christ . . . . . . . 536 "
Beginning of the gospel, A.D.. 30 "
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . 1843 years
The proofs of all but the first and last period here given have been presented in the "Bible Chronolgoy," published in the Crisis of Nov. 13th and 20th, which see. The last period of thirdy years, although it brings us into the Christian era, belongs to the Jewish dispensation; for "the law was until John," and the gospel dispensation did not begin until Christ came into Galilee preaching the gospel (Mark 1:14), at which time he was thirty years of age.
Thus we learn that Zion's warfare under the literal seed continued just eighteen hundred and forty three (1843) years, or until the gospel dispensation began, at A.D. 30. (The assumption that Christ was born five years before A.D. 1, will be examined further on.)
Under the gospel, Zion's warfare is to continue until she shall have received "double"; hence, when one thousand eight hundred and forty-three years (1843) have been accomplished under the present dispensation, which brings us to eighteen hundred and seventy three (1873) years from the birth of Christ, "her warfare will be accomplished, and her iniquity pardoned." The "double," or second half of her warfare began the very day the gospel began. See Zech. 9:12. There the prophet is speaking of the first advent, as is evident from the preceding verses, where Christ is made to ride into Jerusalem on the ass, and the cold the foal of an ass. He turns to the literal Jew and says (Zech. 9:11) -- "As for thee also, whose covenant is by blood [see margin], I have set forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water; turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope; even today do I declare I will render double unto you." Christ came to set free the prisoners and deliver those that were bound, and to invite them to turn from the law (or pit in which was no water), to Him who had the waters of life, as is evident from his first sermon (Luke 4:18); and he declares that "that day" this scripture, which proclaimed deliverance to the captive, was fulfilled.
Is this making too much of God's word, to take it unquestioned as we find it? "The prophets searched diligently to know what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." The prophets, in the plural; hence we have the right to expect to find the time, both of the first and second advent, in more than the book of Daniel, and in more than one kind of time, -- "what and what manner of time." In Daniel, we find it in symbolic time; and here, in chronological years. "The thousand three hundred and five and thirty days" (1335) of Daniel 12 seem, without any forcing, to end in 1873. The six thousand years from Adam also appear to end at about the same time. And here is the third witness, all pointing with steadfast finger to 1873. "And in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." each one proves the other true. If the chronology is not correct, how does it happen that the time given to each of the two dispensations, viz., one thousand eight hundred and forty three years (1843), should happen to fit, and end with the chronology? The first half, which reaches from the death of Jacob and beginning of the independent existence of the twelve tribes to Christ, covers all the disputed portions of chronology; and if that were wrong, how does it happen that the second half of Zion's warfare should end with the chronology? There is no other reckoning by which these periods could possible be made to harmonize. Hence, those who reject this chronology, ending in 1873, must forever reject this beautiful prophecy, which God has given to measure the two dispensations.
Take, for instance, Bro. Thurman's Chronology, which ends in 1875, and it gives only 1809 years to the twelve tries, from the time the scepter is given till Shiloh comes, at A.D. 30; and 1845 years to the gospel dispensation; thus making the last half of Zion's warfare thirty-six years longer than the first half. Hence, when she had received "double," her appointed time was not "accomplished," nor was "her iniquity pardoned." For by that reckoning, the completion of her double term of punishment would have ended in the year 1839, while the six thousand years would end in 1875; and, by beginning the Christian era five years earlier, would only make this discrepancy all the wider. But in our chronology, we take every year as we find it recorded in the Bible unquestioned; and from Cyrus to the Christian era, as endorsed by all the world, unquestioned; and the Christian era itself, as we find it, unquestioned.
If these things are not true, it is very strange, to say the least, that there should be such simplicity and such perfect harmony. Because "double," when used in the Bible, does not always refer to time, is no argument against its referring to time in this place. Double simply means two times. And if Zion's warfare (which in some way was to be double, or cover two dispensations, which we know to be true) does not refer to time, what made God say that "her appointed time was accomplished, for she had received double," at the time the prophet sees her iniquity pardoned? And how does it happen the two dispensations are found to be just equal at about the present time, when we are all looking for the Lord to bring again Zion? Surely no one who is looking for the Lord at the present time, as all Adventists profess to be, will oppose this application, which is in such harmony with our views, unless they have a better explanation to offer.
THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
The idea so prevalent at this time that Christ was born five years before our Christian era, rests solely on the fact that there was an eclipse in Judea four years before A.D. 1, and the statement in history that Herod died the year of that eclipse. If this statement in relation to Herod's death is true, then Christ must have been born about a year before that eclipse; for "the young child" Jesus was in Egypt when Herod died. Matt. 2:19-20. But we find a discrepancy between that statement and one made by Luke which can not be reconciled.
August Caesar, who sent forth a decree that all the world should be taxed (Luke 2:1), died in August A.D. 14. This fact is questioned by no one Tiberius Caesar was his successor. Tiberius was not the legitimate heir, but was a step son to Augustus by a second wife, the real heir dying some three years before the emperor. On the death of Augustus the crown was offered to Tiberius, and he affected to refuse it for a number of weeks, but at last accepted and was crowned. "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor, . . . . and Annas and Caiaphas being high priests, the word of God came unto John, the son of Zechariahs, in the wilderness." Luke 3:1-2. As Augustus died in August, A.D. 14, and John began to preach in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius his successor, John's ministry must have commence about the middle of A.D. 29. John was six months older than Jesus. Luke 1:26. "And when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heavens were opened. . . . . And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age." Luke 3:21, 23. John must have preached about six months, and about thirty years and six months old when Jesus began to preach. And John does not begin until well along in the year A.D. 29; therefore, when he had preached six months, and "Jesus began to be about thirty years old," it must have been at about the close of the year A.D. 29. Hence our present reckoning is the true one.
The only attempt to harmonize these statements of Luke with the supposed fact that Herod died the year of that eclipse, is that Tiberius reigned cotemporary with Augustus three years; and no one has ever attempted to make it more than three. If we grant that, there would still be a discrepancy of two years. And if Luke is two years out in his reckoning, it hurts Bible authority just as much as though he were five. This is a stubborn fact, and, with all the learned criticisms on this point, has never been cleared up. Hence, it still rests between Luke and the historian; and I, for one, am still foolish enough to pin my faith to the Bible, even though we have to admit the terrible fact that the historian has made a mistake of a few years in the date of Herod's death. That statement aside, there remains no difficulty, and the present Christian era is the true one.
ADVENT CHRISTIAN TIMES
"Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."
VOL. XI. --- NO. 14. CHICAGO, NOVERMBER 11, 1873 WHOLE NO. 497
N. H. BARBOUR
For about fourteen years I have been looking for the Lord to come in 1873. And to me the arguments have seemed unanswerable. The first month and the seventh month were the only two periods in the year to which I could look. These are passed; hence my hope, or rather expectation, of seeing the Lord this year is at an end.
The advice of one brother is, "Give up this subject and preach the age to come." Another, (Free Methodist,) says, "Come with us and preach salvation." And yet another, "Give up the investigation of the prophetic periods and preach His coming near." Thus each is doing his part to give force to the proverb, "The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth," and to discourage future investigation. But notwithstanding all this I am still enforcing the 1873 arguments with more faith and a greater zeal than ever, though I do not expect the Lord until the seventh month of 1874. This may seem a paradox, but I have a reason for my position which is more satisfactory, for it adds immensely to the strength of all the arguments.
If I can show that God claims, when it so pleases Him, to call it 1335 days until it is 1336, or 1335 when it is only 1334 and a fraction, I shall have shown that though the periods pointing to the end are revealed and therefore "belong to us and our children;" yet God may have reserved a fraction of time in His own power, to be made known in His way, without invalidating the reliability of the periods revealed to His holy prophets, or our correct understanding of those periods.
What God does once, he may do again. In other words, a precedent of His own is a safe position on which to base a future calculation, and there are just two periods of time in which He has used this liberty.
"David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years." "Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem."
One of these statements is made three and the other five times in God's word, as if to enforce the idea that there is no mistake. And yet the facts are that Zedekiah reigned only ten years three months and nine days. (See Jer. 52:1-12,) while David reigned forty years and six months. (See 2 Sam. 5:5)
Now, suppose instead of a statement, these had been prophetic periods. "David shall reign forty years, at the end of which special event will transpire." The people wait anxiously; the forty years end, and the promised event does not come. The vision has failed, and God is slack concerning His promises, would be the natural conclusion. Again, they wait in fear of a threatened judgment. "Zedekiah shall reign eleven years in Jerusalem, and then the city shall be taken captive. (See Jer. 1:3.) Ten years pass, and while they feel confident of another year, God cuts it short, "And it came to pass in the fourth month and the ninth day of the month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the city was taken." Shall the clay say to the potter what doest thou?
God has given just these two precedents, from which some men reason that all definite time in the Bible is loosely stated, and inaccurate. I do not so reason, but believe they were given for a special purpose. If the time had overrun one whole year the statement would have been as false in spirit, as though it had come short that much.
These two periods teach us that when God pleases to shorten or lengthen a given time He may so do, within certain limits, without invalidating the spirit of the word.
The 1260 days of Papal dominion fell short about a year.
From the best authority we can find the abomination was not "set up," viz: The providences of Italy, or civil powers, did not declare in favor of the Catholic party until near the close of 538 (I have always taught that the "woman" [Rev. 17] who had the name "Abominations" on her forehead, and was drunken with the blood of the saints, was "the abomination that maketh desolate;" and that she was "set up" when she took her seat on the beast, that the "seat" was Rome, the seat of the dragon, and that she took her seat when the civil power, or province of Italy changed their allegiance from the Arian to the Catholic party.) The Goths were expelled from the main part of Italy in the month of March, but the provinces which Gibbon tells us had afterwards embraced the faith of the Emperor, could not have organized and changed their allegiance without consuming time.
From the Autumn, of 538 to the 15th of February 1798, when the Roman republic was declared, was only 1259 years and a fraction. Thus the period of oppression on his church was cut short almost a year.
The 1335 days began when the abomination was "set up" near the end of 538; hence they end near the close of 1873. But the time to which we can look for our High Priest to leave the holy place in 1873 is passed.
From near the close of 1873 to the seventh month of 1874 is only a fraction of a year. This fraction, I am satisfied, from all the jots and tittles God will appropriate.
No negative is ever advanced until there has been an affirmative. And Peter declares, "That God is no slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish; but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." Now God has given a precedent for us to call it 1335 days until it is a large fraction over that: and we know he is long suffering, and there is to be a proverb in the land, "that the days are prolonged and every vision faileth," and some men will say that God is slack concerning his promises in relation to the event, so that faith will be almost extinguished when the Son of man cometh, and certain servants will say "my Lord delays his coming;" and bringing it about in this way gives that class of servants such a good opportunity to smite such fellow servants, and thus try to faith of those who endure to the end; in view of these things I believe God will "spare the tree this year also, and after that thou shalt cut it down."
THE BIBLE EXAMINER
THE WORK OF REDEMPTION PROGRESSIVE
Vol. XX NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER, 1876. No. 12 (page 368)
THE WORK OF REDEMPTION PROGRESSIVE:OR, ‘AGES’ EMPLOYED IN ACCOMPLISHING IT.
The Christian church have been right in believing in the eventual conversion of the world, no doctrine of the Bible is so clear and unmistakable; but they have failed to distinguish between the work of the gospel of the kingdom, and the kingdom itself; the one being a preparatory step to the other.
If the reader will but entertain the natural and Bible outcome of this progressive plan; that ‘the world to come,’ belongs after the ‘world that now is;’ that the passage from the one to the other, is but a change of dispensation, greater than occurred at the first advent between the law and the gospel, but still only a change of dispensation from the Gospel of the kingdom to the kingdom; a change involving a resurrection; for, ‘as in Adam all die, so in Christ, shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order;’ he will see that ‘a restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began’,( Ac 3:21) is not a forced doctrine, but a necessity. He will also see that as yet, no one has entered the ‘world aion, or age to come,’ nor can until this one ends.
And that therefore, the Adamic death is but a sleep; and only when ‘they that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, ’ do they enter upon a future life.
Probation to a restored human family is not consistent, it is true, with the idea that the heathen, and all the unconverted go to a place of torment at death; but is consistent with the statement so universal in the Bible, that they are not dead, but sleep. The almost unanimous testimony of Scripture, when one was said to die, was, that ‘they slept with their fathers, and were buried’ &c.; ‘They that sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him.’ And Christ said of more than one who was buried, or ready for burial, ‘He is not dead, but sleepeth.’
This is what the Bible terms ‘sleep,’ but there is a death; to distinguish it, it is called the ‘second death.’ And it is a clearly Scriptural position that no man can die the real death, without committing that one sin which is, ‘unto death;’ ‘There is a sin unto death; I do not say that ye shall pray for it’;( 1Jo 5:16) a sin which Paul claims that one must ‘taste the good word of God and the powers of the world to come,’ and thus be brought ‘to the knowledge of the truth; if such sin willfully, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a fearful looking for of fiery indignation’ (compare Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10:26,27). A sin Jesus says, ‘Can be forgiven, neither in this world; neither in the world to come.’ But one must sin willfully after having been brought by the Holy Spirit, to the knowledge of the truth, before they can commit the sin ‘that is unto death.’ But God has declared that ‘He will have ALL men come to the knowledge of the truth.’ Before the plan of redemption is finished this will be accomplished. God has promised a resurrection to all; and a universal restitution; and that ‘All nations which thou hast made, shall come and worship before thee.’ Even the Sodomites are promised a restitution back to their ‘former estate.’ (Eze 16:55)
There is much positive scripture, to be adduced, to prove that there is to be probation in the world to come, for all who have not been brought to the knowledge of the truth in this world, and committed the unpardonable sin. Christ gave Himself ‘a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1Ti 2:6) God ‘is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.’ (1Ti 4:10) Not that He saves all men eternally; but He will save all men from the Adamic fall. Every person must and will be saved; that is, come to the knowledge of the truth, taste of the good word of God and power of the world to come; and have their sins forgiven, before they can ‘fall away’ into that fearful condition for which ‘there remaineth no more sacrifice.’ ‘I have sworn by myself, the word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.’ (Isa 14:23) Paul in reasoning ‘that Christ both died and rose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living, For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God’,( Ro 14:11) is proving a resurrection; and that all, both dead and living, will, in the day of judgment, or millennial age, be brought to this good confession.
If it be asked, Why did not God bring these extinct nations to the knowledge of the truth before they fell asleep, if He even intended to do so? I answer, God having arranged that there was to be a second Adam, and a second Eve, the ‘wife’ of this second Adam; (see Re 19:7) and that through this second Adam all that was lost through the first Adam should be restored; has, thus far, been doing only a preparatory work. The Jewish nation supposed the promise of God that ‘All the families of the earth should be blessed,’ through the Seed of the woman, would be fulfilled under the law; while the Christian church have, with as little authority, claimed all for the gospel. If God had satisfied the Jewish nation, much Scripture in relation to Gentiles would have remained unfulfilled. If God satisfies the nominal Christian church, much prophecy irreconcilable with ‘the narrow way,’ would remain unfulfilled. But He has said that ‘He will be for a stone of stumbling to both the houses of Israel.’
The salvation under the law, was for a class, and not for all mankind. The salvation under the ‘Gospel of the kingdom,’ is for a class, ‘the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ Hence, the way is narrow, and few there be that find it. Hence, ‘many are called, and few are chosen.’ Hence, ‘No man cometh unto me except the Father draw him.’ But in the kingdom, the waters of life will be broad and deep; and there, will the ‘Spirit and the bride say Come, and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.’
As the ‘marriage of the Lamb,’ and beginning of ‘the restitution of all things,’ follows the second advent; the salvation of the world does not commence until then. Hence, Christ says, ‘I pray not for the world, but for them thou hast given me’;( Joh 17:9) and adds, (Joh 17:20) ‘Neither pray I for these the twelve alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ Notice carefully the meaning; He prays, not for the world, but for His own, His bride, all that will believe through the word of the twelve, that they all may be one with Him; ‘they twain become one;’ and the outcome of this mystical marriage, is ‘that, the world may believe. And, to show that this is the true order, the marriage is placed at the end of the Gospel dispensation.
The positive proof that there is an opportunity for the world after this present dispensation ends, after the second Adam and his ‘wife’ are joined together, is gathered, first, from the order of progression given in 1Co 15:45-49. The apostle, be it remembered, is speaking not of the individual, but of the race of Adam: ‘And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul person; the last Adam a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural or animal; and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.’
The apostle’s reasoning is, that the first stage of this progressive development of the human family, is to bear the image of the first man, male or female, for ‘they were one flesh;’ after which, they are to bear the image of the ‘second man,’ who also has a ‘wife’ who becomes one with Him. And to suppose the apostle is speaking of only the ‘second man’ and his wife, simply the bride of Christ, is just as absurd as to suppose when speaking of the ‘first Adam,’ he meant only the individual pair. He is showing that the earthly animal man, precedes the heavenly, spiritual man, as God’s true order; and therefore, the work of the ‘first man,’ precedes that of the ‘second man.’ And God does not perfect separate individuals, but works by dispensations. Hence, ‘David hath not ascended into the heavens’;( Ac 2:34) nor has any man, ‘No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.’ (Joh 3 13) And the second Adam does not begin the re-generation of the ‘children of the kingdom,’ until the ‘marriage of the Lamb, when His wife hath made herself ready.’
As the natural or animal man has multiplied and replenished the earth; so also, ‘In the re-generation, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory,’ will He multiply and replenish the earth with a spiritual family; ‘and a nation shall be born in a day.’ And the evidence is conclusive, that when He sits on the throne of His glory; when ‘the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He is the governor among the nations,’ ‘All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all kindreds of the nations shall come and worship, before thee.’ But it is only when He comes in His glory, and during the sounding of the seventh trump, that ‘the kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of our Lord, (Re 11:15) and He thus becomes ‘the governor among the nations.’ Hence, it is after the marriage of the Lamb; after this present dispensation is ended; and in the ‘world to come,’ that the conversion of the world, is due.
If God has been trying to save the world before the ‘second man’ and his wife were perfected in opposition to His own pre-arranged plan, He has taken a strange way to do it. Why, for more than two thousand years, did He let the human family go down in death for death reigned from Adam to Moses, with no effort to bring them to the knowledge of the truth? Why, if He was trying to save the world under the Jewish dispensation, did He make it ‘unlawful to give the children’s meat to the dogs?’ Why should Christ command His disciples, ‘Go not in the way of the Gentiles; and into any city of the Samaritans, enter ye not?’ They were dying day by day, and if modern ideas be true, were going to hell, to eternal torment; and Christ, who was about to give His life for the world, would not allow the ‘bread of life’ to be given them; and excused Himself by saying, ‘For I am sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’
If there was to be no ‘restitution;’ and this life was indeed the end of all hope to the sinner, such apparent indifference to man’s eternal interests, could not be reconciled with God’s professions of love to the world; ‘ all men,’ ‘every man that cometh into the world,’ &c. Not a Gentile saved, or even an effort in that direction, until a pre-arranged and definite point of time had arrived; and yet God no respecter of persons: ‘And when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, ’ and until the day of Pentecost, He made no provision for any other class. He did not come, at His first advent, to save the world; for he was sent only to those under the law. He did not even pray for the world, ‘I pray not for the world.’ (Joh 17:9) He took upon Him our nature, ‘that He might taste death for every man,’ and ‘gave Himself a ransom for all; to be testified in due time.’ (1Ti 2:6) And this ‘due time,’ is after His second advent
The Gospel is designed now to reach only a class, ‘a royal priesthood, a holy nation;’ to become one with Christ; truly a wonderful exaltation, exalted above angels, principalities, powers; ‘know ye not that ye shall judge angels?’ But the gospel dispensation must end, and a new order of things commence, before the world can be reached. Here, we are to be ‘pilgrims and strangers,’ separate from the world. Here, we are to suffer, and obey the powers that be. Here, the way is narrow, ‘strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, and few there be that find it.’ Here, ‘many are called and few are chosen;’ wheat and tares grow together; evil men and seducers wax worse and worse; even as it was in the days of Noah. How then can ‘all know the Lord, from the least to the greatest,’ and ‘the knowledge of the Lord cover the earth, as the waters do the sea,’ in this dispensation?
When the ‘second man,’ Christ and His body, are complete; then begins the process of re-generation, and ‘the restitution of all things.’ ‘And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion, that lost by the first Adam, and the kingdom shall come to the daughters of Jerusalem; (Mic 4:8) the bride, ‘the Jerusalem that is above; the mother in prospect of us all.’
Eve was a part of the human family; and was ‘the mother of all living.’
Then, indeed, when Christ ‘takes to Himself His great power and reigns,’ the nations will be subdued under Him. And He will rule them with a rod of iron; ‘and when thy judgments are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.’ (Isa 26:9) And this is the song to be sung by the immortalized bride on the ‘sea of glass;’ ‘All nations shall come and worship before thee, for thy judgments are made manifest.’*( Re 22:4)
*Note. The word ‘judgments,’ in Re 22:4, in the Greek, is (dikaioma), and means righteousness; and is so rendered, in most cases in the New Testament. And the Hebrew word occurring in Isa 26:9, (mishpaht) has precisely the same meaning. The same word occurs in Ps 112:5. ‘He will guide His affairs with discretion.’ margin, judgment. Hence, the above texts are equivalent to saying, When Christ guides the affairs of the earth, when He is the governor among the nations, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
‘Come and let us reason together, saith the Lord.’ If God has been trying to save the world during the gospel dispensation, He has made as great a failure as during the Jewish age. And if He was not trying to save the world during the Jewish age, nor for the thousands of years prior to that, if He did not then care how many human beings went to hell, what put the happy idea into His heart, even at this late day, to send Jesus to suffer and try to save a few; for under the Gospel, He claims but few, ‘narrow is the way, and few there be that find it?’ If it be claimed that perhaps there was some way, before the first advent, for the myriads who never heard of a Savior, to be saved; then it was a cruel thing to send Christ; for now there is no other way, ‘or name given among men, whereby we can be saved.’ And with all the dark ages under the papacy, there has not been one million in a hundred millions, since the Gospel began, who have had any knowledge of Christ, or the way of salvation. If any man of ordinary ability could have been in possession, for these eighteen hundred years, of one half of the means of Him, whose ‘are the cattle upon a thousand hills,’ he could have placed the simple story of the Gospel before every human being on this earth.
Is God’s arm shortened that it cannot save? Does He not care for perishing men? Or peradventure He sleepeth, and must be awaked; or on a journey, and left the eternal welfare of His children to a few church societies, trusting that they will successfully carry out the great plan of the redemption of a lost world.
Are God’s ways unequal; or is it our theology which is unequal? It is true Christ sent His disciples with a world wide commission, to gather out from all nations a chosen people; but it is not true that He commissioned us to send all others to hell. ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not, shall be damned.’ (Mr 26:16) The Greek katakrino‘ damned,’ occurs eighteen times, in sixteen of which it is rendered condemned. ‘The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall katakrino condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonas and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.’ (Mt 12:41) This has no connection with eternal torment, but means that the repentance of the Ninevites is a precedent which will condemn, or put to shame the nonrepentance of the Jews. In the next verse, the queen of the south is to condemn that generation. The Jews condemned Christ by rejecting Him and choosing Barabbas. Many thousand men and horses, were sent to the front and condemned, in our late war, being unfit for the service. And the great mass of mankind will be condemned as unfit for the service of the Master, in this ‘high calling.’ ‘Many are called, few are chosen.’ He that believeth shall be chosen, he that believeth not, shall be rejected.
If the second Adam and Eve, are to restore what was lost by the first Adam, they must of necessity restore this rejected class. And there is to be not only a restitution, but a re-generation, or reproducing. Even the Sodomites, who are held up, all through the Bible, as an ensample of wickedness; and ‘as suffering the vengeance of eternal fire’;( Jude 7) are to share in the restitution. ‘When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them. when thy sister Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elders, and thy younger; and I will give them unto thee for daughters; but not by thy covenant.’ (Eze 16:53-61)
Long before this prophecy was written the Sodomites were submerged under the dead sea; and if, in the restitution of all things, they are restored to their former estate and if the above is true, they certainly will be, Why may not Pharaoh and his Egyptian host also be restored? Even if God did raise him up, and harden his heart for the express purpose ‘of showing forth His power.’
Because God has ‘foreordained and predestinated certain men to destruction, is no evidence that they are not to share in the restitution, for the evidence is conclusive that such destruction, however strong the language used, has only to do with this Adamic life. Christ ‘taste death for every man,’ Pharaoh as well as Moses. As the potter has power over the clay, to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor, that is, to be used for a less noble purpose; so God has power to mold the works of His hands. But that does not prove that all who are not called to this ‘high calling in Christ Jesus,’ are to be tormented to all eternity. O how lovable is the God of the Bible; and how hideous is the God of theology!
Election is a glorious doctrine; it is choosing out a few to become the bride, the spiritual mother of a redeemed world. And ‘we trust in the living god, who I the saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.’ (1Ti 4 10) and the fact that ‘He gave Himself a ransom for all, will be testified in due time’;( 1Ti 2:6) and this dispensation is only a preparation, ‘that in the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness towards us, through Christ.’ (Eph 2:7)
There is a second life, as well as a ‘second death.’ ‘As in Adam all die; so in Christ shall all be made alive; ’ and if any man die the second death, it will be because he crucifies Christ afresh, after having been brought to the knowledge of the truth. And ‘for such, there remaineth no more sacrifice, but a fearful looking for of fiery indignation.’
In all the Bible, there are but two or three passages which appear to conflict with these views, and they are parables, given to illustrate certain truths; and, like the ‘rich man and Lazarus,’ refer to nations, or churches, but never to individuals.
Let it once be admitted that there is to be a restitution, that man sleeps in death, but is to live a second time, that this re-generation, or reproducing, is as universal as the generation of the first Adam, and Scripture becomes harmonious, the ways of God are equal, and His foreordinations, and denunciations, refer only to this present forfeited Adamic life; and would have been eternal in all their consequences, had not Christ, when there was no arm to save, stepped in, and as the second Adam, taken upon Himself to reproduce and restore what was lost in Adam. This being true, the other class of texts have some meaning, Christ tasted death for every man: He gave Himself a ransom for all; He is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
There are myriads of men who have come into the world and passed out of it, who never saw this light; ‘How can they hear without a preacher; how can they preach unless they are sent?’ And if that is true, they must receive that light hereafter.
Some think this is too good, that if the threatnings of God’s wrath are confined to this Adamic life, that if Christ is to step in, and restore, and give every man a fair opportunity; men will cease to fear, and a great inducement to repentance will be lost. Indeed! Then let us go back to ‘priest, candle, and purgatory;’ if error is better than truth, let us have it in abundance.
-- Dr. N.H. Barbour
THE BIBLE EXAMINER
ROME, NOT CONSTANTINOPLE, THE FOURTH EMPIRE
NEW YORK, MARCH, 1877.
Of the four empires and their locality, Sir Isaac Newton remarks: "All the four beasts are still alive, though the dominion of the first three be taken away." [This corresponds with the declaration of Dan. 7:12. "As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and it time." And also with Dan. 2:39, "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, and broken to pieces together."]
"The nations of Chaldea and Assyria are still the first beast; those of Media and Persia, are still the second beast; those of Macedonia, Greece, Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, are still the third beast, and those of Europe, on this side, are the body of the fourth beast. Seeing therefore the body of the third beast is confined to the nations in this side of the river Ευphrates, and the body of the fourth beast to the nations on this side Greece; we are to look for all the four heads of the third beast on this side of the Euphrates; and for all the eleven horns of the fourth beast, among the nations on this side Greece. And therefore, in the breaking up of the Greek Empire into four kingdoms, we include no part of the Chaldeans, or Media and Persia, in these kingdoms, because they belong to the bodies of the first two beasts. Nor do we reckon the Greek Empire seated at Constantinople among the horns of the fourth beast, because it belongs to the body of the third."
The above remarks by Sir Isaac Newton appear sound; and more especially as they are so clearly supported by facts, and by Scripture. If the four beasts still live, and are to be destroyed together, where are they, if not on their own original territory?
The bear subdued the lion, but did not become a lion, nor did the lion become a bear. One simply conquered the others. Hence the parts of the fourth kingdom must be looked for, not in Chaldea, not in Russia, not in Grecia, but on its own territory.
It has been thought, by some, that the ten divisions of the fourth empire should be sought for in what men are pleased to call Eastern and Western Rome. But prophecy says nothing of two divisions of the fourth empire.
The image of a man has two legs, Ι know; and so it has two ears, two eyes, and ten fingers. But it has occurred to no one to make more divisions, to Babylon or Medo-Persia on that account. If the prophecy demands a dual division of the empire, because the image had two legs, then it demands a dual division of the Greek empire, for the two thighs, or sides. For notwithstanding α brother in the EXAMINER for December, 1876, very cooly appropriates, "the two thighs," etc., to Rome, in order to help out his dual divisions, God appropriates the thighs to Grecia, "His belly and his thighs of brass." We had always supposed that Dan. 2 and Dan. 7 referred to the same fourth kingdom; and where do you find the two divisions referred to in any part of Dan. 7 th or Dan. 8 th chapter, or in Revelations? And as the prophecy nowhere hints as any such division, had we not better be content with what it does teach? The two legs, and Constantinople and Rome look very pretty on paper, and if you insist on having it dual division of the empire because of the two legs, when it is nowhere so applied in the Bible, please let me have ten of Medo-Persia, and two of Grecia [thighs are plural as well as legs]. If the brother waits till he shall see five of the horns of the fourth beast, growing out of the head of the third beast, before he looks for his Messiah, the words he puts into the mouth of a certain class, "They say this view of the vision of Nebuchadnezzar would put off the coming of Christ for a long indefinite time," will indeed be true.
Rochester, N. Υ.