« PreviousContinue »
Prophecies from these latter Times, have yet been able, or indeed so much as pretended to account for che exactness of the Numbers on their own Hypotheses. Nay, I believe many of them are scarce able to thew that any one of those many Numbers of days, or Collections of days, by which the per riods are every where: determin'd in that Book, do fit the Events whereof they would expound them, on that Hypothesis that they signify bare days in the vulgar Acceptation. Since therefore such a task is, in a manner necdless; and fince it would be look'd upon as too great an Anticipation to attempt it so soon, before we have laid any farther Foun. dation for the understanding of that Prophecy, I shall wave it, and proceed to the next Argument, why days are not in thefe Prophecies to be taken for bare days, but for years, viz.
V. Because the strangeit inconfiftencies and absurdities pof0.1. Gible will follow from that Hypothefis. For if days be on.
Jy days of 24 hours in these Books, then those famous duraDan. vij. 25. tions of the little H
tions of the little Horns Tyranny, and of the Beasts with 10 and xij. 7. Horns Dominion, and their collateral Visions, which are deApoc. xj. 2. 3. tcrmin'd by a Time, Times, and a part; by Time, Times, and a J. 0. 14. half, or three years and a balf; by 42 morths; and by 1260 days,
mult signify no longer an Interval than that literal sense does contain in it, a space of between three and four years only; which is utterly absurd to suppose or imagin in this case. For (1.) 'Tis beyond measure ftrange, that so great a part of the whole Prophetick Scriptures should be intirely engag'd about fo small and inconsiderable a fpace as three years and an half; as if that short Interval was to have more regard to, and ado about it than above 2000 years besides; and as if nothing else almoft remarkable should happen in the whole Period of the Christi. an Church till the end of the World, but what was to be confind to these three years and an half. This is such a prejudice against that Opinion, as is not easy to be got over by confider. ing Men. (2.) 'Tis not only very improbable, but plainly impoffible that fo many things, and of fuch quality as are to be perform'd in this time, should all be done in three Gogle years
and an half. Take this and fome following Arguments almost Medep. 742. in Mr. Mede's own words, “Ten Kingdoms are to be founded 743.
Mode P. 742. in Mr. Meo Take this and former be done in
“at the fame hour with the Beast. Apori 17, People, and
an half can be faid to be. (4.) If the 1260 days of the
resents one in the Eareh in low is it por
. VI. We appeal to the Event. If the Times of Antichrist lasted no longer than, on this Hypothesis, must be suppos'd, a bare three years and an half, thew us them in History. For
the six first Heads of the Roman Empire, the last whereof Apoc. xvij. so, was present in St. John's time, has been extinct above 1200
years; and the seventh which was to continue but a short Space, can make no great difference in the Computation. All seven therefore are past ncar the same space of time, and no other of the Ancient Forms of Government, but that of the 10 Contemporary Kings, which is the State of the Beast himself, has since return'd into play. If therefore the Time of Antichrist be only the space of three years and an half, they are now past near 1200 years ago: and therefore may be pointed to in the Histories of the past Times. But since no body, with any colour of Truth or Probability, can shew us these three years and an half, at the time when they must have happen'd', 'tis evident they are otherwise to be understood : nay, and so to be understood, that they may not yet be intirely over, which can be no otherwise done, than by taking days in a Prophetick sense for so many years, according to the foregoing Instances to this purpose. And to conclude.
VII. Lastly, Let it be shewn through all the Prophecies of Daniel, or of St. John; or I think, I may add, of the whole Bible, that in any one instance, at least relating to the Christian Dispensation, where Times of things predicted are express’d by days, they have been answer'd by the Event according to the letter; and the things have agreeably come to pass at the end of so many bare natural days. But if no single instance can be produc'd to that purpose, give us leave to follow that primary and most eminent Example of the 70 weeks Prophecy ; where, by the confession both of the Fewish and Christian Church, a day is taken for a year : or, which is the same thing, yigo a week, which in all other places of the Bible signifies * seven days, is taken
* Verùm enimvero contra plane ac Grotius pronunciavit, yuav live Hebdomas absquc omni additione semper significat Hebdomadem dierum; nifi icbemate prophetico Dies Hebdomadis, Annos ligaificent ; quemadmodum
for seven years. And to Interpret the rest of the like Prophecies of so many years in the Event, as we find days in the Prophecies thereto relating. And lince we can here positively appeal to the Event on our side, and allege the exact fulfilling of the Ancient Prophecies in this sense of days for years; as will appear in the Sequel of this Essay, there can remain no reasonable Doubt in the Case. But that in Propherick Stile relating to the Christian Church , days everywhere denote years.
Corollary 1. Since therefore it appears that those Sacred Prophecies of the Scripture determin'd by exact Periods, which relate to the Christian Church, and the Times of the Mellias, make use every where of a day for a year; and fince, as Hypoth. 3. we have already observ'd, and as 'tis own'd by all, the An- prius. cient Prophecies relating to the Jewish Church, use a year still in its literal Acceptation for a single year. It will deferve to be observ'd upon any doubt concerning the Prophecies, whether they relate to the Times of the Jewish , or those of the Christian Church? which of these different Stiles are made sje of therein. For if it be evident that the years do fignify those Large and vulgar Intervals, so callid, they bave the Character of the JewishTimes. But if the words of Time be faus’d that it appears a day is put for a year, a week' for seven years, or the like; they have the Character of the Christian Times, and ought to be expounded accordingly. 6,,,""! porin i
Coroll. 2. Since therefore at the Conclusion of the Apoca. lypse the Duration of the happy Millennium is not determin- Apoc. XX. 2-. ed by days, in the Prophetick Stile, but by years in the unigar Acceptation; that Prophecy is to be suppos’d chiefly to con. cern the Jews; and to relate to the Times after their Conver
hic fit apud Danielem. Vide Gen. xxix 27. 28. Exod. xxiv. 22. Levit. xij. 5. Numb. xxviij. 26. Deut. xvj. 9. 10. 16. 2 Par.viij. 13. Jer. v. 24. Cl. Mor. Op. Theolog. P. 178. : But you will say the Etymology of the Hebrew word Y?is as applicable to sevens of years, as sevens of days, and therefore this instance proves not. I answer, The Question lies not in the Etymology, but the Use ; wherein y o always signifies Tevens of days and never levens of years. Wherefoever it is absolutly put, it means of days, is no where us’d of years. Mede p. 743..
. . ' C
fron to the Christian Faith: and not to belong to the Church
This Proposition is to plain at first sight, upon the bare reading of the words of the Prophecy, and comparing them with the Histories of the past Ages; especially on Suppofi.tion that the three former Kingdoms were the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and the Grecian, which is own'd by all, that one can hardly think it worth the while to fet about the proof of it. And when it is withal consider'd that this has ever been the unanimous Interpretation of the Fewish as well as of the Christian Church in all Ages, if we except a very few late Authors; and that the Papists do fully join with the Proreftants herein, tho' it be highly againft their Intereft to do so it cannot but seem a little unnecessary to inlift any farther upon it. And truly, as to my own Opini. on, I thould rather chuse to deny, what all are forc'd to grant, that the three first Kingdoms, denote those three beforemention'd the Babylonian, the Medo-Perpan, and the Grecian Monarchies, than, allowing those to be so, to difpute the fourth of them, and pretend it might be fome other than the Roman Empire. Yer becaufe fome few of late have ventur'd to deny it; and because it is a principal Foundation of all our Enquiries into these Matters, I shall not wholly omit it, but set down the words of the Prophet out of his double Vision hereto relating; and then point at the principal Arguments which eftablish the certainty of the present Proposition therefrom; and so refer the Reader to those Authors who have prov'd it more at large, and have shewn the constant Agreement of the Jewish and Chriftian Church
thereto. The words are these. Dan, ij.
. Ver. 31. Thou, O King, Jawest and behold, a great Image: That by King, this great Image whose brightness was excellent, ftood before thee, in these Prophe. and the form thereof was terrible. cies, is generally meant Kingdoms ; fee fully prov'd by Mr.Garret in his Discourse concerning Antichriß. p.47.&c.
Intereft to the Prore te Authors; that thould ther upon cannot" tho it be the Papinie, weet