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Michael stund up, &c. (Dan. xii. 1.) At what time? I believe, with our most approved commentators, that the time of the fall of the King of the North, or the Turkish empire, is intended. But all that we can with
cer tainty conclude from this is, that some time in the course of that great and extensive convulsion, when Pope and Turk, and infidel France, and all the anti-christian kingdoms and churches, will be involved in one general ruin, then will the Divine Providence appear in favour of the scattered Jews; but whether this will be at the very
beginning, at the end, or some time in the course of these commotions and overturnings, cannot be determined. It is enough that it is to have a close connexion with those awful calamities; and when the Jews see these things beginning to come to pass, then they may look up, as our Lord has expressed it, for their redemption draweth nigh.
The sixth and seventh verses, may, I believe, be interpreted with the same sort of latitude. In chap. xi. ver. 21-35, there is a prophecy relative to the tyrannical practices of Antiochus Epiphanes, whose kingdom was one of the four horns of the he-goat, in chap. viii. 8, and his own particular tyranny, on account of its singular extravagance and enormities, was there shewn to Daniel, (ver. 9–12.) under the additional symbol of the little horn which took away the daily sacrifice, and practised and prospered : and as he appears in that vision to have been made a type of the papacy, so in this, from the thirtysirth verse. And when, therefore, One said to the man clothed in linen, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? The wonders referred to are especially the abominations of the king who was to do according to his will. The time, during which he was to prosper in the practice of these abominations, is fixed by the man clothed in linen to 1260 years. It shall be for a time, times, and an half: and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. That is, when the anger of God shall cease against his ancient people, and he shall set himself to accomplish their restoration, at the same time these abominations of the king, who is to do according to his will, shall be brought ta an end. It is now that favour returns to Israel, and that their scattering is accomplished. Wrath is now at an end, and mercy, as it respects the holy people, now begins to work their deliverance. But it does not hence follow that
their restoration is to commence on the very same day that the 1260 years end, nor in the same year. But, as both the ruin of the Papacy and the downfall of the Turks are to be connected with this great event, and are (to a certain extent) necessary to its being effected, the resto. ration is then undertaken, and the way prepared for it, when those judgments commence on the papal and Mohammedan empires, which immediately lead to it, though the Jews may not be actually set in motion for their return for ten, or twenty, or thirty years.
I think, and have long thought, as may be seen in several of my publications, subsequent to the first part of The Signs of the Times, and particularly in The Restoration of the Jew's the Crisis of all Nations, that the Jews will be
year 1819, or the supposed end of Daniel's 1990 years. In this I may be mistaken ; but should I, yet of this I feel confident, that this interesting event is not very distant, but will certainly take place before the termination of these terrifying commotions which now shake Europe. According to Mr. Faber, the Jews will begin to be restored, not at the end of Daniel's 1290 years, but at the end of the 1260; or, which is the same thing, at the beginning of the thirty years, which are allotted for cleansing the sanctuary. And seeing that he makes the 1260 years to commence A. D, 606, they must end in the year 1866; but his reasonings on this subject do not appear to me to be at all conclusive, neither as they relate to the restoration of the Jews, in particular, nor as they concern the eras from which he dates the numbers of Daniel and John, in general. And, indeed, in the, a priori, mode of reasoning and calculating, which has generally been resorted to for the purpose of proving from whence the prophetic number 1260 is to be dated, and which Mr. Faber adopts, I have no sort of confidence ; for there are many events in the history of the growth of church tyranny, all of which, from their magnitude and importance, may seem equally entitled to this distinction; and hence commentators of equal learning and ability have some of them preferred this, and others that. I do not, indeed, believe it possible to determine, with any thing like certainty, from what period, or event, these i 260 years should be dated, till they are completed. When they are, it is likely that the eventful occurrences of the time will first furnish reasons on which to ground a very probable conjecture, and
that succeeding events will produce such an increasing evidence as will, at length, convert probability into certainty. In the first years of the French revolution there were, I think, many sufficient reasons on which to form a probable conclusion that the 1260 years terminated with that event, either at its commencement, at the fall of the monarchy; or at some of the great movements of the revolutionary government about that time, and conse. quently that their commencement is, probably, to be dated either from the beginning of the publication of the Justinian Code, or from some other of those important events which were intimately connected with it, as parts of one great whole. And the extraordinary occurrences which have continued to succeed that great burst of innovation, have uniformly contributed to the confirmation of that conclusion. But in the opinion of the Author of the Dissertation on the Prophecies, the scheme which I have adopted for the interpretation of the chronological prophecies is erroneous in every point.
His first objection is against dating the 1260 prophetic years from the publication of the Justinian Code, concluding, that, though this Code might grant vast powers and privileges to the clergy, and perfect the union between things civil and ecclesiastical, yet that this grant of privileges to the clergy in general, both in the east and in the west, could not be a delivering of the saints into the hand of the papal horn in particular, whose jurisdiction was confined to the patriarchate of the west.--And seeing that I have (as corroborative of the idea that the 1260 years inay be dated from the publication of this Code) noticed an act of Justinian, by which, in the year 534, he declared the bishop of Rome the head of all churches, and subjected all to his judgment; but himself to be judged by no one ; he observes, “Now, even supposing that Justinian had con“ ferred the power of universal episcopacy upon the pope, “ which he certainly did not, for he granted him nothing
more than an empty precedence over all the other os patriarchs, what has this to do with the date which Mr.
Bicheno has chosen ? If the 1260 years be computed “ from the year 534, they carry us beyond the year 1789; "s and an error of five years as effeciually invalidates a
numerical calculation as an crror of five centuries ; if “they be not computed from the year 534, but from the year 529, they will no doubt bring us exactly to the
year 1789; but in that case, what can an event which “ happened in the year 534 have to do with a date which “ is declared to be the year 529?". All this is more specious than solid. I allow, if I had thrown in a little more explanation of my ideas on this subject, my plan of interpretation might have appeared in a somewhat better light, and I will now endeavour to make up the deficiency.
I do not consider the year 529, a priori, as more proper to date the 1260 years from than the year 534,
of the intermediate ones; for all these years were employed, in the publication of the Justinian Code, Pandects, &c. and distinguished by laws and transactions, at once the most fatal to the purity and liberty of the Christian church, and the most favourable to priestly pride and usurpation. And there is one law of this unfeeling bigot, in particular, which now had its birth, and which I neglected to notice when I first published The Signs of the Times, that, in my opinion, is of great consequence to the question in debate. I refer to that dreadfúl law which imposed the emperor's creed, as approved by the pope, on all the subjects of the empire, and which made it forfeiture of the most sacred rights, confiscation of goods, banishment, and ultimately death, to impugn the established explanation of the Trinity: the first law of the kind known in Christendom, and the pattern copied after by persecutors in every after age*. Now all these years ,
* As Dr. Cressener may be supposed to have been as well informed on these subjects as most men, I shall borrow a quotation from him on this subject (See his Dem. of the Prot. Appl. of the Apoc. p. 306, as quoted by the Author of Illust. of Prophecy, p. 369.) Justinian was raised to the imperial throne in the year 527.“ In the beginning of his “ reign,” says Dr. Cressener, “ Justinian published an edict concerning “ his faith, wherein he threatens all, who should dissent froin it, that
they should have no manner of indulgence; and that, upon the dise' covery of them, they should suffer the law as professed heretics, which
was, to be banished the Roman territories, and which was never exe“ cuted upon the generality of dissenters before. And here does his “ faith appear to be made the rule and measure of orthodoxy to the “ whole empire, upon a penalty which had terror enough in it. This “ faith he sends to pope John, for his concurrence with him in it, and " tells him that he did it to conform all to the church of Rome; that it was always his desire to preserve the unity of the apostolic see;" and
to bring all the eastern churches under his subjection, and to unite them to the see of his holiness. Pope John's
answer tô himn does repeat the same thing out of his letter, with great 6* thanks to him, as that he did preserve the faith of the Roman church, “ and did bring all else under the subjection of it, and did draw them
for that purpose,
appear to me to form one point in the history of usurpation over conscience; and all these laws and transactions are but the parts of one whole. But from what instant of time in the course of these four or five years, or from which particular law, or transaction, it might please God to date the 1260 years, is not for us to say—even allowing it to be from this period, and these transactions, that this number is dated. - It might be from the beginning, or end, or any of the intermediate moments. I was led to put down the year 529, because, without any contrivance, I reckoned backwards from the beginning of the French revolution. Had I reckoned from the fall of the monarchy, which Mr. Faber, as well as myself, considers as the immediate prelude to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, I should then have been cast upon the middle of that connected series of transactions, by which I suppose that degree of life and perfection was communicated to the monster of spiritual tyranny, which was sufficient to sanction the commencement of a new era in the history of religious usurpation over conscience. And had I thus calculated, I should have had satisfactory grounds, as far as the number 1260 is concerned, for drawing the same conclusion as I have; for, as that body of laws, which communicates the perfection supposed, was not the work of a day or year, but a growing work, so to speak; and as the French revolution was a growing work too, chro
« into the unity of it. Therein also does Justinian expressly call the « church of Rome the head of all churches, and desires a rule of faith " for the bishops of the east. The pope, on the other side, confirms " the emperor's faith to be the only true faith, and that which the “ Roman church did always hold.-All this intercourse between the
pope and the emperor is inserted into the code of the imperial law, as the standard ard rule for all to conform to, under the penalty to be
judged to be heretics.-Though the emperor's faith should be ac“ counted orthodox, yet the inducing such new penalty, which should “« force it upon the consciences of all men, as so necessary to salvation, “ that a man could not possibly be a member of the catholic church “ without the profession of it, was certainly unwarrantable, and the first beginning of that tyrannizing power in the Roman church, which ľ made the whole world to conform to its arbitrary decrees, and to worship it with a blind obedience to all the most unreasonable commands.
-Among the extravagant commands of Justinian, one was, that all “ such should be anathematised, who did not damn all those whom they “ called heretics: which certainly was one of the highest acts of tyranny
the consciences of the universal church, and which, of all their “ injunctions, was the most difficult to subscribe unto."