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before the total diffolution of the Jewish ftate or while the second temple was yet ftanding: And, when it was determinately foretold to be after the expiration of feventy weeks, from the going forth of the commandment to return and to build Jerusalem, still, besides the prophetic and somewhat obscure fense of the word weeks, we cannot beforehand calculate exactly when these weeks commence [9], or in what term they are to be accomplished. Yet, notwithstanding these uncertainties, the Jews faw

:[9] “ Whatsoever time of Meffiah's appearing Al"mighty God pointed out by Daniel's Lxx Weeks, " yet I believe not that any, Jew, before the event, « could infallibly, design the time without some lati86 rude; because they could not know infallibly where

to pitch the head of their accounts, until the event « discovered it: yet in some latitude they might.” Mede, Works, p. 757.

And so in other instances. “I do not believe that & the Jews themselves could certainly tell from which 4 of their three captivities to begin that reckoning of " LXX years, whose end should bring their return “ from Babylon, until the event assured them thereof." Mede, Works, p. 662.

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very clearly, and, from them, the rest of the world conceived an expectation, that the person predicted was to appear in that age, or about that time, in which he did appear, and which, from the tenour of the prophecies, they had computed would be the time of his appearance.

In like manner, the season of Antichrist's appearance in the world is left to be collected from general intimations; and, when the duration of his tyranny is lie mited to twelve hundred and fixty days, besides that the expression, as before, is ænigmatical, we have no means of fixing the commencement of that period fo prea cisely, but that some doubts may arise about it, till the accomplishment of the prophecy shall give light and certainty to : the computation. Yet ftill, as in the former case, we have fuch data to proceed upon in calculating the reign of Antichrift, as may let us see about what time it was to be expected.

Thus

Thus much being premised, I have now only to remind you of what the prophets expressly declare concerning the rise of Antichrist. The eldest of these, the prophet Daniel, says it was to be in the time of the fourth kingdom, that is, of the Roman; which, for the convenience of the prophetic calculations, is considered as subfisting, though in a new form, under the ten kings, among whom it was to be divided. He further tells us, that Antichrist was to arise from among, and after, the ten kings; that is, we are to look for him then (and not before) when the Roman empire has undergone that change of government [r].

Next, St. Paul, it seems, had told the · Thessalonians, what it was that, for a time, prevented the appearance of Antichrist : But that information hath not been transmitted to us. However, he says to them— Ye know WHAT with-holdeth that be might be revealed in his time: and fur. [r] Dan. vii.

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of Antichrist. ther adds, he, who now letteth, will let, until be be taken out of the ways).

Now, by putting these passages together, and by comparing them with the predictions of Daniel, not we of these later times only, before whom the man of fin is fupposed to be evidently displayed, but the early fathers of the church, long before the events happened to which these prophetic notices could be applied, clearly saw, or at least generally conjectured, that the impediment, here mentioned, was the then subfisting power of the Cæsarean government; which, they said, was first to be taken away, and then Antichrist would be revealed [t]. · Lastly, the Apostle St. John not only confirms the prophecies of Daniel, that Antichrist should arise out of the ten kings, who were to have the western empire shared out among them, but adds . [s] 2 Thess. ii. 6, 4.

[4] Sermon VII. p. 15-19. But see especially Mede's Works, p. 657.

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this remarkable circumstance, Thát he should RIDE the ten kings [u]; which implies, that he should co-exist with them: And it further appears, that he was to receive his whole power from them, and was finally to be destroyed by them. • Now, turn to the history of the fourth kingdom, and see how it corresponds to these prophecies. Observe, when the western empire under its Cæsarean head, was taken away; how it was, afterwards, dismembered by the northern nations; by what degrees it fell at length, into ten, that is, many diftinct, independent kingdoms ; at what time this partition was made, or rather fully settled and completed. . From this time, and not before, you are to look for Antichrist, now gradually rearing himself up among the ten kings; and at length, in a condition, by the power, which they gave to him, to ride, that is, to direct and govern theni. From this time, again, compute the 1260 years, the predicted

VOL. II. [v] Rev. xvii. 7.

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