Bookshelf/ Vol.I / Vol. IV. Part VI. Contents. Chapter I. 1. 2. 3. II. 1. 2. 3. III. 1. 2. 3. IV. 1. 2. V. 1. 2. Appendix I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. II. 1a. 1b. 2a. 2b. 2c. 3. 4. III 1. 2a. 2b.



ARRIVED at the concluding Chapter of my Work, it will be well to stop, and consider attentively our present eventful position in prophetic chronology, and the evidence which fixes it: - then to direct our regards to the coming future; and consider it in the light, and connectedly with the lessons, suggested by the previous parts of the Apocalyptic prophecy. Each of these subjects will furnish ample matter for a separate Section.


With regard to our present position, we have been led, as the result of our investigation, to fix it at but a short time from the end of the now existing dispensation, and the expected second advent of Christ. This thought, when we seriously attempt to realize it, must be felt to be a very startling as well as solemn one. And for my own part I confess to risings of doubt, and almost of skepticism, as I do so. Can it be that we are come so near to the day of the Son of Man, that the generation now alive shall very possibly not have passed away before its fulfillment: yea that perhaps even our own eyes may witness, without the intervention of death, that astonishing event of the consummation? The idea falls on my mind as almost incredible. - The consummation of anticipations having been so often formed quite erroneously heretofore of the proximity of the consummation, - for example, in the apostolic age, before the destruction of Jerusalem, [1] - then during the persecutions of Pagan Rome, [2] then upon the breaking up of the old Roman Empire, [3] at the close of the tenth century [4] - then at and after the Reformation, [5] - and, still later, even by writers of our own day, - I say the circumstance of all these numerous anticipations having been formed, and zealously promulgated, of the imminence of the second advent, which, notwithstanding, have by the event itself been shown to be unfounded, strongly tends to confirm us in our doubts and incredulity. - Yet to rest in skepticism simply and altogether upon such grounds would be evidently bad philosophy. For these are causes that would operate always: and that would make us be saying, up to the very eve and moment of the advent, “Where is the promise of his coming?” Besides that, if we throw ourselves back into the times immediately preceding Christ’s first advent, it will be easy to see that there would then have been fully as much ground for skepticism with regard to the imminence of that equally momentous event, just before its occurrence. [6] Our true wisdom is to test each link of the chain of evidence by which we have been led to our conclusion, and see whether it will bear the testing; - to examine into the causes of previous demonstrated errors on the subject, and see whether we avoid them; - finally, to consider whether the signs of the times now present be in all the sundry points that prophecy points out so peculiar, as altogether to warrant a measure of confidence in our inference such as was never warranted before.

And certainly, on doing this, it does seem to me that the grounds of our conclusion are stable. For let us look backward over the path we have traveled; and, in rapid retrospective review, call to mind the evidence, step by step, on which our argument has proceeded. A review which now, on revising this Work for its 5th Edition, we can make with all the advantage of those who have had the evidence investigated again and again by antagonistic expositors; its links tested; and every possible flaw sought out.

Can we then well have erred in our explanation of the primary part of the Apocalyptic Prophecy, i.e. its six first Seals? - Let it be remembered, to begin, how, as we first took the Book in hand, the evidence of its apostolic and so divine authorship, alike internal and external, impressed itself on our minds as clear and irrefragable: and consequently the inference that it ought to be judged of and explained as a divine Book, and after the analogy of other similarly divine and similarly constructed prophecies. Which being the case, and the analogy of Daniel’s symbolic and orderly constructed prophecies (by far the nearest parallels in Scripture) enforcing an explanation with reference to the future fortunes of the great worldly empires connected with God’s Church, commencing from the date of St. John’s receiving the prophetic revelation, - i.e. we saw clearly, from near the end of Domitian’s reign, A.D. 95 or 96, - could we well be wrong in supposing presumptively that the fortunes and grand mutations of the Roman empire, then standing in its glory, (the 4th of Daniel’s four great prophetic empires,) were likely to be the subjects of the primary Apocalyptic figurations? I say the mutations thenceforward commencing, accordantly with the Danielic precedent: especially as the revealing angel’s own words, “I will now show thee what is to happen after these things,” (the things then present,) taken in their most natural sense, seemed expressly to indicate such a speedily following commencement. - And, if such were the reasonable presumption à priori, was the evidence slight, or insufficient, on which we concluded that the figurations of the first six Apocalyptic Seals did answer very exactly to the Roman empire’s chief æras of change and progress from Domitian to Constantine?

Let me stop here and particularize a little; as these Seals were the introduction and key to the whole Commentary.

In regard then of the four first Seals it will not be forgotten how the horse (the prominent emblem in each) appeared to be a most fit symbol of the martial Roman empire, just analogically with the ram in Dan. viii for Persia, and he-goat for Macedon; especially as, besides being the war-horse, it was an animal sacred to the Romans’ reputed father Mars: and how its successive colors of white, red, black, and livid pale, considered conjunctively with the associated riders of the respective horses, and with the explanatory remarks in each case accompanying seemed to be just the fittest hues also to depict the chief subsequent successive phases of the empire, such as they might well strike a philosophic eye, marking cause as well as effect, as new principles appeared developed in it, for good or for evil. Thus, 1st, came the white prosperous æra under the bow-bearing Cretic dynasty of Nerva, Trajan, and the Antonines; with triumphs the most signal marking its commencement, and triumphs hard-bought but as signal marking its close: (alike the “went forth conquering,” and the added “to conquer:”) an æra begun on Domitian’s death, within a year from the time of St. John’s seeing the visions in Patmos; and continued for some eighty years and more, till a little after the succession of the second Antonine’s son Commodus: - then, 2ndly, an æra red with the blood of civil strife, under a sword-bearing succession of military usurpers; begun with the murder of Commodus, or a little before it, and continued far onward, with other superadded principles of evil soon commingling, the subjects of the two next Seals: - 3rdly, the black phrase of impoverishment by fiscal oppression, under the balance-bearing administrators of the civil government, the necessary result of prolonged military usurpation and civil wars; begun from the marked epoch of Caracalla’s Edict; and continued onwards, with ever-increased internal wasting, together with the evil that preceded and caused it: - 4thly, the æra of mortality under Gallienus, when all the four agencies of destruction particularized in the Apocalypse, war, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts, in meet sequel to the evils of the two preceding Seals, appeared let loose upon the empire, not to be withdrawn till the completed restoration by Diocletian: an æra compared by Niebuhr with that of the black death in the European middle age; and when, as Gibbon says, “the ruined empire seemed to approach the last and fatal moment of its dissolution.” - It will be remembered, as suggested by this citation and reference, that the æras were marked out, and their picturings ready drawn to our hands, in such singular agreement with the successive Apocalyptic figurations, by the best and most philosophic historians of the Roman empire, Gibbon, Montesquieu, Sismondi, Niebuhr. Nor will my readers forget how many curious antiquarian as well as historical points came into question, in the Roman explanation of the symbols of these four Seals; - the horse, crown, diadem, bow, sword, balance, notices of corn, wine and oil from the throne, and various colors of the horse, all in a fixed chronological succession and order. Altogether above twenty points for testing: and not one, on testing it, has failed. Could this be mere chance?

And this strikes me much in my present review of the evidence, after all its siftings, that I only did not do justice to my subject originally; and that the evidence for the four Seals, as here expounded, was stronger and more complete than I had primarily represented it. In the 1st Seal the measure of the second Antonine’s success was at first not adequately stated: resulting as his wars did in the restoration of the empire to the full measure of its eastward limits as extended by Trajan; but which Hadrian, from motives of policy, had voluntarily for a while contracted. In the 2nd Seal the sword-bearing rider had been explained too exclusively of the Prætorian Prefects: whereas as much the prophetic symbol, as the facts of history, required a reference to the military body and its commanders generally, as the cause of the evils figured under the Seal. In the 3rd it was fairly argued by an opponent that the larger choenix first taken by me was not the common choenix and therefore objectionable. But, on further inquiry, it appeared that the idea which drove me to the larger choenix of the Apocalyptic price of wheat not suiting the æra of Alexander Severus, to which my theory referred it, if construed of the smaller and more common choenix, was a mere mistake on my own part: the value of the denarius having at that æra been so reduced by deterioration of the silver, that the price specified did then suit the lesser and common choenix, not the uncommon and larger. [7] Once more, in the 4th Seal there was the difficulty arising out of the limitation of the evils of war, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts to the fourth part of the earth, according to the received reading of the Greek text: whereas in the historic æra supposed to correspond with the Seal those evils were extended over the whole Roman earth or empire. But, while the fact of the whole horse appearing under the livid hue of dissolution, and not its fourth part only, seemed on the very face of the symbol inconsistent with any such limitation as the explanatory words in question attached to it, the reading in Jerome’s Vulgate of “four parts” instead of “fourth part” (a reading verified by myself in the best MS. extant of Jerome, and which in Greek differs from the received by but one letter, and is supported too by other early Versions) was found not only to rectify the internal inconsistency, but to offer a new and striking similarity between the prophecy and the historic æra to which I referred it: seeing that in the Senate’s very address to Claudius, the first of the restoring emperors after Gallienus, the empire was spoken of as then separated by military usurpers into three grand divisions of the West, East, and North, besides the central division of Italy and Africa: [8] a memorable division into four which was perpetuated soon after, authoritatively and constitutionally, by Diocletian.

So as to the four first Seals. And then, as the next or 5th Seal figured a most striking scene of Christian martyrs, under persecution as was stated, of the then existing powers of the (Roman) world, so the next page of history exhibited the martyr-scenes of the Diocletianic persecution, an æra called emphatically the Æra of Martyrs. And, as the 6th Seal, in its primary figuration, exhibited in different but equally striking symbols the passing away of the whole previously established political heaven, and its chief luminaries or powers, not without the accompaniment of rout and terror on their part before the anger of the Lamb, the crucified One, - so the next page of history recorded the extraordinary fact of the dissolution, very soon after, of the whole political system of Roman Paganism, not without defeat after defeat of the imperial champions of Paganism before the standard of the cross; a revolution begun after Diocletian’s abdication under Constantine, and completed, some 70 years after, under Theodosius. - To the objection of the Seal’s speaking of the great day of Christ’s wrath having come, as if fixing the scene to a prefiguration of the final judgment-day, a sufficient answer seemed given in the examples of other and earlier prophecies, descriptive notoriously of temporal revolutions, yet couched in similar phrase and figure: while to any counter-scheme, explaining it of the judgment-day, there stood opposed the impossibility of any literal construction of the Seal’s symbols, so as of the judgment-day’s physical convulsions, the absence from them of both conflagration and resurrection, and the nature too of the next following figuration in the self-same 6th Seal: one which, though expressly defined as succeeding to the figuration previous, did yet exhibit the sky and the earth and earth’s inhabitants as all again visible; and tempests of judgment as preparing against them. - Nor, again, can I help viewing it as a most strong and remarkable confirmation to my theory of the Seals, that that which I may venture to say no other explanation has solved, - I mean the fact of those tempests appearing in vision prepared and suspended, connectedly and synchronically with figurations not only of the sealing of the elect ones out of the tribes of Israel, but of the palm-bearers to entering on the beatific vision, though without any change to blessedness correspondently on the earth, - I say that this otherwise inexplicable particular, should have proved on our theory to have the most simple and most complete solution in the doctrinal revelation made to Augustine, (John’s genuine descendant in the true Apostolic succession,) respecting both the election of grace out of the professing Church or Israel, [9] and their final perseverance through grace, even until brought to the beatific vision: - a doctrinal revelation made to him at the very epoch of Theodosius’ death, just before the bursting of the tempest of Gothic desolation on the Roman empire; and of which the religious influence was such for ages afterwards, that the highest kind of philosophy of history would have been positively wanting, had not this revelation not been then some way depicted. Of which moral philosophy of the Apocalypse, however, I shall here say nothing, as it will come up for consideration in a later part of this Chapter. Only, while glancing retrospectively at the historic evidence of our exposition of the past, let this concomitant moral evidence never be forgotten.

Having dwelt thus at large on the evidence of the six first Seals, as being the introduction and key to the whole Apocalyptic prophecy, it is not my purpose, nor does there seem to me need, to dwell with at all the same particularity on that of my subsequent expositions of the Apocalyptic Book. If we be deemed to have advanced thus far in our exposition satisfactorily, we shall scarcely be judged by any one to have erred in explaining the six first of that Trumpet-septenary of visions which evolves the 7th Seal, as fulfilled in the successive irruptions and woes of the Goths, Saracens, and Turks. - In respect however of the four first Gothic Trumpets, let it not be forgotten how notable was the tripartite division of the empire, that we thought alluded to in the there figured third of the earth, sea, rivers, and heavenly luminaries, - the Western empire’s one-third: and how, as the last of the four exhibited the eclipse of the governing lights over one-third of the Roman world, so the result of the Gothic and Vandal desolations, by land and sea, was the extinction of the Western Empire. - Then, as regards the scorpion-locust of the 5th Trumpet, interpreted of the Saracens, we may remember how striking seemed the evidence in proof of our correctness, alike in the Arabian character of all the various animal symbols, and figured origination of those symbols out of the smoke of the bottomless pit, as if with the accompaniment of some false and cruel religion emanating from the pit of hell, just such as Mahommedism: - also, in regard of the 6th Trumpet plague of lion-like horses from the Euphrates, how we saw proof of its fulfillment in the Turks, alike from its apparently implied connection with the plague of the previous Trumpet, from the symbols of both fire, smoke, and sulphur from the horses’ mouths, and heads with injuring power attaching to their tails; also from their declared destiny, after a certain singularly defined period, (a mode of definition which was shown to be used by Turks, but of which I have seen no exemplification in the history of any other people,) of slaying the third of men, or Eastern division of Roman Christendom. - After which, and that plain literal statement as to the continued persistence in idolatries, fornications, thefts, murders, sorceries, of those who had not been politically slain by these plagues, viz. the countries as it seemed of Western Christendom, - a characteristic of them to the truth of which the Turkish Sultan’s own edict after the capture of Constantinople lent, we saw, its most striking testimony, - there came that graphic prefiguration of the Reformation, with a synchronic sketch of the two sackcloth-robed witnesses’ history down to their death and resurrection, given retrospectively by the Angel of the Reformation, which must be fresh in the minds of my readers: and of which the evidence, as I myself look back at it, does appear to me to be the most complete and satisfactory. Truly may I say, after most carefully reviewing it, that I do not think any history of the Reformation can be shown which traces more exactly according to truth the main steps and epochs, external and internal, in the history of that great revolution: from its commencement in Luther’s first discovery of Christ as the justification and righteousness of his people, to its establishment, with its now purified Churches, (the raboov of earthly princes, as well as voice from God authorizing them,) in many countries of Christendom: more especially in the tenth kingdom of Papal Christendom, thenceforward Protestant England; and the “seven chiliads,” thenceforth the Dutch Protestant United Provinces, or Turkish woe; just according to the Apocalyptic figuration. And then next according to prophecy, and next according to history, the second or Turkish woe, we saw, past away: and, as the fulfillment of the 7th Trumpet’s sounding, and its earthquake, there occurred that grand event of modern times, the French Revolution.

So as to the primary series of visions, depicted, I conceive, on the inner side of the Apocalyptic scroll. And as an intended parallelism with them was evident (even as if depicted correspondently on the Scroll’s outside) of the supplemental and retrogressive series in Apoc. xii., xiii., concerning the sackcloth-robed Witnesses’ slayer, the BEAST FROM THE ABYSS, and his reign for the same 1260 days’ period as their prophesying in sackcloth, - so too we saw the parallelism of the events of this new series with those of the former, when explained, on the year-day system, of the Popes and Popedom, down to the primary end of those 1260 days at the same great epoch of the French Revolution. At the same time that in the particular symbolizations contained in this subsidiary Part of the Prophecy, viz. those of the ten-horned Beast itself, its chief minister the two-horned Beast, and the Image of the Beast, - explained respectively of the Papal Empire, Papal Priesthood, and Papal Councils, together with the symbolized name and number of the Beast, construed accordantly with Irenæus’ early teaching as Lateinos, there were found tens and twenties of particulars wherein to compare the symbols and the supposed things symbolized; and, I think, a fitting proved between them, one after another, unequivocally. The extraordinary medallic evidence respecting the diadem as adopted by Roman Emperors just at the time that it was so applied in the prefigurative vision of Apoc. xii. 3, and adopted also by the ten Gothic kings just at the time that they are in the next following vision of Apoc. xiii. 1, depicted as on the Beast’s ten horns, cannot but have greatly struck each candid and intelligent reader.

Thus it was by a continuous double chain of evidence, from St. John’s time downward, each with multitudinous links, that we were brought to identify the epoch of the 7th Trumpet’s sounding with that of the great French Revolution in 1790. And still the same continued double line of proof led us onward, yet further, to fix or present position as but just a little before the consummation: [10] - It being in the one series, after the outpouring of the previous Vials in the wars of the French Revolution, near upon the close of the 6th Vial, and its drying up of the Turkman Euphratean flood, and the going forth coincidently of three spirits of delusion over the earth, such as are even now recognizable, to gather men to the battle of the great God, or perhaps indeed at the opening of the 7th Vial; - in the other series under the second and third of the three flying Angels, with their voices of gospel-preaching and anti-papal warning, such as the world is even now hearing, (the temple or gospel-Church being meanwhile all opened to the world, so as never before,) [11] just before the last judgment of the harvest and the vintage. - Which being so, and when we find the long double line of such various evidence thus combining to fix our position at the advanced point when I have placed it, - and, on considering the evidence retrospectively, not as advocates or partisans, but as simple searchers for truth on the great matter in question, can discern no flaw or chasm therein, to vitiate or render it imperfect, - it seems to me reason’s dictate that we should bow to its strength and consistency, and acknowledge that such our advanced position in the prophetic calendar seems indeed, in all probability, to be the very fact.

With regard to the mistaken views as the nearness of the consummation entertained in other times, and by other expositors of prophecy, the several causes of mistake are for the most part obvious; and also that they are such as cannot, or do not, affect the grounds of our present conclusion. The patristic expositors, living early as they did in the Christian æra, had no long continuous chain of historic events before them; such as was essentially needed, in order to the right interpretation of the Apocalypse as a continuous prophecy. If they interpreted it at all, they could only generalize, agreeably with their general and vague anticipations of the future: chiefly with reference to the predicted Antichrist; who, they knew, was to come on the dissolution of the Roman Empire, but whose duration (on their day-day system) they mistakingly limited to 1260 days. [12] So that they altogether lacked the Apocalyptic land-marks, which would have shown them how much yet remained of the voyage before the harbor could be gained; and made an error of reckoning, which we can be in no danger of repeating. - The same causes would have operated, in a measure, to prevent a perception of the truth, through the earlier half of the dark middle ages, had there been then enough of intellectual energy and research (which there was not) really to investigate Scripture prophecy: besides which Augustine’s error respecting the Millennium, - an error detailed in my 3rd preceding chapter: - Chapter, [13] and which descended to them from him with almost the authority of inspiration, - engendered that erroneous expectation of the immediate imminence of the judgment-day at the close of the tenth century, to which I have more than once made allusion. [14] - After the glorious Reformation, though alike by the application of the Apocalyptic emblems of the Beast and Babylon to the Papacy and Papal Rome, by the adoption of the year-day system, and by discoveries in clearer and clearer light of the part that the Gothic Saracenic and Turkish woes had in the prophecy, a vast advance was made in prophetic intelligence, and elements brought into existence for sounder views as to the future, - yet still from the times of Luther, the Magdeburgh Centuriators, and Foxe, down to those successively of Brightman and Mede, Vitringa and Daubuz, and Sir Isaac and Bishop Newton, many chasms remained unsupplied, and important dates uncertified, in Apocalyptic interpretation: more especially because, as Sir I. Newton observed with characteristic sagacity, [15] there remained unfulfilled in history the last predicted revolution, answering to the seventh Trumpet; an event essential to the confirmation of some most important and points of interpretation, and determination of others. So that what wonder if many mistaken anticipations were still formed and published, antedating the time of the end? - Nor, even after that Trumpet had had (as it is conceived) its marked fulfillment in the French Revolution, were those causes of error by any means all removed. It necessarily took some time ere the mind of the investigator could calmly survey and judge of that great event. There was in England, (the only country in which religious truth and inquiry then had favor,) both at the outburst of the French Revolution, and for many years after it, a lamentable deficiency of learning and research, such as was needed to draw out the evidence, and argue accurately from it, on the probabilities of the future. On many important points in the Apocalyptic prophecy there still rested great obscurity: especially, I may say, on the Seals, the Sealing Vision, the whole Vision of the rainbow-circled Angel of the tenth Chapter, the death and resurrection of the Witnesses, the seventh and eighth Heads of the Beast, and the very form and structure of the prophecy itself. Hence, by necessary consequence, even among them that held to the Protestant and year-day principle of explanation, there was such variety and contrarieties of opinion respecting them, that much, very much, remained evidently wanting, ere a complete and satisfactory explanation of that which related to the past could be given: and consequently ere we could be prepared to form a fit judgment from it, with any great confidence, as to our own actual place in the prophecy, and the nearness of the great future consummation. - It is the author’s hope and belief that, in some considerable measure, this has now been done: and, as before said, a continuous historical exposition given of the Apocalypse, on evidence irrefragable, and without a chasm or lacuna (a blank missing space) of importance unexplained, up to the present time. Whether this be so, or not, the reader will judge for himself. But, if it be, then it is evident that the most influential cause of former mistakes concerning the coming future must be considered as now done away with; and a vantage ground established for judging correctly respecting it, such as did not exist before.

In the arrangement of the great calendar of prophecy, and the adjustment of our own position on it, whether nearer to the final end or less near, it is evident that the chronological predictions (I mean those which involved chronological periods) must needs demand our most particular attention. -- First and foremost in importance is the memorable prophecy of the 1260 years of the Beast or Antichrist, six times repeated in the Apocalyptic vision, under one or other variety of formula, and three in Daniel. This measures the Beast’s reign, in recognized supremacy over the Roman Empire, during its last divided and apostatized state, or rather the reign of the Beast’s last Head, Antichrist. And we have seen that, with the reflected light of that grand illustrative event of our latter day the French Revolution, the primary and imperfect commencement, and primary and imperfect end, of the period may be deemed to have been fixed, on strong probable evidence, to about the years A.D. 531 and 1791 respectively, as just 1260 years’ interval: the one the epoch of Justinian’s decree and code, which was a virtual imperial recognition of the Pope’s supremacy, in his then assumed character of Christ’s Vicar, or Antichrist; [16] the other that of the French revolutionary outbreak, and new legal code, which gave to the Pope’s antichristian supremacy and power a deadly blow throughout Western Christendom. [17] At the same time that the full and complete commencement of the period appeared on strong and peculiar historic evidence (specially that of the then risen ten diademed Romano-Gothic Papal horns) to have about synchronized with the epoch of Phocas’ decree A.D. 606; and the corresponding epoch of end with the year 1866. [18] -- We also saw more lately that in the last of his prophecies Daniel appended to what seemed to be the same period of the 1260 years yet a further addition of 30 and 45, or conjointly of 75 years, as if still to intervene before the times of blessedness. [19] And hence the very important question whether these additional years are to be measured from the epoch of primary imperfect ending about A.D.1791; or

from that of full and perfect ending in 1866. [20]

Now in favor of the first hypothesis there is, 1st, the obvious and striking fact of 75 years being just the very interval between

1791 and 1866, the epoch of the primary ending and epoch of complete ending of the 1260 years. Again, 2ndly, just as at 30 years there is a break in Daniel’s 75 years’ period, as if marking an epoch of importance in it, so at 30 years from 1790 there has been found to occur an epoch both prophetically and historically of importance: - the end of the long line of 2300 years in Dan. viii., calculated from B.C. 480, as the epoch of the emblematic Persian ram’s highest acme of conquering power, there precisely falling in, at the year 1820; the which was to mark apparently the destined commencement of the fall of the Perso-succeeding oppressors of Greece and Palestine; and the prophecy’s fulfillment being markedly realized, we saw, in the rapid fearful decay of Turkman power from the year 1820. [21] - 3. Yet again, on the 75 years’ period (so calculated) advancing still 45 years further onward, to its ending in 1866, it about falls in with the termination of 6000 years from the Creation, as calculated by a late eminent chronologer, Mr. Fynes Clinton, (one statement excepted,) [22] from the mundane chronology of the Hebrew SS.: in other words, synchronizes at that chronological point, according to the Hebrew chronology, with the opening epoch of the world’s seventh millenary; and therefore, according to the primitive Church’s expectation, not perhaps, as we saw, without apostolic sanction for it, [23] with that of the commencement of the sabbatism of rest promised to the saints of God. [24] - On the other hand there is this obvious and strong primary presumption in favor of the measurement of the 75 years of the time of the end from the epoch of complete ending, in 1866, that it is the most natural. There is no reason why 30 years onward there should not be some important epoch of break in the 75 years’ time of the end, thence measured. And again, as regards the Hebrew Mundane Chronology though decided to prefer its authority to that of the Septuagint Greek SS., we must still remember that there are certain breaks and dubious points in it on which an approximation only can be offered: besides a departure from the Hebrew in that famous passage 1 Kings vi. 1, to which allusion was just made, [25] and by departure from which Mr. F. C. brings the end of the 6000th millennary to an earlier close by near 100 years than it would be otherwise.

A very similar measure of dubiousness, let me add ere passing on, attends the question of the terminating epoch of Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of bestial degradation; supposing that transaction (as I cannot but do [26] ) to have been symbolic of the heathenish degradation, and aberration from God, of the four great mundane empires of which he was then the representative; the seven years having in such case to be construed, on the year-day principle, as a period of 2520 years. For, according as it is measured from the cognate Assyrian king’s first invasion of the sacred land of Judea, or from the rise of the independent Babylonian empire 100 years later, the terminating epoch will either fall about the time of the French Revolution A.D. 1791, or somewhat later than the close of the present century. And I must say that the fact of these various prophetic periods thus traveling, as they are alike found to do, to a close within, or nearly within, the century now current, from their several sources more or less remote in the depth of antecedent ages, much impresses my own mind, as a confirmatory of the conclusion of our being near the time of the end, which was primarily deduced by me from the evidence simply of the Apocalyptic prophecy. Like as the convergency of many lines of road to a geographical center indicates that center to be the place of some important and mighty city, so the convergency of these several chronological lines to an ending within, or nearly within, the present century, now above one-half run out, seems to mark the century as the æra of closing crisis, big with momentous issues as to the destinies of the world.

From which chronological evidence, if we turn to that of the signs of the times, we shall find in them the strongest corroborative evidence of our being near the time of the end; yet not so as to decide the comparatively minute point respecting the 75 years of Daniel. Let us dwell a little fully on them. They are signs which have drawn attention, not from prophetic students only, but from the man of the world, the philosopher, the statesman; and made not a few even of the irreligious and unthinking to pause and reflect. - Thus there is, 1st, the drying up, still ever going forward, of the Turkman Mahommedan power, or mystic flood from the Euphrates: - 2. the interest felt by Protestant Christians for the conversion and restoration of Israel, an interest unknown for eighteen centuries, but now strong, fervent, prayerful, extending even to royalty itself, and answering precisely to that memorable prediction of the Psalmist, “Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favor her, yea the set time, is come; for thy servants think upon her stones, and it pitieth them to see her in the dust:” [27] - 3. the universal preaching of the Gospel over the world, agreeable with Christ’s own command; [28] that sign of which Augustine said, that could we but see it, we might indeed think the time of the consummation at hand: [29] result has been such that already, one might almost say, trophies of the enlightening and converting power of the gospel have been gathered out of every nation and kindred and people and tongue, agreeably with the song of the blessed at the consummation, heard anticipatively by St. John in the Apocalyptic vision of the palm-bearers: - 4. the marked political ascendancy before the whole world, alike Heathen, Mahommedan, and Jewish, of the chief nations of the old Roman earth, i.e. professing Christendom, and every increasing political, scientific, and commercial intercourse, “many running to and fro, and knowledge being increased;” [30] such as to force the eyes of all nations on this same Roman earth, as (conjointly at least with the mighty offshoot from England of the American United States) the central focus alike of commerce, science, and political power: - 5thly, and connectedly, the outgoing thence almost as universally among them of religious Christian and Antichristian missions, under the protection and auspices respectively of the chief Roman Catholic and Protestant European powers; the Romish and Antichristian full of zeal and bitterness; and with conflict already so begun against Protestant evangelic missions and Bible-circulation, as to have forced the attention of Jews, Heathens, and Mahommedans to the grand subject of the Lord’s controversy with Roman Anti-Christendom, and to be preparing them (almost as by providential voice [31] ) for being intelligent spectators of its tremendous issue: - and this the more, 6thly, because of yet other two spirits of religious delusion having also gone forth of late to deceive men, in power an influence quite extraordinary; which, conjunctively with the one before mentioned, answer well, in respect both of character and of time, to the three spirits like frogs from out of the mouths of Dragon Beast and False Prophet, (or spirits of infidelity, popery, and priestcraft,) that, after the drying up had begun of the Euphratean waters, were to gather the powers of the earth together to the war of the great day of God Almighty; [32] all the great hostile dramatis personæ of the history of Christendom thus coming on the stage before the drama’s consummation: - 7. the revolutionary internal heavings of the European nations, alike with infidel and democratic agitation, accordantly with Christ’s and the apostles’ descriptions of the latter days; and their preparation for deadly conflict, with new and increased powers of destruction, of which the extraordinary outbreaks of 1848 in half the countries of Western Europe may have been but the prelibation. Such, I say, is the combination of signs of the times even now visible; signs predicted more or less clearly in Scripture prophecy, as signs which were to precede the end.

At the same time some signs are still wanting, even as I revise this a 5th time in 1861: - especially the non-gathering as yet of the Jews to Palestine; and predicted troubles consequent: - whence a further presumption in favor of the later allocation of Daniel’s concluding 75 years. Supposing them at length added, and that the other signs already begun continue manifest as before, and perhaps even yet more strikingly, so as to arrest the attention of the whole world, (including a completed exposure of the seven-hilled Harlot, so as in Apoc. xvii.,) they will altogether surely well answer to the symbol of the Angel standing in the sun, announcing the great day of Christ’s judgment against his enemies as imminent, even at the doors.

It is to be understood, in adjusting this alternative allocation of the 75 years to the Apocalyptic prophecy, that if it prove that they are to be measured from the primary and imperfect ending of the 1260 years in 1791 they will answer to the whole period of the Apocalyptic seven vials: if from the second and complete end of the 1260 years in 1866, then they will answer simply and alone to the æra of the 7th Vial.

[1] See my Vol. i. p. 54.

[2] So Vol. i. pp. 224, 228-231.

[3] See Vol. i. pp. 387-398.

[4] See ib. 470-472.

[5] See Vol. ii. pp. 135-145.

[6] See an elaborate Paper by me on this subject of comparison in the Appendix.

[7] On the several points here mentioned I must beg the reader to refer to my controversial papers in the Appendix, as well as to the body of the Work, in my 1st Volume.

[8] Pollio’s Claudius, Ch. 4. - See my Vol. i. pp. 201, 202.

[9] Israel being so construed according to the analogy of the Apocalyptic symbols.

[10] Or, rather, as close upon the secondary and complete ending of the 1260 days’ prophecy; but with the reserve, as will be presently shown, of the additional 75 days of Dan. xii., following very possibly still after that epoch, and constituting in fact the “time of the end.”

[11] Just as prefigured Apoc. xi. 19, xv. 5.

[12] See Vol. iii. p. 276.

[13] pp. 72, 75 suprà

[14] Vol. i. p. 470.

[15] “The time is not yet come for understanding these prophecies perfectly, because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet come to pass.” Pref. p. 15.

[16] See Vol. iii. pp. 298-301, with the references.

[17] See Vol. iii. 395-408.

[18] See Vol. iii. pp. 302-304.

[19] See p. 61 supra. - I say seemed, because of the peculiar ambiguities and difficulties of that last prophecy. Alike, however, a priori probabilities, and the analogy of the 70 years’ predicted Babylonish captivity, (see Vol. iii. 299,) so favor the idea of there being some such definitely extended time of the end, that I can myself feel scarce any doubt on the matter..

[20] See Vol. iii. pp. 302-304.

[21] See Vol. iii. pp. 445-447.

[22] “And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.” This will of course be commented on in the Paper on the subject in my Appendix.

[23] See p. 94, 95 suprà.

[24] This will be unfolded in a Paper in the Appendix.

[25] See Note 937 p. 118 above.

[26] Dan. iv. If not symbolic, wherefore the so expressly noted band of iron and brass to the tree’s stump: metals these symbolic of Greece and Rome, as we know, in the prefiguration of Dan. ii. ? - The figure is somewhat otherwise applied by Cowper to the wretchedness and ruined hopes of a prisoner;

————Like the visionary emblem seen

By him of Babylon, life stands a stump;

And filletted about with hopes of brass

Still lives, though all his pleasant boughs are gone.

The close relationship between the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires is notorious. So e.g. Tacitus, Hist. v. 8; “Dum Assyrios penes, Medosque et Persas, oriens fuit.” Again, the Christian expositor Theodoret on Dan. ii says; “The head of gold is not Nebuchadnezzar himself; but the entire kingdom of the Assyrians or Babylonians.”

And so too holy SS. itself. Jer. l. 17; “Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the King of Assyria hath devoured him; last this Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, hath broken his bones.”

[27] Psalm cii. 13, 14. - The general political emancipation of the Jews is a sign too very observable. As the Jews in Pagan times had to pay tribute to Rome’s Pagan worship, so too, subsequently, to Rome’s Papal idolatrous worship (See my Vol. i. p. 57, Note 2.) In 1848 the Marquis Azeglio published an interesting Memoir on the oppression of the Jews at Rome and in Italy. And in that same year the tax was abolished; and the Pope himself attended to see the gate of the Ghetto, or quarter of Jewish insulation, broken down even in Rome. Only however for the brief period till the Pope’s restoration by French bayonets!

[28] Mark. xvi. 15.

[29] Epistle to Hesychius, numbered 197, in the late Paris Benedictine Edition, Tom. ii. col. 1107; “Opportunitas vero illius temporis (sc. finis hujus sæculi et adventûs Domini) non erit antequam prædicetur Evangelium in universo orbe in testimonium omnibus gentibus. Apertissima enim de hâc re legitur sententia Salvatoris, Matt. xxiv. 14. . . Unde si jam nobis certissimè nuntiatum fuisset in omnibus gentibus Evangelium prædicari, nec sic possemus dicere quantum temporis remaneret usque ad finem; sed imagis magisque propinquare merite diceremus.”

[30] Dan. xii. 4. - How extraordinary in this respect are the effects, even already, of the late golden discoveries in California, Australia, and elsewhere! How extraordinary the late opening of both China and Japan alike to Christian and antichristian preaching!

[31] “He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. . . He hath called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.” Psalm l. 1, 4.

[32] See my Part v. Ch. 9.