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"'And God made in six days, the works of his hands, and
Gibbon, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Em-
"The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was
Now the fact that this was the belief of the churches
2 Pet. iii. 8. "But, beloved, be not ignorant of
thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."
Heb. iv. 9. “ There remaineth therefore a rest [Greek, Sabbatismos, a sabbatical rest] to the people of God.”' Read also verses 4, 8 and 10, and compare with Rev. xx. 2 to 4, where we are informed that this sabbatical rest will be a thousand years. We therefore infer that the other days of this week also consist of a thousand years each.
In Ex. xxxi. 17, the fact of God's spending six days in making the heavens and earth, and resting the seventh day, is given as a reason why the children of Israel should observe the Sabbath, which was intended to be a sign to them. A sign of what? Of the great Sabbath, the seventh millennial day of the great week, in reference to which it was typically said,
“ Six days shall men labor, and do all their work." That is, Six thousand years shall man's salvation be wrought out, in which he shall do all his work of repentance and preparation for heaven; the seventh day (or thousand,) is the Sabbath, in which there shall be no work done ; for the work of the Redeemer, the work of the Holy Spirit, the work of grace is ended, and the Sabbath of the Lord is come. Blessed are they who enter into that rest. Read carefully Heb. iv. 3 to 11.
Hosea vi. 1 to 3. “ After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
Luke xiii. 32. Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." The two days of Hosea are to be dated from the time when the people of God were torn and smitten; see verse 1. This was one hundred and fifty-eight years before Christ, according to 1 Maccabees, ch. 8th and 9th. The two days were not literal days, neither have they been fulfilled as yet, as facts show. We have reason to believe, therefore, they are millennial days; and that the third day, in which the people of God shall be raised up and live in his sight, corresponds with the third day in which Christ shall be perfected, and the period of a
thousand years, during which the saints shall live and reign with Christ. Rev. xx. 4.
CONSIDERATION IX. We infer that the time has been revealed, from 2 Pet. i. 19. " We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light shining in a dark place."
More sure than what? Than being "eye-witnesses of his majesty." Verses 16, 18, and Matt. xvii. 1,9. Let those who despise the prophecies, or say they cannot be understood before fulfilment, ponder this passage. This sure word of prophecy is a light shining in what was a dark place even to those who had been eyewitnesses of Christ's majesty. Now what was it that remained in the dark to them? I answer, the time. "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light." (Luke viii. 16.) And yet some would have us believe that God has lighted a candle, and then so completely hidden it in obscurity, that none of those entering in may see the light.
That the foregoing considerations make it probable, in the absence of any proof to the contrary, that the time has been revealed, I think no candid person will deny. But the following proofs establish the position, beyond a doubt, in my own mind.
PROOF I. The question in Is. xxi. 11, "Watchman, what of the night?" and his answer, imply that those who watch may know what time of the night it is, or, at least, when the morning is about to dawn. That this text refers to the bondage of the church, seems evident from both the answer and the context. What will be morning to the church will be night and gloom and horror to the world. If, however, it be applied only to the captivity of the ancient Jews, analogy makes it almost certain that the watchman in the church, of which Jerusalem was but a type, will be equally able to discern the dawn of the day of a more glorious emancipation.
PROOF II. "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed time [see margin] is accomplished," &c. Is. xl. 2; Ps. cii. 13, 16, 18; Lev. xxvi.
But how can the ministers of God obey this command, if it is impossible for them to know when that appointed time is about to expire.
PROOF III. In Dan. viii. 17, and xii. 4, 9, we are told that the vision belongs to the time of the end, * and is sealed till then. The iinplication is, that it will be unsealed then ; and, when it is unsealed, we may thereby know that we are living in the time of the end.
PROOF IV. In Dan. xii. 4, we read, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end ; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Here we are informed explicitly that, at the time of the end, knowledge respecting the vision shall be increased by a careful study and comparison of its different parts with each other and with facts. Now read carefully the vision from chapter viii. to the end of the book, and you will see that the main point, respecting which knowledge was wanting, and "shall be increased," was the time. "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ?" To show that this interpretation is correct, the following cominents of the most approved commentators are subjoined:
Dr. Clarke's note reads as follows:
“ Many shall run to and fro. Many shall endeavor to search out the sense; and knowledge shall be increased by these means. This seems to be the meaning of this verse, though another has been put upon it, viz., ' Many shall run to and fro preaching the gospel of Christ, and therefore religious knowledge and true wisdom shall be increased.' This is true in itself; but it is not the meaning of the prophet's words."
The most eminent modern Hebrew scholars all agree with Clarke, in giving this sense. Scott's opinion seems to coincide with Clarke's, though he gives both meanings in his notes ; but manifestly gives the preference to the one which expresses the idea of searching out the meaning of the prophecy.
* That “the time of the end” is a period, and not the time for the one event of the end alone, see Dan. xi. 40, and the events which follow previous to the resurrection.
Matthew Henry comments freely on the passage, and among other things says:
“ They shall read it over and over, shall meditate upon it; they shall discourse of it, talk it over, sift out the meaning of it, and thus knowledge shall be increased."
The French translation, published by the American Bible Society, renders the passage following "the time of the end" thus :
"When many shall run all over it, [or through it] and to them knowledge shall be increased."
The old English Bible, printed by Barker in 1580, has this marginal note :
"Many shall run to and fro to search the knowledge of these mysteries."
Dr. Gill says:
"Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased ; that is, towards the end of the time appointed, many shall be stirred up to inquire into these things delivered in this book, and will spare no pains or cost to get a knowledge of them; will read and study the scriptures, and ineditate on them; compare one passage with another, spiritual things with spiritual, in order to obtain the mind of Christ; will carefully peruse the writings of such, who have gone before them, who have attempted any thing of this kind; and will go far and near to converse with persons that have any understanding of such things; and by such means, with the blessing of God upon them, the knowledge of this book of prophecy will be increased, and things will appear plainer and clearer, the nearer the accomplishment of them is; and especially when prophecy and facts can be compared : and not only this kind of knowledge, but knowledge of all spiritual things, of all evangelical truths, and doctrines, will be abundantly enlarged at this time."
The word translated, run to and fro, is metaphorically used to denote investigation, close, diligent, accurate observation