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began to preach the gospel, A. D. 26; and the one week was fulfilled in A. D. 33, when Christ offered himself upon the cross, as an offering and sacrifice for sin; “by which offering we are sanctified once for all.” For he need not offer himself often, as the high priest did, under the law. “But now, once in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Heb. ix. 26, Therefore," he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.” That is the only and last sacrifice and oblation that will be ever offered in our world, which can take away sin; “ for there remaineth,”, says the apostle, “ no more sacrifice for sin.” Then let me inquire, What is the sum of the instruction of the angel
to Daniel? I will sum it up in as few words as After Daniel had a certain vision, commonly called " the vision of the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn, Daniel heard one saint inquire of another, how long that vision should be. The answer was given Daniel, that it should be unto 2300 days, when the sanctuary should be cleansed or justified. Daniel then heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. Accordingly, Gabriel came to Daniel, and informed him that at the end of the world, or time appointed of God, the vision should be fulfilled. He then tells him that the ram represented the Mede and Persian kingdom ; and that the rough goat represented the Grecian kingdom; gives a short history of that kingdom, and its four divisions ; then shows, at the close of these kingdoms, that another king would arise, (meaning the kingdom of the little horn, or Roman,) describing him exactly as Moses had described the Romans many centuries before. See Deuteronomy xxviii. 49, 50. “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle fieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance." This, no person will dispute, means the Romans. Then why not a similar description in Daniel, viii. 23 ? “When the transgressors (meaning the Jews) are come to the fall, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding
dark sentences, shall stand up, and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."
I think the reader, divested of prejudice, cannot apply the description given in the above quotation to any other nation but the Romans. “And through his policy, he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand." This description agrees with Paul's man of sin, the mystery of iniquity which worked in his day, and which would be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. See 2 Thess. ii. 3–8. “ So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Gabriel says, “ And he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;” that is, against God; the very same character which Paul has described. “But he shall be broken without hand,” that is, “by the brightness of his (Christ's) coming," as says Paul. But as Daniel has said, “ By the stone cut out of the mountain without hand;" or, as he says, Daniel vii. 21, 22, “ I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
After Gabriel had instructed Daniel thus far, he left him. Sixteen years afterwards, Gabriel came again to Daniel, and informed him that he had come to instruct him, and give him skill and understanding into the vision, of which we have been speaking. He then gives him the seventy weeks, shows what would be accomplished in that time, the cutting off of the Messiah, and the ceasing of the sacrifice and oblation. He mentions the destruction of Jerusalem, and the war of the little horn; the desolation of the people of God, and overspreading of abominations. He carries us to the consummation, destruction of the little horn, called here the desolator. See marginal reading. Gabriel, after giving the history of the seventy weeks, dwells not in detail on the remainder of the vision, but reserves a more detailed account for the next visit, which is given unto
us in the 10th to the 12th chapter of Daniel inclusive.
But the seventy weeks, of which we are more particularly speaking, the angel Gabriel has told us when it began: at the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, &c. We have found no command that will apply in all its bearings, but the one given to Ezra, which was given in the 457th year before the birth of Christ; and 33 years afterwards Christ was crucified; which two numbers, if added, make 490 years, exactly seventy weeks of years. We learn that Gabriel, in order to make the vision doubly sure, divides the seventy weeks into three parts, seven, sixty-two, and one, making in all seventy. He then tells us plainly what would be accomplished in each part separately.
Ist. Seven weeks. “The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” No man can dispute but that this was accomplished under the administration of Ezra and Nehemiah.
And it is very evident that these two were governors over Jerusalem 49 years, which makes the seven weeks of years, and carries us down the stream of time to the year 408 B. C.
2d. Sixty-two weeks. “ Unto the Messiah, the Prince;" that is, unto the time that Jesus anointed with the Holy Spirit and power to preach the gospel, either in himself or forerunner John. See Mark i. 1. Sixty-two weeks of years would be 434 years. This would carry us down to twenty-six years after Christ's birth, and brings us to the very year of “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God." Mark i. 1.
3d. One week. “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” One week would, of course, be seven years, which, added to twenty-six, would make thirty-three years after Christ. Here, too, we find an exact and literal accomplishment of the angel's declaration. The gospel of Jesus Christ preached by John three and a half years, and by Christ three and a half years, making seven years, called one week, and then Messiah cut off, and not for himself, Christ crucified,
ends the seventy weeks, proves Daniel's prophecy true, establishes the vision, confounds the Jew, confutes the infidel, and ought to establish the mind of every believer in the remainder of the vision.
Here, then, is a combination of facts and circumstances, together with dates and times, which throws upon the mind such strong array of testimony, that it would seem no rational being could withstand the proof. And methinks I hear some say, Why all this argument ? No one but a Jew ever disputed, but that the seventy weeks were fulfilled at the death of Christ, and that a day in this prophecy was a figure of a year.
I should not have been thus particular, and have trespassed so much on your time to prove a given point in Christendom, had l not recently met with more than one Christian professor, and even teachers in Zion, who deny that the seventy weeks ended with the death of Christ, or that a day in this prophecy means a year. Some have gone so far in infidelity as to deny that “ Most Holy," in our text, and “Messiah," in our context, means Christ. This surely would make a Jew blush. I agree that I never anticipated that any objection could be raised on those points, without a wilful perversion of language, and a total disregard of the word of God.
But man, in his fallen state, is an unaccountable, strange being; if his favorite notions are crossed, he will, to avoid conclusions, deny even his own senses. Therefore it becomes necessary for me to prove, what has been considered by many, even of the objectors themselves in previous time, given points in theology.
It is not more than four years since many of the clergy and D.D.'s in the city of New York met a delegation of the Jewish patriarchs from the East, and in their conference the clergy and doctors brought forward the seventy weeks in Daniel, as proof positive of Jesus of Nazareth being the true Messiah. "They explained the seventy weeks in the same manner I have to you, and asked the Jews how they could avoid the conclusion? and I understood they could get no answer. Now, suppose these same clergy and D.D.'s should meet me on the question now pending ; I should not be
greatly disappointed if they should deny my premises. & Why would they do thus ?" say you. I answer, For the same reason that the lawyer hesitated, when he learned that it was his bull that gored the farmer's ox.
“But might we not understand the seventy weeks to be so many literal weeks, that is, 490 common days?” say you. Fanswer, If so, then the command to build Jerusalem must have been given only a year and a third before Christ's death; and it would have been very improper for Gabriel to have said, “Unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,” when he had already come, and had been preaching more than two years before the weeks began. No, my friends; every reasonable controversialist must acknowledge there is no possible way to get rid of our conclusion but to deny that Most Holy, and Messiah, means Christ, in our text and context. And I pity, and leave the man in the hands of him who knows all hearts, that is forced on to ground so untenable as this.
If I have got a right understanding of the seventy weeks, that a day stands for a year, and I have never been able to find a Christian expositor who disagrees with me on this point, either modern or ancient, —- then the conclusion is, as far as I can see, unavoidable, that the vision of Daniel is 2300 years long, and that the 490 years before Christ's death is not only the key to unlock the commencing of the vision, but shows conclusively how and when, and manner and time, the kingdoms of this world will be broken to pieces and carried away, and no place found for them, by the stone which will become a great mountain and fill the whole earth.
For the seventy weeks must seal up the vision and make the prophecy of Daniel true. Then, if 2300 days is the length of the vision, and 490 days of that vision were fulfilled in 490 years ending with Christ's death, so must 1810 days end the vision, which, upon precisely the same rule, will be fulfilled in 1810 years after Christ's death, or in 1843 after his birth, which is the same thing.
But, say some, “ Daniel did not understand the vision