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nor end.” Then the angel Gabriel was not obedient to the heavenly command; for he was commanded to make Daniel “understand the vision," and the vision and end are connected by the angel himself. He says, “ At the time of the end shall be the vision."
Again: if Daniel did not understand, the angel must have been disappointed; for the angel says, “ Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation ; for at the time appointed, (2300 days,) the end shall be."
Again: if Daniel did not understand the vision and time, then his own words cannot be taken as evidence. “ A thing was revealed unto Daniel, and the thing was true, but the time appointed (2300 days) was long." This shows that Daniel understood the time; for he
says it was long. For no man would have called 2300 common days (not quite seven years) a long time for so many great and important events, as are noticed in the vision, to transpire in. “ And he understood the thing, (that is, the time,) and had understanding of the vision." Daniel x. 1.
Now, let the objector quarrel with Gabriel and Daniel if he pleases. I have their testimony, and shall give them the preference. Some say, “God has not revealed the time.” I ask, then, Who revealed this vision to Daniel ? By whose command was the answer given, 2300 days? Who revealed the seventy weeks, the 6 time, times, and a half” ? How came Daniel by his 1290 and 1335 days? Who said to Daniel, “ But go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest
, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days”? Read Daniel ii. 20, 23, and 28th verses, and let the objector lay his hands upon his mouth and be silent. Has man become so bold in sin that he will contradict angels, defame the prophets, deny the word of God, that we may cry peace and safety, when sudden destruction cometh ? if ye will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither would you though one rose from the dead.” Peter says, “ There shall be scoffers in the last day, saying, Where is the promise of his coming ?” God has not revealed the time of the end, say you; therefore it will be no
tarm for you to “say in your hearts, My Lord delayeth eis coming."
Who shall tell the friend of the bridegroom when to give the midnight cry, “ Behold, the bridegroom cometh”? For this must be before he comes - no time then to cry; for it will be as sudden as the lightning, says the dear Savior.
Let the objectors look to it, that they do not reject the council of God against themselves.
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, (ignorant of the revelation of God,) that that day shall overtake you as a thief." Amenn
REV. xiii. 18.
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the name
ber of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his numbes is six hundred threescore and six.
This text has caused as much speculation as any text in the whole Bible; rivers of ink have been shed to explain its meaning, brains have been addled in trying to find some great mystery which the wisdom of this world, as was supposed, could only discover; and in trying to be wise above what was written, men have lost their balance, and fell into absurdities too ridiculous to mention. Some have searched through all the vocabulary of Greek names, to find one whose numerical letters would make the number 666, and they have been wonderfully blest, for they found a number; but here again there remained a difficulty to surmount, which required as much ingenuity as the former ; but to remedy the evil, every Greek scholar chose the one his fancy dictated, wrote his book on the number 666, and then died, and his wonderful name died with him; for every wise Greek had his own favorite name. Also, the Latin book-worms, not wishing to be outdone by their Greek brethren, rummaged all the old goatskin parchments and musty books in the eloisters of all the monks in Christendom; and behold, a much greater harvest was the fruit of their labor; for now every Latinus had three or more names to his share; and in all this wisdom, all other nations were left without any wisdom, except
what they borrowed from their neighbors, the learned Greeks and Latins. But I hope, my dear hearers, that you have learned that if there is any mystery of God not explained by the Bible, it is not for us to understand. Therefore, in treating upon this subject, I shall endeavor to present the Scripture on the point, and then leave you to judge whether we have light or not.
I. Show what wisdom this is spoken of in the text.
II. Speak of the beast numbered, and show what beast.
III. The number, and what we may understand by it. I. The wisdom spoken of in the text.
1st. Is it the wisdom of men, or of this world ? I answer, No. For Paul says, 1 Cor. ii. 4, 13, “ And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of
power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; not the wis. dom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” Now, if Paul would not preach the wisdom of men or the world, surely the angel would not instruct John to use the wisdom of man or of this world, “ for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God," 1 Cor. ii. 19. And if Paul said our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, neither would John have given any thing that depended on the wisdom of men for a foundation of our faith. But Paul has taught us what true wisdom is, by saying, “ Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God; “ But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” And Paul tells us how we may exercise this wisdom, 1 Cor. ii. 13, “ Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” Here, then, my dear hearer, is the great secret of wisdom, to compare spiritual things with spiritual; and then we have the mind and will of the Spirit, and shall not be
very liable to erf. Let us, then, follow this rule while we try to explain.
II. The beast numbered in the text. And,
1st. Let us inquire what beast it is. I answer, It is the first beast. See our context, 12th verse, “ And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him;" that is, the beast which John saw come up out of the sea, (the Roman government,) having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his head the name of blasphemy; and the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." By this beast, I understand the same as Daniel's fourth kingdom, the Roman government; by "names of blasphemy," I understand a mode of worship which would be idolatrous or blaspheinous; by the dragon, we must understand the civil power of the same government giving its power to the ecclesiastical beast, whether Pagan or Papal. 3d verse, " And I saw one of his heads, (of blasphemy, Pagan) as it were, wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed, (by the substitution of the Papal blasphemous head ;) and all the world wondered after the beast."
John then goes on to describe the civil power of this Roman government under this last head, and shows the length of time they would exercise this last power .“ forty-two months"
which is the same as Daniel's time, times, and a half, or John's 1260 days, mentioned Rev. xi. 3, xii. 6. His power to make war and overcome the saints is foretold. In the tenth verse he shows us how this civil power should be destroyed, by captivity and the sword; and this was fulfilled in 1798, when the pope was carried a captive into France, and the states of Italy were conquered by the sword of the French army. In the 11th verse he gives us a discovery of the same beast in his ecclesiastical power; Pagan Rome in the first beast, and Papacy in the image beast; and it will be evident to any one who will examine the chapter carefully, that John was not commanded to number the image beast for the civil power of that beast was before