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the Pope, who claims to exercise this great authority by his crazy title to St. Peter's chair. We have now arrived to the end of the third division of the angel's history; for the next verse tells us, “ and at the time of the end,” meaning the end of his power, to tread on the church by his civil authority, or reign over the kings of the earth, and to dispose of lands for gain I have brought you down, my kind hearer, through a long prophetic history of more than 2200 years, and landed you to the year A. D. 1798, when the Pope of Rome lost his civil power. In the beginning of the year 1798, on the 15th of February, a French general, Berthier, entered Rome with a French army without resistance, deposed the Pope, abolished the Papal government, and erected the republic of Italy. The Pope, being taken prisoner, was carried a prisoner by them first to Sienna in Tuscany, from thence to Florence, afterwards to Grenoble, and then to Valence, in France, where he died on the 19th of August, 1799, since which time the Pope of Rome has exercised no more of his former power over any of the kings in Europe, or the Protestant church. We shall now close our lecture on this history for the present, reserving the remainder of Gabriel's interesting history for another lecture.
PREvious to Daniel's asking the question contained in our text, he had been taught, as we have seen in our former lecture, not only the history of future events as they would succeed each other down to the end of the world, but he had the regular order of time specified in the duration of the little horn, “time, times, and a half” as in Daniel vii. 25, and xii. 7. But he had been informed of many events which should transpire after his “time, times, and a half” should be finished, and not having the length of the Pagan beast, or daily abomina: tion, given to him at all, he could not tell or understand whereabouts in his grand number of 2300 days, the end of the civil power of the little horn, or Papal Rome, carried him: there was no rule given Daniel yet by which he could tell when or how long after the crucifixion of the Messiah before the daily sacrifice abomination would be taken out of the way, and the power of the little horn be established, and the abomination of desolation set up. Be sure, Daniel had heard the whole history down to the resurrection, and had the whole vision specified in his 2300 days. But as he saw there were evidently three divisions of the time after the crucifixion or cutting off of the Messiah at the fulfilment of his 490 years, or 70 weeks, down to the end of his 1810 years, which would be the remainder of his total number of 2300 years, after his 70 weeks should be fulfilled;" and having only 1260 of those years accounted for by the reign of his little horn, leaving five hundred and fifty years to be applied on the Pagan beast, and for the events which we are to attend to after the Papal beast lost his civil power, -therefore the propriety of Daniel's saying in our text, “Then I heard, but I understood not.” He understood not how this time was divided, and especially, how much time would be taken up in the last division of the angel's history, beginning with the 40th verse of the 11th chapter, where our last lecture ended, and finishing with the context of the 12th chapter, the verse previous to our text. That this is the plain and significant meaning, is evident from what follows our text, viz., the angel's answer to Daniel’s question, “What shall be the end of these things?” And he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end;” that is, my mission is closed, the words are finished, and registered in the roll of God's word, they are sealed, that is, made sure, unalterable, will stand until every word has its fulfilment, which in the end shall be accomplished; not, as some suppose, that Daniel's prophecy is sealed, closed up, out of sight, and cannot be understood. This is not the way of God's dealings with us; for if this had been the angel's meaning, he would have said to Daniel as he did to John in similar circumstances, Rev. x. 4, “Seal up those things, and write them not.” But it is the reverse; for he says in the next verse, 10, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand.” None of the wicked shall understand what? Why, the things before spoken of— Daniel's vision and instruction. Very well, then the wicked do right for once. Certainly, if your exposition of the former text is correct, that it is hid, and cannot be known, they are obeying the command of the angel, close up and seal the words; and surely they will not be condemned for obedience. “But the wise shall understand,” says the angel. What shall the wise understand? They shall understand the vision; or the words before spoken by the angel at least. But say you,
so that they may never know them till the end, and the wise understand them. How can these things be?” I answer, These texts explain each other. There is a close connection in the word of God which must always be kept in view, and if our exposition of one contradicts another of the same connection or of like import, we may know there is a wrong in us. Now, one thing is certain, — “all Scripture is given by inspiration of ë. and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” And “secret things belong to God; but things revealed, to us and our children.” And when I see pretended servants of God, men of great pretence to piety and knowledge, disputing long and sharp on some metaphysical point in theology which they nor their hearers can never understand, and when they are asked to explain the plain declarations of God, put it off, by saying, it is sealed up, and we ought not to try to understand it, it makes me think of AEsop's fable of the dog in the manger; of Christ's reproof to the scribes and Pharisees, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to
o in;” and this passage in Daniel, “The wicked shall #. wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” You may depend upon one thing, when you hear such declarations as the above from the pulpit, that the speaker does not love his Bible as well as he loves his own popularity, and studies to support his faith, the popular writers and standard authors of the day, more than the divine revelation of God. But God is now trying his people; he is now giving them a great rule to know their love for his word. If the word of God is to them foolishness, and they take more delight in the popular writers of the day, they may de}. upon it they are stumbling at that stumbling-stone.
ut the angel tells us that many shall be purified and made white. This was good news to Daniel, and ought to be so to us; for it is the declaration of God through the medium of Gabriel, his messenger. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh te the thousand three hundred And five and thirty days: but go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Now Daniel had all he could ask for; now he could understand the time, and the length, and part of every division which the angel had given him in his instruction, so far as to fill up his vision of 2300 years, (as we shall call them, having proved in a former lecture that they ought to be so reckoned, and have been so fulfilled.) He has now learned that, to begin and reckon back from the resurrection, which he well knew would be 1810 years after Christ's crucifixion, he might find out when the daily sacrifice abomination would be taken away. Therefore take 1335 years from 1810 years, would leave 475 years; and he could reckon from the end of the 70 weeks, or 490 years, to the end of Pagan Rome, would be 475, from thence to the time he should stand in his lot, would be 1335 years. Then by adding
would make the sum total of his whole vision 2300 years. And now, let us suppose he wished to know when the abomination of desolation would end, and when it would begin. He has only to take his number, one thousand two hundred and ninety, as given him by his angel, from his 1335, thus, - 1335
45 and he finds that 45 years before the resurrection the little horn would lose his civil power. Now, let him take his time, times, and a half, and add, say 1260 years to 45 years, and he will find that the little horn began his reign 1305 years before the resurrection, and 30 years after the daily sacrifice abomination was taken away. And now he is prepared to give his vision and