« הקודםהמשך »
One leading object which I have had in view, in thus particularly studying and 'analyzing the preceding fulfilled chronological periods, having been to deduce from their structure such peculiarities as might serve to elicit true principles, in order to the more correct interpretation of those remaining periods whose accomplishment is yet future, or incomplete, I will in this place give those peculiarities in the form of prophetical axioms.
1st. All the events which have marked the commencement and termination of each period have formed the most important eras in history.
Such, for instance, was the call of Abraham the separation of the two great branches of his family—the deliverance from Egypt—the final ruin of the kingdom of Israel—the captivity of that of Judah-its deliverance from Babylon the restoration of the Jewish church under Ezra -and, finally, the death of Christ, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans : and these are the events which have marked the beginning and the close of the four periods already considered.
2d. Such events, whilst they form the most prominent features in history, have, it will be perceived from the above enumeration, always had a special respect to the affairs of the Church, and have never exclusively related to secular concerns.
3d. These events, it will likewise be perceived, have not had a reference to the existing state of things, but have been characterized by CHANGE: that is, they have marked all the great and extraordinary changes through which it pleased God his church should pass while under the Levitical dispensation.
4th. It is an awful fact, that the termination of each of the four periods already considered has been attended by the Ruin of the respective nations to which they related--viz., those of Canaan, Egypt, and Babylon,—and Israel and Judah.
5th. In the “ first period” a double duration is attached to the same prophecy, having one common termination--viz., four hundred, and four hundred and thirty, years.
6th. The “third period,” or the seventy years' Babylonish captivity, has the remarkable and
important peculiarity of a double commencement, and consequent double termination.
7th. In the first, third, and fourth periods, the time of the respective commencements could only be correctly ascertained when the
respective terminations had either actually taken place, or were near unto it; in other words, when the prophecy was either actually completed, or was near its completion.
8th. It is observable likewise, that in the three periods above named the commencements are not reckoned from the time the prophecy of each was given.
9th and lastly. It may be noticed, that a greater or less degree of obscurity rests upon each prophetical period, according as circumstances have required.
In agreement with the principles embraced by the axioms above laid down I proceed to consider the periods of yet unfulfilled Prophecy; but before I advance to that which is first in chronological order (Period V.) I must apprise the reader that this Period has two special peculiarities : in the first place, it admits of a double application-1. to the kingdom of Israel, and 2. to the kingdom of Judah-and