« הקודםהמשך »
other, one being, but an image of the other, having the same names of blasphemy on their heads, and both having at the close of their times the same ten horns, and book have, and are to bave, their civil power destroyed by the same ten horns. Yet we see them kept separate and distinct. Pagan Rome must reign his time, and then the ten horns, or kings, would take away the “ daily sacrifice abomination, and place in his stead the “ abomination that maketh desolate.” The last abomination was numbered in the same chapter where our text is found, " forty and two months.” And why not give us the number of the first beast? He has : "Let him that hath understanding, count the number of the beast ; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six.' This brings us to our next proposition.
III. To show what we may understand by the numbering of the beast
And first, what may we understand by numbering any thing of this kind in scripture? For the scripture must be our guide, as we have before said.
I answer, it is to count, to finish, or to destroy, when used in a figurative sense, or in prophetic scripture, as in Isa. xxi. 10," And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.” They were accused by the prophet of destroying houses, by numbering them or counting them for destruction. Also see Isa. Ixv. 12, “ Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter.' Here again it is used in the same sense: I will reckon or count you to the sword. Again, Dan. v. 25, 26, “ And this is the hand writing that was written; MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing : MENE, God hath numbered thy kingdom and hath finished it."
As, therefore, the idolatrous and blasphemous kingdom of Babylon was numbered and finished by God, conveyed by the hand writing on the wall to the knowledge of Daniel and others, so was John commanded by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to write in this last book of prophecy.
The MENE, TEKEL of this last idolatrous Pagan beast, “here is wisdom,” let a wise Daniel, or him that hath the wisdom of God like a Daniel, or“ let him that hath understanding,” in the word of God, or him that will compare
I answers 60 scripture with scripture, "count the number of the beast," or the number of his name.
Let us inquire what is the name of this beast? His name is blasphemy, because he causes all, both high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, to worship stocks and stones, idols of gold, and silver and wood, that can neither see, hear, nor talk. See the 1st verse of our context, “and upon his head the name of blasphemy,” which teaches us what the name of this beast is, and shows us that we are to count, or reckon, how long before the blasphemies of this Pagan porwer will be finished, “ For it is the number of a man;" and what, you may inquire, is the number of a man?
again, we must apply to God's word, “the number of a man."
Moses says, Exodus xxiii. 26, “ The number of thy days I will fulfil.” Job, speaking of man, says, xiv. 5, "Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months is with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.” David says, Ps. xc. 12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Therefore, we may reasonably conclude that the number
is the number of his days, and the scriptures often speak of man in connection with his time of sojourn on the earth, calling it days; as “ few and evil has been the days of my pilgrimage;' died, being old and full of days;", " length of days is in her right hand;" w all the days of thy life;","I will wait all the days of my appointed time until my change come." If this is the understanding of this part of our text, which I cannot see any reason to doubt, then our text has this plain meaning. “Here is" need of spiritual“wisdom; let him that hath understanding of the word count the number of his days, the beast, for his days are numbered as a man's, they are six hundred three score and six." This power, Rome Pagan, would be taken away when his six hundred and sixty-six prophetže days should end ; and this brings us to show when those days begun, and of course when they ended.
They must have began when the Jewish rites and ceremonies were in being, for this was the sole object of Paganism, to counteract the Jewish rituals and draw the Jewish worshipers into idolatry, and to blend the heathen rites with theirs. They must have began before Christ was born, for the great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns was to stand before the woman (the Jewish Church) ready to devour the man child as soon as it was born. They could
of a man,
not have begun before they became connected with the Jews for the reason that no nation is propheciéd of, or noticed in the prophecies, except they are somehow connected with the people of God, and for the very reason that this beast was to tread down the Jews, and finally by cunning, deceit and intrigue destroy the city and nation of the Jews, then I think the fairest conclusion is that when they became connected with the Jews by league, and when they had conquered Dariel's third kingdom, the Grecian. Then, and not until then, had the Romans any part in this prophecy. This agrees with the angel's statement, Daniel xi. 23, “ After the league made with him (that is Romans) hé shall work deceitfully and become strong with a small (republican) people." This league was made between the Romans and the Jews, ratified and carried into effect when the Greeks under Bachides left besieging Jerusalem, upon the command of the Romans, and as Josephcs and Maccabees tells us never returned to trouble them (the Jews) any more. This league, then, took effect when the third kingdom in Daniel's vision ceased harrassing the Jews and the fourth kingdom began his rule over the Jews and the world. This was in the year B. C, 158. Let those who wish to be satisfied of the correctness of the foregoing statements read the 8th and 9th chapters of the I. Maccabees, and Josephus B. XII. chapter x. sec. 6 of his antiquities. Then if this be correct, that Pagan Rome began his power in the year B. C. 158, and was to continue 666 years, when would Paganism fall in the Roman kingdom and the daily sacrifice abomination,” be taken out of the way to make room for the abomination of desolation ? I answer, take 158 from 666 and you will have 508. Then in the year A.D. 508 Paganism ceased.
What is the history of that time? I answer that about the year A. D. 476 the western empire of Rome crumbled to pieces, and the Pagan nations of the north crossing the Rbine and the Danube, established ten kingdoms in what was considered the western empire. France was the principal kingdom of the ten. These kingdoms were all governed by Pagan kings, and history intorms us that in the city of Rome and other places in the empire these Pagan conquerors sacrificed men, women and children to their supposed deities. And that in the year 496 Clovis king of France was converted and baptised into the christian faith, and that the remainder of these kings embraced the
religion of Christ shortly after, the last of which was baptised in the year 508, and of course Paganism ceased, having lost its bead by the power of the sword or kings who wield the sword. Here then was the accomplishment of two important prophecies; the daily sacrifice abomination taken out of the way, and the Pagan beast receiving its deadly wound by a sword; since which time we have no account of any Pagan rites or sacrifices being offered within the bounds of ancient Rome. How exactly has the word of God been accomplished ? How just and true are all the ways of the God of heaven? And how blind are mortals that they cannot see their own destiny in the rise and fall of others. I am astonished sometimes when I reflect on the simple truths of the word of God, the exact fulfilment of the prophecies, that more do not believe, repent, and turn to God.
DANIEL X. 14. « Now I am come to make thee une derstand what shall befall thy people in the latter days, for yet the vision is for many days."
This is the third time the angel Gabriel camo to instruct Daniel. The first time was when Daniel had the vision of the he goat. Daniel viii. 16. This was 553 years before Christ. The second time he came was when Daniel was praying for the deliverance of his people from their Babylonish captivity, fifteen years after the first visit, when he instructed him into the seventy weeks, and crucifixion of the Messiah. Now he has come in the third year of Cyrus the Persian, in the 534 B. C. 21 years after Daniel had his vision of the four beasts, nineteen after the he goat, and four years after the seventy week's instruction. .
After informing Daniel his purpose, as in our text, and making some preliminary observations concerning the vision in the remainder of the tenth chapter, he begins his teachings to Daniel, and through him to us, with the first of the 11th chapter. Ist verse, he tells who he, the heavenly messenger, is. The same who confirmed Daniel in the seventy weeks. (See Daniel ix. 1, 21.) And in the second verse he begins with the fifth king of Persia, the very same king who issued the decree to Ezra to go up and build the walls of Jerusalem, which began our seventy weeks. Daniel ix. 25: Ezra vii. 1-14. For the first Persian king, was then on the throne, Daniel x. 1, which was the third year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia. This was the same Cyrus who was general and son-in-law to Darius the Mede, that conquered Babylon. Besides whom “there should be yet three kings," which three kings were Artaxerxes, Darius and Ahasuerus, as they are named in Scripture. See Ezra iv. v. and vi. Chapters. I am aware that history has named four where scripture has only named three. History namos 1, Cambyses ; 2, Smer