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CHRIST'S SECOND COMING.
and fifty-eight years before Christ. Then began the Pagan beast to exercise his influence over the people of God. And now let us pursue his history as given by the Angel Gabriel, 24th verse," He shall enter peaceably, even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers, fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey and spoil and riches; yea,
he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds even for a time.” This verse is a true history of the rise of the Roman power ; they did scatter the prey and spoil among the provinces, and conquered more nations by their munificence and benevolence in the outset, than by their arms or battles. Rome bought more nations by riches and intrigue than she conquered in war; and she compelled the Jews to submit for about two centuries to that which no nation before had been able ever to do, viz. to be ruled by kings, governors and high priests, appointed by the Romans, and not chosen by themselves. 25th verse, “ And ne shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand : for they shall forecast devises against him." This is a description of the war in Egypt under the government of Mark Antony and Octavius Cæsar. “Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow, and many shall fall down slain.” When Antony went into Egypt with a great army, Cleopatra then queen of Egypt, deserted her husband's standard, as she had before Pompey's, and went over to Mark Antony with all the forces she could command, by which means Egypt became an easy prey to the Romans: so that a part of the Egyptian army, that fed of the portion of the king's meat, were the means of destroying the kingdom. • And both of these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper : for yet the end shall be at the time appointed." These two kings are Antony and Octavius, their characters agreeing with the description given in this passage. History agreeing that they ruled over the Romans for a season jointly, and that they were both of them great deceivers and liars. History also informs us that after Antony had conquered Egypt, he and Octavius quarreled ; Octavius Cæsar declared war against Antony, marched an army towards Egypt, and at the battle
of Actium defeated Antony and Cleopatra's forces, after. wards took Alexandria in Egypt, and Antony and Cleopatra put themselves to death, and Egypt becomes a Roman province. This was thirty years before the birth of Christ. 28, “ Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits and return to his own land.” Then Octavius returned to Rome. And the next exploit that this fourth kingdom would do would be against the holy covenant. They by their authority crucified our Savior, persecuted the saints, and destroyed Jerusalem, and this fills up the acts of this Pagan history until towards the close of the reign of the Pagan beast.29, " At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south: but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.” The time appointed must mean the length of the reign of this beast whose history the Angel is now giving, which I have shown in a former lecture, is 666 years. “He shall return and come towards the south, not as the former or latter. Not as the Romans going into Egypt, the latter; nor the Syrians going into Egypt, as the former : but Italy must now take her turn to be overrun by the northern barbarians. Therefore the Angel says, in the next verse, see 30, “For the ships of Chittim shall come against him.' The meaning of which is, that the Huns which lived on the north of the Adriatic sea, the place where it was anciently called Chittim, under their leader Attila, (sirnamed the scourge of God,) should ravage the Roman empire. This was fulfilled 447 years after Christ. 16 Therefore he shall be grieved and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant ; so shall'he do: he shall return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant."
About the time that Attila ravaged the Roman empire, Christians conceived it to be a judgment of God upon the Romans for their idolatry and wickedness, refused to bear arms in favor of the Roman emperors, which led to a bloody persecution of Christians akd a renewal of Pagan rites and sa: rifices, which had been partially suspended during the reign of Constantine and succeeding emperors, except in the case of Julian the apostate. "And arms shall stand on his part,” that is the force of the empire would be on the side of Paganism. “And they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength.” They, in this passage, mean the gn
CHRIST'S SECOND COMING.
vernments or kings, established on the fall of the Roman empire in the west, by the Huns, Goths and Vandals of the north. “Sanctuary of strength,” is meant Rome. And it is said that at the time that Rome was taken, men, women and children were sacrificed to their Pagan deities. “And shall take away the daily sacrifice." The angel is giving us a history of what these kings would do, when Rome should be divided into its ten toes, or when the ten horns should arise which the angel bas heretofore explained to mean ten kings. Daniel vii. 24. This is evident by his using the plural pronoun instead of the singular, as before, or as he will following when the little horn obtains the power. To “take away the daily sacrifice," means to destroy Paganism out of the kingdom. This was done by those ten kings who now ruled the Roman empire, and would for a little season, until they should give their power to the image beast." And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” They, meaning the ten kings, shall place, shall put in the room or place of the daily sacrifice or Pagan beast which would now receive its death wound by the sword, that is by the civil power of this fourth kingdom, under the reigning power of these ten kings; for John tells us, Rev. xvii. 12, 13, “ And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but shall receive power as kings one hour with the beast; these have one mind, (being all Pagans) and shall give their power and strength unto the beast, that is, to support Paganism. Now this was evidently fulfilled, for after the fall of the western empire, A. D. 476, and before A. D. 490, ten kings had risen upon the ruins and formed ten separate kingdoms, the names of which I have before given; they all being Pagans of course they supported that form of worship, until they were converted to the Christian faith, which happened within the space of twenty years, Clovis the king of France having been converted and baptised in the year A. D. 496. By the year A. D. 508 the remainder of the kings were brought over and embraced the Christian religion, which closes the history of the Pagan beast, whose number was 666; which beginning 158 years B. C. would end the beast's reign A. D. 508, having reigned but a short time, (one hour, says John) with the ten kings. We have now gone through with the angel Gabriel's second part of the history, as we promised.
I shall now go on with the illustration of the third part of his prophetic history, which is the history of the image beast, the deadly wound healed, or what Daniel calls “the abomination that maketh desolate.” This beast would rule over the kings of the earth and tread the church of God under foot forty-two months, or time, times and a half, which is twelve hundred and sixty years, in common time, or as the angel tells us in Daniel xii. 11, from the taking away the daily abomination, to set up the abomination that maketh desolate, should be a thousand two hundred and ninety days, showing a difference of thirty years from the statement of the actual reign of the image beast and the other, which includes all the time, from taking away down through the setting up or reign of the image beast. Therefore to reconcile these two statements we must conclude there was 30 years from A. D. 508, when Paganism ceased, before the image beast or Papal Rome would begin her reign. If this is correct, then the 1290 began 508, and would end us in 1798. But the reign of Papacy would not be set up until A. D. 538, and would end us in the same year, A. 1). 1798, being 1260. This, then, is the history the angel will give us next. 32, “ And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupted by flatterers : but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits." The ecclesiastical historians tell us that in the begining of the sixth century, about A. D. 538, a number of writers in that day undertook to prove that the Papal chair together with councils of his approval, were infallible, and their laws were binding on the whole church. These writers were highly honored and flattered with promotion by the reigning powers. While on the other hand there were many who opposed this power of the pope and clergy, who were denounced as schismatics and Arians, and driven out of the kingdonis under the control of the Romish church. 33, “ And they that understand among the people shall instruct many, yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil 'many days. Those who instructed the common people and opposed the worshiping of images, the infalibility of the pope and councils, the cannonizing of departed saints, were persecuted by the civil power the sword) were burnt by order of the ecclesiastical courts established by the laws of Justinian, emperor of Constantinople, whose code of laws published about A. D. 534, gave unto the
6. But many
bishop of Rome power to establish courts for this purpose, and many in the sixth cent:iry and subsequent down to a late period," many days," suffered death, imprisonment and confiscation of goods, in consequence of a difference of opinion in matters of religion, by the tyranny of this abomi. nation, the bloody city which has reigned over the kings of the earth.” 34, " Now when they shall fall they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall cleave to them with flatteries." This text agrees with one in Revelation xii. 16, “ And the earth helped the woman.” shall cleave to them,” that is many men of the world would cleave to them, and professedly would flatter the true people of God, that they were friendly at least to them, and by these means satan carried on his wars against the children of God. 35, " And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge and to make them white, even to the time of the end, because it is yet for a time appointed." This verse shows us that even Christians would be led into some of the errors of Papacy and would be tried and purged, even to the end of this image beast's reign, which time is appointed as I have already shown to be "time, times and a half,” 1260 years ending A. D. 1798. 36, “ And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself
and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished, for that, that is determined shall be done." The king here spoken of is the same as Daniel's little horn, which came up among the ten borns. It is the same that blasphemed the God of heaven. It is mystical Babylon. Isa. xiv. 12– 15: Rev. xiii. 5, 6. The same Paul has described in his epistle, II. Thess. ii. 149. The same image beast which we have been examining the history of, and one thing is evident that this beast will continue until the day that God pours out his indignation upon a guilty world in some form or other. 37," Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any God; for he shall magnify himself above all.” In this passsage we have a plain description of Papacy, they do not worship the same gods the Pagans did, “their fathers.” And their clergy are forbidden to marry; the pope calls himself the vicegerent of God, or God on earth, having the keys of heaven, &c. 38, “ But in his estate shall" he honor the