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facientes signa), or producing wonderful results, which at one period could scarcely have been anticipated, are evidently enough three potent and energetic principles of action, which, however unexpectedly a priori, harmoniously co-operate in the gathering together a formidable confederacy against pure religion and the purposes of the Almighty. I once thought that these spirits were said to work miracles, and that the expression referred to the pretended miracles of popery; but, however such an interpretation might fitly apply to the spirit which proceeds from the false prophet, it is plainly inapplicable to the other two spirits, and thence (I conceive) untenable.
Now, in matter of fact, we certainly see, at the very time when such a development might be expected, three principles in joint operation for a common object of evil.
The principles of infidelity, strongly exhibited and embodied in the form of irreligious and practically unbelieving Political Expediency, may justly be said to spring directly from the dragon or Satan. The principle of Democratic Anarchy now fermenting in the western empire, and deeply impregnated both with sensuality and infidelity, may similarly be said to spring out of the Wild Beast, or the corrupt mass of that temporal empire now lying politically dead as a whole, by the excision of its short-lived seventh or Imperial Francic Head; and the principle of active Popish Propagandism, now in energetic and almost universal operation, indisputably springs from the False Prophet, or the theological impostor of the Vatican.
Whether these three Principles, which may be seen and estimated by all men as being actually at present in full operation, be or be not the three Unclean Spirits, which, according to prophetic chronology, about this precise time may be expected to show themselves, must be left to the judgment of the diligent and cautious inquirer.
3. The resuscitation of the slain Roman Empire, under its revived seventh head, has not yet occurred.
If I be right in my opinion that the slaughtered short-lived seventh head of the empire was the Francic emperorship mortally wounded by the sword, in the year 1815, the result, according to the voice of prophecy, will be, that that same head, represented by a new successful military adventurer, will revive in France, and will take the decided lead of the grand anti-christian confederacy, inasmuch as that confederacy is described as being composed of the wild beast, under the last head, and the vassal kings of his empire, and the false Roman prophet.
Since the temporal western empire, in this its last form, is destined to ascend out of the abyss of mighty waters, we seem, on the well ascertained ground of the figuartive language of symbols, to collect that it will spring out of a new tremendous revolution, which will, preparatively, shake to pieces the present intermediate government of France.
4. The cordial union of the False Prophet, with modern liberalism, which single word, as we all know, comprehends the two allied ideas of Infidelity and Anarchy, we may already see.
Hence, we can have no difficulty in understanding how the same false prophet will, at length, be found in close union with the revived seventh head and his combined vassal kings, as foretold by St. John, in the final crusade of the great anti-christian confederacy.
The destruction of this confederacy in Palestine, according to the uni
versal voice of prophecy, is still future: and, thus, establishes the ab stract position, that the 1260 years have not as yet expired, and, consequently, that the seventh vial of consummation has not as yet begun to flow. Nevertheless, if the 1260 years expire either in, or (as Bishop Hurd speaks), about the year 1864, the destruction of the confederacy, and, therefore, à fortiori, its formation, cannot be very far distant.
5. A similar remark applies to the restoration of Israel, for which the drying up of the waters of the Euphrates prepares a way. It has not yet occurred. Therefore, since its occurrence is distinctly fixed to the termination of the 1260 years, and the war of the great anti-christian confederacy, the 1260 years themselves cannot as yet have expired.
When Popery, and Infidelity, and lawless Anarchy are finally destroyed in the apparently miraculous breaking up of the anti-christian confederacy, then will the Sanctuary be cleansed from the long accumulated filth of ages, then will the converted Israelites, the (reclaimed Bride of the Lamb,) become the theological head of the nations, then will the predicted period of religious purity and blessedness commence.
III. The present position of England I have spoken of somewhat at large in a work of mine just published with Mr. Seeley, entitled "Christ's Discourse at Capernaum fatal to the Doctrine of Transubstantiation," where the passage alluded to will be found in a note at page 234-242.
Since the unhappy amalgamation of our once Protestant constitution with the papal apostasy, an amalgamation avowedly conducted on principles of mere God-distrusting political expediency by a body of legislators, who had all sworn their belief to be that popery is idolatry, I am compelled to fear that the position of England is any thing rather than safe and satisfactory. Somewhat like the Israelities of old, we have intimately and affectionately, and encouragingly, associated and blended ourselves with a superstition abhorred of God, and doomed to speedy destruction: and, unless we disentangle ourselves, I do not perceive how the superstition can be destroyed without our being more or less subjected to calamity in its ruin. With our eyes open, for our rulers swore that popery is idolatry, doubtless for the universal instruction of England, touching its true nature, we have chosen our line of conduct: and we must, I suppose, abide by the consequence. The prophetic call is: "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. But we, so far from coming out of her, have deliberately entered into her, and are systematically affording her all the patronage and encouragement in our power both at home and abroad. Hence, through the spirit of Propagandism, many unstable souls are becoming partakers of her sins: and, hence, unless we retrace our steps, I see not, prophetically speaking, how we can avoid nationally partaking of her plagues.
Of course, it will be understood that I speak solely of a religious system. Many estimable individuals, I doubt not, may be found in the communion of Rome: but the system itself is sternly denounced in prophecy, and is justly reprobated by the reformed and truly apostolical Church of England.
IV. As for the present efforts and spread of Popery, I see nothing but what from prophecy must necessarily have been expected. Without some temporary success and extension, Popery could not be in that ram
pant state which is evidently ascribed to it in the day of final excision. Its present movements I conceive to be its last struggles preparatory to its complete destruction.
V. The harvest of God's wrath against apostate Christendom I consider to have been gathered in during the miseries produced by the first French Revolution, extending from the year 1789 to the year 1815. What we must, therefore, next look out for is the treading of the vintage of God's wrath and, unless my view of prophecy be altogether erroneous, we may expect this vintage very speedily to commence. Even mere politicians have announced their conviction that the next general war will be a war of principles: and prophecy describes the final war as a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. A general feeling is, I believe, abroad, that we are upon the eve of some great crisis: and I suspect that the general feeling is not far mistaken.
VI. In the great final war, the king of the North and the king of the South are represented by Daniel as vehemently opposing the Wilful Roman king, who is the head of the Anti-christian Confederacy, but yet as being unable to prevent his occupation of Palestine, previous to his ultimate destruction.
The whole context of the prophecy contained in the eleventh chapter of Daniel, compels us, on the principle of consistent exposition, to set down these two kings as the then sovereignties of Syria and Egypt. They evidently start up in consequence of the overthrow and partition of the Ottoman Empire. But whether, at that period, Syria and Egypt will be independent sovereignties, or whether they will be in the occupation of two great European powers, time alone can positively interpret to us. Thus far, however, is certain. Whoever shall respectively be the masters of Syria and Egypt at the time of the end, or at the close of the 1260 years, will constitute Daniel's kings of the North and the South; and these two kings are distinctly stated as being in full opposition to the Wilful King. More than this no person can safely pretend to say at present.
VII. On the whole, though more minute points (such, for instance, as the matters propounded in Isaiah xix., 23-25, respecting which you ask my opinion), can only be explained by the event, the final restoration and conversion of Israel and Judah, are, I think, quite indisputable; and, in the present day, it is impossible, if we attend to the chronology of prophecy, not to be struck, as an eminent sign of the times, with the remarkable bearing of events toward Palestine and the East. As a yet additional sign, I may note the softening of the mind of Christian nations towards the long-abhorred and too long persecuted children of Judah; from which we may reasonably expect a correspondent softening on their part. The mode in which the late scandalous persecution of the Jews in the East, on the silly exploded fancies of the dark ages, has been taken up in London, and assented to by the envoys of foreign powers, I consider as an auspicious token for good. In the ancient apologue, the furious blast of the tempest only made the traveller wrap his cloak the more closely about him; but the warm rays of the sun speedily led him to throw it off altogether. The conversion of the Jews will usher in the general conversion of the Gentile world; and it is impossible to say how far our misunderstanding with China may ultimately open to the Gospel that hitherto almost hermetically sealed empire.
I have now, to the best of my ability and judgment, complied with the wish which you have done me the honour of expressing to me; and if this communication shall be instrumental in turning the minds of my countrymen from the gross and grovelling utilitarianism of this world to matters connected with the ultimate universal diffusion of pure Christianity, I shall have my wish fulfilled.
I am, sir, your obedient humble servant,
Sherburn-House, Sept. 19, 1840.
G. S. FABER.
THE CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE EPISCOPAL MAGAZINE.
Your correspondent P. A. assumes that the period of 2300 years may be dated from the same time as the seventy weeks, or 490 years before the crucifixion, which is certainly the time when "reconciliation for iniquity" was made: but why deduct the thirty-three years of our Lord's life, which would make the incarnation be the time of reconciliation ? It appears that P. A. has thus nimbly escaped a dilemma, because, otherwise, the "cleansing," according to his calculation, would have taken place in 1810, and that it did not, does not require demonstration. I have the same objection to the date assumed by P. A. as to the former, namely, that there was not in the year 457 B.C. any particular circumstance or event on which " to rest as a point of departure, so to speak,"
It was in the first year of Belshazzar's reign, or the year 555 . B.C., when Daniel had his vision of the four beasts or empires, the last of which is the papacy, and which he was shown would last "until a time and times, and the dividing of a time," from the period of its rise. All commentators are agreed that the two times and a half time signify 1260 days or years, "each day for a year," during which long period, Daniel was informed the saints of the Most High should be worn out by "the fourth beast which was diverse from all others." He was also informed that the four beasts were four kings, the fourth or last of whom was to be diverse from the others, inasmuch as he was not to be a temporal but an ecclesiastical prince, who should tread down and break in pieces the whole earth, and wear out the saints, i. e., persecute the church? The rise of this fourth beast or ecclesiastical empire, which is certainly "diverse from all the beasts, or secular empires, which went before it," was, in the year 606, when the usurper of the throne of the Cæsars conferred on Boniface, bishop of Rome, the title of "universal bishop and supreme head of the church." After that, the pope or "little horn," began to exercise a jurisdiction till then unheard of in the church; the saints were then formally delivered into his hand, and the power of persecution which, in due time, he most cruelly exercised, was conferred on him by the Emperor. I assume, then, that the year of Christ 606 is the date of the 1260 years, which make the last part of the 2400 years.
There is no doubt but that the Atonement on the cross, as P. A. says,
was the "reconciliation for iniquity;" and Daniel himself fixes the date of the longer period "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem," which, we learn from Ezra, was in the year 536 B.C., or when Cyrus had succeeded to the united Medo-Persian throne. "Now, in the second year of their coming unto the house of God, at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel. . . . to set forward the work of the house of the Lord. . . . and when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord." Well, then, we must date the commencement of the longer period, whether it be 2400 or 2300 years, in the year 534 B.C. But the longer and the shorter period of 2400 and 1260 years must terminate together, at the time of the end; and, therefore, by computing 2400 years from the date of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, in the year 534 B.C., and the 1260 years from the year 606 of the Christian era, when the fourth beast's spiritual empire and the desolating revolt of Mahomet commenced, they will both exactly terminate in the year 1866. Whereas, if 2300 be the correct reading, the longer period must have terminated seventy-four years ago, in the year 1766, while the shorter period of 1260 years is not terminated yet. P. A. prefers the 2300 of the authorized translation, because the 2400, which is esteemed the correct reading, would throw him a century out in his calculation, and postpone the cleansing of the sanctuary till the year 1943. The termination of these two periods is to be the commencement of the final restoration of the Jews, during a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation, even to that same time," which seems, from the aspect of political events, to be nearer even than 1843. If the year 1866 be the true time for the cleansing of the sanctuary, the date fixed by P. A. would give little more than a cycle of twenty years to accomplish the terrible events which we are told will precede and accompany the restoration of God's ancient and favourite people to the land of their fathers.
There are, at present, mighty indications that the time is rapidly approaching when the Jews shall be gathered from the four winds of heaven. All the great European powers are arming, and "the rich blood of kings" seems to be on fire; the papal world is in a fearful state of convulsion; the Jews are in a state of excitement and agitation, and the land of Syria seems destined to be the battle-field. The punctilios of hollow professions and hypocritical protocols only induce the powers sullenly to keep the peace, while the "king of the north," Russia, is ready to come against them" like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships." The Ottoman empire is now a mere shadow, and its entire subversion seems to be at hand, when the mystic Euphrates will be completely exhausted. The barbarian, too, that rules in Egypt and Syria seems to be involved in that prophecy of Isaiah, which appears to be on the point of fulfilment, when "the Egyptian shall know the Lord, and shall do sacrifice and oblation.2
1 Ezra, i. 1; iii. 8.
2 And if so contemptible a speck on the political horizon might attract any attention, we may see the presbyterian sea agitated and tossed with religious frenzy and excitement, and casting up the mire and dirt of heresy and rebellion; while the anglo-catholic church alone in all the earth enjoys rest and tranquillity.-ED. 4 c