Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, by William Miller, , at sacred-texts.com
OUR text is one of the many found in the word of God, which prove the authenticity of the scriptures, gives us a powerful weapon against Judaizing teachers, and meets the infidel on his own ground--the history of the world.
It sets a seal to prophecy that it is true, and shows that the prophets were inspired.
It gives incontestable evidence against the Jew, and proves that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah.
It unlocks the wonderful vision of Daniel's four kingdoms; also the vision of the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn.
It brings to view the great blessings of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, reveals the exact time of its accomplishment, and shows the source of the gospel, proclaiming good news to lost man, even in anticipation of that important era when the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs with the Jews in faith.
It establishes the wavering, and gives hope and confidence to the tried and tempted child of God, that he will fulfil all his promises, according to the letter and spirit of his word.
This text furnished Simeon, Anna, Nathaniel, and others, with a strong faith that they should see the consolation of Israel.
By this text the high priest convinced the council of the necessity of putting to death Jesus. "Then gathered the chief priests and Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans will come, and take away both our place and nation."
"And one of them, named Caiaphas, being high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself, (not his own prophecy;) but, being high priest that year, he prophesied (from Daniel's seventy weeks; for there is not another prophecy in the Old Testament which shows what year Christ should suffer) that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that, also, he should gather together in one the children of God, that were scattered abroad," John xi. 47-53.
The high priest argues that Jesus must die for the people.
The seventy weeks shows that the Messiah must be cut off at the close of the last week, and not for himself. Also Peter had occasion to say in his epistle, "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching what, or what manner of time, the spirit of Christ, which was in them, did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow," 1 Peter i. 10, 11.
Where was the exact time of Christ's sufferings prophesied of but in Daniel's seventy weeks? Again, to this Christ alludes when he says, "My time is not yet fully come;" and, "Then they sought to take him, but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come:" that is, the seventy weeks were not yet fulfilled, John vii. 8, 30. Mark tells us, xiv. 41, "The hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."
The seventy weeks were now being fulfilled. And then, at last, when Jesus had completed his work, when the fulness of time had come, he finished transgression, and made an end of sin: he then cried, "It is finished, and gave up the ghost." The seventy weeks ended, our text was fulfilled; Christ had now become the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth; he that knew no sin had become sin for us, and Death had struck his last blow that he would ever be able to give the Son of God. Daniel's vision is now made sure--the Messiah cut off, the time proved true, as given by the prophet Daniel.
Now, ye infidels, can this be priestcraft? And, ye Judaizing teachers, is not this the Christ? Why look ye for another?
I shall now take up the text in the following manner:
I. I shall show what is to be done in seventy weeks.
II. When the seventy weeks began, and when they ended.
I. The text tells us, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city;" that is, upon the Jews, who then were the people of Daniel, and also in Jerusalem, which then was called the "holy city." The first question which would naturally arise on the mind, would be, What for to do? The text and its context must tell us.
1st. "To finish the transgression." When was transgression finished? I answer, At the death of Christ. See Heb. ix. 15, "And for this cause he is the Mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." Isaiah liii. 8, "For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken."
2d. "And to make an end of sins." This was also performed at his death. See Heb. ix. 26, "But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." And 1 John iii. 5, "Ye know that he (Christ) was manifested to take away our sins."
3d. "And to make reconciliation for iniquity." Was this also performed at his death? Yes. See Col. i. 20, "And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself." Heb. ii. 17, "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren; that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people."
4th. "And to bring in everlasting righteousness." "This must be by Christ's obedience," says the objector, "and cannot be at his death." Not so fast, dear sir; let us hear the testimony. Romans v. 21, "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." And, "By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Again, see Phil. ii. 8, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Paul says, "I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain;" evidently showing, that by Christ's obedience unto death, he brought in everlasting righteousness.
5th. "To seal up the vision and prophecy." What does "to seal up" mean? I answer, It means to make sure, certain, unalterable. Consult Esther iii. 12, viii. 8. Solomon says, "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm;" that is, make me sure in thy love, and certain by thy power. John says, "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." John iii. 33. Paul to Rome, xv. 28, "When I have performed this, and sealed to them this fruit;" that is, made sure the contributions. Again, to Timothy, 2 Epistle, ii. 19, "Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his." Therefore the death of Christ would make Daniel's vision sure; for if a part of the vision should be exactly fulfilled, as to time and manner, then the remainder of the vision would be accomplished in manner and time, as literally as the seventy weeks had been.
6th. "And anoint the Most Holy." The Most Holy in this passage, must mean Christ; for no human being can, or ought to claim this appellation, save him whom God hath anointed to be a Savior in Israel, and a King in Zion. See Acts x. 38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power." Also, Acts iv. 27, "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." Heb. i. 9, "Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
It will next be requisite to inquire, When was Christ anointed?
I answer, When the Holy Ghost descended upon him, and when he was endued with power from on high to work miracles. See Isa. lxi. 1, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."
After Christ was baptized by John, and after being tempted of the devil forty days in the wilderness, he went in the spirit into Galilee, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as his custom was, and he stood up to read. They gave him the book of Isaiah. When he opened the book he found the passage which I have just quoted. After reading it he shut up the book and sat down. He then began to say unto them, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears," Luke iv. 1-21. This passage plainly proves that Christ was anointed on or before this day.
Other things were to be done in the seventy weeks, such as, The cutting off of the Messiah, but not for himself. This can mean nothing less than the crucifixion of Christ. See Luke xxiv. 26, 46, "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" "Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day." Rom. v. 6, "For when we were without strength, in due time (or according to the time of seventy weeks) Christ died for us."
"And he (Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." What covenant is this to be confirmed? I answer, It cannot be the Jewish covenant, for that was confirmed by Moses many hundred years before Daniel lived. There being but two covenants, it must of necessity be the new covenant of which Christ is the Mediator; Moses having been the mediator of the old, and Christ afterwards of the new. If these things are so, and the gospel covenant is meant by Daniel, then the time the gospel was preached by John and Christ is here called a week; for Christ himself preached more than seven days. Christ kept three passovers with the Jews after he began his ministry, and before he nailed the ceremonial law to his cross. This is strong evidence that a week is seven years, and that Daniel's 70 weeks are to be understood as meaning 490 years.
Again, "In the midst of the week he should cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease," or, as all Hebrew scholars agree, "In the last half of the week," &c., is the more proper translation; and it is evident that this translation would harmonize with the other parts of the passage, "the sacrifice and oblation to cease."
What sacrifice and offering is this, which the Messiah was to cause to cease? I answer, It must of course be that one offering and sacrifice for sin of which all other offerings and sacrifices were but types. It could not be the Jewish sacrifices and offerings, for two good reasons.
1st. This is but one sacrifice, and the Jews had many. It does not say sacrifices; therefore it cannot mean Jewish sacrifices, nor offerings.
2d reason. The Jewish sacrifices and offerings did not cease in, nor even very nigh, the last half of the week in which the Messiah confirmed the covenant with many; and, even to the present day, they make oblations, if not sacrifices. It must mean that sacrifice and oblation which the Messiah was to make to God for sin, once for all. It must mean that sacrifice which is the antetype of all the legal sacrifices from the days of Abel to the days of the Messiah. Let us hear what Paul says, Heb. vii. 27, "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once when he offered up himself."
See also Heb. x. 11, 12. "And every priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God." Many more passages might be brought to show that all sacrifices and oblations which could take away sin, or in which God the Father could be well pleased, ceased in Christ's one sacrifice and oblation. But I have given enough to satisfy every candid, unprejudiced mind; therefore I shall,
II. Try to prove when the seventy weeks began, and when they ended.
The angel Gabriel tells Daniel, ix. 25, "Know, therefore, and understand, that, from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
In this passage we have a plain declaration when the seventy weeks began: "from the going forth of the commandment." But what commandment? we may inquire. I answer, A command that will finally restore the Jews from their captivity under which they then were held in bondage; also to prepare the way for them to rebuild their city, repeople the same, and raise up the decayed walls, settle the streets, and cleanse the city of Jerusalem; and these things would be done in troublous times. So much is expressed or implied in the declaration of Gabriel, which I have just quoted.
Who would give the command? is the next question. I answer, It must be a king who had power over the Jews to release and restore them. It must of necessity be a king over the Medes and Persians, or it would not be in agreement with the vision in the 8th chapter of Daniel; for he is expressly told by Gabriel that the ram he saw, and which was the first thing he did see in the vision, were the kings of Media and Persia. And now this same angel Gabriel has come the second time, and tells Daniel, plainly and distinctly, that he has come to make him "understand the vision." What vision? The one Daniel had in the beginning, in the 8th chapter. See Daniel ix. 21-23.
Then Gabriel begins his instructions by giving him seventy weeks of the vision, and then shows him, verse 24, when his seventy weeks begin; or, which is the same thing, "the vision." To read and understand the matter thus far, infidelity itself must blush to deny the premises.
Then, if we have settled this question, the next question would be, Which king of Persia, and what commandment? I answer, It must be the fifth king of Persia noted in the Scripture of truth; for the angel Gabriel, the third time he visited Daniel to give him skill and understanding into "the vision," says, "But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth," Dan. x. 21. This shows that he was instructing Daniel into a vision which he before had seen, and written in the Scriptures. See Dan. vii. 1, "Then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters." Dan. x. 14, "Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days." What vision? The one noted in the Scripture of truth, says Gabriel. Then, in Dan. xi. 2, he begins his instruction to him of the vision, which he was commanded by the voice between the banks of Ulai to make him understand, by saying, "And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all." This fourth king was the ram pushing, and was the fifth king of Persia, being the fourth from Cyrus, who was then standing up. See Dan. x. 1.
The kings, as Ezra has named them in his 4th chapter and 7th chapter, were, 1st, Cyrus; 2d, Ahasuerus; 3d, Artaxerxes, (the first;) 4th, Darius; 5th, Artaxerxes (Longimanus;) this last being the king who gave a commandment to Ezra to restore all the captive Jews who were willing to go to Jerusalem.
What commandment? is our next question to answer. The decree given by Cyrus (see Ezra i. 1-11) cannot be the decree meant by the angel, for the four following reasons:--
1st. Cyrus was the first king of Persia, and of course cannot be the fifth king, as we have already shown.
2d reason. The decree of Cyrus was two years before the angel gave his last instruction to Daniel, and he would not have spoken of it as being future, if it had already passed: "There shall yet stand up three kings," &c.
3d reason. Cyrus's decree was not given to build Jerusalem, but "the house of God which was at Jerusalem;" neither were the walls built in troublous times, under the decree by Cyrus.
4th reason. This decree by Cyrus was given 536 years before the birth of Christ, or 569 years before his death. Therefore no rules of interpretation given in the Scriptures could possibly show how those things were accomplished in seventy weeks, which Gabriel has shown, in our text and context, were determined to be done. This, then, cannot be the commandment, and harmonize with either Bible or facts.
Again: the decree given by Darius, Ezra vi. 1-14, cannot be the commandment to which the angel alluded, for the same reasons we have shown that Cyrus's decree could not be the one; for this was only a renewal of the former, and this decree was issued 552 years before Christ's death.
The next decree or command of any king of Persia we find in the seventh year of Artaxerxes (Longimanus.) See Ezra vii. 6-28. In this decree we find the last command of any king of Persia to restore the captive Jews. We learn that, in this decree, the king furnished them with money and means to beautify and adorn the temple which had been built by Darius's order a number of years before. We find that the interdict, Ezra iv. 21, in which the Jews were commanded not to build Jerusalem, is now removed by its own limitation, "until another commandment be given from me." This decree, therefore, took off this command. We learn by Ezra's prayer, ix. 9, that Ezra understood that the decree to which we allude did give them the privilege of building, in Judah and Jerusalem, the wall which had been broken down. After Ezra had been high priest and governor in Jerusalem thirteen years, Nehemiah was permitted to go up to assist Ezra in building Jerusalem and repairing the walls; which was done in troublous times, under Nehemiah's administration, which lasted in all 39 years. See Nehemiah, 4th to the 7th chapter; Ezra and Nehemiah, both of them having served as governors 49 years.
Here, then, we find the fulfilment of what the angel told Daniel would be done under the command that would begin the seventy weeks, and which is the same thing--"the vision." This decree was given 457 years before Christ: the seventy weeks began, and if they ended at the death of Christ, which we have proved did end them, then the seventy weeks ended after Christ 33 years, making, in all, 490 years, which is 70 weeks of years.
But it is evident that Gabriel has divided the seventy weeks into three parts, and I think clearly explains the use of this division.
"Shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks." Then, as if you should inquire, What is seven weeks for? he explains, "The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." Ezra and Nehemiah were 49 years, or seven weeks of years, performing these very things, which ended before Christ 408. See large edition of Polyglot Bible. What is sixty-two weeks for? The angel has already told us, "Unto the Messiah, the Prince;" that is, to the time Christ was anointed to preach, the meaning of Messiah. Sixty-two weeks are 434 days; or weeks of years would be 434 years, which, beginning where the seven weeks ended, 408, would end 26 years after Christ, the year John began to preach as forerunner of Christ. Then "he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week," making in all the seventy weeks. Thus the seven weeks ended with the administration of Nehemiah, B.C. 408. Then the sixty-two weeks ended when John began to preach the gospel, A.D. 26; and the one week was fulfilled in A.D. 33, when Christ offered himself upon the cross, as an offering and sacrifice for sin; "by which offering we are sanctified once for all." For he need not offer himself often, as the high priest did, under the law. "But now, once in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Heb. ix. 26, Therefore, "he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease." That is the only and last sacrifice and oblation that will be ever offered in our world, which can take away sin; "for there remaineth," says the apostle, "no more sacrifice for sin." Then let me inquire, What is the sum of the instruction of the angel to Daniel? I will sum it up in as few words as I can.
After Daniel had a certain vision, commonly called "the vision of the ram, the he-goat, and the little horn," Daniel heard one saint inquire of another, how long that vision should be. The answer was given Daniel, that it should be unto 2300 days, when the sanctuary should be cleansed or justified. Daniel then heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. Accordingly, Gabriel came to Daniel, and informed him that at the end of the world, or time appointed of God, the vision should be fulfilled. He then tells him that the ram represented the Mede and Persian kingdom; and that the rough goat represented the Grecian kingdom; gives a short history of that kingdom, and its four divisions; then shows, at the close of these kingdoms, that another king would arise, (meaning the kingdom of the little horn, or Roman,) describing him exactly as Moses had described the Romans many centuries before. See Deuteronomy xxviii. 49, 50. "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance." This, no person will dispute, means the Romans. Then why not a similar description in Daniel, viii. 23? "When the transgressors (meaning the Jews) are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up, and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."
I think the reader, divested of prejudice, cannot apply the description given in the above quotation to any other nation but the Romans. "And through his policy, he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand." This description agrees with Paul's man of sin, the mystery of iniquity which worked in his day, and which would be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. See 2 Thess. ii. 3-8. "So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Gabriel says, "And he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;" that is, against God; the very same character which Paul has described. "But he shall be broken without hand," that is, "by the brightness of his (Christ's) coming," as says Paul. But as Daniel has said, "By the stone cut out of the mountain without hand;" or, as he says, Daniel vii. 21, 22, "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
After Gabriel had instructed Daniel thus far, he left him. Sixteen years afterwards, Gabriel came again to Daniel, and informed him that he had come to instruct him, and give him skill and understanding into the vision, of which we have been speaking. He then gives him the seventy weeks, shows what would be accomplished in that time, the cutting off of the Messiah, and the ceasing of the sacrifice and oblation. He mentions the destruction of Jerusalem, and the war of the little horn; the desolation of the people of God, and overspreading of abominations. He carries us to the consummation, destruction of the little horn, called here the desolator. See marginal reading. Gabriel, after giving the history of the seventy weeks, dwells not in detail on the remainder of the vision, but reserves a more detailed account for the next visit, which is given unto us in the 10th to the 12th chapter of Daniel inclusive.
But the seventy weeks, of which we are more particularly speaking, the angel Gabriel has told us when it began: at the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, &c. We have found no command that will apply in all its bearings, but the one given to Ezra, which was given in the 457th year before the birth of Christ; and 33 years afterwards Christ was crucified; which two numbers, if added, make 490 years, exactly seventy weeks of years. We learn that Gabriel, in order to make the vision doubly sure, divides the seventy weeks into three parts, seven, sixty-two, and one, making in all seventy. He then tells us plainly what would be accomplished in each part separately.
1st. Seven weeks. "The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." No man can dispute but that this was accomplished under the administration of Ezra and Nehemiah. And it is very evident that these two were governors over Jerusalem 49 years, which makes the seven weeks of years, and carries us down the stream of time to the year 408 B.C.
2d. Sixty-two weeks. "Unto the Messiah, the Prince;" that is, unto the time that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power to preach the gospel, either in himself or forerunner John. See Mark i. 1. Sixty-two weeks of years would be 434 years. This would carry us down to twenty-six years after Christ's birth, and brings us to the very year of "the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God." Mark i. 1.
3d. One week. "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." One week would, of course, be seven years, which, added to twenty-six, would make thirty-three years after Christ. Here, too, we find an exact and literal accomplishment of the angel's declaration. The gospel of Jesus Christ preached by John three and a half years, and by Christ three and a half years, making seven years, called one week, and then Messiah cut off, and not for himself, Christ crucified, ends the seventy weeks, proves Daniel's prophecy true, establishes the vision, confounds the Jew, confutes the infidel, and ought to establish the mind of every believer in the remainder of the vision.
Here, then, is a combination of facts and circumstances, together with dates and times, which throws upon the mind such strong array of testimony, that it would seem no rational being could withstand the proof. And methinks I hear some say, Why all this argument? No one but a Jew ever disputed, but that the seventy weeks were fulfilled at the death of Christ, and that a day in this prophecy was a figure of a year.
I should not have been thus particular, and have trespassed so much on your time to prove a given point in Christendom, had I not recently met with more than one Christian professor, and even teachers in Zion, who deny that the seventy weeks ended with the death of Christ, or that a day in this prophecy means a year. Some have gone so far in infidelity as to deny that "Most Holy," in our text, and "Messiah," in our context, means Christ. This surely would make a Jew blush. I agree that I never anticipated that any objection could be raised on those points, without a wilful perversion of language, and a total disregard of the word of God.
But man, in his fallen state, is an unaccountable, strange being; if his favorite notions are crossed, he will, to avoid conclusions, deny even his own senses. Therefore it becomes necessary for me to prove, what has been considered by many, even of the objectors themselves in previous time, given points in theology.
It is not more than four years since many of the clergy and D.D.'s in the city of New York met a delegation of the Jewish patriarchs from the East, and in their conference the clergy and doctors brought forward the seventy weeks in Daniel, as proof positive of Jesus of Nazareth being the true Messiah. They explained the seventy weeks in the same manner I have to you, and asked the Jews how they could avoid the conclusion? and I understood they could get no answer. Now, suppose these same clergy and D.D.'s should meet me on the question now pending; I should not be greatly disappointed if they should deny my premises. "Why would they do thus?" say you. I answer, For the same reason that the lawyer hesitated, when he learned that it was his bull that gored the farmer's ox.
"But might we not understand the seventy weeks to be so many literal weeks, that is, 490 common days?" say you. I answer, If so, then the command to build Jerusalem must have been given only a year and a third before Christ's death; and it would have been very improper for Gabriel to have said, "Unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks," when he had already come, and had been preaching more than two years before the weeks began. No, my friends; every reasonable controversialist must acknowledge there is no possible way to get rid of our conclusion but to deny that Most Holy, and Messiah, means Christ, in our text and context. And I pity, and leave the man in the hands of him who knows all hearts, that is forced on to ground so untenable as this.
If I have got a right understanding of the seventy weeks, that a day stands for a year,--and I have never been able to find a Christian expositor who disagrees with me on this point, either modern or ancient,--then the conclusion is, as far as I can see, unavoidable, that the vision of Daniel is 2300 years long, and that the 490 years before Christ's death is not only the key to unlock the commencing of the vision, but shows conclusively how and when, and manner and time, the kingdoms of this world will be broken to pieces and carried away, and no place found for them, by the stone which will become a great mountain and fill the whole earth.
For the seventy weeks must seal up the vision and make the prophecy of Daniel true. Then, if 2300 days is the length of the vision, and 490 days of that vision were fulfilled in 490 years ending with Christ's death, so must 1810 days end the vision, which, upon precisely the same rule, will be fulfilled in 1810 years after Christ's death, or in 1843 after his birth, which is the same thing.
But, say some, "Daniel did not understand the vision nor end." Then the angel Gabriel was not obedient to the heavenly command; for he was commanded to make Daniel "understand the vision," and the vision and end are connected by the angel himself. He says, "At the time of the end shall be the vision."
Again: if Daniel did not understand, the angel must have been disappointed; for the angel says, "Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation; for at the time appointed, (2300 days,) the end shall be."
Again: if Daniel did not understand the vision and time, then his own words cannot be taken as evidence. "A thing was revealed unto Daniel, and the thing was true, but the time appointed (2300 days) was long." This shows that Daniel understood the time; for he says it was long. For no man would have called 2300 common days (not quite seven years) a long time for so many great and important events, as are noticed in the vision, to transpire in. "And he understood the thing, (that is, the time,) and had understanding of the vision." Daniel x. 1.
Now, let the objector quarrel with Gabriel and Daniel if he pleases. I have their testimony, and shall give them the preference. Some say, "God has not revealed the time." I ask, then, Who revealed this vision to Daniel? By whose command was the answer given, 2300 days? Who revealed the seventy weeks, the "time, times, and a half"? How came Daniel by his 1290 and 1335 days? Who said to Daniel, "But go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days"? Read Daniel ii. 20, 23, and 28th verses, and let the objector lay his hands upon his mouth and be silent. Has man become so bold in sin that he will contradict angels, defame the prophets, deny the word of God, that we may cry peace and safety, when sudden destruction cometh? "But if ye will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither would you though one rose from the dead." Peter says, "There shall be scoffers in the last day, saying, Where is the promise of his coming?" God has not revealed the time of the end, say you; therefore it will be no harm for you to "say in your hearts, My Lord delayeth his coming."
Who shall tell the friend of the bridegroom when to give the midnight cry, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh"? For this must be before he comes--no time then to cry; for it will be as sudden as the lightning, says the dear Savior.
Let the objectors look to it, that they do not reject the council of God against themselves.
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, (ignorant of the revelation of God,) that that day shall overtake you as a thief." Amen.