Saturday, September 21, 2013

World War Armageddon: “The Wonders of Foretold History” (1890)

World War Armageddon: “The Wonders of Foretold History” (1890)

‘. . . [T]he papacy is not the only form of false religion dealt with in prophecy.

There is another “little horn” (and only one other) which is mentioned in Dan. 7: 9-14, as destined to “take away the daily sacrifice,” and “give the sanctuary to be trodden under foot.”

 This is Mahometanism which arose simultaneously with the papacy, and keeps pace with it till both perish at the advent. But before Mahomet arose in the East the Syrian kings appeared, of whom was Antiochus Epiphanes, known as the bitter enemy and persecutor of the Jews. He was a precursory “little horn;” the prophetic symbol evidently including both. And the whole period thus defined is declared to be two thousand three hundred years.

From what point do they begin?

Not earlier certainly than the decree of Artaxerxes B.C. 457, from which begin the seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety years to the resurrection of Christ.

From this date two thousand three hundred years bring us to A.D. 1844, noted as the very year when by the determined intervention of England the Turkish government reluctantly consented to cease persecuting its Christian subjects, and actually issued (for the first time) an edict of toleration. In thus yielding to foreign dictation it virtually surrendered its independence, and appeared as already practically fallen.

‘But there is another point from which it is still more natural to reckon this period, and that is B.C. 312, the date of the rise of the Syrian kings (called the Seleucidæ) just referred to. And from this point (reckoning by lunar years, because this was customary with Mahometans) the period extends to 1919 – exactly seventy-five years later than in the first case – indicating this date as likely to be a marked one in the decline of the Turks, the freeing of Palestine from Mahometan thraldom, and the restoration of the Jews; but if solar years are reckoned we are brought to 1988. . . . ‘

Thus the very nature of prophetic dates renders it impossible to lay down with rigid certainty the time of the end. We are not sure which one of several starting points is to be preferred; and we do not certainly know whether we are to reckon by lunar or by solar years.

 Still the variations of reckoning thus caused are all comprised within comparatively narrow limits; and so we are well assured that the “time is at hand” – it may be at the very doors. ‘If it shall be (according to the reckoning already given) that the dawning years of the next century shall see the fall of the Turkish powers; [it could be most likely] that by 1919 the ancient people of God shall again possess the promised land . . .’ (pp. 343-345).

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