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their years by the apparent revolution of the sun ; and they ate the passover on the 14th day of the month Nisan, which was the ârst inunth of the year, reckoning from the first appearance of the new moon, which at that time of the year might be on the eve. ning of the day next after the change, if the sky was clear. So that their 14th day of the month answers to our 15th day of the moon, on which she is full. Consequently, the passover was always kept on the day of full moon.
And the full moon at which it was kept, was that one which happened next after the vernal equinox. For Josephus expressly says, (Antiq. B. iii. ch. 10,) the pissover was kept on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, according to the moon, when the sun was in Aries. And the sun always enters Aries at the instant of the vernal equinox; which, in our Savior's time, fell on the 22d day of March.
The dispute among chronologers about the year of Christ's death, is limited to four or five years at most. But as we hive shown that he was crucified on the day of a paschal full moon, and on a Friday, all that we have to do, in order to ascertain the year of his death, is only to compute in which of those years there was a passover full moon on a Friday, For the full moons anticipate eleven days every year, (12 lunar months being so much short of a solar year,) and therefore once in every three years, at least, the Jews were obliged to set their passover a month farther forward than it fell by the course of the moon, on the year next before, in order to keep it at the full moon next after the equinox. There. fore there could not be two passovers on the same day of the week, within the compass of a few neighboring years. And I find by calculation, the only passover full moon that fell on a Friday, for several years before or after the disputed year of the crucifixion, was on the 3d day of April, in the 4746th year of the Julian period, which was the 490th year after Ezra received the above-mentioned commission from Artaxerxes Longimanus, according to Ptolemy's canon, and the year in which the Messiah was to be cut off
, according to the prophecy, reckoning from the going forth of that commission or commandment: and this 490th year was the 33d year of our Savior's age, reckoning from the vulgar era of his birth; but the 37th, reckoning from the true era thereof.
And when we reflect on what the Jews told him, some time before his death, (John viii. 57,) “Thou art not yet fifty years old," we must confess, that it should seem much likelier to have been said to a person near forty, than to one but just turned of thirty. And we may easily suppose, that St. Luke expressed himself only in round numbers, when he said that Christ was baptized about the 30th year of his age, when he began his public ministry; as our Savior himself did, when he said he should lie three days and three nights in the grave,
The 4746th year of the Julian period, which we have astronomically proved to be the year of the crucifixion, was the 4th of the 2020 Olympiad; in which year, Phlegon, a heathen writer, tells us there was a most extraordinary eclipse of the sun that
But I find by calculation, that there could be no total eclipse of the sun at Jerusalem, in a natural way, in that year. So that what Phlegon here calls an eclipse of the sun, seems to have been the great darkness for three hours at the time of our Savior's crucifixion, as mentioned by the evangelist; a darkness altogether supernatural, as the moon was then in the side of the heavens opposite to the sun; and therefore could not possibly darken the sun to any part of the earth.
ever was seen.
The following extract from the “Present Crisis," by Rev. John Hooper, Eng., will go to confirın Mr. Miller's view of this subject. There are many who seem indisposed to hear of the coming of Christ, who, we fear, do not know what manner of spirit they are of. Let such attentively read the following illustration, and examine themselves in reference to the advent of the great Redeemer.
It was a prominent characteristic of the primitive Christians that they loved (Christ's) appearing," and looked forward to it as the period that would consummate their happiness. Surely, if our affections were placed on the Savior-if he was to us the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely--if we had none in heaven but him, or on earth that we desired in comparison of him--we should desire his return—we should long to “see him as he is "-should pray, " thy kingdom come "--"Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly." Why is his chariot so long in coming ? Why tarry the wheels of his chariot ?" The observa. tions of Mr. Drummond on this subject, in a speech which that gentleman delivered at the Eleventh An. niversary of the Continental Society, are so much to the point, that I cannot refrain from quoting them. "Let us suppose,” says he, " for instance, a woman whose husband is a long way absent from her, perhaps in the East Indies. She is possibly very diligent in the management of his affairs, and conducts herself with perfect outward propriety, but always breaks out inio a passion whenever any one speaks to her of her husband's return: 'Oh no,' she says, 'he cannot be coming yet; I expect to be much better off before he comes; I expect his estate under my
management to be much more extensive; if he were to come now, he would disarrange all my plans besides, what is the use of thinking about his coming -I may die first, and that will be exactly the same as his coming to me.' Let her asseverations of love and affection be what they man, you cannot believe otherwise than that her heart is alienated from her lord, and probably fixed upon another. Now let us suppose another woman in the same situation : see her constantly reading his letters, and especially those parts of them which describe the time and the circumstances attendant upon his return; bear her talking of it to her children, and teaching them to look forward to it as the consummation of her and their fondest wishes. Mark the silent scorn with which she treats a judicious friend who would try to persuade her that there was no use in looking out for his return, for that he had never mentioned the month, far less the day or the hour, when it was to take place. Though she may make no noisy protestations of love; though she may speak but little about him, except to her children, and to those whose hearts are tuned in unison with her own, we cannot for a moment entertain a doubt of the real state of her affections. Let us apply this figure to ourselves : and of this I am certain, and I wish I could make the warning ring through every corner of our professing land, that a dislike to hear of the coming of the Lord is a more decided proof of the affections of the religious world at large, and of every single member of it, being alienated from Christ, and, there. fore, in an unholy, unsanctified, and unconverted state, than all the noisy protestations at annual meetings, all the Bibles and tracts circulated, and missionaries sent out, are proofs of the REVERSE.*
VIEWS OF THE CLOSING OF THE DOOR
The following is an extract of one of the articles to which Mr. Miller refers in Letter IV., page 236. We have thought best to give it in this work, that all careful, inquiring, and candid students of prophecy may understand Mr. Miller's, as well as our own views of this solemn subject. We are more particular on this point because we have been misunderstood and misrepresented.
As there has been much inquiry of late on the subject of the closing up of the day of grace, or probation, we here give the scriptures on which this opinion is founded, with some remarks, and leave our readers to judge for themselves. Rev. xvi. 1221. The attentive reader of the foregoing passages will see that on the pouring out of the "seventh vial," a voice " from the throne proclaimed, "IT IS DONE.” This was after the battle of “Armageddon." If it is after that, then the day of grace will continue to the end of the world, or till Christ comes. 1 Cor. xv. 23, 24: “Afterwards, they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father." On this passage, Prof. STUART, of Andover, makes the following remark :-" The apostle here represents the end as coming when Christ will deliver up his mediatorial kingdom, after he has put all enemies under his feet: this accomplished, his mediatorial work is done; his embassy is completed; his mis. sion, therefore, comes to an end.”+ Again; Rev. x. 7: “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel,
* "Signs of the Times," No. 9, page 69 † Biblical Repository for July, 1840 Art. Future Punishment