Page images

No. VIII._Page 79.




“Where was the Romish religion before the Council of Trent? which legitimated all the innovations of popery, and was concluded only about the year 1563, long after Luther began to preach against the profligate sale of indulgences.

“The Romish religion comes into the world fifteen hundred and sixty-four years too late to be the religion of the true church of Christ, because all the dogmas peculiar to the Romish church were never collected together in one formulary until Pius IV. reduced them into the form of a creed, by annexing twelve additional articles to the Nicene or Constantinople Creed, and publishing the whole in a bull, as a creed (which is now commonly called by his name) in the year 1564. Most of the articles superadded to the Christian faith of the universal church, contained in the Nicene Creed, are of known and modern date. The pretended supremacy of the popes or bishops of Rome commenced only with Boniface III., about 600 years after the birth of Christ. The invocation of saints and of the virgin Mary was first introduced by Petrus Gnapheus, a presbyter of Antioch, about A. D. 470, and it was not received into the public litanies until about 150 years later. Temples were erected to the honour of supposed saints only in the 6th century, and it was not till the latter part of the 9th century that the Roman pontiffs impiously arrogated to themselves the

power of raising dead sinful mortals to the dignity of immortal saints, and constituting them objects of worship, whose prayers and merits procure blessings, and by whose hands they are imagined to be conveyed. The two Sacraments, instituted by Jesus Christ, were not multiplied into seven until the twelfth century. Peter Lombard being the first writer who enumerates seven, and seven being the number decreed by the assembly of Romanists at Trent, in the 16th century, to be received on pain of an anathema. Transubstantiation, or the conversion of the whole substance of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, was not imposed as a doctrine (though the term had been invented some time before) until the fourth Lateran Council, held in 1215, when an auricular confession was first enjoined. The cup in the communion was not totally taken away from the laity until the Council of Constance, in 1416. Purgatory was not positively affirmed until about the year 1140; nor was it made an article of faith until it was decreed so to be in the 25th session of the Assembly at Trent, in December 1563. The practice of praying for the dead was established in the third century. Now what pretence can Romanists make to antiquity, when we not only see the novelty of their innovations, but can also ascertain the precise time when most of their doctrines were invented or introduced ?-a plain answer to the question, Where was your religion before Luther ?' and also to the false assertion that the Protestant religion is new religion which had no being in the world 1500 years after Christ.'

Assertions of the Romish church contradicted by the holy Scriptures : Psalm xix. 7; Deut. iv. 2; Prov, XXX. 5, 6; Rev. XXII. 8, 9; Isai. VIII. 16, 20; Luke xvi. 29; Matt. xvii. 5; 2 Tim. 11. 15–17; Matt. XII. 1-9.

Against transubstantiation :-Acts III. 21 ; 1 Cor. xi. 26 ; Matt. XXVI. 29; 1 Cor. xi. 24, 25 ; Exod. xii. 11; John vi. 23, 53, 54, 58, 60–63; Heb. x. 10–14.

No. IX.--Page 79.



In the year 1750, Dr. Gill writes as follows. There is a “very great increase of popery in our own land, and in other countries ; for though the Pope of Rome, as a secular prince, and with respect to the exercise of his power and authority as such, is not what he was, and is much declining, and has ot that regard paid him by the kings of the earth as formerly ; yet popery itself is far from being on the decline, or losing ground: as also the great departure of the reformed churches, so called from the doctrines and principles of the reformation; and even of Protestant Dissenters, who are gone, and are going more and more into doctrines and practices which naturally verge and lead to popery : to which may be added, the various sects which within a few years have sprung up among us: the doctrines and practices of some of them being similar to those of the church of Rome: I will not say that in general they have it in view, and design to encourage and increase the Romish religion ; yet I am very jealous that this is the view of some; but be this as it will, I am very much of opinion, that these things will at last issue in popery; and that some of those persons will be suffered, as instruments, to spread it, both here, and in all our colonies and plantations abroad.”

No. X.- Page 88. ON THE PROPHETIC DATES.-CHIEFLY BY MR. HABERSHON. “Daniel viii. 13. 'How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation,' (or, making desolate,) 'to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot ?' May be thus rendered,' observes Mr. Habershon : How long shall the vision concerning the Christian worship, and the desolation of Judea, to give both the sanctuary of the one, and the churches of the other, to be trodden under foot ?' The answer to which question was the chronological period of this prophecy: 'Unto two thousand three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'

“ The great difficulty which has ever been experienced in regard to the chronology of two thousand three hundred years is, when to fix its commencement; and many have been the conjectures on the subject."

“There were four decrees or edicts of the kings of Persia. ... As they settled them and left them so they continued, without any material alteration, as a state and people, until the time of Christ, and the destruction of the kingdom by the Romans;" yet some have reckoned the commencement of the 2300 years from the time Alexander invaded Asia, B. C. 334, and which will terminate in the year 1966. "The time in which the four decrees were issued stands thus :

Edict of Cyrus
Edict of Darius Hystaspes
Edict of the seventh year of Artaxerxes
Edict of the twentieth of ditto

B.C. 536 518 457 444

“ Two thousand three hundred years, calculated from each of these dates will respectively bring us to A.D. 1764, 1782, 1843, and 1856. From these calculations it will be perceived that the two former have already passed; and the accomplishment of the prophecy not having yet taken place, our inquiry will therefore be limited to the last two; viz., the two edicts given by Artaxerxes, the one to Ezra, and the other to Nehemiah.

“ The former of these two edicts of Artaxerxes has a very great importance attached to it; it is the point of time that marks the commencement of the * seventy weeks,' the prophecy relating to the first coming and death of Christ; and consequently to the first cleansing of the sanctuary, which He effected in his own person, when he drove the buyers and sellers out of the temple, and publicly ministered within its walls. It was in virtue of this edict that the Jewish church and polity were fixed upon a settled basis, and fully restored from the disorders and confusion of the Babylonish captivity; that the templeservice and all that related to the worship of the sanctuary, was regulated ; and that Ezra, like Abraham, Moses, and David, stood at the head of one of the four great divisions of the Jewish history. As the intrinsic importance of the work which Nehemiah performed in consequence of this favour from Artaxerxes, appears rather for the greater perfecting of Ezra’s commission, which was to restore and build the walls of Jerusalem,' than for any original or new privileges which it conferred, -as well as from consideration of the date of the latter having already been employed in a similar way in a chronological period relating to the same sanctuary; and also from being connected with the memorable preservation of the Jews under Esther and Mordecai,—I have no hesitation in giving it the preference on this occasion ; and, therefore, consider the edict given to Ezra, as that from which the commencement of these 2300 years ought to be dated ;” viz. B.C. 457, and terminating 1843.

The emperor Justinian “in a marked and special manner contributed towards the full establishment of the awful apostacy' of the churches of Christ “ There are in this case, as in the former period of 2300 years, four edicts from which the commencement of the period of 1260 years might be supposed to be reckoned. The first was issued by the emperors Gratian and Valentinian, in the year 379, and was 'chiefly for the purpose of regulating appeals to the Roman Pontiff, and giving him jurisdiction over the whole western empire, which was all comprehended within the prefectures of Italy and Gaul.'

“ The second was issued by the emperor Valentinian ii. in 445, and confers upon the Pope the most extensive authority,' and declares that whatsoever the authority of the apostolic see shall enact, shall be for a law to all.'

“ The third edict is that of the emperor Justinian, issued in 533. And the fourth and last was from the tyrant Phocas, the murderer of the emperor Maurice and his family, and was given A.D. 606; adjudging the palm of ecclesiastical supremacy to the Pope, rather than to the primate of Constantinople; merely, however, confirming, as far as it went, the preceding edict issued by Justinian ...

The time for the accomplishment of the two former passed without any particular events transpiring (reckoning 1260 years) in 1638 and 1705. And in choosing between these two I feel no hesitation, with the great majority of modern commentators, in giving the preference to the one of the Emperor Justinian, rather than that of Phocas; and assigning the date of his edict which was March, 533, as the true and proper commencement of this period, and the time when the saints were delivered or 'given’ into the inds of the Pope.

“ Mr. Cunningham observes, in giving the quotations which constitute what is called the edict of Phocas, “there is no appearance in them of any new title having been conferred by this emperor, but merely a confirmation of the one previously given by Justinian'. .... On the contrary, by the mandates and edicts of Justinian, the supremacy of the Pope, as head of all the churches, received the fullest sanction that could be given to it by the hand of


[ocr errors]

“ Although by this edict the saints were delivered into the hands of the Pope, yet it was not until fifty years subsequently that the ten papal kingdoms were finally established, nor that popery assumed its most awful and distinguishing characteristic,—the Divine attribute of infallibility.. As all the other kingdoms, with regard to their territorial limits, which is what is contemplated in the prophecy, were confessedly founded before this time .... we appear to be sufficiently warranted in considering that this year is the proper date from which to calculate the assigned duration of the Western Roman Empire in its divided state. It appears, likewise, from Bowyer's History of the Popes, that it was about the year 583 that the then Pope, Pelagius, first assumed the Divine attribute of infallibility. And perhaps no consideration has tended to keep its members so fast bound to its communion, and so completely to depress the true church, as the universal recognition, throughout the papal world, of this daring pretension. It has been the charm which has retained all ranks of persons for so many centuries within its magic circle; the magnet which has attracted the desultory and unstable within its sphere, the foundation of its whole superstructure, the cement of all its parts, and its fence and fortress against all inroads and attacks.”

We now present our readers with a chronological view of the great unfulfilled events. Either the epoch 583 or that of 606 may be conjectured to be the commencement of the 1260 years :

[blocks in formation]

The first epoch above-mentioned, is fifty years subsequent to the edict of Justinian in the year 533, viz.,

.A.D. To which add the cojime, times and a half” of Daniel, or, the 42 months, or, 1260 days of the Revelation

Terminates in the year

We further find in Dan. xi. 11, that from the time in which the daily sacrifice should be taken away and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (or, to set up the abomination that astonisheth) there should be 1290 days or years, thus :

583 Add the above


[blocks in formation]

Terminates in

A.D. 1873


A.D. 1896

During this additional period of 30 years, what is termed the battle of Armageddon will probably take place, if these chronological calculations be correct, and the utter extinction of the Roman power, civil and ecclesiastical, must ensue.

It is added in ver. 12,“ Blessed is
he that waiteth and cometh to the
thousand three hundred and five
and thirty days,” i, e., 45 years later 1873





This brings us to the year




2300 B.C. 457

2300 334




The termination of this period of 45 years probably marks the final restoration of the Jews to their own land and the blessed effects of their missionary labours,

It is then said to Daniel, “ But go thou thy way till the end be.' This last period of 45 years not being positively specified as the end, it will reasonably be inferred that there will be a further or subsequent period of increasing importance. From Dan, viii. 14, we learn that the sanctuary' is not to be cleansed' (Heb., justified) till • 2300 days, or years:' this according to the year adopted by Mr. Habershon, for its commencement, as above, viz., B.C. 457, brings us down to the year 1843, Thus:

The year 334 B.C. has been also adopted, thus

Terminating at This year 1843 leaves a period of 157, (or, 153) years to complete the year of Christ 2000, or A.M. 6000; the year in which many have supposed the Second Advent will ensue. During this interval, or whatever fewer number of years it may occupy,—the Restoration of the Jews,—the Erection of a Temple at Jerusalem,--the Battle of Armageddon,—the Invasion of Gog,--the Destruction and Burial of his armies,—the Ministry of Elijah -and the solemn events which are so closely connected with the coming of our Lord will it is supposed, take place.

“ If we take the second period, A.D. 1866, as the termination of the 1260 years, there would remain 130 or 134 years to complete these great events before the arrival of the year 2000. But as we are assured by Christ that none

« PreviousContinue »