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"Verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled, (Matt. 5: 18).
In this argument we purpose to show that the system of sabbaths inaugurated as a part of the law, are not yet fulfilled; that they point to the great jubilee, or restitution age. And that as they are not yet fulfilled, they cannot pass away. The system of counting the sabbaths, and each succeeding jubilee,
was a part of the law; hence, that system of counting cannot pass away "till all be fulfilled;" and that system of counting, continued to the present time, proves that the great jubilee, or "times of restitution of all things," (Acts 3: 19), began on the 6th of April, A. D. 1875.
The "times of the restitution," mean the whole restitution age, which will be at least one thousand years, and possibly three hundred and sixty thousand; and the fact of their having begun, involves nothing more visible to us than the [parousia], presence, of Christ, and the progression of the work of the harvest of this age, And as the coming of Christ and the harvest of this age is a preparatory work of the restitution of all things, it follows that these two ages, must lap, one on the other, as the law and the gospel lapped, at the first advent. Since the work of Christ was both a closing work to the Jewish age, and a preparatory work of the gospel. That the Jewish age did not end until Christ, who came to his own, had offered himself to them and been rejected, and finally left their house desolate, all will admit. Christ was "born under the law, circumcised the eighth day," and during his ministry and their "harvest," taught them to keep the law; "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; all therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do," (Matt. 23: 3); and yet Christ came, "preaching the gospel" (Mark 1: 15). Hence, you must not be surprised if the gospel age, and the age of the restitution also, lap a little.
Each feature of the law is fulfilled in that to which it points; the mere keeping of it having nothing to do with its fulfilment. For instance: If the Jews had continued to keep the feast of the paschal lamb down to the present time, that would not have fulfilled it; it pointed to Christ; and must be fulfilled in him.
Some have the idea that the law was all fulfilled at the first advent, because of the following: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law "or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but, to fulfil," Matt. 5: 17). But he no more fulfilled all the law, than he did all the prophecies. He fulfilled all connected with the sacrifice and shedding of blood, and nothing connected with the kingdom. Even the passover was fulfilled only so far as the slaying of the lamb; the eating of its flesh has been going on all through the gospel dispensation; and the passover itself, which followed the eating of the flesh and sprinkling of the blood, (see Exo. 12: 1-13), is not yet fulfilled; but is to be, in the kingdom of God, (Luke 22: 15, 16).
As the law is fulfilled in that, to which it points, and all of the
law foreshadows "good things to come," and there is a sabbath of rest remaining to the people of God, the sabbatic system which points to that which is to come, has not passed away. Hence, we are on a sure track, and if we carry out the system correctly to its final conclusion, we shall reach a true result, as surely as that heaven and earth would pass, easier than this system of sabbaths prove defective.
The Jews kept six kinds of sabbaths ; the seventh day, Exo. 31: 15; the 7th week, Deut. 16: 9; the 7 x 7 and 50th day, Lev. 23: 15, which was the day of Pentecost, and was fulfilled by the descent of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:. They also kept a sabbath, beginning on the 7th month, Lev. 23: 24; the 7th year, Lev. 25: 4; and the 7 x 7 and 50th year, Lev. 25: 10. This last was a "jubilee," which means a reverting hack, or restitution. "In the year of jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession," verse 13. "Repent, ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began," Acts 3: 19-21. It seems that these times of restitution of all things, have been spoken of by every prophet, either directly or indirectly. But did Christ speak of this restitution? for he was a prophet; "and Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things," Matt. 17: 11. Then there is to be a restitution of all things; the Sodomites, Indians, Hottentots, Jews, in fact, everything lost by the fall. "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive;" because there is to be a restoration of all things. And so important is this restitution that God has spoken of it by every prophet since the world began. But did Daniel speak of it? Yes; I answer. First, in the type of Nebuchadnezzer, who was made to represent the restitution in all its phazes. He lost his dominion, was driven out with the beasts of the field, and at the appointed time had a restitution of all that he lost, with an addition of glory and majesty. Daniel also speaks of this restitution of all things, where he teaches that "the kingdom is to be given to the people of the saints of the most high;" and that the lost dominion is to be thus restored. Was Job a prophet? then he speaks of the restitution of all things. And how? The whole book teaches a restitution. God speaks in symbols, parables, and dark sayings; and the whole
book of Job is an allegory, teaching a restitution of all things, with an increase of glory. Does he not lose all that he has, and the end with him, was a "restitution of all things?" But Moses was a prophet, and has he spoken of the restitution? Aye! and in tones of thunder. A whole sabbatic system organized and carried out to teach it. Read Lev. 25: where we learn that the system of sabbaths which culminated in the jubilee, leads to a full and complete restitution of both person and inheritance.
The law provided six sabbaths, terminating in a jubilee or restitution; but being only a shadow of good things to come, and not the very substance, only pointed to the great and final restitution, to which they failed of attaining. Therefore, there remaineth a restitution, "and a keeping of a sabbath to the people of God;" and if we follow out its teachings, we shall surely arrive at the substance.
The system of sabbaths was a system of multiples; The fiftieth day was reached by multiplying seven sabbaths; "And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven sabbaths shall be complete; even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath, shall ye number fifty days." Lev. 23: 15. And the jubilee was also thus reached; "And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee; seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years, Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound," &c., Lev. 25: 8.
The whole system of sabbaths was one continuous round of cycles, and multiplying one into another; and we have positive instruction that it points to something to come, in which it is to be fulfilled, and that it cannot pass away until all be fulfilled. Hence, these sabbatic cycles must in some way continue in active opperation ; otherwise they have passed away; and passed without a fulfilment. But as they cannot thus pass away, they do continue. Still it may be said, neither Jew nor Gentile, have recognized them for nearly three thousand years. This is true, and can be explained thus: This system of cycles in its very nature enlarges; even in its typical character, the increase was from a cycle of one week up to that of fifty years ; and while the smaller cycles would naturally be brought to their continual notice, the larger ones would be of less immediate interest, and the one of fifty years would pass over thousands, who would never expect to see it consummated, and, although their inheritance might have fallen into the hands of aliens, they would
look forward to its restitution merely for their children. A multiple of the sixth sabbath or fiftieth year, into itself, is an immense cycle; and notwithstanding God has promised to bring them back to their own land, "that they shall be restored to their former estate," &c., &c., yet so large has been this cycle, that the Jew, himself, has lost his reckoning, and in the hardness of his heart, forgotten to count. But though the watchmen have slept, He that keepeth Israel will not slumber. Heaven and earth may pass, but one jot of the law shall in no wise pass, till all be fulfilled.
Though fifty times fifty is a large cycle, the restitution, spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets, the sabbath of rest that remaineth to the people of God, will surely come; since this feature of the sabbatic law, must have a fulfilment; and there is no other way of continuing the jubilee cycles. If they ceased, some thousands of years ago, then the jubilee cycles passed away without a fulfilment. But they did not pass away, no matter how much men may have been in darkness. The inheritance lost to the Gentile "beasts" of the earth, is to be restored, and the great jubilee cycle has been running its round, and we are now, both the fleshly and the spiritual children, in the midst of the events connected with its termination. The "harvest" of the world has come; the transition period from the gospel to the "times of the restitution." The "fig-tree is putting forth its leaves," and the shadow of coming events can be seen by those who are walking in the light.
It does not seem to me possible that the whole Bible has been arranged so that the law, the prophetic numbers, and the chronology of the six thousand years, should all appear to end just where the two parts of Zion's warfare happen to be equal; or even that a plausible argument could be found bringing a harmonious ending, from so many sources, unless there was some truth in these things. If it be asked how do you know the sixth sabbath, or fiftieth year, should be multiplied into itself, to reach the next great jubilee, my answer is, I do not know it. I only know there seems to be no other way of continuing the cycles, which certainly were a part of the law, and that God has arranged the scriptures so that we can get the starting point; that is, the end of the last jubilee under the law, where this great cycle must begin, if anywhere, and get it with absolute certainty, on the same chronology that brings every thing else to this harmonious termination; and also, that there are two entirely distinct ways of tracing this reckoning through more than three thousand years; and by each, the same day, the 6th of April, 1875, is reached; and I cannot believe such absolute accuracy could come by chance: therefore, I have to believe it comes from God.
In order to get our data for reckoning the cycles, so that we can advance with precision and certainty, we have first to determine where the system of sabbaths to the land began, and where it ended; for where the typical cycles ended, the antitypical began, else there would be a break, when neither would be in process. And we have authority for this reckoning, since the 7 x 7 and fiftieth day was so fulfilled. Although the jubilees ceased, when they lost the title to their land, at about the time of this seventy years captivity: the sacrifice, the passover, the offering of first fruit, &c. &c., were maintained until they were fulfilled, in Christ. This explains
why the Jews were kept in the condition in which they could offer sacrifices for so many centuries after they lost their landed possessions. If the sacrifice had ended at the Babylonian captivity, they would have passed away before they were fulfilled; since they were fulfilled in Christ, the great sacrifice to which they pointed. And as they were a continual service, not merely coming at the end of cycles of time, they had to be kept up until they were fulfilled, because heaven and earth could pass easier than any part of the law fail, until it was fulfilled. But when their dispensation was about to end. and the last lamb which God could recognize had been slain, their house was left desolate, the vail of the temple was rent, and the antitypical Lamb "cried, It is finished; and bowed his head and gave up the ghost." And from his resurrection, early on the first day of the week, the counting the antitypical 7 x 7, or fiftieth day began, and was consummated in the descent of the Holy Spirit. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place; and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind," &c. (Acts 2:1), And as the antitype of the fiftieth day was fulfilled before those cycles passed away, we must look for an equally perfect fulfilment of the larger cycles: From all which we gather that where the type ceases, the antitype must begin; else the system would, for the time, pass away. Hence when the typical jubilee cycles ended, the antitypical must have begun.
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord. Six years shalt thou sow thy field," &c. (Lev. 25:2). Here is where the sabbaths to the land began, and they were to begin to count the cycles. And this was at the end of the forty years, at the time they crossed the Jordan.
Having learned when the system began our next inquiry is, at what time did their last jubilee cycle terminate? We know they have not continued this side of the Babylonian captivity, for it was at that time God gave all the earth into the hands of the first universal Gentile kingdom, and they still hold it. Hence, the Jew has had no restitution of his inheritance since then. But for this calculation it is necessary to have the exact year of their termination. From entering the land, each forty-nine years would complete one cycle, when the fiftieth, or jubilee year, would be added. Thus, each fifty years, would cover a sabbatic cycle with its jubilee. And as the time from entering the land, to the captivity, was [see the chronology] 6 years to division of the land; 450 for the space of the judges; 513 under the kings, making a. total of 969 years, we can soon find out how many jubilees they had. 50 goes in 969, 19 times, and 19 years over. Therefore, their last jubilee ended nineteen years before the captivity. And this you will find was a marked year in their history, since it was the beginning of the carrying away of Jerusalem captive by Nebuchadnezzar, who came against Jerusalem in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, (Dan. 1: 1); at which time Daniel and a large part of the nation were carried away. But Jehoiakim was permitted to reign, by paying tribute. And as he reigned eleven years, his last eight, and Zedekiah's eleven, won1d make nineteen. Hence, it seems God permitted their cap-
tivity to begin as soon as the last typical jubilee ended. But not until the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar which was the eleventh year of Zedekiah, (Jer. 52: 12), was the land made desolate so that it could enjoy the foretold "seventy years" of sabbaths. Here is one of the mistakes made by Bishop Usher, in his chronology. He, supposing the seventy years were simply a measure of their captivity, instead, of the desolation of the land while it should enjoy its sabbaths, very naturally began this "seventy years," at the time Daniel and the greater part of the nation were carried to Babylon, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim; and therefore, eighteen years too soon, or eighteen years before the land was made desolate.
In order to continue their system of jubilee cycles until its fulfilment, there must needs be a larger cycle, since the smaller ones have long since ceased; and as the fifth sabbath, or seventh year was multiplied into itself, 7 x 7, to bring them to the sixth sabbath, or typical jubilee; so there is no other way to measure the seventh, the final great jubilee sabbath to which all the others point, but to multiply the sixth or jubilee sabbath, into itself.
Fifty times fifty, is two thousand and five hundred; and measuring from their last jubilee or nineteen years before B. C. 536, would terminate in A, D. 1875. But it may be said we have no positive instruction to carry out this system of sabbaths to its fulfilment. This I grant; but positive instruction always ends with the letter of the law; what the law teaches, is something beyond the mere letter. We all understand that the slaying of a lamb on the evening of the fourteenth of the first month, was designed to teach something beyond the letter; and that the spiritually minded Jew was supposed to see his Messiah in those types. Here is just where the Jews failed. "The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard;" "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief; Let us, therefore, fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest any of you shall seem to come short of it," (Heb. 3: 19, and 4: 1, 2). The Jew in his unbelief, saw only the letter, and nothing to which the law pointed. In other words, he saw nothing that, in and of itself, was of any value. Hence, it did not profit him. And would you, too, "fall after the same example of unbelief?" If so, you will, in the present case, stop with the typical jubilees. I shall look forward to what those sabbatic cycles were designed to teach; and thus "labour to enter into that rest." And, as I am sure the system of jubilees were
designed to teach the great final jubilee, or restitution of all things; and also am sure the system of multiples, which was not only a "jot," but a big part of the law, cannot pass away until it is so fulfilled; I shall, and do, plant my faith, not on the law, but on what the law and the prophets teach. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." "Search the Scriptures, for they are they that testify of me;" and they testify of him, not so much in the letter as in their true meaning. The lamb, testified of Christ. The jubilee, or restitution, testifies of him, whom "the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things." Think not that by merely honoring the name of Christ, you can enter into that rest, while harboring in your heart the very unbelief that shut out the Jew. It is not your church record, but God's word that shall judge you in the last day.
As the last typical jubilee ended nineteen years before the seventy years desolation began, you will readily see that by adding the 10, 70 and 536, to A. D. l875, you get 2500, the total of 50 x 50. Hence, by this argument, we have already entered "the times of restitution of all things," at which time the return of Christ is due. For we learn that when Christ had ascended into the Holy Place, "the heaven must retain him until the times of restitution of all things," (Acts 3: 21). And if his return is due, the "harvest" of the earth is due. "But as the days of Noah were so shall the [parousia] presence of the Son of man be," (Matt. 24: 37)
We had better not be too certain that among all the mistakes of both the Jew and Gentile church, [who were both to stumble, "for he shall be for a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel;" that is, the house after the flesh, and the house after the promise], that there has been no mistake in relation to the manner of his coming now as well as at his first advent.
Our next argument, or as we will call it, the other half of this, is drawn from prophecy. For the law and the prophets are one and inseparable in spirit. Hence, truth in all these glorious subjects, is double, or like a "two edged sword."
When the above argument, as drawn from the jubilee cycles, was first seen by the writer in the spring of 1874; it was not the result of a long course of investigation, like most of these arguments, but of a sudden happy thought, or, had it been on some more common theme, I should have said "inspiration." But at the same moment that the idea occurred that from their last typical jubilee, to the antitype, should be a cycle of a multiple
of their largest and last sabbath; the idea also occurred that as the "seventy years," commonly called the captivity, were designed of God for the purpose of permitting the land to enjoy its sabbaths, and that their captivity was only a secondary matter, not even measured by the "seventy years," since Daniel and the greater part of the nation, were carried away eighteen years before the seventy began. The idea occurred, I say, that as this "seventy years" was "that the land might enjoy her sabbaths," it ought to be the key to the whole sabbatic system. I knew God had said "the land did not enjoy her sabbaths while they dwelt upon it;" and that it had not enjoyed its sabbaths since it had been "trodden down of the Gentiles." And yet God claimed that it had enjoyed them; that he had made it desolate till it had enjoyed them; and that he had made it desolate seventy years for that very purpose, (see 2 Chron. 36: 21). Hence, the very natural suggestion, that seventy, should in some way be a measure to the system of sabbaths to the land ; and the question immediately presented itself, will not the time from entering the land of promise, where this system of sabbaths began, to A. D. 1875, prove to be just seventy of these cycles? I was in the street, some distance from my office, when these two lines of argument, both new, presented themselves. It was in the evening, and, as I could not see to add up the figures until reaching the office, I immediately turned my face homeward; I walked fast, but walking was too slow; I ran through the streets of the city, eager to get to paper and pencil; and O, the thrill of joy when I found the result, viz: that from their last jubilee, a jubilee of jubilees, or, on the other hand, seventy cycles, measuring from where the system began, would in either case terminate on the 6th of April, 1875, then some six months in the future.
The great flood of light that is now shining on "the end of the world," was obscure at that time, and from the force of old traditions, I naturally expected more in the spring of 1875, than these arguments warranted. Indeed, I then supposed the great changes at hand, would, in some way, be carried out on the plane of the flesh; and that all the world might see and know what was going on; forgetting that "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man;" and that they were to go on planting, building, and marrying, and know not.
In the part of this argument based on the law, you will notice the cycles are all carried out in exact accordance with the law. That is, each of these fifty cycles are complete, the forty-nine
years with their jubilee year added. But 50 x 50 would thus include fifty jubilee years; and, as we are measuring to a jubilee, the last year of the last fifty must be left off, since the great jubilee takes the place of the last one; otherwise two jubilee years would meet; and there is no case in the law where two sabbaths of the same nature come together. Indeed, in the fulfillment at the first advent, the antitypical Lamb took the place of the typical lamb, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month; and their system ended, and they were rejected, five days before, or when Christ rode into Jerusalem, the day the typical lamb should have been taken up, (see Exo. 12:3). Hence, the beginning of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, in 1875, was the beginning of the antitypical jubilee, or "times of restitution." The Jewish ecclesiastical year begins with the first new moon after the spring equinox, and by consulting an 1875 almanac, you will see that this was due on the 6th of April, the Jewish year ending with the 5th. Unlike this argument which is based on the law, the one we are about to present, based on prophecy, carries out these cycles not according to the law, but according to the actual facts in the case; since prophecy describes events, not as they ought to be, but as they actually are.
So long as jubilee years occurred, these cycles were fifty years each; when jubilees ceased, the cycles went on, having but forty-nine years, (Lev. 25: 8), to each cycle. Hence, we find the nineteen cycles, which passed while they were in possession of the land, have the jubilee, or fiftieth year, added; and the fifty-one cycles, which have passed since the typical jubilee ended, are cycles of only forty-nine years each. Seventy is the key; 19 and 51 make 70. Hence, from where the system began, we should find nineteen complete cycles, and fifty-one incomplete; and thus counted, they should measure from the end of the forty years in the wilderness, when they crossed the Jordan on entering the promised land, to the spring of 1875. This is a long time, and if there are mistakes in the chronology, such absolute accuracy as is here demanded, in order that the law and the prophets shall agree, ought to develope such mistakes.
Nineteen complete cycles, or 19 times 50, is 950 years. Fifty-one incomplete cycles, or 51 times 49 is 2499; and together, make 3449 years. Hence from entering the promised land, which was in the spring [on the tenth day of the first month, Josh. 4: 19], to the spring of A. D. 1875 — that is, the end of 1874 — should be 3449 years. See chronology on page 76;
From the end of the forty years at which time they entered the land,
To division of land,
Under the Judges,
Under the Kings,
To Christian era,
This side of the Christian era,
It will be noticed that the six thousand years of the chronology, ended with 1872 full years this side of the Christian era; and some may wonder why these cycles should not terminate with the six thousand. I answer: God consumes time in all his work; "And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament. And the evening and the morning were the second day, But, Lord, why not have made it all the "first day?" you may ask. God is a God of order, and although we might desire that all the prophetic periods shall terminate in one and the same moment, accompanied with a crash of worlds and a wreck of matter, that is not his way. "The harvest is the end of the world; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn." Again you may ask, but why not gather the "wheat" at the same time? There are no two prophetic periods ending at one and the same time. But we are now in "the time of the end," when Dan. 12: 4, is being fulfilled, and the seal of that book broken.
The careful reader will observe that as these subjects unfold, the lines are being drawn closer and closer. And if you have the will, and desire to walk in the light, you cannot much longer doubt that from a Bible standpoint, we are living in a grand and glorious epoch of the world's history; no less a time than the dawn of that "Sabbath of rest that remaineth to the people of God;" when the church, the real body of Christ, will be made like unto his glorious body, and Zion "put on her beautiful garments;" "and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." But remember the church, the true seed, are to be in the light. "Ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief." "For surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets to his servants the prophets."