THE CHURCH, AND THE WORLD.
Christ and the apostles, almost invariably speak to the church and of the world; hence the personal pronouns ye and you, refer to the church, and they and them, to the world; and almost always the ye, or you refers, not merely to the individuals before the speaker, but to the whole church. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world;" clearly illustrates the idea. And the apostle, in addressing the church, says: "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump."
Our Lord held no communication with the world, although he sometimes, but rarely, addressed even the Pharisees, who were nominally the children of the kingdom. "I have manifested thy name unto the men that thou gavest me out of the world. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them thou hast given me, for they are thine." "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but unto them that are without, it is not given." Hence, his conversation is of the world, but to the church. Take, for instance, Luke 21: 34, where both classes are referred to: "Take heed to yourselves, least at any time your hearts be overcharged with the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares, for as a snare shall it come upon all them [the third person] that dwell upon the face of the whole earth; watch ye therefore, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are coming on the earth, and to stand before the Son of man." "But of the times and seasons brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you, for yourselves know perfectly." What do we know perfectly, Paul? That whenever the day of the Lord comes, the world will be in darkness, and be overtaken as a thief; "for the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand." And what more do we "know perfectly"? That the church will not be in darkness, "for the wise shall understand." "Yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night; for when they [the third person] shall say peace and safety, then cometh sudden destruction upon them, and they shall not escape; but ye brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief; ye are all children of the light, and of the day," (1 Thes. 5:). The apostle does not teach that the church are so good that the day of the Lord will not overtake them as a thief. "A thief in the night" comes without being
seen by his victims; and the point here, is that the church, being children of the light, will know, and understand the coming of the Lord; while the world being in darkness will not know, and hence, will be overtaken as a thief.
No one can fail to see that in all these Scriptures two classes are represented; and that upon one class it comes unawares, while upon the other class it does not come unawares. "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming, the Lord of that servant, shall come in a day he looketh not for him, and in an hour he is not aware of, and shall cut him assunder, and appoint him his portion with hypocrites." But, Lord, shall you come on the good servant in a day he looketh not for you, and in an hour he is not aware of? The world will not see these things, nor will the evil servant. And many in that day, said Christ, will find out when it is a little too late, when the harvest is ended, and the door is shut, and say "Lord, Lord, open to us." ''But as the days of Noah were so shall also the presence of the Son of man be; for as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and knew not until the flood came." Had they ought to have known before the flood came? One would think so from the language, "So shall also the coming of the Son of man be." If they ought to have known before Noah went in, "and the door was shut," should we not know before the destruction comes, or not until it come? What think you, reader? With the day of the Lord, "sudden destruction cometh." Should you follow their example, "and know not until it comes?" Or should you take heed "to the more sure word of prophecy, that shines as a light in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your heart," and thus walk in the light?" "But of that day and of that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but my Father only," is used as a screen to hide behind, by those who are content to be in darkness; but it will not serve you; it teaches too much. "Of that day and hour no man shall ever know, is the way you would read it; then add, neither shall the Son ever know, until it is consummated. It teaches nothing of the kind, nor was it designed to teach that the church were to be in darkness on that particular subject, when the time should come for that knowledge to be due to the household. A knowledge of these things could be of no possible advantage to any but the generation who are to experience them. Hence, it was "closed up and sealed unto the time of the end."
And Peter informs us that both the prophets and the angels desired to understand the time in relation to the two advents of Christ, the "suffering of Christ, and the glory which should follow," but it was withheld from them, (see 1 Peter 11: 12); [Ed: 1 Peter 1: 11, 12] and they were made to minister, not to themselves, but to others. "Go thy way Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end."
A mighty king sent forth his armies to destroy a wicked city, which had rebelled against his authority, put to death many of his servants, and held others in cruel bondage. But, willing to spare such as would repent, he sent his herald with the following proclamation: The king is about to destroy this city by excavations filled with powder, which, when exploded, will utterly extinguish the city and all within its walls. Let such, therefore, as would escape be on the watch; for when the excavation is complete, a white flag will be hoisted, then know the destruction is near. When the magazines are all prepared, a red flag will be hoisted for a brief space; then let those who are reviled for the good king's sake, lift up their heads and look up, for their redemption draweth nigh. When all is ready a black flag will be raised; then fly to the eastern gate, where means for your escape will be provided. Have all things ready, and tarry not, as you value life, for soon the torch will be applied. What I say unto one, I say unto all, Watch, for ye know not when the time is. For of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the generals of the army; but God only. Watch, therefore, lest, coming suddenly, it find you sleeping. One who believed the good king's herald ventured to ask, How long shall it be to the end of these things? and was told that it should be a certain number of days from an event to transpire, recorded in a book he handed him; but it was closed up and sealed until the time of the end, when the wise should understand. "If therefore, thou shalt not watch, thou shalt not know what hour it will come upon thee." (The herald, who was the king's son, then went back from whence he came.)
Watch, what for? the thoughtless bystanders enquire. For the explosion, to be sure! was the still more thoughtless answer. And so the opinion got abroad, that some day, the city would be destroyed; but no one knew when, and the king's son "had expressly declared that no one ever should know until it came."
Days, months, and years went by. The citizens became absorbed in careless pleasure, and forgot their danger. They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, and all things continued as before. Tis true, a few who remained loyal to the king ceased not to watch and pray for their deliverance.
As time went on the white flag, and then the red, was hoisted up, but soon disappeared, and was forgotten. The king's people who were on the watch, saw these signs, and the event from which the "days" given by the herald were to measure; so they began to look up, and lift up their heads, which so provoked the men of the
city, that they called them fools and evil prophets, to make so much ado about a common flag; and asked how they could be so foolish as to think they could know the time, when the herald had said, long years before, that NO man knew, not even he himself. And, strange to say, many of those who professed to be of the king's party, when they saw that it pleased the citizens, joined with these scoffers, and said, They had no doubt but what the king would some day destroy the city, but, as to knowing the time, it was impossible; the herald had "expressly said that no man ever should know." When asked if they had watched for these events by which the wise were to understand the time of their deliverance, they said, No! like other people they were watching for the explosion; when we see that, "the wise" will understand.
And so, many who were fearful of loseing cast, with the citizens drew back, and no longer walked with those who had become the despised of the whole city, but said, Go to, let us also build, and organize ourselves into "bundles," and we shall be respected, like other men.
As the number of such as held to their integrity grew less, their faith grew stronger, and their vigilence increased so much the more, lest they should miss the black flag, when it came to view, and so by not enduring to the end lose all.
After a long weary waiting their eyes were greeted by the welcome sight. Now their hearts leaped for joy, they knew deliverance was at hand, and could see the day approaching: and, as they fled for refuge, earnestly entreating others to join them, and seek safety from the coming wrath. A few harkened; and by forsaking all they had were just in time to save their lives. But others heard with scorn, said they had not seen the explosion, but were watching and expecting it every day.
The pilgrims hurried on, nor stopped to look behind them. And as they reached the eastern gate, some were so far behind that the car, let down by the king's engineers to hoist them out, had just started, and was almost out of reach; but some jumped and caught by the railing and foot-board, and others by bits of rope that happened to be hanging down; but those who held on with their hands, had to drop all their prescious works, which were burned, and so they suffered loss, having to enter the king's presence almost naked. One poor man in his desperate leap to reach the car, caught by one hand, but lost his wedding garment, and yet he held with the grasp of a tiger, and was taken from the fire, though badly scorched; for the fire broke out before those who arrived in time were fairly seated in the car; and the explosions were heard in all parts of the city. Great clouds of dust were seen to rise from the falling buildings, while the fire leaped from point to point, withering all things in its path. Thousands of people were running hither and thither, to escape the flames and falling buildings. And soon a vast crowd came running towards the eastern gate, which still stood secure, and cried bitterly for help. Some with wild hysteric sobs would count their beads, others their good works, how they had been watching for this all their lives; and how often they had warned the people. The answer to these piteous cries was
what surprised me most. Not a word was spoken, but a hissing sound was heard as the flames caught the eastern gate, for the royal car had swung clear, but instead of consuming it took the shape of words which were clearly seen in letters of flame:
"And knew not UNTIL IT CAME."
THE 2300 DAYS.
There has been much speculation on the application of the two thousand and three hundred days of Dan. 8:14. But, believing as I do, that they are ended, and that all their power is in the past, I shall give but little space to their investigation.
The vision of Dan. 8:, embraces three of the four Gentile kingdoms, and without doubt reaches to the end of the "times of the Gentiles." Hence, Gabriel says to Daniel, "I will make thee to know what shall be in the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed the end shall be," (verse 19). The end here referred to, is evidently the end of the indignation, and the 2,100 days measure only a part of the vision, because the answer to the question "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot," is thus answered: "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
The 2300 "days," or years, have, without carefully noting this answer, been supposed to embrace all of the vision; and it is this mistake which has caused so much speculation in relation to their application during the last twenty or thirty years.
The argument proving that they ended something more than thirty years ago, is simple and positive, as we will show; but the "days" do not cover the cleansing of the sanctuary; if time is required for that work, as every one can see: "Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
This answer is much the same as the one of Dan. 12:7. The question there was, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders"? and the answer was, "For a time, times, and a-half, and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." The wonders there referred to, were the "time of trouble, the resurrection," &c.; and with present light, we understand that the definite time in this case reached to the end of the 1260 years of papal dominion, and therefore ended in 1798; but the completion of the scattering of the power of the holy people, will not be ended
until the end of the times of the Gentiles, or in 1914. And so with the 2300 days ; "Unto two thousand and three hundred days;" and what is to follow, has reference to the cleansing of the sanctuary.
"To give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot," The host, of course refers to the people, but what is the sanctuary"? It is something which has been trodden under foot of the Gentiles, we answer. The Hebrew here rendered sanctuary, is the same word as occurs in Isa. 66: 20, where the return of the Jews in "litters, and on horses, and in chariots, and on swift beasts, to my [sanctuary] holy mountain Jerusalem." And the treading down of the sanctuary, clearly refers to what Christ referred to when he says, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
If the 2300 days do not reach to the end of the indignation, why were they given in answer to the question? may be asked; and in responce I will ask, if the "time, times," and a-half, of Dan. 12: 7, do not reach to the end of the wonders, why were they given in answer to that question? And, perhaps we can answer: the "time, times, and a-half," ended in 1798, at the taking away of the papal dominion, and is one of the great landmarks of prophecy. The ending of the 2300 days, something more than thirty years ago, is the great landmark by which the tarrying of the Bridegroom has been made to appear. And the Advent movement, with the message of the opening events of the seventh trumpet, was based on that prophetic period.
The mistake of the 1843 movement, was not in the argument proving that the "days" ended there, but in assuming that they covered all the vision. The tarrying of the Bridegroom, the harvest message, and the two parts to the sounding of the seventh trumpet; that is, the proclamation of the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our Lord, and the time of trouble and conquest of the nations, were all overlooked. But it is just these events which should follow the ending of the 2300 days, since they are directly connected with the cleansing of the sanctuary.
The 1843 argument, which I consider to be true in all its essential parts, was that the vision of the 8th chapter was explained in the 9th; and that the vision "concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation," necessarily refers, to the Jews, as far as the daily sacrifices is concerned; and in Dan. 9: 21, Gabriel, who had appeared to him "in the vision at the be-
ginning," that is, the vision of the 8th chapter, (see verse 16), refers him back to that vision, and says, "Seventy weeks are determined on thy people, and thy holy city;" i. e. seventy weeks of the vision of 2300 days, "Seventy weeks," are 490 days; then 490 days of the 2300 were determined on the Jews. And what for? "To finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy," (see verse 24). All this, was accomplished in Christ's suffering and death, And as seventy weeks were determined on them for the above purpose, it is equivolent to saying, the Jews, your people, must be kept together until the Messiah shall come and accomplish the work for which he is to be sent. "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 three score and two weeks," (verse 25). That is 69 weeks unto his advent, leaving the other one week for confirming the covenant, which could not be of force, Paul tells us, "until the death of the testator."
The connection between the 24th and 25th verses, is absolute proof that the seventy weeks, the seven, the threescore and two, and the one week, are all the same period of time; "Seventy weeks are determined on thy people; know therefore," in consequence of that, "that it shall be seven weeks," &c. [Of the silly applications made since those "days" have ended, or within the last thirty years, in which all connection between the seventy weeks and the minor parts which go to make up that number, has been ignored, thus making four distinct periods all separate and independent one of another, we have no space or desire even to notice].
As the above six specific purposes named in the 24th verse, were accomplished at the first advent of Christ, the seventy weeks determined for their accomplishment, of course ended there; and thus 490, of the 2300 days, ended at, or about the time of the crucifixion.
[There is some obscurity in relation to the ending of the last "week." The '43 position was that Christ preached seven years; and hence, the last "week" ended at his death in A. D. 33. But as that position cannot be maintained, since the evidence is clear that He only preached three and a-half years, it would appear that the last week of the seventy did not end until the conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile. But for some reason God has left this one week obscure; and neither the Bible or history
give any further light on that point. Hence, the exact date of the end of the 2300 days cannot be determined to within the limits of three and a-half years].
As 490 years of the 2300, ended at or about the time of the crucifixion, viz: A. D. 33, the ending of the balance of the "days" can be determined, 490 from 2300, leaves 1810. Therefore, 1810 years after the ending of the seventy weeks, must mark the end of the longer period; and 1810 added to A. D. 33, reach to 1843.
This, together with the strong position that the 1260 days of papal dominion ended in 1798, was the basis of the Advent proclamation, the opening message of the seventh trumpet, or the "trump of God;" and the 2300 "days," as a prophetic period measuring a part of the vision of Dan. 8:, has served its purpose. And, as the reader can see, all that pertains either directly or indirectly, to the cleansing of the sanctuary, belongs after the days have ended.