THE PRESENT TRUTH.
- BY JAMES WHITE.
THE PRESENT TRUTH. VOL. 1.
OSWEGO, N. Y. MARCH, 1850. - NO. 8.
"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant." - Ps.xxv.14.
JAMES WHITE, PUBLISHER.
R. OLIPHANT, PRINTER.
"Seventh-Day Sabbath Abolished,"by Eld. Marsh, Editor of the "Advent Harbinger and Bible Advocate,"
REVIEWED. - (CONCLUDED.)
"Then why keep the first day? Because Christ rose on that day, and the apostolic church have set the example, that we should assemble on that day to commemorate his resurrection, by breaking of bread, and other duties belonging to the worship of God. - Acts xx,7."
Luke records the fact [Acts xx,7] that Paul once preached all night of the first day of the week at Troas, and past midnight broke bread with the disciples; and from this one simple circumstance the readers of the Harbinger are taught that "the apostolic church have set the example, that we should assemble on that day to commemorate his [Christ's] resurrection, by breaking of bread!" Here we shall do well to observe the following facts:
1. There is no intimation given in Acts xx,7, or elsewhere in the New Testament that the disciples regarded the first day of week as a day of rest.
2. There is no evidence that the "apostolic church" met regularly on that night of the week that Paul preached at Troas. For aught we know it was an occasional meeting, appointed merely because Paul was to "depart on the morrow."
3. If the church are to follow the "example" of the disciples, in holding a certain meeting all night at Troas, then they should hold their preaching meetings in the night, and after midnight break bread!! There is no scripture proof that the disciples ever met for worship in the day time of the first day of the week. Eld. Marsh, no doubt, would object to holding his preaching meetings in the night, and continuing his speech "even till break of day," then why talk of the "example" of "the apostolic church" at Troas? Acts xx,7.
4. According to the first division of time, the first day closed at 6 o'clock P. M. and according to the Roman division, it closed at midnight. Paul "continued his speech until midnight," then healed "Eutichus," and then went up and broke bread. Now if that meeting was held the night following the day time of the first day, then all will admit that it was on the second day that Paul broke bread at Troas, and if "the apostolic church" there "set the example, that we should assemble on that day to commemorate his [Christ's] resurrection, by breaking of bread," then Christ rose on the second day, and Eld. Marsh should change his day for preaching and breaking bread, to the second day or Monday. But it is evident that that meeting was held the night following the sabbath, which closed at 6 o'clock P. M. It was Paul's "manner" to preach on the sabbath; then the disciples were in a proper frame to receive the emblems of the body and blood of Christ. Then on the morning of the first day of the week Paul left Troas, and walked to Assos, and from Assos sailed with his brethren to Metylene. See Acts xx,7-14. A singular "example" indeed, for Sunday keepers!! With these plain facts before us, it seems perfectly preposterous to talk of the "example" of the "apostolic church" for keeping the first day of the week. Acts xx,7, is the principal text of scripture that Eld. Marsh has to sustain his position in answering the question - "Then why keep the first day"? If we should produce nothing better for keeping the seventh-day sabbath, than he has for keeping the first day, then it might be well said of us that we were not only "fallen from grace" but fast losing our senses.
5. The communion of the body and blood of Christ, does not commemorate the resurrection. Paul has taught us that it commemorates the crucifixion. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ." - Cor.x,16.
"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, YE DO SHEW THE LORD'S DEATH, till he come." - Cor.xi,26. Here Eld. Marsh differs with the apostle, for he thinks that the Lord's supper commemorates the "resurrection," but Paul said it was to "shew the Lord's DEATH."
The Lord's supper was first instituted Thursday evening the night before the crucifixion, and the disciples at Troas broke bread the night following the sabbath, and there is nothing in the New Testament that confines it to any day of the week; yet it seems most proper to attend to it in the evening, after worshipping God on the Holy Sabbath.
"John says he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day (Rev.i,10); the first day of the week, the day of Christ's resurrection, which was observed as a day of worship by the early Christians."
This really seems to be "unanswerable," for this reason however, there is nothing to answer. But I will here give the following facts. The first day of the week is nowhere in scripture called the "Lord's day." Said Jesus, "The son of man is Lord also of the sabbath," therefore the seventh day, instead of the first, is the Lord's day. "The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God." Ex.xx,10. God, in Isa.lviii,13, calls it, MY HOLY DAY."
"To give the more solemnity to the first day of the week, Sylvester, who was bishop of Rome, while Constantine was Emperor, changed the name of Sunday, giving it the more imposing title of Lord's day, Lucius, Eccl. Cent. 4, p. 740, Bamp, Enq. p. 98," Sabbath tract No. 4, page 21.
Eld. Marsh gives an extract containing the testimony of Ignatius, Theophilus, Irenius, Dionysius, Clement and Tertullian on this point, and adds, "This testimony should for ever settle this very clear question."
But with a consistent Christian, the testimony and practice of what are called the Christian Fathers, have not authority sufficient to direct him either in devotion or duty, when their testimony does not agree with the pure word. It really seems to be very unfortunate for Eld. Marsh that he cannot give us the inspired testimony of Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude for the change of the weekly Rest, from the seventh to the first day. But as he cannot, he leaves the "sure word" and gives the UNINSPIRED testimony of those who wrote after the death of the apostles, in the time that Paul referred to when he said - For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts xx,29,30. And how unfortunate it is for the first-day advocates, that Jesus, the Great Head of the Church, did not teach a change of the day of weekly rest! There is no record that he ever met with his disciples, in the day-time of the first day of the week, after his resurrection; but, on the first day of the week, "Jesus himself drew near, and went with the two disciples who were travelling to the village of Emmaus, seven and a half miles from Jerusalem. Did Jesus rebuke them for travelling on that day? No, he went with them, and as "they drew nigh unto the village" "they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." He "went in" and "sat at meat with them," and then they "returned to Jerusalem," that night, and "found the eleven gathered together," and while they were relating the interesting events of that day's journey, "Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, PEACE BE UNTO YOU."
With what religious horror do the hypocritical priests of this day, look on those who labor on the first day of the week, after they have observed the Sabbath of the Bible! But Jesus, the Head and Example of the church, could say to those who had walked fifteen miles on the first day of the week, "PEACE BE UNTO YOU." A deacon of this city said to me a few days since (referring to the first day of the week,) "Jesus has told us what day to keep"! Also, a Methodist minister in this city while speaking to a large assembly a few evenings since, remarked, "The children of Israel in the wilderness gathered the manna every day, excepting Saturday, when they gathered enough to last over the Sabbath."!
O shame on such ministers and deacons who thus expose their ignorance of what the Bible teaches relating to the Sabbath!!
There is no record that the disciples ever assembled for worship in the day time of the first day of the week, either before or after the ascension. The example of Christ and the two disciples who walked fifteen miles on the first day of the week, and the example of Paul who walked from Troas to Assos, and sailed from Assos to Metylene on that day, shows that the first day of the week is a laboring day; yet Eld. Marsh talks of the "example of the apostolic church," for keeping the first day of the week!! Here I will give the following Cutting Reproof.
PAPISTS. - In a book called An Antidote, or Treatise of Thirty Controversies, intended as a reply to the writings of Dr. Faulk, Dr. Whitaker, Dr. Field, and others, the author speaks thus: "The Word of God commandeth the seventh day to be the Sabbath of our Lord, and to be kept holy; you [Protestants,] without any precept of scripture, change it to the first day of the week, only authorized by our traditions. Divers English Puritans oppose against this point, that the observation of the first day is proved out of Scripture, where it is said the first day of the week. Acts xx,7, 1Cor.xvi,2, Rev.i,10. - Have they not spun a fair thread, in quoting these places? If we should produce no better for purgatory, and prayers for the dead, invocation of the saints, and the like, they might have good cause indeed to laugh us to scorn; for where is it written that these were Sabbath days in which those meetings were kept? Or where is it ordained they should be always observed? Or, which is the sum of all, where is it decreed that the observation of the first day should abrogate or abolish the sanctifying of the seventh day which God commanded everlastingly to be kept holy? Not one of those is expressed in the written word of God."
The following important history is to the point. It shows that the early church did observe the seventh-day Sabbath; and that they observed the first day only as a religious festival.
"Athanasius, A. D. 340, says - "We assemble on Saturday, not that we are infected with Judaism, but only to worship Christ the Lord of the Sabbath."
Socrates, an ecclesiastical historian, A. D. 412, says - "Touching the communion there are sundry observations and customs, for almost all the churches throughout the whole world do celebrate and receive the holy mysteries every Sabbath; yet the Egyptians adjoining Alexandria, together with the inhabitants of Thebes, of a tradition, do celebrate the communion on Sunday." - "When the festival meeting throughout every week was come, I mean the Saturday and the Sunday upon which the Christians are wont to meet solemnly in the church,"
Eusebius, A. D. 325, as quoted by Dr. Chambers, states that in his time "the Sabbath was observed no less than Sunday."
Gregory expostulates thus - "With what eyes can you behold the Lord's day, when you despise the Sabbath? Do you not perceive that they are sisters, and that in slighting one you affront the other?"
Sozomen says - "Most of the churches carefully observed the Sabbath."
Grotius observes - "The Christians kept the holy Sabbath, and had their assemblies on that day, in which the law was read to them, which custom remained to the time of the council of Laodicea, about A. D. 355.
M. de la Roque, a French Protestant - "It evidently appears, that before any change was introduced, the church religiously observed the Sabbath for many ages; we of consequence are obliged to keep it.
Edward Brerewood, Professor of Gresnam College, London, in a treatise on the Sabbath, 16,30, says:- They know little that do not know the ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed by the eastern churches three hundred years and more after our Saviour's passion. - Brer, on the Sabbath p. 77."
DANIEL'S VISIONS, THE 2300 DAYS, AND THE SHUT DOOR.
The three visions of Daniel recorded in the second, seventh and eighth chapters, were given expressly for those who live in the last days.
"There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and hath made known [margin] to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days." Dan.ii,28. Said Gabriel, "At the time of the end shall be the vision." Dan.viii,17.
In the first vision given to Daniel, previously given to the king in a dream, an image is shown as a representation of four universal monarchies, comprising the Babylonian kingdom over which Nebuchadnezzar then reigned, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman in its eastern and western divisions, represented by the legs of iron. Its subsequent division into ten kingdoms, is represented by the ten toes of the image, in which state the kingdoms of this world are to be broken in pieces together, and become like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and blown away that no place shall be found for them.
Then is shown to Daniel, that the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall stand for ever. The evident design of this dream, and vision was first, to show the proud, ostentatious monarch of Babylon, that his kingdom would soon be wrested from him, and given to others; and second, to point out to those who should live in the divided state of the Roman kingdom, that they were living in the last form of government that could be occupied by earthly rulers, and that he, who should rule in righteousness, is about to put down all rule and authority, and reign supreme and eternal on the throne of his father David.
Daniel's second vision, recorded in the seventh chapter, is but a counterpart to the first, representing the same kingdoms by different symbols, which in addition to pointing out their existence, also gives a brief outline of their character; - blood thirsty, ferocious and destructive. The division into ten parts is also clearly delineated. Daniel also saw the thrones cast down, the Ancient of days sitting in judgement, the opening of the books, and the judgement executed upon the beast, because of the great words spoken by the horn.
In the same vision, he also saw one like the Son of man coming, [not to the earth] TO THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, where there is given him a kingdom, glory and everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away.
His third vision, which appeared to him in the palace at Shushan, in the third year of Belshazzar's reign, was also a view of the Medo-Persian, Grecian and the Roman kingdoms, showing the existence of the Medo-Persian and its downfall; the rise of the Grecian on its ruins; the fall of the first Grecian king, and the consequent division of the kingdom into four lesser powers, represented by four horns.
He is also shown a power arising out of one those horns, small in its beginning, but increasing until it becomes exceeding great. That this is the Roman kingdom, is established by the fact of its standing up against the Prince of princes. This power also, is seen by Daniel to extend its dominion over the land of Judea, or "pleasant land," and to exercise its power in casting down many of the Jews and their teachers, and in crucifying the Saviour, or "Prince of princes;" thus putting an end to all the Jewish ceremonies and sacrifices - the daily and yearly, and also destroying the city and sanctuary.
Then Daniel's attention is called to another scene. Two personages appear, which he calls "saints." A question is asked by one involving the time of treading down the Jews, and their city and sanctuary. The other gives an answer, containing a measurement of time reaching to the end of the treading down, and to where the sanctuary shall be cleansed. Having given the outlines of this vision, I now propose to examine it more closely by the light of scripture and reason, (the two gifts of our Creator on which is based our accountability) and point out where those who still hold on to the old theory, that the sanctuary to be cleansed is the earth, and that the 2300 days reach to the appearing of Christ, are laboring under a serious error.
As the Medo-Persian and Grecian kingdoms are not brought to view in connection with the treading down, I shall pass to notice the doings of the little horn, or the civil power of Rome, recorded in verses 9,10,11 and 12.
A horn, when used as a prophetic symbol, represents power; therefore, out of one of the four powers into which the Grecian kingdom had been divided, there arose a little power which waxed, or increased until it "became exceeding great," extending its dominion not only south and east, but also over the pleasant land, where the Jews then dwelt.
The term "little horn" is here used only to denote the small beginning of the civil power of the Roman kingdom, and has no allusion to the "little horn" spoken of in Dan.vii,8, for that is used expressly to designate the small beginning of the ecclesiastical power which arose several centuries after the civil power of Rome had become "exceeding great," and after its division into ten horns, or powers. Consequently in the verses above quoted we have nothing to do with any power save the civil power of Rome.
One of the many curses which the Lord told the Jews he would bring upon them if they "despised his statutes, and did not keep all his commandments" was - "They that hate them should reign over them;" and that he "would deliver them into the hand of their enemies."
Rome, while extending its conquests, and increasing its power, is permitted by Providence to bring under its iron rule "the host" to whom God had given "statutes and commandments," also a sanctuary, where he required a "daily sacrifice," and a YEARLY CLEANSING. But they transgressed. Therefore, Daniel is taken off in vision by the Holy Spirit, in the third year of Belshazzar's reign over Babylon, and is shown the rise and fall of the Gentile powers, down to the rise and extension of Rome, and its subjugation and treading down of the once "mighty and holy people;" because of their transgression against the daily sacrifice. (See marginal reading of verse 12.)
He also sees the same oppressive power "standing up against the Prince of princes;" thus putting an end to the legality of all the daily sacrifices instituted at Sinai to be daily observed until the Seed should come. Here Christ, the substance, or great antitypical sacrifice was slain by the Roman soldiers. Thus by Rome "the daily sacrifice was taken away," and the place of his sanctuary was cast down by Titus, a Roman general, when he destroyed the city of Jerusalem, and the temple of God, which contained "the sanctuary." Here commenced the fulfillment of Christ's prophetic declaration. "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, UNTIL THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES BE FULFILLED." Luke xxi,24.
Daniel having seen how the Romans would tread down the Jews, their sanctuary and city, is by this view prepared to understand the full meaning of the question - How long shall the sanctuary and the host be made desolate, and trodden under foot because of their transgression against the daily sacrifice?
The answer (as I understand it) is - The Jews, their city and sanctuary shall be trodden under foot of the Romans, or Gentiles, unto 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Now how many events can we reasonably suppose, from this question and answer, will take place at the termination of the 2300 days? Can we with any degree of reason infer that Christ will appear to the astonished gaze of a doomed world? I see nothing to justify such an inference here, or elsewhere. Can we suppose from anything shown in this vision that this sin-cursed earth will then be cleansed? Such a supposition is baseless; and every system based on such a supposition, or inference, is like castles built on air. The inspired word nowhere recognizes the earth as a sanctuary, and common reason, if nothing else, would lead us to conclude that as the sanctuary that was "trodden down" was a type of a better sanctuary, and was yearly cleansed, that the one spoken of in the answer must be the antitypical sanctuary.
Then the only reasonable and scriptural conclusion is, that at the end of the 2300 days [years] the Jews who have been trodden down by the Gentile nations will begin to go free, the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled, and the antitypical sanctuary will be cleansed.
But what shall we understand by cleansing the antitypical sanctuary?
The Mosaic priesthood, sanctuary and services were all types or shadows, here on earth, of a heavenly priesthood, sanctuary and services; yet there is this difference between them. By reason of death the earthly had many priests, the heavenly but one: the earthly had many victims, the heavenly but one; the earthly sanctuary was cleansed at the end of every 364 days, the heavenly at the end of 2300 years.
I will also show a few of the many points of agreement between them. The earthly sanctuary, its apartments, furniture, altar, ark of testimony, mercy-seat, cherubims, &c. &c. were made from patterns of the heavenly, [see Ex.xxv,9-25,] consequently the heavenly must bear a close resemblance to the earthly. In the earthly, sins were daily imputed, or laid upon the altar through the blood of the victims during the 364 days, and then the daily ministration ceased, and the cleansing commenced. In the heavenly sanctuary sins were daily imputed, or laid upon the altar through the blood of Christ, our victim, during the Gospel dispensation, or time of the Gentiles, which ended with the 2300 days, and then the cleansing commenced. In the earthly, when the daily ministration ceased, and the day of atonement came, the high priest prepared for the atonement, or cleansing, by shutting the door of the outer apartment, [see Lev.xvi,17,] and by putting on the holy garments, with the breast-plate of judgement, and opening the door into the inner apartment or most holy place, then proceeded to cleanse the sanctuary as recorded in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus. So in the heavenly; when the daily ministration for the world ceased, and the 2300 days, and time of the Gentiles ended, and the time to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary came, Christ our High Priest prepared for the atonement, or blotting out the sins of all Israel, and cleansing the sanctuary, by shutting the door of the first apartment, (which "no man can open," see Rev.iii,8,) putting on the holy garments with the breast-plate of judgement, containing all the names of the true Israel, and by opening the door of the most holy place (which "no man can shut," see Rev.iii,8,) and then he proceeded to cleanse the antitypical sanctuary. For a further elucidation, and description of the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, I refer the reader to the law of Moses, of which Christ said - "All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me." Luke xxiv,44.
An objection is frequently raised that there can be nothing in heaven that needs cleansing. But let us hear Paul on this point. Speaking of the same sanctuary, he says, "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these: but THE HEAVENLY THINGS THEMSELVES with better sacrifices than these." Heb.ix,23. Here Paul gives us clearly to understand that it was necessary that the earthly sanctuary, made from patterns of the heavenly, should be cleansed with the blood of beasts; (for so the law required,) therefore it was also necessary that the heavenly sanctuary, from which the patterns were taken, should be cleansed with better sacrifices. Then there is a sanctuary in heaven to be cleansed "with better sacrifices," and the "Wonderful Numberer" places the cleansing of this sanctuary at the end of the 2300 days. Then what reason have we for holding on to the theory that the 2300 days reach to the appearing of Christ, and the cleansing of the earth by fire? Verily none.
Think not, because Father Miller once preached, and published to the world in the honesty of his heart, as did also the rest of us, that the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of 2300 days, was the earth, that this must be, for all coming time, your stereotyped faith; and by stretching chronology, and changing a positive command for a mere permit, (that is not early enough by six years,) from which to start the 2300 days, that you will bring their termination down to the coming of Christ, and thus evade the shut door, and climb up some other way into the kingdom. - Neither please yourselves with the idea that you can make sixty-nine weeks answer the purpose, and thus save one week to put down this side of the cross in order to support a groundless theory, when Gabriel has said, seventy weeks are determined or cut off, and marks their end by events which could transpire only at the cross.
Truly said the prophet - "The bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it." Yes, in spite of all their efforts their nakedness will appear. But says the objector, does not Gabriel, after being told to make Daniel understand the vision, say, "At the time appointed the end shall be?" True, but does he even once intimate that it is the end of time? No; read the whole verse. And he said "Behold I will make thee know what shall be in the LAST END OF THE indignation, for at the time appointed, the end shall be;" that is, the end of his special indignation against the Jews as a nation. For further proof of this, see Isa.x,5,6, - "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand IS MINE INDIGNATION. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath [OR INDIGNATION] will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to TREAD THEM DOWN like the mire of the streets." Daniel in this vision was given a view of this treading down, and this indignation against the "host" that transgressed against the daily sacrifice; he was also informed that at the time appointed the end of this treading down and indignation should be. From a careful, prayerful and critical reading of the vision, I can discover nothing to justify the conclusion that it reaches to the coming of Christ, or any of the circumstances in immediate connection with his coming. But it is clear as the light of noonday that it comprises a space of time, commencing about the year 457 before Christ, where the kingdoms of Media and Persia (the two horns of the ram) were high, that is, in the heighth of their power, and extending along down the stream of time to the breaking and destroying these powers by the Grecian, the subjugation of the Grecian by the Roman, the rise and increase of the Roman, until the once mighty nation of the Jews are brought under its sway, their nationality lost, the great antitypical sacrifice [Christ] slain, as the terminus of all that marked the typical dispensation; the city, temple and sanctuary, once sacred, abandoned to the rapacity of Roman soldiers, and the "host," city and sanctuary devoted to be downtrodden until the Gentile dispensation is fulfilled.
The great crowning event which establishes the whole, and puts upon it the "SEAL" of eternal truth is the CROSS. The angel Gabriel says to Daniel, "I am now come forth to make thee skilful of understanding, therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." The vision was given in days, therefore, seven of those days make a week, and the days being prophetic, that is, a year for a day, a week is seven years. Gabriel then measures off seventy weeks of the "vision" and places the cross, and other events connected with it, right at this point, and then declares that this "SEALS" the "vision." Yet with this plain and positive declaration of Gabriel, many, in order to avoid the inevitable result of Gabriel's explanation, (viz. the end of 2300 days and shut door in 1844,) will write, preach and publish in contradiction of Gabriel's plain explanation of the vision. There is now lying before me a paper of eight quarto pages, lately issued from the press, called, "The Watchman," by two professed watchmen on the walls of Zion, in which they labor hard, by ingenious diagrams and calculations, to make their readers believe that the 2300 days end this spring. And in order the more successfully to accomplish their designs, they, finding the cross, by astronomical calculation, could not be moved from A. D. 33, have left it standing there, where it should. Then in order to make a fair show, that the 2300 days would end this spring, they have taken up the last week of the seventy, which Gabriel counted off to Daniel, to reach to the cross, and have placed it around on this side of the cross. This, according to Gabriel's measurement, would leave a space of seven years between the end of the sixty nine weeks, and the cross. Now, what shall these "watchmen" do? This vacuum before the cross must be filled. Well examine closely their diagram, and you will see what they have done. They have slipped the end of the sixty-nine weeks down to A. D. 33; thus covering the space once occupied by the seventieth week. But this leaves a space of seven years at the other end, to be disposed of; and instead of 490 years from the cross, back to the going forth of the commandment, as Gabriel placed it, the "Watchman" gives us but 483. Now how shall this be disposed of? To make it fair, there must be something in the shape of the going forth of a commandment B. C. 450. As nothing of this description can be found within seven years of that time, except a permit to Nehemiah to go up which was thirteen years after the command of Ezra, to which Gabriel refers us; this permit is taken to supply the place of the true command, although it lacks six years of taking place soon enough to properly answer their purpose. But as it is the best they can possibly obtain to answer their demand, in this pressing state of things, and although it lacks six years of being at the right point in chronology, yet they date their starting point at B. C. 451, and then, as it were, compass sea and land to make proselytes to this theory. "O my soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly, be not thou united." From such "watchmen," O Lord, deliver thy people. There are other points in the "Watchman" directly calculated to lead the mind from the truth, as stated by Gabriel; but I have not time nor space to examine them now.
I will now show the true Bible chronology of the 2300 days, as it stands connected with the events pointed out in the vision. First, Gabriel has fixed its commencement at the going forth of a commandment to restore and build again Jerusalem. Having previously put on the seal of the vision by measuring off 490 years, and placing the cross, and its connected events down at that point, he then gives the event which would take place just 490 years before the cross, which was an important command or decree touching the restoration of Jerusalem from the desolation of the seventy years of Babylonian captivity. Gabriel then divides the 490 years or seventy weeks into three unequal parts. The first division, 49 years, he assigns to rebuilding, in troublous times, the street and wall of Jerusalem. To the second division, 434 years, he assigns no particular event. The third division, seven years, or one week, he devotes to the confirmation of the covenant by the Messiah. This brings us to the end of the seventy weeks, or 490 years, and also to the cross, thus confirming his first statement that the seventy weeks reach to reconciliation for iniquity. The statement that after three score and two weeks, shall Messiah be cut off, and have nothing, and the Jews shall be no more a people [margin] does not in the least invalidate Gabriel's previous assertion; (that seventy weeks reached to the making reconciliation;) for it is obvious that seventy is after sixty-nine. Now, let us measure back from the cross 490 years, or seventy weeks, and from this take A. D. 33, the time of the crucifixion, and we have B. C. 457 left. This is the point to which Gabriel has directed us to look for the going forth of the commandment. Recollect, you will find it where Daniel saw a ram, having two horns, "kings of Media and Persia."
In the seventh chapter of Ezra, you will find under the chronology B. C. 457, a decree issued by Artaxerxes, king of PERSIA, in the seventh year of his reign, touching the restoration of Jerusalem. Here you find all the peculiar marks by which Gabriel describes the commencement of the 2300 days. The chronology is right, the king is a Persian king, and the commandment is truly a commandment, and not a mere permit or consent, as the one referred to by the Watchman is. It is also given touching the restoration of Jerusalem. Not a point fails; all, all is right. Then why cavil, and try to alter what God in his infinite wisdom has made plain? Having found the true starting point so well defined, let us proceed carefully along down, marking minutely each event as we find them placed as way-marks, until we come to the events which mark the final and definite end of the 2300 years.
From the command given B. C. 457, pass down 49 years, and the streets and walls were finished. Then pass down 434 years further, and we come to the last week, which is 7 years, in which the covenant was to be confirmed, which makes 490 years to the cross, where all the events marking the end of the typical dispensation transpired, and the time of the Gentiles commences. No other events are sketched in this vision, as way-marks from this point, until we come to where the Jews cease to be trodden down by the Gentiles, and the work of cleansing the sanctuary commences. These mark definitely the termination of the time given.
Then as we have clearly found our way down to A. D. 33, let us see how many years from 33 it will take to fill out the time. From the 2300 years, take 490 or seventy weeks,--- and we have 1810 years left. Then add 33, the time of the crucifixion and we have 1843 for the termination of the 2300 days, and treading down the Jews. But as we have included all of the year B. C. 457, and as the decree went forth, or took effect in the fall of that year, we must, to make full years, add on as much of A. D. 1844, as we throw off from the year B. C. 457. That will bring us to the fall of 1844, where all the events given to mark the end of the 2300 days had a clear and perfect fulfillment. One of those events, as I have shown was, the Jews, were to be delivered from being trodden down of all nations. Are they delivered? This is so well authenticated, and so generally believed, that I will not detain you long on this point.
I will however refer you to an address of M. M. Noah, published in the N. Y. Tribune, vol. 8, No. 13, Dec. 2, 1848, and give a few extracts from the same.
"THE CHAINS of the JEWS ARE UNLOOSED, and they ARE ELEVATED TO THE RANK OF MEN." "The Sultan of Turkey, following the march of civilized nations, says to the Jews in his dominions, YOU ARE FREE. You have my permission to build a synagogue AT Jerusalem. "To the Jews, this great revolution has been a wonderful manifestation of God's providence, and watchfulness. It has made them MEN, CITIZENS, A PEOPLE, A NATION. It has given them RANK, position, power. It has elevated them to the highest offices." "We have passed through the promised punishments." From these brief extracts and other testimony, I am led to conclude that the Jews are no longer trodden down. Then the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled, the 2300 days ended, and Christ our great high priest has finished his daily ministration in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, for the Gentile world, clothed himself in the holy garments, and shut the door of the holy place, opened the door of the most holy place, and has passed in before the "Ancient of days," bearing on the breast-plate of judgement, all the true Israel, and is now a merciful high priest over the household of faith.
When He, who sees the end from the beginning, has in his condescension given such evidences of his foreknowledge and goodness, as is manifested in this vision, and when I see such a perfect adaptation of all parts of its fulfillment to the prophecy, I cannot doubt but that the closing scenes will be fulfilled with equal precision.
Neither can I believe, that after guarding it with such care down to the cross, He would then suffer human chronology to be so changed as to render a knowledge of its termination wholly uncertain. No, no. He knows his work better than that. O that men knew better than thus to reproach him.
But we are not wholly dependent on chronology. The prophets, Christ and the apostles, have told of events, which have their fulfillment in close connection with the point of change from the Gentile dispensation, to "the dispensation of the fullness of times;" such as the condition of the professed church, the parable of the ten virgins, the cry sent out at supper time, the cry of the mighty Angel, Rev.x, the cry of the angel who proclaimed the hour of his judgement come, and the angel who followed with the Babylon cry, all of which have had a perfect fulfillment in their appropriate places in close connection with the termination of the 2300 days, and the shut door.
May He who has done so much to make the closing scenes of the last days plain to our understanding, inspire us with living faith, and true wisdom, that we may understand the truth, and be sanctified through it. DAVID ARNOLD.
Fulton, N. Y. March 6, 1850.
[LETTER FROM BRO. RHODES.]
Beloved Brethren. - Language fails to express the overflowing gratitude and joy of heart, that I feel while contemplating the riches of the grace of God through Christ, in permitting such an unworthy soul as I am, to hope in his great salvation, which he has designed for those who keep his commandments. With ecstacies of joy, I often exclaim - Lord, if thou canst bring me through the furnace, and save me, it matters not how hot the furnace may be; only save me, that I may stand, and abide the day of thy coming.
My dear precious brethren - I am confident that you will be willing, with me, to suffer the loss of all things earthly, for Christ's sake, whose yoke is easy, and whose burden is light. What can we not cheerfully go through, while our hearts are animated with the sublime thought, and blessed hope of soon experiencing the power and blessing of the latter rain; when our God will give us power over the nations, and cause our faces to shine as did Moses' when he came down from the mount. O, may we not only believe, but know that this great salvation will be ours, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, if we hold fast, and that it is but a step before us. Praise the Lord! I know it! amen. I can say, with humble confidence, that as sure as the Bible is a matter of divine inspiration, just so surely I know that we are on the sure foundation, the immutable rock.
I rejoice that there is quite a number on this old wreck of a world, who have dug deep, and thoroughly searched the Word, and built thereon; and the rain, winds and floods, which I espy, but a little before us, will not overthrow our house; but it will stand, "for it is founded upon the rock." No plague shall come near nor harm us; only with our eyes shall we see the reward of those who are building on the sand.
O give thanks unto our God, who will give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us get the pure testimony - the word of God, which is sharper than any two-edged sword; for by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony we are to overcome.
Your brother in hope, S. W. RHODES.
Oswego, March 7, 1850.
[LETTER FROM BRO. HOLT.]
Dear Brethren, - The Lord has set his hand to gather the remnant of his people. His fan is thoroughly purging the floor. Precious jewels that were covered up a few weeks since, now begin to shine. God is doing his last work for the "remnant." I know that we have the truth, and that our position on the "commandments of God" and the "testimony of Jesus Christ" is right. God has guided us by his Holy Spirit into his precious truth, and our second advent experience has been a perfect fulfillment of certain portions of the holy scriptures.
From 1840 to 1843, we heard the angel, [Rev.xiv,6,7,] "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgement is come," &c. This angel proclaimed the vision as it was written on the chart, and brought us to the tarrying time.
"And there followed another angel saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen." "Come out of her, my people." This second message brought us out from the different churches to which we belonged, or from Babylon. These two angels brought us to the tenth day of the seventh month, 1844, where the 2300 days ended. There Jesus finished his work, in the daily ministration, and entered into the "holiest of all" to cleanse the sanctuary. Now we have the message of the third angel, which was to immediately follow the others, "Saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God." This third angel is also saying, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." The Papal beast, having seven heads and ten horns is the one referred to; and I think the image, is the beast having "two horns like a lamb," but "spake as a dragon." His number is 666. To worship, is to reverence, to pay submission. The Papal beast commanded that the first day of the week should be holy time. The God of heaven has said, "The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God;" and has commanded us to keep it holy. Now those who submit to, and reverence the institution of the Pope, receive the mark of the beast, but those who throw off the last vestige of Papacy, and reverence God, by keeping his Holy Sabbath, will receive the mark, or seal of the living God.
The image beast is similar in character to "the first beast before him," for he speaks "like a dragon." He assumes the character of a lamb, (protestant and republican,) yet he is a dragon at heart.
Now those who "worship the beast and his image," by keeping the first day of the week instead of the seventh, will according to the third angel's testimony, "drink of the wine of the wrath of God," which will be fulfilled in the pouring out of the seven last vials, in the great and terrible day of the Lord.
My Dear Brethren. - It is high time to awake out of sleep, and put on the whole "armor of light." We have but a few days to work for God, and prepare for heaven. The cause of truth demands of us a mighty, and united effort. Satan, and his agents are performing prodigies, and are deceiving the people; and shall we remain dormant? God forbid. Precious souls are hungry for the present truth, and will perish unless they are fed with it. Mere impressions, feelings and exercises will not feed, and save them; but they must see, and understand our past experience, and our present position from the word of God. Then the "rubbish" will be swept away, and the "jewels" will be gathered.
GEO. W. HOLT.
ARTICLE BY E. G. WHITE
My Dear Brethren and Sisters--This is very important hour with us. Satan has come down with great power, and we must strive hard, and press our way to the kingdom. We have a mighty foe to contend with; but an Almighty Friend to protect and strengthen us in the conflict. If we are firmly fixed upon the present truth, and have our hope, like an anchor of the soul, cast within the second vail, the various winds of false doctrine and error cannot move us. The excitements and false reformations of this day do not move us, for we know that the Master of the house rose up in 1844, and shut the door of the first apartment of the heavenly tabernacle; and now we certainly expect that they will "go with their flocks," "to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself (within the second vail) from them." The Lord has shown me that the power which is with them is a mere human influence, and not the power of God.
Those who have published the "Watchman" have removed the land-marks. I saw, two months ago, that their time would pass by; and then some honest souls, who have been deceived by this time, will have a chance to receive the truth. I saw that most of those who preach this new time do not believe it themselves. I saw that our message was not to the shepherds who have led the flock astray, but to the poor hungry, scattered sheep.
E. G. White.
Numbers 7 and 8 will be sent to a number whose names are not on my list. Those who wish to receive the "Present Truth" should give their names and address immediately. They can be furnished with the back numbers. The brethren should be careful to send in the names and address of those who would like to receive the "Present Truth."
If any who receive numbers 7 and 8 wish to have the paper discontinued, they will please return them, and it will not be sent to them again.
The "Present Truth" is free for all who wish to receive it. Those who are interested in it, are invited to sustain it.
"Hymns for God's Peculiar People that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
This is the title of a small collection of hymns of forty-eight pages, which is now ready. Those who wish for it had better send for it soon. - Price, twelve for one dollar, or twelve and a half cents for a single copy.
All letters relating to the "PRESENT TRUTH," should be directed to JAMES WHITE, Oswego, N. Y. care of Luman Carpenter.