Miller’s Reply to Stuart’s “Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy”

MILLER’S REPLY TO STUART

LETTER I

DEAR BRO. HIMES:- I have read the book you sent me, “Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy, by M. Stuart.” I find the writer, after an elaborate introduction, has divided the subject which he discusses into three distinct parts: 1st. “Occult or double sense of prophecy.” 2. “Prophecy not intelligible until it is fulfilled.” 3. “Designation of time in the prophecies.” I have been pleased, edified, and instructed, by reading this work. I was pleased to see the Christian spirit in which, apparently, the book was written; so unlike Mr. Dowling, the “Puritan,” or “Watchman,” or any of the scurrility with which I have been assailed by a selfish priesthood, or a hireling press, that I must confess I felt a union of heart and soul, for the writer, which I rarely feel for any of our modern writers on theology. They are manifestly the most Christian, candid, and reasonable arguments that I have ever met with, from any source whatever; and if I have not the truth, as it respects time - for on the two first points we exactly agree - I would as readily yield the palm of victory to Moses Stuart, the writer of this book, as any man I have any knowledge of at this time. To be conquered by such a writer, would be an honor my vanity would almost covet: yet I dare not yield the truth of God’s word to any man, nor for any consideration whatever, however glorious it might be in the sight of my fellow-men, or gratifying to an unbelieving multitude. One thing I ask, and that will I seek after. If truth compels me to disagree with this writer, whatever I may write, may it be done in the same spirit as to me appears to possess the excellent writer of this little book before me. MRSH 5.1

On his first head or question, “Are there many occult passages in prophecy which are pregnant with a double meaning?” - I answer, very few, and with the writer I agree, “that if such a principle be admitted, how is it possible to ascertain within what bounds it shall be confined.” By this, I do not understand the writer to mean, that there are no types, nor analogies in the Bible, which types and analogies were once prophecies; for instance, the destruction of the old world by water, which was a prophecy in the days of Noah, is by our Saviour applied as a type, or an analogy of the destruction of the world by fire. Again, the travel of the children of Israel through the wilderness into the land of Canaan is applied unto us, by Paul, as a sample: if we conduct as they did, we shall meet with like judgments. Therefore I am perfectly agreed with the writer, that there is no double meaning to words in the prophecies of the Old and New Testament. MRSH 6.1

In his second part, as I have named it, “Prophecy not intelligible until it is fulfilled,” I am pleased to see our views so perfectly harmonize. I say with the writer, if God has revealed any truth, that truth may be understood; but I would not say, neither do I understand the writer of this book to say, that men will all see the truth and know it, and in all ages of the world, and at all times. No, for if that were the case, we should have no need of this book which he has written to teach us how to understand prophecy. Although God may have revealed things plainly and intelligibly, yet it may by us be rejected, or clothed in a mantle of mysticism, and so hid for ages, for aught I can see, and then brought to light by the diligent application of some of his servants. Surely, the writer will not deny this, for his object in writing this book is, as he says, to do away with an error, that has for years become almost or quite universal. So, you can see, we are happily and clearly agreed on this point. MRSH 7.1

His next, and third part: “Designations of time in the prophecies.” On this point, his rule, which he has laid down on page 65, is perfectly right, and must, I think, stand the test in all cases. “Every passage of Scripture, or of any other book, is to be interpreted as bearing its plain, and primary, and literal sense, unless good reasons can be given why it should be tropically (figuratively) understood.” MRSH 7.2

Thus far I can agree with the learned author; but here I must stop: his rules of interpretation are good, his general remarks on the nature and manner of prophecy I admire; but when he comes to apply those rules, I see neither reason nor common sense in the application. MRSH 7.3

I shall not follow him through all his arguments and explanations; but shall select a few. And first, his views of the little horn, in Daniel 7:7, 8, 20, 21-26, meaning Antiochus Epiphanes, are wholly without evidence; not even a color of testimony can be brought from the Scriptures to prove that point. Yet he asserts it as though no one ever doubted it: this proves that his reading on that point has been very limited. MRSH 8.1

This horn does not belong to the Grecian kingdom, nor is it one of the four into which Grecia was divided. See Daniel 7:7: “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Now read the heavenly teacher. Daniel 7:23: “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” After Daniel had given the account of the Grecian kingdom in the sixth verse, he says he saw in his vision another beast, which is explained to mean the fourth kingdom upon earth. Is it possible to prove that a third can be the fourth? A third may have four heads, but it is the same beast still. Here we have another one, different from all other kingdoms that were before it. Where was the wide difference between the Syrian and the other three kingdoms into which Alexander’s was divided? All arose in the same manner, all made war on each other, and each in its turn succeeded in its warlike enterprises. Neither one of them was able to subdue all the other three. Yet Daniel tells us that “three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots,” and by the little horn, which our author calls Antiochus. Again, this kingdom was to have ten kings when this little horn should rise up: for he is to rise after them, and among them, and subdue three of them. This, then, cannot, by any fair construction, be applied to Antiochus. MRSH 8.2

This little horn was to make war with the saints, and prevail against them until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. See verses 21, 22. What kingdom? See verses 26, 27: “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” It is a “great kingdom,” ‘under the whole heaven,” and an “everlasting kingdom,” and, “all dominions serving and obeying him.” Now if the Jews mean the saints, as our author tells us, according to his own showing, the Jews have not yet got the everlasting kingdom. See his own remarks, on page 139, on Acts 1:6, 7. And of course Antiochus is yet alive, making war, and prevailing against the Jews. No wonder our author complains against the English and American commentators. If he follows them, all their wisdom, and his too, is not able to extricate him from a very foolish dilemma. Let him apply this to the Roman kingdom, and all will be clear and natural. MRSH 9.1

We cannot avoid seeing, as I sincerely believe, that the kingdom which is given to the saints of the Most High at the destruction of the little horn, cannot be any kingdom possessed by the Jews at that time or at any time subsequent. If it is figurative, then the rules of our good brother will not apply; for it is not used in the 27th verse as a symbol or representation, but as an explanation of the 14th and 22nd verses, by the heavenly visitor himself. See verse 16: “I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.” MRSH 10.1

Then by what stretch of imagination we can apply this little horn to Antiochus, is to me ten times more mysterious than the occult sense, of which the writer so justly complains. Why not then make the application where it belongs, to the fourth or Roman kingdom, and the little horn to Antichrist making war against the true saints, until the glorious appearing of the great God (Ancient of days) and our Saviour Jesus Christ, in the clouds of heaven? Surely there can be no objection against this hypothesis, because all must admit that then, when Christ shall come the second time, he will come to receive unto himself a kingdom which will be eternal. Luke 19:15: “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.” Then will the saints possess the kingdom promised, James 2:5: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” Why, I ask again, in the name of all that is dear in heaven or earth, cannot our teachers apply the prophecies of the Old Testament to the precious promises in the new1 1 Peter 1:9-13: “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus MRSH 10.2

Christ.” Here is a plain rule of the application of Old Testament prophecy. Why not follow it? Has God blinded the eyes of our seers and our teachers, so that they cannot see? Or have our sectarian quarrels produced a confusion in the ranks of our expositors of the word of God, so that truth has fallen in the streets, and but few men left? In Daniel 7th chapter, how perfectly plain do we trace the prophetic history of our world, from the days of Daniel to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven, the judgment of the saints, and the everlasting kingdom of the glorified children of God. And yet this good man, this teacher in Israel, sees not a single ray of light this side of Antiochus, a Syrian king, who died 164 years before Christ was born. If Christ should come now, would he find faith on the earth? O God, have mercy, and open the eyes of our teachers! Again; he tells us, on pages 86 and 87, that the events predicted in the 11th chapter, from 21-45, and the whole of the 12th chapter, are to be referred, altogether, to Antiochus Epiphanes. This to me is still more unaccountable, how men of such erudition as Moses Stuart, can for a moment suppose that all the description given here, can or ought to be applied to one man. Yes, and that too, describing the events that were to happen to the people of God in the latter days, beginning with the fifth king of Persia, and ending with a resurrection; Daniel 10:14 to 12:4. I know that Moses Stuart has the authority of some of the expositors in the Roman Catholic church, for his understanding of these prophecies. He has given their sentiments in their own words, and I am afraid he has not been careful enough to compare their views with the word of God. They were too much interested in the conclusion, to be received by me without a careful examination. And if it can be shown that the prophecy fails to be fulfilled in Antiochus, in any one point, then the whole must fall. Matthew 5:17, 18: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For 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.” Let us then examine the first verse of the 12th chapter. “Then shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” When did this happen? If these expositors are right, “then,” at the death of Antiochus or immediately afterwards, Michael stands up. Has any one been able to show satisfactorily who this is? I answer, no. “And there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.” Was there a time of trouble after Antiochus’s death? This is not tropical language; remember our rules. Can any man produce such a historical fact as to warrant this expression? Mr. S. tells us, page 92, “No wonder that the angel pronounced those of the pious and believing Jews to be blessed, who lived to see such a day of deliverance. The great enemy of their nation and their God had fallen; Judas Maccabaeus had become everywhere victorious; the sanctuary was now cleansed of its pollution, pure worship was restored, and the Hebrews had every prospect of independence.” I will agree that the description given of these times by this writer, is highly wrought up, to meet another event in the prophecy under contemplation. Yet our time of trouble fails: “And at that time,” in this time of trouble, “thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Who are these, and what book is this they are written in? Was this accomplished at that time? I answer, No. The author of this book dare not assert it, although he apparently wrought up our minds, by the glowing description which I have just quoted, to expect something very graphic; yet when he comes to the point, he slips over in perfect silence in this place, although he had before (page 88) acknowledged Daniel 12:1-3 difficult to interpret. Why not then tell us what it does mean? But as it happens, to the glory of God, we are not dependent on Mr. Stuart to tell us; the angel himself has informed us. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” MRSH 12.1

We must remember the rules given in this book of “Hints,” etc. No tropical words where the sense is plain; no occult or double meaning in this passage. One of two things, then, must be true. Either the resurrection did take place in the time, times and a half, under Antiochus, and all the people of God, every one of them whose names are written, or ever shall be written in the Lamb’s book of life, did awake to everlasting life; or Antiochus is not the one designated in this prophecy, as Mr. S. says. MRSH 14.1

Now which dilemma shall we take? I answer, I will choose to let Antiochus go, and take a resurrection to come, and I think our good Br. Stuart will do the same, if he is wise. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars, forever and ever.” MRSH 15.1

This grand and sublime description cannot, without doing the utmost violence to tropical language, be applied to so barren and insignificant a circumstance as the Jews in their corrupt state, into which they were sunk, between the last of the prophets and the birth of the Messiah, being released from one petty tyrant to fall under others more severe within four or five years. See 1Maccabees 7th and 9th chapters. MRSH 15.2

Common sense would forbid such a construction of this prophecy, and I am well satisfied, that with all Mr. Stuart’s knowledge, he has not a clear knowledge of the history of the Jews at the time specified. This prophecy cannot have reference to Antiochus. The next verse shows that the book of Daniel was shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Mr. S. says, to the end of these troubles with Antiochus; but that would be departing from his own rule, unless he can prove that the resurrection, which is immediately mentioned before, was fulfilled at that time, which he has not done. Then, I am at liberty to fix my own construction; and he tells us, plainly, that there cannot, with any propriety, be an occult or double meaning in prophecy. And when the Bible tells us that “those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,” and to “everlasting life” too, I cannot, to accommodate myself to any man’s theory call it spiritual, when I believe in a literal one to come. This I am satisfied is Br. S.’s rule. Neither can I apply the words in Daniel 7:10-13, to a mystical sense, and in other places make the same words and sentiments literal, without a “thus saith the Lord.” Therefore, when the angel tells Daniel that “those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,” and Christ tells me “the hour is coming when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth,” I cannot believe one a mystical and the other a literal sense, without any further cause being shown, than my, or another’s anxiety to have Antiochus mean the little horn. Daniel 7:8-25, and 11-12 chap. And if this view which Br. S. has given of these prophecies be true, then his principles of interpretation cannot be correct, without he allows himself, what he is not willing to grant to others, to depart from his own rules, where his own views require such a departure. MRSH 15.3

As it respects his exposition of times in Daniel 7 and 12, we shall reserve it for future remarks, and examine now into his views on Daniel 8th chapter, p. 93. He says, “One, and only one more period in the book of Daniel claims our present attention; this is in chapter 8:14. In the vision seen by Daniel, as there related, one angel inquires of another, ‘How long the sanctuary and the host were given to be trodden under foot.’ The answer is, ‘to two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’” MRSH 16.1

Our teacher has made a very sad misstatement in stating his question, not by design, we cannot believe; for he is too good a man to mislead any one. True, my critical neighbor says, he discovers a trick or design in thus stating the question; but wherein? say I. Do you see he has enclosed the question in a single comma, showing that it is but partially stated, while he has enclosed the answer in double commas, showing it is all true? says my neighbor. No, no, said I, this is all jealousy. Mr. S. is too good a man to favor deception at all; it is an inadvertency; he will correct it in a moment when he sees it. The question is not ‘How long the sanctuary and host are given to be trodden under foot?’ but it is, as Br. Stuart will acknowledge, “How long shall be the vision?” or as some translate it, “For how long time shall be the vision,” “concerning the daily (or continual) sacrifice (or wicked) and transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and host to be trodden under foot?” The answer must be according to the question, or one of these heavenly messengers must be in an error - either the one asking, or the one answering the question; and surely I dare not say either is wrong. Then the question resolves itself into the following particulars: “How long shall the ram push against Grecia, or westward, northward and southward; and the he-goat coming from the west, breaking the two horns of the ram, smiting him and casting him down to the ground, and stamping upon him, and then becoming very great; and he must be broken, and then four more rise up in his room, and they continue to be very wicked, notably so; and when they have accomplished their wickedness, then shall arise another horn, which waxed exceeding great, above all the horns before it, towards the south, east and north, it waxed great to the host of heaven, cast down the stars and stamped upon them, magnified himself in his heart, even to the prince of the host, and stood up against the Prince of princes, the Lord Jesus Christ, cast down the truth to the ground, and practised and prospered, until the Ancient of days came, and the Son of man comes in the clouds of heaven, and these will be broken without hand?” MRSH 16.2

This last horn is the one which takes away the daily sacrifice, and places in the room of it, the abomination that maketh desolate, and is himself the desolator, and will only be destroyed at the consummation. See Daniel 7:11, 26: “I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” 9:27: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” In this verse the same abominations are spoken of, as in Daniel 8:13, and this sweeps away at one blow, Br. Stuart’s exposition of the little horn being Antiochus; for no one can pretend that Antiochus lived after Christ; and yet we find the same desolator overspreading abominations until the consummation, and that determined is poured upon the desolator. MRSH 18.1

This too harmonizes with Christ’s word as given by Matthew (24:15): “When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand;”) and if our Br. S. would divest himself entirely of his prepossessions for Antiochus, and not be continually harassed by that old spectre, he would at once see that the Scriptures harmonize, and would not have to resort to such ridiculous subterfuges as he has on pages 99 and 100, to do away the force of Christ’s words. MRSH 19.1

He would also see the exact agreement between Daniel’s little horn, (11:36,) “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done,” and Paul’s man of sin, (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4,) “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” ‘But there is but little hope for such men. Pride of opinion goes a great ways with men of his standing, and they are slaves to popular applause; and all you can say or write will do him no good, nor the class in which he moves,’ - whispers Satan in my ear, while I am writing. Get behind me, Satan, say I. A man who writes with so good a spirit, and gives us such good rules, will see that it is all a fable about Antiochus being prophesied of anywhere in Daniel, except in chap 11:11, 12; and that from the 14th verse of the 11th chapter to the end of the 12th, all is a relation of the things which have been literally and will be fulfilled to the end of the gospel period, and the coming of Christ; and is all concerning the fourth and last earthly kingdom in our world. MRSH 19.2

My limits will not allow me now to show that every word of Daniel 11:14-45, has been literally fulfilled under the history of Rome, the fourth kingdom in Daniel’s vision; and that that vision carries us to the end of all indignation, and to the consummation, when the body of this beast (Roman kingdom) is given to the burning flame. If then it can be shown that the history of Rome better fulfils the prophecy, and leaves no difficulty but what may be easily surmounted, why not leave the Antiochus system of explanation to its fate, with all its insurmountable difficulties, and take that which harmonizes with all Daniel’s visions, the history of the world, and New Testament writers? MRSH 20.1

I shall now examine Mr. Stuart’s remarks on the “designation of time,” by his own rule. MRSH 20.2

1st. Time, as specified in Daniel 8:14: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” We have already examined the question, and find it does contain a history of the world, from the Medo-Persian kingdom to the end of indignation, when that which God hath determined shall be poured upon the desolator, or to the end of the transgression of desolation, which is the end of the Roman, or fourth kingdom in the world. Thus far the vision is as plain to my mind as the rays of the sun in its meridian splendor. The answer then is, “unto 2300 days;” but, says the critic, it is “evenings, mornings.” No matter, all men seem to understand it days; for it is so translated in every language with which we are acquainted at the present day. Therefore this can never be made plainer, if this compound Hebrew word should be criticised upon until the judgment shall set. I am sick of this continual harping upon words. Our learned critics are worse on the waters of truth, than a school of sharks on the fishing banks of the north, and they have made more infidels in our world than all the heathen mythology in existence. What word in revelation has not been turned, twisted, racked, wrested, distorted, demolished, and annihilated by these voracious harpies in human shape, until the public have become so bewildered, they know not what to believe? “They have fouled the waters with their feet.” I have always noticed where they tread, the religious spirit is at a low ebb; it becomes cold, formal and doubtful, at least. It is the mind of the Spirit we want, and God’s word then becomes spirit and life unto us. MRSH 20.3

The words “evenings, mornings” convey to our mind the idea of days; thus this vision is 2300 days long, says the reader. Yes. But how can all this be? says the inquiring mind. Can three kingdoms rise up and become great; from a small people become a strong nation; conquer all the nations of the earth, and then in its turn be subdued and conquered by a kingdom still more fortunate, and so on through three successive kingdoms, and do this in little over six years? Impossible. But God has said it, and I must believe. Now the only difficulty is in time. How can this be? Very well, says the dear child of God, I remember me; God says I must “dig for the truth, as for hid treasure.” I will go to work, and while I am digging, I will live by begging. Father in heaven, I believe it is thy word; but I do not understand it; shew me thy truth. I had rather have one humble prayer of this kind, with an English Bible in my hand, than all the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin Br. S. ever knew. The child then takes the word day, and compares spiritual things with spiritual, to find what his heavenly Father means by days in a figurative sense; for he is satisfied it cannot be literal. The first text he lights upon is in Numbers 14:34, “each day for a year.” May this not be it? says the child. He takes hold of it by faith, carries it home, lays it up in his cell of sweets, richer than a lord, and again goes forth in search of more. He now lights upon Ezekiel 4:6: “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” He is now rich in very deed - two jewels in one cell. He does not stop to criticize like a Stuart, and query, and reason himself out of common sense and reason too; but Abraham-like, he believes, and lays up his treasure at home. I see, says the child, this use of days was so ordained by my Father in two cases, and two witnesses is enough: but I am not certain that I have a right to use these jewels in this place; I will go and beg, and dig again. In this excursion he lights on Daniel 9:23-27: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people,” etc. Seventy weeks of what? says the critic. I do not care a fig, says the believing child, whether you call it days or years; I know how long it was in fulfilling. How long? Exactly 490 years, from the decree given in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, 457 years before Christ, unto his death, 33 years after the birth of Christ, making exactly 490 years, or seventy sevens of years of the vision. But of what vision? says the critic. Why, says the child, it is the last vision Daniel had, in the 8th chapter. Are you certain of that? I am; it can refer to no other; and as the seventy weeks were a part of the vision, cut off from the vision, and did seal the vision and prophecy, I want no better evidence to show that these jewels which I have laid up, now have an application; for 490 years cannot be a part of six years, and of course the 2300 must be so many years; and if all the skeptics in Christendom, and the Stuarts in the habitable earth, should try to make me believe that the vision in the 8th chapter of Daniel was fulfilled under Antiochus Epiphanes, I could not do it. Thus would the believing child reason. This I know too by experience. But let me state this in another way. I find in the vision of Daniel things spoken of as the “abomination that maketh desolate.” I find my Saviour mentioning the same thing, and showing that it would exist even forty years after his time. I cannot believe that he was mistaken, and the end of that same thing was two hundred years before. “For at the time appointed, the end shall be.” But Br. S. may say that it was the end of the pollution of the sanctuary; but this cannot be true, for we learn that twenty years or more after the death of Antiochus, Simon, the high priest, drove out the heathen who had polluted the sanctuary and the holy place; 1Maccab.xiv.36. Also our Saviour found the temple a den of thieves; therefore it could not mean the end of pollution. MRSH 21.1

These reasons, with more which can be and have been presented, are evidence strong that this vision could not have been fulfilled in six years. Then the conclusion is that days are used in a figurative sense. MRSH 24.1

Then I find, in the two cases above mentioned, they were used in that sense. Have we no right to compare Scripture with Scripture? Surely Br. S. is wise above what is written. 1 Corinthians 2:13: “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” MRSH 24.2

The writer has admitted (page 76) that days in these two cases are symbols of years. Then why not use them so in Daniel and Revelation? Because God has not told us plainly here to so use them, says Br. S. But I say he has told us what is equal to it. He has given us definite time; he has told us what shall happen in that time. Common sense and a few years of experience show clearly it could not be, neither was it true, in a literal sense. Shall we charge our heavenly Father with folly? No. Let us first take the precaution to be wise, compare Scripture with Scripture, as did Daniel, (9:2,) pray as did Daniel, (9:4-20.) It may be, after all, a symbol, methinks Daniel might have said. God revealed unto Belshazzar the end of his kingdom by a symbolic writing on the wall. Why not reveal unto us the end of all earthly kingdoms in symbolic language on the sacred wall of his word? MRSH 24.3

Do not start so, Br. S.; I am only reasoning from analogy, and I perceive you have done the same, pages 137,138. But let us pursue our analogy. When God revealed this to this proud and wicked monarch, he saw the fingers and symbolic writing, and was afraid; Daniel 5:7, 8: “The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed in scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men; but they could not read the writing, nor make known the interpretation thereof.” Now the analogy. God has revealed by symbolic language the end of the world; Luke 21:26: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” The world call on their D. D.’s, A. M.’s, Professors, Rev.’s, etc. - (Isaiah 21:11: “The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?”) - but they are all confused, no two of them can agree; some cry one thing and some another. We have seen the D. D.’s calling it all “moonshine;” the A. M.’s putting it off for “ages yet to come;” the professors throwing it all upon the back of Antiochus; the Rev.’s charging it all to old Jerusalem; and thus we are, “confusion worse confused.” MRSH 25.1

But the analogy: Daniel 8:13-26: “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, 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? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man; for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 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. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” MRSH 26.1

And now we will be as wise as Belshazzar; at least we will call in Daniel. Hear him. Daniel 9:20-27: “And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city, and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” What do we learn from him? We learn that days are to be understood years in his prophecy; (not the historical parts of it;) for the seventy weeks were to seal up the vision and the prophecy, which it could not do, if the vision was only six years and a third in length; it would far exceed it. We see, in the 27th verse Daniel carries us far beyond the death of Christ, until the burning day, and destruction of the abomination that maketh desolate, or the desolator. Then this seventy weeks, for so it must be rendered, (Professor S. to the contrary notwithstanding,) is 490 years of the vision of Daniel 8:14: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Then if 490 years was a part of this symbolical hand-writing, showing the end of earthly kingdoms, and especially the end of mystical Babylon, I ask what night must she be slain? When will the kingdoms of this world be weighed in the balance of God’s justice and be found wanting; be dashed to pieces like a potter’s vessel, and carried away like the chaff of the summer’s threshing-floor, and no place found for them? MRSH 27.1

But what does Daniel further tell us? See Daniel 12:10-13: “Many shall be purified and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” “Many will be purified and made white.” Was this done when Antiochus died? If so, then I cannot understand what being clothed in white means. But it is explained, Revelation 19:7, 8: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” It is the marriage of the Lamb, which could not have been 164 years before Christ was born. “And tried.” When is this? Let the apostle James tell us, (1:12): “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” “And the wicked shall do wickedly.” So they were doing in Babylon, eating and drinking, and so they will be doing when Christ comes. Matthew 24:48-51: “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” “And none of the wicked shall understand.” So it was in Babylon. Daniel 5:15: “And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing.” And so will it be in the end of the world. See Luke 21:35: “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” “But the wise shall understand.” So it was when Babylon fell. Daniel 5:14: “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light, and understanding, and excellent wisdom, is found in thee.” And so will it be when mystical Babylon shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming. 1 Thessalonians 5:4. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” MRSH 29.1

You need not be alarmed for your rules, Br. Stuart. I am only reasoning from analogy; and surely you will not deny me the same privilege you have so abundantly improved upon yourself. And now, my dear Br. Stuart, let me give you some two or three good pieces of advice, as part payment for those you have given me, and I will pay you the remainder anon. MRSH 31.1

1. Say not, God cannot symbolize time, when he reveals all other parts by symbols. MRSH 31.2

2. Never write a book against any man, until you have read him, and thoroughly understand him. MRSH 31.3

3. Say not in your heart Christ will not come in 1843, lest he come and find you sleeping. MRSH 31.4

4. Take 490 from 2300, and add the life of Christ, 33, and you will find the true sanctuary cleansed, of which the temple at Jerusalem was only a shadow. MRSH 31.5

5. Take away the veil of Judaism from before your face, and you will look for the better promise; as did Abraham. MRSH 31.6

W. M.