The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 3

III. Brown-First Introduces Then Undermines 1844 Date

While Frere held to the concept that the 2400 years of the Vatican Septuagint would end about 1847, as early as 1826 Cuninghame, in his scheme of prophetic arrangement, had endorsed Mason’s computation of the 2300 years appearing in his Two Essays on Daniel’s Prophetic Number. Mason had fixed upon 1843 as the correct terminus, with “the complete cleansing of the sanctuary in the day of Armageddon.” 72 PFF3 404.4

This endorsement by Cuninghame of Mason’s calculation as the first to fix upon 1843, raised the issue of priority in the discovery. In 1827 JOHN AQUILA BROWN, 73 in the preface to The Jew, the Master-Key of the Apocalypse (1827), refers to Cuninghame’s progression in understanding the 2300-year period, and calls attention to his own own-volume The Even-Tide; or, Last Triumph of the Blessed and Only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; Being a Development of the Mysteries of Daniel and St. John, published in 1823. This had expressly set the date limits as 457 B.C. and A.D. 1843. But, behind that, he refers to “a fugitive paper penned fourteen years since, by the same author” 74 that is, by himself, which obviously was The Christian Observer item of November, 1810. 75 PFF3 404.5

It therefore seems evident that this remarkable statement in The Christian Observer of November, 1810 (vol. 9, no. 107), was by John A. Brown, inasmuch as it was signed “J.A.B.,” and no record has been found of any other writer on prophecy at that period bearing those initials. 76 PFF3 405.1


The title page of Brown’s Even-Tide of 1823, sets forth his scheme of time prophecy, illustrated by a simple diagram within. The 391, 1260, 1290, 1335, 2300, and 2520 year “Lines of Time “are noted, and the year 1844 is set forth as the time of the “destruction of the papal power,” and the “triumph of the Jewish kingdom.” But the years 1873 and 1917 are also introduced as the end dates for the “extirpation of Mohammedanism” and the “close of the judgment,” respectively. And this is not only on the basis of extension of the other time periods beyond 1844, but by a double-dating application of the 2300 years, as from 428 B.C. to A.D. 1873. 77 The 1917 date was taken from the 2520 years, or “seven times,” of Nebuchadnezzar’s tree, from 604 A.D. 1917. Thus another stone was laid on the foundation of the “continuationist,” or successive application, theories that later became prominent among advent heralds of Britain. This tended to minimize the 1843 or 1844 date and fix the mind on the later dates. (Title page reproduced on page 290.) PFF3 405.2


However, Brown is very clear in choosing the decree of 457 B.C., at the time of Ezra, as a “fit epoch from whence to calculate the period of cleansing the sanctuary.” 78 This, he says, “points to a period when alone the sanctuary will be effectually cleansed, -namely, at the expiration of the 2300 years.” 79 Brown holds that it will not be cleansed so long as “Mohammedism still reigns in its precincts.” Brown therefore makes a threefold ending in 1844-the “391 solar years of the sixth trumpet or Turkish Woe,” from 1453 to 1844; the “1260 solar years papal assumption of the doctrine of infallibility,” from 584 to 1844, and “2300 solar years of Ezra’s Decree to the incipient cleansing of the sanctuary”- 457 B.C. to A.D. 1844. Thus he says: PFF3 405.3

“A similar event is naturally to be expected from the use of the same terms; and, under the latter branch of the prophecy of Daniel, the very one desolation is predicted, as well as the close of the oppression determined, within the period of the 2300 years; for it is not a simple cleansing of the sanctuary, spiritually considered, which is then to take place, but the revival also of the power of the host, which had been trodden down; and must occur in the same year as the revival of the witnesses, and the cessation of the Turkish woe, as well as the ceasing to scatter the power of the holy people. The exit of the 2300 years, consistently with other portions of prophecy, must therefore find its place in the same year, 1844.” 80 PFF3 406.1


Brown notes that the vision of Daniel 8 begins with the time of the Persian ram. 81 “This was explained by the same angel, Gabriel, in chapter 9, and “he [Daniel] could not be ignorant that, in prophetical language, a day stood for a year.” Daniel therefore understood the seventy weeks to be “a further revelation of the same subject.” 82 Brown then contends that Daniel 8 and 9 have “a positive connection with the eleventh” and “these several revelations have one common link of union.” 83 PFF3 406.2


But Brown makes the 2300 years refer “chiefly, if not wholly, to the Jewish sanctuary, Jerusalem and Palestine, or the Holy Land.” 84 The connection with the seventy weeks-first with the death of Christian A.D. 34, which he places at the end of the seventieth week-is stated thus: PFF3 406.3

“From the promulgation of Ezra’s commission, ... 457 B.C. to the end of the seventy weeks, or death of Christ in his thirty-fourth year, four hundred and ninety years terminate A.C. [A.D.] 34. PFF3 406.4

“From the death of Christ, in his thirty-fourth year, to the end o! tin-period of desolation, and close of the period of the two thousand and three hundred years, and consequent cleansing of the sanctuary, eighteen hundred and ten years, the remaining portion of that period terminate 1844.” 85 PFF3 407.1

5. DATES 1260 YEARS FROM 584 TO 1844

The 1260 years of the Papacy, which Brown also makes to be the “two-horned beast,” end with “the hour of the harlot’s judgment; and the beast falls at Armageddon, with his ten kings in 1844.” 86 This period he sets as from 584 to 1844. 87 PFF3 407.2

6. EXTENDS 1290 YEARS FROM 622 TO 1873

The 1290 years are placed from “the first setting up of the Mohammed an abomination to its final eradication, and the revival of pure and undefiled religion throughout the world.” This Brown begins in A.D. 622, and terminates in “A.D. 1873, in the Battle of Gog and Magog, the period of the second judgment on Christ’s descent from heaven, and the general resurrection.” 88 PFF3 407.3

7. 1335 YEARS DATED 622 TO 1917

The “destruction of every enemy, and their final and everlasting punishment; the destroying of the veil spread over all nations; the eradication of the curse, and the glorious and eternal reign of Messiah upon earth,” Brown puts at the close of the 1335 years, which he places from A.D. 622 to 1917.” 89 PFF3 407.4

In his later volume Brown takes note of Irving’s translation of Lacunza. He expresses regret that the Lacunzan notion of Antichrist was retained in the English translation. 90 The angel of Revelation 14, with the message of verses 6 and 7, Brown curiously limits to Palestine and the Turkish area. 91 The second angel’s message he limits to “Babylon or the Papal Harlot, vi/.. in Italy, and the third Germany and France, for these are represented by the Beast and his Image.” 92 In a footnote he takes issue with the contention of “Crito” (]. H. Frere), 93 in Drummond’s Dialogues of Prophecy, that these three angels are symbolic of societies or organizations for the proclamation of the last events and the coining of the kingdom.” 94 PFF3 407.5

Thus were strengthened the foundations of that continuationist, or successive, application of prophetic fulfillment that would shift the expectation forward, away from the initial date of 1844 to later events in an over-all scheme. PFF3 408.1