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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84

[A Declaration of the Age or Period, Being also Published as a Third Communication.]

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"For like as a young child may not bring forth the things that belong to the aged, even so have I disposed the world which I created."—2 Esdras, chap. 5 verse 49.

TThe Prophet Daniel, who was taken to Babylon among the first of the captives B.C. 606, and lived there throughout the 70 years' captivity, explained Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the third year of the captivity, and prophesied : "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."—Daniel, chap. 2 verse 44.

Ezekiel, who afterwards followed Daniel into captivity, B.C. 504, describes the measures of this great kingdom as a holy oblation (chap. 48 v. 20), and the measures may be recognised as the measures of all the earth; and the borders of the land in the original language express protecting and sanctifying qualities or virtues like the leaves of the tree of life described by Saint John in Revelation, chapter 22, and were for the healing of the nations.

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Jeremiah, who was also in Jerusalem at the time it was taken by the King of Babylon, when Daniel was carried to Babylon, had prophesied shortly before the city was taken of the 70 years' captivity, which was ended after Babylon was taken by Cyrus and Darius, B.C. 537, as related in the book of Daniel, chapter 5.

Jeremiah was taken to Egypt by the Jews who had rebelled, B.C. 587, and the following year the city was re-taken, after the conquest of Egypt, by the King of Babylon, who then destroyed Solomon's Temple and carried away other Jews into captivity.

As this "Communication" is concerned in times (or periods) and measures of extent, I will introduce here what I take from Dr. Keith's book, "Evidence of the truth of the Christian Religion," printed in 1838, who states that the following observations of Dr. Samuel Clarke, partly communicated to him, as he acknowledges, by Sir Isaac Newton, elucidate this prophecy so clearly (referring to the sub-divisions of time as compared with the history of the Jews and the narrative of the New Testament), and adds that every reader will forgive (him) their insertion:—"When the angel says to Daniel, seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, &c. (chapter 9 verse 24), was this written after the event ? or can it reasonably be ascribed to chance, that from the seventh year of Artaxerxes, the king (when Ezra went up from Babylon unto Jerusalem with a commission to restore the government to the Jews), to the death of Christ, should be precisely 490 (seventy weeks of) years? When the angel tells Daniel that in three score and two weeks the street (of Jerusalem) should be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times; was this written after the event? Or can it reasonably be ascribed to chance, that from the 28th year of Artaxerxes, when the walls were finished, to the birth of Christ, should be precisely 434 (sixty-two weeks of) years ? When Daniel farther says, ' And he shall confirm (or nevertheless he shall confirm) the covenant with many for one week; was this written after the event ? Or can it reasonably be ascribed to chance, that from the death of Christ (A.D. 33) to the command given first to Peter to preach to Cornelius and the Gentiles (A.D. 40) should be exactly seven (one week of) years ?"

I extract the following from a large book having printed on its back "Notes to Holy Bible," which I purchased of the agent in Christchurch some years ago. It contains extracts from many writers:—

"For by joining the accomplishment of the vision with the expiation of sins, the 490 years are ended with the death of Christ. Now the dispersed Jews became a people and city, when they first returned into a polity or body politick; and this was in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, when Ezra returned with a body of Jews from captivity, and revived the Jewish worship, and, by the King's commission, created magistrates in all the land to judge and govern the people according to the laws of God and of the King.—Ezra vii. 26. From this year to the death of Christ was just 490 years."—Sir Isaac Newton.

I will add to the foregoing extracts a remark Dr Keith makes in his book—" Computation by weeks of years was common among the Jews;" and "The plainest inference may be drawn from these prophecies. . . while they were unquestionably delivered and publicly known for ages previous to the time to which they referred. . . . While they refer to different contingent and unconnected events accord in perfect unison to a single precise period where all their different lines terminate at once—the very fulness of time when Jesus appeared."

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It may be observed here in passing, to assist any one who reads this, who has not considered the prophecies, that the last of the four successive great kingdoms who held in succession dominion over Judea—the Roman—was first of all Heathen (a term symbolized in Scripture by the Dragon or Devil), then Christian under the Emperors, and afterwards it was the seat of that great united ecclesiastical and temporal government that claimed universal dominion,

It may also be observed here that the visible church is symbolized as "Heaven" in the Revelation of Saint John the Divine.

The year A.D. 1866 was a memorable one in our own times, when the King of Italy assumed dominion over the States of the Church except the City of Rome itself, which fell to him in the memorable year A.D. 1870.

The walls of Jerusalem were finished B.C. 434; add to this A.D. 1866, and we have 2300.

"And he said unto me unto 2300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."—Daniel, chap. 8 verse 14.

"For like as all that is made in the world hath a beginning and an end, and the end is manifest."—2nd Esdras, chap. 9 verse 5.

"Even so the times also of the Highest have plain beginnings in wonders and powerful works, and endings in effects and signs."—2nd Esdras, chap. 9 verse 6.

The year A.D. 606 was a notable one in church history as having a seal to date the commencement of the universal Bishopric of Church and State; 1260 years added to which would also bring us to A.D. 1866.

"Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river,"—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 5.

"And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river—' How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ?'" Daniel, chap. 12 verse G.

"And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swear by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 7.

It may be remarked here that a day in prophecy is sometimes expressed to mean a year, and a time or year 360 days or years; times, to twice 360 days or years; and a half time, half of 360 years; and a month to mean 30 days or years. Thus other two of the Prophet Daniel's periods are found as ending harmoniously, and the Revelation of Saint John the Divine will be found in explanatory and lucid harmony.

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."—Revelation, chap. 13 verse 5. Thus were the disciplined proselytes led to blaspheme by associating ethical state precepts and the precepts of ethnicks with the narrative of the life and words of Christ.

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Even at this day there may be some true disciples of Christ who will not be content to worship any other similitude and embody in their faith any other precepts than those taught by Him. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."—Matthew, chap. 5 verse 8. The solitary or individual saint values his liberty as much as any who are joined to any organization.

Saint John mentions no period of continuation for the second beast, but Daniel tells of blessings 75 years after the end of the time, times, and an half.—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 12. And the manifestation of the mystery will be perfect in its time, and written in events upon the page of history.

It has been shown that the 2300 days or years and the 1260 years terminate together; the first period being computed from the finishing of the walls of Jerusalem (434 years before the birth of Christ), and the second from a date (606 years after) marked in history as the recognised commencement of the great Universal Bishopric of Church and State. But clerical lecturers on the subject, who would at one time have been called "Dissenters," seem for many years to have had a great objection to accept the period named for the commencement of the days of the beast; and it is not likely to be regarded more favourably by clergymen of the Church of England. "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."—Matthew, chap. 6 verse 24.

The ten horns to Daniel's 4th beast and to the beast in the Revelation of Saint John, we are informed by both these Prophets, represent ten kings or kingdoms; we are also informed by both that the saints of the Most High shall obtain the victory and bear rule.

Some interpreters individualize these ten kingdoms and name them; others consider it as a representative number to include the whole, because of the changes continually taking place in the world.

For general expressions on the prophecies, the enquirer could obtain books on the subject, and his own heart would, in his choice or rejection of writers or authorities, either aid or pervert his judgment.

When I first entered upon the subject of the application of prophecy—as will be presently related,—I had with me a small authorised version of the Bible, Dr Keith's work (before referred to), and Bishop "Newton's Dissertatibns on the Prophecies." The last work I found very useful, as it contains a good deal of historical information, and many edifying quotations. But in how many was the spirit like the spirit of the Prophef Daniel when he made this answer to the king?—"Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another."—Daniel, chap. 5 verse 17.

I have since obtained a copy of the "Douay Bible' which contains some very short notes—but worth reading.

And I should not omit to say that there are excellent notes and information in Alexander "Cruden's Concordance."

Having thus far explained my subject, I will continue it, in the first place, by giving extracts from a pamphlet printed and published at Auckland, 9th November, 1852, with some "Remarks" left for publication with a printer and newspaper proprietor (a Methodist) just two page 7 years before. My pamphlet was headed "A Communication," and my remarks were signed "A Man;" "the number of a man" having been brought to my strong notice on two separate occasions by associating it in my mind and memory with the number 600 and the number 6. The incident is mentioned in my pamphlet, and the date of the second reflection of the number, in my pamphlet also, which told in anything hut an exaggerated manner the result of ecclesiastical and political teaching; and, as stated in "A Second Communication" (published also at Auckland, on 5th September, 1862), "my suggestions were influenced with a desire to advocate integrity in the purpose and practice of Government"

From the times that the number of "a man" was brought to my strong notice, I began to think with a strong bias whether we were in "New Jerusalem;" and afterwards, when convenient and at leisure, I read the Bible through, and felt an interest in reading it, and I was enabled to read it.

Extracts from "A Communication," printed and published 9th November, 1852:—

"The commandment to govern the land of Israel, given in the 47th and 43th chapters of the book of the Prophet Ezekiel, assumes anew order of things, which may be discovered in its careful consideration.

"The grave consideration of the application of prophecy originated in the writer's mind closely coincidental with a singular circumstance. A day or two previous to the 1st of June, 1844, the eye of the writer accidentally fell on the last verse of the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation; he then read the chapter, but without any gratification. Very shortly afterwards, under a remarkable influence, he recognised the Providence of the Almighty in events which had suggested to his mind—fatality,—and which his infirmities and reasoning were alike unable to explain. He was astonished at the number of coincidences on which his memory rested, and his mind seemed to anticipate a kind of suggestive application, which the reading of the Holy Scriptures and the acquisition of facts some time afterwards seemed almost to approve : these feelings were associated with a great feeling of helplessness, and a total subjugation to the Providence of God. While under these feelings, in the latter end of 1844, he was led a second time into the interior of New Zealand."

After this follow in my pamphlet the "Remarks" before referred to, and which was acknowledged on the 9th November, 1850, in the New Zealander, a newspaper, in these terms:—"We thank 'A Man' for his communication; there are just now, however, many urgent demands upon our space." It was not published or returned. The last sentence in the "Eemarks" is written thus :—

"The period of the world is very remarkable—the boundaries of land and water seem but just revealed; and at the last a nation is added to Christendom, having the name of Salvation written on their foreheads. Think you whether they will be continued or exterminated ? I can believe that Christians will yet start at the enquiry, that the daily sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving will yet be offered in Jerusalem.

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That those to whom, in part, blindness has happened, will yet lie down in the fold of the Good Shepherd; and that the people on whose foreheads are written the blessed name of Salvation, will remain a living declaration of God's providence and election.—A Man.

"When the foregoing was written, the writer was not aware that circumcision is practised by some of the Islanders of the Pacific, whose language is most distinctly the same as that of the New Zealanders—a fact (the agreement of language) he has since had an opportunity of observing, where there has been a difference in the application of letters to the language. In the New Zealanders' alphabet there are only thirteen single letters allowed, but the sounds of some of the omitted letters are, I think, very intelligible. ... In the Tahitiau Bible, ivi is written for a 'bone, the same word with the New Zealanders, iwi, means a family or tribe. (I am told it represents a bone also in some places in New Zealand.) And the word which in the Tahitian Bible represents sinew, seems to be the same as the bone with us. Thus much to refer to the 37th chapter of the book of Ezekiel, where the dry bones are said to be the whole house of Israel. (The writer, shortly before coming to New Zealand, was living for a time at a table where there were some persons apparently of partially Jewish descent; and a rather spare man, who it seemed to be assumed was a ' bone,' it was suggested that he should sit on the side of the denominators. A circumstance the writer recollected when reading in this colony the 39th Ezekiel; he might have been a member of a society with a secret.)

"It may be mentioned here that the New Zealanders allege that a woman under certain circumstances, at a certain period, will certainly conceive—an enquiry not fitting to be prosecuted by a believer in the true God; but it is mentioned here, because it had suggested to the wind of the writer an application as to the tree of life, which yielded its fruit every month."

I purpose concluding my extracts from "A Communication" with two or three lines towards the end of it:—

"And now, whether the fourth trumpet is past or not, I believe there is that which is capable of application, and that which deserves consideration,"

From a "Second Communication," already referred to, I will extract only two paragraphs:—

"In 'A Communication' I related the providence of God. I will explain that alluded to on board the John Wesley to England. It happened that on an evening in a part of the ocean where we did not sight a vessel every day—a grown youth, a passenger, a son of a missionary clergyman, came to me to ask me (whether with or without concurrence of clergymen on board I know not) whether it was right to pray for a fair wind. All went to the cabin to prayers—a qualified prayer; next morning, a direct prayer for a fair wind. In the evening before going to prayers, the youth gloried—we had a fair wind. Prayers over, we returned to our places. I immediately got into my bed. The mate, whose cabin was opposite mine, got into his. (I recollect, too, there was some trifling, something thrown in upon my bed, and my page 9 saying, 'You will choose next the point of the compass.') Directly there was a cry on deck, 'helm hard up.' Mate got up—seamen ran up—a vessel passed close to ours—the pumps were heard on board her. The night was dark and drizzly."

"I may here mention that while 'A Communication' was in the hands of the printer, an old settler, she is since deceased (with whom my eldest son* was then living at Onehunga), showed me an old uncompleted covenant for land at Waipa, 15 miles square, being in acres the noticeable number of 144,000."

"And the Temple of God was opened in heaven (This appears to refer to the invisible powers of God, ever operating on visible things), and there was seen in His Temple the Ark of His Testament."—Revelation, chap. 11 verse 19.

"And it has been so throughout all ages of the Church, for faith is manifested and doctrine is revealed. And the two witnesses (the two covenants) will prophesy, though the waters (people or nations) be turned to blood, and the earth smitten with plagues."—Kevelation, chap. 11 verses 3 to 6.

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord."—Isaiah, chap. 54 verse 17.

"My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass."—Psalm 102, verse 11.

"But Thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever: and Thy remembrance unto all generations."—Psalm 102, verse 12.

"Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour her, yea the set time is come."—Psalm 102,'verse 13.

It has been written of some men of poetry and letters that they have been affected at times with paralysis in speech or action, and we may urely believe what is said by the prophets—

"And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a improver: for they are a rebellious house."—Ezekiel, chap. 3 verse 26.

"But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them: Thus saith the Lord God; he that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear; for they are a rebellious house."—Ezekiel, chap. 3 verse 27.

"And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear (for they are a rebellious house), yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them."—Ezekiel, chap. 2 verse 5.

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Before many days have passed away, the period will manifest itself again on the page of history, as it did in Europe nearly twenty years ago, for the day is fast unfolding itself, and the womb of time disclosing that which it can hold no longer; for the time is at hand when it shall be no longer said by true members of the Church of Christ that the luminous prophetic revelation contains as many mysteries as words: and, as at the-material creation, God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night; so may it be in the temporal regeneration, when the whole earth is bound to confess the second Adam as a quickening spirit.

"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying: Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever,"—Rev., chap. 5 verse 13.

Men of science may also join in the harmonious chaunt of the whole creation, and lawgivers and legislators recollect how God fed the people in the wilderness. But we must each and all perform the part assigned to us, and good luck to those who do their best to keep on the right side of the road described for them.

I will now mention a present 1 made to the Church Club on the 19th February and 4th March last. It contained notes written at various times from the previous Christmas, and was a copy of the "Holy Scriptures," and I wrote on the first leaf of the book—

"This book is presented to the Church Club, to be placed in the reading-room, and the notes written at the beginning and end of the book are intended as a free gift to all the people."

The notes which I made at the end of the book I will give first, briefly remarking that the reports of clergymen attached in past time to the missionary institutions or churches will, I doubt not, illustrate the truth and consistency of the Word of God; with this additional remark, that that which the Authorized Version gives as "four beasts" in the book of Eevelation, is rendered by some translators as "four living creatures."

In the reference to Greenwich as having been agreed upon by the nations as the world's meridian for longitude, it is for correction and edification that I venture (not presumptuously) to say that, for the interpretation of prophecy, the claim of Borne would stand unchanged.

The following are the notes referred to :—

Isaiah, chap. 6 verses 1, 2, and 3.

Verse 1—" I saw the Lord sitting" upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple."

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Verse 2—"Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings : with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet,. and with twain he did fly."

Verse 3—" And one cried unto another, and said : Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts : the whole earth is full of His glory."

Note.—The seraphims (love, i.e., holy love) have each one, two more wings than the "living creatures" described by Ezekiel, called "Cherubims" (knowledge), and whose spirit soared a little higher, resembling the four beasts in Revelation, chap. 4 verse 7.

The writings of Ezekiel about them seem to me as translated written almost in the vernacular, as some have said those of Daniel the Prophet were, to the minds of the people of the successive great empires—round about 2000 years ago; but if the probationary period has begun, it is not yet finished. "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335-days."—Daniel, chap. 12 verse 12.