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CHAP. XII.

A MORE PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF THE LAST TIMES IN

GENERAL, AND OF THE LATTER TIMES OF THE LAST TIMES. THAT THE FOUR KINGDOMS OF DANIEL ARE THE GREAT KALENDAR (AS THE LXX. WEEKS THE LESSER KALENDAR) OP TIMES. THAT THE TIMES OF THE FOURTH OR LAST KINGDOM (THAT IS, THE ROMAN) ARE THE LAST TIMES MEANT IN SCRIPTURE. THAT THE LATTER TIMES OF THE LAST TIMES ARE THE LATTER TIMES OF THE FOURTH KINGDOM, WHEREIN THE GREAT APOSTASY SHOULD PREVAIL.

THEREFORE, without any more preambles, I come now directly to resolve what was before propounded, viz.

- First, What is meant by LAST TIMES in general, whence and how we are to reckon them. And then, in the Second place, What are these “ Latter Times” in my text, which must be, as I said before, a latter part of that general.

For the true account, therefore, of Times in Scripture, we must have recourse to that SACRED KALENDAR AND GREAT ALMANACK OF PROPHECY, the four kingdoms of Daniel, which are a prophetical chronology of times measured by the succession of four principal kingdoms, from the beginning of the captivity of Israel, until the mystery of God should be finished. A course of time during which the church and nation of the Jews, together with those, whom, by occasion of their unbelief in Christ, God should surrogate in their rooms, was to remain under the bondage of the Gentiles and oppression of Gentilism. But these times once finished, all the kingdoms of this world should become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ. And to this Great Kalendar of Times, together with that other, but lesser, Kalendar of LXX weeks, all mention of times in Scripture seems to have reference.

Now these four kingdoms (according to the truth infallibly to be demonstrated, if need were, and agreeable both to the ancient opinion of the Jewish Church whom they most concerned, and to the most ancient and universal opinion of Christians derived from the times of the Apostles, until now of late time some have questioned it) are,-1. The Babylonians. 2. That of the Medes and Persians. 3. The Greek. 4. The Roman.

In which quatenary of kingdoms, as the Roman, being the last of the four, is the last kingdom ; so are the times thereof those last times we seek for; during which times (saith Dan. chap. ii. 44.)—“The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor left unto another people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all those kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Which is figured by “a stone hewn out of the mountain without hands," before the times of the image were yet spent; which stone at length smote the image upon his feet of iron and clay, and so utterly destroyed it; that done, the stone that smote the image upon the feet became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. The meaning of all which is, that in the last times, or under the times of the last kingdom (the Roman) should the kingdom of Christ appear in the world, as we see it hath done.

And this is that which the Apostle saith, Hebrews i. 2, “God in these last days," or last times, “ hath spoken to us by his Son”: and St. Peter 1st Epist. i. 20, that he was

foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times.” This is that fulness of time whereof the Apostle speaks, Galat. iv. 4. “ When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman :” and Ephes. Chap. i, 9, 10, “ Having made known to us the mystery of his will

-That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ.” Agreeable unto all which is that, Hebrews ix. 26, “ Christ

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hath once appeared,* in the end of times” or ages “ to put away sin by the sacrifice of hiinself :” where these last times, fulness of time, and conclusion of ages, are nothing else but the times of the fourth kingdom, whose times are the last period of Daniel's four, the fulness of the Prophetical Chronology, and conclusion of the sacred kalendar. During these times Christ was looked for, and accordingly came, and reigned ; whose kingdom shall at length abolish the brittle remainder of this Romish state, according to the other part of the Prophecy, when the “fulness of the Gentiles shall come in," and our Lord subdue all his enemies under his feet, and at the last even death itself.

Having thus found what times are termed the last times in general, let us now see if we can discover which are the latter times of these last times, or the latter times in special, which are those latter timest in my text : which will not be hard to do. For if the last times in general are all the times of the fourth kingdom, then must our latter times, as a part thereof, needs be the latter times of that kingdom. Let us, therefore, again to our prophetical kalendar, and survey Daniel's description of the fourth or Roman kingdom, as it is Chapter 7, from verse 19, where we shall soon find the latter times thereof to be that period of a time, times and half a time, during which that prodigious horn“ with eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great things, should make war with the saints, prevail against them, and wear them out, and think to change times and laws, until the judgment should sit, and his dominion be taken away; and in him that long-lived beast finally be destroyed, and his body given to the burning flame,” verse 11. For this hornish sovereignty is the last scene of that long tragedy, and the conclusion of the fourth beast; and, therefore, the times thereof are those latter times, whereof the spirit spake expressly, that in them there should be an APOSTASY from the Christian faith.

* επι συντέλεια των αιώνων. .

* υγεροι καιροι.

CHAP. XIII.

TWO ENQUIRIES CONCERNING THE LATTER TIMES. I. WHAT

DURANCE THEY ARE TO BE OF. ANSW.-THAT THE TIMES OF THE ANTICHRISTIAN STATE ARE TO LAST FORTY. TWO MONTHS OR TWELVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DAYS. THAT HEREBY CANNOT BE MEANT THREE SINGLE YEARS AND A HALF, PROVED BY SEVERAL PARTICULARS. ENQUIRY II WHEN THEY BEGIN. ANSW.-THAT THEY TAKE THEIR BEGINNING FROM THE MORTAL WOUND OF THE IMPERIAL SOVEREIGNTY OF ROME, OR THE RUIN OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. THIS PROVED FROM THE APOCALYPSE AND 2 Thess. ii. WHEREBY THAT WHICH LETTETH”

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THE FATHERS GENERALLY UNDERSTAND THE ROMAN EMPIRE. THE SAME FURTHER PROVED FROM DAN. vii. THAT BY THE LITTLE HORN IS MEANT ANTICHRIST OR THE MAN OF SIN (And nor antiochUS EPIPHANES) WAS THE JUDGMENT OF THE MOST ANCIENT FATHERS.

CONCERNING these times thus found, we will now further enquire, First, What durance they may be of. Secondly, When they take beginning, and by what mark their beginning may be known.

For the first, we will make no question but these are the selfsame times whereof St. John speaks, telliug us that “the Church should be in the wilderness a time, times, and half a time;" the same with those forty-two months wherein St. John's restored beast should domineer, and play the selfsame recks which Daniel's hornish tyrant doth; the same time with those forty-two months during which the Church is trodden down of the Gentiles : lastly, the same time with 1260 days, during which the witnesses of Christ prophesied in sackcloth. For a time, times, and

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half a time, or a year, two years, and a half, are forty-two months; and forty-two months make 1260 days. If, therefore, we can find the continuance and beginning of any of these, we have found the continuance and beginning of them all.

For the duration and length of them, they must imply some definite time, because the Scripture follows that use of speech, and useth no number indefinitely, but those which the use of speech had made such, as 7, 10, 1000, but mixed and compound numbers, as these are, viz. 3), 42, 1260, are neither in the Hebrew, nor, I think, in any other tongue used indefinitely.

Our adversaries would have them literally understood for three single years and a half, as though it were an history and not a prophecy : but besides the use of prophecy to reckon days for years, I think it would trouble any man to conceive bow so many things as should be performed in this time, should be done in three single years and a half. 1. Ten kingdoms founded at the same time with the beast. 2. People, and multitudes of nations and tongues to serve and obey him. 3. To make war with the saints and overcome them. 4. To cause all that dwell upon the earth to worship him. 5. Babylon to ride the beast so long that all nations shall drink of the wine of her fornication, all the kings of the earth commit fornication with her, yea, the merchants and all those that had ships in the sea to grow rich by trading with her. Methinks all these things should ask much more than three years' work, or four either. To which I add, moreover, that that king, state of government, sovereignty, or seigniory, or what you will, of the beast, under which the whore should ride him, followeth immediately upon a former, which in comparison is said to continue but a short space, Rev. xvii. 10. But if the Antichristian state shall continue but three

years half, literally taken, how short must the time of that foregoing king or sovereignty be, which should occasion the Holy Ghost to insert so singular a note of the difference

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