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cannot hope therefore to do justice to interpreters make it mean any thing the whole subject in one Number. else in the passage relating to the We consequently purpose to confine 1260 days, they ought to assign ourselves in this to the most funda- some better reason than they have mental objection of Mr. Maitland, hitherto given for so doing." (No. against the protestant mode of in- 15, p. 16.) terpreting the 1260 days, and to Of course these arguments branch postpone the remainder until after themselves out so as to include variwe have noticed one or two other ous subordinate particulars, which works, which demand immediate we shall notice as the occasion reattention. The necessity of being quires. And in directing to them as brief as possible will also compel our attention, we feel that we are us to condense the arguments on
bound at the same time to view both sides, and not to indulge in them with the most jealous scrutiny, copious quotations : but as Mr. M. and by no means to subscribe to has complained, both that his ob- them without the clearest demonjections and their relative import- stration. It is no light matter for ance have been mis-stated by his a solitary individual to arraign opponents, we shall first select a before him the cloud of pious and summary of the whole in his own learned witnesses who have testified words, and afterwards his
to the truth of that which he imstatement likewise of his main argu- pugns; and who, by a necessary inment.
ference, asserts, that since the days “1. The unprecedented nature of Wickliffe, prophecy has been to of the required interpretation.- the Church darkness and not light; 2. Its having been totally un- —that the path of the righteous known to the Church of God, (contrary to Proverbs iv, 18) has been who were most deeply interested like a gloomy evening, obscuring in it, from the Days of Daniel to more and more to deepest night. those of Wickliffe.--3. The total We say not that the thing is iminability of expositors, even when possible; more especially if Mr. they assumed the period, to make Maitland could show, that the era any thing of it in which they can of the Reformation was that at which agree among themselves.-4. The piety also began to decline : but if actual want of real conviction and otherwise, we consider, from the faith in these fulfilments of prophecy, analogy of Scripture and the expewhich is found in the Christian rience of the Church, that she will Church.-5. The absence of appeal have been gradually emerging from to them in controversy with infidels. darkness; and we must therefore -6. The difficulties which must be question most rigidly any assertion got over with respect to historical to the contrary. Mr. Digby prin
cipally stands upon this ground, and In his last pamphlet Mr. Maitland eloquently enlarges upon the inconobserves :--- If my argument can veniences that would result from the be said to be based on any one adoption of Mr. Maitland's system. point, it is—that day means day These are forcibly pointed out: but every where else ; and that before though we consider they justify us
* No. 9, p. 136. For brevity's sake we refer to the several works now under review by the numbers affixed to the enumeration of them at the beginning of this article.
" that day
in being reluctant and tenacious they are not. before we yield; yet are we pre
means day every where else ; and pared to submit to these and even repeatedly insists, that as the word greater inconveniences, if the truth goat” means goat, and “ king” shall nevertheless appear to be with means king in the visions of Daniel, Mr. Maitland. The Morning Watch
so the word “
day” must mean day. chiefly takes up that one point which Undoubtedly (he writes in one Mr. Maitland conceives to be the place) the beasts which Daniel saw most fundamental of his objections ; were emblematical; but nothing can and meets it with the ability which • be more literal than the language in might be expected from that Jour- ' which he has described them : let it nal. Mr. Cuninghame touches, with only be admitted (and I cannot his well known controversial clear- · conceive why it should not) that by ness, upon every point of moment: the word day he means day, as and had we not pledged ourselves to much as by the word goat he this subject before we saw his Stric- means goat ; and all farther argutures, (which coincide remarkably 'ments on my part would be needwith some of the observations we less."a Now we can fully admit had previously written,) we should what Mr. Maitland requires; but have contented ourselves with merely we cannot therefore approximate at giving copious extracts from them. all nearer to his conclusion. We
I. In entering upon Mr. Mait- believe that in every instance of land's first objection, viz. " the symbolical language the words used unprecedented nature of the required are first intended to convey their interpretation, we must first observe, primary and literal signification, and that we do not consider those who that no man would be justified in advocate the mystical sense at all saying of the lion with eagles' wings, bound to show, " that day DOES NOT
that the words “eagles' wings” mean mean day every where else.”*
If any thing but what they import litthere be internal evidence in the erally, though the wings which they prophecies themselves in which the describe were symbolical.b Mr. dates occur, that they are used enig. Maitland admits, that the beasts matically ; if the ordinary rules of were emblematical, though described analogy seem to require it; the in literal language ; what difficulty humble and intelligent inquirer will
, is there in supposing that the days we apprehend, be satisfied. The may be emblematical, though simiinterpretation however in this in- larly described ? When Ezekiel stance is also supported by other was ordered to lie upon his left side evidence, which we shall presently three hundred and ninety days for arrive at.
the iniquity of Israel, and forty days Secondly, Mr. Maitland appears upon his right side for the iniquity to us mistaken throughout in regard of Judah, each day for a year,” to the criterion by which we must he must have understood those days judge when words are used symbol- to be emblematical of years; yet did ically or enigmatically, and when he not confound the literal terms in
* The Reader will bear in mind that these periods are expressed by the terms 1260 days, 42 months, and “ time, times, and the dividing of time." Of course Mr. Maitland's objection extends to the same period however expressed. It is seven times men. tioned in the Scriptures.-See Dan. vii, 25; xii, 7 and Rev. xi, 2, 3 ; xii, 6, 14; xii, 7. a No. 9, p. 3.
b Ibid. p. 56. c Ezek. iv, 4-6.
which days were expressed, but blematical. This is further apparent doubtless continued upon his side when he contends, that there are so many literal days. Yet Mr. Mait- visible symbols for periods of time land exhausts many pages of his va- used in the Scriptures, and refers to rious pamphlets in observations upon Gen. xl, 12, 26 and xli, 26—". The the terms mystical, figurative, em- three branches are three days.". blematical, symbolical, and upon style The three baskets are three days." and interpretation ; (which the Morn- -“ The seven good kine are seven ing Watch we think has successfully years, and the seven good cars are shown he does not clearly compre
seven years.”f Now we will not hend himself;d) and which after all say, that definite periods of time only amount to this, his own admis- cannot be represented by visible sion—" If by style we mean what symbols ; but we must contend that may perhaps be called the construc- in the above Scriptures, branches, tion of these revelations, or the baskets, kine and ears, are not primamode by which certain things were rily emblems of time.
The two ' revealed to the prophet or the first are intended to set forth the oc• apostle, or the plan which God was cupations of the butler and baker;
pleased to adopt for the purpose of the two latter to denote plenty, as ' revelation ; that I grant was both the ill favoured kine and ears denote 'mysterious and figurative ; because scarcity. It is number after all which 'it consisted, for the most part, of denotes revolutions of time, whether
symbols addressed to the SENSES, of days or years; but why a certain having a mystical meaning which number of branches and baskets
was not apparent to him who saw should mean days, whilst a number 'them and was only partially ex
of kine should signify years, we ap'plained to him.”e
prehend no man could determine. We have taken some pains to en
It would seem to require a special deavour to understand Mr. Mait- interpretation in every instance ; and land's real meaning throughout this then the inconvenience of representpart of the discussion ; and it is very ing a period of 2300 days or years possibly our own dulness which pre- by so great a multitude of symbols vents us from apprehending the force of like character, is a sufficient and weight of his observations. It reason for adopting a different mode seems to us however (from the two of veiling the signification, when words, which we have marked in long periods are to be designated. small capitals in the quotation just Thus in the Apocalypse, the periods given,) that when things are com- of time, though occurring in visions, municated to the sense of sight by are declared. The Apostle symbols, they must be allowed to the number” of the sealed ones,g of have an emblematical meaning : but the horsemen, &c;h and in other inthough Mr. M. uses the word senses, stances, how long the objects seen in the plural, he seems throughout are to continue is expressed by its his argument on this point to limit it being said, that power was given to to the one sense of sight only; and them for this end, or by some similar because the words day and time ad- mode.i So also in Daniel viii, after dress the sense of hearing, and not of the action of the vision has been exsight, therefore they cannot be em- hibited to the prophet, one saint
d No. 10, p. 506 ; No. 13, p. 452, &c. e No.9, p. 50. f No. 9, p. 2; No. 12,
g Rev. vii, 4. h Rev. ix, 16, 17. i Rev, xi, 2, 3 ; xii, 6; xiii,15, &c.
speaks to another saint for the pur- years.
years. The simple question is, May pose of eliciting the time of the periods of time be understood as vision : and he hears the reply- enigmatically expressing different “ unto 2300 days.”k
periods? If so, the chief objection, Mr. Maitland indeed contends, that in every other part of Scripture, “ that it is in one of the explanatory but those insisted on as symbolical, parts of Daniel that the contested the same periods must always be passage occurs.” But though this literally understood,---appears to us would at first glance appear to to be illogical in the outset. be correct in regard to Daniel vii ; II. We next proceed to inquire, if yet, first it is to be observed of this there be any decided instances in the vision, that the time is not men- Scriptures of periods of time being tioned in the vision itself, either by used enigmatically. Mr. Maitland symbol or otherwise; and therefore says of the period in question that it the addition of the time, occuring at stands in Hebrew and in Greek the end of the explanatory part,
' under the different denomination of cannot be called an explanation of a days, months, and years; and I beg symbol which had not previously
the reader to consider, whether we been given or declared. Secondly, · have a right to depart from the it must be noticed, in regard to the literal sense of these words, unless vision in chap is, that the 2300 days can produce some clear, untherein mentioned are immediately equivocal precedent; some pasannexed to the vision, (as we have sages in which these terms (or at but just now observed ;) and the ex- least some or one of them) has been planation follows after. Thirdly, clearly used to express a period the very same period mentioned in different from that which is desigDaniel vii, occurs again in chap. xii; 'nated by it, in its literal sense. together with other numbers; and This statement is incorrect in one there both vision and numbers are to particular : the period does not any be shut up, closed, and sealed, until where stand under the denomination the time of the end. We clearly of “ years,” but of " times.” To us apprehend from this, that they are this appears important, because in not to be understood by the genera- the first place in which it is introtions intervening before the time of duced to our notice, it is given unthe end ; and even Daniel says “ he der the denomination of "
a time, heard but understood not.” Mr. Cun- times and the dividing of times ;" inghame therefore asks, How is a a form of expression which Mr. mystic chronology to be given for M. is aware some have considered the use of a distant generation, figurative of itself.”'n excepting in the way we inter- Mr. Maitland is not satisfied preters of prophecy suppose it to with two passages cited by Mr. Fahave been given ; viz. by couching ber and others. The first is Num'the number of years under the veil bers xiv, 33, 34, in which it is said of another division or revolution of the children of Israel shall wander time than that of years ? I can
in the wilderness forty years,
after conceive no other mode."I
the number of the days in which We have reviewed this part of ye searched the land, even forty the argument independently of the days, each day for a year, shall ye question, whether days ever mean bear your iniquities even forty
I No. 16, p. 14.
m No. 9, p. 25.
verses 13, 14,
n No. 10, p. 58.
' years.” The second is in Ezekiel day by the English word year.” We iv,
4-6, already touched upon, beg Mr. Maitland's pardon if this be wherein the Prophet is ordered to not his meaning ; but we really lie on his left side 390 days, to de- cannot understand him else. It is note the years of the iniquity of the our sincere desire to do him jushouse of Israel ; and forty days on tice; nor are we trammeled by his right side, to denote the years of having any system to support dethe house of Judah ; " I have ap- pending upon dates ; but we are pointed thee each day for a year.” certainly jealous for that which has Mr. Maitland “ is quite at a loss to been the principle of interpretation
understand, how these passages, among the generality of protestant where the expression in each case writers. And if Mr. Maitland will ris
a day for a year'-where, in not allow, that the representing a fact, it is declared and explained, certain number of years by days, is that a certain number of natural
a warrant for so interpreting other days were appointed to represent, passages in the prophets, where the or prefigure the like number of context may seem to demand it, ' natural years—should be called, unless in each such case it is
express warrant' for the mode declared and explained “ that a day of reckoning which translates the is put for a year,”—then we are bold word one day by the English word to say, that he would find no year. ”He would not be satisfied with press warrant” in Scripture for the the latter instance unless, “ in obedi- explanation of one half the types,
ence to this divine command, the symbols and figures it contains : * Prophet lay forty years on his side, and no man would be justified in ' and did so prefigure a period of giving any interpretation to them, ' forty 'times, each consisting of whether fulfilled or unfulfilled.
360 years !”o Again we observe We must now turn to Dan. ix, 24 that Mr. Maitland seems to mis- --27, in which is declared, that apprehend the ground of the ar- venty weeks” are determined for the gument. The example of Ezekiel accomplishment of the things de. appears to us quite in point to prove, clared therein. Mr. Maitland fully that in Scripture a day is put to de- admits, that this has been proved by note a year; and we are satisfied the event to be “ weeks of years:" but with Mr. Maitland's own admission, he alleges that the original, being that here “a certain number of natu- seventy sevens,” (o'yaw) means, al days were appointed to REPRE- according to the general usage of SENT or PREFIGURE the like number Hebrew writers, seventy sevens of of natural years.
But he insists years and not of days. He says it that this is not a warrant for "
was not the custom of the writers LATING” the Hebrew word day by of the Scriptures to calculate time the English word year : by which by weeks ; and submits, he still seems to make out, that Mr. should not naturally expect a HeCuninghame, Faber, and others, do brew writer to express a period of take the 1260 days to signify lit- ' 490 days by seventy weeks and erally years; so that were they to should consider it as somewhat exercise the office of translators of singular, if we found that he had the prophets, instead of interpreters, done so.” He further declares they would render the word 094 that it was not the custom of the
o No. 8, p. 19.