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especially from whence or what point of time they are to be computed. For thus it is delivered by the angel Gabriel : “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people;" and again in the following verse: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks, the street shall be built again, and the wall even in troublesome times; and after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off.” Now the going out of the commandment, to build the city, being the point from whence to compute, there is no slender controversy when to begin. For there are no less than four several edicts to this effect, the one in the first year of Cyrus,4 the other in the second of Darius, the third and fourth in the seventh and in the twentieth of Artaxerxes Longimanus : although as Petavius accounteth, it best accordeth unto the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, from whence Nehemiah deriveth his commission. Now that computes are made uncertainly with reference unto Christ, it is no wonder, since I perceive the time of his nativity is in controversy, and no less his age at his passion. For Clemens and Tertullian conceive he suffered at thirty ; but Irenæus

ing of Jerusalem also was given by this Darius Nothus, Ao. Mundi 3532, which agrees exactlye with Scaliger's irrefragable computation. But to see this difficult question fully decided, and in a few lines, I can give no such direction, as that which Gregorye hath lately given us in his excellent tract de Æris et Epochis, cap. xi. which was publisht this last year 1649, and is a work worthye of a diligent reader.- Wr.

On referring to Rev. T. 'H. Horne's analytical view of Daniel, I find the following brief summary of this period. Its commencement “is fixed (Dan. ix. 25) to the time when the order was issued for rebuilding the temple in the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes (Ezra vii. 11), seven weeks, or forty-nine years, was the temple in building (Dan. ix. 25); sixty-two weeks, or four hundred and thirty-four years more, bring us to the public manifestation of the Messiah, at the beginning of John the Baptist's preaching; and one prophetic week or seven years, added to this, will bring us to the time of our Saviour's passion, or the thirtythird year of the Christian æra, --in all 490 years."Introduction, dc. vol. iv. p. 1, ch. vi. § 4.

3 Know, &c.] Dan. ix. 25. 4 the one in the first year, &c.] A.M. 3419 ; 3430 ; 3492 ; 3505.-Wr.

These dates however differ from those assigned by the most eminent of our more recent chronologists.

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a father nearer his time, is further off in his account, that is, between forty and fifty.

Longomontanus, a late astronomer, endeavours to discover this secret from astronomical grounds, that is, the apogeum of the sun; conceiving the eccentricity invariable, and the apogeum yearly to move one scruple, two seconds, fifty tħirds, &c. Wherefore if in the time of Hipparchus, that is, in the year of the Julian period 4557, it was in the fifth degree of Gemini, and in the days of Tycho Brahe, that is, in the year of our Lord 1588, or of the world 5554, the same was removed unto the fifth degree of Cancer; by the proportion of its motion, it was at the creation first in the beginning of Aries, and the perigeum or nearest point in Libra. But this conceit how ingenious or subtile soever, is not of satisfaction; it being not determinable, or yet agreed in what time precisely the apogeum absolveth one degree, as Petavius* hath also delivered.

Lastly, however these or other difficulties intervene, and that we cannot satisfy ourselves in the exact compute of time, yet may we sit down with the common and usual account; nor are these differences derogatory unto the advent or passion of Christ, unto which indeed they all do seem to point, for the prophecies concerning our Saviour were indefinitely delivered before that of Daniel ; so was that pronounced unto Eve in Paradise, that after of Balaam, those of Isaiah and the prophets, and that memorable one of Jacob,“ the sceptre shall not depart from Israel until Shilo come;" which time notwithstanding it did not define at all. In what year therefore soever, either from the destruction of the temple, from the re-edifying thereof, from the flood, or from the creation, he appeared, certain it is, that in the fulness of time he came. When he therefore came, is not so considerable as that he is come: in the one there is consolation, in the other no satisfaction. The greater query is, when he will come again; and yet indeed it is no query at all; for that is never to be known, and therefore vainly enquired : 'tis a professed and authentick obscurity, unknown to all but to the omniscience of the Almighty. Certainly the ends of things are wrapt up in the hands of God, he that undertakes

* De Doctrina Tempoi um, 1. 4.

the knowledge thereof forgets his own beginning, and disclaims his principles of earth. No man knows the end of the world, nor assuredly of any thing in it: God sees it, because unto his eternity it is present; he knoweth the ends of us, but not of himself; and because he knows not this, he knoweth all things, and his knowledge is endless, even in the object of himself.

CHAPTER II.

Of Men's Enquiries in what season or point of the Zodiack it began, that, as they are generally made, they are in vain, and as particularly, uncertain.

CONCERNING the seasons, that is, the quarters of the year some are ready to enquire, others to determine, in what season, whether in the autumn, spring, winter, or summer, the world had its beginning. Wherein we affirm, that, as the question is generally and in respect of the whole earth proposed, it is with manifest injury unto reason in any particular determined; because whenever the world had it's beginning it was created in all these four. For, as we have elsewhere delivered, whatsoever sign the sun possesseth (whose recess or vicinity defineth the quarters of the year) those four seasons were actually existent; it being the nature of that luminary to distinguish the several seasons of the year; all which it maketh at one time in the whole earth, and successively in any part thereof. Thus if we suppose the sun created in Libra, in which sign unto some it maketh autumn; at the same time it had been winter unto the northern pole, for unto them at that time the sun beginneth to be invisible, and to show itself again unto the pole of the south. Unto the position of a right sphere, or directly under the equator, it had been summer; for unto that situation the

4 thereof.] According as he makes his access too, or recess from the several [parts] of the earthe: now in that his accesse to the one is a recess from the other, it followes, that those from whom he partes have their autumne, those within the tropicks, over whose heads he passes, have their summer, and those on the other side beyond the tropicke towards whome hee goes have their new

spring beginning in exchange of their former, causd by his absence.- Wr.

sun is at that time vertical. Unto the latitude of Capricorn, or the winter solstice, it had been spring; for unto that position it had been in a middle point, and that of ascent, or approximation; but unto the latitude of Cancer, or the summer solstice, it had been autumn; for then had it been placed in a middle point, and that of descent, or elongation.

And if we shall take literally what Moses describeth popularly, this was also the constitution of the first day. For when it was evening unto one longitude, it was morning unto another; when night unto one, day unto another. And therefore that question, whether our Saviour shall come again in the twilight (as is conceived he arose) or whether he shall come upon us in the night, according to the comparison of a thief, or the Jewish tradition, that he will come about the time of their departure out of Egypt, when they ate the passover, and the angel passed by the doors of their houses; this

query, I say, needeth not further dispute. For if the earth be almost every where inhabited, and his coming (as divinity affirmeth) must needs be unto all; then must the time of his appearance be both in the day and night. For if unto Jerusalem, or what part of the world soever he shall appear in the night, at the same time unto the antipodes it must be day; if twilight unto them, broad day unto the Indians; if noon unto them, yet night unto the Americans ; and so with variety according unto various habitations, or different positions of the sphere, as will be easily conceived by those who understand the affections of different habitations, and the conditions of Anteci, Periæci, and Antipodes. And so, although he appear in the night, yet may the day of judgment, or doomsday, well retain that name ;* for that implieth one revolution of the sun, which maketh the day and night, and that one natural day. And yet, to speak strictly, if (as the apostle affirmeth) we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and (as the schools determine) the destruction of the world shall not be successive but in an instant, we cannot properly apply thereto the usual distinctions of time; calling that twelve hours, which admits not the parts thereof, or use at all the name of time, when the nature thereof shall perish.

* Νυχθήμερον. 5 twinkling, &c.] Taking this for granted [which noe man dare denye) yet it is most truly sayde, that doomes day is the last daye, i. e. the last daye of the sons circling this lower world by his daylye course: which as itt hath [in itt selfe) noe rising or settinge, but caryeth the daye and midnoone always directly under him round the world perpetuallye : soe in what parte of the world that course shall bee determind (and the day therewith] is noe waye considerable, and much lesse in what parte of the daye of 24 houres, that sodaine instant] of change shall bee; which of necessity must bee to some inhabitants of the world at the time of his risinge, to others at midnoone, to others at his sittinge, and to others at midnight : for all these are all at once, and in the very same instant, every day, in several partes of the worlde: as for example: in April when tis midday at London ; 'tis just sonrise at Virginia ; and just sonset at the hithermost partes of Nova Guinea, and yet itt is the same daye to all these three parcels of the world at once. But when that greate doome shall come, the course of the son shall instantly cease, and consequently the natural and usual course of day and night with itt: yet there shall bee noe want of lighte in that parte of the aire, or that parte of the earthe under the place, where the sonn of man shall call the world before his judgment-seate; unless any man bee soe simple to thinke that in the presence of God there shall be lesse light then in the presence of the son.— Wr.

But if the enquiry be made unto a particular place, and the question determined unto some certain meridian ; as, namely, unto Mesopotamia, wherein the seat of Paradise is presumed, the query becomes more reasonable, and is indeed in nature also determinable. Yet positively to define that season, there is no slender difficulty ; for some contend that it began in the spring; as (beside Eusebius, Ambrose, Bede, and Theodoret), some few years past, Henrico Philippi in his chronology of the Scripture. Others are altogether for autumn; and from hence do our chronologers commence their compute, as may be observed in Helvicus, Jo. Scaliger, Calvisius, and Petavius.?

6 Mesopotamia.] Most thinke the valley of Jehosaphat.-Wr.

The valley of Jehoshaphat was situated eastward of Jerusalem, between that city and the Mount of Olives; and through which ran the brook Kedron :-Mesopotamia was a province between the Euphrates and Tigris.

? Petavius.] And yet itt must bee confest, that the spring, or sonns entrance into Aries is verum caput et naturale Principium Anni, renewing and reviving all things, as of old in Paradise, æqualling dayes and nights in all places, within the pole circles especially: and as to this all astronomers agree, soe, consonant thereto, all geographers consent, that Paradise was neere under the Æquinoctiall, or on this side of itt, under rise of the spring with the sonn.-Wr.

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