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REMARKABLE CHRONOLOGICAL PARALLELS
BY J. EDGAR, M.D., AN EMINENT SURGEON, OF SCOTLAND
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—The Lord has enabled me to see another remarkable confirmation of the Parallel Dispensations, teaching that 1914 A.D. is the date when Christendom will lose its crown, will be finally overthrown, and when he, “whose right it is,” will take his power and reign.
We recognize that the kingdom of fleshly Israel typified Christendom in many respects. Two prominent events, the division of the kingdom into Judah and Israel and its final overthrow as a kingdom, were undoubtedly types, the former of the division of Christendom at the time of the Reformation, the latter of its final overthrow. The remarkable feature which has now come to light is that we have in this a time-parallel.
Under Saul, David and Solomon, the typical kingdom was undivided for the space of 120 years. DAWN II., page 50, shows that the whole period of the kings, including these three, was 513 years. The length of time, therefore, from the division of the typical kingdom on the death of Solomon till the removal of the crown from Zedekiah was 513 minus 120, equal to 393 years. The date of the division of Christendom into Papacy and Protestantism was 1521 A.D. Therefore, 393 years later, i.e., in 1914 A.D., we should expect the final overthrow of “Christendom.”
The evidence that 1521 A.D. is the date when the split into Papacy and Protestantism occurred is clear. In June, 1520, Luther received from Pope Leo X. the first bull of excommunication, commanding him to confess his faults within sixty days, or be cast out of the Church. On 10th December, 1520 (the third month of the year 1521 by the Jewish mode of reckoning), Luther publicly burnt this bull with a copy of the Canon Law, and on 4th January, 1521, the second bull was issued expelling him from the Romish Church. Blackie’s Modern Cyclopedia states with regard to this: “From this time Luther formally separated from the Roman Church, and many of the principal German nobles, the most eminent scholars, and the University of Wittemberg, publicly declared in favor of the reformed doctrines and discipline. Luther’s bold refusal to recant at the Diet of Worms (17th April, 1521) gave him increased power, while the Edict of Worms and the ban of the Emperor made his cause a political matter.”
THE TIME OF THE END
MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. III., proves from a study of Daniel’s prophecy of the 1260 days that the Time of the End is a period of 115 years, beginning with 1799 and ending with 1914 A.D. Wondering whether there might be a time-parallel here also, I reckoned back 115 years from 606 B.C., and reached the year 721 B.C. as corresponding with the year 1799 A.D. This date I found to be exactly five years before the death of King Hezekiah. Isaiah 38:5 tells us that the date of Hezekiah’s “sickness unto death,” from which he miraculously recovered, was fifteen years prior to his death, and was, therefore, ten years before the date 721 B.C., or, in other words, 125 years before 606 B.C. Reckoning a similar period back from 1914 A.D. brings us to 1789 A.D., the year of the French Revolution, from which Christendom recovered, though it must have seemed to be a “sickness unto death.”
We are told that, after his recovery, Hezekiah gave way once more to his vain-glory and received the Babylonian ambassadors, just as France once more favored Papacy. We also read that he afterwards led water into Jerusalem for the refreshing of the Lord’s people. This seems to shadow forth the founding of the various Bible Societies at the beginning of the last century, mentioned in DAWN III., page 51.
THE SUN-DIAL OF AHAZ
What struck me in examining the above was that the year of the French Revolution, typified by Hezekiah’s sickness, was ten years back from the end of the 1260 days of Daniel, the beginning of the Time of the End. Can it be that the sign of the sun-dial given to Hezekiah (Isa. 38:7,8,22) should be taken as a prophecy of this, the ten degrees (or steps, R.V.) representing ten years? Did the sign indicate symbolically that, just as the shadow on the sun-dial, on account of Hezekiah’s repentance, was set back ten steps, so the date of the French Revolution would be set back ten years, i.e., that after this revolution would break out in 1789 A.D., ten years would require to elapse before the beginning of the Time of the End? The fact that the prophet Isaiah immediately proceeds (ch. 40) to refer to this Time of the End would seem to support this view.
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THE 2300 DAYS OF DANIEL
The year 1846 A.D., which ended the 2300 days of Daniel, has been shown in DAWN, Vol. III., to be the date of the cleansing of the sanctuary. The corresponding date in the typical kingdom was 674 B.C. I cannot find this date specified directly in the history of the typical kingdom, but it is significant that at this time the wicked King Manasseh had reigned 42 out of his total 55 years, 674 B.C., therefore, probably corresponds to the date of his repentance and consequent cleansing of the sanctuary.
The period of the good King Josiah’s activity extended from 651 till 641, and consisted of a cleansing and reforming work. It ended in 641 with the finding of the Book of the Law and the celebration of the Great Passover. The parallel period in the Gospel Age was from 1869 till 1879, the period when most of your cleansing and reforming work was done. So far as I can gather, it was about 1869 that you began to inquire into the teaching of the creeds and of the Scriptures, and it was in 1879 that you founded ZION’S WATCH TOWER, for the purpose of upholding the doctrine of the ransom in all its fulness against the attacks of Mr. Barbour and others, and of announcing the Great Passover, the resurrection of the “dead in Christ” in the year 1878 A.D. and the passing-over of the feet-members since that date at the moment of death.
THE NUMBER FORTY
When we turn back to the early history of the typical kingdom, we find that Saul, David and Solomon each reigned 40 years. It is clear that the reign of Saul represents the Jewish Age, that of David the Gospel Age, and that of Solomon the Millennial Age. The fact that the duration of each reign was 40 years indicates that it represented a complete period of testing and sifting. This would appear to be the thought underlying the number 40 in all the instances in which it is used in the Scriptures. For instance, there were the 40 years’ temptation of the children of Israel in the wilderness, Christ’s 40 days’ temptation, etc. They all seem to foreshadow the 40 years of harvest at the end of the Jewish, of the Gospel, and (possibly) of the Millennial Ages.
THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS
It is clear from the Scriptures that Jesus rose on the first day of the week (Mark 16:2), and also that this was “the third day” after his death (Luke 24:21,46; 1 Cor. 15:4; also Lev. 23:11). It follows that he must have been crucified on a Friday. That this is of importance in estimating the dates of Jesus’ birth and death, is pointed out in DAWN II., p.60. Some object to this that Jesus in saying (Matt. 12:40) that he would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, contradicted the statement by the Apostle Paul that he rose on the third day. Those who reason in this way have failed to note that the phrase used by Jesus was purely idiomatic, and implied that he would be in the heart of the earth “till the third day.” The proof of this is to be found in Esther 4:16; 5:1; Gen. 42:17,18; 2 Chron. 10:5,12. God is his own interpreter.
THE YEAR OF JUBILEE
I had always taken it for granted that the year of Jubilee was an ecclesiastical year; but on studying this subject recently, I noticed that the trumpet was to sound on the day of atonement, the 10th day of the 7th month (Lev. 25:9), and presumably, therefore, began on that day. Accordingly, the year of Jubilee was not an ecclesiastical year, i.e., from Spring to Spring, but a civil year from Autumn to Autumn.
As every 7th year was a Sabbath year, it follows that the 49th year was a Sabbath year. It would seem as if these were ecclesiastical years. If so, then the Jubilee year began in the middle of the 49th year. But it was called the 50th year! Should one reason from this
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PERIOD OF 393 YEARS FROM THE DIVISION OF THE TYPICAL KINGDOM TILL ITS FINAL OVERTHROW
Division of Kingdom of Fleshly Israel into Judah and Ephraim—2 Chron. 10; 11:1-4.
PERIOD OF 125 YEARS
Hezekiah’s “sickness unto death,” followed by (1) Alliance with Babylon; (2) Supply of water to Jerusalem.—Isa. 38, 39; 2 Chron. 32:30.
Final overthrow of the typical Kingdom.—2 Chron. 36:11-21; Ezek. 21:25-27.
PERIOD OF 393 YEARS FROM THE DIVISION OF CHRISTENDOM TILL ITS FINAL OVERTHROW
Division of “Christendom” into Protestantism and Papacy at Diet of Worms.
PERIOD OF 125 YEARS
The French Revolution, followed by (1) Alliance with Papacy. (2) Supply of truth through Bible Societies.
Final overthrow of Nominal Christendom.
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that it was called the 50th year because it was the 50th civil year? The entrance into Canaan took place in the Springtime at the beginning of an ecclesiastical year. Six months afterwards their 2nd civil year began, while it was still the middle of their 1st ecclesiastical year. Consequently, their 50th civil year began, while it was still the middle of their 49th ecclesiastical year. If this be the interpretation, it is evident that the land had rest on these occasions, not two years, but only eighteen months.
It would seem as if this were a wise provision of the Mosaic Law. It provided that at the beginning of each
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THREE CHARTS OF HISTORY, SHOWING VARIOUS PARALLELS, ALL CONFIRMATORY OF OUR CHRONOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS
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year of Jubilee, owing to the suspension of work on the land during the previous six months, the restitution of all things was rendered easier of accomplishment; and also after the Jubilee was over, and each had returned to his own land, an opportunity was given to him to prepare the land and get his crop ready for the Spring harvest and the celebration of the Passover and of Pentecost.
There seem, however, to be some deeper meanings in this arrangement. (1) The commencement of the Jubilee year on the day of atonement pointed forward to the time when the antitypical Jubilee would begin on the antitypical day of atonement, the end of the Gospel Age. (2) Brother Hemery of London mentioned to me some time ago that he had noticed that events which occurred in the Spring foreshadowed blessings for the Church, while those which occurred in the Autumn foreshadowed blessings for the world. This appears to me to be a natural arrangement, as Spring is the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, whereas Autumn is the beginning of the civil year. Applying this thought, we find that the Passover and Pentecost, etc., foreshadowed blessings for the Church, whereas the Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Jubilee foreshadowed blessings for the world.
I am, with love in the Lord to you and to all the dear ones in Christ Jesus,
A LATER LETTER
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
The Lord has guided me to the discovery of another confirmation of the Chronology as set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN. In studying the Parallel Dispensations, I noted that the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27) from 29 till 36 A.D. had its parallel as regards both time and events in the Gospel Age from 1874 till 1881 A.D. (DAWN II., p.219). Thinking that the events at the beginning of the 70 weeks might also have parallels in the Gospel Age, I noted your arguments in DAWN II., p.67, proving that the 70 weeks dated from Nehemiah’s commission to build the walls of Jerusalem in the 20th year of Artaxerxes (Neh. 2:1), whereas usually they are reckoned as beginning at the time of Ezra’s commission 13 years earlier (Ezra 7:7). I noted also your proofs that the former must have been in the year 454 B.C. Accordingly the latter must have been in the year 467 B.C.
Rollin, in his Ancient History of the Medes and Persians, agrees with this. In Book 6, sect. 18, he says that Xerxes died in 473 B.C. and quotes as authorities Ctesias, c.ii; Diodorus, Book xi. p.52; Justin, Book iii., ch. 1. He says Xerxes reigned 12 years; and in Book 7, sect. 1, he states that Artaxerxes was crowned in 473 B.C., and reigned 49 years. In accordance with this, he mentions in sect. 6 of Book 7, that Ezra’s commission was in 467 B.C., and Nehemiah’s in 454 B.C. Regarding the latter he states: “Artaxerxes immediately caused a decree to be drawn up that the walls and gates of Jerusalem should be rebuilt, and Nehemiah as Governor of Judea was appointed to put this decree in execution. It is from this decree, communicated by Artaxerxes in the 20th year of his reign, for the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, that we date the beginning of the 70 weeks mentioned in the famous prophecy of Daniel, after which the Messiah was to appear and to be put to death.”
By deducting 490 years from 1881 A.D., we get the year 1391 A.D., corresponding with 454 B.C. The year 1378 A.D., 13 years earlier, will, therefore, correspond with 467 B.C.
I. EZRA’S COMMISSION IN 467 B.C.
On consulting books on the Reformation, I was not long in discovering that the year 1378 A.D., corresponding with the year 467 B.C., is a very important date indeed. It is the year of the Great Papal Schism, when Wycliffe came out as the Reformer.
Workman in Dawn of the Reformation, p.172:—”Wycliffe’s spiritual earnestness was shocked, his theory destroyed by the spectacle of two Popes each claiming to be the sole head of the Church, each labelling the other as Antichrist. To Wycliffe, the year of the Schism, 1378, was the crucial year of his life. He first urged that both Popes should be set aside as having little in common with the Church of the Holy God. From this position of neutrality he quickly passes into one of antagonism to the Papacy itself.”
Archbishop Trench in Medieval Church History:—”Gregory XI. died on 27th March, 1378, and the Papal Schism broke out. The year 1378 marked the turning-point in Wycliffe’s career. Hitherto he had concerned himself with matters of mixed ecclesiastical and political import, but henceforth he devoted himself exclusively to doctrinal matters and came out as the Reformer. He began in earnest the translation of the Bible into English, and took the next decisive step by an open attack, forced upon him by his studies of the Bible, against Transubstantiation. The effect was immediate. The University itself turned against him. He was forbidden to teach. Ever afterwards he did, in nearly all his writings, introduce in some way a statement of his views upon Transubstantiation.”
Can anything be more conclusive than that we have here a parallel, not only in time, but also in the events recorded between Ezra’s commission in 467 B.C. and Wycliffe’s acts in 1378 A.D.? Ezra in leading back from Babylon many of the Israelites, and bringing with him the vessels for the service of the house of God (Ezra 7:19,20) did for the literal temple what Wycliffe by his doctrinal reforms, especially by his attack upon the doctrine of Transubstantiation, did for the spiritual temple.
II. NEHEMIAH’S COMMISSION IN 454 B.C.
The year 1391 A.D. corresponds with the year 454 B.C. when Nehemiah received his commission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Wycliffe died in 1384, before he could personally carry into effect all that he had longed for, but his works followed him. It was John Hus of Bohemia who more particularly took up the work of reform after Wycliffe’s death. Though it was in the early years of the 15th century, up till his martyrdom in 1415 A.D., that his work attracted general notice, yet it was in 1391 that Hus might be said to have received his commission to rebuild the walls of Spiritual Jerusalem, for it was in that year that he became acquainted with the works of Wycliffe (Blackie’s Modern Cyclopedia, Vol. IV., p.483).
Thatcher and Schwill in Europe in the Middle Ages, p.539:—”Political considerations, the alliance between
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Henry V. and the Papacy, led to repeated persecutions of his followers, and so all of Wycliffe’s efforts at Reform came to nothing. But the cry for the reform of the Church was never again hushed in Europe. Through one of his pupils, John Hus of Prague, his teachings were carried to Bohemia, where they also caused a great uprising.” “Hus condemned its (Papacy’s) worldliness, its right of secular possessions, and objected to the supremacy of the Pope. The Bible, according to him, ought to be the sole rule of faith.”
Professor Lodge in Close of the Middle Ages, p.207:—”The systematic teaching of Hus was for the most part derived from the great English teacher, John Wycliffe. It is important to remember that the Hussite movement had a secular as well as an ecclesiastical side.”
Burnet in History of the Reformation, p.9:—”Before the end of the 14th century, Wycliffe had extended his line of attack to some of the special doctrines of Western theology: but the movement which he began, though its effects were evanescent in his own country, became in the hands of more stimulating advocates a genuine national force in Bohemia.”
III. THE SEVEN WEEKS OF DAN. 9:25
Is there anything in the Gospel Age to explain the mysterious division of the 70 weeks into 7 and 62 and 1? By seven weeks is meant a period of 49 years. As the seven weeks date from Nehemiah’s commission, the year under consideration will be 1440 A.D. This is the time that Printing was invented, a very important factor in the Reformation.
Archbishop Trench in Medieval Church History, p.423:—”Then while abuses were never rifer, while the lives of the clergy were never fuller of scandal, while the Papal Court was never more venal, nor could less endure the beating upon it of that fierce light which leaves nothing hid,—the invention of Printing (1440) multiplied a thousandfold every voice which was raised to proclaim an abuse or to denounce a corruption. And marching hand in hand with this wondrous invention there was the Revival of Learning.”
IV. THE RETURN FROM THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY (536 B.C.) AND THE CONSEQUENT LAYING OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM
The restoration was not begun, but was finished by Ezra in 467 B.C. In accordance with the Edict of Cyrus (536 B.C.) many of the Israelites returned from Babylon and laid the foundations of the Temple. Ezra 4:24, however, states that the work then “ceased unto the 2nd year of the reign of Darius, king of Persia.” The length of time from the Edict of Cyrus in 536 B.C. till the end of the 70 weeks in 36 A.D. is 572 years. Accordingly, the date in the Gospel Age which corresponds with 536 B.C. is 1881 minus 572, equal to 1309 A.D. This year is of importance as marking the first year of what is universally known as the “Babylonian Captivity” of the Papacy at Avignon, which is generally recognized as forming the foundation of the Reformation. It is curious that the year 536, which in the Jewish Age concluded the Babylonian Captivity of the Israelites, corresponds with the year 1309 in the Gospel Age, which began the “Babylonian Captivity” of the Papacy. [May we not reverse the form of this statement and say that it rather marked the first favorable condition for the liberation of the Truth, which had long been in bondage to Papacy?—Editor.]
Archbishop Trench in Medieval Church History, p.275:—”Then in 1305 the French king contrived that the choice should fall on one who had so sold himself to carry out the wishes and policy of France that he did not feel anywhere safe from popular indignation except on the northern side of the Alps and under the protection of him whom he had engaged to serve. After a brief residence at Bordeaux and then at Poitiers, Clement V. fixed his seat at Avignon. There from 1309 to 1377 he and six following Popes resided. The ‘Babylonish Captivity’ is the name by which this voluntary exile in a foreign land with a servile dependence on a foreign power, which this exile entailed, is often designated, the name having been suggested by the 70 years or thereabouts for which this exile endured. The Popes could no longer be regarded as independent umpires and arbiters. Nevertheless, they advanced claims to a universal monarchy which stood in ridiculous contrast with their own absolute dependence on the Court of France, a dependence so abject that there were times when the Pope dared not give away the smallest preferment without permission first obtained of the French king.”
Professor Lodge in Close of the Middle Ages, p.30:—”In 1309 Clement V. fixed his residence at Avignon. As long as the Popes continued to live there, they were exposed to overwhelming French influence, and could hardly escape the charge made both from England and from Germany, that they were mere vassals of the King of France. It says much for the vitality of the Papal System that the ‘Babylonian Captivity,’ as the next 70 years have been called, did not result in the complete loss not only of the Italian Provinces, but of all spiritual authority in Europe.”
Workman in Dawn of the Reformation, Vol. I, p.16:—”The study of the Reformation should always begin with Avignon. The greatness of Luther and Calvin, as contrasted for instance with Marsiglio, Wycliffe and Gerson, does not lie so much in greater zeal, more thorough methods, more logical aim, as in their greater opportunity. The fulness of the time had come.”
V. THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE IN THE SECOND TO THE SIXTH YEARS OF DARIUS
As already mentioned, it was only the foundations of the temple which were laid on the return from Babylon. Building operations were not properly begun until the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes, king of Persia, and the temple was finished in the sixth year of his reign (Ezra 4:24; 6:15). Ussher’s chronology gives the second year of Darius as 520 B.C., and the various authorities seem to corroborate this by placing the date of his accession in the year 521. According to this, the rebuilding of the temple began 16 years after the return from Babylon. The corresponding date in the Gospel Age is 1325 (equals 1309 plus 16). The greatest work about this time was the publication of a book against the Papacy by Marsiglio of Padua, but all the authorities which I consulted were unanimous in stating that the year of publication of this book was 1324, not 1325 B.C. Accordingly, I was forced to conclude that there was no time-parallel here, or, as seemed more likely, that the second year of Darius was 521, and not 520 as affirmed. I spent several days in searching all the works on the history of Persia to which I had access, and at length my efforts were rewarded. Professor Rawlinson, in his Five Great Monarchies, Vol. 3, p.404, states that Darius mounted the throne on 1st January, 521 B.C.,
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and he then adds in a footnote on page 408, in connection with the statements of Ezra 5:2 and Haggai 1:14,15, that “according to Jewish modes of reckoning” the 24th day of the 6th month of the second year of Darius, would be September, 521 B.C., 8-1/2 months after Darius’ accession.” There can be no doubt that this is the true explanation, as both Haggai and Ezra would reckon by the ecclesiastical year beginning in the Spring.
The rebuilding of the temple would, therefore, occupy the four years from 521 to 517 B.C., and the corresponding years in the Gospel Age would be 1324 to 1328 A.D. It was in 1324 that Marsiglio published his famous book, Defensor Pacis (Defender of the Peace), and in 1328 he died. In the autumn of the same year the Emperor Lewis, who had been induced to attempt some of the reforms advocated by Marsiglio, deprived of his (Marsiglio’s) advice retired from Rome and relinquished the attempt.
Archbishop Trench in his Medieval Church History, p.280, in describing the story of the “Babylonish Captivity,” says:—”As might easily be supposed, words bolder than had ever been uttered before, words striking at the root of the Papal system, and leaving none of its prerogatives unassailed, had found utterances during this time; and more ominous than all the rest, these had not come from such as stood avowedly without the Church’s pale, but from those within. Foremost among the threatening births of the first half of the 14th century is a book, the “Defensor Pacis,” written by a physician of Padua, Marsiglio by name (died 1328), in the immediate service of Lewis of Bavaria. No later hand has traced with a finer historical tact the mundane conditions which first made possible, and then favored, the upgrowth of the Papal power; none has searched out with more unpitiable logic the weak places of the Papal armor. An epoch-making book, Neander calls it; and certain, for good or for evil, it was far in advance of its age; so far, that it is difficult to understand how it could very strongly have influenced its age.”
Workman in Dawn of the Reformation, Vol. I, p.80:—”In June, 1324, with the help of his friend, John of Jandun,—’the two pests,’ as the Pope called them, ‘from the abyss of Satan’—he wrote his great work in the incredible space of two months. Two years later, in the summer of 1326, he joined himself to Lewis. He became the leader in a band of visionaries who urged the emperor on in his struggle with ‘the great dragon and old serpent,’ John XXII. In treatise after treatise, both Marsiglio and Ockham criticised the nature of the Papal power, denied its claims and demanded the restoration of secular supremacy.” Page 85:—”The works of Marsiglio give us in clear outline the ideals which now regulate the progress of Europe. The bolts which he forged have shattered the doctrine of divine right and the temporal claims of Papacy. In his emphasis of the value of Scripture, though the hand that wrote was the hand of Marsiglio, the voice seems the voice of Luther: in his call to the laity he foreshadowed Wesley: in his views as to the rights of separate congregations, he was a forerunner of the Independents.”
Professor Lodge in his work, The Close of the Middle Ages, p.98, speaking about the struggle between the Emperor Lewis and Pope John XXII., says:—”No previous contest between the rival heads of Christendom
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had produced so much literature, or literature of such merit and significance. Michael of Cesena, the General of the Franciscan Order, John of Jandun, and William of Ockham, the ‘Invincible Doctor,’ exhausted the subtleties of the scholastic philosophy in their championship of the imperial position against Papal pretensions. Above all, Marsiglio of Padua, in his great work, the Defensor Pacis, examined with equal acuteness and insight the fundamental relations of the spiritual and secular powers, and laid down principles which were destined to find, at any rate, partial expression in the Reformation. This outburst of literary and philosophical activity was due in great part to the fact that for the first time in the long strife between Papacy and Empire, the struggle involved doctrinal ideas. Hitherto, the contest had been between Church and State, and the Church had been for the most part united. But on the present occasion the Church was profoundly divided. In spite of all the advantages on the side of the Emperor, the quarrel ended, not exactly in a Papal triumph, yet in the complete and humiliating discomfiture of Lewis. Doubtless the personal character of the Emperor contributed essentially to this result. He could take strenuous measures under the influence of a stronger will, but when he lost his adviser, Marsiglio, his habitual irresolution and his superstitious dread of excommunication returned upon him. In January, 1328, he was crowned Emperor by two bishops who had been excommunicated. In May, Peter di Corvara, a Franciscan friar, nominated by the Emperor, and accepted by the acclamations of the citizens, assumed the Papal title as Nicholas V. Lewis had committed himself to an enterprise which he had neither the moral nor the material force to carry through. He retired to the Ghibelline strongholds in the north, accompanied by his Antipope. The Roman populace, with characteristic inconstancy, expelled the imperial partisans, and opened their gates to the Orsini and the Neapolitan troops.”
The following extract from Poole’s Age of Wycliffe, p.28, indicates some of the chief thoughts in Marsiglio’s teaching. “Marsiglio’s chief work, the Defensor Pacis, was written in 1324, while he was still at the University of Paris. He taught Republicanism. The community of all the citizens or their majority, expressing its will either by elected representatives or in their assembled mass, is the supreme power in the State. The people must choose a ruler, but to the hereditary principle he will make no concession whatever. The name Church belongs to the entire body of Christian men. It is intolerable that its prerogatives should be usurped by the sacerdotal order. Excommunication, for instance, cannot rightly be decreed by any priest or any council of priests. The verdict belongs to the community of the faithful. The power of the clergy is entirely restricted to spiritual affairs; it can only be given effect to by spiritual means. Of heresy as such there is but one judge, Jesus Christ, and his sentence is in the world to come. Errors of opinion lie beyond the cognisance of human judicature. In the New Testament, bishop and priest are convertible designations of the same persons, and the popedom is a later institution of which the historical growth is clearly traceable. St. Peter had no authority over the other apostles; but even supposing he had, it is hazardous to assert that he communicated it to his successors in the Roman See, since we cannot say for certain that he himself ever visited, far less was Bishop of, Rome at all. The Pope in his quality of Christian Bishop can claim no right of supreme judgment
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in human things, even over the clergy. The keys of St. Peter open and close the door of forgiveness, but forgiveness is the act of God, determined by the repentance of the sinner. The Turnkey is not the Judge. Marsiglio goes through the standard arguments in favor of the Papal assumptions, and rejects them one after another, partly by his resolute insistence on a rational interpretation of the texts of Scripture, partly by the essential distinction between the sacred calling of the priesthood and their extrinsic or worldly connections. My kingdom is not of this world. The ministers of the Church should be supported by those to whom they minister, but only in the necessaries of life; but no one of the faithful is bound by Scripture to pay them a tenth or any other
Return of the Israelites from the Babylonian Captivity to restore the Temple at Jerusalem. Only the foundations laid. (Ezra 1:1-3; 3:10.)
Restoration of the Temple in 2d to 6th years of Darius (Ezra 4:24; 6:15).
Ezra’s commission in the 7th year of Artaxerxes to restore vessels to Temple. (Ezra 7:7,19.)
“Babylonian Captivity” of the Papacy.
The beginning of what is known as the “Babylonian Captivity” of the Papacy at Avignon. Generally recognized as the foundation of the Reformation.
Publication by Marsiglio of Padua of the “Defensor Pacis.”
The year of the Great Papal Schism which caused Wycliffe in same year (1) to come out as the Reformer, (2) to translate Bible into English, (3) to renounce transubstantiation.
The Seventy Weeks—490 Years.
Nehemiah’s commission in 20th year of Artaxerxes to rebuild walls of Jerusalem. (Neh. 2:1.) Troublous times.
Year when Hus became acquainted with Wycliffe’s writings. He carried Wycliffe’s teachings into effect. Troublous times.
End of the 7 weeks, followed by more favorable times.
Invention of printing followed by more favorable times.
Advent of Messiah as Prince.
Crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Beginning of the casting off of the Jews at end of exclusive favor to Jews.
Advent of Messiah as King.
Resurrection of the Saints. Beginning at Berlin Congress of return of favor to the Jews. Beginning of the casting-off of the Church.
End of exclusive favor to Church.
Destruction of Jerusalem and of Jews’ national polity.
Full loss of favor to Christianity.
Full loss of favor to the Jews, and anarchy.
Destruction of nominal Christendom in anarchy. Full return of favor to the Jews.
part of his income. The clergyman might well supply his needs by other means, as by handicraft, after the example of the apostles. But now that the Church has been enriched by ample endowments, the question arises, To whom do these belong? Marsiglio replies that the property can only belong to the person or persons who gave it, or to the State. Nor can the clergyman claim the entire use of it: he is the administrator of a Trust, and what is left over after his daily food and raiment are supplied, must be distributed to the poor. Wycliffe was seen by Pope Gregory XI. to be the successor of Marsiglio.”
I have given this somewhat fully, as it is so much in line with our own views, setting them down in the order in which they occurred to me in the course of my investigations. On reviewing them, I feel more certain than ever that the hand of God has been in the affairs of men. Such correspondencies could not be due to chance.
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Prior to 536 B.C. and 1309 A.D., fleshly and Spiritual Israel were completely in the power of Babylon, but these years marked the turning-point, and then step by step the Great Reform went on. The people had been punished for their sins, but now God was beginning to bestow his favor upon them for a season in order to prepare them for the Messiah. Each of the items noted above was a distinct step in the reformation of Jews and Christians. So much for the beginning of the 70 weeks. The events at the end of the 70 weeks are detailed in DAWN II.
The prophecy of the 70 weeks does not, however, indicate when the final overthrow would take place, and, except for the reference to the seven weeks, no mention is made of any events in the interval between the commission of Nehemiah and the 70th week. In line with this, we find that the historical canon of the Old Testament ends with Ezra and Nehemiah. It is evident that God did not intend to indicate the Lutheran movement in connection with this prophecy. This might have appeared strange to me had I not formerly seen that this movement was typified by the division of the Kingdom of Israel on the death of Solomon. All the above stages of reform were in the Church, but Luther’s reform was a complete revolt, resulting in a division of the Kingdom, and was, therefore, best represented by the division of the typical Kingdom of Israel before its final overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar.
Dear Brother, I shall be glad to hear what you think of these time-parallels. So far as I can judge at present, they seem to me to be very conclusive, and have helped to confirm me very strongly in the opinion that your views regarding the times are correct. I feel convinced. The “Truth is mighty and will prevail.”
Yours in Him,
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Below we give an outline chart built upon the Bible chronology presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN and embodying our original “Chart of the Ages.” It presents additionally several new features, “parallels,” which no doubt will be both interesting and instructive. It is by Bro. U. G. Lee.
THE TWO MINISTRATIONS
If the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 2 Cor. 3:9.
— June 15, 1905 —