WE have in the foregoing pages, traversed a considerable range of subjects; we have endeavoured to elucidate the fundamental principles of progressive revelation and progressive interpretation, and we have under their guidance traced the historic fulfilment of two of the main symbolic prophecies of Scripture. In this fourth part of the work we have directed attention to a variety of facts, in the realms of physiology and astronomy, and shown their connection with another series of facts, the facts of Biblical chronology. We have traced, very imperfectly, but still sufficiently to demonstrate its existence, a system of times and seasons running through nature- organic and inorganic,-and through Scripture -historic and prophetic :-a system which consequently we have ventured to call, a Divine system of times and seasons. We have shown that this system is characterized by soli-lunar dominion causal and chronological, and by a marked and peculiar septiformity; that a law of completion. in weeks can be traced alike in Scripture, in physiology (normal and abnormal), in history, and in astronomy.
We have endeavoured to avoid mere hypothesis, and to build on the basis of solid unquestionable facts. It remains in conclusion to show the bearing of the facts of this Divine system of times and seasons,-
I. On some of the main controverted points of prophetic interpretation dealt with in the earlier part of this volume; II. On the evidence of the inspiration of Scripture; and, III. On the profoundly interesting question of the chronological point now reached in human history, and the nearness of "the end of the age."
I.The Divine system of times and seasons, which we have traced, strongly discredits the futurist system of interpreting the symbolic prophecies of Daniel and St. John, and in the fullest and most remarkable manner confirms the Protestant historic system. We have shown that if the true meaning of the chronologic statements connected with these prophecies can be determined it would of itself and without the aid of further argument, settle the question at issue between these two schools of interpreters; inasmuch as the nature of the predicted Antichrist is decided by the duration of his existence. If the 1260 days of his dominion be (unlike all the other features of the prediction) literal then the futurists are right in looking for a future division of the Roman earth into ten kingdoms with a coincident future rise of an individual Antichrist, whose advent shall precede by three and a half years that of Christ; and in denying that these prophecies have already received their fulfilment. But if the 1260 days be (like the predictions in which the period occurs) symbolic, then the little horn and the ten horns, having a duration of i 260 years attached to them, and their rise immediately succeeding the break-up of the undivided Roman Empire, the fulfilment must be looked for in the past; and can only be found in the history of the Papacy, and its relations to the kingdoms of Christendom, and to the true Church of Christ, during the last twelve centuries. In consequence of this, its great importance, we dwelt at some length on the evidence in favour of the year-day system of interpretation, and we must now direct special attention to the confirmation of its truth afforded by the Divine plan of times and seasons, which we have been investigating.
The period which,-as marking the duration, and therefore the nature of the great Antichristian Apostasy,-is the disputed period, is seven times designated by expressions synonymous with half a week of years: "forty and two months," 1260 days, etc. Now this alone would prove nothing, because weeks on an almost infinite variety of scale, are found, as we have shown, in the word and works of God. But this half week leads up to a certain terminal point, the establishment of the kingdom of the God of heaven, the overthrow of Antichrist and his armies, the cessation of the treading down of the holy city. These same events mark the termination of one of the weeks we have considered, the last of the three great dispensational weeks, the times of the Gentiles; this also ends in the establishment of the kingdom of God, the overthrow of Babylon and the beast, and the Second Advent of Christ. That is, we find a whole week of "seven times," or 2520 years, leading up to THAT; and we find also a half-week of "time, times and a half," leading up to THAT. Nor can we question that the latter is half of the former? that the half-week of years, is symbolic of a half-week of prophetic times, or years of years? that the predicted 1260 "days" represent the 1260 years which are the last half of the Gentile dispensation?
If this be so, if this period be the solemnly momentous and important last half of the last great dispensation, the twelve centuries which have rolled over Christendom since the rise of the Papacy, including the dark ages, the Reformation, and the modern revival of primitive Christian doctrine, and spread of missionary enterprise, with the coincident rise and spread of infidelity, then it is easy to understand the prominence assigned to it in the prophetic word. But if it be literally half a week of years, it is a brief half without a corresponding half and no reason consistent with the wisdom and goodness of God can be assigned for the great importance which is attached to it in Scripture.
And when, further, TURNING TO THE SCROLL OF HISTORY, WE SEE THAT THE GREAT WEEK OF THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES WAS, AS A MATTER OF FACT, BISECTED BY THE RISE OF AN ANTICHRISTIAN POWER, accurately fulfilling the conditions of the prophecy, and whose political existence demonstrably did endure 1260 years, or half a week on the year-day scale, it seems almost impossible to resist the conviction that this is the scale employed and this the Power foretold.
It is a further argument in favour of the year-day system., that the periods of symbolic prophecy, interpreted in accordance with it, form parts of a great septenary system, the previous links in the chain being found in other portions of Scripture, and the subsequent ones in the movements of the universe. In the law, in the prophets, and in the Psalms, we found the week of days, the week of weeks, the week, of months, the week of years, the week of weeks of years, the week of decades, and the week of weeks of decades. Now the dispensational "seven times," and its half; the 1260 years, are a week and a half-week of prophetic times, or years of years, the next step in advance and they are followed by the week of millenaries, and by the higher and vaster weeks marked out by the revolutions of the solar system. But for the clue afforded by the prophetic times interpreted according to the year-day system, the true measures of the dispensational divisions of history, would probably never have been surmised. Is it likely that a key which has unlocked so much, should be a wrong key, that the period which has proved a clue to the entire labyrinth, should itself have been misapprehended?
But further, THE FACT THAT. THESE PERIODS OF DANIEL, INTERPRETED ON THE YEAR-DAY SCALE, ARE FOUND TO BE NATURAL ASTRONOMIC CYCLES OF SINGULAR ACCURACY AND BEAUTY, UNKNOWN TO MANKIND UNTIL DISCOVERED BY MEANS OF THESE VERY PROPHECIES, SEEMS ALONE TO SETTLE THE QUESTION THAT THIS IS THE TRUE SCALE. Is it not most natural and suitable, that great events, deemed worthy of prediction by the Spirit of God ages before they occurred, should have had their fore-ordained duration marked off by the occult movements and coincidences of those orbs, which together constitute Gods glorious chronometer? Taken literally, the periods of symbolic prophecy, are astronomically nothing. Interpreted on the year-day principle, they are natural cycles, as distinctly marked out as such, as our ordinary months or years. Would this be so, were the brief symbolic period, everything, and the antitypical, the year-day period, nothing? Taken literally, 2300 days are astronomically nothing; while 2300 years form precisely the largest secular soli-lunar cycle known.
When these dispensational, chronologic, and astronomic harmonies, are allowed their due weight in determining the true scale of prophetic chronology, only one conclusion seems possible. The system employed is that of denoting a year by a day; not brief; but long periods, are therefore predicted, not passing events occupying only a few years, but stupendous ones, enduring through centuries, and affecting many generations of men. And these events are not to be looked for in the future, they are already for the most part fulfilled. This conclusion overthrows the entire futurist system, and fixes the application of the main symbolic prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse to the past and present, rather than exclusively to the future.
We invite futurist expositors of the prophetic word, to consider all the arguments on this subject which we have adduced, and either to refute them, or to acknowledge their force. Prophetic discussion and controversy are often feared and deprecated, because they have in other days degenerated into strife, and occasioned separation among brethren. These, however, are happily, not necessary results of searching the Scripture on this or any other topic, and they are evils from which humility and a real desire to discover the truth of God, will effectually preserve sincere inquirers and students.
We are strongly of opinion that the questions at issue between presentist and futurist interpreters of prophecy, should be both patiently studied, and fully discussed, both from the platform and by the press, with a view to their removal..
One system or other must be erroneous; surely it is not hopeless to discover which! No generation of Christians could ever have attempted the tusk with such a prospect of success as our own; not only is there a special promise to the wise in the time of the end, that they shall understand these things, but the very nature of the case makes it clear, that if the historic system be the true one, we are in a better position to prove it, than our predecessors could be, for every fresh fulfilment that can be indicated, strengthens the proof. That most notable event the downfall of the Temporal Power of the Papacy exactly 1260 years after the edict of Phocas, ought to provoke a calm and thorough re-examination of the subject, on the part of our futurist friends.
"The days are at hand," and the effect of every vision, and the testimony of the Church on this great subject should be as clear and as unanimous as possible for if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for the battle? The world Will never give heed to the warnings of the prophetic word, while the ministers of that word differ diametrically among themselves as to its true meaning; nor will Christians be roused to any such deep and real conviction of the nearness of the end as will produce practical results, by the exposition of varying and inconsistent views. At this eleventh hour, if ever, the predictions of the word of God ought to be clear to wise and humble students, nor should such rest content without an honest endeavour to compare and resolve their differences.
We humbly hope that our own discoveries as to the epact measures of the prophetic times, may be helpful in the consideration of the question; and that, the year-day system 01 interpreting the chronologic statements of symbolic prophecy,- that main pillar of the Protestant historic view, may, in the light of the confirmatory evidence of its truth afforded by this investigation of the Divine system of times and seasons, be generally received among students of prophecy, as a truth which has been demonstrated.
II. The facts we have adduced have also an important bearing on the fundamental question of the inspiration of Scripture, and thus indirectly on the subject of Christian evidences. We have shown that nature is characterized by a septiform periodicity, and that many of its revolutions are regulated by a law of weeks; also that Scripture, in a great variety of ways, embodies the same septiform system. Now it must be borne in mind that the existence of this system in nature, has only been recognised of late years. Modern science,-with its careful and all-embracing scrutiny of investigation into natural phenomena, with its reverential attention to even the minutest details of physical function, with its rich accumulations of tabulated records of observed facts, and its unprejudiced candour in submitting all its theories to the test of experiment, -has come to perceive, and for the first time, a law of septiform periodicity in nature. Mankind in all ages must of course have been practically familiar with certain obvious and universal instances of its prevalence; but the wide extent of its operation, its exactness, and the variety of the spheres in which it may be traced, is matter of very recent discovery. The papers contributed by Dr. Laycock to the Lancet which we have quoted, were written less than forty years ago; and even now the subject is imperfectly understood.
It is thus abundantly evident that the writers of Scripture, in attributing to their Mosaic legislation, embodying in their historical narratives, and in concealing in their symbolic prophecies, this same septiform system, or law of completion in weeks, were not adopting a principle already acknowledged in the world at large, or even known to the men of science of their day. They were entirely ignorant of the recently discovered septiformity of nature, and the exact harmony of their writings with this widely operative, but to them utterly unknown principle, must, on their part, have been perfectly undesigned.
On the other hand, it is equally impossible that this harmony should be the result of chance: the use of the system in Scripture is too thorough and all-pervading to admit of such an explanation. It does not consist in a few minor arrangements enacted by a single legislator; it is the consistent and complex system underlying the law and ritual, which, for three thousand five hundred years have been obeyed by an entire nation; a system running unperceived through the historical records of the Old Testament, and lying hidden under mystic expressions, in its symbolic prophecies-prophecies understood at the time neither by those who gave, nor by those who received them, and whose true scale has only become apparent in these latter days, in the light of their own fulfilment. Creation, history, and Mosaic law, agree with the predictions of the prophets and apostles, and with the words of our Lord Himself, in recognising this system. It pervades Old and New Testaments, and harmonizes Jewish and Christian predictions. The actual events of redemption history, are found to be in chronological harmony with the octave or New Creation and Jubilee reckoning of the Law; the chronology of the types of Leviticus is the chronology of Christianity anticipated. Intentionally then, and of set purpose, and in the most consistent way, the septiform law so prevalent and controlling in nature, is employed by the writers of Scripture, though they cannot have derived it from nature. Whence then did they derive it? How came they thus to employ it? There is only one reply! Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Further; we have seen that the septiform divisions of time in the Old Testament, run on constantly to an octave, and give a glad and glorious prominence to the eighth day and the fiftieth day, in connection with observances intimating that a new and better economy was destined to succeed the Jewish; that in a New Creation, to follow the old, and in that alone, would full purity and peace, perfect joy and liberty be found. Would Jewish legislators and prophets have invented or conceived such an idea as this? Would they, of their own accord, have embodied in their law, in their history, in their prophecies, a silent testimony that Judaism was destined to be succeeded and set aside by a better order of things? Would they who held themselves to be the sole and peculiar people of God, have incorporated in their sacred books, a chronologic system, which points with no obscurity to the passing away of Judaism? No! Such a system cannot have originated in the Jewish mind, and yet the books are, as regards their human source, unquestionably Jewish. The fact can be explained only by admitting, that these Jewish minds were inspired, and these Jewish pens guided, by Him who from the beginning foresaw and planned the end, who intended Christianity to succeed Judaism, the heavenly to follow the earthly, the substance to replace the shadow.
It may be urged, that though the law of septiform periodicity in vital function was unperceived by the ancients, that yet conspicuous celestial phenomena, such as the lunar quarters, may account for the Bible use of the week, without supposing inspiration. But the plea has no force, for the lunar quarter is not so near seven days as to make the observance of the week compulsory or inevitable, and as a matter of fact, it is not observed by two-thirds of mankind. China and, till quite recently; Japan, and all heathen nations, do not recognise the septiform division of time. Unlike the day, the month, and the year in this respect, the week is not marked out by an obvious and complete celestial revolution. Its observance evidently springs from a higher source, even the direct primitive mandate of the Most High: it has been imposed on man from Eden onwards (as well as indelibly impressed on his physical constitution), by the Creator Himself directly, ,and not indirectly, as the day, month, and year.
Again, what but inspiration of God can account for the fact that the prophetic periods of Daniel and St. John are found to be accurate soli-lunar cycles? and that their very epacts form a septiform series of periods as we have shown? Was Daniel acquainted with these facts? Could John have adapted his writings to the discoveries of modern science? Impossible! Candour must acknowledge that in the existence of such a system of times and seasons as we have traced, in the Bible, there is a proof of the Divine inspiration of the authors of that volume. Man never originated its holy and harmonious laws, with their wonderful septenary system of typical times and seasons, fulfilled, and still fulfilling, in the sacred events of Redemption Story. Man could not have invented its equally wonderful prophecies, unfolding as they do the whole plan and course of history, alike in its grand outline, and in its minor detail, and including even, in many cases, the accurate chronology of the things foretold. Man can never have been the author of a system of times and seasons which involves the co-ordination of things celestial and terrestrial; the mutual adaptation of the periodicity of vital phenomena, the sacred seasons of legal type, the periods of prophecy and the chronology of history, with the periods of the revolutions and cycles of sun and moon and planet, or those of the movements of the whole solar system. Man can neither foretell the future nor control it; man cannot order on a definite plan, the course of ages, or so direct the revolutions of the moral world, as that they shall harmonize with those of the material universe. Such operations can be accomplished only by Omnipotence, such acts can be attributed to God alone. The sacred volume,- that unfolds the Divine world-system, including the course and chronology of the ages of history, of ages future at the time when it was written, as well as of ages past; foretelling periods since fulfilled, and found, 2000 years after their prediction, to be celestial cycles,-must be from God, and he who refuses to acknowledge this, is bound to find some other satisfactory explanation of facts which true science cannot deny, nor common honesty ignore. And this evidence may be adduced in favour of each portion of the sacred volume; the Pentateuch and the prophets, the historical books of the Old Testament and the gospels of the New, the Psalms and the Epistles and the Apocalypse, all are more or less pervaded by the same system of times and seasons. A Divine unity pervades the volume in this as in other respects, and the chronology of the Bible, independently of any other line of evidence, proves it to be the word of God.
III. And finally, the Divine system of times and seasons, which we have been investigating, has an evident bearing on the deeply important and profoundly interesting subject of the nearness of the end of the age,-of the close of these Times of the Gentiles, and the simultaneous inauguration of the "Times of restitution of all things, of which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."
It bears on this question mainly by the evidence it affords of the existence of a definite and predetermined chronological system, in the providential dealings of God with man; in the proof it gives that this system is a system of weeks, and that the great week of this third er Gentile dispensation, has almost run its course. Further, by confirming as we have seen that it does, in the fullest way, the year-day system of interpreting the chronology of symbolic prophecy, it brings the celebrated half-week of the great Antichristian apostasy into perfect harmony with all the other weeks of Scripture and of nature, determining its character thus by its duration, and leaving no doubt as to the power intended. The fulfilments which this system enables us to trace in the past, are so many guides as to the future, so that by its help chronologic prophecy, instead of being a puzzling mystery, is felt to become emphatically a light shining in a dark place,-a light which throws its beams back over the complex mazes of history, and forwards over the transcendently interesting events of the rapidly approaching crisis, which is to usher in the sabbath of humanity.
We must therefore briefly review the evidence of the nearness of the end of the age which is afforded by chronologic prophecy, and confirmed by non-chronologic predictions, and we must show, that while there is irresistible evidence to prove that the end is near there are positively no data to enable us to fix on any exact year, as the probably predestined time of the consummation. According to the testimony of the sure word of prophecy, the end is near, but none can say how near, or determine its actual epoch.
First, then, in proof that it is near, let the measures of the three dispensations be remembered, and the wide and almost universal range of the law of completion in weeks. "Seven times" and seven times only are appointed as the period of Jewish degradation and dispersion. He who predicted the four hundred years affliction of the seed of Abraham at the beginning of their history, and who when those four hundred years were fulfilled, delivered Israel from Egypt, and judged the nation which had held them in bondage, predicted later on, that for a great week of 2520 years, Gentiles should rule over and afflict the Jewish people, and that at the end of that time Gentile monarchy should be destroyed, and the kingdom restored again to Israel, in the person of their Messiah. Independent Jewish monarchy fell as we know in the Babylonish captivity, since which event the tribes of Israel have existed only in bondage or dispersion. In about forty-five years from the present time (1879 A.D.) the great week of the Times of the Gentiles will have run out, even measured from its latest possible commencing date, the final conquest of Jehoiachin by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 598. The great image of Gentile monarchy has but a few years longer to exist; the period of Gentile supremacy is all but ended; the great but hidden dispensational prophecy of the "seven times" clearly teaches that we are near the end of the age.
And secondly, let the measures of the Antichristian apostasy, which is predicted under seven different aspects, be remembered. Half a week is assigned as its duration, half this great dispensational week of seven times-1260 years. Like, all the other periods we have considered, this half-week may be dated, as we have seen, from a variety of starting-points; either from the decree of the Emperor Justinian constituting the bishop of Rome head of all the Churches, and so delivering the saints into his hands, (A.D. 533),-when it ends in the French Revolution, A.D. 1793; or from the decree of the Emperor Phocas, conceding to Boniface the Third, not only the primacy of the Church of Rome and all the Western Churches, but that of Constantinople and all the Eastern Churches (A.D. 606), which makes it run out at the recent complete destruction of the Papal temporal power and dominion (1866- 70); or the period may be dated from the year A.D. 663, when Vitalian, the bishop of Rome, enjoined the services of the Church to be read in Latin throughout all Christendom, when the half-week would (like the whole week) expire, in A.D. 1923. We have seen the two first measures of this period expire, and we have seen the events predicted take place. The prophecy implies a brief succeeding period before the close, "they shall take away his kingdom, to consume and to destroy it to the end : and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him." We have seen the kingdom taken away; we wait to see the full consumption and destruction, and the establishment of the kingdom of the Most High. The prophecy of the "time, times and a half," by its fulfilment, proves, that we are close upon the end of the age.
And thirdly, the prediction relative to the cleansing of the sanctuary does the same. The Holy Land, the Holy City, and the site of the Temple or Sanctuary of God at Jerusalem, are to be finally "cleansed" 2300 years from some starting point which is not exactly defined, but which appears from the prophecy to be closely connected with the restoration of Judah from Babylon; that is, Jerusalem is, after that period, to cease to be trodden down of the Gentiles, the times of the Gentiles having been fulfilled. Dated from the earliest possible starting point, the commission given by Artaxerxes to Ezra, B.C. 457, this period expired as we have seen in 1844, which was a marked epoch in the fall of that Mohammedan power which has long defiled the sanctuary and trodden down Jerusalem. But dated 145 years later, from the era of the Seleucid , this period measured in lunar years expires, seventy five years later, in A.D. 1919. We have noted various indications in the condition of Palestine and of Israel, and in the political events of our own day which seem to indicate that the cleansing of the sanctuary and the restoration of Israel are not distant. When these shall take place, when the Moslems, now driven out of Bulgaria, shall be driven also out of Syria, when the nations of Europe, actuated it may be merely by mutual distrust and political jealousy, or it may be by higher motives, shall conspire to reinstate the Jews in the land of their forefathers, then the last warning bell will have rung; then the last of the unfulfilled predictions of Scripture as to events prior to the great crisis, will have received its accomplishment, then the second advent of Israels rejected Messiah to reign in conjunction with his risen and glorified saints as King over all the earth, will be close at hand, then the mystery of God will be all but finished, and the manifestation of Christ immediate. How long a time may be required to bring about this restoration of Israel-who shall say? Never within the last 1800 years has it seemed so likely as now, for never, since it first arose, has Moslem power lain so low as it does at the present moment. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE POWER AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE, LIKE THE ANNIHILATION OF THE TEMPORAL DOMINION OF THE PAPACY, SHOULD BE AS A TRUMPET-BLAST TO CHRISTENDOM, PROCLAIMING THAT THE DAY OF CHRIST IS AT HAND.
The sanctuary cycle of 2300 years, equally with the two previous prophecies, indicates that the end is near.
Though differing as to many minor details, students of chronological prophecy with one consent agree in this conclusion. which is in itself a. strong argument that it rests on a solid basis of revealed truth. The fact that many premature anticipations of the end, have by the event been proved mistaken, is sometimes adduced as a proof that all expectations based on chronologic prophecy, are of the nature of vain and foolish speculations, deserving only of ridicule and contempt from sober-minded practical Christian people. But when viewed in the light of the revealed purpose of God, to make known the future only by degrees, and only as the Church was able to bear it, the fact alluded to, is merely a proof that the symbolic language in which these chronological predictions were expressed, has answered its divinely intended purpose, and disguised, till nearly the time of its accomplishment, the true meaning of the prophecy. To the early generations of the Church it was not given to understand these chronologic prophecies at all; later generations made a good guess at their general drift and scale; the Reformers obtained approximately true ideas of their scope and application; to many of the prophetic expositors and commentators of the last two centuries very clear light was granted, and (in spite of the obscurity which rash futurist speculations have cast over the subject) it may safely be said that in our own day the light has become so strong, clear, and bright, that the historic and doctrinal portions of Scripture are scarcely more simple and comprehensible than are its main prophetic outlines, to those who carefully study them.
And further, though foolish speculators have brought ridicule on the study of prophecy, by carnal, presumptuous, and baseless attempts to fix the day and the hour of the Second Advent, and though even cautious and learned students have often erred in their anticipations, yet it must in all fairness be granted on the other hand, that no sooner was the historic system of interpreting the Apocalypse received, and the true scale of enlarging the miniature periods of symbolic prophecy adopted, than some remarkably correct anticipations of future events were made and published. Since then, expositors of chronologic prophecy have proved over and over again, that they are on the right track, even though they may have erred in the application of certain principles, or in selection of certain data, on which to base their calculations. And it is evident that even when they had rightly accepted the year-day system, and when they had correctly apprehended the meaning of the symbols employed, and duly applied them to the events intended, they were by no means secure from minor errors. The very fact that all the prophetic periods have double, and some of them triple and even fourfold eras of commencement and conclusion,-coincident with definite stages of development and decay in the Powers symbolised, leaves room for such errors, and accounts for them, without detracting from the value of the system employed. And if such false anticipations are noted, correct ones should in all fairness be remembered also. One of the earliest and most remarkable of these is that of ROBERT FLEMING, who in his work on the "Rise and Fall of Rome Papal," published in the year 1701 (a hundred and seventy-eight years ago), anticipated the years 1794 and 1848, as critical years in the downfall of the papacy; he added "yet we are not to imagine that these events will totally destroy the papacy, although they will exceedingly weaken it, for we find that it is still in being and alive, when the next vial is poured out." Is it not a proof that this expositor was working on right lines, and had seized the true clue, that he should thus have fixed nearly a century beforehand, on the close of the 18th century, as the commencement of the era of Divine vengeance on the Papal power, and have pointed out within a single year, the very central period of that signal judgment? The year 1793 was that of the Reign of Terror, and of the temporary suspension of the public profession of Christianity in France, the first of Papal kingdoms; and five years later the Papal government in Italy was overthrown, and the Pope carried captive to Sienna. There was not a sign in the political heavens when Fleming wrote, that such events were impending; he foresaw them solely in the light of chronologic prophecy, and had he weighed a little more maturely the relative importance of the various Pope-exalting decrees and acts, which form the starting-points of the prophetic 1260 years, he would have fixed on that of Phocas, as the most important, and have added to the above two accurate and correct anticipations.