Larger font
Smaller font

The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    III. Burwell (Canada)—Also Ends 2300 Years in 1847


    A missionary to Canada from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, ADAM HOOD BURWELL, 31ADAM HOOD BURWELL (c. 1790-1849) was born in England. He came to Canada in 1831, and was stationed first at Nicolet, in Lower Canada, going thence to By town (now called Ottawa), and later on to Kingston in Canada West. He was author of two Upper Canada imprints Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and A Voice of Warning, both issued in 1835. It is in the latter that his prophetic faith was clearly set forth. introduces his comprehensive exposition of prophecy with a study of “Scripture Symbols.” The seven churches typify “the church universal in its seven ages,” “from Pentecost till the Day of the Lord.” The seven seals expand this prophetic history, as do also the seven trumpets and the seven vials all ending “together in the great day of wrath, and the coming of the Son of Man.” The seven churches cover the “whole nominal church.” The seven seals, trumpets, and vials relate some to the east, some to the west, some to political, and some to ecclesiastical affairs, with others referring to heresies. Under the seventh trumpet the harvest of the earth is gathered, the winepress is trodden, the last vial is poured out, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, who reigns forever.PFF4 311.3

    In common with many others, Burwell applies the first of the seven vials to the “plague sore of atheism, which fell upon France, and spread thence over Europe.” 32Adam H. Burwell, A Voice of Warning and Instruction, Concerning the Signs of the Times, and the Coming of the Son of Man, to Judge the Nations, and Restore All Things, p. 4. The disastrous part played by the Papacy is definitely noted, and the “Mohammedan little horn” of Daniel 8:9, 10, that acted as a scourge on the church. The “earthquake,” of the sixth seal, is a symbol of “political revolution,” specifically that of the French Revolution. 33Ibid., pp. 5-8. This indicates the scope.PFF4 312.1


    The four world powers of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 are interpreted as the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Graeco-Macedonian, and Roman. Rome’s tenfold division (the ten toes and the ten horns) is brought about by the northern invasions. The smiting by the Stone the kingdom of God 34Ibid., pp. 8, 9, 26-31. is the coming death blow to all kingdoms. And Burwell refers to the “premonitory signs” of the establishment of that kingdom, in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, really based on Daniel, which Christ admonished all students of the prophetic Word to understand. These signs, Burwell asserts, have had remarkable fulfillment “within the last half century.” 35Ibid., p. 14.PFF4 312.2


    Burwell solemnly charges Christendom with neglect, and even “wilful ignorance,” of the inspired counsels of God that foretell His impending judgments. He stresses Christ’s admonition to watch and pray, thus to escape the coming destruction. He rebukes those blind ecclesiastical “leaders” of the spiritually blind who occupy the vital place of “watchmen,” but who treat Christ’s words with contempt and teach the people to disbelieve the prophecies of our Lord. 36Ibid., p. 15. (Evidently his expositions did not have a hearty reception in Canada.) Burwell presses the Master’s question, When the Son oL Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth concerning His second coming? And he replies, No! they will largely be gathered together to make war with the Lamb when He comes to execute His fearful judgments on the wicked. Men commonly call it “presumption” to attempt to know the time of fulfillment of prophetic signs and prophetic periods. 37Ibid., pp. 18, 19. Then he solemnly introduces this time element:PFF4 312.3

    “The period of time within which it is to be executed upon ‘all the nations’ comprehended within the great Image and the four monarchies, is bounded by the ending of the 2300 days of Daniel.” 38Ibid., p. 19. It will have been observed that a large number of both Old World and New World expositors now base much of their chronological emphasis upon this mystic number as a common denominator for their calculations. It is an emphasis that is to become progressively more pronounced. And now, into this over-all setting, Burwell ties the work of the papal “Mother of Harlots,” who calls herself a prophetess and poses as an infallible teacher, who has made the nations drunk, spiritually, and upon whom the plagues are soon to fall, and from whose midst men are admonished to flee. 39Ibid., p. 19.PFF4 313.1


    Burwell next turns to the “Chronology of Prophecy.” The 70 weeks of years for the Jews contain “internal marks” by which “its commencement and end” could be definitely determined by the Jewish church before the Messiah made His appearance though the year of His birth was not foretold, only that of His cutting off and the “duration of His public ministry.” Moreover, there was a general expectancy at the time of Christ’s birth that He would soon appear. The Jews should have been aware, Burwell affirms, of what they were doing when they rejected and slew Him.PFF4 313.2

    But they had failed to heed the prophecies of Moses, Isaiah, David, Micah, and Daniel concerning the Messiah’s predicted character, parentage, place of birth, acts, and sufferings, time of death, and resurrection. Even His title the “Son of Man” which He uniformly used, was given in advance. Such was the perfection and completeness of prophecies rejected by the Jews at His first advent. 40Ibid., pp. 23, 24. (See Prophetic Faith, Vol. I, p. 147.) Burwell then contends that the period of Daniel’s 2300 years similarly reveals the time when Christ, as Messiah, will come to the world the second time. John does not repeat that crucial date, which stands on record, but defines and delimits the papal period within which the Little Horn would do its exploits. Under the symbol of the woman fleeing into the wilderness, John said the church was to be under persecution for 1260 year-days, or three and a half prophetic times. This period Burwell dates from Justinian, in 533. And the “earthquake” at the close, comes at the French Revolution, 1260 years later. 41Ibid., pp. 24, 25.PFF4 313.3


    Burwell declares that there are “two judgments,” “separated from each other by the whole period of the Millennium, though by many they are frequently confounded.” 42Ibid., p. 25. The events of the latter days crowd upon each other in quick succession. The last things are ushered in by the last trump, the smiting by the stone, the pouring out of the last vial, and the setting up of the stone kingdom. The sixth vial, which dries up the Euphrates, involves the Turkish power, which has been loosed to scourge the apostate church. 43Ibid., pp. 32, 33.PFF4 314.1

    6. 70 WEEKS THE KEY TO THE 2300 DAYS

    Seeking the beginning of the 2300 years, Burwell turns to the 70 weeks, dated from the decree of Artaxerxes, with the Messiah “cut off” in the midst of the 70th. The dating, he says, is best obtained “by counting back from the year of our Lord 37, the conclusion of the 70th week,” to “453 B.C., the true date of the beginning of the great prophetic period, a part of which was numbered off by The Wonderful Numberer [viii. 13, margin].” By deducting 453 from 2300, “the remainder is 1847.” Then the sanctuary will be “cleansed”; the “Image smitten by the stone, ground to powder, and scattered before the wind; and the fourth beast ‘destroyed, and his body given to the burning flame.’ 44Ibid., pp. 37-38.PFF4 314.2

    The kingdom will then be given to “‘the people of the saints of the Most High’; and to make room for that kingdom, the Image and the Beasts and the Scarlet Whore must all be judged and destroyed.” 45Ibid., p. 39. Such is the dramatic, cataclysmic close to human affairs presented by this author.PFF4 315.1


    Burwell is much exercised over the alarming apostasy found in Christendom a rationalism that makes light of the writings of the prophets and the apostles and advocates a new type of barren literature “adapted to the times.” He refers to it as a “mournful exhibition of human folly.” The expectation of a “Universal and Permanent Peace” is a thing God has never promised in this sinful world. It is Satan’s scheme of “drawing away the minds of men from the hopes and promises of the Kingdom, and of riveting their affection on the present world.... It teaches man to look upon himself as his own peacemaker, instead of directing his longing eyes to his absent Lord, the Prince of Righteousness and Peace.” 46Ibid., pp. 88-90. Fond dreamers vainly imagine they can tame the devil and his angels, and release the world from its bondage under corruption and reduce the race to obedience to the gospel.PFF4 315.2


    Burwell cites the ending of the period of the 2300 year-days as the surest means of “ascertaining that we are near the ‘time of the end.’” Of the calculation of this period he adds, “That a day is here set for a year I hardly need attempt to prove.” 47Ibid., p. 37. But Christian peoples are no more interested generally in the closing events of the 2300 years than were the Jews in the closing circumstances of the 70 weeks that so greatly affected them. And as the Jews rejected the evidence of the prophecy concerning the Messiah, so there are many who reject the closing events of the prophecy of the 2300 years. Yet the end-events of the 2300 years, and the second advent, are infinitely more stupendous than those ending the 70 weeks and the first advent. Mankind may know the concluding year of the 2300 just as verily as the Jews could have known the end-year of the 70 weeks. 48Ibid., pp. 40, 41. Such is his heavy indictment. And then he asserts:PFF4 315.3

    “God judged the Jews, destroyed their city, and sent them into a long and painful captivity until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, because, refusing to understand the prophecies, they knew not the time of their visitation by their King, and rejected him. And so also the mighty destruction about to fall upon Christendom will come because of the same evil heart of unbelief in refusing to believe the prophetic word declaring these things.” 49Ibid., p. 41. “The Gentiles are now enacting a like scene of unbelief, reversing the tragedy, and rejecting him in his second coming: for now that the time draws nigh in which he shall smite the great Image, and destroy the beastly wicked powers, and cast out Satan, and purify all nature, and purge away the sin of men in the flesh, and establish his righteous and everlasting kingdom on the ruins of the wisdom and works of Satan and of Man, the great majority disbelieve the prophecies, and mock and ridicule the notion of his coming at all within any given time cognizable by man; for which cause he will come upon them unawares, and with tenfold severity in comparison of his treatment of the Jews.” 50Ibid., pp. 41, 42.PFF4 316.1


    Burwell concludes by repeating that “the year 1847 is the farthest point of time to which the prophecy will allow us to carry the completion of the period” of the 2300 days. 51Ibid., p. 207 (cf. p. 43). This he deduces by taking A.D. 37 as the end of the 70 weeks -3’/2 years after the crucifixion. So he concludes:PFF4 316.2

    “And 453 before Christ to 1847 after Christ ... make up the great period of 2300, at the end of which all these will have been fulfilled, and the kingdom of the Son of Man begun.” 52Ibid., p. 209.PFF4 316.3

    Such is the insistent note sounded by Burwell of Canada in 1835. Next, we go to New York State.PFF4 317.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font