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The “Daily” of Daniel 8

A Brief Reply to Two Leaflets on This Subject

by W. W. Prescott *  ~ (1855-1944)

Written and published 1907-1909 as a 24 page Pamphlet

      The “Daily” in “Early Writings   pg. 2
      William Miller’s Exposition of the “Daily”   pg. 4
      Some History Considered   pg. 6
      A New Interpretation of the “Daily”   pg. 10
      Christianity in Britain   pg. 11
      Another “Square Contradiction” Examined   pg. 12
      The Testimony of History   pg. 13
      Authorized or Unauthorized Translations   pg. 16
      The Interpretation of the Prophecy   pg. 17
      What the Papacy Has Taken Away   pg. 20
      What the Third Angel’s Message Restores   pg. 22
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page 1
      DURING the past year two leaflets dealing with the “daily” of the eighth chapter of Daniel [vrs. 11-13] have been issued in which an effort has been made to maintain the view that the “daily” is paganism, and that it was taken away in a. d. 508. Against those who entertain a different interpretation of this prophecy, the serious charge is made in both leaflets that in their teaching they are squarely contradicting the plain statements of the spirit of prophecy.  {ND WWP, THD 1.1}
      These circumstances justify the appearance of this leaflet, the purpose of which is to present some facts bearing upon this question, and to establish the truth of the matter. Every interpretation of a fulfilled prophecy must be in harmony with facts; and questions of difference are to be settled, not by mere assertions or unwarranted claims, but by such evidence as will stand the closest examination. It should be our sincere aim to know and teach the truth, and we should be prepared to do what we are constantly asking others to do, viz., to accept evidence, and to change our views when they are proved to be incorrect. It is no discredit to a sincere man to be found mistaken, but he discredits himself when he refuses to correct a mistake which has been plainly pointed out. It is more important to know the truth than to cling to a traditional teaching.  {ND WWP, THD 1.2}

The “Daily” in “Early Writings”
      Inasmuch as an appeal has been made to the teaching of the spirit of prophecy as the basis for the claim that the “daily” of Daniel 8 is paganism, and that it was taken away in 508 a. d., it seems necessary to consider what is said in the spirit of prophecy concerning the “daily,” in order that, if possible, the prejudice which has been created by the misinterpretation of a certain quotation may be removed. But instead of quoting one or two sentences out of their connection, and interpreting them in harmony with a preconceived opinion, we will quote more at length the passage in question, as found in “Early Writings” (edition of 1893), page 64 of the first part:—  {ND WWP, THD 2.1}

      “I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as he wanted them; that his hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until his hand was removed.  {ND WWP, THD 2.2}
      “Then I saw in relation to the “daily” (Dan. 8:12) that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text; and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment-hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the “daily;” but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test.  {ND WWP, THD 2.3}
      “The Lord has showed me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, but it must not be hung on time. I saw that some were getting a false excitement, arising from preaching time; but the third angel’s message is stronger than time can be. I saw that this message can stand on its own foundation, and needs not time to strengthen it; and that it will go in mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness.”  {ND WWP, THD 2.4}

      The reading of this extract will make it clear to any unprejudiced mind that the topic under consideration

is the question of time. The application of the counsel here given will be understood more clearly by a consideration of the experiences of the Advent believers up to the time when this testimony was given in 1850. The orthodox interpretation of the little horn of the eighth chapter of Daniel was that it was a symbol of Antiochus Epiphanes; that the 2300 days were literal days, commencing with the time when Antiochus polluted the temple at Jerusalem; and that “the daily sacrifice” referred to the daily offerings made according to the ceremonial law. In harmony with this view the translators supplied the word “sacrifice” in the expression “the daily sacrifice.” The Adventists, on the other hand, maintained that the little horn was a symbol of Rome, pagan and papal; that the 2300 days were prophetic days, fulfilled in literal years; and that this period commenced in b. c. 457 and ended in 1844. After the passing of the time in 1844, there was an effort made to readjust this period of 2300 years to some point in the future; and up to 1850 at least six different adjustments had been made, bringing much confusion into the Advent ranks. Then came this counsel through the spirit of prophecy, that the word “sacrifice” should not be supplied, and that, therefore, the interpretation which found in the work of Antiochus the fulfilment of this prophecy was incorrect; that the view entertained previous to 1844, which made the year 1844 the true termination of the prophetic period of 2300 years, was correct; and that a true time message would never again be proclaimed. “Time has never been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test.”  {ND WWP, THD 2.5}
      This same general statement was made later, and is found on page 107, second part of the same edition of “Early Writings,” being the seventh paragraph of the article entitled “The Advent Movement Illustrated:”—  {ND WWP, THD 3.1}

      “Jesus did not come to earth as the waiting, joyful

company expected, to cleanse the sanctuary by purifying the earth by fire. I saw that they were correct in their reckoning of the prophetic periods; prophetic time closed in 1844, and Jesus entered the most holy place to cleanse the sanctuary at the ending of the days. Their mistake consisted in not understanding what the sanctuary was and the nature of its cleansing.”  {ND WWP, THD 3.2}

      That this is the right view of this instruction given through the spirit of prophecy, will appear more plainly when we remember that since 1844 there has been until recently no difference of opinion as to what the “daily” was, and that the confusion which arose after 1844 was not on account of a change of interpretation in this respect, but because of the many attempts to readjust the prophetic period of 2300 years and to set new times still in the future for the expiration of this period, and for the appearance of Christ in the clouds of heaven; therefore, it is said; “When union existed before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the ‘daily;’ but in the confusion since 1844 other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed.” The “other views” were with reference to the time, concerning which many different interpretations were brought forward, causing “darkness and confusion,” but during all that period there was no controversy as to what the “daily” represented.  {ND WWP, THD 4.1}
      In interpreting this prophecy the early Adventists placed the emphasis upon the question, “How long shall be the vision concerning the ‘daily’?” etc., and upon the reply, “Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings.” This period of time and the date which marked its expiration were the subjects which claimed their chief attention, and concerning these matters they had the correct view.  {ND WWP, THD 4.2}

William Miller’s Exposition of the “Daily”
      That this is the true meaning of this passage in “Early Writings” becomes still more evident when we

state some views entertained previous to 1844 in the exposition of the “daily.” An examination of William Miller’s lectures and of the writings of other Advent believers in the publications of that time, shows that the following views were taught:—  {ND WWP, THD 4.3}
      1. The first beast of Revelation 13 was a symbol of pagan Rome. 2. The two-horned beast of Revelation 13 was a symbol of the Papacy. 3. The six hundred sixty and six (Rev. 13:18) represented the duration of the life of the pagan Roman beast. 4. The commencement of this period was placed in b. c. 158, when it was declared that the league with the Jews was made. 5. The termination of this period of 666 years was obtained by subtracting 158 from 666, thus giving 508 a. d.  {ND WWP, THD 5.1}
      It will be seen at once that if the statement in “Early Writings” that “when union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the ‘daily,’” means that they taught the correct interpretation of this subject, then we have some very serious readjustments to make in our present teaching. Since the rise of this third angel’s message it has been taught that the first beast of Revelation 13 was not pagan Rome, but papal Rome; that the two-horned beast was not the Papacy, but the United States; that the 666 years was not the duration of the life of the pagan beast, but the number of the name of the beast; that the Jewish league was not made in b. c. 158, but rather in b. c. 161. Furthermore, granting every other position to be true, if the 666 years commenced in b. c. 158, they would end in a. d. 509, not in a. d. 508.  {ND WWP, THD 5.2}
      There are two leading ideas connected with the “daily” in Daniel 8; one is the meaning of the “daily,” the other is the time period connected with the “daily” as indicated by the question, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily?” etc. It is evident that this passage in “Early Writings” refers to the time

period, and testifies that the view which made this period end in 1844 was “the correct view of the ‘daily.’” Any other interpretation of this instruction involves the most serious difficulties. It will be shown later in this leaflet that any effort to use this passage in “Early Writings” to maintain the view that the “daily” was paganism, and that it was taken away in a. d. 508, arrays the spirit of prophecy squarely against the united testimony of history.  {ND WWP, THD 5.3}

Some History Considered
      It may be proper here to examine briefly the history which is adduced in support of the claim that paganism was taken away in a. d. 508. In the comments on Dan. 11:31, found in “Thoughts on Daniel,” a quotation is made from the historian Gibbon to prove that “in 508 their [the adherents of the papal party] partisan zeal culminated in a whirlwind of fanaticism and civil war which swept in fire and blood through the streets of the Eastern capital.” The passage reads as follows:—  {ND WWP, THD 6.1}

      “The statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of three days, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius appeared on the throne of the Circus. The Catholics, before his face, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted in the offer which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald of abdicating the purple; they listened to the admonition that, since all could not reign, they should previously agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted the blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master, without hesitation, condemned to the lions. These furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow Christians, till

he obtained the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the Pope, and the establishment of the council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the first of the religious wars which have been waged in the name, and by the disciples, of the God of peace.”  —"Decline and Fall,” Vol. IV, page 526.  {ND WWP, THD 6.2}

      The following extracts from Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” standard edition, book three, chapter one, state clearly the nature of this outbreak in Constantinople, and locate very definitely the time of the event referred to in this extract from Gibbon. The dates are given from the margin of Milman’s work:—  {ND WWP, THD 7.1}

      “a. d. 510. Worse than all, 200 Eastern monks, headed by Severus, were permitted to land in Constantinople; they here found an honorable reception. Other monks of the opposite faction, swarmed from Palestine. The two black-cowled armies watched each other for some months, working in secret on their respective partisans. At length (a. d. 511) they came to a rupture; and in their strife, which he either dared not, or did not care to control, the throne, the liberty, and the life itself of the emperor, were in peril. The Monophysite monks, in the Church of the Archangel, within the palace, broke out after the “Thrice Holy,” with the burden added at Antioch by Peter the Fuller, “who was crucified for us.” The orthodox monks, backed by the rabble of Constantinople, endeavored to expel them from the church. They were not content with hurling curses against each other, sticks and stones began their work. There was a wild fierce fray; the divine presence of the emperor lost its awe; he could not maintain the peace. . . . The emperor was reduced to the humiliation of receiving the Bishop Macedonius, whom he had prohibited from approaching his presence, as his equal, almost his master.  {ND WWP, THD 7.2}
      “a. d. 512. The year after the exile of Macedonius, Constantinople, at the instigation of the clergy and monks, broke out again in religious insurrection. The blue and green factions of the Circus-such is the language of the times-gave place to these more maddening conflicts. The hymn of the angels in heaven

was the battle-cry on earth, the signal for human bloodshed. Many palaces of the nobles were set on fire; the officers of the crown insulted; pillage, conflagration, violence reigned throughout the city. A peasant who had turned monk was torn from the palace of the favorite Syrian minister of Anastasius, Marinus (he was accused of having introduced the preface burden of the angelic hymn); his head was struck off, carried on a pole, with shouts, “Behold the enemy of the Trinity!” The hoary emperor appeared in the Circus and commanded the heralds to announce to the people that he was prepared to abdicate the empire, if they could agree in the choice of his successors. The piteous spectacle soothed the fury of the people; they entreated Anastasius to resume the diadem; but the blood of two of his ministers was demanded as a sacrifice to appease their vengeance.”  {ND WWP, THD 7.3}

      It will be seen that these quotations deal with the same subject as does the quotation from Gibbon, made in “Thoughts on Daniel,” and that these events occurred in the years a. d. 510-12. Two things are evident from these quotations: First, that the disturbances referred to by Gibbon, were quarrels between the Monophysite monks and the orthodox monks, two factions in the one church, and not a conflict between the Papacy and paganism. And second, that the particular outbreak referred to in the quotation from Gibbon, as given in “Thoughts on Daniel,” occurred after a. d. 508.  {ND WWP, THD 8.1}
      The following extract from Neander’s Church History, Clark’s edition, Vol. IV, page 257, deals with the same general subject and fixes the date of the insurrection of Vitalian, which is referred to in the latter part of the quotation from Gibbon, as given in “Thoughts on Daniel:”—  {ND WWP, THD 8.2}

      “As the rumor spread that the emperor favored the addition to the church hymn [the Trisagion), and was prepared to remove the patriarch Macedonius, a violent tumult breaks forth. The houses of many grandees were burned; the monk who was supposed to be the author of the addition was seized by the infuriated populace,

murdered, and his head was carried about in triumph, stuck upon a pole. Then appeared the emperor at the Circus, before the assembled people, without his crown. He declared himself willing to lay down the government; but all could not reign at once, one must be sovereign. These words had their effect upon the excited multitude. The people besought the emperor to retain the government. The emperor took advantage of this movement; he caused Macedonius to be removed, and Timotheus, a presbyter, who accepted the Henoticon, was appointed his successor. Meanwhile the emperor saw himself under the necessity, for many reasons, of yielding to the fury of the exasperated party of the Chalcedonian council where this predominated. By this exasperation, aid and comfort were given to the insurrection of the military commander Vitalian, which broke out in the year 514; and Anastasius found himself compelled to enter into conditions of peace, to the joy of the adherents of the Chalcedonian council.”  {ND WWP, THD 8.3}

      From these extracts from Milman and Neander it is plain that the events referred to in the quotation from Gibbon in “Thoughts on Daniel” occurred in the period a. d. 510-14, and it must be clear to all that even though the subject referred to was the taking away of paganism, it would not be historically correct to fix upon the date a. d. 508 as the time when these events occurred. When also the fact is taken into consideration that the history does not deal at all with the overthrow of paganism, but with the settlement of a quarrel between the factions in the church itself, it must be doubly plain that this history can not be used in order to establish the year 508 as the time for the taking away of paganism.  {ND WWP, THD 9.1}
      In another of our books we find the following statement:—  {ND WWP, THD 9.2}

      “The last contest with paganism was in 508, when the French and Britons accepted Christianity; the “daily” spoken of in Daniel had been taken away.”  {ND WWP, THD 9.3}

      No quotations are made from, or any reference given

to, any history as a basis for these statements, and we are, therefore, under the necessity of examining the record for ourselves. If the writer refers to the Franks and their conversion under Clovis, this took place in 496. In 508 Clovis was engaged in his war against the Visigoths.  {ND WWP, THD 9.4}
      The history of that period shows that in 508 the Britons were engaged in the defense of their country against the inroads of the Anglo-Saxons and Jutes. This war commenced in 449, and was continued into the sixth century. There is absolutely no foundation in history for the assertion that either the Franks or the Britons accepted Christianity in 508.  {ND WWP, THD 10.1}

A New Interpretation of the “Daily”
      In the second leaflet on this question (the one issued from Nashville), the history which is cited deals with the conversion of Clovis, and the warfare against Arianism under his leadership. This will appear simply by reading the extracts used, and is well stated in one paragraph, which we reproduce:—  {ND WWP, THD 10.2}

      “It is evident from the language of Gregory of Tours that the conflict between the Franks and the Visigoths was regarded by the orthodox party of his own and preceding ages as a religious war, on which, humanly speaking, the prevalence of the Catholic or Arian creed in Western Europe depended.”  {ND WWP, THD 10.3}

      In deciding the value of these extracts in relation to the question of an alleged downfall of paganism in 508, three things should be noted: 1. The campaign of Clovis against the Visigoths was an effort to overthrow Arianism and to establish the orthodox Catholic faith. But the Arianism of that period was not the paganism to which William Miller referred when he attempted to show that paganism was taken away in 508. If, therefore, as the writer of this leaflet emphatically asserts, those who gave the first message had

the correct view of the “daily,” viz., that it was the religion of the pagan Roman empire, it is entirely incorrect to bring forward the downfall of Arianism as the taking away of the “daily,” and according to his view, it would be in contradiction of the teaching of the spirit of prophecy. 2. But even granting that the overthrow of the Arian Visigoths was the taking away of the “daily,” the conflict which determined the success of Clovis occurred in 507 “in the decisive battle of Voillé, near Poitiers.” In the following year, 508, “Clovis met with a decisive repulse before Arles, the Visigothic capital.” (See “Library of Universal History,” Vol. IV, page 1200.) It is, therefore, incorrect to declare that the Visigoths were conquered in 508. 3. But more than all this, if the downfall of an Arian power constitutes the taking away of the “daily,” why is the overthrow of the Arian Visigoths selected, and the time fixed for 508, instead of the overthrow of the Arian Vandals in 534? The evident answer must be that the date was selected before the history was read.  {ND WWP, THD 10.4}
      The claim that the warfare against Arianism fulfilled the prophecy concerning the taking away of the “daily” is a departure from the teaching in our standard publications, and is just as much a “new view” as that which we are presenting. The history cited in “Thoughts on Daniel” is entirely ignored, and passages are quoted to prove that the work of Clovis was the taking away of paganism. This is practically an admission that the argument in “Thoughts on Daniel” is unsound.  {ND WWP, THD 11.1}

Christianity in Britain
      Another advocate of the view that the “daily” was paganism, and that it was taken away in 508, states the following as the reason alleged by those who gave the judgment-hour cry:—  {ND WWP, THD 11.2}

      “There was no claim made that any one act of the

Roman empire set aside paganism for the whole empire, and that in 508, when Britain accepted Christianity as their religion-they being the last to reject paganism,-marked the overthrow of that cult, and was the completion of the “taking away of the ‘daily.’”  {ND WWP, THD 11.3}

      In reply to this claim, we will state that such historians as Hume (“History of England,” Vol. I, chap. I, pages 25, 26), Mosheim (“Ecclesiastical History,” Vol. II, part 1, chap. 1, par. 2), Neander (“General Church History,” T. & T. Clark’s edition, Vol. V, page 13), and “The Historian’s History of the World” (Vol. VIII, page 532), all agree that Pope Gregory sent Augustine with forty Benedictine monks to Britain in 506, that they arrived in 597, and that the conversion of Britain to Christianity extended far into the seventh century. This is certainly sufficient to dispose of the unfounded assertion that Britain accepted Christianity in 508.  {ND WWP, THD 12.1}
      For the information of those interested in this subject, we will give the date of the conversion to the Catholic faith of some of the ten kingdoms. The complete statement may be found in Gieseler’s “Ecclesiastical History,” Vol. II, second period, div. 2, sec. 123. The dates are as follows; The Burgundians, 517; Suevi, 550-569; Visigoths, 589; Anglo-Saxons, after 596.  {ND WWP, THD 12.2}

Another “Square Contradiction” Examined
      In the last leaflet issued upon this subject a further attempt is made to cast discredit upon the view which we advocate by declaring that the position that paganism was taken away in the fourth century is “a square contradiction” to the spirit of prophecy. In proof of this claim a quotation is made from “Great Controversy,” pages 49, 50, in which these words are found:—  {ND WWP, THD 12.3}

      “The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked in a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly

progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church, her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.”  {ND WWP, THD 12.4}

      If this citation can properly be used to prove that paganism was not taken away in the fourth century, it can with equal force be used to show that paganism was not taken away in 508, inasmuch as the “doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions” of paganism continued through the Dark Ages, and have survived even to the present time. It is plain on the face of it that the paganism referred to in this extract is not that paganism which was the official religion of ancient Rome, but instead that it signifies the spirit of that religion which survived long after the downfall of the Roman empire. The use of this quotation for the purpose of forestalling any candid investigation of our teaching does not seem consistent with that spirit of fairness which opens the way for the unprejudiced consideration of Bible truth.  {ND WWP, THD 13.1}

The Testimony of History
      Inasmuch as the position that paganism, the official religion of ancient Rome, was taken away before 508 is thus denied, it is proper that we should submit a few brief extracts from history bearing upon this question. The subject of chapter 28 of Gibbon’s “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” reads thus: “Final Destruction of Paganism —Introduction of the Worship of Saints and Relics Among Christians.” The time covered by this chapter as given in the table of contents is. a. d. 379-420, and the time covered under the heading “Destruction of the Pagan Religion” is 378-395. The first statement of this chapter is as follows:—  {ND WWP, THD 13.2}

      “The ruin of paganism, in the age of Theodosius, is perhaps the only example of the total extirpation of any ancient and popular superstition; and may therefore

deserve to be considered as a singular event in the history of the human mind.”  {ND WWP, THD 13.3}

      From another work we take the following interesting and decisive quotation:—  {ND WWP, THD 14.1}

      “Among the most interesting historic memories associated with the Curia of the imperial period, is a transaction which marks a stage in the struggle between heathenism and Christianity at the national capital, where the results of the contest were so momentous. I have mentioned the altar and image of Victory in the vestibule of the Senate House, sacred to Minerva, before which image every senator had to throw incense on that altar as he passed into the hall of assemblage-an act of political rather than religious significance, but utterly inexcusable in the eyes of the primitive Christians. Altar and image acquired the character of a symbol and standard in the great conflict of principles carried on during the fourth century. The first emperor who removed both from their place in the Curia, about a. d. 357, was Constantius, the second son of Constantine, and sole ruler of the Roman world after the deaths of his two brothers. Both objects were replaced by Julian, his successor, probably in the first year, a. d. 360, of his short reign. Altar and image were again removed, in, or soon after, the year 382, by Theodosius, who was, in fact, through his stringent laws and more decided measures against the old superstition, the actual destroyer of pagan worship and suppressor of its priesthood. . . . Eugenius, a usurper proclaimed emperor by a military faction in Gaul a. d. 372, ordered the altar and image to be replaced during his short sojourn, after his irregular election, at Rome. His feeble effort to revive the ancient superstition was soon crushed by Theodosius, who defeated him in battle (a. d. 304) and sentenced him to death. Again, and for the last time, were the objectionable relics of heathenism set aside-the incense-cloud no more ascended to the Divine Victoria in Rome’s Senate House.”  —“Historic and Monumental Rome.” Charles Isidore Hemans, pages 244, 245. Published by Williams and Norgate, London, 1874.  {ND WWP, THD 14.2}

      In Milman’s “History of Christianity,” standard edition, Armstrong & Son, New York, the following quotation

is found. The title of chapter 8, book 3, page 63, is “Theodosius. Abolition of Paganism.” The date given is the date printed in the margin of the text. Note the following important statements:—  {ND WWP, THD 14.3}

      “a. d. 392. While this reaction was taking place in the West, perhaps irritated by the intelligence of this formidable conspiracy of paganism, with the usurpation of the throne [by Eugenius], Theodosius published in the East the last and most peremptory of those edicts which, gradually rising in the sternness of their language, proclaimed the ancient worship a treasonable and capital crime. In its minute and searching phrases, this statute seemed eagerly to pursue paganism to its most secret and private lurking-places. Thenceforth no man of any station, rank, or dignity, in any place in any city, was to offer an innocent victim in sacrifice; the more harmless worship of the household gods, which lingered, probably, more deeply in the hearts of the pagans than any other part of their system, was equally forbidden,-not merely the smoke of victims, but even lamps, incense, and garlands. To sacrifice, or to consult the entrails of victims, was constituted high treason, and thereby a capital offense, although with no treasonable intention of calculating the days of the emperor.”  {ND WWP, THD 15.1}

      An indefinite number of quotations, all to the same effect, could easily be supplied if space permitted. Historians are unanimous in their testimony concerning this matter. We, therefore, unhesitatingly affirm that the forced and unnatural interpretation of the spirit of prophecy which attempts to make it teach that paganism was taken away in 508 brings it into direct conflict with the uniform testimony of historians, and that such dealing with the spirit of prophecy, instead of establishing confidence in it, will bring it into discredit, and will confuse the minds of the people concerning its authority.  {ND WWP, THD 15.2}

Authorized or Unauthorized Translations
      In our exposition of the eighth chapter of Daniel, we have used the text of the American Standard Revised Version, which in substance is the same as the English Revised Version, Leeser’s Jewish Translation, and some of the latest and best foreign translations. These translations are based upon the best modern scholarship, and have commanded the respect of all Biblical scholars. In the effort, however, to maintain that the “daily” means paganism, and that it was taken away in a. d. 508, the writers of these two leaflets have presented special translations made by themselves for the purpose of sustaining their own views, and have attempted to make these translations overthrow our view of this prophecy. We do not deem it necessary to answer at length the arguments based upon these unauthorized translations, and we respectfully submit that we do not have among us Hebrew scholars of such a reputation as warrants us in discrediting the standard translations of the Bible, and in substituting others of quite different meaning, and especially when such translations have been made for the express purpose of sustaining the theological views of the translators. To follow such a course as this would certainly give some ground for the charge that Seventh-day Adventists require a Bible of their own in order to prove their doctrines. We think we are fully warranted in rejecting any such private translations and insisting upon the use of such versions of the Scripture as are based upon accredited scholarship.  {ND WWP, THD 16.1}
      In view of the fact that there is just as much difference of opinion as to the meaning of the passage quoted from “Early Writings” as there is concerning the meaning of the Scripture text, the question of the correct interpretation of this prophecy can not be settled offhand either by a private translation of the text, or by a private interpretation of an extract from the spirit of prophecy taken out of its proper connection.  {ND WWP, THD 16.2}

The Interpretation of the Prophecy
      From the facts which we have submitted, we think it is satisfactorily proved that it will not be possible to maintain longer that the “daily” of Daniel 8 refers to paganism, and that it was taken away in 508. The history of that period positively forbids such an interpretation, and there is nothing in the spirit of prophecy which requires it. Furthermore, we regard such an exposition of the prophecy as contrary to the sound principles of Scripture exegesis. To this proposition we now briefly invite attention, and in order that the reader may judge the better for himself, we print herewith the text according to the American Standard Revised Version:—  {ND WWP, THD 17.1}

      “And out of one of them [the four horns of the goat] came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and some of the host and of the stars it cast down to the ground, and trampled upon them. Yea, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the host; and it took away from him the continual burnt-offering, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And the host was given over to it together with the continual burnt-offering through transgression; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one who spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt-offering, and the transgression that maketh desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Dan. 8:9-14.  {ND WWP, THD 17.2}

      That interpretation of this prophecy which maintains that the “daily” refers to paganism asserts that in this passage there are two different sanctuaries and two different hosts, and that while the little horn is the symbol for Rome, in both the pagan and papal phases of it, yet there are two phrases, viz., “the daily [desolation]"

and “the transgression of desolation,” the first of which represents paganism and the second the Papacy; but such a method of interpretation as this does not rest upon a sound basis, and is both arbitrary and confusing. The two expressions, “the daily [desolation]” and “the transgression of desolation,” are in no sense symbols, and there is no precedent for making them represent two great desolating powers. Furthermore, the expression “the transgression of desolation” would more correctly read, as in the Revised Version, “the transgression that maketh desolate” or “the desolating transgression,” because the Hebrew word translated “that maketh desolate” is in form a participle, and in grammatical construction modifies the word “transgression.” To render this participle as a noun, and then to make it into a symbol either of paganism or the Papacy, is altogether unwarranted. Such an arbitrary handling of the scripture opens the way for the unrestrained play of the imagination, and makes possible the most fanciful interpretations of prophecy.  {ND WWP, THD 17.3}
      The leading idea of this prophecy is found in the inquiry, “How long shall be the vision concerning the continual [mediation], and the transgression that maketh desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Here the vision is defined as the one relating to “the continual [mediation], and the transgression that maketh desolate,” and this is further explained as including the treading under foot of both the sanctuary and the host. It seems natural and consistent that the sanctuary here mentioned as being the one of the vision should be the same as the sanctuary mentioned in the earlier part of the prophecy, where the vision is fully set forth; and that the host mentioned in this inquiry should be the same as the host spoken of in the body of the vision; but all are agreed that the sanctuary mentioned in this inquiry, is the heavenly sanctuary, and that the host here mentioned refers to

the people of God. It, therefore, seems to be an arbitrary and contradictory distinction when the sanctuary as first mentioned is denned to be Rome, while the sanctuary mentioned in the question concerning the vision is declared to be the heavenly sanctuary; and to make the host of one verse the hordes of the barbarians, and in the other case, the people of God.  {ND WWP, THD 18.1}
      It seems more consistent to us to let the word “sanctuary” in this passage refer in every instance to the heavenly sanctuary, and the “host” to the people of God, and not to interpret certain phrases as representing what is already represented by the leading symbol of the prophecy. The word “continual” includes all the leading features of the priestly mediation typified by the morning and evening sacrifice (Ex. 29:38-42), the incense offering (Ex. 30:1-8, the word “perpetual” in this text being from the same Hebrew word as is elsewhere translated “continual"), and the shewbread. Num. 4:7. (Compare also 2Chron. 2:4.) These were symbols of the great Mediator. To make this clear, we supply the word “mediation” in the text instead of the word “sacrifice,” and apply the statement to the heavenly sanctuary rather than to the temple at Jerusalem. We, therefore, give to the prophecy, beginning with the tenth verse, the following interpretation:— {ND WWP, THD 19.1}
      “And it [the little horn, the Papacy], waxed great, even to the host of heaven [the people of God]; and some of the host [the people of God], and of the stars [their leaders] it [the little horn] cast down to the ground, and trampled upon them. Yea, it [the little horn] magnified itself, even to the prince of the host [Christ]; and it [the little horn] took away from him [Christ] the continual [mediation], and the place of his [Christ’s] sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] was cast down. And the host [the people of God] was given over to it [the little horn] together with the

continual [mediation] through transgression; and it [the little horn] cast down truth to the ground, and it [the little horn] did its pleasure and prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one who spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual [mediation], and the transgression that maketh desolate [the same transgression as in verse 12], to give both the sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] and the host [the people of God] to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand three Hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] Be cleansed.”  {ND WWP, THD 19.2}

What the Papacy Has Taken Away
      The brief space at our command will prevent us from giving more than an outline of the many weighty reasons for adopting this interpretation of the prophecy. A more extended treatment of the subject must be deferred until another time, but attention is now invited to the following facts.  {ND WWP, THD 20.1}
      Christ is the only and exclusive mediator between God and men (1Tim. 2:5), and to put any man in his place is to take from him his mediatorial work and to cast down the place of his sanctuary. The Papacy has done just this in making the Pope the vicar of God and the vicegerent of Christ. The vital doctrine upon which the whole Roman Catholic system rests is stated by Cardinal Newman (Roman Catholic) in these words:—  {ND WWP, THD 20.2}

      “We observe that the essence of the doctrine that “there is one only Catholic and apostolic church” lies in this-that there is on earth a representative of our absent Lord, or a something divinely interposed between the soul and God, or a visible body with invisible privileges. All its subordinate characteristics flow from this description.”  {ND WWP, THD 20.3}

      Upon this claim to be the vicegerent of God and

vicar of Christ is based the authority for the priesthood which derives all its power from the Pope:—  {ND WWP, THD 20.4}

      “All the power of the Western priesthood is summed up in the Pope, who, according to the Roman dogma, by virtue of divine appointment, is head of the collective church, the viceroy of Christ upon earth.”  —Von Hase.  {ND WWP, THD 21.1}

      From these claims have been developed the whole system of the priesthood and the sacrificial service of Rome. By thus usurping the mediatorial work of Christ, and establishing upon earth a complete counterfeit of the true sanctuary service, the Papacy has taken away from Christ his continual mediation, and has established another way of access to God. This has been clearly expressed by another writer in the following language:—  {ND WWP, THD 21.2}

      “Few of us have ever grasped the full significance of sacerdotalism as a papal device. It puts the priest between the soul and all else, even God, at every stage of development, in the most ingenious and subtle system ever imagined. . . . From cradle to grave, and even afterward [in masses for the dead], there is always a human mediator to interpose; and this alone accounts for the marvelous power of the priesthood wherever this eternal tribunal holds sway.”  —Dr. Arthur T. Pierson.  {ND WWP, THD 21.3}

      That the Papacy has actually accomplished the work described in this prophecy will hardly be denied by any Protestant who is familiar with its history. It has trampled upon the people of God and magnified itself in place of the Son of God. Instead of maintaining the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the heavenly sanctuary, and the mediatorial work of our great High Priest therein, it has established an earthly sanctuary with an earthly altar, an earthly offering, and an earthly priesthood, and claims to be “the medium of all intercourse between Christ and Christian people (the laity) —so that the gate of heaven is open to no

one to whom it is not opened by the priest.” All this has been summed up in a remarkably forceful way by that eminent writer on the Papacy, Rev. J. A. Wylie:—  {ND WWP, THD 21.4}

      “Popery has a god of its own-him, even whom the canon law calls the “Lord, our God.” It has a savior of its own-the church, to wit. It has a sacrifice of its own-the mass. It has a mediator of its own-the priesthood. It has a sanctifier of its own-the sacrament. It has a justification of its own-that even of infused righteousness. It has a pardon of its own-the pardon of the confessional. And it has in the heavens an infallible, all-prevailing advocate unknown to the gospel-the “mother of God.” It thus represents to the world a spiritual and saving apparatus for the salvation of men; and yet it neither sanctifies nor saves anyone. It looks like a church. It professes to have all that a church ought to have, and yet it is not a church. It is a grand deception— ‘the all deceivableness of unrighteousness.’”  {ND WWP, THD 22.1}

      By such substitutions as these, the Papacy robbed Christ of his mediatorial function, and shut away from the people the knowledge of his intercession in the heavenly sanctuary, making, in fact, such an office entirely unnecessary by substituting another mediator and another intercessor. Thus did the man of sin sit in the temple of God, and set himself forth as God.  {ND WWP, THD 22.2}

What the Third Angel’s Message Restores
      After such a work as this had been revealed to the prophet Daniel, he then heard the inquiry as to the limit of this usurpation of the mediatorial work of Christ, and the reply was given, “Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This period extended to a. d. 1844, immediately after which this great threefold message had its rise. And in view of the facts already stated, it is of great significance that in this movement there was brought back to the people the knowledge of the mediatorial work of Christ in the heavenly

sanctuary. This is in perfect harmony with the prophecy that the Papacy would be allowed to tread down both the host and the sanctuary until the expiration of the period of the 2300 years. When the time came for our great High Priest to enter upon his final work of atonement in cleansing the sanctuary, then the knowledge of his mediatorial work must be restored to his people so that they may co-operate with him.  {ND WWP, THD 22.3}
      Inasmuch as the leading feature of the third message, which after 1844 would give the distinct character to the threefold movement, is its pronouncement against the worship of the beast and his image, it is certainly an essential part of this work to show clearly that the Papacy has taken from Christ the very means by which he would reconcile man unto God, and has substituted a merely human means of salvation. What the Papacy took away, this message is to restore; and for this reason the everlasting gospel must now be proclaimed in the sanctuary setting, in order that it may do its most effective work both among Roman Catholics and Protestants. Thus Christ is to be proclaimed again as the “minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.” This gives a significance to this great movement such as it derives from no other source; and this prophecy in the eighth chapter of Daniel, when correctly interpreted, is a most important means of apprehending an essential feature of the work which we are called upon to do. To rectify a mistake which has been made in the interpretation of the “daily” does not make any change in a fundamental doctrine of the third angel’s message, but rather brings out with greater clearness the importance of that prophecy which has shaped this advent movement —the 2300 days. There is the most convincing evidence, both Biblical and historical, that this period commenced in b. c. 457 and terminated in a. d. 1844, at which time our great High Priest commenced

his ministry in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, and our interpretation of the “daily” only serves to emphasize the importance of this prophetic period in its relation to our work for this generation. It, therefore, seems a thousand pities that any effort should be made to withhold this knowledge from our people by attempting to maintain an interpretation of this prophecy which is contrary both to history and to sound principles of Scripture interpretation.

      W. W. Prescott.     {ND WWP, THD 23.1}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This Pamphlet Copied From:
      Ellen G. White Writings
      Comprehensive Research Edition 2008
      Words of the Adventist Pioneers

Information About this Pamphlet
      Name:   “The Daily”
      Name Continued:   A Brief Reply to Two Leaflets on This Subject:
      Book Code   THD
      Author:   Prescott, William Warren   (1855-1944)
      Author Code:   WWP
      Date of Publication:   ND
      Publisher:   NP
      Publication Type:   Pamphlet
      Number of Pages:   24

About William Warren Prescott  (1855-1944).
W. W. Prescott       Writer, scholar, and administrator. Prescott was born in New Hampshire to a Advent family that became Sabbath keepers when he was three years old. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1877, and after some years in public education and private business, he was called in 1885 to be president of Battle Creek College. His commitment to the principles of education reform as outlined in the testimonies of Ellen White challenged him in their practical application. She corresponded at length with him over the years of her ministry, counseling, reproving, and encouraging, being close to him and his family. Prescott caught the message given at Minneapolis and spent much time preaching the concepts and attempting to bring unity of understanding in the midst of conflict and division.
      Prescott served as Education Secretary for the General Conference from 1887-1897, and in 1891 organized the Harbor Springs conference on education. He was founding president for Union College (1891) and Walla Walla College (1892). He compiled from Ellen White’s counsels the books Christian Education (1893) and Special Testimonies on Education (1897). He spent 1895-1896 in Australia, assisting with the establishment of Avondale College and with Ellen White’s work on Desire of Ages. He was sent from 1897-1901 to head up the work in Great Britain.
      From 1901-1909 Prescott worked with the Review and Herald, becoming editor in 1902 (as well as the first GC Vice President), helping to move the publishing house to Maryland, and writing at length against Kellogg’s pantheistic concepts. Due to his involvement with controversy over the new view of “the daily” (of Daniel 8) 1907-1909, and his help in the 1911 revision to Great Controversy, he lost the confidence of those who questioned both, such as Washburn, Haskell, and Starr. Ellen White counseled him in 1909 to do evangelism. He became Field Secretary for the GC in 1915, a position he held the rest of his life. He spent the last years of his life, not without controversy, involved in education, writing, and research.   [Emphases Supplied.  –pm]

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