It is not in accordance with God’s providential dealings to suppose that the epoch of the occurrence of events should be known for a long period previous to their fulfillment: for such knowledge is not needed by those who live in earlier periods of the world’s history. Forty years before the deliverance of Israel from Egypt (Acts 7:25), “they understood not” that God would deliver them by the hand of Moses.” When Daniel inquired respecting the end of wonders that extended to the resurrection, he was told (Dan.12:9) that “the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” And when (1 Pet. 1:10-12) “prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow,” it was revealed unto them, “that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister.”
The declaration that the words were sealed up till “the time of the end,” implies that, at the period referred to, the obscurity in which they might be shrouded from the understanding of those living in previous ages, would be penetrated so that their import should be no longer a sealed mystery. Not only so, but, in the context, it is expressly declared (Dan. 12:4) that, at the time or period of the end, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” And it is also added (v.10), that “many shall be purified and made white, and tried: but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand.” That which they were to understand was that which was to be closed up and sealed till that period of understanding should arrive, and which, by its being denominated a ”time” may, perhaps, be understood as comprising a period of three hundred and sixty years, commencing, not unlikely, with the Protestant Reformation, during which knowledge was to be disseminated, and to be continually increased by the running to and fro of many, — their running to and fro being not merely a movement in space, but put by substitution for the various and often contradictory interpretations which should be advanced, each serving to call attention and adding interest to the subject,
until the true light should have gradually dawned on the minds of believers, who should earnestly give themselves to the study of unfulfilled prophecy. “For the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge;”(Prov.18:15) and, said the prophet (Hos.14:9), “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things; prudent, and he shall know them?” Such will delight in the study of “the things which shall be revealed.”
From the book, The Time of the End. One hundred Witnesses, 1856
I think we are near fulfillment, let us understand.