« הקודםהמשך »
also, these offerings were made double, which are referred to in the account of the cessation of the daily offerings, Dan. ix. 27, by the words sacrifice and oblation...... It is manifest that the slaying of the witnesses, and the cessation of the daily service, respect one and the same event..
The two witnesses, as shewn by the whole Divine Theory, constitute the mediatorship of this world. And the event under consideration, of their falling, rising and leaving the world, must, of course, put an end to the dispensations of mercy towards this world, and immediately bring on the great judgment. This explains the reason why Daniel, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles refer so pointedly to the event of the rising of the last Antichrist; and his taking away the doily sacri-fice, &c. as being the last and decisive signal of the approach of the great and dreadful day of God. Ah! how far is it from the thoughts of the proud of the earth, what will be the issue of their efforts to suppress the remnant who are left, whom God has called, upon the forfeiture of their own blood, to stand “between the living and the
dead?” How little do they think, that they are eutting away the hand-breadth partition on the line of the altar, which stands between them and “ the vengeance of eternal fire!” This event will bring on desolations that will be poured until the full consummation of desolations.
The step immediately approaching to the de-solations of the flood, was the cessation of valid witness, signified in the divine declaration, that
Noah,” meaning, that Noah only, was.“ seen:
righteous" before God in that generation ; when, therefore, Noah was shut into the ark, the mediatorship of that world was closed.
The priesthood in the line of Aaron, and the royalty in the house of David, constituted the mediatorship of the Jewish dispensation. This
is expressed by the passage in Zechariah, above quoted, “The counsel of peace shall be between
them both." Near the time of Christ, the legitimate line of the priesthood, by many cruel acts of violence, became extinct. And it appears that Jesus was the last man, who, in that state, by covenant right, held the sceptre of Judah. The cutting off of Messiah, therefore, put an end to the mediatorship of the Jewish world....and we know what followed. In · like manner, the slaying of the witnesses will put a period to the
world « that now is.”
Though the witnesses will be killed, yet they will not be buried out of sight; but, for a short period, their dead bodies will remain upon the ground, a spectacle to the world; when they will be reanimated, and rise and ascend to their elder brother, the man-child; to join the invincible forces, which are there already gathered together around the ark; from whence, with the “ark of strength” going before them, they will return armed with the seven vials, to renew the battle.
By thus comparing scripture with scripture, it will seem necessarily to be understood, that the two witnesses are the men who, by the unction of the holy one, constitute the true government of the church; and that the scriptures, providences, &c. are included in them, as they furnish the documents for their work.
UNDER this head, an inquiry is proposed concerning the passage, Rev. xii. 18, than which,
to the present generation, no text, perhaps, is more important to be understood; “ Here is “ wisdom: Let him that hath understanding "count the number of the Beast: for it is the “nunber of a man; and his number is six hun“dred sixty and six.”
We are told in the introduction, that the Revelation was written to be read, and to be understood: “ Blessed is he that readeth, and they that “ hear the words of this prophecy, and keep “ those things which are written therein: for the “ time is at hand.” And John was a plain writer; he says in his epistles, that he wrote for all classes of people, for fathers, for young men, and for little children. Plainness was his peculiar characteristic; and I know not how it has come to pass, that the sentiment has so generally obtained, that he wrote a book which, of all the sacred canon, is the most abstruse; and that he put a seal upon this book, which concerns the
opening of the seals,” and which is styled, emphatically, “ the Revelation,” which is almost or quite impenetrable. This sentiment stands opposed to the positive declarations concerning this matter, chap. xxii. 10. “ And he saith unto
me, seal not the sayings of the prophecy of “ this book; for the time is at hand.” Did it belong to the character of John; and under all these circumstances, can it be believed, that he threw out enigmas, like handfulls of nuts, such as some have supposed the text before us to contain, to be cracked only by doctors? That I have not properly read the Revelation, or that I am not so free from wrong biasses, as with advantage to receive its instruction, is very possible; but that the book in itself is dark and unintelligible, is totally inadmissible. The Scriptures altogether are a kind of writing which shews plainly, that they were not intended for the good instruction of either the careless or prejudiced.
John was a divine, and he wrote like a divine. His words took in copious views; and they combined the glories and wonders of his subject to a degree, not easily, indeed, to be reached by any
reader. But this observation is true of his Epistles; and, as far as I am capable of judging, equally so as of his Revelation. In the Epistles, there are many single texts which seem to regard almost the whole, and every part of the divine subject; but this amazing extent of thought, and of expression, does not render either the Epistles, or the Revelation, unintelligible; on the contrary, like the sun in the heavens, it gives us the light of truth as it were bodily. But to proceed.
“ Here is wisdom."
2. It expresses the importance of the suhject; for, in the word, wisdom is considered as being the principal thing, and calls for the highest consideration.
3. It intimates that the subject is of the nature of that holy sovereignty, which ever has been, and ever will be, most offensive to the world'; and which things the world cannot receive; but which are most delightful to God'schosen; for “wisdom “ is justified of her children.”
“ Let him that hath understanding count the « number of the Beast."
1. This is a call to the wise to apply their at-tention to this subject, that they may gain the important knowledge which it contains. It is not, however, as some suppose, a call particularly to men of great intellecl to apply themselves to this subject; for“ a good understanding have “all they that do his commandments ;” and “ the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise
“ the simple."
2. It imports that the process of gaining this
great information, is as easy as that of counting numbers; and that nothing is necessary, in order to gain the interesting secret, but to count the “ number of the Beast.
3. It implies that the kingdom of the Beast is numbered, beyond which bounds he cannot go; and that his number is somewhere in the scriptures precisely marked.
4. It intimates that nothing more is requisite to our obtaining this all important information, than that we should hear what we are plainly told; or that we should understand what is not“ed in the Scriptures of truth,” in the best pos sible inanner to be understood.
* For it is the number of a man."
1. It has been noticed, in relation to prophetic numbers, that in the division of time in the creation, the days allotted to man, for his use and improvement, were six ; which seems as if intended, originally, to give the number of a man.
2. This imports that the kingdom of the Beast comprises all the improvements, the greatness and the glory, unto which man is capable of attaining; and that it reaches to the summit of human perfection. 3. Some have
supposed that John in giving the number of the Beast, alluded to the name of one of the spies that brought up an evil report of the good land, and who withstood Caleb and Joshua. To me, it is not apparent that there is such a reference; but that the Beast is a false witness and an antichrist, admits of no doubt.
“ And his “ number is six hundred sixty-six.” John saw a Beast, having seven heads, &c. Rev. xvii. And the following note isthere made concerning him: “ The seven heads are seven mountains, on « which the woman sitteth. And there are ser
ven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and the o“therisnot yet come; and when he cometh he must