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“ Antichrist,” &c. Much difference of opinion exists on questions affecting the period of his appearing—the direction and the manner in which he may have
have or shall come, and the like. The present pages tend to elucidate these points.
Other important occurrences are declared as happening at and about the same timesuch as great departure from the faith, great oppression of the nations, fall of Antichrist, and appearing of our Lord and his saints. An attempt is also made to throw some light on these subjects. Many of the views advanced are those of able expositors of prophecy; others are entirely those of the Author, accompanied by much thought terminating in conviction.
Whatever the result of his labours, he shall not deem his time mis-spent, for, although error may arise as to detail, yet the sources of many forms of evil are so clearly pointed out, both in their effects and in the judgments which shall be poured out, that many principles will be established which might otherwise have been thought to need confirmation. Fortune Island, Bahamas,
CERTAIN PRINCIPLES WHICH MUST REGULATE APPEARING OF
" MYSTERY INIQUITY.” DOUBLE INTERPRETATION REV. XIII.3. NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DELIRIUM
(Dan. iv. 24, 25, &c.) If we investigate the manner of God's dealings with mankind, we shall perceive that there is a corporate as well as an individual character in which he regards them. Thus, when God addressed himself to Adam, all nations were included who should descend from Adam. When he entered into covenant with Abraham, that covenant extended to all his seed. When our Lord addressed the Apostles or his disciples, he spake through them to all Christians. When he wrote to particular Churches, his intention was to include all Churches in similar conditions.
Thus, likewise, when our Lord speaks of evil men, he styles them “ the world;" when of the righteous, they are his “ Church.” Distinction and identity of persons are not lost ; but in connection with such distinction and identity, mankind are regarded in the aggregate as objects of benevolence or objects of wrath.
Hence we discover the reason that when God would represent the kingdoms which would ensue upon the Babylonian, and which kingdoms would be destroyed at the second coming of the Lord Jesus, he embodies them in an image,* a figure which, while it admits of a subdivision of parts, presents at once the idea of union or aggregation.
Under this representation of an image, all the * The four kingdoms represented in Nebuchadnezzar's image (Dan. ii. 31), as well as in Daniel's vision (Dan. vii. 2), are the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman.
kingdoms named are regarded as one; while by assigning each a particular location in the image, their identity is preserved. The first is the corporate character of the kingdoms, the second the individual.
And it is to be observed that this corporate character is to be maintained throughout and never to cease, otherwise the image would not be preserved in entirety, as it appeared in Nebuchadnezzar's dream ; at the same time that the identity of each kingdom or its representative is to be upheld, otherwise we lose sight of the particular location assigned to it.
Thus, then, each king or kingdom while manifest appears under two aspects, the corporate and the individual; and we shall not be in a position to recognize the identity of any one or more which present not these aspects. Were it not for the manifest union of the kingdom of Babylon with that which succeeded it, we should not be able to recognize it as representing any portion whatever of the image ; and without the knowledge that it preceded such latter kingdom and was thus the first, we should have no authority for declaring its correspondence with the head of the image: and thus throughout each of the four kingdoms. Without reference to their connection as a whole, as well as to their particular order with reference to each other, we should not be enabled to declare whether they formed or not any part of the image, and also what part.
When, therefore, a certain king appears as arising out of one of these kingdoms, he is necessarily presented to us in a corporate and an individual capacity; a corporate, representing the unbroken unity of the image ; and an individual, as pointing out the part of the image to which his kingdom appertains. Hence, then, we have an infallible means of identifying that sovereign who shall hereafter arise (Antichrist) out of one of the kingdoms, and who is represented (Rev. xiii. 1, 2) under the image of a beast rising out of the sea. By comparing this verse with Dan. vii. 6, and that with the third kingdom, Dan. ii. 39,* we find that the beast arises out of such kingdom, and therefore that the personage it is intended to represent must appear in the corporate and individual capacity of such kingdom. He must arise out of that kingdom of Greece, linked on the one hand to the Persian, and on the other resting on the Roman Empire. No other kingdom of Greece, or no individual arising out of any such other kingdom, will meet the requirements of the vision.
And as the further developement of the peculiar features of the beast proceeds, we shall find that he hath also a corporate and individual character to maintain in connection with the Roman empire, of which he becomes also the representative.
In Rev. xii. 3, we read of a great red dragon having seven heads and seven crowns upon his heads. The tenth verse of the seventeenth chapter shows that they are a succession of kings; and this, in connection with the ninth and eighteenth verses of the same chapter, that they are kings in respect to a certain place-a “ city ” founded on seven mountains.”
Now the seven heads that were on the dragon are transferred to the beast (Rev. xiii. 1), and the beast is itself one of these seven heads (Rev. xvii. 11), and the “ city” upon “ seven mountains” points clearly to the capital of Rome. We conclude, therefore, that there will not only be a succession of seven remarkable kings of Rome, but these will have been the means by which the continued unity of the image will have been preserved; and as the beast will have been one of these kings, he likewise in such capacity will have maintained the corporate and individual character in which they appeared. No king of Rome who doth not in himself embrace these characters will represent anyone of the seven kings as they appear in the vision.*
* The two first texts refer to the same beast (a leopard), and the two last show that it represents the third, or Grecian, kingdom, although at different periods of its history.
† A kingdom established in Greece by the King of England or Emperor of Russia would be such other kingdom.
Hence, then, again we have another link in the chain which shall direct us to the party who, as Antichrist and representing the beast, shall hereafter assume undivided empire.
Such party will arise out of the ancient Grecian kingdom (as king), and will be the successor in the west of six preceding kings, who will have in the western Roman empire from time to time preserved the corporate character of the four kingdoms; in other words, the unbroken unity of Nebuchadnezzar's image.
We are enabled to fix about the period when the era of these kings would commence, from the necessity of the case. The unity of the image would be broken when the fourth kingdom-that is, the Roman—was overthrown. It would be again maintained when that kingdom rose for a time from its relics. The irruption of the Goths marks the extinction of the Roman empire; the era of Charlemagne its temporary restoration.
Thus much is said by way of introduction. The subject in all its relations is discussed as the several texts present themselves in succeeding pages of this work.
The next topic to which reference may here be made is the double interpretation assigned to Rev. xiii. 3. That double interpretation is, First, that the “ Mystery of Iniquity” loses his throne for a season and regains it. Second, that he dies and is restored to life. Now an interpreta
* Consequently the Pope of Rome is no type of Antichrist, i. e. of the“ Mystery of Iniquity," although he may be, and is,
We shall see hereafter that he may be a type of the second beast of Rev. xiii. 11.
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