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the judgment shall sit, and the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods ; Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women', nor regard any god ; for he shall magnify himself above all. And in his estate he shall honour the God of forces, and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain“. St Paul and St John describe exactly a like power, and in like words; speaking of things to come in the latter days, of things still future in their time, and of which there was then no footsteps, no appearance in the world.
The day of Christ, saith St Paul, shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of perdition ; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God :-whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness". Again, The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils ;-Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, &c. St John, in
6 Dan. xi. 36–39.
4 Dan. vii. 23.
5 1 Tim. iv. 3.
like manner, prophesies of a wild beast or tyrannical power, to whom was given great authority, and a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God : And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations ; And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him. And he that exerciseth his power before him, doth great wonders, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do. And he causeth that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark of the beast'. And the kings of the earth have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast, even peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. For God hath put in their hearts [in the hearts of kings] to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. The name of the Person, in whose hands the reins or principal direction of the exercise of this power is lodged, is Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth : with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication : And she herself is drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: And by her sorceries all nations are deceived: And in her is found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that are slain upon the earth. And this person, (the political person,) to whom these titles belong, is that great city (stand
3 xvii. 3, 7.
1 Rev. xiii. 2, &c.
2 xvii, 13, 15, 17.
ing upon seven mountains) which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”
“ If in the days of St Paul and St John there was any footstep of such a sort of power as this in the world; or if there ever had been any such power in the world; or if there was then any appearance of probability, that could make it enter into the heart of man to imagine that there ever could be any such kind of power in the world, much less in the temple or Church of God; and if there be not now such a power actually and conspicuously exercised in the world”;" then may we doubt or deny the inspiration of the writings which contain these predictions. But if St John has not only given a description of this power, but has also pointed out, by so many undoubted marks, both the time of its appearance, and the duration of its sway; exhibiting such a knowledge of futurity, and such an insight into the spirit of former prophecies, as he could derive from inspiration alone; then must we admit, that he wrote under the especial direction of the Spirit of God.
This prophecy also, as it appears in the successive revelations which were made to Daniel, St Paul, and St John, exhibits a remarkable agreement with what has been designated as constituting a distinguishing characteristic of Scripture prophecy; in which each successive revelation adds something to that which preceded it, and effectually establishes the prophetical character of all the writings which contain it.
4 Rev. xvii. xviii.
5 Dr Samuel Clarke, Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion. Prop. XIV. Works, Vol. 11. pp. 722-3, 725-6.
On the whole, when we compare the predictions contained in this Trumpet with the events of the Christian world, as they have been fulfilled and are now in the course of fulfilment, we might securely rest the inspiration of this book on the fulfilment of these prophecies alone.
4. Such then is the evidence, which we derive in support of the inspiration of the Apocalypse, from the prophecies which are contained in the Trumpets, and from those subsequent prophecies, which are intimately connected with them. A different description of proof must be applied to the remaining portion of the Apocalyptic prophecies, of which the greater part yet remains to be fulfilled. Yet even here we shall find conclusive evidence of its inspiration; and marks, which incontestably establish its character, as a part of the great scheme of Scripture prophecy.
(1) And, in the first place, with regard to that which constitutes the subject of the prophecies contained in the Vials, and is further enlarged upon in the succeeding chapters, the downfall of the great antichristian apostasies; this is the great theme and subject of ancient prophecy, which, uniformly and universally, proclaims the final triumph of the Redeemer's kingdom. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every lenee shall bow, every tongue shall swear'. Such also is the spirit of the Apocalyptic prophecies, that the kingdoms of this world shall become the
kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ”: and the present tendency of the events of the world bears evidence to the truth of these prophecies, and tò the probability of their fulfilment in the progress of the divine dispensations.
(2) In the next place, with respect to those prophecies of the former dispensations, which have reference to very distant events in the Christian Church, and extend even to the end of all things; it is evident that these prophecies must be necessarily obscure, even in the present day, and with the increased light which is thrown upon them by the preaching of the Gospel, and the fulfilment of a considerable portion of the most important prophecies relating to the Redeemer's kingdom. But even with respect to these prophecies, if we compare them with those prophecies of the Apocalypse, which appear to have reference to the same events, we shall find that they throw considerable light upon them; and, in the harmony which they exhibit with each other, effectually declare them both to be from God.
1. In the first place, with regard to the prophecy of Noah, which is contained in the ninth chapter of the book of Genesis; of which the probable import has reference to the conversion of those nations, who are the descendants of Shem, by means of the agency of the descendants of Japhet; we have seen the evidence, which the circumstances of these nations at the present day afford of the incipient fulfilment of this most ancient prophecy. Now when we compare this prophecy, and this evidence of the prospect of its future fulfilment, with the prophecy of this book which is contained in the
Rcy, xi. 15.