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his entrance upon the explanation of the Seals *, that, " as Daniel in the Old Testament both presignified the
coming of Christ, and arranged the fortunes of the “Jewish Church by the succession of the empires ;, są “the Apocalypse is to be supposed to measure the
Christian history by the means of the Roman Em
pire, which was yet to be remaining after Christ," The conjecture is good; and as such will be acknowledged in its proper place. For, in the course of the prophecy, that beast of the Prophet Daniel (or one nearly resembling him, and plainly representing, the remains of the Roman Empire) will appear. But before the symbols under which the prophecy is expressed; are seen clearly to indicate the Roman Empire, why are we to expect that the prophecy should relate its fortunes †? The subject of these Divine visions, is of superior importance:--the fates and fortunes of the Christian Church :
and the Roman Empire seems to be only so far noticed in them, as it necessarily became connected with the Church of Christ. The learned writer above quoted,
• Quemadmodum enim in V. T. Daniel, secundum imperiatura successiones, lúm Christi adventum præsignavit, tum Ecclesiæ Judaicge fata digessit; ita rem Christianam Apocalypsis, Romani, quod adlac post Christum superfuturum esset, imperii rationibus admetiri censenda
US *5. est.-- Works, p. 441.
+ There is a period of the Roman Empire, even its tatest perida, pointed out by the Prophet Daniel in bis Sacred Kalendar (so Mede calls it), when the Empire, divided under its tep Kings, will be intermixed with the fortunes of the Christian Church. This, history will appear displayed in its proper symbols in the sequel of the Apocalypse; but hitherto no such symbols have appeared; nor do they appear
be, fore the production of the little boux, ch.6109 115: 11a | See: Bp. Hurd's Sermons ou ProphecyP.43, 3.1
was aware, that the fates of the Roman Empire were beneath the dignity of this sacred book. For, having dispatched that part of his work which he supposes to contain them, “We now proceed,” says he, "to an"other, and much the most noble prophecy, because it ".contains the history of Religion and of the Church*." Another judicions observation of the same commentatör will be usefully applied to this enquiry. He ob. serves that the Trumpets should be interpreted as being all of one kind and nature, or, as he expresses it, homo. gencal; 66. to make some of them warlike invasions, " and others to be heresies, is to bring things of too !* differing a nature under one name t.” After having supposed the four first Trumpets to represent “warlike *& invasions on the Roman Empire," he clearly saw, that the remaining Truinpets must not be interpreted as containing the history of Christian heresies; and there: fore he laboured to shew that the Roman Empire was the object of attack in all the Trumpets. This labour he would perhaps have spared, if he had not already explained the four first Trumpets to be so many attacks on that Empire ; and therefore found himself obliged to exhibit a consistency, when he proceeded to interpret the rest... For, certainly, the great apostacy oecasioned by Mahomet (which Mede understands to be contained under the fifth Trumpet) will be found to have attacked the Christian Religion yet more hostilely and, , extensively, than the Roman Empire. threw,, an fatally corrupted, this Religion in the Roman Empired wherever, it subverted, that` Empire ; and, Moreover, was fatal to Christianity in the wide and extensive regions of the Eastern World, which had never been subjected to the Roman doininion. • Mede's Works; p.477.21.) 2.1 + Ibi p. 595:-:1
But if the Trumpets are to be all homogeneal, let us have recourse to one of them, whose character and interpretation are placed beyond dispute; in the application of which, all interpreters must agree: and then let us bring the prophecies under the other Trumpets to that settled standard.
The seventh Trumpet! what does it announce? Most clearly, the victory obtained by Christ and His Church, not over the Roman Empire, but over the powers of Hell, and of Antichrist, and a corrupt world; over the Dragon, the Beast, the false Prophet, and in process of time (for the seventh Trumpet continues to the end), over Death and Hell; “ for he must reign “till he hath put all things under his feet.” If then, under the seventh Trumpet, the warfare of the Chrisfian Church be so clearly represented (and in this all writers are agreed), what are we to think of the six ? How must they be interpreted, so as to appear homogeneal? Are they to be accounted, with Mede and his followers, the successive shocks, by which the Roman Empire fell under the Goths and Vandals ? Homoge. neity forbids. They must, therefore, be supposed to contain the warfare of the Christian Church. And this warfare may be successful under the seventh and last trumpet, when it had been unsuccessful before, yet the homogeneity be consistently preserved. For, the question is not concerning the success, but concerning the warfare. And the Trumpets may be deemed homogeneal, if they all represent the same warfare (viz. of the powers of Hell, and of the Antichristian world, against the Church of Christ), whatever may be the event; and whether it be carried on by the violence and persecution of open' enemies, or by heresies and córrupt doctrines ; for heresy, which leads to apostacy, is a most dangerous assault upon the Church.
The irruption of the barbarous nations of the North, upon the declining Empire, is of great importance in civil history. It occasioned a signal revolution in power and property, and produced wonderful effects on the manners, customs, and laws of Europe. But although it took crowns from kings, and property from rich laymen, and overwhelmed multitudes in slavery, its disastrous influence was small, or of no permanency, on the Christian Church. That Church had already degenerated, through ignorance and corrupt worship; but it retained its property, and power, and the number of its subjects: nay, “it greatly increased all these ; for the conquering nations forsook their pagan creed for the religion of the conquered *
* Mosheim, Cent. vi. part i.-Gibbon narrates the number of the barbarous nations which had become Christian before the age of Charlemagne; and remarks that the Christians were then in possession of all the fertile lands of Europe, which had been seized by these warriors. (Decline of the Roman Empire, ch. xxxvii. p. 532, 4to.)
Denunciation of the Three Woes.
CHAP. viii. VER. 13.
13 Και είδον, και ήκεσα evos
Ο αγέλα : Gilupéry én Meos сарай, iyorls φωνή μεγάλη Ούαι, , ézi, lai tos rabara xoh ini rus gns,
13 And I beheld, and I
2 angel flying in the space between heaven and earth, saying, with a loud voice, “ Woe! '" woe! woe! to those
13 And I beheld, and
heard an angel flying, through the midst of
heaven, saying, with a for loud voice, Wo, wo,
wo to the inhabiters of the earth, by reason of the other' voices of
εκ των λοιπών φω» κων της σάλπιγο. των τριών αγγέλων των μελλόνίων σαλπίζειν. .
the trumpet of the three angels which are yet to sound.
« who dwell upon the
earth, from the re
maining voices of " the trumpet of the “ three angels, who are
yet to sound !"
Ver. 13. And I beheld, and I heard one seagle?
Tangels flying ; &c.] Griesbach has admitted the word åkte (eagle) into the text, and seems to produce powerful authorities for the admission. But the received reading, Alyeng (angel) seems also supported by good authorities; and internal evidence will appear decisive in its favour. The two words have resemblance in Greek character, and might be confounded by transcribers. I prefer the word angel, because, in the scenery of the Apocalypse, the action is almost entirely and exclusively administered by angels. And in ch. xiv. 6, the Prophet sees “ another angel flying in " the space between heaven and earth.” To what former angel does this other angel refer, but to this of the eighth chapter, who is the only one before described as flying? And it is in the same space
between “ heaven and earth.” And this angel of the xivth chapter is followed by others, all of them angels, no eagle. I remark also the application of the word èvos, one, to this angel or eagle, whichsoever it may be. If it be to be applied to an eagle, why does the Prophet say one eagle; why not an eagle? for no eagles had been mentioned. But there is a propriety, if it be an angel, in saying one angel, because many angels had been, and were then, employed in the action. The cohort of seven angels were then standing forth with their trumpets.