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tailing the fortunes of the Persian and Greek empires, after noticing the Roman conquests in the East, and after predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, the persecutions of the primitive Christians, the conversion of the Empire under Constantine, the declension of real piety, and the second persecutions of the reformers under Popery : after he has foretold all these particulars in regular chronological succession, he introduces towards the close of this his last prophecy a third power, under the title of a king or kingdom, describing it in such a manner as to lead us to conclude that it is the Antichrist predicted by St. John. While the tyranny of this monster is at the height, but at some indefinite period after its developement,* he teaches us, that the great work of the restoration of the Jews shall commence. He adds, that to the end of the wonders it shall be three prophetic years and a half, or 1260 prophetic days; and that the wholet of them shall not be finished, till God has ceased to scatter his ancient people, or, in other words, till he has begun to restore them. He next informs us, that from the taking away of the daily sacrifice, and the setting up of the abomination of desolation, there shall be 1290 duys, which is exactly 30 days more than the former number ; but he does not tell us what particular event will take place at that era: And he lastly pronounces a blessing upon him, who should wait and come to a third number, or 1335 days; which is 75 days longer than the first number, and 45 days longer than the second number.
With the latter part of these four prophecies of Daniel, the Revelation of St. John is immediately connected, be
* The wars of the power here predicted, which terminate in his destruction, Daniel places at the time of the end; consequently the rise of the power must be expected before the time of the end, though after the Reformation. Compare Dan. xi. 35, 36 with Ver. 40.
+ That is to say the wbole of the wonders comprehended within the space of the 1260 gears. These wonders therefore do not include the overthrow of the Roman beast, of the two little borns, and of the wilful king, which takes place after the expiration of those years : still less do they include the resurrection of the just and the unjust, predicted in Dan. xii. 2. Very apposite is the remark of Bp. Newton, that the beast is not so much slain exactly at the end of the 1260 years, as that the judgments of God then begin to go forth against him. “The 1260 years of the reign of the beast, I suppose, end with the 1260 years of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth : and now the destined time is come for the judgments of God to overtake him : for, as he might exist before the 1260 years began, so he may exist likewise after they are finished, in order to be made an eminent example of divine justice.” Dissert. xxvi.
ing in fact only a more minute and comprehensive prediction of the same events. As Sir Isaac Newton justly observes, it " is written in the same style and language with the prophecies of Daniel, and hath the same relation to them which they have to one another, so that all of them together make but one complete prophecy.”**
The Apocalypse contains a history of the Christian Church militant from the days of St. John to the very end of time. This history, or at least that part of it which relates to the period of 1260 days, is hieroglyphically detailed as a war between the Lamb and the Dragon, or between Christ and Satan : and upon examination it will be found, that there is the most exact antithetical correspondence between their respective kingdoms and followers. The Lamb hath his throne in the midst of heaven : the Dragon hath his seat upon the earth. Before the throne of the Lamb there is a sea of crystal, solid, durable, unfluctuating, transparent : in the dominions of the Dragon there is also a sea ; but, like the naitural ocean, it is for ever turbid and restless, agitated by every wind, and exhibiting a surface perpetually varying. Upon the sea of glass, those, that have gotten the victory over the Dragon and his agent the Beast, stand eternally secure, having the harps of God in their hands, and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb: out of the other sea rises the Beast with seven heads and ten horns, laaving a mouth that speaketh great things, and having upon his heads names of blasphemy. The seat of the Lamb is the holy city, or the spiritual Jerusalem : the strong hold of the Dragon and ihe Beast is another city, terimed the great city, or the mystic Babylon. The Lamb laath two witnesses, his ministers, who prophesy in sackcloth 1260 days : the Drugon hath also his minister, the false prophet, at whose instigation a new race of gentiles, composing the empire of the ton-horned Beast, tread the holy city underfoot 42 months; which is the same space of time as 1260 days, or, as it is elsewhere expressed, three times and a half. Lastly, in the service of the Lomb, and in the midst of heaven, is a woman clothed with the
• Observations on the Apocalypse Chap, üi. p. 254,
............ sun, having the moon under her feet, and upon ber head a crown of twelve stars ; who is the mother of a manchild, destined to rule all nations with a rod of iron : while, in the service of the Dragon, and proudly seated upon the Beast, is another woman, arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls ; who is the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.
Such are the two kingdoms of Christ and Belial, which are ever in, direct opposition to each other : and the Apocalypse, after exhibiting a prophetic view of their long-continued warfare, terminates triumphantly with the total overthrow of the Dragon and his adherents, the millennian reign of Christ upon earth, and the second resurrection.
The book of the revelation is divided into three grand successive periods; the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials. Of these the seventh seal comprehends all the seven trumpets; and the seventh trumpet,
all the seven vials. This is manifest from the following · consideration. The seventh trumpet is styled the last of
the three great woes, and all the seven vials are jointly styled the last plagues. There cannot however be two last periods. Consequently the last woe must necessarily synchronize with the last plagues. But, if the last woe synchronize with the last plagues, it must of course. coipprehend them as so many parts of one grand whole. On these grounds I cannot think with Mr. Mede, that the seven vials, or at least six out of the seven, belong to the sixth trumpet.* Such an arrangement, by making the six first vials precede the third woe, certainly contradicts the express declaration of the prophet, that the vials are the last plagues : for those six vials cannot be esteemed the last plagues, if they be succeeded by the third woe. It moreover breaks the regularity and concinnity of the whole prophecy : for, since the Apocalypse is divided into the three periods of the seals, the trumpets, and the vials; and since all the seven trumpets are comprehended under the seventh seal; it seems much more
* Clav. Apoc. Pars II. Synchron. 3.
............ natural to place all the seven vials, in a similar manner, under the seventh trumpet, than to assign six of them to the sixth trumpet, and the seventh to the seventh trumpet. In short, Bp. Newton's arrangement, which I have here followed, appears to me, in every point of view, far preferable to that of Mr. Mede.*
Under the six first seals, and the four first trumpets of the seventh seal, the history of the Řoman empire, before and after the days of Constantine to the beginning of the seventh century, is chronologically and circumstantially related. But, at the beginning of this century, a new era commences : and the prophet henceforth den scribes a series of troubles and persecutions, which the true Church was to undergo during the space of 1260 prophetic days, or 1260 natural years. The events of that space of time are comprehended under the three last trumpets, which are usually denominated the three woe. trumpets : and the third of these woe-trumpets contains, as I have just observed, within its own particular period the seven vials; which are declared to be the seven last plagues, as being a history of the third and last woe. This period of 1260 days, so frequently mentioned both by Daniel and St. John, is equivalent to the triumphant duration of the great Apostacy in its dominant state, or the reign of the two little horns in the East and in the West : for the superstitions symbolized by these two apostate horns, as we shall hereafter see, commenced their tyrannical career together in the very same year; and will continue jointly to depress the Gospel of Christ, till (what Daniel styles) the time of the end. Towards. the close of the 1260 days, and after the era of the Reformation, it is predicted, that the king who magnified himself above every god, or the long expected Antichrist, will be revealed in all his horrors :.that great Antichrist, whose special badge, as we are informed by St. John, should be an open denial both of the Father and of the Son, an unreserved profession of Atheism and Infidelity.
Of the three woe-trumpets then which synchronize with the 1260 days (the third however extending beyond
* See Bp. Newton's very lucid statement of this matter in his Dissert. on Rev. x6. vol. I,
the termination of those days, *) the first comprehends the space from the commencement of the dominance of the Apostucy to its attaining the zenith of its power; the second extends from the era, when it attained the zenith of its power, to the complete developement of Antichrist or the Infidel king : and the third predicts the outrageous and bloody domination of that impious monster, his subsequent union with the false prophet or the western apostate little horn, his complete destruction at the time of the end, and the final subversion of the whole Apostacy in both its branches.t After all these matters are accomplished, then commences the joy ful part of the third woe-trumpet, when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.
The Apostacy of the two little horns being of a two-fold nature, it was necessary that the prophet should give a double though synchronical account of it : hence, at the commencement of the first woe-trumpet, the Apocalypse
• The last of the seven vials will apparently begin to be poured out so soon as tbe 1260 years shall have expired. It seems to occupy the period, or perhaps the first division of the period, which intervenes between the end of the 1260 years and the commencement of tbe Millennium. This whole period is 75 years; which Daniel divides into 30 years and 45 years. When the seventh vial is completely exhausted, the joyful part of the seventb trumpet commencès. See Rev. xi. 15-19; where, for the consolation of the Church, the order of events is inverted, and the joyful part of the seva enth trumpet spoken of before its woeful part. See Bp. Newton's Dissert. in loc.
+ Dr. Hammond and Mr. Burton strangely apply the three woes to the deatb of our Lord, the sacking of Yerusalem by Titus, and its final destruction by Adrian. This notior is so utterly irreconcileable with the whole chronology of the Apocalypse, particularly that part of it which relates to the 1260 days; and it is moreover so perfectly incongruous with the prophetic description of the three woes, that I cannot refrain from expressing my wonder that it should ever have been seriously adopted. What resemblance can be discovered between the prophecy contained in Rev. ix. 1-12, which treats of tbe first woe, and the death of Cbrist with its immediate consequences, I cannot imagine : and I am as little able to discover any similarity between the second woe, described in Rev. ix. 13--21, and the sacking of Jerusalem by Titus. As for the third woe, which brings us through its seven vials to the end of the present order of things, how can it have any connection with the destruction of Ferusalem by Adrian which happened many centuries ago? When Mr. Burton asserted, that two of tbe woes were past in St. John's time because we read “ The second woe is past, behold the third cometh quickly;" (Rev. xi. 14.) he surely must have overlooked the denunciaton of the angel, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, which are yet to sound." (Rev. viii. 13.) In fact Mr. Burton ought to have known, that St. John describes an event as past, when he has advanced beyond it in the chronological order of his prophecy. He does not mean to intimate by the expression, that the event had literally taken place in his own days, but that he was about to announce another event which should succeed in point of time the event last predicted. Hammond's Paraphrase on the New Test. Fol. 906.-Burton's Essay on the numbers of Daniel and St. John, p. 104-107.