Page images

and many ships. Yet he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and pass over, and shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown : but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edoin, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries : and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. And tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him : therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and to devote many to utter destruction under the pretext of religion. And he shall plant the curtains of his pavilions between the seas in the glorious holy mountain ; yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth up for the children of thy people : and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time : and at that time thy people shall be delivered, cvery one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake ; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that understand t shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, Danjel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end : many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then I Daniel looked ; and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was above the waters of the river, Until how long shall be the end of the wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was above the waters of the river ; and he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever, that it shall be until a time, and times, and a half; and, when

* Heb. 0997777.
+ The persons mentioned above Chap. xi. 33, 35.

he shall have finished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not : then said I, O my Lord, what is the end of these things ? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be computed a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to a thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot, at the end of the days."*

These four prophecies of Daniel, when the former part of the last of them is added to it, extend from his own time to the time of the end, or the termination of the 1260 daysIn the first of them he gives only the temporal history of the world, bringing it down however to the spiritual victories of the stone, and the triumphant reign of the mountain--In the second, he gives the same history of the world, under a different set of symbols ; further introducing a power, not mentioned before, under the denomination of a little horn, into whose hand the saints of the Most High were to be delivered during the space of a time and times and the dividing of a time, or three prophetic years and a half-In the Third, he gives only a partial history of the world ; totally omitting the first and the fourth great beasts or pagan empires, and describing another wicked power, under the kindred symbol of a second little horn, which was to come forth out of the dominions of the Macedonian he-goat, but at the last end, or after the termination, of his kingdom. He moreover instructs us, that the length of the vision, including the exploits of the second little horn, should be 2300 days ; or, according to the reading of the Seventy, 2400 days; or, according to another reading mentioned by Jerome, 2200 daysIn the fourth prophecy, after de

• Dan. xi. 31–45. xii. 1–13. The beginning of the last of the four prophecies I have omitted, as having no immediate connection with my subject.

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. Joho. 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 und 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 ihe 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 Riformation. Compare Dan. xi. 35, 36 with Ver. 40.

+ That is to say the whole of tbe wonders comprehended within the space of the 1260 years. 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 or 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 lim : 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 Lumb 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 bis 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 natural 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 barps 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, haying 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, termed the

great city, or the mystic Babylon. The Lamb hath two witnesses, his ministers, who prophesy in sackcloth 1260 duys : the Dragon hath also his minister, the false prophet, at whose instigation a new race of gentiles, composing the empire of the Icn-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 Lamb, and in the midst of heaven, is a woman clothed with the

Observations on the Apocalypse Chap. ü. p. 254,

sun, having the moon under her feet, and upon her 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 scventh 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 plugues. But, if the last woe synchronize with the last plagues, it must of course comprehend 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

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.

« PreviousContinue »