« PreviousContinue »
As for the battle of Armageddon, in which the beast and the false prophet are to be overthrown, I take it to be the concluding event of the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, mentioned by Daniel. It is the same likewise as the dreadful slaughter of the Gentiles in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, predicted in such forcible terms by Zechariah and Joel. This will sufficiently appear from comparing, as I shall presently do, all these different prophecies together. At the close of the time of trouble foretold by Daniel, the infidel king is to come to his end, none helping bim ; and at the beginning of the time of trouble, which synchronizes with the first effusion of the seventh vial and with the termination of the 1260 years, the restoration of the Jews is to
At the period of the great battle of the nations, described by Zechariah and Joel, which synchronizes with the destruction of the infidel king and the battle of Armageddon, the Jews are represented as having been brought back to their own country. While, in the battle of Armageddon, predicted by St. John, which I apprehend to be the last event under the seventh vial, the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the Latin earth, are to be completely routed with dreadful slaughter by the Almighty Word of God; and an end is for ever to be put to their tyrannical and persecuting domination over the Church.
The beast, who is to take so active a part in this last great struggle, is the same septimo-octave head as that, which St. John had before identified even with the whole beust himself.* To which horn of the beast the dignity of the Curlovingian Emperorship of the western Roman world will then be attached, it is impossible to determine before the event. Humanly speaking, it seems upon the eve of quitting for ever the horn of Austria. Should this be the case, and should it once more revert to France along with the old Carlovingian sovereignty of Italy, t
* Rev. xvii. 11. 4 Since this was written in the year 1804, the Carlovingian sovereigpty of Italy has reverted to France. May, 1805.
And I may now add, that yet more recently the Carlovingian Emperorsbip of the West has been transferred to France; consequently the Infidel king and be last head of ibe beast are now identified. June 5, 1806.
the infidel king, at the close of the great apostatic drama, would be identified with the last head of the beast. As for the false prophet, who is to be one of his allies in this impious war, we have already beheld a political reconciliation, or, as it is styled, a concordat between him and Antichrist :* the contrariety therefore of Infidclity to Popery will be no impediment to the accomplishment of the prophecy, that the beast and the false prophet shall be taken banded in arms together. And, with regard to the possibility of uniting all the Popish powers in one common confederacy, the growing influence of papisticoinfidel Frunce, and the ease with which she compels the surrounding vassal states to take up arms in her cause, sufficiently shew, even without the aid of prophecy, that such an union is not only possible, but probable.
The preceding vial testifies, that, after this confederacy has been formed, it will be gathered together by secret diabolical agency to Armageddon, subsequently to the downfall of the Ottoman empire : and there is every reason to believe, that it will be directed at once against the converted Jeres now beginning to be restored by the prevailing maritime power of the day, and against their protectors the protestant maritime states which keep the commandments of God and which have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Hence it will probably be a sort of infernal league or crusade of all the atheistico-papal powers against the converted Jews and their defenders the Protestants ; of the South against the North of Europe ; of the dragon and his adherents against the symbolical woman and the remnant of her seed. The time of the end however is not yet arrived : and few probably of the present generation will live to behold even the beginning of the restoration of the Jews and the commencement of the Antichristian expedition to Palestine, still less therefore the
* It may be observed, that Bp. Newton here again considers the beast, not as the Papacy, but as the temporal Latin empire ; while he justly conceives tbe false propbet to mean the ecclesiastical power of tbe Pope. “ These enemies are the beast and the false propbet, the Antichristian powers civil and ecclesiastical, with their armies gathered together, their adherents and followers combined and determined to support idolatry, and to oppose all reformation.” Dissert. on Rev. xix.
+ I have already observed in a preceding note, that, since this was written, we have reason to believe that the bestial confederacy has begun to be formed. June 5, 1806.
dreadful confusion of Armageddon with which that expedition terminates. Whether at this period the infidel king is, or is not, to have become, like bis predecessor Charlemagne,t the last head of the beast, who shall venture now to determine? This at least is certain, that he will be a very principal actor in “ the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation."
As I have more than once hinted at the probability of the last head of the beast, or the Gothic Patricio-Emperorship of the Romans, becoming at the time of the end attached to the horn of France, as it heretofore was in the days of Charlemagne, I shall here simply state the declarations of concurring prophecies relative to this subject, and leave the reader to draw his own conclusions,
Daniel predicts, that, at the time of the end or the close of the 1260 ycars, the infidel king shall engage in a war of extermination under the pretext of religion; that, in the prosecution of this nefarious project, he shall invade Palestine, and occupy the glorious holy mountain; but that eventually he shall perish between the two seas, namely the Dead sea and the Mediterranean sea. The prophet, absorbed as it were in contemplating the vast power of this impious monster, does not notice any confederates with whom he might be leagued ; but speaks merely of the king himself, as being the very life and soul of the whole expedition, as being peculiarly both its contriver and executor.
Such is the prediction of Daniel. In a similar manner, St. John declares, that, under the last vial and consequently after the close of the same 1260 ycars, a grand confederacy of the beust, the false prophet, and the kings of the Latin earth, shall be utterly overthrown at Megid
* I speak of course on the supposition that I am right in my date of tbe 1260 years. Should i be so mistaken as that they terminate earlier than I apprehended, the events of ile last vial and of Daniei's time of unexampled trouble will of course happen so much earlier.
† Buonaparte affects, upon all occasions, to ape the style and dignity of Charlemagne: and no moderation of character, which he has yet displayed, gives us any reason to doubt that he wishes to tread in the steps of that ambitious conqueror. It je almost superfluous to remind the reader, that the infidel king is not the individual B.tunapartè nor any otber indir idnal, but the infidel kingdom or power of France.
I have already stated, that the infidel king may now be considered as identified with the Carluvingian head of the brust. June 5, 1806.
do,* which is a town situated between the tico seas of Palestine ; and that the wine-press of the vintage shall be trodden in a region extending 1600 furlongs, which is the exact measure of the Holy land.
Thus it appears, that, as Daniel's infidel king is to be the grand projector and manager of a religious war, and is to perish in Palestine between the two seas after the close of the 1260 years : so the apocalyptic beast, that is to say the beast under his last head, is likewise, as it
appears from his union with the false prophet, to be the main promoter and manager of a religious war ; which, precisely like the religious war of the infidel king, is to take place after the close of the 1260 years, and is to be decided in Palestine or the land which extends 1600 furlongs, and at Megiddo a town of that land which is situated between the seas.
So exact a correspondence both of time, pluce, and circumstance, evidently shews, that the war of the infidel king is the same as the war of the beast and the false prophet : and, from Daniel's prediction, we can scarcely consider the king only as an inferior actor, only as one of the subordinate kings represented by St. John as leagued with the beast. The conclusion to be drawn from these premises I leave to the cautious reader.t
To return from this digression ; if I be right in thinking, that the gathering together of the kings of the Latin earth to the battle of Armageddon is an expedition of a confederacy of popish infidels against the converted Jews
* Armageddon signifies the destruction of Megid.lo. + The first edition of this work was published just as the intelligence of the faa tally decisive battle of Austerlitz arrived. The rumours of a directly opposite purport, that prevailed while the last sheets were printing, had led me to conclude that the time was not yet arrived when the wilful tyrant should be identified with the Carlovingian bead of the beast; tor, though I certainly expected for the reasons assigned above that sooner or later that time would arrive, I had no warrant from prophecy to say when it would arrive. At length we received intelligence of the disastrous issue of a campaign, which has made the atrocious wretch, whom I doubt not to be an instrument of vengeance in the hand of a justly offended God, the undisputed reproe sentative of Charlemagne, the uncontrolled Emperor of tbe western Roman world. Til this period the chief of the house of Austria was the representative of Charlemagne; but his influence is now annihilated in Germany, and he is totally driven out of every part of Italy. Dispossessed even of a considerable part of his hereditary dominions, he seems tacitly to have resigned luis ancient title, now to him nothing but a title, and to have assumed instead of it that of Emperor (which in his case is virtually the same as only King' of Austria. June 5, 1805.
The 1260 years
supported by the professors of evangelical Prolestantism, the opinion, that the witnesses will not be subjected to the horrors of some future persecution, receives a most abundant confirmation*. The beast and the false prophet indeed shall surely gather their forces together, but not by the Lord : for no weapon, hereafter formed against the Gospel, shall prosper ; and whosoever shall gather together against it shall fall. The 1260 of oppression will then have elapsed ; and the great controversy of Jehovah with his enemies will then have commenced. Every project of the beast, the false prophet, and the congregated kings, will be baffled : 'and sudden destruction will come upon them unawares as a thief in the night. Through the aid of the great captain of their salvation, those, who have come out of Babylon, shall be completely victorious; and the united tyranny of Popery and Atheism shall for ever be destroyed.
Having now briefly considered the three grand events comprehended under the lust vial; namely the division of the great city into three parts, the full of the spiritual Babylon, and the buttle of Armageddon : I shall bring together into one point of view the four prophecies of St. John, Daniel, Zechariah, and Joel, relative to the awful events with which the 1260 years will conclude ; in order that, by comparing them with each other, a yet stronger light may be thrown upon this period, which is destined to witness not only the overthrow of the Antichristian faction but likewise the restoration of the Jews.
1. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse ; and he, that sat upon him, was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns ; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood : and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies, which were in heaven, followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine
At least it receives confirmation, so far as protestant countries are confirmed ; though the two witnesses, scattered through popishi regions, will continue to prophesy in sackcloth to the time of the end. This distinction I have already stated very fully.