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for it either signifies the twenty fourth-part of a day, or a season of indeterminate length. It occurs in both these senses in the Apocalypse, as its several contexts abundantly shew. Thus, when we read of the Euphratèan horsemen being prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, we cannot entertain any reasonable doubt of the word hour signifying in this instance the twenty-fourth part of a day and since, the day here mentioned is a prophetic day or a natural year, its corresponding hour will be the twenty-fourth part of a year, or fifteen nutural days. But, when we read of there being silence in heaven about the space of half an hour, between the opening of the seventh seal and the sounding of the first trumpet, a mode of expression used to denote the state of mute expectation in which the Church anticipated, as it were, from various less important invasions, the grand irruption of the Goths under Alaric: it is evident, that what is there translated half an hour ought rather to be rendered half a season ; both because the meaning of the word is not limited by being connected with the definite terms a day, a month, or a year ; and because common sense itself shews, that that half hour of silent and anxious suspense must not be confined to merely seven natural days and a half, the length of a determinate prophetic half hour. In reality, this half hour, or rather half season, extends from about the year 321 or 323, when the happy tranquillity of the Constantinian age began to be disturbed by the incursions of those Goths who finally subverted the Western empire, to the year 395, when, the half season of restraint having elapsed, they burst with irresistible violence the barriers which the great Theodosius had opposed to them, and poured like an overwhelining torrent into the empire.
When the word hour then occurs in an insulated form, unconnected with the specific terms a day, a month, or a year, it certainly means, not the twenty-fourth part of
Thus 'S2pn sexpion, the vernal bour, means the whole season of spring; the length of the 'S2pn, or season, being in this particular instance determined by the annexed adjective capiun. Ele upon is a phrase of a similar nature, though not precisely of the same construction. The two expressions occur in Homer and Theocritus, VOL. II.
a day, but a season of indeterminate length : and, when it is thus used in the Apocalypse, I know not what season it can reasonably be supposed to mean, except it be some one of the great Apocalyptic periods ; namely one of the seven seals, one of the seven trumpets, or one of the seven
Thus the hour or season of God's judgment upon Babylont is manifestly the one particular period under which the papal Apostacy is to be abolished ; a period, comprehended within the limits of the last vial : and thus the one hour or season, in which the ten horns were to receive power as kings along with the beast, means the period of the first woe-trumpet ; at the begioning of which the ancient Roman idolatrous beast revived, by his lapsing, under his ten horns, into the demonolatry of Popery. The ten kings indeed had received power previous to this time ; but they had not till then received power along with the beust : for the era of their first rise was between the downfull of paganism and the commencement of Popery ; that is, during the short space of time that the Roman beast had put off his bestial nature, or, in the language of the prophet, while he
But, if they rose while the beast was not, though they were horns or kingdoms of the Roman empire, they could not in strictness of speech be styled horns of the beast, till the empire once more became a beast. And this event did not take place till the year 606, when the first woe-trumpet began to sound, and when the beast ascended out of the bottomless pit, and resumed his old posture of determined hostility to the Church of Christ.
* It is almost superfluous to observe, that I except such passages as Rev. iii. 3, and iii. 10, from relating to any of the apocalyptic periods; but I am not aware of a third exception in the whole book of the Revelation, unless the belf bour of the seventh seal be a sort of one. + Rev. xiv. 7. xvii. 10, 17, 19.
Rev. xvii. 12. $ “ Kingdoms they might be before, but they were not before kingdoms or berns of the beast till they embraced his religion.” (Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xrii.) Though I cannot agree with Bp. Newton, that the first beast means the Papacy, the propriety of this remark will be unaffected, whether his scheme or mine be adopted. Daniel, not noticing the three-fold state of the beast as St. John does, simply describes the first rise of the ten borns and of tbe eleventh little born which sprung up among them. This division of the empire however took place during the intermediate state of the beast : hence St. John does not consider tbe ten kingdoms as borns of the beast, till the Roman empire reassumed its ancient bestial nature; and hence Daniel carefully dis
Arguing therefore from analogy, and from the context of the particular passage now under consideration, I will venture to affirm with some degree of positiveness, that the hour or season, in which the great earthquake was to take place, and which is declared by St. John to be the very same as that in which the war of the beast against the witnesses was to be carried on and their triumphant ascent into heaven to occur ; that this hour or season is the period comprehended under the second woe-trumpet.
It is observable, that the two first woes are accurately distinguished from each other, as they took place in the East; but that no precise line of discrimination is drawn between them, as they sounded in the West : it is merely stated, that, as soon as a tenth part of the city should have fallen by the earthquake, the second woe should be past, but that the third woc should quickly follow it : this line of discrimination therefore must be drawn by referring to eastern chronology. I have already stated, that the first woe-trumpet describes the rise and establishment of the two-fold Apostacy ; that the second represents the middle and most flourishing period of its existence; and that the third details the several steps of its downfall, introducing moreover upon the stage a new and most formidable power.
The first of the woe-trumpets seems to have begun to sound in the year 606, when the desolating transgression of Mohammedism arose, and when the saints were given into the hand of the already existing Papal little horn. Under this trumpet are comprehended the five prophetic months of Saracenic conquest, which began in 612, and ended in 762, when Bagdad was built, and when Mo. hammedism may be considered as firmly established. Now, since the prophet assures us, that the first woe expired at this period, we must look for the establishment of Popery either in or before the year 762, in order that it may be comprized under the same woe as the establishment of Mohammedism. Accordingly the proper date of
tinguishes between the period when the little born first arose, and the period when the saints were delivered into his hand. This last period is the same as that when St. John beheld the beast, in his third or revived state, ascend out of tbe sea of Gothic invasion.
In the same year
the firm establishment of Popery is the year 755, or as some say the year 758, when Pipin, king of France, having taken the apostolic see under his special protection, conferred upon it the Exarchate of Ravenna.
The second woe-trumpet began to sound at the commencement of the hour, the day, the month, and the year, when the Turkish horsemen were prepared to slay the third part of men, or the Eastern empire ; this, as we have seen, was in the year 1281. 1281, the papal Apostacy may be considered as having attained the zenith of its power ; as will sufficiently appear from the following statement of the several rapid strides which it had previously made to absolute universal domination. In the year 774, the Pope obtained a grant of the greatest part of the kingdom of the Lombards. In the year 787, the worship of images, which had already been established in 607, was confirmed by the second council of Nice. In the year 817, the Emperor Louis finally confirmed to the Pope bis Italian dominions. In the year 1074, Gregory the seventh strictly forbad the marriage of the clergy. In the year 1059, Robert Guiscard assumed the title of Duke of Apulia and Calabria ; and afterwards did homage to the Pope, as his superior lord, for the dominions which have since been erected into the kingdom of the two Sicilies. In the year 1137, the same feudal submission was made by Don Alonso of Portugal. In the year 1213, John of England declared his monarchy a fief of the apostolic see. * In the pontificate of Innocent the third, which lasted from the year 1198 to the year 1216, the Saladine tenth, a tax originally laid upon the whole Latin empire for the service of the holy war, was continued for the benefit of the successors of St. Peter : and Innocent himself “
may boast of the two most signal triumphs over sense and humanity, the establishment of transubstantiation, and
* The Spanish kingdom of Arragon, the Dukedom of Austria, the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, and more than one of the Italian principalities, declared themselves, in the same dark period, feudatories of the Papacy. The long continued tyranny, which the Pope exercised over the kingdom of Naples, is well known. In short, it appears at one time to have been the studied design of the Bisbops of Rome to render themselves temporal, no less than spiritual, sovereigns of Europe. In this design however, as we shall hereafter see, they by no means succeeded,
the origin of the inquisition.”* Finally, to complete the aggrandisement of the church of Rome, in the period between 1974 and 1277, she bowed to reluctant submission the neck of her ancient rival of Constantinople; a submission, not long-lived indeed, but existing in its full force in the year 1281, when the second woe-trumpet began to sound.t
Thus it appears, that the second woe-trumpet commenced in the West, as it did in the East, in the year 1281. Now we learn from St. John, that the last event, comprehended under it, is to be the fall of a tenth part of the great city by an earthquake. Consequently, since the second woe-trumpet began to sound in the year 1981, and since the witnesses were slain in the year 1547, the two events, of the death of the witnesses and the earthquake must of course happen in the same apocalyptic hour or season : that is to say, they must both take place under the second woe-trumpet which commenced in the year 1281 ; though the one event, as we shall find, was to be many years prior to the other.
And here we must carefully note, that the fall of the tenth part of the city is almost immediately to be followed by the third woe : “ the second woe is past; behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” Now, since both the first and the second woes form such very prominent epochs in history, as we have seen them do, it is but natural to conclude, that the third and last woe will by no means yield to its predecessors either in the wonderful or the horrible : nay, since it alone is subdivided into seven distinct periods, it is no very improbable supposition, that it will far outdo them in both. Those commentators, who first very justly applied the prophecy of the war of the beast with the witnesses to the war of the Emperor
* Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. č. p. 152. + It is a remarkable circumstance, that the submission of the Greek Church was withdrawn in tbe year 1289, as if it had only continued beyond the year 1281, that the Papacy might be in the full meridian of its power, when the second woe-trumpet began to sound. See Gibbon's Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. ii. p. 334, 337.
$ Its last period, that of the vintage, will be, according to Daniel, “ a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation :” and its first period, that of the barvest, which comprehends the three first vials, is described by St. John as being a very remarkable season of trouble and distress.