« PreviousContinue »
more, than that it was passed when the seven years were drawing near to their termination: it might have been passed in the sixtb year, or it might have been passed in the seventh year, for any thing that we could gather to the contrary from the expression itself. Exaaly similar, and equally indeterminate, is the language used by the Apostle. After the witnesses had revived and had ascended to heaven in one street, we have no right to assert from the words of St. John that they altogether ceased from prophesying in sackcloth in every otber street, and consequently that their revival synchronizes with the end of the 1260 years. Yet it is upon this mere unauthorized assumption of his own that the whole of Mr. Whitaker's wonder-working argument is founded. If then I be right in conjecturing that the 1260 years terminate in the year 1866, the witnesses may already have been slain, may have revived, and may have ascended to heaven, in some one particular street of the great city; and consequently the prediction may have
been accomplished before the breaking out of the French Revolution: which was the point that Mr Whitaker ventured to deny as “inconsistent with the words of the “ Revelation”*. As for the Pope's slaying the
* Mr. Whitaker has the honour to follow Mr. Mede in his idea of the period when the witnesses are to be slain : but Mr. Mede's reasoning on this point is singularly contradictory. After he has very justly stated, that the Greek ought to be translated cum finituri sint, and not in the past cum finierint; he adds, in the very past tense which he had immediately before rejected, that he believes the slaying of the witnesses to be yet future, “because the times of treading down the holy city “cannot be said to have accomplished their period (periodum
witnesses in the literal Jerusalem at some yet future period, whatever enormities may be perpetrated by tbe Antichristian faction in Palestine, I scruple not to assert that this notion of Mr. Whitaker's rests upon no solid scriptural foundation; because the great city, so far from meaning the literal Jerusalem, means the Roman empire*.
At the end of this fourth argument Mr. Whitaker concludes; but, as he afterwards resumes the con. troversy in a single point which he had not touched on before, I shall follow him to that point before I conclude myself. He denies, that the little born of the Roman beast symbolizes the same power as the second apocalyptic beast, namely the Papacy, because Daniel represents the little born as being an integral part of the Roman empire, whereas St. John represents the two-borned beast as being neither the whole nor an integral part of the Roman empiret. I confess I was somewhat surprized at this objection after reading Mr. Whitaker's own Commentary. He asserts, that the two-borned beast symbolizes two orders of Monks, tbe Anacborets and the Cenobites. Now, unless he will deny that the monastic orders form an integral part of that corrupt bierarchy which we designate by the general name of the Papacy, and that the Papacy forms an integral part of the Roman empire; he must allow, contrary to his present assertion, that the second beast forms
“ suam complevisse) so long as the beast reigns". They doubt, less cannot be said to have accomplished ( complevisse ) it till then; but they certainly may be said to be about accomplishing it ( completura esse) before then. Comment Apoc. in loc. * Letter, p. 89. + Letter, p. 64.
an integral part of the Roman empire: for, if the monastic orders be included in the Papacy, and the Papacy in the empire, the monastic orders must be included in the empire. But, in reality, Mr. Whitaker completely contradicts St. John. As Daniel represents the little born as springing up out of the Roman beast, yet as not being the Roman beast bimself, so does St. John represent the second beast as springing up out of the eartb or Roman empire*, yet as being “another beast" when viewed in relation to the secular Roman beast. This character of an universal empire springing up out of the Roman empire, and yet being altogether distinɛt from that empire; in short, this character of a complete imperium in imperio, with the distinctive marks attributed to tbe second beast; can only answer to the catholic empire of the Pope. Respecting all the objections which I urge to this part of his scheme, Mr. Whitaker is totally silent. To these I will now add another. While he tells us, that the two borns of that beast are tbe Anacborets and the Cenobites, he quite forgets to tell us what the bead is out of which those two borns growt.
* The whole of Mr. Whitaker's objection, that the second beast does not form an integral part of the Roman empire, is founded upon his assumption, which the entire context of the chapter contradicts, that the earth whence the second beast arosedenotes the east.
+ The censure, which Mr. Whitaker bestows upon me for interpreting the character of the second apocalyptic beast as I have done, is another instance of his blaming me for following Mede; notwithstanding he exhibits himself as deeply versed in the writings of that great commentator, and as being a professed defender of his opinions. According both to Mr. Mede and myself, the second beast is the papal bierarchy or the Pope
Mr. Whitaker sums up his conclusion as follows. " Of several other contradictions to the words of " the predictions, and several other incoherences “ which I have not yet noticed in this singular
hypothesis, I had made notes; but in truth I am “ weary of the unpleasant task of exposing mistake:
and, having, I conceive, brought forward suffi" cient proof of his errors to prevent my readers
implicitly receiving those interpretations of Mr. “ Faber's the acceptance of which can lead only to
disappointment, I here gladly stop, and commit
my notes to the fire”*. While I am constrained to admire the singular modesty of this curious passage, I am constrained likewise to observe that I can consider it in no other light than that of a mere controversial flourish. It is not to be supposed that Mr. Whitaker would burn his best arguments, and send out his worst, like a forlorn hope, to fight their way in the world. Hence it may fairly
be concluded, that those, which it has been my lot to encounter, are picked troops. I have now tried their strength: and Mr. Whitaker must pardon me if I say, that, unless he can bring against my “ extensive structure” a better appointed host of besiegers and a heavier train of artillery than he has yet done, I do not expect it to sink to the ground « in undistinguished ruin” in consequence of any attack from the present quarter. at the head of his clergy, "Pontifex Romanus cum suo clero”, (Comment. Apoc. in loc.) Mr. Mede indeed does not positively say, that the second beast is the same as the little horn; but, if the little horn symbolize the Papacy, and if the second beast symbolize the Pape with his clergy, it is not very easy to comprehend the difference between the two symbols.
* Letter, p. 60.
V 2 CHAPTER II.