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but wonder that Mr. Whitaker, who represents himself as being so conversant with the works of our truly venerable predecessor*, should bestow a compliment upon me, which is due only to bimt. After all, highly as I value the works of Mr. Mede, I can discover neither much exuberance of fancy, nor any peculiar ingenuity of exposition, in his considering the Turkish armies to be tbose waters of . the mystic Euphrates which inundated the eastern empire. If the Euphrates denote the Ottoman power, I know not what its waters can be except the Ottoman people In Isaiah xix, the subversion of the Egyptian government is exhibited to us under the imagery of the drying up of the waters of the Nile. The prophet no where tells us, that by its waters he means the Egyptians, whom he represents the Lord as giving over into the hand of a fierce king; yet Mr. Whitaker will scarcely deny that
* Letter, p. 2. + “ Quidni jam pari ratione Euphrates iste phialarum de " Turcis acciperetur? non minus utique quam Assyrii, " Euphratis, ante exundationem suam, accolis, imo ejusdem " tractûs incolis. Huc non parum facit, quod solutionem « ingentis illius et diu vincti ad magnum flumen Eupbratem “ exercitûs equestris, ad sextæ tubæ clangorem, de Turcis inde " in orbem Romanum exundaturis, tubarum seriem reique con. "..cinnam veritatem secuti, interpretati sumus. Per sextam " igitur phialam exsiccabitur diluvium isthoc Euphrateum". (Com. ment. Apoc. in Phial, vi.). Unless I greatly mistake the meaning of this passage, Mr. Mede considers The Turks of the sixth trumpet as the waters of the mystic Euphrates which deluged the Roman world; and thence very forcibly, I think indeed incontrovertibly, argues, that the exhaustion of those same waters under the sixth vial must, upon every principle of symbolical analogy, denote the overthrow of the Turkish monarchy.
he does mean them. So St. John no where tells us, that by ibe waters of tbe Eupbrates he means tbe armies of tbe four sultanies: yet Mr. Mede did not conceive himself to depart very remotely from the unvarnished declaration of the prophecy in speaking of them as a vast flood erundated from tbe Eupbrates into tbe eastern empire.
3. Since Mr. Whitaker very handsomely acknowledges, that, in bringing forward some specific numbers connected with the 8th chapter of Daniel, I have been happier than himself, and offers me his sincere thanks for the information and satisfaction I have therein given him; it will be sufficient for me to return him mine for his politeness, which I here with much pleasure do*.
4. But, when he maintains that the boly city and the great city, mentioned in the 11tb chapter of the Revelation, both mean alike tbe literal Jerusalem, I am compelled to adhere to my former positive dissent from this position. The treading of the apocalyptic boly city under foot is limited to 1260 years; and therefore plainly synchronizes (as Mr. Whitaker himself very justly observes) with the times of the ten-borned beast, the propbesying of the witnesses, and the abode of the woman in the wildernesst. But the treading of the literal Jerusalem under foot is not limited to 1260 years, nor did it begin to be trodden down by the Persians; on the contrary our Lord himself plainly teaches us, that we are to consider it as beginning to be trodden down when sacked by the Romans under Titus, which took place upwards of seventeen centuries ago;
Letter, p. 12.
+ Letter, p. 13.
and that it will continue to be trodden down, till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and till the Jews are restored to their own land*. Hence it is manifest, that, even if Jerusalem had been taken by the Persians in the year 606 instead of the year 614, Mr. Whitaker would not have been any nearer establishing his point; for the literal Jerusalem would not then have begun to be trodden down of the Gentiles, nor could the period of its treading down be limited to 1260 years, computing those years from its capture by the Persians, when it had already been taken by the Romans more than five centuries before. The sum of the matter is this: the apocalyptic holy city is to be trodden down of the Gentiles 1260 years: the literal boly city has already been trodden down of the Gentiles 1736 years, and will continue in that state till their times are fulfilled: tbe apocalyptic boly city therefore cannot mean the literal Jerusalem: and, if it do not mean the literal Jerusalem, it is not easy to say what it does mean except the spiritual Jerusalem or the Church of Christ. And, accor. dingly, it is so understood by Mede, the two News tons, Fleming, Lowman, Brightman, Doddridge, and even the Jesuit Cornelius á Lapide; none of whom ever dreamt that the literal Yerusalem could possibly be meant by the apocalyptic holy city. Yet, while Mr. Whitaker seems very angry at my ever presuming to differ from Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton, he most unreasonably requires the same unlimited submission to his own dissent from them, as to his assent to them. This interpretation of his
even increases in difficulty, as he advances in his dissent from every commentator (to the best of my recolleaion at least*) that it has been my fortune to meet with. If tbe boly city mean tbe literal Jerusalem, then must the literal Jerusalem be the exclusive stage on which tbe witnesses prophesy. But how does Mr. Whitaker manage this matter? “ As the emblem of some worshippers continuing in “ the temple and about the altar has in the west met “ with its antitype in the pure doctrine of tbe “ Gospel been retained by some, spite of the general “ apostasy, so in the east it has done the same in “ permission baving been granted to Christians still “ to worship at Jerusalem- From this period “ (A. D. 614) with little interruption has the city “ been in the hands of the enemies of the Gospel; “ but, with this attendant circumstance, that in the “ midst of it, even while thus possessed by their “ adversaries, the Christians have retained a place “ of worship’t. Now, if the apocalyptic boly city be the literal Jerusalem, what can the worshippers in the temple and about the altar have to do with the protestants in the West? If however tbe western confessors be not in part at least denoted by the witnesses, and I see not how they can upon Mr. Whitaker's scheme, which makes the prophecy
* I can vouch for those whose names I have mentioned. Yet does Mr. Whitaker represent his Commentary as “ a course “ of sober however little novel interpretation”, and shrewdly hints that my Dissertation is one of those ephemeral theories which serve only to invelope the subject in confusion, (Letter, p. 67.)
t Comment. p. 187.
altogether altogether local : then must the witnesses be confi. ned entirely to the precincts of the literal Jerusalem, and solely represent that handful of Christians who from the year 614 to the present day have there “ retained a place of worship". Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
It may seem almost unnecessary to notice whạt Mr. Whitaker says relative to the synchronism of Jeremiah; because, even supposing that the Persians had taken the literal Jerusalem in the year 606 instead of the year 614, he would have been no nearer proving that it is meant by the apocalyptic holy city*. Nevertheless I think it expedient to point out what a very little degree of parallelism there is between the synchronism of Jeremiah and those of Daniel and St. John. "All these nations”, says Jeremiah, “ shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years”.
This Bp. Lowth most justly explains as follows. “ Some of them were conquered sooner, some later; " but the end of this period was the common term “ for the deliverance of them all". Here we are to observe, that the prophet does not particularize the nations, and severally teach us that this nation and that nation and the other nation are each to serve the king of Babylon 70 years: he merely intimates in general terms, that, considered as one great whole, they shall jointly serve him during that period. Now, had the same mode of expression been used by Daniel and St. John; had we been taught in a single general sentence, that the times of the beast, the little born, the treading down of the boly city, the prophesying of the witnesses, and the abode of the
* Letter, p. 13.