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so that, at any rate, “it is not an imaginary city" of my own invention; nevertheless, if Mr.
" and, taking the great city for Rome and its empire, he adds, It « is literally true that Jesus Christ was crucified there, even by the “ Roman power. And it is moreover true, that the same Rome, " which crucified Christ in person, crucified him also every “ day in his members. The general meaning of this passage “ is well expressed by Mr. Daubuz: The dead bodies of the “ witnesses shall lie throughout the extent, in the most conspicuous “ places, or the chief and principal parts, of the Antichristian juris. “ di&tion”. (Lowman's Paraph, in loc.) Had Mr. Daubuz said singularly a street or a conspicuous place, as the Apostle does, instead of expressing himself plurally, I should have had nothing to object.
“ In the street of the great city, i. e. in Bohemia, one street of " the papal dominions, or the great city Rome, in a large sense". (Fleming's Apoc. Key, p.41.) I do not think Bohemia to be the street intended; but Mr. Fleming's mode of interpretation in the abstract is the same as my own.
“ It is probable the whole Roman Empire may be here repre. " sented, as one idolatrous and impure city; as elsewhere the Church " of Christ is represented by one pure holy and glorious city!'. (Doddridge's Paraph. in loc.) This analogical argument is excellent.
“ It is a truth which must be held as certain, being one of “ the keys of the Revelation, that the city, the great city, “ signifies in this book, not Rome alone, but Rome in conjunction " with its empire; the name of this great city is Babylon This “ being supposed and proved, that the city is the whole Baby. “ lonish and Antichristian empire, it must be remembered, that “ this empire of Antichrist is made of ten kingdoms and of ten kings, * who must give their power to the beast. A tenth part of the "c city fell; that is, one of these ten kingdoms which make up the “ great city, the Babylonish Empire, shall forsake it Now what “ is this tenth part of the city which shall fall? In my opinion ♡r we cannot doubt that it is France The kings, who yet “ remain under the empire of Rome, must break with her, “ leave her solitary and desolate. But who must begin this “ last revolt? It is most probable that France shall
Whitaker will condescend to exchange sarcasm for sober reasoning, and if he can confute the arguments which I am about to bring forward in proof of the truth of this position, I am very willing to retract. Let the great city in Rev. xi. 8, mean what it may, Mr. Whitaker, I suppose, will not deny that the apocalyptic Babylon denotes Roma in some sense: the question is, whether it denote the city of Rome alone, or the city of Rome in conjunction with the Roman empire. If it so mean the city of Rome as to exclude the rest of the empire, then must all the seven kings of Babylon and the eighth who is one of the seven be sought
~ Seeing the tenth part of the city which must fall is France, " this gives me some hopes that the death of the two witnesses " hath a particular relation to this kingdom. It is the streci " or place of this city; that is, the most fair and eminent part of it''. (Jurieu's Accomp.of the Script.Prophecies, Part II. p. 261267.) I have extracted this citation from Mr. Bicheno's Signs of the times, not having Jurieu at hand, like the other writers whom I quote, to refer to. It is superfluous here to specify the points wherein 1 differ from M. Jurieu: the passage is cited simply to shew what he understood by the great city.
“ Civitatem illam magnam, quæ regnum gerit in reges • terræ, non tam urbem quampiam moenibus cinctam (quan. « quam a tali, ceu acropoli quadam, originem ducere potest), " quam multitudinem sociatam per caput aut capita, utentem " protestate imperandi, tanquam jure metropoleos ostendimus. " Prophetæ metaphoras et ænigmata amant. Ita civitas est a quasi civitas ; forum, quasi forum. Ita Apoc. xi. 8. " Civitas magna, ubi Christus crucifixus est, Romanam ditionem « notat”. Heideg. Myst. Bab. Mag. Tom. I. p. 219.
It might perhaps have been as well if Mr. Whitaker had read a little more on the subject, before he exhibited himself as expecting the thanks of “the sober reader” for saving him the trouble of a commentatorial jaunt into Germany and England.
for, for, not in the empire which the present hypothesis quite shuts out, but in the literal town of Rome and no where else*. According to this statement, I request Mr. Whitaker to point out to me the shortlived seventh king of Babylon. The Exarch of Ravenna, he repliest. Now, exclusive of the utter impropriety of supposing the mere vice-regal Exarch to be the seventh king of Babylon, -even in the extended sense in which I understand the great city Babyloni, he certainly cannot in the sense in which I suppose Mr. Whitaker understands it; for the town of Rome was never the seat of the Exarcb as it was of the first six kings. Nor will he at all mend the matter, if with Forbes he suppose the kingdom of the Ostrogoths to be the seventh king; for Rome was no more the seat of the Ostrogothic princes than of the Exarcbs. Nor yet will he find that Mr. Mede's scheme will help him out of the difficulty; for the western demi-Cesars made Ravenna, not Rome, the seat of their government. Nay even this is not all: if the literal city of Rome be alone meant by the great city Babylon, and if consequently actual residence in Rome be necessary to the character of a king of Babylon (as it must if the rest of the empire be excluded), it will follow, even supposing the Pope to be the eighth king, that the sixth king fell when Constantine removed the seat of government; and therefore that Rome was without a head, till the eighth king made his
appearance in the year 606. If the scheme of confining Babylon to the mere town of Rome answer ill when the secular Babylon is considered, it will answer still worse when the ecclesiastical Babylon is considered. In the Apocalypse, the people of God are solemnly exhorted to come outof Babylon*. This has been usually understood by protestant expositors to mean a strict command to quit the communion of the Church of Rome. That Church however before the Reformation extended even more widely than the whole western empire : consequently the apocalyptic Babylon must extend no less widely. Otherwise, if we suppose it to mean only the literal city of Rome, a solemn exhortation will dwindle away into a most unmeaning prohibi. tion to buy or rent a house in that town, and to make it the place of our abode. Babylon in short I take to be the whole Ronian empire temporal and spiritual, as exhibited to us in a single point of view under the emblem of a barlot riding upon a tenborned beask.
5. With regard to the seven thunderst, it is a matter of no great importance to my main scheme whether they be the same as the seven vials or no. I think it most probable that they are the same, but I did not express myself positively on the subjecti. Mr. Whitaker objects, that the declaration the time shall not be yet cannot relate to the seven thunders, because the apostle tben heard them utter their
* Rev. xviii. 4. + Letter, p. 17.
Dissert. Vol. i. p. 46.
voices. voices. I do not see the force of this objection*. Supposing for a moment that the seven thunders are the same as the seven vials, and that the seven vials belong to the seventb trumpet, the sounding of them will then chronologically follow the second woe, with a description of which the 9th chap.concludest: in that sense therefore St. John heard them. But he was commanded to seal them up and to write them not, because the time for unsealing them was not yet, but in the days of the voice of the seventb angel; which (so far as his detail was concerned) St. John had not yet arrived at, having to go back (as Mr. Whitaker himself justly thinks) to the beginning of the first woe-trumpet in the west I. As soon however as he has brought us down to the point which he had before reachedl, he resumes the
* Neither would Mr. Mede have been able to see it. He supposes the seven thunders to be contemporary with the seventh " trumpet as I do, although he arranges the seven vials differently. He has expressed himself far more positively, than I have thought it prudent to do. “Neque non tubæ septimæ " contemporare possunt", scil. septem tonitrua. Comment Apoc. in Tub. vii.
See Dissert. Vol. II. p. 317. Note. Mr. Whitaker (and I believe very properly) supposes the first woe to sound in the year 606. This introduces Mohammedism in the East, and Popery in the West. The prophet has done with the history of the eastern apostasy; he therefore goes back to the commencement of the parallel history of the western apostasy or the tyranny of the two beasts.
|| In absolute strictness of speech, St. John at the close of the little book had gone beyond it, because, the little book treats of the whiole period of the 1260 days. See Dissert. Vol. I. p. 48.