Page images

angels which are yet to sound. Accordingly at “ the sounding of the fifth trumpet commences the " woe of the Saracen and Arabian locusts; and in " the conclusion is added, One woe is past, and bebold there come two more woes bereafter. At “ the sounding of the sixth trưmpet begins the " sixth trumpet is not yet past, nor the woe of the Turkisbor Otbman empire yet ended*: and “ consequently there is no possibility of explaining " them in such a manner as when the prophecies

plague of the Euphratéan horsemen or Turks; < and in the conclusion it is added, The second

woe is past, and behold, the third woe cometh

quickly. At the sounding of the seventh trumpet " therefore'one would naturally expect a description “ of the third woe to succeed: but, as it was before is observed, there follows only a short and summary " account of the seventh trumpet, and of the joyful " rather than of the woeful part of it. A general " intimation indeed is given of God's taking unto bim bis great power, and destroying them wbo

destroy the earth: but the particulars are reserved * for this place; and, if these last plagues coincide “ not with the last woe, there are ot ber plagues and other woes after the last; and how can it be said “ that the wrath of God is filled up in them, if there “ are others besides them*? If then these seven " last plagues synchronize with the seventh and last trumpet, they are all yet to comet; for the

* It is almost superfluous to point out to the discerning reader, that the Bishop here uses the very argument to prove that the last plagues are last in point of time, which Mr. Whitaker uses to prove that they are not last in point of time. Which has the best of the argument, let even Mr. Whitaker's friend, Dr. Ogilvie, decide; as he seems to make him a kind of umpire, by addressing his pamphlet to him.

+ This was perfectly true, when his Lordship wrote. The question is, whether they have not since begun to be poured out upon the carth or the Roman empire.

may be parallelled with histories, or evinced

by ocular demonstration. The many fruitless " attempts, which have hitherto been made to

explain them, are a farther proof that they cannot “ well be explained, the best interpretations having “ failed and floundered in this part more than in “ any other”+ I had thought that his Lordship had for ever settled the arrangement of the seven vials, until I read Mr. Whitaker's Commentary. but, it seems, I was mistaken: and my opponent, by adopting the scheme of arrangement which the Bishop has so justly and so ably exploded, has added one more to "the many fruitless attempts” of his predecessors in the same line of interpretation. In opposing this arrangement of Bp. Newton however, Mr. Whitaker declares it to be inconsistent," he will not say with sound or sober* criticism, " but even with common sense”+: and the reason he gives is, that the seventb apocalyptic trumpet is that last trump, which is to summon both the quick and the dead to appear before the tribunal of God,

* At the time which I fix for the sounding of the seventh trumpet, namely the year 1792, no politician will be inclined to deny, that the power of Turkey, considered as a woe to Chris. tendom, was no longer very formidable. It is wonderfully remarkable that the war between Russia and Turkey, which has rendered the latter a mere political non-entity, terminated in the year 1790. Thus singularly does the termination of the second woe in the east synchronize with its termination in the west: for the first shock of the great earthquake which overthrew the tenth part of the Roman city or the French monarchy, was in the year 1789, and the last on the 10th of August 1792. Immediately after which, the seventh trumpet sounded on the anarchial 12th of August, and introduced the undisguisedly and atheistical horrors of the reign of the great Antichrist, whose predicted badge was that he should deny both the Father and the Son,

+ Bp. Newton's Dissert, in loc.

* I have already noticed the sense in which Mr. Whitaker wishes his readers to understand this favourite word of his. Whatever accords with his interpretation is sober; whatever does not accord with it is not sober. I have repeatedly differed from that learned prelate Bp. Newton; and, had he been alive, I am persuaded he would have taken no offence at my exercising the common privilege of all writers: for I ever treated his memory with deserved respect; and, while I frankly assigned my reasons for dissent, I never presumed to assert that he was deficient in “sobriety”, still less in “common sense”. It is true, Mr. Whitaker may say, that he directs this polite language to me a mere humble presbyter, and not immediately to the Bishop: but this will serve him in little stead, unless he acknowledges that he never read Bp. Newton's Dissertations, If he has read them with any degree of attention, he must know that in this particular at least I have simply followed his Lordship: nay, unless he has merely looked through my own Dissertation, he must have learned whence I borrowed this part of my scheme. (See my Dissert. Vol. I. p. 39, 40. and Vol. II, p. 318. Mr. Whitaker had this last page immedi. ately under his eye, when he was noticing “the strange “ charge" which he says I bring against him.) In saying therefore that my synchronical arrangement of the seventh trumpet with the seven vials in incompatible, not only with " sound and sober criticism, but even with common sense'!, he must be considered as assailing in no very decorous terms the venerable prelate from whom I explicitly acknowledged having borrowed it.To Mr. Whitaker's abuse I shall never return any answer but calm argument and a simple statement of facts.

+ Letter, p. 60.



of judgment mentioned by St. Paul*, and after which he has never been taughtt to look for any thing but the resurrection and its awful consequen

I have stated the ground of the argument to the best of my judgment, and have endeavoured as much as possible to avoid either misunderstanding or misrepresenting my opponent's view of the subject. I will proceed therefore to state at large the grounds on which I adopted Bp. Newton's arrangement of the seven vialsi.


* 1 Corinth. xv. 52.

+ I am quite at a loss to conceive what books on the Apocalypse Mr. Whitaker can possiby have read, to say that he has never been taught to look for any thing but the resur. rection and its awful consequences after the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

Every protestant expositor that I am acquainted with, from Mede down even to myself, will teach him the very reverse.

# I have to beg Mr. Whitaker's pardon for saying that he was aware, because he explicitly avows in his Letter that he was no such thing. I meant rather to compliment him, than to offend him, by paying this tribute of acknowledgment to his supposed foresight. At the same time I think it right to observe, that he has misunderstood the sense in which I said that the seventh trumpet is represented as beginning to sound before any one of the vials is poured out. I certainly never meant to say, as be seems to have imagined, that the seventh trumpet begins to sound before the successive effusion of the vials, merely because the one is mentioned in Rev. xi, while the others are described in Rev. xvi. My opinion was drawn from the circumstance of the seventh trumpet occupying the same chrono, logical position in the little book, that the seven vials jointly do in the larger book : whence I concluded, with Bp. Newton, that it must synchronize with the seven vials; 'and I could not conceive how it could synchronize with them, unless it so preceded the effusion of the very first as to comprehend them all.


It is manifest that the chronological position of the vials is after the sounding of at least the two first woe-trumpets; for this is absolutely required by

My reasoning at large was as follows. The four chapters of the little book run parallel to each other and equally bring us down to the end of ibe 1260 days and the battle of the vintage. This catastrophé is specially mentioned only in the last of the four chapters: but, from the synchronical position of the seventh trumpet towards the close of the first of the four chapters, it is plain that the blast of it must usher in both the harvest and the vintage : for, the barvest and the vintage being the last detailed events in one synchronical chapter, they must necessarily coincide with the last detailed events in another synchronical chapter: in other words, Rev. xiv. 14-20 must coincide with that description of the effects produced by the seventh trumpet which is contained in Rev. xi. 16-19. The vintage however, which is only touched upon in the little book, is after. wards described at large in the greater book: for that Rev. xiv. 18-20 and Rev. xix. 11-21 relate to the same final overthrow of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth, in some country that extends 1600 furlongs, there cannot be a doubt, as Mr. Mede has fully shewn. But to this final catastrophé the seven vials bring us down: and we have likewise seen that the seventh trumpet must from its synchronical position be considered as bringing us down to the same event. The seventh trumpet therefore must synchronize with the seven vials : but how can it synchronize with them without comprehending them for the harvest and the vintage, which from their synchronical position plainly belong to the seventh trumpet, can only, as Bp. Newton rightly remarks, be referred to the seven vials. If then the seventh trumpet comprehend the seven vials, its earliest blast must be the signal for the effusion of the first vial; and consequently must precede it. The reader will have a clear idea of the propriety of this statement, if he will figure to himself Rev. xi, Rev. xiv, and Rev. ix, xv~-xix, drawn out, side by side, in parallel columns after the nature of a harmony. If the three columns terminate together, as they undoubtedly do, then the last events which they severally describe must necessarily be synchronical.


« PreviousContinue »