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 hereafter. At “ the sounding of the sixth trumpet begins the “ 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 os destroy the earth: but the particulars are reserved " for this place; and, if these last plagues coincide “ not with the last woe, there are other 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,

" sixth trumpet is not yet past, nor the woe of the " Turkish or Othman empire yet ended*: and “ consequently there is no possibility of explaining " them in such a manner as when the prophecies “ 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"'t 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.

* 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.

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”t: and the reason he gives is, that the seventh apocalyptic trumpet is tbat last trump, which is to summon both the quick and the dead to appear before the tribunal of God,

* 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.

and and beyond which “he has never been taught to “ look for any thing but the resurrection and its " awful consequences”. Accordingly he takes occasion in another part of his pamphlet to say that “ the more he reflects on the subject, the more " astonished is he, that a writer of Mr. Faber's “ investigation and abilities should fall into a “ mistake so gross and so open to profane ridicule”*, as to fancy that the seventh trumpet, from the account which the apostle gives of it, can have any connection with the French revolution. To this it might be sufficient to answer, that I am unable to discover how my exposition lays me more open to profane ridicule, than Mr. Whitaker's does bim. · Let the seventh trumpet sound when it may, it is represented as a great woe, one at least as great as either of its two predecessors. And is Mr. Whitaker prepared to say, that, when “the " Lord God hath taken to himself his great power .66 and reigneth”, a third woe commences to the full as bad as either the rise of Mohammedism or the devastation of the Turks? If such be his opi. nion, why does he pray, that the kingdom of God may come? But I am little disposed to let the matter drop with a mere retort. Mr. Whitaker has mistaken this part of his subject in a manner that I should once scarcely have thought possible. Mede, with whose writings he professes to be so well acquainted, aware that the seventh trumpet is styled a woe, and aware likewise that it is repre. sented as being of a mixed nature, supposes it to coincide with the seventh vial and to extend

[ocr errors]

But may, that the auch be his

** Letter, p. 60.


through the whole period of the Millennium*. Under this vial he justly arranges the battle of Armageddon, or the downfall of Babylon both secular and ecclesiastical; considering that awful event to be the beginning, or (if I may use the expression) tbe woe-part, of the seventh trumpet. When that is over, then commences its joyful part, when the kingdoms of the world are made the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. He supposes it to terminate with the loosing of Satan, and the war of Gog and Magog: After this, takes place the universal resurrection both of the just and of the unjustt. I believe Mr. Mede to be very right in his general idea of the nature of the

* Quinque ad minimum phialarum effundunter ante desitum

sexte tubæ clangorem; credo quod etiam sexta: phiala vero " septima, quæ consummationis phiala est, proinde concurret cum " initio tubæ septimia, que itidem consummationis tuba est”. Clav, Apoc. Par. Alt. Synch. III.

:: He has with much Perspicuity explained his idea in the large plate of synchronisms at the end of his Clavis. To that it will be sufficient to refer the reader, who is unacquainted with Mede's writings: for him, who is acquainted with them, any reference is unnecessary.

* It appears however to myself to be more natural to suppose, that the seventh trumpet ceases to sound at the commencement of the Millennium when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of God and of his Christ, than that it continues to sound during the whole period of the Millennium. Its woe-part I understand to be the harvest and the vintage: its joyful part I understand to be the conversion and restanation of the whole Israel of God, and the in-gathering of all the heathens into the Millennian church. When all these objects are accomplished, which they will be at the beginning of the Millennium, then, I should conceive, the seventh trumpet may be considered as having performed its office.


« PreviousContinue »