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trees, which branch on each side from it, are expressly said to be the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. And it does, we think, lamentably degrade the meaning of these glorious types to imagine them representative either of any two individual men, collective bodies of men, or eastern and western churches, except it be on the account of God's union with collective bodies of men, as members of the universal church. Besides, supposing Dr. W's conjecture to be just, as to the two witnesses representing the afflicted members of the eastern and western churches groaning under the oppressive tyranny of Mahometan, and, lamentable to state, Christian persecution, from opposing sectaries, (and certainly is, in a figurative sense, a just conjecture, if we consider the two witnesses as representative not only of Christ, but also of the collective members of Christ's body, the church,) yet admitting this to be a true representation of the vision beheld by St. John, how are the two anointed olive-trees, displayed to the prophet, to be interpreted and disposed of? (and that the Old and New Testament visions were one and the same vision, Dr. W., by implication, clearly allows.) For it is highly improbable that the two anointed olive-trees beheld by Zechariah could be designed to typify the eastern and western churches, under the Christian dispensation. The only view in which they can be considered as depictive of holy sanctuaries is that we have already stated, namely, the union of the Trinity with holy sanctuaries. The Mosaic institution was only prefigurative of the Christian one; and whilst the temporary tabernacle was ambulatory in the wilderness, we know from whence those who therein did worship derived their spiritual sustenance-how the blest olive-oil was administered to them,—" For they did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ,”—“ who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” Therefore, in this point of view, the types in question may be considered as representative not only of the glorious Trinity, but also of its union with holy sanctuaries. The two visions are unquestionaly one and the same vision; and, as Joseph observed respecting Pharaoh's two dreams, if the dreams were one, the interpretation was one; so, in like manner, if the visions are one, the interpretation is one also.
It therefore only now remains to inquire, how far the characters of the two witnesses described in the Apocalypse are correspondent with the two anointed ones; that is, with God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. It is first observable, that the occasion on which the vision was imparted to St. John, was very similar to that on which it was imparted to Zechariah : that under the Old Testament was to encourage the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem, and the reestablishment of the Jewish religion ; that under the New, was to support the Christian church under its destruction, and the subsequent afflictions that awaited them, namely, the holy city being given to the Gentiles, to be trampled under foot forty and two months—for the space of forty and two prophetical months, or twelve hundred and sixty days. But that at the conclusion of that period, true religion would again revive and be established. " And I will give power unto my two witnesses :" these are spoken of in terms of as complete equality as are God the Son and God the Holy Ghost; and therefore, in this instance answer the description of these blessed, glorious persons; and the appellation of witnesses is also precisely that affixed unto these highly exalted beings. Jesus Christ is styled the “ faithful witness,” (Rev. i. 5 ;) his works bear witness of him. (John x. 25.) He likewise himself remarks, It being written in the Jewish law, (viii. 17,) that the testimony of two men is true, that He is one who bears witness of himself, and that the Father who sent him beareth witness of him, rendering the title of witness even applicable to paternal Deity. The very end for which Christ was born, and the very cause for which He came into the world was, that he should bear witness to the truth. (John xviii. 37.) The Spirit of truth, which is the Holy Ghost, he testifies of Christ. (John xv. 26.) “It is the Spirit that beareth witness of him, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 John v. 6.) And he“ witnesseth in every city.” (Acts xx. 23.) It is He also who beareth witness to our spirits that we are the children of God. “And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost.” (v. 32.) And when a celestial voice was heard from heaven, proclaiming,
« Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord,” the Holy Ghost bare witness to the consoling truth; "yea, saith the Spirit, they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.”
We therefore conceive, that the title of God's two witnesses is strictly applicable to God the Son and God the Holy Ghost : “ And I will give power unto my two witnesses”—this again completely corresponds with the scriptural relation of these hallowed dignities. All power is given to the Son of God, both in heaven and in earth; all power is also given to the Holy Ghost : He is the gracious Giver of all spiritual gifts and graces, and has power to dispose of these to every man severally as He will : “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” That both filial and consoling Deity are authors of all prophecy is scarce needful to remark:
And they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."
The chapter on which we are now commenting, commences by stating that the holy city should be trodden under foot of the Gentiles forty and two months. Pity is an attribute of deity itself; can we therefore suppose, that during this afflictive era, He who died to save the world, and who never willingly afflicts his people, is an unmoved spectator ? that He, who in tears pronounced the prophecy contained in the chapter under comment, remains unmoved during the period of its accomplishment ? " When Jesus beheld the city, he wept over it, saying, If thou
hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes ; for the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a' trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another : and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Or can we suppose that He, (that is, the Holy Ghost,) who intercedes for saints with unutterable groanings, is unconcerned at these sad, dire events? These therefore may, we think, with strict propriety, be figuratively said to prophesy, or in other words, to behold the fulfilment of these particular prophecies to which this relation alludes, clothed in sackcloth during the sad, distressing period of their accomplish- . ment. Although these are the two olive-trees and candlesticks, the two benign bright luminaries, standing before the God of the whole earth, notwithstanding their transcendent elevation, they are pitiful and merciful, and with deep concern behold the sorrows, which, in their boundless wisdom, they have seen fit should take place upon our globe. But if any man will hurt them, (that is, the cause which they espouse,) fire proceedeth out of their mouths, and devoureth their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Dr. Wi's comment is as follows: “ We learn from the word of God, and the history of the