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forced by the terrors of penal law and unsupported by the Rabbinism of authority, through the fiery blast and generous zeal of His devoted Nonconformists? Behold, Earope convulsed with the wars of the Reformation, behold the boundaries of national exclusion broken up by the inroads of ambition, behold the coalescing mass of society purged of its narrow and illiberal spirit by the powerful operation of a strong antagonist and desperate remedy, republicanism and infidelity, behold, the rights of man palimpsested upon the arrogant pedigrees of legitimacy and right divine, by the fiery careering sword of an elected Plebeian Upstart. He overturns, overturns, overturns, till He comes whose right it is (Ezek. xxi. 27).
The Fifth Vision gives the destruction of the false church, and the resurrection of the true church under the figure of a marriage, the resurrection, because if the marriage signified nothing more than the restoration of the church to its original simplicity, the marriage would have been performed when that simplicity existed.
The Sixth Vision describes the last conflict between the spiritual and carnal sword, between the Word of God and its counterfeit--for no man knoweth the Word of God but the Word of God itself till the last (Rev. xix. 12, 13), notwithstanding men's multiplication of creeds and systems -between a church supported by the Spirit, and a church supported by secular power, when all Mystery and National Churches are overthrown, and the Church of Christ dwells safely without walls, having neither bars nor gates. The church in heaven had been divided into two companies, " the great multitude” of saints who lived before the era of Constantine, called the first-fruits, and the victors over the Roman Emperors and the Popes, who have lived since. The sixth vision describes the resurrection of these, and their establishment in their inheritance on earth, where they had before reigned only after a spiritual manner (Rev. ii. 26, 27; xi. 5, 6). It also describes the resurrection of the rest of the dead, the wicked, Gog and Magog for number, at the end of a millenary of years. The sheep and goats or the wheat and tares which had before grown together, for the Gentiles trod in the holy city, are now separated ; and they now form two distinct geographical and political divisions, the one called the beloved city, which descends from God out of heaven, and the other the nations or Gentiles in the four quarters of the earth without the
city (Rev. xxii. 15), come up from the bottomless pit, where they had been thrust, under their old form and spirit of a dragon with seven heads and ten horns, i. e. subject to the delusions of Paganism or its deceptive sensualities.
The Seventh Vision generalises the two resurrections of the sixth vision under the figure of a general judgment, in which the Sea or world gives up the dead which are in it, both Death and Hades deliver up the dead which are in them, and apportion them their place in the city or in the four quarters of the earth without the city, according to their works. It also describes the descent of the beloyed city, or society of revived and caught-up saints.
The Twelve Visions illustrate each other, their synchronisms or simultaneous events being placed in the Table in a line from the left to the right hand page. The Visions of St. John fill up the outline given by Daniel. There is nothing certain with respect to the verification of the prophetic dates, though our calculation may nevertheless be right. Our Lord's first coming to his temple was foretold as sudden, yet the time had been before accurately foreshown by Daniel (Mal. iii. 1). Our Lord's second coming is also to be, when there is no faith in the earth witb regard to it, yet in the same manner the very year, nay day, may be accurately laid down by the same Wonderful Numberer.
The Prophetic Chronology naturally divides itself into Seven Aras. The First commences with the Union of the Empires of Nineveh and Babylon by Esarhaddon, which includes the Babylonish captivity, and the Jews' subsequent subjection to the Persian Monarchs; the second commences with the restoration of the Jewish Polity under Ezra, which includes the fortunes of the Jewish state under its High Priests and its Asmonean and Idumean princes, during its perturbation from the movements of the Greek, Syrian and Egyptian monarchs, till its final absorption into the Roman Empire; the third commences with the association of the Gentiles into the Abrahamic promissory covenant by the Christian dispensation, which includes the fates of the spiritual seed of Abraham till the subversion of Paganism; the fourth comprises the history elapsing between the establishment of Christianity or the Council of Nice, and the fall of the Western Empire or commencement of the great apostacy; the fifth comprehends the period, generally called the Middle Ages, from the full establishment of the Imperial and Papal ecclesiastical tyranny and the
enthronisation of the Gothic sovereigns in the Empire and the Church, till the crusades against the Saracens and Turks, the fall of the Eastern Empire and the dawn of the Reformation; the sixth is occupied by the wars of Protestantism or civil and religious liberty, the wars of ambition or the balance of power, the wars of republicanism and infidelity, the wars of universal Empire, and the march of intellect; the seventh takes up with the journey of the church home after its purification in the wilderness from its grovelling hankering after secular and pompous establishments and its Egyptian-like mysticism, and wafts us miraculously over the Jordan of death into the promised land of eternity.
The Seals, Trumpets, and Vials are anti-typical. They have reference to the affairs of the ancient Israelitish church “ which happened unto them,” says the apostle, “ for types (TÚTOL)” (1 Cor. x. 11). The opening of the seals of the book by Christ, or delivery of the new dispensation to the world, bas for its type the delivery of the law by God on Mount Sinai. When it bas been delivered by the overthrow of paganism, the people go a whoring after other gods; they “ worship the beast” or Roman emperors typified by the golden calf ; and no sooner has our Lord descended spiritually to administer the economy among them, than incensed at the sight, like Moses broke the tables, dashes the sacred fire of the word among them,
a savour of death unto death in them that perish” by the litigious council of Nice; and, as Moses made the Israelites drink of water mingled with the ground calf, Christ has caused the church's aliment to be tainted by secular admixture ever afterwards (Rev. viii. 3, 5; Exod. xxxii. 7-35). Henceforward Christ is not seen conducting his dispensation, it being committed to his angels, in the same manner as the conduct of the Israelitish church was committed to Jehovah's angel when they worshipped the calf (Ex. xxxii. 34). The trumpets are sounded, therefore, at every stage of the church's progress to the land of eternal inheritance, as was done by the Israelitish church in their journeyings when they lifted up the ark (Numb. x. 1-11). So that when the last trumpet is sounded, we must conclude it is the last stage to it. But the seven trumpets have also reference to the trumpets which were sounded round Jericho, the typical Babylon or false church which falls flat at the last trump, perhaps only one hurlot being saved in it for barbouring or tolerating those messengers of the truth, the two spies or Nonconformist Candlesticks in her church, which they wish to destroy (Josh. ii). May she indeed come out of the “ fore-doomed” and be saved! The sounding of the trumpets will then be the denunciations and protestations of the Nonconformist Candlesticks against the whoredoms of the false church with the civil power or Ten Horned Beast. The Vials have reference to the plagues sent upon Egypt, in order to induce Pharaoh to let the people go and serve their God, typical of those political revolutions in society since the Reformation, which will be the means of inducing the Ten Horned Beast or anti-typical Pharaoh to let the Christian church go and serve the Lord their God without any worldly association with or subjection to him. The Seven Thunders seem to allude to the thunder which confirmed the words of Samuel when he protested against the Israelites for demanding a king in the room of their heavenly monarch, which our Lord also may likewise be said to do at the Reformation, when kings were substituted for the spiritual monarch, whose place the Pope had usurped, against wbich substitution the Nonconformists have been declaiming to the present day, following up by their thunders, as it were our Lord's outcry (Rev. x. 3, 4; 1 Sam. xii. 10). And here I shall quote the words of Dr. Pye Smith, as found in his pamphlet entituled, The Principles of Interpretation as Applied to the Prophecies of Holy Scripture, concerning typical prophecy, as I shall make use of it again, p. 51. “ There was a peculiarity in the inspired writings of the Hebrews, which could belong to no other writings; because it arose out of the religious and political constitution which the author of truth and God of grace was pleased to confer upon them. That constitution was formed upon a principle of subserviency to the spiritual reign of which we have before spoken, the progressive kingdom of the Messiah. Under the Israelitish constitution, Moses, Aaron, David, and the offices themselves of prophet, priest, and king, were types, that is intended resemblances, of circumstances corresponding in the person, the work, and the people of the Messiah. Hence, many descriptions occur in the prophetic parts of the Old Testament, which are applicable to the persons who are their immediate subjects, only in a partial and very imperfect manner ; but which find a complete and satisfactory correspondence to their
FULL meaning, in the Messiah and the new dispensation of which he is the Head. In the application of this principle, the ancient Israelitish Church is repeatedly asserted in the New Testament to be a designed representation of the Christian Church. “ All these things happened unto them for (Tútot) ensamples. The first tabernacle was (Tapaso.n) a figure for the time then present. — Tbe law bad a shadow of the good things which were to come.—Ye are come unto the mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (1 Cor. x. 6, 11; Heb. ix. 8, 9; x. 1; xii. 22).
In the Apocalypse on one side are arranged, Christ and his two nonconformist candlesticks, described p. 151, and on the other the Beast and False Prophet, the former to assert the kingsbip and priesthood of the church as explained, p. 81, and the latter to oppose both. Hence has arisen the importance of knowing particularly who the enemies of Christ and the church are, and arriving at their particular titles. The Apocalypse has afforded us a means of doing so by giving us the number of their names as explained under MARK. Unless we first know the heroes of the plot, it will be folly to attempt to understand the plot itself, and thus the Holy Spirit has called it “wisdom” to know them (Rev. sjii. 18; xvii. 9), which Dr. Pye Smith, in bis pamphlet, has well noticed, when he says:
Striking instances we have in those passages of the last prophetic book of scripture, wbich expressly demand a mind endowed with a peculiar “ wisdom,” in order to understand its mysterious language." A Christian 06server cannot see the importance of my solution. But it is not the first time that unqualified men have written reviews, or interested men have not wished to see the truth. Did not the church-man know, or was it not convenient for him to know, what scourges, and tyrants, and usurpers the Roman emperors, who constitute the Beast, as well as the Popes, or False Prophet, or Teacher, have been in the Church of Christ? The bare mention of the Roman emperors, with his specific title, EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS, coupled with the Popes with his, His HOLINESS OF ROME, is sufficient to strike any candid reader of history with the accuracy of my interpretation. And how important it is for a church-man to shut his eyes against it! For when once it is discovered that the Roman emperor or emperor of the Romans is that Wild Beast which has so long