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the church. (320) And it is a convincing proof that the millenary conversion to the genuine truth of the gospel had not been absolutely universal, but that antichristianism must still have had a footing on earth, during the whole time of the saints reigning, and in a figure of speech, possessing the kingdom under the whole beaven. The genial warmth of the sun of righteousness either never reached these remote regions of immoveable ignorance, or was soon chilled again by the freezing cold of infidelity, and bigotry to old errors; or, by the arts of Satan, constrained now to exercise his diminished talents chiefly in those inhospitable seats of barbarism. Thus in whatever point of view we consider the millennium, even as it is represented by St. John, in a very extraordinary figure, all the circumstances of it resolve themselves into natural occurrences ; and cannot be accounted for, without violence to reason, upon any other conception of it than as a natural occurrence, brought about by the providence of God, and fulfilling the long and often predicted purposes of mercy to his people Israel.

(320) r& #yn in rzi. t{zzagra ywial, rn, yn; to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters (quatuor angulis) of the earth. The change of stile here in his description of the earth, at this far advanced time of the prophecy, seems to confirm my re

mark in a note at page 92, and 104.

Only three divisions of the earth were known to the ancients, America, the fourth, being a modern discovery. St. John in describing the effects of the seventh seal, which relate to the plagues of the western Roman empire and its fall, speaks of it as the third part of the world.—Rev. viii. 7, 8, 9, &c. And so again in the plagues of the eastern empire by the Saracens and Turks.-Rev. ix. 15, 18. But when Gog shall appear the geographical knowledge of a fourth division of the earth will be in common use, and to the ideas of that time the prophetical description is now accommodated.

WOL. III. 3 N

The introduction of the millennium by a resurrectionary kingdom of faints, is therefore to be considered as an hieroglyphic of the church, expressive of her great transition from the most extreme horrors of persecution, in the last prevailing efforts of popery and atheism, to as great a victory, and the secure enjoyment of an unexampled state of prosperity, accompanied with a singular purity of doctrine and manners for many ages. I have already noticed two instances of St. John's use of this hieroglyphic, drawn from the

realms of the dead, to express great and beneficial changes in the religious and political relations of the church, of a similar nature with this, the last and most important of all, and the subject of many prophecies, as being in fact the accomplishment of the long expected restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Acts i. 6. There are four such to be found in the Apocalypse, all applied by St. John in a similar manner, to express revolutions of a like description. For to change the hieroglyphic, and use a different one, when the thing to be presented to the imagination is the same as before, would only tend to confusion.—Rev. vi. 9; vii. 13; xi. 11; xi. 15; xiv. 13; xix. 7; xx. 4; xxi. 9.

The first that occurs is the vision of the souls under the altar, Rev. vi. 9, and it relates to the reformation from paganism under Constantine. The happy consequences of it, in the victory and peace of the church, shortly after, are represented by a vision of blessed souls walking under the protection of the Lamb, in the enjoyment of a comparative millennium, or reign of Saints.-Rev. vii. 13, 14, &c. ' The second is the proclamation of peace to the departed souls of the faithful, Rev. xiv. 13, by which the next great ara of rest to the church, and her releasement from the errors of popery, is foreshewn.—The third is the resurrection of the dead bodies of the witnesses, slain in the last great persecution under the THIRD BEAST, and the false prophet, and the dragon ; indicating a great and quite unexpected revolution, favorable to the fallen and oppressed church, Rev. xi. 1 1. This is still future, but cannot be very distant from our times, and probably synchronizes with the resurrection of the saints, Rev. xx. 4, being designed to give a description of the commencement (or melancholy part) of this prophecy chiefly; the happy and joyful part being reserved for another vision. Fourth and last, is the resurrection and reign of the saints, Rev. xx. 4, or the full and final rest of the church, by the destruction and binding of all hostile power of her former enemies, which is in every point of view so extensive and glorious, that all former rest was but as a type and shadow of this. These four are all bicroglyphics of a similar nature, and like significancy; and all drawn from the realms of the dead, and (no doubt) all to be interpreted in a manner consistently with the general spirit and tenor of this mystical book, which is en- ' tirely an allegorical or figurative prophecy from beginning to end.

If these things be maturely considered and compared, there does not seem any thing so very extraordinary in the vision of souls at the first resurrection, Rev. xx. 4, more than what we have seen before in three other visions of souls. For if it be somewhat more strikingly represented, or more strongly worded, the events to which it relates are of proportionably greater importance, and have been prophetically revealed in other prophecies very numerous, by figurative expressions of the most extraordinary kind, and by Ezekiel and St. Paul, under images the very fame as this.Ezek. xxxvii. 11; Rom. xi. 15. Yet it is clear that their prophecies do not relate to a literal but a figurative resurrection.

The revelation of “the kingdom of heaven,” as our Saviour calls the gospel dispensation,

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