« AnteriorContinua »
degrees of the fame punishment inflicted on the. fame fubject, and cannot be feparated: they are perfectly distinct as to their nature and object from the fecond wo, and therefore ought not to begin till the fecond wo ended; for it is faid, "The fecond wo is paft, the third wo "cometh quickly.”
Fourthly, By Mede's rule, the marks inferted in the prophecy, it is evident, that all the vials follow the feventh trumpet, and that none precede it. Thefe internal marks may be fitly compared to the corresponding loops in the curtains of the tabernacle; by obferving them, the Levites difcovered the place of each separate curtain and joined them together, fo as to form one whole tent. So by thefe marks, the attentive reader is able to discover the place of each feparate vision, whether it carries on the feries of the prophecy, or gives à collateral reprefentation of times already mentioned, and to connect them fo as to form one continued prophecy. Now I find, that after the feventh trumpet founds, Rev. xi. 15. and a brief summary is given of the events contained in it, in the three following verfes, it is faid, verf. 19. "I "faw the tabernacle of the temple of God in "heaven opened." This expression I confider as a mark inferted, like the loop in the edge of the
the curtain, where the series of the narration is broken off. Accordingly, the fame words are repeated, Rev. xv. 5. like the correfponding loop in the edge of the other curtain, then it is faid, "And the feven angels came out of the "temple, having the seven plagues,” vers. 6.; which fhews, that the first of these vials follows after the founding of the feventh trumpet. That these two verses compared together imply fo much, I argue thus: None of thefe vials could be poured on the earth till the angels to whom they were entrusted came out of the temple; nor could the angels come out of the temple until it was opened, as appears from chap. xv. 1.; but the temple was fhut during the forty-two months of Antichrift's reign, and was opened only at the founding of the seventh trumpet, chap. xi. 19.; therefore all the vials follow after the founding of the seventh trumpet '.
It may not be improper to examine the reafons which induced Mede to conclude, that the first fix vials are contemporary with the fixth trumpet, and the seventh vial with the founding of the seventh trumpet. He had very properly obferved, that the forty-two months of the
(1) See further on this fubject, in Newton's Differtation on Prophecies, vol. ii. p. 302. 9th edit. Likewife Durham on the Revelation, p. 227. 4to edit.
beaft's reign end with the close of the fixth trumpet, and that the vials are plagues on the beaft and his followers. Then taking it for granted, that the beaft could have no existence after the forty-two months were finished, he concluded that the vials must have been previously poured out, in order to bring him to his end, and confequently must have fallen in with the time of the fixth trumpet, beyond which the forty-two months do not extend. But the error of his reafoning confifts, in fuppofing that the beaft has no existence after the forty-two months are finished. These mark (as we have feen) the duration of his temporal fovereignty. Now, as he acquired an extenfive fpiritual fupremacy previous to the temporal fovereignty, so after he is deprived of the temporal fovereignty, he shall retain a great measure of his fpiritual fupremacy, for the reduction of which the vials are poured out. The temporal fovereignty is but the pedestal on which the idol of fpiritual fupremacy was reared. After the pedestal is removed, the idol ftands on its own legs, till by the repeated blows of Divine vengeance, represented by the vials, his very exiftence is annihilated '.
(1) I am aware that an objection will occur to many againft this reafoning. Fleming (in his difcourfe concern
The place of the vials in the series of events being thus discovered, the time they take up, or, in other words, the period which elapfes from the founding of the feventh trumpet, when they begin, to the commencement of the Millennium,
ing the fall of the Papacy) applies the fourth vial to the fall of the French monarchy; and conjectures fuch fall fhall take place in the year 1794. If the powers of Eu-, rope fhould this year acknowledge the independence of the French republic, Fleming's conjecture would be there, by established: And his application of the vial thus ful-, filled will appear to many a more forcible argument for his, interpretation than any reasons I can offer, to prove that, none of the vials are yet poured out. In anfwer to this. objection, I obferve, that Fleming builds his conjecture on two grounds: The one is the fourth vial, which I confider to be a misapprehenfion; the other is, that there are correfponding points in the rife and fall of the Papacy, each of them measured by a period of 1260 prophetic years. Proceeding on this ground, he obferves, that Juftinian leftRome to the management of the Pope in the year 552; adding to thefe 1260 prophetic, or 1242 civil years, brings us down to the year 1794, when he fuppofes the French monarchy, the great fupport of the Papacy, fhall fall. Hear his own words: "Whereas the prefent French king "takes the fun for his emblem, and this for his motto, "Nec pluribus impar, he may at length, or rather his fuc"ceffors, and the monarchy itself, at leaft before the year "1794, be found to acknowledge, that, in respect to "neighbouring potentates, he is even Singulis impar."
lennium, when they end, appears to be exactly feventy-five prophetic years. For it is highly probable, that the commencement of the Millennium is intended by Daniel xii. 12. "Blef"fed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the "thousand
"But as to the expiration of this vial, I do fear it will "not be until the year 1794. The reafon of which conjec"ture is, that I find the Pope got a new foundation of "exaltation when Juftinian, upon his conqueft of Italy, left "it in a great measure to the Pope's management, being "willing to eclipfe his own authority to advance that of "this haughty prelate. Now this being in the year 552, "this, by the addition of 1260 years, reaches down to the "year 1811, which, according to prophetic accounts, is "the year 1794." Should, therefore, Fleming's conjecture be eftablished by the event, it will not militate against my reafoning; because his calculation is founded on quite another principle, which I do not controvert.
Again, Fleming's general principle refpecting the vials is the fame with mine. He fuppofes that all the vials follow after the founding of the feventh trumpet. Only in this we differ; he fuppofes the era of the feventh trumpet to be past, at the Reformation. I fuppofe it is still future, and that it shall take place about the close of the twentieth century. At any rate, that it is ftill future, will appear with convincing evidence to one who reflects, that five contemporary events precede immediately the founding of the feventh trumpet, of which not one is fully accomplished hitherto. Thefe events are, The end of the 42 months of the beaft;-of the 42 months in which the Gentile