Imatges de pÓgina
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"thousand three hundred and five and thirty 66 days." In fimilar terms the Millennium is described by the Apoftle John, Rev. xx. 6. "Bleffed and holy is he that hath part in the "firft refurrection." The difference betwixt this number and "the time, times, and an half," mentioned Dan. xii. 7. or (which is the fame thing) of the 1260 years that close the reign of Antichrift, is juft feventy-five years. And as the firft of the vials is poured out immediately as the seventh trumpet founds, at the clofe of the 1260 years, fo the laft is poured out before the Millennium

Gentiles tread the outer court;-of the 1260 days in which the witnesses prophecy in fackcloth ;-of the 1260 days during which the woman remains in the wilderness; -of the fecond wo, or fixth trumpet.-Now, it is evident to any one who reflects on the ftate of Europe at the prefent moment, that none of these events are accomplished. The Pope still reigns; therefore the 42 months of the beaft are not ended. Popery is the established religion of a great part of Europe; therefore the Gentiles ftill tread the outer court. Proteftanifm is perfecuted in fome parts of Europe; therefore the witneffes ftill prophecy in fackcloth. There is no union betwixt the feveral reformed churches; therefore the woman ftill remains in the wildernefs. The Ottoman empire exifts, a hindrance to civilization, and a fcourge to Chriftianity; therefore the fecond wo is not past. From the whole I conclude, that the seventh trumpet has not yet been founded; fo that, on Fleming's own principles, none of the viale havs yet been poured out.

Millennium begins; therefore the time they occupy is within the feventy-five prophetic years.

SECTION V.

Time of the Destruction of Rome.

THE portion of the above period of feventyfive years belonging to each of the firft four vials, I pretend not to determine. But the laft three being more largely defcribed, the time of pouring them out may be conjectured.

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The fifth vial reprefents the deftruction of the city of Rome. For it is poured out on the feat (or throne) of the Beaft, Rev. xvi. Now, it is faid, Rev. xiii. 2. "The dragon gave him (the beaft) his power, and his feat (or throne), "and great authority:" That is, the devil, who formerly perfecuted the church, by his deputes the Roman Emperors, after their fall, gave Antichrift, not only their power and authority, but likewise their throne, namely, the city of their refidence, to be his refidence; fo that the feat fignifies the imperial city, and the vial poured out on the feat must therefore affect the im perial city.-Rev. xviii. throughout is an enlarged account of the fifth vial; and the fum of it is, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen." It will be allowed, that the terms Babylon and City, as ufed

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ufed in the Apocalypfe, fometimes fignify the empire of Rome, rather than the territory within its walls; but by attending to the ftrain of the narration, particularly to the concluding verfes of the 18th chapter, the unprejudiced must be convinced, that the terms Babylon and City, in that chapter fignify the imperial city, and not the empire; and that the fall defcribed. is final and irrecoverable. Therefore I infer, that the fifth-vial fignifies the final destruction of Rome.

I conjecture, that this event shall take place eighteen years after the lofs of the Pope's temporal fovereignty, that is, in the year 2016. My reasons for this opinion are, first, It must precede the fixth vial, which takes place (as we fhall presently fee) A. D. 2028; secondly, I ob, ferve two remarkable steps in the establishment of the temporal fovereignty. The firft of these was A. D. 756, when the Pope received from Pepin of France a folemn grant of the Exarchate of Ravenna, wrested from the King of the Lombards. The fecond was in the year 774, when Charlemagne overturned the kingdom of the Lombards, and thus effectually established the Pope in the poffeffion of the Exarchate, by deftroying the power of his rival. Betwixt thefe two periods, eighteen years intervene. It is probable, therefore, there may be two periods in

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the fall of the fovereignty corresponding with those in its rise, each measured by a period of 1260 years; fo that if the year 1998 correfponds with the first, the year 2016 will correspond with the fecond. Though the firft ftep gave the Pope a right to the fovereignty, it was only by the fecond he was fecured in the peaceable enjoyment of his kingdom; fo it is probable, that the first step in the fall may deprive him of his right, but the fecond only by deftroying Rome, the bone of contention, fhall effectually prevent all further claims to St. Peter's patrimony.

I am the more inclined to this opinion, because two perfons divinely inspired calculate the feventy years captivity foretold by Jeremiah, (xxv. 11, 12.) from two different periods. Daniel (Chap. ix. 2.) computes from the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, when the captivity commenced, to the first year of the reign of Cyrus, when the captives began to return. Zechariah (Chap. i. 13. and Chap. vii. 1.-5.) reckons from the eleventh year of Zedekiah, which completed the captivity by the ruin of the city and temple, to the fourth year of Darius, in which the return of the captives was fully accomplished. Betwixt these two computations, there is a difference of about eighteen years, yet both are conformable to the truth, and alike pointed out by the fpirit of prophecy.

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SECTION VI.

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Time of the Converfion of the Jews.

THE fixth vial fignifies the conversion of the Jewish nation to Chriftianity. This appears,

Firf, From the expreffions of the apoftles. They are all borrowed from the prophets, and as used by them, they indicate a step preparatory to the return of the Jews from their great difperfion; but that which prepares them for a return, according to the New Teftament, is their receiving by faith the Meffiah, whom they rejected. Thus, "drying up the Euphra"tes," Rev. xvi. 12. is an allufion to the expreffions of Ifaiah, Chap. xi. 15. "And the Lord "fhall utterly deftroy the tongue (bay) of the "Egyptian fea, and with his mighty wind fhall "he fhake his hand over the river, and fhall "fmite it in the feven ftreams, and make men go

over dry-fhod: And there fhall be an high-way ❝for the remnant of his people." And to thofe of Zechariah, (Chap. x. 11.) "And he shall "pafs through the fea with affliction, and fhall

fmite the waves in the fea, and all the deeps "of the river fhall dry up." In both thefe paffages, the expreffions, from their connection with the context, obviously point out a ftep preparatory to the return of the Jews from their K great

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