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dreadful persecution of paganism, as having assumed a livid cadaverous hue, as bestridden by death, and pursued by hell, as experiencing the excision of a fourth part of her members throughout the whole Apocalyptic earth or the Roman empire, and we may add as falling into danger of the second death through constrained apoftacy. The fifth exhibits to us the souls of the martyrs ; and represents their blood, like that of Abel, as crying to God for vengeance upon their perfecutors. And the fixth symbolically describes the overthrow of paganisin and the establishment of Christianity.
The seventh seal introduces the septenary of the trumpets. We are now arrived at the days of Constantine : but St. Paul had predicted, that a great apostacy should take place, and that a power which he styles the man of hin should be revealed, after he that letted, or the Western Roman empire, had been taken out of the way. In exact accordance with this prophecy of St. Paul, St. John proceeds to describe under the four first trumpets the removal of him that letted ; and then, at the founding of the fifth, the great apostacy in both its branches commences in the self-fame year, and the man of fin is revealed.
Such is the interpretation, which I give of this part of the Apocalypse, and which appears to me to accord better with its probable chronological arrangement than that brought forward by the Archdeacon.
2. After my general objections to the Archdeacon's arrangement, it may be almoft superfluous to state, that, if there be any cogency in thofe objections, his application of the fifth trumpet or the first woe to the Gnostics must be deemed inadmissible. Yet, since he has objected to the common exposition of this trumpet as relating to the rise of Mohammedism and the ravages of the Saracens, it may be expedient to say a few words on the subject.
The Archdeacon supposes, that the fixth trumpet or the second woe does not relate exclusively to the Turks, as most modern commentators have imagined, but to all the professors of Mohammedism, Saracens as well as Turks; and consequently that it begins to found in the year 606, whence the rise of Mohammedism is most properly dated. Such an exposition of the two first woes does not seem to me to accord with the Archdeacon's own very excellent principle of homogeneity. In addition to the fifth and fixth trumpets being alike styled woes, the prophecies contained under each of them bear a moft ftriking resemblance to each other, insomuch that there is nothing else in the whole Apocalypse that is at all fimilar either to the one or to the other of them. Yet, besides their being represented as successive and as constituting two distinct woes, there is a fufficient degree of difference between them to shew plainly that they can. not relate precisely to the same people and the same event. Now, independent of the Gnostics not harmonizing with the chronology of the Apocalypse (if there be any force in my general objection,) I cannot but think homogeneity violated by referring the one prophecy to the Gnostics and the other to the Muhammedans. There is a greater difference be. tween the actions of the Gnostics and the actions of the Mohamme lans, than the obvious fimilarity of the two predictions will warrant ; and at the same time there is a less triking resemblance between their principles, than the predictions seem to require. The actions of the Gnoftics and the
actions of the Mohammedans were totally unlike ; and I can see no reafor why the principle of the Gnoftics should be thought to resemble those of the Mohammedans more than the principles of many other Christian beretics. But, in the case of the Saracens and the Turki, we exactly find at once the required fimilarity and the required diffimilarity : and, while homogeneity is thus preferved in violate, the chronology of the Apocalypse (fuppofing it to be, as I have attempted to prove it to be, one continued vifon) re. mains perfectly unbroken. With so much in favour of Mede's interpretation, I cannot feel my faith in it shaken by the Archdeacon's objections. I fully agree with him, that the fallen far of the fiftb trumpet cannot mean Mohammed: but this objection is removed by the interpretation which I have given of it. His three next objections do not feem to me infurmountable. The symbolical darkness of the fifth trumpet I do not conceive to mean the darkness of preceding heresies : it began to issue out of the bottomless pit or hell, when the false prophet retired to the cave of Hera to vent his impofture. I cannot see, why we are bound to conclude that the darkness muft extend to the whole christian world, merely because it is said that the sun and the air were darkened ; any more than we ought to fuppose the whole natural world darkened, because a great smoke darkened the fun and the air to the inhabitants of a particular country. The regions, in which the Waldenses most flourish. ed, certainly did escape in a remarkable manner the incursions of the Saracens ; and I think, with Bp. Newton, that this escape is a sufficient fulfilment of the prophecy. The fifth objection is invalid, fuppofing the prediction to relate to the Saracens in particular, and not to the Mobammedans in general. The Saracens indeed subfifted as a nation more than 150 years, just as the Gnoftics continued as a sect more than 150 years; but they subfifted as an unsettled nation, answering to the character of a woe inflicted by locusts, exactly 150 years. In the fixth objection there is some weight, but I cannot allow it to counterbalance the arguments in favour of Mede's interpretation. In prophecies avowedly descriptive we not unfrequently meet with a mixture of the literal with the symbolical. Thus, in the final battle of Armageddon, if we compare the description of it with other parallel prophecies, Christ is probably a literal character, the kings of the earth and their armies are certaisly literal characters, and the beaft is just as certainly a symbolical character. Apply this remark to the Archdeacon's objection, that commenta. tors, in order to refer the fifth trumpet to the Saracens, sometimes expound it literally and sometimes symbolically ; and perhaps it may not be thought wholly unanswerable.
So again : whatever might have been the state of the Turkishe nation before it is mentioned by St. John, it was certainly, immediately before the period of its supposed introduction into the Apocalypse, divided into four sultanies ; and those four fultanies were feated upon the Euphrates : whereas the rise of Mohammedism from the cave of Hera in Arabia can by no ingenuity be transferred to the Euphrates. It is not sufficient to say, that the Saracens were at a subfequent period feated upon the Euphrates : a prophecy relating to the rise of Mohamedism, must commence from Arabia.† With regard to the propriety of considering the Saracens and the Turks as woes, the Archdeacon cannot object to it even according to his own definition of a woe :$ for
P. 249, 250, 231,
* P. 271.
| Pref. p. xvii.
surely the rapid propagation of Mohammedism by the Saracens, and its eflab. lifbment by the Turks, may well be considered as two heavy woes to the Christian Church ; especially if we take into the account the contemporary rise and establishment of the western apostacy. On the same ground, neither can he object to the interpretation which I have given of the third wae, as ushering in the open developement of French athei/m and anarchy. But I much doubt whether his idea of the three Apocalyptic woes be perfectly accurate. They are woes to “the inhabiters of the earth."'* But the inhabiters of the earth are not the pure church, but the idolatrous inhabitants of the Roman empire. Accordingly, all the woes, supposing the feven vials to constitute jointly the third woe, are represented as punishments inflicted both upon the eastern and western Romans.f The sense, which the Archdeacon affixes to the Apocalyptic earth, or (as he sometimes tranflates the original word) land, is irreconcileable with many passages wherein that symbol is introduced : I therefore I consider it as untenable. And I think his definition of the Apocalyptic sea to be equally untenable, and for the same reason. .
3. The Archdeacon fupposes the woman described in the 12th chapter to denote the Church, not merely while christian, but from the very earlieft ages ; and he conceives the man-child to be the literal Messiah, with whom the Church had been travailing in earnest expectation through a long series of years. The war in heaven he likewise understands literally, and believes it to relate to the expulsion of Satan and his apoftate angels. Not indeed that he supposes a battle to have been actually fought ; but he refers this part of the Apocalypse to the same conflict as that alluded to in Jude 6. and 2 Pet. ii. 4.
It is obvious, that this scheme is liable to much the same objections as those which I have already adduced against the schemes of Mede and Bp. Newton. The whole of the little book, as itself repeatedly testifies, treats of the 1260 years. This is so manifeft, that all commentators, who depart from such an opinion, are obliged to have recourse to the moft arbitrary glosses upon the text. Bp. Newton accordingly asserts, that the flight of the woman into the wilderness mentioned in the 6th verse is introduced proleptically, because it was posterior in point of time to the events which he supposes to be intended by the war in heaven. The Archdeacon, in a somewhat similar manner, would throw the whole of that war into a parenthefis, in order that he may be at liberty to apply it to the expuljon of the devil and his angels from heaven. After carefully reading however all that the Bishop and the Archdeacon have said in favour of their respective schemes, and after attentively considering the structure of the little book, I cannot think that either the prolepsis or the parentheJis are at all warranted by the general tenor of the prophecy; and to myself it certainly appears a complete breach of chronological precision to suppose, that in the very midst of an insulated prediction (severed by the Apostle himfelf from his larger prediction), which professes to treat of the 1260 years, we should be suddenly carried back either to the age of primitive christianity, the age of Constantine, or a period preceding
* Rev. viii. 13. + Rev. ix. 4, 20, 21. xi. 15, 18. xvi. 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19.
Compare the Archdeacon, p. 210, 211. with Rev. xii, 8, 12, 14. § P. 211., the very creation of the world. Nor is this the only objection to the Archdeacon's exposition : it contains likewise a violation of homogeneity. The woman is said to be in the jame heaven as the dragon. But by that heaven the Archdeacon understands the literal heaven, out of which the apoftate angels were cast. The woman therefore must have been in the literal heaven. But when was “ the Church from the time of Adam"* down to the present time, whether patriarchal, Levitical, or Christian, in the literal beaven from which the devil was expelled ?
4. I have already mentioned the agreement between the Archdeacoa and myself, that the first apocalyptic beast is the Roman empire, and the same as Daniel's fourth beas; not, as some have supposed, the Papucy, and the same as the little horn of Daniel's beas. The Archdeacon indeed may perhaps be thought by some needlessly to refine on the subject :t yet his opinion of this beast is substantially the same as my own. To his remarks however on the seventh and eighth forms of Roman government I can by no means fubscribe. He conceives the seventh to be the Exarchate of Ravenna, and the cighth (unless I altogether mistake his meaning) to be a compound of all the Popish sovereigns, a college (if I may fo speak) of all the ten horns.] As I have in the body of my work given my reasons very abundantly why I cannot allow the Exarchate. of Ravenna to be the seventh head, I shall confine myself to some obfervations on the Archdeacon's opinion of the eighth. The first objection to it is obviously, that it confounds the members of the beast, making his ten horns the same as bis last head. The next is, that this apparently distinct eighth head is to be one of the preceding feven ; so that the beast has really only seven, though he may seem upon a superficial view of his history to have eight. With which of his seven predecessors can this supposed collegiate regal bead be identified ? The last is, that the eighth head of the beast is represented as fomething perfectly distinct from the kings feated within his empire, al. though it manifestly influences their actions. We read, that the beasl is to go into perdition while subsisting under bis eighth form of government. Now, if we turn to the paffage where his perdition is described, we find him beading a confederacy of those very kings whom the Archdeacon conceives jointly to constitute his last head. .
5. Though I quite agree with the Archdeacon, that the little born of Daniel's fourth beafi, when generally considered, is the same as the second apocalyptic beast or the false prophet ; yet, if we defcend to particulars, I ain unable to assent to his exposition of these kindred symbols. He thinks, that the second apocalyptic beast represents the whole of the great apostacy; and that his two horns denote, one the Papacy, and the other Mobomniedifm.ll. It is somewhat remarkable, that I had once in the course of my study of the Revelation fallen upon the very fame opinion ; but it is liable to what appears to myself insuperable objections.-Of the fecond apocalyptic beaf ikrict unity of action is predicated : but it is natural to suppose, that, if his two horns had been designed to represent we Auch difiinc powers as Popery and Mohammedism, a separate set of actions would have been ascribed to each ; as there are, for instance, to the two little horns described by Daniel, and (what is perhaps more ftri&ly analogical) to the several horns and the little horn of Daniel's fourth beaft.The second apocalyptic beast makes his appearance in the little book, which (according to the Archdeacon himself*) peculiarly relates to “ another Antichristian usurpation” as contradiftinguished from the already predi&ted Mohammedan ufurpation, and of which “the western nations of the Gentiles are to be the object:" surely then, if we would be confiftent in our expositions, we cannot expect to find in the little book any men. tion of Mohammedism.—The second apocalyptic beast is represented as being one false prophet, or (what amounts to the same thing) one body of personal false prophets : now, when we confider the nature of what Mede properly terms the counter elementst of the Apocalypse, and when we find that the true prophets of God are said to be two in number, we can scarcely conceive that the counter-element to the two true prophets would have been one false prophet, when fo fair an opportunity was prefented of producing a perfe&t counter-element by exhibiting two false prophets, namely Popery and Mohammedism : one false prophet however is alone mentioned ; whence it feems most natural to conclude that one power is alone intended. The power, which the second beast exercises under the protection of the first, is among other particulars (as the Archdeacon himself allows$) idolatrous ; and, if the exposition which Dr. Zouch and myself give of the image set up by him be just, it is idolatroufis perfecuting : the disciples of Mohammed have ever warmly protested against idolatry, and have repeatedly charged the Papists with being guilty of it.-The second beast is represented as very closely connected with the first, and as exercising his authority under his immediate sanction: this perfectly accords with Popery, but by no means lo with Mohammedism, which has ever been in direct opposition to the papal Roman empire, and againit which repeated crusades have been undertaken.--The second beast is allowed by the Archdeacon to be the same as the little horn of Daniel's fourth beast; therefore the little horn muft, according to his scheme, typify at once both Popery and Mohammedism :but what is there in the character of this little horn, which can reasonably induce us to suppose that it denotes two entirely diftin& religious powers ? All the other horns of all the other beasts represent each a fingle power : homogineity therefore forbids us to suppose that it alone represents two. Its a&tions equally forbid such a supposition. Like those of the second apotalyptic beast, they are strictly the actions of one. The little horn, for inItance, subverts three of the other horns. Popery and Mohammedisin cannot both subvert the self-fame three horns : and, if they had each subverted three, then their common symbol the little horn would have fubverted fix. But Mohammedism never fubverted any three, and the little born does subvert three : therefore Mohammedism can have no connection with the little born. The truth of these observations will yet further appear, if we consider the character of the mystic apocalyptic harlot. This character is so strongly drawn, that the Archdeacon cannot but confine it to the papal apostacy. Hence, in order to preserve confiltency, he is obliged to say, that the harlot is not absolutely the same as the second beaf or the falfe
* P. 315.
See p. 329-335,421,-425, 435. P. 451, 432. S Rav. Ivi. 13, 14. xix. 19.
# P. 356--$74,