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of God are gone forth to avenge his Church, and to slay the beast himself?
Let us next note the era of the slaughter. It is placed under the second woe, previous to the fall of a tenth part of the Roman city and the sounding of the third woe. But the 1260 days must necessarily extend to the commencement of the last period of the third woe, because the beast is over thrown under the seventh vial : therefore they cannot expire at the slaughter of the witnesses, which takes place under the second woe, and before even the earliest blast of the third woe.
Still it may be doubted, whether the witnesses be yet slain or not, because it may be doubted wliether the third woe has begun to sound. Let us for a momeirt lay prophecy aside, and attend only to history. The rise of Mohammedism and the conquests of the Saracens form one singular epoch in history: the rise and conquests of the Ottoman empire form another singular epoch: after these two, where shall we pitch upon a third epoch equally singular? Can any other answer be given, an answer which the passing occurrences of every day render more and more probable, except the French revolution, and its amazingly extensive consequences ? Now the Saracens and the Turks are universally allowed to be the subjects of the two first woes. And are they more worthy of a place in prophecy, than the daring impieties, the unheard of miseries, and the vast change in the constitution of the whole European commonwealth,
which have flowed from the French revolution Since we are compelled to date a new order of things from this tremendous convulsion, is it improbable that it should have been selected by the Spirit of God as one of the great apocalyptic eras? Is it improbable to suppose, that the third woe began to sound, when the reign of Antichrist, of anarchy, and of Atheism, commenced?
But this is not all: we have a clue afforded us by the prophecy itself. Immediately before the sounding of the third woe, a tenth part of the great Latin city is overthrown by a violent earthquake; and the consequence of this earthquake is, that seven thousand names of men are slain, not merely men themselves, but names or titles of men. If therefore the application of the third woe to the commencement of the reign of Antichrist do not correspond with this particular, we may be absolutely sure, that it is erroneous : but, if on the other hand it do minutely correspond with this particular, then we have attained to at least a very high degree of probability (so high as to fall little short of moral certainty), that it is not erroneous; for, in that case, it will be difficult to conceive, how the prediction can ever be more minutely fulfilled, than it has already been. What then shall we say, when we find that it does exactly, and in every point, correspond with this particular? The reign of Antichrist was ushered in by the fall of monarchical Francé, one of the ten parts of the great city, or (what is only another mode of VOL. II.
speaking) one of the ten horns of the Roman beast: nay more; the only one of the ten original horns then in existence, and consequently the only monarchy by the fall of which the prophecy could possibly be accomplished. Nine out of the ten original horns had fallen by conquest or other political changes previous to the era of the French revolution: when that revolution took place, the tenth original horn fell: at present therefore none of the ten original monarchical horns are standing*. Hence it is manifest, that, if the prophecy has not been already accomplished, it now never can be accomplished. The result therefore of the whole is this: if the fall of the tenth part of the city be the first French revolution, and if the third roe began to sound at the commencement of the reign of Antichrist : in that case, the slaughter of the witnesses 'must be past, because it takes place under the second wòe, and consequently previous to the sounding of the third woe.
The Anglo-Saxon hurn fell by the Norman conquest. But in France, when the crown was transferred from the Merovingians to the Carlovingians, and from the Carlovingians to the Capets, it never ceased to be worn bý a dynasty of native princes. At the revolution that ancient monarchy was first overthrown; and now that the 'regal form of government is restored, the sceptre of Pharamond the Franks of Charlemagne the Frank, and of Hugh Capet the Frank, is wielded by Napoleon Buonaparte the Corsican. Our Henry VI. was indeed crowned king of France; but his title was never acknowledged by the Dauphin, and he was himself speedily dispossessed of the conquests of his father.
« Ànd the seventh angel sounded; and there " were great voices in heaven, saying, The king“ doms of this world are become the kingdoms of
our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign
for ever and ever. And the four ànd twenty is elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell
upon their faces, and worshipped God; saying, « We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty; “ which art, and wast, and art to come; because
thou hast taken to thee thy great power; and * hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and “ thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that
they should be judged, and that thou shouldest ** give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and
to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, “ small and great; and shouldest destroy them *« which destroy the earth. And the temple of * God was opened in heaven, and there was seen " in his temple the ark of his testament: and there “ were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings,
and an earthquake, and great hail.”
Theprophet, reserving amore full account of the several important events which were to take place under this woe for the pouring out of the seven last plagues and the chapters subordinately connected with them, gives us here a general preliminary statement of them. For the consolation of the afflicted Church heinverts the order of their accomplishment, placing the triumphant establishment of the kingdom of Christ, before God's assumption to himself of his great power; before the time of
his wrath; before his destruction of those that destroyed the earth; before the day of the anger of the nations; before the last earthquake, which was to divide the great city into three parts and to overthrow the cities of the nations; and before great Babylon came in remembrance before God. Anticipating the final triumph of Christianity and the commencement of the Millennium, he eagerly looks forward to that blessed period when the kingdoms of this world should become the kingdoms of our Lord; and afterwards, as it were reluctantly, touches upon the calamities which yet remained to be fulfilled under the seven vials. The propriety of this interpretation of the
will be evident, if we consider that the seventh trumpet was to introduce the third great woe which surely cannot be the conversion of the world to Christ, and if we reflect that all the seven vials of the last plagues yet remain to be poured out ere the triumphant reign of the Messiah commences*
Thus it appears, that the eleventh chapter of the Apocalypse, or the first of the little book, extends through the whole period of the 1260 years. The three remaining chapters of the little book do the same: for all the four, in point of chronology, run parallel to each other; and jointly give us a complete history of the western Apostasy, and of all who are concerned with it whether actively or passively.
* See Mede's Works, B. 5. Summary View of the Apoc. p. 920-Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xi, in loc.-Sir Isaac Newton's Observ. on the Apoc. Chap. ii. p. 254.