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persecution of the Church. Were this opinion well founded, it would alone completely overthrow my application of the prophecy to the history of the league of Smalcalde; because both the revocation of the edict of Nantz, and the persecution of the Piedmontese, were posterior to the protestant war in Germany. But no such thing is even hinted at by St. John : indeed, if it were, he would contradict himself. He begins with informing us, that the witnesses shoald prophesy the whole of the 1260 years, clothed in sackcloth. He next predicts their war with the beast. And he lastly notes the sounding of the seventh trumpet. It is plain therefore, that their war with the beast was to take place before the sounding of the seventh trumpet : yet, since a great part of the seventh trumpet synchronizes with the last period of the 1260 years, some of the witnesses, long after the war of their German brethren with the beast, had still to continue prophesying in sackcloth, or in a state of persecution, during a great part of the time that the seventh trumpet was sounding; that is to say, during the pouring out of its first six vials: whence it is manifest, that the war of the beast cannot be the last persecution; because, if it were, the witnesses would cease to prophesy in
sackcloth, even before the sounding of the seventh : trumpet, ani consequently would not continue to prophesy in sackcloth during the whole space of the 1260 years. The fact is, the witnesses were to be slain and to lie exposed only in one particular 17
street of the city, and that the principal street; not in every street of it. In this single principal street the whole scene of their war with the beast is laid : there they are slain ; there they revive; and there they ascend to heaven. It will follow therefore, that the establishment of protestantism in Germany, the cradle of the reformation, does not exempt other protestants from still continuing in an persecuted state during the whole of the 1260 years. The war with the beast is a particular, not a general, persecution : and the context of the whole prophecy amply shews, that it was not to be the last particular persecution, though it might be the last in protestant Germany*.
I am only aware of two objections, which can be made to my application of this prediction to the Smalcaldic league.
1. The first objection is, why this persecution should be particularly noticed more than many others of at least equal, if not greater, magnitude and importance. I answer, that, independent of its undoubted importance, it is marked by a circumstance which characterizes no other persecution of the witnesses. A mere persecution is not here predicted. The various ordinary persecutions
* It is probable, that, although there may not be precisely another persecution of protestantism, there will be a war undertaken partly at least for the express purpose of utterly crushing it. I have already more than once hinted at this holy war: I shall hereafter state at large what may be collected froin prophecy upon the subject.
of the witnesses, and their various sufferings for the truth, possess no features that sufficiently discriminate them from each other: hence they are foretold in general under the phrase of prophesying in sackcloth. . But the war of the beast, so particularly spoken of, was to be something more than an ordinary persecution. It was to be a persecution producing apostasy. The beast was to slay the wiinesses : he was to cause them to cease to be witnesses.
In consequence of his violence, they were no longer, as before, to prophesy in sackcloth. They were to cease to prophesy altogether. Nor is this all : at the end of three years and a half they were to resume their prophetic functions. Here then we have a marked peculiarity, which sufficiently distinguishes the present, persecution from all other persecutions, and which renders it abundantly worthy of a place in. prophecy.
2. The second objection is, that the war of the beast against the witnesses was to take place when they were drawing near to the end of their testimony; whereas the German protestants were compelled to receive the Interim in the year 1548, which is alseady near three centuries ago. This objection however will not appear of any great weight, when the whole duration of the Apostasy is considered; for three centuries are either a long or a short period according to ihe number with zohich they are compared. The Apostasy of 1260 years most probably commenced, as we have seen, in 606: consequently, in the year 1548 the witnesses had prophesied upwards of nine centuries, or very near three quarters of their whole teslimony. The remaining period therefore was shortin comparison with that which preceded it*.
, It is a trite observation, that one error generally prepares the way for another. This is the case with Mr. Galloway's interpretation of the prophecy respecting the tivo witnesses. He assumes as proved, that the trvo witnesses are the two Testa. menis ; and that their enemy, the beast of the bottomless pit, is the same as the second apocalyptic beast, or the beast of the earth, which he conceives to be “ the powers of atheism established by revolu« tionary France.” From these premises he concludes, that the three days and a half, during which the witnesses were to lie dead, are the same as the time and times and dividing of a time, during which the saints were to be worn out by the little horn of ihe fourth beast : and consequently, since the little horn, as well as the beast of the earth is upon his hypothesis, revolutionary France, that Daniel and St. John allude to one and the
* It niay
also be added, that, since the firm establishment of the Reformation, the sufferings of the witnesses have been very greatly mitigated; insomuch that what they have endured during the last quarter of the period of their prophesying in sackcloth is not to be compared with their troubles during the three first quarters of it. Would that we were more sensible of the great mercy of God in being allowed to enjoy the undisturbed exercise of our religion : for what are we better than ou fathers, that the Almighty should shew himself thus graciou to us?
same event ; namely, the suppression of Christianity in France, during the space of three years' and a half. I have already shewn the erroneousness of this conjecture, so far as the little horn is concerned; I shall now point out, that it is equally erroneous in the case of the present prophecy.
Mr. Galloway supposes, that the two witnesses are the two Testaments. We have seen, on the contrary, that they are not the two Testaments, but the protestant confessors, the spiritual children of the twofold church of Christ. Now the revolutionary fanaticism of France was not directed against the protestants exclusively, but against all who professed the Christian religion: the supposed completion therefore does not accord with the prophecy in this particular.
Mr. Galloway further supposes, that the beast of the bottomless pii, who slew the witnesses, is the same as the second apocalyptic beast, or the twohorned beast of the earth; and that this iro-horned beast of the earth is revolutionary France. Waving at present the discussion of the last of these points, I shall only now observe, that the beast of the bottomless pil, who slew the wilnesses, is certainly not the two-horned beast of the earth, but the ten-horned beast of the sca* : consequently
* Let the reader only compare together the following texts, and he will be sufficiently convinced of the truth of my assertion,