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Ch. viii. 6–12.]


221 .

nual ( rivhuhud eals *, tha was aware, that the fates of the Roman Empire were ļ ticis gnified the

beneath the dignity of this sacred book. For, having bibles ;

dispatched that part of his work which he supposes to empires ; 9 contain them, “We now proceed,” says he,“ to an

Semok Pasure th

other, and much the most noble prophecy, because it man E contains the history of Religion and of the Church*.

forestli er Christ

Another judicious observation of the same commentae acknor

tor will be usefully applied to this enquiry. He ob.

serves that the Trumpets should be interpreted as being emindig el (or of all of one kind and nature, or, as he expresses it, homonting the geneal; “to make some of them warlike invasions,

" and others to be heresies, is to bring things of too

“ differing a nature under one name 7.” After having zire, the

supposed the four first Trumpets to represent “ warlike relate is

“invasions on the Roman Empire,” he clearly saw, that

the remaining Trumpets must not be interpreted as of the containing the history of Christian heresies; and there

fore he laboured to shew that the Roman Empire was
the object of attack in all the Trumpets. This labour
he would perhaps have spared, if he had not already

explained the four first Trumpets to be so many attacks th

on that Empire ; and therefore found himself obliged
to exhibit a consistency, when he proceeded to inter-
pret the rest. For, certainly, the great apostacy occa-
sioned by Mahomet (which Mede understands to be
contained under the fifth Trumpet) will be found to
have attacked the Christian Religion yet more hostilely
and extensively than the Roman Empire. It over-
threw, or fatally corrupted, this Religion in the Roman
Empire, wherever it subverted that Empire ; and,
moreover, was fatal to Christianity in the wide and
extensive regions of the Eastern World, which had
never been subjected to the Roman dominion.

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• Mede's Works, p. 477.

+ Ib. p. 595.


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But if the Trumpets are to be all homogeneal, let us have recourse to one of them, whose character and interpretation are placed beyond dispute; in the application of which, all interpreters must agree: and then let us bring the prophecies under the other Trumpets to that settled standard.

The seventh Trumpet ! what does it announce? Most clearly, the victory obtained by Christ and His Church, not over the Roman Empire, but over the powers of Hell, and of Antichrist, and a corrupt world; over the Dragon, the Beast, the false Prophet, and in process of time (for the seventh Trumpet continu to the end), over Death and Hell; “ for he must reign “ till he hath put all things under his feet.” If then, under the seventh Trumpet, the warfare of the Christian Church be so clearly represented (and in this all writers are agreed), what are we to think of the six ? How must they be interpreted, so as to appear homogeneal? Are they to be accounted, with Mede and his followers, the successive shocks, by which the Roman Empire fell under the Goths and Vandals ? Homogeneity forbids. They must, therefore, be supposed to contain the warfare of the Christian Church. And this warfare may be successful under the seventh and last trumpet, when it had been unsuccessful before, yet the homogeneity be consistently preserved. For, the question is not concerning the success, but concerning the warfare. And the Trumpets may be deemed homogeneal, if they all represent the same warfare (viz. of the powers of Hell, and of the Antichristian world, against the Church of Christ), whatever may be the event; and whether it be carried on by the violence and persecution of open enemies, or by heresies and corrupt doctrines ; for heresy, which leads to apostacy, is a most dangerous assault upon the Church.


The irruption of the barbarous nations of the North, upon the declining Empire, is of great importance in civil history. It occasioned a signal revolution in power and property, and produced wonderful effects on the manners, customs, and laws of Europe. But although it took crowns from kings, and property from rich laymen, and overwhelmed multitudes in slavery, its disastrous influence was small, or of no permanency, on the Christian Church. That Church had already degenerated, through ignorance and corrupt worship; but it retained its property, and power, and the number of its subjects: nay, it greatly increased all these ; for the conquering nations forsook their pagan creed for the religion of the conquered *.

* Mosheim, Cent. vi. part i.-Gibbon narrates the number of the barbarous nations which had become Christian before the age of Charlemagne; and remarks that the Christians were then in possession of all the fertile lands of Europe, which had been seized by these warriors. (Decline of the Roman Empire, ch. xxxvii. p. 532, 4to.)

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εκ των λοιπών φω-
κων της σάλπιγο.
των τριών αγγέλων
των μελλόνιων σαλ.

the trumpet of the three angels which are yet to sound.

" who dwell upon the
“ earth, from the re-

maining voices of
" the trumpet of the
" three angels, who are

yet to sound !"

Ver. 13. And I beheld, and I heard one

{angel) flying ; &c.] Griesbach has admitted the word det! (eagle) into the text, and seems to produce powerful authorities for the admission. But the received reading, Asyen8 (angel) seems also supported by

good authorities; and internal evidence will appear X decisive in its favour. The two words have resemblance

in Greek character, and might be confounded by transcribers. I prefer the word angel, because, in the scenery of the Apocalypse, the action is almost entirely and exclusively administered by angels. And in ch. xiv. 6, the Prophet sees another angel flying in " the space between heaven and earth.To what former angel does this other angel refer, but to this of the eighth chapter, who is the only one before described as flying? And it is in the same “heaven and earth.” And this angel of the sivth chapter is followed by others, all of them angels, no eagle. I remark also the application of the word èvos, one, to this angel or eagle, whichsoever it may be. . If it be to be applied to an eagle, why does the Prophet say one eagle; why not an eagle? for no eagles had been mentioned. But there is a propriety, if it be an angel, in saying one angel, because many angels had been, and were then, employed in the action. The cohort of seven angels were then standing forth with

space between

their trumpets.

Ib. In the space between heaven and earth.] The pergpayapat appears to have been one of the cardinal points in the Chaldean astronomy, opposed to the hypogæum *: but in this passage, it seems simply to mean the intermediate space between heaven and earth, as they appeared in this vision; the one extended above, the other below t.

Ib. Woe! woe! woe!] The Divine messenger, at the command of God, leaving heaven, and hovering over the earth, proclaims three woes, or dreadful calamities, to happen to its inhabitants, under the three remaining Trumpets. No greater calamity can happen to the sons of inen, than the corruption, the rejection, the loss of true Religion. Under the four preceding Trumpets, an hostile invasion of the whole Christian Church, in its fourfold division, had taken place; but the view of its effects had been hitherto general, and representative of few particulars. The warfare is now exhibited more plainly and openly; and Antichrist will soon stand confessed. In the apostolic times, in the times when this vision was exhibited (and the four first Trumpets seem to have their date from those times, ch. i.), Antichrist already was said to be come $; the mystery of iniquity did then work Ş, “and waxed “ worse and worse l.” So, under the four first Trumpets, the storm seems increasing; but the calamity is as yet described only in general terms, previous to a more particular exhibition. Now it advances to its maturity, and most desolating effects, by three distinct and particular explosions, under the three last Trumpets.

• Brucker, Hist. Crit. Philos. i. 139.

+ See note, ch vij. 1. 1 1 Jobn ii, 18, 22. iv. 3. 2 John 7.

$ 2 Thess. ii. 7. || 2 Tim. iii. 13. What is thus expressed by the Sacred writers, has always been understood to signify the beginnings of Antichristian power.



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