Page images
PDF
EPUB

And we further learn, by comparing prophecy with prophecy, that they will be destroyed in Palestine: that is to say, in some region, which extends 1600 furlongs, as Palestine does; in some region situate between two seas, as Palestine is; in the neighbourhood of the glorious holy mountain, or mount. Zion; and in the more immediate neighbourhood of Megiddo, which is a town of Palestine. Now, at the close likewise of this self-same period of 1260 years, we are taught by Daniel, that the Jews are to be restored. Whence it is evident, since the restoration of the Jews is declared to be contemporary with the overthrow of the confederacy thus particularly described by Daniel and St. John, that the confederacy, which they describe, is the same as that which all the other prophets represent as being similarly overthrown in the very same country and at the very same era. Nor is this all: in order, as it were, to preclude the possibility of error, Daniel and St. John at once describe the confederacy of which they treat, as being overthrown by some divine interposition ; and depict its overthrow by the same imagery, as that used by the other prophets who treat of the subject. A stone, cut out without hands, smites the gigantic image upon his feet; the ten-horned beast and his little horn are supernaturally destroyed; the infidel king comes to his end, apparently by no mere human instrumentality; and the ten-horned beast under his last head, together with his associates the

false

false prophet, and the kings of the earth, is routed in a conflict with the victorious Word of God. So again : does Isaiah represent a mighty conqueror as treading the wine-press, and as sprinkled with the blood of his enemies? so likewise does St. John* Does Joel, in a similar manner, exhibit that last dreadful slaughter under the image of a vintage ? so likewise does St. John P. Does Ezekiel symbolize one of the members of the confederacy by an opulent and corrupt trading city? so likewise does St. John I.

Who are the enemies, thus hieroglyphically exhibited to us by Daniel and St. John, it is perhaps not very difficult at the present day to determine. The ten toes of the image, and the fourth beast after he has put forth his ten horns, can only mean the Roman empire in its last or divided state; and we may add from St. John, the Roman empire under its last or septimo octave head, by which I think we '

must necessarily understand the Patricio-Carlovingian emperorship. The little horn, the false prophet, the two-horned beast, the harlot, and the spiritual city Babylon, are alike the ecclesiastical empire of the Pope, or the adulterous church of Rome. The infidel tyrant, who was to spring up after the Reformation, I scruple not asserting to

* Isaiah lxiii. Rev. xix. 11-21. + Joel iii. 13. Rev. xiv. 17-20.

Ezek. xxvii. xxviii. Rev. xviii.

be France, whether democratical or imperial. And the kings of the earth even of the whole world are, according to the phraseology both of the Apocalypse and of the Roman writers themselves, the kings of the bestial empire, which was wont to be styled Ecumené, or the world. But, since these are the enemies who (we are taught by Daniel and St. John) will compose the confederacy about to be destroyed at the era of the restoration of Judah, they must likewise be the enemies who compose the confederacy which (all the other prophets tcach us) will be destroyed at the same era.

It is interesting to turn from prophecy to facts. We may now behold with our own eyes the rudiments of that confederacy, which (as we learn from St. John) will begin to be gathered to the place of its destruction at some indefinite period after the Ottoman empire shall have been subverted; the subversion of which may seem indeed to further its views, but will in reality be overruled by God's providence so as only to prepare a way for the kings from the east. The disastrous catastrophè of Austerlitz has made the ruler of France, the master of papal Europe; and, effectively at least, the representative of Charlemagne, and therefore the last head of the Roman beast. llis ancient title of Emperor of the Romans seems to be tacitly resigned by the sovereign of Austria *: and we

shall

* At least no mention is made of this title in his treaty with France, and even that of Germany seems to be ncarly dropped,

the

shall probably soon learn, whetlier the last head will nominally, as well as effectively, be identified with the infidel king. Rumours of the downfall of Turkey are afloat: and we see a conspiracy of vassal kings rapidly forming under the influence of their acknowledged and undoubted head, the French emperor. The Roman beast, who in every period of his existence has been dreadful and terrible and strong exceedingly, who with his iron teeth has devoured the whole earth and stamped the residue with his feet *, seems now, as the era of his dissolution approaches, to arise and go forth with tenfold fury. Nor can we wonder at this circumstance, since his last head may at present be considered as identified with the adolescent Antichrist. Such is the prospect of Europe at the moment that I am now writing t: and how accurately, how

the French studiously terming him only Emperor of Austria, and himself apparently acquiescing in it. It is observable, that by the 5th article of this treaty the French emperor is acknowledged to be king of Italy; and who shall deny, that he is also, like Charlemagne, sovereign of Rome? March 1906.

Since this was written, the Germanic constitution has been formally dissolved, and its chief has solemnly renounced his title of Roman emperor. Sept. 1806.

* Dan. vii. 7, 23.

† March 6, 1806. " I fear I see too clearly,” said Bp. Ilorsley in the year 1799, “the rise, instead of the fall, of the Antichrist of the West. Or rather, I fear, I see him rapidly

advancing to full stature and ripe age" (Letter on Isaiah xvii.). How marvellous hath been his growth in these last seven years! Do we even yet behold ! is adolescence ?

L 3

wonder

wonderfully does it accord with prophecy! From the past, and from the present, we may anticipate the future. Whenever the Ottoman empire falls, we shall then definitively know our place in the Apocalypse; and the strong light of almost absolute certainty will be thrown upon the third woe, and the sir first vials *.

Although these prophecies have already been discussed at large, so far as the principal actors in them are concerned, yet they contain some matters more immediately connected with the restoration

the Jews which have not received quite so full an examination. These shall now be noticed in their order.

The succession of events detailed in the joint prediction of Daniel and St. John, is as follows. At the pouring out of the sixth vial, the Ottoman empire, symbolized as under the sixth trumpet by the waters of its principal river the Euphrates,

More than two years have now elapsed, since this was written; and the Ottoman empire is yet standing. The subversion of it may possibly be more difficult, and may be removed to a more distant era, than it has generally been imagined. Though we have so long been expecting its downfall, it seems to have been preserved in a manner perfectly agreeable to the scheme of prophecy. The sixth vial could not be poured out, the Turkish empire could not be overthrown, until after the effusion of the fifth vial had commenced. It is not inprobable that the effusion of these two vials may produce a considerable retardation in the hitherto rapid series of great events.

See - the 2d preface to this work. Oct, 18, 1808.

« PreviousContinue »