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in various and diftant periods of time; fo that, taking to the account their several abilities, dif-pofitions, knowledge, education, and manners, it is not easy to say what particular passages in one prophet correfpond with those in another, and relate to the fame event.

Again, in the fame prophet the different vifions seem to be arranged without any regard to the order of time in which the prophet received them'. But it is obvious that this, in fome degree, increases the obfcurity.

After all, we should mistake the mattergreatly, did we fuppofe that the prophet received a view of future events according to the order of time in which they were to be accomplished; that is, that the nearer events were communicated to him firft, and the more remote events laft. The fact is, that the prophet being commiffioned to inftruct the men of his own time, he introduces future events, as they are related to the confolation or reproof which he communicates at the time,

(1.) The prophecy contained in the 34th chapter of Jeremiah, the prophet received towards the close of the reign of Zedekiah, ver. 1, 2. That in the following chapter he received in the reign of Jehoiakim, at least twelve years before; chap. xxxv. 1. And the prophecy contained in the 36th chapter he received the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign; that is, eighteen years before.

time, without any regard to the time or order in which these events fhould be accomplished. In this confifts the chief difficulty of arrangement. But it is likewise to be observed, that future events are fometimes introduced according to their natural order, and that purely for the inftruction of the church in after ages.

But though the difficulty is great, it is not I hope infuperable. There are marks in the prophecies themselves which direct to their arrangement, and will obviously occur, upon a frequent and attentive perufal of them; fo that the general order of events may be ascertained, and the feveral paffages relating to the fame event, may be brought to bear upon it with their united light; and thus reprefent it, though still future, with a degree of clearness and perfpicuity, which the inattentive could hardly conceive or believe. I fhall briefly ftate thofe rules for the arrangement, which have occurred to me,


The Apocalypfe.

THE Apocalypfe is not only a diftinct prophecy by itself, but may be likewise considered as an index to all the prophecies which refer to the period of which it treats; that is, from the beginning

beginning of the gospel-dispensation to the day of judgment. It proves an index, by fhewing the general order of events, and their relative fituation to each other; fo that, when an event is introduced in the Old Teftament prophecies, in a detached manner, not connected with what goes before, or follows after, we are enabled, by the aid of the Apocalypfe, to refer it to its proper place, in the series of events.

The series of events is carried on in the Apocalypfe by feven feals opened in their order, feven trumpets founded in their order, and feven vials poured out in their order. The feven trumpets are the evolution of the seventh feal, the seven vials are the evolution of the seventh trumpet. The feventh vial introduces the Millennium, from which period the aspect of the church and the world is uniform until the day of judgment, except a fhort interruption by Gog, at the close of the Millennium. Now, as every remarkable event yet to be accomplished, is referred in the Apocalypfe to fome one of the trumpets or vials, to the duration or clofe of the Millennium, the place of fuch event, in the general order of events, is known, and to that place it may be referred, wherever it occurs.

Again, the Apocalypfe not only fhews the general order of events, but by using the expreffions of the Old Teftament prophets, refers the


reader to particular paffages, where the fame event is treated of more fully. Thus the "wine prefs," mentioned Rev. xiv. and xix. obviously refers to Joel chap. iii. which treats of the fame event. And the army of Gog, Rev.xx. is a reference to the 38th and 39th chap. of Ezekiel. However, it must be acknowledged, that the expreffions of the Old Teftament prophets are fometimes ufed, on account of a fimilarity in the events, though they are not the fame. This part of the rule, therefore, is not decifive, unless upon examining the paffage referred to, it is confirmed by the coincidence of fome of the rules which follow.


New Teftament Interpretations.

SEVERAL paffages of the Old Testament prophecies are quoted and explained in the New Teftament. Every paffage of this kind I confider as a key to open up the whole section of prophecy connected with it. Thus, Ifaiah lix. 20. "The Redeemer fhall come to Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob," is quoted by the Apostle Paul, Rom. xi. 26. and applied to the converfion and reftoration of the Jewish nation. Hence I infer, that the former part of the



chapter reprefents the fins of the Jews in their prefent difperfion; and the following chapter, which is evidently connected with it, fhews the glory of their church after their converfion to Christianity.

All Chriftians muft allow, that this rule is well founded, because the Spirit of God is the beft interpreter of his own expreffions; but few, if any, in their comments upon Scripture, have been directed by it, as they ought.

To give an inftance, in the cafe of a prophecy already fulfilled. In the 28th chapter of Ifaiah, are two verfes, quoted and explained in the New Teftament; verfe 11. is applied by the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. xiv. 21. to the gift of tongues in the apoftle's days; ver. 16. is faid to fignify, that the kingdom of Chrift fhould be established, in defiance of the Jews, who rejected him; Eph. ii. 20. and 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5.

Now, all the commentaries I have feen apply the whole of the chapter to the state of the Jews in Hezekiah's time, and the invasion of Senacherib. They allow the New Teftament interpretation to be true, only in a secondary fenfe; the confequence is, that the interpretation of the whole chapter does not hang together, but is perplexed and contradictory; whereas, if the quotations from the New Teftament be confidered as a key, and the chapter from


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