Page images

for a year. Daniel's prophecy of seventy weeks (chap. ix.) is thus interpreted by Papists as well as Proteftants, and must be fo underftood, to make it agree with the event. Indeed this mode of calculation was fo common with the prophets, that if they mention a week or a year in its ordinary acceptation, it is with a note of distinction. So Daniel (x. 2.) fays he fafted" three full weeks," or as it is in the original, three weeks of days, to distinguish them from weeks of years; and when Isaiah would diftinguish the natural from the prophetic year, he calls it “the he calls it "the year of an hireling," (xvi. 14. and xxi. 16.)

3. The circumftances of the representation must convince the unprejudiced, that the fortytwo months of the beaft are to be understood in a mystic sense; for his extensive dominion, and great authority, could not poffibly be acquired in fo fhort a period as three natural years and a half. It is faid, that "power was given "him over all kindreds, and tongues, and na❝tions. And all that dwell upon the earth "fhall worship him, whose names are not writ"ten in the book of life," Rev. xiii. 7, 8. It is impoffible to travel through the several nations of the earth in fo fhort a period, much more to transport armies, and establish an em

pire, as Papifts allege. Shall we have recourfe to that interpretation which implies in it an impoffibility, and reject what is well founded on fcripture authority? Again, the armour with which the prophecies have furnished Antichrift, are falfehood and feigned miracles: "His co"ming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and figns, and lying wonders, and "with all deceiveablenefs of unrighteousness," 2 Thef. ii. 9. 10. Now thefe take a longer time, in extending his dominion, than force of arms; fo that the period allotted for it, if taken in a literal fenfe, is not fufficient.


I conclude, therefore, that the forty-two months allotted to the reign of Antichrift, ought to be reckoned after the manner of the prophets, a day for a year, making in all 1260 years. So if we add these to 756, the year in which he acquired the temporal fovereignty,. they will bring us down to A. D. 2016, as the close of his reign. But in regard the calcula tion is made by months and days, as well as years, and that thirty days are reckoned to a month, and 360 to a year, it is probable the whole period is reckoned by years of that defcription; so that the five days and odd hours which the common year has above the prophetic,

tic, fhould be deducted'. These amount nearly to eighteen years, which being deducted from 2016, makes 1998, as the year in which the temporal fovereignty fhall be taken away.


Time in which the Ottoman Empire falls.

Ar the fame period, about the year 1998, falls the Ottoman empire. It is reprefented by the second wo, or fixth trumpet, Rev. ix. 13.19. Now the forty-two months of the beaft are contemporary with the 1260 days of the witneffes mourning prophecy; for their mourning is owing to his perfecution. Thefe days end. with their refurrection; and immediately upon their refurrection, it is faid, "The fecond wo "is paft," Rev. xi. 14.


Time of the Vials in general.

WHEN the Pope's temporal fovereignty shall be taken away, and the Ottoman empire fhall


(1) See Fleming's Difcourfes, Difcourfe I.

cease to exift, the seventh trumpet shall found : For immediately after the words juft quoted, "the fecond wo is paft," it follows, "behold "the third wo cometh quickly, and the fe"venth angel founded." Then begin the vials of God's wrath to be poured out, for the reduction of the spiritual jurisdiction of Antichrift.

Mede' fuppofes that the firft fix vials are poured out before the seventh trumpet, and that the feventh vial is contemporary with the seventh trumpet. But that all the vials, the first as well as the laft, follow after the feventh trum

pet, will appear from the following reasons :

First, The regular order of the prophecy requires it. For as the feven trumpets are included in the feventh feal, or to speak more properly, are the unfolding of it; fo, in like manner, the feven vials are the unfolding of the feventh trumpet. The order of events is carried on by means of the seals, trumpets, and vials. But this order is repeatedly interrupted by the fynchronal visions inserted for explication, and could not be with certainty refumed, but for this device. Whereas by the help of this device, the feries of the prophecy is carried on distinctly, and the vifions inferted for explication refer by internal marks, either to that feries (1) Mede's Clavis Apocalyp. p. 2. Synchronism iii.

feries immediately, or to fome other contempora ry vision which has a reference to it. Now this admirable contexture is in a good measure deAtroyed, by fuppofing that any of the vials are poured out under the sixth trumpet.

Secondly, We are advertised, chap. viii. 13. of three wo trumpets. The fifth and fixth trumpets make the first and second woes, and they are minutely defcribed; but unless these vials are the wo of the feventh trumpet, it exists no where in this book.

Thirdly, The wo of the feventh trumpet is, by confeffion of all, the third and last; and these vials are expreffly called " the last plagues," because" in them is filled up the wrath of God," Rev. xv. I. So that they must be the fame; or, in other words, the vials are the unfolding of the feventh trumpet. But if they are poured out under the fixth trumpet, then other plagues announced by the wo of the seventh trumpet follow after the last plagues, which is in direct contradiction to the text. Nor can this argument be evaded, by fuppofing with Mede, that the seventh vial is included in the feventh trumpet, though the others are not. Because all the vials are termed the last plagues, the first as well as the seventh they are all of one kind, different


« PreviousContinue »