Page images

for a year. Daniel's prophecy of seventy weeks (chap. ix.) is thus interpreted by Papists as well as Protestants, and must be so underftood, to make it agree with the event. Indeed this mode of calculation was so 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.) says 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 distinguish the natural from the prophetic year, he calls it “ the year of an hireling," (xvi. 14. and xxi. 16.)

3. The circumstances of the representation must convince the unprejudiced, that the fortytwo months of the beast are to be understood in a mystic sense ; for his extensive dominion, and great authority, could not possibly be acquired in so short a period as three natural years and a half. It is said, that 6 power was given “ him over all kindreds, and tongues, and na. « tions. And all that dwell upon the earth “ shall worship him, whose names are not writ

ten in the book of life," Rev. xiii. 7, 8. It is impossible to travel through the several nations of the earth in so short a period, much more to transport armies, and establish an empire, as Papists allege. Shall we have recourse to that interpretation which implies in it an imposibility, and reject what is well founded on scripture authority ? Again, the armour with which the prophecies have furnished Antichrift, are falsehood and feigned miracles : “ His co

ming is after the working of Satan, with all

power, and signs, and lying wonders, and “ with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness," 2 Thef. ii. 9. 10. Now these take a longer time, in extending his dominion, than force of arms ; so that the period allotted for it, if taken in a literal sense, is not sufficient.

I conclude, therefore, that the forty-two months allotted to the reign of Antichrist, ought to be reckoned after the manner of the

prophets, a day for a year, making in all 1 260 years. So if we add these to 756, the year in which he acquired the temporal sovereignty, . they will bring us down to A. D. 2016, as the close of his reign. But in regard the calculation 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 prophe

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


Time in which the Ottoman Empire falls.

At the same period, about the year 1998, falls the Ottoman empire. It is represented by the second wo, or fixth trumpet, Rev. ix. 13.19. Now the forty-two months of the beast are contemporary with the 1260 days of the witnesses mourning prophecy; for their mourning is owing to his persecution. These days end with their resurrection ; and immediately upon their resurrection, it is said, “ The second wo “ is past,” Rev. xi. 14.


Time of the Vials in general.

When the Pope's temporal sovereignty shall be taken away, and the Ottoman empire shall cease to exift, the seventh trumpet shall found : For immediately after the words juft quoted, “ the second wo is past,” it follows, “ behold “ the third wo cometh quickly, and the fe“ venth angel sounded.” Then begin the vials of God's wrath to be poured out, for the reduction of the spiritual jurisdiction of Antichrist.

cease (1) See Fleming's Discourses, Discourse I.

Mede' supposes that the first fix vials are poured out before the seventh trumpet, and that the seventh vial is contemporary with the seventh trumpet. But that all the vials, the first as well as the last, follow after the seventh trumpet, will appear from the following reasons :

First, The regular order of the prophecy requires it. For as the seven trumpets are included in the seventh seal, or to speak more properly, are the unfolding of it; so, in like manner, the seven vials are the unfolding of the seventh trumpet. The order of events is carried on by means of the seals, trumpets, and vials. But this order is repeatedly interrupted by the synchronal visions inserted for explication, and could not be with certainty resumed, but for this device. Whereas by the help of this device, the series of the prophecy is carried on distinctly, and the visions inserted for explication refer by internal marks, either to that

series (1) Mede's Clavis Apocalyp. p. 2. Synchronism iii.

feries immediately, or to some other contemporary vision which has a reference to it. Now this admirable contexture is in a good measure de. Atroyed, by supposing 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 described ; but unless these vials are the wo of the seventh trumpet, it exists no where in this book.

Thirdly, The wo of the seventh trumpet is, by confession of all, the third and last ; and these vials are expressly called “ the last plagues," because“ in them is filled up the wrath of God,” Rev. xv. I. So that they must be the same ; or, in other words, the vials are the unfolding of the seventh trumpet. But if they are poured out under the sixth 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 supposing with Mede, that the seventh vial is included in the seventh 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 »