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ius CHAP. I. A Summary of the prominent Events contained in the
BEFORE I proceed to the awful task I have undertaken in the title-page, it feems not improper to lay before the reader a summary view of the contents of the Apocalypse. It will disclose to him a series of wonderful events, foretold in the first century, and which have come to pass fince that time, during the course of one thousand feven hundred years; and in the exact chronological order in which they were foretold. It will enable hiin to judge of the unity, the fublimity, and excellence of this facred record of the providence of God, and convince him that ilo' power, fave'a God of infinite wisdom, can be the Author of it.
It will, moreover, affift him in his judgment upon the propriety of my explication of the marks and signs contained in it, which refer to the present times, and upon my application of them to their proper evenis,
The Apocalypse, then, is the most important, sublime, and awful theme, that ever employed the mind of man. It contains the PROPHETICAL HIS. TORY OF ALL THE PROMINENT EVENTS, IN WHICH THE CHURCH OF CHRIST WAS TO BE CONCERNED, FROM HER RISE TO HER FINAL CONQUEST AND TRIUMPH OVER ALL HER OPPONENTS AND ENEMIES, IN THE STRENGTH AND BLESSING OF HER GLORIFIED REDEEMER, THE SON OF GOD ; AND TO THE CONSUMMATION OF ALL THINGS. In this grand and facred theme the principal characters are
1. The I AM that I AM *
M that I AM*, “ The Alpha and “ Omega, the beginning and the ending, and which “ is, and which was, and which is to come q;" the one, supreme, uncreated, self-existing GOD; the Creator and Ruler of all things.
2. JESUS CHRIST, the ever blessed Son GOD, and Redeemer of a fallen world.
3. The Two WITNESSES of GOD g.
4. SATAN), the fallen fpirit, and the origin of all evil, the great enemy, the tempter, and deceiver of the whole world.
5. The DRAGON , or the powers of paganism, the agents and ministers of Satan, and the opposers and persecutors of the church of Christ.
6. The great sensial apostate**, MOHAMED, in the East, and the great idolatrous apostate poot, the Popes
* Exod. ii. 14.
Matth. xvii. s. | Rev. xii. 9. XX. 2. ** Rev. ix, 1, 2
f Rev. i. 11. xxi. 5, 6.
Ezek. xxviii, 3. Rev. xii. go
in the West, the contemporary destructive enemies of the church.
7. The“ Beast OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT*,
oc the “ Beast of the earth,” or the powers of atheism, established by revolutionary France ; another agent of Satan, and yet greater enemy of God and man.
8. BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONś OF THE EARTH; a mighty power to be formed hereafter by Satan, to confilt of a confederacy of all the before-mentioned enemies of the word of God, and church of Chrift.
9. GOG AND MAGOG #, another mighty power, which is to be formed under the banners of Satan, by a combination of all the wicked and ungodly upon
the earth ; with design to make one great effort to destroy the church and kingdom of Christ, preparatory to the last judgment, and the consummation of
This subject the prophet begins, by declaring his authority to treat of it and this authority is given by a power no less than God himself, through Jesus Chrif. In strict conformity to his instructions, received from time to time in his several visions, he begins his narration * of future events, with' those which were in a peculiar manner to attend the seven primitive churches ; because their establishment, by the A postles, was the foundation of the general church of Chrift; the first great and most important event which succeeded his crucifixion and
* Rev. xi. 7.
f Rev. xři. 13. xvii. 5.
Rev. xx. 8.
$ Chap.i. ii. iii.
He then proceeds to the general history of the churc!, confifting of the seven churches united: and this he represents as contained in “ a book
sealed with seven seals *,” which, in his vifion," he “ law in the right hand of God, fitting upon his
throne;" a book which “ no man in heaven, nor - in the earthy neither under the earth, was found,
wortlıy, or able, to loose the feals thereof, neither « to read or look thereon.” That is, a book which neither the departed patriarehs nor proplets who were in lieaven, nor the inolt just and perfect mortals, then living on the earthi, nor any of those who were not risen from the dead, were found worthy to look upon, and much less to open the seals, to read and understand it. Yet there was found one, who had been a mun, worthy not only to look upon, but to loose the feals of the book, to read and to communicate the contents thereof to the prophet: and this was "the lion of the tribe of Judah,
the root of David, thc Lamb of God :" the revealer of his word, and the Redeemer of mankind.' To, this Lamb of God the book is delivered, and by him the teals are opened, and the contents thereof made known to the prophet, in fundry vifions, and in the tame order of time in which they were afterwards to be fulfilled, in regular succeision.
. Having thus declared his authority, and the divine fource whence he reccived his knowledge of futurity, the prophet divides bis fubject into thrce great parts, or ficce:five periods of cvents, under: the allegory of feals, trumpets, and vials. Each of
* Rev. v.
op It being the will of the Divine Author of prophecy, that the events foretold 1hould not be forefcen nor perfectly kinawn' until they should come to pass, they are figuratively represented, as con. tained in a book sealed with seven feals : a seal being an instru. went commonly used to conceal, from the fight and knowledge of