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history: therefore I. and III. are the same periods. But I, which thus appears to be the same with III., has been seen also to be the same with II.; therefore all three periods are the same. Thus these three prophetic periods are of the same length or duration: they measure the same quantity of time. But another question will arise; whether they measure the same identical period : for, although allowed to measure the same quantity of time, they may possibly succeed each other; or if they be cotemporary in some parts, yet it may not appear that they quadrate and agree in all: their beginnings and their endings may not be at the same points. Now it will not be difficult to show that all these Sa
have some common 26, coincidence; they are all contained under the sixth trumpet. a and d exhibit the same history, told by different prophets, viz. that of the antichristian oppressor expected to arise out of the Roman empire, after its division into ten kingdoms. b and f contain the same history,—the nourishment of the woman in the wilderness,—which, for a particular reason, is repeated.' But the beast, represented in a and d, receives his power from the dragon, (ch. xiii. 2, 5.) who is certainly described as cotemporary with the woman; and makes war against her seed, the seed of the woman in the wilderness, the saints. Therefore a and d, and b and f, contain histories, some parts of which at least are of the same period. Again, any one who reads ch. xi. 2, 3, with attention, must perceive that cand e are purposely brought together, in order to show that they contain the same period, but e, in some of its parts, is certainly cotemporary with a and d; with the times of the beast.
1 See note, ch. xii. 14.
sidered as making the principal part of the warfare between the Dragon and the Woman, under their united ministry in his service.
The period of forty-two months being mentioned in this chapter for the last time, presents itself for a minute enquiry into this and other concurrent periods of the same duration.
There are three of these repeatedly mentioned in the Apocalypse, which will appear more evident from the following scheme, copied, after a careful review of it, out of my former work. Perfect success, however, is not to be expected in the development of prophecies as yet only partially enlightened by the occurrence of the predicted events.
In examining these, we must be contented with the light afforded by past or present circumstances, and not presume to a foreknowledge, unsupported by direct assurances of Scripture. The three periods are
a. During this period, the saints, or I. A time, and times, and dividing
times and laws, are given into of time.
the hand of the little horn, or Καιρον και καιρους και ημισυ και
king, rising after the ten kings. pov. Rev. xii. 4.
Dan. vii. 25; xiii. 7. Εως καιρό και καιρών και γε ήμισυ b The woman is nourished in the kalpov. Dan, vii, 25.
wilderness from the presence of
the serpent. Rev. xii. 14.
c The Gentiles tread the holy city. II. Forty-two months.
Rev. xi. 2; Luke xxi. 24. Μήνας τεσσαρακοντα δυο. .
d The beast continues to act against
the saints. Rev. xiii, 5. III. Twelve hundred and sixty
e The witnesses prophesy in sack
cloth. Rev. xi. 3. days.
f The woman is nourished in the Ημερας χιλιας διακόσιας εξηκοντα.
wilderness. Rev. xii. 6. Now if we compare a and d together, they will be found to relate the same history; therefore the periods contained under I. and II. appear to be the same. Again, compare b with f; they are the same
history: therefore I. and III. are the same periods.
have some common 2d,
f, coincidence; they are all contained under the sixth trumpet. a and d exhibit the same history, told by different prophets, viz. that of the antichristian oppressor expected to arise out of the Roman empire, after its division into ten kingdoms. b and f contain the same history,—the nourishment of the woman in the wilderness,—which, for à particular reason, is repeated.' But the beast, represented in a and d, receives his power from the dragon, (ch. xiii. 2, who is certainly described as cotemporary with the woman; and makes war against her seed, the seed of the woman in the wilderness, the saints. Therefore a and d, and b and f, contain histories, some parts of which at least are of the same period. Again, any one who reads ch. xi. 2, 3, with attention, must perceive that cand e are purposely brought together, in order to show that they contain the same period, but e, in some of its parts, is certainly cotemporary with a and d; with the times of the beast.
1 See note, ch. xii. 14.
For the beast of a and d slays the witnesses of e. And thus all of them appear to cotemporise in some parts of their course. But, that they agree and coincide in all their points; that they synchronise, as Mede expresses it, in every part of their periods, so as to have the same beginning, middle, and end, will not be so easily admitted.
But, to render this examination less difficult, we may begin with reducing the six periods to four: for, 1. a and d may safely be pronounced to be the self-same period; viz. the time during which the antichristian oppressor is permitted to act against the saints. The history is the same, but given in different expression, yet amounting to the same duration, by two different prophets.? 2. b and f evidently set forth the same history and time; viz. the nourishment of the woman in the wilderness. We are therefore enabled to reduce the six periods to four :-1. the period of the continuance of the beast; 'a and d:-2. that of the continuance of the woman in the wilderness; b and f43. That of the Gentiles continuing to tread the holy city; c:-4. that of the witnesses continuing to prophesy in sackcloth ; e.
This is what Joseph Mede has intitled, nobilis iste quaternio vaticiniorum, æqualibus temporum intervallis insignium ;? whose periods he has endeavoured to exhibit as synchronising in all their parts. His first attempt is to show the synchronism of the time of the beast, (a, b,) with that of the woman in the wilderness, (b, f.) upon this ground, that their times begin together, and consequently must run together throughout. But the proof of their beginning together does not appear free from objection. They begin together, says he, from one and the same point of time; namely, when the dragon is overcome and cast down to the earth. Now, if this be the point of time, from which the sojournment of the woman in the wilderness is to be dated, yet it can scarcely be that of the commencement of the beast's reign. For there is an interval, full of action, between the fall of the dragon and the rise of the beast; namely, that in which the dragon pursues the woman, casting after her torrents of water; and it is not till after he has in vain tried this method of destroying her, that, enraged at his disappointment, he raises up the beast to war against the rest of her offspring. (See ch. xii. 13–17; and ch. xiii. 1.) That the beast and the woman are cotemporary in some parts of their periods, is very probable; and it is probable likewise, that their beginnings are not far distant from each other,--so that from what has hitherto appeared, they may be the same:—but this has not yet seemed to admit of complete demonstration.
1 The forty-two months of St. John are exactly equal to three years and an half, the time, and times, and half a time, of Daniel. See note, ch. xi. 2 ; xii. 14.
2 Clav. Apoc. p. 419.
The synchronism of the beast, with the prophecy of the witnesses, seems likewise defective in proof. These, says Mede, are both brought down to the same period of consummation, at the end of the sixth trumpet. But, if the period of the witnesses be allowed to end with the sixth trumpet, it is otherwise with the period of the beast, whose warfare against the Church is particularly described under the seventh trumpet; when, together with the false prophet, he is taken and slain. (Ch. xix. 19.) Besides, nothing is more manifest, than that the beast does not come to his end at the same time with the witnesses; for the witnesses are slain by him; and when they are slain, they finish their prophetical office; as is expressly declared in ch. si. 7. *Add to this, that the earthquake and fall of one tenth of the city, which concludes the prophecy of the witnesses, and