Page images

commencement of the thousand years : and the second, or general resurrection will take place. The Apocalypse triumphantly concludes with a figurative description of the happiness of the pious.

The following scheme will shew, at one point of view, the manner in which I arrange that part of the Apocalypse, which treats of the 1260 days, under the three successive periods of the woe-trumpets.

The two first Woe-trumpets.


ŞHistory of the Eastern Apostacy un

der the two first wot-trumpets.
X. | Introduction to the little book.

Contemporary history of the Western
XI. Apostacy under the two first woe-trum-
XII. pets, and to the end of the third :
XIII. the particular events of the third
XIV. however are reserved for the subject

of the following prophecy,
xv. Introduction to the pouring out of

2 the Vials.

The lit


Vial 1.2.

The third Woe-trumpet.

The harvest
Vial 2. of God's

Vial 3.9 wrath
The pouring out of the

Vial 4.

Vial 5.
Vial 6.

Vial 7.
A detailed account of the events a-

The vintage
XVII. bout to take place under the seventh

of God's XVIII. Vial ; such as the destruction of the

wrath. XIX. scarlet wbore, tbe overthrow of Baby

lon, and the battle of Armageddon.

If we compare the four preceding prophecies of Daniel with the Revelation of St. John, the point of their chronological coincidence will of course be that age of the Roman Empire in which St. John flourished; or the period, as the Apostle himself tells us, when the fourth great beast was existing under his sixth head. Hence the feet of the image branching out into ten toes, the fourth beast with ten horns, and the apoclyptic bcust with seven heads and ten horns, must all be designed to symbolize the same power. It is equally evident, that the three years and a half of Daniel are the three years and a half, the 42 months, or the 1260 days of St. John.

• Rev. xvii, 10,

Since then the feet of the image, the ten-horned beast, and the seven-headed and ten-horned beast, are one and the same power : the victory achieved by the stone over the feet of the image must be equivalent to the victory of the Lamb over the beast, the fulse prophet, and the confederated kings ;* and the triumphant reign of the mountain, to the duration of the Millennium. In a similar manner the judgment of Daniel's fourth beast by the Ancient of days must be the same as the victories of the stone and the Lamb ::. while the beasts, whose dominion was taken away, and whose lives were prolonged during the reign of the mountain, (for there was no other reign during which they could be prolonged, inasmuch as the first judgment was already past,) must be identified with the Gog and Magog mentioned by St. John, existing during the period of the Millennium, and as making a final effort against the Church towards the close of it.* Lastly, the second judgment, predicted by Daniel as taking place after the season to which the lives of the three first beasts had been prolonged, must be the second judgment, foretold by St. John as about to commence at the expiration of the Millennium.

These coincidences are sufficiently obvious, but to ascertain the others is attended with a greater degree of difficulty; more especially since such a variety of opinions has been entertained by those, who have written upon the subject. As far as I am able to judge, and I shall attempt to prove in the sequel what I am now about to advance, the two little horns and the atheistical king, mentioned by Daniel, are three distinct powers. The first of the little horns, into whose hand the saints were to be

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

. Dan. ii. 34.- Rev. xix. 17-21.

+ Dan. ii, 35.- Rev. II. 6. # Dan. vii. 9, 10, 11.—Dan. ii. 34.- Rev. xix. 17-21.

§ This prolongation “the Rabbins take for some season and time after the fourtb beast was destroyed ; and R. Soloinon, at the time of the war of Gog and Magog, which they look for soon after their restitution, upon the destruction of the fourth beast.”. (Mede's Works Book iv. Epist. 24.) They appear to me to be perfectly right in their general idea respecting this passage : but the war of Gog and Magog, the precise epoch of which is not defined by Ezekiel, will not take place, as we are taught by St. John, till 1000 years either natural or prophetic after the restoration of the Jews. This war of Gog and Magog will be discussed at large in the work, which, as I have already mentioned, I am now preparing for the press. * Dap. väi. 12. Rer, xx, 7, 8, 9.

+ Dan. vü, 13. Rev. I. 11.

given during the space of three times and a half, is the same as the second beast, or the false prophet, of the Apoc. alypse, who was to instigate the ten-horned beast to make war upon the saints during the synchronical period of 42 months. The second of the little horns, which, as we shall hereafter see, was to flourish in the East during the same space of 1260 days, and to the end of the 2300, 2400, or 2200, days, is the spiritual dominion of the Apocalyptic Abaddon, the angel of the bottomless pit and the king of the locusts, which is prolonged, though under a different name, during the reign of the Euphra. tèan horsemen.* And the impious king, whose characteristic mark is, that he should not regard any god,t is the great Antichrist predicted by St. John : who, in a similar manner, was to deny both the Father and the Son ; whose primary and only partial developement was to take place at the end of the second woe, who was to be fully revealed at the blast of the third woe ;lf who was to pour like an overwhelming flood upon the symbolical woman during the latter part of her sojourn in the wilderness ; who was to be the instrument of God's vengeance during the period of the figurative harvest ;** who was to perish between the two seas, united with the false prophet, at the time of the vintage ;ft and whose exploits are more largely and particularly detailed under the seven Vials. It

Dan. vii. 8, 25. Rev. xiii. 5, 11. $ In absolute strictness of speech, the second little born, will not exist during the wbule 1260 days, although Mobammedism will, of which this born is the symbol; because Mobammedism did not become a born of the beagoat, until about 30 years after its original commencement. But more will be said on this subject hereafter.

• Dan. viï. 9, 13, 14. Rev. ix. + Dan. xi. 36. f 1 John ii. 22. $ Rev. xi. 13.

|| Rev. xi. 15. ( Rev. xii. 15. ** Rev. xiv. 14, 15, 16. A Dan. xi. 45. Rev. xix. 11-21. Rev. xiv. 17-20. # Rev. xvi.


On the Symbolical Language of Prophecy.

[ocr errors]

THE illustrious Sir Isaac Newton has well observed, that “ for understanding the prophecies, we are, in the first place, to acquaint ourselves with the figurative language of the prophets." He has accordingly given us a catalogue of symbols with their several interpretations, of which I shall occasionally avail myself in the course of the following disquisition ; the main object of which is to point out and insist upon the exact precision of the prophetic language.

The predictions of Daniel and St. John are, with the single exception of Daniel's last prophecy, written in the languuge of symbols. It will be necessary therefore to ascertain the import of the several symbols which are used in their writings : for, without a right understanding of the symbols, it is impossible to learn what things are designed to be represented by them; and, unless we learn what things are designed to be represented by them, it will be a fruitless labour to attempt to interpret the prophecies themselves.

In the ordinary languages of men, words are the signs of things. Different words however are frequently used in all languages to express nearly the same thing : whence they are termed synonyms : and the use of them, so far from making a language obscure, renders it more copious, and consequently more beautiful. But, in some instances, the matter is precisely reversed: and the same word is used to express different things. Whenever this occurs, a degree of obscurity, which is a manifest defect in a language, is necessarily introduced: and the obscugrity is greater or less, both according as the same word represents a greater or a less number of different things, and in proportion as its context enables us less or more to ascertain the precise meaning designed to be annexed to it in any particular passage.

• Observations on the Prophecies, p. 16.


Let us apply these remarks to the symbolical language of prophecy. If various symbols be used to represent the same thing, we shall be in no danger of mistaking the prophet's meaning, provided only we can ascertain the import of each individual symbol: because such variety will only serve to heighten the beauty of the imagery, without introducing the slightest degree of obscurity. But, if, on the contrary, the same symbol be used to express many different things, which have no necessary analogical relation to each other; it will be utterly impossible to understand a prophecy couched in such ambiguous terms, because the context can never lead us, as is the case in ordinary languages, to any certain interpretation of it.

Upon this principle the symbolical language of prophecy is constructed. In the rich imagery of Daniel and St. John, different symbols are frequently used to express the same thing : but no one symbol is ever used to express different things ; unless such different things have a manifest analogical resemblance to each other. Hence the language of symbols, being purely a language of ideas, is in one respect more perfect than any ordinary language can be : it possesses the variegated elegance of synonyms, without any of the obscurity which arises from the use of ambiguous terms.*

As prophecy relates both to things temporal and things spiritual, its symbols must be divided into two grand classes; the one typifying temporal, and the other, spiritual, objects. And here it may be observed, that every division of these two parallel classes has a kind of leading symbol, which comprehends and is connected with a variety of other symbols belonging to the division of which this is the head. Thus, the symbolical heaven

• In some measure the Hebrew language forms an exception to the arbitrary ambiguity of other languages. " It will be demonstratively evident to any one," says Mr. Parkhurst, who will attentively examine the subject, that the Hebrew language is ideal; or that from a certain, and that no great, number of primitive and apparently arbitrary words, called roots, and usually expressive of some idea or notion taken from nature, that is from the external objects around us, or from our own constitutions, by our senses or feelings, all the other words of that tongue are derived er grammatically formed ; and that, wherever the radical letters are the same, the leading idea or notion runs tbrough all the deflections of the word, however numerous or diversified.” Preface to Heb. Lexicon.

« PreviousContinue »