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power of the soldiers to appoint the emperor publicly asserted— The emperor
henceforth obliged to humour the soldiers and purchase their good will —
Tacitus, Suetonius, Dion Cassius, Gibbon,
Concluding period of the seal,
CHAPTER V.-PAGE 55 to 64.
The decline of the empire dates from this period—More than two-thirds of the
Roman armies destroyed, and their discipline ruined—Tacitus, Josephus,
Plutarch, and Dion Cassius,
The power of the soldiers,
The change in their composition—Tacitus, Gibbon, D'Anville,
An important mistake of Gibbon, corrected by the concurrent testimony of Taci-
tus, Plutarch, and Dion Cassius,
Testimony of Tacitus to the weakness and urgent danger of the empire in his
time, Mr. Gibbon's translation of a remarkable passage in Tacitus examined, Gibbon's own statements confirm the judgment of Tacitus,
CHAPTER VI.—PAGE 65 to 70.
An accurate knowledge of the Imperial system, of the titles, and honours, con
ferred on the Cæsars, necessary for the investigation of the Apocalypse-
Gibbon's inconsistent and contradictory representations—He transfers to, and
considers as characteristic of, the age of Severus, habits, manners and usages,
which, according to Josephus and Tacitus, prevailed in the times of the
Gibbon's assertion that the earlier emperors declined to assume the titles and
honours of the Deity, at variance with the language of Virgil, Horace, and
the testimony Tacitus, Suetonius, and Dion Cassius, That the title of dominus, or lord, was not given to the early emperors, contra
dicted by St. Luke, Josephus, Tacitus, and others,
That the Romans, from the reign of Tiberius to that of Domitian, “ were secure
from the dangers of an ignominious torture,” contradicted by Suetonius and
CHAPTER VII.-THE THIRD SEAL.--PAGE 71 to 81.
The scene, time, and general character of the events, which fulfil the vision,
The penny--The chænix, or measure of wheat—The price of food, anciently, in
times of scarcity,
The zugos—Its figurative and symbolical meaning in the Old Testament, Jer.
xxvii., xxviii., 2 Chron. x.
“See thou hurt not the oil and the wine,” a prohibitory law—The power that
enacts it and makes the proclamation, “a measure of wheat," &c., the
Roman government–The calamities predicted, caused by measures affecting
Oppressive taxes imposed by Severus and his successors--Their peculiar cha-
racter--The mode of levying them--The ruin of agriculture--Gibbon, The husbandmen, to evade the tax, feign poverty, and injure the vines--Imperial
laws to examine by torture, and punish these evasions by death—The Theo
An omission of Gibbon supplied from Lactantius,
The extreme misery of the rural population of the empire-Lactantius,
To kill with the sword, with hunger, &c., Ezek. xiv. 21—Commentators gene-
rally agree in the scope and object of this seal,
Murder of Alexander Severus by Maximin-Maximin succeeds him—His cruelty
The first invasion of the empire by the Goths - The Romans' defeated in two
great battles, and the emperor slain,
The empire invaded by the Franks— The Alemanni— The Goths—The Persians
-Torn at the same time by internal discord and civil wars,
Famine and pestilence,
The beasts of the earth,
The fourth part of the earth,
CHAPTER IX.- THE FIFTH SEAL.- Page 93 to 102.
The scope of the seal—The place where St. John sees the Apocalypse—The souls
lying under the altar,
They cry for vengeance-The white robes—The injunction that they should rest
yet a little while, &c.
The church persecuted during the first three centuries,
The first persecution by the Roman government,
The third, in the reign of Trajan—His edict-Its character,
Renewed by Adrian,
Christians persecuted with savage ferocity by Antoninus the Philosopher,
By Severus, Maximin, Decius, Gallus, and Valerian,
The Diocletian persecution, A.D. 303 to 313—The object of it-The state of the
The persecution ended in the ruin of heathenism and of its great supporters,
CHAPTER X.—THE SIXTH SEAL.-PAGE 103 to 131.
Is the language symbolical or literal ?
The order, structure, and contents of the foregoing and subsequent visions denote
it to be symbolical,
The language is best explained by similar language in other prophecies
the scope of the vision, by the interwoven prophecies,
Sir Isaac Newton and Bishop Warburton's explanations of the figurative and
symbolic language of Scripture,'
The symbolical language of Jeremiah, iv. 23, &c., Isaiah, xiii. 10, &c., Haggai,
ii. 7, 21, 22, Heb. xii. 26, &c., require the vision to be understood sym-
The prophecies referred to, or interwoven with the vision, Joel, ii. 10, 31,
Isaiah, xxxiv. 4, Hosea, x. 8, Isaiah, ii. 21, determine its scope to be
the destruction of a great system of heathen superstition,
The theatre and time of the visitation,
The vision fulfilled by the fall of Roman heathenism-Roman heathenism a great
religious system-Established by Numa Pompilius—None but Roman gods
to be worshipped, and only by Roman rites—These positive and prohi-
bitory laws enforced by the Roman magistrate from the time of Numa
to the end of the Diocletian persecution-Livy—The Law of the Twelve
Tables—Pliny-The edicts of Diocletian and Galerius,
Reinarkable difference between the religion of Rome and of the best policied
states of Greece,
The fall of this great system—Historical sketch,
The fate of the great persecutors, Severus, Maximian, Maxentius, Maximin,
Diocletian, Licinius, their partisars and families,
The enemies of the Lord, struck with a dreadful fear of Him-The apparent
change in the minds of the pagans during the Diocletian persecution—The
uniform success of Constantine necessarily, on the principles of heathenism,
a cause for dreading the Lord,
Galerius, in his edict, manifests his dread,
Maximin, before his death, thought he saw God and His ministers judging him,
and implored Christ for mercy,
CHAPTER XI.PAGE 122 to 126.
The sealed— The twelve tribes represent the entire Christian people,
The meaning of the sealing,
Ezekiel's vision, ix.,
The vision denotes great corruptions in the church, and the preservation of the
sealed from apostacy,
CHAPTER XII.- Page 127 to 131.
CHAPTER XIII.-PAGE 132 to 138.
The angels holding the Four Winds, Rev. vii., 1, 3—The earth, the Roman
empire-Trees, the inhabitants of a country, Ezek., xvii., 24; Is. ii., 13-
Winds, invasions, Jeremiah, iv., 13 ; xlix., 36; li., 1, 2—Waters, peo-
ples, multitudes, nations, tongues, Rev. xvii. — The sea, the outlying
nations, or barbaric world—The sea, agitated by the winds, nations at war
among themselves, or invading and overwhelming another nation, Ezek.,
xxvi., 3, 19, Jeremiah, l., 9, 41 ; li., 11, 27, 42, Daniel, vii., 2--Bishop
The meaning of the vision,
Notes of time,
What is required to explain the vision,
CHAPTER XIV.-PAGE 139.
The seven Angels with the seven trumpets prepare themselves to sound, Rev.
The third of the earth, a division of the empire-Josephus, Sil. Italicus,
Commotions in the barbaric world— The Huns— They impel the Goths on the
The Vandals, Suevi, Burgundians invade Italy, devastate the Gauls and Spain,
The second invasion of Italy by the Goths—Rome taken,
The third of the earth burnt,
The European third swept by a desolating tempest of war,
The third of the trees and all the green grass burnt up—The grass, the inferior
people—These invasions more fatal to them than to the great—Cause-
CHAPTER XVI.—THE SECOND TRUMPET.–Page 152 to 159.
A mountain, a kingdom, Is. ii., 14—A burnt mountain, a kingdom that is sub-
verted, Jer. li., 24, 25—A burning mountain a kingdom destructive to
others, and containing within itself the elements of its own ruin—The
creatures in the sea, the inhabitants of the countries, regarded as waters, or
a sea, Ezek., xxix.. 3, &c.; xlvii., 9, 10—Ships instruments of luxury, Is.,
ii., 12, and Lowth—The burning mountain, Attila and his Huns,
The third of the sea, the Europeon third, inundated by the barbarians, regarded
as so much sea,
CHAPTER XVII.—THE THIRD TRUMPET.-PAGE 160 to 171.
The fall of a star from heaven, the fall of a kingdom, Is. xiv., 4, 12–Rivers,
cities—Sir Isaac Newton—The drying up of rivers represents, in Scripture,
the ruin of cities, Is. xxvii., 25, Ezek., xxix., 10, 12-Wormwood the
symbol of extreme misery, Lam., iii., 15, 20—The third, a division of the
The star, the kingdom of the Ostrogoths—Consequences of its fall,
The ruin of cities, a characteristic of the trumpet—The importance of the Italian
towns, Guizot—Their ruin, a characteristic of the Gothic war,
The passes of the Danube being unguarded, in consequence of the Ostrogothic
war, the Bulgarians, Sclavonians, and Avars, waste Europe, from Constan-
tinople to the Adriatic, and complete the ruin of Greece,
CHAPTER XVIII.—THE FOURTH TRUMPET.-PAGE 171 to 176.
The heavenly luminaries—The scope of the prophecy twofold— The symbols
denote partial calamities, not the total destruction of a system—The theatre
of the events,
The great and prevailing corruptions of the Christian religion at the time of
the trumpet—The dreadful irruption of Chosroes—His object the subver-
sion of the empire and the extinction of the Christian religion in the east, 172
The effects of the symbolic tempest, c. vii.
The Persian war prepares the way for the next great Apocalyptic and Historic
2 Peter, 20, 21, examined and explained,
The empire weakened by Trajan's conquest of Dacia-His eastern conquests, 180
The succession of the Roman emperors, of the kings of Judah, and of the kings
Gibbon's character — Trajan's edict against the Christians-His character of
Trajan-How represented by other historians and by himself,
Gibbon's estimate of the number of martyrs in the Diocletian persecution—His
explanation of the multitudo ingens, the vast multitude, of Tactitus, and of
Pliny's testimony to the rapid spread of Christanity,
Supplement to page 32,
FULFILLED PROPHECIES OF TIE REVELATION.
The Object of the Work—the Structure and Scope of the Apocalypse, from Chap. VI.
to the end of Chap. XIX.—the Principles on which the Interpretation is conducted the probable Time the Apocalypse was seen—The exact Knowledge of the Time when it was given not essential to the Right Interpretation.
The object of this work is to give an exposition of the first six seals of the Apocalypse, the first six trumpets, and of those other Apocalyptic prophecies which appear to have been fulfilled, wholly or in part, before the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
These prophecies are contained in chapters vi., vii., viii., ix., X., xi., xii., xiii., xiv., xvii., and xix. They reach over a long period of time, and embrace the most important events which have happened during seventeen hundred years, within, and a little beyond the limits of the old Roman empire, viz:the propagation of the Christian religion—the persecution of its professors by the Roman government—the civil wars and calamities of the empire—the fall of paganism—the establishment of Christianity-the rapid corruptions and divisions of the church—the invasion of the empire by the barbaric nationsthe settlement of various Germanic tribes in the countries south of the Danube and Rhine, and their relation with the imperial government—the rise and progress of the Mahometan power--the Turks—the fall of the Greek empire—the general idolatry and depravity of the times before and after its fall—the preservation, in the midst of this general corruption, of many