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and spiritual character of a country, is that which will really decide its state in the day of the Lord.

In the description of THE FOURTH BEAST, as given by St. 'John, in the Revelation, the beast is said to have seven heads, and these are interpreted to mean the seven mountains on which the woman sitteth, and that there are seven kings, of which five are fallen, and one is, and the other is yet to come.

The confirmation of the application of this to Rome by the unconscious testimony of Pagan poets and historians, is very striking.* The grouping together of the first five heads removes all objections from the irregularity of order in which they rose, and fell, and rose again. By this grouping of the five together, the order is not more marked in the prophecy than it was in the history. The five forms of government, according to the Roman historians, were Kings, Consuls, Decemvirs, Dictators, and Tribunes. The Imperial Government was the one existing at the time of the apostle.

The importance of these prophecies to us, will be [204] more clearly seen when it is known that these ten kingdoms are to be destroyed at the coming of Christ, (Dan. ii. 44, 45; Rev. xvii.—xix.); and that it is during their continuance that he appears in the clouds to establish his own kingdom on their ruin, (Dan. ii. 44; vii. 13, 14, and 27, 28; Rev. xix. 11;) his being the sole kingdom then left, (Dan. vii. 27, 28; Rev. xi. 15; xx. —xxii.)

The termination of the times of the Gentiles is also the more important, as it is so continually represented to us as the time of the separation of the wicked from faithful professors. Look in this view at the parables of the tares and wheat; the net cast into the sea, the ten virgins and the talents. See the striking statements of our Lord, Luke xvii. 26—30, and of his Apostles, i Thess. iv. 15—18; v. 1-11. 2 Thess. i. 5–10 and ii. The author was long satisfied to refer these to the general judgment after the Millennium, but a more full consideration of scripture leads him to think that the whole of the scriptural testimony can only be harmonized by applying them to a separation to take place previous to the Millennium.

When shall these things take place? Who can answer this? The precise time is probably yet hidden from us; but the signs of the times are to be discerned, and the approach of the time may be expected to be known, as was the time of the first ad.

* The Testimony, as given by Cressener, in his Demonstration, to the title of Rome as the seven hill'd city, includes Varro, Virgil, Ovid, Propertius, Martial, and Lucan; (see page 9;) and as to the five forms of government, it includes the two principal historians, Tacitus and Livy, Cassiodorus in his Chronicon, and Onuphrius Panvicinus. See page 135, 136.

vent to Simeon, Anna, and others. Sir Isaac Newton, in his day, speaks of the time approaching, but adds (page 252) “the time is not yet come for understanding these prophecies perfectly, because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet come to pass.” It has appeared to many that the French Revolution, (205) in 1793, is that main revolution which meets these anticipations.

On the comMENCEMENT OF THE 1260 YEARS, there are considerable differences of opinion amongst Protestant interpreters. The most common modern opinion (that of Mr. Cuninghame, Mr. Gisborne, Mr. Frere, and Mr. Irving,) gives A. D. 533, the date of Justinian's Edict in favour of the Pope; Mr. Faber's commencement is 604; Bishop Newton's 727; and Lowman's 756. In the year 584 mentioned by Mr. Brown, Pope Pelagius claimed infallibility, and was assisted in maintaining it by the troops of the empire, and then Rome was abandoned by the eastern emperor. This period would terminate in 1844. The Magdeburgh Centuriators name the year 666 as the time when Pope Vitalian would have service in the church in Latin.

The year of our Lord 608, exactly 75 years after 533, is remarkable by the Pantheon being dedicated afresh to the Virgin Mary and other saints; and the same, or following year, Mahomet’s preaching began. This date of 75 years is important, as being the interval (divided into two parts of 30 and 45 years) given by Daniel between the close of the 1260 years, and the years of blessedness. On this view the first term of 30 years terminated in 1822. The events which distinguished the year 1822 were the declaration of independence by the Greeks, and the restoration thus of the seat of the third empire to political power. The gospel was then also again preached to the Jews in Jerusalem.

In the author's view the most probable of the periods is that of the year 533, ending in the French Revolution. It tended to shake this, while there [206] was reason to think that part of Justinian's Letter in favour of the Pope was a forgery of the Romanists, as stated by Comber in his Forgeries of the Councils, p. 251. In the part which Comber admitted to be genuine there is much respect and honour given to the Pope; but not what could of itself be considered as putting the saints into his hands. But Mr. Cuninghame has, since this was written, investigated at some length the doubts thrown out by Comber, and has, I think, satisfactorily removed them. See his preface to the Fulness of the Times. Page 11-22.*

* The identifying of the Letters to the pope with the civil law, and embodying his primacy in that law, was a remarkable way of accrediting the pope, and making prominent his dignity. Gibbon says, "The vain titles of ibe victories of Justinian, are crumbled in the dust, but the name of the legislator is inscribed on a fair and everlasting monument. Under his reign and by his care, the civil jurisprudence was digested in the immortal works of the Code, the PANDECTS and the INSTITUTIONS, the public reason of the Romans has been silently or studiously transfused into THE DOMESTIC INSTITUTIONS OF EUROPE, and the laws of Justinian still command the respect or obedience of independent nations.". They did indeed soon after they were published, fall 'into neglect and oblivion till about the year 1130; when a copy of the digests was found at Amalfi in Italy; which accident concurring with the policy of the Roman Ecclesiastics suddenly gave new vogue and authority to the civil law." See Encyclopædia Britannica on "Law.” The novels are full of directions about Ecclesiastical matters, and the primacy over the Christian church through the Roman empire is given to the pope in the body of them.


There are other expressions in Justinian's Novels, making the Pope pre-eminent, to which Comber has not alluded, (Nov. 131. ch. 2.) “Sancimus sanctissimum senioris Romæ Papam PRIMUM ESSE OMNIUM SACERDOTUM. The

passage in Daniel, on which the commencement of the 1260 years is chiefly founded, is thus translated by Wintle, “He shall speak [207] words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall presume to alter appointed seasons and the law which shall be given into his hand, until a time and times and the division of a time.” Daniel vii. 25.

On which Mr. Wintle says, “Either the saints shall be subject to his power or, as seems more agreeable to the versions, his influence shall prevail over the solemnities of the law. Possibly both might be intended to be included in the usurpation.?!

From whatever dates we reckon, we cannot but consider that the time of the end is drawing near, and that awful events of judgment and of mercy are before us. The time of condemnation and salvation as concerns the professing Christian church at large, as well as each individual believer, is hastening on. This should lead every Christian, on his own part to special watchfulness; on the part of a perishing world to the utmost exertions and prayer; and on the part of the church and the world to come, to peculiar hope and gladness of heart. When these evil times are passed away, the day of millennial glory dawns on the world; (2 Peter i. 19.) or in the words of Št. Paul, speaking of the loving-kindness of God, in choosing his people out of the world, God's purpose is "that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him." Ephes. i. 10.1

* See Mr. Cuninghame's able statement on this subject, with the original extracts, in his Apocalypse, p. 260—273, and his reply to Mr. Faber, p. 27, &c., and his Fulness of Times.

+ Bengelius observes in his Gnomon also, on Rev. x. 6:"There is a great doubting concerning these periods, and many say that VOL. II.-62

[208] Connected with the subject of Chronological Prophecies is that of Cycles and JUBILEES. It is striking that some chief Prophetical and Chronological dates should be Astronomical Cycles, as 1260 and 2300, and the difference between them 1040, the most perfect cycle known. The æras of Jubilees may also yet be found much to illustrate the Chronology of Prophecy. This subject has been brought forward by Mr. Cuninghame in several of his latter publications with much application and extended research. Difficulties and mistakes in so intricate and perplexed a subject may be expected; but though pushed too far, there is valuable thought in these works and the increasing importance of the subject fully justifies great attention to it.

The author in his Sermon before the European Missionary Society, published in his Occasional Works, has thus stated his view of the course of events yet to take place.

The beginning of the day of the Lord seems to be the breaking up of the visible Gentile kingdoms and churches, (Rev. xvi. 19) on account of their apostacy and wickedness, by a series of desolating judgments [209] foretold distinctly in Dan. ii. 34, 35, and strengthened by the vision of the four beasts (Dan. vii.) as well as by many similar predictions. This is explicitly interpreted by the angel as pointing out Christ's kingdom breaking in pieces all the previous kingdoms, and then standing for ever. Here is the complete overthrow of Popery, Mahomedanism, Infidelity, and every opposing kingdom. This is the time of trouble, such us never was since there was a nation, even to that same time, but the scriptures lead us to the hope that vast multitudes of the unevangelized Gentiles may be converted to Christ, (Rev. vii. 9—14.) and that the Jews shall be delivered (Dan. xii. 1.) in this eventful period.

When the times of the Gentiles are passing away (Rom. xi. 25—32. Luke xxi. 24, 25.) the Jews are visibly recalled into the church of God (Dan. ix. 27; Ezek. xx. 32—44; Isa. xlix. 9-12; lxii. 1.)- partake of his renewed favour,--are restored to their land (Ezek. xxxvi. 1-38; xxxvii. 20—23; Psalm xxxvii.; Isa. xi. 11, 12; 1xii. 4; Ix. 21; Jer. xxxi. 1-6; Gen. xiii. 14-18; xv. 18-21; xvii. 7. 8; xxvi. 3, 4; Exod. vi. 2 -8; Lev. xxvi. 40-44; Deut. xxx. 4–6; xxxii. 43,)-and become peculiarly exposed to the wrath of the apostate Gentiles, who, under the last Antichrist, come against restored Israel. Isaiah lxvi. 1-4; Jer. xxx. 1-9; Isa. x. 20—27; Dan. ix. 27; Isa. xxxi. xxxiii. 1-10; Ezek. xxxviii, 1–16; Dan. xi. 41-45; Joel ii. 1-20; Mic. iv. 8-10; Dan. xii. 1, 2. Then the signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars are manifested. Mat. xxiv. 20-29; Luke xxi. 24-26; Heb. xii. 26-28; Hag. ii. 6,7; Isa, xiii. 9—11; xxxiv. 1--4; Joel iii. 12–15; ii. 31, 32; Mal. iv. [210] 1-6. Soon the sign of the Son of Man himself appears in the heavens (Matt. xxiv. 29, 30; Luke xxi. 27, 28; Isa. xviii. 3—7; xi. 12-14; xxxi. 6-8; Dan. vii. 13, 14; Mat. xxii. 39; Luke xvii. 24); he raises his dead, he changes his living saints; they rise to be with him in the air (Mat. xxiv. 31; Rev. xi. 15, 18; 1 Cor. xv. 51—54; 1 Thess. iv. 15–17; 2 Thess. i. 7; Isaiah xxvii. 12, 13; Rev. iii. 10; Isaiah xxvi. 19-21; Mal. iii. 17, 18); the beast, the kings of the earth and their armies gather together, in their rage, enmity, and blindness, to make war against the Lord, and the armies which follow him (Mat. xxiv. 30; Rev. xi. 18; xvi. 14; Isa. viii. 8—10; X. 24-26; xxiv. 21, 22; xxvii. 4; xxxi. 4; liv. 15; lxvi. 18; Joel iii.. 1,2; Mic. iv. 11-13; Zeph. iii. 9, 9; Zech. xii. 2–5; xiv. 1-5; Rev. xix. 19); he pours his judgments on Antichrist and his adherents, pleading with all flesh by fire and sword. Matt xxiv. 36—39; Rev. xv. 1; xvi. 1; Daniel ix. 27; Isa. X. 24, 26; xiv. 24-26; xxiv. 21--23; xxxiv.; lxiii.; Rev. xix. 10—21; Joel iji. 11-16; Nah. i. 9– 15; Isaiah xxx. 27-33; Ezek. xxxviii. 17-23; Dan. vii. 914: Mal. iv. 1, 3; Matt. iii. 12; 2 Thess. i. 8; ii. 8; Rev. xix. 15, 20; Isaiah lxvi. 16; Rev. xix. The character of the dispensation is discriminating, punishing, and purifying. 1 Cor. jii. 12-15; Mal. iii. 3; Zech. xiii. 9; Mark ix. 42, 50; Jer. XX. 9; xxiii. 29; Psalm xcvii. 3; 1 Peter iv. 12; 2 Peter iii. 10-13; Rev. iii. 18. Every man's work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire. The Jewish nation have a special promise of preservation. Isa. li. 16, The progress of that fire accomplishes the predicted passing away of the heavens, melting of the elements, [211] and burning up of the works of the earth, in the day of the Lord; but, like the Jewish tribulation, this fire seems to have a crisis in the beginning (Ezek. xxxviii. 22: xxxix. 6; Isa.

nothing can be known before the accomplishment; by which the martyrs and witnesses of the truth, in the Reformation, and before and after, who relied on the Apocalypse, especially its thirteenth and seventeenth chapters, are forsaken; and the main fruit of the prophecy, in warning and guarding us against approaching evils, is made void. Certainly to unseal the Apocalypse, either all the events are required, or a good part, is sufficient. If the whole is necessary, the Apocalypse will never be understood before the end of the world; for events reach so far, and even into eternity itself. If a good part is sufficient, let us use that part, so as to measure future things by the past, and not rush into the midst of the events unprepared. He is rash who sleeps in the danger, not he who looks out beforehand. We ought not, indeed, to be so confident in fixing things to come, as not to leave those to be explained by the event which the text has not defined, or, at least, the interpreter does not yet distinctly see. But those who avoid everything special, are ignorant what to observe, even in the events themselves. Spiritual docility and sobriety agree well with each other."


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