صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

nesses had prophesied upwards of nine centuries, or very near three quarters of their whole testimony. The remaining period therefore was shortin comparison with that which preceded it*. It is a trite observation, that one error generally prepares the way for another. This is the case with Mr. Galloway's interpretation of the prophecy respecting the two witnesses. He assumes as proved, that the two witnesses are the two Testamenis ; and that their enemy, the beast of the bottomless pit, is the same as the second apocalyptic beast, or the beast of the earth, which he conceives to be « the powers of atheism established by revolu$ tionary France.” From these premises he concludes, that the three days and a half, during which the toitnesses were to lie dead, are the same as the time and times and dividing of a time, during which the saints were to be worn out by the little horn of ihe fourth beast : and consequently, since the little horn, as well as the beast of the earth is upon his hypothesis, revolutionary France, that Daniel and St. John allude to one and the

* It niay also be added, that, since the firm establishment of the Reformation, the sufferings of the witnesses have been very greatly mitigated; insomuch that what they have endured during the last quarter of the period of their prophesying in sackcloth is not to be compared with their troubles during the three first quarters of it. Would that we were more sensible of the great mercy of God in being allowed to enjoy the undisturbed exercise of our religion : for what are we better than ou fathers, that the Almighty should shew himself thus graciou to us?

[blocks in formation]

same event ; namely, the suppression of Christianity in France, during the space of three years' and a half. I have already shewn the erroneousness of this conjecture, so far as the little horn is concerned; I shall now point out, that it is equally erroneous in the case of the present prophecy.

Mr. Galloway supposes, that the two witnesses are the two Testaments. We have seen, on the contrary, that they are not the two Testaments, but the protestant confessors, the spiritual children of the twofold church of Christ. Now the revolutionary fanaticism of France was not directed against the protestants exclusively, but against all who professed the Christian religion: the supposed completion therefore does not accord with the prophecy in this particular.

Mr. Galloway further supposes, that the beast of the bottomless pił, who slew the witnesses, is the same as the second apocalyptic beast, or the twohorned beast of the earth ; and that this two-horned beast of the earth is revolutionary France. Waving at present the discussion of the last of these points, I shall only now observe, that the beast of the bottomless pit, who slew the wilnesses, is certainly not the two-horned beast of the earth, but the ten-horned beast of the sca* : consequently

Mr.

* Let the reader only compare together the following texts, and he will be sufficiently convinced of the truth of my assertion.

« The

Mr. Galloway's interpretation will not hold good even upon his own hypothesis. He has largely endeavoured to prove, that the ten-horned beast is the Papacy*, and that the two-horned beast is re- , volutionary France : but, whatever power the tenhorned beast may be, he is evidently the same as the beast of the bottomless pit: whence it would follow, even according to Mr. Galloway's own plan, that the two witnesses were slain by the papal beast, not by the atheistical one : therefore his exposition of the whole prophecy must be radically faulty. This will yet further appear, when I have

proved,

[graphic]

“ The beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless påt, shall “ make war against them," Rev. xi. 7.

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns.Rev. xiji. 1.

“ I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the a beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, that thou savest, was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit." Rev. xvii. 7, 8.

It appears then, that, in one text, the seven-heuded and tenhorned beast is said to arise out of the sea; and, in another text, to ascend out of the bottomless pit: whence it is a palpable truth, that the beast of the sea, and the beast of the bottomless pit, are the self same ten-horned and seven-headed beast. Not that I conceive the sea and the bottomless pit to mean precisely the same thing; the history of the rise of the Saracenic locusts suffi. ciently confutes such an opinion : but I apprehend, that the sea typifies the natural origin of the beast; and the bottomless pit, his spiritual origin.

* Comment. p. 159-Proph. History of the Church of Rome, passim.

H4

proved, as I trust I shall be able to prove, that neither the one, nor the other, of the two apocalyptic beasts, is revolutionary France.

“And in that hour there was a great earth

quake, and a tenth part of the city fell, and in " the earthquake were slain seven thousand names “ of men: and the remnant were affrighted, and

gave glory to the God of heaven. The second “ woe is past; and, behold, the third woe 'cometh “ quickly.”

Before any satisfactory interpretation can be given of this passage, it will be necessary to ascertain the meaning of the word hour which occurs in it: for, upon that, and upon the circumstance of the earthquake being the last event of note under the second woe-trumpet, the hinge of the whole exposition turns.

A year, a month, and a day, are all definite terms, conveying only one single idea: but an hour is not so; for it either signifies the twenty-fourth part of a day, or a season of indeterminate length*. It occurs in both these senses in the Apocalypse, as its several contexts abundantly shew. Thus, when we read of the Euphratèan horsemen being prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and

* Thus 'Spa stapıry, the vernal hour, means the whole season of spring; the length of the 'sepm, or season, being in this particular instance determined by the annexed adjective etapurn. Elo nerov is a phrase of a similar nature, though not precisely of the same construction. The two expressions occur in Homer and Theocritus,

a year,

[graphic]
« السابقةمتابعة »