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altar, and they that worship therein, are those feru Christians, who in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation stood fast in the faith of Jesus Christ: and the court without the temple symbolizes those, who retained indeed the name of Christians, but had grossly apostatized from the truth. The holy city, which is given to them to tread under foot and to pollute with superstitious abominations during the period of forty-two prophetic months, a period equivalent to the 1260 years of the Apostasy, is the visible Church of Christ*. St. John therefore is ordered to measure, or take an account of, the faithful servants of God, who never ceased, in a greater or less number, to exist throughout the whole duration of the Apostasy: while he is commanded to leave out, and not to measure, the outer court, as containing only those nominal Christians,
date of the rise of the western apostasy and the commencement of the 1260 years; for in this year the Roman beast delivered the saints into the hand of his little horn. I can scarcely believe, that so many coincidences, all leading us to the year 606, are purely accidental.
* The holy city here mentioned cannot mean the literal Jerusalem, because the treading of it under foot is to continue only 1260 years, and during the reign of the Papal horn; whereas the treading under foot of the literal Jerusalem has already continued upwards of 1700 years, and commenced long before the reign of the Papal horn. The prophecy therefore of our Lord in Luke xxi. 24. which relates to the literal Jerusalem, cannot have any connection with the prophecy of St. John in Rev. xi. 2, which relates to the period of the 1260 years. See the preceding 2d Chapter of this work.
who in practice were Gentiles, and who were unworthy the notice of a being of infinite purity*.
“ And I will give power unto my two witnesses, “and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred “and three score days clothed in sackcloth. These “are the two olive trees, and the two candle
sticks, standing before the God of the earth.
* Measuring the servants of God is.equivalent to sealing them (See Rev. vii. 3.). Hence the commission of the Suracenic locusts extended only to those, who had not the seal of God in their foreheads; they were not able to approach to Piedmont and Savoy, the country of those that were senled. The unmeasured tenants of the outer court, and the unsealed men throughout the Roman empire, are alike the voturies of the Apostasy: while they that were measured, and they that were sealed, are the saints reho refused to be partakers of its abominations. Mr. Mede is perfectly right in his idea of the outer, court; but I cannot think with him that the inner court means the primitive Church previous to the revelation of the mun of sin, because the whole allegory is included within the 1260 years, and consequently those symbolized by the inner court and those symbolized by the outer court must necessarily be contemporary. They of the outer court indeed are the very men who persecute the reilnesses of the inner court (See Comment. Apoc. in loc.). The sealing of the servants of God takes place ander the sixth seul and during the reign of Constantine, because the apostasy, considered individually, commenced about that time. It separated the wheat from the tares, and was preparatory to the subsequent grand division of the witnesses from the gentiles of the outer court. A new race of gentiles began to insinuate themselves into th: holy city at the time when the serrunts of God were sealed, or when the Apostasy commenced individually: but the outer court was not formally given unto them by the secular power, till the saints were given into the hand of the little pupal horn in the year 606, and till the Apostasy became dominant,
And, if any man will hurt them, fire proceedetla « out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: “ and, if any man will hurt them, he must in this " manner be killed. These have power to shut
heaven, that it rain not in the days of their
prophecy: and have power over waters to turn * them to blood, and to smite the earth with all
plagues, as often as they will."
It is evident, that these twoo witnesses are to be contemporary with the great Apostasy, because they are to continue throughout its whole duration of 1260 years*; and it is equally evident, that they are to be hostile to it, because they are represented as prophesying in sackcloth, and as being the peculiar objects of the beast's fury. They are moreover not to exist at this time, or at that time, but from the very beginning to the very end of the Apostasy: consequently it is manifest, that they cannot be any two mere individuals. The question then is, what they are? Mr. Galloway endeavours to prove them to be the Old and New Testamentt. In this conjecture he follows Colter, More, and Napiert:
* I speak of the Apostasy in its dominant state.
+ Brief Comment. p. 45 et infra. Mr. Burton fancies the two witnesses to be Daniel and St. John; but, as he does not even attenipt to shew in what particulars they answer to the character of the witnesses, he leaves no room for a regular confutation. Essay on the numbers of Daniel and St. John, p. 241, 242, 246.
See Pol. Synop. in loc. Brightman thinks, that they are the Scriptures, and the congregation of the faithful. Apoc.
but such an opinion runs directly counter to a very wholesome rule, which every commentator upon hieroglyphical prophecy ought particularly to attend to: Having once established the definite meaning of a symbol, never afterwards think yourself at liberty to depart from that meaning* The two witnesses are expressly said by St. John to be the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, standing before the God of the earth. But both an olive tree, and a candlestick, are equally symbols of a churchf. Consequently the two witnesses must be two churches ; and therefore cannot be the two Testaments. Bp. Newton thinks, that no two particular men, or particular churches, are meant by them: but only that there should be a few faithful servants of God in every age, who should protest against the superstitious corruptions of their times. His Lordship is perfectly right in the spirit, though not quite accurate in the letter, of his interpretation. There is so much precision in all the numbers both of Daniel and St. John, that we ought to be very jealous of þreaking down the barrier of their literal acceptațion Scripture will ever be found the most
* See the beginning of the Preface to this work.
# It was wisely observed by Abp. Secker, that “it doth not ff appear that any of the numbers in Daniel mean uncertainty." His Grace might with equal propriety have extended his remark to St. John, with a very few exceptions which explain themselves. See Rev. vii. 4. and Rev. xxi. 16, 17.
satisfactory expositor of Scripture: and such I apprehend to be the case in the present instance. Throughout the whole Apocalypse the idea of the twofold Church of Christ is accurately preserved: the Church before the advent of our Lord, and the Church after his advent; the Church founded upon the Prophets, and the Church founded upon the Apostles ; Jesus Christ himself being equally the corner-stone of both. . Accordingly we find, in the very beginning of the Revelation, mention made of twenty-four elders, who are represented as being in heaven, the symbol of the universal Church. Troelve of these, in allusion to the twelve Jewish patriarchs, are representatives of the pre-Christian Church: and the other twelve, in allusion to the twelve Apostles, are representatives of the post-Christian Church. Whence the mystical number of God's chosen is said to be 144,000; or twelve multiplical into twelve, and afterwards again multiplied into a thousund, to shew that the pious constitute an exceeding great multitude. Whence also the symbolical city of the Lamb, or the universal Church triumphant, is described as a perfect cube of 12,000 furlongs; having twelve gates upon which are written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and twelve foundations in which are the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. And whence lastly the faithful are represented as singing the song not only of the Lamb, but likewise of Moses the servant of God. Now, avhen we recollect, that the prophet begins E 4