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protracted siege, Magdeburg was compelled to surrender, and to receive the Interim as a system of faith.
To apply these historical facts to prophecy : Since the death of the witnesses denotes their ceasing to be witnesses, since the instrument of inflicting this death is the Roman beast, under his last or Gothico-imperial head, and since the representative of this head at the era of the reformation (to which the terms of the prophecy seem most naturally to direct us) was Charles the fifth ; I conceive, that the death of the witnesses, which took place subsequent to and in consequence of the beast's waging war against them, was effected by their constrained reception of the Interim. For, by receiving such a system, they ceased for a time to be witnesses of the everlasting Gospel ; or, in the figured language of prophecy, they were slain. But the diet were compelled to give their sanction to the Interim on the 15th of May 1548: from this time therefore, or rather perhaps from the time when the Emperor, after the dissolution of the diet, ordered the Interim to be published and enforced, which happened somewhat later*, the three days and a half, during which the witnesses were to lie dead, must be computed t.
* Robertson's Hist. of Charles V. vol.iii.
+ Brightman refers this prophecy to the same period with myself, but with a very important difference in the particular application of it. He thinks, that the witnesses were slain in
The witnesses were now prophetically dead: but they were not long to continue so; their tenets were neither forgotten, nor wholly removed out of sight, as is the case when a dead body is hidden in the grave: hence it is said, that, although-slain themselves, their remains were not buried *. I have already stated the time zehen, and the power by which, they were to be slain; it will now be proper to consider the place where their dead bodies were thus exposed. This was the
the battle of Muhlberg, which, as we have seen, was fought on the 24th of April 1547; and that they were raised from the dead, and stood again upon their feet at Magdeburg, when, about three years and a half after the battle of Muhlberg, the Magdeburgers took up arms in opposition to the Interim.
I had once adopted this opinion, but a more mature consideration convinces me that it is erroneous. Although the protestants were completely routed at Muhlberg, the witnesses cannot, in the prophetic sense of the words, be said to have been slain, because they had not ceased to be witnesses. They did not cease to bear their testimony, until they were constrained to accept the Mterim. Then, and not till :hen, were they slain. So again: the revival of the witnesses, their standing upon their feet, and the great feur of their enemies, certainly describe a complete change in the state of the witnesses, a commencement of prosperity succeeding their former depressed condition. But, when the Magdeburgers took up arms, they took them up unsuccessfully, being compelled, after a long siege, to surrender their city and to receive the Interim.
* Possibly this expression may covertly allude to the Emperor's carrying about with him in triumph those poor remains of the vanquished protestants, the Elector and the Landgrave, and exposing them every where as a spectacle to the Germans. See Hist, of Charles V. vol, iit. p. 135, 173:
broad street of the great city, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. The excellent Bp. Newton, and the learned Mr. Mann of the Charter-house, whom he cites, needlessly perplex themselves with elaborately shewing, how the city of Rome may be said to be the city where our Lord was crucified. *The great city, however, the mystic Babylon, which throughout the Apocalypse is represented in constant and direct opposition to the holy city, or the Church, is certainly not the city, but the empire of Rome *: whence a street of this great city is a kingdom or province of the empire, considered as a whole; and a tenth part of the city, as mentioned in the thirteenth verse of the present chapter, is not a tenih part of the literal city of Rome, but a tenth part of the Roman empire, and consequently is precisely equivalent to one of the ten horns or kingdoms of the beast. This being the case, there is no need to seek for a spiritual setsse, in which our Lord may be said to have been crucified in the great city: he literally suffered within its precincts; for he was put to death in Palestine, at that time a province of the Roman empiret. This obvious exposition will
* The temporal Babylon is the temporal empire of Rome; the spiritual Babylon is the spiritual empire of the Roman pontiff. + “ Urbs magni 1.
Sodoma; 2. Ægyptus. Hinc discimus "' urbem magnam ad totum bestiæ regnum extendi, nam Ægyptus non civitas erat, sed regnum. 3. Interfectrix Christi. Hinc
shew the great accuracy of the prophecy now under consideration. The two mystic witnesses were
“ constat Romam hoc loco non intelligi. Christus autem in
“ The great city is that city which reigneth over the kings of “ the earth, or Rome, the empress of the world. Streets of the “ great city are its public places throughout its dominion; for the “ great city is not considered so much in its buildings, as a “ seat of empire. It is Rome and the Roman empire, says the “ Bp. of Meaux; and, taking the great city for Rome and its
empire, he adds, It is literally true, thut Jesus Christ was "crucified there, even by the Roman power. And it is nioreover “ true, that the same Rome, which crucified Christ in person, “ crucified him also every day in his members. The general
meaning of this passage is well expressed by Mr. Daubuz: • The dead bodies of the witnesses shall lie throughout the extent, " in the most conspicuous places, or the chief and principal parts, “ of the Antichristian jurisdiction (Lowman's Paraph. in loc.). Had Mr. Daubuz said singularly the conspicuous place, as the Apostle does, instead of expressing himself plurally, I should have had nothing to object.
not, at the precise time alluded to by St. John, to lie dead and unburied throughout the whole of the
“ In the slroet of the great city, i. e. in Bohemia, one street " of the papal dominions, or the great city Rome, in a large “ sense” (Fleming's Apoc. Key p. 41.). I do not think Bohemia to be the street intended; but Mr. Fleming's mode of interpretation is the same as my own.
“ It is probable the whole Roman empire may be here repre“ sented, as one idolatrous and impure city; as elsewhere the “ Ckurch of Christ is represented by one pure holy and glorious "city" (Doddridge's-Paraph. in loc.). This argument from analogy is an excellent one.
" It is a truth, which must be held as certain, being one of “the keys of the Revelation, that the city, the great city, sigav nifies in this book, not Rome alone, but Rome in conjunction “ with its empire: the nanie of this great city is. Babylon- This * being supposed and proved, that the city is the whole Baby“ lonish and Antichristian empire, it must be remembered that " this empire of Antichrist is made up of ten kingdoms and of
ten kings, who must give their power to the beast. A tenth part of the city fell; that is, ome of these ten kingdoms which " make up the great city, the Babylonish empire, shall forsake “it-Now what is this tenth part of the city which shall fall?
In my opinion, we cannot doubt that it is France—The kings, “ who yét remain under the empire of Rome, must break with “ her, leave her solitary and desolate. But who must begin " this last revolt? It is most probable that France shall--" Seeing the tenth part of the city, which must fall, is France, “ this gives me some hopes that the death of the two witnesses “ hat., a particular relation to this kingdom. It is the street
or place of this city; that is, the most conspicuous and eminent "part of it” (Juricu's Accomp. of the Script. Proph. Rart II. p. 20/267.). The reader will perceive the points wherein I differ from M. Jurieu: the passage is cited simply to shew wbat he understood by the great city.