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tectural adventurers effect so happy will be rather extended, we must a collocation of the scattered parts, resist the temptation of adding some as to produce a perfect and well other observations on the fruits proportioned building, or should he ful and important subject of prodispose of but a proportion, provided phecy. it were a considerable one, of those We now therefore proceed to the parts with the same favourable re- work before us. The introduction, . sult, leaving that allowance for the with which it commences, gives a completion of the edifice which the prepossessing view of the motives remaining unemployed materials ap- which induced the author to unpeared to demand, in such a case we dertake it, and of the principles should make no hesitation that the upon which it is executed. Mr. original or archetype was now rea- Woodhouse, it appears, after having lized. So, when a series of suitable proceeded through the other book's events are brought to their core of the Old and New Testament, in responding places in the predictions à course of critical study, came at of the Apocalypse, according to the length to the Apocalypse, from the order and proportions defined in more elaborate investigation of that book, and by simple and justi- which he was, for the present, de. fiable principles of interpretation, terred, by information of the various this circumstance will carry with it and discordant interpretations given its own, and irresistible evidence, of its contents. In order, however, that the genuine interpretation of to secure his impartiality, when his the prophecy is discovered ; and the increasing qualifications should give evidence will be no less striking, him more encouragement in the atthat such a succession and combi- tempt, he resolved to avoid the peo nation of extraordinary events could rusal of every book or treatise pro. only be foreknown and foretold by fessing to explain the prophecies in the omniscient, and that therefore question. He makes an exception, the book which contains the pre- however, to Bishop Hurd's Sermons diction of them, and the religion on Prophecy, p. xi. We cannot which that book supports, are from say, that we altogether approve this him. A measure of this evidence procedure. It does indeed secure will be attained in proportion to its impartiality, in the limited sense approach to the perfection here de- which implies the influence of the scribed: this measure, in its nearer opinions of others upon our own ; approaches, will doubtless be very but on the present subject it is as considerable.
likely to secure a discordancy with It is an observation applicable to every preceding exposition. If every all fulfilled prophecy, and particu- commentator should proceed upon Jarly to the system of prophecies in this plan, very little progress can the Revelation, supposing it fult be expected to be made in the elufilled, that both the predicting do- cidation of the Revelation, as each cuments and the historical informa- individual deprives himself of the tion necessary to ascertain their advantage to be derived from the fulfilment, are entirely dependent successes of his predecessors, and upon the course of divine provi- puts himself in the condition of the dence in preserving both the one very first interpreters. It may be and the other; and that, consequent- said, that these writers, as Mr. Woodly, to the simple evidence arising house has done, will peruse the best from the accomplishment of a pre- works upon the subject, when their diction, is to be added that which own opinion has been formed ; but results from the evident care of the who is such a stranger to the comSupreme Governor of the word, that mon principles of our nature, as to the first shall be made manifest and suppose, that after a person has, effectual. As our present review with much study, brought himself to any particular determination on an ceive, was not principally intended intricate question, he should feel his as a prophetic history of the Church mind open to the due influence of of Christ, although this be in a great posterior arguments, and those the ' measure coincident with its main dearguments of others?
sign, but as a series of predictions We cominend much the plan of relative to the great revolutions of Mr. Woodhouse in stating the prin- that part of the world which should ciples by which he intends to regu- be the theatre of Christianity, or late bis interpretation of the book most nearly connected with it, and which he undertakes to explain, which, by its obvious fulfilment, both because certain principles are should bear the most decisive testipeculiarly necessary in even the at- mony to the divinity, both of its tempt to unravel such a book as own original, and of the cause for the Revelation, and unless these are which it is a witness. Mr. Woodwell established, in the expositor's house professes to be guided by the mind at least, he will be in continual usage of Scripture in his adoption danger of inconsistency and self- of this principle; but surely the contradiction; and because it is as- example of the book of Daniel, the sisting as well as satisfactory to the most parallel instance, might have reader to know beforehand, in some taught him, that the civil revolutions degree, what he has to expect in his of empires connected with the progress through the work. The Church, although the revolutions following are the principles upon themselves, singly considered, have which Mr. Woodhouse professes to little discernible of such connection, ground his investigation. 1. To ad- form the most prominent features of mit no other than a scriptural inter- that part of the prophetic writings. pretation of the language, symbols, Considering the book under consi. and predictions of the Apocalypse. deration as designed rather to fur. 2. To look for the accomplishment nish evidence of peculiar force at of this book only, or principally, in some particular period, than inforthe fates and fortunes of the Christian mation of the progressive history of Church. 3. To understand the Church the Church, we conceive that civil in a spirituul sense. 4. Not to attempt events of the description abovemen. the particular explanation of those tioned are selected with great proprophecies which remain yet to be priety as a part, and a conspicuous fulfilled. See pp. xii.--xviii. But part, of its subject. It is highly in proportion to the utility of such conducive to the effect of this evi. principles is the hazard : and it is dence, that the events accomplishseldom, that a writer can select and ing the predictions, should be requalify the general rules, to the corded, not only by friends, but by guidance of which he surrenders persons indifferent or hostile, to the himself, with such judgment and cause which those predictions subaccuracy, as, in his application of serve; that their public interest and them to various and obscure parti. notoriety should providence so perculars, not to sacrifice consistency mitting) secure them from oblivion ; either with himself or with truth. and that, by their consisting of the The first of our author's principles main revolutions of human affairs, is doubtless both good and neces they should convey a recognition of sary : we question, however, whe- the divine supremacy and superinther the term scriptural be in all tendence over the concerns of the cases sufficient to exclude ambi- world. It is evidently under the guity. The second principle seems influence of the principle, which we to be carried much too far, and to are here endeavouring to expand have had an unfavourable influence into what appear to us more reaupon many parts of the succeeding sonable limits, and which probably exposition. The Revelation, we con- the author at first adopted rather inadvertently, that his interpretation as an example always to he imitated, of the very first predictions of the but as, at the present time, pecu. Apocalypse, those contained in the liarly needed. seals, is perfectly different from that
" To the candid correction of the learnof any preceding expositor of note. ed reader I consign this attempt, trusting, And possibly it may be owing to an that whatever may be its reception in the influence thich we have alrea:ly al- world, I shall not have reason to reproach luded to, that the writer, as soon as he myself with precipitancy unbecoming the perceived the disagreement, instead sanctity of the subject; with narrow of relinquishing or qualitving the views, or party-prejudices; with want of principle which led him to his
moderation and candour; which have disculiar interpretation, has laboured graced too many writings of professed
Christians." to fortify it by additional arguments, See pp. 158, &c. It will easily be
Mr. Woodhouse has certainly, as seen, that the objections which we far as the present work furnishes us have made to the second principle with the means of deciding, nocause apply in some degree to the third : for self-reproach on this head. But the fourth is unexceptionable.
we fear that his very innocence Our anthor observes, p. xix. that may expose him to that of certain it might have operated more favour- persons, who, when they find Cale able to the credit of his sagacity, vin, with the other reformers, men had he published only selections tioned as re-producing the Gospel from his work, of those parts in of Christ to the world, (p. 300), that which he might appear to hare Calvin, against whose impions dogbeen most successful. We perfectly mas the thunders of so many pulagree with the writer in this senti- pits and presses are hurled, will ment. It is comparatively easy to give perhaps, in reward of the candour to interpretations of detached
of the author, and in evidence of of the Apocalypse an appearance their own, denounce him as a Cal. of truth which would totally vanish, vinist. It may not, however, be were they considered in connectivý altogether irrelevant to observe, with the general frame of the book. however little the observation may We will not say, that the only fair apply in the present instance, that method, but we must say, that by a general spirit of candour, and a much the fairest method of inter conduct generally candid, are conpreting the prophecies of the Reve. sistent with partial exceptions of a lation, is to compose a continned very flagrant description, particucomment upon
the book. The reader Jarly where real religion is conthen feels, that he is, in some de. cerned ; and that many, who can gree, put in a condition to judge for bear the most direct opposition of himself; the consequence at any speculative sentiments from others rate is, either a readier detection of with a spirit which would deserve error, or a more perfect conviction, high commendation, if it could alif the interpretatiou be satisfactory. ways be supposed to require any We admire the spirit of the follow. considerable sacrifice in the exers ing passage :
cise, are known to bear a hostility
to the cause of vital Christianity, “ Truth, in this important research, is, which nourishes itself by all the I hope, as it ought to be, wy principal misrepresentations of cultivated igconcern ; and I shall rejoice to see these norance, known falsehood, and puesacred prophecies truly interpreted, though rile prejudice, and employs for its the correction of my mistakes should lay weapons the most palpable, unschothe foundation of so desirable a superstruc- larlike, and unchristian calumnies, ture." p. xx.
The most vulgar and illiberal terms We are tempted to transcribe of abuse are not disdained ; and a what immediately follows, not only person, whose sole fault is his being CHRIST. Opsery. No. 56.
a real. Christian, is denounced and them with no higher aims than to anathematized as a methodist, with add to the store of their speculative exactly the same spirit and justice knowledge ; not to say, that there as the Turk honours him with the ap- is an obtuseness, almost national, pellation of a dog. This is a quoad and perhaps naturally connected hoc bigotry which demands the as- with extreme labour, but certainly sistance of some RTGELOY Vuxns as very incongruous with the distinurgently as other maladies of a si- guishing excellenceof a critic, which milar, but less moral description, cleaves to many of the disquisitions require their appropriate treat- of the extensively learned Michaelis, ment.
and which would expose him to the Mr. Woodhouse afterwards pro- corrections of an annotator much ceeds to give some account of his less sagacious than the one whom he new translation, a measure neces- has found in this country*, sary upon the plan of study which Having been detained a sufficient he adopted. This translation was time in the court, we now enter first formed, without any reference into the temple, gladiy availing our to the common one, and taken from selves of the assistance of our prethe text of Griesbach's edition of sent guide to point out, and explain, 1777. It was then compared with its mysteries. the common one, and altered where Our author has given a very good the author deemed an alteration pro- reason for a more extended consi. per. The three texts here mentioned deration of the first three chapters are presented, in the progress of the of the Apocalypse, than is usual work, in three parallel columns. with the commentators on that book,
The dissertation on the authenti- by observing that “they are recity and divine inspiration of the plete with the same figurative lanApocalypse then follows, which, as guage and symbols which pervade we observed before, and as the au- the whole book," p. 4. We cannot thor informs us, is only a reimpres- stop to criticise the commentary sion, with some corrections and ad- upon the first five chapters, which ditions, of the letters published by are distinct from the prophetic, and him on the same subject, without a therefore most difficult, part of the name, in the year 1802. We have book. But, as far as our recollection therefore only to refer to our opinion is correct, we have but few deducof the original performance, which tions to make from its evident niecontinues unaltered. The princi- rits. At the vith chapter the propal addition is that of a postscript in phecies, and the contests of interwhich the author successfully com- preters, begin. Our author has the bats the scepticism of Dr. Less re- misfortune to increase, instead of respecting the Revelation. In con- conciling, the differeuces. A book templating the treatment which is presented to the sight of the such men as Michaelis and Less have prophet in his vision with seren given to this sacred book, the reflec- seals. This book is considered as a tion has struck us, that it might a roll by Mr. Wood house, and he sup, priori be inferred that a mere critic poses the seals to be so placed as to would be a very insufficient exposi- admit the opening of successive pora tor or judge of such records as it tions of the roll. By others it is would please God to give of a reli thought evident, that it was not a gion which was to restore a fallen creature to acceptance, holiness,
* We take this opportunity of cor. and happiness ; and that such difa recting the curious misnomer, not noticed
in the list of Errata, of Webster for Wet. satisfaction, but even to convey a rethem, as not only to fail in giving of Michaelis's ch. on the Apocalypse ; for pulse, to those who should study ţion is evidently there described.
Wetstein's interpretation of the Revela:
roll, but similar to the books now first seal. But the first reflection in use. However, the yeypauperov
which will strike the reader in the ETWASY X21 OTTWOJEy naturally suggests contemplation of Mr. Woodhouse's the scriptus et a tergo of Juvenal, interpretation, is the large and rawhich can only agree with the de. pid advance, which he has made in scription of a roll. It might be sa- so early a stage of the prophecy, tisfactory to have this matter settled: into the history of the world, and but the main question is what is in- which, without repetitions hardly to tended by the visions following the be admitted, must, if consistency successive opening of the seals. We be retained (quo pede, &c.) shortly will give Mr. Woodhouse's interpre- exhaust the whole period in which tation of the first four, which are of all the predictions are to be accomone character, as correctly as we plished. We find accordingly, that, are able. The first of a white horse under the interpretation of Mr. with a victorious rider is the esta- Woodhouse, the fifth seal not only blishment and reign of pure Chris- measures the period of the preced. tianity : in this the agreement of ing four, but brings us down to the commentators is pretty general. The great day of recompence, which second of a red horse with a murder- the sixth seal expressly describes. ous rider represents the contentions Mede, Newton, and others underwhich raged among Christians, es- stand this last seal of the external pecially in the fourth century. The prosperity of the Church under third of a black horse with a rider Constantine, and bring down the carrying a yoke, as Mr. Woodhouse preceding ones through regular peo translates Guyor, designates the su- riods to this time. perstitions which soon afterwards The seven trumpets, which are began to reign in the Christian introduced by the opening of the world. The fourth of a pale livid- seventh seal, are interpreted with green horse, with a rider whose an equal diversity from other writers name was Death, and whose exploits on the Apocalypse. The first four correspond to his name, signifies the of these have a peculiar connection, persecuting tyranny of the profes- as is the case with the first four of sedly Christian Church. Mr. Wood- the seals. We will present Mr. house admits that the chronology of Woodhouse's view of this part of these respective seals cannot be ex- the prophecy in his own words. actly ascertained; but he attempts a general distribution of it, pp: to afford a general view of the warfare which
“ Thus I suppose the four first trumpets 156, 157. He was evidently, at least as it appears to us, led to this the Christian religion underwent, upon its extraordinary interpretation by his under the seals, after a solemn pause and
first establishment. The history delivered principle of almost exclusively look- silence, begins again. Under the seals, the ing for the Christian Church in the degeneracy of the Church had been deapocalyptic visions. And it must scribed. Under the trumpets, the attacks be confessed, that in respect of con- which she had to sustain from her antisistency in his interpretation of christian foes. And she is first represented these visions, which are certainly as undergoing various kinds of assault in homogeneous, he has the appear. her several divisions; these divisions of the ance of an advantage over those Christian world bearing analogy to the scripwriters, who, while they apply the tural divisions of the natural world. 1. The first to the Church, find nothing storm of persecution in Judea, which, murbut events relating to the Roman dering the Martyrs, and dispersing the
Apostles, is aptly represented by hail and empire in the other three. Bishop fire, mingled with blood ; on the bursting Newton has saved his consistency forth of which, the weak in the faith fall by considering the period of the away. 2. The Gentile persecution, arisreign of the Flavian family with ing from the pagan religion, which is titly that of Nerva as denoted by the designated by a burning mountain, 3. The