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ards expl should aris paganism, the ange empires, rial domingod. Aft
............ the existing order of things; as a literal earthquake subverts cities and villages, and occasions universal confusion and destruction. Mountains and islands are kingdoms and stutes. The turning of the sea into blood denotes the bloodshed occasioned by tumults and revolutions : and the drying up of a political river, signifies the gradual exhaustion and declension of the particular nation symbolized by thut river. If we consider this set of hieroglyphics in a limited point of view, the earth will mean, not merely the territorial dominions of any irreligious empire taken in the abstract, but the dominions of that particular empire which is in open opposition to the Church of Christ during the period of the chronological prophecy which treats of it. Thus the four beasts, mentioned in one of Daniel's visions, are said to arise out of the sca, or out of the midst of conflicting nations : and the angel afterwards explains them as being four kingdoms or empires, which should arise out of the earth or the general territorial dominions of Paganism, as opposed to the Levitical Church of God. Afterwards, when the affairs of the Jewish nation were specially connected with the four greut empires in regular succession to the almost entire exclusion of other states ; each of these eurths or Pagan empires became successively the symbolical earth or Pagan state hostile to the Mosaical heaven or Church, to the exclusion of all other earths. And even the Jewish nation itself, when it had filled up the measure of its iniquities by crucifying the Lord of life, became an earth or antichristian state in opposition to the real church of God.* Now the whole of the Revelation relates to that part of the reign of the fourth or Roman bcust, which was about to succeed the period of time when St. John wrote : consequently, whenever the temporal symbol earth occurs in the Apocalypse, it invariably means the territorial dominions of the Roman empire, whether existing under its sixth or seventh head, and whether united in one great monarchy or branching out
* “ All the tribes of the eartb,” that is, the favish earth, “ shall mourn.” (Matt. xxiv. 30.) This prophecy may possibly relate ultimately to the times of the second ada vent; but there seems to be little doubt, that it primarily relates to the destruction of Jerusalem.
gey of ang of a stor. pagan or"
into ten regal horns.* This being the case, the sea, the rivers, the fountains, the floods, the islands, the mountains, and the earthquakes, of the apocalyptic earth, denote the very same objects and circumstances as those of the political earth when considered abstractedly and generally, only with a limitation either to the pagan or the papal Roman empire.
Very few of this set of symbols are ever used in a spiritual sense. The earth however, when taken in that acceptation, denotes a state of paganism or apostacy ; that very state in short, which is the main characteristic of a temporal earth, or a pagan or apostate empire. Hence the shooting of a star from hcaven to earth is the apostacy of a Christian pastor ; being a desertion of heuren or the Church, for the earth or an heretical and antichristian state.t A mountain imports the triumphant kingdom of the Messiah ; which, from a stone or a small beginning, is to become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, I being established upon the top of all other mountains or kingdoms, and being exalted above all other hills or petty states. Accordingly Daniel informs us, that the kingdom, symbolized by a great mountain in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, should never be destroyed; but that it should break in pieces, and consume, all the kingdoms which had preceded it :|| in other words, that it should divest them of their characters of being kingdoms of the symbolical earth, and should cause them to become kingdoms of the symbolical heaven. As temporal rivers signify nations in a settled state : so, in the blessed region
From a want of due attention to the remarkable precision of the symbolical language of prophecy, Mr. Galloway has annexed no less than five different significations to the word eartb, all within the compass of the single book of the Apocalypse, and two of them within the compass even of a single chapter of that book; thereby rendering it, upon bis scheme, utterly impossible to ascertain the definite meaning of St. John. In Rev. viii. 13, he supposes the cartb to signify Christian Rome in ber schismatic and wicked state, previous to the commencement of what may be properly termed the Papal domination : in Rev. xvi. 4, the Papal Apostacy ; in Rev. xii. 9, Atbeism; in Rev. xii. 16, Germany; and lastly, in Rev. xiii, 11, 12, 14, the revolutionary power of France. See Comment. p. 167, where all these different interpretations of the same symbol are summed up together even by Mr. Galloway himself. It is somewhat remarkable, that not one of them is the true one.
+ This self-same compound hieroglyphic, when used in a temporal sense, denotes, as I have already observed, the downfall of a sovereign prince. | Dan. ä. 34, 35.
§ Isaiah ii, 2.
Dan. . 44.
both fistingud of the crystala
of being evebird set may be ahe Apocholy city,
............ of eternal felicity, we are figuratively told, that there is "a pure riter of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb ;” apparently typifying the everlastingly settled state of the pious, and as such free both from those sudden miry floods which swell and pollute the streams of temporal rivers, and from that gradual exhaustion which so frequently dries up their political waters and converts them into shallow brooks.* And, as the temporal sea aptly typifies worldly nations ever agitated and unsettled :f so we are specially informed by the apocalyptic prophet, that hereafter there shall be “no more sea :” save only a clear “sea of glass like unto crystal,” and consequently incapable of being ever ruftled.
3. The third set of symbols commences with that of a city, under which may be arranged various other symbols connected with it. In the Apocalypse two cities are mentioned, the great city and the holy city, the city of the drugon and the city of the Lamb. The great city is the Roman empire, both temporal and ecclesiastical, both secular and papul ; the mystic name of which is Babylon : the holy city is the Church of Christ, the mystic name of which is Jerusalem. The great city, thus representing both the spiritual empire of the Pope, and the temporal empire which upheld his authority, is accordingly exhibited to us as a harlot or apostate church riding triumphant upon a beast or idolatrous empire. It is moreover said to consist of ten parts or streets, which answer to the ten horns of the beast, and which denote the ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was divided. In this same great city, which is spiritually termed Sodom and Eygpt, and within the limits of which (the province of Judea) our Lord was crucified, is the throne or seat of the dragon, which he has transferred to his special dele
* If the reader dislike this interpretation of tbe river of life, let him by all means reject it. Though I have been led to it, as perhaps most agreeable to symbolical analogy, I am by no mcans disposed to insist upon its propriety. It may, or it may not, be the true exposition.
+ “ The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isaiah lvii. 20, 21.) The same allegorical language is used' by St. Jude. “ Raging waves of the ses, foaming out their own shame," Jude 13.
* Rev. xi. 13.
gate the beast. If then the city mean the empire, the throne will signify the tyrannical authority exercised within the empire : a throne, even in our ordinary mode of speaking, being used as synonymous with the authority exercised from the throne. The great city is described as being seated upon the sea,* so as to be a conspicuous object to those who navigate it ; and, like opulent natural cities, as having abundance of merchants and shipmasters. These merchants, who enrich themselves by trading with her, are declared by the prophet to be the great men of the earth or Roman empire.fi
As the great Babylon is the same as the symbolical earth or Roman cmpire ; so the holy city is the same as
• That is, the troubled ocean of worldly politics and conflicting nations. (See the preceding remarks on the symbolical sea.) In a similar manner, the great scarlet wbore is represented as sitting upon many waters ; which the angel afterwards explains to signify “ peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Rev. xvii, 1, 15.
# It might seem from Rev. xvii. 9, 18. that the great city does not mean the Roman empire, but the literal city of Rome. To such an opinion however there are insuperable objections. The harlot, who is said to be Babylon, or the great city, is evidently the adulterous church of Rome, after the period when the Empire had been divided into ten kingdoms. That Cburch however, although its peculiar seat was the literal seven-billed city, extended its sway over the whole Western Empire : consequently the church of Rome, in its largest acceptation, must be the apocalyptic Babylon, or the great city, unless we confine it (which is an absurdity) within the limits of literal Rome. Hence the spiritual great city must mean the whole papal empire. So again : since our Lord is said to have been crucified in the great city, and since the great city undoubtedly means Rome in some sense or another, it is evident that the secular great city cannot be literal Rome, because our Lord never was crucified there ; whereas he was crucified in the great city, if by it we understand the wbole Roman empire. Further : the first apocalyptic beast, which is undoubtedly tbe Roman empire, is said to have ten borns or kingdoms; and tbe great city is said to consist of ten different parts or streets. (Rev. xi. 13.) Hence it is natural to conclude, that the ten parts of the city are the same as the ten horns of the beast. But, if that be the case, the great city must mean the empire at large. It is described indeed as seated upon seven bills in allusion to the site of its literal capital; but we are moreover informed that the seven beads of the beast allude to seven forms of government, a cir. cumstance which plainly shews that the empire as including the city must be intended. For, if we confine the great city of the Apocalypse to literal Rome, we shall find it impossible to discover within the literal city of Rome all the seven forms of government and the eighth which is one of the seven. Some have supposed tbe short-lived seventb bead to be the Exarcbate of Ravenna, some the line of Italian Cæsars from the death of Theodosius, and some the kingdom of the Ostrogoths. None of these powers however made Rome their capital. In short, let us interpret the obort-lived seventh bead as we please, we shall find nothing within literal Rome that at all answers to the prophetic descrip„tion of it. If then we are obliged to go without the limits of literal Rome to discover all the beads of the beast, the great city must likewise be understood as extending without the limits of literal Rome. In short, as the great city Babylon means not only Babylon itself, but likewise the Babylonian empire; so the great city Rome meanis not only Rome itself, but likewise the wbole Roman empire. The one is used as a type of the other : and, in addition to their mutual resemblance in other particulars, they are perhaps the only two large powers that have ever existed, whose empire and whose capital city have each borne the same name.
the first heaven, or church militant, whence it is also aptly termed a camp. After the beloved city or first heuven of the millennium shall have passed away, it will be succeeded by the second holy city, the new heaven, the church triumphant, the duration of which shall be commensurate with eternity itself.
This holy city of God is furnished, like the literal Jerusalem, with a temple, an altar, and a court without the temple. It hath also a sanctuary and a daily sacrifice : and in the midst of it is the throne of God and the ark of his covenant. In the temple moreover are two olive-trees and two candlesticks, which are the two witnesses of Christ.
To understand the import of this imagery, we must consider the nature of the visible Church of Christ. Now that Church hath ever been of a two-fold nature, comprehending both the really pious, and those who, to use the words of Daniel, only “ cleave to it with flatteries," or who, in the language of another prophet, “ have a name that they live, and are dead.” The first of these make the word of God alone the standard of their actions ; the second are liable to be “ carried about with every wind of doctrine," and are therefore peculiarly obnoxious to the danger of heresy and apostacy. The truly pious then are the mystical temple of God ;* their hearts are his throne, inasmuch as they alone really acknowledge his dominion (all others, whatever profession they may make, being practical atheists ;t) and their prayers, humbly offered unto the Lord in a reliance upon his covenanted mercies vouchsafed through the sole merits of his Son, are the daily sacrifice offered upon the altar before the ark of the covenant. The real Church of God however is not to be confined exclusively to the times of the Christian dispensation ; it had existed from the very
* “ Know ye not, that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ?" (1 Corin. iii. 16.) “ Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you ?" (1 Corin. vi. 19.) « What agreement hath the temple of God with idols ? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corin. vi, 16.) « Christ as a son over his own house, whose bouse are we." Heb. ii. 6.
† Aston Ev TW xoc pb. Ephes. ii. 12.