« ElőzőTovább »
summit of his power, or an apostate pastor: hence it is plainly impossible, that the fallen star of the third trumpet should be Genseric; for he was not a minister of the Gospel, and he was a triumphant instead of being a vanquished sovereign. Lastly, en eclipse of the sun, moon, and stars, cannot be fairly interpreted to mean an extinction of the sun, and only an eclipse of the other luminaries; yet does the scheme of Bp. Newton, by leading him to view the Western Empire as something altogether distinct from the Eastern Empire, instead of considering the fourth trumpet as affecting the whole Empire in general by producing the downfall of the Western half, constrain him to adopt this incongruous explanation of its imagery
On these grounds, I have ventured to bring forward a different interpretation, which at once harmonizes with the symbolical language of prophecy, and which shews how a way was prepared for the development of the great Apostasy.
* Whatever objections are here made to the scheme of Bp. Newton apply with equal force to that of Mr. Whitaker, wha. has throughout followed the Bishop, enlarging only very considerably upon the brief remarks of his predecessor. I am indebted to him for some useful hints in the elucidation of the huil-storm of the North.
Of the three last apocalyptic trumpets, 09, as they
are peculiarly styled, the three woe-trumpets.
HE that letted being now removed, St. John proceeds to relate the history of the great Apostasy, which he details under the three last trumpets, usually denominated the three woe-trumpets. He begins with an account of the Eastern branch of the Apostasy under the two first koe-trumpets. He next passes to the parallel history of the Western branch of the Apostasy, which he gives at large under the two first woe-trompets, and more briefly under the third : and, in order that his narrative may be unbroken, and that all confusion
be prevented, he throws the whole history of the western Apostasy, under all the three trumpets and during the entire period of 1260 years, into a little book or codicil to the larger book of the Apocalypse. And he finally details at large the operation of the last woe-trumpet, which contains within itself the seven vials, both in the East, and in the West.
Concerning the three woe-trumpets themselves it may briefly be observed in general: that the first describes the rise of the twofold Apostasy: the second represents it in the zenith of its power, until the primary and only partial manifestation of Antichrist *; and the third exhibits its downfall, displaying at the same time the multiplied horrors of the harvest and vintage of the Lord, or the un
* The French revolution in the year 1789. It professed to establish a limited monarchy, respecting at once the prerogatives of a lawful prince, and the liberties of the people. This only partial revelation of Antichrist deceived numbers, and led them to form the romantic idea, that France was become (to use the detestable cant of the day), a regenerated kingdom. Four years however were not suffered to elapse from the commencement of the revolution, ere the streets of Paris and the provincial towns streamed with the blood of innumerable victims, ere the sovereign himself was brought to the scaffold, ere religion was abolished, and a sort of jumble of atheism and idolatry was established in its stead. In the first year of Gallic liberty, Antichrist was partially revealed : ip the fourth year of kiberty, and the first year of equality (Aug. 12, 1792), he threw off his mask of toleration, candour, and universal philanthropy; and stood openly revealed in all his native deformity. His lamb-like pretensions to reason, moderation, and humanity, vanished as the feeting clouds of the morning: and the astonished world suddenly beheld the existence of execrable
power, which alone has steeled the hearts of its votaries against every feeling of nature; has dąred to sanction trea
son, parricide, lust, and massacre, and to infuse into the " breasts of its subject multitudes a new passion, which has * sunk them beneath the level of the brute creation; a paşa “sion for the sight of their fellow-creatures in the agonies of " death, and a literal thirst for human blood." Hist. the Inter. Vol. ii. p. 215, 216.
controuled reign of the atheistical king and his subsequent destruction along with all the other enemies of God, and at length conducting us to that happy period when all the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.
Concerning the effects of the two first woe-trumpets
in the east.
THE effects of the two first woe-trumpets in the East have been so fully and satisfactorily discussed by Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton, that, agreeing with them as I do in the great outlines of their interpretation, I shall do little more than abridge their remarks.
1. At the sounding of the fifth trumpet (the first of the three woe-trumpets), a star which had fallen * from heaven to earth opened the bottomless pit, and let out a vast swarm of locusts with their leader Apollyon at their head. The commission of these locusts was, not to hurt the grass of the earth, por any green thing, nor any tree; but only those men, who had not the seal of God in their foreheads : ,and, in point of time, it was limited to five prophetic months, or 150 natural years. As for the locusts themselves, they were like horses prepared unto battle; their crowns were of gold; their faces were as the faces of men; they had hair
* Such is the proper translation of winluxola, as Mr. Whitaker rightly observes. Comment. p. 116.