sin and the western Apostasy. Constantine quitted the ancient capital for the city of which he claimed to be the founder; Honorius, the first of the divided Italian Cesars, fixed his residence at Ravenna; and at length the Western empire was completely overthrown in the person of Augustulus. Nothing now impeded the growth of the little horn, except the three Gothic kingdoms which were destined to be plucked up by the roots before it. During their eradication it gradually incréased; and, before it had attained the summit of its temporal power, the saints were delivered into its hand, and it became a mighty spiritual persecuting empire. Then was the man of sin revealed, that son of perdition, whose tyrannical reign and final destruction is described at large under the three last trumpets.



As I have materially varied from Bp. Newton in the preceding interpretation of the first four trumpets, it is a mark of respect only due to so excellent a commentator to state the grounds of my differing from him. According to his Lordship's exposition, at the sounding of the first trumpet, Alaric and his Goths invade the Roman empire, twice besiege Rome, and set fire to it in "several places. At the sounding of the second trumpet, Attila and his Huns waste the Roman provinces, and compel the Eastern emperor "Theodosius the second, and the Western emperor Valentinian the third, to submit to shameful "terms. At the sounding of the third trumpet, C 4 "Genseric

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Genseric and his Vandals arrive from Africa, spoil and plunder Rome, and set sail again with "immense wealth and innumerable captives. At "the sounding of the fourth trumpet, Odoacer " and the Heruli put an end to the very name of "the Western empire*.

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All the subsequent errors of this interpretation may be traced up to an erroneous curtailment of the effects produced by the first trumpet. The northern hail storm, according to the most natural éxplanation which can be given of it, must evidently mean all the invasions of the Roman empire by way of Germany, Scythia, and the North; whether conducted by Alaric, Radagaisus, or Attila; whether executed by the Goths, the Vandals, the Suevi, the Alans, or the Huns. If once we attempt to separate these kindred expeditions from each other, we shall be obliged to divide them, not merely between two trumpets (as Bp. Newton has done), but among all the seven. Proceeding as they universally did from the same quarter of the world †, the region of literal hail, they must jointly be considered as constituting only so many different showers of one great symbolical hail-storm. I conceive Bp. Newton then to be perfectly right, in

*Table of contents to Dissert. Vol. II.

The Huns originally migrated from the borders of China. The Gothic tribes were likewise of Asiatic extraction. But they all equally invaded the Roman empire from the northern regions of Scythia, Mesia, and Germany. Hence I conceive them all to be alike intended by the hail-storm of the first trumpet.


supposing that the first trumpet relates to Alaric and his Goths; but perfectly wrong, in placing Attila and his Huns under the second trumpet, instead of under the first. Such an arrangement, in fact, proves itself to be erroneous; for it has led the Bishop to a complete violation of the principles of symbolical language in his remarks both upon the second, the third, and the fourth, trumpet. He interprets for instance the burning mountain to mean Attila; the falling star, to mean Genseric; and the eclipse of the sun, moon, and stars, to mean the extinction of the imperial dignity in the person of Augustulus, and the eclipse of the senate and consuls under the government of the Gothic sovereigns of Italy. The symbol however of a mountain set on fire, torn violently from its base, and hurled into the sea, must surely mean, agreeably to the parallel passage in Jeremiah *, not a victorious prince, but a subverted empire. So again: the symbol of a fallen star denotes either a king hurled from the 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, an 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

* Jerem. li. 25.

view the Western Empire as something altogether distinct from the Eastern Empire, instead of consi dering the fourth trumpet as affecting the whole Empire in general by producing the downfall of its Western half, constrain him to adopt this incongruous explanation of its imagery *.

On these grounds, I have ventured to bring for ward a different interpretation, which at once harmonizes with the symbolical language of prophecy, and which shews how a way was prepared for the developement of the great Apostasy.

* Whatever objections are here made to the scheme of Bp. Newton apply with equal force to that of Mr. Whitaker, who has throughout followed the Bishop, enlarging only very considerably upon the brief remarks of his predecessor. I am in debted to him for some useful hints in the elucidation of the hail storm of the North.



Of the three last apocalyptic trumpets, or, as they are peculiarly styled, the three woe-trumpets.

HE that letted being now removed, the prophet commences 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 woe-trumpets. He next proceeds to the parallel history of the Western branch of the Apostasy, which he gives at large under the two first woe-trumpets, and more briefly under the third: and, in order that his narrative may be unbroken, and that all confusion may 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

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