« PoprzedniaDalej »
Of the Events that take place from the Destruction of Rome to the Battle of Armageddon, or Seventh Vial.
The Papal Power is erected in Judea.
N order to trace the progrefs of events farther, a queftion must be refolved, which will readily occur here. Seeing Rome is destroyed, and rendered uninhabitable by the fifth vial, and the beast and false prophet are destroyed only by the seventh vial, Where fhall the refidence of the beast be during the period that elapfes betwixt the fifth and seventh vials?
I answer, In the land of Judea, in the city of Jerufalem. I embrace this opinion, not from any preconceived prejudice, but upon the testimony of the truth. It never once entered into my mind, until a careful perufal of the prophecies first fuggested, and then con
firmed it with convincing evidence. Because this circumstance is clofely interwoven with the events that follow after, and that a knowledge of it is neceffary to understand their connection, I fhall briefly ftate the evidence on which it rests.
I. It appears to me to be afferted in the most explicit manner, by the prophet Daniel, chap. xi. 41. and 45. “He shall enter alfo into the glori "ous land. And he fhall plant the tabernacles "of his palace betwixt the feas in the glorious "holy mountain." The prophet having shewn in the 40th verse a successful attack made on the blafphemous king, by his European neighbours, (as I have already explained it), purfues the fequel of his ftory; he fhews, that in confequence of this attack, being forcibly expelled from his former refidence, he (the blafphemous king) fhould enter the glorious land, or land of Judea, (so termed, ver. 16. of this chapter, and chap. viii. 9.) and that his entrance fhould not be for a tranfient vifit, but for a stated refidence in the city of Jerufalem, fituated betwixt the dead fea to the east, and the Mediterranean to the weft; "He fhall plant the taber"nacles of his palace betwixt the feas in the glorious holy mountain." I may appeal to every unprejudiced perfon, whether this be not
the most obvious, natural, and unconstrained meaning of the paffage. But in regard a perfon of fo great authority in interpreting scripture prophecy, as Jofeph Mede, gives a different turn to this paffage, it will be neceffary to examine his opinion. He supposes the pronoun he, in the beginning of verfe 41ft, and downward, to refer to the king of the north, and not to the blafphemous king, which alters wholly the fenfe of the paffage. It is true, that the king of the north is the person last spoken of in the preceding verfe; but it is likewise true, that the transition from one perfon to another in the prophecies is very fudden, and in no paffage of the prophecies more fo than in this chapter; fo that the ftrict rules of grammar, which require the pronoun to refer to the perfon laft fpoken of, in a difcourfe like the prophet's, is but a flender foundation to build on, without other corroborating circumstances. For inftance, it is faid, ver. 6. " The king's daugh"ter of the fouth fhall come to the king of the "north to make an agreement: but he shall "not retain the power of the arm; neither shall "he ftand, nor his arm. " Here the pronoun he, ought in ftrict propriety to refer to the king of the north, as the perfon last spoken of; but the following claufe corrects that application, and fhews that the king of the fouth is intended.
ed. "But fhe fhall be given up, and they that "brought her, and he that begat her." She was daughter to the king of the fouth, he was the perfon that begat her, and who was given up, confequently the perfon whofe arm did not ftand.
As the foundation on which Mede builds his interpretation is untenable, fo an obfervation will readily occur to the common fenfe of the attentive reader, which fixes the application of the paffage to the blafphemous king. The defign of the prophet, in this paffage is to give a history of the blafphemous king. The king of the north is introduced merely on account of his making war with him; and that he overflowed the territories of the blafphemous king, does not imply that he deftroyed his existence, as appears from the frequent ufe of the term in the preceding part of the chapter. Are we to fuppose, then, that the prophet would stop short in the history of the blafphemous king, of which he profeffedly treats, before he had brought it to a conclufion, and carry on that of the king of the north, introduced accidentally? Put the case, that a person profeffedly writes the History of England; that he introduces France as at war with England; that he ftops fhort in the Hiftory of England, and carries on that of France; would not the hiftorian be charged with
with great impropriety? But with that impropriety the spirit of prophecy is chargeable, by Mede's interpretation. I cannot therefore hefitate in rejecting it.
I am aware that another objection may be made to the interpretation I have now given; namely, "That the glorious holy mountain" may be taken, in a figurative sense, to fignify the church; fo we understand the Apoftle, when he fays of the man of fin, That he "fitteth in "the temple of God," 2 Theff. ii. 4. In an fwer, I would obferve, That there are several circumftances in the narrative, which cannot accord with a figurative interpretation. As, first, The time when he took up his refidence in the holy mountain, it is faid to be" at the time "of the end," about the clofe of his reign; whereas he had his refidence in the church from the beginning of it.-Secondly, The manner of his coming to refide there, in confequence of a forcible expulfion from his former place of refidence; whereas he attained his empire in the church gradually and imperceptibly.-Thirdly, The glorious land, in a figurative fenfe, fignifies Heaven, Heb. xi.; to which the blasphemous king cannot be supposed to have access. It must be taken in a literal fenfe; so ought also the glorious holy mountain, when conjoined with the glorious land, in the fame narrative.Fourthly,