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mation, there is no union betwixt the feveral national churches in their outward polity, neither will there be any until the Millennium.
The prophets reprefent it as a period of fupe rior grace, holiness and happiness.
Thefe circumstances, peculiar in themselves, are fet forth in uncommon language. The outward glory of the church is represented by a temple regularly built', and a city reared of precious ftones". The abundance of grace beftowed at that period, is compared to a copious river iffuing from the temple3, or running through the street of the city. The moral change wrought by it, on the temper and behaviour of men, is fet forth by a renovation of the natural world", or by taming the fierceft animals, as wolves and lions. The happiness of that period is represented by giving additional light
(1) Ezek. xl. xli. xlii.1
(2) Ifa. liv. 11, 12. Rev. xxi. 10—21.
(3) Ezek. xlvii. 1-12. Joel iii. 18.
(4) Pfal. xlvi. 4. Rev. xxii. 1, 2.
(5) Ifa. lxv. 17. Ifa. lxvi. 22. Rev. xxi. I.
(6) Ifa. xi. 6-9. Ifa. xxxv. 9. Ifa. lxv. 25.
light to the heavens', and greater fertility to the earth2.
When we learn by any of these circumftances, that the prophet has the Millennium in view, as the place of the Millennium in the feries of events is known from the Apocalypfe, it will prove a key to open up the meaning of the other events connected with it, in the fame fection of prophecy; for their relation to each other, and their place in the general order of events are known, from their relation to the Millennium.
IN judging of the fentiments of any writer, it is neceffary to confider the connection of his discourse. An expreffion by itself may appear ambiguous, which, from the connection with what precedes or follows it, may have an obvious and determined meaning. This rule is applicable to the prophets. Their meaning appears obvious; at any rate the mind refts
(1) Ifa. xxx. 26. Ifa.lx. 19. Rev. xxi. 23: Rev. xxii. 5.
(2) Ezek. xxxiv. 26, 27.
refts in it as highly probable, when the connection can be traced, through a whole difcourse or fection of prophecy. But it is more difficult to trace the connection in them, than in any other writers, facred or profane. The difficulty arifes partly from the nature of the fubject. When they treat of events ftill future to us, they are wrapt up in a venerable gloom, and of them it may be faid, That
we know but in part, and fee darkly as "through a glass." It cannot be expected, that we fhould trace the connection as clearly as when the Providence of God has already proved the comment on the prophecy. But much of the difficulty arifes from the peculiar manner of the prophets. I shall therefore note some of their peculiarities of method and expreffion, which I hope will leffen the difficulty, and enable the attentive reader to trace the connection, when otherwise he would have loft it.
I. THE prophets give several parallel views of the same period of time; that is, they run over the fame events, yet so as to obferve the fame order of events in each view, and to enlarge in one view on events flightly touched in another. Mede' has demonftrated that there are fuch parallel
(1) In his Clavis Apocalyptica.
rallel views or fynchronisms in the Apocalypfe. But this method is not peculiar to the Apocalypfe. The Prophet Ifaiah, from the 40th chapter to the close of the book, gives several parallel views of the period from the first promulgation of the gospel to the Millennium. Each parallel view begins with fome account of the Meffiah, or the circumftances of the time in which he appeared, and ends with an account of the Millennium. The connection of the parts in each parallel view, fhews the order of events as they have been or fhall be accomplished. By laying together the correfponding places in each parallel view, we acquire a tolerable knowledge of any particular event confidered apart.
II. THE prophets briefly relate events, and afterwards enlarge on the whole or a part of the period to which they are referred. This method is clearly discerned in the Apocalypfe. In chap. xi. 15.-18. we have a brief description of the whole events included in the feventh trumpet; that is, from the time of its founding to the end of the world; which events are afterwards more fully treated of. In Rev. xvi. we have the events of the seven vials brieflysummed up in their order. Chap. xviii. throughout, and chap. xix. 1.-4. give an enlarged view of the fifth vial. Chap. xix. 5.-10. gives further light on the fixth vial.
chap. xix. 11.-- 21. enlarges on the seventh vial or the battle of Armageddon'. But the fame method seems to have been used by the Old Teftament Prophets. Ifaiah (chap. liv. 1.-3.) gives a short account of the admiffion of the Gentiles into the church ; the prophet then passes on to the converfion of the Jews. He returns again, and enlarges on the admiffion of the Gentiles chap. lv.
11. The propriety of representing future events in this manner will appear, if we reflect that without the brief narrative prefixed, we could never trace the connection; and fo we fhould remain ftrangers to the order of events; and without the after enlargement, our know. ledge of each particular event would be scanty and deficient.
Sometimes they narrate the series of events briefly, and enlarge only on the concluding event; in which case the narrative prefixed, anfwers the purpose of a chronological kalendar. Thus, in the 2d chapter of Daniel, the four metals of the image mark the progrefs of time along the four univerfal monarchies, down to the Millennium, defcribed in verfe 44. So (in Dan. vii.). the four beasts carry on time until the little horn appears, which is largely defcribed, as to its character, duration, and deftruction.
(1) See this proved in Mede's Clavis Apocalyptica.