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ufed in the Apocalypfe, fometimes fignify the empire of Rome, rather than the territory within its walls; but by attending to the ftrain of the narration, particularly to the concluding verfes of the 18th chapter, the unprejudiced must be convinced, that the terms Babylon and City, in that chapter fignify the imperial city, and not the empire; and that the fall described is final and irrecoverable. Therefore I infer, that the fifth vial fignifies the final deftruction of Rome.
I conjecture, that this event fhall take place eighteen years after the lofs of the Pope's temporal fovereignty, that is, in the year 2016. My reafons for this opinion are, first, It must precede the fixth vial, which takes place (as we fhall presently fee) A. D. 2028; fecondly, I observe two remarkable steps in the establishment of the temporal fovereignty. The first of these was A. D. 756, when the Pope received from Pepin of France a folemn grant of the Exarchate of Ravenna, wrefted from the King of the Lombards. The fecond was in the year 774, when Charlemagne overturned the kingdom of the Lombards, and thus effectually established the Pope in the poffeffion of the Exarchate, by destroying the power of his rival. Betwixt these two periods, eighteen years intervene. It is probable, therefore, there may be two periods in
the fall of the fovereignty correfponding with thofe in its rife, each measured by a period of 1260 years; so that if the year 1998 corresponds with the first, the year 2016 will correfpond with the fecond. Though the first step gave the Pope a right to the fovereignty, it was only by the second he was fecured in the peaceable enjoyment of his kingdom; fo it is probable, that the firft ftep in the fall may deprive him of his right, but the fecond only by deftroying Rome, the bone of contention, fhall effectually prevent all further claims to St. Peter's patrimony.
I am the more inclined to this opinión, because two perfons divinely infpired calculate the fe venty years captivity foretold by Jeremiah, (xxv. 11, 12.) from two different periods. Daniel (Chap. ix. 2.) computes from the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, when the captivity commenced, to the first year of the reign of Cyrus, when the captives began to return. Zechariah (Chap.i. 13. and Chap. vii. 1.— and Chap. vii. 1.-5.) reckons from the eleventh year of Zedekiah, which completed the captivity by the ruin of the city and temple, to the fourth year of Darius, in which the return of the captives was fully accomplished. Betwixt these two computations, there is a difference of about eighteen years, yet both are conformable to the truth, and alike pointed out by the fpirit of prophecy.
Time of the Conversion of the Jews.
THE fixth vial fignifies the conversion of the Jewish nation to Chriftianity. This appears, First, From the expreffions of the apoftles. They are all borrowed from the prophets, and as used by them, they indicate a step preparatory to the return of the Jews from their great difperfion; but that which prepares them for a return, according to the New Teftament, is their receiving by faith the Meffiah, whom they rejected. Thus, " drying up the Euphra"tes," Rev. xvi. 12. is an allufion to the expreffions of Ifaiah, Chap. xi. 15. "And the Lord "fhall utterly deftroy the tongue (bay) of the Egyptian fea, and with his mighty wind fhall "he fhake his hand over the river, and fhall "fmite it in the seven ftreams, and make men go "over dry-fhod: And there fhall be an high-way "for the remnant of his people." And to those of Zechariah, (Chap. x. 11.)" And he shall
pass through the fea with affliction, and shall "fmite the waves in the fea, and all the deeps "of the river fhall dry up." In both these paffages, the expreffions, from their connection with the context, obviously point out a ftep preparatory to the return of the Jews from their K great
great difperfion. Is it not therefore reasonable to infer, that the apoftle ufes them in the fame fenfe? The prophets allude to the former deliverances of the Jewish nation, all of which were preceded by the drying up of waters. The deliverance from Egyptain bondage was preceded by drying up the waters of the Red Sea; the calamities of the wilderness had an iffue, by drying up the waters of Jordon; and their return from Babylon was preceded by drying up the waters of the Euphrates. But those who receive the authority of the New Teftament know, that their future return shall be preceded by a change in the moral world, greater than either of these was in the natural worldthat their infidelity shall be removed, and that they fhall cordially unite in the faith of the Meffiah whom they have always rejected? Preparing the way" is an allufion to the expreffions of Ifaiah (lxii. 10.) Prepare ye "the way of the people, caft up, caft up the high-way, gather out the ftones, lift up a "ftandard for the people," which, from the context, appear obviously to refer to the future return of the Jews. They are called " "Kings," perhaps in allufion to their privileges as Chriftians, for all Chriftians are kings as well as priests to God; or it may be on account of
(1) 2 Cor. iii. 15, 16, 17. Rom. x. 26.
the fuperior glory of their church, after their conversion to Christianity. But for whatever réafon they are fo called, the expreffion is borrowed from the prophets. Thus, Ifaiah (lxii. 3.) foreshewing the glory of the Jewish church, upon their converfion to Chriftianity, fays, "Thou shalt alfo be a crown of glory in the "hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the "hand of thy God." So Zechariah fays (ix. 16.) "And the Lord fhall fave them in that
day as the flock of his people; for they shall "be as the ftones of a crown, lifted up as an enfign upon the land." They may be called "Kings of the east," either because their progenitor Abraham came from the east to Judea, or it may be a Hebraifm, meaning ancient. Now, in the latter days, the denomination of ancient pertains to them, in preference to any other nation on earth.
Secondly, The illuftration given of the fixth vial, Rev. xix. 5.-10. contains several expreffions which obviously point out the converfion of the Jewish nation. Thus, "the marriage of "the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made "herself ready." Embracing the true religion is frequently in fcripture represented by the metaphor of a marriage-covenant; but particular