« VorigeDoorgaan »
of Mr. Mede- and Bp. Newton, we have only a mutilated account of the infidel king, commencing indeed, but abruptly breaking off: and, instead of teaching us what shall be the end of that monster, only informing us of the destruction of the northern prince, who had not been previously represented as having committed any particular crime against Heaven, but on the contrary as being laudably engaged in opposing with all his forces the outrageous tyranny of the atheistical potentate.
But, even supposing, (what I think the context will by no means warrant) that the king of the North and not the Infidel king, is to invade. Palestine ; still the chronology of the prophecy will abundantly shew, that the whole interpretation of Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton must be erroneous. The king, who magnified himself above every god, was to spring up after the reformation ; consequently all his exploits must be after the reformation likewise : but, if his wars with the kings of the South and the North are to be after that period, they cannot allude to the contests of the Eastern Emperors with the Saracens and Turks, which were before it. So again : the prophet carefully informs us, that all these events are to take place at the time of the end, and that they are to be contemporary with the restoration of the Jews. But the time of the end commences at the termination of the 1260 years : consequently, by no ingenuity of interpretation can it be carried back to the very beginning of those years ; that is to say, to the year 629, in which the Saracens first attacked the Roman empire, and which is no more than twenty-three years posterior to the year 606, whence, as I have already shewn, the 1260 years ought most probably to be dated.* So far is this period from being ihe time of the end, t the time appointed for the restoration of the Jews, # that near twelve centuries
The first war between the Saracens and the Romans commenced in the
629. Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 312. + " At the time of the end a king of the south shall butt at him.”
" At that time thy people shall be delivered.” (Dan. xii. 1.) It afterwards appears that the Jews will begin to be restored, so soon as the three times and a bulf shall have expired. « Until how long shall be the end of the wonders ?-It shall be until a time and times and a half and, when he shall have finished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” Ver, 5, 6.
have now elapsed from it, and still we behold the Jews scattered over the face of the earth.
This however is by no means all. Granting for a moment, merely for the sake of argument, that the time of the end means the whole 1260 years, that the king of the North is the Turk, and that the prophecy has been accomplished as far as to the end of the 43d verse, which is all that Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton suppose :* still the 44th and 45th verses will remain yet to be accomplished, and these never can be accomplished in the Turk consistently with another prophecy which foretells his destruction. I will say nothing of the extreme improbability, that the Ottoman power, now fast verging to destruction, should ever go forth with great fury to devote many to utter externination on a religious account, should succeed in planting the curtains of his pavilions between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, and should there finally be overtbrown: of the utter improbability of all this I will say nothing ; because I pretend not to the gift of prophecy, and am not prepared positively to assert that such an event is absolutely impossible. But this I will fearlessly assert, that the time assigned for the destruction of the power which (according to Daniel) will come to its end in Palestine, let it be the one king or let it be the other king, cannot be made to quadrate with the time assigned by St. John for the overthrow of the Ottoman power : therefore the power, that comes to its end in Palestine, cannot be the Ottoman power. Let us compare together the two prophets. “ And at the time of the end a king of the south shall butt at him ; and a king of the north shall come against him :-and he shall enter into the countries ;- and he shall plant the curtains of bis pavilions between the seas
* It is true, which you guess, that I incline to apply the king of the north's going forib (upon the tidings from the cast and the north) in a fury to destroy, and to that purpose to plant the tabernacles of bis palaces in the glorious mountain of boliness, to the Fews' return, and the expedition of Gog and Magog into the boly land” (Mede's Works B. iv. Epist. 54.) I think Mr. Mede wrong in his chronology of the expedition of Gog and Magog, as I attempt to prove at large in the work which I have now in hand concerning the Restoration of Israel and the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy : but he plainly considers the two last verses of Dan. xi. as yet unfulfilled, which was the purpose for which I made this citation. Bp. Newton is of the same opinion, “The two next, which are the two last verses of this chapter, I conceive, remain yet to be fulfilled." Dissert. Ivü. in loc.
in the glorious holy mountain : yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people : and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time : and at that time thy people shall be delivered.” Here let us pause, and ask, At what time? The expression at that time can only refer, either to the time of the end, or to the period when the power which had occupied the holy mountain is destroyed. To the one, or the other, it must refer. I believe it myself to refer to the time of the end ; because I believe the time of the end to commence, when the 1260 years terminate. To the present argument however this is immaterial : and, since Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton of course will not refer it to the time of the end, they must refer it to the time when the power in question perishes.* This power they suppose to be the king of the North, who according to their idea is the Ottoman empire. Therefore the Ottoman empire will perish at the time when Michael stands up, and when the people of Daniel or the Jews begin to be delivered. The Jews however, as Daniel afterwards informs us, will cease to be scattered when all the wonders of the 1260 days shall be finished : but all those wonders, he says, will be finished at the end of the three times and a half: therefore the Jews will cease to be scattered, or begin to be restored, at the same time. But we had already arrived at the conclusion, that the fall of the Ottoman empire and the restoration of the Jews were to be contemporary. Therefore the fall of the Ottoman empire, if the principles of Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton be just, which I deny, must take place at the end of the three times and a half or the 1260 years. And how does this accord with St. John? He teaches us, that the confederacy of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth,
So accordingly Mr. Mede does refer it. See the last citation from him. Bp. Newton does the same. “ Between the seas in the glorious boly mountain must denote some part of the holy land. There the Turk shall encamp with all his power, yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. The same times and the same events seem to be presignified in this prophecy, as in that of Ezekiel concerning Gog of the land of Magog. He shall come up against the people of Israel in the latter days after their return from captivity-He shall also fall upon the mountains of Isa rael.” Dissert. XVII in loc.
shall be broken at Armageddon, in Palestine, or the land which extends 1600 furlongs, under the seventh vial, which plainly begins to be poured out at the end of the
And he likewise teaches us, Mr. Mede himself being the interpreter, that the waters of the Euphrates shall be dried up, or that the Ottoman empire shall be overthrown under the sixth vial, at some indefinite period, before the confederacy begins to be even gathered together to Armageddon, and consequently much more at some indefinite period before that confederacy is destroyed at Armageddon. According to the scheme then which I am opposing, St. John tells us, that the Ottomun empire, under the name of the Euphrates will be subverted at some indefinite period before the expiration of the 1260 years, and consequently before the commencement of the restoration of the Jews, but a period long enough to allow of the gathering together of the bestial confederacy and their subsequent expedition into Palestine : while Daniel tells us, that the Ottoman empire, under the name of a king of the North, will be destroyed in Palestine after the expiration of the 1260 yeurs, because contemporaneously with the restoration of the Jews. Thus does the scheme, which makes the king of the North to be the Turk, set Daniel and St. John at direct variance : and hence, even supposing that the king of the North, and not the wilful king, is to perish in Palestine at the end of the 1260 yeurs, it is plain that the power which perishes after the expiration of that period cannot be the Ottoman empire
Such is the opinion of Mr. Mede. He supposes the forst blast of the seventh trumpet and the first effusion of the seventh vial, which he justly calls the vial of consumo mation, exactly to synchronize; and he maintains, that at this era the three times and os half terminaté. Though, as I have already observed, I prefer Bp. Newton's arrangement of the seventh trumpet, I think Mr. Mede's opinion indisputable that the 1260 days expire when the vial of consummation is poured out, because the contents of that vial plainly shew that it relates to the time of God's great controversy with the nations. But tbis great controversy, this period of unexampled trouble, synchronizes, according to the unanimous testimony of all the prophets who treat of the subject, with the restore ration of the Jews, which restoration commences, according to Daniel, at the close of the three times and a balf : therefore the contemporary period of unexampled trouble must commence at the close of tbe tbree times and a balf ; and consequently the effusion of the seventh vial, which treats of that period, must likewise commence at the close of the tbree times and a balf: in other words, the seventh vial must begin to be poured out, so soon as the three times and a balf or the 1260 days expire ; which was the point asserted. Compare Mede's Clav. Apoc. Par. Alt. Synch. 4,5-Comment. Apoc. in Tub. vii. et Phial. vii.--and the plate at the end of his Clavis.
which (according to St. John) will be subverted before the expiration of it.
Yet even this is not all. Two expeditions into the very same country, attended with exactly the same circumstances, can scarcely be contemporary. But we have abundant reason to believe, as will be stated at large hereafter, that the Roman confederacy of the beast, the fulse prophet, and the kings of the earth, will undertake such an expedition into Palestine, as is here described by Daniel, at the close of the 1260 years. How then can the Turk undertake exactly such another, and exactly at the same time? Perhaps it may be said, the two expeditions will form only one allied expedition. How then can this allied expedition have two commanders in chief? In the Apocalypse the beast under his last head, which most commentators, though I think very erroneously, have supposed to be the Papacy, is the commander in chief ;* and not a hint is given of any co-operation on the part of the Turk : as indeed how should there, when St. John had told us, that the Ottoman empire, or the mystic Euphrates had been previously destroyed ? In Daniel, the king of the North (still arguing according to Mr. Mede's and Bp. Newton's reference of the expedition against Palestine to the king of the North and not to the wilful king,) whom they suppose to be the Turk, is the commander in chief ; and not a hint is given of any co-operation on the part of the beast : when yet, according to St. John, that very Turk was no longer in existence.
The reader will perhaps be inclined to think from the present aspect of affairs, that the probability of the Pope being commander in chief of a vast expedition against Palestine is much on a par with the probability of the Turk being commander in chief of a contemporaneous expedition against the same country. Yet does this expectation necessarily result from the belief that the ten-borned apocalyptic beast is tbe Papacy : for that beast is plainly represented, as not merely taking an inferior part in the confederacy of tbe Latın kings, but as animating and beading it. According to the light in which I'view that yet unaccomplished prophecy, the Pope and his bierarchy, or tbe false prophet who is the same as the second apocalyptic beast, will be more or less indeed concerned and interested in this expedition against the land that extends 1600 furlongs : nay, with Mr. Whitaker, I even think it not improbable, that Jerusalem may finally be the seat of the apostate man of sin : but the power, that will form the confederacy of vassal kings and bead the expedition into Palestine, namely the Roman beast under his last head, I certainly believe to be a very different power from the Papacy. But this matter will be discussed at large hereafter, when I consider the character of the two apoalaptic beasts.