Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

What fome able writers have faid on this subject deserves attention, as it ferves very much to ftrengthen the argument, which goes to prove, that the hour, and day, and month, and year, for which this woe was prepared, terminated about the end of the laft century. The first whom I fhall mention is Mr. Brightman, who wrote in the beginning of the last century. He says (in his Expofition of the book of Revelation, p. 324, edition of 1644.) "A year, here put fimply, is understood to be a vulgar and ufual Julian year, that confifts of 365 days and fome hours, all which time being numbered from the year 1300, fhall expire at last about the year 1696, which is the laft term of the Turkish name, as other fcriptures do alfo prove with marvellous confent." Dr. Crefner, and Dr. Lloyd, bishop of Worcester, foretold very nearly the peace of Carlowitz from this paffage. See what Bishop Burnet, in his Hiftory of his Own Times, says of the latter. (vol. iv, p.297, of 12mo. edit.) "Dr. Lloyd, the prefent learned Bishop of Worcester, who has now for above twenty years been studying the Revelation with amazing diligence and exactness, had long before this year faid, the peace between the Turks and the papal Christians was certainly to be made in the year 1698, which he made out thus, the four angels, mentioned in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation, that were bound in the river Euphrates, which he expounds to be the captains of the Turkish forces, that till then were fubject to the fultan of Babylon, were to be loosed or ficed from that yoke, and to fet up for themselves; and these were prepared to flay the third part of men, for an hour, a day, a month, and a year. He reckons the year in St. John is the Julian year of 365 days, that is, in the prophetic ftile, each day a year; a month is thirty of these days, and a day makes one, which added to the former number makes 396. Now he proves from hiftory that Ottoman came and began his conquefts at Prouffe, in the year 1302, to which the former number, in which they were to flay the third part of men, being added, it muft end in the year 1698; and though the hiftorians do not mark the hours, or twelfth part of the day or year, which is a month, that is, the beginning of the de ftruction the Turks were to make, yet he is confident if that is ever known, that the prophecy will be found, even in that, to be punctually accomplished, After this he thinks their time of hurting the papal Chriftians is at an end. They may indeed still do mif

+

D

ch ef

chief to the Mufcovites, or perfecute their own Chriftian fubjects, but they can do no hurt to the Papilins.”

When I confider the facts which give us reafon to think that the four angels, or ministers of destruction, which were bound in the river Euphrates, were loofed, when the four fultanies above enumerated were united under Ottoman, and freed, not only from the restraints laid on them by the crusaders, but from the control of the khans of Perfia; when I recollect that all this took place about the latter end of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the fourteenth, and that between the years 1299 and 1304, the Seljukian race being extinct, and the control of the khans of Perfia being no more, Ottoman founded the prefent Turkish empire, broke in upon the territories of the eastern Cefars, and laid waste the apoftate Christian churches; when, moreover, I consider that fince the peace of Carlowitz in 1699, though there have fince been wars between the Turks and the papal powers, yet, that the latter have generally been the aggreffors, and that the Turks have always come off lofers, so that their power is fo much broken that their empire totters to its very base, I conclude that the hour, and day, and month, and year, in which they were to prevail, terminated about the end of the last century, probably on Sept. 1, O. S. 1697, when they experienced that fatal overthrow at Zenta in Hungary, from the army under prince Eugene.

SIGNS OF THE LATTER DAYS.

BUT does the violence of the fecond woe terminate as we have

endeavored to prove; and is it because the men, against whom it was directed, are brought to repentance? No. Ver. 20. " And the rest of the men (the members of the papal church) which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they fhould not worship devils, and idols of gold, and filver, and brass, and stone, and of wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk, neither repented they of their murders, nor of their forceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thefts." This is the exact ftate of the antichriftian nations; they are still impenitent, they still maintain idolatrous worship, and fyftems of cheating and fraud, robbery and murder, persecution and war. They have not repented.

D.2.

Muft we then give up all hope of better days? Will nothing bring the church to a purer ftate, and the nations to repentance for their corruptions and murders? Alas! the man of fin will never repent; antichriftian priests and tyrants will never cease their corruptions and oppreffions, robberies and murders, till they, and their abominable fyftems, are utterly destroyed by the avenging judgments of God.-But we are not to despair.-Here, in the tenth chapter, an angel defcends from heaven to brighten the gloomy fcene, and to cheer our drooping hopes, by announcing that the feventh trumpet shall soon be founded, and the mystery of God be finished, as he hath declared to his fervants the prophets.

The

The gleam of confolation which breaks upon us in this chapter is very feasonable and reviving; the great and lafting troubles, predicted in the former chapters, and which occupy a space of 1400 years, are enough to try the faith and patience of the best. To hear of nothing but of hail and fire, of burning mountains and feas of blood, of darkening of the fun, moon, and stars, of horrid monfters which vomit fire, and destroy innumerable myriads of men: to hear of nothing but woe after woe, without intermiffion or profpect of end, terrifies the boldeft fpirits, and oppreffes the strongest faith. The woes of the two last trumpets had now afflicted the nations for near a thousand years; and the enormities of antichrift had prevailed for a longer period. To revive the fpirits, and to animate the hopes of God's fervants, an angel appears at the end of the fixth trumpet, or the second woe, to affure them that the time of corruption, perfecution, and calamity, fhall not continue much longer, but that the feventh and laft trumpet fhall foon be founded, and that woe come upon antichriftian oppreffors which fhall finifh the mystery of God, and introduce among men his glorious kingdom of righteoufness, peace, and happiness. Seeing then that there are the most cogent reafons for: concluding that the woe of the fixth trumpet terminated about the year 1697, near a hundred years ago, and that many good and eminent men have been daily expecting, fince that time, the judgments of the feventh trumpet, which are to bring the triumphs of po-→ pery, idolatry, oppreffion, and wickedness, to an end, and introduce the kingdom of Chrift, it becomes us to attend to the figns of the times, and fee whether the fig-tree is not shooting forth and announcing the approach of fummer. May the Spirit of God direct and illumine our minds, that we may understand his word and judge rightly!

Chap. x. 1. And I faw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the fun, and his feet as pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book open." This little open book appears to be a codicil to that book of which we read in chap. v. containing fome additional explanatory matter. The book with seven feals contains a general representation of the state of things under the fourth mortarchy of the world, (Dan. vii. 7, 23.) or of

the

the Roman empire, and the kingdoms and ftates into which it has been divided, from the firft preaching of the gospel to the end of time, and does not take particular notice of the events which more peculiarly concern the church of Chrift. This little book includes feveral diftin&t vifions which reprefent more immediately the ftate of the church, and which are related in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth chapters, and in part of the fourteenth, if hot the whole of it.

The obferving of this is of the greatest confequence to the right understanding of this interefting and inftructive book.

Ver. 2." And he fet his right foot upon the fea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth, and when he had cried, feven thunders uttered their voices. And when the feven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, feal up those things which the feven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel which I faw ftand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and fware by Him that liveth for ever and ever-that there fhould be time no

longer;" (ori Xpovos oûx isar Eri) that is, as Dr. Doddridge has well expreffed it, "the times of the judgments, to be fignified by the pouring out of the feven vials, should not be much longer delayed." And thus alfo do Brightman and others explain it, as meaning that delay should be no longer, but that the seventh trumpet should now speedily found, and the judgments of God bring Babylon the Great to a rapid end. And then (ver. 7.) the mystery of God fhall be finished, as he hath declared to his fervants the prophets. Then the providence of God, in permitting the kingdom of his Son to be so long and fo fuccefsfully opposed; in permitting his church to be fo grievously harraffed by its enemies, and in fuffering oppofers fo long to triumph, which has been esteemed among the chiefeft mysteries of the Divine conduct, shall be illuftrated, and all nations fhall fee, in the decifive woe upon Babydon, those displays of wifdom and righteousness which shall vindicate the Divine government from all the afperfions of infidelity.

Of

« VorigeDoorgaan »