HORAE APOCALYPTICAE,

OR

A COMMENTARY ON THE APOCALYPSE,

 

CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL;

 

INCLUDING ALSO AN EXAMINATION OF THE CHIEF PROPHECIES OF DANIEL.

 

ILLUSTRATED BY AN APOCALYPTIC CHART,

AND ENGRAVINGS FROM MEDALS AND OTHER EXTANT MONUMENTS OF ANTIQUITY.

 

 

 

BY THE REV. E. B. ELLIOTT, A. M.

LATE VICAR OF TUXFORD, AND FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

 

 

SECOND EDITION,

CAREFULLY REVISED, CORRECTED, AND IMPROVED;

WITH AN APPENDIX,

CONTAINING, BESIDES OTHER MATTER,

A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF APOCALYPTIC INTERPRETATION, AND INDICES.

 

 

VOL. IV.

 

SEELEY, BURNSIDE, AND SEELEY, FLEET STREET, LONDON.

 

MDCCCXLVI.

1846

 

 

 

 

HA245

 

CHAPTER VII: CONCLUSION

ARRIVED at the concluding Chapter of my Work, it will be well to stop, and consider attentively our present eventful position in prophetic chronology, and the evidence which fixes it; then to direct our regards to the coming future, and consider it in the light, and connectedly with the lessons, suggested by the previous parts of the Apocalyptic prophecy.

I. With regard to our present position, we have been led, as the result of our investigations, to fix it at but a short time from the end of the now existing dispensation, and the expected second advent of Christ. This thought, when we seriously attempt to realize it, must be felt a very startling as well as solemn one. And for my own part I confess to risings of doubt, and almost of skepticism, as I do so. Can it be that we are come so near to the day of the Son of Man, that the generation now alive shall very possibly not have passed away before its fulfillment; yea that perhaps even our own eyes may witness, without the intervention of death, that astonishing event of the consummation? The idea falls on my mind as almost incredible. -- The circumstance of anticipations having been so often formed quite erroneously

HA246

heretofore of the proximity of the consummation, -- for example, in the apostolic age, before the destruction of Jerusalem, {1} then, during the persecutions of Pagan Rome, {2} then, on the breaking up of the old Roman Empire, {3} then, at the close of the tenth century, {4} then, at and after the Reformation, {5} and still later even by writers of our own day, -- I say the circumstance of all these numerous anticipations having been formed and zealously promulgated of the imminence of the second advent, which, notwithstanding, have by the event itself been shown to be unfounded, strongly tends to confirm us in our doubt and incredulity. -- Yet to rest in skepticism simply and altogether upon such grounds would be evidently bad philosophy. For these are causes that would operate always; and that would make us be saying, even up to the very eve and moment of the advent, "Where is the promise of his coming? " Our true wisdom is to test each link of the chain of evidence by which we have been led to our conclusion, and see whether it will bear the testing; -- to examine into the causes of previous demonstrated errors on the subject, and see whether we avoid them; -- finally to consider whether the signs of the times now present be in all the sundry points that prophecy points out so peculiar, as to warrant a measure of confidence in our inference such as was never warranted before.

And certainly, on doing all this, it seems to me that the grounds of our conclusion are stable. Of the evidence of the continuous historical exposition of the Apocalyptic visions detailed in this Commentary, I have given an abstract in the first chapter of this its sixth and last division; and I again pray the reader, with my illustrative Chart before him, to consider, step by step,

whether it be not conclusive. With such an extraordinary combination of evidence, antiquarian and historical, to support it, does it seem possible that we can have erred in our explanation of the four first Seals,

 

-----------------------------------------

{1} See my Vol. i. p. 58.

 

{2} So Vol. i. pp. 196, 201-203.

 

{3} See Vol. i. pp. 360-365.

 

{4} See Ib. 440, 441.

 

{5} See Vol. ii. pp. 130-140.

 

HA247

with the emblematic horses and horsemen? and, if not, then in our application of the two next Seals? and, supported as it is by the parallel vision of the Covenant-Angel, Apoc. 10, in that of the Sealing Vision ? Brought so far satisfactorily, can we have erred in explaining the six first of that Trumpet septenary of visions which evolves the seventh Seal, as fulfilled in the successive irruptions and woes of the Goths; Saracens, and Turks; especially considering the manner in which that most striking figuration of the Witnesses' death, resurrection, and ascension is wrapped up and included in the latter half of the Turkish woe last-mentioned, a figuration that we saw reason to interpret of the Reformation: or afterwards (in order of the Apocalyptic figurations) in explaining the 7th Trumpet-vision, and its earthquake, of the great French Revolution? -- The perfect historical parallelism with the above primary series of visions of the supplemental and retrogressive series in Apoc. xii:xiii, concerning the Witnesses' slayer, the Beast from the abyss, and his reign for the same 1260 days' period that was predicated of the Witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, -- I say the perfect historical parallelism of this new series with the former, when explained, on the year-day system, of the Popes and Popedom, and the manner in which we are thereby similarly brought down in history to the epoch of the French Revolution, cannot, I think, but strike the mind as furnishing very strong additional corroborative evidence of the correctness so far of the general interpretation. -- And when, advancing yet a step further, -- on the evidence (as recent history shows) alike of one and of the other of these two parallel and still continuous series of visions, -- we find our present epoch fixed but just a very little before the consummation, -- it being in the one series near upon the close of the sixth Vial, with its drying up of the Turkman Euphratean flood, and going forth of three spirits of delusion over the earth, such as are even now recognizable, to gather men to the battle of the great God; -- in the other series under the second or third of three flying angels, with their

 

HA248
voices of gospel-preaching and anti-Papal warning, such as the world is even now hearing, just before the judgments of the harvest and the vintage, which last we saw reason to identify with the treading of the wine-press of his wrath, in the same battle of the great God, by the Son of Man at Armageddon, -- when, I say, we find the double line of Apocalyptic prophecy thus combining to fix our position there where I have placed it, and on considering the evidence altogether, not as advocates or partisans, but as simple searchers for truth on the great point in question, can discern no flaw or chasm therein, to vitiate or render it imperfect, it is surely reason's dictate that we should bow to its strength and consistency, and acknowledge that such is indeed in high probability the very fact.

With regard to the mistaken views as to the nearness of the consummation entertained in other times and by other expositors of prophecy, the several causes of mistake are for the most part obvious; and also that they are such as cannot, or do not, affect the grounds of our present conclusion. The patristic expositors, living early as they did in the Christian aera, had no long continuous chain of historic events before them, such as was essentially needed, in order to the right interpretation of the Apocalypse as a continuous prophecy. If they interpreted it at all, they could only generalize, agreeably with their general and vague anticipations of the future: chiefly with reference to the predicted Antichrist; who, they knew, was to come on the dissolution of the Roman Empire, but whose duration (on their day-day system) they mistakingly limited to 1260 days.' So that they altogether lacked the Apocalyptic sea-marks which would have shown them how much yet remained of the voyage ere the harbor could be gained; and made an error of reckoning, which we can be in no danger of repeating.-The same causes would have operated in a measure to prevent a perception of

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} See Vol. iii p. 223.

 

HA249

the truth through the earlier half of the dark middle ages, had there been then enough of intellectual energy and research (which there was not) to investigate Scripture prophecy: besides which Augustine's positive error respecting the Millennium, -- an error detailed in my 5th preceding chapter, {1} and which descended to them from him with almost the authority of inspiration, -- engendered that erroneous expectation of the immediate imminence of the judgment-day at the close of the tenth century, to which I have more than once made allusion. {2} -- After the glorious Reformation, when both by the application of the Apocalyptic emblems of the Beast and Babylon to the Papacy and Rome, by the adoption also of the year-day system, and by discoveries in clearer and clearer light of the part that the Gothic Saracenic and Turkish woes had in the prophecy, a vast advance was made in prophetic intelligence, and elements brought into existence for sounder views as to the future, -- still from the time of Luther, the Magdeburgh Centuriators, and Foxe, down to those successively of Mede and Brightman, Vitringa and Daubuz, and Sir Isaac and Bishop Newton, many chasms remained unsupplied, and important dates uncertified, in Apocalyptic interpretation: more especially because, as Sir I. Newton observed with characteristic sagacity, {3} there remained unfulfilled in history the last predicted revolution, answering to the seventh Trumpet; an event essential to the confirmation of some most important points of interpretation, and determination of others. So that what wonder if many mistaken anticipations were still formed and published, antedating the time of the end? -- Nor, even after that Trumpet had had (as it is conceived) its marked fulfillment in the French Revolution, were those causes of error by any means all removed. It necessarily took some time ere the mind of the investigator could calmly survey and judge of that great event. There was in

 

-----------------------------------------

{1} p. 177 supra.

 

{2} Vol. i. p. 440.

{3} "The time is not yet come for understanding these prophecies perfectly, because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet come to pass."

 

 

HA250

England, (the only country in which religious truth and inquiry then had favor,) both at the outburst of the French Revolution, and for many years after it, a lamentable deficiency of learning and research; such as was needed to draw out the evidence, and argue accurately from it on the probabilities of the future. On many important points in the Apocalyptic prophecy there still rested great obscurity; (I may say in particular respecting the Seals, the Sealing Vision, the whole Vision of the rainbow-circled Angel of the tenth Chapter, the death and resurrection of the Witnesses, the seventh and eighth Heads of the Beast, and the very form and structure of the prophecy itself;) and by necessary consequence, even among them that held to the Protestant and year-day principle, such variety and contrarieties of opinion respecting them, that much, very much remained evidently wanting, ere a complete and satisfactory explanation of that which related to the past could be given and consequently ere we could be fitly prepared to form a judgment from it with any great confidence as to our own actual place in the prophecy, and the nearness of the great future consummation. -- It is the author's hope and belief that this has now been done; and, is before said, a continuous historical exposition given of the Apocalypse, on evidence irrefragable, and without a chasm or lacuna of importance unexplained, up to the present time. Whether this be so, or not, the reader will judge for himself. But, if it be, then it is evident that the most influential cause of former mistakes respecting the coming future must be considered as now done away with; and a vantage-ground established for judging correctly respecting it, such as did not exist before.

In the arrangement of the great calendar of prophecy, and the adjustment of our own position on it, whether nearer to the final end or less near, it is evident that the chronological predictions (I mean those which involve chronological periods) must needs demand our most particular attention. -- First and foremost in importance

HA251

is the memorable prophecy of the 1260 years of the Beast or Antichrist, six times repeated in the Apocalyptic vision, and three in Daniel. It comprehends the Beast's reign, in recognized supremacy over the Roman Empire, in its last divided and apostatized state; or rather the reign of the Beast's last Head, Antichrist. And we have seen that by that grand illustrative event of our latter day, the French Revolution, the commencement and end of the period (I should say its primary commencement and end) have been fixed on, I think, almost decisive evidence at about the years A.D. 530 and 1790 respectively: the one the epoch of Justinian's Decree and Code, recognizing the Pope's supremacy as Christ's pretended Vicar or Antichrist; {1} the other that of the French revolutionary outbreak and code, giving to the Pope's supremacy and power a deadly blow through Western Christendom: {2} the interval between them being just 1260 years. We also saw that in one of his prophecies Daniel appended to what seemed to be the same identical period, yet a further addition of thirty, and forty-five, or conjointly of seventy-five years, as still to intervene before the times of blessedness: {3} so fixing the year 1865, or thereabouts, as the probable epoch of the consummation. -- Now what I here wish to set before the reader, with a view to his seeing the strength of the corroborative evidence hence arising, on the point in question, is the probable convergency within this same seventy-five years' interval of the terminating epochs of almost every other chronological scripture-prophecy, or preintimation, that has reference to the time of the end. Thus 1st, when our progressing mundane chronology reaches the thirtieth year beyond A.D. 1790, it meets the end of the long line of 2300 years in one of Daniel's visions, {4} calculated from the epoch of the emblematic Persian ram's acme of conquering power, and which was to mark the destined epoch of the fall of the Turkman

 

-----------------------------------------

{1} See Vol. iii. pp. 248-250, with the references there given.

 

{2} See my Part iv. Chap. iv, beginning Vol. iii. p. 342.

 

{3} See pp. 166-169 supra.

 

{4} See Vol. iii. pp. 387-390.

 

 

HA252

empire: -- 2. when it reaches yet forty-five years further, i. e. at the epoch of about A.D. 1865, it meets the secondary terminating epoch of the 1260 years, calculated from that which may be deemed a secondary commencement of them in the Popedom-favoring Decree of Phocas. {1} These concurrences, as having been previously discussed, need but a cursory re-mentioning. -- 3. The third synchronism that I have to notice, and which will detain us longer, is that of the probable termination of the world's 6000th year, dated from the Creation, just at about the same interval of seventy-five years from the year 1790 of our aera: in other words, the concurrence at that chronological point of the opening epoch of the world's seventh millenary, and therefore (as would seem probable) of that of the sabbatism of rest promised to the saints of God.

For, as I have just hinted in the preceding chapter, {2} the apostle Paul's use of the word σαΡ9ατωμος, sabbatism, to designate the saints' expected glorious rest with Christ, may be reasonably considered as almost an apostolic recognition {3} of the early and well-known Jewish {4}

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} See Vol. iii. pp. 250-252.

 

{2} p. 215 supra.

{3} So Osiander, about the time of the Reformation. " De qua requie sempiterna ad Hebraeos, cap. 4, ita loquitur Apostolus, ut hoc ipsum mysterium nobis, veluti digito, commonstrare videatur."

{4} So the Rabbi Eliezer, cap. xviii. p. 41, as Whitby on Heb. Iv:9, quotes him: "The blessed Lord created seven worlds (i. e. αιαναs, ages;) but one of them is all sabbath, and rest in life eternal." "Where," adds Dr. Whitby, "he refers to their (the Jews) common opinion that the world should continue 6000 years, and then a perpetual sabbath begin, typified by God's resting the seventh day, and blessing it." -- For perpetual, Whitby should have perhaps said a millennial sabbath; it being αιωνιυs in the sense in which the αιαναes, or ages, before mentioned, were each millennial. So in the Midras Till. p. 4, the same Rabbi Eliezer says, "The days of Messiah are 1000 years." -- And so too Bereschith Rabba, quoted also by Whitby; "If we expound the seventh day of the seventh thousand years, which is the world to come, the exposition is, 'He blessed it,' because that in the seventh thousand all souls shall be bound up in the bundle of life. So our Rabbins of blessed memory have said in their Commentaries on, 'God blessed the seventh day,' the Holy Ghost blessed the world to come, which beginneth in the seventh thousand of years." -- Whitby also adds that Philo is copious on the same subject; stating that the sabbaths of the law were allegories, or figurative expressions. With which view we may compare St. Paul's declaration in Col. ii:16-17, " in respect of the Sabbath-days, which are a shadow of things to come," σκια των μελλοντων.

The general opinion of the Jews was, that the world was to be 2000 years without the law, 2000 under the law, and 2000 under the Messiah. This is still called by the Jews "a tradition of the house of Elias," an eminent Rabbi that lived before the birth of Christ: who also taught that in the seventh millenary, the earth would be renewed, and the righteous dead raised, no more again to be turned to dust: also that the just then alive should mount up with wings as eagles; so that in that day they would not need to fear, though the mountains (Psalm xlvi:2) should be cast into the midst of the sea. Mede, Book iv, p. 951.

 

HA253

opinion that Messiah's kingdom of blessedness would occupy the seventh millennium of the world, agreeably with the type of the seventh day's sabbatism of rest after the six days of creation: especially seeing that it was Hebrew Christians whom he was then addressing; and that by them the word thus chosen could not but be almost necessarily associated, alike from its etymology and use, with some chronological septenary. {1} In fact among the Christian fathers that succeeded on the apostolic age, this view of the matter was universally received and promulgated. {2} -- Which being so, the chronological

-----------------------------------------

{1} Insomuch that, as Schleusner observes on the; word Xαββατσν, the Septuagint translators sometimes render the word 1'1=0 by έβδομαs.--It is a word applied to the seventh year of rest in the Mosaic law, as well as to the seventh day of rest. See Lev. xxv:4, &c.

 

{2} I may specify the pseudo-Barnabas (a writer of unquestionably a very early age in the Church) Irenaeus, Cyprian, Lactantius.

 

{1} Barnabas. Kai εποιησεν ύ θεοs εν it ήμεραιs τα ερyα των χειρων αντe, Nat σννετελεσεν εν TV τμερq TV έβδομη, Kai κατεπαυσεν εν αυτη, Nat ήyιασεν αυτην. Πρσσεχετε τεκνα Ti λεηει To σννετελεσεν εν it ήμεραιs- τατο λεηει δτι σνντελει ό εοs Κυριοs εν έξακισχιλιοιs ετεσι τα παVτα.                -yap ήμερα παg' αυτφ χιλια ετη. αντοs μαρτνρει λε7αν, Ιδα σημερσν ήμερα εsαι διs χιλια MI.        ουκαν τεκνα εν it ήμεραιτ,'εν εξακιsχιλιοιs ετεσι, συντελεσθησεται τα παντα. Kai κατεπανσε TV ήμερα Ti έβδομη. Τατο λεηει όταν ελθων δ ΤΙοs αντα, Nat καταρηησει TOP καιρον ανομα, Nat κρινει τeτ ασεβειs, Kai αλλαξει Tot, ήλισν, Nat την σεληνην, Nat ταs ατερατ, Tore καλαs καταπαυσεται εν TV ήμερα.

{2}. Irencous. 'οσαιs ήμεραιs εyενετο ό κσσμοε, τοσσυτοιs χιλίυντασι συντελειται. Kai δια τδτο φησιν ή ηραφη, Kai συνετελεσθησαν δ epavos Nat ή 7η, Nat was δ κσσ­μοs αυτων Nat σννετελεσεν δ εσs εν TI ήμερα τη s' τα ερηα αντα & εποιησε, Nat κατεπανσεν ό εοs εν TV ήμερα τη?' απο πανταν των ερyων αντα. Τατο δ' εsι των προyεηονστων διηηησιs, Nat ταν εσομενων προφητεία : ή yap ήμερα Κυριe &s χιλια ετη. Adv. Hmr. v. ad fin.

 

{3}. Cyprian. " Primi in dispositione divina septem dies annorum septem millia continentes." De Exh. Mart. 11.

 

{4}. Lactantius. " Quoniam sex diebus cuncta De? opera perfecta sunt, per secula sex, id est annorum sex millia manere in hoc statu mindum necesse est. Et rursus quoniam perfectis operibus tequievit die septimo, eumque benedixit, necesse est ut in fine sexti millesimi arm! malitia omnis aboleatur e terrh, et tegnet per annos mille justitia." vii. 14.

 

{5}. Ambrose. "Quiaeim septimo die reguieverit Deus ab omnibus operibus suis, post hebdomadam istius mundi quies diuturna promittitur." In Luke viii:23. For notices to the same effect from Jerome and Augustine see my Vol. i. pp. 367-368. -- Feuardentius in his Note on the passage quoted above from Irenaeus, adds Hilary on Matt. xviii, and the Author of the Quaest. ad Orthodox. Quaest. 71.

 

It is to be observed that the anti-premillennarian fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries explained the sabbatical seventh day as typical, not of a seventh sabbatical Millennium of rest, but an eternal sabbath: -- a view generally adopted afterwards.

 

 

HA254

question on which I have now to enter, becomes one of really important bearing on the point in hand; I mean the question, what the world's present age, dated from Adam's creation, and when the termination of its sixth millenary. Nor is there wanting the evidence requisite for our attaining a near approximation, to this notable epoch. Mr. Clinton, in his Essay on Hebrew Chronology, appended to the third volume of his late learned Work entitled Fasti Hellenici, has greatly elucidated the subject. Setting aside the many mundane chronologies, such as Hales has enumerated, based (if such a word may be used) on the baseless foundation of authorities that altogether lack authority, our only real appeal is to Scripture. -- And here, on the great primary disputed question of the Patriarchal chronologies, and whether it be the Hebrew text with its shorter chronology, that has by fraud been robbed of eleven centuries, or the Septuagint with its longer, that has had them fraudulently added, {1} (for that the difference is the result of design is

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} The following tabular schemes exhibit the variations; the numbers expressing the parent's age at the son's birth, except In the cases of Noah and Shem. Antideluvian Patriarchs. Postdiluvian Patriarchs.

\-

            ANTIDELUVIAN PATRIARCHS

 

                        Hebr.  Samr.  lxx.  Joseph.

1.  Adam .............  130    130    230   230              

2.  Seth .............  105    105    205   205

3.  Enos .............   90     90    190   190                    

4.  Cainan ...........   70     70    170   170
5.  Mahalaleel .......  
65     65    163   165                 

8.  Jared ............  162     62    162   162                   

7.  Enoch ............   65     65    165  (1)65*                

8.  Methuselah .......  187     67    187   187             

9.  Lamech ...........  182     53    188   182

10. Noah (at the flood) 600    600    600   600

               Total.. 1656   1307   2262  2256


-------------------------

* 165 is doubtless the correct reading.
-------------------------

            POSTDILUVIAN PATRIARCHS

 

                        Hebr.  Samr.  lxx.  Joseph.

11. Shem (aged 100 ?

        at the Flood)..    2      2     2    12

12. Arphaxad ....         35    135   135   135

    [Cainan spurious                  130    ..]

13. Salah .............   30    130   130   130

14. Heber .............   34    134   134   134

15. Peleg .............   30    130   130   130

16. Reu ...............   32    132   132   130

17. Serug .............   30    130   130   132

18. Nahor .............   29     79    79   120

19. Terah .............  130    130   130   130

   (Gen. xi:32, xii:4.)

     So to Abraham ....  352   1002  1002  1053

\+

 

Jerom (Vol. ii. p. 573) In his Letter to Evangelius about Melchisedek, thus gives and reasons on the numerals.

 

\-

They say that Shem was 390 years when Abram was born. For

   Shem at   100 begot Arphaxad, and lived 500 years after.

   Arphaxad.. 35 .... Salem.

   Salem .... 30 .... Eber.

   Eber...... 34 .... Phaleg.

   Phaleg.... 30 .... Rehu.

   Rehu...... 32 .... Saleg.

   Saleg..... 30 .... Nahor.

   Nahor..... 70 .... Abram, Nahor, and Horan.

And Abraham died at 175. Therefore Shem overlived him 35 years.

\+

 

HA255

a thing evident, and long since noted by Augustine, {1} ) the answer seems on every account to be in favor of the Hebrew text: -- considering first, the superior reverence and almost superstitious care with which the Hebrew text was watched over, as compared with the Septuagint; {2} -- next, the wonderful uniformity of the numerals of the Hebrew text, in all its multitudes of manuscripts existing in different parts of the world, contrasted with the varieties and uncertainty of the numerals in the Septuagint and Samaritan; {3} -- considering further the general agreement of the Samaritan with

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} In the Antediluvian Table (where the question is between the Hebrew and Josephus), the years before the son's birth and the residues agree in all cases with the totals of the lives; except that in the Samaritan the residues in the sixth, eighth, and ninth are shortened, to adapt them to the shorter period between Jared and the flood. Thus,

 

\-

in the Hebrew and Samaritan Adam has  130 + 800 = 930.

 

...... Septuagint and Josephus        230 + 700 = 930.

And in the

       Hebrew and Samaritan Seth has  105 + 807 = 912.

...... Septuagint and Josephus        205 + 707 = 912.

\+

 

This can only have been by design. So Augustin Civ. Dei. xv. 13; " Videtur habere quamdam, si dici potest, error ipse constantiam; nec casum redolet sed industriam." And so Mr. Clinton.

 

{2} The Jews even counted the letters of their Bible.

 

{3} Professor Baumgarten, of Halls, in his Remarks on Universal History, observes; "Both the Samaritan copy and the Greek version abound in various readings, with respect to their different chronologies, and frequently contradict themselves: whereas the Hebrew is uniform and consistent in all its copies." And Mr. Kennedy, in his Chronology of the World, says, that in examining the Hebrew Test he " was not able to discover one various reading in that multitude of numeral words and letters which constitute the scriptural series of years from the Creation to the death of Nebuchadnezzar."

 

I quote this from a Paper on the subject, in the Christian Observer for May 1802, p. 287; and, in further illustration of the uniformity of the Hebrew copies in respect of their numerals, may add that the Chaldee Paraphrase of Onkelos, written about the time of Christ, agrees with the Hebrew chronologies, -- that the same are recognized in the two Talmuds, -- and that Dr. Wolff informs me that "in the ancient manuscripts which he saw at Bokhara, the chronological notices of the length of lives both of the antediluvian and the postdiluvian patriarchs were exactly according to the received Hebrew text, though the letters of the manuscripts resembled Samaritan."

 

It is to be observed further that the manuscript from which our Samaritan Pentateuch was published, being written about A.D. 1400, was consequently not nearly so old as many Hebrew manuscripts. And in earlier existing copies of it we know that there were certain variations in the numerals, more accordant with the Hebrew. See Note 1 p. 256.

 

Of the errors of the Septuagint numerals in many copies a notable example is given by Augustine, ibid. For it seems that in almost all the copies then extant Methuselah was made to have begotten Lamech at the age of 167, and to have lived 802 years after: that is, fourteen years after the flood, on the Septuagint chronology itself; though we know that no men but. Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, were preserved alive through it!

 

 

HA256

the Hebrew in the chronology of the antediluvian. patriarchs,  {1} and its thus fixing the fraud in that table at least, and by probable consequence in the postdiluvian table also, on the Septuagint: -- considering moreover the better agreement of historical fact with the Hebrew than with the Septuagint; {2} and the more easily supposable object {3} With the Septuagint translators than with the keepers of the Hebrew text, as well as better opportunity; {4 }

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Viz. in the cases of all but the sixth, eighth, and ninth Patriarchs. Here the Samaritan residues are shortened to adapt them to the shorter period, made by the shorter genealogies corresponding between Jared and the flood; to the intent that these Patriarchs might not be thought to have been involved in it. But we are told by Jerome (so the compilers of our English Universal History have remarked) that in his time there were some Samaritan copies which made Methuselah's and Lamech's ages, at the birth of their sons, the same as the Hebrew.

 

{2} On the two points alleged in their own favor by the advocates of the Septuagint Chronology, Mr. Clinton quite turns the tables against them. -- 1st, as to the age of the παιδο7ονια, which these writers have placed after the lapse of one , - third of life, Mr. C. says that it appears from Scripture to have been In the Patriarchal age as early as it is now; -- Judah being at forty-eight a great-grandfather,-Benjamin having at thirty, eleven sons, &c. -- 2. As to the Dispersion at Babel, which the Septuagintarians say implies a mundane population such as could not have been according to the Hebrew postdiluvian chronology, Mr. C. answers, that under favorable circumstances even now it has been calculated that population may be doubled in ten years; that cases are known where it has doubled for short periods in less than thirteen years; and that in the older case of the Israelites in Egypt, and later of certain parts of the North American colonies, the population doubled itself in fifteen years --that the circumstances of the first families after the flood were precisely the most favorable to increase of population, with all the arts of the antediluvian world, unoccupied land to a boundless extent before them, and lives extended to 500, 400, and 200 years :-that thus we may reasonably assume twelve years, at the most, as that of the population doubling itself : on which assumption the population of the earth; derived from the stock of six parents, would in 276 years amount to above fifty millions, and in 300 years to two hundred millions. Even at the rate of fifteen years it would have reached two hundred millions in 373 years from the flood, i, e. in the twenty-fourth year of Abraham.--Now at the time of the Dispersion, had the world's population then amounted to many millions, men would have been forced by their wants to disperse, whereas the Sacred History tells us that it took place contrary to the wishes of men, who desired all to dwell together. A population

of about 50,000 would just answer the probabilities of the case. And this number must have been reached within 160 years from the flood; i. e. about the sixtieth year of Peleg (according to the Hebrew chronology); in whose days it is said, Gen. x:25, that the Dispersion occurred.

 

{3} Jackson allows that it is difficult to see the motives of the Jews in shortening the patriarchal genealogies. On the other hand the Septuagint translators had an obvious motive for enlarging the chronology. The Chaldeans and Egyptians (whose histories were about this time published by Berosus and Manetho) laid claim to a remote antiquity. Hence these translators of the Pentateuch might have been led in a spirit of rivalry to augment the amount of the generations of their ancestors, alike by the centenary additions, and by the interpolation (as Hales himself allows it is) of the second Cainaan.

 

{4} Augustine, whose four chapters on this subject (C. D. xv. 10-14) well deserve attentive perusal, has put this point very strongly. Which, says he, is most credible: that the Jews, dispersed all over the world; should have conspired together to defraud their scriptures and themselves of truth, the exclusive possession of which is so much their boast; or that the seventy Greek translators, united together in conclave by King Ptolemy, should have managed to falsify the numerals? He adds, as his own solution of the matter, that it was after all probably not the translators, but the first transcriber of the manuscripts from the original in the Royal Library, that introduced the error; "Sci?ptoris tribuatur errori qui de Bibliotheca supradicti Regis codicem describendum primus accepit:" and concludes thus; "Ei linguae potius credatur unde est in aliam per interpretes facts translatio."--Augustine's testimony is the more valuable and remarkable because he was himself originally (see the Note in my Vol. i, ?. 368) a Septuagintarian in chronology. At the conclusion of the C. D. however he measures the six periods of the world preceding its septenary period, or sabbath, by aras, not millenaries. the 1st to the Flood, 2nd to Abraham, 3rd to David, 4th to the Babylonish Captivity, 5th to Christ, and 6th that after Christ. C.D. xxii. 30. 5.

 

 

HA257

for falsifying in the matter. -- This point settled, {1} there remain but two small chasms in the Hebrew chronology to fill up, and one doubtful point to settle, arising from a difference between an Old Testament statement and one in the New Testament, in order to the completion of our chronological table. The chasms are, 1st, that from Moses' death to the first servitude; {2} 2ndly, that between Samson's death and Saul's election to the kingdom: {3} of neither of which could the length be much longer or shorter than thirty or forty years. {4} The doubtful point alluded to concerns the same period of the Judges: it being whether the reckoning given in Kings vi:1 of the

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} It is to be observed, as Mr. Clinton remarks, that the question is not an indefinite one, from want of testimony, so as in the case of the early chronology of Greece. The uncertainty is one arising from two different distinct testimonies. We have only to decide which is the genuine and authentic copy. Either the space before the flood was 1656 years, or it was 2256. Either the period from the flood to the call of Abraham was 352 years, or it was 1002. "These periods could not be greater than the greatest of them, or less than the least."

 

{2} This period is that comprehended in Josh. xxiv. 31; " And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that over lived Joshua, and which had known all the works ?£ the Lord that he had done for Israel."

 

{3} Compare Judg. xv:20; xvi:31; 1Sam. iv:1, vii:13; xii:2.

 

{4} Mr. Brooks, in the Preface to his late History of the Jews, ?. xiii, argues that the interval from Moses' death to Joshua's must probably have been longer, because of Joshua being called `117, a young man in Exod. Xxxiii:1 and Num. xi:28, with reference to the second year after the Exodus. But this Hebrew word is used to designate servants also (compare Gen. xxii:3, &c.); and Joshua is so called in the places above cited as the servant of Moses. (So Kimchi explains this appellative of Joshua, in Zech. ii:7: and so, I may add, Ambrose comments on Gen. xxiv. "Etiam senioris aetatis servuli pueri dicantur a dominis.") Thus the appellation can no more be argued from than the French word garcon, or English postboy. -- Moreover at the time of the division of the lands, seven years after Moses' death, (Josh. xiv:10,) Joshua is said (ibid. xiii. 1) to have been "old and stricken in years.'' -- Thus Mr. Clinton seems fairly to have estimated Joshua's age at the time of the spies at about forty; it being the then age of his associate Caleb also, who overlived him. See Judg. i:1, 9-12. If so, as Joshua was 110 years at his death, (see Josh. xxiv:29,) the interval must have been 110--(38 + 40) = 32.

 

 

HA258

interval from the Exodus to the building of Solomon's temple at 480 years be the correct one, {1} or that by St: Paul in Acts xiii:18-22 at about 580. {2} Mr. Clinton, not without reason, as it seems to me, prefers the latter. {3} And thus, completing his table, he makes the

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} 1 Kings vi:1; " It came to pass in the 480th year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, In the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, that he began to build the house of the Lord."

 

{2} Acts xiii:18; " Forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness and when he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot: and after that, be gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king; and God gave them Saul."

 

{3} Because the servitudes must be included in the periods of rest, on the shorter system; which inclusion seems directly contrary to the tenor of the Scripture statements. (But for this the Hebrew must reasonably be deemed of the greater weight; and St. Paul's 450 years be explained either, as Whitby prefers, by reference to the then current Septuagint chronology, or, as Usher, by supposing it the measure of the time from Abraham to the division of the lands, not from the division of the lands to Samuel.) -- A chronological table of this period, formed from the express declarations in the Book of Judges, is given below: -- it being premised that Chusan's oppression followed (Judg. iii:7) on Israel's first apostacy to the worship of Baalim, on the death of the elders that overlived Joshua.

 

\-

Servitudes                         years             Rests and Judges                          years

 

1st. Chusan (Judg. iii:8.)            8

 

                                                     lst Rest (Judg. iii:11.)                     40

2nd. Eglon (Judg. iii:14.)           18

                                                     2nd . . . (Judg. iii:30.)                    80

3rd. Jabin (Judg. iv:3.)             20

                                                     3rd . . . (Judg. v:31.)                      40

4th. Midian (Judg. vi:1.)             7

                                                     4th (" the days of Gideon," Judg. viii:28.)  40

                                                     Abimelech's judging (Judg. ix:22.)            3

                                                     Tola's do. (Judg. x:2.)                      23

                                                     Jair's do. (Judg. x:3.)                      22

5th. Ammon (?. d.)                   18

                                                     Jepthah do. (xii.:7.)                         6

                                                     Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, (xii:8-?4.)              25

 

6th. Philistines (Judg. xiii:1.) .   40                     [Samson 20 years, and Eli.]

                                  ---------                                                ---------

                                    111                                                          279

 

\+

 

This last Pbilistinian servitude of forty years appears to have included the judgeships of both Samson and Eli: the former being said (xv:20, xvi:31) to have judged Israel " in the days of the Philistines;" and the latter to have died from grief at their defeat of Israel, and capture of the ark. Their supremacy continued until Samuel's defeat of them near Mizpeh, ?£ which the stone Ebenezer was the record, 1 Sam. vii:12: after which Israel had rest "all the days of Samuel;" (ib. :13;) until he was old, (viii:1,) and anointed Saul king.

 

Thus the time of the Judges, exclusive of Joshua and Samuel, appears from these numbers to have been 390 years: and if we add 30 years for Joshua and the Egypt-born elders that over-lived Joshua, reckoned from after the time of the conquest and division of Canaan, (about 7 years having intervened between that event and Moses' death), and 30 years more for Samuel's judge-ship after the Philistines' defeat, it exactly makes up St. Paul's "about the space of 450 years." Add 7 for the conquest of Canaan, 40 for the wilderness, 40 for Saul, and 40 for David; and then the 4th year of Solomon comes to about the 580th year from the Exode; instead of the 480th, as the Hebrew text defines it in 1 Kings vi:1. -- And therefore the only solution of the difficulty that I see is by supposing a mistaken reading in our Hebrew copies of 480 for 580.

 

\-

B.C.    A.M.                                       years

4138          Adam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2482   1656   The Deluge*  . . . . . . . . . . . .  1656

2130   2008   Birth of Abraham . . . . . . . . . .   352

2955   2083   The Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    75

1625   2513   The Exode  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   430

1585   2553   Death of Moses . . . . . . . . . . .    40

1558   2580   First Servitude (by conjecture). . .    27

1128   3010   Death of Eli . . . . . . . . . . . .   430

1096   3042   Election of Saul (by conjecture) . .    32

1056   3082   David  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    40

1016   3122   Solomon  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    40

 976   3162   Rebohoam . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    40

 587   3551   Zedekiah's Captivity . . . . . . . .   389

\+

 

 

-----------------------------------------

 

* I am informed by the Rev. Mr. Squire, who was some time in China, that there is on two important epochs of early mundane chronology, a considerable correspondence between the Chinese and the Scriptural Chronology; viz. that of the Deluge, and of the seven years of general famine under Joseph. The Chinese date the Deluge, A.M. 1713, and the seven years of famine, B.C. 1729. So, he says, in Morrison's View of China, and a work by Professor Kidd. -- As to the seven years of famine, many of my readers may have seen the very interesting apparent reference to it in one of the ancient Hamyaritic inscriptions on the rocks of the Southern Arab coast, beyond Aden, explained by Mr. Forster, in his

Historical Geography of Arabia. On which, see my Note 6, Vol. i. p. 415.

 

-----------------------------------------

 

On the fly-leaf is appended in illustration a Tabular Scheme of this Scripture Chronology, with the scriptural authorities in brief; drawn up by my friend and brother, the Rev. C. Bowen. **

 

-----------------------------------------

 

** In the Jewish Calendar, as lately edited by Mr. Linde, (a publication replete with Jewish learning, and sanctioned by the Chief Rabbi in London, Solomon Hirschell,) there appear several most material variations from the above Chronological Table; involving a difference from Mr. Clinton's in the aera of the World altogether of 340 years. The following are the points of variation: --

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HA259: FLYLEAF

  THE SCRIPTURE CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD

 

 

A.M.

   1 Creation of Adam                to the birth of Seth        130 years #Ge 5:3       "Adam lived 130 years and begat a son, ... and called his name Seth."

 130 Seth born                       to the birth of Enos        105 years #Ge 5:6       "Seth lived 105 years, and begat Enos."

 235 Enos born                       to the birth of Cainan       90 years #Ge 5:9       "Enos lived 90 years, and begat Cainan."

 325 Cainan born                     to the birth of Mahalaleel   70 years #Ge 5:12      "Cainan lived 70 years, and begat Mahalaleel."

 395 Mahalaleel born                 to the birth of Jared        65 years #Ge 5:15      "Mahalaleel lived 65 years, and begat Jared."

 460 Jared born                      to the birth of Enoch       162 years #Ge 5:18      "Jared lived 162 years, and begat Enoch."

 622 Enoch born                      to the birth of Methusela    65 years #Ge 5:21      "Enoch lived 65 years, and begat Methuselah."

 687 Methuselah born                 to the birth of Lamech      187 years #Ge 5:25      "Methuselah lived 187 years, and begat Lamech."

 874 Lamech born                     to the birth of Noah        182 years #Ge 5:28,29   "Lamech lived 182 years, and begat a son, and he  called his name Noah."

1056 Noah born                       to the Flood                600 years #Ge 7:6       "Noah was 600 years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth."

1656 The Flood                       to the birth of Arphaxad      2 years #Ge 11:10     "Shem begat Arphaxad 2 years after the Flood."

1658 Arphaxad born                   to the birth of Salah        35 years #Ge 11:12     "Arphaxad lived 35 years, and begat Salah."

1693 Salah born                      to the birth of Eber         30 years #Ge 11:14     "Salah lived 30 years, and begat Eber."

1723 Eber born                       to the birth of Peleg        34 years #Ge 11:16     "Eber lived 34 years, and begat Peleg."

1757 Peleg born                      to the birth of Reu          30 years #Ge 11:18     "Peleg lived 30 years, and begat Reu."

1787 Reu born                        to the birth of Serug        32 years #Ge 11:20     "Reu lived 32 years, and begat Serug."

1819 Serug born                      to the birth of Nahor        30 years #Ge 11:22     "Serug lived 30 years, and begat Nahor."

1849 Nahor born                      to the birth of Terah        29 years #Ge 11:24     "Nahor lived 29 years, and begat Terah."

1878 Terah born                      to his death                205 years #Ge 11:32     "The days of Terah were 205 years:and Terah died." (#Ge 12:1) "Now the Lord," etc.

2083 The Covenant made with Abram    to the giving of the Law    430 years #Ga 3:17      "The Covenant ... the Law, which was 430 years after, cannot disannul."

2513 The Giving of the Law           to the return of the Spies    1 years #Nu 10:11     (Compare #Ex 19:1)

2514 Promise to Caleb on return of Spies to division of the Land  45 years #Jos 14:10    "These 45 years, ever since the Lord spake this word unto Moses."

2559 The division of the Land        to Samuel the Prophet       450 years #Ac 13:20     "After that, he gave unto them Judges, about the space of 450 years, until Samuel."

3009 Saul anointed                   to the death of Saul         40 years #Ac 13:21     "Afterward ... God gave unto them Saul ... by the space of 40 years."

3049 David began to reign            to his death                 40 years #1Ki 2:11     "The days that David reigned over all Israel were 40 years."

3089 Solomon began to reign          to his death                 40 years #2Ch 9:30     "Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel 40 years."

3129 Rehoboam began to reign         to his death                 17 years #2Ch 12:13    "He reigned 17 years in Jerusalem."

3146 Abijah began to reign           to his death                  3 years #2Ch 13:2     "He reigned 3 years in Jerusalem."

3149 Asa began to reign              to his death                 41 years #2Ch 16:13    "As a ... died in the 41st year of his reign."

3190 Jehoshaphat began to reign      to his death                 25 years #2Ch 20:31    "He reigned 25 years in Jerusalem."

3215 Jehoram began to reign          to his death                  8 years #2Ch 21:20    "He reigned in Jerusalem 8 years."

3223 Ahaziah began to reign          to his death                  1 years #2Ch 22:2     "He reigned 1 year in Jerusalem."

3224 Athaliah’s usurpation           to her death                  6 years #2Ch 22:12    "He (Joash) was with them hid in the house of God 6 years:and Athaliah reigned."

3230 Joash began to reign            to his death                 40 years #2Ch 24:1     "He reigned 40 years in Jerusalem."

3270 Amaziah began to reign          to his death                 29 years #2Ch 25:1     "He reigned 29 years in Jerusalem."

3299 Uzziah began to reign           to his death                 52 years #2Ch 26:3     "He reigned 52 years in Jerusalem."

3351 Jotham began to reign           to his death                 16 years #2Ch 27:1     "He reigned 16 years in Jerusalem."

3367 Ahaz began to reign             to his death                 16 years #2Ch 28:1     "He reigned 16 years in Jerusalem."

3383 Hezekiah began to reign         to his death                 29 years #2Ch 29:1     "He reigned 29 years in Jerusalem."

3412 Manasseh began to reign         to his death                 55 years #2Ch 33:1     "He reigned 55 years in Jerusalem."

3467 Amon began to reign             to his death                  2 years #2Ch 33:21    "(Amon) reigned 2 years in Jerusalem."

3469 Josiah began to reign           to his death                 31 years #2Ch 34:1     "He reigned in Jerusalem 31 years."

3500 Jehoahaz began to reign         to his deposition             0 years #2Ch 36:2     "He reigned 3 months in Jerusalem."

3500 Jehoiakim began to reign        to his death                 11 years #2Ch 36:5     "He reigned 11 years in Jerusalem."

3511 Jehoiachim began to reign       to his deposition             0 years #2Ch 36:9     "He reigned 3 months and 10 days in Jerusalem."

3511 Zedekiah began to reign         to the Captivity             11 years #2Ch 36:11    "(Zedekiah) reigned 11 years in Jerusalem."

3522 The Captivity                   to the proclamation of Cyrus 70 years #Jer 25:11    "These nations shall serve the king of Babylon 70 years." (See #2Ch 36:22)

3592 The Decree of Cyrus             to the birth of Christ      536 years According to the commonly received Chronology

4128 The Christian Æra               to the present year        1851 years According to the commonly received Chronology

                                                                         ————————

5974 The present year A.D. 1846                                 5974 years since the Creation of Man

 

 

This chart brings the end of 6000 years to the year 1872 A.D.

 

 

HA259

date of the creation to be about 4138 B. C.; {1} and consequently the end of the 6000 years of the world, and

 

-----------------------------------------

 

1. Agreeing with Mr. C. in dating the Deluge, A.M. 1656, it makes the birth, and consequently the call too, of Abraham sixty years earlier. This arises from the supposition of Abraham's being the eldest of Terah's three sons, born when Terah was seventy" years old, Gen. xi:26. -- a supposition quite unnecessary; as Abraham's first mention among the three sons no more implies his primogeniture than Shem's first mention, Gen. x:1, among Noah's three sons, of whom however Japbet is in Gen. x:21 expressly declared the eldest: and which is directly contradicted by the statement, Gen. xii:4, that Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran; compared with Acts vii:4, which says that it was at Terah's death that Abraham left that country, and with Gen. xi:32, which says that Terah died in Haran at the age of 205 years -- 2. There is in it the further difference of 100 years less between this event and-Solomon's completion of the Temple; a difference grounded mainly on the circumstance of the Jews calculating by the chronological statement in 1 Kings vi:1, noted by me in the text. 3. The Jewish Calendar shortens the interval between Solomon and Zedekiah's captivity fifteen years: and 4. that between Zedekiah and the Christian Era yet 165 years. By the latter most gross and extraordinary falsification of a period as well ascertained as that between our Richard the First and the time now present, the Jewish Rabbies make the interval between the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and second by the Romans, just about 490 years. -- Thus there is nothing in the Jewish mundane chronology to affect the accuracy of Mr. Clinton's.

 

Let me add that the early Reformers noticed, and were struck with, the last mentioned strange error in the Jewish chronology; and, refer it to the Jews' identification of Darius Hysiaspis (father to Xerxes) with the last Darius conquered by Alexander, and obliteration from their calendar of all the Persian kings intervening. So Melancthon on Dan. ix: "Haec series (i. e. of tile Persian kings) nota est eruditis omnibus; et inscitia Judaeorum recentium vituperanda est, qui fingunt non plures fuisse reges Persicos guam quatuor, et propter hanc inscitiam omittunt ex serie annorum mundi centum annos." And Osiander, De Ult. Tempor. eh. i: " Quod autem Judaei ab orbe condito ad Christum 200 annis fete minus numerant quhm nos, in causa sunt, cum alii multi etrotes, tzim veto ille omnium maximus qubd Darium Hystaspis, sub quo templum mdificatum est, et Darium ab Alexandro devictum pro eodem habeant, ac sex tantum annis regnasse putent; cum ab initio tegni unius (Darii) usque ad finem alterius, etiam secundum Ytolemmum, 192 anni intercesserint." -- But why this abbreviation? I have no where seen a reason stated. It is curious, however, that by it the interval between the first destruction of the Temple and the second is reduced, as before observed, to about 490 years; the precise equivalent to the seventy weeks of Daniel: and is (as I learn from a Jew) so stated by tile Jews, by a kind of memoria technica. I cannot therefore but suspect that to constitute the interval this prophetic term of years may have been the abbreviator's object.

 

 

HA260

opening of the seventh Millennium, by approximation) about A.D. 1862: -- the same year, very nearly, that we before fixed on as the epoch of the consummation, on quite different data.

 

I must add yet a word besides on two or three other more dubious, yet very interesting and important prophetic periods. And, 1st, on the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and state of bestialism: {1} These calculated after the year-day system, on the hypothesis of the Babylonish king's insanity figuring that of the great empires which he then headed, in their state of heathen aberration from God, (an hypothesis on the truth of which I do not myself entertain much doubt,) terminate, -- if dated from the time, B.C. 727, when the Assyrians

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Dan. iv. The figure is somewhat otherwise applied by Cowper to the wretchedness and ruined hopes of a prisoner;

 

Like the visionary emblem seen

 

By him of Babylon, life stands a stump,

 

And filletted about with hoops of brass

 

Still lives, though all his pleasant boughs are gone.

 

 

HA261

under Shalmanezer {1} first acted the wild beast's part against Israel,-about the year 1793; that is, at the epoch of the French Revolution, and the coincident going forth of the gospel-message to evangelize the heathen: -- doubtless a very remarkable synchronism: especially considering that the bisecting point of these seven times is then A. D. 533; the very commencing epoch, with Justinian's Decree, of the three and a half times of the Papal Antichrist. Of course if calculated from Nebuchadnezzar's own accession and invasion of Judah, B.C. 606, the end is much later, being A.D. 1914; just one half century, or jubilean period, from our probable date of the opening of the Millennium. -- 2. If, as some would have it, and not perhaps altogether without reason, the remarkable form of expression in which the period of "the hour and day and month and year is couched," {2} concerning the Turkman's invasion of Christendom, be meant to signify the time for which, as well as the time within which, the Turks should occupy the throne of the Greek or Western Empire, and so the capture of Constantinople were to be the bisecting point between their primary going forth against Greek Christendom under Togrul Beg, and their ultimate ejection from it, -- then the end of the second period will fall about 396 years from the fall of Constantinople, or A.D. 1849. {3}  3. If, as Messrs. Bickersteth and Birks would construe it, the χρονσς εs«ι eτι in the Angel's oath in Apoc. x:7 be meant, "A year shall not elapse ere the consummation," i. e. a prophetic year, whether 360, or 365 natural years, -- and though I do not myself so construe it, yet it seems to me quite worth the notice as being at least possible, {4} -- then the termination

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Jer. 1:17; " Israel is a scattered sheep : the lions have driven him away first the King of Assyria hath devoured him; last this Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, hath broken his bones."

 

{2} 'σι ήτσιμασμενοι ειs την ώραν και ~μεραν και μηνα και ενιαοτον, Ινα αποκτεινωσι TO τριτον των ανθρωπων. I do not understand Mr. ßirks' intimation on this verse respecting a different reading of authority. Neither Griesbach, Scholz, nor Tregelles, note any different reading of authority.

 

{3} See my Vol. iii. p. 398.

 

{4} The difficulty in the way of thus taking the passage is because tile Angel uses the word χρονοs not καιροr; which latter is the word always used in the Septuagint and Apocalypse of the mystical periods, of the time, times, and half a time. See my Vol. ii. p. 121.

 

The want of the article is the point most in favor of Mr. Birks' view. And it is curious that on one occasion, according to his Table Talk, Luther expressed an opinion that perhaps the world might last yet 300 -years more, before the consummation. But this, however, was contrary alike to his earlier anticipations and latest aspirations. See Vol. ii. pp. 130-134.

 

 

HA262

of this period also will fall on our chronological line yet but a little distance further, and there mark the bounding limit, the ne plus ultra, if I may so call it, of our present mundane chronology, at A. D. 1877 or 1872. {1}

 

In fine, notwithstanding, what is fully allowed, the doubtfulness of some of these periods, and their other, possible epochs of commencement, yet the fact is clear that, construed consistently on the year-day, system, they have all a probable ending somewhere within the extreme dates, distant scarce above a century, apart, of A.D. 1790 and 1914. In regard of the 17 long centuries preceding, that intervene between the Apocalyptic Revelation and French Revolution, there is none within which they can with at all the same probability be

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} I cannot but suspect that we have a truer ne plus ultra in our Lord's celebrated saying, "This generation," &c, Luke xxi:32: -- the saying having a double reference; 1st, to the fulfillment of the judgments on Jerusalem, ere the generation then alive should have past away; 2nd, to the final judgment of the consummation, ere the generation should have wholly past away that witnessed the signs in the sun and moon, &c, (verse 25, &c.) which signs I suppose to have begun at the French Revolution. See my Vol. iii. p. 337, Note 1: also a paper by me on the subject in the Investigator, Vol. iv. p. 341.

 

 

It is to be observed that the word αυΟτη, this, in the clause ή ηενεα αΡιτη need not necessarily to be aspirated; as there were no aspirates in the uncial characters of the older MSS. And if without the aspirate, then a?t? would mean that t " that generation shall not have passed away, &c; " with reference distinctly to the generation that was alive at the time of the signs in the sun and moon &e. appearing. But the view I advocate does not depend on the absence of the aspi.

rate. Because our Lord might mean by" this generation," the generation of the time he was then speaking of; just as in Luke xvii:34, when speaking of the time of his second coming, he says Ταυτη τρ νυκτι, "On this night two shall be in one bed; one shall be taken," &c; meaning thereby the night of his coming.

 

As to the Jubilaean chronology it seems possible that as seventy years marked the length of Israel's waiting-time for the redemption from Babylon, and seventy weeks of years that of its further waiting for its primary redemption by Christ Jesus, so seventy Jubilees may define the mystical period of its whole existence as a people, from the Exodus to the epoch of both the natural and the spiritual Israel's perfect redemption: a period which reckoned from the Exodus, (each at fifty years,*) will end (on the basis still of Clinton's Chronology) A. D.1875. But there seems to me here far too much of the conjectural, to admit of our resting at all on the argument.

 

-----------------------------------------

* See, in proof of this value of the Jubilee, the Investigator, vol. iv. p. 124.

 

 

HA263

similarly made to converge. And I must say that the fact of their thus traveling, as they all seem to do, to a close "within our own present sera, from their several sources, more or less remote in the depth of antecedent ages, much impresses my own mind, as confirmatory of the conclusion primarily deduced by me from the evidence simply of the Apocalyptic prophecy. Like as the convergency of many lines of road to a geographical center indicates that center to be the place of some important and mighty city, so the convergency of these many chronological lines within the present century, now above one half run out, {1} seems to mark this century as a most important aera of crisis, big with momentous issues as to the destinies of the world. {2}

 

To all which chronological evidence there needs to be added, in corroboration and confirmation, that of the many and extraordinary signs of the times: signs which have drawn attention, not from prophetic students only, but from the man of the world, the philosopher, the statesman; and made not a few even of the irreligious and unthinking to pause and reflect. -- Thus there is 1st the drying up, still ever going forward, of the Turkman power, or mystic flood from the Euphrates: -- 2. the interest felt by Protestant Christians for the conversion and restoration of Israel; an interest unknown for eighteen centuries, but now strong, fervent, prayerful, extending even to royalty itself, and answering precisely to that memorable prediction of the Psalmist, " Thou, shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favor her, yea the set time is come; for thy servants think upon her stones, and it pitieth them to see her in the dust :" {3} -- 3: the universal preaching of the Gospel over the world; that sign of which Augustine said, that could we but see it, we might indeed think the time of the consummation at hand : {4} -- 4. the marked political

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} I mean as reckoned from 1790.

 

{2} See the illustrative Diagram on the opposite page. The more dubious lines in my judgment are dotted.

 

{3} Psalm cii:13-14.

 

{4} Epistle to Hesychius, numbered 197 in the late Paris Benedictine Edition, Tom. ii. col. 1106: "Opportunitas vero iliius temporis (sc. finis hujus seeculi er adventus Domini) non erit antequam praedicetur Evangelium in universo orbe in testimonium omnibus gentibus. Apertissima enim de hilc re legitur sententia Salvatoris, Matt. xxiv:14. . . Unde si jam nobis certissimt nuntiatum fuisset in omnibus gentibus Evangelium praedicari, nee sic possemus dicere quantum temporis remaneret usque ad finem; sed maps magisiue proµinguare merito diceremus."

 

 

HA264

ascendancy before the whole world, alike Heathen; Mahommedan, and Jewish, of the chief nations of the old Roman earth, i. e. professing Christendom, and ever increasing political, scientific, and commercial intercourse, ("many running to and fro, and knowledge being increased," {1} ) such as to force the eyes of all nations on this same Roman earth as the central focus alike of commerce, science, and political power: -- a sign connected, 5thly, with the outgoing thence almost as universally among them of religious Christian and Antichristian missions, under the protection and auspices respectively-of the chief Roman Catholic and Protestant European powers; the Romish and Antichristian full of zeal and bitterness, and with conflict already so begun against Protestant evangelic missions and Bible-circulation, as to have forced the attention of Jews, Heathens, and Mahommedans to this grand subject of the Lord's controversy with Roman Anti-Christendom, and to be preparing them (almost as by providential voice {2} ) for being intelligent spectators of its tremendous issue: -- 6. the revolutionary internal heavings of the European nations, alike with infidel and democratic Agitation, answering so well to Christ's and the apostle's descriptions of the latter days; and their preparation too for deadly conflict one with another, with new and tremendously-increased powers of destruction

all which who can think of, without the heart sometimes failing for fear. Such, I say, is the extraordinary combination of signs of the times now visible; signs predicted more or less clearly in Scripture prophecy, as signs that were to precede the end: and considering that they all point to the quickly coming future as the

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Dan. xii:12.

 

{2} "He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, as the central focus alike of commerce, science, and political power: that he may judge his people. . . . He hath called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof" Psalm 1:1, 4.

 

 

HA265

very crisis of consummation, {1} concurrently with the other various evidence that has been detailed before, (and more might yet be added: {2} ) is it likely that we can be mistaken in so construing them ? Does there not seem to be in them before our eyes that budding of the fig-tree which our Lord spoke of; {3} and which he who

 

-----------------------------------------

{1} So, for example, Schlegel in his Philosophy of History, Lect. xviii; " Never was there a period that pointed so strongly, so clearly, so generally, towards the future as our own," &c. Robertson's translation, Vol. ii. p. 319.

 

And having given this from a German, let me add the opinions of two learned Professors from the other side of the Atlantic, writers of different prophetic sentiments from each other and from myself. Says Professor Bush, (Millennium, p. 88,) " We are now actually arrived at the very borders of the period which is to be signalized by the winding up of the grand despotic (?) drama that has for some ages been enacted in transatlantic Christendom." -- And Professor Robinson: "Before another half century shall have rolled away, there will be seen revolutions in the oriental mind and the oriental world, of which no one now has even a foreboding. The time is short: the crisis rushes on. Let us awake, and be prepared!"

 

{2} I must quote a remarkable passage to this effect from, the, late lamented Dr. Arnold's Lectures on Modern History, p. 38.

 

"Modern history appears to be not only a step in advance of ancient history, but the last step; it appears to bear marks of the fullness of time, as if there would be no future history beyond it. For the last eighteen hundred years Greece has fed the human intellect; Rome, taught by Greece, and improving upon her teacher, has been the source of law and government and social civilization-, and, what neither Greece nor Rome could furnish, the perfection of moral and spiritual truth has been given by Christianity. The changes which have been wrought have arisen out of the reception of these elements by new races, -- races endowed with such force of character, that what was old in itself, when exhibited in them, seemed to become something new. But races so gifted are, and have been from the beginning of the world, few in number: the mass of mankind have no such power. . . . Now, looking anxiously round the world for any new races, which may receive the seed (so to speak) of our present history into a kindly yet vigorous soil, and may reproduce it, the same and yet new, for a future period, we know not where such are to be found. Some appear exhausted, others incapable; and yet the surface of the whole globe is known to us.... Every where the search has been made, and the report has been received. We have the full amount of earth's resources before us, and they seem inadequate to supply life for a third period of human history.

 

"I am well aware that to state this as a matter of positive belief would be the extreme of presumption. There may be nations reserved hereafter for great purposes of God's providence, whose fitness for their appointed work will not betray itself till the work and the time for doing it be come. . . . But, without any presumptuous confidence, if there be any signs, however uncertain, that we are living in the latest period of the world's history, that no other races remain behind to perform what we have neglected, or to restore what we have ruined, then indeed the interest of modern history does become intense."

 

{3} It will be interesting to compare Tertullian's view of the signs that were to precede and foreshow the consummation, and coming of the " diem Domini magnum, diem irae et retributionis, diem ultimum, nee ulli praeterquam Patri notum, et tamen signis atque portentis, et concussionibus elementorum, et conflictationibus nationum praenotatum" Then he proceeds to the unrolling of the prophecies, in order to fix the aera.

 

And 1st of Christ's prophecy in Matt. xxiv, about Jerusalem being trodden of the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled; ("donee adimpieantur tempora nationum, allegandorum scilicet a Den, et congregandorum cam reliquiis Israelis:") on which he adds, that both John and Daniel and the whole Council of the Prophets predict signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and on earth the straitening of the nations, and powers of heaven being shaken; and that then the Son of Man is to be seen coming in the clouds with power and great glory: so that these signs, like the sign of the budding fig-tree, should make Christians lift up, their heads, as knowing that Christ's coming and the time of the resurrection are at hand.

 

2. He notes St. Paul's prophecy in 2 Thess. ii, of the apostasy and the man of Sin, or Antichrist, who is to be revealed, and reign, and then to be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming.

 

3. The prophecy connected with the vision of the souls under the altar in Apoc. vi; a passage, already quoted in my Vol. i. p. 203. Whence he inferred that first Antichrist was to appear and conflict with the Church of Christ, then the vials of God's wrath to be poured out on the apostate harlot-city, and then the devil to be bound, the souls of the martyrs to reign with Christ, and afterwards the general resurrection to take place.

 

 

HA266

might see was to mark it, and know therefrom that summer would be nigh at hand? {1}

 

II. But if so, then the solemn question suggests itself, In what spirit and manner may we best prepare to meet this coming future? The thought of the nearness of the consummation is of itself unspeakably awakening and solemn: and the rather when we consider further that there is to be expected antecedently a time 'of sifting and trial, such as perhaps has never yet been experienced. For the Poet's exquisite language {2} does by no means adequately express the probable severity of the coming crisis. Ere the sabbatism of the saints begins, some

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} They who are fond of quoting Christ's saying to the disciples then alive, " It is not for you to know the times and the seasons," and again, " That hour and day knoweth no man," as if a prohibition of all calculation of prophetic times before their fulfillment, should remember this saying of Christ also, intended specially for such of his servants as might be living near the time of the end. We are meant, it would seem, to know the nearness of the Advent, when at hand, though not the exact time; and if negligent in marking the signs given, may subject ourselves justly to the same rebuke as the Pharisees and Sadducees of old, " Are ye not able to discern the signs of the times? " (Matt. xvi:3.) Is not Daniel an example for imitation on this point? Dan. ix:2.

 

{2} "The groans of Nature in this nether world,

 

Which heaven has beard forages, have an end.

 

Foretold by prophets, and by poets, sung,

 

The time of rest, the promised sabbath comes.

 

Six thousand years of sorrow have well nigh

 

Fulfilled their tardy and disastrous course

 

Over a sinful world; and what remains

 

Of this tempestuous state of human things,

 

Is merely as the working of a sea

 

Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest."

 

                              Winter Walk at Noon.

 

 

HA267

thing much more is to be looked for than the mere gusty closing blasts of a long tempest, or billowy heavings of

the sea before a calm, as " it works itself to rest." The final conflict between Christ's true Church and Antichrist, and their respective chiefs and supporters, both visible and invisible, is set forth in prophecy as most severe. As a nation, as a church, as individuals, how may we best prepare to meet it ?

 

And here it is that the moral of the Apocalyptic prophecy, its philosophy of the history of Christendom, if I may so call it, becomes unspeakably valuable. We have elsewhere had the philosophy of the same history traced by human pens; and lessons at the same time drawn from it in the way of instruction and direction for the future: for example, in a work by the late celebrated Frederick Von Schlegel professedly on the subject; {1} a writer of no common eloquence, or common reputation. But if we compare the two outlines of historic philosophy together, the human and the divine, what a contrast will appear: and how true the one; how superficial and delusive the other! -- In his general abstract notions indeed of the philosophy of history and its objects, Schlegel has much that is admirable. He lays it down that, as the highest object of philosophy is the restoration of God's image in man, so the great object of the philosophy of history must be to trace historically the progress of this restoration ; {2} -- that it is his object and intention, through that all-ruling Providence which regulates the whole course of human destiny, {3} ultimately to accomplish it; -- that Christianity, God's own

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} My reference is, as before, to the English Translation by Schlegel's devoted - admirer J. B. Robertson, Esq. The Lectures which make up this Work on the "Philosophy of History," were delivered at Vienna in the year 1628, the year

before his death. -- I shall freely make extracts in the Notes. It will familiarize the reader with a new point of view in which to consider the Apocalypse.

 

{2} Preface, ad init.

 

{3} Lect. xv; Vol. ii. pp. 196, 198. " Without the idea of a Godhead regulating the course of human destiny,"-such is his eloquent language, -- "of an all-ruling Providence, and the saving and redeeming power of God, the history of the world would be a labyrinth without an outlet, a confused pile of ages buried upon ages, a mighty tragedy without a right beginning, or a proper ending: " adding that this is the melancholy impression produced on the mind by several of the great ancient historians, particularly the profoundest of them all, Tacitus.

 

 

HA268

heaven-sent religion, is the regenerating principle, whence whatever may already have been accomplished has proceeded, and whence alone man's final and perfect regeneration is to arise; {1} -- that the hindrances and obstructions in the way of its accomplishment have arisen from the fearfully powerful, though most mysterious, influence in the world of the Spirit of evil, alike God's enemy and man's, {2} and man's endowment with free-will, to choose, as he 'may please; the guidance of the one Spirit or the other: {3} -- further, that it belongs to the province of the Philosophy of History to mark God's wrathful judgments on the world, when thus led astray from Him; {4} and to mark also the interpositions and proceedings of Divine Providence, (especially as illustrated from time to time in the rise and conduct of any remarkable particular nations or individuals, {5} ) with a view to the fulfillment of its designs, whether of judgment or of

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Lect. x; Vol. ii, 9. Speaking of Christ's divine mission for the redemption of the world, he says; " If we once remove this divine keystone in the arch of universal history, the. whole, fabric of the world's history falls to ruin; for its only foundation is this new manifestation of God's power in the crisis of time.

 

.... Without faith in the truth of Christianity, the world's history would be an insoluble enigma," &c. And again, pp. 4-5; " From its very origin, and still more in its progress, it entirely renovated the face of the world: It has shone ever brighter with the progress of ages, and has changed and regenerated not only government and science, but the whole system of human life." -- This statement however is much modified afterwards as to the past. So p. 38, after saying that at the Constantinian revolution Christianity " might have become a real regeneration of the Roman state," he adds that " the old Roman state-policy," &c, continuing prevalent prevented it;  -- and again, p, 56, " the Romans whose polity and public life Christianity was unable totally to regenerate."

 

{2} Schlegel is very strong in his statements on this point. So Lect. xv, p. 199; " That man only who recognizes the whole magnitude of the power permitted to the wicked principle, according to the inscrutable decrees of God, from the curse of Cain, and the sign of the curse in its unimpeded transmission through all the false religions of heathenism-all the ages of extreme moral corruption and crime, -- is alone capable of understanding the great phenomena of universal history, in their often strange and dark complexity."

 

{3} This is Schlegel's third principle, (the two others being God's all-ruling and redeeming providence, and the Evil Spirit's power of tempting to evil,) of which the recognition is essential to the philosophy of history.' So Lect. xv. p. 197 " Without this freedom of choice in man, this faculty of determining between the divine impulse, and the suggestions of the Spirit of Evil, there would be no history; and without a faith in such principle no philosophy of history."

 

At p. 247, Vol. i, after noticing Condorcet's theory of the perfectibility of man, as the liberalism ?£ historic philosophy, he well adds, " But man's corruptibility is as great as his perfectibility."

 

{4} "This idea of divine justice and of God's judgments on the world, exemplified in history, belongs undoubtedly to the province of historical philosophy." Lect. x. Vol. ii. p. 7.

 

{5} Ibid. p. 5.

 

 

HA269

mercy. -- Such, I say, is Schlegel's generally just idea of the Philosophy of History; and the reader has but to recall what has gone before in this Commentary, or to glance at the illustrative Chart prefixed to it, in order to be convinced how eminently, on such an idea of it, there attaches a high degree of the philosophic character to the historic prefigurations of the Apocalypse. {1} It is in the application of the principle that the marked contrast appears between these and Schlegel's sketches: nor, I think, can I better place the moral lessons of this holy book in relief and distinctness before the reader, than by setting forth its philosophy somewhat fully, in direct contrast with the other.

 

The German philosopher then, agreeably with his religious creed, {2} directs himself by the Romish standard in his judgment, of things that concern religion and the Church. After the first four centuries, notable for the diffusion and final triumph of Christianity over Paganism in the Roman Empire, he traces the Church visible and established (already at that time, in respect of its acknowledged head, a Romish Church) through those four long centuries which followed of the chaotic intermediate state between ancient and modern history, {3} as if still Christ's true Church, the upholder and preserver of the Christian religion, as well as civilizer of the barbarous invading Germanic nations; then the next three centuries, after that the tempests had, subsided, and the wild waters of barbarian inundation begun to flow off, from Charlemagne to Gregory VII and the first half of the twelfth century inclusive, {4} (a period constituting the earlier half

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} See too my observations on some of these points, in the General Introduction to this Work, Vol. i. pp. 106-109.

 

{2} Schlegel was by birth a Protestant. But in his thirty-third year, A.D. 1805, he renounced Protestantism, and embraced the Romish faith. "It was in the venerable minster at Cologne," says his translator, " that there was solemnized in the person of this illustrious man the alliance between the ancient faith and modern science of Germany."--It is to be remembered that German Protestantism was then scarce anything but Neology.

 

{3} I use Schlegel's language, at the beginning of his Lecture xiii.

 

{4} Beginning of Lect. xiii. So Schlegel in one sentence adopts the two Apocalyptic images of a tempest, and an inundation, whereby to symbolize the great Germanic barbaric irruption. Compare Apoc. vii:2, xii:15: also Vol. i. p. 296 and Vol. iii. Note 2, p. 49, where the same images are further illustrated.

 

 

HA270

of the middle age,) as " the happiest era and golden age of Christendom:" {1} when "the influence of religion on public life was paramount;" when, in the project of a universal empire to embrace all civilized nations, the foundation-stone of the noble fabric of modern Christendom was laid, and all the elements of a truly Christian government and policy offered to mankind;" {2} "when the principles which animated society were the best and noblest and soundest," {3} when the Church, "like the all-embracing vault of heaven," with its pure faith sheltered and shed kindly influence on all; {4} and the Papal power, founded on and adapted for unity, after having grown up towards the end of this era to unprecedented greatness, used this great power only so as to preserve Christianity from being lost in a multitude of sects: {5} -- in all which he thinks to mark the presence and operation of God's animating Spirit, as well as kindly providence. -- On the other hand he traces the cotemporary operation of the Evil Spirit, (the "Spirit of time," as he calls it, from after the aera of the over-throw of the Pagan Empire that it had previously ruled in and animated, {6} ) -- I say, he traces the Evil Spirit's operation through the same period in the beguiling sectarian spirit, and religious schisms of Christendom; including not alone the Arian schism, and the Mahomedan schism, (for he places Mahommedanism in the same

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Lecture xiii, p. 127. He particularizes the reigns of " Charlemagne, Alfred, and the first Saxon kings and emperors of Germany, as exhibiting the paramount influence of religion on public life, and constituting the happiest era, the truly golden period of our annals: " and he exemplifies, among other things, in the earlier " spiritual chivalry of the Templars and Knights of St. John, consecrated to warfare in the cause of God," and the chivalry of the first crusades. At p. 176, he calls the early middle age "thoroughly Christian." Gregory the Seventh is moreover the especial subject of his eulogy.

 

{2} Ibid. 126, 127.

 

{3} Lect. xiv. p. 153.

 

{4} Lect. xii. pp. 115, 116,.

 

{5} Lect. xiv. p. 183.

 

{6} "Christianity is the emancipation ,of the human race from the bondage of that inimical Spirit, who denies God, and, as far as in him lies, leads all created intelligences astray. Hence the Scripture styles him ' the Prince of this world: ' and so he was in fact, but in ancient history only; when among all the nations of the earth, in the pomp of martial glory, and splendour of Pagan life, he had established the throne of his domination. Since this divine era in the history of man, he can no longer be called the Prince of this world, but the Spirit of time, opposed to divine influence," &e. Lect. xviii. ad fin.

 

 

HA271

category, {1} ) but also in the iconoclastic proceedings of certain of the Greek emperors, {2} (proceedings which he lauds Gregory the Second for resisting,) and the consequent schism between the Eastern and Western Churches. -- In his sketch of the later half of the middle age, reaching from the twelfth century to the Reformation, he admits the general religious deterioration of Western Christendom; particularizing the essentially false scholastic philosophy then in vogue, and the internal feuds, and contests between Church and State: {3} and traces the kindly operation of the Divine Spirit, ("the Paraclete promised to the Church by its divine Founder,") whereby Christianity was preserved, in the rise and institution of the ecclesiastical mendicant orders, as men of the most perfect evangelical humility, poverty, and self-denial: {4} at the same time reprobating the doctrines of the then popular opposers of the Church, viz. the Waldenses, Albigenses, and also Wickliffe and Huss after them, as fraught with the germs of heresy. {5} -- So arrived at the Reformation, he speaks of it as manifested to be a human, not divine reformation; by its claim of full freedom of faith, {6} its rejection of the traditions of the past, {7} its destruction of the dignity of the priesthood, and endangering of the very foundations of religion, through a denial of the holy sacramental mysteries, {8} its

 

-----------------------------------------

{1} Ibid. p. 333.

 

{2} "The rigid prohibition of the religious use of images was proper in those cases only where the use of them was not confined to a mere devotional respect, but was likely to degenerate into a real adoration and idolatry; and where a strict separation from Pagan nations and their rites was a matter of primary importance. But now that the Mahommedan proscription of all holy emblems and images of devotion arose from a decidedly antichristian spirit, this Byzantine fury against all. images and symbols of piety can be regarded only as a mad contagion of the moral disease of the age." Lect. xii. p. 106.

 

{3} Lect. xiv, xviii; pp. 173, 176, 333.

 

{4} Lect. xiv. pp. 184, 186.

 

{5} Ibid. 187.

 

{6} Lect. xviii. p. 334.

 

{7} "The total rejection of the traditions of the past, (here was the capital vice and error of this revolution) rendered this evil (the unhappy existing confusion of doctrines) incurable; and even for biblical learning, the true key of interpretation, which sacred tradition alone can furnish, was irretrievably lost." Lect. xv. p. 215. -- So also at p. 228, in a passage quoted below.

 

{8} "The hostility of the German Reformers to the Church was of a spiritual nature. It was the religious dignity of the priesthood which was more particularly the object of their destructive efforts. The priesthood stands or falls with faith in the sacred mysteries; and (these having. been by the Protestant body generally rejected) it was not difficult to foresee that together with faith in them, respect for the clergy must sooner or later be destroyed." Moreover "that great mystery of religion on which the whole dignity of the Christian priesthood depends, forms the simple but deep internal keystone of all Christian doctrine and thus the rejection or even infringement of this dogma shakes the foundation of religion, and leads to its total overthrow." Ibid. p. 218.

 

 

HA272

adoption finally of a faith of mere negation, (so he designates it,) and severing of its Protestant constituents from the sacred center of faith and religion, i.e. from Rome. {1}

 

Such is Schlegel's philosophic view of the history of Christendom down to the Reformation: after, which he notices the religious indiferentism of spirit, and false illuminism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, -- ascribing them very much to the influence of the. Protestant principle, {2} -- until the tremendous political out-break of this infidel illuminism in the French Revolution: Then, after a notice of the Revolution and its twenty-five years' war "of irreligion," -- "a convulsive crisis of the world which has created a mighty chasm, and thrown up a wall of separation between the present age and the eighteenth century," -- he speaks of the late progressing revival of Roman Catholicism, as a revival of religion, more especially in the countries of France and Germany: and finally expresses his hope of a true and complete regeneration of the age, at no great distance of time (though not till after a temporary triumph of some antichristian spirit of evil, {3} ) as the fit conclusion to the philosophy of history: {4} -- its essence to consist in a thorough Christianization alike of the state and of science; {5} -- its form to be

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} "Had it been," he says p. 228, a "divine reformation, it would at no time, and under no condition, have severed itself from the sacred center and venerable basis of Christian tradition; in order, reckless of all legitimate decisions, preceding as well as actual, to perpetuate discord, and seek in negation itself a new and peculiar basis for the edifice of schismatic opinion."

 

He speaks with high approval, p. 222, of the institution of the Jesuits; as a religious order, wholly dependent on the Church, and from their opposition to Protestantism, as the great want of the age.

 

{2} " Those negative and destructive principles, -those maxims of liberalism and irreligion, which were almost exclusively prevalent in European literature during the eighteenth century,--in a word, Protestantism, in the comprehensive signification of that term," Lect. xviii, p, 285. -- So too p. 295; though he there allows that the English Protestantism of philosophy is to be distinguished from the French revolutionary Atheism; for that "though by its opposition to nil spiritual ideas it is of a negative character, yet most of its partizans contrive to make some sort of capitulation with divine faith, and to preserve a kind of belief in moral feeling."

 

{3} Lect. xv. Vol. ii. p. 199,

 

4 Lect. xviii. p, 323,

 

{5} Ibid. 320, 322, 336,

 

 

HA273

somewhat like the perfecting of the noble but imperfect Christian Empire of Charlemagne; {1} -- its introduction to be preceded by a display of fearful divine judgments, {2} and indeed attended by Christ's own coming and intervention: {3} -- and, with this divine reformation, and its accompanying complete victory of truth, "that human reformation, which till now bath existed, to sink to the ground, and disappear from the world." {4}

 

How different the philosophy of the same history of Christendom, as traced out to St. John in the divinely planned visions of the Apocalypse: -- a difference based in fact on a totally different view from Schlegel's, both as to Christ's true religion, and as to Christ's true Church! After a rapid prefiguration in its six first picturings of the chief eras and vicissitudes of the Roman Pagan persecuting empire, thenceforward successively to occur, until its total overthrow and dissolution before the power of Christianity, there was then most strikingly intimated to him, in the next or Sealing Vision, that already, at the aera so depicted, a general though covert apostasy would have begun, and be progressing, among the professing Christian body raised to power in Roman Christendom: -- an apostasy which alike the foreshadowings of the

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} This is spoken of at p, 320 as a magnificent ground-work for a truly Christian structure of government, which then indeed remained unfinished, but is to be the object of our hope for the future. See the next Note.

 

{2} "This exalted religious hope, this high historical expectation, must be coupled with great apprehension, as to the full display of divine justice in the world, For how is such a religious regeneration possible, until every species,

form, and denomination of political idolatry be entirely extirpated from the earth," p, 319.

 

{3} "As every human soul is conducted to the realms above by the gentle hand of its divine guardian, so the Saviour himself has announced to all mankind, in many prophetic passages, that when the period of the dissolution of the world shall approach, he himself, will return to the earth, will renovate the face of all things, and bring them to a close." So Lect. x, Vol. ii. p, 20, He adds that mankind had " to traverse many centuries, before the promise was to be fulfilled, the final and universal triumph of Christianity throughout the earth to be accomplished, and all mankind gathered into one fold and under one shepherd:" so showing that it is the earthly renovation of all things, and triumph of Christianity on this earthly scene, that Schlegel expected Christ's advent to introduce, To the same effect is the heading of his last Lecture (p. 300, on the " Universal Regeneration of Society,") with the accommodated text, "I come soon, and will renew all things," Schlegel was in his way a Premillennarian.

 

4 ibid. p, 318,

 

 

HA274

prophecy, and the parallel facts of after history, referred in chief part to that selfsame Judaic and unscriptural view of the church-sacraments and church-ministry with which Schlegel would connect the essence of religion; and the gravity of which hence appeared, from its being further depicted as the cause of a series of fearful avenging judgments, soon to follow. At the same time there was also foreshown God's gracious purpose, while allowing scope to ungrateful man's apostasy, yet to preserve to Himself in the world a faithful church and witnesses. And the formation, character, and secret history of those that would constitute this the Lord's real church, was also shown him: how they would be no visible corporate body; but strictly a κυριακη εκκλησια, {1} Christ's own outgathering and election of grace, individually chosen, enlightened, quickened, and sealed by Him with the Holy Spirit of adoption: -- a body notable as "God's servants" for holy obedience; and though few in number, compared with the apostate professors of Christianity, yet in God's eye numerally perfect and complete. {2} -- Thenceforward these two lines and successions were traced distinctly and separately in their respective histories, through all the series of events and revolutions following, even to the consummation; and the invisible inspirers of their different

 

-----------------------------------------

 

1 These two words have both somewhat remarkably been preserved, in the signification of church, in our modem European languages :-the one, κυριακη, in the iglise, chiesa, iglesia, of the French, Italian, Spanish, &c; the other, Κνριακον, in the kirche, kirk, church, of the German, Scotch, English, Dutch, Swedish, and other northern tongues.

 

Archbishop Whately has indeed in his late Work on the Kingdom of Christ, p. 76, suggested a very different origin to the latter appellative. "The word church, or its equivalent kirk, is probably no other than circle, i. e. an assembly,

ecclesia." But what his authority for the statement I know not; and its truth seems more than problematical. In Suicer's Thesaurus it will be found that both κυριακη, and much more generally Κνριακον, had come in the 4th century

to be words used in the sense of church in Greek Christendom. "Κνριακον usitatissime notat templum. Sic Can. 5 Neo-Caes. Κατηχαμενοτ, εαν εισερχομενοs κνριακον, εν  ταν κατηχαμεδαν ταξει στηκη' Can. 27 Laod. 'Οτι α δει εν -rots κνριακοιs, η εν rats εκκλησιαιs, τατ λεyομενατ αyαπατ χοιειr' Eusebius H. E. Και τα κυριακα όπιυτ κατασκευαgοιεν σνyχωρειται. He refers also to Can. 74 in Trullo, to Athanasius, and Zonaras. (I may add that Cyprian similarly so uses the corresponding Latin word, Dominicum.) -- From the language of Greek Christendom it was transferred, I presume, by Ulphilas, at the close of the fourth century into the Gothic language; and so into the Saxon and other

cognate tongues. Thus Johnson in his Dictionary; " Church (cyrce Saxon, κυριακη Greek)."

 

{2} Apoc. vii.

 

 

HA275

polities and actions, whether the Evil Spirit or the Good, also made manifest. On the one hand there was depicted the body of false professors, multiplied so as to form the main and dominant constituency of apostate Christendom, as developing more and more a religion not christian but antichristian, it being based on human traditions, (the same that figure so high in Schlegel's estimate,) not on God's word;', and, after falling away to the worship of departed saints and martyrs as mediators, in place of Christ, {2} is alike in its western and its eastern division judicially visited and desolated by the divine avenging judgments of emblematic tempests, scorpion-locusts, and horsemen from the Euphrates; in other words, of the Goths, Saracens, and Turks: {3} -- then as, in its western division, rising up again from the primary desolating judgments of Gothic invasion; in the new form of an ecclesiastical empire, (the same that Schlegel eulogizes as Christ's true Church,) enthroned on the seven hills of ancient Rome: its secret contriver being the very Dragon, or Satanic Spirit, that had ruled openly before in the Pagan Empire; its ruling head proud, persecuting, blasphemous, and self-exalting against God, even beyond his Pagan precursors; {4} its constituency and priesthood, throughout Schlegel's boasted middle ages, characterized by "unrepented idolatries, (such is God's representation of the Romish image worship so strangely patronized by the German philosopher, {5} ) and fornications too, thefts, murders, and sorceries:" {6} in fine as continuing unchanged, unchangeable, in apostasy, notwithstanding the repeated checks of woes and judgments from heaven, even until the end and therefore then at length in its impenitency to be

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Compare Apoc. xii:17

 

{2} Apoc. viii:3. See Vol. i,. pp. 301-311.

 

{3} Apoc. viii:ix.

 

{4} Apoc. xii:xiii.

 

{5} See the quotation from Schlegel about the iconoclastic Greek emperors in Note 2, p. 271, supra.

 

Mr. Sibthorp, it is said by Mr. Faber, went over to the Church of Rome, under the belief that it did not require idolatrous worship of the Virgin Mary; and that he has left it, and rejoined the English Church, on finding that this was in very truth required of him. But did it need that he should enter the Romish Church for evidence on such a point?

 

{6} Apoc. ix:20-21. See my chapter on it, Part iii. ch. i. p 2

 

 

HA276

utterly abandoned to judgment, and, like another Sodom, made an example of the vengeance of everlasting fire: {1} --this being in fact the grand essential preliminary to the world's intended and blessed regeneration. -- On the other hand the Apocalyptic prophecy represented Christ's true Church, the election of grace, consisting of such as should hold to Christ as their head, and keep the word of God and testimony of Jesus, as almost at once entering on a great and long tribulation; yet, though in number few and fewer, and reduced soon to a state spiritually destitute and desolate, like that of the wilderness, so as to constitute them a church invisible rather than visible, as still secretly preserved by their Lord:  {2} a revelation of God's doctrines of grace, (doctrines directly antagonistic to those of the incipient apostasy,) being, it seemed, vouchsafed, the result of a direct primary intervention from heaven at this crisis of time, with a view to their spiritual preservation and life which revelation, singularly acted out before St. John in the light-bearing visions of the sealing and the palm-bearers, just before the burst of the emblematic tempests, was in Augustine's history and teaching (teaching never altogether forgotten afterwards) perfectly realized and illustrated. {3} It then depicted the actual witnesses for Christ's cause and truth, from out of this little body, and protestors against the reigning apostasy, (witnesses verified historically afterwards in the history of those whom Schlegel would make heretics, the Waldenses more especially, and Wiclif, and Huss, and their followers , {4} ), as made war on by Rome's revived Empire, soon after the completion of their testimony against the several chief doctrines of its apostasy, and the Pope's full establishment of his power, like as by a Beast from the abyss of hell; and so being at length conquered and apparently exterminated: -- with the added figuration however of their sudden and most extraordinary revival and exaltation almost instantly after, in the presence of their enemies: {5} a revelation

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Apoc: xviii.

 

{2} Apoc. xii. See Vol. iii. p. 52, &c.

 

{3} See the second Section of my chapter on the Sealing Vision; Vol. i. pp. 262-288.

 

{4} See Part iii, Chap. vii.

 

{5} Apoc. xi:7; Part iii, Chap. viii.

 

 

HA277

from heaven introducing and accompanying it, yet more glorious than the former one, even of Christ as the Sun of Righteousness; {1} and a great political revolution attending or following, under which the tenth part of the ten-kingdomed Ecclesiastical Empire would fall. All this the prophecy figured as the result of God's great second intervention for his Church; and all this we saw; on irrefragable evidence, to have been fulfilled in the great Reformation of the xvith century: the discovery introducing, it of the doctrine of justification simply by faith

in Christ Jesus; and the downfall following it of the tenth part of the Popedom in Papal England. Thus was this Protestant Reformation distinctly figured in the Apocalypse as a glorious divine act, not human, so as Schlegel would have it: -- its excommunication of the Roman Papal Church, with all its false rites and traditions, (by Schlegel so fondly cherished,) and its national establishment too in northern Germany and England, being further depicted as acts directed from heaven; {2} and its faith, instead of being (so as he would call it) a mere negation, represented to have its very origin from the positive recognition of Christ as the Sun of Righteousness, and only source of man's justification, light, and life. As to the subsequent "indiferentism in religion," as Schlegel truly designates it, which followed afterwards in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, even in the states and churches of Protestantism, it was not unforeshown in the further developments of the Apocalypse. But what the cause assigned? Because, amidst all the rejoicings of states and churches on the establishment of a purer religion, it would still be but the 144,000, the election of grace, a church within a church, that would be really the κυριακη εκκλησια, the Lord's Church. {3} Yet it seemed also pre-intimated how (as if from some gracious revival of religion in God's still favored Protestantism) there would afterwards speed forth in the latter times three

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Apoc. x. 1, Vol. ii. pp. 40--42 and 89-97.

 

{2} Apoc. xi:2. See Vol. ii. p. 175, &c.

 

{3} Apoc. xiv:1. See Part iv, Chap. x; Vol. iii, p. 255.

 

 

HA278

missionary Angels, flying through mid-heaven, with voices of gospel-preaching, warning against Papal Rome, and denunciation of its quickly-coming judgment; {1} a cotemporary revival of the Papacy, (the same that Schlegel boasts of as characterizing these our own days,) being but the last putting forth of its bravery, to hasten the final crisis, and be the precursor and justification of its fall: acts these that would be nearly the last public ones promoted, or mingled in, by the little body of Christ's faithful ones on earth. For it was foreshown how that Christ's advent would speedily follow; and contemporarily therewith, and with the mystic Babylon's destruction by fire, his witnessing saints and all that fear him, small and great, {2} have the reward given them of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of their Lord: and that so, and then, (not before, or otherwise,) the promised regeneration of all things (the Christian's great object of hopes) is to have its accomplishment, in Christ's own reign with his saints; and therewith at length the true - and only complete evangelization of the world.

 

Such is the Apocalyptic philosophy of the history of Christendom; such its contrast with Schlegel's. (To its philosophy on certain other interesting points the reader's attention was directed very early in the introductory chapter of my Work. {4} ) And the review of it will well prepare us for applying to ourselves, in conclusion, the moral lessons of the whole; as we look to the probabilities, -- the awful and the hopeful probabilities, -- of the fast-coming future.

 

As a nation then does it not, while pointing out how and wherefore England has been raised to its present greatness, -- viz. in order to its being the great bulwark

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Apoc. xiv:6, &c. See Vol. iii. p. 406, &e.

 

{2} Apoc. xi:18.

 

{3} On this point Schlegel, in his fifth Lecture, beautifully contrasts the religion of the ancient Jews (to which Christianity has succeeded) with that of all the other Asiatic nations. In the traditions of these latter, he observes, regret was the prominent feeling expressed for what man had lost; in the Hebrew religion hope for the future. " The whole existence of this people turned on the pivot of hope; and the keystone of its moral life projected its shadows far into futurity."

 

{4} Vol: i. pp. 107-109.

 

 

HA279

and promulgator throughout the world of the Protestant evangelic faith, {1} -- solemnly warn us also against being seduced by any spirit of mistaken expediency, false liberalism, religious indifferentism, {2} or, I may add, party faction, to seek nationally to identify ourselves with the Papal antichristian religion, or any further to foster its

power, either at home, or in the colonies? Surely of toleration and civil privilege the utmost has been granted to our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects (to say the least) consistent with our character as a Protestant state. Let us beware lest, in the vain hope of thoroughly conciliating and uniting the Romish priesthood in our land, -- a thing which history and reason, as well as prophecy, have shown to be impossible, {3} -- we abandon our distinctive Protestant character; {4} and therewith, in the great coming crisis, forfeit the high protectorate, hitherto granted us, of heaven. {5} -- Nor, let me add, if in that crisis (as prophecy seems to intimate) the evangelization of the heathen, or evangelization and restoration of the Jews, prove in the issue to be the occasion of the great Romish (and perhaps too Mahommedan) powers uniting together in some hostile and opposing. confederacy, let it be forgotten which is the Lord's side: {6} lest here too we act as an ally, if not constituent, of Babylon; and become nationally a partaker of her sins, and nationally, in God's coming judgment on the nations, a partaker also of her tremendous punishment.

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} See Vol. ii. pp. 406, 417; and Vol. iii. pp. 421-434.

 

{2} I use Schlegel's phrase.

 

{3} A year or two before the Act of Roman Catholic Emancipation, Mr. Gaily Knight, in an influential and able Pamphlet, pointed to the case of the then Dutch and Belgian kingdom, in proof of the possible thorough union of Protestants and Catholics under a Protestant Government. The year after that Act had passed, the Protestant Government there was overthrown by a united Romish and democratic insurrection.

 

As to the Irish Roman Catholic Emancipation Act, who, even of its most sanguine advocates, has not confessed to disappointment in the results?

 

{4} For example by " the great measure," as some have called it, of paying the Irish Roman Catholic Priesthood from the national funds.

 

[Alas! since the publication of my First Edition, our national Protestant character has been further compromised by the regular Maynooth endowment: -- an act originated, no doubt, from patriotic motives by the ministry; but of patriotism how mistaken, because how contrary to the word of God! -- 2nd Edit.]

 

{5} Let me refer on this head to the interesting illustrative historic sketch prefixed by Dr. Croly to his Treatise on the Apocalypse.

 

{6} See pp. 169, 170 supra.

 

 

HA280

Further, has it not a voice to us as a Church? I speak of the Church established by God's gracious Providence in this kingdom. May we not, from that holy prophecy that we have been considering, infer it to be its paramount duty, wisdom, and even safety, to hold fast the pure and scriptural doctrine on which it was founded at the Reformation: and to eschew and repudiate, not the principles of direct Popery only, or even of the modern Tractarian semi-Popery; (which is but in truth that earlier form of the great apostacy revivified, to which in due time, as we have seen, and through Satanic artifice, Rome did but furnish the fitting headship; {1} ) but also of every modification of the same, which may seek to make religion a thing ecclesiastical, rather than a thing personal and spiritual; and to interpose the Church, with its priesthood and services and sacraments; between the soul and Christ, instead of asserting it as their one grand prerogative and office to direct the soul to Christ? -- Surely it is a strange misnomer to call this system, as with laudatory title, High Church, and decry the opposite system by the vituperatively intended title of Low Church. The true low churchmen seem to me they who fashion their beau ideal of an ecclesiastical system, simply or chiefly, with reference to an earthly church; and its human administration and administrators. The true high churchmen seem to be they, the Church of whose chief affections and thoughts is the Jerusalem above: -- that which has for its head, Christ; its home, heaven; and this our earth as but the scene of its preparatory formation and trial: whereon its members, scattered everywhere through the visible Church, and known to God, though often unknown to men, are by the common principle of union with Christ their invisible head, united verily and in truth with each other, and united with those too of the same body that may have already passed into Paradise. It is this Church which St. Paul's glowing eloquence set forth to the Ephesian Christians, as the Church, the Bride, "which Christ loved, and purchased,

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Apoc. xiii:2.

 

 

HA281

and purposes to present to himself glorious, without spot or wrinkle;" {1} to the Galatians as "the Jerusalem that is above, which is the mother of us all; {2} and to the Hebrews, as "the church of the first-born {3} whose names are written in heaven:" this that of which, in the Apocalyptic visions, St. John beheld the fortunes figured, throughout all its successive generations militant on earth, even until the time of their perfected union, number, and blessedness, as the Lamb's bride, New Jerusalem. {4} And so, accordingly; the earlier confessors, that witnessed for Christ under Pagan Rome, recognized her as the Church, the Mother Church, and rejoiced in her as children. {5} And when stealthily afterwards the earthly

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Eph. v:25-27.

 

{2} Gal. iv:26.

 

{3} εκκλησία πρατοτοκαν-  Heb. xii:23.

 

{4} Apoc. vii:3-4, &c. Apoc. xiv:1, &c. Apoc. xvii:14; xx:4; xxii:3-4, &c.

 

{5} Let me exemplify, as I have not directly done so before.

 

1. Ignatius, in the heading of his Letter to the Church at Ephesus, (a very striking and illustrative document, of chronology immediately following the Apostolic time,) speaks of it as predestined by God before the world to glory: thereby distinctly defining the true spiritual church at Ephesus as the object of his address, though in charity supposing all to belong really to it of the members of the professing church there constituted; professing as they did under circumstances of trial and persecution, so calculated to prevent the adhesion of any but true disciples. Iηνατίοτ, ύ και εοφσροτ, ενλοΤημενη εν μεγεθει εα Πατροs και πληραματι, τη προορισμενη προ αιαναν δια παντοs *is δσξαν παραμονσν ατρεπτον, ηναμενην; και εκλελεημενην, εν παθει αληθινφ, εν εληματι τα Πατρσs και Ιησα Χριτα εα ήμαν, τη εκκλησιg τη σξιομακαρίτφ TV αση εν Εφεσφ.

 

2. The Epistle which contains the Acts of Polycarp's Martyrdom is addrest from "the Church of God which sojourns at Smyrna, to that which sojourns at Philipi, and in all places where the Holy Catholic Church sojourns throughout the world:" thereby designating necessarily, I think, that spiritual and true Church, of which the members feel and live as pilgrims here, and with their home in heaven.

 

3. Justin Martyr, Dial. cum Tryph. p. 287, speaks of the Church as Christ's Bride, prophesied of in Psalm xlv.; which Church we know from other scriptures to be that symbolized as the heavenly Jerusalem; made up only of the true and the saved.

 

4. Similarly Tertullian, De Baptismo, c. 15, says; " Et una ecclesia in caelis:" * and in his De Cor. Mil. c. 13, " Sed to peregrinus es mundi hujus, civis supernae Hierusalem; noster, inquit, municipitus in eoelis." See Vol. i. P. 191.

 

5. And so again the Author of the beautiful Epistle to Diognetus, quoted before by me Vol. i. p. 101. " Christians (i. e. the constituency of the Church) display the wonderful nature of their peculiar polity. They dwell in their own country but as sojourners: they abide on earth, but are citizens of heaven."

 

-----------------------------------------

 

* On which observes his Romish Editor Pamelius; " et in terris videtur desiderari. Etsi autem ad Eph. iv. id aperte non habeatur, subindicitur tamen his verbis, Unum corpus el unus spiritus: quemadmodum S. Cyprianus pulchrb explicat Libro. De Unitate Ecclesiae."

 

 

HA282

mixt corporate body, so called, came to be more and more substituted for it, and to usurp to itself its dignity, titles, privileges, and claims, -- man's earthly church those of God's heavenly Church, the thing ecclesiastical those of the thing spiritual, {1} -- then, we saw, (let me be excused if I repeat on a point so momentous,) Augustine seemed raised up - for the special purpose of setting it forth again before men, as 'the only true Church of the promises: {2} accordantly with whom, when ages succeeded afterwards of darkness deeper and deeper, {3} (very much through this self-same error,) the confessors of the middle age, living under that perfected form of the apostatized ecclesiastical and earthly thing, Rome Papal, "Mother and Mistress," were mainly saved from her sorceries by recognizing and appropriating this heavenly Church as their own. {4} And so too, still later, the Churches of the

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Of all the early fathers none contributed to this more than the excellent Cyprian; especially by his well-meant, and in many respects valuable Treatise, De Unitate Ecclesiae. The fundamental error, however, attaches to it, of arguing from those passages, "Thou art Peter, &c. and on this rock will I build my Church," "What thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," "As my Father hath sent me, so send I you," &c, &c, with reference wholly, or almost wholly, to the apostolic commission transmitted officially downwards to the episcopal rulers of the Church; instead of urging the essentiality, at other fathers did,* in order to the enjoyment of these promises, of adherence to the apostolic faith: and that of identifying the Church visible ruled by them with that against which the gates of hell should not prevail, viz. Christ's spiritual Church, the Bride. " Super unum (se. Petrum) sedificat ecclesiam suam... . Exordium ab unitate proficiscitur, ut ecclesia una monstretur: quam unam ecclesiam etiam in Cantico Canticorum Spiritus Sanctus ex persona Domini designat, et dicit, "Una est columba mea, perfecta mea."

 

{2} More often Augustine speaks of Christ's true church under its character of a polity, the Civitas Dei. But at times he conjoins the two phrases. So C. D. xvii. 4. 3; "Ecclesia Christi, Civitas Regis Magni;" also xvii. 16. 2, &c.

 

{3} See my Vol. i. 285.

 

{4} " In common with the soundest divines, Wicliff allows the distinction between the Church Visible and the Church Invisible. The latter he calls the very body of Christ, the former his medlied (or mixed) body; which includes men

ordained to bliss, and hypocrites doomed to perdition." Le Bas Wicliff, p. 338. Mark, too, the prominence of this point in the examinations of Lord Cobham and others of the later Wicliffites, before the Romish tribunals; and the " Credo unam ease sanctam catholicam Ecclesiam," perpetuated as Huss's motto on his medal, given at Vol. ii. p. 394: also Luther's public recognition of this doctrine of Huss, quoted Note 1, Vol. iii. p. 258; and the same in the examination of Philpot and other Anglican reformers of the xvith century.

 

 

-----------------------------------------

 

* So Cyril Alex. De Trin. iv. 1: Ωετραν οιμαι παρωνυμειτ έτερον eδεν η την ακατασειτσν και έδραιοτατην TO μαθητe πιτιν απσκαλων, εφ' 0 Peat αδιαπτωτωτ ερηρειται και διαπεπηγεν ή εκκλησία τα Χριτs, και ανταιτ αναλωτοτ Tout άδe τνλαιτ it net διαμενασα

 

And Origeη : Ωετρα γαρ was ό Xpcse μαθητητ, αf α επινον ο1 tic πνενματικητ ακολΒθουσητ πετρατ' και επί πασαν Tip τααυτην τετραν οικοδο­μειται ό εκκλησιατικοτ Was λογοτ, και ή κατ αυτού τολιτεια' εν εκατιρ γαρ των τελείων, σνμπληρουντων την μακαριοτητα λογων και εργων και νοηματων, ή ύπσ τe θεα οικυδομουμενη εκκλησία. In Matt. xvi:18. -- So too Augustine

 

 

 

HA283

Reformation, our own especially inclusive: which, while in charity, like the Apostles and early Christians, regarding and speaking of all members of the Church Visible, not openly inconsistent, as belonging to it, {1} did still prominently set forth, distinctively from the Church Visible, {2} "the blessed company of all faithful people," "the members incorporate of the mystical body of Christ:" {3} -- that spiritual Church the gathering of whose

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} I beg to call the reader's careful attention to this point, as one most important. There are two principles on which an interpreter may attempt the explanation of the various eulogistic phrases, such as the elect, the faithful, &c, addrest by the apostles to the churches they write to. The one is that which explains them of mere ecclesiastical election, and profest faith; and consequently applies them to all the members of the professing church indiscriminately,

the true alike, and the false. The other is that which regards the phrases as properly belonging only to the true members, i. e. the constituency of the spiritual church: and consequently applies the terms generally only in the spirit of charity; hoping, where there exists no plain evidence to the contrary, In the sincerity of men's profession. -- I feel deeply persuaded that the latter is the only one that can be consistently and satisfactorily carried out.

 

So Leighton, on 1 Pet. i:2 : "The Apostle denominates all the christians to whom he writes by the condition of true believers; calling them elect and sanctified, &c : and St. Paul writes in the same style in his Epistle to the churches. Not that all in these churches were such indeed; but because they professed to be such, and by that their profession and calling as christians were obliged to be such, and as many of them as were in any measure true to their calling and profession were really such. Besides in all probability, there would be then fewer false Christians."

 

{2} In its xviith Article, our Church sketches the history, formation, and character of the blessed company that constitute Christ's true invisible Church; in its xixth, a true visible Church, (such as may, be fitted to gather in, and nourish the invisible,) as being " one in which the pure word of God is preached, and sacraments rightly administered." Its Burial Service alludes to the invisible or spiritual Church under the appellation of the number of the elect: "That thou wouldest shortly accomplish the number of thine elect, and hasten thy kingdom."

 

So too in the Prayer for the Ember Weeks: "Almighty God who hast purchased to thyself an Universal Church, by the precious blood of thy dear Son."

 

{3} So the Anglican Communion Service. -- Similarly says the Homily on Whitsunday, though speaking of this Church's earthly state; "The true Church is an universal Congregation or fellowship of God's faithful and elect people, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets."

 

Let me add the following from King, Edward the VIth's Short Catechism.

 

M. Now remaineth that thou speak of the Holy Church. -- S. Afore that the Lord God had made the heaven and earth, he determined to have for himself a most beautiful kingdom and holy Commonwealth. The Apostles and ancient Fathers that wrote in Greek called it εκκλησία; in English a congregation or assembly: into the which He hath admitted an infinite number of men, that should all be subjects to one king as their sovereign, and only one head : Him we call Christ, which is to say, Anointed. . . To the furnishing of this Commonwealth belong all they as many as do truly fear, honor, and call upon God, wholly applying their mind to holy and godly living; and all those that putting all their hope and trust in him, do assuredly look for the bliss of everlasting life. But as many as are in this faith stedfast, were fore-chosen, predestinate, and appointed out to everlasting life, before the world was made. Witness thereof they have within their hearts, the Spirit of Christ, the author, earnest, and unfailable pledge of their faith. Which faith only is able to perceive the mysteries of God, only bringeth pence into the heart, only taketh hold on the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus.... This is that same Church which Paul calleth the pillar and upholding stay of truth. To this Church belong the keys, wherewith heaven is locked and unlocked : for that is done by the ministration of the word; whereunto properly belongeth the power to bind and loose, to hold for guilty and forgive sins.

 

M. This would I hear of thee, why it immediately followeth (after mention of the Holy Ghost) that we believe the holy Universal Church and the Communion of Saints? -- S. These two things I have always thought to be most fitly coupled together, because the fellowships and incorporations of other men proceed, and be governed by, other means and policies; but the Church, which is an assembly of men called to everlasting salvation, is both gathered together and governed by the Holy Ghost. Which thing, sith it cannot be perceived by bodily sense or light of nature, is by right and for good reason here reckoned among things that are known by belief. (i. e. placed in the Creed.) And therefore this ca calling together of the faithful is called universal, because it is bound to no one special place. For God throughout a1l coasts of the world hath them that worship Him: which, though they be far scattered asunder by divers distance of countries and dominions, yet are they members most nearly joined of that same body whereof Christ is the head; and have one spirit, faith, sacraments, prayers, forgiveness of sins, and heavenly bliss, common among them all." -- Liturgies of King Edward Vi. pp. 511, 514. Parker Edition.

 

 

HA284

members out of " this naughty world," {1} and their nourishing, strengthening, and edification, {2} is the great object of all earthly and visible orthodox churches, with all their admirable and divinely appointed instrumentalities and means of grace: an object on the completion of which such scaffoldings will be set aside; as things that have answered their purpose, and are needed no more. {3} -- Is it not by confusion of these two very different things; the invisible, or rather spiritual Church, and the visible, {4}

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} So our Ordination Service. 'lye are called to teach, feed, and provide for the Lord's family : and to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world; (i.e. professing Christendom ;) that they may be saved through Christ for ever."

 

{2} Compare Eph. iv:12; "He gave some apostles, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ: " -- i. e. of the Church of the redeemed," which is his body." Ibid. i. 23.

 

{3} So Leighton (the truest as well as sweetest exponent of Anglican Church doctrine) on 1 Pet. ii:5, " Ye are built up a spiritual house." "This building is the whole invisible Church of God, and each good man is a stone of this building. For this purpose chiefly did God make the world, the heaven and earth, that in it He might raise this spiritual building to himself, to dwell in for ever. . . The continuance of this present world, as now it is, is but for the service of this work, like the scaffolding about it: and therefore, when this spiritual building shall be fully completed, all the present frame of things in the world, and in the Church itself, shall be taken away, and appear no more."

 

{4} I cannot better illustrate this than from Mr. Gresley's "True Churchman." he observes (p. 35, 6th Ed.); " It is the right or wrong belief in the one doctrine of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, which makes all the difference, rendering men sound orthodox Churchmen, or wavering Schismatics. Some not very spiritual persons have adopted a mode of speaking of the Church as the body of true believers in all the world. It is manifestly a mere political manoeuvre. * Let us turn to the Bible. The word Church occurs in a good many places in Scripture; in the large majority of which it is applied to a religious community existing visibly upon earth, which was liable to persecution, vexation, extension, could receive complaints, admit or reject members, deliberate, decide controversies, send messengers, be edified, take care of, salute, and be saluted, in short could exercise all the functions of a visible human society." Then he adds: "There are a few, very few, exceptions; as in the Epistle to the Ephesians, where it is said that Christ gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Here evidently the Apostle alludes to some prospective condition of the Church; because not even one individual member of the Church on earth is on this side of the grave perfectly sinless. This perfect holiness therefore can be ascribed only to the Church triumphant : as in the Hebrews, where the heavenly Jerusalem is spoken of as the general assembly and' Church of the first-born which are written in heaven, the spirits of just men made perfect"

 

Let me ask, Is there not some confusion of ideas, or of language, in this passage? In the first part Mr. G. speaks of the Church (the one Catholic and Apostolic Church) as a religious community existing visibly on earth, including (as appears from the context) all its professing members, and governed by bishops of the official apostolic succession: then he quotes a certain few passages from Scripture, which allude, he says, to a prospective and triumphant condition

of the Church. Now, in thus speaking, either Mr. G. means by the Church the same community that he before designated under that name, though in a different stage and state of existence; which is the natural and only proper meaning of his words: in which case he makes all professing and unexcommunicated members of the earthly episcopal Churches to be members of the Church triumphant in heaven; an error surely as fearful as palpable! -- Or else he means by the Church in one sentence one thing; in the next quite another: viz. in the first, the Christian visible community, including both true and false, the tares and the wheat; in the other the wheat, or true Church only. On which latter hypothesis he virtually admits the distinction that he is so bent on denying, between the Church visible and Church invisible; while violating at the same time that distinctness, which is a primary rule of writing. What if, in Algebra, the equation ? = a + a' being proposed, (as the Church visible includes both the true and the false members of it) some one in the working out of the problem were quietly to use a, after a step or two, as the equivalent of A?

 

As to the difference between Mr. G. and his own Church on the general view, the Notes preceding will, I think, show it clearly.

 

I am not unaware that certain eminent opponents of the ecclesiastical system advocated by Mr. Gresley, do yet agree with him in speaking of the appellative sons of God as applied by St. Paul to all the members of the Church visible, "whether they walk worthy of their high calling or not." So Archbishop Whateley in his Kingdom of God, p. 8 : who also at p. 52, notes all these as constituting the communion of Saints. But would St. Paul have counted in that communion such false professors as he alludes to Acts xx:30; Phil. iii:19; 2 Cor. xi:13, 15; Jude 12; &c.?

 

-----------------------------------------

 

* Was it so with Archbishop Leighton? Or with the founders of the Church to which Mr. G. belongs, whose views to this effect I have quoted above?

 

 

HA285

(conjoined indeed with misunderstanding or forgetfulness as to the great predicted ecclesiastical apostasy, that was to run on even from St. Paul's time within the professing Church, parallel with the constituency and doctrine

 

 

HA286

of Christ's true Church, and at length all but to stifle the latter, {1} together with a mistaken Judaic view also of the Christian Church and priesthood, {2} ) that most of those Oxford anti-Anglican, errors have sprung, whose legitimate end and perfecting is in the Romish doctrine and Church ? {3} -- At home and abroad let but its own proper and original {4} evangelical spirit and acting characterize our beloved Anglican Church; and then surely we may the rather

hope for the divine blessing upon her. By the joint application of her Apocalyptic Augustinian doctrine respecting the Lord's true living Church, as one made up of his individual election of grace, chosen from out of visible professing Churches through grace unto - salvation, and her Apocalyptic Lutheran doctrine of justification simply by faith in Christ our Righteousness, (doctrines alike prominently set forth in the Apocalypse, as re-discovered to men by express revelation, {5} ) we may expect that she will detect and expel from within her pale, as with touch of the spear of Ithuriel, every the most specious heresy: and that so, at the last great day of Christ's collecting together his jewels, the memorial of Zion shall be hers yet more abundantly, that "many were born in her, and that the Most High did establish her." {6}

 

And might not a word be fitly added also of solemn

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} See in Vol. iii. p. 78; my reference to Archdeacon Manning's argument on this point.

 

{2} See my general argument on this subject on the Sealing Vision, Part i. ch. vii. § 1, concluded Vol. i. pp. 260-262.

 

It was through this erroneous view, primarily; that Mr. Sibthorp was led to join Rome. So he himself tells us, in his very illustrative Letter of justification. -- And I fear it still partially affects some, who would yet shrink back from

Oxford Tractarianism. I might exemplify in a late Ordination Sermon by one much to be esteemed, on 2 Cor. viii:23, based very much on this official, ecclelesiastical, Levitical view of the Episcopacy, Church, and Priesthood: -- as if from his mere office a bishop or presbyter can be the glory of Christ, unless he hold, preach, and live the doctrine of Christ; or as if men baptized can be really brethren to Christ's saints, unless they be really and in heart members incorporate with Christ the head.

 

{3} What an illustration of this has been given, since my first Edition was published, in the Apostasy to Rome of the chief Oxford Tractarians, Messrs. New. man, Ward, Oakley, Faber, &c! -- [2nd Ed.]

 

{4} Original, with reference to the Cranmers, Ridleys, Jewels, &c., the actual founders of the English Church; not to the Lauds or Bulls, whom some would refer to as its fathers, of a later and very different generation.

 

{5} See my Vol. i. pp. 266, 267, and Vol. ii. pp. 38-42.

 

{6} Psalm lxxxvii:5.

 

 

HA287

practical application of the lessons of this prophecy to other churches, orthodox and unorthodox, among us ?In the anticipation of a tremendous approaching conflict, (if such anticipation seem warranted by the prophecy,) and yet more in the view of this conflict of the nations a8 but a prelude to the fearful and fiery judgments that are to accompany the Lord's own coming, do we not see motives pre-eminently cogent for union among all that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity? And does it not appear lamentable that, whether from political or ecclesiastical differences of opinion, there should be cherished by any such in the Protestant dissenting body a feeling of bitterness against our Anglican Church: a Church which they yet allow to be in its doctrines and profession of faith eminently scriptural and evangelic; and the establishment of Which, I may add, now so much objected to, as well as of the German and other reformed Churches of the 16th century, seems expressly noted in the Apocalyptic figurations as the Lord's own doing? {1} -- Similarly with regard to that unhappy secession by which the sister Protestant Church of Scotland has been reft of many of its most eminent and excellent members, does there not seem also ground for pause, reflection, and self-suspecting: -- considering especially that it is not in defense of any impugned vital principle of evangelic faith that this secession has arisen, but primarily from difference with the civil authority as to certain points affecting church government, on the correct view concerning which Christians themselves may reasonably hold different opinions: nay, on which the Apocalyptic prophecy

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} See my Vol ii. p. 179, 180, &c. on the βαβδοτ , or rod of authority, given by the Angel to the representative man, St, John. -- "The Elector John," says Milner, in a passage quoted by me, Vol. ii. p. 183, " assuming to himself that supremacy is ecclesiastical matters which is the natural right of every lawful sovereign, exercised it with resolution and activity, in forming new ecclesiastical constitutions, modeled on the principles of the great Reformation." -- How in the Anglican church this same principle was acted on is notorious, and may be seen in Burnet.

 

[After the publication of my 1st Edition, my argument from the βαβδοτ was noted and impugned as an unfounded fancy of the Author's, both in the Patriot and other dissenting publications: but on my calling for proof of incorrectness in my Apocalyptic inference and argument, none was given. And, if I mistake not, they cannot be shaken. -- 2nd Edition.)

 

 

HA288

(as just before observed) seems to have pronounced distinctly against them; representing, as it does, the ori­ginal constitution of the Lutheran and Anglican re­formed Churches, on that very principle, {1} not as any act of sinful Erastianism, but as Christ's own doing, and so with the stamp of his approbation on it? {2} And this the rather, as the idea subsequently urged in defense of the schism, of its being a case of witnessing for Christ's crown and headship over the Church his body, (as if that headship consisted in the ecclesiastical ruler's supremacy over the civil power in all things any way ecclesiastical, {3} )

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Neal, in his History of the Puritans, Vol. ii. Pref. p. ix, -- after observing on the two Houses of Parliament, during the civil war, being almost all of the prin­ciples of Erastus, who maintained that Christ and his Apostles had prescribed no particular form of discipline for his Church, but had left it in the hands of the civil magistrate to appoint such particular forms of church government as might most subserve the welfare of the Commonwealth, -- adds, "These were the sentiments of the Reformers, from Cranmer down to Bancroft." -- This last statement, however, needs the important modification of the magistrate doing nothing contrary to the Bible.

 

Erastus was α German Divine of the sixteenth century, with regard to his doctrine, it may be useful to give Archbishop Whateley's explanation of Eras­tianism. " Erastianism has always been considered as consisting in making the State as such, -- the civil magistrate by virtue of his office, -- prescrίbe to the people what they shall believe, and how worship God." (Kingdom of Christ, p. 266.) Now if this be correct, then the inapplicability of the charge of Erastianism made by the secedera against the Scotch Established Church, will be evident. For has the State attempted to impose new Articles of Belief on the Church? Or have the secedera, in consequence of such Erastian pretensions, left the esta­blishment? -- Erastianism is α just cause of reproach in so far only as it is anti­scriptural.

 

{2} See Note 1, p. 287.

 

{3} So the Address by the Convocation to the People of Scotland, as also Dr. Candlish's, Mr. Grey's, and Mr. Hamilton's Pamphlets, &c. "Christ is not only inwardly α spiritual head to his mystical Church, but externally a spiritual head to the politic body of the Visible Church of professors, and their only lawgiver:" -- a principle which the Reply by the General Assembly's Special Commission to Sir J. Graham applies, by declaring that an acknowledgment of the right of the Secular Court to act as it has, is a repudiation ο£ the doctrine contained in the Scotch Confession of Faith, that the Lord Jesus is the only Head of the Church.

 

What would St. Paul have thought of such an explication of his words, " holding the head," Col. ii:19, and declaration Eph. i:22-23, respecting Christ as "the head of the Church;" -- the Church meant being that which is really his body, and his Bride? yet it is this astonishing mistake that, sweeping through the length and breadth of Scotland, has more than any other cause, brought about the secession. On the other hand see in King Edward the VIth's Brief Catechism, quoted p. 284 supra, how strongly and scripturally Christ is set forth as the Head of the Church, by α Church which yet the Secessionists brand as Erastian.

 

(While this Volume is passing through the press, the Evangelical Alliance has been formed, very much at the instance of the Scotch secessionists; an Alliance professedly including all that "hold the Head," and yet not excluding ministers of the Scotch or English Establishment. It is a subject for thankfulness that the previous error on this point seems thus to have been abandoned.]

 

 

HA289

is founded on an earthly view of Christ's true Church and kingdom, which Rome indeed would approve, but the Bible and specially its Apocalypse, as we have seen, plainly rejects: {1} also that as to the Scotch Secession fulfilling, so as some have hinted, the character of one of Christ's Two Witnesses, {2} and acting out even now the prophecy of the Witnesses' death, the idea is one not otherwise alone imaginary, but based on the palpable error of making that future which is past. {3} In truth, instead of the Secession being "a coming out of Egypt," so as some of its advocates would further represent it, {4} it seems rather, if our exposition of the Apocalyptic pas­sage where the word occurs, be correct, (and the evi­dence is. such as Ι hope may approve itself even to the

 

-----------------------------------------

 

ι On the Apocalyptic view of Christ's true Church, see p. 276 supra: with which Mr. Hamilton in his Dew of Hermon sufficiently agrees.

 

With regard to the famous text, " My kingdom is not of this world," eκ ετιν εκ τe κοσμα τeτα, it seems in its full meaning to mark out the kingdom's consti­tuency, origin, establishing power, and time of full establishment. 1. Its constitu­ency; as made up of those that are "born not of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," (John i:13,) and are "in spirit not of this world, even as Christ him­self was not of this world:" (εκ τα ex εισι, καθαs εyα εκ τs κοσμe ειμr John xvii:16:) 2. Its origin; as not from men's councils, but those of heaven: 3. its establishment; as not by human power, like the kingdoms of this world, " else would my servants fight; but now my kingdom is not from hence;" the Spirit blowing where it listeth, being in fact the power that establishes it: 4. its time of full establishment and glory; as not during the continuance of this world, του αιανσs τατοω but at its ending: at which time (Matt. xiii:43) " the just shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."

 

Archbishop Whateley in his well known Work on the Kingdom of Christ, already more than once referred to, appears to me to have greatly impoverished and un­derstated Christ's meaning in this declaration; by explaining it (p. 29) wholly or chiefly, as "the renunciation of all secular coercion in behalf of his religion." This view of the words in the text's latter clause arises from his viewing Christ's kingdom in the former clause as meaning only the earthly visible society, called the Church, in its earthly present state: for he says scarce α word in his Treatise of this earthly state being one in which many would profess to attach to Christ's kingdom that really do not, the tares as well as the wheat; or of the future state as that in which alone the true constituency of the kingdom will be separated from the untrue, and in perfect union and glory shine forth for ever. -- The dif­ferent views from this of Wicliff and of the Anglican Church have been shown before.

 

{2} Such is the singular idea put forth alike by Dr. Candlish in his Address to Students, p. 15, and Mr. Hamilton in his Harp on the Willows, p. 23. See espe­cially the former. It is very illustrative.

 

{3} See my Chapter on the Death and Resurrection of the two Witnesses.

 

{4} So Mr. Hamilton of the Scotch Church, Regent's-Square, in his Sermon entitled " Farewell to Egypt, or Departure of the Free Church out of the Eras­tian Establishment." And even Dr. Chalmers, in his Sermon before the Con­vocation, speaks of the ecclesiastical freedom sought by the Secession as "the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." -- Were the extract following a correct representation of its doctrine, would not entrance into the Free Church be a re-entering into Egyptian bondage? "They hold that the Lord Jesus is the only Head of the Church. In their ecclesiastical procedure they desire to follow his will, as that will is revealed in his word. They believe that the Spirit of God, speaking through spiritual men," (i. e. ecclesiastical rulers,) "is the sole interpreter of that word: and they cannot allow the commandments of men, the verdicts of secular courts, to interpose between them and their heavenly King." Harp on the Willows, p. 20 -- Uniting this claim to inspiration, and therefore to infallibility, in the interpretation of Scripture, (a dogma involving of course the prostration of all private judgment,) with its other claim to entire independence of the civil power in all matters that it may deem ecclesiastical, might not the governing body of the Secession almost fraternize with Oxford, indeed even with Rome itself? -- Let me beg to refer the reader, in illustration, to the sketches of the rise of the Papal power given Vol. iii. pp. 128-131, and 165-167.

 

 

HA290

seceders themselves,) {1} it seems rather, I say, to be a departure out of that which still is, as it was originally, one of the strong Protestant bulwarks against the Apocalyptic Egypt: and that alike by its principles on the headship and kingdom of Christ, doctrinally, and its disintegration of the Protestant orthodox body practically, the Secession is furnishing, however unintentionally and unconsciously, a most powerful help and strengthening to the cause of that self-same New Testament Egypt among us.

 

Alas! who that has any right feeling but must deplore the acrimonious bitterness now too common among Protestant dissenters alike in England and Scotland is it not of itself a sign scarce to be mistaken that an enemy, albeit disguised as an Angel of light, is the secret inspirer? Surely by all this spirit of disunion and agitation there seems to be almost an effort at directing the judgment of the last Vial against our beloved country by the band of its own children: -- that Vial which we have seen is to be poured out into the emblematic atmosphere of the Roman earth; and signifies, if, in common with earlier esteemed expositors, we have rightly conjectured its interpretation, {2} the dissolution of all the genial influences by which governments rule; and by which society is held together.

 

And can I omit altogether a word of affectionate address and warning to members of the Romish Church should there in God's providence be any such among the readers of this Commentary? If what has been here

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} See Vol. ii. p. 376, with the context.

 

{2} See pp. 88, 89 supra, with the Notes from Vitringa and Cuninghame.

 

 

HA291

written appear indeed to bear the stamp of God's own truth, (and I am well persuaded that not all the learning or ingenuity of Rome can in its main points confute it,) then may the Divine Spirit carry home conviction to them: and make the view of God's own judgment, here fully drawn out on the great questions at issue between Romanism and Protestantism, and the view too, which the prophecy gives us, of the probable nearness of the great day of his publicly pronouncing and acting out that judgment, to be like the warning cry in their ears, " If any man worship the Beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, and, shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever:" {1} or, rather, like that other kindlier voice from heaven, "Come out of her, my people," (for many, I doubt not, of this character through some delusion or ignorance are still, in respect of outward communion, in the Romish Church, although in spirit not of it,) " Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues; for her sins have reached unto heaven." {2}

 

But it is individually that the application of the subject is most important. And when thus personally applied, need I say how unspeakably deep and solemn its interest! It is not enough that we belong to the most orthodox Church, profess the most scriptural faith, and be even zealous for it against the many errors and heresies of the day. The question is, Are we of Christ's true disciples, his "little flock," to which alone the Father has given promise of the kingdom? {3} Have we then the evidence of belonging to it? Have we received the Apocalyptically-noted mark and seal of God's Holy Spirit; and the inward light, life, and spirit of holiness and adoption, which He alone can give? {4} Is our faith

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Apoc. xv:9-11.

 

{2} Apoc. xviii:4-5.

 

{3} Luke xii:32.

 

{4} Apoc. vii. See my Chapter on this Sealing Vision.

 

 

HA292

fixed on Christ as the sun of righteousness! {1} Do we hold to the written word in life, as well as in doctrine? {2} Do we witness for Christ in an apostate world; as in the world, but not of the world? Do we seek to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, {3} in holiness, spiritual mindedness, benevolence, self-denial, and patient perseverance in well-doing, through evil report as well as good report? Do we seek to improve our, several talents for him, as those that must soon give account? {4} Does our charity abound to Christ's flock and people? {5} Is the lamp of faith trimmed, and its light kept burning within us, as by men that watch for their Lord? {6} Is the thought of his coming precious to us? Do we look for, and love the thought of his appearing? {7} -- Doubtless there are many who can answer these questions in the affirmative. And happy are they. But there are many, more, it is to be feared, with whom misgivings will arise in the conscience, as they reflect upon them. Alas! who can doubt the prevalence, in what has been not inaptly called "the religious world," of much of false profession; much of the Laodicean spirit of luke-warmness, self-conceit, religious pride, earthly-mindedness; much of the characteristic deadness of the Church of Sardis, "having a name to live, but being dead?" {8} With all such, what cause is there, in contemplation of the coming future, for humiliation, holy fear, repentance! Blessed be God, though the acceptable time remaining be short, it is not ended. Though the Master seems to be on the point of rising, he has not as yet actually risen, and shut to the door. {9} Not only is the probationary period of permitted evil as well as good prolonged, as it is written," He that is unjust let him be unjust still, and he that is holy let him be holy still," {10}

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Apoc. x:1.

 

{2} Apoc. xii:17, &c.

 

{3} Apoc. xiv:4.

 

{4} Matt. xxv:14, &c. 1 Cor. iv:2.

 

{5} Matt. xxv:35, &c.

 

{6} Matt. xxv:7, Luke xii:35.

 

{7} 2 Peter iii:13, 2 Tim. iv:8.

 

{8} I know not any more searching passages in Holy Scripture, for self-application on this great question, than those suggested by the Lord's Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia.

 

(9} Luke xiii:25.

 

{10} Apoc. xxii:11. Such I conceive with Vitringa to be the meaning of this controverted text.

 

 

HA293

but the voice of mercy and love is also yet to be heard, inviting sinners to salvation; "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." {1}

 

For himself (if such personal allusion be permitted him) the Author cannot but recollect that awful declaration by Christ, "Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and I will say unto them, I never knew you," {2} as one that ought to suggest to him very solemn matter for self examination and fear. It is one thing intellectually and historically to search out Scripture truth; another, and very different, experimentally to know and feel it. The former he has done, he can truly say, without grudging of time or trouble: but to himself of what avail, if the latter be wanting? Under this feeling he will venture to address to every Christian reader this one parting request; -- that if, from the explanation of the holy Apocalyptic Book in the present Commentary, they may have received any spiritual light, comfort, or edification, then they will not refuse to make requital by prayer earnest and personal for him, that he may not fall under the condemnation just spoken of; nor, having preached to others, be found in that day of trial himself a castaway. -- At this present crisis of the world, this time of the end, in the evidence of prophecy, in the signs of the times, in the general agitation of Christendom, and the increased and increasing expectancy of him by his people, the Savior's voice seems to be heard, distinct and clear as perhaps never before, "Surely, I come quickly." God grant that it may be the privilege of both reader and writer, whether first summoned to meet Him by death, or by the brightness of his coming advent, to be enabled each one to answer the summons with the inmost soul's welcome," Amen! even so! come, Lord Jesus!"

 

-----------------------------------------

 

{1} Apoc. xxii:17.

 

{2} Matt. vii:22.