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HOME > Library > Books > Horae Apocalypticae by Rev. E. B. Elliott (1851 Edition)

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Horae Apocalypticae

by Rev. E. B. Elliott

1851 Edition (in 4 volumes)

Hail & Fire REPRINTS


"The Apocalyptic Comment of this Roman Catholic Prelate—Bossuet—deserves the more attention from us, as being written by one who is, I believe, confessedly the ablest as well as the most eloquent of controversialists on the Papal side; and written by him, deliberately and avowedly, in order to wrest out of the hands of Protestants a weapon used so often and so powerfully by them against his Church. And when in 1685, just after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, M. Jurieu, one of the exiled French Calvinist Ministers, had published that work on the Apocalyptic prophecy, of which I have just given an abstract, the Bishop of Meaux thought it well to take up the matter; and to apply his great talents to the drawing up of an Exposition, such as might be conformable with the dogmas and requirements of the Romish faith, and sufficiently strong and solid (so he expected) to withstand the criticism of Protestants.—I now proceed to give a sketch of it. It is framed very much more on Alcasar's plan, and that of Grotius and Hammond who had followed Alcasar; not Ribera's: i. e. on that of the praeterists, not of the futurists. The grand subject of the prophecy he conceives to be the triumph of Christianity over Judaism and Paganism:—i. e. over Paganism as established in the Roman empire; and, in the Jewish part, with reference only to the later calamities of the Jews, not to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. For as Bossuet judged the Apocalypse to have been written under Domitian, that destruction by Titus had happened, in his opinion, before the giving of the Apocalypse."

Rev. E. B. Elliott

"Horae Apocalypticae"

1851 Edition, In 4 Volumes

Partial View

by Rev. E. B. Elliott

HAIL & FIRE 2011


The Romish Apocalyptic Expositors of the Era and Century of the Reformation



From the End of the Century of the Reformation, about A. D. 1610, to the French Revolution



Dr. Cressener


Sir I. Newton



Firmin Abauzit

Hernnschneider and Eichhorn

From the French Revolution to the Present Time

Pere Lambert




Critical Examination and Refutation of the Three Chief Counter-Schemes of Apocalyptic Interpretation; and also of Dr. Arnold's General Prophetic Counter Theory

Examination and Refutation of the German Neronic Praeteriast Apocalyptic Counter-Scheme

The Romish Apocalyptic Expositors of the Era and Century of the Reformation

It seems, as both Foxe and Brightman report to us, that for some time following the Reformation the Romish Doctors were very shy of the subject.(1) At its first outbreak indeed, on Luther's anti-Papal protest, some unguarded Doctors of the Papacy, in the true spirit of the 5th Council of Lateran, just then concluded, which had solemnly identified the then existing Romish Church with the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse,(2) —I say there were certain Doctors, as Prierio and Eck, so unguarded as to take up the Lateran theory, and broadly declare the Papal dominion to be Daniel's 5th monarchy, or reign of the saints.(3) But what then of the little horn, or Antichrist; that was to intervene, according to Daniel's manifest declaration, between old Rome's iron empire and the saints' reign? The question was so puzzling that it must have been abundantly palpable to all thoughtful Romanists that such a Danielic theory was untenable; and that some better one must be taken up, if the Papal citadel were to be defended on prophetic grounds. The same of the Apocalypse. So at length, as the century was advancing to a close, two stout Jesuists took up the gauntlet; and published their respective, but quite counter opinions on the Apocalyptic subject:—the one Ribera, a Jesuit Priest of Salamanca, who about a.d. 1585 published an Apocalyptic Commentary, which was on the grand points of Babylon and Antichrist what we now call the futurist scheme: the other Alcasar, also a Spanish Jesuit, but of Seville, whose scheme was on main points what we now designate as that of the prieterists. Either suited the great object of the writers nearly equally well; viz. that of setting aside all application of the prophecies of Antichrist from the existing Church of Rome : the one by making the prophecy stop altogether short of Papal Rome ; the other by making it overleap almost altogether the immense interval of time (that of the Popedom's dominancy inclusive) which had elapsed since the prophecy was given, and plunge in its pictures of Antichrist into a yet distant future, just before the consummation. Ribera's futurist Commentary, when first published, excited vehemently the indignation of our countryman Brightman; and indeed served to hasten on his own antagonistic and masterly exposition of the Apocalypse.8 Again Alcasar's was published just in time to receive the notice, criticisms, and rebuke of the Protestant expositor Pareus. (5) From the notices in which latter author, and a few too that have met my eye elsewhere, I now abstract a brief sketch of either exposition. I so borrow from others because of my not having had access personally to the commentaries themselves.

1. Ribera.

And let me at the outset beg the reader to observe, respecting this expositor, that he had not the hardihood which has been manifested by modern Futurists, to suppose the plunge into the distant future of the consummation to be made by the Apocalypse at its outset. For while, as Pareus states, Ribera has thought good to explicate the argument of the Apocalypse as if it were nothing else but certain commentaries upon our Lord's prophecy in Matthew 24(6) he makes it begin with the early period of the Church. So his 1st Seal's white horse and rider signify the gospel-triumphs of the apostolic aera; his 3rd Seal's black horse and rider, heresies; his 4th Seal the violence of Trajan's persecutions of the Church, and multitude of deaths of Christians under it, by sword, famine, wild beasts, &c. At length in the 6th Seal Ribera explains the phaenomena there figured as meant of the signs before Christ's second coming spoken of in Matthew 24 and Luke 21(7) and construes the sealing vision too, with all that follows in the Apocalypse, to have reference to the times of Antichrist: the 4 winds (life-giving winds) being meant literally ; and their restraint by the 4 good Angels indicating the calamities then destined to fall on the persecutors of the saints. (8)

Passing to the 7th Seal Ribera explains the incense-offering Angel to be Gabriel; and the thunderings, &c, consequent to signify generally the judgments impending. Which judgments of the four first Trumpets he explains literally:—as plagues respectively of hail, of some great fiery globe (qu. as of a comet?) cast into the sea; of a fiery exhalation falling from heaven; and of signs in the sun and moon, such as in Matthew 24. The locusts of the 5th Trumpet however he expounds figuratively of a woe of cruel and barbarous invading armies, (as barbarous as the Goths and Vandals of old,) with their crowned kings leading them on against the Church. In the 6th Trumpet the four angels are evil angels, bound at Christ's first coming, but now at length let loose to hurt men.(9) —In Apoc. x the descending angel is the same that proclaimed about the book in Apoc. 5; and who swears that, because of men's not having been led to repent by the six previous Trumpet-plagues, the end of the world and last judgment are now at hand.(10) —St. John's direction to prophesy again meant simply that he had still many things to predict against the Gentiles.—In Apoc. 11 alike the temple and holy city figured the Church: and the city's being given to be trod by Gentiles meant that it would be obtained and occupied by Antichrist, with armies consisting of heathenish men.(11) Ribera's slaughter-place for the two witnesses (who are, I presume, Enoch and Elias,) by Antichrist, or the Beast from the abyss, is the city Jerusalem(12) their 3½ days of death denoting Antichrist's 3½ years. The 7th Trumpet is that of the last judgment: but it is here noted by anticipation; as the prophecy reverts to a description of Antichrist's kingdom and doings.(13)

In Apoc. 12 Ribera acts out the futurist. The woman is the Church travailing in the last times, just before the 3½ years of Antichrist; seeing that her 3½ years in the wilderness coincides with those of Antichrist's reign: for he identifies the Dragon with the Beast Antichrist.(15) Then as to the Beast and his great city Babylon, in Apoc. 13 and 17, here is the main point in Ribera's system. He admits that the Woman in Apoc. 17 is Rome, Papal Rome; and argues from 17:16, that shortly before the consummation the ten kings, figured in the Beast's ten horns, shall overthrow Rome; this being probably before the coming of Antichrist. But how so, seeing that the Woman is seen sitting on the Beast from the abyss, which in Apoc. 11 Ribera had admitted to be Antichrist? Because in this chapter 17, with marvellous inconsistency, he makes the Beast to be the Devil reigning. Yet in Apoc. 29, just after, when the Beast is taken, (of course the same as in the preceding chapters,) and the Dragon, and False Prophet, he admits the Beast to be Antichrist, just as in Apoc. 11.(16) Elsewhere Ribera doubts whether it will be the ten kings before Antichrist, or Antichrist that will destroy Rome, after having his seat a while there.(17) But what of the Pope when Rome is destroyed? Ribera, admitting that the Papal seat will be destroyed, says that notwithstanding the Pope will still he the Roman Bishop, though he sits not at Rome; just as during the absence of 70 years at Avignon.(18) In Apoc. 16 the vial-plagues are expounded literally, as those on Egypt. In Apoc. 18 Rome's burning is explained to be in judgment on the sins both of old Pagan Rome, and of Rome apostatized.

On the millennium Ribera follows Augustine. It is the whole time from Christ's resurrection to Antichrist's kingdom: the new Jerusalem being viewed by him, Parseus seems to hint, as a figure of the Church of Rome.(20)

2. Alcasar.

Of this expositor, and his Praeterist system, Pareus gives a very succinct and clear sketch, which I cannot do better than copy. Alcasar, he tells us,(21) explained the Revelation of John as teaching, "that Rome, of old the head of Pagan idolatry, by an admirable vicissitude was to be changed into the metropolis of the Catholic Church; that the Roman Church was gloriously to triumph both in respect of the Roman city and the whole empire; and that the sovereign authority of the Romish Pope should always remain in the height of honour." Alcasar exults, and gratulates the Pope, that he first out of the darkness of the Apocalypse should have showed this light. But surely, observes Pareus, this might cause laughter or shame even to the Roman Court itself.

Further, Pareus states that Alcasar's general argument is that the Apocalypse describes a twofold war of the Church; one with the Synagogue, the other with Paganism; and a twofold victory and triumph over both adversaries. More particularly the development of the subject was thus:—1. from Apoc. 1—11 the rejection of the Jews, and desolation of Jerusalem by the Romans:(22) 2. from Apoc. 12—20, both inclusive, the overthrow of Paganism, and establishment of the empire of the Roman Church over Rome and the whole world; the judgment of the great Whore, and destruction of Babylon, being effected by Constantine and his successors: 3. in Apoc. 21, 22, under the type of the Lamb's Bride, the New Jerusalem, a description of the glorious and triumphant state of the Roman Church in heaven? (23)


1. "Post Thomam ilium haud quisquam fere sit ex tota illa cohorte Pontificia, infinitaque scribentium multitudine, qui vel verbum in hanc Apocalypsim commentare sit ausus." Praefat.

2. See my Vol. ii. 425—427.

3. So Merle d'Aubigne, ii. 138, of Silvestre Mazzolini de Prierio, Master of the Sacred Palace at Rome ; writing against Luther, "que la domination Papale etoit la cinquieme monarcliie de Daniel, et la seule veritable." Also of Eck, in the Leipsic dispute ; ibid. 61. (3rd Ed. Paris.)

4. So in the Dedication of his Comment " to the Holy Reformed Churches of Britain, Germany, and France." Says Brightman: " But mine anger and indignation burst out against the Jesuits. For when as I had by chance light upon Ribera, who had made a Commentary upon this same holy Revelation, Is it even so? said I. Do the Papists take heart again ; so as that book, which of a long time before they would scarce suffer any man to touch, they dare now take in hand, to intreat fully upon it? What! was it VOL. IV. 2 H but a vain image or bug, at the sight whereof they were wont to tremble a few years since, even in the dim light, that now they dare be bold to look wishly upon this glasse in the clear sunshine; and dare proclaime to the world that any other thing rather is poynted at in it than their Pope of Rome?

5. Pareus' notices appear partly in his Preface, partly in the body of his Commentary.

6. Pareus, Pref. p. 16.

7. Ibid. pp. 112, 116, 123.—On the 5th Seal Ribera says that the Apocalyptic figure of souls under the altar ct had respect to the ancient custom of Christians laying up the relics of saints under the altar. ' For when,1 saith he,' an altar is builded there is made under it a sepulchre for to keep the relics: and the priest, dipping his fingers in the chrism, makes the sign of the cross upon the four corners of the sepulchre, &c.'" But in this, remarks Pareus, " Ribera is to be hissed at:.. for this custom is superstitious and gross idolatry, idly invented many years after." p. 119.

8. Ib. 137,138.

9. Ib. pp. 153, 159, 162,164, 176, 185.

10. Ib. 197.

11. Ib. 212, 215.

12. Ib. 235.

13. Cressener, p. 176 : who adds that on Apoc. xx Ribera inconsistently objects to the year-day principle.

14. Ib. 247.

15. Ib. 256, 260, 265.

16. Ib. 438, 441, 450 of Apoc. xvi.

17. Ib. 441, 442.

18. Ib. 441.—And so Bellarmine, says Malvenda; i. 350.

19. Ib. 456.

20. Ib. 507, 549.—Says Ribera, Malvenda, i. 402, contends strongly that it is absurd to suppose that the old Roman empire has not been taken away (defecit), so as the old fathers expected, because of the German empire being still called the Roman empire. This is but, says he, in rather curious accord with Luther, the simulacrum or ghost of the old empire. Let me here add that Belarmine closely followed Ribera in time and prophetic views. Only, instead of partially applying the year-day principle, as Ribera had done, he declares absolute war against it; anticipating Dr. S. R. Maitland in some of his arguments. So far as I know it was now for the first time since St. John that the principle was formally denounced.

21. Pref. p. 16.

22. Yet Alcasar confesses the later Domitianic date of the Apocalypse. Ib. 17.

23. Ib. 17.—Alcasar'a Commentary was the result, as Malvenda tells us, (i. 333,) of above 40 years' study.

The general character of Alcasar's Commentary is given in the text. It may be well perhaps to add one or two less important particulars here.—And 1st let me state, with reference to the 3½ days of the witnesses lying dead, that Alcasar applies it to the Jewish persecution of Christians ; leaving it indifferently to be taken either for so many years, or months. (Par. 240.) Thus Bellarmine's attack on the year-day principle had not convinced Alcasar.—2. He strongly impugns the interpretation of the Beast of Apoc. 13 as Antichrist; declaring it to be indubitably the Roman Pagan Empire. On this he has a battle with Malvenda; i. 439—441.—3rdly he has another battle with Malvenda on account of his patronizing in any measure Ribera and Bellarmine's idea that the Babylon of Apoc. 17 might mean Rome in the last days, becoming heathen again, ejecting the Pope, and persecuting Christians. Ib. 350-4. Alcasar makes the Church's millennium of rest to date from the destruction of old Parian Rome, his Apocalyptic Babylon. Alcasar's contemporary, I see, the monk Pinto, made Daniel's 45 days = 45 years.

From the End of the Century of the Reformation, about A. D. 1610, to the French Revolution

Our sixth Section of the History of Apocalyptic Interpretation opens naturally with Mede, Pareus' immediate successor; then passes to Jurieu, Cressener, Bossuet, Vitringa, and Daubuz, as the next Expositors of chief repute among Romanists and Protestants; then to Sir Isaac Newton, Whiston, and Bishop Newton.

1. Mede. —It was in 1627 that Mede first published his Clavis Apocalyptica, in 1632 his Commentary. The reputation of these works, especially in England, is well known. He was looked on, and written of, as a man almost inspired for the solution of the Apocalyptic mysteries. And certainly of his learning, as well of his modesty and worth, there might well be entertained a high opinion. Yet, if it be permitted to express freely an opinion on so great a man, it seems to me that his success has been over-estimated as an Apocalyptic Expositor. For if on some important points he much advanced the science, on others I conceive him to have very materially caused it to retrograde. This will appear as I proceed.

The Tahular Scheme of his views appended on my next page, and the observations on them scattered through the Horae, will do away with the necessity of entering into them so particularly as might other-wise have been desirable. Suffice it to say with reference to the Seals, that the 1st Seal is supposed by Mede to depict the early gospel victories ; the 2nd the wars of Trajan and Hadrian; the 3rd, the severe justice, and procuration of corn, notable in the reigns of the two Severi; the 4th, the famine, pestilence, and murderous wars of the aera of Gallienus; the 5th, Diocletian's persecution; the 6th, the overthrow of Paganism and its empire by Constantine.—Again of the Trumpets, the 1st is explained of Alaric ; the 2nd of the Gothic and Vandal desolators of the Empire, that followed, down to Genseric; the 3d of the extinction of the Hesperus, or Western Empire, by Odoacer; the 4th, of the ravages of Totilas, whereby Rome received its last desolations ; the 5th, of the Saracens ; the 6th, of the Turks.—In most of which particulars I conceive Mede to have made advances to the true interpretation : adjusting the 5th and 6th Seals, as he did, to the times respectively of Diocletian and Constantine, not of Claudius and Diocletian like Bright-man ; while following Brightman mainly in the exposition (the Rome-referring exposition) of the four Seals previous(1) and also in the four earlier Trumpets, instead of Brightman's "contention, ambition, heresy, and war," applying the emblems to prefigure the successive epochs in the Goths' desolations and overthrow of the Western Empire. In the evolution, however, of the particular details he seems to me unsuccessful: the one third of the four first Trumpets having no definite explanation ; and the land, sea, and rivers being expounded loosely and figuratively, so as I have stated in my Vol. i. p. 331. The two prophetic periods in the fifth and sixth Trumpets are explained by him, as are all the other prophetic periods, on the year-day principle:—the locusts' 150 days of the ravages of the Saracens on the Italian coast from a.d. 830 —980; a solution certainly anything but happy;(2) the Euphratean horsemen's hour day month and year, much more happily, of the 396 years' interval, from the Turkman's investiture with the sword by the Caliph at Bagdad, a.d. 1057, to the destruction of Constantinople, a.d. 1453.(3) In his reference of the smoke and sulphur of the sixth Trumpet to the Turkish cannon, he well follows Brightman: explaining the figures definitely, and according to the analogy of Scripture prophecies, from visible appearances: and adds too, as illustrative of the meaning of the emblem in the fifth trumpet, a notice from Pliny of the flowing hair of the Saracens, on the same interpretative principle.(4)

But now comes what seems to me to have been the most unfortunate as well as most striking novelty in Mede's Commentary ; viz. his explanation of the little book in Apoc. 10, as a new and distinct prophecy from that of the seven-sealed book: the Covenant-Angel's descent and lion-like cry, the seven answering thunders, the Angel's oath, and the giving John the book to eat, being merely introductory to, and the ushering in of, this new prophecy. "The former prophecy," says he, ''was of the fates of the Roman Empire; this, by far nobler, of the fates of religion and the Church. "Hence, besides a departure from all simplicity of Apocalyptic arrangement,(5) the setting aside also of that which had been the most striking and admirable feature in the Protestant Commentaries of the preceding aera; viz. the application of the vision of the Covenant-Angel's descent, with John's prophesying again, and his measuring of the temple, more or less to the great Protestant Reformation. Reasons Mede gives none; except that the charge, "Thou must prophesy again," indicated a new prophecy; that which assuredly the word prophecy need not indicate.(6) and which involves too the setting aside of the representative character of St. John; a view so early taken, so long cherished, and so excellently applied by the Reformers on this particular passage, though never indeed fully carried out. Unfounded, however, as was Mede's view of this vision, and of the little book, it has been repeated and perpetuated by Apocalyptic Expositors, to the great obscuration of the Apocalypse, even to the present day.(7) —The prophecy of the little book thus introduced, Mede begins its development by the further very singular interpretations, first of John's measuring of the inner court and temple, then of his casting out the outer court and not measuring it, as indicating two chronologically successive states of the Church, of lengths proportional:(8) the first the more primitive Church of the first three or four centuries, which was conformed to the rule of God's word; the second that which succeeded, and was in character gentilized and apostate. With which latter coincide the 1260 days, or years, of Christ's two Witnesses' prophesying in sackcloth; the two signifying many, or sufficient at least to keep up a valid testimony.—So Mede comes to the clause, Apoc. 11:7, "When they shall have completed," or, as he renders it, "when they shall be about finishing their testimony, the Beast shall kill them," &c: a passage which he construes as predicting what was still in his time future; and that which would immediately precede the fall of Papal Rome. For the tenth part of the city, whose fall is mentioned immediately after the Witnesses' resurrection and ascension, (ascent to political eminence, says Mede,) is made by him to mean the whole city of modern Rome, as being but the tenth part of ancient Rome: a curious notion ; and which he illustrates by an ilchnographical plate, exhibiting the comparative size of the two cities.

In Apoc. 12 the vision of the Woman and Dragon is explained of Constantine's war with, and overthrow of, the Roman Pagan Emperors and Paganism.—In Apoc. 13 and 17 the first Beast is the Roman Secular Empire, or Decem-regal Body of Western Christendom,(9) under the Pope, as the Beast's last ruling head:(10) the five heads of the old Roman Empire, that had fallen in St. John's time, being Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, and Military Tribunes, so as they had been interpreted by Fulke, Foxe, and others; the 6th, or head reigning when St. John saw the vision, the Imperial Caesars; (Caesars then Pagan, but destined in time to be changed into Christian Caesars, which last might be reckoned a new head to the Beast, says Mede, or might not;(11)) the seventh the Popes; the Beast's deadly wound having been sustained in passing from the sixth to the seventh or last head.(12) —The second Beast was the Pope and Papal clergy;(13) the image of the Beast the first Beast itself, or secular decem-regal Empire; as being (if I rightly understand Mede) but the shadow and revived ghost of the old Roman Empire, or Beast under its sixth head.(14) The Beast's name and number is Λατηινοσ. —In Apoc. 14 the first flying Angel Mede makes to be Vigilantius and the early iconoclastic Emperors; the second, the Waldenses; the third, Luther.—In Apoc. 16 the Vials, which he considers to figure the de-struction of Antichrist, are 1st, the wound given to the Popedom by the Waldenses, Wicliffites, and Hussites; 2nd, Luther's secession and protest; 3rd, Queen Elizabeth's secession and protest; these three Vials being past, the rest future. Of which last the fourth, on the sun, would be on the German Emperor, as chief luminary in the Papal Imperial system; and, while I write, says Mede, news is brought of a Prince from the north (meaning Gustavus Adolphus) gaining victories over the Emperor, in defence of the afflicted German Protestants: the 5th Vial, that on the seat of the Beast, meaning one on Rome; the 6th, that of the drying up of the Euphratean flood, the exhaustion of the Turkish Empire;(15) by the which the way of the Jews from the East would be prepared: the 7th and last, on the air, being one on Satan's power, as the Prince of the power of the air.

Finally, as all know, the millennium is construed by Mede, like as by the oldest patristic expositors, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, &c; the first resurrection being the literal resurrection of the saints, fulfilled on Christ's coming to Antichrist's destruction. As to the New Jerusalem Mede regards it as of millennial chronology ; at least in its commencement.(16)

2. Jurieu.

It was in 1685, just after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, that Jurieu, who was one of the exiled French Calvinist ministers, published his work on the Apocalypse(17) a work mainly based on Mede's views ; but with various new particular applications to his own time and country.(18) A brief notice of these will suffice.

In the Seals Jurieu only differs from Mede by expounding the first Seal not of Christ, but of a Roman subject, and Roman emperors;(19) (viz. of Vespasian's and Titus's victories and general prosperity;) this consisting well with Mede's explanation, which Jurieu adopts, of the horses and horsemen of the three next Seals, as having reference to the times of the Roman emperors Hadrian, Severus, and Gallienus, respectively. The 5th and 6th Seals are explained by him of the times of Diocletian and Constantine.

In the Trumpets, while otherwise following Mede, Jurieu improves on him by expounding the fallen star in the 3rd Trumpet that made bitter the third part of the rivers, not of the extinction of the Western Empire by Odoacer, but of a certain part of the Gothic ravages of Western Christendom: (viz. of those in the provinces, which were like the empire's rivers; Rome and Italy being as the sea:) the extinction of the Western Emperors being symbolized by the darkening of the heavenly lights in the 4th Trumpet.(20) The 5th and 6th Trumpets he explains, after Mede, of the Saracens and Turks.

The little book he interprets with Mede as a new prophecy : and adopts the idea too thrown out by our English expositor, that as the unmeasured state of the court, or Church, was to be for 3½ times, i. e. 1260 years, so the proportion of the Jewish temple proper to the court indicated the Church's previous better and measured state to be about 360 years; an indication agreeable with fact.(21) The Beast moreover he explains like Mede: making its 7th head to be the Papal Antichrist; and the possible two-fold division of the 6th or imperial head into Pagan and Christian emperors, to be the solution of the enigma of the last head being both the 8th and the 7th.

In his 12th Chapter, on the Witnesses, Jurieu expresses his opinion that the last persecution of Christ's people had commenced in the year 1655, "when the Duke of Savoy undertook to destroy the faithful of the vallies of Piedmont;" and which had, when he wrote, "already lasted 30 years." This was followed in 1671 by "the persecution of the Churches of Siberia, Moravia, Hungary;" and then, in 1685, by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. In which last act he considers the death of the two Apocalyptic Witnesses to have begun at least to have fulfilment: their prefigured resurrection being anticipated by him either in 3½ years from that date, or 3½ years from some further act of the same persecution, as extended perhaps to the Waldenses, or other Protestant Christians: an act such as might furnish a kind of extended commencing date to the 3½ mystic days of the Witnesses lying dead in the street of the great Papal city, or empire; i. e. as he judged, in France.(22) —Further, he thought that the tenth of the great city destined to fall, on the Witnesses' ascent, meant also France; which would fall from the Popedom by embracing the Reformation. After this, some time might probably elapse in order to the full effect of the exposure of Antichrist: and thus the epoch of the fall of the Popedom might probably occur about A. D. 1710 or 1715; this being the end of the 1260 years, as computed from A. D. 450 or 455.(23)

In the details of the Vials Jurieu altogether deserts Mede and other preceding expositors; though agreeing with Mede in placing them mainly under the 6th Trumpet.(24) "I am persuaded," he adds, "that God bath heard and answered the very ardent desire which I have had to pierce into these profound mysteries; to the end that I might descry the deliverance of his Church."(25) So, the Vials generally being regarded by him as "the steps by which the Babylonish (or Papal) empire passes to come to its ruin," (26) the 1st Vial is explained by him as the gross corruption of Popery, and outbreaking of its open sores, in the 10th century: Vials 2 and 3 figured the bloodshedding in the earlier and later crusades: Vial 4 was the intolerable scorching of the Papal despotism, from the llth to the 14th century: Vial 5, on the seat of the Beast, was the transference of the Pope's residence from Rome to Avignon: Vial 6 was the drying up, as it were, of the Bosphorus, before the Turks, and their consequent overthrow of Constantinople and Eastern Christendom; which Bosphorus had been previously the Eastern barrier to Greek Christendom, so as had been the Euphrates in old times to the Roman empire: Vial 7 was the earthquake of the Reformation: the great City, or Papal Christendom, being after it divided into the three divisions of Papists, Lutherans, and Reformed; for as to the English Church, since it was in communion with the Reformed, it could not be considered a fourth division.(27) —As to the time remaining after this, before the final judgment on Babylon, it could not, added Jurieu, be long. "The 7th Vial hath already lasted longer than any of the rest; and it is probable that it must last about 200 years, [i. e. from 1517.] But the reason of this is that this 7th period is itself divided into three other periods, the harvest, the vintage, and the time that is betwixt the harvest and the vintage. The harvest is already past;(28) the time betwixt the harvest and the vintage is almost expired. We are approaching the vintage; and at this day ought to say, Come, Lord Jesus, Come." (29)

On the millennium Jurieu shows that it never yet had had fulfillment; anticipating from it a reign of the saints on earth, the Jews' restoration, and fulfilment concurrently of the prophecies of the blessedness of the latter day in the Old Testament. He also decidedly inclines to think that the first resurrection is a literal resurrection of the departed saints; then at length to take part in the glory of the manifested kingdom of Christ.

3. I turn to Jurieu's English contemporary, Dr. Cressener.

During the reigns of Charles the 2nd and James the 2nd, now just ended, a mighty change had come over the spirit of the dream, at least among the ministers and adherents of the established Church of England, from that which had rested on the minds, and dictated the acts, of the founders and chief ornaments of that Church in the century of the Reformation. The religion of Rome had become not only fashionable at court, but the religion covertly or avowedly of the reigning kings themselves. Moreover the sufferings of the episcopal clergy during the 15 years' ascendancy of Cromwell and the Puritans had tended to make them look on the latter as their nearest and chiefest enemy; and, by a consequence not unnatural, to regard Popery with less of disfavor, and sometimes even with the thought and desire for friendly approximation and union. This feeling could not but have its effect on the current view of the prophecies in Daniel and the Apocalypse, which had been hitherto by the Reformers, alike German Swiss and English, applied un-doubtingly to the Roman Popedom. By the celebrated Dutch scholar and politician Grotius, and by our English Dr. Hammond, a preterist view was adopted of the Apocalyptic prophecy about the Beast and his great city Babylon, very like Alcasar's;(30) referring it all to the old Pagan Roman city and empire. Dr. Cressener himself, writing in the year 1690, strongly speaks of the change: (I subjoin the passage,(31) as well worth with the Popes. And he suggests Justinian's aera as that of the commencement of the last head.(32) The image of the Beast he makes to be the Roman Church, the name Λατηινοσ.(33) The death of the two Witnesses, caused hy the Beast, he explains, after Jurieu, as probably occurring at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and the nearly contemporary expulsion of the Waldenses.(34)

Altogether Cressener's book must be regarded as an important accession to the Protestant cause, and Protestant argument, against the Romanists.

4. Bossuet.

The Apocalyptic Comment of this Roman Catholic Prelate deserves the more attention from us, as being written by one who is, I believe, confessedly the ablest as well as the most eloquent of controversialists on the Papal side; and written by him, deliberately and avowedly, in order to wrest out of the hands of Protestants a weapon used so often and so powerfully by them against his Church. And when in 1685, just after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, M. Jurieu, one of the exiled French Calvinist Ministers, had published that work on the Apocalyptic prophecy, of which I have just given an abstract, the Bishop of Meaux thought it well to take up the matter; and to apply his great talents to the drawing up of an Exposition, such as might be conformable with the dogmas and requirements of the Romish faith, and sufficiently strong and solid (so he expected) to withstand the criticism of Protestants.(35) —I now proceed to give a sketch of it. It is framed very much more on Alcasar's plan, and that of Grotius and Hammond who had followed Alcasar; not Ribera's: i. e.(36) on that of the praeterists, not of the futurists. The grand subject of the prophecy he conceives to be the triumph of Christianity over Judaism and Paganism:—i. e. over Paganism as established in the Roman empire; and, in the Jewish part, with reference only to the later calamities of the Jews, not to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. For as Bossuet judged the Apocalypse to have been written under Domitian, that destruction by Titus had happened, in his opinion, before the giving of the Apocalypse.—The details are as follows.

The six first Seals exhibit the subject in the general. There is 1st Christ's moving forth as a conqueror; then in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Seals, his judgments of war, famine, and pestilence, on the enemies of Christianity; then, in the 5th Seal, persecutions of Christians, and the reason of God's delay of judgments, viz. till the number of his martyrs be completed and his elect taken out from the infidels, wherever they might be hid : further, in the 6th, a picture of political convulsion and revolution; applicable first to the overthrow of the Jewish people; secondly to that of the Roman empire; thirdly to what the others might be considered in a manner typical of, that is the general judgment.

Then to particulars. —After an illustration in the 7th chapter of what was said in Seal 5 of the cause of the delay of God's judgments, by a representation of the sealing of such as were elect unto salvation among the Jews, and also of the salvation of Gentile martyrs innumerable, from out of the empire of Pagan Rome,(37) the first four Trumpets, according to Bossuet, thus depicted the progress of God's judgments against the Jews. Trumpet 1 shewed the primary victory over the Jews by Trajan; Trumpet 2, the victories over them by Adrian; Trumpet 3, and its following star, the impostor Barchochebas, ("son of a star,") declaring himself the Messiah, and so stirring up his countrymen to the war; Trumpet 4, the obscuration of the Scriptures, especially of the prophetic Scriptures, (which were as luminaries to the Jews,) by the compilation of their Talmud: the subjects particularly obscured being Christ who is the sun, and the Church the moon. In all which Trumpets the third part, spoken of as affected, meant that not all the Jews would be killed, not all the light extinguished, &c.—Then the subject passed from the Jews ; the 5th Trumpet being one of transition from the subject of Jews to Jewish heresies and errors. For in Trumpet 5 the scorpion-locusts were Judaizing heresies introduced into the Christian Church about 196 a.d, soon after Adrian's destruction of the Jews by Theodotus of Byzantium, and continued onwards to Artemon and Paul of Samosata; heresies concerning the Trinity and Christ's Divinity: the commission not to kill, but only to torment, showing that this plague was not one of invading warrior-foes.(38) About a. d. 260 or 270 this woe passed away; the Council of Antioch a.d. 264 ending it. Then, just at that time, Trumpet 6 exhibited the woe of an invading enemy of horsemen from the Euphrates: viz. the Persians; who after a while overthrew, and took captive, the emperor Valerian.

In Apoc. 10 Bossuet, like Mede, makes the little book a prophecy; but only as the remainder of that of the seven-sealed Book, after the 6th Trumpet: the contents being developed in the chapters following. —Thus in Apoc. xi, after the measuring of the temple, or Church, by St. John, indicating that whatever the violence of persecution, there was a temple they could not destroy,—we have then first a general view of Christ's witnesses and martyrs, during the persecutions of Pagan Rome; some (for example that of the emperor Valerian) lasting near about 3½ years;(39) though that particular term of time, or its equivalent 42 months, was used rather by borrowing from the history of the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, or the drought under Elias; besides signifying a certain limit of time, ordained by God to one and all of them. Next, and when the Witnesses should have finished their testimony under Pagan Rome, there is the prophecy of Diocletian's persecution of them, (Diocletian the Beast from the abyss,) and temporary suppression of the Christian worship, in the great city of Rome and the Roman empire;(40) followed, however, quickly by a figuration of the revival under Constantine:—the tenth of the great city falling, and 7000 slain, figurative of the overthrow of the Pagan emperors and forces; and the song in heaven, on the 7th Trumpet's sounding, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ," having reference to the establishment of Christianity then effected in the Roman empire. A more particular figuration of which, and of its consequences, followed in the next chapter. For the male-child of the travailing Woman, or Church, was Constantine and other Christian emperors, succeeding him: the war of the Dragon against the Woman before her child-birth being that of the Diocletianic persecution; the war in heaven, immediately afterwards, that which ended in the fall of Paganism under Galerius and Maxentius; the floods cast out of the Dragon's mouth, when the Woman was fleeing to the desert, that of Maximin; and the Dragon's next war against the remnant of the Woman's seed that of Licinius against Constantine. Then in Apoc. 13, came the figuring of the revival as it were of Diocletian (the Beast that had killed the Witnesses) in the apostate Julian;(41) though the 6th head wounded to death was Maximin : the second Beast, with two lamb-like horns, figuring Julian's Pagan priests and philosophers, pretending to miracles and moral maxims like those of Christianity; the image of the Beast, images of Pagan gods made to speak oracles, &c, by the Pagan priesthood while the Beast's name and number (here, we see, Bossuet refers to the original, not the revived Beast) was Diocles Augustus.

Then in Apoc. xiv the prophecy proceeds to announce the fall of Rome and of the Roman empire, through the Gothic invasion. The harvest-judgment is that by Alaric; the vintage that by Attila .—The Vials trace out the same subject more particularly, and as beginning from an earlier date. The η λ κος of the 1st Vial was the great plague in the time of Valerian and Gallienus; the 2nd Vial figured the bleeding empire, as if dead; the 3rd, the civil wars and thirty tyrants; the 4th, the drought and famine of that period, commemorated by Cyprian; the 5th, Valerian's defeat by the Persians; the 6th, the drying up of the Euphratean barrier, and opening of a passage into the empire to the kings from the East, i. e. the Persians; the frogs, the magicians, &c., who urged on Valerian to his fated Armageddon, i. e. the field of battle where he was captured by the Persians; the 7th, on the air, with its earthquake and hail, the capture of Rome by Alaric.

Yet again, Apoc. xvii reveals other important points in the subject, more in detail. The Beast's seven heads were Diocletian, Galerius, Maximian, Constantius Chlorus, the four emperors in whose joint names the first Edict of persecution went forth; together with Maxentius, Maximin, and Licinius, three persecuting emperors afterwards added. At the precise time to which the vision related, a.d. 312, five of these had fallen, viz. the first mentioned four and Maxentius: one was, viz. Maximin: Licinius, the seventh, had not yet come; i. e. as a persecuting emperor. It was further said, "the eighth king is of the seven, and goes into perdition." This was Mammian: who was of the original four, but had abdicated ; and then became emperor again.—(Julian is not here brought forward by Bossuet.) Further, in this chapter, Apoc. 17:16-17, there was the very striking prophecy about the ten horns on the Beast. They were to give their power to the Beast till the words of God were fulfilled; yet to hate the Harlot, and tear her. So were the Goths, Vandals, &c, long admitted as soldiers into the Roman armies, and as allies into the Roman territory: (does not Bossuet here make the Beast to be Rome?) yet did they afterwards tear and desolate the Woman; i. e. ravage Rome and its empire.(42) —The millennium Bossuet explains as the period of the Church's supremacy (43) until Antichrist's short reign, on Satan's loosing, near the end of the world: (44) the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem, as figures of the saints' heavenly glory. (45)

3. Vitringa is the next Apocalyptic Expositor that calls for our notice. He was Theological Professor in the Academy of Franeker for many years, till his death in 1722: and from that petty Dutch town, near the mouth of the Zuyder Zee, sent forth those masterly and learned works on Isaiah and the Apocalypse, which have always been regarded as placing him on a high rank among Biblical expositors. His Apocalyptic Commentary, under the title of Α να κκισις Apocalypseos, was first published at Franeker, a.d. 1705. My notices of it in the body of my work are frequent. Hence the less need of any extended sketch.

Alike the seven Epistles, seven Seals and seven Trumpets, (though not the seven Vials,) were deemed by him to be representations of the successive states and fortunes of the Christian Church, from St. John's time to the consummation: with reference however not to the same, but to very different aeras, in the respective septenaries. The Scheme on p. 485 will best exhibit to the eye their mutual relations, in time and subject.(46) It will be seen that though the main subject of the Seals is made by him the external state of the Church, that of the Trumpets the fortunes of the Roman world, connected with the Church, yet they sometimes essentially infringe, so as might have been anticipated, on each other. The third Seal, for example, has the Arian heresy for one main part of its subject; and so also the third Trumpet. The fourth Seal refers to the desolations of Greek Christendom by the Saracens and Turks; and so the sixth Trumpet.—Having elsewhere referred to his Epistles and Seals,(47) let me here only add an observation or two on his Trumpets. It seems to me then, 1st, that his Gothic reference of the 5th Trumpet was that which very much fixed his general scheme of the Trumpets. Mede's chronological application of the five months, or 150 years' period of the emblematical locusts, to designate the Saracens' latest and feeblest ravages,(48) justly appeared to Vitringa untenable: nor moreover had any satisfactory solution of the locusts' not touching the grass and trees appeared in Mede's Saracenic view. But the Gothic ravages, from Alaric to Totilas, did last nearly 150 years. And, if the grass and trees were figuratively construed to mean Christians, (professing Christians,) then Alaric's sparing the Christian Churches at Rome, and those who took refuge in them, might be supposed, Vitringa thought, a sufficient and obvious explanation, on the Gothic view, of that clause also. Which being so, he evidently rests with much confidence on this solution of the 5th Trumpet; more so than on almost any other part of his Trumpet Scheme.(49) And, this point settled, what preceded the Gothic invasion must of course be ascribed to the Trumpets previous; what followed to those subsequent. So the Saracens, as well as Turks, were crowded necessarily into the sixth Trumpet. Yet not without obvious difficulties and inconsistency. For example, in this Gothic application of the 5th Trumpet Vitringa explains the locusts' hair being like women's hair, with reference to the personal appearance of the Goth's yellow hair; (though certainly this was no feminine characteristic among Jews, Greeks, or Romans;) but "the faces as of men" he felt no longer able to explain of personal appearance; and so fell back on the moral characteristic, (one surely scarce applicable to the Goths,) of humanity.(50) —But, as regards "the thirdpart," six or seven times noted in the first four Trumpets, he suggests that it might perhaps be intended of one of the three continents of the Roman empire, and so explains it to the Asiatic third in most of the Trumpets; yet sometimes too rather as meaning some notable part;(51) and, after throwing out an idea in the first Trumpet, that the "land " might be meant distinctly of the Roman empire, the "sea" of the barbarians, construes land, sea, and rivers all alike of Roman Christendom; mainly in a figurative sense, somewhat like Mede.(52)

In Apoc. 10. Vitringa so far follows Mede as to make the little book opened a Prophetic Section: not (so as the earlier Reformers) the opened Bible, or New Testament. The special subject however of the new prophecy he expounds (herein differing from Mede) to be the calamities of the Western Church, or Western Christendom, contemporarily with the woe of the 6th Trumpet:—the seven thunders being significant of the seven Crusades; the charge, "Thou must prophesy again," of the prophetic knowledge imparted to, and taught by, Christian ministers under the sixth Trumpet; the Witnesses prophesying in sackcloth (one grand part of this new prophecy) of the anti-papal testimony from Peter Valdes to the Reformation; their 42 months or 3½ years, being perhaps, so as Scaliger had suggested, on the scale of a year for a century.(53) As to the Witnesses' prefigured death and resurrection, it had been already partially fulfilled in the four cases following:—viz. 1. in the death of Huss and Jerome, and their revival in the Hussites immediately afterwards, about the time of the 3½ years session of the Council of Constance;(54) 2. in the massacre of the Waldensic remnant in the Vallies of Cabrieres and Merindol, a.d. 1545: 3. in the anti-protestant Interim of Charles Vth, and Prince Maurice's quickly-following victory and consequent treaty of Passau:(55) 4. in the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and the Edict of Toleration obtained from Henry III within four years after. Vitringa notices Jurieu's views also;(56) calculating the slaughter of the Witnesses from the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, or some other persecuting act following it up: which view, however, had not so far been verified by any such rising of the Witnesses, or Protestant revolution in France, as Jurieu had expected. And, on the whole, Vitringa inclined to look to the prophecy as being one up to his own time still mainly unfulfilled.—I may observe that he considered that the tenth part of the great city, which fell concurrently with the two witnesses' ascent, ought to be construed to mean one of the ten kingdoms of Papal Christendom. Which being so, how was it that the fall of Papal England did not fix itself more deeply in his mind, as an indication of the intent of the whole prophecy?(57) After this, and the Witnesses' political ascent, Vitringa expected that the 6th Trumpet's or Turkish woe (in the which all about the rainbow-crowned angel's descent, and witnesses' death and resurrection, had been included) would cease;(58) and the sounding of the 7th Trumpet introduce God's judgment on the enemies of the Church, and the blessed times predicted by all the prophets.

In Apoc. 12 the vision of the Dragon and Woman is expounded, 1. of Diocletian's persecution, followed by Constantine's establishment of Christianity; the Dragon's seven heads symbolizing both Rome's seven hills, and the seven persecuting emperors of that period: 2. of the Arian persecutions of orthodox Christians after the fall of Paganism:—both explanations very much as in my Horae. But the wilderness, into which the Woman then fled, Vitringa makes otherwise to mean the barbarous nations of the West; and the waters cast by the Dragon after the Woman, the Saracen inundation, swallowed up in France on occasion of the victory of Charles Martel.—In Apoc. 13, after a notice and refutation of Bossuet's explanation of the first Beast, agreeably with certain Protest-ants, as meaning Rome Pagan, Vitringa interprets it of Rome Papal: its seven heads however not including heads of the old Roman empire as well as of Rome Papal, so as had been generally thought by Protestants; but only heads of it in its last Papal form. So he makes the five first to be five most eminent Popes before the Reformation; (the Reformation aera being the point of time to which the Angel's words, "five have fallen," is to be referred;) viz. Gregory VII, Alexander III, (wounded to death by Fred. Barbarossa, but soon revived,) Innocent III, Boniface VIII, (the Beast's middle head,) and John XXII: the sixth and seventh being two Popes after the Reformation, viz. Paul III and Paul V; while the eighth and last was the one that would be ruling at Rome at the time, yet future, of the last persecution. The second Beast Vitringa explains, after many of the old as well as the then more recent expositors, to signify Papal preachers and doctors, especially the Franciscans and Dominicans: the Beast's image as the tribunals of the Inquisition. Of the Beast's name and number Λ α τ ε ιοσ was deemed by him almost too simple a solution; and he proposes some strange farfetched Hebrew phrases from Scripture, which it is not worth while to repeat.

I pass to Apoc. 14. Here the 144,000 are explained of the Waldenses and Albigenses: the harpers, next noted as sympathizing with the 144,000, of the Wicliffites and Hussites: the first flying Angel, that had the everlasting Gospel, of Luther, Zuingle, and the other Fathers of the Reformation: the second of the voice of triumph over the Popedom at the time of the Treaty of Passau, in the second period of the Reformation, and the disruption of the English Church from Rome: the third of the Protestant doctors in the third period of the Reformation; at a time of affliction to Christ's Church, such as even then existed, especially with reference to France and the French Reformed Churches.— In entering on the Vials in Apoc. 16 Vitringa acknowledges the plau-sibility of Launeus' opinion, that these Vials were all contained in, and the development of, the 7th Trumpet: Launeus having noted, 1. that these were the last plagues, and the 7th Trumpet the last and finishing woe; 2. the fact of the temple appearing opened introductorily to their effusion, just as it was described in Apoc. 11:19 as appearing at the sounding of the 7th Trumpet; 3. their answering, on this view, to the type of the seven compassings of Jericho on the seventh day; be-sides, that 4thly, Launeus thought the 5th Vial on the seat of the Beast looked very much like the blow on the Papacy at the Reformation. But Vitringa could not make up his mind to suppose all these Vials future; so as he felt sure the 7th Trumpet's sounding was. And consequently he explains all the five earlier Vials, if not six, as already fulfilled in certain judgments on the Popedom. Thus the 1st, that of the grievous sore's appearing, he traces in the Waldensian exposure of the deep corruption of the Papacy; the 2nd, that of the sea becoming blood, in the bloody wars between the Emperors and Popes, more especially from the times of Frederic II and Lewis of Bavaria;(59) the 3rd, that of the rivers being blood, in the Hussite and Bohemian wars under Zisca, &c; the 4th, on the sun, (the regal emblem) in the great heat with which the two French kings Charles VIII and Louis XII had scorched Italy; the 5th on the seat of the Beast, in the darkening of the Popedom by the Reformation, and taking and sack of Rome by the constable Bourbon. In the 6th Vial Vitringa curiously explains the Euphrates' drying up of the exhaustion of the power of France, as the chief bulwark of the Papal Roman empire; an event perhaps even then begun, by the banishment of its multitude of industrious Protestant citizens at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The three frogs, issuing forth contemporaneously, he supposes to mean the Jesuits: and expounds the 7th Vial, on the air, as typifying the dissolution of both the political and the ecclesiastical Papal empire.(60)

On the millennium Vitringa adopts the view that had just before been propounded by his learned contemporary Whitby, to whom indeed he refers:(61) regarding it as a spiritual millennium, yet future; one in which the world would be thoroughly evangelized; and the Church, the bride, assume a character over the whole earth answering to the description of the New Jerusalem.

On the whole, Vitringa seems to me by no means to have contributed directly to the solution of the many previously remaining difficulties of the Apocalypse, so much as from his ability and various learning one might have anticipated. Indeed his explanations are often singularty arbitrary and unsatisfactory. Indirectly however the value of his Commentary has doubtless been considerable: illustrating each subject handled, as he has, by a wide-ranging erudition, alike in secular and ecclesiastical, Hebraic and Greek literature; and often applying a just and acute criticism to show the untenableness of opinions, more or less plausible, adopted by expositors of note before him.

4. And it is chiefly in this indirect way also, if I mistake not, that Daubuz's almost contemporary, and yet more copious Comment, contributed to the advancement of the Apocalyptic science. For it is a Commentary quite redundant with multifarious research and learning. (62) —It is to be understood that Daubuz was by birth a French Protestant; found refuge in England on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes ; there took orders in the Anglican Church; and, while Vicar of Brotherton near Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, wrote his "Perpetual Commentary on the Apocalypse," which was first published in a solid folio, a.d. 1720. The following may serve as an abstract in brief of his opinions. The reader of my Horae must already have formed a measure of acquaintance with him.

The seven Epistles then he explains, not like Vitringa as prophetical; but in the natural way, as depicting the actual state of the seven Asiatic Churches respectively: albeit with application to the Church Universal, in its earthly suffering state, to the end of time.

In the Seals Daubuz, though admitting a. d. 95 or 96 to be the year of the Revelation's having been given to St. John, yet antedates the subject of the 1st Seal; and makes its white horse and rider depict the victorious progress of Christ's gospel, even from his ascension. Thus he is enabled to explain the red horse in the 2nd Seal of the wars by which Jerusalem and the Jews were destroyed, from a. d. 66 to a. d. 135; including as well the Jewish wars of Vespasian and Titus, as those of Trajan and Adrian. The 3rd Seal, beginning a. d. 202, he expounds of scarcities begun in the reign and aera of Severus, (63) much as Brightman before him; the 4th (like Brightman also) of the Decian and Valerian aera of war, famine, and pestilence; the 5th (as Mede, &c.) of the Diocletian persecution ; the 6th of the Constantinian Revolution, and fall of Paganism from its supremacy in the Roman empire.—Then comes the first considerable peculiarity in Daubuz's Commentary. He explains both the Sealing Vision and the Palm-bearing Vision of the happy constitution of the Church under God's sealing Angel, Constantine: a Church including both many converted Israelites, and multitudes innumerable of Gentiles; now alike admitted, from out of times of great tribulation, to the peaceful enjoyment of Church-privileges:—a peace and liberty this further indicated by the half-hour's silence, or stillness from hostility, at the opening of the 7th Seal; and its accompanying representation of an act of peaceful public worship.

The Trumpets, which Daubuz supposes to mark a new period, following on, not contained in, the 7th Seal, (64) are explained by him mainly as by Mede and Jurieu, of the desolations and fall, first of the Western empire, then the Eastern ; under the assaults successively of the Goths, Saracens, and Turks. More particularly he thus divides the four first: —1. Alaric's ravages from a.d. 395 to 409: 2. Alaric's capture of Rome, a.d. 410, and the ravages of Gaul and Spain by the Goths and Vandals: 3. Attila's ravages, 442-452, a.d.: 4. the fall of the Western Empire under Genseric and Odoacer, from 454 to 476.—In the 5th Trumpet he made an important step of advance, as I conceive, in true Apocalyptic interpretation, by explaining the locusts' five months, or 150 days, of the 150 years from Mahomet's public opening of his mission, a.d. 612, to the Saracen Caliph's removal to Bagdad, "the City of Peace," a.d. 762. On the other hand, he seems to me to have subjugation of Rhodes and Cyprus in the years 1522, 1570; not to note that of Candia much later, a.d. 1669. The 7th Trumpet, yet future, Daubuz explains as the signal trumpet of the resurrection of the just; that same that is spoken of by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:51:—that too which would introduce a time when God's Church would be freed from all idolatry and oppression, and a full accomplishment of all his designs made manifest; the one being symbolized by the opening of the temple in heaven; the other by the ark of the covenant appearing.(68) All evidently with reference to the times of the millennium.

In Apoc. 12 he interprets the vision of the travailing Woman and Dragon, much as others before him; with reference to the crisis of the Diocletian persecution, and Constantine's immediately following eleva-tion to a Christian throne, and casting down of Paganism from its supremacy in the Roman empire.(69) Only of the Dragon's seven heads he offers a peculiar solution. These were the chief subjugated kingdoms, or rather their capital cities, which then constituted the Roman empire: the metropoles of Italy, of the Carthaginian empire, of the kingdom of Greece, of that of Mithridates, of that of Gaul and Britain, of Egypt, and finally Thrace ; this last Byzantium or Constantinople.—The flood out of the Dragon's mouth he explains to be the Goths; the two eagle's wings helping the Woman, the Roman Christianized Eastern and Western empires.—Then in Apoc. 13 the first Beast is the decemregal Republic of Western Christendom,(70) under Rome at its head; Rome the earliest head of the Dragon, excised by the Gothic invaders, but revived under the Popes. The Beast's 42 months of supremacy Daubuz reckons from the fall of the Western Emperor, a.d. 476, and consequently as to end in 1736.(71) The second Beast is the Beast Ecclesiastical, or False Prophet; its two horns being the Roman Popes, and the Constantinopolitan Patriarchs. The Pope himself is the Beast's image,(72) as representing the Beast's power; the name and number (given in Hebrew - H&F), in the feminine; i. e. the Roman Church.(73) In Apoc. 14, as in Apoc. 7, Daubuz interprets its primary vision of the 144,000 to mean the Constantinian Church, especially as gathered together at Nice in Council: its bishops there gathered being to the exact number of 318, the number answering to IHT, the abbreviation for Jesus Christ crucified, or mark of the Lamb on the foreheads of the 144,000 in vision.(74) Further he explains the 1st flying Angel of Vigilantius' and Augustine's warnings against the increasing superstitions and coming judgments;(75) the 2nd of the cry on the actual destruction of old Rome (here meant by Babylon) by the Goths; the 3rd of warnings against the Beast, whose empire was now about to be established, especially that by Gregory 1:(76) also the harvest as meaning the reformation of the Church, which had separated the good corn from the earth; and the vintage, of the wars and victories in Queen Anne's time over the Papists.(77) —Then in the Vials there was, he thought, a retrogression again to early times. The plague of Vial 1 was the noisome sore of outbreaking superstition in the image-worship that more and more established itself, from the seventh to the tenth century; Vial 2 the earlier crusades; Vial 3 the later; Vial 4 the wars of Popes and Emperors; Vial 5 the taking of Constantinople by the Latins, and the Popes' removal from Rome to Avignon; Vial 6 the drying up of the power of the Eastern or Greek empire, which was, as it were, the Euphratean barrier to Chris-tendom; and thereby a preparation for the kings from the East, or Turks. The three frogs, issuing forth coincidently, are explained of the secular Papal clergy, the monks, and the religious orders of knights of the time. Vial 7 on the air, or power of the Devil, depicted the Reformation by Luther: the great city being tripartited about this time into the Greeks, the Latin Papists, and the Protestants.(78)

Finally, in Apoc. 19 Daubuz interprets the hallelujahs and thunderings heard on the fall of Babylon, (i. e. here of Papal Rome,) to indicate the conversion of the Jews, and incoming of the fulness of the Gentiles: explains the first resurrection in Apoc. 20 literally, of the saints and martyrs rising from the dead, and millennial reign with Christ: also the New Jerusalem as the habitation and state of the Church after the resurrection of the saints, both during the millennium and afterwards ; the Church being in the saints' mortal state betrothed to Christ; but after the resurrection his γυνη, or wife. (79)

5. Sir I. Newton's brief Apocalyptic Comment, appended to his Treatise on Daniel, was not published, I believe, till the year 1733; six years after his death. It seems, however, to have been written some considerable time before; his thoughts having been seriously directed to these prophecies as early as 1691.(80) Brief as is the comment, being of not much more than seventy pages, it yet contains much valuable matter, and exhibits much careful and original thought; so as might have been expected from such an author. Alike on the Seals and Trumpets he expresses his general agreement with Mede. But certain differences occur. 1st, as regards the Seals, he expounds the rider in the first Seal, as well as [in the three next, not of Christ, but of Roman emperors;(81) (I presume with reference to the triumphs of Vespasian and Titus, as I shall have to observe again presently :) also he makes the limits of the 4th Seal to range from Decius to Diocletian's accession. He agrees with Mede in making the sealing of the 144,000 synchronize with the visions that followed on opening the 7th Seal. Again, in regard of Mede's view of the seventh Seal, as comprehending the seven Trumpets, Sir Isaac adds, "and also the half-hour's previous stillness from the threatened four winds of heaven;" (the same that were let loose afterwards under the four first Trumpets:) which stillness he explains historically of the respite during Theodosius's reign, from 380 a. d. to 395:(82) an important approximation, I conceive, to the true meaning.(83) —2. Dissatisfied with Mede's particular and somewhat fanciful distribution of the Gothic ravages over the four first Trumpets, he makes the distinction of the four winds the principle of distinction in them; 1st as figuring Alaric's ravages on the Greek provinces East of Rome; 2nd as the Visigoths' and Vandals' on the Western Gallic and Spanish provinces; 3rd as the desolations of Southern Africa by the Vandal wars, from Genseric down to Belisarius; 4th as the Ostrogothic and Lombard wars in Northern Italy.(84) —3. In the 5th Trumpet he thinks the double mention of the locusts' quinquemensal period of tormenting, in verses 5 and 10 of Apoc. 9, may be meant to signify two periods of 150 years each, as the times of the Saracens.(85) —1. The Turks' hour day month and year he calculates as 391 years; not 396, as Mede: viz. from Alp Arslan's first conquering on the Euphrates, a.d. 1063, to the fall of Constantinople, in 1453.(86)

In Apoc. 12 and 13 Sir I. Newton generally agrees with Mede; explaining Apoc. 12 of the times of Diocletian and Constantine,(87) Apoc. 13 of those of the Latin Papal empire: the first Beast being this Latin Papal decem-regal empire; its name and number Λατεινος (88) the second Beast however (a singular explanation!) the Greek Church.(89) —And then he intimates peculiar structural views on the seven Epistles, seven Vials, and little book. The Epistles he adjusts to the states and times of the Church indicated in the figurations of the Seals that followed: the particulars being as stated below.(90) The Vials ought, he judges, to have been made synchronal with, and explanatory of, the Trumpets.The little book he considers, like Mede, to be a new prophecy; the Angel-Vision of Apoc. 10 being an introduction to it: but that, as being sweet when first tasted, and afterwards bitter, its commencement should be considered as agreeing with Apoc. 12, and the glorious prefi-guration there given of the fall of Paganism in the Roman empire ; the sequel of it being the bitter times of the Beast's 1260 years, and the Witnesses' prophesying in sackcloth.

Besides all which, I wish to direct particular attention to two characteristic and important points in this Comment of Sir I. Newton ; the one regarding the distant past, the other the then quickly coming future.(91). He, first of Expositors, if I mistake not, instituted a careful and critical investigation into the evidence external and internal of the date of the Apocalypse;(92) inferring it thence to be coincident with Nero's persecution, not Domitian's: incorrectly, however, as I think I have proved.(93) Which being supposed, a Roman explanation was obvious of the 1st Seal, in harmony with Mede's Roman explanation of the 2nd; this latter having reference to the wars of Trajan and Adrian.—2. He insists, with regard to the so far evident imperfection of the understanding of the Apocalypse and of some of Daniel's prophecies, that it was itself a thing foreseen and predicted; Daniel having been directed to seal up his last prophecy till the time of the end. And he adds that this time of the end was Apocalyptically marked as that of the 7th Trumpet, at whose sounding the mystery of God should be finished: (the preaching of the everlasting Gospel to all nations being further marked, both in the Apocalypse and in Christ's prophecy, as a preliminary sign accompanying it:) and that the measure of success, albeit imperfect, that had crowned the prophetic researches of the immediately preceding age, seemed to him an evidence that the last "main revolution " predicted, when all would be explained, was "near at hand"(94) —I must add, not from his own published Comment, but from Whiston's, the further remarkable fact, that Sir Isaac expressed a strong persuasion,—with reference of course to the expected "main revolution" of the seventh Trumpet, wherein "they were to be destroyed that destroyed or corrupted the earth,"—that the antichristian or persecuting power of the Popedom, which had so long corrupted Christianity, must be put a stop to, and broken to pieces, by the prevalence of infidelity, for some time before primitive Christianity could be restored.(95) Which anticipation, fulfilled as it was soon after in the facts and character of the expected great Revolution, when it actually broke out, must surely be deemed not a little remarkable.

6. The Apocalyptic "Essay" by Whiston (Newton's successor in the Mathematical Professorship at Cambridge) was first published, as appears from the date appended to Whiston's original Preface, in the year 1706: a second Edition followed in 1744, under Whiston's own eye, improved and corrected.(96) —The following points in it appear to me deserving of notice. While strongly contending for the Domitianic date of the Apocalypse, he yet explains the 1st Seal retrospectively of Christ's triumphing in Vespasian and Titus' overthrow of Jerusalem; the other Seals as Mede, Jurieu, and Newton.—In the Trumpets, dissatisfied like Newton with Mede's vague principle of distribution, he takes another, and I think better plan, for giving definiteness and precision to the several shares of the several Trumpets in the Gothic ravages: his principle being drawn from the third part said to be affected; which he construes as the European part of the empire, (in contrast with the African and Asiatic,) and the land, sea, and rivers, literally taken, that are specified in it. Thus the subjects of Trumpets 1, 2, and 3 are made respectively to be the ravages of Alaric and Rhadagaisus in the landward interior, those of the Vandals and Goths on the maritime European parts, and those of Attila on the European rivers: (the last a real advance, as I conceive, to the truth; (97)) the quenching of the third part of the sun, i. e. imperial sun, &c, being that of Odoacer.—In the 5th Trumpet, after other previously given solutions of the locusts' five months, he at length concludes on the reading being faulty, and St. John having written ι&;epsilon ημας , not ε ; i. e. 15, not 5: 450 years measuring the whole duration of the Saracens, till their entire supercession by the Turks.(98) (Whiston does not seem to have been acquainted with Daubuz' simple and satisfactory solution of these five months.) (99) —In his exposition of the Turks' "hour day month and year" the exactness of the astronomer appears. Asserting that Othman could not be properly recognized as Sultan till the Hutbe prayers had been put up for him in the mosques, and that this was first done for Othman May 19, 1301, he calculates the prophetic period of an hour day month and year, or 396 years 106 days, as reaching to Sept. 1, 1697, O.S.: the very date of Prince Eugene's great victory over the Turks, which was followed by the peace of Carlowitz.(100) —On the Beast of Apoc. 13 Whiston, after suggesting that the 7th head, which was to continue for but a short time, might be the five emperors noted by Lactantius as reigning over the Roman world just before Constantine's victories, (another approximation, I conceive, towards the truth,) makes the 8th head to be that of the ten kings of the revived Romano-Gothic Empire; these ten kings being as it were a revival of the old decemviral head:(101) —an original idea this, that I have not seen elsewhere.(102) —The Papal supremacy he dates distinctly (and quotes Archbishop Laud affirming the same) from Phocas's Decree a.d. 606.(103) —Besides all which points what I deem particularly to be noted in Whiston is his strong stand against Mede's classification of the Vials; and assertion that on every principle of consistency and congruity of things, as the seven Trumpets are reckoned to be contained in, and the evolution of, the seventh Seal,—so the seven Vials ought to be deemed contained in, and the evolution of, the seventh Trumpet. A very important and surely most obvious step of progress.(104)

7. And so we advance nearer and nearer to the epoch of the Teat French Revolution.—I do not purpose stopping at the names of Bengel and Bishop Newton, Whiston's immediate Protestant successors: who, publishing about the middle of the 18h century,(105) served as connecting links in Germany and England, between the generation of Apocalyptic expositors just described, and those on whom the French Revolution broke ; that epoch of a new aera. Bengel’s most characteristic principle, viz. of expounding the prophetic periods in the Apocalypse on the scale of a prophetic day to 15 years,(106) is so totally and plainly arbitrary and groundless, that no one can now think of attaching weight to it; highly valued though Bengel himself must be for learning and piety. And as for Bishop Newton's Treatise, it is too universally known to need description; besides that, however valuable as a compendium, (and I deem it eminently so,) it does yet scarcely put forth any original thoughts on the subject handled.—Nor again will the Roman Catholic Comment of Bishop Walmsley, that soon after followed, need any more to detain us; it being already pretty much forgotten by Romanists themselves.(107)—But it does need, I think, that I call attention to the German Praterist School that was about this time rising more and more into notice and influence: a School characterized by considerable mental acuteness, research, and philological learning; and at the same time by much of the hardihood and rashness of religious scepticism. I therefore at once proceed to it.

8. As early then as Bengel's time, the celebrated Genevese writer Firmin Abauzit, (108) their precursor and harbinger, had published a work entitled Discours Historique sur l’Apocalypse, written to show that the canonical authority of the Apocalypse was doubtful. On reading Dr. Twells' reply to it,(109) however, he was satisfied; and honourably wrote (though in vain) to stop the reprinting of his work in Holland. But soon after the middle of the century the sceptical spirit broke out more freely. A work by Oeder, which Sender published after Oeder's death, about the year 1765, entitled "A Free Investigation into the so-called Revelation by John," denied not only its apostolicity, but even its literary beauty; charged it with all the extravagances of its wildest expositors, and maintained that its real author was the heretic Cerinthus. So began what has been called the Semlerian centroversy. Semler was replied to, and opposed, by Reuss of Tubingen, a. d. 1767, 1772, Schmidt of Wittenberg, in his "Vindicatio Canonis," a.d. 1775, and Knittel of Wolfenbuttel, a.d. 1773; to which works he and his friends made vigorous answer. The controversy lasted to the year 1785.(110) The celebrated Michaelis was so far influenced by what had been written by Abauzit and Sender's partizans on the canonical question, that he concluded with Eusebius on reckoning the Apocalypse, not among the undisputed canonical books, but among the αντιλεγομενα. The work of Herder, published 1779, vindicated with great earnestness and ability the literary merits and beauty of the Apocalypse; indeed with such ability and enthusiasm as to act strongly on the literary German mind: yet vindicated it only as Herder might have vindicated a neglected beautiful Poem of classic origin; not as a work of inspiration.(111) In 1786 Hernnschneider published his Comment on the Apocalypse: explaining it as a Poem describing the three things following;—viz. the overthrow of Judaism, the overthrow of Heathenism, and the final universal triumph of the Christian Church, This was the model, in respect of general plan, of the more celebrated work of Eichhorn, published shortly after, viz. a.d. 1791; a work of which Professor M. Stuart to whom I am indebted for this rapid sketch of the German Apocalyptic Expositors of the last half of the last century, thus reports;—that though not equal to Herder's in respect of the perception or the development of aesthetic beauties, it is yet in regard of philology, and real explanation of words and phrases, far Herder's superior: adding, moreover, that it is substantially correct in its exegesis, i. e. in its view of the general tenor and meaning of the Apocalyptic Book; a statement meaning that it is substantially in agreement with Professor Stuart's own views. As this scheme had not only then preponderance in Germany, but is one of the grand rival schemes that still claim acceptance, I think I cannot better conclude the present Section of my Sketch of Apocalyptic interpretation, than by placing it before the reader's eye, as drawn up by Professor Hug, professedly from Hernnschneider and Eichhorn: its characteristic view being this, that the two cities Rome and Jerusalem, whose fate (as they would have it) constitutes the most considerable part of the Apocalypse, are only symbols of two religions whose fall is foretold; and that the third, which appears at the end, viz. the heavenly Jerusalem, signifies Christ's religion and kingdom.

The Praeterist Scheme of Hernnschneider and Eichhorn, as sketched by Prof. Hug. "There are three cities in this book, on account of which all the terrible preparations above, and here below, and all the commotions of the earthly and heavenly powers, take place. One of them is Sodom, called also Egypt; the other is Babylon; and the third is the New Jerusalem, descending from heaven.

"The whole affair of the seven Angels with the seven Trumpets, 8-12, refers to Sodom. But we soon see that this city, long since destroyed, only lends its name to denote another. For in this Sodom our Lord was crucified; οπου ο κυριος ημων εσταυρωθη 11:8. In this Sodom is the Temple; the outer court of which is said to be abandoned to the Gentiles. Thus it is the Holy City itself, πολις αγια , of which foreign nations will take possession; 11:1. As two martyrs have perished in it, its destruction is decided; 12:1. (Josephus the Jew likewise compared Jerusalem to Sodom at the same epoch. Bell. Jud. 5:10.)

"After a long episode, in which a matron appears in the pains of child-birth, persecuted by a monster, and after the description of two more monsters, which torment the adherents of this distinguished woman, Apoc. 12, 13, 14, the destruction of Babylon also is decided in heaven, 14:8.

"The seven Angels with the seven Vials of wrath are appointed to execute the decision, 16:17-19; although indeed Babylon had stood for centuries before desert, and amidst but half-distinguishable remains of its magnificence. But this Babylon is built upon seven hills; οπου ορη εισιν επτα 17:9-18. It is an urbs septicollis; a mark of distinction renowned throughout the world, which renders it easy for us to guess the city which is peculiarly intended. But the other criterion that it possesses, the imperium orbis terrarum, βασιλεια επι τωι βασιλεων τησγης, perfectly assures us, 17:18, that this Babylon on the Euphrates is Rome on the Tiber.

“Consequently Jerusalem and Rome are the two cities whose destruction is here seen in the Spirit. These cities, however, do not exist in reality as cities, in the poetical composition; but they are images of other ideas. Rome, or Babylon in particular, is by the author conceived to be opposed to the everlasting gospel, ευαγγελιον αιωνιον, 14:6-8. In this opposition to Christianity it could hardly signify any thing but Heathenism: to represent which the capital of the heathen world is most eminently and peculiarly qualified. Hence John further also describes it with such phrases as were used by the Prophets, to denote false gods and their worship. It is the habitation of daemons; the seducer to infidelity from the true God, i. e. πορνεια : from the cup of whose fornication all nations and kings of the earth drink; 18:2-3; 17:1-2, 5.

"If the capital of the heathen world symbolizes the religion of the heathens, we shall easily ascertain what the capital of the Jews represented. What else but the Jewish religion? Therefore Heathenism and Judaism, the two prevailing religions of the ancient world, were destined to perish.

"And what should now succeed to them? A New Jerusalem, the kingdom of the blessed, after this life (21-22:6.)? The New Jerusalem is certainly so described: and such is usually considered to be its meaning. But if these cities be religions, and Rome and Jerusalem represent Heathenism and Judaism, the new Sion can only be Christianity; which has an endless dominion, and blesses mankind. This the unity of the whole demands: nor would it be consistent, if the idea of it was compounded of such an unaqual representation of its parts, as Heathenism, Judaism, and Eternal Blessedness.

"For what purpose should this kingdom of the blessed afterwards forsake that long-beloved abode in the higher spheres, and in heaven; and descend among men, unless it were an earthly institution? (21:23) It could only descend upon earth as a religion; for the sake of supplying the place of the two former religions.

"The previous openings of the graves, and the return of the dead, is here only one of those awfully terrible images, which the prophets sometimes used to represent a total change of things; the revival of the national state, and of the religious constitution of the Jews. (Ezek. 37; Isa. 26:19.)

"And if a last judgment also be connected with it, we well know that such also is figuratively convoked by the prophets, for the purpose of executing the punishment of those who have oppressed and ill-treated the people of God; or for the purpose of expressing Jehovah's designs of introducing a new epoch of glory for his religion and his people. (Joel 3:2; Zeph. 3:8.) This being admitted, the whole passage of the seven Seals is only an introduction to the three principal descriptions:—to the dissolution of Judaism, to the abolition of Heathenism, and the occupation of the dominion of the world by the doctrines of Jesus, (5-7:2.) For a prophecy, according to the ancient prophetical language, is a sealed book (Isa. 29:11): of which the mysteries can only be developed by the Lamb, who is on the throne of God ; the co-Regent with Jehovah, in whose hands the events are. Terrible plagues, famine, pestilence, war, and an entire revolution of states are impending; from which those however are exempted, who belong to the chosen of the Lamb.

"But the Epistles, which are preludes to the whole as far as chap. 4, are Dedications or Addresses to those communities which were particularly connected with the author in the district of his ministry.

"Then, the Episode (12-13), which follows the judicial punishment of Jerusalem, the Episode relating to that noble Woman who struggles in the agonies of labour, and who is persecuted by the Dragon, (Isaiah's ancient metaphor of idolatry,) exhibits to us Judaism, which is still in the act of bringing forth Christianity: so as all the circumstances, and the individual traits in the description prove. But the other monsters which ascend from land and sea, and which are in the service of the Dragon, signify according to very recognizable criteria, the Roman land and sea-forces which protect the dominion of Paganism (13:1-14:6). "Opposed to this, after the punishment is executed on Rome (17:1-18), another Woman appears on a scarlet Beast. The former Woman, after her new-born child had been taken up to the throne of God, henceforth repaired to the deserts and pathless regions; which is an excellent metaphor of wandering Judaism. But the fate of the latter Woman is not so mild. Her destruction is soon after celebrated in jubilees and triumphant songs. That this typifies idolatry, as the former the Jewish religion is evident from the representation."


1. On the third Seal, I should observe, Mede, though explaining it to refer to the times of Severus, yet makes it signify, not as Brightman, a scarcity then occurring, but the justice and procurations of corn by the Emperor.

2 All the main strength of the Saracens had in 830 past away, as I have shown in my Chapter on the subject.

3. See my Vol. i. p. 499, Note 3.

4. A principle which I have expanded in my application of the fifth Trumpet to the Saracens.

5. E. g. mark how the 6th Trumpet, which belongs to the seven-sealed boo/c, and occupies from Apoc. ix. 13 to xi. 14, is, on this system, cut into by the prophecies of the little book. See the Tabular Scheme.

6. See my Vol. ii. p. 146, &c.

7. Alike Jurieu, Vitringa, Bishop Newton, and in our own days Cuninghame, Faber, &c, have more or less followed Mede in this view of the little book.

8. See the Tabular Scheme.

9. "Bestia decem-cornupeta, seu Secularis, est Universitas illa decem plus minus regnorum in unam denuo Rempublicam Romauam, redintegrata Draconis impietate, coalescentium." He adds that all the horns were on the 7th or last Head. Pp. 498, 499.

10."Decem illa regna, Pseudoprophetae capitis sui auspiciis, cum Agno pugnabunt." So on Apoc. 17:16.

11. See my Vol. iii. p. HO.

12. "In transitu a sexto capite ad novissimum Bestia lethali vulnere occubuit." P. 501.

13. "Bestia Bicornis, seu Pseudo-Propheta, Pontifex Romanus cum suo Clero." p. SOS.

14. "Bestia Romana capitis novissimi est imago Bestiae sexto capite mactatae." P. 560. And again, p. SOS; " Qui" (viz. the Pseudo-Propheta, or Second Beast) " eo sensim reges, ex dissipate Csesamm Imperio nuper in orbe Romano natos, induxit, ut sibi, cas-sseque jam alioquin imperio Romae, colla unanimiter submittentes, pristini jamque demoliti Imperii Ethnici imaginem induerent."—In my Vol. iii. p. 200, I intimated how much M ede's varying language had puzzled me on this point. But I think the passages here cited give his view most correctly.

15. In the local application of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Vials, Mede seems to me to have been correct; though antedating the historical fulfilment of.

16. In reference to the New Jerusalem Mede notices with approbation Potter's argument, showing the equal circuit of the Apocalyptic city with Ezekiel's city, described Ezek. xlviii. 16. Of the latter " the north side, we read, was 4500 measures, the south 4500, the east 4500, and the west 4500;" in all 18,000. And these measures appear to be cubits from Ezek. xliii. 13; where the cubit is also described as one larger than the common cubit, it being " a cubit and a hand breadth:" which common cubit Potter, after Villalpandus, makes to be 2J feet. This admitted, and that the proportion of the large cubit to the common is as 5 to 4, then the length of each side of Ezekiel's city will be 4500 x | x 2J feet ='m *'•-', or 14012 feet. On the other hand, as St. John's 12,000 furlongs are to be considered as giving the cubic dimensions of the Apocalyptic New Jerusalem, "its length and breadth and height being equal," therefore the cubic root of 12,000, which is 23 nearly, (for 23x23x23=12,167) gives the length of one of the sides: which 23 furlongs being 23x625=14375 feet, this measure will only by a very little exceed the length of one of the sides of the Apocalyptic City. The coincidence, as thus drawn out, is remarkable. But there is this objection, that the assumed size of the Jewish common cubit is by no means certain; it being generally deemed of much smaller dimensions. So Calmet; who computes it at 1½ feet instead of 2 ½.

17. Jurieu's date is given at Vol. ii. pp. 203, 254 of my English edition: (London, 1687:) at the latter page as the year of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

18. Jurieu avowedly takes Mede as his master in Apocalyptic interpretation; except in the parts of latest application.

19. P. 45. On this point Jurieu has the following just and important observations. "I can't be of that opinion (viz. that the horseman of the 1st Seal is the Lord Jesus), 1st, because the equipage of this horseman is not magnificent enough to represent Jesus Christ. … In all the places where the prophet makes Jesus Christ to appear (Apoc. 10:1, 14:14, 19:1],) he is extraordinarily magnificent: clothed with fire, with the light, with the sun, with the rainbow, riding on the clouds, having not one simple crown but many diadems, and his eye casting out flames. Here there is nothing more plain and mean: 'tis a man sitting on a horse, with a bow and crown. That which hath deceived interpreters is the colour of the horse white, which they have taken for an emblem of holiness. But white is the emblem at prosperity as well as holiness.—Compare Foxe p. 447 supra; also my own objections as drawn out Vol. i. p. 116 Note 2.

20. The third part he makes the Roman Empire; as mainly in Europe, the 3d continent.

21. i. 78, 87.

22. ii. 245—250, 254—257.

23. This subject occupies ch. 13 in Jurieu's 2nd volume. See pp. 260—267, 276.

24. i. 92.

25. ii. 67.

26. i. 92.

27. ii. 220. The Vials occupy the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th chapters, in Jurieu's 2nd volume.

28. Jurieu explains the harvest of the partial destruction of the Papal Empire at the Reformation. " Divide [the Beast's] 1260 into 7 parts, and each 7th part is exactly 180 years. If now you reckon these 180 years from a.d. 1517, this brings us to a.d. 1697." So " 1690 is about the time that I judge must be the beginning of the vintage.

29. ii. 229. & ii. 223,224.

30. So Bossuet traces the parentage of this view:—" Le savant Jesuite Louis d'Alcasar, qui a fait un grand commentaire sur 1'Apocalypse, ou Grotius a pris beaucoup de ses idees." He speaks also of its being the view of the learned Romanist Genebrard, a.d. 1580, (in his Chronography, 5 Saec. Ann. 415,) as well as of Grotius and Hammond. Pref. sur 1'Apoc. 11, 13.

31. After speaking of Grotius, Hammond, and some other "great names of late among ourselves, who have excused the Church of Rome from any concern in the judgments of this (Apocalyptic) prophecy," and the shifts they had been obliged to resort to, such "that the most skilful of the Romish interpreters themselves had cried out against them,'' he notes it as the result of a foregone determination so to interpret the prophecy as to set aside the old Protestant views. "Their expedient for Catholic union of all Christian Churches by the compliance of the Roman, their assurance of the necessity of the conveyance of a right succession and ordination by a Church that was not formally idolatrous, &c, were altogether inconsistent with the Protestant sense of the Apocalypse." And then Dr. Cressener goes on to say; "The present age is so generally prepossest with the interpretations of these learned men, that it is necessary to remind (the approvers) that these are great novelties in the doctrine of the Church of England. ... It is manifest by the Homilies approved of in our Articles as the faith of our Church, that the charge of Babylon upon the Church of Rome is the standing profession of the Church of England: *
* In the Homilies he refers to the 3rd Part of the Sermon against Idolatry, and 6th Part of the Sermon against Rebellion. Of other writers he specifies Bishop Jewel, p. 373; Bishop Abbot, Antichristi Demonstratio; Archbishop Whitgift, Tract. 8;

32. p. 192.

33. p. 274, 275.

34. Epistle Dedicatory, and Pref. p. xvii.

35. Bossuet's exposition was first published in 1690.

36. The date of Grotius' Treatise about Antichrist was a. d. 1640: that of Hammond's on the New Testament, 1653—1656.

37. The incense-angel of Apoc. 8:3, I should observe, Bossuet makes to mean a created angel; and speaks of the idea of its meaning Christ as a mere Protestant interpretation. "Les Protestans, offense's de voir Intercession angelique si claircment etablie dans ce passage, voudraient que cet ange fut Jesus Christ meme:" and he says that there is nothing of the majesty that distinguishes Jesus Christ in the visions, (How then, we ask, make the rider of the 1st Seal's white horse to be Christ; though surely of no distinguished majesty? Now how little the interpretation he objects to can be called a mere Protestant interpretation will appear from my remark p. 343 supra. Bossuet, who frequently refers to Tichonius and Primasius can hardly but have known that it was the almost universally received interpretation for above 1000 years before the Reformation, In order to discriminate where Christ is meant, by an Angel, we must, I think, either look for marks of higher dignity than in a created angel; or else for his having some function assigned him such as is expressly assigned to Christ, and Christ alone, in Scripture. So here: since Jesus Christ is declared in the Hebrews to be the one great High Priest, to offer our offerings before God. And observe it is "the prayers of all saints " that the Apocalyptic Angel offers; not that of one particular saint, or one particular people: whereas all the functions assigned to created angels are definite and limited. VOL. IV.

38. In illustration of the scorpion-sting of the heretics he mentions Tertullian's entitling of his work against heretics Scorpiace.

39. "Precisement trois ans et demi." So, he says, Eusebius.

40. "C'est Rome, et 1'empire Romain." So Bossuet on Apoc. 11:8. Elsewhere, in a notice of Jurieu in his Preface to the Apocalyptic Comment, he strongly insists on this point. The Protestant expositors, says he, "ont bien vu que cela ne se pouvoit dire:" i. e. that Jerusalem could not be called the great city. And then he thus insists on the point; "Pour dire quelque chose de plus fort, la grande cite est partout dans 1'Apocalypse 1'empire Romain'' chapt. 8. I beg my readers to mark this. Christ, he adds, on Apoc. 11: 8, was literally crucified in the Roman empire, and by Roman authority: and he was also spiritually crucified in his persecuted members, during the Roman Pagan persecutions.

41. Bossuet, on verse 5, says that the Church is not stated to have now retired into the desert, so as in former persecutions; "parceque du tems de Julien il n'y eut aucune interruption dans son service public."

42. Bossuet hints his opinion that Jerome, in naming ten Gothic invading peoples, had Apoc. 17:16 in his eye. Pref. to Apoc. 22. See my pp. 319, 320, supra.

43. On the difference of this from Augustine's theory see my p. 131 supra.

44. I must transcribe Bossuet's short ideal sketch of the future Antichrist: "On doit attendre sous 1'Antichrist les signes les plus trompeurs qu'on ait jamais vus; avec la malice la plus cachée, 1'hypocrisie la plus fine, et la peau de loup la mieux couverte de celle des brebis." (On Apoc. 20:14.) How different from the Futurists' idea of a supposed future professedly infidel Antichrist?

45. In his Abregé, or Brief Summary, appended to the Comment, Bossuet divides the Apocalyptic historic chronology into 3 periods:—1. that of the Church's beginning, and early trials, from Jews and Gentiles: from Apoc. 6 to Apoc. 20:—21y, that of the Church's reign on earth, being the millennial period of Apoc. 20:—3ly, that of Satan's loosing, and the future Antichrist.—Thus Bossuet, like Alcasar, makes the Apocalyptic Beast quite a different power from the Antichrist of prophecy. Only in some certain manner, he intimates in his Preface, chapt. 15, the whole Apocalypse might possibly have some secondary and mystical reference to the times of Antichrist.

46. In the Epistles it is to be observed that Vitringa explains the "ten days' tribulation," predicted to the Church of Smyrna, to mean the ten years of the Diocletian persecution.— In the Seals the 3d Seal's subject must be understood to run 100 years and more into the chronology of the 4th; though I could not represent this in the Scheme.

47. The Epistles in my Vol. i. p. 73; the Seals in Part ii. Sect. 4 of this Appendix, infra.

48. See p. 471 supra.

49. So at p. 485 Vitringa argues from the undoubted Gothic application of the 5th Trumpet, to the right meaning of the 4th: "Gothos enim esse illas locustas quae sequentis tubicinii viso depinguntur, si Deo placet, clarissimè evincemus." And so again p. 455.

50. Vitr. pp. 526, 525.—Compare Jerome's statement on this point, quoted in my Vol. i. p. 408, Note 3.

51. Vitr. pp. 456, 465, 476, 487,550.

52. See my Vol. i. p. 331: a passage referred to also by me at p. 471 supra.

53. “Quam hoc docte et pie cogitatum! " exclaims Vitringa, at p. 620, in reporting this explanation of the 1260 days of the Witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, suggested by Scaliger. He adds, however, that he cannot think of any scriptural justification of it; unless what is said in Gen. 15:10-13 might be deemed such: where, the sacrifices having been divided into four parts to the four winds, the time prophesied of is stated to be 400 years.—Vitringa seems not to have been aware of Tichonius' similar idea. See p. 328 supra.

54. So as Foxe. See p. 450 supra. Vitringa, p. 657, notices Cocceius as having taken this view; and, in connexion, explaining the tenth of the city falling of France under Henry IV; (when however, as Vitringa justly observes, Papal Gaul did not fall, but Henry became a Papist;) and the 7000 slain of the 7 Belgian states and bishopricks: the latter like myself. See my Vol. ii. p. 463, Note 2.

55. Like Brightman. See p. 455 supra.

56. p. 668. See p. 476 supra.

57. Vitringa p. 647. The opinion is thus exprest. "Quid commodius quam per ‘to dekaton tes poleos’ hic intelligere regnum aliquod illustre, quod inter decem regna Europaea, religionis causa Romae subjecta, excellebat, ejusque hactenus superstitioni fuerat patrocinatum? Id hic casurum dicitur mystico sensu, quando per majores illos motus quibus concutiendum erat, avelleretur a corpore Imperii Antichristiani. Caderet sic eorum respectu in quorum gratiam hactenus steterat et floruerat." I quote this, because, as Vitringa believed the event still future, it gives his unbiassed opinion on the real meaning of this prophetic clause: and strikingly confirms my application of it to the fall of Papal England at the Reformation. So too Jurieu, p. 476 supra.

58. p. 649.

59. Frederic II made emperor a.d. 1212; Lewis 1314.

60. See Vitringa's opinion on this point quoted at p. 22 of the present Volume.

61."Observavi aliunde cum voluptate nuper hoc argumentum accurate esse pertractatum ah erudito quodam viro, (sc. Daniele Whitby,) cujus sententiae a nostris nihil dissident." Vitringa, p. 1141.

62. There has been published an abridgment of Daubuz, I think by a writer named Lancaster: but it can give no idea of the research and learning of the original.

63. Και το και τον οινον μη αδικησ της he renders, like Mede, Heinrichs, and myself, "Thou shalt not do wrong about the oil and wine."

64. p. 347.




68. p. 554.

69. p. 520 on Apoc. xii. (N. B. On Apoc. 12 a wrong paging commences in Daubuz; the first being 481, instead of 565.)

70. Here, p. 556, Daubuz notes Whiston’s list of the ten kings, as one that had preceded his.

71. p. 620.

72. 592.

73. 611.

74. pp. 624,325. A very curious application of the ισοψηφια ! On which see my Vol. iii. p. 222.

75 p. 630.

76. p. 637.

77. pp. 646,664.

78. p. 733.

79. p. 967.

80. In the biographical Notice of Sir I. Newton in the British Cyclopaedia, a letter of his is given, dated Cambridge, Feb. 7, 1690-1, containing the following extract: "I should be glad to have your judgment on some of my mystical fancies. The Son of Man, Daniel 7, I take to be the same with the Word of God upon the white horse in heaven, Apoc. 19; for both are to rule the nations with a rod of iron. But whence are you certain that the Ancient of Days is Christ?"

81. He says indeed at p. 278, (of Edit. 1733;) "The four horsemen, at the opening of the four first seals, have been well explained by Mr. Mede:" who made, we have seen, the first horseman to be Christ. But this was a mere lapse of the pen. For Sir I. expressly elsewhere gives to the first Seal, as well as to the other three, a Roman solution. So p. 256; "The visions at the opening of these (the first four) Seals relate only to the civil affairs of the heathen Roman empire." At p. 274 he speaks of "the wars of the Roman empire, during the reign of the four horsemen that appeared on the opening the first four Seals:" and at p. 277; "The Dragon's heads are seven successive kings; four of them being the four horsemen, which appeared at the opening of the four first seals." So too p. 278. (I cite from the Reprint in the Investigator.)

82. "These wars [at the beginning of which Valens perished] were not fully stopped on all sides till the beginning of the reign of Theodosius, a.d. 379, 380; but henceforward the empire remained quiet from foreign enemies, till his death a.d. 395. So long the four winds were held; and so long there was silence in heaven." He adds; "And the 7th Seal was opened when this silence began." Pp. 294, 295.

83. Till my present abstracting of Sir I. Newton's Treatise, I had not been aware of the near resemblance of my own views on the holding of the winds and the half-hour's silence to Sir I. Newton's. See my Vol. i. pp. 242, 302, 303. Only I judge the time of silence intended to have begun at Theodosius' death, not his accession.

84. Sir I. Newton, p. 296—302.

85. “About five months," he says, "at Damascus, and five at Bagdad;" altogether 300 years, from a.d. 637 to 936 inclusive. Ib. 305.

86. p. 307.

87. 279—281.

88. Pp. 282—284.—Sir I. Newton gives us in his connected Treatise on Daniel historical abstracts illustrating the division of the ten kingdoms, and progress of the Papal power in respect of imperial law and historic fact, so careful and valuable, that no Apocalyptic student should be without them. I have referred to them in my Vol. iii. at pp. 129, 145 and elsewhere.

89. "The second Beast, which rose up out of the earth, was the Church of the Greek empire." P. 283. In the distinction of earth and sea, he elsewhere makes the earth the Greek empire. So p. 281.

90. The Epistle to Ephesus Sir I. Newton makes to depict the state of the Church previous to the fifth Seal, and before Diocletian's persecution; when the only "somewhat" of charge against it was, "Thou hast left thy first love:"—that to Smyrna, with its ten days’ tribulation, had reference to Diocletian's persecution, depicted in the 5th Seal:— those to Pergamos, Thyatira, and Sardis, wherein mention is made of the heresies and evils of Balaam and the woman Jezebel, and of the Church's works not having been found perfect before God, figured the gradual apostacy under Constantine and Constantius:—that to Philadelphia, the faithful under Julian's persecution:—that to Laodicea, the Church's subsequent lukewarmness, so increased as that God would spue it out of his mouth; a state answering to the development of the apostacy soon after the opening of the 7th Seal, or at the end of the 4th century.

91. Pp. 271,272.

92. At the beginning of his Apocalyptic Treatise, pp. 236—246. Grotius, if I remember right, took Epiphanius' Claudian date simply on Epiphanius' authority. Alcasar had taken the Domitianic.

93. Viz. in my opening Treatise on the Date of the Apocalypse, Vol. i. p. 34, and the additional notice on it, p. 503, in the Appendix to that Volume.

94. “The time is not yet come for understanding the old prophets, (which he that would understand must begin with the Apocalypse,) because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet come to pass. In the days of the voice of the seventh Angel the mystery of God shall be finished. ... Among the interpreters of the last age there is scarce one of note who hath not made some discovery worth knowing: whence I seem to gather that God is about opening these mysteries." Pp. 252, 253.

95. "Sir I. Newton had a very sagacious conjecture, which he told Dr. Clarke, from whom I received it; that the overbearing tyranny and persecuting power of the Anti-Christian party, which hath so long corrupted Christianity, and enslaved the Christian world, must he put a stop to, and broken to pieces, by the prevalence of infidelity, for some time before primitive Christianity could be restored:"—which, adds Whiston, writing a.d. 1744, " seems to be the very means that is now working in Europe for the same good and great end of Providence." (2nd Ed. p. 321.)

96. Whiston died a.d. 1752.—The title-page of his Essay's 2nd Edition bears date London 1744; Whiston's own conclusion of its 3rd Part, at p. 324, Jan. 20, 1743-4. A "little before his death, he drew up a brief Addendum to his Second Edition, occupying in my copy of that Edition from p. 325 to 332; and bearing date at the end, May 7, 1750.

97. This view has been followed in the main by Bicheno and Keith. I have also myself mainly adopted it.

98. p. 196.

99. Whiston's 1st Edition, being published in 1706, was before Daubuz.

100. All this has been closely followed by Mr. Faber in his Sacred Calendar. See his Vol. ii. pp. 293—301.

101. Compare Mr. Cuninghame's View noticed in my Vol. iii. p. 111.

102. P. 126.

103. Pp. 275, 277. Prof. M. Stuart (i. 469) is thus incorrect in saying that Whiston assigned the year 1766 as that of Christ's second coming.

104. So Launaeus. See pp. 490 supra.

105. Bengel, a.d. 1740: (died 1752:) Bishop Newton, a.d. 1754.

106. His fundamental principle, one altogether conjectural, was that the Beast's number 666, construed of years, must equal the Beast's numeral period 42 months; in other words that one prophetic month = 666/42 = 15 6/7 years. Hence, after various calculations, he inferred that the year 1836 would be the year of the final and great crisis; an expectation, I need not observe, never realized.

107. It was published under the fictitious name of Signer Pastorini in the year 1771: was in 1778 translated into French by a Benedictine of St. Maur, and into Latin and German soon after. Its principle is, that the Seals Trumpets and Vials all relate to the same seven ages of the Church: 1. the first 800 years of the Christian aera, to Constantine, the age of Christian purity; 2. the next 100 years, marked by the Arian heresy; 3. from 406 to 620 a.d. marked by God's judgments on ancient Rome and the Western Empire; 4. from 620 to 1520 marked by three great events,—viz. the rise of Mahomet and Mahomedanism, the schism of the Greek Church, and the consequent judgments on it in the fall of Constantinople; whereon, however, the spared Greek remnant "did not penance to give God glory," but persisted in their schism; 5. that begun a.d. 1520 in the Lutheran Reformation, which is to last "till the pouring out of the 6th Vial, twice 5 months, or about 300 years: of which 300 years 250, says Pastorini, are now elapsed; so that the pouring out of that vial seems soon approaching, and the cry heard, "Come out of her my people." The 6th age is the last of the Church militant on earth; probably till the end of the world's 6000 years: 7. the 7th age that of eternity.

108. He was originally French, but became a refugee in Geneva on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He was in earlier life a friend of Sir I. Newton; in later life the subject of the eulogies of both Voltaire and Rousseau. His Apocalyptic Discours was first published about 1730.

109. An Answer approved and translated into Latin by Wolf, and inserted in his "Curse Philologicae."

110. Professor Stuart particularizes Corrodi and Markel on Semler's side, against the genuineness and apostolicity of the Apocalypse; Storr and Hartwig in defence of it.

111. Entitled "Maran Atha, or Book of the Comma of the Lord. " Professor Stuart almost warms into enthusiasm in speaking of this book ; (i. 471;) and at the end of his Second Volume gives a large specimen of it. It seems to me calculated to excite feelings of a very different kind in the devout Christian, for the reason stated above.

From the French Revolution to the Present Time

Such was the state pretty much of Apocalyptic interpretation among Protestants and Romanists, in England, Germany and the Papal European States respectively, when the French Revolution burst like a thunderclap upon a startled world. In every way a mighty epoch, whether as regards the world of politics, of society, of religion, or of mind, it could scarcely but constitute an important epoch also in prophetic interpretation.—Among Protestant expositors of the historic school, in England more especially, such as followed more or less in the track of their Protestant precursors, of Paraeus, Foxe, Mede, Vitringa, Daubuz, and the Newtons, the impression was very strong and general that this was probably the commencement of that selfsame last revolution, or earthquake of the 7th Trumpet, which Sir I. Newton had so confidently anticipated as in his time near at hand.(1) while in regard of the millennium of blessedness, which all agreed in looking to as the final issue of that Trumpet, the great question, whether it was to precede or to be preceded by Christ's personal advent to judgment, necessarily forced itself on the attention of expositors ; and was only prevented from becoming a subject of stirring controversy by the fact of the as yet almost universal and undoubting acquiescence of English theologians in the pre-advent millennial theory of Whitby and Vitringa. To these English expositors of the aera referred to, comprehending the first half of the period embraced by this Section, (or from 1790 to the end of the wars of the Revolution and Napoleon's death, in 1815 and 1821 respectively,) I shall have to revert presently more in particular. But before doing so I must beg to direct my reader's attention to two expositors of the Romish connexion, on whom, in other countries and under very different circumstances, the millennial question had forced itself near about the same time as pre-eminently the important one : not without new views (at least for Romanists) about the predicted apostacy, Antichrist, and Babylon, which made and still make their Treatises doubly remarkable. I allude to the French Pere Lambert, and the Spanish Jesuit Lacunza; the latter better known by his assumed Jewish appellative of Ben Ezra.

1. The Pere Lambert was, I believe, a native of Provence, in the south of France. He belonged to the Dominican Order, and died at Paris in 1813. His prophetic book which I refer to, entitled "Exposition des Predictions et des Promesses faites a I'Eglise pour les derniers temps de la Gentilite," appears to have been commenced before the end of the 18th century.(2) But it was not completed till 1804, or a little later;(3) and was at length published in 1806 at Paris, in two small 12mo volumes. It has not, I believe, been reprinted.

The title of the Treatise explains in a measure its main subject and object. Considering attentively what then was, and what had been previously, ever since the first formation of the Christian Church,—the then all general corruption and infidelity, even among profest Catholic Christians, so as to reduce it to a mere "phantom Christianity,"(4) and manner in which in the ages previous Christianity had been almost ever exhibited in corrupted form by its professors, been conquered and triumphed over moreover in many countries by Mahommedanism, and in regard of the number of its adherents been ever left by Heathenism in a comparatively small minority,—it was felt by Lambert that a sceptic might well sneer at Christ's mission as a failure, and at the promises of his Church's universal establishment on earth in all purity and blessedness as little better than falsehood;(5) i. e. supposing the Roman Catholics' generally received views of prophecy respecting the millennium, and the only yet remaining future to the Church and to the world, to be correct.(6) For as to the millennial Apocalyptically figured reign of the saints it was, according to those views, nothing but the Church's or individual Christians' very partial successes, such as had been accomplished since the apostles' first preaching of the gospel.(7) And, as to the future, all that was anticipated was Antichrist's 3½ years' manifestation and reign on Satan's loosing: and then, for some very brief term after Antichrist's destruction, just before the world's ending, (a term answering perhaps to Daniel's 45 days,) the conversion of the Jews and whole Gentile world have its fulfilment; but only to come and pass away, (together with the world's destruction and final judgment,) as rapidly almost as a flash of lightning.(8) So the usual process of Scripture investigation was gone through by Lambert, and is in this Treatise set forth before his readers, by which so many both before and after him have been convinced that the Apocalyptic millennium of the saints' reign on earth, and corresponding Old Testament promised times of blessedness are yet to come:—how that they are to be introduced by Christ's second personal advent, the destruction of Antichrist with his apostate Church and Babylon, and resurrection of Christ's departed saints and martyrs accompanying: and that then, the Jews' conversion having taken place coincidently, the earthly Church now extended over the whole earth is to flourish under the rule of Christ and his saints gloriously; Jerusalem being the new centre of light and unity, accordantly with the multitudinous prophecies of Jerusalem's destined future glory and blessedness: and this not for 1000 years only, but a much longer period; the Apocalyptic 1000 years being probably "prophetic years," perhaps sabbatic, perhaps Jubilean, each of 7 or 50 years.(9) —The development of this argument occupies the greater part of Pere Lambert's book.(10)

But what the apostacy, Antichrist, and Babylon, so to be destroyed at Christ's second coming, introductorily to the promised establishment of the Christian Church in its purity and glory over the earth? Again, how the transference of its centre of unity from Rome, St. Peter's see, to Jerusalem? On these points Father Lambert propounded views new and strange for a Romanist; except in so far as Lacunza might have anticipated him. The Apocalyptic Babylon, he says, (confessedly the city of the seven hills,) did not symbolize, so as Bossuet would have it, Pagan Rome. In such case, besides other objections,(11) what reason was there for St. John to wonder at it with so great amazement? Nor again did it symbolize Rome as falling into some quite new and infidel apostacy, at the end of the world, and this after expelling the Pope, so as Ribera and Bellarmine would explain the prophecy.(12) The Apocalyptic symbols sufficiently indicated a professedly Christian body: and history also told too plainly that Papal Rome and the Papal priesthood might well, by only further developing the corruptions which already in part had been, answer to the prophetic indications. It was the conviction on Lambert's mind that the mystery of iniquity spoken of by St. Paul was a principle, or principles, of corruption and evil within the professing Church, sown even in the apostle's days: that this had gone on ever working more and more influentially within it through the centuries that followed, being nourished by all the abuses, vices, errors and impieties that were admitted into the Gentile Church as those centuries went on; and was at length to become the consummated "apostacy," by infecting the whole body of Gentile Christendom, headed by a personal and Papal Antichrist.(13) But not without a series of previous Popes having preceded and prepared for him, by exhibiting and acting out gradually more and more the spirit of Antichrist. The Prince of Tyre prophesied of in Ezekiel evidently symbolized this Papal Antichrist; in respect both of his original state, and that into which he would fall by corruption. Endowed with authority at first as one seated in God's seat, and on the holy mountain, (i. e. in the Church,) anointed too with the holy ointment, and adorned with precious stones, like the Jewish High Priest, this Prince was depicted as at length being seduced to say in heart, "I am God;" to usurp God's honor, worship, and prerogatives; and then, abandoned to avarice, becoming a "marchand," and giving himself up to the amassing of gold and silver. Such precisely had been the case in the Christian Church. "Le roi de Tyre n'est ici qu'un personnage allegorique, 1'embleme d'une suite de ministres duTres-Haut, qui succedent les uns aux autres, mais que le Prophete reunit et represente comme une seule personne morale; qui d'abord fidele à son ministere en viole ensuite tous les devoirs; et dont 1'iniquite, montee par degres a son comble, .. est enfin punie avec eclat aux yeux de toutes les nations." (14) Lambert sketches thereupon the change in the Roman Pontiffs, from the piety of the earlier centuries to their manifold corruptions afterwards; —"the spirit of domination, the outrages often on the chiefest truths of Christianity, the avarice and traffic in holy things: " corruptions that had already taken deep root in the time of St. Bernard; (15) and which would assuredly bring down on the Papacy, as on the Prince of Tyre, God's terrible vengeance. At length, in fine, it would be a Roman Pope, at the head of the consummated apostacy of Gentile Christendom; who in heart an atheist, would as God, or God's delegate, or God's Christ, sit in God's temple, i. e. (so as Hilary has said) in professedly Christian Churches;(16) exacting divine honors from men on pain of death; and so fulfilling alike what was predicted of the Man of Sin, and of the Apocalyptic Beast: (17) all this being done in Babylon, or the Papal Rome; of which Lambert, in a separate Chapter, traces in similar mode the falling away from primitive sanctity into antichristian apostacy.(18) One grand help to this Papal Antichrist's subjection of men's minds would be his false miracles; more especially, Lambert suggests, his apparent resurrection from a state of death: (accordantly both with the symbol of one of his heads being wounded to death, yet reviving; and with his twofold designation also as the Beast from the sea and Beast from the abyss, which was, and is not, and yet shall be;) a miracle, observe, apparent, not real; for God cannot do miracles in support of a lie. (19) —Of the near approach of the consummation and of Antichrist, Lambert says it was to be expected that God would give some signal warning signs; so as he had done before the destruction of Jerusalem, and before the rebellion of Mahomet.(20) And one such striking sign Lambert thought to see in the terrible infidelity of the half century previous, and horrors of the French Revolution.(21) Moreover, besides this, there was to be expected quite another in the coming and preaching of Elijah, to Gentile Christendom as well as Jews: with the result of being rejected and slain (just as Christ had formerly been) by united sentence of ecclesiastical and civil powers; "par tout le corps de la Gentilite, et par la foule des pretres et des pasteurs, presidés par le premier Pontife de la religion:"(22) this Elias being in fact one of the two Apocalyptic witnesses; and the great city of his death, not Rome, but Paris, where the truth and Christ had been so markedly crucified.(23) Thereupon would follow the consummation of judgment: the Gentile Christendom be destroyed by fire;(24) the sceptre resort to Jerusalem; (for the localization of the Church's centre of unity in Rome was but for the Gentile interval;) and in the converted and blessed state of all that is now heathen, connectedly with converted Israel, the magnificent symbolizations of Isaiah's and St. John's new heaven and new earth have their realization.(25)

Such is an abstract of Lambert's main views of prophecy, as unfolded in his Treatise. There are observable further a few individual points of Apocalyptic explanation. In the 6th Seal, Apoc. 6, he would have the elemental convulsions to be taken literally, as signs in heaven and earth before the consummation:(26) in Apoc. 8 the half-hour's silence is a brief respite before the last fearful Trumpet judgments;(27) in Apoc. 10 the seven thunders mean the mysteries of Christ's judgments, now secret, but to be revealed during Christ's reign on earth.(28) Again it is to be observed that, though not of the historic school of interpretation, he yet more than once speaks, agreeably with it, of the French Revolution as like a trumpet-voice of alarm, "the last trumpet's alarm," to Christendom;(29) also of Christians as at the time when he wrote participating in the song of the harpers by the fiery sea, introductorily to the Vials outpouring, in Apoc. 15;(30) and, as elsewhere noted, of the then reigning infidelity as an ulcer in Christendom;(31) all exactly in agreement with the symbols of the 7th Trumpet's Vial-preparation song, and 1st Vial, as explained by me.(32) But the main views are those which I have detailed above: — the terrible approaching destruction of the Gentile Church, as utterly hopelessly apostate, under the headship of its Papal Antichrist;(33) and its blessed renovation, under Christ's own headship and that of his risen saints, connectedly with converted Israel. My readers may well wonder with me how, with such views of the Papacy, the Pere Lambert could himself have continued in communion with it. It would seem as if he dated its apostacy from the faith somewhat later than prophecy as well as history indicates. Now the prophetic clause, "Only he that letteth shall let until he be taken away," was a prophetic indication, as all the early fathers explain to us, that the removal and division into ten of the old Roman empire was to be the chronological sign and epoch of the development of the Man of Sin. But Lambert escapes from that chronological indication by a very curious different translation of the clause. Και νυν το κατεχον ο& iota;δατε εις το αποκαλυφηναι αυτων … μονο&;nu ο κατχων αρτι εως εκ μεσου γενηται. This, says Lambert of the first clause, means, "Vous savez à quoi il tient, ou, ce qui est necessaire pour qu'il paroisse dans son temps:" and of the second; "Que celui qui sait (ο κατεχων) maintenant en quoi consiste ce mystere, le retienne bien, jusqu'a que ce mystere sorte de son secret.”(34) So the το κατεχον and ο κατεχων are taken in quite different senses; and the εκ μεσου γενηται in a sense the Greek phrase will not bear. It will be felt by my classical readers that Lambert has been but little successful in escaping from the difficulty of this clause.(35)

2. Lacunza.

Lacunza, as I learn from the Preface to Mr. Irving's Translation of his Book, was born at Santiago in Chili in the year 1731; in 1747 became a member of the Jesuit college in that city; and there continued till the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish South American States: whereupon he came to Europe; settled finally at Imola, a little south of Bologna in Italy; and there died suddenly in 1801, while on a solitary walk, according to his habit, by the river-side.(36) His great work on The coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty, (written under the assumed name of Ben Ezra, a Jewish convert to Christianity,(37) in consequence probably of the then existing prejudice against his Order,) was written as early as the first outbreak of the great French Revolution. For the Fra Pablo de la Conception, of the Carmelite Convent in Cadiz, writing a criticism on it in 1812, speaks of having first read the work in manuscript about 21 years before, or about the year 1791.(38) Before its completion imperfect copies, or parts of copies, got abroad in manuscript, of which Lacunza complains.(39) Judging from the admiration it at once excited in his mind, Fra Pablo's copy was probably a complete one. And both the fact of the laborious manuscript multiplication of these copies, and the strong statement by the learned critic above referred to as to the impression made by it on his own mind, unite to show that it excited very considerable interest as soon as attention was called to it. When however the Work was first printed and published does not appear. Lacunza's own observations in the Preface imply an expectation that in its then completed form, it would soon come into general circulation;(40) of course, I presume, through the medium of printing. Yet, according to the notices that I find in Irving's translation, it seems to have been first printed and published at Cadiz in 1812;(41) i. e. eleven years after Lacunza's death. Subsequently in 1816 another Edition of 1500 copies in its original Spanish was printed in London, in four 8vo Volumes, under the direction of the Agent for the Buenos Ayres Government; which Edition seems to have been wholly transhipped from England.(42) —At the time of its presumed first printing, in 1812, Cadiz was under the government of the Cortez, and the press in a measure free. But on the dissolution of the Cortez, restoration of Ferdinand, and reinstitution of the Inquisition, intolerance returned: and Lacunza's book was classed among the Libri prohibiti in the Roman Index, and the circulation as far as possible supprest.(43) So the book became rare. Surreptitiously, however, individual copies were obtained and read in Spain:(44) and moreover an abridgment was made;(45) and whether in the original, or in a French translation, was carried into and much read in France.(46) At length in the year 1826 a copy brought by an English Clergyman from Spain was communicated to the well known and eloquent minister of the Scotch Church in London, Mr. Irving; and by him a translation made into English, which soon made the work extensively and very influentially known and read in England.(47)

Turning to the Treatise itself, its author's main strength and argument is of course directed to the establishment of his main great subject; viz. Christ's premillennial advent,(48) and subsequent glorious universal reign on earth: the Jews having been previously converted, and brought to recognize the Messiah Jesus. And to the masterly and convincing manner in which he has done this, we have not the testimony of English critics only like Mr. Irving, but that of his learned Spanish critic Fra Pablo:—"These two points," says he, notwithstanding all a Romanist's natural prejudices, "seem to me to be theologically demonstrated." (49) It was by resorting to Holy Scripture itself, when utterly disappointed and disgusted at the absurdities and incongruities of the best known Roman Catholic expositors of prophecy, that the view broke upon him in all its grandeur and simplicity: and, like Lambert, he strongly urges investigators, those of the priesthood more especially, to resort as he had himself done to the Book of God, which had so long and so generally been well nigh consigned to oblivion.(50) On this his great subject however there is no need of my sketching his arguments, any more than in the case of Lambert. They are the same that are now well known, and widely received.

But what his views as to Antichrist; a subject necessarily connected with the Millennium, as being he whose destruction by Christ's coming was to precede and introduce it? Here Lacunza makes reference to Daniel, as well as to the Apocalypse. And, in commenting on the former, he offers some original and curious views as to the symbols of the quadripartite image, and of the four wild Beasts from the sea. The image's golden head, he says, included both the Babylonish and the Persian empires, considered as one, because Babylon was retained as one of the Persian capitals: the breast of silver was the Macedonian empire: the brazen thighs figured that of the Romans, long since come to an end; the iron ten-toed legs the Romano-Gothic kingdoms of Western Europe.(51) At the ending time of these the stone without hands, or empire of Christ and his saints, would utterly destroy the image in that its last form; thenceforth itself becoming the universal empire on earth. How near to the generally received Protestant interpretation, and I doubt not the true one, is Lacunza's of the ten toes!—As to the four Beasts his idea is as novel as unsatisfactory. They meant four religions; viz. Idolatry, Mahommedanism, Pseudo-Christianity, (with its four heads of heresy, schism, hypocrisy, worldly-mindedness,) and the Antichristian Deism already then unfolding itself in the world. For Antichrist meant, not an individual, but that embodied principle, power, or moral body, which "solvit Christum," (so the Vulgate of 1 John 4:3,) dissolves Christ in the Church.(52) —At this point Lacunza stops a while to dissect, and expose the absurdity of, those ideas of Antichrist which were usually received among Romanists; as if he was to be an individual Jew, of the tribe of Dan, born in Babylon, received by the Jews as Messiah, thereupon establishing his kingdom at Jerusalem, and with 10 or 7 kings held subject, in fulfilment of the Beast's 7 heads and 10 horns: an argument well worth perusal and consideration, by all such Protestant expositors as are inclined to adopt the same strange hypothesis. The Antichrist, or Apocalyptic Beast, he then traces from its first existence in the germ, as the mystery of iniquity even in St. Paul's days,(53) within the Church, and side by side with Christ's true servants; and which had come down as a body more and more corrupt and apostate, century after century. The second Apocalyptic Beast has been with great reason, he says, explained as the false prophet of Antichrist: with the mistake however of supposing him one individual person, perhaps "an apostate bishop;"(54) whereas it is the body of "our priesthood" that is meant by the emblem.(55) His name and number Lacunza inclines to think αγνομε(56) being evidently not so strong in Greek as in Latin. As to the Apocalyptic Harlot, ("I would wholly omit this," says he, "did I not fear to commit treason against truth,") it is not Rome Pagan, but apostate Rome Christian and Papal; drunken at length in vain carnal self-security, when on the very eve of her utter tremendous destruction. Is it objected that she is the spouse of Christ? So too was old Jerusalem. But, on the consummation of its apostacy, though without a heathen idol in her, she fell, and fell remedilessly.(57)

In his general view of the Apocalypse Lacunza is a futurist. He construes the seven-sealed Book opened by the Lamb as the Book of the Father's Covenant, whereby he is constituted King and Lord of all.(58) The visions of the Seals next following are therefore, I presume, understood by him with reference to the times of the consummation. But he does not enter on them particularly. He discusses however the vision of the sun-clothed woman in Apoc. 12, in the same general Jewish and futurist point of view ; with much that is ingenious and novel in his exposition. The woman is the Zion of Isaiah, God's ancient spouse, long cast off and sorrowful, but now clothed in beautiful garments; and at the precise crisis described by Old Testament prophets, "like a woman with child drawing near the time of her delivery." She has already in a figurative sense conceived Jesus Christ in her womb; i. e. by believing on him. But something more is needed; viz. to bring him to light, or publicly to manifest this conception by declaring for him: for "with the heart men believe unto righteousness, and with the lips confession is made unto salvation." But difficulties, embarrassments, and persecutions here occur. Besides the world and devil, two-thirds also of the Jews probably oppose the believing third. She "cries out in pain." Satan, the red Dragon, unable to prevent the conception, (which may probably have arisen from Elias' preaching,) tries to hinder her delivery: i. e. "to hinder her from publicly professing her faith in Jesus."(59) But in vain. The child is born; the confession is made. And then, so born in figure, he is caught up to God and his throne: a symbol answering to Daniel's symbol of the Son of Man coming to the Ancient of Days to receive investiture of his kingdom; and corresponding too with that of his receiving the seven-sealed book of his investiture from Him that sate on the throne, in the earlier vision of the fifth chapter of the Apocalypse.—But, if so, we must ask, what the sequel? And here in truth the weakness of Lacunza's view of the vision appears. Messiah's investiture by the Ancient of Days in Daniel is coincident with, or immediately consequent upon, the doom and destruction of the little horn Antichrist; not at an epoch preceding Antichrist's reign and blasphemies. But in the vision of Apoc. 12, after the man-child's being caught up to God's throne, there is described a war in heaven as occurring; then the woman flees into the wilderness, being furiously pursued thither by the Dragon; and then next, but not till then, the Antichristian Beast is raised up against the remnant of the woman's children that continue faithful. How can this order of events consist with Lacunza's Jewish futurist interpretation of the Vision? I see nothing in the details of his exposition to meet the difficulty. For he professedly makes all this persecution subsequent to Christ's receiving investiture of the earth's empire. And his identification of Michael's warring in Apoc. 12 with Michael's standing up for Daniel's people in Daniel 12 only adds to the difficulty.(60) —Proceeding with the vision Lacunza describes the Woman, or Jewish Church, as taken to a "sweet solitude," Moses and Elias furnishing the two wings of her escort; and being there taken care of by God, while the Dragon raises up the Beast against the faithful remnant of her children. These Lacunza seems to identify, like myself, with the witnesses of Apoc. 11. For the two sackcloth-robed witnesses are not Enoch and Elias; but two religious bodies of faithful men protesting against the corruptions of the age.(61) As to the place where the Antichristian Beast, after making war against them, kills them, i. e. the street of the great city, this is not meant of Jerusalem: (in fact Christ was crucified outside of, not within, the literal Jerusalem:) but of the whole world, and specially of Christendom.(62)

These, I believe, are the chief Apocalyptic explanations given by the soidisant Ben Ezra, or Lacunza. I may add that, like myself, he considers Peter's conflagration to be one introductory to the millennium, and moreover not universal: also that he explains the new heaven and earth of St. Peter and the Apocalypse (like Lambert and myself) to be millennial in their date of commencement.—In concluding this brief abstract of his work I cannot but express the pleasure I have had in the perusal: a pleasure reserved to me on revising my Historic Sketch of Apocalyptic interpretation for this 4th Edition. And if my Book should meet the eye of any thoughtful Roman Catholic readers, (as I know it will of some,) let me earnestly advise them to make a point of perusing and reflecting on this elaborate and able Treatise by one of their own profest religion. I may say the same of that of Pere Lambert.

3. In passing from these expositors in France and Spain I shall not need to say more of Germany than that there, throughout the whole 25 or 30 years of which I am speaking, Eichhorn's praeterist system reigned pretty much supreme.(63) —But I must revert for a few moments to our own country, as one to which, more than any other, God seems to have committed the deposit of his truth during these latter times. There, during the aera I speak of, i. e. from 1790 to about 1820, various prophetic books had been published: but all, or almost all, with reference chiefly to the French Revolution itself; and the answering of its events, as they progressed, to the symbols of the prophecy, on the then and there universally received historic system of Apocalyptic exposition. The names of Galloway and Bicheno, of Faber, Cuninghame and Frere, may be specified as perhaps the most notable among them.(64) And there was a general impression on the minds of such as read on the subject, that this mighty Revolution, and the wars and events that rose out of or synchronized with it, furnished no inconsiderable addition of evidence to the truth of the general Protestant scheme of prophetic interpretation. More especially there might be mentioned on this head the fact of just 1260 years intervening between Justinian's Edict recognizing the Pope's universal supremacy, and the French Revolution that dealt so deadly a blow against it; a point prest strongly by Mr. Cuninghame : also the apparent correspondence of the symbols of the earlier Vials with events as they progressed in the wars of the Revolution; a point first prest, I believe, and that very ably and earnestly, by Mr. Bicheno.(65) — But this may strike us in the review as remarkable ; that the great millennary question, which had called forth such elaborate investigations and Treatises on the part of French and Spanish Roman Catholic writers, did here in England, throughout the whole period spoken of, excite but little interest, and call forth but little controversy: also that whatever prophetic controversies might from time to time have arisen in it, they had to do with mere points of historic detail; and whether these were agreeable, or not, with the details of prophecy.—The former characteristic of English prophetic controversy arose from the fact of the almost universal admission of the truth of Vitringa's and Whitby's view of the millennium; for Mr. Cuninghame stood nearly alone at this time, I believe, as the upholder of Christ's pre-millennial advent. Moreover the wide-spread hopes and expectations of the world's speedy evangelization, arising out of the institution and progress of the various Bible and Missionary Societies now formed in England contributed powerfully, at the time I speak of, to make the Whitbyite preadvent millennary view more and more popular.(66) And certainly that view was abundantly more tenable than the Roman Catholic received views, which had excited the disgust of Lambert and Ben Ezra.—As to the other characteristic of the English prophetic controversies of this aera it arose from the hitherto all but universal admission in England of the truth of the Protestant historic principle of prophetic interpretation. Moreover the long exclusion of Englishmen from the continent, and so by consequence from any familiar knowledge of continental literature, together with the very low ebb to which ecclesiastical learning had fallen in the preceding century in England, all tended to increase the calm, and leave the field to the chief historic interpreters almost undisputed.—But with the Peace, and opening of continental literature, as well as of the continent itself, to English inquirers, and all the stir and impulse of mind and thought thence arising, a new aera seemed foreboded; one in which all these matters would come prominently forward, and be sifted to the uttermost.


Of which new aera, extending from about 1820 to the present time, I shall now make a few observations; and with them conclude this my History of Apocalyptic Interpretation.

Near about the same time then the two-fold battle began in England, which, I said, a sagacious observer might have prognosticated:—1st as to the truth on the great millennial question; 2nd as to the truth of the general Protestant historic principle of Apocalyptic Interpretation.

1. As to the former point, the Treatise of Lacunza had not a little to do in the matter. Mr. Irving, the able and eloquent translator of the Treatise already spoken of, tells us, in his Preface to the Translation, of the circumstances under which he was brought to an acquaintance with it:—how in 1826, after he had been led to the recognition of Christ's premillennial advent, and consequent personal reign on earth, as a great Scriptural truth, and under that impression had been preaching it in London with all earnestness, he found himself painfully insulated thereby from most of his brethren in the ministry, even as if he had been advocating a doctrine not only novel, but foolish, and almost heretical: and then, and in that painful state of insulation, had this elaborate Treatise by a writer of another Church and country brought before him; showing that he was anything but alone in the view, and so confirming his mind in it, and cheering his heart. And very soon he found that in England too similar convictions had been about the same time wrought upon the minds of one, and another, and another, of the earnest investigators of prophetic Scripture.(67) The then recent reconstruction of the Society for the Conversion of the Jews, upon a more proper Church basis,(68) and with new life and vigour infused into its operations, contributed in no little measure to the promotion of these opinions. For in searching the Scriptures, with a view to the answering of Jewish arguments against Christianity as a purely spiritual system, and Jewish arguments for the Messiah's personal reign on earth and at Jerusalem, the evidence of Scripture was felt more and more by many to be in favour of the Jewish idea, rather than their own. And thus many of the earliest and warmest friends of the Jews' Society became known, as the next ten years ran on, as premillennarians; e. g. Marsh, M'Neil, Pym, G. Noel, Lewis Way: more especially the last-mentioned noble-minded man, the munificent patron of the Jews' Society; and whose often grand, though too discursive, Poem of the "Palingenesia" still remains a record of the devotion of his whole mind and heart to the anticipation of his Master's speedy personal advent, to assume the kingdom of a regenerated world. Then too began Prophetic Journals, mainly on the premillennarian principle; first the Morning Watch, then, from 1833 to 1838, the Investigator. Individual Treatises moreover, on the same views, more or less influential, began to multiply: I may specify particularly "Abdiel's Letters," by the Rev. J. W. Brooks, Editor of the Investigator; and the Prophetic Treatise of the much-loved Edward Bickersteth.—In fine, in the year 1844, the date of the first publication of my own Work on the Apocalypse, so rapid had been the progress of these views in England, that instead of its appearing a thing strange and half-heretical to hold them, so as when Irving published his translation of Ben Ezra, the leaven had evidently now deeply penetrated the religious mind; and from the ineffectiveness of the opposition hitherto formally made to them, they seemed gradually advancing onward to triumph.

So I say in England, to which country I have a particular respect in these my closing remarks. But let me not forget to remind my reader, that while such was the progress of the question in England, and while in France and Spain the works of Pere Lambert and Lacunza remained (except in so far as the Inquisition might have suppressed the latter) a testimony to the same great view, there was a remarkable expression to much the same effect even in rationalistic Germany; and from a quarter whence it might little perhaps have been expected. I allude to Frederic Von Schlegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of History, delivered in 1828 at Vienna, and soon after published, and most rapidly and widely circulated; the same of which an abstract has been given in the concluding Chapter of my Apocalyptic Commentary. It may be remembered that I there noticed Schlegel's eloquently expressed opinion, as to the π&alpha:λιγγενεσια, and new heavens and earth of Isaiah and the Apocalypse, figuring not any mere Church triumph already accomplished over Roman Paganism, so as the Eichhorn school expounded the prophecy, nor any heavenly state of blessedness for the saints, so as Bossuet: but a blessed personal reign of Christ on this our renewed earth, a reign future indeed, but probably near at hand; with the completed triumph of good over evil attending it, and to be introduced by his own personal advent.(69)

2. Next as to any change or progress of opinion on the general subject of Apocalyptic interpretation, more especially in England, in the course of the same quarter of a century, from about 1820 to 1844.

It was in 1826, the self-same year as that of Irving's Translation of Ben Ezra, that the first prophetic Pamphlet of the Rev. S. R. Maitland (now Dr. Maitland) issued from the press; its subject, an "Enquiry" into the truth of the then generally received year-day view of the 1260 days of Daniel and the Apocalypse: followed in 1829 and 1830 by "A Second Enquiry " into the same subject; a short Treatise on Antichrist; and a Defence of his former Pamphlets, in reply to the Morning Watch. In these, as is well known, he energetically assailed the whole Protestant application of the symbols of Daniel's 4th Beast's little horn, and the Apocalyptic Beast, and Babylon, to the Roman Papacy; it being his idea that a quite different personal and professedly infidel Antichrist was meant: asserted that the prophetic days were to be construed simply and only as literal days; and advocated an Apocalyptic exegetic scheme even yet more futurist than Ribera's; seeing that he supposed the evangelist St. John to plunge in spirit even in the very first chapter into "the day of the Lord," or great epoch of judgment at Christ's second coming and the consummation.—Nearly contemporarily with Dr. S. R. Maitland's first Pamphlet Mr. Burgh published in Ireland on the Antichrist, and the Apocalyptic Seals, much to the same general effect: Lacunza's idea being adopted by him of the seven-sealed book being the book of Christ's inheritance; a book now at length opened, and about to have fulfilment.—To a thoughtful reader of Lacunza and Lambert on the one hand, and of Maitland and Burgh on the other, the contrast of views must have appeared very strange and remarkable: —the two Protestant writers excusing the Papacy from any concern with the predicted antichristian Apostacy or Beast of Daniel and the Apocalypse; the two Romanist writers, alike the Dominican Father and the Jesuit, deeming its resemblance to that apostacy and antichristian Beast, for many centuries previous, to have been so marked, that (although some yet further development might be expected of its evil) yet it was manifestly to Papal Rome, as it long had been, and Papal Rome even as it would be to the last, that the application of the prophecies was due.(70) —One strong point with the new English futurist school was the great discrepancy of many of the best known Protestant expositors of the historical school on sundry points of Apocalyptic interpretation, e. g. on the Seals, the two Witnesses' death and resurrection, &c;(71) and manifest unsatisfactoriness of the explanation on some of those points, as given alike by one and all. Here Mr. Maitland dashed in, it has been said, like a falcon into a dovecote, and made havoc of them. Another influential argument for a while in its favour was the asserted utter novelty of the year-day principle, as if never dreamt of before Wicliff in reference to the prophetic periods; and moreover the asserted utterly anti-patristic character of the views held by the Protestants respecting Antichrist.—The progress of premillennarian opinions, and great change of view operated in many minds upon that great prophetic point, predisposed them doubtless to change in others; and made not a few more ready to abandon the old Protestant theory on the year-day question also, and that of Antichrist. Another and quite different occurrence operated soon after, and with very great power, to spread and give fresh weight to these anti-Protestant opinions. In 1833 began the publication of the Oxford Tracts. One chief object of the chief writers, soon developed, was to unprotestantize the Church of England.(72) How then could they overlook, or help availing themselves of, the assistance of these labourers in the futurist school: whose views set aside all application to the Roman Papacy of the fearful prophecies respecting Antichrist; and left Protestantism consequently all open to the charge of unjustifiable schism, and the Papacy all open to the Catholic desires and aspirations of the Tractators for reunion?(73)

So as regards the new English futurist school, and its gradual but rapid advance in England in the period spoken of. Nor must I omit to add that in the course of the same 18 or 20 years the gradual influx of German literature into England, including its theology among other branches, began to familiarize the English mind more and more with the most popular German views of Scripture prophecy: i. e. as Eichhorn's scheme in its main points still had sway,(74) with that Praeterist Apocalyptic Scheme of which a sketch was set before- my readers in the preceding Section.(75) Professor Lee at Cambridge adopted a Praeterist view (one somewhat like Bossuet's, though with marked peculiarities) quite independently of German theorists, if I mistake not. But many more were directly influenced to the view by German theologians, alike among Germanizing English Churchman and English Dissenters: until at length in 1845 there came forth the Anglo-American stereotype of the theory in the elaborate Apocalyptic comment of Professor Moses Stuart.(76)

It was after perusal of some of the publications of Messrs Maitland and Burgh that the question first pressed itself on the mind of the writer of the Horae, as one too important to be lightly thought over, whether, in very truth, the long received Protestant anti-papal solutions of Daniel and the Apocalypse were mere total error, or whether the main error lay with the assailants. And this was the result. The fitting of the prophecies of Daniel's little horn and the Apocalyptic Beast to the Roman Papacy seemed to him (as to Lambert and Lacunza) on main points so striking as to render it incredible that the agreement could be a mere chance agreement, or anything but what was intended by the Divine Spirit that indited the prophecies. But, if so, then he felt also persuaded that on sundry points on which the unsatisfactoriness of the Protestant solutions had been proved, (more especially on the Apocalyptic Seals, the Sealing Vision, that of the rainbow-crowned Angel of Apoc. 10, and its notification about the two Witnesses' death and resurrection, also on the Beast's 7th head, the image of the Beast, and the Apocalyptic structure itself,) some new and better solutions, accordant with the main Protestant view of the Beast and Babylon, must be intended, and by diligent thought and research discoverable.

For it is to be understood that on these points the modern Interpreters of the Protestant Scheme had, up to the time of the publication of the Horae, added nothing, at least nothing of importance, to the lucubra-tions of their predecessors. It seems to me to have been the chief office, and a most important one surely, fulfilled by them, (especially by those venerable men Mr. Faber, and Mr. Cuninghame, of whom, though so often differing from their opinions, I would wish to speak with all respect and kindliness,(77)) to awaken attention to the fact of the seventh Trumpet's having sounded at the French Revolution; to bring out more and more into general notice the results of the learned researches of their Protestant predecessors, further fortified in various ways and illustrated; and to arouse and keep up an interest, often too ready to flag, in the great subject of Prophecy. So too in regard to Messrs. Bickersteth and Birks, and their joint-propounded Scheme of Apocalyptic Interpretation, if the same want of advance seem to me to be stamped on it, (and indeed I cannot but regard it as a Scheme singularly fanciful,) yet am I well aware, and rejoice to think, how in other ways they have promoted the cause of prophetic truth. How could it but be so, with that spirit of holy love and spiritual-mindedness, which my excellent friend first-mentioned has ever carried into its discussions:— a spirit as congenial with the purer atmosphere of heaven, as it is unsuited to the stormy and lower regions of literary controversy? And Mr. Birks has not only by his masterly work on the First Elements of Prophecy advanced the cause of truth, and shown himself its martel and hammer against what I must beg permission anticipatively to call the reveries of the Futurists: but moreover, by his exquisite description of the City that is to be revealed at Christ's blessed advent, has done much to enlist each hallowed feeling of the heart on the side he advocates; a description such that one might almost suppose the golden reed to have been given him, with which to delineate it, by the Angel that showed to the beloved disciple the Lamb's bride, the New Jerusalem.

So in 1844 the Horae Apocalypticae was first published. Whether, as regards the solution of Apocalyptic enigmas left unsolved by previous interpreters, the Author of the present Work has been more successful, it will he for the Reader to consider and judge.(78)—Perhaps, while revising the Book now in 1850 for its 4th Edition, the Author may be permitted to express his own conviction that the result of the many controversies to which it has given rise has been satisfactory. For, while showing here and there certain errors in detail, and more often points on which there needed a fuller development of the evidence in order to do the exposition proper justice, yet on all its main points his interpretation has stood the test, if he mistakes not; and only come forth from the discussion with its evidence clearer and stronger. And certainly the remarkable events that have subsequently happened, both abroad and at home, have also, so far as he can judge, in no indistinct tone added their voice of confirmation.(79)

In conclusion, the readers of this Historic Sketch will see that there are but three grand Schemes of Apocalyptic interpretation that can be considered as standing up face to face against each other; with any serious pretensions to truth, or advocacy supporting them of any real literary weight.—The 1st is that of the Praeterists; restricting the subject of the prophecy, except in its two or three last chapters, to the catastrophes of the Jewish nation and old Roman Empire, one or both, as accomplished in the 1st and 2nd, and 5th and 6th centuries respectively: which Scheme, originally propounded by the Jesuit Alcasar, as we saw, and then adopted by Grotius, is now, under one modification, and with reference to the hypothesis of a Neronic date of the Apocalypse, urged alike by most of the more eminent of the later German prophetic expositors, by Professor Moses Stuart in the United States of America, and by the disciples of the German School in England; also, under another modification, and on the hypothesis of a Domitianic date, by Bossuet.—The 2nd is the Futurists' Scheme; making the whole of the Apocalyptic Prophecy, (excepting perhaps the primary Vision and Letters to the Seven Churches,)(80) to relate to things even now future, viz, the things concerning Christ's second Advent: a Scheme first set forth, we saw, by the Jesuit Ribera, at the end of the 16th century; and which has been urged, though under a new form, alike by Dr. S. R. Maitland, Mr. Burgh, the Oxford Tractator on Antichrist, and others in our own times and aera, not without considerable success.(81) —The 3rd is what we may call emphatically the Protestant Historic Scheme of Interpretation; that which regards the Apocalypse as a prefiguration in detail of the chief events affecting the Church and Christendom, whether secular or ecclesiastical, from St. John's time to the consummation:—a Scheme this which, in regard of its particular application of the symbols of Babylon and the Beast to Papal Rome and the Popedom, was early embraced, as we saw, by the Waldenses, Wickliffites, and Hussites; then adopted with fuller light by the chief reformers, German, Swiss, French, and English of the 16th century; and thence transmitted downwards uninterruptedly, even to the present time.

It is this last which I embrace for my own part with a full and ever strengthening conviction of its truth. Of each of the other two counter-Schemes there will be a critical review, and I hope refutation, in my next Part.


1. Sec p. 498 supra.

2. In Vol. i. p. 115 Lambert speaks of the passage there having been written "dans les dernieres années du 18me siecle."

3. Ib. p. 56, Lambert says, "J’écris ceçi en 1804."

4. On this point I have already cited Lambert's language, as singularly illustrative of the symbol of the 1st Vial, in my Vol. iii. p. 343 Note 1. Besides the direct infidelity and "practical atheism" of many, (avowed atheism had rather gone out of fashion,) he notices other principles of evil manifest in professing Christendom: the rationalistic Christianity of some, the adoption of it by others as a mere political engine of state, and the Pharisaism and "fausse justice" of the more devout, i. 39-43. In the expression practical atticism, as applicable to their times, Lambert and Wilberforce agreed. See my Vol. iii. 444.

5. Vol. i. Pref. ii, pp. 146, 219, 220, 242, &c. Lambert strongly expresses his view of the promises of indefectibility and triumph being made to the visible earthly Church, i. 20, 140. "En fuyant cette eglise visible ils fuyent Jesus Christ lui même." In this indiscriminating and exaggerated view of the Church visible we see a weak point in Lambert.

6. p. 255 &c.

7. See generally his ch. 14 on the Millennium; Vol. ii. p. 89, &c.

8. "Et que cette grande revolution, si long temps attendue, . . ne seroit qu'un eclair pour ainsi dire:" "un eclair qui brille un instant, et qui disparoit aussitot." i. 233,223. Alsoi. 245.

9. ii. 67, 80, 139.

10. Out of its 20 Chapters it occupies from Ch. 5 to Ch. 16 inclusive.

11. The objections of Lambert I find to be some of those which I have myself made in my criticism on Bossuet, as published in my 2nd and 3rd Editions, before I was acquainted with this Dominican Father. In the criticism, as now republished in the 2nd part of this Appendix, I may note where Lambert had preceded me in the critical objections to Bossuet's theory.

12. I am not sure whether Lambert mentions Bellarmine anywhere specifically.

13. "Le mystere d'iniquité, dont parle St. Paul, est comme un abcès qui commencoit des son temps a se former dans le corps de l’Eglise, mais d'une maniere peu sensible, qui devoit ensuite recevoir divers accroissemens de siecle en siecle; parvenir enfin à sa consommation, eclater alors ... d'une maniere effroyable, et couvrir et infecter de son mortel venin toute la Gentilité Chretienne." "Par l'apostasie on doit entendre la multitude des mechans qui abandonneront Jesus Christ et sa religion, qui se moqueront de ses mysteres, fouleront aux pieds son evangile et ses lois, ou aux sentiments d'une pieté humble et reconnoissante substitueront la presomption et l'ingratitude de la fausse justice." "L'apostasie precedera 1'Antichrist: et, quand elle sera montée a son comble, I'Homme de péché, ou 1'Antichrist, sera manifesté." ii. 318, 271.

14. ii. 278.

15. Mark how Lambert makes the Antichristian apostacy to have been already developed in the middle age: and compare my historic comment on Apoc. 9:20-21, at the beginning of Vol. ii; referring at p. 23 to the same St. Bernard, in illustration of the subject.

16. ii. 295, 311.—At p. 270 Lambert says that the statements as to their end, the one destroyed by Christ's coming, the other cast alive into the lake of fire, are not contradictory; αναλωσει meaning only detruire. He might have referred to the case of Korah in illustration. Was not Korah killed?

17. See p. 310 supra.

18. Ch. xviii. See especially p. 334.

19. Ib. 284—297.

20. On the sign before Mahomet, and which caused Antichrist to be expected in Phocas' time, see Malv. i. 117.

21. i. 62—65, 71,72.

22. i. 171. On Elias, Lambert broaches the curious idea that he is going through a perpetual martyrdom of feeling for his apostate countrymen, indeed a kind of propitiatory holocaust, i. 159, 163.

23. i. 40, 175, ii. 338. On the "crucifying Christ" Lambert says again, (i. 212,) "nos irreverences, profanations, sacrileges, qui ont tant de fois crucifié notre Sauveur." 24. So 2 Peter 3:10 - How there could be a preservation of any of the living from such a conflagration as Peter foretels God alone knew. i. 100, 101.

25. So Lambert's last Chapter.

26. i. 108, 117.

27. i. 109.

28. Apoc. 10:4.

29. i. 5, 72 : "Le signe etonnant dont il s'agit est comme le dernier coup de trompette qui appelle le saint prophete (Elie)."

30. i. 13, 14.

31. Vol. iii. p. 343 Note 1.

32. See my Vol. iii. 311; and ib. 432-443.

33. This, says Lambert (i. 84) was the mystery meant by St. Paul in Romans 11:25; not the recovery of the Jews, but the utter destruction of the Gentile Christendom.

34. ii. 313—318.

35. I should add that Lambert presses strongly on all the duty of reading and studying the Holy Scriptures.

36. From Pref. p. xxiii, xxiv.

37. Ib. xix. In his prayer of dedication to the Messiah Jesus Christ, Vol. i. p. 10, Lacunza says, "my own brethren the Jews." So too p. 29.

38. Vol. i. p. 3. Where it was written does not appear; whether in South America, Spain, or Italy. Mr. Irving, at p. xvii says "under the walls of the Vatican:” but I know not on what authority.—The reader will remember the comparative freedom of mind among Roman Catholics in the countries open to French influence from 1790 to l813.

39. Ib. 11.

40. "I did not venture to expose this Treatise to the criticism of every sort of readers without making trial of it, &c." Ibid.

41. Tournachou Moulin, the Cadiz publisher I presume in 1812, on printing Fra Pablo's criticism, dated Dec. 1812, as a kind of Prefix or Appendix to Lacunza's book, (Vol. i. p. 1,) says that Lacunza's work " was first printed in this city (Cadiz) in the Spanish tongue." At p. xxiv a Spanish officer's notice to Mr, Trying is given, stating that "an abridgment was published in the Isle of Leon in two small octavo volumes." I suppose this was subsequent to the complete Edition of 1812.

42. Ib. pp. xvi, xxiv.

43. Ib. xv. Compare my brief notices of Spain, Vol. iii. pp. 384, 390.

44. So Mr. Irving's friend the Spanish refugee officer. "When the inquiring mind of the Spanish youth was hindered from the food which it desired, and had been entertained with during the Cortez, they formed secret Societies, of which the object was to procure and read those books expressly which were prohibited by the Inquisition. In the number of which finding the work of Ben Ezra, the Society to which he belonged obtained it, and read it with delight." Ibid.

45. See Note 2 above.

46. Ibid. xvi. "Among certain of whom (the members of the Gallican Church) I am informed," says Mr. Irving, "it is a common thing under the term of the apostate Gentility to express the first of the three positions I have laid down." This phrase is the very one so common and prominent in Lambert; and suggests the question, Had Lambert seen, and been led to his prophetic views by, an early MS. copy of Ben Ezra?

47. While Mr. Irving was prosecuting his English translation, another Edition in Spanish was being printed in London. Ib. xxi. Hence we may infer the large demand for it, and large circulation of it, among those who spoke the Spanish language.

48. Not a second intermediate advent, before the third and last to final judgment, so as Lambert: but, as Mede, Christ's one second advent; continued to the final judgment.

49. i. 7. In the Section beginning at p. 88 Lacunza anatomizes, and exposes the absurdity of, the received idea of Satan having been bound ever since Christ's ascension. What, bound when Peter says that he goes about as a roaring lion; and moreover when the Church had to exercise its exorcising power "ad fugandos dtemones!" Surely Dr. Wordsworth has not sufficiently weighed these obvious considerations.

50. i. 20—32.

51. i. 141.—This prophecy is called by Lacunza the 1st Phenomenon, i. e. vision.

52. i. 197.—Mr. C. Maitland, p. 392, makes Lacunza, like himself, expect an infidel Antichrist. This, as his readers must understand him, is a misrepresentation of Lacunza's views. Lacunza's Antichrist is not a mere individual, nor professedly infidel, but Papal, (like Michelet's Romish "prêtre athée,") nor wholly future. Mr. C. M. would do well to read and study this Chapter in Lacunza.

53. Compare Lambert's very similar views p. 509 supra. Only Lambert more correctly makes the Antichrist the suite, or series, of individual Pontiffs, that had successively headed the ever growing apostacy.

54. "Seeming to see," says he, "in the Beast's two horns as of a lamb a proper symbol of the mitre." i. 218, 224. The question is thus suggested, What was the origin of the particular form of the episcopal mitre, with its two apices or horns? and when first introduced? See my Vol. iii. 186.

55. "Yes, my friend, it is our priesthood, and nothing else, which is here signified, and announced for the last times, under the metaphor of a beast with two horns like a lamb's." i. 220. He strengthens his position by reference to the Jewish priesthood; who, though professing God's true religion, and with the Old Testament Scriptures in their hands, did yet reject and crucify Christ: also by reference to the actual corruption of the professedly Christian priesthood, both in earlier times, (as that of the Arians,) and more especially in Lacunza's own time. ib. 221.

56. ib. 232.

57. 248—253.

58. I presume Mr. Burgh borrowed the view from Ben Ezra.

59. ii. 90.—Compare my explanation taken from Mr. Biley, but with reference to the Christian Church of the 4th century, Vol. iii. pp. 22—25. The correspondence is remarkable; and certainly not a little confirmatory of Mr. Biley's view.

60. Michael's standing up in Daniel 12 is subsequent to Antichrist's rise; in Apoc. 12 prior to it.

61. ii. 117. So Lacunza of the two Witnesses. And so he seems to identify them with the faithful remnant of the Woman's seed: for they ” can only mean the remains of true Christianity among the Gentiles." ib. 131.—But how could these faithful Gentiles be a remnant of the Jewish woman's children? Moreover it is only on her being in the wilderness that the Lord fully accomplishes her conversion, according to Lacunza; "speaking comfortably to her in the wilderness." And yet she will sometime before not only have believed, according to him, but made public confession for Christ.

62. Ib. 118.

63. So M. Stuart, i. 472.

64. Mr. Bicheno, I believe, the first; his "Signs of the Times" being published as early as January 1793. So in his Preface to the 6th Edition in 1808:—"It was early in the French Revolution that I commenced writing on these subjects; and was, for aught I knew, the first who wrote on them at any length." Mr. B. was one who thought too favourably at first of the French Revolution. But the work is very interesting from its evident sincerity and deep earnestness. His eyes were rivetted on what he judged to be the fulfilment, as it went on, of the ten kings desolating the harlot Rome.

65. On these points notices have occurred in the course of my Work. So e. g. on one of the particular points I speak of, and Mr. Cuninghame, in my Vol. iii. p. 147 &c; and on the other and Mr. Bicheno ibid. p. 357.

66. See my Vol. iii. pp. 454-457.

67. See Irving's Pref. p. xix

68. . "It was founded originally, but on principles that rendered it little effective, in 1809.

69. See p. 249 supra.

70. See pp. 509-511, and 516, 517 supra.

71. Some bringing the 7th Seal only down to the Constantinian revolution, and viewing the seven Trumpets as the 7th Seal's evolution; others making the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials parallel in chronology, and the 7th of each to reach to the end: &c. See my Vol. iii. p. 263.

72. See Part v. Ch. ix. in my 3rd Volume.

73. On some of these points the reader may remember my notice in the Chapter on the Year-day, beginning Vol. iii. p. 238. Others will be noticed in my review of \\iefuturisl theory in the 2nd and next Part of this Appendix.

74. Ewald, Heinricks, had meanwhile written in the same view.

75. See pp. 503-506 supra.

76. I should add that in Germany a very peculiar futurist view of the Apocalypse has been advocated by Dr. Züllig. But, after toiling through half a volume of his crabbed German, I must beg to say that, what with its strange conceits, inconclusive conclusions, and neological absurdities, it seems scarce worth the while to present any abstract of it to my readers. And indeed I have not the book, or my notes on it, now by me.

77. Since this was written, and while I have been revising my Book for its 4th Edition, Mr. Cuninghame has been taken to his rest. To Mr. Faber let me take this opportunity of offering my apology for having misrepresented his opinions, very unintentionally, on some seven, I believe, out of about seventy points on which I referred to him in my 1st Edition. So soon as I was made aware of this I in a private Letter apologized for this: stating how it had arisen from my being summoned from time to time from my home and books, while engaged in writing the work, by the dangerous illnesses of some of my nearest relatives, illnesses which resulted in death; and, as the work was printed as it was written, being so obliged to trust to certain hastily written memoranda, without the power of reference or verification. Besides that I was also laid up for some 5 or 6 months under surgical care, away from my books, while the work was going on, by a severe accident. Mr. Faber has since more than once or twice complained that the apology was not made publicly. I therefore make it now.

78. I should observe that Mr. Fry, in his Works on the Second Advent and on Unfulfilled Prophecy, has approximated more nearly than any other Expositor I am acquainted with to my explanation of the two first Seals: interpreting the first of the prosperity of the Roman Empire from Nerva or Trajan to Commodus; the second to begin with Commodus, and to include the rebellions of the Praetorian Guards and civil wars consequent. In the details, however, he differs essentially; making Trajan the rider of the first horse, Commodus of the second, Septimius Severus of the third: which third Seal he explains not at all as I do, but as Mede and Bishop Newton. The important consideration had not crossed his mind of the representative character of each rider; nor of the significant meaning of the crown, (distinctively from the diadem,) and low, and sword, and balance, as class-badges designative of office, age, or country. It may be proper to observe that I was not aware of these his views, until after my own first Volume (including the Seals) had been printed.

79. I allude of course to the revolutionary outbreaks of 1848, so well answering to the idea suggested by the Apocalyptic symbols of the 7th Vial: also to the extraordinary further development in 1850 of the spirit of Tractarian priestcraft, and of that of the Papal aggression, as indeed also of the spirit of infidelity, answering to the three spirits like frogs, that were to rouse up the last war against Christ's gospel truth. See on the one my Part v. Ch. ix ; on the other pp. 24-26 supra.

80. Dr. S. R. Maitland, as before observed, and also Mr. Kelly and others, would have even the first Chapter refer to the distant and closing future. Others however begin the future only with Ch. iv.

81. Mr. Charles Maitland in his "Apostolic School of Prophetic Interpretation," published while I was engaged in revising my work for the 4th Edition, has suggested a certain modification of the futurist scheme, which he strangely designates as primitive and apostolic. This too will have a brief notice in my review of the Futurist Scheme.

Critical Examination and Refutation of the Three Chief Counter-Schemes of Apocalyptic Interpretation; and also of Dr. Arnold's General Prophetic Counter Theory

It was stated at the conclusion of my Sketch of the History of Apocalyptic Interpretation, that there are at present two, and but two grand counter-Schemes to what may be called the historic Protestant view of the Apocalypse: that view which regards the prophecy as a prefiguration of the great events that were to happen in the Church, and world connected with it, from St. John's time to the consummation; including specially the establishment of the Popedom, and reign of Papal Rome, as in some way or other the fulfilment of the types of the Apocalyptic Beast and Babylon. The first of these two counter-Schemes is the Praeterists', which would have the prophecy stop altogether short of the Popedom, explaining it of the catastrophes, one or both, of the Jewish Nation and Pagan Rome; and of which there are two sufficiently distinct varieties: the second the Futurists', which would have it all shoot over the head of the Popedom into times yet future; and refer simply to the events that are immediately to precede, or to accompany, Christ's second Advent. I shall in this second Part of my Appendix proceed successively to examine these two, or rather three, anti-Protestant counter-Schemes; and show, if I mistake not, the palpable untenableness alike of one and all. Which done, it would then be my next duty to consider the chief Protestant Apocalyptic Scheme, that runs counter in its grand outline of arrangement to the one given in the Horae; (viz. that which, instead of regarding the seven Trumpets in a natural way as the development of the 7th Seal, just as the seven Vials also of the 7th Trumpet, in continuous evolution of the future, would regard the Seals and the Trumpets as chronologically parallel lines of prophecy, each reaching to the consummation;) but that, as my review of it refers almost wholly to the Seals, I have thought it wellon that point to anticipate, and to place my critical notice of it in the Appendix to the 1st Volume. There will here therefore only remain for examination the late Dr. Arnold's general prophetic counter-theory. This will complete our review of counter-prophetic Schemes, and fitly close the whole.

Now with regard to the Praeterist Scheme, on the review of which we are first to enter, it may be remembered that I stated it to have had its origin with the Jesuit Alcasar;(1) and that it was subsequently, and after Grotius' and Hammond's prior adoption of it, adopted and improved by Bossuet, the great Papal champion, under one form and modification(2); then afterwards, under another modification, by Hernnschneider, Eichhorn, and others of the German critical and generally infidel school of the last half-century;(3) followed in our own aera by Heinrichs, and by Moses Stuart of the United States of America.(4) The two modifications appear to have arisen mainly out of the differences of date assigned to the Apocalypse; whether about the end of Nero's reign or Domitian's.(5) I shall, I think, pretty well exhaust whatever can be thought to call for examination in the system, by considering separately, first the Neronic, or favourite German form and modification of the Praeterist Scheme, as propounded by Eichhorn, Hug, Heinrichs, and Moses Stuart; secondly Bossuet's Domitianic form, the one most approved by Roman Catholics.

1. Examination and Refutation of the German Neronic Praeteriast Apocalyptic Counter-Scheme

The reader has already been made acquainted with the main common features of this German form of the Praeterist Apocalyptic Scheme.(6) Differing on points of detail, yet (with the exception that Hartwig and Herder pretty much confine themselves to the Jewish catastrophe, and Ewald, Bleek, and De Wette to that of heathen Rome (7)) it may generally be described as embracing both catastrophes: the fall of Judaism being signified under that of Jerusalem, the fall of Heathenism under that of Rome; the one as drawn out in symbol from Apoc. 6 to 11 inclusive, the other from Apoc. 12 to 19: whereupon comes thirdly, in Apoc. 20, a figuration of the triumph of Christianity. So, with certain differences, Hernnschneider, Eichhorn, Hug, Heinrichs, &c. in Germany;(8) M. Stuart in America; and in England Dr. Davidson. —In my review of the Scheme each of these two historic catastrophes, as supposed Apocalyptically figured, will of course furnish matter for critical examination; not without reference to the Apocalyptic date also, as in fact essentially mixt up with the historic question.—But, before entering on them, I think it may be well to premise a notice,


Considering the self-sufficient dogmatism which pre-eminently characterizes the School in question, even as if, a priori to examination, all other schemes were to be deemed totally wrong, and the Praeterist Scheme alone conformable to the discoveries and requirements of “modern exegesis,"(9) (a dogmatism the more remarkable, when exhibited by a man of calm temperament and unimpassioned style, like Professor Stuart,(10) and which to certain weaker minds may seem imposing,) the question is sure to arise, What the grounds of this strange presumptu-ousness of tone? What the new and overpowering evidence in favour of the modern Praeterists? What the discovery of such unthought of coincidence between the prophecy on the one hand, and certain facts of their chosen Neronic sera on the other, as to settle the Apocalyptic controversy in their favour, at once and for ever? And then the surprise is increased by finding that not only has no such discovery been made, not only no such discovery been even pretended to, but that in fact they put it forward, as the very boast of the Praeterist system, that coincidences exact and particular are not to be sought or thought of: that the three main ideas about the three cities, or three antagonist religions represented by them, so as above mentioned, are pretty much all that there is of fact to be unfolded; and that, with certain exceptions, (of which exceptions more in a later part of this review,) all else is to be regarded as but the poetic drapery and ornament.(11) —Now in mere rationalists of the School, like Eichhorn and many others, men professedly disbelieving the inspiration of the Apocalypse, all this is quite natural and consistent: seeing that its author wrote, they take for granted, as a mere dramatist and poet; and, as to details, what the limit ever assigned to a poet's fancy, except as his own taste or critical judgment might impose one? But that Christian expositors, like Professor Stuart and Dr. Davidson, men professing to believe in St. John's inspiration as a prophet, (and to these I here chiefly refer,) should deliberately so pronounce on the matter, so resolve even what seems most specific into generalizations,(12) and what seems stated as fact into mere poetic drapery, will appear probably to my readers, as to myself, most astonishing.

It is of course due to these writers to mark by what process of thought they arrive at this conclusion; and on what principle, or by what reasons, they have justified it to themselves. And passing by the ne-gative argument from the discrepancy and unsatisfactoriness of the historic detailed interpretations given by expositors who seek in the Apocalypse a prophetic "epitome of the civil and ecclesiastical history of Christendom," (as to which, wherever justly objected to, the remark was obvious that further research might very possibly supply what was wanting, and rectify what was unsatisfactory, so as I hope has been done on various points in the present Commentary,(13)) passing this, I say, the intended use and object of the Apocalypse, at the presumed time of its writing, will be found to have been that which mainly guided the learned American Professor to the true principle of exegesis, whereby to interpret the Book.(14) For, argues he, during a persecution like Nero's, (this being his supposed date of the Apocalypse,) when the Church was "bleeding at every pore,"(15) how could it take interest in information as to what was to happen in distant ages, (excepting of course the final triumph of Christianity,) or indeed as to anything but what concerned their own immediate age and pressure, whether in Judea or at Rome? Hence then to this the subject-matter of the Apocalypse must be regarded as confined.(16) And whereas, on this exegetic hypothesis, scarce anything appears in the actual historic facts of the particular period or catastrophe in question, which can be considered as answering to the prophetic figurations in detail, therefore all idea of any such detailed and particular intent and meaning in these prophetic figurations must be set aside; and they must be regarded as the mere drapery and ornament of a poetic Epopee, albeit by one inspired. As a Scriptural precedent and justification for this generalizing view of the Apocalyptic imagery, Psalm 18, which was David's song after his deliverance from Saul, and Isaiah 13, 14, on the fall of Babylon, (the former more especially,) are referred to, and insisted on, by the learned Professor.(17)

But (reserving the subject of the Apocalyptic date for a remark or two presently under my next head of argument) let me beg here to ask, with reference to the very limited use and object so assigned to the Apocalyptic prophecy,—as if only or chiefly meant for the Christians then living, by them to be understood, and by them applied in the way of encouragement and comfort, as announcing the issue of the trials in which they were then personally engaged,—what right has Professor Stuart thus to limit it Was it not accordant with the character of God's revelations, as communicated previously in Scripture, (especially in Daniel's prophecies, which are of all others the most nearly parallel with the Apocalypse,) to foreshow the future in its continuity from the time when the prophecy was given, even to the consummation: and this, not with the mere present object of comforting his servants then living, but for a perpetual witness to his truth; to be understood only partially, it might be, for generations, but fully in God's own appointed time? So, for example, in the Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ's first advent; prophecies which not only the Old Testament Jews, but even the disciples of Christ, understood most imperfectly, till Christ himself, after he had actually come, explained them: and so again in Daniel's prophecies extending to the time of the end; which, until that time of the end, were expressly ordered to be sealed up.(18)—And then, next, what historic evidence have we of Christians of Nero's time having so understood the Apocalypse, as the American Professor would have it that they must have done?(19) Not a vestige of testimony exists to the fact of such an understanding; albeit quite general, according to him, among the more intelligent in the Christian body. On the contrary, the early testimony of Irenseus, disciple to Polycarp, who was himself disciple to St. John, indicates a then totally different view of the Apocalyptic Beast from Professor Stuart's, as if the only one ever known to have been received: a view referring it, not to any previous persecution by Nero and the Roman Empire under him, but to an Antichrist even then future; one that was to arise and persecute the Church not till the breaking up, and reconstruction in another form, of the old Empire.—Moreover the whole that our Professor would have to be shown by the Apocalypse, viz. the assured triumph of Christianity over both Judaism and Paganism,—I say this, instead of being any new revelation specially suited to cheer the Christians of the time, had been communicated, in part by Daniel, in part by Christ himself, much more fully and particularly long before.(20)—As to the Professor's grand precedent of Psalm 18, urged again and again in justification of his explaining away nearly all the more particular symbolizations of the Apocalypse, as if mere poetic drapery and ornament, is the parallel a real one, or the argument from it valid? Says the Professsor;(21) See, though the subject of the Psalm be at the heading declared to be David's deliverance from Saul, yet under what varied imagery this is set forth:— how, in depicting them, David makes the earth to shake and tremble, and the smoke to go forth from God's nostrils, and his thunderings to be heard in the heaven, and his lightnings shot forth to discomfort the enemy: all mere poetical ornament; not particular circumstantial fact; much less fact in chronological order and development. But, let me ask, does the Psalmist profess, as his very object, to tell the facts that had occurred in the period of David's suffering from Saul, so as the Apoca-lyptic revealing Angel does to tell the things of the coming future?(22) Or with any such orderly division, and arrangement for chronological development of facts, as in the singularly artificial Apocalyptic division into its three septenaries of Seals Trumpets and Vials, (each of the latter subordinate evidently to the former,) and the various chronological periods so carefully interwoven? Again, as to the symbolizations in the Psalm, is Professor Stuart quite sure that they refer only to David and Saul; and that David is not carried forward in the Spirit, beyond his own times and his own experience, to picture forth the future triumphs of a greater David over a greater Saul; triumphs not to be accomplished in fine without very awful elemental convulsions, and the visible and glorious interposition of the Almighty? Surely what is said in verse 43, of his (the chief intended David's) "being made the head of the heathen," tells with sufficient clearness that such is indeed the true exegesis of the Psalm: and so most expositors of repute, I believe, explain it.—If the testing is to be by a real parallel, let Daniel's orderly prophecies of the quadripartite image and the four Beasts be resorted to, to settle the question of exegesis. Is all there figured relative only to Daniel's own time; and all else mere poetic ornament and drapery?

So much on the general exegetic principles of the German Prseterist School. Let me now proceed, 2ndly, to consider these Praeterists' historical solution, including specially the two grand catastrophes laid down by them, as the two main particulars unfolded in the Apocalypse; and show, as I trust, both in respect of the one and the other, the many and indubitable marks of error stamped upon it.

Of course the Neronic date is an essential preliminary to this Scheme, in the minds of all Praeterist expositors who, like M. Stuart and Dr. Davidson, admit the apostolicity and inspiration of the Book. And as I venture to think that I have in my 1st Volume completely proved that the true date is Domitianic, agreeably with Irenaeus' testimony, not Neronic or Galbaic,(23) that single fact may in such case be of itself deemed conclusive against the theory.—Nor, let me add, in case of non-infidel Prseterists only. For the very strong opinion as to the sublimity and surpassing aesthetic beauty of the Apocalypse admitted by the German Neologians, Eichhorn inclusive, as the result of the Semlerian controversy, compared with the utter inferiority of all Church writers of the nearest later date, does even on rationalistic principles almost involve the inference of St. John's authorship; especially as coupled with the fact of the Apocalyptic writer's assumption of authority over the Asiatic Bishops he addrest, and the air of truth, holiness, and honesty that all through mark his character. Which admitted, and also, as by Eichhorn, the Domitianic as the true date, even a rationalist like him must, I think, be prepared to admit the high improbability of such a writer making pretence to prophesy a certain catastrophe about Nero and Rome, and another certain catastrophe about Jerusalem, as if things then future, when in fact the one had happened 30, the other 25 years before. Whence the baselessness, even on rationalistic principles, of the whole Neronic Praeterist Scheme.—But we will now proceed more in detail to the examination of the two catastrophes separately.

1. And, 1st, as to the catastrophe of Judaism and Jerusalem, depicted in the figurations from Apoc. 6 to 11 inclusive.

Argues Professor Stuart, as abstracted in brief, thus:(24)—"It is for some considerable time not unfolded who the enemy is against whom the rider of the white horse in the first Seal has gone forth conquering, followed by his agencies of war, famine,(25) and pestilence; him against whom the cry is raised of the Christian martyrs slain under the 5th Seal, and the revolution of whose political state is evidently the subject of Seal the sixth. But in Apoc. 7 the enemy meant is intimated. For when it is stated that 144,000 are sealed, by way of protection, out of all the tribes of Israel, meaning evidently those that have been converted from among the Jews to Christianity, it follows clearly that it is the unsealed ones of those tribes, or unconverted Jews, forming the great body of Israel, that are the destined objects of destruction. A view this quite confirmed in Apoc. 11; where the inner temple is measured, as that which is not to be ejected: this meaning, that whatever was spiritual in the Jewish religion was to be preserved in Christianity;(26) while the rest, or mere external parts of the system, as well as the Holy City Jerusalem itself, was to be abandoned and trodden down." So sub-stantially Professor Stuart: and so too his prototype Eichhorn, and his English follower Dr. Davidson. This is the strength of their first Part; the details of Seals and Trumpets being of course little more in this system than intimations of something awful attending or impending, altogether general; or indeed, perhaps, mere "poetic drapery and costume." Let us then try its strength where it professes to be strongest.

The enemy to be destroyed, it is said, was shown to be the Jews: because it was the Jewish tribes (all but the sealed few from out of them) that were to have the tempests of the four winds let loose on them; and because it was the Jewish temple (all but the inner and measured part of it) that was to be abandoned to the Gentiles. Let us test this conclusion by the threefold test of what is shown, first, as to the intent of the Jewish symbolic scenery elsewhere in the Apocalypse; secondly, as to the religious profession of the people actually destroyed in the Trumpet-judgments; thirdly, as to the intended people's previous murder of Christ's two Witnesses, in their thereupon doomed city.

As to the first, already in the opening vision a chamber as of the Jewish temple had been revealed; with seven candlesticks like those in the old Jewish temple,(27) and one in the High Priest's robing that walked among them. Was its signification then Jewish or Christian; of Judaism or Christianity? We are not left to conjecture. The High Priest was distinctively the Christian High Priest, Christ Jesus; the seven candlesticks the seven Christian Churches. This explanation at the outset is most important to mark; being the fittest key surely to the intent of all that occurs on the scene afterwards of similar imagery.— Further, in Seal 5 a temple like the Jewish, at least the temple-court with its great brazen altar, is again noted as figured on the scene. Now we might anticipate pretty confidently, from the previously given key just alluded to, that the temple was here too symbolic of the Christian worship and religion, not the Jewish. But there is, over and above this, independent internal evidence to affix to it the same meaning. For the souls under the altar, who confessedly depict Christian martyrs, appear there of course as sacrifices offered on that altar; their place being where the ashes of the Jewish altar-sacrifices were gathered. Which being so, could the altar mean that of the literal Judaism; and the vision signify that the Jews, zealous for their law, and thinking to do God service, had there slain the Christian martyrs, as if heretics? Certainly not; because on their altar the Jews never offered human sacrifices, and would indeed have esteemed it a pollution. Therefore we have independent internal evidence that the Jewish temple and altar, figured on the Apocalyptic scene, had here too a Christian meaning; depicting (as both St. Paul, and Polycarp after him, so beautifully applied the figure) the Christian's willing sacrifice of himself and his life for Christ.(28)—Further in Apoc. 8 the temple is again spoken of as apparent; with its brazen sacrificial altar in the altar-court, its golden incense-altar within the temple proper, and one too, habited as a Priest, who received and offered incense, according to the ceremony of the Jewish ritual. Was this meant literally of Jewish incense and Jewish worship? Assuredly not. For the incense of the offering priest is declared to be "the prayers of all the saints;" i.e. as all admit,(29) of Christians distinctively from literal Jews.—Again, with reference even to the temple-figuration in Apoc. 11:2, which furnishes his chief Jewish proof-text, our Professor himself admits, nay argues, that the inner and most characteristic part of it (the same that was measured by St. John) signified that spiritual part of Judaism which was to be preserved in Christianity, as contrasted with the mere externals of Jewish ritualism;(30) thus construing it, not literally, with reference to the worship of the national Israel, but symbolically, with reference to that of the Christian Israel:(31) albeit with no little mixture of what is erroneous, and consequently confused and inconsistent in his reasoning.(32)—All which being so, what, I ask, must by the plainest requirements of consistency and common sense follow, but that as the offerers of Jewish worship in the Jewish temple, depicted on the Apocalyptic scene, meant in fact Christians, so they that are called Jews or Israelites in the Apocalyptic context must mean Christians also, at least by profession. A conclusion clenched by the fact which I have elsewhere urged that the twelve tribes of God's Israel in the New Jerusalem of Apoc. 21 are on all hands admitted to designate Christians, mainly Gentile Christians; and so surely in all fair reasoning, the twelve tribes of Israel mentioned in Apoc. 7 also.

Next, as to the religious profession or character of those that were to suffer through the plagues of the first great act of the Drama, (or rather Epopee, as Stuart would prefer to call it,(33)) their character is most distinctly laid down in Apoc. 9:20, as actual idolaters. For it is there said, "that the rest of the men, which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship daemons, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood:"—a description so diametrically opposed to the character of the Jews in Nero's time, and ever afterwards, that one would have thought with Bossuet,(34) and indeed Ewald too,(35) that it settled the point, if anything could settle it, that Jews were not the parties meant. And how then do the German Praeterists, that take the Judaic view, overcome the difficulty? Few and brief are the words of Eichhorn's paraphrase:— "It means that they persevered in that same obstinate mind, which once showed itself in the worship of idols!" (36) Says M. Stuart:(37) "In the Old Testament Jews that acted in a heathenish way were called heathens: and moreover in the New Testament covetousness is called idolatry: and moreover in the time of Herod theatres, and other such like heathen customs, had become common in Judea."(38) But surely such observations, when put forward in explanation of the descriptive clause that spoke of men "worshipping idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood," must be felt to be rather an appeal ad misericordiam in the Expositor's difficulty, than an argument for the fitness of the descriptive clause, to suit the Jews of the times of Nero and Vespasian: especially when coming from one who is led elsewhere in his comment to state (and state most truly) that the Jews were ready, one and all, rather to submit their necks to the Roman soldiers' swords, than to admit an image that was to be worshipped within their city.(39) Indeed it is notorious that they regarded images altogether as abominations; and that the Roman attempts at erecting them more than once nearly caused desperate rebellions.—As for Dr. Davidson, he here exhibits more at least of discretion than the American Professor. He passes over the difficulty, as if re desperatâ, in dead silence.

Try we, thirdly, the Judaic theory of our German Prseterists by the test of the Witness-slaying prophecy, including the place, time, and author of their slaughter. —This is put forth as one of the strongest points in the Judaic part of their view: it being stated to occur in the city "where there Lord was crucified; " i. e., say the Praeterists, in Jerusalem. —But first, we ask, what witnesses? "The Jewish chief priests Ananus and Jesus," answer Herder and Eichhorn; "mercilessly massacred, as Josephus tells us, by the Zealots."(40) But how so? Must they not rather be Christ's witnesses, exclaims Stuart;(41) (since it is said, "I will give power to my witnesses;") and therefore Christians? Of course they must. Which being so, the next question is, Who then the notable Christians that Stuart considers to have been slain in Jerusalem, in the witness character, at this epoch; i. e. during the Romans' invasion of Judea? Does he not himself repeat to us the well-known story on record, that the Christians forthwith fled to Pella, agreeably with their Lord's warning and direction, so soon as they saw the Romans approach to beleagur Jerusalem? "But," says he in reply, "can we imagine that all would be able to make their escape? Would there not be sick and aged and paupers to delay the flight; and faithful teachers too of Christianity, that would choose to remain, to preach repentance and faith to their countrymen? These I regard as symbolized by the two Witnesses:"(42) and these therefore as answering in their history at this crisis to St. John's extraordinary and circumstantial prediction about the Witnesses' testimony, miracles, death, resurrection, ascension. But what the historic testimony to support his view? Alas! none! absolutely none! In apology for this total and most unfortunate silence of history he exclaims; "The Jew Josephus is not the historian of Christians; and early ecclesiastical historians have perished:" adding however, as if sufficient to justify his hypothesis; "But Christ intimates, in his prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, that there would be persecution of Christians at the period in question." A statement quite unjustified (if he means persecution to death in Jerusalem, and at the time of the siege) by the passages he refers to.(43) At last he condescends to this: "At all events it is clear that the Zealots, and other Jews, did not lose their disposition to persecute at this period!!"(44) Such is the impotent conclusion of Professor Moses Stuart: such the best explanation he can devise, on his hypothesis, of the wonderful Apocalyptic prophecy respecting the Witnesses.—Nor is his need supplied by Dr. Davidson. "Notwithstanding God's long-suffering mercy," says this latter, "the Jews continue to persecute the faithful witnesses." This, I can assure the Reader, is the sum total of his observations on the point before us.(45)—Nor is it here only that the Judaic part of the Praeterist Scheme, applied to the Witness-story in the Apocalypse, breaks down. For, further, the city where the Witnesses' corpses were to be exposed is declared to be the city the great one;(46) that which is the emphatic title of the seven-hilled Babylon or Rome, in the Apocalypse; never of Jerusalem.(47) (How it might be Rome, and yet the city where the Lord Jesus had been crucified, the Reader has long since seen!(48))—Nor this alone. For the Beast that was to slay them was το θηριον το αναβαινον εκ τησ αβυσσου, the Beast that was to rise from the abyss;(49) a Beast which (especially with the distinctive article prefixed so as here to it) cannot but mean one and the same with that which is mentioned under precisely the same designation in Apoc. 17:8;(50) and there, as all the Praeterists themselves allow, designates a power associated some way with Rome. And what Stuart's explanation? Why, that it means in Apoc. 11 simply Satan!(51) —Indeed alike the declared fact of the witness-slaying, and of the great city as the place of their slaughter, and of the Beast from the abyss as their slayer, (as also, let me add, the period of the 1260 days, assigned alike to the Witnesses' sackcloth-prophesying first, and to the Beast's reign afterwards,) do so interweave the first half of the Apocalyptic prophecy, from Apoc. 6 to 11, with the part subsequent, that as to any such total separation, in respect to subject, of the one from the other, as the Praeterists urge, on their hypothesis of a double catastrophe, it is, I am well persuaded, and will be so found by one and all who attempt to work it out, an absolute impossibility.(52)

I might add yet a word as to the ill agreeing times of the supposed Jewish catastrophe and the Roman; the former heing in the Praeterist Scheme first set forth, and the Roman figured afterwards: whereas the chronological order of the two events was in fact just the reverse; the Roman persecution of Christians, and quickly consequent fall of Nero, preceding the fall of Jerusalem. But the argument (which indeed might be spared ex abundanti) will occur again, and somewhat more strikingly, under our next Head.—To this let us then now pass onwards; and consider, as proposed,

2ndly, the German Praeterists' second grand division of the Apocalypse, and second grand catastrophe ; viz. that affecting Pagan Rome.

And here, as before, I shall not stop at minor points; but hasten rapidly to that which is considered by the Praeterists as their strongest ground.—It is to be understood that they generally make Apoc. 12 retrogressive in its chronology to Christ's birth, and the Devil's primary attempts to destroy both him, and his religion, and his early Church in Judea; though in vain. Then, after note of the Dragon's dejection from his former eminence, and the song, "Now is come salvation, &c.," we arrive at the Woman's flight into the wilderness, meaning the Church's flight to Pella, on the Romans advancing to besiege Jerusalem: some outbreak of Jewish persecution at the time (the same indeed under which the Witnesses were to fall within Jerusalem) answering probably (53) to the floods from the Dragon's mouth; and the 3½ years, predicated of the Woman in the wilderness, answering also sufficiently well to the length, not indeed of the siege, but of the Jewish war. (Mark, in passing, how the symbolic Woman, first made to be the Theocratic Church in its Jewish form, travailing with, and bringing forth Christ,(54) has now become, not the Church Catholic, which in Nero's time had indeed spread over the Roman world, but the little Section of it which remained stationary in Judea!)—Then the Dragon, being enraged at the Woman, "went away to make war with the remainder of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and hold fast the testimony of Jesus." That is, enraged that the Jews, his original instrument of persecution, should be destroyed and fail him, he leaves the Jewish scene of his former operations, and goes elsewhere to stir up a new persecutor against Christians in Nero.—But did not Nero's persecution occur before the Jews' destruction? No doubt! The anachronism is honestly admitted by Professor Stuart.(55) An anachronism the more remarkable, because he makes the vision of the 144,000 in Apoc. 14 to be a vision of encouragement to Christians, suffering under Nero's persecution; depicting as it did, according to him, the Christian Jews occupying Jerusalem as a now Christian city:(56) an event this which could not have happened till Jerusalem's destruction, about four years after the commencement of Nero's persecution; and did not in fact take place till some years later.(57)"But in an Epopee, like the Apocalypse," says Stuart, "we are surely not bound to the rigid rules of a book of Annals!"(58)

Thus then we come to consider Apoc. 13, the Chapter on the Beast; and, connectedly with it, (for it does not need to dwell on the intervening Chapters,)(59) the further explanatory symbolizations about the Beast in Apoc. 17.

Behold us then now before the very citadel of the German Praeterists! "And see," they say, "how impregnable it is! For not only is the Woman that rides the Beast expressly stated to be the seven-hilled imperial city Rome, so that the Beast ridden must be the persecuting Roman Empire; but the time intended is also fixed. For it is said that the Beast's seven heads, besides meaning seven hills, meant also seven kings, or rather eight: of whom five had fallen at the time of the vision; which must mean the five first emperors, Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius; and one, the sixth, was; which of course must be the next after Claudius, i. e. Nero. Nay, to make the thing clearer, the Beast's name and number 666 are specified; or, as some copies read, 616. And so it is that in Hebrew "(given in Hebrew – H&F), Neron Caesar, has the value in numbers of 666, which is one frequent Rabbinical way of writing Nero's name; or, if the Hebrew be that of Nero Caesar, without the final n, then it gives the number 616."(60)

No doubt the numeral coincidence is worthy of note, and the whole case, so put, quite plausible enough to call for examination. It is indeed obvious to say as to the name and numeral, that a Greek solution would be preferable to one in Hebrew; and a single name to a double one: principles these recognized, as we have seen, by Irenaeus, and all the other early fathers that commented on the topic.(61) But in this there is of course nothing decisive. A graver objection seems to me however to lie against the suggested numeral solution, in that a part of the name being official, —I mean the word Caesar, —this agnomen, though fitly applicable to Nero while the reigning emperor, would hardly be applicable to him when resuscitated after his death-wound, and so become the Beast of Apoc. 13 of whom the name was predicated. But this involves inquiry into the Beast's heads; to which inquiry, as the decisive one, let us now therefore at once pass on. The heads then, as they assert, mean certain individual kings. This is not surely according to the precedent of Daniel 7:6, where the third Beast's four heads would seem from Daniel 8: 8 to have signified the monarchical successions that governed the four kingdoms into which Alexander's empire was divided at his death.—But, not to stop at this, the decisive question next recurs, What the eighth head of the Beast, on this hypothesis of the Praeterists: Nero being the sixth; and, as they generally say, Galba, who reigned but a short time, the seventh? It is admitted (and common sense itself forces the admission) that this eighth head is the same which is said in Apoc. 13:3, 12, 14, "to have had a wound with a sword and to have revived:" and it is this revived head, or Beast under it, (let my Readers well mark this,(62)) that is the subject of all the prophecy concerning the first Beast in Apoc. 13, and all concerning the Beast ridden by the Woman in Apoc. 17. What then, we ask, this eighth head of the Beast? And, in reply, first Eichhorn, and then his copyists Heinrichs, Stuart, Davidson, all four refer us to a rumour prevalent in Nero's time, and believed by many, that after suffering some reverse, he would return again to power: a rumour which after his death took the form that he would revive again, and reappear, and retake the empire.(63) Such is their explanation. The eighth head of the Beast is the imaginary revived Nero. —But do they not explain the Beast (the revived Beast) in Apoc. 13, and his blasphemies, and persecution of the saints, and predicated continuance 42 months, of the real original Nero, and his blasphemies and his three or four years' persecution of the Christians, begun November 64, a. d. and ended with Nero's death, June 9, a. d. 68? Such indeed is the case; and by this palpable self-contradiction, (one which however they cannot do without,) they give to their own solution its death-wound: as much its death-wound, I may say, as that given to the Beast itself to which the solution relates.

So that really, as regards the truth of the solution concerned, it is needless to go further. Nor shall I stop to expose sundry other absurdities that might easily be shown to attach to it: e. g. the supposed figuration of the fall of the Pagan Roman empire in the fall of the individual emperor Nero, albeit succeeded by Pagan emperors like himself.(64)—But I cannot feel it right to conclude my critical examination of the system without a remark as to something on this head far graver, and more to be reprobated, than any mere expository error, however gross or obvious. The reader will have observed that as well Prof.

Stuart and Dr. Davidson, as the German Eichhorn, explain the repeated direct statements, "The Beast had a wound with the sword, and lived" "The Beast that thou sawest is not, and shall be, and is to ascend from the abyss," &c, &c, to be simply allusions to a rumour current in Nero's time, but which in fact was an altogether false rumour. That is, they make St. John tell a direct lie: and tell it, with all the most flagrant aggravation that fancy itself can suppose to attach to a lie; viz. under the form of a solemn prophecy received from heaven! Now of Eichhorn, and others of the same German rationalistic school of theology, we must admit that they are here at least open and consistent. Their declared view of the Apocalypse, is as of a mere uninspired poem by an uninspired poet. So it was but a recognized poetical license in St. John to tell the falsehood. But that men professing belief in the Christian faith, and in the inspiration as well as apostolic origin of this holy Book, should so represent the matter, is surely as surprising as lamentable. It is but in fact the topstone-crowning to that explaining away of the prophetic symbols and statements, as mere epopee, of which I spoke before(65) as characteristic of the system. And how does it show the danger of Christian men indulging in long and friendly familiarity with infidel writings! For not only are the Scriptural expository principles and views of Christian men and Neologists so essentially different, that it is impossible for their new wine to be put into our old bottles, without the bottles bursting; but the receiver himself is led too often heedlessly to sip of the poison, and bethinks him not that death is in the cup.(66)


1. See p. 468 supra.

2. See ibid. p. 480.

3. Ib. pp. 502-506.

4. See p. 525.

5. I say mainly; because Eichhorn, as will be noted presently, adopts the Neronic interpretation retrospectively, with the Domitianic date. Also I say, about the end of Nero's reign, because some of the Germans prefer to date it a year or two after Nero's death. See Note 2 p. 536.

6. See pp. 503-506.

7. So M. Stuart, i. 161.

8. Eichhorn makes his Judaic division of the Apocalypse to extend into Apoc. 12; and the Roman division only to begin with the Dragon's going to persecute the remnant of the woman's children, Apoc. 12:18. And so too Heinrichs.

9. A favourite phrase, and almost argument, with many of this class of interpreters.

10. i. e. in the body of his Work. His Preface is in the undogmatic style that one might expect from such a man as Professor Stuart. Elsewhere, however, not only does he dogmatically pass sentence of condemnation upon expositions on the usual Protestant exegetic principle, (e.g. i. 161, "It is time, high time, for principle to take the place of fancy, for exegetical proof to thrust out assumption,") but even warms into such a burst as the following:—"In the name of all that is pertinent and congruous in prophecy, what have these (viz. a history of civil commotions, and description of literal famines, pestilences, &c.) to do with the object John had before him? Are we .. to regard him as in a state of hallucination when he wrote the Apocalypse? . . . Away with all such surmises: and away too with all the expositions that are built upon them!" i. 208, 209. In Dr. Davidson, with whom of English expounders of the system I am best acquainted, the same characteristic is prominent. So where he speaks of Protestant Expositors generally, in the Eclectic Review for Dec. 1844, p. 649: “That the Revelation exhibits a prophetic view of the Church from the close of the Apostolic age to the end of time, is a position that can never be rendered probable. All who have attempted to expound it on this principle have totally failed." And, again, of myself and the Horae, ibid, p, 644; As an exposition of the Apocalypse it is a total failure; it is essentially and fundamentally erroneous: "yet without the slightest attempt at encountering the evidence and arguments in the Horae. All which is repeated at the close of his article on the "Revelation," p. 623, &c, in Kitto's Cyclopaedia.—On the other hand on his own German Praeterist view he says, ibid. 644; "The recent German works on the Apocalypse have served to point out the true path of interpretation:" and p. 648; "For the rigid interpretation of the mystical number 666, or 616, see Ewald's Commentary." And so too in the Article in Kitto this German Praeterist Scheme is given in considerable detail; not as a suggested interpretation, but authoritatively, and ex cathedra, as beyond a doubt the true interpretation.

11. So Stuart, i. 179:—"Substantial facts lie at the basis of the Apocalypse... But what constitutes the drapery or costume? .. All symbol is of course drapery. It is the thing signified which is person; but the way and manner of signifying it .. is merely the fashion of the costume." Then at p. 200 he proceeds to state, with reference to the Apocalypse "as a book of poetry," that "Oriental Poetry, especially the Hebrew, follows out the detail of symbol and allegory, for the sake of verisimilitude, and to give vivacity to the representation, much beyond what we are accustomed to do in the Western world:" and, at p. 203, reprobates those interpreters who "seek for historical events and facts, in remote ages, as the fulfilment of these so-called predictions." For "what defence can be made for converting episode into the main body of the work; or mere symbols of strong assurance that the Beast will be overcome, into pictures of veritable historical events?" Similarly Dr. Davidson in Kitto, p. 627, adopts Hug's remark; "The particular traits and images in the Apocalypse are by no means all significant: many being introduced only to enliven the representation, and for the purpose of ornament."

12. "Scarcely inferior in importance .. is the plain and obvious principle that generic, and not specific and individual, representations are to be sought for in the Apocalypse." So Professor S. at p. 203, after the extract given in my Note preceding.—As a striking example of the extent to which this is carried by him, I may refer to his Vol. ii. p. 146: where, after setting forth the destruction of Jerusalem and Judaism as the first grand theme of the Apocalypse, from Apoc. 6 to 11, he says; " If no history by Josephus was in existence, the arch of Titus at Rome would tell the story that Apoc. 6-11 had been fulfilled."Nay!" Equally would it have been fulfilled,.. had the Jewish persecuting power been crushed in any other way, or by any other means" So too in his Vol. i. p. 205.

13. My own Commentary does not seem to have met Professor Stuart's eye, before his publishing his. At Vol. i. p. 204, after mention of the Gothic invasions of the empire, &c, as subjects supposed to be figured by the Protestant interpreters, he adds; "The misfortune is that what applies to this particular battle, &c, would apply equally well to every battle that has been fought." If this Edition of the Horae fall into his hands, and the Professor test my explanations, he will, if I mistake not, soon find how little the above statement can apply to them. I think I may say, with regard to all the chief and detailed interpretations, that they are shewn to be applicable to nothing else whatsoever, with at all the same exactitude, as to that which they are applied to by me.

14. So in the Preface p. 4; "I take it for granted that the writer had a present and immediate object in view when he wrote the book: and so must regard him as having spoken intelligibly to those whom he addressed." And so again and again, i. 126, 159, 163, 197, 208; ii. 310, 472, &c.

15. A favourite expression of the American Professor. So i. 159, 207, 209, &c.—But how does this idea square with what is intimated of the then state of the Laodicean Church; "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods," &c? See my Vol. i, p. 43, Note 4.

16. Dr. D. ap. Kitto, p. 623, cannot apparently quite agree with this. At least he expresses the just observation; "The Apocalypse was designed to promote the instruction of God's people in all ages. It does not belong to the class of ephemeral writings. Its object was not merely a local or partial one." Adding however; "This general characteristic is perfectly consistent with the fact that it arose out of specific circumstances, and was primarily meant to subserve a definite end."

17. So Stuart i. 170, &c.

18. Daniel 12:9. The sealing was evidently with reference to that part of the prophecy which concerned the distant future.

19. See the extract from his Preface, Note 2, p. 533 supra. So again i. 126; "John wrote in order to be read and understood; and therefore intelligent persons of his day might understand him." Also ii. 326, &c.

20. The only new point communicated, I believe, according to Stuart and Davidson, is the enigma about Nero, as a head of the Roman Beast, answering to a certain mystic number: and this indeed no discovery of the future about him, but only a riddle for the time then present.

21. i. 170, ii. 141, 146.

22. "Come up, and I will show thee α μελλει γινεσθαι μ&epsolin;τα ταυτα the things that are to happen after the things now present." Apoc. 4:1.

23. Lücke advocating a Gulbaic date, just after Nero; (see my Vol. i. Appendix;) Heinrichs a Vespasianic, but before the fall of Jerusalem. They are all one as regards my argument.

24. See the Professor's Introduction to the first Catastrophe, Vol. ii. pp. 138-145.

25. Let me not omit to remind the reader, in passing, of the proof given under my 3rd Seal (Vol. i. pp. 156, 157) that the symbols of that Seal cannot have been meant to figure famine. Indeed what is said about the wine and oil makes Prof. Stuart himself half admit it. The more conclusive notice to the same effect about the price of barley he has, like all other expositors, quite overlooked.

26. See the extract p. 539 Note 3.

27. So Stuart allows, ii. 46: saying that "the writer had doubtless in his mind the passage in Zechariah 4:2, where the prophet sees a candelabra of gold, with seven lamps thereon;" with reference to the "light of the (Jewish) temple, its ritual, and services."

28. See my Vol. i. pp. 193-195, and 209.

29. So M. Stuart ii. 182; "It goes up before God bearing along with it on its fragrant clouds, so to speak, the prayers of persecuted Christians." So too Eichhorn, Heinrichs, &c.

30. "The design seems plainly this, viz. to prefigure the preservation of all that was fundamental and essential in the ancient religion, notwithstanding the destruction of all that was external, in respect to the temple, the city, and the ancient people of God. .. Is not the preservation of the sanctum of the temple an appropriate and significant emblem of this?" Stuart ii. 214. "Christians," he adds, p. 218, "are kings and priests unto God; and to them the inmost recesses of the temple are opened." So too i. 184.

31. Professor S. seems inclined to view the altar here spoken of as the incense altar: yet he includes the priest's court in the part measured; which court was the one that had the great brazen altar in it. And I believe that the altar, when thus simply designated, means always in the New Testament the brazen altar of sacrifice. See my Paper on the subject in the Appendix to Vol. i.—I believe too there were never said to be worshippers, προσκυνουντερ, at the incense altar. Compare Luke 1:10-11; where the people are spoken of as praying, while the priest at the incense-altar offered incense: also 2 Kings 18:22. See too my Vol. ii. pp. 179-181.

32. For he makes the Jewish temple proper, to figure Christianity, simply as being the inner part; at the same time that its outer court, as the outer, figured Judaism. That is, he makes the connected part of the same temple to symbolize two professedly different and opposed religions: and moreover makes that part of it which contained all that was visibly and by use ritualistic, (the sacrificial altar, the laver, the incense-altar, the show-bread, the candlesticks, &c,) to symbolize the unritualistic religion of the two ; while the other part, which had none of the ritualistic materiel, was to symbolize the religion of ritualism! Surely St. Paul might have taught the Professor a very different and more consistent mode of interpreting the symbol. According to this apostolic teaching the Jewish temple on the Apocalyptic scene figured the Christian visible worshipping Church and its worship, on the principle of construing the old Jewish types to mean their answering spiritual antitypes. Which being so, the Gentile outer court figured naturally the professing proselytes of the same Christian worship and religion: whether proselytes consistent in life and doctrine, and who thus worshipped in the altar-worship; or proselytes false at heart, and false to the altar, and so to be at length cast out as apostates and hypocrites. I must again refer the reader to my Paper on the Apocalyptic altar. Dr. Davidson is as brief here, and shuns the difficulty as much, as in the case of the witness-slaying; of which more under the next head. He only says: "After this the interior of the temple is measured by the prophet; while the outer court is excepted, and given over 42 months to the Gentiles."—I suppose however that he means this in Stuart's sense; as I can divine no other.

33. See Stuart i. 151-155, controverting Eichhorn's view of it as a Drama. He dwells on it himself, i. 190, &c. as an Epopee. It really seems to me a controversy on matter of little worth, on their theory. In either case there would be the resource of "drapery."

34."Cela fait voir que le Prophete a passé des Juifs aux idolatres: car on ne petit assez remarquer, que comme les afflictions des Ch. vii et viii regardoient les Juifs, il n'y est point parlé d'idolatrie." Bossuet ad loc.

35. I learn this from Professor Stuart. "Ewald considers this as decisive in respect of those who are the objects of attack by the horsemen." ii. 201.

36. "Hoc est, perseverarunt in mente obstinata, quae olim in Hebraeis antiquis in cultu idolorum .. cernebatur." Eichhorn, ii. p. 41. So too Heinrichs.

37. Stuart, ibid. 201, 202. I compress his statements in brief.

38. Enough this, says he, "to satisfy the demands of exegesis." ibid.

39. "When Pontius Pilate undertook to hoist the standard of Tiberius in the city of Jerusalem, the Jews, knowing the obligation that would follow to pay homage to it, one and all remonstrated; and offered their necks to the swords of his soldiers, rather than submit to its erection." Stuart ii. 275, from Josephus.

40. Stuart ii. 220.

41. Ibid. Also Heinrichs.

42. Stuart ii. 227.

43. Matthew 24:9-13, Mark 13:9-13, Luke 21:12-16.

44. Stuart ibid. I have used his language above, but slightly comprest.

45. Ap. Kitto, p. 624.

46. Εν τλατεια τησ πολεως τησ μεγαλης. This is given as the best reading by the critical Editions.

47. Five or six times is the phrase used in the Apocalypse, and always with reference to the great Babylon. See Apoc. 14:8, 16:19, 17:18, 18:10, 16, 18-19, 21. So Jerome of old, remarking moreover that Jerusalem is never called Egypt. And so too Bossuet. See pp. 315,482 supra. Dr. Davidson, on Apoc. 11:13, explains the city of which the tenth part fell, as the "holy city;" whereas it is evidently the same great city (the one last before mentioned, viz. in verse 8) as that where the Witnesses had fallen.

48. See my Vol. ii. pp. 417,423-425.

49. Apoc. 11:7.

50. Θ&eta:ριον ο ειες ηη, και ουκ εστι και μελλει αναβαινειν εκ της αβυσσου.

51. So Ribera. See p. 467 supra.

52. Strange that in such a case Prof. S. should thus speak, i. 276: "If there be any thing certain in hermeneutics," it is "the reference in Apoc. 6-11 to Judaea and its capital."

53. But what facts to justify this "probably?" The answer is; "It is not improbable (so Stuart, ii. 263,) that St. John had in his mind some extraordinary machinations of the persecuting Jews, about the time when the Witnesses were giving their testimony!!" An hypothesis upon an hypothesis!—Further he makes the invading Romans answer to the earth helping the Woman, and swallowing up the flood. Ibid.—But could the earth, or Romans, swallow up the flood of Jewish persecution, in so far as the Witnesses were concerned, within Jerusalem?

54. Is the Church ever represented in Scripture as Christ's mother?

55. "Nero began the persecution of Christians a.d. 66. An attack was made on Jerusalem at the same period: but the Jewish war did not really commence until early in the spring of 67. And Jerusalem was taken and destroyed in August A.D. 70." Stuart ii. 250.

56. Ibid. ii. 290, i. 186. At p. 187, after observing that before John wrote the Apocalypse, the great body of Christians had probably fled in safety to Pella, he adds; "That he presents them here on Mount Zion [the eartMy Mount Zion] belongs to the tact of the writer."

57. For the Christians only came to resettle at Jerusalem by degrees, and in small numbers, after its destruction. It was, I believe, several years before Simeon fixt his Episcopate there.

58. Ib. ii. 251.

59. The figurations between Apoc. 13 and 17 are thus in brief explained by Stuart. In Apoc. 14 the visions of the 144,000 on Mount Zion, of the three flying Angels, and of the Harvest and Vintage, are mere general anticipative intimations, or "pledges and tokens" (ii. 304), by way of encouragement, of results of triumph to the Church, that would be depicted more fully afterwards. Also in the Vials outpouring, Apoc. 16, where one might surely have expected to find specific prophecy of fact, all is still mere generalization: notwithstanding the Professor's singular preliminary remark, that St. John does here not only by "the variety in his composition " satisfy "the demand of aesthetics," (p. 309,) but, what is better, communicate also "a sketch [qu. historic sketch?] corre-sponding with a good degree of exactness to the state of facts." Save indeed that the seventh vial (that under which the air is affected, and a third part of the great city seen to fall) is construed to signify that "the power of the Beast is paralyzed; i. e. that persecution is arrested when Nero dies." (ibid.)

60. So Moses Stuart and Dr. Davidson, after Benary. See the Excursus iv. p. 457 in Professor Stuart's 2nd Volume.—Eiehhorn, ii. 134, gives Irenaeus' old solution Λατεινος.

61. See my Vol. iii. pp. 224-227.

62. For it is said in xvii. 8, "the Beast thou sawest (i. e. ridden by the woman) was, and is not, and is to rise from the abyss:” and in verse 11, "The Beast which was, and is not, he is the eighth, and is of the seven." Professor Stuart in his Excursus iii (Vol. ii. p. 434) admits the identity of the 8th head in Apoc. 17, and revived head of the Beast in Apoc. 13.—See my Paper on this in the Appendix to Vol. iii.

63. Eichhorn, ii. pp. 209-221; Stuart ii. Excursus 3; Davidson, ap. Kitto p. 621.

64. Stuart says that John in Apoc. 17, 18, insensibly passes from the specific to the generic, from Nero to the Roman Pagan persecuting power; which after Nero's death rose up again from the abyss, and renewed the contest till Constantine. ii. 309, 351. As regards the second Beast, with the lamb-skin covering, made by these expositors (as well Stuart, ii. 283, and Davidson in Kitto p. 624, as Eichhorn) to be "the heathen idolatrous priesthood," the unscripturalness of the interpretation is noted at p. 554 infra, in my review of Bossuet.

65. P. 532.

66. Let me beg the reader to observe that I have in my examination of the German Praeterist Scheme, here concluded, tested it simply by Apocalyptic evidence, and shown how little it will bear that testing. The proof is only the stronger against it, if we add the additional tests of the cognate prophecy in Daniel. For the identity of the little horn of the fourth of Daniel's four Beasts, with the last head of the Apocalyptic Beast, is a point clear and irrefragable. And it is on its destruction that Messiah's universal and everlasting kingdom is declared to be established; and that "the kingdom and dominion and greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven is given to the people of the saints of the Most High," even "for ever and ever." A prophetic declaration this which is indeed repeated in the Apocalyptic figurations: but which, on their own mode of reasoning, the Prseterists must, I think, find it more difficult to escape from, than even from those to the same effect in the Apocalypse. I have not spoken in this Section of the day-day principle of explaining the Apocalyptic chronological periods; a principle of course espoused by, and essential to, this class of interpreters. In my Chapter on the year-day (Vol. iii. Part iv. Chap, ix) I have, I hope, sufficiently vindicated that principle. An additional remark or two, with reference to certain later assailants of it, may be given in a Section following.


It may probably at once strike the reflective reader that if the chronology of Bossuet's scheme, extending as it does from Domitian's time to the fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century, do in regard of the supposed Roman catastrophe abundantly better suit with historic fact than the German Neronic or Galbaic Praeterist Scheme, it is on the other hand quite as much at disadvantage in respect of the other, or Jewish catastrophe. For surely that catastrophe was effected in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, above 20 years before Bossuet's Domitianic date of the Apocalypse: and all that past afterwards under Hadrian was a mere rider to the great catastrophe.

But to details.—And here at the outset Bossuet's vague generalizing views of the five first Seals meet us; as if really little more than the preliminary introduction on the scene of the chief dramatis persona, or agents, afterwards to appear in action; viz. Christ the conqueror, War, Famine, Pestilence, Christian Martyrs: followed in the 6th by a preliminary representation, still as general, of the impending double, or rather treble catastrophe, that would involve Christ's enemies; whether Jews, Romans, or those that would be destroyed at the last day. A view this that even Bossuet's most ardent disciples will, I am sure, admit to be one not worth detaining us even a moment: seeing that, from its professedly generalizing character, the whole figuration might just as well be explained by Protestants with reference to the overthrow of one kind of enemy, as by Romanists of another.—Nor indeed is there any thing more distinctive in his Trumpets: with which, however, he tells us, there is to begin the particular development of events. For, having settled that the Israelitish Tribes mentioned in Apoc. 7, mean the Jews literally, (the 144,000 being the Christian converts out of them,) and so furnish indication that they are parties concerned in what follows in the figurations, (though the temple, all the while prominent in vision, is both in the 5th Seal before, and in the figuration of the Witnesses afterwards, construed by Bossuet, not of the literal Jewish temple, but of the Christian Church,) he coops up these Jews, and all that is to be developed respecting them, within the four first Trumpets:—the hail-storm of Trumpet 1 being Trajan's victory over them; the burning mountain of Trumpet 2, Adrian's victories ; (why the one or the other, or the one more than the other, does not appear;) the falling star of Trumpet 3 figuring their false prophet Barchochebas, "Son of a star," who stirred up the Jews to war; of course however before the war with Adrian, signified in the preceding vision, not after it: and the obscuration of the third part of sun, moon, and stars, in Trumpet 4, indicating not any national catastrophe or extinction, but the partial obscuration of the scriptural light before enjoyed by the Jews, through Akiba's Rabbinic School then instituted, and the publication of the Talmud. As if forsooth the light of Scripture had shone full upon them previously: and not been long before quenched by their own unbelief; even as St. Paul tells us that the veil was upon their hearts. Did Bossuet really believe in the absurdity that he has thus given us for an Apocalyptic explanation?—In concluding however at this point with the Jews, and turning to Rome Pagan as the subject of the following symbolizations, he acts at any rate as a reasonable man; giving this very sufficient reason for the transition, that they who were to suffer under the plagues of the 5th and 6th Trumpets are marked in Apoc. 9:20 as idol-worshippers, which certainly the Jews were not. A palpable distinctive this which, but for stubborn fact contradicting our supposition,(2) one might surely have thought that no interpreter of this, or of any other Apocalyptic School, would have had the hardihood even to attempt to set aside. Only does not the statement about the unslain remnant's non-repenting of them, imply that the slain part had previously been guilty of the same sins of idolatry?

So passing now to the heathen Romans, with reference to their history in the times following on Barchochebas and the Talmud, the scorpion-locusts of Trumpet 5 are made by our Expositor to mean poisonous Judaizing heresies which then infected the Christian Church: (Was it not "a piece of waggery" in Bossuet, exclaims Moses Stuart,(3) so to explain it?) Trumpet 6, somewhat better, the loosing of the Euphratean Persians under Sapor, that defeated and took prisoner the emperor Valerian; though it is to be remarked that Valerian was the aggressor in the war, not Sapor, and his defeat in Mesopotamia, some way beyond the Euphrates.—All which of course offers no more pretensions to real evidence than what went before: indeed its total want of any thing like even the semblance of evidence makes it wearisome to notice it. Yet it is by no means unimportant with reference to the point in hand; for it shows, even to demonstration, the utter impossibility of making anything of the Seals and Trumpets on Bossuet's Scheme.—Let us then hasten to what both he and his disciples consider to constitute the real strength of his Apocalyptic Exposition: viz. his interpretation of the Beast from the abyss, with its seven heads and ten horns, and of the Woman riding on it; as symbolizations respectively of the Pagan Roman Emperors, and Pagan Rome.

The notices of this Beast occur successively in Apoc. 11, 13, and 17. First in Apoc. 11 the Beast is mentioned passingly and anticipatively, as the Beast from the abyss, the slayer of Christ's two witnesses. Next, in Apoc. 13, it appears figured on the scene as the Dragon's successor, bearing seven heads and ten horns; (one head excised with the sword, but healed:) another Beast, two-horned, accompanying it, as its associate and minister; and its name and number being further noted as 666. Once more, in Apoc. 17 it appears with a Woman, declared to be Rome, riding on it: and sundry mysteries are then expounded by the Angel, about its seven heads and ten horns.

Now then for Bossuet's explanation. This Beast, says he, is the Roman Pagan Empire, at the time of the great Diocletian persecution; its seven heads being the seven emperors engaged in that persecution, or in the Licinian persecution, its speedy sequel: viz. first, Diocletian, Galerius, Maximian, Constantius; then, Maxentius, Maximin, and Licinius. Of which seven "five had fallen" at the time of the vision; "one was," viz. Maximin; another "had not yet come," viz. Licinius: and the eighth, "which was of the seven," was Maximian resuming the emperorship after he had abdicated. As to the name and number, it was Diocles Augustus; which in Latin gives precisely the number 666. Further, the revived Beast of Apoc. 13 (revived after the fatal sword-wound of the head that was) figured the emperor Julian; and the second Beast, with two lamb-like horns, the Pagan Platonic priests of the time, that supported him : the stated time of whose reign, 42 months, was simply a term of time borrowed from the duration of the reign of the persecutor Antiochus Epiphanes; signifying that it would, like his, have fixed limits, and be short.—With regard to the ten horns that gave their power to the Beast, these signified the Gothic neighbouring powers; which for a while ministered to Imperial Rome, by furnishing soldiers and joining alliance; but which were soon destined to tear and desolate the Woman Rome; as they did in the great Gothic invasions, beginning with Alaric, ending with Totilas. At the time of which last Gothic ravager, Rome's desolation answered strikingly to the picture of desolated Babylon in Apcc. 18.—As to the Woman riding the Beast, the very fact of her being called a harlot, not an adulteress, showed that it must mean heathen, not Christian Rome.

Such is in brief Bossuet's explanation. Now as regards both the first Beast, and the second Beast, and the Woman too, let it be marked how utterly it fails; and this is not in one particular only, but in multitudes.

Thus as to the first Beast. —1. The seven heads, he says, were the seven persecutors of the Diocletianic sera. But the emperor Severus, Galerius' colleague and co-persecutor, as Bossuet admits, is arbitrarily omitted by him, simply in order not to exceed the seven. 2. The Beast from the abyss, being the Beast that kills the Witnesses, is made in Apoc. 11 to be the Empire under Diocletian: but in Apoc. 17 the Beast from the abyss (and the distinctive article precludes the idea of two such Beasts) is explained of a head that was to come after the head that then was; this latter being Maximin, himself posterior to Diocletian. 3. The head that was wounded with the sword being, according to Bossuet, the sixth head that was, or Maximin, its healing ought to have been in the next head in order, that is Licinius. But, this not suiting, he oversteps Licinius; and explains the healed head of one much later, Julian. 4. The Beast with the healed head being Julian, the subject of the description in Apoc. 13, the Beast's name and number ought of course to be the name and number of Julian. But no solution suitable to this striking him, Bossuet makes it Diocles Augustus; the name of the Beast under a head long previous. 5. As to this name, Diocles Augustus, it is not only in Latin numerals, which on every account are objectionable, and which no patristic expositor ever thought of; (4) but, in point of fact, is a conjunction of two such titles as never co-existed; Diocletian being never called Diocles when emperor, i. e. when Augustus.(5) 6. The Beast "that was, and is not, and is to go into perdition," being " the eighth, yet one of the seven," Bossuet makes to be Maximian resuming the Empire after his abdication. But the prophetic statement requires that this eighth should rise up after that "which was," viz. Maximin; whereas Maximian's resumption of the empire was before Maximin.—7. As to the idea of Julian's hatred of, and disfavour to Christianity, answering to what is said in Apoc. 13 of the Beast under his revived head making war on the saints, and conquering them, it seems almost too absurd to notice. In proof I need only refer to Julian's own tolerating Decree about Christians;(6) and the behaviour of Bossuet's saints, i. e. of the professing Christians of the time, at Antioch towards Julian.(7) —8. The contrast of the Beast's time of reigning, viz. 3½ years, with Diocletian's 10 years and Julian's 1½, might be also strongly argued from. But I pass it over cursorily; as Bossuet confesses to have no explanation to offer of it, except that it is an allusion to the duration of the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes!(8)

So as to the Beast's heads: and still a similar incongruity strikes one about the Beast's horns. Take but two points. First, these horns, "having received no kingdom as yet," i. e. at the time of the Revelation, were to receive authority as kings μιαν ωραν μετα του θηριου, "at one time with the Beast." So the doubtless true reading, and true rendering, as Bossuet allows. But how then applicable to the kings of the ten Gothic kingdoms?—kingdoms founded long subsequent to both Diocletian and Julian; and when the Roman empire under their headships, (which is Bossuet's Beast,) had become a thing of the past. To solve the difficulty, Bossuet waves the magician's rod; and, without a word of warning, suddenly makes the Beast to mean something quite different from what it was before: viz. to be Rome, or the Roman empire of a later headship than the 8th, or latest specified. Says he "their kingdoms will synchronize with the Beast, that is with Rome: because Rome will not all at once [i. e. not immediately on the Goths' first attacks, begun about a.d. 400] have lost its existence, or all its power!"(9) —Yet again, secondly, these horns were with one accord to impart their power and authority to the Beast; of course after themselves receiving this authority; i. e. as the context of the verse demonstrates, after receiving their kingdoms. But how so? Says Bossuet, because of their giving their men to be soldiers of the Roman armies, and of their settling as cultivators in the empire, and making alliances with the Roman emperors. But, as to time, could this be said of the reigns of Diocletian or Julian, when the Gothic ten kings had received no authority as kings, in the Apocalyptic sense of the word?(10) And, as to the character of the thing, could it be said of the Gothic settlements in the empire, when sometimes terrible and destructive, (like that of the Visi-Goths under Valens) a giving their power with one accord to the Romans?

Then turn we to the second Beast. And let me here simply ask, How could Bossuet's Pagan Philosophers, zealots that blasphemed Christ as the Galilean, answer to the symbol of a Beast with a lamb-skin covering: the recognized scriptural emblem under the Old Testament of false prophets who yet professed to be prophets of the true God;(11) under the New Testament of such as would hypocritically pretend to be Christians?(12)

Once more, as to the Woman. And here, 1. instead of the word πορνη, harlot, fixing her to be Rome Pagan, so as Bossuet asserts, not Christian Rome apostatized, it most fitly suits the latter; being applied in the Septuagint to apostatizing Judah,(13) in Matthew to an unfaithful wife.(14) 2. What the mystery to make St. John so marvel with a mighty astonishment, if the emblem meant Rome Pagan?(15) Did he not know Rome Pagan to be a persecutor; know it alike by his own experience, and that of all his brotherhood? 3. What of the total and eternal destructtion predicated of the Apocalyptic Babylon, "the smoke of it going up even εις τους αιωνας τως αιωνων, for ever and for ever”(16) if there was meant merely the brief temporary desolation of Rome Pagan, in transitu to Rome Papal? 4. What of its being afterwards the abode of all unclean beasts and daemons? Would Bossuet, observes Vitringa, have these to be the Popes and Cardinals of Papal Rome? 5. Was it really Rome Pagan that was desolated by the Goths; so as Bossuet and his followers would have it? Surely, if there be a fact clear in history, it is this, that it was Rome Christianised in profession, I might almost say, Rome Papal, that was the subject of these desolations.(17)

As this last point is one which, if proved, utterly overthrows the whole Bossuetan or Roman Catholic Apocalyptic Praeterist Scheme, the Romanists have been at great pains to represent the fact otherwise. So Bossuet in his Chap. iii. 12-16; and Mr.Miley too, just recently, in his Rome Pagan and Papal. "It is well nigh a century since the triumph of the labarum," says the latter writer in one of his vivid sketches, with reference to the epoch of Alaric's first attack on Rome, "and Rome still wears the aspect of a Pagan city:—one hundred and fifty-two temples, and one hundred and eighty smaller shrines, are still sacred to the heathen gods, and used for their public worship." (18) On what authority Mr. M. makes such an assertion, I know not. Bossuet takes care not quite so far to commit himself. The facts of the case are, I believe, as follows. Constantine did not authoritatively abolish Paganism: but he so showed disfavour to it that it rapidly sunk into discredit in the empire; less however at Rome than elsewhere. With Julian came a partial and short-lived revival of Paganism; followed on his death by a reaction in favour of Christianity. But "from that period up to the fall of the empire a hostile sect, which regarded itself as unjustly stripped of its ancient honours, invoked the vengeance of the gods on the heads of the Government, exulted in the public calamities, and probably hastened them by its intrigues." So Sismondi, with his usual accuracy, as quoted by Mr. Miley.(19) Of this sect were various members of the Roman senate. On Theodosius' becoming sole emperor, i. e. emperor of the West as well as East, one of his first measures, a. d. 392, was to forbid the worship of idols on pain of death.(19) At Rome, however, by a certain tacit license, or connivance, heathen worship was still in a measure permitted : until in 394 himself visiting Rome, and finding a reluctance to abolish what remained of Pagan rites on the part of many of the senators, Theodosius withdrew the public funds by which they had been supported. On this the old Pagan worship was discontinued: 'and, the Pagan temples having in many places soon after been destroyed by the zeal of Christians, the very fact of Pagan worship having been discontinued was given by Honorius, the Western Emperor, as a reason for not destroying the temple fabrics. 2—Such was the state of things when Alaric first invaded Italy. And it was only in 409, after he had begun the siege of Rome, and God's judgment began to be felt, that the Pagan faction or sect, spoken of by Sismondi, stirred itself up: and raising the cry that the calamity came in consequence of the Gods of old Rome having been neglected, 3 prevailed on the authorities, including Pope Innocent himself, to sacrifice to them in the capitol and other temples.4 But this was a comparatively solitary act. As the judgment of the Gothic desolations went on, it was only in secret that the worship of the heathen Gods was kept up ; and this in reference to such more trivial Pagan rites, as taking auguries.5 The dominant religion, that which was alone legalized in Rome, as well as elsewhere throughout the empire, and whose worship was alone celebrated openly and with pomp, was the Christian religion with the Pope as its head. Insomuch that in 450, just at the epoch of Genseric and Attila, Pope Leo, in an address 21 - 25.

21. So Zosimus v. 38: Prudentius says as to the number of the Pagans, that they were about the year 406, ten years after Theodosius' death, " vix pauca ingenia, et pars hominum rarissima.''1 Compare Baronius' statement of the effect of Theodosius' anti-Pagan edicts and acts, as quoted already by me Vol. iii. p. 118, Note 1. "Idololatriam, ut percussum multis ictibus anguem, caput rursus extollentem penitus extinguendam curavit Theodosius."


23. So Zosimus iv. 59: του θυηπολικου θεσμου ληξαντοσ και των αλλων οσα τησ

So too Augustine in his C. D. v. 23.

24. Αναγκαιον εδοκει τοισ ελληνιζουσι της Συγκλητου θυειν εν τω Καπιτωλιω και τοισ αλοις ναοις. So Sozomen ix. 6. To which Zosimus adds; ο δε Ιννοκεντιος, την πολεως σοτηριαν εμπρσθεν της οικειας ποιησαμενος δοξης, λαθρα εφηκεν αυτοις ποιειν απερ ισασι. v. 14. Where mark the ελληνιζοντες, as characterizing those of the Senators who were most bent on sacrificing to the ancient gods; and the εφηκεν, as marking the Pope's authority even at that time in Rome. His consent was needed, asked for, and indeed given.

25. So Salvian, a.d. 440: "Numquid non consulibus et pulli adhuc gentilium sacrilegiorum more pascuntur, et volantis pennae auguria quaeruntur?"


1. See generally, in illustration of the ensuing criticism, my sketch of Bossuet's Apocalyptic Interpretation, beginning p. 480 supra.

2. See my notice on this point, in the critical examination of the German Praeterists under the next head.

3. Vol. i. p. 467.

4. See my Vol. iii. p. 225, Note 3: and compare the Greek patristic explanations of the Beast's name and number there given; and also at pp. 278, 284, 294, 336, 340, supra.— The earliest Latin solution that I remember to have seen is that of Dic Lux, by Ambrose Ansbert in the 8th Century. See p. 344 supra.

5. So Rasche on Diocletianus: "Donec imperium sumeret Diocles appellatus: ubi orbis Romani potentiam cepit Graecum nomen in Romanum morem convertit, dictusque est Diocletianus." Even after his abdication he still retained the latter name. Ibid.

6. Ουδενα γοατ&omegq;ν ακοντα προς βωμουσ εωμουν ελκεσθαι. It was almost an Edict of toleration. So Gieseler, Second Period, chapt. 74 (Vol. i. p. 184): "He took away the privileges of Christians, [i. e. privileges granted them by former Emperors above Pagans,] and forbade their teaching publicly in the schools; but in all other respects he promised to leave them unmolested." Bossuet indeed (on Apoc. 13:5) very much allows this. "Du temps de Julien il n’y eut aucune interruption dans le service public de l’Eglise:" adding however; "Au reste il n'y a rien eu de plus dur a l'Eglise que les insultes de Julien;" &c.—Gieseler thus represents the worst that Julian did. "Afterwards he was guilty of some acts of injustice towards the Christians; though often, no doubt, provoked by their unseasonable zeal. They suffered most however from the heathen governors and populace." But how little to their destruction or subjugation see in the next Note.

7. “At Antioch he bore the scoffs of the Christian populace with philosophical indifference." Gieseler, ibid.—See too the account in Gibbon; who however on subjects connected with Christianity is always to be read with caution.

8. See p. 551 supra.

9. Mr. Miley overcomes the difficulty by silently adopting the reading μετα τ&omivron; θμριον, after the Beast; though a reading unauthorized by Greek MSS, and refuted by the very symbol of the horns being upon the Beast's head. See, says he, (ii. 122) the marvellous fulfilment! "The destroyers of the Western Empire of Rome were all adventurer kings, daring chiefs from the wilds of the North and North East; who all succeeded in erecting certain fabrics of power upon the ruins of the Empire."

10. They were rather as yet undiademed horns. Apoc. 12:3.

11. Compare Zechariah 18:4.

12. Compare Matthew 7:15,22.

13. Isaiah 1:21, &c.

14. Matthew 5:32, 19:9.

15. Apoc. 17:6.

16. Apoc. 19:3.

17. Of these objections to Bossuet's theory I find 1, 2, 3 are urged by Lambert, ii. 329, 341, 345; and 2, 3, 5 by Lacunza, i. 241-244.

18. Rome Pagan and Papal, Vol. ii. p. 103.

19. Ibid. p. 108.

20. So Gieseler, Vol. i. p. 187; to whose account, pp. 186-191, I here refer generally.

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." Col 2:16-23 KJV
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