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To the next chapter, volca comaus explanatory viñions, we are informed that the event ager wes not found his trumpet, to bring the dective woe, a uter the witheiles are riten from the itas, in ème one of the antenntun kungdoms, nor till that king10m. or tenth part of the ardchiban city, is fo fhaken by an earthake that it faus lice it is necciary to recollect what has been advanced in the ant part of. Die Signs of the Times. It is there endeavored to be proved, that by the second beaft, which came up out of the earth. Res., 12—13. the French tyran, perfected by Lewis XIV, and lupported by his fucceflors, www intended; that it was he who, by the repeal of the edict of

and the overthrew of all the remains of civil liberty in w the witneifes for religious truth and civil liberty; that who caufed an image to be made to the first beast (the by the establishment of a spiritual tyranny fimilar to that and which, contrary to the ftate of things in any other

country

country where the Pope's fupremacy in fpirituals has been ac knowledged, was at once independent of the Pope's authority, and yet in fupport of his pretensions and corruptions. I have alfo endeavoured to prove, that it was here the witnesses laid politically dead for three lunar days and a half, or 105 years; that the revo lution in France in 1789 was the resurrection of the witnesses to civil life, and the commotions which have followed, the prophetic earthquake here predicted; and that the fall of the tenth part of the city is accomplished in the overthrow of the monarchy or ty ranny of France. Immediately after this the feventh angel founds, and ushers in the third woe, which is to be the means of haftening the kingdom of God. The nations are angry, (compare chap. xi. 18. with xix. 19.) and gather themselves together to oppose the de figns of God: his wrath falls upon them, and they are deftroyed, This eleventh chapter, we must remember, is a miniature picture of the history of the Christian church, from its first beginnings to the end of time, and belongs to the little book which treats of the affairs of the church efpecially. When the vifions of the book with feven feals are refumed, (which book refers to the more mix. ed and general concerns of the kingdoms) as in the fifteenth and following chapters, these events of the seventh trumpet, or third woe, are exhibited on a larger scale, and related with a more circumftantial detail.

Now let us compare the tenth chapter with the eleventh. In the tenth chapter we are informed that it was not till after the feven thunders had uttered their voices that the angel lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever, that delay fhould be no longer, but that the mystery of God should be finifhed by the founding of the feventh angel. These feven thunders, I think, evidently occupy the space between the ending of the fixth trumpet and the commencement of the feventh. But, what are these thunders? John was forbidden to write what they uttered; and hence most commentators have paft over this part of the prophecy without even conjecturing what might be intended, fuppofing that it would be prefumptuous to do fo. But this has not been the cafe with all. Some have conjectured that though what they uttered was not to be written at that time, yet they are explained in the after vifions. Brightman fuppofed them to be

explained in the fourteenth chapter: Whifton imagines that they belong to the laft vial, chap. xvi. But all this feems very unnatural. There are others who fuppofe that though it was not proper to write down what they uttered at that time, yet that, after their accomplishment, they will be understood, and suppose them to be seven warnings which are to precede either the seventh trumpet or the last vial. It appears to me that as John was forbidden to write down what thefe thunders uttered in vision, it would be as prefumptuous as it would be useless, to inquire what it was till the vifion is realized, and the intent of these thunders is ascertained. For as it is likely that it was forbidden to be written left the prophecy fhould be made too plain before the time that God would have it understood, fo to attempt an explanation till events have made the archetypes of the thunders quite clear, would be running before God. Eut it does not hence follow that this is always to be the cafe; for when the things fignified are accomplished, they may inform us, in language as plain as events can speak, of what we were not to know before. But, to say no. thing of what these thunders might utter, we may obferve, that as we are not forbidden to inquire what the general meaning of these thunders themselves might be, and as it is probable that they were intended to be fome time understood, to the end that they might ferve as a guide to direct the inquirer into the figns of the times, and as otherwise the mention of them would be useless, it is therefore very proper to examine, with modefty, whether this part of facred writ may not affift us in forming a judgment of the times in which we live, that thus we may be excited to redoubled watchfulness, and be ready.

Our first enquiry fhould be, what is the meaning of thunder in the mystical and figurative language of prophecy? As in the natural world the things of creation are comprised in the heavens and the earth, and the heavens are confidered as the nobler parts of the creation, fo in the world politic, in prophetic language, the heavens mean thrones and governments; the fun, moon, and ftars, emperors, kings, princes, and great men, as well as empires, kingdoms, and ftates; the earth fignifies the great mass of the common people; clouds mean multitudes; wind, hail, ftorm, and thunder, as well as earthquakes, fignify wars and commotions

among

among multitudes and nations. Thus in Ifa. xxviii. 2. when God, by his prophet, threatens to punifh by war, the language is, "The Lord hath a mighty and ftrong one, which, as a tempeft of hail, and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, fhall caft down to the earth." And again; chap. xxix. 6. “ Thou shalt be vifited of the Lord of hofts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noife, with ftorm and tempeft, and a flame of devouring_fire." · The next verfe explains what this thunder and ftorm is: "And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel fhall be as a dream." Sir I. Newton, On the Language of Prophecy, p. 18, fays, "Tempeftuous winds, or the motion of clouds, are put for wars; thunder, or tl:e voice of a cloud, for the voice of a multitude; a ftorm of thunder, lightning, and hail, and. overflowing rain, for a tempeft of war defcending from the heavens and clouds politic." Dr. Warburton, in his Divine Legation; book iv. fect. 4. fays, "The old Afiatic ftyle, fo highly figurative, feems, by what we find of its remains in the prophetic language of the facred writings, to have been evidently fafhioned to the mode of ancient hieroglyphics both curiologic and tropical. Of the fe cond kind, which anfwers to the tropical hieroglyphic, is the calling empires, kings, and nobles, by the names of the heavenly lu minaries, the fun, moon, and stars; their temporary disasters, or entire overthrow, by eclipfes and extinctions; the deftruction of the nobility, by ftars falling from the firmament; hoftile invafions, by thunder and tempeftuous winds; and leaders of armies, conquerors, and founders of empires, by lions, bears, leopards, goats, or high trees. In a word, the prophetic ftyle feems to be a SPEAK

ING HIEROGLYPHIC."

If we examine all the paffages in the facred writings where thunder is mentioned in the prophetic ftyle, we shall find that it generally, if not always, fignifies war. It is probable, then, that these seven thunders were intended to mark out, for the direction of the pious inquirer into the figns of the times, feven wars, or periods of war, between the fixth and feventh trumpet, which fhould afflict this weitern part of the world, or those nations which had given their power to the papal beaft, or which in any form had affumed antichriftian power in religion, and which wars

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hould prepare the way for the great scene which was to fol

low.

But here it will be proper to ask, (for frequent observation has convinced me that fuch queftions are not altogether needlefs) Boes the reader believe that a prophecy can be fulfilled by the events which take place in his own day, and which pass under his own obfervation, as well as by those of five hundred years back, or of five hundred years to come? Does he think the wars and great events of nations which have or may take place in this age, and in these countries of Europe, as worthy to be the subject of prophecy as what was foretold by Daniel, (chap. xi.) respecting the invasion of Greece by Xerxes; or of the conquests of Alexander, and the fate of his empire; or of the league which was formed between Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theus, king of Syria, by the marriage of Berenice, the daughter of the former, with the latter, and the confequences that followed that connection? I hope he does.

As the feven thunders appear evidently to occupy the space between the fixth and seventh trumpet, and as thunder in the prophetic writings is allowed to be the speaking hieroglyphic of war, and as it is likewife probable that the fixth trumpet, or fecond woe, ended about the year 1697, it is worth while to inquire whether thefe thunders have uttered their voices, that is, whether there have been feven periods of war in Europe fince that time. On examination, the hiftory of this century will inform us that, taking all the nations together which do or have made up the body of the papal beaff, and among whom the remains of religious corruption, ufurpation, &c. continue, (and which almoft all allow to be the object of thefe vifions,) there have been juft feven of thefe thunders, or periods of war, neither more nor lefs. And it is worthy of remark, that this is the cafe whether we take into the account thofe ftates and kingdoms only which fprung out of the ruins of the old Roman empire, or all thofe that compose the Latin church, or even the whole of Europe. We shall confider those wars in which all Europe have been engaged fo far only as the nations which are or have been fubject to the papacy have been

concerned in them.

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