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APOCALYPSE of St. JOHN.
A Sour reflections on the book of Daniel closed n with an opinion, that his prophecies of the events which were to befall the Roman empire, reached down to the reign of Justinian.-For instance:
I. Eastern Rome, or ;—The Asiatic Dominions:
II. Western Rome, or ;–The rising of the Beast out of the Earth: ..
We shall now consider the Revelation as a continuation of the prophecies of Daniel, because it relates to the toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image, on which Daniel is filent.
And as we conceive the 3d and 12th verses in chap. xvi. Rev. immediately apply to the first subject we shall treat of, and have a reference to the dates, 1260, and 1335, given us by Daniel, we shall begin with commenting on these verses, and then proceed with our observations on the different chapters: For which purpose we shall take our date from A. D. 535, and shall endeavour to trace down, in regular succession, the remarkable events which happened in Asia, to the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, A. D. 1453: and shall conclude with conjectures on the period when the predictions are to be fulfilled.
We consider the first three vials to refer to the pouring out the judgments on three different parts of the Roman empire :
And the three last to allude to the rising of the beast out of the bottomless pit, in three states, to which the first three vials apply; but we suppose there will be a lapse of three years and an half, before the first three respectively shall finish. And we are confirmed in this conjecture by chap. XI. v. 7 and 8, re
specting fpecting the killing of the witnesses. “The beast that afcendeth out of the bottomless pit shall kill them, and their dead bodies shall lie in the street three and a half years”. Under this idea we have mentioned ver. 3 and 12, as applying to Roman Alia
Verse 3. “And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea ; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living foul died in the sea.”
Daniel, Chap. 11. Verse 45. « Between the seas on the glorious holy mountain.” This we understand to describe a particular spot or city; we therefore infer “ fea” to apply to the extent of the country between those feas, and particularly to the Roman dominions in Asia.
The second part of this verse, may, perhaps, allude to the general destruction of Mahometans and Christians, and to the subversion of the Christian religion, by the establishment of Mahometism, (the work of a mortal.)
Verse 12. “And the sixth angel poured his vial upon the great river Euphrates ; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the Kings of the East might be prepared.” This verse can apply to no other than Roman Asia, because the
Kings of the East must pass that river to fulfil the prophecy. Therefore if our hypothesis be true, the Beast will arise out of the bottomless pit, between A. D. 1867 and 1871.
CHAP. II & III,
ARE on the seven churches in Asia, which we conceive are intended to represent the state of Christianity with the different schisms, heretical opinions, and introduction of images, which at that early period had crept into it; and at the same timo to admonish the followers of Christ to return to their duty, with a promise that those who did repent should have mercy shewn them, and with an intimation that those who did not, should suffer the wrath of God.
As the prophecies begin with the provinces of the Roman empire in Asia, in Chapter VIII and IX we conjecture that they foretel the conquest of the Eastern Empire by the Asiatic powers, for so they appear to do by their emblematical and figurative expressions; and we shall make our remarks upon, them before we animadvert on the different chapters.
· We find that Juftin, the nephew of Justiniani, fucceeded his father, Nov. 15, A. D. 565 *, that he took upon himself the Confulship t. Jan. 1, A, D. 566, which had been extinguished by Jurtinian, A. D. 541, that Rome was at peace with Persia, and that the provinces in Asia, with the fortifications of Dara, &c. were in the possession of the Romans.
The first great event that occurred was the war between the Persians under Chosroes II. and the Romans, which began by the former taking Dara, Merdin, and the fortifications, and by the conquest of Syria, and capture of Antioch, A. D. 611I; and afterwards Palestine, Egypt, and Asia Minor; by which the Sovereigns of Persia accomplished their hopes of re-establishing the kingdom of Cyrus, after a contest of about 800 years.
As Daniel finishes his eleventh chapter with « Yet he shall come to his end,” we consider this event as the fulfilling of the prophecy under the ad vial, by the loss of the Eastern provinces, which were never after recovered by the Romans, or only partially; and by which the churches in Asia found a new master under a Persian Sovereign, professing the Magian Religion. This event we
* Gib. Vol. VII. p. 114. + Gib. Vol. VIII. p. 219. Gib. Vol. VIII. p. 172.