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torian already cited, the Sultans then lost nearly half their possessions in Europe : and, from this diminution of territorial sovereignty, THE OTTOMAN POWER, WHICH ONCE THREATENED UNIVERSAL SUBJUGATION, CEASED TO BE FORMIDABLE TO CHRISTENDOM!
IV. We now come to the fourth clause of the vision : a clause, which, by mentioning the lapse of the second woe introduced by the sixth trumpet, and by announcing the approach of the third woe introduced by the seventh trumpet, artfully connects together, in the vitally important point of chronological arrangement, the greater sealed book and the smaller opened book of the Apocalypse.
The second woe is past : and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded : and there were great voices in heaven, saying ; The sovereignty of the world has become our Lord's and his Christ's ?: and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying: We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art and wast and art to come, because thou hast taken thy great power and hast exercised thy sovereignty. And the nations were
'See above book iv. chap. 7. $ 11. 5.(4.)
. Instead of the common reading, éyévovro ai Baoilciai, I adopt that preferred by Griesbach εγένετο η βασιλεία. It rests on the authority of Steph. a. le. 15. Alex. Baroc. Pet. 2. Hunt. 1. Sin. M. Vel. Vulg. Syr. Arab. Æthiop. Arethas.
angry, and thy wrath has come : and it is the season of the dead to be judged; the season also to give recompense to thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to those that fear thy name, small and great ; the season also to destroy them who destroy the earth. And the temple of God in heaven was opened; and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple : and there were lightnings and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail'.
1. The third woe chronologically succeeds the second : and we are assured, that it will come not very long after the second shall have passed away. Now the second woe passed away
year 1697: we may, therefore, expect the third to come after an interval of no very great length of time from that epoch. Long and short, however, are comparative terms. Hence, we may say, the probable interval between the end of the second woe and the beginning of the third will be regulated and determined by the known interval between the end of the first and the beginning of the second. But an interval of more than five centuries elapsed between the passing away of the first and the commencement of the second woe. The interval, therefore, between the passing away of the second and the commencement of the third woe is short only as compared to five centuries. Hence we might reasonably conjecture even a priori, that the interval
1 Rev. xi. 14–19.
in question may occupy a space of time not exceeding one century. The event has shewn, that such a conjecture would have been just.
2. As the third woe is here introduced, only by way of marking the chronological junction of the little open book and the larger sealed book; and as the prophet does not give a full account of it, until he returns to that larger book : I shall follow his plan, and resume the consideration of the third woe hereafter.
RESPECTING THE SECOND SECTION OF THE LITTLE OPEN
BOOK, OR THE VISION OF THE DRAGON AND THE
THE second section of the little
comprehends the vision of the parturiant woman and the great red dragon.
I. Of this vision, the first clause respects the parturition of the woman, the attack made
her by the dragon, the abreption of her child to the throne of God, and her own flight into the wilderness where she is fed during a period of 1260 prophetic days.
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven ; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven: and, behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon
his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth : and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron : and her child was caught up unto God and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days '. i The second section of the little book, which contains the vision of the dragon and the woman, relates, like its fellows preceding and succeeding, to the events which occur during the period of the latter three times and a half. For, at the commencement of that period, the woman flees into the wilderness : and, since her flight is described as taking place immediately upon her parturition, her parturition itself must have occurred at the commencement of the same period. But, at the precise time when she is in the act of parturition, the dragon draws down the third part of the stars of heaven, and casts them to the earth. Therefore, since the parturition of the woman synchronises with the commencement of the latter three times and a half, and since the casting down of the stars synchronises with the parturition of the woman; the casting down of the stars must have taken place at the commencement of the latter three times and a half also.