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"prophesying of the two faithful witnesses (of the Law and of the Gospel) clothed in sackcloth," in the next yerse, 9. 28.
While in a third contemporaneous vision, the term of the sufferings of "the church militant" in the wilderness, where she is to be miraculously supported from the fury of the dragon; who hath persecuted her boih in her patriarchal state in which she is represented as a glorious matron, clad with the sun, and having the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelte stars upon her head, symbulical o! Jacob's family. Gen. xxxvii. 10. and also in her evangelical state, after the birth of a " nale child," destined to rule all the Gentiles with an iron sceptre;" plainly descriptive of JESUS CHRIST. Ps. i. S. 9. is first stated, to amount to 1260 days; and afterwards, to a time, and times, and half a time;" Rev. xii, f. 14. So solicitous was the HOLY SPIRIT, to furnish in ihe apocalypse, two distinct explanations of that mystical number in Danid, as denoting both 42 months, for three years and a half) and 1260 days!
If then we count backwards 1260 years, from A. D. 1880, their termination, as already shewn; it will give A. D. 620, for the commencement of this disastrous period of the sufferings of the “ two faithful witnesses ;” about the time of the adoption of the Gregorian Liturgy in the west, and of the publication of Jahomet's visions and revelations in the east; whereby " the Holy Catholic Church" throughout the earth, has ever since been grievously afflicted and persecuted, upon a wider scale than before, during the sounding of the first four trumpets : still suffering the woes, attached to the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets respectively; Rev. viii. 13. and which will not expire, until the sounding of the setenth or last trumpet, when “ the mystery of God shall be finished, according as He announced by his serranis the prophets.” Rev. x. 7. and “the kingdoms, of this world shall become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of his CHRIST,” Rev. xi. 15, as foretold by Daniel, vii. 13-27.
And that A. D. 620, is indeed the most eligible commencement of the period of 1260 prophetic days or years; may further appear, from the various conjectures of the learned, on the subject : all Protestant writers agreeing that it refers either to the downfal of the Pagan Antichrist, or rise of the Papal; but differing about the precise time:
1. The sagacious Mede, who in his Clavis Apocalyptica, first furnished "the key" to the rational interpretation of “the apocalypse,"bycritically comparing its “ synchronisms" or contemporaneous visions, dates the commencement of this period, between A. D. 365, the death of Juliun the Apostate, and downfal of the Pagan power of the Roman empire, and A. D. 455, the taking of Rome by the Goths. Works p. 600.
2. Whision, following, and frequently correcting and improving on Mede, prelars and supports the latter date, d. D. 455, or A. D. 4:50. Essay p. 201—271. i
3. Sir Isaac Newton, dates it from A. D. 379, or A. D. 379; when the Emperor Valentinian, passed the edict of appeal to the court of Rome which laid the foundation of the Pope's Ecclesiastical supremacy in the west. Observations, &c. p. 91---111. Vol. V. Churchmi. Mag. Dec. 1909.
4. The modern writers King and talpy, date it from A. D. 538. supposing the period to terminate A. D. 1798, the memorable epoch of the deposal of Pope Pius VI.
5. Bishop Newton in his elaborate Dissertations on the Prophecies, dates it from A. D. 606, the year in which the Antichristian title of Universal Bishop was conferred on the Pope. Vol. II. p. 211.
6. The anonymous author of a Commentary of the Revelation, ingeni. ously (and sometimes fancitully) explained by allusions to the Jewish temple service; 8vo. 1787, layne; dates it from A. D. 620, when the Gregorian Liturgy, began to be established, and the Mahometun imposture to be published. When the Dragon in his lowered state, carried on an insidious war (against the Saints, or faithful witnesses] under the mask of the Gospel on one side of the empire ; and under the face of the Patriarchal religion on the other, according to the pretence of Mahomet," p. 171, 478. To this most sagacious and original expositor, perhaps, since the days of Mede, we owe the important Chronological adjustment of the three divisions of Daniel's seventy weeks; which I endeavoured to support and establish, in the InsPECTOR, 1798 ; the termination of the grand prophetic period of 2309 days in the year, A. D. 1880, and the commencement of the period of general persecution, A. D. 620, which I have here adopted, and I am now at liberty to divulge the name of this truly pious, learned, and respectable Layman, which his obstinate modesty forbad, during his life-time, the late Hans Wood, Esq. of Rosmead, in the county of Westmeath, IRELAND ; who is gone to his rewurd !
7. Lowman, in his elaborate commentary on the Revelation, dates it from A. D. 756, the commencement of the l'ope's temporal dominioni, by the grant of the exarchate of Ravenna.
8. Wesley, in his notes, Rev. xii. 6---14. adopting the strange and crazy expositions of Bengelius and the German mystics, dates it from A. D. 847, when the pestilent llunichcan heresy began to prevail in the East: but in defiance of all Chronological principles, he curtails the period of 1260 years, to 777 common years! and on the other hand, protracts “ a time,” (xpor@) to the immense length of 11 years! • 9. To elude the force of this prophecy, the Romish writers understand the period of 1260 days, literally, as equivalent only to three years and a half; which they suppose to be the longest duration of any of the persecutions under the heathen Emperors : Sce Wulmsley on the Revelation, under the fictitious title of Pastorini's general history of the Church, p. 63, 273, 325.
Of these several hypotheses, the four first are excluded by Time, that great unfolder of mysteries by events; for though the Papal and Muhometan Antichrist, are verging to decay, the Infidel, their offspring, is full mighty to persecute : the three last, are irrelevant, or absurd, or uncritical; there remain then only two that are eligible ---those of Bishop Newton and Wood ;=of which the latter is most comprehensive,as including the Mahonetan, who surely is equally intitled to the palm of persecution, with his predecessor the Papal Antichrist:
The circumstances of the last persecution, death, and resurrection of the fuithful witnesses, are related in the following mysterious and awakening passage : Rev. xi. 7, 12. “ And when they shall finish theire? testimony, the wild beast that ascendeth out of the abyss, shall make wur with them, and overcome them, and kill them, and their carcases (shall lie) in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodon (for its wickedness and Egypt for its persecutions where also our LORD was crucified (afresh, and put to open shame]. And they of the peoplesand tribes, and tongues, and nations, shall view their carcases three days and a half; and shall not suffer their carcases to be interred; but the inhabitants on the Earth shall rejoice over them, and be exhilarated ; and shall send gifts to each other, because these two prophets" tormented the inhabitants on the Earth.
“ And after the three days and a half, a spirit of life from God entered into thein, and they stood on their feet! and great fear fell upon those that beheld them.
“ And they heard a great voice from the heaven, saying unto them, ascend hither; and they ciscended into the heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them. :
“ And in that hour there happened a great Earthquake, and the tenth of the city, fell; and there were slain in the Earthquake seven thousand men of name ; and the rest became affrighted, and gave glory to the God of Heaven.
“ The secoud woe is past, and lo the third woe cometh quickly.”
The generality of Commentators understand all this in a figurative sense, and assign various dates of its fulfilment; but the opinions of Mede and Wood, &c. adhering to the literal interpretation, seem to have most weight, as being most conformable to the circumstantial de.' tail of the vision ; which to allegorize throughout, with any semblance of consistency, would, I am persuaded, be a vain and absurd attempt;: though the difficulty of explaining it literally in every particular, may be found insuperable at present, until its accomplishment.
· From the ominous signs of the times indeed, and the astonishing and tremendous growth and havoc of the infidel Antichrist, throughout the whole Christian and Mahomctan world, there is abundant cause to dread, that “ the second woe,” is drawing to a close, and will terminate with the downfal and destruction of all Religious Establishments, following the fatal example of revolutionized France !---For, to adopt the language of Mede, “ Aut enim fullor, aut Apocalipsis nimis aperte suggerit, paulo ante Bestice excidium, universum orbem reformatum, (quamt.. brevi admodum tempore) oppressum atque, horreo dicere, penitus subversum iri !" pag. ult. And he elsewhere states his opinion more explicitly:
“I conceive not this cludes testium to be such, as should extinguisli the persons (or whole materials as I may so speak) of the reformed Churches, but the public fabrick of the reformution." -" An extermination of the reformed pastors out of their places and churches ; and not a general extermination of the body of the Reformed People; which are too many to be dealt with according to former violence, and shall remain to terrify the Beast, and revenge the cludes of their prophets, before almost they shall liave done rejoicing over them.” Z z 2
And alluding to that shameful spoliation of ecclesiastical properiy *, which disgraced the commencement of the REFORMATION, he observes :
“ Moreover, there is a sin of which the whole body of the Reformation is notoriously guilty; which nevertheless, is accounted no sin, and yet such an one, as I know not whether God ever passed by without some visible and remarkable judgment. This seems to call for a scourge, before Antichrist shall go down : and that may be, as far as I know, this feared clades tesliun. I will not name it, because it is invidious ; and I am not wil. ling to say so much for the probability thereof in this case, as perhaps I could.” pp. 487,760, 761, 766, 923.
Had this sagacious and profoun. divine lived to see in the tremendous explosion of the French Revolution, the patrimony of the Gallican Church altogether confiscated, the national temples shit or profaned, the ministers of the altar massacred by thousands, and banished by the decrees of the state; (and surely among so many, some fuithful witnesses :) Had be
* On this important and delicate subject, Mede has elsewhere fully expressed his sentiments :
'" Adeo illud, quod salvator de seipso dixit, Luc. 24, 26. Nonne hoc oportuit pali CHRISTUM, et [drinde) introire in glorian suami-in prophetis quoque suis vim suam et veritatem consequetur,
“ Et quis novit annon Ecclesia Reformata protrum Christo hac parte illatum, tes. tium, ad tempus, sublatione, luitura sit; quod eos, pro legalinis dignitate, dum fruebantur, non habuissent ? Notum est nimis quod ub Erriesiis Refor natis in hanc partem peccatum sit : utque dum Prophete CHRISTI templo Dei repurgando strenue incubuere ; alii interim, razis cjus exprlandis, oblationibusule intervertentis, sanctissimum opus commacularunt: ne alimentis quidem alicubi (magno veræ religionis dedi. cere) relictis, quibus ministri ejus honeste et pro ordinis sui dignitate sustentarentur; nedum ut quod superabundarct, ad Kei reformair amplificationem, belli sacri necessiLules, afflictorum frairum subsicium, aliosque pios usus seponerent. Annon pero id genus fuit prævaricatio illa, ob quam olim templum Judaicum, Antiocho Epiphani pro. phanandum, atque religio VERI Des triennio similiter conculcanda, data fuerit: Exercitus, inquit Daniel, dabitur ei contra juge sacrificium, propter pr varicaiionen, et projiciet veritat m in terram et faciel, et prosperabitur. Cap. 8, 12. (Vide autem bis. toriam Lib. 2. Maccab, ab initio cap 3, ad 5, et judica)-" Şed nolo amplius, un, guem in hoc ulcere. --Hoc tantum adjiciam, Forte hoc honoris et potestatis augmen rum Testibus a resurrectione sua, SUPREMI MAGISTRATUS jussu, (quæ " box illa de cælo" esse videtur) obventurum,tanquam in infamiæ illius et ignominiæ coinpen, sationem, qua eosdem Bestiani mortuos multaverunt; si modo id significat um fuerit “ prohibitione ista sepulture.”
Comment, Apocalypt. ad. cap. 11. p. 487. The excellent bishop Jewel, saw and lamented likewise this sacrilegios devasta. tion of the church-patrimony, and in one of his sermons beforc queen Elizabeth, (who it is well known gave but too much encouragemunt thereto) he had the boldness to make a plain representation of these abuses, and to show what would be the Consequences of them :
' in other countries (said he) the receiving of the Gospel hath always been the tárise that LEARNING was more set by; and LEARNING hath ever been the furtherance of the Gospel: In England, I know not how it cometh otherwise to pass ; for since the Gospel hath been received, the maintenance of Learning hath been de. cayed, and the lack of LEARNING will be the decay of the Gospel." In his conclusion, hc thus addressed the rapacious courtiers, who too often paid themselves out of the church-patrimony, for their services to the crown:-“ You cnriched them which inocked, and blinded, and devoured you; spoil not them now, that feed and instruci and comfort you!" Alaş! may we not now say of the present racemutato nomine, de TE fabula narrulur!
lived to see the partial spoliation of the clergy of IRELAND, by the last edict of her last provincial parliament; and these fatal precedents, thrcatened to be carried into execution, on a larger scale, throughout the united empire, in a new modification or abolition of parochial tythes and ecclesiasticul dues ; had he lived to see the venerable Church of ENGLAND, (the fairest offspring of the Reformation, and the purest national church upon earth) assaulted on all sides by open and inveterate foes, or undermined by false and treacherous friends, even by her own unnatural sons, which “did eat at her table,” and “ dipped their hand in her liberal dish," yet base!y " betray her with a kiss;" He would indeed shudder at the gloomy prospect of impending destruction of religious establishments, that seems not unlikely, and in no long time, to close the period of the second woe.
Still however, to support “ the patience” and uphold “the frith of the saints," in these disastrous days, that “they foint not,” or sink not into a criminal despondency, God has been graciously pleased, to shed a gleam of comfort over the gloom of this concluding period of the church militant: for the SCRIPTURE OF TRUTH declares by Daniel, 12, 10-12
“ Many shall be purified, and made white, and proved (by sufferings], but the wicked shall do wickedly : and all the wicked shall not understand, but the rise shall understand. ." And from the time that the daily sacrifice, shall be removed, and the abomination of desolation set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he thai waiteth, and reacheth to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days."
These mysterious passages seem to denote that the wise and good every | where, shall be purified and perfected by a course of tribulations and sufferings; and that they shall be gradually enabled to have a right understanding of the mysteries of God's providence revealed in the ScripTURE OF Truth: whereas the foolish and wicked, shall be infatuated; they shall neither leave off their evil ways, nor understand that “ the predicted end of these things is death." And from the lime of " the removal of the duily sacrifice," and setting up the abomination of desolation," at the destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem, A. D. 70. to this auspicious period of rightly understanding the SCRIPTURE OF TRUTH, shall be 1290 days, commencing A. D. 1360. A. D. 70+1290), the precise year in which the illustrious father of the Reformation, “ENGLAND's morning star," Wicliff, first began to preach at Oxford, against the papul Antichrist :-and in A.D. 1405 (= A. D. 70+ 1335] he was foilowed by his disciple, " the blessed" martyr Huss, in Bohemin, who be. gan in that year to preach boldly against the errors of the Church of Rome; and was afterwards condemned to the flames, and 'burnt as a heretic, by the perfidy and bigotry of the council of Constance, in violation of the emperor Sigismond's passport, or safe conduct, “to go to and return from the council." See the safeconduct itself, in Hales's Survey of the modern state of the Church of Rome, p. 103. published in 1788.
I proposed these conjectural solutions, of the mysterious numbers 1290 and 1335 days, in The Inspector, 1795, with diffidence ; led thereto by the following passages of L'Enfant's Histoire du Concile de Constance :"