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every step. And yet these are all Christians! But he who was taught the religion of Christ not by man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, has said, Faith without works is dead. Alas! they have walked in a vain shew. But it is probable that this disguises before the consummation of all things, will be stripped off, and the nations be made to appear in their true character, and thus may be fulfilled, in a sense that has not been fufpected, that prediction of the prophet Isaiah (chap. xxv. 7.) He will destroy the face of the covering (the mask) cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations-My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, faith the LORD!

The French revolution then may be of God, and designed to issue in good, although conducted by infidels, and disgraced by outrages which nothing.can justify.

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SIGNS OF THE TIMES.

FIRST

INQUIRY

IN endeavouring to make good this hypothefis, that the figns of the times indicate the fpeedy downfal of all that spiritual and civil tyranny, which for so many ages has prevailed, in opposition to the principles of the kingdom of Christ, the Prince of Peace, there are three inquiries which claim our attention.

The first respects the dragon and the beasts, which John faw.in his visions. Rev. xi. 7. xii. and xiii.

The second respects the witnefes, Rev. xi. and the third inquiry is, Whether all the numbers of Daniel and John, which refer to the latter days, will agree with the present times? Let us, with that reverence and devout candour which become us when we apply to the word of God for instruction, attend to these several inquiries.

The grand scene of the prophetic visions of John opens in the fourth chapter of the Revelation, and is continued to the end of the book. The whole may be considered as a number of scenic pictures. Chapter the eleventh is a miniature picture of the history of the church (the western church especially) from the earliest times to the downfal of all antichristian usurpations. The following visions are the same picture variegated, for our instruction, on a larger scale.

As there are some, into whose hands these pages may fall, who have not been used to attend to subjects like these which we are going to discuss, it may be proper, briefly to consider the origin of that sort of language, and of those hieroglyphic, or, more properly, fymbolical representations, which we meet with in the prophets.

The first mode of writing appears to have been by pictures of things, and it must have been a long time before mankind arrived at any degree of perfection in the science of letters, as we now

have it. To express ideas by a combination of letters, fyllables, words, and sentences, is a more wonderful invention than most people imagine. The most natural way of communicating our conceptions by, marks and figures, is by tracing out the images of things; and this is actually verified in the case of the Mexicans, whose only method of writing their laws and history, when the Spaniards first visited them, was by this picture-writing. The hieroglyphics ånd symbols of the Egyptians and Hebrews, were an improvement on this rude and inconvenient essay towards writing. It would be improper to enter far into this subject here, I shall therefore say no more than just what may be thought necefsary to fhew that the figurative style, and the symbolical representations, which we meet with in the scriptures, are not fo out of the way, as some may be apt to imagine; nor the workmanship, as Dr. Warburton t expreffes it, of the prophets heated and wild imagination, as our modern libertines would persuade us, but the sober, established language of their times..

In the symbols and hieroglyphics of the ancients, a lion stood for strength and courage; a bullock was a representation of agriculture; a horse of liberty ; a Sphinx of subtilty ;; a pelican of paternal affećtion ; a river horfe of impudence ; horns of strength and pre-eminence ; among the Phenicians a horn was the ensign of royalty : and hence they came to be used by the prophets to denote fouereignty and dominion, Mates and kingdoms. The fun, moon, and ftats also were the symbols of states and kingdoms, kings,, queens, and nobility; their eclipse stood for the temporary disasters which afflicted them, and their extinction, for their entire overthrow. If

this be considered, we need not wonder at what we meet, with in s. the holý scriptures, and especially in the prophecies. The pro

phets speak in the language of the times in which they lived, and represent things under lyinbols then well understood ; and though this mode of representing things is not so usual among us, yet we have fomething of it too. Modern heraldry is a sort of hieroglyphics, and we here meet with productions as fictious and monstrous as. a lion with the wings of an eagle, or as a beast with feven heads and ten horns.

In the prophetic writings, fierce and savage beasts are the • hieroglyphic emblems of tyrannic monarchies and states, and the

peculiar+ S:e Warburton's Divine Legation, Book iv, seđ. 4. paffin.

peculiarities of these monarchies and states are represented by suitable creatures, and by such appendages, as are proper to identify them, and describe their characters. Thus in Dan. vii. 4. the kingdom of Babylon is represented under the image of a lim with eagle's wings. To type out, nat only its power, but the rapidity of its conquests, and the height of splendour to which it was raised. The kingdom of the Medes and Persians, (ver. 5.) is represented by a bear with three ribs in its mouth, to which it was said, Arise, devour much flesh. This was to shew the cruelty of these people, and their greediness after blood and plunder. Their character was that of the all-devouring bear, which has no pity. The ribs in the mouth of it represent those nations which they especially made a prey ofa ---The kingdom of the Macedonians, or Grecians, is characterized (ver. .6.) by a leopard, with four heads, and four wings of a fowla The leopard is remarkable for its swiftness, hence, and especially with the wings on its back, it was a fit emblem of the conquests of the Macedonians.under the command of Alexander, who conquered part of Europe and all Afia in fix years. As the lion had two wings, to represent the rapidity of the Babylonian conquests, so this leopard has four, to signify the swifter progress of the Macedonians,

The foper heads also are significant. They are intended to represent the same circumstance as the four horns of the he.goat in the sighth chapter. Fifteen years after the death of Alexander, his brother, and two sons being murdered, his kingdom was broken, or divided, by Caffander, Lyfimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus, into four lefler kingdoms, which they seized for themselves.

It may not be amiss in this place, to take notice, that whereas, in this vision in the severtủ chapter, the Medo-Perjan empire is represented under the emblem of a bear, and that of the Macedonians under that of a leopard, in that of chapter the eighth, the former is typed out by a ram (ver. 3.) with two horns, one higher than the other; and the higher came up last; and the latter by a hegoat, &c. These were most apt representations of these empires, For a ram was the royal enlign of Persia, as the caglę was of the Romans, and as the lion is of England; and the figures of rams heads with horns, the one higher than the other, are still to be seen among the remains of the ruins of Persepolis, as Sir John Chardin takes notice in his travels, . That which came up last

was highest, #o denote that the Persian kingdom, though it was of a later date, C2

should

should overtop the Medes, and make a greater figure in the world than the other; as it did from the time of Cyrus, under whom the two kingdoms were united in one. A he-goat was also very properly made the type of the Macedonian or Grecian empire, for this was the emblem, or, as we now a days express it, the arms of Macedon, and they were called the goat's people ; for Caranus, their first king, going with a multitude of Greeks, to seek a new habitation, was, as it is said, commanded by the oracle, to take the goats for his guide ; and afterwards seeing a flock of goats flying from a violent storm, he followed them to Edeffa, and their fixed the feat of his empire, made the goats his enisign, and called the city Ægeæ, of the goats' town. But to return.

The fourth kingdom is represented (ver. 7.) by a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and ftrong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth, it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it. Andit was divers from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. This dreadful representation made a great impression on Daniel's mind, and he therefore inquires particularly what this might mean.

Ver.

19. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beaft, which was divers from all the others, exceeding dreadful. The angel informed him (ver. 23.) that the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be divers from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and fhall tread it down, and break it in pieces,

That which appeared in the imagination of Nebuchadnezzar as the legs and feet of a great image, whose brightness was exċellent (Dan. ii. 31–45.) and the form terrible, is here represented to Daniel as a fierce and ravenous beast. This is the Roman empire, which succeeded the Macedonian. “This beast," says Bishop Newton, “was so great and horrible, that it was not easy to find an adequate name for it; and the Roman empire was dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, beyond any of the former kingdoms. It was divers from all kingdoms, not only in its republican form of government, but likewise in strength and power, and greatness, length of duration, and extent of dominion. It detoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the refidue with the feet of it, It reduced Macedon into a Roman province about 168-yearsthe kingdom of Pergamus about 133 years; Syria about 65 years, and Egypt about 30 years, before Christ. And besides the remains of

the

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