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country where the Pope's supremacy in spirituals has been acknowledged, was at once independent of the Pope's authority, and yet in fupport of his pretensions and corruptions. I have also ena dravoured to prove, that it was here the witnesses laid politically dead for three lunar days and a half, or 105 years; that the revolution 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 tyranny of France. Immediately after this the seventh angel sounds, and ushers in the third woe, which is to be the means of hastening the kingdom of God. The nations are angry, (compare chap. xi. 18. with xix. 19.) and gather themselves together to oppose the de signs of God: his wrath falls upon them, and they are destroyed, 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 especially. When the visions of the book with seven feals are refumed, (which book refers to the more mixed 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 cis. cumstantial 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 seven thunders had uttered their voices that the angel lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever, that deluy should be no longer, but that the mystery of God should be finished by the founding of the seventh angel. These seven thunders, I think, evidently occupy the space between the ending of the fixth trumpet and the commencement of the seventh. But, what are these thunders ? John was forbidden to write what they utiéred; and hence most commentators have past over this part of the prophecy without even conjecturing what might be intended, supposing that it would be presumptuous to do fo. But this has not been the case 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 visions. Brightman fuppoled them to be
explained in the fourteenth chapter : Whifton imagines that they belong to the last viak, chap. xvi. But all this seems very unnatural. There are others who fuppose 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 viale It appears to me that as John was forbidden to write down what thefe thunders uttered in vision, it would be as presumptuous as it would be useless, to inquire what it was till the vision 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 should 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 case; for when the things signified are ac: complished, 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 observe, 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 some time understood, to the end that they might serve as a guide to direct the inquirer into the signs of the times, and as otherwise the mention of them would be useless, it is therofore very proper to examine, with modesty, whether this part yf sacred writ may not assist 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 should be, what is the meaning of thunder ia 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 considered as the nobler parts of the creation, so in the world politic, in prophetic language, the heavens mean thrones and governments; the fun, moon, and fars, emperors, kings, princes, and great men, as well as empires, kingdoms, and states; the earth signifies the great mass of the common people; clouds mean multitudes; wind, hail, ftorm, and thunder, as well as earthquakes, signify wars and commotions among multitudes and nations. Thus in Ifa. xxviii. 2. when God, by his prophet, threatens to punish by war, the language is, “ The Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which, as a tempeft of hail, and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, Shall cast down to the earth." And again; chap. xxix. 6. - Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise; with storm and tempest, and a flame of devouring fire." . The next verse explains what this thunder and form is : " And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel shall be as a dream." Sir I. Newton, On the Language of Prophecy, p. 18, says, “ Tempestuous winds, or the motion of clouds, are put for wars; thunder, or the voice of a cloud, for the voice of a multitude ; a storm of thunder, lightning, and hail, and overflowing rain, for a tempest of war descending from the heavens and clouds politic." Dr. Warburton, in his Divine Legation, ; book iv. sect. 4. says, “ The old Asiatic style, so highly figurative, seems, by.what we find of its remains in the prophetic language of the sacred writings, to have been evidently fafhioned to the mode of ancient hieroglyphics both curiologic and tropical. Of the sea cond kind, which answers to the tropical hieroglyphic, is the calling empires, kings, and nobles, by the names of the heavenly luminaries, the sun, moon, and stars; thcir temporary disasters, or entire overthrow, by eclipfes and extinctions; the destruction of the nobility, by stars falling from the firmament; hostile invasions, by thunder and tempestuous winds; and leaders of armies, conquerors, and founders of empires, by lions, bears, leopards, goats, or high trees. In a word, the prophetic style seems to be a SPEAKING HIEROGLYPHIC."
If we examine all the passages in the facred writings where thunder is mentioned in the prophetic style, 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 inq airer into the ligns of the times, feven wars, or periods of war, between the fixth and seventh trumpet, which froald afilie this weitern part of the world, or those nations which had given their power to the papal beast, or which in any form had assumed antichristian power in religion, and which wars
Should prepare the way for the great scene which was to follow.
But here it will be proper to alk, (for frequent obfervation has convinced me that such questions are not altogether needless) Does 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 observation, as well as by those of five hundred years back, or of five hundred
? 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 Icague 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 consequences that followed that connection ? I hope he does.
As the seven thunders appear evidently to occupy the space between the sixth and seventh trumpet, and as thunder in the prophetic writings is allowed to be the speaking hieroglyphic of war, and as it is likewise probable that the sixth trumpet, or second woe, ended about the year 1697, it is worth while to inquire whe. ther thefe thunders have uttered their voices, that is, whether there have been feven periods of war in Europe since that time. On examination, the history of this century will inform us that, taking all the nations together which do or have inade up the body of the papal beast, and among whom the remains of religious corruption, ufurpation, &c. continue, (and which almost all allow to be the object of thefe vifions, there have been just seven of thele thunders, or periods of war, neither more nor less. And it is worthy of remark, that this is i he case whether we take into the account those states and kingdoms only which sprung out of the ruins of the old Roman empire, or all those that compose the Latin church, or even the whole of Europe. We shall consider those wars in which all Europe have been engaged so far only as the nations which are or have been subject to the papacy have been concerned in them.