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degrees of the same punishment inflicted on the fame subject, and cannot be separated : they are perfectly distinct as to their nature and object from the second wo, and therefore ought not to begin till the second wo ended ; for it is said, “ The second wo is past, the third wo “ cometh quickly.”
Fourthly, By Mede's rule, the marks inserted in the prophecy, it is evident, that all the vials follow the seventh trumpet, and that none precede it. These internal marks may be fitly compared to the corresponding loops in the curtains of the tabernacle; by observing them, the Levites discovered the place of each separate curtain and joined them together, so as to form one whole tent.' So by these marks, the attentive reader is able to discover the place of each separate vision, whether it carries on the series of the prophecy, or gives à collateral represen. tation of times already mentioned, and to connect them so as to form one continued prophecy. Now I find, that after the seventh trumpet founds, 'Rev. xi. 15.-and a brief summary is given of the events contained in it, in the three following verses, it is said, verf. 19. “I “.faw the tabernacle of the temple of God in “ heaven opened.” This expression I consider as a mark inserted, like the loop in the edge of
the curtain, where the series of the narration is broken off. Accordingly, the same words are repeated, Rev. xv. 5. like the corresponding loop in the edge of the other curtain, then it is said, “ And the seven angels came out of the “ temple, having the seven plagues,” vers. 6.; which shews, that the first of these vials follows after the sounding of the seventh trumpet. That these two verses compared together imply so much, I argue thus: None of these vials could be poured on the earth till the angels to whom they were entrusted came out of the temple ; nor could the angels come out of the temple until it was opened, as appears from chap. xv. 1. ; but the temple was shut during the forty-two months of Antichrist's reign, and was opened only at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, chap. xi. 19.; therefore all the vials follow after the founding of the seventh trumpet'.
It may not be improper to examine the reasons which induced Mede to conclude, that the first fix vials are contemporary with the sixth trumpet, and the seventh vial with the founding of the seventh trumpet. He had very properly observed, that the forty-two months of the
beast's (1) See further on this subject, in Newton's Dissertation on Prophecies, vol. ij. p. 302, 9th edit. Likewise Durham on the Revelation, p. 227. 4to edit.
beast's reign end with the close of the sixth trumpet, and that the vials are plagues on the beast and his followers. Then taking it for granted, that the beast could have no existence after the forty-two months were finished, he concluded that the vials must have been previously poured out, in order to bring him to his end, and consequently must have fallen in with the time of the sixth trumpet, beyond which the forty-two months do not extend. But the error of his reasoning consists, in suppofing that the beast has no existence after the forty-two months are finished. These mark (as we have seen) the duration of his temporal fo. vereignty. Now, as he acquired an extensive spiritual supremacy previous to the temporal fovereignty, so after he is deprived of the temporal sovereignty, he shall retain a great measure of his spiritual supremacy, for the reduction of which the vials are poured out. The temporal sovereignty is but the pedestal on which the idol of spiritual supremacy was reared. After the pedestal is removed, the idol stands on its own legs, till by the repeated blows of Divine vengeance, represented by the vials, his very exist. ence is annihilated :.
The (1) I am aware that an objection will occur to many against this reasoning. Fleming (in his discourse concern
The place of the vials in the series of events being thus discovered, the time they take up, or, in other words, the period which elapses from the founding of the seventh trumpet, when they begin, to the commencement of the Mil
lennium, lennium, when they end, appears to be exactly seventy-five prophetic years. For it is highly probable, that the commencement of the Millennium is intended by Daniel xii. 12.
ing the fall of the Papacy) applies the fourth vial to the fall of the French monarchy; and conjectures such fall fhall take place in the year 1794. If the powers of Eu., rope should this year acknowledge the independence of the French republic, Fleming's conjecture would be there by established: And his application of the vial thus fulfilled will appear to many a more forcible argument for his interpretation than any reafons I can offer, to prove that none of the vials are yet poured out. In answer to this, objection, I observe, that Fleming builds his conjecture on two grounds : The one is the fourth vial, which I consider to be a misapprehension; the other is, that there are corresponding points in the rise and fall of the Papacy, cach of them measured by a period of 1260 prophetic years. Proceeding on this ground, he obferves, that Juftinian left Rome to the management of the Pope in the year 552 ; adding to these 1260 prophetic, or 1242 civil years, brings us down to the year 1794, when he supposes the French monarchy, the great support of the Papacy, shall fall. Hear his own words: 66 Whereas the present French king “ takes the fun for his emblem, and this for his motto, “ Nec pluribus impar, he may at length, or rather his suc“ceffors, and the monarchy itself, at least before the year “ 1794, be found to acknowledge, that, in respect to " neighbouring potentates, he is even Singulis impar.”
c Blef“ fed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the
« But as to the expiration of this vial, I do fear it will « not be until the year 1794. The reason of which conjec"ture is, that I find the Pope got a new foundation of
exaltation when Justinian, upon his conquest of Italy, left " it in a great measure to the Pope's management, being u willing to eclipse his own authority to advance that of “ this haughty prelate. Now this being in the year 552, « this, by the addition of 1260 years, reaches down to the
year 1811, which; according to prophetic accounts, is “ the year 1794.” Should, therefore, Fleming's conjecture be established by the event, it will not militate against my reasoning; because his calculation is founded on quite another principle, which I do not controvert.
Again, Fleming's general principle respecting the vials is the same with mine. He fupposes that all the vials follow after the founding of the seventh trumpet. Only in this we differ; he supposes the æra of the seventh trumpet to be past, at the Reformation. I suppose it is still future, and that it shall take place about the close of the twentieth century. At any rate, that it is still future, will appear with convincing evidence to one who reflects, that five contemporary events precede immediately the founding of the seventh trumpet, of which not one is fully accomplished hitherto. These events are, The end of the 42 months of the beast;-of the 42 months in which the