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all the faithful witnesses of Christ from Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, must be collected into the chief province of the Roman empire, there to suffer a moral and political death. Surely no such consequence follows from the sentiments of those who think differently on the subject from Mr. Faber. In the first place, they may not admit that the broad street of the city must mean a single province of the Roman empire; and secondly, they consider the whole prophecy as confined to the western empire, and therefore, during the death of the witnesses there, the Gospel in America, Africa, the East Indies, and other parts of Asia, may be increasing and flourishing, and hastening to its meridian glories.
Thirdly, if we read the words in ver. 7, “ when “ they shall be finishing,” or “ when they shall have “ finished their testimony;" which seems to be the most general sense of the Greek verb used by the Apostle; it will not be satisfactory to an unprejudiced and considerate reader to refer the death and resurrection of the witnesses to an event which took place more than three centuries previously to the finishing of their testimony, which scarcely any commentators consider as occurring before the year 1866.
Fourthly, however we may read the words “ when they shall have finished their testimony," we must make the duration of the testimony to harmonize with that other part of the prediction, where it is said that the witnesses “shall prophesy twelve “ hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” But if the death and resurrection of the witnesses took place at the period referred to, immediately subsequent to the ruin of the league of Smalcalde, they will have prophesied more than three centuries less than the predicted period, unless the supporters of this hypothesis will aver that they prophesied in sackcloth after their resurrection into heaven.
On the whole, therefore, there appear insuperable difficulties and objections in admitting that the death and resurrection of the witnesses is a past event. But if it be not past, then the necessary consequence is, that it must be future. This subject has been considered in a more diffuse manner than many others, as it is universally admitted to be an event of the highest importance to the Christian church.
Neither Satan nor his angels can cut off the Lord's ministers and witnesses till they have accomplished their work. All God's servants are immortal, till their work is done. This should encourage them to proceed vigorously in their service, and to “ quit themselves like men," knowing that their “ labour will not be in vain in the Lord.”— During the greater part of the period of twelve hundred and sixty years, the beast has continued his war upon the witnesses: they have been cast down, trodden in the dust, and “ their blood hath been “ poured out like water upon the earth.” Thus that great city, here intended as a type of the popish church, has become even as Sodom and Egypt, or as Jerusalem, where our Lord was crucified. Probably the war on the witnesses may continue, and be renewed with fresh vigour, on the part of their enemies. But, thanks be to God, the last conflict will be short. The great Redeemer will interfere, and revive his apparently expiring cause, in a manner as wonderful as his resurrection from the dead. He will cause the earth to tremble, and shake down the towers of the enemy. He will again raise up his witnesses, who shall “ stand upon their feet and “ ascend into heaven;" and then the church of Christ, like the sun from behind a cloud, shall break forth and shine in all its purity, splendour, and glory. Then will the divine promises be verified: “ For a small moment have I forsaken thee; “ but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a
« little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; « but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy “ on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. No weapon " that is formed against thee shall prosper ; and “ every tongue that shall rise against thee in judg“ ment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage “ of the servants of the Lord ; and their righteous“ness is of me, saith the Lord."
SECTION XXI. His To The Earthquake. The Sounding of the seventh Trumpet. The Joy in Heaven on that Account.
W TO bylo to w Chap. xi. 13–19. 93 1 AND the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 16Immediately after the resurrection and ascension of the witnesses, and before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, there was a great earthquake, by which a tenth part of the city fell. In this earthquake were slain of men, or names of men, according to the original expression, seven thousand; and the rest were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven, as the author of these terrible events. This implies that some dreadful judgments will befall a considerable part of this antichristian city, which is “spiritually called Sodom and Egypt," referring particularly perhaps to one of the ten kingdoms into which the temporal empire was divided. By names of men some understand titles and orders of men, and suppose that the judgments occasioned by the earthquake will destroy them. Others ex
plain names of men to mean men of name and renown, and consider the prophecy to refer to the degradation and destruction of the most renowned and powerful supporters of Antichrist. If the witnesses be not yet slain, which appears to me to be evidently the case, this prophecy is of course yet unfulfilled, and future events can alone determine the precise meaning of it *.
14. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
Thus the second woe, or the sixth trumpet, terminates with this earthquake, whatever it may be. When the first woe was past, the second and the
* Could the meaning of this prophecy of the earthquake be clearly and satisfactorily ascertained, it would determine the time of the sounding of the seventh angel, and serve as a medium by which to judge of several things connected with the two last woe trumpets. Where men so highly eminent for their knowledge of Scripture prophecy, as many of our commentators of the Revelation are, widely and essentially differ on particular passages, I would by no means express a positive and confident opinion, and much less would I dogmatize on such profound subjects. I shall state what appears on the whole, after much consideration, to be most probable in my own view; and occasionally mention some of the opinions of the writers who differ. In respect to the prophecy of the earthquake, Mr. Cuninghame, Mr. Holmes, and others, who suppose that the witnesses were slain and ascended into heaven immediately after the ruin of the Smalcaldic league, imagine that the prophecy particularly received its fulfilment in this country. England they consider to be the tenth part of the city which fell from the Romish jurisdiction in this earthquake. By the seven thousand names of men who were slain, they understand the abolition of the monastic orders in this kingdom. This appears probable, if it were admitted they were correct respecting the witnesses. Mr. Faber, Mr. Fuller, and others, suppose the prophecy to have received its accomplishment by the French revolution. But it will not be satisfactory to the generality of readers to refer a prophecy which is said to take place in the same hour (or, as Griesbach reads the text, in the same day) on which the witnesses ascended into heaven, to events which occurred more than two hundred and forty years afterwards. To which it inay be added, that facts now demonstrate that a tenth part of the antichristian city has not fallen by the French revolution; for Popery continues at present, in respect to national profession, nearly in the same state as it existed previously to that event.
third woes were to come hereafter; but between the two last, there would be but a short space. The second woe introduced the Turkish horsemen, and commenced about the year 1281 ; but it does not follow from hence, that it is to terminate with the concerns of the Turks. The little book of the seventh seal, exhibited by the angel under this trumpet, took us back to the affairs of the western empire, and the woe terminates with the same subject. It appears evident therefore, in my judgment, that we are still living under the second woe, and that it will continue to the end of the twelve hundred and sixty years, when the earthquake will occur after the witnesses have finished their testimony. Upon this supposition the two first woe trumpets will nearly divide equally this important period of time. The arguments of Mr. Faber and others do not, in my opinion, invalidate the synchronism of Mede, the safe guide of apocalyptic commentators, who makes the sounding of the seventh trumpet contemporaneous with the termination of the twelve hundred and sixty years. If this hypothesis be correct, and that of the generality of commentators, respecting the commencement of this period, the second woe cannot terminate before the year 1866.
15. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16. And the four-and-twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshipped God, 17. Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and