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the calamities and miseries occasioned by the Saracen or Arabian locusts; at the conclusion of which it was declared, “ One woe is past; and, be“ hold, there come two woes more hereafter.” On the sounding of the sixth trumpet, or the second woe, begins the plague of the Euphratean horsemen, or Turks. After this subject is finished, an angel appears with an open little book, which reverts, in point of chronology, to the sounding of the first woe trumpet at the commencement of the twelve hundred and sixty years, in order to introduce another subject, and to open the state of the western church during the period of time included in these two trumpets. The prophecy here leading us through this period of twelve hundred and sixty years, in two separate predictions, namely, that of measuring the temple of God, and that of the prophesying, death, and resurrection of the two witnesses (both of which subjects synchronize, and separately include the whole period of the twelve hundred and sixty years), afterwards asserts, “ the “ second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe “ cometh quickly.” The seventh angel is then represented as sounding; on which “ there were great “ voices in heaven, &c.” On the blast of this seventh trumpet, it might have been expected that we should have had some description of the calamities that were to be introduced by it as a woe trumpet, in the same manner as we have in the former instances of the two preceding ones; but there follows in this place only a summary account of it in its aspect of joy; “ the kingdoms of this world are “ become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his “ Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” An intimation is indeed afterwards given, that the Lord God Almighty would 6 destroy those who “ destroyed the earth;" but the particulars are reserved to be specified hereafter. These will be developed in the prophecies of the little book. For this opened book of the seventh seal, after having given us the predictions respecting the measuring of the temple and the two witnesses during the twelve hundred and sixty years (included in the two first woe trumpets), carries us back again to the earliest times, and leads us through another series of prophecies, till it reconducts us to the sounding of the seventh trumpet. This series is a kind of supplement to the regular chronological series of predictions under the seals and trumpets; and it is evidently intended to supply what is deficient in the first part. The chronology, indeed, of the prophecies of the opened book, is not so regular and direct as that of the former series of predictions; nor is it necessary that it should be so, as it may be discovered by the synchronisms of the prophecies with those of the former part, and from other circumstances of internal evidence. On this principle, it appears that the vials must be poured out nearly at the termination of the twelve hundred and sixty years; and I am decidedly of opinion (after much reflection and consideration of the subject), with Mr. Mede, that the first six vials are poured out during the period of the last part of the sixth, or the second woe, trumpet; and that the effusion of the seventh vial takes place immediately on the sounding of the seventh, or the third woe, trumpet. Almost all modern commentators suppose the seven vials to be a subdivision of the seventh trumpet; and consequently that the effusion of them all is subsequent to its sounding. But there is not the least evidence of this hypothesis, nor is there any ground for it, except that of mere assertion. It is very evident, that the seventh seal includes the seven trumpets, and that they all succeed each other in a regular chronological series; and that the sounding of the seventh trumpet brings us to the dawn of the millennium. The outline of the chronology is, therefore, filled up. Hence it is not necessary to sup
pose the effusion of the seven vials subsequent to the blast of the last trumpet, in order to make up any imagined defect in the chronology. . The only reason that, in my judgment, can be discovered, why modern expositors have considered the seven vials as a subdivision of the seventh trumpet, is because the seven trumpets are a subdivision of the seventh seal. But this is no reason at all; except a supposed, but groundless, analogy should be so considered. The seven trumpets are virtually asserted to be contained in the seventh seal; and the chronology of the prophecies necessarily requires this order. But there is not the least intimation that the vials are a subdivision of the seventh trumpet; nor is there any necessity for supposing them to be so on account of the chronology. To this it may be added, that, in my opinion, modern commentators are all in error in supposing that the effusion of the vials commences after the sounding of the seventh trumpet; and that Mr. Mede, whose opinion is equal to that of a host, is right in making six of the vials to synchronize with the sixth trumpet *, and the seventh to be poured out immediately on the sounding of the seventh trumpet. It is admitted that the last trumpet will be eminently a trumpet of woe, as well as of joy; but surely the last vial is sufficient to give it this character, as it will undoubtedly exceed all the rest in its tremendous calamities, as the description surpasses the others in its sublime and terrific imagery. The seventh trumpet, according to the synchronisms of Mede, is evidently to be sounded somewhere near the conclusion of the important period of the twelve hundred and sixty years. Different computations have indeed been made, of the æra when these years will terminate. Scarcely any writers on the subject suppose they will end before A. D. 1866; while many think the termination of this momentous period will not arrive till A. D. 2000. On the whole, however, the evidence for the former date seems most convincing. But it appears evident that the vials begin to be poured out at no great distance from the same period. The precise time, however, can only be determined by the facts; as there is no previous evidence positively to fix whether their effusion will take place under the sixth or the seventh trumpet, or partly under both. The prophecies of the Revelation have hitherto been clearly traced till towards the close of the period of the sixth trumpet; and the key which has been used by most of the judicious commentators, in connexion with the facts of history, has opened the most intricate wards of the predictions without violence.
* No part of the book of Revelation so long and so much perplexed my mind as the subject of the seventh trumpet, in connexion with the vials. My judgment would not allow me to admit that the death and resurrection of the witnesses had occurred. On this account, as well as for several other reasons, and especially from the date of the commencement of the twelve hundred and sixty years, I never could bring myself to imagine for a moment, that this period of time had reached its termination. Hence I could never arrive at the conclusion that the seventh trumpet had sounded, being fully persuaded, from the chronology of the prophecy, that the blast of the last woe must occur subsequently to the period referred to. But, on the other hand, Mr. Faber and other commentators produced such strong and convincing evidence for the effusion of five of the vials, that my judgment was thrown into a dilemma, from which for a considerable time no mode of extrication could be discovered. This difficulty arose from a preconceived hypothesis, founded on the opinion of all the modern commentators, that the effusion of the vials was subsequent to the sounding of the last trumpet. At length I was driven to the inference, that the expositors must be all wrong in making the vials a subdivision of the last trumpet; and that if any of them had poured out their contents, for which there appeared almost irresistible evidence, their effusion must have occurred during the continuance of the sixth trumpet. At this time the comment of Mr. Mede was not in my possession; but on procuring the work of that gigantic expositor, I was confirmed in my opinion, and decidedly convinced that the views of this celebrated writer were correct on this subject, in opposition to the sentiments of modern commentators, however eminent their names, their talents, or their general knowledge of prophecy.