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fanctify the congregation, affemble the elders, gather the children, and thofe that fuck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his. chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests the minifters of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar, and let them fay, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage. to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore. Should they say among the people, Where is their God?

He that can believe that all this Solemnity and Majefty of the defcription; all this Terror and Defolation to be brought on the People of the Jews; even fo far, that they, altho' God's heritage, were to be given to reproach, and the heathen were to rule over them, means no more than the eating up of the Fruits of the Earth, by a Company of Locufts and Catterpillars, at fome unknown time formerly in Judea, feems to me prejudic'd fufficiently to believe any thing of this kind, and incapable of understanding the Prophetick Writings. In short, the plain purport of this part of Joel is a Prediction, that God would afflict his Church and People of the Jews, by the four fucceeding Monarchies, the Babylonian, the Medo-Perfian, the Grecian, and the Roman: that the foreft and moft remarkable Calamity, fhould arife from the laft, and greatest of them; that unless the Nation of the Jews did folemnly and ferioufly repent of their Sins, to which the Prophet earnestly invites them, they fhould be utterly extirpated out of their Land, and scatter'd in a grand Captivity over the World, as a Reproach among all Nations; and their daily Sacrifice, with all the rest of their Worfhip, fhould quite ceafe; and that thenceforward, the Heathen Should Rule over them, according as the other Predictions of their Prophets foretold, and according as we have fince feen the Completion of them..

Scholium 2. It may not alfo be improper here to take notice Zech. j. 18, 19, of a Prophecy in Zechariah, fince it may poffibly relate to 20, 21. the fame four Monarchies which were to have the Jews in Subjection, and to the Jews Reftoration at the Conclufion of thofe Monarchies. The words of the Prophet, are thefe, Then lift I up mine eyes, and faw, and behold four horns. And I faid unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, Thefe are the horns which have scattered Judah,

Ifrael,

Ifrael, and Jerufalem. And the Lord fhewed me four carpenters, then faid I, What come thefe to do? And he spake, saying, Thefe are the horns which have scattered Judah, fo that no mandid lift up his head: but thefe are come to fray them, to caft out the horns of the Gentiles, which lift up their horn over the land of Judah to scat

ter it.

III.

The Visions of St. John contain'd in the Apocalypfe, after that belonging to the seven Churches of Afia, are all Predictions of Events, then future, and not at all Historical Narrations of things past.

Grotius.

This is alfo fo reasonable a Poftulatum in it self, to any one who looks a little into the nature of this Book, that it scarce needs any proof at all. Yet because fome are willing to allow the contrary Suppofition, as odd as it is, rather than adDr.Hammond. mit the Confequences from its being intirely Prophetical, I Mr. Thorndike. fhall in a few words demonftrate it, by the following Arguments. 1. This was evidently and confeffedly the defign of the parallel Book of Scripture; I mean the Prophetick part of Daniel: and as no Commentator, whether Jew or Chriftian, imagins that Daniel Allegorizes things paft, but foretells thofe to come: fo ought it with the fame unanimity to be dermined of St. John, in the Prophetick part of his Revelation also.

Apoc. i. 1.

Ver. 3.

2. St. John himself does frequently affure us, that he does not relate the past, but foretell the future ftate of things and this in exprefs words, and fo as to point out the exact time, viz. that the Prophecies fhould begin to be fulfill'd immediately. The Revelation of Jefus Chrift, which God gave unto him, to fhew unto his fervants things which must shortly come to pass. Bleed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this Prophecy, and obferve those things which are written therein: Apoc. xxij. 6. for the time is at hand. And he faid unto me, Thefe fayings are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets fent his angel to fhew unto his fervants the things which must shortly be done. And he faith unto me, Seal not the fayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. All which plain and repeated Expreffions in the Book it felf, tho' they do by no

means,

Ver. 10.

means, as Dr. Hammond would have it, imply that the end of the Visions fhould be very foon, or that they should contain but a short space in the whole, (that Duration being to be fetch'd from the Series of the Vifions themselves.) yet do they make its proper defign abundantly evident, viz. That it was to be a Prophecy of the future State of the Church, and fuch a Series of Events then to come, as should begin immediately after the Vifions themselves were feen by St. John, without the Interpofition of any Ages between; contrary to fome in Daniel, which were to be fealed up for a Dan. viij. 26 time, as relating to things a great while off, without taking and xij. 9. in the Events of the Interval before them.

·9

3. But befides this clear and direct Evidence in general, there is another Argument more particular, and if poffible, more convictive alfo; tho' it has not been fo much confidered and regarded, as it certainly deserves; and which not only confirms the prefent Propofition, but gives great light also in to the feveral Divifions, or general Partitions of the whole Book; and which, as I muft own, was firft obferv'd to me by our great Chronologer, and moft Accurate Enquirer into thefe Matters, the prefent Lord Bishop of Worcester. It is taken from a Comparison of the 19th. Verfe of the 1ft. Chapter, with the beginning of the 4th. The words in the former place are thefe resides, xj à sin, xj à pínd gives perdi Tara Write the things which thou haft feen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. Thofe in the latter place are thefe, Μετὰ ταῦτα εἶδον καὶ ἰδὲ θύρα ἠνεογιλών ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ἐ ἡ φωνὴ ἡ πρώτη ἣν ἤκουσα ὡς σάλπιγΘ- λαλέσης μετ' ἐμᾶ, λέγεσα, ̓Ανάβα ὧδε, εξ δείξω σοι ο δεῖ γενέθζ μετὰ ταῦτα. After this I looked, and behold a door was opened in Heaven; and the first voice which I heard, was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which faid, Come up bither, and I will fhew thee those things which must be hereafter. So that by the confideration of the former of thefe two verses, it is evident that St. John was commanded to write three different forts of things, first, The Vifion of the feven Stars, and feven Golden Candlesticks, which he had just feen, contain'd in the firft Chapter; the sides. Secondly, A Book, or Collection of Epiftles to the feven Churches of Afia, then

in.

in.

in being, contain'd in the 2d and 3d Chapters; the thirdly, The future ftate of things afterwards to the end of the world, the d μέλλει γένες μετὰ ταῦ; thofe things that were to happen after the former, and which are contain'd in the remaining part of the Apocalypfe. So that when we find in the fecond Text St. John, after the two former parts of his work were over, particularly call'd to, by the fame voice which he had heard before, and bidden diftinctly to set about the third part of it. And when accordingly the Angel affures him, almoft in the very words of the former Verfe, that he would now fhew him a dir gerial posmi ; thofe things which were certainly to follow after the former, and fucceed the then prefent State of the Church; 'Tis moft evident, not only that the first and literal fenfe, at leaft, of the Epiftles to the feven Apoc.ij. & iij. Churches of Afia, relate to the time then prefent only, and were no part of the Prophecies of Futurities; but also, that the reft of the Apocalypfe concerns Events then to come, and was to be a Prediction of the then future State of things in the Roman Empire, or Chriftian Church, therein contain'd, to the end of the World.

Apoc. j. 9, 10.

IV.

The Vifions contain'd in the Book of the Revelation, were feen by St. John in the Ifle Patmos, A. D. 96. fix and twenty years after the Deftruction of Jerufalem.

That thefe Visions were feen in the Ille Patmos, when St. John was banish'd thither for his preaching the Gofpel, is his own exprefs affirmation, and fo cannot be queftion'd by any. 1 John, who aifo am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jefus Chrift, was in the Ifle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the spirit on the Lords day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a Trumpet, &c. And that his Banifhment thither, was at the time here fpecify'd, excepting Epiphanius, is the unanimous Voice of Antiquity; and has the general Suffrage of Chronologers,

Papists,

both Papifts and Proteftants. I fhall only mention fuch Teftimonies as are earlier than * Epiphanius, Irenaus, and Eufebius, and Epiphanius's Contemporary St. Jerom; and I obferve withal, that the Affertion of Epiphanius fuppofes that Claudius Perfecuted the Chriftians, and Banish'd them into remote Islands; which no Hiftorian fays a fyllable of; and that he in a manner contradicts himself, by faying at the fame time that St, John was 90 years of Age when he return'd from Patmos, in the days of Claudius Cafar; whereas all the Ancients agree that he could not be fo old till the days of Domitian, about 40 years afterward. So that Epiphanius's Teftimony, in this cafe, is too weak to bear any weight at all. But that which makes this Propofition fo near to a certainty, is the expreff nefs of Irenaus's Teftimony, who liv'd in the next Age; who had been a frequent Auditor of those who had Convers'd with St. John himfelf; and who was fo particularly Inquifitive about this Book of the Revelation, that he nicely examin'd into the different † Copies of it, and difputes very frequently from it in his famous Work ftill extant. This moft Authentick Witness, I fay, exprefly informs us, as of a thing then commonly known, that the ‡ Apocalypfe was feen by St. John, a little before his time, at the end of the Reign of Domitian. Now because Domitian did not dy till September A. D. 96. we may justly place the time of St. John's feeing these Vifions the very fame year, juft twenty fix years after the Deftruction of Jerufalem. And this Chronological

* Μετὰ ἔτη ἐννενήκοντα τῆς ἑαυτῷ ζωῆς, μετὰ τὴν αὐτῇ δο τῆς Πάτμυ ἐπάνοδεν τὴν ἐπὶ Κλαυδία γενομλίην Καίσαρ. Epiphan. Hæref. f 1. Sedt. 12. Αὐτῷ δὲ προφητεύσαντΘ· ἐν χρόνοις Κλαυδία Καίσαρ ου άνω βάτω ὅτι εις Πάτρον ὑπῆρξεν Hæref. 51. Se&t. 33.

Δομετιανός μ' Νέρωνα δεύτερου Χριστιανὲς ἐδίωξεν, καὶ Ἰωάννην * Θεολόγον *Απότολον ἐν Πάτμῳ τῇ νήσῳ περιώρισεν, ἔνθα τὴν Σποκάλυψιν ἑώρακιν, ὡς ὁ ἄγου Eienvaï Quo. Eufebii Chron. Edit. Scalig. p. 66.

Quarto decimo Anno, fecundam, poft Neronem, Perfequutionem movente Domitiano, in Patmon Infulam relegatus [Johannes] fcripfit Apocalyfin: quam Interpretatur Juft. Martyr & Irenæus. Hieronym. Catal. fcript. Ecclef.c.9

† Τέτων δ' οὕτως ἐχόντων, και ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς σπεδαίοις καὶ ἀρχαίοις αντιγράφοις sẽ cỡ số 8 xsphép. Iren. Adverf. Hæref. 1. f. C. 30. in init.

† Οὐδὲ δ πρὸ πολλῷ χρόνῳ ἑωράθη, ἀλλὰ σχεδὸν ἐπὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας γενεᾶς, πρὸς Tã Ting Dousmar dex. Ibid. paulo infra.

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