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markably apposite instance is afforded in a former part of the Revelation, ch. 11. 7., where the war or prolonged hostility of the Beast against the Witnesses is mentioned. • And when they shall have finished their testimony (Gr. GTA TERÉCWol the peoprugian autan), the Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them, and overcome them.' Grotius, Mede, Whiston, More, Daubuz, Lowman, and Newton unanimously agree that the true rendering in this place is, When they shall be finishing, or about to finish, their testimony. The reason of it is plain ; for the Beast was not to defer his persecution till after they had completed their testimony, but was to make war against them during the time that they were actually engaged in it. The sense therefore is plainly, While they shall be finishing, or executing their testimony.* Again, Mat. 5. 11. • Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you,' &c. (Gr. Stav oveldiowory upãs noll diw twoi); i. e. not when men shall have reviled and persecuted
* Daubuz, after rendering the original,— And whilst they shall perform their testimony,'--remarks : “ This is the right meaning of these words, as Grotius, More, and others, even Mede himself, own. For the word teléw may signify the doing any thing in order to its perfection, as well as the actual finishing of ita So enite décor in Heb. 9. 6., signifies simply to accomplish, without any respect to the end, any more than to the whole service : and the particle ő: av, whilst, suits exactly with this sense, Matt. 5. 11; 10. 19. Now the sense of the whole requires it absolutely ; for the power of the Beast is to make war against them during all the time of their testimony, and that power in Ch. 13. 5., is said to be 42 months, which are equal to the 1260 days of these witnesses prophesying. Therefore the Beast makes war upon them all the time whilst they perform their testimony.”—Daubuz Perpet. Com mont. p. 514.
you, but even while they are doing it. Mat. 10. 19. • But when they deliver you up (Gr. Otav tagad id wow inces) take no thought,' &c. ; i. e. when they are delivering you up. So also 1 Thess. 5. 3. •For when they shall say (örev yaç dery wou), peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them ;' i. e. while they shall be saying. Instances of the same usage might be accumulated in great abundance, from profane as well as sacred writers, but the cases adduced will be sufficient, if we mistake not, to sustain our construction of the passage.
We rest therefore in the conclusion that the Holy Spirit intended by the phraseology of the text to signify no more than that while the thousand years “were finishing, or verging to their termination, Satan, in the person of the pagan hordes of the north, should be released from that providential restraint to which he had been so long subjected, and should renew his machinations and cruelties against the christianized portions of the globe. It might, perhaps, be one, two, or three centuries before the complete consummation of the millennial period that he began to set his projects on foot. But in so large and far-reaching a prophecy as that before us, these minor fractions of time are not regarded by the spirit of inspiration. The predominant scope of the oracle is merely to announce in general terms the future irruption and hostile assault of the Turkish power, followed by its final discomfiture and destruction. The minute specification of dates, therefore, is not a matter of prime importance in the unravelling of the mysteries of the vision. It may be supposed that the Turkish power, although it commenced its career, and made its
incipient conquests one or two centuries prior to the full expiration of the Millennium, yet it attained its acme about the time of its close, and this construction, will perhaps answer all the demands of the text. The capture of Constantinople, A. D. 1453, levelled the last bulwark that protected the Greek empire from the arms of the Ottomans, and the probable epoch of the expiration of the thousand years of the Apocalypse, was signalized by the effectual establishment of these descendants of the ancient Gog and Magog, in the once flourishing provinces of Europe and the church.*
From that time forward the spirit of prophecy has seen fit to give no other particular intimations of the fate and fortunes of the Turkish power than what is contained in the brief but pregnant declaration, that “ fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them,” denoting, as we have already hinted, the gradual wasting away, in consequence of a series of judicial visitations of heaven, of that once formidable dominion, reared by the prowess of the scimitar, and cemented and upheld by the delusions of the Koran. The same result is shadowed out with equal significancy by the symbol of the drying up of the waters of the Euphrates under the effusion of the sixth vial, indicating the decay and exhausture of the resources, strength, population, and territory of the empire of the Moslems. The process in our own day is still going on with signal and uninterrupted rapidity. Scarcely an arrival from an European port but brings the intelligence of another and a farther stage in her irretrievably downward career. Whether it be by the ravages of the cholera or the plague, of fire or tornadoes, of foreign invasion or internal revolt, the work of ruin is still advancing. Hosts of evil angels seem leagued together for its overthrow. Every succeeding report is a report of disasters, proclaiming the waning glories of the Crescent, and tolling afresh the knell of the dynasty of the Ottomans. “ The spider has wove his web in the imperial palace, and the owl hath sung her watch-song in the towers of Afrasiab.”
* While Constantinople was besieged by the Turks, some of the priests, on being reproached for their compliances with some of the superstitions of the Latin church, replied :-“Have patience, till God shall have delivered the city from the great dragon who seeks to devour us. You shall then perceive whether we are truly reconciled with the Azymites.”—Gibbon's Decl. and Fall, p. 1229,
Correct Views of the Millennium attainable only from a right
Interpretation of the Prophetic Symbols—Whatever Difficulties attend the Theory broached in the present Treatise, the common Doctrine erabarrassed by equal or greaterSome of them stated-Hints respecting the predicted Conflagration of the Heavens and the Earth,True Character of the Prophetic Intimations of the future Prospects of the Church and the World.
The foregoing pages have been devoted to the statement and confirmation of that view of the Apocalyptic Millennium which, and which only, we deem to be supported by a fair and unforced exegesis of the sacred text. This view, we are well aware, is widely at variance with the prevailing sentiments of the Christian world in relation to the grand period thus denominated. We have arrayed ourselves in opposition to the popular theory, which regards the Millennium as yet future, and in so doing are conscious of having incurred all that responsibility, not to say odium, which attaches to the attempt to assail and undermine a long-established and seldom-questioned opinion. · But that we have not enlisted unadvisedly in the defence of the position which the reader will find advocated, however feebly, in the preceding chapters, we trust will be evident from the careful, candid, and plausible, if not conclusive, train