Графични страници
PDF файл

Sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests be ministers of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar, and let rhem say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore mould they say among the people, Where is their. Gid?

He that can believe that all this Solemnity and Majesty of the description; all this Terror and Desolation to be brought on the People of the Jews; even so far, that they, altho' God's beritage, were to be given to reproach, and the heathen were 10 rule over them, means no more than the eating up of the Fruits of the Earth, by a Company of Locusts and Catterpillars, at some unknown time formerly in Judea, seems to me prejudic'd sufficiently 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 affict his Church and People of the Jews, by the four succeeding Monarchies, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman: that the forest and most remarkable Calamity, should arise from the last, and greatest of them; that unless the Nation of the Jews did folemnly and seriously repent of their Sins, to which the Prophet earnestly invites them, they should 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 Worship, should quite cease; and that thenceforward, the Heathen should Rule over them, according as the other Predi&tions of their Prophets foretold, and according as we have since seen the Completion of them.

Scholium 2. It may not also be improper here to take notice Zech. j. 18, 19; of a Prophecy in Zechariah, fince it may possibly relate to 20, 21. the same four Monarchies which were to have the Jews in Subjection, and to the Jews. Restoration at the Conclusion of those Monarchies. The words of the Prophet, are these , Then lift I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. And I faid unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And be answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah,


ter it.


Ifrael, and Jerusalem. And the Lord Mewed me four carpenters,
then said I, What come these to do? And be spake, Saying. These
are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no mandid lift up
his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the
Gentiles, which lift up their horn over the land of Judab to scat-

The Visions of St. John contain'd in the Apoca- .

lypse, after that belonging to the seven Churches
of Asia, are all Predictions of Events, then fu-
cure, and not at all Historical Narrations of things

This is also so 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 some are willing to al

low the contrary Supposition, as odd as it is, rather than ad. Dr.Hammond. mit the Consequences from its being intirely Prophetical, I Mr. Thorndike. shall in a few words demonstrate it, by the following Arguments.

1. This was evidently and confessedly the design of the parallel Book of Scripture ; I mean the Prophetick part of Daniel: and as no Commentator , whether Few or Christian, imagins that Daniel Allegorizes things past, but foretells those

so ought it with the same unanimity to be dermined of St. John, in the Prophetick part of his Revelation also.

2. St. John himself does frequently assure us, that he does not relate the past, but foretell the future state of things : and this in express words, and so as to point out the exact time,

viz. that the Prophecies should begin to be fulfill'd immediApoc. i. 1.

ately. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God
bim, to sew unto his servants things which must shortly come ta
pass. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of

this Prophecy, and observe those things which are written therein: Apoc. xxij. 6. for the time is at hand. And he said unto me, Thefe Sayings are

faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets fent bis angel to sew unto his servants the things which must mortly be done. And he faith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at band. All which plain and repeated Expreslions in the Book it self, tho' they do by no

to come :

gave unto

Ver. 3.

Ver, 10.

means, ix.

means, as Dr. Hammond would have it, imply that the end of the Visions should be very soon, or that they should contain but a short space in the whole, (that Duration being to be fetch'd from the Series of the Visions themselves.) yet do they make its proper design abundantly evident, viz. That it was to be a Prophecy of the future State of the Church, and such a Series of Events then 10 come, as should begin immediately after the Visions themselves were seen by St. John, without the Interposition of any Ages between; contrary to some in Daniel, which were to be sealed 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.

3. But besides this clear and direct Evidence in general, there is another Argument more particular, and if possible, more convictive also; tho' it has not been so much considered and regarded, as it certainly deserves; and which not only confirms the present Propolition, but gives great light also in to the several Divisions, or general Partitions of the whole Book; and which, as I mult own, was first observ'd to me by our great Chronologer, and most Accurate Enquirer into these Matters, the prefent Lord Bishop of Worcester. It is taken from a Comparison of the 19th. Verse of the ift. Chapter, with the beginning of the 4th. The words in the former place are these rede for de aldos, sej o sio, nej al pózad géreas ustad Taüto Write the things which thon haft seen, and the things which are, and the things which hall be hereafter. Those in the latter place are these, Mezue' suivra uido, rj ide Fuego intory palanci Tol ovegevm, e και φωνή και πρώτη και ήκεσαι ας σάλπιγο- λαλέσης μετ' εμού, λίγεσαι, 'Ανέβα , a día con est di gerías posta' Tacota. After this I looked, and behold a deor was opened in Heaven; and the first voice which I heard, was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which said, Come xp bither, and I will few ibee those things which must be hereafter. So that by the consideration of the former of these two verses, it is evident that St. John was commanded to write three different forts of things, first, The Vision of the seven Stars, and seven Golden Candlesticks, which he had just seen, contain'd in the first Chapter ; the att vides. Secondly, A Book, or Collection of Epistles to the seven Churches of Afa, then

in being, contain'd in the 2d and 3d Chapters ; the 'vid. thirdly, The future state of things afterwards to the end of the world, the al poétiss Jórsat petai table; those tirings that were to happen after the former, and which are contain 'd in the remaining part of the Apocalypse. So that when we find in the fecond Text St. John, after the two former parts of his work were over, particularly callid to, by the same voice which he had heard before, and bidden distinctly to set about the third part of it. And when accordingly the Angel assures him, almost in the very words of the former Verle, that he would now shew him . Ai geriat pustil tvõla i those things which were certainly to follow after the former, and succeed the then present State of the Church ; 'Tis moft evident, not only that the

first and literal sense, at least, of the Epistles to the seven Apoc.ij. & iij. Churches of Afa, relate to the time then present only, and

were no part of the Prophecies of Futurities; but also, that che rest of the Apocalypse concerns Events then to come, and was to be a Prediction of the then future State of things in the Roman Empire, or Christian Church, therein contain'd, o the end of the World.

The Vifions contain’d in the Book of the Revela-

tion, were feen' by St. John in the Ille Patmos,
A. D. 96. fix and twenty years after the Destru-
ction of Jerusalem.

That there Visions were seen in the ísle Parmos, when St. John was banish'd thither for his preaching the Gospel, is

his own exprefs affirmation, and so cannot be question'd by Apoc. j. 9, 10.

any. 1 Joha, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle 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 Banishment thither, was at the time here specifyod, excepting Epiphanius ,' is the unanimous Voice of Antiquity; and has the general Suffrage of Chronologers,


both Papists and Protestants. I shall only mention such Testimonies as are earlier than * Epiphanius, Ireneus, and Eusebius, and Epiphanius's Contemporary St. Jerom; and I observe withial, that the Assertion of Epiphanius supposes that Claudius Perfecuted the Christians, and Banish'd them into remote Islands; which no Historian fays a syllable of ; and that he in a manner contradicts himself, by saying at the same time that Sta Fohn was 90 years of Age when he return'd from Patmos, in the days of Claudius Cæfar; whereas all the Ancients agree that he could not be so old till the days of Domitian, about 40 years afterward. So that Epiphanius's Testimony, in this case, is too weak to bear any weight at all. But that which makes this Proposition so near to a certainty, is the expressness of Ireneus's Testimony, who liv'd in the next Age; who had been a frequent Auditor of those who had Convers'd with St. John himself; and who was so particularly Inquisitive about this Book of the Revelation, that he nicely examin'd into the different † Copies of it, and disputes very frequently from it in his famous Work still extant. This most Authentick Witness, I say, expresly informs us, as of a thing then commonly known, that the # Apocalypse was seen 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 seeing these Visions the very same year, just twenty six years after the Destruction of Jerusalem. And this Chronological

Μετα έτη εννενήκονα της εαυτέ ζωής, μετά την αυτ8 διη της Πάτμου έπανο: don Tonini Kaaudis geropleny Kloupo. 'Epiphan. Hærel. 51. Sect. 1 2. AúrsN προφητεύσαντΘ- εν χρόνοις Κλαυδία Καίσαρ άνω άτω ότι εις Πάτμον πήρξε. . Hærel. 51. Sect. 33.

Δομετανός ο Νέρωνα διύπρG- Χριπανές δίωξαν, και Ιωάννης ή Θεολόγων Α. πόσυλον εν Πάτμω τη νήσο περλώρισεν, ένθα την λεκάλυψιν τώρακιν, ώς ο ακ Eienara oho. Eusebii Chron. Edit. Scalig. p. 66.

Quarto decimo Anno, secundam, poft Neronem, Persequutionem movente Domitiano, in Patmon Insulam relegatus (Johannes] fcripfit Apocalysin : quam Interpretatur Juft. Martyr & Irenæus. Hieronym. Catal. scrips. Ecclef.c.

+ τέτων ούτως εχόντων, και ώ πάσι τοις σπεδαίοις και αρχαίους αντιγράφους cestnega róty isip spaus. Iren. Advers. Hæres. 1. 5.c. 3o. in init.

oud go aseg' moniã xegva iwecémno cisce geddy ini sñc je stieges gerräs, meg's Tania Agustians dexñs. Ibid. paulo infra.



« ПредишнаНапред »