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sot i leju CHAP. I... .. A Summary of the prominent Events contained in the
ü b Apocalypfe. ' Luis
BEFORE I proceed to the awfultaík I have undertaken in the title-page, it feems not improper to lay before the reader a summary view of the contents of the Apocalypse. It will disclose to him a series of wonderful events, foretold in the first century, and which have come to pass since that time, during the course of one thousand feven hundred years; and in the exact chronological order in which they were foretola.' It will enable him to judge of the unity, the sublimity, and excellence of this sacred record of the providence of God, and convince him that iiopower, 'save'.a God of infinite wisdom, can be the Author of it. It will, moreover, affift him in his judgment upon the propriety of my explication of the marks and signs contained in it, which refer to the present times, and upon my application of them to their proper evenís.
. The The Apocalypse, then, is the most important, sublime, and awful theme, that ever employed the mind of man. It contains the PROPHETICAL HISTORY OF ALL THE PROMINENT EVENTS, IN WHICH THE CHURCH OF CHRIST WAS TO BE CONCERNED, FROM HER RISE TO HER FINAL CONQUEST AND TRIUMPH OVER ALL HER OPPONENTS AND ENEMIES, IN THE STRENGTH AND BLESSING OF HER GLORIFIED REDEEMER, -THE SON OF GOD ; AND TO THE CONSUMMATION OF ALL THINGS. In this grand and facred theme the principal characters are
1. The I AM that I AM*, “ The Alpha and “ Omega, the beginning and the ending, and which “ is, and which was, and which is to come qf;" the one, supreme, uncreated, self-existing GOD; the Creator and Ruler of all things.
2. JESUS CHRIST, the ever blessed So GOD, and Redeemer of a fallen world.
3. The TWO WITNESSES of GOD S.
4. Satan), the fallen fpirit, and the origin of all evil, the great enemy, the tempter, and deceiver of the whole world.
5. The DRAGON , or the powers of paganism, the agents and ministers of Satan, and the opposers and persecutors of the church of Christ.
6. The great fenfival apostate**, MOHAMED, in the East, and the great idolatrous apostate to fi, the Popes.
* Exod. ii. 14. .
Matth. xvii. s. , li Rev. xii. 9. xx. 2. , ; ** Rev. ix, 1, 2.
Rev. i. 11. xxi. 5, 6.:
Ezek. xxviii. 3. Rev. xii. go
in the West, the contemporary destructive enemies of the church.
7. THE “ Beast OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT *,” of the “ Beast of the earth," or the powers of atheism, established by revolutionary France, another agent of Satán, and yet greater enemy of God and man.
8. BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTHq; à mighty power to be formed hereafter by Satan, to consist of a confederacy of all the before-mentioned enemies of the word of God, and church of Chrift.
9. GOG AND MAGOG *, another mighty power, which is to be formed under the banners of Satan, bya combination of all the wicked and ungodly upon the earth ; with design to make one great effort to destroy the church and kingdom of Christ, preparatory to the last judgment, and the consummation of all things.
This subject the prophet begins, by declaring his authority to treat of it: and this authority is given by a power no less than God himself, through Jesus Chrift. In strict conformity to his instructions, received from time to time in his several visions, he begins his narration * of future events, with those which were in a peculiar manner to attend the seven primitive churches ; because their establishment, by. the Apostles, was the foundation of the general church of Christ; the first great and most important event which succeeded his crucifixion and ascension.
Rev. xx. 8.
* Rev. xi. 7. ...Rev. xvi. 13. xvii. 5. $ Chap. i. ii. iii.
2. B2, ..
; Ile then proceeds to the general history of the church. consisting of the seven churches united : and this he represents as contained in “ a book o scaled with seven sealsa,” which, in his vifion," he " law in the right hand of God, fitting upon his " throne :” a-Look which " no man in heaven, nor " in the earthe, neither under the carih, was found “ wortliy, or able, to loose the seals thereof, neither "to read or look thereon.” That is, a book which neither the departed patriarehs nor prophets who werç in licaven, nor the inolt just and perfect mortals, then living on the earth, nor any of thote who were not risen from the dead, were found worthy to look upon, and much less to open the seals, to read and understand it. Yet there was found one, who had been a mun, worthy not only to look, upon, but to loose the feals of the book, to read and to communicate the contents thereof to the prophet: and this was “the lion of the tribe of Judah,
the root of David, the Lamb of God :" the revealer of his word, and the Redeemer of inankind. To, this Lamb of God the book is delivered, and by him the teals are opened, and the contents thereof made known to the prophet, in lundry vifions, and in the tame order of time in which they were afterwards to be fulfilled, in regular succeilion. ,
Having thus declared his arithority, and the die vine fource whence he receivrd his knowledge of futurity, the prophet divides his fubject into thrce great parts, or fucce:five periods of cvents, under the allegory of seals; trumpets, and vials me. Each of
.:.' . there
* Rev. v.
of It being the will of the Divine Author of prophecy, that the evenes foretold thould not be foreleen nor perfectly known' until they (hould come to pass, they are figuratively represented, as con. tained in a book sealed with leven leals : a seal being an inftru. ment commonly used to conceal, from the fight and knowledge of