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Church of Rome the character of Antichrist, before the latter end a the tenth, and the begining of the eleventh century, 400 years after her rise." (P. x.) In the 12th, century, indeed, the opinion gained ground. It was adopted by the Albigenses and Waldenses, as well as by Wickliffe and his followers. But, although it was supported by many of the first Reformers, yet, even in England the birth-place of Wicklife, till we come to the times of the house of Stuart, it was, as Bishop Newton confesses, by no means fashionable. « It may," says this learned Prelate, “ surprize any one that for little was said upon the subject in the long controversies concerning Popery in the reigns of Charles and James the second.” Warburton afterwards, which has often surprised us, founded a lecture to promote its dissemination. But even this inftitution has not had the effect of rendering the notion popular among the English divines.
Our author having beaten, as he himself imagines, Mr. Whitaker from this ground, with much vehemence urges his own idea, that An-' . tichrist is revolutionary France. He has not, he says, been sparing in exposing the unchristian practices of the Church of Rome. But
what then,” he asks “ do you mean to say ? is it that no other enemy of the Church of Christ is, or shall, come to try the faith and obedience of the Christian world to the revealed word of God, during her militant state upon earth!” This it must be confessed is well put; and he then, with the usual rough boldness of his pencil, draws a. picture of that “MONSTROUS SYSTEM OF ATHEISM” which was established, by the revolutionists, in France, and which, he insists, is much better entitled to the appellationi of Antichrist than the Church of Rome.
But he will not treat Mr. W's, book, as Mr. W. has treated his; that is, he will not condemn it without discussion, and examination. . Mr. W: indeed, he says, “ has given us little new, except that jum, ble of wild and eccentric notions--that the Turkish empire is to : fall to open the way according to the new doctrine of indemnities, for an exchange with the Pope for the City of Rome;' that the seat of the Papal Church is to be removed to Jerusalem ;' that 'the Pope is to triumph for a time in Jerusalem;' and that the day of vengeance is to be locally in Judea.” It must be acknowledged that fome of these notions appear to us abundantly fancisul. But Mr. G. does not stop
to comment on them. 'He proceeds to some of those which Mr. W, - entertains of prophecies which all acknowledge to be already fulfilled.
The first is that relating to the two witnesses, by whom Mr. W. understands all the true worshippers of God, and especially the preachers of his pure word.” But Mr. G. placing much reliance on the word two, contends, as formerly, for these witnefles being the old and new tefiaments. His arguments, however, are most extraordinary.. He quotes Jo. v. 34. “ But I receive not teftimony from man," which he thus explains: “ I depend not solely nor principally upon; the evidence of man, not upon that of the prophets,' nor of the apostles, nor of the preachers of the word of God; nor even upon John, in
Jo. v.sh the scene
life: atch the two
whom for a time ye believed: for there have been false prophets, and there will be false apostles and falfe preachers.” (P. xviii.) But that there have been falte prophets and apostles is plainly no reason why our Saviour fhould not appeal to the testimony of the true. The fact is thac he did appeal to it, and accordingly our author immediately after urges that appeal in confirmation of his opinion. “The vlefied Son of God enjoins them to search the Scriptures, as those superior and infallible witnesses.. (Jo. v. 39.)” We must give our Saviour's words, as Mr. G. has given them, together with his comment. " Search the (two) Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life': and they are THEY which testify of me.” The comment is in comparable.“ Taking the words they, twice repeated, as they are clearly expressed, the sentence means nothing short of this that the two Scriptures are they, or those two witnesses which testify of me." (P. xix.) Was our author ignorant that the plural number may be applied to more objects than two? or that there are more Scriptures than two in the old Testament.
He is, however, aware he says, of an objection which may be urged by the cavilling unbeliever, namely that Christ could not mean, in his life time, to refer to the new Testament, which did not then exift. “ But such objection," he adds « could never enter into the mind of a Christian.” We trust that we are Christians, and not cavilling unbelievers. Yet to us the objection appears insurmountable. How could Jesus, in order to convince the Jews, refer them to Scriptures which were not then written, and whole authority, if they had been written, the Jews would have rejected ? But, says our author, “ Christ had two witnesses at the time he made chat Revelation” to St. John. And 4 hence,” he argues," it was not only naturai, but indispensiblý nécessary, when in his life time he was teaching all future generations the way to everlafting life through faith in him, as well as at the time of the Revelation to St. John, to refer to both parts of that evidence by which that faith was to be established.” (P. xxi.) :
This, certainly is, to say the least of it, a very is lame and im. potent conclusion.” But, what will not fail to astonish the reader, Mr. G himseif, in a subsequent tract, the last in the volume, expressly contradicts it. He is treating again of our Saviour's words (Jo. v. 39.) “ Search the Scriptures," " It may here," he says, “be asked what did Christ mean by the Scriptures? The answer is, he could mean nothing but the prophecies of the old Testament. The doctrines of the new Testament were not in existence, or then composed; and it is only the prophetic part of the old in which the Jews placed their hope of eternal life, and which foretells or treats of Christ and his offices." (P. 108.) The idea, however, that by the two witnesses are to be understood the old and new Testaments is fupported by some general reasoning which we really think to be fui generis, and of which the following is an'ample specimen.
“ I imagine you will not deny that the spirit of prophesy must have re. presented future events, to the minds of the prophets, in a manner con. B 3
formable to their ideas of things, and the terms fixed on by mankind to convey them. For otherwise neither the prophets themselves, nor mankind could understand them. Nor will you contend that John did not understand the Revelation when made to him. Ņow Chrift, who made the Revelation, having occasion, in the course of it, to point out certain unerring and infallible testimonials of himself and his mission, refers, and exprefily limits their number, unto two: • And I will give power to my two witnesses. The prophet understood the number in the same limited sense, and in that identical Tense records them for the use of mankind. And man: kind, by their universal agreement, have affixed to the word two, a certain definite meaning, wbieb is, one added to or conjoined with one; as in English, two; Latin, duo; Frencb, deux'; &c. But you, Sir, and the learned commentators whorn you have followed, in the teeth of that agreement of the plain meaning of the prophet, and the infallible authority of Chrift himself, have perverted and tortured the plain definite meaning of the word two into an indefinite one, into indefinite millions, and in that sense applied it to all the true worshippers of God and preachers of his pure word. By what authority or licence you have taken this presumptuous liberty, of thus expounding the word of God according to your arbitrary notions, it is impoffible to conceive. It would, however, be well in you to consider, that Lould you perlift in affixing your own arbitrary ideas to terms, and should others follow the example, the terms composing human languages may be thrown into greater confusion of tongues than they were at the building of the tower of Babel ; and the pure and holy word of God perverted into a blasphemous jargon.” (Pp. xxi, xxii.)
Mr. G. next attacks Mr. W.'s ideas of the man child ( Rev. xii, 5.) brought forth by the woman, and afterwards o caught up unto God and to his throne.” Mr. W. follows the general train of the commentators, who suppose this man child to signify Constantine the great. Mr. G. repeats and presses, on this subject, all his former unintelligible reveries (See Anti-Jac. Rev. Vol. XVII. Pp. 235, 237.) “ You contend," he says, “ with your predecessors, that Constantine the great is the man child referred to in the text, brought forth by the woman, or Church; but you do not explain how the Church brought him forth, as a woman brings forth a child out of her body; nor how a, eman child' applies to him at the time of his birth, more than to any other child or man evcr yet born; nor how, nor when, nor where, he ruled over all nations with a rod of iron.” (P. xxvii.) It is obvious that by all nations is meant the Roman empire, which was commonly enough called the world, and even all the world (St. Luke ii. 1.) The reit of this passage is so extravagant as to deserve no observation. But our author, who makes the man child mean the word of God, insists that Mr. W. degrades the subject by “ reducing” (as he expresses it) " the word of God, and the MAJESTY of his power, to a level with those of a man”. (P. xxvii.) He farther complains that Mr. W.'s scheme is unsatisfactory in another respect. “ You have not,” he says explained the similitude of a man's being caught up to God,' to his becoming the sole emperor of a temporal state ; por the resemblance of the throne of the most high God, which is in
heaven, heaven, and whence he eternally manifests his wisdom, power, and moft excellent glory, to the temporal seat (for Rome, being a republic, Irad no throne) of the supreme power of a man." (P. xxviii.) This parenthesis of our author rather surprized us. What! was Rome a republic, and without a throne when the Apocalypse was written, or in the time of Conftantine? If our readers fhould be at a loss to conceive how the word of God was caught up to his throne, we cannot, we freely acknowledge, assist them: for we have no conception of it ourselves. But we shall lay before them Mr. G.'s explanation, If they should not comprehend it the fault is not ours,
“Let us, however, inquire whether a little common sense, aided by Scripture, will not help us to the true interpretation of the figurative expression 'caught up unto God and to his throne. In common language and common sense, by a man taking up a child or a thing, we understand that he takes it under his care, to his bosom, to his more especial protection, And, when we search the Scriptures, we find that God and his throne are in heaven; in his boundless, immense, and spiritual heaven. There Chrift commands us to pray to our father which art sis) in heaven.' And God himself declares that the heaven is my shis) tbrone and the earth my shis] footstool. And we read that 'the Lord took up Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind,' from the threatened destruction of Jez-bel [deftruction threats ened by Jezebell: meaning under his divine and spiritual prote&tion : and that esus Christ, after his dreadful crucifixion and death, was taken up into heaven, 'to fit at the right hand of the throne of God': that is, under the especial and eternal protection of his father. And in the text under our confideration, the man child was to be caught up unto God and bisthrone, to bis tbrone itself, because, we are told, 'tbe word was God. It was bis trutb, IT WAS OF HIS DIVINE ESSENCE, IT WAS HIMSELF. It emanated from him through his ever bletsed Son, and therefore, he would not sutfer it to be hurt or impaired, during the temporary wilderness state of the • Church, that he might in his own appointed time return it to her," (Pp. xxix, xxx.)
Of this we think nothing at all is to be made, Mr. W. it feeins, has quoted in justification of his notion, I Chron. xxix. 23. where it is said that'“ Suloinon sat on the throne of the Lord, as king instead of David his father.” But our author contends thất this expreflion is. not analogous to that in the Revelation. It means only, he says, so that Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David, given of the Lord to him.” Granited; but why may not the phrase in the Apocalypfe, in like manner, mean that Constantine sat upon the throne of the Roman empire, given of God to him? Mr. G. however, endeavours to fix absurdity on Mr. Wi's exposition in as curious an attempt as we have ever seen. " In this fenfe,” he says, meaning his own senle, " and in no other, I apprehend every judicious reader has ever understood the text" in Chronicles, “and none of them ever conceived that David ever fat upon the throne of God in heaven, which your construction strongly implies.” (Pp. xxx, xxxi.). Mr. Whitaker has said that " Solomon in the carlier part of his B 4
glory, was made a type of that perfect character which has since appeared as the true King of Israel," Our author denies that any such typical resemblance is to be found in Scripture. " I have,” he says, $ searched for it, and it is not there.” Nothing ever surprised us more than this assertion. Not to mention other places of Scripture, the 45ch. and 72d. psalms, of which Solomon was, undoubtedly, the primary subject, have, by almost all interpreters, both Jewish and Christians, been applied to the Messiah. Mr. G. however, contends that Solomon could not poslibly have been a type of Christ; and his reasons amount to this, that their characters were, in many respects, not only unlike but opposite. He has, accordingly, drawn out a statement of nine particulars, in which they are contrasted. But this mode of arguing discovers great defect either of knowledge or of judgment. David was an eminent 'type of Christ, and so was Jonah; yet no one supposes that to the crimes of the one or the disobedience of the other there was any thing correspondent in his immaculate character. Indeed if a perfect resemblance be required, no two things whatever can be said to be like. On this subject our worthy author writes with more than common weakness. I would have dwelt Jonger," he says, “ on the dissimilitude, or rather striking contrast, between your type and your prototype ; but the serious mind recoils fiom the comparison at every step.” The sentence which immediately follows is directly against himself, and should have thewn him the futility of his own argument. Far be it from us then to seek for any thing like a perfect type of the immaculate Son of the most high God, among the frail, fållen, sinful race of Adam ; for we may be assured it is not to be found among them.” We have something, however, yet more extraordinary. « Were it otherwise," says Mr. G. " there have been many more righteous and perfect characters than Solomon, who yet fall infinitely short of that resemblance necessary to constitute a type of our Redeemer ; such as Noah, Job, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, &c.” (PP. xl, xli) Was our author persuaded that none of these persons were types of Chrift? So, at least, he seems to say, but on what principle we know not; for that several of them were such we have the infallible authority of
Our author, however, prcffes with confiderable effect, on Mr. W. the inconsistency of confounding the two bcasts described in the 13th. chapter of the Revelation, by interpreting them both of the Church of Rome. Of that Church, he thinks with Mr. W., the first beast which “ rose up out of the sea," the representative. But the second beast, which “ came up out of the earth,” he understands, as our readers will remember, of revolutionized France. But though his. exposition is not very convincing, we are inclined to agree with him that the prototypes of these two beasts must be different. The second beast is expressly called “another beast," and is invested with attributes totally distinct from those of the first. The following remarks are threwd and well urged, though the conclusion is rather too bitter as well as too confident.