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a course of fulfilment, ere that generation had passed
(4.) I have
* Commentators, whose plan of exposition leads them to notice the first verse of the Apocalypse, are unanimous in giving this obvious sense to it.
“ Things which must shortly come to pass: that is, things to
come to pass, some shortly, and other some in succession of “ time; as all interpreters agree.” More's Works. p. 721.
“ The book opens with the title or inscription of the book “ itself; the scope and design of it to foretell things, which “ should shortly begin to be fulfilled, and should succeed in “ their due season and order till all were accomplished.” Bp. Newton's Dissert. in loc.
“ This book contains an account of many things, that should « shortly BEGIN to be accomplished.” Lowman's Paraph. in loc. “ Which must come to pass in a short time.
The same ex“ pression is seen to recur at the close of the book : and we
may collect from it, that the events foretold in this prophecy BEGIN to be fulfilled even from the time of its delivery, and
are to Follow in a rapid succession until the final consum* mation." Woodhouse on the Apoc. in loc.
“ Things which must shortly come to pass. It was to be a pro“ phecy of the future state of the Church, and such A SERIES “ of events then to come to pass, as should Begin immediately “ after the visions themselves were seen by St. John.” Whis, ton on the Rev. part i. p. 32.
Mr. Mede is not led to notice this particular verse of the Apocalypse; but, how he understood it, may be distinctly seen from his comment on the third verse of the same chapter, “ Tempus enim prope est : id est, jam adest tempus, quo verba “ prophetiæ hujus impleri COEPERINT, et indies MAGIS MAQISQUE IMPLEBUNTUR.” Works. book v. c. 7. P.
907. Even Bp. Walmesley could see, that such was the undoubted meaning of the passage. “ The purpose of the Apocalypse is
(4.) I have argued without hesitation from the well known use of the Greek aorist, because the inspired Gospel of Luke was certainly written in the Hellenic language, whatever may have been the case with that of Matthew or of his evident copyist Mark: and the self-same word, in the self-same tense and mood, is employed by the first of these authors to express the declaration made by his divine Master. That declaration however must originally have been uttered by Christ himself, not in the Greek, but in the Hebrew. Now the word, which he most probably used in that language, will still bring us to the same result *. “ This generation shall not pass
away, until all these things shall be a doing” or " shall be coming inceptively into existence.”
(5.) On the whole, I may remark in conclusion, that the present mode of explaining a passage, the
p. 1, 2.
" to disclose to the Christians A SERIES of
interest ing to them, which must shortly come to pass." Gen. Hist.
Yet with such strange cioseness do sense and nonsense border upon each other, that almost in the same breath he actually tells us, that the angel, through whose instrumentality the Apocalypse is said to have been conveyed to St. John (Rev. i. 1.), is neither more nor less than his namesake John the Baptist. Gen. Hist. p. 2, 3. He might just as well for the same reason, namely the use of the word angel, assure us, that this internuncias was some one of the seven angels of the seven Asiatic churches.
* I should conceive, that the word used by our Lord must have been 1879. Accordingly the Hebrew translators of St. Matthew's Gospel employ that very word to express the Greek уу?та, VOL. III.
difficulty of which has long been felt and acknowledged, will remove the only objection that can be made to the consistent and uniform interpretation of the entire prophecy which has now been exhibited : and we thus obtain a wonderful prediction, in all respects worthy of its divine author; a prediction, not stopping short with the mere overthrow of Jerusalem and a figurative synchronical coming of the Son of man, but reaching in regular chronological succession from the apostolic age to the final consummation of all things.
A Vindication of the Protestant mode of calculating
the 1260 days in opposition to that adopted by the Romanists.
THERE is a celebrated period, mentioned in the prophecies of Daniel and St. John under the varied appellations of a time two times and the dividing of a time or forty two months or twelve hundred and sixty days. Both Romanists and protestants are agreed, that the same period is intended by these three several designations : for, at the ancient rate of assigning 360 days to a year, three years or times and a half, 42 months, and 1260 days, will be found exactly equivalent *. Nor is this the only proof of their identity : either the same, or necessarily parallel, events are ascribed both to the three years and a half, to the 42 months, and to the 1260 days;
Bp. Walmesley's General Hist. of the Christ. Church deduced from the Apocalypse; published under the assumed name of Signor Pastorini. p. 348, 349. Mede and all other protestant expositors in loc.
but, if the same or parallel events occur during tħc lapse of each, they must plainly coincide in their chronological duration.
So far then no difference appears among expositors, whether of the Papal or of the Protestant communion : but, at this point, a very essential discrepancy commences. The Romanists, for obvious reasons, maintain, that the period, thus variously expressed, is to be understood literally; or, in other words, that the period in question comprehends no more than three natural years and a half or 42 natural months or 1260 natural days: the Protestants, on the contrary, maintain (and they deem themselves to have ample reasons for their opinion), that the period is to be understood mystically; or, in other words, that it comprehends 1260 prophetic days which are equal to 1260 natural or solar years. On this point therefore it is, that the parties join issue.
A work, which is intitled A Key to the Old Testament, has recently been printed in the diocese of Durham by Mr. Rutter, a clergyman of the Romish Church. To the vein of primitive piety, which runs through it, I am most happy to bear my testimony. Perhaps it may be a little too much tinctured, with what we Protestants should call Hutchinsonianism, or with what our Romanizing brethren (I presume) would denominate Origenism: but, in a "practical work, a Christian will delight to find his Master, even where strictly legitimate criticism might not be able to discover him; and, in the pre