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contradistinction from whom Gentiles are apostates. To make one of them a Gentile therefore, is to represent him as an apostate instead of a witness.
Eichhorn regards Ananus and Jesus, two high priests who were slain by the Jewish Zealots, as the two witnesses; but they were rejectors of the gospel, not teachers and vindicators of its doctrines in opposition to apostates. He also regards the fortytwo months and twelve hundred and sixty days, as used proverbially, or figuratively to denote a season of calamity, rather than a definite period of time. But that is against the law of symbolization. There is no analogy between a specific duration and calamity, or sorrow. Time is predicable of joy and prosperity, as well as of suffering and misfortune. There is no counterpart to a specific period of time, but a period that is determined by some resembling movement of the body by which it is measured. But the only movement of the earth that is analogous to its revolution on its axis, is its revolution round the sun; and in like manner its circuit round the sun is the only movement of the moon that is analogous to its revolution on its axis. The only periods therefore which the smaller revolutions, or the periods they occupy, can be employed to symbolize, are those of the larger revolutions, which are as specific as they themselves are.
Interpreters generally concur in regarding the witnesses as representatives of true teachers and worshippers, and the gentiles of apostates. They differ much, however, in their exposition of subordinate parts of the symbol.
Daubuz, following his usual method of determining the symbolic import of terms by what he regards as their metaphoric use, interprets the command to measure the temple, the altar, and the worshippers, as a command to take possession of the true worship and worshippers of God, and applies it to the Reformers of the sixteenth century. But there is no analogy between measuring an object and taking possession of it. "It is measured to ascertain its quantity or proportion, and in order to determine its value, or adaptation to a specific use. It is taken possession of because of right, and in order to appropriation and enjoyment. It is moreover to make the command a solecism. As those whom the apostle symbolized are true worshippers, to command them to take possession of the true worship and worshippers, were to command them to take possession of themselves and their acts.
Mr. Elliott regards the rod as a symbol of the supreme magistrate, and interprets the measuring of the temple, the altar, and the worshippers of the adoption of the Protestant churches by civil rulers and institution as national establishments. But what analogy is there between measuring a temple already built, and the erection of another edifice? If the civil rulers were the rod by which the dimensions of the model were determined, who were the builders of the new structure ? Not the prophet, nor those whom he symbolized. He was the representative of witnesses; not of kings and legislators; of teachers and recipients of the truth in distinction from apostates and usurpers of the rights of God, not of makers and executors of civil laws; and the representative of witnesses who fulfilled their office only by the utterance and vindication of truth, not by the authority of the civil magistrate. If any one wills to injure them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies ; and if any one wills to injure them, so must he be killed, not by any other agency. It is thus expressly shown that they make use only of their testimony for God, the assertion and vindication of the great truths of his word, in defence of themselves against their enemies. To resort to the authority of the civil magistrate, or the sword, were to desert the office of a witness. No construction therefore could be more inconsistent with the symbol, or the character of the witnesses. It contradicts analogy, confounds the instrument with the agent, and assigns to the witnesses a protection from their enemies the direct reverse of that ascribed to them. Those civil rulers, moreover, in erecting the Protestant churches into national establishments, were guilty of a usurpation of the rights of God, and in that relation therefore in place of witnesses, were of the gentiles of the outer court who were to tread the holy city. For they proceeded in that act on the assumption that they had a right to dictate to their subjects their religious faith and worship. They claimed dominion over their relations to God, and presented their will as the reason that they should receive or reject truth, and offer or not offer a particular worship. But that is to usurp the place of God. The reason that he is to be worshipped is that he is God; not that civil rulers require that he should be worshipped. The reason that the Scriptures are to be made the rule of faith, is that they are a revelation from him ; not that kings and legislators enjoin their reception as his word. And the reason that he is to be worshipped in this or that manner, is that he requires or authorizes it, not that it is appointed by human authority. They then who set aside those grounds of obligation and substitute their will in their place, attempt the throne of the Almighty, arrogate his rights, and demand for themselves a homage that is due only to him. Their procedure implies that God has no absolute and underived right to reign ; that his title to the homage of their subjects, and the authority of his laws, are created by their will; that he is their subordinate therefore, and that whatever he receives of awe and acknowledgment is their gift. In erecting the Protestant churches into national establishments therefore, instead of fulfilling the office of witnesses, they acted the part of the ten-horned wild beast, one of whose most peculiar characteristics is, the usurpation in that manner of the throne of God, and claim of dominion over the obligations and consciences of his subjects. And they accordingly who sanction that usurpation, are guilty, like the worshippers of the wild beast, of paying a homage to their rulers, which is due only to the Almighiy.
Mr. Mede, Mr. Jurieu, and Mr. Whiston, regarded the temple and the outer court as representative of two periods of the church : the one pure, embracing the first centuries; the other following that, far longer, and corrupt. But it has no foundation in analogy. There are no such relations between an edifice and the area which surrounds it, as fits the one to symbolize the first ages of a church, and the other a subsequent and proportionally longer period. It is against the representation also that the witnesses who are the pure worshippers, are to be cotemporaneous with the Gentiles to whom the outer court is given, and to testify against their false doctrines, impious assumptions, and idolatrous worship while they tread the holy city.
Mr. Whiston also regarded the armed resistance of the Wal. denses and Albigenses, and slaughter of their enemies, as a verification of the prophecy, that if any one wills to injure them, he must be put to death by fire proceeding from their mouth. But that is expressly against the prediction, which exhibits the instrument of their defence as proceeding from their mouth. Their words were to prove fire to their enemies, and devour them, because they were to be the threatenings contained in the Scriptures of the avenging judgments by which God has foreshown that he is to destroy them. Their office was simply to testify, not to fight, and to testify by proclaiming and vindicating the rights of God, in opposition to the usurpations, false doctrines, and superstitions of apostates. It is fulfilled accordingly only by professing and teaching, not by the sword, or any other instrument of violence. To defend themselves by force against the attacks of armies, and to slaughter enemies, was not to proclaim the truth. Whether just or unjust, expedient or inexpedient, it cannot be considered as belonging to that agency, any more than any other acts wholly removed from the profession and vindication of truth. When the Albigenses and Waldenses therefore relinquished that profession, and assumed the sword, they ceased to act in the character of witnesses.
CHAPTER XI. 7-14.
THE SLAUGHTER AND RESURRECTION OF THE WITNESSES.
And when they would finish their testimony, the wild beast which ascends out of the abyss, will make war on them, and will vanquish them, and will kill them; and place their dead body in the street of the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And of the peoples, and tribes, and tongues, and nations, they look on their dead body three days and a half; and they will not suffer their dead bodies to be placed in a sepulchre. And they who dwell on the earth rejoice over them, and exult, and will send gifts to one another; for these two prophets tried them who dwell on the earth. And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. And great fear fell on those beholding them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, Ascend here. And they ascended to heaven in the cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And in the same hour, there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell; and seven thousand men of name were killed by the earthquake ; and the rest became fearful, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is passed: behold the third woe comes quickly.
The witnesses would finish their testimony before the close of the twelve hundred and sixty years, doubtless under the apprehension that it was no longer to be necessary; that the great changes wrought in public opinion and in the condition of the apostate church by judgments on it, divested it of its dangerous power and insured its speedy overthrow; and that they might therefore turn from the mere endeavor to maintain the truth in opposition to it, to the happier task of proclaiming it to those who had never yet heard its glad tidings. And such was eminently the persuasion of the Protestants generally on the subversion of the French hierarchy and the conquest of the papal states towards the close of the last century, and at the grant of toleration to their subjects by the great European powers at the fall of the French empire. That the Catholic priesthood could recover in such a degree as it already has from its depression, resume a powerful influence over most of the cabinets, and renew a persecution of the witnesses, was neither anticipated nor regarded as possible. So far from looking forward to such a change, the Protestants of the period of the effusion of the first vials, commenced their great efforts for the conversion of the world, and continue generally to the present hour to cherish the most confident expectations of success.
The wild beast that ascends out of the abyss, is the symbol of the usurping and persecuting civil rulers of the Gentile nations that tread the holy city during the forty-two months, as will be shown in the exposition of the following chapters, in which its characteristics are more fully exhibited. Its persecuting career is not to terminate till the close of the forty-two months. Its judgment, however, has already begun in the effusion of the first vials, and it is in the exasperation and despair to which the tempestuous vengeance of succeeding judgments is to drive it, that it is to turn and endeavor to purchase support, or disarm opposition by the slaughter of the witnesses.
Their slaughter is obviously from many considerations to be literal. While the law of symbolization requires that representative agents should be of a dignity and significance proportioned to those whom they represent, yet often of necessity, from the want of adequate representatives, they are inferior. This is eminently true of several of the terrific symbols. The sevenheaded dragon, and the seven-headed wild beast, mighty and terrible as they are, are greatly inferior to the vast combination of malignant and destructive agents whom they represent. But were the death of the witnesses any thing less than a literal and violent death ;-were it a mere compulsion to silence, or interception from the public offering of a pure worship, which is the only other import that can be assigned to it, the symbol would be far more significant than that which it denotes. Nor is a violent death a proper symbol of a compulsion to silence. The states are wholly dissimilar. The one is a deprivation not only of all power of acting through the body, but of life itself. The other a mere deprivation or suspension of the power of exerting the faculties in speech, while life itself, activity and freedom of