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appeared when decreed a crown and triumph, and on the other in the exercise of his profession; a mere subsidiary to his exerting a representative agency; as in the vision of the nineteenth chapter, the sword proceeding from the mouth of Christ, is designed merely to indicate the character of the sentence he is to pronounce on his enemies, and the horse on which he is seated, ihat he is to descend in a manner suitable to his station as a victorious king, to execute that sentence.

The symbol is then drawn from military and civil life in the Roman empire; in which it was customary to grant a triumphal return to the capital, and a crown to a victorious warrior, which, as it was the act of the senate, was a civil act; and the personage taken as the symbol was doubtless Trajan, who, in the year 96, immediately after the period of the visions, being adopted by Nerva and declared by the senate his colleague and successor, marched with a powerful army against the Dacians, gained important victories and conquests, and on his return was decreed a triumph. Hadrian and the Antonines, who followed him, princes of a similar character, and under whom the empire continued to flourish, may

also be considered as embodied in the horseman. As the symbol is thus drawn from the military and civil customs of the empire, we are to look, in order to find the persons denoted by it, not to the same, but some resembling department of life; precisely as were we foreshown that some agent, having a similitude to a lion, an eagle, or a dragon, was soon to appear on the theatre of the world, we should look, not for the animal itself which was used for exemplification, but for some different agent of resembling characteristics. And where shall we find any such analogous community as the symbol requires, except in the religious world ? any such conquerors, except in the faithful ministers of the Christian church? or any such conquests, except in the conversion of worshippers from idols to God? It is to them that we are naturally led by the Revealer, and the great subject of the Apocalypse, and in them and them alone that we find the correspondences which the law of symbolization demands. A warrior who conquered provinces or kingdoms, transferred the allegiance of the vanquished people from their old to new rulers. He placed them under new laws; he impressed a new character on all their civil and military relations. So the minister of Christ who, by proclaiming the gospel, became the instrument of converting individuals and communities to faith in him, transferred their supreme love from self, and their religious homage from the idol shapes or imaginary deities they had before worshipped, to the true God. He introduced them into a new community. He subjected them to new laws, and worked a radical change in their inoral relations.

*D. Cassii, lib. 68, c. 3, 4. Gibbon's Hist. Decl. and Fall, chap. iii. 'D. Cassii, lib. 68, c. 10, 15.

And no similar agencies were exerted, no like agents existed in any other department of the social world at that period. The ministers of paganism wrought no such changes in that or the following ages, in large bodies of men either within, or without the Roman empire. The incorporation into the state of new provinces or kingdoms by conquest, brought with it no such revolution in their religion. There were none but idolaters to be vanquished, and the conquered were universally left to continue their homage to the gods they had before worshipped. Nor did the philosophers of that or the following ages, the only other class who can be thought to exhibit such an analogy as the symbol requires, work any such revolution in the principles and practice of communities or large numbers of men. There were no philosophical communities. The number of the lettered and thence of ihe speculative, was extremely small compared to the multitude. There was no order of men devoted by office to the propagation of philosophy. The philosophy which prevailed at that period could scarcely have rendered tribes that were vanquished, or others more false in faith, or corrupt in morals, than their religion had already made them, and was wholly inefficacious for reformation. False, shadowy, and absurd, unaccompanied by any firm convictions of its doctrines, unattended by any influential sanctions, and in harmony in a large degree with the fashionable idolatries and public and private manners, it at best left their principles and their passions as it found them. The requisite resemblances then are seen in the ministers, and nowhere else, of the Christian church, who make conquests to the Redeemer in accordance with the ends and laws of their office. The symbol conqueror, like other symbols of men in the

prophecy, is the representative, not of an individual merely, but of the pure teachers of Christianity at large, who went forth from the period of the visions, and fulfilled their office conformably to the word of God, assailing with the arrows of truth the hostile armies of idolatry, and subjecting them to the sceptre of Christ.

In correspondence with this construction, the writers of the

Nam solere Romanos religiones urbium superatarum partim privatim per familias spargere, partim publice consecrari.-Arnobii adv. Gentes, lib. üi. c. 39. Gibbon's Hist. Decl. and Fall, chap. ii.

ages that immediately followed the visions, represent that there was a rapid and almost uninterrupted spread of the gospel, from the last years of the first century especially, until the persecution by Decius in the middle of the third, and in an inferior degree to its close. Most of the persecutions of the long space from Domitian to Decius were provincial, of short continuance, and left the large body of the Christian teachers to continue their labors with but little obstruction.

This construction is corroborated by the perplexities which embarrass other interpretations.

1. Those who, like Grotius and Rosenmuller, regard it as symbolizing the first acts of the war of Nero and Vespasian against the Jews, or other calamities of that people immediately preceding that war, are obliged to assume that the Apocalypse was written during the reign of Claudius or Nero ;-if in the former some forty years, at least, and if in the latter not less than twentyeight or nine, earlier than the date ascribed to it by the first ecclesiastical writers; or else like Eichhorn, that it was not written until twenty-five or six years after the fall of Jerusalem, and was thence a mere representation of the past, in place of a symbolization of the future.

2. The ascription to it of so early a date, is not only without any adequate historical grounds and against the most reliable testimony, but is irreconcilable with the representation of the Apocalypse respecting the Asiatic churches. The works ascribed to them, the fidelity, the patience, the endurance of persecụtion as their first character, and at length their decline in love, the rise among them of false teachers, and the apostasy of some to idolatry, imply not only that a period of some length had passed from their first establishment, but a considerable space also after the ministry of Paul at Ephesus had closed. Yet no such period intervened between either the date of his epistle to the Ephesians, or his last interview with the elders on his way to Jerusalem, if the Apocalypse were written during the reign of Claudius or Nero. So far from it, the periods universally assigned to the interview and the epistle, are subsequent to the reign of Claudius, which terminated October 13th, in the year 54; and the distance from those dates to the commencement or close even of the persecution by Nero, is wholly inadequate. His visit to Miletus is usually referred to the year 58,' and his epistle to the year 61. The persecution by Nero began about the middle of November in the year 64, and terminated with his death, June 9th, 68.

* Justini Mart. Dial. cum Tryph. c. 117: Irenæi ady. hær. lib. i. c. 10. Tertul. liani cont. Jud. c. 7. Apologet. c. 37. Plinii Epist. 97, lib. 10. Lactantii de Just. c. 13. De Mort. Persecut. c. 3. Eusebii Hist. Eccl. lib. v. c. 21. Lib. viii. c. 1. Mosheim, Hist. Church, Cent. ii. p. i. chap. i. Cent. iii. p. i. chap. i. Moshemii de rebus Christ. secul. ii. pp. 203, 217.

* Lardner's Credibility, vol. v. p. 518.

In neither the Acts nor the epistle is there any intimation of such a decline of the Ephesian Christians from their first love. In place of exhibiting them as already sunk into lukewarmness, or turned to false doctrines, the apostle warned the elders in his farewell at Miletus, that it was after his departure that false teachers were to arise and draw away disciples. His martyrdom is usually assigned to the year 65.5 It is incredible therefore that so great a change in their faith and practice could have taken place in so short a period—two or three years.

3. There are no indications in the histories of that period, of any persecution of the church during the reign of Claudius. Nor is it certain, though probable, that Nero's persecution, which is exhibited as the first,” extended to the Asiatic churches.

4. The calamities of the unbelieving Jews were not of such interest to the Asiatic churches, as to render it probable that so large a portion of the Apocalypse as the seals, all of which the commentators in question, Grotius, Dr. Hammond, Eichhorn, and Rosenmuller, apply to the insurrections, wars, or other calamities of that people, would be devoted to their symbolization.

5. It is incredible that such a symbolization was made after the Jewish war had begun; yet if the revelation be assigned to the last

year of Nero, as the war was commenced in the year 66, its first acts preceded it at least one, perhaps two years.

6. There is no correspondence between the events of the Jewish insurrections and wars, and the symbols of the sixth seal. A great earthquake, an obscuration of the sun, an eclipse of the moon, a fall of the stars, a departure of the heavens, a removal of the mountains and islands from their places, denote a univer




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* Lardner's Credibility, vol. v. p. 526.

· Ibid. vol. vi. p. 29, 37. Moshemii De reb. Christianorum, cap. 34, p. 107. Pagi Crit. in Ann. Baron. anno. 68, n. iii. Pagi Crit. in Annal. Bar. anno. 65, no. ii. 67, no. iii. Lardner's Credibil. vol v.

Pagi Crit. in Annal. Baronii, ann. 268, no. vi. an. 269, no. ii. ? Tertulliani Apolog. c. 5. Lactantii de Mort. Persecut. c. 2. Eusebii Eccl. Hist. lib. ii. c. 25.

Moshemii de reb. Christ. ante Const. sec. i. c. 35. Pagi Crit. in Annal. Baron. anno. 64, no. iii. iv. v.

• Pagi Crit. in Annal. Baronij. anno. 66, no. ii. no. iii.

sal convulsion of the political world, and overthrow of every form of government. All classes of rulers and all orders of subjects are represented accordingly as overwhelmed with the conviction that their civil and social relations were forever terminated. The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the commanders of a thousand, and the rich and the mighty, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who is able to stand ? Not the slightest resemblance subsists between this terrific prediction, and the events of the Jewish war. No kings were interested in that war. No government was overthrown by it. The Jews were not an independent people, but conquered and tributary, and the result of their revolt, after vast slaughters and the destruction of their cities, was their reduction again to submission. Though many were driven into other provinces, and many sold into servitude, yet a vast proportion of the survivors continued to reside in their native land, and again at the distance of sixty years, attempted to throw off the Roman yoke, and met a still more disastrous defeat.

But the demonstration of their error is completed, by the absurd and impossible construction of many of the other symbols, to which the rule on which they proceed must, if legitimate, lead. If as they assume, in looking to the Roman military and civil history for the agents and agencies denoted by the seals, the symbol and that which it symbolizes belong to the same class; then must death on the pale horse and the grave his attendant, denote the entrance on the apocalyptic earth, of a throng and succession of precisely such agents and objects; the monster locusts and horsemen of the trumpets, must foreshow the rise of armies and successions of similar shapes; and the seven-headed and tenhorned wild beast portend a herd and series of such monsters; and no approach to a verification of their views of the prophecy can be made, except by a demonstration of the appearance and agency on the theatre of the empire of those non-existences.

The application of the symbol by Mr. Jurieu and others to Roman emperors of the first, or first and second centuries, is obnoxious to similar objection. They assume that the symbol and the symbolized agent are of the same species, and set aside therefore the law of analogy. The victories and conquests of the emperors of those periods, were of no such significance as to entitle them to a representation in the prophecy. They were of

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