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AN ATTEMPT TO PROVE THAT, AS FAR AS THEY ARE FULFILLED,
THE RISE, INCREASE, AND MATURITY OF
FOR HIS DESTRUCTION.
THE REV. R. GASCOYNE, M.A.
MICKLETON, NEAR CAMPDEN, GLOUCESTERSHIRE.
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS,
THE Revelation of St. John is without a key to its symbols: it has no explained portion that may be used as a clue to unravel the rest; and if we detach it from the other prophecies, and consider it apart, it will nearly prove a dead letter. Could we have understood the symbolical language of Daniel if some of it had not been explained? Are we then to wait till a similar favour is repeated ? Have we any reason to expect it? or may we not without presumption endeavour to unlock it with the key put into the bands of Daniel and others ? There is no escape from this dilemma; we must either
conform our interpretation of it to the rules God has already given us, or feel our ignorance of the end it was designed to serve.
But though the beast with ten horns in Daniel is applied to the fourth empirea, who can be certain that the similar beasts in the Revelation of St. John will admit of the same application? It is not expressly asserted; true, nor are all the symbols in Daniel deciphered: the angel refused to gratify the prophet, when he pursued his inquiry, and said, “Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."b Are we then to look for a new revelation, or may we presume, that the key, already in our possession, will enable us to understand these symbolical prophecies, when they have been fulfilled ? In the time of the end, the key given to Daniel, and not to him alone, but to others (for even the Apocalypse is not without explanatory remarks), will unlock the store of symbols that abound in Holy Writ, and throw light upon God's providential government, for the stay, conviction, and comfort of his people in every age.
a Dan. vii. 23.
b Dan. xii. 9.
We have not to do with many books but with one ; for though Holy Scripture was written by different persons, it was indited by one omniscient, controlling Spirit. “All scripture was given by inspiration of God — holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”. We should never forget, that however numerous the instrumentality, it is the one entire and complete revelation of God's will to man; and as the architect of the building is one and not many, (the same, too, as the architect of the
a 2 Tim. iii. 16.; 2 Pet. i. 21.