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following were the principal dif- nological succession, as I had preficulties which pressed upon me: viously taken for granted, are
- First, I saw that all the vials parallel to each other. clearly belonged to the third trumpet When I arrived at this conclu. or third woe, and were its com- sion, it seemed to me to be the ponent parts. Secondly, I became master-key which fitted all the convinced, after reading the writings intricacies of this part of the apoof Mr. Bicheno and Mr. Faber, that calyptic arrangement, and reconthe third woe trumpet bad sounded ciled it with passing events. I in the year 1792, and not before : therefore sent a paper on the vials and consequently that the vials to the Christian Observer, which tben commenced. Thirdly, From appeared in December, 1808. a view of the stupendous events I sball here state, that about a which followed the French Revo. year ago I wet with the very lution, I could not but conclude, learned work of Vitringa on the that we were in the midst of a Apocalypse, which I had never mighty political earthquake, which before seen. The general arrangewas convulsing and agonizing the ment of the vials in his commenwhole of Christendom. It seemed tary is certainly.erroneous, as he to me that this earthquake must places six of them before the necessarily be mentioned in the sounding of the seventh trumpet. via's, and I could find it in none But there is so very remarkable a but the seventh. I therefore could coincidence between his interprenot but suspect that the seventh tation of the seventh vial, and the vial was already pouring out: and one I was led to adopt merely from the more closely I considered the studying the analogy of the symsubject, the stronger my suspicions bols, that if any of the readers of became that this was the case. your work at the time my paper on Fourthly, Still, however, I was the vials appeared were acquainted prevented from acquiescing in this with Vitringa's commentary, they conclusion, by the impossibility I may very probably have suspected found of reconciling it with my me of plagiarism. Vitringa inpreconceived notions respecting terprets the air into which the the successive effusion of the rials. seventh vial is poured, to signify During several years my mind con- the political and ecclesiastical tinued in a sort of involuntary government of the kingdom of the scepticism upon these points, beast. I have explained the same pressed by the opposing difficul- symbol to be the political and ties, and balancing between them. ecclesiastical constitution of the
At length, by comparing the bestial empire. A similar resemApocalypse with itself, I saw that blance runs through the greater the earthquake mentioned in chap. part of the two interpretations. xi. 19. is the same with that of Vitringa likewise agrees with me, the seventh vial. And as the earth- in making the earthquake of the quake in chap. xi. 19. occurs seventh vial to be the same as that immediately on the opening of the of the sixth seal, and of Revelations temple, and the first vial begins xi. 19. also to be poured out immediately I now proceed to observe, that on the opening of the temple (see the principles of Mr. Faber himself chapters xv. 5, 6, and xvi. 1); must, if carried to their legitimate I concluded that the earthquake consequences, lead him to adopt of chap. xi. 19, and consequently the very same arrangement of the of the seventh vial, must be syn. vials as I have done. Mr. Faber, chronical with the first vial: and in the first four editions of his therefore that the whole seven work on the 1260 years, maintained vials, instead of following in chro- that the French Revolution was the
CHRIST. OBSERV, No, 163,
event in which was fulfilled the ceive it, then, I ask, is it pot eviearthquake of the sixth trumpet, dent that the vial of wrath on the Rev. xi. 13. In his fifth edition he political and ecclesiastical constihas given up that opinion, and has tution of the bestial em pire began adopted my exposition of the earth. to be poured out at the French quake; viz. that it was the eccle Revolution ? Should Nr. Faber, on siastical revolution of the Refore the contrary, deny this interpretamation.
tion, what other one does he subHaving done this, Mr. Faber stitute for it? I can allow no theory seems to me to be placed in the of the vials to be satisfactory following dilemma :- Either he which leaves unexplained so immust exclude altogether from the portant a symbol. I submit the Apocalypse, the eurthquake of the whole of these arguments to the French Revolution, or lie must attentive and candid consideration admit it to be the earthquake of of Mr. Faber. the seventh trumpet, i. e. of the (To be continued.) seventh vial, and consequently must arrive at the conclusion, that the efiusion of the seventh vial commenced immediately after the To the Editor of the Christian Observer, sounding of the serenih trumpet, In your last Number Mr. Faber, and that all the vials are synchro. with the view of supporting bis nical. I can see no way in which own hypothesis respecting the 1260 my learned and r. specied friend years, undertakes to prove that one can avoid ope or other of illese or more of the vials musi necesaliernatives. And, in point of fact, sarily be comprehended within he has embraced the tirst of them; that period; and be subjoins his for in bis last edition, he has avoided proof accordingly.-Now, without all mention of the French Revolu- at present entering into the main tion, in ihe character of an apoca- question at issue beiween him and lyptic earthquake. But as
But as be Mr. Cuninghame, I would merely admits the French Revolution to be observe, with submission to the the third woe, and to be an event learned and respectable writer, ibat marked with all the characters of the proof which he professes ta suddenness and mysterious power, give is far from carrying convic“which peculiarly appeririu to the tion to my undersianding. It aptimes of God's extraordinary visi pears to me that a main link is tations ;" and since, in his chapter wanting in the chain of his reasonon the symbolical language, being. Without reciting the thirteen defines an earthquake 1o be “a members of which his argument is sudden convulsion in an empire, composed, I will take the liberty violently overturning the existing of summoning up the whole of order of things," and therefore his statement in a short syllogistic cannot deny that revolution to be form. the most stupendous earthquake
1. The witnesses, who prophesy wbich bas ever convulsed the moral in sackcíoth through the 1260 and political world; I see not wiib years, have power over waters to what degree of consistency or pro- turn them to blood, and to smite vability it is, that Mr. Taber now the earth with all plagues. supposes that there is no mention . 2. Under some of tbe vials water of this earthquake in the Apoca- is turned into blood, and others are lypse.
poured out upon the earth. ThereAgain: does Mr. Faber admit or fore, deny the explanation, given by Vi- 3. These vials must be included tringa and myself of the symbolical within the period in which these air, in the seventh vial? If he re- witnesses prophecy in sackcloth,
and consequently within the 1260 The vials are poured out, not years.
by the witnesses, but by seven anNow, sir, to the two first pro- gels, which come out of the tempositions I have no difficulty in ple. What then have the witnesses saying, Affirmatur. But to the to do with these plagues ? Where last I must oppose a negatur. The is the connection between them? premises by no means warrant the It may be said, “ The plagues ar conclusion The reasoning is inflicted in answer to ile prayers clearly deficient, in a very material of the witnesses, or according to point. Before such an inference their predictions, and consequently can stand on the preceding propo. through their power.” But adinitsitions, it must be proved that the ting this to be the connection bewitnesses have exclusively the pow-tween the wiluesses and the plagues, er of smiting the earth and turning I would ask, Why is it to be rewater to blood; that no other per- stricted to a part of the plagues, sons have the same power; and and not to be extended to the whole that these effects can be produced of them? I see nothing in the acby no one but them: or, that if count of the transaction which they alone are invested with power, would lead me to suppose that the God may not also do the sanie by six tirst vials are poured out by other instruments not so investeri. one power, and the seventh by anTill this point be proved, I would other and a different power. Yet ask, on admitting that the witnesses this supposition, I think, will follow have this power, and that under on Mr. Faber's plan: for if, as he the vials these effects are pro- contends, the six first plagues are duced; yet where is the proof included within the 1260 years, that the effects under the vials are because they are inflicted by the those very effects produced by the power of the witnesses; the conpower of the witnesses ? Where is verse of this reasoning must prove, the bond which necessarily con- that the seventh plague is not innects these two extremities toge- flicted by the witnesses (and consether? Why may not the operations quently by some other power), beof smiting the earth, and of turn- cause it is not included in the 1260 ing water to blood, as described in years. Rev. xvi. be performed by other I am aware, it may be said, that persons, or instruments, and not by “under the seventh vial, neither the witnesses, and consequently not was the earth smitten nor water during the period of their prophe- turned to blood: it was poured sying ?
out into the air." This remark is The learned and ingenious au- true: but it does not meet the point thor may be right in his general in question. I ask, What scriptural hypothesis: but surely this new ground is there for supposing, that argument which he has adduced in the seven angels having the last support of it can add nothing to seven plagues acted under different his cause, till he has cleared it powers? I ask, if the witnesses bad from this difficulty.
power to inflict the six first plagues, For my own part, looking on the who had power to inflict the sesubject as I see it stated in Scrip. venth? And why might not the ture, and having no previous inter- same power, which inflicted unis, pretation to defend, I am of opinion inflict the others also? The obvious ibat what I have stated above as a presumption is, (and there is noquestion is probably the fact. I thing in the description to oppose think that the pouring out of the it), that all the plagues are to ve invials has no connection with the ficted by the same power. But the power of the witnesses : and my seventh plague, ou Mr. Faber's reasons for so thinking are these. own bypothesis, is not to be intict
ed by the witnesses; for the season that it is likely to be kept up with of their prophesying, during which life and perseverance. The sense their power continues, has pre- of duty will not suffer us to neglect viously expired. And hence I infer it: the emotions of gratitude will that probably none of the plagues prevent its being dull and formal. are inflicted by the witnesses; and Holy fear and grateful love combinconsequently that none of them ed will produce the sacrifice of the are necessarily included in the 1260 heart-ihe worship of God in spirit years.
and in truth. I am afraid of being tedious on Where such a proper frame for a subject in which all your readers devotion exists, there will never be may not feel an equal iuterest : I wanting objects to call it forth. will therefore only further remark, All nature calls on us to praise the that there is an expression in the Creator, though man has too often sixth verse of Rev. xi. which, in neither an ear to hear nor a voice endeavouring to come to a right to celebrate his praise. But whereview on this subject, ought not to ever there is a mind acquainted be overlooked. When the witnesses with his perfections and our obliare said to “ have power over wa- gations to him, and a heart which ters to turn them to blood, and to feels the emotions of gratitude to snite the earth with all plagues," our great Benefactor, there almost it is added, “ as often as they will:" every object, animate or inanimate, a mode of expression which seems will lead our thoughts to him. And to intimate a frequent exercise of especially the stated returns of day their power, at least an occasional and night will call forth our wor. repetition of it at different periods ship and adoration. “ Evening during the whole course of their and morning, and at noon-day will prophesying: whereas to refer the I pray.” exhibition of their power to the 1. A real Christian capnot suffer pouring out of the vials, appears to the night to close upon him, and restrict it to the latest and conclud- make a solemn break in the hurry ing days of their testimony. Per and business of the world,-he canhaps this remark may not be with not commit himself for several hours out its use io supporting the idea, to a state of darkness and insensibithat the effects of the power of the lity,—without serious reflection and witnesses, though similar in kind, prayer. A stop is put for a time to are not the same, either in time or
the occupations of the world. The in measure, with those produced by most active fora while suspend their the vials of wrath.
engagements. All is hushed and MODERATOR. quiet. “How wisely ordered,” the
pious worshipper will say, “is this
stop to the pursuits of the world! PAMILY SERMONS. No. LXXIX. While employed in them, they enPsal. Iv. 17. Evening and morning, is as if our whole happiness depend
gross our whole attention; and it and at noon-day will I pray. ed on them; but the friendly hour If we consider prayer merely as an of night comes, like a monitor from act of duty, such is the degeneracy Heaven, and bids us pause and reof our nature that it will soon be flect. It seems to say to us, So coldly and imperfectly performed. will all the busy scenes of this If it be regarded as a willing effu. world vanish, even as the light of sion of gratitude, we shall be apt the past day: ere long, they will to neglect it whenever our grateful all have past away, leaving no feelings, as will be too often the more trace than thie tumultuous case, are not very lively. It is by sounds of the day have on the air unitiug these views of deyotion, whick is now hushed in silence.
What then are all worldly pursuits? his gracious invitations, the strivWas man made for nothing higher ings of his Spirit with the soul, the than this world? Surely this sea- patience and long-suffering of our son calls on him to reflect on its God, the manifestations of his fafeeting and perishing nature. It vour and love ;-all these will call brings eternity to view, and forces for lively gratitude, will lead us to on the mind the time when there the adoring contemplation of that will be no interchange of day and rich and abundant mercy which is night. It bids us turn from these not wearied out by the continued vanities, to serve the living God." ingratitude and unworthiness of
Night seems appointed for consi- sinful man, but is daily renewed deration, to give us time to reflect to us. and learu wisdom. The various But no pious person can call to events of the day will then be re- mind the events of the day, without viewed by the pious Christian, that a being affected by a sense of his sins. due improvement of them may be in the hurry of business, we are made, and that his mind may, often too much occupied by the through them, be raised to God! cares and perplexities of life, to atHave we witnessed some sad spec- tend as we ought to the principles tacle of buman misery? Where shall on which we are acting, and the we find a refuge, but under the tempers which sway us. But night shadow of the wings of the Most brings leisure to review our conHigh? Have we seen the righteous duct. And then what need shall we oppressed, while the wicked have not feel to pray for pardon? How prospered? But what is true pro- much more might a Christian spirit sperity but the favour of the Lord; have been cultivated by us! How and what is there to dread but his many opportuvities of glorifying displeasure? Perhaps we have be- God, and doing good, have been held melancholy instances of human omitted! What want of holy prindepravity: we will learn from it ciples; what selfishness has apthe need of Divine grace, and the peared to prevail in our conduct ! excellence of the law of God, and Of what forgetfulness of God, and adore him for both. Perhaps we of the end of our creation, and of bave been struck with the peace what ingratitude to him for his and prosperity in which we have mercies have we been guilty! How passed the day. This too will lead much better might the day have the mind to God; for it is the Lord been spent, had we been duly iu. who giveth peace, and who causeth fluenced by the love and fear of us to dwell in safety. Indeed, in God! The day is gone to give in an especial manner will the mercies its account, and has carried with it we have received through the day the catalogue of our sins. Such rebe solemnly reviewed in the even- flections will dispose us to pray ing, and the praise of them ascribed earnestly for pardon and peace, to God. The health and strength end an increase of Divine grace. We have enjoyed; our food and re- The state of sleep, though a state freshment; the kindness of friends of rest to the weary body, is also a and relations, together with all state of insensibility. It is the our other temporal blessings, will very emblem of death. The use of call for acknowledgments of the our faculties is about to be suspendgoodness of that God from whom ed. The soul is about to lose its they spring. But still more will power of thinking, and the body its our spiritual mercies be remember- power of motion. Use has made ed, and made the occasion of praise. this familiar to us; otherwise its Our preservation from temptation likeness to death would shock us. and from gross sin, the gift of a To a real Christian it will present Saviour, the freeness of his grace, solemn reflections. “ I lie down,