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mation, there is no union betwixt the several na. tional churches in their outward polity, neither will there be any until che Millennium.
The prophets represent it as a period of supe rior grace, holiness and happiness. .
These circumstances, peculiar in themselves, are set forth in uncommon language. The outward glory of the church is represented by a temple regularly built', and a city reared of precious stones'. The abundance of grace bestowed at that period, is compared to a copious river issuing from the temple?, or running through the street of the city. The moral change wrought by it, on the temper and be. haviour of men, is set forth by a renovation of the natural world', or by taming the fiercest animals, as wolves and lions. The happiness of that period is represented by giving additional
(1) Ezek. xl. xli. xlii. ?
(2) Ifa. liv. 11, 12. Rev. xxi. 10--21.
(3) Ezek. xlvii. 1-12. Joel iii. 18.
(4) Pfal. xlvi. 4. Rev. xxii. 1, 2.
(5) Ifa. lxv. 17. Ifa. lxvi. 22. Rev. xxi. l.'
(6) Ifa. xi. 69. Ifa. XXXV. 9. Ifa. Ixv. 25.
light to the heavens', and greater fertility to the earth”.
When we learn by any of these circumstances, that the prophet has the Millennium in view, as the place of the Millennium in the feries of events is known from the Apocalypse, it will prove a key to open up the meaning of the other events connected with it, in the same section of prophecy; for their relation to each other, and their place in the general order of events are known, from their relation to the Millennium.
- In judging of the sentiments of any writer, it is necessary to consider the connection of his discourse. An expression by itself may appear ambiguous, which, from the connection with what precedes or follows it, may have an obvious and determined meaning. This rule is applicable to the prophets. Their meaning appears obvious ; at any rate the mind
(1) Ifa. Xxx. 26. Ifa.ls. 19. Rev. xxi. 23: Rev. xxii. 5.
(2) Ezek. xxxiv, 26, 27.
rests in it as highly probable, when the connection can be traced, through a whole discourse or section of prophecy. But it is more difficult to trace the connection in them, than in any other writers, sacred or profane. The difficulty arises partly from the nature of the subject. When they treat of events still fu. ture to us, they are wrapt up in a venerable gloom, and of them it may be said, That
we know but in part, and fee darkly as " through a glass.” It cannot be expected, that we should trace the connection as clearly as when the Providence of God has already proved the comment on the prophecy. But much of the difficulty arises from the peculiar manner of the prophets. I shall therefore note some of their peculiarities of method and expression, which I hope will lessen the difficulty, and enable the attentive reader to trace the connection, when otherwise he would have lost it.
I. THE prophets give several parallel views of the same period of time; that is, they run over the same events, yet so as to observe the same order of events in each view, and to enlarge in one view on events slightly touched in another. Mede' has demonstrated that there are such paE
(1) In his Clavis Apocalyptica.
rallel views or synchronisms in the Apocalypse. But this method is not peculiar to the Apocalypse. The Prophet Isaiah, from the 40th chapter to the close of the book, gives several parallel views of the period from the first promulgation of the gospel to the Millennium. Each parallel view begins with some account of the Mefliah, or the circumstances of the time in which he appeared, and ends with an account of the Millennium. The connection of the parts in each parallel view, shews the order of events as they have been or shall be accomplished. By laying together the corresponding places in each parallel view, we acquire a tolerable knowledge of any particular event considered apart.
II. The prophets briefly relate events, and afterwards enlarge on the whole or a part of the period to which they are referred. This method is clearly difcerned in the Apocalypse. In chap. xi. 15.--18. we have a brief description ofthe whole events included in the seventh trumpet; that is, from the time of its founding to the end of the world ; which events are afterwards more fully treated of. In Rev. xvi. we have the events of the seven vialsbrieflysummed up in their order. Chap. xviii. throughout, and chap. xix. 1.--4. give an enlarged view of the fifth vial. Chap. xix. 5.--10. gives further light on the șixth vial. And
chap. xix. 11. - 21. enlargeson the seventh vial or the battle of Armageddon'. But the same method seems to have been used by the Old Testament Prophets. Ifaiah (chap. liv. 1.-3.) gives a short account of the admission of the Gentiles into the church; the prophet then passes on to the conversion of the Jews. He returns again, and enlarges on the admission of the Gentiles chap. lv.
1.-11. The propriety of representing future events in this manner will appear, if we reflect that without the brief narrative prefixed, we could never trace the connection ; and so we should remain strangers to the order of events ; and without the after enlargement, our knowledge of each particular event would be scanty and deficient.
Sometimes they narrate the series of events briefly, and enlarge only on the concluding event; in which case the narrative prefixed, answers the purpose of a chronological kalendar. Thus, in the ad chapter of Daniel, the four metals of the image mark the progress of time along the four universal monarchies, down to the Millennium, defcribed in verse 44. So (in Dan. vii.) the four beasts carry on timeuntil the little horn appears, which is largely described, as to its character, duration, and destruction.
(1) See this proved in Mede's Clavis Apocalyptica.