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ing in its own resources; resources too often looked to as a refuge and defence by the deluded Israelites. The flesh-pots of Egypt, its vegetable productions, and its fish, as opposites of the manna from above, are figures of human merits, as opposites of the righteousness of Christ, or true bread from heaven. The fine linen of Egypt, Prov. vii. 16, is probably an opposite of that fine linen which, according to Rev. xix. 8, is the righteousness of the saints,—“ No,” said the rebellious Issaelites, as they are reproached by the prophet, Jer. xlii. 14, “but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread, and there will we dwell ;” and this, notwithstanding the repeated admonition, Is. xxx. 1, 2, and xxxi. 1, "Wo to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit ; that they may add sin to sin : that walk to go down into Egypt *** to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt.” “Wo to them that go down to Egypt for help : and stay on horses, and trust in chariots.” In addition to this, Egypt was noted for its idolatrous worship, and especially in Scripture history, as a land of bondage-a land of task-masters, of hard and servile labour. In all these particulars the country may be taken as the type of a doctrinal system, combining the characteristics of self-righteousness, self-glorification, and legality. The various shifts and devices of the human mind, in aiming to promote the glory of man, to the prejudice of the glory of God, bearing an analogy with the number and variety of Egyptian objects of worship, and the vain but laborious efforts of the mistaken disciple in going about to establish a righteousness of his own, by works of the law, bearing a like analogy to the difficult task imposed upon the enslaved Israelites of making bricks without straw.
$ 250. The city where our Lord was crucified is not mentioned by name; apparently lest it should be confounded with the heavenly city of the same name; but it is characterized by the remarkable event for which, and by which, it must ever be distinguished—its opposition to the Redeemer, its rejection of the Saviour, its rebellion against its king: “We will not have this man to rule over us,” may be considered the motto inscribed upon its banner. “We will have no king but Cæsar," was the hypocritical language of the chief priests and rulers, when in reality they were opposed to the Son of God, because they did not see in him that earthly conqueror they expected to deliver their country from the power of Cæsar, and to confer upon themselves additional power and authority in their own land.
. They rejected him, because it was their own glory and their own exaltion that they sought, and not the honour of their Messiah. The Pharisees, and Sadducees, and lawyers, and scribes, rejected him as a spiritual Saviour, because they were insensible of any need of salvation, the one class not be
lieving in a judgment to come, and the other believing themselves sufficiently righteous to meet it when it did come. Politically, they opposed the sovereignty of Jesus, because they sought their own honour and emolument. Spiritually, they were actuated by the same motive, because they were unwilling to ascribe the glory of their eternal salvation to any other merit than their own. The city where our Lord was crucified may be thus contemplated as a type, or symbol, of a doctrinal system opposed to the element of divine sovereignty; in effect throwing off all obligation of gratitude to the Redeemer, and aiming at the promotion of man's glory instead of the glory of God,
It is easy to perceive that one erroneous doctrinal system may accord in all the particulars represented by these three several cities-cities of refuge, but all of them refuges of lies. The various and multiplied features of the three combined constituting that system of confusion subsequently represented in this vision, as BABYLON the mother of harlots.
Vs. 9, 10. And they (out] of the people, Και βλέπουσιν εκ των λαών και φυλών and kindreds, and tongues, and nations; xai yawooőv xuì ifvūv rò nõua avtõv shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bo- quigas toiş xai luov, xai tu atbuata dies to be put in graves.
And they that αυτών ουκ αφήσουσι τεθήναι εις μνήμα. . dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over
Και οι κατοικούντες επί της γης χαίρουσιν them, and make merry, and shall send gifts én avrois xai sug gaivotai, xai Sopa nuone to another; because these two pro- ψουσιν αλλήλοις, ότι ούτοι οι δύο προφήpliers tormented them that dwelt on the
ται εβασάνισαν τους κατοικούντας επί της earth.
$ 251. ' And they of the people,' &c.—Here our attention is called to two classes of spectators, or bystanders, “they of the people,” &c, and “they that dwell upon the earth.” Not merely people of the city, but nations, and kindreds, (tribes,) and tongues, with the dwellers upon the earth generally, are brought to behold two bodies in one street of a single city. This extraordinary license of vision is sufficient to show that nothing like a literal sense is contemplated. The city we suppose to be a false doctrinal system, styled great, in allusion to its vainglorious pretensions, as we have remarked of the great river Euphrates, ($ 219.)
The dead bodies of the two witnesses, two economies, in their literal sense, ($ 248,) remain subjects of contemplation in a system utterly opposed to their spiritual sense; so the accounts given in the Old and New Testaments of the Jews, and of Christ and his disciples, as mere matters of history, and exhibitions of a moral code, not militating with a self-righteous plan of salvation, are tacitly countenanced, although their opposers would prefer, perhaps, burying them or keeping them entirely out of sight. They out of the people are seemingly lookers-on, in a state of suspense, wondering what these things should mean: not opposed to evangelical views, but as yet not possessing them, although, as indicated by their song of praise, Rev. vii. 9, 10, eventually favoured with the happy attainment. Meantime they retain their interest in the literal sense, leaning upon it, or over it, as expecting something more from it than has yet been developed. They represent, perhaps, the multitudes of subordinate principles eventually to be converted to the manifestation and promulgation of the elements of the economy of grace. They will not suffer the literal sense to be taken out of sight, the dead bodies to be put in graves. Figuratively speaking, it is not for them to desire this ; they may be said to be in the condition of a patient waiting for Christ, preserving the letter of revelation, keeping it in view till a spiritual interpretation can be brought to bear upon it.
* Three days and a half.'—We must again refer here to the declaration of the mighty angel, time shall be no longer. These days are not to be taken in a literal sense ; but are probably intended to lead us to a comparison of this exhibition with others of a similar character. The outer court was to be in possession of the Gentiles forty-two months, equal to three years and a half. The witnesses were to prophesy in sackcloth, and to have power to shut heaven twelve hundred and sixty days, also equal to three years and a half; as at the instance of the prophet it rained not for three years and a half, (James v. 17.) The woman was to dwell in the wilderness twelve hundred and sixty days, or a time, times, and half a time, (three years and a half,) and the ten-horned beast was to possess power forty-two months,
and a balf. So also these three days and a half may be put for years, “ each day for a year,” as we find prescribed in another case, (Numbers xiv. 34,) showing us that the several peculiarities of these predictions have a coincident character, designed perhaps to represent elements of truth coexistent with each other, or all of them exhibiting, by different figures, different characteristics of the same truth.
If we further suppose each day or year to represent one thousand years, (2 Peter iii. 8,) the three and a half days, or years, will be equal to three thousand five hundred years, corresponding with the period covered by the revelation of the Old Testament, from the creation to the close of the prophecy of Zechariah, or return of the Jews from their Babylonish captivity; the termination apparently of the typical history of the Old Testament ; the termination of the shadowing forth of the old and new covenants in their Old Testament garb. Corresponding with this, we might consider the
prophesying of the two witnesses in sackcloth a parallel with the whole revelation of the Scriptures of the Old Testament.
$ 252. “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice,' &c.,-or carouse, as the Greek might be rendered, reminding us of the drunken orgies of a victorious army after battle ; and placing these dwellers upon the earth in the light of the troops, or forces, of the beast from the bottomless pit.
We consider them elements of the abyss, or bottomless system-a selfrighteous system, the opposite of the heavenly system,—without a Saviour, or without Christ as a Saviour, and consequently without a rock, or bottom, or foundation, upon which to build a hope of salvation. The advocates of such a system very naturally rejoice over the abolition of the spiritual sense from the language of revelation ; they sneer, or affect to sneer, at the analogies, typical illustrations, and analytical interpretations of the figurative language of Scripture; and this with very good reason, because the arguments drawn from these illustrations, or the reasonings enforced by them, fly in the face of their self-righteous, and self-justifying, and vainglorious theories. With the same good reason they ridicule all attempts at understanding the hidden meaning, even of the most figurative portions of Scripture, for if all attempts of this kind can be checked in the first instance, a successful effort is never to be feared.
• And make merry, and shall send gists one to another.'—This is carrying out the idea of the carousal just remarked upon. The elements of the false system are represented as exulting over the entire exclusion of the spiritual sense of the two covenants as revealed, or something equivalent. Not only merry, they send gifts one to another—they become reconciled to each other, when before at enmity; as when the Son of God was put to death, the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends ;—the Gentile and the Jew were here of one accord. The sending of gifts may be considered a complimentary expression of deference and respect. Here the interchange of this expression is mutual amongst these enemies of the witnesses. So it is with the opposers of evangelical views of Christian doctrine; however at variance amongst themselves, each affects to compliment the superior intellect of the other, when it becomes expedient to unite in suppressing a certain mode of illustration unfavourable to the doctrinal views of both. This we do not apply to any particular denomination or sect of religion, in the ordinary sense, but we make use of this well-known feature of sectarianism to illustrate the action of anti-evangelical principles, represented by this interchange of civilities amongst the dwellers upon the earth.
· Because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth, --that is, while they were alive; when, although prophesying (or interpreting) in sackcloth, the spiritual sense gave a certain degree of life to the literal interpretation. Accompanied with the spiritual sense, the exhibitions of these two covenants, or testaments, tortured or tried the principles of the earthly or self-righteous system ; the word rendered tormented being taken, as in other cases, from a term applied to the assay of metals, ($ 210.)
This reason of rejoicing we have perhaps already sufficiently
enlarged upon. These dwellers upon the earth, * -principles dependent upon the earthly system—had been tested and tried by the prophesying of the two witnesses even in sackcloth. So we suppose the exhibition of the old and new dispensations even partially in a spiritual sense, or, in that sense under the disadvantage of a legal construction, to be of a nature to put to the test the elements or principles of a self-righteous theory. Entirely divested of this sense they have no longer this action, although susceptible of reassuming it as soon as their language is accompanied with its proper interpretation.
Vs. 11, 12. And after three days and a Και μετά τις τρεις ημέρας και ήμισυ
τη νεφέλη, και εθεώρησαν αυτούς οι εχθροί
$ 253. “ And after three days and a half,' &c.—When the outer court is no longer in possession of the Gentiles; when the city is no longer trodden by them; when there is no longer any prophesying in sackcloth, then, as we apprehend, simultaneously the two witnesses are resuscitated. The spirit gives life to the body-the spiritual sense again accompanies the literalthe three figures are nearly equivalents, or perhaps the return of the spirit of life from God into the bodies of the witnesses, may be viewed as the instrument of liberating the outer court and the city ; as well as of terminating the prophesying in sackcloth. As if we should say, the restoration of
* They that dwell on the earth, oi satoixoūrtes in ons ons. These are the inhabiters of the earth, against whom the three woes are uttered, Rev. viii. 13; they are also those said to be destined for trial, Rev. iii. 10; those upon whom the souls under the altar call for vengeance, Rev. vi. 10; those unto whom the devil (the accuser) is said to come down with great wrath, Rev. xii. 12; those represented as the worshippers of the beast, and under the influence of the false prophet, Rev. xiii. 8, 12, 14; those said to be drunk with the wine of the harlot, Rev. xvii. 2; and those wondering when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, Rev. xvii. 8; and they are those (Rev. xi. 10) rejoicing over the death of the witnesses; at the same time they are those concerning (ini) whom the everlasting gospel is preached by the angel flying through the mid-heaven, Rev. xiv. 6. The same term in the Greek being employed in all these passages, the collation of which confirms us in the opinion that the apocalyptic earth is the figure of a doctrinal system of human merits, and that these dwellers upon the earth are figures of principles or doctrinal elements dependent upon this system.