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rallel views or synchronisms in the Apocalypse. But this method is not peculiar to the Apocalypse. The Prophet Isaiah, from the 40th chaps ter to the close of the book, gives several paral, lel views of the period from the first promulgation of the gospel to the Millennium. Each parallel view begins with some account of the Messiah, 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 af, terwards enlarge on the whole or a part of the pe, riod to which they are referred. This method is clearly discerned in the Apocalypse. In chap. xi. 15.-18. we have a brief description of the whole events included in the seventh trumpet; thatis, 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 vials brieflysummedup 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 sixth vial. And
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chap. xix. 11.--21. enlargeson the seventh vial or the battle of Armageddon'. But the same method feems 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. Iv. T.--!1. 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 fhould remain ftrangers to the order of events”; and without the after enlargement, our knowledge of each particular event would be scanty andi deficient.
Sometimes they narrate the series of events briefly, and enlarge only on the concluding event; in which cafe the narrative prefixed, an. fwers the purpofe of a chronological kalendar. Thus, in the 2d chapter of Daniel, the four me. tals of the image mark the progress of time along the four universal monarchies, down to the Mil. lennium, described 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 proyed in Mede's Clavis Apocalyptica.
III. The prophets sometimes stop short in describing the progress of events, and introduce matter which, at first view, appears foreign to the subject. Upon investigation, it will be found that they pause to answer objections which naturally occur from their subject, and are tacitly understood, though not expressed. ,.
The design of prophecy, as well as of every other part of Scripture, is to convince men of the truth of what God has revealed, and thereby to rectify the heart, and reform the life. In order to work a thorough conviction, it is necessary not only to state facts, but to remove objections. When the Spirit of prophecy foresaw objections which would have weight, he proceeds instantly to solve them, without formally stating them.
Thus Ifaiah (chap. xxviii. 9.--72.), shews the rejection of the Meffiah by the Jewish nation, and the consequent desolation brought on them by the Romans. In order to vindicate the justice of God in this dispensation of his providence, the prophet answers (from verse 23. to the close) the great objection of the Jews to the Christian dispensation, and their apology for rejecting it, namely, the removal of the Mosaic Æconomy. He foresaw that they would consider it as inconsistent with the wisdom of God, first, to have appointed it, and afterwards to have
abolished it. The objection is answered by an allusion to the practice of the husbandman. He first plows, then sows, so the Mosaic Economy was a preparation for the Gospel. He suits the feed to the soil, the threshing instrument to the feed; he uses onę instrument to thresh, another to grind; Changing the instrument in the .progress of his work, is the effect not of folly, but wisdom. It was from the beginning the plan of Infinite Wisdom, to adapt the mode of instruction, in the several ages of the Church, to the capacities of mankind, and to change the Mosaic for the Christian Dispensation, - The prophet Isaiah (xl. 9.-11.) describes the
ministry of the Apostles; he removes (yer. 12. -17.) the objections of the Jews to the Messiah,
As, the meanness of his outward appearance, -answered, (verfe 17.), by turniug round to the works of creation, and asking, Who made them?
The folly of his cross answered, (verse 13, 14.) by asserting the superior wisdom of God, in the fcheme of redemption, and the folly of setting up human wisdom ip opposition to it. The fear of the Romans answered (verse 15.) by decla. ring the insignificance of all nations, in comparison of Him whom they rejected. A conceit that facrifices were sufficient to attone for fin, and that the death of the Messiah was therefore . :.:. ::.
unnecessary, fanswered, (verse 16.) by asserting that the facrifices of brute animals, enjoined by the law, were in thiemfelves absolutely infufficient to attone for sin. 3 mois. 1" • Ifaiah' (chap. xlix. 1.4.23.gives a view of events in their order, froni the promulgation of the gofpel to the restoration 6? the Jews. 1° At the 24th Werfe he stops Thort; and answers objections which would naturally occur against the restoration he had promised. He continues to answer feveral obječtions in theiwhole of the ift chapter, and in cháp: li. from the beginning to verse gids ? , 111 2 6 107 bis wiri 5. At other times the prophets interrupt the detail of events, in order to make a practical application of fomeimportant fact foretold ;-showing the influence it onght to fave'un those who heat it, but especially on those who fee'it-accomplished, according to their feveral situations. Thus, the prophet having thewed the converfion and restoration of the Jewith nation, (Isaiah xli. 1.20.)'he breaks off (verse 21:) by an animated address to the adherents of every false religion, summoning them to produce any such evidenice's of divinity in the deities they wor. Thip, as the true. God has given in the prë diction and accomplifhment of those important facts, respecting the Jewish nation. We find a.fimilar address on the same event, chap. xliv.