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was grounded, was however overlooked by Pareus. Nor was he more successful than his predecessors, as I think, in solving the Beast's seventh head, though clear on the eighth. On certain other points he appears to have retrogressed, rather than advanced.

The reader has now before him, pretty much the state in which Apocalyptic interpretation was left at the close of the æra and century of the Reformation.



Our sixth and last Section of the History of Apocalyptic Interpretation opens naturally with Mede, Pareus' immediate successor; one whose works have generally been thought to constitute an æra in the science. It then passes to Bossuet, Vitringa, and Daubuz, as the next Expositors of chief repute among Romanists and Protestants: and then, after a brief supplementary addendum, to what may be called modern times.

1. Mede.-It was in 1627 that Mede first published his Clavis Apocalyptica, in 1632 his Commentary. The reputation of these works, especially in England, is well known, He was looked on, and written of, as a man almost inspired for the solution of the Apocalyptic mysteries. And certainly of his learning, as well as of his modesty and worth, there could not be too high an opinion. Yet, if it be permitted to express freely an opinion on so great a man, it seems to me that his success has been over-estimated as an Apocalyptic Expositor. For if on some important points he much advanced the science, on others I conceive him to have very materially caused it to retrogade. This will appear as I proceed.

The Tabular Scheme of his views appended on my next Page, and the observations on them scattered through the Horæ, will do away with the necessity of entering into them so particularly as might otherwise have been desirable. Suffice it to say with reference to the Seals, that the 1st Seal is supposed by Mede to depict the early gospel victories; the 2nd, the wars of Trajan and Hadrian; the 3rd, the severe justice, and procuration of corn, notable in the

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Temple-court and Altar



War of Michael and Dragon
about the child-bearing.


become the kingdoms of Christ.

11 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 671
Outer Court (or Holy City) unmeasured is given to the Gentiles 42 months. Satan bound, and Saints reign with Christ, 1000 years.
Christ's two witnesses prophesy 1260 days in sackcloth.

The Lamb's Wife,
Woman is driven by Dragon into the wilderness; there to be nourished 1260 days.

Seven-headed ten-horned Beast, revived under last head, blasphemes and
domineers 42 months.

descends from heaven:
Two-horned Beast, or False Prophet, exercises all the power of First Beast
before him.

And the nations walk in her light.
The 144,000, that sing the new song, tell of coming judgments.
Harlot Babylon, on ten-horned Beast, under last head, makes drunk the nations

with her poison-cup.





reigns of the two Severi; the 4th, the famine, pestilence, and murderous wars of the æra of Gallienus; the 5th, Diocletian's persecution ; the 6th, the overthrow of Paganism and its empire by Constantine.- Again of the Trumpets, the 1st is explained of Alaric ; the 2nd, of the Gothic and Vandal desolators of the Empire that followed, down to Genseric; the 3rd, of the extinction of the Hesperus, or Western Emperor, by Odoacer ; the 4th, of the


of Totilas, whereby Rome received its last desolations; the 5th, of the Saracens ; the 6th, of the Turks.-In most of which particulars I conceive Mede to have made advances to the true interpretation : adjusting the 5th and 6th Seals, as he did, to the times respectively of Diocletian and Constantine, not of Claudius and Diocletian like Brightman ; while following Brightman mainly in the exposition (the Rome-referring exposition) of the four Seals previous :' and also in the four earlier Trumpets, instead of Brightman's “contention, ambition, heresy, and war," applying the emblems to prefigure the successive epochs in the Gothic desolations, and overthrow of the Western Empire. In the evolution, however, of the particular details, he seems to me unsuccessful : the one third of the four first Trumpets having no definite explanation ; and the land, sea, and rivers being expounded loosely and figuratively, so as I have stated in my Vol. i. pp. 329. The two prophetic periods in the fifth and sixth trumpets are explained by him, as are all the other prophetic periods, on the year-day principle : the locusts' 150 days of the ravages of the Saracens on the Italian coast from a.d. 830—980 ; a solution certainly anything but happy :2 the Euphratean horsemen's hour day month and year, much more happily, of the 396 years' interval, from the Turkman's investiture with the sword by the Caliph at Bagdad, A. D. 1057, to the destruction of Constantinople, A. D. 1453.3 In his reference of the smoke and sulphur of the sixth trumpet to the Turkish cannon, he well follows Brightman : explaining the figures definitely, and according to the analogy of Scripture prophecies, from visible appearances : and adds too, as


On the third Seal, I should observe, Mede, though explaining it to refer to the times of Severus, yet makes it signify, not as Brightman, a scarcity then occurring, but the justice and procurations of corn by the Emperor.

* All the main strength of the Saracens had in 830 past away, as I have shown in my Chapter on the subject.

3 See my Vol. i. p. 499, Note 8.

illustrative of the meaning of the emblem in the fifth trumpet, a notice from Pliny of the flowing hair of the Saracens, on the same interpretative principle.

But now comes what seems to me to have been the most unfortunate, as well as most striking novelty in Mede's Commentary : viz. his explanation of the Little Book in Apoc. x, as a new and distinct prophecy from that of the seven-sealed Book : the Covenant Angel's descent and lion-like cry, the seven answering thunders, the Angel's oath, and the giving John the book to eat, being merely introductory to, and the ushering in of, this new prophecy. “The former prophecy,” says he, was of the fates of the Roman Empire; this, by far nobler, of the fates of religion and the Church.2 Hence, besides a departure from all simplicity of Apocalyptic arrangement, the setting aside also of that which had been the most striking and admirable feature in the Protestant Commentaries of the preceding æra ; viz. the application of the vision of the Covenant Angel's descent, of the prophesying again, and of the measuring of the temple, more or less to the Reformation. Reasons Mede gives none; except that the charge “Thou must prophesy again” indicated a new prophecy : that which assuredly the word prophesy need not indicate : 3 and which involves the setting aside of the representative character of St. John; a view so early taken, so long cherished, and so exceedingly applied by the Reformers on this particular passage, though never indeed fully carried out. Unfounded, however, as was Mede's view of this vision, and of the Little Book, it has been repeated and perpetuated by Apocalyptic Expositors, to the great obscuration of the Apocalypse, even to the present day. The prophecy of the Little Book thus introduced, Mede begins its development by the further very singular interpretation, first of the measuring of the inner court and temple, then of casting out the outer court and not measuring it, as indicating two chronologically-successive states of the Church, of lengths propor

"A principle which I have expanded in my application of the fifth Trumpet to the Saracens.

2 E. g. mark how the sounding of the 7th Trumpet, which belongs to the sevensealed Book, and is related Apoc. xi. 15, cuts into the prophecies of the Little Book. See the Tabular Scheme.

3 See my Vol. ii. p. 146, &c. * Alike Jurieu, Vitringa, Bishop Newton, and in our own days Cuninghame, Faber, &c, have more or less followed Mede in the view.


tional : 1 the first the more primitive Church of the first three or four centuries, which was conformed to the rule of God's word ; the second that which succeeded, and was in character gentilized and apostate.

With which latter coincide the 1260 days, or years, of Christ's two Witnesses' prophesying in sackcloth : the two signifying many, or sufficient at least to keep up a valid testimony.-So Mede comes to the clause, Apoc. xi. 7: When they shall have completed,” or, as he renders it, “when they shall be about finishing their testimony, the Beast shall kill them,” &c: a passage which he construes as predicting what was still in his time future ; and that which would immediately precede the fall of Papal Rome. For the tenth part of the city, whose fall is mentioned immediately after the Witnesses' resurrection and ascension, (ascension to political eminence, says Mede) is made by him to mean the city of modern Rome, as being but the tenth size of ancient Rome ; a notion which he illustrates by an ichnographical plate, exhibiting the comparative size of the two cities.

In Apoc. xii the vision of the Woman and Dragon is explained of Constantine's war with, and overthrow of, the Roman Pagan Emperors and Paganism.-In Apoc. xiii and xvii the first Beast is the Roman Secular Empire, or Decem-regal Body of Western Christendom,2 under the Pope, as the Beast's last ruling head :3 the five heads of the old Roman Empire, that had fallen in St. John's time, being Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, and Military Tribunes, so as they had been interpreted by Fulke, Foxe, and others; the 6th, or head reigning when St. John saw the vision, the Imperial Cæsars ; (Cæsars then Pagan, but destined in time to be changed into Christian Cæsars, which last might be reckoned a new head to the Beast, says Mede, or might not ;4) the seventh the Popes: the Beast's deadly wound having been sustained in passing from the sixth to the seventh or last head. 5—The second Beast was the Pope and

See the Tabular Scheme. 2 " Bestia decem-cornupeta seu Secularis, est Universitas illa decem plus minus regnorum in unam denuo Rempublicam Romanam, redintegratâ Draconis impietate, coalescentium.” He adds that all the horns were on the 7th or last Head. Pp. 498, 499.

3 " Decem illa regna, Pseudoprophetæ capitis sui auspiciis, cum Agno pugnabunt." So on Apoc. xvii. 16.

* See my Vol. iii. p. 103. 5“ In transitu à sexto capite ad novissimum Bestia lethali vulnere occubuit." P. 501.

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