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such à priori notion of the thing ; but on the complete identification of the one and the other, after a rigid comparison of the Papal history, seat, character, doctrine, and doings with those of the Antichrist of prophecy. Having however shewn this, let me now explain and justify the super-added sentiment just exprest respecting the Papal system; as being, beyond anything that the Futurists have imagined, or ever can imagine, the very perfection of anti-christianism. And I will do it by simply putting a case in point. Which then, I ask, Reader, would you view with the deeper amazement and abhorrence :-an avowed open desperate enemy, sworn against your life, family, friends, property :-or one that while professing the utmost friendship, were by some strange impersonation of you, in your absence, to insinuate himself into your place in the family, seduce your wife to be as his wife,' your children to look to him as their father ; then to make use of his opportunities to train them (both wife and children) into unfaithfulness and rebellion to all your most solemn and cherished wishes and commands ; falsifying your letters and forging your handwriting, in order the more effectually to carry out his plan ; and even at length framing an image, and breathing voice into it, and by magic art and strong delusion making men believe that it was your own self speaking, in expression of perfect approval of his proceedings, as those of your chief friend, plenipotentiary, and chosen substitute ?-Such is somewhat of the view of Antichrist, sketched in Scripture prophecy : such, what has been realized in the Popes and Popedom. And horrid as was the atheism of the French revolutionists, yet must I beg leave to doubt whether in God's view it was as horrid an abomination, even at its worst, as the blasphemous hypocrisies and betrayal of Christ in the polished Court and Church Councils of his usurping Vicar and impersonator Leo X. Sharp as were the thorns and nails and spear of the Pagan soldiery, they were surely less painful to the Saviour than the kiss of Judas.?

See my Vol. ii. pp. 80, 81, and Vol. iii. p. 150.
? I have in this Paragraph quoted from my Reply to Mr. Arnold.


The Church-scheme of the Seals was made chiefly notable after the Reformation by Pareus' and Vitringa's adoption of it :1 and it has been subsequently adopted, with various modifications, by Woodhouse, Cuninghame, Bickersteth, and other English expositors.2

With regard to Vitringa I must premise that perceiving the palpable fitness, for the most part, of the symbols of the first Seal to depict the state of the Roman Empire, from Nerva's accession, immediately after the Apocalyptic revelations, to that of Commodus, he would apparently at first fain have seen his way to some consistent continuous scheme of Roman interpretation, could he have done so. But having only Mede's scheme before him, which was indefensible, and perceiving no better, he settled on that counter-scheme that I have to review :—the grand characteristic of which is to view the Seals as a series of figurations detached and complete in themselves, symbolizing the phases and fortunes of the Church, from its early origin to the consummation.

So far as regards its explanation of the first Seal with reference to the Church, it was a scheme, as we have seen, of early patristic origin. But after the first Seal, the idea of explaining the Apocalyptic horse to mean the Church was not received, I believe, or the Seals interpreted with reference to it, till Anselm of Havilburg in 1245. See p. 370 suprà.

2 Dr. Keith can scarcely be counted in the number; his peculiarities of view being too considerable. For while supposing the white horse to figure the Christian Church, he explains the red of Mahommedism ; the black of Popery ; the pale of Infidelity.

3 “ Sub bonis et laudatis principibus, à Nervà usque ad Commodum, facies Romani Imperii satis fuit æquabilis ; et emblemate, non rufi [as Mede), sed albi equi, cum sessore victorioso, figurari potuisset.” p. 310.-And, on the general scheme; “ Neque ego inficias eam, hanc interpretandi rationem ” (viz. of applying the six first Seals as a prefiguration of the fortunes of the Roman Empire, up to the Revolution under Constantine) “ magnâ se commendare specie." p. 306. He gives two additional reasons which much influenced him in its favour :-). that, except on this scheme, the immensely important revolution under Constantine seemed left unprefigured in the seven Seals :-2. that if, instead of the Constantinian revolution, the sixth Seal was made to figure the revolution at the consummation of things, (the only conceivable alternative) then the seventh Seal would seem to have nothing of prefiguration attached to it.--He proposes to obviate the latter objection by making the silence at the opening of the seventh Seal (its whole subject, according to him) signify the millennial rest : the former by reference to the vision in the xiith Chapter (i. e. in another series of the Apocalyptic figurations) as supplying the defect, and prefiguring the Constantinian revolution. Thus he satisfied himself. But his followers, for the most part, are not satisfied with it; and offer consequently modifications of the scheme, some of which will be seen in what follows of this Appendix.

As Vitringa's scheme, though in this main point like the others, has yet differences sufficiently marked to render a distinct view of it desirable, a separate diagram of it is subjoined.

And there are three things to be particularly noted in his scheme, when considered in comparison with the others :— 1st, that he insists, again and again, on the point that it is the external state of the Church, whether of the Church visible in the Roman world, or of the true Church, (for he makes the four first Seals figure the Church visible, the fifth the true Church) that is the subject of the symbolization : 2-2. that he most strongly repudiates the idea of interpreting the horse and his rider, in each of the first four Seals, separately, and of making the horse, by itself, the representative of the Church visible : his judgment being that the rider and the horse should be taken (centaur-like) together, as a composite symbol, to represent the phases of the Church :3 and that whosoever attempted more, and explained the horse, as above-intimated, by itself, would, though he might do well enough in the first Seal, find himself inextricably 4 em

· Vitringa's Scheme.

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by the

The 150 years Persecutions Mournful dissen- | Desolations Persecutions Final judg. of compara- of the Church sions of the Ch., of the Church and martyr

ment on tive peace to from Decius from 4th to 9th Visible, or doms of Christ's enethe Church, to Diocletian, century: - also Greek Christ's true mies, preserfrom Nerva inclusive. corruptions of es- Christendom, Church, i.e. of vation of the to Decius. sential evangelic

Waldenses, elect, & last doctrines, the Saracens and Bohemians, great tribubread of life, as by Turks. and early

lation. A.D.96–250. 250–310. the Arians; and

Reformers : of the doctrines of

continued Seventh grace, the Chris.


Seal. tians' wine & oil,

A.D. 1200 for as by Pelagians ;

5 centuries ; Silence in -the Church Ru

nor yet

heaven: the lers and Councils

ended. i. e. millennial holding the ba

in 1700 A.D. rest of the lance, and dis.

Church. pensing the true bread and wine.

Sigillis hisce exteriorem ecclesiæ statum depingi jam sæpius monuimus.” p. 364. - He expressly makes the true Church the subject of the 5th Seal : saying that from the calamitous state of the Eastern Churches in the fourth Seal. St. John "transit ad statum externum veræ ecclesiæ in occidentali plagâ.” Ibid.

3 “ Perspexi equum non designare subjectum rationale, sessore equi distinctum ; sed certa solummodo demonstrare sessoris attributa et proprietates.As, for example, if the rider were to represent a minister of the Divine Providence, the horse would represent the quickness of his executing the divine commands; its colour the character of the providential dispensations committed to him, p. 328.

* “ Videbam interpretes, qui per equum album hic intelligunt Ecclesiam Christi, sive apostolos super quibus dici potest vehi, vehementer laborare in sequente emblemate rectè exponendo.” Ibid.

barrassed in those that followed :-3. that he includes in his first prophetic series the seventh Seal, as itself figurative of the Millennium ; whereas most Commentators of this Church-scheme of the Seals end their first series with the sixth Seal, and make the seventh to include the seven Trumpets, and so to constitute their second series.-I must say that his declaration as to the impracticability of explaining the horse separately, amounts very nearly, as it seems to me, to a confession that he was unable, on the principle of applying the Seals to Church history, to make out a fully satisfactory interpretation of them, or at least of the four first Seals. And enough will be stated of what is applicable to Vitringa's scheme, in the examination now to be entered on, of that of the best known living commentators who have adopted an interpretation mainly similar, to confirm this view of its unsatisfactoriness.

I proceed to consider more particularly the schemes of Messrs. Cuninghame and Bickersteth :-schemes substantially the same with each other, and which alike take Woodhouse as their original; being only somewhat more elaborated. The subjoined Diagram gives a general view of them."

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Bloody perse-Souls of slain



White as in primitive purity. Croin as

of spiritual and heavenly warriors. The

riders the rulers or mi. nisters of the


cutions of true martyrs cry Spiritual Christians in for vengeance famine to the 13th century about generality, and and four fol. A.D. 1500. Scripture hid.lowing. Sword White robes But to the few kills the body. given them, real Christians Famine, spiri- about abundance of tual famine. A.D. 1552. comforting & Pestilence,

sanctifying pestilential grace of Holy doctrine, Spirit. Wild beasts,

wolves in sheep's cloth

Begins about

Begins about
A.D. 509. A.D. 1200.





A.D. 319.

A.D. 33–312.

Now by these commentators, notwithstanding Vitringa's warning, the horse is boldly taken as a separate symbol ;-to figure throughout, they say, the professing Church visible :-at which preliminary point let me caution the reader always, when the Church is named, to mark distinctly what Church is meant, and in what point of view. And, to justify its symbolization as a war-horse, this Church visible is called also by them the Church militant ; a confusion, I must say,

of two things very different ;!—in the sense (a sense, we shall presently see, that will ill bear the testing) of its being “ the Lord's instrument,” (so Mr. B. expresses it) through all the four Seals, " for subduing the kingdoms of the world to himself.” As to the riders, they are, says Mr. Cuninghame, the rulers or ministers of the Church for the time being : says Mr. B. the four Spirits of the heavens, some bad, some good, noted in Zechariah ;3 though surely the mere thought might have deterred Mr. B. from such a notion, that it makes Zechariah's fourth rider, or the fourth Spirit of the heavens, like the rider in the fourth Seal, to be Death.Then the colours of the horse they expound to signify rather the inward and spiritual state of the Church visible, than its earthly and external guise, as Vitringa : though not so, if I rightly understand them, as altogether to exclude the latter sense also.—And thus, according to them, the white horse represents this Church in its inward primitive purity and earthly course of conquest, from Christ's ascension, or the fall of Jerusalem, to Con

· So Mr. B. himself: “ The Church” (true Church) “is a gathering of his people, not only out of the world, but also out of the visible Church ; a gathering that has been going on in every age. Part of this Church is now with the Lord ; part is militant here on earth.”—Homily Sermon, p. 27. Militant, I conceive, (said of the Church) means at war with sin, the flesh, the world, the devil, as Christ's faithful soldiers; and thus is only applicable to true Christians.

3 “ The visible Church in unbroken union we see existing in the first four Seals, as the Lord's instrument for subduing the kingdoms of the world to Himself.” Prayer Book and Homily Sermon, p. 28. Both Bickersteth on the Prophecies, p. 363, and Cuninghame, p. 5, speak of the Horse as the Church militant.

3 See the diagram--The passage in Zechariah vi. 1–5 referred to for the explanation of the riders, is as follows: “ These are the four Spirits of the heavens which go forth from standing before the Lord of the whole earth ;" and follows on a vision of four chariots with their respective pairs of horses, -red, black, white, and grisled and bay: but without a word being said either of riders or drivers. In Zech. i. 8, however, there is a vision of a red horse with his rider, and of some others speckled and white.—Both prophecies are most obscure. And if the riders be explained from Zechariah's vision, should not the horses also ?

4 For notwithstanding the chronological intimation by the revealing Angel, “ I will


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