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This seems to be the true time of the death of the witnesses, * a prophecy which contains many particulars towards the concluding part of it, that have never yet been fulfilled, and cannot be accomplished until “they shall bave finished their testimony," which was to continue as long as the reign of antichrist, that is,

1260 years,

This dreadful persecution, for the greater efficacy of it, will break out with little immediate warning or expectation of it beforehand; which seems to be the meaning of our Saviour's words in this place.--" Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is be that watcheth, and keepeth bis garments, lest be walk naked, and they see his shame." The only notice of it will be the warning here given in this prophecy, and coming from the mouth of Christ himself, it must be deemed of the utmost im portance, and the occasion for it very great, since no words can press upon us in more af fecting terms, a vigilant and resolute firmness

+ See Section vii. p, 202.


in abiding by the strict line of our duty, let the conséquences be what they will.

It was for this reason that this divine

prophecy was written, and a blessing pronounced upon all them who read and reflect seriously upon it, as "a light shining in a dark place," and a sure interpreter of the signs of the times, in critical periods of peculiar danger to our souls, from the insidious attempts of the enemies of Christ and his saints. And as it was in the plagues of Egypt, so it will again be in those upon GREAT BABYLON. that feared the word of the Lord servants of Pharoah, made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses. And he that regarded not the word of the Lord, left his servants and his cattle in the field.” . To true christians, the existing symptoms of the near approach of this afflictive time, ought to be a sufficient motive to fortify their souls with that celestial armour of faith and patience, which Christ will supply in answer to their prayers; lest through neglect they walk naked, -renounce their God and their conscience,

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and their everlasting shame and punishment be exposed to the sight of men and angels, attentive spectators of this awful conflict. .


The term prophetically fixed for the triumph of infidelity and idolatry, during which the bodies of the witnesses lie in a state of political death, in the street of the great city, but without burial, is three years and a half. And now the power of the DRAGON and FALSE PROPHET to afflict and utterly extinguish the church of Christ, seems fixed upon so firm a basis, and the destruction of the protestant beresy so near a perfect accomplishment, that rejoicings and mutual congratulations pass between them, upon the happy occasion of the perfect restoration of the true holy roman catholic church and faith. * But now is God's time to interfere, when without a divine and providential interposition, true religion must have been overwhelmed, and banished from the face of the earth.

* Rev, xi. 10,

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Some unexpected turn of affairs, directed by the wisdom, and succoured by the almighty power of Divine Providence, effects a sudden and great revulsion in the public sentiment and feelings.

The witnesses are not only raised to political life, (in spite of the watchful jealousy and the cruel exertions of their enemies to prevent it,) but they are “called up to

, heaven," or to the re-possession of their former authorities and powers, by the acclamation of the protestants, with determined resolution issuing unanimously from their places of concealment. A mighty conflict at arms ensues, and victory at last declares in favor of the weaker party. * :

The drying up of the great river Euphrates, " that the way of the KINGS OF THE EAST


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* It is certain that this prophecy of the resurrection of the witnesses, and their being called up to heaven by a great voice, and ascending up thither in the sight of their enemies, who are unable to prevent it, has never yet been fulfilled; the facts pointed out as the fulfilment of it not corresponding in all the particulars, nor in any of them but very imperfectly. It must of course be referred to a late period of time, and, as Bishop Newton observes, the later the better."

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might be prepared," seems to have a close and intimate connection with these events; and thus becomes one of the plagues of the spiritual Pharoah.*

It is not impossible that the jews, (now resuscitated from the valley of the dry bones, and reconciled to their Messias,) may have a principal band in this mighty revolution, and thus the Two WITNESSES (both persecuted by the same adversary) may unite in their common defence. Many prophecies quoted in the preceding pages, strongly intimate that the Jews will again be exhibited to the admiring world as a warlike and irresistible people, and that the fear of them, taught by the vengeance of the destructive sword, shall fall upon their once insulting and cruel enemies.t

This severe contest for existence on the one side, and on the other for the entire conquest and extermination of the weak remainder of heretical pravity and audacity, is called (from

* See Sect. vi



+ See Sect. vi. p, 154, 166, and 171, &c.

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