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he is to live till the pouring out of the laft Vial, when Rome or Babylon fhall be deftroyed by the Earthquake, and the Beaft and falfe Prophet being taken at the Battle of Armageddon, fhall be caft into the Lake burning with Fire and Brimftone, Rev. 11. 14. 19. 20. To this feveral Anfwers have been given. Some fuppofe that by the 42 Months, whereby the Times of the Beaft are measured, are meant Lunar Months (the Moon being the Regent and Governefs of the Night or Darkness, a proper Emblem of Antichriftianifm, 1 Theff. 5.5. Prov. 4. 19. Eph. 5. 11, &c.) which do not amount to three Solar Years and a half, by the space of about twenty Days, which they allot to the third Woe; and befides that, the fhortnefs of the Time allotted for its Completion is hinted at by the Expreffion of coming quickly, or speedily, Rev. 11. 14. Others, with greater probability,would even truly fuppofe, that the Witneffes fhall begin their Teftimony before the Beast's Reign, and fhall by their Preaching prepare the World againft his Coming; and that, though they fhould both be the fame fpace, yet the one commencing before the other, muft by confequence end before it ; and fo the void fpace of the latter Period may be allotted to the third Woe, or laft Vials. And better Accounts may probably be given by those who are more exercised in the Knowledge of adjufting Times and Seafons, which I am not much concern'd
about, as being not effential to the Truths I am contending for.
§ 23. THE Death of the Witneffes feems The Death to be the laft Inftance or Act of Antichri-of the Witftian Cruelty, and feems to determine a the End of neffes and certain Period in which the Church is per-the Beasts fected, and fixed in a State of Triumph Reign. and Security, reprefented by à Sea of Glafs mingled with Fire, whereupon were standing thofe that had gotten the Victory over the Beast, and over his Image, and over his Mark, and over the Number of his Name, having the Harps of God, and finging the Song of Mofes the Servant of God, and the Song of the Lamb *: As on the other Rev. 15. hand thofe that had worshipped the Beaft: and received his Mark, feem to be perfected in the Mystery of Iniquity, and are accordingly reprefented as ripe for Vengeance,and the full Measure of the Wrath of God poured out of the Seven Vials, Rev. 15. 1. 16. 1. And I cannot but think that the serious Contemplation of this notable Period will afford us a more effectual Solution of the above-mention'd Difficulty (viz. the Times of the Third Woe) than any nice Difquifitions in Chronology. I. Then the Forty Two Months of the Beaft Rev. 13. 5. do not feem to limit his Duration or Continuance under the Notion and Gharacter of a Temporal Prince or Governour, but as he is more Emphatically Antichift, an Oppofer of God and Perfecutor of his Church; and this feems to be the true Import of the Word more in the Original; (i.e.) he fhall act in his Antichriftian
Spirit and Power, oppofing and perfecuting the Church. And fo the Marginal Readings of the English Bible render it, be shall make War. So then when the Church fhall be delivered and his Perfecution shall be at an end, as it is Rev. 15. 2, 3. He may then be properly faid, and his Forty Two Months be expired; and fo the shortning of the Time obferved by the Evange lifts, is with a peculiar regard to the Violence of the Perfecution, Mat. 24. 21, 22. Mark, 13. 19, 20. which Perfecution must end, and the Church be in Peace before the pouring out of the Vials, though he himself muft continue till the Effufion of the laft, as was before obferved. II. The Prophecying of the Witneffes 1260 Days, and the Church's being fed in the Wildernefs for a Time, Times, and half a Time, i. e. Three Years and an half, as it is ge nerally interpreted, Rev. 12. 14. may be fairly fuppofed to fynchronize and run parallel to the Forty Two Months as before interpreted. And III. There is no Neceffity that the Effufion of the Vials fhould belong to any part of the Forty Two Months, but to begin upon their Expiration, as being the gradual Steps whereby God (by the Hands of fome of his Servants that had ftood out their Time of Tryal under him, and were now in a State of Triumph, and reprefented as Angels coming out of the Temple, probably the inward Court in which the Righteous were fhut
up) will destroy Antichrift and all his Followers.
By this Period of Time thus differently expreffed, I cannot but think are meant Natural Days, Months, and Years, as finding no Reafon to the contrary; befides that I have the Authority of almoft all the Ancients upon this Head, whom I have occafionally referred to. However, far be it from me that I fhould depretiate the Learned Labours of those who have endeavoured to prove the contrary, viz. that thereby are to be understood Days and Months of Years, &c. if they have prov'd their Point, applying it to the Duration of the Antichriftian Church or Myftical Body of Antichrift; yet that will not at all weaken my Affertion, that by the fame are to be understood Natural Days, as I apply them to the Perfon of Antichrift, but will only help to make the Correfpondence between the Myftical and Natural Body of Antichrift the more remarkable and Myfterious; if the Duration of the Spiritual Tyranny of his Myftical Body be limited to the fame number of Years, as that of his Perfon or Natural Body is of Days; though even these must acknowledge that if by the times of Antichriftian Perfecution be meant 1260 Years, it will be fomething difficult, if not impoffible, to give an Account how that Time fhould be called a fhort Time. Rev. 12. 12. as our Bleffed Lord promifes, Mat. 24. 21,22. Mark, 13. 19, 20.
Places of § 24. THIS Grand Crifis of the Church