§ EXAMINATION OF BOSSUETS DOMITIANIC,
OR CHIEF ROMAN CATHOLIC PRÆTERIST, APOCALYPTIC SCHEME. 
It may probably at once strike the reflective reader that if the chronology of Bossuets scheme, extending as it does from Domitians time to fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century, do in regard of the supposed Roman catastrophe abundantly better suit with historic fact than the German Neronic or Galbaic Præterist Scheme, it is on the other hand quite as much at disadvantage in respect of the other, or Jewish catastrophe. For surely that catastrophe was effected in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, above 20 years before Bossuets Domitianic date of the Apocalypse: and all that past afterwards under Hadrian was a mere rider to the great catastrophe.
But to details. And here at the outset Bossuets vague generalizing views of the five first Seals meet us; as if really little more than the preliminary introduction on the scene of the chief dramatis personæ, or agents, afterwards to appear in action; viz. Christ the conqueror, War, Famine, Pestilence, Christian Martyrs: followed in the 6th by a preliminary representation, still as general, of the impending double, or rather treble catastrophe, that would involve Christs enemies; whether Jews, Romans, or those that would be destroyed at the last day. A view this that even Bossuets most ardent disciples will, I am sure, admit to be one not worth detaining us even a moment: seeing that, from its professedly generalizing character, the whole figuration might just as well be explained by Protestants with reference to the overthrow of one kind of enemy, as by Romanist of another. - Nor indeed is there anything more distinctive in his Trumpets: with which, however, he tells us, there is to begin the particular development of events. For, having settled that the Israelitish Tribes mentioned in Apoc. vii. mean the Jews literally, (the 144,000 being the Christian converts out of them,) and so furnish indication that they are parties concerned in what follows in the figurations, (though the temple, all the while prominent in vision, is both in the 5th Seal before, and in the figuration of the Witnesses afterwards, construed by Bossuet, not of the literal Jewish temple, but of the Christian Church,) he coops up these Jews, and all that is to be developed respecting them, within the four first Trumpets: - the hail-storm of Trumpet 1 being Trajans victory over them; the burning mountain of Trumpet 2 Adrians victories; (why the one or the other, or the one more than the other, does not appear;) the falling star of Trumpet 3 figuring their false prophet Barchochebas, Son of a star, who stirred up the Jews to war; (of course however before the war with Adrian, signified in the preceding vision, not after it;) and the obscuration of the third part of sun, moon, and stars, in Trumpet 4, indicating not any national catastrophe or extinction, but the partial obscuration of the scriptural light before enjoyed by the Jews, through Akibas Rabbinic School then instituted, and the publication of the Talmud. As if forsooth the light of Scripture had shone full upon them previously: and not been long before quenched by their own unbelief; even as St. Paul tells us that the veil was upon the hearts. Did Bossuet really believe in the absurdity that he has thus given us for an Apocalyptic explanation? - In concluding however at this point with the Jews, and turning to Rome Pagan as the subject of the following symbolizations, he acts at any rate as a reasonable man; giving this very sufficient reason for the transition, that they who were to suffer under the plagues of the 5th and 6th Trumpets are marked in (Apoc. ix. 20, And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:) - as idol-worshippers, which certainly the Jews were not. A palpable distinctive this which, but for stubborn fact contradicting our supposition,  one might surely have thought that no interpreter of this, or of any other Apocalyptic School, would have had the hardihood even to attempt to set aside. Only does not the statement about the unslain remnants non-repenting of them imply that the slain part had previously been guilty of the selfsame sins of idolatry?
So, passing now to the heathen Romans, with reference to their history in the times following On Barchochebas and the Talmud, the scorpion-locust of Trumpet 5 are made by our Expositor to mean poisonous Judaizing heresies, which then infected the Christian Church: (Was it not a piece of waggery, that is, mischievous merriment in Bossuet, exclaims Moses Stuart,  so to explain it?) Trumpet 6, somewhat better, the loosing of the Euphratean Persians under Sapor, that defeated and took prisoner the emperor Valerian; though it is to be remarked that Valerian was the aggressor in the war, not Sapor, and his defeat in Mesopotamia some way beyond the Euphrates. - All which of course offers no more pretensions to real evidence than what went before: indeed, its total want of anything like even the semblance of evidence makes it wearisome to notice it. Yet it is by no means unimportant with reference to the point in hand; for it shows, even to demonstration, the utter impossibility of making anything of the Seals and Trumpets on Bossuets Scheme. - Let us then hasten to what both he and his disciples consider to constitute the real strength of his Apocalyptic Exposition; viz. his interpretation of the Beast from the abyss, with its seven heads and ten horns, and of the Woman riding on it: as symbolizations respectively of the Pagan Roman Emperors, and Pagan Rome.
The notices of this Beast occur successively in Apoc. xi., xiii., and xvii. First, in Apoc. xi. the Beast is mentioned passingly and anticipatively, as the Beast from the abyss, the slayer of Christs two witnesses. Next, in Apoc. xiii. it appears figured on the scene as the Dragons successor, bearing seven heads and ten horns; (one head excised with the sword, but healed;) another Beast, two-horned, accompanying it, as its associate and minister; and its name and number being further noted as 666. Once more, in Apoc. xvii. it appears with a Woman, declared to be Rome, seated on it: and sundry mysteries are then expounded by the Angel, about its seven heads and ten horns.
Now then for Bossuets explanation. This Beast, says he, is the Roman Pagan Empire, at the time of the great Diocletian persecution; its seven heads being the seven emperors engaged in that persecution, or in the Licinian persecution, its speedy sequel: viz. first, Diocletian, Galerius, Maximian, Constantius; then, Maxentius, Maximin, and Lucinius. Of which seven five had fallen at the time of the vision; one was, viz. Maximin; another had not yet come, viz. Licinius; and the eighth, which was of the seven, was Maximian resuming the emperorship after he had abdicated. As to the name and number, it was Diocles Augustus; which in Latin gives precisely the number 666. Further, the revived Beast of Apoc. xiii (revived after the fatal sword-wound of the head that was) figured the emperor Julian; and the second Beast, with two lamb-like horns, the Pagan Platonic priests of the time, that supported him: the stated time of whose reign, 42 months, was simply a term of time borrowed from the duration of the reign of the persecutor Antiochus Epiphanes; signifying that it would, like his, have fixed limits, and be short. - With regard to the ten horns that gave their power to the Beast, these signified the Gothic neighboring powers; which for a while ministered to Imperial Rome, by furnishing soldiers and joining alliance; but which were soon destined to tear and desolate the Woman Rome; as they did in the great Gothic invasions, beginning with Alaric, ending with Totilas. At the time of which last Gothic ravager, Romes desolation answered strikingly to the picture of desolated Babylon in Apoc. xviii. - As to the woman riding the Beast, the very fact of her being called a harlot, not an adulteress, showed that it must mean heathen, not Christian Rome.
Such is in brief Bossuets explanation. Now as regards both the first Beast, and the second Beast, and the Woman too, let it be marked how utterly it fails; and this is not in one particular only, but in multitudes.
Thus as to the first Beast. - 1. The seven heads, he says, were the seven persecutors of the Diocletianic æra. But the emperor Severus, Galerius colleague and co-persecutor, as Bossuet admits, is arbitrarily omitted by him, simply in order not to exceed the seven. 2. The Beast from the abyss, being the Beast that kills the Witnesses, is made in Apoc. xi. to be the Empire under Diocletian: whereas in Apoc. xvii. the Beast from the abyss (and the distinctive article precludes the idea of two such Beasts) is explained of a head that was to come after the head than then was; this latter being Maximin, himself posterior to Diocletian. 3. The head that was wounded with the sword being, according to Bossuet, the sixth head that was, or Maximin, its healing ought to have been in the next head in order, that is Licinius. But, this not suiting, he oversteps Licinius, and explains the healed head of one much later, Julian. 4. The Beast with the healed head being Julian, the subject of the description in Apoc. xiii., the Beasts name and number ought of course to be the name and number of Julian. But no solution suitable to this striking him, Bossuet makes it Diocles Augustus; the name of the Beast under a head long previous. 5. As to this name, Diocles Augustus, it is not only in Latin numerals, which on every account are objectionable, and which no early patristic expositor ever thought of;  but, in point of fact, is a conjunction of two such titles as never co-existed; Diocletian being never called Diocles when emperor, i.e. when Augustus.  6. The Beast that was, and is not, and is to go into perdition, being the eighth, yet one of the seven, Bossuet makes to be Maximian resuming the empire after his abdication. But the prophetic statement requires that this eighth should rise up after that which was, viz. Maximin; whereas Maximians resumption of the empire was before Maximin. - 7. As to the idea of Julians hatred of, and disfavor to Christianity, answering to what is said in Apoc. xiii. of the Beast under his revived head making war on the saints, and conquering them, it seems almost too absurd to notice. In proof I need only refer to Julians own tolerating Decree about Christians;  and the behavior of Bossuets saints, i.e. of the professing Christians of the time, at Antioch towards Julian.  - 8. The contrast of the Beasts time of reigning, viz. 3 1/2 years, with Diocletians 10 years and Julians 1 1/2, might be also strongly argued from. But I pass it over cursorily; as Bossuet confesses to have no explanation to offer of it, except that it is an allusion to the duration of the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes! 
So as to the Beasts heads: and still a similar incongruity strikes one about the Beasts horns. Take but two points. First, these horns, having received no kingdom as yet, i.e. at the time of the Revelation, were to receive authority as kings mian wran meta tou qhriou, at one time with the Beast. So the doubtless true reading, and true rendering, as Bossuet allows. But how then applicable to the kings of the ten Gothic kingdoms? - kingdoms founded long subsequent to both Diocletian and Julian; and when the Roman empire under their headships, (which is Bossuets Beast,) had become a thing of the past. To solve the difficulty, Bossuet waves the magicians rod; and, without a word of warning, suddenly makes the Beast to mean something quite different from what it was before: viz. to be Rome, or the Roman empire, of a later headship than the 8th, or latest specified. Says he their kingdoms will synchronize with the Beast, that is with Rome: because Rome will not all at once [i.e. not immediately on the Goths first attacks, begun about A.D. 400] have lost its existence, or all its power!  - Yet, again, secondly, these horns were with one accord to impart their power and authority to the Beast; of course after themselves receiving this authority: i.e. as the context of the verse demonstrates, after receiving their kingdoms. But how so? Says Bossuet, because of their giving their men to be soldiers of the Roman armies, and of their settling as cultivators in the empire, and making alliances with the Roman emperors. But, as to time, could this be said of the reigns of Diocletian or Julian, when the Gothic ten kings had received no authority as kings, in the Apocalyptic sense of the word? And, so to the character of the thing, could it be said of the Gothic settlements in the empire, when sometimes terrible and destructive (like that of the Visi-Goths under Valens) that it was a giving their power with one accord to the Romans?
Then turn we to the second Beast. And let me here simply ask, How could Bossuets Pagan Philosophers, zealots that blasphemed Christ as the Galilean, answer to the symbol of a Beast with a lamb-skin covering: the recognized scriptural emblem under the Old Testament of false prophets who yet professed to be prophets of the true God;  under the New Testament of such as would hypocritically pretend to be Christians? 
Once more, as to the Woman. And here, 1. instead of the word pornh, harlot, fixing her to be Rome Pagan, so as Bossuet asserts, not Christian Rome apostatized, it most fitly suits the latter; being applied in the Septuagint to apostatizing Judah,  in Matthew to an unfaithful wife.  2. What the mystery to make St. John so marvel with a mighty astonishment, if the emblem meant Rome Pagan?  Did he not know Rome Pagan to be a persecutor; know it alike by his own experiences, and that of all his brotherhood? 3. What of the total and eternal destruction predicated of the Apocalyptic Babylon, the smoke of it going up even eiv touv aiwnav twv aiwnwn, for ever and for ever,  if there was meant merely the brief temporary desolation of Rome Pagan, in transition to Rome Papal? 4. What of its being afterwards the abode of all unclean beasts and dæmons? Would Bossuet, observes Vitringa, have these to be the Popes and Cardinals of Papal Rome? 5. Was it really Rome Pagan that was desolated by the Goths; so as Bossuet and his followers would have it? Surely, if these be a fact clear in history, it is this, that it was Rome Christianized in profession, I might almost say, Rome Papal, that was the subject of these desolations. 
As this last point is one which, if proved, utterly overthrows the whole Bossuetan or Roman-Catholic Apocalyptic Præterist Scheme, the Romanists have been at great pains to represent the fact otherwise. So Bossuet in his Chap. iii. 12-16; and Mr. Miley too, just recently, in his Rome Pagan and Papal. it is well nigh a century since the triumph of the laborum, says the latter writer in one of his vivid sketches, with reference to the epoch of Alarics first attack on Rome, And Rome still wears the aspect of a Pagan city: - one hundred and fifty-two temples, and one hundred and eighty smaller shrines, are still sacred to the heathen gods, and used for their public worship.  On what authority Mr. M. makes such an assertion I know not. Bossuet takes care not quite so far to commit himself. The facts of the case are, I believe, as follows. Constantine did not authoritatively abolish Paganism: but he so showed disfavor to it that it rapidly sunk into discredit in the empire; less however at Rome than elsewhere. With Julian came a partial and short-lived revival of Paganism; followed on his death by a reaction in favor of Christianity. But from that period up to the fall of the empire a hostile sect, which regarded itself as unjustly stripped of its ancient honors, invoked the vengeance of the gods on the heads of the Government, exulted in the public calamities, and probably hastened them by its intrigues. So Sismondi, with his usual accuracy, as quoted by Mr. Miley.  Of this sect were various members of the Roman senate. On Theodosius becoming sole emperor, i.e. emperor of the West as well as East, one of his first measures, A.D. 392, was to forbid the worship of idols on pain of death.  At Rome, however, by a certain tacit license, or connivance, heathen worship was still in a measure permitted: until 394 himself visiting Rome, and finding a reluctance to abolish what remained of Pagan rites on the part of many of the senators, Theodosius withdrew the public funds by which they had been supported. On this the old Pagan worship was discontinued:  and, the Pagan temples having in many places soon after been destroyed by the zeal of Christians, the very fact of Pagan worship having been discontinued was given by Honorius, the Western Emperor, as a reason for not destroying the temple fabrics.  - Such was the state of things when Alaric first invaded Italy. And it was only 409, after he had begun the siege of Rome, and Gods judgment began to be felt, that the Pagan faction or sect, spoken of by Sismondi, stirrred up: and raising the cry that the calamity came in consequence of the gods of old Rome having been neglected,  prevailed on the authorities, including Pope Innocent himself, to sacrifice to them in the capitol and other temples.  But this was a comparatively solitary act. As the judgment of the Gothic desolations went on, it was only in secret that the worship of the heathen gods was kept up. and this in reference to such more trivial Pagan rites, as taking auguries, that is the interpretation of omens.  The dominant religion, that which was alone legalized in Rome, as well as elsewhere throughout the empire, and whose worship was alone celebrated openly and with pomp, was the Christian religion with the Pope as its head. Insomuch that in 450, just as the epoch of Genseric and Attila, Pope Leo, in an address to the people of Rome on St. Peter and St. Pauls day, thus characterized Rome and the Roman people: - These are they that have advanced you to the glory of being a holy nation, a chosen people, a priestly and royal city: so as that thou shouldest be, through the sent Peter, the head of the world; and with wider rule through religion than by mere earthly domination. 
Was it then Rome Pagan, or Roman incipiently Papal, that was the subject of Alarics first attack, and of the subsequent ravages of Genseric, Odoacer, and Totilas?  I think the reader will agree with me that Pope Leo himself has pretty well settled that question; and therewith given the coup de grace to Bossuets and Mileys Roman Catholic Version of the Præterist Apocalyptic Scheme.
And so I conclude my critique. In concluding, however, I must beg my readers not to forget another and quite different absurdity that attends the Scheme; viz. that of crowding all the magnificent Old Testament promises of the final promised blessedness on earth into some minimum of time after Antichrists destruction: one Apocalyptically and expressed at all, according to Bossuet;  and in Daniel only perhaps by the 45 days. But on this it will suffice that I refer my readers to the remarks on it of the Roman Catholic writers Père Lambert or Lacunza. 
 See generally, in illustration of the ensuing criticism, my sketch of Bossuets Apocalyptic Interpretation, beginning p. 239 supra.
 See my notice on this point, in the critical examination of the German Præterists, just preceding.
 Vol. i. p. 467.
 See my Vol. iii. p. 246, Note 7: and compare the Greek patristic explanations of the Beasts name and number there given; and also at pp. 137, 140, 145, 166, 167, 168 supra. The earliest Latin solution that I remember to have seen is that of Dic Lux, by Ambrose Ansbert in the viiith Century.-See p. 171 suprà.
 So Rasche on Diocletianus: Donee imperium sumeret Diocles appellatus: ubi orbis Romani potentiam cepit Græcum nomen in Romanum morem convertit, dictusque est Diocletianus. Even after his abdication he still retained the latter name. Ibid.
 Oudena goun autwn akonta prov bwmouv ewmen ilkesqai. It was almost an Edict of toleration. So Gieseler, Second Period, § 74 (Vol. i. p. 184): He took away the privileges of Christians, [i.e. privileges granted them by former Emperors above Pagans,] and forbade their teaching publicly in the schools; but in all other respects he promised to leave them unmolested. Bossuet indeed (on (Apoc. xiii. 5, And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.)- very much allows this. Du temps de Julien il ny eut aueune interruption dans le servive public de lEglise; adding however; Au reste il ny a rien eu de plus dur à lEglise que les insultes de Julien; &c. Giesler thus represents the worst that Julian did. Afterwards he was guilty of some acts of injustice towards the Christians; though often, no doubt, provoked by their unseasonable zeal. They suffered most however from the heathen governors and populace. But how little to their destruction, or subjugation, see in the next Note.
 At Antioch he bore the scoffs of the Christian populace with philosophical indifference. Gieseler, ibid. - See too the account of Gibbon; who however on subjects connected with Christianity is always to be read with caution.
 See pp. 278, 279 supra..
 Mr. Miley overcomes the difficulty by silently adopting the reading meta to qhrion, after the Beast; though a reading unauthorized by Greek MSS. and refuted by the very symbol of the horns being upon the Beasts head. See, says he, (ii. 122,) the marvelous fulfillment! The destroyers of the Western Empire of Rome were all adventurer kings, daring chiefs from the wilds of the North and North-East; who all succeeded in erecting certain fabrics of power upon the ruins of the Empire.
 Compare Zech. xiii. 4, And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:.
 Compare Matt. vii. 15, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves., and vs. 22, Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
 Isa. i. 21, How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. &c.
 Matt. v. 32, But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. And vs., xix. 9, And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery..
 Apoc. xvii. 6, And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration..
 Apoc. xix. 3, And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever..
 Of these objections to Bossuets theory I find 1, 2, 3 are urged by Lambert, ii. 329, 341, 345; and 2, 3, 5 by Lacunza, i. 241-244.
 Rome Pagan and Papal, Vol. ii. p. 103.
 Ibid. p. 108.
 So Gieseler, Vol i. p. 187; to whose account, pp. 186-191, I here refer generally.
 So Zosimus v. 38: Thn dhmosian dapanhn toiv eiroiv corhgein arhsamenuv, aphlaunonto men iereiv kai iereiai, katelimqaneto de pashv ierourgiav ta temenh.
Prudentius says, as to the number of the Pagans, that they were about the year 406, ten years after Theodosius death, vix pauca ingenia, et pars hominum varissima. Compare Baronius statement of the effect of Theodosius anti-Pagan edicts and acts, as quoted already by me Vol. iii. p. 128, Note 3. Idololatriam, ut percussum multis ictibus anguem, caput rursus extollentem penitus extinguendum curvit Theodorius.
 Ut profanos ritus jam salubri lege submovimus, ita festos conventus civium. . . non patimur submoveri: and again; Ædes, illicitis rebus vacuas, nostrarum beneficio sanctionum, no quis conetur evertere.
 So Zosimus iv. 59: Tou quhpolikou qesmou lhxantov, kai twn allwn osa thv patriou paradosiwv hn en ameleia keimenwn, h Rwmaiwn epikrateia . . Barbarwn oikhthrion gegone. So tooAugustine in his C.D. v. 23.
 Anagkaion edokei toiv ellhvizousi thv Sugklhtou quein en tw Kapitwlew kai toiv alloiv naoiv. So Sozomen ix. 6. To which Zosimus adds; s de Iunokentiov, thn thv polewv swthrian emprosqen thv oikeiav poihsamenov doxohv, laqra efhken autoiv poiein mper isasi as
characterizing those of the Senators who were most bent on sacrificing to the ancient gods; and the isasi as marking the Popes authority even at that time in Rome. His consent was needed, asked for, and indeed given.
 So Salvian, A.D. 440: Numquid non consulibus et pulli adhue gentilium sacrilegiorum more pascuntur, et volantis pennæ auguria quæruntur?
 Isti sunt qui te ad hanc gloriam provexerunt; ut gens sancta, populus electus, civitas sacerdotalis et regia, per sacram beait Petri sedem caput orhis effecta, latius præsideres religione divinà quàm dominatione terrenâ I have quoted this elsewhere Vol. iii. pp. 154, 155.
 Were the continuance of certain old Pagan rites and customs by the Roman populace an evidence of Romes Paganism, Mr. Miley must date its Christianization far later than the times of the Goths, or of Pope Gregory. In A.D. 743 we find Bouiface writing to the Pope Zachery, (see Maitlands Dark Ages, p. 155,) that reports were brought from Rome of heathenish customs celebrated in Rome hard by the Church of St. Peter: and that, seeing these things performed at Rome, he could not persuade the Germans or Franks that they were sins, or without ecclesiastical sanction. Zachary acknowledges in his Reply, that through the Devils instigation these evils had indeed ever and anon sprouted afresh.
 See p. 241.
 See pp. 254, 257, 258 suprà.
I must not omit to add here a passing notice of Professor Lees Præterist Scheme; one on certain main historic points resembling Bossuets, but with very marked peculiarities. The Scheme was originally propounded by him in a work on Prophecy printed in 1830; and to which I referred, under this head, in the 2nd and 3rd Editions of the Horæ. In 1849 he published an elaborately revised, corrected, and enlarged Edition of the Work; from which I draw the present brief sketch first given in my 4th Edition.
It is divided by Professor Lee into 3 Parts: the 1st on the Covenants; the 2nd on Daniels Prophecies; the 3rd on the Apocalypse.
The object of the 1st is to show that the covenant of promise originally made to Adam, then renewed to Noah, and then more particularly to Abraham, had reference to, and was completely fulfilled in, the establishment on earth of the Christian Church, or Church of the New Covenant: it being only the believing remnant of the Jews, to true Jewish children of Abraham, that have an interest in it, in common with his adopted children from the Gentiles; and the idea of any future millennial dispensation, in which the converted Jewish people shall have peculiar privileges and honor altogether a delusion.
As regards the time of this establishment of the Christian Church, which is the grand theme of the Old Testament prophecy, Dr. Lee infers it chiefly from the well-known prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel ix., compared with our Lords references to it in Matt. xxiv. Said Daniel, Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy; i.e. the new Holy of Holies, or Church of the New Covenant. This 70 weeks was no definite chronological term; but an indefinite period, borrowed perhaps from the 70 years of the Babylonish captivity, and of which the events would make all sufficiently clear. Which events were four: - in the first 7 weeks Jerusalem to be rebuilt; within the next 62 Messiah to be cut off; in the midst of the last 70th week the Jewish city and temple to be destroyed; and with its end the power of the desolator (i.e. the desolating Roman heathen power) to end. So Daniel. Also Christ; When ye see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, &c., then know that the end thereof is nigh; and again, in more general terms, then shall the end come: and again, Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Comparing this with Daniel it is to be inferred that the end, or time of the end, or last days, as it is called in many other prophecies, is the period coincident with the last of Daniels 70 mystical weeks: and that it comprehends within it two catastrophes; first that of Jerusalem and the Jewish reprobate nation; then that of the heathen Romans, who were Gods instrument in desolating Jerusalem. Out of which latter people other prophecies of Daniel foretold the rising of a special persecutor of Gods saints, and special blasphemer of God, with the assigned duration of 3 1/2 times; that is of the latter half, or later 3 1/2 days, of Daniels 70th week.
Then comes in the Apocalypse the development more particularly of the events of this 70th mystic week; including its two catastrophes, and the great persecutors career that was to signalize its latter half. The seven Seals, seven Trumpets, and seven Vials all synchronize; and in each of them the successive sevens have reference to, and unfold successively, the events of the seven days (= Ezekiels seven years) of this 70th week. - Thus the 1st Seal is Christ and his apostles in their successful gospel-preaching: the 2nd, the martyr-bloodshed, from the first preaching of the apostles to about the beginning of the Jewish war; the 3rd, the dearth's [Editor: maybe (deaths) - preceding the siege, and during the siege of Jerusalem: the 4th, as including the 4th day of Daniels 70th week, must consequently include and refer to the fall of Jerusalem, which was to take place in the middle of the last week: the 5th, tells of further persecutions and martyrdoms of the saints, chiefly from the heathen persecutors: the 6th, figures all Gods judgments to the end of the 70th week; judgments alike on Jews and Gentiles. Within this 6th Seal there is included the palm bearing vision of the elect out of all nations, singing the song of salvation. This however is an anticipation of the 7th Seal, figuring the sabbath of rest; and of which the half-hours silence marks the closing end. - As regards the Trumpets, without entering into full detail, the three first depict troubles until the bisecting epoch and event of the fall of Jerusalem; while the 4th Trumpet, with its 3rd of the sun smitten, marks the beginning of the distress of nations, the Jews included among the rest. The Locusts of the 5th Trumpet are a kind of commencement of the plague of the 6th: in which 6th Satan, let loose in the post-millennial loosing, (his binding having been from the commencement of the apostles preaching to the fall of Jerusalem,) gathers his powers against Christs cause and people. Next after this follows a symbolic casting-out of the Jews into the outer-court, as no longer of Gods true temple; and also a sketch of Christs witnesses as, from the time of the 1st Seal, and for all the first 3 1/2 days of the 70th week, bearing testimony for him in sackcloth and trial, until assailed in the latter 3 1/2 days of it by the Beast from the abyss, or heathen Roman power; and then being killed, but presently after revived and raised to elevation, under Constantine. - Which retrogressive and supplementary sketch being concluded, the 6th is followed by the 7th Trumpet and its closing song of triumph.
In the sketch thus given the reader sees pretty much the peculiarities and main points of Dr. Lees Apocalyptic theory. But it may be well to add a notice of one or two other matters as explained by him; more especially in Apoc. xii., xiii., and xx. In Apoc. xii. then, the travailing woman is the true Zion; the man child, Christ, in his character as the Head of the Church: while the war in heaven symbolizes Satans wrath and power, as put forth in all its energy against both Christ and Christs apostles, even to the end of the apostles lives: a power met however by a still greater power in Christ and his apostles; (as it was said, I give you power to tread on all the power of the enemy;) until at length in the destruction of the reprobate Jerusalem, till then Satans high and sacred seat, he was cast as it were to the earth; and forced to make use of the lower heathen agency against the Christian Church. So in Apoc. xiii. he raises up the Beast against the holy remnant of the womans seed; in other words, the persecuting Roman heathen power, from Domitian down to Diocletian inclusive: the which synchronizes with the latter half of the 70th week; as his war against Christians through the Jews did with the former half of it. - But now turn to Apoc. xx. According to the Professors millennial view we find that it is during the same first half of the week, and so during all his energetic warring aforesaid against the Church through the agency of heathen Roman emperors: that same persecution that is meant by the symbols of the 6th Trumpet, as well as by the symbol also of the Beast in Apoc. xiii. For the hour, day, month, and year of the one = the 3 1/2 times, the time, times, and half a time, of the other: = also Ezekiels 7 years, = the same prophets 7 months. (Ezek. xxxix. 9, And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:, 12, And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.) [See Lees Chart, facing p. 231.] Finally, the destruction of Satan and his hosts, on their compassing the beloved city, signifies the fall of Pagan Roman power: and the Apocalyptic new heaven and new earth, the Christian Church as established after Constantine.
Dr. Lee has great confidence in these views. It is as clear, says he, as words can make it that the thousand years (or millennium) must have constituted the apostolic period; and have continued to the fall of the temple, and commencement of the (heathen Roman) persecution: also that the general encompassing of the camp of the saints, the beloved city, must signify the persecutions generally under the reign of the little horn; and that the fire which consumed the besiegers can be no other than the burning flame of Daniel, in which the body of the Beast was to be consigned: and, lastly, that this destruction by fire should close this warfare and deliver up the universal and everlasting empire de facto to the Son of Man. [Ibid. p. 472.]
My respect for Dr. Lee has induced me not to pass over his Apocalyptic theory without notice. The same respect makes me glad to think that there is no such probability of its ever making way with the public, as to render necessary my criticizing it.