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a resurrection from the dead signifies 'a deliverance from slavery and afflictions ;' and in ch. vii. that, according to that of the Egyptians, it denotes · an emancipation of the enslaved.'
Dr. More speaks of a physical and theological resurrection, as well as of a political one. To caution the reader against mistake, I observe that a figurative resurrection, as employed in the diction of prophecy, is restricted to the latter. Thus Dr. Lancaster. Resurrection, when used symbolically, signifies, according to the Oriental interpreters, a recovery of such Rights and Liberties as have been taken away? He does not say, it sometimes signifies this, It constantly does,
Mr. Waple, after observing, that St. John's account of the witnesses in chap. xi. “is plainly taken from Ezekiel's description (ch. xxxvii.) of the restoration of the Jews from Babylon ;' who till then had seen their country deprived of its liberties, and bending under the yoke of a plundering despot; adds, that the witnesses were to perform the same offices in the Christian' church, as Joshua and Zerubbabel did for the Jewish.' Now what were the offices they performed? They eminently distinguished themselves, whilst the Jews were politically dead, by being instrumental in the promotion of public prosperity, and by re-establishing the freedom and independence of their nation, Mede, More, Vitringa, and all the best commentators, .do indeed unite in declaring, that they, as well as Moses and Aaron, are directly alluded to by St. John. Of this there can be no doubt, because a part of St. John's language' is evidently copied from what is related in the Old Testament, respecting those four celebrated Hebrews, And what is the distinction between those witnesses ? Moses sustained a political, Aaron an ecclesiastical, character. Moses emancipated the children of Israel from a
9.So Latin authors have used the word resurgo, as appears froin Qvick Pliny, and Terence.' Dr. Lancaster,
10 Verses 3, 4, 5, and 6, of ch, xi
Civil Despot; whilst it was the object of Aaron to preserve their Religious independence inviolate. Thus also it was with Zerubbabel and with Joshua. When the Jews returned from the Assyrian capital to their native land, it was the former, who established Political Freedom; whilst his contemporary Joshua asserted the rights of Religious Liberty. Now what is the conclusion which we draw from St. John having directly alluded to them? It is obvious. His direct allusion to them denotes, that the witnesses whom he describes were to be understood as sustaining a double character, as bearing witness against Civil, and against Spiritual, Tyranny. The learned Daubuz accordingly remarks in his observations on this chapter, that 'the reason why the Holy Ghost represents them under the notion of two witnesses, is to shew, not only that their tes. timony shall stand true", but in allusion to those two heads of Civil and Ecclesiastical power. Commentators, from not sufficiently attending to this, have been embarrassed, when they have endeavored to allege any satisfactory reason, why the witnesses in ch. xi. though confessedly repre. senting a large collective body of men, are spoken of (v. 3) as only two. They are accordingly compared in v. 4 to two olive trees'? and two candlesticks"); which type,' says Daubuz, plainly signified, that those two heads" did maintain the nation of the captive Jews, both as to their Ecclesiastical and Civil state ; as the olive trecs, which afford oil, do
11 At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Deut. xix. 15.
12 “ Trees, says Dr. Lancaster, in the prophetic scriptures, are often the symbols of men. And as the olive-trees in particular are remarkable for their verdure, their soundness, and the useful oil which they produce, they aptly represent the witnesses, men employed in meritorious services and for the good of mankind. See Achmetis Oneirocritica, c. 200.
13 The witnesses are not inappositely compared to candlesticks, as be. ing those who are highly instrumental in the removal of darkness, and who enlighten the public mind on the rights of conscience and on the rights of citizens.
14 Zerubbabel and Joshua.
maintain the light in the lampsis, the symbols of govern
In the same manner these two witnesses perform both offices.' But it may be observed, that as Aaron and Joshua were ecclesiastical personages, while Moses and Zerubbabel were the patrons of political liberty; the
prophecy itself teaches us not to entertain the irrational expectation, that, in the Tenth Part of the symbolic city, precisely the same individuals should always sustain this twofold character, and be equally enlighted on the subject of civil and of ecclesiastical abuses. Thus in France often have persons gloriously stood forward as witnesses against the errors and the oppressions of the national church, without opposing those which belonged to the system of government.
I have one observation more on this point. Since the two-horned and ten-horned Beasts, the representatives of religious and of political tyranny, constitute so prominent a part of the Apocalypse, and are represented as alike antichristian and alike the subjects of the Divine displeasure, it seems reasonable to conclude, that the witnesses, when spoken of as two, and as bearing testimony against what is antichristian, have a particular reference to those two symbolic personages. Is it in the least likely, that when there is a minute delineation of the civil, as well as the ecclesiastical, Beast; the account of the witnesses, occupying as it does almost a whole chapter, should not relate both to the one and to the other? Conformable to these ideas is the statement of Dr. More. “ The two witnesses in the Apocalypse are two several kinds of witnesses, as Grotius himself acknowleges ;' and the doctor elsewhere expressly declares, that they may be regarded as opposed to the two-horned and to the ten-horned Beast". That it was the opinion of some, and the two witnesses signify two different classes of persons, Cornelius a Lapide long ago observed".'
15 A Lamp, says Dr. Lancaster, “is the symbol of government.' Whence it derives this meaning may be seen in Daubuz, p. 1013.
16 Myst. of Iniq. p. 243, 403. 17 He died in 1637.
The expression, employed in v. 11. the spirit of life from God entered into them, I shall perhaps be told, plainly intimates, that both classes of witnesses will be of a religious character, and zealous worshippers. But this assertion I entirely deny. Such as are conversant in the diction of the Hebrew prophets know that it furnishes no such intimation. The expression is the same tvious Cans, here, and in the parallel passage, recently alleged from Ezekiel's. In the ch. referred to (xxxvii.) v. 14, God is represented as sayifhg, And I shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live; which exactly corresponds to the expression of St. John, the spirit of life from God, or, as it is better translated by Mr. Wakefield, the breath of life from God. The expressions both of the Jewish and the Christian prophet are intended to point out the powerful agency of divine providence"; and are such as frequently occur in the Hebrew scriptures. On the words, the breath of life from God, Daubuz remarks : this expression supposes a wonderful and unexpected effect, in which God hath more immediately resolved to shew his handy-work, or Almighty power in a singular manner. And indeed this is one peculiar mark of all the matters of the seventh trumpet, which are the work of God in a special manner : for therein he is said to take to him his great power20, i. e. to exert it.
Perhaps I shall also be told, that it is said of them (v. 3), that they shall prophesy; and that this is a word plainly inapplicable to witnesses of both descriptions. This objection is founded on error, and an ignorance of the extent of meaning, which belongs to the Greek word in the original. The word applies equally well to the Albigenses, to the early French protestants, and to the authors and defenders of the present Revolution. It is plain, that to prophesy, the word here employed by the translator, cannot in this place bear the sense almost universally annexed to
18 See the Septuagint.
19 Whenever the expression, the spirit of God, is employed in scripture, it signifies, says Maimonides, either God's influence on the prophets, or simply the will of God. More Nevochim, Pars i. c. 40.
20 XI. 17.
it in modern writings, as signifying to foretell events ; because the Deity has bestowed on man no such power since the apostolic age. But it is not sufficient to state what the word does not mean. What it does signify must also be specified. I shall accordingly transcribe on this point the statement of the accurate Daubuz. “The word prophecy signifies constantly in this book, the Testimony of the Truth and the Public Profession and Vindication of it ; which notion, as I have shewn it, is derived from the use of that word among the Hebrews2I.' To the same purpose Dr. Lancaster. “To prophesy is to bear witness or testimony to the Truth against Errors and Corruptions :' and by the French this has been done, in an eminent degree, and in the most public manner. The word prophet, employed in v. 10, has a similar signification. The primitive notion of a prophet, says Daubuz, is that of a witness of the truth. In forming the character of those concerning whom St. John speaks, zeal, he remarks, is a principal ingredient; and surely this is a quality in which the promoters of the French Revolution will not be thought to have been deficient. I have referred to v. 1. I will quote the whole of it; after observing from Daubuz, that the earth, and they that dwell upon the earth, are established phrases to signify the corrupt and antichristian part of mankind. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to an. other, because these two prophets23 tormented them that dwelt on the earth. Various are the marks of satisfaction and joy, which the corrupt and unprincipled exhibit, when they behold those, who proclaim religious, and those who assert political, truths, depressed and silenced ; for the
21 On the Rev. p. 34. Verse 3, which in the common translation runs thus, and I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth, is rendered by Mr. Wakefield, and I will appoint my two witnesses to be teachers a thousand, &c.
22 P. 874. 23 As the Greek verb ponteve is a word of larger meaning than the English verb to prophesy; in like manner the kindred word, prophet, is of more restricted import than the substantive from which it is derived.