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in the following chapter begin, or whether the different visions are to be regarded, as in many cases, referring to the same period of time under different aspects, such as the Papal oppression of the Western Church and the Mohammedan oppression of the Eastern; and so are visions which, if not altogether synchronous, do in some degree overlap each other in almost all cases.
The first and most natural conclusion in reading any book is, that the events occur in consecutive order ; but it is soon perceived that this will not apply to the successive visions of the Apocalypse, the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of which, in their middle portions, refer to the same prophetic period of 1,260, and must therefore necessarily be parallel, and not consecutive, visions; and many similar instances of synchronism occur to every student. Mede did much towards determining this principle, and we could wish that Mr. Faber had followed Mede in this respect more closely than he has done, for we think that the partial abandonment of this principle is the weak point in Mr. Faber's system of interpretation. We might at first be disposed to concede the point, for which Mr. Faber contends in opposition to Mede, “ that as the seventh seal comprehends all the seven trumpets, so the seventh trumpet comprehends all the seven vials” (vol. i., p. 254), in general terms; but when the consequence is deduced, that the action of the seals has ceased when that of the trumpets has begun, this is a consequence which we cannot admit; for we believe that the action of the seventh chapter-of sealing the servants of God-subsists through the whole of the visions, being referred to expressly (ix. 4) during the action of the trumpets and (xiv. 1) the final triumph. And therefore on this point we rather agree with Mr. Cuninghame, who says, “ that the commonly received interpretation of the sixth seal is erroneous, and that it refers not to anything that took place in the time of Constantine, but to the final revolution which is to precede the second advent of our Lord......that Rev. vi. 12-17, and xi. 15-19, are completely synchronical...... that I agree with all the later interpreters of prophecy in thinking that the seventh trumpet sounded at the era of the French revolution. And as I have already endeavoured to show that the earthquake of the sixth seal is the same with that of the seventh trumpet, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that, if these opinions be correct, the sixth seal also commenced at the revolution in France, and the earthquake therein mentioned is to be applied to that revolution.”— Cuninghame, p. 24.
It would be obviously impossible, within our narrow limits, to do justice to Mr. Faber's argument, or state out fully our own objections; and we have only referred to this difference of opinion in order that it may not be used as an argument against the interpretations of all modern writers on prophecy, by pointing to the disagreement between two of the most eminent of them. Truth is many-sided, and men may agree in general principles, yet be at issue concerning some of the details; and all the writers we allude to are agreed on the broad general principle that the Apocalypse is designed for the instruction of the Church throughout all ages, and the warning her against particular forms of evil, and especially that of the Papacy; and that this instruction and warning would be more necessary than ever in the last days, and in proportion as the end draws near; for judgment shall begin at the house of God: and what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel ? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Mr. Faber, commencing his sacred calendar of seven prophetic times—the times of the Gentiles, or of the four great Gentile empires, with the era of the metallic image (Dan. xi. 31, B.C. 657), makes the opening of the first seal of the Apocalypse to take place thus early: and beginning thus early, there is time enough for all the seals to find corresponding events, and the four first of the trumpets also, and yet leave the fifth trumpet applicable to the Turkish power, to which, by universal consent, it has been fixed by the locusts and other characteristic marks of devastation and time. Mr. Faber fixes A.D. 604 for the bisection of his grand period of seven prophetic times, or 2,520 years, and the consequent commencement of the 1,260 years of the Papal apostasy, which is symbolized by the little horn of Dan. vii. 25; and the Mohammedan imposture, or the little horn of Dan. viii. 9, he fixes A.D. 608. Both these dates, we think, need correction, as we believe the edicts of Justinian, A.D. 533, which was a date first pointed out by Mr. Cuninghame, form by far the most striking fulfilment of all the prophetic requirements concerning the Papacy; and their own era of the Hegira, A.D. 622, ought, as a matter of course, to be taken as the chronological mark of the commencement of the Mohammedan scourge of the Church. The seventh trumpet Mr. Faber makes to have sounded A.D. 1789, when the French revolution began, so that here he coincides with Mr. Cuninghame; and the year 1864 is fixed upon for the termination of the sacred calendar, or the times of the Gentiles.
For further satisfaction on these points we must refer our
readers to Mr. Faber's volumes, where they will find thorough knowledge, great learning, strict integrity, and Christian temper, all brought to bear on this most important subject. And few we suppose will take up these volumes without gratefully remembering the many other important services which have been rendered to the Church by the venerable author. In the latest of his writings—the “ Provincial Letters"-we find the same vigour of mind and stronghold of the truth which characterized his earlier productions. Long may he continue to enjoy it, and thus have the power, as we know he has ever the will, to step forth, like another Entellus, whensoever a boaster has to be silenced, or his country needs a champion.
ART. VIII.- A New Spirit of the Age. Edited by R. H.
HORNE, Author of " Orion." Two vols. London: Smith, Elder, and Co.
WE were prepared to receive a remarkable book from the hands of Mr. Horne, and we are only just to him and to ourselves in saying that we have not been disappointed. The author of an epic poem published at a farthing would not degrade himself into the humble and unattractive proprieties of common sense; he would feel, with a very celebrated ridiculer of dull poems in a former century, that the peculiar advantage of being considered a wit consists in the greater freedom which that character affords; and perhaps, in some still hour of reflection, he might remember another saying of the same person, not less deserving of recollection--that false critics rail at false wits, as impostors perpetually caution the public to beware of counterfeits, and never cease to decry the cheats of others, in order to make more way
for their own. The book which Mr. Horne has presented to us is styled, with a modesty and reserve that are quite touching, A New SPIRIT OF THE AGE. The child of many fathers, it seems to have enjoyed the rare privilege of adoption, and to have been nurtured into maturity for the printing press under the paternal solicitude of Mr. Horne. Whether in any particular features it be possible for a familiar eye to trace an interesting resemblance to the physiognomy of“ Orion,” or whether the education and shaping of a very ill-grown and inharmonious MS. be the only obligation under which this “ New Spirit” lies to its editor, is a question calculated to suggest many ingenious historic doubts, if a Walpole or a Whately were inclined to take up the enquiry.
We turned to the subject, to which the title-page of these volumes allured us, with considerable interest. Whatever be the faults, the vices, the misfortunes of the present age, it has a decided character: its features may be repulsive, but they are marked—its expression may be effeminate, but it is original. The most indifferent spectator could not mistake this century for the preceding. In its impudence, its audacity—in its hypocrisy, in its activity, in its universality, in its utilitarianism-in each and in all it claims the distinction of originality. If any age demands a censor, it is our own— -a censor whose praise should be awakened only by the love of the pure and the true, and whose indignation should be kindled by nothing, except
“ The strong antipathy of good to bad." This representation of the spirit of our times embraces two collections of persons, arranged, or rather disarranged, according to the impulse of the contributors in sending their MSS. to the editor, or the pleasure of the editor in transmitting them to the printer. It ought, indeed, to be observed, that in these volumes we only possess a specimen of what a literary artunion proposes to accomplish in future days; only a single brick of that splendid palace of criticism and philosophy which these associated architects are engaged to construct; only one plate of that magnificent glass in which the form of the agereligious, poetical, romantic, scientific—is to be reflected in all its graceful amplitude of stature and glowing consciousness of beauty. It might, therefore, seem to be unjust to complain of the superficial lightness of the subjects thus introduced to our notice, when a superstructure of so much dignity and strength is promised to the reader, upon the single condition of his admiring the foundation. Genius, we know, is guided by its own internal radiancy of judgment, and despises all ordinary means of propulsion, since its wheels are instinct with the faculty of motion. In objecting, therefore, to the construction of these books, we are summoning the writers before a tribunal whose jurisdiction they deny, and subjecting them to the action of those laws of common sense which it is the impelling passion of their minds to repeal ; we shall therefore only observe, that while in the works of other architects it is usual to lay the foundation, and to raise the turrets upon the fabric, in the present instance we behold the architectural practice reversed, and the turrets suspended in the absence of a foundation. The boast of the Italian architect is realized once more-Horne treads
the heels of Michael Angelo: and in the “Spirit of the Age," as in
the cathedral of St. Peter, magnificent domes of visionary speculation are seen hanging in the air, in all the sublime vastness of vacancy.
The contents of the first volume might have furnished some interesting topics of enquiry and reflection. We have Dickens, Lord Ashley, and Southwood Smith, the “ Ingoldsby Legends," Mr. Landor, the Howits, Dr. Pusey, James, Gore, Marryat, Trollope, Talfourd, and others. Amid a very considerable quantity of objectless composition we meet with one very just remark
Mr. Wordsworth:-“ He wrote many poems that are trivial and puerile, or mere trash. Not a doubt of it. There stand the very poems still in his works-anybody can see them—the ungrateful monuments of a great poet. Weakness reared by his own hands and kept in repair to his latest day.” This is well thought and well uttered. Mr. Wordsworth has fought for his errors as if he had been defending the altar and flame of poetry—the washing-tub and the abbey of Tintern seem to be alike dear to his affections; he has furnished from his own wings of imagination the feathers that are to waft the arrows of criticism, and has defaced the sumptuous beauty of his singing robes by the decorations of childhood which, in the waywardness of his obstinacy, he has fastened upon them. Hence it has happened that the fiercest opponent to the triumphal progress of Wordsworth has been Wordsworth himself, and his own hand has supplied the sword which so long barred
-and perhaps still continues to bar-his entrance into the garden of national glory. It cannot be affirmed by the author of the “ Excursion," as of the “ Tempest,” that the sublimity of his genius kept no certain rout, but rambled at hazard into all the regions of human life and manners. It is the peculiarity of Wordsworth that he always recedes from the actor into the spectator, and contemplates life rather in its element of conception than of performance. Nor is the life upon which he thus lingers the heroical or the picturesque. We hesitate to believe, whatever some passages of his writings may seem to intimate, that the story of " Cambucian bold” would have received a happy continuation from his pen, or that he would have sung with any rapturous abandonment
“Of Camball and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,
On which the Tartar king did ride." We should look for a louder blast upon the enchanted trumpet from that remarkable person, of whom a slight sketch