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Destroyer is directly opposite to Jesus the Saviour; but he who in his character is directly oppofite to Jesus Christ is the Antichrift.
In 2 Theff. ii. 3. Antichrist has the same name given him as in this hieroglyphic. He is called the son of perdition, the very fame Apollyon in the Greek language which is applied to him here: But that passage in 2 Theff. ii. 1,-12. shall be fully considered when we come to chap. xiii.
These locusts were not, like the natural locusts, to hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only men. By this part of the hieroglyphic it is declared that they are not natural locusts, but only persons symboli. cally represented by them. They were not to hurt the faints, but they were to hurt the citizens of the Roman empire. They were to hurt only those men who have not the seal of God in their forehead. All those sealed ones mentioned in chap. vii. that is, all real Christians, whom the Lord knows to be his, and who naming the name of Christ depart from iniquity, should receive no real hurt from these locusts and scorpions.
It was not the intention of these locuits to abftain froin hurting the fealed fervants of God, nor to hurt the citizens of Rome; but they were commanded to do in fact the very opposite of what they intended to do, and probably believed they were doing. Their errors and vices should be
overruled and restrained by the unseen superintending hand of Divine providence, so as to save from their infectious influence all real Christians.
During this period, they should have no power to kill men; but they should vex and torment them in such a manner as to render life itself a burden to them; and to make them even wilh for death, rather than live in such torment.
This particular power of tormenting men was granted to them for the space of five months. This period of five months is inseparably connected with two things : First, with the power granted to the locusts to torment men, as distinguished from and opposed to the power of killing them, verse 5th. And second, with the character of their king as a stat or minister of religion, as distinguished from and opposed to his character as a beast of prey or tem. poral king, rer. 10, 11. But what period of time is signified by five months, and when do these five. months commence and terminate? Without a precise answer to each of these questions, the time of five months mentioned in this hieroglyphic cannot convey any information to our minds. A precise and determinate answer may be given to them both. In the symbolical, which is the language of prophecy, five months fignify 150 years. These 150 years were to commence at the time the star" should fall from heaven to the earth, and at the
time when the locusts should receive power to torment men, which two events should be contemporaneous.
Having thus fixed their commencement, it must be evident that their termination must be just 1 50 years after that time. But their termination is fixed also by two contemporaneous events. The one is the time when these locusts shall have power not only to torment, but also to kill men; and the other is when their king should not only be a star but also a beast of prey. The first of these events being fixed for the commencement, and the last for the termination of the five months; if it Mall appear from the history of these events that there were exactly 150 years between them, that fact must prove that this account of the time signi. fied by the symbol five months, is the right one.
As we shall frequently meet with predictions of times in this book, as the right knowledge of the fymbolical or prophetic manner of expressing times is one of the best helps to understand this book, and every other prophetic book in which periods of time are mentioned; and as this is the first place in which a period of time is mentioned in this book, it will be necessary and proper thatl here explain the nature of the symbolical language relative to time.
It was formerly shewn in what manner, in that language, intellectual, moral, and spiritual objects are signified by material and visible ones. But
sometimes sometimes it is necessary to represent an object by a symbol of the same species with the thing fignified by that symbol. In particular this is the case with time. Of absolute time our idea is as inade: quate and confused as it is of eternity, which probably is the best expression for absolute time. Our idea of time therefore, so far as it is adequate and distinct, is of relative time. And this idea is formed by some measure of a certain definite proportion of time. The most natural measure of relative time, and which all nations 'have adopted, is the circuit of this globe from one point in the ecliptic until it returns to the same point, by which a solar year is measured. This, as being a kind of natural, or at least universal measure of time, is called a time in the symbolical language. It is thus used in chap. xii. 14. and in Daniel vii. 25. Thus a time signifies a year, not a natural nor civil year, but a prophetic year, that is, a year confifting of 360 prophetic days. When any thing is res presented by a symbol of the same kind with itself, the greater is always represented by the lesier. The reason of this is, that the symbolical language, when written in its proper chiaracters, was a kind of painting or drawing, and that the pictures might be contained in any convenient bounds in the books: written in that language, it was necessary that they should always be much less than the things they represented. Hence in the spoken symbolical lan
guage, the symbol is always the lesser, and is called the lesser; and the thing signified is the greater; and is called the greater, whenever the symbol and the thing fignified are of the same species. Thus, if one city is represented by another, a small city is the symbol of a larger city. Thus an. cient Babylon, for her idolatry, luxury, and oppref fion of the people of God; was the symbol of Papal Rome. Thus chap. xiv. 8. Rome is called Babylon that great city, and chap. xvii. 5. Babylon the great, to shew that it is not antient Babylon which is meant, but the city and empire of which antient Babylon was the symbol. Thus, with respect to time, a day is the symbol for a year, because both of them are measured by the revolutions of the same planet; the former by its diurnal, and the latter by its annual revolution; and as the former is the lefser, it is, according to the idiom of that language, the symbol of the latter, which is the greata er. Accordingly, in facred scripture we are repeatedly told, that a day signifies a year in prophetic language, Numbers xiv. 34. “ yfter the " number of the days in which ye searched the “ land, even forty days, each day for a year, “ shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years. “ Ezek. iv. 4,-0. “Lie thou also upon thy " left side, and lay the iniquities of the house of Il“rael upon it, according to the number of the days * that thou shalt lie upon it, thou shalt bear their Vol. l.