the millennium, I trust, may be fully introduced,
and the seven thousandth year of the world may be
its great Sabbatical period.
I have said that this period ā the twelve hundred
and sixty years ā in every mention of it, terminates
with the millennium. So also does that long series
of prophecies contained in the sealed book. The
seven trumpets are all of them included under the
seventh seal ; and when the seventh trumpet was
sounded, great voices were heard in heaven, saying,
* The kingdoms of this world are become the king-
doms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall
reign for ever and ever.' The millennial period had
now fully come.
I may further add, that all the predictions in the
Revelation preceding the twentieth chapter, ter-
minate in the millennium. None of them look
beyond it. This consideration may help to a satis-
factory solution of the symbols in some of the fol-
142 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
daxiel's vision of the four beasts.
DANIEL, CHAP. WL.
THE resemblauce between some parts of Daniel's
vision of the four beasts, recorded in Daniel,
chapter vii., and John's vision of the Papal beasts,
of which we have spoken, is so striking and illustra-
tive, that we shall be indulged in calling attention
to it in this supplementary chapter.
The vision of the four beasts is, perhaps, the
most remarkable of Daniers visions. He was fa-
voured with it in the first year of Belshazzar, king
of Babylon. * I saw in my vision by night,' says
Daniel, * and, behold, the four winds of the heaven
strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts
came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
The first was Hke a lion, and had eagle's wings :
I beheld till the w4ngs thereof were plucked, and it
was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon
the feet as a man, and a man's heart 'was given to
it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a
bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had
three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it;
DANIEL'S VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS. 143
and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
After this I beheld, and lo another, Hke a leopard,
which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl ;
the beast had also four heads ; and dominion was
given to it. After this I saw in the night visions,
and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and
strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it
devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the
residue with the feet of it : and it was diverse from
all the beasts that were before it ; and it had ten
horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there
came up among them another little horn, before
whom there were three of the first horns plucked
up by the roots : and, behold, in this horn were
eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking
great things ' (Dan. vii. 2ā8).
Daniel beheld this terrible beast until it was
brought to judgment, was slain, and his body
given to the burning flame. Following this was
the universal prevalence of Christ's kingdom, or
what we call the millennium : ' And there was given
Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that
all people, nations, and languages, should serve
Him : His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that
which shall not be destroyed' (Dan. vii. 14).
A celestial visitant now comes forward, and in-
terprets the vision to Daniel. The first three beasts
144 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
represent the first three great kmgdoms of the
ancient world, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian,
and the Grecian. The fourth beast represents, I
can have no doubt, the vast empire of Rome. * This,'
says the angel, * shall be diverse from all kingdoms,
and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it
down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out
of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise : and
another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse
from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And
he shall speak great words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and
think to change times and laws: and they' ā the
saints ā ' shall be given into his hand until a time
and times and the dividing of time. But the judg-
ment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion,
to consume and destroy it unto the end. And the
kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the
kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given
to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose
kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all do-
minions shall serve and obey Him' (Dan. vii. 23ā27).
I am aware that some interpreters make Daniel's
fourth beast to denote the four kingdoms growing out
of the empire of Alexander the Great, and the little
horn to represent that great oppressor of the Jews,
Antiochus Epiphanes. But to this supposition there
are insuperable obiections. It obliges us, in the first
DANIEVS VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS. 145
place, to separate these four kingdoms from the em-
pire of Alexander ; whereas Daniel represents them
as part and parcel of it, and organically connected
with it. * Therefore the he goat (Alexander) waxed
very great: and when he was strong, the great
horn was broken ; and from it came up four notable
horns,' springing, of course, out of the head of the
same beast (Dan. viii. 8). How then can they be
made to constitute another beast ?
Then Daniel's fourth beast has ten horns, which,
on the Antiochian theory, we fail to find. The
advocates of this theory suppose them to be the
kings of Syria and Egypt, who reigned previous to
Antiochus ; but of these there were thirteen, and
not ten. Besides, the little horn of the fourth
beast is represented as springing up while the
other horns were standing; whereas the pre-
decessors of Antiochus on the thrones of Syria and
Egypt were all dead before it appeared. Then
Daniel represents three of the existing horns as
plucked up by the little horn ā a condition which
it is impossible to apply to Antiochus.
The reasons for supposing Daniel's fourth beast
to represent the empire of Rome are the follow-
ing: ā ^
1 Luther says, ' All the world is unanimous in this interpretation,'
viz., that the fourth beast of Daniel represents the empire of Rome.
See Auberlen on Daniel and Revelations, p. 168.
146 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
1. The beast, in its terrible aspect, and especially
in the number of its horns, is very like to the beast
which John saw rising out of the sea, and which
we have seen, represents Papal Rome (Rev. xiii. 1).
2. Then the great strength of Daniel's fourth beast
is much insisted on. It is * dreadful, and terrible,
and strong exceedingly.' It ' devours, and breaks
in pieces, and stamps the residue with its feet.' It
' shall devour the whole earth,' says the interpret-
ing angel, 'and tread it down, and break it in
pieces' (Dan. vii. 7, 23). In a parallel passage,
Daniel says : ' The fourth kingdom shall be strong
as iron : forasmuch iron breaketh in pieces and sub-
dueth all things ' (Dan. ii. 40). Now, all this applies
exactly to the great Roman empire, but not at all
to the kingdoms of Alexander s successors, or to
any of them.
3. Regarding these kingdoms as organically
connected with the Grecian empire, as Daniel cer-
tainly did, then the Roman empire follows imme-
diately upon the fall of the great Grecian empire ;
as that of Alexander did upon the fall of the Medo-
Persian empire, and the ^ledo-Persian upon the fall
of the Babylonian. Indeed, it was Rome which en-
gulfed and swallowed up the poor remains of the
Grecian empire. In this view, the four gi-eat empires
follow each other consecutively and analogically.
4. The Roman empire had much to do with the
DANIEL'S VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS. 147
Church of God, both before and after the commg of
Christ. Hence there is the same reason why Rome
should be noted in this notable prophecy, as why
Babylon, or Persia, or Alexander and his successors,
5. But the grand reason why we regard the
fourth beast of Daniel as setting forth the Eoman
empire is, that its ultimate downfall, in Papal
Rome, is immediately followed, as I have said
before, by the millennial kingdom. No sooner is
' its dominion taken away, to consume and destroy
it unto the end,' than ' the kingdom, and dominion,
and greatness of the kingdom under the whole
heaven is given to the people of the saints of the
Most High' (Dan. vii. 27). This, it seems to me,
is decisive as to the interpretation of the fourth
beast. Antiochus Epiphanes died one hundred and
sixty four years before the coming of Christ. But
Daniel's fourth beast is to retain and exert his
terrific power long ages after the Christian era;
and, upon his final destruction, the millennial glory
of the Church is to be ushered in.
It should be kept in mind that two little horns
are brought before us in the predictions of Daniel.
One springs from the roots of 'the king of Grecia,'
and denotes, undoubtedly, the cruel and blasphemous
Antiochus Epiphanes (see Dan. viii. 9-12.) The
other springs from the head of Daniel's fourth beast.
148 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
It comes up in connection with Rome, and in the
doctrine of the vast Roman dominion. It clearly
represents the Papacy in its temporal power. The
springing up of this horn, and the rising of John's
first beast out of the sea, in Rev. xiii. 1, refer to the
same event ā the rise of the Papal kingdom.
Daniel presents us with one fact in regard to
this Papal kingdom which John does not mention,
viz., that three of the existing ten kingdoms were
overthrown in order to make room for it. Sir
Isaac Newton says, and in his judgment we coincide,
that these three were the government of Rome itself,
the kingdom of the Lombards, and the Exarchate
of Ravenna. These three governments were sub-
verted by Pepin and Charlemagne, and their tern-
tory given to the Pontiff, to constitute his temporal
This little horn, or Papal Rome, is said to have
' eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great
things,' 'He shall speak great words against the
Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the
Most High,' making war with them, and prevailing
against them. ' He shall think to change times
and laws,' ā to abolish existing ordinances and
establish new ones, according to his pleasure. He
is to continue ' a time, times, and the dividing of
time ' ā three years and a half ^ ā in prophetic lan-
^ A time in Daniel signifies a year (Dan. iv. 16).
DANIEL'S VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS. 149
guage, twelve hundred and sixty years, ā the same
period as the beast of John. And then the judg-
ment shall sit, and ' they shall take away his
dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the end.'
Upon this follows immediately, as in the Revelation,
the millennial kingdom. ' The kingdom, and domi-
nion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the
whole heaven, is given to the people of the saints
of the Most High.'
Such coincidences in the predictions of these
two great prophets, ā living under different dispen-
sations and so remote from each other, ā are cer-
tainly very remarkable and instructive. They serve
to confirm our faith in the inspiration of both, and
our confidence in the correctness of those interpre-
tations which have been put upon them.
150 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
SUNDRY VISIONS ā PREPARATION FOR THE SEVEN
REVELATION, CHAPS. XIV., XV.
THE visions in this chapter are of a miscellaneous
character, some of which have no prophetical
significance. From the prolonged ravages of the
beasts in the preceding chapter, the eye of the seer
is now directed to heaven.
' I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount
Sion, and with him a hundred and forty-four
thousand,' ā a definite number for an indefinite,
ā ' having his Father's name written on their
foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven,
as the voice of many waters, and as the voice
of a great thunder : and I heard the voice of
harpers harping with their harps : And they sung
as it were a new song before the throne, and before
the four living creatures, and the elders, and no man
could learn that song but the hundred and forty
and four thousand, which were redeemed from the
earth. These are they which follow the Lamb
whithersoever he goeth. And in their mouth was
REVELATION, CHAPTERS XIV., XV. 151
found no guile : for tliey are without fault before
the throne of God ' (Rev. xiv. 1ā5).
Next, the prophet sees ' another angel fly in the
midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to
preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to
every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
saying, with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory
to Him ; for the hour of His judgment is come :
and worship Him that made heaven and earth and
the sea, and the fountains of waters ' (Rev. xiv.
Among the indispensable preparations for mil-
lennial glory is the universal spread of the gospel.
The gospel must first be preached among all na-
tions. This great preparatory work is portended
in the vision before us. This prediction began to
be fulfilled at the time of the Reformation, when
the gospel was extensively proclaimed and em-
braced. It is in process of fulfilment at the present
day, and will be more illustriously accomplished as
the millennium approaches.
Another angel inmiediately follows, announcing,
by anticipation, that the dread conflict is over.
' Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because
she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath
of her fornication ' (Rev. xiv. 8).
It is no uncommon thing for the prophets to
speak of events as passing, or already past, which
152 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
are sure, in their time, to be accomplislied. Tims,
in predicting the destruction of the Hteral Babylon,
which in liis day was far future, Isaiah says : ' Bel
boweth down ; Nebo stoopeth ; their idols are upon
the beasts and the cattle . they are gone into cap-
tivity ' (Isa. xlvi. 1).
Next follows an angel with a message of solemn,
awful warning. * If any man worship the beast and
his image, and receive his mark in his forehead and
in his head, the same shall drink of the wine of the
wrath of God, which is poured out \\4thout mixture
into the cup of his indignation ; and he shall be
tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence
of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb;
and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for
ever and ever ; and they have no rest day nor night,
who worship the beast and his image, and whoso-
ever receiveth the mark of his name' (Rev. xiv.
This warning implies, ā what is true, and what
we see taking place in every direction around us, ā
that, in the great conflict preceding the millennium,
the most strenuous efforts will be made by the emis-
saries of Rome to draw individuals and peoples into
its interest ā to impress upon them the mark of the
beast, and of his image, and his name. The angel
sets before them the dreadful consequences of yield-
ing to such persuasions, and urges them to resist
REVELATION, CHAPTERS XIV., XV. 153
bj every motive of terror and of fear.-^ At the
same time, the warning angel proceeds to set forth
the safety of those who put their trust in Christ,
and patiently wait for Him, ' Here is the patience
of the saints. Here are they that keep the com-
mandments of God and the faith of Jesus' (Rev.
The next vision in the chapter is one of surpass-
ing interest. ' I looked, and behold, a white cloud,
and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of
man,' ā the Lord Jesus Christ ā ' having on his head
a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle/
And a message comes to Him from the recesses of
the temple : ' Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap : for the
time is come for Thee to reap ; for the harvest of
the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud
thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was
reaped' (Rev. xiv. 14ā16).
Here we behold the Son of man reaping and
garnering His own chosen people, and thus secur-
ing them from the destruction which is speedily to
be poured upon the wicked of the earth. And in
this view, these verses seem to connect with that
which precedes them : ' Blessed are the dead which
die in the Lord from henceforth.' Those who die
in the Lord in those troublous times are peculiarly
blessed ; for, being gathered and garnered by the
^ The angels of heaven are not afraid of preaching terror.
154 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
Lord himself, no evil can overtake them. * They
shall rest from their labours (xottojv, griefs, sorrows)
and their works do follow them.'
And now follows the closing vision of the chap-
ter ā one of tenible import to the wicked of the
earth. It runs down obviously to the closing con-
flict before the millennium, and corresponds to the
five last verses of the nineteenth chapter of the
Revelation. * And another angel came out of the
temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp
sickle. And another angel came out from the altar,
which had power over fire ; and cried with a loud
cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust
in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the
vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth,
and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into
the gi'eat winepress of the wrath of God. And the
winepress was trodden without the city, and blood
came out of the winepress, even unto the horse
bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hun-
dred furlongs' (or two hundred miles) (Rev. xiv.
Here is presented a lake of blood, up to the
horses' bridles, and two hundred miles square.
Without supposing anything like a literal fulfil-
ment, the symbols unmistakably indicate a terrible
destruction of the enemies of God, to be accora-
REVELATION, CHAPTERS XIV., XV. 155
plished when the harvest of the world is ripe, im-
mediately preceding Christ's millennial kingdom.
The Seven Last Plagues.
' And I saw another sign,' or symbol, ' in heaven,
great and marvellous, seven angels having the
seven last plagues ; for in them is filled up the
wrath of God' (Rev. xv. 1).
Every reader of the Revelation must have noticed
that the number seven here is of frequent occur-
rence. It was regarded by the Hebrews as symbo-
lic, denoting completeness or perfection. Thus, ' the
seven Spirits of God before the throne ' (chap. iv. 5),
denote God's perfect Holy Spirit. The seven seals
include a complete system of prophecy, extending
from the time of the writer to the millennium. The
seven trumpets set forth a perfect series of judg-
ments, by which the entire Roman empire. Western
and Eastern, was overthrown. And the seven last
plagues, in the verse before us, signify another series
of judgments, by which Papal Rome will be utterly
crushed, and the kingdom of Christ will be esta-
blished, and become universal. They are spoken of
as ' the seven last plagues ; ' for in them is filled up
the wrath of God, This indicates that they reach
down to the close of the final conflict, and that there
is nought, in the way of judgment, to come after
* And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled
156 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
with fire ; and them that had gotten the victory
over the beast, and over his image, and over his
mark, and over the number of his name, stand on
the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they
sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the
song of the Lamb, saying. Great and marvellous are
Thy works. Lord God Almighty ; just and true are
Thy ways. Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear
Thee, Lord, and glorify Thy name ? for Thou only
art holy: for all nations shall come and worship
before Thee ; for Thy judgments are made mani-
fest ' (Rev. XV. 2-4).
This sea of glass, as I have before said (chap,
iv. 6), does not indicate a collection of water, but
rather a glossy, glittering pavement, smooth as the
surface of a lake, extended round about the throne,
on which those stood, with their harps, who had
gotten the victory over the beast. And here they
unite, as above, in singing the song of Moses and
* And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple
of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was
opened.' The heavenly temple was opened even
to the holy of holies, where was the ark of the
testimony and the mercy seat. 'And the seven
angels came out of the temple,' ā the inmost recesses
of the temple, from the immediate presence of God,
ā 'having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and
REVELATION, CHAPTER XIV,, XV. 157
white linen, and having their breasts girded with
golden girdles. And one of the four living creatures
gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials, full
of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.'
The word here rendered vials signifies howls or
goblets. They were filled with the implements or
instruments of divine wrath. ' And the temple was
filled with smoke from the glory of God ; and no
man was able to enter into the temple,' ā to make
intercession for the guilty, ā ' till the seven plagues
of the seven angels were fulfilled' (Rev. xv. 5ā8).
158 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED:
THE POURING OUT OF THE SEYEX YIALS.
REVELATION, CHAP. XVI.
* A ^D I heard a great voice out of the temple,
jlJL saying to the seven angels, Go your ways
and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon
the earth ' (Rev. xvi. 1).
It has been often remarked that there is a strik-
ing correspondence between the phraseology used
in reference to the pouring out of these vials, and
that connected with the sounding of the trumpets
in the eighth and ninth chapters. Thus, upon the
sounding of the first trumpet, the infliction falls upon
the eai'th ; and so it does upon the pouring out of the
first vial. Upon the blast of the second trumpet, the
sea is afiected ; and so it is upon the emptying of the
second vial. When the third angel sounded, there
fell a great star upon the rivers and fountams of
water. So the third vial was poured out upon the
rivers and fountains of water. When the fourth
angel sounded, the sun was smitten ; and the fourth
angel poured out his vial upon the sun. The
sounding of the sixth trumpet fell upon the great
REVELATION, CHAPTER XVI. 159
river Euphrates ; and the sixth angel poured out
his vial upon the same river.
These successive correspondences are certainly
remarkable, and would seem to be designed. The
reason of them may be this : The blasts of the
several trumpets looked, as we have shown, to the
overthrow of the vast Roman empire, whereas the
plagues of the vials are designed for the destruc-
tion of Papal Rome ā the beast, the Babylon, the
antichrist of the New Testament. They are the
successive blows under which the Papacy, in both
its secular and spiritual dominion, is to come to an
end. A part of these inflictions is still future, while
some of them are passing, or past, and the applica-
tion of them may perhaps be ascertained.
I agree with many distinguished commentators
in referring several of the vials to events connected
with the first French revolution. Nor is this to be
wondered at, when we consider the intimate vital
connection which has subsisted between France and
the Papacy for the last thousand years. It was a
king of France who first gave to the Pope his
temporal dominions, and constituted him a king.
And the French kings have ever held a peculiar
connection with the Popes, sometimes coercing, and
sometimes protecting, as the case might be. On
the other hand, the monarch of France has long
been styled by the Pope, ' His Most Christian
160 THE APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED: .
Majesty,' and * the eldest son of the Church.' Let
us then look to events preceding and following the
revolution in France, as fulfilling the portents of
some of these vials.
The First Vial.
*And the fii'st angel went and poured out his
vial upon the earth ; and there fell a noisome and
grievous sore upon the men which had the mark
of the beast, and upon them that worshipped his
image' (Rev. xvi. 2).
As noisome and grievous sores on the bodies of
men indicate internal corruption ā inflammation,
tumours, and impurities of blood; so moral, poli-
tical sores, and ulcers, prove the same in regard to
a people. There must have been a preparation
for such calamities in the minds and hearts of the
people ā in the inculcation of false pnnciples, per-
nicious errors, and in the awakening by these