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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 13

Section 1 Subsection 2

The Prophetic Stand-Point of the Vision  



Daniel reclined upon his bed and dreamed but John stood upon the Sand of the Sea, and saw things bearing resemblances to what he deemed sufficiently striking to establish their identity. Daniel says that It was stormy in his vision; or, as he expresses it, "the four winds of the heaven strove." But in this thirteenth chapter John says nothing about a strife of winds; but simply "I stood." I take it therefore that there is a sense in which John's standing is equivalent to storminess of the situation. Any one who has stood upon the sea shore, especially if rocky, will know that the situation is not characterized by silence, or the absence of noise. On the contrary, the roar of the waters is incessant. If the sea were quiescent as a pond, then to stand upon its beach would be to ex perience the silence and solitude of the boundless prairie. Such a standing for observation of phenomena would be symbolical of times of tranquillity and peace. But this could not be the nature of John's standing; for no such politico-ecclesiastical organizations could ascend into a position to command, or rather, to divide the command of, the world in halcyon days undisturbed by the storms of war and conquest. His standing then upon the margin of the roaring waters was significant of the storminess of the times, when what he "saw" should ascend to dominion "in the whole earth," en hole te ge. He stood, and the roar he heard was "the multitude of many peoples, making a noise like the noise of the seas; the rushing of nations, making a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters." Such a roaring of the waters implies a tumult of the sea from the strife of words. This implication places John and Daniel side by side as spectators of the storm. Daniel saw the four winds lashing the sea into fury; east, west, north, and south winds, all blowing upon the same sea. No ship could live in such a storm. Each of Daniel's four beasts, or dominions, was brought up out of the sea by the four winds of his vision. The Fourth Beast was brought up thereby; and so was his Sea-Beast development; and John apocalyptically beheld the same four winds as he "stood upon the Sand of the Sea, and saw." This leads me to remark as to the time of his standing. He stood there while the Four Winds continued the storm. The winds producing the roar of the sea, were "the four winds of the earth," which, in their blowing, gave voice to the first four trumpets, which in my Tabular Analysis, Vol.2 p.114, are styled, "Wind Trumpets." And from this tabular exposition I would transfer the "note" in Vol.2 pg. 115, as appropriate to the place. It reads thus: "The judgments of these four winds culminate in the development of the Seventh Head, which 'continues a short space'; and of the Ten Diademed Horns of the Beast that rises out of the sea; in the 'wounding as it were to death' of its Sixth Head; and in the consequent cession by the Dragon of his power, throne and dominion over the affected Third Part, which before the blowing of those winds, was a constituent of his empire". The time of tbis stormy period is indicated on p.115 of that volume, as "from A.D. 395 to A.D. 554-'59, the epoch, or beginning, of the darkened day and night in the third of them, being equal to a period of 159-'64 years."

The reader will please compare what is written here concerning the "time of events," and correct what he finds on p.115 under this caption, by this erratum.

Now the time represented by John's standing on the sand, was all the time of the sounding of the four wind-trumpets, to the end of the darkened day and night in their third part. This was a long period; but defined by the work done as revealed in this chapter. It was a period of 405 years. This was the time of his symbolic standing upon the Sand of the Sea, beholding the development of the Fourth Beast, in its Seventh Head, Ten Horns, and Little Horn, with Man's Eyes and a Lion's Mouth. The four hundred and five years are composed of 164, from the beginning of the first trumpet to the darkening of Rome's day in the epoch of the Pragmatic Sanction, or settlement of Italian affairs, by Justinian, A.D. 554-'9. "Under the Exarchs of Ravenna," says Gibbon, "Rome was degraded to the second rank." Rome had hitherto been imperial or regal, under the Sixth and Seventh Heads of the Dragon; but she was now, as the consequence of the blowing of the four wind-trumpets, neither the one nor the other; but a city which had "reigned over the kings of the earth" (Apoc. 17:18), now degraded to a rank in which she exercised no sovereignty at all. She was therefore now in a state of eclipse both in respect of the luminaries of her day and night; for "the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise" (Apoc. 8:8,12). The reader will please connect, by reference, what I am now writing with what appears in Vol. 3pp. 68-75. The phrase "the third part of the day," and "the third part of the night," implies a whole day and a whole night, each equal to the third part three times repeated. With the Jews, a day and a night were each twelve hours long; so that "a third part of' a day would be four hours; and "a third part of' a night, also four hours; in all eight hours. Now there is a certain class of Laodicean speculators in apocalyptic mysteries, who style themselves "Literalists," and who would have us to believe that day and night signify nothing more than what is ordinarily meant by these terms!, So that they would reduce us to the absurdity of believing, that the events of the four trumpets culminated in the darkening of the natural sun, moon, stars, day and night, for the short period of only eight literal hours! But this folly is too ridiculous for an argument against it, or for a serious refutation. The "day" and the "night" must be proportional to the subject treated of. The subject is the obscuration of the luminaries of a political universe of a dominion. These are things of centuries. Their day and their night, is their day-time and their night-time of ages. Hence a time is a minor cycle contained in the aeon, or aeon, of their duration. The aeon of the Sea-Monster's Mouth is three cycles and a half, or three times and a half, or three days and a half, or 1260 years and as a cycle, or circle, is geometrically divisible into three hundred and sixty equal parts -A time or day, is a year of years, or 360 lunar years. Rome's lights which ruled her day and night times were not eclipsed for a whole day and a whole night: but only for a third of each of these times. Had she lost her rule for a whole day and a whole night, her ruling would have been suppressed for seven hundred and twenty years, or a dual of times: but as it was, her day-time and her night-time only ceased shining two hundred and forty years, which are the sum of the thirds predicted; for the third of a day-time of three hundred and sixty years is one hundred and twenty years: and the third of a night-time of three hundred and sixty' years; is also one hundred and twenty years; and these two periods of one hundred and twenty years each added together give two hundred and forty years. Now if these 240 years be added to A.D. 559, the epoch of Rome's degradation, it gives the sum A.D. 799; when, if my exposition of the symbolic time of the Fourth Trumpet be correct, history ought to testify Rome's restoration to the IMPERIAL DIGNITY from which she had been degraded by the will of the Catholic Dragon. Now John informs us, that he stood and saw the ascending of the Sea-Beast and the ascending of the Earth-Beast: this then was the period of his standing - he stood while they were ascending. The latter Beast was developed imperially, with Rome for its tempo-spiritual throne, A.D. 799. Hence John's standing upon the Sand of the Sea reaches, in its significance, to this date, or to the end of the 240 years. Add then these years to the terminal epoch of the fourth trumpet, and we have a period of 405 years - a stormy period, which changed the face of the world; and laid the foundation of a polity, which, after a lapse of more than a thousand years, is manifest in the existing constitution of MODERN EUROPE.




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