Since the time of the great Reformation, there have been no less than SIX PROMINENT THEORIES of interpretation, each claiming for itself the palm of merit, and all demanding the unanimous suffrage of the Christian Church. They are subjoined in the following order:-
I. THE ANTI-PROTESTANT FUTURIST THEORY.
II. THE ANTI-PROTESTANT PRATERITE (PRETERIST-ed.)THEORY.
III. THE MODIFIED FUTURIST THEORY.
IV. THE TYPICO-SPIRITUAL THEORY.
V. THE PARALLEL SEPTENARY THEORY.
VI. THE CONTINUOUS HISTORICAL (HISTORICIST-ed.) PROTESTANT THEORY. This was the principle theory which attracted the attention of the most orthodox and enlightened expositors until the earliest part of this century. It looks upon prophecy as an actual anticipation of veritable history. It regards each seal as successor to the preceding, in chronological order; each trumpet and each vial in the same way; and, objecting to the previous theory, maintains that the septenary of trumpets are subsequent to the septenary of seals, and the septenary of vials subsequent to the septenary of trumpets.
The exclusive church scheme is discarded, and the Apocalypse is viewed as setting forth, in regular progression and detail, the chief secular and ecclesiastical events of the existing dispensation.
It was the theory of the Waldenses, Wickliffites, and Hussites; and the great body of the Reformers in the 16th century.
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