“For the confirmation of this a fresh Manifestation was given me, by the appearance of a Head that was all as of Fine Gold transparent, with a pair of Wings only joining to it. Under each of which Wings there were seven Eyes all fiery and piercing. Upon which this first Salutation greeted me, saying, “Tho’ thy corporeal Eyes be Dim, these Eyes are come to make up that Impediment, whose Properties to thee shall be into the Worlds and Regions to see that to mortal sight all hidden be.” Then Immediately I felt as if this Head and Wings did clasp themselves about the Vital part of my Heart. From whence it was said, The pure in Heart should be all seeing; and the Ears fixed in the Golden Head should become the true Hearing.”
Augustine of Hippo taught against the practice of historically interpreting prophetic, apocalyptic and visionary works. For Augustine the City of God comes about by a radical application of Christ’s passivity and subjection to the Divine Will rather than being immanatized through active participation with word, action or attention.
In seeking to understand this it is interesting to compare the eschatological 19th century charts of Charles Larkin, outlining the kind of historical eschatology favored by heterodox evangelicals like Harold Camping and Tim Lahaye, with an illustration from an edition of Jacob Boehme’s Theosophische Werke, published in Amsterdam in 1682.