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key, which will warrant an application of the several representations. How an idolatrous community came to be denoted under the symbol of an harlot, Dr. Lancaster has stated at large; having previously observed, that cities are frequently represented in the prophets under the t yp of women,--virgins, wives, widows, and harlots, accord. ing to their different conditions.'
• A woman sitting upon a beast,' says bp. Newton, “is a lively and significant emblem of a church or city directing and governing an empire. In painting and sculpture, as well as in prophetic language, cities are often represented in the form of women: and Rome herself is exhibited in ancient coins as a woman sitting upon a lion.' The Babylonish harlot appeared to be arrayed in purple and scarlet colort, and decked with gold; i. e. observes Mr. Waple, she was a pompous and worldly church, full of pride and riches.' This signified, says Mr. Pyle, how much she would aspire after temporal riches, as well as spiritual dominion. In her hand she held a golden cup, filled with such delicious liquor as prostitutes were wont to give their lovers, to inflame their vicious desires: to denote the fair and specious pretences, the false and alluring methods, whereby this corrupt church was to draw mankind into idolatrous worship, which is called spiritual fornication. In this excellent little book of morality, called Cebes's Table, there is the like figure of Error and Imposture,-a fair, beautiful, false woman, with a cup in her hand, that seduces mankind.'
• The very metal of the cup,' says Dr. More, ‘has a natural magic with it to draw and allure men to her, and at a distance to intoxicate the brains of their clergy with the fumes of ambition and covetousness. At the sight of this spectacle St. John wondered with great admiration. To find a Power professedly Christian, drunk with the blood of the saints, might,' says Mr. Pyle, well astonish him.'
3 Jerusalem (Is. i. 21), Tyre (Is. xxiii. 16), Nineveh (Nah. ii. 4), and Semaria (Ezek. xxiii. 5) are all styled harlots.
4 That scarlet is a very favorite color with prebendaries and prelates, cardinals and pontiffs, is a fact of sufficient notoriety.
As we are informed by the angel of the vision, that the seven heads on which the woman sat are seven mountains, and that the woman herself is that great city, which, in the time of St. John, reigned over the kings of the earth: we are directed to look to the city and hierarchy of Rome, as to the most successful promoter of clerical tyranny, and the chief seat of the antichristian church, from the bosom of which most of the other hierarchies have sprung: as to that ecclesiastical establishment of mighty influence, which all, of them, however, denominated, have copied with a greater or less degree of faithfulness; and from which some of them have borrowed their system of government and long gradation of ranks; their dogmatism of spirit, and claims of authority over the conscience; their maxims of policy, their form of worship, and principal articles of faith ; their compulsory mode of collecting revenue, their readiness to sound aloud the charge of heresy and schism, and their zeal in inflicting penalties of civil disability. It is Rome, says a learned member of the English church, that * all the other parts of Christendom have imitated, either as a sister-city, which was the case of Constantinople, or as daughters, which is the condition of all the rests.' This interpretation of the angel,' says Mr. Lowman, "leaves no room to doubt, but that the persecuting power here prophecied of was to be some empire, of which the city of Rome was to be the capital or seat. Rome was as well known by its situation on seven hills or montes, as by the name of Rome itself; Urbs septicollis was never mistaken for any other city, Roman authors have so fully determined the sense of it. In proof of this, an appeal might be made to Horace and Virgil, to Propertius and Ovid. Sed, quæ de septem totum circumspicit orbem
Montibus, inperii Roma Deumque locus, are the words of Ovid ; and Horace, in his Carmen Secu
5 Daubuz, p. 801.
lare, appears to regard the expression of septem colles as altogether synonimous with Roma.
Dis, quibus septem placuere colles. * And what city,' asks bp. Newton, at the time of the vision, reigned over the kings of the earth, but Rome?' It, however, by no means follows, because this description of the prophets has so perfect a resemblance to the Romish hierarchy, that we are to restrict the interpretation of it to her, if it be indeed true, that there are other churches dis. tinguished by the same fatal marks. And even those, who regard this prophetic personage as exclusively emblematic of Rome, will, when they perceive in v. 5, that she is called Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, still perhaps be of opinion, that there are other smaller Babylons and false churches, which tread in her steps, and retain many of her spurious doctrines, though they may prudently have endeavored to throw a veil over their likeness to her, and studiously have shunned all open intercourse with her.
It deserves to be noted, that this sumptuously-dressed WOMAN, stigmatized with the name of Babylon the Great, is sometimes represented under a different emblem, and called the great city Babylon. That they refer to the same antitype all admit. The propriety of the rame, Babylon, (were it necessary) might be evinced; and it might be shewn, as it actually has been, in what various respects the antichristian church in general, and that of Rome in particular, resembles that ancient seat of tyranny, and persecutor of the children of Israel. That this city Babylon is not a city of brick and stone, but a polity, and particularly the Roman hierarchy, I have, says Dr. More, evidently proved in my Joint-Exposition. That it has this extensive import is indeed demonstrable, because the Babylonish woman appeared to St. John, in his prophetic vision (v. 1) as sitting upon many waters, and the words of the interpreting angel are (v. 15), the waters which thou sawest,
6 Myst. of Iniq. p. 424.
where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. She is, says Dr. More in allusion to this symbol, a water-nymph, whose skirts are so large, that she has sat floating upon the whole Imperial ocean for these many ages?.' This learned writer also observes, that it is remarked by Grotius and by the Jesuits Alcasar and Cornelius a Lapide, that the symbolic waters signify the universal extent of the Roman empire' In consistency with this Dr. More admits, that Babylon is not to be understood solely of the church of Rome"; and declares, that it comprehends the whole body of the idolatrous clergy throughout the Roman empire".' But to give any farther statements respecting the extensive signification of the apocalyptic Babylon will not here be necessary, as in the next chapter the subject will be resumed.
So long has the antichristian power in the Apocalypse been regarded as completely applicable to the papal usurpation in particular, that it would probably be vain to inquire, from what quarter the opinion originated. Its origin it might possibly derive from the words of a Roman pontiff, from Gregory the Great, who, in the 6th century, writing to the bishop of Constantinople, and disputing his claims, says, "I affirm it confidently, that whoever styles himself Universal Bishop, or is solicitous for the title, by this elation of heart, proves himself to be the forerunner of Antichrist.' A council, held in the 10th century at the city of Rheims, Hr. nulph, bishop of Orleans, thus addressed, whilst he spoke
7 Myst. of Iniq. p. 306.
8 Lewis d'Alcasar was a celebrated Jesuit of the 16th cent. a native of Seville, who, for almost 20 years, wholly bent his attention to the study of the Apocalypse ; and to this prophecy the whole of his two volumes in folio have either an immediate or indirect reference. But Cornelius a La. pide was a yet more voluminous commentator. His annotations on scrip. ture occupy no less than ten volumes in folio. Moreri. Bayle.
9 Myst. of Iniq. p. 306. The waters you saw the woman sitting upon, i. e. ruling over, are the people of the several European countries.' Mr. Pyle's Paraph.
10 Myst. of Iniq. p. 365. 11 Myst. of Inig. p. 276. VOL. I.
of the reigning pontiff. • What think ye, reverend Fæ thers, of this man, elevated on a lofty throne, and glittering in gold and purple ? Whom do ye account him to be ? Surely, if destitute of charity, and elated with the pride of science alone, he is Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God, and shewing himself that he is God. “That the Beast in the Apocalypse occupied the chair of St. Peter,' was the declaration of St. Bernard", abbot of Clairvaux in Champagne, who, in the 12th century, founded 160 monasteries ; and whilst he saw his admonitions respectfully listened to by princes and by pontiffs, was obeyed by the nations of Europe, when he summoned them to the defence of the holy sepulchre. By another famous abbot, Joachim of Calabria, similar sentiments were advanced. Richard I. of England, when spending his winter at Messina, and in his way to Palestine, sent for him to hear him interpret the prophetic visions of St. John; and the abbot then maintained, that Antichrist was already born in the city of Rome, and would be elevated te the apostolical chair.' So far from being offended by his discourse, the king and his courtiers, as we are told by a contemporary annalist of the 12th century, listened to him with a high degree of pleasure. But this adaptation of prophecy was not confined to these or to other celebrated individuals that might be specified. The Waldenses and Albigenses, so renowned for their numbers, their virtues, and the purity of their faith, taught, in the 12th and 13th centuries, that the pope was Antichrist, and the church of Rome the Babylon of the Apocalypse". This opinion, as
12 One day on his entering into church, an image of the Virgin Mary apparently saluted him with Good morrow, Bernard ;' but the abbot of Clairvaux, instead of receiving so flattering a compliment with the civility of a devotee, repked to her sharply, “ that her Ladyship had forgotten both herself and her sex, for that it was not permitted to women to speak in the church.' 1 Tim. ï. 12. See this story related in a small treatise or Antichrist (p. 51), now scarce and unknown, by Christopher Ness, printed in 1679.
13. Such, says Vitringa, was the language of pious men in general, during the whole of the four centuries which preceded the Reformation In Apoc. p. 749.