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well as others maintained by them, was felt to be so deeply founded in scripture, that the papal plunderers, in order to preserve their authority, exerted against them all their power and exhausted all their cruelty.
These early interpretations of prophecy I have been ra. ther tempted to introduce, not only because they are remarkable in themselves, not only because they proceeded from eminent men, but because their genuineness is unquestioned, as they are either extant in their own works, or are recorded by celebrated writers of the Roman Catholic communion"4.
Hitherto I have been speaking of the xviith chapter. In the 2d v. of the xviiith, the destruction of the figurative Babylon is solemnly announced ; and an angel is represented as crying mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen. A few yerses farther it is declared (v. 8), that her plagues shall come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine's. “The pomp and splendor, ' says Mr. Pyle, the plenty and extravagance, the artifices and delusions, that have accompanied this false religion and worship, shall end in shame, poverty, and disgrace16.'
Three of the intervening verses (v. 4, 5, and 6) are justly thought to implicate a strong censure and a solemn threat. ening against all persons and all nations, who, in the period of its decline, shall in any way assist the cause of Antichrist, or attempt to arrest the certain downfall of the antichristian church. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, THAT YE BE NOT
14 The declaration of Gregory, the most respected of all the popes, may be seen in his 30th Epistle, lib. vi. (Opera, Par. 1518, fol. 398); that of the abbot of Clairvaux in his 125th. For the testimony of Arnulph, delivered at the council of Rheims, and as bp. Newton erroneously supposed by Gerbert, the archbishop of that city, see Baronius (in Ann. 992, vol. X. p. 863); for that of the Calabrian abbot, consult Rogeri de Hoveden Annales, inter quinque Scriptores. Edit. Franc. 1601, p. 681.
15 There will be mourning and famine ; i. e. says Dr. More, grief of heart, with scarcity and poverty to requite their luxury before.'
16 P. 155.
PARTAKERS OF HER SINS, AND THAT YE RECEIVE NOT OF HER PLAGUES. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double, according to her works : in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
I take the word double,' says Daubuz, “ in all such cases to signify vastly great,' and of this force of the word he alleges many specimens from classical authors".
The Papists seem to me,' says Mr. Evanson, 'to reason very justly when they conclude, if the words come out of her, my people, &c. lay Christians under an obligation to separate from the apostate church; the words reward her as she hath rewarded you, &c. lay them under an equal obligation, as far as is in their power, to endeavor her extirpation, At the same time it is evidently impossible that they, who are really actuated by the spirit of that amiable religion, which breathes nothing but benevolence and love towards all mankind, should be guilty of revenge, or treat any of their erring fellow-creatures with that unfeeling cruelty and inhuman hardness of heart, with which the intolerant zeal of antichristianism hath, at all times, inspired its bigotted votaries. But it is by no means requisite that similar ends should always be effected by similar means,
The utter destruction of the antichristian church, and the offering personal violence to any of its members, are very distinct things ; and the latter is far from being, in the least degree, necessarily implied in the former".' Another writer, alike distinguished by the depth of his learning, and his independent spirit, after quoting the first of these verses, says, if, upon deliberate examination, we should unexpectedly find ourselves engaged in the service of Antichrist, instead of the ministry of the Lord Jesus; it is our duty, as we value the favor of God himself and our own everlasting happiness, to return, at every hazard, to the profession of evangelical truth and purity. Our Saviour him
17 Vid. det hoos in Scapula,
self has laid down the alternate of our conduct in
very plain language. Hear im; and consider which ye will choose. Every one, that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospel's, shall receive a hundred fold now, with persecutions, and in the world to come eternal life".--Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his father with the holy angels2o.?
In verses 9 and 10 the Kings of the earth are represented as lamenting the fall of the antichristian church. These who were supported by it, in reducing their subjects to slavery in civil matters,' says Mr. Pyle, 'will have nothing left but-to bewail the ruin of such a well laid and truly politic scheme of imposing upon the minds of men. The merchants of the earth, it is said in v. 11, shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth her merchandise. They are,' says Dr. More, ecclesiastics or spiritual persons, which, in reproach to their worldliness in their pretended holy and spiritual functions, are here called the merchants of the earth. These are her teachers, says Mr. Pyle, who have so long made a trade of religion, and a gain of godliness ; enriching themselves upon the spoils of men's understanding and properties ; shining by the mere igno, rance and darkness thrown upon the minds of their deluded people ; trafficking with the souls22 of men, as the old Ty, rians did with their bodies.' Her merchants,' says Dau, buz, engross all the real wealth of the world to bring to her, and her returns and exportations are in paper and bills
19 Mat. xix. 29. Mark x. 29, 30.
21 That livings in the English church are publicly bought and sold like merchandise, the advertisements in our newspapers are sufficient to
22 In v. 13 the souls of men are specified as one of the commodities in which they trade : but perhaps this phrase is not to be understood accord. ing to its obvious application.
drawn upon Heaven and Hell, never to be accepted. However these pass antong the common people in payment, as if they were of real value. The "merchant,' he adds, who discovers the means of procuring purchasers for them, is altogether careless about their intrinsic value.' A little farther it is said (v. 14), And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. “These great and opime preferments and dignities,' says Dr. More, which thy ambitious and worldly mind so longingly hankered after, All these are vanished never to appear again. And it is added in v. 19, that they had been made rich by reason of her costliness, that is, as Dr. More explains it, 'out of that treasure of honors, dignities, preferments, and offices, wherewith she was able to enrich these merchants. My quotations from ch. xviii. I conclude with a passage, which announces, in the strongest and most decisive language, the violent downfal of the symbolic Babyion. And mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found ng more at all.
ON THE EXTENSIVE DIFFUSION OF-ANTICHRISTIANISM IN WHAT
IS CALLED THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
THE facts stated in the appendix to chapter XII. were sufficient to show, that the church of Rome rather adopted the opinions and practices which were before prevalent in the Christian world, than introduced new ones of her own.
She had little indeed to do, but to imitate the conduct of the oriental priesthood, to make some lesser improvements and alterations, and to transfer the elevated
authority which others exerted to herself. Long before the haughty claims of the Roman pontiffs were admitted, the foundation of superstition was laid deep and on a very broad scale. Nor could absurdity easily be pushed to a greater extent. But notwithstanding this, there are not a few protestant interpreters who think proper to apply, without discrimination, all the prophecies relative to the corruption of Christianity solely and exclusively to the church of Rome ; as if antichristian superstition and tyranny were no where to be found but within the verge of that church, or, if elsewhere found, had ceased to be offensive to the Deity.
That the celebrated Dr. Hartley, who in his inquiries after truth was exempt from the bias of party and from views of interest, is not to be ranked in this class of protestants, the following citation will evince. “There are many prophecies, which declare the fall of the ecclesiastical powers of the Christian world. And though each church seems to flatter itself with the hopes of being exempted ; yet it is VERY PLAIN, that the prophetic characters belong to all. They have all left the true, pure, simple religion ; and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. They are all merchants of the earth, and have set up a kingdom of this world, abounding in riches, temporal power, and external pomp. They have all a dogmatising spirit, and persecute such as do not receive their own mark, and worship the image which they have set up.--The corrupt governors of the several churches will ever oppose the true gospel, and in so doing will bring ruin upon themselves'.' A late able and ingenious member of the established church, speaking of the fall of the figurative Babylon, says, “how far this danger may extend; and whether to all the churches who are guilty of the apostacy, by preferring and establishing the doctrines of men before the precepts of the gospel, may be well worth inquiry; especially as the whole Ten Kingdoms into
1 Hartly on Man, 1749, vol. II. p. 370.