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and false brethren, are called Angels T. The second division, in relation to the Egyptian moanarcliy, which in the song at the Red Sea, is styled Horse, Exod. xv. 1, hears the general name of Bcast; and its subdivisions, that of Beast, chief leader; his Name, which is one in his seat and authority; and his image. And as they oppose themselves to thie faithful nitnesses, who stand up as men; like as Pharaoh and the Egyptians opposed Moses and Aaron; men in the flesh; this host of Constantine Romans, Papal Romans, and Protestant Romans: or them who, whatever they profess, do as the Romans do, aro characterized as men. The third division heal's the general name of Beast, i. e. the second Beast; for in all respects it is analogous to the first; and its subdivisions are denoted by three Greek nuinerals, chi, XI, ZETA, 666. And as they oppose themselves to the risen witnesses, men in the Spirit, as the High Priests, Scribes and Plaisees of Jerusalem, set themselves in opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ, risen froin the dearl; this host of new formed Imperialists, Papists, and false Protestants, are characterized as Devils.
Thus, with the utmost caution, and the greatest possible skill, the enemy draws up his forces, , with corps de reserve, and with three lines of defence; which studiсd and guarded dispositions, upon chosen and fortified grounds, shews his trembling apprehensions of danger, and his sagacious forebodings, that the armies of the Lord would now become the assailant, and provoke the battle.
Though I make these accommodations, as they appear very natural, and, to me, are warranted by the scope of scriptural instruction, still I am constrained to think, from the passage before me, Rev. xii. 7, and many other passages that there have existed amazing conflicts
among the powers of the invisible world, relative to the gospel subject : and that such like scenes as are here described have been acted, and are now acting, upon other stag: than the earth; and that,, fmally, the intermediate curtains will be listed, and all the actors of the grand the?tre will be thrown together; and every interesiud being in the universe will be brought forward to take a part, on one side or the other, in the battle of that great day of Got Almighty
It is also to be noted that, in these wars, there will be three distinct campaigns; the first long, the second very long, but the third short. In the operations of the first, after a fair trial of strength, the enemy is routed, ayd, with a vital wound, is driven from the field. In the second, though he takes new and stronger ground; after a, long round of changing positions, on both sides, and vast trial of skill, he is bereaved and deserted of his supporters, stripped of his purple and sumptuous robes, and dragged naked from ihe field, with his flesh burnt upon his bones. And in the third, having resorted to his last and best line of defence, his camp is instantly stormed, and he is there taken prisoner, bound in chains, and cast into the pit, and sealed down in prison.
The three distinct characters of the enemy are as follows:
1. The Dragon, is the Old Serpent in his proper shape; and this character represents his kingdom in an undisguised form, as it first existed, and will exist at last. He denies the truth of God flatly, as “the Serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die.” His object is exterpation, and his policy open force. In this form, the enmity placed between the two kingdomis has no restraint; and there can exist no compromise, no treaty between them; and in this war, on either side, there can be given no quarters.
2. The Beast is the Devil in a disguised form; and this character represents his kingdom under
a christian profession. He holds to a form of godliness, and denies the truth covertly, and only by implication. His object is to put down the true government of the church, and in the place of the Lord's anointed, to put himself at her head; and his policy is corruption. In this form, the opposition between the two kingdoms will be thecked by a thousand mingling interests; and it will admit of numerous accommodations, treatics, and compromises; which combinations, however, like the mixtures of iron and clay, in the lower parts of the great Image, will be unsubstantial, deceptive and transient; but such affinities will be formed between these parties, as between Saul and David, as will render it improper that circumcised hands should be laid violently upon this enemy
“ HIe shall descend into bat“tle” with his natural enemies, as Saul with the Philistines; and by the secular powers, the princes of this world, he shall perish. 3. The false prophet
, or false witness, denotes a party of Satan's kingdom, assuming a distinguished eminence of christian profession; as “ Satan transformed into an angel of light. This character is that of an apostate and traitor, whose god is his belly, and who runs "
“greedily after the error of Balaam for reward." His object is to support the beast, for no other love than
wages of unrighteousness.” Being nursed in the bosom of the church, his counsel is enlightened, as by the light of the oracle of God; and he knows the track of the disciples in their most concealed walks, and can find them out by night or by day; and his power of imitating the signatures of the witnesses is wonderful; in thre sight of men he does them perfectly; and his policy unites both the spirit of the beast and the spirit of the dragon. He can flatter like the Devil, and, like Judas, “ betray the Son of Man with a
" kiss; or he can give the counsel that Ahithophel gave against David, and even take upon himself the lead of the band of desperados, who are sent out by the beast and dragm, to fall by nigh! upon the witnesses,“
and weak handed," and by surprize, suddenly, to smite them to the grourd. But, like Balaam, his true type, who was slain among the Midianites and Moabites, whom he supported, the false prophet will be laken with the beast, in the great batlle, and, with him, will go into perdition.
Some of the enemies of the gospel church may be expected to bear, personally, a duplex, if not the complete triplex character. King Saul commenced his career among the prophets,” and was as one of them; fighting with the enemies without, and clothing the “ daughters of Israel “ with scarlet and other delights;" and, at the same time, hunting David's life as “a partridge " in the mountains," he was beast; and massacreing the priests of the Lord, he was dragon.......Nebuchadnezzar, in sacking the city of Jerusalem, and burning the holy temple with fire; slaughtering the helpless captives, and putting out the eyes of Zedekiah, was the dragon ; in making the church in Babylon subservient to his interest, and employing Daniel and others in hiscourt, he was beast, and in giving “glory to the God “ of heaven,” he was prophet
. Herod, the king, was dragon in martyring the children of Ramah; beast in fighting against the outward enemies of the Jews, repairing the temple, and many other deeds done in favor of the covenant people; and false prophet in confessing his belief in the Hope of Israel, and promising to go and worship the new born king. And the Tetrarch of Galilee, at one time, could hear Johngladly, and, anon, could cut of his head ; " he hoped to have seen some “ miracle done by” Jesus; but when disappointed, could set him at nought; and even the wretched Felix “hoped also that money should have “ been given him by Paul, that he might loose “him." Performers in the characters of the beast and false prophet have been very rise in these last ages; and it must be expected, once more, that the dragon will open upon the flock and its shepherds his terrific mouth. But I am content with giving the general portraits, and shall leave my readers to make their own observations of the living characters to wlion they belong.
This triplex form of the enemy is substantially the view of antichrist, which has been handed down to me by my Protestant ancestors; and were I under oath, I would say, that nothing has taken place within any knowledge, in the present changeful, wonderful scenes, which has declined from the tract of my earliest instructions, respecting the Protestant interpretations, in one leading article.
Some late writers upon the prophecies, as Mr. Faber, though they prosess themselves Protestants, have yet given up totally the ground of the Protestant separation ; which was, that the papal church is beast and antichrist. Mr. Faber admits that the papal church is very corrupt, but denies that it is antichrist; because antichrist denies the Father and the Son, and the papal church retains the catholic doctrine of the Trinity. He insinuates that the Protestants somehow overlooked the passage, 1 John ii. 22. “He is antichrist that “ denieth the Father and the Son.”........But did not that learned man know that the Protestants used this passage as a cardinal proof; and that they rung it through Christendom as with the voice of a trumpet. This was their dying testimony against the papal body, The living and frue God is a spirit, and cannot be worshipped by images ; you awon a worship of God by images,