Page images
PDF
EPUB

the kingdom, given up to the successors; for they never actbrutal ferocity of the soldiery, ed in concert with idolatrous imprisoned, condemned, and ex- powers, but invariably opposed ecuted. This was a tyranny per

them. Besides, it should be refect in its kind, unknown in oth- membered, that John never gives er kingdoms, and perfectly re- names to persons or things by sembling that of the papal beast. anticipation, but rather by alluIt was properly an exercise of sions to names in the Old Testhe “ power of the first beast.” tament.

If we have found the dragon We have endeavoured to as. and the beast, there will remain certain the characters, intended Do doubt concerning the false by the dragon, beast, and false prophet. This must be the pa- prophet. “ From their mouths pel clergy, or the hierarchy of issued three unclean spirits," the church of Rome. In this in- foul, odiouls, and clamorous, terpretation, Protestant writers, “ like frogs. These are the are, I suppose, generally agreed; spirits of devils, which go forth and to this we are indubitably unto the kings of the earth, and led by St. John himself. He of the whole world.” says, chap. xix. 20, " The beast As by the dragon, beast, and was taken, and with him the false prophet must be underfalse prophet, that wrought mir stood, not single persons, but acles before him," (or did won- communities ; so by the three ders in the presence of the spirits, we must understand beast) “ with which he deceived companies of spirits or persons, them, that had received the not merely three individuals. mark of the beast, and them that The work here ascribed to the worshipped his image.” The three spirits, is too great to be false prophet is here described, accomplished by three single as acting in subseryience to, and persons. in concert with the beast; as They are called unclean spirmaking an ostentation of mira- its, and the spirits of devils, to cles, and as using every argu- signify their wicked and irrelig, ment and artifice to support the ious principles, and their impure cause of the beast, and to pro- and turbulent dispositions ; or mote idolatrous worship. He their opposition to the faith and can therefore be no other, than purity of the gospel, and to the the Roman hierarchy.

peace and happiness of mankind. Mahomet is by his followers They are men, engaged in the called the prophet; and he is cause of error and vice, which is vulgarly called the false prophet. the cause, in which the devil But he is never so called in sa- acts, and in which he employs cred prophecy. John, in his his agents. prediction of this impostor, “ They go forth to gather the makes no mention of him under kings to battle ;” to foment sesuch a title. Indeed, John's de- dition in society ; to excite opscription of the false prophet is position to government; to urge quite inapplicable, and in some the powers of the earth to murespects wholly opposite to the tual destruction, and all with a character of Mahomet and his view to exterminate the religion

of Christ, which is “their tor, religion of the gospel; and that ment."

of late years this opposition has These impure spirits, if our increased and become more open interpretation is just, proceed, and active than it was formerly, in an eminent manner, from the Not only the peculiar doctrines German empire, from the French of the gospel have been denied, monarchy, and from the papal but the essential duties of moralhierarchy.

ity and the very principles of Now, if the battle here men- civil society have been treated tioned, is to be understood of a

with contempt.

That the war literal war, and if we are now against religion might be con, under the sixth vial, then we are ducted more sytematically and to look for the causes of this successíully, its enemics in some last, and of the next preceding parts of Europe have formed European wars, in these three theinselves into societies for sources, And were not these that purpose. wars, especially the former, first This opposition has in a great excited, and afterward encourag

measure been owing to the ed and continued, by the influ- causes already mentioned ; the ence of the German court, the tyranny of the German empire, French royalists and nobles, and the despotism of the French the papal clergy in France and monarchy, and the foolery, bigother countries? This was the otry, and intolerance of the general opinion in the time of Catholic church. In those counthe French revolution. These tries the most arbitrary and rigwars, contrary to all human polis orous restraints have been laid cy, have had a great effect in on men's natural, social, and redrying up the mystical Euphra- ligious liberties. From such tes, and in opening the way restraints naturally arise preju. for the subversion of mystical dices, discontents, and impatient Babylon; and the horrors of and restless passions, which, these wars have been, though though for a while repressed, not exclusively, yet principally will sooner or later give themfelt, in those parts of Europe, selves vent in some way or othwhich are subject to the papal er. Hence it was, that many beast. Even France, which has men of learning and talents, findbeen a distinguished agent in ing it dangerous to speak openthis subversion, has had her ly in ordinary conversation on share in the common calamity certain things relative to the esand distress. All this is man- tablished religion and governifestly agreeable to prophecy. ment, instituted clubs and organ

Or, if by the battle of the ized societies for free discussion great day of God Almighty, we of such matters. It is natural to understand a metaphorical war, suppose that men associating and a war against religion, we shall conversing under the influence still find the prophecy verified. of strong passions and prejudices, It is well known, that for many should overlook the laudable obyears, there has been in Europe, ject of réformation in religion and especially in France and Ger- and governinent, and contemmany, great opposition to the plate the subversion of both. It

is not the nature of passion to a day which will nearly precede view things candidly, and to sep- the effusion of the seventh vial, arate the precious from the vile; & the total destruction of the mysbut to confound the good with the tical Babylon. The two last wars bad, and to destroy both promis. in Europe have had a more recuously.

markable effect, than any precedBigotry in religion, like des- ing wars, in subverting the papal potisin in government, may en- power. dure for a season, sometimes

(To be continued.) longer than we should have imagined ; but, by overacting its part, it will in time destroy itself. As a revolution in despotic gove

THE DECALOGUE. ernments often produces anarchy

No. 5. in the first instance, but may ter

Fijih Commandment. minate in something more rea

“ Honour thy father and thy sonable ; so a revolution in big- mother, that thy days may be otry and superstition may be im- long upon the land which the mediately followed with an ap- Lord thy God giveth thee." parent increase of irreligion, but

From father and mother all be ultimately productive of a real other duties originate. Duty is reformation. Prophecy teaches reciprocal.

Parents must not us to expect, that, on the demoli- provoke their children to wrath, tion of the papal superstition, but bring them up in the nurture there will be a remarkable preva- and admonition of the Lord; and lence of infidelity ; but in a short children muist honour their patime there will be a general rents.

The command is a little spread of pure Christianity.

varied in Leviticus. John farther says, “ The kings every man his mother and father, and of the earth are gathered to battle keep my Sabbaths. Honour in that into a place, called in the Hebrew passage is explained by fear in tongue Armageddon," or the this. Father is mentioned first mountain of destruction. The in the one, but mother in the name is taken from the ancient other, probably intimating that Megiddo, or Megiddon ; a place both have an equal claim upon famous in the Jewish history for the honour and fear of children. war and slaughter. The late ex

Instruction of a delicate nature traordinary wars in Europe have may be involved in the appendix had their principal seat in the

to the command; “ye shall fear Netherlands, and adjacent parts, every man his mother and father, which, like the Megiddo of the and shall keep my Sabbaths." Hebrews, have long been fields of The command of a mother and blood and slaughter.

father is binding ; but if it interThe battle, to which the kings fere with the command of God, are gathered, is called “the bat- obey God rather than tle of the great day of God Al- Should parents require that chilmighty;" a day, in which the dren break the Sabbath, or throw cause of religion is assailed, and contempt- upon any of God's orin which God is about to perform dinances ; obedience, otherwise some great work in its support; indispensable, must be withheld,

Ye shall fear

man.

that we may discover proper re- enacted by the Athenian legislaspect to the highest of all author- tor, that whoever refused to ities.

maintain his aged parents should Grateful and affectionate ought be deemed infamous. The laws we to be to our parents. They of Romulus carried the matter watched over our infant years with much too far, subjecting the child, anxiety, and have been unremit- of whatever age, or however digting in their friendly offices. nified by talents, office, or reputaTheir kind attachment to us, their tion, so entirely to the power of mature judgment, and their au- the parents, that of his own thority over us, lay the founda- authority he might imprison or tion of dutiful attachment to their enslave him, and even put him to persons, deference to their judg- death. The youth of Sparta ment, and obedience to their com. were obliged to rise up, whenever mands. If they are in circum- their superiors in age appeared, stances which require our sym. to give placé, meeting them in pathy or service, how can pietý be the street, and to be silent in better expressed, than by returning their presence. This duty, as all the sympathy and service which others, was taught very deficientwe received from them, when in ly, in the systems of morality infancy we were thrown helpless known to the Gentiles. In the upon their care. The profligate sacred page it appears in its full Jews had a strange contrivance for extent, and is enjoined by proper satisfying their own minds, while motives. The command before they neglected this duty. Ourus includes relative duties of Lord severely animadverts upon every kind, requiring us to be their conduct, Matt. xv. 3, 6. dutiful to superiors, whether in The supply, to which parents the family, the church, or the were entitled, they devoted by a rash vow to the sacred treasury, This commandment is the and thereby vainly imagined, and first, to which a promise is anneswere confirmed in the imagina. ed. In the second command. tion by an avaricious priesthood, ment, indeed, there is a general that they were absolved from any declaration of mercy toward further obligations to either of them, who love God, and keep their parents. Such evasions are his commandments. But this is in the highest degree criminal. the only precept of the decalogue, Children, says the apostle, obey which contains a promise peculiar pour parents in the Lord, for this is to itself. right. Obey your parents in all Let children honour their fa. things, for this is well pleasing in the ther and mother, that their days sight of the Lord. The child Je. may be long upon the land, sus was subject to his parents; which the Lord their God giveth and he ended a useful life by an them. Under the Jewish dispenact of duty to his mother, provi- sation, to curse, or to strike a ding for her future sustenance parent was punished with death. and comfort.

The same punishment was in. All nations have had some ficted on those, who continued sense of the duty, which children in stubborn disobedience to a owe to their parents. It was parent's command. But abedia

state.

[ocr errors]

ent children dwelt in safety. ble they can enjoy either. solid The blessing of God visibly at- comfort or joyful hope, as creatended them, securing such tem- tures formed for eternity, and poral prosperity, as would be for hereafter to be judged according their real advantage. Such per- to the gospel. To assist them in sons live in honour and peace. this interesting inquiry, their atThey shall come to their grave tention is earnestly requested to in a full age, as a shock of corn the following observations. cometh in its season. The hea- 1. Sincerity in the profession of then encouraged obedience to Christianity is inseparable from just parents by the same argument. and impressive views of Christian Euripides says, that children, who truth. bonour their parents, are dear to the The whole value of Christiangods, both living and dead. Senar- ity to men ultimately rests on the ius is mentioned by Stephanius as truth of this principle. If sincersaying; “ Thou shalt live as long ity, unconnected with any particas thou canst desire, if thou nour- ular views of religious truth, be ish thy aged parents." Hence all that is necessary, of what use Xenophon's description of chil. is the gospel, as the means of saldren who deserve praise ; those vation? We may with impunity sbo nourish the aged. The daugh- believe any thing we please, and ter, whose breasts supplied nour. our final happiness not be endanishment to an aged father, arbi. gered, though we know not trarily condemned to die by hun- whom nor what we adore. Singer, has acquired fame which cerity considered in itself, inages shall listen to, and respect. deed, is perfectly compatible Such actions perpetuate the with the most pernicious errors, name, and give a kind of immor- both in religion and in morals; tality on earth.

with the rejection of the most esPHILOLOGOS.

sential doctrines and precepts of Christianity ; nay, with the disbelief of the existence of God.

It has been combined with ignoON RELIGIOUS SINCERITY, rance and idolatry ; and the his.

tory of the world loudly attests The insincerity of many, who the atrocity of the deeds, which profess to be Christians, is to be its spirit dictates, and its authorideeply lamented, as the bane ty sanctions. It erected the of their own salvation, as well as stake, and lighted up the faggot the cause of exposing religion to of persecution in popish coun, frequent though unmerited re- tries. It unsheathed the sword proach. It is of the last import, of exterminating violence, and ance, therefore, for all who have brutal sensuality, where the cres. the form of godliness, to ascer- cent of Mahomet was raised. tain to their own conviction, And still, it kindles the fire that whether they have sincerely em- consumes the widow on the braced the gospel, or have only a plains of Hindostan ; raises the name to live, while they are still knife that is plunged in the tremdead in trespasses and sin. With- bling victim, and gives vigour out this conviction, it is impossi- to the unrelenting arm that sac. Vol. II. No. 2.

« PreviousContinue »