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tachment to her idolatries, and giving vent to the malignity of her heart, by persecuting the lawful children of her alleged husband. How far the description of this last is applicable to the church of Rome, we have already seen. But my intention at present is, to consider what part this woman acts in the Antichristian goverment.
She is represented as riding triumphantly on the first beast'. She holds her cup as an
(1) This view must refute the explication given by late Catholic writers, of the woman and the beast. They acknowledge that the woman is Rome, and that the beast is Antichrist ; but say that the woman is Pagan Rome, and that Antichrist has not yet appeared. (See Pastormie's explication of the Apocalypse, on the passage). The emblematical representations of the Apocalypse may be fitly called a history-painting. Now, put the case, that you see a piece of history-painting, in which a person on horse-back makes a conspicuous figure; you ask an explication of the painter ; he tells you, that by the horse he understands Bucephalus, and by the rider, Frederick III. King of Pruffia: You would readily note him down as an enormous blunderer, and conclude he intended to represent fomething fictitious, not real history ; because it were monstrously absurd to mount Frederick on a horse that had died ages before he existed. Or, fuppose the painter tells you that the horse is now alive, belonging to George III. King of Britain, and that the rideris Pyrrhus,
objeâ of admiration to the world, that the honour and attachment bestowed on her may be reflected on him, as her supporter. This artiice proves successful, for her occupation, her ornaments, the philters or love-potions administered by her, all concur to procure a numerous -crowd of admirers among princes and people, while those admirers cannot possibly separate her interest from that of her supporter ; in venerating her, they must necessarily bow to his authority. In exact conformity to this representation, the Bishop of Rome has had the artifice to persuade the world that he is the visible head of the church, the supreme judge of all controversies, and consequently that a submillion to his authority is necessary, not only for the glory, but even for the existence of the church, as a collective body. And certain it is, that many who discern the illegal usurpations of the Pope in temporals, submit to his authority in spirituals, from a belief that it is necessa
King of Epire, ftill the absurdity were the same, to reprefent on a horse now existing, a man who had died ages before. But this absurdity is very modestly laid to the charge of the Spirit of prophecy, by these Catholic writers. Behold, according to them, Pagan Rome, which ceased to exift 1500 years ago, riding on Antichrist, who has not yet appeared in the world.
ry for the glory of the church. Behold, then, Antichrist revealed, and the sources of his enor. mous power unfolded.
He is represented as a temporal prince sitting in Rome, on the throne of the ancient Cefars, .but pofselling a small territory, for the unity of the empire is dissolved, and the territory divided into several separate independent kingdoms, yet claiming, and successfully establishing an un. limited supremacy, in matters temporal and spiritual, not only over the princes and people of the empire, but in some measure over all nations. While the success of his claim is owing 'partly to the voluntary but blind submission of the contemporary princes ; partly to the influence of a great fociety, similar in fpirit to himself, professing to be the teachers of Christianity, , yet in reality false prophets; inculcating every where, and on all men, fubmission to his authority ; partly to the artifice of this society, holding him up to the world as a visible representative of the Deity, and as such endowed with infallible authority, which, wherefoever it is established, puts it in his power, by fentences of death and confiscation, to terrify the refractory into submissioni; and partly to the artifice of representing his authority, as necessarily connected with the existence of the true church of Christ ; he is in reality the supporter of a vile prostitute, unfaithful to her alleged husband, using forceries, and every inveigling art, to draw admirers, while her success establishes his claim, on account of their mutual connection. Such are the features of Antichrist in the prophecy. That each of them separately, and the whole assemblage, fit the Bishop of Rome, as exactly as if he sat for the picture, all Europe knows; and for my part, I cannot suppose that this striking resemblance betwixt the portrait and the man arises from chance, without a design in the spirit of prophecy to represent him, any more than I can believe that the beautiful fabric of the world owes its regularity to a fortuitous concourse of atoms.
Thus far we have seen the view which the prophecies give of the corruptions of profeffed Christians in our times, and the great punishment inficted by the Sovereign Ruler on account of these corruptions. Let us now consider the view given of the real followers of Christ in the fame period. It is laid before us in three several representations; that of the 144,000 sealed ones, (Rev. vii. 2.-8. chap. xiv. 1.-- 5.), the two witneffes prophesying in sackcloth, (chap. xi. 3.–6.), and the woman hid in the wilderness, (chap. xii. 6. and 14.).
Of the 144,000 sealed Ones.
The time of the 144,000 sealed ones commen. ced much earlier than the period in which we live;, but stillthey continue in our time, and beyond it, existing coeval with the beast and Babylon, as appears from the contrast in their characters : " These are they which were not defiled with “ women, for they are virgins :"that is, they are free from the spiritualfornication of Babylon, extensively prevailing in their time. The circumstancesrespecting them which are remarkable, are these: That they should make but a small part of all Ifrael, that is, of the professed people of God: That the great body of Israel should be corrupted; hence the necessity of their being sealed for preservation : That they should not be confined to any particular tribe or situation in the land, but should be taken from among all the tribes, and over all the extent of the land : That their profession, though fincere should be secret, making melody to God, while their voice was not heard by the world ; " for “ no man could learn that song :” That they should be free from the idolatry of their contemporaries, and should be followers of the ex., ample of their Redeemer.