« PreviousContinue »
poral sovereignty ought also to end.' Accordingly, we are told, “ In that same hour there 6 was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of « the city fell,” to intimate that the refurrection of the witnesses shall be accompanied by a great revolution, which shall overturn the temporal sovereignty annexed to the Papacy. There appears a peculiar propriety in representing the temporal sovereignty here, by a tenth part of the city. Had it been represented by one of the horns, interpreters would have concluded, that some other of the kingdoms had been intended, because the Pope's sovereignty in the Apocalypse is invariably represented by the seventh head. Again had it been represented here by the seventh head, the fall of that would have implied the death of the beast; or, in other words the dissolution of the whole fyftem of spiritual tyranny, which would have led to an error ; for the fpiritual jurisdiction of Antichriit is represented as subsisting after the fall of the temporal sovereignty, till it is reduced by the vials.
(1) Some have fuppofed that France is intended by the tenth part of the city; the late revolution has fully proved that application to be crroneous. France is already fallen from the dominion of papal Rome ; but the time of its fall does not correspond with that of the tenth part here mentioned, for the Pope reigns still, the Ottoman empirc exists, and the witnesses still prophecy in fackcloth.
In the fame earthquake which overturns the tenth part of the city, “ seven thousand names “ of men are flain.” These are (according to fome), men of name ; and it is probable, that an event fo humiliating to the pride of the church of Rome, as the loss of the Papal sovereignty, cannot be effected without bloodshed; while many of the superior clergy, being the persons chiefly interested in its preservation, may be put to death in the contest : Yet I imagine, that by names of men, we are to understand societies of men, and by their death, the dissolution of such · societies ; particularly, that the several monastic orders, and the societies that owe their institution to human invention, shall be done away. There are not so many separate orders as 7000; but every separate house, though belonging to the fame order is a distinct society. If we number the several houses belonging to all the orders, over all the countries subject to the spiri. tual jurisdi&tion of Rome, they will amount to more than 7000. However, as the number seven is perfect, by the use of it, with the addition of 1000, the spirit of prophecy would intimate their great number; and that all of them shall be dissolved. The completion of this prophecy will not appear improbable, when we reflect, that the Popish sovereigns have obliged the Pontiff, by his own decree, to diffolve the
society of Jesuits, though they might be justly styled the Janizaries of the Papal authority; and when we farther consider, that politicians in Popish countries begin to esteem the several religious orders as useless burdens upon the state, if not absolute nuisances to society.
The fall of the Ottoman Empire. The same hour in which the witnesses arise, and an earthquke overturns the tenth part of the city, it is said, Rev. xi. 14. “ the second wo is “ past.” Now, by the second wo, or fixth trumpet, is meant the Ottoman empire. Whether it shall fall suddenly, and in consequence of the same revolution which dethrones the Pope, or if it shall gradually waste away, and finally cease to exist at the same time, though unconnected with that revolution as the cause, the accamplishment of the prophecy only can determine. They are represented clearly as contemporary events, but the expressions do not necefsarily imply that they shall both be produced by the fame cause. I find similar expressions used (Rev. ix. 12.) concerning the Saracen empire, “ One wo is past.” But the Saracen empire gradually wasted away, and at length wholly disappeared about the time the Turks were in four small dynasties on the banks of the Eu. phrates, ready to push their conquests westward. Just so the Ottoman empire may gradually decline and receive several humiliating blows, be. fore the fall of the Pope's sovereignty ; but at that time it shall wholly cease to be a scourge to mankind in general, or to Christians in particu.
Of the Events which take place from the founding of the seventh Trumpet, to the fifth Vial, or the Destruction of Ronie.
When these three remarkable events are accomplished, they may be considered as evident signs of the famous æra folemnly announced to the prophet Daniel, chap. xii. 0. 7. “And one “ faid to the man cloached in linen, which was 6 upon the water of the river, How long shall " it be to the end of these wonders? And I “ heard the man cloathed in linen, which was “ upon the waters of the river, when he held “ up his right hand, and his left hand unto hea. « ven, and swear by him that liveth for ever, " that it shall be for a time, times, and an half: 6 and when he shall have accomplished to scat“ ter the power of the holy people, all these " things shall be finished." The appeal to heaven by a solemn oath, intimates the certainty of the promised deliverance, in the appointed seafon, that the united efforts of earth and hell cannot prevent it, nor any unforeseen circumstances delay it, a moment longer than God has