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tablished itself by the guilty negligence of the rulers of this world, and by a criminal assumption of civil and ec-. clesiastic supremacy in the very heart of the Church of Christ? Like Jezebel of old, Popery fell in love with the kings and great ones of the world, at a time, when the love of Christ had died away in the hearts of many. It formed extensive connexions, solely from a desire of power, and views of self-aggrandizement. They both obtained it, and were tyrants,
III. Where is there such a mixed power of civil and ecclesiastic authority, as the kings in Israel possessed, which exercised such tyranny against the faithful servants of the Lord, in order to establish a false and idolatrous worship? History is full of the inhuman persecutions which the Papal hierarchy carried on against the very best of Christians. Let it suffice to mention only the Albingenses, Waldenses, Vallenses in France and in Italy, and the Protestants to this day. Her cup is to all appearance not yet full; though her end will be Jezebel-like, of which we have already seen the prognostics.' But we must proceed to what the Lord had said about her.
IV. This apocalyptic Jezebel is not only a woman, (a church) she pretends to be a prophetess also; just as the Pope in his college of cardinals calls himself the Church, exclusively, even of the Roman Catholic community, and sole tutoress of the world. A prophet, in the New Testament sense of the word, is a divinely authorized teacher, who was to discourse publicly upon the various points of Christian doctrine, and to guide and direct the people as clothed by divine authority. The Papal chair at Rome arrogantly professed every item of this definition, since the commencement of the ninth century, to which no other Church in Christendom has ever attempted to pretend. The wisest and most impartial Roman Catholic writers acknowledge, that from the time of Lewis the Meek, the ancient form of church government was greatly
changed in Europe by the Roman pontiff, and new laws substituted in their place. Among these, the spiritual supre. macy of this arrogant bishop was of first importance. They had long pretended to this authority, but now they began to exercise it in full vigour. It was zealously urged, that the Roman pontiff was constituted and appointed by Jesus Christ, supreme legislator and judge of the Church universal, and that this right was conveyed to him by St. Peter, the prince of the apostles. Hence they also contended that the bishops, and the whole body of the clergy derived all their authority from that chair, and neither synods, nor even general councils could determine any thing without its consent. He presumed to be the sole standard of explaining the Scriptures by his tradition, and decreed articles of faith ; and decided all controversies in matters of religion and equity.
And what good has this Papal Jezebel done after all these extraordinary pretensions ? The Lord accuses her of seducing his servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to Idols. These words are probably to be taken in a figurative sense, to denote that preposterous rage of the Roman pontiffs for image-worship to which they have seduced all Europe since the commencement of the seventh century, For, in prophetic language, fornication often denotes idolatry. And to partake in idolatrous rites and ceremonies, may be signified by eating things sacrificed to Idols. But these expressions need not to be taken in a figurative sense, they are even accomplished in their literal meaning. Ever since the Papal chair has es. tablished the celibacy of priests, great numbers of that body were seduced at first, to live like many of the Popes themselves, in concubinage, and afterwards in the most scandalous debaucheries. The doctrine itself is of Heathen origin, and founded at first on a superstitious opinion prevalent in the third century, that those who led a conju
gal life, were of all others the most subject to the influence of malignant dæmons. The Popes, however, urged this doctrine from motives of self-aggrandizement, as this was a most effectual measure, to subject the whole body of ecclesiastics solely to the interest and service of the Roman see. They likewise lived and supported themselves by the things sacrificed to images, and the traffic that was carried on in relics of saints, and by superstition. Thus the seryants of the Lord in that Church were drawn aside and corrupted by deceptious doctrine, as the word to se. duce, signifies.
Verse 21. And I gave her space to repent. Kad Swce aútñ xgóvov iva petavońsy, should be rendered: And I have given her a chronon of time, that she might repent. I take a chronos in the Revelation to be a time of 1100 years. If this period is to be computed, from the time when the Roman see entered into close connexion with the rulers of France, by whose assistance its pontiffs were afterwards raised to sovereign majesty; then the final doom and bed of this Roman Jezebel would be about A. D. 1840. For Gregory III, began this connexion, A. D. 740, by a splendid embassy to Charles Martel, with an infamous promise to withdraw himself and the city of Rome from their allegiance to the Roman emperor, in case of his assistance; whom he bitterly hated, on account of his opposition to image worship. See Walch's Hist. of the Popes.
of her fornication. Togveia, of regow, to carry over in order to sell, to carry merchandize. This word does not denote merely a single instance of this enormous crime, but a general manner of living, and that of the' worst kind; it signifies the trade of a prostitute, who receives men for money; and for the sake of gain, entices and allures even those in conjugal life, to commit adultery. It is worthy of remark that she is saiļ to commit fornica
tion--and those who cohabit with her, are charged with adultery. The first is the same act of an unmarried person, the last of one in lawful wedlock. The Lord hereby informs us, that he never stood in any connexion with Popery, or that he never considered this Jezebel his spouse; but the Catholic community, in as far as it is not Papal, not Roman, is still considered a Church of Christ, the ministers of which break the bonds of union between them and their heavenly Lord, by entering so far into the spirit of Popery, as to promote its propagation. She is here represented, Jezebel like, as a woman of great art, who seduces both by her alluring pleasures, and compeling power. Her pleasures are all bottomed on self-interest, being objects of avarice, of pride and earthly happiness; and her threats misery, pain and death. By these means she seduces the servants of the Lord to commit this crime with herself, by deifying her own person, and inducing all her connexions to pay her divine honours, and also to submit to all her institutions as of divine authority.
Verse 22-23. Here the Lord threatens to bring judgment on her, on them that commit adultery with her, and on her children. Jezebel of old, was thrown down from her window, where her flesh was eaten by dogs. 2 Kings ix, 33–37. This was a signal judgment of God. Popery will meet with one equally rigorous. From her downy sofa of pleasure, on which she has captivated by her charms and intrigues, and enraptured her lovers for a whole chronos, the Lord will cast her into a sick bed of great pain and affliction. Her paramours, who forsook the Lord and committed adultery with her, are the college of cardinals, the higher clerical orders and prebendaries, who enter into the life and spirit of the Roman see, and enjoyed her pleasures and benefits; and those rulers of the world, who have supported her in her aspiring views, and persecu-"
tions against the servants and witnesses of the Lord. They shall also be cast into the same bed of tribulation and distress with her; part of which we have now seen during these sanguinary revolutions in Europe, but the dregs of the Lord's cup are yet to come.
Ps. Ixxv. 8. The Lord seems to have this woman and her transacs tions during many centuries before his eyes; for he also speaks of her children. These are not the Christian churches and congregations under the government of Popery Charity requires to make this Christian distinction. Her children are the different monastic orders, formed for her support, and after her spirit and image; and those missionary societies in protestant and other Christian countries, who use all their endeavours to extend the banners and authority of the Pope, among the true worshippers of Jesus Christ. The Lord will kill them with eleath, if they do not repent. This manner of expression always denotes sudden death, by signal judgments from heaven: such as earthquakes, epidemic diseases, sanguin. ary revolutions, or the desolations of a blood-thirsty tyrant. The accomplishment of this dire sentence will carry such evident marks of a divine and special judgment, that all the churches in the different parts of Christendom at that time, shall thereby know the hand of the Lord Jesus. It probably terminates in that great harvest, Rev. xiv. 15; in which also many children of God are gathered into the heavenly garner, but in a very different manner, from the children of Jezebel.
Verse 24. But unto you I say, and unto the rest at Thyatira. The Lord makes a remarkable distinction in the body of the ministry at Thyatira. They are divided into the following three classes : 1. The woman Jezebel, and her lovers and children. 2. The angel. 3. The rest at Thyatira.