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éy of what
Part 2. undeceive me ; but those events shall never be
seen. Who can doubt, that by the seat of the Beast is meant Rome? and when was it that the viol of the wrath of God fell upon this seat, i.e. Rome? It was when it lost its Sun, the Sun which is spoken of in the preceding plague, i.e. its Pope, the papal
Court, that like a gulf or whirle pool drew toit A prophe- all the riches of the Kingdoms of Europe. In the
year 1305. Clement V. left Rome, to go and dwell when the at Avignon. The City that was mistress of the Pepes lett. World, became desolatega very defert,and a shadow to Avignon, of its felf during those 74 years; when its Masters
kept their Seat at Avignon. The viol fell upon the Seat of the Beast, and his Kingdom was full of darkness. 'Tis not only said that his Seat was darkned, but his Kingdom. And indeed ; till that time the Kingdom of the Beast, the Authority of the Pope, the Glory of the Holy See (as 'tis calld) had never suffer'd such a strange and terrible an eclipse. This removal of the papal Seat unto Avignon, was the cause of a Schism. At the end of 74 years Gregory XI. compelled by the complaints of the Romans, brought back the Seat to their City. But after his death, the Cardinals (who were almost all French) resolved to have a Pope of their own Nation, the Citizens of Rome fearing left a French Pope should return into France, forced the Colledge of Cardinals to chuse an Italian to be Pope, who calld himself Urban VÍ. The Cardinals incensed at the force which was used in the election, contrived to revolt , which they did , and chose another Pope, who calld himself Clement VII. he held his Seat at Avignon , and his Succeffors for 40 gears, in the mean while, Urban VI. and his Suc. cessors at Rome, had one part of the Church of Rome under their obedience:
At that time, the Sun of the Antichriftian Part 2. World was divided into two; (as it happens to The great the Sun and the Moon, when they are eclipsed) it the Well, was eclipsed and darkned. The Church of Rome was a terrid suffer'd the greatest reproach imaginable. Jesus to the An. Christ had no less then three or four Spouses at one tichruflani
Empire. time. This is a piece of History, which confounds popery even at this day; which destroys its foolish pretences unto an uninterrupted succeffion, an uns divided unity and infallibility: from hence wedraw a conclusion against it, which cannot be avoided. Then the Kingdom of the Beast was darkned; Prina ces despised the Popes, and made themselves their Judges (whereas formerly Popes had judged Kings.) They made them be deposed, they cali'd by their own Authority the Council of Constance where Popes were subjected to Councils, and accounted deposable, as in effect there were three who were there actually deposed. Till that time Censures and Excommunications, had been the frongest beams of the Antichristian Sun, the most efficacious me. .thods of his domination. But then men began to despise them. There was nothing but excom municating of one another; the Western Church was divided into two Obediences, that which obeyed one Pope was excommunicated by the other ; and by this means all Europe lay under exa communication, which made it contemptible, and the people who once respected the Censwes with incredible trembling, began to discern that these thunderbolts were vain and empty things. And this brought a considerable darkness upon the seat of the Beast, and the papal power; for all Europe groaning under the flavery of the Popes, every one began to think of recovering their liberty. Germarefused to submit to Reservations and Expecta
Part 2. tions, means which the Court of Rome make use of.
to make her self Mistress of all Benefices. France, not only rejected Reservations and Expectations, but annulld Annats, Provisions, and all other exactions of the Court of Rome. Then were laid the foundations of the pragmatick
Sanction, which gave the Popes so much trouble, because it cut off all the simonaical tricks, which the Court of Rome used to enrich her self; even Italy it self, during the Schisme, did shake off the yoke'; the City of Bolonia made a Law, that the Benefices of that Church Thould be conferred upon none but of that City and Territorj. To conclude, it cannot be expressed by how many ways that grand Schisme, which divided the Sun of the Antichristian World, did spoil it of its Arength and lustré. After this time, the Authority which the Popes had so mischievously used, (to ruin the Kings and Kingdoms of Europe) did scarce do any more mischief. 'Tis evident, that then the Kingdom of the Beast was darkned, because by this Eclipie it lost half of itsbeams, i.e.of its Authority.
They gnawed their tongues for pain. History must be consulted to know how many calamities war's, combats, how much shedding of blood, rage and fury, did spring from this shameful Schisme. Every one of these Popes gnasht his teeth, and bit his tongue against the Antipope : There were nothing but thunderbolts, excommunications, Croisades, wars and combats, of one against another, Nay, still to this day, the slaves of the papal Seatare vext to the death, when we press them with this thing
But under all their sorrows, they blafphemed the God of Heaven, and repented not of their deeds In those Ages, Idolatry was so far from looling
any thing, that it encreased; then was the reign Part 2,
fate at Avignon, is invented a thousand wayes of felling holy and prophane things; Crimes,Paradise, Sacraments, Ministry, Marriages, and in a word every thing. Then came abroad that famous book, the Tax of the Roman Chancery and Penitentiary, which at that time and get every day, forces to make the Kingdom of the Beast full of darkness. This period lasted from 1305 untill 1440.
The sixth Plague are the Turks , who pass over
the Bosphorus,and invade the Greek and La-
Have carried on my conjectures untill I camë
hithér, and did somewhat content my self in what I had said about the five first Plagues; but The cer I confess that the remainder of this Chapter was whar hack thick darkness to me. And understanding nothing been said of it
put it among those things that are be encrea: to come, according to the usual custome of them fed by that
which folg who Interpret Prophecies; who say of every thing lows. which they understand not ; that it is not yet come to paß : And this made me ready to think, that my perswafion, as to the five first plagues, was but a meer opinion: For in the framing of systems,
Part 2. whether they be of Principles and conclusions,
or of Events contain'd in Prophecies , we must pierce through them all, that we may see them clearly, and be assured of their truth. Whileft I thought that the remainder of the Chapter concerned the time to come , I was content to understand nothing of it, but I was afflicted with the fear, that the end of Antichriftianism was not at hand. But at last, after I had knockt twice, thrice, four, five, yea fix times; with devout attention and deep humility, I believe, that the door is opend to me. I dare speak thus, though I know that some have said, that this favours of Enthusiasme; to whom I answer that there is one Article at least more in my Creed, then there is in theirs, viz. I believe in the Holy Ghost, and his operations. I am in this matter a Disciple of the Author of the enquiry after Truth , and am perswaded that we see no truths but in God, and by the assistance of God: we contribute nothing besides our attention, our prayersand our desires. However, I think, that I have found out the two plagues that follow in this Chapter, and by this means that which was only a conjecture of mine concerning the fivefore-going, is risen to a real perswafion. I am therefore perswaded, that through the Divine assistance I have pierced into the Systeme of the seven periods; a favour for which I willrenderto him immortal thanks as long as I live. For I confess, that I cannot express the ravishing consolation that my heart hath telt, in seeing such evident reasons, to perswade me of the approaching deliverance of the Church. If these two plagues had been yet to come , I felt my heart began to faint , at the prospect of the dismal calamities which now oppress the Church, without reckoning those which do still threaten