Obrazy na stronie

rection to the life that shall never have an end, and his refurrection led to his afcenfion to the right hand of God, when he took poffeffion of the kingdom promised him; fo his myftical body the church, after experiencing various diftreffes for a course of time, by the perfecutions and delufions of Antichrift, fhall in the end be deprived of all political exiftence. But this political death fhall be followed by a revival of her privileges, of which she shall never afterwards be deprived. God, who is the author of life, fpiritual and natural, fhall beftow the fpiritual life extensively and powerfully, fo that great multitudes of all the nations fhall with fincerity embrace, and with boldness avow their adherence to the true religion; "The spirit of "life from God entered into them, and they "ftood upon their feet." The fame God who turneth the hearts of kings as the rivers of water, fhall incline the rulers of Europe at that time, to fupport the true religion, by the voice of public authority; they fhall command the paftors of the church to exercise their function, and the people to profefs their belief of the truth. They heard a great voice from hea(6 ven, faying unto them, Come up hither." As perfons ascending in a cloud to heaven spurn the earth beneath, fo they, protected by the legal authority of the fupreme powers, fhall con


[ocr errors]

temn the machinations and the efforts employed against them, while their enemies fhall fee, with anguish of mind, a revolution which they cannot prevent; "and they afcended up to heaven in "a cloud, and their enemies beheld them."


Two important events for the advantage of the church, fhall take place at the fame time with the refurrection of the witneffes. The temporal fovereignty annexed to the Papacy fhall be taken away, and the Ottoman empire shall cease to exift.


The Fall of the Pope's Temporal Sovereignty.

It is represented in these words, Rev. xi. 13. “And the same hour was there a great earth"quake, and the tenth part of the city fell." An earthquake in the language of prophecy, fignifies a revolution: The city, and the great city, in the Apocalypfe, fignifies Rome. It is fo called with respect to its dominion, rather than the territory within its walls. Thus, we are told verfe 8. of this chapter, that our Lord was crucified in the great city. He certainly was crucified by the authority of Rome, in a province of her empire, though not within the walls. As the Roman empire represented by the

the beast has ten horns, fignifying so many kingdoms, the fame empire reprefented by a city, muft confift of ten parts ;-and as in Daniel's vision, the Pope's temporal fovereignty is typified by one of these horns, fo the fame fovereignty here is typified by one of these ten parts. But here it may be faid, Why fhould it fignify the Pope's temporal fovereignty, rather than any other of the ten kingdoms? Becaufe, ift, The fall of that fovereignty is of much greater importance to the completion of the prophecy than any, or even feverals of the other kingdoms: accordingly, though feverals fell away at the Reformation, I find no particular mention made of them. 2d, It is the only one of the ten whofe duration is measured in the prophecy; it is the only one, therefore, whofe fall we might expect to be particularly marked. 3d, The time at which this tenth part falls, exactly correfponds with the period in which the Pope's temporal fovereignty ought to fall; for the 42 months allotted to the reign of the feventh head, meafure (as we have already feen, p. 60.) the temporal fovereignty annexed to the Papacy; thefe 4.2 months make exactly 1260 prophetic days or years, and they coincide throughout with the 1260 years of the witneffes mourning prophecy; but their mourning prophecy ends by their refurrection; at the fame time, therefore, the temporal

poral fovereignty ought also to end.' Accordingly, we are told, "In that fame hour there "was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of "the city fell," to intimate that the refurrection of the witneffes fhall be accompanied by a great revolution, which fhall overturn the temporal fovereignty annexed to the Papacy. There appears a peculiar propriety in representing the temporal fovereignty here, by a tenth part of the city. Had it been represented by one of the horns, interpreters would have concluded, that fome other of the kingdoms had been intended, because the Pope's fovereignty in the Apocalypfe is invariably reprefented by the feventh head. Again had it been represented here by the feventh head, the fall of that would have implied the death of the beast; or, in other words the diffolution of the whole fyftem of spiritual tyranny, which would have led to an error; for the fpiritual jurifdiction of Antichrift is reprefented as fubfifting after the fall of the temporal fovereignty, 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 erroneous. France is already fallen from the dominion of papal Rome; but the time of its fall does not correfpond with that of the tenth part here mentioned, for the Pope reigns ftill, the Ottoman empire exifts, and the witneffes ftill prophecy in fackcloth.

In the fame earthquake which overturns the tenth part of the city, "feven thousand names "of men are flain." Thefe 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 fovereignty, cannot be effected without bloodfhed; while many of the fuperior clergy, being the perfons chiefly interested in its preservation, may be put to death in the conteft: Yet I imagine, that by names of men, we are to understand societies of men, and by their death, the diffolution of fuch focieties; particularly, that the several monaftic orders, and the focieties that owe their institution to human invention, fhall be done away. There are not fo many feparate orders as 7000; but every separate house, though belonging to the fame order is a diftinct fociety. If we number the feveral houses belonging to all the orders, over all the countries fubject to the fpiritual jurifdiction of Rome, they will amount to more than 7000. However, as the number feven 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 fhall be diffolved. The completion of this prophecy will not appear improbable, when we reflect, that the Popish fovereigns have obliged the Pontiff, by his own decree, to diffolve the


« PoprzedniaDalej »