Obrazy na stronie
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"and filver, and brass, and stone, and of wood, "which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk. "Neither repented they of their murders, nor "of their forceries, nor of their fornication, "nor of their thefts." The Greek and Latin Churches zealously propagate the demon-worship of the ancients, under the name of worship given to faints and angels. They have established image-worship by law; and a univerfal diffolution of manners prevails among them, by the teftimony of their own hiftorians.

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A fecond remarkable circumftance in the representation of this period, is the reign of Antichrift. It is accurately defcribed, and laid before us in various paffages of scripture; chiefly in these, Dan. chap. vii. verfe 7. and 8. 20.25.; chap. xi. verse 36.—39.; 2 Theff. chap. ii. verse 3.-12. ; 2 Tim. chap. iv. verse 1.—5.; Rev. chap. xiii. ; chap. xvii.

The prophecy in the firft paffage represents four univerfal monarchies, fucceffively following each other, of which the Babylonian empire, exifting in the prophet's time, was the firft. It points

points out a remarkable circumftance in the fate of the fourth of these empires, "That it fhould "not be followed by another univerfal monar"chy, but should be divided into several sepa"rate independent kingdoms, represented by "the ten horns." And that this state of things fhould continue till the reign of the faints, or the commencement of the Millennium. Accordingly the Roman empire, allowed by all hiftorians to be the fourth univerfal monarchy, has been divided by the northern nations above a thousand years ago, into the feveral independent kingdoms of Europe; princes have arisen fince that division, ambitious of forming a univerfal monarchy. But He who regulates the balance of power, more effectually than the schemes of politicians, or the arms of contemporary princes, has uniformly disappointed their devices, and the order of things reprefented in the prophecy, has been preferved to the present moment.

The prophecy fhews the particular part of the fourth monarchy, which fhould be thus divided into feparate kingdoms. For it is faid that the three firft beafts had their lives prolonged, after their dominion was taken away; and all the horns are represented as iffuing from the head of the fourth beaft. These two circumftances compared, imply that the original provinces of the fourth monarchy, those fur

rounding

rounding the imperial city, diftinct from the original provinces of the three former empires, fhould be thus divided into feparate kingdoms. Accordingly we ought to look for them not in Babylon, not in Perfia, not in Greece, but in the European provinces of the Roman empire. There they have been erected. There they are ftill maintained. The fame God who difappointed the European princes, affecting univerfal monarchy, fet limits to the ravages of the Saracens, and the conquefts of the Turks, fo as to prevent effectually their disturbing that order of things which his word had foretold.

The prophecy further fhews," That in the "midft of, and contemporary with these king"doms fhould be that of Antichrift, reprefented

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by the little horn; that though a little horn, " he had a mouth speaking great things, and a "look more ftout than his fellows;" that it fhould be divers " from the contemporary king"doms; that he should speak great words against "the Moft High, and think to change times and "laws." Accordingly the Papal dominion has arifen from the ruins of the fallen empire, and has exifted among the kingdoms of Europe for a thousand years. The territory of this potentate is fmall, compared with the other divifions of the empire; but his claims are unbounded, arrogating to himself authority over all created be

ings,

ings, in matters temporal and fpiritual, as being the vicar of Chrift, and the representative of God.

The nature of his government is different from that of the other kingdoms of Europe, having an ecclefiaftical supremacy joined to the temporal power. His rage for propagating idolatry; his intolerant fpirit exerted frequently, extenfively, and violently, in perfecuting those who have adhered to God's written word; his attempts to alter or annul the eternal laws of God, by difpenfations and indulgencies, and to eftablish, by his own authority, as pretended head of the Church, a mode of worship diametrically oppofite to that which pure Christianity enjoins, are facts which the annals of Europe fully afcertain.

"These things were not done in a corner." "He that runneth, may read."

In the 11th chapter of Daniel, the fpirit of prophecy having introduced the fame arrogant opponent of the Deity mentioned before, illuftrates more particularly the circumftances of his oppofition; that he should not "regard the "God of his fathers, nor the defire of women," (or wives, as it might be rendered;) that inftead of the God of his fathers, he "fhould ho"nour the god of forces, (God's protectors,) "with gold and filver, and with precious "ftones, and pleasant things." That he fhould

fucceed

fucceed for the defenders or priests' of thofe gods-protectors, fo as to cause them " have rule “over many, and divide the land among them

for their reward."

Now though the Popé, by his authority, has not establishednominally the Pagan fuperftition of an cient Rome; yet he has enjoined celibacy to the clergy, and fuch as devote themselves to a religious life; inftead of the demon-worship of the ancients, he has established that of faints and angels, under the notion of their being protec tors to individuals, families, provinces, and kingdoms. He has perfuaded men to build temples, and confecrate offerings to them; and thefe offerings confift of gold, filver, precious stones, pleasant veffels, and ornaments of various kinds. He

I

(1) I take the liberty of differing from Mede in his tranflation of this paffage. The word Asah is repeatedly tranflated, fucceed, in the former part of the chapter, particularly ver. 28. The word tranflated Arong holds, is allowed to be a figurative expreffion here, and therefore equally applicable to the priests as to the temples; but the fenfe of the paffage reftricts it to the priests. It could be no gain or reward to saints and angels, that temples were erected, and that they were worshipped; but it was certainly great gain to the priefts. Befides, the conftruction requires this tranflation; for the particle Le, for, is joined to the word Michtsui, defenders, not to Meham, protectors, as it ought to have been, according to Mede's tranflation.

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