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suffered martyrdom. This was fulfilled in the death of the apostles and others.
Verse 12, « Therefore rejoice ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.” It was a matter of great joy among the primitive Christians, to be counted worthy to suffer persecution for Christ's sake. “ Woe to the inhabitants of the earth," - those who live under the Roman government," and of the sea," - meaning the principal kingdom among the ten kingdoms. France is generally meant by sea in this prophecy. “For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” The devil means destroyer, and the three woes, and seven last plagues, were all to be sent upon the earth and sea, which denote wars, revolutions, and changing of governments. These things would prevail in the close of this Roman kingdom, and war would be the closing up of the earthly scene of this fourth kingdom which Daniel saw and John has been describing under the figure of the “ great red dragon.”
Verse 13, “ And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth,” - when the Roman government saw they could have no control in the things of Christ's kingdom, they hated the church and the doctrine that taught that Christ's kingdom was not of this world, and they “ persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child," which is the church that had a Savior born unto her, Christ Jesus, the Lord of life and glory.
Verse 14, " And to the woman was given two wings of a great eagle," — by which wings I understand the means God used between the Arian and Papal controversy, at the time of the division of the Greek or eastern church from the west or Roman church, which happened in the reign of Justinian, emperor of the east, about A. D. 538, when the controversy arose concerning the worshipping of departed saints, images, and the infallibility of the church at Rome. In this controversy, many privately withdrew themselves, and settled in the northwest part of Asia and in the north-east part of Europe, and after a number of years colonies were sent by them
into Piedmont and valleys of the Alps, where it is supposed the true worship of God was retained during the dark ages of Papal ignorance, bigotry, and superstition. (See Milner's Church History, and Benedict's History of the Baptists.) — " that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place," - a separation from the world, as says the voice from heaven, “ Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues," Rev. xviii. 4. — “ where she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time,” — fed and nourished by the spirit and word of God 1260 years. " from the face of the serpent” — from the knowledge of Papal Rome.
Verse 15, “And the serpent cast out of his mouth wa. ters as a flood after the woman," — waters, in prophecy, means people, Rev. xvii. 15. Therefore I understand this prophecy to have been fulfilled when the Pope, the head of Papal Rome, sent forth his armies and inquisition to subdue the heretics, as he called them, who dwelt in the valleys of the Alps, which was about the beginning of the thirteenth century,—“that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood” - exterminated and destroyed by his armies and inquisition.
Verse 16, “ And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” This verse was fulfilled in the wars which followed the abovementioned time of persecution, in which the German princes helped their subjects against the armies of the Pope, and destroyed and swallowed up many of the Pa
Or, as some authors have supposed, the waters which the dragon cast out of his mouth was the flood of errors which arose about the time of the French revolu tion, under the name of Deism, which was calculated to destroy the doctrine of the gospel, as they vainly kupposed, backed up by the republican armies of France, and afterwards by the power of Bonaparte, who was finally subdued by the combinations of the kings of the earth. But, as this transaction seems to me to be too
late to affect the woman in her exiled state, I have inclined, in my humble opinion, to my first exposition of these texts.
Verse 17, “ And the dragon was wroth with the woman," — Papal Rome was angry with the true church,
and went to make war with the remnant of her seed." This war has not yet come; for it is evident by the expression “ remnant of her seed," that it means the last of the church “ who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This is the last struggle of this anti-Christian beast, and is described in many places as the last great battle, or the supper of the great God. Such expressions as and went," as though this power would go to some place out of their own territory, and “the kings of the east might be prepared," show that they will go west. I am, therefore, constrained to believe that this battle of the dragon's last power will be in America; and if so, it must be mainly in these United States. It will be a battle on political principles, as we may learn by the passage in Rev. xvi. 13-16, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet;" — the 6 unclean spirits” shows that it is political principles; and, like the frogs in Egypt, it will pervade all the departments of life the social, civil, and religious. By “ dragon,” we must understand the kings of the earth; by the “beast,” Papal principles, or the church of Rome; by the “false prophet,” Mahometan power;—for they are the spirit of devils, working miracles," — that is, spirit of deceit, separating friends, dividing kingdoms, states, societies, churches, and families, and crumbling every man-made institution, and levelling to the dust all law, order, and bond of union, which the wisdom of man may have invented, " which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world.” This shows the universal spread of this fanatical spirit of disorganization, and it will finally lead to “ gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." “ Behold, I am come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked
and they see his shame.” We are here notified that nis coming will be like a thief to those who are engaged in this political warfare, and in those popular and menmade societies of the day; and we are told that those will be blessed who watch, that is, for his coming, and the signs of the times, and that keepeth his garments unspotted from these worldly institutions, which engender strife and animosity among brethren. Be warned, dear Christian, “enter into thy chamber, and hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be over and past, that ye need not be ashamed before him at his coming." It will also be a battle of religious principles, as is evident by the following scripture, Rev. xix. 11-16, “ And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself, and he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." This passage proves that there will be at the close of this dispensation, immediately preceding the marriage of the Lamb to his bride, a great and last struggle between error and truth, between infidelity and the word of God. And you may inquire, perhaps, and with propriety too, How shall we know on which side we are engaged in this great war of principle? I answer, " In righteousness," he doth make war. But, say you, we are so prone to follow tradition or prepossessed notions, and think we are right, that, like Paul, we may be found at last fighting against God. You must see to it, that you are “faithful and true," have faith in his name, “and his name is The Word of God.” This is your only rule - The Word of God. Be careful; lay yourselves on this word. Try yourselves by this standard. If your life, faith, experi
ence, and hope, are built on this foundation, you can never fail; for he that is The Word of God, is “ KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Again: it is to be a literal battle with the sword, for Christ says, “ He that taketh the sword shall die by the sword.” And kings, Papal Rome, and the Mahometans, have ruled the world by the sword, and their swords, during all the days of their power, have been red with the blood of their subjects, and the innocent victims of their hate. And in Rev. xix. 17–20, it is evident, by the “ fowls” spoken of in the 17th verse, is meant, warriors in favor of liberty who are to seat (destroy) the flesh (strength or power) of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and them that sit on them, (armies are undoubtedly meant in this passage, and the flesh of all men,” who are engaged in favor of kings, papal Rome, or false prophet, “ both free and bond, both small and great.” “ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” “ And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon," (awake to the spoil,) Rev. xvi. 16–21.
These will be the means the dragon will use in his Jast great struggle to gain ascendency over the minds, consciences, and bodies of men. He will fan up their political animosities; he will stir up strife and division among religious communities; and, last of all, and not least, he will encourage an intolerable thirst for blood. In which battle Christ will come, chain the dragon, give his body to the burning flame, confine the spirits of all who worship the dragon, beast or false prophet, in the pit of woe; raise the saints, purify, cleanse, and glorify them with his own glory.
IV. We are to speak of the time the saints, or church, were to be in the wilderness, “ one thousand two hundred and threescore days.” I believe all commentators agree that these days are to be understood years; and, as I have proved this point in a former lecture, I Deed not stop to argue this given principle at this time, put will proceed to give some proof when this time be