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Constantine, he justly attributes the rise of those two most pernicious maxims in the Church ; 1st, that her interests may be laudably served by deceit and lying; and 2dly, that heretics are to be punished with civil penalties, and corporal punishments. By such steps, not Christianity, but Antichristianity was advanced. * The number of immoral and un“ worthy Christians,"continues this author, “ began so' “to inerease, that the examples of real piety and vir" tue became extremely rare.”
Spanheim's observations on this part of ecclesiastical history are to the same effect: “Luxus glis“cens in ecclesiam cum opibus, dignitatibus, am“bitione, superbiâ clericoruin, et requie à persecu“ tionibus, sub Christianis jam principibus, unde “morum, corruptio; &c*."
Mosheim, having produced some strong facts, as specimens of the degenerate state of Christianity in this century, adds ; “ the discerning reader will easily
perceive what detriment the church received from the
peace and prosperity procured by Constantinet:” Joseph Mede, speaking of this century, says;
“ Alas! now began the usepoi accipou, or latter times; this was " the fatal time, and thus was the Christian apostacy “ to be ushered in : if they had known this, it wouid “have turned their joyous shoutings and triumphs “ into mourning -“ Alas! (says an eloquent and « learned writer of our own times) from the very “ æra of the security, prosperity, and splendour of " the Christian Church, we must date the decay " of the true spirit of Christianity! Honour, wealth, "and power, soon excited pride, avarice, ambition :
* Introduct. ad Hist. Nov. Test. tom, i. p. 373.
ang " and the contests for these worldly advantages were THE
but too often carried on with the greatest ani"mosity, under pretence of contending for the
The six first seals having been now opened, and their contents exposed, and appearing to contain an unity within themselves; before we proceed to new matter, let us review them. They contain, accord. ing to this our interpretation, a short, rapid, and gederal sketch of the progress of Christianity, from its establishment to the end of time; from the first, to the final, coming of our Lord. (1.) We see this Religion setting forth in purity, with primitive piety and charity, in which array we are assured it shall prosper, both at its first outset, and at the last. But between these two periods, of commencement, and of final victory and prosperity, there are intermediate ages": and in the progress of the Church through these, the form of Christianity changes; she is no longer the same; for, (..) a fire-coloured hue succeeds to white. Unchristian animosities and contentions, then becoming general, proceed even to mutual bloodshed and slaughter. (3.) The form changes again, and for the worse. Under the cover of dark ignorance and superstition, the agents of the enemy fix a yoke of unauthorized observances' on the necks of the disciples, and thereby make the passage easy for (4.) another and still more fatal change, when true Religion is so completely banished from that which bears the name of the Christian Church, that they, who continue to practise it in its purity, become objects of hatred, and of persecution
to the powers ruling under the Christian name. (5.) Then comes the cry of the Martyrs, bursting forth from this persecution, and continuing through a long period. (6.) But the day of Divine' vengeance, although delayed, will come; when they, who have the mark of true Christian faith and purity, shall be saved triumphantly from the never-ending calamities. Which shall overwhelm their enemies, the enemies.of. Christ.
Such -appears to be this. general.outline of the Christian history. Many important intervals remain yet to be filled up, under the seventh seal, which will be found to contain all the prophecies remaining; and, by tracing the history over again, to supply many events which were only touched upon. before. This method of Divine prediction, presenting, at first, a
age neral sketch or outline, and afterwards a more com. plete and finished colouring of events, is: not peculiar to this prophetical book. It is the just_observation of Sir Isaac Newton, that :: the Prophecies of Daniel are "all of them related to each other;" and that.: every .“ following prophecy adds, something new to the 4 former*.” We may add to this observation, that the same empires in Daniel are represented by various types and symbols. The four parts of the Image, and the four Beasts, are varied symbols of the same Empires. The Bear and the He-Goat, in different visions, represent the same original: and so do the Ram and the Leopard. We are not therefore to be surprised, when :we find the same history of the Church beginning anew, and appearing under other, yet corresponding types;
thus filling up the outlines which had been traced before.
The opening of the seventh Seal, and the Commission to
the Angels with the seven Trumpets.
CIIAP. viii, 1–5.
1 KAI %te frontale I 1 And when he opened 1 And when he had 'n oppayida rin
the seventh seal, there opened the seventh εβδόμην,έγένο σιγή
was silence in heaven, seal, there was silence εν τω έρανώ ως ημι
as it were half an hour. in heaven about the 2 sigros. Kai ki dov,
And I saw the seven space of half an hour, prås irla dhyldes,
Angels who stood be- & And I saw the seven đi touTuby T8 968
fore God, and to them angels which stood besivaar' kal las* were given seveu trum- fore God; and to them σαν αυτοίς επτα
And another were given seven trum. 3 σάλπιγες. Και άλ- angel came, and was 3 pets, And another an. λύ αγελα ήλθε, , stationed at the altar, gel came and
tood at και εσάθη επί το 9- having a golden cen
the altár, baving a diesnigion, our hi
ser: and there was golden censer ; and Baywrón apuano
given unto him much there was given unto xal 2doan aurą do
incense, that he should him much incerise, μιάματα πολλά, offer, with the prayers
that be should offer it övce don tais ago of all the saints, upon
with the prayers of all σευχαϊς των αγίων the golden altar which saints, upon the golden πάντων επί το θυ- was before the Throne. altar which was before σιαςήριον το χευ- 4 And the smoke of the 4 the throne. And the
σαν το ενώπιον το incense ascended with smoke of the incense 4 Sgóry. Kai avilion the
which came with the ο καπνός των θυμια
saints, from the hand of
prayers of the
prayers of the saints, altar,
μάτα» ταϊς προ- the angel, before God. ssugais são ágyban 5 And the angel took ix xipos sẽ ảFri- the censer, and filled
λε, ενώπιον τύ Θεξ. it from the fire of the 3 Kai kinger i ky- altar, and cast to a tón 206 X
the earth; and there τόν, και έγέμισεν αυ- were voices, and thuna τον έκ τα συρος τα derings, and lightnings, θυσιαςηρία, και έκα- and earthquake. λεν εις την γην και εγένοντο φωναι και
Bportaing asganci και σεισμός. .
ascended up before
God, out of the an5 gel's hand. And the
angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earth. quake.
Ver. 1. There was silence in heaven, as it were half an hour.] Upon the opening of each of the former seals, a significant action had immediately commenced. Under the four first seals, voices from heaven, from the place of representation, had invited the Prophet to "come and see." With the fifth seal, the voices of the Martyrs had been heard. The opening of the sixth seal had been directly followed by a representation of action the most tremendous, ao companied and explained by voices, during which the prophecy seemed to extend even to the great and last day of recompense. Now, upon the opening of this seventh and last seal, no voice is heard, no representation immediately ensues.
An aweful silence suspends the gratification of curiosity. After a solemn pause, preparation is made for a new kind of exhibition; the seven angels come forth.
This silence in heaven has been supposed to express, or at least to allude to, that custom of the Jews, whereby they joined their silent prayers to the offering of the incense. But this silence takes place before the time of incense; before the angel takes his station at the