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the conversion of Mahometans* Thus, in this distinguishing article of fuith, the Unitarian Christians agree with the Mahometans. And in the remaining articles, which separate them from the pure Church, a yoke is imposed t, nearly similar to that which binds the papal church. They are these ; excessive and merely oral prayers, fastings, pilgrimages. Whatsoever in Mahometism is excessive and antichristian in respect to these articles, will be found to correspond very nearly with corruptions which prevail in the papal church. External purification, and hypocritical ostentation, supersede, in both these religions, the religion of the heart. Mahometism, as well as Popery, has its purgatory, and its indulgences to be purchased by money 6.
On the whole, when we consider the origin of Mahometism, and its near afiinity to corrupted Christianity; when we reflect also on the amazing extent of this superstitious domination, which occupies nearly as large a portion of the globe, as that possessed by Christians; comprising vast regions in ancient Greece and Asia Minor, in Syria, in Persia, in the Indies, in Tartary, in Ægypt, and Africa; whicla once were Christian; we shall readily admit that, it not a Christian heresy, it is at least a Christian apostacy, and well worthy, from its magnitude, to be accounted one horn or division of empire of the antichristian beast.
After these observations, it may be useful to esbibit together, in one point of view, these two horns, and to shew their mutual agreement with the prophecy.
• Dr. Priestley, &c.
† See note, ch, vi. 5. | Sale's Koran, Introduct. Ochley's Hist. of the Saracens, vol.ii. p. 128. Ricaut's Ottoman Empire, 188. Nieburgh's Travels.
is a Christian apostacy, is a Christian apostacy: 7
formed upon the basis which is ably set forth 11 Another wild of true Revelation, and by Joseph Mede, in his Sbeast out of the professed by nations tract on that subject; | land,
which were formerly Works, p. 623.
in the pale of the ( Cbristian Church.
is one of the powers
is one of the powers into which Antichrist
into which Antichrist is divided, usurping the
is divided, usurping the place and office of
redeeming and mediaChrist, and pretending (bas two horns like torial power of Christ,
, to a vicarial power from a lamb:
which is annihilated him, and producing out
under this system, or of its own body wedia
transferred to the utors and intercessors in
surping false prophet. opposition to him.
The doctrine of Po-pery, though it affect to be Christian, is in many respects “ nal, worldly, devil" ish;" and its edicts have been enforced by the sword of the civil Power, under the direction of the ccclesiastical.
. The object of Pö
Malzomet made use pery has been to ac
of ccclesiastical influquire civil power, which
12 Exerciseth all
10 obtain civil the Popes have effect the power of the power, which he comed to a vast extent, first beast; &c.: bined with it, and and transmitted to their
transmitted to his SUC
The Popes have crected a civil empire
Mahomet and his of vast extent in Chris
successors have erecttendom. It is the very
ed a civil empire of image of the ancient
great extent like the
15 Makes Roman tyranny, which
Roman, a cruel oppersecuted the infant image of the beast, pressive power, perseChurchı; but inore for- to which he gives cuting true Religion,
life and speech: midable, because it is
and by an apparent believed to have the
sapction from heaven. sanction of Divine ap
Their numerous subpointment. The power
jects revere their goin such hands is re
vernment as sacred. vered as sacred.
r The intolerance and The intolerance and ?
16 — 17 Causes persecuting spirit of those who refuse
persccuting spirit of the
Mahometans, by which Popery is notorious. worship to the The professors of other beast to be stain, they have denied, to
all but Musselmans, religions have been and prohibits them murdered by millions. from buying and
the common privileges, And the
Christian selling, unless tbey is well authenticated world was
have the mark or in history, as are the compelled to receive
name of the beast; grievous sufferings of &c.
the Christiansunder the mark and naine.
Such is the agreement between Popery and Malometism; and so exactly do they both fulfil the prophecy of the second apocalyptic beast. But still, there is a great and remarkable difference between these two apostacies. The Mahometan, though it acknowledge Christ as a Prophet, divinely born and commissioned, and as such expects him to return again before the end of the world; seems practically to forget him, and to be as it were lost to his name ; dead to the life which is in Christ. The papal apostacy, though in works it deny Christ, and in many instances has so corrupted his holy Religion, that it can scarcely be known as such; yet in name acknowledges him as supreme Lord, and calls itself exclusively the Christian, the Catholic, or universal Church. This difference seems to supply us with the reason, why these two branches of Antichrist, when they come to be treated separately and particularly in the visions of the Apocalypse, are exhibited in a manner so different. The Mahometan branch, having spruug up rapidly into power; having by open force, as well as art, possessed itself suddenly of empire, and continued in the possession of it many ages, apart from the professed Christian Church; so its rise and extension, and all their effects, are represented at once under the sixth Trumpet; and are not often noted afterwards, excepting in this its conjunction with the papal horn. But the papal branch required a more particular description. It grew up gradually and covertly; stole silently into power, and without mucla conflict. To the pure and reformed Church, (which is to win her way to victory éx Tð Smpra, out of the body of the beast in which she is enveloped,) this branch is to be exhibited specially in all its assumed grandeur and artifice; and comfort is to be afforded against its terrors.
For this reason, the papal horn is again produced to view, under the symbol of the great harlot, the corrupt Babylon *. With this branch of Antichrist, the battles of the Church are principally to be fought. As in the Apocalypse, so in the Prophecies of Daniel, the blow of the stone strikes this part of the beast; the toes and legs of the image; the Western, the European Roman empire; that blow, which is to break the whole of Antichrist to pieces; when the stone itself will become a great mountain, a kingdom of everlasting righteousness, and fill the whole earth t.
Ver. 18. The number of the beast.] I have not been able to devise any plausible interpretation of this number. The verse which contains it being wanting in some of the MSS., I had entertained some suspicion, that it did not belong to the true text; but it appears upon enquiry to be genuine. The early comment of Irenæus upon it, appealing to ancient MSS. for the genuine reading, (ad fin. lib. v.) stamps it with great authority. And I do not find that
of the commentators since his time have produced any more probable conjectures than that of this Father. The word Lateinos was first produced by him: and modern commentators adhere to it I. Others compute the number of the beast from the time of the vision, seen by Saint John in Patmos; and thus bring the 666 years to the year of our Lord 756, or 758, when the Pope obtained his temporal power. I confess myself far from satisfied with any of the methods hitherto produced for solving this difficulty,
* Ch. xvii.
+ Dan. vi, Sue Bishop Newton, &c. on this passage.