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Such is the agreement between Popery and Mahometism; 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 Clirist 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 exelusively 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 sprung 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 much conflict. To the pure and reformed Church, (which is to win her way to victoryều tô Suple, out of the body of the beast in which she is enveloped,) this branch is to be exhibited specially in all its as
sumed sumed 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 any 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. 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. See Bishop Newton, &c. on this passage.
i Ka sidor. 'kazi | 1 And I looked, and lo! | | And. I looked, and lo, ids cò égvior ism
the Lamb, standing a Lamb stood on the
on the mountain Sion, mount Sion, and with Σιών, και με αυτά
and with him an hun. him an hundred forty έκαιον τεσσαρακον
dred and forty-four and four thousand, τα τέσσαρες χι
thousand, having his having his father's diades, i75021 Tò name, and the name name written in their üvojuz xúti, vej rò of his Father, written 2 foreheads. And I heard 720p. Iš uzlgos upon their foreheads. a voice from heaven, αυτά γεγραμμένον
2 And I heard a voice as the voice of many επί των μελώπων from heaven, as a voice waters, and as the 2 αυτών. Και ήκεσα
of many waters, and as voice of a great thunQworn in Tð ágævõ,
a voice of loud thun der: and I heard the ως φωνήν υδάτων
der ; and the voice voice of harpers harpτσολλών, και ως φωνής
which I heard as of ing with their harps : Eporlūs pierykanse rj harpers playing on 3 And they sung as it
Paris ñv mxecz ws | 3 their harps. And they were a new song bexudsepwd wv xebarşızór sing, as it were, a new fore the throne, and
των εν ταις κιθάραις song, before the throne, before the four beasts, 3 xútwr. Kaiad som
and before the four and the elders; and no as un nano Evú living-creatures, and man could learn that 7109 tã Igórą, kai the elders; and no one song, but the hunενώπιον των τεσσά was able to learn the dred and forty and four Fun Züw, xzi tūv ! song, except the hun ! thousand, which were
Ver. 1-4. The Lamb-on mount Sion, and with him,-&c.] The seventh Trumpet had already sounded, and a general view of its blissful effects, in restoring the kingdom to the Messiah and his followers, had been afforded * The conflict is now to be expected. But before the battle takes place, the battlearray is to be viewed. The enemies of Christ and of his Church, the dragon, the beast, the false prophet, have been exhibited in the two last chapters. But “ when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spi"rit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him, ss and the Redeemer shall come to Zion t.” During the alarming progress of the antichristian powers, the Christian forces are not idle and unemployed. The vision proceeds to exhibit their efforts to check, * Ch. xi. 15.
† Isaiah, lix. 19. 20.
and at length finally subdue, the enemies of the Church. The Lamb * appears upon Mount Sion, upon the place of true religious service t; the site of the heavenly Jerusalem ; the seat of the throne of the Messiah I. He comes attended by his Church; by the hundred-and-forty-four thousand, who had been sealed as “ Israelites indeed Ş.” He comes in the likeness of his suffering state, leading his followers to conquer by suffering ||, not yet by his vengeance.
This then appears to be the true, persecuted, and suffering Christian Church, which throughout the reign of the dragon, beast, and false prophet, refuses to worship the image, and receive the mark of the beast. These are marked holy unto God ; the precious price of Redemption has not been paid for them in vain . And “there is joy in heaven,” on beholding their array. The voice of Deity from the throne, awful and sublime **, acknowledges them; the heavenly chorus breaks forth into songs of praise and exultation. They sing “a new song it,” the song of the Lamb, a song mysterious, unfit for innpure and worldly ears II ; in which those only can be initiated who are pure and faithful: and the delights of the heavenly harmony are unutterable; “ none know“eth, but he that receiveth it $9."
Ver. 4, 5. These are they, whom&c.] Here follows a description of that pure Church, which alone
* See note, ch. v. 6.
+ See note, ch. viii. 8. Psalm ii. 6. Heb. xii. 22. Isaiah ii. 23, &c. ; xi. 9, 10; lvi. 7. Ezek. xvii. 22, &c.; XX. 40. Micah iv. 1, 2. Luke iii. 5, 6.
§ See notes, ch. vii. || Note, ch. ii. 7. ' q 1 Cor. vi. 20. ** See notes, ch. i. 14. vi. 1. + See note, ch. ii, 17. ; iii. 12.
#ite, Bebndos. $$ Rev. ii. 17.