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Christ acknowledges for his own, during the usurpation of Antichrist. 'H yuvy signifies generally a married woman; the crime committed with such is adultery ; which may be taken, in a literal sense, to represent in general all the defilements of the flesh; or in a metaphorical sense, a woman is a Church, or congregation of religious persons *; which, keeping itself pure from idolatry, is styled a Virgin; but, defiled with such abomination, is denominated Harlot or Adulteress. “They called,” says Hegisippus," the “ Church a Virgin, when it was not corrupted by “ vain doctrines f." Every part of this description may be found applied in other places of Scripture :1. by Saint Peter; "they have escaped the corrup“ tion that is in the world through lust $;" 2. by our Lord; “ follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth," that is, “ take up their cross and follow him $ :" 3. by Saint Paul; are redeemed, “ bought with a price ll:” 4. by Saint James; “ a kind of first fruits of God's “creatures:” Lastly, “ speaking no deceit,” “ blame“less before God **.” And this description agrees nearly with that of the Prophet Zephaniahı : “ I will " leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor " people, and they shall trust in the name of the “ Lord; the remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, s nor speak lies, neither shall a deceitful tongue be “ found in their mouth. They shall feed and lic “ down, and none shall make them afraid tt."
* See nole, ch. ii. 20. + Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. cap. xxvi. 1 2 Pet. i. 4.
Matt. x. 38. || 1 Cor. vi. 20.
q James i. 18. ** 1 Pet. ii. 22.; ii, 10. 2 Pet. iii. 4. Phil. ii. 15. Luke i. 6. it Zeph, iii. 12, 13.
The character of the true, faithful, Christian Church having been exhibited, its history now begins to be generally set forth ; while solemn warnings, and instructions, and encouragements, most useful to the faithful during the times of the beast, are delivered. And first an angel, flying in mid-heaven *, proclains
the Gospel, as an everlasting rule of faith and of conduct. It has been the endeavour of the antichristian powers to corrupt, or secrete, this Gospel*, which is to lead all nations and languages to the knowledge and worship of the Almighty Creator. So the progress of the Reformation seems here to be prefigured, which, from its first dawnings, ever appealed to the everlasting Gospel as the sole rule of faith, and preached the restoration of Gospel worship in opposition to the reigning impurities and superstitions.
* Maliomet and his followers have corrupted,—the papal hierarchy have secreted it.
The second Angel proclainis.
CHAP. xiv. ver. 8. 8 Kai ändos a layeros 1 8 And another angel fol- | 8 And there followed
hxonéonoe, déywood lowed, saying ; “She another angel, saying: "ETETEV, ŠTETE Bx " is fallen! Babylon, Babylon is fallen, is CuÀày ở Gia s s " the great Babylon, fallen, that great city, leeyanng [őrı] ix “ is fallen! (for) of because she made all të civa rå duu " the wine of the rage nations drink of the " of her fornication
wine of the wrath of της σεπότικε πάγια “she hath made all her fornication, Pomo
“the nations to drink.”
Another angel follows, proclaiming the fall of “Babylon, that great city,” which had intoxicated, seduced, and corrupted the nations with her impure religion. This city, and her fall, will be more particularly represented in chapters xvii, and xyiii, It is sufficient in this place to observe, that this is one very formidable horn of the second antichristian beast, the false prophet; the fall of which is here prophetically anticipated, for the comfort and encouragement of the suffering Church, engaged in opposing her. And the progress of the Reformation seems still to be generally described : for, the purer Christians, the Albigenses and Valdenses, in the twelfth century, pronounced the church of Rome to be this very “ Babylon; the mother of harlots, and abomina“ tions of the earth *.” From this discovery is to be dated the beginning of her fall.
+ See Mede's Works, pp. 517.722. &c. Thuan. Hist. lib. vi. cap. 16. Bp. Newton's Dissert. vol. iii. p. 258. 8vo.
A third angel proclaims just and eternal vengeance upon those who “ worship the beast;" who knowing their duty and their allegiance to God, sacrifice them to their worldly interests. They are threatened with “ the wine of the wrath of God;" the wine, which is at first strong of itself, unmixed (expałow), has no diluting liquor put to it, to reduce its strength, as was. common in the eastern nations