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the beast, rn which Pazan Roze was seated. is not the identical beast on which we leave seen the hariot. It is isdeed the Roman empire; but not in that period, which has been clearly discriminated in the Tieast carrying the larlot. This is the Roman empire in its last stage; when it appears divided into ten toes”; into ten kingdoms. No such division is seen in listory while Rome continued pagan. It is that period of the beast, when having received an apparently mortal wound, by Christianity having become toe religion of the empire, he is again restored to life; and adding the sanctions of relig cus, to civil power, domineers over the pure Christian Church. This interpretatics, is not new : it is that, in which almost all the Protestant commentators have conirred. If I have added any ting to the evidence by which it is established, it is by pointing out the difference of the beasts, represented in the xiiith and xviith chapters; the one extending his dominion over the whole Roman empire, eastern as well as western ; the other confined to the western dominion, and its ten kingdoms; the former producing the lamb-like beast, the false prophet, or a:tichrist entire, that is, having two horis, one springing furth in the Mahometan or eastern, the other in the papal or western, apostacy; the latter, being a part of the former, bears only one horn of Antichrist, yet that the most eminent. For, the western horn of Antichrist, appearing in the very centre of that part of the world, which bore the Christian name; which styled itself the Cat.olic Church; which denied the title of Christian to any who should dare to dissent from its decries; required a more particular description. That
* D-L. ii. 42. descriptica
description has been now examined ; and the characters presented to view, can apparently accord with no other than papal Rome. The false prophet, as represented with his two horns, may appear to bear as strong a resemblance to the Mahometan, as to the papal apostacy * : but this horn or branch now represented under the symbol of the harlot, belongs exclusively to the papal usurpation. The arguments which are used by the Romanists to evade this application of the prophecy, are of little weight. Those produced by some eminent Protestants, by Grotius and Hammond, have been frequently and most satisfactorily refuted : nor do there remain at this time any which may seem to require notice, excepting that, which has been triumphantly advanced by Bossuet, the eloquent Bishop of Meaux.The woman (says he) must of necessity represent pagan, and not Christian Rome; for, to accord with the former, she is properly named as a harlot; but to agree with the latter, she should have been called a faithless spouse, an adulteress f.--To this objection Bishop Hurd, with equal acuteness has answered, that the term adulteress could not be applied to Babylon, which had never entered into marriage contract with the Deity. And yet Babylon, he observes, on account of her enormous idolatry, was the fittest of all types to represent the corrupt Roman church. But the answer does not yet appear to take away the force of the objection. It scems necessary to shew, that the term HARLoT is here applied to PA PAL RoME
* Indeed it very strongly expresses both : see notes on ch. xiii. p. 298. t L’Apocalypse, &c. par Messire J. B. Bossuet, Evêque de Meaux. - - with
with strict propriety, and according to the just analogy of Scriptural language; and that the name of adulteress would not be more proper. And this, as I conceive, it is not difficult to shew : for, we can produce other churches, which had undoubtedly as fair a claim, as the church of Rome can pretend, to be called the betrothed, the espoused of God; which yet upon their apostacy, or idolatrous defection, have, in the language of Scripture, been denominated harlots. Such were the churches of Judah, and of the ten tribes in Samaria, whose legitimate claim to the title of the betrothed, or espoused, will not be disputed. These churches were undeniably in that very situation, in which the Bishop of Meaux represents the Church of Rome to be, when he asserts that on account of that situation, the name of harlot, and of Babylon cannot with propriety be applied to her. And yet in Scripture, these churches are denominated harlots, when idolatry is laid to their charge. Their crime is called whoredom and fornication, very seldom adultery". And thus, that term which, in the mouth of Divine Wisdom, was properly applied to the espoused Churches of Judah and of Israel, when rebellious and apostate, is certainly applied with equal propriety to the Church Christian, when she appears in the same character; when she is convicted of the same crime. And a reason may be assigned, why such apostate Churches are described in Scriptural language under the name of harlots, rather than of adulteresses. When they forsake God, he disowns them; they are no longer esteemed as married; they are considered as “put away,” by that great Being who
had conferred upon them the title of Spouse. In the language of Scripture, he has “given them a bill of “divorce".” Such appears to be the precise case of the idolatrous church of lèome; she forsook her Lord, when she attached herself to the beast and his image; she rebelled and apostatized; and in such a state, if the Holy Spirit were to call her abominations adultery, it would be to own and to honour her more than she deserves. She is no longer the adulterous wife; she is the divorced castaway, and consequently the harlot. The prophecy therefore in this passage, as in all other parts of it, is strictly applicable to Papal Rome; to Papal Rome in her high zenith of insolence and dominion, when she had the command of worldly power in the ten European kingdoms ; for it is then more especially that she could be said to ride the beast, and intoxicate the kings. In our days, that proud period of her exaltation is well nigh passed. She now appears in a state of weakness and decline. The kings, the powers of Europe, have begun to “hate her,” to strip her of her ornaments, and to expose her nakedness and shamef.
* See Jer. iii. 8. Isa. l. 1.-This also appears to be the case with roy yoziza as 'Isozoa, in this very bock of Revelation, ch. ii. 20–23: the term implies, that she is a wife, yet she is said worvivaal, to act the harlot; whilst those who are corrupted by her, are represented as poorvo's us avrns, as committing adultery with her.
t In my remarks on this chapter, I have not found it necessary to enter into a detail of those numerous particulars, in which this prophecy has been found to quadrate with the apostacy and corruptions of the papal church. The reader will find this abundantly supplied by almost all the Protestant commentators. Joseph Mede very ably led the way, by proving the apostacy of this church, (Mede's Works, p. 623.) and he has been followed by many learned writers, even to our own times; who have with great felicity demonstrated the corruptions of this hierarchy, concording with the symbols of the pro
And after these things,
station of “every unclean spirit, “ and a station of “every unclean and “aoominated bird ; “Because all the na“tions have drunken “of the wine of the “rage of her formica“tions; and the kings “of the earth have “committed fornica“tion with her; and “the merchants of the “earth have become “rich from the abun“dauce of her inso
4 “lent luxury.” And
1 And after these things
I saw another angel
come down from hea
ven, having great power: and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her foruication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her deAnd I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not par