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Names were originally given, not only to distinguish one thing or perfon from another, but also to express their real 'nature or true character, as must be evident to every intelligent person who reads with attention the books of Moses. Hence, in fcripture, the name of a person is frequently us.. ed to signify the nature or character of that person whose name it is. In this fenfe, in scripture, the name of God fignifies the nature of God. By her name, therefore, in her forehead it is meant, that her character shall conspicuously correfpond. to her name. Her name consists of three distinct parts, or rather of three distinct names. It is thus fignified, that her character shall correspond to the true meaning of every one of these three names."
It is not within the calculation of chances, that when three names of different meanings are given to any church or state above 600 years before that church or state had any existence, yet when it is brought into existence, its real character shall exactly agree to the true meaning of eve. ry one of thefe names, unless these names had been a real prediction by the Spirit of God of the character of that church and state. If only one name had been given, there might have been fome, but a moft distant chance, that it might have corresponded to the character of that state. If then it shall appear that the character of Papal Rome
corresponds to every one of these names, no un. prejudiced person can doubt that Rome is the city and church signified by them.
The first of these names is Mystery. That under that divine providence which governs the world, such a church as that of Rome should arise, become so great, continue so long, bear the name of Christian, and yet in doctrine, worship, discipline, and conduct be so evidently Antichristian, is a great mystery. To us short fighted creatures, the ways of divine providence often appear mysterious. Though justice and found wisdom are ever the habitation of God's throne, yet clouds and darkness often appear to us to be around him. But of all the ways of providence, none is more mysterious than that a church calling herself Christian, and acting contrary to that Christianity which is taught in the sacred scriptures by Christ and his apostles, should have in appearance triumphed over the true church of Christ for so long a time. This is a mystery, which most probably shall not be unveiled to men until that day when this mystery of iniquity shall be overthrown, when, as mentioned in chap. x. 7. of this book, “the myss6 tery of God Mall be finished.” The state and church of Papal Rome was predicted by Paul in 2 Theff. ii. 7. by the name of “the Mystery of Iniquity.”. The reader will please read and confider that passage, as it is contained at full length in
2 Theff. ii. 1,-12. which is one of the most strik. ing and characteristic prophecies of Papal Rome that is any where to be found. inn
The second is Babylon the Great, that is, that city of which ancient Babylon was a striking type or fymbol. Ancient Babylon was marked by her pride, ambition, luxury, idolatry, number and grandeur of her images, and her persecution of the church of God. Are not all these also the most prominent features in the character of Papal Röme? Is she not therefore Babylon the Great?
* The third is, The Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the Earth. It is well known, that in scripture, in the symbolical language, harlots fignify idolaters, and i abominations idolatry. The earth fignifies the Western Roman empire. With out entering into any disquisition about the nature of idolatry and superstition, it must be admitted, that in the Western empire, since the year 756, many images have been used in the worlhip of God; the Virgin Mary and saints departed have been frequently invoked in prayer, if not as the objects of it, which some of the prayers seem to insinuate, , at least as intercessors with God; and that the bread in the ordinance of our Lord's Supper hath been i first deified by the prayer of a priest, and then an dored. It must also be admitted, that not one of these is enjoined in the sacred scriptures, but that they are all prohibited in them. Without enumeVol. II, - Сс
rating particulars, have not many modes of religious worship been practised in the Western empire, which are not instituted in the word of God, and which are inconsistent with the genius of that spiritual, true, and simple worship of God, which is taught by the gospel of Jesus? Do not the inspired scriptures of the New Testament say, “ Thou 's! Thalt worfhip the Lord thy God, and him only " shalt thou serve.” “God is a Spirit, and they " that worship him must worship him in fpirit and " in truth.” “For there is one God, and one Me. 5 diator between God and men, 'the Man Chrift 6. Jesus.” “But in vain they do worship me, “.teaching for doctrines the commandments of 6 men.” Matth. iv. 10: John iv. 24. 1 Tim. ii. 5. Matthi. xv. g. Since it is a fact too public and frequent that such idolaters and fuch idolatries have long abounded in the Western empire, they must have proceeded from some fource. But is it not equally wellknown, that they have all proceed. ed from the church of Rome? Is she not, therefore, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth? Does notevery one of these three names exactly agree to her character? It is not easy to say which of them fits Rome best, they all fit her fo well. Must not then Papal Rome be the city and church designed by this three-fold name?
Verfe 6th.—And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the faints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admira-. tion.
In this verse, the woman is represented as fhedding, to the greatest excess, the blood of the saints, and of the martyrs or witnesses of Jesus. This Rome hath done to the greatest excess in the period of the vision.
At this part of her conduct, John wondered greatly. To see men of any denomination Thedding the blood of their fellow men, for articles of faith, and modes of worship, is shocking to humanity: to see heathen Rome, who knew not God, nor Jesus Christ whom he had sent, shedding the blood of faints, was fhocking; but not more wonderful than many others of the shocking vices of degenerate man. But to see a church, who called herself Christian; to see those, who profess themselves the disciples of that Jesus, who said, not to the successor of Peter only, but to Peter himself, “ Put up thy sword into its place, for he " that killeth with the sword, shall be killed by the “ sword;" of that Jesus who thus rebuked the blind zeal of his disciples, when they asked power from him to call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans, because they would pot follow Cc 2