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the t great red Dragon, who is stil'd the old ferpent, and the devil, and satan, which deceive th the whole world; and who was the main Supporter and Upholder of that Pagan Empire in its ancient Idolatry and Persecution: and under the. Conduct of Michael the Archangel, who zealously allifted the Endeavors of the Church with his Heavenly. Troops, and at last prevailid fo far, that the Woman was not only safely Deliver'd of a Chriitian Emperor, but He was also caught up to God, and to bis throne, and so fully settl'd, establilh'd, and secur'd therein. After this Delivery of the Woman, and the immediate Exaltation of her Son to the Throne of the Empire, she is to be supe posed in quiet and privacy for some time: after which she is forc'd to fly into the Wilderness. But to prevent her arrival there, the Dragon casts a flood out of his mouthto carry her away, But she is assisted in her Aight by two wings of a great Eagle ; and so arrives safely in the Wilderness: where she is secur'd and nourish'd, tho' in a State of Secrecy and Aliction, for a time, times, and an half, or 1260 days, from the face of the serpent : who ftill is watching to destroy her. And when he finds that to be impracticable, he goes.and Persecutes the remnant of her Seed, born in the Wilderness; who testify against the Idolatry and Wickeness of the Times in which they live. Now all this Allegory is an admirable Description of the threefold State of the Christian Church till che end of the Reign of Antichrift. First, from the Commencing of Christ's Kingdom, on his Refurre&ion and Ascension, during the 10 primitive Persecutions, till the Emperor Conftantine became a Christian; which was
+- It is certain, that at this appearance of Christianity upon the Imperial Throne, this Prophecy was apprehended to be fo plainly fulfilled, that Constantine's Effigies was set up in the publick, over his Palace Gate, trampling upon a wounded Dragon :- Which, fays Eusebius, was done to fignify his Conquests of those Tyrants that Oppressed and Persecuted the Church, at the Instigation of the Devil; in Allusion to the Books of the Prophets, where the Devil thus raging against the Church, is callid a Dragon. And Constantine himSelf, in his Epistle to Eusebius for the Repairing of the Churches, calls his conquest of Licinius, who was the last of the Persecuting Heathen Emperors, The foiling of the Dragon, and the restoring Christian Liberty to all Men. Dago Cresener's Demonftras, p. 298.
just the same number of years, as there are days from the Conception to the Birth in Women with Child, viz. 280. from
Å. D. 33. till A.D. 313. Secondly, From the first Christian Emperor, till the beginning of the Reign of Antichrilt, duo. ring the continuance of the two Christian Branches of the Empire, the Eastern and Western, the two wings of a great Eagles who fupported and preserv'd the Church, and prevented its be ing overrun and destroy'd by Idolatry or Persecution; or its be. ing swallow'd up, as by a Hood, with the terrible Inundations of the Barbarous Heathen:Nations: which Interval, as a Learn, ed Friend hinted to me, and which I since find particularly in .ffted on by Mr. Garret, in his Discourse concerning Antichrist, Part2. Chat.z. seems also to be here determin'd ; viz. during the continuance of both the wings of the great Eagle, or of both the Eastern and Western Empires, s. e. For 142, ora 163 years. Por, as Mr. Garret, and my foremention'd Friend well argue, since the Woman was to be assisted in her flight into the Wilderness with twowings of the great Eagle, or with both the Eastern and Weste ern Empires conjointly, that flight muft correspond to all that time, and to that time only while there were two Wings, or while both the Branches of the Empire continu'd in being together; s.o. till the Dissolution of the Western Empire, either :A. D. 455. at the Death of Valentinian the III. when it ceased as to its real Greatness and Dominion: or however A. D. 476. when the very name also ceased in Auguftulus; of which hereafter. Thirdly, From the beginning of the Rcign of An tichrist till its -conclusion for 1260 years, when the Church should be in a State of Obfcurity and Afiction, and her Genuin Offspring who keep the Commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Cbrist, are to be continually Persecuted by the Dragon, for their refusal to comply with the Idolatry and Wickedness of those Times. Now all this fa naturally agrees with the Histories of the pait Times of the Church, that nathing can do more so; insomuch, that we have seen the duration of each State or Period, is herein Exhibited to us, either.. by a plain Type, as in the first interval : or by a plain Allusion to History, as in the second Interval: or by express Numbers, as in the third. For as the time of Gestation from the Con
Vid. Hippocr. ception to the Birth in Women with Child, is known to be Drei Exprőr. 40 wecks, or 280 days; so it is as well knowi), that from the
first Rise of our Saviour's Kingdom at his Resurrection, and Ascention A. D. 33. till the famous Proclamation and Edi&t, for the Univerfal Liberty and Advanccment of Christianity by t Conftantinas eod. Licinius, A. D. 313, which put an end to the pangs of Birth in the heaviest Perfecution that ever was then knuwn, was exadły 289 years alfo. But notwithstando ing this Glorious Success, which is here celebrated with a Hymn of Praise for its Greatness, and the Glorious Delivery thereby afforded to the poor Perfecuted Christians, who loved mot their lives to the death; Yer is the Dragon, (who was so lately caft down out of Heaven, when Paganism lost the Throne of the Empire,) fo Active and Successtul, as to play a fad Attergame; and to distress the Church sufficiently itil; and to make her think of retiring into a Wilderness : in which Aight the Dragon casts a Flood out of his mouth to carry her away; tho'. thro’ the affiftance of the Earth, whicla fwallowed up the flood, and of the two wings of the great Eaple, the escapes Safely into the Wilderness. All which things almost explain themselves : fiznifying the great Hardships the Christians endur'd, even af. ter Conftantine came to the Throne, by the Oppositions and Persecutions of Licinius, Julian the Apostate, and others: and by the great Inundations of the Barbarous and Heathen Nations, which in a little time overran, and shar'd the Empire among them. Which must inevitably haye Swallow'd up the Church, had not the Eaftera and Woltern Eagles, or Emperors at first protected her; and afterwards the Barbarous Nations join'd with the old Inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and at
+ Licinius vero, accepta exercitus parte ac diftributa, trajecit exercitum in Bithyniam, paucis poft pugoam diebus; & Nicomediam ingreffus, gratiam Deo, cujus auxilio vicerat, retulit; ac die Iduum Juniarum Conftantino atquc iplo cor Con rulatibus (A. D. 713.) de resticuenda ecclelia bujufinodi literas ad Præfidem datas proponi jullit, &c. His Literis Propolitis, etiam verbo hortatus est ut Conventicula in statum priftinum redderentur. Sic ab eversa ecclesia usque ad restitutam fucrunt Anni Decem, Menfcs plus minus quatuor. Ladantius De mortibus Perfequr. p. 86.
derland, Lot Antichriltian Church began tocad
felfe by the long after he is the moppos'dca,
Jaft embrac'd Christianity alfo. However, the Dragon fo far
Corollary 1. The Times of the Antichriftian Pawers which are
Corollary 2. But if we take the Poriod of the Western Empire, or the placking of one of the wings of this great Eagle, 10 be the date of the Womans arrived in the Wilderness,which is the fame Epocha with the Rise of the Antichristian Powers, we have hence another way of fixing it doftin£t from that under the first Vision of the pwo Courts, but very well agreeing thereto. For asehat mor thod fatod it at A. D. 456. So will this alfo ftate it but the year before, if we takerhe Death of Valentinian Ill. for the Period of the Western Empire,as many do ; and if we stare it the lowest we can poffibly, at cho Éxrintion of the very name it self of that Émpire in Auguftulus, that will only carry of 25 years farther,ro A.D. 478. So that, as far appears hitherto, the Epocha of the Antichristian State is most probably to be fixed A. D. 455. Qr 456. and je its Conclusion di A.D. 1915. or 1716. or, at the utmost that can any way be fuppos'd from the present Expoftion of these trifions, its Epocha must be fixed A. D. 476. and so its conclufion at A. D.
Seate is most pro... 1715.0
Expofition conclufion at
1736. which indeed seems to me the very-latest time possible, when we can suppose the end of the prevailing Tyranny of Antichrift, and the date of our Saviour's Glorious Kingdom is to be expecteu.
VISION IV. The Beast with seven Heads and ten Horns. Apoc. xiij. .. A ND I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rife
up ont of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns; and upon his horns ten crowns; and upon his heads the name of blafphemy.
2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard; and his feet were as the feet of a bear; and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great an. thority.
3. And I saw one of bis heads as it wore wounded to death; and his deadly wound was bealed: and all the world wondred after the beajt.
4. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to makewar with him.
5. And there was given unto him a mouth Speaking great things, and blafphemies : and power was given unto him to make war forty and two months.
6. And he opened his mouth in blafphemy against God; to blas. pheme bis name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwellin heaven. : 7., Andit was given unto him to make war with the faints; and overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8. And all that dwell upon the earth (allworship him ; whose names are not written in the pain lambs book of life from the foun. darion of the world. '
9. If any man have an ear, bet him hear.
10. He that leadeth into captivity, pall go into captivity: he that killeth with the word, must be killed with the sword. Herc ., is the patience and faith of the faints.