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context of the particular passage now under consi. deration, I will venture to affirm with some degree of positiveness, that the hour or season, in which the great earthquake was to take place, and which is declared by St. John to be the very same as that in which the war of the beast against the witnesses was to be carried on and their triumphant ascent inio heaven to occur; that this hour or season is the period comprehended under the second woetrumpet.
It is observable, that the two first woes are accurately distinguished from each other, as they took place in the East; but that no precise line of discrimination is drawn between them, as they commenced in the West : it is merely stated, that as soon as a tenth part of the city should have fallen by the earthquake, the second woe should be past, but that the third woe should quickly follow it: this line of discrimination therefore must be drawn by referring to eastern chronology. I have already stated, that the first woe-trumpet describes the rise and establishment of the twofold Apostasy ; that the second represents the middle and most flourishing period of its existence, and that the third details the several steps of its downfall, introducing moreover upon the stage a new and most formi
The first of the woe-trumpets seems to have begun to sound in the year 606, when the desolating transgression of Mohammedism arose, and when the saints were given into the hand of the
already existing Papal little horn. Under this trumpet are comprehended the five prophetic months of Saracenic conquest, which began in 612, and ended in 1762, when Bagdad was built, and when Mohammedism
be considered as firmly established. Now, since the prophet assures us, that the first woe expired at this period, we must look for the establishment of Popery either in or before the year 762, in order that it may be comprized under the same woe as the establishment of Mohammedism. Accordingly the proper date of the firm establishment of Popery is the year: 755) or as some say the year 758, when Pipin, king of France, having taken the apostolic see under his special protection, conferred upon it the Exarchate of Ravenna.
The second woe-trumpet began to sound at the commencement of the hour, the day, the month, and the year, when the Turkish horsemen were prepared to slay the third part of men, or the Eastern empire: this, as we have seen, was in the year 1281. In the same year 1281, the papal Apostasy may be considered as having attained the zenith of its power; as will sufficiently appear from the following statement of the several rapid strides which it had previously made to absolute universal domination. In the year 774, the Pope obtained a grant of the greatest part of the kingdom of the Lombards. In the year 787, the worship of images, which had already been established in 607, was confirmed by the second council of Nice. In the
year 817, the Emperor Louis finally confirmed to the Pope his Italian dominions. In the year 1074, Gregory the seventh strictly forbad the marriage of the clergy. In the year 1059; Robert Guiscard assumed the title of Duke of Apulia and Calabria; ånd afterwards did homage to the Pope, as his superior lord, for the dominions which have since been erected into the kingdom of the two, Sicilies. In the year 1137, the same feudal submission was made by Don Alonso of Portugal. In the year 1213, John of England declared his monarchy a fief of the apostolic see*.” In the pontificate of Innocent the third, which lasted from the
year 1198 to the year 1216, the Saladine tenth, a tax originally laid upon the whole Latin empire for the service of the holy war, was continued for the benefit of the successors of St. Peter: and Innocent himself, “ may boast of the two most signal
triumphs over sense and hụmanity, the establishment of transubstantiation, and the origin of the inquisitiont.” Finally, to complete the aggrandisement of the church of Rome, in the period between 1274 and 1277, she bowed to reluctant submission the neck of her ancient rival of Constantinople; a submission, not long-lived indeed, but existing in its full force in the year 1281, when the second woe-trumpet began to sound *.
* The Spanish kingdom of Arragon, the Dukedom of Austria, the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, and more than one of the Italian principalities, declared themselves, in the same dark period, feudatories of the Papacy. The long continued tyranny, which the Pope exercised over the kingdom of Naples, is well known. In short, it appears at one time to have been the studied design of the Bishops of Rome to render themselves temporal, no less than spiritual, sovereigns of Europe. In this design however, as we shall hereafter see, they' by no means succeeded. + Hist. of Decline and Fall, vol. xi. p. 152.
Thus it appears, that the second woe-trumpet commenced in the West, as it did in the East, in the year 1281. Now we learn from St. John, that the last event, comprehended under it, is to be the fall of a tenth part of the great city by an earthquake. Consequently, since the second woc-trumpet began to sound in the year 1281, and since the wit. nesses were slain in the year 1548, the two events, of the death of the witnesses and the earthquake, must of course happen in the same apocalyptic hour or season: that is to say, they must both take place under the second woe-trumpet which commenced in the year 1281; though the one event, as we shall find, was to be many years prior to the other.
And here we must carefully note, that the fall of the tenth part of the city is almost immediately. to be followed by the third woe: “the second woe “is past; behold, the third woe cometh quickly."
* It is a remarkable circumstance, that the submission of the Greek Church was withdrawn in the year 1283, as if it had only continued beyond the year 1281, that the Papacy might be in the full meridian of its power, when the second woetrumpet began to sound. See Gibbon's Hist. of Decline and Fall, vol. xi. p. 334, 337.
Now, Now, since both the first and the second woes form such very prominent epochs in history, as we have seen them do, it is but natural to conclude, that the third and last woe will by no means yield to its predecessors either in the wonderful or the horrible : nay, since it alone is subdivided into seven distinct periods, it is no very improbable supposition, that it will far outdo them in both*. Those commentators, who first, though not with strict propriety, applied the prophecy of the war of the beast with the witnesses to the war of the Emperor Charles the fifth with the Smalcaldic protestants, did not sufficiently attend to this circumstance. Misconceiving St. John's expression of the same hour, they imagined, that the great earthquake was immediately to succeed, and as it were to be the consequence of, the war of the witnesses : hence they concluded, that by the fall of the tenth part of the city was meant, that“ a great part of the “ German empire renounced the authority, and “ abandoned the communion, of the church of « Rome.” But here the question obviously occurs, what great calamity came so quickly after this event, as to merit the appellation of the third woe, and to begin the accomplishment of the prophecy of the seven vials ? Analogy shews,
* Its last period, that of the vintage, will be, according to Daniel, “ a time of trouble, such as never was since there was “ a nation :” and its first period, that of the harvest, which comprehends the three first vials, is described by St. John as being a very remarkable season of trouble and distress. 22