Page images
PDF
EPUB

not, at the precise time alluded to by. St. John, to lie dead and unburied throughout the whole of the

great

* In the street of the great city, is e. in Bohemia, one street " of the papal dominions, or the great city Rome, in a large " sense" (Fleming's Apoc. Key, p. 41.). I do not think Bohemia to be the street intended; but Mr. Fleming's mode of interpretation is the same as my own.

“ It is probable the whole Roman empire may be here repre.“ sented, as one idolatrous and impure city; as elsewhere the Church of Christ is, represented by one pure holy and glorious city(Doddridge's Paraph. in loc.). This argument from analogy is an excellent one.

" It is a truth, which must be held as certain, being one of

the keys of the Revelation, that the city, the great city, siga “ nifics in this book, not Rome alone, but Rome in conjunction with its empire: the name of this great city is Babylon---This " being supposed and proved, that the city is the whole Baby« lonish and Antichristian empire, it must be remembered that " this empire of Antichrist is made up of ten kingdoms and of

s ten kings, who must give their power to the beast. A tenth " part of the city fell; that is, one of these ten kingdoms which “ make up the great city, the Babylonish empire, shall forsake “ it--Now what is this tenth part of the city which shall fall? “ In my opinion, we cannot doubt that it is France--The kings, “ who yet remain under the empire of Rome, must break with * her, leave her solitary and desolate. But who must begin " this last revolt? It is most probable that I'rance shall

Seeing the tenth part of the city, which must fall, is France, “ this gives me some hopes that the death of the two witnesses “ hath a particular relation to this kingdom. It is the street

or place of this city; that is, the most conspicuous and eminent

part of it" (Jurieu's Accomp. of the Script. Proph. Part II. p. 261-267.). The reader will perceive the points wherein I differ from M. Jurieu : the passage is cited siinply to shew what he understood by the great city. YOL. II.

G

« Ciritatem

great city; but only, as he expressly informs us; in one particular street of it*, or rather in that particular street of it which was the public forum or the broad street of the allegorical city t. Now, since their persecutor upon this occasion was to be the beast under his last head, the broad street of the city, where they were to lie unburied, must evi. dently be that principal region of the empire, which should be subject to the immediate jurisdiction of the last head, in its special capacity of the last head. But to this description no region of the empire will answer, except Germany alone. For, when the papal empire is considered as a great city, and the different kingdoms of which it is composed as so many streets; the allegory absolutely requires us to esteem that region of the empire, which was specially subject to its acknowledged head, as the principal street or forum of the city. To this it may be added, that the great number of almost independent princes,

Civitatem illam magnam, quæ regnum gerit in reges terræ,

non tam urbem quampiam moenibus cinctum (quanquam a tali, " ceu acropoli quadam, originem ducere potest), quam multitudinem sociatam per caput aut capita, utentem potestate im“ perandi, tanquam jure metropoleos ostendimus. Prophetæ 6 metaphoras et ænigmata amant. Ita civitus est quasi ciritus ; "forum, quasi forum. Ita Apoc. X. 8. Civitus magna, ubi “ Christus crucifixus est, Romanam ditionem notat.” Ilcidegger. Myst. Bab. Mag. Tom. I. p. 219.

* In una platearum. Pol. Synop. in loc.

1 Επι της πλατειας. “ In the broad place." Archdeacon Woodhouse.

who

[ocr errors]

who jointly constituted the Germanic body, gives a peculiar propriety to the iniagery which exhibits Germany as a crowded and bustling forum. If then there be any weight in the preceding remarks, we are compelled to consider Germany as the region in which the slaughter of the witnesses was to take place;, and consequently we have an additional reason for referring the prophecy to the history of the Smalcaldic confedcrates.

(2.) St. Jolin informs us, that the dead bodies of the witnesses were to lie unburied in this broad street of the city precisely three days and a half : when they should suddenly come to life again, stand firmly upon their feet, and afterwards ascend triumphantly to heaven, in spite of the machinations of their eneinies.

The witnesses, as we have seen, were slain by the beast, when they were compelled to acknowledge the Interim as their rule of faith. The cause of the Reformation appeared now to be irretrievably ruined in Germany. The mass was restored. Protestantism was in a manner suppressed. The reformed ministers were enjoined. to teach nothing concerning the controverted points, that was contrary to the tenets of the Romish church; and were even prohibited to. preach for the future in any province of the. empire. “ The people were compelled to attend “ the ministration of priests, whom they regarded .“ with horror as idolaters; and to submit to the

G 2

“ jurisdiction * jurisdiction of magistrates, whom they detested as usurpers *.”

In short, to adopt the language of prophecy, they that dwelt upon the Roman earth, the papists of the various tongues and nations into which the great city had been divided by the incursions of the Goths, rejoiced over the two prophets that tormented them by their troublesome admonitions, and made merry, and sent gifts one to another. But this joy was soon converted into consternation. The sure word of prophecy had declared that it should last only three years and a half.

Now, if we compute three years and a half from the 15th of May 1548, or rather from about the end of May or the beginning of June when the Interim was published, we shall be brought to December in the year 1551, · Accordingly, at this time the affairs of the protestants took a complete turn; life entered into the witnesses, and they again stood upon their feet. On the 3d of Nocember, the city of Magdeburg, which had the honour of submitting last to the Interim, was compelled to surrender and to receive it as a system of faith. But, on the preceding 5th of October, Maurice of Saxony had privately cons cluded a treaty with the King of France, preparatory to his openly declaring against the Empe

All things being now arranged by this able prince, and the three prophetic years and a half having fully expired, he commenced his operations in the December following, by sending a solemn embassy to the Emperor, in his own name and in that of the Elector of Brandenburg, demanding the release of the Landgrave of Hesse. “ The Elector Palatine, the Duke of Wurtem

ror.

* Hist. of Charles V. vol. iii. p. 203.

berg, the Dukes of Mecklenburg, the Duke of Deux ponts, the Marquis of Brandenburg Ba“ reith, and the Marquis of Baden, by their “ ambassadors, concurred with them in their suit. “ Letters were likewise delivered to the same “ effect from the King of Denmark, the Duke of “ Bavaria, and the Dukes of Lunenburg *.”

This demand was refused. Maurice continued to amuse the Emperor during a short tiine longer; until at length, his preparations being completed, he joined his army, which amounted to 20,000 foot and 5000 horse, and put it immediately in motion. “ At the same time he published a ma“ nifesto, containing his reasons for taking arms. “ These were three in number: that he might se

cure the protestant religion, which was threatened with immediate destruction; that he might -66 maintain the constitution and laws of the em“ pire, and save Germany from being subjected to the dominion of an absolute monarch; and " that he might deliver the Landyrave of Hesse “ from the miseries of a long and unjust impri“ sonment to

* Hist. of Charles V. vol. iii, p. 220.

G 3

+ Ibid. p. 225.

“ Maurice

« PreviousContinue »