« PreviousContinue »
Recapitulation of the Prophecies.
PON the whole it appears that the prophecies relating to Popery are the greatest, the most effential, and the most striking part of the Revelation. Whatever difficulty and perplexity there inay be in other paffages, yet here the application is obvious and easy. Popery being the great corruption of Chriftianity, there are indeed more prophecies relating to that than to almoft any other distant event. It is a great object of Daniel's, and the principal object of St. Paul's, as well as of St. John's prophecies.; and thefe, confidered and compared together, will mutually receive and reflect light from and upon each other. It will appear to be clearly foretold, that fuch a power as that of the pope fhould be exercised in the Chriftian church, and fhould authorize and establish such doctrins and practices, as are publicly taught and approved in the church of Rome. It is not only
foretold that fuch a power fhould be exercised, but the place and the perfons likewise are pointed out, where and by whom it should be exercised. Befides the place and the perfons, the time alfo is fignified when it fhould prevail, and how long it should prevail; and at laft upon the piration of this term it fhall be destroyed for evermore. It is thought proper to reprefent the prophecies relating to popery in one view, that like the rays of the fun collected in a glafs, they may appear with the greater luftre, and have the stronger effect.
I. I fay, the Spirit of prophecy hath fignified beforehand, that there should be such a power as that of the pope and church of Rome ufurped in the Christian world: and these predictions are fo plain and exprefs, that, was not the contrary evident and undeniable, they might seem to be penned after the event, and to defcribe things paft rather than to foretel things to come. For inftance. Hath there now for many ages fubfifted, and doth there ftill fubfift a tyrannical, and idolatrous, and blafphemous power, in pretence Chriftian, but in reality Antichriftian? It is the very fame power that is portrayed in the little born and the blafphemous king by Daniel, in the man of fin the fon of perdition by St. Paul, and in the ten-horned beast Bb 2
and the two-horned beaft or the false prophet by St. John.-Hath the church apoftatized or departed greatly from the purity of Christian faith and worship? It is the very fame thing that St. Paul hath foretold, (2 Thef. II. 3.) The day of the Lord fhall not come, except there come a falling away or the apoftafy first: and he faith moreover in another place, (1 Tim. IV. 1.) that the Spirit of prophecy (meaning in Daniel) had in exprefs words teftified the fame thing before, Now the Spirit Speaketh exprefly, that in the latter times fome fhall depart from the faith, or rather apoftatize from the faith: and St. John forefaw the church fo far degenerated as to become (Rev. XVII. 5.) the mother of harlots, or whoredoms, and abominations of the earth.-Doth this apoftafy confist chiefly in the worshipping of demons, angels and departed faints, and in honoring them with coftly fhrines and rich offerings, inftead of the worship of the one true God thro' the one true mediator between God and men, the man Chrift fefus? Nothing can better agree with the prophecy of St. Paul, (1 Tim. IV. 1.) Some shall apoftatize from the faith, giving heed to feducing Spirits and doctrins concerning demons; and with the prophecy of Daniel, that the blafphemous king (XI. 38.) in his eftate fall honor Mabuzzim, Gods protectors or faints
protectors, and a god whom his fathers knew not, fhall be honor with gold, and filver, and with precious ftones, and pleafant things.-Is the fame church, that is guilty of this idolatry, notorious alfo for injoining celibacy to her clergy, and engaging her nuns to enter into vows of leading a fingle life? doth fhe make a vain diftinction of meats, and command and inftitute certain times and days of fafting, wherein to taste flesh is judged a mortal fin? Nothing can more fully accomplish the prediction of Daniel, (XI. 37.) that the blafphemous king, who fhall worship Mahuzzim, fhall alfo not regard the defire of wives; and the prediction of St. Paul, (1 Tim. IV. 3.) that those who shall apostatize from the faith by worshipping of demons, shall no less distinguish themselves by forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thankf giving of them who believe and know the truth.Doth the pope make himself equal and even fuperior to God, in affecting divine titles, attributes, and honors; in affuming a power of difpenfing with the immutable laws of nature and the gospel; in fubftituting for the commandments of God the traditions of men; in treading upon the altar of God at his inauguration, and making the table of the Lord. Bb 3
his footftool, and in that pofture receiving the adoration of his cardinals? It is foretold by Daniel, (VII. 25.) that the little horn fhall speak great words against the most High, and think to change times and laws; and (XI. 36.) the king fhall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and peak marvelous things against the God of gods: and in like manner by St. Paul, (2 Thef. II. 3, 4.) The man of fin fhall be revealed, the fon of perditions Who oppofeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, fo that he as God fitteth in the temple of God, showing bimfelf that he is God.-Have the bishops of Rome extended their authority and jurifdiction over feveral countries and nations? have they ufurped a fupremacy over all other bishops? have they partly by menaces, and partly by flatteries, obtained an entire afcendency over Christian princes; fo as to have them zealous members of their communion, blindly devoted. to their intereft, and ready upon all occafions to fight their battles? It is nothing more than what was foretold by the prophets; by Daniel when he faid (VII. 20.) that the little horn had a mouth Speaking very great things, and a look more ftout than his fellows; and by St. John when he faid (XIII. 7.) that power was given unto the beast over all kindreds,