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I interpret to be that dismal corruption, which Part 2. seized on the Popedom, head and members, in the Senth Century ; for there I place the beginning of these plagues, and they must not have a shorter space of time. Every plague takes up a period of more then a hundred years, so that eight hundred years are not too much for seven periods. When the Prophets divide times by periods, they are not wont to aflign to each less then an age, or Cen
We must know then, that untill the 10th Cen. The first tury, all things favoured the Antichristian Empire, plastico whilft it was brought forth and grew up: "Tis corruption true, Rome (as also other Cities of Italy) did suffer
Popedom ir in the fifth, sixth , and seventh Agès; by the ir- the tenth
Century. ruptions of the Goths and Vandals, by the Wars of Belisarius and Narses, during the reign of fuffie
by the Arms of the Lombards, who were
Part 2. call the tenth age, an iron and leadén age; an iroa
age, because of its hardnes and barrennefs; a leaBacon, ad den one , on the account of these deforming evils;
which broke in like a deluge ; an age of darkness, because of its ignorance. Two women, famous for their debauches; did make and depose Popes. For the space of 1 20 years, the Bishops of Rome were
Murtherers, Póysoners, Adulterers, Sodomites, prophane Blasphemers, known and open Magicians; the corruption of the head diffused it felf into all the members. The Author of Fasciculus Temporum informs us, that in many places men did not know so much as the Sacraments. The Priests Religion was Afrology, Negromancy and Magick; and their life an excess of all sorts of abominations. Baronius confesses, that things were come to that pass, that it was an opinion spread through rhe whole world, that the end of the world was at band, because Anrichrist was come.
Now what resemblance can be more proper to very proper tepresent such a corruption of manners, then a fent luch a noyfom fore, or ulcer, which is here given by Saint corruption. John? An alcer does contain the Idea, i. Of a
great corruption of the blood; for Apostems and Ulcers do always proceed from thence. 2. Of a very great stink, offensive to the smell. 3. Ofa frightfull object to the light. Such was this corruption of manncrs , it proceeded from a deepcorruption of the inward parts of the heart and mind, it cast a very bad smell, which hath reacht even to us : it formed a most frightfull object, upon which the adorers of the Pope, and of the (so called) boly seat, cannot even now adays reflect without horror and indignation. This plague fell upon the Earth, i.e. upon the globe or wholemass of the Antichristian world. For the members and
the head, the whole and the parts were cover d over Part 2, with this dismal corruption.
And further, it cannot be express'd how great a This com plague , how fore a blow this See received from was, and is hence. For this gave occasion to the Emperors do this day to meddle with the affairs of Rome and its Bishops. blow ta The Successors of Charlemaine, having let go this Poperys fair patrimony, kept themselves in Germany, during which time the Popes got strength and made themselves Masters. But the excesses of the Court öf Rome, obliged the Otho's Emperors of Germany to march into Italy, there they corrected and deposed some Popes, and chose others to their mind. They revived the ancient right, which the Emperors had of confirming Popes after their election, which was a very sore mortification, of which they did not recover untill Gregory the VII. And bes sides, this corruption rendred the See of Rome contemptible to all nations. In some Countries men took liberty to write very bitter invectives against it, some of which are come to our hands. This is a wound that bleeds even at this day, and affords us a very strong argument against the pretentions of infallibility and supremacy, challengʻd by the Church of Rome. For we will never cease toobject, and very rationally, that God is too good and too wife, to suffer the seat of his Vicar, and of an infalliblë Vicar,to be infected with so dismal a coċruption. These considerations let us see that none ought to object against us, that we make one of the plagues of the Antichristian Empire to be that corruption, which is one of its Characters. The same thing we shall see in the fourth plague, where we will make it appear, that the tyranny
of the Airtichristian Kingdom, which is one of its Characters, is notwithstanding become one of itsplaguds. When
Part 2., these Characters are risen to an immoderate height,
they become sensible, they discover Antichriftianism, and by discovering it they destroy it; for its Safety consists in being a myftery; it is a mystery of iniquity. This is the first plague, and the first period of Antichriffs declining ; this period lasted above a 150 years; for this corruption continued for a good space of the eleventh Age. The second and third plagues are thus set down.
v. 3. And the second Angel pour'd out his viol upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man, and every living foul dyed in the sea.
1.4. And the third Angel pour’d out his viol upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they
became blood. Waters fig
Observe, that the sea and waters in Prophetick nify people visions , signify people or nations ; this is so well of blood known, that it needs not to be proved. And suppothe Croi. fing that this Emblem is not common in other
Prophets, it is most evidently so in St. John. Come, Chap. 17. faith the Angel to him, I will shew thee the judge
ment of the great whore, which fits upon many waters. The waters which thou fawest where the whore fits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and languages. The first viol was pour’d out upon the earth, i, c, upon the whole Globe; for earth contains both dry and moist. The corruption of manners was spread over the head and the members, over the papal Seat and all its subjects. But this second violis pour’d only upon the waters ,
the sea and the rivers, i.e. upon the people of the Antichristian Empire, or upon the different Nations, Tribes, and Languages (as the Spirit does express it) it falls not upon the Head and the Seat, on the contrary,
it is the Seat of the Beast, which contributes to this Plague. The waters of the sea were
turn’d into blood, and
every living soul dyed. What Part 2 more native and lively representation could have been made of the Rage of the Croisades. In all languages and in all sorts of style, a sea of blood, givers of blood , streams of blood , fignify a very great flaughter. Now the proper Character of the Croisades, is Naughter, murther, which falls not upon the head of the Antichristian Empirez but upon the people , all was there turn'd into blood. Never was there such a prodigious effufion of blood in the sea, i.e. among the peoples. In the first Croisade', there dyed more then two millions of men in three or four years. 'Tis evident that God did lead these wretched crcatures, asit were to the shambles, that they should find the punishment of their crimes: he took away so great a quantity of blood, that he might cure the Vicers of Christendom. For that he might purge it of that vast rabble, he permitted the Devil to inspire them, either with such a sottish superstition, or an extra vagant ambition; that they muft go and deliver the holy Land, or go and conquer Kingdoms in the East. This plague lighted only on the sea; not at all on the dry land : upon the subjects of the Popedoms not at all upon the Popes. On the contrary, the Popes improved that evasion to greaten their power, to plunder whole Countries, to make Generals of Armies, to act as soveraign Monarchs; and to lay á heavier yoke upon Kings : whom they orderd to march and sent them as their flaves into the East , and during their absence plundred their Kingdoms.
We must not imagine that all the plagues laid down by St. John, muft tend to the ruin of the See of Rome, or to the diminution of its power; for fome are to light upon the head of that Empirë, to crush