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whole extent of the empire, in its two seats of Rome and of Constantinople. The name Death denotes temporal power, the name Hell spiritual power, and the last is the most appalling : “ Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell."
But the spiritual power, which followed and rose after the temporal power, did in reality annihilate it; or made it, at most, but an image of the beast, an inanimate idol, to which the spiritual power gave a semblance of life, and constrained men to worship it, under penalty of death-a death not inflicted by the spiritual power, but by the civil, at its dictation. Hell followed Deathấthe spiritual usurpation arose after the re-constitution of the empire by Justinian; the other beast rose out of the earth, the re-established Roman state. The two horns it wears (xiii. 11) each rose up after, and among and out of, the other horns of the beast (Dan. vii. 8; viii. 9); and they are horns of a lamb, the counterfeits of the Lamb of God.
Justinian re-constituted the empire, both at Rome and Constantinople, by his early victories ; and the last of the triumphs was that of Belisarius, his general, at Constantinople. Soon after this, A.D. 533, the other beast of hell came into manifestation, when power was lodged in the Pope by the edict of Justinian; and from that time, for twelve hundred and sixty years, all the power of the West was exercised by the little horn like a lamb of the Papacy, and the Emperor became a mere image, a name, the executioner of the will of the Pope.
The coming up out of the earth (xiii. 11) further indicates that the spiritual power, assumed by this other beast, had a basis of truth to rest upon : was not a chaos without form and void, was not a baseless thing, like infidelity ; but had a foundation-was, in short, superstition, or the exaggeration of and addition to religion, not the denial and subversion of it altogether. Such was the Papacy.
But the second horn like a lamb, of the other beast (xiii. 11), was Mohammedanism : like to the Papacy, in being a counterfeit of the Lamb of God, and having the same period to run; but differing in its origin, and in the time at which its period begins. For this second horn arose in 622, the year of the Hegira, and it came out of the bottomless pit (ix. 2): its period consequently overruns that of the Papacy, and, being calculated in lunar years, according to Mohammedan reckoning, will expire about a. D. 1845.
The period of the first or Papal horn, of this other beast, expired in 1793; and at that time the influence of the second horn of Infidelity, from the bottomless pit, began. The distinction between Popery and Mohammedanism mainly lies in this; that
Popery holds all the truths of Christianity, but has built thereon a superstructure wholly erroneous; while Mohammedanism has no foundation of truth to rest upon, but is wholly a fiction of hell: Popery rising out of the church, whose symbol is the earth ; Mohammedanism coming out of the bottomless pit, and infidelity its origin.
This explains the abrupt introduction of the third form of the beast, both when the witnesses are slain at the conclusion of their testimony (xi. 7), and when the mystery of the woman sitting thereon is shewn (xvii. 8). For at the end of the Papal period, the beast, which had been unnoticed during that time, subsisting only in an image set up by the Papacy, again comes into activity, and slays the witnesses, in the character of the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit (xi. 7). No beast has been previously mentioned as ascending out of that place, but thence come the Mohammedan locusts (ix.), which are men instigated by evil spirits, and their king is called the “angel of the bottomless pit :” the beast is the power by which these are combined in the Eastern half of the empire; the leopard, bear, and lion, symbols, as distinguished from the seat of the dragon (Dan.vii. 4–6; Rev. xii. 1, 2).
Popery calls itself the true church, and professes to rest all its doctrines on the Scriptures, or Apostolic tradition. But Mohammedanism is a new invention, brought in by a false prophet; having no foundation to rest upon but pretended miracles, which were seen by no one, attested by no one, but rest wholly on the assertion of Mohammed. He endeavoured to extinguish all Revelation by substituting the Koran in its place, and making in plicit credulity without examination the one indispensable condition of his followers : called them the faithful; called all other men infidels, and consigned these to indiscriminate slaughter.
Even during the Papal period, from 533 to 1793, these locusts from the bottomless pit, and the Euphratean horsemen their followers, made large inroads upon the Western empire, occupying Spain for nearly two centuries, and making incursions to the very walls of Vienna. But after the Papal period the whole Roman beast began to be actuated by the spirits from the bottomless pit to sow the seeds of disbelief of all that is true, credulity to all that is false, liberality towards error, deadly persecution of the truth, denial of the power of God, and assertion of the omnipotence of man, which we behold in such fearful maturity now in every country of Europe. When this system is come to its height throughout the whole Roman empire, the empire becomes the beast from the bottomless pit, ready to do the acts of vengeance for the Lord on his faithless and apostate churches; and then, as a scourge no longer needed, to be cast
into the fire. The beast is the whole Roman power; and not a man, as some commentators have erroneously supposed.
But the system shall have a head, who, like the emperors of Rome or the popes of the church, shall rule with absolute sway, both in civil and ecclesiastical affairs; and who shall, like Mohammed the angel of the bottomless pit, assume an authority above that of the word of God, or God himself; shall be revealed as that man of sin, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (2 Thess. ii. 4). And this last head of the beast, the eighth, who is of the seven, shall be strengthened by all the power of Satan, both spiritual and physical : the ten kings shall give him their power and their strength : he shall exercise all the power of the first beast, to whom the dragon gave his power and his seat and great authority; and his coming shall be after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, till the Lord shall consume him with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming.
Let not any imagine that the piety of this age of religion, or the talent of this age of reason, or the science of this age of illumination, can afford a sufficient security from the power and the wiles of the beast from the bottomless pit. God alone can secure us, by the indwelling of his Spirit ; through which the Apostles were strengthened with all boldness to obey God rather than men; through which the martyrs in the Papal period witnessed to the death for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus; and by which we shall be enabled to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, to refuse all worship of the beast and his image; kept from receiving his mark by having the seal of the living God in our foreheads.
This seal is the Holy Spirit, and its invariable external sign is Holiness to the Lord, the mark on the golden plate of Aaron's mitre; for without holiness no man shall see the Lord. All who come short of this ; all who trust in any other attainment or doctrine; all who have not received the love of the truth, that they might be saved, shall follow the strong delusion which God shall send them, shall believe the lie, because they believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. ii. 12).
Against the locusts from the bottomless pit the same seal of the living God was the only protection (Rev. ix. 4); and the Greek church, upon which the Mohammedan desolation came, was far more pious, learned, and enlightened than the Latin church: and the sciences, on which we chiefly pride ourselves our astronomy and our chemistry--we derived from the followers
of Mohammed. But into the Eastern church, though the most pious and learned portion, heresies were introduced: the last of which, brought in by Nestorius, subverting the personality of Christ, God would bear with that church no longer, but vindicated the insulted majesty of his Son by bringing up the locusts of the bottomless pit; and the connection between the sin and its punishment is shewn by the key of this pit being put into the hands of a fallen star, an apostate angel, or bishop of the churches. The other prominent heresy of the Eastern church affected the work of the Holy Spirit, whom they separated from the Son, and supposed to proceed from the Father alone ; thus denying the proper Godhead of Christ Jesus, and depriving him of his title of Baptizer with the Holy Ghost; while Nestorius denied his manhood, and cut off all sympathy between the Head and his members.
And these two heresies are now at work in the church, preparing the way for the coming up of the beast from the bottomless pit; and we warn our readers to shun the heresies, and to seek, with the most earnest importunity and most constant diligence, for the seal of the Spirit, that they may have that holiness to the Lord which alone can preserve them in the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (Rev. iii. 10). This holiness to the Lord is prevented by either form of heresy-by denying his manhood, like Nestor ; or denying his power to baptize with the Holy Ghost, like the Greek church. We cannot follow his footsteps unless our nature is the same as Christ's human nature in the days of his flesh; we cannot have the mind of Christ unless he shall give us the same Spirit. By taking our flesh he came into contact with, and laid hold on us; by giving us his Spirit we are wrought into conformity with him : his taking our flesh, its redemption; his giving us the Spirit, our sanctification. The Son of God redeemed us by taking our nature; we become sons of God by partaking the Divine nature: He came under death that we might live; we pass from death to life by believing on him, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit from him.
Christ was in generation what we become by regeneration; and the holiness and purity which were inseparable from Christ, though in our nature, is asserted in Scripture of the regenerate man (1 John iii. 9): “He cannot sin, because he is born of God.” The regenerate man is called to the holiness of Christ, and where he falls short of this should feel that he is crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to an open shame; though pardon is still to be obtained by faith on the blood of the cross. The nature of the regenerate man is not the same with Adam's before the fall; for we are liable to sorrow, pain, and death.
The human nature of Christ was under these conditions: he sorrowed, suffered, and died for us. But this doomed nature, which we carry with us to the grave, and which is not changed till the resurrection, may have its evil propensities greatly increased by indulgence of sin, so as to become thereby not only the channel of temptation to the soul, but itself a new source of temptation. The passion of an angry man, and the thirst of a drunkard, become to them new sources of temptation, from the unnatural irritability which they have brought upon themselves by sin, and which the temperate man feels not. In Christ, who never sinned, the human nature was merely the object of temptation, or the channel through which temptation sought access to his soul ; it was never a source of temptation to him ; which it always is to us, because the best of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
The denial of the oneness of Christ's human nature with ours separates between us and our Head, and the denial of the work of the Spirit separates between the members of the body. There is but one church, which is bound together by one Spirit, the Holy Spirit the Comforter, sent down at the day of Pentecost to abide with the church for ever. Those who say that the Apostles alone received the Holy Spirit in all the fulness of power and of manifestation, under whatever plea, under whatever subterfuge they say so, do in fact both divide the church and divide the Holy Spirit : they put Christ and the Apostles in a different condition from succeeding generations of the church, and make the Holy Spirit in them another from the Spirit in us; they fall into the error of the Greek church, and deny the procession of the Spirit from the Son together with the Father.
The witnesses have from the beginning been set up to testify in the power of the Spirit to the Father and the Son, and the rage of the beast has been, under all his forms, directed against this witness. The faith and constancy of the witnesses have been proved by various forms of persecution, and when these have proved stedfast the churches in which the truth was maintained have been preserved for the witness sake. The last witness is now begun : some of the churches have cast it out, and all are about to do so: as soon as this iniquity shall be consummated, the beast from the bottomless pit will be loosed, and the whole Roman earth become one scene of infidel warfare, worse than that of Mohammed or La Vendée.
Against the three forms of the beast there are three forms of witness, substantially the same, as it is the same beast; changing only their form of witness, to meet the form of the adversary. The spirit which animates and empowers the beast is the spirit