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dimensions, and cannot be given so effectually in an abstracted form. The reader, therefore, who may desire to satisfy his opinion on this part of the subject, is referred to the original work.1
It is stated, as a third objection, that the Mahometan power was at no time seated at Rome. But where is the sacred prophecy, which designates this capital as the residence of the expected antichrist? We look for it in vain in the prophecy of Daniel, or in the further disclosure by St. Paul, or in the apocalyptic vision now under consideration. In the seventeenth chapter indeed of this inspired book, a vision will be presented, in which a woman, mounted on a scarlet-coloured beast, having seven heads and seven horns, is said to be "that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth.' This beyond doubt is Rome; and the whole of the prophetic description is applicable to the papal horn, but not to the Mahometan, as will be shown in the sequel.
Lastly, it has been objected, that Mahomet attempted no miracles-no more did the Roman pontiffs. To such direct and undeniable evidence of a divine commission, neither of these potentates could appeal; nor were they so rash as to expose themselves to so sure a test. Indirectly, indeed, by the artful seizure and mysterious interpretation of occurrences, suited to their purpose, they endeavoured to impose themselves on an ignorant and deluded people, not as performing miracles in their own persons, but as the objects of miraculous interposition. It is
1 Part iv. sect. 4, p. 365, &c. An afterthought has occasioned this, with some variations, to be inserted as an appendix to the present work.
2 See 2 Thess. ch. ii. ver. 9, 10, 11, where St. Paul states such pretended miracles to be successful with the apostate Christians, in future times, on account of their pleasure in unrighteousness, and their aversion to the true religion, "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."
in this sense, and this only, that the miracles of either the papal or Mahometan Churches can be understood to fulfil the strong language of the prophecy,
making fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of (the) men." It is "a delusion," which they, from their love of unrighteousness, are ready and pleased to account miraculous.'
And by what other means did the impostor Mahomet establish his religion? His Koran was a pretended miracle, "a lying wonder." He describes himself ascending to heaven, to receive a part of it, and the remainder to be brought to him by angels; 2 and he asserts his Koran to be a divine composition, a miraculous work, inimitable by man, and he appeals to the world for its vindication as such.3 What are these but lying wonders," pretended
1 Miracles, in their proper acceptation, are from God only, (John ix. 16, 33.) Such was the fire from heaven, descending at the prayer of the prophet, and attesting his heavenly mission, (1 Kings xviii. 24, &c.) Similar instances of the same miracle had occurred before, (Gen. xv. 17; Lev. ix. 24; 2 Kings i. 10; 2 Chron. vii. 1-3.) The miracles of the false prophet are such in pretence only, "lying wonders and delusions."
Among the "lying wonders" of the Papal Church, what can be more magnificent than the real body and blood of the Redeemer, revivified and reproduced at the prayer of the priest in millions of churches in one day, and every day successively? If the change from bread and wine could be proved to take place, it must be admitted to be a most signal, indisputable, and perpetual miracle. But it is denied, and opposed as such by man's reason given to him by his Maker, and referring the test of truth to the evidence of his senses, and to the Holy Scriptures, and the testimony of primitive Christianity.
2 Koran, xcvii.
3 Do. passim. The style and composition of the Koran are esteemed by the doctors of the mosque to be inimitable, and more miraculous than the act of raising the dead. God alone, they say, could dictate this incomparable performance.-Mill's Hist. of Mahomedanism.
fire from heaven, to delude and seduce the inhabitants of the earth?
The attentive and candid reader may now be left to determine, whether the two-horned wild beast, after his union with the first or ten-horned beast, and his character and action, be not more amply and appositely fulfilled by the wide display of antichristian enormities in the whole Christian world, than solely in that part of it which we call the papal or western? and whether the two horns are not more completely verified in these two grand divisions of Christian apostasy, than in any exemplification of them which has been hitherto discovered in the papal division only?
THIS symbol is pronounced by Vitringa to be the "Crux Commentatorum,"-the knotty point, most perplexing and difficult to unfold. Confining his views to the papal apostasy alone, Vitringa supposes the image to predict the Inquisition. But to this interpretation it has been objected, that the Inquisition is not an essential part of Popery. It has been confined, in fact, to a few nations, most submissive to the papal power.
It may be added, that in this prophecy the image is made by the people, not by the false prophet, though at his suggestion; whereas the Inquisition was established by the Popes, in opposition to popular feeling.
To enumerate all the solutions of this enigma which have been proposed, and to canvass their respective merits, would be a work of labour rather than profit. I shall therefore invite my readers to accompany me in an investigation of it, wherein, by examining the
steps as we proceed, he will be able to estimate fairly the degree of our success.
In this case, as in others of most apparent difficulty, I have had recourse to a paraphrastic review of the prophecy, in order to ensure a perfect knowledge of all its parts, and have then proceeded to the records of history, in pursuit of the corresponding
1. We have before us two wild beasts; the first of which arose out of the sea, the second out of the land. The former had ten horns and seven heads, and one of his heads wounded, as it were unto death. And he had power given him by the dragon, or satan, which he employed in making war against the professors of pure religion.
2. The second beast, with two horns like a lamb, or the false prophet, exercised all the power of the first beast before him. He was also permitted to deceive the people by lying wonders, false miracles; and thus prevailed on them to worship, not only the first beast whose deadly wound was healed, but also an image of him which he caused them to make.1
3. The image being thus made, the false prophet had power to give Tvяvμа, breath or life to it, so that it should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship it should be killed.
4. The image also causeth that persons of every degree and description should be branded with the mark, the name of the beast, or number of his name. And they, who would not submit to this badge of servitude, are deprived of the right of buying and selling, the most essential point in social intercourse. 5. They who have wisdom or understanding, are
1 In chap. xix. 21, ad fin. the reader will see additional proof of the separation of the two wild beasts in their character and offices, which, compared with ch. xiii. 8, and xiv. 9, will warrant the description of them given in the foregoing pages.
invited to calculate or deliberate upon the number of the beast, that is, the number of his name; and this number is said to be that of a man, and it is 666.
To this view of the prophecy we now proceed to add the following observations, as tending to show a correspondent fulfilment of it in history.
1. It has already been pointed out, that the first beast from the sea is the type of that secular power which has at any time oppressed the true Church; but more especially when, in the hands of the pagan emperors of Rome, it persecuted the primitive Christians. This nefarious power received a wound apparently mortal, when his persecuting power was so apparently annihilated by Constantine the Great, and his Christian successors.1 There is a marked difference between the worship paid to this beast before and after the time when the false prophet, the ecclesiastical power, appeared as his minister. The first was general throughout the nations subdued by arbitrary power, lavuarev, they were amazed, stricken with wonder and fear; ris ομοιος τῳ θηριῳ; τις δυνάται πολεμησαι μετ ̓ αυτῷ. The second was the effect of religious doctrines, enforcing such obedience and worship, by a pretended divine authority, and the power of the sword.
2. The second wild beast, ε тns yns, from the earth or land, has been shown to represent a persecuting ecclesiastical power. The first arose from without the Church; the second from within it. How completely, under our present interpretation, he exercised all the power of his predecessor, is too well attested by the history both of Mahomet and his successors, and of the Roman pontiffs. In each case the people were deceived by lying wonders and
1 See the notes on chap. xiii. 1—10.
2 Verses 3 and 4.