Page images

of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain." And on the Seventh Angel pouring out his Vial into the air, what was the consummation that followed? "Great Babylon came up in remembrance before God to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath" + The particulars of whose destruction having been minutely detailed, it is added, "and the Beast" (having gathered his armies to make war with the Lamb) " was taken, and with him the False Prophet, that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.Ӡ Such, then, (as these Scriptures show,) being the design and the end of these predicted judg ments; such being the description and the character of the objects for whom they are reserved; if, on examination, it should be discovered that England does not answer in de scription and character to these objects; if it should be discovered that, instead of being a partaker of Babylon's sins, and of being made drunk with the wine of her fornication, she has no fellowship with her and her abominations; if it should be discovered that, instead of wor

Rev. xvi. 2. 10. + Rev. xix. 20.

↑ Rev. xvi. 17. 19.

shipping the Beast and his image, and of receiving his mark in her forehead, or in her hand, she stands among those who have gotten the victory over him, and over his image, over his mark, and over the number of his name; such a discovery might, doubtless, furnish ground for entertaining favourable conclusions respecting her future destiny: it might, doubtless, inspire a hope, that she is not appointed to fall with Babylon, and to perish with the Beast and his adherents; but that, as during the judgments already inflicted on these objects of wrath under the past Vials, so under the one that is approaching, she will be brought forth, through the Divine mercy, into safety and triumph in the end; though, as before, in the progress she may be grievously pressed, and endure a fiery trial.

But from this hypothetical statement let the Inquiry be now directed to the real facts of the


That England was originally one of the kingdoms of the Papal earth, can be no question; and that so long as she continued to be one of them she was equally exposed, with the rest, to those heavy judgments which are reserved for such as continue to "have the mark of the Beast, and to worship his image," is equally true. But did she continue to be one of these? Did she continue to "worship the Beast and his


image, and to receive his mark?" Or, having gotten the victory over them, did she come out, and was she separate? It was revealed to the Apostle St. John, that, in the great earthquake which should take place at the same hour with the death and resurrection of the Witnesses, previously to the termination of the Second Woe, a tenth part of the city should fall. This earth'quake, as it is now generally explained, predicted the Reformation; while, in the convulsions produced by it, England, originally one of the ten horns of the Beast, here called a tenth part of the city, (another symbol of the Papal empire,) fell from its allegiance to the Church of Rome, and, protesting against her idolatrous and unscriptural doctrines and practices, renounced all communion with Babylon and her abominations. + At that time, then, the case

* Rev. xi. 13.

This application of the falling of the tenth part of the city, to the separation of England from the church of Rome, which was first suggested by the writer in a letter to the Christian Observer, for the year 1810, under the signature of Philo, has since been adopted by most of the modern commentators.


N. B. The writer would take this opportunity of stating, that in the letter to which he here refers, as well as throughout the present publication, he uses the word England" in its comprehensive and popular sense, as comprizing the whole of Great Britain; which is usually understood in the interpretation of Prophecy as having constituted one of the Ten Kingdoms of the Beast. In

[ocr errors]

which has been hypothetically assumed, did actually exist. England ceased to be any longer one of the Papal kingdoms; and, consequently, the favourable conclusions respecting her future destiny, which have been already suggested, became applicable to her. Scriptural grounds were furnished for humbly indulging the hope, that, having separated herself from the Beast and the False Prophet, she would not be involved in their ruin; that, having ceased to be a partaker of Babylon's sins, she would not receive of her plagues.

But have subsequent events justified, and do present appearances justify, the foregoing conclusion? Has England, since she first separated herself from the Church of Rome, continued to maintain her separation? Has she firmly adhered to the principles on which she professed to ground her separation? Have her general conduct and practices been such, in comparison with those of the Papal nations, as have demonstrated the essential difference, and the un

their original separation from the Church of Rome; in their subsequent and uniform protest against its corrupt principles and practices; in their present distance from it; and in their future destiny, in contradistinction to it, the southern and northern parts of the island have been always closely associated in the mind of the writer, and, consequently, are identified, generally speaking, in the Inquiry which he is here pursuing.-2d Edit.

doubted excellency of those principles? Have the Providences of God, and His dispensations in respect to this country, contrasted with His dealings towards the kingdoms of the Beast, been of such a complexion and character as to allow of her continuing humbly to cherish the hope which her original separation permitted her at first to indulge, -the hope, that He regards her with sentiments different from those with which he looks upon them?

To give a clear and 'satisfactory reply to these important and interesting questions, is essential to the prosecution of the present Inquiry. And since it is only from a retrospective and comparative view of the state of England, from the period of the Reformation to the present time, that such a reply can be obtained, it is this view which the writer will now endeavour cursorily to set before his readers.

Whatever might be the real and disguised motives of those persons whom God at first raised up as instruments in accomplishing the separation of this country from the kingdoms of the Papal earth, certain it is, that the Principles of the Reformation, as they became diffused and understood, were generally approved by the nation at large. By means of the many able and pious Reformers, who, by their preaching and writings, so powerfully aided this important

« PreviousContinue »