« PreviousContinue »
same time, they shall experience insufferable torment, by seeing themselves and their religion in a situation which they neither apprehended nor feared. “They gnawed their tongues for pain;" yet instead of acknowledging the errors of their religion, now made manifest by the dispensations of divine Providence fulfilling prophecy, they fhall obstinately adhere to their superstition ; fo that like Pharaoh and his servants, the more they are plagued, they shall be so much the more hardened, “ blaspheming the God of heaven, be“ cause of their plagues and their fores, and “ not repenting of their deeds."
The destruction of Rome is an event of fo great importance to the interest of religion, that it is largely described, not only in the 13th chapter of the Apocalypse; but likewife by the Old Testament prophets, who fometimes have it only in view under the names of Babylon and Idumea, at other times refer to it, when thy describe the downfall of ancient Babylon, Nineveh and Tyre'. I shall take the advantage of their united light to point out the agents, circumstances and consequences of this catastrophe. The agents are in general the feveral kingdoms of Europe, represented by the horns of the beast. During the period allotted for his reign, they are his agents to persecute Christ's faithful followers, Rev. xvii. 14. But when his reign comes to a close, their love shall be turned to hatred, they shall cut off the fources of wealth which flowed in to him, and to the church over which he presides ; they shall swallow up her rich beneyces, and burn the city of his residence:“And the ten horns which " thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate " the whore, and shall make her desolate and • naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her “ with fire. For God hath put in their hearts “ to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their
(1) The pasiages that point to the downfall of Rome, either in a primary or secondary fense, appear from the rules laid down in the First Part, to be the following: Ifa. xiii. all, by Rule III. ; chap. xxi. 1.-10. Rule II, ; chap. xxxiv. all, Rule IV. and. V. ; chap. xlvi. 1, 2, and chap. xlvii. all, Rule III. and V. ; Jer. xlix, 13.-18.
kingdom unto the beast, until the words of « God shall be fulfilled," Rev. xvii. 16, 17, But in regard some of the kings who committed fornication with her, that is, were members of her idolatrous communion, are represented bewailing her destruction, Rev. xviii. 9. we can
Rule V.; chap. 1. 1.-3. ver, 9.-16. ver. 21.–32. ver. 35.-46. chap. li. 1.-14. ver. 25.–64. Rule III. and IV.; Ezek. chap. xxvi. all, chap. xxvii. all, chap. xxviii. 1.-19. Rule IV. and V. ; Dan, xi. 40. ; Rule V.; The whole prophecy of Nahum, Rule III. and IV.
not suppose them to have had any share in it. The words just quoted speak in general terms, putting the whole for a part, meaning some of the kingdoms of Europe ; now the particular kingdoms employed by the Almighty as his agents in her destruction, appear to me to be pointed out by the prophet Daniel xi. 40. Having described the character and success of the blafphemous king, in terms which can fully and only apply to the Papacy, he proceeds to thew the manner of his downfall : “ And at the “ time of the end shall the king of the south
push at him, and the king of the north shall
come against him like a whirlwind, with c chariots and with horsemen, and with many
ships, and he shall enter into the countries, “ and thall overflow and pafs over.” Here the agents that procure his fall, are the kings (or kingdoms) of the south and north; that is, kingdoms so situated with respect to Rome, the refidence of the blasphemous king, as the kingdoms of Egypt and Syria, intended by the south and north, in the former part of the chapter, are fituated with respect to Judea. I Mall not pretend dogmatically to assert which are the kingdoms intended, but I conjecture they may be Naples and France; the former shall make an attack on Rome, but the latter shall lead their forces by sea and land against it, unexpectedly
and violently like a whirlwind, and shall prove fuccessful, as a flood that overfloweth the land carries every thing along its course, in defiance of any resistance it may meet with.
This circumstance of its being destroyed by a kingdom fituated to the north, is repeatedly mentioned in those prophecies which have an aspect to Rome in a secondary sense. Thus, it is said of Babylon, Jer. 1. 3.
« Out of the north com“ eth up a nation against her, which shall “ make her land defolate.” Again, ver. 9. « For lo, I will raise and cause to come up against “ Babylon, an assembly of great nations from " the north country, and they shall set them“ selves in array against her, from thence she cs shall be taken.” The same circumstance is repeated, verses 41, 42. In prophecies that have a double meaning, I think it is probable that all the circumstances apply to both events, at any rate, such circumstances as are repeatediy mentioned. The prophecies describe not only the agents, but the circumstances likewise that accompany the destruction of Papal Rome.
They shew the insufficiency of all her resources to preserve her at the time God has allotted for her downfall, though no system of human poli. cy was ever better devised to insure a perpetual duration. She amassed the wealth of the world, which affords the means of negociation,
and forms the finews of war. The kings and great men of the earth were her avowed protec
The abilities and learning of the world once centered in her clergy, who, zealous in her defence, taught lies in hypocrisy. The fascinating charms of her idolatry attach millions to her communion, who fancy that her existence is necessary to their salvation. What an immense multitude of angels, saints and images, according to her own faith, are her protectors ! But all shall be of no avail.
" A sword is upthe Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and up“ on the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon “ her princes, and upon her wise men. A “ sword is upon the liars ; and they shall dote': “ a sword is upon her mighty men, and they “ shall be dismayed. A sword is upon their “ horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all “ the mingled people that are in the midst of “ her; and they shall become as women: a “ sword is upon her treasures ; and they shall “ be robbed. A drought is upon her waters ; “ and they shall be dried up: for it is the “ land of graven images, and they are mad
upon their idols," Jer. l. 35.--38. “I will
punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth 6 out of his mouth, that which he hath swal
" lowed (1) Such is the character given of her clergy, 1 Tim.