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It is probable that a concuffion of the earth, accompanying this fubterraneous fire, fhall dam up the Tiber, so that having no issue to the sea, it shall reduce the ground in the neighbourhood of Rome to a lake or morafs, while the hills of Rome shall appear as islands in the midst of the morass, covered with ruinous palaces, and these palaces inhabited by every unclean beast and bird. This I infer from the frequent allufions to the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, the mention made of the wild beafts of the islands, and fuch birds as haunt marshy grounds only'. "And Babylon, "the
66 a bituminous and fulphurous foil. There have even at "Rome been eruptions of fubterraneous fire, which have "confumed feveral buildings, fo that the fuel feemeth to "be prepared, and watch only for the breath of the "Lord to kindle it." Newton's Diff. on Proph. Vol. iii. p. 322.
(1) I cannot doubt that the fulphurous fhower which deftroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was accompanied by a concuffion of the earth, which shut up the paffage by which the river Jordan formerly iffued from the plain, fo that the water driven back, formed the lake Afphaltites, or Dead Sea; and we learn from hiftory, that the river Euphrates being diverted from its channel by Cyrus, in order to enter by it into the city, was never afterwards properly reftored, fo that the country in the eighbourhood of Babylon, in
"the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the "Chaldeans excellency, fhall be as when God "overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It fhall "never be inhabited, neither hall it be dwelt "in from generation to generation.—But wild "beafts of the defert fhall lie there; and their "houfes fhall be full of doleful creatures; and "owls shall dwell there, and fatyrs fhall dance "there. And the wild beafts of the islands "fhall cry in their defolate houfes, and dra
gons in their pleasant places," Ifa. xiii. 19.22. "But the cormorant and the bittern fhall "poffefs it; the owl alfo and the raven fhall "dwell in it: and he fhall ftretch out upon it "the line of confufion, and the ftones of emp"tinefs. And thorns fhall come up in her pa"laces, nettles and brambles in the fortreffes "thereof; and it fhall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The wild beafts "of the defert fhall alfo meet with the wild "beafts of the islands, and the fatyr fhall cry to his fellow; the fcreech owl alfo fhall "reft there, and find for herself a place of reft. "There fhall the great owl make her neft, and "lay
in proces of time, became one great morafs. Now, the allufions to Sodom and Gomorrah being literally fulfilled in the fate of ancient Babylon, afford at least ground for conjecture, that they fhall hold true in the deftruction of Papal Rome.
lay and hatch, and gather under her shadow "there fhall the vultures alfo be gathered, "every one with her mate. Seek ye out of the "book of the Lord, and read; no one of these "fhall fail, none fhall want her mate: for my "mouth it hath commanded, and his Spi"rit it hath gathered them. And he hath caft "the lot for them, and his hand hath divided "it unto them by line: they fhall poffefs it for 66 ever, from generation to generation shall they "dwell therein," Ifa. xxxiv. 11.-17. "And "Edom fhall be a defolation: every one that goeth by it, fhall be aftonished, and fhall hifs at all the plagues thereof. As in the over"throw of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighbour cities thereof, faith the Lord: no 66 man fhall abide there, neither fhall a fon of man dwell in it," Jer. xlix. 17, 18. " There"fore the wild beafts of the defert, with the wild "beafts of the islands fhall dwell there, and the "owls fhall dwell therein and it fhall no more "be inhabited for ever; neither fhall it be "dwelt in from generation to generation. As "God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and "the neighbour cities thereof, faith the Lord : "fo fhall no man abide there, neither fhall any "fon of man dwell therein," Jer. 1. 39, 40. "And Babylon fhall become heaps, a dwelling "place for dragons, an aftonishment and an
hiffing, without an inhabitant," chap. li. 37. "I faw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was light"ened with his glory. And he cried mightily "with a strong voice, faying, Babylon the great "is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habita❝tion of devils, and the hold of every foul fpi"rit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful "bird," Rev. xviii. 1, 2.'
All thefe expreffions imply a total and perpetual, not a partial and temporary diffolution. But to remove all dubiety, the Apostle John fays, "A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and caft it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence fhall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and fhall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers ❝ and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, "fhall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be "found
(1)" But if this fall of Babylon was effected by Totila "king of the Oftrogoths, as Grotius affirms, or by Ala"rick, king of the Vifigoths, as the Bishop of Meaux " contends, how can Rome be faid ever fince to have been "the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul "fpirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, "unless they will allow the Popes and Cardinals to merit "these appellations?" Newton's Diff. on Proph. vol. iii. p. 312.
"found any more in thee; and the found of a "millftone fhall be heard no more at all in thee. "And the light of a candle fhall shine no more "at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom, and of the birde, fhall be heard no "more at all in thee," Rev. xviii. 21.-23.'
The reasons of this fignal catastrophe appears from the Old Teftament prophets, and from the Apocalypfe, to be pride and luxury. "And "thou faidft, I fhall be a lady for ever; so that "thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, "neither didft remember the latter end of it. "Therefore hear now this, thou that art given "to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that fay"eft in thine heart, I am, and none else befides ' me; I fhall not fit as a widow, neither fhall "I know the lofs of children. But these two things
(1) Paftorini, a late Catholic writer, in his interpretation of the Apocalypfe, applies thefe verfes to Conftantinople; while he allows that Babylon, in the whole of the chapter preceding them, fignifies Rome. As this opinion. refts on his bare affertion, and is obviously contrary to the connection of the paffage, it deferves not a ferious reflection; but the affertion clearly fhews, that he confidered the words as inapplicable to any judgment already inflicted on Rome; and indeed, to fuppofe them accomplished, while Rome exifts and flourishes after, is to trifle with the expreflions of fcripture, and to play on the human underftanding.