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colour, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations, and filthiness of her fornication.
" And upon
her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY,* BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
" And I saw the woman drunkent with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the m
of Jesus." I And again in the same chapter, “ And
* Dr. Kennicott says that the word Mystery used to be written on the Pope's Mitre, until the Reformers took notice of it. See Kennicott's Englith Bible.
+ One cannot sufficiently admire the justness and boldness of the phrase “ drunken with the blood of saints.” A well-known instance may be produced, from among various others, to shew how the church of Rome can be made “ drunken with blood.” On St. Bartholomew's day about thirty thousand protestants were murdered in cold blood, in Paris: which as soon as the pope was informed of, he went in procession to the church of St. Lewis, (as they call him) to sing Te Deum, and represented the affrightful and detestable scene in a magnificent picture with the inscription of, “ The Triumph of the Church !”
Revelation, chap. xvii. verse 1.7.
here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains upon which the woman sitteth.”# And again, “ And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
We have the evidence of history for St. Paul's having written the two epiftles to the Thessalonians, and the two to Timothy, in the first century. There can be no doubt of the first Christians having held them of authority. All writers upon the subject of popery, who are not bigoted followers of the Church of Rome, agree that it was not established until several centuries after the death of our Saviour.
Verse 9. || Verse 18. It has been supposed by some that this description of Babylon may be applied to Constantinople, as that city is also seated upon seven hills. We may shortly prove however this supposition to be erroneous, by remarking that St. John speaks of a city which at his time reigned ("" that great city which reigneth”) which must signiły Rome, and not Constantinople, for the former, and not the latter city, when the prophet wrote, reigned over the world. Vide - Hurd's twelve sermons introductory to the study of the prophecies.”—This author ingeniously conjectures that the bold metaphorical language of the prophecies must have been originally adopted from the Egyptian hieroglyphics.
No one can say with the least appearance of truth, that it was established much more than twelve hun. dred years ago. In the passage which I have quoted from the epistles of St. Paul and the Revelation, which were indisputably written about seventeen hundred
years ago, we find as circumstantial a description of popery, as any one could write at this time. It must be a Christian power that the apostle Paulmeans, for he describes it as “ sitting in the Temple of God.” The whole as well as the “ forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats," are such plain, such remarkable, and such singular features of the Roman Catholic church, that it is impossible for any one, whose mind is unperverted, to mistake it for any other church. The very place, · where this portentous power is to appear,
is tioned by St. John. " The seven mountains upon which the woman sitteth,” cannot but mcan Rome. The Roman, as well as other authors, mean Rome, when they speak of the city of the seven mountains. Virgil,* speaking of Rome, says:
Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma,
* Vide Georgics, at the concluding part of the second book. Martial has the Septem dominos MonIt appears to me impossible that the utmost ingenuity of sophistry can evade the force of the argument that may from hence be urged in favour of Christianity. St. Paul and St. Johnt could not have conjectured that such a power as they describe, would exist. The idea of such a power could only have been impressed upon their minds by the particular. inspiration of God. For no such power had ever. existed, and there was nothing from the appearance of things upon earth at the time they wrote, to make them conceive that such a power would ever exist. If they had been true prophets therefore in this matter, it naturally follows that Christianity is a divine revelation. Moreover it may be observed, that it is impossible any one could have inserted this description of popery after the appearance of that extraordinary power, into the epistles of St. Paul and into the Revelation, without a discovery of the fraud.
tes; verse 25.
tes; (Lib. iv. Ep. 64.) And Propertius, Septem urbs alta Jugis, toto quæ præsidet orbi. (Lib. iii.)
+ It must be allowed also that Daniel has the same meaning when he mentions a power that “ shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change times and law's." Daniel, chap. vii.
There is no author whatever who has even suspected a deception. And that the epistles of St. Paul were written by him, and the Revelation by St. John, is now as certain as that Sallust and. Tacitus produced histories, which are attributed to them. That they wrote them in the first century is also beyond a doubt.. I think that it would be difficult to alledge more satisfactory proofs in favour of any truth. Though this reasoning is not as conclusive as mathematical demonstration, yet to a candid mind it must appear. very little, if in any manner inferior.
I will now proceed to the most important point of all, the proof of the resurrection of Jesus: this is the great corner stone through which we are raise the noble fabric of a rational and firm belief. I hope therefore my reader will not lament my lead- . ing him into a long investigation of the matter. It: is of infinite importance. Ifit is once settled, there is no occasion to dwell for any length of time, upon the other proofs of the truth of Christianity; as it must be allowed by every person of sound understanding, that if Jesus rose from the grave the third day after his burial, that Christianity is a divine revelation; for what reasonable man can imagine,