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of the nt Fates will teac
after the Destruction of the Popedom and Turk, and before the Conflagration; whereas some ingenious Men make it a description of the Heavenly state. In short, the Oracles describe the chief Histories to which the Visions in the Revelations belong, and by understanding these, we can determine to what Histories they relate, and thereby as void applying improper Histories to them. These Oracles will teach us to diftinguish the different Fates of the East and West parts of the Roman Empire ; the Turk oppresses the Greek Church in the East, at the same time the Pope corrupts the Western.
Sixthly, The things we are now to expect in the Popedom are, a great Desolation by · Famine and Civil Wars, and then the Ægy
ptian King shall invest Rome, and burn it, but the Fews must first return, many Changes happening in the Turkish Empire before it.
These Things are next to come to pass in the Turkish Empire: .
First, Greece shall be plunder'd by a Barbarian, after which, Sedition will succeed, and then a Peace; after this, a Plague, and when Persia shall be at Peace, the Fews shall return to their own Country, and live in Peace and Plenty, and Thunder from Heaven shall destroy their Enemies: Leffer Asia shall be destroy'd by Earthquakes, and ma-} ny other cities, Smyrna, Cuma, Tripolis, Corcyra, Milétus. The Asyrians shall invade Hellefpont, and conquer the Thracians; the King of Ægypt invade Macedonia, and a civil War in Pisidia, betwixt the Lydians,
Galatians, and Pamphylians; then Italy fhall become a Desart, and about the end of the Moon, or Turkish Empire, the Eastern War (or from the North) shall be, and Wars in the West, and in Macedonia, also a destru&tion of those Princes by Fire from Heaven: At this junctnre, fhall Rome be destroy'd by an ignoble and wicked Prince, who had be fore invaded Judea, after which Christ shall come, and destroy the Wicked; and reign in nero Ferufalemn; then Babylon shall fall by an Earthquake, the Sea be dry'd up, and (the Rivers being frozen up) the Tartars Thall invade the Borders of Asia, and destroy the Turk in Thrace; then shall be a general Darkness: There shall be a Reformation of Religion in Ægypt, and a Teniple built, which the Æthiopians will destroy ; and God will slay them by Fire from Heaven.
· Some reject these Oracles because of the Poetical Dress the Grecian Poets have given them; others find true Prophesies in them; I will proceed in a middle moderate way betwixt the contrary Opinions, allowing all Objections as to its Phrases, new Words, Derivations, numeral Observations; these are the Poets Paraphrase, Notes, Histories of Fables, and Remarks, not very perti-? nent. ; I may allow many mistakes, and yet asfert, that the Substance of the Prophefies is true, and the Doctrin deliver'd with 'em ;' because they agree with the Revelations.
I will next explain the Symbolical Cha-: ractérs' us’d in these Oracles: Nero is the Turk, who will tyrannize in the East; his
- Name is not mention'd, but his Chara&ter :
The Church is call'd a pure Virgin : The
Nero was a Prince of great Cruelty, who flew his Mother. The Ottoman Cruelty to their own Family, and to others, is repre.. sented by Nero.
Suetonius says, after Nero's Death there was a vulgar Report, that he was fled beyond Euphrates, and that he would return again with the same Cruelty; and this Report might be occasion'd by this description of Nero in the Sibyls. This Story is a Fable, or feign'd Allegory, and must not be taken as a History. The Turk is call'd Crudelis homo, in the third Book, where his Conquests of Asia minor, Thrace, and Greece, are de scrib'd.
Nero is also a general Name for other cruel Princes, because when the Eastern War is describ’d, it says, Matris eo occifor quidam de finibus orbis, vir fugiens veniet. The Popes are also callid Matrum Cafores ; the Turk, the little Horn, when he came into Asia. The Turk fled from the Tartars in Persia. The Inundation of Euphrates, in the fifth Book, represents the Turks Invasion of Afia; and the Inundation of Peneus, their Invasion of Thrace. The alteration in the small Kingdoms of Italy are describ'd by Eridanus, the Po, which produces divers forms of wild Beasts, i.e. divers forts of Governments; for the Empire is call'd a Beast in Prophetic Terms or Stile.
In the fifth Book the Pope is call'd tlie great King of great Rome, who equals himself to God, (i.e. by assuming to himself the Title of Christ's Vicar); he is said to be produc'd by Jupiter and Juno, si. e. has his Commission from God, and is elected by the Church); he sings melodious Hymns, as in a Theatre, (i.e. uses Songs and Anthenis in the Church); he shall destroy many, (viz. the Reformers) with -his miserable Mother (the Christian Church.) This cannot be Nero, because he is thus defcrib'd after the Turk came over Euphrates. Conftantinople is call'd the Offspring of Latin Rome.
The Saracens are Ishmaelites, begot by Abrabam on Hagar, and they are call'd the Bastard Stock of Saturn, who must invade both Europe and Asia.
The Idolatry of the Christian Church, both in the East and Weft, is represented by the old Gentile Worship of Beasts, Dæmons, &c. and the Names of the old Hero Gods are us’d to express the Christian Saints.
The true worship of God is represented by the Jewish Sacrifices to him, which are Types of the Christian Adulteries. Theft, Sodomy, Murder, and Idolatry, are the causes of Wars, Plagues, Famine, and Antichrift's Cruelty; the fame is mention'd in the Revelations. Where the Books are entire, they begin with some description of God, and end with the Destruction of the World; and thus the eighth Book ends; therefore I reject the Acrostics, and the History of Christ's Birth and Pallion, that are added in
the end of it, for there is enough of these Subjects in the first, and other Books. i Eusebius impụtes the Acroftics to the Erythraan Şibyl, and says, he found these Verfes quoted by Cicero.' But both Dionysius in his Roman Antiquities, and Varro, as he quotes him,declare the Acrostics to be supposititious, and added to the Sibylline Verses. I think these Reasons are sufficient for rejecting of them. Tho’Eusebius seems to believe, that Cicero translated then into Latin, none of the Ancients mentions them, but he and St. Auftin; there is no mention made of these Acrostics by Juftin Martyr, Theophilus, Antiochenus,
Athenagoras, Cl. Alexandrinus, Firmianus, or Lactantius, who greatly admire the Sibyls. :
· The Sibyls divide the time of the World into ten Generations, but Esdras into twelve. The first Book makes five Ages or Generations before the Flood; the Golden Age follows it, and is reckon'd the sixth Generation. The tenth Age will begin with the Conquest of Persia by Alexander. The destruction of Rome shall begin in the tenth Generation, when Idolatry Tall decay: And in the fourth Book the Judgment and Millennium' must be in the tenth Age, and then all must end. The Allyrians and Medes held their Empire 670 Years, of which the Medes held it 150, the Persians (till Alexander) 230; in all these Empires were 900 Years, but since Alexander's Time: the tenth Age has been twice as long. The Erythraan Sibyl reckons the ten Generations from Adam; the Sibyl, in the fourth Book, reckons them from the Flood. :! lice