Imágenes de páginas




ROM ch. xvi. of the apocalypfe a prophecy has been cited, which foretells the overthrow of a number of confederated princes. But there are prophecies yet more exprefs. There are prophecies, which clearly announce that every antichristian government in Europe shall be destroyed. To the philanthropift fuch conclufions, if fatisfactorily deduced from the prophetic scriptures, must be capable of imparting the purest pleasure.

If I am afked, why I take fo much pains to explain the prophecies, which foretell the arbitrary conduct and the fubfequent deftruction of the antichriftian princes of Europe, I reply, that I have the highest authority for doing it, the particular recommendation of the prophet himself. At the close of the description of the ten-horned Beaft, which represents these kings, St. John adds, (xiii. 9, 10.), If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity fhall go into captivity: he that killeth with the fword must be killed with the fword'. Now the first of these fentences unquestionably fignifies, that the reader of the apocalypfe fhould, to this part of it, pay a marked attention, and ftudy it with the greatest care. Thus, as bp. Newton obferves2, it was cuftomary with


The two great evils produced by the ten-horned Beast, says an annotator on this verse,' will be flavery and death. And God will, in his due 'time, arife and avenge.' Cradock.

• In loc,

[blocks in formation]


• our Saviour, when he would have his auditors pay a ' particular attention to what he had been saying, to add, He who hath ears to hear let him hear.' The fubfequent fentence of the prophet Mr. Pyle thus paraphrases: he will affuredly vindicate the cause of his true religion, and pull down the antichriftian powers that oppress it, by a moft exemplary deftruction; and caufe his true and faithful fervants to reap the bleffings of Chriftianity in safety, glory, and peace.'. Perhaps this verse does not merely denounce the deftruction of the antichristian monarchies themselves, but may denote more particularly, with respect to individual princes, that the time will come, when he who enslaveth his people shall himself be imprifoned; when he who maketh havock with the sword fhall himself be put to death.

I fhall next quote from ch. xvii. an important passage, which foretells the overthrow of the antichriftian monarchies, briefly indeed, but clearly. And the angel faid unto me-the Ten Horns which thou faweft are Ten Kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the Beast. Thefe have one mind, and fhall give their power and strength unto the Beast. Thefe fhall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb fhall overcome them. That this is not spoken of the conduct of the Ten Kings at any particular time, but of their conduct in general, is clear and indisputable. Can any man then, pretending to the flightest skill in the diction of prophecy, attentively inspect these verses (v. 12, 13, 14), and at the fame time entertain a doubt (however ignorant he may be of what has actually paffed in the world), whether the mass of European princes have not been eminently hoftile to human hapAs piness and to genuine Christianity3 ?

The fplendor, luxury, felf-intereft, martial glory, &c. which pass < for effentials in Christian governments, are totally oppofite to the meek, • humble

As the Roman Western empire was not broken into separate portions, and governed by a number of diftin&t and independent princes, till feveral centuries after the delivery of his prophecy, our infpired apoftle accordingly apprizes us, that, in his time, the epoch of their dominion was not arrived. They had, as he expreffes himself, received no kingdom AS YET. After obferving that we do not read in the book of Revelation of any other perfonage denominated a Beaft, excepting the twohorned and the ten-horned Beafts; I fhall cite the next claufe of v. 12, which afferts, that the Ten Kings receive power as kings one hour with the Beaft. The Beast pointed to in this paffage the prophet speaks of as diftinct from the Ten Kings; and he thereby has admonished us, that he has not here in view the greater of the two Beafts, but the fmaller, who has two horns and is the reprefentative of the antichriftian priesthood. 'What we translate one hour, av åpav, ought,' fays Lowman, ‘to have been translated the same hour or point of ́time, as feveral learned interpreters have juftly ob• ferved".-The Beast then, and the Ten Kings or King'doms, are to be contemporary powers, or to reign at the fame time.' Thefe have one mind, i. e. fays Lowman, they have the fame defign and intention'.' Will it not be suspected by fome, that the full expofition of this prophetical claufe is this, that, whilft their joint reign fubfifts, I mean that of the antichriftian kings and their allies in the priesthood, too many among them will have the fame common defign of pillaging the property,


[ocr errors]

'humble, felf-denying fpirit of Chriftianity; and whichfoever of these 'finally prevails over the other, the prefent form of the government must 'be diffolved.' Hartley on Man, 1749, 8vo. vol. II. p. 366.

As for instance Vitringa and bp. Newton.
Pref. p. 17.

[blocks in formation]


and of ufurping the rights, of mankind? Besides, in another view, how true an idea do these verses fuggeft of the defpots of Europe! They speak a similar language to fome before quoted from ch. xiii. Confult the pages of modern history; and examine, if they have not uni formly given their power and ftrength unto the Beast, that has two horns like a lamb? Have they not, to the authors of spiritual defpotism, constantly imparted aid? Are not these the persons who have most successfully made war with the lamb? Has not an unlawful power been affumed by them over the religion of Jefus ? When they have not dared themselves to model and to alter it, have they not authorised the claim in a foreign priest or a domestic synod? Are not the annals of every country, and of almost every period, stained by the blood of the disciples of the Lamb, which they have shed; and have they not levelled their bitterest opposition against thofe, who have been moft diftinguished for purity of faith, of practice, and of external worship?

The fentence pronounced against the feveral antichristian monarchies of Europe in v. 8 and 11 of this chapter, I must not altogether omit. In the former place, it is affirmed, that the Beast having Ten Horns, which at the time of the prophecy had no being, fhall arise, and afterwards fhall go into perdition, or, as it might have been tranflated, shall go into deftruction. In the latter, it is again faid of him, that he goeth into perdition.

'These Ten Horns,' fays an early commentator,' are 'Ten European Kings, and whoever reckons them up, 'I find, brings in the Kings of Britain, for one of the horns of this terrible and fearful monfter".' But this is a fubject, on which I fhall, for certain reasons which

6 Haughton on Antichrift, p. 88.

« AnteriorContinuar »