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Weft, describes it by the same hieroglyphic * ; and when foretelling the rise of the church of Rome, and the vaft extent of her influence over the nations of Europe, he says t," And I saw a beast rise up out 5 of the sea.” From all which, no doubt can remain, but that the prophet makes use of the word sea to designate Papal Rome, as the object upon whose power this “ vial of the wrath of God was to “ be poured out,” as a just judgment for her abominable idolatry, for her artful leduction, and unre. lenting and bloody persecutions of the church of his blessed Son, and for her daring impiety in the assumption of his divine attributes.
The object upon which this “ vial was to be " poured out,” thus ascertained, what were to be the dreadful effects of its plagues? In this respect the text is by no means deficient. It foretels not only the great events, but the very means and manner by which they should be brought to pass. It tells us, that, upon pouring out the vial, “ the sea became as “ the blood of a dead man.” Here the prophet, con. tinuing his metaphorical language, compares the condition of the power alluded to by the word sea, to that of “ the blood of a dead man,” in a figure equally proper and elegant. The blood of a man is the great principle of his life and motion. When it becomes turbid and inert, the man is fick; and when it is no longer put in motion by the heart, it becomes inactive and stagnate, and the man dies. Just so it is with a political body or ftate. Its powers, whatever be its form, are the political blood, and principle of its life and motion. When these become inert, and are not carried into vigorous execution, by the supreme magistrate, the political heart, it becomes weak and fickly : and when they are no
* Chap. viii. 8, 9.
+ Chap. xiii. 1.
longer longer carried into any circulation or execution, they are stagnate, without life or motion, « as the blood " of a dead man;" and the political body is dead. Is not this an apposite metaphor for a State that shall fuffer. its powers of defence to remain totally inactive, and not make the least effort to defend itself against a long-threatening and even invading enemy? And was not this exactly the case of Rome, in the year 1798, when taken by the arms of France? It was undeniably the fact. For although Pius VI. had feen, during the course of feveral years, the army of the republic overrunning Italy with the flames of war, fubduing states, and forming new republics in their stead; and had reason to believe he would fall in his turn; and although the French general had denounced the destruction of Rome two months before its capture, the Pope made no preparation whatever for its defence. Instead of embodying and arming his people, who were solicitous, and petitioned to be armed, he amused them with pompous : proceffions of the clergy and nobility, ladies of distinction not excepted, with all Rome in their train, for the most part barefoot, and with their heads uncovered ; and persuaded them to believe that a miracle would be wrought to obstruct the approach of the enemy, and to fave the city, while the republican troops took possession of his citadel. Continuing in this infatuated delufion to the last moment, he opened the gates of Rome to hofiility and plunder, and received his provoked and enraged enemy as a friend. Thus all the powers, the political blood of the ftate, were motion. less and stagnate, and" as the blood of a dead man.' And thus this prophetic verse became completely fulfilled in the fullest sense : 66 Quos Deus vult per“ dere, prius dem?ntat.”
From foretelling the capture of Rome, and the particular manner in wliich it would be taken, the
prophet prophet proceeds to the confequent event, the total difolution of the government, and thus, by another apposite metaphor, represents this great event; “for,” lays he, “every living foul died in the sea.' Here the word " sea” is put for Rome, the capital of the Roman territory, and “every living foul,” for the whole people lubject to it. And according to the text, all of them are to die in the “ fea," or in Rome. But there are two kinds of death : a natural death, as when the foul is feparated from the body, and its members; and the latter no longer derives any benefit from the counsel and direction of the former. There is also a civil death, which is, when the powers of government are separated from the society, and the people no longer enjoy the privileges and benefits derived from its civil institutes.Thus a man, attainted and cut off from the protection of the laws, is said to be " civiliter mortuus," ! dead “ in law ;" loft to the society, and the society. to him. Now is it to be reasonably supposed, that the prophet meant that all the people of the Roman society Thould meet in Rome, and there die a natural death? The fact is highly improbable, if not impossible. I rather conclude, he means a civil death; because the fact is not only possible, but has literally come to pass, in firict verification of the prophecy. For Berthier, the French general, having plundered the city, deposed the Pope, dismissed every officer of the government from their functions, diffolved the government itself, and its laws, and cut off the whole people from their former rights and privileges, left them in a state of nature, which is a civil death. And as these despotic acts were done in Rome, the prophet has, with wonderful and circumfiantial accuracy, foretold the fact of " every living soul,” of the Roman society, dying in the sea, or in Rome. In this dead state, the people remained until the French
general established a Jacobin republic of his own creatures and tools.
I will not conclude this subject without recurring to some former hints, given by the prophet refpecting this great event, To interesting to the wel. fare of the Christian church. After having foretold, in the first part of the eleventh chapter, the rise of the church of Rome, under the metaphor of“ a beaft
rising up out of the sea,” with her artful sedues tions, and violent persecutions of the church of Chrift, he predicts, in the tenth verse, her deftruction. “ He that carrieth into captivity shall go into
captivity; and he that killeth by the sword shall
be killed by the sword.” Now it requires no argument to prove, because it is well known, that the Popes of Rome, from the commencement of their power,
have carried millions of the church of Christ from the light of his Gospel into the dark captivity of a blafphemous idolatry. And those whom they could not feduce by their arts, frauds, forgeries, pretended visions, and falfe miracles, they have put to death by the Inquisition and the sword, until there was scarcely a ray of the sublime truths of Chriftianity to be found in the western part of the world. Now, has not this prophetic verse been completely fulfilled ? Have we not seen millions upon millions of the Papal church carried from under the influence of the Pope, into a yet more dark and terrible captivity, that of atheism? And have we not seen the Pope himself literally taken captive, and “
captivity ;” and all his mighty power and domi. nion overturned in one day by the “ sword” of France ?
And it is farther worthy of remark, before I leave this topic, that in the same chapter the prophet also foretels the period during which the Papal
should exist. ." And power was given unto him (the Pope) to continue forty and two 6 months *,” which, in prophetic language, is 1260 years. The period of the continuance of a thing muft be calculated from the time of its “rise,"to its dissolution. The power of the Pope certainly commenced, and was eltablished, in the year 606, notwithstanding the incongruous and unsettled opinions of commentators. For it was in that year the bishop of Rome was created Pope by a commission from Phocas, then emperor of Rome, and lupreme head of the Christian churches, confiituting him and his successors universal bishops. It was in the next year that he formally and publicly established his idolatry in the Pantheon at Rome, by changing the names of the heathen gods and goddesses, to those of the deceased martyrs and faints, and ordered their images to be worthipped. If then we date the rise of the Pope from that epoch, we shall find, upon inquiry, that upwards of 1211 prophetic years from that time are already elapsed, and that this was about the time pointed out by the text, in which we ought to look for the decline of Papal influence, and the delivery of the Christian church from Papal perfecution, and from her captivity. Indeed, as I have before shown, the power of the Pope has already received a deadly wound in his late fall and captivity, and the defertion of his adherents and supporters in France, and other parts of Europe. And although there are some looking up to him as their deified patron, there is a strong probability that his power can never revive to any dangerous extent; and in the course of less than forty years, the remainder of the 1260, it will be little more than a shadow among nations, according to the several predictions of the prophet.
* Verse si