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Now all the great events I have recited, excepting the three laft, have come to pass, in the exact order of time, they were foretold by the prophet. Hence we may rationally conclude, that the ihree laft also, though future events, will come to pals in the same order; who then ought to doubt the pretentions of the prophet, to his having written the whole of the Revelation, in a clear chronological order ? Can it be supposed, that, after having foré. told the rise and exploits of the Papal church, in the first part of the thirteenth chapter, and that of the atheistical power of France, in the latter part of the same chapter ; after having foretold the fall of the first under the “ third vial," and of the second under the “ fifth ;” and after having entered upon the new subject of the hiftory of a grand confederacy, which is to take place after the fall of the powers of atheitin, and Mohamedanism, in the fixteenth chapter; and, in Thort, treated of all the preceding events in chronological order, and with historical perspicuity, he should, in the seventeenth chapter, depart from that order, and violate that perspicuity, by beginning it with a new historical description of the Papal church; a church, the rise and fall of which he had already recorded? The fuppofition appears to me absurd in the extreme. It would be, to suppose, that the prophet, while guided by the spirit of infallible wisdom and truth, could commit an egregious and palpable anomaly, an evident anachronisin, an unneceffary repetition of the history of a Power, which he had completely written before.
Besides, the signs given by the prophet, in this seventeenth chapter, when rightly understood, will neither apply to, nor are they descriptive of, the church of Rome. With what propriety does the emphatic pame of “The great whore” apply to that
power, when Paganism, Mohamedanism, and Atheism are much greater “ whores” in the scriptural fense, or a much greater, and more impure, deviation from the word of God? With what propriety can it be said of Papal Rome, that's the kings of the " earth have cornnitted furnication with her;" and that all nations have drunk of the “ wine of the “ wrath of her fornication,” when the kings and nations of Europe only (and not all of them) have adopted heridolatry, and been concerned in her fornication when the immenfe Chinese nations have uniformly rejected her attempts to feduce them, and when none of the nations of Afia, Africa, or North America, have been corrupted by her doctrines ?
Nor will the allegory of “ a woman sitting upon a 1carlet-coloured beast, full of names of
blafphemy," apply to the Papal church. That fome of the Papal tencts are blafphemous, I am ready to confess, and therefore the prophet, in his history of that church, describes it by a “ beast * having seven heads, and upon his heads the " name of blafphemy,” in the fingular number. But this beast is described as being full of the names of blasphemy; and, if full, it can hold no more. It muli, to answer to the name, have been guilty of every kind of blafphemy, from the lowest up to the highest, even to atheisin, the sum total of every fpecies of blasphemy. Now this is not the case with the church of Roine: she acknowledges the existence of God, the mission of Christ, and the agency of the Holy Ghost. A real and studious inquirer after truth, acquainted with the doctrines of Paganism, of Mohamedanism, and of the Atheistical porver of France, could not be led to think of Rome by this description. Nor will the name " Mystery” apply, with propriety, to the Papal church, when we contider, that the doctrines and tenets of Mohamedanism and Atheism
are by far more extensive and incomprehensible mysteries than those of Popery. The name “ Baby“lon the Great,” truly interpreted, is “the
great city," or body of people, consisting of a mixture of different nations, professing different, and those erroneous, principles of religion, and, therefore, a great city of anarchy and confusion. And this was the case of Chaldean Babylon of old, before its fall: it was a confused mixture of all the then idolatrous nations, and thence derived its name. But this will by no means describe the Papal church, which, although it consists of different nations, yet all her members profess the fame erroneous principles, the same kind of idolatry. So that there is no mixture of doctrines, no confusion in her worship, which there must be, in order to apply the name to her, with any degree of propriety.
Again, the appellative expression, “ the mother • of harlots, and, abominations of the earth,” will, with still less propriety, apply to Papal Rome. A “ harlot,” in the scriptural sense, is a power that seduces men, from their duty to God, into idolatrya. A“ mother of harlots,” in the plural number, is a Power that has led them into several kinds of idolatry; and the expression, “mother of harlots," with the emphatic article the before it, signifies the greatest of all “ harlots,” or idolaters. Now the Papal church answers,not to this descriptive fign: for, although she is a “harlot," and is called a “ whore, yet she is the parent of but onc illegitimate offspring, Papal apoftaly, and therefore she cannot be " a “ mother of harlots” in the plural number. Nor, has the been “the (the greatest) mother of har-, • lots," for when we consider the extent, variety,: and finfglness of the deviations from the word of God, as well of the Mohamedan superstition as French atheism, they will appear to have far exceed
ed her in folly and in iniquity; and, therefore, the cannot, with propriety or truth, be considered as the mother of harlots. Nor does the answer to the other mark of " The mother of the abominations of “ the carth ;" for although it is well known that the has had her fins, and abominations, yet they are by no means of so deep a dye, as the abominations of Pagaps and Mohamedans. And although she has "s been drunk with the blood of the saints, and the “ blood of the martyrs of Jesus,” yet she has drunk only a portion of that blood. And when we consider the perfecutions and destruction of Chriflians, by pagan Rome, and the powers of Mohamedanism, it must be confeiled he has not had more than her Thare.
Thus none of the preceding marks of the Power here foretold can poffibly be descriptive only of the Papal church. The spirit of prophecy, in its delineations, is accurate and perfect, and the events will always exactly correspond. But when we apply. these signs to tlle grand confederacy, mentioned by the prophet in the foregoing chapter, their allegorical and scriptural senses are perfectly answered. The separate and distinct powers of paganism, apoftasy, and atheisın, will be lost in the union. It will no longer be the one or the other, but a mixture of all of them together; a Power never before existing, and which will completely answer and accomplish every mark of the prophet.
After having thus described this grand confederacy, which is to be “ gathered together in bat“ tle, in the great day of God Almighty," with all their hofts, he tells us the wicked purpose for which they are to be armed for the presumptuous conflict. These," says he, “ shall make war upon the LAMB, and the Lamb fhall overcome
" them, " them, for' HE IS THE KING OF KINGS, AND LORD
OF LORDS; AND THEY THAT ARE WITH HIM ARE
There are divers other signs in this chapter, which, in my humble opinion, unite in describing the same monstrous coalition of the ungodly, against the church of Christ. But I forbear to treat of them, as it would lead me far beyond the limits I have allotted to these brief conjectures, and because I trust I have said enough to convince the pious reader, that the figns I have already considered do by no means refer to the church of Rome; but to a coalition of Powers, which is to be“ gathered together to battle," on “THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY." Nor, indeed, 1hould I have said so much, but from a wish to correct an error, which has long been believed and repeated by many Protestant commentators, on this chapter, ever since the Protestant opposition to the Papal church commenced. To account for so great an error, committed by so many truly learned and pious men, is not an easy task. Has it arisev from their not attending to the exact chronological order, in which the prophecies in the Apocalypse are treated?
Or, from their not duly considering, that the prophet, after having foretold the rise and fall of the Popet, announces the coming of three other wicked and idolatrous enemies of the church of Christ, in the order they were to come, namely, the “ beast of the earth ," or the atheistical power of France; the “woman sitting upon a scarlet coloured
beast," or the 6 great whore,” or “ Babylon the
great, &c. $” and “ Gog aud Magog il;" all of them inore finful and idolatrous enemies of the word of God, than the Pope? Or has this unaccountable
* Rev. xvii. 14.
# Chap. xiii, 1-10.