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"the whole world." It is from these two passages chiefly, that people conclude that the serpent which deceived Eve was a fallen angel, for here say they, "the devil and satan is called that old serpent, and we know that the devil is a fallen angel." And how do they know all this so clearly and confidently? Their fathers, their catechisms, and their ministers have told them so: and this conclusion is drawn too from a book so highly figurative, that no man, minister or sect, has hitherto been able satisfactorily to explain it. Notwithstanding this is frankly owned by every candid man, yet from this very book the strongest proofs are generally adduced for a personal devil, and eternal punishment. We would respectfully ask our orthodox brethren, why they allow the book of Revelations to be highly figurative or symbolical, yet give a literal interpretation to the above passages concerning the serpent, devil, and satan? We would affectionately press it on their attention, why they interpret the parts of these passages concerning the devil and satan literally, and yet would refuse to go through with a literal interpretation of them? I shall give a specimen of the absurdities which such a literal interpretation involves. It must then be believed, that the devil has seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. It must also be believed, that he has a tail, and with his tail he drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And it must be believed, that Michael and his angels, had a battle with the devil and his angels, and that it was fought in heaven. Besides, our orthodox friends ought to inform us, how the devil got back to heaven to fight this battle there, seeing they believe he fell from heaven before he tempted Eve. In short he has been in heaven and fallen from it a number of times, if such principles of Scripture interpretation are admitted. He fell from

heaven before Eve's temptation. He fell again when the seventy were out preaching. And John in the above chapters informs us that he was cast out of heaven to the earth a third time. And if Lucifer be the devil, he has at least had four falls from heaven, for it is said, how art thou fallen from heaven, Lucifer, son of the morning.

Is it then asked, what this great dragon, that old serpent, the devil and satan was? Dr. Newton says, vol. iii. 135--137, speaking of this dragon--" We find the kings and people of Egypt, who were the great persecutors of the primitive church of Israel, distinguished by this title in several places of the Old Testament: Psalm lxxiv. 13. Isai. li. 9. Ezek. xxix. 3. and with as much reason and propriety may the people and emperors of Rome, who were the great persecutors of the primitive church of Christ be called by the same name, as they are actuated by the same principle. For that the Roman empire was here figured, the characters and attributes of the dragon. plainly evince. He is a great red dragon:' and purple or scarlet was the distinguishing color of the Roman emperors, consuls, and generals; as it bath been since of the popes and cardinals. His 'seven heads,' as the angel afterwards, xvii. 9, 10, explains the vision, allude to the seven mountains upon which Rome was built, and to the seven forms of government, which successively prevailed there. His 'ten horns' typify the ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was divided; and the seven crowns upon his heads' denote, that at this time the imperial power was in Rome, the high city, as Propertias describes it, seated on seven hills, which presides over the whole world. His tail' also, ver. 4. drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth; that is, he subjected the third part of the princes and potentates of the earth: and the Ro

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man empire, as we have seen before, is represented as the third part' of the world. He stood before the woman, which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born:' and the Roman emperors and magistrates kept a jealous watchful eye over the Christians from the beginning. As Pharaoh laid snares for the male children of the Hebrews, and Herod for the infant Christ, the son of Mary; so did the Roman dragon for the mystic Christ, the son of the church, that he might destroy him even in his infancy. But notwithstanding the jealousy and envy of the Romans, the gospel was widely diffused and propagated and the church brought many children unto Christ, and in time such as were promoted to the empire. She brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron,' ver. 5. It was predicted, that Christ should rule over the nations, Psalm ii. 9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel:' but Christ, who is himself invisible in the heavens, ruleth visibly in Christian magistrates, princes, and emperors. It was therefore promised before to Christians in general, ii. 26, 27. He that overcometh, and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations (And he shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers) even as I received of my Father.' But it should seem that Constantine was he particularly intended, for whose life the dragon Galerius laid many snares, but he providentially escaped them all; and notwithstanding all opposition, was caught up unto the throne of God; was not only secured by the divine protection, but was advanced to the imperial throne, called 'the throne of God;' for Rom. xiii. 1. 'there is no power but of God; the powers that be, are ordained of God." He too ruleth all nations


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with a rod of iron: for he had not only the Romans, who before had persecuted the church, under his dominion, but also subdued the Scythians, Samaritans, and other barbarous nations, who had never before. been subject to the Roman empire: and as the learned Spanheim informs us, there are still extant medals and coins of his with these inscriptions, the subduer of the barbarous nations, the conqueror of all nations, every where a conqueror, and the like: What is added, ver. 6. of the woman's flying into the wilderness for a thousand two hundred and threescore days' it is said by way of prolepsis or anticipation. For the war in heaven between Michael and the dragon, and other subsequent events, were prior in order of time to the flight of the woman into the wilderness: but before the prophet passeth on to a new subject, he giveth a general account of what happened to the woman afterwards, and entereth more into the particulars in their proper place." He says further, p. 138—9, "The visible actors in the cause of Christianity were the believing emperors and ministers of the word, the martyrs and confessors; and in support of idolatry were the persecuting emperors and heathen magistrates together with the whole train of priests and sophists. This contest lasted several years, and the final issue of it was, ver. 8, 9. that the Christian prevailed over the heathen religion; the heathens were deposed from all rule and authority, and the Christians were advanced to dominion and empire in their stead. Our Saviour said unto his disciples casting devils out of the bodies of men, Luke x. 18. 'I beheld satan, as lightning, fall from heaven.' In the same figure satan fell from heaven, and was cast out into the earth,' when he was thrust out of the imperial throne, and his angels were cast out with him,' not only all the heathen priests and officers civil and military were cashiered, but their very gods and de


mons, who before were adored for their divinity, became the subjects of contempt and execration. It is very remarkable that Constantine himself and the Christians of his time, describe his conquest under the same image, as if they had understood that this prophesy had received its accomplishment in him. Constantine himself, in his epistle to Eusebius and other bishops concerning the re-edifying and repairing of churches, saith, that liberty being now restor ed, and that dragon being removed from the administration of public affairs, by the providence of the great God; and by my ministry, I esteem the great power of God to have been made manifest even to all.'"

Such are his remarks on the first of these passages. On the second he says, "After the destruction of the beast and of the false prophet, there still remains 'the dragon,' who had delegated his power to them, that old serpent, which is the devil and satan :' but he is bound by an angel,' an especial minister of providence; and the famous millennium commences, or the reign of the saints upon earth for a thousand years, ver. 1-6. Binding him with a great chain, casting him into the bottomless pit, shutting him up, and sealing a seal upon him,' are strong figures to show the strict and severe restraint which he should be laid under, that he might deceive the nations no more,' during this whole period. Wickedness being restrained, the reign of righteousness succeeds, and the administration of justice and judgment is given to the saints of the Most High." p. 205.

He adds, page 215. "At the expiration of the thousand years, ver. 7-10. the restraint shall be taken off from wickedness, and for a little season' as it was said before, ver. 3. Satan shall be loosed out of his prison," and make one effort more to re-establish his kingdom. As he deceived our first parents

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