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Europe by the famous John Wickliff, rector of Lutterworth.

In the fifteenth century, Sawtre, parish-priest of St Ofith in London, was the firft burnt for herefy in England, in the reign of Henry IV, A few years afterwards, Thomas Badby was convicted of herefy, and burnt in Smithfield. In the next reign, Sir John Oldcastle, Baron of Cobham, was charged with being an abettor of the Lollards, and examined before the Archbifhop of Canterbury. He declared against tranfubftantiation, penances, the worshipping of the crofs, the power of the keys, and afferted that the Pope was Antichrift. He was denounced a heretic, and delivered over to the fecular power, Before the day appointed for his execution, he escaped out of prison, but was afterwards taken, hanged as a traitor, and burnt hanging as a heretic. In this age too, John Hufs and Jerom of Prague maintained and propagated the doctrines of Wickliff, for which they were burnt as heretics by the council of Conftance, and fuffered death with heroic fortitude.

In the fixteenth century began the Reformation; and from that period the united voice of the Proteftant world bears witness to the corruptions of the church of Rome. Nor is it unworthy of remark, that the name of Proteftants was given without any reference to the prophecy; yet it

is of much the fame import with that of witneffes, the term applied in the prophecy to Chrift's faithful followers during the reign of Antichrift. Befides the general voice of the Proteftant world, certain perfons have, in the present and the preceding century, directed the attention of mankind to the fcripture prophecies, concerning the Antichriftianifm of the Papacy, and church of Rome, which became the more neceffary, as the indolence of fome and the artifice of others had almoft lulled Proteftants afleep: and the influence of fashion had drawn a veil over these prophecies, in the seventeenth century, almost as impenetrable to the generality, as the ignorance which obfcured them in former ages. Of thefe, in the preceding century, were Jofeph Mede, a fellow of Chrift's College, in Cambridge, a man who seems to have understood the prophecies better than any who appeared before him since the days of the apostles, Peter Jurieu, one of the ministers of Rotterdam, a French refugee, James Durham, one of the minifters of Glafgow. I might alfo mention the famous Lord Napier, the difcoverer of the logarithms, who wrote a treatise on the Apocalypfe, published at Edinburgh, in the year 1645.

In the prefent century, the celebrated Sir Ifaac Newton, Charles Daubuz, vicar of Bro


therton, in Yorkshire, and Mofes Lowman, each of whom has written a treatife on the Apocalypfe; and still nearer our own times, Thomas Newton, late bishop of Bristol, in his Differtations on Prophecies, published in 1767; Samuel Halifax, late Bishop of Glocefter, and Richard Hurd, prefent Bishop of Worcester, in their Sermons at Lincoln's Inn Lectures.


Of the Woman bid in the Wilderness.

A third view of Chrift's faithful followers is given us in Rev. xii. 6. and 14. " And the wo66 man fled into the wilderness, where she hath

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a place prepared of God, that they should "feed her there a thousand two hundred and "threefcore days."" And to the woman were

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given two wings of a great eagle, that she 66 might fly into the wilderness, into her place; "where fhe is nourished for a time, and times, "and half a time, from the face of the ferpent." The woman reprefents the Church of Chrift, confidered as a community or collective body; as the feed of the woman represents the individual members of that community. Her flight to the wildernefs is an allufion to the departure


of Ifrael out of Egypt. When they were delivered from the oppreffion of Pharaoh, called the great dragon, they were led into the wildernefs, of which God fays, "I have carried thee

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as on eagles wings, to myself." So the church, after her deliverance from the perfecution of the Pagan Raman empire, called the red dragon, fet out for the wilderness; that is, as the vifible church declined from the doctrines and precepts of Christianity, the true church of Christ gradually retired from the view of men, till at length, when the vifible church had avowedly submitted to the government of Antichrift, the true church of Chrift, confidered as a community, wholly disappeared. She remains in that state 1260 days, and these are the fame in which the witnesses prophecy, and the beast reigns.

The state of the church in the wilderness conveys this idea," That the church as a community " or body politic, during the period mention❝ed, fhall be invifible in the world," juft as Ifrael, during their abode in the wilderness, had no manner of intercourse with other nations, and therefore as a people were unknown. The church is formed into a community, by ties external and internal, "there is one body and one "Spirit," Eph. iv. 4. The external ties are government, doctrine, and ordinances; "there is

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"one Lord, one faith, one baptifm." The internal tie is the Spirit of God, which animates the great Head of the church, and every real member of his myftical body; fo that "one "God and Father of all, who is above all, is "likewife through all, and in all." Now, in the ftate of the church in the wilderness, the former tie is diffolved, the latter only fubfifts. She is visible in that state as a community, only to the eyes of that God who is "through all, and in "all." This state of the church may be confidered on the one hand as a calamity, in as far as fhe appears no longer with that spiritual beauty which adorned her during the perfecution fhe experienced from pagan Rome, nor with that outward profperity which the enjoyed upon her deliverance. But on the other hand, it may be confidered as a bleffing, on account of the advantages that refult from it; for "her place "is prepared of God," that is, he has appointed and foretold this ftate; fo that the event corresponding with the prediction, ought to strengthen the faith of men, which might otherwise be fhaken by her low condition. Again, she is there "fed of God." As Ifrael, fed in the wilderness by the immediate hand of God, without the ordinary means, learned "that man liveth not by "bread alone, but by every word that proceed"eth out of the mouth of God;" fo the indi

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