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sions, was any thing but heaven-born. In this favoured Jand its absurdities have been more ably and more fully exposed than elsewhere. Here peculiarly hath the Scripture been accomplished, that the scoffers of the last days, those resisters of the truth,“ men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith, should proceed no further ; for their folly should be manifest unto all.” Here Christianity is still as little likely to be overthrown, as it was before Voltaire and his miscreant associates first drew the breath of heaven. Here the woman is still nourished in her " place prepared of God,” though surrounded by a wilderness of Popery, Mohammedism, and Infidelity. Here she is still holpen" from the face of the Serpent," and from the raging waves of the flood. Resolute in honouring the religion of Christ, and in giving glory to his holy name, both the sovereign and the people of England have hitherto been enabled firmly and successfully to resist alike the secret artifices and open assaults of the infernal serpent.
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman ; and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
We are repeatedly informed by St. John, that the little book extends through the whole period of the 1260 days, though a more particular account of the last times under the seventh trumpet is reserved for the prophecy that immediately succeeds the little book. Such being the case, it is evident, that this war of the dragon against the woman, being mentioned at the very end of the whole history of the dragon's machinations, will take place at the very end of the 1260 days, or, as Daniel expresses it, at the time of the end.* But, if it take place at the time of the end, it must be the same as the expedition of the infidel king predicted by Daniel, and as the war foretold by St. John as about to be undertaken by a confederacy
I have already observed, that the four chapters of the little book run parallel to one another; each extending from tbe beginning to tbe end of the whole 1260 days. This war therefore between the dragon and the woman will synchronize with some part of the blast of the seventh trumpet, mentioned in the preceding chapter : in other words, it will synchronize with some one of the seven vials, all of which are included under Abe seventh trumpet.
of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the Roman earth, under the seventh vial. As yet therefore it is future. It will be the last greut effort of Satan against the Church previous to the commencement of the Millennium ; an effort made by his two agents, Infidelity and Popery, unnaturally then as at present leagued together, to oppress the faithful worshippers of God, and to prevent the restoration of the converted Jews.* From the declaration, that it shall be a war against the remnant of the woman's seed, and from other parallel declarations, I think we may infer, that it will be a sort of crusade or holy war; a war, entered upon by Infidelity and Popery, under the pretext of religion and under a pretence of zeal for the catholic church, against those that have come out of the mystic Babylon, and have refused to be partakers of her sins. If I be right in this opinion, the powerful protestant kingdom of England will certainly be one of the principal objects against which the wrath of the dragon will be directed. Her courage and wisdom have long been the main instruments under God, of confounding all his measures, and of frustrating all his attempts. While he yet reigned in the symbolical heaven, she was his grand opponent, and thence obtained the glorious title of the bulwark of the Reformation : and now that he has been cast out into the earth, she hath still proved his most indefatigable and successful adversary, blasting his schemes, exposing his nefarious projects, withering the arm of his wretched vassals, and in the presence of the enslaved Roman empire bearding them to their face with stern defiance. Hence we must expect, that his almost exclusive rage will be directed against her. The end however is not yet. This war, professedly undertaken against the woman and the remnant of her seed, has not yet commenced : and, when it does commence, whatever temporary and partial success may attend Antichrist and his rebel rout, it will eventually and speedily terminate in their confusion and utter overthrow. At the close of the 1260 days the dragon shall begin to gather together by secret diabolical
* More will be said upon this subject hereafter. | Those will be considered in a future chapter,
agency the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the papal earth, to the appointed place of their destruction at Armageddon; and shall cause his minister the infidel tyrant, then become the avowed champion of the false prophet, to “
forth with great fury to destroy, and religiously to devote to extermination, many." But, although he shall succeed in “
planting the curtains of his pavilions between the seas in the glorious holy mountain :" yet in vain shall he “sanctify war;" in vain shall he assemble his enslaved multitudes against that mighty maritime nation, which is destined to take the lead in turning the captivity of God's ancient people. Unable to impede the progress of those “ swift messengers” of the Lord “ unto a nation dragged away and plucked, unto a people wonderful from their beginning hitherto, a nation expecting, expecting, and trampled under foot, whose land” the symbolical" rivers” of foreign invaders “ have spoiled ;" unable to frustrate the least of the high purposes of Jehovah, this lawless despiser both of things human and things divine shall, in the fatal battle of Armageddon, “come to his end, and none shall help him."* Into these yet future matters however we must not dare to pry beyond what is expressly written. The book of futurity is as yet sealed ; and who shall open it before the appointed season ? We have in our hands the prediction of the war between the dragon and the remaining seed of the
We have it in strict chronological connection with other prophecies. We have abundant reason to conclude, that this war will commence at the close of the 1260 days, in the last times of atheism and profaneness. We know, that it must commence after the dragon has been cast out of heaven ; after he has taken his station upon earth ; after he has vomited forth a flood against the mystic woman; after the earth has swallowed up the flood; when every current event bears testimony, that the third woe-trumpet is sounding, that the vials of the last plagues
The proposition, that some great maritime and commercial nation will be. try
mucb cencerned in bringing about the restoration of the Jews, is admirably proved by the present Bp. of St. Asaph, in his letter upon the 18th chapter of Isaiab. Whatever degree of probability there might be in the conjecture, his Lordship does not venture to assert, that England will be this great maritime and commercial nation; and his prudent reserve upon that point I cannot do better than imitate.
are pouring out, and that Satan is come down to the inhabiters of the earth and the sea having great wrath ; and when prophetic truth and chronological computation declare with united voice, that" he hath but a short time,' that the period of the great Apostacy is nearly expired. To this era, thus variously pointed out, the time of the end, or the close of the 1260 days, alone corresponds in every particular. May we, like Daniel, rest, and stand in our lot at the end of the days.”*
Concerning the ten-horned beast of the sea. The prophet, after having conducted us as it were behind the scenes, and shewn us that every string both of the great Apostacy and of the tyranny of Antichrist is in reality worked by the infernal serpent, next proceeds to bring us acquainted with the characters of the ostensible agents, by whose instrumentality and through whose instigation the Church was to be in a persecuted state through the long period of 1260 years.
“ And I stood t upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast, which I saw, was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion : and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw
* Mr. Galloway is right in bis general idea respecting this prophecy, that a pratiction, immediately connected with the 1260 days, cannot possibly relate to the days of Censtartine: but he appears to me to be almost invariably wrong in bis particular expositien of it. See Comment. p. 120—157.
+ The Latin copies, the Alexandrian M. S., and the Syriac, read and be stoad, meaning the dragon ; and accordingly join the clause and be stood upon the sand of the sea to the preceding chapter. (Pol. Synop. in loc.) I know not however why we should give up the common reading, which is that of all the Greek copies with the single exception of the Alexandrian followed by Aldus, and which agrees remarkably well with the context. Mr. Mede wishes to adopt it, because he thinks, that it confirms his interpretation of the preceding chapter, and shews that the rise of the ten-bernes beast is posterior to the war of tbe dragon with the woman. This however it certainly cannot do, if it be adopted; for, as I have already stated very sufficiently, the woman's sojourn in the wilderness of 1260 days plainly intimates, that tbe war of the dragon is the very same period as ibe 42 months tyranny of the beast; and consequently, that the war cannot in point of time precede the tyranny, as Mr. Mede and Bp. News ton suppose.
one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed : and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon, which gave great power unto the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him! And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue* forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heav
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them : and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, If any man have an ear, let him hear. He, that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity: he, that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
In the preceding chapter, the dragon is represented as persecuting the woman with his seven heads and ten korns : here we have the symbol of a beast, which has likewise seven heads and ten horns. Now, since the dragon is declared to be the devil, the heads and horns, which he is described as using against the woman, must be the heads and horns of some power subservient to his views. This power is now brought upon the stage.
According to Mr. Kett, “ the first beast of the Revelation, and the little horn of Daniel, are generally allowed to mean the same power, whatever that power may be;"+ and he afterwards asserts, that this ten-horned
Or rather, to practise prosperously. The word roncar does not so much describe bis existence, as his prosperity. At the close of the 42 months the judgments of God will begin to go forth against him: and he is then considered, if I may use the expression, as dead in law, although some time will elapse before he is finally slain. There is reason to believe from Daniel, that this time, which he styles the time of the end, which is the period of God's great controversy with the nations, and which syn. chronizes with the last vial, will occupy a space of at least 30 years. (See Dan. xii. 11, 12.) Indeed the whole time of the end seems to occupy a space of 75 5 years. * Hist. the Interp. Vol. i. P