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this woman is popery is admitted on all hands. But who is the Beast upon which she sits? Not Popery too, for Popery does not make war upon itself and destroy itself, but the angel, who in verse 7 promises to interpret the "mystery of the woman and of the Beast that carrieth her, which hath seven heads and ten horns, declares in verse 16 that the ten horns, which thou sawest upon the Beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire, for God hath put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree and give their Kingdoms unto the Beast, until the words of God be fulfilled. Is it not perfectly evident then, that this Beast, this last form of Antichrist, is entirely distinct from the preceding form, viz., the Papal which it destroys?
From the description given of this Beast, we further conclude that it is a power yet to arise. In Rev. xvii. 8, 10—13, we read, "The Beast that thou sawest, was, and is not, and yet is, even he is the eighth, and is of the seventh, and the ten horns receive power as Kings one hour with the Be ist." Now many of the civil powers of Europe, which have acknowledged the authority of the Papal See, have submitted to its domination/or centuries, and those which have renounced her authority, have withdrawn from her communion as peaceably as they could, not attempting to eat her flesh, nor burn her with fire, but praying for her conversion. The Protestant governments of Europe, with their present views, manifest no disposition to commit such violence npon her. The ten horns of the Beast, descr'bed in Rev. xii. 3, never united with the great red Dragon, or Rome Pagan, to destroy Popery, for Popery was not then in existence. The ten horns of the Beast, described in Rev. xiii. 1. which are the ten Kingdoms founded by the Northern Barbarians, viz. Britain, France, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia,Naples, Lombardy. Ravenna, and Rome, the last three of which were "plucked up by the little horn," described in Dan. vii. 8. that is, were seized upon by the Popes, and governed as the stales of "He dhurch; these kingdoms (all of which arc yet in existence) never niiide war upon Popery,for they were all founded before Popery arose, and they all afterward submitted to the spirimal despotism, which it set up. It follows, then, that the scarlet coloured Beast, which with it* ten horns shall hate the Hailot and burn her with fire, hss not yet arisen, for the territory he must occupy is yet chiefly in the possession of Rome Papal.
Now there is one particular in which this scarlet coloured Beast, on which the woman sitteth, agrees, with the Beast of Rev. xi. which slays the witneses; they both ascend from the bottomless pit; compare Rev. xi. 7. xvii. 8. Does not this seem to indicate that they are the saroe. The Beast of Rev. xiii. with seven h'eads and ten horns, arid crowns on the horns came out of the sea. The Beast of Rev. xiii. 11, with two horns like a lamb, but spake like a Dragon, came out of the earth, but this scarlet coloured Beast, on which the woman sitteth, and which finally destroys her, ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, as does the Beast which slayeth the two witnesses; the reader will therefore judge whether there is not a strong probability that they are one and the same.
It is somewhat remarkable that the Beast which slays the two witnesses, is introduced in Rev. xi. 7, without any description whatever of his character. It is merely said, when the two witnesses shall have" finished their testimony, the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall slay them, &c. not a beast shall ascend, having such and such an appearance. This is remarkable, because all the other Beasts mentioned in Rev. xii. 3, xiii. 1--3, 11—15, as we have already seen, are particularly described, and the omission can only'be accounted for, on the ground that a particular description was to be given of him afterwards, which is given, Rev. xvii. 8,11,13, thus identifying the slayer of these witnesses as the scarlet coloured Beast winch destroys Popery.
II to this we add, that the slaying of the two witneses and the destruction of Popery are both represented as taking place near the time of the end, or the close of the present dispensation, (vide Rev. xi. 13, 18, compare xix. 1,7, the evidence is increased, that the Beast out the bottomless pit, which slayeth the witnesses, is identical with the scarlet coloured Beast, which makes desolate the Harlot, and burns her with fire.
Concerning this Beast, this last form of Antichrist, we will now shew our opinion, feeling at the same time that any explanation of a prophecy yet unfulfilled should be given with great humility, and be received with much allowance. From the seven heads of this Beast, we conclude that his sefat, or capital, will again be in Rome, Rev. xvii. 9: From the ten horns, that his authority will extend over the chief parts of Europe, as the ten horns of the former beasts did: From his scarlet color, that he will be blood thirsty and blood shedding: From his names of blasphemy, that he will be daringly impious, and most God-defying, seeking to destroy all the institutions of religion, both Christian and Jewish, that he will "magnify himself against every god, and speak marvellous things against the God of gods;" that will claim divine honours for himself and after his attack upon, and capture of Jerusalem, where the witnesees are by him slain, he will literally (as Paul declares in 2 Thess. ii. 4,) " sit in the Temple of God, rebuilt by the Jews, shewing himself that he is God," and thus, by way of eminence, be 'the man of sin,' and " that wicked," verse 8, whom the Lord will destroy by the brightness of his coming; yea more, that he will be a very incarnation of the Devil. Satan entering into him, as he did into the heart of Judas, and directing all his movements. Is this a mere fancy? Hear the solemn warning of the prophecy itself. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and sea, for the Devil is come down unto you having great power, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. We know that Satan declared to Christ, when he took him into an exceeding high mountain, and shown him all the Kingdoms of the world, that all this power will I give unto thee and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it. While this .declaration of Satan is generally set down for a falsehood, yet the inspired writers themselves declare as much. Paul asserts that he is the god of this world, the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience, and the Dragon of Rev. xii. 3, who sought to devour the man-child, is declared in verse 9, to be that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. Now if this scarlet coloured Beast, this last form of Antichrist, this "man of sin," that makes desolate the harlot, and slays the two witnesses, be one entirely animated with the spirit, and full of the malice of the Devi!, then we understand why he is said to ascend out of the bottomless pit. In the vision which John had, he appeared to him as Satan coming out of his own place.
And we ask, whether there are not many evidences that a new form of Antichrist is now arising in the very territory over which Rome Pagan formerly, and Rome Papal now, holds the sway? Are there not indications that Europe is in a state of transition from nominal Christianity to Infidelity. The neologism of Germany, the rationalism of Geneva, the socialism of England, the Infidelity of France, the libertinism and free thinking of all the nations, even those formerly most bigotedly devoted to the Roman hierarchy, as Spain and Portugal, gave evidence that the principles of Christianity, whether Protestant or Papal, are fast losing their hold upon the public mind. In fact, the Pope dare not trust himself in the hands of his own subjects, but has to rely on Austrian bayonets to maintain his civil supremacy in the states of the church.
Every popular outbreak, in which the people demand an increase of civil privileges, diminishes the authority of the Romish Priesthood. The progress of liberal principles works death to Romanism. Could this progress advance in a silent and peaceable manner, no fearful consequences would ensue; but being met at every step with opposition from the Romish church, it is not surprising that there is a growing hostility to that church, which, like a stream confined within narrow limits, by dams and embankments, presently arises in its fulness above all obstructions, and sweeps away the
barriers which were reared to fix its bounds. Let us not forget the horrible scenes that the French Revolution presented at the close of the last century, when the Beast about to arise, first shewed his head and grinning teeth, and gave to Popery a specimen of what he would do when his full form was perfected. The influences which led to those horrible excesses, have not ceased to exist in Europe, but have, we fear, ever since been siL-ntly extending and gaining strength, so that were a demagogue soon to arise, proclaiming liberty throughout Europe, and inviting the multitude groaning under both civil and ecclesiastic despotism, to arise and shake off these yokes and assert their freedom from all control, the scenes of Paris, it is to be feared, would be reacted throughout all the cities of the continent. We are fully aware that our religious journals often present an entirely different picture of the prospects of Christianity in Europe, and are fond of expressing the hope that the Evangelical efforts employed in the different countries are preparing the way for a purer state of the church. Would to God there were ground for such a hope, and that counter influences more numerous and powerful were not at work leading to a very different result. It is always pleasant to contemplate the future through such a medium as will present a bright prospect, but the opinions expressed under such circumstances are apt to proceed rather from our wishes than our convictions. But let us not shut our eyes to the real state of Europe, to its religious and moral condition. The principles of Infidelity are so openly advocated in many leading journals, both literary and political, as to lead many judicious observers to express their fears that ere long the question will be, Shall Christianity, under any form, be longer tolerated? and its decision will be referred to the sword.
Finally, it is worthy of our serious enquiry, whether the repose which the church at present enjoys, be not that deceitful calm which sometimes precedes a violent tempest, and which overtakes men generally in an unexpected and unprepared moment. The word of God declares that when the church begins to indulge in