In this manner it was, that the dragon, quitting heaven for earth, and “having great wrath because he kauweth that he hath but a short time,” prepared to vomit against the symbolical woman a noisome flood of mock philosophers, German and French, illuminated and masonic, * with all their trumpery;" of philanthropic cut-throats, civic thieves, humane anarchists, and candid atheists; of high-born Catilines, and low-born buffoons ;* of enlightened prostitutes, and revolutionary politicians ; of popish priests, and protestant ecclesiastics, united only by the common bonds of apostate profligacy; of Jews, Turks,t infidels, and heretics ; of the catharmata of the prisons of Lyons and Paris, wretches who, escaping the just sentence of the law, commenced the reformers of the world ; in short, of all the filth and offscouring of all the kennels of all the streets of the greut mystical city Babylon. At the sounding of the third woe-trumpet, the flood was at its height ; and threatened to carry away in wild indiscriminate confusion every thing sacred and venerable, every thing salutary and dignified, every thing wise, every thing lovely, every thing that adorns this life, every thing that fits us for a better life. Woe to the inhabiters of the Roman earth ; for the scourge of an unheard of war impends over their devoted heads! Woe to those that flounder in the miry waves of " the vasty deep," the turbid sea of republican uproar “ foaming out its own shame ;" for the darkened sky portends a tempest of strange miseries hitherto unthought of! Short was the time that elapsed between the great eurthquake and the blast of the seventh angel, when revolutionary France, in the phrenzy of democratic enthusiasm, established atheism and anarchy by law; held out the right hand of fellowship to the insurgents of every nation ; commenced a tremendous massacre of her enslaved citi. zens ; proclaimed the Son of God to be an impostor, and

During the French revolution, a comedian, dressed as a “priest of the Illuminati, publicly appeared, personally attacking Almighty God, saying, No, thou dost not exist. If tbou bast power over the thunder-bults, grasp them, aim them at the man wbo dares set thee at defiance in the face of thy alters. But no, I blaspheme thee, and I still live ; no, thou dost not exist." (Barruel's Mem. of Jacobinism, Vol. iii. p. 217.) 'To the catalogue of low-born buffoons Mr. Thomas Paine may with much propriety be added.

+ See Hist. the Interp. Vol. ii. p. 267. VOL. II.


[ocr errors]

his Gospel a forgery ; swore to exterminate Christianity and royalty from off the face of the earth, as she had blotted them both out of her own dominions; and madly unsheathed the sword against every regularly established government. But the Church of the Lord is founded upon a rock ; and he hath promised, that “the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.” Although “ the hea. then rage, and the people imagine a lie ;" although the destroyers of the earth “set themselves in array, and the rulers take counsel together against Jehovah, and against his anointed; Let us break their bands asunder, and cust away their cords from us :" yet "he, that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh ; the Lord shall have them in derision.” Congregated Europe, so God willed, met the infidels in arms. Long and bloody was the contest; for the whole" earth helped the woman.Yet, notwithstanding the various successes of the atheistical republic, when the general pacification took place in the year 1801, the earth had swallowed up the flood, which the dragon cast out of his mouth. A trial had been made of modern philosophy; and even French vanity was compelled to own, that this its favourite child, however beautiful in theory, was but ill calculated for practice. Atheism was displaced from his throne, and Christianity, the apostate Christianity indeed of the Church of Rome, was nominally at least restored. This, although an unwilling homage paid to religion, was nevertheless not the triumph of the mystic woman. For that triumph we must Took to reformed countries; and in a peculiar manner, I apprehend, to Britain and her virtuous sovereign. Here the raging flood has been in a remarkable manner swallowed up. Bursting as it did with hellish violence over papal Germany, Italy, and Spain ; here its proud waves, by the marvellous interposition of Providence, have been stayed. Superior to all Europe, France was unable to break the single strength of England, even when republican artifices had banded against her the united force of Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Spuin; for Englund stayed herself upon her God. Adopting her Saviour's rule of judging men by their fruits, she perceived,,ere long, that modern philosophy, notwithstanding its high preten

sions, was any thing but heaven-born. In this favoured land 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 lit. tle 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

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

the ocry.

I have already observed, that the four chapters of the little book run parallel to one another; each extending from tbe beginning to the end of the whole 1260 days. This war therefore between the dragon and be woman will synchronize with some part of the blast of ebe seventb 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 ibe 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 cominencement of the Millennium ; an effort made by bis two agents, Infidelity and Popery, unnaturally then as at present leagued together, to oppress the fuithful 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, t I think we may infer, that it will be a sort of crus de 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 wis. dom 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 stero defiance, Hence we must expect, that bis 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.
# These will be considered in a future chapter,

agency the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the papal eurth, 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 “ go 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 symbolicul "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 woman. 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 heuven ; 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

very much

The proposition, that some great maritime and commercial nation will be concerned in bringing about ile restoration of the Jerus, is admirably proved by the present Bp. of St. Asaph, in his letter upon the 18tb cbapler of Isaiah. 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.

« VorigeDoorgaan »