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of papal Rome. But the dread freedom of religion ; for it not of her fulminations, while she only tolerates, but supports Prowas blindly adored by the igno- testantism, as well as Popery ; rant and deluded multitude, re- so that means of reformation strained these kings from as- may now be applied with safety serting their sovereignty and re- and without interruption.
The dressing their injuries. This way for the introduction of light Euphrates, for a considerable and truth, which was shut under time, has been drying up. The former monarchs, is now openabolition of convents and of the ed. Accordingly, in the short inquisition in many Roman interval of peace between the Catholic countries, and the gen. last and the present war, Proteseral suppression of the order of tant missionaries visited France Jesuits, the extension of com- without danger, and preached merce, and the consequent diffu. there without molestation ; and sion of knowledge, have greatly complete Bibles and many Prodiminished the wealth, and weake testant books were distributed ened the strength of this Baby- among the people, and received lon. But do event has been with apparent gratitude and joy: so fatal to the papal power, as The eruption of the war put a the subversion of the French' sudden stop to these pious meamonarchy. The justice of this sures ; but, whenever peace revolution in a moral view, or shall return, it is hoped they will the wisdom of it in a political be renewed. view, is not a subject of our John goes on to say, “ I saw present inquiry. Be this as it three unclean spirits, like frogs, may, the consequence of it in re- come out of the mouth of the lation to the papal power is ob- dragon, and out of the mouth of vious. It has almost dried up the beast, and out of the mouth the river, which was the source of the false prophet." It will be of her wealth, and removed the necessary to ascertain the char, barrier, which was the rueans of acters, intended by these names. her defence. The French na- And let us remember, they are tion, which had long supported, three, and must not be confoundhas now annihilated the Pope's ed. temporal dominion, and has left Our first inquiry will be conhim but the shadow of a spirit- cerning the dragon. He is deual supremacy in the church. scribed chap xii. “ There apThus St. John's prophecy is ful. peared a sign in heaven," or in filled; “ The ten horns, the sky, “a great red dragon, kings, which gave their power having seven heads and ten horns, to the beast, these, or some of and on his heads seven crowns." these, shall hate the whore, who. This must intend the heathen sits on him, and make her des- Roman empire, as it existed in olate.
John's time. The place is deThe present government of signated by the seven heads, which France, in a political view, is as the angel says, are seven moun. absolute, as was her former gove tains, on which the city, or seat of ernment. But it is certainly the dragon, was built. This cir. much more favourable to the cumstance points out Rome,
which, all know, was þuilt on divided by the incursions and. seven hills. The seven heads de conquests of the northern barba.. note also seven kings, or seven rians. This was after Christian successive forms of government; ity was established and greatly five of which, the angel says, were corrupted in the empire. This fallen, one then existed, and one beast therefore can be no other was to come. The sixth, which ex
than the papal Roman empire. th ; isted in John's time, was the impe- The dragon gives his power,
rial, or the government by em- throne, and authority to the perors.
The seventh, which beast. The dragon and beast was to come, was the ducal, or are no longer distinct characters. rather the papal government. They are become one. The The crowns, at the time of the power has passed from the forvision, were on the heads of the mer to the latter.
“ Men wordragon, and had not passed to the ship the dragon, which gave horns of the beast, mentioned af power to the beast, and they worterward, i. e. the government ship the beast, saying, Who is was then seated at Rome, and like to the beast?" was not divided among the king., By the dragon then, under the doms into which the empire was sixth vial, we cannot understand afterwards split. So that the the dragon existing in his first dragon must signify the Fleathen form, or the Heathen Roman emRoman government.
u pire ; for in this form he existThis dragon is indeed called ed no longer after he had given the devil, verse 9th. But this his power to the beast.
But by must mean the pagan empire, as, this name we must understand actuated by the devil. For, the dragon and beast united, or whenever the devil is introduced the papal empire, exercising the in this book, he appears as carry. tyranny and corruption of the ing on his designs by wicked heathen empire. agents. It is agreeable to the Such a power certainly exists style of prophecy to call tyrants some where under this vial. by the name of a dragon. The And where shall we find it, but kings of Egypt and of Assyria in the German empire? This is are so called.
very extensive. In the time of After the dragon John saw Charles V, and his successor it beast rise up out of the sea, havs comprehended the greater part ing seven heads and ten horns, and of the western empire, and still on his horns ten crowns; and io, comprises a considerable part of him the dragon gave his power. it. It is that empire continued. and throne, and great authority.” It is called the holy Roman em
In the time, wben this beast pire. The person, crowned King appears, the crowns, importing of the Romans, succeeds on the sovereign power, have passed demise of the emperor, to the imfrom the heads of the dragon to perial throne. Popery is the esthe horns of the beast. The do- tablished religion of the empire. minion, which was before con- It has exercised great tyranny, fined to Rome, is now spread and violent persecution. It has among the ten kingdoms, into retained all the discriminating which the Roman empire was marks of the dragon, as 4. tyran
nical and persecuting power, un- Saviour are not physically im. til within a few years past, when possible, the competency of the it has grown more tolerant. witnesses, their moral character,
There can then be little doubt, the object which they might have but that Germany must undergo a in view, and the circumstances in great change in her government, which they declared their convice before the general spread of puretion of the reality of what they Christianity. It is probable from saw, and the truth of what they many circumstances, that France heard, must be all taken into will be an instrument of effecting account, in judging of the credit this change. Perhaps a leading to which they were entitled. blow has been struck already. These witnesses were incapa(To be continued.) ble perhaps of accurate logical
discussion ; but men of plain SHORT REMARKS ON OUR SA. common sense, some of them VIOCR'S MIRACLES. undoubtedly shrewder than otha
ers, but all of them sufficiently, That such erents as are re- qualified to judge of the reality corded in the gospel, as the rese of any fact, that came under their Loration of sight to the blind, of observation, They were not speech to the dumb, of life to the accused of deceit, and their mordead, &c. are physically possible, al character was never impeachwe cannot deny, without setting ed by their most virulent ene. bounds to the Omnipotence of mies. They published their tes. God. That they are probable, we timony to the miracles of Jesus, cannot, however, affirm, unless we and invariably adhered to its in consider the purposes which they the face of the most unexampled, art intended to serve. If it is cruel, and persevering opposi19&sible for God to give a revela, tion. They opposed all their tion of his will to men: if it own national and educational preis probable from their condition, judices, by supporting a religion, that he will do so ; and if we are which was to be established on informed that he has actually the ruins of Judaism. Their tes, done so ; there is a considerable timony was never contradicted, presumption that some marks of even by their persecutors : thousupernatural interposition will sands and tens of thousands on its accompany the giving of this rev. evidence, embraced the faith, clation.
which it confirmed : and multiThat universal experience is tudes sealed their adherence to it contrary to the supposition of with their blood. Nor let it be miraculous interference, is a gra- forgotten, that the primitive tuitous and unfounded assertion. Christians, and the apostles in The satisfactoriness of testimony particular, suffered martyrdom, does not depend on the nature of not for matters of opinion, but the facts attested, unless they are for their attestation of facts: a physically impossible ; but on the circumstance unparalleled in the credibility of the persons, who history of the world, affirm that they have witnessed On these grounds we rest them.
the credibility of the gospel hisIf then the miracles of our tory; the certainty of our Sa
viour's miraculous power, and amined them in order to detect consequently the truth of his re- the supposed fraud, they totally ligion.
failed in their object.
Yet, it is But besides this, the miracles more than incredible, that acute of the gospel are peculiarly dis- examinators, assisted by every tinguished from all pretended passion, which could render them miracles.
more acute, should have consid. 1. Christ did not, like the ered such a multitude of extraorchampions of popery, who wish- dinary effects, said to be supered to establish some monstrous natural, without in a single inopinion, or give celebrity to some stance discovering the least apparticular sect, assemble the mul- pearance of fraud : unless we titude to witness his miracles, and suppose, that these effects were by the arts of eloquence or the indeed really produced. aid of superstition, prepare their 6. The end for which the mir. minds for something unexpectacles of Christ were performed, ed and extraordinary. He fixed was worthy of them. It was not no stated hour for the cures to illustrate any obscure, absurd which he performed. It was in or licentious doctrine ; to conthe ordinary course of his min. firm any foolish or fluctuating istry, when he went about doing opinion ; to encourage one sect good, that he wrought “ the and subvert another; or to supworks of Him that sent him" port the prejudices, and superwithout ostentation or parade. stition of the people ; but to con.
2. None of his miracles were firm the truth of a religion, as unsuccessful : and none of them sublime in its conceptions of incomplete. Every one that God, as benevolent in its regards came to him was healed. The to man, as interesting in its doc. diseases which he rebuked, were trines, as pure in its precepts, as in every instance perfectly re- solacing in its promises, as it is moved.
possible to conceive. Surely 3. The greater number of then, this was an object worthy these cures evidently transcend of the greatest display of divine ed the power of natural means ; power, worthy in all respects of some of them were effected by that astonishing series of mira. means which in themselves were cles, which the history of the not only inadequate, but even ad- Saviour records. verse ; and those of them, over Christianity is founded on a which medical prescriptions “ rock ;" and the gates of hell might have had some influence, shall not prevail against it. Bewere supernatural, as to the man- ware then, my brother, of attack. ner in which they were perform- ing either secretly or openly, by ed : for,
any of the weapons of infidelity, 4. They were always instanta- this impregnable fortress. Canst neous : frequently effected with- thou resist Omnipotence ? No! out the intervention of any nat- thy soul must perish in the at, ural means : by a word, a look, tempt.
D. D. or a touch. 5. If any of the Jews imagined
April, 1805. then to be impostures, and ex.
That their apostasy was owing to SURVEY OF CHURCHES. the want of personal religion, is
evident from the words of the aposIn the intended survey of our tle John. They went out from us, churches, it will be natural to be- but they were not of us. For if they gin with the character of the in- had been of us, they would have dividuals of whom the churches continued with us. But they went are composed. They, who be- out, that they might be made manilong to Christ's church, ought to fest, that they were not of us. be his disciples. The scripture The fatal errors and vices, which represents them, as saints ; as appeared in the Asiatic churches, persons born again, and entitled originated in the bosom of hyto a heavenly inheritance; as pocrisy. There were
a few children of the light and of the even in Sardis, who had not defilday; as crucified to the world, ed their garments. But the and alive unto God; as the salt reigning character of the church of the earth ; as the city, and the was corrupt. Many of the memtemple of God, in which he gra- bers, probably the greater part, ciously dwells. It is granted, were destitute of saving religion. that the visible church, in its Members of that description inpurest state, has contained many, jured the cause of Zion, not only whose character has not, in any by their own conduct directly, but degree, answered this high de- also by the hurtful influence scription. But it evidently ap- they had on the character of real pears, what is the nature of saints. The holy zeal of sincere Christ's church, and what should Christians was damped, their be the character of all its mem- faithful exertions encumbered, bers. If the church contains and their usefulness diminished those who are essentially defi- by their connexion with the uncient in their religious character, sanctified. Thus it came to passy it is proportionably corrupt. that the church, though it had a When irreligion becomes pre- name to live, was dead. In the dominant, the church loses its same way the Laodicean church proper character, its influence, was reduced to a state of culpable and its blessedness.
lukewarmness. In the sanie All the disorders, which crept way all the churches of Asia into the Old Testament church, were corrupted, and finally ruinall the evils, which afflicted and ed. The apostles judged frewasted it, were occasioned by the quent and most solemn warnings general impiety of its members. necessary to guard the disciples Their personal unholiness led to against the dangerous influence idolatry, and all other national of false brethren. abominations. In the first age Neither scripture, nor atten. of Christianity, many, who had not tive observation gives us liberty the Spirit of Christ, united them- to suppose, that the church at the selves to his church. Persons of present time is any more free such a character, after maintain: from a mixture of bad characters, ing for a time, some appearance than it was at the time of the of goodness, were gradually ali- apostles. The parables of the enated from the cause of Christ. wheat and tares, and of the ten In the time of trial they fell away. virgins, with other parables and