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CHAPTER THE THIRD. .
THE RISE, PROGRESS, ESTABLISHMENT, AND DESTRUCTION OF THE PAPAL POWER OR ANTICHRIST.
As this was the greatest corruption of Christianity that was to be permitted to take place in the world, it cannot be thought extraordinary, 'that more of the Prophecies, which we have brought fore, ward to the notice of the Reader in the Introductory Chapter, are applicable to it, than to any other branch of Antichristian Power. As both Mahometanism and Infidelity consisted more of open hostility, they were likely to be better distinguished by Christians, without the aid of such strong prophetical light, as that which is afforded to expose, and to bring into full view, the VOL. II.
counterfeit Christianity of the Church of Rome.
A combination of Prophecy with Hiftory will shew with what perfect exactness this Papal Power of Antichrist is marked out by the Prophets Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John.
To guide our enquiries, to the right points of observation, St. John has designated, by certain appropriate allusions and descriptions, the peculiar nature of this power, the cime when it began to manifest itself to the world, and the seat of its authority and government. ;
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and faw a beast rise up out of the sea, having leven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blafphemy. This wonderful beaft with a crown on each horn, and a blasphemous inscription on each of his seven heads, denoted the new form of government that was to be erected in the city
:. Rev. xiii, 1..
1 Lowman on the Revelations, p. 173.
of Rome, by the great commotions of the
In the mystical description which the
will greatly assist our inquiries to discover
power shall arise; and from thence afcer-
• Lowman, p. 191.
& Rev. xiii. 18.
years. St. John was banished to the isle of Patmos in the latter part of the reign of Domitian, and returned from thence immediately on his death. Domitian reigned from 81 to 96. Now St. John saw the vision in the isle of Patmos; and it is generally acknowledged, that the Papacy received the temporal power, and became the beast, in 756.
• The seat of this Power is fixed at Rome. THAT GREAT city, which in the times of Pagan idolatry had been the mistress of the antient world by the force of her arms, became in more modern ages, by the establishment of her spiritual laws, so much exalted in power, as to reign over the kings. of the earth. The woman, upon whose forehead was, infcribed Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and abominations of the earth, is, according to the explanation of the angel, the city of Rome; for the seven heads of the beast that carried her are seven mountains on which the woman htteth, and the woman which thou Sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the king's of the earth. Rome is well known' to be built upon seven hills; and at the time ·