Sivut kuvina

“ The vulgat latin is enjoined by the council of Trent, to be used as the only authentic version of the scriptures ; and though exceedingly. corrupt, it is by the church of Rome preferred to the hebrew and greek texts themselves, in which the scriptures were written. Thus the pope has communicated his own language to the nations under his yoke, as the mark and character of his empire."--Newton on the Prophecies.

“Mr Pyle asserts, with great truth," says Newton, that " no other word, in any language whatever, can be found to express both the same number, and the same thing. And the fatal coincidence in both names, and in both languages, is very extraordinary." It was in the year 666 tbat pope Vitalle ANUS composed the latin service, which he enforced upon all nations, that according to the prophecy, the corrupt church (or beast) should speak the language of the dragon. Rev. xii. 11, and Isai xxviii. 11, had said—“ with stammering lips, and another tongue will he speak to this people;"



The superstitious abuse of religious signs no

reason against the sober use of them. The witnesses themselves are distinguished by a mystical name.The gospel brought out of popish darkness at the reformation, appears like a Revelation newly made.-WickLiFF the first angel that appears in the ecslesiastical heaven proclaiming it :-LUTHER. and þis followers, the second and third angels.LUTHER dissolves the enchanted SPELL of a PURGATORY.-The HARVEST and VINTAGE appointed to mystic Babylon.

AFTER this genealogy (as it were) of Antichrist, and description of his power and greatness, the prophet (in the xiv. chap.) reverts to the afflicted church of pers, and gives us as close and particular an account of their character and actions, as he

pure worship

[ocr errors]

has before done of their tyrant and destroyer, and his proceedings.

These have also A NAME written in their foreheads, but it is God's own name, and is a distinguishing token of their fidelity to him, as the name and mark of the beast imprest upon his adherents, is designed to denote the contrary.

[ocr errors][merged small]

They are standing with the Lamb of God on the Mount Sion, or true foundation of

* It seems as if this circumstance had been particularly designed to obviate the alarms of some mistaken christians. upon account of the sign of the cross in baptism. The difference between the use and the abuse of the same thing, is obvious in all things, as well as in religion. The cross, in the popish system, is an idol; and has its holiday and idolatrous worship in common with the rabble of their MAHUZZIM. And, as St John has just above shewn it would be, so it actually is used as an amulet and charm, and that with a superstitious frequency, and idolatrous intention and meaning, and by the ordinance of the beast, as his mark. But as the same sign is innocently applied in protestant christian baptism but once, without any reverence meant to the cross itself, but in memorial of Christ's sufferings, - and as an outward token of our dedication to the faith of the true God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the name then writ. ten in our foreheads, it seems to be not only unexceptionable, but indeed the very thing here by St John contrasted with Widolatrous abuse of it by the beast and his worshippers.

the true temple or church of God, which is further intimated by their number, formed of twelve multiplied by twelve, or “the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." And they are mutually giving and receiving edification from the diligent and pious searching of the scriptures, despised and

put down by their adversaries, but recovered and carefully preserved by them. This is intimated by the new song, called afterwards (Rev. xv. 3) the song of Moses and the Lamb, which they are singing to the glory of the true God; which none of the opposite party are able to learn, because of the pains taken to conceal it from them, and to make it appear odious, and full of danger to the souls of true catholics; and also by reason of the strong. delusion sent in judgment upon such irrational and wicked bigotry, and unpardonable ignorance. It is “ as it were, a new song :” which strongly expresses the general ignorance on which the foundations of poPERY had been laid, and the the new world which opened upon mankind, in respect of religious ideas, at the reformation, to which period this scene principally refers. *

The purity, which in the figurative language of prophecy) is here ascribed to the reformers, or followers of the Lamb, intimates their entire exemption from the idolatrous taint of popery; idolatry being called

spiritual wboredom and adultery. And this characteristic forms a striking contrast to both the practical impiety, and “spiritual wickedness in bigb places,” † so justly charged upon their persecutors. For a state of persecution has been ever most favorable to virtue and religion. These are the first fruits of the reformation, and the symptoms of the ripening harvest that was soon to follow. The angel

* Burnet (Hist. of Reformation) says that the novelty of the scriptures, of which so little had been generally known, as well as the new and interesting views of religion therein laid open, drew vast crowds to hear them read with the greatest avidity, when Henry VIII. (in the progress of his reforma. tion,) had chained a translation of the Bible to the reading desk, with permission to any that were able to read therein,

+ Ephes, vi. 12.

« EdellinenJatka »