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R E V E L A T I O N.



T is very useful, as well as very curious.

and entertaining, to trace the rise and

progress of religions and governments ; and in taking a survey of all the different religions and governments of the world, there is none perhaps that will strike us more with wonder and astonishment than that of Rome, how such a mystery of iniquity could fucVol. III.



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faded away


ceed at first and prosper so long, and under the
name of Christ. introduce Antichrift. Other
heresies and fchisms have obtained place and
credit among men for a time, and then have
been happily exposed and suppressed. Ari-
anism oncé succeeded almost universally; for
a while it grew and florished mightily, but in
process of time it withered and faded
Bút Popery hath now prevailed I know-not how
many centuries, and her "renowned hierarchs
have not, like the fathers of other fects, fto
into fecret meetings and conventicles, but have
infected the


heart of the Christian church, and ufurped the chief seat of the western world; have not only engaged in their cause private persons, and led captive filly women, but have trampled on the necks of princes and emperors themselves, and the lords and tyrants of mankind have yet, been the blind Naves and vaffals of the holy fee. Rome Christian hath carried her conquests almost as far as Rome Pagan. The Romanists themselves make univerfality and perpetuity the special marks and · characters of their church, and no people more industrious than they in compafing sea and land to make profelytes.

All sincere protestants cannot but be greatly grieved at the success and prevalence of this re


ligion, and the papists as much boast and glory in it, and for this reason proudly denominate theirs the catholic religion. But it will abate all

confidence on the one hand, and banish all fcruples on the other; if we conGider that this is .nothing more than what was signified beforehand by the Spirit of prophecy. It is directly foretold, that there should be such a power,

as that of the Pope of Rome, exercised in the Christian church, and that it should prevail for _a: long season, but at last should have a fall. Several clear and express prophecies to this purpose have been produced out of Daniel and St. Paul in the course of these differtations : but others clearer still, and more copious and particular, may be found in the Apocalyps or Revelation of St. John, who was the greatest as he was the last prophet of the Christian dispenfation, and hath comprehended in this book, and pointed out the most memorable events and revolutions in the church, from the apostles days to the consummation of the mystery of God.

But to this book of the Apocalyps or Revelation it is usually objected, that it is so wrapt and involved in figures and allegories, is so wild and visionary, 'is' fo dark and obscure, that any thing or nothing, at least nothing clear and certain, can be proved or collected from it. So,

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learned a man as Scaliger is noted for saying (1) that Calvin was wise, because he wrote no comment upon the Revelation. A celebrated (2) wit and divine of our own church hath not scrupled to assert, that that book either finds a man mad, or makes him so. Whitby, though an uféful commentator on the other books of the New Teliament, would not yet adventure upon the Revelation. “ I confess I do it not (3) (says he;) “ for want of wisdom; that is because I neither “ bave sufficient reading nor judgment,

o dilcern the intendment of the prophecies con

. "tained in that book.” Voltaire is pleased to fay, that Sir Isaac Newton wrote his comment upon the Revelation, to console mankind for the great superiority that he had over them in other respects : but Voltaire, though a very agreeable, is yet a very superficial writer, and often mistaken in his judgment of men and things. He never was more mistaken, than in affirming that Sir Isaac Newton has explained the Revelation in the same manner with all those who went before him; a most evident proof that he had

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(1) Calvinus fapit, quod in marks, he says in another place, Apocalypsin non fcripfit. Vide Hoc possum gloriari me nihil "Scaligerana secunda. p. 41. But ignorare eorum quæ in ApocaScaliger was not very confiftent lypsi, Canonico vere libro, proin his

opinion of the Revelation. phetice scribuntur, præter illud For as the Bishop of Rochester re- capat in quo septies repeti

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