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greatly to her advancement, it is not impossible, nor improbable, that some time or other they may also be the principal authors of her destruction, France hath already shown some tendency to. wards a reformation, and therefore may appear more likely to effect such a Revolution, Such a revolution may reasonably be expected, because this infatuation of Popish princes is permitted by divine Providence only for a certain period, until the words of God Mall be fulfilled, and particularly the words of the Prophet Daniel—They shall be given into his hand, until a time, and times, and the dividing of time : but then, as it immediately follows, the judgment shall fit, and they fall take away his. dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the
The observations of Bishop Newton are more definite with respect to the Power, which he expected would effect the subversion of the Papal greatness ; but he expected also (and fome other Commentators have agreed with him) that a Reformation would previously take place in France--but for this opinion he assigns no reason drawn from Scripture; whereas the opinion of Daubuz, that the instrument God
Newton, vol. iii. p. 308.
would make use of, could not be true worshippers, or Protestants, being founded on the Prophecy itself, has been verified by the events.
This apostasy of those who raised the power of Antichristian Rome, this degradation of her fovereign Pontiff, whom the nations and kings of the earth once worshipped, or held in ido. latrous veneration, this appropriation of his spoils to the enrichment of his conquerors, are events which will probably lead the way to the complete fall and destruction of the capital of this Antichristian power, when the measure of its abominations shall be filled up. Lowman observes !, and it is an important observation, “ that the fifth vial or cup is poured out on the throne of the beast; so the word is in the original. In the Scripture language, throne, kingdom, government, au thority, dominion and power, are of like fignia fication.”_" The throne then of the beast, which our translation has rendered feat, seems plainly to mean his authority and power, rather than the city or seat of his residence. For the Prophetic language puts a throne to signify, not the seat of a kingdom, but its power and authority. And so this very Prophecy ex
plains it: this angel poured his vial on the feat of the beast, and his kingdom was full of darkness. Darkness is an emblem of affliction; a kingdom full of darknefs, will then naturally signify a great diminution of power, and decay of authority: so that the distinguishing punishment of the beast in this period, that his kingdom shall be full of darkness, will moft properly mean some great and successful oppo. fition to the Papal power and authority, which fhall much weaken and lessen it, and give fuch uneafiness to the supporters of it, as shall drive them into a rage, and make them bite their tongues as it were, for anger and vexation.”
The final destruction of Rome is likewise clearly set forth, particularly by St. John in the Prophecies which have been quoted m, together with the reafons on account of which this fignal and heavy judgment will be inflicted, and the emotions it is calculated to raise in the minds of mankind,
." The last act which the fecular powers shall perform towards this whore, or capital city, is, that they shall destroy her with fire and sword; and by that means leave no refuge
* Introductory Chapter, vol. i. Class II.
there there to any of her loyers to hold up, and maintain by her power, the idolatry and tyran-nical dominion exercised by her. Most certainly these symbols imply the entire destruction of this capital city. Thus her fate will be like that of the literal Babylon, whose situation is now almost unknown, because it has been utterly destroyed. The fall of this myftical Babylon must make way to the fall of idolatry; it seems morally impossible that the one should be done without the other. And when we consider the constant method of the divine Providence, which has been to include the capital in the fate of the nation condemned, as Nineveh, Babylon, Jerusalem, Samarja, and fome others; why should we think it will be more favourable to Rome, the city which has been a greater and more constant enemy to the true Religion, both in the Jewish and the Christian dispensations, than any other; and has tyrannized with the most horrid aggravations beyond any thing before? This Chapter puts it out of doubt, that the utter destruction of Rome is designed by the Almighty. Nevertheless as it will appear afterwards by the nineteenth Chapter, some considerable part of the favourers of idolatry and tyranny shall still subsist after the fall of this Babylon, and keep up the old pretensions of the beast, and falle
Prophet, till they are destroyed by a judgment there described and foretold. But in the mean time they shall never be able to restore Babylon to its former staten.”
" It appears then that this Antichristian power was to arise in the latter times of the Roman Empire, after an end should be put to the imperial power, and after the empire fhould be divided into ten kingdoms : and it is not only foretold when it should prevail, but moreover how long it should prevail. Here we cannot but observe, that the very fame period of time is prefixed for its continuance both by Daniel and by St. John. Wonderful is the consent and harmony between these inspired writers, as in other circumstances of the Prophecy, so particularly in this. In Daniel the little born was to wear out the faints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws ; and it is said expressly, that they mould be given into his band, until a time, and times, and the dividing of time; or as the same thing is expressed in another place, for a time, times, and a half. In the Revelation it is said of the beast, to whom in like manner it was given to make war with the saints, and to overcome them,