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sed work, is represented by a great red dragon standing before the woman to devour her offspring, having seven heads, and ten horns, and seven crowns upon bis heads; and his tail drawing a third part of the stars, and casting them to the ground. The devil has seven heads and ten horns, as the secular Roman Beast, the most noted agent of his mischievous operations, is known under such a description. The devil has been permitted to manage the crowns of the Roman empire, for the promotion of his own cause; and has excited those contentions, which have often hurled down rulers, kings and emperors, (symbolized by stars,) from their stations; like stars falling to the earth. The man child is born. The children of Zion have been brought forth. And the succession of the Church has been rendered secure.
This blessed truth, is here denoted by the man-child of the Church being caught up to the throne of God. He is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Or Christ rules all nations with his rod of iron, in behalf of the Church, and in answer to her prayers; and hence he represents the Church as performing these works of judgment. (Sce chap. ii, 26, 27; and xi, 5, 6; Ps. cxlix, 4—9; Isa. xli, 15.) The depressed state of the Church, for 1260 years, under Papal corruption, and Antichristian tyranny, is denoted by the woman fleeing into a wilderness, for that length of time. The struggles between the apostate Romish church and the true Church of Christ, during the dark ages, is symbolized by a war in heaven between Mi. chael, or Christ, and his angels, on the one hand; and the dragon, and his angels on the other. The baffling of Satan, in the reformation under Luther, is denoted by the dragon's being overcome, and cast out of heaven.
The subsequent rage of the prince of darkness, man. ifested in the Voltaire scheme of atheism, and the terri. ble events, which have followed in Christendom, is announced by a voice from heaven, saying, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea; for the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he has but a short time. The Church is represented as again fleeing into the wilderness, to remain the residue of her 1260 years, after these new attacks of Satan in his agents of atheism. Floods of lies, errors, heresies, armies, and violent measures, the dragon excites through the civilized world, like floods of water cast from his mouth, with a view to destroy the Church. But the earth helps the woman, opens her mouth, and swallows up these floods; or providential events blast and confound his diabolical designs. In vexation and rage, the devil goes to make war upon the reninant of the woman's seed. The fulfilment of this latter clause being future, time must unfold its import. Probably some branch of the Church, distant from the ancient seat of the devil's operations, will be violently attacked, either in Asia, or America.
8. The thirteenth chapter is synchronical with the twelfth, just noted. It may be viewed as commencing in the apostolic age. And, with the preceding chapter, it reaches to, but does not describe, the battle of the great day. The preceding scene exhibits the devil in his rage and operations against the Church. This scene gives a description of those Powers, by which the devil performs most of his mischievous operations. The one presents the great agent of mischief, and his object; the other his instruments of annoyance.
John in vision stands by the sea. He beholds a Beast rising out of it, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Here is the same Beast described in Dan. vii,3,7, and symbolizing the secular Roman empire, in its hostility to the Church. The description in Daniel relates perhaps more especially to the former part of this empire; and the description in this chapter to the latter, or the last days. This Beast appears with a head that had been wounded to death; but is now healed: And the world is wondering after him. The devil gives him his power and seat and great authority. He speaks great things and blasphemies. He makes war upon the saints; and continues to the end of the forty and two months; or the 1260 years. For an explanation of this syinbol Beast, sce section vi, chapter i,
of this dissertation. This pagan Beast was wounded to death under Constantine; and has his wound healed in modern France. While he lay dead, the Papal Beast arose, and had a long reign. This is the second Beast noted in this chapter, with two horns like a lamb, but that spake like a dragon. This is the same with the blasphemous horn of the secular Beast, in Dan. vii, 8. This Papal Beast makes an image to the pagan Beast; or establishes a system of idolatry, under the Christian name, essentially of the same nature with the preceding Pagan idolatry. For a fuller explanation of this Beast also, see section vi, chapter i. And for an exposition of the number of this Beast, and of his name, see section i, chapter ii. These two Beasts have been the great instruments of the devil in his opposition to the cause of Christ; and will continue to be thus, till both the Beast and the false prophet shall go into perdition, in the battle of the great day.
9. The fourteenth chapter leaves the fifteen first cen. turies, whose events had been predicted in the first division, and in the two preceding scenes in the second division, and leaps down to the beginning of the sixteenth century.
This century opened with vast and portentous events, both to the false and to the true Church. The events of that period decide that it was to be the commencement of a new and important era in the fulfilment of the events of ihis mystical book; as is shown in the treatise on the first vial, in this disser. tation.
In this chapter, Christ, the Lamb, appears on the mount Zion; and with him 144,000, having his Father's name written upon their foreheads. Here is represented Christ's glorious appearance in the reformation under Luther, after a long night of darkness under Papal delusion and tyranny. As in chap. vii, 1,-- we are presented with a sealing time, after the revolution in Rome, and 144,000 are sealed; so here is another blessed sealing time. The purity of the Protestant doctrines and worship from Papal pollution, is next denoted, under the emblem of chastity. The pious Protestants were they, who were not defiled with women; "for they are virgins.” In process of time a missionary Angel commences his flight through the midst of heaven, having the Gospel to preach to all nations, in the same hour with the signal judgments of God on Papal nations. This symbol has been fulfilled in the late and present missionary spirit and exertions in the Christian world. Another Angel proclaims that Papal Babylon is fallen. And a third denounces to the world the fatal and eternal judgments, which will be executed on all who shall worship the Beast, or have affinity with the abomina. tions of the day. These faithful warnings, given by the ministers and people of Christ, subject the Church to dangers and trials; as is indicated by the following hints; that here is the faith and patience of the saints; and that "blessed are the dead who die in the Lord The Angel next appears on the white cloud, with his sharp sickle. The harvest of the earth is reaped, and its vintage gathered: Or the judgments introductory to the Millennium are executed. Here is the same event with the seventh trumpet, with which the first division of the prophetic part of this book closes. For a more full exposition of this chapter, see the note upon it, in section vii, chapter i.
10. The fifteenth and sixteenth chapters belong to one scene; and exhibit events, which synchronize with those just noted. The fifteenth contains an introduction to the judgments of the seven vials; and the six. teenth presents the execution of those judgments. The introduction presents seven Angels with their vials or cups of wrath. Then by a prolepsis, or anticipation, "the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb” is sung by the Church, as introductory to the Millennium; indicating, that, at the close of the vials, is fulfilled the antitype of the tremendous event at the Red Sea, celebrated by Moses and the tribes of the Lord; Exod. xv.
One of the four living creatures presents the seven vials or cups of wrath, to the seven Angels, or minis. ters of Providence. An infinite honor God sees fit to confer on his ministers and people, in representing that his fatal judgments upon the enemies of the Church are in a sense inflicted by them; being in their behalf, and in answer to their prayers. (See chap. ii, 26, 27; xi, 5, 6; xii, 5; Ps. cxlix, 4-9; Isa. xli, 15.)
In chapter sixteenth the seven vials are poured out.
Vial First. “And the first went and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there feil a noisome and griev. ous sore upon the men, who had the mark of the Beast, and upon them who worshipped his image.” The earth here means the Roman earth, the field of Papal delusion,—the same that was meant by the earth in ihe judgment of the first trumpet.
The first vial commenced the downfall of the Papal see. But the reformation early in the sixteenth century was clearly the commencement of this downfall. And it perfectly answered to the imagery of this vial. It occasioned a sore indeed, which has exhausted the life of the Papal Beast. It showed, in the language of the prophet, relative to that system, that “from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there was no soundness; but wounds, bruises and putrifying sores." See treatise on the first vial.
Vial Second. "And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea." By the sea here, is meant the seat of the power marked out for judgment; the same on which the second trumpet was execuced. The latter turned one third of the sea to blood. And the vial turned the whole of it to blood. This vial was fulfilled by the tremendous wars in Italy between Charles V, and Francis I, in the sixteenth century. This long series of furious wars, in the seat of the Papal delusion, afforded ample employment for the Pope, Charles, and other enemies of the reforma. tion; so that the blessed word of God was not by them subverted. For nearly half a century Italy (and more than once Rome itself) was deluged in blood. See treatise on the second vial.
Vial Third. “And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, who art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they