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same idea is presented in connection with the Jewish Church, (Ez. xvi: 21); “That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?” She is said to have her “
full of abominations,” etc. The only reason the Lord assigned why the Jews should be carried into captivity, was, they had filled the land (cup) with violence. The Lord, in speaking to Abraham concerning his seed, says, "They shall sojourn in a land which is not theirs ; but in the fourth generation, I will bring them hither again, for the iniquity or cup of the Amorites is not yet full.” The angel carries John into the wilderness and there presents,
SECONDLY, THE VISION. John "
saw a Woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. Upon her forehead was a name written, MysTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. He also saw the Woman drunken with the blood of saints, and of the martyrs of Jesus, and when he saw her, he wondered with GREAT admiration.” Thus far the vision: then follows
THIRDLY, THE INTERPRETATION. V. 8. "The BEAST that thou sawest was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit,” etc. There are three things affirmed in this déclaration ; 1. That the power here referred to had previously existed ; 2. That in a certain sense, it had lost that existence, or become practically extinct; 3. That in another sense the same power might be said to exist, inasmuch as it would be reinstated, and ascend out of the bot. tomless pit.” The beast here referred to is the same that is spoken of in verse third of this chapter, and also the same as in chapters xii, and xiii: 1–10, with a single exception. The power in this chapter is a combination of civil and ecclesiastical authority: while the dragonic power of chapter xii, presents the Roman Empire, both before and after the union of Church and State. It is in relation to this idea, that one writer remarks, that "there was one great formidable power, having essentially the same origin, though manifested under somewhat different modifications, to one and all of which might in their different manifestations be given the name, the beast."* The importance of uscertaining the relative position of John in regard to the chronology of the world, at the time he sees the vision, must be apparent to all. He is said to be in the wilderness, (v. 3). By the wilderness we understand that space of time intervening between the reign of Justin, A.D. 519, and the latter part of the eighteenth century; when the true Church fled into seclusion, where she was to be nourished a time, times and an half, etc.
v. 9. “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth,” or, as another translation
“ Where the woman is seated upon them.” v. 10. " And there are seven kings.” “They are also seven kings,” (Cov). “They are seven kings," (Newman). "And they are seven kings," (Dou). “They are seven kings," (Tyn).
Thus the heads represent both the geographical and
political position of the Woman. This Woman is the apostate Church.
The nucleus of her power, the centre of her operations, is at Rome, the metropolis of Italy. The city of Rome was built on seven hills, and has been known by the classical name of the sevenhilled city. Hence her geographical position is determined. While located here, she is supported by seven governments, which defines her political position.
First the Woman is said to sit upon a Beast with seven heads; secondly these heads are interpreted to be 1. seven mountains 2. seven kings. The term king in the prophecy of Daniel signifies a kingdom; and as Daniel treats of the same governments, it follows, that these kings are also seven kingdoms, and that they do, in a SPECIAL MANNER, SUPPORT, or carry this Woman, that is, the apostate Church. I can see no propriety in referring the heads to the different forms of the old Roman government, five of which had passed away before the Woman had an existence. It may be said, that the prophecy represents five of them as having “ fallen or passed away. True; but the apostle does not intimate that these heads had passed away at the time he lived. He saw things that were not as though they were; he spake of an event in the future. He does not exhibit the Woman simply os seated on a beast, but as occupying that position near the end of the world, for example, the Woman is represented as having COMMITTED FORNICATION-IIER CUP FULL-DRUNKEN WITH THE BLOOD OF SAINTS AND MARTYRS OF JESUS. These specifications indicate her proximity to the closing scene of desolation; hence the Angel says ;
" Come hither ; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great Harlot, that sitteth upon many waters.” The Woman is said to sit on the heads, or governments, that is, she is supported by them; hence we look for the existence of these governments during the twelve hundred and sixty or twelve hundred and ninety years. The apostate Church became nationalized by the Imperial government of the east, and this is the point of time when the Woman takes her seat upon the Beast. Mark, she does not take her geographical position; for this she had held for a number of centuries before ; but here (A.D. 519) is the time when she is married to the kings of the earth.
Again the heads, or governments were consecutive in their existence, she could only seat herself upon one at a time; and as the Angel says, “five are fallen, and one is,” that is, the sixth was then in power, at the close of the wilderness state. If the woman had sit upon all the heads at one and the same time, it would not have been said of the beast, “there was given unto him a mouth, but mouths speaking great things.” The consecutive order of the heads is confirmed by the expression “ five are fallen, and one is.”
This is another evidence that these governments are contemporary with herself. Have such governments ever existed? We believe they have. Between the apostolic age and the sixth century, there had arisen many sects ; but none of them were particularly regarded as national Churches, until the epoch of 519. We would not be understood to assert that the Emperors never favored a particular order of Christians antecedently to that time, but that no particular sect was ever nationalized till A.D. 519. At that time Justin, by an IMPERIAL EDICT, made the CATHOLIC FAITH THE RELIGION OF THE EMPIRE. This then is the point, where the apostate Church took her seat upon the beast.
From this time to the eighth century, the Catholic Church enjoyed the protectorate of the Eastern Empire; and although frequent litigations ensued between the Popes and the Emperors, as there has been ever since; yet the Eastern Empire continued to support the Catholic creed, and even extended its rule over a great portion of Italy. In the commencement of the eighth century a contention arose in relation to the worship of images; and it was at this time that the Romans revolted from the Eastern government, and established themselves into a Republic; but being pressed by the Lombards, they solicited an alliance with the Greek Empire, and not obtaining the aid desired from Constantinople, Pope Stephen II repaired to France, and obtained help from Pepin, the king of the Franks. The protectorate of Rome was ultimately given to the Franks, which constituted them the second head. The above facts are fully sustained by the historical extracts in the margin.*
*At the period of which we write, there existed a violent controversy between the Churches in the East, and those in the West, respecting the worship of images. The Emperor Leo, the Isaurian, had declared himself against this worship, and had prescribed it by an imperial edict (726). He and his successors persisted in destroying these objects of idolatry, as well as in persecuting those who avowed themselves devotees to this heresy. This extravagant zeal, which the Roman pontiffs blamed as excessive, excited the indignation of the people against the Grecian Emper
In Italy, there were frequent rebellions against the imperial ollicers that were charged with the execution of their orders. The