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brow the escutcheon of the nation, on which appear the stars and stripes which glitter on the flag, I think of that beautiful woman of prophecy, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars,' flying to the wilderness on “the two wings of a great eagle, where she is nourished for a time and times and a half time from the face of the serpent.”

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I MAY as well ask here, if it was the design of Revelation to disclose, by appropriate symbols, the future history of the world, as it relates to the progress of Christianity and its final triumph, is it not highly probable, that a nation, that has had such an influence as ours, in breaking down the barriers to such progress, would be set forth by some important and striking symbolism ? I answer, unhesitatingly, it is, and I will give my reason.

I affirm, what must seem reasonable to all, that a country of such vast extent, such unbounded resources, such great population, as this is likely to sustain—which has already done more for the spread of a pure Christianity, and weakened the powers of despotism more than any other nationcould not have been overlooked by the All-seeing Eye, when he wrote that book which John saw in the hand of Him which sat upon the throne. It, therefore, seems to me nearly certain that the symbolism we have been considering, has reference to this country.

It will appear still more plainly, as we proceed.

We find that, after the woman's second flight, “the serpent* cast out of his mouth water as a flood, after her, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” This is a very interesting and important passage. It contains a peculiar symbolism, and requires something unusual in the conduct of the powers of despotism, to explain it. Barnes says: The figure here would well represent the malice of the Papal body against the Church, in those dark ages when it was sunk in obscurity, and, as it were, driven out into the desert. That malice never slumbered, but was continually manifested in some new form, as if it were the purpose of Papal Rome to sweep it entirely away." This exposition, though having great weight, is still unsatisfactory. I find nothing in the history of the Church, during the dark ages, which might not have been repeated a half score of times, at all calculated to satisfy the demand of the symbolism. There was no great movement of floods sent out from the bosom of despotism, to drown the Church, which would seem to me to justify this figure.

* Note 56, Canto I, stanza 115.

This chapter is a synopsis of all that comes after it; and the events shadowed in this symbolism, should not occur in the dark ages, but much later. In order to substantiate my views, I call attention to the general structure of the whole book. After five introductory chapters, containing epistles to the seven Churches of Asia, and other important matters, three sets of symbols, of seven each, run through the rest of the book : ist. The opening of the seven seals, with which the book in the hand of Him who sat upon the throne, was sealed. 2d. The seven trumpets. 3d. The seven vials of the wrath of God. Each set of symbols ends with the final consummation of all things. For instance: the opening of six seals of the book, occupies the sixth and seventh chapters, and, together with the opening of the seventh seal, gives us a general glance of the whole history of the Church. In the eighth chapter, the prophet enlarges upon the events of the seventh seal, by the introduction of the seven trumpets. He does not repeat anything back of the seventh seal, but specifies, more particularly, what he has already, in a general manner, hinted at. The next three chapters are filled with a description of the sounding of these trumpets. The account of the sounding of the seventh, is found in the last part of the eleventh chapter, in the following language: “And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” This brings us, also, to the close of the contest, which must, consequently, carry us forward over the events covered by the seven vials. Commencing with the twelfth chapter, a more minute delineation of events already hinted at, is given, and the fuller history of the Church disclosed in the seven vials. Thus, the opening of the seventh seal includes all that is comprehended in the sounding of the trumpets and the outpouring of the vials. The sounding of the seventh trumpet includes all that is comprehended in the seven vials.

You will observe that the twelfth chapter introduces a new series of visions, and, as Barnes says, is properly introductory to all that comes after,—as we have called it a synopsis of the whole. There is, therefore, no necessity of looking for the fulfillment of the passage we are considering, in the dark ages of the Church. I think it comes more naturally towards the close of the period, largely, as I am contending, during the period covered by the fifth vial. After coming to this conclusion, I was very happy to find the following in the writings of Andrew Fuller: The flood of waters cast after the woman by the dragon, and the war upon the remnant of her seed, referring, as it appears, to the latter end of the twelve hundred and sixty years, may be something yet to come.”

With reference to the flood of waters, you find that the abandoned woman of the seventeenth chapter is represented as seated upon many waters. The angel himself, in that chapter, interprets this symbolism to John: "The waters which thou sawest are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” If the foods of waters there means multitudes of peoples, it must mean the same here. which persecuted the woman, sent after her a multitude of men, of nations, and peoples, and tongues, to overbear her, live her down, sweep her away as with a flood. Note, narrowly :

I. That these waters were cast out of the dragon's mouth, or from the midst of the power which overspread so large a portion of Europe. The multitudes went, at the instigation or command from his mouth. They were separated from the place where he had his seat, as if—the woman having fed beyond where he could go after her in person-he should send his emissaries after her, in great multitudes, to destroy her.

The power


That there was no country in Europe into which this power had sent its emissaries to suppress the true Church, in sufficient numbers to justify this figure. Hence, it does not relate to anything that has yet occurred there.

Let the hypothesis be kept in mind, that the dragon represents the persecuting powers of despotism, which see in the true Church a mortal enemy, and are striving to destroy both her and her offspring, and we will see if there is anything in the history of our own country which justifies such a symbolism.

1. The vanguard of the floods, which came to this country at the behest of despotism,* were the negroes—the victims of American slavery. It was the minions of despotism from over the sea that planted slavery here. No matter if it was Protestant England. She was under the curse of the dragon's power, and had not yet been emancipated from ecclesiastical despotism, for she persecuted. Besides, let us remember that it was not so much ecclesiastical as political despotism, which was active against the liberties of mankind in those days, here, which will justify the use of the dragon as a symbol, instead of the beast which is afterwards introduced. So despotism sent here its multitudes of blacks, as essential to the system of slavery that was to blight our name, blacken our annals, and threaten our existence. That this came from the heart of the dragon, no one can doubt.

Then, after the Church had been nourished here in this wilderness for one hundred and fifty years, and God was about to restore her offspring, constitutional liberty, to her, English and Hessian armies, sent here in the service of despotism, swarmed our lands and darkened our waters, to swallow up the man-child that was about to commence his career in the world. It was England's purpose to sweep away the woman's offspring as with a flood.

No one can fail to see that these events very plausibly satisfy the demands of this symbolism, yet not in full. ought to find something which has a more direct aim at the destruction of the woman than either of these. England's


* Note 57, Canto I, stanza 121.

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