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the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven,
and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
THE THIRD VISION
THE WOMAN AND DRAGON; THE TWO WILD BEASTS AND THE IMAGE; HARVEST AND VINTAGE.
THE RISE, STRUGGLE, AND VICTORY OF THE CHURCH, AND
ITS SUBSEQUENT FALL UNDER THE CIVIL POWER OF THE ROMAN AND HOLY ROMAN OR GERMAN EMPIRES, AND UNDER THE DOMINION OF POPERY.
The Rise and Fall of the Church.
The church crowned with the apostles, having Judaism for its basis, and supported by the Sun of Righteousness, undergoes nine persecutions in the Roman Empire, in the attempt to bring forth Christ in it. And having brought him forth by the unexampled toleration and prosperity, which his religion experienced, the first eighteen years of the reign of Diocletian, A.D. 284-302.
he is threatened with destruction by a persecution, which the evil spirit, after having already cast down a great part of the faithful in preceding persecutions, fomented through his servants the Pagan Emperors, who attempted in vain for ten years to extirpate Christianity, A.D. 302— 312. Christianity escapes destruction from its enemy, but flies the earth through the corruption of the church, which remains in a desolate state for 1260 years. A.D. 553-1813.
XII. 1. And there appeared a great sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of 2 twelve stars and she being with child, travailing 3 in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten 4 horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And
his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it 5 was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to 6 his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
The Ten Years' War of Christ and his Saints; the Fall of Paganism; and Irruption of the Gothic Nations.
The faithful with Christ in their hearts undergo ten years' war of sufferings against the Pagan Emperors, who at length are overthrown together with Paganism, its priests, and its adherents, by the blood of these martyrs' patience. The Christian church is established by Constantine, 312; but from that time real Christianity begins to take its flight, till in about A.D. 553, the church is left completely desolate for 1260 years till 1813. The evil spirit, not content with the corruption of the visible church, aims at its destruction by the revival of Paganism through the medium of the ten Gothic nations with whom he inundates the Empire; but these, instead of establishing their own religion, are converted to Christianity, and the visible church is supported by the civil sword in the Eastern and Western Empires, or in the two præfectures of the Gauls and Italy by them, in conjunction with the Emperors and Popes during her 1260 years' desolation, without being superseded by a positively Pagan hierarchy. The evil spirit therefore, unable to overthrow the establishment, is content to take up with the persecution of the saints; with whom he carries on a successful war by the Beast, his Image, and their Decemvirates for 1260 years.
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the 8 dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not;
neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice, saying, in heaven,
Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day 11 and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth 13 that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the 14 man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, 15 from the face of the serpent. And the serpent
cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried 16 away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast 17 out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.