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14 Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that
they should make an image to the beast, which 15 had the wound by a sword, and did live. And
he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship 16 the image of the beast should be killed. And it causeth all, both small and great, rich and poòr, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right 17 hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, either the name of the beast, or the number of 18 his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.
FROM THE FALL OF PAGANISM TO THE FALL OF THE ROMAN CHURCHES. A.D. 312-1843.
The Paradisaical State of the First-fruits.
The assemblage of the just men made perfect who were sealed by the Sun of righteousness, before the invasion of the Roman Empire by the Northern Barbarians, are here represented in their intermediate state, as celebrating the manifestation of that mystery made known to all nations for the obedience of faith, the unsearchable riches of
Christ, their beloved Lord. These are they, who were not tainted with the impurities of Paganism. A. D. 312-1843.
XIV. 1. And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name 2 written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the 3 voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, 4 which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits 5 unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
The Republication of the Gospel by the Reformers at the Session of the Ancient of Days.
By the translation of the gospel into the vulgar tongue by Wickliffe, Luther, and other Reformers, and by the
recent invention of printing at the Reformation, men are called off from the idolatries of the church of Rome to serve the true God, who now begins to inflict his judgment upon the Papacy for its abuses. A.D. 1518—
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church.
By the Reformation, a great part of Europe revolt from the Pope and the Romish church, and embrace either the doctrines of Luther, or those of Zuingle and Calvin. The half of Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Prussia, Livonia, adopt the confession of Augsburg, while England, Scotland, the United Provinces, and the principal part of Switzerland, declare themselves in favour of the opinions of Zuingle and Calvin. Reformation makes likewise great progress in France, Hungary, Transylvania, Bohemia, Silesia, and Poland. A.D. 1518-1843.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Baby
lon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
The Iniquity of the Interference of the Civil Power in Religious Matters.
The pious horror, with which the Reformers revolted from their religious obedience to the decemvirate of the French successors of the Cæsars of the Romans, and to that of the German Cæsars of the Romans, and principally the fiery zeal, displayed by the stern CALVIN and the PURITANS in not suffering the civil magistrates of the two Empires to have any more concern in the church than to defend and protect it, and provide for what related to its external exigencies and concerns, are here depicted and approved by a voice from heaven, as according to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; and they who die for this faith, are declared from henceforth blessed. A.D. 1518-1843.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with
a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, 10 or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the
presence of the holy angels, and in the presence 11 of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment
ascendeth up for ever and ever and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of
By the famous act 26 Henry VIII. c. 1. "The king, his heirs and successors, shall be taken and reputed the only Supreme Head
12 his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of
in earth, of the Church of England.—And shall have full power, from time to time, to visit, reform, correct, and amend, all such errors, heresies, and enormities whatsoever they be; which by any manner or spiritual authority or jurisdiction are or lawfully may be reformed, ordered, corrected, or amended.” This was levelled against the supremacy of the Pope; but the sentence of our Lord above affects the Pope only accidentally: it is levelled directly against all civil power, whether Papist or Protestant, which interferes in the church; for the image, as has been generally supposed, does not symbolize the Pope, but the German Emperors. Nevertheless this sentence of our Lord's does not forbid the magistrate from affording protection to the different sects of Christians in the same manner as he does to civil corporations, which are governed by their own bye-laws, (so far as they are not opposite to common law,) without a visitor. As the matter now stands, the difference between civil and ecclesiastical corporations, seems to be this: in a civil corporation they only are bound by its acts and support it, who belong to it, whereas in an ecclesiastical corporation, every body is bound to abide by its laws and support it, who does not belong to it, which is only so much tyranny. Thus, in this country, a man may be imprisoned for six months by a sentence of excommunication from the ecclesiastical court; and he is bound to support a sect which he does not belong to. The saints are hardly yet fit to take the kingdom. The sentence therefore of our Lord above lays the axe to the root of the trees at once, showing that neither Catholics nor Protestants ought to have the disputed power or "flesh :" and, to us, it seems for a very good reason, because that, on that score alone, they can comfortably enjoy equal civil rights. But the establishment compass sea and land with Bibles, and neglect the weightier matters of the law, public justice. CALVIN, speaking concerning the power which we give unto civil magistrates, protesteth," that their power over all things was it, which had ever wounded him deeply: that unadvised persons had made them too spiritual, that throughout Germany this fault did reign; that in those very parts where Calvin himself was, it prevailed more than was to be wished; that rulers, by imagining themselves so spiritual, have taken away ecclesiastical government; that they think they cannot reign unless they abolish all the authority of the church, and be themselves the chief judges, as