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λεις [τῆς γῆς κα] τῆς οἰκεμένης ὅλης, συναγαγεῖν αὐτὲς εἰς τὸν πόλεμον τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης τῆς μεγάλης τ8 Θεᾶ τὰ παοκρά τορος.

13. And I faw out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the wild beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean fpirits refembling [croaking] frogs.

14. For they are the fpirits of dæmons working figns*, (OR SETTING UP STANDARDS,) which go forth unto the Kings of the earth, and of all the habitable region, to gather them together to the war of that day, the great day of God, who hath dominion over all.

There is not one word in the original, expreffing that thefe emblematical croaking beasts were all, at this precife period of time, in the act of coming out of the mouths of the three other emblematical figures: nor indeed could they be fo; as we find, in the reft of the prophecy, that the three emblematical figures mentioned were not themfelves contemporary. -They therefore must have proceeded out

* It is not unusual, in the Prophecies, to denote kingdoms at large merely by naming the kings.

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of those mouths at three different times; only they were all unitedly to produce their most 449. dire effects in the age under the Sixth Vial; and therefore were here to be defcribed.

Now, to what can the emblem of croaking frogs be more aptly applied, than to falfe teachers of fuch errors as difturb the quiet, and deject the minds of men?-teachers of Atheistical doctrines (or of fuch mere Deistical doctrines, as they are called, as have finally juft the fame tendency, and lead to the fame fort of conclufions)?-teachers and fetters-up of fuch opinions as have unavoidably had a tendency to weaken the authority of the word and law of God; and to break down and destroy the restraint and fanction of Divine revelation, and of all good laws; and by that means to prepare mankind, in the end, to be let loofe, without controul, upon one another, to injure each other, in defiance of all the commands of God, and, as it were, to fight against God himself?

And if this is a fair interpretation of the emblem, we may now begin to apprehend, that this prediction alfo has been verified in a most ample manner, in our days; and, by means exactly, of three spirits, proceeding

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from the three emblematical mouths mentioned; which spirits have been croaking, with too much fuccefs, for very many years.

For, in the first place, the spirit of Atheism, with all its horrid confequences, proceeded originally out of the mouth of the dragon (i. e. out of the old Roman empire, in its first ftate, in Pagan times): for it began there,

even so long ago as by the teachings of Epi-Claudian curus, and Lucretius, and other deluded men of letters, at Rome.

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And then, in the next place, a like fpirit proceeded out of the mouth of the beaft (i. e. out of the Roman empire in its fecond flate, when it became the corrupted feat of Chriftianity): for it is well known, that even Cardinals have been promoters of Atheism, in its modern drefs; and that it has had for its abettors fome of the Popes themselves, and has made its progress even chiefly from Popish 450. countries, where it has moreover of late years been greatly encouraged, as the first and most effectual means of getting rid of the impofitions of the Court of Rome.

Hence the numbers of celebrated Atheistical writers, and of maintainers of principles tending to Atheism, in France and elfewhere,

whose

whofe names I will pafs by in filence; as every friend of mankind, and of true and real folid knowledge and fcience, muft wish their works alfo foon to be forgotten; which indeed they are very likely to be.

However, it must be confeffed, as fome apology for their mifguided efforts, that the mere mistaking the corruptions of Chriftianity for Chriftianity itself, was what originally mifled feveral of them, and induced them to oppofe the truth; and that, whilft they have been the means of introducing fome very fatal errors, they have, nevertheless, also been the means (and perhaps there hardly could have been a more rapid and effectual one) of fubverting that impofition, with regard to religion, that had taken place, and held dominion in

fo

great a part of the world.-In fo wonderful a manner is good often produced out of evil, by the over-ruling hand of Divine Providence!

Thus difcafes in the human frame are fometimes cured by means of fuch remedies as are in themselves only a fpecies of poison.

In a ftill further fenfe, therefore, these Spirits may be faid to have proceeded out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth

mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the falfe prophet, inafmuch as the corruptions of the one, have been a very great and principal cause of producing the other.

These croaking writers, croaking forth doctrines of annihilation, or at least of uncertainty as to any thing hereafter; and such doctrines as could only produce in their con-, 451. fequences, firft licentioufnefs, and then despondency and desperation; have, both abroad and in this kingdom, in the fulleft sense of the word, set up standards :-standards of profelfed fashionable opinions, under which they have enlifted vaft multitudes in every civilized country in Europe; and which fandards a prodigious number of people follow, merely for the fake of going with the ftream, and becaufe fuch opinions are ftandards, without having either leisure or abilities to weigh and confider, or even really to apprehend or understand those opinions at all.

And ποιόντα σημεία may furely in this place with much propriety be tranflated fetting up fandards, rather than working miracles, (as the words are rendered according to the common tranflation ;) for onμeor is much rather vexillum, and fignum militare, a ftandard, or a fign VOL. II.

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