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the ephah, as St Paul's MAN OF SIN, or the POPE upon the high altar of St Peter's church at Rome. Upon inquiry into the meaning of the vision, he is answered-" THIS IS WICKEDNESS."-This is blasphemy, idolatry, impiety personified. "And he said, moreover this is their resemblance through all the earth." This is a true type, à just estimate of the state of religion through the whole circuit of the roman world, or catholic spiritual empire.
After this a weight of lead is cast upon the ephah, to which various interpretations may be given. It may signify the long duration and firm establishment of that corruption of religion, as lead is the most durable of metals. -The heavy oppression with which it shall crush the church under its dominion.-The endeavours of the apostate powers to prevent the reformation of the church, in its attempts to rise;—or, lastly, the heavy weight of the divine judgments, under which the apostacy itself shall at last sink into perdition, like a ponderous millstone thrown into the sea.
The restoration of the church and true religion of the gospel, is afterwards revealed, under the type of two women* flying upon the wings of the wind, the emblem of the TWO WITNESSES, raised to life and called up to heaven, that is, the two pure and reformed churches of the protestants and the jews converted to Christ. These supported by the power and providence of God, lift up the sunken and long debased ephah, now freed from its odious burden, and bear it away "to build it an house in the land of Shinar." To raise an establishment where true religion and faith shall flourish from thence to the end of time.†
A woman is the common and well known emblem of the church, the pure churches especially, (Rev. xii. 1,) but the corrupt churches of Rome, and of Israel (as churches) are so represented also-Rev. xvii. 4, Ezek, xxiii. 4.
+ "The land of Shinar" being mentioned as the destination of these two embassadors of truth, seems to agree with Ezekiel's prophecy explained above, (Sect. v. p, 145,) that the jews shall be established in their own land, in a state of great prosperity and happiness, and be honored as the fountain head of true religion, and the mother church; receiving the western churches into her bosom, as sisters and as daughters.
To conclude this subject, after the strong and abundant evidence that has been produced, I think the charge of credulity will not lie against those persons, who (with the authority of many learned men on their side, and the admission of most catholics themselves,) believe that by the MYSTIC BABYLON of St John is meant ROME; but rather against those who can be persuaded of the contrary. And if this be admitted, it will follow that the prophecies quoted by St John and applied to Babylon which was to rise after his time, do belong not to PAGAN but PAPAL ROME; because in the latter application they have a very close and striking agreement, but in the former none at all.
The ephah was a measure of corn, and bread is the staff of life, as the church is the outward means by which spiritual sustenance is provided for our souls. The emblem signifies a corruption of that which should be the life of the world. The same is taught under the emblems of the waters made bitter and deadly, (Rev. viii. 11,) turned into blood, &c. (Rev. xvi 6.) See "the miraculous image of OUR LADY OF CANDELARIA.” -Glas's Fist of the Canary Islands, book iii. chap. 4, and part 2, chap. viii. p. 237.
On light and unimportant occasions, it is not consistent with the wisdom of God to
give to the world such numerous and strong evidences of his ever present agency, and invisible power and godhead, as must arise to us from the contemplation of prophecies of this extensive range, and compiled from preceding prophecies, in an almost chronological and historical exactness of arrangement; with the addition of many explanatory circumstances, and references to the originals themselves for further elucidation.-But with confidence it may be pronounced, that the rise of such an apostacy from the faith of Christ, as St Paul has foreshewn in his MAN OF SIN, and St John in the BEAST and his IMAGE, affords an occasion worthy of such an interposition of the Deity; in order to give the needful forewarning to his faithful servants, and to vindicate from rash censure the providence and distributive justice of the Supreme Ruler. And the unity of plan and
design, the wonderful harmony and consistency in every part, which subsists between
the preceding system of ancient prophecy, and what (comparatively speaking) we may call modern, or evangelical prophecy; (that is to say, all that has been delivered in the last days themselves, of which the former make so frequent mention ;) and at the same time the strict agreement of both with historical facts, and with the present state of the world; affords a strong and increasing testimony to the truth of divine revelation, and a source of continual glory and praise to God and the Lamb. "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty for all that is in the heaven, and the earth is thine. Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as Head above all." (1 Chron. xxix. 11.)