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mén,* it is naturally to be presumed that by the sun of the political beaven (at this period of the prophecy,) that kingdom is alluded to, as being nearly central in the midst of the christian world, and ever distinguished by a closer connection than most others with the PAPÁL POWER. " This power, which originally set up on high the throne and empire of the beast, and obtained the flattering titles of « the most christian king, and the eldest son of the church,” is destined to pull down her usurped power, “ and to hate the WHORE, and make her desolate, and naked, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”+ And it is obvious that this part of the prophecy is now in a progressive advancement towards a perfect accomplishment. The KINGDOM of FRANCE
* That this prophecy points to the known custom of using emblems to denote particular countries, (and to that in question 'in particular,) is not improbable; as the scripture would not have been adapted to the general comprehension of mankind, had it not, in such a manner, accommodated itself to the received ideas and customs of the world, as our Saviour justly argued ; “If I tell you of earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things,”-and that without
+ Rev. xvii. 16.
has by strange and highly improbable events, become the seat of a new and excessively fierce heat of despotic authority, which hath cast its heavy iron sceptre over nearly all the kingdoms of the BEAST, and by this singular change or augmentation of power given to it by divine appointment, (that it may
become the instrument of tormenting the agonizing members of Antichrist with its scorching heat,) it has itself assumed the place of the ORIGINAL FIRST BEAST, the successor of the PAGAN DRAGON, or the political head of the MODERN ROMAN EMPIRE ; in that capacity to subserve the further purposes of Providence.
The same seems also to answer to the stone cut out without hands of men,* and ordained to fall upon the IMAGE,
on its feet,” or in its
giving you some easy and suitable vehicle of accommodation ? Thus, when Joshua said "sun, stand thou still upon
Gibeon”-he was incorrect in respect to modern philosophy, but was understood so much the better by the auditors then present. And thus the number of the least is said to be constructed agreeably to the common usage of men at that time.
* Daniel ii.
declining days, and at the point of time fixed in the books of prophecy for its destruction. This breaking up of powers, cemented by religious superstition, and grown over by the rust of great antiquity, (although compounded of heterogeneous materials, “ iron mixed with miry clay,”) is the effect of this power given to the sun to scorch men with its intolerable heat. It commences with exactions and
spoliations of a new description, and which carry the fierceness of the heat of tyranny into their king's chambers, the counting houses of their merchants, and the formerly secure and peaceful dwellings of domestic life. Rapacious annexations of territory succeed; and are fruitlessly opposed by a ruinous and self-destroying resistance, and desolating insurrections of the conquered; which only end in a grievous augmentation of the pressure, a stronger gripe of the lion's paw, and a more intolerable anguish from the scorching beams of the sun that is appointed to torment them.-" In that day Egypt shall be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear, because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of Hosts, which
he shaketh over it.”*
" A sword is
upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her, and they shall become as women : a sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be robbed; a drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried
For it is THE LAND OF GRAVEN IMAGES, and they are mad
This destiny, severe as it seems, yet does but reflect the image of their own former exactions and boly spoliations in the day of their power and arrogance. They had long crushed the people of God with the most grievous oppression, and now they are themselves trodden down, as straw for the dunghill,and the same galling yoke which they had made for heretics, is fitted to their own necks. “ The rod of him that smote them (with papal tyranny) is broken, but out of the serpent's root shall come forth
* Isaiah xix. 16.
+ Jer. 1. 37.
† Isaiah xxv. 10. See Isaiah's prophecy of the spoiler spoiled, (Isa. xxxiii, 1,) and the hypocritical nation by divine commission given up a prey to spoliation, (Isa. x. 6.) Sect, xiii. p. 347.
à cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying
“ Oppression will make a wise man mad,” says Solomon; but men under the influence of a spirit of infatuation are made fools by it. Their bigotry and superstition is only the more increased by the rod which scourges it.
. Far from repenting, or giving glory to God himself, who alone has the controul of these judgments in his own hands, they fly to the shrines of their MAHUZZIM, or protecting gods, and worshipped RELICS, and necromantic INCANTATIONS, and holy PROCESSIONS, and all the sacred mummery of their spiritual inchantments, to avert the evil which is still aggravated by the blasphemous idolatry.
“ And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the SEAT OF THE BEAST, and his · kingdom was full of DARKNESS: and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains
Isaiah xiv, 29,