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make war with him 36? When any nation has struggled to break its chains afunder, how often has the noble effort been regarded as altogether vain; even criminality has been attached to it; and it has been branded with the epithets of disloyalty and rebellion !
It is the declaration of the prophet, that, on all the heads of this Beast, names of blasphemy were imprinted. That is, says Mr. Whifton, all the · forms of govern* ment, under which the empire had been, and was to • be, were idolatrous.' And the Ten Kings, he observes,
under the Christian name, should yet really and effectually promote idolatry still, though in a more covert
manner, and by more cunning pretences 37.' Of the Secular Beast it is farther said, that he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle. Now, says Mr. Evanson, 'to speak blasphe
mously, as far as I am able to understand that expres. fion, can only signify, to speak dishonourably of God: 'to speak in derogation of his divine nature and attri.butes.' To form a just judgment then of this part of the prophetic vision, it is necessary to examine, 'whe*ther the civil governors of Europe—have propagated • and established doctrines fairly liable to such a charge 38' But what is to blaspheme the name and
37 P. 217.
36 Examples of this, says Peganius (p. 179), ' are found in the victo'rious kings of Spain and France.' With respect also to that symbolic beast with many horns, or the combination of kings, now warring against France as it labours to establish its infant liberties, how often have expres. fions to this purport fallen from the lips of their admirers !
• These names of blasphemy signify, that the monarchs and powers shall blafpheme God, and oblige their subjects to do the same.' Daubuz.
38 let, to bishop Hurd, p. 45. • Blasphemy,' says Daubuz, p. 571, . is ' whatsoever tends to the dishonour of God;' and to impose a new worship,' he observes in the following page, • or manner of worship, contrary to what he hath set already, is to usurp his power, and consequeutly to • belie and blaspheme his name.'
the tabernacle of God? Bishop Newton says on this verse, that he is convicted of the first of these charges, who allumes to himself the divine titles and honours ; and he blafphemes the tabernacle of God, that is to say, his temple and his church, who calls true Christians, who are the house of God, fchifmatics and heretics, and anathematizes them accordingly 39.' Whether the lofty titles *° and persecuting conduct of many among the European potentates can, on this ground, be impeached, I refer to him, who is conversant in the language of courts and the history of kingdoms.
Though it is the two-horned Beast, who has principally forged fetters for the conscience, though priests and pontiffs are the persons who have enforced this antichristian claim with the most unremitting industry; the princes likewise, who constitute the ten-horned beaft, have almost universally arrogated the power of stigmatizing and of punishing men for their religious sentiments, when these have happened not to harmonize with the creed of the court 41. The prophet accordingly declares, that it was given unto him to make war with
39 Vol. III. p. 215.
40 • Even the hallowed epithets and ceremonies of religious adoration • have,' says an ingenious writer, “ been impiously pressed into the service • of indiscriminate flattery, and the kings and nobles of the earth have not scrupled to encroach upon the majesty of ncaven !! Often, as he observes, is indignation kindled in the mind, when history "unfolds the
genuine characters of these most facred, most christian, most noble, most * puissant, high and mighty fovereigns and rulers of the globe.' Cooper's Answer to Mr. Burke's Invective.
41 The celebrated Calvin, speaking of the ecclefiaftical power lodged in the hands of Henry VIII. and his successors by the British constitution, says,, ' Hoc me semper graviter vulneravit. Erant enim blafphemi quum • vocarent ipsum summum caput ecclesiæ sub Christo.--Hic morbus sem.
per in principibus regnavit, ut vellent inflectere religionem pro suo arbi. 'trio ac libidine, et interea etiam pro suis commodis.' ' In Amos, c. vii. V. 13
the saints, and to overcome them : words which are thus paraphrased by a member of the English hierarchy 42. • The worst and most dreadful article of this antichris* tian dominion will be, that of forcing the consciences
of men in religious matters, and of persecuting all that • dare to question or withstand their idolatrous com
mands.' In the Netherlands alone, on account of religion, more than 100,000 of the subjects of Charles V.
said to have suffered by the hand of the executioner ; and this extraordinary number is attested by Grotius, ' a man of genius and learning, who preserved his mo• deration amidst the fury of contending sečts, and who
composed the annals of his own age and country, at a * time when the invention of printing had facilitated the
means of intelligence, and increased the danger of de• tection +3' Father Paul, however, it is proper to state, reduces these Belgic martyrs to 50,000. The, jesuit • Sanders himself confeffes, that an innumerable multi• tude of Lollards: and Sacramentarians were burnt throughout all Europe, who yet, he says, were not * put to death by the pope and bishops, but by the civil * magistrates; which perfectly agrees with this prophecy, • for it is said of the Secular Beast, that he should make
with the saints, and overcome them 44.' But perhaps these words of the prophet are not to be understood exclusively of religious persecutions. They may be of more general interpretation. They may refer to those multiplied oppressions and cruel sufferings, political as well as religious, to which genuine Chriftians, and men of honest and upright minds, have been
42 Mr. Pyle, prebendary of Salisbury.
43 Gibbon's Decl. and Fall of the R. E. vol. II, p. 495. See Grot. Annal. de Rebus Belgicis. 1. I. p. 12. Amstel. 1667.
44 Bishop Newton in loc.
peculiarly exposed during the profligate administration of antichristian monarchs.
• The kings of the earth,' says the pious Dr. Owen, • have given their power to Antichrift, endeavouring to
the utmost to keep the kingdom of Christ out of the ' world. What, I pray, hath been their main business * for seven hundred years and upwards, even almost ' ever since the man of sin was enthroned ? How have
they earned the titles, eldest son of the church, the • catholic and most Christian king, defender of the faith, • and the like ? Hath it not been by the blood of the. • faints 45?'
And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. This also has been wonderfully verified. And some possibly may be disposed to ask, has not the domination of the European monarchies, in conformity to this predi&tion, been established in every quarter of the globe; and have not they, or the plunderers whom they patronize and protect, extended their devastations and power to the extensive shores of Africa and the southern continent of America, to the populous plains of Hindoftan and the defenceless islands of the Ocean?
And all that dwell upon the earth fall worship him46, whose names are not written in the book of life"?. Mr. Whiston, when speaking of this passage and of the Ten Kings, says, ' some few chosen persons only, whose names were written in the book of life, durft oppose them, or refuse submission to their wicked
*s Complete Col. of his Serm. p. 328. 46 This phrase Dr. More thus explains : • Shall worship him, that is, obey his idolatrous edicts and commands.'
47 It imports, fays Durham (p. 186), that they are as definitely and distinctly determined and known--as if they were by name and lurname particularly recorded in a book.'
and idolatrous commands 48' Certain indeed it is, that the inhabitants of Europe have paid a servile homage to the tyrants who have oppressed them ; whilst those virtuous persons, the favourites of heaven, have been few in number, who have facrificed their interest, and hazarded their safety, by asserting the inviolability of conscience, or by standing forward in defence of the civil liberties of mankind. Such persons will not, however, lose their reward.
8 P. 218.
ON THE TWO-HORNED BEAST.
THE following is St. John's description of the Second
Beast. And I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spakę as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first Beast before him, and causeth the earth and them that dwell therein, to worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the fight of men.
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the hght of the Beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the Beast, which had a 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 the image