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striking to justify this supposition. The war of the witnesses took place in only one particular street of the great city. The war of Michael was carried on in the Church general. The war of the witnesses was fought upon earth: whence we may conclude, that it was not only a spiritual one, as being fought by the witnesses; but also a literal one, like those of the Saracenic locusts and Turkish horsemen, as being fought upon earth, and with a material enemy, the last head of the beast. The war of Michael was fought in heaven; and the weapons of his soldiers were, not carnal, but spiritual; for they overcame the dragon .“ by the blood “c of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, “and they loved not their lives unto death.” This second war therefore comprehends the spiritual, though not the literal, part of the former war of the witnesses. It was not, like the first, begun and ended within the space of a few years: but it was a long-continued struggle between the powers of light and the powers of darkness. menced with the Apostasy itself: it raged with dreadful fury in the age of the Waldenses and Albigenses: it issued in a signal victory at the time of the reformation, the victory here celebrated by the prophet : but it will continue, with abated violence, even after Satan has chosen a different and more formidable station, to the very end of the 1 260 years ; for, throughout the whole of this period, are the saints to be given into the hand of VOL. II.
the papal horn, and the witnesses to prophesy in sackcloth. At the era of the reformation then, the great victory of Michael orer the dragon was achieved. Then it was, that “ salvation, and * strength, and the kingdom of our God, and “ the power of his Christ,” were manifested. Then it was, that “the accuser of our brethren
was cast down, which accused them before
our God, day and night,” of the very same crimes which he had heretofore alleged against the primitive martyrs and confessors; promiscuous fornication, infanticide, and even bestiality. Then it was, that “the heavens, and they that dwell in “ them,” were called upon to rejoice; heavens, because the boasted catholicism of the Roman heaven was now annihilated, and many reformed heavens or churches were established, differing indeed unhappily in ecclesiastical polity, but bolding one head even Christ. And then it was, that a woe was proleptically denounced against " the inhabiters of the earth” or the papal Roman empire in general, and “ of the sea” or a part of it which was shortly to be convulsed by revolution in particular ; even that third woe, which was to be so much more tremendous than either of its two predecessors : “ for the devil had come down “ unto them, having great wrath, because he « knoweth that he hath but a short time." He had many years reigned triumphant in the Church under the first and second woes, during the long 17
period of the latter days, during the age
superstition and idolatry: but his final great attempt to destroy the woman under the third woe, during the period of the last days, during the age of atheism and profane mockery, is to be comparatively only a short time. He was cast indeed from heaven under the second woe ; but his peculiar time, the short time alluded to by the Apostle, commenced with the sounding of the third woetrumpet. For this last great woe he had been diligently preparing, ever since his signal defeat by Michael and his angels : but his scheme was not ripe for execution, till the blast of the seventh trumpet gave the signal for the open developement of infernal anarchy, and undisguised hostility to the God of heaven. The seventh trumpet, as we have seen, began to sound on the 12th of August in the year 1792, immediately after the last shock of the earthquake on the 10th of August, when the French revolution may be considered as accomplished. Now, supposing the Apostasy to have commenced in the year 606, it will be evident, that of the 1260 years only 74 remained unelapsed in the year 1792 : consequently Satan had but a very short time for the accomplishment of his lust plan, compared with the preceding centuries of his sway in the church of Rome.
In order the more fully to perceive the exact fulfilment of the prophecy now under consideration, it will be proper to trace the steps of the dragon, after he was cast out of heaven, and before
the complete revelation of Antichrist took place ünder the third woe-trumpet.
At the revival of letters in Europe, the first discovery, that was made, was that of the multifarious absurdities maintained by the Church of Rome. These had long been held up to the world as the essentials of Christianity; and every impugner of them had been treated as a heretic. The conseqnence was, that the mummeries of Popery were charged upon the Gospel : and, because they were evidently ridiculous superstitions, it was thought to be ridiculous superstition likewise. Hence arose scepticism; which the subtle enemy of mankind soon matured into infidelity, and even into atheism.
The prophecy teaches us, that, when the dragon quitted heaven, he retired to the earth and the sea : and history testifies, that it was not long, ere the fruits of his labours were abundantly evident in France, Germany, and Italy.
“ It is certain,” says Mosheim, “ that in the sixteenth century there lay “ concealed in different parts of Europe several
persons, who entertained a virulent enmity
against religion in general, and in a more espe** cial manner against the religion of the Gospel; * and who, both in their writings and in their “ private conversation, sowed the seeds of impiety "and error, and instilled their odious principles ce into weak and credulous minds. It is even re
ported, that in certain provinces of France and Italy), schools were erected, whence these irn18
* pious doctrines issued *.” These continental infidels may be considered as the real fathers of our English free-thinkers. Accordingly “the histories w of those times bear witness, that our English
youth, who travelled even so early as the reign “ of James the First, returned too often with the “ seeds of vice and infidelity, which they gathered “ with the knowledge and the manners of more
polished countries: and the court of Charles the “ Second displays, in a very striking manner, the
principles and habits, which the King and his “Nobles had learned upon the continent. The “ general detestation of the hypocrisy and fana“ ticism of the Puritans tended to heighten their “ irreligion, and encouraged them to publish their “ opinions: but the kingdom at large was not in“ fected by them; and the following reigns exhibit “ in every rank of people an attachment to reli
gion, and a zeal in its cause, which the annals s of no other nation can furnisht."
* It is probable, that from some one of these secret schools proceeded the famous pamphlet of The Three Impostors, meaning Moses, Christ, and Mohumnied : if indeed there ever were such a pamphlet. Infidelity prevailed even among the Popes theniselves; as if, disgusted with the absurdities of the very superstition which was so profitable to them, they had sought refuge in the bosom of atheism. The blasphemy of Leo the tenth is well known. “ This fable of Jesus Christ,” said he to ('ardinal Bembo," hath done us good service.” According to the Romanists, cvery Pope is infallible: what sentiments will they entertain of Leo? f. Hist, the Inter. Vol. ij. p. 135: