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would be the laft perfecution of the church; that during this time the witneffes would lie dead, but should recover and revive within a few years, and the Reformation should be established in that kingdom by royal authority; the whole country fhould renounce popery, and embrace the proteftant religion. Bishop Lloyd and after him Mr. Whifton (3) apply this prophecy to the poor proteftants in the valleys of Piedmont, who by a cruel edict of their fovran the Duke of Savoy, inftigated by the French king, were imprifoned and murdered, or banished. and totally diffipated at the latter end of the year 1686. They were kindly received and fuccored by the proteftant ftates; and after a while fecretly entring Savoy with their fwords. in their hands, they regained their ancient poffeffions with great flaughter of their enemies and the Duke himself, having then left the French intereft, granted them a full pardon; and reestablished them, by another edict figned June 4, 1690, just three years and a half after their total diffipation. These were indeed most barbarous perfecutions of the protestants both in France and Savoy; and at the fame time popery here in England was advanced to the throne, and
(3) Whifton's Effay on the Rev. Part 3. Vifion 2.
and threatened an utter fubverfion of our religion and liberties, but in little more than three years and a half a happy deliverance was wrought by the glorious Revolution.
In all thefe cafes there may be fome refemblance to the prophecy before us, of the death and refurrection of the witnesses; and it may please an overruling providence fo to difpofe and order events, that the calamities and afflictions of the church may in fome measure run parallel one to another, and all the former efforts of that tyrannical and perfecuting power called the beast, may be the types and figures as it were of this his laft and greateft effort against the witnesses. But tho' thefe inftances fufficiently anfwer in fome respects, yet they are deficient in others, and particularly in this, that they are none of them the laft perfecution; others have been fince, and in all probability will be again. Befides, as the two witneffes are defigned to be the representatives of the proteftants in general, fo the perfecution must be general too, and not confined to this or that particular church or nation. We are now living under the fixth trumpet: and the empire of the Euphratean horfemen or Othmans is fill fubfifting, and perhaps in as large extent as ever; the beaft is ftill reigning; and the witmejes are still, in fome times and places more,
in fome lefs, prophefying in fackcloth. It will not be till toward the end of their teftimony, and that end feemeth to be yet at some distance, that the great victory and triumph of the beast, and the fuppreffion, and refurrection, and exaltation of the witnees will take effect. When all these things fhall be accomplished, then the fixth trumpet will end, then the fecond woe fhall be past, (ver. 14.) the Othman empire, shall be broken in the fame manner that Ezekiel (XXXVIII. XXXIX.) and Daniel (XI. 44, 45.) have predicted; the fufferings of the witnesses fhall ceafe, and they fhall be raised and exalted above their enemies and when the fecond wee fhall be thus paft, behold the third woe, or the total deftruction of the beaft, cometh quickly. Some time intervened between the first and the fecond woes; but upon the ceafing of the fecond, the third fhall commence immediately.
It appears then that the greater part of this prophecy relating to the witneffes remains yet to be fulfilled but poffibly fome may question, whether any part of it hath been fulfilled; whether there have been any fuch perfons as the witnesses, any true and faithful fervants of Jefus Chrift, who have in every age profeffed doctrins contrary to thofe maintained by the pope and church of Rome. The truth of the fact
will beft appear by an hiftorical deduction; and if it can be proved, that there have conftantly been fuch witnesses from the feventh century down to the Reformation, during the most florishing period of popery, I prefume there can be little doubt about the times preceding or following. As there hath been occafion to obferve before, the feeds of popery were fown even
in the apoftles time, but they were not grown
up to maturity, the power of the pope as a horn or temporal prince was not established till the eighth century; and from thence therefore it will be proper to begin our deduction, when the beast began to reign, and the witneffes to prophefy in fackcloth.
Great as the power of the Latin church was grown in the eighth century, the Greek church ftill diffented from it, and oppofed it. The emperors (4) Leo Ifauricus and his fon Conftantine Copronymus not only vigorously oppofed the worship of images, but alfo denied the interceffion of faints, and burnt and destroyed their relics. In the year 754 Conftantine Copronymus held a general council at Conftantinople [verba funt Bellarmini Tom. 1. P. 535.] unicam definiverunt effe imaginem ab ipfo Chrifto inflitutam, nimirum panem & vinum in Euchariftia, quæ repræ
(5) Aliis explofis imaginibus, fentant Chrifti corpus & fangui
(4) Theoph. Cedren. Zonar. &c. &c. Fred. Spanhemii Hift. Chriftian. Sec. VIII. Cap. 6, 7, &c.
nople of 338 bishops, who prohibited unanimoufly the worship of faints as well as of images; and (5) declared that only one image was conftituted by Chrift himself, namely the bread and wine in the eucharift, which reprefent the body and blood of Chrift:' than which there cannot be a ftronger declaration against the doctrin of tranfubftantiation as well as against the worship of images. It is true that the fecond council of Nice in the year 787 restored and established the worship of images, and the pope ratified and confirmed. it; but nevertheless great oppofition was made
to it by feveral churches in the weft. Charlemain (6) held a council at Francfort in the year 794, confifting of 300 bishops of various nations, who condemned equally the fecond council of Nice and the worship of images. The Carolin books were alfo fet forth under the name and authority of that great monarch; and the doctrins therein contained, of the fufficiency of the fcriptures, of the worship of God alone, of prayers in the vulgar tongue,
nem. Ex Concil Conftantinop.
(6) Spanhem. ibid. Cap. 6. and 9. Uffer. ibid. p. 20. Allix's Remarks upon the ancient churches of the Albigenfes. Chap. S.