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were rather swallowed up by the Romans, than the Romans by the barbarians; the Heathen conquerors instead of imposing their own, submitted to the religion of the conquered Christians; and they not only embraced the religion, but affected even the laws, the manners, the customs, the language, and the very name. of Romans, so that the victors were in a manner absorbed and lost among the vanquished.” The following quotation from Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History will be of use to shew that the invasion of the barbarous nations wag excited by the Dragon in order to destroy the Christian church. In the commencement of his se cond chapter upon the fifth Century, he observes,
that the Goths, the Heruli, the Franks; the Huns, and the Vandals, with other fierce and warlike na tions, for the most part strangers to Christianity, had invaded the Roman empire, and rent it asunder in the most deplorable manner. Amidst these caJamities the Christians were grievous, nay, we may venture to say, the principal sufferers.'' It is true, these savage nations were much more intent upon the acquisition of wealth and dominion, than upon the propagation or support of the Pagan superstitions; nor did their cruelty and opposition to the Christians arise from any religious principle, or from an enthusiastic desire to ruin the cause of Christianity: it was merely by the instigation of the Pagans, who remained yet in the empire, that they were excited to treat with such severity and violence the followers of Christ. The painful con
sideration of their abrogated rites, and the hopes of recovering their former liberty and privileges by the means of their new masters, induced the worshippers of the gods to seize with avidity every opportunity of inspiring them with the most bitter aversion to the Christians. Their endeavours, however, were without the desired effect, and their éxpectations were entirely disappointed. The greatest part of these barbarians embraced Christianity; though it be also true, that, in the beginning of their usurpation's the professors of that religion suffered heavily under the rigour of their government.”
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” These words evidently mark out the continued great and deep rooted enmity of the Dragon against the Christians; and at the same time his impotence in executing his fell designs. The earth had already swallowed mighty flood contrary to all human expectation ; and what remains with him is little more than his unconquerable enmity. He is still “ wroth with the woman;" as is evident from the following history: “ To destroy the credit of the Gospel, and to excite the hatred of the multitude against the Christians, the Pagans'took occasion, from the calamities and tumults which distracted the empire, to renew the obsolete complaint of their ancestors against Christianity, as the source of these complicated woes. They alleged that, before the coming
of Christ, the world was blessed with peace and prosperity; but that, since the progress of his religion every where, the gods, filled with imdignation to see their worship neglected and their altars abandoned, had visited the earth with those plagues and desolations, which increased every day.”* Notwithstanding the present great impotence of the Dragon, he still contended with the Woman ; and " went,” (anna be,) “ departed” to make war with the remnant of her seed." He had now lost nearly all his influence in the Roman world, his ancient sphere of domination; yet on the confines of the once mighty Roman empire, he continued to have considerable power, for the Christians, who lived in the extremities of the two empires, felt the persecuting rage of their bárbarous invaders. In Gaul and Britain the Christian cause suffered ses verely, especially in the latter, where an immense number of Christians were put to death: by the Anglo-Saxons who remained wedded to their ancient superstition.” of It is here said that “ the Dragon went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, “which implies,” as Bishop Newton excellently observes, "that at this time there was only a remnant, that corruptions were greatly increased, and that “the faithful were minished from among the children of men.”
* Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Cent. V. Part 1, + Ib. Cent. V. Part 1,
Exposition of the seventeenth Chapter of the Apo
calypse, respecting the Whore and the Beast.
In the preceding chapter the two wonders which appeared in heaven have been considered, namely, that the whole earth was under the dominion of one Heathen empire; and, that Christianity was advanced to the throne of the Cæsars notwithstanding the very violent opposition it experienced from the Pagan world. The condition of the Christian church under the Heathen and Christian emperors has also been examined ; and its flight traced into the wilderness, or its reduction to a desolate condition. It was also observed that the wilderness into which the woman fed, in the course of God's pro.vidence, were the two wings of the great eagle, or the two grand independent divisions of the Roman empire, which took place A. D. 395, and in which at least the profession of Christianity was maintained for a long period, while the rest of the world was under the influence of false religion of every description. In the chapter now under consideration we have a most painful account of the very
deplorable state of religion in one of the wings of the once mighty Roman empire ; and as it is well
here is called a 'os
known, by all acquainted with ecclesiastical history, that the religion of the Roman empire was finally divided into the Latin and Greek churches, it will be presently evident from multifarious and indisputable arguments, which of these two churches is the subject of the prophecy in this chapter.
“ And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.” Here one of the angels which had the seven vials full of thế geven last plagues is commissioned to shew the apostle John the judgment of the great Whore that sitteth upon many waters. That idolatrous worship is frequently represented in Scripture under the character of a whore, or whoredom, is evident from numerous passages which it is unnecessary to quote. One need only be noticed, which will be found in 1 Chron. v. 25. The words are, “They transgressed against the gods of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God deštroyed before them." But the woman mentioned cessive depravity, and the awful nature of her idolatry. She is also represented as “sitting upon many waters," to shew the vast extent of her influence.
“With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." What an awful picture this is of the