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able unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world : but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. · Philippians 1. 9, 10. I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all B judgment; that ye may approve y things that are excellent; that ye may be & sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
The causes; danger, and consequences of infidelity, and the duty of avoiding the society of infidels, are set forth in the following passages, of which we would recommend a serious and attentive perusal. 2 Cor. iv. 4; Eph. 11. 2; Matt. xxiv. 11, 12; Mark xvi. 16; John viii. 24; 2 Tim. 11. 12; Rev. XXI. 8; 1 Tim. vi. 3—5; 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15, 17, 18; 2 John 7—11; 1 John 11. 18—29.
B Or,“ sense.” y Or, “ try things that differ.” Ô eilukpiveíc, from ean, “the splendour of the sun," and Kpivo, “I judge, discern,” properly “pure and unsullied" to such a degree as to bear examination in the full splendour of the solar rays.-Bagster.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MYSTIC BABYLON; HER PUNISHMENT
Amid the splendour and variety of the political heavens, no power has ever shone with a character so remarkable, so conspicuous and so durable, as the empire and ecclesiastical dominion of apostate Rome, the prophetic Babylon of the Scriptures. And as no earthly authority has ever opposed the divine will with such unabated ardour and presumption, so the severity and extent of the punishments which await her will be greater than any that have ever preceded them. The first intimation which we find in Scripture of this wonderful power, is in one of the prophecies of Balaam, Num. xxiv. 24; “ Ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever:" which may be considered in conjunction with that explicit prediction respecting the destruction of Jerusalem, in
Deuteronomy XXVIII. 49–53, &c. The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not B understand ; a nation 7 of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young : and he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be
& Heb. “ hear.”
9 Heb. “ strong of face.”
destroyed : which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land, and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
How precisely does the expression, " strong of face," agree with the stern, warlike, and unbending policy of the Romans, as of that of their later associate in empire, the church of Rome, who has thundered forth her bulls, anathemas, and interdicts! To whom, either old or young, have the Romans shewed favour in contravention of their designs ? To the Jews, the Carthaginians, to nations either civilized or barbarous, during their oppressive career ? And what compromise of power has “the man of sin" made against a reinstatement in his former authority during the later period of his dark domain? The Romans were a people from whom the Jews had been comparatively estranged previous to their conquest, whether on account of distance, or their “ language,” with which the latter were unacquainted. The requisitions of the Romans were enormous over conquered states: but we find in Deuteronomy the most solemn and pathetic warnings against the self-created woes of the Jews, during their predicted siege by that power, whose standard “ the eagle" is there alluded to.
It is very generally known “ that the four beasts which Daniel saw” (chapter vi..) “ mean four successive forms of tyrannical dominion, viz., the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires." The fourth is thus described :
Daniel vil. 7, 8. I saw in the night visions, and behold a
fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth : it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
“ The political existence and superiority of the last beast still continues in ten kingdoms, which include most of the nations of Europe, and which are set forth by the ten horns of the beast. The great image in Dan. 11. teaches the same things. Both of these passages inform us that a heavy weight of divine vengeance will fall upon the ten kingdoms of this fourth tyranny..... In Dan. II. this judgment is set forth by the figure of a stone smiting the ten toes, (which symbolize the ten kingdoms,) and pursuing the work of destruction until the whole of this great image becomes like the chaff of the summer's threshingfloor, and is carried away of the wind, while the stone becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth.”*
Daniel vii. 19—26. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass ; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High ; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon
* Cox's Thoughts on The Coming and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces, And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise : and Banother shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws : and they shall be given into his hand until y a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
Daniel, predicting the conquest of Darius by Alexander the Great, and the four kingdoms into which his empire was divided after his death, continues to describe the Roman empire, thus :
Daniel viii. 9—12. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceedingly great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even a to the host of heaven ; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the b Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And a host was given him against the
B “ This evidently points out the papal supremacy, in every respect diverse from the former, which from small beginnings thrust itself up among the ten kingdoms, till at length it successively eradicated three of them, the kingdom of the Heruli, of the Ostrogoths, and of the Lombards." —Bagster's Compr. Bible. “In token of this circumstance the pope now wears three crowns upon his mitre; and in farther commemoration of it, a piece of mosaio work was made for his palace, in which St. Peter is represented with three keys in his lap, signifying that they are the three keys of this part of his pas trimony." (Newton on Daniel, p. 86–88.) Brooks. See Supplement, No. VI. ană VII.
w i. e. “Three and a half years, or, reckoning thirty days to a month, 1260 days, equal to the same number of years in prophetic language; which, dated from the decree of Phocas, constituting him the supreme head of the church, A. D. 606, will terminate 1866 ;" or, if dated from the edict of the emperor Justinian, A. D. 533, have expired in 1793 ; or if from 583, as Mr. Habershon supposes, in 1843 or 1844, and to which we shall refer in this Chapter.
a Isai. xiv. 13. b Josh. v. 14, 15; Heb. 11. 10.