Imágenes de páginas

port, recommended moderation ner more consonant to the spiritto both parties; requested the uality of its nature, put away immonks to do nothing without se- ages, abolished the elevation of rious deliberation, and to wait till the host, and made preparations the people were better informed for suppressing the order of on the subject before they ven- mendicant friars. All the Autured

to introduce changes, gustines throughout Thuringia which interested the whole and Misnia soon after met in a church, and which might go to chapter at Wittemberg, and gave subvert many ancient institu- their sanction to these important tions, and to alter the whole sys- changes. Luther received these tem of ecclesiastical administra- transactions with raptures of tion. The deputies, not being joy, and congratulated his felsatisfied with this mode of pro- low-citizens on their courage cedure, sent a second remon- and zeal, in giving the first exstrance to Frederic, on the ne- ample of a public reformation. cessity of correcting the abuses It was on this occasion that he of which they complained ; and composed his treatise on the Abnotwithstanding his repeated ad- olition of Private Masses, though vice, not to make their proposed it was suppressed by order of alterations, though he allowed the court, and not printed till them publicly to declare that the beginning of 1523.* some reformation was necessary, under the direction of Beyer, a * Beausobre, tom ii. lib.4. p. 185– member both of the senate and 198. university, they regulated the Seckend. Sec. 54. SS 129, 130. worship of the sanctuary in a man

(To be continued.)

Religious Communications.

A DISSERTATION ON JOHN'S miracles, which go forth unto SIXTH VIAL.

the kings of the earth and of the

whole world, to gather them to Revelation xvi. 12-16.

the battle of that great day of

God Almighty. Behold, I come, "And the sixth angel poured as a thief. Blessed is he, that out his vial upon the great river watcheth, and keepeth his garEuphrates, and the water there- ments, lest he walk naked, and of was dried up, that the way of they see his shame. And he the kings of the east might be gathered them together into a prepared. And I saw three une place, called in the Hebrew clean spirits, like frogs, come tongue Armageddon.” out of the mouth of the dragon, The moral and religious state and out of the mouth of the of the Christian world makes it beast, and out of the mouth of evident to every careful observthe false prophet. For they are er, that we are now under one or the spirits of devils, working other of the latter vials. Under Vol. II. No. 1.



the preceding period of the literal Babylon. We well know trumpets, the sensible effect of how that was taken by the kings God's judgments was the in- of Media and Persia, whose crease of the various kinds of countries lay east of her, who superstition and idolatry in the therefore, in relation to her, degenerate and apostate church; were literally “the kings of the as appears from chap. ix. But east.” The waters of the Euunder the latter vials, the effect pbrates, which ran through that of God's judgments is the in- city, and were the means of her crease of infidelity, and a conse- wealth and defence, were dried quent dissipation of morals. up, or diverted from their old “Men blaspheme the God of channel, so that the besieging arheaven, and repent not of their my entered and took it almost deeds." The rapid increase, without resistance. That Babe extensive spread, and undisguis- ylon should be taken in this ed arowal of infidelity in all manner was expressly foretold parts of the Christian world, not by Jeremiah. “A sword is upexcepting our

favoured on the inhabitants of Babylon, country, strongly mark the pe- a drought is upon her waters, riod, in which we live. At least, and they shall be dried up. I they show that one or other of will dry ap her sca; and make the latter vials is now running. her springs dry, and Babylon The circumstances and events shall become heaps." of the times will most naturally By “the kings of the east" point us to the sixth. This we we are to understand, not literalwill endeavour to explain, and ly kings, whose territories lie will inquire, whether events do east of Rome, the inystical Babynot correspond with it.

lon, but her enemies in general. “ The sixth angel poured out By “ Euphrates," we are to unhis vial upon the great river EQ- derstand, not the river so called, phrates, and the water thereof nor any other remarkable water, was dried up, that the way of the but any sources of riches and kings of the east might be pre- strength, which have rendered pared."

her formidable ; and any impedWe are to interpret this vial iments, which, in time past, have according to the analogy of the restrained her enemies from inprophetic part of the book, which vading her, or have prevented is wholly figurative, and borrows their success. Who are the enits language and allusions from emies, that shall finally destroy the Old Testament.

her, John has told us in the 17th As the Roman church is call- chap. of this book : “ Those ed Babylon, and as under the kings, who had once agreed to next vial, this “great Babylon give their kingdom to the beast," comes into remembrance before i. e. to the Roman power," will, God, that he may give her the when God's word is fulfilled, cup of the wine of the fierceness hate the whore, that sits on the of his wrath ;" so the judge beast, make her desolate and ments, coming upon her under naked, and burn her with fire." this vial, are described by an The kings of the earth long allusion to the destruction of the felt the tyranny and oppression

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of papal Rome. But the dread freedom of religion ; for it not of her fulminations, while she only tolerates, but supports Prowas blindly adored by the igno- testantism, as well as Popery ; rant and deluded multitude, re- so that means of reformation strained these kings froni as- may now be applied with safety serting their sovereignty and re- and without interruption. The dressing their injuries. This way for the introduction of light Eupbrates, for a considerable and truth, which was shut under time, has been drying up. The former monarchs, is now openabolition of convents and of the ed. Accordingly, in the short inquisition in many Roman interval of peace between the Catholic countries, and the gen- last and the present war, Proteseral suppression of the order of tant missionaries visited France Jesuits, the extension of com- without danger, and preached merce, and the consequent diffu- there without molestation ; and sion of knowledge, have greatly complete Bibles and many Prodiminished the wealth, and weak- testant books were distributed ened the strength of this Baby- among the people, and received lon. But no event has been with apparent gratitude and joy. so fatal to the papal power, as The eruption of the war put a the subversion of the French sudden stop to these pious meamonarchy. The justice of this sures; but, whenever peace revolution in a moral view, or shall return, it is hoped they will the wisdom of it in a political be renewed. view, is not a subject of our John goes on to say, “ I saw present inquiry. Be this as it three unclean spirits, like frogs, may, the consequence of it in re- come out of the mouth of the lation to the papal power is ob- dragon, and out of the mouth of vious. It has almost dried up the beast, and out of the mouth the river, which was the source of the false prophet.It will be of her wealth, and removed the necessary to ascertain the charbarrier, which was the means of acters, intended by these names. her defence. The French na- And let us remember, they are tion, which had long supported, three, and must not be confoundhas now annihilated the Pope's ed. iemporal dominion, and has left Our first inquiry will be conbim but the shadow of a spirit. cerning the dragon. He is deual supremacy in the church. scribed chap xii. “ There apThus St. John's prophecy is ful- peared a sign in heaven," or in filled; “ The ten horns, or the sky, “a great red dragon, kings, which gave their power having seven heads and ten horns, to the beast, these, or some of and on his heads seven crowns." these, shall hate the whore, who This must intend the heathen sits on him, and make her des: Roman empire, as it cxisted in olate.

John's time. The place is deThe present government of signated by the seven heads, which France, in a political view, is as the angel says, are seven mounabsolute, as was her former gov- tains, on which the city, or seat of ernment. But it is certainly the dragon, was built. This cirmuch more favourable to the cumstance points out Rome, which, all know, was built on divided by the incursions and seven hills. The seven heads de conquests of the northern barba, note also seven kings, or seven rians. This was after Christian. successive forms of government; ity was established and greatly five of which, the angel says, were corrupted in the empire. This fallen, one then existed, and one beast therefore can be no other was to come. The sixth, which ex- than the papal Roman empire. isted in John's time, was the impe- The dragon gives his power, rial, or the government by em- throne, and authority, to the perors.

The seventh, which beast. The dragon and beast was to come, was the ducal, or are no longer distinct characters, rather the papal government. They are become one. The The crowns, at the time of the power has passed from the for, vision, were on the heads of the mer to the latter.

< Men wors dragon, and had not passed to the ship the dragon, which gave horns of the beast, mentioned af- power to the beast, and they worterward, i. e. the government ship the beast, saying, Who is was then seated at Rome, and like to the beast ? was not divided among the king- By the dragon then, under the doms into which the empire was sixth vial, we cannot understand afterwards split. So that the the dragon existing in his first dragon must signify the Heathen form, or the Heathen Roman emRoman government.

pire ; for in this form he existThis dragon is indeed called ed no longer after he had given the devil, verse 9th. But this his power to the beast. But by must mean the pagan empire, as this name we must understand actuated by the devil. For, the dragon and beast united, or whenever the devil is introduced the papal empire, exercising the in this book, he appears as carry- tyranny and corruption of the ing on his designs by wicked heathen empire. agents. It is agreeable to the Such a power certainly exists style of prophecy to call tyrants some where under this vial, by the name of a dragon. The And where shall we find it, but kings of Egypt and of Assyria in the German empire? This is are so called.

very extensive. In the time of After the dragon John saw"a Charles V. and his successor it beast rise up out of the sea, hav- comprehended the greater part ing seven heads and ten horns, and of the western empire, and still on his horns ten crowns ; and to comprises a considerable part of him the dragon gave his power it. It is that empire continued. and throne, and great authority.” It is called the holy Roman em

In the time, when this beast pire. The person, crowned King appears, the crowns, importing of the Romans, succeeds on the sovereign power, have passed demise of the emperor, to the imfrom the heads of the dragon to perial throne. Popery is the esthe horns of the beast. The do- tablished religion of the empire. minion, which was before con- It has exercised great tyranny, fined to Rome, is now spread and violent persecution. It has among the ten kingdoms, ato retained all the discriminating which the Roman empire was marks of the dragon, as a tyran.




nical and persecuting power, un- Saviour are not physically imtil within a few years past, when possible, the competency of the it has grown more tolerant. witnesses, their moral character,

There can then be little doubt, the object which they might have but that Germany must undergo a in view, and the circumstances in great change in her government, which they declared their convicbefore the general spread of puretion of the reality of what they Christianity. It is probable from saw, and the truth of what they many circumstances, that France heard, must be all taken into will be an instrument of effecting account, in judging of the credit this change. Perhaps a leading to which they were entitled. blow has been struck already. These witnesses were incapa(To be continued.) ble perhaps of accurate logical

discussion ; but men of plain SHORT REMARKS

common sense, some of them VIOUR'S MIRACLES. undoubtedly shrewder than oth

ers, but all of them sufficiently That such events as are re. qualified to judge of the reality corded in the gospel, as the res, of any fact, that came under their toration of sight to the blind, of observation. They were not speech to the dumb, of life to the accused of deceit, and their mordead, &.c. are physically possible, al character was never impeachwe cannot deny, without setting ed by their most virulent enebounds to the Omnipotence of mies. They published their tesGod. That they are probable, we timony to the miracles of Jesus, cannot, however, affirm, unless we and invariably adhered to it, in consider the purposes which they the face of the most unexampled, are intended to serve. If it is cruel, and persevering opposipossible for God to give a revela- tion. They opposed all their tion of his will to men: if it own national and educational preis probable from their condition, judices, by supporting a religion, that he will do so ; and if we are which was to be established on informed that he has actually the ruins of Judaism. Their tesdone so ; there is considerable timony was never contradicted, presumption that some marks of even by their persecutors : thousupernatural interposition will sands and tens of thousands, on its accompany the giving of this rev. evidence, embraced the faith, elation.

which it confirmed : and multiThat universal experience is tudes sealed their adherence to it contrary to the supposition of with their blood. Nor let it be miraculous interference, is a gra- forgotten, that the primitive tuitous and unfounded assertion. Christians, and the apostles in The satisfactoriness of testimony particular, suffered martyrdom, does not depend on the nature of not for matters of opinion, but the facts attested, unless they are for their attestation of facts : a physically impossible ; but on the circumstance unparalleled in the credibility of the persons, who history of the world. affirm that they have witnessed On these grounds we rest them.

the credibility of the gospel hisIf then the miracles of our tory; the certainty of our Sa

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