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the sacred relics with as great joy as though they saw the prophet present and living, so that crowds swarmed along the whole way from Palestine to Chalcedon, and resounded the praises of Christ with one voice ?"
“ Did the bishop of Rome do wrong, who offered sacrifices over those dead men, Peter and Paul according to us—according to you, a little vile dust; and regarded their tombs as Christ's altars? And do the bishops not only of one city, but of the whole world err, who, despising the huckster Vigilantius, enter the basilicas of the dead, in which vile dust and ashes, I know not what, lie wrapped in fine linen, so polluted that they taint every thing, and are like the sepulchres of the Pharisees that were whitened without, while within they were defiled with ashes and all impurities ?!!!
It is apparent from these representations, that the great body of the clergy and church, embraced the debasing superstitions and idolatries introduced and patronized by the emperors, with an eagerness and passion conformable to the representation that the earth opened a vast chasm and swallowed the flood cast from the mouth of the dragon.
VII. The existence in the valleys of the Alps, of a body of dissenters from the Catholic church, appears to have been unknown for several ages, to the persecuting civil and ecclesiastical rulers.
The earliest persecution to death in their vicinity, of dissentients holding their doctrines, of which the writers of the middle ages give us any notice, was at Orleans in France, in 1017, and they are represented by Glaber as then recently detected, although he admits that they had existed for a long period. Others were soon discovered in that part of Gaul, in Lombardy, and in Piedmont, and many ere the close of the century put to death. In the following age the Waldenses seem first to have attracted the notice of prelates and princes; Peter Waldo, who in 1160 began to teach their
doctrines at Lyons, and spread them over the whole of Catholic Europe, being a Waldensian by birth as well as in faith ; but it was not till the opening of the next century that they became the objects of an exterminating persecution. They are spoken of by all the writers of the period, as then recently discovered.
From these representations, and from their not having been assailed at an earlier period, there is reason to believe that from their extreme seclusion, from the wars with which Italy was oc* Hieronymi Epist. 59, 60, adv. Vigilant.
· Baronii Annal. anno 1017.
cupied, and from the incessant strifes with which the church itself was rent, they for a succession of ages escaped the notice both of the popes and the secular princes.
VIII. And finally, after the retreat of the woman into the desert, the usurping civil rulers, for a series of ages, persecuted such individuals as they found rejecting the errors of the nationalized church, and maintaining an evangelical faith and worship.
The edicts of the emperors against dissentients from the nationalized church, from Constantine to the commencement of the twelve hundred and sixty years, were continued by their successors, and other laws enacted for the purpose of repressing secession, and forcing the alienated back into the Catholic communion ; and on the public withdrawment of the Paulicians in Armenia, organization as a separate church, and formal testimony against the false doctrines and idolatrous rites of the Catholics, a merciless war on them was commenced, and continued at intervals in Armenia, Thrace, Bulgaria, Bohemia, and Germany, for more than five hundred years, during which great numbers were put to death. And on their migration in the beginning of the eleventh century, into Italy and Gaul, they, with the Albigenses and other rejectors of the Catholic system, were, at the instance of the bishops, assailed by the civil rulers, and persecuted in every part of Italy, in Gaul, in Spain, in the Netherlands, in Germany, in Bohemia, in Hungary, and in England, with few intermissions, through the ages that followed to the close of the eighteenth century. Not a single body of evangelical believers withdrew from the nationalized church, or rejected its false doctrines, professed a scriptural faith, offered a pure worship, and testified against the errors of the apostate communions, that was not assailed by the wild beast, and forced to seal their witness to the truth with their blood.
Mr. Brightman, Mr. Daubuz, Mr. Elliott, and others, regard the dragon that cast water from its mouth, not as the seven-headed dragon, but as the apostate angel who fought with Michael. But that is to disregard the ascription to it of an action appropriate only to a monster animal like a dragon inhabiting water. That error led to a misapplication also of the other parts of the symbol. Thus Mr. Daubuz and Mr. Elliott exhibit the two wings that were given to the woman, as denoting the eastern and western empires. But as the dragon represents the rulers of the empire, the empire itself cannot be the wings by which she escaped from their presence. It is against analogy. There is no resemblance between two divisions of an empire which are immovable, and wings which are the instruments of motion from one part of it to another. An empire sustains no such relation to a person residing in it, as wings would to one to whom they were so united as to constitute a part of himself. The fancy is preposterous in other relations also, as well as in contradiction to the symbol. If the two divisions of the empire were the wings, whither was the woman borne ? Did the empires convey her out of their territories? How is the supposition that the empires were the wings, to be reconciled with the representation, that the earth opened its mouth, and drank the river cast forth by the dragon ? Did the wings swallow the torrent, as well as bear the woman above it? Mr. Mede's exposition, who regarded the eagle as the empire, and the wings as emperors of the eastern and western divisions, is similarly objectionable.
Mr. Brightman, Mr. Daubuz, Mr. Elliott, and others, exhibit the water which the dragon cast from its mouth, as the Gothic nations by which the western empire was devastated and conquered. But those nations were not cast from the mouth of the rulers of the empire. They entered the empire against the wishes, and with few exceptions, the strenuous exertions of both the emperors, and army, and the people. Their objects were plunder and conquest, not the seduction or compulsion of pure worshippers of God to apostasy. Their invasions were represented by the symbols of the first four trumpets, and exhibited as commissioned to devastate and overthrow the western Roman empire, not to force pure worshippers and faithful witnesses to conform to the idolatrous nationalized church.
Vitringa's exposition, who regarded the waters as symbolizing the Saracens, is open to similar objections. They were not cast from the mouth of the Roman rulers. They are represented by the locusts of the fifth trumpet, and as commissioned to chastise an apostate church, not to draw pure worshippers to apostasy.
Mr. Faber exhibits the water, as the European infidels of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But that is in contradiction to his assumption that the seven-headed dragon, that cast them from its mouth, is the symbol of all the unfaithful members of the visible church. It was not the apostate church, that cast on the world the vast host of infidels and atheists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As multitudes of those infidels were members of the visible church, the supposition that they were cast forth from it, implies that all infidels of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, were excommunicated from the visible
church. But no such excommunication of infidels has taken place. It was during the flight of the woman, moreover, that the water was cast after her, not near the close of her residence of twelve hundred and sixty years in the desert.
CHAPTERS XII. 18, XIII. 1-10.
THE TEN-HORNED WILD BEAST.
And I stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a wild beast ascending from the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns ten diadems, and on its heads names of blasphemy. And the wild beast which I saw was like a panther, and its feet as of a bear, and its mouth as the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave it its power, and its throne, and great authority. And I saw one of its heads was, as it were, wounded to death ; and its death-wound was healed. And the whole earth wondered after the wild beast. And they worshipped the dragon because it gave authority to the wild beast. And they worshipped the wild beast, saying, Who is like to the wild beast ? and, Who is able to war with it? And a mouth was given to it speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to it to do [it] forty-two months. And it opened its mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. And it was given to it to make war with the saints, and to vanquish them. And authority was given to it over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation. And all will worship it who dwell on the earth, whose name is not written in the book of life of the Lamb, who was slain from the foundation of the world. If any one has an ear, let him hear. If any one leads into captivity, into captivity he goes. If any one slays with the sword, by the sword he must be slain. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
This wild beast is a symbol of rulers, manifestly, from the badges of royalty ascribed to it, crowns, a throne, and great authority; and a symbol of a body of cotemporaneous rulers, obviously, from its ten horns with their diadems, which are representative of separate dynasties; and from its authority over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation on the earth, which had been subject to the throne surrendered to it by the dragon. It is the representative of a combination of dynasties, that succeed 10 a dominion formerly exercised by the dragon, as is seen from its receiving from it its power, and its throne, and great authority. That is indicated also by the seven heads, which are representatives of the same species of supreme rulers that are symbolized by the heads of the dragon. The disappearance of the diadems from the heads, and elevation to the horns, denote that those orders of supreme rulers which the heads represented, are no longer in authority, but are succeeded by the new dynasties denoted by the horns. Its body was like a panther's, its feet like a bear's, and its mouth like a lion's; a union of the utmost agility with the greatest strength to grasp and appetite to devour, indicating a combination of aggressive, bloody, cruel, and insatiable tyrants.
That one of its heads was wounded to death with a sword, and its death-wound healed, denotes that one of the successions of rulers symbolized by its heads, was cut off by the sword and superseded by one of the others for a time, but subsequently restored. That the whole earth wondered after it, indicates that the whole population of the ten kingdoms regarded the monarchs whom it represents, with admiration and awe, and eulogized the heroism of their exploits, and the wisdom of their rule. That they worshipped the dragon because it gave it authority, implies that they regarded important rights which their monarchs exercised as derived from the dragon, and as legitimately assumed by them, because they had been arrogated and exercised by that ancient rule. That their ascriptions to the dragon and the wild beast of that authority as legitimate was a worship, denotes that the assumption of that authority was an arrogation of the prerogatives of God, and their assent to it, therefore, the ascription to them of a homage that is due only to him. That arrogation of his rights is denoted also by the names of blasphemy on the heads of the dragon, and by the detraction of his name, which the wild beast is represented as uttering. His name is descriptive of what he is in his relations to his creatures, and is the symbol thence of his peculiar attributes and prerogatives, as is seen in the annunciation of Christ in the first vision, his proclamation of his attributes, and their celebration by the living creatures and elders, as the ground of his right to reign. The wild beast's blasphemy of his name, therefore, is its denial to him of his peculiar prerogatives, and arrogation of them as its own.
The tabernacle was the tent or edifice erected by the command of God, as the place of offering the worship which he enjoined ; the inner sanctuary symbolizing the heaven in which he manifests himself, and receives the homage of the spirits of the just