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imperial head, or some one of his ten regal horns. Nothing can here be determined before the event: yet we may naturally enough conclude, from the phraseology of the passage, that the entire wildbeast heartily approves of the evil deed perpetrated by his particular member.
(4.) The fourth point to be determined is the PLACE, where the two witnesses are slain and lie dead and revive.
This is defined to be the broad city, which is the great one; the city, spiritually denominated Sodom and Egypt ; the city, where our Lord was crucified.
So far as I can judge, Bishop Newton and Mr. Mann needlessly perplex themselves with elaborately attempting to shew, how the city of Rome may be styled the city where our Lord suffered crucifixion: for the fact is, that the city of Rome is no otherwise concerned with the title before us, than as a mere portion of the great apocalyptic city. Throughout the entire book of the Revelation, the great city or the mystic Babylon, which is represented in constant and direct opposition to the holy city or the pure Church, is certainly not the literal city, but the Empire, of Rome : the temporal Babylon being the temporal Empire, and the spiritual Babylon being the spiritual Empire coëxistent with its temporal associate. Such being the case, there is no need to seek for any mystical sense, in which our Lord may be said to have been crucified in the great city: he literally suffered within its precincts; for he was
put to death in Palestine, at that time a province of the Roman Empire.
The region, therefore, where the two witnesses are slain and lie dead and revive, is the Roman Empire: and this arrangement exactly corresponds with their locality, as set forth in the prediction itself. They are described, as prophesying in the presence of those new Gentiles, who tread the holy city underfoot during forty and two months. But these Gentiles, by the chronological correspondence of their allotted period, are shewn to be the subjects of the little Roman horn foretold by Daniel : for the Gentiles tread down the holy city during 42 prophetic months, while the saints are given up to the little Roman horn during three times and a half; and 42 months and three times and a half are one and the same period differently expressed. Therefore the stage, where the two witnesses prophesy and are slain and revive, must be the same region as that, where the little Roman horn tyrannises, and where the Gentiles tread down the holy city.
In what particular district of the Roman Empire the witnesses are to be slain, we are not specifically told : but common sense shews, that wherever are seated the two Churches which they are employed to shadow out, there obviously must the slaughter take place. Their dead bodies, or their scattered members, may lie exposed in various parts of the empire: but the death-blow must be struck
in the partícular district, where the two Churches themselves are seated.
2. These preliminaries being settled, we shall now be prepared to ascertain the right application of the prophecy to matter of fact.
The prophecy in question treats of three leading particulars: the war against the two witnesses; the earthquake which overturns a tenth part of the great city; and the passing away of the second woe. These are described, as being very nearly synchronical : for the earthquake occurs in the same hour, or in the same season, with the war against the two witnesses ; and the second woe passes away immediately afterward.
(1.) With respect to the war against the two witnesses, the following series of facts stands recorded by the voice of history.
After many centuries of bloody persecution had elapsed, during which the Vallenses and the Albigenses, both separately and jointly, bore a faithful testimony to the Gospel of Christ, the Duke of Savoy, at the instigation of the French King, issued an edict, by which, on pain of death, he forbad the exercise of their religion, banished all their pastors, and commanded their places of worship to be destroyed. This edict bore date, the 31st of January in the
The effect, produced by a decree of such a description, may easily be anticipated. France and Savoy let loose their blood-hounds upon an innocent
and unoffending people: murders and rapes and every abomination followed: and, the valleys in a very short space
of time having been wholly depopulated by the expulsion of their former inhabitants, the place of the fugitives was supplied by the colonising adherents of the dominant superstition.
Thus were the two ancient united Churches completely suppressed; a calamity, which at no former period had ever befallen them : yet, scattered far and wide, their fragments, though dissolved as a body corporate, still retained their separate existence. In the course of God's providence, they were not suffered to vanish utterly from off the face of the earth : they were not suffered to be lost and absorbed in the several communions of those protestant States, within whose territorial dominions they had taken refuge. On the contrary, though the two Churches were politically dissolved, their members were individually preserved from complete annihilation.
In this state they continued during the space of three years and a half : but, at the end of that period, they began once more to act in a body. Under the conduct of Henri Arnaud, eight hundred of the most intrepid among them, having assembled in the Swiss territory, secretly crossed the lake of Geneva, on the night of the 16th of August in the year 1689 : and, entering Savoy with their swords in their hands, drove from their native valleys the intrusive Romanists, and recovered by main force their ancient possessions. In this extraordi
nary enterprize so complete was their success, that, ere the month of April in the year 1690 had commenced, after a series of victories over the troops of France and Savoy, they had firmly established themselves in the seats of their ancestors.
Nor did their triumph terminate here. In the course of God's Providence events were so ordered, that the Duke of Savoy was led to desert the French interest : and, in consequence of this new political arrangement, by an edict dated the 4th of June in the year 1690, he recalled and reëstablished the remainder of the Vallenses and the Albigenses, granting to them henceforth, though with many vexatious restrictions, the exercise of the religion of their forefathers.
Thus were these two ancient united Churches built up anew, and solemnly established by an act of the civil power, in those identical valleys of Piedmont and Savoy, where the Albigenses, when driven out of the south of France by the crusade of the thirteenth century, had taken refuge among their brethren the Vallenses !!
The series of facts, here detailed from the voice of history, requires but little comment.
It has been pronounced, that the Vallenses and the Albigenses are the two witnessing Churches of the Apocalypse : because, although many pious individuals and several entire communities have pro
'Whiston's Essay on the Rev. part iii. p. 238—241. Jones's Hist. of the Christ. Church, vol. ii. p. 406—444. Gilly's Narrat. p. 171--188. Arnaud's Glorious Recov, passim.