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that of Irenæus, who, by the assortment of the letters of the Greek alphabet, used numerically, obtained the names of Λατεινος, Ευανθος and Tειταν. He preferred the first of these, but had little or no reliance upon it. His object must have been the idolatrous Roman or Latin empire. Bishop Newton, and many others among the commentators, have adopted this word as involving the discovery required, applying it to the Latin church and the papal hierarchy.
But this mode of calculation has fallen into discredit, by the fact, resulting from experience, that there is no end to the multitude of names which may be composed by such fabrications; and that not only the antichristian chiefs, but the most eminent of our reformers may be, and have been thus designated by their adversaries.
Archdeacon Wrangham has the merit of displaying in a very small compass, a learned and critical view of many attempts in the ancient languages, and by various modes of calculation, to devise names applicable to the mystery of the number of the beast. The facility with which these adaptations are made, has occasioned an infinite number of
Scarcely,” says he, “ has a single controversy started up, in which this accommodating
1 Iren. adv. Hær. v. 30.
number (666) may not be ranged on either side.” And we may add, that none of them afford that satisfactory conviction which attends the perfect discovery of an hidden mystery. There is wanting that flash of illumination, that lively sense of having passed from darkness to light, which so delightfully affects us upon the solution of a well-formed enigma. It may therefore be reasonably doubted, whether the true mode of calculation has yet been discovered.
However, the learned Archdeacon has not yet thought proper to relinquish entirely the mode of computation practised by Irenæus, and has presented us with the word Anostarns, thus acquired. This term will refer equally to the two great apostasies in the East and in the West. But it will be thought too general in its meaning, as is evident from its liability to perversion, by opponents in controversy. The Romanists, for instance, apply this opprobious term to the Reformers, as apostates from their true Catholic Church.
The Lamb on Mount Sion.
CHAP. xiv. ver. 1-5.
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
The twelfth and thirteenth chapters have justly engaged a very large share of our attention, from the conviction of the difficulty and importance of their subject. We shall now be enabled to proceed with less hesitation. The language is less enigmatical, and more assimilated to the usual style of holy Scripture : besides, it is generally allowed that the subject now before us involves the reformation of religion in the sixteenth century, and the continuation of it to our own times, a course of events fully
exposed in history, and easily compared with the symbols presumed to predict it. But, on the other hand, it must be considered, that this is only a part of the great work of reformation. It is the part intermediate between the secession of the pure and persecuted Christians, during the increasing corruptions of the hierarchal Church, and that which must take place in the progress of future events. The early part of this first period is not without its difficulties, from defects in the history expected to illustrate it. But these difficulties are increased, when we look forward to that more extensive part of the Reformation, so wanted, so ardently desired—which is yet to come. Here we have no history, but must depend principally on the general assurances of divine prophecy, and be very sparing of conjecture, which has been proved to be so fallacious in the hands of some ingenious writers. We must proceed with caution, as it was our endeavour in the eleventh chapter, containing the prophecy of the witnesses ; separating, as discreetly as we can, the symbols already fulfilled, from those reserved for a future completion. Mede and Vitringa, two very able commentators, have ventured in some instances upon this dubious ground, with more confidence than I have dared to assume, and may be consulted with perhaps some advantage by the curious inquirer.
Ver. 1-4. The Lamb-on mount Sion, and with him, &c.] The seventh trumpet had already sounded, and a general view of its blissful effects, in restoring the kingdom to the Messiah and his followers, had been afforded. (Ch. xi. 15.) The conflict is now to be expected: but before the battle takes place, the battle array is to be viewed. The enemies of Christ and of his Church, the dragon, the beast, the false prophet, have been exhibited in the
two last chapters. But " when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him, and the Redeemer shall come to Zion.” (Isa. lix. 19, 20.) During the alarming progress of the antichristian powers, the Christian forces are not idle or unemployed. The vision proceeds to exhibit their efforts to check, and at length_finally to subdue, the enemies of the Church. The Lamb,' to apviov, appears upon Mount Sion, upon the place of true religious service;o the site of the heavenly Jerusalem; the seat of the throne of the Messiah. (Ps. ii. 6; Heb. xii. 22; Isa. ii. 23, &c. ; xi. 9, 10; lvi. 7 ; Ezek. xvii. 22, &c.; xx. 40; Micah iv. 1, 2; Luke iii. 5, 6.) He comes attended by his Church; by the hundred and forty-four thousand, who had been sealed as “ Israelites indeed.”3 He comes in the likeness of his suffering state, leading his followers to conquer by suffering,* not yet by his vengeance.
This then appears to be the true, persecuted, and suffering Christian Church, which, throughout the reign of the dragon, beast, and false prophet, refuses to worship the image, and receive the mark of the beast. These are marked holy unto God; the precious price of Redemption has not been paid for them in vain. (1 Cor. vi. 20.) And " there is joy in heaven,” on beholding their array. The voice of Deity from the throne, awful and sublime, acknowledges them; the heavenly chorus breaks forth into songs of praise and exultation. They sing “ a new song, "6 the song of the Lamb, a song mysterious, unfit for impure and worldly ears (etɛ, BeBndo); in which those only can be initiated who are pure and faithful: and the delights of the heavenly harmony
1 See note, ch. v. 6.
2 See note, ch. viii. 8.
4 Note, ch. ii. 7. 6 See note, ch. ii. 17; iii. 12.