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their own declaration, that “ none but a Brutus, or a Catiline, was fit for their higher mysteries," I think we can scarcely avoid supposing, that the commencement or the establishment of the REIGN OF THE IMAGE may be dated from this memorable day. I shall now therefore request the attention of the Reader
" the Power of the image made by them which dwell on the earth, and to which the Beast gave life.”
The REVOLUTIONARY TYRANNY OF FRANCE,
shown to be the exact Resemblance of the IMAGE OF THE BEAST.
It is scarcely possible to contemplate the horrors which the Revolution in France has produced in France itfelf, without enquiring into the previous state of a country so peculiarly, afflicted. History will furnish ample evidence for the justice of exemplary punishment, when she recites the perfecutions, the licentiousness, and the Infidelity which have long distinguished that unhappy country; and Religion, in such a case, may
" vindicate the ways of Godoffence
against against that charity which is her peculiar characteristic.
The cruel persecutions, and “ the slaughter of the saints," have been noticed in a former Chapter •; and for proofs of the long preeminence of France in open vice and irreligion, we may appeal to the numerous Memoirs which describe their manners. From them it will appear, that the court of France has been, with short exceptions, the seat of profligate wickedness, from the reign of Francis I. to go no farther back, and that the must be confidered as the grand corruptress of nations, since the power of Rome declined. The universal prevalence of irreligion in this unhappy country, is thus described by a writer not at all disposed to censure those with too much severity, who intermix the refinements of Philofophy with religious inquiries. " When I was myself in France, in the year 1774,
, I saw fufficient reason to believe, that hardly any person of eminence in Church or State, and especially in the least degree eminent in Philosophy or literature (whose opinions in all countries are fooner or later adopted by oihers), were believers in Christianity; and no person
• See p. 32, of this volume.
will suppose, that there has been any change in favour of Christianity in the last twenty years. A person, I believe now living, and one of the best informed men in the country, assured me very gravely, that (paying me a compliment) I was the first person he had ever met with, of whose understanding he had any opinion, who pretended to believe Christianity. To this all the company assented. And not only were the Philosophers, and other leading men in France, at that time unbelievers in Christianity, or Deists, but Atheists, denying the being of a God b."
And the triumphant entry of Voltaire into Paris immediately before his death in 1778, when viewed with all its extraordinary attending circumstances, may well be considered as announcing a very general apostacy from the church of Christ, in all ranks. of people.
We have seen that it is according to the usual course of God's Providence to make a people, remarkable for their wickedness, “ the rod of his anger.”-We have seen, from the course of Prophecy, that the power appointed to execute his wrath upon “ the kingdom of
Priestley's Fast Sermon, 1794. c See Robison's Account of the Clergy in France, 3d Edit. with the Poftscript.
the beast;" was to be at the same time the cause of its own misery. And we have seen the Revolution in France, which is universally allowed to be in its origin, its principles, and its consequences; unparalleled in the history of the world, to be the work of the Infidel Anti; chrift, and the accurate accomplishment of Prophecy, while it baffles explanation upon any principles derived from experience, or any other source of human knowledge.
It has been shown also, that “ the reign of the Image" is to be the last great effort which the enemy of mankind will be permitted to make against the Religion of Christ, and that it is to be made, in the hands of God, the minister of punishment and correction to the earth. And it will be confessed, that the power which Infidelity has raised up, and continues tò direct in France, is peculiarly suited to be the scourge of nations, and the trial of their faith. This wonderful Power acknowledges no principles, religious or moral--no customs, political, civil, or civilized-of a nature to restrain the full exercise of cruelty, licentiousness, and rapine ; and the crimes and horrors which have marked its reign, exceed all past experience of the depravity of man. The most savage hordes that history mentions, appear to have
had, timong themselves at least, fome law, some faith, fome honour, fome generosity, Some humanity. But where shall we find these quam lities in the creed, or in the conduct of apostate Infidelity? Can we conceive more tremendous instruments of the wrath of God, than a people thus deftitute of every principle which can diftinguish men from brutes, or demons; and besides, remarkable for natural activity, vivacity, ingenuity, and impetuofity, and for acquired skill in all the arts of civilization, in all the deceivableness of fin?
It is a painful talk to search the registers of wickedness and woe; and I shall spare my Readers and myself a long enumeration of the crimes and horrors which diftinguish that System of rapine and treachery, of cruelty and blasphemy, by which the Atheistic monsters of France hold their wretched country in more direful slavery than ever yet existed, while they execute the judgments of the Almighty upon a guilty world. But the necessity of supporting a novel opinion upon a sacred subject, by the testimony of FACTS, must conquer the feelings of disgust and sensibility, and enable me to give a sketch of this terrific power, and then select some striking testimonies to the fidelity of the description. For it yet remains