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the cloud with the light of the Divine presence round her brow, and bearing in her hand the law for mankind.

In dedicating this volume to the Lord Bishop of Salisbury, the author feels gratified by the opportunity of expressing his thanks for personal attentions, and his perfect respect for a rank of learning and virtue worthy of the best ages of the Church, for toleration in the true spirit of Christianity, and for manly, pious, and principled resistance to Claims which menace alike the Constitution and the Religion of England.

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THE Apocalypse is the great final prophecy of the Church of Christ, written by St. John, the last survivor of the Apostles, during his banishment in the Isle of Patmos, about the year of our Lord 97, in the time of the Emperor Domitian.

Its purpose was to prepare the Asiatic Churches for the impending persecution, which was to commence under the Emperor Trajan, and be continued until the acknowledgment of Christianity under the Emperor Constantine; and to detail to the universal Church the leading events of her future history down to the end of the world; showing that the true Faith should be either directly persecuted, or remain in a narrow and depressed state, during the whole human government of the earth; that it should, notwithstanding, be sustained; that its oppressors should be punished from time to time, until their final extinction by a consummate act of the Divine power and justice; and that the Church, the body of the faithful in all nations, should thenceforth enjoy a splendid and miraculous prosperity for a long, yet limited, period, closing with the general resurrection.

The Apocalypse is a collection of Divine visions, seen probably at different times, yet all during the Apostle's exile. It consists of six distinct portions:

The Vision of the Asiatic Persecution.*-The Vision of the Seals, or general view of Providence in the government of the Church and the World, beginning with the period of Constantine, and ending with the close of the final age of Mankind.t-The Vision of the Trumpets,-the Vision of the Vials,§ which two are identical, and describe the inflictions laid upon the persecutors of the Church, beginning from the establishment of the Inquisition, and closing with the final ruin of the Popedom in the triumph of Christianity.— The Vision of the Church,|| distinguished into the three æras of Pagan persecution, Papal persecution, and the catastrophe of her oppressors.-The Vision of the triumph of Christianity.T

It will be shown in the course of the Interpretation, that this prophecy includes in the most direct manner all those great events which make the frame-work of History since the first age of Christianity; that it distinctly predicts

The establishment of the Church under Constantine and his successors.

The overthrow of the Roman Empire.

The erection of the Barbarian Kingdoms on its ruin. The rise of the Popedom.

The establishment of the Inquisition.

The persecution of the first reformers.

The successive punishments laid on Italy, Spain, and France, as the three powers by which the Inquisition was let loose against Protestantism; namely, The papal factions, and French wars of the fourteenth century. The destruction of the Spanish Armada.The civil war following the overthrow of Protestantism in France in 1685. The wars of Louis the 14th.

The French Revolution; not narrowed into a few conjectural verses, as is usual; but detailed in an entire

Ch. iv. v. vi. vii.

Ch. viii. ix. x. xi.

*Ch. i. ii. iii.
§ Ch. xv. xvi. with the connected chapters xvii. xviii. xix.
Ch. xii. xiii. xiv.
Ch. xx, xxi. xxii.

and unsuspected Chapter, with its peculiar characters of Atheism, and Anarchy; its subsequent despotism, and its final overthrow by the armies of Europe.

The cessation of the Inquisition, and the simultaneous and extraordinary diffusion of the Scriptures.

The remainder of the prophecy is future, and of course beyond any exact interpretation. But it contains the most unquestionable predictions of events, to the magnitude and fierceness of whose havoc of the power, the institutions, and the lives of mankind all the past inflictions are trivial. It is fully predicted that there shall be a sudden revival of Atheism, superstition, and religious violence, acting upon the European nations until they are inflamed into universal war. All the elements of terror and ruin shall be roused; Protestantism persecuted; Popery, after a momentary triumph, utterly destroyed; in a general shock of kingdoms, consummated by some vast and palpable developement of the Divine Power, at once protecting the Church, and extinguishing, in remediless and boundless devastation, infidelity and idolatry.

Apparently for the express purpose of compelling us to believe in a catastrophe so repugnant to our natural impressions and the usual course of the world, this visitation is prophesied no less than four times;* each time with some added terror, and the last with the most overwhelming accumulation of the images of individual and national ruin. It takes successively the language of the prophets exulting over the fall of the great and opulent cities of the east, the broken sceptres, the spoiled wealth and burning palaces and temples of Tyre and Babylon; and of the still sterner denunciations over the crimes of Jerusalem; the images of wild and sudden invasion, and hopeless battle, the massacre, the conflagration, the final crush of polity,

* At the close of the Visions of the Seals, the Trumpets, the Vials, and the Church.

power and name. Even the agencies of nature are summoned to deepen the prediction; earthquakes and subterraneous fire, lightnings and ponderous and fatal hail. And in the midst of this chaos of bloodshed, fire and tempest, towers the form of the Avenger, flashing with terrible lustre; crowned and armed with the power and the wrath of Deity against a world that has for so many ages of long-suffering resisted his Spirit, worshipped idols, and enslaved and slain his people-God, a consuming fire!

It is further declared that this catastrophe is now approaching hour by hour; the French Revolution standing as the last great event before it; with but a brief intervening period, occupied by Providence in preparing and securing the Church; in spreading the Scriptures, and in giving a last opportunity to the unbeliever and the idolater to accept the truth of God.

The Apocalypse thus assumes the rank of not merely an elucidation of the Divine will in the past, nor an evidence of the general truth of Christianity, but of a WARNING, of the highest and most pressing nature, to all men, in the entire range of human society. It is not the mere abstract study of the theologian, nor the solitary contemplation of the man of piety. But a great document addressed to the mighty of the earth; Wisdom calling out trumpet-tongued to the leaders of national council; the descended Minister of Heaven, summoning for the last time the nations to awake to the peril already darkening over their heads, and cut themselves loose from those unscriptural and idolatrous faiths, with which they must otherwise go down; the Spirit of God, commanding the teachers and holders of the true faith to prepare themselves by the cultivation of their powers, by a vigilant purity, by a generous and hallowed courage, for that high service of God and man in which they may so soon be called on fo act, and perhaps to suffer; and proclaiming to all men alike the infinite urgency of redeeming the time

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