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ferent commentators. These ten kingdoms were of one mind, and gave their power and authority unto the beast : they agreed with him in supporting that idolatrous and persecuting church which is represented as the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. While the beast, caparisoned in scarlet, should carry the great whore through all her filthy and bloody courses, the powers represented by the ten horns would be with him, assisting him in his work, and lending their authority and strength to enforce his measures.--" These shall inake war with “ the Lamb:” the beast and the ten powers denoted by his horns should set themselves against Christ, to oppose his doctrines, institutions, cause, interest, and people, by violent persecutions and by the power of the sword. In this way have all popish states opposed the progress of pure Christianity; and thus they have made war with the Lamb. Their proceedings, in respect to religion, have been evidently antichristian. All the cruel edicts, which the governments that have supported Popery have made against what they call heresy and heretics, and all the bloody executions of these edicts, have been so many direct acts of hostility against Jesus Christ and his kingdom. But the Lamb shall overcome them. They may ask, “Who is like unto the beast, and “ who is able to make war with him?" But the Lamb is possessed of a power infinitely superior to that of the beast and all his adherents; and, therefore, he must prevail. Some of his enemies he will subdue by his grace, and conquer by the sword of his Spirit, which is the word of God; and others, who persist in their hostility, he will crush with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. The angel assigns two reasons why the Lamb shall overcome these powers that make war upon him. First, because he is “ Lord of lords, and King of “ kings.” He is the omnipotent God; and, therefore, no power can cope with his. His throne is in the heavens, and his footstool upon earth, and his kingdom ruleth over all. He raises up one king, and puts down another. Whoever, therefore, opposes him or his church must ultimately be conquered. He stills the tumults of the people, makes the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of it he restrains. The second reason is, because “ they that “ are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful;" and, therefore, they can no more be conquered than their great Captain under whose banner they fight. Hence, they must overcome; and should they even be killed by their enemies, they will nevertheless conquer in dying. He that shall lose his life for my sake, says the Lord Jesus, shall save it. Those who are with him are called: they have not only heard his call by his word, but they have been obedient to the heavenly vocation. They are chosen : they are those whom God has from the beginning “ chosen “ to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, “ and belief of the truth.” They are faithful; in consequence of their election of God and their effectual calling, they are faithful to the cause of Christ, and to their own profession and engagements. Hence they are as incapable of being conquered, as that Almighty Saviour is, under whose banner they fight. Neither advantages nor trials can shake their fidelity. No motive to apostacy can be proposed to their mind so strong as to subdue their attachment to their Lord and Master, or to diminish their sense of duty to him and his cause. No power can be opposed to them equal to that Omnipotent power which upholds and supports them in their « good “ fight of faith.” Hence, true believers are invincible; and being faithful unto death, they at length receive from the hands of their Lord the crown of life.
15. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
In the former part of this chapter, the whore is represented, like ancient Babylon, sitting upon many waters; and these waters are here said to signify peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. So many words, says Bishop Newton, in the plural number, fitly denote the great extensiveness of the power and jurisdiction of the popish church. She glories in the title of the Catholic church, and exults in the number of her votaries, as a certain proof of the true religion. Cardinal Bellarmin's first note of the true church, in his estimation, is the very name of the Catholic church: and his fourth note is, amplitude or multitude and variety of believers; for the truly Catholic church, says he, ought not only to comprehend all ages, but likewise all places, all nations, all kinds of men. But notwithstanding the general current in favour of this MOTHER OF HARLOTS, the tide is destined at length to turn against her; and then the hands which helped to raise her up shall also pull her down. “ The ten horns which “ thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the “whore:” that is, by a common figure of the whole for a part, some of the ten kings shall hate her; for others shall bewail and lament for her, and shall fight and perish in her cause. Some of those powers who have supported the harlot, shall have their hearts so turned that they shall become the instruments of her destruction. The hierarchy of Popery will become as odious in the eyes of some of the kings that formerly loved her, as a wrinkled prostitute is in the eyes of her paramours. The antichristian church, therefore, is doomed to fall by the nations that upheld and supported her. But in what manner and way this ruin will be accomplished, time and future events must determine. Before her final destruction, however, she will probably again prevail against the witnesses of Christ in the western empire; but this will be her last victory, and then the great day of her retribution will speedily come. Those who have supported her shall then hate her, " and “ shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat “ her flesh, and burn her with fire.” It appears from this strong and tremendous language, that her destruction will be effected by violence. Probably, therefore, it will not be accomplished by the seces-. sion of religious people from her communion; nor is it conceivable that religious Protestants will ever use the violence referred to in the text. Perhaps infidelity may be the principal instrument made use of to overturn and destroy the antichristian church; but time alone must develope the circumstances of the predicted accomplishment of the terrible and final overthrow of Popery.
The angel assigns a reason to the Apostle, in the seventeenth verse, why the ten kingdoms should give their strength to the beast for the support of papal Rome, the harlot who sat on the beast, and then should afterwards be employed as instruments in destroying her. “ God had put it into their hearts to “ fulfil his will :" their conduct, therefore, was subordinate to the appointment of Heaven. The Omniscient, who sees the end from the beginning, who governs the world, and who has wise ends in all he does and all he permits, was pleased to suffer the Romish apostacy to take place, and so to overrule it, that the governments of Europe should for a time unite in supporting it. But though he permitted this antichristian church to be thus supported, it was to be only for a time. When the purposes and prophecies of the righteous Governor of the world are fulfilled, those kingdoms, which had been the supporters of the Papacy, will, with a willing mind, act as the
executioners of the sentence of God against this apostate church, and will “ make her desolate and “naked, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire."
18. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
That no doubt might be left as to what was signified by the woman, she is called that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth. This city was, therefore, exercising her dominion over the kings and kingdoms of the earth, at the very time when the Apostle saw this vision; it is, therefore, evident, that Rome is the city intended. This language, therefore, is merely a key to shew what the city actually was. It must, however, be remembered, that the city is described in this prophetic vision in the state in which she would exist many centuries afterwards. It is necessary also to observe, that Rome here described as an harlot, is not Rome as an empire, either pagan or Christian. It is plain, therefore, that the harlot is intended to represent Rome as an ecclesiastical empire, or an antichristian hierarchy. The great city then, typified by the woman which the Apostle saw, can be nothing but Rome papal. It cannot be Rome pagan; for that has never existed in the period to which the predictions evidently refer. It may also be remarked, that a pagan empire or state is never represented by the symbol of a harlot, or an adulteress. These emblems are invariably applied to a church, once pure, but afterwards become apostate or idolatrous. In fact, the woman cannot possibly be the Roman empire under any form; for if this should be admitted, the scarlet beast, and the whore who sat on the beast, would mean one and the same thing. But the inadmissibility and absurdity of such an hypothesis as this, would immediately appear to every person endued with common sense. If, then, the city typified by the whore mean Rome, as is universally admitted ; and if it cannot be pagan