« السابقةمتابعة »
recent invention of printing at the Reformation, men are called off from the idolatries of the church of Rome to serve the true God, who now begins to inflict his judgment upon the Papacy for its abuses. A.D. 1518— 1843.
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of
heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every
nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. in Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give
glory to him ; for the hour of his judgment is come : and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church.
By the Reformation, a great part of Europe revolt from the Pope and the Romish church, and embrace either the doctrines of Luther, or those of Zuingle and Calvin. The half of Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Prussia, Livonia, adopt the confession of Augsburg, while England, Scotland, the United Provinces, and the principal part of Switzerland, declare themselves in favour of the opinions of Zuingle and Calvin. The Reformation makes likewise great progress in France, Hungary, Transylvania, Bohemia, Silesia, and Poland. A.D. 1518-1843.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Baby
lon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
The Iniquity of the Interference of the Civil Power
in Religious Matters.
The pious horror, with which the Reformers revolted from their religious obedience to the decemvirate of the French successors of the Cæsars of the Romans, and to that of the German Cæsars of the Romans, and principally the fiery zeal, displayed by the stern Calvin and the PuriTANS in not suffering the civil magistrates of the two Empires to have any more concern in the church than to defend and protect it, and provide for what related to its external exigencies and concerns, are here depicted and approved by a voice from heaven, as according to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; and they who die for this faith, are declared from henceforth blessed. A.D. 1518-1843.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with
a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and
his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, 10 or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine
of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation ; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the
presence of the holy angels, and in the presence 11 of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment
ascendeth up for ever and ever : and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image,* and whosoever receiveth the mark of
* By the famous act 26 Henry VIII. c. 1. “ The king, his heirs and successors, shall be taken and reputed the only Supreme Head
12 his name. Here is the patience of the saints ;
here are they that keep the commandments of
in earth, of the Church of England. And shall have full power, from time to time, to visit, reform, correct, and amend, all such errors, heresies, and enormities whatsoever they be; which by any manner or spiritual authority or jurisdiction are or lawfully may be reformed, ordered, corrected, or amended.” This was levelled against the supremacy of the Pope; but the sentence of our Lord above affects the Pope only accidentally: it is levelled directly against all civil power, whether Papist or Protestant, which interferes in the church; for the image, as has been generally supposed, does not symbolize the Pope, but the German Emperors. Nevertheless this sentence of our Lord's does not forbid the magistrate from affording protection to the different sects of Christians in the same manner as he does to civil corporations, which are governed by their own bye-laws, (so far as they are not opposite to common law,) without a visitor. As the matter now stands, the difference between civil and ecclesiastical corporations, seems to be this : in a civil corporation they only are bound by its acts and support it, who belong to it, whereas in an ecclesiastical corporation, every body is bound to abide by its laws and support it, who does not belong to it, which is only so much tyranny. Thus, in this country, a man may be imprisoned for six months by a sentence of excommunication from the ecclesiastical court; and he is bound to support a sect which he does not belong to. The saints are hardly yet fit to take the kingdom. The sentence therefore of our Lord above lays the axe to the root of the trees at once, showing that neither Catholics nor Protestants ought to have the disputed power or “flesh :" and, to us,
it seems for a very good reason, because that, on that score alone, they can comfortably enjoy equal civil rights. But the establishment compass sea and land with Bibles, and neglect the weightier matters of the law, public justice. Calvin, speaking concerning the power which we give unto civil magistrates, protesteth,“ that their power over all things was it, which had ever wounded him deeply: that unadvised persons had made them too spiritual, that throughout Germany this fault did reign; that in those very parts where Calvin himself was, it prevailed more than was to be wished; that rulers, by imagining themselves so spiritual, have taken away ecclesiastical government; that they think they cannot reign unless they abolish all the authority of the church, and be themselves the chief judges, as
13 God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice
from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow with them.
The Gathering of the Saints out of the World.
By the Reformation, our blessed Lord is called upon to gather his servants out of the world through their fiery trial, till the last persecution of the witnesses at the battle of Armageddon, when the mystery of God is finished, and the fulness of the Gentiles is come in.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and
upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man,
having on his head a golden crown, and in his 15 hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came
out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle
and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap : 16 for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he
that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
well in doctrine as in the whole spiritual agency,” i.e. in other words, as well in settling the faith by Act of Parliament, as in scattering among the ecclesiastics the spoil and the prey, according to their Whig or Tory principles. See Hooker, Eccl. Pol. B. VIII.
The Punishment of the Roman Church.
Now that the iniquity of the Roman churches has come to the full by the last persecution of the saints, they in turn are visited with a most awful and signal overthrow.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which
is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which
had power over fire: and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of
the vine of the earth ; for her grapes are fully 19 ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the
earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and
cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath 20 of God. And the wine-press was trodden with
out the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse-bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.