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Innocent men women,and children,snatched from their firesides without notice, have in this cruel manner, been mowed down in an hour, as grass before the scythe, to an incredible amount: and bythese dreadful measures, the people of France have been deterred from returning from a state of anarchy and misery, to their former subordination, order, and peace ; nay, compelled to unite in the support of her power.
Such then are the powers and policy which have been “ exercised by the church of Rome, " and such those which have been exercised “ by that republic before that church, and in “ its sight.” The analogy is stronger than one would think the nature of things would admit. Indeed, I could show as great a similitude between them in many other instances, but the fear of prolixity forbids it ; and surely enough has been said to prove, that the republic could not have conformed more exactly to the policy of the church of Rome, if she had made it the pattern of her wicked ambition, of which indeed, from all the circumstances, there is a strong probability; and that in this policy thus “ exercised” by the republic, the truth of this part of the text stands clearly fulfilled.
One word more, before I leave this mark of
the beast of the earth. He is to exercise the power of the first-mentioned beast before him, or “ in his sight*.” Now, when we say, an act was done “ before, or in the sight" of a man, it may imply, that it was done to his prejudice, and that he did not take any pains to prevent it: this was literally the case of the Pope. He saw the republic exercise the same fraudulent, coercive,and blasphemous measures which he had done before. He saw his wealth seized, his priests murdered or banished, and millions of his devotees converted to atheism, and lost to all faith in his infallibility and idolatry; and yet, to prevent these remarkable acts of injury to his power, he remained as it were an inactive, stupid spectator.
This conduct in the Papal church reminds me of the heathen maxim (for heathens who believe in God can be the authors of truth,) « Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat. “ To those who wantonly refuse the instruc- tions of his revealed word, and even presume " to blaspheme his holy name, God sends a
strong delusiont;" that is, he leaves them simply to their fallen, frantic nature, by righteously withholding from them his gracious mercies. Indeed it seems to have been the divine will, that the power of the church of Rome should be destroyed by the same kind of fraudulent policy and force, by which she had been established, and by which she had done so much mischief in the world ; and moreover,
* Ver. 14.
† 2 Thess. ii. 11.
that she should be made sensible of this rule of divine justice, “ Nec lex est justior ulla, quam “ necis artifices arte perire sua."
« Nor is " there a more perfect rule of justice than that “ he who contrives the means of destruction,
should perish himself by the same means or, to quote a higher authority, “ If any man “ will hurt them (oppose his divine will), he “ must, in the same manner, be killed* ;” " that he that leadeth into captivity shall go “ into captivity; and that he that killeth with “ the sword must be killed with the swordt.'
Ver. 12. (continued)." And causeth " the earth, and them that dwell therein, to
worship the first beast, whose deadly wound "was healed."
The prophet, having told us, that the republic should exercise all the fraudulent arts and powers of Papal Rome, points out in the same verse another remarkable feature of the former, which is, that she “ shall cause the earth (the “ French nation), and them that dwell therein “ (even the people of foreign nations residing
therein), to worship the beast, whose deadly “ wound was healed (or pagan and imperial Rome.) This beast, commentators are generally agreed, is a type of Rome in its pagan state; and in this sentiment I concur, although for different reasons. However, it only then
Chap, xi. 5.
† Chap. xij. 10.
remains to show, in what manner the French republic has caused the people of France, to worship and venerate the policy and customs of ancient Rome.
The profession of a high sense and veneration of human liberty, was singularly characteristic of the Roman republic. Liberty was her political god, by whose dictates she pretended to regulate her conduct. She held all other nations as barbarians, ignorant of their rights, and oppressed by tyrants. Her common pretexts for making war on them, were to relieve them from oppression, to civilize and give them liberty. And yet, with these fair professions in their mouths, the Roman leaders were in their hearts, a society of tyrants and robbers. Instead of conferring upon the conquered nations the promised civilization and liberty, their temples were robbed, their public treasures seized upon; and after being plundered of all that was valuable, and that plunder carried to Rome, heavy contributions and exactions were superadded; and ever after reduced to the Roman yoke, the oppressive governments of her generals and lieutenants, completed the scene of calamity.
Now, upon weighing the conduct of the French republic, we shall find, that she has trod in the very steps of pagan Rome. She set out with proclaiming to mankind the excellence of liberty, and the perfect equality of all men. She has declared that all men are " ignorant of their rights,” and therefore barbarians; that all
kings being tyrants, eternal hatred and vengeance should be sworn against them. She has announced her commission from “ Hea
ven, to reform the world, oppressed by the kings of the earth ;” and that she will give liberty to mankind, by fraternizing them into her plan of liberty and equality. Under this specious pretext, she has made war upon the nations of the four quarters of the world. But instead of giving to those she has conquered the promised liberty, and equality, and freedom from oppression, she has, in imitation of the policy of pagan Rome, robbed their churches, seized upon their public treasures, plundered the people of all that was valuable, laid them under the most distressing contributions, and carried her spoils to Paris. And although she has pretended to institute several independent republics, yet she has, in every instance, taken care to subject them to her own power, under a military despotism.
And it is not in her civil polity only that she has “ worshipped,” or imitated the customs of the Romans. She has paid particular respect to their religious rites. The Romans had their Dii majorum et minorum gentium. In the first class they placed Jupiter or Thunder, Juno or Riches, Minerva or Wisdom, &c. &c. : in the other, dead men, whom they had deified ; as Hercules, Faunus, Evander, Romulus, &c. &c. So the republic has constituted greater and lesser deities: of the first kind are Liberty, the Country, the Constitution, and Reason ; of the