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Jesus, the character of the religion of Muhammed is directly opposite to that of his degraded predecessor : humility and charity are no ingredients in the composition of a Musselman. A religion propagated by the sword, and a faith maintained by persecution, have the very front and bearing of a Satanic Spirit. “No wars which ever desolated the Christian world have caused half the bloodshed and woe, or been so strongly stamped with the character of implacable animosity, as have the political and religious controversies of the Muhammedan sectaries. The history of every age of the Hegira teems with details of horror, and the Turks and Persians, the representatives of two sets of opinions, have, in most ages, emulated each other in mutual detestation and hatred. They have agreed only in a principle of discord.” Mill's Muhammed. 2d edit. p. 374. The lust of the flesh, too tolerated here, and the sensual paradise held out as the reward hereafter, surely betray the true origin of Islamism. The character of Antichristianism, the religion of the Beast, is partly of the same character. The unnecessary maintenance by the civil power of a faith, of which a belief in the constant upholding of it by the founder himself forms a distinguished part, is an unnecessary aggravation of the breach of that command which forbids a Christian to take up the sword for its propagation. And when this civil power goes so far as to oppress those who cannot conscientiously subscribe to its dogmas, and excludes them from the common rights of fellow citizens, however its pretensions may be the support of Christianity, it is evidently the destroyer of it, and the deluded instrument of the angel of the abyss. For where there is persecution there is no charity : and where there is no charity, there is no Christianity. Our Lord certainly gave to the Apostles power to
exclude from the Church all turbulent and heretical members. This is a right which every constituted society possesses in itself. He gave them even greater authority : their sentences would be ratified by heaven. But to be members of a Christian Church can never be determined upon the mere accident of birth within its pale, or upon ceremonies imposed, when the subject of them is incapable of assent: and there is a great difference between being the judge and the executioner. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay: Christians could but little imitate their Father which is in heaven, who maketh his Sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust, if they were to add to their verdicts any thing more than a negative infliction on the offender, by treating him as an heathen man and a publican, i.e. by avoiding him, and that only in cases of the strongest necessity. Matth. xviii. 15—18. It is very evident from the comparison of v. 17 of Matth. xvii. with v. 18, that the positive execution of the sentence of the Ghurch was to be left entirely to our Lord. Thus St. Paul delivers over the incestuous person to Satan, and our Lord visits him with some personal affliction. 1 Cor. v. To deprive of civil rights, therefore, to confiscate, banish, imprison, mutilate, gibbet, burn, massacre, dragocnade, and torture on the rack, on account of religion, are not of the Father but of the world, and the world of the angel of the abyss. The grand error of Antichrist is, that the same law which makes a man a member of civil society, the accident of birth, makes him also a member of his Church: he counts the religion of his subjects as among the things which belong unto Cæsar; he consequently taxes even those to support a system who consider it to be no better than an abomination. The Apostles and primitive Christians never put in force this means of obtaining a livelihood, the exacting tribute indifferently of believers or unbelievers—it was quite otherwise : for in the first three hundred years of Christianity, before the Church took its flight to the wilderness, she was well supported from the liberality of the converts, and her sole dependence upon the Lord, Him who is faithful and true, we are assured was the cause of a much more plentiful supply and equitable distribution of common funds, which, forsooth, were then not unseemly gotten, than happens when she was dependant upon the state. Bingham Ch. Antiq. B. v. Ch. iv. Sect. 15; Ch. vi. Sec. 1. Our holy religion is propagated by persuasion and the foolishness of preaching, and they are only proper members of the Church bound to support it, who are so by conviction, and acknowledge its authority. Any other means used to extend Christianity than persuasion, or gain supporters, than their own consent, as by fraud, force, corruption, extortion, or oppression, is not of the Father but of the world; and the world is the abyss, and the Beast rises out of it.
ADULTERY.--Idolatry mixed with the worship of the true God. Rev. ii. 22.
AIR.--The whole world. Satan is the prince of the air-he is the prince of this world.-Rev. ix. 2. The air was darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. The extensive conquests of the Saracens over the world. xvi. 17. Compare Ep. ii. 2. John, xii. 31.
ALTAR.-The altar, i.e. of incense, put for the sanctuary in which it stood. The Christian Church on earth. To understand this, we must have some idea of the temple of the Jews. You first entered the outer court, or court of the Gentiles. Within the court of the Gentiles stood the court of the Israelites divided into two parts or courts, the outer one being appropriated to the women, and the inner one to the men. Within the court of the Israelites was that of the priests, in which stood the altar of burnt offerings. From this court you ascended to the temple, strictly so called, which was divided into three parts, the portico, the outer Sanctuary, and the holy place. In the sanctuary, or holy place, called also the first tabernacle, stood the altar of incense overlaid with gold, the table of shew-bread, consisting of twelve loaves, and the great candlestick of pure gold containing seven branches : none of the people were allowed to go into the holy place, but only the priests. The holy of holies, called also the second tabernacle, into which none went but the high priest, contained in it the ark, called the ark of the testimony (Exod. xxv. 22.) or the ark of the covenant (Josh, iv.7.) Such was the temple of the Jews. But the Christian temple consists only of the holy of holies, called the temple in particular, or the temple which is in heaven Rev. iii. 12; vii. 15; xi. 1, 19; xiv. 17; xv. 5, 6, 8; xvj. 1, 17; xxi. 22; and the Sanctuary in which the altar of incense stood, called the altar, Rev. vi. 9; viii. 3; ix. 13; xiv. 18; the holy of holies or temple, typifying the abode of the objects of the adoration of the Church, whether God or Antichrist, and the sanctuary or altar the Church itself on earth. But the meaning of temple is not always restricted to one part of it, but sometimes means the altar as xiv. 15, and sometimes includes it, as xi. 2. In the Christian sanctuary the seven independent candlesticks stood instead of the seven branched one candlestick;'and to it there is only one
outer court, that in which the Gentiles tread, who are all nominal Christians, who do not worship in spirit and in truth. When St. John was commanded to measure the temple and altar, the temple was occupied by the Beast of the Abyss, and the Earth Beast, and the church was divided into two candlesticks, the Eastern and Western, There is no altar of burnt offerings, that being done away with by the death of Christ. Heb. x. 10% 12. The souls underneath, imoxarw the altar, will represent the souls in Hades, the intermediate state of the good. See TEMPLE, TABERNACLE, HADES.
2. Horns of the Altar. The four quarters of the Church. Horns were placed at the four corners of the altar. Compare Exod. xxvii. 2. with xxx. 2.-Rev. ix. 13. And I heard one (Gr.) voice from the four horns of the golden altar. That is, there was one mind in all quarters of the Church, with respect to the capture of Constantinople by the Turks. “To oppose this mighty armament (300,000 men) the emperor (of Constantinople) had only a garrison of six thousand Greeks, and three thousand Venetians and Genoese, and a few gallies and ships of war! He was left alone to maintain the unequal contest by the listlessness and apathy of the powers of Christendom; the western States of France, Spain, and England, were involved in their endless' wars and domestic quarrels; the Pope, Nicholas V., was provoked by the falsehood and the obstinacy with which the union of the Greek and Latin Churches was often fallaciously agreed to by the Greek Emperors, in their distress, or broken in their respite*; and when he was roused by
* “The Latins were detested as heretics and infidels, and the Great Duke was heard to declare, that he had rather behold in Constantinople the turban of Mahomet than the Pope's tiara, or a Cardinals hat!”