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end, because it is yet for a time appointed : and we see; even at this day, not to alledge other instances, how the poor protestants are persecuted, plundered, and murdered, in the southern parts of France."*
The only manner, in which prophecy can be satisfactorily explained is by strictly adhering to its plain unvarnished declarations. It is observable, that in this verse the true Church is represented as being again in a state of persecution, similar to that which she had before en. dured from the fury of Paganism. As, in the first persecution, they, that understood, were to instruct many ; and, in consequence of their zeal, to fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil : so, in this second persecution, some of the men of understanding are, in a similar manner, to perish in attempting to bring about a reformation in the now: degenerate Christian world. Hence it is evident, that the men of understanding must, in both cases, be men of the same principles ; that is, men professing and acting up to the pure truths of the Gospel, in contradistinction to the heathens in the former instance, and to corrupt Christianst in the latter , 'instance. Such being the plain import of the prophecy, that part of it, which is contained in the thirty-fifth verse, certainly can have no relation to the quarrels of the Consubstantialists and the Arians. The passage in question describes, not the variously successful and unsuccessful struggles of two rival parties ; but the persecution of men, similar to the first martyrs of the Church, on account of their desire to purify their degenerate brethren. We must look therefore for the accomplishment of the prediction in an age long posterior to that of the Consubstantialists and the Arians.
In our inquiries for this age of persecution we shall be greatly assisted by attending to the very accurate language of the prophet. He tells us, that these men of understanding shall continue in a persecuted state to the time of the end ; because their trials are yet unto the time appointed. But the time of the end commences at the
* Bp. Newton's Dissert. XVII. of These corrupt Christians are styled Gentiles by St. John on account of their having relapsed into the old abominations of Gentile idolatry. Rev. xi. 2.
termination of the 1260 years : therefore the persecution of the second mentioned men of understanding is to contipue to the end of the 1260 years. Hence it is manifest, that this persecution is the same as that which was to take place during the reign of the papal horn, represented by St. John under the images of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and the flight of the woman into the wilderness. Daniel bowever, I conceive, meant specially to point out a particular period in the course of the 1260 years; a period, which should bear a more striking and definite resemblance to the period of heathen persecution, than any other part of the reign of the horn. These second men of understanding are described by the prophet, as pot content with secretly holding their opinions, and assembling their congregations, in the deep recesses of mountains and forests : but as boldly and openly coming forward, like the first men of understanding ; as labouring to propagute their tenets; and as attempting to purge, reform, and make white, a corrupt and degenerate Church, Such a description agrees only with the glorious era of the reformation. The unfortunate and much injured Waldenses, * cooped up in the mountainous regions of
* The Abbè Barruel, in the true spirit of a determined Papist, has endeavoured to fix the imputation of Manicheism upon the Waldenses ; as if, even granting that he had been successful, such a charge would warrant the diabolical cruelties of his corrupt church. Grossly however as these victims of persecution have been mis represented and vilified by the adherents of popery, there are not wanting testimonies in their favour borne even by papists themselves. Bp. Newton cites three of these witnesses, whom, as he justly observes, “ both sides must allow to be unexceptionable, Reinerius, Thuanus, and Mezeray." The testimony of the last-mentioned author is short, but immediately to the purpose. « They had almost the same opinions," says he, “as those who are now called Calvinists." Their real crime is with much simplicity declared by Reinerius, who flourished about the year 1254, and who has the additional recommendation of being at once a Dominican and an Inquisitor general. “They live justly before men," says he,“ and believe all things rightly concerning God, and all the articles which are contained in the creed : only" (- hic niger est, hunc tu, Romane, caveto,) « only they blaspheme the church of Rome, and the clergy, in whom the multitude of the laity readily place an implicit confidence." (See Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xi.) Whether the modern Abbe Barruel, or the ancient Inquisitor general Reinerius, be the most deserving of credit, the candid reader must determine for himself. “As there was a variety of names," says Bp. Newton," so there might be some diversity of opinions of them ; but that they were not guilty of Manicheism and other abominable heresies, which have been charged upon them, is certain and evident from all the remains of their creeds, confessions, and writings.” The Albigenses are frequently considered as a branch of the Waldenses; but, according to Mosheim, they were an entirely different people. Of the pięty of the Waldenses he speaks in very high terms: and even the Albi. genses he exculpates from the charge of Manicheism; and seems to think, that their
France and Italy, existed indeed like leaven in a mass of bread-corn ;* but are little known except by their patient suffering for the cross of Christ, and by the relent. less bigotry of their blood-thirsty persecutors : while the martyrs of the reformation " have filled the whole world with their doctrine,” and have raised an edifice against which the agents of Popery have vainly exerted all their powers. The second persecution then of the men of understanding must be referred in a peculiar, I had almost said exclusive, manner to the reformation of the sixteenth century. That it has such a reference in part at least, Bp. Newton himself allows : but, as if conscious that such an acknowledgment would chronologically invalidate his proposed interpretation of the prophecy respecting the king who was to exalt himself above every god, he cautiously adds, " the principal source of these persecutions is traced out in the following verses.” Now, upon examining these following verses, we shall not find that they afford us any warrant to suppose, that the king was to be at all concerned in persecuting the men of understanding. In the whole account, which the prophet gives of his character, t not a single hint is dropped, that, like the little papal horn, he should wear out the saints of the Most High. At the beginning of his reign at least, all his exploits are of an entirely different nature, and directed to an entirely different end. They are exploits purely atheistical : for the object of his rancorous aversion, the God of gods, is alike venerated by the adherents and the opponents of the Papacy, by the persecutors and the per. secuted. Toward the end of his reign indeed, it appears, that he will league himself with the false prophet or the Papacy ; that they will jointly engage in a bloody war of extirmination under the pretext of religion ; and that the power of both will be finally broken in Palestine between the two seas. * But, whether this religious war will be undertaken against the Protestunts or the Jews or both, it is as yet future ; and will not even commence, as Daniel carefully informs us, till the time of the end, or till the termination of the 1260 days. Hence it certainly can have no connection with the persecutions of the Papacy properly so called : for the papal little horn was to wear out the saints of the Most High until a time and times and half a time, and the faithful witnesses of Christ were to prophesy in sackcloth during the whole term of the 1260 days; whereas the religious extirminating war of this king, against whomsover it may be directed, is not so much as to begin till the very end of that term. The men of understanding, or the witnesses, are to be in an afflicted state till the time of the end ; consequently their appointed period of persecution is before the time of the end, and ceases at the time of the end. At this very time of the end however the religious war of the king will be first undertaken : that is to say, the war will commence, when the persecution of the witnesses shall cease. Such being the case, the war of the king, if undertaken against the witnesses, must prove unsuccessful: and accordingly Daniel specially informs us, that it will prove unsuccessful. From this view of the subject we have a right to conclude, that the sufferings of the men of understanding are no way connected with the impious tyranny of the king. Whence it will of course follow, since all Daniel's prophecies are strictly chronological, and since the second persecution of the men of understanding pecu. liarly relates to the sufferings of the protestant reformers, that we are to look for the rise of this king not before, but after, the era of the Reformation : and therefore that this king, whoever he may be, cannot possibly be either the Roman emperor, the Pope, or the impostor Mohammed; but must be some other power perfectly distinct from them all.
opinions were more nearly allied to a mystical sort of fanaticism, than to heresy. " When we examine matters attentively,” says he,“ we find that even their enemies acknowledged the sincerity of their piety; that they were blackened by accusations, which were evidently false ; and that the opinions, for which they were punished, differ widely from the Manichèan system.” See Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. Vol. 11. p. 580, 581, 582---Vol. 111. p. 120-127. See also Mede's Works, B. III. Revel. Antichris. p. 722, and Lowman's Paraph. p. 152–156. * Matt, xiii. 33.
* See Dan. xi. 96-99.
To state the whole argument more briefly; the events succeed each other in the following order. In the 31st verse of the 11th chapter, Daniel predicts the desolation
* Concerning this religious war more will be said hereafter.
of Jerusalem by the Romans : in the 32d and 33d verses, the persecutions of the primitive Christians : in the 34th verse, the conversion of the Empire under Constantine ::, and, in the 35th verse, the papal persecutions of the witnesses, more especially that which took place at the era of the Reformation.* After having thus brought us down to the 16th century, he next proceeds to describe the character of some power, which he represents as a monster of wickedness and impiety. It is manifest therefore from the preceding order of events, that this power, whatever state may be intended by it, must be expected to spring up at some indefinite period after the Reformation, although before the time of the end it and consequently, that all states, which arose previous to the Reformation, are by that very circumstance excluded from having any connection with the power in question.
Perhaps however it may be said, that there must be a fallacy in the objections which I have urged, and that they certainly cannot be solid however plausible they may appear, because one part of the king's character, his disregard of the desire of women, so decidedly proves him to be that complex power, which neglected and discouraged marriage both in the East and in the West, which at first prohibited only the second marriages of the clergy, but in time absolutely restrained them from marrying at all, that it is a vain labour to seek for any power that has arisen after the Reformation, to which such a description can be in the least degree applicable. “ This,” says Bp. Newton, “ was evidently not regarding the desire of wives, or conjugal affection-So
* The 32, 33, 34th, and 35th, verses describe three successive periods of the Church, which exactly coincide with the three periods of the life of the Roman beast after the promulgation of Christianity, bis death, and his revival. The 32d and 33d verses describe the first period; which reaches from the days of the Apostles to the time of Constantine. The 34th describes the second period; during which the beast lay dead, and which reaches from the time of Constantine to the commencement of the 1260 years. The 35th describes the third period; at the commencement of which the beast revived by relapsing into his former state of persecuting idolatry, and which reaches from the beginning of the 1260 years to the time of the end, comprehending the ni bole of the 1260 years, although in treating of it the prophet peculiarly describes its most remarkable era, that of the Reformation. We are plainly taught however that it is to extend to the time of the end, or the very time when the expedition of the wilful king commences. Comp, Dan, xi. 35, 40.
+ See Dan. xi. 35, 40. VOL. 1.