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sun for his emblem, and this for his motto, Nec pluribus impar, he may at length, or rather his successors, and the Monarchy Itself (at least before the year 1794) be forced to acknowlege, that in respect to neighboring potentates) he is even singulis impar. But as to the expiration of this vial, I do fear it will not be until the year 1794. The reason of which conjecture is this ; that I find the pope got a new foundation of exaltation, when Justinian, upon his conquest of Italy, left it in a great measure to the pope's management, being willing to eclipse his own authority, to advance that of this haughty prelate. Now this being in the year 552 ; this, by the addition of the 1260 years, reaches down to the year 1811; which, according to prophetical account, is the year 1794.'
After declaring that the sun of the papal kingdom would for a time be suffered to run his dreadful career, he adds, • But if they enquire farther, whether the sun of the popish kingdom is not to be eclipsed himself at length? I must positively assert he will; else this vial were not a judgment upon him and the Romish party. But if yet again the question be, when this is to fall out and how? I must tell you, that I have nothing farther to add to what I have said, as to the time. But as to the manner, how this is to be done, our text does lay a foundation of some more distinct thoughts. Therefore, in the 4th and last place, we may justly suppose, that the FRENCH MONARCHY, after it has scorched others, will itsELF CONSUME by doing so; its fire, and that which is the fuel that maintains it, wasting insensibly, till it be exhausted at last towards the end of this century *.'
That such passages as these should ever have been conceived to foreteli rüin to the people of France, and success to the combination of crowned heads against them, seems not a little surprising. Every person, who has flattered himself with the idea, that our learned divine had predicted the downfal of this great nation before the year 1794,
4 P. 65, 68, 74.
has widely mistaken the hope and the expectation of an author, with whose political sentiments he discovers himself to be altogether unacquainted.
The Character of the man, the general Design of his discourse, and the plain Import of the words themselves, forbid alike such a supposition.
To the principles of toryism and tyranny Mr. Fleming shewed himself a strenuous opponent. Among the works”, of which he was the author, is a Discourse on the Death of King Willjam, printed only the year after that which he published on the Apocalypse. Aware that he was likely to be attacked for the extent to which he had carried his love of freedom, he says, in the preface to the former of these Discourses, “If any shall quarrel with me for what I have cursorily suggested in behalf of the liberty of mankind; I shall not think it worth my while to take notice of them, A little farther he recommends, that the advocates of oppresion and slavish obedience should be transported to Turkey, that they might learn their doctrine in its highest çlevation from the sultan and the mufti. Or, if that journey be too long, that they may step over only to France, and behold what the state of mankind is there. Speaking of king William, he says, Nor was he ever so mad as to dream, that king's, popes, prelates, or lords, were sent down, as it were from the clouds, booted and spurred to ride and tyrannizė over their inferiors; as if other men were a lower sort of animals, made for them to use as they please?
5 of these, his Christology, in 3 volumes 8vo, was the most considerable in point of size.
6 P. 129. To evince yet farther the ardor of Mr. Fleming's zeal for the interests of civil liberty, I shall transcribe, on a subject which is in itself interesting, some passages from his work, entitled, the Hist. of Hereditary Right; wherein its indefeasibleness, and all other such late doctrines concerning the absolute power of princes, and the unlimited obedience of subjects, are fully and finally determined. By this zeal our orthodox divine was excited to censure the patriarch Joseph in the severest terms.
It must indeed be confessed, that the son of Jacob, amiable as was his character in the younger part of life, appears to have been afterwards cormpted by his song intercourse with a court. We learn in the xli, and
Had Mr. Fleming, instead of being an opposer, been a propagator, of the Turkish doctrine of non-resistance; had he taught that the happiness of the many ought to be sacrificed to the interest or the prejudices of the privileged ranks; there might have been some, color of probability for the meaning annexed to his words; it would have been no
xlviii chapters of Genesis, that after obtaining possession of the corn which grew upon the estates of the people of Egypt, he took advantage of a dreadful famine which ensued; and obliged them, in exchange for food, to deliver into the hands of Pharaoh the greater part of their property: their money, their horses, and their cattle. But this did not satisfy his ambition and that of the monarch. We find the famished Egyptians at length reduced to such extremities, that they exclaim unto Joseph, Wherefore shall we die. —Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh, i. e. as bishop Patrick explains it, “We, that were free, will become the king's bond-men; and our land, which was our own, we will hold of him.' And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prepailed over them : so the land became Pharaoh's. And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof. Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion dssigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them.And Foseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part, i. e. of the produce of all the estates ; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's. Joseph' was afraid,' says Mr. Fleming, that the Egyptians might regain their liberty, and avenge themselves on him, or his posterity. Therefore he resolves to make sure work of it; and breaks them off from all their settlements, dwellings. relations, possessions, interests, and acquaintances. So that this was, in effect, a pattern for transportation and captivities, which tyrants copied after in following ages.-) am bold to say, that Joseph acted a barbarous and inhuman part, in enslaving a free people.' The people of Egypt, he made all equally slaves, excepting the priests only, whom he cunningly made an exception, that he might by them strengthen himself, against the rest of the people, well knowing their influence both on the prince and com. monalty, and that they were the proper tools of arbitrary power and passive obedience. I cannot but look on Joseph to have acted a very wicked part in this procedure.' P. 64, &c. When the Israelites afterwards desired a king, 'God,' says Mr. Fleming, 'from a tender regard for the liberty and property of a poor infatuated people, labors to deter them from their proposal, by setting before them the miseries that kings would bring upon them, by aspiring after arbitrary authority and unlimited power, and by tyrannising over them. This God does emphatically and roundly tell them of, by the mouth of Samuel 1 Sam. viii. 10, 11, &c.' P. 79.
longer incredible, that he purposed to foretell almost the extirpation of a great people. But far was his character from harmonizing with such an interpretation of his words and his expectations. Conversant in a wide range of lite rary enquiry, furnished with a mind discerning and comprehensive, animated with a warm zeal for the freedom of mankind, educated in the republic of Holland, exasperated by the conduct of the royal party in Scotland, by whom his father had been persecuted and imprisoned, and having witnessed a few years since an important political revolution in England; is it greatly to be wondered, if such a man carried his views of government, and his expectations of change in the state of human affairs, to a much greater extent than the generality of his contemporaries?
It here deserves to be mentioned, that Mr. Fleming, in the preface of his Discourse on the Death of K. William; has actually cited the opinion of a great French statesman, as worthy of peculiar attention, in the close of which opi. nion he expressed the probability of a foundation being laid in France for a new revolution, which perhaps might be • more universal and more dangerous to the Catholic interest than the Protestant reformation.
The design of Mr. Fleming's Discourse, which with its postscript is extended almost to the length of 180 pages, is to trace the rise and fall of the Papacy. When it was his favorite object to prove the certainty of the latter event, an event from which he never suffers his eye long to be withdrawn ; surely it cannot be supposed, that he had employed himself in laboring to prove the future establishment of that despotism, which instinctively attempts to strengthen itself by the aid of ecclesiastical authority, and which, in France, would assuredly be åttended by the restoration of Popery.
But neither the character of Mr. Fleming, nor the general tenor of his discourse, affords so decisive a proof of the meaning which he intended to convey, as the words which he has selected. Of his interpreters some, however, appear not so much to have attended to these, as to their own wishes on the subject.
When the author of the Discourse on the Rise and Fall of the Papacy taught; without hesitation, that the fourth vial was a clear prophecy of considerable events, which would be injurious to the Roman Catholic religion, and when he apprehended that about the year 1794 this vial would have received its full accomplishment; he can never be supposed to give countenance to the idea, that such Catholic princes as those of Austria, of Sardinia, and of Spain, would about that time succeed against a country, which has emancipated itself from papal influence and episcopal exaction; he can never be suspected of encouraging the expectation, that the year 1794 would be distinguished by the triumphant return of the clerical orders, by the restitution of their immense revenues, and the compulsory enforcement of their unscrip: tural dogmata?.
When, in language direct and unambiguous, he declares that the pouring out of the fourth vial is directed against some eminent potentates, who support the Papal cause, and that it must be principally understood of the humiliation of the houses of Austria and Bourbon; I cannot conceive, by what unheard of rules of interpretation such expressions as these can be conceived to foretell the successful efforts of the princes of Bourbon and Austria; efforts which would doubtless be attended by the triumph of Popery), to increase the
7 If authority is wanted for what is asserted in the places referred to above, the following is as complete as the nature of the case will admit Monsieur, in his public declaration as Regent of France (published at Ham in Westphalia, Jan. 28, 1793) after mentioning the powerful aid to be afforded by the allied sovereigns, and their resolution to re-establish the ancient government of France, says, “ We will likewise exert ourse!ves in the restoration of the religion of our forefathers to its original purity, according to the canonical discipline of the church. We also promise to reinstate all and every description of persons in the full enjoyment of their property, now usurped; and in the free exercise of their lawful rights, of which they have been illegally deprived. In order to enforce the law, wc shall punish crimes with severity, and in an exemplary manner.' If the fugitive princes, at a time when they were dispirited by misfortune, and cheered by only a feeble hope of success, did, notwithstanding, hold a language thus haughty and peremptory, thus bold and explicit, to what a height might they not have been expected to have carried their persecution