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power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters, to turn them to blood, and to smile the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. What the prophets of God are commissioned to de!!ounce, they are said to do. Jer, i. 10. What is here affirmed, has never been literally fulfilled, nor is it likely that it ever will. There is some similarity be
nuate. But, let many of the first revolutionists in France have been even worse than we think, still I believe that a great number of them were men of eminent worth; but should none of them be thought worthy to be reckoned among the successors of the witnesses who ascend to the political heaven of authority-though I can discover no reason wliy they should not yet I firmly believe that politicul life was cominuiisa cated to the witnesses in that country by the laws of the Constituent Assembly, when the rights of conscience and of men were solemnly acknowledged, and the cause of the inatyrs of the edict of Nants was rejudged, their successors l'ecalled from banishment, and all invited to re-assume the rights of which they had been so long unjustly deprived by tyranny: and though a black cloud has ofercasi the Nattering dawn of the day of liberty, yet the great principles of liberty have been recoga nised, and the rights of conscience have not only been distinctly ascertained and acknowledged, but, to a considerable extent, acted upon; and, what is singular, wherever the arms of the French have prevailed
bad as they are. God has made them the instruments of liberating conscience, and of so far restoring men to the exercise both of their religious and civil rights, that the temple of truth is throun open (Rev. xv. 5-8.) so that every man who will may enter, and neither pains nor penalties are attached to dissent from the established religions. Thus, the witnesses, it' they have not ascended to the heaven of rule and governs, nient-though in a certain sense they have, for their religion is no longer any impediment to their promotion in the state- yet they have been made to stand upon their fiet (Rev. xi. 11.) as ready for action. Yea, more than this, two branches of the Protestant church (one that of the ('onfession of Augsburg, the other the Calvinistic) are becoine, not only the tolerated (for all are tolerated), but the established, religions of France; and, whatever we inay think of such religious establishments, Mr. Faber, to be consistent with his own principles, must allow that this is to ascend to the heaven ecclesiastical; for it tlie Gerinan Protestants might be said to ascend into the ecclesiastical heaven, in the year
1552, because, “By the treaty of Passau the coperor was compelled to 146 allow them the free exercise of their religion, and to re-adınit them “ into the imperial chamber, froin which they had bcen excluded ever “ since the victory of Mulburg," (vol. ii, p. 73.) by the same rule the French Protestants have also ascended to this heaven; and if ascended to the ecclesiusticat heuven, they must previously have received political life, and been made to stand upon their feet.
How much soever, then, we may execrate the impieties and violence which have disgraced the French revolution in its progress, which have so afHicted all good men, and so prejudiced many, even against liberty itself; yet, let us not be blind to the land of God, which is so manifest in it-though operating in a way we did not expect---but let us remem. ber, his though's are not om, thoughts, nor our wuys his ways.
tween these plagues, and those to be inflicted under the first four vials. Rev. xvi. There, on the pouring out of the first vial, there fell a griezous sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon them who worshipped his image; here, the witnesses smite the earth with all plagues. There, on the pouring out of the second and third vials, the sea and the rivers became blood; here, the witnesses turn the waters into blood, and restrain the rain of heaven. There, on pouring out the fourth vial upon the sun, men were scorched with great heat; here, fire proceeds out of the mouths of the witnesses-as from that of Jeremiah, ch. v. 14.-to devour their enemies. May not this highly figurative description be made more intelligible thus? The witnesses for religious truth and civil liberty, although they shall defend their cause under great oppressions, yet such, under Providence, shall be the effect of their zeal, eloquence, and exertions, in the cause of God and man, that they shall occasion great vexations to their enemies, and kindle a fire, which, in the end, shall consume their oppressors, and their systems together. And such advantages shall they have, from the spirit of their attacks, and the succeeding providence, of God, that from the mode of war which will then prevail, fire will seem to issue from their mouths, and destroy their opposers. Such shall be the effects of their argu. ments and exertions on the minds of men, that the politi. cal heayens shall refuse to yield that rain which used to swell those rivers that fed the great sea of oppression. And all the rivers shall be dry. Such shall be the effects of their unexampled efforts in the cause of truth and equity—in the cause of injured man-that, in the end, avenging justice shall turn upon their enemies, and render to them according to their deeds.- If something of this kind be not meant by these powers which are given
to the witnesses, I own I am at an utter loss to conceive , what the Holy Spirit intended.
But not only may the wickedness of the French people, as has been noticed, be considered as an objection to their cause being of God, but some may suppose that the calamities which they endure, and the disappointments which they experience, must be looked upon as a proof that their rising against their oppressors, is not the commencement of the resurrection of the witnesses, even though we should consider it as a political one.-By no means. The gathering of the dispersed Jews, preparatory to their con
version, is their political resurrection (Ezek. xxxvii.) and yet we are informed by many prophecies, that, after this, they are to endure great sufferings, and by which a great part of them are to perish, both in their way to their own land, and after their arrival there ; (Ezek. xx. 38. Zech. xii. 2, 3. xiii. 8, 9. xiv. 2, 3, 7.) and it will not be till the rebels are purged out from among them, nor till the last extremity, that the Lord will appear for their deliverance and thorough conversion. And we are not to forget that a distinction is to be made between the mass of the French people and the witnesses in that country. The legislature of France may, by the repeal of former laws, which silenced and politically slew the witnesses, and by new ones in their favour, restore them to new life, though neither the mass of the French people, nor even one of the legislators themselves, should be of their number.
And when they had finished their testimony, i. e. when the thousand two hundred and threescore days are about to draw to a conclusion, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall makc war against them and kill them. Here our second question presents itself. Who is to slay the witnesses? or, what is it, which is intended by this beast ? and where are the dead bodies of the witnesses to lie unburied ?
Who, or what are we to understand by this beast which ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, and that was to make war against the witnesses and kill them? The couviction, that ail which is said from verse the eighth to verse the thirteenth relates to France, and to France only, induced me long to think, that by the beast which ascendeth out of the bottomless pit was intended the second beast in chap. xiii
, which I believe to signify the monarchy of France. But more mature consideration inclines me to conclude that what is said in this seventh verse is a prophecy of the general persecution which was carried on through all the papal kingdoms against the opposers of papal corrup. tions; particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, towards the close of the latter of which the bloody work was completed ; and the witnesses, not only in France, but in all the territories of the house of Savoy ; in Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary, and all the other dominions of the bloody house of Austria; and in the other papal states, where they most abounded, were either murdered, banished, or silenced, so that they have scarcely
been heard of since. By the beast here then, which made war against them and killed them, is most probably meant the ten horned beast, and France is no farther to be eonsi. dered as signified here, in this concise part of the prophecy, than as one of the many members of the great community of the antichristian body. If we read the history of the cruelties exercised against the Vandois by the dukes of Savoy; against the Bohemian brethren, and the other protestants of the extensive dominions of the Austrian sovereigns, we shall be able to form some faint idea of the monstrous enormities of the papal beast, and of the magnitude of the miserics which for many years pursued the advocates for religious reformation, and of the extent of that ruin which was brought upon their cause in the course of the seventeenth century, and especially about the year 1685. Alas! even their protestant brethren who, in more favoured countries, survive them, retain too slight an impression, both of the edifying testimony which they bore, and of those sufferings which a few years ago were deeply felt by all the pious and humane of every country. They seem forgotten as the dead. And now, when the time appears to be come for the providence of God to avenge their wrongs, and put into them again the breath of life, we are blind to the hand that is lifted up, and rather side with the beast which slew them, than otherwise.
But though this killing of the witnesses was thus general, and we are therefore most probably to understand by the beast which killed them (generally) to be the tenhorned beast, yet, as a member of this monster, and as a power, or beast, subordinate to him, France joined in this work of impiety and blood, and was exceeded by none in cruelty, as the history of the kings of France, and particularly of Louis XIV, will testify. It is doubtless on ac. count of these extraordinary persecutions of France, as well as because its monarchs were among the first and most powerful champions of the papacy, that it was thought deserving of such particular notice, as to be distinguished from the more common kingdoms, which appear only as horns on the papal head, by the symbol of a subordinate beast. And, as it would introduce confusion to mark out the time of the witnesses rising again to life in several of the streets of the great city-it might be on account of the distinguished part which France would act in the work of persecution, and which it would afterwards act, when the time of the resurrection of the witnesses should come, as
well as on account of its being the chief kingdom, the pla. tea-ihat their lying dead here, and the exact time of their death in this country, is exclusively noticed, as we shall by and by see. · Let us take a glance at the enormities of the French mo. narchs, and particularly of those of Louis XIV., and we shall easily perceive reasons why the monarchy of France should, more than others, be symbolized by a distinct beast, and why the persecutions which the Protestants in France suffered should be so particularly noticed as they appear to be in the latter part of the xijith chapter: for I have no doubt but the persecution and killing, there represented, relates to the same times, and the same circumstances as the war against the witnesses, and the killing of them in this with chupler ; save that this is more general and concise, and that one part only of the same scene on a larger scale. And seeing that the Holy Spirit, in what follows the 7th verse, relative to the witnesses, appears to have exclusively noticed the circumstances of their death and resurrection in this street of the great cily, * a more particular view of their history here, is the rather ne. cessary to prepare the way for the consideration of them.
There is no nation existing which, first and last, has produced such a nuinber of faithful witnesses against Papal corruptions and tyrannies, as France. No people have so long a list of martyrs and confessors to shew, as the Protestants of that country; and there is no royal family in Europe which has shed, in the support of Popery, half the blood which the Capets have shed. Who deluged the earth with the blood of the Waldenses and Albigenses, that inhabited the southern parts of France, and bore testimony against the corruptions and usurpations of Romei-The cruel king's of France, slew above a million of them.Who set on foot, and headed the executioners of the mas. sacre of Bartholomew, which lasted seven days, and in which, some say, near fifty thousand Protestants were murdered in Paris, and twenty-five thousand more in the provinces ?- The royal monsters of France. A massacre
* By the Antichristian city, or what in the book of the Revelation, is called “ the city of Babylon," and “ Babylon the Great," we are not to understand Rome only; but the mystical Babylon is that Antichristian tyranny and system of corruption which has, in different ages, more or less, spread itself over all Europe. Rome is the centre and court, and the ten kingdoms, or states, appear to be considered as the streets of this city.