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CHAPTER THE THIRD.
LITTLE HORN OF THE BEAST" in the Vi-
Christ — The GENERAL DIFFUSION of the Gof-
THE RISE, PROGRESS, ESTABLISHMENT,
AND DESTRUCTION OF THE PAPAL POWER OR ANTICHRIST.
As this was the greatest corruption of Christianity that was to be permitted to take place in the world, it cannot be thought extraordinary, 'that more of the Prophecies, which we have brought forward to the notice of the Reader in the Introductory Chapter, are applicable to it, than to any other branch of Antichristian Power. As both Mahometanism and Infi. delity consisted more of open hostility, they were likely to be better distinguished by Christians, without the aid of such strong prophetical light, as that which is afforded to expose, and to bring into full view, the
counterfeit Christianity of the Church of Rome.
A combination of Prophecy with Hiftory will shew with what perfect exactness this Papal Power of Antichrist is marked out by the Prophets Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John.
To guide our enquiries to the right points of observation, St. John has designated, by certain appropriate allusions and descriptions, the peculiar nature of this power, the cime when it began to manifest itself to the world, and the seat of its authority and government. ';
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having feven heads and ten borns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. This wonderful beast with a crown on each horn, and a blafphemous infcription on each of his feven heads, denoted the new form of government that was to be erected in the city
• Rev. xiii, 1.
of Rome, by the great commotions of the world, after the Imperial Power had been destroyed, and the Empire was divided into ten distinct and independent fovereignties.
In the mystical description which the Apostle afterwards gives of this beast, it will greatly assist our inquiries to discover by a given number, when this Antichristian power shall arise; and from thence afcertain with more precision what Power is meant by this prophetical representation. Here is wisdom: let him that hath understanding, count the number of the beast : for it is the number of a man, and bis number is fix hundred threescore and fixed. If we compute
this number 666 from the time when St. John saw this Prophetic vision, we shall find that this new Power was established at the termination of this mystic number of
« Lowman, p. 191.
d Rev. xiii. 18. • It is very remarkable that this mystic number should so accurately apply both to the time when the Papal Antichrift established his reign, and the titles he affumed. See note to the Introductory Chapter, vol. i. p. 393. Pyle's Paraphrase, p. 105. Newton, vol. iii. p. 390. Lowman, p. 194.
[ 4 ] years. St. John was banished to the isle of Patmos in the latter part of the reign of Domitian, and returned from thence immediately on his death. Domitian reigned from 81 to 96. Now St. John saw the vision in the isle of Patmos ; and it is generally acknowledged, that the Papacy received the temporal power, and became the beast, in 756.
The seat of this power is fixed at Rome. THAT GREAT city, which in the times of Pagan idolatry had been the mistress of the antient world by the force of her arms, became in more modern ages, by the establishment of her spiritual laws, so much exalted in power, as to reign over the kings of the earth. The woman, upon whose forehead was, inscribed Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and abominations of the earth, is, according to the explanation of the angel, the city of Rome; for the seven heads of the beast that carried her are seven mountains on which the woman htteth, and the woman which thou fawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. Rome is well known to be built upon seven hills; seven hills; and at the time