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Waldenses, as among its first exponents, he passes on to the Wycliffites and Hussites, and then to Luther and the fathers of the English Reformation: specifying Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Hooper, Jewell, and others of the sixteenth century; though most strangely afterwards, in direct contradiction to himself, as well as to historic fact, declaring that "the idea of the Pope being Antichrist was not the idea of the English Reformation." After which, continues Mr. Meyrick, the theologians of the seventeenth century did not at once repudiate the theory referring to Andrewes in illustration; though not, as he might have done, to Hooker also. Yet, he adds, "as the English Church's struggle came to be with Puritanism in the place of Popery," its theological writers "less and less dwelt upon it." And then he thus concludes. "From this time [i.e., I infer, from about the time of Charles the First's troubles, say A.D. 1640,] the Papal Antichrist theory is not to be found in any theologians of name in the English Church."... "The more, however, that the sober and learned divines of the seventeenth century gave up this application of the term, the more violently was it insisted on by men of little charity and contracted views. A string of writers followed each other in succession, who added nothing to the interpretation of prophecy ;† but found, each one, the creations of his own brain in the sacred book of the Revelation: grouping history, in any arbitrary manner that they chose, around the central figure of the Papal Antichrist." +

I know not whether Mr. Meyrick intends to include me, mentioned as I am by name higher up in his list, in this pitiful category. If so, however, it will, I think, be judged by your readers that I am not quite so much, after all, an object for

Let me cite here, in contrast, Bishop Warburton's statement. "On this principle (viz., "that the Man of Sin, or Antichrist, could be no other than the man that fills the Papal chair") was the Reformation begun and carried on: on this the great separation from the Church of Rome conceived and perfected. .. On the principle that the Church of Rome is Antichrist's, the Reformers had not only a right, but lay under the obligation of a command, to come out of the spiritual Babylon." Elsewhere he says:-" I have ever thought the prophecies relating to Antichrist, in the Old and New Testaments, (i.e., as fulfilled in the Roman Popes and Papacy,) the most convincing proof of the truth of the Christian religion that any moral matter is capable of receiving." Warburton, Works, vol. x. p. 178, vol. xi. p. 347.

† How different from Sir I. Newton's

statement in his prophetic work, written some few years before his death, but not published till six years after that event, viz., in the year 1733. "Among the interpreters of the last age," says he, "there is scarce one of note who hath not made some discovery worth knowing: whence I seem to gather, that God is about to open these mysteries." "But not," he added, "can we expect this, till the revolution indicated at the sounding of the seventh Apocalyptic Trumpet; under which (as the angel swore) the mystery of God would be completed" :a revolution almost universally explained, by the Protestant historic school of interpreters, to be the great French Revolution.

p. 72. Mr. M. adds, p. 76, "There is hardly a feature in the Papal system which is similar in its lineaments to the portrait of Antichrist as drawn by St. John." (!!) Compare pp. 207, 215, 216, suprà and infrà.

pity; when considering that I have for companions expositors like Mede and Vitringa of the 17th century, Sir I. Newton and bishops Butler and Warburton of the 18th, and John Davison, bishop Van Mildert, and archbishop Sumner, of the 19th, among many others more or less of eminence. However, it is not on the authority of any names, eminent though they be, that I would wish either myself or my readers to rest; but on evidence of plain fact, as judged of by sound common sense. Accordingly, I shall conclude my review of Mr. Meyrick's article by presenting briefly, side by side in contrast, as compared with indubitable historic facts, a sketch of his exposition of Apoc. xii-xiii, in apposition with St. Paul's prophecy of the Apostasy and the Antichrist, on the one hand; and, on the other, one of that Protestant exposition, which he so scornfully repudiates, as given, of course, in my own last improved version of it.-Let me say that I have Messrs. Lightfoot and Bullock in view, as well as Mr. M., in presenting it.

That the comparison may be not unfitly instituted appears from the circumstance, that we each consider the figuration of the Woman in Apoc. xii. to have reference to the Church during some part of the period between St. John's time and the time of the completed dissolution into ten of the old Roman empire a dissolution implied, as then an accomplished fact, in the symbolization of the ten-horned Beast at the opening of Apoc. xiii.; and therewith, coincidently, the removal of what we both explain as St. Paul's hinted obstacle to the manifestation of the consummated apostasy, or of Antichrist.*

Though really, as to harmonizing this part of the Apocalyptic prophecy with the corresponding part of St. Paul's, albeit a part of his main professed object, we have before seen that there is in Mr. M.'s article next to nothing like it. The travailing Woman of Apoc. xii. he just explains as the Church bringing forth children to Christ; whether through the whole period between St. Paul's writing to the Thessalonians and the fall of the Roman empire, or any particular part of that period, does not appear; and the same as to the time of Satan's figured persecution of the Woman, under form of a seven-headed Dragon. At length, as there approaches in the prophecy the fated sign of the empire's dissolution, (Mr. M. passes over its intermediate figurations unnoticed,) she appears, according to him, split into the two symbols of the Woman in the wilderness, and the seven-headed ten-horned Beast rising from the sea; both alike parts of one and the same Church, [!]t but considered respectively in the two aspects of the faithful and the apostatized or faithless the faithful being further indicated as the Woman's children, (summed up elsewhere, as we both agree, in the two

*See p. 203, Note † suprà.

† See p. 204 suprà.

emblematic sackcloth-robed Witnesses,)* as well as the Woman herself. Such, I believe, is here pretty much the sum total of Mr. Meyrick's Apocalyptic explanations and harmonizings.

Now for the old, though improved, Protestant explanation. And, since the seven-headed Dragon means Satan evidently as inspiring, and acting through, the Roman imperial heathenism against the Woman, or Church, its figured restriction to power in but one-third of the heaven of political elevation, its badge of imperial rule being on seven heads (not six), with implication of the 7th short-lived ruling head, predicted as to come next after the 6th of St. John's own time,† having risen up at the epoch intended by the vision, and the badge figured being not the old Roman laurel crown, but the Asiatic diadem,-there is judged to be indicated thereby some particular era, answering on this head to the three notable tests above specified.-Again, as regards the Woman, designative in some way, as all agree, of the Church, her figured appearance in the same heaven of political elevation as the Dragon, and with chief influence apparently in the other two-thirds of its expanse,-its dodecanal crown, as of apostolic character and universality,-its travailing to bring forth (not children generally, but) one special male child, which was caught up after birth, in spite of the Dragon's machinations, to what is called God's throne, and as destined, after a while, to rule the heathen with a rod of iron,-all this points likewise to a particular era in the Church's history, and furnishes four or five additional testings whereby to fix it.

Try, now, the year A.D. 323,-the epoch of the last war of Roman imperial heathenism against the Christian Church; and see whether the prophecy and the history of that epoch do not strikingly, and on every point, agree.

(1.) At that time then the Roman empire was under the new imperial quadripartite headship instituted by Diocletian, being the seventh, or next after the sixth, of St. John's days: a headship shortlived, as predicted; since it fell, after only some thirty years' duration, on the final victories of Constantine. (2.) The new imperial badge was the diadem.‡ (3.) Licinius, the fighter of the last battle of Roman heathenism against Christianity, was but emperor of the Eastern third.-So as to the Dragon. Next, as to the Christian Church. (1.) It was at that epoch then both universal, and, in professed doctrine, pure and apostolic; as notably shown in the famous Nicene General Council,

Apoc. xii. 17. Says Mr. M., p. 76; "The two Witnesses seem to represent all the faithful among the faithless during the three-and-a-half times."

Apoc. xvii. 10; "Five are fallen; one is; the other (or seventh) is not yet come; and, when he cometh, he must continue a short space."

+ So Gibbon. "Diocletian introduces a new form of government, and assumes the diadem."I have given coins, in the Appendix to my third volume, of Licinius diademed. The change constitutes a notable Roman numismatic epoch.

held but two years afterwards. (2.) It had the support of imperial power in the two-thirds of the empire ruled by Constantine. (3.) It was just then travailing to have as its own (the Church's) son a professedly Christian emperor; and succeeded, in spite of the heathen antagonism under Licinius. (4.) He, and his orthodox successors, (each successively designated as son of the Church) professedly mounted and held their throne, like David and Solomon, as the Lord's throne,† and so subject to His laws. (5.) Though not immediately, yet a few years only later, these orthodox Christian emperors oppressed the heathen religionists of the empire, as with a rod of iron: so that it came then to be called paganism, as being confined to out of the way pagi or villages; and soon after became extinct.

Passing quickly over the next succeeding parts of the Apocalyptic prefiguration-the Woman's speedy depression after her male child's exaltation to God's throne, and gradually increasing obscuration, answered in history by the sad change in the Nicene Catholic Church's state and aspect, resulting from the heresies, schisms, and advancing superstitions within its professed pale, ere the middle of the 4th century,-the Dragon's renewed war for supremacy in heaven, answered historically by the accession, and war against Christianity, of the heathen Julian, (an event prepared by Constantius's lapse into Arianism,) and in Julian the final dejection of the Dragon, or heathenism, from supremacy,-followed, the one by the Apocalyptic, the other by the historic pæan of triumph, on the part of the conquering Christians, speaking in almost identical phrase of the Dragon as fallen, but ominously coupling the martyrs with Christ as the authors of the triumph,-then, once more, the dejected Dragon's renewed persecution of the Woman, by casting out floods from his mouth to drown her, answered by the Gothic Pagan and Arian inundation, which was swallowed up however, in so far as regarded their Paganism and Arianism, by "the earth" of the Western Roman empire, where the Gothic settlements were made, in the course of the fifth and sixth centuries, I say, passing over all this, as we have done, in merest rapid outline, we must yet see from it the correspondence of history with the remainder of the prefigurations of Apoc. xii.; as well also as with St. Paul's prediction of the advancement, and at length triumph, of Apostasy within the Christian professing Church, so as, in fact, at length to overmaster, and substitute itself for, what was once Christian in it. And so the result was that, as the sixth century opened on the world, the Ecumenic faithful Christian Church of the ever memorable Constantinian Nicene epoch (just accordantly with

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i. e. of the orthodox Catholic Church. So Ambrose.

+ So Eusebius and other Church

writers of the era. Compare 1 Chron. xxviii. 5, xxix. 23; also, Exod. xvii. 16; Hebr.

the Apocalyptic figuration) had disappeared, and become a mere vision of the past: what was left of the faithful being thenceforward, and even to the present day, certain only of her witnessing children; i. e. mere fragmentary unconnected little communities, churches, or even individuals, such as might fitly be summed up under the symbol (with a never to be forgotten history attached to it) of the two sackcloth-robed Apocalyptic Witnesses. In all which we have yet eight or ten more irrefragable prophetic and historic coincidences.

Then, as to the next succeeding Apocalyptic chapter xiii., need I recall to my reader's mind the inconsistencies, point after point, between the prophecy and its historical solution on Mr. M.'s theory:-his notion of the great seven-headed Beast figuring what his pages represent as a headless ecclesiastical apostasy realized in the 8th century throughout the ten kingdoms of Western Europe;-the Papacy, in fact, without the Pope; then the Harlot Woman's solution by him* as the Papal Church mounting in the 11th century on the Beast's back, i. e. on its own back ;-and then, as to the second lambskin-covered Beast, his idea of its figuring an avowed atheist Antichrist, yet to come, destined to cherish and revivify a profest though corrupted Christian Church! Did ever such a symbol in Holy Scripture have such a signification? or ever such a power in history so use that power?+-But it is needless to particularize further. So turn we now to the Protestant explanation.

And behold, it says, out of the subsiding of the barbarian flood there rose up in the 6th century, on the old seven hills, a monstrous form (was not here the answer to the Apocalyptic Beast?) such as the world had never seen before :-a man calling himself VICE-CHRIST, (the self-same title as ANTI-CHRIST,) in virtue of being the asserted successor of St. Peter in the episcopal see of Rome, and, since Christ was God, therefore God's plenipotentiary VICEGERENT ON EARTH-a man, in regard of this his locality, Aarewos, the Latin man, answering, on the old common Gematria principle, to the Beast's name and number 666;in religion, though the professed head of Christianity, summing up in himself every principle of the now consummated apostasy; in pride all that became GoD's VICEGERENT on earth and, as the ten new Romano-Gothic kings (themselves diademed, in strange accordance with the Apocalyptic symbol)‡ recognised his asserted divine character, even as God on earth, and one consequently avoμos (2 Thess. ii, 8), or above

:

p. 76.

† Compare what profest Atheism did to the Papal Church at the time of the French Revolution.

I have given in my H. A. 5th Ed., vol. iii., a plate of diademed coins of the

Romano-Gothic kings of the sixth and seventh centuries (all verified at the British Museum), in illustration of this most extraordinary coincidence of historic fact and prophetic symbolization.

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