REV. xvi. 1…..And I heard a great voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
I HAD occasion, my brethren, to remark to you, on the last Sabbath, that, in order to understand the prophecies of the third Apocalyptical period, it is necessary to have a correct idea of the subject of the punishment inflicted by the outpouring of the seven vials. I also intimated that the necessary information was previously given in this sacred book, so that it is taken for granted that we come to the consideration of this chapter, prepared with some knowledge of the object of these judgments. It would, indeed, be labour in vain, to attempt an elucidation of the current events from scripture, without having previously submitted ourselves to the direction of the sacred oracles. No acuteness of intellect, no diligence of research, no extent of erudition, will suffice to understand this subject, unless the heart, sanctified by grace, cherish principles of submission to the Ruler of the nations, to such a degree as to prefer his word to the counsels of cabinets, and the prosperity of his kingdom to the triumphs of human empires.
That piety which, unbiassed by views of national policy, rejoices in the moral government of God, is necessary to study with impartiality the great social concerns of the moral world, and, of course, to understand the predictions of heaven respecting them. This representation is supported by one of the prophets. Dan. xii. 10. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; hut the wicked shall do wickedly: and NONE of the wicked shall understand; but the WISE shall understand.
In the words of my text, you are informed of the authority under which the angels acted—and of the object of the judgments which they poured out from the vials. The authority is that of Jehovah-Jesus, the Prince of the kings of the earth. He who upholds the pillars of the world, speaks with powers and the angels obey—And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, go your ways. The object of God’s wrath is the antichristian system—pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
Earth, it has been shown in the exposition of the second seal, hath, in common language, a variety of significations: and it may be added in this place, that the New Testament employs Γη, the word rendered earth in this text, in different senses.
There is no difficulty, however, in ascertaining its use, when the connexion is otherwise easily understood. Parkhurst, in his Greek and English Lexicon to the New Testament, gives it six distinct significations, exclusively of the symbolical—Ground, whether cultivated or barren; dry land, as distinguished from the waters; a particular tract or country; the land of Canaan, spiritually denoting heaven; the terraqueous globe, as distinguished from the heavens; and ground in general. It is obvious, that however numerous the shades of difference may be, there is no effort in ordinary cases necessary to decide in which sense we are to receive this word. Upon the same principle, the shades of difference, in the symbolical use of earth, must be ascertained from the context.
The earth, which is the object of all the vials, comprehends the earth, the sea, the fountains, the sun, the seat of the beast, the Euphrates, and the air, which are the several distinct objects of the seven vials; and although the word earth, in both the first and second verses, is symbolical, the sense of the one must be distinguished from that of the other, in the first instance, it is obviously the symbol of some complete system, having, in allusion to the system of the world, its land, water, sun, and atmosphere, &c. In the second instance it is a part of this system—An earth within the earth, and the one clearly distinguished from the other. A man of science can readily distinguish in the same earth, through which the ploughman digs his furrow, not only earths from other substances, but also earth from earth: and it becomes the intelligent expositor of prophecy to distinguish the several acceptations of symbolical expressions without pretending, with Mr. Faber, that the same symbol always points out the same definite object. This excellent commentator has certainly failed as much as Mr. Galloway, whose five significations of the word earth, he rejects, in his attempt to fix, as he says himself, with remarkable precision, the invariable meaning of the symbol— the “territorial dominions of the Roman empire.”
I cannot by any means admit, that territory, as such, provokes or bears the wrath of God. The ground is never cursed but on account of its criminal occupant. The Roman territory is, indeed, the residence of that upon which the plagues of the vials are inflicted: but the formal object of divine vengeance, is that pernicious and criminal system of social order, in both church and state, which is established among the guilty population of the Roman territories. This great public immorality, practised under the name of Christianity, and yet diametrically opposed to the Spirit and power of the religion of Jesus Christ, is what brings down upon its votaries the wrath of God. It is this system in all its complex, ecclesiastical, and political machinery, embracing the inhabitants of the western Roman world, that is symbolized by THE EARTH, and is called, from its true character, by the strictly appropriate name,
THE ANTICHRISTIAN SYSTEM.
It includes, the beasts of the pit, of the sea, and of the earth; the head, the horns, the image of the beast; the mother of harlots, and all who are drunken with the cup of her intoxication. It is not precisely the emperor, the kings, or any of the kings, nor the people, nor the pope, nor the Roman church, nor the territorial dominions of the pope, or of the emperor; but it is all these, combined by a corrupt religion, embodied with despotic power, in opposition to the public social order which Christianity demands of the nations of the world, and which shall be actually established in the millennium.
That, which prevents in Europe the establishment of the millennial system, is of course to be destroyed by the vials; because the vials introduce the millennium: the millennial state of society is peculiarly the kingdom of Christ; and whatsoever is opposed to the coming of that kingdom, is opposed to himself, and is of course antichristian; therefore is the immoral organization of human society, which resists the principles of true religion in church and state, justly called by way of eminence, the antichrist. This consideration justifies the application of the term antichristian, agreeable to the practice of the reformers, to the prominent parts of that system of iniquity, which these holy men were in the habits, at the risk of their lives, of opposing.
It is the design of this discourse to explain the term antichrist, and accordingly justify this application of it—to explain from other parts of scripture the nature of the antichristian system—and to obviate the great objection, made of late, to this protestant use of the expression.
I. Explain the term antichrist, and justify its application to the Roman tyranny and superstition.
Had Mr. Faber succeeded much better than he has done, in fastening upon the prophet Daniel the charge of predicting the rise and progress of his own infidel king, he had no right, even upon this hypothesis, to apply exclusively to France the antichrist of the apostle John, and so, boldly charge our pious reformers with the misapplication of this remarkable expression. 1 readily admit that France, whether republican or imperial in her form of civil polity, is an antichristian power: but this admission does not, by any means, preclude the propriety of applying the same epithet to other powers hostile to the kingdom of Messiah; nor does it even require its application by way of eminence to a system which, however vile, cannot endure more than sixty year, and which is confessedly more destructive to the enemies of the gospel than to true believers. This is the case with modern France, its principal enemies being judges. It is admitted by Mr. Faber himself, although he denounces Buonaparte and revolutionary France as the antichrist, that they perish before 1866.
We ought to take it as an indisputable fact, that the most formidable opposition, which is ever made under the Christian name, to true religion, is the antichrist; because this idea is admitted in all its force by the apostle John himself. 1 John 2. Ye have heard that antichrist shall come—whereby we know that it is the LAST TIME. From these words it appears that antichrist was familiarly expected to appear under the gospel dispensation the last time. It is also apparent that this expectation was general among Christians in the age of the apostles. Now it is to me altogether incredible that this should be the case if the antichrist be revolutionary France, as distinguished from the great and prevalent superstitions and tyrannies of the European nations. A thing so remote from that age; of so very short continuance; of so very little interest in itself to the best and purest churches in any age; and which is confessedly a wo to the enemies of the true religion,—such a thing, however vile in itself, could not excite such universal expectations; nor be at all so very interesting to the primitive church as to occupy her principal attention. We have the testimony of Jerome too, in proof of this striking fact, that such expectation continued general among Christians down to his own time, and that it was supported by the prophecies of Daniel, as well as the writings of the New Testament.
Signifies an opposite Christ, from αντι, against, and Χριστος, Christ. ὁ Αντιχριστος, the opposer of Christ, under pretence of being himself appointed or anointed of the Lord. Thus, the grand opposition to the Christian system is personified according to the prophetic style of king, horn, beast, &c. for kingdom, power, empire. In this sense, the antichrist is generally understood by all writers, and while agreeably to the apostle John’s declaration, 1 John ii. 18. there are many antichrists, many opposers of Christ, it is not doubted that prophecy directs to one great system of opposition which should arise under the Christian dispensation, as pointed out by this name.
Different opinions of Antichrist.
1. The Jewish nation. Dr. Whitby’s opinion.
2. The Gnostics and their successors. Dr. Hammond’s.
3. Heathen Rome. Bossuet’s, and other papists.
Nero, Trajan, Louis XIV. Oliver Cromwell, King George III. Napoleon Buonaparte, &c. are in turn said to be antichrist by their opponents.
4. Individual persons.
5. The Papacy. General opinion of protectants.
6. The present French empire. Faber’s.
Besides these, twenty different opinions might be collected from those fanciful writers, who very improperly amuse themselves, by inventing theories, at the expense of important, and even awful truths. It appears to me, that expositors generally, have taken antichrist in a view, rather too much insulated. Instead of exhibiting a single adversary, or any one branch of the great apostacy, the word is to be taken in a more generic sense, as descriptive of that long-enduring hostility to religion, which has hitherto passed among the nations for Christianity itself.
This word (Αντιχριστος) occurs in four different places in the New Testament. It is used only in the epistolary writings of the apostle John. Those epistles were written within a few years of the end of the first century, about 60 years after the organization of the Christian church, and 20 after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.
It signifies one who is opposed to Christ, and is, in its general sense, applicable to any enemy of the Redeemer. The passages in which it occurs, are 1 John ii. 18. and 22. chap. iv. 3. and 2 John 7. From these verses, it appears that this name was intended as an especial designation of some noted opposition to the gospel. The Christian church, about the time in which these epistles of John were written, certainly understood by “the antichrist” (ὁ Αντιχριστος) some character, revealed in prophecy, as the principal opponent of Christ’s kingdom.
1 .John ii. 18. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that if is the last time. In this verse, the word occurs twice; once in the singular, and once in the plural number. The apostle asserts a fact—it is the last time. He appeals in confirmation of this assertion to a prophecy that in the last times such a character should appear, and to the fact that such characters did now appear—Whereby we know that it is the last time. But, if the church had not previously received undoubted information that a particular kind of hostility, designated by this term, would have been offered to the gospel at the last dispensation, which the Redeemer should make of his grace, it could not have been inferred, from the appearance of opposition, that these times were now arrived. We must therefore conclude from this text, that the Christian church had actually received information that a certain species of opposition to the kingdom of Christ would be offered, after the gospel dispensation had commenced; and that several instances of a similar kind of opposition had really appeared, before the canon of scripture was completed, and before all the apostles had been removed from the earth. There are now many antichrists. Several characters already appear opposed to the true religion, of the same description with that character who is known as the antichrist, by way of eminence.
Verse 22. He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. The venerable apostle declares in the context, that every error is opposed to the true religion, “that no lie is of the truth;”' and, in the beginning of this verse, he asserts, that he who denieth Christ is a liar, in the most awful sense of the word. Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? Christ, or Messiah, which is the same word, (the former Greek, and the latter Hebrew,) signifies anointed, and is of course expressive of the character and office of the Saviour. An assertion of erroneous sentiments, therefore, respecting the official character and works of the blessed Redeemer, is the worst species of falsehood; and that character which thus denies the Father and the Son, is the antichrist. This also shows, that the church must have then known that the term antichrist designated the head of the most formidable opposition which the gospel had to encounter.
Chap. iv. 3. Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that Spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.
A good spirit is of God, and an evil spirit is that which is not of him. Trying the spirits is a necessary duty, verse 1. and the reason is assigned, because there are many false prophets. The criterion is given in the second verse—“Every Spirit that confesseth trial Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” This expression, Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, means something more than that a person, by that name, appeared in Judea. The expression comprehends the doctrine of his person, of his office, and of his works, as our Redeemer. Otherwise it could be no criterion. False prophets, as well as the true, might acknowledge the fact, that there was such a man as Christ Jesus. The evil spirits which he drove out of those who were possessed, acknowledged his power when he appeared in the flesh. Matt. viii. 29. “Jesus, thou Son of God, art thou come hither to torment us?” This text is to be understood, therefore, as implying more than what the words appear to express. By this rule similar texts are explained. Acts ii. 21. “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is, whosoever shall worship him in faith. For “he who believeth not shall be damned,” Matt. xvi. 16. Every spirit, therefore, which confesseth not the truth, respecting Christ’s person and mission,—his whole mediatory character, is evil: and this is that spirit of antichrist.
The apostle John also appeals, in this passage, to the prophetic Revelation, which predicted to the church the coming of this enemy—Whereof ye have heard that it should come; and also to the information which they had received of his actual appearance,—and even now already is it in the world.
The conclusion from this passage of course is, that the church expected opposition from an enemy designated by the name antichrist; and that the spirit which antichrist possesses, would be opposed to the truth, respecting both the mediatorial character, and the object of his appearing in the flesh; together with the fact, that such a spirit began already to appear in the world. This conclusion is confirmed by 2 John verse 7. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. To what system of deception, can we, with so much propriety, apply this designation, as to the great Roman apostacy, which affected nearly the whole civilized world?
We shall afterwards inquire, to what prophecy the apostle John refers the church in these passages; and so endeavour to ascertain that character, to whom the title antichrist especially belongs.
It has already been observed, that the word does not occur any where in scripture, except in the texts already quoted; and that it designates some character, the most conspicuous opposer of the religion of Jesus. From the use the apostle John makes of this expression, it appears that it was familiar to those whom he addressed. It is not, however, certain, by what means it became so. Whether it was first applied by an inspired teacher to the grand apostacy which was expected in some future period, or whether the term was at first adopted as applicable of every one who opposed the gospel, and according to the common progress of language, became at last by usage appropriate to the most remarkable opposition offered to the church, we cannot now determine. It is, however, certain, that the prophets foretold this remarkable opposition to the Christian church; and that, at a very early period, this opposition was known by the name ANTICHRIST.
In order to answer the question, Who is the antichrist? it will be necessary to quote some of the prophecies which predict opposition to the gospel, and compare them with those texts already quoted, in which this term is used. This will lead me,
II. To explain from other parts of scripture, the nature of the antichristian system.
I shall confine my selection to the writings of Paul and Daniel: and shall begin with the New Testament authority, as being more contiguous to the time in which the epistles of John were written. Two passages will suffice.
1. I shall lay before you the words of the apostle, to a church which he had himself planted and watered, and in which he appeals to the information which he had previously communicated in his discourses. 2 Thess. ii. 3—9. That day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way: and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his month, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coining: even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, &c. &c.
This epistle was written about the year 56, and the epistles of John about the year 90. Before the latter writer, therefore, described THE ANTICHRIST, he must have been familiar with THE MAN OF SIN, described in the writings of a fellow-labourer in the doctrines of the gospel. There is no doubt of his having the epistles of Paul in his possession thirty years before he wrote his own epistles.
John’s antichrists had already begun to appear; and Paul’s mystery of iniquity had already begun to work. Of the coming of John’s antichrist they had heard before; and of Paul’s man of sin, he had himself formerly told them many things. John’s antichrist, with a spirit of falsehood and deceit, denied both the Father and the Son: and Paul’s man of sin, coming with signs and lying wonders, sitteth in the temple of God, and exalteth himself above all that is called God, and that is worshipped. The character which John describes is eminently the opposite Christ, (ὁ Αντιχριστος;) and that which Paul describes, sitteth in the temple, showing himself that he is God. Are not then, these characters identified? Could the primitive Christians do otherwise than consider them one and the same opposition to Christ and his cause upon earth? It is no objection to this sentiment, that John’s antichrist denies that Christ has come in the flesh; for he who is opposed to all that is worshipped, and as God sitteth in the temple of God, so far from doing less, does much more than this. And, as for infidelity, we shall find to the full as many infidels on the papal chair, and on the thrones of Europe, as have appeared at the head of affairs in revolutionary France.
I do not propose to you a commentary on this passage from the epistle to the Thessalonians. It is taken for granted that it applies to the Roman system of superstition. Mr. Faber admits this, and bishop Newton has an excellent, dissertation on the text. A wicked apostacy, coming after the working of Satan, with deceit, and false miracles; usurping power in the Christian church to so great a degree as to claim titles and honours due only unto God; and making use of that power in opposition to the only object of religious worship, and for the corruption of Christianity among the nations, cannot apply in full to any object which excludes the system of Roman iniquity. This system personified, is the son of perdition, who betrayed the Lord, as did Judas Iscariot. It is the mystery of iniquity, which began early to work in the unhallowed ambition of worldly-minded ecclesiastics; in the superstition of ignorant minds, who from other causes than a saving knowledge of the truth, made a profession of Christianity; and in the industrious efforts of public men in office, throughout the departments of the Roman empire, to make religion an instrument of political power. But to the establishment of this mystery of iniquity, on the throne of the fourth kingdom of the earth, there was an insuperable barrier, while Paganism remained in full force. This obvious consideration the apostle Paul had explained to the Thessalonians. Ye know what withholdeth, that the man of sin be revealed. It is heathen power that letteth, and will let, till he be taken out of the way. Then when the empire becomes Christian, this impediment shall be removed. After this cometh the APOSTACY, that wicked whom the Lord shall consume.
This prophecy both explains the character of the antichrist of John, and shows the propriety of applying that name to the grand apostacy of the western empire.
2. I shall, in confirmation of this interpretation of the antichrist, lay before you the words of the apostle Paul to his son Timothy, in which he contrasts the mystery of iniquity, which he had described to the Thessalonians, with the mystery of godliness, described to Timothy at the close of the third chapter.
1 Tim. iv. 1—3. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils: speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, &c. This epistle was written about the year 60, four years after the date of that which was addressed to the Christians of Thessalonica, and about 30 years earlier than the epistles of John the divine. Here also there is intimation of a great apostacy, which shall take place in the latter times.
In writing to Timothy, Paul would not forget that the evangelist had been previously acquainted with what the apostle had taught concerning the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY, both in his discourses and his writings. In the epistle containing the remarkable passage, recently under consideration, Timothy, as well as Sylvanus, had joined with the apostle Paul, and could not of course be ignorant of the great apostacy, which is described as opposing God and the pure worship of his holy name. Admitting, therefore, that Timothy previously knew of the Roman apostacy, which the apostle calls the man of sin, and son of perdition, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all dcceivableness of unrighteousness, is it possible that he should misunderstand the words of Paul to himself, or ever think of applying them to a different object?
In the first verse, the apostle affirms this fact to be a matter of divine prediction—the Spirit speaketh expressly. He then assures us that this event—the same with that designated as the man of sin, occupies the same period—in the latter times: he describes this event in each place by the same terms—a falling away: he assigns the same cause for the event in both places—the working of Satan, or seducing spirits: he gives to it, in both cases the same moral character—all dcceivableness of unrighteousness and strong delusion, speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having the conscience seared: and in addition to the extraordinary characteristic of usurping in the very temple itself divine honour, in order more effectually under the mask of Christianity to oppose the worship and the God of the Christians, the apostle Paul gives another pointed and distinctive feature of the same system of abomination in this passage—forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats. Here we have a prediction of the laws of celibacy, nunneries, and monasteries, as well as of the superstitious abstinence of Lent and other holydays.
While I refer the reader for a more copious exposition of this text to the common Commentaries, and particularly to Mr. Mede and bishop Newton, I proceed to observe that John the divine, when he drew the character of his antichrist had this apostacy before him. We have shown the coincidence of the passage from 1 John, with that from 2 Thessalonians, and the coincidence of the latter with that from 1 Timothy: the passage from 1 Timothy must of course, coincide with that from the epistles of John.
John’s antichrist was the subject of scripture predictions already in the possession of the church; and of this apostacy the Spirit of God had already spoken expressly. Antichrist was to appear in the last times; and so was this. The antichrist of John, as his name imports, is an opposite religion, denying the doctrine of the Father and his Son Jesus Christ; and this apostacy is a departure from the faith with a seared conscience, substituting the doctrines of devils, in its stead. Who is a liar; but the antichrist of John? This man of sin also, speaketh lies in hypocrisy.
3. I shall quote in this connexion one passage from the prophecies of Daniel: and I shall previously call your recollection to this fact, that the book of Daniel was both well known and well understood by the apostle Paul when he addressed his epistles to the church of Thessalonica, and to Timothy the evangelist. In order that the coincidence of expressions may appear more obvious, I shall compare them with one another in parallel columns.
Daniel xi. 36—38.
1 Tim. iv. 1—3.
36. And the king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation shall be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces; and a God whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
—That man of sin—the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God—the mystery of iniquity doth already work—and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, &c.
—Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders—forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received.
—Giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy—and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.
Nothing short of a fondness for preconceived opinions could induce any attentive reader of these quotations to deny their application to one great system of iniquity.
The prophecy of Daniel is the first in order, and is more definite than those which follow. The apostles Paul and John, proceed upon the supposition that the object is specifically pointed out already, and refer to it only with design to keep alive the attention of the church to it, and to prevent misunderstanding of its character.
In the second and seventh chapters of Daniel, we are furnished with a chronological account of the four universal empires, and of the dismemberment of the fourth, the Roman, into ten separate kingdoms. After this dismemberment, the Roman empire is still contemplated as one, being bound as to its several distinct members into one system of cruel opposition to the kingdom of Christ, and destined to continue in this character until the way is prepared for the coming of the millennium.
In this chapter, that prophet gives such a minute prospective history of the Persian and Macedonian empires, with a comprehensive account of the affairs of the kings of Syria and Egypt, until the establishment of Roman power in the east, that infidel writers, admitting the accuracy of the prophecy, have been compelled, rather than acknowledge the inspiration of the scriptures, to affirm that Daniel’s prophecies were composed after the events came to pass.
After having introduced to our view, the Roman power, commanding Antiochus Epiphanes to retire from Egypt, and at the same tune conquering the kingdom of Macedon, the fundamental kingdom of the Greek empire, Daniel ceases to describe the events of the third beast, because his reign is now terminated. He begins, of course, in the 31st verse to predict the actions of the fourth beast, and continues that description until the era of his entire overthrow, preparatory to the establishment of the kingdom of Christ in its millennial splendour.
“Hitherto,” said Sir Isaac Newton, “Daniel described the actions of the kings of the north and south; but upon the conquest of Macedon by the Romans, he left off describing the actions of the Greeks, and began to describe those of the Romans.” Jerome informs us, that the Jews themselves understood the predictions of the 31st verse, to point out the Roman power, after the time of Antiochus, and before the coming of antichrist. In the follow summary, Mr. Faber gives the contents of verses 31—35. “To state the whole argument more briefly; the events succeed each other in the following order. In the 31st verse of the xith [eleventh] chapter, Daniel predicts the desolation 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.”
In the 36th verse, where my quotation from Daniel commences, the prophet begins to describe the character of that power, by which these persecutions were authorized—The power which was to appear, as the fourth beast, after the time of Constantine, and which is to exist, under some form, until he come to his end, and none shall help him, verse 45.
By reviewing the comparison of this power with the passages selected from the writings of Paul, it will appear that Daniel’s fourth king in his present state coincides with Paul’s man of sin, under that apostacy which succeeded the overthrow of heathen Rome, and the dismemberment of the empire.
1. The one, exalteth himself, and magnifieth himself, above every God, and speaketh marvellous things against the God of gods: the other, opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
As to daring impiety, and actual opposition to God, and to religion, the two characters are precisely the same. Additional features of irreligion are, however, ascribed to this power, in the description of the apostle. The man of sin, opposeth each person of the godhead in his personal properties and offices in the Christian economy—all that is called God, or that is worshipped; and thus, the man of sin is identified with John's antichrist, even more clearly than is Daniel’s king, denying both the Father and the Son: and all this Is done under the profession of Christianity, usurping power over the church—so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is ANTI-God, THE ANTICHRIST.
2. Daniel’s king, regardeth not the God of his fathers, while professedly claiming from the Fathers the apostolical succession and power: Paul’s son of perdition, cometh after the working of Satan, with all power and lying wonders, false miracles to deceive men, as if he possessed apostolical authority.
Both serve Satan, disregard God, and claim the religion and miraculous power of the Fathers.
3. The description of the prophet represents the enemy, as regarding not the desire of women, nor any God, magnifying himself above all—performing acts, and publishing laws, which contradict and set aside the obligation of the divine law: the description of the apostle coincides with this, by specifying the particular instances—Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received.
To be regardless of the desire of women, as also regardless of God, are the characteristics of that law which enjoins celibacy upon a great part of the population of the different countries of Europe—the clergy, monks, and nuns. The nuptial state is the desire of women as well as of men; and if there be more modesty and chaste affection in the female character, it is even more so. The nuptial state is peculiarly the desire of women. God himself hath said, and ordained, that this should be the case. Gen. iii. 16. Unto the woman he said—thy DESIRE shall be to thy husband.
4. The power described by Daniel is an idolatrous power, and the superstitious homage employed, is characterized as very splendid and costly—He shall honour the GOD OF FORCES; and a God whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones. The system described by the apostle Paul is also idolatrous, as well as hypocritical—Giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
The doctrines of demons, we have already explained. The honouring of the GOD OF FORCES, unknown to the fathers of the church, under whom the man of sin claims, is precisely this demon-worship, borrowed from the heathen, and actually antichristian, being a denial of the only mediator Jesus Christ, by substituting others in his place. The words which we render in Daniel xi. 38. the God of forces, and which this impious power should honour in his estate, are אלה מעזים. They are translated by Arius Montanus, Deum Mahuzzim. Matthew Pool, after giving from various authors five different commentaries upon this expression, gives the sixth, as that to which he himself accedes. MAHUZZIM, “signifies the demons, or the gods protectors, which the church of Rome worships along with Christ, supposing that the saints and angels are such.” This interpretation is illustrated to great extent by the bishop of Bristol; and is much more conformable to fact than the modern turn given to the passage by Mr. Faber, representing the Mahuzzim as French liberty. מעזים is from עז which signifies strength; and may be rendered the hosts or forces. These forces correspond precisely with the demons of Plato, and the papal saints, who are appointed to preside over this country, and that, as delusion may direct.
Splendid and extravagant have been the expenditures of arts and of wealth, made for the purpose of maintaining this idolatry; and it requires no argument to convince the intelligent reader of Daniel’s prophecy, that the latter part of the description is perfectly conformable to the event—And he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. “Yea, he shall distribute the earth among his Mahuzzim; so that besides several patrimonies which in every country he shall allot to them, he shall share whole kingdoms and provinces among them: Saint George shall have England, Saint Andrew, Scotland; Saint Dennis, France; Saint James, Spain; Saint Mark, Venice, &c. and bear rule as presidents and patrons of their several countries.” These are the words of Mr. Mede, in explaining this text. Bishop Newton applies it, however, not to the supposed saints themselves, but to the bishops, and priests, and monks, &c. who every where promoted this idolatry. “Their authority and jurisdiction have extended over the purses and consciences of men; they have been enriched with noble buildings, and large endowments, and have had the choicest of the lands appropriated for church lands. These are points of such public notoriety, that they require no proof, as they will admit of no denial.”
I flatter myself, brethren, that I have now furnished you with sufficient scriptural evidence of the identity of antichrist, with the whole mystery of iniquity; with that great apostacy of the Roman empire, which sits in the temple as an opposite God, and which prohibits by law the nuptial state, and the use of meats, which God hath provided for men. You will also have observed, that this description embraces, in one complex system, the church and civil stale, together with the tyrannical acts, and the superstitious services, employed by both the political and ecclesiastical power united over the nations. This will justify me in designating the whole as antichristian, and in representing it as the symbolical earth, upon which all the vials are poured out.
I must trespass, nevertheless, a little longer upon your time and attention, while,
III. I obviate the objections made of late to this use of the term antichrist.
These objections, as made by Mr. Faber, require a reply. He is too able and valuable an expositor, to be treated with neglect by a subsequent interpreter of the predictions of the Apocalypse. Upon the subject of the great apostacy of the European nations, we have no dispute with him. He follows the track marked out by Mr. Mede, and pursued by the two Newtons, and the whole host of protestant commentators, in designating the leading features of that system of iniquity, which unites, in the chains of tyranny and superstition, the several kingdoms of the Latin Roman Empire, although he labours to prove, that the antichrist of the epistles of John, and Daniel’s king, apply exclusively to revolutionary France. The magnitude of the evils connected with that event, its threatening aspect toward his native country, the powerful antipathies of an English royalist, and the force of political prejudices, if they do not justify, will easily account for the bias under which he brought his dissertations before the public: and very probably, if the British administration had not been irreconcilably hostile to the emancipation of the Irish Catholics, so ardent a partizan as Mr. Faber would not, while his countrymen were spending their treasure and their blood, in support of what is confessedly the mystery of iniquity, among the Spanish Catholics, have so unequivocally condemned the spirit of popery itself.
The three general objections which Mr. Faber offers to the interpretation of bishop Newton, apply only to the manner, the indefiniteness of his interpretation: but do not in the least degree, affect the propriety of applying this prophecy of Daniel to the antichristian system. His objections are, that the bishop makes this last prediction little more than a repetition of a former one—that the interpretation is in want of unity—and that it violates the chronological order.
Repetitions, however, are often made in the scripture, and are besides frequently necessary; seeing the same object occurs in several different connexions, and must be viewed in different respects. There is no necessary violation of unity in applying the prophecy to the man of sin; Newton’s fault being too complicated, may be easily corrected. The chronology of that prophecy is not at all deranged, by the description, in the succeeding verses, of the persecuting power referred to in the 35th. And besides, a key to the chronology is furnished in this very text, compared with verse 40th, the time of the end. The persecutions of the men of understanding were to continue by verse 35th, to the time of the end; and by verse 40th, it is at this very time that the king is attacked by those powers which are to be in part the instruments of his destruction. The intermediate description must, of course, belong to that power which waged the persecuting war upon the saints.
The particular objections, urged from the text itself, against our interpretation, have been already in part anticipated. Mr. Faber’s remarks upon the desire of women, and the Mahuzzim, are rather ingenious than solid. We have no objections that the words, the desire of women, be understood to signify that which women desire; but we insist upon it, that this very expression as strongly indicates the nuptial state, as if the words were the desire of men. It is, however, astonishing, that a man of Mr. Faber’s acquaintance with the history of the Latin apostacy, should doubt whether any gain accrued to the papacy, or the imperial power of this king, from parcelling out the country to the Mahuzzim, the demon saints, or the various orders of clergy. He had his PRICE for this; and an ample price it was. These ecclesiastical orders gave as the price of their establishments, both to the papacy and the civil power, much of the wealth and the liberties of the several countries of Europe: and what greater gain or price could they require. This expositor well knew that the price which a favoured priesthood is always expected to give for the royal bounty, is the allegiance of their people under all circumstances. Too, too faithfully, alas, has this price, this dear price, been paid to both princes and popes. They have long had at their disposal the purses and the persons of their deluded and oppressed subjects, throughout the several kingdoms of Europe.
In order to give any plausibility to the system of interpretation which Mr. Faber adopts, he is under the necessity of assuming, as a point from which to set out, a false fact: and we fear, it is for the sake merely of giving some excuse for insisting upon this false hypothesis, desirable for certain political purposes, that this scheme of exposition has at all been adopted. That false and gratuitous hypothesis is, that imperial France is an infidel power.
I call this a false fact: for I insist upon it, that France is still one of the antichristian powers of Europe; one of the horns of the beast; one of the kingdoms of the grand apostacy.
She has had, it is true, many infidel philosophers among her learned men; but so also have other nations, not excepting her great rival, the British empire. Hume, and Shaftesbury, and Bolingbroke, and Gibbon, and Kaimes, were in nowise inferior, in industry and zeal against the gospel, to Voltaire, and Rosseau, and the French Œconomists. The Illuminati of Germany, the head of the empire, were no less addicted to infidelity than the French Jacobins; and perhaps the celebrated Frederic of Prussia, a royal tyrant of no mean rank among the nations, was not surpassed in attachment to infidelity by any of the Democrats of revolutionary France.
The truth is, that infidelity always has been, and always will be, the companion of gross superstition. “This fiction of Jesus Christ,” said one of the popes of Rome, “this fiction, how much we make by it!”
Revolutionary France, however, went further. She made a national profession of Atheism. A declaration, without opposition, in the national convention, extinguished Christianity, and made death an eternal sleep. Shortly thereafter, the vote of the famous Robespierre destroyed Atheism, and established Deism as the religion of France. This was followed, at no distant period, by the mandate of another tyrant, re-establishing all the pageantry of the ancient superstition, and restoring France to the communion of the man of sin.
When France was atheistical, the people had as much true religion as they had on the preceding year; and they have as little, probably, to-day, as they had during the reign of Robespierre.
But France is no longer an atheistical nation. If a decree once made her so, the decree is rescinded. If, without such a decree, the irreligion of some of her principal scholars and statesmen made her so, the same cause universally prevalent among the nations, must make all the nations atheistical, in despite of their establishments. England was a Presbyterian kingdom, by a decree of parliament, for a few years of the seventeenth century. During the protectorship of Oliver Cromwell, England was a commonwealth, or republic. It would be to the full as correct, to call the English nation in the present day, a Presbyterian republic, although she is in fact, governed by a constitution, which combines the prelacy and the monarchy, as to call France, under her present constitution, an atheistical republic, or empire,
I conclude these remarks in the words of THE NEW EDINBURGH ENCYCLOPÆDIA, reviewing the opinion of Mr. Faber, under the article antichrist. “He maintains, that revolutionary France is antichrist; and that this formidable power was revealed in all its terrors, in the year 1792, when monarchy was abolished, and atheism openly avowed.—This opinion, it must be acknowledged, is supported by its author with great learning and ingenuity. But when we recollect, that most of the facts on which it is founded are drawn from the fanciful and exaggerated statements of Barruel; and that the abolition of monarchy, and the avowal of atheistical tenets, were but the deed of a comparatively small number, actuated by a temporary phrenzy; and that the one was soon succeeded by the return of regular government, and the other by the re-establishment of the Christian religion, we cannot feel disposed to attach much credit to the theory of Mr. Faber. It seems to derive its chief interest from the extraordinary value of the events which have lately taken place in France, and from the desire that we naturally, but illiberally feel, to load that country and its ruler with all that we have been accustomed, as a religious nation, to regard with most abhorrence; and consequently to justify upon system, the spirit of eternal warfare. There is, it is said, a large manuscript volume in the Bodleian Library, written to prove that Oliver Cromwell was the antichrist. This may appear very ridiculous to us, but it did not perhaps appear so to those who lived in the times of the usurpation. And in a century or two hence, Mr. Faber’s book, so greedily swallowed by many of the present times, may be equally a subject of general wonder and pity.”
From the considerations, my brethren, which have now been suggested, we feel authorized in drawing the inference, that the several names, antichrist, man of sin, the king doing his own will, the mystery of iniquity, and the apostacy of the latter days, are all different names of the same great system of opposition to true religion; and that they all designate that public prostitution of Christianity, which is connected with the fourth universal empire.
I am the more anxious to impress this idea upon your minds, because the adversary of our salvation, in whose service, and by whose power, the antichristians carry on their seductions, is diligently occupied in diverting the attention of the witnesses of Christ from this principal impediment to a general reformation.
If he can succeed in begetting infidelity, and in rearing up this his own creature, to such an alarming height among the nations, as to attract the principal notice of the saints, and call forth their principal efforts, he can the more securely promote the antichristian delusion, upon which he places his chief dependence, in prolonging his own reign over the nations, and in preventing the progress of the religion of the Son of God.
Be not deceived by these acts, although they may have been already too far successful. From openly avowed infidelity, you have little to fear. With shameless effrontery that enemy stalks forth at noonday; but it is from a masked battery the foe does the greatest execution. The scriptural predictions are in this case our safest guide. They foretell, for our instruction, that the spirit of antichrist is that which we have most to fear, most to detest, most to oppose. Avowed atheism has little to recommend it, even to the fallen mind. It finds in human nature, comparatively few principles upon which to ingraft its own scions. Man is naturally prone to reverence some invisible superior. It is upon “the sense of deity” in the depraved heart, that Satan rests his baneful superstition. From such superstition, we have more to fear, as individuals, and as members of society, than from actual atheism. Where one man has descended into the pit, denying the being of a God and of a future state, thousands have perished in false hope; have fallen blindfolded by error into the ditch; or, bound in the shackles of a false faith, have been dragged into the prison whence there is no redemption.
Infidelity affects society by a temporary phrenzy. It speedily produces, by its obvious evils, a cure to its own poison. But superstition, united with despotic power, holds a more successful sceptre. It is more than the magic wand of fairy tales, more than the witchcrafts and enchantments of ancient barbarism. It finds ready access to the corrupt heart; it imperceptibly insinuates its soul-ruining heresies; it decorates its temples; it avows respect for the gods; it promises celestial happiness; it introduces the voice of the multitude in its favour; and thus, it deceives the unwary to their own destruction.
Pretending to be the guardian of the peace, the prosperity and the glory of nations, it employs the sword of civil authority, to cut off, as disturbers of the peace, the witnesses of a purer faith and a more holy practice. Pilate was less an enemy to our Saviour than were Annas and Caiaphas; and where infidelity has sacrificed upon her altars one true believer, the superstition of despotic princes have offered up to their rapacious demons the blood of a thousand martyrs.
Be not deceived, Christians, I repeat it, be not deceived by the cry of French atheism ; but mark with more attention than ever antichrist, in whatever nation he may be found. Treat with equal jealousy and indignation, French, and German, and Spanish, and Russian, and British antichristianism. This is the grand enemy of the church. It is the enemy now to be destroyed. Attend, therefore, in the fear of God, to the voice which is heard from heaven, giving commission to the angels of death, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the EARTH. AMEN.
 “This,” says Mr. Thomas Reader, in his REMARKS ON THE PROPHETIC PART OF THE REVELATION, a work of considerable merit, “this voice declared the will of God, and the united desire of his people.”
From this writer I quote a paragraph to show his view of the character of the angels, and the living creature, which gave to them the vials. “These seven angels, having the seven last plagues, ver. 6, 7. being called to offer a dreadful sacrifice to the justice of God, were clothed in robes of ‘more than bare innocence;’ viz. with pure and shining linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles, to denote the firmness, dignify, and splendour, with which they will perform this dreadful work; see chap. i. 13. And, that it might appear what power God's ministers have with him over their enemies, and that the work which these angels were going about, was the avenging of his persecuted servants, one of the four living creatures—(But lest any of them should, through unbelief, suppose himself incapable of such an honour, the Lord has not informed us whether it was he who resembled the lion, the ox, the man, or the eagle) gave to the seven angels seven vials, that is, censers, cups, or bottles, full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever; the unchanging enemy of every impenitent immortal, who has dared to take up arms against him and his Christ, chap. viii. 5. So David, by his prayers, gave the angels those vials which they poured upon his enemies, Psa. xxxv. 5, 6. and Isaiah and Hezekiah gave that vial to the angel, which he poured upon the 185,000 Assyrians, Isa. xxxvii. And when these vials are to be poured out, God will put it into the heart of some gospel minister, or of a set of ministers of similar dispositions, firmly to believe, and therefore to desire of God by prayer, the execution of this vengeance; which may properly be called their giving the vials to the angels, though we have no reason to suppose that these angels will visibly appear to him or them, when they are going about this work. God bottles the tears of his saints, not only to be witnesses of the sincerity of their love to him, but also to make them vials of his wrath on the heads of their enemies, Psa. lvi. 7. For shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry day and night unto him? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily, Luke xviii. 7, 8. as he promised to the souls under the altar, chap. vi. 10, 11.” Reader on the Prophecies of Revelation, p. 217. Lond. 1778.
 I allude to his note of criticism on Mr. Galloway, Vol. I. p. 66.
 Earth is opposed to heaven. The antichristian system is, therefore, as properly designated by earth, as Christianity is by the term heaven. “The kingdom of God.”—“the kingdom of heaven,” does not signify the territory occupied by pious men; but the system of the grace of God, dispensed to men, and separating them from the world, by reducing them into a church state. The church of God is the kingdom of heaven, because its origin and its nature are heavenly: the opposite system is the earth, because its nature is earthly, carnal, and perishing.
 In doing this, he acts more as an Englishman than as an expositor of prophecy. We give more credit to him for his patriotism than for his orthodoxy.
 Jerome Hieronymus flourished in the fourth century, and is universally esteemed as one of the most learned and judicious of the Fathers. He hath these words on the celebrated passage, Dan. xi. 36.
Ab hoc loco, Judaei dici de antichristo putant—quod quidem et nos de antichristo intelligimus. Porphyrius autem et cæteri qui sequuntur eum, de Antiocho Epiphane dici arbitrantur.—Quæ universa in typo antichristi, nostri præcessisse contendunt; qui sessurus est in templo Dei, et se facturus ut Deum. Hieron. Col. 1129—1131.
 See a plain and correct commentary on 2 Thess. ii. 3—9. in Scot’s Family Bible.
 Ἡ Αποστασια, 2 Thess. ii. 3. Αποστησονται, 1 Tim. iv. 1.
 The moral and religious character of this period is also described, 2 Tim. iii. 1—5.
 Doctrines of Devils. Διδασκαλιαις Δαιμονιων. The doctrines of the church of Rome, are in this passage denominated doctrines of devils, not because they are from the great adversary of our salvation, but because they introduce the worship of demons instead of the worship of God: doctrines relating to the worship of demons. Δαιμονιον is from Δαιμων, and that from Δαιω, or ידע to know. A great part of the heathen idolatry consisted in the worship of demons, and their doctrines of religion were, of course, doctrines which respected these objects of their worship. This explains the expression, doctrines of devils.
Plato explains the doctrine. “Every demon is a middle being between God and man. All the commerce and intercourse between gods and men is performed by the mediation of demons. Demons are reporters and carriers from men to the gods, and again from the gods to men, of the supplications and prayers of the one, and of the injunctions and rewards of devotion from the other." See Parkhurst’s Lexicon.
The doctrine of demons, as explained by so distinguished a philosopher, serves to throw light upon those parts of scripture, which represent the heathen as worshipping devils. This is the scriptural account of their sacrifices in every age from Moses to Paul. Deut. xxxii. 17. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God. 1 Cor. x. 20. But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
The question will naturally occur, Where did the heathen find these mediators, their demons, whom they worshipped? They answer this question themselves. Plato says, and in this he confirms what Hesiod had said before him, “When good men die, they attain great honour and dignity, and become demons.” They deified, or canonized, men after death. This abundantly shows the applicability of this prophecy to that system of religion which canonizes the dead, that they may be honoured by the living as mediators between them and the Most High.
 The prophecies of Daniel were in many instances so exactly accomplished, that those persons who would have otherwise been unable to resist the evidence which they furnished in support of our religion, have not scrupled to affirm, that they must have been written subsequent to these occurrences, which they so faithfully describe. But this groundless and unsupported assertion of Porphyry, who in the third century wrote against Christianity, serves but to establish the character of Daniel as a great and enlightened prophet; and Porphyry, by confessing and proving from the best historians, that all which is included in the eleventh chapter of Daniel, relative to the kings of the north and of the south, of Syria and of Egypt, was truly, and in every particular, acted and done in the order there related, has undesignedly contributed to the reputation of those prophesies, of which he attempted to destroy the authenticity.” Gray’s Key to the Old Testament, p. 338, Dublin, 1792.
 Observations on Daniel, p. 133, Dublin, 1733.
 “Judaei autem hoc nee de Antiocho Epiphane, nee de Antichristo, sed de Rornanis intelligi volunt. Post mulla, inquit, tempora de ipsis Romanis, qui Ptolemæao venere auxilio, et Antiocho comminati sunt, consurget rex Vespasianus, surgent brachia ejus et semina, Titus filius cum exercitu; et polluent sanctuarium, auferentique Jude sacrificium, et templum tradent æternæ solitudini.” Hieron. Coll. 1129.
Much more, to the same purpose, may be seen by consulting Mede, or bishop Newton, on this part of Daniel.
 Vol. I. p. 302.
 See Page 275.
 “Significat dæmones, sive deos protectores, quos Romani cum Christo colerunt; quales sanctos et angelos esse supponunt.” SYNOPSIS CRITICORUM, &c.
 Newton on the Prophesies. Vol. I. p. 372, New-York. 1794.
 The recent English expositors have greatly diminished the value of their publications, by permitting themselves to indulge so much of the spirit of political partiality. They must err, it seems, upon one side or the other.
Since the greater part of these lectures have been delivered from the pulpit, I have been favoured by a friend with the perusal of another explanation of the Revelation, by an Englishman, of rather more fire, and less discretion, than Mr. Faber. He is on the opposite side in politics—the Rev. James Brown, D. D. of Barnwell, Northamptonshire.
This work bears evident marks of having been published in 1811, or 1812. It is a work of genius; and yet it is very unworthy of a rank among the best expositions of the Apocalypse. The author accompanied, probably as a chaplain, the British army sent for the reduction of American liberty; and yet he is himself a violent whig. I quote from his work the following as a specimen. It will rival any thing Faber has written against the rulers of France.
“If the beast, in form like a lamb; yet spake as a dragon, acted as a demon, and hath his portion assigned him with the devil and the first beast;—who will doubt, notwithstanding their candid show, and plausible pretences, that a North, a Germain, a Sandwich, and other supporters of their counsels, who for seven years, at the expense of the lives of many thousands of British subjects, deluged America with the blood of her inhabitants, contending for freedom, and the natural rights of man, are in the sight of heaven more guilty, and obnoxious to a severer doom, than all the private murderers England has produced since it was a nation.
“Is there one individual in the empire, who is not now suffering under those corrupt and rapacious principles, which have dictated the councils of this country for near a century past?—those vultures only excepted, who now fatten on her vitals, or those who, already gorged with her blood, and loaded with ravin, have retired to their nests to devour and enjoy their prey—while the profuse courtier, and pampered appendant of office, is straining his low fancy to invent new objects of vanity and luxurious indulgence, to exhaust his countless treasures, the poor peasant and his family is pining in want, or a beggarly dependant on parochial supply. A state of society, so subversive of the essential laws of nature and Providence, cannot long exist. And however those who have been the means of introducing it, may escape punishment from men, and however much they may have glorified themselves, and lived deliciously—if we rightly understand this passage of scripture—so much the more torment and sorrow, so much the severer punishment is denounced against them, by the righteous judgment of God,” page 141—145. See also his remark on Mr. Pitt, page 142.
“From the politics we have been so perseveringly and so successfully pursuing for half a century past, we may plainly perceive, that no ministry who will not support this profusion in the court and this corruption in the parliament, will ever be permitted to continue in office. Is there any man at this day so blind as not to see, that from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the lowest excise-man, the very suspicion of a partiality to the interest of the country and of the people, in preference to the designs of the court, is an absolute disqualification for any office?”
 How easily can a tyrant make a national religion? and of how little value is it in the eight of God, or in the estimation of good men, when thus made?
 By regular government and the Christian religion, unto which this writer says, France returned, we are to understand, despotism and popery.