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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1853, by


in the Clerk's office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.




THE thirteenth chapter has just given us a rapid sketch of the political history of Europe under the form of the beast with seven heads and ten horns, likewise of the rise of another power under the form of the beast with two horns, whose manner of speaking like a dragon shows that it was also political ;—it was, in fact, the politico-religious power of the Romish Church existing simultaneonsly with the first great beast, and acting in concert with it. Of this harmony in the action of the two beasts we shall see more in a future chapter.

Nothing occurred to call out the religious character of the two beasts, and to exhibit its persecution and bigotry, until the early part of the sixteenth century, when Luther commenced a public and systematic opposition to the errors and corruptions.of the Church of Rome.

The Reformation was met at its first appearance by the violence and bigotry which distinguished the heathen opposition to the infant Church of Christ in Rome; and the two beasts of the thirteenth chapter set themselves to put it down. But the struggle which this purpose produced is not alluded to in that chapter for the reasons stated, that the chapter is entirely political in its description. But, turning to the thir/2 teenth chapter, we shall find the contest most distinctly re

ferred to; and there we shall see the woman, representing the gospel church, surrounded by enemies, but still gaining ground, being nourished and fed in her wilderness state.

But the prophet, after the episode of the thirteenth chapter, in which he treats of the political powers of Europe, and shows that its whole religious system was nothing more than a government of moral tyranny, returns to acquaint us, as he does in the fourteenth chapter, with the result of the contest between this tyranny and the Reformation. This result is seen in the first five verses of the chapter, and it is remarkable what an affinity there is between the language of the royal prophet of Judah* and the prophet of the Christian Church. Did they both refer to the same event? No doubt they did.

1. And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

2. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth.

4. These are they which are not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from amongst men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.

5. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

These five verses show the success of the Reformation to the point where Protestantism became established. It had conquered its enemies so far as to secure equal rights with them in the free exercise of its religion. This picture is designed to show the first separate and independent establishment of Protestantism as a church, when it was placed beyond the reach of the authority and power, either secular or *Psalm ii.

ecclesiastical, of the popedom. She has overcome the political power of the great beast, and the religious tyranny of the two-horned beast, and she is now represented by the prophet as standing with the Lamb on the mount Sion.

The meaning of this figurative scene is, that the Protestant Church, or the Church of the Reformation, had taken a position before the world so elevated in point of morality and piety, that her doctrines were clearly seen by men to be from Christ. This is implied by the Lamb standing with them. This is the first great feature of the church; it is the Church of Christ, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, having his Father's name written in their foreheads—that is, they have the knowledge of the true God; their knowledge of salvation is derived from the Word of God, and not from the dogmas of a fallen and corrupt church.

This triumph of the religion of Christ is represented in the second verse as causing great joy, and producing wonderful and happy changes in the condition and prospects of men.

Great changes in the civil or religious condition of nations are represented in prophetic style, by sounds that are heard at a great distance; startling and astonishing the people who hear them. Hence, the prophet says, when this scene of the Lamb and the multitude of the redeemed appeared: And I heard a voice from heaven (that is from Christendom) as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunder : and I heard the voice of harpers, harping, with their harps.

This was a loud voice indeed, which required the tremendous roar of cataracts, and the peals of mighty thunders to give us any adequate idea of it. But the changes which were to follow the Reformation, and reconstruction of the gospel church, were not over-estimated, even by this great voice. The voice was not the result of a wild tumultuous outburst of excited passions. The harps gave a sacred character, an order and mellowness to the great sounds, such as would harmonize them with the happy effects produced by a religion which breathes peace and good will tò men.

But there is more implied in this great voice than merely religious transport. It expresses the general effect produced upon the nations by the establishment of the Protestant religion. The happy changes which have been introduced in civil government; the amelioration of the condition of the people, and the increase of light in all things connected with the happiness of man, have all come out of the success of the Protestant religion—the establishment of a scriptural and ational Christianity in the earth. These are the effects 'which are represented by the great voice from heaven-they are still progressing, still enlarging the sphere of human happiness and that voice is still widening and extending its sound. These changes which are represented by the voice of great cataracts and peals of thunder, may be considered as political and moral, and as bearing chiefly upon the governments and kingdoms of the world, in softening the hard and cruel features of despotism, and breaking the chains of tyrannical power. But another effect is described in the third verse, of an individual and personal character-this is the religious change which is wrought in the hearts and lives of those who embrace it. This is represented by the new song which the great multitude sung before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders. The subjects of the Reformation now enjoy the fullest liberty in the exercise of their religion. Openly, and without fear, they proclaim their faith and express their joy in the Protestant religion, in the face of the greatest earthly power, and amongst all nations dwelling in the four quarters of the earth.

This feature of the prophecy very well illustrates the present age of the world, when we behold the gospel in its general diffusion over the world, giving peace to the nations and happiness to the Church of Christ, before the throne and the four beasts and the elders, according to the views already expressed on this point, signify the four grand divisions of the earth and the nations that dwell in them. Through the effects of Protestantism, the gospel has been sounded-the

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