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against God, even beyond his Pagan precursors;' its constituency and priesthood, throughout Schlegel's boasted middle ages, characterized by “unrepented idolatries, (such is God's representation of the Romish imageworship so strangely patronized by the German philosopher,?) and fornications too, thefts, murders, and sorceries : "3 in fine as continuing unchanged, unchangeable, in apostacy, notwithstanding the repeated checks of woes and judgments from heaven, even until the end : and therefore then at length in its impenitency to be utterly abandoned to judgment, and, like another Sodom, made an example of the vengeance of everlasting fire :*
this being in fact the grand essential preliminary to the world's intended and blessed regeneration.-On the other hand the Apocalyptic prophecy represented Christ's true Church, the election of grace, consisting of such as should hold to Christ as their head, and keep the word of God and testimony of Jesus, as almost at once entering on a great and long tribulation ; yet though in number few and fewer, and reduced soon to a state spiritually destitute and desolate, like that of the wilderness, so as to constitute them a church invisible rather than visible, as still secretly preserved by their Lord :5 a revelation of God's doctrines of grace, (doctrines directly antagonistic to those of the incipient apostacy,) being, it seemed, vouchsafed, the result of a direct primary intervention from heaven at this crisis oftime, with a view to their spiritual preservation and life: which revelation, singularly acted out before St. John in the light-bearing visions of the sealing and the palm-bearers, just before the burst of the emblematic tempests, was in Augustine's history and teaching (teaching never altogether forgotten afterwards) perfectly realized and illus
Apoc. xii, xiii. ? See the quotation from Schlegel about the iconoclastic Greek emperors in Note 3, p. 275, suprà.
Mr. Sibthorp, it is said by Mr. Faber, went over to the Church of Rome, under the belief that it did not require idolatrous worship of the Virgin Mary; and that he has left it, and rejoined the English Church, on finding that this was in very truth required of him. But did it need that he should enter the Romish Church for evidence on such a point ?
3 Apoc. ix. 20, 21. See my chapter on it, Part iii. ch. i. 4 Apoc. xviii.
See Vol, iii, p. 53, &c.
trated. It then depicted the actual witnesses for Christ's cause and truth, from out of this little body, and protestors against the reigning apostacy, (witnesses verified historically afterwards in the history of those whom Schlegel would make heretics, the Waldenses more especially, and Wiclif, and Huss, and their followers,) as made war on by Rome's revived Empire, soon after the completion of their testimony against the several chief doctrines of its apostacy, and the Pope's full establishment of his power, like as by a Beast from the Abyss of hell ; and so being at length conquered and apparently exterminated :—with the added figuration however of their sudden and most extraordinary revival and exaltation almost instantly after, in the presence of their enemies :: a revelation from heaven introducing and accompanying it, yet more glorious than the former one, even of Christ as the Sun of Righteousness;and a great political revolution attending or following, under which the tenth part of the ten-kingdomed Ecclesiastical Empire would fall. All this the prophecy figured as the result of God's great second intervention for his Church; and all this we saw, on irrefragable evidence, to have been fulfilled in the great Reformation of the xvith century : the discovery introducing it of the doctrine of justification simply by faith in Christ Jesus; and the downfall following it of the tenth part of the Popedom in Papal England. Thus was this Protestant Reformation distinctly figured in the Apocalypse as a glorious divine act, not human, so as Schlegel would have it :its excommunication of the Roman Papal Church, with all its false rites and traditions, (by Schlegel so fondly cherished, and its national establishment too in Northern Germany, England, and elsewhere, being further depicted as acts directed from heaven ; 5 and its faith, instead of being (so as he would call it) a mere negation, represented to have its very origin from the positive recognition of Christ as the Sun of RighteousSee the second Section of my chapter on the Sealing Vision ; Vol. i. pp. ness, and only source of man's justification, light, and life. As to the subsequent“ indifferentism in religion,” as Schlegel truly designates it, which followed afterwards in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, even in the states and churches of Protestantism, it was not unforeshown in the further developments of the Apocalypse. But what the cause assigned? Because, amidst all the rejoicings of states and churches on the establishment of a purer religion, it would still be but the 144,000, the election of grace, a church within a church, that would be really the kupicky erkanora, the Lord's Church. Yet it seemed also pre-intimated how (as if from some gracious revival of religion in God's still favoured Protestantism) there would afterwards speed forth in the latter times three missionary Angels, flying through mid-heaven, with voices of gospel-preaching, warning against Papal Rome, and denunciation of its quickly-coming judgment ; ? a cotemporary revival of the Papacy, (the same that Schlegel boasts of as the glorious characteristic of these our own days,) being but the last putting forth of its bravery, to hasten the final crisis, and constitute the precursor and justification of its fall : acts these that would be nearly the last public ones promoted, or mingled in, by the little body of Christ's faithful ones on earth. For it was foreshown how that Christ's advent would speedily follow; and cotemporarily therewith, and with the mystic Babylon's destruction by fire, his witnessing saints and all that fear him, small and great,' have the reward given them of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of their Lord : and that so, and then, (not before, or otherwise,) the promised regeneration of all things (the Christian's great object of hope 4) is to have its accomplishment, in Christ's own reign with his saints; and
2 See Part ii, Chap. vii. 3 Apoc. xi. 7; Part iii, Chap. viii. * Apoc. x. 1, Vol. ii. pp. 41-43. and 91-99.
5 Apoc. xi. 2. See Vol. ii. p. 179, &c.
Apoc. xiv. 1. See Part iv, Chap. x; Vol. iii. p:
258. Apoc. xiv. 6, &c. See Vol. iii. p. 412, &c.
Apoc. xi. 18. * On this point Schlegel, in his fifth Lecture, beautifully contrasts the religion of the ancient Jews (to which Christianity has succeeded) with that of all the other Asiatic nations. In the traditions of these latter, he observes, regret was the prominent feeling expressed for what man had lost'; in the Hebrew religion hope for the future. “ The whole existence of this people turned on the pivot of hope ; the keystone of its moral life projected its shadows far into futurity."
therewith at length the true and only complete evangelization of the world.
Such is the Apocalyptic philosophy of the history of Christendom; such its contrast with Schlegel's. (To its philosophy on certain other interesting points the reader's attention was directed very early in the introductory chapter of my Work.') And the review of it will well prepare us for applying to ourselves, in conclusion, the moral lessons of the whole ; as we look to the probabilities,—the awful and the hopeful probabilities, -of the fast-coming future.
As a nation then does it not, while pointing out how and wherefore England has been raised to its present greatness,-viz. in order to its being the great bulwark and promulgator throughout the world of the Protestant evangelic faith, 2-solemnly warn us also against being seduced by any spirit of mistaken expediency, false liberalism, religious indifferentism, or, I may add, party faction, to seek nationally to identify ourselves with the Papal antichristian religion, or any further to foster its power, either at home, or in the colonies ? Surely of toleration and civil privilege the utmost has been granted to our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects (to say the least) consistent with our character as a Protestant state. Let us beware lest, in the vain hope of thoroughly conciliating and uniting the Romish priesthood in our land, -a thing which history and reason, as well as prophecy, have shown to be impossible, we abandon our distinctive Protestant character; 5 and therewith, in the great coming
1 Vol. i. pp. 107-109.
3 I use Schlegel's phrase. 4 A year or two before the Act of Roman Catholic Emancipation, Mr. Gally Knight, in an influential and able Pamphlet, pointed to the case of the then. Dutch and Belgian kingdom, in proof of the possible thorough union of Protestants and Catholics under a Protestant Government. The year after that Act had passed, the Protestant Government there was overthrown by a united Romish and democratic insurrection.
As to the Irish Roman Catholic Emancipation Act, who, even of its most sanguine advocates, has not confessed to disappointment in the results ?
5 For example by “the great measure, as some have called it, of paying the Irish Roman Catholic Priesthood from the national funds.
crisis, forfeit the high protectorate, hitherto granted us, of heaven.'—Nor, let me add, if in that crisis (as prophecy seems to intimate) the evangelization of the heathen, or evangelization and restoration of the Jews, prove in the issue to be the occasion of the great Romish (and perhaps too Mahommedan) powers uniting together in some hostile and opposing confederacy, let it be forgotten which is the Lord's side : lest here too we act as an ally, if not constituent, of Babylon ; and become nationally a partaker of her sins, and nationally, in God's coming judgment on the nations, a partaker also of her tremendous punishment.
Further, has it not a voice to us as a Church ? I speak of the Church established by God's gracious Providence in this kingdom. May we not, from that holy prophecy that we have been considering, infer it to be its paramount duty, wisdom, and even safety, to hold fast the pure and scriptural doctrine on which it was founded at the Reformation : and to eschew and repudiate, not the principles of direct Popery only, or even of the modern Tractarian semi-Popery ; (which is but in truth that earlier form of the great apostacy revivified, to which in due time, as we have seen, and through Satanic artifice, Rome did but furnish the fitting headship;") but also of every modification of the same, which may seek to make religion a thing ecclesiastical, rather than a thing personal and spiritual ; and to interpose the Church, with its priesthood and services and sacraments, between the soul and Christ, instead of asserting it as their one grand prerogative and office to direct the soul to Christ ?-Surely it is a strange misnomer to call this system, as with laudatory title, High Church, and decry the opposite system by the vituperatively-intended title of
[Alas ! since the publication of my First Edition, our national Protestant character has been further compromised by the Maynooth endowment :-an act originated, no doubt, from patriotic motives by the ministry; but of patriotism how mistaken, because how contrary to the Word of God !--2nd Edit.]
| Let me refer on this head to the interesting illustrative historic sketch prefixed by Dr. Croly to his Treatise on the Apocalypse. 2 See pp. 171, 172 suprà.
3 Apoc. xiii. 2.