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by Dr. John Thomas
In the beginning of the chapter, while the first vial is supposed to be pouring out, the Papal Jupiter is styled the beast's image; but in the thirteenth verse of the same chapter (Rev.
16), while the spirits are at work, he is termed the false prophet; and in verse twenty of chapter nineteen also, where it speaks of his perdition.
This change of style is by no means accidental.
If the reader take a view of the Papal dominion at the close of the eighteenth century, then view it as it is now, and compare the views together; he will doubtless come to the conclusion, that the Pope is no longer the image of the imperial head of the beast.
He has no dominion really, for it is so far consumed, that what remains is of little, or no account.
He has good will enough to make terrible examples of the democrats who caused his flight from Rome; but he cannot carry it into effect, because the French will not permit him.
He is a fugitive in exile, and though pressed to return to Rome, he is afraid to go.
He is, then, no longer imperial, and consequently, has fallen from his Iconism, and become a simple prophet.
Protestant and Papal scribes are in the habit of applying the epithet "false prophet" to Mohammed, and therefore do not perceive its applicability to the Roman bishop.
But neither Mohammed, nor his successors, are termed "the false prophet" in the Apocalypse.
The Arabian was false enough, doubtless; but he was a far more respectable character than any Pope that has ever reigned; and were I to choose between the two superstitions, I would rather be a Moslem than a Papist.
It was the glory of Mohammed to destroy idolatry: it is the infamy of the Popes to be the high priests of the "queen of heaven".
The Saracens were God's locusts to torment, and the Ottomans, God's cavalry to slay with political death, the Catholic image-worshippers of the Asiatic third part of the Roman dragon.
Mohammed was the star; and his successors, the "commanders of the ‘faithful‘," the "angel of the bottomless pit; whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon".
These names in English signify Destroyer, which is indicative of the mission of those who marshalled themselves under the standard of the Arabian.
The epithet "false prophet" is singularly applicable to the Roman bishop.
It is a part of his function to preach or prophesy; that is, to "speak unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort".
From him these blessings are supposed to flow to all "his children," Aaron was given to Moses to be his prophet because he could speak well.
As Aaron, then, was speaker, mouth, or prophet, to Moses; so the Pope is now the mouth, or prophet, or speaker, of the Papacy, and no more.
He is virtually stripped of his dominion; he can prophesy, but his rule is a thing of name, and not a fact.
A false prophet is he; truthless as Satan; sporting himself with his own deceivings, and thereby provoking a speedy fate, which is "capture and destruction".
But, before he and the two-horned beast before whom he is now working, perish in the European fiery lake they are blowing into a flame, they must fulfil the mission to which they are appointed under this series of the sixth vial.
The Sultan, the Pope, and the Emperor, are the "demons" of the crisis, and the mouths, or speakers, of the systems to which they belong.