Eureka - An Exposition of the Apocalypse - John Thomas
Chapter 14 12.
1. The First General Division of the Seven Sealed Scroll The first four and the Sixth Seals representative of the judicial manner of "taking out of the way" the Pagan Constitution of the "Dreadful and Terrible Fourth Beast," which withheld the revelation of "THE Lawless One;" (Dan. 7:7; Apoc. 6; 2 Thess. 2:3-9) and the consequent manifestation of the Catholic Mystery of Iniquity, or Man of Sin Power, in the Heaven of the said beast, or "Great Fiery-Red Dragon" (Apoc. 12:1-5, 7-13). TIME OF EVENTS From a.d. 107 to a.d. 325 -- See Tab. Analysis, Vol. 2, p. 110. SIXTH SPECIAL DIVISION OF THE SEVEN SEALED SCROLL ACT VI -- SEAL 6 A great earthquake inaugurates this judicial period. War in the Heaven, (Apoc. 12:7) resulting in an eclipse of the sun, in the moon becoming blood, in the stars of the henven, the stars drawn by the Tail of the Dragon, (Apoc. 12:4) falling into the earth, and of the casting out thereinto of the great fiery-red Dragon (Apoc. 12:9). The heaven of the Dragon-Polity departs as a scroll rolled up; and every mountain and island change their places. The angels of the Dragon are cast out with him (Apoc. 12:9). No place for them any more in the heaven from which they are ejected, having been effectually conquered by the Archer of the First Seal -- the Fellow-servants and Brethren of the souls under the Altar; who conquered him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, on account of which they were slain, not loving their lives unto death (Apoc. 12:11; 6:9). Great rejoicings in the heavens by them who succeed the ejected Dragon and his officials, who rage with great fury in the earth and sea of their late dominion (Apoc. 12:12). The great day of wrath upon Paganism. The woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess, the Laodicean Apostasy, imperialized, and the Man of Sin Power revealed (Apoc. 2:20). TIME OF THE SEAL From a.d. 311 THE LAODICEAN STATE Vol. 1 pp. 428, 449; Vol. 2 pp. 87, 89, 276 The "little strength" of the Philadelphian State exhausted, and Laodiceanism fully established, Pagan persecution having ceased, and "the Catholics," as nominal Christians were now called, being in high favor with the authorities, they say "We are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing" -- Apoc. 3:17. Being "lukewarm," the Spirit "spues them out of his mouth." This state continues until abolished by the judgments of the Seventh Vial, which are executed by the Saints after the resurrection. Summary End of the "rest for a little season," when the "Despot Holy and True" avenges the blood of the souls under the altar, upon them that dwell upon the earth. A great earthquake inaugurates this day of vengeance. The woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, appears in the Roman Heaven invested with imperial dignity and glory. Her son, having triumphed over the Great Red Dragon, which sought to destroy him, becomes the sovereign ruler of the nations. The Spirit "spues" her Laodicean element "out of his mouth," and a remnant of her seed, as the woman fugitive, is found in the wilderness. War ensues in the Roman Heaven between the powers there, which results in the ejection of the great Draco-Serpent Devil and Satan from thence. The "Brethren" and "Fellow-servants" of the souls under the altar rejoice at his expulsion. But woe betides the inhabiters of the earth and sea, where the Dragon retains power for a "short time" longer; and persecutes the constituents of the woman dwelling in his dominion. The woman being in the wilderness is protected there for a period of 1260 days; and in her flight thither is pursued by the Serpent, which seeks to sweep her away; but the Earth helps her, and defeats her enemy. The Dragon is wroth with her; and resumes the war with the remnants of her seed. Translation Apocalypse 12 1. And a great sign appeared in the heaven; a woman who had been invested with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head and a wreath of twelve stars. 2. And being pregnant she cries being in pangs and straining to bring forth. 3. And there appeared another sign in the heaven, and behold, a great fiery-red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems: and his tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven, and he casts them into the earth. And the dragon stood in the presence of the woman about to bring forth, that when she may have brought forth, he might devour her offspring. 5. And she brought forth a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre: and her son was forcibly carried up to Deity and his throne. 6. And the woman fled into the wilderness where she has a place that had been prepared of the Deity, that they may sustain her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7. And there was war in the heaven. The Michael and his angels waged war against the Dragon; and the dragon waged war and his angels. 8. And they prevailed not; neither was their place found any longer in the heaven. 9. And the great dragon, the old Serpent, surnamed Diabolos, was cast forth; and the Satan which deceives the whole habitable was cast into the earth; and his angels were cast forth with him. 10. And I heard a great voice saying in the heaven, Now is the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our Deity, and the dominion of His Anointed; for the prosecutor of our brethren, who accused them in the presence of our Deity, day and night, has been cast down. 11. And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life unto death. 12. On account of this let the heavens rejoice and those who tent in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and the sea, because the Diabolos has fallen among you having great wrath, foreseeing that he hath a short time. 13. And when the Dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he pursued the woman who brought forth the male. 14. And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, in which she is sustained there a time and times and half of a time, out of the sight of the serpent. 15. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman water as a flood, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16. And the earth ran with help for the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17. And the dragon was enraged against the woman, and went away to wage war with the remnants of her seed who keep the commandments of the Deity and have the testimony of the Anointed Jesus. Introductory Remarks by Which the Second and Third volumes are connected 1."The Time of the End" The end of the eleventh chapter of the Apocalypse conducts the reader into what Jeremiah styles, "the time of Jacob's trouble," out of which he shall be saved (ch. 30:7) -- a time in which there are "lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail" (Apoc. 11:19). This is that "Time of the End" of which Daniel prophesied, saying, "There shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time." This is that time which certain chronologists term "an unchronological period"; that is, a period which is left scripturally undefined, having no revealed commencement nor termination: so that it may be a moment exemplified by a flash of lightning, a year, or several years, for anything that is, or can be, known. But to such a conclusion as this, it is impossible that any one intelligent in the word can come. It is, on the contrary, a period well and clearly indicated. Its commencement is synchronical with the ending of "the time of the vision" seen by Daniel "in the third year of the reign of King Belshatzar"; for, it is written, "to the time of the end the vision" -- l'eth kaitz he khazon -- ch. 8:17. Now in an answer to the question, "How long the vision?" it was replied, "for an evening-morning of two thousand four hundred." This, according to what time has proved to be the best reading, is the time of the vision -- a period of 2400 years; which, having expired a.d. 1860, bring us to the time of the end, in which "the holy shall be vindicated" from the violence and injury resulting from so long a period of subjection under the feet of the Gentiles. The world must therefore now be in the eighth year of the Time of the End. The termination of the 2400 years, and the synchronical beginning of the time of the end, were both signalized by the outbreak of the American civil war, which in its development proved to mankind, that with all their boasted science, civilization and religion, they are not one whit in advance of the beasts that perish (Psa. 49:12, 20). The time of the end thus portentously begun continued to unfold itself in the events of the Franco-Mexican war, and in those of the Russo-Polish, and Prusso-Austrian Danish, and Prusso-Austrian Italian wars. By the American civil war several millions of Southerners have been subjected to an ignoble military despotism, and social degradation and ruin; while the fanatics used by Providence in its judicial visitation upon the South, have blasted the prosperity of the North, filled its families with lamentation and death, and laid the foundations of trouble that will only be finally assuaged in the absorption and obliteration of the so-called United States in the New Universal Empire of the Ancient of Days. The invasion of Mexico by France, England, and Spain, resulted in the fall of a republic -- a corrupt and worthless popular sovereignty; and in the provisional establishment (for it will prove to be nothing more) of a Franco-Austrian imperiality, which has this redeeming quality, that it is hostile to the Papacy, and inimical to the priests. These events in Mexico are, it is most likely, only preparatory elements of the situation being now organized in the providence of the Deity. They are preparing for a future complication, by which the trouble of the latter days will pervade not Europe and Asia only, but America as well. The Russo-Polish war was most ferocious. In the ratio of its extent it was as savage a conflict as the American civil war, though of shorter duration. It was a contest between Russo-Greek and Polish Latin, in which the Greeks, "the worshippers of the Dragon," destroyed the Polish nationality of the Latins, "the worshippers of the Beast." Poland was blotted out from the political geography of the world. It became a monument of the dead, whose epitaph forewarns the nations of the fate that awaits their kingdoms and republics when judgment shall be given to the saints, and the time comes that they shall possess the dominion under the whole heaven (Dan. 7:22, 27). In devouring Poland, "Gog, the Prince of Rosh, Mesech, and Tobl," has prepared, and become a guard to so much of "Gomer and all his bands" as it contains. Nor has the Prince of Rosh, whom we style the Autocrat of All the Russians, being negligent of his mission in the direction of "Togarmah of the north quarters and all his bands" (Ezek. 38:2, 6, 7). Since the end of the 2400 years, he has advanced his frontier so as to include Khokan and Bokhara, so that there is now but one state between him and British India, namely, Afghanistan, all of whose sympathies are in accord with the enemies and rivals of British rule in India. Thus "Gog of the land of Magog," the great king of the north, who is to figure so conspicuously "in the time of the end" -- b'aith kaitz, styled by Ezekiel "the latter years" and "the latter days," is standing almost face to face with "Sheba and Dedan, and the Merchants of Tarshish;" whose young lions ere long will need all their strength and prowess for the repression of the further aggrandizement of the Russo-Assyrian power in the East. Nor is the alliance of Austria, Prussia, and Germany, the two-horned beast of the earth, against Denmark, for the possession of Schleswig and Holstein, without significance in this eventful time of the end. It is a question pregnant with trouble; and a necessary complication of a situation in which "the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable" will be engaged in an angry and sanguinary conflict, preparatory to "the war of the great day of Ail-Shaddai," when their thrones will be cast down, and the Ancient of Days shall sit (Apoc. 16:14; Dan. 7:9). And besides all this, not to dwell upon the increase of taxation, financial embarrassment, pestilence, destruction of mankind and their fellow-beasts, and all the minor evils by which humanity is grieved, there is the all-important and inevitable Roman Question. This is preeminently the question of the time of the end. It can only be solved in the final and complete abolition of the Papal Kingdom. This result, however, can not be developed by the action or policy of France, Italy, or the Roman people. They are blindly preparing this consummation; and will doubtless develop for "the Great Harlot that sitteth upon many waters" a hatred of the European Powers, that shall cause them yet more than ever to "make her desolate and naked, and to eat her flesh and burn her with fire" (Apoc. 17:1, 16). But the final and complete destruction of the Papacy is an honor decreed for a more noble and powerful class of agents than these. It is a glory reserved for "the Heirs of the Kingdom which the Deity has promised to them that love him" (James 2:5). These are the destroyers of the Papacy in the time of the end. They are the Avengers of the Holy -- the avengers of the blood of the saints and witnesses of Jesus, and of all slain upon the earth in defence of righteousness and truth (Apoc. 18:6-8, 20, 24). It is from these proceed the lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and earthquake, and great hail" (Ch. 11:19). The Roman is a question that cannot be evaded or postponed. A policy must be pursued towards the Pope that will cause his government to use all its influence to enlist the powers in his defence against the Red Republicanism of the Italians and their allies. The cry of these is "an united Italy with Rome for its capital, or death!" To give effect to this would be the expulsion of Austria from Venetia; and the incorporation of the States of the Church with the kingdom or Commonwealth of Italy. If Red Republicanism can acquire the ascendancy in Italy, it will assuredly adventure the experiment of giving effect to its cry. In this event an appeal to arms would be inevitable. First, because Austria will never consent to the surrender of Venetia without a struggle; and secondly, because the spiritual influence of the Pope, which is still great in all the ten kingdoms of the beast, would go forth with all its unclean and demoniac activity to stir up war in his behalf. In this array of belligerents the combinations will be for a trial of strength between the expiringfeudality of the middle ages, and the revolutionary principles of 1789 -- a sanguinary and final conflict between the adherents of Church and State Absolutism, and the partisans of popular sovereignty as "the voice of God." Thus, by the intervention of the Roman and Eastern questions, a situation is created in the time of the end in exact accordance with the description of it in the prophetic writings. These questions create a trouble for all the nations and governments symbolized by the four beasts seen by Daniel arising out of the great sea (Dan. 7). They are all questions affecting the vested interests of the Image seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream. This great image, whose brightness is excellent, and its form terrible, appears in all its majesty and power in the time of the end. In the terminal epoch of the sixth vial, which obtains after the advent of the Ancient Days, the great Russo-Assyrian Gogian Image stands prepared for conflict with "the Prince of princes," whom Daniel styles "Michael, the Great Prince" (Dan. 8:25; 12:1). When the image stands thus in the time of the end the crisis will be of the most troublesome and exciting character. "The nations" will have been "made angry;" nor will their anger subside henceforth until the image shall be utterly broken, and all its fragments ground to powder. This result, however, will be beyond their power to accomplish. No combination short of the mighty angel clothed with cloud and rainbowed (Apoc. 10:1) can shiver it to pieces reduce these to chaff, and sweep them away that no place shall be found for them (Apoc. 2:27; Psa. 2:8, 9; Dan. 2:35). The time of the end, which is notably chronological, commences with the termination of the 2400 years, and ends with the exhaustion of the Seventh Vial. Hence the time of the end embraces part of the sixth and the whole of the seventh vials. It embraces so much of the sixth as pertains to the development of the Roman Question after 1860; the events attendant on the coming of the Ancient of Days; and those consequent on His appearing to the beginning of the seventh vial. Here are three epochs -- the present, characterized by the three wonder-working, unclean, frog-like demon-spirits, proceeding out of the mouth of the papal false prophet; the adventual epoch, characterized by the visible presence of Christ in Southern Asia; and the third, or terminal epoch, characterized by the gathering of the military forces of the powers into the Holy Land for that signal discomfiture, which constitutes the place of slaughter the apocalyptic Armageddon. The events of the sixth vial in the aggregate prepare "the way of the kings" which arise in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. The way of these kings is the career of judgment marked out for them in the full development of the seventh vial, which is at once the consummation of the Seventh Trumpet, and the Seventh Seal; and the filling up of the wrath of the Deity upon the nations. The angriness of these, the coming of divine wrath, and "the time of the dead that they should be judged and rewarded," are series of events which synchronize with the adventual epoch of the sixth vial. In this epoch, the dead in Christ, both just and unjust, are caused to stand upon their feet again among the living. This anastasis, or standing again, precedes the destroying of them "who destroy the earth" Rev. 11:18. The honor of executing the judgment written belongs to all those saints whose names may, in the judgment which begins at the house of Deity, be found registered in the Lamb's book of life Rev. 20:15; Ps. 149:9; Dan. 7:22. Hence, resurrection must precede the setting in of judgment; and this must begin at the house of the Deity; "and if it first begin there, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of the Deity?" 1 Pet. 4:17. It will be "destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" 2 Thess. 1:9. The destruction issuing from this glorious presence, is styled in Rev. 14:10. "tormenting with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Holy Angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." The end of the eleventh chapter expresses this torment in the words, "lightnings, and voices and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." Hence the conclusion of the eleventh chapter, with which the second volume of this exposition is concluded, is synchronous with all of the fourteenth chapter from the beginning to the end. I say from the beginning of it, because all the things therein represented are subsequent to the saints standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion. Now, when Christ comes, as I have shown in my second volume, he does not come direct to Zion. Moses, in his prophetic blessing of the sons of Israel, says, "Yahweh came from Sinai and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran; and he came with ten thousands of saints" (Deut. 33:2). He comes to Sinai before he can come from Sinai; and to Seir and Paran before he can rise up and shine from them. He comes to Sinai in the adventual epoch of the sixth vial; and to Mount Zion consequent upon the Armageddon overthrow, by which the sixth Vial is closed, and the Seventh Vial period is inaugurated. The time of the Seventh Vial is that portion of the time of the end chronologized in the words of Micah, "according to the days of Israel's coming out of the land of Egypt" (ch. 7:15). It requires no proof that these days were a period of forty years. Hence, in the vindication of the Holy from injury and violence after the termination of the 2400 years, a judicial period of forty years will be manifested. The object to be attained in the vindication of the holy, is the deliverance of the holy and the host from the treading under foot "the transgression of desolation" to which they have been subjected for 2408 years to the date of this work: in other words, the putting an end, or accomplishing, to scatter the power of the people of the holy yad-am-kodesh (Dan. 8:13-14; 12:7). The full import of these words is the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, in building again the tabernacle of David, that it may be as in the days of old; with the additional glory of Christ and his Brethren, the glorified Israel of the Deity, in possession of the throne (Amos. 9:11; Acts 15:16; 1:6; Matt. 19:28; Luke 1:32-33). The work then of the seventh vial will be the setting up of the kingdom by the Eloahh of the Heavens (Dan. 2:44). This work cannot be fully accomplished until the now widely scattered tribes of Israel are concentrated in the Holy Land, and restored to the independence they enjoyed under David and Solomon. No prosperity in the "breadth of the Great City spiritually called Sodom and Egypt," can compensate the loss of this. They must be brought out of this Egypt in the seventh vial section of the time of the end, as was the generation out of the literal Egypt in the days of Moses, "with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out" (Ezek. 20:33). In other words, the seventh vial is the exodal period of Israel's return from their enemies' lands; and of the punishment of all peoples who have burdened themselves in any way with the Holy City (Zech. 12:2-3; Rev. 11:2). In the accomplishing to scatter the power of the people of the holy in this second exodus of the nation, the Spirit, who will co-work with the saints in their seventh vial execution of the judgments written, says in the testimony already cited from Ezekiel, "I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I plead with you face to face; like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that trangress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel." But concerning Israel cleansed from the rebellious; and, by continuing no longer in unbelief, prepared for the blessedness promised in Abraham and his seed, He saith, "in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the heighth of Israel, there shall all the house of Israel all of them in the land, serve Me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first-fruits of your oblations with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the nations. And ye shall know that I (the Anointed Jesus) am Yahweh when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up My hand to give it to your fathers." This regeneration of the twelve tribes of Israel, and resettlement of them in the Holy Land, is a grand and important result of the seventh vial outpouring of judgment. When it is consummated, "Yahweh's servant David will be a Prince among them, and be their Shepherd." They will have stood upon their feet an exceeding great army in their enemies' lands; and from thence have opened for themselves a way by divine cooperation into the land of Israel, upon the mountains of which they will be, for the first time since the fourth year of Rehoboam, b.c. 982, one nation, and one kingdom, under one king. "They shall no more be two nations neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." The sanctuary will be in the midst of them, and the tabernacle also; and Yahweh will be their Elohim, and they shall be His people (Ezek. 34:23; 37:10, 11, 12; 22-27). This restitution of all things pertains to the seventh vial, which embraces "the times of" that "restitution of all things which the Deity hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the days of Moses" (Acts 3:21). Jacob is saved out of his trouble; the yoke of Esau is at length broken from off his neck; and the first dominion, the kingdom, has come to the daughter of Jerusalem (Gen. 27:40; Mic. 4:8). The vindication of the holy is complete. Now, as the reader may well suppose, this wonderful and mighty operation of Deity becomes an affair of world-wide interest and importance. It will not be a work of peace. The Frog-Dominion has been proclaimed to be peace: l'empire c'est la paix but not so the kingdom proclaimed in the gospel. This kingdom, in the period of its establishment, is not peace; but war, until it has been broken in pieces and subdued the four beasts of Daniel; and planted itself without a rival in all the earth. Such an enterprise as this may be planned and prepared, but cannot be executed in secret. It is therefore testified that "the nations shall see and be confounded at all Israel's might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of Yahweh our Elohim, and shall fear because of thee" (Mic. 7:16). The testimony of Micah is developed in the forty years of the time of the end immediately preceding the Millennium, as the result of the Seven Thunders, by which, not the earth, but those who corrupt the earth, are destroyed (Rev. 11:18). 2. The End, Though Last In Development, First Revealed. In studying the Apocalypse, the student cannot fail being impressed with a notable peculiarity, frequently illustrated, of its structural arrangement. The peculiarity is that of stating in the beginning first, that which is to be executed last. Thus, in the first chapter, the coming of Yahweh in clouds is announced; and his presence is symbolically exhibited: but it is not until the preterminal epoch of the sixth vial that He actually appears. So that it takes all "the things that shall be hereafter" exhibited in all the six seals, and so much of the seventh seal as is contained in the six trumpets; and so much of the seventh trumpet as is contained in all the five vials, and at least half the sixth, to develop the Advent. The apocalypse of the Ancient of Days, or his manifestation in his kingdom, is the end proposed in the prophecy. It is therefore first announced. It is the grand proposition to be illustrated and proved by the logic of events. The end divinely purposed is not stated first because it is to be first established, as the first thing to come to pass, after John had the vision; and because all "the things that shall be here-after" are to happen after it. The logical order of a prophecy in statement or fulfilment is first state, then illustrate, and afterwards prove. "Behold, he comes, and every eye shall see him." This is a proposition, or purpose, stated; but after eighteen hundred years, not yet proved by its coming to pass. By what course of events will that coming be developed? By the events coursed out in the seals, trumpets, and vials, which are the illustration of how the end proposed is to be made identical with the proof. Hence, the end, though first in purpose, and therefore first verbally stated in the prophecy, is the last in development; and consequently not to be looked for as the first event of a prophetic series. The Son of Man in the midst of the lightstand-embodiment of the Spirit is the symbolical prefix to the prophecy of the seven epistles; but the actual manifestation of the Spirit's presence in the midst of the redeemed is not revealed until he occupies the throne in the time of the ending of the Laodicean state (ch. 3:20-21). Again; this peculiarity is exhibited in the fourth chapter. Here the whole is occupied with a symbolical exhibition of the Spirit in covenant-manifestation. The throne and kingdom of David, termed Yahweh's by the prophets, have been covenanted to Jesus and his Brethren, who are to possess them when "glorified together." This purpose, or end proposed, is first represented to John; not because it existed then or since; but because all to be shown him, called "the things which shall be hereafter", are to result in the development of that revealed purpose. It would be a great mistake to look for the subject-matter of the fourth chapter as extant in heaven or upon earth while John was in Patmos. There was no counterpart to them. The figuration was simply a symbolic vision, showing, that at some future time not specified in the chapter, there should be a throne established in the air, or firmament, of the Romano-Dragonic Universe, which should be possessed by an Omnipotent Theocracy, from which should "burst forth lightnings, and thunderings and voices;" and having thereby established its sovereignty, should rule with universal dominion. But, though so early exhibited in the scroll, it is not until the seventh trumpet period that the announcement is made of its actual development, saying, "The kingdoms of this world are become Yahweh's and His Anointed's" (Ch. 11:15). Thus the end, though first in purpose is in development the last; and we are taught that to establish this throne of omnipotence will require, according to the divine predetermination, the full development of all the events prefigured in the seals, trumpets, vials, and thunders. Another notable instance of this structural characteristic of the apocalypse is found in the eleventh chapter. It occurs in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth verses. In these is announced the end purposed in the complete sounding of the trumpet, and therefore the consummation of the seventh seal; or, as it is expressed in ch. 10:7, the finishing of the mystery of the Deity, as he hath declared the glad tidings to his servants the prophets. This is finished en tais hemerais hotan melle salpizein, in the days when he (the Seventh Angel) shall sound; not "when he shall begin to sound," as in the Common Version; nor while he is sounding; but when he shall have finished sounding, then the mystery shall be finished in the kingdoms of this kosmos or constitution of things, the unmeasured court of the Gentiles becoming Yahweh's and his Anointed's. The sounding being over, and the wrath of Deity, consequently, all expended, the mission of the Four Living Ones Full of eyes is completed: the "lightnings" flash no more, the "voices" are hushed, the "thunderings" burst forth no more from the throne, the vibrations of the "earthquake" have ceased, and the "hail" falls no more out of the heaven upon men. In other words, the "judgment given to the saints" has accomplished its work in putting them in possession of "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven" (Dan. 7:27). For this cause, therefore, in the ascription of thanks to Yahweh Ail Shaddai, the four belligerent Living Ones are withdrawn from the figuration; and the four and twenty elders only are in prostration before the Everliving One. The reader is aware that the saints are symbolized both by the Four Living Ones and the Elders, only in different relations. The Four represent them in their militant antagonism to the powers that rule the nations; while "the elders" represent them as victorious kings and priests in the glorious and peaceful possession of their conquests. When "the war of the great day of AIL Shaddai" is over, and peace obtains in all the earth, there is no more pre-millennial work for the saints to do as the "Four Living Ones full of eyes." As militants they have "gotten the victory," and their community is wreathed with the coronals which "they cast before the throne." These are cast there when the cause of thanksgiving, rejoicing, and prostration has been developed. Hence, ch. 4:10, is parallel with ch. 11:16. The saints, no longer belligerent, give thanks because Yahweh Ail-Shaddai has acquired great power on the earth and reigned. When this thanksgiving was dictated to John in Patmos, it was the revelation of a purpose -- an end which Deity had predetermined. The "great power" had not been taken, nor the reign commenced, when the apocalypse was given to John. Nor have they yet; nor will they be till the end of the seventh trumpet. Hence, the eighteenth verse of the eleventh chapter does not treat of what is to ensue after the reign mentioned in the seventeenth verse has commenced. "The nations are angry," not when the divine wrath is fulfilled, but when it comes. "The nations were made angry, and thy wrath came." This arrival of the divine wrath is synchronous with the advent of Christ, and with the operation of the Frog-Power in the final development of its working upon the Papal False Prophet, as prefigured in the sixth vial (ch. 16:14-15). The arrival of the divine wrath in the advent of the Yahweh-Name from far with anger burning (Isaiah 30:27) is at the epoch of the resurrection of the saints. It is from this epoch that ch. 11:18 originates a series of events, which ultimate in the destruction of the destroyers of the earth, and in the conquest and appropriation of their kingdoms by the Four Living Ones constituted of the prophets, the saints, and the venerators of the divine name, small and great. So that the order of the prophecy according to its succession of events is first verse 18, then 19, and after this verses 15, 16, 17: but, as a verbal revelation, the last event which crowns the whole series is first indicated; and then an outline is given of the series which ultimates in the victorious consummation. This structural characteristic of the primordial statement of the end, is illustrated also in ch. 14. In this the primordial statement is contained in the first verse. It specifies a great predetermined end-the occupation of Mount Zion by the son of the Divine Father, together with those upon whom he has previously written the name of his Deity (Ch. 3:12). But this predetermined end is not the first thing executed. On the contrary, it is the last. The redeemed get possession of Mount Zion consequent upon the effect of the "voice out of the heaven" indicated in verse 2 the voice of a belligerent multitude, even the roaring voice of the Rainbowed and Cloud-invested Angel, who takes victorious possession of the City where David dwelt. Thus, the end, first in purpose, is the last developed, but first revealed in the prophecy. Not attending to, or ignorant of, this structural peculiarity, some have committed grievous errors in their efforts at interpretation and exposition. It has led them to affirm, that the apocalypse is all to be fulfilled after the advent of Christ; while others declare that its revelation has been fulfilled long ago. Both these extremes meet in absurdity, where they embrace and kiss each other. They are mere assumptions, and too ridiculous for a serious refutation. The former theory is very convenient for the ignorant and the indolent; for if the apocalypse as yet is none of it fulfilled, nor even to begin to be fulfilled till after the advent of Christ, all are upon one low, common level respecting it. He that knows much of doctrine and history is at equal disadvantage with him who knows nothing of either, and thus ignorance is strengthened and consoled. There are others again who think that much of the apocalypse is fulfilled but have not discernment enough in things past and present to draw the line between the future and the past. Some of these have taken up a notion that all the vials are poured out after the advent of Christ! This imagination has been conceived in a misunderstanding of the fifteenth chapter. They have not perceived that the whole chapter is declarative of the end purposed to result from the outpouring of the vials. It is declarative of the victory of the saints over the constituted authorities of the nations; and the subjection of these to the King of Kings because of manifested national judgment. They err also in supposing, that "the seven last plagues" are identical with "the seven vials." The seven vials contain "the seven last plagues;" but the plagues and the vials are not severally synchronical. On the contrary, the seven last plagues are synchronical only with the seventh vial; and so much of the sixth as obtains between the advent of Christ and the opening of the judgments of the seventh, is the epoch when One of the Four Living Ones gives the plagues to the angels. The seven last plagues are identical with the Seven Thunders; and as they are comprehended in the seventh vial, the giving of the plagues is represented in the presentation of the "seven golden vials." These vials contain much more than the "seven last plagues." They contain first plagues, styled "these plagues" in ch. 16:9, as well as last plagues. The plagues of the vials exhibited in this chapter are separated by the thief-like advent of Christ. "Last plagues" imply others that are not the last. The former plagues precede the advent; and all developed after it are "the seven last plagues." What extraordinary blindness to affirm that none of the vials are poured out till after Christ comes, while his coming is predicted under the sixth! This sixth-vial prophecy is subversive of the notion. The position it occupies as a speaking hieroglyphic shows, that five of the vials, and a considerable part of the sixth, were to be poured out before the advent. It is impossible therefore for the outpouring of all the vials to be delayed till that event. When it takes place, then in giving judgment to the saints recently raised, judged, and chosen, as signified by the "golden girdles" and "pure and white linen," the golden vials are given to them; and they consummate in their seventh vial mission the work of the whole seven vials, which without their intervention would never ultimate in victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and the number of his name. This structural feature appears in the prophecy of the seventh vial itself. This is given in the last five verses of the sixteenth chapter; while the result of the whole is briefly stated in three words of the first of them "it is done!" It is done consequent upon the pouring out of the vial into the air. The mystery is finished. But this finishing results only when there is no more wrath to pour out upon the air. Before the end thus primordially stated is developed, the voices, thunders, lightnings, earthquake, and hail,must do their work upon the Great City, the cities of the nations, and their political islands and mountains. When these are all disposed of judicially, then, and not till then, will the consummation, primarily announced in the words "it is done" be established. 3. A Great Sign in the Heaven. "And a Great Sign appeared in the Heaven; a Woman who had been invested with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a wreath of Twelve Stars." Thus reads the text of Rev. 12:1. In the sixth verse this "great sign" is styled a "a great wonder." The word semeion signifies "a work by which something is known." A footstep in the sand is a mark by which it is known that a human being had been there. Hence the footstep is a sign, or mark with a signification; a mark by which something is signified. The mark is not the foot; but the impression stepped by the foot -- the sign of the foot, in a like sense is the sign of the text to be taken. This first verse exhibits a mark, or sign, by which something may be known. To constitute the sign there is a woman, the sun, moon, and stars, an investment, and a wreath. These are but lesser marks or signs of the "great sign." The woman, and the luminaries in the great sign are no more, as some imagine, a real human being of the female sex, and the lights of the sky, than the step of the foot is the foot itself. They are merely signs of something else, between which and them there is an analogy, or resemblance. These lesser marks when grouped together, as in the text, constitute "a great sign," which must, therefore, be regarded as representing a notable development, a wonderful appearance in the apocalyptic heaven. The sun, moon and stats of this great sign, belong to the heaven in which the sign appears. It is the same heaven as that in which "silence, as it were a half hour," supervened after the departure like a scroll of the heaven which preceded it (Rev. 8:1; 6:14). These two apocalyptic heavens are evidently revealed in these texts. In my exposition of the sixth seal (see Vol. 2. pp. 276, 292), I treated of the abolition of the former of these two heavens, in the taking out of the way that which hindered the revelation, or manifestation of the Anomos, or Lawless One (2 Thess. 2:7). The removal of this obstacle is predicted apocalyptically in these words, "the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of the heaven fell into the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken by a mighty wind." And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. This prediction was fulfilled in the change of the constitution of the Roman Orb consequent upon the success of Constantine, crowned by the victory of Chrysopolis, a.d. 324. Until this epoch of eighteen years, "the heaven" of Daniel's Fourth Beast styled apocalyptically the Dragon, had been in all its constituents pagan. The emperors were all worshippers of Jupiter,and his associate gods. The sun-light of their imperialism was reflected from the idol superstition, of which they were ex-officio the High Priests or Supreme Pontiffs. This was the moon of the heaven shining by reflected imperial light. So long as the Roman constitution of the Fourth Beast continued pagan, none but pagans could constitutionally execute the functions of the imperial office; for none but a pagan could be Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Orb. But the victories of Constantine changed all this. He shook the Dragonic Fig tree with a mighty wind, and caused the stars of the heaven to fall into the earth, as perished figs from the parent tree. He slew with great and sanguinary defeats the adherents of the State Superstition, so that "the moon became as blood." She no longer walked in the brightness of imperial favor, reflecting to the earth the glory of the Roman Sun. The testimony of Jesus Christ against idolatry, borne by his witnesses, had alienated the popular mind from Jupiter and the gods, though it had failed to convert it to the gospel. The priests of the idols having lost their hold upon the affection of the multitude, the way was prepared for the subjection of Roman Idolatry to the Catholic, or Laodicean Apostasy. The consummation was necessarily sanguinary; for the testimony of history, and present experience, show that a minority in arbitrary power can only be brought to abdicate by the arbitrament of the sword. This award was appealed to by the contending parties of the day. The issue was between the Pagans and the Catholics; or between a pagan minority in place and power, and a majority of anti-pagans of all varieties and shades, who desired a change in the civil and ecclesiastical constitution of the Roman State. In their appeal to arms the power of the minority was broken. It could no longer bring an army into the field to defend the interests of the idols constitutionally vested in their priests; so that nothing remained but the favor of an infidel and alienated multitude, inconstant as the wind. The revolution was complete. The ancient order of things incorporated with the reigning idolatry was cancelled, and the scroll of its constitution rolled up out of the way. The pagan imperialty became black as sackcloth of hair. Since the death of Licinius, the last of Constantine's rivals, only one worshipper of Jupiter has occupied the Roman Throne. The total eclipse of the pagan sun, the sanguinary obscuration of the brightness of the pagan moon, and the hurling of the pagan stars into the lowest walks of life among the people, finally and effectually signalized the departure of the pagan heaven as a scroll rolled up. We have witnessed the departure of a heaven as a scroll when it is rolled up, in the collapse of the Southern Confederacy. The dispersion of the southern forces resulted in the abolition of its civil constitution, and the consequent suppression of all things related to it; so that with the exception of the calamities entailed, it is as though it had never been. Such was the collapse of Roman Idolatry in its church and state constitution, or heaven. Its forces were overpowered and dispersed, and as the world never "wonders" after a sinking cause, but is always ready to worship success, it easily transferred its allegiance to the more powerful rival which had dethroned it. Thus the idol-heaven of Daniel's Fourth Beast-dominion was rolled out of the way by the judgments of the Sixth Seal to make room for a new heaven with its own appropriate luminaries. This "heaven" was a church and state constitution of things, in which the Apostasy, foreshadowed in the epistle to the ecclesia at Laodicea. shone with all the brightness and glory an unscrupulous world lying under the wicked could confer upon a system of delusion congenial to it. Its sun, moon, and stars shone brightly. Though a new constitution of the aerial was proclaimed, the sun was not abolished. The storm-clouds of a departing idolatrous institution had blackened it. It no longer shone in the splendor of pagan majesty which was totally eclipsed; still the supreme power continued to be a diademed imperiality. It was the same twelve-starred Sixth Head which was developed in the Augustan epoch of Daniel's "dreadful and terrible" beast. When the half hour's silence invaded the heaven, the "mighty wind" which had been rudely shaking the Roman Fig-tree for eighteen years, was calmed; and the sun of imperial power and majesty emerged again from the hair-sackcloth blackness of the darkening and sanguinary revolution by which it had been obscured. It emerged again to shine with an unclouded blaze upon an entirely new order of things -- an order, such as the sun in the natural heaven had hitherto never shone upon since he was placed there to rule the day; an order therefore, which, in the words of the apocalypse, might fitly be represented as "a great sign in the heaven." In the "great sign" of ch. 12:1, the Roman Sun is no longer invested with blackness, but invests a sign-woman with a blaze of glory peculiar to himself -- "a woman invested with the sun." Whatever the woman may signify, this investiture symbolizes the clothing of the thing signified with supreme imperial authority; so that whatever might emanate from the woman would be by the sanction and co-operation of the highest orders of the state. The woman, or Laodicean Community, could not have been invested with a more appropriate symbol than "the sun," expressive of the imperial embrace, as well as of the particular emperor by whom she would be patronized. Gibbon informs us that Constantine had a particular veneration for Apollo, or the sun, to which Julian alludes in his orations. His words are, "The devotion of Constantine (while yet in embryo) was more peculiarly directed to the genius of the sun, the Apollo of Greek and Roman mythology; and he was pleased to be represented with the symbols of the god of light and poetry. The unerring shafts of that deity, the brightness of his eyes, his laurel wreath, immortal beauty, and elegant accomplishments, seem to point him out as the patron of a young hero. The altars of Apollo were crowned with the votive offerings of Constantine; and the credulous multitude were taught to believe, that the emperor was permitted to behold with mortal eyes the visible majesty of that tutelar deity; and that either waking or in vision, he was pleased with the auspicious omens of a long and victorious reign. The sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine; and the pagans might reasonably expect that the insulted god would pursue with unrelenting vegeance the impiety of his ungrateful favorite in his becoming a Laodicean Catholic. Diocletian had chosen Jupiter, and Maximinian, Hercules; but Constantine preferred the sun before all the gods of his fathers, as his guardian and protecting deity." When, therefore, Constantine came to occupy the Roman throne, and was manifested as Supreme Bishop of the Catholic Church, this Laodicean community might fitly be said to have been "invested with the sun." The position of the imperially invested woman in this "great sign" with "the Moon under her feet," indicates that she occupies the former place of the Roman Moon. In the heaven which had departed as a scroll, there was no woman standing upon the moon. There was simply the moon-heirarchy invested with the light of imperialism by which it shone; and between this hierarchal moon and the throne of the Dragon power, nothing intervened. But the Constantinian Revolution, or "great earthquake" of the Sixth Seal, had baptized the idol-hierarchy in blood; so that the moon became as blood." The sun and moon were not annihilated, but only subjected to changed conditions consequent upon the great earthquake revolution. This popular convulsion exalted one from among the people, and placed her in the moon's orbit. The light and glory of the imperial majesty fell upon her. The rays whose brightness had formerly glorified the priests of Jupiter, and conferred dignity upon his superstition, were now intercepted by a Hierarchy more favored by the state. This new hierarchy had been elevated by the earthquake above the old one; so that, in the "great sign," their relative position is symbolized by the former moon being subjected, or placed under the woman's feet. 4. The Sun-Invested Woman This ch. 12:1 is the second place in the general prophecy where a figurative woman is introduced. The first place in which the Spirit speaks specifically of one is ch. 2:20. In his epistle to the Star-Angel presbytery of the ecclesia in Thyatira he charges it with suffering, or tolerating, teachers and seducers within its jurisdiction, whose traditions were destructive of those "servants" who received them. Those teachers and seducers constituted a class of men of which Balaam is a representative. They "ran greedily in the error of Balaam's reward" (Jude 11). They were seducing spirits and demons who spoke lies in hypocrisy (1 Tim. 4:1, 2): false teachers privily bringing in destructive opinions, and denying the Despot who bought them. Through covetousness, with feigned words, they made merchandise of professors unstable in the faith, sporting themselves with their own deceivings. They had once known the way of righteousness, and by the obedience of faith it inculcates had become children of God. But they afterwards forsook the right way, and went astray. Their heart was exercised like Balaam's with covetous practices; and without regard to the honor and interests of the truth, they zealously and volubly entertained their hearers with crotchety conceits and speculations. Their teaching and practices favored the wantonness and lusts of the flesh. The inconstant and unstable among the saints favored their traditions, which proclaimed a liberty in things which the word condemns. This licentiousness strengthened the flesh to which it is congenial; and as this was developed, the power of the word became impotent; their hold upon it was relaxed; they became entangled again in the pollutions of the world, and were overcome of their inordinate desires. Thus these teachers and seducers, with the disciples they had drawn away after them by the perverse things they taught, though they zealously contended for one God against the idolatry of the Roman State, adopted opinions and practices applauded by the profane. They "committed fornication, and ate things sacrificed to idols." For this contemptible "mess of pottage" they sold their birthright; and not only ruined themselves, but caused the truth to be evil spoken of by those whom it was designed to benefit (2 Pet. 2). The gold medallion depicted above, commemorates the entrance of the triumphant Constantine into Rome after the defeat of Maxentius, and shortly before the defeat of Licinius. The coin gives honour to the Invincible Sun-god, whilst the Emperor also acknowledges the God of the "Christians". In his coins and monuments, Constantine honoured the pagan gods (and particularly the Sun god) as well as the so-called Christians. Now teachers and seducers of the Balaam type either gained the ascendancy in the ecclesias, or not being able to maintain themselves therein, separated from them, and organized "churches" to suit themselves in which they could lord it over their flocks. But whether tolerated within the ecclesias, as in Thyatira, or separated in distinct and independent congregations, they were all prefigured by a woman. The character of this figurative woman is known to the faithful by the name she bears. She is in certain relations apocalyptically styled Jezebel, because of the analogy subsisting between the character of the infamous daughter of Ethbaal and wife of Ahab, and that of the teachers and seducers by whom the Laodicean Catholic Apostasy was organized and perfected within the Anti-pagan Community. The original Jezebel essayed the utter abolition of Yahweh's worship in Israel; and substituted the adoration of other deities, with the lascivious abominations which had formerly brought extermination upon the Canaanites. Her fate also made her a fit emblem of the apocalyptic Jezebel, whose children will be eaten by dogs in the day of Jezreel (Psa. 68:23). The false teachers and seducers of the first three centuries, although they did not avow it as their purpose, effected completely what Jezebel aimed to accomplish in Israel. They utterly abolished "the doctrine of Christ" by their traditions; and if it had not been for "a little strength" found among a very small remnant that kept the Spirit's word, and had not denied His name, "the Israel of the Deity" would have been entirely transformed into "the Synagogue of Satan." The Star-Angel Presbytery of Thyatira was too tolerant of "the depths of Satan as they taught," for the Spirit's approval; for, after commending the angel's love, service, faith, patience, and works, he adds, "Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols." In this toleration the Star-Angel or Eldership, was culpable. They ought to have silenced their false teaching, and to have permitted nothing to reach the ears of the flock not in harmony with the written word. This would have preserved "the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God;" and have prevented the development, out of the One Body espoused to Christ, of a self-complacent Catholic Jezebel, who in the epoch of the "great sign" was at once wretched, and miserable and poor, and blind, and naked" (Ch. 3:17). Such was the figurative antipagan woman we behold exhibited in the heaven invested with the sun's majesty, and his ancient lunar idolharlot made subject "under her feet." The "great sign" represents her situation as it appeared, to the outer world, for under another aspect of things, the "few names not defiled" of the same figurative woman are represented by "the remnants of her seed who keep the Commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of Jesus Christ." Hence the figurative woman of ch. 12, invested with the Roman Sun, and fleeing from the Dragon, represents the whole Antipagan Community; the vast majority of which answered to Jezebel and her children; while the remainder, with whom alone the doctrine of Christ was to be found, refused to have anything to do with a church in alliance with the "dreadful and terrible beast having seven heads and ten horns." These two divisions of the antipagans, though opposed on the question of church and state alliance, were agreed in their hostility to the ascendancy of the existing Imperial Idolatry, which grievously afflicted them all. The first ecclesiastical separation of these two divisions did not occur till after the birth of the woman's son, who was to rule all the Greek and Latin nations with an iron sceptre. When this event transpired, the anti-state church party repudiated the desecrating alliance with emperors and their courts. They refused to recognize the emperor's claim of being at once the representative of the Sixth Head of the Dragon, and Bishop of the Bishops of Christ. The truth was with this party. They seceded; and by their secession incurred the enmity and bitter hostility of the New Church imperially established. The secessionists became the subject of virulent persecution by this new power, which caused them to take refuge in the wilderness. In this flight they are prefigured by the woman, who therefore leaves behind her the sun and moon, and wreath of twelve stars But this transient appearance of the woman in the heaven characterizes the sun, moon and stars she had repudiated. They had become the catholic luminaries of a new heaven; which, under the sounding of the fourth wind-trumpet, are found ruling the day and the night of the Catholic Roman Orb. The transient standing of the woman upon the moon indelibly stamped the character of Jezebel upon it; and proclaimed it to be the lunar representative of the Laodicean Synagogue of Satan; which ever since has been allied, in some form or other, to the blasphemous and ferocious despotisms of the world. But, though "the Lamb's Woman" refused to be allied to the Roman State, and retired into the wilderness, the State-Church Woman, Jezebel, was not so scrupulous. As "the church by law established" she retained her place in the heaven; and became "the Great Harlot" of the world. Little notice is taken of her apocalyptically until she is exhibited in ch. 17:1, in all the enormity of her profligate career. In this scene, she appears in the wilderness, into which the Anti-State Church Woman fled. She is seen "drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus;" and sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. She represents a "great city" of polity, "reigning over the kings of the earth." Her name in the beginning was Jezebel; but in the crisis of her fate it is also "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the earth." She reigns until the Ancient of Days is revealed, who "casts her into a bed, and them who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, and kills her children with death" (Ch. 2:22). This is the end of Jezebel in the day of Jezreel (Hos. 1:11). A different destiny, however, is apocalyptically indicated for the woman espoused as a chaste virgin to Christ. She entered the imperial presence, but soon found that it was impossible to enjoy imperial favor and protection and maintain her honor and allegiance to her Divine Husband in purity and truth. She therefore fled from the sunshine of royalty, and left behind her the Jezebel of her communion, to whom the meretricious blandishments of courts were altogether congenial. While her Jezebel counter-self remained invested with the Roman sun, and acquired and exercised dominion over the kings of the earth, she was sojourning in the wilderness; in which, however, Jezebel afterwards succeeded in establishing her blasphemous, licentious and sanguinary rule. The Anti-Jezebel Woman dwelt in the wilderness as many months of years as Israel did years in the exodus from Egypt; and two months of years more. She remained there 1,260 years, or forty-two generations of years after her flight; and will continue trodden underfoot by the lovers and protectors of Jezebel until the end of another period of 1,260 years, when the Ancient of Days will come, and avenge the wrongs she has suffered, in the judgment which shall sit. At this crisis, she is carried to the Lamb to whom she has been so long espoused. Her husband who is her head is Christ. In "the time of the dead," having "made herself ready", she is "arrayed in fine linen clean and white" (ch. 19:7, 8). Her marriage with the Lamb establishes such a oneness between those she represents and Christ, as exists between him and the Father in heaven. She is then "the Holy and Great City, the New and Holy Jerusalem, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Ch. 21:2, 10). When thus "glorified together with Christ" (Rom. 8:17), the Jezebel-Synagogue of Satan will "be made to come and worship before her feet, and to know that Christ has loved her" (Ch. 3:9). Jezebel's children will have been slain with death, and her communion and sovereignty abolished; and the only woman seen in the heaven will be the glorified fugitive of the wilderness; clothed with the sun of Righteousness, the moon of the Laodicean Apostasy under her feet. and upon her head a wreath of twelve Apostolic Stars. What a remarkable contrast between these two apocalyptic women. The one, Jezebel, the Great Harlot and the Mother of Harlots; the other, the Lamb's wife and the Mother of all the Saints. The former, sovereign in all times of the Gentiles; the latter, trampled underfoot of the Gentiles in all their times; and persecuted with the utmost rancour and bitterness of hate: the former, "arrayed in purple and scarlet-color, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, and reigning over the kings of the earth;" the latter, clothed in sackcloth, and the habiliments of subjection: the former, the embodiment of ignorance, superstition, cruelty, blasphemy, hypocrisy, and vice; the latter, holy, harmless, undefiled, and without fault before the throne. Nor is the difference of their destiny less striking. Jezebel is first hated by her subject kings, who make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire (Ch. 17:16); and afterwards, having somewhat of intermission from his rough usage, she is utterly and forever destroyed out of the way by Yahweh Elohim, who avenges on her the righteous blood she has caused to be poured out upon the earth. The world being thus freed from the accursed presence of the Jezebel-superstitions of "Christendom" so-called; the nations henceforth enlightened, regenerated, and saved, walk in the glorified fugitive's light; who, for a thousand years, sheds the glory of the divine majesty with which she is invested upon all peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues; all of them blessed with faithful Abraham, in Abraham and his seed (Gal. 3:7-9). This blessedness under the government of Christ and his Bride is the theme which concludes the Apocalypse given by the Deity to Jesus Christ. 5. The Wreath of Twelve Stars In this "great sign" is seen upon the head of the Sun-Invested Woman "a wreath of twelve stars". Thus I have rendered in my translation the words stephanos asteron dodeka. The twelve stars were set in a stephanos, not in a diadema. If there had been seen upon her head a diadem of twelve stars, it would have indicated that she was an integral part of the diademed sixth head of the dreadful and terrible dragon, all of whose heads are diademed. But no; the "crown" of the C.V., was a stephanos, and not a diadem. Now, the reader of the former volumes of this exposition is aware of the important apocalyptic difference there is between a stephan and a diadem. The former was given to a combatant when victorious in his conflicts; the latter is the symbol of regal and imperial, or elective sovereignty of an established order. The Antipagan Woman was a combatant community, to whom dominion and power over the nations were promised, as a prize to be contended for, and bestowed upon the victor (Ch. 2:26, 27). This prize was signified by a stephanos. If she were victorious, her success would be indicated by a stephan upon her head, as in the "great sign". It may be remarked here, that the antipagan Woman and the arrowless Archer of the first seal are representative of the same community in its warfare "against the principalities, powers, world-rulers of the darkness, and the spirituals of the wickedness in the heavenlies of the Roman Orb (Eph. 6:12). The Antipagan Archer went forth to conquer the Graeco-Latin Dragon. He had first to overcome and dethrone Jupiter and the gods, "by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of his testimony;" and afterwards to take possession of the diadems enthroned under the whole heaven, and to rule their nations for a thousand years. Significative of this it is written in ch. 6:2, edothe auto stephanos, there was given to him a stephan, or wreath. John saw that the archery of this communion, to which he himself belonged, was prevailing "against the darkness of the course of things" -- tou aionos toutou -- which obtained while he was in Patmos. He saw it, therefore, going forth "conquering, even that it might conquer." Its career of conquest, though harassed by the enemy, was not to be stopped. The stephan was to be placed upon the woman's head by the highest authority in the state, as the result of "a great earthquake," or revolution, which should place her son upon the throne. When John in vision saw the archer ride forth upon the white horse he had not then won the stephan. He had a combat for the faith of over two centuries before him; at the end of which the fraternity he represented was seen in the heaven invested with the sun, the moon in subjection, and the stephan of victory emblazoning her head with its stars. Thus far the triumph was complete: nevertheless, the earnest or type only of a greater yet to come. But, the placing of a simple stephan upon the Woman's head would have merely signified that she was a victor. But what was the prize of victory? What had she gained by her victory over the Dragon persecutor, which accused her people incessantly before the Deity? This question is apocalyptically solved by the Twelve Stars inserted in the wreath. These were the twelve most conspicuous stars of the Roman Firmament. They were stars of the first magnitude which excelled all the other stars in the glory of their position. There were none brighter in the political astronomy of the state. They were the stars of that imperial dragon-headship of which it was remarked to John in chapter 17:10, saying "one is." These stars of this Sixth Head at the time of the apocalyptic going forth of the archer of the first seal were exactly twelve, and may be enumerated chronologically thus -- Augustus, founder of the Sixth Headship of the Roman Dragon. This Star reigned 44 years from the battle of Actium, which was fought b.c. 30. He died a.d. 14, in his 76th year. He made Tiberius his colleague in the empire three years before his death A.U.C. 764, to a.d. 11 The Second Star was Tiberius Caesar, successor to Augustus. In the 15th year after being made the colleague of Augustus, "the word of God came to John the son of Zachariah in the wilderness;" and he began to preach. This was 483 years from the 20th of Artaxerxes, the beginning of Daniel's seventy weeks. John was aged 27; Jesus 26 years and six months a.d. 26 At the end of three years and a half, Jesus having been immersed, and John cast into prison, Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom. This began the second half of Daniel's seventieth week a.d. 30 At the end of Daniel's Seventieth Week, or 490 years from the 20th of Artaxerxes, which was the 22nd of Tiberius Caesar, sin was condemned in our common nature by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ a.d. 33 Tiberius dies in the 23rd year of his reign, and is succeeded by the Third Star, named Caius Caesar Caligula a.d. 33 Of this human monster Tiberius said, that he had brought up a serpent for the Roman people; concerning whom he expressed the wish that they had but one neck, that he might cut if off at one stroke. He He died a.d. 37 The Fourth Star was Claudius Caesar. The famine mentioned in Acts 11:28, pervaded the whole Roman Habitable under this star. He reigned not quite fourteen years, and died aged 63 a.d. 51 The Fifth Star was his successor Tiberius Claudius Nero. This Caesar for the first five years reigned with applause, being provoked to good conduct by the perpetual admonitions of the renowned Seneca. But changing his manners, he sunk to the lowest depths of degradation. He reduced the greater part of Rome to ashes, and charged it upon the christians, upon whom he inflicted the most exquisite torture. He died by his own hand in the fourteenth year of his reign, aged 32 a.d. 64 The Sixth Star, was Galba, who reigned 8 months. The Seventh Star was Otho, remarkable for his wickedness, and the shortness of his reign, which scarcely exceeded three months. He died by his own hand, and was succeeded by a man of incontinent gluttony. Vitellius was the Eighth Star, whose reign of seven months was signalized by the expenditure of thirty millions of dollars in feasting and riot. In the 57th of his age, he was dragged half-naked by a Roman mob into the forum, and with exquisite tortures torn to pieces, and thrown into the Tiber. The Ninth Star was Vespasian. He emulated the excellences of Augustus, and grieved to inflict punishment when justice demanded it. He was, however, extremely avaricious. He reigned ten years, and died aged 69 a.d. 75 10. The renowned Titus was the Tenth Star. On account of his singular humanity, he was called "the delight of mankind." In the life-time of his father Vespasian he destroyed Jerusalem. He reigned rather more than two years, and died aged 41. He is supposed to have been poisoned by his brother who succeeded him a.d. 77 11. Domitian was the Eleventh Star of the Imperial Stephan. He persecuted the christians with the greatest rigour. He was a second Nero. John, the Apostle, was banished by his decree to the isle of Patmos, where the Apocalypse was revealed to him for the benefit of all true Christadelphians, or Brethren of Christ. After a reign of fifteen years, being detested on account of his cruelty, he was put to death by his own guards, aged 55 a.d. 92 12. The Twelfth Star of this "dreadful and terrible" succession Cocceius Nerva, a man of prudence and moderation, who acquired the dominion late in life. During his brief reign of one year and four months, John was restored to the society of his brethren and companions in tribulation. He died, aged 66, and was succeeded by Trajan a.d. 94 In the foregoing chronological table the dates are given according to the true time, which is four years earlier than the regular era. Such was the Wreath of Twelve Stars extended by the Deity as a prize to be gained by the conquest of the Dragon. All the twelve were imperial supreme pontiffs. For the archer-and-woman fraternity to carry off the prize, was for it to be wreathed with the imperial stephan of the Caesars; and to subdue their pontificate under their feet. This it did most effectually; and, as a sign prophetic of this great victory over the principalities, authorities, world-rulers, and spirituals of the Roman Heaven; and for the encouragement of all engaged in the good fight of faith against the gods, who had eyes to discern the import of the vision, the woman was photographed in the firmament of the Roman Orb, wreathed with the supreme pontifical authority For two centuries after the reign of the twelve stars, the soldiers of the faith, when they perused the verbal description of the "great sign in the heaven," would understand what was the stephan to be conferred; and would be filled with a full assurance of hope, that they would go on conquering until they obtained it. It was under this conviction, that on the opening of The Fifth Seal, they are represented as crying with a loud voice from underneath the altar, "How long?" How long till their brotherhood should wear the dodecal Caesarian starry stephan? They knew that this wreath of victory was Caesarian. A believer living in the beginning when the apocalypse commenced to be fulfilled; that is, at the accession of Trajan; knew that twelve Caesars had occupied the draco-Roman pontifical throne. From Augustus to Constantine there were about fifty-four emperors. Why, then, were there not as many stars upon the imperial stephan, seeing that it was gained when so many had sat upon the Italian throne? Because, I conceive, the number of the stars was given to indicate, that the opening of the apocalyptic seals was to begin when the twelfth imperial star had set; that is, with the reign of Trajan, who was a thirteenth, or number one of a new series. Trajan and his pagan successors may be said to have worn the crown of the Twelve Caesars But they could not retain it. It was wrested from them by the Woman, whose Jezebel-son claiming to be her Head -- the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church -- wreathed himself therewith; and then caused her to become a fugitive in the wilderness of the Great Eagle. Ignorance and superstition have sadly misinterpreted the significance of this "great sign in the heaven." An engraving published with the sanction of the authorities of the Mary-worshipping synagogue of New York City, as a frontispiece to a book entitled "The Glories of Mary," interprets the sign as a signification of the "Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary." In the centre of the picture is a woman standing upon a cloud. She stands, as it were, in the sun, with beams of light issuing from the palms of her hands downwards towards the earth, as if they were rays of grace being shed upon her worshippers. Around her head is a halo, in which is a circlet of twelve stars; and over these a diadem supported by winged angels resting upon the upper margin of the cloud on each side of the woman. Under her feet is the moon, and beneath this, the ocean and rocks of earth. Thus is represented the ghost of a dead woman having been taken up into heaven and being on exhibition there as queen; for the legend of the picture is "salve regina," Health to thee, O Queen! Assuredly, nothing can be more remote than this from the true import of this "great sign". The reader, unless he be a Mariolator or a Puseyite, need scarcely be told, that the sign is wholly irrelevant to the mother of Jesus; and but for the adoption of the heathen dogma of the immortality of the soul by the Laodicean Apostasy, such a signification could never have been invented. There is no such woman in being, whether in heaven above or in the earth beneath, as the Virgin Mary, body or ghost. The dust of what was once Mary is in "the pit of corruption," or Sheol, and will there remain until "the time of the dead," when she will stand again upon her feet the "blessed among women," and "thenceforth all generations will call her blessed." In all "the times of the gentiles," however, she is non-existent. This is well known to all who are not drunk -- drunk with the wine of the abominations and filthiness of Jezebel's fornication (Apoc. 17:4; 18:3). Hence the object of the adoration of Romanists is the merest fiction that can be conceived. They have deified nonentity, and fall down and worship the conceit as the goddess-queen of heaven. This is not only folly, but the idiotcy of pietism notably characteristic of the ecclesiasticism of our day. But not only have Romanists missed the truth of this great sign, but their Protestant brethren likewise. Dr. Newton, a former Bishop of Bristol, in his work on the prophecies, page 600, in commenting most meagrely upon this sign, says, "St. John resumes his subject from the beginning, and in ch. 12:1, 2, represents the church as a woman, and a mother bearing children to Christ. She is 'clothed with the sun,' invested with the rays of Jesus Christ, the sun of righteousness; having 'the moon,' the Jewish new moons and festivals, as well as all sublunary things, 'under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars,' an emblem of her being under the light and guidance of the twelve apostles." This is all he can see signified by this great sign! The bishop of Jezebel's English daughter has certainly made a nearer approach to the import of the sign than Jezebel herself. He does perceive that the woman represents church of some kind -- that she is a sign-ecclesiastical woman, and not the emblem of a phantasma yclept the Queen of Heaven. But more than this he sees nothing signified. The Rev. E. B. Elliott, however, does not agree with the interpretation of his ecclesiastical superior. He admits with him that church in some sense is meant by the woman in the sign; but this is all. On page 8, vol. 1, he says, speaking of the sign, "But what the things prefigured hereby? This is the question. And first there can scarce be meant by the solar emblem, I think, what so many commentators have suggested in explanation -- the church's investiture with Christ, as the sun of righteousness. The sun is no where in the Apocalyptic imagery made the representative of Christ. His countenance with its own intrinsic light is described as like the sun, not as borrowing the sun to enlighten it: and, when fully revealed in the heavenly city, as altogether superseding it to the favored inhabitants. Nor, again, by her having the moon subjacent can there be meant a trampling upon things sublunary. Can the moon signify things under the moon? Consistency requires that we explain these greater luminaries to signify the chief rulers of the state, according to the general prophetic use of the symbols; and in the same way the stars, also seen in symbol, to signify lesser rulers in it. As to the precisely defined number of twelve stars -- considering that the professing church on the Apocalyptic scene, including the true, was in an earlier vision (though one depicting somewhat later and worser times) numerically symbolized as the twelve tribes of Israel, we can not well err, I think, in explaining them to signify the heads, or ecclesiastical rulers, of those twelve tribes. The rather so, since this interpretation agrees with that which is given by inspiration itself of almost precisely the same symbol in the earliest of all emblematic visions, the dream of Jacob's son Joseph: and indeed with that explanatory note given at the very commencement of the Apocalyptic visions by the revealing angel himself; 'the seven stars are the angels (or chief and presiding ministers) of the seven churches.' "And thus we are led to see that the figuration here given of Christ's faithful church was not one universally or generally true; but designative of it at some remarkable and particular time and conjuncture, viz: when the ruling powers in the Apostolic world would be associated with it, as its decoration and support; and its ecclesiastical rulers, or bishops, would be recognized as dignified authorities before the world. And indeed much the same thing is indicated by the very representation of the woman as in heaven. For the heaven meant is evidently that of political elevation; just as in the vision, a little while since discussed by us, of the ascent of the witnesses; it being one in which the dragon might occupy a place as well as the woman; and one, the position in which is contrasted with dejection to the earth, as of a change from political power to political degradation." Thus far Mr. Elliott, in whom there is certainly more light than in bishop Newton. Still Elliott's light is but darkness after all. The woman church being crowned by the heads, or ecclesiastical rulers, of the twelve tribes of the apostolic Israel, is a very far-fetched conceit. He admits, that the sun and moon of the sign belong to the heaven common to the woman and the dragon; what consistency then is there in not recognizing the twelve stars as belonging to that heaven also! Why interpret the sun and moon of the Roman Heaven, and twelve stars of the woman's own polity in apostasy? The stars are Roman as well as the sun and moon; and stripped of these in flight, the twelve stars remain with the sun and moon in the same heaven from, or out of, which she flies; otherwise, we ought to behold her a fugitive with a wreath of beauteous stars upon her head in the wilderness; a symbolization which would be incompatible with her trampled condition there. 6. The Woman Pregnant "And being pregnant she cries being in pangs and straining to bring forth" -- verse 2 En gastre echousa, literally, having in belly. She contained something within the pale of her communion afterwards to be manifested, or brought forth. She contained it, according to the fitness or decorum of the symbol, previous to her cries in parturition. She did not cry being in pangs and straining to bring forth after her investiture with the solar mantle of imperialism. Her being invested with the sun was consequent upon her giving birth to what was contained within her, and its being placed upon the Italian throne. Had her child not been born, the "great sign in the heaven" would not have there appeared. The Italian throne in Rome had first to be vacated by its pagan occupant, before anything produced from the Laodiceanized Christian Body, pre-figured by this woman, could be herpasthe, carried up from its birth-place in the Roman heaven to godship and its throne -- pros ton Theon, kai ton thronon autou. Hence the "great sign" described in the first verse, was representative of the consummation of certain antecedents; and though first stated, was the last thing in the situation developed before the world. The woman's pregnancy, then, preceded her cries. With what was she pregnant? This is now the question to be solved. Zion and Jerusalem not only signify the geographical and topographical things so called, but all those, whether Jews or Gentiles, who have acquired citizenship in the Commonwealth of Israel by adoption through Jesus Christ. These all constitute a community, which in Isaiah 66:7, and Jer. 6:2, is likened to "a comely and delicate woman". In the former text the Spirit saith of her, "before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child." It was the same comely and delicate woman the exile in Patmos saw in the heaven invested with the sun. Isaiah's woman and John's woman are both represented as pregnant, and bringing forth, or giving birth to, a man child. But the difference existing is this, that John's woman brought forth under the Sixth Seal, a.d. 312-313; while Isaiah's woman brings forth under the Sixth Vial at "the time of the dead." There is difference also in the things brought forth. Isaiah's woman brings forth a multitudinous man child; that is, a nation, the "holy nation" (1 Pet. 2:9) consisting of the children of Zion, whom the earth is made to bring forth in one day. This nation is "born at once" before the travailing of Zion in the bringing forth her children after the flesh. As the saints are still mostly in the grave, and Israel and Judah in captivity among the nations -- entombed in national graves -- Zion is now a pregnant woman waiting until her time come to be delivered. But we have to do with the comely and delicate Zion-woman as pregnant neither with Israel and Judah, nor the Saints, but with some other thing. What was that thing? In writing to the Corinthian section of the Zion-community, Paul says, "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2). By this we are taught, that the "One Body," likened to a woman, is to be considered in the absence of Christ, not as a married, but as an espoused woman -- a bride elect. Paul desired that she might be presented in all the purity of her original espousals, when she was "sanctified and cleansed in the laver of the water with doctrine" (Eph. 5:26). But, though this was his desire, penetrating the darkness of the future by the light of the Spirit, he could not forbear the expression of his fears lest the fate of Eve, the espoused of the first Adam, who was corrupted from the simplicity of the truth, should become the unhappy condition of the betrothed of the second Adam. "I fear," says he, "lest by any means, as the Serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." What Paul feared, and to prevent which he was "jealous over all with a godly jealousy," was even then secretly at work, impregnating the Christian Eve with principles which in fruition caused her to give birth to a Cain, who has been murdering his brother Abel for fifteen hundred years. It was even then at work. He styles it "the Mystery of the Iniquity" -- the secret principles of that lawlessness which would develop itself into the Lawless One, or Man of Sin -- anthropos tes hamartia -- the Man of the Apostasy. The seed-germ of this man was already in the womb of the espoused. "The mystery of the iniquity is already effectually working," says the apostle in 2 Thess. 2:7. Yes, it was this working, which, in verse 9, he styles "the inworking of the Satan," gave him so much trouble, and caused him such great anxiety, as evinced in his epistles. The principles of the apostasy were being inwrought, as he informs us, "with all power, and signs, and miracles of falsehood, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish." So effectual and specious was this inworking that, as Jesus predicted, even the elect would be endangered (Matt. 24:24). How could it be otherwise when, as Paul said to the Star-Angel of the Ephesian section of the betrothed woman, "Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:30). These Star-Angel men had been made overseers of the ecclesia of the Deity by the Holy Spirit. They were the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, who had been supernaturally qualified by spiritual gifts "for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:12). With all the sanction of these gifts from the ascended Lord himself, they had been recognised by the flock they episcopized as the ministers of Christ. How unlikely therefore, that they would speak perverse things, and, becoming deceivers, rend the flock as grievous wolves, instead of feeding it, as they were exhorted to do by Paul. But, unlikely as it might seem, such was the fact. It is true that the Lord had bestowed upon them spiritual gifts; but these gifts did not act compulsorily upon those who had them. They did not compel them to speak only the truth, and to use them aright; they only qualified them so to do if they were disposed; but if, under the temptation of the flesh, they were indisposed, they could falsely teach, and speak perverse things, and misapply the signs and miracles they were able to work, to confirm what they said; for Paul says plainly that "the spirits (or spiritual gifts) of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1 Cor. 14:32): the prophets were, therefore, responsible for the right use of them. They could abuse them, and many of them did, to the overthrow of the faith of those who heeded them. It was by the inworking of these unfaithful teachers constituting "the Satan", "the Serpent," that the Christian Eve was "corrupted from the simplicity which is in Christ." The depths of the Satan as they taught (Apoc. 2:24) impregnated her with the mystery of iniquity. They formed within her the embryo of the Man of Sin. They preached a Jesus which was not according to the Jesus Paul preached; they taught another gospel than that proclaimed by him; and denied a future resurrection of the dead; or, which was equivalent thereto, said that it was already past. The inworking of this mystery, or perverse teaching, showed itself very early in the history of the Christian Eve. The first intimation on record of this subverting of souls is found in Acts 14:1-5. In this place we are told that certain who believed were not satisfied with the sufficiency of the simplicity which is in Christ for salvation. The belief of "the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity and of the Name of Jesus Christ;" and the immersion of such a believer for salvation from the sins of the past did not satisfy them. They required that Moses should be obeyed as well as Jesus; and that no gospel short of this would save any one: "Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, and keep his law, ye cannot be saved." This was their perversion of the gospel, which Paul terms "another gospel," the preachers of which, though of celestial angelic origin, he pronounced "accursed." But these accursed preachers did not regard the anathema of Paul. They did not desist from the sowing of tares; but continued to heap tradition upon tradition until the distinctiveness of the truth was lost in "the commandments and doctrines of men" (Col. 2:22); and the way of truth came to be evil spoken of. Many followed their pernicious ways. Nor were the apostles able to extinguish their evil influence. Their reasonings and denunciations and threatenings, although sanctioned by the Spirit, failed to check or restrain the rapidly developing apostasy. Whole houses were subverted from the faith by these mercenary, unruly and vain talkers and deceivers (Tit. 1:11): and as error always progresses more rapidly than truth, the apostles found their influence waning, and the faithful falling into a minority; which steadily increased until there remained but few names who had not defiled their garments; and only a little stength to maintain the truth before the world (Apoc. 3:4, 8). From these premises then, we perceive, that the Zion-woman community was no longer, as a whole, "a chaste virgin." She had been corrupted and defiled by the subtilty, or "slight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they laid in wait to deceive," after the example of the beguilement of Eve. Hence, the woman-community, originally a chaste virgin, and all her constituents virgins undefiled, came to be pregnant with a multitude of "children tossed to-and-fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." These were tares, or "children of the wicked one, and sown of the enemy, the devil" (Matt. 13:38, 39). In the seven Apocalyptic Epistles, the constituents of this embryo apostasy are termed "liars," "Nikolaitanes," blasphemers, spurious Jews, "the synagogue of the Satan," "Balaam", "that woman Jezebel", "her children", "the Satan", "the dead," "the wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." In the pentecostal beginning, these constituents were not found in the Christian Eve. Then "the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul" (Acts 4:32). They had not yet been distracted and thrown into confusion by "grievous wolves," and "men speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them," for their own glory and advantage, reckless of the truth. But, in the course of three hundred years, all this was changed. The multitude of them who styled themselves Christians, were destitute of all unity of heart and soul; and had degenerated into a "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" set of catholic politicians. These gave character to the woman-community in the beginning of the fourth century. The Christadelphians or Brethren of Christ, at that crisis, were the "few names left, who had not defiled their garments." These alone were the pillar and support of the truth;" and but for them, it would have died out from among men; and there would have been no woman to fly into the wilderness, and to be sustained there 1,260 years. But the Deity had reserved to Himself a remnant, styled "the remnants of her seed, who keep the commandments of the Deity, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Ch. 12:17). Thus the woman, who had become excessively attenuated, as it were skin and bone, a living skeleton, in all the period of her pregnancy, was grieved with a multitude of nominal professors ready for any enterprise by which they might acquire power and office in the state. This was the party with which she was pregnant. It styled itself "the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church;" and only waited for a catholic man of power to lead them in their attack upon the pagan Roman government. This was "the Coming Man" of the fourth century -- a leading politician, a Man of Power, who should be able to make the party to which he should belong the ruling power of the state. With this party, waiting for the manifestation of its chief, the woman was pregnant before "she cried being in pangs and strained to bring forth." 7. The Period of Pregnancy The decorum of the symbol requires that the period of the woman's pregnancy be analogous to the time during which in nature a woman compasses a child before she gives it birth. Now it is well known, that the time of gestation from conception to birth, is a period of forty weeks or 280 days. This being the "set time" -- the time appointed by Deity for the development of children from the womb of humanity -- it became a law of nature. If, therefore, one of "the deep things of Deity" in a revelation has to be symbolized by the natural result of a woman's pregnancy, which is the birth of a child, it is necessary that the law of nature in the case become the measure of the duration of the symbolic pregnancy before the symbolic child is manifested in the world. This is styled "the decorum of the symbol," and must be regarded in the interpretation of all symbols. To neglect it would produce sad confusion in an exposition. We must therefore find the woman in espousable existence 280 years before the manifestation of any Man of Power, who in any sense could be decorously styled "her child." The espousal of the "one body," symbolized in this prophecy by a woman, occurred on the day of that Pentecost, which first followed the crucifixion of the anointed Jesus. The apostles were instrumental in this betrothal, and promising the virgin bride of believers marriage to the Lamb when He should return to celebrate his nuptials with all who should be found faithful to the end. "I have espoused you," says Paul, "to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" He had begotten them to this honorable and glorious destiny by the truth he had taught them, and which they had received in its simplicity; therefore he says in another place, "to Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:15). But the Christadelphian Eve had not been espoused twelve months before it became manifest that iniquity was working within her. The case of Ananias and Sapphira was illustrative of this. The evil manifested through them was the evil principle which generated that "Mystery of Iniquity" which at length developed the Lawless One or Man of Sin. It was the spirit of falsehood, which Paul styles "the deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish" (2 Thess. 2:10). This case of Ananias and Sapphira marks the commencement of the woman's symbolic pregnancy. It occurred a.d. 33. This was the epoch of her impregnation. From this year of apostolic espousal to what Mr. Whiston styles "the famous proclamation and edict for the universal liberty and advancement of christianity (more correctly, "the Apostasy") by Constantine and Licinius, a.d. 313, which put an end to the pangs of birth in the heaviest persecution that ever was then known, was exactly 280 years." A pregnancy of forty weeks of years, at the end of which there was manifest a Man of Power, who professed the faith of the majority of the woman's community; delivered her from the sanguinary oppression of the pagan "Devil and Satan," whom he cast out of the heaven into the earth together with the stars of his tail; and who set himself up as the Bishop, or Overseer, episkopos (the Eyes and Mouth) of all the bishops of the Roman world. 8. The Woman Cries Being In Pangs The woman was pregnant, and therefore, if she lived through the period of her painful gestation, her time would certainly come to bring forth. It is therefore written of her, "she cries being in pangs and straining to bring forth." The period during which she was tormented with the pangs of parturition were the "ten days," or years, preceding the proclamation and edict of Constantine and Licinius, which were issued, as I have said, a.d. 313. This parturient crisis in the woman's history is foretold in the letter to the ecclesia at Smyrna in these words -- "the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days" (Apoc. 2:10). This ten days' parturient tribulation came upon her with the opening of the fifth seal, a.d. 303. This is known in history as the great Diocletian Persecution, the severest ever inflicted by the great red pagan "Devil and Satan" upon professors of christianity. In this fifth seal period her "cries" were uttered "with a loud voice, saying, Until when, O Despot, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on the dwellers upon the earth?" Her pangs produced these outcries, which need not to be expounded here in detail, seeing that they have been sufficiently treated of in the second volume at p. 264. After the death of the Augustan emperor Galerius, in a.d. 311, her straining efforts began. Her pains now became forcing. She felt that she must die, if she did not give birth to a deliverer. The time of judgment and vengeance was to come at the end of "a little while," chronon mikron; and of that little while about two years only remained for the manifestation of her son upon the throne of the Roman Orb. The straining efforts of the woman were synchronous with the opening of the sixth seal, by which was initiated that "war in heaven" which resulted in casting the pagan Dragon out, and her own investment with the sun; in allusion to which, Eusebius, in his Life of Constantine, says, "In short, as the sun, when he rises upon the earth, liberally imparts his rays of light to all, so did Constantine, proceeding at early dawn from the imperial palace, and rising as it were with the heavenly luminary, impart the rays of his own beneficence to all who approached his person" -- lib. 1 ch. 43. The totality upon which these rays of the imperial beneficence fell, was all of the woman's adherents previously to his drawing the line between those who recognized his Episcopal Supremacy and those who rejected it as the usurpation of the Antichrist. After this line was drawn, the rays of his beneficence were reserved exclusively for what he styled "The Holy Catholic Church," of which he was the acknowledged episcopal head. All others were regarded as perverse and wicked. 9. "Another Sign in the Heaven" "And there appeared another sign in the heaven, and behold a great fiery red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems. And his tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven, and he cast them into the earth" -- Verses 3, 4. John saw "another sign in the heaven." The first sign which he terms "a great sign," was the woman invested with the sun. The same heaven was the scene in which the two signs were exhibited to all who observed them. It was the heaven of the Roman Orb in which shone all the luminaries of the Graeco-Latin body politic. The Dragon had long occupied the heaven of Italy; but it was not until the judicial crisis of the sixth seal that he was exhibited as "a sign." He was significative of a power occupying a position of hostility to the Christian Eve, and to all who favored her. This third verse is the first place in the Apocalypse where this hostile power is mentioned by the name of Dragon, though it is not the first where the power itself is indicated. The power is referred to in ch. 2:10, where it is styled "the Devil." Here the Smyrnean section of the woman is exhorted to "fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried." The Devil was the power which owned and controlled the prisons into which then, as now, he casts all whom his prosecuting attorneys convict of violating his laws. All the sufferings of the woman in her gestation of 280 years were inflicted upon her by "the Devil and his Angels," who reigned in the heaven of the Roman Orb. These were her opponents who sought her destruction. The Devil was her adversary, who, "as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;" but she resisted him being steadfast in the faith; nevertheless, though cast down by the afflictions he heaped upon her, she was not destroyed (1 Pet. 5:8); but overcame him in the epoch of this other sign in the heaven (Apoc. 12:11). . 10. The Great Fiery Red Dragon

A dragon is a kind of beast, and therefore partakes in the characteristics of beasts. These in prophetic writing are the well-known symbols of destroying monarchies or powers; and, where the people of the Deity are found sojourning under their authority, the persecutors of the saints. But, though the dragon is a beast, he is apocalyptically distinguished from the beast of the earth, and the beast of the sea; nevertheless, he possesses certain characteristics in common with them both: for they are all found upon the same arena, though not contemporary in all their history.

. The four beasts in Dan 7:3, the winged lion, the bear, the winged leopard, and the anonymous fourth beast, are explained in verse 17, as representative of four kings or powers, styled kingdoms in verse 23. The nameless fourth beast, that is not named by Daniel, is styled by John diversely a dragon and a beast, according to the subject he may be treating of. The Hebrew tannin, and the Greek drakon, rendered in our English version dragon, it is evident from Ezek. 29:3, signifies a crocodile; the great scaly serpent-fish of the Nile, the symbol of the Egyptian power, styled "Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers." The dragon, then, whose force is in his tail, symbolized the power of the old Egyptian Polity. This, in the days of Moses, was the great enemy of Israel after both flesh and spirit. It embodied in its institutions all the filthiness, and superstition, and tyranny of human nature; and stood before the world as the great Sin-Power of antiquity -- "the Old Serpent, the Devil and the Satan." But the empire of the Dragonic-Sin-power was westward. It did not remain enthroned in Egypt. Yahweh's servant Nebuchadnezzar transferred it to Babylon; whence in due time it migrated, and was at length found in the city of the Seven Hills. The power there, in the epoch of the sign, was the old Egyptian Dragon incorporate in the Graeco-Latin polity, which possessed Egypt, Syria, and the East. Hence, the territory of the Dragonic fourth beast of Daniel is apocalyptically and "spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified" (Ch. 11:8); "the great city Babylon." "The Dragon," says Daubuz, "is a crocodile, a creature which is ranked among the serpents by Horus Apollo; and is called by the Arabians Pharaoh, and which was held by the Egyptians as the symbol of all mischief. And therefore Typho being, in their belief, the author of all evil, was supposed to have transformed himself into a crocodile, or dragon. So that the principle of all evil, or Typho, was in the symbolical character represented by a crocodile or dragon; and under this symbol was the said principle worshipped. Agreeably whereunto in the Chaldean theology the principle of evil was called Arimanius; that is, the crafty serpent, from 'aruwm, crafty, and nachash, serpent." Amongst profane writers may be mentioned Horace, who compares the Roman people, not only to a beast because of its ferocity, but to a many-headed beast -- lib. 1 Ep. 1 ver. 76. The apocalypse denominates that Egypto-Roman monster a great seven-headed dragon. The dragon was one of the military ensigns of imperial Rome. Ammianus Marcellinus, as quoted by Elliott, thus describes it: "The dragon was covered with purple cloth, and fastened to the end of a pike gilt and adorned with precious stones: its wide throat being opened, so that the wind blew through it; and it hissed, as if in a rage, with its tail floating in various folds to the breeze." He elsewhere often gives it the epithet of purpureus, purple-red; "purpureum signum draconis." In another note Mr. Elliott remarks that "in Trajan's time the dragon was a Dacian ensign, not a Roman; as appears from the bas-reliefs on Trajan's arch. A century afterwards it was, as a Roman ensign, sculptured on Severus' arch of triumph. Later in the third century it had become almost as notorious among Roman ensigns as the Eagle itself: and is in the fourth century noted by several authors. Among these John, surnamed Chrysostom, who flourished then, says that "the emperors wore among other things to distinguish them, silken robes embroidered with gold, in which Dragons were represented." Speaking of the procession of Constantine from Milan to Rome, Gibbon says, "he was encompassed by the glittering arms of the numerous squadrons of his guards and cuirassiers. Their streaming banners of silk, embroidered with gold, and shaped in the form of Dragons, waved round the person of the emperor". At one time a purpurcus or purple-red dragon was used as a standard for Rome. It was first used as an ensign near the close of the second century, though it was not until the third century that its use had become common. It is most appropriate, therefore, that The Apocalypse should introduce it at this particular point of the prophecy. Daniel's nameless "dreadful and terrible" fourth beast is a contraction, or condensation, of John's great fiery-red dragon, ten-horned beast of the sea, two-horned beast of the earth, image of the beast, and scarlet beast and drunken woman. These apocalyptic symbols are illustrative amplifications of the head, ten horns, eleventh horn, and eyes and mouth, of Daniel's "dreadful and terrible" beast, in its relations with the saints in all the 1260 years of their subjection, or down-treading by the Gentiles. In Daniel's description of it no mention is made of more heads than one. "The ten horns that were on his head." This is all recorded of its head. Daniel says nothing about "seven heads" on any beast shown to him. He only saw one; but behind this one were concealed seven others, of which we should have no more knowledge than he, had not the Apocalypse brought them into view. In this, the seven heads are brought out conspicuously. They are seen upon the Dragon, the Beast of the Sea, and the Scarlet-coloured Beast of the Wilderness. Though seen on different symbolic beasts, they are not different sets of seven; that is, one set of seven heads for the Dragon; and a set of different seven heads for the Marine Beast; and yet a different seven from either, for the Scarlet Beast of the Wilderness. They are one and the same seven heads upon all three beasts; so that the signification of them in connexion with the scarlet beast, is their signification as the heads of the Dragon and the Beast of the Sea.

11. The Seven Heads of the Dragon

I have said that behind the head seen by Daniel there were seven other heads which he did not perceive. This is equivalent to saying, that the head seen by him was an Eighth Head. This is the truth. The beast he saw was headed with this eighth head contemporary with its destruction by the saints. The seven heads, except the sixth, which precede this, have now no other political existence than what may be found on the page of history. They are things of the past, save only so far as the eighth is a partaker of the political character of the seven. The eighth head, in Apoc. 17:11, is styled a beast; as, "the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth in to perdition." The eighth head is styled the beast, because a headless beast is a mere carcase, and incapable of action. All the seven heads, topographically viewed, being politically defunct ages before the judgment sits for the slaying of the Beast, it became necessary to give it an eighth that it might live on to the time when judgment should be given to the saints. The Eighth Beast is therefore the "dreadful and terrible fourth" in eighth head manifestation. Its history begins after the fall of the seventh head, and winds up in its perdition after the advent of the Ancient of Days.

But the seven heads have not only a political, or ecclesiastical and secular, signification; they have also a topographical one. By this, I mean, they represent the particular place, or city, where the seven heads, in their political manifestation, were to be enthroned. The heads were politically anchored to the capital of the body politic. They must be sought for there, and only there; for the legislative head of a dominion is constitutionally located at the seat of government. Now "here is the mind which hath wisdom" -- here is the sense or meaning which is true. "The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman is sitting upon them." This is a Hebraism; an idiom, in which "are" is used for represent. It is a form of speech often used in Scripture; as, of the rock smitten by Moses, it saith, "that rock was Christ" (1 Cor. 10:4); it represented Christ: "this bread is my body;" it represents my body: "the seven lightstands are the seven ecclesias;" they represent them: and in many other places too numerous for reference. The seven heads have a two-fold signification, the first whereof is given in Apoc. 17:9. They represent seven mountains. But, if nothing more had been said, we should have been at a loss with regard to the particular seven represented. It was therefore added, "where the woman is sitting upon them." But what does "the woman" represent? There can be no doubt about the signification of this symbol; for John was informed that the woman represented "a Great City" -- an Imperial City; even "that great city, which," while he was in Patmos, is "having dominion over the kings of the earth" (verse 18). From the description, it was impossible that John could mistake as to the signification of this imperial woman. He knew, as we may know, that no other city could be meant than "the Seven Hilled City" -- ROME. This is the only city situate upon seven mountains, in John's day or since, that can be said to have dominion over the rulers of the earth. Her topography is seven heads, or elevations, of the land drained by the Tiber; and are thus named: 1. Mount Coelius; 2. Mount Viminal; 3. Mount Aventine; 4. Mount Esquiline; 5. Mount Quirinal; 6. Mount Capitoline; 7. Mount Palatine. Upon these seven mounts Rome, styled by its historians, "the Eternal City," is sitting; and, when the Apocalypse was revealed to John, contained a population of millions. She was founded by Romulus 753 years before the birth of Jesus Christ; so that in a.d. 1868 she is 2621 years old. Her limits are now greatly reduced. About thirty years before Christ, and in the days of Augustus Caesar, Rome contained two millions of inhabitants; and was fifty miles in circumference; but in 1847, she contained only 175,883 inhabitants, exclusive of Jews, whose number was computed at 8000. As long as she continues above ground she will be an interesting city. She contains 354 edifices, termed by Daniel mivtzerai mauzzim, Bazaars of Guardians; but, by "the daemons, foul spirits, and unclean and hateful birds" of "Christendom" so-called, "churches;" which, in their ignorance and folly, they have dedicated to ghosts or phantoms, which they have decreed to be immortal, and protecting guardians to all who worship them therein. Among these bazaars of Romish saints, St. Peter's, the temple of the Roman God, holds the first rank, being the largest temple in the world. It is 666 feet long, 284 wide, and its magnificent cupola rises to the height of 408 feet. It was 200 years in building. It is the temple of "the god of the earth", before whom, in belligerent antagonism, the saints and witnesses of Jesus stood; prophesying in sackcloths 12606 years (Dan. 11:39; Apoc. 18:2; 11:3). It is the temple in which is worshipped "the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition," styled also "the Lawless One"; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called a god or is reverenced: so that, as a god, he sits in the temple of the god, publicly exhibiting himself that he is a god" (2 Thess. 2:4). Such are the capital and chief temple of the apocalyptic Sodom and Egypt; the Queen City of the Gentiles, and most holy sanctuary of Satan. The interior of the Basilica or temple of "the god of the earth" in the Vatican. Its painted walls depict the "pleasant pictures" against which judgment is to fall (Isa. 2:16). The second signification of the seven heads is expressed in Apoc. 17:10; as, "And they are seven kings"; the "and" connecting them with the seven mountains -- "the seven heads are seven mountains, and they are seven kings," or governing bodies, as basileis also signifies. These seven forms of government belong to the seven hills; and are therefore Roman and Italian. John was informed, that at the time of the revelation of the mystery being made, five of the heads had fallen; and that the one in existence, consequently, was the sixth head; and that the other, or seventh head, had not yet appeared; but that when it came up, it would continue only a short time: "they are seven kings; the five have fallen, and the one is, the other not yet come; and when he may come, it behoves that he continue a short time." The two greatest historians, Livy and Tacitus, have enumerated the five from the building of the city, as, 1.The Regal Head, which continued 240 years; 2.The Consular Head, which continued 11 years; 3.The Dictatorial Head, which continued 5 years; 4.The Decemviral Head; and, 5.The Tribunitial Head with consular authority, which continued till it was superseded by 6.The Imperial Head, b.c. 31. John the apostle and Tacitus the historian, lived under this head, which continued in Rome 507 years. It was then wounded as it were to death by the 7.Or Gothic Head, a.d. 476. But, as this was only to continue "a short time" compared with the sixth, it was slain after reigning 60 years, in a.d. 554. Rome seated on seven mountains as depicted on a Roman coin in the British Museum struck a.d. 69-79. There was this peculiarity about the sixth head, namely, that, about a.d. 330, Constantine, the first catholic emperor, dedicated a new city, which, after his own name, he called Constantinople. This new Rome was also built upon seven hills; nevertheless, it is impossible to mistake it for "the woman", or "great city", of Apoc. 17, inasmuch as it has never been the capital of hoi hepta basilels, the seven governing bodies enumerated by the historians of the Italian Rome. On the dedication of Constantinople, the imperial residence and court were established there; while the ancient Senate of the empire continued its sittings and the exercise of its functions in Rome, until it became contemporarily extinct with the seventh head a.d. 554, after a continuance of 1307 years from its institution by Romulus, the founder of the Roman State. Thus, from the dedication of the City of Constantine to the establishment of the Seventh Head upon the seven mountains, the Sixth Head of the Dragon had two capitals and two thrones to which the governing orders of the state were related. This was an arrangement peculiar to the sixth head, and doubtless providentially ordered with reference to future predetermined constitutional developments, to be manifested after the fall of the Seventh Head. The sixth head continues enthroned in Constantinople, though not in Rome, to this day. Rome has witnessed eight heads upon her seven mountains; but Constantinople only one. The government in Constantinople has always been imperial, whether administered by a Roman or Ottoman dynasty. The imperiality of the Ottoman capital has descended, through Constantine, from Augustus Caesar, the founder of the sixth head of the Dragon. The loss of old Rome by the sixth head did not deprive the governing power in Constantinople of its sixth headship. The sixth head there still rules over the eastern section of the territory of the Dragon; and perpetuates the Dragon Power for the developments of which it is to be the subject in "the time of the end". Hence, the Constantinopolitan power, without regard to the particular race administering it, be it Italian, Greek, Turkish, or Russian, is the Dragon, as opposed to the Beast of the Sea, and the Beast of the Earth, of Apoc. 13. The Constantinopolitan power, as we have seen, originally owned both Rome and Constantinople; but in after times "yielded to the Lion Mouth of the Beast of the Sea his power, and his throne, and great authority"; reserving to itself what it was able to keep: so that the Roman Orb came to be divided between the Eastern Dragon and the Western Beast; and the populations of the two sections "worshipped" each respectively, as it is written, "they worshipped the Dragon which yielded power to the Beast: and they worshipped the Beast" Apoc. 13:4. Further details concerning the Imperial Sixth Head will be exhibited when I come to treat of the Beast of the Sea. I would, however, call the attention of the reader to the remarkable feature in the symbolism of the Dragon in contrast with that of the Beast, namely, that upon the seven heads are "seven diadems", while upon the seven heads of the Beast there are none. Now, a diadem is a symbol of sovereignty. Upon the ten horns of the Dragon are no diadems, but only upon its seven heads. Had there been seven diadems upon the heads, and ten diadems upon the horns, seventeen in all, there would have been no Beast of the Sea and Image of the Beast, to have divided with it the political "worship in all the earth." The heads of the Dragon being only diademed indicates that its heads are sovereign; and that the Dragon symbol during the continuance of the Beast has specially to do with apocalyptic developments connected with the heads, Therefore it is we find the Dragon in existence after the destruction of the Beast and his Image in "the Lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Ch. 19:20). These are entirely destroyed when "judgment is given to the saints"; but the Dragon is not. This power is bound in the abyss for 1000 years; but at the end thereof, he lifts up his diademed sixth head, of which is the eighth, and by which the nations are again beguiled into the old delusion of the sovereignty of the people, and independence of all power but that which is inherent in themselves (Apoc. 20:7, 5). But this is the last effort of flesh and blood to rule itself imperially upon the earth. The power that binds the Dragon, and destroys the Beast and his Image, premillennially, Will at the end of the thousand years crush the Dragon's Sixto-Octavian Head, and so rid the earth forever of man's accursed nature, which is the Devil and Satan, in apocalyptic eight-headed and ten-horned manifestation -- verses 9, 10. 12. The Ten Horns of the Dragon

The difference between the ten horns of the Dragon and the ten horns of the Beast of the Sea, consists in the ten upon the Beast being diademed, while the ten upon the Dragon are not. This indicates that the Beast symbol represents things concurrent with the Horns in their exercise of sovereignty; while the Dragon, as far as old Rome is concerned, had to do with the sovereignty of the heads before the horns had received their kingdoms. John in the wilderness saw the horns in what may be termed their Dragon-state, and writes of them thus, "the ten horns which thou sawest", said the angel to him, "are", or represent, "ten kings", or sovereignties, "which have received no kingdom as yet" (Apoc. 17:12). This was their apocalyptic status until the Sixth Head of the Dragon had been wounded. After this had been slain almost to death, then we may look for the ascending of the Beast out of the abyss, in the dragon-horns receiving their kingdoms at the cost of the Dragon power (Apoc. 11:7; 13:1). We have seen that the heads were interpreted to John by the revealing angel, topographically and politically; thus conferring upon them a two-fold signification. So it is with the Horns: they are to be interpreted chronographically and politically. Until they had received their kingdom, they were mostly chorographic appendages of the Dragon-empire; that is, they existed as provinces, territorial regions, of the dominion, upon which ten kingdoms were afterwards established by the barbarians, who founded the seventh head upon the seven mountains; wounded the Dragon's Sixth Head, which was afterwards "healed", and subverted the Dragon's jurisdiction over extensive regions. The Pagan Dragon Dominion called the Old Serpent or Satan's Kingdom. Those regions were styled, by anticipation, horns -- undiademed horns. In the time of John, they might be enumerated as, Greece, Moesia, Illyricum, Pannonia, Noricum, Rhoetia, Italy, Gaul, Spain, and Africa. The Dragon had then, and afterwards, other provinces in the east; but those only are to be reckoned as horn-provinces upon which kingdoms "receiving power as kings one hour with the Beast's" eighth head, horns sustaining the Papacy, were established. The political organization of the peoples that was developed upon these Dragon-horn provinces, became the apocalyptic Beast of the Sea; while Macedonia, Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, remained to the Dragon, as at this day. 13. The Tail of the Dragon

"And his Tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven." The tail of the old Roman Dragon swayed by this power must have partaken of the character of that power, as the tail of a beast partakes of the peculiar vitality of the beast. The dragon in the heaven, heads, horns, body and tail, as a sign there, is to be viewed chronologically, in his tail-conflict with "Michael and his angels". This tail-conflict was the last conflict of the Pagan Roman Serpent-power, or Dragon, with the partisans of the Christian Eve. "The ancient and the honorable he is the head, and the prophet that teaches lies he is the tail" (Isa. 9:15). All the pagan priests and philosophers were the teachers of lies in this, the crisis of the sixth seal. They would therefore constitute a very important element of the Dragon's tail. Added to these would also be all "the rulers of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains (or chiliarchs, commanders of a thousand men), mighty men, and every slave, and every freeman" (Apoc. 6:15) who adhered to the pagan prophets. Of these were "the Stars of the heaven" in which the Dragon was a sign. Entering into the composition of his tail, his tail is said to "draw" them. The tail of a power in motion, represents the fierce anger of that power against its enemies, as manifested in its movements of an army to destroy them. This appears from Isa. 7:4, where the armies of Syria and Israel, in march against Jerusalem, are styled the two tails of as many smoking firebrands, or their fierce anger. The tail of the Dragon is represented as in motion; for it is written, "his tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven, and did cast them to the earth." The power of the Dragon, or crocodile, is in its tail. It sways it violently in its anger; but if the power of its tail is overcome, all composing the tail, or attaching themselves to the party of the tail, will be laid prostrate under the feet of the victor; or, in the words of the prophecy, be "cast to the earth." The conflict was between Michael and the Tail of the Dragon, both being in the heaven. A third of the stars of this heaven sided with the Dragon's Tail; while the two thirds ranged themselves under the Standard of "the Cross," by which sign "Michael" proposed to conquer. At that time, the Dragon dominion was divided into three parts -- the Eastern, the Western, and the Illyrian, prefectures. On the defeat of Maxentius, Constantine ruled the Western, Licinius the Illyrian, and Maximin the Eastern, Third. Maximin was the champion of Jupiter and the gods. This third was chorographically the Dragon's Tail, his Head being in Rome. Maximin dying in great torments, was succeeded in the Eastern Third by Licinius; who, apostatizing from the Catholic profession, solemnly professed himself at an idolatrous altar the champion of the gods. He was now the Pontifex Maximus of Paganism, or Chief Prophet of the Tail of the Dragon. He was the centre of attraction to the stars of the Eastern Third of the Heaven; and therefore to a "third of the stars of the heaven." He drew them after him to a final struggle against the Archer of the First Seal. But he was defeated and dethroned, and ignominiously ejected from his high position in the state; and, in his fall from the heaven, drew with him to the earth, all the men of power, philosophers, and priests of Paganism, the stars of the Dragon's Tail, who had staked their all upon his success. CONSTANTINE REIGNS SUPREME Constantine in Italy (Rome) and Licinius in Illyricum issue a joint decree proclaiming religious toleration. Constantine attacks and defeats Licinius in Illyricum and Pannonia. Licinius retires to Byzantium but is there defeated by Constantine's land and sea forces. Witharawing to Asia Minor, the "Eastern third" of the Roman Empire, he is finally defeated and then murdered by the "first "Christian Emperor" who then reigns over a "Christianised" Empire. Constantine becomes Sole Ruler replacing Galerius, Maxentius, Maximin, and finally Licinius. 14. The Old Serpent

"The Great Dragon, the old Serpent, surnamed the Diabolos and the Satan, who misleads the whole habitable." The whole habitable, ten oikoumenen holen, was that portion of the earth comprehended within the limits of the great Pagan-Dragon dominion, which, in the epoch of the Sixth Seal, acknowledged the jurisdiction of the great city Rome. The head of this dominion was the Roman emperor, who united in his own official person the supreme pontifical, civil, and military authority. He was the sovereign living incarnation, for the term of his official existence, of the power resulting from the combination of the dwellers upon the habitable into a body politic, or kingdom of men. Human power enthroned upon the seven mountains, and exercising authority over the whole habitable -- imperial human power -- is apocalyptically styled "the Old Serpent," ho ophis, ho archaios -- the Serpent which was in the beginning. The apocalyptic dominion ruled by this Serpent was Mediterranean. It enclosed this sea within its territory. On the north, it was bounded by the Caucasus, the Euxine, the Danaster, the Danube, the Rhine, and the German Ocean. On the south, by the Roman Africa, a strip of land lying between the Atlas range and the sea, and extending from the Atlantic to the Red Sea: on the west, it was washed by the Atlantic: and on the east reached to the Tigris, Euphrates, and the Arabian Desert. This territory, two thousand miles by three thousand, extended into Scotland; but did not include Ireland, Germania, Sarmatia, nor Persia. The former three were peopled by savage hordes; but at the epoch of the Sixth Seal they did not belong to the dominion of the apocalyptic Serpent. But an inquirer might ask, were not all the outlying countries as much ruled by the Serpent, as the inhabiters of the Roman earth and sea? To this I reply, not in the apocalyptic sense. The apocalypse prefigures the conflict between "the Seed of the Woman" and the Serpent, for the sovereignty of the world (Gen. 3:15). This conflict was not between the Woman's Seed and the governments outlying the Roman empire. At the opening of the Sixth Seal, the time had not come for that. The time to deal with the sin-powers of Asia and America had not then arrived. It was therefore necessary only to indicate by appropriate symbols that section of the general enemy with whom the saints would have especially to contend; and this was the Serpent in his Graeco-Latin, or Roman, manifestation upon the territory defined. But, if the Pago-Roman Dragon Power be the Old Serpent, did that power exist in the days of the serpent that tempted Eve? To this question the answer is, it did unquestionably exist. The testimony before us, bears witness to the fact. It is there styled archaios, which signifies, not only old, ancient; but primeval, from the beginning, original. The Roman Dragon was the original serpent power. This is not to be disputed. The reader will bear in mind that we are treating of a power styled the old serpent," not of the reptile styled nahkash, which Moses says, "was more sagacious than any beast of the field, which Yahweh Elohim had made." The animal was not the power, but only the type of it. He was quick of thought, penetrating, and acutely discerning. He was the most intellectual of all the creatures, and had but one superior among the living, and that was Man. The difference between man and the serpent was diversity of organization. They were both dust of the ground; but the one more highly and perfectly organized than the other. The organism of the serpent embodied faculties whose functions placed him in harmony with man's nature. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, were common to them both; so that their intellectual and animal tendencies were on a par. Hence, man was more nearly related to the serpent than to any other animal -- so nearly, that the serpent-nature and the man-nature, without much exaggeration, might be termed identical. I have said that man was intellectually his superior. This, however, must not be taken absolutely. The serpent showed himself to be more of an adept than Eve. He purposed to make her and Adam eat the fruit; and to do so by reasoning them into the commission of the act. In this he succeeded, and thereby proved that his intellectual subtilty was superior to theirs. Had they been as quick of thought and penetrating as he, he would have found his match, and the temptation would have failed. They, however, were over-matched by the serpent, who succeeded in deceiving them. He was the intelligent deceiver who darkened their understandings; while they stood in the humiliating position of the serpent-deceived. Man has a class of faculties which the serpent had not. These are the moral faculties. The possession of these is the mental difference between the two creatures. The moral faculties are the basis of man's accountability. If he had been destitute of these he would have been as little accountable as the serpent. This organic difference is a matter of capacity for the reception of ideas. The mental capacity of the man was more ample than the serpent's, though less acute. He had more knowledge of things in general, and was capable of higher attainments in knowledge than the serpent, but he was not so sharp-witted in the use of what he knew as the subtile beast, whose wisdom has passed into the proverb, "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."                                                                                                                                             The moral faculties, I say, are the basis of man's accountability. The mere fact, however, of their possession would not have made him responsible to the Deity. The possession of them gave the man no advantage over the serpent. The serpent was "very good," and the man was "very good;" for it is written, "Elohim saw everything that he made, and behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:31). As mere material creatures, then, the capacity of one of them for the reception of moral, or spiritual ideas, did not destroy the analogy, or rather the identity, of the serpent nature and the man nature. The truth of this is apparent in mankind at this day. The Fejees, Japanese, New Hollanders, and such-like,have the same number of cerebral organs as Adam when pronounced "very good." Among those are organs capable of high moral developments. But,what better are they for the possession of them under existing circumstances? Manifestly none. They are as thoroughly serpent in nature as though they had but the intellectual and animal faculties of the serpent, and no more. Morally, then, the serpent could not respond to the thoughts, principles, and the institutions of the Deity; but man could, because of his organic capacity for the reception of them. The serpent could not, and the man would not; so that in relation to the way and principles of the Deity, both man and the serpent were reprobate; and of the two the man who could but would not believe and do, was unquestionably the worse. Man was the only creature of the Deity's "very good" animal creation, whose action was restrained by a law. It was said to him, "Of every tree of the garden eating thou mayest eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day of thine eating thereof, dying thou shalt die." This was spoken to man only; but in the hearing of the serpent. Had the serpent, or any other animal, eaten of it he would not have transgressed, because the eating, or touching of the tree, was only prohibited to man. The law demanded of man the recognition of the Deity as his ruler and lawgiver by a faithful abstinence from the thing forbidden. The law was the spoken word, or oracle, of the Deity; and threatened the man with death if he despised it. No greater offence could be committed by the man; because "the Deity hath magnified his word above all his name;" so that to despise his word is equivalent to despising him. The serpent saw the lawgiver, heard the law, and could distinguish the trees. Being very quick of thought, he instinctively speculated, or reasoned, upon what he saw and heard. "The eyes of the Elohim are open, and they know both good and evil, and yet are immortal. Adam is made in their image and after their likeness; and is doubtless like them in all things but the knowledge of evil as well as good. This knowledge, it is clear, may be obtained by eating of the tree forbidden. If they eat thereof, the man and the woman would be like the Elohim; their eyes would be open, and they would know good and evil. And as for dying, that is by no means a necessary consequence. The Elohim are immortal, and Adam and Eve may be so too; for all that is needful to be done to avoid the threatened penalty of the law, is for them to go to the other tree, called the Tree of Lives, and to eat of it, and they will live forever." Such was the intellectualizing of the serpent upon what he had seen and heard. It brought him to conclusions, not altogether false nor entirely true. His conclusion was a mixture of truth and error, in which the error neutralized the truth and made it void. It was therefore "a lie;" and he, though ignorant of the falseness of the theory he was thinking out, "a liar, and the father of it." Highly satisfied with his newly discovered views of the situation, he presented himself before the mother of all living, and opened a conversation with her upon the subject of the law and its penalty, in which he submitted to her the conclusions to which he had come from the premises before him. He introduced the conference by showing that he knew what the Elohim had said, "Yea," said he, "hath Elohim said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden!" The "yea" implies that he knew the fact; but he put what he knew interrogatively to draw the woman out. She admitted that it had been so said, and specified the particular tree, and its locality in the midst of the garden, and added that they were forbidden even to touch it upon pain of death. This was the point he wished her to come to as it enabled him at once to state the discovery he had made of what Deity really intended contrary to his word. He replied, "Dying ye shall not die:" that is, "Your dying shall not end in death." This was a point-blank denial of what the Deity had said. He had said they should die, and the serpent said they should not, and undertook to establish his position by declaring his acquaintance with the secret of the Deity hidden from her -- "Dying ye shall not die; for Elohim knows that in the day of your eating thereof then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil." The Elohim do not die, they know good and evil, and you will become like them. The woman listened to his sermon on the law, and thought his exposition of the word might be its true spiritual import. It was possible that the Deity did not mean what he said; that it was the letter of the law only that killed; but the spiritual or secret meaning expounded by the intelligent and eloquent serpent, was the real life-imparting truth. She entertained this supposition, since become so popular with her descendants; and, half convinced, she moved towards the tree to take a look at it, and more practically consider the matter. Her faith in the unadulterated Word was shaken. She believed the spiritualizing serpent, and she believed the Deity; for she believed the eating of the tree would impart the knowledge of the good and the evil divinely indicated; but then she believed also, that the death-penalty might be evaded according to the doctrine of the serpent. The tree, she knew, was "good for food," it was also "pleasant to the eyes." Here were two classes of human lusts co-working in favor of the serpent's conclusion. There remained only one class more to be gained and his triumph would be complete. She was ambitious. She knew the Elohim, how wise and exalted they were, and how superior to Adam and herself. She wanted to be like them, and the serpent had assured her that she had the power of this desirable self-exaltation in her own hands. But then, might she not lose all by the operation of the death-penalty? True; but the serpent had assured her that Elohim did not intend to carry it into effect; and besides, was there not that other tree -- the tree of lives -- as accessible as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? could she not also eat of that, and be immortal as the Elohim? Surely, this was a well-combined scheme of the serpent's by which they might easily and speedily attain to wisdom and immortality upon their own terms! With the earth in their possession, what independent, glorious, and powerful ones they would be when like the Elohim! The thought was charming; it was quite fascinating to contemplate! What more could "the pride of life" desire? They would live on the earth forever; and all the world that might inhabit it would be subject to them and to the principles of the serpent, by which they would have attained their high Elohistic estate! Thus was the mother of all living "drawn away of her own lusts, and enticed." She was attracted by "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." These instincts of the flesh predisposed her to believe the serpent and to follow his suggestion, regardless of the divine law. Lust conceived within her. The doctrine of the serpent sown in her heart inflamed her desires, and stirred them up into rebellious exercise. Faith in the word was obliterated; her mind was darkened by false teaching; she was beguiled and corrupted from the simplicity of the truth; her thinking was serpentized, and she "brought forth sin," or the transgression of the law; and when the sin was perfected, contrary to the serpent's theory and her own expectation, "it brought forth death" (James 1:14, 15). Such was the first lie, the father of it, and the consequence of believing it. Yahweh Elohim admitted that the lie contained some truth. As the serpent said, their eyes were opened, but opened to discover their own shame; they became as the Elohim in the knowledge of good and evil of an evil state adapted to the formation of character under trial; but independence, glory, honor and power, they were not permitted to attain. Nor could they so easily as they imagined eat of the tree of lives, and live forever. When the sin was finished they were too much occupied with their new discovery of their nakedness, and devices to conceal it from their expected Elohistic visitors, to promptly follow out the serpent's programme. In the midst of their perturbation they perceived their approach, and fled for concealment among the trees from the presence of Yahweh Elohim. This appearing of "the Lord the Spirit" was an incident not provided for in the programme of the serpent. It marred the whole scheme, and stamped his speculation with falsehood and deceit. The Lord's appearing arrested the guilty in their career of sin, and brought them before the Judge for trial and sentence according to their works. The offence was charged upon Adam, who accused the woman as the first in the transgression; and when she was interrogated she confessed, saying, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." The serpent was the progenitor of the whole transaction. Animal intellectuality, or the thinking of flesh in accordance with its own lusts, emanating from the serpent in discourse, was the spirit that worked in the disobedient, and caused them to stumble at the word. The divine Judge did not interrogate the serpent. It had preached according to its instinct, making proclamation simply of its own reasoning in the premises. The subtle beast, however, was visited with reprobation for the mischief incurred by his ignorant presumption in prating about what he did not understand. He had given expression to what had proved to be a lie, and therefore, he was truly the father or inventor of it. This particular serpent that beguiled Eve by his subtilty, spent all the days of his life in the dust upon his belly; and from being the most sagacious, he became "cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field." The intellectualism of the serpent had been transferred to the man. The serpent-system of ideas and mode of thinking had became characteristic of the man, whose lustful nature, inflamed to rebellion by the serpent's reasoning, came to occupy the same relation to the word of the Deity in all after ages, that the original speaking beast did before the fall of man. All the primeval serpent, or any other kind of serpent, has had to do with serpentine developments since that important crisis has been merely as the expressive and appropriate symbol of the nature of man. The serpent, then, is the reasoning of the flesh, which is inseparable from it, and tends only to death. This is human nature, and styled by Paul in Rom. 8:3, sarx hamartias, Sin's Flesh, in which, in ch. 7:18, he says, "dwelleth no good thing." In its original creation, this flesh, like the serpent, was "very good" of its kind. It had its affections and desires, which, like the affections and desires of other creatures, were innocent and harmless; and the man would not have known sin in the gratification of them, except the law had said, Thou shalt not eat of the tree. There would have been no scope for the serpent's speculation if no law had been enacted; for without the law his doctrine could have no existence. The serpent's reasoning was sin in conception. "Sin is the transgression of law," and this transgression was originally conceived in the brain of the serpent, and by reasoning on false premises, was transferred into the woman's, where, taking occasion by the commandment ordained for life, and in itself holy, just and good, it wrought in her all manner of intense and unlawful desires. Had she been contented to believe the Deity, and to obey the commandment, her course would have resulted in life eternal. But, instead of this, she found the commandment to be for death; because the reasoning of the serpent, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived her, and by it slew her. Thus, the serpent's reasoning which she adopted as her own, worked death in her by the good and just and holy law, by which, when the reasoning was perfected in transgression, Human Nature displayed itself as an exceedingly great sinner -- kath' huperbolen hamartolos. The theory generally entertained concerning "the old serpent" is, that "an Evil Genius under the semblance of a serpent styled the Devil, was the primary cause of man's fall, and that he used the serpent as his instrument. This theory is founded in incredulity, or unbelief of the Mosaic account. A brute beast, they say, was incapable of reasoning the woman into the transgression of the law. They might as well say that the dumb ass upon which Balaam rode was incapable of speaking with man's voice and rebuking the madness of the prophet. The one is as improbable as the other; yet improbable as the story of the ass, and incapable of speaking and rebuking madness, as by experience we know asses to be, the fact is attested by both Moses and Peter, and, therefore, rests upon as good evidence, and is as worthy of belief as any other fact in Scripture. He that made the serpent and the ass -- "very good" brutes of their kind, and not so much inferior to man, their fellow brute, as is generally supposed -- could also for any special occasion or emergency confer upon them the power of expressing their thoughts in human speech. No reasonable being will deny the power of the Creator to do this. Whether he did so is a matter of evidence, and no evidence can be more plainly, pointedly, and intelligibly testified than that the serpent was a beast of the field, pre-eminently subtle, and capable of expressing his thoughts in man's speech rationally. There is not a word said about any other "evil genius," devil or satan, than the serpent himself; and to bring in another in an interpretation is only to spoil the narrative, and to confess ignorance of its meaning, and inability to expound it as it stands. No, the whole transaction is referable exclusively to the serpent and the woman. There was no third party behind the scenes styled "the great enemy of mankind". The greatest enemy of mankind is man, and more to be feared than any devil or evil genius incredulity and ignorance of the word are able to invent. The serpent was an acute observer and an attentive listener; and all the inspiration he was the subject of consisted in the things he had seen and heard. As to the incapability of a woman being reasoned into transgression by a brute beast, we are every day familiar with the contrary. Man that is in honor and does not understand the word has no pre-eminence over a beast. This is the doctrine of Scripture. He is as an ass or a serpent, whether performing in a pulpit, a temple, a mosque, or in the private walks of life. The folly that hisses from their mouths is but the teaching of the serpent less speciously expressed than in the beginning; so that it is not a question of principles and brains, but of external configuration, that establishes an apparent difference between them and "their father who abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him" (John 8:44). These "natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed," serpent-like, speak evil of the things that they understand not; "and creeping into houses, lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." They reason them into transgression of the word, and into self-satisfaction and contentment in sin, as effectually as their father did the mother of all living. After the death of the particular serpent that beguiled Eve, the only speaking serpent was within man. His own lusts are the internal serpent by which he is drawn away and enticed. He is hungry. This condition of stomach creates a strong desire for food. This is a lust. He may have power to convert stone into bread for the satisfying of his hunger. He begins to reason, what harm is there in exercising one's power for the appeasing of one's hunger? Manifestly none. But would it be right to exercise the power under the circumstances of the case? I have been placed thus in order to be made to know that man lives not by bread only, but by what proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh. If I exercise the power, I distrust him, and express my conviction to the contrary; and in effect declare, that without bread supplied by my own providence, I should die. I have the power, it is true, to put an end to this painful craving for food; but I will not frustrate Deity in placing me here, by anticipating his deliverance. In this example, the reasoning suggested by the hunger, and counselling its immediate satisfaction by any means within reach, is the innate serpent, or devil, speaking within the man. It is the "I carnal sold under sin" -- the sin dwelling in the man; the sin-law in the members. Such reasonings are the writhings and twistings of the serpent, or the motions of sins working in the members, which, if unchecked and unrestrained by "the engrafted word" as the law of the mind, bring forth fruits unto death. All unenlightened men are what the Scripture terms "the natural man." This man does "not assent to the things of the Spirit of the Deity; for they are foolishness to him; and he is unable to know them because they are spiritually discerned". This was exactly the serpent's case. He was without the power of spiritual discernment. And so with all men in default of a revelation of spiritual things from the Deity. If he had not made known his purposes none of Adam's descendants could have discovered them. Hence, while ignorant of the word, they are as the serpent, and Scripturally classed with him as his seed or children. Thus, mankind in whom the truth is not, being the Seed of the Serpent, the flesh of sin, is their natural parent. This is "their father the Devil, whose lusts they do." But when the truth obtains entrance into a serpent-man, or sinner, and makes a lodgment in his understanding and affections, a power gets possession of him, and generates there "a new man," styled also "the inward man;" so that a Christadelphian, or brother of Christ, is not what he appears to be in the eyes of ordinary men. The serpent-world of sinners does not know them. To the eye of sense they appear as serpent-men. Their outward man differs nothing from the seed of the serpent; while their inward man is beyond the range of the perceptions of the serpent-man, or sinner. It is this new man of the heart, within the old man of the flesh, which constitutes an individual a saint, a son of the Deity, and a brother of Christ. Collectively, the saints or brethren of Christ, constitute his woman or spouse; they are, therefore, styled the Seed of the Woman. This arrangement distributes mankind into two unequal and opposite classes -- the Serpent-World, and the Woman-Seed; the former, being based upon a lie; the latter, upon the truth. In the beginning, the Serpent-World consisted of no more than two sinners -- Adam and his wife; yet small as was its extent, all the evil that has since manifested itself, was latent in them. Their symbol was the Serpent, or Dragon, and represented falsehood, unbelief, and rebellion against the Deity. Wherever these three have been found politically organized, and in conflict with the saints, there is the Serpent which was in the beginning -- "the old serpent." Of this serpent-world the Scripture saith, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of the Deity abideth for ever" (1 John 2:15-17). Now, after Adam had brought sin into being by transgression of the law, the Deity proceeded to organize the "evil" to which man had subjected himself by his rebellion. He had come to know it elohistically, as the serpent had said; but he was not also to be like the Elohim in abiding for ever. He had sinned, and the law he had violated was now to take its course. Yahweh Elohim therefore proceeded to expound the penalty of the law, and to teach him the practical import of the phrase, "Dying thou shalt die." He began with the instinctive whispering promoter of the mischief, whom having cursed, he addressed as the representative of the disobedient in all future time, and said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between Thy Seed and Her Seed; this shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." To the woman, as first in the transgression, he said, her progeny should be greatly multiplied, her desire should be to her husband, who should rule over her. And to Adam, because he hearkened to his wife instead of to him, he said, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;-- till thou return to the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for thou art dust, and to dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:15-19). The specifications in these sentences upon the serpent, the woman, and the man form the Constitution of the Serpent-World, or Kingdom of Sin; and termed in Scripture "the Kingdom of Men" -- dominion hostile to the Divine law administered by the Serpent's Seed. It matters not what form the dominion assumes, whether imperial, regal, republican, or papal, its basis is one and the same; and most appropriately symbolized by the serpent which was in the beginning -- ho ophis, ho archaios. In after times, far distant from the beginning, the serpent-world acquired an immense development. From two persons it had increased to myriads of millions; and without specifying the outlying savages of the dominion, is treated of in Scripture as "the kingdom of Egypt;" which, in the days of Moses, had attained great political proportions -- a kingdom of kingdoms. It was "the dragon, the old serpent," of his day -- the great enemy and bruiser of the woman's seed, who sought their extirpation from the earth. This was the political relation of things then. The "Woman's Seed" was identified with Israel; the "Serpent's Seed," with all that had enmity against, or oppressed, them; while the "Head of the Serpent," styled in the sentence upon the serpent "thy head," is that chief government of the Gentiles, or nations, which directs, controls, or influences, the policy of the world for the time being. The Scriptures oftentimes connect the beginning and the end without taking cognizance of the interval of a multitude of generations and ages, or, if at all, only very slightly. Thus, in Psa. 74:12, the Mosaic salvation from Egyptian bondage, and the future Messianic salvation from the down-treading of the mystic Babylon, apocalyptically and "spiritually called Sodom and Egypt" (ch. 11:3), are so connected: as it is written, "My King of old is Elohim, working salvation in the midst of the earth. Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength." Then, predictive of what will assuredly come to pass, and befall the same Serpent-power in its latter-day manifestation, as apocalyptically displayed in the binding of the Dragon, it proceeds in verse 14 to state, "Thou bruisedst the heads of leviathan, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness." Leviathan signifying "a serpent coiling himself in folds," is the Dragon of Apoc. 20:2; and embraces all the intermediate dragonic manifestations of previous ages and generations, which are the folds of his coil. The "heads of leviathan" are those apocalyptically exhibited. "The people inhabiting the wilderness" are the saints, and Israel after the flesh made willingly subject to them. "The wilderness" is "the two wings of the Great Eagle" where the fugitive woman was fed and "nourished for a time, times, and half a time from the face of the serpent," or, for 1260 symbolic days (Apoc. 12:6, 14); and where John saw Leviathan as he will be seen by the discerning after the thief-like advent of the Ancient of Days (ch. 17:3). In the thirteenth verse of the Psalm brief and passing reference is made to the dragon-powers of the interval; as, "Thou breakest the Heads of the Dragons upon the waters." In the English Version, "breakest" occurs in relation to the "heads of the dragons" and "the heads of leviathan;" though in the original different words are used. In reference to the dragon-heads the word used is shivbarta; while the other is ritzatzta. This verbal difference was doubtless not accidental. The former signifies "to break the power of, destroy;" the latter, "to bruise." Leviathan is bruised and bound for a thousand years, and at the end thereof revives, and embraces the serpent-world in his coils: but the power of the dragons and their heads in the long interval antecedent to the epoch of the binding, is destroyed. Now there have been different dragon-manifestations of "the old serpent" in the long interval between the Mosaic salvation of Israel and the Messianic, which is at the door. That contemporary with Moses, and styled "Rahab" in Isa. 51:9, was developed into what Ezekiel describes in ch. 29:3. Here the power of Egypt, called Pharaoh, is thus addressed by the Spirit, "Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh, King of Egypt, the Great Dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers" -- the mouths of the Nile, representative of the subjects of the power: "which hath said, My river is my own, and I have made it for myself." For this arrogance, and blasphemy against the source of all power, Yahweh Elohim sentenced it to destruction, so that Egypt should no more exalt itself above the nations to rule over them; and, as Nebuchadnezzar had received no recompense for executing the sentence of Deity against Tyre, therefore Yahweh Elohim gave the land of Egypt to him for his labor. Thus Egypt became a part of Babylon; the great Egyptian Dragon was abolished; and the power of "the old serpent" thus symbolized, transferred to the first of Daniel's four Mediterranean empires; which under Nebuchadnezzar stood man-like upon its feet, with a lion's head, and the heart of a man (Dan. 7:2, 4). Hence, at this epoch, when the Seed of the Woman; of which Daniel, Ezekiel and Jeremiah were constituents, was heel-bruised in Babylon, the wing-plucked lion-power was "the Great Dragon, the old serpent, surnamed the Devil and the Satan." Rome in the 4th Century a.d.: City of Destiny -- but not of eternity. The Head of the old serpent, in this first beast manifestation, was the dynasty represented by Nebuchadnezzar, who had conquered Egypt, and plucked the wings of the Assyrian Lion. This dynasty was "the Head of Gold" -- the cockatrice, or adder, which came forth out of the Egypto-Assyrian Serpent's root, whose fruit the world has found to be "a fiery flying serpent" (Isa. 14:29). The Dragon under this dynastic form continued only seventy years. At the end of this period it was changed; and "Lucifer, son of the morning, who weakened the nations, was cut down;" and made to give way to Yahweh's "sanctified ones," the Medes and Persians; who, under the command of Darius and Cyrus, "took the kingdom" (Isa. 14:12; 13:17; Dan. 5:28, 31). This was the Medo-Persian dynasty of "the old serpent". It answered to the second of Daniel's four beasts; and is represented in Nebuchadnezzar's Lion-Man image by the breast and arms of silver; and by the two horns of unequal height upon the ram (Dan. 2:32; 8:3). The old serpent continued under the Bear, or silver, dynastic manifestation some two hundred and six years. Another change was then developed. Power set in from the west, and diffused itself "over the face of the whole earth." The Medo-Persian Bear, or Ram dynasty was made to give place to Daniel's third dominancy, symbolized by the four-winged and four-headed Leopard, the brass of the image, and the four-horned goat (Dan. 7:6; 2:32; 8:5-8). These symbols represent "the old serpent" in the Era of the Greeks. Dominion was given to this people over the whole Dragon territory, which was enlarged towards the west. But the power of the old serpent was not to remain in the form of the four heads of the leopard, and four horns of the Grecian goat. The Greeks of "the whole earth," the sovereign race, were to yield the dominion given to them, to "a Little Horn," or power; which, in relation to the Lion-Man territory of Daniel's first beast, which included the Holy Land, was to appear in the country of the Northern Horn of the Goat. This is evident from Dan. 8:9. The power, which was new to the Asiatic, came from Europe west of Greece; and planting itself in Syria, north of Palestine, extended its dominion eastward, and southward, until it had absorbed within itself the power of all the Four Horns of the Goat. The Little Horn power was that of a rude and uncultivated people inhabiting Italy; and known in the history of that country, as Etrurians, Umbrians, Ligurians,Sabines, Veientes, Latins, Aequi, and Volscians. About five hundred years after the foundation of Rome, Italy was subdued to the authority of this city of the seven mountains; and all these tribes came to bear indiscriminately the name of Romans. After the subjugation of Italy, the Little Roman Horn proceeded to conquer all the nations round the Mediterranean. It subdued Greece about 146 years before Christ. In 67 before Christ, it appeared in Syria; and from thence "waxed exceedingly great, toward the south," and "toward the pleasant land," absorbing Palestine and Egypt; "and toward the east," to the Tigris and lands of Euphrates. Thus the Little Horn became an exceedingly great power. Its empire, which, seven hundred and thirty years before the birth of Jesus, was confined to the walls of a small city, in the second century of our era, was about two thousand miles in breadth, from the walls of Antonine and the northern limits of Dacia, to Mount Atlas and the tropic of Cancer; it extended in length more than three thousand miles from the Western Ocean to the Euphrates, and was supposed to contain 6,000,000 square miles. The number of subjects, who, either as citizens, provincials, or slaves, observed the rule of Rome, is estimated at 120,000,000. This Little Horn become so great was now the fourth of Daniel's beast-dominions. It planted itself in Jerusalem b.c. 63; and in a.d. 33, was popularly and pontifically acknowledged as "the King of the Jews" (John 19:12, 15). It had acquired identity with "the old serpent" by its incorporation of the Syro-Babylonian, or Northern Horn power (out of which, in relation to the Holy Land, it came forth), into its Italian dominion. It was now "the Dragon, the Old Serpent" -- Leviathan, the flying and very tortuous serpent, the dragon that is in the sea (Isa. 27:1). But when it conquered the Syro-Babylonian Horn, b.c. 67, it did not thereby acquire the apocalyptic "surname" of "the Diabolos and the Satan." It was not until the Little Horn had "magnified itself against the Prince of the Host," or Messiah the Prince; and undertook, as "a roaring lion, prowling about, seeking whom he might devour," to exterminate the saints from among the living; that it acquired the character signified by the terms "fiery red," "diabolos," and "Satan" (Apoc. 12:9). This crocodile, or Egypto-Romaic Babylonian, embodiment of falsehood and rebellion is styled purros, "fiery red," or red as fire. Daubuz, on the authority of certain heathen writers, says, "the Roman emperors and empresses had fire carried before them; also kings and generals at the head of their armies; it serving instead of trumpets as signs to begin the fight." This was notably the fact in the aggressions of the Dragon. Fire preceded him when he stood before the woman and her seed. During 280 years he had contended with her in all the fire of his fury, blazing forth against her with all the power of destruction at his command. He became red with rage and slaughter, especially in the period of the fifth seal, in which he vowed the extermination of the very name of christianity, which he likened to a hydra. But the archer of the first seal, who continued his warfare through all the six, was Divinely commissioned to go on conquering until he conquered him "through the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony." The fiery redness of his wrath caused multitudes of the woman's seed to lie beneath the altar weltering in their blood. But their death availed him nothing in the end. The truth is stronger than human wrath -- too mighty for the Dragon though confederate with all the potentates of earth. I have termed this symbol of fiery destruction, the Egypto-Romaic Babylonian Crocodile. The propriety of this designation will appear from what has been said in this section; and from the fact, that "the Great City" of the Seven Hills, which in John's day, as also in ours, "reigns over the kings of the earth," is styled Babylon and Egypt (Apoc. 11:8; 17:5, 18). These specifications identify Rome, Babylon, and Egypt, as well as Sodom, with "the Great City;" so that the crocodile, dragon, or serpent, symbolizing the power of which Rome was the capital until ceded to the Beast (ch. 13:2) is properly designated Egypto-Romaic Babylonian. This Roman golden coin depicts the emperor Valentinian holding the labarum and Victory on a globe. His right foot spurns a kneeling captive -- indicative of Rome as ruler over "the kings of the earth" (Rev. 17:18). 15. The Devil and the Satan This crocodile, or dragon, is said to be at once ho laloumenos Diabolos, kai ho Satanas ho planon ten oikoumenen olen; -- "surnamed the Diabolos, and the Satan who deceives the whole habitable." A surname is a name added to the original name. The original name for the embodiment of falsehood, unbelief, and disobedience, was "the Serpent". In all the five Books of Moses we do not once find it styled "the Diabolos," nor "the Satan." This surname was not bestowed upon the Egypto-Romaic Babylonian Dragon until, as the Little Horn of the Macedonian, or Grecian, Goat, it "magnified itself against the Prince of the Host (Christ)"' (Dan. 8:11). It did this when it falsely accused and crucified him. I need not repeat here what has been written in the first volume of this work on the Diabolos and Satan. The reader can refer to this on pages 234 and 241, at his leisure. Suffice it in this place to say, that the Roman power acquired the surname of the diabolos, because, being falsehood and transgression politically incarnate, it enacted the part of the Old Serpent in tempting the Brethren of Christ to cross the line of their allegiance to him in burning incense to Caesar as the god of the earth -- diabolos, in its etymological import, being that which causes to cross the law-line of Deity. But, it also acquired the surname of "the Satan." This word sahtahn, signifies an adversary; and without the definite article the, may signify any adversary in general. It is applicable to persons and things of whatever kind they may be. Thus, when the sons of Zeruiah counselled the death of Shimei, David rejected their impolitic advice, and styled them, Satan, (2 Sam. 19:22). So also when Yahweh became adverse to Israel because of transgression, He is styled Satan. This appears from 2 Sam. 24:1, where it is written, that Yahweh moved David against Israel to say, "Go, number Israel and Judah:" while in 1 Chron. 21:1, it is written, "And Satan stood up against-Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." There is also the case of Job. Job was a man of substance and power, being "the greatest of all the men of the East". He was one of "the sons of the Deity" belonging to that generation. There was among them also another man of power, an oriental, who was nominally a coreligionist, but full of envy and unfriendly feeling towards Job. This is not an unusual circumstance, even in societies reputed apostolic. In these, Satans too often abound, and become the adversaries of those they cannot imitate. In Job's day, there were general gatherings of the Men of the East, with the sons of the Deity, at the place where the symbol of Yahweh's presence was established. If I might hazard a conjecture I should say, they assembled at Salem, in the days of the High Priesthood of Melchizedek. Be this,however, as it may, "the sons of the Elohim came to present themselves before Yahweh, and the Satan hassahtahn, came also among them." Here were two classes of worshippers, the nominal and the true; the former constituting the Satan; the latter consisting of the Sons of Deity, of whom Job was most eminent and conspicuous. Among his adversaries, one seems to have been more notable than the rest. This was probably the Chief of the Sabeans, a tribe of Arabia Felix, who fell upon Job and did him much mischief. To this man Yahweh said by His priest (for, in Scripture, what is said by his priests and prophets, Yahweh is said to say Himself) "Whence comest thou?" To which he replied as any marauder would, "From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. His attention was then directed to Job, whose character was highly eulogized. This developed the latent enmity of the Sheikh, who insinuated that Job's fear of Elohim had been purchased by extraordinary favors; but that, if these were withdrawn, and he were reduced to poverty, he would curse Him to his face. Yahweh, however, knew Job better; nevertheless, He was willing that he should be tested, that his enemies might be confounded; and a triumph of principle in adversity might be exhibited, as an example for the Sons of Deity in all future times. Therefore to Job's adversary He granted permission to do what he pleased against him, short of personal injury. Having obtained this grant, he returned home, and organized his Sabeans and Chaldeans for raids, which, with the fire of heaven, soon stripped Job of all he possessed. Now, in the first chapter of Job, this is all attributed to Satan, as though, according to popular tradition, it had been done by a Fallen Angel, the world has agreed to call "The Devil." But, in the second chapter, the Eternal Power informs us, that it was He that brought Job to poverty; for addressing his adversary, He says, "thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause." All that was done being adverse to Job, it was attributed to his personal enemy, who was the moving cause; though the efficient cause was the power of Deity Himself. Such was the Satan in Job's case. In the case of Jesus Christ the satanic development assumed a different phase. Jesus was tempted by both the Diabolos and a Satan. These were both concerned in the trial to which he was subjected; and as the one co-operated with the other, they are spoken of as if the same. Jesus was "led up," or "driven," of the Spirit, into the wilderness "to be tempted of the diabolos;" or that which causeth to transgress, and "hath the power of death" -- sin's flesh. This was subjected to the long abstinence of forty days, at the end of which he felt a hunger that must have been very keen. We all know what would be the promptings of our flesh in a like situation. "Hunger," it is said, "will break through stone walls." It is very obstreperous, and will do any thing to satisfy itself. If any one had the power, under the pressure of intense hunger, he would convert stones into bread and eat them. Jesus had that power; and there was one acquainted with the Scripture, introduced himself to his notice at this crisis, and suggested that he should use it. Paul doubtless alludes to this personage in 2 Cor. 11:14 saying, "the Satan is transformed into an Angel of Light." Such an angel is a messger enlightened in the word, who handles it in such a way as to test the fidelity of others to it. Such an one becomes a Satan in suggesting a course of action in conformity with the promptings of the flesh. And if Deity became Satan to Israel, and to Job, it is not to be denied that an angel may have assumed the same attitude in the case of Jesus Christ. Peter, though a good man and devoted friend of his Master, was styled Satan by Jesus. He had told his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and be killed, and be raised on the third day after. But Peter rebuked him, saying, "Be merciful to thyself, Lord; this shall not be unto thee." He could not endure the idea of such a catastrophe. But Jesus said to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offence unto me; for thou savorest not the things that be of the Deity, but those that be of men." Had Jesus been merciful to himself, as Peter advised, he would not have been "obedient unto death;" in the event of which he would have frustrated the Father's purpose, incurred the fate of the first Adam, and failed in the dedication of the Abrahamic Covenant by which alone man can be saved. Peter's well-meant advice was adverse to the first and last of these things, and therefore as such an adviser, he was for the time a Satan to Jesus. On another occasion, the Lord said to his disciples, "I beheld the Satan fall out of the heaven like lightning". This was the Satan in heaven contemporary with his sojourn upon earth. He beheld his fall as the prophets beheld things not yet come to pass: for this Satan was still in the heaven after his assumption to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. This is evident from Paul's assurance to the saints in Rome, the Capital of the Satan's empire, that "the Deity of peace should bruise the Satan under their feet shortly" (Rom. 16:18). When Paul wrote this, the Satan was still in the heaven. It was the same Satan that prevented Paul more than once from visiting the saints in Thessalonica (1 Thess. 2:18). It was their great and potent adversary in the Dragon government, the Pagan Roman Church and State. It was this Great Red Dragonic Diabolos and Satan, that "magnified himself against the Prince of (Israel's) host: and by whom the Daily Sacrifice was taken away, and the place of its sanctuary was cast down" (Dan. 8:9-12). It is symbolized in this place by "a Little Horn, which waxed exceeding great." It was by this Satanic Power, "Messiah the Prince was cut off;" and by which the city and sanctuary were destroyed" (Dan. 9:26). It was the great adversary of Judah, and of the Saints, whom it reckoned also as Jews. When the Lord Jesus saw it in vision fall like lightning from heaven, he saw their adversary expelled from the Roman Heaven, as symbolized in this twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse. Paul said it would be bruised "shortly" after he wrote. It was ejected by the lightning of war from the heaven, about 250 years after, when the Michael and his party fought against the Dragon and his angels (ch. 12:7). It fell out of the heaven, as Jesus said; and John records, that "he was cast out into the earth," to the great terror of those among whom he fell (ver. 9, 12).> The Dragon-Power of Rome, then, was surnamed The Satan, because it was the great and persistent Adversary of Christ, and His Brethren. No one intelligent in the word would confound the Satans related to Israel, Job, Jesus and Peter, and merge them into one and the same Satan, identical with such a Devil, as is pressed into the service of the Clergy, to aid them in scaring sinners into church-membership. The clerical devil and satan belongs to the mythology of the heathen, and is as unreal as their gods: nevertheless, this mythical phantasm has a real and tenacious hold of their worshippers; who are much more careful to treat him with reverence, than to praise and honor Him by whom they live and have their being. The apocalyptic or Roman-Satan is the great enemy of Jerusalem, and of all related to her. Zechariah saw it in vision, when he saw the Satan standing at the right hand of Joshua to resist him. In all the times of the Gentiles, during which Jerusalem and the saints are trodden under their feet, the Holy City is subjected to the Satan. When these are fulfilled, then Yahweh who hath chosen Jerusalem, will rebuke the Satan, in "rebuking strong nations afar off," and making them powerless (Mic. 4:3); and "pluck Jerusalem as a brand out of the fire". Her warfare will then be accomplished; and her deliverer will be a wall of fire round about her, and the glory in the midst of her (Zech. 2:5; 3:1, 2). The Satan of Apoc. 12, is characterized as the power "which deceives the whole habitable" -- ten oikoumenen olen; not "the whole world," as in the English version, in the sense of all the inhabitants of the globe; but the whole of that portion of it subject to the Dragon-Power of Old Rome. When the apocalypse was communicated to John, the Satan in the heaven was pagan. It deceived the people of the empire by the priests and poets (and the emperor was the High Priest) of the reigning superstition. But while this Satan flourished in the heaven of Italy, there was another Satan in embryo preparing to occupy the same heaven from which the pagan Satan was foredoomed to fall like lightning. This was the Satan enthroned in Pergamos (Apoc. 2:13); where his principal synagogue was situated (ch. 2:9, 24; 3:9). This Satan consisted of nominal christians; professors, who claimed to be Jews by adoption through Christ; but not being what they claimed, the Spirit denounced them as liars and blasphemers. They were zealous anti-pagans, as Protestants are, or used to be, zealous anti-papists; but their spiritual condition was that of Saidians and Laodiceans; and fit only to be "spued out of the Spirit's mouth." These pretenders styled themselves "the Church of God;" or "the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church." They contended earnestly against paganism; from which "with all power and lying wonders," styled by Paul "the working of the Satan" they alienated multitudes; but failed to indoctrinate them with "the love of the truth that they might be saved" (2 Thess. 2:9, 10). Their Satan was enlarged, and their political influence increased; so that, when the pagan Satan fell from the heaven, the "Holy Catholic" Satan was prepared to occupy the Bishoprick vacated by his fall. The revolution of the Sixth Seal substituted the one Satan for the other. The Catholic Satan is still in the heaven; and will remain there, until he is ejected by Christ himself, after the type or pattern, exhibited in this twelfth chapter. This final expulsion of the Satan from the heaven, is represented in Apoc. 20:1-3. In this scene, his head is bruised; and "the Dragon the Old Serpent, which is Diabolos and Satan," is bound in the abyss, and shut up and sealed, so that the nations may be no more deceived for a thousand years. 16. The Dragon Stands Before The Woman "And the Dragon stood before the Woman about to bring forth, that when she may have brought forth, he might devour her offspring" -- verse 4. Understanding that the "Great Red Dragon" is symbolical of the blood-stained power of Rome-pagan; and that the Woman represents the Anti-pagan Community of the Roman empire; the only points for exposition under this head are the standing of the one before the other; and the time when the standing occurred. For a power to stand before that which is offensive to it, is to assume a hostile attitude. In Esther 9:16, the Jews against whom a decree of extermination had gone forth, and who were afterwards permitted to use their weapons for attack upon all assailants, are said to have "stood for their lives." In Jer. 46:15, it is said of the Egyptians "they stood not, because Yahweh did drive them." And in Dan. 8:7, speaking of the relative power of the Macedonian Unicom, and the two-horned Persian Ram, it says, "there was no power in the ram to stand before him." Hence, to have power to stand, is not only to be able to struggle for victory, but to do it with effect. The standing of the Dragon before the Woman indicates that he was in an aggressive attitude. His standing had no courtesy in it, for he stood before her that he might devour her offspring. The time when he stood before her with this ferocious intent, was before her delivery. She was "about to bring forth" while he was standing, or making war upon her. Her child had not been manifested to the world. Hence, the historical illustration must be applicable to a time of the Woman's career when she had no champion, but when that "Coming Man" was just about to be manifested. The time, then, of this standing was the period of the Fifth Seal; or the ten years preceding the development of Constantine, as the imperial chieftain of the anti-pagan party. The exposition of the Fifth Seal will be found in Vol. 2 p. 264. Its historical illustration shows the attitude assumed by the Dragon, and how that sanguinary power deported itself towards her in its standing. The following extract from Gibbon will furnish an exhibition of the situation at the crisis of the Woman's delivery: "The fame of Constantine has rendered posterity attentive to the most minute circumstances of his life and actions. The Great Constantine was most probably born at Naissus, in Dacia. He was about eighteen years of age when his father (Constantius) was promoted to the rank of Caesar. Instead of following Constantius in the west, he remained in the service of Diocletian, signalized his valor in the wars of Egypt and Persia, and gradually rose to the honorable station of a tribune of the first order. The favor of the people and soldiers, who had named him as a worthy candidate for the rank of Caesar, served only to exasperate the jealousy of Galerius (the chief emperor of the Dragon): and though prudence might restrain him from exercising any open violence, an absolute monarch is seldom at a loss how to execute a sure and secret revenge. Every hour increased the danger of Constantine, and the anxiety of his father, who, by repeated letters, expressed the warmest desire of embracing his son. For some time the policy of Galerius supplied him with delays and excuses, but it was impossible long to refuse so natural a request of his associate, without maintaining his refusal by arms. The permission of the journey was reluctantly granted, and whatever precautions Galerius might have taken to intercept a return, the consequences of which he, with so much reason, apprehended, they were effectually disappointed by the incredible diligence of Constantine. Leaving the palace (of the Dragon) at Nicomedia in the night, he travelled post through Bithynia, Thrace, Dacia, Pannonia, Italy and Gaul, and amid the joyful acclamations of the people, reached the port of Boulogne in the very moment when his father was preparing to embark for Britain." Such was the narrow escape of the Woman's future imperial chief from being "devoured" by the imperial Pontifex Maximus who "stood before her" in ferocity watching to that end. 17. The Woman's Son "And she brought forth a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre" -- verse 5 The Spirit is here careful to designate the sex of the child that was to be born of the Woman. It is termed in the original, huion arrhena, literally, a male offspring. He was brought forth at length; but not "devoured" by the Dragon-Power; for he was destined to "rule all the nations with an iron sceptre," in the Italian Heaven, from which the Woman's adversary, or Satan, was to be ejected. It was not a female child that was to be born; but a man, whose birth had long been foretold in the prophets. In Psa. 10:15, 18, he is styled "the wicked and evil man," and "the Man of the Earth," whose arm is broken in the epoch when "Yahweh" becomes "King of the hidden period and beyond; and the heathen are perished out of His land." The Spirit in David makes the following address to him in Psa. 52: "Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O Mighty Man? The mercy of Ail is all the day. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue! But Ail shall beat thee down forever, He shall take thee away, and pluck thee from thy dwelling-place, and will root thee out of the land of the living. The righteous shall see and fear, and upon it they shall laugh, saying, Behold the man that made not Elohim his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness." Daniel styles this Mighty Man, "the King" -- a man of power; ruling potentially and sovereignly over nations, during many centuries to the epoch of his destruction in the time of the end." He is thus described in Dan. 11:36-39. "And the King shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every ail (or Power); and shall speak marvellous things concerning the Ail of ails (the Power of powers, or the greatest, and the source, of all power); and he shall flourish till the indignation shall be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the gods of his ancestors, elohai avothahv; nor the desire of wives, nor regard any eloahh, "or god". "But upon his place (or throne) shall he do honor to the eloahh mahuzzim -- the god of guardians: and to an eloahh, 'or god,' which his ancestors knew not shall he do honor with gold, and silver, and with costly gems, and durable things. Thus shall he do to the Bazaars of the guardians pertaining to a foreign god (eloahh) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall give them authority over many: and shall divide the land for gain." Thus, we see exhibited in the ancient and remarkable oracle of the Deity, an Absolute Sovereign Power, which repudiates the gods of his predecessors, and sets up in their place a god of foreign origin, who becomes a constituent of the power by which he is enthroned. Hence, the power consists of, or is represented by, the King and his god; who exalt and magnify themselves above every power, temporal and spiritual, claiming sovereignty and lordship upon the whole habitable. The King has the priority of existence in the New Constitution of things -- new in relation to the old, under which the gods of his predecessors bore rule through their priests. The priority is manifest from the fact, that he is the founder of the glory of his New God -- "whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory." The acknowledgment of the candidate for divine honors, must be accepted as the date of his creation: that is, the aspirant became a god, as soon as he was recognized by the King. Until this recognition, the King would be supreme in all the spiritual and temporal affairs of his dominion. He would be the chief magistrate, the commander-in-chief of the military forces, and the chief bishop, of his empire; but when he should come to set up his new god, he would in so doing, delegate to him the supervision and administration of all spiritual and ecclesiastical affairs. This arrangement would make his god "the Head of all the Churches" of the habitable; while he would reserve to himself the headship of the State. This foreign god unknown to his predecessors, is styled Eloahh Mahuzzim -- a god of fortresses. A fortress is a strong place affording defence and protection. "The way of God," is termed in Proverbs 10:29, "a fortress to the upright". Upon the same principle, "saints and angels" are regarded as fortresses, or guardians, to those who worship them. These are the fortresses, or Mahuzzim, of the system of superstition, whose Supreme Pontiff is the god created by "the King". His special fortress, is a phantasm he styles St. Peter. This is the guardian of his godship; besides which, he claims the protection of all the supposed existences of "the spirit-world". The Virgin Mary, whom he styles "the Queen of heaven," is conspicuous among these. No god, according to his own tradition, was ever so strongly fortified as he. All the conceivable saints and angels of the invisible world are his fortresses, protectors, or guardians. One cannot help but think, however, that they must be very negligent of their duty at the present time; for his godship is manifestly dying for want of protection by the powers of heaven and earth. Illustrative of these fortresses are the remarks of Chrysostom, a subject and priest of the King, who flourished in the 4th century. In his homily on the martyrs of Egypt, he says: "The bodies of those saints fortify the city more effectually for us than impregnable walls of adamant; and like towering rocks placed around on every side, repel not only the assaults of enemies that are visible, but the insidious strategems also of invisible daemons, and counteract and defeat every artifice of the devil as easily as a strong man overturns the toys of children." The buildings pertaining to this God of Guardian Saints and Angels are styled by Daniel, "the Bazaars of the Guardians". The noun mivtzahr, is derived from the root bahtzar, which among other meanings signifies to enclose with a wall. As a noun betzer signifies ore of gold and silver, precious metals, store, or treasure so secured. Parkhurst has the following upon the word: "Derivative, Bazaar, a kind of covered market-place among the eastern nations, somewhat like our Exeter 'Change in London; but frequently much more extensive. Latin, or rather Punic, Byrsa, the Burse at Carthage ;" equivalent to the French Bourse. In the English version, the phrase is rendered, "the most strongholds," with which those who compiled the marginal readings were not satisfied; and therefore they have tried to improve it by substituting the words "fortresses of munitions". Moses Stuart renders it fenced strongholds; and the foreign god he styles, "the god of strongholds; that is, the god that has power over them." He confesses, however, that verse 39 is "a difficult verse, which has occasioned many discrepant interpretations." He refers to Lengerke, who, he remarks, "makes the fenced strongholds to mean temples, and the sentiment to be, that the tyrant will do for temples and their foreign gods the same thing that verse 38 says he will do in respect to the god of strongholds, that is, he will bestow many liberal presents upon them." As neither Lengerke nor Moses Stuart seem to see anything in Daniel (the last chapter, perhaps, excepted) beyond the times of Antiochus, some hundred and sixty years, or so, before the birth of Jesus Christ, their temples and "strongholds" have relation to "fortified strongholds of foreigners" attacked by Antiochus, and temples of idols. Lengerke has almost fallen upon the correct meaning. Had he referred the betzer, heemantively written mivtzar, to the temples of "guardian saints" instead of to those of the pagan Greeks, he would have hit the mark exactly; but then, how could he be so uncharitable as to turn the "Holy Father" of Christendom so-called, into a foreign god, and all the ecclesiastical edifices of his bishoprick dedicated to the disembodied ghosts of reputed saints, into Bazaars, or places of traffic in spiritual merchandise, and in "the bodies and souls of men!" (Apoc. 18:13). The churches, chapels, and cathedrals, then, are "the most strongholds" of the King's superstition, which has spread itself over Europe and America. They are the houses of business dedicated by the prospering craft to "Guardian Spirits". There are laid up in store the images and pictures of reputed saints. They are Saints' Houses in which are deposited their shrines; silver, gold and ivory crucifixes; "religious, articles" of all sorts; together with old bones, and various kinds of votive trumpery. They are literally, "Dens of Thieves," without ever having been houses of the Father -- dens, where people are hoodwinked, and by "sharp practice" robbed of their money under divers false pretences. They are places where pews are sold by auction, the proudest sittings being knocked down to Mammon's greatest favorites; places where fairs of vanity and deceit are held for "pious objects;" and whose spiritual empirics pretend to "cure souls" in consideration of so much per annum. In view of these facts, the Scriptural epithet bestowed upon the ecclesiastical edifices of the Apostasy, is most appropriate. They are truly bazaars of spiritual merchandise; and the prospering craft, "the great men of the earth," papal, catholic, and protestant, made rich by trading in their wares, are the Bazaar-Men, who extort all kinds of goods from their deluded customers by putting them in sulphurous and mortal fear; and comforting them with counterfeits upon some transpatial bank when time shall be no more! They "buy and sell" under license from the Ecclesiastical Power, having received its "mark upon their foreheads, or on their right hands." The reader may find their inventory of merchandise in Apoc. 18:12, 13. Among the articles received in exchange for their "spiritual things," are tithes, bodies (somata) and souls of men. But the trade of these soul-and-body merchants is in anything but a satisfactory state at present. Great numbers of their customers have discovered that the profit is all upon one side; nor are they backward in proclaiming that when a favorable opportunity presents they will break up the iniquitous concern, and make the cheats disgorge their unhallowed gains. This will be to them a sad day -- a day of universal bankruptcy for the weeping and wailing merchants of "Babylon the Great;" for "no man buyeth their merchandize any more." When a man's trade is thus extinguished, nothing but ruin stares the shattered tradesman in the face. This is the fate that awaits the preachers of all the "other gospels" of the bazaars -- gospels other than Paul preached, and which leave men in ignorance and disobedience; gospels which make them partisans of human crotchets and traditions; and the apologists of anything sincerely professed as a substitute for the truth. It is a remarkable feature in this prophecy that the Bazaars for priestly and clerical wares are distinguished from houses or shops of fair and honorable trade, by being styled Bazaars of Mahuzzim. When jewellers, bakers, hardware-men, and such-like, open stores, they emblazon their signs with their own names. When people go to the baker's or the butcher's, they do not say they are going to St. Paul's or St. Barnabas', as if the stores were theirs. But when the clergy of "the King" and his foreign god, whether they be loyal or non-conformist, open bazaars for the sharp practice of their trade, they impose upon the credulous and strongly deluded public the idea that they belong to the apostles and their brethren! They say that these ancients "of whom the world is not worthy," are still alive and in heaven, and greatly interested in human affairs, especially in church edifices, and in the orchestral and pulpit demonstrations therein! Hence, they set up statues in niches, and on parapets, which they call by their names, and make them presents of their churches, as is evident from the names they bear; as St. Sophia's at Constantinople, St. Peter's at Rome, Our Lady's at Paris, St. Paul's at London, and so forth. The flagrancy of the imposture, however, consists in this, that while they profess to give these houses of the king's god to the "departed spirits" they call by these names, they will not permit the gospel the apostles preached, and the institutions they ordained, to be announced in their walls; but, by various arts, perversely persist in its exclusion, and in making it of none effect by their vain and foolish traditions. But the whole system is a cheat, and a very profitable one for the present to those who live by it. It is ecclesiastical craft caused to prosper by the Civil Power, or "the King;" and it will continue to prosper "till the indignation shall be accomplished;" when Israel's Commander will bring it to an end, and cause the truth, by the energy whereby he is able to subdue all opposition, and to unmask all impostures, to prevail at last. This king, or Imperial Power, and its foreign god, are presented in Dan. 7:8, 20, 24, 25, under the symbol of a Little Horn, in which were Eyes like the eyes of man, and a Mouth speaking very great things. In this, the Eyes and the Mouth are representative of the foreign god; while the Little Horn itself is significative of "the king," or power, that glorifies him. This remarkable constitution of Church and State did not obtain in the days of Paul and John. The former in 2 Thess. 2 predicted its manifestation as the result of apostasy from the faith; and that when that apostasy was well developed, the power would be revealed. Not, however, in full manifestation at the beginning. The power had to receive its birth, and to grow to manhood, or maturity; so that when it had fully established itself above all, it might be in a position to set up its foreign god. Paul styles the power, "the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition:" and foreseeing the extraordinary arrogance of the spiritual element of the power, he speaks of it as one "who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called a god, or an object of reverence; so that he as a god sitteth in the temple of the god, showing himself that he is a god." This is the god Daniel styles "a foreign god;" and by John in Apoc. 13:2, 5, "the Mouth of the Beast as the mouth of a lion, and speaking great things and blasphemies;" and in verses 14, 15, "the Image of the Beast," which received life and ability to speak from the Civil Power. Now, the Pagan Imperial Roman Power existed before the Woman; and so did Jesus Christ. Neither of them, therefore, could be the son to be born of her. But in the days of Constantine, there was a great revolution in the State, the effects of which are felt in all Europe and America to this day. When he became Emperor of Rome, the constitution of the empire was modified in Church and State. He assumed supremacy in both; and became the Chief Bishop -- "the Bishop of the bishops" -- of "the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church," so called. He established the Catholic Apostasy as the most favored religion of the Roman State; but, according to Labanius, "made no alteration in the legal worship; the temples indeed were impoverished, but the sacred rites were performed there." Though the Court was transferred to Constantinople, the Senate continued to hold its sessions in Rome, where by solemn decrees it still presumed to consecrate the divine memory of their sovereigns; and Constantine himself was associated, after his death, to those gods of his predecessors whom he had renounced and insulted during his life. "The titles, the ensigns, the prerogatives, of Sovereign Pontiff," says Gibbon, "which had been instituted by Numa, and assumed by Augustus, were accepted without hesitation, by seven christian emperors, who were invested with more absolute authority over the religion which they had deserted, than over that which they professed." Hence, this Son of the Woman, styled by historians "the first christian emperor," was at once Sovereign Pontiff of paganism, and Chief Bishop of the Catholic Church! Such a child born and son given could be no other than "the Man of Sin." The historical testimony of Gibbon concerning this personage is demonstrative of the true character of the Woman's Son. "The first of the christian emperors," says he, "was unworthy of that name till the moment of his death." This he clearly proves in his great work. In the days of the apostles they only were christians who believed "the gospel of the kingdom," and were immersed; but Constantine was ignorant of it, and therefore could not believe it, and was not immersed until three days before his death, a.d. 337. During many previous years he was reputed a christian by the Catholic Church. He assumed the character of a bishop, presided at ecclesiastical councils, gave judgment against christians reputed "heretical" by his party, enjoined the solemn observance of the first day of the week, which he called the day of the sun, Die Solis, after his once favorite god, and in the same year, a.d. 321, directed the regular consultation of Auruspices.: He was permitted by the Catholic Woman to enjoy most of the privileges of her communion. Instead of retiring from the congregation, when the voice of the deacon dismissed the profane multitude, he prayed with the faithful, disputed with the bishops, preached on the most sublime and intricate subjects of theology, celebrated with "sacred rites" the vigil of Easter, and publicly declared himself, not only a partaker, but, in some measure, a priest and hierophant of the "christian mysteries". In view of such premises as these, what shall we say of such a church, and of such a religion, whose professors could permit, and even applaud, such flagrant violation of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ? The only conclusion attainable is that such a community is the Church of Anti-christ, and her imperial protector and chief, the Man of Sin.. 18. The Manner of His Birth The Man-Child of Sin, or "the King," was born, or made manifest, after this wise. We have seen how Constantine escaped the designs of the Dragon-Emperor Galerius. Having arrived at Boulogne, he accompanied his father to Britain, who died soon after in the imperial palace at York, a.d. 306. According to the constitution of the empire, the appointment of a successor to the vacant office of Augustus, was the prerogative of Galerius. The flower of the western armies had followed the deceased monarch into Britain. The opinion of their own importance, and the assurance that Britain, Gaul, and Spain would acquiesce in their nomination, were diligently inculcated on these legions by the Woman's partisans, and other revolutionary adherents of Constantine. The throne was the object of his desires: and the attainment of it was his only means of safety. He was well acquainted with the character and sentiments of Galerius, who in vowing the destruction of the christian name, was implacable towards those who favored it. He was therefore sufficiently apprised, that if he wished to live he must determine to reign. After a show of decent and even obstinate resistance, affected to justify his usurpation, he yielded to the acclamations of the army, which saluted him as Augustus, and emperor. Upon this, he immediately despatched a letter to Galerius, informing him of his father's death, modestly asserting his natural claim to the succession, and respectfully lamenting, that the affectionate violence of his troops had not permitted him to solicit the imperial purple in the regular and constitutional manner. The first emotions of Galerius were those of surprise, disappointment, and rage; and as he could seldom restrain his passions, he loudly threatened that he would commit to the flames both the letter and the messenger. But his resentment insensibly subsided. Without either condemning or ratifying; the choice of the British army, Galerius accepted Constantine as the sovereign of the provinces west of the Alps, but gave him only the title of Caesar, and the fourth rank among the Roman princes, whilst he conferred the vacant place of Augustus on his favorite Severus. The apparent harmony of the empire was still preserved, and Constantine, who already possessed the substance, expected, without impatience, an opportunity of obtaining the honors of supreme power. For the first, and indeed the last time, the Roman World was administered by six emperors, a.d. 308. The opposition of interest, and the memory of a recent war, divided the empire into two great hostile powers. In the west, Constantine and Maxentius acknowledged the superior influence of Maximian; while in the east, Licinius and Maximin honored with more real consideration their benefactor Galerius: but upon the death of the elder princes, Maximian and Galerius, a new direction was given to the views and passions of their surviving associates. During six years Maxentius reigned in Rome. He was repeatedly heard to declare that he alone was emperor, and that the other three princes were no more than his lieutenants, on whom he had devolved the defence of the frontier provinces, that he might enjoy without interruption the elegant luxury of the capital. In the crisis thus formed, a.d. 312, Constantine was convinced that the hostile and ambitious designs of the Italian emperor made it necessary for him to arm in his own defence. Maxentius was constitutionally the head of the Dragon-Power, being enthroned in Rome, and identified with the Roman Senate. He openly avowed his pretensions to the whole monarchy of the west, and had already prepared a very considerable force to invade Constantine's jurisdiction on the side of Rhoetia. That Constantine at this crisis was in the womb of the Catholic Woman, appears from the fact, that while he exercised his limited sovereignty over the provinces of Gaul, his christian subjects were protected by his authority, while, says Gibbon, "he wisely left to the gods the care of vindicating their own honor. If we may credit the assertion of Constantine himself, he had been an indignant spectator of the savage cruelties which were inflicted by the hands of Roman soldiers on those citizens whose religion was their only crime." The example of Galerius, his implacable enemy, had made this severity odious to him. By the authority and advice of his dying father, he determined to pursue an opposite course. He immediately suspended or repealed the edicts of persecution, and granted the free exercise of their religious ceremonies to all those who had already professed themselves members of the church. They, were soon encouraged to depend on the favor as well as on the justice of their sovereign, who had imbibed a secret and sincere reverence for the name of Christ, and for the God of the christians. "The warm and active loyalty of the Catholics exhausted in Constantine's favor every resource of human industry; and they confidently expected that their strenuous efforts would be seconded by some divine and miraculous aid. The enemies of Constantine," continues Gibbon, "have imputed to interested motives the alliance which he insensibly contracted with the Catholic Church," or the Woman, and which apparently contributed to the success of his ambition. In the beginning of the fourth century the Catholics still bore a very inadequate proportion to the inhabitants of the empire; but among a degenerate people like the Romans and Greeks, who viewed the change of masters with the indifference of slaves, the spirit and union of the Catholic minority would assist the popular leader, to whose service, from a principle of conscience, they had devoted their lives and fortunes. The ranks of his legions were filled with the proselytes of the new faith; so that when they marched against Maxentius, a great number of the soldiers had already consecrated their swords to the service of Christ and of Constantine. In the Catholic councils assembled under Constantine's protection, the authority of the bishops was employed to ratify the obligation of the military oath, and to inflict the penalty of excommunication on those soldiers who threw away their arms during the enjoyment of peace by the church. But the Woman was not confined to the dominions of Constantine. She overspread the Dragon empire; so that while he increased his adherents from her communion in Britain, Spain and Gaul, he could depend on the support of the Catholics in the provinces, which were still possessed or usurped by his rivals. Thus a secret disaffection was diffused among the Catholic subjects of Maxentius and Licinius -- the Dragon Power against which he was about to contend. The regular correspondence which connected the bishops of the most distant provinces, enabled them freely to communicate their wishes and their designs, and to transmit without danger any useful intelligence, or any pious contributions, which might promote the service of Constantine, who publicly declared that he had taken up arms for the deliverance of the Catholic Church. By this declaration he constituted himself the Woman's champion against the Dragon, in all the Roman World; nevertheless, he had not yet announced himself as one of her sons. The real and precise date of Constantine's conversion to Laodicean Catholicism has been variously stated. Eusebius has ascribed the faith of Constantine to a sign alleged to have been displayed in the heavens whilst he was waging war against Maxentius. A contemporary writer affirms with the most perfect confidence, that in the night that preceded the last battle with Maxentius, Constantine was admonished in a dream to inscribe the shields of his soldiers with the celestial sign of God, the sacred monogram of the name of Christ -- thus ; that he executed this command, and that his valor and obedience were rewarded by the decisive victory of the Milvian Bridge. But it is not easy to determine if this were a real miracle, or merely a "lying wonder." Probably it was the last. Be this as it may, the victory of the Milvian Bridge developed Constantine as the First Imperial Son of the Catholic Church, commonly, but absurdly, styled, "the first Christian Emperor." Previous to that victory he was an usurper of imperial rank, unrecognized by the Roman Senate, and the Coming Man of the Catholic party; favoring its policy, but temporizing between them and their opponents. He was in the womb of his mother, but not yet born of her, as the chief ruler of the Roman nations. His birth could not be accomplished without the pains of parturition. His mother was "in pangs, straining to bring forth." These pangs and strainings were the pains of persecution, and the efforts of war for deliverance. The threatened invasion of his territory by Maxentius caused Constantine to hesitate no longer. He gave private audience to ambassadors, who in the name of the Senate and people, conjured him to deliver Rome from a detested tyrant; and without regarding the timid remonstrances of his council, he resolved to prevent the enemy, and to carry the war into the heart of Italy. The enterprise was as full of danger as of "glory." Maxentius was prepared to resist him with 120,000 foot, and 18,000 horse. But Constantine was not to be deterred by this array. At the head of about 40,000 soldiers, he descended into the plain of Piedmont by the road across the Cottian Alps, now styled Mount Cenis, with such activity, that his army arrived there before the court of Maxentius had received any certain intelligence of his departure from the banks of the Rhine. He stormed, and entered Susa sword in hand, and cut in pieces the greater part of the garrison. About forty miles from thence, in the plains of Turin, he encountered the lieutenants of Maxentius, commanding a force largely consisting of heavy cavalry, horses and men clothed in complete armor. Their weight was almost irresistible, and they flattered themselves that they would easily break and trample down the army of Constantine. But his skilful evolutions divided and baffled them. They fled towards Turin, which shut its gates against them, so that very few escaped the sword of their pursuers. The result of this victory was the submission of Milan, and almost all the cities of Italy between the Alps and the Po, which also embraced with zeal the party of Constantine. From Milan to Rome the Aemilian and Flaminian highways offered an easy march of four hundred miles. But he preferred for strategic reasons the route by Verona. He was met by a large body of cavalry which he defeated near Brescia, and pursued to the gates of Verona. He crossed the Adige, a rapid river encompassing three sides of the city, and laid siege to it. Pompeianus, finding that he could not successfully defend it, escaped from Verona, and with indefatigable diligence collected an army sufficient either to meet Constantine in the field, or to attack him if he obstinately remained within his lines. But leaving part of his legions to continue the siege, he led those troops on whose valor and fidelity he more particularly depended, in person against the enemy. The engagement began at the close of the day, and was contested with great obstinacy the whole night. The return of light displayed the victory of Constantine, and a field of carnage covered with many thousands of vanquished Italians. Pompeianus was found among the slain; Verona immediately surrendered at discretion, and the garrison was made prisoners of war. The resources of Maxentius, both in men and money, were still considerable. A third army was soon collected, more numerous than those which had been lost in the battles of Turin and Verona. The contempt of the Roman people, who tumultuously reproached his pusillanimity and insolence, while they celebrated the heroic spirit of Constantine, compelled him to assume the command of the army in person. But before he left Rome he consulted the Sibylline books. These were the ancient oracles of the old Roman superstition, whose guardians were as well versed in the arts of this world, as they were ignorant of the secrets of fate; they returned him the very prudent answer that, Illo die hostem Romanorum esse periturum, "on that day the enemy of the Romans would perish;" which might adapt itself to the event, the vanquished prince, of course, becoming the enemy of Rome. On arriving at Saxa Rubra, about nine miles from Rome, Constantine discovered the army of Maxentius prepared to give him battle. Their long front filled a very spacious plain, and their deep array reached to the banks of the Tiber, which covered their rear, and forbade their retreat. Constantine charged in person at the head of the Gallic horse, whose impetuosity determined the fortune of the day. The defeat of the two wings left the flanks of the infantry unprotected, and the undisciplined Italians precipitately fled. The praetorians, conscious that their offences were beyond the reach of mercy, were animated by revenge and despair. But they were unable to recover the victory. The confusion then became general, and the dismayed troops of Maxentius, pursued by an implacable enemy, rushed by thousands into the deep and rapid Tiber. Maxentius endeavoured to reach the city by the Milvian Bridge, but he was forced into the river by the crowd, where he was immediately drowned by the weight of his armor. On the recovery of his body from the mud next day, his head was exposed to view, which convinced the people of their deliverance, and admonished them to receive with loyal and grateful demonstrations the victorious Constantine, "who thus achieved," says Gibbon, "by his valor and ability the most splendid enterprise of his life." This "most splendid enterprise" was his birth as the Woman's Son. Before, he was an usurper and adventurer, but by these splendid defeats of the forces of the Dragon, and the acquisition of his throne and capital, he was assigned by the decree of the Roman Senate, the first rank among the three Augusti who governed the Roman World. He was now exalted to a position of great influence, which he speedily exerted in favor of the Catholic Church. He had not yet attained to Supreme Godship in the Roman heaven, by which he could "rule all the nations" of the empire "with an iron sceptre." By the overthrow of Maxentius he annexed Italy and Africa to his dominion; but there still remained the territories held by Licinius and Maximin, the two other Augusti. The former ruled the nations of Illyricum; the latter, those of Egypt and Syria. But the destiny marked out by Deity for the Woman's Imperial Son, was that he should rule all these nations with an iron sceptre; so that we may expect to find that his career will be onward until he acquires the sole dominion over the whole Roman Habitable. About five months after the conquest of Italy, in March, a.d. 313, Constantine made a solemn and authentic declaration of his sentiments, by the celebrated Edict of Milan, which restored peace to the Catholic Church. After the death of Maximin, it was received as a general and fundamental law of the Roman world. Constantine, with the ready, but not hearty, concurrence of Licinius, provided for the restitution of all the civil and religious rights of which the catholics had been deprived. It was enacted that the places of worship, and public lands, which had been confiscated, should be restored to the Catholic Church, without dispute, without delay, and without expense; and this severe injunction was accompanied with a gracious promise, that if any of the purchasers had paid a fair and adequate price, they should be indemnified from the imperial treasury. The two emperors proclaimed to the world, that they had granted a free and absolute power to the catholics, and to all others, of following the religion which each individual thinks proper to prefer, to which he has addicted his mind, and which he may deem the best adapted to his own use. Thus, as expressed by Eusebius, while the East was involved in the shades of infernal darkness, the auspicious rays of celestial light warmed and illuminated the provinces of the West. The piety of Constantine was cited as an unexceptionable proof of the justice of his arms; and his use of victory in their favor confirmed the opinion of the catholics, that their hero was inspired, and conducted, by the Lord of hosts. 19. The Son's Ascent to the Deity

"And her son was forcibly carried up to the Deity, and his throne" Before the Woman's Son could "rule all the nations" of the Roman Habitable, it was necessary that he be placed upon the throne of the Deity. "There is no power but of the Deity," says Paul; "and the powers that be are ordered of the Deity." The throne of the Deity upon the Roman Habitable would be the seat of the Supreme and Sole Sovereignty of the empire, wherever it might be located. Jerusalem is styled "the throne of Yahweh" in Jer. 3:17. That city is the place where supreme power will be established in the Millennium. It was also Yahweh's throne when occupied by David and Solomon -- 1 Chron. 29:23. But in the days of Constantine, supreme power had long before departed from Jerusalem. Israel and Judah had been broken and divorced; and a people formed from among the Gentiles for the Divine Name. This people came to contend with the Pagan Dragon for supreme power. After a long and bloody conflict they acquired it by the will of the Deity, "of whom are all things" (1 Cor. 8:6). Their military commander is, therefore, said to have arrived at the Deity and his throne. Hence Constantine, as sole emperor of the Roman world, invested with supreme power in all spiritual and temporal affairs, is the illustration of the import of the text predicting the translation of the Woman's Son "to the Deity and his throne." But under the circumstances of the case it was not possible for him to attain that high position without further conflict. He had fought his way up from a Caesar of the fourth rank of Roman princes, to be the first of the three Augusti of the empire; but he could ascend no higher while his two colleagues, Licinius and Maximin, ruled Illyricum and the East. These had to be removed by force of arms; for they were not the men voluntarily to abdicate position and power in favor of a rival as ambitious as themselves. The word in the original indicating this necessity, is herpasthe; rendered in the Common Version, "was caught up." The phrase "to the Deity" implies ascending from a lower to the highest position. Hence the word "up." The word implies violence in the action it represents; as, to convey, take or carry by force. I have, therefore, rendered it, was forcibly carried up. Her son did not forcibly translate himself into the possession of supreme power; but he was carried up to that high position by his victorious armies, whose hearts and arms were energized by Divine power. War In The Heaven; Or, 20. The Ascent Historically Illustrated

"And there was war in the heaven; the Michael and his angels waged war against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, but prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in the heaven." When Constantine was declared by the Roman Senate the first of the three Augusti, Licinius, the Illyrian Augustus, seemed cordially to endorse his policy with respect to the Catholic Church. But his subsequent conduct soon betrayed the reluctance with which he had consented to the wise and humane regulations of the Edict of Milan. The convocation of provincial synods was prohibited in his dominions; his catholic officers were ignominiously dismissed; and if he avoided the guilt, or rather danger, of a general persecution, his partial oppressions were rendered still more odious, by the violation of a solemn and voluntary engagement. The interview between Constantine and Licinius at Milan was brief. In the midst of the public festivity these allies were suddenly obliged to take leave of each other. An inroad of the Franks demanded the presence of Constantine on the Rhine; and the hostile approach of Maximin required the immediate presence of Licinius. Maximin had been the secret ally of Maxentius, and without being discouraged at his fate, he resolved to try the fortune of a civil war. He invaded the dominion of Licinius with a disciplined and veteran army of about seventy thousand men. Licinius encountered him with thirty thousand, and after a severe contest, gave him a signal and decisive overthrow. Maximin, perceiving that all was lost, fled with great precipitation. He was the most implacable of all the enemies of the Catholic Church; but he did not long survive his defeat to torment it. Three or four months after he died by Divine justice; and the provinces of the east, delivered from the terrors of civil war, cheerfully acknowledged the authority of Licinius. The Roman world was now divided between Constantine and Licinius; the former being master of the West, and the latter of the East. Constantine, as the military chieftain of the Catholic Church, which the Deity had predetermined should have the rule instead of the Pagan Priesthood, is styled in the prophecy ho Michael, the Michael: that is, the Michael of the situation. This name is Hebrew in a Greek dress. The Hebrew is resolvable into three words put interrogatively, as Miyka'el, or Mi, who, cah, like, ail power? Or Who like that power Divinely energized to cast the Pagan Dragon, surnamed the Diabolos and the Satan, out of the Roman heaven? There was no contemporary power under this Sixth Seal that was able to contend successfully against it. Hence Constantine, as the instrument of the Deity in the development of his purpose, is styled "the Michael". He was not personally the Michael, or "first of the chief princes" spoken of in Dan. 10:13, nor the Michael termed in Dan. 12:1, "the great Prince who standeth for the children of Daniel's people;" but for the time being he filled the office that will hereafter be more potently and gloriously illustrated by the Great Prince from heaven, who will bind the Dragon and shut him down in the abyss for a thousand years (Apoc. 20:2, 3). The militant mission of Constantine and the Great Prince, Jesus Christ, are similar, but not identical. The power of the Diety was with Constantine, as it was with Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander, and the first Napoleon; while Christ is the great power of the Deity corporealized. Constantine was to rule all the nations of the Roman Habitable with an iron sceptre from the time he attained supreme power till he died, which was about fourteen years. Christ Jesus and his brethren are to rule all the nations of the globe with an iron sceptre for a thousand years (Apoc. 19:15; 2:26.27). Constantine stood up with Catholics and for them and Christians, against the Pagan Dragon. Christ Jesus will stand up for the saints, and with them, against the Catholic Dragon and Beasts whom he will bind and destroy. Thus the word parallelizes the greater and the less in their military antagonism, to the powers hostile to the Divine Name. It may, therefore, be fairly admitted that in his military career against the Dragon, Constantine was a typical Michael -- typical of that Michael who shall stand up in the resurrection period, and bring all the nations of mankind into subjection to his almighty power. THE ROMAN EMPIRE UNDER CONSTANTINE The extent of the Roman Empire was very great. It reached from the Atlantic coast to the Caspian Sea, and from the coast of North Holland to that of Africa comprising the then known world, fulfilling Revelation 12:5. But the Michael, Constantine, was not alone in his wars. There were associated with him "his angels". Angels are agents employed to execute the will and pleasure of those who commissioned them. They may be mortal or immortal agents, and hold their commission of the Deity or of men. In the prophecy, the Divine Power, or Ail, commissioned certain mortal agents, known as Constantine and his adherents, to cast the Dragon and his adherents out of the Roman Heaven. The same power that co-worked with Constantine co-operated with his retainers. They were, therefore, the Michael-power and its angels -- the corrupt and militant class of the Woman's children. "And there was war in the heaven." "Wherever the scene is laid," saith Daubuz, truly, "heaven signifies, symbolically, the ruling power or government; that is, the whole assembly of the ruling powers, which, in respect of the subjects, or earth, are a political heaven, being over and ruling the subjects, as the natural heaven stands over and rules the earth: so that according to the subject is the term to be limited." The scene is laid in "the whole habitable of the Dragon;" hence "the heaven" in the prophecy signifies the whole assembly of the ruling powers of the Roman Dragon. This being the subject of the prophecy, the term must be limited to the official region of the Roman world. In the Roman Heaven, then, there was to be war. There had already been a war there; that namely, between Licinius and Maximin. But this could not be the war predicted; for, although Maximin was defeated, he was not cast out by Licinius; having died in office and from disease: neither were Licinius and his adherents "the Michael and his angels." The chief difference between Licinius and Maximin was, that the former was a hypocritical and cruel politician and pagan; while the latter was all this and more ferocious, but without the hypocrisy. No; the particular war predicted was to be waged between "the Michael" and the Dragon; and not to reach its final termination until the place of "the Dragon and his angels" should be "found no more in the heaven." Constantine took no part in the war against Maximin, being engaged in checking the incursions of the Franks across the Rhine. Since the death of Maximin, Licinius by his patronage of "the gods of his ancestors," and his hatred, ill-concealed, of Constantine and the catholics, came to be represented from a.d. 314 to a.d. 324, by the Dragon-tail which "drew the third part of the stars of the heaven" -- Ver. 4. I say from a.d. 314, because previously to this date, he was the chief luminary of two-thirds; of his own Illyrian third, and of Maximin's Asiatic third which he acquired by his death. Now, he was reduced from a tail, or following, of two-thirds to one-third of the stars of the Roman firmament by a war with Constantine. A year had scarcely elapsed after the death of Maximin, before Constantine and Licinius turned their arms against each other. This was a war, but not the war predicted. It was a war for the development of the Dragon's Tail -- the tail end of the pagan dragon-power. The character of Licinius was perfidious. He secretly fomented a conspiracy against the authority of Constantine. But this vigilant ruler discovered it before it was ripe for execution. Licinius haughtily refused the extradition of the criminals who had sought refuge in Illyricum. This confirmed the suspicions of Constantine; who, without further loss of time in the interchanges of diplomacy, marched against him with twenty thousand men. Licinius met him near Cibalis in Pannonia with thirty-five thousand. Licinius was defeated with a loss of twenty thousand. After this he retreated, but halted in the plain of Mardia in Thrace, where he determined to hazard another battle. This was no less obstinate and bloody than the former; the troops on both sides displayed the same valor and discipline; but the superior abilities of the Woman's Son again decided the fortune of the day in his favor. The loss of two battles, and of his bravest veterans, reduced the fierce spirit of Licinius to sue for peace. His situation was almost desperate. Constantine, however, consented to retain him in "the heaven," but with a dominion considerably reduced. He left him in possession of a third part of the Roman Habitable, consisting of Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt; now comprehended in Modern Turkey: but the provinces of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Dacia, Macedonia, and Greece, the other third, were annexed to the Western Empire; so that the dominions of Constantine now extended over twothirds, from the confines of Caledonia to the extremity of Peloponnesus. Thus terminated this war in the heaven. It had reduced the dominion of the pagan element; but had not given the Woman's son rule over all the nations of the habitable; nor had it cast the great red dragon and his angels out. The overthrow of Maxentius, with whom Maximin was allied, that is, the birth of the Woman's son; left "the earth and the sea" in the possession of Licinius and Maximin: who, in relation to "the inhabiters of the earth and sea," constituted "the Diabolos." The signs of the times convinced them, that the pagan political power was doomed to speedy extinction, unless its fall could be arrested by the overthrow of the catholic party and its military chief. This they were determined to compass if possible. Hence, the two wars in the heaven, which brought "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and sea: because the diabolos had come down (from Italy where he had reigned before the defeat of Maxentius) unto them, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" -- verse 12. This "short time" was a period of about twelve years; that is, from a.d. 312 to a.d. 324, when Constantine became sole emperor of the Roman world. The recent teaty of peace between the Diabolos-emperor, Licinius, and the Woman's Son, Constantine, maintained the tranquillity of the empire above eight years. A very regular series of imperial laws commences about the period of this treaty, the most important of which were intimately connected with the new system of policy and religion, which was not perfectly established till the last and peaceful years of his reign. In the exalted state of glory to which he had attained a.d. 323, it was impossible that Constantine should any longer endure a partner in the empire. Confiding in the superiority of his genius and military power, he determined to exert them for the ejection of "the dragon and his angels out of the heaven." For this purpose he commenced the war predicted in the seventh verse. Licinius prepared himself for the contest, collected the forces of his Eastern Third, the "Angels" of his power, and soon filled the plains of Adrianople with one hundred and fifty thousand foot, and fifteen thousand horse; and the straits of the Hellespont with a fleet of three hundred and fifty galleys of three ranks of oars. The troops of Constantine, the Michael of the situation, amounted to a hundred and twenty thousand horse and foot. Constantine's naval preparations were in every respect much inferior to those of Licinius. They did not exceed two hundred small vessels. With this naval preponderance he might have carried an offensive war into the centre of his rival's dominions, and so have changed the whole face of it. But the prudence of Licinius was at fault in contending with "the Michael and his angels," whose attack he awaited in a fortified camp near Adrianople. Constantine's advance from Thessalonica was arrested by the broad and rapid Hebrus, the steep ascent from which to the city was filled by the army of Licinius. Here were now assembled Licinius and Martinianus, whom he had made Caesar, "the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chiliarchs (chiefs of a thousand men) and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman" (Apoc. 6:15). This was the great day of the Lamb's wrath upon the pagan dragon-tail, and the third part of the stars of the Roman firmament that followed it. "The Michael and his angels," the executioners of the Lamb's wrath, "waged war against the Dragon." Many days were spent in doubtful and distant skirmishes; but at length the obstacles of the passage and the attack were removed by the intrepid conduct of Constantine. Zosimus, an historian who was the partial enemy of his fame, relates a wonderful exploit of Constantine. He says that the valiant emperor threw himself into the Hebrus, accompanied only by twelve horsemen, and that by the effort or terror of his invincible arm, he broke, slaughtered, and put to flight a host of one hundred and fifty thousand men. Other causes combined to develop this result; for while he was perplexing Licinius with his artful evolutions, a body of five thousand archers deployed from a thick wood in his rear, and made it necessary for him to take up a new position in the plain. The advantage of position being lost, the contest was no longer equal. "The Dragon fought, and his angels, but prevailed not". His confused multitude of new levies was easily vanquished by "the Michael," and his experienced veterans of the West. Thirty-four thousand of the Dragon's forces were slain; their fortified camp was taken by assault on the evening of the battle. The greater part of the fugitives "hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains." The logic of their flight hither was that they might hide from the conqueror; and the language of it was, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne" (Apoc. 6:16). Next day they came forth from their hiding places, and surrendered themselves to the discretion of the victor. This battle of Adrianople had been a consummation of "woe to the inhabiters of the earth:" the time had now come for a like consummation of "woe to the inhabiters of the sea." Here were five hundred and fifty vessels full of combatants, drawn together from the maritime part of the Roman earth, to engage in the great conflict between the worshippers of the idols, and the catholic believers in the Divine Unity. While Constantine was besieging Byzantium, to which Licinius had retired after his defeat at Adrianople, Crispus, the eldest son of Constantine, was entrusted with the daring enterprise of forcing the passage of the Hellespont. This he performed with great courage and success. The engagement between the contending fleets lasted two days. A south wind springing up about noon, carried his vessels against the enemy, and as the advantage was improved by his skill and intrepidity, he soon obtained a complete victory. A hundred and thirty vessels were destroyed, and five thousand men were slain. The Hellespont being now open, Licinius perceived that he could not hold Byzantium much longer. Therefore, before the place was surrounded, he prudently removed his person and treasures to Chalcedon in Asia. Such were still the resources and abilities of Licinius, that, after so many successive defeats, he collected in Bithynia a new army of fifty or sixty thousand men, while Constantine was still actively employed in the siege of Byzantium. The vigilant Michael did not neglect the last struggles of the Dragon. He transported a considerable part of his victorious army across the Bosphorus; and soon after their landing fought the decisive battle of the war on the heights of Chrysopolis, or, as it is now called, Scutari. "The angels" of the Dragon, though lately raised, ill armed, and worse disciplined, made head against "the Michael and his angels" with fruitless but desperate valor, till a total defeat, and the slaughter of five and twenty thousand men, irretrievably determined the fate of the Supreme Pontiff of the Idols and his adherents. Licinius retired to Nicomedia from whence he opened negotiations with Constantine. Peace and affluence were granted to him on condition of sacrificing Martinianus, whom he had created Augustus, and of resigning the imperial office. Licinius accordingly solicited and accepted the pardon of his offences, laid himself and his purple at the feet of his Lord and Master, was raised from the ground with insulting pity, was admitted the same day to the imperial banquet, and soon after was sent away to Thessalonica, which had been chosen for the place of his confinement, which was soon terminated by death at the hand of the executioner. Such was the result of this last "war in the heaven." "The Dragon and his angels fought and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in the heaven" -- verse 8. "He was cast out into the earth; and his angels were cast out with him" -- verse 9: and in his projection, "his tail drew the third part of the stars, and cast them to the earth" -- verse 4. The memory of Licinius was branded with infamy, his statues were thrown down, and, by a hasty edict, all his laws, and all the judicial proceedings of his reign were at once abolished. By this victory of Constantine, a.d. 324, the Roman world was united under the authority of one emperor; and he the first of a long line of emperors, who, though not christian, but catholic, repudiated "the gods of their ancestors." The immediate and memorable consequences of this revolution were the foundation of Constantinople, and the establishment of the Laodicean Catholic Apostasy as the religion of the State. While these stirring and exciting events were transpiring, their connexion with apocalyptic prophecy was not unperceived by Constantine and his adherents. In a letter to Eusebius he writes of "that dragon having been deposed from the governance of affairs, by God's providence". And Eusebius further relates, that in a picture elevated by Constantine over his palace gate, there was represented the cross placed over his head; and beneath his own and his children's feet, his enemies under the semblance of a dragon cast down headlong into the abyss. In a letter also to Eusebius he says, "But now that liberty is restored, and that Dragon driven from the administration of public affairs by the providence of the Supreme Deity, and our instrumentality, we trust that all can see the efficacy of the Divine power." A dragon is a symbol stamped on some of the coins of Constantine. I have the representation before me of two, on which the cross, the symbol of the catholic church, is erected over a fallen dragon, the symbol of Roman superstition in its political constitution. Licinius himself seems to have been aware that the conflict was not simply a matter of personal rivalry and ambition between him and Constantine, but the great question which system of belief and practice was genuine and designed of the Eternal Power, be that power the gods of the Roman Habitable, or "the foreign God" whom the adherents of those gods derided, to prevail. This question was considered by both parties as on thai in the contest of the "short time," and to be determined by its issue. As a religious preparation for the impending conflict, Licinius collected around himself Egyptian seers and diviners, enchanters, jugglers, and the priests and prophets of his idols, and having propitiated his deities with sacrifices, then inquired what was to be the issue to him of this "war in the heaven." If he had inquired of an enlightened Christadelphian of the period he could have told him that it would be to cast him out of the heaven into the earth, and his angels (the Egyptian seers and diviners, enchanters, jugglers, priests, prophets, and all his officials) with him; but there was none such in his tail, or following, to testify the truth; he therefore, had recourse to the stars drawn in his tail, who unanimously assured him that he would undoubtedly prove the stronger in the contest, and be victorious; a judgment everywhere reiterated in long and elegant songs by the Oracles of the Idols. Elated by these deceitful promises, he advanced with great confidence, and prepared for battle. When about to begin, he summoned his trustiest attendants and friends to meet him in a consecrated grove, spacious and irrigated, in which were set up all kinds of idol-statues, and having lighted wax tapers, in the after-fashion of papists and ritualists, and offered the accustomed victims to them, he delivered the following address: "Friends and fellow-warriors, these are the gods of our ancestors, whom, received from our earliest predecessors as objects of worship, we honor; but he who commands the army that is drawn up against us, having adopted an atheistic opinion, violates the customs of the fathers, venerating a god from abroad, I know not whence, and disgraces his troops with his ignominious standard (the Cross with the monogram of Christ) trusting in which he arms not so much against us as against the gods whom he offends. This occasion therefore will show which of us errs in his belief, and will decide between the gods who are honored by us, and by the other party; for either by showing us victors, it will show our gods are most justly regarded as auxiliaries and saviours; or, if the Deity of Constantine, come from I know not whence, shall prevail over ours, which are many, let no one thereafter doubt what Deity ought to be worshipped, but go to the strongest, and present to him the reward of the victory. If the foreign god, whom we now deride, should appear the mightiest, we must acknowledge and honor him, and bid farewell to those to whom we have vainly lit wax tapers. But if ours prevail, Which is not to be doubted, then, after the victory, we must proceed to war against the atheists." Thus, the contest was considered by both parties as between the christians' Deity and the many gods of paganism. Each party regarded itself as the respective instrument of these. Hence the propriety of the apocalyptic title bestowed on the enemy of the dragon-tail, "the Michael." Constantine's victory was regarded by him, by the church, and by the people at large, as the victory of the Deity, that is living and true, over the false deities, of christianity over idolatry. Eusebius says, that "when the whole was, by the power of Deity, the Saviour, subjected to Constantine, he made known to all the Giver of his prosperity, and testified that the Deity, not he, was the author of his victories." 21. The Great Voice in the Heaven

"And I heard a great voice saying in the heaven. Now is come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our Deity, and the authority of His Anointed; for the prosecutor of our brethren who accused them in the presence of our Deity, day and night, has been cast down. 11. "And they overcame him, through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life unto death. 12. On account of this let the heavens rejoice and those who tent in them." "The heaven," in which John, in prophetic vision, heard this "great voice," was the same heaven as that in which the Woman, the Dragon, the Michael, and the war, had contemporary existence. I say contemporary existence; for, on the defeat of Maxentius, a.d. 313, the Catholic Church, or "Woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and a stephan of Twelve Stars upon her head," was the established religion of Constantine's dominion; but not of the whole habitable, the rest thereof still rejoicing in the ascendancy of the Dragon and the gods of antiquity. Hence there were two contemporary established religions in the empire, each of them sustained by rival political factions. The Dragon had been cast out as the result of the recent war in the heaven. His "short time" was at an end. He had no longer any place in the heaven, nor his adherents. He who ruled there had no regard for the defeated gods of his ancestors. The heaven had been effectually cleared of all who rejoiced in them; so that there were now found therein only the Sun-clothed Woman and her Son. This woman and her son constituted "the heavens and those who tent in them." In other words, they were the constituted authorities of the Church and State, who were now all real or pretended catholics. Their religious and political adversaries and oppressors had been turned out of place and power; and they had been turned into them by the wonderful revolution, with all the comforts and advantages accruing to those who by victory may claim the spoils. It was these in the heaven from whom the "Great Voice" ascended joyously. They had been long looking for "the salvation," "or deliverance," and "the power," which they now enjoyed without fear; and what could that constitution of things, exhibited in the Woman and her Son, be, but "the kingdom of our Deity and the authority of His Anointed?" So they thought; for Eusebius, the ecclesiastical historian, who was one of the most prominent among those who then tented in the heaven, being one of the bishops of the Woman, and a companion of her Son, speaking of the new order of things in Church and State, says, "The event surpassed all words. Soldiers with naked swords kept watch round the palace-gate. But the men of God passed through the midst of them without fear, and entered the heart of the palace. And they sat down, some at the emperor's table, the rest at tables on either side of his. It looked like the very image of the kingdom of Christ; and was altogether more like a dream than a reality. And on the occasion of opening a new catholic temple at Tyre, he said to the multitude assembled, 'What so many of the Lord's saints and confessors before our time desired to see and saw not, and to hear and heard not, that behold now before our eyes! It was of us the prophet spake when he told how the wilderness and the solitary place should be glad, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the lily. Whereas the church was widowed and desolate, her children have now to exclaim to her, Make room, enlarge thy borders: the place is too strait for us. The promise is fulfilling to her, In righteousness shalt thou be established: all thy children shall be taught of God: and great shall be the peace of thy children'." From these quotations which have reference to the real kingdom of Christ, Eusebius in his application of them to the Catholic Church, in the good fortune of which, he says, they were fulfilling; manifestly concluded that it was not only "the image", but the very kingdom of Christ itself! This was his opinion, and that also of the clergy and people of his communion generally. Their belief was that "the salvation, power, and kingdom of the Deity, and the authority of His Anointed" had really come; and that now, all that remained was for professors to lead moral lives, or at all events to live at peace with, and in the favour of "Mother Church," which would secure to them an abundant entrance into the only other kingdom known to them, termed "the kingdom of glory," situated afar off from earth, "beyond the realms of time and space!" This opinion of Eusebius and his coreligionists, that the church is the kingdom of God, took deep hold of the catholic mind of his generation; and in the nineteenth century is a characteristic of those who know not the truth. Catholics, papists and protestants all believe that what they call church is the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven. Of course, Millennarians may claim exception from this rule. Still, few of them are free from the tradition; for while they expect the reign of Christ upon earth, they hold the church to be the kingdom in some sense; and send off disembodied "immortal souls" to transkyanal regions, there to await the terrestrial millennial reign! If Eusebius had restrained his fancy, and contented himself with saying, that the New Order of things was the shadow, type, or pattern, of the kingdom of Christ, there would have been little ground for objection. But "the very image of the kingdom of Christ", is that kingdom itself; "the very image," being used by Paul in Heb. 10:1, for the reality of things shadowed forth, or typified. The kingdom of "the Michael and his angels" shadowed forth the kingdom of Christ, the real Michael, and his angels, the Saints. Constantine, like Cyrus, in his military career, and in his ecclesiastical relation to the Catholic Church, was a type of Christ. The typical hero established his kingdom in its fullest extent on the ejection of the pagan dragon from the heaven; Christ will establish his by binding the Catholic Dragon, and shutting him down in the abyss (Apoc. 20:2, 3). The typical hero attained "to Deity and his throne;" Christ will sit down with Deity upon his throne (Apoc. 3:21). The typical hero acquired all the kingdoms of the Roman earth; Christ will acquire all the kingdoms of the globe (Apoc. 11:15). The typical hero ruled all the Roman nations with an iron sceptre; Christ will rule all the nations of the globe with an iron sceptre (Apoc. 19:15). The catholic clergy shared with the typical Michael the glory, honor, and power of his kingdom; the Saints will share with Christ the glory, honor, and power of his (Apoc. 2:26, 27; 3:21). After his birth of the unprivileged and persecuted woman, the sun-clothed catholic church became the Spouse of the typical Michael; the glorified Saints become the married wife, or bride adorned for her husband, Christ (Apoc. 19:7, 8; 21:2, 9). The power of the Deity was with Constantine in measure; Christ is the great power of Deity without measure. Constantine established a new religion, the catholic; founded a new administration of affairs; and built a new capital, called Constantinople, or New Rome: Christ will establish a new system of worship for all nations, the Millennial; will organize a new government of the world; and establish a new capital for the throne of the Deity, Jerusalem rebuilt, in the midst of which he will be the glory (Isa. 56:7; Zeph. 3:9; Acts 17:31; Eph. 1:10; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 2:5; 8:21-23). Now, I take it, that these parallels are not accidental, but designed. Michael and the Dragon was literally enacted as previously explained. Its performance is the history of the last twenty-five years of the life of Constantine. This history in its most striking particulars was like much of the history of the Jews. Jewish history is not like common history -- a story of the past unprophetic of the future. The things that happened to Israel as narrated in their history, happened unto them for types (tupoi); and they were written for our admonition, "upon whom," says Paul, "the end of the aeons is come" (1 Cor. 10:11). Typical history is the past representative of the future. This is the character of Michael and the Dragon. It is a past series Of events, typical of a future contest between the Michael of Dan. 12:1 and the Dragon of Apoc. 20. This view of the prophecy imparts to it an interest for us which it would be devoid of if it were regarded merely as belonging to a past epoch over fifteen hundred years remote. There was war in the heaven then; and when the door shall be opened in the heaven, and the throne shall be set therein (Apoc. 4:1, 2) there will be a war in the heaven again, "the war of that great day of Ail-Shaddai, "which will terminate in similar, but grander results; for "the very image" is always greater and more magnificent than the type. The great voice in the heaven, celebrative of the victory over the great red dragon, partakes of this typical character. It not only expresses what then obtained in shadow; but by anticipation celebrates the greater realities of the victory of Christ and the Saints over all the apocalyptic beasts; when the great salvation, and power, and kingdom of Yahweh, consisting of the kingdoms of the world, and the authority of His Anointed, the One Body of which Jesus is the head, shall have actually come. Then there will be in the heaven a great voice indeed -- "a voice as the sound of many waters; and as the voice of a great thunder; the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Praise ye Yah: for Yahweh Elohim omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" (Apoc. 1:15; 14:2; 19:6, 7). But to return to the "great voice" of the Constantinian period. The things spoken were uttered in the heaven: namely, by those appointed to the vacancies created by the ejection from the heaven of the adherents and worshippers of the gods. In other words, the voice proceeded from the officials in church and state, who all professed the catholic religion, and said they were now "rich, and increased with goods, and had need of nothing:" but "they knew not that they were wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Apoc. 3:17). Such was the choir which sang: "Salvation now, and pow'r, are come, The kingdom also of our God, And the dominion of His Christ: For he who did our brethren try, And night and day 'fore God accus'd, Hath from the heaven been cast down. And they through th' Lamb's blood him o'ercame, And also through the word they taught: Nor yet their life 1ov'd they till death. Because of this, O heavens, rejoice, And all ye who sojourn therein!" It is not to be wondered at that such a people who imagined that "they had need of nothing," should mistake the shadow for the substance; and rejoice in what then existed as the full accomplishment of the Divine purpose. Salvation, or deliverance, had indeed come from the tyranny of the Public Prosecutor (ho kategoros) who continually accused them falsely, and punished them with torture unto death. But the "great salvation," preached by Christ and his apostles, has not come yet. A new power, and a new kingdom, and a new dominion, had taken possession of the Roman Heaven, to the exclusion of the old order of things; and to the generation witnessing so wonderful a revolution, it seemed "more like a dream than reality." The prophecy attributes it all to the power of Deity, as symbolized in the apocalyptic name Michael. The salvation, power, kingdom and dominion, therefore, are very properly predicated of the Deity and Christ; for assuredly, if they had stood by Licinius instead of by Constantine, this epinikon, or song of victory, would never have been heard in the heaven. But we must be careful not to fall into the error of Eusebius and his Laodicean Catholic companions, who had need of nothing more, and to take the type for "the very image of the things." The typical "kingdom of the Deity and dominion of His Christ" had come; and therefore it was, that the Woman's Son, when he had fought his way up, by the providence of Deity, to supreme power in the heaven, is said to have been "carried up by force to Deity and his throne." The power of the Deity was enthroned in the New Capital, Constantinople. But the shadowy representation of the kingdom of the Deity and the dominion of His Christ, passed away with the death of the typical hero, Constantine. The reigns of David and Solomon were prefigurative of the reign of Christ; but the typical character of their reigns was not transferred on their decease to their successors. And thus it was in relation to Constantine and those who came after him. His career of conquest, and "half-hour's" peaceful reign (Apoc. 8:1), typified the future career of Christ in the conquest of the world, and the succeeding tranquillity of his times. But all this typical manifestation was dissolved when his three sons succeeded him, and divided the empire between them. The Heaven was still catholic; but, as the Spirit had "spued them out of his mouth" on their indifference to his "counsel" (Apoc. 3:16, 18), he left them to their delusions; and "the Serpent" by whom they were beguiled; that is the Sin-power of the flesh, in a catholic instead of a pagan, political manifestation was enthroned; and became the future antagonist of the Anticatholic Woman and her seed (vers. 14-17). The Laodicean officials in their victorious declaration refer to those they style "our brethren, whom the public prosecutor accused day and night before the Deity." All passed for brethren until the Spirit formally spued the state party out of his mouth. Politically, they might truly claim all the saints who had, for two hundred and eighty years previous, been engaged in the conflict with the pagans. They were all "brethren and fellow servants," as all democrats are brethren politically; while, religiously, they are scattered among sects of the most perverse and contradictory opinions. This is true of all other political factions in all ages; and it was true of those who uttered this great Voice of triumph over the fallen adversary of their party. As anti-pagans, they belonged to a common brotherhood; but, when it became a question of religious doctrine, this political brotherhood resolved itself into two great hostile parties, between which no fellowship obtained. In this great voice, the whole brotherhood might to some extent concur. It was a deliverance to them all from the Great Red Dragon; but to many of them, it was only a change from his oppression to that of a new form of tyranny. They allude to the fallen power as the kategoros. This signifies one who speaks against another, especially before judges; one who appears as a prosecutor. The fallen power is said to have spoken against them as prosecutor "before the Deity," enopion, in the sight of the Deity. This was literally true; for during the first five seals, which, at the end of the fifth, brings us down to the birth of the Woman's Son, a.d. 312-313, the Seven Eyes of the Deity, which are his Seven Spirits (Apoc. 5:6) were present in the ecclesias. In the first four seals, their presence is symbolized by the Four Living Ones full of eyes; and their absence from the scenery of the fifth is supplied by the phrase "and it was said unto them." The Deity dwelt in the encampment of the saints; and by His spirit, or power, "dwelt in them, and walked in them" (2 Cor. 6:16). Whatever, therefore, was transacted against them was done "in his sight," or "before his eyes." He was therefore the Judge before whom the Dragon unconsciously displayed his malignity. He seemed to prevail for a time; but when the end of the "little season," or ten years persecution of Diocletian arrived, the Deity stepped into the arena, and judicially vindicated his elect. The victory of the souls weltering at the altar base is attributed by the "great voice" "to the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony." These brethren, "who were slain for the word of the Deity, and for the testimony which they held" (Apoc. 6:9) were brethren, of whom those in place and power giving utterance to the great voice, were not worthy. "They loved not their life until death" laid them at the altar base. "The word of the Deity," in the prophecy of the fifth seal, is parallel to "the blood of the Lamb," in the great voice. The official utterers of this voice did not venture to say, "We have overcome the fallen power by the word of the Deity concerning the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony." They knew very well that they had overcome him by hard fighting. No; the honor and glory of the victory was not due to them who drew the sword; but to those faithful brethren, who had so leavened the Roman world with the truth, as to make the strongholds of paganism no longer tenable. "The blood of the Lamb," as opposed to the blood of idol-sacrifices, was the great theme of "the word of the Deity." The word of their testimony demonstrated the efficacy of the one; and the inutility and utter worthlessness of the other. Every pagan convinced by the word and their reasoning in exposition of it, was alienated from the party of the Dragon, and added to the faithful. The threatenings and torments unto death, inflicted upon them by the pagan authorities, could not put their testimony to silence. Where one fell others stepped in and stopped the breach; so that, "the blood of the witnesses became the seed of the church." Thus, the power of the word accumulated, until society, but superficially acquainted with "the deep things of Deity," had become too much enlightened any longer to tolerate the licentiousness and absurdity of the old superstition. Therefore, having no conscientious scruples as to war, they repudiated the passivity of the faithful; and having found in Constantine an ambitious politician and skilful general suited to their purpose, they unsheathed the sword against the idols, and cried, "Victory or Death." As we have seen, they gained the victory; and in the great voice of triumph, clothed the memory of their non-resisting predecessors in the conflict with the "white robes of purity and truth" (Apoc. 6:11). The victims slain by the fallen power had borne the heat and burden of the conflict; and the catholic church entered into their labors. The "great voice" called upon all catholics in power to rejoice at this result; saying, "Rejoice, O heavens, and ye that tent therein!" They are addressed as hoi skenountes, dwellers, or rather, sojourners in a tent. This is a very temporary indwelling. They were not permanently established there. There tenantcy was transitory: the mere shadow of the holding to which the slain victors shall attain in "the time of the dead, when they shall be judged, and the reward shall be given to them," with the "white robes" of incorruption and eternal life. These will not then merely "tent" in the heavens of the conquered world. When they enter there, they become the pillars of the Divine temple, and go out no more (Apoc. 3:12): they possess the kingdom for the Olahm, even for the Olahm, and Beyond (Dan. 7:18). Then, not only will the heavens rejoice, but all the earth will be glad. This was not the case in the time of the "great voice;" for, while it called upon the heavens to rejoice, and those that tented in them, it gave no invitation to the inhabiters of the earth and sea to join in the joyousness of the time. But when the great salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of the Deity, and the dominion of His Christ, shall exist in the very image, then "every creature which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, shall say, Blessing and honor and glory and power, unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for the aeons of the aeons (Apoc. 5:13), for all will then be blessed in Abraham and his seed. Such was the "great voice," and the interpretation of it. Did the character of the time, consequent upon the victory over Licinius, correspond to my exposition? Unquestionably it did. Eusebius, who lived at the time, testifies to this. "On the fall of Licinius," says he, "the great conqueror Constantine and his son Crispus the Caesar, received the East as theirs, established one government as formerly over the Romans, and swayed the whole in peace from east to west, and from north to south. The people therefore being freed from all fear of the Court by which they had before been overwhelmed, held festal days of great splendor. There were everywhere illuminations. They who were before dejected, looked on one another with joyful aspects and smiles, and with choirs and hymns through the cities and country, gave honor, first to God the Supreme Ruler of all, as they were taught, and then to the pious emperor and his children. The miseries and impiety of the past were forgotten; joy and exultation prevailed at the blessings now promised, and happy anticipations of the future. Philanthropic edicts were everywhere published by the emperor, and laws that displayed his munificence and piety." And Lactantius also, a contemporary and friend of Constantine writes; "Let us celebrate the triumph of God with gladness; let us commemorate His victory with praise; let us make mention in our prayers day and night of the peace which, after ten years of persecution, He has conferred on his people." Eusebius narrates very fully how, at the same time, there was solemn remembrance of the witnesses and confessors that had illustrated the past persecution, and praise and honor rendered them: he tells how public notice was taken of those who had suffered unto death, as of heroes that had conquered by the doctrine of the cross in their conflict of witnessing unto death; and how, as a further tribute to their innocence and worth, the property confiscated from them was reclaimed and restored to their surviving relatives, or to the catholic church. 22. The Ruling of the Woman's Son "Who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre" -- v. 5. In consequence of the final overthrow of the idols by the defeat and death of Licinius, their champion, the Woman's Son, who had cast him and his partisans out of the heaven, became, by right of conquest, the Supreme Ruler of "the whole habitable". He had now arrived at "the Deity and his throne." There was no power on the Roman inhabited earth equal to him; his authority was absolute in church and state, in both of which he did "according to his own will; and exalted himself and magnified himself above all." He was now the chief of a great dominion, and prepared to rule with an iron sceptre. He was to rule all the nations; not all the nations of the globe, but all the nations of Daniel's Fourth Beast so far as it was then developed. Beyond the limits of this symbolical dominion he exercised no rule. The nations of Persia, China, India, and so forth, with the tribes of what is now called Germany and Russia, were all exempt from his jurisdiction. He ruled "all the nations" inhabiting Britain, Gaul from the Rhine to the Atlantic, and from the Channel to the Alps and Pyrennees, Spain, Italy, the Roman Africa, Egypt, Syria from the Mediterranean to the Tigris, Asia Minor, the rest of Turkey and the Danubian Principalities, and Hungary (as they are now termed), Greece, the Islands of the Mediterranean, and the region lying between the Danube and the Adriatic: all the nations of these countries were subjected to his iron rule. The character of Constantine as a ruler is no doubt correctly delineated in the eighteenth chapter of the Decline and Fall of the Roman empire. Therein Gibbon remarks, that by the grateful zeal of what he calls "the christians," he has been decorated with every attribute of a hero and a saint; while the vanquished party compared him to the most abhorred of those tyrants, who by their vice and weakness, dishonored the imperial purple. But neither of these opinions can be admitted without qualification. He was doubtless a hero and a tyrant; but neither a saint, nor the worst of the tyrants that had reigned. Had he fallen on the banks of the Tiber, or even on the plains of Adrianople, he might have transmitted to posterity, with some exceptions, a less questionable fame: "but the conclusion of his reign," says Gibbon, that is, the last fourteen years, "degraded him from the rank he had acquired among the most deserving of the Roman princes." This remark of the historian assigns the worst period of his rule to that indicated in the prophecy; namely, from the time he arrived at "the Deity and his throne" by the overthrow of Licinius. This was the period "the conclusion of his reign," when he was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre; and Gibbon refers to it as the period of his degradation among princes. In regard to this period of his life he says, "we may contemplate a hero, who had so long inspired his subjects with love, and his enemies with terror, degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch, corrupted by his fortune, or raised by conquest above the necessity of dissimulation. The general peace which he maintained during the last fourteen years of his reign (the Half-hour's silence in the heaven -- Ch. 8:1) was a period of apparent splendor rather than of real prosperity; and the old age of Constantine was disgraced by the opposite yet reconcilable vices of rapaciousness and prodigality. The oppression of the people was the only fund which could support his magnificence. His unworthy favorites, enriched by the boundless liberality of their master, usurped with impunity the privilege of rapine and corruption. A secret but universal decay was felt in every part of the public administration, and the emperor himself though he still retained the obedience, gradually lost the esteem of his subjects. An impartial narrative of the executions, or rather murders, which sullied the declining age of Constantine, will suggest to our most candid thoughts the idea of a prince who could sacrifice without reluctance the laws of justice, and the feelings of nature, to the dictates either of his passions or of his interest." The murderous executions of his son Crispus, his nephew Licinius, and of a great number of respectable and innocent friends, who were involved in their fall, were sufficient to justify the discontent of the Roman people, and to explain the satirical verses affixed to the palace-gate, comparing the splendid and bloody reigns of Constantine and Nero. Such was the character of his rule -- a sceptre of iron in the hand of the Man-Child of Sin. 23. The Flight of the Woman "And the Woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place of the Deity, that they may sustain her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days" -- Verse 6 The Antipagan Body, compared in the prophecy to a Woman, consisted of Catholics, Novatians, Donatists, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulists, Cataphrygians, and others, whose names are no longer remembered. Out of this heterogeneous community, which agreed only in its opposition to the reigning idolatry, the Man-child of Sin was developed, a.d. 312,313. The fall of Maxentius was the crisis of his birth. Being decreed by the Senate the first of the three Augusti of the Roman world, and being in intimate alliance with Licinius, then seemingly favorable to his policy, he published jointly with him the famous Edict of Milan. This was the great charter of toleration. It granted to "the whole body of the christians," as well as to others, the free choice to follow that mode of worship which they may wish; and that no freedom at all shall be refused them. No distinction was made between christian and pagan in this matter; so that each might have the privilege to select and worship whatsoever divinity he pleased. Nor was there any distinction made with regard to sect in "the whole body." When the edict was published, Constantine's mind was either undecided as to which religion was absolutely true, or he hesitated to speak plainly that he might not offend the latent prejudices of his colleague. This indiscrimate toleration, he said, "has been done by us, that we might not appear in any manner to detract anything from any manner of religion, or any mode of worship." But, though well disposed to Antipaganism, the Man-Child of Sin, at the time of the edict of Milan, did not know his own Mother. He was too young to be able to discern her. He did not know to which sect of "the whole body of christians" he belonged. It was not long, however, before the worst of the sects was able to establish its ascendancy over the untutored mind of this ambitious and fortunate soldier. This was the sect which styles itself, and taught him so to style it, "The Holy Catholic Church." This was that sect which was pre-eminently "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked;" but which said, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." It was the sect in which the rage of faction exploded in frequent and violent seditions; and the blood of its members was shed by each other's hands. Hilary, a contemporary of the times, writes to Constantine's successor, and declares concerning the catholic clergy, that "in the wide extent of the ten provinces of Asia, to which he had been banished, there could be found very few prelates who had preserved the knowledge of the true God. It is a thing equally deplorable and dangerous that there are as many creeds as opinions among men, as many doctrines as inclinations, and as many sources of blasphemy as there are faults among us; because we make creeds arbitrarily. The Homousion is rejected and received and explained away by successive synods. The partial or total resemblance of the Father and of the Son is a subject of dispute for these unhappy times. Every year, nay every moon, we make new creeds to describe invisible mysteries. We repent of what we have done, we defend those who repent, we anathematize those whom we defended. We condemn either the doctrine of others in ourselves, or our own in that of others; and reciprocally tearing one another to pieces, we have been the cause of each other's ruin." Such was the sect which Constantine concluded it would be to his interest to ally himself to. He, therefore, used the altars of catholicism as a convenient footstool to the throne of universal dominion. He came to imbibe the piety peculiar to it, and with it its sanguinary spirit of persecution, and murderous hostility to all who dissented from it. The catholic church became the especial object of his care and favorable legislation; and he was taught by its bishops to believe that its members were his only real and trustworthy adherents. Impressed with this conviction he established it by law; and set it up in the heaven as the "Woman invested with the sun, and the moon underneath her feet, and upon her head a wreath of twelve stars." And there she has remained over fifteen hundred and fifty years, even to this day. She has never been a fugitive in the wilderness: but has always (except in the short reign of Julian, who apostatized from her communion) retained her position in the heaven, by enacting the part of a Harlot with the kings of earth, until with her whoredoms and sanguinary abominations, she became "the Great Harlot sitting upon many waters, drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus" (Apoc. 17:1, 2, 6). But when Constantine came to recognize the catholic sect as his Mother Church, what became of the rest of the Anti-pagan Body -- "the whole body of the Christians" besides, namely, of the Novatians, Donatists, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulists, Cataphrygians, and others? They were still "the Woman," only minus the catholic sect. Whatever other differences obtained among them, they were generally opposed to the union of church and state; for, as all of them could not be the world's church, they were displeased at any one sect enjoying that pre-eminence over the rest. "What," said they, "has the emperor to do with the church? What have Christians to do with kings, or what have bishops to do at court?" Hence, without ceasing to be anti-pagan, they now became an Anti-Catholic Body. This was the Woman" of the sixth verse of this twelfth chapter -- the Anti-Catholic Woman. Between this woman and the Sun-clothed Harlot in the heaven, there has been, and can be, no fellowship. They are essentially hostile organizations. Not that the anticatholic woman as such is what Mr. Elliot styles "Christ's faithful orthodox church;" for there were sects in her communion whose principles and practices were both worldly and unscriptural; but there were to be found in her anti-catholic pale hoi loipoi tou spermatos autes, remnants of her seed, who were characterized by "keeping the commandments of the Deity, and holding the testimony of the anointed Jesus" (verse 17). These were anti-catholic of the intensest character; but they were also opposed to all other sects of the anticatholic woman, which did not keep the commandments of the Deity, and did not hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus. This is illustrated by the position of Christadelphians in regard to all sects at this day. They are intensely anti-catholic, and are, therefore, an ecclesiastical element of the anti-catholic woman; but they do not, therefore, recognize as Christians, the anti-catholic sects of "Christendom" so-called. The edict of Milan had confirmed to each individual of the Roman world the privilege of choosing and professing his own religion. But this inestimable privilege was soon violated; for with the knowledge of Catholic principles, the son and protector of the Catholic church, imbibed the maxims of persecution; and the sects which dissented from it were afflicted and oppressed by the triumph of Laodiceanism. Constantine easily believed that Heretics who presumed to dispute his opinions, or to oppose his commands were guilty of the most absurd and criminal obstinacy; and that a seasonable application of severities might save those unhappy men from the danger of an everlasting condemnation. Not a moment, therefore, was lost in excluding the ministers and teachers of the separated congregations from any share of the rewards and immunities which the emperor had so liberally bestowed upon the Catholic clergy. An imperial persecuting and repressant influence was thus brought to bear upon the anti-catholic woman, who under the hostile pressure would set her face fugitively towards the wilderness -- eis ten eremon. The anti-catholic sect that took the lead in opposition at this crisis was that of the Donatists. It was in feud with the catholic sect before the overthrow of Maxentius; and, therefore, before the Roman Africa became subject to Constantine. It was such a feud as might be supposed to exist in the Baptist denomination, resulting in the development of the Campbellite sect. There was, doubtless, error and wrong-doing both with the Donatists and Catholics; but, as from among the Anti-baptist Campbellites was originated to loutro tou hudatos en remati, by the laver of the water with doctrine (Eph. 5:26), the Christadelphian Denomination; so from among the anti-catholic Donatists began to be manifested in the three years of their trials before Constantine and his bishops, by the sealing angel that had ascended from the East (Apoc. 7:2), the first of "the remnants of the woman's seed, who keep the commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus." The name of this first remnant, if it had any other than Donatist, has not come down to us. But it matters not what it was called in its beginning -- it was the sect composed of "the servants of the Deity sealed in their foreheads." This is the apocalyptic description of it. Arising in the epoch of the Donatist trials, and being with the Donatists intensely anti-catholic, it is very likely to have been confounded with them, without having at all been mixed up with the feud between the party of Caecilian and that of Majorinus. This feud is styled in history "the African Controversy." The provinces south of the Mediterranean, from the confines of Cyrene to the columns of Hercules, a.d. 312, were distracted with religious discord. The source of the division was derived from a double election in the Catholic church of Carthage, the second in rank and opulence of the ecclesiastical thrones of the West. Caecilian and Majorinus were the two rival bishops of Africa, and the death of the latter soon made room for Donatus, who, by his superior abilities and virtues, was the firmest support of his party. The advantage which Caecilian might claim from the priority of his ordination was destroyed by the illegal, or at least indecent haste, with which it had been performed without awaiting the arrival of the bishops of Numidia. The bishops of the contending factions maintained, with equal ardour and obstinacy, that their adversaries were degraded, or least dishonored, by the odious crime of delivering up the Holy Scriptures to the officers of Diocletian to be burned. In this state of bitter partizanship, the divided church was incapable of affording an impartial judicature. Application was, therefore, made to Constantine by the Donatist bishops of Africa, a.d. 313, desiring him to appoint bishops of the church in Gaul to settle their difficulties. "Good emperor," said they, "as you are of a just family, of all the emperors your father alone having never persecuted, and as Gaul is now exempted from that outrage, we ask you in your piety to appoint bishops from that province who may judge between us and the other bishops of Africa, with whom we are at variance." Their request was granted, and the controversy was tried in five successive tribunals, and the whole proceeding, from the first appeal to the final sentence, lasted above three years. A severe inquisition taken before the praetorian vicar and the proconsul of Africa; the report of two episcopal visitors who had been sent to Carthage; the decrees of the Councils of Rome and Arles, and the supreme judgment of Constantine himself in his "sacred consistory," were all favorable to the cause of Caecilian: and he was unanimously acknowledged, by the Civil and Ecclesiastical Powers, as the true and lawful catholic primate of Africa. The honors and estates of the church were attributed to his suffragan bishops, and it was with difficulty that Constantine was satisfied with inflicting the punishment of exile on the principal leaders of the Donatists. The punishment of exile was banishing, or causing to flee into a wilderness state. This was the imperial sentence upon the anti-catholic, or anti-state-church woman in the African wing of the empire. Her seed were banished from the high places of church and state, and made to seek refuge in the wild and uncivilized places of society. Speaking of this "schism of the Donatists" a.d. 315, Gibbon remarks: "This incident, so inconsiderable that it scarcely deserves a place in history, was productive of a memorable schism, which afflicted the provinces of Africa above three hundred years, and was extinguished only with Christianity itself. The inflexible zeal of freedom and fanaticism animated the Donatists to refuse obedience to the usurpers, whose election they disputed and whose spiritual powers they denied. Excluded from the civil and religious communion of mankind (driven into the wilderness), they boldly excommunicated the rest of mankind, who had embraced the impious party of Caecilian, and of the Traditors, from whom he derived his pretended ordination. They asserted with confidence that the prerogatives of the catholic church were confined to the chosen portion of the African believers, who alone had preserved inviolate the integrity of their faith and discipline. Whenever they acquired a proselyte, even from the distant provinces of the east, they reimmersed and re-ordained him, as they rejected the validity of the baptism and ordination administered by heretics or schismatics. Bishops and virgins were subjected to the disgrace of a public penance, before they could be admitted to the communion of the Donatists. If they obtained possession of a temple which had been used by their Catholic adversaries, they purified the unhallowed building with the same jealous care which a temple of idols might have required. They washed the pavement, scraped the walls, burnt the altar, which was commonly of wood, melted the consecrated plate, and cast the 'holy eucharist' to the dogs, with every circumstance of ignominy which could provoke and perpetuate the animosity of religious factions. The narrow and solitary path which their first leaders had marked out, continued to diverge from the great society of mankind; so that they could affirm that when Christ should descend to judge the earth, he would find his true religion preserved only in a few nameless villages of the Caesarean Mauritania." From this condensed quotation from Gibbon the reader will easily discern the feeling that existed between the Woman Jezebel in the heaven, and the Woman, by oppressive imperial edicts, caused to begin her flight into the wilderness. No enlightened professor of the doctrine which is according to godliness would think of looking for the true believers in "the heaven" where all was sunshine and imperial favor. "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). This testimony is true and not to be gain-said, and directs us in our search for "the remnants of the woman's seed, who keep the commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus," to that anti-catholic community of professors, which has been ever since the great Donatist repudiation of the self-styled "Holy Catholic Church," and "Church of God," a.d. 315, an oppressed, proscribed and persecuted people -- persecuted in some form or shape, if not by governments, by the machinations and slanders of scribes, pharisees and others; of all professors, in fact, whose foreheads are unsealed by the truth, and whose hearts, consequently, are unpurified by "faith that works by love" of the truth believed. 24. The Woman's Place

"The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place that had been prepared of the Deity -- verse 6: And to the woman were given the two wings of the Great Eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place" -- verse 14.

The fourteenth verse, in certain particulars, is explanatory of the sixth. In this it is said that "the woman fled;" but nothing is hinted about "the two wings of the great eagle." The sixth verse testifies that "she fled into the wilderness," in which wilderness a place hath been prepared for her of the Deity. But where was this wilderness to be found? The Roman habitable was well stocked with wildernesses. Was it simply an uninhabited solitude, a desert waste? or did the word eremon, indicate her isolation and exclusion from the ecclesiastical pale recognized by the powers that be? She fled into the wilderness-state, in which she did not stand in the presence of the Serpent. The Serpent was in the heaven, from the sunshine and splendors of which she was caused to fly. It was the woman Jezebel that stood before the Serpent, and gloried in his embrace. The Serpent had beguiled her, and enthroned her in the heaven; but those of her party, who were proof against his enticements and subtilties, he banished from his imperial presence, that they might dwell alone in the solitude of social isolation. But the woman fugitive was not an abstraction, or a mere idea. She was a multitude of dissidents from the new and established order of things. Like Israel after the flesh, they were to dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations; still, like Israel, they required some place, or country, in which to dwell. Where did the woman dwell in her wilderness-state? This question is answered in the fourteenth verse in the words, "The two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman." These were the sections of the habitable Divinely appointed for her, that there she might be sustained in her wilderness-state. But, what was represented by this great bird of prey? The original is quite emphatic -- ho aetos ho megas, the Eagle which is the great one. There was but one eagle contemporary with the woman's flight that could be styled emphatically, ho megas, the large, spacious, ample one. This was the Roman territorial jurisdiction. Rome was the eagle's head; Italy, its body; and the Roman Africa and the regions of the Alps, Pyrennees, Britain, Bulgaria, Thrace, Asia Minor, and Armenia its wings or extremities. The eagle is the well-known symbol of the Roman Power. Moses alludes to this power in connection with the eagle in Deut. 28:49, 50, 63, 64, as, "Yahweh shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, which as (kaasher) the eagle shall fly; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance -- and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates -- and ye shall be plucked from off thy land whither thou goest to possess it; and Yahweh shall scatter thee among all peoples." This cannot refer to the Eagle of Nineveh and Babylon; because these eagle powers did not come "from the end of the earth" against Israel; and because they understood the tongue spoken by the Assyrians and Chaldeans. "The end", not ends "of the earth" in regard to Palestine, was Chittim, or Italy; whose ships came against Asshur, when Antiochus, king of Assyria, invaded Egypt (Dan. 11:30). Israel did not understand the tongue of Chittim, which is known as that of the Roman Eagle, the Latin, between which and the Hebrew there is no family likeness. This eagle-nation was to come against them as a bird of prey to devour their bodypolitic, and to scatter them among all peoples, because they did not fear "that glorious and fearful name, Yahweh Elohim." This was accomplished by the Roman legions under Titus, a.d. 70; predictive of which, Yahweh Elohim, in fleshly manifestation, said, "wheresoever the carcase is, there shall the Eagles be gathered together" (Matt. 24:28). But, in relation to the woman's flight into the wilderness, the two wings of the great Roman Eagle, spreading along its northeastern and southwestern regions, were not for destruction, but that she might find safety and protection in obscurity; upon the principle of being "out of the Serpent's sight" (apo prosopon) she might be out of his mind also. "The two wings" is regarded by some as a more correct reading than "two wings". They say that it reads thus in certain manuscripts -- hai duo pteruges. They are, no doubt, right. Daniel's leopard had four wings; but there is nothing in symbolic prophecy to indicate that the great Roman Eagle had more than two. The mountains, glens, fastnesses, and more open valleys of these wings of the empire, would be but little cared for, or regarded, by the priests of the Catholic Church, who would crowd to those centres whence wealth and honors were distributed. The more interior locality of the eighteen hundred temples, endowed by the munificence of the emperor, would be the arena upon which they would, as Arians and Trinitarians, Iconoclasts and imageworshippers, disputatiously exhaust their zeal for the ensuing five hundred years. The violence of these all-absorbing disputes within the pale of the Serpent's communion, would so occupy him that he would have but little time or ability to hunt for "heretics" and "schismatics" in the two wings of his dominion. In this way was Providentially "prepared a place," or country, for dissenters and nonconformists of whatever names their enemy, the Seed of the Serpent in church and state, might, in the plenitude of ignorance and malice, think proper to call them. It is not to be supposed, however, that in all sections of the Eagle's Wings they would be always nourished in peace and safety. The woman's seed could not evade the common lot of mankind, which is born to trouble. They are an afflicted people, clothed in sackcloth, until the end of their appointed time, when they will be invested with white raiment. But till then, affliction is more or less the rod of their condition; and necessarily so; for "whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth;" that, by this wholesome, but unjoyous, discipline they who are exercised by it, now partaking of the Divine holiness, may hereafter reap the peaceable fruit of righteousness Heb. -- 12:6; Apoc. 11:1-3. 25. The Period of the Woman's Sojourn

"She hath a place which has been prepared of the Deity, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days" -- verse 6.

In the fourteenth verse, this is equivalently expressed by the words, "where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time out of sight of the Serpent." This parallelism shows us that "1,260 days" is a form of words importing the duration of "a time, times, and half a time". Whatever the word day may signify, it requires 1,260 of them to equal three times and a half. In common time, 1,260 days are forty-two months, or three years and six months. But in dramatic prophecy, where the things predicted are acted on a small scale, by the persons of the drama, the time is proportioned, and therefore expressed in miniature. Hence, when a piece is performed on the boards of a theatre, its incidents, which are spread over a long series of years, are all brought in the acting before the spectator's eye in the short space of an evening. This is a practical condensation of the time of the piece performed. If the acted timeof the piece were dramatically expressed by the performer, according to the real time, an evening theatrical entertainment would be impossible. He has therefore, in his acting, to reduce the literal, or real, time of the incidents he represents, from years to minutes, which all the audience, from pit to gallery, easily perceives.

Now, upon the same principle of condensation is time exhibited in the apocalyptic drama. It is condensed from real time to acted time, the latter being proportioned to the former, and to the agents dramatically engaged. Thus, if the real time be 1,260 years, it is proportionally represented by 1,260 days, or forty-two months, or three times and a half. It is also made proportional to the agents acting in the time. Thus, in the dramatic prophecy before us, the woman and her feeders, or nourishers, are the agents. She dwells in her place as a woman, the cycle of whose natural existence is threescore years and ten. Now, to affirm of her that they nourished her 1,260 years, would be in violation of the decorum of things. It would be a monstrosity in the picture, because out of all proportion, seeing that, naturally, women do not live 1,260 years. But the fitness and suitableness of things are observed; and the language descriptive of her pregnancy and subsequent life, does no violence, but is in strict accordance with, the laws of a real woman's natural existence. The remarks of Daubuz upon symbolic time, are to the point in this place. "The way of the symbolic language," says he, "in expressions determining the spaces of time may be set in a plain light from the manner of predictions, or the nature of the prophetical visions. For a prophecy concerning future events is a picture, or representation of the events in symbols; which, being fetched from objects visible at one view, or cast of the eye, rather represent the events in miniature, than in full proportion; giving us more to understand than what we see; and, therefore, that the duration of events may be represented in terms suitable to the symbols of the visions, the symbols of duration must be also drawn in miniature. Thus, for instance, if a vast empire, persecuting the Church for 1,260 years, was to be symbolically represented by a beast, the decorum of the symbol would require that the said time of its tyranny should not be expressed by 1,260 years; because it would be monstrous and indecent to represent a beast ravaging for so long a space of time; but by 1,260 days. And thus a day may imply a year; because that short revolution of the sun bears the same proportion to the yearly, as the type to the antitype." Thus, the anti-catholic community was to be sustained, out of the sight of the Serpent-government, in the two wings of the Great Roman Eagle, for one thousand two hundred and sixty years from the epoch of its legal condemnation as heretical, its exclusion from high places, and its banishment from the sunshine of imperial favor, a.d. 312-315. The three years intervening between these dates, constitute the initiatory epoch of the Woman's flight. The individuals who composed the party of the woman were not all saints; they were all, as we have seen, exceedingly hostile to the State Church: but it was only a particular class of the woman's seed which was entitled to be regarded as consisting of the saints. Her seed was composed of remnants, hoi loipoi, not, as in the Common Version, of a remnant. She was providentially placed in the wilderness, that she might be fed and nourished; for without food and nourishment she could not exist in such a world as this. The "faithful men" who were within her pale, "who were able to teach others" (2 Tim. 2:2), fed her with knowledge and understanding (Jer. 3:15); and "the earth," with whom she found an asylum, "helped her" with the nourishment of protection, without which she would have been carried away of the serpent-flood. A remnant of her seed, and the common people of the Eagle's wings, "the earth," coalesced. They became political allies against the party in power; and were upon emergency prepared to withstand their oppressor by force of arms. These were the vanguard of the other remnant of her seed, whose principle is passive endurance of injury "unto death;" and trusting for vindication to Him who saith, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." These were the saints sealed in their foreheads as the especial servants of the living God. Now, to what in our own times shall we liken the civil and ecclesiastical arrangement of things existing at the crisis of the woman's flight? The following constitution of things with which the reader is familiar, will answer the purpose of bringing vividly before his mind what was presented before John's in the dramatical exhibition of the woman in the wilderness. The British Imperial Unicorn is an element of the Serpent-power of the world. It is enthroned in all the splendor of the heaven; and sheds the rays of its glory and power upon all the constituted authorities of the state. Invested with this brightness is a Harlot, diademed with the jewels of the British crown. This woman is a daughter of "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and all the Abominations of the Earth;" and is constitutionally styled, "the Church of England and Ireland, as by law established." In the palmy days of the Tudors and the Stuarts, there was another woman, who fled from the face of the British Serpent. This was the woman of nonconformity and dissent. And to this fugitive were given the wings, or extremities, of the Great Unicorn; that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished until the coming of the Ancient of Days. These wings are now known as the United States and British America. Here the Puritan Woman exists out of the sight of the British Serpent, fed by her spirituals, and nourished by "the earth," which is remarkably inimical to everything British. But, are the sects of which this Anti-British State-Church Woman is composed, "the remnants of her seed which keep the commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus?" Far, very far, from it; they are as far from it as the British Harlot herself; nevertheless, there will be found within the pale of Anti-British Harlotry a remnant, styled Christadelphians, whose intellectual and moral characteristics are answerable to the last clause of Apoc. 12:17. Now, the Puritan Woman, styled by her enemies and persecutors "the Donatists;" but by the children of her body, Cathari, or the Pure Ones; for the first 1260 years of her existence was Providentially settled in the wings of the Roman Eagle. Her remnants were not to be found in Persia, India, China, or America: but after the discovery and settlement of America, the persecutions and massacre of her seed by the SerpentPowers of Europe caused her to seek refuge in the American wilderness, whereby the help of "the earth," which styles itself "the unterrified democracy," she is fed and nourished to the full. It is now over 1550 years since her flight began in the days of Constantine, or a.d. 315. In Apoc. 11:3, "the remnants of her seed" are specified by the names "the Holy City" and "The two Witnesses". The former, consists of those "who keep the commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus:" the latter, the Politico-Religious Democracy essentially and constitutionally hostile to the "Mother of Harlots" and her Harlot Daughters, in all the countries where they are "by law established." Now, the times of these two classes are differently arranged. The duration of the symbolical formulas is the same number of years with respect to each; though the symbolical formulas themselves are differently expressed. Thus the symbolical formula of "the Holy City" is written "forty-two months," while the symbolical formula of the woman with especial reference to the remnant, "the witnesses," is written "one thousand two hundred and sixty days." This is also expressed in the form "a time, and times, and half a time:" and the reason why these two various formulas are given in the sixth and fourteenth verses of this twelfth chapter is, that this form, which is reproduced from Dan. 7:25, and 12:7, might be shown to consist of 1260 symbolic days. The form in Daniel indicates a period reaching to the epoch when judgment is given to the saints of the Highest Ones, which implies the manifestation of the Ancient of Days and the subsequent resurrection of the dead; because, there can be no judgment until they are raised; and no resurrection till he comes. But the time when the 1260 aeon commences is not the same in all its relations. In Dan. 7 and 12, it has special reference to "the Holy City," or saints, in the highest sense; and begins with their delivery as heretics into the hand, or power, of the Roman Blasphemer, styled in Dan. 11:38, 39, "a foreign god" and "a god of guardians." The "forty-two months" of Apoc. 11:2, begins at the same time. Not so, however, the 1260 of the Two Witnesses, and the times of the woman in ch. 12:6, 14. These all begin with the commencement of her flight in the Constantinian epoch. In these times she was to be fed and nourished; and fire was to proceed out of the mouth of her dualized witnessing remnant, to devour her enemies and theirs. During these times they had power to shut the heaven, that it might not rain in their days of the prophecy, or the 1260. But when they may "have finished their witnessing," which they accomplished at the end of that period, or 1260 years after their banishment by Constantine, that is, in the epoch of a.d. 1572-'75, war was made upon them, and they were overcome, and put to death politically: they were "killed" in a like sense to the killing of "the third of the men" in ch. 9:18 -- a death which said third sought, but could not find, because the time Divinely appointed to extinguish the eastern Roman dominion had not yet come. But, though the 1260 years of the sackcloth-witnessing of the anticatholic remnant of the woman's seed ended in a.d. 1575; the other class of her seed, "the Holy City," still continued to travail in the affliction of its down-trodden condition; and to press on through the weary years assigned to it in the "forty-two months," or "the reed like to a rod" with which it was measured (Apoc. 11:1). The finishing of the witnessing by the secular element of the woman in a.d. 1572-'5, marks the lapse of nine hundred and sixty-eight years of the forty-two months; in all of which time "the Holy City" had been in the hand of the Roman Blasphemer. At the end of the witnessing in a.d. 1575, there still remained two hundred and ninety-two years of the forty-two months to be traversed by the Holy City. These elapsed, and she attains the a.d. 1867-'8; or, having traversed and completed an aeon or cycle, of fortytwo months of years from a.d. 607, she is justified in looking for a speedy deliverance from the down-treading she has been subjected to in all that terrible and sanguinary time. But though the 1260 years of her sustentation in the two wings of the Roman Eagle were fulfilled, it must not be supposed that, because war was made upon her seed, and they were overcome and politically killed, she was therefore dead, and had no further part in the history of the papal world. So long as she has a remnant upon the earth, she lives in it; though she may no longer be found in her original place of abode. Exterminated in one section of the Habitable, her seed reappear in another, on the principle of being persecuted in one city, they flee to another. In the first 1260 years of her sojourn out of the Serpent's sight, her fugacious migrations were confined to the wings of his dominion. For three hundred years after her flight she was fed and nourished in the Roman Africa, and the Cottian Alps. At the end of these centuries, she disappeared from the African Wing of the Great Eagle, and manifested her presence in Armenia and Asia Minor; and when she could no longer find food and nourishment there, she migrated in the course of a hundred and fifty years into France, and thence into Bulgaria, and up the Danube westward and northward through Hungary and Bavaria. In the ninth century, the witnessing of her seed was no longer heard in Armenia, Asia Minor, and Thrace; but was more particularly limited to the Alpine regions of Italy, Switzerland, and France. In the twelfth century, the witnessing of her seed in these countries became so hateful to the Roman Catholic Church, that its malice against her became unbounded. "The rivers and fountains of waters," or those who ruled among the mountains and valleys of the Alps, were stirred up by the spiritual head of that communion, to shed their blood without mercy (Apoc. 16:4-7): nevertheless, the food and nourishment afforded her, enabled her to endure, and to continue her witnessing in these Alpine regions until the expiration of her 1260 years. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the power of the strong governments of Europe was brought to bear upon her seed. The two wings of the Great Eagle no longer afforded her protection; so that her witnessing against catholicism, and The Antichrist, whose power had now reached its greatest altitude and breadth, was suppressed in all the kingdoms, or Horns, of the Beast of the Sea (Apoc. 11:7; 13:1). This was the death of the witnessing of the politico-ecclesiastical remnant of her seed. The war upon her that ultimated in this result, continued over a century after the termination of her aeon (aion) of 1260 years. From a.d. 1685 to a.d. 1790, her seed's voice against the Roman Antichrist was death-stricken in all the Ten-Horns of the Beast of the Sea. During this period of three lunar days and a half of years, her anti-catholic communities lay voiceless in the streets, or kingdoms, of the Great City, very much to the joy and mirthfulness of the priests and rulers of the Horn-Powers, especially of the Vice-God of "Christendom" and his Cardinals, whose sanguinary domination is now tottering to its fall. These priestly and besotted tyrants "rejoiced over them, and made merry," because the tormenting testimony of her seed was, as they thought, effectually and finally silenced (Apoc. 11:4-10). But they knew not the purposes of Him who doeth all things after the counsel of His own will. They knew not that a great revival of this tormenting witnessing had been decreed; and that their joyous mirth was doomed to set in mourning, lamentation, and woe. For, after the expiration of the three lunar days and a half of years, that is, of 105 years; marked also by the termination of 1260 years from the epoch a.d. 530-533, in which the Dragon-Power "acknowledged" the bishop of Rome as "a god" over all the spiritual affairs of his dominion (Dan. 11:39): after the end of his cycle, "the Spirit of life from Deity was to enter into them, and they were to stand upon their feet." In the epoch of a.d. 1789-'93, this came to pass in the birth of what the terrified "foul spirits" and "unclean and hateful birds" of the Roman "cage," denominate "The Revolution." This fearful power, which is now sternly and threateningly glaring in the face of the trembling demon-and-idol-worshippers of the Roman "hold" (Apoc. 18:2), is the organized witnessing of the politicoecclesiastical remnant of the Woman's Seed. Created a.d. 315, slain a.d. 1685, it rose again a.d. 1789-'93; and, in the last epoch "it ascended to the heaven," where it is now working through the Frog-like influences of the French, Italian, and Prussian powers which will not cease to operate until they shall have unwittingly "gathered the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable to the war of that great day of God Almighty -- a day which is near, even at the door, and waiting only the expiration of the forty-two months of the down-treading of the Holy City; that is, of 1260 years from the giving of the Saints into the hand of "the Foreign God," a.d. 607-'8; or 1335 from his "acknowledgment" by the King that did according to his will in a.d. 533; which gives for a glorious epoch to the believer, a.d. 1868-'9. 26. "The Earth Helped the Woman."

"And the Serpent cast out of his mouth after the Woman water as a flood, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16. And the earth ran with help for the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth. 17. And the Dragon was enraged against the woman, and went away to wage war with the remnants of her seed who keep the commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus" -- Verses 15-17.

The Dragon, the Serpent, the Diabolos, and the Satan, in this twelfth chapter, are all terms expressive of the political, or civil, military, and spiritual, "enmity" in organized activity against the woman and her seed. When the political organization that seeks her destruction is wholly pagan, then it is represented as "a Great Fiery Red Dragon" -- ver. 3: if still pagan, but not wholly so in all departments of the state, then it is no longer the "great fiery red dragon," but simply the Diabolos, as in ver. 12; and if no longer pagan, but a subtle and seductive power, wise in its own conceit, and invested with supreme authority, it is indicated by "the Serpent" and "the Dragon," as in ver. 15, 16. This identity is established by the testimony concerning the flood of water, which states that it issued both from the mouth of the Serpent and the mouth of the Dragon: now the flood being one, not two, the Serpent and the Dragon in the verses at the head of this section must represent the same power. But the Dragon and his angels were cast out of the political heaven, or Roman government, "and their place was found no more in the heaven;" nevertheless, in the last four verses of this chapter we find the Dragon in power, and exercising it vengefully for 1260 years against the woman, and making war with the remnants of her seed. How is this? It was the pagan constitution of power enthroned in Rome and Italy that was cast out, and has reappeared no more to this day. But after the battles of Adrianople and Chrysopolis all power over the Roman Habitable came to be vested in Constantine. He was the sole imperial bishop of the Dragon empire; which, by the revolution he had consummated, was transformed from the Pagan Dragon, into the Catholic Dragon, dominion. It is this Catholic Serpent and Dragon that figures in the concluding verses of this chapter, as well as in the thirteenth and twentieth chapters of the Apocalypse, which has no more to do with the Great Fiery Red Dragon after ch. 12:13; The throne of the Pagan Dragon was Rome; but when the Dragonpower came to be vested in Constantinople he established a New Polity in a New Capital, which after himself he styled, the City of Constantine, or Constantinople. In the period in which the woman became a fugitive, Constantinople, previously called Byzantium, became the capital of the Roman world. It has retained its sovereign rank over 1540 years. Its founder ascribed his resolution of building it to the infallible and eternal decrees of Divine Wisdom; and in one of his laws, he declares that it was in obedience to the commands of God, that he laid the everlasting foundations of Constantinople. His choice of Byzantium for a city is said, by contemporary writers, to have been owing to a vision which appeared to him while he slept within the walls of that city. Its tutelar genius, a venerable woman sinking under the weight of years and infirmities, was suddenly transformed into a blooming female, whom his own hands adorned with all the symbols of imperial greatness. The emperor awoke, interpreted the auspicious omen, and obeyed, without hesitation, the supposed will of heaven. On the day on which the foundation of the city was laid, Constantine on foot, with a lance in his hand, traced out the boundary of the destined capital. It was of great extent, which his assistants observing, ventured to remark, that he had already exceeded the most ample measure of a great city. "I shall still advance," replied Constantine, "till he, the invisible guide who marches before me, thinks proper to stop." Whether or not the emperor did see the vision of his dream, it is a fact as already shown, that this twelfth chapter was generally supposed by anti-pagans of that day to refer to the events of the life of Constantine. Hence, it is more than probable that the dream he professes to have had was not a vision of his own, but a fiction into which he introduced the two women of this chapter, the one distressed, inferior, and persecuted, the other blooming and decorated with the sun, the moon and the stars, the symbols of imperial greatness, with which "his own hands adorned her;" and for whom he determined, dream or no dream, to found a new capital. "Water as a flood" is said to have been cast out of the Serpent's mouth after the woman to sweep her away. Water flowing like a river indicates an army or body of men in motion. That water symbolises people is evident from Apoc. 17:15. Hence, when the water is in motion the people are moving; when it flows like a river the body of people moves m a certain direction; when the river overflows its banks, the army crosses its frontiers and invades another nation; when the water sweeps along like a flood, the army subdues and carries all before it; but when the earth opens and absorbs the flood, then the operations of the army are spent without effecting its purpose; and if the water of the river be dried up, as in Apoc. 16:12, the power and independence of the people represented are destroyed. Some of these definitions are strikingly illustrated in Isaiah 8:7: "Behold," says the prophet, "Yahweh bringeth up upon them (the Jews) the waters of the river, the strong and mighty; even the king of Assyria and all his force. And he shall rise above all his channels, and shall go over all his banks; and he shall pass through Judah, overflowing and spreading; even to the neck shall he reach; and the extension of his wings (the wings of his army) shall be over the full breadth of thy land, O Immanuel!" The kingdom of Assyria was divided from that of Israel by the Euphrates, termed in Scripture "the river," and "the great river." Hence, it came to symbolize his power; so that when he invaded Israel, the waters of his river are said to have swelled over their banks, and flooded their country to so great an extent as to rise "to the neck," or capital, but without submerging it; so that it would be an overflowing invasion, which would recede without finally subjecting the nation. The Mouth of the Serpent or Dragon is symbolical of the words, utterances and commands, proceeding from the power called Serpent or Dragon. The commands of a power are expressed or made audible and effective by the reigning administration of public affairs; and which holds a similar relation to the power that the mouth does to the brain of a man. Hence, "the Mouth of the Dragon, the Mouth of the Beast, and the Mouth of the False Prophet," are the governments of the powers signified by these symbols. The Serpent and Dragon are said to have cast water as a flood out of their Mouth; that is, an army of pursuers was sent forth by order of the catholic government of Constantinople and Rome, to sweep the fugitive woman from among the living. The execution of this decree of extermination might have been successful, had not "the earth ran with help for the woman, and opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood." The Common Version says, "the earth helped the woman." This is not incorrect; but it is not as exact as it might be, and as the events represented justify. The word boetheo, signifies properly, "to run to the aid of those who cry for help." The woman in her flight was pursued, or persecuted by power, which caused her in her sufferings to cry aloud. Her cries fell upon the ears of the earthiest of earthborns, who ran to and fro dealing the most terrific vengeance upon her foes. The ferocious purpose of the catholic power encountering this most unexpected resistance was defeated; the earth swallowed up the wrath which expended itself upon it, and the woman was saved. Historical Illustration Such, then, is the meaning, or "mystery," of the form of words presented in the prophecy. The Catholic Dragon, or Man of Sin power, incorporate in the unbaptized episcopal emperor, Constantine, and in the ignorant and superstitious ecclesiastics whom he had associated with himself in synodical session, was the effluent pursuer of the woman, who rejected the traditions and commands of the tribunal which had arraigned and condemned her, and all her seed, as odious and pestilent heretics. Having lost their cause at Rome and Arles, the Anti-catholic Donatists had appealed for the last time to Constantine himself, who in a.d. 316, examined the whole affair at Milan, in the presence of the contending parties. The issue, as might be expected from the character of the judges, was not more favorable to the Donatists than the decisions of the previous councils, which were confirmed by the sentence he pronounced. Condemned by the Bishop of Rome, and by that bishop's imperial master, "this perverse sect," as they are styled by Mosheim, are said to have loaded the emperor with "the bitterest reproaches," and complained that Osius, bishop of Cordova, who was honored with his friendship, and was intimately connected with Caecilianus, had, by corrupt insinuations, engaged him to pronounce an unrighteous sentence. "Perhaps their complaint," says Gibbon, "was not without foundation, that the credulity of the emperor had been abused by the insidious arts of his favorite, Osius. The influence of falsehood and corruption might procure the condemnation of the innocent or aggravate the sentence of the guilty." Be this as it may, "the Dragon, the old serpent, incited to great wrathfulness by these irritating trials, which disturbed the serenity of the party in power, deprived the anti-catholic Donatists of their churches in Africa, drove their bishops into exile, and carried his resentment so far as to put some of them to death. This was the commencement of the Catholic Dragon's wrath against the woman, and of the war he waged against the remnants of her seed (verse 7). The immediate effect of these violent measures, were desperate commotions and tumults in Africa, as the Donatists were exceedingly influential and numerous in that wing of the great eagle. But these insurrections were regarded by them with the utmost detestation and abhorrence; and, therefore, though a persecuted people, we are not to attribute these popular uprisings in their defence to a spirit of recrimination in them against their "christian" oppressors. The Donatists Remnant had fled "into the wilderness" of Getulia that they might be "out of sight of the Serpent" -- of "the first Christian emperor" and his catholic myrmidons, who had seized their property, exiled their teachers, and put some to death. Upon this, the Spirit of Deity stirred up the indignation of "the Earth" -- of those who, though neither catholics nor Donatists, had spirit enough to defend the oppressed against imperial and ecclesiastical tyranny, and that in their own irregular and violent way. This situation of affairs may be illustrated by the following supposition. Thus, Christadelphians where known are in very bad odor with "every name and denomination," against which they protest as the Anti-christian "Harlots and Abominations of the Earth." Suppose these were to lay aside all their animosities and strifes, and to combine to suppress and exterminate them with fire and sword; would not the "infidels," who have predilection for no sect, oppose force to force in their defence? There can be no doubt of it; and, though Christadelphians deprecate, and would all violence in their behalf, the infidels, as in the first French Revolution, would make the quarrel with the oppressor their own; and the most horrible cruelties would probably be perpetrated upon the enemy under the pretence of assisting them. To a certain extent, such an event occurred in the epoch of the American revolution, when the infidel leaders of revolt against British tyranny in church and State, interposed between the episcopal church and the Baptists and other sects it was oppressing, and proclaimed an equality of rights for sects of every name. But they were not content with proclamations; they drew the sword, and watered the earth with blood for seven years, to establish it. Shall we charge the Baptists and Quakers of that day with appealing to the arbitrament of arms against the Established Church of England, because they, in common with others, obtained exemption from future whippings and incarcerations on account of their religious principles, by the triumph of revolutionary unbelievers? Even supposing that many Baptists and Quakers were found in the ranks of the insurgents, as no doubt there were, should we, therefore, condemn the Baptist and Quaker bodies as baptized in human gore? A community is not to be condemned as a murderer of its species, because of the delinquency of some of its adherents; if so, then most of the apostolic churches would have to be condemned as anti-christian. The case, however, is entirely altered where a sect, as the Catholic Anglo-Episcopal, in its corporate capacity, condemns, imprisons, and puts to death as heretics, those who assert the imprescriptible and inalienable right of judging what is truth for themselves. Here the murder of "heretics" socalled, is the crime of the whole body; which, as in the case of individuals, will sooner or later suffer the just penalty of the Divine law. The case of the Donatists is parallel to our supposition. The indignation of the people was roused, and in the language of the prophecy, "the Earth ran with help to the Woman." The emperor and his party were alarmed, and Constantine endeavored by embassies and negotiations to allay the disturbances, but without effect. Who are represented by "the Earth" in the period of the woman's flight into, or towards, the wilderness, will readily appear from the following account. The persecution of the servants and brethren of Christ by the Catholic Serpent at this juncture was acquiring strength, the flame of discord gathered force daily, and seemed to portend the approaching horrors of civil war. To prevent this, Constantine, having tried in vain every other method of accommodation, abrogated at last, by the advice of the governors of Africa, the laws he had enacted against the Donatists, and allowed to the people the full liberty of adhering to that which in their minds This state of party they preferred. tranquillity, which did not long continue, was brought about by a horrible confederacy of desperate ruffians who passed under the name of Circumcellions. These bands were composed of a set of furious, fearless, and bloody men, formed of the rough and savage peasantry of the Numidian and Mauritanian villages, who were semi-pagans, and had been imperfectly reduced under the authority of the Roman laws. "This outrageous multitude," says Mosheim, "whom no prospect of sufferings could terrify, and who, upon urgent occasions, faced death itself with the most audacious temerity, contributed to render the sect of the Donatists (whose cause they espoused) an object of the utmost abhorrence (to the Catholics) though it cannot be proved, by any records of undoubted authority that the bishops of that faction (those at least who had any reputation for piety and virtue) either approved the proceedings or stirred up the violence of this odious rabble." This was truly "the unterrified," and unterrifiable, "democracy." This may be styled the spontaneous soldiery of the Donatists, extemporized by the urgency of their distress. These Circumcellions never failed to take up arms to defend them against their enemies The imperial officers were usually sustained by a military force in the execution of the wrath of the Catholic Dragon, which issued like a sweeping flood from its Mouth; but it did not carry the woman away. It was sometimes successfully repelled. The blood of some Donatist teachers which had been shed by the imperialists, inflamed the Circumcellions with an eager desire of revenge. By their own cruelty and rashness, the ministers of persecution sometimes provoked their fate; and the guilt of an accidental tumult precipitated them into despair and rebellion. The leaders of the Circumcellions assumed the title of Captains of the Saints. Their principal weapon, as they were indifferently provided with swords and spears, was a huge and weighty club, which they termed an Israelite; and the well-known sound of "Praise be to God," which they used as their war-cry, diffused consternation over the unarmed provinces of Africa. At first, their depredations were covered with the plea of necessity; but they soon exceeded the measure of subsistence, indulging without control their intemperance and avarice; burned the villages they had pillaged, and, in defiance of the Roman legions, reigned the licentious tyrants of the open country. The occupations of husbandry, and the administration of justice, were interrupted; and as the Circumcellions pretended to restore store the primitive equality of mankind, and to reform the abuses of civil society,they opened a secure asylum for slaves and debtors and all other refugees, who fled to their standard in crowds from their pursuers; or in the language of the prophecy, "the Earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood". When they were not resisted, they usually contented themselves with plunder, but the slightest opposition provoked them to acts of violence and murder; and some catholic priests, who had signalized their zeal, were tortured with the most refined and wanton barbarity. They engaged, and sometimes defeated, the provincial legions of the Dragon; and in the sanguinary action of Bagai, when the troops of Constans were sent against the Donatists, as a flood from the Dragon's Mouth, the Circumcellions attacked in open field, but with unsuccessful valor, an advanced guard of the imperial cavalry. Those who were taken prisoners died without a murmur, either by the sword, the axe, or the fire; and the measures of retaliation were multiplied in rapid proportion, which aggravated the horrors of rebellion, and excluded the hope of mutual forgiveness. Such disorders are the natural effects of religious tyranny; but the rage of the Circumcellions was enflamed by a phrenzy of a very extraordinary kind. Many of them were possessed with a horror of life, and the desire of martyrdom; and they deemed it of little moment by what means, or by what hands, they perished, if their conduct was sanctified by "the intention of devoting themselves to the glory of the true faith." Such was "the Earth," and such the manner in which she "opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Catholic Dragon cast out of his mouth," in voluntary defence of the woman's seed in the African wing of the Great Eagle. But the defensive operation of "the Earth" was not restricted to the African provinces of the empire. The peasantry of Paphlagonia was inspired by the same spirit. During the reign of Constantius, son and successor of Constantine, when the catholic Trinitarians and catholic Arians unsheathed the sword of the flesh against one another to arbitrate the rights of Homoiousion and Homoiousion to the claim of orthodoxy, the Novatians, another remnant of the woman's anti-catholic seed, became obnoxious to the Arian emperor and patriarch of Constantinople. The latter distinguished pietist, whose name was Macedonius, being informed that a large district of Paphlagonia was almost entirely inhabited by the Novatians, resolved in fiery excess of zeal, either to convert them to Arian catholicity, or to exterminate them; and as he distrusted on this occasion the efficacy of an ecclesiastical mission, he determined to vomit forth a legionary flood to sweep them from the earth. To this end, he ordered a body of four thousand legionaries to march against these unoffending dissenters, and to reduce the territory of Mantinium under his patriarchal authority. "The Serpent cast out of his mouth water like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carded away by the flood." But the armed flood did not accomplish the purpose of the Constantinopolitan government. It was foreshown in the prophecy that it should not succeed; for it was Providentially arranged that the flood should be ineffectually expended upon the earth as it is written, "the earth ran with help for the woman and opened her mouth, and drank up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth." And so it came to pass; for the Paphlagonian peasants, animated by despair and religious fury, boldly encountered the invaders of their country; and though many of them were slain, the Serpent's legions were vanquished by an irregular multitude armed only with scythes and axes; and except a few that escaped by flight, thousands of soldiers were left dead upon the field of battle. The Emperor Julian, who succeeded Constantius, an apostate from this sanguinary catholicism to paganism, speaking of his predecessor's reign, in his fifty-third epistle, says, "many were imprisoned and persecuted and driven into exile. Whole troops of those who were styled 'heretics,' were massacred, particularly at Cyzicus and Samosata. In Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Galatia, and many other provinces, towns and villages were laid waste and utterly destroyed." After the death of Constantine, in the division of his empire between his three sons, Italy and Africa were allotted to Constans. He sent Macarius and Paulus into Africa to heal, if possible, this "deplorable schism," as Mosheim terms it; and to engage the Donatists to conclude a peace. The efforts of Constans to induce them to coalesce with the catholic church were strenuous, but ineffectual. Force and corruption were the royal arguments employed for their conversion by these imperial commissioners. The chief bishop among the Donatists opposed all these methods of reconciliation with the utmost vehemence; and his example was followed by the rest of his brethren. The idea was odious to them of a coalition with those, who in the Diocletian persecution and distress, in order to avoid martyrdom, had delivered up the Holy Scriptures, the best girl of the Deity to man. This zeal for the word was a remarkable characteristic of the Woman's Seed. It underlaid the whole controversy between the Catholics and Dissenters of the period. The Catholics very lightly esteemed the Scriptures; and were daily withdrawing the people's attention from them more and more, until at length they came to legislate against the use of them by "the laity" at all. Not so their opponents, with whom the sacred writings have always been a tower of strength against their enemies. To the fugitive woman was Providentially committed the custody of the Divine Oracles; for it is the remnants of her seed which are testified to have held the testimony of the anointed Jesus, which is to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. No wonder, therefore, that these worthy and excellent people turned a deaf ear to every overture of reconciliation with the word-neglecting adherents of the tyrannical church of Constans. The cruelties of Macarius and Paulus only exasperated "the earth", and widened the breach. The Circumcellions, provoked by their arbitrary proceedings, wreaked their vengeance on the persecutors of the Donatists by assassinations and massacres executed with unrelenting fury. "The Dragon was wroth with the woman," when he saw his projects baffled. He, therefore sent Macarius against them with "a flood". The Earth encountered the flood in the battle of Bagnia, a.d. 345, in which, however, the Circumcellions were defeated. This "servant of God," as Gratus, bishop of Carthage styled Macarius, now gave vent to the fury and rage of the Dragon, and indulged in crimes of deeper dye than he had yet perpetrated before victory. There was now no safety for the woman but in flight. Optatus of Milevi, a contemporary writer, whose testimony, Mosheim says, is beyond exception in this matter, informs us that a few of the Donatists submitted; "the greatest part of them saved themselves by flight;" numbers were sent into banishment. Among them were Donatus, whom they called "the Great," on account of his learning and virtue; and many of them were punished with the utmost severity. "During these troubles," says Dr. Mosheim, "which continued nearly thirteen years, several steps were taken against the Donatists, which the equitable and impartial will be at a loss to reconcile with the dictates of humanity and justice; nor indeed do the catholics themselves deny the truth of this assertion." The following passage from a Donatist writer would seem to indicate that they discerned the apocalyptic sign of their time. In treating of the suffering of Marculus, he says, "Behold suddenly the polluted flood of the Macarian persecution burst forth from the tyrannical church of king Constans, and two beasts being sent to Africa from thence, to wit, Macarius and Paulus, a most horrible and cruel ecclesiastical war was proclaimed, that a christian people should be compelled by the naked swords of soldiers, by the standards of Serpents or Dragons (draconum presentibus signis) and by the blasts of trumpets, to unite with Traditors!" Compare this passage with the 15th and 16th verses of this chapter. How striking the resemblance! The Donatists, doubtless, discerned that "the polluted flood of the Macarian persecution which burst forth from the tyrannical church of king Constans," was the "water like a flood the serpent or dragon cast out of his Mouth." From this, and other instances, I doubt not, that among the woman's seed there have been in all ages some who were able to discern the apocalyptic signs specially pertaining to the times in which they lived. They might not have been able to expound the apocalypse as a whole, but they could discern sufficient to answer the question. "Watchman, what of the night?" Let us be thankful, that the believer of the truth is also able, at this crisis of the woman's history, to discern the signs of these times; so that when the Ancient of Days comes in as a thief upon an intoxicated and insane generation like ours, he will find us with our lamps trimmed and our lights brightly burning, ready to go out to meet Him. "And the Dragon was enraged against the woman". These calamities triumphed over them until a.d. 361, when the "earthquake" of Apoc. 8:5, placed the anti-catholic nephew of Constantine, "Julian the Apostate," so called, upon the Constantinopolitan throne of the Roman world. This imperial pagan proved more humane and merciful to the Donatists than his "christian" (?) predecessors. He permitted them to return to their country, and restored them to the enjoyment of their former liberty. This revolution so far renewed their vigor, that they recruited their wasted ranks by bringing over, in a short time, the majority of the provincials to their interests. Gratian published several edicts against them, and in a.d. 377, deprived them of their houses of assembly, and prohibited all their meetings public and private. But the fury of the Circumcellions, and the apprehension of intestine tumults, prevented the vigorous execution of these laws. This appears from the numerous conventicles they possessed in Africa towards the conclusion of this fourth century, to which were attached not less than four hundred bishops. About this time a celebrated, or rather, notorious ecclesiastic entered the lists against them. This was that veritable saint of the Serpent calendar, equally glorified by Greek, Latin, and Protestant, historically known as St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo. He attacked them in every way; and as he was a hot-headed and active spirit, he animated against them the whole antichristian world with its imperial court. "The catholic bishops of Africa," says Mosheim, "animated by the exhortations, and conducted by the counsels of this zealous prelate, exerted themselves with the utmost vigor in the destruction of those seditious sectaries (the Earth-assisted Woman) whom they justly looked upon, not only as troublesome to the (catholic) church by their obstinacy (as he calls her faithfulness to "the testimony of the anointed Jesus") but as a nuisance to the State (or Dragon) by the brutal soldiery ("the earth") which they employed in their cause (though on p. 124, viii. he says, "the Donatists regarded the Circumcellions with the utmost detestation and abhorrence"). Accordingly, deputies were sent, a.d. 404, from the council of Carthage to the emperor Honorius to request that the laws enacted against heretics by the preceding emperors might have force against the Donatists, who denied that they belonged to the heretical tribe; and also to desire that bounds might be set to the barbarous fury of the Circumcellions." In acceding to this request, the Dragon-emperor imposed a fine upon all the Donatists who refused to return into the bosom of the catholic church, and sent their bishops and teachers into banishment. In a.d. 405, new and severer laws were enacted against them under the title of Acts of Uniformity; and as the lay magistrates (the earth) were too tardy in the execution of vengeance for "christian priests," the council of Carthage, a.d. 407, sent deputies a second time to the emperor, desiring that certain persons might be appointed to execute the new edicts with vigor and impartiality, in other words, without mercy. This was granted also. But the Donatists, though much shaken by these repeated assaults of the Dragon, were still "nourished" and "fed" by the Providence of the Deity. Their strength revived a.d. 408, after Stilico had been put to death by the order of Honorius; and gained an accession of vigor the following year, in which the emperor published a law in favor of liberty of conscience, and prohibited all compulsion in matters of religion. This law, however, was not of long continuance. There is nothing the catholic clergy detest so much as liberty to think, speak, and act, contrary to their traditions. This has been characteristic of them in all ages. It is a characteristic of the craft of all orders, though times and circumstances repress its manifestation when things are not convenient or propitious. Liberty to discuss freely the demerits of the Traditorial Church was terribly annoying to those who justified the delivering up of the Holy Scriptures to be burned as the redemption price of their nondeliverance. These word-despising catholic traditors would let the Dragon-government have no rest until the edict of toleration was repealed; and the blood of the Witnesses of Jesus was caused to flow afresh. The law was therefore abrogated at the earnest and repeated solicitation of the council of bishops which met at Carthage, a.d. 419; and Marcellinus, the tribune, was sent by Honorius into Africa with a flood of legionaries effluent of the Dragon's Mouth. Full power was given to him to sweep the woman away; and so to bring to a conclusion, or to extinguish, the testimony of these faithful witnesses against that Diabolical and Satanic Apostasy, blasphemously styled "the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church." Who can but be penetrated with disgust and horror at the villainous and execrable cruelty of the clergy of this and after ages! It was evident that the emperor was reluctant to persecute the Donatists. But, though an emperor, he doubtless had reason to fear, lest in shielding the lives of the innocent, he might forfeit his own at the bidding of his episcopal allies. Nothing but extermination seems to have satisfied these hissing serpents and dragon-speaking priests. How thankful ought we to be, that the Deity has put it into the heart of "the Earth," to open her mouth against the execution of sanguinary vengeance upon the believers and advocates of the truth by the generation of vipers whose vested interests are opposed to it. Marcellinus, by imperial commission, instituted a judicial investigation at Carthage. The trial lasted three days, and, as might be expected, judgment was given in favor of the dominant clergy. The catholic bishops present were 286; and those of the Donatists 279. The latter, like Paul, appealed to the emperor, but without any favorable result. The terrors of this persecution caused many to apostatize to the catholics; while the severest penalties were inflicted on those who continued to "obey the commandments of the Deity, and to hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus." Fines, banishment, and confiscation of goods, were the ordinary punishments visited upon the Donatists; and says Mosheim, "the pain of death was inflicted upon such as surpassed the rest in perverseness, and were the seditious ringleaders of that stubborn faction." Some avoided these penalties by flight, and others by concealing themselves; and the malice of their enemies has not failed to blacken their memories by imputing to them the crime of suicide. In the meantime, the Circumcellion-Earth again "ran with help for the woman," and interposed between her and her oppressors to ward off the execution of the sentence against her seed. They ran up and down through the African wing of the Great Eagle in the most outrageous manner, committing acts of great cruelty upon the catholics, and defending themselves by force of arms. But, while the remnant of the woman's seed, which, in those trying times, "kept the commandments of the Deity, and held the testimony of the anointed Jesus," were thus witnessing unto death, and by their witnessing, tormenting them that dwelt upon the Catholic terrene, they had a powerful and influential intercessor within the veil, whose eyes beheld the ferocious wickedness of the Roman Serpent, and whose ears were not inattentive to their prayers. It is not difficult to conceive, that these prayers would be many, earnest and fervent; for, having faith in God and in his word, they would know that deliverance could come from Him alone. He had placed them in the African Wing of the Great Eagle, to testify against the Laodicean Apostasy in Church and State. This was a dangerous mission, but it had to be done, and faithfully performed until there should be no catholic power there to witness against. This was their hope; but of the time when it should be broken in Africa, and they delivered, they had no knowledge. All they could do, then was to "offer much incense upon the golden altar before the throne" (Apoc. 8:3) -- pray much. "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints," and patiently wait for an answer to their earnest supplications, which would "ascend before the Deity out of the hand" of the incense-bearing angel of His presence. These prayers had been partially replied to in the salutary events of the Julian Revolution, a.d. 361-'3. The angel Incense-Bearer had taken fire from the Golden Altar, and cast it from his censer into the earth; and there were in consequence, "voices, thunderings and lightnings, and an earthquake" (Apoc. 8:5). The time had now arrived to answer their prayers more fully in the breaking of the power of the catholic oppressor in Africa, by the events of the Second Wind Trumpet. For details, see Vol. 2, p. 53. The instrument of this great and righteous retribution was the world-wide renowned and terrible genseric, whose invasion of Africa, a.d. 439, was favored and prompted by the impolitic persecution of the Donatists. The king of the Vandals, though a catholic, was an enemy of the Trinitarian communion. He presented himself to the Donatists as a powerful deliverer from whom they might reasonably expect the repeal of the odious and oppressive edicts of the Dragon-emperors. Having wrested the province from the hands of the Romans, he ministered "food" and "nourishment" to the woman in protecting her seed, and giving them liberty and peace. "But the wounds", says Mosheim, "which this sect had received from the vigorous execution of the imperial laws, were so deep, that though it began to revive and multiply by the assistance of the Vandals, it could never regain its former strength and lustre." They continued to enjoy the sweets of freedom as long as the Vandals reigned in Africa. These formidable barbarians were the Deity's messengers of wrath to punish the Trinitarian Catholics of the African Wing for the serpent ferocity with which they tormented his faithful witnesses. The scene, however, was greatly changed when the empire of the Vandals was overturned by the forces of Justinian, a.d. 534. Then, now nearly 1335 years ago, the African Wing was re-annexed to the body of the Great Eagle, and the Donatist section of the Witnesses was brought into contact and collision again with the "Dragon, the old Serpent." They still continued a separate body, and not only retained their testimony, but toward the conclusion of the sixth century, and particularly from a.d. 591, defended their principles with renewed vigor, and were bold enough to proclaim the gospel publicly in the ears of the Homoousian Serpents themselves. Gregory, bishop of Rome, opposed these efforts with all the spirit and assiduity of the Antichrist, and tried various methods of putting them down; or, as Mosheim expresses it, "of depressing this faction which was pluming its wings anew, and aiming at the revival of those lamentable divisions which it had formerly excited in the church." From this time, however, they do not appear to have attracted the notice of ecclesiastics. The early subjection of Africa to the Mohammedans, will account for this. The mission of the Witnesses was not against Mohammedanism; but against Homoousian Blasphemy. When this was eradicated by the Saracens, the witnessing of the woman's seed was no longer required in Africa. As the Vandals favored Homoiousianism, which was the creed of Genseric, it is highly probable that they were from this time confounded with the Arians. The names of Arians and Manichaeans, although originally employed to designate sectaries of the class the apostle terms "false teachers privily bringing in damnable heresies" (2 Peter 2:1), they were afterwards used by the ignorant and malicious to distinguish the inhabitants of the mountains and valleys of the other wing of the Great Eagle, in after times known by the general terms Albigenses and Waldenses. In fact, all who repudiated the Bishop of Rome after he had been created a god by the Dragon-power, as the Antichrist, were denounced as Manichaeans, though they held nothing in common with those semi-pagans. Odious names imposed upon "heretics," so called, by catholic doctors and councils rarely expressed the truth concerning them. It is the Serpent's policy to call good things which are obnoxious to him and his sect by bad names. To bestow names expressive of the reality would be to speak the truth; and the highest authority has declared "that there is no truth in him" (John 8:44). Not being ignorant of this device, we are not to be hoodwinked by the foul names and hard speeches bestowed upon alleged "heretics" by popes, inquisitors, monks and doctors of "the church." These all being ignorant of what constitutes a saint, are more likely to style him an Arian or Manichaean, or by any other name that prejudice or malice may invent, than by one that truly and Scripturally represents him. "The saints of the Highest Ones" have been denounced as "heretics" by the ruling faction ever since the woman fled into the wilderness; and will doubtless continue to be until the times of the down-treading-of the Holy City shall be fulfilled. Thus, then, while the eleventh chapter exhibits the sackcloth-witnessing of the woman's seed "before the god of the earth" for the truth of "the God of heaven" in the Alpine Wing of the Great Eagle (verses 4-13); this twelfth chapter, verses 14-17, represents her obedient and faithful remnant and protectors at war with the Serpent and Dragon of Constantinople and Rome, in the African Wing more especially, and before the Bishop of Rome was developed by the authority of the Constantinopolitan Serpent into the Supreme Pontiff of Antichristendom, apocalyptically styled "the god of the earth; and by Daniel, "a foreign god, a god of guardians, acknowledged by the king who does according to his will; a god whom his pagan ancestors did not know." The twelfth chapter concludes at the epoch in which history loses all trace of a people, whose testimony against the superstition by law established kept the African Wing of the Catholic Empire in an excited and tumultuous condition to the great annoyance of all privileged bishops, priests, and deacons, who sought peace and comfort in high places for three hundred years. This brings us down to a.d. 612; or about five years after the Dragon had confirmed the gift of all heretics into the hand of the Bishop of Rome, who had been "acknowledged" by Justinian as a god over all the spiritual affairs of his empire, a.d. 533. When the witnessing remnant had accomplished its mission against the Apostasy in Africa, the power of their oppressor, the Catholic Church, was broken there by the Saracens, as predicted in Apoc. 9:1-11. "The common granary of Rome and mankind" as the fertile and highly cultivated province is styled by Gibbon, was appropriated by the followers of Mohammed, who have possessed it, (Algiers excepted, and since a.d. 1830 occupied by the French) from Tangier to Tripoli, unto this day. Thus had been blotted out from the arena of their power and glory, the people who had become "drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus" (Apoc. 17:6); a fate richly deserved, and one which awaits the same class of superstitious savages in all of the other wing and body of the Great Eagle. But the reader is not to suppose that the ferocity of the Catholic Dragon was confined to the seven fertile and populous provinces of the African Wing. All dissentients who protested against the imperial superstition in other provinces suffered as well as the Donatists. I have already referred to the case of the Novatians in Paphlagonia. By whatever name reproached, "the Serpent cast water, like a flood, out of his mouth after" them all. They were castdown, but not destroyed; persecuted and tormented in every way, yet not exterminated; for, says Mosheim, in speaking of "the heresies" of the 9th century, "the sects that had sprung up in the early ages of the church subsisted still with little change in their situation or circumstances;" and it may be added, that the saints of the Holy City and the witnesses of Jesus against the Laodicean Catholic Apostasy, have always existed under names imposed upon them, and holding views falsely attributed to them, by the malignity of their enemies, to the present day. 27. The Woe The song of victory acclaimed by the privileged adherents of the Man-Child of Sin, in which they are made to ascribe their triumph over "the Great Fiery-Red Dragon" of Pagan Rome, not to themselves, but to the self-sacrificing devotion of their brethren, and to the faithfulness of their testimony oven unto death; this epinikion, as it is styled by some, is contained, as we have seen, in the tenth, eleventh, and first clause of the twelfth verse of this chapter. The whole of the twelfth verse does not belong to the song. This verse should have begun at the word "Woe!". The address to "the inhabiters of the earth and sea" is continuous of the subject of the ninth verse, and in place would read thus: "the Dragon was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and sea! for the Diabolos is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the Dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the Man-Child" -- Verses 12-13. It is evident from this connection, that the casting out of the Dragon into the earth, and the beginning of the "woe" to the earth, were synchronous, or contemporaneous events. Though cast out of the heaven, he still retained power as the Diabolos to persecute the woman. He had lost position in the heaven. The Supreme Dragon-power and authority was located apocalyptically upon the "Seven Mountains," the area of the "Seven Heads" -- ch. 17:9, 10. To be excluded from the exercise of dominion in Rome, the Queen City, over Italy and the African Wing of the Great Eagle, was to be cast out of the heaven; but this might obtain without the entire deprivation of authority and power. "The earth and sea," or all the Roman Habitable not included in Italy and Africa, still remained to be governed by emperors enthroned in other capitals. To lose authority in Rome, but yet to retain it in the earth and sea habitable, was to fall from the one "into" the other. This was the fate of the Pagan-Roman Power, the subject of the prophecy. As we have seen elsewhere, it was "cast down" from supreme authority, and "cast out" from the "Seven Mountains into the earth," when Maxentius was dethroned and superseded in the government by Constantine, a.d. 312. But the dominion of the idols was not thereby abolished: the situation, or relative position of parties, had only been changed. The imperial ascendancy of the idols had been destroyed in Italy, Africa, Spain, Gaul and Britain; but they were still sovereign in the lower, or less dignified and important countries of Illyricum, Dacia, Macedonia, Thrace, Grecia, Asia Minor, Armenia, Syria, and Egypt. Of these countries, Illyricum, comprehending the region south and west of the Danube, north of Macedonia, north-east of the Adriatic, and north of Lombardy and Venetia; Dacia, including Hungary and the region between the lower Danube and the Balkan Mountains; Greece, Macedonia, and Thrace; these constituted "the inhabiters of the earth": while Asia Minor, Egypt, Syria, and the East, were occupied by "the inhabiters of the sea." Before the idols lost their ascendancy, all these countries were ruled by the great political firm "Dragon Serpent, Diabolos and Satan." But these partners in iniquity quarrelled, though all brethren of the same church. Dragon and Serpent lost caste, having fallen deeply into debt with nothing to pay. Their creditors therefore pronounced against them: and caused two other parties of the same name (and as after experience proved, of characters no less iniquitous) to take their place in the establishment. It was now "a house divided against itself," consisting of Catholic and Pagan parties in the State -- Dragon and Serpent catholic; and Diabolos and Satan zealous worshipers of the gods of their ancestors. The situation being thus changed, the administration of affairs was changed also. Diabolos was allowed to retain the direction and supervision of things spiritual and temporal in "the earth and sea;" while the catholic members of the firm rejoiced in the greater dignity and authority of the Italian Heaven. But Diabolos saw clearly that this arrangement could not stand. He not only knew that the house of the kingdom was divided against itself; but that such a house must fall. The administrative elements were too incompatible to work in harmony together; for, though essentially there is no difference between Catholicism and Paganism, yet the intense lust of the former for universal empire would inevitably bring on a collision that would ultimate in the destruction of the weaker of the firm. Diabolos therefore knew that "he had but a short time." He was determined, then, to make the most of his present opportunities, and to pour out the "great wrath" of idol worship upon the sympathizers with Dragon and Serpent, the catholic partners of the West, whom he might find among his subjects of "the earth and sea." Diabolos represented the interests of "the Great Fiery-Red Dragon" in "the earth and sea" after his supersession by the Man-Child of Sin upon the "Seven Mountains." His principal agents after the fall of Maxentius, were Maximin and Licinius; the former the ruler of "the sea;" and the latter, of "the earth," as already defined. The "short time" Providentially allotted to him to exhaust his "great wrath" upon the woman-inhabiters of the earth and sea, was a period of twenty years from a.d. 312 to a.d. 324. This great wrath constituted the "Woe" upon them; and consisted in the persecution of Maximin, "the most implacable enemy" of anti-pagans; his war with Licinius; the persecution of Licinius; and Licinius' war with Constantine, when he led the forces of "the earth and sea" in the great and final conflict between the Michael and the Dragon -- verses 7, 8. Thus, the great wrath of Diabolos expended itself in the complete bankruptcy of the old concern. But this house had been so long established, that it was deemed expedient to continue it under the ancient style of "Dragon, Old Serpent, Diabolos, and Satan;" the essential difference between the old house and the new being, that the former did business in the interest of Jupiter and the Idols; while the sharp practice of the latter is in the name of an imaginary Peter and fictitious saints. The foundations of the two houses are the same. They are based solely in the flesh and the speculations of the fleshly mind so that their normal condition is "enmity against Deity," and hatred of those who "keep his commandments, and hold the testimony of the anointed Jesus." 28. Other Remnants of the Woman's Seed The Novatian remnant was numerous in most parts of the Great Roman Eagle until towards the end of the sixth century. After this their name is not found in the history of the times. This arose from the fact of other leaders appearing to direct the witnessing of the woman's seed against traditions and superstitions more recently introduced by the Catholic Satan. Laxity of discipline, which was protested against by Novatianus, had caused the division of Anti-pagans into two distinct bodies, a.d. 251, or thereabouts. The majority styled themselves Catholics; the others, Novatians, and Puritans. Some sixty or seventy years after, these received an accession of strength and numbers by the secession from the catholics of multitudes, who were opposed to professors being ordained bishops, who surrendered the Holy Scriptures to be burned as the condition of personal safety in the Diocletian persecution; and who were also opposed to the incorporation of the church with the Roman State. These at the end of the sixth century were no longer the leading questions of the day. All the Woman's witnessing seed, whether called Novatian or Donatists, were united in judgment concerning them; but there were other topics that now Came to demand more especial attention, in the witnessing for which other names than Novatians and Donatus strongly attracted the notice of mankind. The tyranny and arrogance of catholic bishops had become insufferable. Their oppressiveness created what might be styled the episcopal question; or the inquiry, Does the New Testament make any difference, in order or degree, between Presbyters and Bishops? The difference was generally admitted in the fourth century; but is without the least sanction in the apostolic writings. This was the earnest conviction of a presbyter named Aerius, whom Mosheim depreciates by nicknaming him "a Semi-Arian." He says, that in the latter part of the fourth century, "He erected a new sect, and excited divisions throughout Armenia, Pontus, and Cappadocia, by propagating opinions different from those that were commonly received. One of his principal tenets was, that bishops were not distinguished from presbyters by any Divine right; and that according to the institution of the New Testament, their offices and authority were absolutely the same" Had this tenet been received and maintained by the catholic church, the world could never have been afflicted by the blasting presence of the Roman Pontiffs. "How far Aerius pursued this opinion, through its natural consequences, is not certainly known; but we know with the utmost certainty, that it was highly agreeable to many good christians, who were no longer able to bear the tyranny and arrogance of the bishops of this century." "There were other things in which Aerius differed from the common notions of the time: he condemned prayers for the dead, stated fasts, the celebration of Easter, and other rites of that nature, in which the multitude erroneously imagine that the life and soul of religion consists. His great purpose seems to have been that of reducing Christianity to its primitive simplicity. This was a great and noble enterprise, and places the Aerians, as those who associated themselves with Aerius were styled, in the apocalyptic category of "the remnants of the woman's seed." But the Novatian and Donatista remnants were not only reinforced by the Aerians; their strength and influence were augmented in the middle of the seventh century by the Paulicians. It was about a.d. 653, that a new sect arose in the Roman East, upon which this name was bestowed. There resided in the city of Mananalis, in Armenia, a person of the class to whom the gospel is preached, the obscure, whose name was Constantine. One day a stranger called upon him, who had been a prisoner among the Saracens in Syria, and having obtained his release, was returning home through this city. He was kindly received by Constantine, and for some days entertained at his house. The stranger had been a deacon of a church. In return for the hospitality he had received, he presented Constantine with two manuscripts; one of the "four gospels;" the other, of Paul's epistles. Constantine studied them as they deserved to be; and when he came to understand them, he would touch no other books; and commenced to teach the doctrines of Christ and his apostle to the Gentiles. He threw away his Manichaean library, exploded and rejected many popular absurdities; and led his countrymen to abandon their former teachers whom they had most venerated; and opened an effective battery upon the superstitions of the catholic church and its hierarchy. The history of the Paulicians is traceable only through the writings of their adversaries. The account given of their origin is derived from Peter the Sicilian, who was sent by Basil the Great to the Paulicians in Armenia, a.d. 870, to negotiate with them an exchange of prisoners. The following extract from Gibbon will show the special abominations against which they faithfully testified in their character of a remnant of the woman's seed. "Against the gradual innovations of discipline and doctrine," says he, "they were as strongly guarded by habit and aversion as by the silence of the Apostle Paul and the evangelists. The objects which had been transformed by the magic of superstition, appeared to the eyes of the Paulicians in their genuine and naked colors. They reasoned that an image made with hands was the common workmanship of a mortal artist, to whose skill alone the wood and canvas must be indebted for their merit and value; -- that miraculous relics were a heap of bones and ashes, destitute of life or virtue, or of any relation, perhaps, with the person to whom they were ascribed; -- that the true and vivifying cross was a piece of sound or rotten timber; -- the body and blood of Christ, a loaf of bread and a cup of wine, the gifts of nature and the symbols of grace. The Mother of God, in the creed of the Paulicians, was degraded from her celestial honors and immaculate virginity; and the saints and angels were no longer solicited to exercise the laborious office of mediation in heaven and ministry upon earth." "The Paulician teachers were distinguished only by their (assumed) Scriptural names, by the modest title of fellow-pilgrims, by the austerity of their lives, their zealous knowledge, and the credit of some extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. But they were incapable of desiring, or at least obtaining, the wealth and honors of the catholic prelacy; such antichristian pride they bitterly censured; and even the rank of elders or presbyters was condemned as an institution of the Jewish Synagogue." By the labors of Constantine, who added Sylvanus to his name, numerous disciples were made and collected into societies; and "the remnant," in a little time, was diffused over the provinces of Asia Minor and the region westward of the Euphrates. Ecclesias were constituted, as much upon the plan and model of the apostolic ecclesias as it was in their power to form them. Six of their principal congregations were designated by the names of those to which the Apostle Paul addressed his epistles; and their pastors adopted Scriptural names, as Titus, Timothy, Sylvanus, Tychicus, and so forth. "This innocent allegory," says Gibbon, "revived the memory and examples of the first ages." Their endeavour was to bring their contemporaries back to the original simplicity of Christian faith and practice. In this good and laudable enterprise Constantine Sylvanus spent twenty-seven years of his life with considerable success. The Catholic Dragon was greatly alarmed at the defections caused by his labors; and at the formidable proportions into which "the remnant" was being developed. After the ancient method of dealing with heretics, he proceeded to "cast out water like a flood" to sweep them away. He began to persecute the Paulicians with the most sanguinary severity; and the bloody scenes of the Great Fiery-Red Dragon miniaetered by Galerius and Maximin were repeated under catholic names and forms. "To their excellent deeds," says the bigoted Peter of Sicily, "the divine and orthodox emperors added this virtue, that they ordered the Montanists and Manichaeans (as he falsely styled the Paulicians) to be capitally punished, and their books, wherever found, to be committed to the flames; and further, that if any person was found to have secreted them, he was to be put to death, and his goods confiscated." "What more," asks Mr. Gibbon, "could bigotry and persecution desire?" In the outpouring of the flood, a Greek official named Simeon, armed with legal and military powers, appeared at Colonia to strike the shepherd, and to reclaim, if possible, the lost sheep of Satan's flock. By a refinement of cruelty, this monster of vengeance planted Constantine Sylvanus before a line of his disciples, who were commanded, as the price of their pardon, and a proof of their repentance, to stone him to death. But they nobly refused to imbue their hands in his blood. Only one apostate named Justus, but styled by the wretched catholics, a new David, could be found boldly to overthrow the Goliath of heresy. This Judas again deceived and betrayed his unsuspecting brethren; and as many as were ascertained and could be collected, were massed together into an immense pile, and by order of Justinian the Second, whose native cruelty was stimulated by the piety of superstition, consumed to ashes. But Simeon, the officer, who had breathed out threatenings and slaughters against them, struck with astonishment at their valor, in the face of such cruel torments, like another Paul, became a preacher of the faith he once destroyed. He renounced his honors and fortune, and three years afterwards became the successor of Constantine Sylvanus, and at last sealed his witnessing for the anointed Jesus against the apostasy with his blood. But though they did not fear to die for the faith, "the Paulicians," says Gibbon, "were not ambitious of martyrdom; but in a calamitous period of one hundred and fifty years, their patience sustained whatever zeal could inflict. From the blood and ashes of the first victims, a succession of teachers and congregations arose." The great instrument of their multiplication was the New Testament, as illustrated in the following example related by Peter of Sicily. A young man named Sergius, conversing one day with an aged woman, of the Paulician Remnant, was thus addressed by her: -- "I hear, Sir, that you excel in literature and erudition, and are besides, in every respect a good man: tell me, then, why do you not read the sacred gospels?" He answered, Nobis profanis ista legere non licet, sed sacerdotibus duntaxat -- "it is not lawful for us the profane to read them, but for the priests only." "Not so," she replied; "there is no respect of persons with God; he wills that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; but your priests, because they adulterate the word of God, do not read all to you." She then repeated to him various portions of the holy Scriptures. After hearing them, he took the gospels, examined them for himself, and became a Paulician. Sergius was an important acquisition to the remnant. For thirty-four years he devoted himself to the ministry of the word; or to give it in his own words, "From the east to the west, and from the north to the south, have I been proclaiming the good news of salvation, and laboring on my knees." And this he did with such success that the catholic clergy of Rome and Constantinople considered him to be the forerunner of Antichrist; and declared that he was producing the great apostasy foretold by the Apostle Paul! Peter of Sicily pronounced him "the wolf in sheep's clothing, the Devil's chiefest champion, the crafty dissembler of virtue (that is, an accomplished hypocrite), the enemy of the cross of Christ, a blasphemer, the hater of Christ, the mother of harlots;" "all which epithets," says Turner, "have only one meaning, namely, that he taught with great effect." The Paulician Remnant of the Woman's Seed were harassed by the ferocity of the Catholic Dragon for a long period. Michael the first, and Leo the Armenian, were foremost in the race of persecution; "but," says Gibbon, "the prize must doubtless be adjudged to the sanguinary devotion of Theodora, who restored the images to the oriental church. Her inquisitors explored the cities and mountains of the Lesser Asia, and the flatterers of the empress have affirmed that, in a short reign, one hundred thousand Paulicians were extirpated by the sword, the gibbet, or the flames!" 29. The Earth Again Runs to the Woman's Help "The most furious and desperate of rebels," says Gibbon, "are the sectaries of a religion long persecuted, and at length provoked. In a holy cause they are no longer susceptible of fear or remorse; the justice of their arms hardens them against the feelings of humanity; and they revenge their father's wrongs on the children of their tyrants." Such were the Circumcellions of Africa, the peasants of Paphlagonia, and such in the ninth century were the popular sympathizers with the Paulicians of Armenia and the adjacent provinces. History styles these sympathizers Paulicians; but history is written by men who are ignorant of the principles of the doctrine of Christ, and are the enemies of "the remnants of the woman's seed, who keep the commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of Jesus the anointed." These are neither fanatics, nor furious and desperate rebels; neither are they hardened against the feelings of humanity, nor do they seek to avenge themselves; for this they are strictly forbidden to do by Him who says, "vengeance is mine; I will repay". The furious and desperate fanatics, steeled against the Divine law and the feelings of humanity, are the serpents, the generation of vipers, in place or power, "the spirituals of the wickedness in the heavenlies," who counsel and execute the sanguinary ferocity of the Dragon and the Beast. Providence has graciously and mercifully arranged that these insatiable shedders of the blood of His saints shall be fiercely antagonized by the indignant hatred of tyranny, and the love of civil and religious liberty, common to the Scripturally enlightened of mankind; for men may have light enough to discern the folly, and hypocrisy, and diabolism, incorporated in Church and State, and yet be very far from an intelligent belief of "the truth as it is in Jesus" by which alone they can be saved. Of this earthly class were the "Paulicians," so called, who revolted and warred against the Constantinopolitan Catholic Dragon, a.d. 845-880. They were the militant Paulicians of the pike and gun, stirred up to deeds of blood and valor by the cruel torments of the clergy, in defence of the spiritual and real disciples of the apostle Paul, whose only fight was "the good fight of faith." This thirty-five years of Paulician warfare with the Dragon was "the earth running with help to the woman, and opening her mouth to swallow up the flood cast out of the Dragon's Mouth." They were first awakened to inflict death upon a governor and a bishop, who lent themselves to execute the imperial mandate for the conversion and destruction of "heretics." A more dangerous and consuming flame was kindled by Theodora's persecution, and the revolt of Carbeas, a valiant sympathizer, who commanded the imperial guards of the General of the East. His father had been skinned alive by the Catholic Inquisitors. This horrible cruelty determined him to abandon the service of the Dragon. Five thousand sympathizers joined him in renouncing their allegiance to anti-christian Rome, and in forming an alliance against her with the Saracen "Commander of the Faithful." "During more than thirty years," says Gibbon, "Asia was afflicted by the calamities of foreign and domestic war; in their hostile inroads the disciples of St. Paul were joined with those of Mohammed; and the peaceful christians, the aged parent and tender virgin (the besotted catholics) who were delivered into barbarous servitude, might justly accuse the intolerant spirit of their sovereign. So urgent was the mischief, so intolerable the shame, that Michael was compelled to march in person against the Paulicians: he was defeated under the walls of Samosata: and the Roman emperor fled before the heretics whom his mother Theodora had condemned to the flames." The valor and ambition of Chrysocheir, successor to Carbeas, embraced a wider circle of rapine and revenge. In alliance with his faithful anti-catholic Moslems, he boldly penetrated into the heart of Asia Minor. These were the times of the Moslem Woe, in which the catholics were "tormented with the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man." "The men who had the seal of Deity in their foreheads," the Paulicians, were "not hurt" by it; but, as we see, were defended by the Moslem Locusts, who, as the sword of Deity, avenged them upon "the shaven crowns" whose skulls they cleft without mercy. "In those days they sought death (or the political extinction of the State, which would relieve them of those tormenting inroads), but they found it not; and they desired to die, but the death fled from them" (Apoc. 9:4-6). The Dragon legions were repeatedly overthrown, and his edicts of persecution were responded to by the pillage of Nice and Nicomedia, of Ancyra, and Ephesus, whose cathedral was turned into a stable for mules and horses; and the Paulician sympathizers vied with the Saracens in evincing their contempt and abhorrence of the idols and relics of catholic superstition. This was a righteous retribution encouraging to behold. Truly, as Gibbon remarks, "it is not unpleasing to observe the triumph of rebellion over the same despotism which has disdained the prayers of an injured people." The dragon was reduced to sue for peace, to offer ransom for catholic captives, and to request, in the language of moderation and charity, that Chrysocheir would spare his fellow-christians, and content himself with a royal donation of gold and silver and silk garments. "If the emperor," replied the Paulician defender, "be desirous of peace, let him abdicate the East, and reign without molestation in the West. If he refuse, the servants of the Lord will precipitate him from his throne." But the time for the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire had not yet arrived. The emperor Basil the Macedonian accepted Chrysocheir's defiance, and led his army into "the land of heresy," which he wasted with fire and sword. With the death of Chrysocheir the power of the Paulicians' defenders declined. About the middle of the eighth century, Constantine Copronymus had transplanted many of the Paulicians from the Euphrates to Constantinople and Thrace; and by this emigration their doctrine was introduced and diffused in Europe. The Paulicians of Thrace struck their roots deeply into this foreign soil, where they resisted the storms of persecution, maintained a secret correspondence with their Armenian brethren, and gave aid and comfort to their preachers, who labored, not without success, among the Bulgarians. They were restored and multiplied by a more powerful colony of Paulicians transplated a.d. 970, by John Zimisces, from Armenia to Thrace. Their exile to this country was softened by a free toleration. They held the city of Philippopolis, and the keys of Thrace; the catholics were their subjects; they occupied a line of villages and castles in Macedonia and Epirus; "and many native Bulgarians," says Gibbon, "were associated to the communion of arms and heresy." As long as these Thraco-Bulgarian Circumcellions, "the Earth," were awed by power and treated with moderation, they were distinguished in the Dragon armies as volunteers; and the courage of these "dogs ever greedy of war and thirsty of human blood," is noticed with astonishment, and almost with reproach, by the pusillanimous Greeks. The same spirit rendered them arrogant and contumacious; they were easily provoked by caprice or injury; and their privileges were often violated by the faithless bigotry of the Dragon-government and clergy. The emperor Alexius Comnenus undertook to proselyte them to the reigning superstition. Those of their leaders who were contumacious were secured in a dungeon, or banished; but their lives were spared by the prudence, rather than the mercy, of the emperor, at whose command a poor and solitary heretic was burnt alive before the cathedral of St. Sophia. But the proud hope of eradicating the faith and testimony of the remnant was speedily overturned by "the invincible zeal of the Paulicians," who ceased to dissemble, or refused to obey. After the death of Alexius, they soon resumed their civil and religious laws. In the beginning of the thirteenth century their head-quarters were on the confines of Bulgaria, Croatia, and Dalmatia, with which filial relations were maintained by the Paulician congregations of France and Italy. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries they found great favor and success in these countries, which Gibbon says, "must be imputed to the strong, though secret, discontent which armed the most pious christians (catholics) against the Church of Rome," now in the seventh century of its legal supremacy over all the spiritual affairs of the Great Roman Eagle. "Her avarice," he continues, "was oppressive, her despotism odious; less degenerate, perhaps, than the Greeks in the worship of saints and images, her innovations were more rapid and scandalous: she had rigorously defined and imposed the doctrine of transubstantiation; the lives of the Latin clergy were more corrupt, and the eastern bishops might pass for the successors of the apostles, if they were compared with the lordly prelates, who wielded by turns the crosier, the sceptre, and the sword." Under the Constantinopolitan standard, the Paulicians were often transported to the Greek provinces of Italy and Sicily: in peace and war they and their sympathizers of "the earth," who were confounded with them under the same name, freely conversed with strangers and natives, and their views were silently propagated in Rome, Milan, and the newly-arisen Ten-Horn kingdoms of the Beast beyond the Alps. It was soon discovered, that many thousand catholics of every rank, and of either sex, had embraced the "heresy" of Paul; and the flames that consumed twelve cathedral priests of Orleans was the first act and signal of persecution in the West. "They spared their branches," says Gibbon, "over the face of Europe." United in common hatred of idolatry and Rome; they were connected by an ecclesiastical organization of over-seers and presbyteries, usually styled elders and pastors. The French called them "Bulgarians" by way of reproach, meaning thereby "unnatural sinners". Their catholic enemies also falsely styled them Manichaeans, and charged them with contempt of the Old Testament, and the denial of the body of Christ, either on the cross or in the bread and wine. They repudiated the catholic dogmas connected with the cross and eucharist; but they took both bread and wine, discerning by "the testimony of the anointed Jesus which they held," the representation therein of his broken body and blood, shed for remission of the sins of the many (Matt. 26:28). "A confession of simple worship and blameless manners," says Gibbon, "is extorted from their enemies; and so high was their standard of perfection, that the increasing congregations were divided into two classes of disciples, of those, who practised, and those who aspired. It was in the country of the Albigeois, in the southern provinces of France, that the Paulicians were most deeply implanted; and the same vicissitudes of massacre and uprising of "the Earth" which had been displayed in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates, were repeated in the thirteenth century on the banks of the Rhone. The laws of the Constantinopolitan Dragon and Serpent were revived by Frederick the Second, the reigning emperor of the Two-Horned Beast of the Earth, which "spake as a Dragon" (Apoc. 13:11). The barons and cities of Languedoc were "the earth that ran with help for the Woman: and Pope Innocent the Third surpassed the sanguinary and murderous renown of the ferocious Theodora. It was in cruelty alone that her soldiers could equal the Crusaders; and the cruelty of her priests was far excelled by the founders of the Inquisition. The visible assemblies of the Albigensian Paulicians were extirpated with fire and sword; and "the bleeding remnant" escaped by flight, concealment, or conformity to the hated superstition of the destroyer. But the invincible spirit which they had kindled still lived and breathed in the western world. A latent succession was preserved of "the disciples of St. Paul," who protested against the tyranny of Rome, and embraced the Bible as the rule of faith. Thus, I have briefly tracked "the remnants of the woman's seed," under the names of Novatians, Donatists, Aerians, Paulicians and Albigenses, through a long and sanguinary period of sack-cloth-witnessing of a thousand years, against the Apostasy as by law established in "the two Wings of the Great Eagle." In this weary and heart-rending journey, we have visited the Roman Africa, Armenia, Asia Minor, Thrace, Bulgaria, and working our way up the Danube, crossed the Alps into Italy and France. But how changed is the constitution of "the Great Eagle" at the close of this Millennium of Blood! When the remnants of the Woman's seed began their anti-catholic witnessing in the African Wing, the great eagle was subject only to "the Dragon the old Serpent," enthroned in Constantinople. Then there was no Pope of Rome; no Ten-Horned Beast of the Sea; no Two-Horned Beast of the Earth; nor any Image of the Beast. Then, the simple inquiry was, "Who is like the Dragon? who is able to make war with him?" for in those days they all "worshipped the Dragon," in all the length and breadth of the Roman world. But now, in the twelfth century, we stand in the Alpine regions of France and Italy as witnesses "before the god of the earth" (Apoc. 11:4); a god unknown to the Dragon in the epoch of the woman's flight, a.d. 315-345, and his pagan predecessors, in whose times he was but the simple Overseer of an ecclesia in Rome. But, ere this century, he had long become a god by the grace and power of the Dragon, who had bestowed upon him "his power, and his throne, and great authority" (Apoc. 13:2). And besides this, in surveying the subjacent landscape from the Alpine heights, we see the Beast of the Earth and the Beast of the Sea intensely catholic and hostile to "the commandments of the Deity and the testimony of the anointed Jesus". Whence came these dominions? They are the results of the outpouring of the Divine wrath upon the Dragon, in retribution of his catholic worship of daimonia and idols, and of the murders, sorceries, fornications and thefts of his clergy (Apoc. 9:20, 21); in other words, they are the results of the sounding of the wind-trumpets in answer to the prayers of "the remnants of the woman's seed," which, as "much incense," ascended, through their Golden Intercessor, before the throne (Apoc. 8:3, 4). But, while we have been making this millennial tour through the Wings of the Great Eagle, has it been all peace and spiritual tranquility in the interior regions? No; from time to time, reformers started up amidst the catholics themselves; and, as pioneers, prepared the ground for more advanced believers to cultivate and sow with the incorruptible seed. Of these pioneers was Claude, Catholic bishop of Turin, appointed to that See by Charlemagne. He was in high repute for his knowledge of the Scriptures and his first-rate talents as a preacher; in consequence of which, says the Abbe Fleury, "the French monarch being apprised of the deplorable state of darkness in which a great part of Italy was involved in reference to the doctrines of the gospel, and anxious to provide the churches of Piedmont with a teacher who might counteract the growing rage for image-worship, appointed Claude to the See of Turin, about a.d. 817." Though he died the catholic bishop of Turin, he is regarded as the spiritual father of the "meek confessors of Piedmont," who seceded from the catholic church, and became for many centuries a remnant of the woman's seed. Claude continued his zealous anti-Romish labors until a.d. 839, by which time the valleys of Piedmont were filled with his disciples; and, says Jones, "While a night of awful darkness sat brooding on almost every other part of Europe, the inhabitants of Piedmont preserved the gospel among them in its native simplicity, and rejoiced in the healing beams of the Sun of righteousness". In the tenth century, that is, from a.d. 900 to a.d. 1000, there were thirty occupants of "St. Peter's Chair." When describing this period Mosheim says: "The history of the Roman pontiffs who lived in this century, is the history of so many monsters and not of men, and exhibits a horrible series of the most flagitious, tremendous and complicated crimes, as all writers, even those of the Romish communion, unanimously confess". In this dismal period, the clergy was, for the most part, composed of a most worthless set of men, shamefully illiterate and stupid; ignorant, more especially in religious matters; equally enslaved to sensuality and superstition, and capable of the most abominable and flagitious deeds. To stem this torrent of corruption, there appeared in the south of France, in the province of Languedoc and Provence, one Peter de Bruys, about a.d. 1110. He was the founder of the Petrobrusians. His labors were successful. He taught that "the ordinance of baptism should be administered only to adults; that it was a piece of idle superstition to build and dedicate churches to the service of God, who, in worship, has peculiar respect to the state of the heart, and who cannot be worshipped with temples made with hands; that crucifixes are objects of superstition, and ought to be destroyed; that in the Lord's Supper the real body and blood of Christ were not partaken by the communicants, but only represented in the way of symbol or figure; and, lastly, that the oblations, prayers and good works of the living, can in no way be beneficial to the dead". A few years after the decease of Peter de Bruys, an Italian by birth, generally styled Henry of Toulouse, arose to bear witness against the corruptions of the time. He declaimed with fervid vehemence against the vices of the clergy and the superstitions they invented. He rejected the baptism of infants; treated the festivals and ceremonies of the catholic church with the utmost contempt, and held clandestine assemblies, in which he explained and inculcated the doctrine he set forth. Contemporary with Henry, and eight years his survivor, was Arnold of Brescia, who from a.d. 1147 to 1155, bearded the papal lion in his den. He was inferior to Peter de Bruys and Henry, neither in fortitude nor zeal, while in learning and talent he excelled them both. The zeal of this daring reformer was first directed against the wealth and luxury of the Romish clergy. He charged upon them most of the corruptions that disgraced religion, and called upon them to renounce their usurped possessions, and to lead a frugal and abstemious life on the voluntary contributions of the people. The inhabitants of Brescia revered him as the apostle of religious liberty, and rose in rebellion against their accredited bishop. Driven by persecution from place to place, he determined on the desperate experiment of fixing the standard of revolt in the very heart of Rome. He was the Garibaldi of the twelfth century. For a time he found protectors among the nobility and gentry. He harangued the populace with his usual fervor, and inspired them with such a regard for their civil and ecclesiastical rights, that a complete revolution was effected in the city. The papal Pontifex Maximus struggled in vain against this invasion of his power, and at last sunk under the pressure of calamity. His successors, Celestine and Lucius, were unable to check the popular frenzy. The leaders of the insurrection waited upon Licius, demanded the restitution of the civil rights which had been usurped from the people, and insisted that he and the clergy should trust only for their stipends to the pious offerings of the faithful, as at the beginning. The pope survived this astounding demand only a few days, when he was succeeded by Eugenius III., who, dreading the mutinous spirit of the inhabitants, withdrew from Rome, and was "consecrated" in a neighboring fortress. Arnold, who had withdrawn from Rome during this extraordinary insurrection, hearing of the escape of the newly-elected pope, repaired once more to the city, and animated with fresh vigor the energies of the populace. He called to their remembrance the achievements of their ancestors, and painted in the strongest colors the sufferings which sprung from ecclesiastical tyranny. He charged them never to admit the pontiff within their walls till they had prescribed the limits of his spiritual jurisdiction, and fixed the civil government in their own hands. The passions of the populace were aroused by these harangues; and, headed by the disaffected nobles, they attacked the cardinals and other ecclesiastics, set fire to the palaces, and compelled the inhabitants to swear allegiance to the new constitution. The excesses of this ungovernable mob, "the Earth," stirred up all the wrath of "the successor of St. Peter;" who, placing himself at the head of his troops, marched against the city, into which he was admitted after making some trifling concessions. The friends of Arnold were nevertheless still numerous, and for ten or a dozen years they "shut the heaven," or continued to agitate the city. It was not till a.d. 1154, that anything like a settled peace was established. The presence of Arnold and his witnessing brethren in the very face, as it were of "the god of the earth" was the cause of all this tumult. For it was their mission to agitate the waters, and "to shut the heaven, that it rain not in their days of the prophecy; and to turn the waters into blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they willed" (Apoc. 11:6). But at this date, a riot having ensued, Adrian IV. placed the city under an interdict, and from Christmas to Easter deprived it of all catholic worship. This gave a sudden turn to the public mind. Arnold and his friends were expelled from the city, and fled for protection to the Viscount of Campania. Thither the vengeance of the pope pursued them, and he instigated Frederick Barbarossa to force Arnold from his asylum in his territories. Immediately after this he was seized by Cardinal Gerard and burned at the stake, in the midst of the fickle populace, who gazed with stupid indifference on the bold and valiant champion who had fallen in defence of their dearest rights, and whom they had regarded with the highest veneration. "We may truly say," says Dr. Allix, "that scarcely any man was ever so torn and defamed on account of his doctrine as was this Arnold of Brescia. It was because, with all his power, he opposed the tyranny and usurpation which the popes began to establish over the temporal jurisdiction of the kings of the earth. He was the man who by his counsel renewed the design of re-establishing the authority of the Senate of Rome, and of compelling the pope not to meddle with anything but what concerned the government of the church, without invading the temporal jurisdiction; this was his crime, and this, indeed, is such a one as is unpardonable with the pope, if there be any such". Though Arnold, like Garibaldi, was a zealous anti-papist, there is no proof of his belonging to "the Holy City;" but much presumptive evidence that he did not. He was a strenuous advocate of civil and religious liberty, and heretical according to the catholic standard of orthodoxy. But he might be all this, and yet not a christian of the New Testament type. However, he was enlightened enough to impugn the dogma of transubstantiation, and to deny that baptism should be administered to infants. And this alone in catholic judgment was sufficient ground for his condemnation. The memory of Arnold was long and fondly cherished by his countrymen, and his tragical end occasioned murmurs both loud and deep. His murder was regarded as the act of the Bishop of Rome and his clergy. Arnold's friends, who were numerous, separated themselves from communion with the pope's church, and by the name of Arnoldists long continued to bear their testimony against its numerous abominations, as another of "the remnants of the woman's seed". A multitude of converts in all the southern provinces of France, and the states of Italy, resulted from the able and faithful labors of these three men. When it became aware of it, the Court of Rome became alarmed, and resorted to torture and destruction for the suppression and extermination of them, as heretics that troubled the church, or "tormented them that dwelt upon the earth" (Apoc. 11:10). "It made war upon them," and ultimately "overcame them, and killed them" (v. 7; 13:7); for what was deemed a good and sufficient reason, namely, their tormenting testimony, styled by the catholic destroyer, "Heresy." The following extract from Venema's Ecclesiastical History will serve to show in what their heresy consisted: "The chief articles of their heresy," says he, "were the following: 1. That the Holy Scriptures were the only source of faith and religion, without regard to the authority of the fathers and tradition; and although they principally used the New Testament, yet, as Usher proves from Reinier and others, they regarded the Old also as canonical scripture. From their greater use of the New Testament, however, their adversaries took occasion to charge them with despising the Old. 2. They held the entire faith, according to all the articles of the apostles' creed. 3. They rejected all the external rites of the dominant church, except baptism and the Lord's Supper; such as temples, vestures, images, crosses, the religious worship of holy relics, and the remaining sacraments, confirmation, penance, holy orders, matrimony, and extreme unction; "these they considered as inventions of Satan and the flesh, and full of superstition. 4. They rejected purgatory, with masses and prayers for the dead, acknowledging only two terminations of the present state -- heaven and hell; but in what sense of these terms, Venema says not. 5. They admitted no indulgences, nor confessions of sin, with any of their consequences, except mutual confessions of the faithful for instruction and consolation. 6. They held the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist only as signs, denying the corporeal presence of Christ in the eucharist, as we find in the book of this sect concerning Antichrist, and as Ebrard of Bethunia accuses them in his book against heresies. 7. They held only three ecclesiastical orders -- bishops, priests or presbyters, and deacons -- and that the remainder were human figments: that monasticism or monkery was a putrid carcase, and was the invention of men; and that the marriage of the clergy was lawful and necessary. 8. Finally, they asserted the Roman Church to be the Whore of Babylon; and denied obedience to the pope or bishops, and that the pope had any authority over other churches, or the power of either the civil or ecclesiastical sword". Towards the end of the twelfth century heresy of this sort grew apace; for a new impulse was given to it by the labors of another enterprising witness against Rome, named Peter Waldo of Lyons. He was an opulent merchant, whose attention was drawn to the Holy Scriptures, which he was able to read for himself in the Latin Vulgate, the only edition of the Bible at that time in Europe. From the Scriptures alone he obtained the knowledge of the way of salvation; and being enlightened in this, he began to teach it to his neighbors. He felt the necessity of their having the word in their own tongue; he therefore, rendered the four testimonies for Jesus into French. This accomplished, he proceeded to expound their contents. Reinerius Saccho, a Romish Inquisitor, says of him, that "being somewhat learned, he taught the people the text of the New Testament in their mother tongue". "His kindness to the poor," says one of the Magdeburgh Centuriators, "being diffused, his love of teaching, and their love of learning, grew stronger and stronger, so that great crowds came to him, to whom he explained the scriptures. He was himself a man of learning; nor was he obliged to employ others to translate for him, as his enemies affirm." Be this as it may, the inhabitants of Europe were indebted to him for the first translation of the Bible into a modern tongue since the time that the Latin had ceased to be a living language -- a gift of inestimable value to all who spoke French. Animated with an enlightened zeal, he repudiated all the dogmas, rites, and ceremonies of human invention; and lifted up his voice like a trumpet against the arrogance of the pope and the reigning vices of the clergy. In short, he seems to have taught the truth in its simplicity, while he exhibited in his own example its excellency, and labored most assiduously to demonstrate the difference between the teaching of the New Testament and that of the blasphemous clergy of the Latin church. These proceedings of Waldo were reported to the Archbishop of Lyons, who became very indignant. He forebade Peter to teach any more on pain of excommunication, and of being proceeded against as a heretic. But Waldo belonging to a remnant of the woman's seed, was not to be silenced by archiepiscopal authority. He replied, that though a layman, he could not be silent in a matter which concerned his fellow-creatures. Attempts were presently made to apprehend him, but without success: so that he lived concealed in Lyons for a space of three whole years. At the end of these, pope Alexander III. hearing of his doings, anathematized both him and his adherents. The shepherd and his flock were therefore scattered abroad, and like the faithful in Jerusalem on the death of Stephen, "went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:4). Waldo retired into Dauphine, where he preached with great success. Persecuted from place to place, he next retired into Picardy. Driven from thence, he proceeded into Germany, carrying along with him "the testimony of the anointed Jesus." He at length settled in Bohemia, about a.d. 1184, where he continued witnessing until death. His followers were chiefly called "Leonists," after the city of Lyons, where he commenced his labors: they were also frequently designated "the Poor of Lyons". Numbers of his disciples fled for an asylum into the Valleys of Piedmont, taking with them the new translation of the Scriptures. In this country they mingled with the Paulicians and other witnesses against Romish superstition previously existing there, and were afterwards known by the name of "Waldenses," or Vaudois: they also diffused themselves over the South of France, where they became known as "Albigenses;" for it is the same class of witnesses styled by these different names, according to the different countries, or districts of the same country in which they appeared. In Alsace and along the Rhine, the doctrines of Waldo spread extensively. Persecution followed in their wake. Thirty-five citizens of Mentz were consumed to ashes by the papists in one fire in the city of Bingen, and eighteen in Mentz itself. The bishops of Mentz and Strasburgh breathed nothing but vengeance and slaughter against them; and at Strasburgh, where Waldo himself is said to have narrowly escaped, eight persons were committed to the flames. Multitudes died praising God, and in the confident hope of resurrection to eternal life. The blood of the witnesses became the seed of a new generation of faithful ones; and in Bulgaria, Croatia, Dalmatia, and Hungary, societies were established which flourished throughout the thirteenth century. It is not surprising that the great and rapid increase of the witnesses should stimulate the Court of Rome to great activity against them. Their testimony was tormenting; and it is not in human nature to endure torment without seeking relief. Rome had but one remedy, and that was persecution to the ruin of body and estate. Councils were held in continual succession, and persecuting edicts issued to check the growing evil, though with little or no effect. The following is an extract from the fourth canon of the council of Tours, held a.d. 1163. Evidently referring to the Albigensian Remnant, it thus proceeds: "In the country about Toulouse, there sprang up long ago a damnable heresy, which, by little and little, like a cancer, spreading itself to the neighbouring places of Gascony, hath already infected many other provinces; which whilst, like a serpent, it hid itself in its own windings and twistings, crept on more secretly, and threatened more danger to the simple and unwary; wherefore we do command all bishops and priests dwelling in these parts, to keep a watchful eye upon these heretics; and under the pain of excommunication, to forbid all persons, as soon as these heretics are discovered, from presuming to afford them any abode in their country, or to lend them any assistance, or to entertain any commerce with them in buying or selling; that so at least, by the loss of the advantages of human society, they may be compelled to repent of the error of their life. And if any prince, making himself partaker of their iniquity, shall endeavor to oppose these decrees, let him be struck with the same anathema. And if they shall be seized by any catholic princes, and cast into prison, let them be punished with confiscation of all their goods. And because they frequently come together from divers parts into one hiding place, and because they have no other ground for their dwelling together save only their agreement and consent in error -- therefore we will that such their conventicles be both diligently searched after, and, when they are found, that they be examined according to canonical severity". But, while power was on the side of the oppressor, the Deity had also given power to His witnesses (Apoc. 11:3). This made their sackcloth-witnessing singularly effective, as is very plain from the following extract of a letter from the Archbishop of Narbonne to Louis VII., king of France: "My Lord the King;" says he, "We are extremely pressed with many calamities; amongst which there is one that most of all affects us, which is, that the catholic faith is extremely shaken in this our diocese; and St. Peter's boat is so violently tossed by the waves that it is in great danger of sinking"! The god of the Roman earth was exceedingly incensed at this stormy buffeting of his bark. In a.d. 1181, Lucius, the third pope of that name, fulminated his decree against them, in which he said, "We declare all Catharists, Paterines, and those who call themselves 'the Poor of Lyons,' etc., to lie under a perpetual anathema!" All who presume to buy and sell without authority from the Roman image (Apoc. 13:17) -- all who held or taught opinions concerning baptism, the Lord's Supper, remission of sins, marriage, or any of the sacraments of the church, differing from what the holy church of Rome doth teach and observe -- are to be judged heretics, and anthematized. The refusal to take an oath is to be deemed a proof of heresy, and treated accordingly; and all the afore-mentioned were to be delivered up to the secular power for punishment, and their goods confiscated to the use of the church. The clergy are enjoined to make vigilant search after all such heretics, and to call to their aid all earls, barons, governors, and consuls of cities, and other places, to execute the ecclesiastical and imperial statutes concerning these matters; and any city that refused to yield obedience to these "decretal constitutions" was to be excluded from all commerce with other cities, and deprived of the episcopal dignity. These intolerant proceedings, directed chiefly against the witnessing remnants of the woman's seed in the south of France, drove multitudes of them into and across the Pyrenees, into Spain; in consequence of which, Ildefonsus, king of Aragon, published an edict, a.d. 1194, charging and commanding all the "Waldenses, Insabbati, who are otherwise called 'the Poor of Lyons,' and all other heretics, who cannot be numbered, being excommunicated from the Holy Church, adversaries to the cross of Christ, violaters and corrupters of the Christian religion, to depart out of our kingdom, and all our dominions." Moreover, "whosoever from that day forward, should presume to receive the Waldenses, Insabbati, or any other heretics, of whatsoever profession, into their houses, or be present at their pernicious sermons, or afford them meat or any other favor, should incur the indignation of Almighty God, as well as that of his majesty -- have his goods confiscated, without the remedy of an appeal, and be punished as if he were actually guilty of high treason!" Such was the state of matters at the end of the twelfth century; and it may serve to make the reader's mind more appreciative to the appalling scenes of slaughter and carnage inflicted upon the woman's seed in the war upon them by "the Beast that ascendeth out of the abyss" (Apoc. 11:7). See Vol. 3, p. 268-269; and ch. 13:21.