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man drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. — And when I saw ber-a christian church become a bloody persecutor of christians)-I wonders' ed with great astonishment !"*
Our Lord proceeds thus to relate the sea quel. “ The Lord of that servant will come" -(though he delay a great while) -—" in a
* Rev. xvii. 6. That savage spirit of a diabolical enthusiasm, which impells mankind to imbrue. their hands in the blood of guiltless persons, on the pretence of religion, is spiritually compared to an intoxication, and that of a singular and horri. ble description ;-a furious madness, the effect not of strong drink but of blood. The holy Spirit condescends in this as in other instances to the popular opinion of the world, that carnivorous wild beasts derive their ferocious cruelty from their diet of living blood. The same figure is made use of in a still bolder inan. ner, to represent the vengeance of heaven upon the apostate persecutor of the faithful. “I will feed them that oppress thiee with their own flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine.” (Isai. xlis, 26) ---The same figure is also applied to Jerusalem, (Isai. li. 21.) See Sect. xii. p. 321,
Mr Bruce in his Travels, vol. iii. p. 142, gives an account of the flesh of animals being eaten in Abyssinia not only raw but quivering with life, being cut from the body of the animal still alive.He mentions a disease produced by so horrible a diet,
day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him äsünder,* and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." David, in the fiftieth Psalm, alludes to this infidel presumption of THE WICKED ONE, upon this long forbearance of God's judgments against such accumulated impieties.—“ Thou thoughtest wickedly that I am such an one as thyself
, but I will reprove thee, and set before thee the things that thou hast done.” Thy confident security and pride shall have a fall, and thou shalt see thy long forgotten crimes reflected in thy punishment.
I have little doubt, then, that in some (if not in all) of these instances I have cited
* Perhaps Rev. xvii. 19, (when the world shall see the actual accomplishment of that prophecy,) may afford an explanation of this figurative punishment of the EVIL SÉRVANT-cutting asunder,—by which, as a peculiar phrase, some thing very particular seems intended.
In consequence of the effects of the six preceding plagues, in the seventh the great city (or pa. pal confederacy) is rent by a schism more terrible than any before experienced, into THREE PARTS,—and the remaining dependent kingdoms fall off from their spiritual subjection, and ruin ensues. VOL. II.
from the discourses of our Lord, most people will agree with me in thinking that he had a prophetic meaning; and that the great apostacy afterwards to arise in his church, and which had been the subject of many prophecies before his time, and would again employ the prophetic pen after his departure, was on such occasions in his eye.—That he designedly so framed his discourse, that a comparison so strikingly obvious might be drawn at length, and most of the errors of the corrupt church stand confuted by the express words of Jesus Christ himself. *
* The parables of the husbandman and the vineyards--the barren fig tree, &c. I consider as being of the nature of double prophecies. They apply, in the first sense, to the unbelieving jews, and the fall of Jerusalem ; but they are also applicable to the antichristian husbandmen and fig tree, and their extirpation. Of our Saviour's reproof of the fastings of the pharisees, their love of long robes and chief seats, &c. I have taken no notice ; but the distinction of meats, and other popish absurdities, are by St Paul reckoned amongst the “ doctrines of devils,' - And the habits of the religious orders, and pomp of priestly vestments in popery, are notoriously absurd,mas Erasmus, and many others of their own communion, have acknowledged.
Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream
of the great image, the type of the four great uni. versal monarchies.--The last of them, or the Roman empire, of great importance in a propheta ical view.--Some of its distinguishing peculiarities concisely noticed.
HAVING in the course of the preceding sections had frequent occasion to advert to the famous prophecy of Daniel, which he delivered in the exposition of Nebuchadnezzar's dream,* I come now to shew the connection it has with the prophecies, which have been the subject of the foregoing reflections.
This is almost the first prophecy we meet with in scripture, that descends with any great degree of minuteness of description, or distinctness of prophetic discovery, into the then very remote periods of the last times. It is as it were an outline or ground plan, according to which, the construction of all succeeding prophecy is to be disposed, as a fabric upon its foundation previously traced out for it. Whatever has been delivered after this, is the filling up and opening out of the several parts, which are here traced obscurely and with little more than a mere outline, but such an one as evidently betrays the hand of a master, and the same majestic stile of figuring which is brought out fuller to the sight in successive prophecies in different ages, by the repetition of the parts here dismissed with a few bold and rapid touches of the prophetic pencil here and there,
* Daniel ii.