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In which is considered which thousand years of the world will be the Millennium, and when it will begin.
All who attend to the subject of the Millennium will naturally inquire. When this happy lime will take place; and how long it will be before it shall be introduced? And some who have undertaken to find from scripture, and to tell the precise time and the year when it will begin, have been evidently mistaken, because 478the time on which they fixed for this, is passed, and the event has not taken place. From this, some have concluded, that it is uncertain whether there will ever be such a time; and others have exploded all attempts to find from scripture when this time will be.
Though there be good reason to conclude that the exact time, the particular day or year of the beginning of the Millennium cannot be known, and that it will be introduced gradually, by different successive great and remarkable events, the precise time of which cannot be known before they take place; and that the prophecies respecting it are so formed on design, that no man can certainly know when the event predicted shall be accomplished, within a year, or a number of years, until it is manifest by the accomplishment, as such knowledge would answer no good end, but the contrary: yet there is no reason to suppose that this is left wholly in the dark, and that it is impossible to know, within a thousand, or hundreds of years, when this glorious day shall commence, which is so much the subject of prophecy, in which the glory which is to follow the sufferings of Christ, and the afflictions of his church, will chiefly consist, so far as it relates to the transactions of time.
Though it may be evident from scripture, that the seventh thousand years of the world will be the time of the prosperity of the church of Christ on earth; yet this event may come on by degrees, and be in a measure introduced years before that time; and the church may not be brought to the most complete and happy state of that day, but still have farther advances to make, after this seventh thousand years begin, and continue some years after they are ended: So that the particular year of the beginning or end of this time, cannot be known, before it actually takes place.
It is thought that there is reason to conclude from divine revelation, that the seventh millenary of the world, will be the time in which the church of Christ will enjoy a Sabbath of rest, and be brought to its highest and chief prosperity in this world, which is so much the subject of scripture prophecy; and that the end of the world, and the day of general judgment, will take place soon after this Millennium is over. The following observations are designed to point out some of the evidence of this.
It has been already observed. That the creation of the natural world in six days, and the seventh being appointed to be a day of rest, does afford an argument that the moral world, or the church and kingdom of Christ, of which the natural world is a designed type, in many respects, will be six thousand years in forming, in order to be brought to such a state, as in the best manner to enjoy a thousand years of rest, peace and prosperity; a day in the natural world, in this instance, representing a thousand years in the moral world: And that time being thus divided into sevens, to have a perpetual rotation to the end of it, denotes that the world 479is to stand but seven thousand years, as “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” And that this has been handed down as the opinion of many ancients, both Jews and christians.684684 See Sect. I. page 439, 440, with the note there. It is acknowledged, that this argument is not sufficient to establish this point, considered by itself alone; but it is thought to have some weight, when joined with other arguments from scripture which coincide with this, and serve to strengthen it.
It is observable, that the number seven is the most noted number mentioned in scripture, in many respects, and is a sacred number above all others. And in the Mosaic ritual, which contained many typical institutions, the Israelites were commanded, not only to observe every seventh day, as a day of rest; but every seventh year as a Sabbath, and year of rest. And the seventh month in every year was a festival and sacred month, above all other months of the year. In this month was the feast of tabernacles, which was to be observed seven days with great joy. On the first day of this month was the feast of trumpets, when the trumpets were to be blown through all the land, which was a type of the extraordinary preaching of the gospel which will introduce the Millennium. And on the tenth day was their annual and most solemn fast, on which they were to confess their sins and afflict their souls, and atonement was made for them. Which was a figure of the repentance and extraordinary humiliation, to which the inhabitants of the world will be brought, by the preaching of the gospel, attended with the dispensations of divine Providence suited to promote this, previous to their being raised up to the prosperity and joy of that day. And then the joyful feast of ingathering, in the end of the year, came on, on the fifteenth day of the same month. This was a type of the happy, joyful Millennium in the seventh and last thousand years of the world, in which vast multitudes, even most of the redeemed, will be gathered into the church and kingdom of Christ; in comparison with whom, all who shall have been saved before this time, are but the first fruits of the purchase of Christ.
It is evident that this feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month was a designed type of the Millennium, from what has been now observed, and what has been said on the three most remarkable feasts appointed in the law of Moses, in the preceding section; but this evidence is strengthened, and made certain, by what is said by the Prophet Zechariah. When he is speaking of the Millennium, and predicting that happy day, he says, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles.”685685 Zech. xiv. 16. By the feast of Tabernacles are meant the enjoyments and blessings of the Millennium, of which all nations shall then partake, and which were typified by that feast.
All these things seem to point out the seventh thousand years of the world to be the time of the Millennium. But there is yet greater evidence of this, which will serve to strengthen what has been observed, and shew that it is not mere conjecture.
The prophecies in the book of Daniel, of the rise and continuance of the little horn, and of the time in which the church shall be in a state of affliction; and those in the Revelation, of the continuance of the beast, who is the same with the horn; and of the duration of the afflicted state of the church during that time, when examined, and compared, will lead to fix on the seventh thousand years of the world to be the time of the Millennium.
In the Revelation, the time of the continuance of the beast, after his deadly wound was healed, is said to be forty and two months.686686 Rev. xiii. 5. And the time in which the church should be trodden down, afflicted and oppressed, is said to be forty and two months, a thousand, two hundred and sixty days, and a time, and times, and half a time.687687 Chap. xi. 2, 3. xii. 6, 14. The same term of time is denoted by each of these expressions. A year was then reckoned to contain three hundred and sixty days; and a month consisted of thirty days. In forty and two months were a thousand, two hundred and sixty days. And a time, and times, and half a time, are three years and a half, which contain forty and two months, and a thousand, two hundred and sixty days. So long the beast, the idolatrous persecuting power, exercised by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is to continue; during which time, the church of Christ is to be oppressed, afflicted and opposed, represented by the holy city being trodden under foot by the Gentiles; the two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth; and a woman persecuted and flying into the wilderness, to hide herself from her enemies, where she is fed and protected during the reign of the beast, which is to continue a thousand, two hundred and sixty years, a prophetical day being a year. At the end of those years, the Pope and the church of Rome, of which he is the head, will be destroyed. And according lo the representation in the Revelation, the kingdom of the devil in the world, will fall at the same time, and the kingdom of Christ be set ap on the ruins of it, and the Millennium will take place.
If it were known when the bishop of Rome first became what is designed to be denoted by the beast, the time of his fall, and of the end of the church of Rome, and of Satan’s kingdom in the world, when the Millennium will commence, could be ascertained to a year. But as this beast rose gradually from step to step, till he became a beast, in the highest and most proper sense, this. involves the subject in some degree of uncertainty, and renders n more difficult to determine, at which considerable increase and advance of the bishop of Rome in power and influence, the thousand, two hundred and sixty years began. He had great influence, not only in the church, in the ecclesiastical matters, but 481in the temporal affairs of the Roman empire, and of the kingdoms which were erected in it, by the invasion of the northern nations, before he was publicly acknowledged and declared to be universal bishop; which was done in the year of Christ, 606. This greatly increased his influence and power in the christian world: and the church was now become exceeding corrupt. If the 1260 years be reckoned from this time, they will end in the year 1866, seventy four years from this time, viz. 1792. But the Pope did not become a temporal prince, and publicly assume civil jurisdiction, till the year 756, when Pepin, the king of France, then the most powerful prince in Christendom, made him prince over a large dominion, and he assumed civil authority, and upon this he subdued three kings or kingdoms, and they fell before him, according to the prediction of him in the prophecy of Daniel.688688 Dan. vii. 8, 20, 24. And he soon had such power over the nations, as to set up an emperor in Germany, to be his tool, by whom to raise himself to universal empire, reserving to himself and claiming power over the emperor, and over all kings in the christian world, to set them up and crown them, or depose them when he pleased.
This is the most remarkable epoch; when the Pope became a beast, in the most proper sense, from whence his reign is to be dated. Twelve hundred and sixty years from this date, 756, will end near the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world. But as he rose to this height gradually, and was a beast in a lower sense long before this, it is reasonable to suppose that he will fall by degrees, until his usurped power is wholly taken from him, and the false church of Rome, the great whore, utterly destroyed; and that he has been falling many years; and that as the time of his reign draws nearer to a close, more remarkable events, by which he and that church will come to total ruin, will take place in a more rapid succession. But this will be more particularly considered in the next section.
Therefore, these prophecies of the rise and fall of Antichrist, or the beast, and the time of his reign, and of the afflicted state of the church of Christ, fix the end of these, and of the reign of Satan in the world of mankind, near the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world, when the Millennium will be introduced; though many things will take place before that time, by which the Pope and his interest will gradually decline and sink, and in favour of the church and kingdom of Christ, to prepare the way for the introduction of the Millennium.
In the book of Daniel, the same idolatrous, persecuting power, and the time of the continuance of it, and of the oppressed state of the church are predicted: And the time is fixed, and expressed by a time, and times, and an half, or the dividing of time;689689 Dan. vii. 25. xii. 7. which is the same mentioned by St. John, in the Revelation, and is 1260 prophetic days; that is, so many years, as has been observed above. There it is said by him who interpreted to Daniel 482the vision of the four beasts, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and tread it down and break it in pieces.” This is the Roman empire. “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise. And another shall arise after them, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: And they shall be given into his hand, until a time, and time, and the dividing of time.”690690 Dan. vii. 23, 24, 25. This last horn, king or ruling power, is evidently the same with the little horn mentioned in the eighth chapter; and is the same with the beast when he was recovered to life, after he had been wounded unto death, which St, John saw, that is, the Pope of Rome, in whom the power and idolatry of this empire is revived and continued. The character given of each is the same in substance; and the time of their continuance is the same, which must end, according to every probable calculation, at or about the end of the sixth thousand years of the world, or about two thousand years after the incarnation of Christ.691691 See bishop Newton’s Dissertation on the Prophecies. And at the end of this time, this power and kingdom is to be destroyed, and to total end put to the Roman empire, represented by the beast: And the kingdom of Christ, in its fulness and glory, shall then take place, in the universal prevalence and reign of his church and people, which is expressed in the following words:—“But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it to the end. And the kingdom, and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”692692 Dan. vii. 26, 27.
In the eighth chapter of Daniel, we have a different representation of this same kingdom, power or empire, by a little horn which came forth out of one of the four horns, into which the Grecian empire, founded by Alexander the great, was divided, some time after his death. This is the Roman, or fourth and last empire, upon the destruction of which the kingdom of Christ is to prevail, and fill the world. Daniel describes this little horn, as it appeared to him in the vision, in the following words: “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great towards the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host, and of the stars, to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice, 483by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered.”693693 Dan. viii. 9, 10, 11, 12. And this vision is explained by the angel interpreter in the following part of the chapter.694694 Verse 23-25. What is said of this horn respects the Roman kingdom and empire, from the beginning and end of it, the ruin of which shall open the way for the kingdom of Christ to flourish in the world, and the reign of the saints on the earth. And what is said of this power or kingdom here respects the idolatry that should be supported and practiced by it, and the opposition it should make to God and his people, in which it should prevail, and have power to oppress and persecute the saints: and there is special reference to the Pope and those under his influence and direction, when he should be at the head of this empire, and rule in it, who is particularly designed in the seventh chapter, denoted by the little horn, “which had eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things; which should make war with the saints, and prevail against them; and speak great words against the Most High, and wear out the saints of the Most High.”695695 Dan. vii. 8, 21, 25. This power, indeed, did oppose and destroy the mighty and holy people, and stand up against the Prince of princes, before it existed, and was exercised by antichrist in the church of Rome. Jesus Christ the Prince of princes was put to death by this power. And this horn persecuted the church, especially at times, for near three hundred years after the death of Christ; all of which is included in the description of the horn or kingdom which is the chief subject of this chapter; but there is particular and chief reference to what this power would be and do, when in the hands of antichrist, for he, above all others, has spoken great things, and opened his mouth to blaspheme God and the saints: He has introduced and promoted the grossest idolatry, and stood up against the Prince of princes; has magnified himself in his heart even to the prince of the host, the Lord Jesus Christ; and has been the most cruel and bloody persecutor of the saints for many ages: He has cast down the truth to the ground, and practised and prospered, and has destroyed vast numbers of the holy people, or the saints. Gabriel, who was or dered to make Daniel understand the vision, said to him, “Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: For at the time appointed the end shall be.”696696 Dan. viii. 19. His interpretation had chief respect to the latter end of this kingdom under the reign of antichrist, in whose end the kingdom should be ruined, and exist no more.
The question is here asked, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Bishop Newton says, “In the original there is no such word as concerning; and Mr. Lowth rightly observes, that the words may be rendered more agreeably to the Hebrew thus. For how long a 484 time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken away, and the transgression of the desolation continue, &c. After the same manner the question is translated by the seventy, and in the Arabic version, and in the Vulgar Latin.”
The answer is, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”697697 Dan. viii. 13,14. These are no doubt prophetical days, a day being put for a year. The time therefore specified is two thousand and three hundred years. All the difficulty in fixing on the time of the end of these days, lies in determining at what time the reckoning begins. This is left in a degree of uncertainty, as is the beginning of the reign of antichrist, which is to continue twelve hundred and sixty years; the reason of which doubtless is, that it should not be precisely known to a day or year, when this time will end, till it shall be actually accomplished, while it is made certain, the time of the end is fixed, and they who are willing to attend to the subject, and make use of all the light that is offered, may have sufficient evidence to determine within a few years when the time will be, and not be left in a total uncertainty about it.
The little horn, which is the chief subject of this vision, and was to do such great things against the holy people, the church, came forth out of one of the four notable horns, toward the four winds of heaven, which grew out of the goat, after the one great horn was broken, which the goat had at first.698698 Verse 8. The goat is the king of Grecia, or the Grecian empire, erected by Alexander the great, who was the first king, or the great horn.699699 Verse 21. After the death of Alexander, and when his successors in his family were extinct, four kings were set up, and divided the great empire between them into four kingdoms, which division was toward, or according to the four winds, East, West, North and South. Cassander, one of the four kings, took the western part of the empire, or the western kingdom, containing Macedon, Greece, &c. Out of this horn came forth the little horn, which “waxed exceeding great, toward the South, and toward the East, and toward the pleasant land.”700700 Verse 9. This horn Gabriel explains to be “A king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, who shall stand up.”701701 Verse 23. The Romans are meant by this horn, who were west of Greece, and may be considered as included in the western part of the empire, which was one of the four horns, out of which they rose, and soon were conspicuous; and Prideaux says, “Their name began to grow of great note and fame among foreign nations, by their conquests in a few, not above five or six and twenty years, after the above mentioned partition of the empire of the goat, into four horns or kingdoms. And they were a distinct people, and doubtless made some figure, when the four horns first existed. From this time, and this small beginning, the Romans arose by their policy, power and conquests, until they arrived to a vast and universal empire. And as they existed 485as a people when the Grecian empire was divided into four kingdoms or horns, and they were really included in the western horn, and soon rose out of it, and went on and grew to universal empire, their beginning may properly be reckoned from the time when the western horn or kingdom arose, in which they were included, as they soon after that became a distinct power and kingdom, and were a little horn, and proceeded to conquer and destroy the horn, out of which they came, and to subdue all the other horns.
This partition of the Grecian empire into four kingdoms or horns was just about three hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, or the beginning of the christian era. And as the incarnation of Christ was about the beginning of the fifth thousand years of the world, two thousand and three hundred years from the rise of the four horns will end at or near the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world. Or if the beginning of the little horn should not be reckoned from that time, but from the time when the Roman power or horn began to be conspicuous and acknowledged among the nations, two thousand three hundred years from that time will carry them but a few years beyond the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world; so that this number serves to confirm what has been observed from the other numbers in Daniel, and the Revelation, viz. That the reign of antichrist, who is the last head of the Roman empire, will end about the beginning of the seventh millenary of the world, when the Millennium will begin, and the meek, the saints, shall inherit the earth, take the kingdom and reign with Christ.
In the last chapter of Daniel. “One said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” The answer is made m a very solemn manner, in the following words: “It shall be for a time, times, and an half. And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” He who shall scatter the power of the holy people or the saints, is the same with the horn, mentioned in the seventh chapter, who should “wear out the saints of the Most High;” which is the same event which is here expressed in different words. And the time of his doing this, is the same which is mentioned here: “And they shall be given into his hand, until a time, and times, and the dividing of time.”702702 Dan. vii. 25. That is, three prophetical years and an half, in which are 1260 prophetical days, which are put for so many years. And this is the same power which is called a beast in the Revelation, who was to do the same thing mentioned here, viz. It was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them! And the same time is there fixed for his doing this. “And power was given unto him to continue (or practise and make war) forty and two months,” after he was recovered to life from being wounded unto death;703703 Rev. xiii. 3, 5, 7.486which is just three years and an half, or twelve hundred and sixty days.
Daniel heard, but did not understand the answer, and therefore put the following question, “Then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” The answer is, “From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand, two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand, three hundred and five and thirty days.” Here are two different numbers or times mentioned, and neither of them agrees exactly with the foregoing answer. In that, the time of the continuance of the persecuting power, which shall scatter and wear out the saints, is limited to 1260 years. In the answer to Daniel’s question, two different numbers of years are mentioned, when those evil things shall come to an end, and the prophanation of the church, and the worship and ordinances of Christ, shall cease, and the church shall be restored to due order, and be blessed and brought to a happy glorious state, viz. 1290, and 1335 years. The first is 30 years longer than the time mentioned above, and in the Revelation, and the last exceeds it 75 years. This seeming difference may be reconciled by observing, that these answers do not respect precisely the same event. The former expresses the time of the continuance and reign of antichrist, in which he shall oppress the church of Christ: And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, he shall be destroyed. The latter looks forward to the recovery of the church of Christ, from her low, afflicted, broken state, to a state of peace and prosperity, in the proper use and enjoyment of the worship, institutions and ordinances of Christ, which had been so greatly corrupted by the false church of Rome. It may take some time to effect this, after the Pope and the church of Rome are wholly destroyed and extinct. As the corruption and perversion of the church, worship and ordinances of Christ, was bi ought on by degrees, and considerable advances were made in this, after antichrist arose, and the Pope became a persecuting beast; so doubtless the church will not be wholly purified when this beast shall be destroyed; but it will be some time after this, before all corruptions and errors in doctrine and practice will be wholly extirpated, and the church appear in her true beauty, and come to a state of universal, established peace and prosperity. Within thirty years after the beast shall be slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame, or at the end of 1290 years, the church may become universal, and all nations be members of it; and it may arrive to a state of great purity and peace, and an end be put to all her troubles, and most of the wicked be swept off from the face of the earth, by some remarkable event, and sudden stroke; by which the kingdom of Satan shall be nearly extinct; and his influence among mankind almost wholly cease. But the church of Christ may not arrive to the most pure and happy state which it shall enjoy, under forty or 487fifty years after this. For this happy period christians must wait; and they will be in a peculiar and high degree blessed, who shall come to this happy and glorious stale of the church, when the first resurrection shall be universal and complete, and the millennial state established, and brought to its full stature, and proper height in holiness and happiness, which look place in a considerable degree, and might properly be said to have began a number of years before. But these events, and the precise time and manner of their taking place, will be fully known, and the prophecies by which they are foretold will be belter understood, when they shall be actually accomplished; and all the mistakes which are now made respecting them will be rectified; until which time, they must be in some measure sealed Nevertheless, it may be evident from divine revelation, that the end of the reign of antichrist draws near, and the lime of deliverance of the church from the dark and low state in which it has been near twelve hundred years, and of the ruin of the kingdom of Satan in the world, is not far off; and that these great events will come on within two hundred years, or about that time; and that the seventh thousand years of the world is the time fixed for the prosperity of the church of Christ, and the reign of the saints on earth. And it is hoped that what has been now observed on this point is sufficient to convince every unprejudiced, attentive inquirer, that there is satisfactory evidence from prophecy, and other things contained in scripture, that the predicted Millennium will take place at that time.
It has been observed, that as antichrist rose gradually, from
one degree of influence and power to another, till he became a complete beast, so
this persecuting, idolatrous antichristian power will fall by degrees, until it
is wholly taken out of the way: And there may, and probably will be, 1260 years
between the most remarkable steps by which he rose, and as great and remarkable
steps by which he is to fall, and go into perdition.704704 The time of the captivity of the Jews by the Babylonians, was fixed in
the prophecy of Jeremiah to seventy years. But this prediction had reference to
different beginnings and endings It was just seventy years from the first captivity,
in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, when Daniel and many other Jews were carried to
Babylon, to the decree of Cyrus, giving leave to the Jews to return, and ordering
that the temple and Jerusalem should be rebuilt. And it was seventy years from the
destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, to the publishing of the decree of Darius,
by which the building of the temple was completed, and the Jews restored to their
So, the 1260 years of the captivity of the church of Christ, in spiritual Babylon, will doubtless have different beginnings, and consequently different endings. As the power and tyranny of the bishop and church of Rome rose from less beginnings to their full height; so the fall is to be gradual, till it is completed: And from each remarkable advance, there are 1260 years, to as remarkable, successive events, by which the kingdom and the power of the beast shall decline, and be utterly destroyed.
The corruption and apostasy of the church had early beginnings, and the usurped, tyrannical, and worldly power of the 488bishops, especially of the bishop of Rome, soon began to take place. The apostle Paul speaking of the grand apostasy which has actually taken place in the church of Rome, under the influence and power of the man of sin, that is, the Pope, says, that the seeds of all this were then sown, and this mystery of iniquity did then begin to work with power and energy, ἐνερ γεῖται which was to be kept under powerful restraints for a while, but should openly appear and be acted out when these restraints should be taken off.705705 2 Thess. ii. 3-8. In the third century, “The bishops assumed, m many places, a princely authority, particularly those who had the greatest number of churches under their inspection, and who presided over the most opulent assemblies They appropriated to their evangelical function, the splendid ensigns of temporal majesty: A throne surrounded with ministers, exalted above their equals the servants of the meek and humble Jesus, and sumptuous garments dazzled the eyes and the minds of the multitude, into an ignorant Veneration for their arrogated authority.”706706 Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History: Third century, Chap. II. And about the middle of that century, Stephen, the bishop of Rome, a haughty ambitious man, aspired to a superiority and power over all the other bishops and churches, and his preeminence in the church universal was acknowledged. From this time to the reformation from popery in the sixteenth century, when the Pope began to fall in a remarkable degree, and lost a great part of his power and influence, which he is never like to regain, are 1260 years. Luther, the first reformer, arose in the year of Christ 1517. If we reckon back from that time, 1260 years will carry us to the year 257, which is the very time in which Stephen, bishop of Rome, claimed and usurped the power and preeminence abovementioned, and which was, in some measure at least, granted to him.
And as this man of sin rose higher and higher, and became more conspicuous by one remarkable step after another, in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh centuries, until he was publicly invested with temporal dominion, about the middle of the eighth century, viz. in the year 756, when he became a complete beast, and assumed the greatest authority, both in civil and religious matters, in the christian world, and in fact had more power and influence over all persons and things in the church and state, than any other man; so there is good reason to conclude, he will gradually fall, by one remarkable event after another, from the time of the reformation in the sixteenth century, when his power and influence in the christian world were so greatly eclipsed, until this son of perdition shall be utterly destroyed, not far from the end of the twentieth century, or the beginning of the seventh thousand years of the world. And with the fall of this son of Satan, the kingdom of Satan, which has been so great and strong in this world for so long a time, will come to an end, and he will be cast out of the earth, and chained down in the 489bottomless pit: Which event will be succeeded by the kingdom of heaven, which shall comprehend all the men then on earth, in which the saints shall reign a thousand years.
The facts and events which have taken place since that time, especially in the present century, coincide with such a conclusion, and serve to strengthen and confirm it. The Pope and the hierarchy of the church of Rome are sinking with a rapid descent.—The kings and nations who once wandered after this beast, and joined to support and exalt this antichristian power, now pay little regard to him. They neither love nor fear him much, but are rather disposed to pull him down and strip him of his riches and power. The dissolution of the society of the Jesuits banishing them, and confiscating their riches, who were a great support of that church and the Pope; the kings taking from the Pope the power which he claimed, as his right, to nominate and appoint all the bishops to vacant sees, and actually taking it upon themselves to do this, by which a vast stream of money, which used to be poured into the coffers of the Pope, is taken from him and falls into the hands of these kings:—The increase and spread of light, by which the tyranny, superstition and idolatry of the church of Rome and its hierarchy are more clearly discerned, and exposed to the abhorrence and contempt of men; and especially the great increase of the knowledge of the nature, reasonableness and importance of religious and civil liberty, and the rapid spread of zeal among the nations to promote these: All these are remarkable events, which, among others not mentioned, serve to confirm the above conclusion, that the Pope is falling with increasing rapidity. And there is reason to expect from what has come to pass, and is now taking place, and from scripture prophecy, that yet greater and more remarkable events will soon take place, and come on in a swift and surprising succession, which will hasten on the utter overthrow of the beast and all his adherents: And that the time predicted will soon come, when the ten horns, or kings, who have agreed in time past, and given their kingdom unto the beast, shall change their minds, and hate the whore, and make her desolate, and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.707707 Rev. xvii. 16, 17.
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