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another: Now the Church of Rome must be declared to be the Mother, Chief, and Head of all other Churches; now the Biihbp of Rome takes upon him to be Christ's Vicar, the Title of UniverJal Bistwp, and Head of the Churches upon Earth 7 whereas the true Church has but one Head, and that is Jesus Christ. Now Antichrist having climbed up so high, as to pretend to be the Universal Head and Bishop of the Church under Christ, to rule over the Consciences of Men, to give and to dispense of Laws, as he pleaseth: He having, I say thus ftept up, and settled himself a little time in the Saddle or Seat of his Antichristian Government \ this proud Monster was not satisfy'd yet, until
this proud Monster was not satisfy'd yet, until at last he claims not only the Ecclesiastical, but the Civil Power; and makes Princes, Kings, and Emperors, bow at his Feet, and kiss his Toe, whilst he kicks their Crowns off their Heads, at his pleasure. Well! This sufficiently appears to be the Antichrist spoken of, and points him out to us, in these Words, as it were by the Finger. Whatever Sense otherExrnfitors are pleased to give upon this Text,in applying of it toSyria andi^ypf,pofiessed by theSeleucids. 2x\ALagid&, ©V. matters little to me, because I am sully satisfy'd that the Roman or Fourth Monarchy is held forth unto us in these Words and that it being thus diverse srovi the rest, does but shew that different Form of Government held by the Papal orAntichristianVower, as being reared up out of the Ruin or Decay of the Roman Empire; which I take to be the fame with the little Horn iming up out of theTenHoms; which is explained 'the Apostle John, in the 17th of Revelations, be Ten Kings or Kingdoms; these having one Mind, and being agreed in this Point, shall give their Power and Strength unto the Beast; that is, these ten Kingdoms or Nations having consented and agreed to give up their Power and Strength, for the holding up of this Atttichristian Beast, give way and make room for another Born to rile out of them •, that is, a different and strange Form of Government, erected, held up, and maintained by the Pope and his Antichristian Church, in his Pretence to the Civil as well as the Ecclesiastical I'ower.This little Htm that is said to rise up from or amongst the Ten, had Eyes like the Eyes of a Man; and does signifie what Wisdom, Cunning, and subtil Craftiness, they should make use of in the framing of this Government. And it had. a Mouth freaking great things: That is, he shall be exceeding high and haughty in his Words, pretending to great and extraordinary Matters, even to the blaspheming of God and his Tabernacle, Rev.xiii. 6.
But to return again to the Consideration of the -th Verse •, This Fourth Beast, or the Roman Empire under its Papal Power, who had the Man of Sin, or the Antichrist spoken of, as its chief Head, is said to be dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly: Dreadful and terrible he has been to Nations and Kingdoms round about him, by fire, Sword, and bloody Massacres. Dreadful and terrible he has been to the Church and People of God, by afflicting, wounding, and persecuting of them even unto Deaths by devising of a thousand Torments and Cruelties. Dreadful and terrible he has been to Princes, Kings, and Emperors, by his dreadful Bulls and Excommunications, that used to rrible to Nations and Kingdoms, in cursing
them (if they displeased him) to the Devil, byBell, Book, and Candle. And strong exceedingly j and well he might, whilst he had the Strength of Ten Horns or Kingdoms, to hold him up: Out of which he formed (as before) a Double Power i which power he improv'd to the uttermost, to make all stand in fear of him, and to vender after the Beast. What dreadful and terrible Exploits has he done by this Power, when he was in his Heighth; that no earthly Monarch in the World could ever pretend unto!
Here is another thing that he had ; and that was his great Iron Teeth. This further denotes his Cruelty •, for with them he devoured and broke in pieces. Oh how terribly has he bitten the Church, and persecuted the People of God, without Pity or human Bowels! He knew not how to spare any that came within his Clutches : These Iron Teeth (like those that eat Man's Flesh) were for devouring all that came to hand, in destroying, as far as possibly he could, Soul and Bcdy together. Wee be to them (with respect to their Bodies or Outward Man, at least) that came betwixt the Teeth of this Beast •, for they are very sharp. This is the Devil's Work; it is he thst whets and sharpens these Teeth, to do his Drudgery: They cut thro' where they come, without making any benes of them. Many Thousands have felt the dreadful Sharpness of these Iron Teeth: It was from the Face of this serpentine Beast, that the Woman, the Church ( who did retain the Doctrines of the Gospel, in their Purity both of Faith and Order ) was forced to flee into the Wilderness, where God had prepared a Place for her Safety -, otherwise none could
have escaped his Cruelty. But this is not all What his barbarous Teeth could not come at> he endeavours with his foul and hellish Feet to stamp down, and to destroy-, which Feet are of the same nature with the Iron Teeth. All this Cruelty is acted with one and the fame Power. The Words run thus; And stamped the Rejidne with the Feet of it. These Feet have done a world of Mischief. How has this monstrous Beast not only trampled upon the Necks of Kings and earthly Princes-, but it has trampled upon the Necks of the Saints •, it has trampled upon their Persons, their Good Names, Estates, and whatsoever was near and dear to them -. It has trampled upon the Word of God, with the precious Truths of the Gospel. What Mischief this bloody Beast could not do with the Teeth of Cruelty, it has endsavoured to do with its Feet, by its Emissaries, Cardinals, Doctors, Jesuits, Priests, Monks, and Friars-, with the whole Nest and Locust of Errors and Heresies, coming out of the Smoke of the Bot* tomlefs Pit. Oh how has the Truth of Christ been darken'd, and the clear Waters of the Sanctuary been muddied! Yea, hath not this Beast set its foul Feet into our Waters, so that the Saints cannot drink the clear Stream, as it comes from the Fountain: Though, blessed be God, we are delivers in some measure from the Iron Teeth -, it cannot bite us now, as it has done the most that it can do in this respect, is only to grin and set its Teeth at us , Yet we are not altogether free from its Feet j I mean in respect to its mndding the pure Streams of theGrace of theGospel.Wherever theGoress, and Unmixedness$ there theBeast may be said to set its foul Feet. This is certain; If it cannot set its Feet upon the precious Truths of God, so as to destroy them; it will endeavour to be setting of its Feet upon them, so as to cloud them, darken them, mud them, and deface the Excellency of them: And this we have and do dismally experience to this day. How has the Doctrine of Free Grace, and Justification, by the imputed Righteousness of Christ alone, been darken'd; together with the Glory of Christ's blessed Kingdom, and almost every Truth of the Gospel! Rev. ix. 2. And he opened the bottomless Pit, and there arose a Smoke out of the Pit, as the Smoke of a great Furnace: And the Sun and the Air were darken'd, by reason of the Smoke of thePit.lt is by reason of thisSmoke we cannot fee so clearly into many precious Truths oiChrist: It is by reason oj this dark Smoke and foul Feet, that the Glory of Christ's Visible Kingdom in this World, cannot be seen by many of the Saints: It is this Smoke (whatever they may think) that is so offensive to their Eyes : It is the Devil that endeavours to blow it up (either immediately himself,or by his Instruments) which makes them quarrel and be so offended at the Truth. It is by reason of this dark Smoke, that there are so many Divisions' among the Saints, that the People of God cannot agree, nor walk comfortably together. But I hope (and Grounds there are for to hope) that the Time is at hanl when all this Smoke, Mist, and Darkness, shall be disperst and blowu off from the Eyes of all the Saints, by the Rising of the bright Sun of Righteousness: And then it is that they stall fee, Eye to Eye, and lift up their Voices together, when the Lori stall bring again Zion, Isa. lii. 8.