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unfrequently foreigners* by extraction. 1 conceive this to be the meaning of the marked antithesis—“They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."
The effects of their canonical obedience to the
pope, were often severely felt, and justly dreaded by both princes and their people. For thus the pope had (maintained at the charge of others) a mighty standing army, entirely at his devotion, in all countries, and under strict ecclesiastical discipline ;t an engine by wbicb be could move the world at bis pleasure ; and he himself kept the key, by which it could be wound up to whatever pitch his designs required. The clergy, as
* By the influence of the court of Rome, the richest Bish. opricks in England were often in the hands of Italians, residing in the pope's court.
* This spiritual militia of his Holiness were known to be above a million, under officers chosen for their tried attachment to the service, and superior capacity to keep the nations in a blind obedience, at their own expence.
history abundantly testifies, were the tools he wrought with, to place all the kingdoms of the earth in absolute subjection under his feet. The barbarous Goths and Vandals soon forgot their own language, and adopted that of the Romans, but this countless host of priests and monks forget their own native tongues, and receive the language his Holiness prescribes ; and in this (and no other) they perform in all countries their religious ministrations, though it is not understood by the
people-They distinguish themselves from the LAITY by their habits, and modes of life, and orders of monkery, and by usurping a name of their collective body, which implies in general a pre-eminent contradistinction, on the fanatical pretence of nearer affinity to God than the rest of their christian brethren.* All
* Clergy, derived from the greek Cleros, “ the portion or jnheritance of the Lord,”—Laity being derived from Laos, the people. Odi profanum vulgus et arceo,–Hor. The scripture gives but little warrant to this sort of affected supremacy in the divine favor, the first christian ministers not only calțing themselves, but feeling themselves the servants of, and not lordly rulers over their pock. (1 Cor. ix. 19; 2 Cor. iv. 5.) The flock in general have equal title to the divine
these considerations give a peculiar force and propriety to the mark which the prophet has here affixed upon the popish CLERGY, that in the society of men they are the same as miry clay mingled with iron would be in a statue; debasing and debilitating the compound mass, by an unnatural mixture of materials which cannot cleave one to another,
All the marks of character which the holy spirit has stampt upon the objects of Daniel's prophecies, are to be presumed relating to things from which no trivial effects will result, and of those things the descriptions he has given (though in so very few words,) are exceedingly strong and expressive. The eyes and the mouth which he gives to the LITTLE
favor, upon the same grounds of holy obedience and faith, being called “elect,” (Col. iii. 12; 1 Thess. i. 4; 2 Peter i. 10,) “ holy brethren,” (1 Thess. v. 27 : Heb. ii. 1,)“ saints," (Ephes. v. 3,) “ Godis heritage,” (1 Pet. v. 3.)
In the case alluded to in Gen. vi. 2, there was a better ground for the distinction of the Beni Elohim, “sons of God," contrasted with the children or seed of men," in the piety of the family of Seth, and notorious wickedness of Cain's pos. terity,
HORN, are easy to be understood of the papal episcopacy, as that office (of highly venerable and apostolical authority in itself,) was unworthily exercised by the popes.
And the miry clay * thus mingled with iron, is not less expressive of the turbulent spirit, party zeal, and unaccommodating humour of his clerical para tizans : which in all his disputes, (and against all reason or right,) supported his pretensions, as he in return did the same for them. Church history teems with the brawls of lordly churchmen, and rebellious and even military prelates, yielding no homage, nor owning any depend
* It may be some confirmation of this interpretation of the MIRY CLAY in this prophecy of the later times of christianity, that we find the Psalmist prophetically alluding to the distressed state of the church under the oppressive weight of tyranny, and her deliverance from it, ander the same figure of mire and clay. Thus Psal, lxix. 2 and 14, “ I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing, &c.-Deliver me out of the mire, &c.-And Psal. xl. 2. “ He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, &c.And he hath put a new song in my mouth, &e." Ezek. chap. xlvii. 11. seems to allude to the same. Having described the increase of the gospel streams issuing from the sanctuary, and healing the waters of the sea, he says, but the miry places thereof, shall not be healed, they shall be given to salt.-See Isai. lvii, 20. where he compares the doctrines of THE WICxed to mire.
ance upon their lawful sovereigns; but holding secretly and openly both, a close correspondence with Rome the chief fomenter of all mischief, to the perpetual disturbance and endangering of the public peace, as well as the stability of thrones. They were a sort of treacherous allies to their respective monarchs, and not obedient subjects, and they did not give union to their councils, nor force to their efforts, but added only additional imbecility; except when the aggrandisement of the church and popedom were to be the objects of them.
In another point of view the similitude of iron blended with debilitating clay, represents the corruption of the gospel truth with the popish errors, which are as irreconcileable with it as iron with clay. Popery holds forth a sanctuary, and thus gives encouragement to crimes,
for which both temporal impunity and spiritual indulgences and pardons, are to be
procured of his holiness at a fixed price. The gross and palpable absurdities, with which that abominable and systematical imposture places the most solemn truths of the gospel upon a le