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making war upon straggling and detached parties, he would reduce both their numbers and their strength. The process might be slow, but it seemed to be the only certain method of

His late failure did not induce him to give over the contest as hopeless; much less did it soften his resentment against the true church as a body distinct from those that are Christians only in name. The disappointment of his hopes inflamed his rage, and excited him to prosecute, with a more steady and determined purpose, his measures of violence; hence it is said, that he was wroth with the woman. He never had been upon friendly terms with her ; but he was now become a more bitter adversary than ever. His wrath was heated like a furnace which was ready to devour whatever came within its reach.

This infuriated temper was manifested against the seed of the woman ; ' he went to make war with the remnant of her seed.' The seed of the woman must be understood of the members of the church, who, on account of the paucity of their numbers, are here called a remnant. Prior to the war with the dragon, the woman had been the mother of a numerous family of children ; but now many of them were sleeping in the grave; some, who had enjoyed all the visible privileges of children, had turned out ill, and had left the house; those that remained, and were entitled to be acknowledged as true sons of the family, were reduced to such a small company, that they might be fitly represented, as here, under the idea of a remnant. But as they dwelt together like brethren, united both in sentiment and affection, their union supplied the place of numbers, and as a body they seemed to be invulnerable. Satan, therefore, resolved upon a predatory warfare, that he might accomplish upon them individually what he found impracticable to be done against them as a public body, or church in the house of this mystical woman. In this manner, the war of Satan against the church was carried on during the greater part of the 1260 days. In the history of this period, there is hardly such a thing as a general persécution of the friends of truth. We

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sometimes find them suffering in one country, and sometimes in another ; some detached parties were cut off in one season, and others in a different; but a war which seemed to threaten the extermination of the whole society at once, seems not to have been undertaken till near the time of the Reformation from Popery, when an army of crusaders was sent in among the Piedmontese, to root up and to destroy; but which proved the means of scattering that people over the continent of Europe, to sow those precious seeds which afterwards sprung up in a plentiful harvest at the period of the Reformation.

The prophecy is concluded with a short delineation of the character of these true sons of the church, comparable to fine gold. They are such as keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.The law of God is inscribed upon their hearts; they therefore prefer doing the will of God even to their necessary food. To them, the commandments of God are not grievous; they account them to be holy, just, and good. And though, in this imperfect state, they cannot keep any of the commandments perfectly, they aim at perfection of obedience in all their services. The same thing which in verse 11. is called their testimony, in this last verse of the chapter is called the testimony of Jesus Christ. These two differ from one another only in respect of their form; they are substantially the same testimony. The one which is called the testimony of Jesus, comprehends the whole system of revealed truth as laid down in the holy Scriptures; the other, which may be called the testimony of the church, is founded upon the testimony of Christ, and contains her joint and open declaration of what she conceives to be contained in his. Hence, the possession of the one can never supersede the use of the other, unless the minds of men were all cast in the same mould, so as to perceive the matters of revelation in the same light.

OBSERV. 1st, Satan's methods of attack upon the church are exceedingly diversified; he has left no means unemployed which he conceived to be any way prejudicial to her. Sometimes he has prosecuted his quarrel in an open and avowed

manner; at other times his plans have been so secret and artful, that few persons had any suspicion of his designs. At one time he has appeared as a dragon with seven heads and ten horns, as if every head was contriving mischief, and every horn was pushing with open violence against the church ; and at another, he has assumed all the meekness and gentleness of a lamb, as if there had been nothing but gentleness in his disposition, and kindness in all his operations. Sometimes he has attacked the whole ecclesiastical body, as if he meant to make a full end of it in one day; and at other times he has attacked the members of the church individually, that, by a gradual reduction of their numbers and strength, he might ultimately arrive at the extinction of the whole society. Nothing but a disposition which is implacable could have prosecuted an unrighteous quarrel through such a long protracted duration, and in the use of such an endless variety of means,

2d, The more perilous the circumstances of the church may at any time appear, she may exercise the firmer faith and confidence in the care and protection of a special Providence. The dragon waited at first to devour the child as soon as he might be born. But, whatever havock he might make among the offspring, it was impossible, so long as the woman herself, or a public body, was preserved, that Messiah could be left without a name or a memorial upon the earth. This woman would be the joyful mother of other sons, and Messiah's name would be perpetuated throughout all generations. But when the dragon aimed at nothing short of the extermination of the whole society at once, her circumstances then appeared to be perilous in the extreme. It was then that the special care of Divine Providence was manifested, by furnishing her with the wings of a great eagle, that she might fly to her place in the wilderness, where she might dwell in safety from the rage of her enemies.

END OF VOLUME SECOND.

OLIVER & BOYD, PRINTERS.

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