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Whitley was a misprint on the title page, and that it should have been written Dr. Witless, though I do not find it. among the errata. And this is a pity, as he possibly will never have the opportunity of correcting the error. And what is the reason that Dr. Whitley is so witless? He is witless enough to tell you. "Prophecy extends not to the reformation, but only to the propagation of religion, seems to have been broadly and distinctly admitted and asserted by Bishop Hurd," says he, p. 9. And again, p. 14, "Let those who explain the prophecies for the purpose of the reformation and not for the propagation of religion, and who, therefore, insist that Antichrist and the beast reside and govern within the precincts of the church and in the profession of her faith, seriously reflect how they unavoidably drive heathens and infidels from her fold," in other words, Whitley, how they unavoidably incite true Christians to come out from her midst and compel the people at last to strip the filthy strumpet bare of her wealth and endowments. We see plainly what he means by The Scheme and Completion of Prophecy. Thus again, according to the future battle of Armageddon, he says, p. 30, "It cannot be an intestine war, nor the unhallowed bickering and party strife of one member with another; for that is not the war of the church against its enemies, or those of its head; it is obviously repugnant to the good of the whole. and to the mutual connexion and subordination of the parts; it disorganises the system, and is equally against the crown and the dignity of the sovereign, and the peace and well-being of his subjects; with respect to him, it is in some degree sedition and rebellion; and with respect to his people, it is division and destruction. It must therefore be an external and foreign war against hostile invasion," i. e. against the Turks as he explains it. But the battle of Armageddon, Whitley, you will soon find is the battle of the loaves and fishes after all. "The prophetic spirit dwells not in the house of passion, but in calm and tranquil bosoms," p. 79, as you say. Yes, yes, those who have the sword in their possession, i. e. are carried by the beast and clothed with the purple and scarlet, may, like Dr. Hey, Norrisian Professor of Divinity in an University, lay down canons of courtly controversy, and smile with all the overweening confidence of a church-man at every turn of the argument in all the insolence of security and pride of worldly ascendancy and self-sufficiency. But did ye ever
hear, Whitley, how that the candlesticks, who are clothed in sackcloth, and have not the sword in their possession, kill by the fire which proceedeth from their mouth. Did you ever hear, Whitley, how the Word of God smiteth the nations with the sharp sword which proceedeth out of his mouth towards the end. I leave you to imagine whether the spirit of prophecy dwelt in the bosom of Jesus, who is represented as our pattern, Whitley, when he lavished so many gentle inoffensive terms on the Scribes and Pharisees before he made his polite bow of departure. But here is a sample of Whitley's wit. Talking of the name of the beast in his attempt to press the office upon Mahomet, he says p. 212. "The single circumstance of his being a man, that is, but one man, and his name being the name of a man, or a proper name, entirely subverts the groundless notion of the Pope, or Bishop of Rome, being the Antichrist; for the name of the Pope is not the name of an individual man, or a proper name, but is the name of an office and dignity; and, therefore, of as many as have filled and enjoyed it. The Greek clergy are all said to be called Papas or Popes; and if the Pope or Bishop of Rome were the Antichrist, how could so many of them, such as Ganganelli for example, be possessed of acknowledged piety and virtue, and, even in the estimation of their enemies, the servants of Christ; and the Antichrist himself to blaspheme and deny him all the same time?" Here is pretty logic for a D. D. and master of a grammar school. "The 'single circumstance of his being a man, THAT IS, but one man"! Where did you get the conclusion, witless Whitley, that because Antichrist is a man that he is but one man? Is not the king of England always a man, witless Whitley, but has there been only one man who has been king of England? And where did you get that the name of a man must be a proper name? Surely witless Whitley never read in Isaiah that the name of Christ was to be " Perpetual Patriarch and Prince of Peace" (Is. ix. 6). And are Perpetual Patriarch and Prince of Peace proper names, or are they not names of offices and dignities? And then again, such good men as Ganganelli could not be members of Antichrist, though according to Whitley, such miscreants as the Greek Emperors could be vicarious Christs; and such a good man as Whitley could talk such blasphemy. But here's pretty shuffling. First Whitley distinguishes be
tween the person and the office, and the very next moment confounds them together, as if Ganganelli had been the name of the beast, when the name is only Ganganelli's office or dignity. But it is plain throughout that witless Whitley is at his wits' end to save his bacon. Whitley does not like reformation to be in the design of prophecy, and this is the reason he is driven to such disingenuous shifts; but if he had read the great talk of repentance in the prophecy of St. John (Rev. ix. 20, 21; xi. 13; xvi. 9, 11), as the ultimate end of God's plagues, without any prejudice, he would not have had the impudent boldness to break out in open rebellion against God's word by shifting off the denunciations of God's judgments from his own party, the party of the Beast and False Prophet, or Teacher, viz. the civil and ecclesiastical rabbis of Christendom, to place them on Mahomet's shoulders. And what is one of the puerile arguments by which Whitley wishes to establish the conclusion, that the mother of harlots and of abominations of the earth is Mahomet's imposture and empire? Why, that commentators in general agree that the Euphratean horsemen are the Turks, and consequently Babylon the city on the Euphrates must be what? not Turkey, but Mahomet's empire and imposture, p. 296. But this is his way. Let him lead you a little way in argument, he gives you a sudden pull and jumps you over the bounds of a legitimate conclusion. The Euphratean horsemen are a nation, ergo, Babylon the city of the nation, as he would have it, is their religion and extent of their religion, which exists in Persia and India, and part of Russia, and in Tartary besides. If he had said that the Euphratean horsemen were the Turks, and Babylon their civil polity, he would have done right, if his premises were good, because when the Euphratean horsemen are considered to be the Turks, it is only as civil persons they are considered to be such. But his premises are wrong altogether. He has no business to reason in this way. The Apocalypse, though abounding in symbol and metaphor, has a literal bottom for its stay, and according to the rule laid down at p. i., we resort to a figurative Babylon only when a literal one will not do. But Whitley himself mixes literalism and metaphor, making the geography of the city literal, but its constitution figurative, when both are figurative. But there is no occasion for a formal refutation of so preposterous a system as that of
Whitley, since the very statement of it carries with it its own refutation. Did the provincial government of Gaul, Britain, or Italy, which he asserts are a part of the horns of the beast, p. 246, ever give their power and strength to Mahomet? (Rev. xvii. 13). Whitley, like Faber, sees the absurdity of fixing the Father and Son denying heresy on the Popes in the usual fanciful way of Mede and Newton, viz. because they exalt themselves above all that is called God. But it is equally absurd to fix it upon Mahomet; for Mahomet did not deny that Jesus was the Christ, the true Messiah, which denial is one of the marks of Antichrist, though he denied that Jesus was the Son of God, which he did not perceive was the same thing as Messiah, and thus that he acknowledged him virtually both as Christ and Son of God. See ANTICHRIST, p. 66. "The Musselmans are a sort of heterodox christians,' says Mills in his history of Mahommedanism, p. 295. They are christians, if Locke reasons rightly, because they firmly believe the immaculate conception, divine character, and miracles of the Messiah; but they are heterodox in denying vehemently his character of Son and his equality as God with the Father, of whose unity and attributes they entertain and express the most awful ideas. In point of sanctity, Christ is held by them in a rank next to that of their pseudo-prophet. Persian and Turkish authors invariably mention Christ with veneration. It has happened that a Turk in common life has been bastinadoed almost to death for uttering disreputable words against the Messiah." The truth is then, that the Musselmans, by acknowledging the divine character and Messiahship of Jesus, virtually acknowledge him to be the Son of God, though they verbally deny him to be such. Faber wishes to lay the Father and Son denying heresy upon some infidel kingdom, yet in embryo I presume. But both Faber and Whitley should have looked nearer at home. The denial of the Father and the Son is, no doubt, according to St. John's epistle, a heresy which was to arise in the visible church, and from the nature of the heresies which St. John opposes and likens to it, one no doubt which should have incorrect notions concerning the three persons of the Deity for its basis, an internal and doctrinal error, not an external and infidel one; that the spirit, or essence, or root of this error should lie in not acknowledging the Jesus Christ come in the flesh, 1 John iv. 3, τὸν Ἰησουν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ
Anλvlóra in not acknowledging that Jesus come in the flesh was Christ, iv. 2, that Jesus was the Son of God who comes by water and blood, Jesus the Christ, v. 5, 6, in short that the character and person of the Son of God arose solely from the incarnation of the Divine Essence, the Word. Now the Roman Emperors are this Antichrist who established this heresy in the council of Nice, when, by denying the Jesus Christ come in the flesh, by denying that the man Jesus constituted the Son of God who comes by water and blood, made God and the Lord Jesus, by turning the rhetoric of the bible into logic, as the Papists have done since with the Lord's supper, not Father and Son, but twin brothers, both eternal in person alike, while this eternity existed only in their common essence, the Word. So that if these two heretics, Whitley and Faber, may have the truth told them, the Mahometans are nigher to the kingdom of God than they. For the Mahometans virtually believe in a Son of God, though they deny him. in word, while these heretics believe him in word, but deny him in fact. For what do they? They make God and the Lord twin brothers when they are Father and Son, and thus they deny the Father and the Son.
A grievous error runs through the system of some. Mr. Jones, a Baptist Minister, has seen a vision as well as Mr. Irving. The world must all adopt the Baptist discipline and doctrine by the time of the Millennium! But we had thought, that the time was now come according to the prophecy of Zechariah xiii. that when any one sectarian pretended to see more "vision" than another, that he would be "thrust through" by his fellow christians, as "speaking lies in the name of the Lord." However Mr. Jones has -got a "rough garment" or " garment of hair to deceive," an extraordinary pretension to exclusive spirituality and un worldly eccentricity from the common dress of hierophants, in his system, just as Mr. Irving has or had (I do not know which) an extraordinary garment of hair on his person in order to deceive the unwary into awful admiration of his prophetic commission, typical of his exclusively literal scheme. And thus Mr. Jones reasons, "Those who love national christianity apply the Apocalypse to political as well as ecclesiastical events, ergo, it is the duty of a Nonconformist to apply it solely to ecclesiastical events, and vapour it away in vague spiritualities; and thus by my uncourtly appearance and uncommon mortified de