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marks, that the Christians of the seventh century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of Paganism. Their public and private vows were addressed to relics and images : the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs and saints and angels, the objects of popular veneration : and the collyridian heretics, like the Romanists of the middle ages, invested the Virgin Mary with the name and honours of a goddess'.
These Gentiles or paganising Christians of the Apostasy, who tread down the holy city or the visible Church of the Western Empire during the period of the latter 1260 years, are also permitted to occupy the court that is without the temple : and, in consequence of that circumstance, the Apostle is directed to leave it out of his account of God's faithful worshippers and to refrain from measuring it.
For the right understanding of such imagery, we must recollect, that, in the arrangement of the literal temple of Jerusalem, the outer court was denominated the court of the Gentiles ; because the Gentile proselytes of the gate, as they were called, were allowed only to worship within the precincts of that court, while they were excluded from entering into the inner court which was allotted to the genuine Israelites : and the reason of their exclusion was, because they remained uncircumcised and did not embrace the whole Law of Moses.
Hist. of Decline, vol. ix. p. 261.
Of this circumstance, the Apostle has, with divine art, availed himself in the management of his hieroglyphical painting. The new Gentiles of the Christian Apostasy, who pollute the holy city by treading it under foot, are allowed to occupy the outer court of the mystic temple, because they make an external profession of Christianity: but they are excluded from the temple itself and from its two inner courts, because they remain uncircumcised in heart and refuse to embrace the entire code of the Gospel.
3. The same artful allusion to the Hebrew ritual will easily enable us to ascertain the persons, who are intended by the measured worshippers of God at the altar and within the temple.
Under the Law, that sacred building was divided into two apartments; the sanctuary or holy place, and the penetralè or most holy place. Into the first of these apartments the priests were admitted : into the second no one entered save the high-priest, and he only on the day of expiation. The temple itself was surrounded by a court, where the altar of burnt offerings stood, and where the priests and levites exercised their ministry. This court of the priests was surrounded by another court; to which every Israelite, unless prevented by legal impurity, had a right to be admitted : and, when any of the people wished to offer up sacrifices, they were allowed to bring their victims into the inner court as far as a certain line of separation, where they delivered them into the hand of the officiating priest to be offered up on their behalf. The whole was comprehended within a yet more spacious outer court, allotted, as we have already seen, to the gentile proselytes of the gate.
Thus it appears, that the temple and its two inner courts were appropriated to the house of Israel, as divided into the hierarchy and the laity; the highpriest himself standing preëminently apart from every inferior priest and levite, and enjoying the exclusive privilege of entering into the holy of holies or the very inmost penetralè itself.
Since, then, the worshippers of God at the altar and within the temple were the whole congregation of the literal Israel, as contradistinguished from the gentile proselytes of the gate: the measured worshippers of God at the mystic altar and within the mystic temple must plainly be the whole congregation of the mystic Israel, as contradistinguished from those mystic Gentiles to whom was given up the outer court. But the mystic Gentiles of the outer court are the subjects of the little Roman horn or the paganising adherents of the great demonolatrous Apostasy. Therefore the mystic Israelites, who worship God at the altar and within the temple, must undoubtedly be the whole congregation of the faithful throughout the Western Empire, who refused to pollute themselves with the modern gentile adoration of saints and images. These are unfeignedly subject to the rule of Christ, the great mystic high-priest of their profession : these look for salvation through him alone : these are circumcised in heart : these cheerfully embrace the whole code of the Gospel : these, agreeably to their position in the hieroglyphical painting, constitute a Church within a Church, a faithful Church within an unfaithful Church. In short, these are the whole collective body of sincere worshippers, who live, at this time or at that time throughout the whole period of the latter 1260 years, in this country or in that country throughout the whole platform of the Western Empire.
These faithful worshippers, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, are said to be measured with a measuring rod; while the Gentiles of the outer court are left unmeasured.
The measuring of the servants of God is equivalent to what is elsewhere termed sealing them'. Each phrase alike denotes the taking an account of them: and it involves also the necessary idea of a separation ; that is to say, a separation of the sealed from the unsealed, of the measured from the unmeasured. The measured worshippers of God, during the latter three times and a half, keep up the spiritual succession of the faithful from the sealed worshippers of God previous to the commencement of that period. Now, as we have already found, the sealing of God's worshippers under the sixth apocalyptic seal took place in the
reign of Constantine: for, when the Emperor openly declared himself a convert to the Gospel, when Christianity became the established religion of the court and the Empire, and when the visible Church degenerated into secularity and superstition; then first, by the secession of the pious from a community which they could no longer deem the chaste spouse of Christ, was drawn a broad line of demarcation, between spiritual believers who abhorred the rapidly increasing demonolatry of the age, and secular believers who patronised and promoted it', Hence, the sealed worshippers of God before the commencement of the latter 1260 years, and the measured worshippers of God after the commencement of that period, jointly constitute (though, in the case of the measured worshippers, with a special reference to the Western Empire) the great collective body of the faithful, the real Israel of the Lord, from the days of Constantine, down to the expiration of the grand calendarian term of seven prophetic times
See above book iv. chap. 3. § II. 2. (1.) and compare book iii. chap. 2. $ IV. 2. (3.)
Compare Rev, vii. 3—8, with Rev. xi. 1. and Rev. xiv. 1-5. Mr. Mede, and those writers who have followed him, would make the times of the measured temple and altar and worshippers chronologically precede the times of the unmeasured court without the temple and of the holy city during its conculcation by the Gentiles: for they suppose the former times to be the times of the primitive Church, while they necessarily make the latter times to be the times of the great Apostasy. But such an arrangement strikes me, as being irreconcileable with the plain