Brothers and sisters, I found this passage truly edifying and so I offer it to you. Revelation – the Apocalypse – is for the Church in every age, I believe – for Jew and Gentile.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
“The Holy Spirit, foreseeing, no doubt, that the Church of Rome would adulterate the truth by many ‘gross and grievous abominations’ (I use the words of the judicious Hooker); and that she would anathematize all who would not communicate with her, and denounce them as cut off from the body of Christ and from hope of everlasting salvation; foreseeing, also that Rome would exercise a wide and dominant sway for many generations, by boldly iterated assertions of Unity, Antiquity, Sanctity, and Universality; foreseeing also, that these pretensions would be supported by the Civil sword of many secular Governments, among which the Roman Empire would be divided at its dissolution; and that Rome would thus be enabled to display herself to the world in an august attitude of Imperial power, and with the dazzling splendour of temporal felicity: foreseeing also that the church of Rome would captivate the Imaginations of men by the fascinations of Art, allied with Religion; and would ravish their senses and rivet their admiration by gaudy colours, and stately pomp, and prodigal magnificence: foreseeing also that she would beguile their credulity by Miracles and Mysteries, Apparitions and Dreams, Trances and Ecstasies, and would appeal to their evidence in support of her strange doctrines: foreseeing likewise, that she would enslave men, and, much more women, by practicing on their affections, and by accommodating herself, with dexterous pliancy, to their weaknesses, relieving them from the burden of thought and from the perplexity of doubt, by proffering them the aid of Infallibility; soothing the sorrows of the mourner by dispensing pardon and promising peace to the departed; removing the load of guilt from the oppressed conscience by the ministries of the Confessional, and by nicely-poised compensations for sin; and that she would flourish for many centuries in proud and prosperous impunity, before her sins would reach to heaven, and come in remembrance before God (Rev.xvi. 19; xviii. 5): foreseeing also, that many generations of men would thus be tempted to fall from the faith, and to become victims of deadly error; and that they who clung to the truth would be exposed to cozening flatteries, and fierce assaults and savage tortures from her: – The Holy Spirit, we say, foreseeing all these things in His Divine knowledge, and being the Ever-Blessed Teacher, Guide, and Comforter of the Church, was graciously pleased to provide a heavenly antidote for these wide-spread and long-enduring evils, by dictating the Apocalypse.”
Union With Rome – Chapter 3
HT: Meg, The Antipas Chronicles, who introduced me to Wordsworth whose work can be found at the European Institute of Protestant Studies