So Far Must the Beast have a Hand in It

Goodwin on the two witnesses:

“In that he calls the place where their dead bodies lie, and so, by consequence, where this slaughter is to be executed, ‘the city where our Lord was crucified.’ Which is not spoken of Jerusalem, but of Rome; that being here called the great city, which, chap. 17:18, is called ‘the city which then ruled over the kings of the earth;’ which can be none but Rome. And to make this good, we are to know, that the jurisdiction of the Roman empire was then in John’s time called ‘the city.’ And therefore the whole world was called Orbis Romanus, the Roman world. And in like manner now, all kingdoms subjected to the Pope are called the church of Rome, as together making that great city. And in that world the city of Rome was the regal palace, from whence issued out edicts and commands over all. And in such a sense it is said, ‘the city where Christ was crucified;’ because it was the Roman power and authority by which he was put to death, though it were done at Jerusalem, for thither did the jurisdiction of Rome reach; and therefore Christ says, ‘they should deliver him up unto the Gentiles,’ Matt. 20:19,—that is, the Romans, who then had trodden down that holy city, and got the command of it; the Pharisees owning Cæsar for their king. And thus now for the killing these witnesses, it must be that the beast of Rome shall again recover so much owning and acknowledgment in the places of the Reformation, whether by secret combination or by professed avouchment God only knows, where the witnesses are to be killed; so as, for his sake, and at his instigation, these Pharisees, either as joining with him, or else using the help of his party, shall kill them. And so far must the beast have a hand in it, that he may truly be said to do it; and that in order to the further advancement of his power in those places.”

(Goodwin, Works, 3.160)

Source:, Comment 2

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