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Pope became the seventh-head when he was constituted supreme head of the Church;* and that he afterwards became the eighth head, when he induced the Italians to revolt from the Emperor Leo on the score of imageworship.t—This scheme however is as little tenable as any of the foregoing ones. The seventh head was to continue but a short space : the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Pope has continued down to the present hour. The seventh head of a secular beast must be a secular power : the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Pope is a purely spiritual power; nor is it possible to conceive how he could become a head of the state or the secular 6east by being constituted head of the Church. The eighth head must likewise be a secular power, and one moreover so large that at its first rise it must be (as we are taught by the prophet) commensurate in a manner with the whole beast : the temporal authority of the Pope never extended beyond his own dominions; nor is it easy to imagine, how the sovereign of an Italian principality can be the last secular head of the beast, when his temporal supremacy over the empire was at no time ever acknowledged. But, if the Papacy be not the double head of the beast in its two-fold spiritual and secular capacity, it will be found impossible to point out any other manner in which there is even an appearance of probability that it might be that head. For, supposing the Pope to be intended by the double or septimo-octave head of the beast, where are we to draw the line of distinction between his two characters ? At what period did he
* Mr. Mann fixes this event to the age of Justinian; whereas it did not really and permanently take place till the year 606 in the reign of Phocas. His scheme however is improved, instead of being injured, by this remark; because it shortens the interval between the rise of his supposed seventh and eighth head, thereby making it more consonant with the prophecy.
+ Mann's M. S. cited by Bp. Newton, Dissert. on Rev. xvii.
# Let the reader attentively reperuse the preceding citations from Gibbon relative to the inauguration of the Carlovingian empire, and let him then declare whether in the presence of Charlemagne the Pope bears any resemblance to a head of the secular Roman beast. At that period, who was the sovereign of Rome and Italy; who, the master of the Western empire 2 Charlemagne or the Pope P Yet so far will a love of system carry some writers, that Mr. Fleming actually speaks of the Pope becoming at this period the real 4ing of Rome, and represents the Roman Emperorship of Charlemagne as being a mere empty title. (Apoc. Key, p. 35.) The very reverse of this is what we learn from history. Charlemagne was the real overeign of the western empire: and the Pope held the dukedom of Rome under him as a mere feudal vauai.
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cease to be the seventh head, and begin to be the eighth head / Or in what sense can he be said to have “continued a short space” as the seventh head / History will furnish us with no answer to these questions.
As for the other grounds on which the Pope cannot be esteemed the last head of the beast, namely because his claim of temporal supremacy was never allowed, they have already been stated so fully at the beginning of the present chapter, that it is superfluous here to recapitulate them.
5. It remains only, that we inquire how far the Carlovingian empire answers to the prophetic character of the double head of the beast.
The subversion of the kingdom of Lombardy in the year 774 made Charlemagne, already king of France, the undisputed master of Italy under the title of Patrician of Rome. In this capacity, he granted to the Pope the fiefs of a certain part of Lombardy and of the whole state of Rome, confirming at the same time the former grant made by his father Pipin. Here then, in the regular chronological order of prophecy, after the beast had been wounded to death under his sixth head, and after his deadly wound had been healed, we behold the rise of the Curtovingian Patriciate, or the seventh independent temporal head of the beast. This head however, when it came, was to continue only a short space; for it was almost immediately to be absorbed in the eighth head, which (the Apostle informs us) is in reality one of the seven although styled the eighth, and which (I have shewn) can only be identified with the seventh head : consequently we are led to expect, that the two heads are to be so intimately blended with each other, as to form jointly only one septimooctave head. Accordingly we find, that, just 26 years after its rise, the seventh head was for ever lost in the eighth head. In the year 774,” the Carlovingian government of Italy commenced: in the year 800, Charlemagne assumed the imperial dignity, which has ever since been borne by a prince within the limits of the old Roman empire, and which has ever since given him precedence
* I date the rise of the Patrician bead from the conquest of Lombardy, because the
mere titular Patriciate of Charles Martel and Pipin then first became a real form of government. Should the reader however be disposed rather to date its rise from the time when the title was conferred upon Charles Martel, the prophecy respecting the shortness of its duration will be no less accomplished. In that case, it will have continued about 50 years instead of 26 ; either of which periods may justly be term
ed a short time. As for the Patriciate of the Exarch, it resembled in name aloue the Patriciate of Charlemagne. They bore the title of Patrician as dependent viceroy, £e bore it as an independent prince, while the reign of the Greek Emperors was suspended, and during what Mr. Gibbon styles “the vacancy of the Empire.”
over the ten horns by constituting him in a manner their
head.” Here then we behold the rise of the septinooctave head of the beast of a matter so evident, that a writer, in this respect certainly unprejudiced, was naturally led by circumstances to bestow this very title upon Charlamagne. Pointing out the motives, by which the Popes were induced to espouse the cause of the French monarch in preference to that of the Byzantine emperors, he observes, that “the name of Charlemagne was stained by the polemic acrimony of his scribes: but the conqueror himself conformed, with the temper of a statesman, to the various practice of France and Italy. In his four pilgrimages or visits to the Vatican, he embraced the Popes in the communion of friendship and piety; knelt before the tomb, and consequently before the image, of the Apostle; and joined, without scruple in all the prayers and processions of the Roman liturgy. Would prudence or gratitude allow the pontiffs to renounce their benefactor Had they a right to alienate his gift of the exarchate / Had they a power to abolish his government of Rome 2 The title of Patrician was below the merit and greatness of Charlemagne; and it was only by reviving the Western empire, that they could pay their obligations or secure their establishment. By this decisive measure they would finally eradicate the claims of the Greeks : from the debasement of a provincial town the majesty of Rome would be restored : the Latin Christians would be united under a supreme head in their ancient metropolis :* and the conquerors of the West would receive their crown from the successors of St. Peter. The Roman church would acquire a zealous and respectable advocate ; and, under the shadow of the Carlovingian power, the bishop might exercise, with honour and safety, the government of the city.t
* From the days of Charlemagne, the Emperor has always claimed, and has always been allowed, precedence over every one of the ten borns : and as such he has invariably been considered as the head of the great European commonwealth. . This point howevor is best decided by a professed writer upon Heraldry. In his chapter upon the precedency of lings and commonwealth, Sir George Mackenzie has the following observations. “Amongst those who are supreme, kings have the preference from commonwealth, ; and, amongst lings, the Emperor is allowed the first place by the famous ceremonial of Rome, as succeeding to the Roman Emperors—And therefore the German and Italian lawyers, who are subject to the Empire, have with much flattery asserted, that the Emperor is the Picar of God in temporals,” (manifestly in contradistinction to the Pope, who claimed and was allowed to be the Picar of Christ in spirituals) “and that jurisdictions are derived from him, as from the fountain, calling him dominum et caput totius orbi.” (Mackenzie's Observations on Precedency, chap. 1.) This last matter Sir George naturally enough refuses to allow, though he readily concedes a precedency of rank to the Emperor. His whole treatise may be found in Guillim's Display of Heraldry. See also Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. xlii. p. 80–105.
+ It is not unworthy of notice, that Cardinal Baronius speaks of the coronation of Charlemagne in language, which strongly though undesignedly marks the rise of a mere head of the Roman beast. “Quod autem ejusmodi translatio imperii ab Oriente in Occidentem, ubi posthac semper stetit et hactenus perseverat, divino consilio facta fuerit magno reipublicae Christianæ emolumento, et imperii Orientalis desolatio, et alia eventa, satis superque demonstrărunt. Nec vero id potnisse convenientius fieri quam per Romanum Pontificem totius Christianae religionis antistitem, et summum Ecclesiae catholicæ visibile caput, pastoremoue universi gregis Christiani; nec decentius quam in Carolum magnum, regem totius Occidentis potentissimum, eumdemgue Christianissimum, piissimum, justissimum, fortissimum, doctissimum, de religione Christiana, ecclesia catholica, sede apostolica, statu publico, semper in omnibus optime meritum ; nec denique opportuniori tempore, quâm cum jacerent absolue possessore jura Orientalis Imperii, et periculum immineret ne caderent in schismaticos principes a fide catholica extorres, aut in Christianae religionis infestissimos hostes Saracenos, memo prudens et rerum aequus aestimator non affirmabit, nec insicias ire poterit, totum id Dei opus suisse, ejusque mirabili consilio sapientissimè dispositum." Annal, Eccles. A. D. 800,
To this interpretation of the prophecy respecting the septimo-octave head of the beast, it is possible, that three objections may be urged—First, that it does not accord with my own plan of exposition to suppose, that a king of France should be a head of the beast, because France is one of the ten horns : consequently, in making the patricio-imperial dignity of Charlemagne to be the last head,
* Though Charlemagne in a great measure united the Latin Christians under one Acad, by reigning at the same time in France, part of Spain, Italy, Germany, and Hungary, yet he never made Rome his metropolis; nor can I think with Mr. Gibbon that the Popes ever wished him to do it. Those subtle politicians were too well aware, that the immediate presence of a sovereign prince would grievously impede their schemes of aggrandisement, eve Ro desire that Rome should behold any other masters than themselves. With the title of Emperor of the Roman, they were perfectly satisfied, so song as the Emperor remained at a respectful distance from the seven-billed city.
+ Hist, of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 170, 171. Charlemagne's devotion to the Papacy appears from this passage in his laws. “In memoriam beati Petri apostoli, honoremus sanctam Romanam et apostolicam sedem; ut quae nobis sacerdotalismaterest dignitatis, esse debeat ecclesiastica magistra rationis. Quare servanda est cum mansuetudine humilitas; ut, licet vix ferendum ab illa sancta sede imponatur jugum, tamen feramus, et pia devotione toleremus.” A sentence says Baronius, worthy of being inscribed in letters of gold! Eccles. Annal. A. D. 80i,
I make that prince at once both a head and a horn, the very error with which I charge Bp. Newton in the case of the Excharte—Secondly, that, while I am unwilling to allow the Pope to be the last head on the ground of his temporal supremacy never having been acknowledged by the sovereigns of the Roman empire, I find no difficulty in supposing the Emperor to be this last head, notwithstanding his temporal supremacy, except so far as conceding to him a mere empty precedence, is as little allowed by any of the great powers as that of the Pope himself—Thirdly, that the imperial dignity of Charlemagne and his successors even to the present day, is nothing more than a continuation of the sixth head; and therefore that it cannot be esteemed a new and distinct head— These three objections shall be answered in their order. 1. It is undoubtedly true, that I denied the possibility of the Erarchate being typified both by a head and a horn of the same beast : but I denied it on this account, and I see no reason to retract my opinion : in the case of that government, the same power is represented by Bp. Newton, as being, in the self-same capacity, both a head and a horn of the Roman beast, which is a manifest unnecessary repetition : whereas Charlemagne was not both a head and a horn, in the same capacity; but, like all his successors, in two entirely different capacities. As Æing of France, he was a horn of the beast , as emperor of the Romans, he was its last head.” It is evident indeed, that, since the septimo-octave head was to spring up when the empire was in a divided state, there would be, as it were, no room for it among the ten horns, unless it were, although a distinct thing itself, in some manner attached to one of them. Accordingly the Carlovingian imperial dignity, although generally attached to one of the ten horns, is yet so perfectly distinct from them als, that the French successors of Charlemagne continued to
* The Pope might undoubtedly have been a born of the beast in his ecclesiastical capacity, and a head in his temporal, if he had ever been, what Bp. Newton styles him, a ting of kings as well as a bishop of bishops : but this, as I have already shewn from history, he never was; and yet this is the only way, in which it is possible for him to be the last head as well as the little born. . Mr. Mede's language is very inaccurate. He represents the little horn as being absolutely the same as the last head—“the Antizoristian born with eyes and mouth : that is, qui, cum revera cornu tantum sit, pro capite tamen sese gerit, cujus est proprium os et oculos habere.” Works B. iv. Epis. 24.