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are pouring out, and that Satan is come down to the inhabiters of the earth and the sea having great wrath ; and when prophetic truth and chronological computation declare with united voice, that “he hath but a short time,” that the period of the great Apostacy is nearly expired. To this era, thus variously pointed out, the time of the end, or the close of the 1260 days, alone corresponds in every particular. May we, like Daniel, rest, and stand in our lot at the end of the days.”
The prophet, after having conducted us as it were behind the scenes, and shewn us that every string both of the great Apostacy and of the tyranny of Antichrist is in reality worked by the infernal serpent, next proceeds to bring us acquainted with the characters of the ostensible agents, by whose instrumentality and through whose instigation the Church was to be in a persecuted state through the long period of 1260 years.
“And I stoodt upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast, which I saw, was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion : and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon, which gave great power unto the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast ! who is able to make war with him : And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue" forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them : and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He, that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity: he, that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
* Mr. Galloway is right in bis general idea respecting this prophecy, that a prediction, immediately connected with the 1260 days, cannot possibly relate to the days of Constantime; but he appears to me to be almost invariably wrong in bis particular exposition of it. See Comment. p. 120–157.
# The Latin copies, the Alexandrian M. S., and the Syriac, read and be stood, meaning the dragon ; and accordingly join the clause and be stood upon the sand of the sea to the preceding chapter. (Pol Synop. in loc.) I know not however why we should give up the common reading, which is that of all the Greek copies with the single exception of the Alexandrian followed by Aldus, and which agrees remarkably well with the context. Mr. Mede wishes to adopt it, because he thinks,that it confirms his interpretation of the preceding chapter, and shews that the rise of the ten-borned &east is posterior to the war of the dragon with the woman. This however it certainly cannot do, even if it be adopted; for, as I have already stated very sufficiently, the woman's sojourn in the wilderness of 1260 days plainly intimates, that the war of the dragon is the very same period as the 42 months tyranny of the beast; and consequently, that the war cannot in point of time precede the tyranny, as Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton suppose.
In the preceding chapter, the dragon is represented as persecuting the woman with his seven heads and ten horns : here we have the symbol of a beast, which has likewise seven heads and ten horns. Now, since the dragon is declared to be the devil, the heads and horns, which he is described as using against the woman, must be the heads and horns of some power subservient to his views. This power is now brought upon the stage.
According to Mr. Kett, “the first beast of the Revelation, and the little horn of Daniel, are generally allowed to mean the same power, whatever that power may be ;”f and he afterwards asserts, that this ten-horned beast is the Papacy,” or, as he terms it, the Papal Antichrist.f Nearly the same opinion is maintained by Mr. Galloway. He does not indeed allow, that the first beast of the Revelation is the same as the little horn of Daniel’s fourth beast, for he asserts that that little horn is the revolutionary power of France of but he has written a whole dissertation for the express purpose of shewing, that the ten-horned apocalyptic beast is the Papacy.S Bp. Newton, with much more propriety than either of these two authors, observes, that “no doubt is to be made, that this beast was designed to represent the Roman empire; for thus far both ancients, and moderns, papists and protestants, are agreed.”| Had his Lordship steadily adhered to this simple, and indeed undeniable, proposition, I should have had the happiness of being able to sanction my own views of the subject with the authority of one of our ablest commentators upon prophecy: but, quitting the assertion with which he originally set out, he soon entirely diverts the attention of his reader from the great secular Roman beast (as the Bishop himself" styles it) to that spiritual power which Daniel symbolizes by the little horn of the beast. He commences his discussion with saying very truly, that the beast is the Roman empire; and this beast he afterwards pronounces no less truly to be a secular beast : yet, in the course of a very few pages, he informs us, that the beast is evidently the little horn, which he had already proved with irrefragable arguments to be the Papacy. . . Now the beast is said by St. John to be the same as his own last head:** hence the Bishop, having pronounced the beast to be the little horn or the Papacy, of course pronounces the Papacy to be the last head likewise : that is to say, he makes a spiritual power to be the last head of the beast and consequently the whole beast, notwithstanding he had declared that this very beast is a secular empire.
* Or rather, to practive properously. The word worral does not so much describe his existence, as his prosperity. At the close of the 42 months the judgments of God will begin to go forth against him; and he is then considered, if I may use the expression, as dead in law, although some time will elapse before he is finally slain. There is reason to believe from Daniel, that this time, which he styles the time of the end, which is the period of God’s great controverty with the nations, and which synchronizes with the last vial, will occupy a space of at least 30 years. (See Dan. xii. 11, 19.) Indeed the whole time of the end seems to occupy a space of 75 year.
* Hist, the Interp. Vol. i. p. 383.
* Yet he elsewhere teaches us, that the little born is the same as the second apocalyptic beast, which he conceives to be French Infidelity. (Ibid. p. 847.) I have cited the whole passage, where this assertion is made, at the beginning of the 4th chapter of the present work. + Ibid. p. 39.2—and Vol. ii. p. 1–66. # This point has already been fully discussed in the 4th chapter of the present work § Prophetic Hist, of the Church of Rome. | Dissert. on Rev. xiii.
* Dissert. on Rev. xiii. Mr. Mede, in a similar manner, although his opinion be the same as that of the Bishop, especially styles the first apocalyptic beast the secular beast, and the second the ecclesiastical beast. See his Comment. Apoc. in loc. ++ to The beast, that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven.” (Rev. xvii. 11.) Some suppose, that this is spoken by way of synecdoché; but I know not what right we have to tamper with the plain declaration of the Apostle. (See Pol. Synop. in loc), I consider it as a very leading part of the prophecy, and as being studiously introduced to prevent any possibility of mistake respecting the power intended by the last bead. The temporal dominion of all the six first beads, springing up as they respectively did before the division of the Empire, extended over the whole of the Empire : and we are here assured by St. John, that the temporal dominion of the last bead, notwithstanding the division of the Empire into the ten borns, shall extend over the whole of the Empire likewise. Would we then discover the last Bead, we must seek for a power whose dominions have been commensurate with the whole Western Empire: for this last tead, whatever it may be, is, like its win predecessors, to be the whole beast,
Respecting this opinion it may be observed, that, if the beast be a secular empire, it is impossible that his last head, which is identified with himself, should be a spiritual power; because, if that were the case, the beast would no longer be a secular empire, but a spiritual one. Popery indeed like Mohammedism, is symbolized, merely as an ecclesiastical kingdom, by a horn originally small and afterwards becoming so powerful as to have a look more stout than its fellows and as to influence the actions of the whole beast; nor is there any inconsistency in representing symbolically what has really happened, namely the rise of an ecclesiastical kingdom out of a secular empire: but I can form no idea how it is possible, that the papal horn should be considered as the last head of the secular beast, when that head is declared to be the same at its first rise as the whole secular beast himself. The Pope can only be the last head of the secular beast either in his spiritual or in his secular character. He cannot in his spiritual: because the last head of the beast is to be the whole beast; and no ingenuity can shew, that an ecclesiastical kingdom, as such, is the same as a secular empire. He cannot in his secular, as sovereign of St. Peter's patrimony: both because it is unreasonable to esteem a petty temporal prince the head of a great secular empire; and because, as I have just observed, the last head was to be the whole secular beast at its first rise, which the Pope as a temporal prince never was.
V & E.. II. | 1
I am perfectly aware, that to this objection Bp. Newton would reply, that the Pope is “ the head of the state as well as of the church, the king of kings, as well as the bishop of bishops;” that there is no contradiction in a person being at once the head both of the state and the church; and consequently that the Pope, although a spiritual character, may be justly esteemed the head of the secular beast in his capacity of “ King of kings.” I am aware likewise, that the canonists assert, that “there is no sovereign power but in the Pope;” and that the Popes have repeatedly maintained, that all regal authority is derived from them, as in that remarkable instance when Boniface the eighth wrote to Philip the Fair, “We will have thee know that thou art subject to us both in temporals and spirituals.”t But to all such arguments as these the answer is sufficiently obvious : there is a very wide difference between only claiming and really possessing temporal supremacy. Now the Popes have been sufficiently importunate in claiming the title and authority of “king of kings;” and, had they succeeded in establishing such a claim, I could readily have allowed that they might be, what Bp. Newton supposes them to be, the last head of the secular beast : but, if we con
* Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xiii.
# Mr. Whitaker, who mars Bp. Newton's much more simple exposition by fancying that the Papacy is the Dictatorial head revived, cites Dr. Barrow as asserting, that in the last Lateran council, “one bishop styled the Pope prince of the world; another orator called him king of kings, and monarch of the earth; another great prelate said of him, that he had all power above all powers both of Beaven and carth.” (Whitaker's Comment. p. 256.) . He likewsse cites a sermon of Pope Innocent the third as containing the following passage. “The church, who is my spouse, does not at her marriage come to me empty handed. She has bestowed a precious, an invaluable, dowry on me; an absolute power in spirituals, an extensive authority in temporals. She has given me the mitre for the ensign of my spiritual, and the crown of my temporal, jurisdiction ; the mitre as priest, the crown as king ; constituting me his vicar, who bears this inscription written on his thigh and his vestment, King of king, and Lord of lords.” (Ibid. p. 234.) He further cites a bull of Sixtus the fifth against the ling of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, wherein it is declared, that “the authority delegated to St. Peter and his successors, by the infinite power of the Eternal, is above all power of the kings of the earth; that theirs it is to inforce the observance, and to punish the infringers of it, by pulling them from their thrones?how powerful soever they be, and casting them to the earth as ministers of Satan.” (Ibid. p. 229.) In all these declarations however I can discover nothing like a proof, that the Pope is head of the state, and therefore a bead of the secular beast. I learn from them most undeniably, that the Popes have repeatedly claimed a temporal, no less than a sptritual supremacy: but, before I can allow that they constitute a bead of