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same principle, whether we find it in the heart of the absolute monarch, or in that of the king, whose power is limited by the forms of a constitutional government. It is the same, whether it exist in the heart of a single man, or of a class of men; the same, when it assumes control of the conscience, as when it restrains the body; the same in church as in state; and the same in a republic as in a monarchy; so far as it enters into and controls these various forms of polity. We find it sometimes, in its most odious forms, in social life, and in the family. The history of the world is one, almost uninterrupted story of one man, or class of men, or one nation, striving to conquer and enslave another. The greed of power lies at the bottom. It adopts the code of the wild beast, viz. that might makes right. Three-quarters of all the wars in history have been undertaken at its instigation. It was that which launched so many mighty armies from the gates of old Babylon, and bound the chain around so many nations, to form the old Assyrian Empire. The greed of power stimulated the frightful wars of Alexander the Great, so called. This was the animus of Antiochus, who figured so largely in the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. It fired the zeal, falsely called patriotism, of the Carthaginians, in their wars of conquest. It spread the Roman power over nearly the entire known world. It exercised the vast genius of Julius Cæsar. The love of power propagated the religion of Mahomet. Fourteen millions perished at the shrine of the ambition of a Jenghiz Khan.
So we may conclude that it must be a potent influence for dreaded evil, that will spur men to do such deeds as have been done against it. Look at little Greece, rolling back, before the spears of her valor, the vast tides of Xerxes' army, numbering three millions of souls. Stand among the Alps and witness the brave Switzers' unending struggle for the maintenance of civil liberty. Go down into Piedmont, and see what the Albigenses and Waldenses suffered. See what battles the Dutch fought, for liberty, with the armies of Philip II. of Spain. On the other hand, when despotism is aroused to crush out liberty and true religion, and clothes herself with a false religion, what nameless deeds of horror has she not perpetrated! The rise of the Dutch Republic
tells you a story, which fills every generous heart with indignation against the despot, and with admiration for the brave Netherlanders. See the Huguenots of France crushed down under the heel of political and religious despotism; witness the horrors of St. Bartholomew's day,—and then, if you will, turn and see France suffering the frightful penalty of those crimes against humanity and religion to-day. Hear the pibroch of Scotland, sounding among her valleys, and calling her sons, from age to age, to repel her invaders from the south. Follow the armies of Cromwell through their desperate struggles with the despotism of Charles I., while the nation was suffering the throes of the birth of constitutional government. Condense three-quarters of all the wars of the world, with all their tears, and groans, and blood, and death, with their desolation of provinces and their flaming cities, towns and hamlets, into one horrid picture, conceive of despotism as being the presiding genius of such a picture, and see if you can think of a symbol horrid enough to represent it. Think what a hell it has created in this world, and you will have to ransack the infernal regions, and study its nameless shapes of horror to find a fitting symbol for it. Do you wonder, if John says this monster ascended from perdition? Do you wonder when he says it shall go into perdition? To see it, along with death and hell, plunged into the lake of fire, was the culmination of John's mysterious vision. Millions are now looking for the millennium. Shall despotism cease during that happy period? Yes, and before it can commence; for it must be taken out of the way of the progress of the world toward that happy day. With this impression of despotism as a hindrance to the progress of Christian civilization in your minds, look at John's symbolism, and see if it is adequate. He first introduces it to our notice, in the twelfth chapter, as the great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, standing ready to devour the woman's offspring as soon as it should be born. He had seven crowns upon his heads, and his tail drew after him a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them down. have no doubt but this monster represents political despotism, with that of Pagan Rome for its prototype, in its attempt to subvert Christianity with the sword. When the Empire
became nominally Christian, the form of despotism changed, and another symbol is employed. This you find in the thirteenth chapter. A beast rose up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the names of blasphemy. He was like a leopard, and his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him power and his seat, and great authority. This symbolizes some power taking the place of the dragon, as the possessive pronoun avros, referring to power and seat, belongs to the dragon, i. e., it was the dragon's power and seat that were given to the beast. Thus, Pagan despotism resigned its power and throne to another form. No doubt, this symbolizes the despotism of the Empire, after it abandoned Paganism, and professed Christianity, but perverted it to the purposes of despotism, to crushing down, with an iron heel, all that did not subscribe to the creed of the Empire-Pagan Rome surrendering the sword of persecution into the hands of Christian Rome. Nearly the same symbols are used, the seven heads in both monsters denoting the seven mountains on which Rome stands; the ten horns denoting the ten tributary kingdoms, or, as some have it, ten forms of administration; the seven crowns denoting seven kings, in the one instance, and the ten crowns denoting ten kings in the other. Thus it was through the Empire that ecclesiastical despotism controlled the consciences of men. But, again, when the Empire was subverted, it is plain that some other symbol should be used to designate the persecuting power principally at Rome; for this power gained in influence as the secular power of the Empire waned. So, further on in the chapter, we have a symbol of this power, in the second beast, which came up out of the earth, "And it had two horns, like a lamb, and he spake like a dragon. And he exercised all the power of the first beast before him." But you will observe that he must do it in a different manner. Before the destruction of the Empire, the political and ecclesiastical powers were one, in both Pagan and Christian Rome, but, afterwards, when it was divided into a number of smaller empires and kingdoms, the despotism of Rome must exercise its political jurisdiction, through different channels, and
by different appliances, though none the less effectually. It is now the one beast, but the ecclesiastical idea seems to predominate. Its mode of administration is suggested in the symbolism, the two horns of a lamb. The lamb signifies the appearance of gentleness and meekness, which the Papacy has always put on, in the exercise of its tyrannical and sanguinary powers; while the two horns symbolize the political and ecclesiastical prerogatives exercised by Rome. The ecclesiastical administration was nearly the same as under the Empire, while the civil must be wielded through the many kings which owned the supremacy of the Pope. Its hold, however, was upon the people, rather than upon their rulers, as it always has been. The second beast spake just as the dragon had spoken, decreed extermination upon all that questioned its exorbitant pretensions. The one beast is all-sufficient to symbolize that terrible power. What it decreed, was inexorable law, and must be unrelentingly executed, alike under the Empire and under the administration of the second beast. The kings of the earth were its servile ministers. Yea, they were compelled to it, for the Papacy had more influence over the superstitious masses of Europe, than the most popular kings ever could have. interdict laid upon a kingdom, outlawed the king, and made it, not only the privilege, but the duty, of his subjects to kill him. Instances of such licensed regicide are not wanting in the annals of the Papacy.
But in the lapse of time, the assaults of the Reformers, and the progress of the age, very much modified the prerogatives of this power, so that it could not be symbolized by one beast, wielding two administrations. The hierarchy has lost much of its influence over kings, so that, instead of their being subject to its dictation, it has become a creature of their sufferance. Now, a different symbol is required. That is furnished in the seventeenth chapter, in the summary of the history of ecclesiastical despotism, there furnished. The Prophet is carried away, in the spirit, into the wilderness, and he sees a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns; and the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls,
having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication, and upon her forehead was a name written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON, THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." The prophet also sees the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. This woman represents ecclesiastical despotism, intolerance, the same power which had its principal seat upon the seven mountains of Rome. Yet, how changed in its form! From a furious beast, with the paws of a bear, and the jaws of a lion, with which, in its own power, it could grapple with the nations, and rend and devour them, to a beautiful, abandoned woman, dependent, for her influence, upon her charms and wiles, her lures, traps, and intrigues, by which she ensnares and holds her victims, sitting upon the back of political despotism, supported by it, dependent upon it, bolstered up by its bayonets. This describes religious despotism for two or three hundred years past. It has been dependent upon the will of various sovereigns, for the execution of its decrees. Let me ask if there could be a better symbol of the Papacy, as it now exists, than is afforded by this abandoned woman, dependent, for her influence, upon the display of her ornaments, and borne on the back of civil power. But this figure, taken in connection with others, shows that the ecclesiastical power is being separated from the civil. There was no way of separating the two in the symbol of the beast. But there is a very obvious way in which it can be done in this symbolism. The monster may fling the rider from his back. He has done this several times, already, and the Pope has been compelled to fly from Rome. And the time will come when the rider will be forever cast down, for the ten kings shall finally hate the woman, and make war upon her.* Then shall the strong angel cry, amid the jubilation of disenthralled millions, and the hosannahs of those souls, upon whose blood the woman had made herself drunken, "Babylon, the Great, is fallen, is fallen!" and this shall be the end of religious despotism. No religious body shall ever thereafter persecute. The followers of Christ will then have learned better-learned that the peaceful religion of
*Rev. xvii. 16.