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first and the second beast, are contrived. The Roman Empire, having existed under seven different constitutions, is described by a beast with seven heads; but the catholic church of Rome, never having existed under more than one form of government, namely the papal, is therefore described by a beast with only one head.
This head however is furnished with two horns. In the language of symbols, horns are kingdoms : consequently the horns of an ecclesiastical beast must be ecclesiastical kingdoms. Nuw I know not what idea we can annex to an ecclesiastical kinga dom, subservient to the head of an ecclesiastical empire, except that of a regularly organized body of ecclesiastics subject primarily to their own immediate superior, and ultimately to the head of the whole empire, If the church of Rome then be intended by the second apocalyptic beast, and the Pope by the head of that beast, it must comprehend two such ecclesiastical kingdoms ; 'that is to say, it must comprehend trvo regularly orgunized bodies of ecclesiastics, distinct from each other, and subject primarily to their respective superiors, and ultimately to the Pope. Mr. Whitaker and Dr. Zouch suppose that the two horns are the monks, who were at first divided into two classes : the Cenobites, who (to adopt the language of Mr. Gibbon) “ lived under a common and regular disci
pline: and the Anachorets, who indulged their
unsocial, independent, fanaticism.” And Mr. Whitaker adds, that in a later age the papal auVol. II.
thority was more especially supported by two men. dicant orders of monks, the Dominicans and Franciscans—This opinion seems to me by no means tenable for various reasons-Monasticism first arose in the East about the year 305, and thence passed into the West. The second apocalyptic beast however, or the catholic empire of the Pope, did not spring up out of the earth till the year 606. Consequently the original twofold division of the monks in the East cannot make them the trco horns of a beast, which sprung up, long after that division, in the IVest-But it may be said, that, although their extraction be oriental, there is no inconsistency in supposing that they might afterwards become horns of the beast, when they had extended themselves westward, and mightily exerted themselves in support of the papal authority. Here then another objection presents itself. I readily allow, that the character of the Cenobites perfectly answers to the character of an ecclesiastical horn or kingdom. They were a regularly organized body of men, bound by certain laws, and subject first to their superior and in after ages through him to the Pope. But I can discover none of the characteristics of a horn in the Anachorets. These, so far from being united under a settled government and from professing obedience to a superior, “ renounced the convent as they had “ renounced the world ;” and, plunging into the deepest solitudes of the desert far from the haunts of men, “ indulged their unsocial, independent, “ fanaticism." Such being the case, the Anachorets can with no more propriety be esteemed a horn or regular ecclesiastical government, than men in a nomade state can be considered as constituting a regular secular government-Perhaps this part of the scheme may be given up, and it may be asserted that the Dominicans and Franciscans are the two horns exclusively, neither of those two orders being liable to be charged with the disqualification of the Anachorels. Here again fresh objections still arise. Both those orders are comparatively of a late date: and are we to suppose, notwithstanding the early rise of monasticism, that the beast had no horns till the days of Dominic and Francis? Or even, if we venture to adopt such a supposition, were the Dominicans and Franciscans the only orders? That they were the most conspi cuous orders during three centuries is no doubt perfectly true, but they were certainly very far from standing alone. As the ten horns of the secular beast represent precisely that number of kingdoms, though some of them were strong and some weak; so, arguing at least from analogy, had the horns of the ecclesiastical beast been designed to represent the monastic orders, there would surely have been just as many horns as there were orders, though some of those were strong and some weak-In opposition then to this scheme which seems to me to be clogged with too many difficulties to be admissible, I am more inclined to think with Bp. Newton, that the two horns are the Romish clergy, regular and secular. The first of
these classes comprehends all the various monastic orders; the second comprehends the whole body of parochial clergy. These two classes I conceive to be the two ecclesiastical horns or kingdoms of the catholic empire of the Pope. In every particular they answer to the character of horns, being two distinct regularly organized bodies , subject first to their own particular superiors, and ultimately to the Pope the head of the whole empire*.
The manner, in which these two ecclesiastical kingdoms of the papal empire were erected, will best appear by adverting to history:
« The imperious pontiffs,” says Mosheim, “al
ways fond of exerting their authority, exempted " by degrees the monastic orders from the juris“ diction of the bishops. The monks, in return “ for this important service, devoted themselves “ wholly to advance the interests, and to main“ tain the dignity of the bishop of Rome. They “ made his cause their own ; and represented “ him as a sort of god to the ignorant multitude,
over whom they had gained a prodigious as“ cendant by the notion that generally prevailed “ of the sanctity of the monastic ordert.” The same historian further observes, “ The monastic
* Mr. Mede thinks, that the two-horns mean the twofold power of binding and loosing claimed by the Popes as vicars of Christ and successors of the Apostles. But such an idea is incongruous with the analogy of symbolical language, in which horns denote kingdoms. Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. vol. ü. p. 172.
“ orders and religious societies have always been o considered by the Roman pontiffs as the prin
cipal support of their authority and dominion. “ It is chiefly by them that they rule the Church, “ maintain their influence on the minds of the “ people, and augment the number of their vo“ taries *.” Of this the following passage affords a remarkable instance.
“ The power of the “ Dominicans and Franciscans greatly surpassed “ that of the other two orders, and rendered “ them singularly conspicuous in the eyes of the " world. During three centuries these two fra“ ternities governed, with an almost universal “ and absolute sway, both church and state; 5 filled the most eminent posts ecclesiastical and s civil; taught in the universities and churches “ with an authority, before which all opposition “ was silent ; and maintained the pretended ma
jesty of the Roman pontiffs against kings, prin
ces, bishops, and heretics, with incredible ardor " and success. The Dominicans and Franciscans “ were before the Reformation what the Jesuits “ have been since that happy and glorious period; “ the very soul of the hierarchy, the engines of " the state, the secret springs of the motions of “ the one and of the other, and the authors and “ directors of every great and important event “ both in the religious and political world t."
Musiieim's Eccles. Ilist. roi. iv. p. 184.