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paid the least regard to the special badge of the date : on the contrary, most have wearied themselves with seeking for some imaginary period of the rise of the little horn.* Daniel however explicitly informs us, that we are to date the 1260 days from no one era but this : the year, in which the saints were given into the hand of the little horn then already in existence.t , Now, the giving the saints into his hand by no means implies, that he immediately began to persecute them, but only that the power of persecution was then conferred upon him, that he was constituted their universal spiritual superior. Hence it is evident, that, would we know the date in question, we must learn in what year this ecclesiastical power was formally conferred upon the little horn. It certainly can
* The falsehood of many of these computations has been already shewn by the event : had the plain language of Daniel been attended to, they would never have been made. See Mede's Works. Book III. Chap. 10.
t I am aware, that Sir Isaac Newton supposes, that it was not the saints who were delivered into the hand of the little horn during the 1260 years, but the times and laws. Now it is not only impossible to point out any specific season when the times and laws were delivered formally into his hand, which the passage obviously requires : but such an opinion is totally irreconcileable with the parallel context of the Revelation. The saints, mentioned by Daniel, are manifestly the same as the apocalyptic witnesses and as the persecuted Church in the wilderness. But the apocalyptic witnesses were to prophesy in sackcloth, and the Church was to flee from the attack of the dragon, each during the period of 1260 years : hence it is clear, that the saints, not the times and laws, were to be given into the hand of the little born during the very same space of three prophetic gears and a balf. The identity of the numbers sufficiently shews that they refer to the same persons : but the apocalyptic 1260 years refer to the calamitous propbesying of the witnesses and the desolation of the true Church; therefore the three times and a half of Daniel must refer to the wearing out of the saints, not surely to the changing of times and laws. In short, the delivering of the saints into the band of the little born during three prophetic years and a half is clearly the same event, as the causing of the witnesses to propbesy in sackcloth by giving the outer court of the temple and the boly city to the gentiles (or. those Christians who had relapsed into the idolatrous abominations of gentilisn) during 42 months. The degenerate church however, and along with it the faithful witnesses, were then first given into the hand of the little born, when the Pope was declared to be Universal Bishop and Supreme Head of the Church. It is almost superfluous to remind the reader, that three years and a balf, 42 montbs, and 1260 days, are all the same period. (Compare Dan. vii. 25. with Rev. xi. 2, 3. xii. 6, 14. and xiii
. 5, 7.) I may properly add, at the conclusion of this note, that, even if Sir Isaac Newton's supposition be adopted, the dates fixed upon by Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton for the commencement of the 1260 years will be equally irreconcileable with their opinion that the Papacy became a horn by the eradication of the three borns. The times and laws could no more be delivered into the hand of the little born previous to the period of its beginning to exist, than the saints could. I write this however not as in the least hesitating respecting what I have said of Sir Isaac's acceptation of the passage in ques. tion. Since the apocalyptic witnesses are manifestly the same as the saints mentioned by Daniel, and since those witnesses were to prophesy' in sackcloth 1260 days ; what was delivered into the hand of the little born during the self-same space of three years and a Balf must undoubtedly be the saints, not the times and haws. VOL. I.
not be said to have been conferred either by the down. fall of the Western empire, by the revolt of the Pope from the Greek Emperor, or by his acquisition of the Exarchate. In all these events we can discover nothing like any delivering of the saints into his hand. But, when we find, that in the year 606 Phocas the usurper of the Constantinopolitan throne constituted him Universal Bishop and supreme head of the Church, declaring that in spirituals all the churches were subject to him, we can clearly see that at that particular era the saints were subjected to an imperious master, that they were given into the hand of the little horn now become a great empire. If then the saints were given into his hand at that particular time, (and I know not any more probable* era than this that can be pitched upon for such an event,) the little horn must at that time have been already in existence; but, if we suppose that this symbol denotes the temporal kingdom of the Papacy, that was not as yet in existence, for the Pope had not then either thrown off his allegiance to the Greek Emperor, or acquired the Exarchate of Ravenna. The little horn however, according to the prophecy, was not merely to begin to exist when the saints were given into his hand, but was already to have been in existence an indefinite period of time. Such being the case, it certainly cannot symbolize the temporal kingdom of the Papacy : and, if it do not symbolize its temporal kingdom, I know not what it can symbolize except its spiritual kingdom.
We have seen, that the little horn was to arise previous to the commencement of the Apostacy of 1260 years when the Roman beast revived, and therefore that it was to arise during the time that the beast lay dead. Daniel accordingly teaches us, that it was to come up among the ten first horns into which the Empire should be divided by the incursions of the northern nations. Now the first of these kingdoms, that of the Huns, arose about the year 356 ; and the last of them, that of the
* There is another era, which is possible, though (I think) not probuble ; namely the year 787, when the supremacy of the Pope was acknowledged by the second council of Nice. This matter will be discussed more largely hereafter; meanwhile I wish it fully to be understood, that I pitch upon the year 606, only as appearing to me the most probable date. The event alone will enable us to attain to absolute certainty.
Lombards, about the year 483 in the north of Germany, and about the year 526 in Hungary. We must look therefore for the gradual rise of the little horn, by which I think we are obliged to understand the spiritual kingdom of the Pope, between the years 356 and 526. As for the temporal kingdom of the Pope, it did not come up among the first ten horns, as Bp. Newton himself allows, who is thence obliged to construct a catalogue of ten kingdoms, not suited to the primitive division of the Empire, but to the eighth century : the temporal kingdom of the Pope therefore cannot be intended by the little horn. But the spiritual kingdom of the Pope arose precisely at this period. In the primitive Church, the authority of the Bishops of Rome extended not beyond their own diocese : precedence only was allowed to them in general councils by reason of the imperial city being their see. This precedence of honour was gradually enlarged into a precedence of authority. Still however no direct right could be claimed, for the Church was not as yet supported by the secular arm. But, after the conversion of the Empire to Christianity, great privileges were conferred upon the more dignified sees, especially upon that of Rome. Sir Isaac Newton has given a very minute detail of the gradual rise of this spiritual power ; and the first special edict, that he mentions as being made in its favour, bears date either the end of the year 378, or the beginning of the year 379.
379. This edict gives the Church of Rome the right of deciding appeals in all doubtful cases that concerned the western bishoprics. Sir Isaac accordingly dates very properly the commencement of the Pope's spiritual jurisdiction from it. This power however constituted but a very small kingdom compared to that which was afterwards erected upon its foundations. The irruption of the northern tribes which at first seemed likely to involve every thing in ruin and confusion, and the previous transfer of the seat of government from Rome to Constantinople, jointly contributed to increase the authority of the Roman bishор. .
“ While this ecclesiastical dominion was rising up,” says Sir Isaac, " the northern barbarous nations invaded the Western empire, and founded several kingdoms therejn of different religions from the Church of Rome. But: these kingdoms by degrees embraced the Roman faith, and at the same time submitted to the Pope's authority. The Franks in Gaul submitted in the end of the fifth century ; the Goths in Spain, at the end of the sixth ; and the Lombards in Italy were conquered by Charles the great in the year 774. Between the years 775 and 794, the same Charles extended the Pope's authority over all Germany and Hungary as far as the river Theysse and the Baltic sea. He then set him above all human judicature ; and at the same time assisted him in subduing the city and dutchy of Rome.”* The manner, in which the little horn almost insensibly arose, after the transfer of the seat of government, and during the dark period of Gothic invasion, is similarly described by Machiavel
. Having shewn how the Roman empire was divided by the incursions of the northern nations, he observes, “ About this time the Bishops of Rome began to take upon them, and to exercise greater authority than they had formerly done. At first, the successors of St. Peter were venerable and eminent for their miracles, and the holiness of their lives ; and their examples added daily such numbers to the Christian church, that, to obviate or remove the confusions which were then in the world, many princes turned Christians : and the Emperor of Rome being converted among the rest, and quitting Rome to hold his residence at Constantinople, the Roman empire began to decline, but the church of Rome augmented as fast.”+ After this he shews how the Roman empire declined, and how the power of the Church of Rome increased, first under the Ostrogoths, then under the Lombards, and lastly under the Franks. I have borrowed the preceding very apposite citation from Bp. Newton, who somewhat singularly, according to his scheme, adduces it to shew the springing up of the little horn among the ten other horns; and yet, after having adduced it, declares no less singularly, so far
so far as the
propriety of the citation is concerned, that the Bishop of Rome did not become a horn till he became a temporal prince:
* Observ. on Dan. Chap. viii., | Hist. of Florence, B. 1. p. 6. cited by Bp. Newton,
Now, if the Bishop of Rome did not become a horn till he became a temporal prince, the citation, which speaks of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, centuries, certainly cannot shew the rise of a horn, which, according to his Lordship's scheme, did not begin to exist till the middle of the eighth century : but, if we consider the little horn as typifying the spiritual kingdom of the Papacy, nothing can be more to the point than the citation from Machiavel ; for it decidedly shews, that such a kingdom arose from very small beginnings among the ten horns precisely at the time when Daniel had predicted that it should arise. I shall conclude this account of the rise of the papal horn with Mr. Gibbon's description of its state at the close, of the sixth and at the beginning of the seventh century, immediately before the ecclesiastical kingdom became an ecclesiastical catholic empire. pontificate of Gregory the great lasted thirteen years, six months, and ten days-In his rival, the patriarch of Constantinople, he condemned the Antichristian title of Universal Bishop, which the successor of St. Peter was too haughty to concede, and too feeble to assume; and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Gregory was confined to the triple character of Bishop of Rome, Primate of Italy, and Apostle of the West - The bishops of Italy and the adjacent islands acknowledged the Roman pontiff as their special metropolitan. Even the existence, the union, or the translation, of the episcopal seats, was decided by his absolute discretion : and his successful inroads inroads into the provinces of Greece, of Spain, and of Gaul, might countenance the more lofty pretensions of succeeding Popes. He interposed to prevent the abuses of popular elections ; his jealous care maintained the purity of faith and discipline; and the apostolic shepherd assiduously watched over the faith and discipline of the subordinate pastors. Under his reign, the Arians of Italy and Spain were reconciled to the catholic church ; and the conquest of Britain reflects less glory on the name of Cesar, than on that of Gregory the first. Instead of six legions, forty monks were embarked for that distant island ; and the pontiff lamented the austere duties, which forbade him to partake the