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those faithful servants of God, who protested against his corruptions, and refused to partake of his idolatries. These persecutions indeed, like the more ancient persecutions of Paganism, have not always been universal, nor have they always raged with equal violence ; they have been moreover greatly checked by the influence of the Reformation, and by the consequent waning of the Papal power : nevertheless the witnesses are still more or less prophesying in sackcloth ; they are still, throughout popish countries, in a degraded and humbled state ; and in this state they will continue, in one part or other of the world, to the end of the 42 months.
8. Lastly, the little horn was to subdue or depress three out of the ten kings; or, as it appears from the corresponding action of the symbols, three of the first ten horns were to be eradicated before it-Respecting the interpretation of this part of the prophecy, I am compelled to differ both from Mr. Mede, and from Sir Isaac and Bp. Newton.
Mr. Mede, who may justly be styled the father of prophetic interpretation, supposes, that the three symbolical horns which appeared to Daniel to be plucked up by the roots before the little horn, were those whose dominions extended into Italy, and so stood in the light of the little horn.t First, that of the Greeks, whose emperor Leo Isaurus for the quarrel of image worship he excommunicated, and made his subjects of Italy revolt from
The indulgences, which the French protestants have obtained under the present usurper, are evidently granted merely upon a political principle. The Capets persecuted them, and therefore Buonapartè favours them. It remains however to be seen, what he will do when he shall once have firmly established himself. His late restoration of popery as a convenient engine of state, and his total disregard of every obligation moral and religious, shew plainly that the protestants will be protected only so long as it suits his interest. In the eyes of a tyrant, a refusal to worship the image which he has set up will probably be considered as a secret mark of disaffection, though it may not be convenient for him immediately to notice this want of compliance on the part of the protestants.
Incedunt per ignes Suppositos cineri doloso. f In this particular Mr. Mede seems to me to be perfectly right. The three horns were to fall « before the little born," or in his immediate presence : hence they cannot have been plucked up any where but in Italy. Their dominions however were not merely to “ extend into Italy," an expression which implies that the horns themselves were seated out of Italy; but the sovereignty itself of the three horns must have been fixed in that country.
their allegiance. Secondly, that of the Longobards, (successors to the Ostrogoths) whose kingdom he caused by the aid of the Franks to be wholly ruined and extirpated, thereby to get the exarchate of Ravenna (which since the revolt from the Greeks the Longobards were seized on) for a patrimony to St. Peter. Thirdly the kingdom of the Franks itself, continued in the empire of Germany ; whose emperors from the days of Henry the fourth he excommunicated, deposed, and trampled under his feet, and never suffered to live in rest, till he had made them not only to quit their interest in the election of Popes and investiture of Bishops, but that remainder of jurisdiction also in Italy, wherewith together with the Roman name he had once infeoffed their predecessors. These were the kings, by displanting, or (as the Vulgar hath) humbling, of whom the Pope got elbow room by. degrees ; and advanced himself to that height of temporal majesty and absolute greatness, which made him so terrible in the world."*
Sir Isaac and Bp. Newton, though they disagree in the catalogues which they respectively give of the ten kingdoms, concur in proposing a scheme different from that of Mr. Mede so far as the three horns are concerned. They each conjecture, that the three eradicated powers were the Exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the state of Rome.t
Both these modes of interpretation appear to me objectionable in almost every point of view.
With regard to Mr. Mede's scheme it may be remarked, that, if by the Greeks and Franks he intends the Constantinopolitan and Carlovingian empires, neither of those monarchies ever was plucked up by the roots before the little horn ; and if, on the other hand, by the Greeks and Franks he intends only the Greek and Germanic provinces in Italy, those, being mere provinces, cannot with any propriety be esteemed horns, or independent kingdoms. So that, take the scheme in what light we
it will prove equally untenable. Whatever inroads the Popes might make upon the authority of the Constantinopolitan and German emperors in the detached provinces of their respective dominions, I know not how it can be said, that by such encroachments two out of the ten horns were plucked up by the roots before them.*
may, it will
* Mede’s Works B. iv. Epist. 34.
With regard to the scheme of Sir Isaac and Bp. Newton, the first objection that occurs is their supposition that the Exarchate of Ravenna was one of the ten horns.
The Exarchate was pot, like each of the monarchies founded by the northern nations, a horn or independent kingdom ; but, on the contrary, a mere dependent province of the Greek empire, governed, like its other provinces, by a deputy : hence it can no more be esteemed a horn, than any of the other Greek provinces.† The prophet simply asserts, that the Roman beast, when his empire was divided, should put forth ten horns : he does not give us the least reason to suppose, that there should be
any essential difference in the political constitution of the horns. What one therefore of the ten horns was, that all the others must have been : for, unless we completely violate the harmony of symbolical language, we can never allow, that some of the horns represent sovereign states, and others of them mere provinces of sovereign states.
The next objection is, that, even allowing the Exarchate to be a horn, neither it nor the state of Rome, occur in the true list of the ten primary kingdoms. The Bishop agrees with Sir Isaac, that the Exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the state of Rome, are the three horns ; but he censures him for his inconsistency in supposing those powers to be the three horns, while he presents us nevertheless with such a catalogue of the ten kingdoms as does not include the names of all those three powers.* The censure is just, for the prophet expressly asserts, that three of the first horns were to be plucked up before the little horn; yet while he blames Sir Isaac for this manifest flaw in his interpretation, he does not seem conscious that much the same censure attaches to himself, notwithstanding his attempt to parry it. The three horns are certainly to be sought for among the ten original kingdoms into which the empire was divided, and among no other kingdoms whatever : nothing can be more definite and precise upon this point than the language of Daniel. We ought therefore first to learn, what these ten original horns were, and next to inquire whether three of them were ever plucked up to make room for an eleventh little horn perfectly distinct from them all; not surely first to fix upon three states, which we conceive may answer to the character of the three horns, and then contrive such a list of ten kingdoms as may include these three states. Yet such is the plan, which Bp. Newton adopts. Perfectly aware that it would be a vain Jabour to seek either for the Exarchate of Ravenna or for the state of Rome among the ten primary kingdoms, he most unwarrantably sets aside the real list of those kingdoms, and substitutes a list of his own; into which he introduces the petty state of Rome, and the Greek province of Ravenna, evidently for no other purpose than to give a colour of probability to his predetermined interpretation. Hence his catalogue does indeed contain the three states, which he supposes to be the three horns plucked up before the little horn; but it is certainly not the more on that account a faithful catalogue of the ten original kingdoms. Accordingly the Bishop himself confesses, (a confession which alone is sufficient to inval
* Mr. Mede reckons up the ten kingdoms, as follows : “ 1. The Britons ; 2. The Saxons in Britain ; 3. The Franks ; 4. The Burgundians in France; 5. The Visigoths in the South of France and part of Spain ; 6. The Sueves and Alans in Gallicia and Portugal; 7. The Vandals in Africa ; 8. The Alemanes in Germany; 9. The Ostrogoths whom the Longobards succeeded, in Pannonia, and afterwards in Italy ; 10. The Greeks in the residue of the empire.” In addition to the foregoing observations I shall hereafter shew, that the Eastern empire cannot be reckoned one of the borns of the beast, all of which must be sought for in the West.
+ “The throne of the Gothic kings,” says Mr. Gibbon, was filled by the exarch of Ravenna, the representative in peace and war of the emperor of the East."
# The prophet, by declaring that the little born should be different from all the rest, necessarily leads us to conclude that'the ten horns should not be different from each other.
Sir Isaac gives us the following catalogue of the ten kingdoms : “1. The kingdom of the Vandals and Alans in Spain and Africa ; 2. The kingdom of the Suevians in Spain ; 3. The kingdom of the Visigoths ; 4. The kingdom of the Alans in Gallia ; 5. The kingdom of the Burgundians ; 6. The kingdom of the Franks ;
7. The kingdom of the Britons ; 8. The kingdom of the Huns ; 9. The kingdom of the Lombards ; 10. The kingdom of Ravenna.” In this catalogue the state of Rome, which Sir Isaac supposes to be one of the three borns, does not occur.
idate his whole plan of interpretation) that it is a catalogue calculated for the eighth century, not for the period in which the Roman empire was originally divided. *
The result of the whole is, that, since the Greek province of Ravenna cannot be esteemed a horn or independent kingdom; and since, even if it could, neither it, nor the state of Rome, are to be found in the true list of the ten original kingdoms : they cannot be two of those three primary horns which the prophet beheld plucked by the roots before the little horn.
Having now stated my objections to the two preceding modes of interpretation, I shall endeavour to ascertain the three primary kingdoms, which were destined to fall before the eleventh different and little kingdom of the Roman empire. For this purpose it will be necessary, first to inquire into the import of the prediction concerning their fall, and secondly to learn from history the names of the ten original kingdoms among which they are to be sought.
1. The overthrow of the three horns is described in three different parts of the vision of the four beasts.
“ I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots.”
“ Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell.”
“ The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise : and another shall rise behind them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall depress three kings.”
• “We would, for reasons which will hereafter appear to the attentive reader," (namely, in order that his Lordship’s catalogue might be made to contain the tbree states, which he supposes to be the three horns plucked up before the little born) "fix these ten kingdoms at a different, era from any of the foregoing ; and let us see how they stood in the eighth century. The principal states and governments then were 1. Of the Senate of Rome, who revolted from the Greek emperors, and claimed and exerted the privilege of choosing a new western emperor; 2. Of the Greeks in Ravenna; 3. Of the Lombards in Lombardy ; 4. Of the Huns in Hungary; 5. Of, the Alemanes in Germany ; 6. Of the Franks in France ; 9. of the Burgundians in Burgundy; 8. Of the Goths in Spain ; 9. Of the Britons ; 10. Of the Saxons in Britain.” (Bp. Newton's Dissert. XIV.). Thus does the Bishop confessedly adapt his catalogue to the three supposed borns, instead of seeking for the three horns, where the prophet directs us to seek them, among the ten first horns.