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We have in our hands the prediction of the war between the dragon and the remaining seed of the
We have it in strict chronological connection with other prophecies. We have abundant reason to conclude, that this war will commence at the close of the 1260 days, in the last times of atheisin and profaneness. We know, that it must commence after the dragon has been cast out of heaven; after he has taken his station upon earth; after he has vomited forth a flood against the mystic woman; after the earth has swallowed up the flood; when every current event bears testimony, that the third woe-trumpet is sounding, that the vials of the last plagues 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 Apostasy 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 parti.. cular. May we, like Daniel, “ rest, and stand “ in our lot at the end of the days.”
Concerning the ten-horned beast of the sea.
The prophet, after having conducted us as it were behind the scenes, and shewn us that every string both of the great Apostasy and of the ty, ranny 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 stood * upon the sand of the sea, and
* The Latin copies, the Alexandrian M.S., and the Syriae, read and he stood, meaning the dragon: and accordingly join the clause and he 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 confirins his interpretation of the preceding chapter, and shews that the rise of the ten-horned beast 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 ty Tunny, as Mr. Mede and Bp, Newton suppose,
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 throne, 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 practise * prosperously forty " and two inonths. 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
* See Bp. Newton in loc. The word roinout does not sa 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 elapso 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 controversy with the nations; and which synchronizes with the last vial, will occupy a space of ar least 30 years (See Dan. sü: 11, 12.). Indeed the whole time of the end seems to occupy a space of 75 years.
" them: and power was given him over all kin
dreds, 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 u 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.”
I. 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 ter 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.
1. According to Mr. Kett,“ the first beast of the Revelation, and the little horn of Daniel, are
generally allowed to mean the same power, what“ ever that power may be * :” and he afterwards' asserts, that this ten-horned beast is the Papacy t, or, as he terms it, the papal Antichrist I.
* Hist. the Interp. Vol. i. p. 385.
+ Yet he elsewhere teaches us, that the little horn is the same as the second upocalyptic beast, which he conceives to be French Infidelity [Ibid. p. 317.]. I have cited the whole passage, where this assertion is made, in Chap. iv. § 1. 1. 1 Ibid. p. 392-and Vol. ii. p. 1-66.
2. 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 recolutionary power of Franec*: but he has written a whole dissertation for the express purpose of shewing, that the ten-horned apocalyptic beast is the Papacy t.
3. 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 protes
tants, are agreed $." Had bis Lordship steadily adhered to this simple, and indeed undeniable, proposition, I should have been 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
* This point has already been fully discussed in Chap. iv. § 1. 2.
+ Prophetic Hist. of the Church of Rome. I Dissert. on Rev. xii.
$ Ibid. Mr. Mede, in a similar manner, although his opinion be the same as that of the Bishop, specially styles the first apocalyptic beast the secular beast, and the second the ecclesiastical beast. See his Comment. Apoc, in loc.