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wounded, that wound could not be healed by " the rising of the seventh head, as interpreters “commonly conceive : the same head, which was
wounded, must be healed: and this was effected
by the Pope and people of Rome revolting from “ the Exarch of Ravenna, and proclaiming Charles “ the great Augustus and Emperor of the Romans. “ Here the wounded imperial head was healed
again, and hath subsisted ever since *". This scheme, independent of its manifest violation of that plan of symbolical exposition which the Bishop himself had so justly laid down respecting the existence, the non-existence, and the re-existence, of the beast, is certainly unsupported by history. According to the prophecy, the sixth head, in some sense or another, was to be wounded to death or slain by a sword, and was afterwards to revive. But, according to the Bishop's explanation, the sixth head was most assuredly not slain in the sense in which he understands the expression. The western branch of the sixth or imperial head was indeed subverted by Odoacer and his niercenaries; but the sixth head itself was not slain (supposing the phrase wounded to death by a sword to mean political subversion), till many ages after. It still subsisted in the person of the Constantinopolitan Emperor; and was not finally slain, or wounded to death (supposing with the Bishop that the phrase means political subversion), till the days
* Dissert. on Rev. xiii.
of the Turkish horsemen under the second woe. Aud when at length it was thus finally slain by the arms of the Turks, it has never since revived, nor is it likely to revive. Hence it is manifest, that we must seek for some other mode of explaining the death and revival of the sixth head : and I know not any events in its history, which will satisfactorily explain those circumstances in a månner agreeable both to the language of symbols, and to the collateral prediction that the beast should be, should not, be, and should be again, except its dying in the quality of a head of the beast by embracing Christianity, and its reviving in the same quality by its relapsing into an idolatrous tyranný the same in nature though not in name as its former idolatrous tyranny while in a pagan state.
ü. The scheme of Mr. Whitaker seems to me to depart yet more widely from symbolical analogy, and to be still less tenable than that of Bp. Newton. Notwithstanding St. John informs, as, that five of the heads were fallen when he wrote, thereby plainly shutting them out from having any connection with the prophecies which he was commissioned to deliver, Mr. Whitaker supposes that the wounded head was not the imperial but the dictatorial head; that it received its deadly wound by a sword when Julius Cesar was assassinated; that it was healed by the establishment of the papal power, which he conceives to be only the Dictatorship revived; and that thus, computing as in the days of St. John, it had been, was not,
and yet shall hereafter be-The arguments which Mr. Whitaker brings in support of his opinion, I cannot but think inconclusive-It is unwarrantable to pronounce the Papácy to be the same head as the Dictatorship, merely because the power claiined by the Popes bears some resemblance to that actually possessed by the ancient Dictators. Yet this is the only proof of their identity, adduced by Mr. Whitaker*--The wounded head moreover was a form of government; consequently its deadly wound, whatever the precise nature of that wound may be, must be understood figuratively. We shall therefore wholly depart from the language of symbols, if we suppose that the death of the head means the murder of an individual dictator; to say nothing of the impossibility of shewing how the rise of Popery could heal the literal wounds of Julius Cesar-Lastly, the expression was, is not, and yet is, however commentators may think proper to interpret it, can have no relation to the particular age in which St. John flourished. It is used by the angel, not in speaking of the Roman beast * as he had already been, then was in the days of the Apostle, and was hereafter about to be, but in speaking of him in his revived state, that state in which he ascended out of the sea, that state which is contradistinguished both from his former pagan eristence, and his intermediate Christian non-existence in his bestial character. Now the beast' revived and ascended out of the sea at the beginning of the 1260 days, or in the year 606. Consequently in the the beast began to enter upon his new character : his deadly wound was then healed: he received life afresh : and all the world wondered after him, as they had done previous to his death. He had been : he had ceased to be: and now once more was t-Nothing in short, that Mr. Whitaker has said relative to this mysterious phrase, induces me to give up the interpretation of it proposed by Bp. Newton : and, had his Lordship only considered the death and the revival of the beast always in the same sense ; had he only considered his death by the stroke of the sword to be equivalent to his non-existence, and his living again to be equivalent to his re-existence; I should have had nothing more to do than simply to transcribe bis exposition of this part of the prophecy *.
* Even if the resemblance were perfect, which it is not, for the Popes never possessed, though they might claim, the Dictatorial
power; still mere resemblance will not constitute identity. “ The Pope,” says Bp. Newton, “ is the most perfect likeness “ and resemblance of the ancient Roman emperors.” Hence, supposing the image of the beast to mean the effigies of the beast, he supposed the Pope to be that image. Yet he never conceived, that this similarity authorized him to say, that the Pope was an Emperor, or that the Papal head was the Imperial head recorered from its deadly wound, so that the Emperorship and the Papucy constituted jointly only one head.
flourished. year 606
* We may observe moreover that this phrase is not applied to a head of the beast, as Mr. Whitaker's scheme necessarily supposes, but to the beast himself. The mere abolition of the Dictatorship did not make the Roman beast himself cease to be, in any sense of which the words are naturally capable.
+ St. John seems to have first beheld the beast floundering in the sea with one of his heads wounded to death. Afterwards he beholds him reach the land ; and immediately his deadly wound is healed.
(4.) Having now fully considered the death and revival of the beast under his sixth head, I shall proceed to state in a regular chronological series some of the most prominent events, which took place during the time that the beast lay dead, and after his revival; in order that we may see, whether history will not lead us to some satisfactory explanation of the rise of his last head.
Immediately after the death of Theodosius in the year 395, the Roman empire began to be invaded by the northern barbarians: and, scarcely had their fury exhausted itself, when Rome was attacked from the south, and its strength completely broken, by the Vandals in the year 455. Thus debilitated, it still nevertheless preserved the name of an empire till the year 476, when Augustulus was deposed by Odoacer. These rude shocks greatly weakened the Roman empire considered as one grand whole, and diminished its glory: still however it continued to subsist in the East. All the events here enumerated, are predicted, as we have seen, under the four first trumpets. To the kingdom of Odoacer in Italy, succeeded the kingdom of the Ostrogoths in the year 493. This subsisted till the reign of the eastern Emperor Justi
See Whitaker's Comment. p. 213 216. VOL. II.