Page images

of the Gothic Roman Empire from constituting jointly with the sovereign of the Constantinopolitan Empire only one sirth head of the beast, as Bp. Newton supposes, that the Greeks very unwillingly allowed even to Charlemagne the title of Emperor, and absolutely refused to bestow it upon his successors. They could not bring themselves to consider a barbarian of the North in the light of an Emperor of the Romans; and they were unwilling to concede that dignity to a king of the Franks, which they had never refused to the shortlived genuine line of Western Emperors, the real successors of Augustus *. Under Charlemagne


assemblage of newly-created kings professedly hold their erowns as vassals of their superior lord Buonaparte, who scruples 'not to style their dominions federal provinces of his empire. June 1. 1806.

* The imperial dignity of Charlemagne was announced to " the East by the alteration of his style; anıl, instead of sa# luting his fathers, the Greek Emperors, he presumed 10 adopt " the more equal and familiar appellation of brother - A treaty “ of peace and alliance was concluded between the two em" pires; and the limits of the East and West were defined by " the right of present possession. But the Greeks soon forgot "! this humiliating equality, or remembered it only to hate the " Barbarians by whom it was extorted. During the short union " of virtue and power, they respectfully saluted the august " Charlemagne, with the acclamations of basilcus, and Emperor " of the Romans. As soon as these qualities were separated in of the person of his pious son, the Byzantine letters were in"scribed, To the King, of, as he styles himself, the Emperor of

the Franks and Lombards. When both power and virtue were extinct, they despoiled Louis the second of his hereditary

" title

$ 3

in short, Rome became subject to a new head* : for a form of government was then instituted, dif


" title; and, with the barbarous appellation of Rer or Rega, degraded him among the crowd of Latin princes—The same

controversy was revived in the reign of the Othos; and their “ ambassador describes, in lively colours, the insolence of the " Byzantine court. The Greeks affected to despise the poverty

and ignorance of the Franks and Saxons; and, in their last “ decline, they refused to prostitute to the kings of Germany

the title of Roman Emperors. Hist. of Decline. vol. ix. p. 191-195.

* Many commentators, though they may not quite positively declare as much, seem to be impressed with a sort of idea, that an actual residence at Rome is a necessary characteristic of u head of the Roman beast. Hence we are sometimes asked, What other power, except the Papacy, can possibly be the last head of the beast, inasmuch as Rome since the days of the Cesars has been the seat of no other power? Mere residence at Rome however has nothing to do with the character of a. head of the beast; though it seems essential to such a character to have enjoyed, at some period or other of its existence, the sovereignty of Rome. When Constantine removed the seat of government, he did not surely on that account cease to be the representative of the sixth head; any more than the king of Scotland ceased to be the head of Scotland by removing the seat of government to London, or the Emperor of Russia to be the head of Russia by transferring his residence from Moscow to Petersburgh. Indeed, those who are the foremost in urging the residence of the Pope in Rome, as an argument of his being the last head, scruple not to declare that cither the line of the demi-Cesars, the Exarchs of Ravenna, or the Gothic -sovereigns of Italy, corstitute the short-lived seventh head; although none of these, except the first, ever resided in Rome, and they only for abwat tight,years: Rome was as much subject to Charlemagne, who resided at Paris, as it was to Constantine who-re

fering radically and essentially from every one of the previous six forms, represented by the sir first heads of the beast.

4. By way of recapitulation of what has been said, I will venture to assert, that no power ha's ever arisen within the limits of the Roman empire which at all answers to the prophetic character of the sèptimo-octave head, except the Carlovingian monarchy alone. Three things concur in this character; the last head of the beust was to be at once both the seventh and the eighth head, the secenth continuing only a short time, and then being swallowed up in the eighth; it was at its first rise to be the whole beast; and it was to be the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, that is to say it was to be the revived beast or the beast while in his papally-idolatrous state.

(1.) Now the Carlovingian monarchy was the septimo-octave head, as being the Patriciutė merging into the feudal Emperorship.

(2.) It was the whole beast, as comprehending the whole Western empire either by actual sovereignty, or by the homage of acknowledged superiority:

(3.) And it was the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, as comprehending that whole empire, alter

sided at Constantinople. The only difference was this ; that Charlemagne granted Rome to the Pope to be held as a filf of the empire, under himself the superior lord, agreeably to the usages of feudalism. Indeed the whole behavious of Charlemagne shews' plainly, that he was as much the reat sovereign of Rome as Buonaparte is at present. June 1, 1806,

it had elapsed into the abominations of papal ty, ranny and idolatry:

Neither the Papacy, nor any other power, except the Carlovingian Patricio-Imperial government, will be found to answer to this prophetic descrip: tion; whence I doubt not, but that that government is intended by the last head of the beast.

5. Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton think, that St. John beheld all the ten horns growing together upon the last head. To this opinion however there appear to be insuperable objections, whether the last head be the Papacy or the Gothic Emperorship, The springing up of horns out of a head necessa, rily implies, that the head was in existence before the horns : whereas both the Papal Empire (as conțradistinguished from the primitive Bishopriç of Rome), and the Carlovingian Emperorship. arose after the horns had sprung up; namely, the one in the year 606, and the other in the years 774 and 800*. Hence it is plain, that the ten horns could not have appeared to the prophet as growing upon

the last head. To which then of the heads are we to assign the ten horns ? Most assuredly to the sixth. In the days of St. John five were fallen: and, between the fall of those five and the rise of the last, the ten horns sprung up. It is manifest

Bp. Newton dates the commencement of the 1260 years considerably later than the year 606. According to this plan, it is still more impossible, that the ten horns should appear to St. John growing upon the last head, if that last head be the

e Papaey .


[ocr errors]

therefore, that they can only have sprung up out of the sixth, Such accordingly we find to be the case. The Roman Empire was divided into ten kingdoms under the sixth head of the beast, previous to his revival under the same sixth head* and previous to the rise of his last head. It was the sixth head therefore that branched out into ten horns: consequently to the sixth head the ten horns must necessarily belong.

III. In the remaining part of the prophecy respecting the ten-horned beast we are informed, agreeably to the preceding prophecy respecting the war between the dragon and the woman, that it was the dragon which gave his power and his seat or secular authority to the beast ; and that the beast, as his agent, should persecute the saints 42 months or 1260 years. Hence it appears, that the persecution of the dragon and the persecution of the beast is one and the same; and that they are both exactly commensurate with the reign of the little horn. The dragon therefore, as I have already observed, we must consider as the main spring of the whole Apostasy, the ten-horned beast, as his secular engine of persecution; and the two-horned beast, as the spiritual instrument which he used to stir up the last head and the ten horns of the beast of the sea against the mystic


* " Í

saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and " his deadly wound was healed—the beast, which had the wound # by a sword, and did live," Rev. xiii. 3, 14.

« PreviousContinue »