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1. We are told by the prophet, that the tenhorned beast " opened his mouth in blasphemy
against God, to blaspheme his name and his ta6.6 bernacle and them that dwell in heaven”-Blasphemy, in the prophetic language, denotes apostasy. Here it peculiarly denotes the apostasy of idolatry, though perhaps without excluding the idea of an actual renunciation of Christ. That the Roman beast while pagan was idolatrous, it is almost superfluous to observe; and, that he has relapsed into his ancient demonolatry disguised under a different name while papal, is scarcely less evident. In this last character he specially appears in the prophecy of the little book.
He blasphemed the name of God by sanctioning and upholding the idoJatry of his little horn, and by maintaining with the secular arm his tyrannical usurpation of a catholic spiritual authority: hence it is said by Daniel, that he should be destroyed “because of the “ voice of the great words which the horn spake. He blasphemed the tabernacle of God by treading it underfoot, and by polluting it with the idolatrous abominations of a new race of Gentiles *. And he blasphemed them that dwell in heaven, the holy angels and martyrs, by making them the objects of superstitious adoration, and by bestowing their names upon the inages which he worshipped. But idolatry is not the only apostasy with which the. beast has been tainted. Falling in the last days
Rev. xi, 2.
into the share of Antichristianism, he has, more especially in one of his chief members, openly apostatized from the faith, abjured the religion of the Messiah, and even denied the very existence of a God. Well then might the Apostle describe him as having upon his heads the name of blasphemy, as being even full of names of blasphemy, when his career has almost invariably been marked with every kind of apostasy *.
2. We are moreover informed, that all the world worshipped the dragon and the beast, and wondered after the beast---Respecting this worship we are afterwards taught, that it was the second beast who caused it to be paid to the first; and much light is thrown upon its nature by a phrase which more than once occurs in the Apocalypse : men are said to worship the beast and his image. Now it is superfluous to observe, that the Papists never literally worshipped the devil; and equally so to remark, that they never literally worshipped the ten-horned beast, or the secular Roman empire : yet this worship is immediately connected with the worship of an image which the second beast caused
* Rev. xiii. 1. xvii. 3. I am indebted to Mrs. Bowdler for this view of the apocalyptic blasphemy. Iler' ideas of Antichrist are the same as my own : his special badge, in his worst state, is a denial of the Father and the Son. It is remarkable, that Mrs. Bowdler, who wrote in the year 1775, supposes, that a time may come when men will be required to abjure the very name of Christ. Her conjecture has certainly been accomplished in at least one of the principal members of the beast. Practical. Observ. on the Rev. p. 35–46.
to be made to, or for the use of, the first head. Hence I apprehend, that the worship of the dragon and the beast means the devotion of the whole Roman world to the apostatę principles of the beast, such as his idolatrous worship of images, his opposition to the truth, and his persecution of the witnesses. They that dwelt upon the earth worshipped the dragon, by lending themselves as tools to advance the infernal domination of the prince of darkness *; and they worshipped the beast by adopting the idolatry which he upheld no less as a popish than as a pagan empiret. I know not in what manner, except this, it is possible for an empire to be worshipped.
3. It is further said, that power was given to the ten-horned beast over all kindreds and tongues and nations; insomuch that all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb These
* “ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your 4 father he will do." John viii. 44.
+ Bestian adorare, ex Hebraismi et Orientis usu, nihil “ aliud est quam eidem subjici" (Mede in loc.). “Adorem « rerunt bestiam, i. e. subjecerunt se bestiæ juxta constitutionem “ suam religiosam" (Pol. Synop. in loc.). The passage is equivalent to that, wherein it is said, that the ten horns " gave “ their power and strength unto the beast" (Rev. xvii. 13.). The whole Roman world, under all its ten horns, embraced those idolatrous and heretical principles which gave to the Empire its bestial character; and employed its utmost power and strength to uphold them. Respecting the worship of the beast's image more will be said hereafter in its proper place.
various kindreds, and tongües, and nations are the different papal states of the Roman earth; over all of which the beast reigned, either through his last head, or through his ten horns. For a season they all worshipped the beast, adopting his apostate principles, joining in his adoration of images, applauding his every persécution of the Church, and heartily concurring with him in his tnost violent measures against the witnesses whose names are written in the book of life: and even now, after the Reformation, only one of the ten horns* bas protested against his tyranny, and resolutely sheltered the mystic woman and the remnant of her seed from his implacable rage . The others either still adhere to their ancient abominations, or have embraced the yet more blasphemous tenets of Antichrist. Notwithstanding their recent severe sufferings, they repent not of the works of their hands, their idolatry, their murders, their sorceries, their spiritual fornication, their thefts or they repent of them only to blaspheme the name of the God of heaven, and to refuse to give him glory. The Roman beast stiil retains all the characteristics of a beast : and in this state he will at
* I use the phrase here in a general and indefinite 'sense, as it is used by the prophet himself (Rev. xvii. 16.). Of the ten original horns France alone remained at the era of the Re volution.
† Neither Denmark, Sweden, nor Prussia, are even modern korus of the beast, because they never were comprehended within the limits of the old Roman Erinpire.
length go into perdition on account of the great words of the little horn.
IV. It will not be improper at the end of this long discussion, to give in one point of view the scheme of interpretation which I have adopted in preference to that of Mr. Mede, Sir Isaac Newton, and Bp. Newton. Whatever may be its other faults, it at least preserves all the members of the seven-headed and ten-horned beast perfectly distinct.
1. The beast then is the secular Roman EmpireHis seven heads (the lust being his double or septimo-octave head) are 1. Kings; 2. Consuls; 3. Dictators; 4. Decemvirs; 5. Military Tribunes; 6. Augustan Emperors ; 7, 8. Carlovingian Patricio-Emperors His ten primitive horns are 1. The kingdom of the Huns; 2. The kingdom of the Ostrogoths; 3. The kingdom of the Visigoths ; . 4. The kingdom of the Franks; 5. The kingdom of the Vandals; 6. The kingdom of the Sueves and Alans; 7. The kingdom of the Burgundians; 8. The kingdom of the Heruli, Rugii, Scyrri, and other tribes, that composed the Italian kingdom of Odoacer; 9. The kingdom of the Saxons; 10. The kingdom of the Lombards-His little horn, which grew up among his first ten horns, and which was different from them all, is the ecclesiastical kingdom of the Pope ; which, small as it originally was, afterwards became a great ecclesiastical empireHis three primary horns, that were plucked up before the little papal horn, are 1. The kingdom of