« PreviousContinue »
ceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by means “ of those miracles which he had power to do in “ the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell
on the earth, that they should make an image “ for the beast, which had the wound by a sword “ and did live. And it was given unto him to give “ life unto the beast's image, in order that the “ beast's image should even speak, and in order 46
that he * might cause that as many as would « not worship the beast's image should be killed. 6 And he canseth all, both small and great, rich “ and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in " their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that
authority thus symbolically described. In our present version it appears as if the bringing down of fire was itself one of the beast's miracles: whereas the participle iva signifies in order that not so that. Po justify the common version, the partiele ole ought to have occupied the place of ivaThus, after the Apostle bas mentioned the different gifts copferred upon the Church, lie adds that they were so conferred, " in order that
we henceforth should be no more children;" fraco Hentett Whir union (Ephes. iv. 14.). Thas also the same Apostle exhorts us to come boldly unto the throne of graee in order that we may * obtain mercy:" iva naßwpex EAEON (Heb. iv. 16.). Thus again, on the other hand, St. Mark informs is, that “ Jesus yet an“swered: nothing; so that Pilate marvelled" wole Oxovaceov ter alex (Mark xv. 5.). And thus St. Paul informs the Corin. thians, that God comforted him both by the coming of Titus, and by their fervent mind toward him, so that," says he, “ I “ rejoiced the more:" Wola pte Maddox youporaus (2 Cor. vii. 7.). There are three other passages, besides this in the Apocalypse, where in order that is hy our translators erroneously rendered 80 that: Luke xxiL 26. Rom. i. 20, and Galat. v. 17.
* That is to say, the beast, not the image, might cause. See Dr. Doddridge and Archdeacon Woodhouse in loc.
Ho man might buy or sell, save he that had tbe « mark, or the name of the beast, or the number " of his name.
Here is wisdom. Let him, that “ hath understanding, count the number of the “ beast: for it is the number of a man; and his
number is six hundred threescore and six."
I. A commentator upon the prophecies of Daniel and St. John can never be too much upon his guard against the fascinating idea, that he may expect to find every passing event of his own day there predicted. Before he ventures to introduce any exposition founded upon present circumstances, he ought to make it clearly appear, that it both accords with the chronological order so carefully preserved in those prophecies, that it strictly harmonizes with the language of symbals, and that it demonstrates every part of the prediction to tally eaactly with its supposed accomplishment. How far I have attended to this sound canon of interpretation in the remarks already made upon the chanacter of the king who was to magnify himself above every God, upon the scoffers of the last days, and upon the tremendous calamities conceived to have been introduced by the blast of the thind wob-trumpet, the cautious reader must decide. - My object, however I may have succeeded, has been the serious investigation of truth, not the mere estabishment of a system. I have endeavoured to the best of my judgment to follow prophecy, not to lead it to my own precouceived scheme of exposition.
Respecting this second apocalyptic beast, truth constrains me to say, that neither Mr. Kett, nor Mr. Galloway, appear to me to have attended to the foregeing canon in their remarks upon its prophetic character.
1. Mr. Kett thinks, that the second beast and the image are Infidelity and Democratic tyranny; that the two horns of the beast are the German illuminati and French pseudo-philosophers-; and that the particular democratic tyranny symbolized by the image is the revolutionary republic of France. Having laid down these principles, he observes (what no doubt is perfectly true), that it was Infidelity, which so bewitched the minds of the people as to induće thein to set up the atheistical republic; and that, when the image was thus set up, it caused as many as would not worship it to be killed #. He further observes, that all, both high and low, rich and poor, were compelled to wear a mark in their foreheads, the tri-coloured cockade, as acknowledge ing the authority of the beast and his imaget; and that those, who refused this badge of democratic atheism, were formerly proscribed, and deprived of the common rights of humanity #:
I may here repeat my former observation, that it was not the image which caused sạch as would not worship it to be slain, bụt the beast.
+ Mr. Kett does not expressly say this: but I fancy it is what he means.
See Hist. the Interp vol. i. p: 396, 420. * Hist. the Interp. vol. i. p. 418, 419; vol. ii. p. 152-208,
In this interpretation Mr. Kett has only noticed such parts of the propheoy as apparently accord with it: he is totally silent respecting several para ticulars, which are altogether inapplicable to Infidelity and Revolutionary France. . Such being the case, his interpretation cannot be valid: for no exposition of a prophecy is admissible, except the prophecy agree with its supposed accomplishment
every particular*--St. John describes the second. beast as
doing great wonders, in order that he may make fire come down from heaven on the * earth in the sight of men ; and as deceiving " them that dwell on the earth by means of those. “ miracles, which he had power to do in the sight 66 of the first beast.” The second beast therefore, must plainly be some power, which comes, like the man of sin, with signs and lying wonders, deceiving for a season the whole world with pretended miracles. Such a character as this however by no means answers to Infidelity. Modern philosophers; so far from making'any claims to miraculous powers, take a pleasure in scoffing at even the real miracles recorded in. Scripture. How is it possible then that Infidelity can be the second beast ? So again: if we ask an unprejudiced reader of
* It is much to be doubted, whether the very principle of this interpretation be admissible, independent of all the objections to which it is liable. It seems to me so little agreeable to symbolical analogy to term Infidelity a beast or ar universal visible empire, that I should certainly not have ventured myself to bring forward such an explanation of the symbol in question. T 4
the whole prediction relative to the two apocalyptic breasts, whát his sentiments are respecting them; Ire will answer, that, whatever powers those two beasts, may symbolize, they are evidently two toexisting powers, linked together in the closest manner, perfectly friendly to each other, and appavently contributing their mutual strength for the accoumplishment of Sonne common design. I confidently appeal to any person not previously wedded to some favourite system, whether this be not the plain and abvious meaning of the prophecy*. Now, whether the foret beast be the Papacy, 'as Mr. Kett supposes, or the Ronan empire in its divirted state after it hard etirpsed into idolatry, as I have vendeavouted to prove; in either case, if Infidelitay be the stcond beast, it certainly has slrewn itself the very revetse of being friendly to the first beast for the anti-social part of the Jacobin con
* This point is so seif-evident, that some commentators have thence run into the very contrary extreme to that of Mr. Kett; ald have imagined, that the two beasts are actually one and the sume porvet, or, as they express it, the sante Antichrist under two different symbols (See Pol. Sýniop. in.loc.). Indeed either this, or something very nearly akin to it, is the fault chargeable upon the systems both of Mr. Mede, Bp. Newton, Dr. Zoucha and Mr. Whitaker. Such an opinion, although certainly not agreeable to the plain declaration of the Apostle, who assures us that the record theast is de another beast' and 'therefore not the stinte as the frist beast, 'serves at least to shčñ, that none of these commentators 'ever supposed the two bedst's to be hostile to each other. Mr. Mede Justlý remarks, that they are linked together Hoy the strongest bonds of friendship: šumma neces situdine intcr 'se devinctæ,*