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the battle of the great day. And among other de. scriptions, this Beast is represented as having a dead. ly wounded head healed; or as having a wound by a sword, yet afterwards living. And this trait of his character is referred to, in the above verses, in the course of the description of the second Beast: The reason of which is this; the pagan Beast's having been wounded to death in the head, yet afterwards living, was his most remarkable characteristic.
By this therefore, he would naturally be spoken of, when allusion was had to him. But this reference was not de. signed to indicate, that this healing of the wounded head was then already effected, nor to indicate any thing relative to the time, when the Roman Beast was to recover life. The fact, I believe, will appear to be, that this recovery of life was then far future, and that the Roman Beast lived, through all the ages of the prosperity of the Papal Beast, only by his image in the management of that officious Pontificate. But that he himself, all that time, lay dead. The idea of two Beasts prevailing at the same time, and on the same ground, for 1260 years; or existing at all collaterally; is a solecism, an absurdity never to be admitted. Each one of two things cannot be the greatest. A Beast, as a predominant power, a dynasty, and the sum of an empire, may have a number of collateral horns. But he cannot admit another Beast on the same ground; and both continue. There cannot be in any body, at the same time, more than one supreme power. Symbolical language cannot admit of two Beasts in Christendom at the same period. When the last head of the Roman Beast arises, and takes Popery into its possession, the latter then ceases to be, or to be called, a Beast. It is henceforward called the false prophet,* the mother of harlots;t and the horn of the Beast. But it is never after this called a Beast.
* Rev. xix, 20, and xvi, 13. + Rev. xvii, 5. Dan. vii, 11.
Si am aware it may here be objected to my proposition, that we read in Dan, vii, 12; As concerning the rest of the Beasis, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were pro. longed for a season and time: as though they all existed, as Beasis, at one and the same time. But this cannot be the mean
The only remaining passage, which seems to militate against the explanations given, is in verse 14th, on the
ing of the prophet. When the real sense of the passage is ascertained, I think it will afford no objection to my proposition, that two Beasts cannot exist on the same ground, at the same time. The pasage, it seems, was designed to note the contrast between the manner, in which the Antichristian Beast shall be destroyed; and the manner, in which the preceding ancient Beasts were overthrown. The former loses not only his dominion as a Beast, but his existence on earth, at the time of his overthrow; being not subjugated by a human conqueror, as were the others, but utterly destroyed by the Lord from heaven, in the battle of that great day of God Almighty: when not only the Beast is slain, but his body is destroyed and given to the burning flame; as in the preceding verse. But so it was not with the former and ancient Beasts, when they lost their dominant power. How many soever of their soldiers were in fact slain in battle, nothing took place, which was like the bodies of those Beasts (the mul. titudes, who had constituted them) being destroyed, and given to the burning flame; as is to be the case with Antichrist. The powers symbolized by those Beasts, instead of being utterly destroyed, were only subjected, each in his turn, to the dominion of the succeeding power; and there received tolerable treatment as subjects. And to express this difference of treatment, in the immediate view of the body of the Antichristian ast, being de stroyed, and given to the burning flame, at the same time, in which the Beast is slain, as in the preceding verse; it is said, of the rest of the Beasis, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. This elliptical mode of expression was most naturally adopted, instead of expressing the whole evident sense, as follows: Concerning the rest of the Beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet the multitude who had constituted their body, instead of being destroyed and given to the burning flame, as shall be the case with Antichrist, were chiefly spared, and received tolerable treatment under their new masters. But the prophet could not mean to teach us, that all these Beasts had existed, as Beasts, at one and the same time! Nothing could be more unnatural; or untrue. When the Macedonian he-goat, for instance, stamped upon, and slew the Persian ram, this ram is never represenied to be in cxistence, as a Beast, afterwards; although the people of Persia still existed for a season and lime; and to the present day.
The opinion, that the two Beasts, in Rev. xii, were co-existent for 1260 years, must be an absurdity,
A universal or great empire, disposed to persecute the Church, is in prophetic style a Beast; whether the empire be of secular dominion; or u hierarchy, But when did two sucl independent, persccuting
subject of the Papal Beast, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles, which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast. Here it seems to be suggested, that the Papal Beast wrought miracles in the sight of the Pugan Beast; as though the latter were already revived. But if he were already revived, what need of an image being made to him? And it has been noted that two Beasts cannot exist on the same ground, at the same time. It cannot mean then, that the Pagan Beast was already revived. The clause, in the sight of the Beast, must therefore mean, either in the sight of the image of the Beast; putting by a metonymy, the prototype for the copy; or, in admiration, or imitation of the Pagan Beast; i.e. that the Papal hierarch wrought his deceptive miracles with a view to confirm a system no better, than the old Pa. gan system. This he actually did, in what was called the image of the Beast, before described. “In the sight of the beast; i. e. to his honor, and to gain him a reputation!” (Pool on the passage.) And what follows the above clause, as an explanation of it, appears to confirm this as being the true sense; saying to them, who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the Beast. As the Papal Beast caused the earth to worship the Pagan Beast, (v. 12) by causing them to worship his image; (v.14) so the miracles wrought by the Papal Beast were done in the presence of the Pagan Beast, by being done in the presence of his image. Mistaking the sense of these several passages, and the one before explained, relative to the continuance of the first Beast forty and two months, I conceive, has been the occasion of perplexing commentators, and of leading them erroneously to blend and confound the Roman and Pa. pal Beasts. I have shown that the two powers in Daniel are given as distinct; also in Revelation xiii, just noted. And they are thus presented, in Revelation xvii; to which I shall now attend. In this passage, the terrible Power of the last days is strikingly exhibited.
power's co-exist on the Roman earth; or in the world? Were it possible for two vast empires to be found independent of each other, and acting in po concert, yet both persecuting the cause of Christ; possibly they might be symbolized by two co-existe ent Beasis. But two such powers never co-existed on the Roman earth. Popery fully answered to such a power. But 110 civil power, within the Papal influence, did at the same time exist, which could answer to such
power. However in. dependent of the Pope the emperors of Germany, or any other civil powers within the Roman earth, might have been, as to their civil jurisdictions during the Papal supremacy; yet those civil power's never persecuted the cause of Christ, only at the Papal instigation. The hierarchy was the system, during its supreme power, that persecuted the witnesses. The civil authorities were only iis executioners. “The fourth council of Lateran (says Bishop Burnet) decreed that all heretics should be delivered to the secular power, to be extirpated.” In the time of Pope Innocent the third, false accusations were raised against the Waldenses and Albigenses;—upon which, the Pope decreed a crusade against them. And he sent his emissaries into the west, enjoining it on sovereign princes, and other Christian people, to extirpate those heretics. Upon this Vitringa observes, that in France alone, a million were destroyed. The persecution (though executed by the civil powers) originated in the Papal Beast. The same is true of all the persecutions during the Papal supremacy. In this thing the hier, archy was “that great city, which reigned over the kings of the (Roman) earth.
The reign was not theirs; but hers. The imperial authority, co-existent with Popery, was nothing more (as a persecuting power) than one of the irvo horns of the Papal Beast. This Beast is presented with owo horns. And his ciergy, and the civil powers under his superstition, were most fiily symbolized by these two Papal börns:-As was his system of real idolarly, under the Christian name by an image made to inc oid Pagan Bomst.
One of the Angels, who in the xvith chapter had poured out the vials of the wrath of God, proposes to show to the evangelist the judgment, or destruction, of the Papal harlot. John is carried into the wilderness. The harlot in her turn is in trouble: She is bewildered. John beholds a woman in lewd attire; with the superscription of her abominable character upon her forehead; indicating, that she, as the worst of criminals, is presented for speedy execution. Bishop Pear- . son and Doctor Lardner, upon the superscription over the head of our Savior, have shown, that it was a cus. tom among the ancient Romans to place on, or over, the foreheads of the worst of criminals, the superscrip
tion of their guilt, at the time of their execution. The superscription upon the cross of our Savior was upon the same principle. The great harlot is presented with this her superscription upon her forehead, inscribed in capitals; MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And she has also upon her the symbols of her past magnificence, and of her allurements, and crimes; in order to shew her to be the Papal hierarchy. She is mounted on a Beast, that may be said to be bearing her to her judgment or execution. * This Beast is of a scarlet color, to denote his cruel and bloody character. He is full of the names of blasphemy, to denote bis Infi. delity and wickedness. And he has seven heads, as well as ten horns, to identify in him the old heathen Roman empire now revived.
The Angel, in explaining the mystery of the Beast, informs, that he was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition; and they, who dwell on the earth, shall wonder (whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) when they behold the Beast, that was, and is not, and yet is. The seven heads, the Angel informs, (in addition to their being seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth, or on which Rome was built,) are seven kings, or forms of government, in the different periods of the Roman empire. “Five are fallen,” those of Kings, Consuls, Tribunes, Decemvirs, and Dictators, were past, when John had his vision. “One is;" the then present form was Imperial, and was the sixth head, or form of government, “Aid the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, lle must continue a short space.” Concerning this seventh head, or form of government, then future, which when it should come should continue a short space, expositors have been divided and perplexed. Every scheme, which they have adopted, ap. pears attended with unanswerable objections. The reason I think is obvious. Nothing had taken place, to
* This is not a woman directing and governing an empire; but just the reverse.