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it was sebout to be carom the ecen regal Roman Infire that with great perfonet)
Ver. 9. Herein is the mind having wisdom.] By comparing this expression with similar passages *, it will appear to contain a call to the observant Christian, engaging him to attend diligently to the marks (xaçeyece?ce) of the beast and harlot, which are now announced by the angel, in order to assist the detection of them when they shall appear. In the first place, we are informed, that the seven heads of the beasts are so many mountains, on which the woman, who directs the power of the beast, is seated. But mountains have been found to signify eminent seats, high stations, of power t. But, in ver. 1. of this chapter, the woman is said also to be seated “on many waters :" And these were ascertained, by the explanation of the angel, to signify “ people, and multitudes, and “ nations, and languages I.” Thus presiding over these nations, she is afterwards said, in plainer language, “ to “ have dominion over the kings of the earth.” From a comparison of these passages, it will therefore appear, that the seven mountains express that widely extended power and dominion, which this re-ascending beast was to exercise under the direction of the harlot.
But these seven mountains, by the interpretation of the angel, appear to have an additional signification ;-—"they are also seren king's ; five of them have "fallen ; and one of them is; the other is not yet
come; and when he is come, he must remain a little: si and the wild-beast which was, and is not, even he " is the cighth, and is of the seven.” I quote this
* Ch. siii. 10, 18. xiv. 19.
passage, to shew what we are to expect under the name of kings. For the beast himself, upon his revival, is to be one of the kings : therefore, from what he is known to be, some conjecture may be formed of the nature of the rest, who are here styled kings. Now, it has been clearly seen that the seven-headed beast is a tyrannical and oppressive power; and in particular, that power which formed the Roman domination, which is still the same beast, under wbat. ever form of government it may be exercised. But this power, though it
be administered by a king, cannot itself be literally a king, that is, a man exercising supreme authority. So in the interpretation of the word king, as used in this passage, we must look for some other meaning; for such as may not exclude the beast from bearing it. In this research, we obtain assistance from the eighth chapter of the prophecy of Daniel ; where, by comparing verse 17, with verse 23, it appears, that the word kings is used
to signify kingdons, or forms of government. The | beast before us has seven heads ; seven mountains ;
seven seats of eminent power ; seven kingdomns, or forms of government; yet not all existing at the same time, but suceeding to each other. For, five of them are represented to have fallen; one, the sixth, to be then existing; another, the seventh, to be not yet come; and after a short continuance to be succeeded by an eighth and last; even by the whole beast himself, representing such a kingdom, or form of government. In attempting to point out these seven kingdoms, or forms of government, it will be useful to begin with the sixth; with that which was existing at the time when the angel described them. This was the power imperial; for at that time one man, S
Domitian, under the title of Emperor, exercised the
But in the dark ages,
At which were now commencing, the beast begins again 1. be the to appear.
He had disappeared under the auspices of Constantine; now he revives; and the civil power of the empire passes into hands in which it becomes idolatrous, blasphemous, tyrannical, and oppressive es sabiq to true Religion. This was the time when the false
* These, as Bp. Newton observes, are the five forms of governo there?
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lesz 011 f the duomegal Empire, and the facy has mother tempored hower than that vluch it 432
A POCALYPSE. [Pt. VI. § 3.
poze prophet of the xijith chapter began to exalt the power of the beast : when the harlot directed the reins and exhibited him as an object of terror and admiration. Thus he became the eighth form of government: and in this form, hie exceeded all his predecessors in cruel and exterminating warfare against the saints. The popes, and their agents in the corrupt church, made use of the civil power of the kings to persecute and destroy those who dared to profess a creed or worship, other than they had authorized. Having, uttered their decrees against such persons, they delivered them to the secular arm, which at their instigation was ready to apply the fire and faggot. From the time that the reigning powers of Europe were willing to enforce the decrees of persecution at the call of a corrupt, domineering religion, is to be dated the reign of the beast, as an eighth head. It is not, strictly speaking, a head of the beast; for the heads were seven; and were all fallen; but it is the revival of a tyrannical, persecuting power in their place. It is a form still more beastly, subsisting after the seven heads were gone. It is the whole beast, or the perfect image of him, revived, by the false prophet, by the harlot.
Ver. 12. And the ten horns which thou didst see, are ten kings; &c.] This beast, like that in the viith chapter of Daniel, lias ten horns; which are also explained to represent ten kings or kingdoms. They are not described as having existence in the early days of the beast's power; but as succeeding to a share of dominion with him afterwards, “one and “the same hour;" that is, during a space of time, the commencement and duration of which seem not to be determined. But the warfare in which they are
to unite their forces to that of the beast, against the Lamb and his followers, takes place toward the end of the beast's reign, when they are mustered to the battle of the great day, by the agency of the evil spirits That these times are the same, we may collect from the similarity of the relation. In ch. xvi. 4. svii. 14. and xix. 16. 9, the same words are repeated ;-—" The Lamb shall overcome them;-King “ of kings, Lord of lords.” But the ten kingdoms, or their successive rulers, although for a time intoxicated by the harlot, and made subservient to her exaltation, shall in the end oppose her usurped dominion;
“ shall hate her, and shall make her desolate “and naked; and shall eat her flesh, and burn her “utterly with fire.” Her gaudy ornaments shall be stripped from her by the agency of those, who shall enrich themselves with her spoils, and finally reduce her to that complete destruction, which is expressed by the operation of fire f. Yet this hostility between the kings and the harlot, docs not seem to proceed from any virtue in them, but from worldly avarice and ambition. They covet her power and her riches; and this change in their conduct seems to take place from the time when they awake from their intoxication. They who had been the means of exalting the harlot, become the instruments of her fall.
* Ch. xvi. 4.
+ This destruction is particularly displayed in the following chapter. See also, Jer. xiii. 22–27. Ezek. xvi. 39; xxiii. 29. Hos. ii. 3. Mich. i. 6–12. Nah. iii. 4-5. Lam. i. 8; iv. 21 : which passages will afford light to the imagery here used, which is not unfrequent in the history of other ancient nations. See Tacitus de Mor. Gerin. c. xix. where the woman convicted of adultery, is described as turped out of doors, stripped and naked.