Page images

opportunity of expressing my thanks to them for the indulgent manner in which they treated it.

In the preface to my first edition were contained strictures upon certain opinions advanced in an anonymous work on prophecy, which has since been avowed by Mr. Granville Penn. That gentleman, in the Preface to his Dissertation on Ezekiel's Prophecy of Gog, has done me the honour to notice my observations. I deem it therefore to be incumbent upon me, to make a very few short remarks on what he has said, for as I was myself the assailant in this instance, were I to make no reply, it might be construed into want of respect for Mr. Penn. Of the two primary points at issue, between the great body of Protestant Commentators and the author of the Christian's Survey, which formed the principal subject of my strictures, the first relates to the meaning of the symbolical little horn of Daniel's fourth beast, which by the almost unvarying consent of these Commentators has been applied to the papal power, but is by Mr. Penn supposed to describe the late empire of France,

As events bave occurred which prove Mr. Penn's exposition of that symbol to have been fallacious, it seems quite unnecessary to prolong the controversy respecting it. The French power has perished, but the body of the Roman empire survives. Nay the papal monarchy, the final and absolute extinction of which was pronounced by Mr. Penn to have taken

place in 1810,* exists still in 1817. That these events have also disappointed my conjectures, I have already freely acknowledged. But while they are fatal to Mr. Penn's system, they leave the body of mine entire, and overthrow only some conclusions which were not essential to it.

I shall here, however, as Mr. Penn thinks it incumbent upon me to do it, give a concise view of the reasons on which is founded the application of the above symbol to the papal power.

Ist. The little horn was seen to arise after the other horns.t Now the rise of the ten Gothic horns took place before the end of the fifth century. But that of the papal power cannot be dated earlier than the beginning of the sixth century, consequently it rose after the horns, and in this respect the type answers the supposed antitype.

2d. The horn was little, and always remained so. Mr. Penn avers that this is to be interpreted in respect of the shortness of its duration. But in the very next vision, viz. that of the ram and he goat (Dan. viii.), the first horn of the he goat, symbolizing the individual power of Alexander the Great, is represented as being notable nint or great, though he reigned only twelve years. We may

hence infer, that the size of a horn denotes not, as Mr. Penn supposes, the period of its duration, but its intrinsical physical power. The smallness of the anoma* Christian's Survey, p. 90.

+ Dan. vii. 24.

lous horn of the fourth beast indicates therefore, not

? its more recent origin, but that its physical power string when compared with that of the others is small. kron'lessi This corresponds with what history testifies of the papal dominion. The influence of that power has never arisen from its physical force, but from its policy and cunning, pointed out by the eyes of the horn : * and from its spiritual pretensions, symbolized by its mouth speaking great things, whereby it obtained a paramount control over the minds of men, which even in the present period they have been unable entirely to shake off. +

* Dan. vii. 8.

+ The late papal bull against Bible Societies, which I here insert, is in some measure illustrative of the meaning of the expression, that this horn had a mouth speaking great things. The following is a copy of this bull.

Translation of the Bull against Bible Societies, issued from Rome,

June 29, 1816, by Pope Pius VII, to the Archbishop of Gnezn,
Primate of Poland.

“ Health and apostolic benediction.
“In our last letter to you we promised, very soon, to return an

answer to yours, in which you have appealed to this holy see, in “ the name also of the other bishops of Poland, respecting what are “ called Bible Societies, and have earnestly inquired of us what you

ought to do in this affair. We long since, indeed, wished to comply “ with your request; but an incredible variety of accumulating con

cerns have so pressed upon us on every side, that till this day we “ could not yield to your solicitation. ♡ We have been truly shocked at this most crafty device, by which


3d. The power of the horn is commensurate in time, with that of the beast, in Rev. xiii. which is


~ the very foundations of religion are undermined ; and having, “ because of the great importance of the subject, convened for con“ sultation our venerable brethren, the cardinals of the holy Roman “ church, we have, with the utmost care and attention, deliberated

upon the measures proper to be adopted by our pontifical authority, “ in order to remedy and abolish this pestilence as far as possible. “ In the mean time, we heartily congratulate you, venerable brother ; " and we commend you again and again in the Lord, as it is fit we “ should, upon the singular zeal you have displayed under circum“stances so hazardous to Christianity, in having denounced to the

apostolic see, this defilement of the faith, most imininently dar gerous to souls. And although we perceive that it is not all necessary to excite him to activity who is making baste, since of

your own accord you have already shewn an ardent desire to detect " and oppose the

ne impious machinations of these innovators; yet, in conformity with our office, we again and again exhort you, that “ whatever you can achieve by power, provide for by counsel, or “ effect by authority, you will daily execute with the utmost earnest

ness, placing yourself as a wall for the house of Israel,

“ For this end we issue the present letter, viz. that we may convey “ to you a signal testimony of our approbation of your laudable “ exertions, and also may endeavour therein still more and more to “excite your pastoral solicitude and vigilance.—For the general good “imperiously requires us to combine all our means and energies to “ frustrate the plans which are prepared by its enemies for the de“ struction of our most holy religion; whence it becomes an episcopal “ duty, that


first of all expose the wickedness of this nefarious “scheme, as you already are doing so admirably, to the view of the “ faithful, and openly publish the same, according to the rules pre“ scribed by the Church, with all that erudition and wisdom in which

you excel; namely, “ that Bibles printed by heretics are numbered among prohibited books, by the rules of the Index (No. II. & III.); “ for it is evident from experience, that the Holy Scriptures, when

admitted by Mr. Penn himself to denote the Roman empire, in its divided state. The duration of the

“ circulated in the vulgar tongue, have, through the temerity of men, "produced more harm than benefit:" (Rule IV.) And this is the

more to be dreaded in times so depraved, when our holy religion is

assailed from every quarter with great cunning and effort, and the “ most grievous wounds are inflicted on the Church. It is therefore

necessary to adhere to the salutary decree of the Congregation of " the Index (June 13th, 1757), that no versions of the Bible in the

vulgar tongue be permitted, except such as are approved by the "" apostolic sce, or published with annotations extracted from the

writings of the holy fathers of the Church.”

“We confidently hope that, even in these turbulent circumstances, " the conduct of the Poles will afford the clearest evidences in support “ of the religion of their ancestors ; and this especially by your care

as well as that of the other prelates of this kingdom, whom, on

account of the stand they are so wonderfully making for the faith ** committed to them, we congratulate in the Lord, trusting that they “ all will very abundantly justify the opinion which we have enter“ tained of them.

“ It is moreover necessary that you should transmit to us, as soon as possible, the Bible which Jacob Wuiek published in the Polish

language with a commentary, as well as a copy of the edition of “ it lately put forth without those annotations, taken from the

writings of the holy fathers of our church, or other learned Ca" tholics, with your opinion upon it; that thus, from collating them

together, it may be ascertained, after mature investigation, what errors may lie insidiously concealed therein, and that we may

pronounce our judgment on this affair, for the preservation of the “ true faith.

“ Proceed, therefore, venerable brother, to pursue the truly pious course upon

have entered; viz. diligently to fight the " battles of the Lord in sound doctrine, and warn the people en

trusted to your care, that they fall not into the snares which are prepared for them, to their everlasting ruin. The Church waits

which you

« PreviousContinue »