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eve of St. Bartholomew,* by the perfidious revocation of the edict of Nantz,t himself led into captivity and slain with the sword. We have beheld numbers of his papal clergy crowded together into gaols, and put to death. I We have beheld the sovereign Pontiff, that man of sin who had led so many thousands captive, himself go into captivity. The voice of the seven last thunders hath long been sealed : but now it hath begun to shake both hearen and earth.
We are not however to imagine, that the infidel tyrant of the last days is allowed to prosper for his own sake. He is doubtless a mere instrument of vengeance in the hand of God. Like his precursor and type, the haughty sovereign of Assyria, he is “the rod of the Lord's anger, sent against an hypocritical nation and against the people of his wrath, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so; but it is in his heart to destroy and to cut off nations not a few." Hence, when he hath “performed his whole work,” as “ the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria and the glory of his high looks” were punished, so “ shall he come to his end, and none shall help him.”
“ The French king glorieth in his letters to the Pope, that he had slain 70,000 heretics in a few days.” Isaacson's Chron. cited by Sharpe in An inquiry inte tbe descrip tion of Babylon, p. 33. Bossuet acknowledges the murder of only 30,000.
+ “ Louis peremptorily required the protestants in France to sign a declaration of submission and strict obedience to his royal orders ; and that they should promise to attend the mass, and entirely omit their own religious meetings; for otherwise they should forfeit, not only their lands and all other property, but also ibeir personal liberty; the men being doomed to slavery in the king's galleys for life, and the women to be shut up for life wherever their enemies should choose to immure them." It it supposed, that, in the course of this detestable persecution, about a million of protestants saved their lives by quitting their country, and that at least 100,000 were murdered. (Sharpe's Inquiry into the description of Babylon, p. 35–39.) Among those, who fled from their disgraced country at that dreadful period, was a pious ancestor of my own.
# “ The decree was passed on the 15th day of May 1792, which condemned the non-juring clergy to banishment. About the time of the federation which followed, many of the clergy were put to death with circumstances more or less sanguinary: great numbers also were crowded together in gaols, and other places of confinement. Hist. the Interp. Vol. ii. p. 232.
Concerning the two-horned beast of the earth.
To complete his account of the great promoters and upholders of the Western Apostacy, it now only remains, that St. John should describe the spiritual power, by the instigation, of which the temporal ten-horned beast was to persecute the witnesses during the space of 1260 years. Accordingly he concludes the third chapter of the little book with fully developing the character of this tyrannical empire within an empire, under the symbol of a second beast or universal empire, co-existing and cooperating with the first beast or universal empire.
" And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, in order that he may make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
And he deceiveth 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 he had power to give life
Such I conceive to be the proper translation of the original. This bringing down of fire from beaven upon earth was not itself a miracle; but wonders were wrought by the beast in order that he might possess without dispute or control the 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 particle ivo signifies in order ibat not so tbat. To justify the common version, the particle wl: ought to have occupied the place of iva. Thus, after the Apostle has mentioned the different gifts conferred upon the Church, he adds that they were so conferred,“ in order tbat we henceforth should be no more children :" ivc urnett wuiv m7101. (Ephes. iv. 14.) Thus also the same Apostle exhorts us to “ come boldly unto the throne of grace, in order that we may obtain mercy:" ivox rabe perv edsov. (Heb. iv. 16.) Thus again, on the other hand, St. Mark informs us, that “ Jesus yet answered nothing ;
; so tbat Pilate marvelled :” she tavuaceiv Tov rialov. (Mark xv. 5.) And thus St. Paul informs the Corinthians, that God comforted him both by the coming of Tits, and by their tervent mind toward him," :0 that,” says hc, “ I rejoiced the more :" WIVE ME NX22.07 xapnvan. (2 Cor. vii. 7.) There are three other passages, besides this, in the Apocalypse, where in order that is by our translators crroneouely rendered so tha: · Luke xvi. 26. Rom. i. 20. and Galat. v. 17.
unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he caused 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 no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of bis name. Here is wisdom. Let him, that haib understanding, count the number of the beast : for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six."
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 pussing 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 symbols, and that it demonstrates every part of the prediction to tally exactly with its supposed accomplishment, How far I have attended to this sound canon of interpretation in the re: marks already made upon the character 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 third woe-trumpet, the cautious reader must decide. My object, however I may have succeeded, has been the serious investigation of truth, not the mere establishment of a system. I have endeavoured to the best of my judg. ment to follow prophecy, not to lead it to my own preconceived 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 foregoing canon in their remarks upon its prophetic character.
Mr. Kett thinks, that the second beast and the image are Infidelity, and Democratic tyranny ; that the two horns af the beast are the German illuminati and French pseudo-philosophers; and that the particular democratiu
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 induce them 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 acknowledging the authority of the beust and his image ;* and that those, who refused this badge of democratic atheism, were formerly proscribed, and deprived of the common rights of humanity.t
In this interpretation Mr. Kett has only noticed such parts of the prophecy as apparently accord with it: he is totally silent respecting several particulars, 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 in every particulart-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 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 the whole prediction relative to the two apocalyptic beasts, what his sentiments are respecting them; he will answer, that, whatever powers those two beasts may symbolize, they are evidently two co-existing powers, linked together in the closest manner, perfectly friendly to each other, and apparently contributing their mutual strength for the accomplishment of some common design. I confidently appeal to any person not previously wedded to some favourite system, whether this be not the plain and obvious meaning of the prophecy.* Now, whether the first beust be the Papacy, as Mr. Kett supposes, or the Roman empire in its divided state after it had lapsed into idolatry, as I have endeavoured to prove; in either case, if Infidelity be the second beast, it certainly has shewa itself the very reverse of being friendly to the first beast : for the anti-social part of the Jacobin conspiracy was as steadily directed against all regular government, as its anti-christian part was against all religion. Before Mr. Kett's exposition therefore can be allowed to be wellfounded, he must point out in what manner Infidelity “caused the earth and all them which dwell therein to worship the beast whose deadly wound was healed ;” that is to say, in what manner Infidelity caused the whole world to devote themselves to the apostate principles upheld by the beast. He may possibly say, that Buonapartè has now taken those apostate principles, under his special protection, and has formally entered into a league with the Pope. This however is not the point. The question is not what an ambitious individual has done, merely to serve his own purposes ; but what Infidelity has done, that Infidelity which set up the atheisti
* 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. 413, 419. Vol. ii. p. 152—208.
$ It is much to be doubted, whether the very prir.ciple 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 an universul visible empire, that I should certainly not have ventured myself to bring forward such an ex. planation of the symbol in question.
* This point is so self-evident, that some commentators have thence run into the very contrary extreme to that of Mr. Kett; and have imagined, that the two beasts are actually one and the same power, or, as they express it, the same Anticbrist under toes different symbols. (See Pol. Synop. in loc.) Indeed either this, or something very nearly a kin to it, is the fault chargeable upon the systems both of Mr. Mede, Bp. Newton, Dr. Zouch, and Mr. Whitaker. Such an opinion, although certainly not agreeable to the plain declaration of the Apostle, who assures us that the second beast is “ another beast" and therefore not the same as the first beast, serves at least to shew, that none of these commentators ever supposed the two bcasts to be bostile to each other. Mr. Mede justly remarks, that they are linked together by the strongest bonds of friendship : "summa necessitudine inter se devinctæ."