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pears necessary to state that the first existence of the empire answers to the first term of the beast's life under his seven heads; the enigmatical non-existence of the empire, to the period while the beast lies headless or dead; and the re-existence of the empire must be symbolized by the second form of the beast's life, when his deadly wound shall be healed, and an eighth head shall spring up in the place of one of the preceding seven. Now, it is evident from facts, that the period of the beast's original or first existence is past; and that we of the present age are living at the time when the beast is not; or during the period of its symbolical non-existence, while it is lying as a trunk without a head. It is an undeniable fact, that, at present, there is no head of the Roman empire in existence; but it is evident, that in this prophecy a revival of the life of the beast is predicted. His deadly wound is to be healed, and an eighth head is to arise which is to be one of the seven. This eighth form of government, therefore, which is hereafter to spring up, is not to be a new form, but one of the prior seven revived or re-established. This must necessarily be the sixth or the seventh, as it could be only one of these heads which the Apostle saw wounded, five of them having fallen before he had the vision. It may be proper, therefore, to inquire which of the two last forms will be revived under the eighth head. on 019191
354 3 The Apostle asserts, that he saw one of the heads of the beast “as it were wounded unto death; and “his deadly wound was healed :” and he afterwards speaks of the beast, which had the wound by a “sword, and did live." It is evident, therefore, that the head which he saw thus wounded, was not the sixth but the seventh head of the Roman beast. Historical facts will demonstrate this position; for it is certain that the sixth head did not receive a mortal wound by the stroke of a sword, but rather died a kind of natural death, by the Austrian Emperor's ab
the prophecy. It may, however, here be proper to remark, that it is not the individual persons which are referred to by the heads of the beast; but the forms of government under which the empire was to subsist. The collective actions of all those successive individuals who constituted one single dynasty or form of government, are viewed as the actions of a single abstract being, embodied as it were under the symbol of a wild beast, or a head, or a horn. But, in fact, the short-lived seventh head of the Roman wild beast was represented by a single individual ; namely, Napoleon Buonaparte. Hence, in this instance, the actions of the head and of the individual must necessarily be coincident; and, in reality, the same. But still it would not be proper to say that the seventh head of the Roman beast symbolized Napoleon Buonaparte; but rather that it was an emblem of the IMPERIAL KINGSHIP which he held. It is of no consequence, therefore, by whom this power shall be revived; whether by the descendants of Buonaparte, by any other military adventurer, or by a king or emperor. If, however, any of the posterity of Napoleon should ever restore this power, the event would be connected with a very peculiar circumstance. The actual possessor of the government, in this case, would be a descendant of the two last individuals that were at the head of the sixth and seventh forms of the Roman government. The son of Napoleon, as is well known, is the grandson of the Emperor of Austria, the last individual that sustained the government of the Roman empire under its sixth head. But, in respect to circumstances of this kind, it becomes commentators to be silent, and to wave all attempts to prophesy, as facts alone must illustrate the prediction with reference to the time and the persons when and by whom it will be fulfilled.
Who can contemplate the prophetic description here given of the secular Roman empire without being convinced of the prescience of God? Such
predictions as these not only confirm our minds in the truth of Scripture, and in the doctrines contained in it; but they also tend to establish our faith in the overruling providence of God, and in his government of the world. Of the four great monarchies that have appeared in the world, three have long since disappeared, and not a vestige of them remains. The power of the fourth has, for many centuries, been broken, and the period is not far distant when that, like the others, will go into perdition. But while these mighty empires have been hastening to decay and ruin, the God of heaven has been setting up his kingdom, not by human might or power, but by his word and Spirit. This is a dominion which shall never be destroyed. The kingdom of God indeed does not interfere with the proper exercise of any human authority; but it will, by its silent and secret operation, overturn and destroy all opposing and intervening power, break in pieces every antichrist, fill the earth with its glory, and continue for ever.-Amidst all the changes that are constantly taking place in the states and empires of this world, may it be our great concern to be found the true and faithful subjects of the spiritual and everlasting kingdom of Christ! We may, indeed, rejoice in the expectation of the approaching period when the saints shall receive the kingdom, and the cause of Christ shall triumph over all opposition; but our own personal doom will soon be determined by death. Let us then be anxious to make our calling and election sure, that, when we quit the changing scenes of this world, the fashion of which is passing away, we may enter into that eternal world of glory and blessedness, where we shall share in the “ inheritance which is incorruptible, and undefiled, " and fadeth not away.”
Section XVI. The ten Horns of the Beast denote ten Kingdoms.
These give their power to the Beast, and make War with the Lamb. They hate the Harlot, and make, her desolate. The Harlot is that great City which typifies the Papal Antichrist.
Chap. xvii. 12–18... AND the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them : for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
In this description of the Roman beast, as well as that given by the Prophet Daniel, he is represented as having ten horns. These horns are explained as signifying ten kings, that is, in the language of prophecy, ten kingdoms or governments. These kingdoms, however, were not in existence at the time of the vision; and hence the kings are said to “ have received no kingdom as yet.” But they afterwards “ received power as kings one hour with the “ beast.” They succeeded to a share of dominion with him at the same time, or during a certain space of time, the commencement and duration of which seem not to be determined. After the overturning of the western empire in the fifth century, the nations and states which before had been provinces dependent on the Roman empire, together with some others that were without its jurisdiction, became independent kingdoms. They are stated to be ten kingdoms, which, as has been before observed, have been specified with some little variety by dif