« PreviousContinue »
dom, which fell into the Papal hands, be reckoned even one, and much less the three of those kingdoms so long foretold by Daniel?
Thirdly: The above scheme as really makes four horns falling before the Papal horn, as three. The revolution under Belisarius and Narses, was as real and great, as any of the others. And a vast dukedom under a great empire, may as properly constitute a horn, as a short lived, barbarian kingdom, which embraces only the same territory.
Fourthly: The prophecy says of the Papal horn, And he shall subdue three kings.* But according to the scheme of this author, the Popes subdued but a part of one kingdom; and not that neither! for the king of France subdued it for him. And with the preceding conquests of Italy, the Papal horn had nothing to do. For they took place long before his existence! Upon this scheme it appears, that instead of the Pope's subduing three kingdoms, he never subdued one. And if those successive revolutions in Italy, which preceded the rise of the Papal horn, were to be noted in ancient prophecy, as kingdoms subdued by the Pope; why should not all the revolutions in Italy, from the days of Romulus, be thus noted?
The above scheme appears to me untenable; as do indeed all the schemes I have ever seen upon the subject. And I cannot but apprehend, that the lameness, which appears to attend the old expositions on this subject, affords a strong argument, that the old scheme, relative to the ten horns of the old Roman Beast, is incorrect.
To find the fulfilment of the three horns falling before the Papal horn, I think we must find three great sections of the primitive Roman empire, falling peculiarly under the fatal delusion of the Papal imposture. This fatal influence, appropriate to Popery, is something, in which the Papal power is indeed diverse from all other powers, which had been noted in prophecy. And another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from
* Dan. vii, 24.
the first; and he shall subdue three kings.* This diverse characteristic seems to have been overlooked. If his subduing three kings mean his obtaining civil jurisdiction over them, then he was not in this respect diverse from other civil powers. But the Papal characteristic of being diverse, is a circumstance, which seems to indicate, that the influence, with which he subdues three kings, is of a kind diverse from civil gove ernment. It must mean his filling them with his own characteristic influence, Popery. And do we not find this thing fulfilled? Behold Italy, France, and Spain, (which were indeed horns of the empire of the ancient Cesars,) the chief theatre of Papal delusion; and eventually plucked up by the roots by the consequences of that wicked system! This is an event interesting to the Church; and might be expected to have been a subject of ancient prophecy, when the Papal imposture was predicted. But the old view of the subject appears to be on too small a scale; and the events scarcely interesting to the Church at all. By Italy, France, and Spain, I mean all that was formerly included in them: Italy con. taining all that country south of the Alps: France, the ancient transalpine Gaul, including all the old Roman dominions between the Alps and the Pyrenees, the Hel. vetii, or Switzerland, and a considerable part of the modern German empire:t And Spain including all west and south of the Pyrenees: For the ancient kingdoms of Spain and Lusitania, or Portugal, were but one horn of the ancient Roman empire. Britain, though it was under the empire of the Cesars; and though it was in the dark ages much perverted with Papal delusion for centuries; yet considering its early renunciation of that pestilent error, its different lot at the end of the scene, and its being reserved as a cradle of the Church of Christ, it would not be represented as plucked up by the roots, or subdued by the Papal horn. The British were the most loath to submit to the impositions of
See Guthrie's Geog. p. 453.
* Dan. vii, 24.
Popery. Says Mosheim, vol. ii, p. 16, The ancient Britains and Scotts persisted long in the maintainance of their religious liberty; and neither the threats nor promises of the legates of Rome could engage them to submit to the decrees and authority of the ambitious pontiff.” This long opposition to the corrupting ambition of the Papal tyrant; and the very early renunciation of Popery, in the British isle, we might expect would be followed with special tokens of the divine benignity. The evils of Popery were to be of so much longer du. ration, and its events so much more fatal, in Italy, France, and Spain, that it appears rational that they should be thus designated, in that ancient prophecy concerning the Papal delusion, as the principal theatre, (among the horns of the ancient Beast,) of its fatal operations. The other nations, which constituted the other horns of the Beast, were not so conspicuously to be the theatre of Papal delusion and ruin. And we accordingly find they were not. The horns in Africa, Asia, and even Greece, escaped this deadly influence. Ancient Gerinany, and the more northern nations of Prussia, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden, though they were long enveloped in Papal delusion, and share in the judgments of Papal nations, yet they did not belong to the old Roman empire; and therefore could not be represented as horns of that Beast falling before the Papal horn. The descriptions, of belonging to the horns of the old Roman Beast, and being subdued by the characteristic influence of the Papal horn, (its false religion) meet, in a peculiar and equal degree, only in those three notable, ancient horns, Italy, France, and Spain. These three great territories did indeed fatally fall before the Papal horn. They from first to last formed the principal seat of his delusion; and appear to be forming the principal theatre of the judgments of Heaven upon that wicked system.
If the view given, of the plucking up by the roots of the three horns before the Papal horn, be correct; it shows that the horns of the ancient Beast were the king. doms, which constituted the old Roman empire in its zenith, and were in existence, when the God of
beaven set up his kingdom at the commencement of the Gospel day; and were not the kingdoms into which the old empire crumbled to pieces. For Italy, France, and Spain, including the places above noted, cannot be said to be three of ten different kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was by the northern barbarians divided. And as the old Imperial head of the Roman Beast had its ten horns; so the same head mystically revived from the bottomless pit, in the last days, has its ten horns.
Antichrist predicted in the XVIIlth chapter of Rere
lation. In this chapter, a further view is given of the judgments of God upon Papal Rome.
1. An angel descends from heaven, having great power; and the earth is lightened with his glory: Indications of some great event now to be accomplished! An event, which should be noted through the whole carth!
2. And he cried mightily, with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. Here is the sum of the event. And the greatness and terrors of it are strikingly indicated by the Angel's having great power, the earth being lightened with
his glory, his repeating the event, and doing it mightily with a strong voice. In the preceding chapter, Papal Rome, as distinct from the Antichristian Beast, is symbolized by a harlot, borne or managed by this Beast, and is called, Mystery, Babylon the great. Babylon the great, in this xviiith chapter, must be the same power, the Papal hierarchy, as distinct from the Antichristian Beast. In the preceding chapter this harlot is presented for execution, as we have seen. And in this xvijith chapter, we have the commencement and process of her execution. But this Divine judgment upon her implies an instrument, by which it is inflicted. Therefore,
3. The origin of the instrument of the fall of Popery is hinted: And is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean ang
Some capital revolution in her territories is here indicated, in which her own dominions are exhibited to the world, as a habitation of devils; the disgorgings of the infernal world; and a pandæmonium of every species of licentiousness and abomination. Here is the origin of the Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, or Antichrist. This is the furnishing of the executioner of Papal Babylon. Here was to be forged the rod of iron, which is fully implied in the subsequent predictions of her judgments in this chapter. The instrument of the Divine vengeance was to rise out of her own territories, and corruptions. Here were to be exhibited the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. The egg of Papal Babylon was thus to break out into a viper, which should become a fiery flying serpent. She was thus to be fatally stung with her own scorpions; yea, gored to death with the horns rising from her own corruptions. It was a remark of Sir Isaac Newton, that “the tyranny of the Papal power, which has so long corrupted Christianity, and enslaved the Christian world, must be brought to an end, and broken to pieces, by the prevalence of infidelity.”
4. The fulness of the measure of Papal Babylon's sins, and her consequent judgments, are noted in the following verses. And I heard a great voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. The account proceeds, in which judgments are doubled to her according to her works; her cup of indignation is filled twice as full as that, which she had filled for the saints. Tor. ment and sorrow are given in proportion as she has glorified herself, and counted upon prosperity. Her plagues shall come as it were in one day, death, mourning, famine, and fire, under the strong hand of God, who judgeth her. Decisive events are here indicated. Papai Babylon is taken into the grasp of Antichrist, for her execution. And in the struggles and scenes of blood, which attend the rise, and the forming of the horns of