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lar, at length enacted the famous constitution by which the Empire was declared to be for ever independent of
If from the Empire we pass to Hungary, we shall find, that the temporal supremacy of the Pope was in the year 1303 so steadily resisted in that country, that his holiness himself was excommunicated by the Hungarian bishops, in consequence of his having presumed to lay the city of Buda under an interdict, because his pretended right to dispose of the crown of that kingdom was resolutely denied.t
In our own country, when Pope Hildebrand summoned William the Conqueror to do homage for the kingdom of Englund, as a fief of the Roman see, William replied, that he held his crown only of God and his own sword; and, when the nuncio threatened him with the censures of the Church, he published an edict forbidding his suba jects to acknowledge any Pope but such as he should approve, or to receive any order from Rome without his permission. I England indeed submitted to the Pope in the disgraceful reign of king John ; but in that of his successor the English agents at the council of Lyons protested against the act, and declared that John had no right without the consent of his barons to reduce the kingdom to so ignominious a servitude.
As for France, when Boniface the eighth claimed a temporal superiority over Philip the Fair, the states of the kingdom formally disavowed the authority of the Pope, and maintained the independent sovereignty of that prince.
So likewise, when Gregory the seventh claimed the same superiority over the different kingdoms of Spain, Don Alonso and the other sovereigns unanimously declared, that they were independent prioces, and would own no superior upon earth.
Thus it appears, when we descend to facts, upon what very slender grounds Bp. Newton makes the Pope to be the last head of the secular beast, “ the head of the state as well as of the church, the king of kings as well as the bishop of bishops."
Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. xxix. p. 311. # Ibid. Vol. xlii. p. 32.
418. $ Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. xxxix. p. 174, # Ibid, Vol. xxiii. p. 385. q Ibid. Vol. xx. p. 63.
Nor is this ihe only objection to which the system of Bp. Newton is liable. In a prophecy of Daniel already considered, four great beasts, or universal empires, are described as rising successively out of the sea. The last of them, like the apocalyptic beast now under consideration, is said to have ten horns, to be exceeding terrible, and to be different from those which preceded it. Hence I collect, that the fourth beast of Daniel, and the first beast of St. John, are designed to symbolize the same power. No doubt however is entertained, that Daniel's fourth beast is the Roman empire : it follows therefore, agreeably to Bp. Newton's original proposition, that Si. John's first beast is the Roman empire likewise at some period or other of its existence. Now this fourth beast of Daniel is said to have a little horn, springing up among his ten larger horns, which little horn has been shewn to be the Papacy. If then the little horn be the Papacy, and if Daniel's fourth beast be not the Papacy, but the Roman empire out of which the Papacy sprung; St. John's first beust, being the same as Daniel's fourth beast, must assuredly be the Roman empire likewise, and therefore cannot be the Papacy. To me, I must be free to confess, it is a matter of no small wonder, that the first beast of St. Johu should ever have been thought to symbolize the Papacy : for, if this beast be the same as Daniel's fourth beast, a point maintained even by Bp. Newton himself, he certainly cannot be likewise the same as only the little horn of that very uentical beast. The reason is manifest: such a supposition as this does in fact make Daniel's fourth beast precisely the same as his own little horn ; a supposition to the full as unwarrantable, as to conclude that he is the same as any one of his other ten horns. Yet does Bp. Newton, not regarding this manifest violation of symbolical analogy and figurative propriety, adopt the inconsistent scheme of typifying the Papacy both by the cleventh horn of a beast, and by the identical beast himself to whom that eleventh horn belongs.*
* Such a supposition cannot be better confuted than in the following passage. « Si Malvendæ et Lessio fides habeatur, bestia hæc Johannis decacornis et septiceps nihil aliud erit quam cornu illud parvulum bestiæ quartæ Danielis : et proinde de. cem cornua apud Danielem non erunt cornua bestiæ, sed parvi istius corniculi, quod tamen post illa decem exortum est, septemque capita apud Johannem ejusdem corniculi capita erunt. Quo quid absurdius ? Certè si bestia illa quarta Romanuta est imperium, sunt hæc cornua ipsius bestia, h. e. Romani statûs, vel reges prov. inciarum, in quas imperium illud dividendum est.” Downham : apud Pol. Synop. in loc.
The seven-headed and ten-horned apocalyptic beast then is the same as the fourth and ten-horned beast of Daniel : in other words, he is the Roman empire; which, according to the sure declaration of prophecy, is the last universal empire with which the Church shall be concerned. Daniel does not mention the seven heads of this beast, nor does he specially define his form; he only observes, that he was dreadful, terrible, and strong, and that he was diverse from all the beasts that were before him : but St. John amply supplies this deficiency, by informing us, that he had not only the ten horns no
• It was observed to me with his usual acuteness by the present Bp. of St. Asaph, in a conversation upon this very subject, that it is impossible for one of the borns of a symbolical beast to mean the same thing as the symbolical beast himself. A bead, importing as it does a form of government, must necessarily be in some sort identified with the beast or empire over which it presides, because they jointly form only a single body politic : but a born, importing one of the kingdoms wbich bave sprung out of an empire, can never be identified with the whole cmpire, of which it constitutes only a single part. Hence St. John does not say, that the six first heads of tbe beast are respectively the same as the beast himself ; because such an observation would have been plainly superfluous, the empire under all its six beads being in an undivided state, and therefore of course universally subject to its six successive forms of government : but he specially observes, that the last bead should be the beast himself, because, although the empire previous to the rise of this last head had branched out into ten burns, yet this last mighty bead should at its first rise so completely swallow up most of the ten separate horns, as to become, like each of its six predecessors, the whole beast, however unexpected such an event might be after the division of the empire. A power may indeed be symbolized both by the little born of one beast, and by the whole body of another distinct beast, as is the case with the spiritual kingdom of the Papacy expanding into a spiritual empire : but it certainly cannot be symbolized both by the born of a beast and by the very identical beast to whom tbat born is attached.
Mr. Picheno adopts and states the commonly received interpretation in such a manner as to make it plainly confute itself. « What is here (Dan. vii. 8.) represented under the emblem of a born of the fourth beast is the same tyranny which is shewn to John (Rev. xiii. 1 – 10.) as a beast. In this all our best commentators are agreed. Nor let it seem strange, that what is here prefigured by a born of the fourth beast, the Ro. mau dominion, should be reprzsented in another vision as a beast with seven beads and ten barns." (Signs of the times, Part I. p. 13.) To me, I must confess, such a mode of exposition appears very strange. The ten-borned beast of Daniel is manifestly tbe tenborned beast of St. John: how then can the little born, which sprung up long after the rise of the beast, be the beast bimself; and how can the apocalyptic beast, six of whose heads according to Mr. Bicheno's own plan are seolar heads, symbolize nothing except the ecclesiastical Roman power ?
ticed by Daniel, but likewise seven heads; and that his shape was compounded of all the three beasts which preceded him, the Babylonian lion, the Medo-Persian bear, and the Macedonian leopard.
I. This general position being established with the full original consent even of Bp. Newton himself, the first point to be considered is, in what sense St. John could be said prophetically to behold the rise of the Roman empire, when it had already been in existence many ages before he was born, and when even he himself unequivocally declares such to be the case.*
The Apostle affords us two distinct solutions of this important question: first by teaching us that the beast, after his rise from the sea, should have power given him to continue forty two months or 1260 years,t the very period during which his little horn was to carry on its persecutions against the saints; and afterwards by telling us, that this same beast" was, and is not, and yet
Hence it appears, that, in some sense or another, the Roman beast was to possess a wonderful peculiarity which should most essentially distinguish him from his three predecessors in universal empire : he was first to crist; afterwards he was to cease to exist; and lastly, he was again to come into existence.
“ The mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, that thou sawest, was, and is not ; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they, that dwell on the earth, shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast, that was, and is not, and yet is."
From comparing this passage with St. John's assertion, that he saw the beast arise out of the sea, and that having thus arisen he was to possess power forty two months ; it will be manifest, that the second period of the
* See Rev, xvii. 10. + “ Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." What is here translated continue ought rather to be translated Hebraically practise or prosper. Now the Roman beast revived, and began to practise, when he delivered the saints into the hand of his little born : consequently the period of bis practising, and the reign of bis little bora,' are necessarily commensurate. See Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. Zü.
beast's existence begins with, terminates with, and is therefore exactly commensurate with, the 1260 years of the great Apostacy : consequently, that it precisely coincides with the tyrannical reign of his own little horn during a time, times, and half a time; with the treading of the holy city under foot during forty two months ; with the prophesying of the two witnesses during 1260 days; and with the flight of the woman into the wilderness, from the face of the dragon, during the same period. *
The near alliance of the Apostacy and the beast will lead us to the right understanding of what is meant by his having been, his not being, and his renewed existence. “ A beast,” as Bp. Newton most truly observes, and as I have already very fully stated in a preceding chapter, “A beast, in the prophetic style, is a tyrannical idolatrous empire : the kingdom of God and of Christ is never represented under the image of a beast." This being the case, an empire is said to continue in existence as a beast, so long as it is a tyrannically idolatrous empire : when it puts away its idolatry and tyranny, and turns to the God of heaven, the beast, or those qualities whereby the empire was a beast, ceases to exist, though the empire itself may still remain : and, when it resumes its idolatry and tyranny, though they may not perhaps bear precisely the same names as its old idolatry and tyranny, it then once more recommences its existence in its original churucter of a beast. So singular a circumstance as this never happened either to the Babylonian beust, the Medo-Persian beast, or the Macedonian beast. Whatever may have been the sentiments of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius the Mede, and his nephew Cyrus ; whatever decrees they may have promulged in favour of true religion throughout their widely extended dominions ; whatever privileges they may have granted to the ancient people of God : the voice of history bears ample testimony, that their subjects, as a boily, never ceased to be idolaters.* But this
* See the preceding 5th chapter of this work. This coincidence of times seems to have been the principal reason why the ten-borned beast has been so frequently confounded with his own little born or the Papacy : each was to continue in power 1260 days.
t“ - the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” The Complutensian edition reads was, and is not, and yet shall be.”
Though the Persians, in the time of Xerxes's famous expedition, were pro