« PreviousContinue »
its heads restored, which is the kingdom of Antichrist. The Beast is also said not to have any existence in the time of the vision; from which it is evident that the monarchy of the Latins, and not that of the Romans, is here intended; because the latter was in the time of the vision.
Again, the Beast which St. John saw had not yet ascended out of the bottomless pit in his time; consequently, the whole seven heads and ten horns were in futurity; for all these heads and horns rose up out of the abyss at the same time with the Beast. How is this apparent contradiction reconciled? I answer, In the most plain and satisfactory manner by means of the angel's double interpretation of the heads : for, if the seven heads be taken in the sense of seven mountains, then the Beast with all his heads and horns was altogether in futurity in the apostle's time; for the seven heads are the seven electorates of the German empire, and the ten horns the ten monarchies in the interest of the , Latin church. Finally, the Beast is said to exist in the time of the vision; therefore, the Roman empire, which governed the world, must be here alluded to; and, consequently, the phrase and yet is, is a proof that, as the Beast is the Latin kingdom, and this Beast is said to have an existence in the time of the apostle, that the empire of the Cæsars, though generally known by the name of the Roman, is in a very proper sense the Latin kingdom, as the Latin was the language which prevailed in it. Hence the seven-headed and ten-horned Beast is at once
the representation of the ancient Latin power; of the Roman empire which succeeded it; and of the Latin empire which supported the Latin church. Here is then the connection of the ancient Latin and Roman powers with that upon which the Woman sat. She sits upon the Beast that was and is not, because three of his heads represent the three forms of government of the ancient Latins who no longer exist as an independent nation, viz. The Regal Power, The Dictatorship, and The Power of the Prætors. She sits upon the Beast which shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, because all his seven heads, taken in the sense of mountains, are yet to come. She sits upon the Beast that yet is, because four of his heads represent four forms of government of the Roman or Latin empire now in existence, viz. The Consulate, The Triumvirate, The Imperial Power, and The Patriciate. It is hence evident, that the seven-headed Beast is the Latin power in general from its first rise; and, consequently, the Beast which carried the Woman can be no other than the Latin empire which has now, in this its last estate, supported the Latin church for more than a thousand years.
Exposition of the thirteenth Chapter of the Reve
lation, respecting the seven-headed and tenhorned Beast which rises out of the sea; and of the two-horned Beast which rises out of the earth.
THE angel's explanation contained in the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse may be considered an interpretation of the one now under consideration, as well as of the vision of the Woman sitting upon the seven-headed and ten-horned Beast.
-. In fact, without the assistance of the angel's interpretation, it is impossible to understand aright the mysteries of the Beasts spoken of in the thirteenth chapter, as we shall presently discover; and this is the chief reason why the consideration of the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse has been reserved to this place.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” This is evidently the same Beast upon which St. John saw the Woman sit, because it has got seven heads, and ten horns ;. and, consequently, must be the Latin
empire. It was seen rising up out of the sea, which is the same that is said of the four beasts of Daniel; the sea must, therefore, be the symbol of a great multitude of nations, as has already been proved. And as a beast is the symbol of an empire, the meaning is, that every mighty empire is raised upon the ruins of a great number of nations, against which it has successfully contended, and incorporated with its dominions. And, in like manner, the Latin empire rises up out of the sea, in eradicating all the hostile nations in its way, and establishing its mighty sway over the many subjugated countries. But this Latin empire which St. John saw rising up out of the sea had ten crowns upon its ten horns; which is a demonstration that the empire here intended is that which was composed of ten distinct monarchies in the interest of the Latin church. But this was not the case with the ancient Latin monarchy, nor with the Roman empire which might be so called; consequently, neither of these is the empire here represented. There only remains, therefore, the Latin empire which supported the Latin church; and with this it quadrates exactly, as it was composed of the ten grand independent monarchies of France, Spain, England, Scotland, The Empire, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, and Portugal. Upon the seven heads of the Beast was also a name * of blas
* Our translation has it “ the name of blasphemy," which is too definitely expressed, for the original words are övous Brace
phemy. This has been variously understood, Jerome and Prosper give it as their opinion, that the name of blasphemy consists in the appellation ürbs æterna, “eternal city,"applied to Rome. * Lord Napeir understands it not of one particular name but of the whole which have been applied to Rome, heathen or Papal; as also of every other blasphemous superscription and title, adopted by the ancient Romans or modern Papists. † Dr. Johnston thinks that the name of blasphemy consists in the title of “ His Holiness” applied to the Pope. $ Dr. Henry More thinks, that by the name of blasphemy is meant the system of idolatrous worship of the Romans and Papists. $ This sentiment has been adopted by Dr. Mitchell; and of this opinion is also Bishop Newton, and with him a great host of commentators. The names produced by these commentators are ουρανοπολεϊ Ρωμή, (The heavenly city Rome;) Terrarum dea, gentiumque Roma, (Rome, Goddess of the earth and nations;) Deds Pwrens, (Rome the goddess, &c. &c.) || But some particular name must be alluded to, because the
onulas, literally, “ a name of blasphemy.” The French translate it “ un nom de blaspheme,” which is exactly in unison with the generally received Greek text.
* See Bishop Newton's Dissertat. on the prophecies, in loc. + See Napeir on the Revelation, pp. 106, 107.
See his Commentary on the Revelation, in loc. See his Apocalypsis Apocalypsews, in loc. || See Bishop Newton, in Apoc. xiii. 1.