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also the sixth trumpet, (ch. xi.) cannot be the same with the great slaughter and total victory under the seventh trumpet (ch. xix.); when the beast is destroyed. The synchronism therefore is defective of proof."
The four grand apocalyptic periods are involved very much together, and before the final completion of them all has taken place, it may not be in the power of man to settle the times when each of them had its commencement. But, for the reasons above assigned, I am inclined to conjecture that the period of the beast may be found to derive its beginning somewhat later than that of the woman in the wilderness; and to receive its termination somewhat later than that of the witnesses. His times seem rather later than either of theirs. And it may perhaps be found, that those of the woman and of the witnesses are the same; with which the other remaining period, that of the Gentiles treading the holy city, seems also to accord. Commentators seem to have been too adventurous in fixing the exact commencement of these periods, which appear to be involved in a purposed obscurity, which the event only can clear. But it may be probable, that the twelve hundred and sixty years of the Gentiles; of the woman in the wilderness, and of the witnesses; will come to their conclusion, before the antichristian reign of the beast is seen finally to cease.
1 This attempt of the ingenious author of the Clavis Apocalyptica to synchronise these periods, seems to me conclusive in very few stages of it. He appears to approach near to the truth, in many instances, but the proofs are not positive and satisfactory. The prophecies do not seem to supply the means of that strict demonstration which he has attempted; and, one proof failing (as we have seen in these first propositions,) that which is built upon it must fail also. There is one passage in this able divine's commentary, from which it may be collected, that he did not always conclude the termination of the beast's career to be exactly synchronal with the termination of the prophecy of the witnesses. He plainly asserts the one to belong to the sixth, the other to the seventh trumpet. (See his Works, pages 490, 491.) And his method of solving this difficulty must be thought defective; for surely, the end of the beast is his final confinement in the lake of fire, ch. xix. 20, and not his imagined expulsion from the city of Rome.
And this is all that I dare advance concerning prophecies which are yet fulfilling, and are to be fulfilled.
The Beast from the earth or land, or the false
CHAP. xiii. ver. 11 to the end.
11 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.
12' And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him; and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the 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 to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life 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.
16 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.
1 He is denominated ó Vevôowpoonrus. Ch. xvi. 13; xix. 20; xx. 10.
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.
WE may make some safe and useful advance towards the explication of this prophecy, by first paraphrasing the words of the original, and then adding such an interpretation of the symbols as has been adopted by discrete commentators; and afterwards I will offer to the reader's consideration some corrections and additions resulting from my own inquiries. 11. “ Another wild beast,” for he is of the same
description as the former, Onplov,— with this difference, that whereas the first came from the stormy sea, as the four heathen monarchies had done, (Dan. vii. 3.) subduing and oppressing the people of God,--this second beast arises from the earth or land, (ek tñs yñs) from among the inhabitants, whom he subjugates by false arts and pretensions. He bears upon his head two horns, like the horns of a lamb, (the Lamb is Christ, ch. v. 6, &c.) His speech is dragonlike, as that of a false prophet, (see ch. xvi. 13; xix. 20; xx. 10.) discovering that in outward show only he is lamb-like ; and the sequel of
the description clearly imports, that he is dia12. bolical and antichristian. He unites with the
first beast, and, as his minister,(Irenæus calls him his armour-bearer, úmepaOTIONS,) exercises all the power of that beast, which was derived from the dragon before him, (ver. 4.) and makes the earth or land, and its inhabitants, to wor
ship the first beast, whose deadly wound had 13. been healed. This he effects by performing
miracles; for such they appear to be, EvwTION rūv av@pwtūv, in the sight of the men,' in imitation of Elijah, by whom fire was called down from heaven, betokening divine acceptance,
(1 Kings xviii. 30—40.); but these are not real, 14. but pretended miracles, for they deceive; nor are
they of divine operation, nor such evTIOV TOU Okov, in the sight of God, or of his faithful servants.? But, the weak in faith are beguiled by them, and, at the persuasion or command of this false
prophet, they make an image or statue in honour 15. of the first beast. And to this statue it is per-:
mitted to give avevua, breath, or apparent life;
so that it should utter decrees, and cause those 16. who refuse to worship it, to be slain. Men of
all stations, ranks, and degrees, are compelled
by him to receive the mark of the beast, his 17. name, or the number of his name, as his slaves
and idolatrous worshippers, or to be deprived of the common rights and comforts of society, the
power of buying and selling so as to preserve 18. life. Persons of wisdom and understanding
are exhorted to calculate the number of the wild beast; for it is the number of a man, 666.
This paraphrase I have endeavoured to make faithful to the words of the prophecy, and so general in the explication of the symbols, that nearly all of the distinguished commentators might have agreed in it. The rise, progress, and actions of the second wild beast, called also the false prophet, (ch. xvi. 13; xix. 20; xx. 10.) so far as is here stated, few would be disposed to reject : but in the application of it to history, there is a wide difference of opinion. We are prepared to expect it, for such had appeared
1 Των Ανθρωπων. 2 Τους εν τω Ουρανο σκηνουντας. Ch. xiii. 6, compared with Phil. ii. 20.
respecting the rise and character of the first beast, so nearly connected with this.
The ancient interpreters, Andreas Cæsariensis, Arethas and Primasius, who had been able to collect some probable observations on the prophecy of the wild beast from the sea,because it had received some share of fulfilment in the heathèn persecutions before their times,-have made but few and imperfect attempts to throw light upon the rise and character of the second beast from the land, and for this reason, that the antitype had then not appeared, or rather, had not made such progress as to warn them of its perfect agreement with the type. Their notion is consequently very general; they look only to the coming of an antichrist in some future time, and the renewal of the Roman persecutions under him.
These interpreters, although they lived so much nearer to the times of the persecuting emperors than our later commentators, seem never to have observed, that in those times, the philosophers of the Platonic or Pythagorean schools, by magical arts, and by holding commerce with the darpoves, dæmons, had performed such apparent miracles as might entitle them to the character of this second wild beast. This discovery, such as it is, was reserved for the active genius and extraordinary learning of Grotius, followed by our Hammond.' The acute Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, gladly seized the hints thus afforded, that by such an interpretation of the prediction by Protestant writers, he might avert its obvious application to the Church of Rome. Grotius had applied it to Apollonius Tyanæus, in the reign of the emperor Domitian. The Roman Catholic prelate transferred it more fitly to that of Dioclesian;
1 Grotius died, 1645. Dr. Hammond, 1660. Bp. Bossuet, 1704.