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horn. After the kingdom of the Ostrogoths had subsisted in Italy its allotted time, it was attacked by Bellisarius ; and at length was utterly eradicated by Narses the lieutenant of the Eastern emperor, and his auxiliaries the Lombards.
3. Italy now became a province of the Constantinopolitan empire, and was governed by an imperial officer, who bore the title of Exurch of Ravenna. Scarcely however was the Exarchate established, * when the Lombards, who had lent their assistance to Narses in his attack upon the kingdom of the Ostrogoths, began to meditate the conquest of Italy for themselves. Narses was engaged in the settlement of that country under the government of the Constantinopolitan emperors from the year 554 to the year 568 ; and it was in the that Alboin, king of the Lombards, undertook the subjugation of it. Descending from the same Julian Alps that his Gothic predecessor Theodoric had done, he became, without a battle or a siege, master of Italy from the Trentine hills to the gates of Ravenna and Rome.
The exarchate of Ruvenna still feebly subsisted, but it was at length completely subdued by the Lombardic monarch Aistulphus about the year 752. This conquest however was only the prelude to the utter eradication of the third and last horn, which interfered with the
aggrandisement of the Papacy, and which was therefore to be plucked up by the roots before it. Alarmed at the growing power of Aistulphus, the Pope applied for assistance to Pipin king of France; who, in the course of two successive expeditions into Italy, wrested from that prince the whole district of the Exarchate, and bestowed it in perpetual sovereignty upon the Bishop of Rome. “ After this double chastisement, the Lombards languished about twenty years in a state of languor and de
“The destruction of a mighty kingdom established the fame of Alboin-But his ambition was yet unsatisfied ; and the conqueror of the Gepidæ turned his eyes from the Danube to the richer banks of the Po and the Tiber. Fifteen years had not elapsed, since his subjects, the confederates of Narses, had visited the pleasant climate of Italy: the mountains, the rivers, the high-ways, were familiar to their memory: the report of their success, perhaps the view of their spoils, had kindled in the rising generation the flame of emulation and enterprise. Their hopes were encouraged by the spirit and eloquence of Alboin." Hist, of Decline and Fall, Vol viü. p. 122, 123.
cay. But their minds were not yet humbled to their condition ; and, instead of affecting the pacific virtues of the feeble, they peevishly harassed the Romans with a repetition of claims, evasions, and inroads, which they undertook without reflection, and terminated without glory." Charlemagne had now succeeded his father Pipin, and like him assumed the character of the champion of the Church. At the request of the Pope he formally undertook his cause ; entered Italy at the head of a large army ; completely eradicated the horn of Lombardy ; and bestowed great part of its dominions upon the successors of St. Peter. *
Thus were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots before an eleventh little horn, which silently arose among them, till it had supplanted the three horns, that stood in its way and prevented its full expansion.t
* Mr. Sharpe briefly observes, that the tbree borns, eradicated before the little born, were “the three Gothic kingdoms,” or “the three distinct national governments of Gothic kings, seated successively in Rome itself:” and he adds, that these three kingdoms constituted the short-lived seventh bead of the beast mentioned in the Apocalypse ; that the last of them was wounded to death by the sword of Justinian in the hand of Bellisarius; and that the whole period of their joint dominion amounted not to more than 70 gears. (See Append. to three Tracts, p. 43—An Inquiry into the description of Babylon, p. 8, 9.- and Append. to Inquiry, p. 2, 3, 4, 5.) What three Gothic kingdoms Mr. Sharpe alludes to, I cannot imagine from his chronological and circumstantial description of them. I am only aware of the tbree following Gotbic kingdoms having been ever seated in Italy: that of the Heruli; that of the the Ostrogetis ; and that of the Lombards. Of these Justinian only subverted that of the Ostrogoths : as for that of the Lombards, it continued many years after the termination of his reign; and, after overturning the government of the Greek Emperors in Italy, it was in its turn destroyed by Charlemagne. So again Mr. Sharpe speaks of three Gothic kingdoms seated in Italy previous to the reign of Justinian, and jointly continuing about 70 years. Upon adverting to history, we shall find, that the two Gothic kingdoms of the Heruli and tbe Ostrogotbs continued something more than 70 years; and that the last of them was subdued by Justinian ; but it will prove a vain labour to look for a third, the duration of which jointly with that of the other two shall amount to about 70 years. The whole duration of the three kingdoms of the Heruli, the Ostrogotos, and the Lombards, comprehends a space, not merely of 70 years, but of little less than three centuries : for the kingdom of the Heruli was erected in the year 476, and the kingdom of the Lombards was subverted by Charlemagne in the year 774. As for these tbree kingdoms, they cannot be at once both three horns and the seventh bead of the self-same beast at the self-same time and in the self-same capacity: both because such an opinion is a palpable contradiction, confounding together in a strange manner the different members of the beast ; and because 298 years, the period of their joint duration, can scarcely be called so very short a time, compared with the duration of any of the other beads. It is to be wished, that Mr. Sharpe had explicitly said what three Gothic kingdoms he intended.
+ Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xii. and xvii.- Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. vi. p. 226—237 -- Ibid. Vol. vii. p. 11-15, 214-257, 353 398—Ibid. Vol. viii. p. 122, 126, 127, 145, 147-Ibid. Vol. ix. p. 145-150, 156-159—Bp. Newton's Dissert, XIV.
“ The peace
It is curious to observe the gradual rise of papal dom ination during the turbulent age, in which the three horns were successively eradicated. Under the reign of Odoacer, the Bishops of Rome had acquired so much influence, that even the victorious Theodoric found it prudent to pay court to them. Though he assumed the supremacy of the Church, he was not ignorant of the dignity and importance of the Roman pontift. or the revolt of Italy might depend on the character of a wealthy and popular Bishop, who claimed such ample dominion both in heaven and earth.”* Accordingly we find, that, toward the close of the Ostrogothic sovereignty, the Pope took a leading part in the revolution which once more brought Italy under the sway of the emperors. “ The deputies of the Pope and clergy, of the senate and people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance, and to enter the city, whose gates would be thrown open for his reception.”+ And afterwards, when the Ostrogothic monarchy for a short time recovered itself previous to its final subjection, the emperor Justinian was roused from his slumber “ by the Pope Vigilius and the Patrician Cethegus, who appeared before his throne, and adjured him, in the name of God and the people, to resume the conquest and deliverance of Italy.” I
At this period, as Machiavel very justly remarks, the Papacy was greatly assisted in its acquisition of temporal authority by the circumstance of Theodoric king of the Ostrogoths making Ravenna his metropolis ; § for, “there being no other prince left in Rome, the Romans were forced for protection to pay greater allegiance to
During the struggles between the Lombards and the imperial lieutenants at Ravenna, the power of the Popes continued gradually on the increase. Availing them
• Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. vii. p. 37.
Ibid. p. 378. $ Ravenna was the metropolis likewise even of the Western empire itself some years previous to its fall. Honorius first fixed his residence there in the year 404, as a place of security against the inroads of the northern nations. (Hist. of Decline Vol V. p. 207.) Thus was he ubo letted gradually taken out of the way, to make room for the Apostacy and the full revelation of the man of sin.
selves of those turbulent and unsettled times, and find. ing that their influence was sufficient to turn the scale whichever way they pleased, they began, as Machiavel observes, to treat and confederate sometimes with the Imperialists and sometimes with the Lombards, “not as subjects, but as equals and companions."
In short, throughout a period of anarchy, when the minds of men were kept in a constant ferment by the frequency of political changes, “ the want of laws among the Romans could only be supplied by the influence of religion ; and their foreign and domestic counsels were moderated by the authority of the Bishop. His alıns, his sermons, his correspondence with the kings and prelates of the West, his recent services, their gratitude, and oath, accustomed the Romans to consider him as the first magistrate or prince of the city. The Christian humility of the Popes was not offended by the name of Dominus or Lord ; and their face and inscription are still apparent on the most ancient coins. Their temporal dominion is now confirmed by the reverence of a thousand years; and their noblest title is the free choice of a people whom they had redeemed from slavery."*
Such was the state of the Papacy immediately before the subversion of the kingdom of the Lombards, the last of the three horns which stood in its way, and which was therefore destined to fall before it. When this horn was completely eradicated, the eleventh little horn attained to its full growth in temporalities, by the acquisition of the exurchate and a considerable part of the kingdom of Lombardy, and by the complete subjugation of Rome. It had already become a spiritual empire, when in the year 606 the saints were delivered into its hand.
Here then we behold a little horn springing up among and behind the first ten horns, and advancing itself upon the ruins of three of those horns, which were successively eradicated before it. No other power but the Papacy arose under similar circumstances, no other corresponds in every respect with the character of the little horn; whence it is concluded, that the symbol of the lit
* Hist, of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 144.
ile horn is designed to typify the Papacy and nothing but the Papacy. It is in vain, that the Romanists would persuade us, that the little horn is Antichrist, and that his reign is still remote. Since three of the first horns, into which the Roman empire branched out, were to fall before the little horn ; if the prophecy has not been already accomplished, it is now impossible that it ever should be accomplished. From the various political changes which have taken place in the course of the last twelve centuries, the ten primary horns can no longer be pointed out ; consequently no three of them can now be plucked up before any little horn, which the Papists may fancy will hereafter arise. By attending however to the voice of history we find, that it has been the fate of three of the primary horns successively to quit their original settlements for the purpose of fixing themselves in Italy, so as to stand“ before” the Papacy : and we further find, that it has been the fate of exactly these three, and no more, to be completely eradicated “before” the growing power of the Bishops of Rome. None, except these three, were ever plucked up under such circumstances : that is to say, nonc, except these three, ever fell“ before” an eleventh power perfectly distinct and perfectly different from the ten primary kingdoms. Exactly three however of the ten primary kingdoms did fall " before” the Papacy: it is incumbent therefore upon the votaries of the Church of Rome to shew, why we are not to conclude these three kingdoms to be the three horns of the beast and the Papacy to be the eleventh little horn, before they can expect a protestant to believe that the reign of this little horn is still remote.
The preceding catalogue of the ten primary kingdoms, which is given us by Machiavel and Bp. Lloyd, very properly omits, as we have seen, the Greek province of Ravenna, and at the same time places all the ten kingdoms in the western parts of the Roman empire. Here therefore it may perhaps be asked, “Why must all the horns be sought for in the West? Although the exarchate cannot be esteemed a horn, why may not the Constantinopolitan monarchy ??” The reason is this. That empire, after the downfall of the Western empire, still