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ceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast." This part of his character answers to what was foretold by the apostle of the man of sin that he should come with "signs and lying wonders." All these impositions of "the false prophet," as he is elsewhere called,* being wrought in the sight of the first beast, and in that of the people, were to ingratiate himself with them, and to persuade them that he was, as is said of the sorcerer, "the great power of God." While therefore he was professing to honour magistracy, he was labouring to subject it to himself.
To show his devotion to the secular beast, he directs the people to make an image to him; which being done, he after his manner endues it with life, and speech, and great authority: but all is "deceit ;" for the object is not to exalt the secular beast, but himself.
This making of an image to the beast seems to allude to the heathen practice of making images to the deities. The gods themselves were supposed to be invisible. The same deity had images made to him in divers places. The design of making an image to a god would be to acknowledge him as their deity, and to give a visibility and an establishment to his worship. To" make an image to the beast whose deadly wound was healed" would therefore be to give visibility and authority to his worship; or to require ¡mplicit obedience to his commands in whose reign paganism was revived under the name of Catholic Christianity! It is as guarantee of this system that the first beast is designated by the healing of his deadly wound, and that the second beast exerts all his influence in his favour.
It has been observed that while the secular beast is said to make war upon the saints, the ecclesiastical is only said to “ cause them to be killed." The Council of Lateran decreed not to put heretics to death, but to deliver them over to the secular power to be killed!" The inquisitors, (says BURNET,) on this occasion, with a disgusting affectation of lamb-like meekness, are wont to
beseech the civil magistrates to show mercy to those whom they themselves have given up to be consigned to the flames !" Ver. 15.
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: 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.
Such was to be the growing influence of this last beast, that be could "cause" all ranks and degrees of men to enlist under the banners of the first, to receive like soldiers his mark and number, and so to be aiding and assisting in the execution of his measures. Such has actually been the conduct of the Roman hierarchy; so that the common rights of men have been suspended on condition of their receiving the papal badge. Such, in fine, is the nature of the alliance established by this system between the ecclesiastical and the secular powers: each plays into the other's hands: the church consents that religion shall be an engine of state policy, and in return the state supports the church in all her corrupt proceedings.
Respecting the "mark" and the "name" of the beast, it is opposed, I conceive, to the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants. Chap. vii. And as the seal and name of God on the forehead appear to be the same (Compare Chap. vii. 3. with Chap. xiv. 1.); so may the mark and the name of the beast. Both are thought to allude to the ancient practice of marking servants and soldiers with their owner's name, in their forehead or in their hand.
I cannot pretend to be certain what is meant by the " name of the beast." It may be observed, however, that as the beast bere evidently means the secular, and not the ecclesiastical power, there is a name given to him in the prophecy. He is called, The beast that was, and is not, and yet is (Chap. xvii. 8, 11.); the meaning of which I conceive to be, The government that existed in all its beastly properties as pagan, that appeared to have lost them as
Christian, but that in supporting a corrupted Christianity resumed them. In other words, it is paganism revived under the form of Catholic Christianity. Now as the names are signs of character, to have this name or mark of the beast would be the same thing as being openly of this character, or religion.
As to the "number of his name," I have nothing to offer which is fully satisfactory to my own mind. It is something which requires "wisdom and understanding to count it ;" and yet by its being "the number of a man," it would seem not to surpass human comprehension. It may be a name whose numerals amount to 666, as the Greek word λarsivos, or other words in which this number has been found: but as this appears to be merely conjecture, I leave it undecided.
THE THIRD General descrIPTION, CONTINUED: OR, THE LAMB'S
Chap. xiv. 1-5.
UNLESS we consider the whole of the fourteenth chapter as a continuation of the thirteenth, we cannot be said to have a third general view of the rise, reign, and overthrow of popery; for the whole of the thirteenth chapter is taken up with a description of its rise and reign, and nothing is said in it of its downfall. Nor is any thing said of the state of the church of Christ during these "forty and two months," save that the beast "made war " with its members and "caused them to be killed." But if the four teenth chapter be considered as a continuation of the subject, we have then a complete view of it, and a most animating description of the state of the church of Christ during the "forty and two months 99 or 1260 years, in beautiful opposition to the beasts and their followers.
1 And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sign, and with him an hundred and forty thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
The first of the beasts was a monster, having seven heads and ten horns; a compound of the leopard, the bear, and the