Imágenes de páginas

my against God, to blafpheme his name,
and his tabernacle, and them that dwell
in heaven.

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

8 And all that dwell upon the earth
shall worship him, whose names' are not
written in the book of life of the Lamb
fain from the foundation of the world..

If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity: He that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the faints.

Here the beast is described at large, who was only mentioned before : (XI. 7.) and a beast in the prophetic stile is a tyrannical idolatrous empire. The kingdom of God and of Christ is never represented under the image of a beaft. As Daniel (VII. 2, 3.) beheld four great beasts, representing the four great empires, come up from a stormy sea, that is from the commotions of the world; fo St. John (ver. 1.) saw this beast in like manner rise up out of the sea. He was said þefore (XI. 7.) to afçend 8% tus @Evora, out of the


abyss or bottomless pit, and it is said afterwards (XVII. 8.) that he shall afcend sx ons alvory, out of the abyss or bottomless pit; and here he is faid to ascend ex ins Saracons, out of the fea; so that the sea and abyfs or bottomless pit are in these passages the same. No doubt is to be made, that this beast was designed to represent the Roman empire ; for thus far both ancients and moderns, papists and protestants are agreed: the only doubt and controversy is, whether it was Rome Pagan or Christian, imperial or papal, which may perhaps be fully and clearly determined in the sequel.

St. John saw this beast rising out of the sea, but the Roman empire was risen and established long before St. John's time ; and therefore this must be the Roman empire, not in its then present, but in some future shape and form; and it arose in another shape and form, after it was broken to pieces by the incursions of the northern nations. The beast hath seven beads and ten borns, which are the well known marks and signals of the Roman empire, the leven beads alluding to the seven mountains whereon Rome. was situated, and to the seven forms of government which successively prevailed there, and the ten borns fignifying the ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire

[ocr errors]


bis horns ten crowns; so that there

was divided. It is remarkable, that the dragon had seven crowns upon his beads, but the beast hath

upon had been in the mean while a revolution of power from the heads of the dragon to the borns of the beast, and the sovranty, which before was exercised by Rome alone, was now transferred and divided among ten kingdoms : but the Roman empire was not divided into ten kingdoms, till after it was become Christian. Altho' the heads had lost their crowns, yet they still retained the names of blasphemy. In all its heads, in all its forms of government Rome was still guilty of idolatry and blasphemy. Imperial Rome was called, and delighted to be called, (1) the eternal city, the heavenly city, the goddess of the earth, the goddess ; and had her temples and altars with incense and facrifices

offered (1) Urbem æternam. Am- facerdotibus ædituis, ipfa OEAS mian. Marcell. Lib. 14. Cap. PSME appellatione, quod 6. p. 19. Edit. Valefii. Paris plures Græcarum illarum civi1681. Urbis ab æternæ &c. Au tatum nummi oftendunt, fibi tonii Epigram. 3 de Faftis. agae- condecorandam existimarunt. νοπολις Ρωμη. Athenæi Lib. 1. Quo autem referendum mihi p. 20. Edit. Casaubon. Terra- videtur illud nomen blasphemia, rum dea, gentiumque Roma. quod feptem capitibus infcripCui par eft nihil, et nihil fecun tum geftâsse legitur beftia in dum. Martial. Lib. 12. Epi- facro Revelationum libro, et gram. 8. Ita Romam, orbis quod Hieronymus ac Prosper caput, tanquam cælefte aliquod ad urbis æternæ appellationem numen, feu terrarum deam gen- retulerunt, Romæ cum alibi, tiumque a Bilbilitano vate dic- tum in nummis ejus itidem fatam, divinis honoribus, templis, miliarem. Spanhemii Disert.

offered up to her : and how papal Rome likewise hath arrogated to herfelf divine titles and honors, there will be a fitter occasion of showing in the following part of this description.

As Daniel's fourth beast (VII. 7.) was without a name, and devoured and brake in pieces the three former : fo this beast (ver. 2.) is also without a name, and partakes of the nature and qualities of the three former, having the body of a leopard, which was the third beast or Grecian empire, and the feet of a bear, which was the second beast or Persian empire, and the mouth of a lion, which was the first beast or Babylonian empire : and consequently this muit be the same as Daniel's fourth beast, or the Roman empire. But still it is not the same beast, the same empire entirely, but with some variation; and (2)

the Tertia de Præftant. & Usu culi feptimi multo etiam magis, Numm. Ant. Sect. 3. p. 138. In utroque feculo faventibus Vol. I.

papis invaluere imaginum cul

tus, et sanctorum in vocatio : (2) Imperium Romano-Pa nam hic ipse Gregorius litaniis pale tunc natum videtur, quum inferuit nomen beatæ virginis papam omnium ecclefiarum ca Mariæ. En igitur blafphemias. put effe dixit Justinianus. V.Còd. Seculo octavo A. D. 727. imL. 1. T. 1. A. D. 533, et 534. periam civile Romæ, et ducaidque non verbo tantum figni- tûs Romani, excommunicato ficávit fed miffis ad eum episco- pulfoque imperatore Græco, arpis, quafi legatis. Id Gregorius ripuit papa (teste Anastasio et I. in fme feculi fexti in episco- Sigonio de Regno Italiæ L. 3.) pos Hifpaniæ, Galliæ, &c fatis Gregorius II. Interea non orthosuperbe exercuit; succeffores fe- doxi, i. e, a papis diffentientes,


the dragon gave him his power suvapause of his armies, and his feat Spovor or his imperial throne, and great authority or jurisdiction over all the parts of his empire. The beast therefore is the successor and substitute of the dragon or of the idolatrous heathen Roman empire: and what other idolatrous power hath succeeded to the heathen emperors in Rome, all the world is a judge and a witness. The dragon having failed in his purpose of restoring the old heathen idolatry, delegates his power to the beast, and thereby introduces a new species of idolatry, nominally different, but essentially the same, the worship of angels and saints instead of the gods and demigods of antiquity.

Another mark, whereby the beast was peculiarly distinguished, was (ver. 3.) one of his heads as it were wounded to death. It will appear hereafter, that this head was the sixth head, for five were fallen (XVII. 10.) before St. John's time : and the fixth head was that of the Cæsars or emperors, there having been before kings, and consuls, and dictators, and decemvirs, and military tribunes with consular authority. This sixth head was as it were wounded to


infames, extorres, inteftabiles legibus &c. Nonne hæc omnia impp. legibus facti funt. V. fatis clare prestant magnam Cod. in quo canones æquantur illam befiie jam ortæ potestatem

« AnteriorContinuar »