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2 And the beast which I saw feet were as the feet of a bear, was like unto a leopard, and his and his mouth as the mouth of a are ten kings, which have received seemed to combine the strength and no kingdom as yet; but receive ferocity of all. The leopard has great power as kings one hour with the agility ; the bear's strength is in his beast ;" Rev. xvii. 12. This is fur feet and legs; the lion's is in his ther confirmed by the fact, that upon mouth; and well said Daniel, thereeach horn was a crown; as though fore, that the “fourth beast was the revelator wished to say, these dreadful and terrible, and strong exhorns represent kings. [And upon ceedingly, and it had great iron teeth ;"> his heads the name of blasphemy.- vii. 7; or, “the mouth of a lion." The idea seems to be, that each head There will be no longer any dispute, bore a frontlet, on which was in that the fourth beast in Daniel's vis. scribed a blasphemous title, i. e., an ion is the beast of the Apocalypse ; honorary name for the emperors, as and as Daniel's fourth beast arose at if he had said, a name which dero- the time of the establishment of Chris. gated from the honor and glory of the tianity, vii. 13, 14, 22—27, and as the true God. The source of the imagery Roman Empire was then in its high. here is probably to be sought for in est and most glorious condition, there the custom of persons who held dis can be no doubt that the beast of the tinguished offices having some name, Apocalypse represents the Roman significant of office, rank or duty, Empire in its secular power. T The engraved upon the frontlets of their dragon gave him his power, &c. - In mitres or diadems. In the Apoca- what sense did the dragon, or the lypse the promise is repeatedly given, priestly pagan influence, give power that faithful Christians shall be made to the beast, the secular authority ? kings and priests to God; they were it is a fact too notorious to be for one to have a white stone, and in the moment denied, that false spiritual stone a new name written, &c.; Rev. teachers have always given strength ii. 17; that is, they were to be fur- to those secular rulers, however cornished with a diadem, such as kings rupt, who winked at their iniquities and priests are wont to wear. It is and interfered not with their designs. certain that the statues of the Roman In the history of the Jews this fact is emperors had inscriptions on them distinctly seen. The false priests that belong only to God. Divine exerted their power to keep the people honors were paid to them, and espe- in subjection to bad rulers. "A cially after their death. From facts wonderful and horrible thing is comlike these, the beast is represented as mitted in the land; the prophets having some blasphemous title on each prophesy falsely, and the priests bear of his heads. — (Stuart on xiii. 1.) rule by their means; and my people
2. Like unto à leopard, &c. - Here love to have it so; and what will ye again is a proof that the revelator do in the end thereof?” Jer. v. 30, drew his figure from Daniel ; for|31. The prophets uttered lies, and Daniel's four beasts were, first, a the priests ruled the people, indirectly lion ; second, a bear; third, a leop- perhaps, and the people were ard; and the fourth, a sort of inde- infatuated and deceived that they scribable animal, partaking of the loved the oppression. The manner qualities of all. And hence the reve- in which the iniquity of priests served lator says, that the beast he saw rise to sustain the wickedness of secular from the sea, (Daniel's beasts all rose rulers, is set forth by Micah, iii. 10from the sea; vii. 3, 4,) was like unto 12, as follows : " They build up a leopard, a' bear, and a lion. He Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with
lion: and the dragon gave him as it were wounded to death : his power, and his seat, and and his deadly wound was great authority:
healed; and all the world won3 And I saw one of his heads dered after the beast.
iniquity. The heads thereof judge priestly pagan power of Rome susfor reward, and the priests thereof tained the secular arm, by means of teach for hire, and the prophets the false doctrines, the awful rites, thereof divine for money : yet will the terrible mysteries; and in this they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is way, if in no other, “the dragon gave not the Lord among us? none evil the beast his power, and his seat, can come upon us. Therefore shall and great authority" over the people. Zion for your sake be ploughed as a Such a construction of this passage is field, and Jerusalem shall become consistent with fact, and makes unity. heaps, and the mountain of the house No man can fail to see that the as the high places of the forest." Roman power is intended both by the That corrupt governments have been dragon (chap. xii.) and the beast, sustained by false doctrines, promul- (chap. xiii.,) with some circumstances gated by priests and philosophers, is of dissimilarity. The pagan power acknowledged by credible historians. of the empire is put first, because it Polybius, for instance, an ancient rose up first against Christianity ; and Greek historian, tells us plainly that the support which the pagan power “since the multitude is ever fickle gave the secular is described in the and capricious, full of lawless pas- verse before us. sions and irrational and violent re- 3. One of his heads as it were wounded sentments, there is no way left to to death. -- The beast, we have seen, keep them in order, but by the terrors had seven heads, ver. 1. The same of future punishment and all the was true of the dragon ; xii. 3. One pompous circumstance that attends of the heads of the beast was wounded such kind of fiction. On which to death, a hyperbole, perhaps, for a account, the ancients acted, in my very severe wound. This undoubt. opinion, with great judgment and edly describes some calamity that fell penetration, when they contrived to upon the government of the empire, bring in those notions of the gods and in one of its sections, which was a future state into the popular belief.” afterwards repaired. One of the Strabo, another Greek writer, speaks heads was severely wounded and to the same purpose. “It is impos- afterwards healed. If these seven sible,” he says, "to govern women, heads represent seven kings, (as we and the gross body of the people, and should be led to think from chap. to keep them pious, holy and vir. xvii. 10,) then the wounding of one tuous, by the precepts of philosophy: of the heads would refer to some this can only be done by the fear of calamity of one these kings, which the gods, which is raised and sup- he subsequently recovered from. That ported by ancient fictions and modern it was some disaster suffered by vioprodigies.” He tells us further, that lence, is apparent from verse 14, the “ apparatus of the ancient my- where the wound is said to have been thologies” was “an engine which the made “by a sword.” All the world legislators employed as bugbears to wondered, — The Roman government strike a terror into the childish imag- was undoubtedly a wonder to all the ination of the multitude." See the world. " And they that dwell on the work of Rev. Thos. J. Sawyer, enti. earth shall wonder, whose names tled, “ Endless Punishment, its Origin were not written in the book of life and Grounds Examined,” p. 22. The from the foundation of the world, 4 And they worshipped the the beast, saying, Who is like dragon which gave power unto unto the beast? who is able to the beast: and they worshipped make war with him ? when they behold the beast that was, which was famous for letters and the and is not, and yet is ;" Rev. xvii. 8. arts; and may, therefore, be said to Whether the wonder was excited at have swayed the world. She was the greatness of the empire, its mar- preëminent in the art of war. The vellous progress, or whether it arose ablest generals were in her service; from the condition of the beast that and if she had not the largest armies was, and is not, and yet is, is some at her command, she had those that what doubtful. The empire itself were sufficiently numerous, and that was doubtless the wonder of all the for a long time contended success. world.
fully with the armies of all other 4. Worshipped the dragon. The parts of the world. Can we be surdragon was worshipped; that is to prised, then, that “all the world won. say, the people reverenced the power dered after the beast”? and said, represented by him. Worshipped “Who is like unto the beast? Who is the beast. — They reverenced also the able to make war with him”? A power represented by the beast. Both clear distinction, it seems to us, is powers were the objects of adoration ; observable between the beast and the but the beast was the warlike power; dragon, although they are alike in not like the dragon, in a spiritual certain very essential particulars. contest; but Rome secular had im- The world does not say, Who is like
armies at her command. unto the dragon ? who is able to make Who is like unto the beast ? — Well war with the dragon? The dragon might the wondering multųude say, represented the spiritual, not the “Who is like unto the beast? who is sword-bearing, power. The dragon able to make war with him?” But did not make war as the beast did. after all, the confidence in the power The contest which the dragon and of the empire was too great, for great his angels carried on as the empire was, it did finally fall. earth, but was seen in the air, among And we read in the chapter we are the stars. It was metaphorical, or considering, that one of the heads of spiritual. It was with Michael and the beast was "wounded to death,” his angels, the imaginary guardians ver. 3, “by a sword,” ver. 14; and of the faithful Christians. The dragon we are told (ver. 10) that “hé that was worsted, and was thrown down leadeth into captivity shall go into from the height of his power. Chriscaptivity: he that killeth with the tianity gained the ascendency in the sword must be killed with the sword." empire. We see, then, a plain disRome, with its terrible arm, was not tinction between the dragon and the unconquerable. There was a time, beast; the former, it would seem, however, when she appeared to be so. referred to the spiritual power, or Within the space of a little more than heathenism; the latter represented a hundred years, she made herself the secular power of the state. the mistress of the world. Her do. 5. A mouth speaking great things minion extended from the islands and blasphemies. — The phraseology of of the Atlantic on the west, to the Daniel is preserved all along in this river Euphrates on the east, and chapter. This mouth speaking great from the Mediterranean on the south, things and blasphemies' is a method almost indefinitely towards the north of speech borrowed from that prophet. pole; at least, so as to include all See Dan. vii. 8: “I considered the civilized countries. She embraced horns, and behold, there came up all that part of Europe and Asia'among them another little horn, before 5 And there was given unto power was given unto him to him a mouth speaking great continue forty and two months. things and blasphemies; and 6 And he opened his mouth whom there were three of the first power of their enemies, whether it horns plucked up by the roots : and may have been longer or shorter. behold, in this horn were eyes like The revelator, who will be found a the eyes of a man, and a mouth speak- most obsequious imitator of Daniel ing great things." — Also verse 11, “I in his metaphors, quotes the method beheld then because of the voice of of speech from him. But the revelathe great words which the horn spake: tor, preserving the general idea, still I beheld even till the beast was slain, varies his phraseology, and uses “ forand his body destroyed, and given ty and two months” and “twelve hunto the burning flame.” And again, dred and sixty days,” which evidently verse 25: “And he shall speak great enough are of similar force and interwords against the Most High, and pretation with the time, times, and shall wear out the saints of the Most half a time, or year, years, and half a High, and think to change times and year. One year, two years, and a laws." Daniel, like the revelator, was hall of a year, are exactly forty-two speaking of the Roman empire un- months, and forty-two months of thirty der the figure of a beast; and the rev- days each, (as the Jews reckoned,) are elator evidently quotes the prophet's just twelve hundred and sixty days. language. Did not the Roman rulers And when Daniel says, at the close of utter great things against the Most his prophecy, "Blessed is he that waitHigh? Did not the beast have upon eth and cometh to the thousand, three his heads the name of blasphemy? hundred and five and thirty days," | Forty and tro months. - This beast the meaning is, Blessed is he that was to continue forty and two months. liveth to the days beyond the season Many speculations, very wise, we of the prostration of the saints. In have no doubt, in the opinions of their respect to the destruction of the Jews, authors, have been offered in regard the Christians were assured “the day to the time intended by this phrase. of the Lord should come as a thief in We have already stated, that, in our the night;" 1 Thess. v. 1,2. The earjudgment, it was a mere metaphor of ly Christians were prohibited from time, to signify the season of the inquiring too particularly into those church's depression, and of the exulta- matters. " It is not for you to know tion of her enemies. It is far from the times or the seasons which the being certain that the various phrases, Father hath put in his own power;" " a time, and times, and dividing of Acts i. 7. The precise day and hour time,” Dan. vii. 25; "a time, times, of Christ's coming they were not to and a half,” xii. 7; Rev. xii. 14; know, but they were to keep always “ forty and two months,” Rev. xi. 2; ready for it, for it should surely come xiii. 5; and “twelve hundred and in that generation, and to many it sixty days," Rev. xi. 3; xii. 6; all would come unexpectedly, like a signify the same time, or even the thief in the night. This was all the same length of time. The expression Christians were to know in regard to originated with Daniel, and was used the time. It is manifestly certain, by him (vii. 25) to signify the sea- then, that none of the sacred writers son of the predominance of the oppos- meant to foretell the exact number ing power against the saints of the of days. Most High. Now, let the reader take 6. Blasphemy against God. - Rome a hint from this fact. The time, blasphemed God. Hence we read times, and half a time, is the season that upon the seven heads of the beast of the depression of the saints and the 'was “the name of blasphemy," verse
was not on
in blasphemy against God, to to make war with the saints, and blaspheme his name, and his to overcome them: and power tabernacle, and them that dwell was given him over all kindreds, in heaven.
and tongues, and nations. 7 And it was given unto him
8 And all that dwell upon 1, and that he had “a mouth speak- make war against him that sat on the ing great things and blasphemies," horse, and against his army. And verse 5. Rome blasphemed the name the beast was taken, and with him the of God, and his tabernacle, and those false prophet that wrought miracles that dwelt therein, or in heaven, which before him, with which he deceived means the same thing. The taber- them that had received the mark of nacle of God was with men; and they the beast, and them that worshipped who were brought to know, and love, his image. These both were cast and serve him, dwelt in his taber- alive into a lake of fire burning with nacle, or in heaven. Hence Paul brimstone. And the remnant were said to the Hebrew Christians, “Ye slain with the sword of him that sat are come unto Mount Sion, and unto upon the horse, which sword proceeded the city of the living God, the heaven out of his mouth: and all the fowls ly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable were filled with their flesh ;" xix. company of angels,” &c.; xii. 22. By 19–21. This was the final overthrow those who “ dwelt in heaven," is of the beast. It was not permitted meant those who have entered the that he should always make war upon spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ. the church. We have no doubt that the early 8. All that dwell upon the earth shall Christians were obliged to endure all worship him. This is but a reitera. manner of reproaches and blasphe- tion of the fact stated in verses 3 and mies. Some of the Roman emperors 4. But during this very general de. arrogated to themselves honors, and votion to the power of Rome, both in were called by names, which belonged religion and government, there were to God alone. In this way they blas some who did not join in it, viz., phemed God.
those whose names are written in 7. Make war with the saints, and the book of life of the Lamb." We overcome them. - He was permitted to have already expressed our opinion make war with the saints; he was of the phrase “ book of life,” in the permitted to overcome them. It was notes on Rev. iii. 5, to which we reallowed for wise and holy purposes. fer. A few additional particulars are The language above quoted is the here added. It was an ancient cuslanguage of Daniel, which he used in tom to speak of the names of the regard to the Roman beast. “I be faithful as being written in a book; held, and the same horn made war and when one was ejected, or cut off, with the saints, and prevailed against his name was said to be blotted out. them ;" vii. 21. But he prevailed See Exod. xxxii. 31–33: “And Mo. against them only for a time; and ses returned. unto the Lord, and said, during that time his power was very Oh, this people have sinned a great wide; it extended over all kindreds, sin, and have made them gods of gold. and tongues, and nations.” See Rev. Yet now, if thou wilt, forgive their xi, 7; xii. 17. In the sequel he was sin: and if not, blot me, I pray thee, to fall. His triumph could not be out of thy book which thou hast writ. long. The revelator says, in a sub-ten. And the Lord said unto Moses, sequent passage,
" And I saw the Whosoever hath sinned against me, beast, and the kings of the earth, and him will I blot out of my book.” their armies, gathered together to Book is used metaphorically for re