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“ to represent the Roman empire ; for thus far “ both ancients and moderns, papists and protes. “ tants, are agreed *.” Had his Lordship steadily adhered to this simple, and indeed undeniable, proposition, I should have been able to sanction my own views of the subject with the authority of one of our ablest commentators upon prophecy : but, quitting the assertion with which he originally set out, he soon entirely diverts the attention of his reader from the great secular Roman beast (as the Bishop himselft styles it) to that spiritual power which Daniel symbolizes by the little horn of the beast. He commences his discussion with saying very truly, that the beast is the Roman empire ; and this beast he afterwards pronounces no less truly to be a secular beast : yet, in the course of a very few
he informs us, that the beast is evidently the little horn, which he had already proved with irrefragable arguments to be the Papacy. Now the beast is said by St. John to be the same as his own last head I: hence the Bishop, having pronounced the
* Dissert, on Rev. xiii.
+ Ibid. Mr. Mede, in a similar manner, although his opinion be the same as that of the Bishop, espesially styles the first apocalyptic beast the secular beast, and the second the ecclesiastical beast. See his Comment. Apoc. in loc.
* “ The beast, that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven” (Rev. xvii. 11.). Some suppose
that this is spoken by way of synecdoche; but I know not what right we have to tamper with the plain declaration of the
beast to be the little horń or the Papacy, of course pronounces the Papacy to be the last head likewise: that is to say, he makes a spiritual power to be the last head of the beast and consequently the whole beast, notwithstanding he had declared that this very beast is a secular empire.
Respecting this opinion it may be observed, that, if the beast be a secular empire, it is impossible that his last head, which is identified with himself, should be a spiritual power ; because, if that were the case, the beast would no longer be a secular empire, but a spiritual one. Popery indeed, like Mohammedism, is symbolized, merely as an ecclesiastical kingdom, by a horn originally small and afterwards becoming so powerful as to have a look more stout than its fellows, and as to influence the actions of the whole beast ; 'nor is there any inconsistency in representing symbolically what has really happened, namely the rise
A postle (See Pol. Synop. in loc.). I consider it as a very leading part of the prophecy, and as being studiously intro. duced to prevent any possibility of mistake respecting the power intended by the last head. The temporal dominion of all the six first heads, springing up as they respectively did before the division of the Empire, extended over the whole of the Empire : and we are here assured by St. John, that the temporal dominion of the last head, notwithstanding the division of the Empire into the ten horns, shall extend over the whole of the Empire likewise. Would we then discover the last head, we must seek for a power whose dominions have been commensurate with the whole Western Empire : for this lust head, whatever it may be, is, like its sir predecessors, to be the whole beast,
of an 'ecclesiastical kingdom out of a secular empire : but I can form no idea how it is possible, that the pupal horn should be considered as the last head of the secular beast, when that head is declared to be the same at its first rise as the whole secular beast himself. The Pope can only be the last head of the secular beast either in his spiritual or in his secular character. He cannot in his spiritual : because the last head of the beast is to be the whole beast; and no ingenuity can shew, that an ecclesiastical kingdom, as such, is the same as a secular empire. He cannot in his secular, as sovereign of St. Peter's patrimony : both because it is unreasonable to esteem a petty temporal prince the head of a great secular empire; and because, as I have just observed, the last head was to be the whole secular beast at its first rise, which the Pope as a temporal prince
I am perfectly aware, that to this objection Bp. Newton would reply, that the Pope is “the head “ of the state as well as of the church, the king
of kings, as well as the bishop of bishops *;" that there is no contradiction in a person being at once the head both of the state and the church; and consequently that the Pope, although a spiritual character, may be justly esteemed the head of the secular beast in his capacity of “king of
kings.” I am aware likewise that the canonists
* Bp. Newton's Dissert, on Rev, xiii.
assert, that “ there is no sovereign power but in
the Pope ;” and that the Popes have repeatedly maintained, that all regal authority is derived from them, as in that remarkable instance when Boniface the eighth wrote to Philip the Fair, “ We will “ have thee know that thou art subject to us both “ in temporals and spirituals *.” But to all such arguments as these the answer is sufficiently obvious: there is a very wide difference between only claiming and really possessing temporal supremacy. Now the Popes have been sufficiently importunate in claiming the title and authority of “ king of
kings ;” and, had they succeeded in establishing such a claim, I could readily have allowed that they might be, what Bp. Newton supposes them to be, the last head of the secular beastt: but, if we
* Whitaker's Comment. p. 229-234, 256, 257.
+ Mr. Whitaker, who marrs Bp. Newton's much more simple interpretation by supposing that the Papacy is the Dictatorial heud revived, cites Dr. Barrow as asserting, that, in the last Lateran council, “ one bishop styled the Pope prince of the “ world; another orator called him king of kings, and monarch “ of the earth; another great prelate said of him, that he had “ all power abore ili powers both of heaven and earth” (Whitaker's Comment, p. 256.). He likewise cites a sermon of Pope Innocent the third, as containing the following passage "The ķs church, who is my spouse, does not at her marriage come “ to me empty handed. She has bestowed a precious, an “ invaluable, dowry on me; an absolute power in spirituals, “ an extensive authority in temporals. She has given me " the mitre for the ensign of my spiritual, and the crown of “ my temporal, jurisdiction; the mitre ås priest, the crown
consult history, we shall find that the very reverse is the case : the claim has often been made, but it
" as king; constituting me his vicar, who bears this inscrip“ tion written on his thigh and his vestment, King of kings, " and Lord of lords” (Ibid. p. 234.). He further cites a bull of Sixtus the fifth against the king of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, wherein it is declared that “ the authority delegated “ to St. Peter and his successors, by the infinite power of the
Eternal, is above all power of the kings of the earth ; that “ theirs it is to inforce the observance, and to punish the “ infringers of it, by pulling them from their thrones, how
powerful soever they be, and casting them to the earth as “ ministers of Satan” (Ibid. p. 229.). In all these declarations however I can discover nothing like a proof, that the Pope is head of the state, and therefore a head of the secular beast. I learn from them most undeniably, that the Popes have repeatedly claimed a temporal, no less than a spiritual supremacy: but, before I can allow that they constitute a heud of the beast, I must have it shewn to me that their claim has been allowed. Till this be done, we are oply informed what the Popes have been styled by themselves and their flatterers, not what they really are and have been. Exactly the same remark applies to Mr. Sharpe's observations upon the same subject. The Pope may
call himself Rector Orbis, and claim an authority over all the kings of the earth, so long as he pleases; but this alone will never prove that he is the ruler of the world, or that any such authority is allowed to him (Append. to an Inquiry into the description of Babylon, p. 11.). It is not unworthy of notice, that even the claim of temporal supremacy was not made by the Popes, till a considerable period after they had been declared supreme head of the Church. The insolent Gregory the second, throughout his whole quarrel with Leo Isauricus respecting in ge-worship in the year 727, though he vehemently claimed the power of excommunicating even sovereign princes, presumed not to assert that he possessed any temporal