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forbearance was exercised towards the vanquished. After describing the assault and capture of the city, Mr Gibbon observes, “The proclamation of Alaric, when he forced his entrance into a vanquished city, discovered, however, some regard for the laws of humanity and religion. He encouraged his troops boldly to seize the rewards of valour, and to enrich themselves with the spoils of a wealthy and effeminate people: but he exhorted them, at the same time, to spare the lives of the unresisting citizens, and to respect the churches of the Apostles St Peter and St Paul, as holy and inviolable sanctu-. aries. Amidst the horrors of a nocturnal tumult, several of the Christian Goths displayed the fervour of a recent conversion; and some instances of their uncommon piety are related, and perhaps adorned, by the zeal of ecclesiastical writers.” On the whole, after a review of the circumstances attending this siege, Mr Gibbon adds, “There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times. Yet when the first emotions had subsided, and a fair estimate was made of the real damage, the more learned and judicious cotemporaries were forced to confess, that infant Rome had formerly received more essential injury from the Gauls, than she had now sustained from the Goths in her declining age. The experience of eleven centuries has enabled posterity to produce a more singular parallel; and to affirm with confidence, that the ravages of the Barbarians, whom Alaric had led from the banks of the Danube, were less destructive than the hostilities exercised by the troops of Charles the Fifth, a Catholic prince, who styled himself Emperor of the Romans.”—Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chap. XXXI. A. D. 410.
The account of the taking of Rome by Totila is contained in chap. XLIII. The city was twice taken by Totila ; the first time A.D. 548, and again in the following year. On the first occasion Totila had determined to rase the city: but Mr Gibbon observes, that “the firm and temperate remonstrance of Belisarius suspended the execution ; he warned the Barbarian not to sully his fame by the destruction of those monuments, which were the glory of the dead and the delight of the living; and Totila was persuaded, by the advice of an enemy, to preserve Rome as the ornament of his kingdom, or the fairest pledge of peace and reconciliation.” On the last occasion, upon the surrender of the garrison, Mr Gibbon ob
serves, that “they retrieved their arrears of pay, and preserved their arms and horses, by enlisting in the service of Totila; their chiefs, who pleaded a laudable attachment to their wives and children in the East, were dismissed with honour; and above four hundred enemies, who had taken refuge in the sanctuaries, were saved by the clemency of the victor. He no longer entertained a wish of destroying the edifices of Rome, which he now respected as the seat of the Gothic kingdom : the senate and people were restored to their country; the meuns of subsistence were liberally provided ; and Totila, in the robe of peace, exhibited the equestrian games of the circus."
The narrative of this historian, who will certainly not be suspected of undue partiality in favour of this book, will prove conclusively, how inadequate the circumstances attending the capture of Rome at both these periods, and indeed at any other period of its history, are to fulfil the terms of this most awful and important prophecy. Indeed, as Bishop Newton has justly observed, “what reason had the Christians (compare verse 20) to rejoice over the calamities brought on Rome by Alaric or Totila; in which they themselves were the principal sufferers ? And how were these calamities any vindication of their cause or the cause of true religion?" (Dissert. ad locum). Compare also the conclusive reasoning by which the learned Prelate has shewn that these prophecies, considered in a temporal point of view, have never been fulfilled in Rome. See also Woodhouse, Annotations ad locum.
NOTE K. p. 259.
LINE 2. With regard to the manner in which we ought to apply the splendid imagery contained in this chapter, to the destruction of the spiritual Babylon, the reader will find some judicious remarks in Woodhouse, Annotations ad locum. Indeed, it is impossible that on this subject there can be any material difference of opinion ;-the object of this accumulation of magnificent images borrowed from the ancient prophecies, and particularly from those relating to ancient Babylon, the type of her spiritual successor, being to proclaim the final and awful destruction of this great anti-christian power. The connection between this and the prophecies of the Old
Testament, from which it is borrowed, may be best seen by a comparison of the references contained in the margin of our Bibles. But there is one passage, which was not particularly noticed in the preceding exposition, because, at that time, I was not altogether satisfied with regard to the correctness of the translation of this passage in the authorized Version. The passage to which I allude is contained in the thirteenth verse of chap. xviii.; where, in describing the riches of Babylon, which the merchants of the world would not buy any more, are mentioned, amongst other things, “beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men,” (margin, bodies):-Gr. και κτήνη και πρόβατα, και ίππων, και ρεδών, και σωμάτων, και ψυχας ανθρώπων. On comparing this with the parallel passage in Ezekiel (chap. xxvii. 13), where, in describing the riches of Tyre, he says, “Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, these were thy merchants : they traded the of men, and vessels of brass in thy market,” &c.; a doubt arose, whether yuxa's ávöpun w ought not to be translated, as it is done in the margin of the Bible, the bodies, or persons of men. Such is the obvious meaning of the word was in this passage of Ezekiel, as is evident from its meaning in other passages. Compare i Chron. v. 21; Numb. xxxi. 34, 40, 46, &c. The LΧΧ. translate it ούτοι ενεπορεύοντό σοι εν ψυχαίς ανθρώπων; and the word yuxni is used by them in the same manner in other passages. On these grounds Grotius, Hammond, Wolf, and others, have attributed this meaning to the word in this passage of the Apocalypse. But, in answer to this criticism, it may be observed, that this meaning is embodied in the preceding word owuatwv, which is used, not only by the LXX., but by the best Greek authors, in the sense of slaves :(compare Schleusn. Lex. N. T. in voce). The prophet then proceeds by a climax, or gradation, from one article to another, to point out that, which to the corrupt spiritual Babylon was a source of great wealth,—the souls of men.
“ The enumeration of the articles of trade," as Dean Woodhouse has observed, “by which this Babylon is described as making an iniquitous profit, has something in it very peculiar and striking. Can we avoid recalling to memory the purgatory, the penances, the commutations, the indulgences, made saleable in the corrupt Papal church?” As the criticism contained in this passage is one of great importance, I will subjoin the observation
of two writers in Pole's Synopsis: “Probe hic notandum, quod Spiritus Sanctus, ut ostenderet, quales merces et mercatores hic intelliguntur, divino quodam artificio, clausulæ loco, ponit animas hominum ; ac ne quisquam secundum formulam sermonis Hebraici, et similia verba Ezek. xxvii. 13 posita, existimet per has intelligi debere mancipia, habemus ad illa significanda præmissam vocem owuátw: deinde mutatur constructio, et yuxa's &c., id quod evidenti indicio est, intelligi hic mercatores, quales illi sunt 2 Cor. ii. 17 et 2 Pet. ii. 3. Quod ergo in sensu proprio dictum est de Tyro, Ezek. xxvii. in mystico, de hac mystica Babylone debet intelligi, de animarum mercatura per missas, indulgentias, peregrinationes, aliaque suffragia,” &c. Poli Synopsis ad locum; which contains a most learned and valuable criticism relative to the whole subject.
With regard to the ancient versions of this passage in the Apocalypse, the Vulgate has, “et rhedarum et mancipiorum, et animarum hominum ;” the Syriac translates the passage Lama kelibo and the bodies and souls of men; and the same appears to be the manner in which the
passage is translated in the Æthiopic version. But the testimony of the first two versions, one of which has been always the standard version of the Roman Catholic church, and the other was made long before the greatest corruptions of the Romish church had an existence, appears to be conclusive with regard to the true meaning of the words,--και ψυχας ανθρωπων, in this passage; and to shew, that they were probably added (as is the case in many other of the most sublime Scripture prophecies, and particularly in those solemn exhortations, with which our Saviour at once concludes and points out the spiritual import of some of his most impressive parables, Matth. xxii. 13; xxv. 13, 30, &c.) for the purpose of directing the attention of Christians to the spiritual purport of this most awful and impressive prophecy.
1 The following is the impressive remark of Beza on this
passage : Animas hominum, ψύχας ανθρώπων. Ηec
vero est apud illos vilissimi pretii merces, quam tamen Filius Dei sanguine suo redimendam putavit.”
NOTE L. p. 259.
LINE 16. See a statement of the acute argument of Bishop Bossuet, by which he has endeavoured to avert the application of the imagery contained in this chapter from Papal Rome, and the masterly refutation of it by Bishop Hurd, in his Warburtonian Lectures, Sermon xi. pp. 163, &c.
NOTE M. p. 263.
LINE 5—8. Opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God, &c.--In illustration of this, compare Bishop Newton ad locum, who refers, in proof of the application of this description to Papal Rome, to Jewel's Apology and Defence, and the Introduction to Barrow's Treatise on the Pope's Supremacy. The learned Prelate has quoted such passages as the following: Our Lord God the Pope ; another God upon earth; King of kings and Lord of lords. The same is the dominion of God and of the Pope. The power of the Pope is greater than all created power, and extends itself to things celestial, terrestrial, and infernal, &c. But the Introduction of Dr Barrow may be referred to, as containing a most learned, copious, and temperate statement of the whole question.
LINE 26. That the early Christian Fathers identified the Man of Sin, as he is described by St Paul, with Anti-Christ, is proved at large by Bishop Newton, in his masterly Dissertation on the Man of Sin. “ Justin Martyr, who flourished before the middle of the second century, considers the Man of Sin, or, as he elsewhere calleth him, the Man of blasphemy, as altogether the same with the little horn of Daniel ; and affirms that he, who shall speak blasphemous words against the Most High, is now at the doors?. Irenæus, who lived in the same
2 Justin. Dialog.
cum Tryph. p. 250, Ed. Paris. p. 201 Ed. Thirb.
vid. etiam, p. 336. Ed. Paris. p. 371. Ed. Thirb.