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2. The prophecy concerning the ten horns or kings is singularly plain, and exempt from enigmatical obscurity. The commentator therefore may be satisfied, in stating it under a brief paraphrase, and then pointing out the manner in which it has hitherto been fulfilled in history, and the probable completion of what remains unfulfilled.

The ten horns are ten kings or kingdoms, which had not received their dominion at the time when the

Gothic kings. They were the representatives of the emperors of the Romans in peace and war, with the full remains of civil, military, and even ecclesiastical power. Rome was oppressed by their iron sceptre, and degraded to the second rank of cities.” These quotations, extracted from the xli. xliii. and xlvth chapters of the “ Decline and Fall,” will clearly show that the reign of the eighth head, or beast himself, did not take effect immediately upon the dissolution of the seventh, if that be fulfilled in the Gothic kings of Italy. The intervention of another power prevented this--the power imperial. But let it be considered that this was not a new power, but one that had reigned before, and for a long continuance in Italy, being only a recovery and resumption of sovereignty; and then it may be allowed to be such an intervention as does not materially disturb the order of succession. It seems necessary to consider it in this light, for otherwise the principle, upon which the whole method of interpretation is founded, must be renounced. For in the former part of it, as Bishop Newton observes, neither the consular nor dictatorial power were exercised all at one time without remission, but interrupted, repeated, and intervening between the other powers or heads of the beast. This want of continuity did not destroy their distinct unity, in the opinion of the historians of ancient Rome.

In short, Rome was never free from foreign masters, nor the popes at full liberty to exercise a temporal sovereignty there and in Italy, and an ecclesiastical dominion over the kings, till Pepin and his successors conferred upon them the elevation and the power, (774 to 800.) This will be found the true era when the harlot mounted the beast and directed him and his kings. Rome was hitherto subservient to the secular power; she now obtained the direction of it in a considerable degree. At the same time we cannot infer with any certainty that this was also the commencement of the twelve hundred and sixty years. These might, and probably did, begin sooner, but at what exact period seems more than we are permitted to ascertain.

angel announced them as such, but were destined to receive it for a certain season, contemporary with the beast. These are to act with one counsel and design, suggested to them by the overruling power of God; and to give their power to the beast, until the divine predictions shall be completed, in the victory obtained over them by the Lamb, (for he is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.) But, there shall also come a time when the kings shall hate the harlot, (not the beast, with whom they still continue to act) and shall lower her pride and influence, and strip her of her rich clothing and decorations, and devour and utterly destroy her.

HISTORY exhibits to us a time, when the Roman empire in the West, symbolised by the beast of this chapter, gradually declined, and, by the irruption and repeated attacks of barbarian hordes, was broken and fell to pieces. From the ruins of this mass ten kingdoms arose : they are thus enumerated by different writers, not only at their first establishment, but also in their progress in successive periods. Though much varied in respect to the people of which they were composed, their number has been nearly the same; so that if an average were to be taken in the long course of fourteen hundred years, reaching to our times, the number ten would be found to predominate. And when we consider the natural instability of supreme power, the wars, conquests, and the accumulation of empire, to which nations are exposed,-and which have been prevalent to such excess in other quarters of the globe, during the same period, we must think it a matter of wonder that the ten European kingdoms should subsist as they have done, in fulfilment of the prediction. But it has been fulfilled, not only in this particular, but in the character and designation of the kings. They have been at times seduced by the harlot and her intoxicating cup; they have imbibed her doctrines, and executed her bloody decrees. But a time also is promised, and has already dawned, when the kings or rulers of nations shall open their eyes to the false pretensions of their deceiver, and perform their appointed part respecting her downfall and disgrace.

After this analytical view of the seventeenth chapter under separate divisions, we may proceed to collect a brief, but general and conclusive result. It is clear, that there is one prominent object exhibited by the angel, on which we are called to fix our principal attention : Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.This title, pronounced to be a mystery, is written upon her forehead. Come hither,” says the angel to the apostle, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot.. She is to be judged; and her sentence is disclosed partly in this chapter, but more fully in the two succeeding. The other agents in this vision, the beast and the kings, are introduced principally to show her character and actions, for these are to be set forth before she receives her doom.

She has the name of Babylon, but, as it plainly appears, in a mystical sense only (Mvotnprov); and she amply fulfils the type of the ancient Babylon, by the acquisition of immense power and splendour, by tyranny and oppression, by the captivity and persecution of the people of God. Compared with the woman in the wilderness,—the pure, primitive, persecuted Church, from which she boasts her origin,-she has little or no resemblance thereto, but in name and profession.

Yet she is the very image of the same Church in name and worldly descent, during its utmost degeneracy and corruption, disgracing the

pages of history, before the Reformation. Comparing her with the New Jerusalem in chapter the twenty-first,--for she is both a church and a city,--we perceive that she is not the bride of the lamb, but a degraded cast-away, a divorced adulteress.

The beast that carries her, and submits to her guidance, shows the influence she has acquired over the secular power, which becomes instrumental to her brutal cruelty. And the beast being exclusively Roman, confirms her Roman origin and connexions.

The seven kings, or kingdoms in succession, are of the same description, and can be found only in Rome: and so likewise are the ten kings, the remains of the Roman empire in the West, beguiled and corrupted by the great harlot, whose seat of ecclesiastical empire is described, first, as“ upon many waters, that is, peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and languages.

Thus is her influence extended over an immense range of population. But, secondly, her stationary throne is upon the famous “ seven mountains ;” that great “ city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

Little doubt can arise in the mind of the attentive enquirer, concerning the completion of this prophecy. The symbols applied by the authority of Scripture, adapt themselves clearly and expressly to Rome ecclesiastical and hierarchal, and to no other community in history: it is this Rome, in the zenith of her proudest dominion over the kings and nations of the western world. The great object of the prophecy, the harlot, city or church, is undoubtedly Roman. The heavenly conductor of the apostle plainly de

clares to him, that in the woman, he beholds “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth :" that this is Rome, must be, and indeed is, universally allowed. The beast who carries her is also Roman; so are the ten kings or kingdoms which rise out of him, and are seduced and governed by her influence; so likewise are the seven mountains, being in their literal sense, the station of Rome, or typically, a succession of governments which history acknowledges in Rome only. But that these, and the other descriptive symbols of this chapter, cannot be applied to Rome pagan, and are fulfilled in Rome ecclesiastical only, has been clearly shown by many commentators. To this therefore our exposition is confined: but, if it were otherwise, if we might look to other quarters of the globe, beyond the European, for the completion of the prophecy, we should assuredly look in vain. There have been many false prophets in various regions, of great extent and population, seated, like Rome,“ on many waters ;” who, by“ lying wonders,” and heavenly pretensions, have erected and exercised an ecclesiastical tyranny over men. But the symbols require this to be performed in a church professing itself to be Christian; a church corrupt, worldly, and apostate, which hath forsaken her God, and been divorced and cast away by him. The Mahometan hierarchy, if it could be proved Roman in the same character and extent as the Roman church, would have some claim to the completion. But, where is the intoxicating cup? Mahomet did not seduce his innumerable converts; but by war, and persecution, and intolerance, forced them to submit to his tyranny. He approached them, as it has been said, with the Koran in one hand, and the sword in the other. And where, in the Mahometan empire, are the ten kings reigning for a vast succession of years, in their own


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