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community is the offspring of ignoble propensities, and an establishment of corruption, founded by the Old dragon himself in the heart of that Church. He terms it a beast, and its principal qualities are represented, even by wild and ravenous animals. His whole body resembled that of a leopard, who on account of his many spots of various colours, has a delightful appearance; but by his natural disposition is cruel, insidious, and swift to his prey. Hab. 1, 8. Jer. XIII, 23. v, 6. Thus we are presented with the spirit and disposition of the Papacy, how it bears, under pretence of religion, in fact the uniform of the worship of all nations, in order to delude a gazing multitude, amidst the speedy execution of plans of deep cunning and craft. His feet were as the feet of a bear, to denote the strength of his government, and the stability of this whole fabrick, which could be only shaken by the Reformation, and interrupted in its course for a time, by the French revolution. His mouth as the mouth of a lion, by which he exalted himself, his holiness, bis lying wonders and miracles, uttered blasphemies against God, roared anathemas against emperors, kings, princes, and the children of God, who bore witness against his corruptions, devouring their possessions and butchering their persons. This beast is a compound of the four beasts in Daniel's prophecy, all of which were enemies of the people of God, to represent it to us as a cruel fiend, and a monster of iniquity. But here are the limits of human power and of natural means, the summit of merely natural wickedness, without infernal assistance; of which this beast is now also made the instrument in the progress of his aspiring ambition. The dragon gave him his power. The dragon is Satan in the garb of Paganism, as it formerly existed in the Pagan Roman empire, and as in succeeding time, it was blended with the Christian doctrine and worship. It was by means of these Pagan opinions, customs, rites and corruptions of Christianity,
that Satan gave the beast his power, to deceive the ungodly by lying signs and miracles, in order to impress a Christian stamp and seal on image-worship, and on that whole body of Pagan corruptions in the Church, to delude the multitude, and tyranize over the consciences of millions. II Thess. II, 9. 10. The throne of the dragon, which he gave the beast, is the city of Rome and dominion in the West. Rome was the seat of Satan for many centuries, while Pagan idolatry swayed the scepter; and though it had ceased to be his residence since the time of Constantine the Great ; yet he had not relinquished his pretensions, Math. XII, 44. until he gave it to the beast, by the establishment of the Papal hierarchy; when it again becaine the chief source and seat of Papal idolatry in a renewed and Christian form. And it must be confessed that the popes. have faithfully followed the example of their worthy predecessor, by the usurpation of temporal and spiritual power in the city of Rome, and by enthroning their system of idolatrous worship, for universal sway in the West. It is further said, that the dragon gave him great authority. The Roman emperors pretended to liave been descended from the Gods, assumed a supernatural dignity, and had divine honours paid them by their subjects. But the dragon gave to the beast to arrogate to himself all authority, both in heaven, on carth, and in hell; even to assume a divine character of holiness, infallibility, of making articles of faith, and to rule over emperors, kings, princes, bishops, and over all kingdoms and churches, calling himself King of kings, Lord of lords, and Rector orbis. Indeed it cannot be explained from merely natural causes, how a spiritual prince could attain to such an exorbitant authority, as by one word to dethrone emperors, kings, and princes, & invest others with the ensigns of their high stations, without their armies or connexions being able to defend them. But here this matter is fully developed; he is the vicar of Satan, and
holds his power, throne, and authority by the gift of the dragon; who by his instrumentality, aspired to the throne of the world.
We are now to consider the symbolical import of the seven heads of this beast, which it has in succession according to chap. XVII, 10. and not at once, or all at the same time. The angel informed St. John in his explanation of these heads chap. xvii, 9. that they are of a two-fold signification ; alluding to seven Mountains, and also to soven kings, who reside on these mountains, so that each head signifies only one mountain and one king. Now as the beast is in a state of power and prosperity for the space of 666 years, it follows necessarily, that these seven kings cannot denote so many individuals, but must refer to seven different successions of sovereign rulers; who govern one and the same kingdom, chap. xvi, 10. where also the woman sits on seven mountains chap, xvii, 9. Here truth stares us in the face, and the resemblance between Rome and this desciption is so glaringly evident, that even a Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, was constrained to acknowledge it, and in order to save the holy father, referred this prophecy to Pagan Rome. But also those, who consider this beast as symbolic of the temporal Roman empire, are no less sadly entangled, and have never been able to point out the specifick connexion between each mountain and its particular head of the beast; which is also called a king chap. XVII, 10. but only in this one place. They explain these seven heads, as alluding to seven forms of government in the Roman empire, or to seven individual emperors, or to seven dynasties in the succession of the Carlovingian monarchy, in an indistinct reference to the seven mountains; which is absolutely contrary to the words and intentions of this prophecy, representing each head and mountain as a compound in essential connexion, and also perfectly distinct from the other six. In short the mountains may be known by their kings, and the kings
distinguished, one from another, by the mountains on which they resided. Moreover, as the woman is said to sit on these seven mountains, chap. XVII, 9. and also that she herself is a city, verse 18. (which the angel mentions, not again in symbolic language, but by way of explananation.) to what city can the whole prophecy here refer, except to Rome, so famous for being founded on seven hills ? Each head then signifies one of these mountains, on which Rome is built, and a succession of popes who have had their residence on that mountain since A.D. 1123, and so in rotation the whole seven; only with this difference, that the numbers of successors on each mountain are very unequal. For this reason the seven heads are chap. xvii, divided into five, and one, and one; by which the two last heads are pointed out as of a short duration, and of an inferior number.
As the ten horns of this beast with ten crowns belong to his last state of existence, when he again ascends from the bottomless pit, I shall reserve my remarks on this point to chap. XVII.
Though St. John beheld this beast entire, with seven heads and ten horns, immediately on its emerging out of the sea, like Daniel the symbols of the four great monarchies, Dan. VII; yet it is evident from chap. XVII, where the prophet reassumes the description of this beast, that it has these heads in consecutive order, only one head at a time, and not all at once as has been erróneously asserted. He continues his description of this beast chap. XVII, 10. with the sixth head, which he mentions as existing in the then present point of time, from which he there commences his prophetic detail of this beast; and consequently assigns only the five first of its heads to that part of the prophecy, contained in this chapter. These five heads have met their accomplishment in the following order.
I. Mount Cælius, adorned by the Lateran, and the Church of St. John. On this mountain the Popes have resided, from the time they aspired to universal supremacy, to the year 1216. Ilere the Popes since the time of Gregory VII, convened four æcumenical councils, which had hitherto all been held in the East, and many provincial councils, in which they accomplished designs of momentous import, both to Church and state. During the reign of this head, Gratian's collection of canon laws was confirmed by Eugenius, A. D. 1130 ; the city Rome perfectly subjugated A. D. 1188;, the emperor and Roman people excluded from the privilege of electing a Pope 1144, who was now solemnly consecrated and crowned ; the power of canonization, and of making articles of faith asserted; the witnesses of the truth cruelly persecuted; the power of temporal sovereigns largely curtailed ; and the papal throne exalted over all the sovereign heads of Europe. The reign of this head terminates with that of Innocent III, just about the time when the Roman hierarchy had reached the summit of deceitful perfection and grandeur.
II. Mount Aventinus, decorated by the Church S. Sabina, on which Pope Honorius III, established his residence A. D. 1216; and though his successors often résided also in many other places of Italy; yet as they adopted no other mountain in Rome, this should be numbered as the second. Here Pope Honorius IV again commenced his papal career, and died; and Caelestinus V, terminated the reign of the second head of the beast on this hill A. D. 1294. During the reign of this head the pontiff Honorius III, enlarged the territories of the Roman see by the countries of the princes Matilda, and Nicholas IV, deprived the emperor of Romania and Bologna. Honorius and Gregory IX, and their successors also deprived the superior ecclesiastics of the power to fill inferior offices in the Church with persons of their own choice,