« FöregåendeFortsätt »
first horns were plucked up by the roots.” *
“ Accordingly we find,” says Mr. Faber, “ that the kingdom of the Heruli, the kingdom of the Ostrogoths, and the kingdom of the Lombards, were successively eradicated before the little papal horn; which, at length, became a temporal, as well as a spiritual power, at the expense of these three depressed primary states.
1. “In the year 476, Odoacer, king of the Heruli, put an end to the western empire, and caused himself to be proclaimed King of Italy. By this conquest he stood * before,' or in the way of, the papal horn; whence it was necessary that his regal horn should be plucked up, in order to make room for the future aggrandizement of the spiritual kingdom of the pope. This was effected in the year 493, + by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths." He conquered Italy, and " was accepted as the deliverer of Rome by the senate and people."
2. “ This second of the three horns, however, standing equally in the way of papal aggrandizement, was destined, like its immediate predecessor, to fall before the little horn.” This was effected by the general of the Greek emperor, and the Lombards. I
3. But these same Lombards, the third of the three horns, in consequence became a powerful kingdom, standing equally in the way of the increase of the popedom ; and was, therefore, to be plucked up by the roots before it. This the pope contrived to accomplish, by calling to his assistance Pepin and Charlemagne, kings of France. Charlemagne, “ entering Italy with a large army, completely eradicated the horn of Lombardy, and bestowed great part of its dominions upon the successors of St. Peter; for such the popes feign themselves to be."* +
* Ver. 8.
+ Dr. Hales, 488.
* A. D. 553.--Idem.
Such is Mr. Faber's interpretation of this part of the prophecy. Mr. Frere has proposed a territorial division of the empire, in order to show the three kingdoms subdued by the little horn; and his scheme has, perhaps, some advantages. The western Roman empire, as bounded on the north by the Danube and the Rhine, is divisible exactly into ten parts; all of which, excepting two that perished early, have existed for nearly the whole period of the divided state of the empire. Of these the three first are Lombardy, which was the seat of a powerful kingdom; Ravenna, which was the seat of the Exarch, who ruled over a great part of Italy; and Rome, which was formerly the seat of the empire. The addition of Naples and Tuscany to these three, forms a complete territorial division of Italy into five parts: the five other kingdoms are France, Austria, Spain, Portugal, and Britain.” It is needless to remark, that the three first of these compose“ the territories of the popedom.” It might be remarked also, that the greater importance of Italy, in these early ages, may reconcile us to the apparent disproportion of its territorial divisions, when compared to the Transmontine parts of the empire. The history of the subduing of these three kingdoms will then be as follows: about A. D. 730, the pope, in support of his images, heads the revolt of the Romans, and becomes eventually their sovereign. In 755, by the help of Pepin, he takes Ravenna from the Exarch : and in 774, by the help of Charlemagne, becomes possessed of part of Lombardy. I • A. D. 756.
+ Faber. Mr. Mede, Sir Isaac, and Bishop Newton, make the same enumeration of the states merged in the papacy.
On either hypothesis, has the prophecy been fulfilled. The papal power is this “ little horn,” that has “subdued three kings :" and, as if compelled by the hand of Providence, the popes exhibit a public proof of this, whenever they put on their regalia, or royal ornaments; for a part of these is the triple crown, or three crowns formed into
a most remarkable circumstance, which, of course, has escaped no sound expositor of prophecy.
Daniel further tells us respecting this little horn, in his account of his vision : “ And, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.” This last particular the angel explains, “He shall speak great words against,” or,“ in opposition to, on the contrary side of, the Most High.”*
The “ eyes of a man,” may naturally be supposed to symbolize the character which this power should assume, which is that of UNIVERSAL BISHOP, or OVERSEER OF
“The eyes" may also denote the nature of the papal government. What other governments have effected by force of arms, the court of Rome has accomplished by a vigilant and cunning policy, always on the watch to seize and profit by the occasion. The whole history of modern Europe may serve as a comment on this text.
“And he shall speak words against,” or," in opposition to the Most High.” This is but too well made out in history, by what it records of the arrogant and blasphemous pretensions of the popes. “Who,” says Bishop Newton, “ hath been more noisy and blustering than the pope, especially in former ages; boasting of his supremacy, thundering out his bulls and anathemas, excom
THE WHOLE WORLD.
• Ver. 25.
municating princes, and absolving subjects from their allegiance ? · His look was more stout than his fellows :' and the pope assumes a superiority, not only over his fellow-bishops, but even over crowned heads; and requires his feet to be kissed, and greater honours to be paid to him than to kings and emperors themselves.”_" Setting up
himself above all laws, human and divine, arrogating to himself godlike attributes and titles of holiness, and infallibility ; exacting obedience to his ordinances and decrees in preference to, and in open violation of reason and Scripture, insulting men, and blaspheming God. He was even wont to receive the title of God
earth, and to accept adoration sitting upon the altar or communion table; and in ten thousand instances have the popes * made the word of God of no effect,' that they might keep their traditions, which they have received to hold.” * These spiritual tyrants have, indeed, entirely changed the constitution of the church, its rites and ceremonies, its sacraments, and some of its essential doctrines; so that the face of the church is entirely altered from what it was under the apostles and primitive fathers" and he shall think," or, “ devise, to change times and laws.”
Another characteristic of this novel power symbolized by the little horn is pointed out, that of persecutor of the consecrated servants of God; “ And I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.”+ The angel says:
“ And he shall wear out the saints of the Most High;
“ shall grievously afflict and persecute them.” # The
Bishop Newton. + Ver. 21, and ver. 25. 1 xba is rendered waste, 1 Chron. xvii. 9.
cruel and bloody persecutions, which the popes have carried on against Christians of all descriptions, who refused to submit to their usurped authority, to their blasphemous pretensions, and idolatrous superstitions, are facts most notorious in history. Many thousands of the saints of God have, in short, been persecuted to death, by the authority or influence of the popes; far greater numbers, indeed, than had perished under the heathen emperors.
The angel informs Daniel, that “they,” “the saints of the Most High,” or, “ the times and laws”-or both, “shall be delivered into his hand for a time and times, and the dividing of times.” We have the concurrent opinion of all commentators of eminence, that this period designates three prophetic years and a half, a day standing for a year;
so that we have one thousand two hundred and sixty years, assigned for the reign of the papal power
for the period of its holding in its hand " times and laws.” Which period terminates, † as some expositors understand it, with the coming of the Ancient of days, when the fiery judgment takes place, the whole beast is destroyed, and the kingdom of the saints established. I
Others, || however, see in the words of the prophecy, an intimation of the gradual subversion of the papal power, previously to the destruction of the body of the beast by fire." And they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it even to the end." S And these expositors conceive, that the period of twelve hundred and sixty years reaches only to the commence
Indeed we have a key to this in Ezekiel, iv. 6. “ I have appointed thee each day for a year." + Ver. 22.
Bishop Newton. || Mr. Cuninghame. Ver. 26.