« НазадПродовжити »
And those kingdoms rose into view, under this new relation of the horns of the Roman Beast, one after a. nother, as the Romans formed new conquests, in ages far future to the period of the prophet Daniel. Might not the expounding Angel then say, of those vassal kingdoms of the Roman empire, The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kingdoms which shall rise? Ten kingdoms did rise from, by or through the power of the Roman dynasty, and both rendered terrible, and characterized the old Roman Beast. The clause in verse 8, And behold there came up among them another little horn, may have induced some to suppose, that the ten must have been collateral with the Papal horn, or in existence at the same time with it. But no such thing is implied. The clause is only a description of the symbol. The horns there must have been beheld by the prophet all at once. But this did not indicate, that the actual existence of the events symbolized should be all at once. The expositors upon the old scheme make the origin of some of the horns some centuries before that of others. And my exposition does only
But the explanatory text, verse 24th, decides that the Papal horn, and the ten horns were not collateral. And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first. Here the Papal horn was to be posterior to the other horns. And nothing is indicated but that this posteriority was to be as long, as was the rise of Popery after the death of the Pagan Beast, in the year 320.
There is one more passage, which has led to the supposition, that the horns of the ancient Beast were the kingdoms, into which the European branch of the Roman empire was divided; viz. Rev. xvii, 16, which relates to the ten horns of the Beast from the botton. less pit hating and destroying the Papal harlot. But these are the ten horns of the Antichristian Beast of the last days; and not the ten horns of the ancient Ro. man Beast; as has appeared in the preceding section.
5. Another argument in favor of the view given of the ancient ten horns, I think may be derived from thic account of three of them being plucked up before the
Papal horn, if we consider this account in the light of its fulfilment. Verse 8, I considered the horns, and behold there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. Verse 20, And of the ten horns; -and of the other, which came up, and before whom three fell Verse 24, And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. Concerning these three kingdoms plucked up by the Papal power, au. ulicrs have been much divided, and much perplexed. Some have supposed they were Lombardy, Ravenna, and the neighborhood of Rome. Some have conjectured them to have been the exarchate of Ravenna, the senate and people of Rome, and the German empire. And others have formed other, and contradictory conjectures. But one difficulty is, those places, on which expositors have hit, could not be called kingdoms among the kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was divided. Or, over those places which Inight be called kingdoms, the Pope never obtained civil jurisdiction. For expositors have taken for granted, that the Pope's obtaining civil jurisdiction over these three kingdoms, was the true idea of their being plucked up before him. And there never have been three places found, which might be properly said to have been three kingdoms rising out of the old empire, over which the Pope did obtain civil jurisdiction. No wonder then, that authors have been divided and perplexed upon this point. To perceive the difficulties, which attend their schemes, let us concisely examine them. Lombardy has been often mentioned as one of these three kingdoms. The Lombards did indeed set up a kingdom in Italy, after the subversion of the old empire. And they were afterwards subdued; but not by the Pope. And but a part of their kingdom fell after. ward under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. Could so small a circumstance then constitute the plucking up by the roots of one of those three kingdoms nored in that ancient prophecy? Ravenna has been supposed to be one of these three kingdoms. Ravenna was
an ancient city in Italy, the capital of Romagna. Of this, and of some provinces in its vicinity, it is acknowledged the Pope obtained civil jurisdiction, by the donation of Pepin, king of France. But could that petty territory be recognized in ancient prophecy as a kingdom, a horn of the Roman Beast? It never was a kingdom! An if every such section, having once belonged to the Roman empire, may be called a horn of that empire, we should be furnished with not only ten, but perhaps ten times ten horns of that ancient Beast. When Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths took Italy, in 493, he made Ravenna the capital of his king. dom. But did this constitute it a kingdom? In the reign of Justinian, emperor of Constantinople, Belisarius and Narses, his generals, overturned the kingdom of the Ostrogoths in Italy; and Narses was constituted governor of Italy with the title of duke. He made Ravenna lis capital; and not long after it became an exarchate. But could this constitute it a kingdom, a horn of the Roman Beast? And with no more propriety could the city of Rome, with her "senate, people and neighborhood,” be represented as one of those kingdoms. When Theodoric established Ravenna as his capital, he suffered Rome to retain under him some appearance of her former government.
But still it was in fact but one city in his kingdom; and that inferior to his capital, And under the succeeding dukedom of Narses, Rome was stripped of every appearance of her ancient form of government, and reduced to a mere duchy; and this long before it fell under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. Rome was besieged and taken five times in twenty years; and was reduced to a miserable condition. A sorry kingdom indeed, to be supposed one of Daniel's ten Roman horns; and one of the three, which fell before the Papal hierarchy! But even supposing these, (viz. Ravenna, and Rome with its neighborhood) to be two of the three horns; where shall we find the third? We must leave Italy. And where else did the Pope obtain civil jurisdiction? Some have tried to find one of these three horns in Germany. But surely the Pope had no civil kingdom there. It is true we find there were in Germany spiritual princes with civilju. risdiction. Some time after Pepin gave to the Pope the exharchate of Ravenna, and constituted him a civil prince in some of the Italian states, Charlemagne, Pepin's son and successor, endowed some of the bishops in Germany with temporal dominions, and annexed to their bishoprics the civil jurisdiction of their dioceses. These ecclesiastico-civil princes obtained the enlargement of their civil dominions, till some of them came to rank with the highest sovereign princes; were even electors; and not inferior to kings.
But these sovereignties were not under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. So fully disconnected were their civil jurisdictions from his, that Dr. Lowman imagined, (ihough I think incorrectly) that those German establishments collectively constituted the second Beast in Rev. xii; while the Roman hierarchy constituted the first.* The sovereign ecclesiastics in Germany constituted but a minority of the German empire.
How then could Germany be one of these three kingdoms which fell before the Pope? The long contentions between the Popes and the German emperors concerning the right of investitures, were far from indicating, that Germany had been plucked up by the Papal horn, in point of civil jurisdiction. But even if Germany had been under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope, it would fail of answering to the prediction in Daniel concerning any one of the three horns. For the primitive Germans never belonged to the ancient Roman empire. The ancient Germans, a fierce warlike people, though they trembled at thc Cesars, and lost bloody battles with the Romans, were never subdued by the Roman arms. Charlemagne was the first, who subdued them, in the beginning of the ninth century.
Surely then Germany could not be one of those three horns.
A late celebrated writer on the prophecies, feeling as it is presumed, the difficulties attending the old schemes of exposition upon this point, gives a new one of the following tenor. The first kingdom, he tells us, to be
* Lowman on Rov. p. 139.
plucked up, was that of Odoacer, king of the Heruli, who took Italy in 476, put an end to the western Roman empire, and caused himself to be proclaimed king of Italy. But his kingdom was plucked up in 493, by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, when he established his Gothic kingdom in Italy, which I before noted. This latter was plucked up by Belisarius and Narses, generals of the eastern emperor, by the aid of the Lombards, who were auxiliaries under them. Italy now, after being thus twice plucked up, (not by the Pope indeed, nor in his presence; for he was not yet in existence!) was made a province of the eastern emperor, under the dukedom of Narses. Italy now not being an independent kingdom, its next revolution was not to be reckoned. This next, which was not to be reckoned, took place sometime after, by the invasion of the Lombards, who under Alboin set up a kingdom in Italy, about the year 568. In 752, they, under Aistulphus, took Ravenna; and threatened Rome; upon which the Pope applied to Pepin king of France, for protection. Pepin came with an army; subdued the Lombards; and gave the exharchate of Ravenna, as the patrimony of St. Peter, to the Pope. This was the third kingdom plucked up before the Pope. Here is the plucking up of the three kingdoms before the Papal horn. But I think not less difficulties attend this scheme, than those, which attend the others.
First: These three kingdoms are in fact but one and the same nation, Italy. If one nation, by successive revolutions, may make the three horns; why not by ten revolutions, make the ten horns? Perhaps there have been revolutions enough in Italy to amount to the ten horns! This would prevent the necessity of looking abroad from Italy to find the ten horns of the Roman Beast: We should have only to ascertain ten revolus tions there.
Secondly: But a small part of this threefold kingdom of Italy fell under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. The exarchate of Ravenna, and in after days some other provinces, did in this sense fall before him. But with what propriety could that part of the Lombardic king: