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The meaning of the prophetic symbol Beast, as
certained— The number 666 must be contained in the Greek name of some power expressed in the most simple form of which the language is capable—The species of power represented by the Apocalyptic Beast, demonstrated to be the regal or imperial-The number in the various kingdoms or empires that have appeared in the world, for which there are Greek appellations, computed-Only one kingdom or empire contains the number of the Beast, which must be that of Antichrist.
HAVING examined in detail a vast variety of opinions respecting the number 666, and demonstrated that they are all insufficient to explain the whole that is predicted concerning the Beast; it must now be shewn in what mode of considering this subject we shall be the most likely to meet with success. In the first place, it will be necessary to define the prophetic symbol Beast, as the want of a proper understanding of this term has probably been one reason why so many discordant bypotheses have been published to the world. In
this investigation it is impossible to resort to a higher authority than Scripture, for Scripture must always be the best interpreter of Scripture; and it is also sufficiently evident that what is meant' by the term Beast in any one prophetic vision, the same species of thing must be represented by the same term whenever it is used in a similar way in any other part of the Sacred Oracles. Having, therefore, laid this foundation, the angel's interpretation of the last of Daniel's four Beasts need only be produced, an account of which is given in the seventh chapter of this prophet. Daniel being very desirous to "know the truth of the fourth Beast which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadfuland of the ten horns that were in his head,” &c. the angel thus interprets the vision. “ The fourth beast, shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise," &e. In this Scripture it is plainly declared, that the fourth Beast should be the fourth kingdom upon earth; consequently, the four beasts seen by Daniel are four kingdoms. Hence the term Beast is the prophetic symbol for a kingdom. In further illustration of this point, it is said, that "the fourth beast shall be diverse from all the beasts that were before it ;" , that is to say, (taking up the angel's interpretation, the fourth kingdom shall be diverse from
all kingdoms.” It is also remarkable that the fourth beast of Daniel has a very striking resem, blance to the Beast of St. John. The former is represented as rising out of the sea; so is the latter: the former " deyours the whole earth, treads it down, and breaks it in pieces;" the latter has “power over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations:” the former has ten horus; this is also the striking characteristic of the latter : the former shall be over thrown by the kingdom of Christ ; so must the latter. Consequently if Daniel's fourth beast represents some kingdom; for the very same reason, some kingdom must be typified by the Apocalyptic Beast.
As to the nature of the kingdom which is repre, sented by the term Beast, we shall obtain no incon, siderable light, in examining the most proper meaning of the original word 77'n. This Hebrew word is translated in the Septuagint by the Greek word Ongíoy, and both words signify what we term "a wild beast;" and the latter is the one used by St. John in the Apocalypse. Taking up the Greek word Ongloy in this sense, it is fully evident, if a power be represented in the prophetical writings under the notion of a wild beast, that the power so represented, must partake of the nature of a wild beast. Hence, an earthly belligerent power is evidently designed. And the comparison is peculiarly appropriate ; for, as several species of wild beasta carry on perpetual warfare with the animal world; 80 most governments, influenced by ambition, promote discord and depopulation. And, also, as the
carnivorous wild beast acquires his strength and magnitude by preying upon the feebler animals, so most earthly monarchies are raised up by the sword, and derive their political consequence from the unsuccessful resistance of the contending nations. The three first beasts of Daniel are likened to a lion, a bear, and a leopard, respectively; consequently, the powers represented by these beasts must have resembled these animals : i. e. they were remarkably cruel, and continually hostile. The fourth beast is not likened to any animal, but is represented as of unprecedented voracity, and as destroying all before it; therefore, the fourth kingdom is raised up by extraordinary means, and is aggrandised by the total desolation of the earth. The kingdom of God, on the other hand, is represented as a stone “cut out of the mountain without hands," that is, without the instrumentality of earthly power; and is never resembled to a beast, because it is not raised up by the sword, as all other secular powers åre, but sanctifies the persons under its subjection, in which last particular it essentially differs from all other dominations. From what has been already said, it is sufficiently evident that the Beast of the Revelation is some secular power; consequently the number of the Beast must be the number of the power represented by the Beast; that is to say, the name of some power now existing must contain the number 666.
We are now to consider what is the most simple Greek mode of naming a power; for it is evident
no complex expression would have been used; when one less involved might have been adopted. It hence follows, that if the Greek name of some power complexly expressed, could be proved to contain the number 666, the very want of simplicity in the expression would be an unanswerable objection to it; even if all other things were in perfect harmony with the symbolical language of the Apocalypse respecting this power. The Greeks had only four modes of definitely naming a power; which could be denominated, by any construction, simple expressions. These, (making use of the Roman power by way of example,) were expressed as follows: 'H Tõm 'Projasão ágxn, (the power of the Romans,) 'H Pcμαιών αρχή, (the power of the Romans,) Η αρχή ή 'Papaixn, (the Roman power,) and ‘H 'Pwpaixò áexs, (the Roman power.). Of these four expresgigns – it is evident that the first is the most in
* The indefinite form used by Chronologers as a title to their 6ections, and illustrated in the examples Βασιλεία Κορινθίων, Kingdom of the Corinthians, and Barinala Activwv, Kingdom of the Latins, (Euseb. Pamph. pp. 367, 383,) can have no place in this argument, as it is The Name of the Beast for which we are searching.
+ The following are examples in illustration of the four forms above referred to :
Examples of the first form. “Η των Αιγυπτίων βασιλεία, The kingdom of the Egyptians. Euseb. Pamph. Chronicon, à Scaliger, p. 47, Amstel. 1658.Α' των Αίγυπτιων βασιλείαι, The kingdoms of the Egyptians, Ib. p. 7.-Η των Μακεδονών βασιλεία, The kingdom of the