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passed, as in verse 2, "with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication," or, walked in her idolatries, when under her influence, in ages past. John wonders at this sight with great admiration.
Ver. 7. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
8. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10. And there are seven kings : five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he cometh he must continue a short space.
11. And the beast that was, and is not, even, he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
This newly raised infidel beast " was, and is not." He once existed, and then ceased to exist, for a time. The secular Roman beast has been exhibited, Rev. xiii. 1-10, as rising from the sea, and continuing till the revolution under Constantine, when he received a deadly wound in his sixth head, and died. He then for a long time, and only a mystical existence; that in the last days he should rise again, or have his deadly wounded head healed. An infidel power should arise in the last days on the Roman earth, which in prophetic language should be recognised as the same pagan power risen again to life. This healed head of the old pagan beast should be also denoted as a new beast ascending from the world below, and going soon into perdition in the battle of the great day. The prophet Daniel gives this Roman beast rising from the sea, Dan. vii. 7, as he is given in Rev,
xiii. 1. Daniel gives also the papal power as the horn of this beast, into whose hands the saints are delivered for 1260 years. And he shows that this secular Roman beast is to be found alive in these last days. For, of the battle of the great day, he says, Dan. vii. 11: “I beheld, then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake, I beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. His being here thus found alive in the last days, accounts for what is said of him, that he “was, and is not, and yet is.” The same idea is given in Dan. ii. 33, 34, where the feet and toes of the image (meaning the same Roman power with this beast) are part of iron and part of clay ; partly strong and partly broken. It might be broken down, and retire from sight, and yet come again into most mischievous operation; and it there remains in existence, till the stone (Christ) shall grind it to powder, in the battle of the great day. It is accordingly said, in Rev. xiii. 1, that the secular Roman beast there, had received a wound in his head and died, and afterward this deadly wound was healed, This healed head is the same as the beast from the bottomless pit, in our text. The same event is noted by the double figure of a head healed of a deadly wound; and a new beast, which yet is identified with the old secular pagan beast, as having seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads are explained as being “ seven hills on which Rome was built,” and also as seven distinct forms of government. Ovid says of ancient Rome, “ which being the seat of empire and of the gods, looks round from seven mountains (hills) upon her whole city.” Our text adds, “And there are seven kings; five are fallen; and one is ; and the other is not yet come.” The sense of which is this (according to the best commentators), there have been in this power five forms of government, kings, consuls, tribunes, decemvirs, and dictators. One is; or its present imperial form exists, which was the one wounded to death by Constantine, about A. D. 320, when the power of paganism was put down.
Relative to the one that had not yet come; the seventh head, or form of government, which, when it should come, “ should continue a little space :” writers, in past days have been perplexed. And no wonder: for it was then future, and was one of those things in prophecy which
can never be known till fulfilled. There was no data from which even to conjecture what form that seventh head of government might assume, till the event should inform. Nothing that took place under popery could amount to it, or to the resurrection of the beast slain by Constantine.
Whatever of real idolatry or impious wickedness arose under
popery, it could be nothing more than the image of this pagan beast, in the power of the papal beast. This was furnished indeed. (See Lecture XVIII. on the papal beast, chap. xiii. 11, to end.) But the secular beast died in his avowed nature of open hostility to the cause of Christ. And nothing short of a power of avowed hostility to the cause of Christ could lay any claim to be viewed as the old beast revived. As in this character he died, so in this character he was again to rise, and has risen. This rising of the beast from the bottomless pit, it is believed, has taken place in these last days of wonder in a conspicuous part of the Roman earth, in France, in the well-known revolution of 1789, in the bursting out of a system of gross infidelity, which shocked and terrified the world for a quarter of a century. The seventh head, an atheistical republican head,-calling itself “ The Terrible Republic," did indeed rise on principles of as gross professed hostility to Christ and his cause as ever was the old Roman paganism. It undertook to propagate through the world a scheme of gross atheism. And this seventh head of pagan Rome continued the “ short space" of several years, which was a longer time than some of the former heads of the Roman beast continued, and was by far more notable and terrible than they !
The seventh head, “the terrible republic,” then gave way to the eighth head; which more fully answered to the beast in our text. “ The terrible republic” was soon formed into an empire, a military despotism, under a chieftain, raised up for the purpose, to be a leader of a terrible empire, on the old Roman earth. Here was the old pagan empire raised to life again, in the language of prophecy; the deadly wounded head was indeed healed. Says the text, “ The beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." He is the eighth head numerically; or, in reckoning forward, being the next after the seventh. The ancient im
perial head was the sixth. The atheistical republic was the seventh ; and the subsequent imperial was the eighth. But this Roman beast was a beast " of seven heads;" and not eight. He was to have but seven heads of specific difference. The eighth then must be “of the seven;" or must be viewed as one of them risen again to life, in the language of prophecy. With which of the seven then, must it be viewed as uniting ? Certainly with the one of the same denomination, the imperial ; the one under the government of emperors. This was the head that received the deadly wound in the revolution under Constantine. This then was the one to be healed, and raised again to life; and to form, at the same time, the new beast from the bottomless pit, just before the battle of the great day. He died while in direct hostility to Christ, and was to be raised again in direct hostility to Christ, as was in fact the case, and which shall be more clearly shown. This direct open hostility is essential to fix his character as the secular Roman beast. If he did, some time after he rose (from views merely secular), exchange this his avowed hostility for a papal form of godliness (after finding that people cannot be governed even by the point of the bayonet without some kind of religious fear); this forms no objection to his character, as the Roman beast, which he first most fully assumed. He is still, with all his nominal " form of godliness," the secular Roman beast.
It may be clearly shown that such a power as is here noted was to arise in the last days. In Dan. vii. 11, we find the secular Roman beast, as distinct from popery, is alive in all his glory and terror, and is predominant over the papal horn, when both are attacked for their destruction in the battle of the great day. “I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake, I beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." This clearly implies the resuscitating of this beast in the last days, after he had long lain dead during the reign of the papal beast. The same is fully evident in Rev. xix. 20, where we find this secular Roman beast leading the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to the battle there against Christ, just before the Millennium. But this same beast had lain dead from the days of Con
stantine, only as he lived in his image formed and sustained by popery ; and also in the mystical fact, that he was to rise again in the last days, which has been fulfilled. This his resuscitation is inplied in Rev. xvi. 13, where we find this same beast, after the sixth vial in the subversion of the Turks, actually existing as distinct from popery, and placed before it, in the account of the three unclean spirits like frogs which collect the world to the battle of the great day of God. It is here implied, that after he had so long lain dead, he must recently have risen from that death, and been exhibited as the same beast,—as is found in our text, where he ascendeth from the bottomless pit, and goeth into perdition. Such a leading despotism is implied, too, in ancient prophecies of these last days. See Psalın ii. 9, when Christ comes to take the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possessions, and finds it necessary first to dash in pieces his antichristian enemies, he does this with his “rod of iron. Such an iron rod was then to be furnished to his hand, -a bloody power subsequent to popery,-a military despotism, different from a corrupt effeminate harlot! The same thing is implied in the inany ancient predictions of the events of the same period, as in Ezek. xxxviii. a Gog must be furnished, to collect and lead the different quare ters of the world against the chosen people of God. When God says (Zeph. iii. 8), "I will gather the nations, and assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger, and the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy; and then will I turn to the people (the sew left) a pure language, that all may call upon
the name of the Lord, and serve him with one consent,” it implies an efficient power, to form and lead this vast collection. God works by means; and such an instrument is fully implied in this, and in the many other prophecies of the same great event. In Daniel, and the Revelation, we find expressly who this efficient instrument is; he is a power called the Roman beast, distinct from and superior to popery, which is but a nominal form of godliness of a most corrupt kind. It is the imperial head of the old pagan Roman beast, healed by the dragon of his deadly wound, with the world wondering after him. The rise of this beast from the bottomless pit, it is bea