« AnteriorContinuar »
they should be the instruments of the divine will, of preserving an ancient language, in which God had appointed that her own disgrace and punishment should be made manifest, not only in her own “ sight,” or to herself, but to the clear comprehension of the true church of Christ, wherever existing: a church which she has oppressed, and “ trodden under foot,” during the long period of twelve centuries
Indeed it is a singular circumstance, clearly demonstrating the power and providence of God, that among all the ancient languages, such as the Egyptian, Chaldean, Hebrew, Grecian, Latin, &c. the Latin alone, contrary to the uniform course of human events, should, after having been so long obsolete and lost, be thus revived, so as to be used and understood by the learned of almost all civilized nations, and in a particular manner by the members of the church of Rome. Nor is it to be accounted for, upon any other principle, save that of making the truth of this prophecy fully known at least to all those whom it should concern, zohen it should be fulfilled.
3. It was the custom of the ancients to denote the names of things relative to their mysteries, by the numerical letters in the name. Having assigned the name to the thing, in order to conceal its meaning from the vulgar and uninitiated, they took the numerical letters it contained, and adding them together, they called the thing intended to remain mystical by the sum total; and thus the number became the mystical name. Thouth, or Mercury, they called 1218, because the numerical letters in that word amounted to that number ; Jupiter, 737; Sol, 608, &c. The nature of the Power, as well as the time of its appearing in the world, designated by the beast, being intended by divine wisdom to remain uncertain and mysterious, until it should come, the prophet here evidently makes use of the same mystical language, and describes it by the numerical letters in a certain word. But aware of the difficulty, if not impossibility of finding out the true word among the great variety in different languages, which might be in use at the time of the completion of the
prophecy, the numerical letters of which might amount to the number of the Power, he gives us a clue to the discovery: for he tells us, in direct terms, that “ the number (or name) of the beast is the number (or name) of a man." If we then faithfully pursue this clue, this polestar, leading directly to the truth, we must search for the number of the power predicted in “ the name of a man.” This position is so evident, that it is strange it should escape the attention of the great and learned commentators, whose opinion I am opposing. And yet they have departed from it as far as the north is from the south. Instead of searching for the number or name of the power in the name of a man,” they have looked for it in the name of a nation, or of a multitude of men
composing a civil society; and finding that the Greek and Hebrew words, Lateinos and Romiith, the names of the Latin and Roman empire, contained the number of the beast, they have erroneously conceived, that the church of Rome must be its real prototype. Thus they have not only departed from the direction of the prophet, but also not considered that the Latin Roman empire could not be made, by any rule of the hieroglyphic or symbolic dialect, a symbol of the church of Rome : for that language is founded in analogy; and the thing symbolized, must, in its principal features, at least, bear an accurate resemblance to the type or symbol. Now there is no such resemblance between the policy and conduct of the church of Rome, and the Latin Roman empire, by which the latter might be made a perfect figure to represent the former. The latter was pagan, the former is christian; the latter acquired its power and grandeur by open force and conquest; the other by secret cunning, craft, and fraud.
We must not then look for the number of this formidable and wicked power, either in a Greek or Hebrew, but in a Latin word; nor in the name of a nation, nor in any other name, except the name of a man; and of such a man as will properly answer to the symbol of the Beast or Nation; and pursuing the express direction of the prophet, find out such a name It must not be the name of a common individual, or of a man of subordinate rank, because his name could not
bear a proper relation and resemblance to a nation or political body; but there cannot be a more apt or a more significant figure for a nation than the name of a supreme magistrate, who, in his political capacity, represents the whole civil society. In him the wisdom, power, will and consent of every individual, is politically supposed to exist. He acts in all things as, and for, the commonweal; bis acts are as completely the acts of the nation, and as obligatory upon it, as if every individual had personally assented to, and signed them; and the civil society, in all its public acts, laws, and treaties, bears and is known by, his name. For these reasons, I humbly apprehend that the prophet has veiled the name of the civil society, under that of some man who is the king, prince, or supreme representative of it. If, therefore, we can find a king or supreme magistrate, whose name contains the exact number 666, in numerical Latin letters, it will of itself, amount to very probable evidence, at least, that the civil society over which he presides, is the prototype of the beast. And if we should farther find, that a name of a king, or supreme magistrate of the FrenCH NATION, contains that exact number, exclusively of all other supreme magistrates upon earth, and at the same time add to these considerations the strong and particular verifications of all the other marks of the beast herein before illustrated, it will amount to evidence irresistable, that the Beast which the prophet saw “ come up out of the earth” is the prototype of the French nation.
Now it is a fact, that there have been, not one only, but sixteen monarchs, who have presided over the French nation by the name of Louis; that the name of the monarch upon the throne, before, at, and even for some time after the epoch of the revolution, or the “ coining of the beast,' was Louis, and consequently the nation was then known by that name. Translate the name Louis into Latin, and it gives us Ludovicus ; a name which contains neither more nor less numerical letters than the number 666, the prophetic number of the beast.
Thus, by following the plain direction of the text, we have found the name not only of one man, but of a number of men, by which the French nation has been known during several centuries. In this name we count the number of the beast. The number of the name of the man, and the number of the beast, are exactly the same ; and the number of boʻch expressly and wonderfully foretold seventeen hundred years since, is six HUNDRED, THREESCORE, and six*.
* The part of this chapter, relating to the number and name of the beast, was written and shown to a friend more than seven years since, and repeatedly mentioned to another. In a publication, which has appeared within the last three years, I find it merely asserted, that LUDOVICUS, or Lewis XVI. King of France, is the prototype of the beast. But the anthor assigns no reason for his opinion. If he has unfairly ploughed with either of my heifers, all that I have to say to him is, what Virgil said on a similar occasion, Hos ego verficulos feci, tulit alter honorem, &c. If he has not, it will be a coroboration of the truth I have endeavoured to establish.