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"continue a short space." Mountains are the prophetic emblem for empires, or great kingdoms. At the time of this vision, besides the Roman empire, which then flourished, there had existed in succession, five empires in the Dragon form, viz. Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Persia, and Grecia, in each of which powers, decrees had been issued, threatening the exterpation of the church; as by Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Ahasuerus, and Antiochus. Rome followed in the same bloody path; and the last Antichrist, in the same style, will speak as a Dragon.
Here, then, as it respects the Mountains, we have good marks for counting the Roman empire number sic. But it appears that this empire is triplicate. For there is one that rises "up out "of the sea," which is the emblem of ecclesiastical polity, to whom this Roman Dragon “gave" his power," and his "seat and great authority," chap. xiii. This one, chap. xvii. ver. 11. is denominated of the seven... Again, there is another "coming up out of the earth," the emblem of civil polity, who "exerciseth all the power of the "first beast before him." chap. xiii. 11. This one, chap. xvii. is denominated the eighth, who, it is added, is of the seven. Daniel gives the same triplicate view of the Roman monarchy, chap. vii. as,
1. He saw a fourth beast, dreadful and ter"rible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great "iron teeth? it devoured and brake in pieces, "and stamped the residue with the feet of it; "and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it."
2. This beast had "ten horns," which requir ed particular consideration. Daniel says, “I con"sidered the horns;" and they were distinctly noticed in the interpretation.
3. It had a "little horn," which rose after, and
among the others, and which appears to possess the principal strength of the whole Beast; "be"fore whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this "horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a "mouth speaking great things." This, again, drew particular attention; "I beheld then, be66 cause of the voice of the words which the horn spake," &c. All these parts together; the body of the Beast, the ten horns, and the little horn; form but the perfect figure of that dreadful power, here numbered as the fourth empire of the world.
This numbering, it will be observed, agrees with that of John; for Daniel begins with the Chaldean empire, i. e. with his own times; but two powers, the Egyptian and Assyrian, had then fallen: the Roman was the fourth from Daniel, but the sixth of the whole number of this worlds empires.
As therefore, the number of the Beast is six; and as at the same time he is triplicate; he is perfectly deciphered by a triple six. The reason for this number being put down in a numerical order, making 666, has already been assigned.
I see not how the correctness of this view of the number of the Beast can be disputed: for when John says, that the Beast which rose up out of the sea, had the "power," and the "seat," and the "great authority," of the Roman Dragon; it was clearly but another six: and also, when the Beast coming up out of the earth, "ex"erciseth all the power of the first Beast before "him, and causeth the earth, and them that dwell "therein, to worship the first Beast," &c. it is but the repetition of the same six again. It would be going into a large field, to notice all the evidence offered in the scriptures in support of this view, Several particular questions arise con
cerning the Beast, which in this place it will be proper to consider.
1. When the empires of this world are six only; why is the Dragon, and also the Beast, said to have seven heads; and the woman Babylon, said to be seated upon seven mountains?
Ans. One of these mountains, the seventh, is the mountain of Israel, and not one of the kingdoms of this world. That the Beast, &c. should not only tread down the nations of the earth; but that he should also "plant the tabernacles of "his palace between the seas, in the glorious ho"ly mountains," is most clearly shewn in the prophecies. It is observable, that each of the great monarchies of the world, have attempted by turns, to lay the covenant people under their yoke; and, for a season, they have all succeeded. Babylon succeeded, however, in ancient times, the most of all: but the last Beast, espe cially in his last grand career, will do this, if possible, beyond what it was ever done before. The "vision concerning the daily sacrifice" gives
both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden "under foot" by this Beast; and he shall "mag
nify himself even to" be "the prince of the "host." He will take possession of the court of the Lord's house, and there seat himself in the highest authority. This is the cause of the contest of the witnesses: they are men of elevated minds; they never thought a Babylon, or a Rome, worth the effort of a foot-ball scramble; but, for this, their native city; for this holy and beautiful house, where their fathers praised God; they will fight until their garments dip in blood.
2. Why did the angel say unto John, chapter xvii. 8, The Beast that thou sawest was, and is not, and shall ascend, &c?
Ans. Because it was Babylon. That creature which John saw was old Lucifer: for stature, for
feature, and for his whole visage; he was that old king of kings, Nebuchadnezzar himself. Rome, as it was at the time of the vision, did not compare with the figure; there was a Bell in Babylon: with christian Rome therefore commenced the Babylon of the New Testament, and the seventh head of the world's empire. To reveal this antichrist, it was necessary that Dragon Rome should change into a Beast; and that the Beast should, again, half change into a Dragon: that the number six, should be amplified into 666, and so be finished. The words, at the close of the verse, was, and is not, and yet is, look to the time when he will actually appear. This wonder will then disclose, that the Head of Babylon that was, and is not, yet is. That Lucifer, that Morning Star, that Golden Head of the Great Image, that Beauty of the Chaldees excellency, which was so great a wonder to the world in his firsta tappear ing; which was no less a wonder in his sudden, tragical and terrific fall; will be the Wonder of Wonders, in the manner of his rising, and in the brightness and strength of his countchance; foran excellent majesty will then be added unto him, and all the world shall wonder after him, when they shall see him; all whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life, from the foundation of the world; and they shall worship him.
3. Why is it said, that he "shall ascend out "of the bottomless pit"?
Ans. Because the prince of Babylon is represented by the prophets, as having gone into the pit of hell; and as being distinguished from all other "kings of the nations, who lie in glory, every one in his own house," i. e. the grave, but him the grave refuses, "like an abominable branch;" and who "shall not be joined with them in bur
ial." Isaiah xiv........ Tophet, the bottomless pit, in distinction from all common burying places,
is said to be ordained, and prepared for him, who, emphatically, is called the king, Isai. xxx. 33...... This wonderful matter of Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom being restored, and having a second exhibibition, was shewn in his dream of the tree that was "cut down and destroyed;" but "the stump "of the roots" of which was left" in the earth, with a "band of iron and brass," &c. and, by, his becoming a Beast, and being driven from the dwellings of men; but after seven times, returning to his glory. Also, by his ascending out of the bottomless pit is signified, that this last Antichrist shall rise out of the great apostacy of the church; See 2 Thess. ii. 3. and that he shall be as unrestrained and wicked as an origin from hell could make him.
4. What is meant by his going into perdition? Ans. That he shall fall in an extraordinary manner. That he shall not leave a name, or remnant, or son, or nephew. Isai. xiv. 22. And that he is the antitype of Ahithophel, and of Judas, who was called the Son of Perdition.
5. What is intended by the name of the Beast, his image, and the number of his name?
Ans. By the Beast simply, I understand is intended the Roman empire in its christian form; by his name, is particularly intended its papal form; and by his image, is signified that last form in which his kingdom is numbered and finished; for which reason, this image of the Beast is styled also, his number.
6. Why do the Scriptures attach so much importance to our having a clear discovery and knowledge of the Beast? Daniel draws the whole attention of his reader to this point; and the Revelation of John consists, chiefly, of a delineation of Daniel. Two reasons appear, manifestly, for the high consideration made requisite to this subject.