Joseph Emerson.

Lectures on the Millennium online

. (page 10 of 16)
Online LibraryJoseph EmersonLectures on the Millennium → online text (page 10 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

tlie two-horned beast. As the eleventh horn

170 Two-horned Beast

rose up out of the ten-horned heast, so the- 1
two-horned beast is represented as rising up
out of that, which is another symbol of that
which is symbolized by the ten-horned beast.
Probably the reason, why the second beast
was not represented as rising out of the first i
was the incongruity of one beast's rising outj
of another. As the second beast rose out of
the Roman empire therefore, we must look
to the Roman empire for the spiritual po\v-
er, which is symbolized by the second beast.
*<There accordingly we find the ecclesias-
tical empire of the Pope. The sixth head of
the temporal beast long claimed and exer-
cised supremacy over the church. But in;
the year 606, the tyrant Phocas constituted
Pope Boniface supreme head in spirituals,
and bestowed upon him the title of ilniversal
Bishop, In this year then the second beast,
or the universal empire of the Pope, arose
out of the earth. And it has ever been the
policy of its ruler to separate it from the
temporal empire, to keep it perfectly distinct
as an empire within an ennpire, and never
suffer it to lose its prophetic cjiaracter of 'an-
other heast,''

"2. He had two horns, like a lamb. As
the secular beast is represented with seven
heads and ten horns, so the ecclesiastical
beast appears with only one head and two
horns. Now since we have already seen,
that the secular beast under his last head is
the divided Boman empire under the line of

Two-horned Beast. 171

Carlovingian emperors; the ecclesiastical
beast under his single head 9 who has co-ex-
isted and co-operated with the secular beast,
must necessarily be the corrupt church ot'
Rome under the line of those pretended uni-
versal bishops, the Popes. The Roman em-
pire having existed under seven different
constitutions is described by a beast with
seven heads; but the Catholic church of
Rome, never having existed under more
t[ian one form of government, namely the
Papal, is therefore described by a beast with
only one head.

<'This head, however, is furnished with
two horns. In the language of symbols,
horns are kingdoms; consequently the horns
of an ecclesiastical beast must be ecclesias-
tical kingdoms. Now I know not what idea
we can annex to an ecclesiastical kingdom,
subservient to the head of an ecclesiastical
empire, except that of a regular organized
body of ecclesiastics, subject primarily to
their own immediate superior, and ultimate-
ly to the head of the whole empire. If the
church of Rome, then, be intended by the
second beast, and the Pope- by the head of
tliat beast, it must comprehend two such ec-
clesiastical kingdoms; that is, it must com-
prehend two regularly organized bodies of
ecclesiastics, distinct from each other, and
subject primarily to their respective superi-
ors, and ultimately to the Pope, — I am in-
clined to think with JBp. Newton, that the

IT2 Two-horned BeasU

two horns are the Romish clergy regular
and secular. The first of these classes com- n
preliends all the various monastic orders; \
the second comprehends the whole body of \
parochial clergy. These two classes, I con-
ceive, to be the two ecclesiastical horns op
kingdoms of the catholic empire of the Pope,
In every particular tijey answer to the charac-
ter of horns, being two distinct regularly or-
ganized bodies, subject to their own particu- i
Iarsuperiors,and ultimately to the Pope, the
head of the whole empire.*'

From my great respect for Mr. Faber,
I have quoted these observations concerning
the two horns of the second beast. Honesty
however requires me to say, that I have some
doubt of their correctness. I am not satis-
fied, that these two horns were designed to
symbolize any particular kingdoms, or pow-
ers, or governments, or orders of men, or
any objects whatever. It is nothing unnatur-
al, that a lamb should have two^ horns. Had
there been any other number, 1 should have
concluded without hesitation, that they were
particularly symbolical; or if there had been
any particular explanation or history given
of either, or both of them, as of the principal
parts of Nebuchadnezzar's image, I should
have concluded that they were designed to
represent some particular objects* I am
rather inclined to think, that these horns do
not represent any particular objects, any
more than the mouth or feet of the first beast

Two-horned Beast. If 3

Tho the orders of the Papal clergy, men-
tioned by Mr. Faber, are undoubtedly parts
of the ecclesiastical beast, yet it is doubtful
wiietber they are to be considered as any
parts in particular. As the design of men-
tioning the mouth and feet of the secular
beast, was undoubtedly to characterize the
beast, and not to symbolize any particular
object, so it appears most probable, that the
ecclesiastical beast is represented as biiving
two horns, like a lamb, merely to character-
ize that beast, and show that in some res-
pect it was like a lamb. This idea also Mr.
Faber includes in his explanation. ^*Now
when we recollect that the second beast is
styled a false prophet, Rev. 19:20, we can
scarcely doubt, but that the symbol was so
constructed in allusion to his spiritual char-
acter. Accordingly the two ecclesiastical
horns claimed to be the only servants of the
Lamb of God, and affected to be like him in
meekness aitd humility. Solemnly devoting
tliemselves to a life of celibacy, and ever er»-
gaged in a round of religious ceremonies,
they appeared to the deluded populace to be
saints indeed, far removed from alithe cares
and vanities of this U^ansitory world. And
in order that this impression might not be
too soon worn off, new saints were, at sea-
sonable intervals, added to the calendar, and
their names enrolled witli those of the real
servants of the Lamb, the holy apostles of
the primitive church. Even the sovereign

174 Two-horned Beast

pontiff Iiimself, who had a look more stout
than his fellows, delighted nevertheless to
style himself with sanctified hypocrisy, the
servant of the servants of God,^^ I am dis-
posed to think that the two horns like a lamb
were designed to characterize the Papal
beast, as a professed follower of the Lamb
of God; and that whatever appearance of the
Christian religion, or pretension to evan-
gelical holiness, or to authority from Christ,
have ever been discovered in the Papal king-
dom, whether in the Popes, cardinals, arch-
bishops, bishops, priests, monks, nuns, or
other members of the Papal communion, are
to be considered as symbolized by the two
horns like a lamb. But if I could for a mo-
ment suppose, that any particular part of the
second beast was designed to represent any
particuhir class or order of catholics, I
should have no hesitation in concluding,
that the head with the horns, was designed to
represent the Pope, the pretended vicar of
Christ, and head of the church universal.

3. »*But notwithstanding his lamb-like ap-
pearance, he spake as a dragon. The church
of Rome, like a true child of that old serpent
the devil, forcibly established and supported
idolatry; claimed a proud superiority over
all temporal dominion^ advanced her inter-
est with all the wily cunning of the serpent;
anathematized and persecuted to death the
faithful servants of Christ; and esteemed
eA'ery lye aiid every imposture, which advan-

Two-homed Beast ITS

c«d her authority, alaudahle and even pious

fraud. That no faith is to be kept with here -

tics, is a well known maxim of this genuine

offspring of the father of lyes. That kings

excommunicated by the Pope^ may be deposed

and murdered by their subjects, is another of

her maxims. That the end sanctifies the

means, and that it is lawful to do evil that

j good may come, have been the avowed prin-

I ciples of the Jesuits," who have been the

most zealous promoters of the Papal cause.

Her dracontine cruelty and ferocity need no

|)ioof. Where Pagan Rome has slain her

thousands. Papal Rome has slain her ten

thousands. <The fourth council of Lateran

iiiecreed, that all heretics should be delivered

ho the secular power to be extirpated— Sf a

man had but ; poken a light word against

any of the constitutions of the church, he

was seized by the bishop's officers. If any

taught their children the Lord's prayer, the

i:en commandments, or the Apostles' creed,

in the vulgar tongue, that was criminal

^enough to bring them to the stake, as it did

six men and a woman at Coventry in the

Passion week, 15191'

I <*Here it may be observed, that while the
first or secular beast is represented as making
war with the sain*^s and overcoming them, it
is no where said, that the second, or ecclesi«
astical beast, and the image which he set up,
should do more, than cause them to be killed*
The above cited decree of the council of La«\

176 Two-liorned BeasU

teran, shows how exact the prophecy has
• been in this particular. The eleventh horn
has always worn out the saints, by causing
them to be killed, or delivering them over
to the secular arm, not by literally slaying
them itself. <Who can make any computa
tion,' says Bp. Newton, «or frame anyj
conception, of the numbers of pious Chris|
tians, who have fallen a sacrifice to the
bigotry and cruelty of Rome? Mede has ob-
served from good authorities, that in the
war with the Waldenses and Albigenses,
there perished of these poor creatures in,,
France alone, a million. From the institu-
tion of the Jesuits, to the year 1480, that is,
in little more than thirty years, 900,000 oi*-j
thodox Christians were slain. In the Neth-
erlands alone, the duke of Alva boasted,!
that within a few years he had dispatched to
the amount of 36,000 souls, and those all by
the hand of the common executioner. In the
space of scarcely thirty years, the Inquisi-
■ . tion destroyed by various kinds of tortures
150,000 Christians, Sanders himself con-
fesses, that an innumerable multitude of
Lollards and Sacramentarians were burnt,
throughout all Europe; who yet, he says,
were not put to death by the Pope and bish-
' ops. but by the civil magistrates; which
perfectly agrees with this prophecy; for of j
the secular beast it is said, that he should
Biake war witli the saints^ and overcome
lb em.'

Two-horned Beast \77

"4. He exerciseth all the power of the
irst beast before him. Cardinals, prelates,
ind monks, were long the prime ministers
)f the European sovereigns. The names of
i»Volsey, Ximenes, Richlieu, and Mazarine,
ire handed down to posterity as the most
ntriguing and ambitious of statesmen. The
;econd beast indeed is properly an eeclesias-
leal person; but he intermixes himself much
n civil aftairs. He is the prime minister,
nover, and adviser of the first beast. He
loids an empire within an empire, claims a
emporal authority, as well as spiritual; has
lot only the principal direction of temporal
iffairs, but often engages them in his ser-
vice, and enforces his canons and decrees
mill the sword of the civil magistrate." The
idea of the second beast's exercising all tlie
power of the first, is strikingly represented
ill Rev. 17. One of the symbols is indeed
different; but as the powers represented are
::ertainly the same, the idea is no less clear-
ly conveyed. The mother of harlots is rep«
resented as riding upon the secular beasts
As the rider directs the beast that bears
him, and exercises the power of the beast
according to his own pleasure; so the eccle-
siastical Roman power is represented as ex-
ercising and directing the civil power. *'ln
the former symbol Popery was described as
the coadjutor and instigator of the temporal
beast; in the present symbol it is represented
in tiie plenitude of its power, riding trium=

178 Two-horned Beast.

phantly upon the neck of kings, and exalt
ing its authority far above those of its secu
lar colleague.

"5. He causeth the earth and all that
dwell therein to worship the first beast,|
whose deadly wound was healed — Since it is
impossible for the Roman empire to be liteJ
I'ally worshipped, the adoration here spoken
of must mean a devotion to those principles^
by which the empire was equally made a beast,
both under its Fagan and its Papal empe-
rors, both under its sixth head and its last.
Those principles consisted in the worship ol
images and the persecution of the saints, II
was the second beast who by liis influence
caused the who!e Roman earth once more
to adopt them under Popery, as it had here
tofore adopted them under Paganism, it waji
the second beast who made an image for thci
first, and caused ail men to fall down and
worship it.

"6. He doetli great wonders, in order that
be may make fire come down from heaven
on the earth in the sight of men. 'Miracles,
visions, and revelations, are the mighty
boast of the church of Rome, the contrivan-
ces of an artful cunning clergy, to impose
upon an ignorant laity.'

'*Nor has tliis claim to supernatural giftsj
been made solely during the thick darkness
of the middle ages. An anonymous Popish
writer even of the last century insists upon
the miraculous powers of tlie church of

Two-horned Beast, 179

Rom« down to the then present time, and
enumerates many miracles, which he avers
to have been performed, since the era oFthe
Reformation. At the conchision of his cata-
logue of saints, endowed with such powers,
he observes , that all the persons so conspic-
uous for these supernatural gifts were zeal-
ous members of the Catholic church; mean-
ing doubtless to intimate, that if the Catholic
church, (so the Papists think proper to de-
nominate the church of Rome,) were not the
only true church, its members would not
have possessed those gifts. Here then we
have another instance of the manner, in
which the church of Rome proved itself
to be the only trice church], by lying won-
ders. When that point was once establish-
ed; when the strong faith of a determined
Papist once admitted the reality of those
mu^acles, and when once he drew from them
the desired conclusion, that, since none but
the true church could perform them, the
church of Rome,whose mciiibers did perform
them, must doubtless be the only true church.
The rest would follow of course; no salvation
can be had out of the true cimrch; therefore
the church of Rome possesses an undoubted
power to anathematize and excomDiunicate
all heretics.
'^r. He deceiveth them that dwell on the
arth, by means of those miracles, whick
he had power to do in the siglit of the beast^
saying to them that dwell oii tlie eartfi. that

180 Two-horned Beast

they should make an image for the beast,
which had the wound by a sword, and did
live. And he liad power to give life unto the
image of the beast, that the image of thil
beast should both speak, and cause that aj
many as would not worship the image of tht
beast should be killed."

Mr. Faber has clearly proved, that by tJu
image of the beast, we are not to understand
the likeness of the beast, or an image resem-
bling the beast; but an image belonging tc
the beast. "It is only natural therefore tcj
suppose, ttiat the making an image to the
beast means making an image for the us(
and worship of the beast, and consequently
that the image of the beast imports, not tht
effigies of the beast, but the image,which the
beast adored.

"That such is the proper interpretation o]
the expiession, will yet farther appear, if W(
consider the context of the whole passage.]
It was by false miracles, that the ecclesiastii
cal beast induced the inhabitants of th<'
earth to set up this image for the seculai
beast. Accordingly we are informed by Bp
Newton, that, 'miracles are thought so nee
essary and essential, that they are reckoned
simong the notes of the Catholic church; an(
they are alleged principally in support ol
purgatoFv, prayers for the dead, the worship
of saints ^images y and re/ics, and the like (ar
they are called) Catholic doctrines/ On^
of the grand idols of the Komanists is the

Two-lwrned Beast 181

Virgin Mary. 'They beg of her/ says Ju-
rieu, in express terms, whatever is desired
from God; heaven,pardonof sin,grace,repent-
ance, victory of the devil. It is not enough
to pray to the virgin; you must adore her.
Every knee must bow to her, adoring her as
sovereign queen of men and angels. And
this adoration is not to be mere external ad-
oration, but internal. — Those, who well per-
form these services, tho never so negligent
of their duty toward God, tho villains, rob-
bers, debauchees, they cannot be damned, be-
cause they have been clients of the virgin.
This they prove by innumerable examples
of those, whom tlie virgin hath by strange
miracles brought back, as it were, from the
gates of hell; because they have been her vo-
taries. And as an evidence how pleasing
this adoration is to the virgin, she hath
wrought more miracles within these last sev-
en or eight hundred years, than God hath
wrought since the creation, by Moses and
the prophets, by Jesus Christ and his apos-
tles, and by all the saints together. Her im-
ages have spoken; they have sung; they have
resisted the fire and the hammer; they have
soared in the air, like birds: tlicy have sweat
blood; and oil and milk have run from them.
Some of them have been turned into flesh;
they have wept, lamented, groaned; they
have made the lame to walk, the blind to see,
j tlie deaf to hear. Tl)ey have cured all ksV.fls
of diseases, and wrought all sorts of prodi-

182 Two-horned Beast

gies. For these reasons people will go to
the end of the world to visit these conse-
crated images. They kiss them, fall down
hefore them, and render them an external
worship, accompanied with a most fervent
internal devotion.— That which we have dis-
conrsed concerning tlie virgin may he ap-
plied to saints proportionably. There is no
folly or extravagance, that we have now
related, but every order of monks say such
like oftheir founder and author; the Cordeliers
and Capuchins of their St, Francis; the Jac-
opins, of their St. Dominic, and in general
of all the pretended saints of their orders;
they are more holy than seraphim; they
raise the dead; they heal all diseases; the
whole creation is subject to them.' Another
<of the Popish idols is the consecrated wa-
fer, or sacramental bread, the worship of
which naturally followed the monstrous doc-
trine of transubstantiation. This likewise
lias been honoi ed by its own proper mira-
cles,— The worship of images, which began
very early to infect the chi;rch, and which
was first openly established by Pope Boni-
face the fourth in the year 607, was ultimate-
ly confirmed by the second council of Nice
in the year 787.

**it is furtlier said, that the second beast
had power to e^ive life to the image, so that
the image should speak, and cause the death
of tliose who refused to worship it. We
have already noticed some marvellous in-

Two-horned Beast, 18S

stances of the speaking and moving statues
of the virgin; and 1 doubt not but that they
did appear to the deluded populace both to
speak and move. The prophecy teaches us,
that it was the ecclesiastical beast that en-
abled them to perform these functions of ra-
tional and animal life; and the event has
proved the truth of the prediction. The
ridiculous puppets, which were held forth as
gods to the blind adoration of the secular
beast, were so contrived with internal
springs, as to be easily worked by a con-
cealed operator; whose voice at proper inter-
vals seemed to issue from the mouth of th©
miraculous image. At the Reformation,
nothing tended so much to wean the people
from their attacliment to idolatrous super-
stition, as the public exposure of these con-
temptible tricks of the Popish ecclesiastics*
"To these idols, thus impiously set up to
be the gods of the Christian church, it may
be said with truth, that no fewer human vic-
tims have been immolated, than to the de-
mons of Paganism. One special mark of
heresy was a refusal to worship images; and
that refusal, like the similar refusal of the
primitive Christians to adore the idols of tlie
Gentiles, never failed to subject the martyrs
under Popery to the horrors of the most dread-
ful of deaths. While every impunity and
abomination, both in practice and doctrine
was tolerated and sanctioned by the adulkrr
ous church of Rome; those holy and godly

lf^4 Two-horned Beast

men, whose sole crime was a determined re-
jection of the poisoned cup of the mystic
harlot, were inhumanly persecuted and tor-

It has been shown in what sense the image
of the beast, supposing it to mean the images
that the Papists invented for the Roman
world to worship, was made to speak, and to
cause them that would not worship it to be
killed. Tliere is no occasion therefore to
suppose that the image of the beast was really
some living power; as some have supposed it
to be the Pope, the Carlovingian empire, &c.
If the image of the beast had been designed to
represent a real power, no doubt it must have
been one enormously wicked, like the secular
and ecclesiastical beast; and as upon this,
supposition it must have been firmly and in-
timately leagued with them in working abom-
ination, it must have received also of their
plagues, and together with them have been
cast into the burning lake. But we have no
account of any punishment's being inflicted
upon the image of the beast. '^And I saw
the beast and the kings of the earth, and
their armies, gathered together to make war
against him that sat on the horse and against
his army. And tJie beast was taken, and
with him the false prophet, that wrought mi-
racles before him, with which he deceived
them lliat had received the mark of the beast
and them that worshipped his image. These
both were cast alive into a lake of fire burn-

Two-horned Beast 1S5

ing with brimstone."-^ It is manifest from
tfie connexion, that the false prophet here
means the same as the two-horned beast. As
nothing is said of punishing the image of the
beast with them, we may conclude, that this
image was incapable of either deserving or
receiving punishment.

Perhaps some may think, that in a book of
symbols like the Revelation, idols would not
be called an image. I must acknowledge,
that tliis objection appeared so plausible, that
it was with much hesitation that I adopted
Mr. Faber*s explanation of the image of the
beast| and it was not till after repeated read^
ings and very close consideration, that I was
fully convinced of its correctness. More
than once I despaired of ever feeling satisfied
'with regard to the import of this symbol, or
supposed symbol. To receive light and sat-
isfaction upon such a subject under such cir*
cumstances, is like the day-spring to the be=
nighted, bewildered, way-worn traveller. It
is possible, that the considerations, which re-
lieved my mind, may prove equally satisfac-
tory to some, wiio may have been distressed
with the same difficulty. These considera-
tions have been partly stated in the preceding
pages. It may be farther remarked, that the
book of Revelation does not consist wholly o?f
symbols; as might be shown by numerous ci^
tations. Tho it may sometimes be very dif<.
ficult to determine whether Christ speaks
plainly or by parable; yet it is not a difficulty^

186 Two-horned Beast.

wiiich is confined to this part of the bible.
And not only in the scriptures, but in many
human compositions it is often difficult to de-
cide, whether the author meant to be under-
stood figuratively or literally. And we must
determine, whether an expression in Revela-
tion is to be understood literally or symboli-
cally, very much in the same manner, as we
determine, with regard to expressions else-
where, whether we are to understand them
figuratively, or literally. The Revelation
does not appear to differ in the nature of its
language so widely from other compositions,
as many imagine. The principal difference
seems to be, that in the Revelation there is a
greater abundance of figures, and those fig-
ures are pursued to a greater length. As
some compensation how^ever for the obscurity
arising from the number and extent of the
figures, they seem to be used with greater
precision, than in almost any other composi-
tion, except the kindred prophecies. But to
return to the subject. The word imager as
wsed in the phrase under consideration, ap-
pears to be partly literal, and partly symbol-
ical — literal, as it expresses something of
the same kind — ^symbolical, as an individual

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryJoseph EmersonLectures on the Millennium → online text (page 10 of 16)