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Mr. Galloway's interpretation will not hold good even upon his own hypothesis. He has largely endeavoured to prove, that the ten-horned beast is the Papacy, and that the two-horned beast is revolutionary France: but, whatever power the tenhorned beast may be, he is evidently the same as the beast of the bottomless pit: whence it would follow, even according to Mr. Galloway's own plan, that the two witnesses were slain by the papal beast, not by the atheistical one: therefore his exposition of the whole prophecy must be radically faulty. This will yet further appear, when I have proved,
"The beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall "make war against them." Rev. xi. 7.
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast "rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns.” Rev. xiii. 1.
"I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the "beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten "horns. The beast, that thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall "ascend out of the bottomless pit." Rev. xvii. 7, 8.
It appears then, that, in one text, the seven-headed and tenhorned beast is said to arise out of the sea; and, in another text, to ascend out of the bottomless pit: whence it is a palpable truth, that the beast of the sea, and the beast, of the bottomless pit, are the self same ten-horned and seven-headed beast. Not that I conceive the sea and the bottomless pit to mean precisely the same thing; the history of the rise of the Saracenic locusts sufficiently confutes such an opinion: but I apprehend, that the sea typifies the natural origin of the beast; and the bottomless pit, his spiritual origin.
Comment. p. 159-Proph. History of the Church of Rome, passim.
proved, as I trust I shall be able to prove, that neither the one, nor the other, of the two apocalyptic beasts, is revolutionary France.
"And in that hour there was a great earth"quake, and a tenth part of the city fell, and in "the earthquake were slain seven thousand names "of men and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."
Before any satisfactory interpretation can be given of this passage, it will be necessary to ascertain the meaning of the word hour which occurs in it: for, upon that, and upon the circumstance of the earthquake being the last event of note under the second woe-trumpet, the hinge of the whole exposition turns.
A year, a month, and a day, are all definite terms, conveying only one single idea: but an hour is not so; for it either signifies the twenty-fourth part of a day, or a season of indeterminate length*. It occurs in both these senses in the Apocalypse, as its several contexts abundantly shew. Thus, when we read of the Euphratèan horsemen being prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and
* Thus Npn capir, the vernal hour, means the whole season of spring; the length of the p, or season, being in this particular instance determined by the annexed adjective sapin. Egov is a phrase of a similar nature, though not precisely of the same construction. The two expressions occur in Homer and Theocritus,
a year, we cannot entertain any reasonable doubt of the word hour signifying in this instance the twenty-fourth part of a day: and, since the day here mentioned is a prophetic day or a natural year, its corresponding hour will be the twentyfourth part of a year, or fifteen natural days. But, when we read of there being silence in heaven about the space of half an hour, between the opening of the seventh seal and the sounding of the first trumpet, a mode of expression used to denote the state of mute expectation in which the Church anticipated, as it were, from various less important invasions, the grand irruption of the Goths under Alaric: it is evident, that what is there translated half an hour ought rather to be rendered half a season: both because the meaning of the word is not limited by being connected with the definite terms a day, a month, or a year; and because common sense itself shews, that that half hour of silent and anxious suspence must not be confined to merely seven natural days and a half, the length of a determinate prophetic half hour. In reality, this half hour, or rather half season, extends from about the year 321 or 323, when the happy tranquillity of the Constantinian age began to be disturbed by the incursions of those Goths who finally subverted the Western empire, to the year 395, when, the half season of restraint having elapsed, they burst with irresistible violence the barriers which the great Theos
dosius had opposed to them, and poured like an overwhelming torrent into the empire.
When the word hour then occurs in an insulated form, unconnected with the specific terms a day, a month, or a year, it certainly means, not the twenty-fourth part of a day, but a season of indeterminate length: and, when it is thus used in the Apocalypse, I know not what season it can reasonably be supposed to mean, except it be some one of the great Apocalyptic periods; namely, one of the seven seals, one of the seven trumpets, or one of the seven vials*. Thus the hour or season of God's judgment upon Babylon † is manifestly the one particular period under which the papal Apostasy is to be abolished; a period, comprehended within the limits of the last vial: and thus the one hour or season, in which the ten horns were to receive power as kings along with the beast, means the period of the first woe-trumpet; at the beginning of which the ancient Roman idolatrous beast revived, by his lapsing, under his ten horns, into the demonolatry of Popery. The ten kings indeed had received power previous to this time; but they had not till then received power along
It is almost superfluous to observe, that I except such passages as Rev. iii. 3, and iii. 10, from relating to any of the apocalyptic periods; but I am not aware of a third exception in the whole book of the Revelation, unless the half hour of the seventh seal be a sort of one.
+ Rev. xiv. 7. xviii. 10, 17, 19.
Rev. xvii. 12.
with the beast for the era of their first rise was between the downfall of paganism and the commencement of Popery; that is, during the short space of time that the Roman beast had put off his bestial nature, or, in the language of the prophet, while he was not. But, if they rose while the beast was not, though they were horns or kingdoms of the Roman empire, they could not in strictness of speech be styled horns of the beast, till the empire once more became a beast. And this event did not take place till the year 606, when the first woe-trumpet began to sound, and when the beast ascended out of the bottomless pit, and resumed his old posture of determined hostility to the Church of Christ *.
* "Kingdoms they might be before, but they were not before kingdoms or horns of the beast till they embraced his religion” (Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xvii.). Though I cannot agree with Bp. Newton, that the first beast means the Papacy, the propriety of this remark will be unaffected, whether his scheme or mine be adopted. Daniel, not noticing the threefold state of the beast as St. John does, simply describes the first rise of the ten horns and of the eleventh little horn which sprung up among them. This division of the empire however took place during the intermediate state of the beast: hence St. John does not consider the ten kingdoms as horns of the beast, till the Roman empire reassumed its ancient bestial nature; and hence Daniel carefully distinguishes between the period when the little horn first arose, and the period when 'the saints were delivered into his hand. This last period is the same as that when St. John beheld the beast, in his third or revived state, ascend out of the sea of Gothic invasion.