the spiritual power therefore, symbolized by the beast, must be sought for within the limits of that empire. There accordingly we find the ecclesiastical empire of the Pope. The sixth head of the temporal beast long claimed and exercised 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 Universal Bishop. In this year then the second


that the greatest prelates have often been raised from monks

and men of the lowest birth and parentage." Mr. Whitaker and Dr. Zouch, confining without any just warrant the character of the beast to the monastic orders, think that the phrase implies his rise in the East; and Mr. Whitaker adds, that it may partly allude to the rise of those orders in times of peace and prosperity. Both these interpretations seem to me to be needless, not to say unauthorised, refinements. Since the earth throughout the whole Apocalypse means the Roman empire, and no where more decidedly so than in the present chapter, what occasion is there to annex to it here a fresh idea?. The prophet had just before declared, that the whole earth wondered after the great Roniun beast, and that all that dwell upon the earth should worship him (Rev. xiii. 3, 8.); and he now proceeds to inform us, that he beheld another beast coming up out of the earth (Rev. xiii. 11.), teaching us afterwards that this other beast should deceive those that dwelt on the earth (Rev. xiii. 14.). Now it is only reasonable to suppose, that what the word earth means in one part of a chapter, it should mean in another. Since then the earth which wondered after the Roman beast can only mean those who dwelt upon that earth, and since those who dwelt upon the earth can only mean the inhabitants of the Roman empire; we must surely conclude, that, when a beast is said to come up out of this very earth, the Roman empire is here likewise intended,

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 imperium in imperio, and never to suffer it to lose its prophetic character of “ another beast." To cite history for the purpose of proving so well known a fact seems almost superfluous, nevertheless I cannot refrain from noticing a single incident which amply explains the nature of this policy of the Popes. When Edward the first of England wished to impose a tax upon the Clergy, "Boniface the eighth, "who had succeeded Celestine in the papal throne,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was determined to resume the authority which "had been for, some time relaxed by his predecessors, and to become the protector of the spi "ritual order, against all invaders. For this purpose he issued very early in his pontificate a 66. general bull, prohibiting all princes from levying without his consent any taxes upon the clergy, and all clergymen from submitting to such impositions; and he threatened both of "them with the penalties of excommunication "in case of disobedience. No sooner therefore

[ocr errors]

had the king made his demand on the clergy of the fifth of their moveables, than they in"trenched themselves under the bull of Pope Boniface, and pleaded conscience in refusing to comply with the requisition. Edward avoided "proceeding immediately to extremities on this "account; but, having given orders to lock up.

[ocr errors]

" all

[ocr errors]

all their granaries and barns, and prohibited "all rent to be paid to them, he appointed a new "synod to confer with him upon his demand.

The primate, not intimidated by Edward's "resolution, plainly told him, that the clergy "owed obedience to two sovereigns, their spiri "tual and their temporal; but their duty bound

them to a much stricter attachment to the former "than to the latter: they could not therefore com"ply with his commands, which were directly "contrary to the positive prohibition of the "sovereign pontiff*." The subsequent steps taken by Edward to inforce obedience it is needless here to detail: enough has been said to shew in what manner the second beast, which sprung out of the earth, was "another beast."

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 Roman empire under the line of Carlovingian emperors; the ecclesiastical beast under his single head, who has co-existed and co-operated with the secular beast, must necessarily be the corrupt church of Rome under the line of those pretended universal bishops, the Popes. And here we cannot but observe the wonderful exactness with which the two principal apocalyptic symbols, the

[ocr errors]

Mod. Univ. Hist. vol. xxxix. p. 205, 206.


first and the second beast, are contrived. The Roman Empire, having existed under seven dif ferent constitutions, is described by a beast with seven heads; but the catholic church of Rome, never having existed under more than 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 ecclesiastical 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 regularly organized body of ecclesiastics subject primarily to their own immediate superior, and ultimately to the head of the whole empire. If the church of Rome then be intended by the second apocalyptic beast, and the Pope by the head of that beast, it must comprehend two such ecclesiastical kingdoms; "that is to say, it must comprehend two regularly organized bodies of ecclesiastics, distinct from each other, and subject primarily to their respective superiors, and ultimately to the Pope. Mr. Whitaker and Dr. Zouch suppose that the two horns are the monks, who were at first divided into two classes: the Cenobites, who (to adopt the language of Mr. Gibbon) "lived under a common and regular discipline: and the Anachorets, who indulged their unsocial, independent, fanaticism." And Mr. Whitaker adds, that in a later age the papal auVOL. II. thority




thority was more especially supported by two mendicant orders of monks, the Dominicans and Franciscans-This opinion seems to me by no means tenable for various reasons-Monasticism first arose in the East about the year 305, and thence passed into the West. The second apocalyptic beast however, or the catholic empire of the Pope, did not spring up out of the earth till the year 606. Consequently the original twofold division of the

monks in the East cannot make them the two horns of a beast, which sprung up, long after that division, in the West-But it may be said, that, although their extraction be oriental, there is no inconsistency in supposing that they might afterwards become horns of the beast, when they had extended themselves westward, and mightily exerted themselves in support of the papal authority. Here then another objection presents itself. I readily allow, that the character of the Cenobites perfectly answers to the character of an ecclesiastical horn or kingdom. They were a regularly organized body of men, bound by certain laws, and subject first to their superior and in after ages through him to the Pope. But I can discover none of the characteristics of a horn in the Anachorets. These, so far from being united under a settled government and from professing obedience to a superior," renounced the convent as they had "renounced the world;" and, plunging into the deepest solitudes of the desert far from the haunts of men, indulged their unsocial, independent, "fanaticism." Such being the case, the Ana


« ElőzőTovább »