Revelation of John 13


The beast rising out of the sea with seven heads, ten horns,

and ten crowns, 1.

His description, power, blasphemy, cruelty, &c., 2-10.

The beast coming out of the earth with two horns, deceiving the

world by is false miracles, and causing every one to receive

his mark in their right hand, 11-17.

His number, 666. 18.


Verse 1. And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast

rise up out of the sea] Before we can proceed in the

interpretation of this chapter, it will be highly necessary to

ascertain the meaning of the prophetic symbol beast, as the want

of a proper understanding of this term has probably been one

reason why so many discordant hypotheses have been published to

the world. In this investigation it is impossible to resort to a

higher authority than Scripture, for the Holy Ghost is his own

interpreter. What is therefore meant by the term beast in any one

prophetic vision, the same species of thing must be represented by

the term whenever it is used in a similar manner in any other part

of the sacred oracles. Having therefore laid this foundation, the

angel's interpretation of the last of Daniel's four beasts need

only be produced, an account of which is given in the seventh

chapter of this prophet. Daniel being very desirous to "know the

truth of the fourth beast which was diverse from all the others,

exceeding dreadful, and of the ten horns that were on his head,"

the angel thus interprets the vision: "The fourth beast shall be

the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all

kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it

down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this

kingdom are ten kings that shall arise," &c. In this scripture it

is plainly declared that the fourth beast should be the fourth

kingdom upon earth; consequently, the four beasts seen by Daniel

are four kingdoms: hence the term beast is the prophetic symbol

for a kingdom.

As to the nature of the kingdom which is represented by the term

beast, we shall obtain no inconsiderable light in examining the

most proper meaning of the original word chaiyah. This Hebrew

word is translated in the Septuagint by the Greek word θηριον, and

both words signify what we term a wild beast; and the latter is

the one used by St. John in the Apocalypse. Taking up the Greek

word θηριον in this sense, it is fully evident, if a power be

represented in the prophetical writings under the notion of a wild

beast, that the power so represented must partake of the nature of

a wild beast. Hence an earthly belligerent power is evidently

designed. And the comparison is peculiarly appropriate; for as

several species of wild beasts carry on perpetual warfare with the

animal world, so most governments, influenced by ambition, promote

discord and depopulation. And, also, as the carnivorous wild beast

acquires its strength and magnitude by preying upon the feebler

animals; so most earthly monarchies are raised up by the sword,

and derive their political consequence from the unsuccessful

resistance to the contending nations. The kingdom of God, on the

other hand, is represented as "a stone cut out of the mountain

without hands;" and is never likened to a beast, because it is not

raised up by the sword as all other secular powers are, but

sanctifies the persons under its subjection; in which last

particular it essentially differs from all other dominations.

This beast is said to rise up out of the sea, in which

particular it corresponds with the four beasts of Daniel; the sea

is therefore the symbol of a great multitude of nations, as has

already been proved; and the meaning is, that every mighty empire

is raised upon the ruins of a great number of nations, which it

has successfully contended against and incorporated with its

dominions. The sea, here, is doubtless the same against the

inhabiters of which a wo was denounced, Re 12:12; for St. John

was standing upon the sand of the sea when the vision changed from

the woman and the dragon to that recorded in this chapter. It

therefore follows that the kingdom or empire here represented by

the beast, is that which sprung up out of the ruins of the WESTERN

Roman empire.

Having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns]

The beast here described is the Latin empire, which supported the

Romish or Latin Church; for it has upon his horns ten crowns,

i.e., is an empire composed of ten distinct monarchies in the

interest of the Latin Church. See the heads and horns fully

explained in the notes on Re 17:10, 12, 16.

As the phrases Latin Church, Latin empire, &c., are not very

generally understood at present, and will occur frequently in the

course of the notes on this and the xviith chapter, it will not be

improper here to explain them. During the period from the division

of the Roman empire into those of the east and west, till the

final dissolution of the western empire, the subjects of both

empires were equally known by the name of Romans. Soon after this

event the people of the west lost almost entirely the name of

Romans, and were denominated after their respective kingdoms which

were established upon the ruins of the western empire. But as the

eastern empire escaped the ruin which fell upon the western, the

subjects of the former still retained the name of Romans, and

called their dominion ηρωμαικηβασιλεια, the Roman empire; by

which name this monarchy was known among them till its final

dissolution in 1453, by Mohammed II., the Turkish sultan. But the

subjects of the eastern emperor, ever since the time of

Charlemagne or before, (and more particularly in the time of the

crusades and subsequently,) called the western people, or those

under the influence of the Romish Church, Latins, and their Church

the Latin Church. And the western people, in return, denominated

the eastern Church the Greek Church, and the members of it Greeks.

Hence the division of the Christian Church into those of the Greek

and Latin. For a confirmation of what has just been said the

reader may consult the Byzantine writers, where he will find the

appellations ρωμαιοι and λατινοι, Romans and Latins, used

in the sense here mentioned in very numerous instances. The

members of the Romish Church have not been named Latins by the

Greeks alone; this term is also used in the public instruments

drawn up by the general popish councils, as may be instanced in

the following words, which form a part of a decree of the council

of Basil, dated Sept. 26, 1437: Copiosissimam subventionem pro

unione GRAECORUM cums LATINIS, "A very great convention for the

union of the Greeks with the Latins." Even in the very papal bulls

this appellation has been acknowledged, as may be seen in the

edict of Pope Eugenius IV., dated Sept. 17, 1437, where in one

place mention is made of Ecclesiae LATINORUM quaesita unio, "the

desired union of the Church of the Latins;" and in another place

we read, Nec superesse modum alium prosequendi operis tam pii, et

servandi LATINAE ECCLESIAE honoris, "that no means might be left

untried of prosecuting so pious a work, and of preserving the

honour of the Latin Church." See Corps Diplomatique, tom. iii.,

pp. 32, 35. In a bull of the same pontiff, dated Sept., 1439, we

have Sanctissima LATINORUM et GRAECORUM unio, "the most holy union

of the Greeks with the Latins." See Bail's Summa Conciliorum, in

loc. By the Latin empire is meant the whole of the powers which

support the Latin Church.

And upon his heads the name of blasphemy.] ονουαβλασφημιας A

name of blasphemy. This has been variously understood. Jerome and

Prosper give it as their opinion that the name of blasphemy

consists in the appellation urbs aeterna, eternal city, applied to

Rome; and modern commentators refer it to the idolatrous worship

of the Romans and papists. Before we attempt to ascertain the

meaning of this passage, it must be first defined what the Holy

Spirit means by a name of blasphemy. Blasphemy, in Scripture,

signifies impious speaking when applied to GOD, and injurious

speaking when directed against our neighbour. A name of blasphemy

is the prostitution of a sacred name to an unholy purpose. This is

evident from the 9th verse of the second chapter of the

Apocalypse, Re 2:9, where God says, "I know the blasphemy of

them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue

of Satan." These wicked men, by calling themselves Jews,

blasphemed the name, i.e., used it in an injurious sense; for he

ONLY is a Jew who is one inwardly. Hence the term Jews applied

to the synagogue of Satan is a name of blasphemy, i.e. a sacred

name blasphemed. A name of blasphemy, or a blasphemous

appellation, is said to be upon all the seven heads of the beast.

To determine what this name is, the meaning of the seven heads in

this place must be ascertained. If the reader refer to the notes

on Re 17:9-11, he will find that the heads are explained to have

a double meaning, viz., that they signify the seven electorates of

the German empire, and also seven forms of Latin government. As

this is the first place in which the heads of the beast are

mentioned with any description, it is reasonable to expect that

that signification of the heads which is first in order in the

angel's interpretation, Re 17:9, must be what is here intended.

This is, "the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman

sitteth;" the name of blasphemy will consequently be found upon

the seven electorates of Germany. This, therefore, can be no other

than that which was common, not only to the electorates but also

to the whole empire of Germany, or that well known one of SACRUM

Imperium Romanum, "The SACRED (or HOLY) Roman Empire." Here is a

sacred appellation blasphemed by its application to the principal

power of the beast. No kingdom can properly be called holy but

that of Jesus; therefore it would be blasphemy to unite this

epithet with any other power. But it must be horridly blasphemous

to apply it to the German empire, the grand supporter of

antichrist from his very rise to temporal authority. Can that

empire be holy which has killed the saints, which has professed

and supported with all its might an idolatrous system of worship?

It is impossible. Therefore its assumption of sacred or holy

(which appellation was originally given to the empire from its

being the main support of what is termed the holy catholic Church,

the emperor being styled, on this account, Christ's temporal vicar

upon earth: see Caesarini Furstenerii Tractatus De Suprematu

Principum Germaniae, cc. 31, 32) is, in the highest sense the word

can be taken, a name of blasphemy. The name of blasphemy is very

properly said to be upon the seven heads of the beast, or seven

electorates of the German empire, because the electors are styled

SACRI Imperii Principes Electores, Princes, Electors of the Holy

Empire; SACRI Romani Imperii Electores, Electors of the Holy Roman


Verse 2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard] This

similitude of the beast to a leopard appears to be an allusion to

the third beast of Daniel, which is well known to represent the

empire of the Greeks. The Latin empire greatly resembled the

modern empire of the Greeks; for that the power of the Greeks was

still said to be like a leopard, even after its subjugation by the

Romans, is evident from Da 7:12: "As concerning the rest of the

beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were

prolonged for a season and time." The Latin empire was, in the

first place, like to its contemporary, because both adhered to an

idolatrous system of worship, professedly Christian, but really

antichristian; and it is well known that the Greek and Latin

Churches abound in monstrous absurdities. Secondly, Both empires

were similar in their opposition to the spread of pure

Christianity; though it must be allowed that the Latins far

outstripped the Greeks in this particular. Thirdly, Both empires

were similar in respect to the civil authority being powerfully

depressed by the ecclesiastical; though it must be granted the

authority of the Latin Church was more strongly marked, and of

much longer continuance. The excommunication of the Greek emperor

by the Patriarch Arsenius, and the consequences of that

excommunication, afford a remarkable example of the great power of

the Greek clergy. But the beast of St. John, though in its general

appearance it resembles a leopard, yet differs from it in having

feet like those of a bear. The second beast of Daniel was likened

to a bear, and there can be no doubt that the kingdom of the Medes

and Persians was intended; and it is very properly likened to this

animal, because it was one of the most inhuman governments that

ever existed, and a bear is the well known Scripture emblem of

cruelty. See 2Sa 17:8, and Ho 13:8. Is not

cruelty a striking characteristic of the papal Latin empire?

Have not the subjects of this empire literally trampled to death

all those in their power who would not obey their idolatrous

requisitions? In Fox's Book of Martyrs, and other works which

treat upon this subject, will be found a melancholy catalogue of

the horrid tortures and most lingering deaths which they have

obliged great numbers of Christians to suffer. In this sense the

feet of the beast were as the feet of a bear. Another particular

in which the beast differed from a leopard was, in having a mouth

like a lion. "It is," says Dr. More, "like the Babylonish kingdom

(the first beast of Daniel, which is likened to a lion) in its

cruel decrees against such as will not obey their idolatrous

edicts, nor worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set

up. Their stubbornness must be punished by a hot fiery furnace;

fire and fagot must be prepared for them that will not submit to

this new Roman idolatry."

And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great

authority.] It was said of the dragon, in Re 12:8, that his place

was found no more in heaven; the dragon here cannot therefore be

the heathen Roman empire, as this was abolished previously to the

rising up of the beast. It must then allude to the restoration of

one of the DRACONIC heads of the beast, as will be seen in the

explanation of the following verse, and more fully in the notes on

Re 17:1-18.

Verse 3. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death]

This is the second and last place where the heads of the beast are

mentioned with any description; and therefore the meaning here

must be forms of government, as these were noticed last in the

angel's double explanation. The head that was wounded to death can

be no other than the seventh draconic head, which was the sixth

head of the beast, viz,, the imperial power; for "this head," as

Bishop Newton observes, "was, as it were, wounded to death when

the Roman empire was overturned by the northern nations, and an

end was put to the very name of emperor in Momyllus Augustulus."

It was so wounded that it was wholly improbable that it could ever

rise again to considerable power, for the western empire came into

the possession of several barbarous nations of independent


And his deadly wound was healed] This was effected by

Charlemagne, who with his successors assumed all the marks of the

ancient emperors of the west, with the titles of Semper Augustus,

Sacred Majesty, First Prince of the Christian World, Temporal

Chief of the Christian People, and Rector or Temporal Chief of the

Faithful in Germany; Mod. Universal History, vol. xxxii., p. 79.

But it is said in Re 13:2 that the dragon gave the beast

his power, δυναμιν, his armies or military strength; i.e.,

he employed all his imperial power in defense of the Latin empire,

which supported the Latin Church. He also gave his seat, θρονον,

literally his throne, to him: that is, his whole empire formed an

integral part of the Latin empire, by its conversion to the Roman

Catholic faith. He also gave him great authority. This is

literally true of the Roman empire of Germany, which, by its great

power and influence in the politics of Europe, extended the

religion of the empire over the various states and monarchies of

Europe, thus incorporating them as it were in one vast empire, by

uniting them in one common faith.

And all the world wondered after the beast.] οληηγη All the

earth. As the original word signifies earth, and not world as in

our translation, the Latin world, which is the earth of the beast,

is here intended; and the meaning of the passage consequently is,

that the whole body of the Roman Catholics were affected with

great astonishment at the mighty sway of the Latin empire,

considering it as a great and holy power.

Verse 4. And they worshipped the dragon] Worshipping the dragon

here evidently means the voluntary religious subjection of the

members of the Latin Church to the revived western empire, because

of the eminent part it has taken in the support of their faith.

And they worshipped the beast] Not only the dragon or revived

western empire was worshipped; the beast, the whole Latin empire,

is a partaker in the adoration. The manner in which it is

worshipped consists in the subjects of it:-

Saying, Who is like unto the beast?] Is it not the only holy

power in the universe? Is it possible for any person not a subject

of it to be saved?

Who is able to make war with him?] Can any nation successfully

fight with it? Is not the Roman empire, which is its principal

bulwark, invictissimum, most invincible? Invictissimus, most

invincible, was the peculiar attribute of the emperors of Germany.

See modern Universal History, vol. xxxii., p. 197.

Verse 5. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great

things] That is, There was given to the rulers of the Latin

empire, who are the mouth of the beast, (and particularly the

Roman emperors of Germany,) power to assume great and pompous

titles, indicative of their mighty sway over many subjugated

countries, (see the imperial instruments of the middle centuries

in the Corps Diplomatique,) and also to utter against their

opponents the most terrible edicts.

And blasphemies] The system of worship supported by the beast is

a system of blasphemy, as there will be occasion to show


And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.]

As these forty-two months are prophetic, they must mean so many

years as there are days contained in them; viz., 1260, each

month containing 30 days. The beast, therefore, will continue in

existence at least 1260 years; but when the termination of this

period will take place is difficult to say, as the beginning

cannot be at present indubitably ascertained.

Verse 6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to

blaspheme his name] The Latin empire is here represented as a

blasphemous power in three respects. First, he blasphemes the name

of God. This has been most notoriously the case with the different

popish princes, who continually blaspheme the sacred names of God

by using them in their idolatrous worship. The mouth of blasphemy

against God cannot be more evident than in the following impious

words which form a part of the Golden Bull published by Charles

IV. in January, 1356: "But thou, envy, how often hast thou

attempted to ruin by division the Christian empire, which God hath

founded upon the three cardinal virtues, faith, hope, and charity,

as upon a holy and indivisible Trinity, vomiting the old venom of

discord among the seven electors, who are the pillars and seven

principal members of the holy empire; by the brightness of whom

the holy empire ought to be illuminated as by seven torches, the

light of which is reinforced by the seven gifts of the Holy


And his tabernacle] Tabernacle is any kind of dwelling place,

and in an eminent sense among the Jews was a kind of tent to take

up and down as occasion required, which was as it were the palace

of the Most High, the dwelling of the God of Israel. It was

divided into two partitions, one called the holy place, and the

other the most holy place, in the latter of which, before the

building of the temple, the ark of the covenant was kept, which

was a symbol of God's gracious presence with the Jewish Church.

All this the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in the eighth

and ninth chapters, explains to prefigure the human nature of

Christ. The beast's blasphemy of the tabernacle of God is,

therefore, as Dr. More and others properly observe, his impious

doctrine of transubstantiation, in which it is most blasphemously

asserted that the substance of the bread and wine in the sacrament

is literally converted by the consecration of the priest, into the

very body and blood of Jesus Christ! This doctrine was first

advanced among the Latins in the tenth century; and in 1215, fully

received as an article of the Roman Catholic faith. It is for the

pages of ecclesiastical history to record the incredible numbers

which have been martyred by the papists for their non-reception of

this most unscriptural and antichristian doctrine.

And them that dwell in heaven.] By heaven is here meant the

throne of God, and not the throne of the beast, because it is

against God the beast blasphemes. This must therefore allude to

his impious adoration of the saints and angels, whose residence is

in heaven. He blasphemes against God by paying that adoration to

the celestial inhabitants which belongs to God alone. That this

sort of worship has been and still is kept up among the Roman

Catholics, their mass book is a sufficient evidence.

Verse 7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,

and to overcome them] "Who can make any computation," says Bishop

Newton, "or even frame any conception, of the numbers of pious

Christians who have fallen a sacrifice to the bigotry and cruelty

of Rome? Mede upon the place hath observed, from good authorities,

that in the war with the Albigenses and Waldenses there perished

of these poor creatures in France alone a million. From the first

institution of the Jesuits to the year 1580, that is, in little

more than thirty years, nine hundred thousand orthodox Christians

were slain, and these all by the common executioner. In the space

of scarce thirty years the inquisition destroyed, by various kinds

of torture, a hundred and fifty thousand Christians. Sanders

himself confesses 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 bishops, but by the

civil magistrates." The dragon in a new shape, or Roman empire of

Germany, acted a very conspicuous part in this nefarious warfare

against the remnant of the woman's seed, who kept the commandments

of God, and had the testimony of Jesus Christ. See the imperial

edict of Frederic II. against heretics, in Limborch's History of

the Inquisition.

And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and

nations.] As the book of the Revelation is a prophecy of all that

should come upon the Christian world till the end of time, all

kindreds, and tongues, and nations, must imply the whole Christian

world. That the Latin empire in the course of its reign has had

the extensive power here spoken of, is evident from history. It is

well known that the profession of Christianity was chiefly

confined within the limits of the Greek and Latin empires, till

the period of the Reformation. By means of the crusades the Latins

extended their empire over several provinces of the Greeks. In

1097 Baldwin extended his conquests over the hills of Armenia and

the plain of Mesopotamia, and founded the first principality of

the Franks or Latins, which subsisted fifty-four years, beyond the

Euphrates. In 1204 the Greeks were expelled from Constantinople by

the Latins, who set up an empire there which continued about

fifty-seven years. The total overthrow of the Latin states in the

east soon followed the recovery of Constantinople by the Greeks;

and in 1291 the Latin empire in the east was entirely dissolved.

Thus the Latins have had power over the whole world professedly

Christian: but it is not said that the whole world was in utter

subjection to him, for we read in the following verse:-

Verse 8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,

whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb] The

earth here is the Latin world, as has been observed before in

similar cases. The meaning therefore is, that all the corrupt part

of mankind who are inhabitants of the Latin world shall submit to

the religion of the empire, except, as Bishop Newton expresses it,

"those faithful few whose names, as citizens of heaven, were

enrolled in the registers of life."

Slain from the foundation of the world.] That is, of the

Christian world; for this has been shown to be the meaning of all

kindreds, and tongues, and nations. The year of the crucifixion is

properly the commencement of Christianity, as the apostles then

first began to promulgate the religion of Christ with the Holy

Ghost sent down from heaven. But as Jesus Christ was in the Divine

purpose appointed from the foundation of the world to redeem man

by his blood, he therefore is, in a very eminent sense, the Lamb

slain from the foundation of the world, i.e., from the creation.

Verse 9. If any man have an ear, let him hear.] These words are

evidently introduced to impress the reader with the awfulness of

what has just been spoken-all shall worship him whose names are

not written in the book of life, as well as to fix his attention

upon the following words:-

Verse 10. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into

captivity] The Latin empire here spoken of must go into

captivity, because it has led into captivity, by not only

propagating among the various nations its abominable antichristian

system, but also in compelling them to embrace it under the

penalty of forfeiting the protection of the empire.

He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.]

The Latin empire must be also broken to pieces by the sword,

because it has killed the saints of God. This prophecy will not

receive its full accomplishment till the kingdoms of this world

become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.] By these

words, as Dr. Mitchell observes, "God calls upon his saints to

keep in view, under all their persecutions, his retributive

justice; there is no violence that has been exercised upon them

but what shall be retaliated upon the cruel and persecuting

government and governors of the Latin empire."

Verse 11. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth]

As a beast has already been shown to be the symbol of a kingdom or

empire, the rising up of this second beast must consequently

represent the rising up of another empire. This beast comes up out

of the earth; therefore it is totally different from the

preceding, which rose up out of the sea. Earth here means the

Latin world, for this word has been shown to import this already

in several instances; the rising up of the beast out of this earth

must, consequently, represent the springing up of some power out

of a state of subjection to the Latin empire: therefore the beast,

here called another beast, is another LATIN empire. This beast is

the spiritual Latin empire, or, in other words, the Romish

hierarchy; for with no other power can the prophetic description

yet to be examined be shown to accord. In the time of Charlemagne

the ecclesiastical power was in subjection to the civil, and it

continued to be so for a long time after his death; therefore the

beast, whose deadly wound was healed, ruled over the whole Latin

world, both clergy and laity; these, consequently, constituted but

one beast or empire. But the Latin clergy kept continually gaining

more and more influence in the civil affairs of the empire, and in

the tenth century their authority was greatly increased. In the

subsequent centuries the power of the Romish hierarchy ascended

even above that of the emperors, and led into captivity the kings

of the whole Latin world, as there will be occasion to show in

commenting upon the following verses. Thus the Romish hierarchy

was at length entirely exempted from the civil power, and

constituted another beast, as it became entirely independent of

the secular Latin empire. And this beast came up out of the earth;

that is, the Latin clergy, which composed a part of the earth or

Latin world, raised their authority against that of the secular

powers, and in process of time wrested the superintendence of

ecclesiastical affairs from the secular princes.

And he had two horns] As the seven-headed beast is represented

as having ten horns, which signify so many kingdoms leagued

together to support the Latin Church, so the beast which rises out

of the earth has also two horns, which must consequently represent

two kingdoms; for if horns of a beast mean kingdoms in one part of

the Apocalypse, kingdoms must be intended by this symbol whenever

it is used in a similar way in any other part of this book. As the

second beast is the spiritual Latin empire, the two horns of this

beast denote that the empire thus represented is composed of two

distinct spiritual powers. These, therefore, can be no other, as

Bishop Newton and Faber properly observe, than the two grand

independent branches of the Romish hierarchy, viz., the Latin

clergy, REGULAR and SECULAR. "The first of these comprehends all

the various monastic orders, the second comprehends the whole body

of parochial clergy." These two grand branches of the hierarchy

originally constituted but one dominion, as the monks as well as

the other clergy were in subjection to the bishops: but the

subjection of the monks to their diocesans became by degress less

apparent; and in process of time, through the influence and

authority of the Roman pontiffs, they were entirely exempted from

all episcopal jurisdiction, and thus became a spiritual power,

entirely independent of that of the secular clergy.

Like a lamb] As lamb, in other parts of the Apocalypse,

evidently means Christ, who is the Lamb of God which taketh away

the sin of the world, it must have a similar import in this

passage; therefore the meaning here is evidently that the two

horns of the beast, or the regular and secular clergy, profess to

be the ministers of Christ, to be like him in meekness and

humility, and to teach nothing that is contrary to godliness. The

two-horned beast, or spiritual Latin empire, has in reality the

name, and in the eyes of the Latin world the appearance, of a

CHRISTIAN power. But he is only so in appearance, and that alone

among his deluded votaries; for when he spake:-

He spake as a dragon.] The doctrines of the Romish hierarchy are

very similar to those contained in the old heathen worship; for he

has introduced "a new species of idolatry, nominally different,

but essentially the same, the worship of angels and saints instead

of the gods and demi-gods of antiquity."

Verse 12. And he exercised all the power of the first beast

before him] In the preceding verse the two-horned beast was

represented as rising out of the earth, that is, obtaining

gradually more and more influence in the civil affairs of the

Latin world. Here he it represented as having obtained the

direction and management of all the power of the first beast or

secular Latin empire before him, ενωπιοναυτου, in his presence.

That the Romish hierarchy has had the extensive power here spoken

of, is evident from history; for the civil power was in subjection

to the ecclesiastical. The parochial clergy, one of the horns of

the second beast, have had great secular jurisdiction over the

whole Latin world. Two-thirds of the estates of Germany were given

by the three Othos, who succeeded each other, to ecclesiastics;

and in the other Latin monarchies the parochial clergy possessed

great temporal power. Yet extraordinary as the power of the

secular clergy was in all parts of the Latin world, it was but

feeble when compared with that of the monastic orders which

constituted another horn of the beast. The mendicant friars, the

most considerable of the regular clergy, first made their

appearance in the early part of the thirteenth century. These

friars were divided by Gregory X., in a general council which he

assembled at Lyons in 1272, into the four following societies or

denominations, viz., the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the

Carmelites, and the Hermits of St. Augustine. "As the pontiffs,"

observes Mosheim, "allowed these four mendicant orders the liberty

of travelling wherever they thought proper, of conversing with

persons of all ranks, of instructing the youth and the multitude

wherever they went; and as these monks exhibited, in their outward

appearance and manner of life, more striking marks of gravity and

holiness than were observable in the other monastic societies;

they arose all at once to the very summit of fame, and were

regarded with the utmost esteem and veneration throughout all the

countries of Europe. The enthusiastic attachment to these

sanctimonious beggars went so far that, as we learn from the most

authentic records, several cities were divided, or cantoned out,

into four parts, with a view to these four orders; the first part

was assigned to the Dominicans, the second to the Franciscans, the

third to the Carmelites, and the fourth to the Augustinians. The

people were unwilling to receive the sacraments from any other

hands than those of the mendicants, to whose churches they crowded

to perform their devotions while living, and were extremely

desirous to deposit there also their remains after death; all

which occasioned grievous complaints among the ordinary priests,

to whom the cure of souls was committed, and who considered

themselves as the spiritual guides of the multitude. Nor did the

influence and credit of the mendicants end here: for we find in

the history of this (thirteenth century) and the succeeding ages,

that they were employed, not only in spiritual matters, but also

in temporal and political affairs of the greatest consequence; in

composing the differences of princes, concluding treaties of

peace, concerting alliances, presiding in cabinet councils,

governing courts, levying taxes, and other occupations not only

remote from, but absolutely inconsistent with, the monastic

character and profession. We must not, however, imagine that all

the mendicant friars attained to the same degree of reputation and

authority; for the power of the Dominicans and Franciscans

surpassed greatly that of the two other orders, and rendered them

singularly conspicuous in the eyes of the world. During three

centuries these two fraternities governed, with an almost

universal and absolute sway, both state and Church, filled the

most eminent posts, ecclesiastical and civil; taught in the

universities and churches with an authority before which all

opposition was silent; and maintained the pretended majesty and

prerogatives of the Roman pontiffs against kings, princes,

bishops, and heretics, with incredible ardour and equal success.

The Dominicans and Franciscans were, before the Reformation, what

the Jesuits have been since that happy and glorious period, the

very soul of the hierarchy, the engines of state, the secret

springs of all the motions of the one and the other, and the

authors and directors of every great and important event in the

religious and political world." Thus the Romish hierarchy has

exercised all the power of the first beast in his sight, both

temporal and spiritual, and therefore, with such astonishing

influence as this over secular princes, it was no difficult matter

for him to cause:-

The earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first

beast, whose deadly wound was healed.] That is, he causes the

whole Latin world to submit to the authority of the Latin empire,

with the revived western empire at its head, persuading them that

such submission is beneficial to their spiritual interests, and

absolutely necessary for their salvation. Here it is observable

that both beasts have dominion over the same earth; for it is

expressly said that the second beast causeth THE EARTH and them

that dwelt therein, to worship the first beast; therefore it is,

as Bishop Newton and others have observed, imperium in imperio,

"an empire within an empire." We have, consequently, the fullest

evidence that the two beasts consist in the division of the great

Latin empire, by the usurpation of the Latin clergy, into two

distinct empires, the one secular, the other spiritual, and both

united in one antichristian design, viz., to diffuse their most

abominable system of idolatry over the whole earth, and to extend

the sphere of their domination. Here we have also an illustration

of that remarkable passage in Re 16:10,

the kingdom of the beasts, i.e., the kingdom of the Latin

kingdom; which is apparently a solecism, but in reality expressed

with wonderful precision. The fifth vial is poured out upon the

throne of the beast, and HIS KINGDOM is darkened, i.e., the Latin

kingdom in subjection to the Latin kingdom or the secular Latin


Verse 13. And he doeth great wonders] That we may have the

greatest assurance possible that the two-horned beast is the

spiritual Latin empire, it is called in Re 19:20, a passage

illustrative of the one now under consideration, the false

prophet, "than which," as Bishop Newton observes, "there cannot

be a stronger or plainer argument to prove that false doctors or

teachers were particularly designed;" for prophet, in the

Scripture style, is not unfrequently used for a preacher or

expounder of God's word. See 1Co 14:1-5. It hence follows that

the two-horned beast is an empire of false doctors or teachers.

In order to establish the Latin Church upon a foundation that

can never fail, the false prophet doth great wonders-he attempts

the most wonderful and prodigious exploits, and is crowned with

incredible success. He has the art to persuade his followers that

the clergy of the Church of Rome are the only true ministers of

Christ; that they have such great influence in the court of heaven

as to be able not only to forgive sins, but also to grant

indulgences in sin, by paying certain stipulated sums. He

persuades them too that they can do works of supererogation. He

pretends that an incredible number of miracles have been wrought

and are still working by the Almighty, as so many evidences of the

great sanctity of the Latin Church; and the false prophet has such

an astonishing influence over his flock, as to cause them to

believe all his fabulous legends and lying wonders. He pretends

also (and is believed!) that his power is not confined to this

world; that he is able by his prayers to deliver the souls of the

deceased from what he calls purgatory, a place which he has fabled

to exist for the purification of sinful souls after their

departure from this world. His wonderful exploits, in being able

to induce men possessed of reasoning faculties to believe his

monstrous absurdities, do not end here; he even:-

Maketh fire come down from heaven-in the sight of men] Fire, in

Scripture, when it signifies wrath, represents that species of

indignation which is attended with the destruction of whatever is

the cause of it. Thus the wrath of God is likened to fire,

Ps 18:7, 8; Jer 4:4. Therefore the

fire which the false prophet bringeth down from heaven upon the

earth, is the fiery indignation which he causes to come down

from the heaven or throne of the Latin empire upon all those of

the earth or Latin world who rebel against his authority. All this

has been fulfilled in the Romish hierarchy; the Latin clergy have

denominated all those that oppose their authority heretics, they

have instituted tribunals to try the cause of heresy, and all

those that would not submit to their idolatry they have condemned

to various kinds of tortures and deaths. It is said of the false

prophet that he bringeth fire FROM HEAVEN upon the earth; that is

to say, he will only try the cause of heresy, and pass the

sentence of condemnation; he will not suffer an ecclesiastic to

execute the sentence of the court; the destroying fire he

causeth to come down from the heaven or throne of the Latin

empire; secular princes and magistrates must execute the sentence

of death upon all that are capitally condemned by the spiritual

power. He MAKETH fire come down from heaven; he compels secular

princes to assist him against heretics; and if any rebel against

his authority he immediately puts them under the ban of the

anathema, so that they are deprived of their offices, and exposed

to the insults and persecution of their brethren. Thus the false

prophet deceives the Latin world by the means of those miracles

which he had power try do in the sight of the beast. Under the

appearance of great sanctity he persuades men to believe all his

lying doctrines, and enforces his canons and decretals with the

sword of the civil magistrate.

Verse 14. Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they

should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword,

and did live.] The image of the beast must designate a person who

represents in himself the whole power of the Latin empire,

therefore it cannot be the emperor; for though he was, according

to his own account, supremum caput Christianitatis, the supreme

head of Christendom, yet he was only the chief of the Germanic

confederation, and consequently was only sovereign of the

principal power of the Latin empire. The image of the beast must

be the supreme ruler of the Latin empire, and as it is through the

influence of the false prophet that this image is made for the

first beast, this great chief must be an ecclesiastic. Who this is

has been ably shown by Bishop Newton in his comment on the

following verse.

Verse 15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the

beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause

that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be

killed.] I would just observe that the Brahmins, by repeating

incantations, profess to give eyes and a soul to an image recently

made, before it is worshipped; afterwards, being supposed to be

the residence of the god or goddess it represents, it has a legal

right to worship. On this verse the learned bishop observes: "The

influence of the two-horned beast, or corrupted clergy, is farther

seen in persuading and inducing mankind to make an image to the

beast which had the wound by a sword, and did live. This image and

representative of the beast is the pope. He is properly the idol

of the Church. He represents in himself the whole power of the

beast, and is the head of all authority, temporal as well as

spiritual. He is nothing more than a private person, without power

and without authority, till the two-horned beast or corrupted

clergy, by choosing him pope, give life unto him, and enable him

to speak and utter his decrees, and to persecute even to death as

many as refuse to submit to him and to worship him. As soon as he

is chosen pope he is clothed with the pontifical robes, and

crowned and placed upon the altar, and the cardinals come and kiss

his feet, which ceremony is called adoration. They first elect and

then they worship him, as in the medals of Martin V., where two

are represented crowning the pope, and two kneeling before him,

with this inscription, Quem creant adorant; 'Whom they create they


BEAST, and causeth, as far as he is able, all who will not

acknowledge his supremacy to be put to death." The great

ascendency which the popes have obtained over the kings of the

Latin world by means of the Romish hierarchy is sufficiently

marked in the history of Europe. As long as the great body of the

people were devoted to the Roman Catholic idolatry, it was in vain

for the kings of the different Roman Catholic countries to oppose

the increasing usurpations of the popes. They ascended, in spite

of all opposition, to the highest pinnacle of human greatness; for

even the authority of the emperors themselves was established or

annulled at their pleasure. The high sounding tone of the popes

commenced in Gregory VII., A.D. 1073, commonly known by the name

of Hildebrand, who aimed at nothing less than universal empire. He

published an anathema against all who received the investiture of

a bishopric or abbacy from the hands of a layman, as also against

those by whom the investiture should be performed. This measure

being opposed by Henry IV., emperor of Germany, the pope deposed

him from all power and dignity, regal or imperial. See Corps

Dlplomatique, tom. i. p. 53. Great numbers of German princes

siding with the pope, the emperor found himself under the

necessity of going, (in January, 1077,) to the bishop of Rome to

implore his forgiveness, which was not granted him till he had

fasted three days, standing from morning to evening barefooted,

and exposed to the inclemency of the weather! In the following

century the power of the pope was still farther increased; for on

the 23d of September, 1122, the Emperor Henry V. gave up all right

of conferring the regalia by the ceremony of the ring and crosier,

so that the chapters and communities should be at liberty to fill

up their own vacancies. In this century the election of the Roman

pontiffs was confined by Alexander III. to the college of

cardinals. In the thirteenth century the popes (Dr. Mosheim

observes) "inculcated that pernicious maxim, that the bishop of

Rome is the supreme lord of the universe, and that neither princes

nor bishops, civil governors nor ecclesiastical rulers, have any

lawful power in Church or state but what they derive from him. To

establish their authority both in civil and ecclesiastical matters

upon the firmest foundation, they assumed to themselves the power

of disposing of the various offices of the Church, whether of a

higher or more subordinate nature, and of creating bishops,

abbots, and canons, according to their fancy. The first of the

pontiffs who usurped such an extravagant extent of authority was

Innocent III., (A.D. 1198-1216,) whose example was followed by

Honorius III., (A.D. 1216,) Gregory IX., (A.D. 1227,) and several

of their successors." Thus the plenitude of the papal power (as it

is termed) was not confined to what was spiritual; the Romish

bishops "dethroned monarchs, disposed of crowns, absolved subjects

from the obedience due to their sovereigns, and laid kingdoms

under interdicts. There was not a state in Europe which had not

been disquieted by their ambition. There was not a throne which

they had not shaken, nor a prince who did not tremble at their

presence." The point of time in which the Romish bishops attained

their highest elevation of authority was about the commencement of

the fourteenth century. Boniface VIII., who was pope at this time,

outstripped all his predecessors in the high sounding tone of his

public decrees. According to his famous bull Unam Sanctam,

published Nov. 16, 1302, "the secular power is but a simple

emanation from the ecclesiastical; and the double power of the

pope, founded upon Holy Scripture, is even an article of faith.

God," said he, "has confided to Saint Peter, and to his

successors, two swords, the one spiritual, the other temporal. The

first ought to be exercised by the Church itself; and the other,

by secular powers for the service of the Church, and according to

the will of the pope. The latter, that is to say, the temporal

sword, is in subjection to the former, and the temporal authority

depends indispensably on the spiritual power which judges it,

white God alone can judge the spiritual power. Finally," he adds,

"it is necessary to salvation for every human creature to be in

subjection to the Roman pontiff." The false prophet SAID "to them

that dwell upon the earth, that they should make an image to the

beast that had the wound by a sword, and did live;" that is, the

Romish priesthood PREACHED UP the pope's supremacy over temporal

princes; and, through their astonishing influence on the minds of

the people, the bishop of Rome at last became the supreme

sovereign of the secular Latin empire, and thus was at the head of

all authority, temporal and spiritual.

The papists have in their various superstitions professed to

worship God. But they are said, in the unerring words of prophecy,

to worship the dragon, beast, and image of the beast, and to

blaspheme God; for they received as holy those commandments of

men that stand in direct opposition to the sacred Scriptures, and

which have been imposed on them by the Romish bishops, aided by

the secular powers. "God is a Spirit, and they who worship him

must worship him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH."

Verse 16. And he caused all, both small and great, rich and

poor, free and bond, to receive a mark] To ascertain the meaning

of the mark which the two-horned beast causes all orders and

degrees of men in the Latin world to receive, we need only refer

to Re 14:11, where the mark imposed by the two-horned beast is

called the mark of his name. The name of the beast is the Latin

empire: the mark of his name must therefore be his LATIN worship:

for this very reason, that it is the two-horned beast, or false

prophet, who causes all descriptions of persons to receive it. Now

it is well known that the continual employment of the Latin clergy

is to enforce the Latin idolatry upon their flocks. The mass and

offices of the Church, which are in Latin, and contain the sum and

substance of their idolatrous worship, are of different kinds, and

abound in impious prayers to the Virgin Mary, and the saints and

angels. In a word, the LATIN worship is the universal badge of

distinction of the LATIN Church, from all other Churches on the

face of the earth; and is therefore the only infallible MARK by

which a genuine papist can be distinguished from the rest of

mankind. But the two-horned beast causes all to receive this


In their right hand, or in their foreheads] Right hand in

Scripture language, when used figuratively, represents the

physical power of the person of whom it is spoken; and when

applied to God designates a signal manifestation of Divine power

against his enemies, and in behalf of his people. See

Ps 17:7; 20:6; 21:8; 45:3, 4, &c. The reception of the mark in

the right hand must therefore mean, that all so receiving it

devote the whole powers of their mind and body to the propagation

of the Latin worship, and to the eradication of all they

denominate heresies out of their Church. But some receive the mark

in their foreheads. By any thing being impressed upon the

forehead, is meant the public profession of whatever is

inscribed or marked upon it. See Re 9:4; 14:1; 22:4, &c. The mark

of the beast being received on the forehead, therefore, means that

all those so marked make a public profession of the Latin worship;

whereby it is evident to all that they form a part of the Latin

Church. Many may be marked in the right hand who are also marked

on their foreheads, but it does not follow that those marked on

their foreheads are also marked in their right hand; that is to

say, it is not every individual that complies with the Latin

worship who, to the utmost of his power, endeavours to propagate

his religious system. Hence the propriety of the words, "He

causeth all-to receive a mark in their right hand, OR in their


Verse 17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had

the mark] "If any," observes Bishop Newton, "dissent from the

stated and authorized forms; they are condemned and excommunicated

as heretics; and in consequence of that they are no longer

suffered to buy or sell; they are interdicted from traffic and

commerce, and all the benefits of civil society. So Roger Hoveden

relates of William the Conqueror, that he was so dutiful to the

pope that he would not permit any one in his power to buy or sell

any thing whom he found disobedient to the apostolic see. So the

canon of the council of Lateran, under Pope Alexander III., made

against the Waldenses and Albigenses, enjoins, upon pain of

anathema, that no man presume to entertain or cherish them in his

house or land, or exercise traffic with them. The synod of Tours,

in France, under the same pope, orders, under the like

intermination, that no man should presume to receive or assist

them, no, not so much as hold any communion with them, in selling

or buying; that, being deprived of the comfort of humanity they

may be compelled to repent of the error of their way." In the

tenth and eleventh centuries the severity against the

excommunicated was carried to so high a pitch, that nobody might

come near them, not even their own wives, children, or servants;

they forfeited all their natural legal rights and privileges, and

were excluded from all kinds of offices. The form of

excommunication in the Romish Church is to take lighted torches,

throw them upon the ground with curses and anathemas, and trample

them out under foot to the ringing of the bells. It is in this and

similar ways that the false prophet has terrified the Latin world,

and kept it in subjection to the secular and spiritual powers.

Those interdicted by the two-horned beast from all offices of

civil life are also such as have not:-

The name of the beast, or the number of his name.] See on the

following verse.

Verse 18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. ] In this verse we have the very name of the beast given under the symbol of the number 666. Before the invention of figures by the Arabs, in the tenth century, letters of the alphabet were used for numbers. The Greeks in the time of Homer, or soon after, are thought by some to have assigned to their letters a numerical value corresponding to their order in the alphabet: thus, α was 1, because the first letter; and ω 24, being the last. It is in this manner that the books of the Iliad and Odyssey are numbered, which have been thus marked by Homer himself, or by some person who lived near his time. A system of representing numbers of great antiquity was used by the Greeks, very much resembling that afterwards adopted by the Romans. This consisted in assigning to the initial letter of the name of the number a value equal to the number. Thus χ, the initial of χιλια, stood for a thousand; δ, the initial of δεκα, for ten; π, the initial of πεντε, for five, &c. Herodotus, the grammarian, is the only writer of antiquity who has noticed this system, and the chronological table of remarkable events on the Arundelian marbles the only work extant in which this method of representing numbers is exhibited. The system now in use cannot be traced to any very ancient source. What can be proved is, that it was in use before the commencement of the Christian era. Numerical letters, denoting the year of the Roman emperor's reign, exist on great numbers of the Egyptian coins, from the time of Augustus Caesar through the succeeding reigns. See Numi AEgyptii Imperatorii, a Geo. Zoega , edit. Rom. 1787. There are coins extant marked of the 2d, 3d, 14th, 30th, 35th, 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, and 42d years of Augustus Caesar, with the numerical letters preceded by L or λ for λυκαβας, year , thus: LΒ, Lγ, Lιδ, Lλ, Lλε, Lλη, Lλθ, Lμ, Lμα, and Lμβ. The following is the Greek alphabet, with the numerical value of each letter affixed, according to the generally received system:- α . . . . 1 ι . . . . 10 ρ . . . . 100 β . . . . 2 κ . . . . 20 σ . . . . 200 γ . . . . 3 λ . . . . 30 τ . . . . 300 δ . . . . 4 μ . . . . 40 υ . . . . 400 ε . . . . 5 ν . . . . 50 φ . . . . 500 ζ . . . . 7 ξ . . . . 60 χ . . . . 600 η . . . . 8 ο . . . . 70 ψ . . . . 700 θ . . . . 9 π . . . . 80 ω . . . . 800 The method just described of representing numbers or letters of the alphabet, gave rise to a practice among the ancients of representing names also by numbers. Examples of this kind abound in the writings of heathens, Jews, and Christians. Where the practice of counting the number in names or phrases began first to be used, cannot be ascertained; it is sufficient for the illustration of the passage under consideration, if it can be shown to have been in existence in the apostolic age. Seneca, who was contemporary with St. Paul, informs us, in his eighty-eighth epistle, that Apion, the grammarian, maintained Homer to have been the author of the division of his poems of the Iliad and Odyssey into forty-eight books; for a proof of which Apion produces the following argument: that the poet commenced his Iliad with the word μηνιν, that the two first letters, whose sum is 48, might indicate such division. Leonidas of Alexandria, who flourished in the reigns of Nero, Vespasian, &c., carried the practice of computing the number in words so far as to construct equinumeral distichs; that is, epigrams of four lines, whose first hexameter and pentameter contain the same number with the other two. We will only notice two examples; the first is addressed to one of the emperors, the other to Poppaea, the wife of Nero. θυεισοιτοδεγραμμαγενεθλαικαισινενωραις καισαρνειλαιημουσαλεωνιδεω καλλιοπηςγαρακαπνοναειθυοςειςδενεωτα ηνεθεληςθυσειτουδεπερισσοτερα "The muse of Leonidas of the Nile offers up to thee, O Caesar, this writing, at the time of thy nativity; for the sacrifice of Calliope is always without smoke: but in the ensuing year he will offer up, if thou wilt, better things than this." From the numerical table already given, the preceding epigram may be shown to contain equinumeral distichs, as follows: θυει 424, i.e., θ 9, υ 400, ε 5, ι 10; in all 424: σοι contains 280, i.e., σ 200, ο 70, ι 10. In like manner τοδε will be found to contain 379, γραμμα 185, γενεθλιακαισιν 404, εν 55, ωραις 1111, καισαρ 332, νειλαιη 114, μουσα 711, λεωνιδεω 1704. The sum of all these is 5699, the number in the first distich. In the second distich, καλλιοπης contains 449, γαρ 104, ακαπνον 272, αει 16, θυος 679, εις 215, δε 9, νεωτα 1156, ην 58, εθελης 267, (the subscribed iota being taken into theaccount,) θυσει 624, τουδε 779, περισσοτερα 1071. The sum of all 5699, which is precisely the same with that contained in the first distich. ουρανιονμειμημαγενεθλιακαισινενωραις τουταπονειλογενουςδεξολεωνιδεω ποππαιαδιοςευνισεβαστιαςευαδεγαρσοι δωρατακαιλεκτρωναξιακαισοφιης "O Poppaea, wife of Jupiter (Nero) Augusta, receive from Leonidas of the Nile a celestial globe on the day of thy nativity; for gifts please thee which are suited to thy imperial dignity and wisdom." In this epigram each of the distichs contains the number 6422, viz., ουρανιον 751, (i.e., ο 70, υ 400, ρ 100, α 1, ν 50, ι 10, ο 70, ν 50, the sum of which is 751,) μειμημα 144, γενεθλιακαισιν 404, εν 55, ωραις 1111, τουτ 1070, απο 151, νειλογενους 893, δεξο 139, λεωνιδεω 1704; the sum of all 6422. The numbers corresponding to the words of the second distich are, respectively, 322, 284, 465, 919, 415, 104, 280, 905, 301, 31, 1305, 72, 31, 988; the sum of which is also 6422. This poet did not restrict himself to the construction of equinumeral distichs. The following is one of his distichs in which the hexameter line is made equal in number to its corresponding pentameter:- ειςπροςεναψηφοισινισαζεταιουδυοδοιοις ουγαρετιστεργωτηνδολιχογραφιην "One line is made equal in number to one, not two to two; for I no longer approve of long epigrams." In this distich the words of the hexameter line contain, respectively, the numbers 215, 450, 56, 1548, 534, 470, 474, and 364; the sum of which is 4111. The numbers corresponding to the words of the pentameter line are, respectively, 470, 104, 315, 1408, 358, and 1456; the sum of which is also 4111. The equinumeral distichs of Leonidas are contained in the second volume of Brunck and Jacob's edition of the Greek Anthology. It appears from ancient records that some of the Greeks in the early part of the second century, if not in the apostolic age, employed themselves in counting the numbers contained in the verses of Homer to find out what two consecutive lines were ισοψηφοι or equinumeral. Aulus Gellius, the grammarian, who lived in the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, gives us an account (lib. xiv., cap. 6) of a person who presented him with a book filled with a variety of information collected from numerous sources, of which he was at liberty to avail himself in writing his Attic Nights. Among the subjects treated of in this book, we are informed by Gellius, was that of Homeric equinumeral verses. None of the examples are given by the grammarian; but Labbeus says, in his Bibl. Nov. MSS., p. 284, that the equinumeral verses are marked in the Codex 2216, in the French king's library. Gronovius, in his notes on Gellius, p. 655, has copied what he found in a MS. (No. 1488) upon this subject, viz., two examples out of the Iliad, and one in the Odyssey. The examples in the Iliad are lines 264 and 265 of book vii., each line containing 3508; and lines 306 and 307 of book xix., each containing 2848. The verses in the Odyssey (ω, 110, 111) stated to be equinumeral in the MS. cited by Gronovius have not now this property, owing possibly to some corruption that may have taken place in the lines from frequent transcription. For other examples of the computation of the number in words or phrases, the reader is referred to the Oneirocritica of Artemidorus, lib. ii. c. 75; lib. iii. c. 34: and lib. iv. c. 26. See also Martiani Minei Felicis Capelhae Africarthaginensis, De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, lib. ii. and vii.; Irenaeus adversus Haereses, lib. i., ii., and v.; Tertullian. de Praescriptionibus Haeret., tom. ii., p. 487; Wirceburgi, 1781; Sibyll. Oracul., lib. i., &c. Having thus shown that it was a practice in the apostolic age, and subsequently, to count the number in words and phrases, and even in whole verses, it will be evident that what is intended by 666 is, that the Greek name of the beast (for it was in the Greek language that Jesus Christ communicated his revelation to St. John) contains this number. Many names have been proposed from time to time as applicable to the beast, and at the same time containing 666. We will only notice one example, viz., that famous one of Irenaeus, which has been approved of by almost all commentators who have given any sort of tolerable exposition of the Revelation. The word alluded to is λατεινος, the letters of which have the following numerical values: λ 30, α 1, τ 300, ε 5, ι 10, ν 50, ο 70, ς 200; and if these be added together, the sum will be found to be equivalent to the number of the beast. This word was applied by Irenaeus, who lived in the second century, to the then existing Roman empire; "for," says he, "they are LATINS who now reign." Though it is evident, from the notes on the preceding part of this chapter, that the conjecture of Irenaeus respecting the number 666 having some way or other a reference to the empire of the Latins is well founded; yet his production of the word λατεινος, as containing 666, is not a proof that it has any such reference. Bellarmin the Jesuit objected against λατεινος being the name intended in the prophecy from its orthography; for, says he, it should be written λατινος. That the objection of the learned Jesuit has very great force is evident from every Greek writer extant, who has used the Greek word for Latinus , in all of whom it is uniformly found without the dipthong. See Hesiod, Polybius, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Strabo, Plutarch, Dio Cassius, Photius, the Byzantine historians, &c., &c. It hence follows that if the Greek word for Latinus had been intended, the number contained in λατινος, and not that in λατεινος, would have been called the number of the beast . We have already observed that the beast is the Latin kingdom or empire ; therefore, if this observation be correct, the Greek words signifying the Latin kingdom must have this number. The most concise method of expressing this among the Greeks was as follows, ηλατινηβασιλεια, which is thus numbered:- T η == 8 H E λ == 30 L α == 1 A τ == 300 T ι == 10 I ν == 50 N η == 8 β == 2 K α == 1 I σ == 200 N ι == 10 G λ == 30 D ε == 5 O ι == 10 M α == 1 --- 666 No other kingdom on earth can be found to contain 666. This is then ησοφια, the wisdom or demonstration . A beast is the symbol of a kingdom; THE beast has been proved , in the preceding part of this chapter, to be the LATIN kingdom ; and ηλατινη βασιλεια, being shown to contain, exclusively, the number 666, is the demonstration . Having demonstrated that ηλατινηβασιλεια, The Latin kingdom , is the name of the beast, we must now examine what is intended by the phrase in the 17th verse, Re 13:17 , the name of the beast, or the number of his name . Bishop Newton supposes that the name of the beast , and the number of his name , mean the same thing; but this opinion is totally irreconcilable with Re 15:2 , where St. John informs us that he "saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire, and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over the number of his name, stand upon the sea of glass, having the harps of God." In this passage it is evident that the beast, his image, and the number of his name, are perfectly distinct; and therefore no two of them can mean the same thing. Hence what is meant by the name of the beast is entirely different from that intended by the number of his name . But how can this be, when it is expressly declared that the number of the beast is 666, which number is declared to be that of his name? The solution of the whole mystery is as follows: Both beasts of the Apocalypse, we have already shown, have the same appellation; that it to say, the name of the first and second least is equally ηλατινηβασιλεια, the Latin kingdom; therefore, by the name of the beast is meant the Latin kingdom , and by the number of his name is also meant the Latin kingdom . Hence only one of the beasts is numbered; the name of that which is not numbered is termed the name of the beast , and the numbered Latin empire is denominated the number of his name , or 666, exactly agreeable to an ancient practice already noticed, of representing names by the numbers contained in them. Therefore the meaning of the whole passage is, that those whom the false prophet does not excommunicate, or put out of the pale of his Church, have the mark of the beast, that is, are genuine papists, or such as are actively or passively obedient to his Latin idolatry. Those also escape his ecclesiastical interdicts who have the name of the beast , or the number of his name . By a person having the name of the beast is evidently meant his being a Latin , i.e., in subjection to the Latin empire, and, consequently an individual of the Latin world; therefore those that have the name of the beast, or the number of his name, are those that are subjects of the Latin empire, or of the numbered Latin empire, viz., who are in subjection to the Latin empire, secular or spiritual . All that were in subjection to the secular or spiritual power were not papists in heart; hence the propriety of distinguishing those which have the mark from those which have the name of the beast or the number of his name . But which of the two beasts it is which God has numbered has been not a little contested. That it is the first beast which is numbered has been the prevailing opinion. On this side are Lord Napier, Whiston, Bishop Newton, Faber, and others. Among those that have supposed the second beast to be the one which is numbered are, Dr. Henry More, Pyle, Kershaw, Galloway, Bicheno, Dr. Hales, &c. Drs. Gill and Reader assert that both beasts have the same number, and that the name is λατεινος. Though it has been demonstrated that the name of the beast is the Latin kingdom, it is impossible from the mere name to say whether it is the Latin empire, SECULAR or SPIRITUAL; hence the necessity of determining which of the two beasts God has computed. That it is the second beast which is numbered is evident from three different passages in the Apocalypse. The first is in Re 13:17 , where it is said, "that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Here the name of the beast is mentioned before the number of his name , which is a presumptive evidence that the name of the beast refers to the first beast, and the number of his name to the second. The second passage is in Re 15:2 , where mention is made of "them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over the number of his name." That here styled the beast is evidently the secular Latin empire , for it was to this that the two-horned beast made an image; consequently there can be no doubt that the number of his name , or the numbered Latin empire , is the two-horned beast or false prophet. To feel the full force of this argument, it must be considered that the saints of God are represented as getting the victory over the beast as well as over the number of his name , which is a proof that two distinct antichristian empires are here spoken of, for otherwise it would be tautology. That the two-horned beast is the one which is numbered, is farther evident from a comparison of this passage with Re 19:20 . In the latter passage the words are: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image." Here nothing is said of the number of his name , which is so particularly mentioned in Re 15:2 , and in that chapter nothing is mentioned of the false prophet , the reason of which can only be, that what is termed in one passage the number of his name , is in its parallel one called the false prophet . Hence the two-horned beast, or false prophet, is also designated by the phrase the number of his name ; and consequently it is this beast which is numbered. But what adds the last degree of certainty to this argument is the passage in Re 13:18 : "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath a mind count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is six hundred threescore and six." Here is the solution of this mystery: let him that hath a mind for investigations of this kind, find out a kingdom which contains precisely the number 666, for this must be infallibly the name of the beast. ηλατινηβασιλεια, THE LATIN KINGDOM , has exclusively this number. But both beasts are called by this name; which is, therefore, the one that is numbered? It is said the number of the beast is the number of a man ; consequently the numbered beast must be A MAN, that is, it must be represented elsewhere in the Revelation under this emblem, for in no other sense can an empire be denominated a man . Therefore, it is not the ten-horned beast, for this is uniformly styled The Beast in every part of the Apocalypse where there has been occasion to mention this power. It can therefore be no other than the two-horned beast, or Romish hierarchy; which, on account of its preaching to the world its most antichristian system of doctrines, and calling it Christianity, is likewise named in Re 16:13; 19:20 ; and Re 20:10 , THE FALSE PROPHET. JOHN EDWARD CLARK.
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