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seven mountains, and to have dominion over the kings of the earth; there being no other city than Rome which, in the time of St. John, had dominion over the kings of the earth, and that Rome was built upon seven hills is famous. Thus much Bellarmine acknowledgeth, constrained by the force of truth, and for another small reason, namely, because St. Peter writes his first epistle from Babylon; by which, if Rome be not meant, they have no proof from scripture that St. Peter was ever there.
Indeed, they of the church of Rome would have it to be only Rome pagan; but that cannot be, because this beast, after his last head was wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed, had power given him to continue two and forty months, or as it is elsewhere expressed, 1260 days, that is, in the prophetic style, so many years; and likewise, because it was not to begin till the ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire upon its dissolution was divided, were set up, which was not till after the western empire was overthrown and destroyed by the Goths and Vandals. And lastly, because this is that Rome, or Babylon, which should finally be destroyed, and cast as a millstone into the bottom of the sea, never to rise again, which is yet to come. And of this beast it is said, that he should make war with the saints, and overcome them, chap. xiii. 7,-that is, that he should raise
a long and great persecution against them, which should try their faith and patience. Ver. 10. "Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." The beast, then, with ten horns, must be Rome governing the ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was broken; and this can be nothing else but Rome papal, to which the ten kings are said to give their power, and to which they were, in a most servile manner, subject for several ages, as is plain from history.
And, to confirm this, it is very observable that the ancient fathers generally agree, that that which hindered the revealing of the wicked one, (spoken of by St. Paul, 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8,) was the Roman empire, and that being removed, the man of sin, or antichrist, was to succeed in its room. I shall produce a few testimonies to this purpose, but very remarkable ones. Tertullian, expounding what St. Paul means by him that withholdeth or letteth, hath these words: Quis nisi Romanus status, &c. Who is that but the Roman state, which, being broken into ten kings, shall bring on antichrist, and then the wicked one shall be revealed? And, in his Apology, he gives this reason why the christians should pray for the Roman emperors, and the whole state of the empire, because the greatest mischief hanging over the world is hindered by the continuance of it. St. Chrysostom, speaking of that which hinders the revelation of the man of sin, "This,"
says he, " can be no other than the Roman empire; for, as long as that stands, he dares not show himself; but, upon the vacancy or ceasing of that, he shall assume to himself both the power of God and man." St. Austin, in his Book de Civit. Dei, "No man," says he, "doubts but that the successor to the Roman emperor, in Rome, shall be the man of sin, and we know who hath succeeded him."*
But now, after this, another beast is represented coming out of the earth, not succeeding in the place of the first beast, but appearing during his continuance, ver. 12; and he hath these remarkable characters by which he may be known:†
1. He is said to have but two horns, by which, according to the interpretation of the ten horns, signifying the ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire after its dissolution should be divided, we are, in all reason, to understand two of those kingdoms, of which this beast, whoever he be, shall be possessed.+
2. He is said to be like a lamb, but to speak like a dragon; that is, to pretend and make a show of great lenity and mildness in his proceed
* The pope.
This description of the beast, as well as that of the little horn, in Daniel, appear to agree in pointing out Napoleon.
As emperor of the French and king of Italy.
ings, but that really, he shall be very cruel. It shall be pretended that he does all without violence, and without arms, but he shall speak as a dragon; that is, in truth, shall exercise great force and cruelty: either alluding to the cruelty of the dragon, literally so called, or, perhaps, prophetically pointing at a particular sort of armed soldiers called by that name of dragons, or as we, according to the French pronunciation, call them dragoons.*
3. He shall arise during the continuance of the first beast, and engage in his cause; but the first beast shall only stand by, and look on. Ver. 12. "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth, and them that dwell therein, to worship the beast whose deadly wound was healed;" plainly declaring that this persecution should not immediately arise from the first beast, which is said to come out of the sea, which in this prophecy denotes the state ecclesiastical, but from the second beast, which comes out of the earth, and denotes the temporal power; but yet, all this ought to be acted in the sight of the first beast, and in his behalf, to compel men to worship him.†
As the dragon is represented clothed in mail, so Napoleon again caused his soldiery to be provided with armour, after it had been generally discarded from warfare for upwards of a century.
So did the pope stand by, and look on, whilst
4. That he shall be remarkable for causing fire to come down from heaven to earth, in a wonderful manner, to the great terror and amazement of men. Ver. 13. "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire to come down from heaven on the earth, in the sight of men.'
5. That he should interdict all those who would not worship the beast all commerce with human society, the exercise of civil trades and professions. Ver. 17. " And he causeth that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark of the beast."+
Napoleon exercised authority, both ecclesiastical and temporal, in his name.
*The Indians, even to this day, who are unacquainted with European warfare, look on the discharges of artillery as fire descending from heaven; the throwing of shells is a still nearer representation of it: if such is allowed, surely the dreadful and unprecedented train of artillery which Napoleon always brought with him into the field, the first discharge from which, both mortars and field-pieces, on the centre of his opponent's . army, prior to his charge, en masse, was such as to make it appear from the shells, that the heavens were in a blaze, and, from the roar of the artillery, that the thunders had broke loose, may make him appear to realise this characteristic: his artillery, in the Russian campaign, amounted to 1260 pieces.
† Here again we find him marked out by his interdicting commerce amongst neutral nations in a way