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From this comparison, it must appear, that the beast of the Apocalypse (including the second beast, the false prophet, who is cotemporary with him, exercises his power, and exalts him to universal worship) bears striking resemblance to the beasts of Daniel; to all four of them in some respects; but more especially to the fourth; which, like the beast of the Apocalypse, has the same period of continuance allotted to him, at the end of which he is to be destroyed in lịke manner; and the destruction of both is followed by the establishment of the Messiah's reign. It will further appear, by a similar comparison, that the visions of the apocalyptic beast, and of this of the prophet Daniel, have a nearer resemblance to each other than the two famous visions of Daniel (of the beasts and of the image), yet these two visions of Daniel, on very satisfactory grounds, and by report of the best ancient and modern commentators, are supposed to represent the same history.

The three first beasts of Daniel resemble those which appear to have been most formidable to the ancient world; the lion, the bear, the leopard ; and which are enumerated as such by Hosea, (ch. xiii. 7, 8.); but the fourth beast is a non-descript. He was diverse from the other beast; exceedingly terrible; had iron teeth, and ten horns; and among the ten, one more dreadful than the rest, which sprang up after them. The beast of the Apocalypse is described as possessing the most terrible parts and properties of all the beasts of Daniel. He is in his general shape like a leopard; uniting uncommon agility with ferocious strength ; he has the mouth of the lion, (Psalm xxii. 13; 2 Tim. iv. 17.); the paw of the bear, (1 Sam. xvii. 34, 37.) But his resemblance is much nearer to the fourth beast, whose more dreadful power he seems to possess. He has his ten horns, his ten kings, or kingdoms. He has the “ mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies,” which is seen upon the little additional horn of the fourth beast of Daniel. To which little horn, the second beast of the Apocalypse, (intimately connected with the first, rising up after him to exercise his power, and to increase his dominion) will be found to bear strong resemblance, when we proceed to consider them together, and to apply St. Paul's comment to them both. This will be done in the succeeding section, where the second beast becomes the object of more particular attention. It is enough at present to observe, that this resemblance will be shown. But sufficient evidence appears, already, to enable us to conclude, that since the beasts of Daniel, and especially the fourth, bear strong resemblance to the beast of the Apocalypse ; their time of continuance being the same, as also their office (“ to make war upon the saints, and to overcome them"); their destruction by fire, preceding and making way for the reign of the Messiah and his saints ;—the interpretation of one will lead us nearly to that of the other. Now the four beasts of Daniel appear by divine interpretation, (Dan. vii. 17, 23.) to be four successive empires, established in worldly power, administered with tyranny and oppression, and hostile to true religion. And the fourth empire is the most cruel, and the most oppressive to the saints; principally by producing “the little horn,” a power of an extraordinary nature, diverse from the rest; which, from a slender beginning, usurping the power of all the preceding empires, converts it to the establishment of a blasphemous religion, and of persecution for righteousness' sake.

| See particulars in Bp. Newton's Diss. on Prophecy, vol. i. 454. 8vo. Kett on Prophecy, vol. i. p. 320, &c. 4th ed.

Commentators seem generally agreed, that the fourth beast of the prophet Daniel represents the Roman empire. This beast continued till the times of the Messiah ; and was the basis on which the ten horns, or kingdoms, into which the Roman power was afterwards divided, had their foundation. The same horns appear upon the apocalyptical beast; denoting that he belongs to the same period, and indeed that he is the same. The difference which may be found in the description of the two beasts, first by Daniel, secondly by St. John, may perhaps be fully accounted for, in the three following circumstances : 1. That the description of Daniel was

1 See the arguments which are weighty, and the authorities which are of the first antiquity, clearly stated by Bishop Newton. (Dissert. on Proph. vol. i. p. 451, &c. 8vo. edit.) Archbishop Secker, who, with his usual accuracy and diligence, had studied this prophecy, as expounded by Joseph Mede to signify the Roman empire, exclaimed with his author, “Tantum non articulus fidei!” Wintle on Daniel, notes, p. 35. Mede's Works,

p.

736,

to be accommodated in such a manner as to take in the type contained in his prophecy, which is supposed to be fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes; while that of St. John (the type having been fulfilled before his times) had to look only to the latter days, to the later accomplishment. 2. That the beast of the Apocalypse, though most like the fourth beast of Daniel, is of a more general universal character, bearing some resemblance also to the three preceding beasts. 3. That St. John's prophecy, being the latest, must be expected (according to the general tenor of scriptural prophecy) to afford a nearer and more exact view of the objects described, by revealing intelligence not communicated before. It is sufficient at present, before we have examined more particulars, and the additional beast united with him, to observe, that this first beast of the Apocalypse appears to be that worldly tyrannical domination, which, for many ages, even from the times of the Babylonish captivity, (for then the first beast of Daniel begins to oppress and to persecute the righteous “ for righteousness' sake,” Matth. v. 10,) had been hostile to the Church; but more especially under the fourth beast of Daniel, the Roman usurpation, which, prior to the accession of Constantine, had afflicted the saints with many bloody persecutions. Now, under this beast of the Apocalypse, (including his false prophet or minister,) we seem to behold that same oppressive and persecuting power renewed, and continued for ages, with some variety of exhibition; even through the long period of 1260 years, after the Roman empire had become divided into its ten horns, or kingdoms.

Ver. 2. And the dragon gave him his power, &c.] The dominion exercised by this beast is unjust, tyrannical, oppressive, diabolical. It is not a power

legally administered, for the good of the subject; for such « power is ordained of God ;” the magistrate duly exercising such a power, is pronounced to be “a minister of good, bearing not the sword in vain,” (Rom. xiii. 1-4; 1 Tim. ii. 2, 3.) The Christian religion gives a heavenly sanction to such lenient and beneficial power: but the authority of the beast is founded on another sanction; on that of the dragon or Satan, who converts legal government into arbitrary oppression. When the legislative and executive powers act from the impulse of worldly and diabolical passions, this dire usurpation and tyranny will appear. But it is the blessed work of Christianity, by introducing other motives of government, to repress these enormities, and finally, by the intervention of heavenly aid, to extirpate them. Yet, during the long period of 1260 years, not yet ended, the power of the beast becomes more ferocious and destructive, by receiving the apparent sanctions of religion, as the world has experienced under the Papal and Mahometan superstitions.

Ver. 3. And one of his heads, as having been wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed.] The beast, like the dragon, from whom he receives his power, has seven heads; which are explained to be so many mountains, or strong holds, the seats and supports of his oppressive dominion. The dragon, and they who held the reins of worldly power under him, had many such. Such had been ancient Babylon; such was Rome, spiritually called Babylon, (1 Pet. v. 13.) One of these heads, or chief supports of tyrannical power, had received a mortal wound; and yet, to the surprise of the world, and the exultation of the wicked, the beast survives the blow.

1 See note, ch. viii. 9,

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