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of the evil power of empires, kingdoms, states, or repub. lics, yet He who rules over all, will, in the end, destroy all these powers, and himself reign King of kings and Lord over all. “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and cut her flesh, and burn her with fire."
This text has been literally accomplished within a few years; and those kingdoms which were of the ten, king. doms which first gave power to the beast, have of late persecuted and destroyed her, who is the abomination of the whole earth. Witness the transactions of Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Naples, and Tuscany, the Seven Kingdoms which were not plucked up by the little horn; each of these nations have in their turn resisted the power and pretensions of the Pope of Rome, until his civil authority is reduced to a cipher in all these kingdoms. “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Then must the Papal beast, the image of Paganism, be numbered and finished, and like a weighty mill-stone sunk in the deep, he must with the Pagan beast sink forever and ever.
Thus we see the two beasts, although supported by the same power, “the great red dragon or Roman kingdom," exercising the same authority over the bodies and souls of men, partaking of the same spirit of Satan, made like each other, one being but an image of the other, having the same names of blasphemy on their heads, and both having, at the close of their times, the same ten horns, and both have, and are to have, their civil power destroyed by the same ten horns. Yet we see them kept separate and distinct. Pagan Rome must reign his time, and then the ten horns, or kings, would take away the “ daily sacrifice abomination," and place in his stead the abomination that maketh desolate.” The last abomination was numbered in the same chapter where our text is found, « forty and two months.” And why not give us the number of the first beast? He has: “Let him that hath understanding count the number of
the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his num. ber is six hundred threescore and six." This brings us to our next proposition.
III. To show what we may understand by the num bering of the beast. And,
Ist. What may we understand by numbering any thing of this kind in Scripture? For the Scripture must be our guide, as we have before said.
I answer, It is to count, to finish, or to destroy, when used in a figurative sense, or in prophetic Scripture, as in Isa. xxii. 10, “ And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.” They were accused by the prophet of destroying houses, by numbering them or counting them for destruction. Also see Isa. lxv. 12, “ Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter." Here again it is used in the same sense: I will reckon or count you to the sword. Again, Dan. v. 25, 26, “ And this is the hand-writing that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE, God hath numbered thy kingdom and hath finished it.”
As, therefore, the idolatrous and blasphemous king. dom of Babylon was numbered and finished by God, whose decree was conveyed by the hand-writing on the wall to the knowledge of Daniel and others, so was John commanded, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to write in this last book of prophecy, the MENE, TEKEL, of this last idolatrous Pagan beast. “Here is wisdom.” Let a wise Daniel, or him that hath the wisdom of God like a Daniel, or “ let him that hath understanding ” in the word of God, or him that will compare scripture with scripture, “count the number of the beast," or the number of his name.
Let us inquire what is the name of this beast. His name is blasphemy, because he causes all, both high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, to worship stocks and stones, idols of gold, and silver, and wood, that can neither see, hcar, nor talk. See the 1st verse of our context, " and upon his head the name of blaspheiny," which teaches us what the name of this beast is, and shows us
that we are to count, or reckon, how long before the blasphemies of this pagan power will be finished; “ for it is the number of a man." And what, you may inquire, is the number of a man? I answer again, We must apply to God's word “the number of a man.”
Moses says, Exodus xxiii. 26, “ The number of thy days I will fulfil.” Job, speaking of man, says, xiv. 5, “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months is with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.” David says, Ps. xc. 12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Therefore, we may reasonably conclude that the “ number of a man" is the number of his days; and the Scriptures often speak of man in connection with his time of sojourn on the earth, calling it days; as, “ few and evil have been the days of my pilgrimage ;” “ died, being old and full of days ;'" “ length of drys is in her right hand;" “ all the days of thy life ;” “I will wait all the days of my appointed time until my change come.” If this is the understanding of this part of our text, which I cannot see any reason to doubt, then our text has this plain meaning. Here is need of spiritual wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of his days; for his days are numbered as a man's; they are six hundred threescore and six. This power (Rome Pagan) would be taken away when his six hundred and sixty-six prophetic days should end ; and this brings us to show when those days began, and of course when they ended.
They must have begun when the Jewish rites and ceremonies were in being; for this was the sole object of Paganism, to counteract the Jewish rituals and draw the Jewish worshippers into idolatry, and to blend the heathen rites with theirs. They must have begun before Christ was born, for the great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns was to stand before the woman, (the Jewish Church,) ready to devour the man child as soon as it was born. They could not have begun before they became connected with the Jews, for the reason that no nation is prophesied of, or noticed in the prophecies, except they are somehow connected with the
people of God; and for the very reason that this beast was to tread down the Jews, and finally, by cunning, deceit, and intrigue, destroy the city and nation of the Jews, then I think the fairest conclusion is, that when they became connected with the Jews by league, and when they had conquered Daniel's third kingdom, the Grecian. Then, and not until then, had the Romans any part in this prophecy. This agrees with the angel's statement, Dan. xi. 2:3, “ After the league made with him, (that is, Romans,) he shall work deceitfully, and become strong with a small (republican) people.” This league was made between the Romans and the Jews, ratified and carried into effect when the Greeks ainder Bachides left besieging Jerusalem, upon the command of the Romans, and, as Josephus and Maccabees tell us, never returned to trouble them (the Jews) any more. This league, then, took effect when the third kingdom in Daniel's vision ceased harassing the Jews, and the fourth king. dom began its rule over the Jews and the world. This was in the year B. C. 158. Let those who wish to be satisfied of the correctness of the foregoing statements read the 8th and 9th chapters of the 1st Maccabees, and Josephus, B. XII. chapter x. sec. 6, of his Antiquities. Then, if this be correct, that Pagan Rome began his power in the year B. C. 158, and was to continue 666 years, when would Paganism fall in the Roman kingdom, and the “ daily sacrifice abomination” be taken out of the way to make room for the abomination of desolation ? I answer, Take 158 from 666 and you will have 508. Then in the year A. D. 508 Paganism ceased.
What is the history of that time? I answer, that about the year A. D. 476 the Western Empire of Rome crumbled to pieces, and the Pagan nations of the north, crossing the Rhine and the Danube, established ten kingdoms in what was considered the Western Empire. France was the principal kingdom of the ten. These kingdoms were all governed by Pagan kings; and history informs us that in the city of Rome and other places in the empire these Pagan conquerors sacrificed men, women, and children to their supposed deities; and that in the year 496 Clovis king of France was converted
and baptized into the Christian faith; and that the remainder of these kings embraced the religion of Christ shortly after, the last of which was Christianized in the year 508, and of course Paganism ceased, having lost its head by the power of the sword, or kings who wield the sword. Here, then, was the accomplishment of two important prophecies — the daily sacrifice abomination taken out of the way, and the Pagan beast receiving its deadly wound by a sword; since which time we have no account of any Pagan rites or sacrifices being offered within the bounds of ancient Rome. How exactly has the word of God been accomplished! How just and true are all the ways of the God of heaven! And how blind are mortals that they cannot see their own destiny in the rise and fall of others! I am astonished sometimes when I reflect on the simple truths of the word of God, the exact fulfilment of the prophecies, that more do not believe, repent, and turn to God.