תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

and silver vessels of the Temple at Jerusalem, brought to Rome by Titus. She was deprived of her consular power, the authority of her senate and other magistrates, and literally fulfilled the declaration of holy writ, “How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people? How has she become as a widow, she who was among the nations and princess among the provinces ? How has she become tributary.(Lament. 1. Ist.) Valentinian was murdered by Maximus, which brought about the capture and pillage of Rome by Gensericus, who being invited by Eudoxia (widow of Valentinian, and descendant of the great Theodosius) from Carthage, to her aid, he gave up the city to pillage 14 days. He then returned to Carthage, taking Eudoxia and her two daughters prisoners, (first stripping her of her jewels) and the plunder of the capitol. Among other sacrilegious plunder, he carried off (besides the golden and silver vessels of the Temple at Jerusalem) the golden Table for the shewbread, and the golden Candlestic with seven branches, and the silver Trumpet, originally framed according to the particular instructions of God himself, and which were placed in the sanctuary of his holy Temple, and which had been lodged by Titus in the Temple of peace at Rome, after being carried in the procession, to grace the triumph of the conqueror. Thus at the end of 400 years, the spoils of Jerusalem were transferred from Rome to Carthage by a barbarian, who derived his origin from the shores of the Baltic. “ To see these sacred articlesgiven up by that God whoordered them to be made according to a pattern exhi. bited by himself, gracing the triumph of Titus a Heathen emperor, and at last consecrated to an Idol, affords me. lancholy reflections to a pious mind. But these things had accomplished the end for which they were instituted,

Was

and were now of no further use. The divine person. age typified by all this ancient apparatus had appeared in our world. The true light was come, and the Holy Spi. rit poured out from on high, and therefore the golden Candlestic, by which they were typified, was given up : the ever enduring bread had been sent from Heaven, and therefore the golden Table, which bore its representative, the shewbread, was now no longer needful. The joyful sound of the everlasting Gospel was published in the world, and therefore the silver Trumpets, that were types of it, were carried into captivity, and their sound was no more to be heard. Strange Providence! but un. utterable mercy of God! The Jews lost both the sign and the thing signified. And that very people who destroyed the holy city, carried away the spoils of the Temple of the living God, and dedicated them to the objects of their Idolatry, were the first in the universe to receive the preaching of the Gospel, the light of Salvation, and the Bread of Life. There is a sort of coincidence of as. sociation here, which is worthy of the most serious consideration.”

The empire soon after devolved on Augustulus, who was conquered by Odoacer, king of the Heruli, in the year 476 or 479. Augustulus was a weak prince, and no way remarkable for any worthy act. With him the ancient hierarchy of Rome ended, and the government passed to the Barbarians. Odoacer indeed refused to consider himself king of Rome, although he actual. ly exercised the power for about 16 years; but about 492 Theodoricus, king of the Ostrogoths, conquered and slew Odoacer, and with the approbation and consent of Zeno, the emperor of the east, possessed himself of the

na

kingdom. After whom, the succession continued in the line of the Barbarians.*

Augustulus was the son of the Patrician Orestes, by the daughter of Count Romulus of Petovio. His real name was Romulus Augustus, but by the Latins was changed into the contemptible epithet of Augustulus. Thus were the names of the great founders of the city and monarchy strongly united in this last of their successors. “ He thus gave the deadly blow to the western empire. The last emperor of the west would be the least entitled, of all his immediate predecessors, to the notice of posterity, if his reign, which was marked by the extinction of the Roman empire in the west did not leave a memorable æra in the history of mankind.

About this period also, was the empire divided into ten kingdoms, governments, or principalities. This is an important fact throughout the Revelations. According to the best historians, the Huns erected their kingdom in part of Panonia and Dacia, now Hungary, about the year 365. The Visigoths settled in the south of France and in Catalonia, about the year 378. The Burgundians came out of Germany, into that part of Gaul, since called from them Burgundy, about the year 407. The Vandals settled in Spain, and afterwards set up their kingdom in Africa, about the same time. The Ostrogoths settled in the country about Rhætia, and the Greeks established a kingdom in their neighbourhood, so that together they possessed all the country between Rhætia and Mæsia as far as Thrace, and came into Italy under Alaricus about the year 410. The Franks seized upon

* Sigonius de Imperis Occidentater, Lib. 15, Anno 479 to 500. on 6 Gibb. 228-229.

Pp

da

part of Germany and Gaul about the year 420. The Suevians and Alanes settled in Gascoigne and Spain, from whence they invaded Italy, in 457. The Saxons made themselves masters of Britain about 476, and lastly, the Heruli and Thuringi settled in Italy under Odoacer, between 476 and 480. Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, having conquered Odoacer, gave a mortal blow to the western empire and erected the kingdom of the Ostrogoths in Italy. So that by the year 500, the beast, with seven heads and ten horns, was in complete existence, as will hereafter be shewn, and those ten kingdoms were chiefly formed by Barbarians, who had inva. ded the empire, and voluntarily became subject to the Bishop of Rome, as their ecclesiastical head. This was agreeable to the prophecies, both of Daniel and John, and tends to fix with tolerable precision, the beginning of the prophesying of the witnesses.

Bishop Newton says, “ that Machiavel (little thinking of what he was doing) has given us the names of the ten kingdoms into which the former Roman empire was divided, though a little different from the above statement _" 1st, the Ostrogoths in Mæsia-2d, the Visigoths in Panonia_3d, the Suevians and Alanes in Gascoigne and Spain-4th, the Vandals in Africa—5th, the Franks in France-6th, the Burgundians in Burgundy—7th, the He. ruli and Thuringi in Italy—8th, the Saxons and Angles in Britain—9th, the Huns in Hungary—10th, the Lom, bards, first upon the Danube and afterwards in Italy.”

Three of these kingdoms were afterwards seized or overcome by the Pope of Rome, or rather in the words of Daniel, were humbled, agreeably to his prophesy. 1st, that of the Greeks, whose emperor Leo Isaurus, the Pope excommunicated and discharged his subjects from

their allegiance to him, in the general relating to the set. ting up images in the churches. 2d, the Longobards, who succeeded the Ostrogoths, whose kingdom the Pope, with the aid of the Franks, caused to be entirely ruined ; and in the end obtained from them the Exarchate of Ravenna, for the patrimony of St. Peter. 3d, the last was the kingdom of the Franks, continued in the empire of Germany, whose emperors, from Henry the fourth, he excommunicated, deposed and trampled under his feet, and obliged them to give up their interest in the election of Popes and investitures of Bishops, as well as their jurisdictions in Italy.

Here it is not unworthy of being remarked, that du. ring this period, that is, between 450 and 500, the Bish. ops of Rome, assumed the Pagan title of Pontifex Maximus, which had always before this, been appropriated in a special manner to the Roman emperor ; it was there. fore at this period, (the destruction of the emperors of Rome) and in virtue of being Pontifex Maximus, in their stead, that the Roman Pontiff assumed the title of universal Bishop and the power of the Dragon, and his seat and great authority ; “and although one of the heads of the dragon was, as it were, wounded to death, yet by this means his deadly wound was apparently healed, and all the world, from this time, wondered after the beast, and there was given unto him a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies : and power was given unto him to continue 42 months" or 1260 days. He is sup. posed, therefore, to have been “ the man of sin, who was to be revealed, (in the Christian Church) the son of perdition, who was to oppose and exalt himself above all that was called God, (among the Pagans) or that is worshipped (by them); so that he, as God, șitteth in the

d

« הקודםהמשך »