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Italy, in 493, he made Ravenna the capital of his kingdom. But did this constitute it a kingdom? In the reign of Justinian, emperor of Constantinople, Belisarius and Narses, his generals, overturned the kingdom of the Ostrogoths in Italy; and Narses was constituted governor of Italy, with the title of duke. He made Ravenna his capital; and it became an exarchate. But could this constitute it a kingdom, a horn of the Ro. man beast? And with no more propriety could the city of Rome, with her "senate, people, and neighbor. hood,” be represented as one of those kingdoms. When Theodoric established Ravenna as his capital, he suffered Rome to retain under him some appearance of her former government. But still it was in fact but one city in his kingdom; and that inferior to his capital. And under the succeeding dukedom of Narses, Rome was stripped of every appearance of her ancient form of government, and reduced to a mere duchy; and this long before it fell under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. Rome was besieged and taken five times in twenty years; and was reduced to a miserable condi. tion. A sorry kingdom indeed, to be supposed one of Daniel's ten Roman horns, and one of the three which fell before the Papal hierarchy! But even supposing these, (viz. Ravenna, and Rome with its neighborhood) to be two of the three horns, where shall we find the third? We must leave Italy. And where else did the Pope obtain civil jurisdiction? Some have tried to find one of these three horns in Germany. But surely the Pope had no civil kingdom there. It is true we find there were in Germany spiritual princes with civil jurisdiction. Some time after Pepin gave to the Pope the exarchate of Ravenna, and constituted him a civil prince in some of the Italian states, Charlemagne, Pepin's son and successor, endowed some of the bishops in Germany with temporal dominions, and annexed to their bishopricks the civil jurisdiction of their dioceses. These ecclesiastico-civil princes obtained the enlarge. ment of their civil dominions, till some of them cane to rank with the highest sovereign princes, were even electors, and not inferior to kings. But these sove
reignties were not under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. So fully disconnected were their civil jurisdictions from his, that Dr. Lowman imagined, (though I think incorrectly) that those German establishments collectively constituted the second beast in Rev. xiii; while the Romish hierarchy constituted the first.* These sovereign ecclesiastics in Germany constituted but a minority of the German empire. How then could Germany be one of these three kingdoms, which fell before the Pope? The long contentions between the Popes and the German emperors concerning the right of investitures, were far from indicating, that Germany had been plucked up by the Papal horn, in point of civil jurisdiction. But even if Germany had been under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope, it would fail of answering to the prediction in Daniel concerning any one of the three horns. For the primitive Germany never belonged to the ancient Roman empire. The ancient Germans, a fierce warlike people, though they trembled at the Cæsars, and lost bloody battles with the Romans, were never subdued by the Roman arms. Charlemagne was the first, who subdued them, in the beginning of the ninth century. Surely then Germany could not be one of those three horns.
A late celebrated writer on the prophecies, feeling the difficulties attending the old schemes of exposition upon this point, gives a new one of the following tenor. The first kingdom, he tells us, to be plucked up, was that of Odoacer, king of the Heruli, who took Italy in 476, put an end to the western Roman empire, and caused himself to be proclaimed king of Italy. But his kingdom was plucked up in 493, by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, when he established his Gothic kingdom in Italy, which I before noted. This latter was plucked up by Belisarius and Narses, generals of the eastern emperor, by the aid of the Lombards, who were auxiliaries under them. Italy now, after being thus twice plucked up, (not by the Pope indeed, nor in his presence; for he was not yet in existence!) was
*Lowman on Rev. p. 139.
made a province of the eastern emperor, under the dukedom of Narses. Italy now not being an independent kingdom, its next revolution was not to be reckoned. This next, which was not to be reckoned, took place sometime after, by the invasion of the Lombards, who under Alboin set up a kingdom in Italy, about the year 568. In 752 they under Aistulphus, took Ravenna; and threatened Rome: upon which the Pope applied to Pepin, king of France, for protection. Pepin came with an army; subdued the Lombards; and gave the exarchate of Ravenna, as the patrimony of St. Peter, to the Pope. This was the third kingdom plucked up before the Pope. Here is the plucking up of the three kingdoms before the Papal horn. But I think not less difficulties attend this scheme, than those, which attend the others.
First: These three kingdoms are in fact but one and the same nation, Italy. If one nation, by successive revolutions, may make the three horns, why not by ten revolutions, make the ten horns? Perhaps there have been revolutions enough in Italy to amount to the ten horns! This would prevent the necessity of looking abroad from Italy to find the ten horns of the Roman beast: We should have only to ascertain ten revolutions there.
Secondly: But a small part of this threefold kingdom of Italy fell under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. The exarchate of Ravenna, and in after days some other provinces did in this sense fall before him. But with what propriety could that part of the Lombardic kingdom which fell into the Papal hands be reckoned even one, and much less the three of those kingdoms so long foretold by Daniel?
Thirdly: The above scheme as really makes four horns falling before the Papal horn, as three. The revolution under Belisarius and Narses, was as real and great, as any of the others. And a vast dukedom under a great empire may as properly constitute a horn, as a short lived, barbarian kingdom, which embraces only the same territory.
Fourthly: The prophecy says of the Papal horn, And he shall subdue three kings.* But according to the scheme of this author, the Popes subdued but a part of one kingdom; and not that neither! for the king of France subdued it for him. And with the preceding conquests of Italy, the Papal horn had nothing to do: For they took place long before his existence! Upon this scheme it appears, that instead of the Pope's subduing three kingdoms, he never subdued one. And if those successive revolutions in Italy, which preceded the rise of the Papal horn, were to be noted in ancient prophecy, as kingdoms subdued by the Pope, why should not all the revolutions in Italy from the days of Romulus be thus noted?
The above scheme appears to me untenable; as do indeed all the schemes I have ever seen upon the subject. And I cannot but apprehend, that the lameness which appears to attend the old expositions on this subject, affords a strong argument, that the old scheme relative to the ten horns of the old Roman beast, is incorrect.
To find the fulfilment of the three horns falling before the Papal horn, I think we must find three great sections of the primitive Roman empire falling peculiarly under the fatal delusion of the Papal imposture. This fatal influence, appropriate to Popery, is something, in which the Papal power is indeed diverse from all other powers, which had been noted in prophecy. And another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first; and he shall subdue three kings.* This diverse characteristic seems to have been overlooked. If his subduing three kings mean his obtaining civil jurisdiction over them, then he was not in this respect diverse from other civil powers. But the Papal characteristic being diverse, is a circumstance which seems to indicate, that the influence, with which he subdues three kings, is of a kind diverse from civil government: It must mean, his filling them with his own characteristic influence, Popery. And do we not find this thing fulfilsled? Behold Italy, France, and Spain, which were
*Dan. vii, 24.
indeed horns of the empire of the ancient Cæsars, the chief theatre of Papal delusion; and eventually plucked up by the roots by the consequences of that wicked system! This is an event interesting to the Church; and might be expected to have been a subject of ancient prophecy, when the Papal imposture was predicted. But the old view of the subject appears to be on too. small a scale; and the events scarcely interesting to the Church at all. By Italy, France, and Spain, I mean all that was formerly included in them: Italy containing all that country south of the Alps: France, the ancient transalpine Gaul, including all the old Roman dominions between the Alps and the Pyrenees, the Helvetii, or Switzerland, and a considerable part of the modern German empire:* and Spain including all west and south of the Pyrenees. For the ancient kingdoms of Spain, and Lusitania, or Portugal, were but one horn of the ancient Roman empire. Britain, though it was under the empire of the Cæsars; and though it was in the dark ages much perverted with Papal delusion for centuries, yet considering its early renunciation of that pestilent error, its different lot at the end of the scene, and its being reserved as a cradle of the church of Christ, it would not be represented as plucked up by the roots, or subdued by the Papal horn. The evils of Popery were to be of so much longer duration, and its events so much more fatal in Italy, France, and Spain, that it appears rational that they should be thus designated in that ancient prophecy concerning the Papal de lusion, as the principal theatre, among the horns of the ancient beast, of its fatal operations. The other nations, which constituted the other seven horns of the beast, were not so conspicuously to be the theatre of Papal delusion and ruin. And we accordingly find they were not. The horis in Africa, Asia, and even Greece, escaped this deadly influence. Ancient Germany, and the more northern nations of Prussia, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden, though they were long enveloped in Papal delusion, and share in the judgments of Papal na.
*See Guthrie's Geog. p. 452.