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as well as the form of defining it. The Jewish month bore no fixed, uniform, or positive relation to a year, which sometimes consisted of twelve, and sometimes of thirteen months. Previous to the giving of the law, the month consisted solely of thirty days, five months being equivalent to 150 days, Gen. vii. 11; viii. 4. But, after the institution of their ritual observances, their months consisted alternately of thirty and twenty-nine days. To appeal to the familiar authority of Cruden, “ that which had thirty days was called a full or complete month ; and that which had but twenty-nine days was called incomplete or deficient.” A single full and complete month, or the period that was marked by the name of one month, consisted of thirty days. Every third year contained an additional month, or thirty days;* and when, instead of a single month, several were included, some of them were necessarily “ incomplete or deficient.” Forty-two months (including twenty-two full and twenty incomplete months) thus amounted to 1240 days, prophetically years.
Rome, according to Varro, was founded in the year before Christ 753. But Fabius Pictor dates its foundation five years later, or in the year before Christ 748. The power of the Roman emperor continued in Rome till the 493d year of the Chris
After the dethronement of Augustulus, Zeno reigned as sole emperor, and consuls and senate exercised their wonted authority, under the Roman emperor in Constantinople, according to their repeated practice from the days of Constantine. Odoacer, though the conqueror of Rome, abstained from the use of the purple and diadem, and, claiming only the title of patrician, scrupulously transmitted to
* Brewster's Encyclop. vol. vi. p. 403. Art. Chronology, Table.
the emperor all the insignia of royalty.* The ple, the ensign of Roman authority, was for the first time assumed by Theodoric, the king of the Ostrogoths, in the year 493. His “ royalty was proclaimed by the Goths, with the tardy, reluctant, ambiguous consent of the emperor of the east. ---- From the Alps to the extremity of Calabria, Theodoric reigned by the right of conquest.”+
For so long a period the Roman authority was recognised and obeyed in Rome, and the successor of Romulus was its master. By the latter computation, the forty-two prophetic months, or 1240 years, had then exactly expired, and the utmost variation by the former period, as denoting the continuance from the foundation of the city, amounts only to the sixth part of a prophetic month, and could, therefore, as measured by months, denote no other number than that which is stated in the prophecy. Power was given him to continue forty and two months. Another month would have exceeded the period of the continuance of his power, either twenty-three or twenty-eight years. The twelve hundred and forty-first year behoved to be entered on, before the twelve hundred and forty years were completed.
And I beheld ANOTHER beast coming up out of the EARTH ; and he had two horns like a lamb, and spake as a dragon. The first beast, like the successive temporal kingdoms described by Daniel, arose out of the sea, from the midst of commotions and revolu
• Gibbon's Hist. vol. vi. pp. 226, 228. † Ibid. vol. vii. 15, 16.
tions; but the second beast rose out of the earth, as the Roman empire itself is repeatedly denominated in the previous visions. It sprung not up by war, but in another form, within the territories of the Roman empire.
The second beast manifestly succeeds to the first beast before him. And the prophecies of Daniel and Paul may help to expound the vision. Having described the Roman empire, or the fourth beast, corresponding in every particular, as well as in the manner of its origin, with the first beast in the present vision), he adds, “I considered the horns, and behold there came up among them ANOTHER little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” And, by interpretation, “the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings (or kingdoms) that shall arise, and another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High,” &c. “ Now ye know what withholdeth,” saith the apostle, “ that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work : only he that now letteth (hindereth) will let, until he be taken out of the way; and THEN shall that wicked one be revealed,” &c. 2 Thess. ii. 6-8.
Another beast, or kingdom, was to arise after the first; and to be revealed when the first was taken out of the
The second beast was to arise also after the first beast before him, and may therefore be presumed to come up in his place, when he should he taken out of the way. That event happened towards the close of the fifth century; and early in the sixth, in the year 508, the first religious war began.
“In the fever of the times,” says Gibbon, “ (A. D. 508518), the sense, or rather the sound of a syllable was suffi
cient to disturb the peace of an empire.— Vitalian, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow-Christians, till he obtained the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment of the council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed to the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the FIRST of the religious wars, which have been waged in the name, and by the disciples, of the God of peace.”*
In tracing the connexion between historical events, Gibbon is the man who leads us on step by step in the illustration of historical predictions. And immediately consecutive to the preceding extract is a description of the theological character and government of Justinian.” It was always the object of that emperor to preserve the unity of the church, without which, such was the temper of the times, the empire in all likelihood would have been torn asunder by violent commotions, and “ the first religious war might have been the prelude to many more. To have raised the patriarch of Constantinople to the supremacy of the church, would have set a rival, or more than a rival, close beside the throne. And when the authority of the emperor had ceased over Rome, or when Italy could only be a conquered province, nothing hindered the emperor from giving the church into the hands of the
And to become the “judge of controversies,” and “head of the churches,” and “ corrector of heretics," was to be armed with a power, and to exercise an authority, which future ages testified that the prerogative of kings did not equal. The pontifical power was not then consolidated, nor the yoke fully imposed or
* Hist. Vol. viii. p. 320, c. 47.
even formed, as afterwards it hardened into iron; and a long period elapsed before the pope became a temporal prince, or ere his spiritual dominion was turned into blackness. But striking facts seem to warrant the conclusion, that at that time, in the age
of Justinian, that wicked one was revealed, and that the church was given into his hands. His gradual rise is told by the prophet, and I beheld another beast coming UP out of the earth ; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. Among the ten kingdoms of the Roman empire, another, diverse from them all, was to arise-another little horn. The papal power, though diverse from the rest, is symbolized by a horn, as well as the rest, which thus represents power, or a form of government, whether temporal or spiritual. And there is no greater incongruity—that is, there is none-between the representation of the spiritual and temporal power of the pope, by two horns, (each distinct of itself, and both united in his person) than between the little horn of the fourth beast, (so called before
of the others were rooted up before it) representing the papacy, and the ten other kingdoms, represented in like manner by ten horns. Spiritual as well as temporal power, when supreme, are both alike represented by a horn, or denominated a king. The pope possessed both. To his supreme spiritual authority an earthly kingdom was added, by the extirpation before him of three of the first kings.
He had two horns. “ The ecclesiastical power that was obeyed in Sweden and Britain had been ultimately derived from the suffrage of the Romans. The same suffrage gave a prince as well as a pontiff to the capital,”* &c.—"A Christian, a philosopher, and a patriot, will be equally scandalized by the temporal kingdom of the clergy," &c.t" In an age
* Gibbon's Hist. vol. xii. p. 260, c. 69. t Ibid. p. 391, c. 70.