HAVING laid before the reader in the former parts of this work "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ," and, I trust, enabled him to be "ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh him a reason of the hope that is in him," and also to know, without doubt, what he must do to be saved, I propose now to give an outline of the things set forth in "the sure word of prophecy" in relation to that crisis in human affairs which has come upon the world, and which is destined to be the occasion of the introduction of the kingdom of God.
The Lord hath truly said by the prophet, "I have a long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself" (Isaiah 42:14). It is now nearly nineteen hundred years since He spoke by His servant John to the seven congregations in Asia Minor; and so entirely hath He refrained Himself from further revelation of His will, that men have at length almost generally concluded that He hath ceased to take any interest in human affairs. They speculate upon passing events as though they thought that mankind were formed for no nobler destiny than to fret out a brief and crushing existence in a precarious competition for food and raiment; and to labour with asinine endurance for the behoof of those who, by violence, avarice, and fraud, have gained the ascendancy over them. God is not in their thoughts when they treat of the affairs of men. They deal only with secondary causes, while the agency of the great First Cause is supposed to be confined to the saving of "immortal souls" from purgatory, or from burning in liquid brimstone underneath. "Order" at any price is, with them, the chief good. They ascribe glory and honour to Satan, though he has established a despotism over the nations which rivals the mythic dominion of Pluto. Everything dear to truth, righteousness, and liberty must be suppressed by armed mercenaries, provided only that bank, stock-exchange, and commercial speculations, and the "vested interests" of public plunderers in church and state be protected and preserved intact.
Such is the pandemonianism of the world. Sin in its most heartless and hateful deformity reigns the universal despot of the nations. It is enthroned, and decorated with crowns, tiaras, coronets, and mitres; and is gathering strength by fraud, hypocrisy, and murder, for a last and final effort to crush all future endeavours to cast it out unto the earth, and its angels with it. A corrupt and vicious press is the ignoble and servile apologist of its treachery and blood. It flatters the grim assassins of the people, the soul of whose institutions is the ignorant stolidity and cruel superstition of a dark and iron age. Its sympathies are with profligate kings, blasphemous priests, and savage generals; while no epithet is too vile or opprobrious for those who, having endured to the uttermost the debasing and ruinous Oppression of their destroyers, seek to break their bonds, expel them from their thrones, and to diffuse truth and science among the people.
While a Christian would take no part in the armed melee, he is convinced that nothing but violence in the beginning, in order to punish and crush the tyrants, can prepare the way for the amelioration of society. This is the order, as I shall show, which God has ordained as preliminary to the setting up of His kingdom. But the conductors of the press do not understand this. It is not more corrupt and vicious than it is blind to the scriptural philosophy of the things of which it treats. It cannot see afar off, and the objects which are near, it cannot comprehend. How applicable to its scribes is the exclamation of the Lord, "0 ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but how is it ye cannot discern the signs of the times! "--signs, which are announcing to the nations with a voice of thunder that Jehovah hath aroused Himself in His holy habitation; that the time hath at length come when He will be still and refrain Himself no longer; but that He will make bare His holy arm, and "destroy them that destroy the earth," (Rev 11:18) or oppress mankind.
But, though the Lord hath a long time held His
peace, He hath not been unmindful of His people, nor
heedless of human affairs. The great incidents of history which have given rise
to successive kingdoms and dominions, from the overturning of the kingdom and
throne of God, and of David, His anointed, in
In ages past, God has had among the nations a
people of His own. These are wise in the wisdom of God, and venerate His word
above all things. Though not His counsellors, He has graciously condescended to
inform them what He intends to do before it comes to pass. Hence, it is
testified by the prophet that "the Lord God will surely do nothing, but he
revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). This
revelation is made that His people's faith may be confirmed and enlarged, and
that in every generation they may know the times and seasons to which they
stand related. Knowing the signs, they are enabled to discern the times; and
while consternation and dismay cause men's hearts to fail, they are courageous,
and rejoice in perceiving the approach of the
This is the proper use of the prophetic word. It was thus that the ancients used it, and were enabled to live in advance of their contemporaries. This appears from the exhortation of the apostle, who says, "We have a sure word of prophecy whereunto you do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of one's own disclosure. For prophecy came not at any time by the will of man; but the holy men of God spake being moved by the holy spirit. "(2Pet 1:21) Some were not unmindful of this exhortation, which is as applicable to us as to them; for the day has not yet dawned, nor has the day-star arisen. Were it not for the prophetic word, the "heirs of the kingdom" would be in as utter darkness as gaol-chaplains, who burn the flesh to cure the soul, or administer the "Sacrament" to gallows-thieves about to die! The sure prophetic word is itself a shining light, but, having been "put under a bushel," mankind are left enshrouded in Egyptian night. "Be mindful," saith the scripture, "of the words spoken before by the holy prophets"; and on the ground that this was the case, the apostle adds, "Therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." (2 Pet 3:2,17,16) The words of the prophets to which he referred, related to the destruction of the Hebrew commonwealth. His brethren were acquainted with these prophecies and, therefore, knew what was about to happen, though not the day or the hour. Hence, this knowledge was to be their caution and security against being led away by the spiritualizers of the time, who wrested the scriptures to their own destruction (2 Pet 3:2,17,16).
From these premises we may conclude that, as the
Lord has also revealed what is to come to pass in these latter days, it is both
our duty and privilege to make ourselves acquainted with it, that our faith may
grow and be strengthened; our affections he detached from the fleeting present,
and set more firmly on things to come; that our minds may be fortified against
error; and that we may be prepared to meet the Lord as those who have kept
their garments, and shall not be put to shame. () It is our own fault if we are not "Light in the Lord."
He has plainly set before us what is happening in our day, and what is yet to
occur. Hence, while the Priests of the
In pursuance, then, of the work before us,
namely, that of unfolding the train of events which are to ultimate in the
setting up of the
This was a colossus in human form, which appeared
to the king of
The interpretation given to the king informed him that the head of gold represented the dominion of which he was the head; that the silver part symbolized the monarchy which would succeed his; the brazen part, a third power which should bear rule over all the earth; and the iron part, a fourth dominion strong as iron, that should subdue everything before it. This fourth kingdom, he was told, should be divided, inasmuch as there were two iron legs, and ten toes. But as the toes of the feet were part of them of iron and another part of clay, the dominion represented by the ten toes would be partly strong and partly broken. But as there was a mingling of iron and clay in the structure of the feet, while the toes constituted unitedly the iron dominion, they should not cleave to one another, but should be independent and antagonistic kingdoms.
Lastly, the king was given to understand that the smiting of the image by the stone on the feet represented the breaking in pieces and consumption of all the toe-kingdoms by the God of heaven, Who should set up in their place a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor left to other people.
Such was the prophetic interpretation which was given with the dream about twenty-five centuries ago. I shall now briefly outline the historical interpretation, and then consider what yet remains to be accomplished.
The interpreter has determined the commencement
of the image. It goes no further back than the time of Nebuchadnezzar, whose
dynasty was superseded by a two-armed monarchy, in the reign of his son's son,
Belshazzar, B.C. 542. This was the silver dominion of the Medes and Persians.
After 208 years, this was overturned by Alexander of Macedon, B.C. 334. His
dominion exceeded that of
From this epoch, the iron monarchy prevailed over all antagonists. It is known in history as the Roman. In the fourth century after Christ it was finally divided into the Eastern Roman, and the Western Roman, empires, answering to the two legs of iron. Though divided thus, the Roman majesty was considered as one. The date of the division was A.D. 396.
In about ninety-seven years from this epoch ten kingdoms appeared upon the Western Roman territory answering to the ten toes. They were not all strong kingdoms. Part of them were absorbed into a new dominion, which arose after them beyond the limits of the Roman territory. These strong and broken toe-kingdoms have existed upwards of thirteen centuries. They are still in being; but not as originally established. This the prophecy does not require. All that is necessary, is that there should be ten kingdoms at the time the image is smitten by the stone. And these kingdoms, I am satisfied, should be on "the earth," and not upon "the sea"; that is to say, they should be found upon the Roman continent, and not upon the islands; and that the enumeration of them belongs to the time of the end, rather than to the period of their foundation. With this view, then, I enumerate the toe-kingdoms as follows [See Note 1 at end of chapter]:
I have not named
The ten kingdoms enumerated above are all within
the Roman limits. There are many other kingdoms beyond its frontiers, resting
upon territory that never belonged to
Thus far, then, history runs parallel with
the prophetic interpretation. We are not informed in this vision how many of
the toes were weak. It simply affirms the fact and defers further details for
illustration by other symbols. What, then, remains to be accomplished? The
testimony informs us that the ten kingdoms are all to be broken to pieces; and after
they are smitten that the whole image in all its different metals is to be
"broken to pieces together." But how can this be ? Where are the dominions represented by the gold, the
silver, the brass, and the iron? How can they be broken to pieces together,
seeing that they have been broken to pieces one after the other many
centuries ago? The answer to this question is important, and must be given; for
with-out it no interpretation can be received as satisfactory. And here I would
remark, that the image was presented to the mind of the King of Babylon, not so
much to represent a succession of empires, as to exhibit the catastrophe
which should usher in the
Now, there has never yet existed a single dominion, contemporary with the toe-kingdoms, and of course comprehending them in its jurisdiction, which could claim to be represented by Nebuchadnezzar's image. In order, then, to prepare for the catastrophe, the image which is now in antagonistic parts, must be confederated; [ See Note 1 at end of chapter] in other words, a dominion must arise before the setting up of the kingdom of God, which shall rule over the toe-kingdoms, and the Turkish and Persian territories, till it meets the British Power in the East. The description of the dream says that the feet were smitten; and "then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together"; thereby intimating that the breaking of the power of the ten kingdoms would precede that df the conjoint destruction of all the other parts. That when they are conquered, the dominion of the conqueror will be overturned by the revelation of power from above.
I shall be able to show, from other parts of the
prophetic word, that the power destined to play the conspicuous part indicated
It is evident that the dominion of the Image is not broken by a human power. The stone which destroys it is represented as not in hands; that is, it symbolizes a supernatural power. If the stone had been poised in a man's hands ready to smite the image, we might look for an earthly conqueror to overthrow the dominion of the Autocrat, as he will overthrow the rest. But the power that wields the stone is plainly declared in the interpretation. It is the God of heaven Who pulverizes the image, and sweeps its chaffy dust away by the whirling tempest which wrecks the kingdoms of the world and transfers them to His saints. The kingdom of the stone grinds to powder whatsoever it falls upon, and then becomes a great mountain, or empire of nations, and fills the whole earth.
THE VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS.
There were certain important particulars to be revealed in connection with the empires and kingdoms of the Metallic Image, which could not be suitably expressed through a symbol of the human form. It became necessary, therefore, to introduce other representations, that would admit of appendages more in harmony with them. Wild beasts were selected to represent dominions instead of parts of a metallic figure; and as there were four different metals, four different animals were selected, according to the following order:
OF THE LION
The beasts being substituted for the metals
represent of course the same dominions. The lion was a very appropriate symbol
for the Assyrian dynasty; as was well understood in the days of the prophets.
Hence, speaking of the overthrow coming upon
But in Daniel, (chap. 7) the Assyrian lion appears under different aspect. He is represented first, as a lion with eagle's wings, crouching; and, secondly, as a lion without wings, standing erect.
The lion in these two aspects represents the
Assyrian monarchy in two phases; first, while
Before this revolution was effected,
the Assyrian dominion was represented by a winged lion, having the form of a
man down to the waist, and furnished with arms. This is satisfactorily
demonstrated by Mr. Layard in his "
But this "man's heart" was not the disposition of Belshazzar, his son's son. Instead of praising, and extolling, and honouring the God of Israel, he defied Him; and "lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven; and out of the holy vessels of His temple he, and his lords, his wives, and his concubines, drank wine; and he praised the gods of silver and gold, and of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand his breath was, and whose were all his ways, he had not glorified." This was his offence, on account of which the Lord of heaven passed this sentence upon him: "God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. And thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." Nor was the execution of the decree long delayed, for "on that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom" (Dan ).
OF THE BEAR.
The Lion dominion being overthrown, the dynasty of the Bear took its place when "Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans," in 542 before Christ. It was a dominion to be extended by the sword, a particular expressed in the words addressed to the Bear, "Arise, devour much flesh."
In the symbolography, or description of the symbol, the prophet saith, that " it raised up itself on one side." Hence, one side was " higher than the other" ; but before it raised itself up the higher side was the lower; therefore, the higher side acquired its more elevated position last. Compare this characteristic of the Bear with what is said of the horns of the Ram.(Dan 8:3) The inequality of the sides of the Bear represents the historical fact that the dynasty of the Bear-dominion was mixed; that is, it was first Median and then Persian. Darius was a Mede, and his successor Cyrus, a Persian. They were allies in the overthrow of the Chaldean kingdom. When the crown was to be assumed, the Mede preceded the Persian; but when Darius died, instead of the crown descending to a Mede, it passed to a Persian, whose race continued to wear it until the dominion of the Bear was superseded by the Leopard. Thus the Persian side of the Bear was raised up last.
But the Bear had also "three ribs in the
mouth of it, between the teeth of it." This indicates that in devouring
much flesh, the result was that its prey was reduced to "three ribs,"
which had become firmly fixed to its head. In other words,
that the Medes and Persians had made extensive conquests, which were reduced to
three divisions for the better adininistration of public affairs. A rib
of the dominion, then, represents an imperial presidency, or as we should say,
vice-royalty; each satrapy comprehending a number of principalities. This
organization of the Bear is thus expressed by the prophet: "It pleased
Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, which
should be over the whole kingdom; and over these THREE PRESIDENTS; of
whom Daniel was first; that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the
king (or Bear's head) should have no damage." By the reign of Ahasuerus, or
Artaxerxes, the second, the dominion of the Bear extended "from
FOUR-HEADED AND FOUR-WINGED LEOPARD.
This beast represents the Macedonian dominion which superseded that of the Bear, as the belly and thighs of brass did the breast and arms of silver. The Leopard-dominion was more extended than its predecessors; for it embraced all that belonged to the Lion and the Bear, with the addition of that which had been established by Philip of Macedon, the predecessor of Alexander "the Great." It bore rule "over all the earth," or Image-territory, thus far subjugated to "civilization," such as it was a The four that era of the world.
In the year 301 before Christ, the Macedonian
dominion in its divisions, and their relative position, is illustrated by the
Four Wings of a fowl, and the four Leopard-heads. Alexander ruled his conquests
for the short space of six years, when he died in
The four great Powers, or heads, of the Grecian Leopard were:
Such were the heads. But how was it to be
determined that they should stand related to these four points of the compass?
This was indicated by the wings of the Leopard-an interpretation made evident
from the words of the prophet, saying, "The Lord shall gather
A Leopard is sometimes used to indicate the
British power. During the war in the
OF THE FOURTH BEAST, OR TEN-HORNED DRAGON.
This beast was to arise out of the Mediterranean
territory as well as the others. The belligerent tempests on every side were to
give rise to it; for, says Daniel, "the four
winds of the heaven strove upon the
That this beast is identical in signification with the iron part of the image, and incorporates within its dominion the territory of the kingdoms of the brazen thighs, is indicated by "its teeth of iron and claws of brass." A beast of prey destroys with its teeth and claws. Like the iron kingdom of the image, this iron-toothed dominion was to devour and break in pieces all that came in its way, and to stamp the undevoured residue with its brazen-clawed feet. It was "exceeding dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly"; and, though not narned by the prophet, may, by the aid of history and the Apocalypse, be correctly terrued the GRECO-ROMAN DRAGON.
This Fourth Beast was shown to Daniel for the purpose of representing certain things predestined to come to pass in connection with the ten toes of the image, which could not be suitably displayed in symbolic feet. The things to be illustrated were:
These eight points constitute a summary of the things designed to be represented by the Eleven Horns which made their appearance on the head of the Fourth Beast. The first point is symbolized by the coming up of a Little Horn among the Ten Horns, which "subdues Three Horns," so as to "pluck up by the roots" the regal dynasties they represent; and in this way leaving only seven independent royalties, besides its imperial self.
The second and third points are presented by this Little Horn having inserted into it Human Eyes and Mouth; and described as having a more audacious look than his fellow-horns, or contemporary dynasties; and "speaking very great things," or blasphemies, "against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle (or saints, styled the temple of God in the scripture), and them that dwell in heaven." Its character is also further illustrated by its "making war upon the saints and prevailing against them," and changing God's times and laws.
The fourth and fifth points are set forth by the slaying and burning of the Fourth Beast with his appendages at the end of "a time, times, and the dividing of time."
And the sixth, seventh and eighth, points, are revealed by the verbal declaration, that "the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and there was given him dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one which shall not be destroyed." Again, "the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever"; and again, "the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom"; "and the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and ALL DOMINIONS SHALL SERVE AND OBEY HIM." (Dan 7:13,14,18,22,27) This is the dominion of "the great Mountain that fills the whole earth."
There is nothing said about the heads of this Fourth Beast, whether there was one or more. Hence, the chronology of tbe symbol must be restricted to the Horns. The dynasties of the leopard-heads were all superseded by the Fourth Beast before the birth of Christ; but the ten horns, answering to the ten toes of the image, did not make their appearance till the fifth century after Christ. The life of the Beast is measured by the continuance of the horns; and the duration of these by the time allotted for the Little Horn to prevail against the saints. It is to prevail "until a time, times, and the dividing of time" shall have elapsed from some determinate epoch. Nothing is more obvious to one of these saints than that these "times" have not yet run out; because the power still exists and prevails against them. Upwards of 1,260 years have elapsed since the Horns established themselves on the western Roman territory; so that the chronology of the symbol is not to be calculated from the rise or growth of the horns out of the Dragon's head. Indeed, if we had no other data than what are furnished us in the vision of the Fourth Beast, we could not tell when "the time, times, and dividing of time" should commence. The vision only informs us when it shall end, namely, with the casting down of the thrones, or Horn-dynasties; and the destruction of the Beast's dominion in all its parts by the "burning flame"; a process which has been steadily approaching since February, 1848, and thereby indicating that the consummation is at hand.
The fall of three horns before the Little Horn
which over-throws them, by which it becomes an eighth power on the Dragon's
tenritory, suggests its identity with "the eighth which goeth into
perdition" treated of in the Apocalypse (Rev. 17:11). Speaking of the
signification of the Seven Heads of the Roman Beast, it is stated that they
have a double interpretation; that is, they represent the seven mountains on
John was favoured with a vision of "the
wilderness," or territory of "the
The Little Horn's character has been more obvious to interpreters than its constitution. In certain respects it is like the other Ten Horns. These were all SECULAR dynasties. If they had individually possessed "eyes and a mouth," they would all have been episcopal and speaking Horns, like the Little Horn. But they possessed neither. They were simple horns, evincing power, secular and not spiritual, in their operations. When eyes look more stout than existences around them; and their mouth speaks blasphemies against God, angels, and the saints, they become svmbolical of ecclesiastical power; and inserted into a horn, they present a symbol which represents a CONJUNCT DYNASTY; that is, a dominion whose executive is imperial, and which is constituted, either of an imperial pontiff and a secular emperor, or of one Head in whom is vested the imperial administration both of secular and ecclesiastical affairs, as was the case with the pagan Roman emperors.
The Little Horn of the Greco-Roman Dragon, or fourth beast, is a two-fold dynasty, or dominion. Its eyes and mouth represent one horn; and the rest of the horn, another. The former is the over-seeing and blaspheming horn; the latter, the secular, or military horn, which co-operates with it, and does all the fighting. Hence, when we find the little horn fully developed, we may expect to discover TWO PERSONAGES, who, through subsequent ages, are conspicuous as imperial chiefs of the western world. These, it is almost needless to add, are the Pope and the Emperor.
OF THE SAINTS AND TWO WITNESSES.
When the little horn appeared among the ten horns, Daniel was particularly struck by his blasphemous talking, and enmity against the saints of the Most High. The mouth of this horn is evidently the same as the mouth of the ten-horned, and two-horned, beasts of the Apocalypse.(Rev. 13) It was the mouth of a lion, because of its roaring for prey, seeking whom it might devour; as well as for its Babylonish affinities. "It spake as a dragon," with the ferocity of the old pagan emperors against the saints. Describing this mouth, John says, "It spake great things and blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." These blasphemies Daniel styles "great words against the Most High," which, of course, were verv offensive to the servants of God, and aroused their indignation. They "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints" against its blasphemies; and advocated the liberty of the truth, the equality of the faithful, and the fraternity of the children of God. This brought down upon them the hatred and revenge of the Popes, who stirred up all the horns of the beast against them, as it is written, "He made war upon them, and overcame them, and killed them."
Daniel speaks of "the saints"
and of "the PEOPLE of the saints". I apprehend that
there is the same distinction to be drawn here, as between "a Jew
inwardly" and "a Jew outwardly". "The
saints" is a term which includes them both; even as "
Because a person is one of the saints it does not
therefore follow that he is a righteous man. This is clear from the fact that
the twelve tribes as a company of nations are termed "the Lord's
witnesses"; concerning whom He says, "This people have I formed for
myself; they shall show forth my praise." They are styled "a holy
nation," or a nation separated from all other nations by a divine
constitution, by which they are made the people of God. Now this "holy
nation" has proved itself to be "a stiffnecked and perverse
race"; nevertheless, it is "holy," or separate, on the same
principle that the temple,
But pagan nations are sometimes termed holy, or
sanctified. Hence, the Lord says, "I have commanded my sanctified ones, I
have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, etc. They come from a far
country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord and the weapons of his
indignation to destroy the whole land." This is from a prophecy against
A class of persons separated
in the providence of God to execute any work for Him are His
sanctified ones, irrespective of their moral relations to the gospel. They
are designated in scripture by various names. They are styled witnesses,
prophets, olive trees, candle-sticks, as well as saints; because they are
exercised in these several capacities. They may have to bear witness for civil
and religious liberty; to preach against the lion-mouth and his clergy; to
stand forth as a lamp before God to enlighten the nations of the earth, etc.;
they may discharge all these functions, and yet be neither believers of the
gospel of the kingdom, nor even "pious" as the term is. This class of
people may be found figuring largely in the history of all European nations.
They are the hostile party to the beast in all "religious wars," and
wars for liberty against the despotism of popes, emperors, kings, and priests.
In these sanguinary wars their uniform has been sackcloth; yet they have
devoured their enemies with fire and sword, and smitten the earth with all the
plagues of war as often as they pleased. With various fortune
they have combated with the tyrants of the world. Cromwell "tormented them
(the Royalists) who dwelt in"
Now, it must not be forgotten that, by reason of the Little Horn's empire comprehending the three subjugated horns, it is a part of the ten-horned apocalyptic beast as well as the independent horns; therefore what is affirmed of it, is also affirmed of the beast as a whole, including its mouth and horns. Hence, John writes the same thing of the ten-horned beast, and of the two-horned beast, and the image of the former beast's imperial head, that Daniel does of the Little Horn, saying, "The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit," or sea, "shall make war upon them, and shall overcome them, and kill them" (Rev 11:7); and in another place, the ten-horned "shall make war with the saints, and overcome them" (Rev 13:7) and again, the two-horned beast "causeth them that dwell in the earth to do homage to the (imperial head of the) first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he causeth those that dwell upon the earth to err through the deeds it was given hirn to do against the beast; saying to them that dwelt on the earth that they should make an Image of the Beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast, that they should be killed. And he caused all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the bond, that a sign should be made upon them on their right hand, or upon their forehead: and that no man might be qualified to buy or sell, except he have the sign, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Now it is the saints who refuse to adore the imperial Roman image, or Eyes and Mouth of the Little Horn; and who have not the sign upon their foreheads, or in their right hands. These are the parties whom the image has caused war to be made upon, and who have been prevailed against, and killed with all the attendant enormities of promiscuous massacre. The slaughter of the Albigenses in Languedoc; of the Vaudois in the valley of the Piedmontese mountains, in the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries; and of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's, and at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; the dragonnades, drownings, etc., are instances of the cruelties inflicted upon the saints by the roaring lion of the "eternal city." In the face of these teeming testimonies of history, the special pleaders of the Papacy have the hardihood and effrontery to declare that the Head of their church has put none to death; that their church is the pure, sinless spouse of Christ! But the spirit denounces it as "drunk with the blood of the saints," because, in stirring up the secular powers to murder and massacre the opponents of Romanism and the advocates of human rights, it has " caused the saints to be killed" and become so dyed in wickedness, and steeped in crime, that its iniquity hath at last reached unto heaven, and the burning flame of war is consuming and destroying it unto the end.
But, says the apostle, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual." In his letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 6:14), he enumerates them as the girdle of truth, the breast-plate of righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace for sandals, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. This is the "whole armour of God" which, "the people of the holies" are permitted to use. The two-edged sword of the spirit is the only offensive weapon they are allowed to wield in combat with the Beast. The impulses of the flesh would lead them to crush the tyrants who have drenched the earth with their blood, and to bruise their heads like serpents, but their Captain has said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." It is the impulse of the flesh, hostile to the truth of God, which urges the Beast to war against those who adhere to that truth. The people of the holies are forbidden to act under such an impulse, but to imitate Jesus, who resisted not, but committed his cause to God. Unresisting suffering is the law of their spiritual warfare. If persecuted they must fly; if smitten, they must not smite again; if reviled, they must bless; but withal "fight the good fight of faith" with the word of God, without favour, affection, or compromise, with any thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
But this may be thought to be a contradiction of
what has been said of the witnesses inflicting the plagues of war as often as
they pleased. How can they do this unless they contend in battle against the
Beast? The answer is, that the Anti-Papal
instrumentality of God in the earth consists of three classes of persons;
two of these classes are political, but the third is that class spoken of by
the apostle as his brethren. The prophecy of the two witnesses is concerning two
great parties in the ten-horned beast's dominion, which antagonize it in
its civil and ecclesiastical policy. One party is purely secular, and styled "the
earth," or democracy; the other party is "religious,"
and termed "the woman." The mission of these is to make war
upon tyranny, and to take vengeance upon it, and finally to be the means, or
occasion, of breaking it up in its ten-horned and Papal constitution. "The
earth," or secular witness, is the helper of "the woman," or
religious witness. They have co-operated since the reign of
"The woman" is constituted of
heterogeneous sects. "Dissent" and "Non-conformity"
are terms which define the religious witness in this country. In
But there is a third party which, although
it has the deep-rooted enmity of truth against every form of Satanism in Church
and State, Papal and Protestant; and wishes success to the Two Witnesses in
their war with civil and ecclesiastical tyranny, yet it is distinct from them
both. It is that party described by the apostle in the passage above quoted. It
is composed of the saints of God in the highest sense of the word. It is the
One Body of Christ, having the one faith, the one hope, one Lord, one spirit,
one baptism, and one God and Father.(Eph 4:4-6) It is styled "the holy
city" in the Apocalypse (Rev 11:2); and is trodden under foot of the
Gentiles for forty-two months of years, till the Ancient of Days appears. It is
by this class that "the faith once for all delivered to the saints"
is preserved from being entirely lost. In the twelfth of Revelation they are
termed "the remnant of the Woman's seed, who
keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
They are a people who believe the gospel of the
Such, then, is the antagonism ordained of God to
keep the Beast, or European governments, in check, and to preserve the light of
truth and liberty from extinction among the nations. It is to this agency the
world is indebted for the little liberty it rejoices in. This has been
conquered from the Beast at a great cost of human life. The United States of
America is a specimen of its handiwork; and but for the incurable condition of
society in the old world by human efforts, as happy a state of things would ere
this have been established on the European continent, as in some degree hath
been in this island. The Roundheads, Puritans, and Lollards, or Bible-men, laid
the foundation of American institutions on the soil of
But while the liberty provided by the constitution of the United States, and practically enjoyed in England, is much to be appreciated by the people of these respective countries, there are but few of them who have tasted the sweets of that liberty which dwells in "the Holy City." "If the truth shall make you free," says Christ, "ye shall be free indeed." So long as a people practically venerate a professional ministry, whether in the pay of the State, or of the people, to preach what pleases them more than "the law and the testimony"; so long as they are ignorant and faithless of "the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ," and glorify themselves in religious systems, which nowhere on the sacred page meet the eye of the unbiased student of God's word; so long as their pulpits are closed against men who would reason with the people out of the scriptures "concerning righteousness, and temperance; and judgment to come," irrespective of party shibboleths and decrees, -- so long are they strangers to the liberty, equality, and fraternity which belong to the truth of God alone.
The eye of faith sees the fairest spots of earth veiled in thick darkness. Its hope is not in "the earth"; for man can neither regenerate himself, nor society. Any organization of the world fabricated by human wisdom, must perish; for men have neither knowledge, wisdom, nor virtue enough to build a social fabric conducive to the honour and glory of God, or to the general happiness of mankind in their several relations of life. Our hope is in the Ancient of Days. "The earth" may "help the Woman," and consume the dominions of the Horns; but the Son of Man can alone deliver the holy city, crush the Dragon's head, and reconstitute society to the glory of God, and the happiness of all the families of mankind.
When the remnant ceased to "contend
earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints," "the
earth" began to fail in its efforts to establish civil and religious
liberty in the countries where "the remnant of the woman's seed" had
witnessed for the truth so long. The reactionists on the side of arbitrary
power began to prevail against both classes of witnesses, and the holy city;
and to succeed in re-establishing what they call "ORDER"; that is,
such a state of society as existed in France from A.D. 1685 to 1789, or in
England under Charles II; or of which we have more recent illustrations in the
case of France under Louis XVIII; and Charles X; and of Italy and Austria and
the Pope, etc., in 1815! It is the "order" established by Satan, when
he triumphs over the rights of men, and the truth and righteousness of the untraditionized
gospel of the
It is because of this permitted ascendancy of the dynasties of the world for 1,260 years, that the popular insurrections in the territories of the Beasts and their image, have been invariably superseded by reactions which have re-established the reign of tyranny, hypocrisy, and superstition. Even the torment with fire and brimstone in war inflicted by Napoleon on the guilty dynasties which had murdered the saints in past ages, at length receded before the resuscitation of the old order of things, which this MAN OF THE EARTH had so signally demolished. But what Napoleon failed permanently to accomplish will as assuredly come to pass as there is a God in heaven who punishes the guilty.
Of the witnesses and holy city, without discriminating them, REINERIUS, the Inquisitor-General, who shed their blood, writes thus concerning them as a whole: "Among all the sects which are or have been, there is not any more pernicious to the Church (i.e., of Rome) than that of the Leonists. And this for three reasons. The first is, because it is older; for some say that it hath endured from the time of Pope Sylvester (fourth century), others from the time of the apostles. The second, because it is more general, for there is scarce any country wherein the sect is not. The third, because when all other sects beget horror in the hearers by the outrageousness of their blasphemies against God, this of the Leonists have a great show of piety; because they live justly before men, and believe all things rightly concerning God and all the articles which are contained in the Creed; only they blaspheme the Church of Rome and the clergy, whom the multitude of the laity is easy to believe."
"The causes of their estrangement," says Acland "from the Roman Church are thus stated: 'It is because the men and women, the young and old, the labourer and the learned man, do not cease to instruct themselves; because they have translated the Old and New Testaments into the vulgar tongue, and learn these books by heart, and teach them; because, if scandal be committed by anyone, it inspires them with horror, so that when they see anyone leading an irregular life, they say unto him, The apostles did not live so, nor shall we who would imitate the apostles: in short, they look upon all that a teacher advances, unsupported by the New Testament, as fabulous.' "
It is with such people as these my sympathies are
found: and it is to multiply such in the world that I write this book. If the
reader would be numbered with this class of witnesses, he must "instruct
himself" by the study of the word; he must cease to surrender himself to
the clergy of Church or Dissent; but treat all their hypotheses "as
fabulous," unsupported by the law and the testimony: for "the
scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation through the faith which is
in Christ Jesus" (2Tim 3:15,16). What more do we
want than to be saved in the
Then, like the Leonists of old, away with the
clergy, the "blind leaders of the blind," "dumb dogs that cannot
bark," who neither enter into the kingdom themselves, and them who would
they hinder." "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished
unto all good works." (2 Tim 3:15,16). Here Paul
teaches that the scriptures can make a man perfect in all these things how
perverse, then, of mankind to neglect this instrument of perfection, and lean
upon such broken reeds. The Leonists, Paulicians, Albigenses, Waldenses, etc.,
had more wisdom than this. They drank from the fountain head of truth; and it
was only in later times, when their minds were diverted from this by the
dazzling demonstrations of the protesting Romanists, who, under their early
leaders, were rebelling against the Pope, and laying the foundation of State
A writer on prophecy has well remarked, that
"there is no nation existing which, first and last, has produced such a
number of faithful witnesses against Papal corruptions, and tyrannies, as
This dreadful massacre was 1,260 years from the
separation established between State-church Christians, and the remnant of the
Woman's seed. In 312-3, the man child was born of the Woman as the military
chieftain destined to cast the pagan dragon out of the Roman heaven. A great
revolution was consummated. The world's religion was changed; and the
foundation laid for that awful despotism in Church and State, which has made
all the families of the earth to wail.
This Bartholomew massacre of 1572 marks the epoch
of the terminating of the testimony of the two witnesses. From 1572 till 1685
was a period of war, during which unnumbered thousands fell in defence of their
civil and religious rights. The war was waged with various fortune
on both sides. At first, the Huguenots were so far successful, that their
valour and devotedness raised their leader, Henry of Navarre, to the throne of
Henry IV was assassinated in 1610, by Ravaillac,
a fanatic of the Jesuit order. Upon this troubles immediately recommenced
between the warlike Huguenots and Papists. The former were conquered; they lost
all their strongholds; and in 1628, Rochelle, their last bulwark, fell into the
hands of Cardinal Richelieu. Thus disappeared in this kingdom
of the Beast their power to "devour their enemies by fire proceeding out
of their (cannon) mouth." (Rev 1:5) They had no longer "power
to shut heaven that it should not rain"; nor could they any more turn the
"Soon after he came to the crown," says Mr. Claude, "there arose in the kingdom a civil war, which proved so sharp and desperate, as brought the State within a hair's breadth of utter ruin. Those of the reformed religion still kept their loyalty so inviolable, and accompanied it with such a zeal, and with a favour so extraordinary, and so successful, the king found himself, obliged to give public marks of it by a declaration made at St. Germains in the year 1652. Then as well at Court as in the armies, each strove to proclaim loudest the merits of the reformed." Now, however commendable Mr. Claude and others may deem them on account of this loyalty, the simple import of the matter is, that their devotion to Louis XIV proved that their testimony was finished. Instead of standing aloof, and testifying against the despotism of Church and State, and "contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints"; their pastors and congregations had sunk down into the formalism of Calvinism; and actually drew the sword for a horn, or dynasty, of the very Beast which had "made war against the saints" with all the attendant cruelty of massacre, rapine and ravishment; and which was destined finally to "kill them." Calvinists in the imperio-papal, and royal, armies, of the Beasts and their horns, have forfeited all claims to divine favour as His witnesses of either class. Their mission is ended, and the sentence of death rests upon them. In about thirty years after tbis fatal demonstration of loyalty to the monster of the sea, God permitted their enemies to destroy them.
Moved by the Jesuits, who flattered his pride by persuading him that for him was reserved the glory of re-establishing religious unity in his dominions, Louis XIV determined to accomplish the suppression of Huguenotism in France. The plan was arranged in the spirit of Jesuitism, and pursued with dreadful perseverance. Referring to their new-born zeal for the Bourbon dynasty, their enemies said, "If on this occasion the Huguenots could preserve the State, this shows likewise that they could have overthrown it; this party must therefore by all means be crushed." Hence, Louis, and the abettors of the tyranny, immediately set about it. "A thousand dreadful blows," says M. Saurin, "were struck at our afflicted churches before that which destroyed them: for our enemies, if I may use such an expression, not content with seeing our ruin, endeavoured to taste it." They were persecuted in every imaginable way. They were excluded from the king's household; from all employments of honour and profit; all the courts of justice, erected by virtue of the Edict of Nantes, were abolished, so that in all trials their enemies only were their judges, and in all the courts of justice the cry was, "I plead against a heretic"; "I have to do with a man of a religion odious to the State, and which the king is resolved to extirpate."
"Orders were printed at Paris, and sent from thence to all the cities and parishes of the kingdom, which empowered the parochial priests, churchwardens, and others, to make an exact inquiry into whatever any of the reformed might have done, or said, for twenty years past, as well on the subject of religion as otherwise; to make information of this before the justices of the peace, and punish them to the utmost extremity. Thus the prisons and dungeons were everywhere filled with these pretended criminals; orders were issued, which deprived them in general of all sorts of offices and employments, from the greatest to the smallest, in the farms and revenues; they were declared incapable of exercising any employ in the custom-houses, guards, treasury, or post-office, or even to be messengers, stage coachmen, or waggoners. Now a college was suppressed, and then a church shut up, and at length they were forbidden to worship in public at all by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Rude Popish missionaries, without learning, or decency, went from house to house, for the purpose of inducing them to abjure their religion; they interrupted the preachers; and, if the congregation forcibly ejected them, they complained to the magistrate, who seized the opportunity thus presented to suppress the meeting-house.
"Consciences were bought up like articles of merchandise. Pastors were forbidden to preach beyond the place in which they resided, under penalty of several years' imprisonment. Children of tender age were authorized to embrace Popery in spite of the opposition of their parents; who, without regard to rank, condition, or merit, were declared unworthy to serve the State.
"The great majority continued steadfast. Promises of wealth and honours, seductions, artifices, threats, failed to shake their constancy: so that their persecutors resorted to the still more energetic measures, commonly known as THE DRAGONNADES.
"These were a species of punishment unthought of by the Inquisition. Profligate and merciless soldiers were sent into houses of the Huguenots. They had orders to resort to every method except assassination to convert their victims to Papalism! They laid waste their property, destroyed their household goods, treated mothers, wives, and maidens, in an infamous manner, brutally struck the men; and, by a refinement of cruelty, hindered them from taking an hour's rest until they had signed a derisive abjuration. Some, crushed beneath such accumulated sufferings, lost their reason: others, led away by despair, suffered death by their own hands. The Dragonnades still live in the memory of Frenchmen, as a fearful and horrible memento of by-gone days. But even these atrocities were insufficient to consummate the conversion of the Huguenots to Romanism.
"In 1685, as we have said, Louis the Fourteenth signed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The preamble of this ordinance made the king say, 'We now see, with the gratitude we owe to God, that our endeavours have had the result which we proposed, since the best and greatest portion of our subjects of the pretended reformed religion have embraced the Catholic faith.' But this did not express the truth. Hundreds of thousands emigrated from France, to seek asylums in foreign lands; into every part of Europe, and from the Cape of Good Hope to the American wilderness, they carried their faith, industry, laborious habits, and their example; and besides these, two millions remained in the land of their birth, who persevered in their opinions beneath the sword of the executioner, and in the sight of the fires of martyrdom.
"Those who had not quitted
Speaking of the Revocation, M. Saurin says, "Now we were banished, then we were forbidden to quit the kingdom, on pain of death. Here we saw the glorious rewards of those who betrayed their religion and there we beheld those who had the courage to confess it, haled to a dungeon, a scaffold, or a galley. Here, we saw our persecutors drawing on a sledge the dead bodies of those who had expired on the rack; there we beheld a false friar tormenting a dying man, who was terrified on the one hand with the fear of hell if he apostatized and on the other, with the fear of leaving his children without bread, if he should continue in the faith." "They cast some," says M. Claude, "into large fires, and took them out when they were half roasted; they hanged others with ropes under their armpits, and plunged them several times into wells till they promised to renounce their religion they tied them like criminals on the rack, and poured wine with a funnel into their mouths till, being intoxicated, they promised to turn Catholics. Some they slashed and cut with pen-knives; some they took by the nose with red-hot tongs, and led them up and down the rooms till they agreed to turn Catholics. These cruel proceedings made 800,000 persons quit the kingdom."
1: Many things have
happened since this was written in 1848, and considerable progress has been
made in the confederation of the parts of the image. For instance, with
reference to some of the kingdoms named:
Note 2: Since this was written in 1848, the