The Image of the Beast.
"And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the wild beast, that the image of the wild beast should even speak, and to cause, that as many as would not worship the image of the wild beast, should be killed. And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead. And that no one might buy or sell, but he, who had the mark, the name of the wild beast, or the number of his name." -- Rev.13:15-18.

This new creation is not another beast, but the image of one. An image is only the likeness of something. As the beast symbolizes a political power, its image must symbolize some analogous power of a different nature; and this likeness can only be found in a religious government.

1. The beast which received its death-wound (v.14), was the form of government to which the image was made, i.e., the imperial. Of this the Roman hierarchy was a perfect counterpart. It was an ecclesiastical government, coextensive in its authority with the political power of the empire. And, like the officers of the civil, there was a regular gradation of rank in the subordinates of the religious government. The head of the former was an emperor, chosen by an electoral college, -- the senators of Rome.(3) The head of the latter was a Pope, chosen in a similar manner by the college of Cardinals, -- the ecclesiastical senators of the religious empire. Each of those bodies constituted the highest deliberative and legislative body in its respective government. The empire had its governors of provinces, appointed by the imperial head; and the spiritual rule of the church was, in like manner, sustained by diocesan bishops who, in their respective provinces, were governors in spiritual matters and creatures of the Pope. Subordinate offices in the state and church, also, singularly corresponded.

2. The religious customs of the empire, as well as its political, were likewise imitated by the papacy. Rome deified her heroes; the papacy canonized her saints. The ghosts of the departed were the gods of the heathen; and the papists supplicate the dead. The Pagans burned incense to their gods; the Papists burn incense in their religious ceremonies. The ancient heathen sprinkled themselves with "holy water;" the Papists use the same material in a similar manner. Lactantius says of the Pagans, they "light up candles to God as if he lived in the dark; and do they not deserve to pass for madmen who offer lamps to the author and giver of light?" This custom is imitated by the Papists in the use of wax candles on their altars.

The ancient Romans prostrated themselves before images of wood and stone; and Jerome tells us that "by idols were to be understood the images of the dead." In Catholic Rome, worshippers prostrated themselves before images of departed saints. The old Roman Pantheon, which was dedicated by Agrippa "to Jove, and all the gods," was re-consecrated by Pope Boniface IV., about A. D.610, "to the blessed Virgin and all the saints." As in the old pagan temple, any stranger could find the god of his own country; so in its re-consecrated state, each country could find its patron saint. Other temples were changed and re-consecrated in the same manner. The ancient statue of Jupiter stands now as the statue of St. Peter. The pagans had their vestal virgins; the Papists their nuns.

Dr. Middleton, who visited Rome in 1729, says:

"Nothing, I found, concurred so much with my original intention of conversing with the ancients; or so much helped my imagination, to find myself wandering about in old heathen Rome, as to observe and attend to their religious worship; all whose ceremonies appear plainly to have been copied from the rituals of primitive Paganism: as if handed down by an uninterrupted succession from the priests of old, to the priests of new Rome, whilst each of them readily explained, and called to mind some passages of a classic author, where the same ceremony was described, as transacted in the same form and manner, and in the same place where I now saw it executed before my eyes." -- Dowl. Hist. of Rom., p.114.

Says Mr. Lord:

"After a struggle of more than four centuries, the ecclesiastics of all the hierarchies in the empire were united in one vast organization, with the pontiff as their supreme legislative and judicial head, and a single ecclesiastical government was established over the whole Roman church, after the model of the civil government of the ancient empire under Constantine and his successors. It is, accordingly, denominated by Catholics themselves a monarchy. 'All Catholic doctors agree in this, that the ecclesiastical government committed to men by God is a monarchy.' -- Bellarmini de Rom. Pont., lib. i., c. v. Bellarmine devotes his first book 'of the Pontiff' to prove that such is and ought to be its government. 'If the monarchical is the best form of government, as we have shown, and it is certain that the church of God instituted by Christ its head, who is supremely wise, ought to be governed in the best manner, who can deny that its rule ought to be monarchical?' -- Ib., i., c. ix., p.527.

"The canonists are accustomed, accordingly, to denominate the Pope a king.

"The pontiffs were as absolutely the legislative and judicial head of this ecclesiastical kingdom, as the emperors from Constantine to Augustulus were of the civil empire, and imposed whatever laws they pleased on subordinate ecclesiastics and on the church by decrees, in the same manner as those emperors enacted laws by edicts. The decrees, bulls of canonization, sentences, charters, and other legislative and judicial acts of the pontiffs, from Gregory VII., in 1073, to Benedict XIV., in 1757, collected in the Bullarium Magnum, fill nineteen folios. Many others are contained in the decretals and councils.

"They appointed to all ecclesiastical offices throughout the empire, as the Christian emperors appointed to all civil and military offices in their dominions.

"They exacted oaths of fidelity from all whom they advanced to important offices; as the emperors exacted engagements of fidelity from their civil magistrates.

"They established courts in which all violations of their laws were tried, and a tribunal at the capital for the decision of appeals. There were gradations of rank in the hierarchy, like those of the magistrates of the civil empire. The hierarchies, as nationalized by Constantine, were formed in each patriarchate, after the model of the civil government in the provinces. The hierarchy of the western kingdoms, under the Pope, was formed after that pattern; having archbishops or metropolitans at the head of the clergy of each nation, or large district, and bishops, abbots, and a long catalogue of subordinate ranks, under each metropolitan.

"They levied taxes for their support on ecclesiastics and laics.

"They inflicted ecclesiastical penalties on the violators of their laws; exclusion from communion, suspension from office, deposition, excommunication, and a sentence of eternal death." -- Exp. of Apoc., pp.429-432.

These, with many other striking resemblances, demonstrate that the Roman hierarchy, in all its great features, was a counterpart to imperial Rome -- an image of, and belonging to, the seven-headed, ten-horned monster, whose deadly wound was healed.

Life was to be given to this image by the two-horned beast. The papal hierarchy is created when its supremacy over other churches is declared and sustained; and the power by which this is done, is that which gives life to it. This was done, according to the following history, by the Eastern empire.

The power of the papacy, symbolized by the image, had been predicted in Daniel under the symbol of "a Little Horn," that came up among the previous "ten horns," before whom "there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things," Dan.7:8. These horns were thus explained to Daniel: "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall arise 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, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 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." Ib. vs.23-27.

When Paul spoke of the second coming of Christ, in his first epistle to the Thessalonians, they understood that it was an event then imminent. The apostle, in his second epistle, corrects this impression, by referring to the foregoing prediction in Daniel, which must be previously fulfilled. He assures them that "the day of Christ" "shall not come, except there be" an apostasy, or "a falling away first, and that Man of Sin," or the lawless one, "be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming," 2 Thess.2:2-8.

The uniform application of these predictions to the Papacy, by Protestant writers, renders it unnecessary to argue this point. That power began early to be manifested, but its full development was "let," i.e., hindered, by the continuance of the Western empire, which had to be taken out of its way. Tertullian, near the close of the second century, in expounding those words, says: "Who can this be but the Roman state, the division of which into ten kingdoms will bring on Antichrist?" And he gives as a reason why the Christians of his time prayed for the Roman empire: that the greatest calamity hanging over the world was retarded by the continuance of it. Cyril of Jerusalem in the fourth century applied the passage in the same manner, and says:

"Thus the predicted Antichrist will come when the times of the Roman empire shall be fulfilled, and the consummation of the world shall approach. Ten kings of the Romans shall arise together, in different places indeed, but they shall reign at the same time. Among these the eleventh is Antichrist, who, by magical and wicked artifice, shall seize the Roman power." A large number of the ancient fathers interpreted this text in the same manner.

In A. D.257, 1260 years before the time of Luther, Stephen, Bishop of Rome, began to act the pope in good earnest, -- excommunicating those who dissented from the doctrines of Rome.

In 312, 1260 years before the massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1572, Constantine became Emperor of Rome, embraced Christianity, and terminated the last and bloodiest of the Pagan persecutions -- that of Diocletian, which had continued ten years. Constantine undertook to remodel the church, in conformity to the government of the state, and the unhallowed union of the two resulted in the dignities of patriarchs, exarchs, archbishops, canons, prebendaries, &c., which he endowed with wealth and worldly honors.

While paganism was superseded by Christianity under Constantine, its ceremonies were not suppressed. The senate was still pagan; and "the title, the ensigns, and the prerogatives of Sovereign Pontiff, which had been instituted by Numa, and assumed by Augustus, were accepted, without hesitation, by seven Christian emperors." -- Gibbon, v.2, p.183. Gratian became emperor, A. D.376, and was the first who refused the pontifical robe. In 378, he invested Theodosius with the Empire of the East; under their rule paganism was "wholly extirpated," and the senate was suddenly converted. -- Ib. That which hindered was thus taken out of the way. In 378, also, Gratian refusing the office, Damasus, the Bishop of Rome, was "declared Pontifix Maximus,"(4) and made "the sole judge in religious matters." All who would not adhere to the religion "professed by the Pontiff Damasus, and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria," were declared heretics. -- Gibbon, v.2, p.156. Damasus, by virtue of his power, introduced the worship of the saints, and of Mary, "the mother of God," -- excommunicating those who dissented. Thus the apostasy, by adopting the gods of the heathen, and the name of the heathen pontiff, began to be set up, and the excommunicated church disappeared in the wilderness.

In the ninth century a document was produced, which claimed to be a deed of gift from Constantine to the Pope, dated A. D.324, ceding him the city of Rome and all Italy, with the crown, the mitre, &c.; but the forgery of this has been fully exposed. With the removal of the capital of the world to Constantinople, the empire began to decline; but the church augmented as fast. A provisional synod at Sardica, in A. D.344, and a decree of the Emperor Valentinian III., in 445, had acknowledged the Bishop of Rome as the primate of the five patriarchs, and as the last tribunal of appeal from the other bishops; but the edicts of the Pope were often disregarded and opposed, and he continued subject to the civil power till the subversion of the Western empire by Odoacer, King of the Heruli, in A. D.476.

The ten kingdoms which had arisen on the ruins of the Western empire (p.169), had nearly all embraced Christianity, corrupted by Arianism. And the barbarians transferred to their Christian instructors, the profound submission and reverence which they were accustomed to yield to the teachers of paganism, -- many of the rites and ceremonies of which had been incorporated into the Catholic service. Ecclesiastical courts were established, in which were tried all questions relating to character, office, or property of the clergy; and thus they became nearly independent of the civil judges.

The Heruli, which was the first of the ten horns plucked up, were conquered by the Ostrogoths, in A. D.493, when all Italy submitted to Theodoric. He fixed his capital at Ravenna, which left the Pope the only Prince of Rome; and the Romans, for protection, were forced to pay more deference to him.

About A. D.500, two Popes were simultaneously elected, when Theodoric gave the papal chair to Symmachus. Gross crimes being alleged against him by the defeated party, the king summoned a council in A. D.503 to investigate the charges; and he was acquitted. The other party being dissatisfied, Ennodius, Bishop Ticonum, drew up an apology for the Pope and council, in which, for the first time, the Pope was styled a "Judge in the place of God, and Vicegerent of the Most High;" and "subject to no earthly tribunal." Thus did the Lawless One attempt, "as God," to "sit in the temple of God."

In A. D.533, Justinian, Emperor at Constantinople, being about to attack the Vandals in Africa, and wishing first to settle the religious disputes of his capital in which he felt a great interest, he submitted the controversy to the primate of Rome. To induce a decision in his own favor, or to give force to it, he acknowledged the Bishop of Rome the Chief of the whole Ecclesiastical body of the empire; and thus addressed him, in a letter sent by two distinguished prelates: --

"Justinian, pious, fortunate, renowned, triumphant emperor, consul, &c., to John, the most holy Archbishop of our city of Rome, and patriarch.

"Rendering honor to the Apostolic chair, and to your Holiness, as has been always and is our wish, and honoring your blessedness as a father; we have hastened to bring to the knowledge of your Holiness all matters relating to the state of the churches. It having been at all times our great desire to preserve the unity of your Apostolic chair, and the constitution of the holy churches of God which has obtained hitherto, and still obtains.

"Therefore we have made no delay in subjecting and uniting to your Holiness all the priests of the whole East.

"For this reason we have thought fit to bring to your notice the present matters of disturbance; though they are manifest and unquestionable, and always firmly held and declared by the whole priesthood according to the doctrine of your Apostolic chair. For we cannot suffer that anything which relates to the state of the Church, however manifest and unquestionable, should be moved, without the knowledge of your Holiness, who are The Head of all the Holy Churches, for in all things, as we have already declared, we are anxious to increase the honor and authority of your Apostolic chair."

Says Dr. Croly: --

"The emperor's letter must have been sent before the 25th of March, 533. For, in his letter of that date to Epiphanius he speaks of its having been already despatched, and repeats his decision, that all affairs touching the church shall be referred to the Pope, 'head of all bishops, and the true and effective corrector of heretics.'

"In the same month of the following year, 534, the Pope returned an answer repeating the language of the emperor, applauding his homage to the See, and adopting the titles of the imperial mandate. He observes that, among the virtues of Justinian, 'one shines as a star, his reverence for the Apostolic chair, to which he has subjected and united all the churches, it being truly the head of all; and was testified by the rules of the fathers, the laws of the princes, and the declarations of the emperor's piety.'

"The authenticity of the title receives unanswerable proof from the edicts in the 'Novellae' of the Justinian code.

"The preamble of the 9th states that 'as the elder Rome was the founder of the laws, so was it not to be questioned that in her was the supremacy of the pontificate.'

"The 131st, on the ecclesiastical titles and privileges, chapter II. states: 'We therefore decree that the most holy Pope of the elder Rome is the first of all the priesthood, and that the most blessed archbishop of Constantinople, the new Rome, shall hold the second rank after the holy Apostolic chair of the elder Rome.'

"The supremacy of the Pope had by those mandates and edicts received the fullest sanction that could be given by the authority of the master of the Roman world. However worthless the motives, the act was done, authentic and unquestionable, sanctioned by all the forms of state, and never abrogated, -- the act of the first potentate in the world. If the supremacy over the church of God had been for man to give, it might have been given by the unrivalled sovereignty of Justinian.

"From this era the church of Rome dates the earthly acknowledgment of her claim. Its heavenly authority is referred to the remoter source of the apostles." -- Apoc., pp.14-16, 30, 31.

The war against the Vandals was vigorously prosecuted by Belisarius, Justinian's general, and resulted in their conquest the same year. Thus was the second of the first ten divisions of the empire subjugated: the second horn was plucked up.

Rome was still in possession of an Arian monarch, who was the bitter enemy of the Catholic church. Intelligence of the success of Belisarius in Africa reached the emperor, Dec.16th, A. D.533. "Impatient to abolish the temporal and spiritual tyranny of the Vandals, he proceeded, without delay, to the full establishment of the Catholic church." -- Gibbon, Harpers' ed., v.3, p.67. Belisarius proceeded to the conquest of Italy, which he effected, and marched on to Rome. Only 4000 soldiers were stationed for its defence; and they could not oppose the wishes of the Romans, who voluntarily submitted. Seized with a momentary enthusiasm, "they furiously exclaimed that the apostolic throne should no longer be profaned by the triumph or toleration of Arianism; that the tombs of the Caesars should no longer be trampled on by the savages of the north; and without reflecting that Italy must sink into a province of Constantinople, they fondly hailed the restoration of a Roman emperor as a new era of freedom and prosperity. The deputies of the Pope and clergy, of the senate and people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance, and to enter the city." Thus was "the city, after sixty years' servitude delivered from the yoke of the barbarians," Dec.10, A. D.536. And "the Catholics prepared to celebrate, without a rival, the approaching festival of the nativity of Christ." -- Ib. p.80.

In the winter, the Ostrogoths made preparations, and besieged Rome with an army of 150,000 fighting men. Pope Sylverius was suspected of treachery, and on proof that he had communicated with the enemy, he was banished by Belisarius. At the emperor's command, the clergy of Rome proceeded to the choice of a new bishop, and elected "deacon Virgilius, who had purchased the papal throne by a bribe of two hundred pounds of gold." -- Ib. p.85. As he had obtained the papal seat by fraud, it was claimed that he was not the lawful Pope; but in A. D.538, he was owned as such by the 5th General Council, and the whole Christian world. -- See Bowers' Hist. Popes, v.2, p.374. In March of this year (538), -- after "one year and nine days" -- the Ostrogoths raised the siege of Rome, and burned their tents -- one-third of their number having perished under its walls. The arms of Justinian triumphed, and the Catholic hierarchy was established. The third horn had been plucked up by the fall of the third of the first ten divisions of Rome.

The Bishop of Constantinople did not submit willingly to the Primacy of Rome. On the death of Justinian, the supremacy of the Pope was utterly denied; and, in A. D.588, John, Bishop of Constantinople, himself assumed the coveted title of "Universal Bishop." The Roman bishop, Gregory the Great, indignant at this usurpation, denounced him as a "usurper, aiming at supremacy over the whole church," and declared that whoever claims such supremacy "has the pride and character of Antichrist."

Boniface succeeded to the Roman See, and in the following year, A. D.606, only two years after Gregory's death, applied to Phocas, -- who had ascended the throne of Constantinople by the murder of the Emperor Mauritius, -- for the same blasphemous title, with the privilege of continuing it to his successors. His request was granted, the Eastern Bishop was forbidden its use, and the Primate of Rome was again acknowledged as "Universal Bishop," and the unrivalled "Head of all the churches." This title has been worn by all the succeeding Popes; "but the highest authority," says Dr. Croly, "among the civilians and annalists of Rome, spurn the idea that Phocas was the founder of the supremacy of Rome. They ascend to Justinian as the only legitimate source, and rightly date the title from the memorable year 533." -- Apoc. p.117.

In A. D.730, Emperor Leo issued an edict for the destruction of all images used in religious worship. From that time the Pope scorned his authority, and acted in defiance of the emperor's will, who found himself unable to compel the Pope to obey the edict.

The Papacy thus defied all human authority; but did not as yet attempt the exercise of political power.

In A. D.756, Pepin, the usurper of the crown of France, compelled the King of Lombardy to cede the exarchate of Ravenna to the Pope, "to be forever held and possessed by St. Peter and his lawful successors in the See of Rome." The Pope had now become a temporal prince, and one of the kings of the earth. In A. D.774, Charlemagne, the successor of Pepin, confirmed the former gift, and in addition, subjugated the Lombards, and annexed a large portion of their kingdom and the Duchy of Rome to the Roman See. In A. D.817, Louis the Pious, granted "St. Peter's patrimony" to the Pope and his successors, "in their own right, principality, and dominion, unto the end of the world." Hence, as a temporal prince, the Pope wears a triple crown.

In A. D.800, Charlemagne was solemnly crowned and proclaimed emperor by the Pope, having reduced under his sway nearly the whole of Europe. From this time the Popes claimed superiority to all kings and emperors, received homage from them, and exercised all the rights of sovereignty; but they were nominally dependent on the Emperors of the West till A. D.1278, when the Emperor Rudolph released the people of the Papal States from all allegiance they might still owe to the imperial crown. This act was confirmed by the electors and princes of the empire. The Popes, in the greatness of their power, crowned and uncrowned kings at their pleasure, absolved subjects from all allegiance to their rulers, excommunicated whoever they would, and compelled secular princes to put to death heretics.

In A. D.1294, Boniface VIII. became Pope. From his accession Hallam dates the decline of the Papacy, which, for "more than two centuries, had been on throne of the earth, and reigned despot of the world." -- Dowling. This was 1260 years from the death of Peter, -- the earliest time from which they can date. His bull of excommunication against Philip of France, being disregarded by that monarch, who adroitly made the Pope his prisoner, his rage brought on a fever, which caused his death. Only a few succeeding pontiffs claimed, and none attempted to enforce, the prerogatives exercised by the preceding Popes. For seventy years the successors of Boniface resided at Avignon, in France, and paid great deference to the monarch of that country. After this was the Western schism, which divided the church for forty years, -- two rival Popes claiming the mitre, and thundering out their anathemas against each other. These events greatly weakened the Papacy. About this time appeared Wickliffe and Huss, and Jerome of Prague; and still later, in 1517, Martin Luther, in opposition to the Papal pretensions, published his Thesis against Indulgences, 1260 years from the time of the arrogance of Pope Stephen.

In A. D.1572, 1260 years from the removal of Constantine from Rome to Constantinople, occurred the bloody massacre of St. Bartholomew, when in one day 5000 Protestants were murdered in Paris, and in the same proportion in other parts of France. The persecutions of the Papists continued till near the close of the last century; and as late as November, 1781, a woman was burned alive by the Inquisition in Spain.

In 1793, 1260 years from Justinian's letter to the Pope, the Papal church, with all religion, was entirely suppressed in France. And in 1798, which was the same length of time from the establishment of the papacy, by the conquest of the Ostrogoths, -- the plucking up of the last of the three horns in 538, Gen. Berthier entered Rome, compelled the Pope to flee, and terminated the Papal government.

The temporal power was afterwards restored; but in 1848, twelve hundred and sixty years from 588 when John assumed the title of Universal Bishop, the Pope again fled from his throne. Two years subsequently, he was again restored.

"Flacius, in his 'Catalogue of Witnesses,' represented the twelve hundred and sixty days as having commenced in 606;" and Scott, and several others, reckon them from the same epoch.

4. The image had power to speak. It thus filled the office of the "mouth," which was given to the ten-horned beast (v.5), which synchronizes with the view taken of that appendage, p.172.

5. It should cause the infliction of death on those who should refuse to worship. The worship it would exact, is doubtless of the kind bestowed on the wild beast, 13:4. The Papal hierarchy claimed to be infallible and invincible, and to have power to bind and loose on earth and in heaven; those who refused to recognize its claims, if incorrigible, were punished with death.

The Image was not to put to death, but would cause them to be killed. The symbolization corresponds with the fulfilment in this particular. The ecclesiastical officials punished rebellious subjects, by delivering them over to the civil arm; which punished heretics according to the will of the Papacy. "Lucius III. and Innocent III. by formal decrees required them to be seized, condemned, and delivered by the civil magistrates, to be capitally punished; and enjoined the princes and magistrates to execute on them the sentences denounced by the canon and civil laws." -- Lord's Exp. of Apoc., p.434. This is substantiated by Bellarmini and other writers. Civil rulers, who refused to enforce the decrees of the councils, were anathematized, excommunicated, and often deprived of their political power. When the Papacy has been reminded of the numbers killed and otherwise punished for alleged heresy, she has replied that the civil power, and not the church, has done this! She, however, has caused the kings of the earth to execute her wishes.

6. The image would cause all to receive the mark of the Beast. A mark is a token of recognition. Slaves, soldiers, and the devotees of various gods, were thus identified on their hands or foreheads, both before and after the time of St. John -- slaves by the name of the Emperor on their forehead, and soldiers by his name on their hand. Mr. Elliott proves this by quotations from Valerius, Maximus, AElian, Ambrose, and others. The devotees of particular gods gained admittance to the secret meetings of the worshippers of their respective deity, by a mark by which they identified each other. At the present day the Hindoos are marked on the forehead by the hieroglyphic of the god they are consecrated to.

The mark of the beast, is its name, or the number of its name. The ancients often used numbers to indicate names. "Among the Pagans, the Egyptian mystics spoke of Mercury, or Thouth, under the number 1218, because the Greek letters composing the name Thouth, when estimated according to their numerical value, together made up that number. By others, Jupiter was invoked under the mystical number 717; because the letters of {GREEK CAPITAL LETTER ETA WITH DASIA} {GREEK CAPITAL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK CAPITAL LETTER RHO}{GREEK CAPITAL LETTER CHI}{GREEK CAPITAL LETTER ETA}, the beginning, or first origin, which was a characteristic title of the supreme deity worshipped as Jupiter, made up that number: and Apollo under the number 608, as being that of {GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}, or {GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}, words expressing certain solar attributes. Again, the pseudo-Christian or semi-pagan Gnostics, from St. John's time downwards, affixed to their gems and amulets, of which multitudes remain even to the present day, the mystic word {GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER RHO}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER XI}, or {GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER RHO}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER XI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}, under the idea of some magic virtue attaching to its number 365, as being that of the days of the annual solar circle; and equal moreover with that of {GREEK CAPITAL LETTER MU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER THETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER RHO}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}, or Mithras, the Magian name for the sun, whom they identified also with Christ. Once more, the Christian fathers themselves fell into the same fancies, and doctrine of mysteriousness in certain verbal numbers. For example, both Barnabas and Clement of Alexandria speak of the virtue of the number 318 as being that of {GREEK CAPITAL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK CAPITAL LETTER ETA}{GREEK CAPITAL LETTER TAU} the common abbreviation for Jesus crucified; and partly ascribe to its magical virtue the victory which Abraham gained with his 318 servants over the Canaanitish kings. Similarly Tertullian refers the victory of Gideon, with his 300 men, to the circumstance of that being the precise number of {GREEK CAPITAL LETTER TAU}, the sign of the cross. In the name of Adam, St. Cyprian discerned a mysterious numeral affinity to certain characteristics in the life and history of the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Irenaeus notes the remarkable number 888 of the name {GREEK CAPITAL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}, Jesus. And in the pseudo-Sibylline verses, written by Christians about the end, probably, of the second century, and consequently not long after Irenaeus, we find enigmas proposed of precisely the same characters as that in the text; -- the number being given, and the name required." -- Elliott's Horae Apoc., vol. iii., pp.204-6.

The "number of the beast" is indicated in the text by the Greek letters "{GREEK SMALL LETTER CHI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER XI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}" which were severally used to represent the numbers 600, 60 and 6, making 666. As the name of the beast is equivalent to this number, the letters in it will represent numbers which amount to six hundred threescore and six.

After the division of the Roman empire, the western kingdom adopted for itself the name of the Latin kingdom; and its subdivisions were called the Latin kingdoms. The church connected with those kingdoms was also emphatically called the Latin church. Says Dr. More: "They Latinize everything. Mass, prayers, hymns, litanies, canons, decretals, bulls, are conceived in Latin. The Papal councils speak in Latin. Women pray in Latin. The Scriptures are read in no other language under the Papacy than Latin. In short, all things are Latin." The Council of Trent declared the Latin Vulgate to be the only authentic version of the Scriptures; and their doctors have preferred it to the Hebrew and Greek text, written by prophets and apostles.

This Latin kingdom is the only one that ever corresponded to the characteristics of the beast. And its name -- Latinos in the Greek, and Romiith in the Hebrew -- is equivalent to the required number.



in each of which the exact mark is contained.

"It therefore evidently appears, that each name is both a mark and a number; a mark, when viewed as made up of so many letters, therefore called the mark of his name; a number, when viewed as made up of so many numerals, then called the number of his name. But when considered merely as a name, derived from Romiith, a Roman, or Romulus, the founder of Rome, a name common among men, it may then be properly called the mark, or number of a man." -- Fleming's Rise and Fall of Papacy.

To receive the mark of the beast, would be an acknowledgment of subjection to it. The connection of the beast and its image was so intimate, that submission to the one, was virtual submission to the other. To submit to the rites of the church modelled after the wild beast, to profess its faith, and to honor its authority, would be a reception of its mark. And all persons were compelled to do this, and give evidence of submission to its authority on the peril of their lives.

7. Those who should refuse the mark of the beast, were to be prohibited from buying and selling. The Lateran Council under Pope Alexander II., passed an act forbidding any to harbor heretics in their houses or to trade with them. The Synod of Tours passed a law that no one should assist them, "no, not so much as to exercise commerce with them in selling or buying."(5) -- Elliott. In 1179, the third Lateran Council sentenced certain heretics, "their defenders and harborers, to an anathema, and forbid, under an anathema, that any should presume to keep them in their house, or on their lands, sustain them, or transact any business with them." -- Lord. "It was just the same fearful penalty of interdict from buying and selling, traffic and intercourse, that had been inculcated long before by the Pagan Dragon's representative Diocletian, against the early Christians." -- Elliott.

So exact a correspondence between the wild beast and the Western kingdoms, the two-horned beast and the Eastern empire, and the image to the wild beast and the Roman Hierarchy, makes the symbolization of this chapter very intelligible. These three agencies will severally continue till the end of the world. The latter will be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming (2 Thess.2:8), and the two former will then be taken and "cast alive into the lake of fire," 19:20.

The vision would have been defective without a representation of the end of those who refuse to worship the beast, or its image, or to receive their mark, and who, although warred against and overcome by the beast, should maintain their integrity to Christ. Accordingly the revelator has a view of:

the two-horned beast
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