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in the year A. C. 48, when, after the successive deaths of Crassus and Pompey, Cesar was declared, by the Senate and People, Consul for five years and Dictator for one year ; awoke to activity in the year A. C. 43, with Antony and Lepidus and Octavian; and ultimately became extinct in the year A. C. 27, when, at the call of Augustus, the first head or the Roman Imperial Kingship awoke after its long slumber of well nigh five centuries.
(7.) The chronologically seventh ruling head was the Francic Kingship or Emperorship.
Since this head, though it was the seventh in chronological order of origination, immediately succeeded the chronologically first head, inasmuch as the five other heads had already fallen in the time of St. John, while the chronologically first head was then in active existence; it will be necessary, for its more satisfactory development, to note somewhat at large the vicissitudes of the first head, until that first head finally fell in the year P. C. 1806 : that so we may be brought, in strictly regular course, to the rise of the chronologically seventh head.
The chronologically first head, as I have already observed, arose with Romulus, in the year A. C. 753 or 748 or 627: and, after a long quiescence which commenced in the year A. C. 508, it awoke to activity in the year A. C. 27; when, by the unanimous consent of the Senate and People, the Principality of the whole Empire was conferred on Octavian Cesar with the name of Augustus, which ever afterward was borne by himself and his suc
Those commentators, who, with whatever subordinate varieties of arrangement, discover the Popedom in the last head of the Roman beast, usually lay it down as a clear case, that the head, which existed in the time of St. John, fell, upon the deposition of Augustulus and the extinction of the Western Imperial Dignity, in the year P. C. 476 or 479. Whence they argue, that, as the Roman Bishop was manifestly the successor of the Roman Emperor in the metropolitan city, and as he soon acquired an extraordinary degree of authority throughout the whole Western Empire, he certainly must be viewed under the character, either of the seventh and eighth Roman kings conjointly, or of the eighth Roman king forthwith succeeding to the short-lived seventh Roman king'.
Such a mode of reasoning is evidently built on the assumption, that the head, which existed in St. John's time, fell, when Augustulus was deposed and when the Imperial Roman Dignity was extin
See Mede's Works, book v. chap. 12. p. 922. Bp. Newton's Diss. on the Proph. diss. xxv. vol. iii. p. 285–288. Lowman's Paraph. p. 255—257. Fleming's Apoc. Key. p. 16. Brightman's Apoc. Apoc. fol. 273, 274. Mann's M.S. cited by Bp. Newton, vol. iii. p. 287. Forbes apud Pol. Synop. in loc. Sharpe's Append. to three Tracts. p. 28. Sharpe's Inquiry into the descript. of Babyl. p. 8, 9. Whitaker on the Rev. p. 205–423. Jurieu's Accompl. part i. chap. 16.
guished in the West. This assumption, however, though made by one commentator after another as a thing quite indisputable, rests upon no solid foundation. The western line of the Roman Emperors did indeed expire with Augustulus : but the office or dominant authority of the Roman Kingship or Emperorship, which is the thing typified by the head existing in the time of St. John, was not then abolished, or, in the phraseology of the Apocalypse, did not then fall. On the contrary, it still continued to subsist with much vigour in the eastern division of the Empire, which is represented by the leonine and the ursine and the leopardine parts of the symbol : and it even again brought under its sway, during the reign of Justinian, the whole of the Italian and African provinces'.
So far, then, was the Roman Emperorship from falling by the abdication of Augustulus, that no other change was produced in the constitution of the Regal head except this : instead of two Emperors, eastern and western, who had governed the divided Empire since the death of Theodosius, the
Respecting the true political aspect of that memorable event, the temporary ertinction of the Roman Imperial Dignity in the West, nothing can be more definite and precise than the authentic testimony of the historian. The Emperorship itself was not considered as abolished. On the contrary, the language of the Roman Senate, in their epistle to Zeno, was, that the majesty of A SOLE MONARCH is sufficient to pervade and protect, at the same time, both the East and the West. See Gibbon's Hist, of Decline, vol. vi. p. 226--228.
world again beheld, though with diminished territory, a sole Emperor of the Romans.
The Dignity, thus evidently not extinct by the deposition of Augustulus, continued in the eastern part of the Empire, until Constantinople was taken by the Turks in the year P. C. 1453. It was then abolished in the East, as it had heretofore been suppressed in the West. But this event did not produce its ultimate fall.
If we revert to the West, we shall find, that, although it had been suppressed by Odoacer throughout that division in the year P. C. 476 or 479, it was restored by the powerful sovereign of France in the year P. C. 800 : when Charlemagne, in the church of St. Peter, was solemnly proclaimed the most pious Augustus, crowned by God the great and pacific Emperor of the Romans'. In consequence, therefore, of this transaction, the Empire was now once more ruled by two Roman Emperors, the one in the East and the other in the West, jointly as before constituting that chronologically first head of the wild-beast, which arose in the person of Romulus, and which was recalled into action by Cesar Octavian ?.
From the year 800 to the year 1453, with the exception of the interregnum which occurred when the Western Imperial Dignity was transferred from
See Gibbon's Hist. of Decline, vol. ix. p. 173, 174, and Baron, Annal. Eccles. A. D. 800.
* See Gibbon's Hist. of Decline, vol. ix. p. 170, 171. and Baron. Annal. Eccles. A. D. 801.
France to Germany, the first head continued to have two representatives : but, when the Turks put an end to the Roman Emperorship in the East, the reigning successor of Charlemagne in the West became the sole Emperor of the Romans. In this capacity, he has always claimed, and has always been allowed, precedence over every one of the ten regal horns, which (as the prophet most accurately speaks) have received power as kings conjunctively with the beast?: and thence he has invariably been considered, as the head of the great European Commonwealth ?.
Such, down to our own time; has confessedly been the state of the divided Roman Empire. Ever since the year 1453, when the Imperial Dignity was abolished in the East, it has existed, under an Emperor or King of the Romans as its acknowledged head', and an indefinite number of jointly reigning independent kings the representatives of the ten original horns. Therefore, from the days of Augustus Cesar when five out of the seven heads had fallen down to the commencement of the nineteenth century, the Roman beast existed under the same first head, which had arisen with Romulus, and which was flourishing in the time of St. John ;
i Rev. xvii. 12.
See Mackenzie's Observ, on Precedency, chap. i. p. I. • It may be useful to inform the non-heraldic reader, that the true official title of the prince, whom we were wont familiarly to denominate the Emperor of Germany, was the Emperor and K’ing of the Romans.