Imágenes de páginas

of concinnity, to treat of it rather here than here


I saw a wild-beast, having seven heads, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And I beheld another wild-beast : and he causeth all, that they should give to them a mark upon their right hand or upon their foreheads; and that no man might be able to buy or sell, save he that had the mark, the name of the wild-beast or the number of his name *. Herein is wisdom : let him, that hath understanding, calculate the number of the wild-beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six-hundred three-score and six 3.

Many have been the speculations, relative to the name thus darkly propounded; some very plausible, and others very absurd : but we shall vainly hope for success in explaining the sacred enigma, unless we attend most strictly to the terms in which it is conveyed.

Now these terms, I apprehend, may be set forth under the four following distinct articles.

"That the name in question is the name of the first or secular wild-beast, is abundantly certain from the context. The beast, to whom the name belongs, is the beast for whom an image was made. But the beast, for whom an image was made, is the first or secular beast. Therefore the first or secular beast must be that, to whom the name belongs. Compare Rev. xii. 3, 14–17. xiv. 9. xv, 2. xvi. 2. xix. 20. xx. 4.

· Griesbach rightly rejects the undoubtedly spurious conjunction or, between the mark and the name.

3 Rev. xiii. 1, 11, 16, 17, 18.

The name of the beast is a certain mark or stigma or character : which is figuratively said to be impressed upon him, which exhibits the component letters of his name, and by which he is emphatically distinguished.

The name of the beast is the name of blasphemy.

The name of the beast comprehends the number of the beast : and that number is declared to be 666.

The number of the beast, or the number 666 produced by the letters of his name, is also the number of a man.

Having thus laid down the four distinct articles, under which the terms descriptive of the sacred enigma are set forth, I shall proceed to consider them severally in the regular order of their statement.

1. The name of the beast is a certain mark or stigma or character: which is figuratively said to be impressed upon him, which exhibits the component letters of his name, and by which he is emphatically distinguished.

Many have supposed, that the mark of the beast is something different from his name. This, however, is a great mistake : and it has mainly, no doubt, originated from the vulgar reading, which inserts the spurious conjunction or between the two phrases of the mark and the name of the beast".



Save he that had the mark, or the name of the be the number of his name. Rev. xii. 17. The or, as our best critics have determined, is spurious.

But, in truth, the name and the mark are substantially identical : for the mark is no other than the impression of the name, which (we are told) was branded upon the foreheads of the beast and of all his subjects'.

The name and the mark being thus identified, or rather (in absolute strictness of speech) the mark being the stampor impression of the name, we must, for the purpose of understanding the true import of this first article, attend to what Mr. Mede has well denominated the system of counter-elements.

It is said, that the 144,000 saints, who are separated from the gentilising Church of the Roman Empire, received a seal or mark or stigma or impression upon their foreheads : and the mark or stigma thus received, is declared to be the name of God the Father?.

In a similar manner, the wild-beast is said to have a mark or stigma or character impressed upon each of his seven heads; which mark is also impressed upon the right hand or upon the forehead of all his subjects: and the mark or stigma, thus impressed, is declared to be the name of the wild-beast;

Even if we retain the spurious or, still, as Mr. Mede clearly saw, we shall have no warrant on that account to pronounce, that the mark is one thing, and that the name is another. In that case, we must view the or merely as explanatory.

Character bestiæ non est propriè nisi nominis : ideo dicitur character seu nomen bestiæ, et capite sequente character nominis ejus. Comment. Apoc. in loc.

? Rev. vii. 3,4. xiv. I.

which name is also styled 'the name of blasphemy. -. Here, then, we have two. perfect counter-elements: therefore the principle of homogeneity requires, that the one should be interpreted analogously to the other. Now the sealing of the 144,000 saints with the name of God denotes the separation of those saints to the pure worship of God; and, consequently, describes the nature of the religion which they professed. Hence, analogously, the branding of the Roman beast and all his adherents with the name of the beast, which is the name of blasphemy, must denote the counterseparation of that beast and his adherents to a blasphemous mode of worship; and, consequently, describes the nature of the religion professed and maintained by them.

This result teaches us, that the name of the beast is not his Gentile appellation, but that it is some name which expresses the nature of his religion: just as the name of God, impressed upon the 144,000 saints, is not their gentile appellation, but a name expressing the nature of their religious worship.

2. The name of the beast is the name of blasphemy.

This second article is built upon the first, though it may likewise be established by the very context of the prophecy itself.

· Rev. xiii. 1, 16, 17.

The beast is said to bear upon each one of his seven heads the name of blasphemy': and, afterward, we are told, that this same beast is distinguished by a peculiar name?

If, then, we compare together these two assertions of the prophet, we are obviously led to conclude, that the peculiar name of the beast is no other than the name of blasphemy or the blasphemous name which he bore conspicuously upon his seven heads.

This, I allow, is not more than a presumption ; though it is a presumption, which seems to spring recessarily from the general context of the vision : but the prescrption will be changed into certainty, when we acivert to the first article. The beast is s to beats evocear printed, upon his seven bais the mete v tisdemy: whence, as this single sme o deve seren times repeated, he is also ste sanes of blasphemy! But the name, tàu intrinini va his seven heads, is plainly, from the very consume of its being thus imprinted, his mark or signs or character: for the Greek word, by which this mark is described, involves of necessity the idea of a brand or imprinted mark'. The mark, therefore, of the beast is the name of blasphemy imprinted or branded upon each of his seven heads. But the mark of the beast, as

I Rev. xii, 1.
? Rev. xiii, 17, 18.
* Rev. xii. 1. xvii. 3.

' Gr. xipaypa from Xapórow to engrave or to impressa mark

« AnteriorContinuar »