Imágenes de páginas

particularly to the perfon of the pope, the head of the Itate as well as of the church, the king of kings as well as bishop of bishops.

Other offices the false prophet perforins to the beast, in fubjecting all sorts of people to his obedience, by imposing certain terms of communion, and excommunicating all who dare in the least article to diffent from them. (ver. 16, 17.) He causeth all

, bath small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, of whatsoever rank and condition they be, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads : And he will not permit any man to buy or jell, or partake of the common intercourses of life, who hath not the mark, or the name of the beast, of the number of his name. We muft understand, that it was (3) customary among the ancients, for servants to receive the mark of their master, and soldiers of their general, and those who were devoted to any particular deity, of the particular deity to whom they were devoted. These marks were usually impressed on their right hand or on their foreheads; and consisted of fome hieroglyphic characters, or of the name expreffed in vulgar letters, or of the name disguised in numerical letters according to the fancy of the iinposer. It is in allusion to this andent practice and custom, that the fymbol and profession of faith in the church of Rome, as subserving to fuperStition, idolatry and tyranny, is called the mark or charader of the beaft; which character is said to be received in their forehead, when they and public declaration of their faith, and in their right hand, when they live and act in conformity to it. It any diffent from the stated and authorized forms, they are condemned and excommunicated as heretics; and in confequence of that they are no longer suffered to buy or sell; they are interdicted from traffic and commerce, and all the benefits of civil fociety. So Roger Hoveden (4) relates of William the conqueror, that he was fo dutiful

(3) Vide Grot. in locum. Cleric, aliquid emere aut vendere permiserit, in Levit. XIX. 28, et jupra omnes quem apoftolicæ fedi deprehenderit, Spencerum de Legibus Hebræorum inobedientem. Ex Uslerio de fucceffit, Ritualibus. Lib. z. Cap. 20. Sect. Ecclef. Cap. 7. Sect. 7. apud Vixing.

p. 624. et apud Daubuz. P. 599. (4) Ut neminem in fua poteftate


1, 3; 4.

to the pope, that he would not permit any one in his

power to buy or sell any thing, whom he found disobe

dient to the apostolic see.' So the canon of the council of Lateran under Pope Alexander the third, made againft the Waldenses and Albigenfes, (5) injoins upon pain of anathemra, that 'no man presume to entertain or

cherith them in his house or land, or crercise traffic

with them.' The fynod of Tours in France under the fame pope (6) orders under the like intermination, that "no man ihould presume to receive or aslift them,

no not so much as to hold any communion with them ' in selling or buying, that being deprived of the comfort ' of humanity, they may be compelled to repent of the * error of their way.' Pope Martin V. in his bull set out after the council of Constance (7) commands in like manner, that ! they permit not the heretics to have • houses in their districts, or enter into contracts, or

carry on commerce, or enjoy the comforts of humanity ' with Christians.' In this respect, as Mede (8) obferves, the false prophet Spake as the dragon. For the dragon Diocletian published a like edict, that no one fhould fell or adminifter any thing to the Christians, unlefs they had firft burnt incense to the gods, as Bede. also rehearseth in the hymn of Justin Martyr; “They had * not the power of buying or selling any thing, nor were they allowed the liberty of drawing water itself, before

(5) Ne quis eos in domo vel in gotiationes exercere, aut humanitatis terra sua tenere, vel fovere, vel nego. Tolatia cum Chriftianis habere permittiationem cum iis exercere præfumat. tant. Ex Pareo apud Daubuz. p. Ex Tom. 4. Concil. Edit. Rom. A. $98. 16!2. p. 37. apud Medum. p. 509. (8) Et quid ? nonne hic quoque apud Vitring. p. 624. et apud Dau. loquitur pleudopropheta ut draco? buz. p. 508.

Draco enim Diocletianus finiile edic(6) Ne ubi cogniti fuerint illius tum edidit, ne quis quidquam Chris. hærefeos fectatores, receptaculum iis tianis venderet aut fubministraret, nifi quisquam in terra fua præbere, aut prius thura diis adolevillent: de quo præhdium impertiri præfumat; fed in hymno Juftini Martyris ita canit nec in venditione aut emptione aliqua Beda; cum iis communio habeatur, ut fola- Non illis emendi quidquam tio faltem humanitatis amiffo, ab er

Aut vendendi copia : rore viæ fuæ resipiscere cogantur. Ex Nec ipsam haurire aquam Ulerio de success. Ecclef. Cap. 8. Sect. Dabatur licentia, 26. apud Medum et Vitring. et Dau- Antequam thurificarent buz, ibid.

Deteftandis idolis. (7) Ne hereticos in fuis diftri&tibus Mede, p. 509. domicilia tenere, contractus inire, ae,

they they had offered incense to detestable idols.' Popish excommunications are therefore like heathen persecutions: and how large a share the corrupted clergy, and especially the monks of former, and the Jesuits of later times, have had in framing and enforcing such cruel interdicts, and in reducing all orders and degrees to so fervile a state of subjection, no man of the least reading can want to be informed.

Mention having been made of the number of the beast, or the number of his name, (for they are both the same) the prophet proceeds to inform us what that number is, leaving us from the number to collect the name. (ver. 18.) Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beaft. It is not therefore a vain and ridiculous attempt to search into this mystery, but on the contrary is recommended to us upon the authority. of an apostle. For it is the number of a man ; it is a me. thod of numbering practised among men; as the measure of a man (XXI. 17.) is such a measure as men commonly make use of in measuring. It was a method practised among the ancients, to denote names by numbers : 'as the (9) name of Thouth or the Egyptian Mercury was signified by the number 1218; the name of Jupiter, as H Apx" or the beginning of things, by the number 737; and the name of the fun, as nus good, or ins the author of rain, by the number 608. St. Barnabas, the companion of St. Paul, in his (1) epistle discovers in like

[ocr errors]

I 20




(9) Vide Martiani Capella de Nup. Works, Vol. 3. Part 2. Col. 1402. tiis Philologiæ et Mercurii. Lib. 2, et Of the Number 666. q in init. Daubuz, p. 605. Selden's -9 H 8





608 1218

737 (1) Vide S. Barnabæ Epift. Cap. 9. IHT, IH the two first letters of the Edit. Cotelerii et Clerici. The name

name, and T as the mark of his of Jesus was wrote thus abbreviated crofs.





veral ages.

mauner the name of Jefus crucified in the number 318: and other instances might be produced, if there was occasion. It hath been the usual method in al! God's difpensations, for the holy Spirit to accommodate his expressions to the customs, fashions, and manners of the fe- :

Since then this art and mystery of numbers was so much used among the ancients, it is less wonderful that the beast also should have his number, and his number is fiv hundred and fixty-fir. Here only the number is specified'; and from the number we must, as well as we can, collect the name. Several names possibly might be cited, which contain this number: but it is evident, that it nust be fome Greek or Hebrew name; and with the name also the other qualities and properties of the beast must all agree. The name alone will not con-. ftitute an agreement; all other particulars must be perfectly applicable, and the name also must comprehend the precile number of 666. No name appears more proper and suitable than that famous one mentioned by Irenæus, who lived not long after St. John's time, and was the disciple of Polycarp, the disciple of John. He (2) faith, that the name Lateinos contains the number of

666; and it is very likely, because the last kingdom is • so called, for they are Latins who now reign: but in ' this we will not glory:' that is, as it becomes a modest and pious man in a point of such difficulty, he will not be too confident of his explication. Lateinos with ei is the true orthography, as the Greks wrote the long i of the Latins, and as the Latins themselves (3) wrote in former times. No objection therefore can be drawn from the spelling of the name, and the thing agrees to admiration. For after the division of the empire, the Greeks and other orientalists called the people of the western church or church of Rome Latins : and as Dr.

merum :

(2) Sed et LATEINOS nomen (3) So Ennius Lib. VI. 26. habet fexcentoruin fexaginta sex nu. Quorum virtutei bellei fortuna pe

et valde verilimile eft, quo- percit, niam novissimum regnum hoc habet

Horundem me leibertatei parcere vocabulum. Latini eniin funt qui

certum est : nunc regnant : sed non in hoc nos glo- and there are infinite examples beriabimur. Iren. Lib. s. Cap. 30. p. fides. 449. Edit. Grabe.


Henry Moore (4) expresseth it, they latinice in every thing. Mals, prayers, hymus, litanies, canons decretals

, bulls

, are conceived in Latin. The papal councils fpeak in Latin. Women themselves pray in Latin. Nor is the fcripture read in any other language under popery, than Latin, Wherefore the council of Trent commanded the vulgar Latin to be the only authentic version. Nor do their doctors doubt to prefer it to the Hebrew and Greek text itself, which was written by the prophets and apostles. In short all things are Latin; the pope having commu. nicated his language to the people under his dominion, as the mark and character of his empire. They then selves indeed chose rather to be called Romans, and more absurdly still Roman Catholics: and probably the apoftle, as he hath made use of some Hebrew names in this book, as Abaddon (IX. 11.) and Armageddon (XVI. 16.). fo might in this place likewise allude to the name in the Hebrew language. Now Romüth is the (5) Hebrew name for the Roman beast or Roman kingdom : and this word, as well as the former word Lateinos, contains the just and exact number of 666. It is really furprising that there should be such a fatal coincidence in both names in both languages, Mr. Pyle (6) aflerts, and I

(4) Moore's Mystery of Iniquity. gatam Latinam esse authenticam. Nec Part 2. B. 1. Chap. 15. Sect. i. et dubitant doctores eam præferre ipfi Petri Molinæi Vates. p. 500, &c. textui Hebraico et Græco ab ipsis Mitfa, preres, hymni, litaniæ, ca- apoftolis et prophetis exarato. Deni. Bones, decreta, bullæ, Latine concepta que sunt omnia Latina; nempe Papa sunt. Concilia papalia Latine lo- populis a se subactis dedit fuam lin. quuntur. Ipse Mulierculz precan- guam, ut sui imperii notam et charactur Latine. Nec alio sermone fcrip. terem. tura legitur sub papisino quam La. () . tino. Quapropter Concilium Tri. miith fein. to agree with 7777 beaff of den:inum juffit' folam verfionem vul. niaba kingdon.

A go

T -300



-Re רומית

.Roni mafc רומי (s)




[blocks in formation]

(6) See Pyle's Paraphrase, p. 104.


« AnteriorContinuar »