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part of the stars of heaven by the dragon's tail, and cast ing them to the earth, would represent the destruction of one third part of the true ministers, or churches of Christ, by the false doctrines of the government, or dragon. The term earth represents the empire of the dragon; and the casting down to the earth, shows that they were cast down in the dragon's dominions. We now look for an empire on earth, to coincide with the dragon empire. As the dragon appeared before the 1260 days of the woman began, of course, we must look for his matter-of-fact likeness before the year 325. Now, the Roman government is the only one under heaven that coincides with the dragon, and we will identify the truth of this statement.
Coincidence First.-The dragon symbolizes a great tyrannical autocracy. Such a government was the Roman.
Coincidence Second.-A red dragon symbolizes a great persecuting, or bloody power. Such a power was the Roman empire; and beside this, the imperial power was represented by a scarlet color.
Coincidence Third.-The draconic empire was to be broken, and seven great heads of government were successively to rise out of its ruins, and represent its iron power. Such has been the history of the Roman empire. It has been broken and divided, and seven great empires have arisen from it. Bishop Newton interprets these as the seven hills on which Rome was built; but this is simply ridiculous. For the prophecy is a miniature of only the mightiest occurrences in the world, and the comparatively infinitesimal piles of soil, in a single city, could have no such prominency here, as the heads of mighty empires do. He again interprets them of kings, consuls, dictators, decemvirs, military tribunes, and emperors; but this will not do either, for these
existed while the empire was a unit, and were not empires either, which the symbolic head requires. But, again; these consuls and decemvirs, &c., belonged to an age anterior to the prophecy, whereas, the whole vision was prospective, and not retrospective: it predicted; it did not relate history back of John's day, for it asserts that the things seen were to "be hereafter." We must now look into history, from the days the woman fled into the wilderness, or from 325, and find the coincidences to these seven heads in great dominions that arose subsequently, in the Roman empire limits. We shall not look in vain. Every one acquainted with the history of Europe, even superficially, will instantly recognize the seven dominant empires of Europe, as soon as they are mentioned: 1st. The Western empire. The Roman empire was divided into east and west, in the days of Valentinian, about 365, and Milan was made the seat of government. This empire continued till about 475, when it was entirely overthrown. 2d. After the fall of the Western empire, the next great imperial empire that arose, was that of the Charlemagne, which had the autocratic sway of Europe. 3d. The next autocratic dominion, erected over Europe, was the papal. This arose to political supremacy in the days of Hildebrand, or Gregory VII, A. D. 1073, and held the scepter of empire down to Boniface VIII, about 1303. 4th. The next imperial supremacy in Europe, was that of Charles V, emperor of Spain and Germany, or the Spanish empire. 5th. The next great imperial dominant power, out of the old Roman territory, was the British empire, as everybody knows. 6th. The next great dominant power, in the old Roman territory, was the French empire, under Bonaparte. 7th. The next head, according to John, in another vision, was to arise out of the Asian portion of the
empire, and coincides with the autocracy of Russia in Europe. Russia is now the dominant power in Europe, and bids fair to absorb all its power.
We have placed these heads in Europe, because the original head-place of the serpent was there, and there all the heads must naturally be found. Another reason is, that this dragon coincides with the fourth beast of Daniel, as is seen in the correspondence of the ten horns in the beast and dragon. And as the head and horns of the fourth empire were in Europe in the one case, they must be in the other. Hence, it would have been wrong to have counted the eastern empire among the heads, for that was reckoned as the body of the beast and dragon. These seven empires, it will be seen, were not universal, but coincide with the dimensions represented only by the heads. They coincide also, with Daniel's description of the fourth kingdom in its broken state, where he says the strength of the iron should continue. Each, however, is, for the time, considered as the Roman monarchy continued, as will be seen in the description of the beast from the pit. The whole dragon, therefore, was represented by each head, so that Britain was properly called the dragon, since it was one of the heads, and grew up out of the Roman empire, and thus became its representative, or the representative of autocracy for a time.
Coincidence Fourth.-The seven diadems represented the supremacy of empire. To this, each of the empires, we have mentioned, corresponds; for each was for the time being a dominant empire, and did according to its will; and each was a monarchy, so that monarchy in general was represented by the head and body and tail of the dragon, for they embraced all. Now, it is remarkable that each of these empires had domination over the
churches as well as the states in Europe, while they were in the ascendant.
Coincidence Fifth.-The ten horns upon one or all of the heads, shows that that head or heads would be divided into ten kingdoms. This coincides with the head of Daniel's fourth kingdom; and we have already shown that these were out of the western empire, or on the first head of the broken empire.
Coincidence Sixth.-The tail of the dragon represented the dominant or ruling religion in the draconic. empire. In Daniel's vision of the ten horns and little horn, we have seen that the little horn represented the Roman imperial church; and here the tail of the dragon is seen to coincide with the little horn, as a corrupt and dominant religion. The appearing of the dragon before the woman, was, therefore, as late as the union of church and state.
Coincidence Seventh.-The corrupt imperial religion was to cast down one third of the true Christian churches in a third part of the original draconic or Roman empire. Now, Europe was one third of the old Roman world, for the empire was made up of three continents. And the state religion, throughout all Europe, cast down, persecuted and disorganized all of the churches of Christ, because they were not united to the state.
Coincidence Eighth.-The broken state of Rome, and its existence in successive empires, were represented by the division to heads. To this very state of things the Roman empire, since the union of church and state, has corresponded. As every prophetic characteristic of the seven-headed dragon has coincided with the Roman empire, since church and state union, to the present, the Roman empire must be intended by the dragon.
It can not escape observation, that the woman and her seed, the man child, and the dragon and his armies, and the victory of Michael, were symbols drawn from the declaration of war in the garden of Eden. The woman and her seed coincide with the woman and her man child; the dragon and his tail coincide with the serpent and his seed; the dragon and his angels coincide with the head, body, and tail of the Roman dragon, and Michael and his angels coincide with the woman and her seed and HE that shall bruise the serpent's head. Surely these symbols are of divine origin. The visions of the seals gave a religious history of the world; and the visions of the witnesses and the woman and dragon, are mixed, and so are the visions of the next two powers; but those of the trumpets will be found almost purely political.
THE BEAST FROM THE SEA, OR THE UNIVERSAL IMPERIAL CHURCH.
The next vision of the little interpreting book, is that of a beast from the sea, representing the imperial church organization throughout the Roman empire. "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."
1. The beast.-This, as we have already seen, in Daniel, symbolizes a kingdom or government.