Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

If, then, we take the text in this sense, the power foretold, as "coming up out of the earth,' must arise out of one nation; that nation must be revolutionary; it must, like the Jewish nation, have produced and maintained its revolutions by its own strength; and it must be very sinful, and disobedient to the laws and word of God. And if, ever since the prophet wrote, there has been in the world no civil society or state, which will bear any comparison with the meanings of this prophetic type, one only excepted, and if that one shall accurately fulfil all of them, surely no man of reason and candour will deny, that such civil society must be the true prototype of the beast. And this is the fact; for history bears no testimony of any such civil society, except REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE: and that nation has so perfectly fulfilled all the different meanings of this comprehensive figure, that nothing is wanting. For the French republic, as it is called, has risen out of one great nation; it is an independent political body: it has performed a variety of revolutions in its government, by its own strength and energy, and has supported its authority without the aid of allies, and even against a very powerful coalition; and from the dawn of its existence, it has surpassed all other states, hitherto known in the world, in the extension and extremity of impiety, depravity, and mischief

xxiv. 30.; for Christian Rome, in her schismatic and wicked state, Rev. viii. 13.; for papal apostacy, Rev. xvi. 4. ; for atheism. Rev, xii. 9.; for the German nation, Rev. xii. 16.; and for the revolutionary power of France, xiii. 11, 12. 14.

to mankind. Nor has it stopped short in its Satanical career, of publicly denying the existence of a God, and of teaching and enforcing this horrible and pernicious doctrine upon the minds of mankind, with design to subvert the order, happiness, and peace of the world.

Such are only the general features of this political monster. I shall next consider and interpret the more particular types of this prophecy into their literal senses, and apply them to their proper and respective events, which, I hope to convince the reader, peculiarly exist in the institution of the government, and acts of the constituted authorities of the French republic.

Ver. 11. And he (the beast) had two horns."

The "two horns" is so singular and certain a mark of the power foretold, that it is impossible not to know it, from all others, when it should appear. And it seems to be here given for that purpose: for throughout the prophecies, the hieroglyphical device of " a beast" is made use of to signify a wicked, despotic, mischievous, civil society; the head of a beast, in which its supreme will resides, and by which it directs the actions of the members of the body, denotes the legislative authority; and the horns of a beast, the executive power of the civil society foretold; because, as a beast protects and defends its body with its horns, so a

S

state protects the body politic, or nation, by its executive power. Upon comparing these prophetic signs, thus interpreted into their literal signification, with the constituted authorities of France, we cannot fail to perceive "the beast" in the republic, "the head of the beast" in the legislature, and the "two horns" in the two executive powers, the Committees of Safety. The last is so peculiarly and exclusively characteristic of the two Committees of Safety, that, as I have before hinted, it leaves no doubt respecting its allusion. For in all civil societies hitherto formed, there has never been more than one legislative authority to declare the general will, and one executive power to carry that will into execution. The people, in a civil society with two supreme legislatures, or executive powers, would be in a more insecure and wretched state, than in that of nature. In the first, different and repugnant laws would be made, and no man, however great the penalties, would know which to obey and in the second, competition for power between the two departments, opposition to the measures of each other, and unceasing anarchy, would be the result. Mankind heretofore have ever perceived this self-evident truth, and therefore have never before committed an absurdity in political ethics, so palpably subversive of the purposes of civil society. It has been left to those sons of atheism and confusion, the French philosophists, to form such a monstrous republic; and, in order to answer

their wicked purposes, to institute "two horns, or executive departments in their two supreme Committees of Safety. And it has been left to them, in the course of divine Providence, to give to the world, by this grossest of all political absurdities, an incontestable proof of prophecy, which they blasphemously deny.

Ver. 11. continued." And the beast had two horns like a lamb," &c.

The reader will here remark, that it is not said, that these horns were to be "the horns,' or the real horns of a lamb, which are inoffensive, and used only when it is injured; but that they should be like, that is, in appearance and pretence only, the horns of a lamb. They were to be, according to the literal sense of the metaphorical expression, horns, with a false appearance at first in their institution, but not intended to carry that inoffensive appearance into effect. A more accurate figure to meet the secret design of the appointment, and the after-conduct of the two Committees, could not have been devised by human ingenuity. For Robespierre, that demon of anarchy and mischief, persuaded that he could more easily arrive at the summit of despotism, in two Committees of his own creatures, than in a legislative body, consisting of upwards of a thousand members, got that measure effected. The pretence was, that the commonwealth was in danger; and therefore these extraordinary guar

dians were vested with absolute power, legislative, as well as executive, to remove that danger. The other supreme powers of the state were thus suspended, and indeed destroyed; and thus, in strict verification of the prophecy, "the beast," or the republic, had “two horns," or two Committees, by which alone it was governed. And these two Committees, whether we consider their names, Committees of Safety, or the professed but false design of their institution, the care of the common weal, were like the horns of a lamb."

Ver. 11. continued." And he (the beast). spake as a dragon."

Here we are told that the beast with "two horns" shall throw off his lamb-like appearance, the care and safety of the nation, and assume the real nature of a dragon; a beast, which, from all antiquity, has been conceived to be the most cruel, ferocious, and powerful of all animals. A wonderful change from the appearance of perfect innocence, to the reality of every thing cruel and destructive! a change therefore not to be expected: yet this very fact stands clearly fulfilled by the republic, in its two horned state. No sooner had this change been effected, than all the privileges of the people by the former constitution, even those of liberty, equality, and sovereignty, were taken from them, never more to be possessed; and all the qualities conceived to exist in the dragon" were substituted, and enforced.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »