1: And I stood on the sand of the sea - This also was in
the vision. And I saw - Soon after the woman flew away. A wild
beast coming up - He comes up twice; first from the sea, then
from the abyss. He comes from the sea before the seven phials;
"the great whore" comes after them.
O reader, this is a subject wherein we also are deeply concerned,
and which must he treated, not as a point of curiosity, but as
a solemn warning from God! The danger is near. Be armed both
against force and fraud, even with the whole armour of God. Out
of the sea - That is, Europe. So the three woes (the first being in
Persia, the second about the Euphrates) move in a line from east
to west. This beast is the Romish Papacy, as it came to a point
six hundred years since, stands now, and will for some time
longer. To this, and no other power on earth, agrees the whole
text, and every part of it in every point; as we may see, with
the utmost evidence, from the propositions following:
It is one and the same beast, having seven heads, and
ten horns, which is described in this and in the seventeenth
chapter. Of consequence, his heads are the same, and his horns
This beast is a spiritually secular power, opposite
to the kingdom of Christ. A power not merely spiritual or
ecclesiastical, nor merely secular or political but a mixture
of both. He is a secular prince; for a crown, yea, and a
kingdom are ascribed to him. And yet he is not merely secular;
for he is also a false prophet.
The beast has a strict connexion with the city of Rome.
This clearly appears from the seventeenth chapter.
The beast is now existing. He is not past. for Rome is
now existing; and it is not till after the destruction of Rome
that the beast is thrown into the lake. He is not altogether to
come: for the second woe is long since past, after which the
third came quickly; and presently after it began, the beast rose
out of the sea. Therefore, whatever he is, he is now existing.
The beast is the Romish Papacy. This manifestly follows
from the third and fourth propositions; the beast has a strict
connexion with the city of Rome; and the beast is now existing:
therefore, either there is some other power more strictly
connected with that city, or the Pope is the beast.
The Papacy, or papal kingdom, began long ago.
The most remarkable particulars relating to this are here
subjoined; taken so high as abundantly to show the rise of the
beast, and brought down as low as our own time, in order to
throw a light on the following part of the prophecy:
Benedict the Ninth, a child of eleven years old, isbishop of Rome, and occasions grievous disorders for abovetwenty years.
Damasus II. introduces the use of the triple crown.
The church of Milan is, after long opposition,subjected to the Roman.
Hildebrand, or Gregory VII., comes to the throne.
He deposes and excommunicates the emperor.
He uses him shamefully and absolves him.
He excommunicates him again, and sends a crown toRodulph, his competitor.
Rome is taken. Gregory flees. Clement is made Pope,and crowns the emperor.
Gregory VII. dies at Salerno.
Urban II. holds the first Popish council, at Clermontand gives rise to the crusades.
Paschal II. quarrels furiously with the emperor.
The first western general council in the Lateran.The marriage of priests is forbidden.
Innocent II declares the emperor to be the Pope'sliege - man, or vassal.
The Romans set up a governor of their own,independent on Innocent II. He excommunicates them, and dies.Celestine II. is, by an important innovation, chosen to thePopedom without the suffrage of the people; the right ofchoosing the Pope is taken from the people, and afterward fromthe clergy, and lodged in the Cardinals alone.
Eugene II. assumes the power of canonizing saints.
Adrian IV. puts Arnold of Brixia to death forspeaking against the secular power of the Papacy.
Victor IV. is elected and crowned. But Alexander III.conquers him and his successor.
Alexander III. excommunicates the emperor, and bringshim so low, that,
he submits to the Pope's setting his foot on his neck.
Innocent III. sets up the Inquisition against the Vaudois.
He proclaims a crusade against them.
Boniface VIII. introduces the year of jubilee.
The Pope's residence is removed to Avignon.
It is removed back to Rome.
The fifty years' schism begins.
Felix V., the last Antipope, submits to Nicholas V.
The Reformation begins.
Rome is taken and plundered.
Charles V. resigns the empire; Ferdinand I. thinksthe being crowned by the Pope superfluous.
Pius IV. confirms the Council of Trent.
Doctrines highly derogatory to the Papal authorityare openly taught in France.
The constitution Unigenitus.
Pope Gregory VII. canonized anew.
He who compares this short table with what will be observed,
verse 3, (Re 13:3,17:10), will see that the ascent
of the beast out of the sea must needs be fixed toward the
beginning of it; and not higher than Gregory VII., nor lower
than Alexander III.
The secular princes now favoured the kingdom of Christ; but
the bishops of Rome vehemently opposed it. These at first were
plain ministers or pastors of the Christian congregation at Rome,
but by degrees they rose to an eminence of honour and power over
all their brethren till, about the time of Gregory VII. (and
so ever since) they assumed all the ensigns of royal majesty;
yea, of a majesty and power far superior to that of all other
potentates on earth.
We are not here considering their false doctrines, but their
unbounded power. When we think of those, we are to look at the
false prophet, who is also termed a wild beast at his ascent out
of the earth. But the first beast then properly arose, when,
after several preludes thereto, the Pope raised himself above
Hildebrand, or Gregory VII., is the proper founder of
the papal kingdom. All the patrons of the Papacy allow that he
made many considerable additions to it; and this very thing
constituted the beast, by completing the spiritual kingdom: the
new maxims and the new actions of Gregory all proclaim this.
Some of his maxims are,
That the bishop of Rome alone is universal bishop.
That he alone can depose bishops, or receive them again.
That he alone has power to make new laws in the church.
That he alone ought to use the ensigns of royalty.
That all princes ought to kiss his foot.
That the name of Pope is the only name under heaven; and that his name alone should be recited in the churches.
That he has a power to depose emperors.
That no general synod can be convened but by him.
That no book is canonical without his authority.
That none upon earth can repeal his sentence, but he alone can repeal any sentence.
That he is subject to no human judgment.
That no power dare to pass sentence on one who appeals to the Pope.
That all weighty causes everywhere ought to be referred to him.
That the Roman church never did, nor ever can, err.
That the Roman bishop, canonically ordained, is immediately made holy, by the merits of St. Peter.
That he can absolve subjects from their allegiance.
These the most eminent Romish writers own to be his genuine
sayings. And his actions agree with his words. Hitherto the
Popes had been subject to the emperors, though often unwillingly;
but now the Pope began himself, under a spiritual pretext, to act
the emperor of the whole Christian world: the immediate dispute
was, about the investiture of bishops, the right of which each
claimed to himself. And now was the time for the Pope either
to give up, or establish his empire forever: to decide which,
Gregory excommunicated the emperor Henry IV.; "having first,"
says Platina, "deprived him of all his dignities." The sentence
ran in these terms: "Blessed Peter, prince of the apostles,
incline, I beseech thee, thine ears, and hear me thy servant.
In the name of the omnipotent God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
I cast down the emperor Henry from all imperial and regal
authority, and absolve all Christians, that were his subjects,
from the oath whereby they used to swear allegiance to true
kings. And moreover, because he had despised mine, yea, thy
admonitions, I bind him with the bond of an anathema."
The same sentence he repeated at Rome in these terms: "Blessed
Peter, prince of the apostles, and thou Paul, teacher of the
gentiles, incline, I beseech you, your ears to me, and
graciously hear me. Henry, whom they call emperor, hath proudly
lifted up his horns and his head against the church of God, - who
came to me, humbly imploring to be absolved from his
excommunication, - I restored him to communion, but not to his
kingdom, - neither did I allow his subjects to return to their
allegiance. Several bishops and princes of Germany, taking this
opportunity, in the room of Henry, justly deposed, chose Rodulph
emperor, who immediately sent ambassadors to me, informing me
that he would rather obey me than accept of a kingdom, and that
he should always remain at the disposal of God and us. Henry
then began to be angry, and at first intreated us to hinder
Rodulph from seizing his kingdom. I said I would see to whom
the right belonged, and give sentence which should be preferred.
Henry forbad this. Therefore I bind Henry and all his favourers
with the bond of an anathema, and again take from him all regal
power. I absolve all Christians from their oath of allegiance,
forbid them to obey Henry in anything, and command them to
receive Rodulph as their king. Confirm this, therefore, by your
authority, ye most holy princes of the apostles, that all may now
at length know, as ye have power to bind and loose in heaven,
so we have power to give and take away on earth, empires,
kingdoms, principalities, and whatsoever men can have."
When Henry submitted, then Gregory began to reign without
control. In the same year, 1077, on September 1, he fixed a
new era of time, called the Indiction, used at Rome to this day.
Thus did the Pope claim to himself the whole authority over all
Christian princes. Thus did he take away or confer kingdoms and
empires, as a king of kings. Neither did his successors fail to
tread in his steps. It is well known, the following Popes have
not been wanting to exercise the same power, both over kings and
emperors. And this the later Popes have been so far from
disclaiming, that three of them have sainted this very Gregory,
namely, Clement VIII., Paul V., and Benedict XIII. Here is then
the beast, that is, the king: in fact such, though not in name:
according to that remarkable observation of Cardinal Bellarmine,
"Antichrist will govern the Roman empire, yet without the name of
Roman emperor." His spiritual title prevented his taking the
name, while he exerciseth all the power. Now Gregory was at
the head of this novelty. So Aventine himself, "Gregory VII was
the first founder of the pontifical empire."
Thus the time of the ascent of the beast is clear. The apostasy
and mystery of iniquity gradually increased till he arose, "who
opposeth and exalteth himself above all." (2Th 2:4).
Before the seventh trumpet the adversary wrought more secretly;
but soon after the beginning of this, the beast openly opposes
his kingdom to the kingdom of Christ.
The empire of Hildebrand properly began in the year 1077.
Then it was, that upon the emperor's leaving Italy, Gregory
exercised his power to the full. And on the first of September,
in this year, he began his famous epocha.
This may be farther established and explained by the following
The beast is the Romish Papacy, which has now reigned
for some ages.
The beast has seven heads and ten horns.
The seven heads are seven hills, and also seven kings.
One of the heads could not have been, "as it were, mortally
wounded," had it been only a hill.
The ascent of the beast out of the sea is different from
his ascent out of the abyss; the Revelation often mentions both
the sea and the abyss but never uses the terms promiscuously.
The heads of the beast do not begin before his rise out of
the sea, but with it.
These heads, as kings, succeed each other.
The time which they take up in this succession is divided
into three parts. "Five" of the kings signified thereby
"are fallen: one is, the other is not yet come."
"One is:" namely, while the angel was speaking this.
He places himself and St. John in the middlemost time, that he
might the more commodiously point out the first time as past,
the second as present, the third as future.
The continuance of the beast is divided in the same manner.
The beast "was, is not, will ascend out of the abyss,"(Re 17:8,11). Between these two verses, that is interposed
as parallel with them, "Five are fallen, one is, the other is
not yet come."
Babylon is Rome. All things which the Revelation says of
Babylon, agree to Rome, and Rome only. It commenced "Babylon,"
when it commenced "the great." When Babylon sunk in the east,
it arose in the west; and it existed in the time of the
apostles, whose judgment is said to be "avenged on her."
The beast reigns both before and after the reign of Babylon.
First, the beast reigns, (Re 13:1), &c.; then Babylon,(Re 17:1), &c.; and then the beast again, Rev 17:8, &c.
The heads are of the substance of the beast; the horns are
not. The wound of one of the heads is called "the wound of the
beast" itself, verse 3; (Re 13:3) but the horns, or kings,
receive the kingdom "with the beast," (Re 17:12). That word
alone, "the horns and the beast," (Re 17:16), sufficiently
shows them to be something added to him.
The forty - two months of the beast fall within the first of
the three periods. The beast rose out of the sea in the year 1077. A little after, power was given him for forty - two months.
This power is still in being.
The time when the beast "is not," and the reign of "Babylon,"
are together. The beast, when risen out of the sea, raged
violently, till "his kingdom was darkened" by the fifth phial.
But it was a kingdom still; and the beast having a kingdom, though
darkened, was the beast still. But it was afterwards said,
"the beast was," (was the beast, that is, reigned,) "and is not;"
is not the beast; does not reign, having lost his kingdom. Why?
because "the woman sits upon the beast," who "sits a queen,"
reigning over the kings of the earth: till the beast, rising
out of the abyss, and taking with him the ten kings, suddenly
The difference there is between Rome and the Pope, which has
always subsisted, will then be most apparent. Rome, distinct from
the Pope, bears three meanings; the city itself, the Roman church,
and the people of Rome. In the last sense of the word, Rome with
its dutchy, which contained part of Tuscany and Campania, revolted
from the Greek emperor in 726, and became a free state, governed by
its senate. From this time the senate, and not the Pope, enjoyed
the supreme civil power. But in 796, Leo III., being chosen Pope,
sent to Charles the Great, desiring him to come and subdue the senate
and people of Rome, and constrain them to swear allegiance to him.
Hence arose a sharp contention between the Pope and the Roman people,
who seized and thrust him into a monastery. He escaped and fled to
the emperor, who quickly sent him back in great state. In the year 800 the emperor came to Rome, and shortly after, the Roman people,
who had hitherto chosen their own bishops, and looked upon themselves
and their senate as having the same rights with the ancient senate
and people of Rome, chose Charles for their emperor, and subjected
themselves to him, in the same manner as the ancient Romans did to
their emperors. The Pope crowned him, and paid him homage on his
knees, as was formerly done to the Roman emperors: and the emperor
took an oath "to defend the holy Roman church in all its emoluments."
He was also created consul, and styled himself thenceforward Augustus,
Emperor of the Romans. Afterwards he gave the government of the city
and dutchy of Rome to the Pope, yet still subject to himself.
What the Roman church is, as distinct from the Pope, appears,
When a council is held before the Pope's confirmation;
When upon a competition, judgment is given which is the true Pope;
When the See is vacant;
When the Pope himself is suspected by the Inquisition
How Rome, as it is a city, differs from the Pope, there is no need
In the first and second period of his duration, the beast is a
body of men; in the third, an individual. The beast with seven
heads is the Papacy of many ages: the seventh head is the man of
sin, antichrist. He is a body of men from Rev 13:1 - Rev 17:7;
he is a body of men and an individual, Rev 17:8 - Rev 17:11;
he is an individual, Rev 17:12 - Rev 19:20.
That individual is the seventh head of the beast, or, the other
king after the five and one, himself being the eighth, though one of
the seven. As he is a Pope, he is one of the seven heads. But he is
the eighth, or not a head, but the beast himself, not, as he is a
Pope, but as he bears a new and singular character at his coming from
the abyss. To illustrate this by a comparison: suppose a tree of
seven branches, one of which is much larger than the rest; if those
six are cut away, and the seventh remain, that is the tree.
"He is the wicked one, the man of sin, the son of perdition"
usually termed antichrist.
The ten horns, or kings, "receive power as kings with the wild
beast one hour," (Re 17:12); with the individual beast, "who was
not." But he receives his power again, and the kings with it, who
quickly give their new power to him.
The whole power of the Roman monarchy, divided into ten
kingdoms, will be conferred on the beast, (Re 17:13,16,17).
The ten horns and the beast will destroy the whore, (Re 17:16).
At length the beast, the ten horns, and the other kings of the
earth, will fall in that great slaughter, (Re 19:19).
Daniel's fourth beast is the Roman monarchy, from the beginning
of it, till the thrones are set. This, therefore, comprises both
the apocalyptic beast, and the woman, and many other things.
This monarchy is like a river which runs from its fountain in one
channel, but in its course sometimes takes in other rivers, sometimes
is itself parted into several streams, yet is still one continued
river. The Roman power was at first undivided; but it was afterwards
divided into various channels, till the grand division into the
eastern and western empires, which likewise underwent various changes.
Afterward the kings of the Heruli. Goths, Lombards, the exarchs of
Ravenna, the Romans themselves the emperors, French and German,
besides other kings, seized several parts of the Roman power. Now
whatever power the Romans had before Gregory VII., that Daniel's
beast contains; whatever power the Papacy has had from Gregory VII.,
this the apocalyptic beast represents, but this very beast (and so
Rome with its last authority) is comprehended under that of Daniel.
And upon his heads a name of blasphemy - To ascribe to a man what
belongs to God alone is blasphemy. Such a name the beast has, not
on his horns, nor on one head, but on all. The beast himself bears
that name, and indeed through his whole duration. This is the name
of Papa or Pope; not in the innocent sense wherein it was formerly
given to all bishops, but in that high and peculiar sense wherein it
is now given to the bishop of Rome by himself, and his followers: a
name which comprises the whole pre - eminence of the highest and most
holy father upon earth. Accordingly among the above cited sayings
of Gregory, those two stand together, that his "name alone should
be recited in the churches;" and that it is "the only name in the
world." So both the church and the world were to name no other
father on the face of the earth.
2: The three first beasts in Daniel are like "a
leopard," "a bear," and "a lion." In all parts, except his
feet and mouth, this beast was like a leopard or female
panther; which is fierce as a lion or bear, but is also swift
and subtle. Such is the Papacy, which has partly by
subtilty, partly by force, gained power over so many nations.
The extremely various usages, manners, and ways of the Pope,
may likewise be compared to the spots of the leopard. And
his feet were as the feet of a bear - Which are very strong,
and armed with sharp claws. And, as clumsy as they seem, he
can therewith walk, stand upright, climb, or seize anything.
So does this beast seize and take for his prey whatever comes
within the reach of his claws. And his mouth was as the mouth
of a lion - To roar, and to devour. And the dragon - Whose vassal
and vicegerent he is. Gave him his power - His own strength and
innumerable forces. And his throne - So that he might command
whatever he would, having great, absolute authority. The
dragon had his throne in heathen Rome, so long as idolatry
and persecution reigned there. And after he was disturbed in
his possession, yet would he never wholly resign, till he
gave it to the beast in Christian Rome, so called.
3: And I saw one - Or the first. Of his heads as it
were wounded - So it appeared as soon as ever it rose. The
beast is first described more generally, then more
particularly, both in this and in the seventeenth chapter.
The particular description here respects the former parts;
there, the latter parts of his duration: only that some
circumstances relating to the former are repeated in the
seventeenth chapter. (Re 17:1-18)
This deadly wound was given him on his first head by the
sword, (Re 13:14) that is, by the bloody resistance
of the secular potentates, particularly the German emperors.
These had for a long season had the city of Rome, with her
bishop, under their jurisdiction. Gregory determined to cast
off this yoke from his own, and to lay it on the emperor's
shoulders. He broke loose, and excommunicated the emperor, who
maintained his right by force, and gave the Pope such a blow,
that one would have thought the beast must have been killed
thereby, immediately after his coming up. But he recovered,
and grew stronger than before. The first head of the beast
extends from Gregory VII., at least to Innocent III. In that
tract of time the beast was much wounded by the emperors.
But, notwithstanding, the wound was healed.
Two deadly symptoms attended this wound: 1. Schisms and open
ruptures in the church. For while the emperors asserted
their right, there were from the year 1080 to the year 1176
only, five open divisions, and at least as many antipopes,
some of whom were, indeed, the rightful Popes. This was highly
dangerous to the papal kingdoms. But a still more dangerous
symptom was, 2. The rising of the nobility at Rome, who would
not suffer their bishop to be a secular prince, particularly
over themselves. Under Innocent II. they carried their
point, re - established the ancient commonwealth, took away
from the Pope the government of the city, and left him only
his episcopal authority. "At this," says the historian,
"Innocent II. and Celestine II. fretted themselves to death:
Lucius II., as he attacked the capitol, wherein the senate
was, sword in hand, was struck with a stone, and died in a
few days: Eugene III., Alexander III., and Lucius III., were
driven out of the city: Urban III. and Gregory VIII.
spent their days in banishment At length they came to an
agreement with Clement III., who was himself a Roman." And
the whole earth - The whole western world. Wondered after the
wild beast - That is, followed him with wonder, in his councils,
his crusades, and his jubilees. This refers not only to the
first head, but also to the four following.
4: And they worshipped the dragon - Even in worshipping
the beast, although they knew it not. And worshipped the wild
beast - Paying him such honour as was not paid to any merely
secular potentate. That very title, "Our most holy Lord,"
was never given to any other monarch on earth. Saying, Who
is like the wild beast - "Who is like him?" is a peculiar
attribute of God; but that this is constantly attributed to
the beast, the books of all his adherents show.
5: And there was given him - By the dragon, through the
permission of God. A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy
- The same is said of the little horn on the fourth beast in
Daniel. Nothing greater, nothing more blasphemous, can be
conceived, than what the Popes have said of themselves,
especially before the Reformation. And authority was given him
forty - two months - The beginning of these is not to be dated
immediately from his ascent out of the sea, but at some distance
6: To blaspheme his name - Which many of the Popes have
done explicitly, and in the most dreadful manner. And his
tabernacle, even them that dwell in heaven - (For God himself
dwelleth in the inhabitance of heaven.) Digging up the bones
of many of them, and cursing them with the deepest execrations.
7: And it was given him - That is, God permitted him.
To make war with his saints - With the Waldenses and Albigenses.
It is a vulgar mistake, that the Waldenses were so called from
Peter Waldo of Lyons. They were much more ancient than him; and
their true name was Vallenses or Vaudois from their inhabiting
the valleys of Lucerne and Agrogne. This name, Vallenses, after
Waldo appeared about the year 1160, was changed by the Papists
into Waldenses, on purpose to represent them as of modern
original. The Albigenses were originally people of Albigeois,
part of Upper Languedoc, where they considerably prevailed, and
possessed several towns in the year 1200. Against these many of
the Popes made open war. Till now the blood of Christians had
been shed only by the heathens or Arians; from this time by
scarce any but the Papacy. In the year 1208 Innocent III.
proclaimed a crusade against them. In June, 1209, the army
assembled at Toulouse; from which time abundance of blood was
shed, and the second army of martyrs began to be added to the
first, who had cried "from beneath the altar." And ever since,
the beast has been warring against the saints, and shedding their
blood like water. And authority was given him over every tribe
and people - Particularly in Europe. And when a way was found by
sea into the East Indies, and the West, these also were brought
under his authority.
8: And all that dwell upon the earth will worship him - All
will be carried away by the torrent, but the little flock of true
believers. The name of these only is written in the Lamb's book
of life. And if any even of these "make shipwreck of the faith,"
he will blot them "out of his book;" although they were written
therein from (that is, before) the foundation of the world,(Re 17:8).
9: If any one have an ear, let him hear - It was said
before, "He that hath an ear, let him hear." This expression,
if any, seems to imply, that scarce will any that hath an ear
be found. Let him hear - With all attention the following
warning, and the whole description of the beast,
10: If any man leadeth into captivity - God will in due
time repay the followers of the beast in their own kind.
Meanwhile, here is the patience and faithfulness of the saints
exercised: their patience, by enduring captivity or
imprisonment; their faithfulness, by resisting unto blood.
11: And I saw another wild beast - So he is once termed
to show his fierceness and strength, but in all other places,
"the false prophet." He comes to confirm the kingdom of the
first beast. Coming up - After the other had long exercised
his authority. Out of the earth - Out of Asia. But he is not
yet come, though he cannot be far off for he is to appear at
the end of the forty - two months of the first beast. And he
had two horns like a lamb - A mild, innocent appearance. But
he spake like a dragon - Venomous, fiery, dreadful. So do
those who are zealous for the beast.
12: And he exerciseth all the authority of the first wild
beast - Described in the second, fourth, fifth, and seventh
verses. (Re 13:2,3,5,7)
Before him - For they are both together. Whose deadly wound was
healed - More throughly healed by means of the second beast.
13: He maketh fire - Real fire. To come down - By the
power of the devil.
14: Before the wild beast - Whose usurped majesty is
confirmed by these wonders. Saying to them - As if it were
from God. To make an image to the wild beast - Like that of
Nebuchadnezzar, whether of gold, silver, or stone. The
original image will be set up where the beast himself shall
appoint. But abundance of copies will be taken, which may be
carried into all parts, like those of Diana of Ephesus.
15: So that the image of the wild beast should speak
- Many instances of this kind have been already among the
Papists, as well as the heathens. And as many as will not
worship - When it is required of them; as it will be of all
that buy or sell. Shall be killed - By this the Pope manifests
that he is antichrist, directly contrary to Christ. It is
Christ who shed his own blood; it is antichrist who sheds the
blood of others. And yet, it seems, his last and most cruel
persecution is to come. This persecution, the reverse of all
that preceded, will, as we may gather from many scriptures, fall
chiefly on the outward court worshippers, the formal Christians.
It is probable that few real, inward Christians shall perish by
it: on the contrary, those who "watch and pray always" shall be
"accounted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand
before the Son of man," (Lu 21:36).
16: On their forehead - The most zealous of his followers
will probably choose this. Others may receive it on their hand.
17: That no man might buy or sell - Such edicts have been
published long since against the poor Vaudois. But he that had
the mark, namely, the name of the first beast, or the number
of his name - The name of the beast is that which he bears through
his whole duration; namely, that of Papa or Pope: the number of
his name is the whole time during which he bears this name.
Whosoever, therefore, receives the mark of the beast does as
much as if he said expressly, "I acknowledge the present
Papacy, as proceeding from God;" or, "I acknowledge that what
St. Gregory VII. has done, according to his legend,
(authorized by Benedict XIII.,) and what has been maintained
in virtue thereof, by his successors to this day, is from
God." By the former, a man hath the name of the beast as a
mark; by the latter, the number of his name. In a word, to
have the name of the beast is, to acknowledge His papal
Holiness; to have the number of his name is, to acknowledge
the papal succession. The second beast will enforce the
receiving this mark under the severest penalties.
18: Here is the wisdom - To be exercised. "The patience
of the saints" availed against the power of the first beast:
the wisdom God giveth them will avail against the subtilty of
the second. Let him that hath understanding - Which is a gift
of God, subservient to that wisdom. Count the number of the
wild beast - Surely none can be blamed for attempting to obey
this command. For it is the number of a man - A number of such
years as are common among men. And his number is six hundred
and sixty - six years - So long shall he endure from his first