Page images

beast), not when this or that head had first appeared or had been restored, but when ten independent governments or kingdoms had become developed or had been erected, or according to the metaphor, had been crowned."-Apocalyptical History, p. 310.

Later he tells us just when this was.


Rev. Jacob Tomlin says, "It is generally acknowledged by commentators that the ten horns crowned with diadems represent the ten kingdoms formed by the Goths and Vandals within the bound of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth and sixth centuries."— Interpretaton of the Revelation, p. 247.

To this agrees the popish expositor, Bishop Walmsley "that the germination of the ten horns from the head of the Roman beast can only mean the springing up of the ten Gothic kingdoms within the limits of the Roman Empire during the fifth and sixth centuries." (Faber's Sacred Calendar, vol. 1, p. 45.)

This does not mean that all the ten kingdoms were established in the fifth century, nor yet that none were established until the sixth; rather that the commencement of the setting up of the ten kingdoms began in the fifth century and was completed in the sixth. To this agree the remarks of Rev. George Croley: "Before the close of the sixth century ten barbarian kingdoms were formed in Europe. . . . This division had been twice prophesied by Daniel, 'the ten horns are ten kings.' Those kingdoms all adopted the faith which in the sixth century emanated from Rome."-Apocalypse of Saint John, pp. 229, 230.

The learned Elliot also affirms that the ten kingdoms assumed independent sovereignty when they "ere the end of the sixth century cast away that badge of inferiority and themselves assumed the diadem." (Warburtonian Lectures, p. 260.)

But whatever the differences existing among writers as to the ten kingdoms, of one thing they are almost universally agreed, and that is that the kingdom of Lombardy was one of the ten, and there is an overwhelming array of testimony to show that it was not only one of the ten, but it was the tenth and last of the kingdoms set up, effecting the prophetic division of the Roman Empire. We. need only to refer the reader to Allwood's Key to the Revelation, volume 1, page 294; Jones' Lectures on the Apocalypse, page 306; Machiavelli's History of Florence as quoted and supported by Scott's Commentary, volume 2, page 817; Barnes' Notes on Daniel, page 322; Keith's Signs of the Times, volume 1, page 20; Campbell's Illustrations of Prophecy, page 57; Fenton and Hutchinson's Second Advent, page 292; Junkin's Lectures on the Prophecies, page 69; Blackburn's History of the Christian Church, page 151; Faber's Sacred Calendar of Prophecy, volume 2, page 71; and Rivington's Questions on English Church History, page 10.

Unquestionably then, the Lombardic kingdom stands forth as the tenth and last of the prophetic kingdoms effecting the division of the Roman Empire, and it is from the time of its establishment that we must reckon the complete removal of the hindering power and

the commencement of the rule of the Man of Sin. It is the time of beginning the 1260 years. All prophetic students look upon this as a most vital period.

It was not till the subversion of the western empire by the northern nations, and the division of it into ten kingdoms, that way was made for the full establishment of the papal usurpation at Rome, the capital city of the empire. -Scott's Commentary, vol. 3, p. 737.

These ten kings are ten kingdoms, into which the Roman Empire was to be subdivided; and the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but received power as kings one hour with the beast. These words are admirable; to me they appear express, and I am astonished that it hath not been observed that they precisely mark the time wherein we must begin to reckon the reign of the beast. These two passages signify expressly, from what time we must compute the 1260 years. Tis from the time that the Goths, Vandals, etc., after having a long time harrassed, and rent the Roman Empire, at last divided it into ten pieces.-Jurieu, On the Prophecies, vol. 2, pp. 51, 52.

The time when the beast became properly such, was at the rise of the ten kingdoms. Slight's Apocalypse, p. 387.

It was not till the subversion of the western empire by the northern nations, and the division of it into ten kingdoms, that way was made for the full establishment of the papal usurpation at Rome, the capital city of the empire.Benson's Commentary, vol. 2, p. 411.

[ocr errors]

Now for the date of the establishment of the kingdom of Lombardy. Reverend Ashe says, "they were established in Italy under Alboinus, who was proclaimed king and fixed his royal seat at Pavia, A. D. 570."-The Book of Revelation, p. 131.

A. D. 570 is just the time as Tomlin and Walmsley have said, the "sixth century," or as Croley has said "before the close of the sixth century," or as Elliott has said "ere the end of the sixth century."

Perhaps the most unprejudiced historian we can refer to is Gibbon, the infidel. At any rate he can not be accused of a prejudicial interpretation of prophecy. In his masterpiece, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he deals particularly with this very question. In chapter 45 he says: "Alboin undertakes the conquest of Italy A. D. 567." A little later in the same chapter he follows with another statement, heading a paragraph, "Conquest of a great part of Italy by the Lombards, A. D. 568-570."

Alboin, the leader of the Lombards, seems to have decided on establishing his people in Italy as early as 567, but did not commence hostilities until 568, and it was not until A. D. 570 that he accomplished his purpose.

With this agree other writers quite as reliable. E. B. Elliott, A. M., in his Horæ Apocalypticæ, regarded by many as the ablest prophetic exposition in the English language, states that

The Lombards, a fresh and barbarous Gothic horde, had but recently come down from the Danube; it was in the year 570, and with the somewhat remarkable exception of Rome and a connected district, had seized upon and established their kingdom in Italy.-Page 398, vol. 1, 5th edition.

And the following from George Junkin, D. D., President of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, is quite confirmatory:

Alboin, without an important battle, was proclaimed king of Italy, A. D. 570.-Lectures on the Prophecies, p. 87, 1844.

We commend also the observations of Harcourt Bland:

It shows, at least, that as one of the ten kingdoms, that of the Lombards

[merged small][ocr errors]


was not finally established before the latter part of the sixth century, or about A. D. 570; so the western beast with his ten horns crowned could not possibly have risen from the sea antecedently to the period fixed upon by me. . A. D. 570-the year in which the last kingdom, that of the Lombards, was established in Italy by Alboinus, or when the last "horn" may be said to have received its diadem.-Apocalyptical History, pp. 310, 328, 1858.

One more reference and the case, we think, is conclusive, pointing to 570 as the fated period of history.

They (the Lombards) began their march in the month of April of the Christian era the 568th ... upon the reduction of that city Alboinus was with loud acclamations proclaimed king of Italy by the Lombards and the whole army, and from that year, the year 570, historians date the beginning of the Lombards in that country.—Bowers' History of the Popes, vol. 2, p. 444, 1750.


Of the events resulting from the Lombard invasion, particularly those affecting the rise of the papacy, the establishment of the apostasy, we shall consult the Catholic historian, Cardinal Manning, who, of course, can not be suspected of knowingly committing his church to a fulfillment of unfavorable prophecies.

In like manner the successive invasions of barbaric hordes, and above all the invasions of the Lombards, extinguished utterly and destroyed the last vestige of the Roman Empire in Italy: it was utterly swept away, it existed no longer. Where thenceforward was the subjection of the Roman pontiff to an emperor whose empire had ceased to be?... The Roman Empire in Italy was extinguished by the judgment of God and the throne of Rome was vacant by the visitation of God. And when the last vestige of civil authority has perished there remained in Rome one sole person who had been the Father, the Pastor, Lawgiver, Protector, the Head of the People, to whom they turned as their supreme spiritual authority, around whom they gathered in all their perils. The line of the Roman pontiffs alone was left. The providence of God thus liberated the head of the church completely and altogether from any civil authority whatsoever.-The Independence of the Holy See; Cardinal Manning, pp. 13, 14, London, 1877.

Testimony also from Machiavelli, another historian of the same religion is confirmatory:

Nevertheless until the coming in of the Lombards all Italy being under the dominion either of emperors or kings, the bishops assumed no more power than what was due to their doctrine and manners; in civil affairs they were subject to the civil power. But the Lombards having invaded and reduced Italy into several cantons, the pope took the opportunity and began to hold up his head. For being as it were governor and principal at Rome, the emperor of Constantinople and the Lombards bore him a respect, so that the Romans by mediation of their pope began to treat and confederate with Longinus, the emperor's lieutenant, and the Lombards, not as subjects, but as equals and companions. History of Florence, book 1, p. 6.

Thus it was "in this manner the emperor of Rome or 'he who letteth' was 'taken out of the way' and the bishop of Rome advanced in his stead." (Bishop Newton, On the Prophecies, p. 471.)

Testimony of this character coming from an unthinking, confessed source, right from the papacy itself, is simply unimpeachable, particularly when it so astonishingly agrees with the "sure word of prophecy."

Is it any marvel then that writers speaking of this time and these events declare that "After the barbarous nations had obtained their dominion a new character also of barbaric origin appeared, possessing great power, and that his power to do what he will continued

during a period of 1260 years.” 11 That "with the Gothic invasion and the break-up of the western Roman Empire into ten kingdoms came the predicted rise of antichrist," 12 and that at this time occurred "the rise of the beast, about A. D. 570.” 13

Rev. William Ward is most positive on the matter.

In 568 the Lombard invasion began and in three years intercepted all connection between Rome and the Exarchate by which the popes became sole masters of Rome and acquired all the civil and military power as well as spiritual authority in the city, A. D. 570. . . . Thus the invasion of the Lombards was a sea of troubles from the midst of which the government of the Exarchate was dissolved in Italy and the Italian republics of Venice, Genoa, and Rome had opportunity to arise. Rome, however, had only the shadow of a republie and displayed the absolute sovereignty of the pope.... Having traced the first exercise of independent temporal sovereignty by the pope from A. D. 570, I propose the following test of my opinion." 14

Hereupon our author submits a proposition that since there were forty-two stations of the Israelites in journeying through the wilderness from Egypt to Canaan, (Numbers 33,) even so should there be a corresponding number of stations in the wilderness of the apostasy, thirty years apart, commencing with 570 A. D. Submitting a very searching examination, Mr. Ward says:

In the calculation from 570 to 1830 I have found forty-two important eras in the history of Europe and the Jewdaizing antichristian church agreeable with the forty-two stations of the Israelites."





We are aware that a certain class of prophetic students prefer to regard the 1260 years as commencing from an era, a period of years, which Mr. Guinness terms "the era of the establishment of the papacy." 16 This era he thinks extended from the Decretal Epistle of the Emperor Justinian, directed to the bishop of Rome in 533 A. D., acknowledging him "The head of all the holy churches," " to 607 A. D., when "the Emperor Phocas promulgated another very notable decree, confirming the right of the pope to the headship of all the churches." 18

These decrees are referred to by E. B. Elliott respectively as a "primary and imperfect commencement" and "a complete commencement"; or as Auberlen observes in his comments on Elliott's views: "The forty-two months of the beast are consequently 1260


"History and Revelation, vol. 3, p. 301; J. H. Braund, 1875.

12 History Unveiling Prophecy, p. 63; H. G. Guinness, D. D.


Apocalyptical History, p. 322; H. Bland.

Prophetic History, vol. 5, pp. 31, 34, 68, London, 1818.


15 Ibid., p. 74.

16 The Approaching End of the Age, p. 611.


Signs of the Times, p. 94, vol. 1; Doctor Keith.

18 The Approaching End of the Age, p. 375.

19The Warburtonian Lectures, pp. 290, 291, 1849-1853.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

years and begin with the spread of the Justinian code on the one side and the edict of Phocas on the other." 20

We have no objection to entertaining this period providing some commencing point can be found from which to date the 1260 years. It must be a point inclosing and comprehending the whole period. The only point thus filling the bill is the central, and that central is A. D. 570.

If there be anything in the adage that "extremes are dangerous,' then all danger is removed by taking the medium point. This seems to be indorsed by Mr. Guinness, for elsewhere in his work he says, "The birth of Mohammed and the accession of Gregory the Great towards the end of the sixth century mark the commencement of the second part of the Times of the Gentiles." 21

The Times of the Gentiles here alluded to are the 1260 years which he rightfully explains elsewhere. They are called "the second part" because it is the latter half of the great period of "seven times," or 2520 years, that the apostasy has to deal with. Now, when was Mahomet born? as that is the "commencement." Mr. Guinness tells us, on page 609, he was born A. D. 570. (The Approaching End of the Age.)

'Auberlen's Daniel and the Revelation, p. 380.

"The Approaching End of the Age, p. 607.

Mohammedanism, like Christianity, centers in its founder, and the birth of each was a great day for their respective churches. Nor is it surprising that the birth of Mahomet dates from the death, the apostasy, of the church, the birth of the papacy. Scott styles Mohammedanism and the papacy "twin sisters." 22 Fleming called them "twin powers of darkness" 23 and Duncklee said "Mohammedanism is a twin brother of Romanism in falsehood, in blasphemy, in hatred of Christianity, and by parentage and by birth." 24 Undoubtedly the Scriptures allude to both when they say, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (the nations comprising the old Roman Empire), and out of the mouth of the beast (popery), and out of the mouth of the false prophet" (Mohammedanism). (Revelation 16: 13.)

With Rome it may share the dishonor of "the abomination that maketh desolate"; for did not their armies, mercilessly destroying the Jews, "stand in the holy place," and in 637 A. D., upon the consecrated ground of that far-famed temple of Solomon, erect the idolatrous Mosque of Omar? And they have held that sacred site almost uninterruptedly ever since.

Romanism and Mohammedanism, the greatest dominating evils of history, embracing millions in their manacles, originated on the one hand with the apostate spiritual sons of Israel, the church, the legal offspring of Abraham; and on the other with the descendants of Ishmael, the illegal son of the same sire.

This eastern evil began, as the History of All Nations says, in


22 Commentary, vol. 2, p. 824.

23 Rise and Fall, etc., preface, p. 9.
"Development and Fulfillment, etc., p. 179.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »