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this emergency, he applied for help to Pipin king of France ; who speedily poured into Italy at the head of a large army, dispossessed the Lombard, and conferred the Exarchute of Ravenna upon the Pope. Still the Bishop of Rome found himself too weak to be an absolutely independent prioce. After the grant of the Exarchate by Pipin, he received from his son and successor Charlemagne the investiture of a considerable part of Lombardy and of the Dukedom of Rome, which he held as fiefs under that monarch, though fiefs of the most honourable nature :* and in the following reign of Louis the pious, he obtained a grant of those countries to hold them « in his own right, principality, and dominion.”+
In return for the various benefits which the Romans had received from the Carlovingian princes, “the decrees of the senate and people successively invested Charles Martel and his posterity with the honours of Patrician of Rome." This appellation had formerly been borne by the Exarchs of Ruvenna, who were the mere lieutenants of the Eastern Emperor. “The leaders therefore of a powerful nation would have disdained a servile title and subordinate office : but the reign of the Greek emperors was suspended ; and, in the vacancy of the Empire, they derived a more glorious commission from the Pope and the Republic. The Roman ambassadors presented these Patricians with the keys of the shrine of St. Peter, as a pledge and symbol of sovereignty; and with a holy banner, which it was their right and duty to unfurl in the defence of the church
• The Popes were compelled to choose between the rival nations” of the East and the West : “religion was not the sole motive of their choice; and, while they dissembled the failings of their friends, they beheld with reluctance and suspicion, the catholic virtues of their foes. The difference of language and manners had perpetuated the enmity of the two capitals; and they were alienated from each other by the hostile opposition of seventy years. In that schism the Romans had tasted of freedom, and the Popes of sovereignty: their submission would have exposed them to the revenge of a jealous tyrant; and the revolution of Italy had betrayed the impotence, as well as the tyranny of the Byzantine court :” while, by reviving the western einpire,“ the Roman church would acquire a zealous and respectable advocate; and, under the shadow of Carlovingian power, the Bishop might exercise, with honour and safety, the government of the city.” (Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. 169, 170, 171.) According to Mosheim, the held Rome under the Empire as the most honourable species of fief or benefice. Instit. Hist. Eccles. p. 264, 265. cited by Gibbon.
+ Bp. Newton's Dissert. xiv.
and city. In the time of Charles Martel and of Pipin, the interposition of the Lombard kingdom covered the freedom, while it threatened the safety, of Rome ; and the Patriciate represented only the title, the service, the alliance, of these distant protectors. The power and policy of Charlemagne annihilated an enemy, and imposed a master. In his first visit to the capital, he was received with all the honours which had formerly been paid to the Exarch, the representative of the Emperor ; and these honours obtained some new decorations from the joy and gratitude of Pope Adrian the first-In the portico, Adrian expected him at the head of his clergy: they embraced, as friends and equals : but, in their march to the altar, the king, or Patrician assumed the right hand of the Pope. Nor was the Frank content with these vain and einpty demonstrations of respect. In the 26 years that elapsed between the conquest of Lombardy and his imperial coronation, Rome, which had been delivered by the sword, was subject, as his own, to the sceptre, of Charlemagne. The people swore al. legiance to his person and family : in his name money was coined, and justice was administered : and the election of the Popes was examined and confirmed by his authority. Except an original and self-inherent claim of sovereignty, there was not any prerogative remaining, which the title of Emperor could add to the Patrician of Rome.")*
Thus it was that, by the conquest of Lombardy in the year 774, Charlemagne acquired the undisputed sovereignty of Italy. The Patriciate of the Exarchs was a subordinate dignity emanating from the Constantinopol. itan Emperors : The Patriciate of Charles Martel and Pipin was a mere title so long as the kingdom of the Lombards subsisted: but the Putriciate of Charlemagne was an independent monarchy, which owned no superior, which exercised real authority, and which differed from the Emperorship that succeeded it in name only. not in essence.
* Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 153-156.
The memorable year 800 beheld the Carlovingian Pa. triciate for ever swallowed up and lost in the Gothic imperial dignity.
“ On the festival of Christmas, the last year of the eighth century, Charlemagne appeared in the church of St. Peter; and, to gratify the vanity of Rome, he had exchanged the simple dress of his country for the habit of a patrician. After the celebration of the holy mysteries, Leo suddenly placed a precious crown on his head ; and the dome resounded with the acclamations of the people, Long life and victory to Charles, the most pious Augustus, crowned by God the great and pacific Emperor of the Romans ! The head and body of Charlemagne were consecrated by the royal unction : after the example of the Cesurs he was saluted or adored by the Pontiff : his coronation oath represents a promise to maintain the faith and privileges of the church; and the first-fruits were paid in his rich offerings to the shrine of the Apostle. In his familiar conversation, the Emperor protested his ignorance of the intentions of Leo, which he would have disappointed by his absence on that memorable day. But the preparations of the ceremony must have disclosed the secret ; and the journey of Charlemagne reveals his knowledge and expectation : he had acknowledged that the imperial title was the object of his ambition ; and a Roman senate had pronounced, that it was the only adequate reward of his merit and services."*
Let us now examine how far these historical facts will enable us to interpret the prophecy.
The head, or form of government, of which we are in quest, is represented by the prophet as possessing a peculiarity of character, which essentially distinguishes it from all its predecessors ; it was, in some manner or
• Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 173, 174. Let the reader seriously consider the whole of this and the preceding citation, and then decide whether the Pope appears very much like the last independent bead of the Roman beast in the presence of his master Charlemagne.
The coronation oath of Charlemagne was couched, according to Baronius, in the following terms. “In nomine Christi spondeo atque polliceor, ego Carolus Imperator, coram Deo et beato Petro Apostolo, me protectorem ac defensorem fore hujus sanctæ Romanæ ecclesiæ in omnibus utilitatibus, qua tenus divino fultus fuero adjutorio, prout sciero poteroque.” Annal. Eccles. A. D. 800. VOL. II.
another, to be a double head : it was at once to be both the seventh and the eighth head of the beast. That these two heads, or forms of government, are in fact but one, may be plainly collected from the words of St. John. When the seventh king "cometh, he must continue a short space : and the beast, that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven." In other words, although the beast may in some sort be said to have eight heads, or eight forms of government, yet strictly speaking he has but seven : for his eighth head is in reality the same as one of his seven heuds. The question then is, with which of the seven heads must the eighth head be identified ? This eighth head certainly cannot be the same as any one of the five first heads ; for they were all fallen in the time of St. John. Neither can it be the same as the sixth head; for that was already existing in the days of the prophet, and was now and for many ages after exising at Constantinople. It only remains therefore, as I have already stated, for it to be the same as the seventh head; which, when it came, was to continue bui a short space of time. To suppose otherwise indeed is introducing a sort of Hysteronproteron into the symbolical character of the Roman beast : for, if the eighth head be the same as any one of the six first, the beast, instead of being finally slain under his last head, will go into perdition under a head which is prior in point of origin to the seventh that continues only a short space. Hence it appears, that, since the seventh head and the eighth head are are in reality one and the same, we cannot attach any meaning to the short continuance of the seventh head, except this: that some power should be a head of the empire, for a short time only, in one capacity; and that afterwards it should still remain a head of the empire, even till the final destruction of its bestial principles, in another capacity : thus constituting at once both ihe seventh and cighth heads of the beast, or, if I may use the expression, his septimo-octave heud.
At the time when the beast revived, his sixth head was seated in the East : consequently we must look for the rise of his last head in the West. Now we learn from the preceding historical statement, that, during the
non-existence of the beast, and subsequent to his revival in the year 606, the following powers only have had any sway in Rome and Italy : the line of the Western emperors, after the division of the empire, commencing with Honorius and terminating with Augustulus; the three kingdoms of the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Lombards; the Exarchate of Ravenna subject to the Eastern emperors; the Popedom; and the Carlovingian empire. No change has taken place in Italy subsequent to the rise of the last of these powers, either of a sufficient magnitude, or of a sufficiently peculiar nature, * to warrant our seeking for the last head of the beust posterior to the year 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans : nor do I think, that we have any just grounds to look for it prior to the revival of the beast under his sixth head; nevertheless, since many have fixed the rise of the short-lived seventh head previous to the year 606 when the deadly wound of the beast was healed, I felt myself bound to notice the powers which existed in Italy before that year. Among the powers then here enumerated we must look for the seventh and eighth heads of the beast.
1. Mr. Mede conceives the seventh head to be the line of Western emperors, and the eighth heud to be the Papacy. By this plan he makes the beast, agreeably to the prophecy, to have apparently eight heads, and really only seven; the line of the Western emperors, which continued about 80 years, being in fact a branch of the sixth or imperial head. It appears therefore, that in order to reduce the eight heads to seven, he supposes the sixth and the seventh to constitute jointly one imperial head.t
However plausible such a scheme may be, it will by no means bear the test of examination, even independent of the objections that I have already made to the Pupacy
• Şince this was written, Buonapartè has made himself master of all Italy : but we , cannot reasonably suppose, that the last bead of the beast has arisen in him; both because, however great his conquests have been, they have not been greater than zhose of Charlemagne; and because, if we suppose the last bead to have arisen in him, we shall make the beast headless during the whole period that has elapsed be. tween the fall of the sixth bead by the subversion of the Constantinopolitan empire, and the present era, May 1, 1806.
+ Mcde's Works, B. V. C. 12.p. 929..