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by Dr. John Thomas
Then, the dominion which now exists there had no being.
In spirit he viewed it as it would appear several centuries after when the dominion had arisen.
It was then "the Beast that Is"; again, he saw the wilderness after the power had passed away; he then speaks of the dominion as "the Beast that was," and "the Beast that is not," because it will then have gone into perdition.
We can now say of the holy Roman Beast "it is"; and from present appearances, shall be able to say in a few years, "it was and is not," because it is destroyed by "the burning flame".
The Little Horn's character has been more obvious to interpreters than its constitution.
In certain respects it is like the other Ten Horns.
These were all secular dynasties.
If they had individually possessed "eyes and a mouth," they would all have been episcopal and speaking Horns, like the Little Horn.
But they possessed neither.
They were simple horns, evincing power, secular and not spiritual, in their operations.
When eyes look more stout than existences around them, and their mouth speaks blasphemies against God, angels, and the saints, they become symbolical of ecclesiastical power; and inserted into a horn, they present a symbol which represents a conjunct dynasty; that is, a dominion whose executive is imperial, and which is constituted, either of an imperial pontiff and a secular emperor, or of one Head in whom is vested the imperial administration both of secular and ecclesiastical affairs, as was the case with the pagan Roman emperors.
The Little Horn of the Greco-Roman Dragon, or fourth beast, is a two-fold dynasty or dominion.
Its eyes and mouth represent one horn; and the rest of the horn, another.
The former is the over-seeing and blaspheming horn; the latter, the secular, or military horn, which co-operates with it, and does all the fighting.
Hence, when we find the little horn fully developed, we may expect to discover two personages, who, through subsequent ages, are conspicuous as imperial chiefs of the western world.
These, it is almost needless to add, are the Pope and the Emperor.
OF THE SAINTS AND TWO WITNESSES.
When the little horn appeared among the ten horns, Daniel was particularly struck by his blasphemous talking, and enmity against the saints of the Most High.
The mouth of this horn is evidently the same as the mouth of the ten-horned, and two-horned, beasts of the Apocalypse.
It was the mouth of a lion, because of its roaring for prey, seeking whom it might devour; as well as for its Babylonish affinities.
"It spake as a dragon," with the ferocity of the old pagan emperors against the saints.
Describing this mouth, John says, "It spake great things and blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven".
These blasphemies Daniel styles "great words against the Most High," which, of course, were very offensive to the servants of God, and aroused their indignation.