on Revelation 13 :11
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth - As a beast has already been shown to be the symbol of a kingdom or empire, the rising up of this second beast must consequently represent the rising up of another empire. This beast comes up out of the earth; therefore it is totally different from the preceding, which rose up out of the sea. Earth here means the Latin world, for this word has been shown to import this already in several instances; the rising up of the beast out of this earth must, consequently, represent the springing up of some power out of a state of subjection to the Latin empire: therefore the beast, here called another beast, is another Latin empire. This beast is the spiritual Latin empire, or, in other words, the Romish hierarchy; for with no other power can the prophetic description yet to be examined be shown to accord. In the time of Charlemagne the ecclesiastical power was in subjection to the civil, and it continued to be so for a long time after his death; therefore the beast, whose deadly wound was healed, ruled over the whole Latin world, both clergy and laity; these, consequently, constituted but one beast or empire. But the Latin clergy kept continually gaining more and more influence in the civil affairs of the empire, and in the tenth century their authority was greatly increased. In the subsequent centuries the power of the Romish hierarchy ascended even above that of the emperors, and led into captivity the kings of the whole Latin world, as there will be occasion to show in commenting upon the following verses. Thus the Romish hierarchy was at length entirely exempted from the civil power, and constituted another beast, as it became entirely independent of the secular Latin empire. And this beast came up out of the earth; that is, the Latin clergy, which composed a part of the earth or Latin world, raised their authority against that of the secular powers, and in process of time wrested the superintendence of ecclesiastical affairs from the secular princes.
And he had two horns - As the seven-headed beast is represented as having ten horns, which signify so many kingdoms leagued together to support the Latin Church, so the beast which rises out of the earth has also two horns, which must consequently represent two kingdoms; for if horns of a beast mean kingdoms in one part of the Apocalypse, kingdoms must be intended by this symbol whenever it is used in a similar way in any other part of this book. As the second beast is the spiritual Latin empire, the two horns of this beast denote that the empire thus represented is composed of two distinct spiritual powers. These, therefore, can be no other, as Bishop Newton and Faber properly observe, than the two grand independent branches of the Romish hierarchy, viz., the Latin clergy, Regular and Secular. "The first of these comprehends all the various monastic orders, the second comprehends the whole body of parochial clergy." These two grand branches of the hierarchy originally constituted but one dominion, as the monks as well as the other clergy were in subjection to the bishops: but the subjection of the monks to their diocesans became by degrees less apparent; and in process of time, through the influence and authority of the Roman pontiffs, they were entirely exempted from all episcopal jurisdiction, and thus became a spiritual power, entirely independent of that of the secular clergy.
Like a lamb - As lamb, in other parts of the Apocalypse, evidently means Christ, who is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, it must have a similar import in this passage; therefore the meaning here is evidently that the two horns of the beast, or the regular and secular clergy, profess to be the ministers of Christ, to be like him in meekness and humility, and to teach nothing that is contrary to godliness. The two-horned beast, or spiritual Latin empire, has in reality the name, and in the eyes of the Latin world the appearance, of a Christian power. But he is only so in appearance, and that alone among his deluded votaries; for when he spake: -
He spake as a dragon - The doctrines of the Romish hierarchy are very similar to those contained in the old heathen worship; for he has introduced "a new species of idolatry, nominally different, but essentially the same, the worship of angels and saints instead of the gods and demi-gods of antiquity."
on Revelation 13 :11
And I beheld another beast - Compare the notes on Revelation 13:1. This was so distinct from the first that its characteristics could be described, though, as shown in the Analysis of the Chapter, there was in many points a strong resemblance between them. The relations between the two will be more fully indicated in the notes.
Coming up out of the earth - Prof. Stuart renders this, "ascending from the land." The former was represented as rising up out of the sea Revelation 13:1; indicating that the power was to rise from a perturbed or unsettled state of affairs - like the ocean. This, from what was more settled and stable - as the land is more firm than the waters. It may not be necessary to carry out this image; but the natural idea, as applied to the two forths of the Roman power supposed to be here referred to, would be that the former - the secular power that sustained the papacy - rose out of the agitated state of the nations in the invasions of the northern hordes, and the convulsions and revolutions of the falling empire of Rome; and that the latter, the spiritual power itself - represented by the beast coming up from the land - grew up under the more settled and stable order of things. It was comparatively calm in its origin, and had less the appearance of a frightful monster rising up from the agitated ocean. Compare the notes on Revelation 13:1.
And he had two horns like a lamb - In some respects he resembled a lamb; that is, he seemed to be a mild, gentle, inoffensive animal. It is hardly necessary to say that this is a most striking representation of the actual manner in which the power of the papacy has always been put forth - putting on the apparent gentleness of the lamb; or laying claim to great meekness and humility, even when deposing kings, and giving away crowns, and driving thousands to the stake, or throwing them into the dungeons of the Inquisition.
And he spake as a dragon - See the notes on Revelation 12:3. The meaning here is, that he spoke in a harsh, haughty, proud, arrogant tone - as we should suppose a dragon would if he had the power of utterance. The general sense is, that while this "beast" had, in one respect in its resemblance to a lamb - the appearance of great gentleness, meekness, and kindness, it had, in another respect, a haughty, imperious, and arrogant spirit. How appropriate this is, as a symbol, to represent the papacy, considered as a spiritual power, it is unnecessary to say. It will be admitted, whatever may be thought of the design of this symbol, that if it was in fact intended to refer to the papacy, a more appropriate one could not have been chosen.
on Revelation 13 :11