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be kings of France when they ceased to be Emperors of the Romans ; and the imperial dignity itself was afterwards sometimes borne by one family, and sometimes by another, each however, so long as it enjoyed it, claiming and being allowed precedence. Hence it appears, that I am guilty of no inconsistency in supposing, that Charlemagne, in his two different cupacities of king of France and Emperor of the Romans, may be considered as being at once both a horn and a head of the beast.
2. The second objection, that the Emperor can no more be esteemed the last head of the secular beast than the Pope, because his temporal supremacy is no more allowed than that of the Pope, will speedily vanish, if we consider the nature of symbolical prophecy, and the history of the first rise of the Carlovingian empire. Now it is manifest, that in a prophecy symbolically delivered the symbols themselves cannot be represented as perpetually varying with the ever-varying revolutions of nations. The great outlines of facts, whether past, present, or future, must alone be attended to: and the different members of a symbolical beust must unavoidably be exhibited as stationary and permanent, when in reality they are by no means so. St. John himself gives us a clue to the right interpretation of his own prophecy. “ Five of the heads," says he, “are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come:" nevertheless the beast still appears with all his seven heads, notwithstanding, when he arose out of the sea of Gothic invasion, five of them were no longer
The imperial title lately assumed by General Buonapartè, even supposing it to be something different from the regal title, no more affects the present scheme of interpretation, than the division of the Old Roman empire into its eastern and western brancbes does the universally acknowledged opinion that the sixtb head is the ancient imperial dignity. The present title however of that usurper is manifestly no more than that of king. Whatever he may please to style himself, France is still only one of the ter. borns of the beast. But should he at some future period be allowed by Providence to tread in the steps of Charlemagne, to subvert the imperial honours of Germany, and to re-annex to France the title and authority of Emperor of tbe Romans : in that case he would doubtless become the septimo-octave bead; in that case the imperial dignity would only revert to France, as it was before transferred from France to Germany : it would still be the same last bead of the beast. How far such an event is probable, the reader must judge for himself, when more is said hereafter upon the subject of yet unfulfilled prophecies.
Since this was written, the usurper bas been permitted to tread in the steps of Charlemagne, and to erect again the empire of the West. His government is now plainly the representative of the Carlovingian bead of the beast. June 1, 1806.
in existence, and one of them was as yet future. In a similar manner the sixth head, which at its first rise reigned paramount, like each ot its five predecessors, over the whole beast, is still, no less than when it first arose, considered as the sixth head, even when its empire was overrun by the barbarians of the North and the Saracens of the South, when its fairest provinces were rent away from it, and when many independent kingdoms were erected which acknowledged not its supremacy.
If then the sixth head be esteemed a head, from its first rise to its final dissolution, when cooped up by the Turks within the narrow limits of a single city; we must evidently adopt the same mode of considering the last head : that is to say, it will matter little, so far as the completion of the prophecy is concerned, whether the temporal supremacy of the present representative of the last head be acknowledged or not, provided only it was once acknowledged. We have merely therefore to inquire, whether this was ever the case with the Carlovingian monarchy ; for such acknowledgment seems necessary, in the mind of the prophet, to complete the character of a head of the beast. He is silent respecting the first six heads, because they all arose before the empire was broken, and therefore it was unnecessary to specify that they were severally the whole beast : but he particularly informs us, that the last should likewise be the whole beast, because such a circumstance, however essential to the character of a head, seemed very improbable after the empire had been divided into ten horns. * This however precisely came to pass. Allowing for the space occupied by the yet existing sixth head, the last head at its first rise was commensurate, either by actual sovereignty or acknowledged supremacy, with the whole beast.
Charlemagne really possessed what the Popes only ineffectuully claimed. The greatest part of the Western empire was immediately subject to him : be possessed ample territories without its limits: and the petty kings of Britain and Spain, the only provinces not directly under his control, implored the honour and support of his alliance, and styled him their
“ The beast, that was, and is not, even he is the eighth (king or head), and is of the seven.”
common parent, the sole and supreme Emperor of the West.* The result therefore of the whole is this. If the successors of Augustus are still considered as the sixth head of the beust, even when they no longer possessed the temporal supremacy of Augustus ; no reason can be shewil
, wby the successors of Charlemagne should not still be considered as the last head of the beast, although they now no longer possess the temporal supremacy,t of Charlemagne.
3. With regard to the identity of the ancient Augustan imperiul dignity and the modern Carlovingian imperial dignity, it exists but in imagination. The two resemble each other merely in name : in all other respects there is so great a difference between them, that they cannot with any propriety be considered as forming only one head. They differ in these respects.
* The reader will find a statement of the extent of the Carlovingian empire, in the Hist. of the Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 180-187; which affords the best comment upon the prophetic declaration that the last head should be the wbole beast. Respecting Charlemagne and his empire Mr. Gibbon justly remarks, that “ the dignity of his person, the length of his reign, the prosperity of his arms, the vigour of his government, and the reverence of distant nations, distinguish him from the royal croud ; and Europe dates a new era from the restoration of the Western empire.” The very pagans indeed, as Cardinal Baronius observes, mourned for Charlemagne as the father of the world : “ipsos paganos eum planxisse quasi patrem orbis.” Annal. Eccles. A. D. 814.
+ Since this was written, the Carlovingian emperorship of the West has been transferrea to France, and the real temporal supremacy of Charlemagne has been revived. June 1, 1806.
# The relics of that temporal supremacy, which constituted the Carlovingian line of emperors the last bead of the beast, may be clearly traced in the famous Golden bull enacted under the Emperor Charles iv. in the year 1356. In this bull each of the Electors is required to swear, that to the best of his discernment he will choose • a temporal chief for the Christian people” who may be worthy of that stati. 2: and it is afterwards ordered, that none of them shall quit the city of Frankfort," until they shall have, by a plurality of voices, elected and given to the world, or to the Christian people a temporal chief, namely a king of the Romans, future Emperor." With the same now empty affectation of the Carlovingian supremacy, the Archbishop of Cologne is styled Arch-chancellor of the Holy Empire in Italy; the Archbishop of Triers, Arcb-chancellor of the Holy Empire in France and Arles; and the Archbishop of Mentz., Arch-chancellor of the Holy Empire in Germany. The whole of the Golden bull may be seen in Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. xxx. Bp. Newton indeed does not deny, that the Carlovingian Emperorsbip is a bead of the beast; only he supposes it to be a cortinuation of the sixth head, instead of its being the distisct double last boud. Such a scheme however appears to me extremely unnatural. When the sixth bead was continued from the days of Constantine in the persons of the Constantinopolitan Emperari, and consequently when it was actually in existence at the time of the rise of the Carlovingian Emperorsbip, it seems very far fetched to say, that it was continued in the line of the Carlovingian Emperors, the very first of whom did not flourish till upwards of three centuries after the downfall of the old wesiern empire under Augue Lulus.
The Augustan Emperorship was a single head, immea diately succeeding the five which had fallen, and seated during the latter part of its existence at Constantinople contemporaneously with the last head.* The Carlovingian Emperorship is a double head, consisting of the Patriciate merging into the feudal imperial dignity, whence I have styled it the septimo-octave head-The Augustun Emperorship was composed of a line of real Roman princes, † who administered the very Empire that was erected by the valour of the five first heads. The Carlovingian Emperorship was composed of a line of Gothic princes, who had invaded and occupied the territories of the sixth head-The Augustan Emperorship was sometimes hereditary, and sometimes conferred by the military violence of the Pretorian guards. The Carlovingian Emperorship has sometimes indeed been hereditary, but has for the most part been elective, the right of election being vested in a certain number of princes—The Augus. tan Emperorship was always attached to territorial possessions, insomuch that, if the reigning Emperor had not been Emperor, he would have been no more than a private man. The Carlovingian Emperorship was never attached to territorial possessions, as such; the prince, who enjoyed that dignity, sometimes being of one family and sometimes of another, holding his proper dominions by a quite distinct tenure from his Emperorship, being at once an hereditary sovereign and an elective Emperor, and rarely since the days of Charlemagne possessing a single foot of ground in his imperial capacity. I Accordingly the dignity of the Carlovingian Emperorship has been borne alternately by a King of France, a Duke of Franconia, a Duke of Suabja, a Duke of Bavaria, a King of Bohemia, a King of Naples, and a King of Spain ;whose heredi
It is worthy of notice, that St. John gives no intimation, that the sixtb bead should fall previous to the rise of the septimo-octave bead, though he states so particularly that the five first beads had fallen previous to the rise of the sixtb bead.
+ When I say real Roman princes, I only mean princes born in regions that acknowledged the sovereignty of the Augustan Emperors, not princes literally born at Rome or in Italy.
Charlemagne's sovereignty of Italy gradually melted away into the imperial fiefs. $ I pretend not accurately to state all the variations of descent in the Carlovingian imperial dignity: 1 merely observe, in general terms, that it has been attached at different times to all these different families.
tary territories were entirely independent of their imperial rank--Finally, the Augustan Emperorship consisted of a line of military despots, ruling, like the Turkish monarchs, over a nation of slaves. The Carlovingian Emperorship has ever consituted its possessor the chief of a Gothic feudal confederacy. When this last particular is fully considered, we shall scarcely find any two lines of princes more dissimilar than the Augustan and the Carlovingian Emperors. The principles of feudalism, brought by the northern tribes out of their native forests, * and carried to perfection in France, Germany, and Italy, draw an indelible line of difference between the sixth and the last head of the beast : and we must possess the
power af imagination in a very high degree to suppose, that Charlemagne, surrounded by his Gothic military vassals, the Paladins, Dukes, and Counts of his Empire, or that the modern Emperors of the Romans, the feudal superiors of a long train of Electors, Princes, Margraves, and Landgraves, form a continuation of the Augustan Emperors of Rome and Constantinople, merely because they also have borne the title of Emperors.† So far indeed is the sovereign of the Gothic Roman Empire, from constituting jointly with the sovereign of the Constantinopolitan Empire only one sixth head of the beast, as Bp. Newton supposes, that the Greeks very unwillingly allowed even to Charlemagne the title of Emperor, and absolutely refused
* The rudiments of feudalism may be clearly discovered in the account which Tacitus gives of the ancient Germans. In their yet infant state of society, their princes, instead of granting to their counts or feudal vassals manors and estates subject to military service, presented them with horses and lances, and gained their affection by rude though plentiful entertainments. See Tac. de Mor. Ger. C. 13, 14.
+ The Italian Romances are curious and even valuable, as depicting with considerable accuracy, from the legends of the ancient troubadours, the state of Gothic manners in the Carlovingian age. Whoever has read the poems of Boyardo and Ariosto will find it no easy matter to discover any resemblance between the cours
. of the warlike sovereign of Orlando, Rinaldo, and Ruggiero, and that of the Roman Cesars ; and history will teach him, that there is just as little resemblance between their respective principles of government. Mr. Gibbon very truly observes, that "the victorious nations of Germany established a new system of manners and
gooctament in the western countries of Europe.” Hist. of Decline, Vol
. vi. p. 404. The sceptre of Charlemagne has recently been transferred from Germany to France. Still however is the new empire of the West constructed on those very principles of feudalism, which characterized the original empire of Charlemagne. An assemblage of newly-created kings professedly hold their crowns as vassals of their superior lord Buonapartè, who scruples not to style their dominions federal provinces of bis empire. June 1, 1806.