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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
Section1 subsection 9
The Ten Diadems
"And upon his Horns ten Diadems."
The Horns on the Dragon had no diadems upon them; because the nations of the abyss had not then issued forth to erect kingdoms upon the Roman Habitable. But in the chapter before us, the Dragon-Horns of the sea are exhibited with diadems upon them, indicating that they were not Republics; but States, whose chief magistrates were enthroned, and diademed, and who would figure in the unmeasured Court of the Gentiles (ch. 11:2) as "the Crowned Heads of Europe."
The diadems upon the ten horns is a symbolical rebuke of the foolish prediction of republican politicians and prophets, who deceive their worshippers with the conceit, that the kingdoms of Europe are to become republics after the type of the "MODEL REPUBLIC" of this western world! A horn with a diadem upon it is nowhere to be found, in sacred or profane heraldry, as the symbol of a republic. It always represents a kingly power, or dominion. The Gothic nations of the Abyss acquiesced in the military leaders who had led them to victory, and founded States upon the Roman territory, being recognized as kings, and decorated with diadems, by the Dragon-power. Hence they were kingdoms in their beginning; and will continue kingdoms until the Ancient of Days shall come, and by their overthrow, transfer the many diadems of these horns of the sea to his own glorious and snowy head (Apoc. 19:12; 1:14; 11:15). The very reverse of these republican prophecies is the real truth of the matter. Instead of the kingdoms of the world becoming republics, all the republics of the world will become kingdoms. This will be a great blessing to mankind, who have proved themselves incompetent for self-government upon wise and righteous principles, under any form of rule they may devise. It is the Divine purpose to bless mankind in Abraham and his seed. This is the great gospel prophecy of the word (Gal. 3:8,9): and when the nations rejoice in peace and security under their own vines and fig-trees, they will be interested in nobler themes than the crude, unprofitable and lying vanities of those who now deceive them. Their political interests will be supervised by kings, who will then reign "by the grace of God". It will be theirs to command of their own sovereign will and pleasure; and for all nations simply to obey without question or dispute; for then, "judgment will be given to the Saints;" who will take the kingdom and the dominion under the whole heaven, and possess them for a thousand years and more (Dan. 7:22,27,18; Apoc. 20:4,6). Then the universal world will be "ruled in righteousness," and truly "blessed in Abraham and his seed."
A few last words may be added in reference to the diadems, which I find collected by the industry of Mr. Elliott, from Gibbon, and other writers with whom the reader will never probably become acquainted. What follows, he says, he has borrowed from Lelewel's great work ('n the coinage of the Middle Age. "It is well known," says Elliott, "that the barbarian Gothic or German kings, after their first conquests, were almost all anxious to receive appointment from the Roman emperor as Masters-General or Patricians of the empire" of the Dragon; "the appointment being equivalent to that of Viceroy; and most useful above all
in order to legitimize their government in the eyes of their Roman subjects, who in respect of number immensely exceeded the barbarian population that had conquered them. In the negotiations and treaties on which matter, it was usually stipulated by the Roman emperors, and agreed to by the barbaric kings, that the Diademed Bust and names of the emperors should be stamped upon the barbarian coinage (at least on their gold coins) not the Gothic princes' own. Hence there was a semi-Roman state of the Gothic coinage, as Lelewel calls it, for a century more or less, from about A . D .450 to 550; the Vandals of Africa forming however an exception apparently, and acting more or less independently in this respect. At length Clovis the Frank, at the opening of the sixth century, had the plenary sovereignty of Gaul awarded to him by the Byzantine emperor, with the title of Consul and Augustus, and the Diadem of Pearls as its badge and token: a grant renewed in A.D. 532 to Clovis' children, by Justinian, with full power over the coinage; and engagement that his purely Frank money should have the privilege of currency assured to it throughout the whole Roman empire. In the course of the sixth century, the example of Clovis was followed by others of the princes; the Lombards coming last about A.D. 600.
"On the whole, it appears that at the opening of the sixth century, not only did the several Gothic princes exercise in their respective dominions the prerogatives of supreme sovereignty, but also had begun to appropriate to themselves the Roman Diademic Badge of such sovereignty; and that at the close of the century their assumption of the diadem, in sign of it ,had become universal."
In connection with these remarks he gives an engraving illustrating the reservation of the diadem to the Dragon, which was not assumed by the horns in their beginning. I conceive that the apocalyptic reason of this is found in the Dragon symbol of ch. 12. In this all the Seven Heads are diademed or sovereign; but the horns not. The idea then is this, that the horns were not to be diademed in their own absolute right, until the Seventh head had passed away; when the Romano-Gothic Sea Monster would stand before the world with Seven undiademed Heads and Ten Diademed Horns.
The first coin .of the engraving is Burgundian On one face is
the diademed bust of the Dragon-emperor, Anastasius, and on
the other, Sigismund, king and consul. The second, is a coin
of the Suevi, with the bust, diademed, of the emperor Honorius
on one side; and on the other, Richiarius, king. This was
issued by the Suevi twenty-seven years after the death of
Honorius, and his name stamped upon it out of regard to Roman
imperial authority. A third coin is Ostrogothic. It was issued
during the reign of the Seventh Head, while Theodoric was
king of Italy,
and Justinian was emperor. On one face is the diademed bust of the Dragon-emperor; and on the other, a wreath with the monogram of the king in the centre . There is another Ostrogothic coin about the size of a quarter dollar, with the diademed bust of Justinian on the one side; and the name and office of the ruler, king Witiges, on the other.
I would remark here, that these two last-mentioned coins are
evidence that the Ostrogothic kings of the Seventh Head, who
reigned in Rome, did not consider the emperors of the Sixth
Head as abolished from all influence in the affairs of Italy;
but only "wounded as it were to death;" for here
is evidence of the Sixth and Seventh Heads of the Dragon uniting
in the coinage of the realm, which only mutually recognized
governments and dynasties are free to do . Gibbon, writing
of the first two kings of the Seventh Head, Odoacer and Theodoric,
says of the former, that "he abstained, during his whole
reign from the use of the purple and diadem;" and of
the latter, he says, that "from a tender regard to the
expiring prejudices of Rome, he declined the name, purple,
and diadem of the emperors;" though "he assumed
the whole substance and plenitude of imperial prerogative".
This was the simple difference between the Imperial Sixth,
and the Regal Seventh, heads of the Dragon and the Beast.
Had Odoacer and Theodoric assumed "the name, purple and
diadem of the emperors" when they reigned in Rome sovereigns
of Italy, their government would have been a mere continuation
of the Sixth Head. The substance and plenitude of sovereign
prerogative remained, only the form of its constitutional
was changed. This change in the form of the supreme power, with its exclusion from Mrica, Sicily , Corsica , Sardinia , Majorca , and Minorca , then possessed by the Vandalic Horn , established a marked dissimilarity between the Sixth and Seventh Heads.
The fifth coin of the engraving I regard as a very remarkable one . It is a coin of the Vandals, about the size of an English shilling. Upon one side is the front figure of a man, standing upon an altar. From each shoulder projects a wing with four little circles in each, as if he were an angel, or were identified with an angelic mission. From his waist to his ankles is a four-square in which are inserted four rows of precious stones, three in a row, or twelve in all, and strikingly resembling the Jewish High Priest's breastplate of righteousness on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes. In his extended right hand he holds a globe surmounted with a cross; and in his extended left, a rude representation of a trumpet. On the other side, is the legend GenserAu-gustus, and underneath, a star of considerable magnitude. The age of this coin is over fourteen hundred years.
Genseric was an Arian catholic, and the ally of the Circunicellions against the Dragon persecutor of the Donatists . Hence , when he conquered Africa and the islands of the Mediterranean from the Dragon, he proclaimed himself the Augustus of the Catholic world, as the word "Augustus" after his name, and the globe and cross in his right hand, upon the coin, evince. Having delivered the Donatists from the bloody persecutions of the Catholics, they, doubtless, gave him to understand, that they hailed him as one of the Angels of the Four Trumpets and the deliverer of the true church. Hence, the wings on his shoulders with four little circles upon them; and the four-square plate of Twelve Stones . All that Mr. Elliott has to say upon this interesting coin, is to correct Lelewel's reading of the name from Jensoe to Genser; but, to my mind it is a striking indication that the Donatists of Africa, contemporary with the sounding of the Four Trumpets, were sufficiently advanced in apocalyptical exposition, to discern the true character of the times in which they lived, and their own' ecclesiastical relations to them. The "terrible Genseric" and his Donatists clients, were neither Preterists, Futurists , nor Literalists; but rational interpreters of the Apocalypse as a symbolic prophecy of events concurrent with the conflict of the Saints with the powers that be, to be explained in the light of history. In this, Vandal barbarians of the fifth century far transcended the intelligence of the "ripest" and brightest scholars of our age!
Besides these he gives two other coins, one of the Franks, and
the other of the Visigoths, to show that the diadem came at
length to be
adopted by the Gothic kingdoms, without regard to the Diadem Bust of the emperors. This was after the fall of the Seventh Head.