There is one symbol left, and that is the two-horned beast of Rev. 13. On this there is more difference of opinion; and before seeking for an application, let us look at the ground covered by those already examined. Babylon and Medo-Persia covered all the civilized portion of Asia. Greece covered eastern Europe including Russia. Rome, with the ten kingdoms into which it was divided, as represented by the ten toes of the image, the ten horns of the fourth beast of Dan. 7, the ten horns of the dragon of Rev. 12, and the ten horns of the leopard beast of Rev. 13, covered all Western Europe. In other words, all the civilized portion of the eastern hemisphere is absorbed by the symbols already examined, respecting the application of which there is scarcely any room for doubt.
But there is a mighty nation in this western hemisphere, worthy, as we have seen, of being mentioned in prophecy, which is not yet brought in; and there is one symbol remaining, the application of which has not yet been made. All the symbols but one are applied, and all the available portions of the eastern hemisphere are covered by the applications. Of all the symbols mentioned, one, the two-horned beast of Rev. 13, is left; and of all the countries of the earth respecting which any reason exists why they should be mentioned in prophecy, the United States alone are left. Do the two-horned beast and the United States belong together? If they do, then all the symbols find an application, and all the ground is covered. If they do not, it follows, first, that the United States are not represented in prophecy; and, secondly, that the two-horned beast finds no government to which it can apply. But the first of these suppositions is not probable; and the second is not possible.
A Chain Of Prophecy.
We now enter upon a more particular examination of the second symbol of Rev. 13, with a view to determine with greater certainty its application. What is said respecting this symbol, the beast with two horns like a lamb, is not an isolated and independent prophecy, but is connected with what precedes; and the symbol itself is but one of a series. It is proper therefore to briefly examine the preceding symbols, since if we are able to make a satisfactory application of them, it will guide us in the interpretation of this.
The line of prophecy of which this forms a part commences with Rev. 12. The book of Revelation is evidently not a consecutive prophecy of events to transpire from the beginning to the close of the gospel dispensation, but is composed of a series of prophetic lines, each taking up its own class of events, and tracing them through from the days of the prophet to the end of time. And when one line of prophecy is completed, another is taken up. That a new series of prophetic events is introduced in Rev. 12, is evident; since in the preceding chapter a line of prophecy is completed, bringing us down to the great day of God’s wrath, the judgment of the dead, and the eternal reward of those that fear God and revere his name. No line of prophecy can go farther; and any events to transpire in probation, subsequently mentioned, must of course belong to a new series.