And I beheld, saith John, another Beast coming up out of the earth. When the woman fled from the Dragon into the kingdom of the Beast, and became his Church, this other Beast rose up out of the earth, to represent the Church of the Dragon. For he had two horns like the Lamb, such as were the bishoprics of Alexandria and Antioch: and he spake as the Dragon in matters of religion: and he causeth the earth, or nations of the Dragon’s kingdom, to worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed, that is, to be of his religion. And he doth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men; that is, he excommunicateth those who differ from him in point of religion: for in pronouncing their excommunications, they used to swing down a lighted torch from above. And he said to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the Beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live; that is, that they should call a Council of men of the religion of this Beast. And he had power to give life unto the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed, viz. mystically, by dissolving their Churches. And he causeth all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads, and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name; that is, the mark *MALTESE CROSS, or the name *, or the number thereof *, 666. All others were excommunicated.
When the seven Angels had poured out the seven vials of wrath, and John had described them all in the present time, he is called up from the time of the seventh vial to the time of the sixth seal, to take a view of the woman and her Beast, who were to reign in the times of the seventh seal. In respect of the latter part of time of the sixth seal, then considered as present, the Angel tells John: The Beast that thou sawest, was and is not, and shall ascend out of the abyss, and go into perdition; that is, he was in the reign of Constans and Magnentius, until Constantius conquered Magnentius, and re-united the Western Empire to the Eastern. He is not during the re-union, and he shall ascend out of the abyss or sea at a following division of the Empire. The Angel tells him further: Here is the mind which hath wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth; Rome being built upon seven hills, and thence called the seven-hilled city. Also there are seven Kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space: and the Beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. Five are fallen, the times of the five first seals being past; and one is, the time of the sixth seal being considered as present; and another is not yet come, and when he cometh, which will be at the opening of the seventh seal, he must continue a short space: and the Beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, by means of the division of the Roman Empire into two collateral Empires; and is of the seven, being one half of the seventh, and shall go into perdition. The words, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, are usually referred by interpreters to the time of John the Apostle, when the Prophecy was given: but it is to be considered, that in this Prophecy many things are spoken of as present, which were not present when the Prophecy was given, but which would be present with respect to some future time, considered as present in the visions. Thus where it is said upon pouring out the seventh vial of wrath, that great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath; this relates not to the time of John the Apostle, but to the time of pouring out the seventh vial of wrath. So where it is said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and thrust in thy sickle and reap; and the time of the dead is come, that they should be judged; and again, I saw the dead small and great stand before God: these sayings relate not to the days of John the Apostle, but to the latter times considered as present in the visions. In like manner the words, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and the Beast that was and is not, he is the eighth, are not to be referred to the age of John the Apostle, but relate to the time when the Beast was to be wounded to death with a sword, and show that this wound was to be given him in his sixth head: and without this reference we are not told in what head the Beast was wounded. And the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten Kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as Kings one hour with the Beast. These have one mind, being all of the whore’s religion, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast.