20.—Guardians’ Bazaars or Temples Dedicated to Saints
“To a god of guardians shall he do honor with gold and silver, and with costly gems, and precious things. Thus shall he do to the Bazaars of the Guardians pertaining to the strange god.” The honour done to the Pontiff of the Mysteries of the worship of Guardian Saints by the emperor, was expressed not in mere decrees, but in the more substantial forms of all kinds of riches. They were given to him in being bestowed upon the Bazaars dedicated to guardian saints, all of which throughout the empire were subordinated to him. Justinian’s is a remarkable illustration of imperial liberality to the Roman god in the bestowal of riches upon his “churches”, or bazaars of spiritual merchandise. Besides the magnificent temple of St. Sophia, which with 10,000 workmen he finished in five years, eleven months, and ten days from the first foundation, he dedicated twenty-five others in Constantinople and its suburbs to the honour of the Virgin and the saints of the catholic calendar. Most of these edifices were decorated with marble and gold. His munificence was diffused over the Holy Land; throughout which monasteries for both sexes were amply diffused. Almost every saint in the calendar acquired the honour of a bazaar: and the liberality with which he honoured them was boundless. No wood except the doors was admitted into the construction of St. Sophia. Paul Silentiarius, who beheld its primitive lustre, enumerates the colours, the shades, and the spots of ten or twelve marbles, jaspers, and porphyries, which Nature had profusely diversified, and which were blended and contrasted as it were by a skilful painter. The triumph of Antichrist “was adorned with the last spoils of paganism, but the greater part of these costly stones was extracted from the quarries of Asia Minor, the isles and continent of Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Gaul … A variety of ornaments and figures was curiously expressed in Mosaic; and the images of Christ, of the Virgin, of saints and of angels, were … exposed to the superstition of the Greeks. According to the sanctity of each object, the precious metals were distributed in thin leaves, or in solid masses … The spectator was dazzled by the glittering aspect of the cupola; the sanctuary contained forty thousand pounds weight of silver; and the holy vases and vestments of the altar were of the purest gold, enriched with inestimable gems.” Such are the words of Gibbon—a literal, though inadvertent interpretation of the testimony with which this paragraph begins.
“The Bazaars of the Guardians”—mivtzahrai mahuzzim. The noun mivtzahrai is derived from the root bahtzar, which, among other meanings, signifies, to enclose with a wall. As a noun, bĕtzĕr signifies ore of gold and silver, precious metals, store, or treasure so secured. Parkhurst has the following upon the word: “Derivative, Bazaar, a kind of covered market-place among the eastern nations, somewhat like our Exeter ’Change in London, but frequently much more extensive. Latin, or rather Punic, Byrsa, the Burse at Carthage”: equivalent to the French Bourse. In the English version the phrase is rendered, “the most strong holds”, with which those who compiled the marginal references and readings were not satisfied; and therefore they have tried to improve it by the words “fortresses of munitions”. But if the reader can extract any sense out of these renderings, it is more than I can. Moses Stuart renders it “fenced strong holds”; and the strange god he styles, “the god of strong holds, that is, the god who has power over them”. He confesses, however, that verse 39 is “a difficult verse, which has occasioned many discrepant interpretations”. He refers to Lengerke, who, he remarks, “makes the fenced strong holds to mean temples, and the sentiment to be, that the tyrant will do for temples and their foreign gods the same thing that v. 38 says he will do in respect to the god of strong holds, i.e., he will bestow many liberal presents upon them”. As neither Lengerke nor Moses Stuart seem to see anything in Daniel (the last chapter perhaps excepted) beyond the times of Antiochus, some hundred and sixty years or so before the birth of Jesus Christ, their temples and “strong holds” have relation to “fortified strong holds of foreigners” attacked by Antiochus, and temples of idols. Lengerke has almost fallen upon the correct meaning. Had he referred the bĕtzar, heëmantively written mivtzahr, to the temples of guardian saints instead of to those of the pagan Greeks, he would have hit the mark exactly: but then how could he be so uncharitable as to turn the pious father of “Christendom” into a strange god, and all the ecclesiastical buildings of that dominion dedicated to saints and angels, into Bazaars, or places of traffic in spiritual merchandise and the bodies and souls of men!
The churches, chapels, and cathedrals, then, are the “most strong holds” of the superstition of the kingdom of Babylon. They are the houses of business dedicated by the prospering craft to “guardian spirits”. There are the images and pictures of the saints. They are Saints’ Houses in which are deposited their shrines; silver, gold, and ivory crucifixes; old bones, and various kinds of votive trumpery. They are literally “dens of thieves” without ever having been the houses of the Father—dens, where people are robbed of their money under false pretences. They are places where pews are sold by auction, the proudest sittings being knocked down to Mammon’s greatest favourites; places where fairs of vanity and deceit are held for “pious objects”; and where spiritual empirics pretend to “cure souls” in consideration of so much per annum. In view of these facts, the scriptural epithet bestowed upon the church buildings of the Apostasy is most appropriate. They are truly Bazaars of spiritual merchandise; and the prospering craft, “the great men of the earth” made rich by trading in their wares, are the Bazaar-Men who extort all kinds of goods from their customers by putting them in fear, and comforting them with counterfeits upon some bank in the world to come. They buy and sell under license from the Ecclesiastical Power, having received its mark upon their foreheads, or on their right hands. The reader may find their catalogue of merchandise in the eighteenth of Revelation, twelfth and thirteenth verses. Among the articles of barter for spirituals are tithes, bodies, and souls of men. But the trade of these soul-merchants is in any thing but a satisfactory state at present. Great numbers of their customers have discovered that the profit is all upon one side; nor are they backward in proclaiming that when a favourable opportunity presents they will break up the iniquitous concern, and make the cheats disgorge their unhallowed gains. This will be a sad day, a day of universal bankruptcy for the weeping and wailing merchants of Babylon; “for no man buyeth their merchandise any more”. When a man’s trade is thus extinguished, nothing but ruin stares the shattered tradesman in the face. This is the fate that awaits the preachers of all the gospels of the Bazaars—gospels other than Paul preached, and which leave men in ignorance and disobedience; gospels which make them partisans of human crotchets and traditions; and the apologists of any thing sincerely professed as a substitute for the truth.
It is a remarkable feature in this prophecy that the Bazaars for priestly and clerical wares are distinguished from houses or shops of fair and honourable trade, by being styled Bazaars of Mahuzzim. When jewellers, bakers, hardwaremen, etc., open stores, they emblazon their signs with their own names; but when the clergy open houses for the exercise of their profession they impose upon the ignorant public the idea that they belong to the apostles and their brethren! They say that these ancient worthies are still alive, and in heaven, and greatly interested in human affairs, especially in church-buildings and things transacted there! Hence they put their statues in niches and on parapets, and make them presents of the churches, as is clear from the names they bear; as, St. Sophia at Constantinople, St. Peter’s at Rome, Our Lady’s at Paris, St. Paul’s at London, and so forth. The imposition, however, consists in this, that while they give these buildings to the “departed spirits” they call by these names, they will not permit the gospel the apostles preached, and the institutions they ordained, to be announced within their walls; but perversely persist in excluding it, and in making it of none effect by their vain and foolish traditions. But the whole system is a cheat, and a very profitable one for the present to those who live by it. It is ecclesiastical craft caused to prosper by the civil power; and it will prosper until Israel’s Commander shall bring it to an end, and cause the truth by his energy to prevail at last.
Having illustrated somewhat in detail the terms of this remarkable prophecy, I proceed to remark that the Little Horn of the Goat and Daniel’s Fourth Beast are both representative of “The King of Fierce Countenance” at the time when the Commander-in-Chief shall break the former in pieces; and the Saints shall take away the dominion of the latter, to consume and destroy it as the fiery flame and wheels of burning fire issuing forth from the Ancient of Days. The Goat’s Little Horn and the god he honours, are equivalent to the Beast, the Little Horn with its Eyes and Mouth, and the Ten Horns, at the time of the breaking of the Goat-Horn. This identity of representation will not have been always so; for about the conclusion of the eighth century, the Goat-Horn and its god only represented the Constantinopolitan Civil Power, whose jurisdiction had almost entirely ceased from Italy and the West; and the Roman Ecclesiastical, which, disappearing from the East, was recognized in the Popes by all the nations of the West, who, in the words of Gregory II. to the emperor, “revere as a god upon earth, the apostle St. Peter, whose image you threaten to destroy”; and therefore, also, so regarded “Christ’s Vicegerent”, who claimed to be Peter’s successor in the god-ship. The Ten Horns with crowns, and the Eleventh Horn, of the Beast, have never yet been subjugated to the Goat-Horn; though the territory on which they exist as powers has before their existence: not all the territory of the Eleventh Horn, however, but so much of it as it possesses within the frontiers of the old Roman dominion.
But, though the Little Horn of the Goat, or Constantinopolitan Power, has never been Lord of the European Continental Powers represented by the Eleven Horns, the time is at hand when it, as Gog, will acquire that dominion. The feeble Ottoman must be ejected from the throne to make room for a more powerful and vigorous dynasty. This dynasty will be the last occupant of the throne of the Constantinopolitan Power for a thousand years. During its enthroned existence it will be all that is affirmed of the Little Horn of the Goat and of “the King that does according to its will”, in the eighth and eleventh chapters of Daniel. At this crisis, its power will be mighty, and it will destroy wonderfully, and prosper, and practise. As Lord of Europe and Asia the continental dynasties of the West will be gathered unto it. They will acknowledge its supremacy, and seek to it as the shadow and strength of their dominions. The Constantinopolitan Little Horn Power will then be in final fourth-beast manifestation, “dreadful, and terrible, and strong exceedingly; having great iron teeth; devouring and breaking in pieces, and stamping the residue with the feet of it; and having ten horns”. It is while the post-Ottoman dynasty occupies the throne that the “stamping the residue with the feet of” the beast is accomplished. The Feet represent a power, a stamping or conquering power, which subjects “the residue” to its dominion. The claws of these feet are of brass, while the feet themselves are part of iron and part of clay; for the feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s Image, and those of the Fourth Beast, are representative of the same power. The brass, the iron, and the clay, then, are representative of the national elements constituting the power. The Greeks, and the Latins, mixed up with the heterogeneous peoples under the guardianship of the Czar, moulded into form under his imperial sceptre, are the Feet-power that stamps the residue. The residue may be discerned in the names of countries and races hereafter to be confederated under Gog as their appointed “guard”.
While the Feet are occupied in stamping upon Judah and his allies in the glorious land, the Fourth Beast Power and Little Horn of the Goat are fitly represented by the Image Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. During the reign of the Clay-Dynasty the image stands upon its Feet for the first time; having incorporated in it, not only Nimroudia and Persia, but the nation of the Greeks, or brazen goats; and “the Holy Roman Empire” and its papal kingdoms, or iron leg and toes.
But, although the Greeks and Latins are all moulded into One Imperiality held together by the Miry Clay which gives it form, the distinctiveness of civil and ecclesiastical organization is still preserved. The Two-Horned Beast, the False Prophet, and the Kings of the Earth, are not extinct. The French Empire being at length probably transmuted into a Bourbon-kingdom, and the Russian dynasty being on the throne of Constantinople, it becomes the Sovereign element of the two-horned symbol. When the Little Horn of the Goat is broken to pieces on the mountains of Israel, the Constantinopolitan power collapses, being seen no more in the Holy Land for a thousand years. The Two-Horned Beast, the False Prophet, and the Kings of the Earth, are no longer capable of being represented by the Assyrian Image, or Little Horn of the Goat resting upon the territory of the Northern of the Four Horns; because there they will have lost dominion, their jurisdiction after the smiting of the Image by the Stone Power being restricted to Europe, whose Romano-papal constitution these symbols represent.