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to the King, till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff, of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them ; and the stone, that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
The four empires were all to be destroyed, and; a fifth was to succeed, which was to be different from all that had gone before. The fourth too was to be unlike the three former in several respects. The image had iron legs. This implied, that the empire, represented by them, was to be more powerful than any of those which had gone before. But then the feet and toes of the image were part of iron and part of clay. This was to denote, that the latter ages of the Roman empire were partly strong and partly weak. The ten toes too, upon the feet of the image, were designed to represent ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was to be divided, just as the two feet of a human creature are split into ten ramifications. This is expressed by the prophet in the manner following: Whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron; the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron; forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay; so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. The meaning of which seems to be, the rulers of the tei kingdoms, into which the Roman empire will be divided, shall form marriages, alliances, and contracts one with another from time to time, for supporting each other's interests; but none of their schemes and alliances for obtaining universal empire shall stand. They shall all be broken and come to nought. . No universal empire shall ever exist upon earth again, till the spiritual empire of Jesus Christ, over the hearts, minds, souls, consciences and lives of men takes place. Jesus, maugre all opposition, shall be an universal monarch, and the only universal monarch, who shall ever
It is not, however, expressly asserted in the prophecy before us, that the Romun empire should be split into ten kingdoms. It is only said the kingdom shall be divided. But' though it is not asserted in so many words, it is strongly intimated by the ten tues of the two feet of the image. Anti the whole is more fully explained in DANIEL's vision, recorded in the seventh chapter, where the beast, which is symbolical of the Roman empire, is represented with ten. horns, as here the image with ten toes. And, indeed, it is necessary to the full understanding of this dream of NEBUCHADNEZZAR, that we should compare it with the vision of DANIEL, which signities the same thing under different images, with some additional circumstances. This vision of DANIEL was near fifty years after the dream of NEBUCHADNEZZAR.. The first part of the vision is in Dan. vii. 1 ---8.
After this, the prophet had a representation of the everlasting FATHER of the universe, with his eternal Son, the blessed Jesus, passing sentence upon the little horn in these verses. A horn is a symbolical representation of government, power, dominion. The government signified by this little horn was to be utterly destroyed, and Jesus is to erect his universal empire upon the ruins of it. See Dan. vii. 9---14. This is the same glorious and universal kingdom of MESSIAHI, which is described in NEBUCHADNEZZAR's dream. Compare Dan. ii. 35-44.
When DANIEL had beheld the judgment of the little horn, he did not understand the meaning of it. He was, therefore, greatly troubled, and very desirous of knowing what the whole signified. After a little time, he took courage, and went up to one of the glorious Beings, who stood by, to enquire. Whereupon the bappy Spirit, that was in the train of MESSIA 11, laid open to DANIEL the outlines of the whole history of the corruptions of the Christian church---their rise-their progress---their amazing enormity.--their subversion---and their total demolition : See Dan. vii. 15---28.
These are wonderful predictions *, in which we are all
* The reader will find these, and other predictions of DANIEL, ably explained by the late Bishop Newton in his Dissertations on the Prophecies. Few of our most able writers on the prophecies, however, seem to me to have any idea, that tbey apply to the Prolestunt establishments, as well as to the Catholic kingdoms. All these things are against us, and we are usually extremely backward to believe what we do not wish to be true.
most nearly concerned; because the awful times of which they speak, we bave reason to believe, are just at havd; and none of us know how soon we njav be juvolved in the distresses which are here foretold... The Roman" empire, we have seen, was to be broken up, and divided into ten kingdoms. Sometime, soon after the formation of these ten kingdoms, which are denominated horns, there was to arise one ittle horn, one small dominion), waderneath, or from behmd, three of the ten horns, or kingdoms, into 'u bich the empire should be divided. This little horn was to conquer and subdue three of the ten horus, and to usurp their domivion, After this, it was to go on and encrease more and more till it had obtained a peculiar kind of power and jurisdiction over all the seven other horns. This one little horn, which was become so great and powerful, was also to grow proud, and vain, and cruel, and bloody, and tyrannical, and idolatrous, and a vile persecutor of the true servants of the living God. This horribly bloody and tyrannical power, was to be aided and assisted in its cruelties towards the genuine followers of the LAMB, by all the other seven kingdoms, over which it had obtained an unbounded influence. This wicked and cruel dominion was to continue a time and times and half a time. A time here, in prophetic language, signifies a Jewish year, which consisted of only 360 days. The times then will signify twice 360 days; and half a time will signify half of 360 days, or 180 days. But a doy, in the language of prophecy, is put for a year. If, therefore, we add these numbers together, they will be thrice 360 years, and 130 years, or exactly 1260 years, for the continuance of this bloody and tyraonical power ; at the end of which period it is to be completely and everlastingly destroyed.
Now, let us look back and see whether all these strange predietions of DANIEL have ever been accomplished.
The Roman empire was to be destroyed. It was so, in the fifth and sixth centuries. It was to be divided juto a number of small kingdoms: It was so in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries. A little horn was to arise, uperceived, and subdue three of the ten horns. The Bishop of Rome, in a sort of secret and imperceptible manner, did arise to temporal dominion, and subdued, by the help of PEPIN, 'king of France, three of those ten states, into which the empire had been divided; the senate of Rome, the king
dom of Lombardy, and the erarchate of Rarenna; three governments all in Italy. And, it is extremely remarkable, that upon becoming master of these three estates, the Bishop of Rome assumed a triple crown, which he hath worn ever since, and which he continues to wear at this very day! This is wonderful !
Now the Bishop of Rome was to retain his power over these three states, and his influence over the seven other kingdoms 1260 years. If we knew exactly when to begin to reckon these years, we should know precisely wben the destruction of Antichrist would take place*. Some begin to reckon from the year 606, when the proud Prelate of Rome was declared Universal Bishop. Others begin from the year 666, the apocalyptic number; and others from the year 756, when he became a temporal prince. If the first period be right, then the Pope of Rome, the undoubted
Antichrist of the New Testament, will be completely destroyed, as a horn, about the year 1866. If the second period be intended by the Spirit of Prophecy, then his end will be near the year 1926. But if the third period be the time, then Antichrist will retain some part of his dominion over the nations till about the year 2016+.
Most evident it is, that he is rapidly falling. There is a great deal, however, yet to be done. But, rehen God works, who shall let? Much has been already done, and all will be accomplished in due time. Not one WORD shall fall to the ground of all that the Lord hath spoken.
Nay, not only shall Antichrist be overthrown, but even Rome itself, the place and city where he hath carried on his abominations for so many ages, shall be everlastingly destroyed. The language of scripture is extremely strong, and seems sufficiently clear and precise.
* The temporal power of the Pope is already gone : what further remains to be done, a little more time, a few more fleeting years, perhaps months, will shew. How eventful is the present period !
+ The number of Bishops, whom we usually call Popes, who have presided over the Romish church from its first institution by the
Apostles, is about two hundred and tifty or sixty; they have, therefore, presided only about seven years apiece upon an average.
# It is granted, that all the passages upon this subject are figurative and prophetic, and therefore must be interpreted with caution; but yet they seem so strong and precise, that we cannot well understand ihem in any more moderate sense. The reader will compare them together, and form his own judgment.
Thus DANIEL: I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake : I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the BURNING FLAME., Thus too St. Paul, where he is probably speaking of Antichrist :--The LORD JESUS shall be revealed from heuven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lory, and from the glory of his power.--And again in another place in the same Epistle, where he is certainly and professedly speaking of Antichrist, he saith ;--- And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.--Thus too St. JOHN :---The Beast gocth into PERDITION.--Again :---Her plagues shall be in one day, and she shall be UTTERLY BURNT WITH FIRE.---The kings of the earth shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her BURNING, standing afar off for fear of her torment, saying, Alas! Alas! that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in ONE HOUR is thy judgment come.-In ONE HOUR so great riches are come to NOUGHT!.They shall see the SMOKE of her BURNING !--And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, suying, Thus with VIOLENCE, shall that great city Babylon be THROWN DOWN, and shall be FOUND NO MORE AT ALL. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee. And no craftsman, of whatever craft he be, shall be found any more in thet; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee.--Immediately after these words, all the inhabitants of heaven are represented as rejoicing, and saying, HALLELUJAH! And her sMOKE rose up for ever and ever.
It will be allowed, that these are very strong expressions, and imply a punishment extremely severe. It is remarkable too, that all the country about the city of Rome, is a kind of bitumen, or pitchy substance. And in the year of our Lord 80, a fire burst out from beneath the ground, in the middle of the city, and burnt four of the principal Heathen temples,