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Greeks, B. C. 331, whose arms were brass. 4. The legs of iron, and the feet and toes partly iron and partly clay," the empire of the Romans, B. C. 168, which should be as strong as iron, but the kingdoms into which it was to be divided, composed of heterogeneous materials, which should be partly strong and partly weak."
"Thou sawest 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." Dan. ii. 34, 35.
5. "The spiritual kingdom of THE STONE, or of CHRIST, which was to be set up by THE GOD OF HEAVEN, “in the days of those kings," A. D. 32, or before the end of the Roman empire, upon the ruins of those temporal kingdoms and empires, and was destined to fill the whole earth, and to stand or continue for ever. The prophet's interpretation only specifies the Babylonian empire, the succeeding not being yet in existence; their names are collected from the. ensuing visions of Daniel gradually unfolding this primary vision; with which therefore, they are all intimately connected, and with each other, as links of one grand chain of prophecy reaching from their commencement, to the end of time." Hales's Anal. vol. II. p. 499, and for a farther explanation, p. 539. See also Sir Isaac Newton's Observ. book iii. And Bishop Newton's Dis. vol. I, Dis. xiii.
The condescension of God to the capacity of man's understanding in accommodating the prophetic imagery to the prevailing customs and notions of the times is remarkably shewn in the symbols of this prophecy, the metals corresponding with the then popular fable of the four ages of the
world. Each kingdom, also, was separately distinguished by some appropriate characteristic, as the riches of the Babylonian, by the gold; the shields of the Persians, which were of silver, by that metal, and their uncivilized manners, as being "inferior;" the armour of the Greeks, by the brass; which metal might, also, symbolize the spurious celebrity of Alexander, which was "as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal;" the belly of the image, his licentious disposition, and the two thighs, the kingdoms of Egypt and Syria, springing out of his empire; the great strength and hardiness of the Romans were intimated by the iron, and the form of their government at the time alluded to in the prophecy, by the legs representing the two consuls.
II. DANIEL'S VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS, (ch vii.) is dated in the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, B. C. 555, and fourteen years after the first dream of Nebuchadnezzar, (ch. ii.) of which it is an amplification.
"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse, one from another. The first, was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld, till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it." Dan. vii. 2-4.
"The first beast was like a lion, and had eagle's wings, to denote the kingdoms of Babylonia and Media, which overthrew the Assyrian empire, and divided it between them, and thereby became considerable, and grew into great Empires. In the former prophecy, the Empire of Babylonia was represented by the head of gold: in this, both Empires
* See an account of Hesiod's ages. Hales's Anal. vol. I. p. 38-45. Also Faber's Hora Mosaicæ, vol. I. Sect. i. ch. iii.
are represented together by the two wings of the lion, "And I beheld," saith Daniel," till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it; " that is, till it was humbled and subdued, and made to know its human state." (Sir Isaac Newton's Observations, p. 28.) Such was the position of the Empire under Belshazzar, B. C. 555.
"And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side; and it had three ribs in the mouth of it, between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh." Dan. vii. 5.
"The second beast was like a bear, and represented the Empire which reigned next after the Babylonians, that is, the Empire of the Persians, B. C. 537." "Thy kingdom is divided, or broken," saith Daniel, to the last king of Babylon," and given to the Medes and Persians." Dan. v. 28. This beast, raised itself up on one side; the Persians being under the Medes, at the fall of Babylon, but presently rising up above them. "And it had three ribs in the mouth of it, between the teeth of it, to signify the kingdoms of Sardis, Babylon, and Egypt, which were conquered by it, but did not belong to its proper body. body. And it devoured much flesh, the riches of those three kingdoms." (Sir Isaac Newton, p. 29.)
"After this, I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it, four wings of a fowl; the beast had, also, four heads; and dominion was given to it.”
Dan. vii. 6.
"The third beast, was the kingdom which succeeded the Persian; and this was the empire of the Greeks, B. C. 331." Dan. viii. 6-7, 20-21. It was like a leopard, to signify its fierceness; and had four heads and four wings, to signify that it should become divided into four kingdoms, (Dan. viii. 22.) for it continued in a monarchical form during the reign of Alexander the Great, and his brother,
Aridæus, and, young sons, Alexander and Hercules, and then, broke into four kingdoms, by the of governors pro vinces putting crowns on their own heads, and, by mutual consent, reigning over their provinces. Cassander reigned over Macedon, Greece, and Epirus; Lysimachus, over Thrace and Bithynia; Ptolemy, over Egypt, Lybia, Arabia, Calo-syria, and Palestine; and, Seleucas, over Syria." Sir Isaac Newton, p. 29.
After this, I saw, in the night, visions; and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured, and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. Dan. vii. 7.
"The fourth beast, was the empire which succeeded that of the Greeks, and this was the Roman. This beast, was exceeding dreadful and terrible, and had great iron teeth, and devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; and such was the Roman empire. It was larger, stronger, and more formidable and lasting, than any of the former. It conquered the kingdom of Macedon, with Illyricum and Epirus, B. C. 168, and the rest of Greece, B. C. 146, and Syria, B. C. 65, and Egypt, B. C. 30; and by these, and other conquests, it became greater, and more terrible, than any of the three former beasts. This empire continued in its greatness till the reign of Theodosius the Great, and then broke into ten kingdoms, represented by the ten horns of this beast," (Sir Isaac Newton, p. 30.) viz. I. The Huns, A. D. 356; II. the Ostrogoths, A. D. 377 ; III. The Visigoths, A. D. 378; IV. The Franks; V. The Vandals; VI. the Suevi and Alani; VII. The Burgundians, A. D. 407; VIII. The Heruli and Rugii; IX. The Saxons, A. D. 476; X. The Lombards, A. D. 483. Bp. Lloyd, quoted by Bishop Newton.
"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom, were three of
the first horns, plucked up by the roots; and, behold, in this horn were eyes, like the eyes of man, and a mouth, speaking great things, (Dan. vii. 8.) and his look was more stout than his fellows, (ver. 20.) and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them." Ver. 21.
"And one who stood by, and made Daniel know the interpretation of these things, (ver. 16.) told him, that the ten horns were ten kings that should arise, and another should arise after them, and be diverse from the first, and, he should subdue three kings, and speak great words against the Most High, and wear out the Saints, and think to change times and laws: and that they should be given into his hands, until a time, and times, and the dividing of time, ver. 25, 26. Kings are put for kingdoms, as above; and, therefore, the little horn is a little kingdom. It was a horn of the fourth beast, and rooted up three of his first horns; and, therefore, we are to look for it among the nations of the Latin empire, after the rise of the ten horns. But it was a kingdom of a different kind from the other ten kingdoms, having a life, or soul, peculiar to itself, with eyes ́and a mouth. By its eyes, it was a seer; and, by its mouth speaking great things, and changing times and laws, it was a prophet as well as a king. And such a Seer, a prophet, and a king, is the church of Rome." Sir Isaac Newton, p. 74. Now, it will not be difficult to prove from history, that the Pope, the head and representative of the Roman church, and consequently the eleventh, or "little horn,” had been gradually and imperceptibly increasing in power, (growing up behind the other ten horns) in proportion as the Roman empire declined, and that by his instrumentality, several of those horns, or kingdoms, were rooted up, as I. The Heruli, by the Ostrogoths, A. D. 493; II. The Ostrogoths, by Belisarius, A. D. 534; and III. The Lombards, by Charlemagne, A. D. 774. For the different expositions of this part of the prophecy, see Bishop Newton, XIVth Discourse.