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in the throne gave a little rest, which soon ended in the battle of Megiddo; from which time they hasted to that ruin brought upon them by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
After their captivity in Babylon, whilst the Medes and Persians reigned, they were poor and despised, and continually harassed by a Samaritan faction. Under the Grecians, they were subdued, their daily sacrifice made to cease, whilst they fled into the mountains and caves of the earth. And when they rose and collected under the Maccabees, they held their lives at the point of the sword; and after them followed the most bloody factions among themselves, until they were brought under the Roman yoke; which lay upon them, heavier and heavier, till their last dispersion.
It is now almost four thousand years since Abraham; in all which time his posterity have not enjoyed, put all together, two hundred years' prosperity and quiet settlement, as a nation.
The promises of the kingdom of Israel, therefore, are yet to be fulfilled. Isaiah, running over the history of Israel, and comparing it with the promises of their inheriting the land, was constrained to cry, The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while.
When we say the promises of the kingdom of Israel are not fulfilled, wo do not mean to include a particular respect they might have to the ancient settlement of Israel in Canaan,* and to Christ at
*This settlement of Israel was the emblem or figure of what was promised to the fathers, rather than the ful filment.
his first coming; but that they have not had their general accomplishment.
Moreover, it is prophesied, when this kingdom comes-Israel shall dwell in a place of their own, and move no more: neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more-wars shall cease unto the end of the earth: and of the increase of the kingdom, and peace, there shall be no end. This must be future.
Daniel's account of this glorious kingdom plainly shows it to be future. In his prophecy, there are four descriptions of the great events of Providence from that time to the end of all things. The first is, the great image; the second is, the four beasts that came up from the sea; the third is, the ram and he-goat with their horns; and the fourth is, the kings or the antichrists, in the vision by the river Hiddekel; which is continued through a variety of scenes to the end of the book.
These, especially the two first, agree exactly in the same things; and all close up with the kingdom of Christ.
The interpretation of the two first is thisThe head of the image, which was of fine gold, and the first beast, which was like a lion, represent the Babylonian empire: the silver breast and arms of the image, and the second beast, like to a bear, represent the Medo-Persian empire, which was inferior to the Babylonian: the belly and thighs of the image, which were of brass, and the third beast, like a leopard, represent the Grecian empire, which, though very showy, was inferior still the iron legs of the image, and the fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceed ingly, which devoured and brake in pieces, and
stamped the residue with the feet of it, represent the Roman empire: the feet and toes of the image, which were part of iron and part of clay, and the ten horns which the fourth beast had, represent plainly the dominion, or dominions, now existing, which hav risen up out of the Roman empire; which, divided, partly strong and partly broken, though always forming treaties, leagues, confederacies, and combinations, do not cleave one to another,* even as iron is not mixed with clay: and the little horn, which came up among the other horns, and had eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, and which made war with the saints and prevailed against them, and wore them out, and thought to change times and laws, is evidently the papal dominion, or man of sin; for his description here, as well as the term assigned for his reign-a time and times, and the dividing of time-answers exactly to that given in the New Testament of the great and cruel apostate enemy of Christ and his saints.
When the time, times, and a half, or one thousand two hundred and sixty days, that is years, have expired, the stone cut out without hands will smite the image upon his feet, his present dominions; † and the whole—the iron,
*God hath said, they shall not cleave one to another; therefore, marvel not that all their attempts to mingleto unite by treaties, &c., prove in the end sources of discord.
The powers that be are ordained of God, not to stand forever; they are things which can be shaken, and will be removed (by him who hath promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven, and 1 will shake all nations,) and give place to those things which cannot be shaken-a kingdom which cannot be moved, and which therefore shall remain.
the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold-shall be crumbled to pieces together, and become like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind shall carry them away, that no place shall be found for them. The beast-the Antichristalso shall be slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. Then the stone that smote image shall become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth; which is explained to mean the kingdom of Christ; which shall break in pieces, and consume, all the kingdoms of this world, and which shall stand forever.
So that the time appointed in Daniel for the Son of Man to take the kingdom, is when the thrones are cast down and the beast is slain; by which it appears, that the glorious reign of Christ is yet to come; for the thrones are yet standing, and the beast is yet living.
The time appointed also for this glorious kingdom in the Revelation, is evidently future; for it is not until the seventh angel sounds the last trumpet-" And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever;" but the last trumpet has not yet sounded.
Moreover, we, upon whom the ends of the world are come, are expressly taught to look forward for this kingdom, and to pray, Thy kingdom come: yea, our Savior plainly teaches that his kingdom is not of this world, but of the world to come; of which we shall speak more particularly.
This everlasting kingdom-the kingdom of glory-which shall not pass away, will be administered, first, by Christ Jesus.
Daniel saw, "and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
Isaiah prophesied of the Child that should be born, and the Son that should be given to Israel, that the government shall be upon his shoulder.
This kingdom is given to Christ, as a reward of his humiliation and suffering, and of his victories in subduing it unto God; as it is written "To this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." "The Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man." He made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of