Obrazy na stronie

sia, and the left or weaker arm denoting the kingdom of Media. These kingdoms subsisted before the downfall of Babylon : but, agreeably to the principle which I have already laid down and in exact accordance with the plan which Ptolemy has pursued in the construction of his Canon, the silver breast was not joined to the golden head until the year before Christ 538, when Babylon was captured; nor were the two arms indissolubly attached to the breast until the year before Christ 536, when the two kingdoms of Media and Persia were united under the sole government of Cyrus.

(3.) The third division of the image consists of the belly and the two thighs, which are described as being formed of brass.

This, according to Daniel, typifies the third great kingdom: and, if we turn to the Canon of Ptolemy, we shall perceive, that the Grecian Alexander is arranged immediately after the last Persian Darius. Hence the brazen part of the image must symbolise the Grecian Empire; the belly denoting the undivided sovereignty of Alexander, and the two thighs denoting the two principal kingdoms of Syria and Egypt which soon overtopped and eclipsed the other two smaller kingdoms. The Empire of the Greeks subsisted before the downfall of the Persian Empire: but the brazen belly was not joined to the silver breast, until Alexander finally conquered Darius. Therefore the date of that junction will be the year before Christ 331; when, after the decisive battle of Arbela which completely broke the strength of the Persians, Alexander was saluted King or Emperor of all Asia.

(4.) The fourth division of the image consists of two parts, differently compounded : for the two legs are of iron ; but the two feet, branching out into ten toes, are partially of iron, and partially of clay.

This, according to Daniel, typifies the fourth great kingdom: and, if we once more advert to the Canon of Ptolemy, we shall find, that the last Grecian sovereign Cleopatra is immediately followed by the first Roman Emperor Augustus. Hence the fourth division of the image must symbolise the Roman Empire from the point of time, when the iron legs became attached to the brazen thighs. This junction was gradually effected : for Greece and Syria were subdued before Egypt. But, since it was not completed until the final subjugation of the latter country, I am inclined, in correspondence with the Canon of Ptolemy, to date the point of junction in the year before Christ 30.

The mode of arrangement, which has been throughout adopted, and which the decorum of the symbol plainly requires, will lead at once to the true interpretation of the Roman part of the image.

As the two legs of iron typify the Roman Empire only from the time of their junction to the thighs of brass, agreeably to the analogical junction of the brass to the silver and of the silver to the gold ; all that portion of time, which precedes the year before Christ 30, is excluded from our

estimate of it while it appears as a part of the great statue. Hence I think it manifest, that the two iron legs can have no allusion to the two Consuls, as some commentators have incongruously imagined. On the contrary, they must be understood to typify those two grand divisions of the Empire, which followed the complete subjugation of the Macedonian sovereignty : I mean the Eastern and Western Empires, or the two Patriarchates of the East and the West. These, then, are the two legs of iron : as the two brazen thighs were the two grand divisions of the Grecian Empire, or the two chief kingdoms of Syria and Egypt; and as the two silver arms were the two grand divisions of the Persian Empire, or the two dominant kingdoms of Persia and Media.

The iron constitution of the Roman Empire is succeeded by its mixed constitution of iron and clay : for the iron legs terminate in the feet and toes, which are said to have been thus compounded. Of this last form of domination the prophet gives the following account.

Whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron ; the kingdom shall be divided : and there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And, as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. And, whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle them

selves with the seed of men : but they shall not cleave together, even as iron is not mixed with clay'.

We have here a very distinct prediction, that, subsequent to the division of the Roman Empire into the two Empires of the East and the West, it should be subjected to a yet further division into ten kingdoms represented by the ten toes of the image. These kingdoms, however, should not be equally strong or equally permanent : for some of them, inheriting a portion of the characteristic Roman iron, should be firm and durable ; while others of them, partaking of the nature of potter's clay, should soon be crushed by their more powerful iron neighbours and should crumble away into the impalpable powder of their detached component individuals. In the mean time, the principle of cohesion, which had marked the unmixed iron state of the Roman Empire, should be for ever destroyed : for, although the sovereigns of these different kingdoms should perpetually and systematically contract matrimonial alliances with each other, they should not on that account the better cohere; or, if two or three of the kingdoms might by marriage or conquest come to be united under one government, still the whole should never be subdued and melted down into a single mass by any invading fifth secular Empire, as the Babylonian was by the

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Persian, the Persian by the Grecian, and the Grecian by the Roman.

To see how exactly the whole of this prophecy has been accomplished, we need only read the modern history of Europe. The ten toes of the image are obviously the same as the ten horns of the fourth great beast in the following vision : and those ten horns are no less plainly the ten primary Gothic kingdoms, into which the Roman Empire was divided by the northern warriors of Scythia .

Such was the modification of the gigantic image, while its component parts were successively added to each other in a western direction, agreeably to the course of its mythological prototype the great humano-solar divinity of Paganism.

2. Hitherto the course of exposition has been sufficiently easy : but we have now to enter upon a track, which has been much overlooked and neglected.

The image, when its parts are viewed successively or during the progress of its formation, represents the four successive great Empires : but, when its parts are viewed conjointly, or after its


Dan, vii. I know not, whether we are absolutely bound to account for the ten fingers of the silver arms, as we are for the ten toes of the mingled feet : yet it is worthy of observation, that the Medo-Persian Empire, independently of the two governing arms, comprehended ten kingdoms or chief provinces ; 1. Egypt, 2. Syria, 3. Assyria, 4. Babylonia, 5. India, 6. Bactriana, 7. Armenia, 8. Lydia, 9. Ionia, and 10. Thrace.

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