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


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


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.

« PoprzedniaDalej »