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formation has been completed; it then represents the Roman Empire alone, as existing in its utmost extent, and as comprehending (to speak broadly) the dominions of all its three predecessors. Hence the basis or geography of the Roman Empire is the basis or geography of the image: for all the four Empires were raised upon that tract of country, which, in the days of Trajan, was subject to Rome alone.
To understand the principle of this arrangement, for want of a due attention to which much confusion has arisen in determining the territorial body of that ten-horned beast which makes so conspicuous a figure in the prophecies of Daniel and St. John, we must, under one point of view, observe the tide of imperial domination, as it flowed from the east to the west ; while, under another point of view, we may mark the progress of conquest, as it advanced from the west to the east.
(1.) The original basis or platform of the Babylonian Empire was the region of the Euphrates. When that Empire fell, and when it was succeeded by the Persian Empire; the ancient geographical basis still remained : and the only change, which it experienced, was an enlargement or extension.
In a similar manner, when the Persian Empire fell, and when it was succeeded by the Grecian Empire ; the old geographical basis was not relinquished : it only received a yet further enlargement by the addition of Greece.
The same process was continued upon the ex
tinction of the Grecian Empire : for, when it was succeeded by that of the Romans, the primeval basis, enlarged as it had been by the Persians and the Greeks, was still retained; but its already increased dominions were now finally extended to their utmost limits by the addition of all western Europe.
In the time of Trajan, therefore, the Roman Empire comprehended the dominions of all its three predecessors, and thus became geographically the entire image. The process throughout, until the last Empire began to decline, was that of addition. If, in point of geography, we reckon westward, the golden head first subsisted alone: to the golden head were then added the silver breast and arms : to the silver breast and arms, thus attached to the golden head, were next added the brazen belly and thighs : and, to the brazen belly and thighs, thus joined to the silver breast and arms as the silver breast and arms had been previously joined to the golden head, were finally attached the iron legs terminating in the toes of mingled iron and clay. The giant was now complete in all his members. Consequently, the completed image, when viewed geographically as a whole, is the Roman Empire in its utmost extent, including both its own peculiar dominions in the west and the dominions of the three preceding Empires in the East.
Of this image, thus completed, Nebuchadnezzar himself is the type and mystical head and inspiring
principle; agreeably to a notion already mentioned as prevalent among the oriental pagans, that the great universal father Menu or Buddha or Sacya adored in conjunction with the Sun, of whom each earthly king is the vicegerent and transcript and representative, presided, either visibly or invisibly, either literally or figuratively, over all the four successive ages of gold and silver and brass and iron or clay.
(2.) We shall equally complete the great image, if, geographically reckoning eastward, we mark the progress of conquest from the first foundation of Rome.
The original basis or platform of the Roman Empire was Italy and the West. Pushing eastward, it added to this basis the dominions of the Grecian Empire. And, at length, advancing beyond the Euphrates, it again added to its original basis, already enlarged by the territories of the Grecian Empire, what may broadly be denominated the platform of the two first great monarchies. The image was now complete : but, as I have already observed, the complete image, viewed contradistinctively from the image during the progress of its formation, that is to say, the image when viewed geographically as perfect in all its members, is undoubtedly the Roman Empire in its utmost extent?.
· The transeuphratic conquests of Rome were soon resigned by the prudence or the weakness of Adrian: but enough was accomplished for the geographical completion of the image,
: (3.) We may now perceive the true ground, on which Rome, throughout the Apocalypse, is denominated Babylon.
under its aspect of the fourth Empire combining in one mass the gold and the silver and the brass and the iron. I subjoin the historian's account of these oriental acquisitions, which, for a short season, made the Tigris, in its extreme length from north to south, the boundary of the Roman Empire.
The praises of Alexander, transmitted by a succession of poets and historians, had kindled a dangerous emulation in the mind of Trajan. Like him, the Roman Emperor undertook an expedition against the nations of the east : but he lamented with a sigh, that his advanced age scarcely left him any hopes of equalling the renown of the son of Philip. Yet the success of Trajan, however transient, was rapid and specious. The degenerate Parthians, broken by intestine discord, fled before his arms.
He descended the river Tigris in triumph, from the mountains of Armenia to the Persian gulph. He enjoyed the honour of being the first, as he was the last, of the Roman generals, who ever navigated that remote sea. His fleets ravaged the coasts of Arabia : and Trajan vainly flattered himself, that he was approaching toward the confines of India. Every day, the astonished Senate received the intelligence of new names and new nations, that acknowledged his sway. They were informed, that the kings of Bosporus, Colchis, Iberia, Albania, Osrhöene, and even the Parthian monarch himself, had accepted their diadems from the hands of the Emperor; that the independent tribes of the Median and Carduchian hills had implored his protection ; and that the rich countries of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria, were reduced into the state of provinces. But the death of Trajan soon clouded the splendid prospect: and it was justly to be dreaded, that so many distant nations would throw off the unaccustomed yoke, when they were no longer restrained by the powerful hand which had imposed it. The resignation of all the eastern con
The completed image, in its widest' geographical extent, is the Roman Empire. But the head of the image is Nebuchadnezzar himself, in his quality of the sovereign of Babylon. Hence, both literally and mystically, the Roman Empire, as exhibited either in the Canon of Ptolemy or in the Revelation of St. John, is no other than the Babylonian in its utmost state of extension; while the Babylonian is the Roman in its infancy.
(4.) We may likewise perceive the principles, on which the symbol of the ten-horned beast, as partially delineated by Daniel and as more perfectly delineated by St. John, has been constructed : a circumstance, which, as it receives light from the preceding arrangement of the image, in return reflects light upon it.
This beast, which all commentators allow to be the type of the Roman Empire, as described by Daniel, has great iron teeth, which connect it with the iron legs of the image, and brazen claws, which again connect it with the statue's brazen belly and thighs : here, then, we have a plain intimation, that the Roman Empire should add its own dominions in the West to the dominions of the Grecian
quests of Trajan was the first measure of the reign of Adrian, He restored, to the Parthians, the election of an independent sovereign; withdrew the Roman garrisons from the provinces of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Assyria; and, in compliance with the precept of Augustus, once more
lisho he Euphrates as the frontier of the Empire. Gibbon's Hist. of Decline and Fall, chap. i. vol. i. p. 9–11.