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Confular magistracy. It is in harmony with the Prophet's explanation to suppose the iron legs to denote also the strength with which this Empire fupported the vast weight, which it obtained by conquest over the three former kingdoms.
." The feet of iron mixed with clay,” I fuppose to mean the eastern and weftern Rom man Empires; for the Empire was certainly immediately weakened when it was thus divided " it became partly broken, or brittle."
i " The ten toes" were ten kingdoms which arose afterwards, all within the bounds of the antient Roman Empire - " The iron was mixed with miry clay," to denote, as some think, a peculiar degree of defilement during these periods of its existence, or " the mixture of barbarous nations with which the Roman people was defiled.” But the latter fuppofition is not, I think, at all probable. The Jews interpret, “ and they fhall mingle with the seed of men," as alluding to the mixture of Jews (emphatically termed men) with all these nations, which yet remain dif tin&t from them " do not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
Supposing the feet to be the divided Empire, the ten toes must belong to both parts of it; we are not therefore confined to the western Empire for the ten kingdoms. : D
We must, I think, conclude, that the dee scription of this image contains the history of the Roman Empire in all its states; but nothing is said to Nebuchadnezzar of an eleventb kingdom. Information concerning this kingdom, which was to be of a different kind, that is, partly of a spiritual nature--and the power of which was to be exerted within the Empire, and while it fubfifted in its last form of ten kingdoms --- was reserved to be given to the Prophet. The fate however of this fourth Empire is impárted to the monarch: as that of the three former Empires had been.
"A stone cut out without hands, (mote 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 filver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor, 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. -- In the days of these kings (that is, of the four great kingdoms, for the three former had not been destroyed; their foves reignty was gone, but “ their lives were prolonged for a season and a time y") Thall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest the stone that was cut out of the mountain-without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the filver and the golda.”
... .. i . As the fourth or. Roman Empire is des scribed in its several states; fo is the fifth kingdom, or the kingdom of the Messiah, defcribed in its two states. Mr. Mede dife tinguishes these by the name of regnum lapidis, the kingdom of the stone, and regnum montis the kingdom of the mountain.
- This kingdom was set up by the God of heaven, “ when Christ came into the world? - He was: “ the stone cut out of the moun tain” without human means, while the Roi
y See Sir I. Newton. .
Dan. ii. 35, &c.
man Empire was strong as iron; but it did Det (mite the image till a later period, when it had “ feet of iron mixed with clay ;” and then the power of the feet was soon broken into ten parts, or toesg, in which state it yet exists. The Empire was divided before the visible conquest of Christ over the dragon," or the power of Pagan Rome, by the esta. blishment of Christianity in the Empire.
25:24. The powers of darkness were then Thaken, but (as we shall find when we con sider the little horn in the vision of Daniel) they are suffered to remain in a weakened state till the ftone Naall become the mountain, and fill the whole earth,” when the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ.. .993
The kingdom of the mountain is then to be considered as yet entirely future...
Second Fision. The your BEASTS, and the
LITTLE HORN of Antichrit.
The four Empires which were exhibited to Nebuchadnezzar in the form of a great and terrible image, were represented to Daniel in the shape of great wild animals, to such em. blems and hieroglyphics being ufual among the eastern nations. This vision is much more particular in its descriptions --mentions many circumstances relating to each kingdom, and points out an extraordinary power, not even named in the dream of the image, which was to arise during the laft state of the fourth or last kingdom - Was to continue " until a time, and times, and the dividing of time,” (that is, 1260 years according to the common interpretation) but not beyond the duration of these kingdoms of " iron mixed with miry clay ;" because the kingdom of the mountain is to destroy every adverse power, and is itself to reign over the whole earth: and we have seen that it was to strike the whole image down to the ground, when in this last period of its power, and to establish itself in its room.