« AnteriorContinuar »
bout to take place at the termination of the 1260 years, could not have been fully and exactly accomplished. At the time of the end, the infidel king, as we are taught by Daniel, is to engage in some war of a religious nature, is to invade Palestine, and is eventually to perish between the seas. At the same time of the end, u grand confederacy, as we are informed by St. John, of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth, is to be overthrown with dreadful slaughter at Megiddo ; which is a town of Palestine, situated, agreeably to Daniel's prediction, between the seas. St. John further marks the country where this is to happen, by describing it as extending 1600 stadia, which is found to be precisely the measure of the holy land. At the self-same time of the end likewise, as we are assured by Joel, war shall be sanctified; but the impious wretches, who thus dare to profane the holy name of religion, shall be destroyed between the seas. Lastly, at this very time of the end, a time of unexampled trouble, the restoration of the Jews, as Daniel, Joel, and Zechariah,* all concur in affirming, will commence. Now from comparing these different prophecies together it appears, that the war of the infidel king in Palestine at the time of the end must necessarily be the same as the war of the beast in the same country and at the same period : and it further appears, that the reason, why this war will be styled by him a holy war, will be his union with the false prophet : in other words, it will be a war undertaken by him either against the protestants, or the Jews, or both, upon popish principles of extermination ; it will be a war begun under the pretence of advancing the honour of religion. Thus it is manifest, that the late re-establishment of Popery in France is so far from being any objection to the present mode of interpreting the character of the infidel king, that it abundantly confirms the propriety of it : for, unless the atheistical power,' at some time or another, reunited itself with the head of the papal Apostacy, it certainly could not engage in a holy war along with the
Such indeed is the declaration of all the ancient prophets, insomuch that it is impossible to treat of the restoration of the Jews without likewise treating of the de struction of Antichrisi.
false prophet, as we are plainly taught that it hereafter shall do at the close of the 1260 year s.*
At present therefore we may pronounce the king to be a motley monster, compounded of Atheism and Popery ; in wardly an atheist, † outwardly a papist ; still doing ac.cording to his will, and exalting himself ; still insulting and tyrannizing over his weaker neighbours ; and still scourging the members of that Apostacy, which he now professes to venerate and uphold. In this state, or in some state similar to it, he will continue to the end of the 1260 years, and till the commencement of the restoration of the Jews it when like his brethren in fraud, violence, and iniquity," he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." Meanwhile, whatever
Meanwhile, whatever may be his ostensible creed, he is still the same tyrant, as when he began his demoniacal career. The laws of nations, and the hitherto universally acknowledged rights of ambassadors, he violates with the same contempt of every
This subject will be fully discussed hereafter. We have already had a specimen of the holy zeal with which the present usurper of the throne of France espouses the cause of Popery. From a pious regard no doubt for the soul of his brother, he has caused the sovereign pontiff to pronounce a divorce between him and his wife, on the ground forsooth of her being a beretic. What may not be expected bereafter from such an auspicious beginning!
+ It is unreasonable to suppose, that all the people of France, even fickle and volatile as they are, should suddenly have turned with sincerity from Atheism to Popery. From what can be learned of the state of that country, Atheism and Irreligion seem to be little less prevalent than ever they were.
# It is expressly declared, that he shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished, (Dan. xi. 36.) and that at the time of the end he shall undertake the expedition which will terminate in his destruction. Thus is it doubly pointed out, that he shall be permitted to prosper till the end of the 1260 years : for both the time of the end commences, and the peculiar season of the indignation is finished, when those years terminate. Mr. Mede, in a manner not very consistent even with his own interpretation of the prophecy, supposes that the indignation was accomplished when the Roman empire ceased to be pagan under Constantine. (Apost. of latter times, Part. I. c. 17.) Bp. Newton, on the contrary, very justly thinks, that the indignation will not be accomplished till the Jews begin to be restored, and consequently till the end of the 1260 years : but I much doubt, whether the period of the indignation means, as he supposes," the last end and consummation of God's indignation against his people the Jews.” (Dissert. XVI.) It seems to me to be plainly the same as the period of the wonders, which is to end at the expiration of the three times and a balf (Dan. xii. 6, 7.); in other words, the same as the period of the 1260 years, which is ever represepted as the peculiar season of God's indignation on account of the apostacy and degeneracy of his Church. Hence the latter part of Daniel's vision of the ram and the beagoat, which treats of the desolating transgression of Mohammedism, during the 1260 gears, is represented as likewise trcating of the Aaritb or latter end of the indignation, of, as it might be inore properly translated, the saccession, the continuance, of the indignatien. Dan. viii. 19.
principle of justice and honour, as he heretofore overleaped the laws of his country, and trampled upon the rights of individuals. The privileges of neutral states are disregarded by him, when he conceives that his interests may be promoted by the inurder of a Bourbon. In fine, despising the petty villanies of a private robber, he takes. a bolder flight of rapacity : and, while with high vaulting ambition he extends on every side the limits of his dominions, he distributes among those, who are base enough to concur with him in his schemes of plunder, whole provinces of a once independent empire under the specious name of indemnities.* But, gigantic as may be his projects of universaldomination, † the time is rapidly approaching when the Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven," and establish the last universal sovereignty, that of the symbolical mountuin. Then shall“ the fourth beast be slain, and his body destroyed ," then shall each of the little horns be broken ; then shall the infidel tyrant f' come to his end ;” and then shall the victorious Word of God receive from his Almighty Father “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.”
III. It appears from the remainder of the prophecy relative to the atheistical king, that toward the close of his career, he should meet with a most powerful opponent in a mighty king of the North, and with a less vigorous resistence from a king of the South. “At the time of the end shall a king of the South butt at him; and a
• The dignified and princely conduct of Sweden at the present juncture forms a striking contrast to the pitiful behaviour of most of the continental sovereigns. It is a relief to the mind to turn from the degraded and enslaved South, and to contemplate a line of conduct worthy of better times in the more free and manly North. May, 1805.
Since this note was written, a vast coalition has been formed against France, and has been broken almost as soon as formed. England, Sweden, and Russia, are now the only independent powers of Europe. Every passing event serves to shew that the counsels of God are rapidly hastening to maturity. March 26, 1806.
† It may not be improper to remind the reader, that I speak of the actions of Buonapartè only as being a portion of the actions of the infidel kingdom. Neither be, nor any other individual, is intended by this infidel king or kingdom ; but France clone from the commencement of the revolution to the termination of the 1260 years and the beginning of the time of tbe end.
king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships. Yet he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and shall pass over, and shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown : but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries : and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have
power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt : and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble bim : therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and under the pretext of religion to devote many to utter destruction. And he shall plant the curtains of his pavilions between the seas in the glorious holy mountain : yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation even to that same time : and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
North and South are mere general and relative terms. At the beginning of this last prophecy of Daniel, the kings of the North and the South are undoubtedly the kings of Syria and Egypt : but their power has long since been broken: consequently the kings of the North and the South at the latter end of the prediction are entirely different potentates from those mentioned in the earlier part of it,
Bp. Newton, as we have seen, supposes, that the king, who was to magnify himself above every god, is the Pope in the West, and the Constantinopolitan Emperor in the East : and since one error in the exposition of a strictly chronological prophecy necessarily introduces
others, he imagines with Mr. Mede, that the king of the South and the king of the North are the Saracens and the Turks.* Impressed with this idea, he attributes the
• I cannot refrain from observing, what seems to have escaped the notice of my venerable predecessors Mede and Newton, that, if the king of the South be the saVOL. I.
conquests of the infidel king to the northern king of the Turks; and supposes that it was he who was to enter into the glorious land, to stretch forth his hand upon the countries, and to make himself master of Egypt. The fact however is, as the context sufficiently shews, that it is not the king of the North who is to invade the glorious land, and the land of Egypt, but his rival the infidel king. Daniel is not writing a history either of the king of the North, or of the king of the South, but of the king who was to magnify himself above every god. Accord ingly, he faithfully details the whole of this king's event. ful history, from its original commencement* to its final termination. His adversaries, the king of the North and the king of the South, are only mentioned as inferior actors in this great drama. Notwithstanding the rapid attack of the northern sovereign and the apparently more feeble efforts of the southern prince, this infidel king is nevertheless to overflow and pass over, to enter into the glorious land, and to seize upon the land of Egypt. Such appears to me to be the most natural mode of explaining the prophecy : for, unless all these exploits be attributed to the infidel king, we shall be obliged to acknowledge, that Daniel has given only a very imperfect account of that power ; an account extremely different fron the several histories of the two little horns. In both those histories we have a regular and continued narrative, conducting us, step by step, from the rise to the destruction of each horn : but here, according to the scheme
racenic empire, it is very singular that so little should be said about him, and so much about the king of the North whom they suppose to denote tbe Turkisb empire.
The exploits of the Saracens were at least as wonderful as those of the Turks : and, in addition to their other amazingly extensive conquests, they likewise, no less than tbe Turks, made themselves masters of the glorious holy land. If then the kings of the South and Nortb denote tbe Saracenic and Turkish empires, is it not somewhat singular that so much should be said about the latter, and so very little about the former? According to the scheme which I venture to oppose, although sanctioned by the eminent names of Mede and Newton, all that is said of the Saracens is, “ A king of the south shall butt at him :" while six long verses, with the exception of these few words in the original only four words,) are exclusively devoted to the Turks. Whereas, according to my scheme, their due degree of importance is given to the kings of the South and the Nortb; while the infidel king appears, from beginning to end, the consistent hero of the drama. * Ver. 36.
+ Ver. 45. 1 The word, by which the attack of the southern king is described, is 723, which signifies to butt or strike like a ram.