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can not be counted as one kingdom, but constitute two separate and distinct kingdoms." As, therefore, the Macedonian empire coincides with all the marks given in prophecy by which to identify the third great monarchy, and as no other nation does, it follows infallibly that it was predicted by the vision.
THE FOURTH KINGDOM-ROME.
Vision.-"The image's head was of fine gold; his breast and his arms of silver; his belly and thighs of brass; his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."
Interpretation." And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh, all these shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but 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 broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with clay, THEY shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave to one another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces." We have here a prediction of the Roman
empire. It is represented as existing in three distinct forms, or periods, and as perishing under the last. We will consider each of these forms separately.
First Period. Rome as a Unit.-"His legs were of iron." "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these shall it break in pieces and bruise." This represents the first period of the fourth empire.
1. We have seen that the Babylonian empire was represented by the gold, the Medo-Persian, by silver, and that the Macedonian, including the Lagidæ and Seleucidæ, were symbolized by the belly and thighs of brass, and of course the fourth great empire was to follow the kingdom of brass, and to succeed the kingdoms of Egypt and Syria in chronological order.
We are thus particular, because some expositors have, in their blindness, interpreted the two kingdoms of Syria and Egypt to be the ONE fourth kingdom. Porphyry, the ancient foe of prophecy, asserted this, and some moderns have sided with him. Bishop Newton says, that they who follow this infidel, do so from an innate love of disputation, rather than from any love of truth. Now, as the Roman empire was the fourth that followed from the Babylonian, it is identical with the fourth empire of this vision.
2. The strength of the fourth empire.
Each of the metals of the image plainly represented by its qualities the political character of the empire it
symbolized. The gold indicated the splendor, but comparative weakness of Babylon; and easily fell before the silver empire of Medo-Persia, which, though a less splendid, was yet a stronger power, as silver is less splendid, yet comparatively stronger than gold. Silver is a more splendid, yet feebler metal than brass, and the Persian empire was more excellent than the Macedonian, yet was too feeble to resist the impetuosity of the brazencoated Greeks. In like manner as brass, silver, and gold all yield to the superior strength of iron, so the fourth empire was to break up and subdue, by superior strength, all of the preceding dynasties that remained before it. Rome has the best claim to this iron character of any nation that ever existed. Whether consolidated or in fragments, it has wielded greater power and commanded a larger measure of influence, been more resistless in war and endured more lastingly, than any other empire whatever. It was a vast kingdom of warriors, and that, too, for ages, and Mars was its tutelary deity; its codes of jurisprudence, also, have yielded a commanding influence in the earth for near two thousand years. As iron is the strongest of metals, so Rome has been the strongest of all nations.
3. The fourth kingdom was to crush all other nations. Rome conquered all nations, and, in our Saviour's time, the terms Rome and the whole earth were generally used as synonymous terms. The riches and glory of three continents were either embraced in its limits or its tributaries; it comprehended all of the civilized world. and much of the barbarous. It existed as an iron unit down to the days of Theodosius, or for a thousand years.
Second Period. Church and State Union and the fall of Rome, or its broken state, iron and clay. The text affirms two things with regard to the history of the fourth great empire. It says of it, that it shall be divided, and then it says it shall be broken. The divided and the broken states spoken of, are two totally dif ferent matters; the division into iron and clay is what is meant by the term division, and refers to a double political character of the empire; and the broken state refers to the fall of the empire, or its fragmentary condition. indicated by the toes. We shall consider these two points separately.
Church and State Union.-A division of the political power of the fourth empire into two great departments of church and state, is what is predicted by the iron and clay of the feet and toes. The text says "whereas thou sawest the feet and toes part of potter's (baked) clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with baked clay."
In the final vision of Daniel, in which the previous visions are interpreted, we find it said that the visions. embracing the period from the captivity by the Romans to the restoration of Israel, was to be a veiled one. And as the text before us relates to events during that period, its mystery was guarantied by the Divine will, and of course all expositions of it during that era must be imperfect.
However, not an expositor, to our knowledge, among the many we have examined, has considered with any proper and critical attention, the division of the fourth empire into iron and clay. Now, not a word of holy writ is unimportant, or can be overlooked, without detriment to its proper understanding; and in a prophecy which in a very few sentences describes the history of the world for thousands of years, not one jot or tittle can be overlooked, for each minute point of the graphic miniature must possess a sublime importance when expanded into its full life size. It is, therefore, of vital importance to a correct interpretation of the prophecy before us, that the divisions of the fourth empire should be most carefully noticed and explained. We therefore call emphatic attention to the following points, on which hinges a full and harmonious view of the whole vision.
1. The empire was to possess a dual political character. This dual character is symbolized by the iron and clay in the feet, and also in the toes of the image. As the iron unquestionably represented the political character of the empire, and as the clay comes in and mixes with the iron in about equal proportions, they must conjointly represent the political character of the empire after this union.
2. The prophet's interpretation still further confirms its signification to be political. He says, "Whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave to one another, even as iron is not mixed with clay." Here the term iron is plainly seen to represent men, and the clay being interpreted by the term "they," is seen to represent men also; or two orders of men