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4. In all the other symbolic prophecies of the fourth empire, it is represented as being reconstituted for a very short period before its annihilation; this general uniformity must, therefore, be confirmatory of our position here.
We have given every point of character the fourth empire was to possess, together with the time of its rise; the empire, therefore, which coincides with all these points, must be the one predicted by the vision and the interpretation, for perfect coincidence between events and prophecy is infallibly perfect fulfillment.
Coincidence First. Repetition.-The fourth kingdom of iron was to follow the one of brass. The brass being the Macedonian empire, and the next empire which followed it must be the iron one. Now, nothing is plainer than that the Roman empire followed the Macedonian.
Coincidence Second. Political strength.-The fourth empire was to be politically as strong as iron, and as much stronger than the empires which preceded it, as iron is stronger than brass, or gold, or silver. To this character the Roman empire has the fullest of claims. Whether consolidated, or in fragments, it has wielded greater power, and commanded a larger measure of influence, and endured more lastingly than any other empire ever did. The Roman empire was a kingdom of mighty warriors for ages, and its codes of jurisprudence have wielded a commanding sway over the nations for near two thousand years. As iron is the strongest of metals, so Rome was the strongest of human empires.
Coincidence Third.-The fourth kingdom was to crush all other nations, and become universal. Rome
conquered all nations, and the term applied to the Roman empire was the common term used in our Saviour's day to represent the whole world; the riches and glory of three continents were tributary to it, or embraced in its limits. It comprehended all the civilized world, and much of the barbarous.
Coincidence Fourth.-The political complexion of the fourth kingdom, after a given period of time had elapsed, was to be of a dual character, in which the church was to be mixed or united with the political iron power, and was to continue to the end of the empire, in all its territorial forms. Not quite four hundred years after the extinction of the Macedonian power, the Christian church was united to the Roman political power, and, in every stage of the history of the empire, since the days of Constantine, this mixture has continued. In the broken state of the empire in Modern Europe, this union still abides, and seems likely to abide while monarchy endures. As the clay is a base material, so the Christian church, by this union with the state, has been grossly corrupted; and they who mingled themselves with the seed of men, have become baser than the iron of the world. As the clay and iron were not to cleave closely to each other, so has been this debased alloy of church and state. The exact relationship of the church to the state has never been generally agreed upon; and there has been, through past ages, a constant struggle between them for political supremacy, the iron generally prevailing over the clay. Popes have arrogated supremacy, and absolved nations from allegiance to kings and princes; but kings and princes have generally carried the day. So that while they have remained, and do
remain combined, they have never been chemically united; even "as iron is not (chemically united, or) mixed with clay." They have had conflicting interests, and, from the nature of the case, they always will have. Nothing can exceed the accuracy of the brief description the prophet gives of church and state union in the Roman empire, since its institution. Nothing in fact could be more perfect.
Coincidence Fifth. First Territorial Form.-The first territorial form of the fourth empire, was to be that of a unit. The Roman empire was a unit territorially, down to the days of Theodosius, in the year 395; and after his death it began to be broken up by the northern migrations.
Coincidence Sixth.-The second territorial form of the fourth empire, was to be a broken one, and one part was to be divided into ten kingdoms. The Roman empire, or at least that portion of it which was in Europe, was broken to pieces by the inroads of the Germans, Goths, Vandals, and Huns; and ten kingdoms, in less than two hundred years, made their appearance. The Eastern empire existed up to this time; but, after Justinian, it declined, till all its light was extinguished. These ten Roman kingdoms, though not exactly simultaneous in origin, were just enough so to accord with the symbol which represented them and the empire. It is observable, that the toes of the feet do not project from the foot in a right line across the foot, and that the foot is longer on one side than on the other. And so, a large part of the original empire represented by the feet, still existed, after some of the smaller toe kingdoms began to project; and so, also, some of these ten kingdoms sprung
up a very little in advance of others, yet all at the
Coincidence Seventh.-These fragments of the fourth kingdom, were again to confederate. This has not yet taken place, and we can not, therefore, claim a certain coincidence here. The signs of the times, however, indicate, so it is thought by those who know best the state of eastern Europe, that Russia will effect a subserviency of Europe to its power. The exiled Hungarian affirmed upon this subject, the following bold, yet not improbable things. "I predict (and the eternal God hears my prediction), that there can be no freedom for Europe, and that the Cossacks from the shores of the Don, will water their steeds in the Rhine, unless liberty be restored to Hungary." Indeed, we can not entertain a doubt of the supremacy of Russia over all Europe, for such is clearly to be understood from the book of Revelations and Ezekiel.
The conclusion we draw from these most extensive and complete coincidences of the Roman empire with the fourth kingdom is, that the Roman empire was meant by the prophecy; indeed, it is infallibly certain; for a full and perfect coincidence of prophecy and events, is, infallibly, a clear fulfillment.
Newton says, "All ancient writers, both Jewish and Christian, agree with Jerome, in explaining the fourth kingdom to be the Roman." Mede says, "The Roman empire, to be the fourth kingdom of Daniel, was believed. by the church of Israel, both before and in our Saviour's time; received by the disciples of the apostles, and the whole Christian church, for the first three hundred years, without any known contradictions. And I
confess, having so good ground in scripture, it is with tantum non est articulus fidei, little less than an article. of faith."
THE FIFTH KINGDOM, OR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
"Westward the course of empire takes its way,
The first four acts already passed,
The fifth shall close the drama with the day:
Time's noblest empire is its last."
Vision." 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 broke them to pieces."
Interpretation. "And in the days of these kings shall 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 forever."
It is but right for us to observe, that our discoveries in interpreting scripture, have compelled us to affirm that this fifth kingdom which the vision presents, and which Daniel interprets, is no other, and can be no other, than the restoration of Israel to nationality, or, in other words, it is the United States of America. Our arguments to prove it, shall be as fair and candid as they have been on the preceding kingdoms. As we shall be candid and honest, we insist that the same correctness of courtesy shall be shown to our arguments, that are shown, or ought to be shown, to every investigator, and especially to one treading a new path for truth. The difficulties