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four wings, is a double indication of the quadruple character the third kingdom was to exhibit. A head signifies a kind of government, as we learn in the Apocalypse. With these characteristics the Macedonian empire perfectly coincides:
1. As the leopard represents the third body of monarchy, so the Macedonian empire was the third universal embodiment of monarchy in the world.
2. As the leopard was to be a rapid kingdom in its conquests, so the Macedonian empire was amazingly rapid in its establishment, and swift in its conquests. In these respects it was unparalleled.
3. The third kingdom was to be motley in its composition, and so was the Macedonian empire.
4. The leopard kingdom was to be divided into four kingdoms, and so was the Macedonian.
After Alexander's death, it was parted among his four captains, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus. Cassander had, for his portion, Macedon and Greece; Lysimachus, Thrace and Bithynia; Seleucus had Syria, and Ptolemy had Egypt. And "dominion (over the earth) was given to" this empire. As coincidence is fulfillment, the Macedonian empire was predicted by the third beast. This beast coincides with the belly and thighs of brass in the preceding vision.
FOURTH BEAST-ROMAN EMPIRE.
The description of this kingdom is very lengthy, and is naturally divided into three periods, and we shall treat of each part separately. There are, properly, three reviews of it, all of which are important: first, the description of it in the vision; second, the interrogative description; and, third, the interpretation.
FIRST PERIOD-BEAST-UNITY OF ROME.
Vision." After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful, and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns."
Interrogation." Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet."
Interpretation." Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down and break it in pieces."
The points of character given in this period of the fourth kingdom to identify it are very full.
1. It was to be the fourth universal empire.
2. It was to be exceeding powerful above all nations before it.
3. It was to differ from all the other kingdoms.
4. It was to subdue the whole earth by violence.
5. Its political complexion was to be of iron teeth and nails of brass. With these characteristics the Roman empire fully coincides:
1. The Roman empire was the fourth great kingdom that existed after the Babylonian empire.
2. It was the most powerful nation that ever existed. 3. It differed from all the great kingdoms before it in almost every great point of excellence; in systematic government, and warfare, and power, durability, greatness and extent of dominion, it had no rival. Gibbon's Roman History is the smallest work that gives even any tolerable epitome of Roman character.
4. It subdued all nations, and made them tributary to its power. Its vocation, for a thousand years, was that of war for conquest, and it triumphed over all opposition.
5. Its political complexion was Roman and Grecian, or iron and brass. The iron of the legs in the great image in this vision, compose the teeth or destroying policy; the brass toes indicate a Grecian admixture of character. Rome adopted the polish and learning of the Grecians, and appeared with the strength of military power, polished with Grecian learning. The fourth beast of this vision coincides with the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar's vision in unity and chronology.
SECOND PERIOD-TEN HORNS AND LITTLE HORN, OR CHURCH AND STATE UNION, AND THE BROKEN STATE OR FALL OF ROME.
Vision."I considered the horns, and behold there came up behind them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots; and behold in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.'
Interrogation. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other horn which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
Interpretation. Thus he said the ten horns. out of this kingdom, are ten kings (or kingdoms) that shall arise; and another shall arise behind them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws, and they shall be given into his hand, until a time, and times, and the dividing of a time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the end."
The period embraced by these passages, is naturally divided into two characteristic parts; the first describing the ten horns, and the second, the little horn. We shall, therefore, consider them separately.
* Mede, Faber, and others.
The Ten Horns.-The vision before us, is plainly a chronological one; and the body of the fourth beast represents the fourth kingdom in a united state; the horns represent a later and divided state of the kingdom, and, coming out of the head of the empire, they plainly indicate, that the divisions were to occur in that part of the kingdom represented by the head. The horns, it is said, were to represent ten kings. The term king, is metonymically put for a kingdom, or, the term rendered king, may be literally translated kingdom. The ten toes in the image, are said to represent the broken state of the fourth kingdom; and, as they coincide with the ten horns, the ten horns must also represent the broken state of the kingdom generally, as well as specifically, and its being broken into ten parts. Sir Isaac Newton remarks, that "whatever was their number afterward, they are still called the ten kingdoms from their first number."
With this general division into various kingdoms, and also into ten specifically, the Roman empire corresponds, for it has been broken into various kingdoms in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Europe was the head of the Roman empire; and as out of the head of the fourth beast, or kingdom, the ten horns or ten kingdoms grew, so, out of Roman Europe, grew up the specific number of ten kingdoms, immediately after the days of Theodosius. Bishop Newton says, that "Eberhard, bishop of Saltzburg, noticed it in the diet of Ratisbon, in 1240. At the Reformation it was also ten." Mr. Whiston says, that in 456, the number of kingdoms was exactly ten; and, that in 1706, it had nearly returned to that