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think, seem probable, that in this general description the last of the forms it was to assume would be the most particularly noticed, if any were particularized above the
We shall find, I think, upon examination, that this was really the case. These ten kingdoms do not necessarily appear to belong to the western division of the empire ;* and it seems clear that this broken form is to remain till the judgment is set. We are therefore at liberty to suppose, that this little horn which is Antichrist, represents both the Mohammedan power in the eust, and the papal power in the west ; which were in fact raised up nearly together : and, if the description of this horn be found fairly applicable to another power which was to arise afterwards, within the bounds of the ancient Roman empire, (as we gather from the consideration of other prophecies,) we may as naturally conclude, that it was designed to represent that power also. If this be granted, and surely it can hardly be denied, the different opinions of commentators respecting this horn, so far from being discordant, will be found in unison, and more loudly sound the harmony of prophetic truth.† Those,
* It will hereafter be shewn, that they do necessarily belong to the western division of the empire.
+ This method of shewing the concordance of commentators, and the barmony of propbetic truth, would, I fear, have but very little weight with a captious infidel. Such a person would naturally say, “If a single symbol may at once represent so many different potvers, it is impossible that there should be any certainty in prophecy. A symbol must typify some are specific power to the exclusion of all etbers; or else it may be made to signify just what the commentator pleases. In one age it may be convenient to apply it to Mobammedism ; in another, to Popery, in a third, to Infidelity; Mr. Kett informs us, that it represents them all : a succeeding writer may apply it to a power not yet arisen : what opinion can we form of so very ductile a prophecy as this ?" These objections I am una. ble to answer upon Mr. Kett's plan: but nothing is more easy, if we adopt the simple and reasonable scheme of “utterly denying the possibility of a chronologica! prophecy being capable of receiving more than one completion ; and of allowing no interpretation of it to be valid, except the prediction agree with its supposed accomplishment in every particular.” On these principles, the answer would be sufficiently obvious. There is a certain power, which perfectly accords with this symbol of the little horn both chronologically, locally, and circumstantially : therefore the symbol must relate to this individual power, and to none else ; to none either of those which preceded it, or which hereafter may succeed it. History undeniably shews us, that the power in question does agree in all these points with the symbol : we know that Daniel
flourished long before this power arose : we know, that in his days no buman wisdoni could have foreseen that it would arise : how then are we to account for this exact correspondence between the symbol and tbe power, except by allowing the divine inspiration of him, to whom the mystic vision of the four beasts was so accurately Tevealed, and to whom at the same time a literal interpretation of it was prophetical, ly detailed ?"
who see the Mohammedan power in the little horn which arose from the fourth beust, generally suppose Egypt, Asia, and Greece, to be the three horns plucked up by the roots before it. Bp. Newton, in his application of this prophecy to the papal power, considers them to be the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of Lombardy, and the state of Rome ; and observes, that the Pope hath in a manner pointed himself out for the person described, by wearing the triple crown. We can at present form no opinion concerning the three horns, which are to be eradicated by the infidel power; whether absolutely kingdoms be meant, or whether independent states may be considered as a sufficient explanation : but posterity may be enabled to decide upon this subject perhaps more clearly than the partial fulfilment of this prophecy has hitherto enabled us to do, respecting the conquests of the Mohammedan and papal powers."*
The foregoing plan of Mr. Kett appears to me much too complicated and intricate to be probable. If one and the same horn is to synıbolize three different powers, there certainly cannot be any precision or definiteness in the prophecy ; for it must be mere conjecture to attempt to determine, what part of the history of the little horn belongs to one of the three powers, and what respectively to the two others. From the language of Daniel himself no such system can be fairly deduced. Throughout the whole vision of the four beasts, the little horn is described as strictly and simply one power, uniform and consistent in its conduct, performing a certain number of clearly defined actions, and continuing in the exercise of a tyrannical authority the precise term of three prophetic years and a half. It is surely then highly improbable, and extremely unlike the usual method of Daniel's writing, to suppose, that, while in the exuberance of his symbolical imagery he gives two several hieroglyphical descriptions of the first and fourth empires and no less than three such descriptions of the second and third empires ;t he should nevertheless be suddenly reduced to such a poverty of imagination as to represent
* Dan. ö. vii. viü.
Hist. the Int, of Proph. Vol. i. p. 376.
three very different powers by one and the same symbol, thereby involving the history of those powers in the most impenetrable obscurity and the most perplexing uncertainty. To repeat an observation which I have already made, if various symbols be used to represent the same thing, we shall be in no danger of mistaking the prophet's meaning, provided only we can ascertain the import of each individual symbol; but, if, on the contrary, in the course of a single passage, the same symbol be used to express many different things, it will be impossible to understand a prophecy couched in such ambiguous terms, because we can never be sure, when we proceed to consider the prophecy article by article, to which of those different things each article is to be referred. On these grounds I feel myself compelled to reject Mr. Kett's interpretation of the history of the little horn, as resting upon no solid foundation, and receiving no warrant from the plain language of Daniel.
Mr. Galloway, avoiding the perplexity introduced by Mr Kett, supposes, that the little horn is one, and only one, power ; which power he conjectures to be revolutionary France. Many however are the difficulties which must be overcome, before such an opinion as this can be satisfactorily established. The difficulties are these. The horn is termed by the prophet a little horn, and is represented as a distinct power from the other ten horns ; whereas France is not only one of these ten horns, but the very largest of them all: and this little horn is to subdue three of the first kings, to wear out the saints of the Most High, and to continue in during the space of a time, and times, and the dividing of time ; whereas none of these marks appear, at the first sight, to be at all applicable to revolutionary France.
With regard to the epithet little, Mr. Galloway will not allow it to be taken in the literal and most obvious
“ It cannot,” says he, “be little in respect to strength and power; but he is, in the sense of the prophet, as I humbly apprehend, little, and of no weight, in the scale of virtue and religion, and of little or no account in the sight and estimation of God. He is little and worthless, because he is to exceed in wickedness all be
fore him. In this sense the word is used in many passages of Scripture.* Moreover his power, however great for a time, is little, because it is to continue but a little time when compared with other prophetic periods ; and it is little indeed when compared with the power of Christ, who, according to St. Paul, shall consume it with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy it with the brightness of his coming. With this sense of the word little all its other tropes, as we shall presently find, are in perfect agreeinent; and therefore we may conclude it is the true literal sense.”+ The three kingdoms, which the little horn was to subdue, Mr. Galloway conjectures to be the kingdom of France, the Studholderate of Holland, and the Helvetic union or Swiss confederacy.* And the saints of the Most High, whom it was to wear out, he supposes
the popish clergy of France and such of the laity as adhered to them. S—The prophet however asserts, that the little horn was to wear out the saints during the space of three
years and a half. These years have been usually thought to be prophetic years, in which case they would be the same period as the forty-two prophetic months, or the twelve hundred and sixty prophetic days : but Mr. Galloway maintains, that they are mere natural or solar years; and cites, in proof of his supposition, the history of Nebuchadnezzar, whose madness was to continue seven times, or seven natural years, not seven prophetic years. || The three times and a half then, during which the horn was to wear out the saints, are, according to Mr. Galloway, the three natural years and a half, during which Christianity was formally suppressed by law in France, “ Taking," says he, “ certain late events, which have come to pass in France, as my guide, I am led to interpret these numbers into three (literal) years and a half : a construction, not only justified by the text, but clearly supported by the events. For, if we date the beginning of this period, at the time of the last dreadful decree for the exile of the clergy, and its mur
The texts, which Mr. Galloway cites in favour of this interpretation, are the following: 1 Sam. xv. 17– Nehem. ix. 32—Isaiah xl. 15–Micah v. 2. + Comment. p. 401.
P. 419. $ Ibid. p. 417.
| Ibid. p. 419-417.
derous execution ; and its end, at the time of the decree granting to the Christians, who remained in France, and had, through the mercies of God, been wonderfully preserved, a free toleration of their religion : we shall find it a time, times, and the dividing of time, or exactly three years and a half. The decree for the exile of the clergy passed the 26th of August 1792, but the murderous execution of it was not finished until the latter end of the following month. From that time no person in France dared to mention the name of God, or of his blessed Son Jesus Christ, but with disrespect and contempt; or, if he did, he was scorned and insulted, and put to death as a fanatic. This is therefore a proper epoch, from whence to date the giving up the saints into the hands of the little horn, or the then horrible government of France, whose power .was then styled the reign of terror and of death. As to the end of this prophetic period, the event is equally demonstrative of it. For from the end of September 1792, when the clergy were imprisoned and massacred, (for they were not permitted even to go into ex, ile) the distressing state of the Christians in France surpasses description. Death, the most horrible, was continually staring them in the face. The guillotine, the cannon, musket, and national baths, were in constant exercise ; and the minds of every man, woman, and child, professing Christianity, were smitten with the dread of immediate death. In this dreadful state (a state in which, according to the literal sense of the text, they were given into the hand of the French government) they remained until the latter end of March 1796; when, glutted with Christian blood, the atheistical demagogues passed a decree, granting a full toleration of all kinds of religion, which virtually repealed all the decrees against fanatics, and delivered the Christians out of their hands. Now, if we calculate the time between the latter end of September 1792, and the latter end of March 1796, we shall find it, in the language of prophecy, a time, times, and a dividing of time ; which, when interpreted, is exactly a period of three years and a half:"*
Comment. p. 417.