« PreviousContinue »
ency in supposing those powers to be the three horns, while he presents us nevertheless with such a catalogue of the ten kingdoms as does not include the names of all those three powers.* The censure is just, for the prophet expressly asserts, that three of the first horns were to be plucked up before the little horn; yet while he blames Sir Isaac for this manifest flaw in bis interpretation, he does not seem conscious that much the same censure attaches to himself, notwithstanding his attempt to parry it. The three horns are certainly to be sought for among the ten original kingdoms into which the empire was divided, and among no other kingdoms whatever : nothing can be more definite and precise upon this point than the language of Daniel. We ought therefore first to learn, what these ten original borns were, and next to inquire whether three of them were ever plucked up to make room for un eleventh little horn perfectly distinct from them all; not surely first to fix upon three states, which we conceive may answer to the character of the three horns, and then contrive such a list of ten kingdoms as may include these three stutes. Yet such is the plan, which Bp. Newton adopts. Perfectly aware that it would be a vain labour to seek either for the Exarchate of Ravenna or for the state of Rome among the ten primary kingdoms, he most unwarrantably sets aside the real list of those kingdoms, and substitutes a list of his own; ito which he introduces the petty stute of Rome, and the Greek province of Ravenna, evidently for no other purpose than to give a colour of probability to his predetermined interpretation. Hence his catalogue does indeed contain the three states, which he supposes to be the three horns plucked up before the little horn; but it is certainly not the more on that account a faithful catalogue of the ten original kingdoms. Accordingly the Bishop himself confesses, (a confession which alone is sufficient to inval
Sir Isaac gives us the following catalogue of the ten kingdoms : “ 1. The kingdom of the Vandals and Alans in Spain and Africa; ?. The kingdom of the Suevians in Spain ; 3. The kingdom of the Visigoths ; 4. The kingdom of the Alans in Gallia ; 5. The kingdom of the Burgundians ; 6. The kingdom of the Franks ; 7. The kingdom of the Britons ; 8. The kingdom of the Huns; 9. The kingdom of the Lombards ; 10. The kingdom of Ravenna." In this catalogue the state of Rome, which Sir Isaac supposes to be one of the three horns, does not occur.
idate his whole plan of interpretation) that it is a catalogue calculated for the eighth century, not for the period in which the Roman empire was originally divided.
The result of the whole is, that, since the Greek province of Ravenna cannot be esteemed a horn or independent kingdom; and since, even if it could, neither it, nor the state of Rome, are to be found in the true list of the ten original kingdoms : they cannot be two of those three primary horns which the prophet beheld plucked by the roots before the little horn.
Having now stated my objections to the two preceding modes of interpretation, I shall endeavour to ascertain the threc primary kingdoms, which were destined to fall before the eleventh different and little kingdom of the Roman empire. For this purpose it will be necessary, first to inquire into the import of the prediction concerning their fall, and secondly to learn from history the names of the ten original kingdoms among which they are to be sought.
1. The overthrow of the three horns is described in three different parts of the vision of the four beasts.
“ I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots.'
“ Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell.”
“ The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise : and another shall rise behind them ; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall depress three kings."
“We would, for reasons which will hereafter appear to the attentive reader," (namely, in order that his Lordship's catalogue might be made to contain the three slates, which he supposes to be the three borns plucked up before the little born) « fix tese ten kingdoms at a different era from any of the foregoing ; and let us see how they stood in the eightb century. The principal states and governments then were1. Of the Senate of Rome, who revolted from the Greek emperors, and claimed and exerted the privilege of choosing a new western emperor; 2. Of the Greeks in Ravenna; 3. Of the Lombards in Lombardy ; 4. Of the Huns in Hungary ; 5. Of the Alemanes in Germany; 6. Of the Franks in France ; 7. of the Burgundians in Burgundy; 8. Of the Goths in Spain ; 9. Of the Britons ; 10. Of the Saxons in Britain." (Bp. Newton's Dissert. XIV.) Thus does the Bishop confessedly adapt his catalogue to the three supposed borns, instead of seeking for the three borns, where the prophet directs us to seek them, among the ten first horas.
These different passages all describe the same circumstance : consequently, whatever is the import of the one, must likewise be the import of both the others. With respect to the vision, the appearance, which
presented itself to Daniel, seems to have been this. While the prophet was contemplating the ten horns of the beast, he beheld an eleventh little horn gradually, and as it were by stealth, springing up among them.* As this little horn was slowly arising, three of the first ten horns, which were “ before it” or in its immediate vicinity, so as by their position to obstruct its growth, were successively eradicated, and fell prostrate at its feet. Every obstacle being thus removed, the little horn attained its full growth ; and occupied the place, which had been before occupied by the three eradicated horns.
Such apparently was the action of the symbols ; upon which the interpreting angel observes, that an eleventh kingdom should arise behind the first ten kingdoms, and should depress three of them. Now, since it is said, in one passage, that the three horns were plucked up before the little horn ; in another, that they fell before the little horn ; and in a third, that the power represented by the little horn should depress the powers represented by the three horns : a question arises, which can only be determined by the event : namely, whether this smaller power should depress three of the first powers immediately or mediately, by his own proper exertions or by the instrumentality of others ? History is ever the best interpreter of prophecy; and by its decisions we may always safely abide. Daniel specially informs us, that three of the first ten kingdoms, into which the empire should be divided, were to be plucked up before the little horn. . Hence it is evident, that we must look for the completion of the prophecy among the ten first kingdoms, and among those only. Now we do not find, as it shall be presently shewn from history, that any three of the ten original
He seems to have overlooked tbe little born at first, owing to its diminutive size, and to its springing up behind the other horns ; and to have fixed his attention entirely upon tbe ten borns : til it was diverted from them by the increasing size of the little born.
kingdoms* were ever literally depressed by the immediate exertions of an eleventh smaller kingdom : but we do fiud, that precisely three of them were eradicated by the instrumentality of each other, of the Greeks, and of the Franks, before an eleventh little horn, which had been gradually rising in the midst of troublesome times, and which at length occupied the place of its three depressed predecessors. Thus does history at once interpret the prophecy, and undeniably point out to us the power intended by the little horn.
2. As the three horns are to be sought for among the ten first horns, we must obviously learn what those ten first horns are, before we can inquire with any prospect of success for the three which were to be eradicated before the little horn. The historian Machiavel, whom I con not but consider as the best, because the most unprejudiced, judge of the manner in which the Roman empire was divided, very undesignedly, and (as Bp. Chandler remarks) little thinking what he was doing, reckons up the ten primary kingdoms as follows: 1. The Ostrogoths in Mesia; 2. The Visigoths in Pannonia ; 3. The Sueves and Alans in Gasgoigne and Spain ; 4. The Vandals in Africa; 5. The Franks in France ; 6. The Burgundians in Burgundy; 7. The Heruli and Turingi in Italy ; 8. The Saxons and Angles in Britain ; 9. The Huns in Hungary; and 10. The Lombards, at first upon the Danube, afterwards in Italy. The self-same catalogue is exhibited by that excellent chronologer Bp. Lloyd, who adds the dates when these ten kingdoms arose : 1. The Huns about A. D. 356; 2. The Östrogoths, 377 ; 3. The Visigoths, 378 ; 4. The Franks, 407 ; 5. The Vandals, 407; 6. The Sueves and Alans, 407; 7. The Burgundians, 407 ; 8. The Heruli and Rugii, 476; 9. The Saxons, 476 ; 10. The Longobards in the north of Germany, 483 ; in Hungary, 526.
These then, upon the concurring testimony of an historian and a chronologer, are the ten kimgdoms into which
In fact, we do not find that any three kingdoms were subdued by the immediate force of the Papacy. The Pope bimself neither subdued the kingdom of the Lombards, the state of Rome, nor the Exarchate. + Bp. Newton's Dissert. XIV.
# Ibid, VOL. I.
the Roman empire was originally divided, and consequently they are the ten first horns of which we are in quest. Hence, if ever three kingdoms were plucked
up before a little kingdom which arose imperceptibly among the ten primary kingdoms, they must be three, the names of which occur in the preceding list of Machiavel and . Bp. Lloyd. Accordingly we shall find, that the kingdom of the Heruli, the kingdom of the Ostrogoths, and the kingdom of the Lombards, were successively eradicated before the little papal horn, which at length became a temporal no less than a spiritual power at the expence of these three depressed primary states.
1. In the year 476, Odoacer king of the Heruli* put an end to the western empirc, and caused himself to be proclaimed king of Italy. By this conquest he stood “ before,” or in the way of, the papal horn; whence it was necessary, that his regal horn should be plucked up in order to make room for the future aggrandisement of the spiritual kingdom of the Pope. This was effected, in the year 493, by Theodoric king of the Ostrogoths. Leading his hardy troops from their original settlement in Mesia and the neighbourhood of Constantinople, he descended from the Julian Alps, and displayed his banners on the confines of Italy. Victory crowned his enterprize ; from the Alps to the extremity of Calabria Theodoric reigned by right of conquest ; and he was accepted as the deliverer of Rome by the Senate and the people.
2. This second of the three horns however, standing equally in the way of papal aggrandizement, was destined, like its immediate predecessor, to fall before the little
* Disputes have arisen respecting the proper name of Odoacer's subjects, but they are disputes which are of little consequence to the completion of the prophecy. Machiavel styles his kingdom, that of the Heruli and Turingi ; Bp. Lloyd, that of tbe Heruli and Rugii; and Mr. Gibbon asserts, that his immediate and hereditary subjects were the tribe of the Scyrri, while the Italian kingdom which he founded was composed of various clans of Gothic mercenaries, among which the names of the Heruli, the Scyrri, the Alani, the Turcilingi, and the Rugians, appear to have predominated. Be this as it may, the kingdom, which he did found, was one of the ten primary kingdoms ; whence, if its history correspond with the prophecy, it is certainly capable, in its capacity of a primary kingdoin, of being reckoned one of tbe tbree borns
. The accurate particularising of the tribes which composed it cannot make it either more or less a primary kingdom. All possibility of dispute might be avcided, if, in the catalogue of tbe ten kingdoms, it were styled, the kingdom of Odoacer in Italy, instead of the kingdom of the Heruli and Turingi in Italy or the kingdom of the Heruli and Rugii in Italy,