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gods, to the idolatrous worship of saints and angels, first openly established and required by the church of Rome, though prevalent likewise in the Greek church ; and his wars with the king of the south and the king of the north, to the invasion of the eastern empire by the Saracens, and its final subversion by the Turks.*
Mr. Kett, adhering to his plan of primary and secondary completions of the same prophecy, adopts the latter supposition, yet without excluding the former—" The application," says he, “ of this prophecy to the papal Antichrist; to the conquests of the Saracen king of the south, and the Turkish king of the north, over the holy land and many other countries; the escape of Arabia, and the subjection of Egypt and Barbary; have been clearly, I had almost said indisputably, established by many learned commentators. But, how far this prophecy may be considered as a double type of Antichrist, and how much may be supposed to be yet future, are questions which can only be decided by a careful comparison with other prophecies respecting the same period, and by the course of events which time shall bring to light.”+ -He afterwards adds: “ The accomplishment, which the former part of this prophecy” (concerning the king who was to magnify himself above every god) “ has received in the papal power, and in the conquests of the Mohammedan
power, is confessedly accurate : but much remains to be fulfilled; and many reasons might be produced to authorize the conjecture, that even that part of the prophecy, which has been so decidedly fulfilled, will hereafter receive a more full and perfect accomplishking” (meaning, I apprehend from the context, the king
* ibid. Dissert. xvii. Dr. Zouch, for any thing that appears to the contrary, applies the prophecy relative to this king exclusively to the Papacy. He forbears however noticing that part of it, which treats of the wars of the king with the kings of the North and the South. Yet these wars constitute so very prominent a feature in the history of the king, whatever power he may be designed to represent, that they surely ought not to have been omitted : especially since Dr. Zouch asserts, that, in his character, “ we discover a designation of the same power," as that symbolized by the papal little born, “ somewhat indeed diversified, but not so as to prevent us from acknowledging its identity." (Zouch on Prophecy, p. 163– 171.) Mr. Mede's exposition of the prophecy is ncarly the same as that of Bp. Newton's. I shall hereafter discuss it conjointly with that of the Bishop. + Hist. the Interp. Vol. 1. p. 368.
Ibid. p. 373.
of the North) “ whether Mohammedan or Infidel, is to be exactly similar to the end of the Grecian little horn, and the horn of the fourth beast in the former vision : yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."*-And he lastly conjectures : “ If infidel France be this king of the North, we may presume that it will take possession of the present dominions of the Turkish Mohammedan power.”t-The whole that Mr. Kett has said upon the subject of the prophecy now under consideration, is so extremely obscure, and so widely scattered in different parts of his work, that I greatly fear, lest I should undesignedly be guilty of misrepresenting his meaning. As far however as I am able to collect his sentiments from these several passages when viewed in connection with each other, it appears, that Mr. Kett supposes the king who magnified himself above every god to be primarily the Papacy: but that he wishes nevertheless this supposition to be adopted without excluding the possibility of his character being designed for a double type of Antichrist; that is, I suppose, Antichrist both Papal and Infidel, unless indeed Mr. Kett means Antichrist both Papal and Mohammedan, for he does not expressly say, in what manner the king is a double type of Antichrist. It further appears, that he doubts whether the king of the North, the mighty rival of the king who magnified himself above every god, be Mohammedan Turkey, or infidel France. The sum therefore of the whole is, unless I have completely misunderstood Mr. Kett, that the two potentates, whom Daniel represents as such bitter enemies to each other, may after all be one and the same. As for instance : if the king who magnified himself above every god be secondarily infidel France, and if the king of the North be infidel France likewise, these two hostile kings are evidently made to be one power : and, on the other hand, if the king who magnified himself above every god be secondarily Mohammedan Turkey, and if the king of the North be Mohammedan Turkey likewise, in this case also the two rivals are equally identified
Hist. Interp. Vol. i.p. 374.
+ Ibid. Vol. ü. p. 302. | -- this king, whether Mohammedad or Infidel”_"if infidel France be this king of the north"
with each other. For it is manifest, that the king who magnified himself above every god cannot be, as Mr. Kett supposes, a double type of Antichrist, without being secondarily either Mohammedan Turkey, or infidel France : and, let him be which of these two he may, he will be equally confounded with the king of the North, if the king of the North may be either Mohammedan Turkey or infidel France likewise.
With regard to the exposition offered by Bp. Newton, it is liable to a variety of objections.
1. The first, which presents itself to the mind, is, that it makes this last prediction of Daniel very little more than a mere repetition of a former one. Since the prophet had already described the tyranny of the Papacy under the symbol of a little horn, it is scarcely probable that he would resume a subject, which he had pre. viously discussed and dismissed. Yet this superfluous resumption is necessarily supposed by such an exposition.*
2. The next objection is its want of unity and simplicity. Each of the little horns symbolizes one single and distinct power: whence it is but reasonable to conclude, that the king, mentioned in the last prophecy of Daniel, is one single and distinct power likewise. But the system of Bp. Newton makes him a complex power, exerted first in the empire in general, and afterwards partly in the East, and partly in the West ; a sort of compound, in his latter character, of the Greek emperor and the Pope.
* Daniel's frequent recapitulations of the temporal history of the four great ema pires are, not only not superfluous, but absolutely necessary. The great excellence of his prophcies is, that they are strictly both local and chronological ones. Hence he repeats the substance of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the image in his vision of the four beasts, in order that we may exactly know at what era, and in wbat empire, to look for the tyranny of the first little born: and hence, in a similar manner, he recapitulates the history of the second and third empires in his vision of the ram and the be-goal, in order that we may be able precisely to ascertain the age and country of the second little born. For the same reason, he once more repeats, in bis last vision, the history of the second and third empires, and the latter part of the history of the Romans ; with a view to conduct us, in a regular chronological series, to the tyranny of the king wbo regarded not any god. Now, if this king be, in a great measure, the same as the first little born ; it is evident, that the last vision must be almost entirely a mere repe tition of the vision of the four beasts ; (the first of them alone being excluded) not a studied recapitulation of their temporal history, for the purpose of introducing a new character, different from those of which he had treated before. Consequently, upon such a supposition, the last vision will be e complete repetition, not a partial recapitulation.
This system with some shades of difference has the sanction of the venerable name of Joseph Mede. Mr. Mede includes in the character of the king, not only the Pope together with the Eastern and Western Emperors, but likewise the pagan Roman state from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes.* Such an unwarrantable licence of exposition seems to me to carry along with it its own confutation : for, if a single prophetic character may comprehend so many different persons and things, the application of the different parts of the prediction must be left entirely to the discretion of the commentator. In the prophecy, a certuin number of actions are ascribed to one single and distinct power. But, if we inquire what is meant by the king's speaking marvellous things against the God of gods, Mr. Mede informs us, that it alludes to the crucifixion of our Lord by the Romans. If we next inquire, what is intended by the king's doing according to his will, we are taught by Bp. Newton that it relates to a tyrannieal power exercised in the Church first by the Christian Emperors before the division of the Empire and afterwards by the Greek Emperors in the East and the Popes in the West. If we again inquire what is meant by the king's magnifying himself above every god, we are referred to the prophecy of the man of sin, and are told that it alludes to the Pope receiving divine honours in the temple of God. If we further inquire what is meant by the king's disregarding the desire of women, we are then carried back to the days of the Emperor Constantine, the rise of monasticism in the East, and its subsequent establishment in the West. If we next inquire what is intended by the king's honouring a foreign deity and certain Mahuzzim or tutelary gods, we are referred to the idolatrous veneration of saints and angels which alike infected the rival churches of Rome and Constantinople. And, if we lastly require an explanation of the wars of the king with the kings of the North and the South, our attention is then entirely diverted from the Church to the State ; and we are taught tliat they refer, not to any actions of the Pope,
Apostacy of the latter times, Part I. Chap. 16, 17.
but to the wars of the Eastern Emperor with the Saracens and the Turks. : · I cannot but think, that such a mode of exposition as this accords very ill with the definite simplicity, for which the prophecies of Daniel are so remarkable. Instead of treading with confidence upon sure ground, I feel myself bewildered in a succession of rapid changes from pagan Rome to Christian Rome, from the Emperors before the division of the Empire to the Emperors after its division, from the Emperors of Constantinople to the Popes of Rome, from the East to the West and from the West to the East, from the State to the Church and froin the Church to the State, from the impious adoration paid to the Roman Pontiff to the struggles of the Constantinopolitan monarch with the Saracens and the Turks.
To this objection it would probably be answered, that the king, like the ten-horned brast, means the whole Ro- man state ; and consequently that the different actions, performed by the different meinbers of that state, are all ascribed to the same king or kinga'am.
Such an answer, though perhaps the best that can be given, is to me by no meanis satisfactory. In the united prophecy of Daniel and St. John relative to the Roman beast, their own proper actions are assigned respectively to his seven heads, his ten horns, and his little horn; so that we are in no danger of mistaking either the actions or the persons of some of his members for either the ac. tions or the persons of others of them :* but, in the prophecy of the king, according to the mode of exposition now under consideration, all is confusion and uncertainty; insomuch that even Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton cannot agree as to the precise period of the Roman history when we are to suppose that the prophecy began to be accomplished ; the one conceiving the king to mean the Empire from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes and interpreting part of the prophecy to relate to the death of our Lord, the other dating the prophecy only from about the days of Constantine.
* The same remark applies to the double prophecy respecting the Macedonian empire symbolized both by the leopard in one vision and by the be-goat in another. It likewise applies to the prophecy of tbe Persian ram with two borns.