Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. Mede's Diatribæ, pars iv, being lately published, I shall

conclude with an extract from it.

"The four kingdoms in Daniel are twice revealed: first to "Nebuchadnezzar, in a glorious image of four metals; secondly "to Daniel himself, in a vision of four divers beasts, arising out of the sea. The intent of both is, to point out, by that suc" cession of kingdoms, the time of the kingdom of Christ, which

66

""

no other kingdom should succeed, or destroy. Nebuchadnez

zar's image of monarchies points out two states of the king'dom of Christ: the first to be while the times of those king'doms of the Gentiles yet lasted, typified by " a stone cut out "of a mountain without hands," the monarchical statue yet standing upon his feet; the second not to be until the utter 'destruction and dissipation of the image, when the stone, "having smote it upon the feet, should "grow into a great "mountain which should fill the whole earth." The first may be called, for distinction's sake, REGNUM LAPIDIS, the kingdom of 'the stone; which is the state of Christ's kingdom, which hitherto hath been the other, REGNUM MONTIS, the kingdom of “the mountain, i.e. of the stone grown into a mountain, which "is the state of his kingdom which hereafter shall be. The inter"val between these two, from the time the stone was first hewn "out, (that is, the kingdom of Christ was first advanced,) until the time it became a mountain, (that is, when the mystery of God shall be finished,) is the subject of the apocalyptical vi"sions. Note here, that the stone is expounded by Daniel to "be that lasting kingdom which the God of heaven should set "up; secondly, that it was hewn out of the mountain before it "smote the image upon the feet, and consequently before the "image was dissipated; and therefore that the kingdom typified

""

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"

""

by the stone, while it remained a stone, must needs be within the times of those monarchies: that is, before the last of them (viz. the Roman*) should expire. Wherefore Daniel interprets verse 44," That in the days of these kingdoms (not after them, but while some of them were in being) the God of heaven

[ocr errors]

-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* See also Mr. Medes Opuscula, pars ii, p. 20, wherein he proves, by a comparison of this of Daniel with 2 Thess. ii, 8, and Rev. xi, xvii-xix, that the fourth monarchy is the Roman, and succeeded when broken by the consummation of Christ's kingdom.

6

"should set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed, nor "left (as the others were) to another people: but should break "in pieces, and consume all those kingdoms, and itself should "stand for ever.' And all this he speaks, as the interpretation of "the stone: For as much (saith he) as thou sawest that a "stone was cut out of the mountain without hands; and that "it brake in peices the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and "the gold.' Here make the full point; for these words belong "not to that which follows, (as our Bibles seem to refer them,) "but to that which went before. The stone becoming a moun"tain, he expounds not; but leaves it to be gathered by what " he had already expounded." Page 631.

Chapter vii.

v. 2. Out of the blustering spirits of the inhabitants of the four quarters of the world, in a sea of wars, there ariseth a succession of four monarchies; each in his turn ruling the greatest part of the whole earth. This order, or series, began with Nimrod, about A. M. 1788, and before Christ 2183, and hath continued to this day. This same order the Prophet sets forth in the third verse, under the symbol of four beasts; which he explains at verse 17 to signify four kings or monarchs, that should arise out of the earth: that is, by earthly means domineer.

v. 4. The first beast is like a lion, that had eagles' wings, wherewith he was wont to lift up himself from the earth, till they were plucked; and then he was made to stand upon his feet as a man, resting on the earth, and a man's heart was given unto him. By all which is meant the Babylonian monarchy; which was strong like a lion, and had wings of celerity and victory, becoming the Assyrio-Chaldean monarchy, whereby it was lifted up to an imperial eminence above the generality of the earth.d Those wings are plucked by Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the Persian, and so it is made to stand as a man upon his feet; (that is, it was brought down to the common rank of men,)

d Obadiah verse 4; Jer. chapter iv, verse 13.

v. 5. The second beast is like

66

And hath a man's heart given unto him—that is, the spirit of an ordinary, plebeian man, no longer heroic and imperial. a bear, that raised up itself on one side; and had three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth; and they said thus unto it, Arise and devour much ' flesh." By all which is meant the Persian monarchy; which was ravenously cruel like a bear, raising up one dominion and enduring no rival, but, having first subdued the Medes and then the Babylonians, united all into one monarchy. Between the teeth of his power (yet still demanding and snatching more dominion) he hath the three ribs of the eastern, western, and southern parts of the world. He ariseth and eateth much flesh, in his cruel slaughterings in pursuance of his victories.

v. 6. The third beast "is like a leopard, which had upon the "back of it four wings of a fowl, and had also four heads, and "dominion was given to it." By which is signified the Grecian monarchy, which was like a leopard in subtilty, celerity and rapacity. The subtilty appeared in the policy of Philip the father, and Alexander the son, in laying the plot for this monarchy, and slily occasioning a quarrel, in order to fall out with the neighbouring nations; and in the cunning of Alexander in battle, that would always fight his super-numerous enemy in straits, where he might not have room to bring up more of his men in fight than Alexander on his part could display in battle. The celerity appeared in that the Grecians, under the said Alexander, did so suddenly (within about twelve years) over-run the greatest part of the world; as if this conqueror had flown upon wings so that he is described in Dan. viii, by a "he-goat that touched not the ground.". The rapacity appeared especially against the Jews; for the four heads of this leopard and their successors exercised matchless cruelty against them; and every where they were most ravenous and destructive. For Alexander and the empire under him, being the body, his four captains that immediately succeeded him in the empire were the four heads;8 Cassander head of Macedonia, Antigonus of Asia, Seleucus of Syria, and Ptolemy of Egypt; all possessing imperial dignity at once, and every where monstrously devouring.

"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

e Dan. viii, 4. f Jer. v, 6; Hab. i, 8; Dan. viii, 5. g Dan. viii, 8; xi, 4.

S

v. 7. The fourth beast is so strangely different, that no natural beast nor name is found meet to describe him; only he is said to have ten horns, and iron teeth to devour, and feet to stamp the residue of the beasts under him. By this description of Daniel is set forth the Roman monarchy; which (according to Daniel's words) was dreadful and terrible to all nations, being exceeding strong to annoy them all; having such teeth of war, as Scipio, Pompey, Cæsar, &c, iron victors. The addition of "nails of brass," in v. 19, may signify their imperial senate, and provincial magistrates, who held fast whatsoever the iron teeth conquered. The ten horns are explained by St. John to be the character of the Roman empire, and to signify the ten kingdoms into which at last it was divided ;h and the breaking off three of these ten, by the one horn that grew up among them, doth further notably describe the body of Antichrist arising out of the Roman empire, with its two sides: the Turk having one eye, leg, and arm, and the Pope the other and both making up one antichristian body, to keep the world from embracing Christ and his pure Gospel.

Before we can fairly go on with this seventh of Daniel, I must insert here my thoughts touching the LITTLE HORN, Concerning which the learned differ. Not to mention that impossible opinion, that it signifies Antiochus Epiphanes; the learned Parker and others hold, that it means the Antichrist of Rome; whilst the learned Graserus and others understand by it Mahomet, and give very strong reasons for it; the answers given to which are not to me sufficient, any more than the arguments for the Roman Antichrist. But I would propose this expedient to the learned: viz. to consider the Turk and the Pope to be the main integrals of Antichrist. For upon an exact review of what has been said on both sides, touching the little horn, it would appear that all may be accommodated to either, though perhaps more appositely to the Turk. And if they that make it a Roman horn, may be led thereunto, from the fear of omitting any thing that foretels the ruin of the Roman Antichrist; so must we be jealous of waiving any thing that threatens the ruin of the Mahometan Antichrist. For with

h Rev. xvii.

me, I confess, it is a rule, (which diligent observation, as I have gone through the Scriptures, has irresistibly ingraffed into my reason,) that all the Scriptures, touching the great restoration or restitution of the Church to her glorious estate on earth before the ultimate day of judgement, do more directly and immediately look towards the Jews; consequentially and inclusively only upon the Gentiles: and therefore they do necessarily more directly threaten the ruin of the Mahometan Turkish Antichrist, who is their more immediate and cruel enemy, inhabiting all their borders; and next they extend to the Roman Antichrist, taking him in under the general notion of a grand enemy to the conversion both of Jews and Gentiles unto Christ, and of the glorious reformation of the Church, and of the pure doctrine and ministration of the Gospel conducing to both.

Note then the points of coincidence between the two. 1st. In their RISE, which may be seen by comparing this chapter of Daniel with Rev. xiii,--the Pope rising out of the Roman empire, and the Turk out of the Pope for the Pope ingrafted the heathenish religion of the empire; and the Turk's religion was hatched by the counsel and advice of Sergius a popish monk.i 2d. Their DOMINIONS have a similarity, in each plucking up three of the ten horns of the fourth beast: for the Turk pulled off three from the whole Roman empire; viz. Syria, Egypt and Africa; (or as some reckon-Syria, Greece and Africa ;) and the Pope arrogates a triple crown in the present Roman state. 3d. Their SEATS are the same; viz. " sitting in (or rather over, eis tov vaov) the temple of God." For the Pope ceased to be in the Church since the Council of Trent, wherein he execrated all the chief gospel truths and the Turk is said to be "a star fallen from the heaven of the Church."k But both, I say, sit upon or over the temple of God: for as the Pope sits over great part of the spiritual temple of Christendom, (in which are many believers,) and there suppresses the propagation of the Gospel; so the Turk by his power sits over the material temple, as it were, (at least the place of it, Jerusalem,) there preferring Mahomet as one greater than Christ. And their seats are both called by the same name, Babylon, both in the Old and New Testaments.

:

j 2 Thess. ii, 4. k Rev. ix, 1.

i Zona, Tom. iii, and Car. Steph.

« PreviousContinue »