Page images

4th. Their NAME, Antichrist, is doubtless applicable to both; for the Turk keeps off the Jews, and the Pope the Christians from embracing Messiah. But the Turk most decidedly merits the name anti-Christ (i.e. against-Christ,) since he opposes him openly; and not only expressly advances Mahomet above him, but has made him a new book of scriptures, which he calls Alcoran: whereas the Pope acts more covertly, pretending in some things to be for Christ (pro-Christ, as avrɩ signifies in John i, 16) though in his usurped headship of the Church, and many other things, he is effectually against him. 5th. There is another name in the NATURE of which they again concur. The Pope is "the son of Perdition," or destruction, and that both actively and passively; for he is the Destroyer or Desolator,m and is at last destroyed: and the Turk is styled in the Hebrew Abaddon, in the Greek Apollyon,n which means destroyer, as does the word Turca in the opinion of the learned. 6th. His NUMBER is applicable to both Turk and Pope, viz. 666.o For as the numeral letters of the Greek Aarewos or of the Hebrew (both suitable names of the Pope who is a Latin and Roman) make up that number; so do the numeral letters of Mahomet, written in Greek Maoueris.-Thus :

[blocks in formation]

I might pursue this comparison through several other particulars, as their mouth speaking blasphemies, their mutual pride, tyranny, cruelty, and the like; but I must content myself with having thus presented my thoughts; which I cordially submit to the judgement of the more learned, if they can produce stronger reasons against what I have propounded.

vv. 9, 10. Now to return, the next consideration that offers itself is, Who, or what is it, that destroys the fourth beast?

1 2 Thess. ii, 3. m Dan. ix, 27. n Rev. ix, 11. o Rev. xiii, 18.

"The thrones were set;" for so we must read v. 9.* God the Father sits, (called the "Ancient of days," as out-living all empires,) and is said to have "garments white as snow," importing his righteousness in judging; "his hair white as wool," denoting the gravity of his wisdom; "his throne a fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire," signifying that his sentence of judgement is swift and severe in execution, according to his mind and will; "the fiery stream issuing, and coming forth from before him," notes the continuation of execution, till all his mind be fulfilled; "the thousand thousands ministering unto him, &c." signify the assession, assent, and assistance of saints. and angels in that execution.P

vv. 11, 12. After this description of the posture of the judicature, there follow in verse 12 the acts of it. For take it as a rule, that when the Lord is to do some notable thing for his people, or against their enemies, it is represented in Scripture in the form of a day of judgement.9 "The judgement being set, and the books being opened, Daniel beholds till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame;" that is, the judicature sat on purpose to condemn and execute the fourth beast, the antichristian Roman monarchy, and to consume them unto the END,- -as the connexion of verse 26 evidently implies. The meaning is, there must be a continual destruction

* Our late translators have mistaken in rendering it—" The thrones were cast down." I suppose they took thrones tropically or figuratively for powers, and so they would make this sense of it,-The monarchical powers were cast down. But these were not all down, till after the judiciary sitting in verses 11, 21, 22. Besides (or as some Chaldee copies write it) equally signify material thrones; even as the next word "plainly signifies, were lifted up, advanced, or set up; so plainly, that I cannot imagine what shew of reason our last translators had to render it, "The thrones were cast down." Our old translation has it, "The thrones were set up ;" and most justly: for whether we suppose the root to be (with Schindler,) or (as Pagnin, Arias Montanus, and Hutter affirm,) still our old translation is right. And so runs the stream of the most learned translators in several languages. Pagnin and Arias Montanus have it, throni elati sunt ;-The Latin, called Jerome's, throni positi sunt ;-the Syriac, subsellia posita esse :-the Arabic, ecce sedes positæ sunt;-the Greek Sept. di povoi etεnoav ;—Tindal, in his English translation, the seats were prepared; -the best French translation, that of Diodati, les thrones fuerent posé's;Bruccioli in his Italian translation, furono portate siede, and in his Commentary, throni furono essaltati;-the best High-Dutch or German translation by Luther, stule gesekt wurden, i.e. the stools or seats were put ;-the Low-Dutch, stoelen gesettet werden. Mr. Mede, whose work is out since this was penned, also agrees

in this view.

p 1 Cor. vi, 2, 3. q Deut. xxxiii, 2; Job i; Ps. 1; Jude v. 14.

on the whole of the fourth beast, both of Turk and Pope, and both of their secular and religious (alias irreligious) powers, till a full end of his ruin be completed. The opening the books signifies an open discovery of this beast and his impieties to them that before admired, adored, or obsequiously submitted to him, and to all others that will come in to the Lord Christ and his cause to give the said beast a proportionable reward. Observe, it is said (vv. 9, 10) that Daniel beheld the fourth beast, till the judicature was set, and the books were opened; and then (v. 11,) he beheld till the beast was slain: which seems to me aptly to set forth, that though a deadly blow be given to the beast at the first erecting the throne of judgement, yet his destruction comes on by degrees, and is not completed till the end of the striving."*

Having seen the destruction of the fourth beast, Daniel has next shewn, in v. 13, who takes the kingdom or monarchy of the beast, with an explication of all former passages in this chapter. But it seems by the twelfth verse, that the former three monarchies were not involved in the destruction of the fourth; but they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season, and a time." If however we keep close to the words of the original, then we must render the words," And they took away the dominion of the rest of the beasts; fort length of life was given to them but for a time and season." That is to say, it was granted to them (by the Ancient of days, v. 9,) to live in person and power but for a time and a season: all which sets forth antithetically the excellency of this fifth kingdom, or monarchy, which is to be free from all such shortenings, and in that sense to be for ever. But if any prefer the sense that our translation hints, (as if the three former beasts had a kind of life allowed them after their dominion was taken away,) we can still give them this fair answer; that though the three former monarchies were

[ocr errors]

Compare Dan. xii, 1, 11, 12. Mr. Parker on Daniel fully concurs with me in this gradual destruction of Antichrist, and goes on confidently to assert further, that it shall be acting the space of those forty-five years hinted in Dan. xii, 11, 12. (See Visions and Prophecies Explained, p. 32.)

+ The Chaldee accepts of various significations, and stands as a causal in many places of Scripture; as Ps. lx, 11; Isa. Ixiv, 5; Isa. xxxix, 1, &c.

[ocr errors]

disrobed of their paramount imperiality, the former by the latter, yet those three had continued to them some degree of regality, until a good space of time after the fourth had been in being and power. Which is the more probable: for first, how else could it be said, that the third trampled the second, and the fourth the third and former ones, unless they had some being to be trampled? Secondly, the whole image is broken by the ruin on the feet of the fourth and last; and therefore there were probably certain broken limbs of the three former, remaining to be beaten into dust with the fourth. And thirdly, we have some such account given us in the best histories.*


Having cleared this knot, let us now go on with Daniel's visions wherein having shown us the posture and acts of the session of judicature; he next represents to us the person or persons, the captain and his army, that took from the fourth. beast the Roman monarchy and all other kingdoms. Daniel

saw in the night-visions (fitly signifying the antichristian darkness that then clouded the Church) one like the Son of Man come with the clouds of heaven." This is CHRIST, who (re latively, as King and Captain-general, and mystically, by union of the Spirit) is Head of his Church, and therefore brings a host of christians at his heels, as part of his session when he sits; all which must necessarily be here understood by the words,'But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, &c. "(v. 18.) But the judgement shall sit, and they (the saints) shall take away his (the fourth beast's) dominion, &c. And "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the



[ocr errors]

* First, the Armenians, (part of Chaldea,) had a king and regal dignity even unto the days of the Roman monarchy. Tigranes king of Armenia was subdued by the Roman Pompey, and his country made tributary, and so stamped under foot. But after a while, in the reign of Tiberius, the same Armenia was fortified against the Romans; and the emperor rather pacified it with promises, than subdued it with war; and they got the staff so far into their hands again, that in the reign of Jovinian they were called friends, not vassals, to the Romans. Secondly, Persia had great power in the time of Antiochus the Great, and so down into the times of the Roman emperors; of whom Julian lost his life, Valerian went under ransom, and Jovinian was put to a shameful foil by the loss of four whole provinces. Thirdly, the Greeks did so far shake off the Roman yoke, that they withstood divers of their stoutest emperors, viz. Galienus, Aurelian, and Dioclesian.

r See Zech. i, 8; Hab. ii, 10; Rev. xix, 11-14.

"SAINTS of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting

kingdom, and all dominions shall serve HIM." (vv. 26, 27.) Thus Christ, who is in this vision called "the Son of Man," does as a public person, represent all mankind that believe and they and he are so one mystically by faith, and relatively as a corporation empire, that it is indifferent to the Holy Ghost to mention Him or them to be the ruler of this fifth monarchy. I only add, that, by the current and tenor of Scripture, this phrase "coming in the clouds" signifies, that he shall visibly and really appear in the natural clouds; as Christ himself and St. John expound the prophets. Matt. xxiv, 30; Rev, i, 7.

He is said, in the thirteenth verse, both to come to the Ancient of days, (just as the Lamb is said to approach to Him that sat upon the throne to receive the book,) and also said to be brought before the Ancient of days; "which words, (saith Mr. Parker,) until better light may shine, I cannot but conjecture do signify the saints, who bring Christ near to the Ancient of days, BY IMPORTUNITY OF PRAYERS, for the obtaining the "kingdom, and removal of it from the beast." Whereupon the kingdom, with all the dominion and glory thereof, (following in v. 14 to the end of the chapter,) is given to Him. The character of it may be seen from the words, "that all people, nations, and languages should serve him ;" signifying, that it is the very same kingdom, or monarchy, in place and substance, only the quality shall be better, and the quantity greater.

Mr. Archer's short argument on this chapter is important, especially if put into the form of a syllogism thus:

Christ, the Son of Man, must have a monarchy on earth, delivered to him by God, the Ancient of days, at the ruin of the fourth monarchy, to be in his occupation at his second appearance, and from thence to the end of the world.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

But this cannot be meant of his spiritual and providential kingdom, which he had before the four monarchies; (1 Cor. x, 1, &c ;) for after the end of this world, at the period of the thousand years, he hath no kingdom, but resigns up all to the Father. (1 Cor. xv, 24, 28.)

Therefore this is yet to come; neither the fourth monarchy, nor Antichrist, the main and greatest part of that fourth monarchy, being yet destroyed.

« PreviousContinue »