Page images

principle of justice and honour, as he heretoforé overleap. ed the laws of his country, and trampled upon the rights of individuals. The privileges of neutral states are disregarded by him, when he conceives that his interests may be promoted by the murder of a Bourbon. In fine, despising the petty villanies of a private robber, be takes a bolder flight of rapacity : and, while with high vaulting ambition he extends on every side the limits of his dominions, he distributes among those, who are base enough to concur with him in his schemes of plunder, whole provinces of a once independent empire under the specious name of indemnities.* But, gigantic as may be his projects of universaldomination,t the tine is rapidly approaching when " the Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven," and establish the last universal sovereignty, that of the symbolical mountain. Then shall “ the fourth beast be slain, and his body destroyed;" then shall each of the little horns be broken ; then shall the infidel tyrant " come to his end ;” and then shall the victorious Word of God receive from his Almighty Father “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

- III. It appears from the remainder of the prophecy. relative to the atheistical king, that toward the close of his career, he should meet with a most powerful opponent in a mighty king of the North, and with a less vigorous resistence from a king of the South. “At the time of the end shall a king of the South butt at him ; and a

* The dignified and princely conduct of Sweden at the present juncture forms a striking contrast to the pitiful behaviour of most of the continental sovereigns. It is a relief to the mind to turn from the degraded and enslaved South, and to contemplate a line of conduct worthy of better times in the more free and manly North. May, 1805.

Since this note was written, a vast coalition has been formed against France, and has been broken almost as soon as formed. England, Sweden, and Russia, are now the only independent powers of Europe. Every passing event serves to shew that the counsels of God are rapidly hastening to maturity. March 26, 1806.

# It may not be improper to remind the reader, that I speak of the actions of Buonapartě only as being a portion of the actions of the infidel kingdom. Neither be, nor any other individual, is intended by this infidel king or kingdom; but France alone from the commencement of the revolution to the termination of the 1260 years and the beginning of the time of the end.

king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships. Yet he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and shall pass over, and shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown : but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries : and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt ; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him : therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and under the pretext of religion to devote many to utter destruction. And he shall plant the curtains of his pavilions between the seas in the glorious holy mountain : yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation even to that same time : and at that time. thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”

North and South are mere general and relative terms. At the beginning of this last prophecy of Daniel, the kings of the North and the South are undoubtedly the kings of Syria and Egypt: but their power has long since been broken: consequently the kings of the North and the South at the latter end of the prediction are entirely different potentates from those mentioned in the earlier part of it.

Bp. Newton, as we have seen, supposes, that the king, who was to magnify himself above every god, is the Pope in the West, and the Constantinopolitan Emperor in the East : and since one error in the exposition of a strictly chronological prophecy necessarily introduces many others, he imagines with Mr. Mede, that the king of the South and the king of the North are the Saracens and the Turks.* Impressed with this idea, he attributes the

* I cannot refrain from observing, what seems to have escaped the notice of my venerable predecessors Mede and Newton, that, if the king of the South be the Sam


[ocr errors]

.........i conquests of the infidel king to the northern king of the Turks; and supposes that it was he who was to enter into the glorious land, to stretch forth his hand upon the countries, and to make himself master of Egypt. The fact however is, as the context sufficiently shews, that it is not the king of the North who is to invade the glorious land, and the land of Egypt, but his rival the infidel king. Daniel is not writing a history either of the king of the North, or of the king of the South, but of the king who was to magnify himself above every god. Accordingly, he faithfully details the whole of this king's eventful history, from its original commencement* to its final termination.f His adversaries, the king of the North and the king of the South, are only mentioned as inferior actors in this great drama. Notwithstanding the rapid attack of the northern sovereign and the apparently more feeble efforts of the southern prince, f this infidel king is nevertheless to overflow and pass over, to enter into the glorious land, and to seize upon the land of Egypt. Such appears to me to be the most natural mode of explaining the prophecy : for, unless all these exploits be attributed to the infidel king, we shall be obliged to acknowledge, that Daniel has given only a very imperfect account of that power ; an account extremely different fron the several histories of the two little horns. In both those histories we have a regular and continued narrative, conducting us, step by step, from the rise to the destruction of each horn : but here, according to the scheme of Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton, we have only a mutilated account of the infidel king, commencing indeed, but abruptly breaking off : and, instead of teaching us what shall be the end of that monster, only informing us of the destruction of the northern prince, who had not been previously represented as having committed any particular crime against Heaven, but on the contrary as being laudably engaged in opposing with all his forces the outrageous tyranny of the atheistical potentate.

racenic empire, it is very singular that so little should be said about him, and so much about the king of the North whom they suppose to denote the Turkish empire. The exploits of the Saracens were at least as wonderful as those of the Turks : and, in addition to their other amazingly extensive conquests, they likewise, no less than the Turks, made themselves masters of the glorious holy land. If then the kings of the South and North denote the Saracenic and Turkish empires, is it not somewhat singular that so much should be said about the latter, and so very little about the former? According to the scheme which I venture to oppose, although sanctioned by the eminent names of Mede and Newton, all that is said of the Saracens is,“ A king of the south shall butt at him :” while six long verses, with the exception of these few words in the original only four words,) are exclusively devoted to the Turks. Whereas, according to my scheme, their due degree of importance is given to the kings of the South and the North ; while the infidel king appears, from beginning to end, the consistent hero of the drama. * Ver. 36.

+ Ver. 45. The word, by which the attack of the southern king is described, is 723, which significs to butt or strike like a r.02.

But, even supposing, (what I think the context will by no means warrant) that the king of the North and not the Infidel king, is to invade Palestine ; still the chronology of the prophecy will abundantly shew, that the whole interpretation of Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton must be erroneous. The king, who magnified himself above every god, was to spring up after the reformation ; consequently all his exploits must be after the reformation likewise : but, if his wars with the kings of the South and the North are to be after that period, they cannot allude to the contests of the Eastern Emperors with the Saracens and Turks, which were before it. So again : the prophet carefully informs us, that all these events are to take place at the time of the end, and that they are to be contemporary with the restoration of the Jews. But the time of the end commences at the termination of the 1260 years : consequently, by no ingenuity of interpretation can it be carried back to the very beginning of those years ; that is to say, to the year 629, in which the Saracens first attacked the Roman empire, and which is no more than twenty-three years posterior to the year 606, whence, as I have already shewn, the 1260 years ought most probably to be dated.* So far is this period from being the time of the end,t the time appointed for the restoration of the Jews, # that near twelve centuries ........... have now elapsed from it, and still we behold the Jews scattered over the face of the earth.

* The first war between the Saracens and the Romans commenced in the year 629. Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 312.

At the time of the end a king of the south shall butt at him."

† “ At that time thy people shall be delivered.” (Dan. xii. 1.) It afterwards appears that the Jews will begin to be restored, so soon as the three times and a balf shall have expired. “ Until how long shall be the end of the wonders ?.-It shall be until a time and times and a half : and, when he shall have finished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” Ver. 5, 6.

This however is by no means all. Granting for a moment, merely for the sake of argument, that the time of the end means the whole 1260 years, that the king of the North is the Turk, and that the prophecy has been accomplished as far as to the end of the 43d verse, which is all that Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton suppose :* still the 44th and 45th verses will remain yet to be accomplished, and these never can be accomplished in the Turk consistently with another prophecy which foretells his destruction. I will say nothing of the extreme improbability, that the Ottoman power, now fast verging to destruction, should ever go forth with great fury to devote many to utter extermination on a religious account, should succeed in planting the curtains of his pavilions between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, and should there finally be overthrown : of the utter improbability of all this I will say nothing ; because I pretend not to the gift of prophecy, and am not prepared positively to assert that such an event is absolutely impossible. But this I will fearlessly assert, that the time assigned for the destruction of the power which (according to Daniel) will come to its end in Palestine, let it be the one king or let it be the other king, cannot be made to quadrate with the time assigned by St. John for the overthrow of the Ottoman power : therefore the power, that comes to its end in Palestine, cannot be the Ottoman power. Let us compare together the two prophets. & And at the time of the end a king of the south shall butt at him ; and a king of the north shall come against him :-and he shall enter into the countries ;—and he shall plant the curtains of his pavilions between the seas

* It is true, which you guess, that I incline to apply the king of the north's going forth ( upon the tidings from the east and the north) in a fury to destroy, and to that purpose to plant the tabernacles of his palaces in the glorious mountain of holiness, to the Jews' return, and the expedition of Gog and Magog into the holy land." (Mede's Works B. iv. Epist. 54.) I think Mr. Mede wrong in his chronology of the expedition of Gog and Magog, as I attempt to prove at large in the work which I have now in hand cona çerning the Restoration of Israel and the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy : but he plainly considers the two last verses of Dan. xi. as yet unfulfilled, which was the purpose for which I made this citation. Bp. Newton is of the same opinion. “The two next, which are the two last verses of this chapter, I conceive, remain yet to be fulfilled.” Dissert. xvii. in loc.

« PreviousContinue »