VERSE 1. As I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even
I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. 2. And now will
I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet
three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer
than they all: and by his strength through his riches he
shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. p. 222,
We now enter upon a prophecy of future events, clothed not in figures and symbols, as in the visions of chapter 2, 7, and 8, but given mostly in plain language. Many of the signal events of the world's history, from the days of Daniel to the end of the world, are here brought to view. This prophecy, says Bishop Newton, may not improperly be said to be a comment and explanation of the vision of chapter l8; a statement showing how clearly he perceived the connection between that vision and the remainder of the book. p. 222, Para. 3.
The angel, after stating that he stood, in the first year of Darius, to confirm and strengthen him, turns his attention to the future. Three kings shall yet stand up in Persia. To stand up means to reign; three kings were to reign in Persia, referring, doubtless, to the immediate successors of Cyrus. These were,  Cambyses, son of Cyrus;  Smerdis, an imposter;  Darius Hystaspes. p. 222, Para. 4.
The fourth shall be far richer than they all. The fourth king from Cyrus was Xerxes, more famous for his riches than his generalship, and conspicuous in history for the magnificent campaign he organized against Grecia, and his utter failure in that enterprise. He was to stir up all against the realm of Grecia. Never before had there been such a levy of men for warlike purposes; never has there been since. His army, according to Herodotus, who lived in that age, consisted of five million two hundred and eighty-three thousand two hundred and twenty men [5, 283, 220]. And not content with stirring up the East alone, he enlisted the Carthaginians of the West in his service, who took the field with an additional army of three hundred thousand men, raising his entire force to the almost fabulous number of over five million and a half. As Xerxes looked over that vast concourse, he is said to have wept at the thought that in a hundred years from that time not one of all those men would be left alive. p. 222, Para. 5.
VERSE 3. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall
rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4.
And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken,
and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and
not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which
he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for
others beside those. p. 223, Para. 1.
The facts stated in these verses plainly point to
Alexander, and the division of his empire. [See on chapter
8:8.] Xerxes was the last Persian king who invaded Grecia;
and the prophecy passes over the nine successors of Xerxes
in the Persian empire, and next introduces Alexander the
Great. Having overthrown the Persian empire, Alexander
became absolute lord of that empire, in the utmost extent
in which it was ever possessed by any of the Persian
kings. -- Prideaux, Vol. I, p. 378. His dominion was
the greater portion of the then known
habitable world; and he did according to his will. His
will led him, B.C. 323, into a drunken debauch, as the
result of which he died as the fool dieth; and his
vainglorious and ambitious projects went into sudden,
total, and everlasting eclipse. The kingdom was divided,
but not for his posterity; it was plucked up for others
besides those. Within a few years after his death, all his
posterity had fallen victims to the jealousy and ambition
of his leading generals. Not one of the race of Alexander
was left to breathe upon the earth. So short is the transit
from the highest pinnacle of earthly glory to the lowest
depths of oblivion and death. The kingdom was rent into
four divisions, and taken possession of by Alexander's four
ablest, or perhaps most ambitious and unprincipled
generals, -- Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy.
p. 223, Para. 2.
VERSE 5. And the king of the south shall be strong, and
one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and
have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. p.
224, Para. 1.
The king of the north and the king of the south are many times referred to in the remaining portion of this chapter. It therefore becomes essential to an understanding of the prophecy clearly to identify these powers. When Alexander's empire was divided, the different portions lay toward the four winds of heaven, west, north, east, and south; these divisions of course to be reckoned from the standpoint of Palestine, the native land of the prophet. That division of the empire lying west of Palestine would thus constitute the kingdom of the west; that lying north, the kingdom of the north; that lying east, the kingdom of the east; and that lying south the kingdom of the south. The divisions of Alexander's kingdom with respect to Palestine were situated as follows: Cassander had Greece and the adjacent countries, which lay to the west; Lysimachus had Thrace, which then included Asia Minor, and the countries lying on the Hellespont and Bosphorus, which lay to the north of Palestine; Seleucus had Syria and Babylon, which lay principally to the east; and Ptolemy had Egypt and the neighboring countries, which lay to the south. p. 224, Para. 2.
During the wars and revolutions which for long ages succeeded, these geographical boundaries were frequently changed or obliterated; old ones were wiped out, and new ones instituted. But whatever changes might occur, these first divisions of the empire must determine the names which these portions of territory should ever afterward bear, or we have no standard by which to test the application of the prophecy: that is, whatever power at any time should occupy the territory which at first constituted the kingdom of the north, that power, so long as it occupied that territory, would be the king of the north; and whatever power should occupy that which at first constituted the kingdom of the south, that power would so long be the king of the south. We speak of only these two, because they are the only ones afterward spoken of in the prophecy, and because, in fact, almost the whole of Alexander's empire finally resolved itself into these two divisions. p. 224, Para. 3.
Cassander was very soon conquered by Lysimachus, and his kingdom, Greece and Macedon, annexed to Thrace. And Lysimachus was in turn conquered by Seleucus, and Macedon and Thrace annexed to Syria. p. 225, Para. 1.
These facts prepare the way for an application of the text
before us. The king of the south, Egypt, shall be strong.
Ptolemy annexed Cyprus, Phoenicia, Caria, Cyrene, and many
islands and cities to Egypt. Thus was his kingdom made
strong. But another of Alexander's princes is introduced in
one of his princes. The Septuagint
translates the verse thus:
And the king of the south shall
be strong, and one of his [Alexander's] princes shall be
strong above him. This must refer to Seleucus, who, as
already stated, having annexed Macedon and Thrace to Syria,
thus became possessor of three parts out of four of
Alexander's dominion, and established a more powerful
kingdom than that of Egypt. p. 225, Para. 2.
VERSE 6. And in the end of years they shall join
themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south
shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement:
but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither
shall he stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and
they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that
strengthened her in these times. p. 225, Para. 3.
There were frequent wars between the kings of Egypt and Syria. Especially was this the case with Ptolemy Philadelphus, the second king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theos, third king of Syria. They at length agreed to make peace upon condition that Antiochus Theos should put away his former wife, Laodice, and her two sons, and should marry Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Ptolemy accordingly brought his daughter to Antiochus, bestowing with her an immense dowry. p. 225, Para. 4.
But she shall not retain the power of the arm; that is,
her interest and power with Antiochus. And so it proved;
for some time shortly after, in a fit of love, Antiochus
brought back his former wife, Laodice, and her children, to
court again. Then says the prophecy,
Neither shall he
[Antiochus] stand, nor his arm, or seed. Laodice, being
restored to favor and power, feared lest, in the fickleness
of his temper, Antiochus should again disgrace her, and
recall Berenice; and conceiving that nothing short of his
death would be an effectual safeguard against such a
contingency, she caused him to be poisoned shortly after.
Neither did his seed by Berenice succeed him in the
kingdom; for Laodice so managed affairs as to secure the
throne for her eldest son, Seleucus Callinicus. p. 226,
But she [Berenice] shall be given up. Laodice, not
content with poisoning her husband, Antiochus, caused
Berenice to be murdered.
And they that brought her. Her
Egyptian women and attendants, in endeavoring to defend
her, were many of them slain with her.
And he that begat
whom she brought forth; that is, her son,
who was murdered at the same time by order of Laodice.
he that strengthened her in these times; her husband
Antiochus, as Jerome supposes, or those who took her part
and defended her. p. 226, Para. 2.
But such wickedness could not long remain unpunished, as the prophecy further predicts, and further history proves. p. 226, Para. 3.
VERSE 7. But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand
up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall
enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall
deal against them, and shall prevail: 8. And shall also
carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes,
and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and
he shall continue more years than the king of the north. 9.
So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and
shall return into his own land. p. 226, Para. 4.
This branch out of the same root with Berenice was her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes. He had no sooner succeeded his father, Ptolemy Philadelphus, in the kingdom of Egypt, than, burning to avenge the death of his sister, Berenice, he raised an immense army, and invaded the territory of the king of the north, that is, of Seleucus Callinicus, who, with his mother, Laodice, reigned in Syria. And he prevailed against them, even to the conquering of Syria, Cilicia, the upper parts beyond the Euphrates, and almost all Asia. But hearing that a sedition was raised in Egypt requiring his return home, he plundered the kingdom of Seleucus, took forty thousand talents of silver and precious vessels, and two thousand five hundred images of the gods. Among these were the images which Cambyses had formerly taken from Egypt and carried into Persia. The Egyptians, being wholly given to idolatry, bestowed upon Ptolemy the title of Euergetes, or the Benefactor, as a compliment for his having thus, after many years, restored their captive gods. p. 226, Para. 5.
This, according to Bishop Newton, is Jerome's account, extracted from ancient historians, but there are authors still extant, he says, who confirm several of the same particulars. Appian informs us that Laodice having killed Antiochus, and after him both Berenice and her child, Ptolemy, the son of Philadelphus, to revenge those murders, invaded Syria, slew Laodice, and proceeded as far as Babylon. From Polybius we learn that Ptolemy, surnamed Euergetes, being greatly incensed at the cruel treatment of his sister, Berenice, marched with an army into Syria, and took the city of Seleucia, which was kept for some years afterward by garrisons of the kings of Egypt. Thus did he enter into the fortress of the king of the north. Polyaenus affirms that Ptolemy made himself master of all the country from Mount Taurus as far as to India, without war or battle; but he ascribes it by mistake to the father instead of the son. Justin asserts that if Ptolemy had not been recalled into Egypt by a domestic sedition, he would have possessed the whole kingdom of Seleucus. The king of the south thus came into the dominion of the king of the north, and returned to his own land, as the prophet had foretold. And he also continued more years than the king of the north; for Seleucus Callinicus died in exile, of a fall from his horse; and Ptolemy Euergetes survived him for four or five years. p. 227, Para. 1.
VERSE 10. But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall
assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall
certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall
he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. p.
228, Para. 1.
The first part of this verse speaks of sons, in the
plural; the last part, of one, in the singular. The sons of
Seleucus Callinicus were Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus
Magnus. These both entered with zeal upon the work of
vindicating and avenging the cause of their father and
their country. The elder of these, Seleucus, first took the
throne. He assembled a great multitude to recover his
father's dominions; but being a weak and pusillanimous
prince, both in body and estate, destitute of money, and
unable to keep his army in obedience, he was poisoned by
two of his generals after an inglorious reign of two or
three years. His more capable brother, Antiochus Magnus,
was thereupon proclaimed king, who, taking charge of the
army, retook Seleucia and recovered Syria, making himself
master of some places by treaty, and of others by force of
arms. A truce followed, wherein both sides treated for
peace, yet prepared for war; after which Antiochus returned
and overcame in battle Nicolas, the Egyptian general, and
had thoughts of invading Egypt itself. Here is the
who should certainly overflow and pass through. p. 228,
VERSE 11. And the king of the south shall be moved with
choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with
the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great
multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
p. 228, Para. 3.
Ptolemy Philopater succeeded his father, Euergetes, in the
kingdom of Egypt, being advanced to the crown not long
after Antiochus Magnus had succeeded his brother in the
government of Syria. He was a most luxurious and vicious
prince, but was at length aroused at the prospect of an
invasion of Egypt by Antiochus. He was indeed
choler for the losses he had sustained, and the danger
which threatened him; and he came forth out of Egypt with a
numerous army to check the progress of the Syrian king. The
king of the north was also to set forth a great multitude.
The army of Antiochus, according to Polybius amounted on
this occasion to sixty-two thousand foot, six thousand
horse, and one hundred and two elephants. In the battle,
Antiochus was defeated, and his army, according to
prophecy, was given into the hands of the king of the
south. Ten thousand foot and three thousand horse were
slain, and over four thousand men were taken prisoners;
while of Ptolemy's army there were slain only seven hundred
horse, and about twice that number of infantry. p. 228,
VERSE 12. And when he hath taken away the multitude, his
heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten
thousands; but he shall not be strengthened by it. p.
229, Para. 1.
Ptolemy lacked the prudence to make a good use of his victory. Had he followed up his success, he would probably have become master of the whole kingdom of Antiochus; but content with making only a few menaces and a few threats, he made peace that he might be able to give himself up to the uninterrupted and uncontrolled indulgence of his brutish passions. Thus, having conquered his enemies, he was overcome by his vices, and, forgetful of the great name which he might have established, he spent his time in feasting and lewdness. p. 229, Para. 2.
His heart was lifted up by his success, but he was far from being strengthened by it; for the inglorious use he made of it caused his own subjects to rebel against him. But the lifting up of his heart was more especially manifested in his transactions with the Jews. Coming to Jerusalem, he there offered sacrifices, and was very desirous of entering into the most holy place of the temple, contrary to the law and religion of that place; but being, though with great difficulty, restrained, he left the place burning with anger against the whole nation of the Jews, and immediately commenced against them a terrible and relentless persecution. In Alexandria, where the Jews had resided since the days of Alexander, and enjoyed the privileges of the most favored citizens, forty thousand according to Eusebius, sixty thousand according to Jerome, were slain in this persecution. The rebellion of the Egyptians, and the massacre of the Jews, certainly were not calculated to strengthen him in his kingdom, but were sufficient rather almost totally to ruin it. p. 229, Para. 3.
VERSE 13. For the king of the north shall return, and
shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and
shall certainly come after certain years with a great army
and much riches. p. 230, Para. 1.
The events predicted in this verse were to occur
certain years. The peace concluded between Ptolemy
Philopater and Antiochus lasted fourteen years. Meanwhile
Ptolemy died from intemperance and debauchery, and was
succeeded by his son, Ptolemy Epiphanes , a child then four
or five years old. Antiochus, during the same time, having
suppressed rebellion in his kingdom, and reduced and
settled the eastern parts in their obedience, was at
leisure for any enterprise when young Epiphanes came to the
throne of Egypt; and thinking this too good an opportunity
for enlarging his dominion to be let slip, he raised an
greater than the former [for he had
collected many forces and acquired great riches in his
eastern expedition], and set out against Egypt, expecting
to have an easy victory over the infant king. How he
succeeded we shall presently see; for here new
complications enter into the affairs of these kingdoms, and
new actors are introduced upon the stage of history. p.
230, Para. 2.
VERSE 14. And in those times there shall many stand up
against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy
people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but
they shall fall. p. 230, Para. 3.
Antiochus was not the only one who rose up against the infant Ptolemy. Agathocles, his prime minister, having possession of the king's person, and conducting the affairs of the kingdom in his stead, was so dissolute and proud in the exercise of his power that the provinces which before were subject to Egypt rebelled; Egypt itself was disturbed by seditions; and the Alexandrians, rising up against Agathocles, caused him, his sister, his mother, and their associates, to be put to death. At the same time, Philip, king of Macedon, entered into a league with Antiochus to divide the dominions of Ptolemy between them, each proposing to take the parts which lay nearest and most convenient to him. Here was a rising up against the king of the south sufficient to fulfil the prophecy, and the very events, beyond doubt, which the prophecy intended. p. 230, Para. 4.
A new power is now introduced, --
the robbers of thy
people; literally, says Bishop Newton,
the breakers of
thy people. Far away on the banks of the Tiber, a kingdom
had been nourishing itself with ambitious projects and dark
designs. Small and weak at first, it grew with marvelous
rapidity in strength and vigor, reaching out cautiously
here and there to try its prowess, and test the vigor of
its warlike arm, till, conscious of its power, it boldly
reared its head among the nations of the earth, and seized
with invincible hand the helm of their affairs. Henceforth
the name of Rome stands upon the historic page, destined
for long ages to control the affairs of the world, and
exert a mighty influence among the nations even to the end
of time. p. 231, Para. 1.
Rome spoke; and Syria and Macedonia soon found a change coming over the aspect of their dream. The Romans interfered in behalf of the young king of Egypt, determined that he should be protected from the ruin devised by Antiochus and Philip. This was B.C. 200, and was one of the first important interferences of the Romans in the affairs of Syria and Egypt. Rollin furnishes the following succinct account of this matter:-- p. 231, Para. 2.
Antiochus, king of Syria, and Philip, king of Macedonia,
during the reign of Ptolemy Philopater, had discovered the
strongest zeal for the interests of that monarch, and were
ready to assist him on all occasions. Yet no sooner was he
dead, leaving behind him an infant, whom the laws of
humanity and justice enjoined them not to disturb in the
possession of his father's kingdom, than they immediately
joined in a criminal alliance, and excited each other to
shake off the lawful heir, and divide his dominions between
them. Philip was to have Caria, Libya, Cyrenaica, and
Egypt; and Antiochus, all the rest. With this view, the
latter entered Coele-Syria and Palestine, and in less than
two campaigns made an entire conquest of the two provinces,
with all their cities and dependencies. Their guilt, says
Polybius, would not have been quite so glaring, had they,
like tyrants, endeavored to gloss over their crimes with
some specious pretense; but, so far from doing this, their
injustice and cruelty were so barefaced, that to them was
applied what is generally said of fishes, that the larger
ones, though of the same species, prey on the lesser. One
would be tempted, continues the same author, at seeing the
most sacred laws of society so openly violated, to accuse
Providence of being indifferent and insensible to the most
horrid crimes; but it fully justified its conduct by
punishing those two kings according to their deserts; and
made such an example of them as ought, in all succeeding
ages, to deter others from following their example. For,
while they were meditating to dispossess a weak and
helpless infant of his kingdom by piecemeal, Providence
raised up the Romans against them, who entirely subverted
the kingdoms of Philip and Antiochus, and reduced their
successors to almost as great calamities as those with
which they intended to crush the infant king. -- Ancient
History, Book 18, chap. 50. p. 231, Para. 3.
To establish the vision. The Romans being more
prominently than any other people the subject of Daniel's
prophecy, their first interference in the affairs of these
kingdoms is here referred to as being the establishment, or
demonstration, of the truth of the vision which predicted
the existence of such a power. p. 232, Para. 1.
But they shall fall. Some refer this to those mentioned
in the first part of the verse, who should stand up against
the king of the south; others, to the robbers of Daniel's
people, the Romans. It is true in either case. If those who
combined against Ptolemy are referred to, all that need be
said is that they did speedily fall; and if it applies to
the Romans, the prophecy simply looked forward to the
period of their overthrow. p. 232, Para. 2.
VERSE 15. So the king of the north shall come, and cast
up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms
of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen
people, neither shall there by any strength to withstand.
p. 232, Para. 3.
The tuition of the young king of Egypt was entrusted by the Roman Senate to M. Emilius Lepidus, who appointed Aristomenes, an old and experienced minister of that court, his guardian. His first act was to provide against the threatened invasion of the two confederated kings, Philip and Antiochus. p. 233, Para. 1.
To this end he despatched Scopas, a famous general of AETOLIA, then in the service of the Egyptians, into his native country to raise reinforcements for the army. Having equipped an army, he marched into Palestine and Coele-Syria [Antiochus being engaged in a war with Attalus in Lesser Asia], and reduced all Judea into subjection to the authority of Egypt. p. 233, Para. 2.
Thus affairs were brought into a posture for the fulfillment of the verse before us. For Antiochus, desisting from his war with Attalus at the dictation of the Romans, took speedy steps for the recovery of Palestine and Coele-Syria from the hands of the Egyptians. Scopas was sent to oppose him. Near the sources of the Jordan, the two armies met. Scopas was defeated, pursued to Sidon, and there closely besieged. Three of the ablest generals of Egypt, with their best forces, were sent to raise the siege, but without success. At length Scopas meeting, in the gaunt and intangible specter of famine, a foe with whom he was unable to cope, was forced to surrender on the dishonorable terms of life only; whereupon he and his ten thousand men were suffered to depart, stripped and naked. Here was the taking of the most fenced cities by the king of the north; for Sidon was, both in its situation and its defenses, one of the strongest cities of those times. Here was the failure of the arms of the south to withstand, and the failure also of the people which the king of the south had chosen; namely, Scopas and his AETOLIAN forces. p. 233, Para. 3.
VERSE 16. But he that cometh against him shall do
according to his own will, and none shall stand before him:
and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand
shall be consumed. p. 233, Para. 4.
Although Egypt could not stand before Antiochus, the king of the north, Antiochus could not stand before the Romans, who now came against him. No kingdoms were longer able to resist this rising power. Syria was conquered, and added to the Roman empire, when Pompey, B.C. 65, deprived Antiochus Asiaticus of his possessions, and reduced Syria to a Roman province. p. 233, Para. 5.
The same power was also to stand in the Holy Land, and consume it. Rome became connected with the people of God, the Jews, by alliance, B.C. 162, from which date it holds a prominent place in the prophetic calendar. It did not, however, acquire jurisdiction over Judea by actual conquest till B.C. 63; and then in the following manner. p. 234, Para. 1.
On Pompey's return from his expedition against Mithridates, king of Pontus, two competitors, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, were struggling for the crown of Judea. Their cause came before Pompey, who soon perceived the injustice of the claims of Aristobulus, but wished to defer decision in the matter till after his long-desired expedition into Arabia, promising then to return, and settle their affairs as should seem just and proper. Aristobulus, fathoming Pompey's real sentiments, hastened back to Judea, armed his subjects, and prepared for a vigorous defense, determined, at all hazards, to keep the crown, which he foresaw would be adjudicated to another. Pompey closely followed the fugitive. As he approached Jerusalem, Aristobulus, beginning to repent of his course, came out to meet him, and endeavored to accommodate matters by promising entire submission and large sums of money. Pompey, accepting this offer, sent Gabinius, at the head of a detachment of soldiers, to receive the money. But when that lieutenant-general arrived at Jerusalem, he found the gates shut against him, and was told from the top of the walls that the city would not stand to the agreement. p. 234, Para. 2.
Pompey, not to be deceived in this way with impunity, put Aristobulus, whom he had retained with him, in irons, and immediately marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. The partisans of Aristobulus were for defending the place; those of Hyrcanus, for opening the gates. The latter being in the majority, and prevailing, Pompey was given free entrance into the city. Whereupon the adherents of Aristobulus retired to the mountain of the temple, as fully determined to defend that place as Pompey was to reduce it. At the end of three months a breach was made in the wall sufficient for an assault, and the place was carried at the point of the sword. In the terrible slaughter that ensued, twelve thousand persons were slain. It was an affecting sight, observes the historian, to see the priests, engaged at the time in divine service, with calm hand and steady purpose pursue their accustomed work, apparently unconscious of the wild tumult, though all around them their friends were given to the slaughter, and though often their own blood mingled with that of their sacrifices. p. 235, Para. 3.
Having put an end to the war, Pompey demolished the walls
of Jerusalem, transferred several cities from the
jurisdiction of Judea to that of Syria, and imposed tribute
on the Jews. Thus for the first time was Jerusalem placed
by conquest in the hands of that power which was to hold
glorious land in its iron grasp till it had utterly
consumed it. p. 235, Para. 1.
VERSE 17. He shall also set his face to enter with the
strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him;
thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of
women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side,
neither be for him. p. 235, Para. 2.
Bishop Newton furnishes another reading for this verse,
which seems more clearly to express the sense, as follows:
He shall also set his face to enter by force the whole
kingdom. Verse 16 brought us down to the conquest of Syria
and Judea by the Romans. Rome had previously conquered
Macedon and Thrace. Egypt was now all that remained of the
whole kingdom of Alexander, not brought into subjection
to the Roman power, which power now set its face to enter
by force into that country. p. 235, Para. 3.
Ptolemy Auletes died B.C. 51. He left the crown and kingdom of Egypt to his eldest son and daughter, Ptolemy and Cleopatra. It was provided in his will that they should marry together, and reign jointly; and because they were young, they were placed under the guardianship of the Romans. The Roman people accepted the charge, and appointed Pompey as guardian of the young heirs of Egypt. p. 235, Para. 4.
A quarrel having not long after broken out between Pompey and Caesar, the famous battle of Pharsalia was fought between the two generals. Pompey, being defeated, fled into Egypt. Caesar immediately followed him thither; but before his arrival, Pompey was basely murdered by Ptolemy, whose guardian he had been appointed. Caesar therefore assumed the appointment which had been given to Pompey, as guardian of Ptolemy and Cleopatra. He found Egypt in commotion from internal disturbances, Ptolemy and Cleopatra having become hostile to each other, and she being deprived of her share in the government. Notwithstanding this, he did not hesitate to land at Alexandria with his small force, 800 horse and 3200 foot, take cognizance of the quarrel, and undertake its settlement. The troubles daily increasing, Caesar found his small force insufficient to maintain his position, and being unable to leave Egypt on account of the north wind which blew at that season, he sent into Asia, ordering all the troops he had in that quarter to come to his assistance as soon as possible. p. 236, Para. 1.
In the most haughty manner he decreed that Ptolemy and Cleopatra should disband their armies, appear before him for a settlement of their differences, and abide by his decision. Egypt being an independent kingdom, this haughty decree was considered an affront to its royal dignity, at which the Egyptians, highly incensed, flew to arms. Caesar replied that he acted by virtue of the will of their father, Auletes, who had put his children under the guardianship of the senate and people of Rome, the whole authority of which was now vested in his person as consul; and that, as guardian, he had the right to arbitrate between them. p. 236, Para. 2.
The matter was finally brought before him, and advocates appointed to plead the cause of the respective parties. Cleopatra, aware of the foible of the great Roman conqueror, judged that the beauty of her presence would be more effectual in securing judgment in her favor than any advocate she could employ. To reach his presence undetected, she had recourse to the following stratagem: Laying herself at full length in a bundle of clothes, Apollodorus, her Sicilian servant, wrapped it up in a cloth, tied it with a thong, and raising it upon his Herculean shoulders, sought the apartments of Caesar. Claiming to have a present for the Roman general, he was admitted through the gate of the citadel, entered into the presence of Caesar, and deposited the burden at his feet. When Caesar had unbound this animated bundle, lo! the beautiful Cleopatra stood before him. He was far from being displeased with the stratagem, and being of a character described in 2 Pet. 2:14, the first sight of so beautiful a person, says Rollin, had all the effect upon him she had desired. p. 236, Para. 3.
Caesar at length decreed that the brother and sister should occupy the throne jointly, according to the intent of the will. Pothinus, the chief minister of state, having been principally instrumental in expelling Cleopatra from the throne, feared the result of her restoration. He therefore began to excite jealousy and hostility against Caesar, by insinuating among the populace that he designed eventually to give Cleopatra the sole power. Open sedition soon followed. Achillas, at the head of 20,000 men, advanced to drive Caesar from Alexandria. Skillfully disposing his small body of men in the streets and alleys of the city, Caesar found no difficulty in repelling the attack. The Egyptians undertook to destroy his fleet. He retorted by burning theirs. Some of the burning vessels being driven near the quay, several of the buildings of the city took fire, and the famous Alexandrian library, containing nearly 400,000 volumes, was destroyed. p. 237, Para. 1.
The war growing more threatening, Caesar sent into all the neighboring countries for help. A large fleet came from Asia Minor to his assistance. Mithridates set out for Egypt with an army raised in Syria and Cilicia. Antipater the Idumean joined him with 3,000 Jews. The Jews, who held the passes into Egypt, permitted the army to pass on without interruption. Without this co-operation on their part, the whole plan must have failed. The arrival of this army decided the contest. A decisive battle was fought near the Nile, resulting in a complete victory for Caesar. Ptolemy, attempting to escape, was drowned in the river. Alexandria and all Egypt then submitted to the victor. Rome had now entered into and absorbed the whole of the original kingdom of Alexander. p. 237, Para. 2.
upright ones of the text are doubtless meant the
Jews, who gave him the assistance already mentioned. With
out this, he must have failed; with it, he completely
subdued Egypt to his power, B.C. 47. x p. 238, Para. 1.
The daughter of women, corrupting her. The passion which
Caesar had conceived for Cleopatra, by whom he had one son
is assigned by the historian as the sole reason of his
undertaking so dangerous a campaign as the Egyptian war.
This kept him much longer in Egypt than his affairs
required, he spending whole nights in feasting and
carousing with the dissolute queen.
But, said the
she shall not stand on his side, neither be for
him. Cleopatra afterward joined herself to Antony, the
enemy of Augustus Caesar, and exerted her whole power
against Rome. p. 238, Para. 2.
VERSE 18. After this shall he turn his face unto the
isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf
shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without
his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. p.
238, Para. 3.
War with Pharnaces, king of Cimmerian Bosphorus, at length
drew him away from Egypt.
On his arrival where the enemy
was, says Prideaux,
he, without giving any respite either
to himself or them, immediately fell on, and gained an
absolute victory over them; an account whereof he wrote to
a friend of his in these three words: Veni, vidi, vici; I
came, I saw, I conquered. The latter part of this verse is
involved in some obscurity, and there is difference of
opinion in regard to its application. Some apply it further
back in Caesar's life, and think they find a fulfilment in
his quarrel with Pompey. But preceding and subsequent
events clearly defined in the prophecy, compel us to look
for the fulfilment of this part of the prediction between
the victory over Pharnaces, and Caesar's death at Rome, as
brought to view in the following verse. A more full history
of this period might bring to light events which would
render the application of this passage unembarrassed. p.
228, Para. 4.
VERSE 19. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of
his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be
found. p. 239, Para. 1.
After this conquest, Caesar defeated the last remaining
fragments of Pompey's party, Cato and Scipio in Africa and
Labienus and Varus in Spain. Returning to Rome, the
of his own land, he was made perpetual dictator; and such
other powers and honors were granted him as rendered him in
fact absolute sovereign of the whole empire. But the
prophet had said that he should stumble and fall. The
language implies that his overthrow would be sudden and
unexpected, like a person accidentally stumbling in his
walk. And so this man, who fought and won five hundred
battles, taken one thousand cities, and slain one million
one hundred and ninety-two thousand men, fell, not in the
din of battle and the hour of strife, but when he thought
his pathway was smooth and strewn with flowers, and when
danger was supposed to be far away; for, taking his seat in
the senate chamber upon his throne of gold, to receive at
the hands of that body the title of king, the dagger of
treachery suddenly struck him to the heart. Cassius,
Brutus, and other conspirators rushed upon him, and he
fell, pierced with twenty-three wounds. Thus he suddenly
stumbled and fell, and was not found, B.C. 44. p. 239,
VERSE 20. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of
taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he
shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. p.
239, Para. 3.
Augustus Caesar succeeded his uncle, Julius, by whom he had been adopted as his successor. He publicly announced his adoption by his uncle, and took his name, to which he added that of Octavianus. Combining with Mark Antony and Lepidus to avenge the death of Caesar, they formed what is called the triumvirate form of government. Having subsequently firmly established himself in the empire, the senate conferred upon him the title of Augustus, and the other members of the triumvirate being now dead, he became supreme ruler. p. 239, Para. 4.
He was emphatically a raiser of taxes. Luke, in speaking
of the events that transpired at the time when Christ was
And it came to pass in those days, that there
went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world
should be enrolled [for taxation]. Luke 2:1. That taxing
which embraced all the world was an event worthy of notice;
and the person who enforced it has certainly a claim to the
a raiser of taxes above every other competitor.
p. 239, Para. 5.
The St. Louis Globe Democrat, as quoted in Current
Literature for July, 1895, says:
Augustus Caesar was not
the public benefactor he is represented. He was the most
exacting tax collector the Roman world had up to that time
ever seen. p. 240, Para. 1.
And he stood up
in the glory of the kingdom. Rome
reached in his days the pinnacle of its greatness and
Augustan Age is an expression everywhere used
to denote the golden age of Roman history. Rome never saw a
brighter hour. Peace was promoted, justice maintained,
luxury curbed, discipline established, and learning
encouraged. In his reign, the temple of Janus was for the
third time shut since the foundation of Rome, signifying
that all the world was at peace; and at this auspicious
hour our Lord was born in Bethlehem of Judea. In a little
less than eighteen years after the taxing brought to view,
seeming but a
few days to the distant gaze of the
prophet, Augustus died, not in anger nor in battle, but
peacefully in his bed, at Nola, whither he had gone to seek
repose and health, A.D. 14, in the seventy-sixth year of
his age. p. 240, Para. 2.
VERSE 21. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person,
to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but
he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by
flatteries. p. 240, Para. 3.
Tiberius Caesar next appeared after Augustus Caesar on the
Roman throne. He was raised to the consulate in his twenty-eighth
year. It is recorded that as Augustus was about to
nominate his successor, his wife, Livia, besought him to
nominate Tiberius [her son by a former husband]; but the
Your son is too vile to wear the purple of
Rome; and the nomination was given to Agrippa, a very
virtuous and much-respected Roman citizen. But the prophecy
had foreseen that a vile person should succeed Augustus.
Agrippa died; and Augustus was again under the necessity of
choosing a successor. Livia renewed her intercessions for
Tiberius; and Augustus, weakened by age and sickness, was
more easily flattered,, and finally consented to nominate,
as his colleague and successor, that
vile young man. But
the citizens never gave him the love, respect, and
of the kingdom due to an upright and faithful sovereign.
p. 240, Para. 4.
How clear a fulfilment is this of the prediction that they should not give him the honor of the kingdom. But he was to come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. A paragraph from the Encyclopedia Americana shows how this was fulfilled:-- p. 241, Para. 1.
During the remainder of the life of Augustus, he
[Tiberius] behaved with great prudence and ability,
concluding a war with the Germans in such a manner as to
merit a triumph. After the defeat of Varus and his legions,
he was sent to check the progress of the victorious
Germans, and acted in that war with equal spirit and
prudence. On the death of Augustus, he succeeded, without
opposition, to the sovereignty of the empire: which,
however, with his characteristic dissimulation, he affected
to decline, until repeatedly solicited by the servile
senate. p. 241, Para. 2.
Dissimulation on his part, flattery on the part of the servile senate, and a possession of the kingdom without opposition -- such were the circumstances attending his accession to the throne, and such were the circumstances for which the prophecy called. p. 241, Para. 3.
The person brought to view in the text is called
person. Was such the character sustained by Tiberius? Let
another paragraph from the Encyclopedia answer:-- p. 241,
Tacitus records the events of this reign, including the
suspicious death of Germanicus, the detestable
administration of Sejanus, the poisoning of Drusus, with
all the extraordinary mixture of tyranny with occasional
wisdom and good sense which distinguished the conduct of
Tiberius, until his infamous and dissolute retirement, A.D.
26, to the isle of Capreae, in the bay of Naples, never to
return to Rome. On the death of Livia, A.D. 29, the only
restraint upon his actions and those of the detestable
Sejanus, was removed, and the destruction of the widow and
family of Germanicus followed. At length the infamous
favorite extended his views to the empire itself, and
Tiberius, informed of his machinations, prepared to
encounter him with his favorite weapon, dissimulation.
Although fully resolved upon his destruction, he
accumulated honors upon him, declared him his partner in
the consulate, and, after long playing with his credulity,
and that of the senate, who thought him in greater favor
than ever, he artfully prepared for his arrest. Sejanus
fell deservedly and unpitied; but many innocent persons
shared in his destruction, in consequence of the suspicion
and cruelty of Tiberius, which now exceeded all limits. The
remainder of the reign of this tyrant is little more than a
disgusting narrative of servility on the one hand, and of
despotic ferocity on the other. That he himself endured as
much misery as he inflicted, is evident from the following
commencement of one of his letters to the senate: 'What I
shall write to you, conscript fathers, or what I shall not
write, or why I should write at all, may the gods and
goddesses plague me more than I feel daily that they are
doing, if I can tell.' 'What mental torture,' observes
Tacitus, in reference to this passage, 'which could extort
such a confession!' p. 241, Para. 5.
Seneca remarks of Tiberius that he was never intoxicated
but once in his life; for he continued in a state of
perpetual intoxication from the time he gave himself to
drinking, to the last moment of his life. p. 242, Para.
Tyranny, hypocrisy, debauchery, and uninterrupted intoxication -- if these traits and practices show a man to be vile, Tiberius exhibited that character in disgusting perfection. p. 242, Para. 2.
VERSE 22. And with the arms of a flood shall they be
overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also
the prince of the covenant. p. 242, Para. 3.
Bishop Newton presents the following reading as agreeing
better with the original:
And the arms of the overflower
shall be overflown from before him, and shall be broken.
The expressions signify revolution and violence; and in
fulfilment we should look for the arms of Tiberius, the
overflower, to be overflown, or, in other words, for him to
suffer a violent death. To show how this was accomplished,
we again have recourse to the Encyclopedia Americana, art.
Tiberius:-- p. 243, Para. 4.
Acting the hypocrite to the last, he disguised his
increasing debility as much as he was able, even affecting
to join in the sports and exercises of the soldiers of his
guard. At length, leaving his favorite island, the scene of
the most disgusting debaucheries, he stopped at a country
house near the promontory of Micenum, where, on the 16th of
March, 37, he sunk into a lethargy, in which he appeared
dead; and Caligula was preparing with a numerous escort to
take possession of the empire, when his sudden revival
threw them into consternation. At this critical instant,
Macro, the pretorian prefect, caused him to be suffocated
with pillows. Thus expired the emperor Tiberius, in the
seventy-eighth year of his age, and twenty-third of his
reign, universally execrated. p. 243, Para. 1.
The prince of the covenant unquestionably refers to
the Messiah the Prince, who was to
the covenant one week with his people. Dan. 9:25-27. The
prophet, having taken us down to the death of Tiberius, now
mentions incidentally an event to transpire in his reign,
so important that it should not be passed over; namely, the
cutting off of the Prince of the covenant, or in other
words, the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to the
prophecy, this took place in the reign of Tiberius. Luke
informs us [3:1-3] that in the fifteenth year of the reign
of Tiberius Caesar, John the Baptist commenced his
ministry. The reign of Tiberius is to be reckoned,
according to Prideaux, Dr. Hales, Lardner, and others, from
his elevation to the throne to reign jointly with Augustus,
his step-father, in August, A.D. 12. His fifteenth year
would therefore be from August, A.D. 26, to August, A.D.
27. Christ was six months younger than John, and is
supposed to have commenced his ministry six months later,
both, according to the law of the priesthood, entering upon
their work when they were thirty years of age. If John
commenced in the spring, in the latter portion of
Tiberius's fifteenth year, it would bring the commencement
of Christ's ministry in the autumn of A.D. 27; and right
here the best authorities place the baptism of Christ, it
being the exact point where the 483 years from B.C. 457,
which were to extend to the Messiah the Prince, terminated;
and Christ went forth proclaiming that the time was
fulfilled. From this point we go forward three years and a
half to find the date of the crucifixion; for Christ
attended but four Passovers, and was crucified at the last
one. Three and a half years from the autumn of A.D. 27
bring us to the spring of A.D. 31. The death of Tiberius is
placed but six years later, in A.D. 37. [See on chapter
9:25-27.] p. 243, Para. 2.
VERSE 23. And after the league made with him he shall
work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become
strong with a small people. p. 244, Para. 1.
him with whom the league here spoken of is made,
must be the same power which has been the subject of the
prophecy from the 14th verse; and that this is the Roman
power is shown beyond controversy in the fulfilment of the
prophecy in three individuals, as already noticed, who
successively ruled over the Roman Empire; namely, Julius,
Augustus, and Tiberius Caesar. The first, on returning to
the fort of his own land in triumph, stumbled and fell, and
was not found. Verse 19. The second was a raiser of taxes;
and he reigned in the glory of the kingdom, and died
neither in anger nor in battle, but peacefully in his own
bed. Verse 20. The third was a dissembler, and one of the
vilest of characters. He entered upon the kingdom
peaceably, but both his reign and life were ended by
violence. And in his reign the Prince of the covenant,
Jesus of Nazareth, was put to death upon the cross. Verses
21. 22. Christ can never be broken or put to death again;
hence in no other government, and at no other time, can we
find a fulfilment of these events. Some attempt to apply
these verses to Antiochus, and make one of the Jewish high
priests the prince of the covenant, though they are never
called such. This is the same kind of reasoning which
endeavors to make the reign of Antiochus a fulfilment of
the little horn of Daniel 8; and it is offered for the same
purpose; namely, to break the great chain of evidence by
which it is shown that the Advent doctrine is the doctrine
of the Bible, and that Christ is now at the door. But the
evidence cannot be overthrown; the chain cannot be broken.
p. 244, Para. 2.
Having taken us down through the secular events of the
empire to the end of the seventy weeks, the prophet, in
verse 23, takes us back to the time when the Romans became
directly connected with the people of God by the Jewish
league, B.C. 161: from which point we are then taken down
in a direct line of events to the final triumph of the
church, and the setting up of God's everlasting kingdom.
The Jews, being grievously oppressed by the Syrian kings,
sent an embassy to Rome, to solicit the aid of the Romans,
and to join themselves in
a league of amity and
confederacy with them. 1 Mac. 8; Prideaux, II, 234;
Josephus's Antiquities, book 12, chap. 10, sec. 6. The
Romans listened to the request of the Jews, and granted
them a decree, couched in these words:-- p. 245, Para. 1.
The decree of the senate concerning a league of
assistance and friendship with the nation of the Jews. It
shall not be lawful for any that are subject to the Romans,
to make war with the nation of the Jews, nor to assist
those that do so, either by sending them corn, or ships, or
money; and if any attack be made upon the Jews, the Romans
shall assist them as far as they are able; and again, if
any attack be made upon the Romans, the Jews shall assist
them. And if the Jews have a mind to add to, or to take
from, this league of assistance, that shall be done with
the common consent of the Romans. And whatever addition
shall thus be made, it shall be of force.
was written by Eupolemus, the son of John,
and by Jason, the son of Eleazer, when Judas was high
priest of the nation, and Simon, his brother, was general
of the army. And this was the first league that the Romans
made with the Jews, and was managed after this manner. p.
245, Para. 2.
At this time the Romans were a small people, and began to work deceitfully, or with cunning, as the word signifies. And from this point they rose by a steady and rapid ascent to the height of power which they afterward attained. p. 246, Para. 1.
VERSE 24. He shall enter peacefully even upon the fattest
places of the province: and he shall do that which his
fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall
scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea,
and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds,
even for a time. p. 246, Para. 2.
The usual manner in which nations had, before the days of Rome, entered upon valuable provinces and rich territory, was by war and conquest. Rome was now to do what had not been done by the fathers or the fathers' fathers; namely, receive these acquisitions through peaceful means. The custom, before unheard of, was now inaugurated, of kings' leaving by legacy their kingdoms to the Romans. Rome came into possession of large provinces in this manner. p. 246, Para. 3.
And those who thus came under the dominion of Rome derived no small advantage therefrom. They were treated with kindness and leniency. It was like having the prey and spoil distributed among them. They were protected from their enemies, and rested in peace and safety under the aegis of the Roman power. p. 246, Para. 4.
To the latter portion of this verse, Bishop Newton gives the idea of forecasting devices from strongholds, instead of against them. This the Romans did from the strong fortress of their seven-hilled city. "Even for a time;" doubtless a prophetic time, 360 years. From what point are these years to be dated? Probably from the event brought to view in the following verse. p. 246, Para. 5.
VERSE 25. And he shall stir up his power and his courage
against the king of the south with a great army; and the
king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very
great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they
shall forecast devices against him. p. 246, Para. 6.
By verses 23 and 24 we are brought down this side of the league between the Jews and the Romans, B.C. 161, to the time when Rome had acquired universal dominion. The verse now before us brings to view a vigorous campaign against the king of the south, Egypt, and the occurrence of a notable battle between great and mighty armies. Did such events as these transpire in the history of Rome about this time? -- They did. This was the war between Egypt and Rome; and the battle was the battle of Actium. Let us take a brief view of the circumstances that led to this conflict. p. 246, Para. 7.
Mark Antony, Augustus Caesar, and Lepidus constituted the triumvirate which had sworn to avenge the death of Julius Caesar. This Antony became the brother-in-law of Augustus by marrying his sister, Octavia. Antony was sent into Egypt on government business, but fell a victim to the arts and charms of Cleopatra, Egypt's dissolute queen. So strong was the passion he conceived for her, that he finally espoused the Egyptian interests, rejected his wife, Octavia, to please Cleopatra, bestowed province after province upon the latter to gratify her avarice, celebrated a triumph at Alexandria instead of Rome, and otherwise so affronted the Roman people that Augustus had no difficulty in leading them to engage heartily in a war against this enemy of their country. This war was ostensibly against Egypt and Cleopatra; but it was really against Antony, who now stood at the head of Egyptian affairs. And the true cause of their controversy was, says Prideaux, that neither of them could be content with only half of the Roman empire; for Lepidus having been deposed from the triumvirate, it now lay between them, and each being determined to possess the whole, they cast the die of war for its possession. p. 247, Para. 1.
Antony assembled his fleet at Samos. Five hundred ships of war, of extraordinary size and structure, having several decks one above another, with towers upon the head and stern, made an imposing and formidable array. These ships carried two hundred thousand foot, and twelve thousand horse. The kings of Libya, Cilicia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Comagena, and Thrace, were there in person; and those of Pontus, Judea, Lycaonia, Galatia, and Media, had sent their troops. A more splendid and gorgeous military spectacle than this fleet of battle ships, as they spread their sails, and moved out upon the bosom of the sea, the world has rarely seen. Surpassing all in magnificence came the galley of Cleopatra, floating like a palace of gold beneath a cloud of purple sails. Its flags and streamers fluttered in the wind, and trumpets and other instruments of war made the heavens resound with notes of joy and triumph. Antony followed close after in a galley of almost equal magnificence. And the giddy queen, intoxicated with the sight of the warlike array, short-sighted and vainglorious, at the head of her infamous troop of eunuchs, foolishly threatened the Roman capital with approaching ruin. p. 247, Para. 2.
Caesar Augustus, on the other hand, displayed less pomp but more utility. He had but half as many ships as Antony, and only eighty thousand foot. But all his troops were chosen men, and on board his fleet were none but experienced seamen; whereas Antony, not finding mariners sufficient, had been obliged to man his vessels with artisans of every class, men inexperienced, and better calculated to cause trouble than to do real service in time of battle. The season being far consumed in these preparations, Caesar made his rendezvous at Brundusium, and Antony at Corcyra, till the following year. p. 248, Para. 1.
As soon as the season permitted, both armies were put in motion on both land and sea. The fleets at length entered the Ambracian Gulf in Epirus, and the land forces were drawn up on either shore in plain view. Antony's most experienced generals advised him not to hazard a battle by sea with his inexperienced mariners, but send Cleopatra back to Egypt, and hasten at once into Thrace or Macedonia, and trust the issue to his land forces, who were composed of veteran troops. But he, illustrating the old adage, Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat [whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad], infatuated by Cleopatra, seemed only desirous of pleasing her; and she, trusting to appearances only, deemed her fleet invincible, and advised immediate action. p. 248, Para. 2.
The battle was fought Sept. 2, B.C. 31, at the mouth of the gulf of Ambracia, near the city of Actium. The world was the stake for which these stern warriors, Antony and Caesar, now played. The contest, long doubtful, was at length decided by the course which Cleopatra pursued; for she, frightened at the din of battle, took to flight when there was no danger, and drew after her the whole Egyptian fleet. Antony, beholding this movement, and lost to everything but his blind passion for her, precipitately followed, and yielded a victory to Caesar, which, had his Egyptian forces proved true to him, and had he proved true to his own manhood, he might have gained. p. 248, Para. 3.
This battle doubtless marks the commencement of the
mentioned in verse 24. And as during this
were to be forecast from the stronghold, or Rome, we should
conclude that at the end of that period western supremacy
would cease, or such a change take place in the empire that
the city would no longer be considered the seat of
government. From B.C. 31, a prophetic time, or 360 years,
would bring us to A.D. 330. And it hence becomes a
noteworthy fact that the seat of empire was removed from
Rome to Constantinople by Constantine the Great in that
very year. [See Encyclopedia Americana, art.
Constantinople.] p. 249, Para. 1.
VERSE 26. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat
shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow; and many
shall fall down slain. p. 249, Para. 2.
The cause of Antony's overthrow was the desertion of his allies and friends, those that fed of the portion of his meat. First, Cleopatra, as already described, suddenly withdrew from the battle, taking sixty ships of the line with her. Secondly, the land army, disgusted with the infatuation of Antony, went over to Caesar, who received them with open arms. Thirdly, when Antony arrived at Libya, he found that the forces which he had there left under Scarpus to guard the frontier, had declared for Caesar. Fourthly, being followed by Caesar into Egypt, he was betrayed by Cleopatra, and his forces surrendered to Caesar. Hereupon, in rage and despair, he took his own life. p. 249, Para. 3.
VERSE 27. And both these kings' hearts shall be to do
mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it
shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time
appointed. p. 249, Para. 4.
Antony and Caesar were formerly in alliance. Yet under the garb of friendship they were both aspiring and intriguing for universal dominion. Their protestations of deference to, and friendship for, each other, were the utterances of hypocrites. They spoke lies at one table. Octavia, the wife of Antony and sister of Caesar, declared to the people of Rome at the time Antony divorced her, that she had consented to marry him solely with the hope that it would prove a pledge of union between Caesar and Antony. But that counsel did not prosper. The rupture came; and in the conflict that ensued, Caesar came off entirely victorious. p. 250, Para. 1.
VERSE 28. Then shall he return into his land with great
riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant;
and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. p.
250, Para. 2.
Two returnings from foreign conquest are here brought to
view; the first, after the events narrated in verses 26,
27; and the second, after this power had had indignation
against the holy covenant, and had performed exploits. The
first was fulfilled in the return of Caesar after his
expedition against Egypt and Antony. He returned to Rome
with abundant honor and riches; for, says Prideaux [II,
At this time such vast riches were brought to Rome
from Egypt on the reducing of that country, and the return
of Octavianus [Caesar] and his army from thence, that the
value of money fell one half, and the prices of provisions
and all vendible wares was doubled thereon. Caesar
celebrated his victories in a three-days' triumph, -- a
triumph which Cleopatra herself would have graced, as one
of the royal captives, had she not artfully caused herself
to be bitten by the fatal asp. p. 250, Para. 3.
The next great enterprise of the Romans after the overthrow of Egypt, was the expedition against Judea, and the capture and destruction of Jerusalem. The holy covenant is doubtless the covenant which God has maintained with his people, under different forms, in different ages of the world, that is, with all believers in him. The Jews rejected Christ; and, according to the prophecy that all who would not hear that prophet should be cut off, they were destroyed out of their own land, and scattered to every nation under heaven. And while Jews and Christians alike suffered under the oppressive hands of the Romans, it was doubtless in the reduction of Judea especially, that the exploits mentioned in the text were exhibited. p. 250, Para. 4.
Under Vespasian the Romans invaded Judea, and took the cities of Galilee, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, where Christ had been rejected. They destroyed the inhabitants, and left nothing but ruin and desolation. Titus besieged Jerusalem. He drew a trench around it, according to the prediction of the Saviour. A terrible famine ensued, the equal of which the world has, perhaps at no other time witnessed. Moses had predicted that in the terrible calamities to come upon the Jews if they departed from God, even the tender and delicate woman should eat her own children in the straitness of the siege wherewith their enemies should distress them. Under the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, a literal fulfilment of this prediction occurred; and he, hearing of the inhuman deed, but forgetting that he was the one who was driving them to such direful extremities, swore the eternal extirpation of the accursed city and people. p. 251, Para. 1.
Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70. As an honor to himself, the Roman commander had determined to save the temple; but the Lord had said that there should not remain one stone upon another which should not be thrown down. A Roman soldier seized a brand of fire, and, climbing upon the shoulders of his comrades, thrust it into one of the windows of the beautiful structure. It was soon in the arms of the devouring element. The frantic efforts of the Jews to extinguish the flames were seconded by Titus himself, but all in vain. Seeing that the temple must perish, Titus rushed in, and bore away the golden candlestick, the table of show-bread, and the volume of the law, wrapped in golden tissue. The candlestick was afterward deposited in Vespasian's Temple of Peace, and copied on the triumphal arch of Titus, where its mutilated image is yet to be seen. p. 251, Para. 2.
The siege of Jerusalem lasted five months. In that siege eleven hundred thousand Jews perished, and ninety-seven thousand were taken prisoners. The city was so amazingly strong that Titus exclaimed, when viewing the ruins, "We have fought with the assistance of God;" but it was completely leveled, and the foundations of the temple were plowed up by Tarentius Rufus. The duration of the whole war was seven years, and one million four hundred and sixty-two thousand [1,462,000] persons are said to have fallen victims to its awful horrors. p. 252, Para. 1.
Thus this power performed great exploits, and again returned to his own land. p. 252, Para. 2.
VERSE 29. At the time appointed he shall return, and come
toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as
the latter. p. 252, Para. 3.
The time appointed is probably the prophetic time of verse 24, which has been previously mentioned. It closed, as already shown, in A.D. 330, at which time this power was to return and come again toward the south, but not as on the former occasion, when it went to Egypt, nor as the latter, when it went to Judea. Those were expeditions which resulted in conquest and glory. This one led to demoralization and ruin. The removal of the seat of empire to Constantinople was the signal for the downfall of the empire. Rome then lost its prestige. The western division was exposed to the incursions of foreign enemies. On the death of Constantine, the Roman empire was divided into three parts, between his three sons, Constantius, Constantine II, and Constans. Constantine II and Constans quarreled, and Constans, being victor, gained the supremacy of the whole West. He was soon slain by one of his commanders, who, in turn, was shortly after defeated by the surviving emperor, and in despair ended his own days, A.D. 353. The barbarians of the North now began their incursions, and extended their conquests till the imperial power of the West expired in A.D. 476. p. 252, Para. 4.
This was indeed different from the two former movements brought to view in the prophecy; and to this the fatal step of removing the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople directly led. p. 252, Para. 5.
VERSE 30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against
him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have
indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he
shall even return, and have intelligence with them that
forsake the holy covenant. p. 253, Para. 1.
The prophetic narrative still has reference to the power
which has been the subject of the prophecy from the
sixteenth verse; namely, Rome. What were the ships of
Chittim that came against this power, and when was this
movement made? What country or power is meant by Chittim?
Dr. A. Clarke, on Isa. 23:1, has this note:
From the land
of Chittim it is revealed to them. The news of the
destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar is said to be brought
to them from Chittim, the islands and coasts of the
Mediterranean; for the Tyrians, says Jerome, on verse 6,
when they saw they had no other means of escape, fled in
their ships, and took refuge in Carthage, and in the
islands of the Ionian and AEGEAN Seas. So also Jochri on
the same place. Kitto gives the same locality to Chittim;
namely, the coast and islands of the Mediterranean; and the
mind is carried by the testimony of Jerome to a definite
and celebrated city situated in that land; that is,
Carthage. p. 253, Para. 2.
Was ever a naval warfare with Carthage as a base of operations, waged against the Roman empire? We have but to think of the terrible onslaught of the Vandals upon Rome under the fierce Genseric, to answer readily in the affirmative. Sallying every spring from the port of Carthage at the head of his numerous and well-disciplined naval forces, he spread consternation through all the maritime provinces of the empire. That this is the work brought to view is further evident when we consider that we are brought down in the prophecy to this very time. In verse 29, the transfer of empire to Constantinople we understood to be mentioned. Following in due course of time, as the next remarkable revolution, came the irruptions of the barbarians of the North, prominent among which was the Vandal war already mentioned. The years A.D. 428-468 mark the career of Genseric. p. 253, Para. 5.
He shall be grieved and return. This may have reference
to the desperate efforts which were made to dispossess
Genseric of the sovereignty of the seas, the first by
Majorian, the second by Leo, both of which proved to be
utter failures; and Rome was obliged to submit to the
humiliation of seeing its provinces ravaged, and its
eternal city pillaged by the enemy. [See on Rev. 8:8.]
p. 254, Para. 1.
Indignation against the covenant; that is, the Holy
Scriptures, the book of the covenant. A revolution of this
nature was accomplished in Rome. The Heruli, Goths, and
Vandals, who conquered Rome, embraced the Arian faith, and
became enemies of the Catholic Church. It was especially
for the purpose of exterminating this heresy that Justinian
decreed the pope to be the head of the church and the
corrector of heretics. The Bible soon came to be regarded
as a dangerous book that should not be read by the common
people, but all questions in dispute were to be submitted
to the pope. Thus was indignity heaped upon God's word. And
the emperors of Rome, the eastern division of which still
continued, had intelligence, or connived with the Church of
Rome, which had forsaken the covenant, and constituted the
great apostasy, for the purpose of putting down
The man of sin was raised to his presumptuous throne by the
defeat of the Arian Goths, who then held possession of
Rome, in A.D. 538. p. 254, Para. 2.
VERSE 31. And arms shall stand on his part, and they
shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take
away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the
abomination that maketh desolate. p. 254, Para. 3.
The power of the empire was committed to the carrying on
of the work before mentioned.
And they shall pollute the
sanctuary of strength, or Rome. If this applies to the
barbarians, it was literally fulfilled; for Rome was sacked
by the Goths and Vandals, and the imperial power of the
West ceased through the conquest of Rome by Odoacer. Or if
it refers to those rulers of the empire who were working in
behalf of the papacy against the pagan and all other
opposing religions, it would signify the removal of the
seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople, which
contributed its measure of influence to the downfall of
Rome. The passage would then be parallel to Dan. 8:11 and
Rev. 13:2. p. 254, Para. 4.
And they shall take away the daily sacrifice. It was
shown, on Dan. 8:13, that sacrifice is a word erroneously
supplied; that it should be desolation; and that the
expression denotes a desolating power, of which the
abomination of desolation is but the counterpart, and to
which it succeeds in point of time. The
was paganism, the
abomination of desolation is the
papacy. But it may be asked how this can be the papacy;
since Christ spoke of it in connection with the destruction
of Jerusalem. And the answer is, Christ evidently referred
to the ninth of Daniel, which is a prediction of the
destruction of Jerusalem, and not to this verse of chapter
11, which does not refer to that event. Daniel, in the
ninth chapter, speaks of desolations and abominations,
plural. More than one abomination, therefore, treads down
the church; that is, so far as the church is concerned,
both paganism and the papacy are abominations. But as
distinguished from each other, the language is restricted,
and one is the
daily desolation, and the other is pre-eminently
the transgression or "abomination" of desolation.
p. 255, Para. 1.
How was the daily, or paganism, taken away? As this is spoken of in connection with the placing or setting up of the abomination of desolation, or the papacy, it must denote, not merely the nominal change of the religion of the empire from paganism to Christianity, as on the conversion, so-called, of Constantine, but such an eradication of paganism from all the elements of the empire, that the way would be all open for the papal abomination to arise and assert its arrogant claims. Such a revolution as this, plainly defined, was accomplished; but not for nearly two hundred years after the death of Constantine. p. 255, Para. 2.
As we approach the year A.D. 508, we behold a grand crisis
ripening between Catholicism and the pagan influences still
existing in the empire. Up to the time of the conversion of
Clovis, king of France, A.D. 496, the French and other
nations of Western Rome were pagan; but subsequently to
that event, the efforts to convert idolaters to Romanism
were crowned with great success. The conversion of Clovis
is said to have been the occasion of bestowing upon the
French monarch the titles of
Most Christian Majesty and
Eldest Son of the Church. Between that time and A.D. 508,
by alliances, capitulations and conquests, the Arborici,
the Roman garrisons in the West, Brittany, the Burgundians,
and the Visigoths, were brought into subjection. p. 255,
From the time when these successes were fully accomplished; namely, 508, the papacy was triumphant so far as paganism was concerned; for though the latter doubtless retarded the progress of the Catholic faith, yet it had not the power, if it had the disposition, to suppress the faith, and hinder the encroachments of the Roman pontiff. When the prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment to paganism, it was only to perpetuate its abominations in another form; for Christianity, as exhibited in the Catholic Church, was, and is, only paganism baptized. p. 256, Para. 1.
In England, Arthur, the first Christian king, founded the Christian worship on the ruins of the pagan. Rapin [book. 2, p. 124], who claims to be exact in the chronology of events, states that he was elected monarch of Britain in 508. p. 256, Para. 2.
The condition of the See of Rome was also peculiar at this time. In 498, Symmachus ascended the pontifical throne as a recent convert from paganism. He reigned to A.D. 514. He found his way to the papal chair, says Du Pin, by striving with his competitor even unto blood. He received adulation as the successor of St. Peter, and struck the key-note of papal assumption by presuming to excommunicate the emperor Anastasius. The most servile flatterers of the pope now began to maintain that he was constituted judge in the place of God, and that he was the vice-regent of the Most High. p. 256, Para. 3.
Such was the direction in which events were tending in the West. What posture did affairs at the same time assume in the East? A strong papal party now existed in all parts of the empire. The adherents of this cause in Constantinople, encouraged by the success of their brethren in the West, deemed it safe to commence open hostilities in behalf of their master at Rome. In 508 their partisan zeal culminated in a whirlwind of fanaticism and civil war, which swept in fire and blood through the streets of the eastern capital. Gibbon, under the years 508-518, speaking of the commotions in Constantinople, says:-- p. 256, Para. 4.
The statues of the emperor were broken, and his person
was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of three days,
he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. Without his
diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius
appeared on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before
his face, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted
in the offer which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald
of abdicating the purple; they listened to the admonition
that, since all could not reign, they should previously
agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted the
blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master,
without hesitation, condemned to the lions. These furious
but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of
Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the
most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the
Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated
Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five
thousand of his fellow Christians, till he obtained the
recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and
the establishment of the Council of Chalcedon, an orthodox
treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and
more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And
such was the event of the first of the religious wars which
have been waged in the name, and by the disciples, of the
God of Peace. -- Decline and Fall, Vol. IV, p. 526. p.
257, Para. 1.
Let it be marked that in this year, 508, paganism had so far declined, and Catholicism had so far relatively increased in strength, that the Catholic Church for the first time waged a successful war against both the civil authority of the empire and the church of the East, which had for the most part embraced the Monophysite doctrine. The extermination of 65,000 heretics was the result. p. 257, Para. 2.
With the following extract, we close the testimony on this point :- p. 258, Para. 1.
We now invite our modern
Gamaliels to take a position with us in the place of the sanctuary of
paganism (since called the ‘patrimony of St. Peter’) in 508. We look a
few years into the past, and the rude paganism of the northern
barbarians is pouring down upon the nominally Christian empire of
Western Rome, triumphing everywhere, and its triumphs everywhere
distinguished by the most savage cruelty. . . . The empire falls, and
is broken into fragments. One by one the lords and rulers of these
fragments abandon their paganism, and profess the Christian faith. In
religion the conquerors are yielding to the conquered. But still
paganism is triumphant. Among its supporters there is one stern and
successful conqueror (Clovis); but soon he also bows before the power
of the new faith, and becomes its champion. He is still triumphant,
but, as a hero and conqueror, reaches the zenith at the point we
occupy, A. D. 508. p. 258, Para. 2.
In or near the same
year the last important subdivision of the fallen empire is publicly,
and by coronation of its triumphant ‘monarch,’ Christianized. p. 258,
The pontiff for the
period on which we stand, is recently converted pagan. The bloody
contest which placed him in the chair was decided by the interposition
of an Arian king. He is bowed to and saluted as filling ‘the place of
God on earth.’ The senate is so far under his power that on suspicion
that the interests of the See of Rome demand it, they excommunicate the
emperor. . . . In 508 the mine is sprung beneath the throne of the
Eastern empire. The result of the confusion and strife it occasions is
the humiliation of its rightful lord. Now the question is, At what time was paganism so far suppressed as to make room for its substitute and successor, the papal abomination? When was this abomination placed in a position to start on its career of blasphemy and blood? Is there any other date for its being ‘placed,’ or ‘set up,’ in the room of paganism but 508?
If the mystery enchantress has not now brought all her victims within
her power, she has taken her position, and some have yielded to the
fascination. The others are at length subdued; ‘and kings, and peoples,
and multitudes, and nations, and tongues’ are brought under the spell
which prepares them, even while ‘drunken with the blood of the martyrs
of Jesus,’ to ‘think they are doing God service,’ and to fancy
themselves the exclusive favorites of Heaven while becoming an easier
and richer prey for the damnation of hell. -- Second Advent Manual, pp. 79-81. p. 258, Para 4.
From these evidences we think it clear that the daily, or paganism, was taken away in A.D. 508. This was preparatory to the setting up, or establishment of the papacy, which was a separate and subsequent event. Of this the prophetic narrative now leads us to speak. p. 259, Para. 1.
And they shall place the abomination that maketh
desolate. Having shown quite fully what constituted the
taking away of the daily, or paganism, we now inquire, When
was the abomination that maketh desolate, or the papacy,
placed, or set up? The little horn that had eyes like the
eyes of man was not slow to see when the way was open for
his advancement and elevation. From the year 508 his
progress toward universal supremacy was without a parallel.
p. 259, Para. 2.
When Justinian was about to commence the Vandal war, A.D. 533, an enterprise of no small magnitude and difficulty, he wished to secure the influence of the bishop of Rome, who had then attained a position in which his opinion had great weight throughout a large portion of Christendom. Justinian therefore took it upon himself to decide the contest which had long existed between the sees of Rome and Constantinople as to which should have the precedence, by giving the preference to Rome, and declaring, in the fullest and most unequivocal terms, that the bishop of that city should be chief of the whole ecclesiastical body of the empire. A work on the Apocalypse, by Rev. George Croly, of England, published in 1827, presents a detailed account of the events by which the supremacy of the pope of Rome was secured. He gives the following as the terms in which the letter of Justinian was expressed:-- p. 259, Para. 3.
Justinian, pious, fortunate, renowned, triumphant,
emperor, consul, etc., to John, the most holy archbishop of
our city of Rome, and patriarch. p. 260, Para. 1.
Rendering honor to the apostolic chair and to your
holiness, as has been always, and is, our wish, and
honoring your blessedness as a father, we have hastened to
bring to the knowledge of your holiness all matters
relating to the state of the churches; it having been at
all times our great desire to preserve the unity of your
apostolic chair, and the constitution of the holy churches
of God, which has obtained hitherto, and still obtains. p.
260, Para. 2.
Therefore, we have made no delay in subjecting and
uniting to your holiness all the priests of the whole East.
. . . We cannot suffer that anything which relates to the
state of the church, however manifest and unquestionable,
should be moved without the knowledge of your holiness, who
is THE HEAD OF ALL THE HOLY CHURCHES; for in all things, as
we have already declared, we are anxious to increase the
honor and authority of your apostolic chair. -- Croly, pp.
114,115. p. 260, Para. 3.
The emperor's letter, continues Mr. Croly,
been sent before the 25th of March, 533; for in his letter
of that date to Epiphanius, he speaks of its having been
already dispatched, and repeats his decision that all
affairs touching the church shall be referred to the pope,
'head of all bishops, and the true and effective corrector
of heretics.' p. 260, Para. 4.
The pope, in his answer, returned the same month of the
following year, 534, observes that among the virtues of
one shines as a star, -- his reverence for the
apostolic chair, to which he has subjected and united all
the churches, it being truly the head of all. p. 260,
Novellae of the Justinian code give unanswerable
proof of the authenticity of the title. The preamble of the
9th states that
as the elder Rome was the founder of the
laws, so was it not to be questioned that in her was the
supremacy of the Pontificate. The 131st, on the
ecclesiastical titles and privileges, chapter 2, states:
We therefore decree that the most holy pope of the elder
Rome is the first of all the priesthood, and that the most
blessed archbishop of Constantinople, the new Rome, shall
hold the second rank after the holy apostolic chair of the
elder Rome. p. 260, Para. 6.
Towards the close of the sixth century, John of
Constantinople denied the Roman supremacy, and assumed for
himself the title of universal bishop; whereupon Gregory
the great, indignant at the usurpation, denounced John, and
declared, with unconscious truth, that he who would assume
the title of universal bishop was Antichrist. Phocas, in
606, suppressed the claim of the bishop of Constantinople,
and vindicated that of the bishop of Rome. But Phocas was
not the founder of papal supremacy. Says Croly,
Phocas repressed the claim of the bishop of Constantinople
is beyond a doubt. But the highest authorities among the
civilians and annalists of Rome, spurn the idea that Phocas
was the founder of the supremacy of Rome; they ascend to
Justinian as the only legitimate source, and rightly date
the title from the memorable year 533. Again he says:
reference to Baronius, the established authority among the
Roman Catholic annalists, I found the whole detail of
Justinian's grants of supremacy to the pope formally given.
The entire transaction was of the most authentic and
regular kind, and suitable to the importance of the
transfer. -- Apocalypse, p. 8. p. 261, Para. 1.
Such were the circumstances attending the decree of
Justinian. But the provisions of this decree could not at
once be carried into effect; for Rome and Italy were held
by the Ostrogoths, who were Arians in faith, and strongly
opposed to the religion of Justinian and the pope. It was
therefore evident that the Ostrogoths must be rooted out of
Rome before the pope could exercise the power with which he
had been clothed. To accomplish this object, the Italian
war was commenced in 534. The management of the campaign
was entrusted to Belisarius. On his approach toward Rome,
several cities forsook Vitijes, their Gothic and heretical
sovereign, and joined the armies of the Catholic emperor.
The Goths, deciding to delay offensive operations till
spring, allowed Belisarius to enter Rome without
The deputies of the pope and clergy, of the
senate and people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to
accept their voluntary allegiance. p. 261, Para. 2.
Belisarius entered Rome Dec. 10, 536. But this was not an end of the struggle; for the Goths, rallying their forces, resolved to dispute his possession of the city by a regular siege. They commenced in March, 537. Belisarius feared despair and treachery on the part of the people. Several senators, and Pope Sylverius, on proof or suspicion of treason, were sent into exile. The emperor commanded the clergy to elect a new bishop. After solemnly invoking the Holy Ghost, says Gibbon, they elected the deacon Vigilius, who, by a bribe of two hundred pounds of gold, had purchased the honor. p. 262, Para. 1.
The whole nation of the Ostrogoths had been assembled for the siege of Rome; but success did not attend their efforts. Their hosts melted away in frequent and bloody combats under the city walls; and the year and nine days during which the siege lasted, witnessed almost the entire consumption of the whole nation. In the month of March, 538, dangers beginning to threaten them from other quarters, they raised the siege, burned their tents, and retired in tumult and confusion from the city, with numbers scarcely sufficient to preserve their existence as a nation or their identity as a people. p. 262, Para. 2.
Thus the Gothic horn, the last of the three, was plucked up before the little horn of Daniel 7. Nothing now stood in the way of the pope to prevent his exercising the power conferred upon him by Justinian five years before. The saints, times, and laws were now in his hands, not in purpose only, but in fact. And this must therefore be taken as the year when this abomination was placed, or set up, and as the point from which to date the predicted 1260 years of its supremacy. p. 262, Para. 3.
VERSE 32. And such as do wickedly against the covenant
shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know
their God shall be strong, and do exploits. p. 262, Para.
Those that forsake the covenant, the Holy Scriptures, and think more of the decrees of popes and the decisions of councils than they do of the word of God, -- these shall he, the pope, corrupt by flatteries; that is, lead them on in their partisan zeal for himself by the bestowment of wealth, position, and honors. p. 262, Para. 5.
At the same time a people shall exist who know their God; and these shall be strong, and do exploits. These were those who kept pure religion alive in the earth during the dark ages of papal tyranny, and performed marvelous acts of self-sacrifice and religious heroism in behalf of their faith. Prominent among these stand the Waldenses, Albigenses, Huguenots, etc. p. 263, Para. 1.
VERSE 33. And they that understand among the people shall
instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword, and by
flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. p. 263,
The long period of papal persecution against those who
were struggling to maintain the truth and instruct their
fellow men in ways of righteousness, is here brought to
view. The number of the days during which they were thus to
fall is given in Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:6, 14; 13:5. The
period is called,
a time, times, and the dividing of
a time, times and a half;
a thousand two hundred
and three-score days; and
forty and two months. It is
the 1260 years of papal supremacy. p. 263, Para. 3.
VERSE 34. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen
with a little help; but many shall cleave to them with
flatteries. p. 263, Para. 4.
In Revelation 12, where this same papal persecution is brought to view, we read that the earth helped the woman by opening her mouth, and swallowing up the flood which the dragon cast out after her. The great Reformation by Luther and his co-workers furnished the help here foretold. The German states espoused the Protestant cause, protected the reformers, and restrained the work of persecution so furiously carried on by the papal church. But when they should be helped, and the cause begin to become popular, many were to cleave unto them with flatteries, or embrace the cause from unworthy motives, be insincere, hollow- hearted, and speak smooth and friendly words through a policy of self-interest. p. 263, Para. 5.
VERSE 35. And some of them of understanding shall fall,
to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to
the time of the end: because it is yet for a time
appointed. p. 264, Para. 1.
Though restrained, the spirit of persecution was not
destroyed. It broke out whenever there was opportunity.
Especially was this the case in England. The religious
state of that kingdom was fluctuating, it being sometimes
under Protestant, and sometimes papal jurisdiction,
according to the religion of the ruling house. The bloody
Queen Mary was a mortal enemy to the Protestant cause, and
multitudes fell victims to her relentless persecutions. And
this condition of affairs was to last more or less to the
time of the end. The natural conclusion would be that when
the time of the end should come, this power which the
Church of Rome had possessed to punish heretics, which had
been the cause of so much persecution, and which for a time
had been restrained, would now be taken entirely away; and
the conclusion would be equally evident that this taking
away of the papal supremacy would mark the commencement of
the period here called the
time of the end. If this
application is correct, the time of the end commenced in
1798; for there, as already noticed, the papacy was
overthrown by the French, and has never since been able to
wield the power it before possessed. That the oppression of
the church by the papacy is what is here referred to, is
evident, because that is the only one, with the possible
exception of Rev. 2:10, connected with a
or a prophetic period. p. 264, Para. 2.
VERSE 36. And the king shall do according to his will;
and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every
god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of
gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be
accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done.
p. 264, Para. 3.
The king here introduced cannot denote the same power which was last noticed; namely, the papal power; for the specifications will not hold good if applied to that power. p. 264, Para. 4.
Take a declaration in the next verse:
Nor regard any
god. This has never been true of the papacy. God and
Christ, though often placed in a false position, have never
been professedly set aside and rejected from that system of
religion. The only difficulty in applying it to a new power
lies in the definite article the; for, it is urged, the
the king would identify this as one last
spoken of. If it could be properly translated a king, there
would be no difficulty; and it is said that some of the
best Biblical critics give it this rendering, Mede, Wintle,
Boothroyd, and others translating the passage,
king shall do according to his will, thus clearly
introducing a new power upon the stage of action. p. 264,
Three peculiar features must appear in the power which
fulfills this prophecy:  It must assume the character
here delineated near the commencement of the time of the
end, to which we were brought down in the preceding verse;
 it must be a wilful power;  it must be an
atheistical power; or perhaps the two latter specifications
might be united by saying that its wilfulness would be
manifested in the direction of atheism. A revolution
exactly answering to this description did take place in
France at the time indicated in the prophecy. Voltaire had
sowed the seeds which bore their legitimate and baleful
fruit. That boastful infidel, in his pompous but impotent
self-conceit, had said,
I am weary of hearing people
repeat that twelve men established the Christian religion.
I will prove that one man may suffice to overthrow it.
Associating with himself such men as Rousseau, D'alembert,
Diderot, and other, he undertook the work. They sowed to
the wind, and reaped the whirlwind. Their efforts
culminated in the
reign of terror of 1793, when the Bible
was discarded, and the existence of the Deity denied, as
the voice of the nation. p. 265, Para. 1.
The historian thus describes this great religious change:-- p. 265, Para. 2.
It was not enough, they said, for a regenerate nation to
have dethroned earthly kings, unless she stretched out the
arm of defiance toward those powers which superstition had
represented as reigning over boundless space. -- Scott's
Napoleon, Vol. I, p. 172. p. 265, Para. 3.
Again he says:-- p. 265, Para. 4.
The constitutional bishop of Paris was brought forward to
play the principal part in the most impudent and scandalous
farce ever enacted in the face of a national representation
. . . He was brought forward in full procession, to declare
to the convention that the religion which he had taught so
many years was, in every respect a piece of PRIESTCRAFT,
which had no foundation either in history or sacred truth.
He disowned, in solemn and explicit terms, the EXISTENCE OF
THE DEITY, to whose worship he had been consecrated, and
devoted himself in future to the homage of Liberty,
Equality, Virtue and Morality. He then laid on the table
his episcopal decoration, and received a fraternal embrace
from the president of the convention. Several apostate
priests followed the example of this prelate. . . . The
world, for the FIRST time heard an assembly of men, born
and educated in civilization, and assuming the right to
govern one of the finest of the European nations, uplift
their united voice to DENY the most solemn truth which
man's soul receives, and RENOUNCE UNANIMOUSLY THE BELIEF
AND WORSHIP OF DEITY. -- Id., Vol. I, p. 173. p. 265,
A writer in Blackwood's Magazine, November, 1870, said:-- p. 266, Para. 1.
France is the only nation in the world concerning which
the authentic record survives, that as a nation she lifted
her hand in open rebellion against the Author of the
universe. Plenty of blasphemers, plenty of infidels, there
have been, and still continue to be, in England, Germany,
Spain, and elsewhere; but France stands apart in the
world's history as the single state which, by the decree of
her legislative assembly, pronounced that there was no God,
and of which the entire population of the capital, and a
vast majority elsewhere, women as well as men, danced and
sang with joy in accepting the announcement. p. 266,
But there are other and still more striking specifications which were fulfilled in this power. p. 266, Para. 3.
VERSE 37. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,
nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall
magnify himself above all. p. 266, Para. 4.
The Hebrew word for woman is also translated wife; and Bishop Newton observes that this passage would be more properly rendered "the desire of wives. This would seem to indicate that this government, at the same time it declared that God did not exist, would trample under foot the law which God had given to regulate the marriage institution. And we find that the historian has, unconsciously perhaps, and if so all the more significantly, coupled together the atheism and licentiousness of this government in the same order in which they are presented in the prophecy. He says:-- p. 266, Para. 5.
Intimately connected with these laws affecting religion
was that which reduced the union of marriage -- the most
sacred engagements which human beings can form, and the
permanence of which leads most strongly to the
consolidation of society -- to the state of a mere civil
contract of a transitory character, which any two persons
might engage in and cast loose at pleasure, when their
taste was changed or their appetite gratified. If fiends
had set themselves at work to discover a mode most
effectually destroying whatever is venerable, graceful, or
permanent in domestic life, and obtaining at the same time
an assurance that the mischief which it was their object to
create should be perpetuated from one generation to
another, they could not have invented a more effectual plan
than the degradation of marriage into a state of mere
occasional cohabitation or licensed concubinage. Sophie
Arnoult, an actress famous for the witty things she said,
described the republican marriage as the sacrament of
adultery. These anti-religious and anti-social regulations
did not answer the purpose of the frantic and inconsiderate
zealots by whom they had been urged forward. -- Scott's
Napoleon, Vol. I, p. 173. p. 267, Para. 1.
Nor regard any god. In addition to the testimony already
presented to show the utter atheism of the nation at this
time, the following fearful language of madness and
presumption is to be recorded:-- p. 267, Para. 2.
The fear of God is so far from being the beginning of
wisdom that it is the beginning of folly. Modesty is only
the invention of refined voluptuousness. The Supreme King,
the God of the Jews and the Christians, is but a phantom.
Jesus Christ is an impostor. p. 267, Para. 3.
Another writer says:-- p. 268, Para. 1.
Aug. 26, 1792, an open confession of atheism was made by
the National Convention; and corresponding societies and
atheistical clubs were everywhere fearlessly held in the
French nation. Massacres and the reign of terror became the
most horrid. -- Smith's Key to Revelation, p. 323. p.
268, Para. 2.
Hebert, Chaumette, and their associates appeared at the
bar, and declared that God did not exist. -- Alison, Vol.
I, p. 150. p. 268, Para. 3.
At this juncture all religious worship was prohibited except that of liberty and the country. The gold and silver plate of the churches was seized upon and desecrated. The churches were closed. The bells were broken and cast into cannon. The Bible was publicly burned. The sacramental vessels were paraded through the streets on an ass, in token of contempt. A week of ten days instead of seven was established, and death was declared, in conspicuous letters posted over their burial places, to be an eternal sleep. But the crowning blasphemy, if these orgies of hell admit of degrees, remained to be performed by the comedian Monvel, who, as a priest of Illuminism, said;-- p. 268, Para. 4.
God, if you exist, avenge your injured name. I bid you
defiance! You remain silent. You dare not launch your
thunders! Who, after this, will believe in your existence?
The whole ecclesiastical establishment was destroyed. --
Scott's Napoleon, Vol. I, p. 173. p. 268, Para. 5.
Behold what man is when left to himself, and what infidelity is when the restraints of law are thrown off, and it has the power in its own hands! Can it be doubted that these scenes are what the omniscient One foresaw, and noted on the sacred page, when he pointed out a kingdom to arise which should exalt itself above every god, and disregard them all? p. 268, Para. 6.
VERSE 38. But in his estate shall he honor the God of
forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor
with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and
pleasant things. p. 268, Para. 7.
We meet a seeming contradiction in this verse. How can a
nation disregard every god, and yet honor the god of
forces? It could not at one and the same time hold both
these positions; but it might for a time disregard all
gods, and then subsequently introduce another worship and
regard the god of forces. Did such a change occur in France
at this time? -- It did. The attempt to make France a
godless nation produced such anarchy that the rulers feared
the power would pass entirely out of their hands, and
therefore perceived that, as a political necessity, some
kind of worship must be introduced; but they did not intend
to introduce any movement which would increase devotion, or
develop any true spiritual character among the people, but
only such as would keep themselves in power, and give them
control of the national forces. A few extracts from history
will show this. Liberty and country were at first the
objects of adoration.
Liberty, equality, virtue, and
morality, the very opposites of anything they possessed in
fact or exhibited in practice, were words which they set
forth as describing the deity of the nation. In 1793 the
worship of the Goddess of Reason was introduced, and is
thus described by the historian:-- p. 268, Para. 8.
One of the ceremonies of this insane time stands
unrivaled for absurdity combined with impiety. The doors of
the convention were thrown open to a band of musicians,
preceded by whom, the members of the municipal body entered
in solemn procession, singing a hymn in praise of liberty,
and escorting, as the object of their future worship, a
veiled female whom they termed the Goddess of Reason. Being
brought within the bar, she was unveiled with great form,
and placed on the right hand of the president, when she was
generally recognized as a dancing girl of the opera, with
whose charms most of the persons present were acquainted
from her appearance on the stage, while the experience of
individuals was further extended. To this person, as the
fittest representative of that reason whom they worshiped,
the National Convention of France rendered public homage.
This impious and ridiculous mummery had a certain fashion;
and the installation of the Goddess of Reason was renewed
and imitated throughout the nation, in such places where
the inhabitants desired to show themselves equal to all the
heights of the Revolution. -- Scott's Life of Napoleon p. 269, Para. 1.
In introducing the worship of Reason, in 1794, Chaumette said:-- p. 270, Para. 1.
'Legislative fanaticism has lost its hold; it has given
place to reason. We have left its temples; they are
regenerated. To- day an immense multitude are assembled
under its Gothic roofs, which, for the first time, will re-echo
the voice of truth. There the French will celebrate
their true worship -- that of Liberty and Reason. There we
will form new vows for the prosperity of the armies of the
Republic; there we will abandon the worship of inanimate
idols for that of Reason -- this animated image, the
masterpiece of creation. p. 270, Para. 2.
A veiled female, arrayed in blue drapery, was brought
into the convention; and Chaumette, taking her by the hand,
-- p. 270, Para. 3.
'Mortals,' said he, 'cease to tremble before the
powerless thunders of a God whom your fears have created.
Henceforth acknowledge NO DIVINITY BUT REASON. I offer you
its noblest and purest image; if you must have idols,
sacrifice only to such as this. . . . Fall before the
august Senate of Freedom, Vail of Reason. p. 270, Para.
At the same time the goddess appeared, personified by a
celebrated beauty, Madame Millard, of the opera, known in
more than one character to most of the convention. The
goddess, after being embraced by the president, was mounted
on a magnificent car, and conducted, amidst an immense
crowd, to the cathedral of Notre Dame, to take the place of
the Deity. There she was elevated on the high altar, and
received the adoration of all present. p. 270, Para. 5.
On the 11th of November, the popular society of the
museum entered the hall of the municipality, exclaiming,
'Vive la Raison!' and carrying on the top of a pole the
half-burned remains of several books, among others the
breviaries and the Old and New Testaments, which 'expiated
in a great fire,' said the president, 'all the fooleries
which they have made the human race commit.' p. 270, Para.
The most sacred relations of life were at the same period
placed on a new footing suited to the extravagant ideas of
the times. Marriage was declared a civil contract, binding
only during the pleasure of the contracting parties.
Mademoiselle Arnoult, a celebrated comedian, expressed the
public feeling when she called 'marriage the sacrament of
adultery.' -- Id. p. 270, Para. 7.
Truly this was a strange god, whom the fathers of that generation knew not. No such deity had ever before been set up as an object of adoration. And well might it be called the god of forces; for the object of the movement was to cause the people to renew their covenant and repeat their vows for the prosperity of the armies of France. Read again a few lines from the extract already given;-- p. 271, Para. 1.
We have left its temples; they are regenerated. Today an
immense multitude is assembled under its Gothic roofs,
which for the first time, will re-echo the voice of truth.
There the French will celebrate their true worship, -- that
of Liberty and Reason. There we will form new vows for the
prosperity of the armies of the Republic. p. 271,
[During the time while the fantastic worship of reason was the national craze, the leaders of the revolution are known to history asthe atheists.But it was soon perceived that a religion with more powerful sanctions than the one then in vogue must be instituted to hold the people. A form of worship therefore followed in which the object of adoration was theSupreme Being.It was equally hollow so far as any reformation of life and vital godliness were concerned, but it took hold upon the supernatural. And while the Goddess of Reason was indeed astrange god,the statement in regard to honoring theGod of forces,may perhaps more appropriately be referred to this latter phase. See Thier'sFrench Revolution.] p. 271, Para. 3.
VERSE 39. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with
a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with
glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall
divide the land for gain. p. 271, Para. 4.
The system of paganism which had been introduced into France, as exemplified in the worship of the idol set up in the person of the Goddess of Reason, and regulated by a heathen ritual which had been enacted by the National Assembly for the use of the French people, continued in force till the appointment of Napoleon to the provisional consulate of France in 1799. The adherents of this strange religion occupied the fortified places, the strongholds of the nation, as expressed in this verse. p. 271, Para. 5.
But that which serves to identify the application of this
prophecy to France, perhaps as clearly as any other
particular, is the statement made in the last clause of the
verse; namely, that they should
divide the land for gain.
Previous to the Revolution, the landed property of France
was owned by a few landlords in immense estates. These
estates were required by the law to remain undivided, so
that no heirs or creditors could partition them. But
revolution knows no law; and in the anarchy that now
reigned, as noted also in the eleventh of Revelation, the
titles of the nobility were abolished, and their lands
disposed of in small parcels for the benefit of the public
exchequer. The government was in need of funds, and these
large landed estates were confiscated, and sold at auction
in parcels to suit purchasers. The historian thus records
this unique transaction:-- p. 272, Para. 1.
The confiscation of two thirds of the landed property of
the kingdom, which arose from the decrees of the convention
against the emigrants, clergy, and persons convicted at the
Revolutionary Tribunals. . . placed funds worth above
L700,000,000 sterling at the disposal of the government. --
Alison, Vol. IV, p. 151. p. 272, Para. 2.
When did ever an event transpire, and in what country, fulfilling a prophecy more completely than this? As the nation began to come to itself, a more rational religion was demanded, and the heathen ritual was abolished. The historian thus describes that event:-- p. 272, Para. 3.
A third and bolder measure was the discarding of the
heathen ritual and re-opening the churches for Christian
worship; and of this the credit was wholly Napoleon's, who
had to contend with the philosophic prejudices of almost
all his colleagues. He, in his conversation with them, made
no attempts to represent himself a believer in
Christianity, but stood only on the necessity of providing
the people with the regular means of worship wherever it is
meant to have a state of tranquillity. The priests who
chose to take the oath of fidelity to the government were
readmitted to their functions; and this wise measure was
followed by the adherence of not less than 20,000 of these
ministers of religion, who had hitherto languished in the
prisons of France. -- Lockhart's Life of Napoleon, Vol. I,
p. 154. p. 272, Para. 4.
Thus terminated the Reign of Terror and the Infidel Revolution. Out of the ruins rose Bonaparte, to guide the tumult to his own elevation, place himself at the head of the French government, and strike terror to the hearts of nations. p. 273, Para. 1.
VERSE 40. And at the time of the end shall the king of
the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come
against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with
horsemen, and with many ships: and he shall enter into the
countries, and shall overflow and pass over. p. 273,
After a long interval, the king of the south and the king of the north again appear on the stage of action. We have met with nothing to indicate that we are to look to any localities for these powers other than those which, shortly after the death of Alexander, constituted respectively the southern and northern divisions of his empire. The king of the south was at that time Egypt, and the king of the north was Syria, including Thrace and Asia Minor. Egypt is still, by common agreement, the king of the south, while the territory which at first constituted the king of the north, has been for the past four hundred years wholly included within the dominions of the sultan of Turkey. To Egypt and Turkey, then, in connection with the power last under consideration, we must look for a fulfilment of the verse before us. p. 273, Para. 3.
This application of the prophecy calls for a conflict to spring up between Egypt and France, and Turkey and France, in 1798, which year, as we have seen, marked the beginning of the time of the end; and if history testifies that such a triangular war did break out in that year, it will be conclusive proof of the correctness of the application. p. 273, Para. 4.
We inquire, therefore, Is it a fact that at the time of
the end, Egypt did
push, or make a comparatively feeble
resistance, while Turkey did come like a resistless
him, that is, the government of
France? We have already produced some evidence that the
time of the end commenced in 1798; and no reader of history
need be informed that in that very year a state of open
hostility between France and Egypt was inaugurated. p.
273, Para. 5.
To what extent this conflict owed its origin to the dreams
of glory deliriously cherished in the ambitious brain of
Napoleon Bonaparte, the historian will form his own
opinion; but the French, or Napoleon at least, contrived to
make Egypt the aggressor. Thus, when in the invasion of
that country he had secured his first foothold in
Alexandria, he declared that
he had not come to ravage the
country or to wrest it from the Grand Seignior, but merely
to deliver it from the domination of the Mamelukes, and to
revenge the outrages which they had committed against
France. -- Thier's French Revolution, Vol. IV, p. 268. p.
274, Para. 1.
Again the historian says:
Besides, he [Bonaparte] had
strong reasons to urge against them [the Mamelukes]; for
they had never ceased to ill-treat the French. -- Id., p.
273. p. 274, Para. 2.
The beginning of the year 1798 found France indulging in
immense projects against the English. The Directory desired
Bonaparte to undertake at once a descent upon England; but
he saw that no direct operations of that kind could be
judiciously undertaken before the fall, and he was
unwilling to hazard his growing reputation by spending the
summer in idleness.
But, says the historian,
he saw a
far-off land, where a glory was to be won which would gain
a new charm in the eyes of his countrymen by the romance
and mystery which hung upon the scene. Egypt, the land of
the Pharaohs and the Ptolemies, would be a noble field for
new triumphs. -- White's History of France, p. 469. p.
274, Para. 3.
But while still broader visions of glory opened before the eyes of Bonaparte in those Eastern historic lands, covering not Egypt only, but Syria, Persia, Hindustan, even to the Ganges itself, he had no difficulty in persuading the Directory that Egypt was the vulnerable point through which to strike at England by intercepting her Eastern trade. Hence on the pretext above mentioned, the Egyptian campaign was undertaken. p. 274, Para. 4.
The downfall of the papacy, which marked the termination of the 1260 years, and according to verse 35 showed the commencement of the time of the end, occurred on the 10th of February, 1798, when Rome fell into the hands of Berthier, the general of the French. On the 5th of March following, Bonaparte received the decree of the Directory relative to the expedition against Egypt. He left Paris May 3, and set sail from Toulon the 29th, with a large naval armament consisting of 500 sail, carrying 40,000 soldiers and 10,000 sailors. July 5, Alexandria was taken, and immediately fortified. On the 23d the decisive battle of the pyramids was fought, in which the Mamelukes contested the field with valor and desperation, but were no match for the disciplined legions of the French. Murad Bey lost all his cannon, 400 camels, and 3,000 men. The loss of the French was comparatively slight. On the 24th, Bonaparte entered Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and only waited the subsidence of the floods of the Nile to pursue Murad Bey to Upper Egypt, whither he had retired with his shattered cavalry, and so make a conquest of the whole country. Thus the king of the south was able to make a feeble resistance. p. 275, Para. 1.
At this juncture, however, the situation of Napoleon began
to grow precarious. The French fleet, which was his only
channel of communication with France, was destroyed by the
English under Nelson at Aboukir; and on September 2 of this
same year, 1798, the sultan of Turkey, under feelings of
jealousy against France, artfully fostered by the English
ambassadors at Constantinople, and exasperated that Egypt,
so long a semi-dependency of the Ottoman empire, should be
transformed into a French province, declared war against
France. Thus the king of the north [Turkey] came against
him [France] in the same year that the king of the south
pushed, and both
at the time of the end: which
is another conclusive proof that the year 1798 is the year
which begins that period; and all of which is a
demonstration that this application of the prophecy is
correct; for so many events meeting so accurately the
specifications of the prophecy could not take place
together, and not constitute a fulfilment of the prophecy.
p. 275, Para. 2.
Was the coming of the king of the north, or Turkey, like a
whirlwind in comparison with the pushing of Egypt? Napoleon
had crushed the armies of Egypt; he assayed to do the same
thing with the armies of the sultan, who were menacing an
attack from the side of Asia. Feb. 27, 1799, with 18,000
men, he commenced his march from Cairo to Syria. He first
took the fort of El-Arish, in the desert, then Jaffa [the
Joppa of the Bible], conquered the inhabitants of Naplous
at Zeta, and was again victorious at Jafet. Meanwhile, a
strong body of Turks had intrenched themselves at St. Jean
d'acre, while swarms of Mussulmans gathered in the
mountains of Samaria, ready to swoop down upon the French
when they should besiege Acre. Sir Sidney Smith at the same
time appeared before St. Jean d'acre with two English
ships, reinforced the Turkish garrison of that place, and
captured the apparatus for the siege, which Napoleon had
sent across by sea from Alexandria. A Turkish fleet soon
appeared in the offing, which, with the Russian and English
vessels then co- operating with them, constituted the
ships of the king of the north. p. 276, Para. 1.
On the 18th of March the siege commenced. Napoleon was twice called away to save some French divisions from falling into the hands of the Mussulman hordes that filled the country. Twice also a breach was made in the wall of the city; but the assailants were met with such fury by the garrison, that they were obliged, despite their best efforts, to give over the struggle. After a continuance of sixty days, Napoleon raised the siege, sounded, for the first time in his career, the note of retreat, and on the 21st of May, 1799, commenced to retrace his steps to Egypt. p. 276, Para. 2.
And he shall overflow and pass over. We have found
events which furnish a very striking fulfilment of the
pushing of the king of the south, and the whirlwind onset
of the king of the north against the French power. Thus far
there is quite a general agreement in the application of
the prophecy. We now reach a point where the views of the
expositors begin to diverge. To whom do the words he
overflow and pass over, refer? -- to France or to the king
of the north? The application of the remainder of this
chapter depends upon the answer to this question. From this
point two lines of interpretation are maintained. Some
apply the words to France, and endeavor to find a
fulfilment in the career of Napoleon. Others apply them to
the king of the north, and accordingly point for a
fulfilment to events in the history of Turkey. We speak of
these two positions only, as the attempt which some make to
bring in the papacy here is so evidently wide of the mark
that its consideration need not detain us. If neither of
these positions is free from difficulty, as we presume no
one will claim that it is, absolutely, it only remains that
we take that one which has the weight of evidence in its
favor. And we shall find one in favor of which the evidence
does so greatly preponderate, to the exclusion of all
others as scarcely to leave any room for doubt in regard to
the view here mentioned. p. 276, Para. 3.
Respecting the application of this portion of the prophecy
to Napoleon or to France under his leadership, so far as we
are acquainted with his history, we do not find events
which we can urge with any degree of assurance as the
fulfilment of the remaining portion of this chapter, and
hence do not see how it can be thus applied. It must, then,
be fulfilled by Turkey, unless it can be shown  that the
king of the north does not apply to Turkey, or
 that there is some other power besides either France or
the king of the north which fulfilled this part of the
prediction. But if Turkey, now occupying the territory
which constituted the northern division of Alexander's
empire, is not the king of the north of this prophecy, then
we are left without any principle to guide us in the
interpretation; and we presume all will agree that there is
no room for the introduction of any other power here. The
French king, and the king of the north, are the only ones
to whom the prediction can apply. The fulfilment must lie
between them. p. 277, Para. 1.
Some considerations certainly favor the idea that there
is, in the latter part of verse 40, a transfer of the
burden of the prophecy from the French power to the king of
the north. The king of the north is introduced just before,
as coming forth like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen,
and many ships. The collision between this power and the
French we have already noticed. The king of the north, with
the aid of his allies, gained the day in this contest; and
the French, foiled in their efforts, were driven back into
Egypt. Now it would seem to be the more natural application
to refer the
overflowing and passing over to that power
which emerged in triumph from that struggle; and that power
was Turkey. We will only add that one who is familiar with
the Hebrew assures us that the construction of this passage
is such as to make it necessary to refer the overflowing
and passing over to the king of the north, these words
expressing the result of that movement which is just before
likened to the fury of the whirlwind. p. 277, Para. 2.
VERSE 41. He shall enter also 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. p. 278, Para. 1.
The facts just stated relative to the campaign of the French against Turkey, and the repulse of the former at St. Jean d'acre, were drawn chiefly from the Encyclopedia Americana. From the same source we gather further particulars respecting the retreat of the French into Egypt, and the additional reverses which compelled them to evacuate that country. p. 278, Para. 2.
Abandoning a campaign in which one third of the army had
fallen victims to war and the plague, the French retired
from St. Jean d'acre, and after a fatiguing march of
twenty-six days re-entered Cairo in Egypt. They thus
abandoned all the conquests they had made in Judea; and the
glorious land, Palestine, with all its provinces, here
countries, fell back again under the oppressive
rule of the Turk. Edom, Moab, and Ammon, lying outside the
limits of Palestine, south and east of the Dead Sea and the
Jordan, were out of the line of march of the Turks from
Syria to Egypt, and so escaped the ravages of that
campaign. On this passage, Adam Clarke has the following
These and other Arabians, they [the Turks] have
never been able to subdue. They still occupy the deserts,
and receive a yearly pension of forty thousand crowns of
gold from the Ottoman emperors to permit the caravans with
the pilgrims for Mecca to have a free passage. p. 278,
VERSE 42. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the
countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. p.
279, Para. 1.
On the retreat of the French to Egypt, a Turkish fleet landed 18,000 men at Aboukir. Napoleon immediately attacked the place, completely routing the Turks, and re-establishing his authority in Egypt. But at this point, severe reverses to the French arms in Europe called Napoleon home to look after the interests of his own country. The command of the troops in Egypt was left with General Kleber, who, after a period of untiring activity for the benefit of the army, was murdered by a Turk in Cairo, and the command was left with Abdallah Manou. With an army which could not be recruited, every loss was serious. p. 279, Para. 2.
Meanwhile, the English government, as the ally of the Turks, had resolved to wrest Egypt from the French. March 13, 1800, an English fleet disembarked a body of troops at Aboukir. The French gave battle the next day, but were forced to retire. On the 18th Aboukir surrendered. On the 28th reinforcements were brought by a Turkish fleet, and the grand vizier approached from Syria with a large army. The 19th, Rosetta surrendered to the combined forces of the English and Turks. At Ramanieh a French corps of 4,000 men was defeated by 8,000 English and 6,000 Turks. At Elmenayer 5,000 French were obliged to retreat, May 16, by the vizier, who was pressing forward to Cairo with 20,000 men. The whole French army was now shut up in Cairo and Alexandria. Cairo capitulated June 27, and Alexandria, September 2. Four weeks after, Oct. 1, 1801, the preliminaries of peace were signed at London. p. 279, Para. 3.
Egypt shall not escape were the words of the prophecy.
This language seems to imply that Egypt would be brought
into subjection to some power from whose dominion it would
desire to be released. As between the French and Turks, how
did this question stand with the Egyptians? -- They
preferred French rule. In R. R. Madden's Travels in Egypt,
Nubia, Turkey, and Palestine in the years 1824-1827,
published in London in 1829, it is stated that the French
were much regretted by the Egyptians, and extolled as
for the short period they remained, they
left traces of amelioration; and that, if they could have
established their power, Egypt would now be comparatively
civilized. In view of this testimony, the language would
not be appropriate if applied to the French; the Egyptians
did not desire to escape out of their hands. They did
desire to escape from the hands of the Turks, but could
not. p. 279, Para. 3.
VERSE 43. 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. p. 280, Para. 1.
In illustration of this verse we quote the following from Historic Echoes of the Voice of God, p. 49:-- p. 280, Para. 2.
History gives the following facts: When the French were
driven out of Egypt, and the Turks took possession, the
sultan permitted the Egyptians to reorganize their
government as it was before the French invasion. He asked
of the Egyptians neither soldiers, guns, nor
fortifications, but left them to manage their own affairs
independently, with the important exception of putting the
nation under tribute to himself. In the articles of
agreement between the sultan and the pasha of Egypt, it was
stipulated that the Egyptians should pay annually to the
Turkish government a certain amount of gold and silver, and
'six hundred thousand measures of corn, and four hundred
thousand of barley.' p. 280, Para. 3.
The Libyans and the Ethiopians,
the Cushim, says Dr.
the unconquered Arabs, who have sought the
friendship of the Turks, and many of whom are tributary to
them at the present time. p. 280, Para. 4.
VERSE 44. 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 utterly to make away many. p.
280, Para. 5.
On this verse Dr. Clarke has a note which is worthy of
mention. He says:
This part of the prophecy is allowed to
be yet unfulfilled. His note was printed in 1825. In
another portion of his comment, he says:
If the Turkish
power be understood, as in the preceding verses, it may
mean that the Persians on the east, and the Russians on the
north, will at some time greatly embarrass the Ottoman
government. p. 281, Para. 1.
Between this conjecture of Dr. Clarke's, written in 1825,
and the of 1853-1856, there is certainly a
striking coincidence, inasmuch as the very powers he
mentions, the Persians on the east and the Russians on the
north, were the ones which instigated that conflict.
Tidings from these powers troubled him [Turkey]. Their
attitude and movements incited the sultan to anger and
revenge. Russia, being the more aggressive party, was the
object of attack. Turkey declared war on her powerful
northern neighbor in 1853. The world looked on in amazement
to see a government which had long been called
Man of the East, a government whose army was dispirited
and demoralized, whose treasuries were empty, whose rulers
were vile and imbecile, and whose subjects were rebellious
and threatening secession, rush with such impetuosity into
the conflict. The prophecy said that they should go forth
great fury; and when they thus went forth in the war
aforesaid, they were described, in the profane vernacular
of an American writer, as
fighting like devils. England
and France, it is true, soon came to the help of Turkey;
but she went forth in the manner described, and as is
reported, gained important victories before receiving the
assistance of these powers. p. 281, Para. 2.
VERSE 45. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his
palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet
he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. p.
281, Para. 3.
We have now traced the prophecy of the 11th of Daniel down, step by step, and have thus far found events to fulfil all its predictions. It has all been wrought out into history except this last verse. The predictions of the preceding verse having been fulfilled within the memory of the generation now living, we are carried by this one past our own day into the future; for no power has yet performed the acts here described. But it is to be fulfilled; and its fulfilment must be accomplished by that power which has been continuously the subject of the prophecy from the 40th verse down to this 45th verse. If the application to which we have given the preference in passing over these verses, is correct, we must look to Turkey to make the move here indicated. p. 281, Para. 4.
And let it be noted how readily this could be done.
Palestine, which contains the
glorious holy mountain, the
mountain on which Jerusalem stands,
between the seas, the
Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, is a Turkish province; and
if the Turk should be obliged to retire hastily from
Europe, he could easily go to any point within his own
dominions to establish his temporary headquarters, here
appropriately described as the tabernacles, movable
dwellings, of his palace; but he could not go beyond them.
The most notable point within the limit of Turkey in Asia,
is Jerusalem. p. 282, Para. 1.
And mark, also, how applicable the language to that power:
He shall come to his end, and none shall help him. This
expression plainly implies that this power has previously
received help. And what are the facts? -- In the war
against France in 1798-1801, England and Russia assisted
the sultan. In the war between Turkey and Egypt in 1838-1840,
England, Russia, Austria and Prussia intervened in
behalf of Turkey. In the Crimean War in 1853-1856, England,
France, and Sardinia supported the Turks. And in the last
Russo-Turkish War, the great powers of Europe interfered to
arrest the progress of Russia. And without the help
received in all these instances, Turkey would probably have
failed to maintain her position. And it is a notorious fact
that since the fall of the Ottoman supremacy in 1840, the
empire has existed only through the sufferance of the great
powers of Europe. Without their pledged support, she would
not be long able to maintain even a nominal existence; and
when that is withdrawn, she must come to the ground. So the
prophecy says the king comes to his end and none help him;
and he comes to his end, as we may naturally infer, because
none help him, -- because the support previously rendered
is withdrawn. p. 282, Para. 2.
Have we any indications that this part of the prophecy is soon to be fulfilled? As we raise this inquiry, we look, not to dim and distant ages in the past, whose events, so long ago transferred to the page of history, now interest only a few, but to the present living, moving world. Are the nations which are now on the stage of action, with their disciplined armies and their multiplied weapons of war, making any movement looking to this end? p. 283, Para. 1.
All eyes are now turning
with interest toward Turkey; and the unanimous opinion of statesmen is,
that the Turk is destined soon to be driven from Europe. Some years
since, a correspondent of the New York Tribune, writing from
the East, said :
Russia is arming to the teeth . . . To be avenged on
Turkey . . . Two campaigns of the Russian army will drive the Turks out of Europe. Carleton, formerly a correspondent of the Boston Journal, writing from Paris under the head of
The Eastern Question, said :-- p. 283, Para. 2.
The theme of
conversation during the last week has not been concerning the
Exposition, but the ‘Eastern Question.’ To what will it grow? Will
there be war? What is Russia going to do? What position are the Western
powers going to take? These are questions discussed not only in the cafes and restaurants, but in the Corps Legislatif.
Perhaps I cannot render better service at the present time than to
group together some facts in regard to this question, which, according
to present indications, are to engage the immediate attention of the
world. What is the ‘Eastern Question’? It is not easy to give a
definition; for to Russia it may mean one thing, to France another, and
to Austria still another; but sifted of every side issue, it may be
reduced to this, - the DRIVING OF THE TURK INTO ASIA, and a scramble
for his territory. p. 283, Para. 3.
Again he says :-- p. 283, Para. 4.
Surely the indications
are that the sultan is destined soon to see the western border of his
dominions break off, piece by piece. But what will follow? Are
Roumania, Servia, Bosnia, and Albania to set up as an independent
sovereignty together, and take position among the nations? Or is there
to be a grand rush for the estate of the Ottoman? But that is of the
future, a future not far distant. p. 283, Para. 5.
Shortly after the
foregoing extracts were written, an astonishing revolution took place
in Europe. France, one of the parties, if not the chief one, in the
alliance to uphold the Ottoman throne, was crushed by Prussia in the
Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Prussia, another party, was too much in
sympathy with Russia to interfere with her movements against the Turk.
England, a third, in an embarrassed condition financially could not
think of entering into any contest in behalf of Turkey without the
alliance of France. Austria had not recovered from blows she received
in her preceding war with Prussia; and Italy was busy with the matter
of stripping the pope of his temporal power, and making Rome the
capital of the nation. A writer in the New York Tribune
remarked that if Turkey should become involved in difficulty with
Russia, she could count on the prompt
assistance of Austria, France,
and England. But none of these powers, nor any other who would be
likely to assist Turkey, were at the time referred to in any condition
to do so, owing principally to the sudden and unexpected humiliation of
the French nation, as stated above. p. 284, Para. 1.
Russia then saw her opportunity had come. She accordingly startled all the powers of Europe in the fall of the same memorable year, 1870, by stepping forth and deliberately announcing that she designed to regard no longer the stipulations of the treaty of 1856. This treaty, concluded at the termination of the Crimean war, restricted the warlike operations of Russia in the Black Sea. But Russia must have the privilege of using those waters for military purposes, if she would carry out her designs against Turkey; hence her determination to disregard that treaty just at the time when none of the powers were in a condition to enforce it. p. 284, Para. 2.
The ostensible reason
urged by Russia for her movements in the direction, was, that she might
have a sea from and harbors in a warmer climate that the shores of the
Baltic; but the real design was against Turkey. This the Churchman,
of Hartford, Conn., in an able article on the present
states that Russia in her encroachments upon Turkey,
is not merely
seeking a sea frontier, and harbors lying on the great highway of
commerce, unclosed by arctic winters, but that, with a feeling akin to
that which inspired the Crusades, she is actuated by an intense desire
to drive the Crescent from the soil of Europe. p. 284, Para. 3.
This desire on the part of Russia has been cherished as a sacred
legacy since the days of Peter the Great. That famous prince, becoming sole emperor of Russia
in 1688, at the age of sixteen, enjoyed a prosperous reign
of thirty-seven years, to 1725, and left to his successors
last will and testament, imparting certain
important instructions for their constant observance. The
9th article of that
will enjoined the following policy:--
p. 285, Para. 1.
To take every possible means of gaining Constantinople
and the Indies [for he who rules there will be the true
sovereign of the world]; excite war continually in Turkey
and Persia; establish fortresses in the Black Sea; get
control of the sea by degrees, and also of the Baltic,
which is a double point, necessary to the realization of
our project; accelerate as much as possible the decay of
Persia; penetrate to the Persian Gulf; re-establish, if
possible, by the way of Syria, the ancient commerce of the
Levant; advance to the Indies, which are the great depot of
the world. Once there, we can do without the gold of
England. p. 285, Para. 2.
The eleventh article reads:
Interest the House of Austria
in the expulsion of the Turks from Europe, and quiet their
dissensions at the moment of the conquest of Constantinople
[having excited war among the old states of Europe], by
giving to Austria a portion of the conquest, which
afterward will or can be reclaimed.  p. 285, Para. 3.
[ The authenticity of this will has been questioned, but it outlines a policy which Russia has quite faithfully pursued.] p. 285, Para. 4.
The following facts in Russian history will show how persistently this line of policy has been followed:-- p. 285, Para. 5.
In 1696, Peter the Great wrested the Sea of Azov from the
Turks, and kept it. Next, Catherine the Great won the
Crimea. In 1812, by the peace of Bucharest, Alexander I
obtained Moldavia, and the prettily-named province of
Bessarabia, with its apples, peaches, and cherries. Then
came the Great Nicholas, who won the right of the free
navigation of the Black Sea, the Dardanelles, and the
Danube, but whose inordinate greed led him into the Crimean
war, by which he lost Moldavia, and the right of navigating
the Danube, and the unrestricted navigation of the Black
Sea. This was no doubt a severe repulse to Russia, but it
did not extinguish the designs upon the Ottoman Power, nor
did it contribute in any essential degree to the stability
of the Ottoman empire. Patiently biding her time, Russia
has been watching and waiting, and in 1870, when all the
Western nations were watching the Franco-Prussian war, she
announced to the powers that she would be no longer bound
by the treaty of 1856, which restricted her use of the
Black Sea; and since that time that sea has been, as it was
one thousand years ago, to all intents and purposes, a mare
Russicum. -- San Francisco Chronicle. p. 285, Para. 6.
Napoleon Bonaparte well understood the designs of Russia, and the importance of her contemplated movements. While a prisoner on the island of St. Helena, in conversation with his governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, he gave utterance to the following opinion:-- p. 286, Para. 1.
In the course of a few years, Russia will have
Constantinople, part of Turkey, and all of Greece. This I
hold to be as certain as if it had already taken place. All
the cajolery and flattery that Alexander practiced upon me
was to gain my consent to effect that object. I would not
give it, foreseeing that the equilibrium of Europe would be
destroyed. Once mistress of Constantinople, Russia gets all
the commerce of the Mediterranean, becomes a naval power,
and then God knows what may happen. The object of my
invasion of Russia was to prevent this, by the
interposition between her and Turkey of a new state, which
I meant to call into existence as a barrier to her Eastern
encroachments. p. 286, Para. 2.
Kossuth, also, took the same view of the political board
when he said,
in Turkey will be decided the fate of the
world. p. 286, Para. 3.
The words of Bonaparte, quoted above, in reference to the
the equilibrium of Europe, reveal the
motive which has induced the great powers to tolerate so
long the existence on the Continent of a nation which is
alien in religion, and whose history has been marked by
many inhuman atrocities. Constantinople is regarded, by
general consent, as the grand strategic point of Europe;
and the powers have each sagacity or jealousy enough to
see, or think they see, the fact that if any one of the
European powers gains permanent possession of that point,
as Russia desires to do, that power will be able to dictate
terms to the rest of Europe. This position no one of the
powers is willing that any other power should possess; and
the only apparent way to prevent it is for them all to
combine, by tacit or express agreement, to keep each other
out, and suffer the Turk to maintain his existence on the
soil of Europe. This is preserving that
balance of power
over which they are all so sensitive. But this cannot
He shall come to his end, and none shall
help him. p. 286, Para. 1.
The sick man seems determined to reduce himself most speedily to such a degree of offensiveness that Europe will be obliged to drive him into Asia, as a matter of safety to its own civilization. p. 287, Para. 1.
When Russia, in 1870,
announced her intention to disregard the treaty of 1856, the other
powers though incapable of doing anything, nevertheless, as was
becoming their ideas of their own importance, made quite a show of
offended dignity. A congress of nations was demanded, and the demand
was granted. The congress was held, and proved, as everybody expected
it would prove, simply a farce so far as restraining Russia was
concerned. The San Francisco Chronicle of March, 1871, had this paragraph touching
The Eastern-Question Congress: -- p. 287, Para. 2.
It is quite evident
that, as far as directing or controlling the actions of the Muscovite
government is concerned, the congress is little better than a farce.
England originated the idea of the congress, simply because it afforded
her an opportunity of abandoning, without actual dishonor, a position
she had assumed rather too hastily, and Russia was complacent enough to
join in the ‘little game,’ feeling satisfied that she would lose
nothing by her courtesy. Turkey is the only aggrieved party in this
dextrous arrangement. She is left face to face with her hereditary and
implacable enemy; for the nations that previously assisted her,
ostensibly through friendship and love of justice, but really through
motive of self-interest, have evaded the challenge so openly flung into
the arena by the Northern Colossus. It is easy to foresee the end of
this conference. Russia will get all she requires, another step will to
taken toward the realization of Peter the Great’s will, and the sultan
will receive a foretaste of his apparently inevitable doom -- expulsion from Europe. p. 287, Para. 3.
THE SHRINKAGE OF TURKEY (See note at close of chapter)
FURTHER SHRINKAGE OF TURKEY AS A RESULT OF THE GREAT WAR
From that point the
smoldering fires of the
Eastern Question continued to agitate and
alarm the nations of Europe, till in 1877 the flames burst forth anew.
On the 24th of April in that year, Russia declared war against Turkey,
ostensibly to defend the Christians against the inhuman barbarity of
the Turks, really to make another trial to carry out her long-cherished
determination to drive the Turk from Europe. The events and the results
of that war of 1877-1878, are of such recent date that the general
reader can easily recall them. It was evident from the first that
Turkey was overmatched. Russia pushed her approaches till the very
outposts of Constantinople were occupied by her forces. But diplomacy
on the part of the alarmed nations of Europe again stepped in to
suspend for awhile the contest. The Berlin Congress was held January
25, 1878. Turkey agreed to sign conditions of peace. The conditions
were that the straits of the Dardanelles should be open to Russian
ships; that Russia should occupy Batoum, Kars, and Erzeroum; that
Turkey should pay Russia the enormous sum of £20,000,000 sterling as a
war indemnity; and that the treaty should be signed at Constantinople.
In making this announcement the Allgemeine Zeitung added :
The eventual entry of the Russians into Constantinople cannot longer be regarded as impracticable. p. 288, Para. 1.
The Detroit Evening News of February 20, 1878, said :-- p. 288, Para. 2.
According to the latest
version of the peace conditions, Turkey - besides her territorial
losses, the surrender of a few Ironclads, the repairs of the mouth of
the Danube, the reimbursement of Russian capital invested in Turkish
securities, the indemnity to Russian subjects in Constantinople for war
losses, and the maintenance of about 100,000 prisoners of war -- will
have to pay to Russia, in round figures, a sum equivalent to about
£110,400,000 in our money. The unestimated items will easily increase
this to £120,000,000 sterling. With her taxable territory reduced
almost to poverty-stricken Asia Minor, and with her finances at present
in a condition of absolute chaos, it is difficult to see where she is
going to get the money, however ready her present rulers may be to sign
the contract. p. 288, Para. 3.
The proposition amounts
to giving the czar a permanent mortgage on the whole empire, and
contains an implied threat that he may foreclose at any time, by the
seizure of the remaining of European Turkey. In this last aspect, all
Europe has a vital interest in the matter, and particularly England,
even if the conditions were not in themselves calculated to drive
England creditors crazy, by destroying their last hope of ever getting
a cent of their large investments in Turkish bonds. It makes Russia a
preferred creditor of the bankrupt Porte, with the additional advantage
of being in possession, leaving creditors with prior claims out in the
cold. p. 289, Para. 1.
The following paragraph taken from the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August, 1878, sets forth an instructive and very suggestive exhibit of the recent shrinkage of Turkish territory;-- p. 289, Para. 2.
Any one who will take the trouble to look at a map of
Turkey in Europe dating back about sixty years, and compare
that with the new map sketched by the treaty of San Stefano
as modified by the Berlin Congress, will be able to form a
judgment of the march of progress that is pressing the
Ottoman power out of Europe. Then, the northern boundary of
Turkey extended to the Carpathian Mountains, and eastward
of the River Sereth it embraced Moldavia as far north
nearly as the 47th degree of north latitude. The map
embraced also what is now the kingdom of Greece. It covered
all of Servia and Bosnia. But by the year 1830 the northern
frontier of Turkey was driven back from the Carpathians to
the south bank of the Danube, the principalities of
Moldavia and Wallachia being emancipated from Turkish
dominion, and subject only to the payment of an annual
tribute in money to the Porte. South of the Danube, the
Servians had won a similar emancipation for their country.
Greece also had been enabled to establish her independence.
Then, as recently, the Turk was truculent and obstinate.
Russia and Great Britain proposed to make Greece a
tributary state, retaining the sovereignty of the Porte.
This was refused, and the result was the utter destruction
of the powerful Turkish fleet at Navarino, and the erection
of the independent kingdom of Greece. Thus Turkey in Europe
was pressed back on all sides. Now, the northern boundary,
which was so recently at the Danube, has been driven south
to the Balkans. Roumania and Servia have ceased even to be
tributary, and have taken their place among independent
states. Bosnia has gone under the protection of Austria, as
Roumania did under that of Russia in 1829. 'Rectified'
boundaries give Turkish territory to Servia, Montenegro,
and Greece. Bulgaria takes the place of Roumania as a self-governing
principality, having no dependence on the Porte,
and paying only an annual tribute. Even south of the
Balkans the power of the Turk is crippled, for Roumelia is
to have 'home rule' under a Christian governor. And so
again the frontier of Turkey in Europe is pressed back on
all sides, until the territory left is but the shadow of
what it was sixty years ago. To produce this result has
been the policy and the battle of Russia for more than half
a century; for nearly that space of time it has been the
struggle of some of the other 'powers' to maintain the
'integrity' of the Turkish empire. Which policy has
succeeded, and which failed, a comparison of maps at
intervals of twenty-five years will show. Turkey in Europe
has been shriveled up in the last half century. It is
shrinking back and back toward Asia, and, though all the
'powers' but Russia should unite their forces to maintain
the Ottoman system in Europe, there is a manifest destiny
visible in the history of the last fifty years that must
p. 289, Para. 3.
[A later edition of this book has added:- The latest step was taken in October, l908, when Bulgaria, including Eastern Roumelia, became an independent state, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed by Austria.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government has experienced a sudden and surprising transformation, and has taken its place among the constitutional governments of Europe. In July, 1908, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, under pressure from the revolutionary, orYoung Turk,party, which had won over most of the army to its support, announced that the constitution of 1876 was restored; and a meeting of the Chamber of Deputies, provided for by this constitution, was called for.
A reactionary movement, instigated by the sultan, and marked by terrible massacres of Armenians in nearby Asiatic provinces followed, but was quickly suppressed by the loyal troops; the sultan was deposed and placed in confinement; and his brother, who takes the title of Mohammed V, was placed upon the throne. Under the constitutional government thus provided, Turkish citizens of all classes and religions are guaranteed individual liberty and equality before the law, and there is freedom of the press and of education. In practice, however, these constitutional guarantees have not been strictly maintained.
This much desired change in Turkish governmental conditions, however, can not prevent the inevitable. The Turk must depart from Europe. USA edition pages 315-316.]
A Correspondent of the Christian Union, writing from Constantinople under date of October 8, 1878, said :-- p. 291, Para. 1.
When we consider the difficulties which now beset this feeble and tottering government, the only wonder is that it can stand for a day.
Aside from the funded debt of £200,000,000 upon which it pay no
interest, it has an enormous floating debt representing all the
expenses of the war; its employees are unpaid; its army has not been
disbanded or even reduced; and its paper money has become almost
worthless. The people have lost heart, and expect every day some new
revolution or a renewal of the war. The government does not know which
to distrust most, its friends or its enemies. p. 291, Para. 2.
Since 1878 the tendency of all movements in the East has been in the
same direction, foreboding greater pressure upon the Turkish government
in the direction of its expulsion from the soil of Europe. The
occupation of Egypt by the English, which took place in 1883, is
another step toward the inevitable result, and furnishes a movement
which the Independent, of New York, ventures to call
the beginning of the end. p. 291, Para. 3.
In 1895 the world was startled by the report of the terrible atrocities
inflicted by the Turks and Kurds upon the Armenians. Reliable reports
show that many thousands have been slaughtered, with every circumstance
of fiendish cruelty. The nations through their ambassadors protest and
threaten; the sultan promises, but does nothing. He evidently has not
the disposition, if he has the power, to stay the tide of blood.
Fanatical Moslems seem seized with a frenzy to destroy all the Armenian
men and take their wives and children to slavery or a more lamentable
fate. At the writing thousands and thousands of widows and orphans are
said to be wandering in the mountains of Armenia, perishing of cold and
hunger; and they stretch out despairing hands to England and America to
save them from total destruction. A thrill of horror has run through
Christendom, and a cry is rising from all lands, Let the Turk be driven
out, and come to his end! And yet the selfishness of the nations, and
their jealousy of each other, restrains their hands from arresting this
carnival of slaughter and ruin, by unseating the terrible Turk. How
long, O Lord, how long? p. 291, Para. 4.
Thus all evidence goes to show that the Turk must soon leave
Europe. Where will he then plant the
tabernacles of his palace? In Jerusalem? That certainly is
the most probable point. Newton on the Prophecies, p. 318,
Between the seas in the glorious holy mountain must
denote, as we have shown, some part of the Holy Land. There
the Turk shall encamp with all his powers; yet he 'shall
come to his end, and none shall help him,' -- shall help
him effectually, or deliver him. p. 292, Para. 1.
Time will soon determine this matter; and it may be but a few months. And when this takes
place, what follows? -- Events of the most momentous
interest to all the inhabitants of this world, as the next
chapter immediately shows. p. 292, Para. 2.
Note :-- This chapter was written previous to the great war. The reader will notice how the shrinkage of Turkey has since progressed, and how wonderfully other predictions are being fulfilled.
© by S. D. Goeldner,