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kingdom, therefore, which succeeded to the Persian was the Macedonian; and this kingdom was fitly represented by brass, for the Greeks were famous for their brazen armor, their usual epithet being the brazen-coated Greeks. The third kingdom is also said to bear rule over all the earth. Alexander the Great commanded that he should be called the king of all the world; not that he really conquered, or nearly conquered the whole world, but he had considerable dominions in Europe, Asia and Africa, that is, in all the three parts of the world then known; and Diodorus Siculus, and other historians, mention ambassadors coming from almost all parts of the world to congratulate Alexander upon his successes, or to submit to his empire.
That this third kingdom, therefore, was the Macedonian, there is not the least doubt. St. Jerome saith expressly," the third kingdom signifies Alexander, and the "kingdom of the Macedonians, and of the successors of "Alexander. Which is rightly named brazen, saith he; "for among all metals brass is most vocal, and tinkles "louder, and its sound is diffused far and wide, that it "portended not only the fame and power of the kingdom, "but also the eloquence of the Greek language." After the death of Alexander the kingdoms of the east were divided among his successors, but the whole still retained the name of the Macedonian empire; and Justin reckons Alexander the same to the Macedonians, as Cyrus was to the Persians, and Romulus to the Romans.
His legs of iron, his feet part of iron, and part of clay. This is interpreted by Daniel as follows: And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron
reaketh in pieces, and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron; the kingdom shall be divided, but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay; so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they
shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay, Dan. ii. 40, &c.
This fourth kingdom is described as stronger than the three preceding. As iron breaketh and bruiseth all other metals, so this was to break and subdue all the former kingdoms. The metal here is different, and consequently the nation was to be different from the preceding. The four different metals must signify the four different nations; and as the gold signified the Babylonians, the silver the Persians, and the brass the Macedonians, so the iron must necessarily denote some other nation; and that this nation was no other than that of the Romans will evidently appear from what follows.
The Romans succeeded next to the Macedonians, and therefore, in course, were next to be mentioned. The Roman empire was stronger and larger than any of the preceding. The Romans brake in pieces, and subdued, all the former kingdoms. Josephus says, that as the two arms of silver, denoted the kings of the Medes and Persians, so we might say, in like manner, that the two legs of iron signified the two Roman consuls. The iron was mixed with miry clay, and the Romans were defiled with a mixture of barbarous nations. The Roman empire was at length divided into ten lesser kingdoms, answering to the ten toes of the image. These kingdoms retained much of the old Roman strength, and manifested it upon several occasions; so that the kingdom was partly strong and partly broken. They mingled themselves with the seed of men. They made marriages and alliances one with another; but no hearty union ensued; reasons of state are stronger than those founded on the ties of blood, and interest will always avail more than affinity.
The Roman empire, therefore, is represented in a double state, first, with the strength of iron, conquering all before it, his legs of iron; and then weakened and divided by the mixture of barbarous nations, his feet part of iron, and part of clay. It subdued Syria, and made the kingdom of the Seleucida a Roman province in the year 65 before Christ; it subdued Egypt, and made the kingdom of the Lagidæ a Roman province in the year 30 before Christ: and in the fourth century after Christ it be
gan to be torn in pieces by the incursions of the barbarous nations.
St. Jerome lived to see the incursions of the barbarous nations; and his comment is, "that the fourth kingdom, "which plainly belongs to the Romans, is the iron that "breaketh and subdueth all things; but his feet and toes 66 are part of iron, and part of clay, which is most mani"festly proved at this time: For as in the beginning "nothing was stronger and harder than the Roman em"pire, so in the end of things nothing is weaker; since "both in civil wars, and against divers nations, we want "the assistance of other barbarous nations." He hath given the same interpretation in other parts of his works; and it seemeth that he had been blamed for it, as a reflection upon the government; and therefore he maketh this apology for himself: "If (saith he) in explaining the "statue and the difference of his feet and toes, I have in66 terpreted the iron and clay of the Roman kingdom, "which the scripture foretels should be first strong, and "then weak, let them not impute it to me, but to the pro"phet; for we must not so flatter princes, as to neglect "the verity of the holy scriptures, nor is a general dis"putation an injury to a single person."
All ancient writers, both Jewish and Christian, agree with St. Jerome in explaining the fourth king to be the Roman. The celebrated Mr Mede, who was as able a judge as any person whatever in these matters, has made the following very just observation: "The Roman em"pire (says he) was believed to be the fourth kingdom "of Daniel by the church of Israel both before and in "our Saviour's time; received by the disciples of the "prophets, and the whole Christian church for the first "300 years, without any known contradiction. And I "confess, having so good a ground in scripture, it is with "me little less than an article of faith."
Exclusive of this wonderful image, Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream a stone cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces: Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold broken in pieces togeth er, and became like the chaff of the threshing floors, and
the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth: Which is thus interpreted and explained by Daniel, And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever: Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain_without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold, ver. 44, 45.
By this was evidently meant the kingdom of Christ, which was set up during the days of the last of the before mentioned kingdoms. The stone was totally a very dif ferent thing from the image, and the kingdom of Christ is totally different from the kingdoms of the world. The stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and was to be a building of God, an house not made with hands. This the fathers generally apply to Christ himself, who was miraculously born of a virgin without the concurrence of a man; but it should rather be understood of the kingdom of Christ, which was formed out of the Roman empire, not by number of hands, or strength of armies, but without human means, and the assistance of second causes. This kingdom was set up by the God of heaven; and from hence the phrase of the kingdom of heaven came to signify the kingdom of the Messiah; and so it was used and understood by the Jews, and so it is applied by our Saviour in the New Testament. Other kingdoms were raised by human ambition and worldly power; but this was the work not of man but of God; this was truly as it is called the kingdom of heaven, and a kingdom not of this world; its laws, its powers, were all divine. This kingdom was never to be destroyed, as the Babylonian, the Persian, and the Macedonian empires have been, and, in a great measure, also the Roman. This kingdom was to break in pieces and consume all the kingdoms, to spread and enlarge itself, so that it should comprehend within itself all the former kingdoms.
In short, it was to fill the whole earth, to become univer. sal, and to stand for ever.
As the fourth kingdom, or the Roman empire, was represented in a twofold state, first strong and flourishing with legs of iron, and then weakened and divided with feet and toes part of iron and part of clay; so this fifth kingdom, or the kingdom of Christ, is described likewise in two states, which Mr Mede very justly distinguishes by the names of the kingdom of the stone, and the kingdom of the mountain; the first, when the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands; the second when it became itself a mountain and filled the whole earth. The stone was cut out of the mountain without hands; that is, the kingdom of Christ was first set up while the Roman empire was in its full strength with legs of iron. The Roman empire was afterwards divided into ten lesser kingdoms, the remains of which are still subsisting. The image is still standing upon his feet and toes of iron and clay; the kingdom of Christ is still the stone cut out of the mountain; this stone will one day smite the image upon the feet and toes, and destroy it utterly, and will itself become a great mountain and fill the whole earth: or, in other words, the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever, Rev. xi. 15. We have, therefore, seen the kingdom of the stone, but we have not yet seen the kingdom of the mountain. Some parts of this prophecy still remain to be fulfilled; and from the exact completion of the other parts there is not the least doubt but that the rest, in due season, will be fully accomplished.
This interpretation of the fifth kingdom is consonant to the sense of all ancient writers, both Jews and Christians. Jonathan Bell Uzziel, who made the Chaldee Targum, or paraphrase upon the prophecies, lived a little before our Saviour. He did not, indeed, make any Chaldee version of Daniel, but he applies his prophecies in his interpretation of those of other prophets. Thus, in a paraphrase upon Habakuk, he speaketh of the four great kingdoms of the earth, that they should, in their turns, be destroyed, and be succeeded by the kingdom of