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the former; for neither Cyrus, nor any of his successors, ever carried their arms into Africa or Spain so far as Nebuchadnezzar is reported to have done; but it was inferior, as being worse than the former; for it may be truly asserted that the kings of Persia were the worst race of men that ever governed an empire.

III. "His body and his thighs of brass," which Daniel thus interprets, verse 39: "And another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.".

It is well known, that Alexander the great subverted the Persian empire. The kingdom therefore which succeeded the Persian, was the Macedonian; and this kingdom was fitly represented by brass, for the Greeks were famous for their brazen armour, their usual epithet being, the brazen coated Greeks. Daniel's interpretation in Josephus, is, that another coming from the west, completely armed in brass, shall destroy the empire of the Medes and Persians. This third kingdom is also said to bear rule over all the earth, by a figure usual in almost all authors. Alexander himself commanded that he should be called "the king of all the world;" not that he conquered, or nearly conquered, the whole world, but he had considerable dominions

in all the three parts of the world then known,

"

that is, in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Diodorus Siculus and other historians give an account of ambassadors coming from almost all the world to congratulate him upon his success, or to submit to his empire; and then especially, as Arrian remarks, did Alexander appear to himself, and to those about him, to be master both of all the earth and the sea. That this third kingdom was the Macedonian, every one allows.

IV. "His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay; which is thus interpreted by Daniel, verses 40 to 43 : "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh 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, for as much 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 unto another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."

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. As Josephus said, that the two arms of silver denoted the kings of the Medes and Persians, so we might say in the 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, as we shall see hereafter.

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 with the seed of men, they made marriages and alliances one with another, but no hearty union ensued. The Roman empire therefore is represented in a double state; first with the strength of iron conquering all before it, its legs of iron; and then weakened and divided by mixtures 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 began to be torn in pieces by the incursions of the barbarous nations.

Jerome lived to see the incursions of the barbarous nations; and all ancient writers, Jewish and Christian, agree with him in explaining the fourth kingdom to be the Roman. As able and consummate a judge as any in these matters observes, that the Roman empire was the fourth kingdom of Daniel, and was believed to be so, by the Church of Israel, both before and in our Saviour's time; by the disciples of the apostles, and by the whole christian church for the first 300 years, without any known contradiction.

V. Besides this image, Nebuchadnezzar saw, verses 34, 35: "Till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Thus was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that

Mede, B. 4. Epist. 6. 9. 736.

smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." This is thus interpreted and explained by Daniel, verses 44, 45: "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 for 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 elay, the silver, and the gold."

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This description can with propriety only be understood as the ancients understood it, of the

kingdom of Christ. "And in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom;" accordingly the kingdom of Christ was set up during the days of the last of these kingdoms, that is the Roman.

The stone was totally a different thing from the image and the kingdoms of this world. The stone was cut out of the mountain without hands. The kingdom of Christ was set up first, while the Roman empire was in its full strength, with legs of iron. The Roman empire was afterwards divided into ten kingdoms; the remains of which are subsisting at present. The image is still standing upon his feet and toes of iron and clay;

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