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three very different powers by one and the same symbol, thereby involving the history of those powers in the most impenetrable obscurity and the most perplexing uncertainty. To repeat an observation which I have already made, if various symbols be used to represent the same thing, we shall be in no danger of mistaking the prophet's meaning, provided only we can ascertain the import of each individual symbol; but, if, on the contrary, in the course of a single passage, the same symbol be used to express many different things, it will be impossible to understand a prophecy couched in such ambiguous terms, because we can never be sure, when we proceed to consider the prophecy article by article, to which of those different things each article is to be referred. On these grounds I feel myself compelled to reject Mr. Kett's interpretation of the history of the little horn, as resting upon no solid foundation, and receiving no warrant from the plain language of Daniel.
Mr. Galloway, avoiding the perplexity introduced by Mr Kett, supposes, that the little horn is one, and only one, power; which power he conjectures to be revolutionary France. Many however are the difficulties which must be overcome, before such an opinion as this can be satisfactorily established. The difficulties are these. The horn is termed by the prophet a little horn, and is represented as a distinct power from the other ten horns; whereas France is not only one of these ten horns, but the very largest of them all and this little horn is to subdue three of the first kings, to wear out the saints of the Most High, and to continue in power during the space of a time, and times, and the dividing of time; whereas none of these murks appear, at the first sight, to be at all applicable to revolutionary France.
With regard to the epithet little, Mr. Galloway will not allow it to be taken in the literal and most obvious sense. "It cannot," says he, "be little in respect to strength and power; but he is, in the sense of the prophet, as I humbly apprehend, little, and of no weight, in the scale of virtue and religion, and of little or no account in the sight and estimation of God. He is little and worthless, because he is to exceed in wickedness all be
fore him. In this sense the word is used in many passages of Scripture.* Moreover his power, however great for a time, is little, because it is to continue but a little time when compared with other prophetic periods; and it is little indeed when compared with the power of Christ, who, according to St. Paul, shall consume it with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy it with the brightness of his coming. With this sense of the word little all its other tropes, as we shall presently find, are in perfect agreement; and therefore we may conclude it is the true literal sense." The three kingdoms, which the_little horn was to subdue, Mr. Galloway conjectures to be the kingdom of France, the Stadholderate of Holland, and the Helvetic union or Swiss confederacy. And the saints of the Most High, whom it was to wear out, he supposes to be the popish clergy of France and such of the laity as adhered to them.§-The prophet however asserts, that the little horn was to wear out the saints during the space of three years and a half. These years have been usually thought to be prophetic years, in which case they would be the same period as the forty-two prophetic months, or the twelve hundred and sixty prophetic days : but Mr. Galloway maintains, that they are mere natural or solar years; and cites, in proof of his supposition, the history of Nebuchadnezzar, whose madness was to continue seven times, or seven natural years, not seven prophetic years. The three times and a half then, during which the horn was to wear out the saints, are, according to Mr. Galloway, the three natural years and a half, during which Christianity was formally suppressed by law in France. "Taking," says he, "certain late events, which have come to pass in France, as my guide, I am led to interpret these numbers into three (literal) years and a half a construction, not only justified by the text, but clearly supported by the events. For, if we date the beginning of this period, at the time of the last dreadful decree for the exile of the clergy, and its mur
† Comment. p. 401.
*The texts, which Mr. Galloway cites in favour of this interpretation, are the following: 1 Sam. xv. 17-Nehem. ix. 32-Isaiah xl. 15-Micah v. 2.
Ibid. p. 419.
derous execution; and its end, at the time of the decree granting to the Christians, who remained in France, and had, through the mercies of God, been wonderfully preserved, a free toleration of their religion: we shall find it a time, times, and the dividing of time, or exactly three years and a half. The decree for the exile of the clergy passed the 26th of August 1792, but the murderous execution of it was not finished until the latter end of the following month. From that time no person in France dared to mention the name of God, or of his blessed Son Jesus Christ, but with disrespect and contempt; or, if he did, he was scorned and insulted, and put to death as a fanatic. This is therefore a proper epoch, from whence to date the giving up the saints into the hands of the little horn, or the then horrible government of France, whose power was then styled the reign of terror and of death. As to the end of this prophetic period, the event is equally demonstrative of it. For from the end of September 1792, when the clergy were imprisoned and massacred, (for they were not permitted even to go into exile) the distressing state of the Christians in France surpasses description. Death, the most horrible, was continually staring them in the face. The guillotine, the cannon, musket, and national baths, were in constant exercise; and the minds of every man, woman, and child, professing Christianity, were smitten with the dread of immediate death. In this dreadful state (a state in which, according to the literal sense of the text, they were given into the hand of the French government) they remained until the latter end of March 1796; when, glutted with Christian blood, the atheistical demagogues passed a decree, granting a full toleration of all kinds of religion, which virtually repealed all the decrees against fanatics, and delivered the Christians out of their hands. Now, if we calculate the time between the latter end of September 1792, and the latter end of March 1796, we shall find it, in the language of prophecy, a time, times, and a dividing of time; which, when interpreted, is exactly a period of three years and a half.”*
*Comment. p. 417.
This hypothesis of Mr. Galloway is, I fear, no better founded than that of Mr. Kett.
Whatever the epithet little may signify in other parts of Scripture,* the context sufficiently shews, that, when applied to the eleventh horn of the Roman beast, it simply means small in point of size. There is a very sensible rule, that words used in the same passage antithetically or relatively must bear the same kind of signification. Thus, when Ezekiel, in one continued clause, speaks of a righteous man turning from his righteousness to iniquity, and of a wicked man turning from his wickedness to righteousness:† no one can reasonably doubt, that the righteousness, which the one has forsaken, is the very righteousness, which the other has attained; or that the iniquity, which the one has plunged into, is no less an aberration from the will of God, (though it may not be precisely the same mode of aberration,) than the iniquity, which the other has happily forsaken. Unless this be allowed, the antithesis and relation of the words righteous man and wicked man, and righteousness and wickedness, are entirely destroyed; and the whole passage is consequently deprived of all definiteness of meaning. If then we advert to the context of the passage, wherein the little horn is mentioned, we shall find, that the prophet beheld four great beasts coming up from the sea;
* I am not perfectly clear, that the word little ever occurs in Scripture in the sense of morally worthless. The passages, cited by Mr. Galloway in support of this interpretation of the word, afford it no support whatsoever. In all of them, without exception, the epithet little is used in the sense of worthless or trifling in point of value or consequence, not in that of worthless in point of religion and morality. It is superfluous to observe, that there is a most essential difference between these two kinds of worthlessness. Cruden, than whom few men were better acquainted with the bible, does not mention the sense of morally worthless among the different scriptural significations which he supposes the word little to bear and Parkhurst only gives three meanings of the radical yi, here used by Daniel, namely small in point of size, time, and quantity. The matter, after all, is reducible to this. We are not concerned with what the English word little may mean, when it occurs in Scripture; but with what the Hebrew word y, which occurs in this particular passage, means. Let the reader then turn to Calasio's Heb. Concordance, and he will soon be satisfied, that the word never signifies morally worthless. Mr. Galloway does not seem to have been aware, that this word y is not used in any one of the passages to which he refers in proof of his interpretation. Consequently, even if our English translation little had signified morally worthless in all of them, he would have been no nearer to the establishing of his opinion. In one of them indeed the cognate word yy is used but this no more bears the sense of morally worthless than 1. In the three others, three entirely different words are employed; all of which are alike translated little.
+ Ezek. xviji. 26, 27.
and that one of these great beasts had a little horn, which sprung up among his other ten larger horns. In a similar manner, if we advert to the context of the passage, wherein the little horn of the he-goat or third great beast is mentioned,* we shall find, that this he-goat is said to have had one great horn; from the broken stump of which came up four notable horns, and also a little horn which came forth out of one of the four notable horns.† With such a double context then before us, is it reasonable to suppose, that the four great beasts, and the great horn, mean literally four beasts, and a horn, large in point of size; but that the little horn does not mean literally a horn small in point of size, but figuratively a morally worthless horn? To make the two passages at all consistent, the same kind of signification must be borne by the word great, as by the word little: consequently, if a little horn mean a morally worthless state, a great horn, and a great beast will mean a morally worthy state or empire. But, since this conclusion is a manifest absurdity, and since a great horn and a great beast certainly mean a large state or empire, a little horn must necessarily mean a small state. France however is both a large state, and one of the ten horns; and the little horn, whatever it may be, is both a small state, and not one of the ten horns: France therefore most undeniably cannot be symbolized by the little horn.
Having thus shewn, that the little horn cannot be France, it may seem almost unnecessary to prosecute the matter any further; for, if the horn itself be not France, none of the particulars which are predicated of the horn can be applied to that country. Nevertheless, in order that the non-identity of France and the little horn may be the more satisfactorily established, I shall likewise consider the other points wherein Mr. Galloway thinks that he has discovered an agreement between them.
The little horn is to depress three of the first ten horns. These, according to Mr. Galloway, are the monarchy of
*The he-goat symbolizes the same power as the leopard in the preceding vision of the four beasts. + Dan. viii. 8, 9.