The Coming Prince
CHAPTER XV: THE COMING PRINCE
"WHAT is it that all Europe is looking for?" – the
words are quoted from a leading article in the Times newspaper,
on the recent finding of Agamemnon's tomb. "What is it that all Europe
is looking for? It is the KING OF MEN, the great head of the Hellenic
race, the man whom a thousand galleys and a hundred thousand men submitted
to on a simple recognition of his personal qualities, and obeyed for ten
long years…The man who can challenge for his own the shield of Agamemnon,
now waiting for the challenge, is the true Emperor of the East, and the
easiest escape from our present difficulties."
The realization of this dream will be the fulfillment of
1. The Times, Monday, 18th December, 1876.
True it is that popular movements characterize the age, rather than the
power of individual minds. It is an age of mobs. Democracy, not despotism,
is the goal towards which civilization is tending. But democracy in its
full development is one of the surest roads to despotism. First, the revolution;
then, the plebiscites; then, the despot. The Caesar often owes his
scepter to the mob. A man of transcendent greatness, moreover, never fails
to leave his mark upon his times. And the true King of Men must have an
extraordinary combination of great qualities. He must be "a scholar, a statesman,
a man of unflinching courage and irrepressible enterprise, full of resources,
and ready to look in the face a rival or a foe." The opportunity too
must synchronize with his advent. But the voice of prophecy is clear, that
the HOUR is coming, and the MAN.
In connection with this dream or legend of the reappearance
of Agamemnon, it is remarkable that the language of Daniel's second vision
has led some to fix on Greece as the very place in which the Man of prophecy
shall have his rise; and it leaves no doubt whatever that he will appear
within the territorial limits of the old Grecian empire.
2. The Times, 18th December, 1876.
Having predicted the formation of the four kingdoms into
which Alexander's conquests became divided at his death, the angel Gabriel
– the divinely-appointed interpreter of the vision – proceeded
thus to speak of events which must take place in days to come. "In the latter
time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king
of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy
wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty
and the holy people. And through his policy also, he shall cause craft to
prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace
shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;
but he shall be broken without hand."
3. That Antichrist is to arise from the eastern part
of the Roman empire, and from that part of the east which fell under
the rule of Alexander's successors, is rendered unquestionable by this
chapter. But, seeing that in the eleventh chapter he is mentioned as
conflicting with the king of the north (i. e., the king of Syria),
and also with the king of the south (i. e., the king of Egypt),
it is plain that he does not arise either from Egypt or Syria. He must,
therefore, arise either from Greece or from the districts immediately
contiguous to Constantinople. It is true that if he arose from the latter,
or indeed from either of the four, he would be esteemed Greek in origin,
because all the four were divisions of the Greek empire; but it seems
far more probable that Greece proper will be the place of his rise.
He is described as 'waxing great towards the south and towards the east,
and towards the pleasant land'; that is, toward Egypt, Syria, and Palestine
– a description that would geographically suit the position of
one who was supposed to be in Greece.
"Moreover, a 'little horn' (an emblem not of that which he is as an
individual, but of that which he is as a monarch) is a symbol that well
suits one who should arise from one of those petty principalities which
once abounded in Greece, and have even still their memorial in the throne
of the sovereigns of Montenegro." – NEWTON Ten Kingdoms,
In the vision of the seventh chapter, the last great monarch
of the Gentiles was represented only as a blasphemer and a persecutor: "He
shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints
of the Most High;" but here he is described as being also a general and
a diplomatist. Having thus obtained a recognized place in prophecy, he is
alluded to in the vision which follows as "the Prince who is coming," (Daniel
9:26) – a well-known personage, whose advent had already been foretold;
and the mention of him in Daniel's fourth and final vision is so explicit,
that having regard to the vital importance of establishing the personality
of this "King," the passage is here set forth at length.
4. Daniel 8:23-25. The entire passage is quoted ante
"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. 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. But in his estate he shall 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. 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. 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. 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. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries:
and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the
treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt;
and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out
of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go
forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 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. And
at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for
the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as
never was since there was a nation even to that same time. and at that time
thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in
The burden of Daniel's prophecies is Judah and Jerusalem,
but the Apocalyptic visions of the beloved disciple have a wider scope.
The same scenes are sometimes presented, but they are displayed upon a grander
scale. The same actors appear, but in relation to larger interests and events
of greater magnitude. In Daniel, the Messiah is mentioned only in relation
to the earthly people, and it is in the same connection also that the false
Messiah comes upon the stage. In the Apocalypse the Lamb appears as the
Savior of an innumerable multitude "out of all nations, and kindreds, and
peoples, and tongues," (Revelation 7:9) and the Beast is seen as the persecutor
of all who name the name of Christ on earth. The visions of St. John, moreover,
include an opened heaven, while the glimpses Daniel was vouchsafed of "things
to come" are limited to earth.
5. Daniel 11:36-45; 12:1. I am inclined to believe
that the entire passage from ver. 5 of Daniel 11: will receive a future
fulfillment, and I have no doubt of this as regards the passage beginning
with ver. 21. See especially ver. 31. But the future application of
the portion quoted in the text is unquestionable. Although the chapter
in part refers to Antiochus Epiphanes, "there are traits which have
nothing to correspond to them in Antiochus, which are even the exact
contradictory of the character of Antiochus, but which do reappear in
St. Paul's account of the Antichrist to come." I quote from Dr. Pusey.
He adds (Daniel p. 93): "The image of the Antichrist of the Old
Testament melts into the lineaments of the Antichrist himself…
One trait only of the anti-religious character of Antichrist was true
of Antiochus also; 'he shall speak marvelous things against the God
of gods. ' Blasphemy against God is an essential feature of any God-opposed
power or individual. It belongs to Voltaire as much as to Antiochus.
All besides has no place in him …The characteristics of this infidel
king are (1) self-exaltation above every god; 'he shall magnify himself
above every god'; (2) contempt of all religion; (3) blasphemy against
the true God; (4) apostasy from the God of his fathers; (5) disregarding
the desire of women; (6) the honoring of a god whom his fathers knew
not. Of all these six marks, one only, in the least, agrees with Antiochus."
The entire passage is valuable, and the arguments conclusive. A remark
at p. 96 suggests that Dr. Pusey identifies this king with the second
"Beast" of Revelation 13., and this view is maintained by others on
the ground that a "Beast" in prophecy typifies kingly power. This is
true generally, but the second beast of Revelation 13: is expressly
called "the false Prophet" (Revelation 19:20); and the passage proves
that he is immediately connected with the first beast, and claims no
position independently of him. The difficulties in the way of supposing
him to be a king in his own right are insuperable.
The attempt to fix the meaning of every detail of these visions is to ignore
the lessons to be derived from the Messianic prophecies fulfilled at the
first advent. The old Scriptures taught the pious Jew to look for a personal
Christ – not a system or a dynasty, but a person. They enabled
him, moreover, to anticipate the leading facts of His appearing. Herod's
question, for example, "Where should Christ be born?" admitted of a definite
and unhesitating answer, "In Bethlehem of Judea." (Matthew 2:4; Cf.
Micah 5:2) But to assign its place and meaning to every part of the mingled
vision of suffering and glory was beyond the power even of the inspired
prophets themselves." (1 Peter 1:10-12) So also is it with the prophecies
of Antichrist. The case indeed is stronger still, for while they "who waited
for redemption in Israel" had to glean the Messianic prophecies from Scriptures
which seemed to the careless reader to refer to the sufferings of the old
Hebrew prophets or the glories of their kings, the predictions of Antichrist
are as distinct and definite as though the statements were historical and
And yet the task of the expositor is beset with real difficulties.
If the book of Daniel might be read by itself no question whatever could
arise. "The Coming Prince" is there presented as the head of the revived
Roman empire of the future, and a persecutor of the saints. There is not
a single statement respecting him that presents the smallest difficulty.
But some of the statements of St. John seem inconsistent with the earlier
prophecies. According to Daniel's visions the sovereignty of Antichrist
appears confined to the ten kingdoms, and his career seems limited to the
duration of the seventieth week. How then can this be reconciled with the
statement of St. John that "power was given him over all kindreds and tongues
and nations, and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him "? Is
it credible, moreover, that a man endowed with such vast supernatural powers,
and filling so marvelous a place in prophecy, will be restrained within
the narrow limits of the Roman earth?
6. A similar remark applies to the refusal to recognize
the main outlines of the character and history of Antichrist. Fulfilled
prophecy is our only safe guide in studying the unfulfilled.
7. The religious skeptic may refuse to accept their literal meaning,
and the profane skeptic, in rejecting the fanciful interpretations of
the pious, may dismiss the prophecies themselves as incredible; but
this is only a further proof that their definiteness is too pronounced
to admit of the half-faith accorded to other Scriptures.
If these points be urged as objections to the truth of Scripture
it is enough to mark that the prophecies of Christ were beset with kindred
difficulties. Such prophecies are like the disjointed pieces of an elaborate
and intricate mosaic. To fit each into its place would baffle our utmost
ingenuity. To discover the main design is all we can expect; or if more
be demanded of us, it is enough to show that no part is inconsistent with
the rest. And these results will reward the student of the Apocalyptic visions
of Daniel and St. John, if only he approach them untrammeled by the crude
views which prevail respecting the career of Antichrist.
8. Revelation 13:7, 8. In the best reading of ver.
7, the same four words occur as in 7:9 –" nations, kindred's,
people, and tongues."
These visions are not a history, but a drama. In the twelfth chapter of
Revelation we see the woman in her travail. In the twenty-first chapter
she is manifested in her final glory. The intervening chapters afford brief
glimpses of events which fill up the interval. It is with the thirteenth
and seventeenth chapters that we have specially to do in connection with
the present subject, and it is clear that the later vision unfolds events
which come first in the order of time.
The false church and the true are typified under kindred emblems. Jerusalem,
the Bride, has its counterpart in Babylon, the Harlot. In the same sense
in which the New Jerusalem is the Jewish church, so likewise Babylon is
the apostasy of Rome. The heavenly city is mother of the redeemed for ages
past (Galatians 4:26) the earthly city is mother of the harlots and abominations
of the earth. (Revelation 17:5) The victims who have perished in the persecutions
of Antichristian Papal Rome are estimated at fifty millions of human
beings; but even this appalling record will not be the measure of her doom.
The blood of "holy apostles and prophets," – the martyred dead of
ages before the Papacy arose, and even of pre-Messianic times, will be required
of her when the day of vengeance comes.
As it is only in its Jewish aspect that the Church is expressly
symbolized as the Bride, so also it is at a time when this, their normal
relationship, has been regained by the covenant people, that the apostate
church of Christendom, in the full development of its iniquity, appears
as the Harlot The vision clearly indicates moreover a marked revival
of her influence. She is seen enthroned upon the ten-horned Beast, herself
arrayed in royal hues and decked with gold and costliest gems. The infamous
greatness of Papal Rome in times gone by shall yet be surpassed by the splendor
of her glories in dark days to come, when, having drawn within her pale
it may be all that usurps the name of Christ on earth, she will claim
as her willing vassal the last great monarch of the Gentile world.
9. Revelation 18:20. So also in 17:6, the saints
(the slaughtered dead of Old Testament times) are distinguished
from the martyrs of Jesus. Luke 11:50, 51 sets forth the principle of
As regards the duration of this period of Rome's final triumphs,
Scripture is silent; but the crisis which brings it to a close is definitely
marked. "The ten horns and the Beast shall hate the
whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and
burn her with fire." (Revelation 17:16)
10. In Scripture the church of this dispensation is
symbolized as the Body of Christ, never as the Bride. From the close
of John Baptist's ministry the Bride is never mentioned until she appears
in the Apocalypse (John 3:29; Revelation 21:2, 9). The force of the
"nevertheless" in Ephesians 5:33 depends on the fact that the Church
is the Body, not the Bride. The earthly relationship is readjusted
by a heavenly standard. Man and wife are not one body, but Christ and
His church are one body, therefore a man is to love his wife "even as
11. This, I believe, is the element of truth in the view of Auberlen
and others, that the woman of chap. 17 is the woman of chap. 12., "the
faithful city become an harlot" (Isaiah 1:21).
12. "I incline to think that the judgment (chap. 18:2) and the spiritual
fornication (chap. 18:3), though finding their culmination in Rome,
are not restricted to it, but comprise the whole apostate church, Roman,
Greek, and even Protestant, in so far as it has been seduced from its
first love to Christ, and (has) given its affections to worldly pomps
and idols." – REV. A. R. FAUSSET'S Commentary.
One point in the angel's description of the Beast
in relation to the harlot claims special notice. The seven heads have a
twofold symbolism. When viewed in connection with the harlot, they are "seven
mountains on which the woman sits;" but in their special relation to the
Beast they have a different significance. The angel adds, "and they are
seven kings"; that is "kingdoms," the word being used "according to
its strict prophetic import, and to the analogy of that portion of the prophecy
which is here especially in view."
In the seventh chapter of Daniel the Beast is identified
with the Roman Empire. In the thirteenth of Revelation he is identified
also with the lion, the bear, and the panther, the three first "kingdoms'"
of Daniel's vision. But here he is seen as the heir and representative,
not of these alone, but of all the great world-powers which have set themselves;
in opposition to God and to His people. The seven heads typify these powers.
"Five are fallen, and one is." Egypt, Nineveh, Babylon, Persia, Greece,
had fallen; and Rome then held the scepter of earthly sovereignty, the sixth
in succession to the empires already named. "And the other is not yet
come, and when he cometh he must continue a short space," Here the prophecy
is marked by the same strange "foreshortening" already noticed in each of
Daniel's visions. While Rome was the sixth kingdom, the seventh is the confederacy
of the latter days, heading up in "the Coming Prince." The Coming Prince
himself, in the full and final development of his power, is called the eighth,
though belonging to the seven, The importance of these conclusions will
appear in the sequel.
13. ALFORD, Greek Test. in loco. Comp. Daniel
The subject of the twelfth chapter is the dragon, the woman
in her travail, the birth of the man-child and his rapture to heaven; the
conflict in heaven between the archangel and the dragon; (Verse 7; Compare
Daniel 12:1.) the dragon's banishment to earth; his persecution of the woman,
and her flight to the wilderness, where she is sustained for "a time, and
times, and half a time," or 1, 260 days (Verses 6, 14.) (the second half
of Daniel's seventieth week). The chapter ends by the statement that, baffled
in attempting to destroy the woman, the dragon "went to make war with the
remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony
of Jesus Christ." The thirteenth chapter, crossing the lines of Daniel's
visions, represents the fulfillment of the dragon's purpose through the
agency of the man of prophecy, whom he energizes to this end. Whatever meaning
be attached to the birth and rapture of the woman's child, there can be
no reasonable doubt that the obedient, faithful "remnant of her seed" is
the Jewish Church of the latter days, the persecuted "saints of the Most
High" of Daniel's prophecy.
14. Just as the mention of the ten horns upon the beast
has set men trying to discover in the past a tenfold division of the
Roman earth, so also these seven heads have suggested the idea of seven
successive forms of government in the Roman empire. Neither of these
conceptions would ever have been heard of, but for the prophecy of which
they are supposed to be the fulfillment. The second, though not so visionary
as the first, is open to the special objection that the word pipto
betokens a violent fall, such as the catastrophe of ancient Babylon,
or of the Babylon of the Apocalypse (comp. Revelation 18:2). It is wholly
unsuitable to express such changes as marked the government of ancient
15. Revelation 17:10 expressly states that the duration of the seventh
will be brief. Dean Alford's comment on this is not marked by his usual
candor. The words in ver. 11 are ek ton hepta,
but this cannot mean merely that the Beast is "the successor
and result of the seven" (Alford), for ver. 10 limits the entire succession
to seven. Though because of his awful pre-eminence he is described as
the eighth, yet he is really the supreme head of the seventh.
The serpent, the woman, and the man, appear together on the earliest page
of Scripture, and they reappear upon the latest. But how significant and
terrible the change! No longer the subtle tempter, Satan is now displayed
in all his awfulness as the great fiery dragon, who seeks to destroy
the woman's promised seed. And instead of the humbled penitent of Eden,
the man appears as a wild beast, a monster, both in power and wickedness.
The serpent's victim has become his willing slave and ally.
God has found a man to fulfill all His will, and to Him He
has given up His throne, with all power in heaven and "on earth." This will
hereafter be travestied by Satan, and the coming man shall have the dragon's
"power, and his throne, and great authority." (Revelation 8:2) Both the
Dragon and the Beast are seen crowned with royal diadems. (Revelation 12:3;
13:1.) Once, and only once, again in Scripture the diadem is mentioned,
and then it is as worn by Him whose name is "King of kings and Lord of lords."
(Revelation 19:12-16) It must be as pretenders to His power that the Beast
and the Dragon claim it.
16. drakon purrhos megas, Revelation 12:3. "He is purrhos
perhaps, for the combined reasons of the wasting properties of
fire, and the redness of blood" (Alford, Greek Test., in loco). Compare
ver. 9, "The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the
Devil and Satan." The dragon both of Scripture and of heathen mythology
is a serpent, and both refer to Satan. It is described by Homer as of
huge size, coiled like a snake, of blood-red or dark color, and many-headed.
"He seems to use the words drakon and ophis indifferently
for a serpent" (Liddell and Scott).
17. The tharion or
wild-beast of Revelation 8., etc., must not be confounded with
the dzoon or
living-being of chap. 4., most unfortunately rendered beast in
The personality of Satan and his interest in and close connection with our
race throughout its history, are among the most certain though most mysterious
facts of revelation. The popular classification of angels, men, and devils,
as including intelligent creation, is misleading. The angels
that fell are "reserved in everlasting chains, under
darkness, unto the judgment of the Great Day." (Jude 6) Demons are
frequently mentioned in the narrative of the Gospels, and they have also
a place in the doctrine of the Epistles. But THE DEVIL is a being who, like
the Archangel, seems, in his own domain, to have no peer
Another fact which claims notice here is
the hold which serpent worship has had upon mankind. Among the nations of
the ancient world there was scarcely one in whose religious system it had
not a place. In heathen mythology there is scarcely a hero or a god whose
history is not connected in some way with the sacred serpent. "Wherever
the devil reigned the serpent was held in some peculiar veneration."
18. That is, the beings who before
their fall were angels of God. The word angel in its secondary
sense means no more than a messenger or attendant, and Satan has his
angels (Revelation 12:7). The word is used of John Baptist's disciples
in Luke 7:24.
19. Our translators have used the word devil as a generic term
for fallen beings other than men, but the word from which it is derived
has not this scope in Greek. A duibolos is
a slanderer, and the word is so used in 1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3;
Titus 2:3. But the diabolos is Satan,
of whom alone the term is used elsewhere in the New Testament, save
only in John 6:70, where it is applied to Judas Iscariot. The word daimonion,
which occurs fifty-two times in the Gospels, and seven times in the
rest of the New Testament, is invariably rendered devil, save
in Acts 17:18 (gods). In classical Greek it means generally the Deity,
especially an inferior god; and in the New Testament, an evil spirit,
The ultimate reference of Ezekiel 28: appears to be to Satan, and in
the passage beginning, "Thou hast been in Eden in the garden of God,"
he is apostrophized as "the anointed cherub" (ver. 14). The cherubim
appear to have some special relation to our race and world, hence their
connection with the tabernacle. Can it be that our earth was at one
time their domain, that Satan was of their number, and that he recognized
in Adam a creature appointed to succeed him in the very scene of his
glory and his fall?
The true significance of this depends on a just appreciation
of the nature of idol worship. It may be questioned whether idolatry as
popularly understood has ever prevailed except among the most debased and
ignorant of races. It is not the emblem that is worshipped, but a power
or being which the emblem represents. When the Apostle warned the Corinthian
Church against participating in anything devoted to an idol, he was careful
to explain that the idol in itself was nothing. "But"
(he declared) "the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to
demons, not to God, and I would not that ye should have fellowship
with demons." (1 Corinthians 10:20.)
20. Bp. Stillingfleet; quoted in Encyc.
Metro., article on "Serpent Worship," q. v. In Bryant's Ancient
Mythology will be found a chapter on Ophiolatry (vol. 2., p. 197,
3rd ed., and see also p. 458) which fully warrants the general statements
of the text.
This will afford an insight into the character of
the predicted serpent worship of the last days. Satan's master lie will
be a travesty of the incarnation: he will energize a man who will claim
universal worship as being the manifestation of the Deity in human form.
And not only will there be a false Messiah, but another being, his equal
in miraculous power, yet having for his only mission to obtain for him the
homage of mankind. The mystery of the Godhead will thus be parodied by the
mystery of iniquity, and the Father, the Son, and the Spirit will have their
counterpart in the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet.
A silent heaven marks this age of grace. Whirlwind and earthquake
and fire may awe, yet, as in the days of the old Hebrew prophet, God
is not in these, but in the "still small voice" which tells of mercy and
seeks to win lost men from the power of darkness to Himself. But the very
silence which betokens that the throne of God is now a throne of grace is
appealed to as the crowning proof that God is but a myth; and the coarse
blasphemer's favorite trick is to challenge the Almighty to declare Himself
by some signal act of judgment. In days to come, the impious challenge will
be taken up by Satan, and death shall seize on men who refuse to bow before
the image of the Beast.
21. "All the world wondered after the Beast; and they
worshipped the Dragon (serpent) which gave power unto the Beast; and
they worshipped the Beast" (Revelation 13:3, 4).
22. The lamb-like Beast of Revelation 13:11, called the False Prophet
in Revelation 19:20. The language of 13:3, 12, suggests that there will
be some impious travesty of the resurrection of our Lord.
The Antichrist will be more than a profane and brutal persecutor
like Antiochus Epiphanes and some of the Emperors of Pagan Rome; more than
a vulgar impostor like Barcochab. Miracles alone can silence the skepticism
of apostates, and in the exercise of all the Dragon's delegated power, the
Beast will command the homage of a world that has rejected grace.
"All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written
in the book of life." (Revelation 8:8) If it were possible, the very
elect would be deceived by his mighty "signs and wonders"; (Matthew 24:24)
but faith, divinely given, is a sure, as it is the only, safeguard against
credulity and superstition.
23. The Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind
rent the mountains, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the
wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after
the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the
fire, a still small voice" (1 Kings 19:11, 12).
24. In the persecutions under Pagan Rome, death was often the penalty
for refusing to worship Caesar's image; but Revelation 13:15 clearly
points to some mysterious death which shall result in the very presence
of the image of the future Caesar. The same power which will enable
the False Prophet to give life to the image, will destroy the life of
him who refuses to worship it.
But this is what he will become in the zenith of his career.
In his origin he is described as a "little horn," (Daniel 7:8) – like
Alexander of Macedon, the king of a petty kingdom. Possibly he will be the
head of some new Principality to arise in the final dismemberment of Turkey;
it may be on the banks of the Euphrates, or perhaps upon the Asian shore
of the Aegean Sea. The name of Babylon is strangely connected with events
to come, and Pergamus, so long the home of serpent worship in its vilest
forms, is the only place on earth which Scripture has identified with Satan's
throne (Revelation 2:13).
25. In one of the darkest hours of their history, when
the continued persecution of the Jews threatened the race with utter
extinction, Barcochab proclaimed himself the Messiah, and led them in
a revolt against the Romans, which ended in a carnage of the ill-fated
people more horrible than any which had preceded it (A. D. 130-132).
The man seems to have been a contemptible impostor who duped the people
by juggler's tricks, such as blowing fire from his mouth; and yet he
attained to such an eminence, and brought about disasters so terrible,
that some have sought to find in his career the fulfillment of the prophecies
Of the great political changes which must precede his advent, the most conspicuous
are the restoration of the Jews to Palestine, and the predicted division
of the Roman earth. The former of these events has already been considered
in a previous chapter, and as regards the latter there is but little to
be said. The attempt to enumerate the ten kingdoms of the future would involve
a profitless inquiry. History repeats itself; and if there be any element
of periodicity in the political diseases by which nations are afflicted,
Europe will inevitably pass through another crisis such as that which darkened
the last decade of the eighteenth century. And should another revolution
produce another Napoleon, it is impossible to foretell how far kingdoms
may become consolidated, and boundaries may be changed. Moreover in forecasting
the fulfillment of these prophecies, we are dealing with events which, while
they may occur within the lifetime of living men, may yet be delayed for
centuries. Our part is not to prophecy, but only to interpret; and we may
well rest content with the certainty that when the Apocalyptic visions are
in fact fulfilled, their fulfillment will be clear, not merely to minds
educated in mysticism, but to all who are capable of observing public facts.
Through the gradual unfolding, it may be, of influences even
now in operation; or far more probably as the outcome of some great European
crisis in the future
26. See App. 2.,