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anterior to the commencement of the seven times; and it will remain, under its final political arrangement, to their very termination. Nor can the parallel duration of the brass be denied, if we attend to the varied fortunes of the brazen Empire. Both the kingdom of Macedon in particular, and the Grecian States in general, existed before the commencement of the seven times: they were of course, therefore, in existence, as binding or coercing Powers, when those times did commence, though in the vision they are first apparent only upon the belly and thighs of the image. As the stream of conquest rolled eastward, the iron was joined to the brass: but, unlike the gold and silver, the brass was not melted down into the iron. So far from it, the brazen band remained distinct from the iron band: and, though the two were for a season wreathed together so as to form one compound band of brass and iron, yet they never cohered. On the contrary, having soon separated themselves, they have ever since been two distinct bands; first under the names of the Latin Empire and the Greek Empire, and afterward under the names of the Western Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Thus, through the whole period of the seven prophetic times, has the mystical stump been firmly rivetted to the ground by the iron band of Rome and the brazen band of Greece; the two for a short season wreathed together, though not confounded; but existing, for by far the longest term, in a perfectly separate state. These two solid bands, without asking or needing the aid of the gold and the silver, have hitherto made sure the kingdom of the great compound image: and, as we may abundantly collect from prophecy, they will cease not to make it sure unto the very end of the seven allotted times of moral insanity. 4. The conclusion, to be drawn from the hieroglyphical picture, is abundantly obvious. The types of the iron band and the brazen band, which are plainly superfluous in the literal history of Nebuchadnezzar's madness, are most artfully introduced as connecting links, by which, in exposition, the stump of the tree may be tied to the great compound image'. But, if the iron band and the brazen band correspond with the iron and the brass t * The irrelevancy of the iron band and the brazen band to the history of the individual Nebuchadnezzar has long been felt. In the time of Jerome, it was even urged as an objection to the narrative itself, on the ground that Nebuchadnezzar, during his madness, was never bound, so far at least as we are informed, with fetters of brass and iron. Jerome, not very satisfactorily, attempts to remove the objection by alleging, that madmen are often bound by chains, lest they should injure either themselves or others: and, therefore, why not Nebuchadnezzar’ Comment. in loc. Oper. vol. iv. p. 505. This may be true, in many cases: but it does not appear to be true, in the case of the King of Babylon. From the scriptural account, he seems evidently to have enjoyed full membral liberty, not being subjected to any other confinement than that of an inclosed park or paddock. See Dan. iv. 32, 33. The true cause, why the iron band and the brazen band are thus conspicuously introduced, though they can have no personal reference to the individual Nebuchadnezzar, is that which I have assigned in the text.
of the image; then the stump of the tree must symbolise the territorial dominions of the image in their widest extent. The duration, therefore, of the image, as firmly bound to its basis or platform by the two Empires of iron and brass, must be the same as the duration of the stump, while firmly bound to the earth by the iron band and the brazen band. But the duration of the stump, while thus secured, is seven times. Therefore the duration of the image, while thus firmly bound, must be seven times also. Now the duration of the image terminates with those three times and a half, which are defined to be the tyrannical reign of the little Roman horn: for the dissolution of the image, which follows the blow inflicted upon its feet, undeniably synchronises with the destruction of the ten-horned Roman beast at the close of the three times and a half". But the commencement of those three times and a half has been demonstrated, so far as moral evidence is capable of effecting a demonstration, to coincide with the year after Christ 604: consequently, the termination of those three times and a half will coincide with the year after Christ 1864. If then, the seven times, to which the duration of the image is limited by its connection with the stump, be calculated retrogressively from the year after Christ 1864, their commencement will be found to coinmencement between those two years: so an arrangement, anteriorly constructed upon independent principles, which yet in its result should actually place the commencement of the seven times between those two precise years, comes to us most strongly recommended by the very circumstance of that necessary coincidence. In short, the seven times must have commenced at some point between the years before Christ 658 and 646; and a perfectly independent retrogressive calculation from the year after Christ 1864 brings us to the year before Christ 657, as the precise point of their actual commencement. III. We have now, I am willing to hope, established the following arrangement of the great metallic image; which, as exhibiting the grand prophetic calendar of seven times, proves to be the master-key to all the other prophecies of Daniel and St. John. The image, chronologically progressive, represents the four great successive Empires, from the birth of the golden head Nebuchadnezzar, to the dissolution of the Roman Empire at the close of the latter three times and a half: but, when geographically complete, it represents the Roman Empire alone, viewed as comprehending in one great mass the dominions of all its three predecessors, and considered as binding the entire trunk of sovereignty to the ground by a band of figurative iron in the west and by a band of figurative brass in the east. But the times of the typical stump are the times
' Compare Dan. ii. 34, 35, 44, 45, with vii. 7–11, 19–27, and Rev. xiii. 1, 2, 5.