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up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
History. As the iron of the image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream fitly represented the “iron monarchy of Rome," so here the dreadful beast, with its iron teeth, can be none other than Rome, which followed Grecia in world dominion. It was
the most powerful, the most dominating, of all the beasts in the prophetic series. A Roman Catholic writer, Cardinal Manning, compresses into a paragraph the correspondence of history to the likeness of the prophecy:
“The legions of Rome occupied the circumference of the world. The military roads which sprang from Rome traversed all the earth; the whole world was, as it were, held in peace and in tranquillity by the universal presence of this mighty heathen empire. It was 'exceedingly terrible,' according to the prophecies of Daniel; it was as it were of iron, beating down and subduing the nations.”—“The Temporal Power of the Pope" (London, 1862), p. 122.
Thus far every symbol of the prophet's vision finds its exact and clear counterpart in history. A writer living in the third century, in the days of imperial Rome, rejoiced to see how exactly the prophecy was being fulfilled. Hippolytus (counted a saint by the Catholic Church) wrote:
“Rejoice, blessed Daniel! thou hast not been in error! All these things have come to pass. After this again thou hast told us of the beast, dreadful and terrible. It has iron teeth and claws of brass; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it. Already the iron rules; already it subdues and breaks all in pieces; already it brings all the unwilling into subjection; already we see these things ourselves. Now we glorify God, being instructed by thee.”—“Treatise on Christ and Antichrist,” sec. 33.
Now the prophetic outline comes to the time of the division of the Roman Empire, introducing events of deepest personal interest to us today.
The Fourth Kingdom and the “Little Horn”
It was the fourth great monarchy, Imperial Rome, and the events to follow it, that engaged the anxious inquiry of the prophet. He says:
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
The prophet wanted to know the truth about it; and the angel told him the truth. First, the angel said:
“The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces."
The fourth kingdom, as we have seen, was Rome. As Cardinal Manning said of the empire, "It was 'exceeding terrible,' according to the prophecies of Daniel; it was as it were of iron, breaking down and subduing the nations."
Of the ten horns that arose out of this fourth great empire, the angel said:
“The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings."
We look to the history of the Roman Empire, and what do we see? — Just the picture of the prophecy. We see the original Roman Empire of the West divided into lesser kingdoms. We see the barbarian peoples of the North sweeping down upon the empire, breaking it up, and establishing within its boundaries the various kingdoms that are to this day represented by the kingdoms of western Europe.
And as we watch the history at this point, we surely see "another little horn," another kind of power, rising among the horns representing the kingdoms of divided Rome kingdom, yet a kingdom “diverse" from the others. The work of this power riveted the attention of the prophet; and it is of the greatest importance that we also should watch closely to catch the lesson of the divine prophecy. Prophetic and Historic Pictures of the “Little Horn
This is plainly the picture presented by the prophet, as we look again, observing details more closely.
The prophet beheld the division of the Roman Empire into lesser kingdoms. Then, springing up among these kingdoms, he saw the little-horn power subduing three of the ten kingdoms, speaking great words, and making war with the saints of God. It was to be a religious power, then, ruling among the kings of the earth, and asserting religious dominion