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ways of Providence, and most mysterious his decrees. Repine not at an ill, however grievous, which is ordained to work its own cure.


mity forms the strength of nations; where there is no opposition there can be no struggle, there can be no bloodshed.

This vision, if it is to be considered as a prediction, is dark, mysterious, and dangerous to unravel,

The Knowledge of the Times; or how long it shall be until the End of Wonders. By John Tillinghast, a servant of Jesus Christ.

From the original, printed 1654.

It is a most certain truth, that every prophecy left us in the word of God hath in itself sufficient characters to lead us, by comparing the characters of it with the mind of God in other prophecies, to the knowledge of the substance of that truth that is in it held forth; for otherwise the word should be imperfect, and not able to expound itself.

For an example, I shall pitch upon Daniel's little horn, which is one of the most famous prophecies in all the scripture.

That the kingdom of the little horn must be

in the latter days; the reason is, because the extreme and utmost part of Nebuchadnezzar's great image, viz. the feet and toes, Dan. ii. 41, 42, 43, are the same with the little horn, chap. vii.


To whose kingdom this phrase is most properly applicable, the apostle's use of the same phrase, 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2, 3, doth clearly teach us, that this kingdom of the little horn must necessarily appertain to the Roman monarchy.

That it cannot be any power distinct from, and succeeding the Roman monarchy, is also clear,

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1. Because no place in Daniel, or elsewhere, doth so much as once countenance any such opinion as this, viz. That there should be any worldly government succeeding the Roman monarchy. Nay, let me say, the scripture is clear against such a notion, for it is manifest, Dan. vii. 12, 13, 14, Rev. xix. 11, 12, compared with ver. 19, 20, that the destruction of the beast, i. e. the Roman monarchy, is under Antichrist.

2. Because the beast is slain, his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame; and that for the blasphemies of the little horn, Dan. vii. 11. This beast, I say, can be no other but the fourth and last beast, ver. 7, which beast is the Roman monarchy.

Hence I gather, That the government of the little horn cannot be a government distinct from the Roman monarchy, a thing the Roman mon

archy has nothing to do with; for then, why is the Roman monarchy punished for the blasphemies of the little horn?

Thus much for the character of the little horn.

I shall, in the conclusion, add this word, That as the foregoing characters agree to none so fitly as the Romish Antichrist (to whom as these, so all the characters besides them in Daniel, will most aptly accord), so in case the Romish Antichrist be not the little horn, it will necessarily follow that we have nothing left us from first to last in this prophecy that concerns Antichrist's rage against the saints and holy city, his tyranny over, and oppression of the nations, which now hath continued, in such manner, as the like was never before it.

1. In respect of a new kind of power bearing rule all this time, the like to which was never found in any of the preceding monarchies, no not in the world before.

2. In respect of a new kind of idolatry, worshipping a breaden god, saints, relics of saints, &c. an idolatry never heard of in the world before.

3. In respect of a new kind of tyranny, tyrannizing over the conscience, and forcing it, making merchandize of the souls of men, Rev. xviii. 12, 13.

4. In respect of a new kind of oppression; oppressing the people, robbing them of their wealth and substance, by craft, &c.

I say, that a time having such noted characters upon it, as never had time in the world before, should by the Holy Ghost (whilst less things are observed) be wholly buried in silence, cannot be thought.

The sum of all this is, that as those characters of truth left us in the naked letter of the text are the most certain rule to go by, to find the mind of the Holy Ghost in prophecies; so, walking by that rule, Daniel's little horn is, and can be no other, but the whole body of the Romish Antichrist.

Here I find myself under the necessity of differing totally from the interpretation of Tilling. hast; in the doing of which I am supported by the opinion of Archbishop Tillotson, &c. Vide extracts from Tillotson's Sermons, infra.

In the first place, I look not upon the little horn as having any reference to the preceding dream of the image: the stone that overwhelms-which, I look upon as representing the christian religion, which in due time is to be universal, bowing down all before it, and as the stone was cut out from the mountain without

hands, so was our Saviour conceived by the Virgin Mary without mortal aid, as here typified.

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But to return to the 7th chapter of Daniel, at the 7th verse, the fourth beast represents according to all authorities the papal authority,the Pope, or Antichrist, supported by the ten catholic sovereigns, its power was of a different character from all that had ever preceded it, and the little horn which arises out of it, I look upon as representing Napoleon, before whom three of the horns or kings were humbled. This, as at verse 9, prepares the way for the extension of God's kingdom, by the propagation of the gospel and the diffusion of civil and religious liberty, as in verse 12, where, as, with the kings of Spain, Naples, and Portugal, although their despotic power is taken away, their lives are to be prolonged for a season or time, which appears as if those and other kingdoms in which reform takes place should remain gradually improving by the gospel, for still another century, till, as at verses 13 and 14, the kingdom of Christ, by the restoration and reformation of the Jews, and general extension of Christianity, shall become universal.

This interpretation wants the 25th verse, to refer to the 23d instead of the 24th to make it correct.

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