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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 2 - Contents
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    Verse 40: “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.”PREX2 98.1

    “At the time of the end.” The time of the end is the period first introduced in chapter 8., ver. 16: “Understand, O son of man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision.” That is, at the time of the end the vision shall be understood. Again, it is introduced in verse 35th of the 11th chapter, where we are told that the persecution of the saints will continue, in a measure, to “the time of the end.” The French revolutionary government was then introduced to fill up the period to the time of the end. It is now, in the 40th verse, again introduced. It is the period of the fall of the papal power. That period was 1798, when, as will be seen by the extract which follows, the pope’s power was destroyed, and he carried into captivity.PREX2 98.2

    “Acts of violence were committed on the part of the French, first in Italy, where a numerous army stayed, even after the conclusion of peace. They fell upon the pope whose defenceless situation invited to aggression. General Duphot, attached to the embassy of Joseph Bonaparte, at Rome, lost his life in a popular tumult caused by the cries of ‘Vive la Republique,’ long live the republic, Dec 28th, 1797. The ambassador took his departure immediately, and General Berthier, who had succeeded Bonaparte in the command of the Italian army, entered Rome, Feb. 10th, 1798, where, five days after, the revolution was consummated.PREX2 98.3

    “The papal government was abolished, and the ‘Roman republic’ proclaimed. At the head of the government were placed five consuls, assisted by a senate and a tribunate. But the heavy contributions imposed upon the people by the French army, and the shameless pillage of treasures of art, diminished the joy of the liberated. The pope, although he had signed his abdication in relation to his temporal power, was nevertheless conveyed to France as a prisoner, and treated with indignity. This aged man (he was eighty-two) bore his sufferings with fortitude, and died a prisoner in Valence, Aug. 29th, 1799.”—[Rotteck’s Hist. of the World, vol. IV., pp. 113-14.]PREX2 99.1

    The king of the south shall push at him.” At whom? The answer is, at the subject of prophecy in the preceding verses-the revolutionary government of France. That power is clearly antecedent to “him,” in this verse.PREX2 99.2

    The king of the south.” And who is the king of the south? The answer is given in the exposition of the first six verses of the chapter, which the reader can examine. It is clearly the government of Egypt. I do not know that there is a dissenting voice to the application of this term to Egypt in the former part of this chapter; nor can I see any good reason why there should be in the latter part, as long as it was literally fulfilled in Egypt.PREX2 99.3

    That a collision did actually take place between the French and Egypt is notorious. In the winter of 1798, after Bonaparte’s return from his Italian campaign, he was appointed by the directory, commander-in-chief of the foreign armies of the French nation; and in that character he left France, on the morning of May 20th, 1798, with a fleet “of thirteen ships of the line, and fourteen frigates, and four hundred transports. They carried 40,000 picked soldiers and officers.” On the 1st of July they reached the coast of Egypt, and landed the army about a mile and a half from Alexandria.PREX2 100.1

    Shall push.” The weakness of this term signifies only a feeble and ineffectual resistance. The contrast is the more remarkable when compared with the strength of the next clause—”The king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind;”—shall come with an overwhelming power. Egypt pushed as follows, as described by Lockhart:—PREX2 100.2

    “Egypt was, of course, wholly unprepared for this invasion. The Turks, however, mustered what force they could, and shutting the gates of the city, held out until the French forced their way through the old crumbling walls, and it was no longer possible to resist at once superior numbers and European discipline. Two hundred French died in the assault: the Turkish loss was still greater.”PREX2 100.3

    Napoleon left Alexandria on the 7th of July; and “on the 21st of July, the army came within sight of the pyramids, which, but for the regularity of the outline, might have been taken for a distant ridge of rocky mountains. While every eye was fixed on these hoary monuments of the past, they gained the brow of a gentle eminence, and saw at length spread out before them the vast army of the beys, their right posted on an intrenched camp by the Nile, their centre and left composed of that brilliant cavalry with which they were by this time acquainted. Napoleon, riding forward to reconnoitre, perceived (what escaped the observation of all his staff) that the guns on the intrenched camp were not provided with carriages; and instantly decided on his plan of attack. He prepared to throw his force on the left, where the guns could not be available. Mourad Bey, who commanded in chief, speedily penetrated his design; and the Mamelukes advanced gallantly to the encounter. ‘Soldiers,’ said Napoleon, ‘from the summit of yonder pyramids forty ages behold you;’ and the battle began.PREX2 100.4

    “The French formed into separate squares, and awaited the assault of the Mamelukes. These came on with impetuous speed and wild cries, and practised every means to force their passage into the serried ranks of their new opponents. They rushed on the line of bayonets, backed their horses upon them, and at last, maddened by the firmness which they could not shake, dashed their pistols and carbines into the faces of the men. Nothing could move the French: the bayonet and the continued roll of musketry by degrees thinned the host around them; and Bonaparte at last advanced. Such were the confusion and terror of the enemy when he came near the camp, that they abandoned their works, and flung themselves by hundreds into the Nile. The carnage was prodigious. Multitudes more were drowned. Mourad and a remnant of his Mamelukes retreated on Upper Egypt. Cairo surrendered: Lower Egypt was entirely conquered.”—[Lockhart’s Life of Napoleon, vol. I., pp. 117-18.]PREX2 101.1

    In; his way Egypt pushed, or feebly and ineffectually resisted the invasion.PREX2 102.1

    Like a whirlwind.” The king of the north, it is universally acknowledged, signifies in this chapter, Syria, as being the northern division of the empire of Alexander the Great.PREX2 102.2

    Having established his authority in Egypt, Bonaparte commenced, early in 1797, another campaign. It was his design to march his army by land to the British East Indies. With an army of ten thousand picked men, he left Egypt, and took the fortress of El-Arish, (15th Feb.) and pursuing his march, took Gaza without opposition. He next stormed Jaffa, (the Joppa of the Bible;) after a desperate resistance, the city and garrison surrendered. Three thousand Turks were killed in the siege; and from twelve hundred to three thousand more, who surrendered themselves as prisoners of war, were led out into the field unarmed, and shot down by the French in cold blood; their bodies were heaped up in a pyramid and left to consume.PREX2 102.3

    Next came St. Jean D’ Acre, in Syria, “ the king of the north,” which was to come against him “like a whirlwind.” An extract from Lockhart, (vol. I., pp. 127-129,) will show the instrumentalities by which Bonaparte was defeated. First, chariots of war, artillery; his own artillery being taken and used against him in the siege. Second, horsemen, a large body of whom were gathered in the mountains of Samaria, preparing to descend upon Acre, and attack the besieged. Third, many ships; the British fleet under Sir Sydney Smith, and the Turkish fleet, which came to the relief of the garrison.PREX2 102.4

    “Bonaparte had now ascertained that the pacha of Syria, Achmet-Djezzar, was at St. Jean D’-Acre, (so renowned in the history of the crusades,) and determined to defend that place to extremity, with the forces which had already been assembled for the invasion of Egypt. He in vain endeavored to seduce this ferocious chief from his allegiance to the porte, by holding out the hope of a separate independent government, under the protection of France. The first of Napoleon’s messengers returned without an answer; the second was put to death; and the army moved on Acre in all the zeal of revenge, while the necessary apparatus of a siege was ordered to be sent round by sea from Alexandria.PREX2 103.1

    “Sir Sydney Smith was then cruising in the Levant with two British ships of the line, the Tigre and the Theseus; and, being informed of Napoleon’s approach by the pacha, hastened to support him in the defence of Acre. Napoleon’s vessels, conveying guns and stores from Egypt, fell into his hands, and he appeared off the town two days before the French army came in view of it. He had on board his ship colonel Philip-peaux, a French royalist of great talents (formerly Bonaparte’s school-fellow at Brienne;) and the pacha willingly permitted the English commodore and this skilful ally to regulate for him, as far as was possible, the plan of his defence.PREX2 103.2

    “The loss of his own heavy artillery, and the presence of two English ships, were inauspicious omens; yet Bonaparte doubled not that the Turkish garrison would shrink before his onset, and he instantly commenced the siege. He opened his trenches on the 18th of March. ‘On that little town,’ said he to one of his generals, as they were standing together on an eminence, which still bears the name of Richard Cœsur-de-lion,—‘on yonder little town depends the fate of the East. Behold the key of Constantinople, or of India.’PREX2 104.1

    “From the 18th to the 28th of March the French labored hard in their trenches, being exposed to the fire of the extensive batteries, arranged by Philippeaux, so as to command their approach, and formed chiefly of Bonaparte’s own artillery, captured on the voyage from Alexandria. The Turks also were constantly sallying out, and their pacha personally set the example of the most heroic resolution. Nevertheless, on the 28th, a breach was at last effected, and the French mounted with such fiery zeal, that the garrison gave way, until Djezzar appeared on the battlements, and flinging his own pistols at the heads of the flying men, urged and compelled them to renew the defence. In the end, the French retreated with great loss, and the Turks, headed by the English seamen, pursuing them to their lines, a great mine, designed to blow up the chief tower of Acre, was explored, and means taken for countermining it.PREX2 104.2

    “Meanwhile, a vast Mussulman army had been gathered among the mountains of Samaria, and was preparing to descend upon Acre, and attack the besiegers in concert with the garrison of Djezzar. Junot, with his division, marched to encounter them, and would have been overwhelmed by their numbers, had not Napoleon himself followed and rescued him (April 8) at Nazareth, where the splendid cavalry of the orientals, were, as usual, unable to resist the solid squares and well-directed musketry of the French. Kleber, with another division, was in like manner endangered, and in like manner rescued by the general-in-chief at Mount Tabor (April 15.) The Mussulmans dispersed on all hands; and Napoleon, returning to his siege, pressed it on with desperate assaults, day after day, in which his best soldiers were thinned, before the united efforts of Djezzar’s gallantry, and the skill of the allies. At length, however, a party of French succeeded in foreign their way into the great tower, and in establishing themselves in one part of it, in despite of all the resolution that could be opposed to them. At the same critical moment, there appeared in the offing a Turkish fleet, which was known to carry great reinforcements for the pacha. Everything conspired to prompt Napoleon to finish his enterprise, at whatever cost, and he was gallantly seconded.PREX2 104.3

    “Sir Sydney Smith, however, was as resolute to hold out until his fleet should arrive, as Napoleon was eager to anticipate its coming. The English commander repaired, with his gallant seamen, to the tower, and after a furious assault dislodged the occupants. Bonaparte did not renew the attack in that quarter, but succeeded in breaking the wall in another part of the town; and the heroic Lannes headed a French party who actually entered Acre at that opening. But Djezzar was willing they should enter. He suffered them to come in unmolested; and then, before they could form, threw such a crowd of Turks upon them, that discipline was of no avail; it was a mere multitude of duels, and the brave orientals, with their scimetars and pistols, overpowered their enemies, and put them to death, almost to a man. Lannes, himself, was with difficulty carried back, desperately wounded.PREX2 105.1

    “(May 21.) The siege had now lasted sixty days. Once more Napoleon commanded an assault, and his officers and soldiery once more obeyed him with devoted and fruitless gallantry. The loss his army had by this time undergone, was very great. Caffarelli, and many other officers of the highest importance, were no more; the ranks of his legions were thinned by the plague, as well as the weapons of the defenders of Acre. The hearts of all men were quickly sinking. The Turkish fleet was at hand to reinforce Djezzar; and upon the utter failure of the attack of the 21st May, Napoleon yielded to stern necessity, and began” his retreat to Jaffa.”—[Lockhart’s Napoleon, vol. I., pp. 127-130.]PREX2 106.1

    Thus ended the Syrian campaign; and the overflowing and passing over of the French army.PREX2 106.2

    What more perfect demonstration can we have, that we have the true subject of prophecy, than the fact that just at the point where the papal hierachy was overthrown, and the saints delivered from the hand of the man of sin, this collision took place between the French, Egypt, and Syria. The first pushed, simply; the other came like a whirlwind. These three facts also demonstrate that “the time of the end” came in 1798.PREX2 106.3

    Verse 41. “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.”PREX2 107.1

    The glorious land.” Palestine is the glorious land; and through that land the French passed and repassed; and both Gaza and Jaffa were cities of Palestine.PREX2 107.2

    “And many,” not countries, but persons, were overthrown or perished. But the ancient countries of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, escaped his hand, by his defeat in Syria; he was driven back into Egypt without the opportunity of invading them.PREX2 107.3

    Verses 42, 43. “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.”PREX2 107.4

    “Shall not escape,” implies that he already has a grasp upon Egypt, and that by means of his defeat in Syria, he would be driven back on Egypt, and retain his hold:—PREX2 107.5

    “And have power over the treasures,” etc. Egypt was completely under his control, and all its riches were at his disposal. “Libya and Ethiopia” were “at his steps,” but not conquered by him, as Egypt was.PREX2 107.6

    Verse 44. “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.”PREX2 107.7

    Out of the north.” Tidings from Syria were to reach him, and induce him to leave Egypt and return to France. I will permit the historian to illustrate this point also:—PREX2 107.8

    “Napoleon once more returned to Cairo, on the 9th of August; but it was only to make some parting arrangements as to the administration, civil and military; for from the moment of his victory at Aboukir, he had resolved to intrust Egypt to other hands, and admiral Gantheaume was already preparing in secret the means of his removal to France.PREX2 108.1

    “Bonaparte always asserted, and the Bonapartist writers of his history still maintain, that this resolution was adopted in consequence of a mere accident; namely that Sir Sydney Smith, in the course of some negociations about prisoners which followed after the battle of Aboukir, sent a file of English newspapers for the amusement of the general. Some say the English commodore did so out of mere civility; others, that he designed to distract the movements of Napoleon, by showing him the dangerous condition to which, during his absence, the affairs of France, both at home and abroad, had been reduced.”—[Lockhart, p. 135.]PREX2 108.2

    He shall go forth with great fury,” or desperation, and “destroy and utterly make away many.” A more desperate enterprise was hardly ever undertaken, than that of escaping to France, with such a power to watch his movements and cut off his escape, as the British fleet which filled the waters of the Mediterranean. But the enterprise was undertaken and achieved.PREX2 108.3

    “Napoleon reached the coast on the 22nd August, and was there met by Berthier, Andreossy, Murat, Lannes, Marmont, and the savans Monge, and Berthollet; none of whom had suspected for what purpose they were summoned. Admiral Gantheaume had, by this time, two frigates and two smaller vessels (which had been saved in the harbor of Alexandria) ready for sea; and on the morning of the 23rd, the wind having fortunately driven the English squadron of blockade off the coast, Bonaparte and his followers embarked at Rosetta.PREX2 108.4

    “Napoleon’s voyage had been one of constant peril; for the Mediterranean was traversed in all directions by English ships of war, in whose presence, resistance would have been hopeless. He occupied his time, during this period of general anxiety, in very peaceful studies: he read the Bible, the Koran, Homer; conversed with his savans on the old times and manners of the East; and solved problems in geometry. On the 30th of September they reached Ajaccio, and he was received with enthusiasm at the place of his birth. As soon as the wind proved favorable, on the 7th of October, the voyage was resumed. Gantheaume, descrying an English squadron off the French coast, would have persuaded him to take to the long-boat; but he refused, saying, ‘that experiment may be reserved for the last extremity.’ His confidence in fortune was not belied. They passed at midnight, unseen, through the English ships, and on the morning of the 9th, were moored in safety in the bay of Frejus.”—[Ibid., pp. 136, 141.]PREX2 109.1

    “Make away many.” Who can read the history of his fifteen years’ reign, from 1800 to 1815, and not feel the force of the expression? Millions of the flower of Europe fell on the field of battle during that period, as sacrifices at the shrine of his insatiable ambition. And, in addition to this, who can begin to estimate the amount of suffering which resulted, either directly or indirectly, from his destructive wars!PREX2 109.2

    Verse 45. “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”PREX2 110.1

    “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces.” A palace is the permanent residence of royalty; a tabernacle is a temporary abode, the dwelling of a pilgrim or wayfaring man. Bonaparte had both: his palace was at Paris, but wherever the head-quarters of his camp were, there was the seat of the French empire.PREX2 110.2

    “Between the seas.” Europe is surrounded, as every school-boy knows, by a vast chain of seas. Within that chain of seas, on the continent of Europe, there was not one kingdom, with the exception of Turkey, where Bonaparte did not, at one time or other, pitch his tabernacle, and from thence issue his imperial mandates. It was his boast, on his return from Vienna to Paris, in Oct., 1809, “that no enemy opposed him throughout the continent of Europe, except only a few fugitive bands of Spanish rebels, and the English ‘Leopard’ in Portugal, whom he would ere long cause to be chased into the sea.” Some think Italy to be meant, on account of its location between the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Venice. They allege the beauty of the locality, and the fact of Bonaparte’s palace at Milan, where he was crowned king of Italy. To this I reply, that there he had a palace, to be sure, but the text speaks of the tabernacles, or tents, (in the plural,) of his palace. These he had all over Europe. It includes Italy, and extends over Europe. Hence, this seems to be the most satisfactory explanation.PREX2 110.3

    Glorious holy mountain.” Or, as in the margin, “the mountain of delight of holiness.” It is an expression which has no parallel in the Scriptures, and of course cannot be interpreted by any other text, but its meaning must be determined by the use of the term here. Europe has been the theatre of most of the great persecutions of the church, whether pagan or papal; the saints who have been martyred have the greatest portion of them been sacrificed in those kingdoms. Bonaparte was “the scourge of God,” on a wicked and persecuting land, to avenge the blood of the saints who had been martyred there. To accomplish this work, Providence seems to have watched over him, and rendered him invincible until his task was accomplished. That done—PREX2 111.1

    Yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him.” What a striking fulfilment of this stroke of the pen of inspiration, does the history of Napoleon’s fall, banishment, and death, present! He was crowned emperor of France, 1804; and after desolating Europe with wars for ten years, he met with a fatal defeat from the allied sovereigns of Europe at the battle of Waterloo. At the request of the Chamber of Deputies, he voluntarily abdicated the throne of France, in favor of his son, on the 22nd of June, 1815. In his declaration of abdication, he thus expressed himself: “My political life is ended; and I proclaim my son, Napoleon the Second, emperor of the French.” But this proclamation was a mere sound; for on the 8th of July following, “Louis,” the hereditary monarch of the French, made his public entry into Paris, and took formal possession of the throne of his ancestors. Thus came to an end the government of Napoleon, the man at whose nod the world had trembled.PREX2 111.2

    After his abdication he left Paris, and reached Rochefort on the 3rd of July; and made preparation for sailing for America. But the port being blockaded by eleven English ships of war, and finding himself unable to escape, he resolved to trust to the magnanimity of the English government; and entered into negociations for embarking on board one of the British ships, and going to England. After arrangements had been made for his reception, he bade farewell to France, went on board the Bellerophon, commanded by Capt. Maitland, and sailed for England. When he arrived there, he was not permitted to land, but was doomed by the British government, against all his remonstrances and entreaties, to banishment on the island of St. Helena, in the Atlantic Ocean. There he arrived on the 15th of October, 1815, With a few of his most intimate friends. On this desolate and barren rock, the conqueror of Europe was doomed to fill up his days. The first part of his residence on the island, his health was good; but the latter years of his life, disease preyed upon him, until May 5th, 1821, when, amidst a dreadful storm of wind and rain, which tore up trees by the roots, and laid waste almost all which came in its way, Napoleon’s spirit left the scenes of earth and time, to appear before God. Thus, as the angel had foretold, 2355 years before, this man of blood “came to his end, and” there were “none to help him!”PREX2 112.1

    What a demonstration is here afforded of the Divine authenticity of the word of God! A prophecy relating to a chain of events, in which so many and strange governments were to be the actors, and relating to the individual character and history of men born hundreds and thousands of years after the prophecy was recorded, could not have been framed except by inspiration of the Holy Ghost! And blind indeed must he be, who, with such a document before him, and the plain, unsophisticated history of the world,-recorded, in many instances, by men diametrically opposed to the word of God and the religion of the Bible,-to illustrate and prove its truth and correctness step by step in the most exact order, can perceive in it nothing but the work of crafty priests and designing men. It could only have been given by inspiration of God. And if, up to this point, each event has been most literally and truly accomplished, why are we not bound to look for the next event of the series to be fulfilled in the same literal manner? It must be so.PREX2 113.1

    We have found the fall of Bonaparte to be the last event of the 11th chapter; and the next in order, is the reign of Michael, or Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the just, and glorification of all his saints. These events, which follow in the first three verses of the 12th chapter, close the series.PREX2 113.2

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