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    In the year 540 b. c., just sixty-three years after the dream of Nebuchadnezzar was given and interpreted, Daniel had a vision, which is recorded in the seventh chapter of his prophecy. In this vision he saw the four winds of Heaven striving upon the great sea, and four great beasts came up from the sea. In verses 17, 18, an explanation of the beasts is given as follows:—FEE 110.1

    “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”FEE 110.2

    These words show that this vision embraces the same great facts that are presented in the dream of the king, namely, four great kingdoms to be followed by a kingdom that the saints shall possess forever. Then the object of this vision is the same as that of the dream, to acquaint us with the facts of history preceding, and leading to, the setting up of the kingdom of God.FEE 110.3

    Verse 4. “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings; I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”FEE 110.4

    The lion is called the king of beasts, and it bears about the same relation to the other beasts that gold bears to the other metals of the image of chapter 2. “Eagle’s wings” adds something to the same quality, denoting the rapidity with which the empire rose to its wonderful greatness in the seventh century before Christ. But its wings were plucked, and the lion’s heart was taken away. We must bear in mind that this beast, as the head of gold of the image, represented the empire of Babylon, and not any one emperor or king. The glory of
    [Graphic of THE FOUR BEASTS OF DANIEL SEVEN.] the kingdom declined from the days of Nebuchadnezzar—so transitory is the glory of this world. Under the reign of Belshazzar there was left the qualities of neither the lion nor the eagle.
    FEE 110.5

    Verse 5. “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”FEE 111.1

    This is a strikingly correct representation of the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians, the same as the breast and arms of the image. In chapter 8, the kings of Media and Persia are represented by a ram (compare Daniel 8:3, 4, 20), having two horns, and one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. The Medes were the leading power in the war against Babylon; for Cyrus, the real leader of the armies, gave himself entirely to the service of his uncle, “Darius the Median,” who took the kingdom when the city of Babylon was overthrown. Of Darius but little need be said, except that he was ruler over a mighty empire that was presented to him by his nephew, for he gave no evidence of capability of subduing such an empire to himself. “The higher came up last.” The Persian branch of the empire flourished under Cyrus, who was really one of the greatest generals that profane history presents to us; not merely because he could lead great armies, and subdue kingdoms, but he was lenient to his captives, considerate of the comfort and welfare of his soldiers and confederates, and just towards all. He went forth to war, not from a love of conquest, or because of indifference for human life, but in defense of the rights of those who were assailed. Added to all this, in his personal habits he was a model of temperance and benevolence. How well the bear represented the united houses of the Medes and Persians—it raised up itself on one side.FEE 111.2

    In describing the symbol of this kingdom in Daniel 8, the prophet said he saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward. These are the directions in which the Medes and Persians pursued their conquests; and the three ribs in the mouth of the bear doubtless denote the same thing.FEE 111.3

    Verse 6. “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads and dominion was given to it.”FEE 112.1

    The leopard represents the third great kingdom, the same as the body of brass of the image, or the rough goat in chapter 8,—the kingdom of Grecia. There is a twofold symbol to denote the speed with which Alexander conquered the world, namely, the body of a leopard, with four wings of a fowl. The love of conquest was his ruling passion. Merely to gratify a senseless ambition, he made war without cause or provocation, upon those who would gladly have remained in peace with him. Seneca said: “Alexander, who is justly entitled the plunderer of nations, made his glory consist in carrying desolation into all places, and in rendering himself the terror of mankind.” See Rollin, Book 15, sec. 18. It seems a reflection on humanity to give such a man the title of “the Great.”FEE 112.2

    To fully appreciate the description given in Daniel 7:7, it is necessary to notice further the symbol of Grecia in Daniel 8:5-9. The goat had a notable horn between his eyes, which, the angel said, was the first king, that is, Alexander. “The he goat waxed very great; and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.”FEE 112.3

    The kingdom of Alexander had suffered no decline when he died. He was in the full tide of, victory, not having had time to prepare for himself a capital, when he fell, slain not in war, but by his depraved and ungovernable appetite,—broken in his strength. And for it came up four notable horns toward the four winds of heaven. The angel said, “Four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” Daniel 8:22.FEE 112.4

    Alexander died b. c. 323. His death was sudden and unexpected, he being in the prime of life; and no provision had been made for a successor. There were many aspirants for power, among the chief of whom was Antigonus. Lyman, in his Historical Chart, has given a view of the kingdom after the death of Alexander, in a few forcible words:—FEE 112.5

    “The empire was divided into thirty-three governments, distributed among as many general officers. Hence arose a series of bloody, desolating wars, and a period of confusion, anarchy, and crime ensued, that is almost without a parallel in the history of the world. After the battle of Ipsus, 301 b. c., in which Antigonus was defeated, the empire was divided into four kingdoms—Thrace and Bithynia under Lysimachus; Syria and the East under Seleucus; Egypt under Ptolemy Soter; and Macedonia under Cassander.”FEE 113.1

    Two points are worthy of remark in this symbol and its fulfillment: (1) The prophecy takes no note whatever of this period of anarchy and confusion. It was a period of internal dissensions, in which there was neither time nor opportunity to establish kingdoms on anything like a permanent footing. (2) The four kingdoms which arose toward the four winds of heaven are considered but parts of the same Grecian kingdom. They are no doubt regarded a continuation of the same dominion because the four kings named entered into agreement to divide the kingdom among themselves; they reigned by mutual consent, and not in opposition to one another. This is marked in Daniel 7:6, by the simple expression, “The beast had also four heads.”FEE 113.2

    Verse 7. “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”FEE 113.3

    The likeness of the fourth kingdom, represented by the legs of the image in chapter 2, is readily seen in this beast. The fourth kingdom of iron was to be stronger than those preceding it; so this beast was strong exceedingly, and it had great iron teeth. “As iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things, and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise,” was said of the fourth kingdom, represented by the legs of the image; and so of this beast: “It devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.”FEE 113.4

    And it had ten horns, which are said in verse 24 to be ten kings that shall arise. These ten kings were represented by the feet and toes of the image,—the ten kingdoms rising out of the Roman empire when it was broken up by its invaders from the north and northeast. Thus far the facts presented in the vision of these four beasts are identical with those of the image in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.FEE 113.5

    Chapter 2:43 says of these ten kingdoms, “They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another.” This shows that these kingdoms were not smitten by the stone as soon as they arose; there must be a time for the mingling—for efforts at consolidation, for changes to take place—before the kingdom and dominion shall be given to the saints of the Most High.FEE 114.1

    This statement in chapter 2:43, in regard to their mingling, and yet not cleaving to one another, contains but a faint hint of all the changes which should take place before the closing scenes. The same idea is presented in verse 34. After the image was presented complete, Daniel said: “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out,” etc.; as if he continued to observe the image until the stone appeared. And we shall see that each succeeding vision, whether of Daniel or John, contains some additional events to precede the setting up of the kingdom of God, and the destruction of all the nations and kingdoms of this world. The additional facts in chapter 7 are principally brought to view in—FEE 114.2

    Verse 8. “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came 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 man, and a mouth speaking great things.”FEE 114.3

    In all the Scriptures a horn is the symbol of power, without regard to the nature of the power. And there was an extraordinary power rising into notice just at the time when Western Rome was broken into these fragments or kingdoms. Verse 24 says, “He shall be diverse from the first.” And this was diverse from the others in that it arose as a religious, a professedly Christian, power. Although it arose as a little horn, so that it did not at first take its place among the kingdoms of the earth, it became very strong, for its “look was more stout than its fellows.” And it is so well known that it passes without proof, that the Romish Church kingdom became stronger than the strongest kingdoms of the earth. The heads of this system, the popes of Rome, claimed it as their right to rule over the kings, and to absolve subjects from their allegiance to any king who refused submission to their will. On this point Professor Gaussen, of Geneva, gave the following pointed and truthful testimony:—FEE 114.4

    “Daniel tells us (verse 20) that though this horn was the least, his ‘look was more stout than his fellows.’ The pomps of Charlemagne, Charles V., Louis XIV., and Bonaparte were very great; but were they comparable to that of the Roman pontiff? The greatest kings must hold his stirrup, serve him at table (what do I say?) must prostrate themselves before him, and kiss his feet; and even put their necks under his proud foot. Go yet this year to view him in the Vatican, as I myself have done. You will see hanging in the royal hall, where all the ambassadors of Europe pass, a picture representing the great emperor, Henry IV., uncovered before Gregory VII. You will see in another picture the heroic and powerful emperor Frederick Barbarossa upon his knees and elbows, before Pope Alexander III., in the public square of Venice; the foot of the pope rests on his shoulder; his scepter cast to the ground; and under the picture, these words: ‘Frederick, a suppliant, adores, promising faith and obedience.’ You must see with your own eyes this priest-king in his palaces and temples, to form an idea of his pomps, and to understand the full meaning of these words of Daniel: ‘His look was more stout than his fellows.’ What Eastern king was ever borne like him upon men’s shoulders, decked with the plumes of the peacock? Incense is burnt before him as before an idol; they kneel on both knees before him; they kiss the soles of his feet; they worship him.” Lecture in Geneva College, 1843.FEE 115.1

    Such was his rise, and such is his appearance. “And before whom three [kings] fell.” All who are acquainted with the history, religious and secular, of the fourth and fifth centuries, are aware that the Arian controversy was the leading cause of dispute, not only in the churches and councils, but among kings. The Gothic kings were Arians; and in those days the people professed the faith of their kings. But the Church of Rome was the representative of the Trinitarian faith. This faith was indorsed by the Council of Nice, where the primacy was conferred upon the bishop of Rome. This forever bound the bishop of that see to that faith. The primacy and the doctrine of the Trinity were inseparable. That church was the chief support of what was then called the orthodox faith, while the Goths were held to be heretics.FEE 115.2

    The Heruli, under Odoacer, who were also Arians, took possession of Italy. Gibbon says:—FEE 116.1

    “Odoacer was the first Barbarian who reigned in Italy, over a people who had once asserted their just superiority above the rest of mankind... Like the rest of the Barbarians, he had been instructed in the Arian heresy; but he revered the monastic and episcopal characters; and the silence of the Catholics attest the toleration which they enjoyed.” Decline and Fall, chap. 36, paragraphs 32, 33.FEE 116.2

    In this respect the conduct of the Barbarian heretics was in strong contrast with that of the orthodox or Catholics, for these never failed to persecute the Arians when they had the power. And the spirit of persecution was so strongly entrenched in them that when they could not persecute those whom they consigned to perdition as heretics, they fell to quarreling among themselves. In them worldly ambition seemed to have entirely supplanted the spirit of Christianity. Of the time of Odoacer, Gibbon, in the same place, further says: “The peace of the city required the interposition of his prefect Basilius in the choice of a Roman pontiff.” That is to say, that the election of a pope was accompanied with such party strifes that the authority of the Barbarian heretic was necessary to preserve the peace of the city, and to prevent bloodshed; for such an election was sometimes the occasion of fatal quarrels. It was also customary to purchase votes in the selection of the pope, and the Arian king was obliged to use his authority to put an end to this scandal.FEE 116.3

    Upon the death of Pope Simplicius, in 483, the people and clergy assembled for the election of a new bishop for Rome. Then occurred that interference of Odoacer of which Gibbon spoke, as quoted above. Bower’s History of the Popes says:—FEE 116.4

    “But while they were assembled for that purpose, in the Church of St. Peter, Basilius the præfectus prætoria, and lieutenant of King Odoacer, entered the assembly; and, addressing the electors, that is, the people, the senate, and the clergy, expressed great surprise at their taking upon them to appoint a successor to the deceased bishop, without him; adding, that it belonged to the civil magistrate to prevent the disturbances that might arise on such occasions, lest from the church they should pass to the State.... He then declared all they had done without him to be null; and ordered the election to be begun anew, though it was already near concluded. But, in the first place, he caused a law to be read in the name of Odoacer, forbidding the bishop, who should now be chosen, as well as his successors, to alienate any inheritance, possessions, or sacred utensils, that now belonged, or should for the future belong, to the church; declaring all such bargains void; anathematizing both the seller and the buyer; and obliging the latter, and his heirs, to restore to the church all lands and tenements thus purchased, how long soever they may have possessed them.” Under Felix II.FEE 116.5

    “From this law,” says Bower, “it is manifest that great abuses must have prevailed at this time in Rome, in the management of the goods belonging to the church.” Indeed, it was well known that candidates for the chair of St. Peter had freely pledged the property of the church to procure votes in the “sacred college.” where an infallible successor to St. Peter was to be chosen.FEE 117.1

    This might be called the first great humiliation that the popes of Rome were compelled to bear at the hands of an Arian king. Felix II. filled the papal chair by tolerance of Odoacer, and under restrictions placed upon him by one whom he esteemed an accursed heretic; for the law, read by order of the king, restrained the newly-elected pope, as well as his successors, from a practice which had been common with his predecessors. If any think that this was not a humiliation to one occupying the papal chair, let him read the life of Leo the Great, and consider what was already claimed as the right and proper authority of him who filled that position. As long as the Heruli possessed Italy, so long must the pope consider himself under the hateful supervision of those who were held to be enemies to the church and to the true faith. But to remedy this state of things was not an easy matter. From the time of Constantine, the emperors had assumed the oversight of the church, and the bishops, especially of Rome, the chief city of the empire, were elected and installed only by imperial consent. When the Barbarians ruled in Italy, their kings assumed the same right; and indeed, it became necessary for them to take the control of the important matters of the church, that the peace of the kingdom might be preserved. As Gibbon said, the peace of the city required their interposition. But it was irritating in the extreme to the ambitious popes, that they must hold their seats under the restraints imposed by a heretical king. True, they were not at all restrained from exercising jurisdiction in all matters spiritual; but that was not all that they demanded. But for the time being their demands were not only unheeded, but held in check. Of course it became an object to all who were of the Catholic faith, to have Italy freed from the rule of the Heruli.FEE 117.2

    Bower says that Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, then reigning in Pannonia, had served under the emperor, but “afterwards, thinking himself ill-used by that prince, not only quitted his service, but, at the head of his Goths, made war on the empire, till he was persuaded by the emperor to turn his arms against Odoacer, who reigned in Italy.” Vol. 1, p. 283, note. Zeno, who was weak and inefficient, served a twofold purpose in turning Theodoric against the Heruli. Machiavel, in his “History of Florence,” thus stated the case:—FEE 118.1

    “Zeno, partly by apprehension and partly wishing to drive Odoacer from Italy, consented that he should go against him and take possession of Italy. Theodoric immediately started from his States, where he left the Gepids, people with whom he was on friendly terms, and having come into Italy, he killed Odoacer, with his son; and according to the already established custom, he took the title of king of Italy.” Vol. 1, pp. 15, 16, French edition of Desbordes, Amsterdam, 1694.FEE 118.2

    Zeno was orthodox, that is, in full sympathy with the Roman pontiff, and by his connivance, one of the ten kingdoms was plucked up, and an important step was thus taken to free the pope from Arian domination. But, although it was absolutely necessary that the king of the Heruli should be removed, it was soon found that one dictator of the pope was vanquished to give place to another. Theodoric, as had Odoacer before him, in no manner opposed the free action of the Roman bishop in any matter coming legitimately under the jurisdiction of the spiritual head of the church. But he took the same oversight of the church, and compelled the orthodox to do justice to the Arians, who were being subjected to severe persecutions by Justin, the emperor of the East, who was as inefficient as Zeno before him, and more radical in his devotion to the Catholic cause. This brings us to the second humiliation of the popes by the Arians.FEE 118.3

    Gibbon attributes this persecution, not to Justin but to Justinian, who was already associated in the government. The conduct of Justinian when he became emperor fully justifies the judgment of the historians. These are his words:—FEE 119.1

    “After the death of Anastasius, the diadem had been placed on the head of a feeble old man; but the powers of government were assumed by his nephew Justinian, who already meditated the extirpation of heresy, and the conquest of Italy and Africa. A rigorous law, which was published at Constantinople, to reduce the Arians by the dread of punishment within the pale of the church, awakened the just resentment of Theodoric, who claimed for his distressed brethren of the East the same indulgence which he had so long granted to the Catholics of his dominions. At his stern command, the Roman pontiff, with four illustrious senators, embarked on an embassy, of which he must have alike dreaded the failure or the success.” Decline and Fall, chap. 39, paragraph 17.FEE 119.2

    In reading the above it must be borne in mind that, though Justinian was publicly proclaimed associate emperor only four months before the death of Justin, “the powers of government were assumed” by him, as Gibbon says, before that time; he really controlled affairs under his superannuated uncle.FEE 119.3

    Bower has given a minute account of the embassy of Pope John I. to the court of Constantinople. The Arians in the East appealed to Theodoric to procure, if possible, a mitigation of the horrors into which they were consigned by the action of the emperor. Theodoric was too humane to retaliate without an effort to have the edict reversed by more gentle means. But by what means his purpose could be accomplished, it was difficult to determine. Bower says:—FEE 119.4

    “He thought of many; weighed and examined many; and at last fixed upon one, which he apprehended could not fail of the wished-for success. He knew what weight the advice and counsels of the pope had with the emperor; how much the emperor deferred to the judgment of the bishop of Rome, in all matters of religion and conscience; and therefore did not doubt that the persecution would soon be at an end, could the pope by any means be prevailed upon to espouse the cause of the persecuted Arians.”FEE 119.5

    “The king was sensible that it was only by menaces, by force, and compulsion, that the pope could be brought to act such a part; and resolved, accordingly, to employ them at once, that no room might be left for delays and excuses. Having therefore sent for him to Ravenna, he complained to him with great warmth of the unchristian spirit and proceedings of the emperor; ... comparing the happy situation of the heretics, meaning the Catholics in his dominion, with the unhappy condition of the Catholics in those of the emperor, he added: ‘But I must let you know that I am determined not to sit as an idle spectator on such an occasion. I am, you know, and I have often declared it, an enemy to all kinds of persecution; I have suffered not only the inhabitants of Italy, but even my Goths, to embrace and profess, undisturbed, which of the two religions they thought the most pleasing to God; and, in the distribution of my favors, have hitherto made no distinction between Catholic and heretic. But if the emperor does not change his measures, I must change mine. Men of other religions the emperor may treat as he pleases, though every man has a right to serve the Creator in the manner which he thinks the most acceptable to him. But as for those who profess the same religion which I profess, I think myself bound to employ the power which it has pleased God to put into my hands for their defense and protection. If the emperor therefore does not think fit to evoke the edict, which he has lately issued against those of my persuasion, it is my firm resolution to issue the like edict against those of his; and to see it every where executed with the same rigor. Those who do not profess the faith of Nice are heretics to him; and those who do are heretics to me. Whatever can excuse and justify his severity to the former will excuse and justify mine to the latter. But the emperor,’ continued the king, ‘has none about him who dare freely and openly speak what they think, or to whom he would hearken if they did. But the great veneration which he professes for your see leaves no room to doubt but he would hearken to you. I will therefore have you to repair forthwith to Constantinople, and there to remonstrate both in my name and your own, against the violent measures in which that court has so rashly engaged. It is in your power to divert the emperor from them; and till you have, nay, till the Catholics, the Arians, are restored to the free exercise of their religion, and to all the churches from which they have been driven, you must not think of returning to Italy.’” History of the Popes, under John I.FEE 120.1

    Some authors say that there was a disagreement between the pope and the king in regard to the terms of the embassy, and that the king took him prisoner, and was about to convey him away. Bower says: “However that may be, certain it is that the pope undertook the embassy, not out of any kindness to the Arians, with which he has been by some unjustly reproached, but to divert the storm that threatened the Catholics in his dominions.” And, in all the history of Rome, this is the only occasion on which her bishops ever endeavored to mitigate the cruelty of persecutions against those whom they considered heretics. And in this embassy, though he procured a reversal of the inhuman edict of the emperor, the evidence points towards a conspiracy against the king for the overthrow of the Arians, for the pope was made a prisoner on his return. Some, however, think that his imprisonment was caused by a failure to procure all that Theodoric required in the way of justice to the Arians in the East, as he did not doubt that the emperor would have granted all if they had pressed it, as they had been commanded. On this point the exact truth may never be known; but whatever the cause, the pope died in prison under the Arian rule.FEE 120.2

    The popes, from the days of Constantine, had assumed most arrogant airs; and especially from the time of Leo the Great. And John himself was not a whit behind them in his pretensions. Of his forced visit to Constantinople, Bower says:—FEE 121.1

    “The patriarch invited the pope to perform divine service in the great church, together with him. But he would neither accept the invitation, nor even see the patriarch, till he agreed not only to yield him the first place, but to seat him on a kind of throne above himself. It is observable that the pope alleged no other reason why he should be allowed this mark of distinction than because he was bishop of Rome, or of the first city.” Ib.FEE 121.2

    We can but faintly imagine what must have been the feelings of this arrogant bishop, when sent on an embassy to intercede for those whom he declared heretics, and whom he would gladly have seen exterminated. But when he returned to his own see, in the first city, he was as helpless and dependent as the meanest citizen. And this humiliation the popes were obliged to bear as long as the Arian Ostrogoths possessed Italy.FEE 121.3

    But this was not the only humiliation which the primate, the head of the orthodox faith, had to suffer. The Vandals were in possession of Africa, and they also were Arians. Emulating the spirit of the orthodox or Catholic emperor, they were bitterly persecuting the Trinitarians in their dominions. The pope was compelled to intercede in behalf of the Arians in the East, and to put a stop to the persecutions which were raging against them; but he had no power to check the persecution which those of his own communion were suffering in Africa.FEE 121.4

    Justin died a. d. 527. Speaking of the persecution in the time of Justin, Gibbon said that Justinian “already meditated the extirpation of heresy, and the conquest of Italy and Africa.” His effort to put down heresy in the East was foiled by the king of Italy; and now there remained no way to check its sway, but by the conquest of Africa and Italy. Until this was done, the pope was constantly humiliated. For this purpose the emperor sent Belisarius, an able general, against Africa, in 534. Of the capture of Carthage, the Vandal capital, Gibbon says:—FEE 122.1

    “The defeat of the Vandals, and the freedom of Africa, were announced to the city on the eve of St. Cyprian, when the churches were already adorned and illuminated for the festival of the martyr, whom three centuries of superstition had almost raised to a local deity. The Arians, conscious that their reign had expired, resigned the temple to the Catholics, who rescued their saint from profane hands, performed the holy rites, and loudly proclaimed the creed of Athanasius and Justinian. One awful hour reversed the fortunes of the contending parties.” Chap. xli, paragraph 9.FEE 122.2

    The king of the Vandals collected his scattered and feeble forces, and engaged in the final struggle not far from Carthage. Both armies were small, and Gibbon thus speaks of the results of this battle:—FEE 122.3

    “Yet no more than fifty Romans, and eight hundred Vandals, were found on the field of battle; so inconsiderable was the carnage of a day, which extinguished a nation, and transferred the empire of Africa.” Id., paragraph 10FEE 122.4

    Thus was the second of the ten kingdoms removed to serve the interests of the papacy. The king of the Vandals was not taken, however, until the year 535, when he was brought to grace the triumph given to Belisarius in Constantinople.FEE 122.5

    Yet the tide of prosperity was not altogether smooth for Justinian in his own territory. Although the Trinitarians were free from opposition by the heretics, they could not agree among themselves as to the terms in which their faith should be expressed. In other words, they quarreled about the method of defining a doctrine which none of them understood.FEE 122.6

    And this very condition was the occasion of more strife and bloodshed than any other cause that troubled the church. The Nestorians and Justinian were in open opposition to each other, and the monks resolved to appeal to the pope, where they counted on an easy triumph, inasmuch as their definition had been declared by a preceding pope, in the same terms that they used. But Justinian appealed to the pope also; and his appeal was accompanied by the weighty argument of a gift to St. Peter, consisting of several chalices, and other vessels of gold, enriched with precious stones. This, with his confession of faith, Justinian sent to the pope, with a most obsequious letter, lauding the pope in the most courtly terms, and proceeding to declare that he, the pope, was the head of all the churches; that he, the emperor, had subjected to his see all the churches of the whole East; and that the pope was the effectual corrector of heretics. It was a trying time for the pope; it was difficult for him to declare against the express words of his predecessor, and still more difficult to decide against the emperor, and all the bishops of the East who favored him. After much consultation, had, no doubt, to avoid giving offense to those of the West, it was decided in favor of Justinian.FEE 123.1

    This was indeed an eventful time for the professed see of St. Peter. Gibbon speaks thus of the action of Justinian, after the triumph of Belisarius in Africa:—FEE 123.2

    “He received the messengers of victory at the time when he was preparing to publish the Pandects of the Roman law; and the devout or jealous emperor celebrated the divine goodness, and confessed in silence, the merit of his successful general. Impatient to abolish the temporal and spiritual tyranny of the Vandals, he proceeded, without delay, to the full establishment of the Catholic Church. Her jurisdiction, wealth, and immunities, perhaps the most essential part of episcopal religion, were restored and amplified with a liberal hand; the Arian worship was suppressed; the Donatist meetings were proscribed; and the synod of Carthage, by the voice of two hundred and seventeen bishops, applauded the just measure of pious retaliation.” Decline and Fall, chap. xli, paragraph 11.FEE 123.3

    Belisarius was next sent to subdue the Goths in Italy. He was delayed by the jealousy and ill-will of the emperor; but he entered Rome in 536, and sent the keys of the city to Justinian as the sign that he was master of the city. But the victory was not by any means complete, as the Barbarians under Vitiges besieged Rome with Belisarius in it. The siege lasted over a year. See Gibbon and Bower. But the siege became disastrous and unprofitable to the Barbarians. Finally, unfavorable news from Rimini caused the Gothic leader to risk one more effort before leaving the vicinity of the city; but the attack was disastrous to the besiegers, and they retreated, not soon to return. Italy was rescued to the emperor, and the third kingdom was taken away to relieve the Catholic Church, and the popes, from their heretical masters. It is true that Barbarians from time to time renewed their efforts to recover what Belisarius had taken from them. Their retreat was in 538, at which time the letter of Justinian to Pope John I., in which all the churches were subjected to his authority, became more than a hope, which it had hitherto been to the pope, for the emperor was now able to give effect to the gracious promises which he had made to the pontiff.FEE 123.4

    The prophet Daniel said of the little horn, which came up after the ten, that before him “there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” This we have seen was accomplished between the years 493, when Odoacer was defeated and slain, which ended the reign of the Heruli, and 538, when Italy was recovered from the Ostrogoths.FEE 124.1

    Daniel 7:25. “And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”FEE 124.2

    Four specifications are here presented, and each has been most faithfully fulfilled by the papacy. Not a power, not a prerogative, not a title, was ever given to, or claimed by, the Most High God but has been claimed by, and given to, the pope of Rome. Indeed, under the name of “that man of sin,” Paul has described him as exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9. That he has worn out the saints of the Most High, all history attests. The Judgment-day alone will reveal the number of the victims who perished by fire, by the sword, by wild beasts, by the tortures and in the dungeons of the Inquisition. The Scriptures will never fail; the description of that power by St. Paul was written by inspiration, and has its perfect fulfillment. And what power ever fulfilled it by exalting itself as the papacy has done? What power ever wore out the saints of the Most High as that apostate church literally wore them out for long centuries? What other power ever continued long enough to hold dominion over the saints, and to make them the victims of its religious hatred and unbounded ambition, as long a time as is here given to this horn? “And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”FEE 124.3

    This expression is easily explained. In Daniel 4:16, 23, 25, and 32, the expression “seven times” is used. These seven times were to pass upon Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, during which he should be shut out of his kingdom, and live with the cattle, because of his pride. And Josephus, book 10, chap. 10, sec. 6, says that Nebuchadnezzar was driven out from his kingdom for seven years. And he is not the only authority for applying the word “time” to a year.FEE 125.1

    In other scriptures this period of three times and a half is so numbered that it is necessary to ascertain how many days we must count for a year. No exact measurement ever has been or ever can be adopted, from the fact that, in computing the days of the revolution of the earth around the sun, a fraction remains. In the course of years these fractions amount to a considerable sum—sufficient to disarrange the seasons. For this reason intercalary periods have to be used; that is, the years are counted of unequal length, and days or longer periods are thrown in to rectify the discrepancy. In our present computation the months have no certain length, an arbitrary number of days being given to each, and the fraction remaining is nearly accounted for by adding a day to February every four years. Yet exactness requires that another be added at much longer periods.FEE 125.2

    But the computation given in the Scriptures is entirely different. Twelve months, with thirty days to the month, were counted for a year, giving a round number of three hundred and sixty days,—five less than in the present method. While we add one day to every fourth year, their deficiency being greater, they had to add longer periods, which they called a month. The twelfth month was called Adar, and the intercalated month was called Veadar—literally, And-Adar; equivalent to, Another-Adar. But as we commonly call a period of three hundred and sixty-five days a year, taking no note of the intercalated days, so they called the year three hundred and sixty days, not noting the intercalated month. That thirty was the number of days counted to a month, we learn in Genesis, chapters 7 and 8. In Genesis 7:11 it is said that the flood came upon the earth in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month. In chapter 8:4 it says the ark rested the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month. And from the seventeenth day of the second month to the seventeenth day of the seventh month is just five months. And chapter 7:24 says that the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. An hundred and fifty days divided between five months give thirty days to the month. And twelve months of thirty days to the month make a year of three hundred and sixty days. This point is clear; a year, or a literal time, contains three hundred and sixty days.FEE 125.3

    It has already been shown that a time is equal to a year, and a time and times and half a time would make twelve hundred and sixty days. Thus: one time, three hundred and sixty days; two times, seven hundred and twenty days; and half a time, one hundred and eighty days, together equal to twelve hundred and sixty. And this computation is verified in Revelation 12. Verse 14 says that the woman fled into the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time from the face of the serpent. And verse 6 says she was in the wilderness a thousand two hundred and threescore days—1260. This is the period in which the little horn had power to wear out the saints of the Most High, according to Daniel 7:25.FEE 126.1

    But 1260 days make only three and a half years, while the papacy wore out the saints for many centuries. How are we to understand this? It is true that in Daniel 4 we found that seven times made just seven years, which is literal time, because that was a period relating to the life of a single man. He was driven out from his kingdom for seven years, but that did not destroy his kingdom. It stood ready for him, and he ruled in it when his reason was restored to him. But the little horn does not represent a man or a single individual; it is the symbol of a power that stood and acted through many centuries. When applied to a symbol, time is always counted a day for a year. This rule is laid down in Ezekiel 4:1-6. The prophet was to represent the siege of Jerusalem, by lying as many days as the city was to be besieged years. Said the Lord, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” And this again is shown in Daniel 9, where seventy weeks are given unto a certain event, which are known to be weeks of years—seven years to a week. This is recognized by all. And this fact, that each day is counted for a year, answers the query about the length of time the little horn had power over the saints; it was 1260 years, instead of 1260 literal days. As this time is more particularly spoken of in the book of Revelation, the evidence as to its beginning and ending will be examined in connection with an examination of some prophecies in that book.FEE 126.2

    Thus briefly have the several parts of the vision been examined; the climax, “the effect of every vision,” Ezekiel 12:23, is again presented in verse 27:—FEE 127.1

    “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”FEE 127.2

    According to the current theories of men, the saints possessed the kingdom long before this little horn arose, even before the Roman kingdom was divided. But the Scriptures always speak in a different manner. This is the period of their tribulation. Here all that live godly in Christ must suffer persecution. Here death and the grave hold them in their embrace. But a change is coming, the saints will get the victory over all their foes, and possess the kingdom forever and ever. The order of events is again given in Daniel 7:21, 22:—FEE 127.3

    “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.”FEE 128.1

    This testimony is unmistakable and sure. This is the consummation of all prophecy. The saints are yet the Lord’s waiting ones. The promises to Abraham and his seed have not yet been fulfilled. The meek have not yet inherited the earth; they have never had the privilege of delighting themselves in the abundance of peace in the land of Abraham’s sojourning. The throne of David is not yet given to his seed, “whose right it is.” He is yet seated upon the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens, expecting till his own throne—his throne by birth of the line of Judah—shall be given him. Revelation 3:21; Luke 1:32, 33. Still the longing ones, the believing ones, who wait for the fulfillment of the promises of the Lord, earnestly pray, “Thy kingdom come.”FEE 128.2

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