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An Address to the Public, and Especially the Clergy

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    ROMAN, JEWISH, AND CHRISTIAN HISTORY

    After the death of the Savior, predicted in the 22nd verse, we are taken back, verse 23rd, to the origin of the connection between the church and the Romans. “After the league made with him (the power predicted verses 20-22,) he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up and become strong with a small people.” The league here spoken off, is the first ever made between the Jews and Romans. The Jews having been long harassed by the Syrians, and having no prospect of assistance from the neighboring nations, sent ambassadors to Rome, and entered into a league, offensive and defensive, with the Roman senate. This league was formed about B. C. 162. And soon after, Demetrius, the Syrian king, at the order of the Roman senate, left off to afflict the Jews. (Josephus’ Ant., B. 12, chap. 10.) From this time the Romans, who had been hitherto a small people, began rapidly to extend their power and enlarge their dominions. The Roman government did that which none of their predecessors had done. The fattest provinces of the world became to them an easy prey. The Jewish rulers were appointed and continued in office at the dictation of the Romans.APEC 91.2

    He shall scatter among them the prey.” Rome is said to have done more toward the conquest of the world by her policy and craftiness than by her arms. Scattering the prey and spoil among those they conquered, was one of her favorite modes of conciliating the feelings of her most inveterate foes. But when these means failed to win over their enemies to the Roman interests, the sword decided the contest.APEC 92.1

    From the 25th to the 27th verse we have the history of the final conquest of Egypt by Augustus Cesar, by the termination of a war carried on against Mark Antony, a brother-in-law of Cesar, and Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, whose cause Mark Antony had espoused. For a history of this war, see Rollin’s Ancient History, vol. 8.APEC 92.2

    Verse 28. “Then shall he return into his own land with great riches.” After the conquest of Egypt, B. C. 30, Cesar returned to Rome in triumph, being master of all the dominions of Alexander the Great.APEC 92.3

    And his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return into his own land.”APEC 92.4

    The next warlike exploit of the Romans, after the conquest of Egypt, B. C. 30, of any considerable importance, was the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation; after which he returned again to his own land.APEC 92.5

    Verse 29: “At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.”APEC 92.6

    “Come toward the south.” The time appointed for the division of the Roman empire; the seat of government was removed from Rome to Constantinople, toward, not to, the south; but on the way to the south by a land passage. “Not as the former,” the Syrian kings going to war with Egypt; “nor as the latter,” the Romans marching against Egypt. But he shall merely remove the seat of his empire toward the south.APEC 93.1

    The ships of Chittim shall come against him.” The hordes of northern barbarians shall invade his dominions, and conquer the portion he has vacated by removing to Constantinople.APEC 93.2

    And have indignation against the holy covenant, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” Julian, the apostate, exhibited his malice against the Christians, and did all he could to restore Paganism and put down Christianity. To effect this, he made use of apostates from the Christian faith, to betray the cause they had forsaken. The Pagans, also, in the empire, believed the distress they suffered from the Huns, etc., was in consequence of the wrath of their gods for suffering the Christians to live among them. “Arms shall stand on his part.” The Romans shall defend themselves by arms for a season, and preserve independent the eastern empire “And they (the barbarous nations) shall pollute the sanctuary of strength,” (Rome,) by offering to their pagan deities human sacrifices. “And shall take away the daily sacrifice,” “and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” The conquerors of Rome, when they were converted to Christianity, took away the pagan rites and sacrifices which had for centuries been observed in Rome, and in their place set up Christian images as objects of worship, which have continued in use to the present time. So that the removal of pagan abominations only made way for another great system of corruption and wickedness. This change was effected about A. D. 508, by the conversion of the Ostrogoths to the Christian faith, since which Christianity has been the religion of Rome.APEC 93.3

    Such as do wickedly shall he corrupt.” Those who are only nominal Christians, not Christians in heart, shall he corrupt by flatteries to submit to all the pretensions of Papal Rome. “But the people (true Christians) who do know their God, shall be strong and do exploits.” They shall protest against the corruptions of Christianity which they witness around them. “And they that understand among the people shall instruct many.” The true servants of God shall keep religion alive through the long dark night of Papal rule. Yet they shall be persecuted and put to death by a variety of means, many days. “When they shall fall they shall be holpen with a little help.” They shall have now and then a respite from their persecutions; but whenever they do, they shall find many to cleave to them with flatteries, and that they are in danger of being corrupted from their simplicity. But, to keep them humble and dependent, “some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge them, and make them white, even to the time of the end, because it is for a time appointed,” Until the time of the end, therefore, the Papal power was to continue and be exerted in persecuting and putting to death all who were in his power, who dared to dissent from the successor of St. Peter. But at the period where the 35th verse leaves us, the time of the end is yet future.APEC 94.1

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