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by Dr. John Thomas
Suppose we were to take a goat's horn, and with a fret-saw were to cut out a small piece of its surface.
Then fix this piece upon a spring, the lower end of which should be fixed inside the horn itself.
Now if pressure be applied to the small piece it would be brought down to a level with the general surface of the horn.
In this state, the horn would represent the Assyro-Macedonian kingdom under the Selucidę; but remove the pressure and the small piece of horn would start up to the height of the spring's length.
Let this represent the Little Horn upon the Goat's horn, and we have the symbol of the power which prevails from the conquest of Assyro-Macedonia, b.
65, until "the time of the end".
But if pressure be afterwards applied to the small piece, it is brought down to a level with the surface of the horn, and it again appears like one horn, for by the pressure the Little Horn is merged into it.
This last action and its result will represent the merging of the Little Horn power of Constantinople into the Assyro-Macedonian, or Russian, Horn of the Goat in the time of the end; so that the Constantinopolitan, and RussoAssyrian, powers, become one horn, as before the Little Horn arose.
In the time of the end, the Horn of the North in its enmity against Israel, plays a similar part to that it did of old by the hand of Antiochus Epiphanes in the days of Judas Maccabaeus.
Therefore, he may be tairly taken as the type of Israel's last and greatest enemy, who shall come to his end, with none to help him.
This Little Horn power, or "King of fierce countenance," is, in the thirty-sixth verse of the eleventh chapter, styled "the King who doth according to his will".
This federal potentate must be studied in his secular and ecclesiastical characters.
His secular, with a hint or two of his spiritual character, is given in the eighth chapter; while his ecclesiastical is exhibited more fully in the eleventh, from the thirty-sixth to the thirty-ninth verses inclusive.
His policy was to be of a remarkable description; for "through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper by his power".
Hence, his doings with regard to another, and that person's words and deeds, are all affirmed of this wilful king; for, it is by his power as well as through his policy, that this person is enabled to do.
Thus, putting them both together, for they are one in policy and action, the power is thus outlined by the prophet who says, "And the King shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god," or ruler, "and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done.
He shall disregard all the gods of his fathers (ejpi; pavnta" qeou;" tw`n patevrwn aujtou` ouj sunhvsei -- Sept.
) and the desire of wives, nor shall he regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all".
This is evidently not descriptive of the Pagan Roman power, but of that power invested with a new ecclesiastical character.
In other words, it is descriptive of the imperial Constantinopolitan Catholic power.
Of all who swayed this sceptre from Constantine, the founder of the city, to Palaeologus, who lost it to the Turks, the Emperor Justinian is the best illustration of the wilful king in his secular aspect.
"Never prince," says Dupin, "did meddle so much with what concerns the affairs of the church, nor make so many constitutions and laws upon this subject.
He was persuaded that it was the duty of an emperor, and for the good of the State, to have a particular care of the church, to defend its faith, to regulate external discipline, and to employ the civil laws and the temporal power to preserve it in order and peace".