Daniel 7:11

11. I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

11. Videbam tunc, propter vocem 1 sermonum grandium quos cornu proferebat, videbam usque dum occisa fuit bestia, et abolitum corpus ejus, et data fuit incendio ignis.


Since the presumptuous speaking of the little horn terrified the Prophet, he now says he was attentive in considering this portion. He next says, The beast was slain, and his body was consumed by the burning of fire. This ought clearly to be referred to the end of the Roman empire. For, from the time when foreigners obtained the mastery, the fourth beast ceased to flourish. The name was always retained, yet with great mockery of that ancient monarchy. I now omit all mention of Caligula, Nero, Domitian, and similar monsters. But when Spaniards and Africans acquired the absolute sway, can we call Rome any longer the mistress of the world? Surely this would be foolish indeed! To this very day the Germans also say they possess the Roman empire; but while the title of empire has passed to the Germans, clearly enough Rome is at this very day in slavery. For as to the Pope having erected his own throne there, this empire is unworthy of the name of monarchy; but whatever be our view of this point, for about 1500 years the Romans have been in bondage as slaves to foreign princes. For, after the death of Nero:, Trajan was his successor, and from that time scarcely a single Roman obtained the empire; and God branded it with the, most disgraceful marks of ignominy, when a swine-herd was created emperor, and that too by the lust of the soldiery! The senate retained its name till then; But. if it pleased the soldiers to create any one a Caesar, the senate was immediately compelled to submit to their dictation. Thus, the Prophet with great propriety says, The beast was slain shortly after the promulgation of the gospel. Then the presumptuous speaking of the little horn was at an end, and the fourth beast was extinct about the same time. For then no Roman became an Emperor who claimed for himself any share of power; but Rome itself fell into disgraceful slavery, and not only foreigners reigned there most shamefully, but even barbarians, swine-herds, and cow-herds! All this occurred in fulfillment of what God had shown to his Prophet, namely, after the coming of Christ and the opening of the books, that is -- after the knowledge which shone upon the world through the preaching of the gospel -- the destruction of that fourth beast and of the Roman empire was close at hand.


Grant, Almighty God, whatever revolutions happen daily in the world, that we may always be intent on the sight of thy glory, once manifested to us in thy Son. May the splendor of thy majesty illuminate our hearts, and may we pass beyond the visible heavens, the sun, the moon, and every shining thing; and may we behold the blessedness of thy kingdom, which thou proposest to us in the light of thy Gospel. May we walk through the midst of the darkness and afflictions of the world, content with that light by which thou invitest us to the hope of the eternal inheritance which thou hast promised us, and acquired for us by the blood of thine only begotten Son. -- Amen.

Lecture Thirty-Five

1 That is, I was gazing upon that vision still: it signifies the attention of the mind, and that not after a human method, but as if he had been caught up aloft in a prophetic spirit. Thus he says his senses were fixed upon that vision -- "on account of the voice," therefore, or "through the voice." -- Calvin.