Thumbnail image

Last Updated on : Saturday, November 22, 2014



DOWNLOAD EUREKA volumes in PDF: Eureka downloads page

Eureka vol. 1 TOC | Eureka vol. 2 TOC | Eureka vol 3 TOC

Previous section | Next section



Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 12

Section 22

The Ruling of the Woman's Son


"Who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre" - v.5.

In consequence of the final overthrow of the idols by the defeat and death of Licinius, their champion, the Woman's Son, who had cast him and his partisans Out of the heaven, became, by right of conquest, the Supreme Ruler of "the whole habitable". He had now arrived at "the Deity and his throne." There was no power on the Roman inhabited earth equal to him; his authority was absolute in church and state, in both of which he did "according to his own will; and exalted himself and magnified himself above all." He was now the chief of a great dominion, and prepared to rule with an iron sceptre. He was to rule all the nations; not all the nations of the globe, but all the nations of Daniel's Fourth Beast so far as it was then developed. Beyond the limits of this symbolical dominion he exercised no rule. The nations of Persia, China, India, and so forth, with the tribes of what is now called Germany and Russia, were all exempt from his jurisdiction. He ruled "all the nations" inhabiting Britain, Gaul from the Rhine to the Atlantic, and from the Channel to the Alps and Pyrennees, Spain, Italy, the Roman Africa, Egypt, Syria from the Mediterranean to the Tigris, Asia Minor, the rest of Turkey and the Danubian Principalities, and Hungary (as they are now termed), Greece, the Islands of the Mediterranean, and the region lying between the Danube and the Adriatic: all the nations of these countries were subjected to his iron rule.

The character of Constantine as a ruler is no doubt correctly delineated in the eighteenth chapter of the Decline and Fall of the Roman empire. Therein Gibbon remarks, that by the grateful zeal of what he calls "the christians," he has been decorated with every attribute of a hero and a saint; while the vanquished party compared him to the most abhorred of those tyrants, who by their vice and weakness, dishonored the imperial purple. But neither of these opinions can be admitted with-out qualification. He was doubtless a hero and a tyrant; but neitherĀ  saint, nor the worst of the tyrants that had reigned. Had he fallen on the banks of the Tiber, or even on the plains of Adrianople, he might have transmitted to posterity, with some exceptions, a less questionable fame: "but the conclusion of his reign," says Gibbon, that is, the last fourteen years, "degraded him from the rank he had acquired among the most deserving of the Roman princes." This remark of the historian assigns the worst period of his rule to that indicated in the prophecy; namely, from the time he arrived at "the Deity and his throne" by the overthrow of Licinius. This was the period "the conclusion of his reign," when he was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre; and Gibbon re-fers to it as the period of his degradation among princes. In regard to this period of his life he says, "we may contemplate a hero, who had so long inspired his subjects with love, and his enemies with terror, degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch, corrupted by his fortune, or raised by conquest above the necessity of dissimulation. The general peace which he maintained during the last fourteen years of his reign (the Half-hour's silence in the heaven - Ch. 8:1) was a period of apparent splendor rather than of real prosperity; and the old age of Constantine was disgraced by the opposite yet reconcilable vices of rapaciousness and prodigality. The oppression of the people was the only fund which could support his magnificence. His unworthy favorites, enriched by the boundless liberality of their master, usurped with impunity the privilege of rapine and corruption. A secret but universal decay was felt in every part of the public administration, and the emperor himself though he still retained the obedience, gradually lost the esteem of his subjects. An impartial narrative of the executions, or rather murders, which sullied the declining age of Constantine, will suggest to our most candid thoughts the idea of a prince who could sacrifice without reluctance the laws of justice, and the feelings of nature, to the dictates either of his passions or of his interest." The murderous executions of his son Crispus, his nephew Licinius, and of a great number of respectable and innocent friends, who were involved in their fall, were sufficient to justify the discontent of the Roman people, and to explain the satirical verses affixed to the palace-gate, comparing the splendid and bloody reigns of Constantine and Nero. Such was the character of his rule - a sceptre of iron in the hand of the Man-Child of Sin.




Eureka Diary -- reading plan for Eureka