Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

deemer's vengeance when he should appear. The vision now to be considered reviews a part of the former history, in order to show the rise of another peculiar power,

which was to grow out of one of the empires, and whose rise and fall would much concern the people of God in the latter days. This power, like the papacy, is symbolized by “a little horn,” and we shall find the symbol to denote, what from a general recollection of history we should expect - the Mahometan power.

The first, or Babylonian empire, was now so nearly expired, that the present vision takes no notice of it, but begins with the second, or Persian. Having shown the conflicts of this power with the third, or Grecian empire, which overthrows it—without proceeding to the fourth kingdom, the history of which was so fully developed in the last vision—the prophecy proceeds immediately to the description of this new power, which is to stand on the ruins of the third empire, and to become of great consequence in the latter ages. Daniel thus relates his vision:

saw,

3. “ Then I lifted up mine

eyes

and and, behold, there stood before the river a ram, which had two horns; and the two horns were high, but one was higher than the other; and the higher came up last: 4. And I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward, so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.”

20. “ The ram which thou sawest,"—the heavenly interpreter explains to the prophet, -" the ram which thou sawest, having two horns, is the king of Media and Persia."

I refer to Bishop Newton, and the other expositors of prophecy, to show how well the symbol represents the chief transactions of this empire.

ram,

5. “And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west, on the face of the earth, and touched not the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes: 6. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 7. And I saw him close

upon

the and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him; and there was none that could deliver out of his hand. Therefore the he-goat waxed very strong; and when he was strong the great horn was broken, and for it came up four notable ones towards the four winds of heaven."

This is thus interpreted by the angel :

21. “ The rough goat is the king of Grecia, and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22. Now, that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”

I refer to the before mentioned writer, and general history, to prove how all this exactly describes the progress of Alexander the Great-his conflict with Darius, the Persian king his death in the midst of his conquests and the final division of his dominions between four of his generals : Macedon and Greece, in the west, to Cassander; Thrace and Bithynia, in the north, to Lysimachus; Egypt, in the south, to Ptolemy; and Syria, with the eastern provinces, to Seleucus. So far this vision only goes over the ground of the former : the above is but an enlarged view of the history of the second and third beasts of the last vision; the powers symbolized by the silver and brass in Nebuchadnezzar's image: but the chief design of this new vision is to show the concern which a power, to arise out of one of these divisions of the third empire, is to have in the transactions of the last days. This the interpreter plainly intimates:

17. “ Understand, O son of man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision :” or rather; as we may translate the angel's words, “ For, or respecting the time of the end, is the vision."

That is, it is designed to show what shall take place in very remote ages towards the end,- the end which the coming of Christ shall put to the revolutions of human kingdoms, as was shown in the former visions. The part of the vision already considered, however, related to events not very distant in time. Even the dividing of the Grecian kingdom took place within two hundred and fifty years after the date of this prophecy. . It is, therefore, in what follows, in the new part of the prophecy, that we are to see a symbol of more remote events — of events that touch upon

the
very

advent of Messiah's kingdom.

9. “ And out of one of them” (of the four horns of the hegoat] " came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the pleasant land : 10. And it waxed great even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them: 11. Yea, he magnified himself against the prince of the host, and by him," or, “ from him, the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice, by reason of transgression,' and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered.”

This is thus interpreted by the angel :

1 " By reason of revolt."-- FABER.

23. “ And in the latter time of their kingdom, when transgressions are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but [or, and] not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and holy people," or, “ the strong ones and the people of the saints," "and through his policy shall he cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by [or, in) peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand."

“ In the latter time of their kingdom," the interpreter tells the prophet, “ this little horn” is to arise. This expression might, indeed, be understood to mean, when these four Grecian kingdoms shall be approaching to their overthrow by the fourth great empire, then shall this little horn arise: but all attempts to show any such power, as that which is here symbolized, among the successors of the Grecian kings, has entirely failed. The Romans themselves could not be, as some have supposed, this little horn of the third beast, for they were the fourth beast, and were truly great and terrible before the latter time of the Grecian successors of Alexander. Their interference in the affairs of these princes was by no means like the symbol of a little horn coming forth out of one of them. It was, in fact, a great nation extending its conquests, in a wide circle, all around, till it reached and subdued them. Besides, if the Roman power be supposed to be here symbolized, the vision, in fact, gives us no further information respecting the events of futurity, especially not of “ the time of the end.” But the angel expressly says, “ for the time of the end is the vision :"

“ I will make thee know what shall be the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed the end shall be."!

I have only, therefore, to observe, that the expression, “ in the latter time of their kingdom,”! will equally signify " after these kingdoms;" at some indefinite period after the dominion of the third kingdom shall be taken away, shall this little horn spring up. And the reader will bear in mind, that, according to the representation of the last vision, “ concerning the three first beasts,” they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged “ for a season and time.” So that there is nothing incongruous in the interpretation that the little horn grows out of one of the horns of the he-goat, long after his dominion is destroyed. 3

Following, therefore, what seems to be the direction of the angel interpreter, and looking to these latter ages for a power answering to this symbol, we certainly find one,--and one, in some parts of its character, not unlike the other power, symbolized in the last vision by a little horn on the fourth beast. It arose, too, about the same time with it, and arose among the nations that had formed, and still form, in the view of prophecy, the body of the third beast. This power was no other than the spiritual empire, founded in the East by Mahomet, *

.באחרית

1 " The vision shall reach to • The expression in the original the time of the end : it shall reach is ons non a, which, from the even to the appointed time of the various meanings of the prefixed end."— FABER.

», may, perhaps, be rendered “out

Compare of," or "from one-apart from . Or perhaps, in a posi- them," so as not to be of them. tion“ behind them."— FABER.

“ Post regnum eorum.”. Whitaker, Faber, and hinted VULGATE,

by Bp. Newton, Dissert, xvii. VOL. II.

מלכותם 2

.אחר under

4

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »