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and in a book which contains predictions clothed in highly figurative language. Our orthodox friends do not depend much on the Old Testament for proof of the doctrine of endless misery, and as this is the strongest, yea, I may say the only text, which they generally quote from it in proof of it, we shall give it a particular consideration.
The passage then saysAnd at that time.' At what time? Let the question be asked. The time evidently, of which Daniel had been speaking chap. 11. This will not be disputed, for it is plain that the first four verses of chap. 12. connect with the matters stated in the 11th chapter. The things mentioned are said to take place at the period called that time, chap. 12: 1. whatever time this may be. This time, we think, is easily ascertained, from considering of what people Daniel was speaking. It is plain he referred to the Jews, for in verse 1. they are twice called thy people,' or Daniel's people, who certainly were Jews. Let us then see how the events mentioned agree to Daniel's people. It is, then, said, ' and at that time,' which time is called, chap. 11: 40. the time of the end.' 6 But this provokes the question-What end? I answer, the end of the Jewish age or dispensation. Is it asked, what proof have we of this? I answer, in chap. 11. verse 31. the abomination that maketh desolate' is expressly mentioned, which passage our Lord quotes, Matth. 24: 15. and applies it to the Romans, by whom the Jewish temple and city were destroyed at the end of the age. See the whole of chap. 11. for other circumstances which corroborate this. It will be shown afterwards, that the period called 'the end,' chap. 11. and that time,' chap. 12: 1. exactly agree to the end of the Jewish dispensation, which is repeatedly called the end of the world,' or age, in the New Testament. It is then said, at that time shall
Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.' It is difficult to say with certainty, who was referred to by Michael, nor is this necessary to be determined in the present discussion. The most probable opinion we have seen is, that Michael the great prince refers to Messiah, called the prince of the Jews in other parts of the book of Daniel, and the prince of life, and prince of the kings of the earth, in other parts of Scripture. It is supposed by Pierce and others, that certain angels presided over different parts of the world before the coming of Christ, but all of them now are put in subjection to him. During the period which preceded his coming, it is supposed he was the person who presided over the Jewish nation. But it would be aside from my present object to enter further into this question.
The passage proceeds to say- And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.' Our Lord refers to these very words, Matth. 24: 21. and applies them to the great tribulations which came on the Jews in the destruction of their city and temple at the end of the age. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the wor' to this time, no nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.' Who can doubt, after reading this, that Daniel referred to the end of the age, and the tribulations which came on the Jewish nation? He could refer to no other, unless it can be proved, that there have been two different times of such calamity, that the like had never been since there was a nation, or from the beginning of the world. We think this conclusively shows to what period, to what people, and to what calamities the prophet referred.
It is further said-"And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." It is not said, all Daniel's people, the Jews, shall be delivered "at that time," but only such as were found "written in the book." What is meant by being blotted out of a book, or not to be found written in it, we may learn from Exod. 32: 32, 33. and comp. Rev. 20: 15. On the contrary, what is meant by being found written in a book, may be learned from Phil. 3: 5. and Rev. 13: 8. Comp. Isai. 4: 3. and Luke 10: 20. I shall only quote the following passages, which are a sufficient illustration of this phraseology. "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous," Psalm 69: 28. By consulting this Psalm any one may see, that David referred to the unbelieving Jews, who were the murderers of our Lord, for it is quoted in the New Testament and applied to them. It is implied, that the righteous are written in a book, and it is evident also, that to be blotted out "of the book of the living," or "not to be written with the righteous," are synonimous expressions. Who, then, were the righteous, written in the book, distinguished from the unbelieving Jews not written with the righteous? What persons could they be, but our Lord's disciples? This, in the first place, agrees to the fact, for they were all delivered from the calamities which came on the Jewish nation at the end of the age. They left the city according to our Lord's directions, Matth. 24: and went to a city called Pella, as shown by Macknight on that chapter. Second, It is in agreement with the prediction of Malachi, and the language he uses in reference both to Christ's disciples, and also the unbelieving Jews. Concerning the former, "a book of remembrance was written," chap. 3: 16. and they were spared as a man spareth his only son which serveth him. Con
cerning the latter, they were to be as stubble. See the description given of them at length in Malachi, chaps. 3, 4. The peculiar phraseology about being written in a book, is in allusion to the ancient prac tice of making record at courts, of any good service any one had done, as may be seen by consulting Esther 6: 1, 2. and 2: 23. This part of the passage then, perfectly agrees with Scripture, and with the facts of the case.
Let us now attend to verse 2. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." That no literal resurrection of the dead took place at the destruction of Jerusalem needs no proof, and it has been shown that Daniel refers to this period. What then is the prophet's meaning The phrase "everlasting life" occurs no where else in the Old Testament. It is a phrase familiar to the New Testament writers, and if borrowed from the Old, must have been taken from this place in Daniel. It could not refer to the happiness of heaven, as people generally suppose, but to that life or happiness enjoyed by the disciples of our Lord, who were found written in the book, as the time and events mentioned verse 1. shows. Besides, it is set in contrast to the shame and everlasting contempt suffered by those not found written in the book, and which came on the Jews in the destruction of their city and temple, and which they are still as a nation enduring. It is obvious, that in Scripture style, life is used to express glory, honor, and happiness, as could easily be shown. At the period referred to, verse 1. many awoke to the honor and happiness of our Lord's kingdom or reign, which consists in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy spirit. So did many to the shame and contempt which came on the unbelieving part of the Jewish nation. The term
everlasting is applied to both, and can occasion no difficulty to any one, who has attended to the Old Testament usage of this word, as shown in the preceding Sections. Is it objected-"How could any believer enjoy everlasting life, or any one endure shame and everlasting contempt, if these are confined to this world? Must not both be carried into another world to be everlasting?" We answer this by asking-Must not the children of Israel and the land of Canaan then, be carried into a future state, that they may enjoy this land for "an everlasting possession?" And must not the servant whose ear was pierced, go into another world, if he would serve his master forever? And must not Aaron and his sons, with the whole Levitical service, go into another world, that they may enjoy the priesthood forever? In fact, instances without number may be adduced, to show the absurdity of such an objection, and of such a mode of reasoning on the word everlasting.
It is agreeable to fact, that on the day of Penticost three thousand Jews awoke to the everlasting life imparted by the gospel, by believing in Jesus. Such also was the case with multitudes more of them, as the history of the Acts of the Apostles shows. Though the spirit of slumber had seized the Jewish nation, though they had eyes, and saw not, and ears, but heard not, yet the apostle declares that there was a remnant according to the election of grace. See Rom. 11. This part awoke to everlasting life, or entered into the everlasting kingdom of Christ, and had peace and joy in believing. They heard the voice of the son of God and lived. Comp. Eph. 5: 4. The rest slept on till the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost. They all at last awoke, but it was to shame and everlasting contempt, in being dispersed among all nations, and have become a by-word and an hissing even unto this day. Jeremiah, chaps. 23,