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the kingdom of God appears in its real worth and What Nebuchadnezzar saw as the silver breast and dignity as the crown of humanity, or the Son of Man arms of the great image, and what Daniel, in the precoming from heaven with the sublimest investiture ceding vision, beheld under the image of a clumsy from the eternal throne. Nebuchadnezzar's dream bear, here appears under the figure of contains no particular reference to that eleventh A SOLITARY RAM, WITH Two HORNS. horn in which the iniquities of the rule of man The change of the symbol lies in the reference of the finally culminate and call forth the great judgment. vision to the Jewish people. Medo-Persia, viewed in The picture is simply that of the world-power in relation to Israel, was not a devouring wild beast, general, through its various phases to the end viewed but, for the most part, a friendly power, which from a worldly standpoint. In Daniel's vision, this religiously approximated towards the Shemitic race eleventh horn is the chief thing, since it is the con. and the theocracy. It was this power which restored summation of that savage beastliness inherent in the the Jews after the seventy years of captivity in rule of apostate man, which it is the intent of this Babylon, and helped them in many ways in the revision to exhibit. Hence also that great session of building of their temple and the restoration of their the Divine judgment whence the final destruction of worship. Many Jews long afterwards continued to this beast-power proceeds, for which there was no reside among the Medo-Persians, filled high places in place or occasion in that outward view of things the Government, and exerted great influence, as we presented to Nebuchadnezzar. And so the vision see from the Book of Esther. Viewed as a worldnow before us, though it travels for the third time power in general, this dominion was a ferocious and over the same general track, has its own particular all-eating bear; but in its relation to Israel, it was a standpoint by which it is conditioned.
much more domestic and harmless animal. In the two preceding visions may be seen the pic. The solitariness of this ram denoted the unity of tures of the powers of the world as a whole, without this kingdom, while the two horns had reference to regard to any distinction between Jew and Gentile. the two nations of which it was made up, and in
HUMAN DOMINION IN ITS BROADEST VIEW which its chief power resided. Media was an indeis presented in its entirety-first as outwardly con. pendent kingdom long before Persia was anything sidered, and then as spiritually considered, and finally but a province; but when Cyrus came to the throne superseded by the kingdom of God. Hence, also, the Persian part of the kingdom became much the the language in which these revelations, up to the greater of the two. This was foreshown in the chapter now before us, are recorded, which is the vision, in that the horn which sprung up last became common world-language used at the time, and not much higher than the other. Hebrew; whilst the vision now in hand is given in Daniel beheld this ram “pushing"-thrusting the language of the Jews, as is all that follows in this violently with its head-denoting military aggresBook. What Daniel is here shown of these world. sions. These are specified as being toward the west, power manifestations he sees and hears not only as toward the north, and toward the south from Shua spiritual man of God, but more particularly as a shan. The east is not mentioned, as the Persians Jewish prophet, and as mainly concerning the Jewish made no important or lasting conquests in that people. Hence the dominion of Babylon is left out direction. To the westward, however, they conentirely, for it was now on the eve of its downfall, quered Babylon, Syria, and Asia Minor ; to the and nothing more was to come of it to the Jews. northward, Armenia, and the Caspian countries; and Hence, also, nothing is said of the fourth beast, to the southward, Egypt, Libya, &c. The history except as it might be considered included in the thus agrees exactly with the vision. third, and nothing of the ten kingdoms, except as So, again, what Nebuchadnezzar saw as the brazen represented or included in the little horn in its final abdomen and thighs of the great image, and Daniel stage. Accordingly, also, we here read of the spiritual beheld in his first vision as the four-winged and hierarchy or host, and their prince — of the daily four-headed leopard, here appears sacrifices, the sanctuary, and the pleasant or holy
IN THE FORM OF A GOAT. land—of which nothing appears in the preceding There can be no question that this goat represents the visions. It is still the same world-power in its Græco-Macedonian empire, and its conspicuous horn various forms which constitutes the subject of the Alexander the Great. The interpreting angel says, vision, but with the emphasis now on what particu- in so many words, “ The rough goat is the king (or larly concerns the Jewish people, and with all else dominion) of Grecia, and the great horn between his touched but lightly or not at all. It is, therefore, a eyes is the first king." Even the escutcheon of this distinct vision by itself, and is to be interpreted only empire bore this figure. As a world-power in in its own proper relations and intent.
general, it had all the savage qualities of a leopard;
but in relation to the Jews it was a mild and foster- left to his son, but that son never came to it. The ing power rather than a beast of prey, and hence is military chieftains whom he had placed over the here symbolised as a goat. Josephus relates that conquered countries wrangled and fought with each when Alexander was on his Eastern expeditions he other for years, until finally, at the fall of Anticame into Persia with all the pride of a victorious gonus, the dominion settled into four monarchies, conqueror, and was about to turn his armies loose answering to the four heads of the leopard and the upon Jerusalem, but that a remarkable dream on his four horns of this goat. part, and another on the part of the Jewish high- Out of one of these four sections of the Macepriest, served to bring about a friendly conference, donian empire the prophet beheld which resulted most favourably to the Jewish THE SPRINGING UP or “A LITTLE HORN" people. When the great conqueror met the high- -a sprig of one of the four, which waxed great priest, and saw upon his golden mitre the great name towards the south, the east, and the pleasant or holy of Jehovah, he bowed down before it, and gave the land, even to the host of heaven—the hierarchy of high-priest his right hand. Having come into Jeru- the temple- some of whom it cast down and salem, he had sacrifices offered for him, whilst the stamped upon, magnifying itself even to the Prince priests brought to him this very Book of Daniel, and of the host (God Himself), abolishing the daily sacripointed out to him the very chapter now before us, fice, wasting the sacred dwelling-place, polluting the in which the holy prophet had recorded the coming temple, setting up a multitude of its own over of a Greek conqueror who should vanquish and against the heavenly order, and enacting the most destroy the Persian dominion. Accepting the blasphemous and murderous scenes against Jehovah, prophecy as referring to himself—as it really did His truth, and His people. he was so pleased and assured with regard to his Expositors in general interpret this of the inplans that he engaged to favour the Jews in any famous Antiochus Epiphanes. Jews and Christians thing they might ask. They therefore prayed him for nearly seventeen centuries have been taking it in that they might be permitted to enjoy their own this application, at least in its germinant and precursive laws and institutes as established by their fathers, fulfilment. Nor have they done so without reason. and not be required to pay tribute in Sabbatic years. Antiochus Epiphanes certainly answers more fully This he willingly granted, engaging that the same to the prophetic delineation than any king or power should hold for all the Jewish people who might be that has yet existed since Daniel wrote. He came found remaining in Babylon and Media in case his up out of one of the four divisions of the empire expedition should prove successful. Such a power, of Alexander, from the stock of Syrian kings, and with such a bearing towards the Jews, could not be towards the latter time of that empire, when it consistently symbolised by a ferocious beast of prey already began to come under the growing power of —at least not in that particular relation. Hence the Rome. He came up from a very small beginning, change of figure here from a panther to a goat. from being a hostage at Rome, with no prospect of
The prophet beheld this goat coming from the ever becoming a great king. He got the kingdom west, for it was to the far west from Persia that the by deceits and flatteries. His conquests and depreMacedonian power originated. It came with mar-dations were all in the directions noted in the vision; vellous velocity and determination, seeming to be and especially his treatment of the Jews, his prosupernaturally helped.
fanations of the temple, his bloody tyranny against IT STRUCK THE MEDO-PERSIAN RAM, the faithful worshippers of Jehovah, and his blasshattered both his horns, trod him down, and took phemous audacity over against God Himself, well his dominion. It required more than a single battle accord with what is said of this horn. The writings to accomplish this, but it was accomplished, as of Josephus and the Books of the Maccabees tell the history tells. But in the midst of the greatest power story of his doings, which one cannot read without and triumph of this goat, its great horn was broken- being touched at the miseries he inflicted ; all of not in battle, as the horns of the ram were broken, which accords with the prophetic outline. but by the early and unexpected death of Alexander. Time would fail us here to present the merest Giving himself up to unbridled excesses over his sketch of those infamous transactions. Suffice it to victories, he was seized with fever, and died at say that this vile man conceived the idea of estabBabylon, in the thirty-third year of his age, about lishing throughout his kingdom, inclusive of Palesthree hundred and twenty-three years before the tine, the worship of Jupiter Olympus, identifying birth of Christ. His empire, however, still stood. himself with that god, and intent on The great horn dropped off, but in place of it came MAKING His Own WORSHIP UNIVERSAL. ap four other horns. The throne was nominally With infatuated zeal and stubbornness he tried to
extirpate every other worship, and particularly the and fifty days, or three years and a portion of a year. worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem. Among the Jews And so, according to the records in the Book of Macthemselves he found many faithless ones ready to cabees, it was just three years from the day that the enter into his plans and to help on his idolatrous first idolatrous sacrifice was made upon the altar of designs. He bought up these traitors, sold out the God under Antiochus until the first regular offerings high priesthood to the highest bidders, ejected one were again restored; whilst the king's letters forand another from it for a price, and rifled the temple bidding the regular sacrifices were proclaimed in again and again of all the gold, silver, and treasures Jerusalem several months before the sacrifice to in any way connected with it, dealing out slaughter Jupiter on Jehovah's altar. Or, if we take the and death to those who dared to remonstrate. twenty-three hundred "evening and morning ” as so
With the most shameful perfidy and deceit, he got many “days,"—that is, a little more than six years possession of Jerusalem, fell upon its inhabitants, —we again have the length of the time from the destroyed the lives of multitudes in cold blood, first denudation of the temple by Antiochus to the robbed and destroyed the houses, carried off women righting of it again under the Maccabean heroes. and children into slavery, made a military strong
THE END OF ANTIOCHƯS EPIPHANES. hold of the city, put the worst of men into it to The miserable end of this proud and bloody blaswatch for and slay every earnest believer in the God phemer also answers well to the end assigned to this of Abraham who might come thither to do homage little horn. The angel said, “He shall be broken to Jehovah, polluted the sanctuary on all sides with without hand,” indicating his destruction by some innocent blood, prohibited circumcision on pain of supernatural power; and after this sort was the end death, abolished the temple services, and kept it of Antiochus Epiphanes. Marching into Persia, and vacated till the weeds grew up in the passage-ways robbing the temple at Elymais, he was driven away of God's house, set
by popular tumult. Receiving tidings, about the THE IMAGE OF HIS OWN IDOL
same time, of the defeat of his army in Palestine, on the Almighty's altar, offered swine's flesh in and of the restoration of the temple services there, sacrifice in special defiance of the God of Israel, and he ravingly declared his purpose to exterminate the forced all Jews who would remain faithful to the Jewish race. Whereupon he was suddenly smitten religion of their fathers to hide themselves in the with a terrible disease, like that which befell Herod, mountains and desolate places, in order to save their and, amid unmeasurable agonies of body and mind, lives. Thus did he practise and prosper, and destroy he horribly ended his life, under what he himself the holy people, slaughtering them by thousands in and all beholders regarded as a manifest judgment times of peace and under professions of peace, mag- of God for his blasphemous iniquities. Polybius nifying himself against the God of Israel, calling to says of him that he "fell into a madness and died," his aid every treacherous craft, casting down the --the madness of inconsolable bodily anguish and rightful priests, burning the sacred books, deter- mental remorse. Thus, without violence from the mined to abolish both the law and the prophets, and hand of man, he miserably perished; and this stage to submerge the Jews and their religion in the vilest of the desolating horn was at an end. Josephus heathen abominations.
declares unhesitatingly that these events happened The time which the angel gave as marking the in fulfilment of this eighth chapter of the Book of treading down of the sanctuary by this horn like- Daniel. And, from a review of the whole history, it wise accords with the history touching Antiochus. seems to be abundantly manifest that there was in the The whole vision of the displacement of the daily career of Antiochus Epiphanes at least a preliminary sacrifice is called “the vision of the evening and the or precursive fulfilment of this horn. morning "; and when it was asked, “How long shall Tue FULNESS OF THE PROPHECY STILL AWAITS be the vision ?” the answer came, specially confirmed
FULFILMENT. as true, “ Unto two thousand and three hundred"
[ But we are not therefore to conclude that the whole not “days," as our version says, but—"evening (and) meaning, or even the chief emphasis of this vision has morning; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The been exhausted, and is now to be viewed as belongallusion is not to the evening and morning making ing only to the past. The profound remark of Lord up the day, but to the sacrifice interrupted, which Bacon ever comes up, that 6. There is a latitude was offered each morning and each evening; and which is agreeable and familiar to Divine prophecies, twenty-three hundred times of these offerings was to being of the nature of their Author, with whom a be the measure of the interruption, each evening thousand years are as one day, and therefore they being counted as one, and each morning as one. This are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have would make the angel's answer cover eleven hundred springing germinant accomplishments throughout
many ages, though the height or fulness of them not the love of the truth. And nothing short of that may refer to some one age.” And so we may trace last and mighty scourge of the world, whom the a general identification of this little horn in Lord will blast and destroy with the glory of His Antiochus Epiphanes, and perhaps also in some own epiphany, will satisfy the portraiture of this other Antichristian powers since his day, whilst “ the infamous horn as given in these visions. Even the height or fulness" of the matter may still await ful- Jews of Jerome's time, as he tells us, still looked filment. History is ever repeating itself, and especially upon this prophecy as yet to have a further fulfilment those histories which are singled out for special in another king yet to arise, and do after the style description and fore-announcement in the Word of of Antiochus, in whom the wickedness of earth shall God. And there are accumulated items specifically have its final consummation, and whose end shall be given in this chapter, seemingly on purpose to prevent in the great day of God Almighty.“ This," says the conclusion that the vision in its final fulfilment Jerome “is also our understanding concerning the belongs to any period other than that immediately Antichrist whose shadow was projected before.” preceding the great day of judgment.
In this view of the matter the instruction and Gabriel was commissioned to tell Daniel, and to warning which come to the Church of our day from make him understand that “at the time of the end the contents and past fulfilments of this chapter are shall be the vision.” He also distinguishes between a exceedingly important. As Antiochus Epiphanes and former part and a latter part in the fulfilment, and his doings and successes met the prophetic descriprefers the latter part to the time appointed for the tion for that time, we may the better see and underend. He says that the vision extends to a remote stand by his history how it will be in the last days. period, and is “for many days.” He says that the People sometimes, and very naturally, wonder particular rising up of the king of fierce countenance
WHO THE FINAL ANTICHRIST IS, is to occur "in the latter time ” of the great world and how he shall come. Christian antiquity, with powers, which are contemplated as in some sort still one voice, answers: “ He is Antiochus Epiphanes in being up to the day of judgment. The time for reproduced, in larger proportions and intensified the full realisation of this vision is also said to be energy, immediately before the great day of God “when the transgressors are come to the full”—at the Almighty.” And by observing how and for what final consummation of all rebellion and wickedness— reasons the calamitous inflictions of that Græcowhich is everywhere referred to the great judgment- Syrian king fell upon the Jews of old, we may see period, when God shall come and not keep silence. and know how the final Antichrist will come. THE “MAN OF Six"
“ GREAT BEAST." Certainly, the miseries which proceeded from The character and doings of this horn likewise Antiochus came not alone of his wickedness and correspond with Paul's man of sin, and with the power. The source and seat of all were in the great beast of the Apocalypse, which are unmistak- apostasies and sins of the Jewish people themselves, ably in being at the time of the revelation of Jesus and particularly of their priests and rulers. Too Christ to judge the world. Hence, as Luther tells easily were they beguiled and won over by the smooth as, those chapters of Daniel, as all expositors unani- flatteries and soft speeches of this deceiver. Too mously declare, refer to Antiochus and to the Anti- readily were they moved by his gracious professions christ of the last times, in which we are now living." and profuse liberality. And then they, in their turn, Christ Himself said of the Jews who rejected Him sought honour, popularity, and preferment from him that another should come, not in the name of the by base concessions, compromises, and bribes. One Father, but in his own name, and that him they of the main features of the evil case was their secuwould receive. And it is pre-eminently this devilish larisation of the Church of God. They set up pseudo-saviour of the last evil days of this world, Gentile gymnasia in Jerusalem, where the Hebrew around whom the Christ-rejecting Jews will rally, youths might be trained in Hellenic ways. They and in whom all the abomination and devil-rule of mimicked Greek fashions in everything, and endeathe earth will finally head up, whom we are to see voured to assimilate the manners of the people of in this little horn which waxes so great. When that God to heathen usages. Foreign travel, commerce, which now hinders shall be taken out of the way, Greek philosophy, literature, religion, and the arts when the true and waiting people of God have been filtered in new and strange influences, to which place caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the was approvingly given over against the institutes of air, then shall be the apocalypse of that Wicked One Jehovah. Many of the Jews denied their own cirwhose coming is after the working of Satan, with all cumcision. Three high priests—one Jesus, who by power and signs and lying wonders, with all deceive- means of bribery supplanted his elder brother in the ableness of unrighteousness, captivating all that have | priesthood, and one Onias, who in turn supplanted
Jesus-Grecised their own names, and chose to be abroad which would have the Church rescind her called Jason and Menelaus ; whilst the successor of sucred charter, cancel her authentic commission, and the latter, Joachim, Hellenised himself into Alcimus, assimilate herself to a mere political or conventional and in every way sought to disparage the zeal and institution. Men call it a liberalising spirit, a spirit thwart the efforts of that heroic champion of God of improvement, which would change our Christian and his country, Judas Maccabæus, and attempted to schools and colleges into mere secular gymnasia and betray him to his heathen enemies. In a word, scientific museums or artistic studios and literary what was styled liberality and reform made up athenæums; but it is a spirit which is prone to treat THE SPIRIT OF THE Times,
the Holy Scriptures as mere human lucubrations of and everything was fostered and encouraged which worthy men before the ages of better light, rationtended to make Jerusalem a Greek city-an Athens, alize away all the definite doctrines of the authorised an Alexandria, or an Antioch-till all that was dis- creed into mere scholastic or philosophical theorems, tinctive in the Jewish Church was weakened down dissolve the sacraments into picturesque symbolisms to a mere matter of empty forms and names. Many and visionary shadows, without life or power, and of the priests renounced their belief in the religion dismantle the ministry and services of the Church, as of their forefathers, and apostatised from the faith if they never had a solid right to be regarded as the of Moses and the prophets, and thus became the appointment of very God for conveying and imparteasy and pliant tools of enthroned and persecuting ing to lost man the regenerating, sanctifying, and infidelity. God was forsaken, and He withdrew His only restorative gifts of Jehovah's grace. grace and protection, took away the spiritual privi
IT IS THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST. leges which were so underrated and scorned, and And more and more will this spirit strengthen till turned the whole nation over to their heathen it has effectually done its work. Paul specifically enemies. They first profaned the sanctuary, and He tells us that in the latter days men will not endure forsook it. They faithlessly heathenised Jerusalem sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall heap and He abandoned it. The holy of holies was no to themselves teachers who will minister to these longer in truth the shrine of the living God, who alienated fancies. Creed, catechisms, and all dishad once revealed Himself there on the mercy-seat, tinctive formularies of faith, as well as all proper and He ceased to defend and protect it. And the claims of Church and sacraments, they will proscribe temple itself, built on the spot where Abraham's and trample under foot. Many whose sworn business faith so nobly triumphed, and where David met the it is to defend these things at all costs will be the angel of God, became a temple of Olympian Jove. leaders in betraying them. More and more will men The high priest himself sent a deputation to the throw off the restraints of true piety and religion, Tyrian games in honour of Hercules. In place of and become lovers of their own selves, boasters, proud, the sacred processions of palm-bearers and singers of blasphemers, unthankful, unholy, without natural hosannahs, who once chanted the holy melodies in the affectioni, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers streets of Zion at the feast of tabernacles, were the of those that are good ; having a form of godliness, bearers of ivy-tufted thyrsi, who sang lyrical dithy- but denying the power thereof. Jesus Himself says, rambs in honour of Dionysus. And for the waters “When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith drawn forth in golden urns from the well of Siloam on the earth ?" And thus, by the sins, compromises, were the libations for the sacrifices of unclean animals, apostasies, and general heathenising and secularising immolated on Jehovah's altar, and on which was of sacred things on the part of the guardians of the reared the image of Jupiter Olympus! The abomi- faith, the final Antiochus shall come as the just nation of desolation had come, but the cowardice, judgment of the Lord Almighty upon those who the ambition, the covetousness, the mutual jealousy, thus paved his way and threw open the doors. the treachery, and the apostasy of the anointed It is not difficult to see that many of the so-called priests gave occasion for it all.
Churches and the leaders of the prevailing religious To little purpose also do we read the Book of sentiment of our day are sowing for a harvest of Daniel, if we do not distinctly find in all this miseries of which they but little dream. By the
A MOST SOLEMN WARNING TO TIIE CHURCH emptiness of faith and life, which persist in covering of our times, and for all the days yet to come, to themselves with the holy name of Christianity and beware of the fascinating flatteries and secularising religion, myriads who would be honest with themexpedients and compliances which, in the self-selves are stumbling and falling, and filling up the idolising spirit of spurious charity, specious liberality ranks of downright infidelity and atheism; and by and heartless scepticism, would tempt her to forget her the promises of peace and universal brotherhood on Divine origin and heavenly destiny. There is a spirit | the lips of those who think they are leading the