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more specific in that respect than all the rest, had foreshown the time of the appearing of the Messiah the Prince, and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, the destruction of the city and the sanctuary, and the consequent desolations even until the consummation. Many were then instructed; the covenant was confirmed with many. And, even among worldlyminded men, as histories the best accredited attest, the expectation was universal over the East of the coming of a great prince from Judea, destined to subdue the world, at the very period when the preaching of the gospel by men of understanding was coincident with the subversion of Judaism.
The things that are noted in the scripture of truth, after having thus kept in close analogy and exposition the precise time of the previous prediction recorded by the same prophet, do not diverge from it in the sequel, any more than in the outset and progress.
Without the rise of a new kingdom, the Roman power changed its form ; and a new order of persecution began. In the close of the visions of the four beasts, or kingdoms, that arise on the earth, and of the Ram and the He-goat, or Persia and Greece, one dominant power (the papal) is marked as prevailing over the kingdoms into which the Roman empire was subdivided, and another (the Mahometan) as holding a corresponding sway over the regions of the east, where Alexander had passed victorious. Each of these more than all besides, has its prominent place in prophecy and history; and instead of either of them being omitted in the things noted in the scripture of truth, any more than in the other prophecies of Daniel, both occupy fully the last portion of the general and literal prediction, as each in its place and form had filled up the outline of a previous vision. Concerning the little horn (or king) that spake great things and words against the Most High, who had a look more stout than his fellows, who wore out the saints of the Most High, and changed times and laws, and into whose hands they were given for a time and times, and the dividing of time, the things are noted which he did, and correspond in time, place, character, and duration, with those of the king who did according to his will —the wicked one who exalted himself above all, and sat in the temple, and of whom the Spirit spake so expressly. And while he tried to wear out the saints of the Most High, and filled up the appointed time of persecution, so, when transgressions came to the full, a king of fierce countenance arose, a warlike impostor appeared, of whose power the east was the source and the chief seat, and the countries over which it prevailed were described, and some of them named, among the things that are noted in the scripture of truth.
Of the dates, which form a marked picture of the Book of Daniel, little has been here said, and the appropriation of them to their respective events, is reserved till the history, which they measure may perhaps be seen, in reference to some of them, to have run its course. The times and the seasons the Faa ther hath in his own power. Secret things belong to God; those that are revealed belong to us and our children. If the time be come that the judgments of God are manifest, the times also in reference to the past may be known. But the patience of the reader must be farther taxed, and in the past history of our sinful race, a bloody record must be farther unfolded, and corroborative illustrations have first to be drawn from other prophecies, before we can speak of the times and of the seasons : and even then it must be left solely to the events themselves, viewed in direct conjunction with the predictions, to resolve whether any of the times or periods that were appointed and determined, have already been accomplished.
The invasion of Greece by Xerxes, first specially noted, and the spiritual supremacy conferred by the imperial authority of Justinian on the Pope, are events of which the importance may perhaps have fixed their respective dates on the reader's recollection.
The law was a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, and the predictions contained in the Book of Daniel prepare the way for entering on the solemn theme-not to be rashly mooted or irreverently touched the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
The opening scene of the Apocalypse is worthy, as .words can be, of the 6 Revelation of Jesus Christ.” All power is given unto him in heaven and in earth. The reign of sin for a season must finally give way to the ultimate and universal establishment of the kingdom of God and of his Christ. Having finished the work on earth which his Father had given him to do, he ascended up on high, and he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. He is not straitened as to the mode of communicating them. While he dwelt among men he had many things to say unto the apostles, which, at that time, before his death, resurrection, and ascension, they were not able to bear; and he gave them the promise of the Spirit of truth to guide them into all truth, and to shew them things to come. And after Christ had reascended into heaven, and Jerusalem had been destroyed, and
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the foundation of his church had been laid, ere the last of the apostles had left the earth, the Lord himself appeared to the beloved disciple, (who tarried till he came,) and personally revealed,- that the pen of an apostle might write-what should befal his church, and what should happen in the world, till the conflict between light and darkness should be over, when no revelation should be needed any more to shew unto the universe that against his church all the gates of hell cannot prevail—and when his redeemed shall finally enter into the city which hath no need of the sun to shine in it; for the glory of God does lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
John, an exile in Patmos, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ, was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and he heard behind him “ a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and what thou seest write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” Turning to see the voice that spake with him, he who before had leaned on the bosom of Christ, on beholding his glorious body, fell at his feet as dead. Touched by his hand, he revived. “ And he laid his right hand upon me,” saith the apostle, “ saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last : I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter." —Rev. i.
The second and third chapters of the Revelation contain the things that were written to the seven churches of Asia, or the things that were. The character of (each of the churches is described, as they were all respectively known to him, who looks not on the outward appearance, but whose eyes are as a flame of fire, before which all things are naked and
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open. A promise of life and of glory, to him that overcometh, was affixed to that which was written to every one of the churches. And a warning, truly prophetic, was given according to their need.
56 After this,” a revelation of a higher order, shewing the things which must be hereafter, was communicated to the apostle, and is continued to the close of the Book, which seals up the sacred canon.
Futurity is impenetrable by human wisdom : and the purposes of Jehovah are not to be fully scanned by man. The fate of kingdoms is as a sealed book which no mortal can open. It was partially unfolded to the prophets, who testified of Jesus ; and we may now read the history of many a nation, as from the beginning it was written in the Book of the Lord. But the Spirit was only given by measure unto them, and the law itself was a schoolmaster to bring men unto Christ. Of all that were born of women there had not arisen a greater than John the Baptist, notwithstanding, said the Son of God, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And at the close of the apostolic age the gift of inspiration was consummated by a more glorious vision than any prophet of Israel ever witnessed ; and the fate of the church and of the world, till the final consummation of all things, was disclosed to the last of the apostles by the immediate revelation of Jesus Christ, in a manner which beggars the imagination of Pindar and of Homer, and shows that the fabled transactions of heathen deities were but the human mimickry of things divine. But no man hath seen God at any time, or can, while a mortal, see him. And sensible images, such as can be looked on, are needful to convey to our feeble capacities some faint apprehension of the glory which we now cannot adequately conceive.
The incantations of pagan orgies, and the ambi