« AnteriorContinuar »
of Rome, we see the limits of the course that it was to run, before the judgment upon it should sit.
66 I beheld,” says Daniel, “ till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him : thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then, because of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the nightvisions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Dan. vii. 9–14. This is the interpretation—66 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” – Ver. 26, 27.
The second vision, comprising the same period, and descriptive, though more fully, of the same kingdoms as the first, terminates in the same glorious consummation. The papal power was to domineer for a long
but limited period ; but his dominion was to be taken away, to be consumed, and to be destroyed to the end-implying, as other prophecies more explicitly unfold, that, instead of being cut off in a moment, after being partially diminished or impaired, it was fated to meet a gradual but awful and sure destruction.
The rest of the beasts had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time, ver. 12. The pachalic of Bagdad still subsists, but the lion, barely retaining a protracted existence, is no longer king of the beasts. The Persian monarchy, retains its name, but has lost its power. The bear has not now one rib between its teeth, or one kingdom subject to its dominion ; and after having in its youth, and vigour, and ferocity, devoured much flesh, it is now at last as if its life were not to be much longer prolonged-tearing its own, and has lately been greatly distracted not only by external wars but by civil commotions.
The Grecian states, ages having passed since their dominion was taken away, have recently risen, as it were, into life again. The leopard, bereaved alike of its wings and of its horns, instead of flying and ruling over kingdoms as of old, has with difficulty, and not without aid, raised itself again ; and, although it has scarcely power to stand, shows that life is still left. The name of Greece has revived. The season seems to be past, and the time at hand. More minute and copious predictions are reserved to fill up the outline. The last shadow of the glory of earthly kingdoms-the life without the dominionmay be looked on before it too shall pass away, as the pattern or the symptom of the decline of all earthly power, and as the sign that the time may be approaching, when the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,
and all dhe end of the historical reet, before
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. And in contemplating that end, after an historical retrospect of all the vision but the end, it may be meet, before entering on the more full development of all these events from other prophecies, to use the words, and to cherish the feelings of the prophet, when the vision alone the representation of what we have seen in great part, and may see realized and completed,-passed in his view,--As for me, Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me : but I hid the matter in my heart. Ver. 28.
VISION OF THE RAM AND THE HE-GOAT.
The visions of the great image, consisting of four parts, and of the four beasts, were expressly interpreted as representing the four great successive kingdoms that would arise upon the earth, till the kingdom of God, first arising in the midst of these kingdoms, would finally be established, and be set up on their ruins, to stand for ever. In the second vision the spiritual domination that was long exercised over the ten kingdoms which sprung. up, as from the broken stock of a parent tree, from the dismemberment of the Roman empire, is specially defined, and no blank is left in the great outline of the history of the west. And another vision still more distinctly interpreted than the former, as referring chiefly to heathen lands where the Scriptures were in a great measure unknown during the latter times of the fulfilment of the vision,--shadows out, by a perfect figure, reaching down also to the present time, the reign of Mahometanism in the east, thus completing the grand symbolical analysis of prophetical history.
And I saw in a vision, says Daniel, (and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam;) and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns : and the two horns were high; but one was higher than theother, and the higher came up last. 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. And as I was considering, behold, an he-goat came from the west, on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground ; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 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. And I saw him come close unto the ram, 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 the ram out of his hand.
Therefore, the he-goat waxed very great : and, when he was strong, the great horn was broken ; and for it came up four notable ones, towards the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of hea
ven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 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. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, how long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot ? And he said unto me, unto two thousand and three hundred days : then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. And it came to pass, when I, even I, Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood, and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face : but he said unto me, understand, O.son of man: for AT THE TIME OF THE END ( shall be ) THE VISION. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep, and my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, behold I will make thee know what shall be in THE LAST END OF THE INDIGNATION; for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia, and the rough goat is the king of Grecia : and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now, that being broken, whereas four stood up for its four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce