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as he has stood up against the Prince of princes, and although his religion divided the world with that of the Christian in name, there are signs in the heavens and in the earth, from the word of God, as well as in the history of man, that his reign is drawing to a close. That power which has for so many ages contended and vied with the kingdom that was set up without hands, is destined, at last, to be broken without hand. And while the light of the sun of righteousness is penetrating through the dark cloud of superstition, which till now has hung over the far greater part of continental Europe, and has cast a deep shade on our sister island, and begins also to shed its rays of divine light and of heavenly love over the habitations of cruelty and the dark places of the earth, from the one end of heaven unto the other, the waning crescent is sinking into darkness from which it never can emerge. And if the day of Mahomet be over, it is only the surer sign that that day of the Lord is at hand, when none shall stand up triumphantly any more against the Prince of princes. The fate of Turkey and of the Sultan (heretofore identified with that of Mahometanism, though beset on every side with evil omens to his empire and to his race, cannot be yet.. read in the pages of history, though it has long been written, as hereafter we will more fully see, in the pages of prophecy. But appearances strongly indicate that the world will not now be held in long suspense concerning the result of what shall be in the last days of the indignation, v. 19. The destiny of Mahometanism is fixed and glaring. The vicegerent of the prophet may almost be said to have virtually abjured his faith. On the 11th February 1831, the sultan issued a decree, that “ Greeks, Armenians, Armenian Catholics, and Jews, shall henceforth, in common with the Turks or Musselmen, be equal before the law. No Musselman
shall in future have any preference, or enjoy any superior rights, in consequence of his being a Musselman ; for, according to the opinion of the sultan, all form but one family, but one body, whatever may be the private creed of each of his subjects; which is a matter that only concerns the conscience of man, who cannot be called to account for his religion to ANY BUT TO God. As to the government of the sultan, it will not, under any circumstances, consider what is the religion of the person who presents himself before
Still more recent signs appear that the dark sentences, dictated by Mahomet, and written on the 66 palm leaves and the shoulder-blades of mutton," are not much longer to maintain their sway over the millions of the east; for among the new things in these critical times, it is not one of the least remarkable, but happily most ominous of final good, that a press has been established at Constantinople, and that a newspaper has been published under the auspices of the sultan. And who that reads the scraps of monstrous absurdities that were first gathered into a book, from being scratched on leaves and bones, and remembers their efficacy, would stint to narrow limits the efficiency of the press over half the world ?
This passing glance at Mahometanism may point the way to its more full prophetic development, and to the near view of its destined fall-when a beastly sensualist shall no longer hold the place of the holy Jesus—when no waning crescent shall ever be seen again to cope, in the heavens, with the sun of righteousness.
TAKING a joint retrospect of prophecy and history, in their first great outline, we have seen how the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian and Roman empires,as they would appear in human estimation, or in the vision of a king, of a brightness that was excellent,were prefigured by the great image which was seen by Nebuchadnezzar, and interpreted by Daniel.Looking again to the forms which they assumed in the eye of the prophet, we see their tyrannical character and desolating career marked out in two separate visions, under the symbols of a succession of wild beasts. Both of these visions are accompanied by interpretations, which in a great measure reduce them to literal predictions. In the first, which traces these respective kingdoms to their origin, and shows their relation, order, and connexion, the subdivision of the last great monarchy into the ten kingdoms is distinctly specified; and the rising up among those of another of peculiar character, predominating influence, and long-continued domination, the annunciation of which seem to form the chief object of the vision,-sets before us in the word of God, as well as in the record' of history, a form and substance that cannot be misunderstood, which he must be blind who cannot see, and ignorant who cannot name. In the second, if we turn from the west unto the east, we find the Persian and Grecian empires mentioned by name, and the vision that was to be at the time of the end, sums up the history of Mahometanism.Were a model of past history to be drawn, from the days of Daniel to the present time, how could it now, if copied from the events, be devised in more appropriate or perfect symbols ?
The reader will perceive how intimately all these visions are connected, and how, rising successively in precision, each new figure becomes more complete, and the interpretation more detailed. They thus prepare the way for the full and explicit prophetic narrative of “ the things that are noted in the Scriptures of truth,” the last great prophecy of Daniel, which he wrote, not as communicated in a dream, nor seen in a vision, but as told by an angel.
Daniel, that he might talk with the angel and hear his voice, was strengthened by one like the similitude of the sons of men-even by him, for no Christian can fail to know his name, in whom alone any of the sons of men can be spiritually strengthened, enlightened, and saved. But man, who is a worm, cannot behold the glory of God, or look, while a mortal, on the Lord of angels, before the brightness of whose glory they vail their faces. The countenance of Daniel was fairer than all the children that did eat the portion of the king's meat, and among them all was found none like Daniel. He was familiar with earthly splendour, even at its brightest in Babylon the Great, or at Shushan in the palace ; and all the dignity that the greatest of kings could confer was his. He was the first, or chief, of the three presidents of the hundred and twenty princes, which were set over the whole kingdom. Yet, when he lifted up his eyes and saw a form of transcendental glory, compared to which that of earthly monarchs could only be fitly symbolized by a wild beast, his comeliness was turned into corruption, and he retained no strength. But the words of Daniel best can tell what he saw and what he heard ; and the sublime introduction,--so worthy of such a revelation, and so appropriate to its celestial origin, to its momentous import even at the present hour, and to its object in unfolding what would befall the Jews in the latter times,--would only be mutilated by any alteration or abridgment. The sight, which it presents, of Daniel, the man greatly beloved, with his face toward the ground, and, even after being partially strengthened, set upon his knees, and upon the palms of his hands, may well show us how human imaginations have here to be prostrated, how the idle strife of words, or any wrangling contention, befits not such a subject, and that it becomes not any man to vaunt of any interpretation of any word as his. The humble attitude, and the deep devotional feeling of the prophet, are the most becoming in the inquirer who looks to the fulfilment of the word. And whoever may here receive strength to stand, may well remember that Daniel stood trembling, and sympathize with his emotion. It is not, at least, for the pen of man to alter or misplace that which was spoken by the tongue of an angel at the command of Christ.
CHAP. X. - In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar ; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long : and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. In those days, I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all till three whole weeks were fulfilled. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel, then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz. His body also was like a beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision ; for the men that were with me saw