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it would be a waste of time to offer any remarks on this passage. This we think will not be disputed.
Isai. 33: 14. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites: who among us shall dwell with devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?' Having considered this passage in my Inquiry into the words Sheol, Hades, &c. to it, I refer the reader for an illustration.
Psalm 9: 5. Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name forever and ever.' It would be useless to spend time in showing, that this text has no reference to punishment in a future state. No sensible orthodox man would urge it, and no man who consults the context, can help seeing that it has no reference to such a subject.
Mal. 1: 4. Whereas Edom saith, we are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, they shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, the border of wickedness, and the people against whom the Lord hath indignation forever.' The prophet is here speaking of Edom as a people or nation, and it is plain from the context, that the indignation nientioned, is not in a future state, but God's temporal vengeance on that people. The meaning of the passage evidently is, 'the people against whom the Lord hath indignation from generation to generation,' as explained frequently in the preceding Section.
Dan. 12: 2.And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and evérlasting contempt.' The principal question to be considered from this passage is-Did Daniel here speak of the everlasting punishment of the wicked? If he did, he delivered it in plainer language than any other sacred writer,
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 says-And 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.' 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
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 world 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 theni 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