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"I beheld, 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. Dan. vii. 9, 10.
"These metaphors and figures, are borrowed from the solemnities of earthly judicatories, and particularly of the great Sanhedrim of the Jews, where the father of the consistory sat, with his assessors seated on each side of him in the form of a semicircle, and the people standing before him and, from this description, again was borrowed the description of the day of judgment in the New Testament.” Bishop Newton, vol. i. p. 296.
"I beheld then, because of the voice 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." Dan. vii. 11.
"The beast will be destroyed because of the great words which the horn spake, and the destruction of the beast will also be the destruction of the horn; and, consequently, the horn is a part of the fourth beast, or, of the Roman empire." Bishop Newton.
"As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. Dan. vii. 12.
"When the dominion was taken away from the other beasts, their bodies were not destroyed: they were suffered to continue still in being: but, when the dominion shall be taken away from this beast, his body shall totally be destroyed; because, other kingdoms succeeded to those, but none other earthly kingdom shall succeed to this." Bishop Newton.
“I saw in the night visions, 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. 13, 14.
Here, the kingdom of the Messiah is signified, and is alluded to by our Saviour himself. Matt. xxvi. 64. "After what manner these great changes will be effected, we cannot pretend to say, as God hath not pleased to reveal it. We see the remains of the ten horns, which arose out of the Roman empire. We see the little horn still subsisting, though not in full strength and vigour, but, as we hope, upon the decline, and, tending towards a dissolution. And, having seen so many of these particulars accomplished, we can have no reason to doubt that the rest, also will be fulfilled in due season, though we cannot frame any conception how CHRIST will be manifested in glory, how the little horn, with the body of the fourth beast, will be given to the burning flame; or, how the Saints will take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever. It is of the nature of such prophecies, not to be perfectly understood, till they are fulfilled. The best comment upon them, will be their completion." "Bishop Newton.* See the subject at length,
* With the Vision of the four beasts, all the succeeding prophecies of Daniel are connected, by means of the grand period of 1260 days (or years) mentioned ch. vii. 25, as the interval, during which, the Saints should be delivered into the hands of the little horn, and there ealled " a time, times, and the dividing of time;" in the vision of the ram and the he-goat, it is referred to as “the time of the end,” ch. viii. 17.; in the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, as “the time of the consummation," when " that determined upon, shall be poured upon the desolate," ch. ix. 27; in the vision of the things noted in the Scripture of Truth, it is called the time of the end, ch. xi. 35, 40; ́in the xiith ch. which inay be considered as an appendix to all the visions, it is called " a time, times, and an half,” and is specified, as
Sir I. Newton's Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel, p. 28 to 114, inclusive. Hales's Anal. vol. ii. p. 541, &c.
III. THE VISION OF THE RAM AND THE HE-Goat, ch. viii. Previous to attempting a sketch of this prophecy, it will be necessary to observe, that two different and opposite theories have been proposed and maintained by commentators respecting it; the first, (and which is supported by Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Newton, Dr. Hales, &c. &c.) considers it as symbolizing the three empires of Persia (the ram), Greece (the he-goat), and Rome (the little horn of the he-goat), till the Roman captivity of the Jews, after the destruction of their temple by Titus. The second, proposed by Mr. Faber, supposes the vision to relate solely to the second and third empires, and representing by the little horn of the he-goat the Eastern Mahomedan Apostasy, as the little horn of the fourth beast does the western one of the church of Rome, and running parallel to it for the space of 1260 years, the celebrated period of " a time and times, and the dividing of time, " mentioned Dan. vii. 25. The latter hypothesis is adopted in this work, for the purpose of accompanying the historical reader through the mazes of varying opinions, without presuming to dictate which is the
the common term of all the visions. With a reference to this grand period of 1260 years, which points to the reign of the three great apostasies of Papacy, Mohammedism, and Infidelity, and the dispersion of the Jews, all the other periods mentioned by Daniel are adjusted, viz. the period ef 2300 years, ch. viii. 14; that of 1290 years ch. xii. 11; and that of 1335 years, ch. xii. 12. The disputes of commentators respecting the two latter periods, turn principally upon the question of whether they should be dated from the pollution of the Jewish sanctuary, and the desolation brought upon the Jews by the Roman armies under Titus, or that of the spiritual sanctuary of the Christian Church by the above mentioned apostasies. The latter interpretation is adopted by Bishop Newton and Mr. Faber.
one to be preferred and adhered to, to the exclusion of others. In the Dissertations of Bishop Newton, and Mr. Faber, the arguments on both sides are clearly and candidly stated, and by a reference to the Historical Tables of this work, the discrepancies of opinion of those and other authors will be easily discerned, and accommodated to the arguments urged in the treatise that may be under the consideration of the reader, and he will be left at liberty to decide for himself upon the respective merits of the theories advanced in the works of those commentators who have treated largely of such subjects.
The vision was seen by Daniel in the third year of Belshazzar, or B. C. 553, and two years after that of the four beasts.
"I saw in a vision; 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 the other, 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." Dan. viii. 2, 3, 4.
"The ram standing before the river, is the Medo-Persian empire;" (aram too was the armorial ensign of Persia, as that of a goat was of Macedon ;) and his two horns are the two kingdoms of Media and Persia: the higher one, which came up last, being Persia, the head of the empire; and the lower one, which came up first being Media, united with, though subjected to, Persia, B. C. 537; the ram extended his conquests westward, northward, and southward; westward as far as the extreme limits of Asia; northward, over Armenia, and Cappadocia; and southward, over Egypt, and as far as the Persian Gulph. Eastward, he made compara
tively but little progress, being stopped by the vast deserts of Tartary, and the mighty empire of Hindostan.” (Faber.)
"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 hegoat waxed very great; and when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of Heaven." Dan. viii. 5-8. In the midst of his (the ram's) progress, however, and at the very time when no other beast could stand before him, he was attacked by an unexpected enemy, the hegoat, or the Macedonian empire. Moving with unexampled rapidity from the west, the founder of this mighty sovereignty soon completely overthrew the ram, and brake his two horns, B. C. 331. After this daring exploit, the he goat "waxed very great," extending his arms even into Hindostan, as well as subjugating Egypt and all the other dominions of the ram. But, notwithstanding this sudden and astonishing acquisition of power, his great horn was destined to be broken, even in the very height of his strength. Accordingly, the imperial dynasty of the great horn lasted no more than fifteen years after the death of Alexander, B. C. 323; within which short space of time, his successors, Philip Arideus, Alexander Ægus, and Hercules, were all murdered. After them, the empire was divided into four kingdoms, typified by the four horns of the goat, and the four heads of the leopard, mentioned in the