« PreviousContinue »
4. The heavens must receive the Son of Man until the times of the Restitution (utokataotáoews) of all things. It is the office of Elias to“ restore all things." Ηλίας μεν έρχεται πρώτος και αποκαταστήσει πάντα 9.
5. In this vision the Son of Man is seen coming, or having come, from heaven; which shews that “the times of the Restitution” have arrived.
6. We are not told specifically how Elias shall perform his office. But that he, and the work assigned to him, should fill a conspicuous place in a representation of the things which shall precede the coming of the Son of Man, might be reasonably expected. Yet where shall we find any reference to his work of restoration in the books of Daniel or St. John, unless it be in this description of the Ancient of Days, who is shewn in the act of restoring the Kingdom to Israel ? _“the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the Kingdom '."
7. There is nothing in the description of the Ancient of Days which asserts, or implies, superhuman nature. There is none of the imagery by which the Glory of the Lord is elsewhere described by the Prophets. No Pavilion of clouds and thick darkness, no attendance of Cherubim or Seraphim, angel or archangel, or any of the company of heaven; no strong wind breaking in pieces the rocks, no earthquake-nothing in short of
9 Matt. xvii. 11. See also Mark ix. 12.
Dan. vii. 22. Compare v. 18. 26, 27. And the question of the disciples, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again, áfokalLOTá vels, the Kingdom to Israel ?” Acts i. 6.
the wonderful and supernatural but what might be expected in the predicted re-appearance of Elias. He quitted the world in a chariot of fire with horses of fire; and now the Ancient of Days appears seated on a throne of fiery flame with wheels of burning fire. Elias before he left the world had power to call down fire from heaven on the enemies of God, and it is not wonderful that when sent to restore all things before the great and terrible day of the Lord, a fiery stream should issue and come forth before him. That millions of men would speedily be collected to behold such a spectacle cannot be doubted.
I repeat that the reader must not judge of the argument from this brief sketch of it. If he reads it at length he will find that the learned author has brought forward a great deal of matter illustrating and corroborating his opinion, to which for brevity's sake I have made no allusion.
THE VISION OF THE RAM AND HE-GOAT.
Daniel, chap. viii.
About two years after he had seen the vision of the Four Beasts, Daniel saw another vision in which only two beasts appeared. If as most commentators would have us believe these beasts represented precisely the
same Kingdoms as the Bear and the Leopard, it is remarkable that instead of re-appearing in those forms they should be seen as a Ram and a He-Goat. This might by itself be sufficient to raise a suspicion that those are wrong who suppose the Bear and Leopard to be the Medo-Persian and Grecian empires; but at all events such fancies as they have amused their readers with about the voracious Bear, and the variegated Leopard, are not wanted in this vision, for Gabriel plainly told the prophet, “The Ram which thou sawest having two horns are the Kings of Media and Persia, and the rough goat is the King of Grecia.” v. 20, 21. Moreover the angel goes on to explain that the “notable Horn” between the eyes of the He-Goat represented the first King, and that when his Kingdom should be broken, four Kingdoms should stand up out of the nation but not in his power.
So far there seems to be no difficulty in applying the prophecy to the History of Alexander the Great; but when “the great horn was broken” (v. 8) and there “came up four notable ones,” then “out of one of them came forth a little horn which waxed exceeding great,” and was I presume the same as the “ little Horn" of the fourth beast in the preceding vision.
(1.) Because the period of this little horn seems to be the same as that of the former one.
It is particularly stated that the events predicted in this vision shall be at “the time of the end,” v. 17, or as it is expressed v. 23, “ when the transgressors are come to the full," or “at the last end of the indignation.” v. 19. Such
language can hardly, I think, refer to any period prior to the transgressions of the little horn of the preceding vision, or the indignation by which it is
destroyed. (2.) Because the same conduct as to blasphemy and perse- ·
cution of the Saints is ascribed to him, as to the little horn of the fourth beast.
(3.) Because his destruction appears to be the same. It is
predicted that this little horn “ shall stand up against the Prince of Princes, and be broken without hand," v. 25, and whatever may be the precise meaning of this language it seems to connect his rebellion and destruction with what we have previously read of the judgment of the Ancient of Days and the coming of the Son of Man.
On these grounds I suppose that the little horn of this vision, prefigures the same person as the little horn of the preceding; or in other words, I suppose this vision to be a further development of Antichrist and to make known the following particulars, which were not revealed by the former visions.
(1.) That this person or power shall not only, as we have
been previously informed, arise among the ten Kingdoms of the Empire symbolized by the Fourth Beast, but more particularly out of one of the Kingdoms into which the empire of Alexander shall have been divided. v. 9. It will be recollected that the angel's promise is, “ I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed the end shall be,” v. 19, and that having just mentioned the four Kings of the divided Kingdom, he passes on at once to “the latter time of their Kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full."
(2.) This person or power who had been only very gene
rally mentioned in the preceding vision, is now more particularly described as “a King of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences”-mighty but not by his own power—he shall destroy wonderfully and prosper and practise and destroy the mighty and the holy people—through his policy craft shall prosper in his hand and he shall magnify himself in his heart and by peace destroy many—he shall stand up against the Prince of Princes--but he shall be
broken without hand. (3.) Beside this it is declared that he shall take away the
daily sacrifice; and cast down the place of his [relating I presume to the Prince of the Host against whom it
is said he shall magnify himself] sanctuary. v. 12. (4.) That the duration of the period prefigured by this
vision as measured from the taking away of the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation [that is I presume, the casting down of the place of the sanctuary] to the cleansing of the sanctuary, shall be 2300 evenings and mornings.