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so distant, as was the thing now to be revealed. The letter being what is to befal the Jews in the latter days, evinces, that it was to be something beside Popery. The Papal imposture never so materially affected the Jews, as a nation, as appears to be here indicated. The thing to be revealed then, must be an event to take place near the time of the final restoration of the people anciently in covenant with God; and just before the Millennium; and an event, which will deeply affect that people at that period. It was also a thing before pre
, dicted by the other prophets. Dan. x, 21, But I will show thee that, which is noted in the Scripture of truth. Popery was not much before noted in the Scripture of truth; till this prophet himself had just before pre. dicted it.* But concerning the restoration of the ancient people of God, in the last days, it had been abundantly before noted by the prophets, that a terrible Power will, soon after their return to the land of their fathers, attack and greatly afflict them. f Some expositors have applied this prediction of Daniel(which is to be par. ticularly noticed in the next section) to the Papal hie. rarchy. But in view of the preceding remarks, it appears unnatural thus to do. And the picture there drawn does not apply to Popery, without unnatural distortions of its features. The power there predicted is to remain in the tide of his glory, till the battle of the great day of Gud Almighty;f a thing which cannot now be believed of the Papal hierarchy. This power then, can be no other than the atheistical Antichrist of the last times. The way being thus prepared, the Angel says, chapter xi, verse 2, And now I will show thee the truth, i.e. I will draw towards the great object in view. But before he comes directly to it, he begins, as is usual in such cases, with a line of preceding kings and events. When the Romish hierarchy was to be predicted, chap. vii, the prophet introduces that wicked power, by giving the preceding succession of the eastern monarchies. When Mohammedism was to be predicted, chap. vii,
* Dan, vii, 8, 24. + See Chap. III, Sec. 2 and 4 of this book.
See the cluse of Dan, xi.
the prophet ushers in that vile imposture, by briefly alluding to the succession of the preceding powers, in the line of which it came. So in the case before us, the Angel describes a line of kings from the then present period, in order to introduce, not the atheistical Power in view immediately, but Antiochus Epiphanes, a noted king of Syria, as a type of the atheistical Pow. er, who was to rise in the last days. This terrible Power the prophet predicts, first by his type Antiochus. St. Jerom informs us of its being a generally received maxim, "that it is the manner of the holy Scriptures to deliver beforehand the truths of futurity in types." (Bp. Hurd, p. 57.) We find much of this. When the Mil. lennium was to be predicted, in Psalm lxxii, it was in. troduced by its type, the reign of Solomon. And the Holy Spirit there, without any formal notice, slides from the type to the antitype. This is a common thing in prophetic writings. In like manner, this terrible Power of the last days is predicted, first by a description of his type. It is an old opinion of expositors, that Antiochus was a notable type of Antichrist, even while they supposed the Romish hierarchy to have been An. tichrist. But much more strikingly do the type and the antitype agree, if the latter be the terrible infidel Power of the last days, as I trust will appear. The type Antiochus was to afflict the Jews grievously, after their restoration from Babylon. And the infidel Power, then about to be predicted, is to afflict them much more grievously, soon after their final restoration, just before the introduction of the Millennium. The revealing Angel proceeds. Three kings he notes, who were to arise in Persia, after Darius, then on the throne. Then a fourth, richer than all the three, who should meddle with the realm of Greece to his ruin. Alexander is then no. ted. Then his four generals, among whom his empire was divided. Then the wars of the two most distin. guished of ihcm, called the king of the north, and the king of the south; or Syria and Egypt; in which wars the Jews were deeply interested;-ill the Angel, verse 21, introduces Antiochus, the type of the terrible Power then so far future. On this type he dwells for fifteen verses. And from the prophetic description, we learn, in the character of Antiochus, something of the character of Antichrist. In this description we observe, that Antiochus, the type of Antichrist, was a vile person; not the heir of the crown of Syria; but obtaining it by flatteries. He overflowed his enemies with the arms of a flood. He deposed the prince of the covenant, or Onias, the Jewish high priest. He wrought deceitfully, even after the obligations of solemn treaties. He did what neither his fathers had done, nor his father's fa. thers. He reduced strong hoids, by forecasting devices against them. He scattered the prey among his fa-, vorites. He stirred up his courage and power against the king of the south, who checked his progress by a 'furious, though unsuccessful effort of defence. Ptolemy was overcome through the treachery of some of his own subjects. Antiochus returned from Egypt with great riches. He was elated with pride; and his heart was against the holy covenant, or the church of God. * He makes another attack upon the king of the south; but not with his former success. He is annoyed with the navy of a rival power, (the ships of Shittim, or Rome,) and is obliged to return. His indignation again rages against the holy covenant, or the church of Ğod at Jerusalem. He has intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant; or he intrigues with apostate Jews. Arms stand on his part; or armed soldiers are sent into Judea, to enforce his abominable orders. The sanctuary of strength or the temple at Jerusalem is polluted. The daily sacrifice is taken away. The abomi. nation, that maketh desolate, is set up. Apostate Jews are corrupted by flatteries. But such as know their God, are strong and do exploits. They who understand, instruct many; yet they fall by the sword, by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil, days, (as in the original.t)
* He slew forty thousand of the Jews; he sold as many more for slaves; and polluted the temple at Jerusalem.
"+ The desolation of the temple, and the taking away of the daily sacrifice by the commissioner of Antioclius continued three years and a half, according to Josephus.” Nowion on the Prophecies. Vol. i, p. 310.
Yet when they fall, they are aided with a little help. But many cleave unto them with flatteries. And some of the people of understanding fall, to try them, to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end.*
* A celebrated modern author supposes, that the Angel here leaves the events of the days of Antiochus; and from verse 31st to 35th gives a prophetic sketch of events down to the sixteenth century of the Christian era: That verse 31st predicts the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, forty years after the ascension of Christ: That verses 32d and 35d predict the persecution of the primitive Christians under Pagan Rome: that verse 34th predicts the conversion of Pagan Řome to Christianity, in the revolution under Constantine, and the subsequent corruptions of Christianity in that empire, which gave rise to the Man of sin: And that verse 35th predicts the Papal persecutions of the witnesses down to the sixteenth century. This scheme I cannot conceive to be correct, for the following reasons:
1. Simply to predict the line of events, from the time then present, till the rise of the Power, which he had in view to predict, appears not to have been any part of the object of the revealing Angel. If it had been, it would not have been said, chap. x, 1, A thing was revealed into Daniel; and the thing was true; but the time appointed was long. (See also verse 14th.) But it must have been said, that many things were revealed to Daniel; some of which were far distant, and some of which were near. To reveal that one thing appears to have been the role object of the Angel, in chapters x, and xi. And the manner of his doing this appears to have been, not the predicting of a course of events, which should reach to the time of the rise of the Power; but the predicting of the Power by his type, Antiochus Epiphanes; and then passing immediately to the antitype. If the object of the Angel were to predict simply the course of great events, which should reach down to the rise of Antichrist, why did he dwell for at least ten verses, (from v. 2 1st to 31st, according to the scheme of this author,) on the wars of Antiochus Epiphanes; and then touch so lightly on the subsequent events, which were of far greater magnitude, and which were to occupy seventeen or eighteen centuries? Why should he, after dwelling for ten verses on the affairs of Antiochus, appropriate but one verse to the great event of the coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish nation by the Romans; two verses to the ten persecue lions of the primitive Christian church, under Pagan Rone; onc verse to the conversion of Pagan Rome under Constantine, and the subsequent corruptions, which issued in the Papal apos, Lasy; and but one verse to all the Papal persecutions of the wit.
Thus the Angel proceeds in his description of Antiochus, the type of the terrible Power to be predicted,
nesses down to the sixteenth century? Who can account for such an amazing want of proportion in the communications of the Angel, if simply a prediction of facts were his object?
2. When a person or event is predicted by his type, it is not usual for the prophet, after predicting the type, to give a sketch of events, which should take place between the type and the antitype. This is usually no part of his object. But the writer, in such cases, slides from the type to the antitype, without regard to the length of time, or distance of place. This we find in Psalm 72d, in the predictions of the kingdom of Christ, with its typical reign of Solomon. This we find in the various predictions of the coming of Christ; and of the battle of the great day. We should hence be led to expect, that after the revealing Angel had presented to Daniel the iype of the Power in view, he would pass immediately to the antitype. And this I apprehend is the fact.
3. The language from verse 31st to 35th appears in perfect unison with the preceding prediction of Antiochus. But it does not seem at all 10 apply to a variety of new subjects, and distant events, without a most unnatural and forced construction. Let us examine. For the ten preceding verses, it is a given point, that Antiochus is the subject. In the last of the ten, or verse 30th, we read, “For the ships of Chitrim shall, come against him, (Antiochus on bis expedition in Egypt.) therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do: he shall even return and have intelligence with them, that forsake the holy covenant. Verse 31. And arms shall stand on his part.” On whose part? What does grammatical construction, what does the common sense of the reader reply? Does the word his here relate to the person, who is the subject of the preceding verse, and of the ten preceding verses? Or does it relate to a new subject; a subsequent empire; and to events some centuries after the events of the preceding verse? If liberty may be taken to say the latter, may not any expositor take liberty to fix any sense 10 a text, which he may please? There is sometimes a shifting in relatives, to a different person from the antccedent, when type and antitype are the subject. i he antecedent may be the type, and the relative may respect the antitype. But in no other cases can this be admissible. But, says the ob. jector, does not the substance of this 31st verse decide that it relates to the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans? And they (the arms that shall stand on his part,) shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the darly sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. Does not our Iord, Mark xiii, 14, apply this very text to the seige of Jeru.