« ForrigeFortsæt »
Ch. XXIV. Predictions in Isaiah, in Haggai, and
Ch. XXV. Remarks on the Sixth Vial, and on a
Ch, XXXI. Farther thoughts on the True Nature
It is proper to inform the reader, that the heads pre-
ON THE MONARCHICAL IMAGE AND THE TEN-HORNED BEAST
THE predictions, relative to modern times, which occur in chapters ii. and vii. of Daniel, are peculiarly worthy of examination; for they are more than usually clear, and will reflect a light on the apocalyptical prophecies'. But, previously to entering on a brief examination of them, I shall cite a few short testimonies of writers respecting this distinguished prophet.
. With respect to the authenticity of the book of Daniel, 'there is,' says bp. Newton, all external evidence that can well be had or desired in a case of this nature; not only the testimony of the whole Jewish church and nation, who have constantly received this book as canonical; but of Josephus particularly, who commends him as the greatest of the prophets; of the Jewish Targums and Talmuds, which frequently cite and appeal to his authority; of St. Paul and St. John, who have copied many of his prophecies; of our Saviour himself, who citeth his words, and styleth him Daniel the prophet,' and 'of ancient historians, who relate many of the same transactions.-Nor is the internal less powerful and convincing than the external evidence; for the language, the style, the manner of writing, and all other internal marks and characters, are perfectly agreeable to that age; and he appears plainly and undeniably to have
1 'Comparing scripture with scripture is the best way to understand both the one and the other,' bp. Newton, vol. I. p. 494.
been a prophet by the exact accomplishment of his prophecies, as well those which have already been fulfilled, as those which are now fulfilling in the world'.'
Dr. Samuel Chandler, in speaking of Daniel, says, 'upon account of his extraordinary piety and wisdom, he is taken notice of and commended by Ezekiel3, who was his fellow prophet and contemporary. The purity of the language in which the book is written, both of the Chaldee and Hebrew, is an undeniable argument of its great antiquity.' For since every language, from the very nature of it, is in a constant flux, and in every age deviating from what it was in the former; the purity of Daniel's language makes it evident, that it must be written before the purity of those languages was lost, i. e. about the time when Ezekiel's Daniel lived and flourished'.'
Porphyry, an heathen philosopher of the third century, and a pupil of Longinus, who wrote an elaborate work in fifteen books against Christianity, did, as we are informed by Jerom, object against the character of Daniel, that he was criminal in accepting with so much readiness the ho nors conferred upon him at Babylon. But there is no ground,' says the excellent Lardner, for such a censure: Daniel was guilty of no mean compliances: he ascribed all his wisdom to God; and upon every occasion preserved his integrity without blemish, and openly professed his zeal for true religion, and the worship of God according to the directions of the law of Moses. It was not decent for him to refuse the honors bestowed by a great king, when no sinful compliances were exacted; and when he might, in the high station to which he was advanced, both promote the interest of true religion, and the welfare of his people in a
2 Vol. II. p. 16.
3 XIV. 14; xxviii. 3.
4 This prophecy is writ partly in Hebrew, and partly in Chaldee: for which this reason may be assigned; that those parts of it in which the Babylonian empire was concerned were writ in that language, viz. from ch. ii. 4. to the end of the viith chapter: a great part of which was probably entered into their public registers.' Mr. Lowth's Intr. to Dan.
5 Vindic. of Dan. p. 61, 63.