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appearance of a man, And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face : but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man : for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation : for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power : and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many : he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true : wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days : afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.”—Dan. viii.
ALTHOUGH so thick a veil has been thrown over the chronological term used in the last prophecy, no such obscurity attaches to that contained in the above chapter; as “two thousand three hundred days ” expressly signifies a date, and from the language of the context can have no other meaning but that which has been previously explained—a day for a year, or two thousand three hundred years.
In the period of “seven times,” which was prophesied of even before they had taken possession of the land, and consequently so many centuries before the commencement of the event to which it refers had taken place, a clearer announcement would, for many ages, have been a perfect dead letter. But in the prophecy of the present period of two thousand three hundred years, the youth and the meridian of Israel's existence as a nation had passed away; misfortunes had gathered thick around them; ten out of the Twelve Tribes had been carried away to a far distant land ; and the re
maining two tribes of Judah and Benjamin had not yet returned from Babylon. At such a a season as this, God was pleased to give them, more or less through the instrumentality of Daniel, a variety of revelations all reaching to the period when a termination was to be put to all these sufferings, and embracing, in the various streams into which they branched, the future histories of both of the Eastern and Western Roman empires, as far as they were connected with the church.
The present vision, under the symbols of a ram and he-goat, gives a clear but concise history of the Persian and Grecian monarchies (the Babylonian having been previously overthrown); and then, after naming the division of Alexander's conquests amongst four of his genérals, up to “the latter end” of their king. doms, it leaves altogether unnoticed the Roman Empire, properly so called ; and confining itself to the platform or territorial division of the East, relates the history of that new power, which, on the downfall of the Eastern empire, became possessed of the Holy Land, and which has now, for so many centuries, up to the present time, retained it. This new power was the kingdom founded by Mahomet, which arose, as Mr. Faber renders the expression, “out of one of them,” in the extremity or on the borders of one of their kingdoms; or, according to Sir Isaac Newton,
“E'en now perhaps wide waving o'er the land,
Thy Lion, Judah, from his destin'd reign.” --whenever this consummation arrives, and God has pleaded with them, and placed them in a secure, settled, and happy state; then, who besides the true and legitimate heir of David, to whose posterity in perpetuity the throne is confirmed by the oath and promise of God --who besides Christ can reign over them?
When the disciples beheld the Saviour risen from the grave, and thus saw him triumph over death, their expectations revived that he was going to take possession of the kingdom; and hence they asked, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel ?” He did not blame them for the question, nor did he contradict their hopes; his answer rather seemed to confirm them. “ He said unto them, It is not for you
to know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power. shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part
of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and
a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts i. 7-9). And the Psalmist tells us how he was received and welcomed. Angels are represented as calling out and saying, “Lift up your heads, Oye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory” (Ps. xxiv. 7-10).
After Jesus had thus disappeared from the sight of his disciples, “ while they looked sted
“ fastly towards heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken from you into heaven, shall so come IN LIKE MANNER as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts i. 10, 11). Here it is plainly asserted by special messengers from God, immediately after Christ had ascended into heaven, and while those who saw this wonderful event were still looking up, that He should come again in like manner as they had seen him gothat is, in a cloud; and this is confirmed in several other places in the Scriptures.
In a subsequent chapter, Acts ij. 21, Peter says, alluding to this subject, that he will re