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'10 we have rebelled against him. Neither have we obeyed the

voice of the LORD Our God, to walk in his laws, which he set 11 before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have

transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice : therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of

God, that is, the solemn protestation what God would do, because 12 we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed, that is,

performed, his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, and who should have prevented it,

by bringing upon us a great evil : for under the whole heaven 13 hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As

[it is] written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us : yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God,

with penitent and humble spirits, that we might turn from our 14 iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the

LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us, as a magistrate, to see execution done : for the LORD our God [is]

righteous in all his works which he doeth : for we obeyed not 15 his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy

people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day ; an event which we still commemorate to thy honour, and take encouragement from ;

we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee,

let thine anger and thy fury, which is according to righteous. ness, be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain : because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers,

Jerusalem and thy people (are become) a reproach to all (that 17 are] about us. Now therefore, o our God, hear the prayer

of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to

shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and

behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name : for we do not present our supplications before thee,

for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies ; we are all 19 demerit, but thou infinite in mercy. O Lord, hear ; O Lord,

forgive ; O Lord, hearken and do ; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God : for thy city and thy people are called by

thy name. 20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my

sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of

my God, for rebuilding his temple and resloring his worship; 21 Yea, whiles I (was) speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel,

whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused

to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening obla22 tion, 10 strengthen and encourage me. And he informed (me,} and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth 23 to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy

supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come

to show (thee ;) for thou (art] greatly beloved : therefore 24 understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy

weeks* are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in ever

lasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, 25 and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and under

stand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and three score and two weeks: the

street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous 26 times. And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah

be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and

the end thereof (shall be) with a flood, and unto the end of 27 the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm

the covenant with many for one week : and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate.

REFLECTIONS.

1. T ET the example of Daniel recommend to us the study

I of the scriptures, and especially the prophecy before us. He was conversant in, and carefully studied the books of the prophecies ; especially Jeremiah's. Though he was a person of great age and great business, and a prime minister; yet he could find time for this employment. When God gives us his word, it becomes us to study it ; to consider the vision, that we may understand the matter. It is not sufficient to hear it read and explained, but it must be afterwards reviewed, and reflected upon. Thus shall we become acquainted with the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation.

2. We may hence learn much of the nature of prayer, and the manner in which it is to be presented to God. We ought to ad. dress him with fixed attention and deep humility ; under an awful sense of his greatness and majesty, his patience and mercy. We particularly see that a confession of sin ought to have a considerable share in our prayers: to excite our repentance ; to cherish our humility, to caution us against sin ; and to make Christ welcome to our hearts. That we are to ask mercy from a reliance

See the Serinon at tiie end of this Book,

on the goodness of God, and his covenant; and for the Lord Christ's sake ; and not from any confidence in our own righteousness. That we ought to be earnest and importunate in our addresses to God, and to stir up ourselves to take hold on him. 13. We have here great encouragement to such supplications as these. While Daniel was speaking, God heard ; yea, when he began, God sent an angel to comfort him. We have no reason to expect that angels will bring us messages of mercy; but God has many other ways of granting the desires of his people ; he is always near to the souls that sincerely seek him. He is particularly pleased with the prayers which we offer up for his church and the interest of religion and the honour of his name; and has never said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.

• CHAP. X.

This chapter is an introduction to a remarkable vision and prophecy,

containing a series of the principal events relating to the church of God, even to the end of the world ; and it is delivered in the plainest words, without types and images, as in the former visions.

1 TN the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, when Daniel was

1 above ninety years old, a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing (was] true, but the time appointed (was) long, that is, to the conclusion of the vision : and he understood the thing, and had un

derstanding of the vision ; he understood the general meaning 2 of it. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks;

or, three weeks of days, as in the original, to distinguish it from weeks of years, a reckoning used by the prophets : I mourned

because the building of the temple was hindered by the slanders 3 of the enemies of the Jews. I ate no pleasant bread, neither

came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint my

self at all, as the Persians used to do, till three whole weeks 4 were fulfilled. And in the four and twentieth day of the first

month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is 5 Hiddekel, in person, not in a vision ; Then I lifted up mine

eyes, and looked, and behold a certain-man clothed in linen, 6 whose loins (were] girded with fine gold of Uphaz : His body

also was like the beryl, or the sky colour, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his

arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the 7 voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.* And I

Daniel alone saw the vision : for the men that were with me

This much resembles St. John's vision of Christ in Rr. eleg.i. and probably ic was he that appeared on this occasion.

10

gaw not the vision : the servants who attended were overpows ered by the lustre, and saw nothing distinctly ; but a great

quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and

there remained no strength in me : for my comeliness' was

turned in me into corruption, I looked like a dead corpse, and I 9 retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words :

and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, or in a swoon, and my face toward thë ground.

And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and supon) the palms of my hands ; one of the angels

that attended the Shekinah (or Christ) raised and strengthened Il me by degrees. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man great

ly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and

stand upright : for unto thee am I now sent. And when he 12 had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then

said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel : for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, from the time that thou hast fasted, and prayed to know why God did not prosper the Jews,' why the work was retarded, and what sins of Israel had provoked God 10 frown upon them after he had restored them, thy words were

heard, and I am come for thy words, as a token of God's gra. 13 cious regard to thee. But the prince of the kingdom of Per

sia withstood me one and twenty days': but, lo, Michael, one

of the chief princès, came to help me ; and I remained there 14 with the kings of Persia.* Now I am come to make thee

understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days : for 15 yet the vision [is] for (many) days. And when he had

spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, 16 and I became dumb, and silently listened to him. And, behold,

(one) like the similitude of the sons of men, an angel in a human form, touched my lips : then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have 17 retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my

• This is an exceeding difficult passage. Some have supposed that it refers to the then king of Persia's being unfavourable to the Tews; and to the angel, by the assistance of Michael, one of the chief princes, disposing the other king of l'ersia to be more favoarable. But others think, with more probability, that it relates to some things concerning the angelic world. It seems to intimate, that the kingdoms of this world are under the Guardianship of particular angels, who have their respective provinces ; and that they have a general commission from God to manage the affairs of them according to their wisdom: so that sometimes their schemes may be unknown to others, and therefore they may in some measure oppose one another. Othery again suppose, the opposition to this angel from the prince of Persia, was from an evil spirit : and if good angels have the Guardianship of kingdoms, evil angels may watch over them for mischief, and so there, may be an opposition ; which one can hardly suprase there would be between the good angels. And this text may be illustrated by that in Mark v. 8. where the devils, which Christ cast out, besought him not to send them out of that country, that being their prov. Ince; so that making observations on the men of it, and knowing their state, they might be more able to carry on their malicious designs there than elsewhere. God may, for wise reasons, sometimes sufier the designs of evil spirits to embarrass the angels. 7bie angel is supposed to remain with the kings of Persia, to oppose any design against the

e reasons, sometimes sudarymalicious designs there that their state, they miche

lord talk with this my lord ? how can I converse with that glorious person yonder, if I cannot speak to thee? for as for

me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is 18 there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched

me [one] like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened 19 me. And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not : peace [be]

unto thee the vision portends no evil to thee, but is an instance of the divine regard ; be strong, yea, be strong. And when

he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my 10 lord speak ; for thou hast strengthened me. Then said he,

Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee ? and now will I return to fight with, or to oppose, the prince of Persia : and

when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.* 21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of

truth ; or, the true writings, the book of God's councils and decrecs, not in the Bible : and (there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince ; that is, perhaps, none of the guardian angels holdeth with me in your affairs, but Michael the prince of the Jerus ; the principal person whose assistance I depend upon : he is elsewhere called the archangelo and probably signifies Christ.

REFLECTIONS.

1. TT is a great grief to good men to see the work of God

1 hindered, and the interests of the church neglected. Daniel was greatly concerned for the prosperity of God's people, and grieved that the building of the temple was retarded ; its enemies 80 active, and its friends so indolent and selfish. And pious men will thus be affected, when the cause of God is declining ; when iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxeth cold. This should dispose us to enter tenderly into the concerns of the church; to la. ment the coldness and indifference of its friends; to guard against a selfish spirit ; and diligently to seek the prosperity of Christ's kingdom.

2. In times of degeneracy and declension, humiliation and prayer are highly becoming the people of God. Daniel, though a very great and a very old man, set his heart to understand the state of the church and of religion. He chastened his soul by fasting ; mourned the decay of piety and zeal , and earnestly sought the divine favour for his people. Thus it becomes us to humble ourselves before God, and seek the revival of religion with our

. Some understand this to refer to Alexander's purpose of invading Persia : others, that the angel of the Grecian empire would offer his reasons in the court of heaven for translating the empire from the Persians to the Greeks, who would be more favourable to the Jews.

VOL. VI.

A a

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