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REFLECTION.

T ET me here only remind you in general, how particular and

circumstantial this prophecy is. No historian gives so con'cise and comprehensive an account of the affairs of these kingdoms as this prophecy does. It is a glorious attestation of the truth of the Bible, and an evident proof of the foreknowledge of God. No one could thus declare the times and seasons, but he who hath them in his own power. All these contingent events were foreknown and foretold by him. The enemies of revelation pretend, that it was written after the events ; contrary to all the proof which the nature of things in such cases will admit of. But, by their opposition to the Bible, they are only, like the infidel Jews, v. 14. establishing the vision, and confirming the prophecy : for no one word of God shall fall to the ground.

CHAP. XI. 31, to the end. .

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In the interpretation of the former part of this chap'er, commentators

are generally agreed, and history answers to it most eraciły. In what is now before us, they widely differ : most of them apply it entirely to Anliochus Epiphanes; though there are some hings plainly foretold of antichrist, and which can by no means be ape plied 10 Antiochus ; but it appears to me that this prophecy re lates to the principal events concerning the christian church 10

the end of time.
31 A ND arms shall stand on his part, or, after him the Ro-

Il mans shall stand up, and they shall pollute the sanctua-
ry of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice, and
they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate : ac.
cordingly, they conquered the Greeks, reduced Syria and Egypt

to provinces of their empire, and at length Judea ; this passage 32 the Jews themselves understood of the Romans. And such as

do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatter-
ies : but the people that do know their God shall be strong,
and do (exploits ;] the christian church har ing succeeded to the
Jewish, the Romans by flattery and threatenings shall endeavour
10 corrupt the christians, and many (as in the margin of our
bibles) shall they' cause to dissemble ;' but true christians shall

continue firm, and be éminent examples of patience and courage. 33 And they that understand among the people shall insiruct

many ; referring to the progress of the gospel, and the many firoselytes that were made to il : yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, (many) days;

for near three hundred years they will suffer grievous hardships, 34 and ten general persecutions. Now when they shall fall, they

shall be holpen with a little help :* but many shall cleave to them with flatteries ; shall become christians, because christian

ity shall be the religion of the emperor and empire : this help 35 lasted but a little while. And some) of them of understand

ing shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make (them) white, [even) to the time of the end : because (it is) yet for a time appointed ; the spirit of persecution shall revive ; christians shall quarrel with and persecute one another; and the best suffer most : and this persecution shall in a greater or lesser degree, continue long ; as it does to this day. The principal

source of these persecutions follow. 36 And the king, or a king, shall do according to his will; and

he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods ; a plain prophecy of the establishment of fiopery ; and St. Paul u8e8 much the same phrases to describe it in 2 The88. ii. 4. thal is, after the empire shall become christian, an antichristian power shall spring up in it, that shall act in the most arbitrary man. ner, and exalt itself above all lacus human and divine ; and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished, that is, till the

end of God's indignation against the Jews : for that that is de37 termined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of

his fathers ; that is, the pope and his followers shall not worship the heathen gods of their ancestors ; or rather, it may refer to their changing the christian worship : nor the desire of women, forbidding marriage to the clergy and monks, and discouraging it in othe,s, nor regard any god : for he shall mag

nify himself above all, and behave in the most impious manner. 38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces ; estaba

lish the worship of Mauzzim, or, protectors ; he shall establish the worship of saints and angels, as protectors and guardians of mankind ; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and

pleasant things ; his altars and images shall be adorned in the 39 most costly manner. Thus shall he do in the most strong

holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge [and] increase with glory : and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain ; to the defenders of these protectors or gods, he shall multiply honours ; that is, the priests and monks, the defenders of the worship of tutelary saints, shall be enriched, and have power over the purses and consciences of men. Such shall be the degeneracy of the christian church...

• This is a prophecy of Constantine the Great, the first christian emperor, who favour. od and protected the church. It is called a little help, because, though it added to the external prosperity, yet it was a means of corrupting the doctrines and discipline of the aburch, and of weakening the graces of christianse

The punishment of it, especially in the eastern parts, then fola

lows. 40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push

at him : and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with

many ships ; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall 41 overflow and pass over.* He shall enter also into the glori.

ous land, and many [countries] shall be overthrown :ř but these shall escape out of his hand, [even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon ; referring to the Arabians, whom the Turks never could subdue ; but are obliged

to pay thern an annual tribute for the safety of their caravans. 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries : and

the land of Egypt shall not escape ; the Turks shall conquer 43 Egypt. But he shall have power over the treasures, they took

vast treasures there, and still reign over it, of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt : and the Libyans and the Ethiopians (shall be) at his steps; the northern parts of Africa shall submit to them. Accordingly, they are

now under their dominion, or tribulary to them. The next verses 44 refer to events which are yet to come. But tidings out of

the east and out of the north shall trouble him : therefore he

shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make 45 away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces

between the seas in the glorious holy mountain ; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. I

REFLECTIONS.

1. PROM the thirty second verse we are taught, that the

T' right knowledge of God gives strength and courage to the soul. Minds well principled in the knowledge and fear of God, will neither be terrified by threatenings, nor seduced by flatteries, to act wickedly against the christian covenant. They will bravely suffer persecution, and overcome temptation, as the martyrs have done; and endure any thing, rather than make ship

cnd, or, in the were no longer kingsoria had been swallowed

• The kingdoms of Egypt and Syria had been swallowed up by the Roman empire : therefore they were no longer kings of the north and of the south ; but at the time of the end, or, in the latter days of the Roman empire, the king of the south, that is, the Saracens, who came from Arabia, south of Judea, under Mahomet and his successors, inished at the eastern empire ; and the king of the north, that is, the Turks, after the Seraccis had weakened it, totally ruined and destroyed it. Chariots and horsemen are mentioned, as they were tamous for their cavalry ; they first overflowed the western parts of Asia, and then came over to Europe to Constantinople, and fixed the seat of their empire there.

+ The Turks took possession of judea, and could never yet be driven out of it; and many neighbouring coantries submitted to them.

Perhaps the east may refer to the Persians, and the north to the Russians, who are formidable neighbours to the Turks, and may at length be the instruments of Providence in destroying the Ortoman power, and restoring the Jews to their own land. Or it may refer to the return of the Jews from those countries where most of them are scatrered. The Turks may then come against them into the holy land, with their power, and there be remarkably destroyed. Vol. VI.

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wreck of faith and a good conscience. Let us then study the knowledge of God and the design of the christian covenant, that we may be steadfast and firm to our duty.

2. We are shown the design of afflictions and persecutions. It may seem strange that Providence should suffer persecution to rise and reign, as it did in the time here referred to, for three hundred years ; and, under popish usurpation, ever since. But it has been permitted, as v. 35, to exercise the graces of the sufferers, to purge out their corruptions, and establish pure religion. And this is the design of our private afflictions, even to promote our purity, humility, seriousness, and zeal. The men of understanding and true goodness suffer as well as others; but it is all for their profitand to produce the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

3. Though God suffers proud and tyrannical oppressors and persecutors to prosper long, yet at length he will punish and de. stroy them. This is often repeated in this prophecy : the end shall come, there is a time appointed ; the indignation shall be accomplished ; and the like. Cruel oppressors shall come to their end ; and none shall effectually help them. We see in all this, God's care of his church and people : and should look forward by faith to the end of tyranny and persecution, which this sure word of prophecy leads us to expect. Be patient therefore, brethren, till the coming of the Lord : for God will render tribulation to them that trouble his people, and to them that are troubled, everlasting rest.

CHAP. XII.

In the former chafter we had a prophecy of a wonderful series of

events, particularly relating to the Jews and the eastern empire ; here we have an account of the restoration of the Jews, and the consummation of all things. 1 A ND at that time, after the Turkish empire shall be destroy

ed, shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people : and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation (even] to that same time ; the firophets, and Christ, and the apostle John in ihe Revelations, all represent the time of the conversion of the Jews as a time of great trouble and commotion : and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be

found written in the book ; alluding to the names of citizens 2 and freemen being registered in a book. And many of them that

sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame (and) everlasting contempt ; no doubt referring to the general resurrection : many, significs the whole afrecies ; as Rom. v. 15. by the offence of one, many, that is, the 3 many, or all, were dead. And they that be wise shall shine as

the brightness of the firmament ; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever ; all good men shall be happy in the future state ; but there shall be different

degrees of happiness, in proportion to their different attainments, hogy and their services to God and the church. But thou, O Daniel,

shut up the words, and seal the book, [even) to the time of the end : many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased ; that is, this vision refers to future and distant events, and therefore it is not 10 be fully known till the events discover it. In the mean time, these prophecies will set persons upon inquiring, and many important discoveries will be made,

even to the end of time.' 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two

angels attending the Shekinah, the one on this side of the bank

of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the riv, 6 er. And (one) said to the man clothed in linen, which (was] upon the waters of the river, (probably to Christ, 10 satisfy

Daniel's curiosity, who durst not ask) How long (shall it be 7 to) the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed

in linen, which (was] upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever, that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these [things) shall be finished ; he sole thnly swore that it should be three years and a dalf, that is, so many years as there are days in three years and a half, which is a period equal to twelve hundred and sixty years,

when the dispersion of the Jews shall be ended, and they shall be 8 restored to God and their own land. And I heard, but I un.

derstood not : then said I, O my Lord, what (shall be] the

end of these (things?] I wish and pray for a clearer discovery, 9 when the time so obscurely expressed shall begin and end. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel : for the words (are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end ; it must not be expected

that they should be clearly understood until they are accomplish10 ed. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried ; but

the wicked shall do wickedly : and none of the wicked shall understand ; but the wise shall understand ; good men during this period must expect sharp trials ; which will purify their souls ; but the wicked shall be given up to blindness and obsti. nacy, because they would do wickedly, and shall have nothing to support them under these třials. And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice) shall be taken away, and the abomination

that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be) a thousand two 12 hundred and ninety days. Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and

cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty

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