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AN OUTLINE OF HISTORY.
The following passage of Scripture, taken from the same prophet, was not (if I now remember accurately,) observed faithfully by me, until I had a hope in the Messiah who was cut off. I am, however, very confi. dent that if I had noticed it closely at any portion of my life, and had heard it expounded by any one acquainted with history, I should have deemed it worthy of a second reading. I might inform the reader that the passage is in the seventh chapter of Daniel, and ask him to take a Bible and peruse it ; but I deem it best on many accounts to transcribe the most of the chapter.
2. “ Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
3. And four great beasts came up from the sea, di. verse one from another.
4. The first was like a lion, and had eagles' wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
5. And behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
6. After this I beheld, and lo, another, like a leopard, which had on the back of it four wings of a fowl ;
beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
7. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceed. ingly; and it had great iron teeth : it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns,
8. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among
them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
9. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burn. ing fire.
10. A fiery stream issued and came forth from be. fore him: thousand thousands ministered unto him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
11. I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake; I beheld, even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
12. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away ; yet their lives were pro. longed for a season and time.
13. I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, aud came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting do. minion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
15. I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
17. These great beasts which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
18. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
19. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass ; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; ! 20. And of the horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell ; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
21. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High ; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
23. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all
kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise : and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hands, until a time and times and the di. viding of time.
26. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
An outline of history for many centuries, is desira. ble. There are many who would be glad to be famil. liar with the profile of the most prominent nations of earth, for the last two thousand three hundred years. An ordinary attention to this chapter, will furnish this much abbreviated, but very correct history. Those who complain of enfeebled memories, will find a remedy in the imagery of the yerses we have transcribed. Those who desire it, can at any time obtain a very gratifying amount of historic information, with trifling labour, and in a way which will forbid its departing from them.
There is something in the texture of the youthful mind, which disposes it to lay hold on, and to retain
figures either beauteous or terrible, especially if they are systematically striking.
A teacher of history may communicate, I feel assured after repeated trial, more knowledge in a given time, by causing the student to learn a number of pas. sages taken from different prophets, than can be done
any other way.
The chapter before us is one. The history begins five hundred years before the birth of the Redeemer, reaches
passes us, by a very few items, and for aught we know, the time may be as inconsiderable in its duration. The first three verses tell us of great beasts coming up from the sea, diverse one from another. Elsewhere in the Bible, we are informed that the sea is the emblem of the restless and noisy populace of agitat. ed nations. The prophets of God, when about to picture a power which reached its elevation, after a long march through blood, where the feet were dipped in human gore at every stride, have used as an emblem a beast, wild and ferocious. By the accurate propriety of any picture, the memory is greatly assisted. On the fourth verse, which tells us of the lion which had eagles' wings, and whose wings were plucked, Scott makes the following observations:
“ The Chaldean Empire as advanced to its summit of prosperity, under Nebuchadnezzar, and as declining under Belshazzar, was intended by this beast. The lion was an emblem of Nebuchadnezzar's
and success, in acquiring the dominion over his neighbours ; and perhaps of his superior generosity and magnanimity, with which he ruled over the nations. The eagles' wings denoted the rapidity, and unabated vigour with which he prosecuted his victories. But as the prophet