« PreviousContinue »
since Mr. Tyso thinks their reign to be future, he must conceive them to have been waiting near two thousand years for the countries over which they are to reign.
Next, he imagines that the Protestant interpreters view a king, in the prophetic sense, and a kingdom as strictly synonymous. But this is not the case. They only assert them to be so nearly allied in meaning as to be generally convertible with each other. They interpret the word king simply in its legal and constitutional sense the official ruler, or the reigning dynasty, including each successive monarch in turn.
There is, then, no difficulty in the words upon which the objection has been raised. The Protestant acceptation of the term gives as simple an explanation as that of the Futurists : « The ten horns are ten ruling dynasties, which as yet have received no actual rule, but obtain dominion the same hour with the beast." There is nothing here either strained or absurd, which is all that seems necessary to prove in this stage of the inquiry.
I have now examined the two supplementary objections which Dr. Todd has brought from the later part of the visions to disprove the fulfilment of the earlier portions of the prophecy. Both of them have been shown to be deceptive and untrue. Especially the charge which the Futurists bring against the Protestant writers, of doing violence to the words of Scripture when they expound kings of dynasties rather than of single persons, has been fully refuted; and the Protestant view has been established by the joint evidence of reason and of the word of God.
The history of Persia and Greece, which has been given briefly in the vision of the ram and he-goat, is repeated, with further details, in another prophecy. I now proceed to examine the strange novelties, by which every maxim of common sense has been violated, in a recent interpretation of this last vision.
V. THE PROPHECY OF THE SCRIPTURE OF TRUTH.
This prophecy, more than all the rest, has obtained for Daniel that remarkable censure of our infidel historian, that he is too exact for a prophet. The prediction, down to the thirtieth verse, is indeed uncommonly minute and full. As far as this point, there has been scarce any variety of sentiment among expositors with regard to the historical sense. But as the last ten verses have been sometimes obscured by a supposed double reference to Antiochus and to a future antichrist, I now confine myself to the first nineteen verses. On the meaning of these there has been an almost unbroken harmony of consent in every age of the Church.
I will first give a brief summary of the evidence for their fulfilment, and then examine Dr. Todd's theory.
I. HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF FULFILMENT.
1. The prophecy opens with these words~" Bebold, there will get stand up three kings in Persia, and the fourth will be far richer than all ; and by his strength, through his riches, he will stir up all against the realm of Grecia.”
The three kings are plainly the three next successors of Cyrus, who was reigning at the time of the vision. The word yet proves this decisively. And these successors were Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspes, as we learn from Herodotus: “ Now, when Cyrus was dead, Cambyses, son of Cyrus and Cassandane, took the kingdom" (ii. 1).-" The Magus, therefore, when Cambyses was dead, ruled securely under the title of his namesake, Smerdis, the son of Cyrus" (iii. 67).“Darius, the son of Hystaspes, was then received as king" (iii. 88). After Darius was dead, the kingdom passed to his son Xerxes" (vii. 4).
2. The riches of Xerxes, and the vastness of his expedition, require no proof. Herodotus continues : “Xerxes in this manner assembled the army, searching every region of the continent: for, after the recovery of Egypt, four full years he was preparing the armament with its needful provision, and in the fifth he marched with an immense force. And indeed, of all armies that have come to our knowledge, this was far the greatest; so that neither that of Darius against the Scythians, nor of the Scythians against the Medes, seems anything in comparison. For what tribe of Asia did not Xerxes bring against Greece? What stream did not fail in supplying his army, except the great rivers ? The number which each nation sent I cannot recount exactly; but the number of the whole land army was shown to be one hundred and seventy myriads."
He then enumerates sixty nations who composed the army, and ten or twelve more in the naval forces of Xerxes. What a strict fulfilment was here of the angel's description! “ By his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia."
3. The “mighty king," in the next verse, plainly is Alexander: for it must be observed that the fourth king of Persia is not described as the last, but as the
height and solstice of the empire. The expedition of Xerxes was indeed that crisis, after which Persia began to decline, and Greece to prevail. That a king of Greece, and not of Persia, is here meant, is put beyond a doubt by the former vision. He is clearly the same with the notable horn of the goat, or “the first king” of Grecia.
The history of Alexander exactly corresponds. In the words of Diodorus, “this king in a very short time did great things, and excelled all the princes that were before him in his wonderful achievements; for he conquered a great part of Europe, and almost all Asia, within twelve years, so that his fame was advanced to such a height as to surpass in glory all the heroes and demigods. The particular relations will sufficiently evidence his greatness, and the fame and glory of his name.”
4. The division of Alexander's kingdom, and failure of his posterity, have already been shown to agree exactly with the prophecy. I will here add the words of Dexippus: “ After the death of Alexander, Aridæus his brother, surnamed Philip, and Alexander, his son by Rhoxane, receive the kingdom of the Macedonians. But Olympias, having destroyed Aridæus, along with his wife, in the seventh year, is herself soon after destroyed by Cassander. Now she began to reign over the Macedonians with the two sons of Alexander-Hercules, son of Barsine, and Alexander, son of Rhoxane --whom also Cassander destroyed, and, casting out Olympias, even without burial, proclaimed himself king of the Macedonians." Thus the divided kingdom of Alexander was “not to his posterity, nor after his dominion."
5. The king of the south was Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus. “ In Asia, Ptolemy, one of those who had a
share in the division, without difficulty possessed himself of Egypt...... Thus the Cyrenians and neighbouring cities lost their former liberty, and became subject to Ptolemy......He put strong garrisons into all the convenient places of Egypt, and succeeded, for the most part, in everything he undertook” (Diod. xviii. 2). “ He enjoyed Egypt as a conqueror; and, casting his eye on Coelo-Syria and Phenicia, used his utmost endeavour to possess their cities. To that end he made Nicanor general, who brought all Syria under his power, gained the cities of Phenicia and put garrisons in them, and returned to Egypt” (c.3). 66 About the same time (B.C. 306) Ptolemy, coming with a well-appointed army, reduced all Coelo-Syria to obedience." At this point the history of Diodorus breaks off, just before the battle of Ipsus. Justin continues the narrative: “ Ptolemy, in Egypt, by wise industry, prepared great forces ; he had enlarged the bounds of his empire by the acquisition of Cyrene, and had now grown so great that he had not so much cause to dread his enemies as to be dreaded by them” (xiii. 6). “The war being ended, Ptolemy dies with great glory, on account of his exploits” (xvi. 2).
6. One of his princes, stronger than himself, was Seleucus Nicanor. - Seleucus, fearing the worst, fled, with fifty horse only in his company, to Ptolemy, in Egypt, whose kindness towards all that came to him for protection and shelter was praised everywhere. When he was got safe into Egypt, he was entertained by Ptolemy with all expressions of kindness and affection. While Antigonus was thus employed, Seleucus came, with an hundred ships, out of Egypt" (Diod. xix. 4). “ In a council of war, Ptolemy's generals agreed that Seleucus and Menelaus, staying in Cyprus, should bear up against their enemies." “ Seleucus, after the rout of Demetrius, at Gaza, receiving from Ptolemy eight