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figures are explained, ý 44. that in the time of the kings belonging to the fourth (viz. the Roman monarchy, there would be a kingdom set up by the God of heaven, which would never be destroyed, but would stand for ever, and get the better of all other kingdoms.
In the 7th chapter, after mention of the four monarchies, represented by four different animals, the Ancient of Days is spoken of as sitting on bis throne, with great majesty, innumerable thousands ministring to him; and one who is called the Son of Man is represented as coming to him, with the clouds of heaven, and as brought near before him. And it is added, ý 14. that “ there was given him “ dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all “ people, nations, and languages, thould serve “ him;" and that “ his dominion is an everlasting “ dominion, which shall not pass away, and his king“ dom that which shall not be destroyed.”
The following part of this chapter treats of the opposition to be made to this kingdom by powerful adversaries, the success of those adversaries for a time, and the final victory to be obtained over them. But that which requires most particular consideration is, that this kingdom is spoken of all along as the kingdom of the saints of the Most High; and that remarkable title is given to it, in the compass of ten verses, y 18. 21. 22. 27. no less than five times.
This Mows, that though the prophet Daniel uses expressions and images different from those used in the prophecies formerly considered, yet he speaks plainly enough of the same times of the enlightening of the Gentile nations; seeing he speaks of the times when the kingdom of saints, or worshippers of the true God, would be diffused through the nations of the Gentiles, even through all nations and languages: for though the name of saints is not always taken in the most strict sense, which signifies
men endued with the image of God; yet even when it is taken in the more large sense, it implies mens being enlightened in the knowledge of God, their embracing his worship, and professing subjection to his laws : all which is included in the words of Moses, concerning the nation of Israel, when he speaks of them as a nation of saints, Deut. vii. 6. and calls them a holy people.
And seeing Daniel speaks first of the setting up of the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, chap. ii. 44.; vii. 13. 14. and afterwards of the
opposition made to them by powerful adversaries, who are said to make war against those faints, to prevail against them, and to wear them out, chap. vii. 21. 25.; and, last of all, of the total victory to be obtained over those adversaries, y. 22. 27.; all this shews, that the prophet does not affirm, that the extending and establishing of the kingdom of saints, was to be completed at once, but by degrees, after a considerable space of time, and much opposition.
As when the everlasting kingdom is called the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, it is implied, that the subjects of that kingdom, the people of all nations and languages, would worship and serve the Most High; so when the people of that kingdom are said, in serving God, to serve him who is called the Son of Man, this must imply, that the nations of the Gentiles, in embracing the true religion, would embrace the laws and doctrines delivered by that Son of Man; which proves, that he must be the same extraordinary person, who, in other prophecies formerly considered, is represented both as enlightening and ruling the Gentile nations, in order to make them the saints of the Most High; and is described, even in those other prophecies, not only as the universal priest and prophet, but also as the universal king, or leader, commander, Il. lv. 4. lawgiver, If. xlii.
4. xxxiii. 22.
and judge, If. xi. 4. of the people of God in all nations.
From all which it follows, that as when two different historians, though using different expressions, describe the person they write of as the founder of the Greek or Roman empire; that one singular character is sufficient, both to prove, that they write of the same person, and to few whom they mean; the same thing may be said of different prophecies, or different parts of one prophecy, describing the person spoken of, as the founder of the kingdom of God among the nations of the Gentiles, or among the several nations of the earth.
II. Whereas the prophecies formerly considered, speak more expressly of the unbelieving Jews, as enemies of him who was to be the light of the Gentiles, the Prophet Daniel, in the chapters in view, speaks chiefly of the powers of the Gentile nations, as opposing the kingdom of the Son of Man, or the kingdom of the saints of God : for seeing these powers are represented in chap. ii. 34. as broken by that kingdom, this naturally supposes, that they would be, for some time, engaged in a stated opposition to it; and the adversaries defcribed in chap. vii. 24. 25. compared with y. 8. are represented, not as belonging to the Jewish nation, but to the fourth great empire of the Gentiles, and even as appearing at the time when that fourth empire was to be divided into ten kingdoms.
If we compare that 25th verse of chap. 7. with the 7th verse of chap. 12. it will be evident, that both these passages speak of the same times, viz. the latter times of the fourth or Roman empire; in which times, as was proved already, the Gentile nations were to be enlightened : And the last of these two passages, speaking expressly of a scattering of the power of the holy people that was to be accomplished in those times, it is at least highly propable, that this is meant of a dispersion of the Jews
that was to happen, and was also to come to an end, in the times of the enlightening of the Gentiles.
III. As to facts relating to the personal history of the extraordinary person in view, it is of considerable importance, that the above-cited passages determine the time of his coming into the world, in fo far as they contain more proofs than one, that it would be in the time of the fourth or Roman monarchy: for as in chap. 2. y 44. after mentioning the kings belonging to that fourth monarchy, it is said expressly, that it would be in the times of these kings that God would set up the everlasting kingdom; so in chap. 7. y 13. & 14. it is after an account of the four monarchies that the Ancient of Days is represented as sitting on his throne, and the Son of Man as coming to him, with the clouds of heaven, and brought near before him, and receiving dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people and nations should serve him.
This passage not only fhows, that the setting up the everlasting kingdom was to happen in the times of the fourth, or Roman monarchy, but also, that it would happen when the Son of Man would ascend from earth to heaven: for as that title implies, that the person to whom it is given, would be truly a man, and consequently, as to his first refidence, an inhabitant of the earth *; so the prophet does not represent him as coming in the clouds from heaven to earth, (as at the general judgement), but as coming with the clouds of heaven from his former residence, towards the throne of God, which, according to scripture-style, is heaven: And this is confirmed by the words immediately following, " that they brought him near be“ fore him,” viz. before the Ancient of Days,
* Sce Psalm cxy. 16.
It was observed above, that though, in reasoning with unbelievers, it is needful to distinguish betwixt uncontested facts, and such fupernatural contested facts, as Christ's resurrection and ascenfion; yet predictions of these contested facts, besides other important uses, serve to prove the harmony of different prophecies, as treating of the fame perfons and events, because they contain the same extraordinary and singular characters. Hence it follows, that if we meet with other prophecies which speak of some extraordinary person as ascending into heaven, as Pf. Ixviii. 18. or, which supposes such ascension, sitting at the right hand of God, as Pf.cx. 1. we have good ground to conclude, that these prophecies speak of that person whoni Daniel represents as coming with the clouds of heaven, to the Ancient of Days, and as brought near before him.
Though the above-cited prophecies in Isaiah, do not speak expressly of the person whom they describe, as ascending to heaven; yet they say, that after great humiliation, and a violent death, he should rise from the dead, and see the travail of his soul; that the pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hands; that he thould be exalted and extolled very high ; that he should make intercession for tranfgreffors; and that he should be the universal prophet, priest, and king, of the people of God, in all nations. All these things prove such a harmony between the prophecies in Isaiah and Daniel, as produces strong conviction in other cases; as when various witnesses, testifying to one series of events, or one complex fact, a part of which has been seen by all, and other parts of it only by some; in which cafe, each of the witnesses telling all he knows, in some things they will coincide; in other things, fome witnesses will superadd something to the teltimony of others, without contradicting it; and the various teitimonies will so tally with one another,