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"A horn of a beast is never taken for a single person: it always signifies a new kingdom; and the kingdom of Antiochus was an old one. Antiochus reigned over one of the four horns; and the little horn was a fifth, under its proper kings. This horn
but so did NOT Antiochus. His kingdom, on the contrary, was weak, and tributary to the Romans; and he did NOT enlarge it. The horn was a 'king of fierce countenance, and destroyed wonderfully, and prospered and practiced :' but Antiochus was
mans, and afterwards routed and baffled by the Jews.
The horn was mighty by another's power; Antiochus acted by his own. The horn cast down the sanctuary to the ground, and so did NOT Antiochus; he left it standing. The sanctuary and host were trampled under foot 2300 days, and in Daniel's prophecies, days are put for years : but the profanation of the temple, in the reign of Antiochus, did NOT last so many natural days. These were to last to the end of the indignation' against the Jews; and this indignation is NOT YET at an end. They were to last till the sanctuary which had been cast down should be cleansed ; and the sanctuary is NOT YET cleansed."
Antiochus was neither a great, nor a good man. According to Roliin, instead of being a “ king of a fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” he was so given to foolish actions, that the epithet of vile, was most fitly bestowed upon him. And yet from the language of the prophecy, this "little horn" which “wared EXCEEDING GREAT” as did NOT Antiochus, must have been as much greater than the preceding universal empires, as Rome was greater than Grecia or Persia. The Medo. Persian power, is simply called “GREAT,” (verse 4.) This power, the Bible tells us, “reigned from India to Ethiopia, over a hundred and seven and twenty prov. inces.” This was succeeded by the Grecian power, which is called “VERY GREAT,” (verse 8.) Of course, it was stronger, or more extensive, than even the Persian. Then comes the power in question, which is 56 EXCEEDING GREAT.99 No one will pretend that the power of Antiochus was exceeding great! above that of Alexander, the Conqueror of the world! At one time he was an hostage in Rome; and was never independent of that power. He was never distinguished for the greatness of his exploits, or conquests, but only for his tyranny and cruelty. When he turned his arms against Egypt, the Roman ambassador commanded him to relinquish his object; and on his hesitating 10 comply immediately, the embassador drew a circle about him in the sand, with his wand, and obliged him to agree before he left that circle, that he would OBEY. Instead of waxing exceeding great, he became so weak that the people that had paid tribute to him were not afraid to withhold it, and io rebel against him ; and he came to his end by a most loathsome disease. Surely there can be no doubt which power waxed EXCEEDING GREAT, that which exacted obedience, or that which rendered it.
Let us give the degrees of comparison, according to the angel's rules, and thus compare truth with error. How easy and natural is the following gradation :
Very Great. Exceeding Great. PERSIA, GREECE, ROME.
How absurd and ludicrous is the following ! Great. Very Great. Exceeding Great. PERSIA, GREECE, ANTIOCHUS.
This little horn was to stand up against the PRINCE of princes. Antiochus died 164 years before the Prince of princes was born, while the Roman pow.. er nailed him to the cross.
This une consideration alone, should remove all doubt, and prove that Antiochus could not be the little horn that waxed exceeding great.
Of the prophetic periods in the prophecy of Daniel, it is said to have “never been proved that those days signified years,” and also that it is a question, if they are years, when they commence.
That those periods were literal days, has never been proved. If the days are literal time, they are the only portion of those visions which are literal. As all the other parts of those visions are given in tropical language, it would be strange to find the time an exception. Because days are sometimes used as a type of years, it does not follow that they are always so used. But yet is it can be shown that those periods are given in tropical language, we then have a rule how such tropical language is to be understood. That they cannot be shown to have been fulfilled in the exact number of literal days is admitted by all historians. Mr. Dowling admits that “we are not informed by any historian EXACTLY" the time that makes out the 2300 days; but has no doubt, that if we could find such historian, we could show the exact time, which he makes 1150 days. Professor Stuart only attempts to show a fulfilment of this period, by " counting back” from Dec. 25th, 195, B. C. which he assumes as their “ terminus ad quem, and we come to Aug. 5th, B. C. 171," “ Hints," p. 101. Of the 1260 days, the Professor not only cannot show a fulfilinent in the exact literal time, but even claims that exact time is not aimed at in these periods. He says “ A statistical exactness cannot be reasonably suposed to be aimed at, in cases of this nature. Any near approximation to the measure of time in question, would of course be regarded as a sufficient reason for setting it down under the general rubric,” “Hints” p. 130.
Thus the best authorities admit that these periods cannot be proved to have been fulfilled in literal days. There is, therefore, some doubt of their being literal days.
The Catholic church, to avoid our view of the papal anti-Christ, reckon these periods as days. But the great body of the most approved commentators in the Protestant church, have understood them as so many years. Professor Stuart says, that “ For a long time these principles have been so current among the expositors of the English and American world, that scarcely a serious attempt to vindicate them has of late been made. They have been regarded as so plain, and so well fortified against all objections, that most expositors have deemed it quite useless even to attempt to defend them. One might indeed almost compare the ready and unwavering assumption of these propositions, to the assumption of the first self-evident axioms in the science of geometry, which not only may dispense with any process of ratiocination in their delence, but which do not even admit of any." "Hints,” p.8.
Again, he says, on p. 77. “ It is a singular fact, that THE GREAT MASS OF INTERPRETERS in the English and American world, have, for many years been wont to understand the days designated in Daniel and in the Apocalypse, as the representatives or symbols of years. I have found it difficult to trace the origin of this general, I MIGHT SAY, ALMOST UNIVERSAL CUSTOM."
The learned Joseph Wolfe, a converted Jew, who is one of the most finished Hebrew scholars in the world, agrees with Mr. Miller in the interpretation of prophetic time, and is teaching the end of the world in 2300 years from the commencement of the 70 weeks.
Let it therefore be distinctly remembered, that those who adopt the conclusions of Stuart, Dowling, and others, are going in direct opposition to the fixed and settled principles of interpretation, of our standard commentators.
As these visions were to be closed up and sealed till the time of the end, it forlows there would be great uncertainty in fixing their commencement and termination, until such period should arrive when the seal was to be broken. The great difficulty has been, when to fix the commencement of the 2300 days. Now the seal seems to have been removed
* Such men as Faber, Prideaux, Scott, Bishop Newton, Sir Isaac Newton, all interpret the days of Daniel and John as so many years.