תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER III.

EXPOSITION OF DANIEL, CHAP. VIII.

Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake; How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot ? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Dan. viii: 13, 14.)

In the vision of the eighth chapter we have presented “a ram having two horns,” and a goat with “a notable horn between his eyes." Subsequently the great horn is broken, "and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven, and out of one of then came fourth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land,” etc.; the interpretation of which is as follows:

“The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia : and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision ; for it shall be for many days." (Vs. 20-26.)

In this passage we have not only the interpretation of the ram and goat, but also an application of the same. They indicate the kingdoms of Medo-Persia and Grecia. The four horns represent the four subsequent divisions of the Grecian empire, and are parallel with the four heads of the leopard,* (Dan. vii: 6.) They correspond to the divisions of that empire, over which the “mighty king” ruled. (Dan. xi.)

But who is this king of fierce countenance, or acccording to the Septuagint, "bold in countenance," skilful in ruling,(Syriac,) "skilful of disputations," (Arabic) “of shameless face," (Douay,) "and under

,,) " standing dark sentences? These different expressions all strikingly characterize the Roman kingdom under papal domination. "And his power shall be mighty,”, (v. 24) or "shall be great,(Sep.) “shall be strengthened,(Dou.) “but not by his own power," for cen

[ocr errors]

* See exposition of chapter xi.

and a

turies in succession the Roman empire was appropriately symbolized by “iron, that braketh in pieces, and subdueth all things.” She stretched her broad wings, and swayed her iron sceptre over Africa, Spain, Gaul, a part of the British Isle, Illyricum, Dacia, Macedon, Thrace, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine and Egypt, ,

Rome, in her early history, possessed within herself those elements of strength, those internal resources of power, which gave to her a military prowess, martial glory unrivalled by any nation of the earth; but at a later era, when broken by internal dissension, and harassed, on every hand, by Barbarian invasions, she needed some mighty pillar to support her tottering power, and restore her universal dominion. This desid. eratum was found in union of Church and State, by which was added an element of moral power, and ecclesiastical strength. By thus submitting to the dictation of the holy see, legalizing the articles of the Catholic faith, and nationalizing the Catholic Church, Rome became "mighty, but not by her own power.” These ideas will be illustrated by the following extracts from history, in which the influence and authority of the Priests will be shown to be dominant.

“During the same year (518) the Emperor Anastasius died, struck by lightning. The Priests, availing themselves of this circumstance, frightened the superstitious multitude, and threatened the heretics with the vengeance of God. Their intrigues were so well conducted, that they placed on the throne Justin, a very ignorant man, and from that very cause, a good Catholic. The Prince, on his elevation, gave a direction to affairs entirely opposite to that of his predecessor. The pretended heretics were punished, and the populace by reiterated acclamations made the Catholic faith triumphant. The will of a fanatical mob having been confirmed by a council, held at Constantinople, the Catholics could exercise their vengeance against the Eutychians."*

Anastasius dying in the 27th year of his reign, Justin, a patron of the Catholic faith succeeds him, who forthwith sends Embassadors to the Bishop of Rome to acknowledge the authority of the Apostolic See, and to desire the Bishop to interpose his ecclesiastical

power for the settling of the peace of the Church. A.D. 519.

Hormisdas complies. The followers of Acacius being obstinate, Justin forced them out of the Church (where they had shut themselves up) and the city too. Hormisdas dealt in the same manner with the Manichees, and burnt their books."

"In A.D. 519, Justin, to show his zeal for the council of Chalcedon, called his wife Dupicina by the name of Euphemia, the martyr in whose Church that council was held. He recalled the Catholics from banishment, exiled the Arians and Eutychians, thrust Severus from his Bishopric of Antioch, and condemned him to lose his blasphemous tongue. Vitalianus, Muster-master under Anastasius, and very intimate with Justin, was, as it is thought, by his command murdered in the palace. In whose place Justinian, his sister's son, was chosen.”'

[ocr errors]

* DeCormenin, vol. i. p. 102. + Sir Paul Rycaut’s His. of Popes, p. 86. # Walter Raleigh's His. of the World, b. 3, p. 100.

“He shall destroy wonderfully," "Shall lay all

things waste, and shall prosper and do more than can be believed,(Dou.) and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people, and shall destroy the mighty and the peo

ple of the saints,” (Dou.) 'shalt destroy the mighty men, (and the holy people,(Sep.) How emphatically graphic and truthful this representation! The ecclesiastico

! political despotism of this little horn has indeed “destroyed the mighty and the holy people," and in this work of desolation has “done more than can be believed,” as is expressed in the Douay version; no less than fifty millions of martyrs having fallen victims to its persecuting vengeance. This is a fearful havoc of the Church-a wide-spread desolation, which almost exceeds the bounds of human credulity.

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand ; and he shall magnify himself, and by peace shall destroy many." And craft shall be successful in his hand: and his heart shall be piiffed up, and in the abundance of all things, he shall kill many," (Dou.) “And the yoke of his chain shall prosper; there is craft in his hand,”(Sep.) This last is highly descriptive. “The yoke of his chain shall prosper.” A yoke is an emblem of servitude : hence, in Isa. xlvii: 6, the Prophet accuses the king of Babylon, thus: “I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand; thou didst shew them no mercy ; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke."

The yoke of Christ is that bond, obligation or covenant into which we enter when we submit to the requisitions of the Gospel. But the yoke of his chain

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »