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is a yoke of bondage, the spirit of which is seen in Acts xv: 10; “Why tempt ye God to put a yoke on the neck of the disciples ?" This the papal power did do by enforcing false doctrines and superstitions on the Church, and forbidding any to teach otherwise on pain of excommunication.
“He shall stand up against the Prince of princes.' “He shall rise up against the Prince of princes,” (Dou.) Standing up or rising up against the Prince of princes is a characteristic of the little horn; hence he is called by the Apostle, “ Anti-Christ," or that power, which is against Christ. The whole drift of that anti-christian sovereignty has been in opposition to Christ and His Church ; and in consequence of her blasphemies against the God of heaven, and persecution of the followers of Christ, the great Harlot, together with her daughters, have received the appellation of ANTI-CHRIST.
We now turn our attention to the subject of the 2300 days. In vs. 13, 14 we read ; “ And 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.”
“How long shall be the vision ?" not, how long was Daniel in the act of seeing the vision ? but how long the vision concerning the daily (Dou. continual) sacrifice, and the transgression of dessolativn? or how long shall the sanctuary and host be trampled under foot ?" (Sep.) “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” There are here two questions asked.
1. How long “the daily”? 2. How long shall the transgression of desolation trample "the sanctuary and the host" under foot ? In our investigation we inquire first, what is the daily sacrifice ?
The majority of exposuists have referred“ the daily" (“sacrifice” not being found in the original) to the daily sacrifices of the Jews, which were taken away by Antiochus, and “the abomination that maketh desolate" to the image he set up in the Temple. : Mr. Miller, perceiving the prophecy referred to the government of Rome, the fourth kingdom, supposed "the daily sacrifice" to be paganism, and A.D. 508, to be the point where it was “taken away;" and believing “the abomination of desolation” to be papacy, he deemed the decree of Justinian to be the point where
“set up.” But we are led to differ from Mr. Miller in regard to the meaning of the daily, and from the other writers referred to, in regard to its application. That the Jewish sacrifices are alluded to by the term "daily," there can be no doubt. The term is borrowed from the sacerdotal offerings of the Jewish worship. The expression, "daily sacrifice," does not occur in Scripture, except in the book of Daniel. But that, which approaches nearest to it, is found in Heb. vii: 27, “Who needeth not daily, as those High Priests, to offer up sacrifices.” Here the term daily and sacrifices occur in such connection, as to present the idea of a "daily sacrifice."
But as this prophecy refers to a point in chronology
subsequent to the overthrow of the Jewish polity, and the sacrifices connected with that economy, we inquire what there is under the present dispensation, that corresponds with the offering of a daily sacrifice? or what is there that is substituted in its place? It is Christian worship. But have we anything analagous to a priest hood, and the offering of sacrifices ? Says Peter, “ Ye are an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices." (1 Pet. ii : 5.) But are such sacrifices daily sacrifices ? Says Jesus, "deny thyself daily.” Says Paul, “I die daily." This is offering "our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.” Hence, the simple worship of God, whether under this, or the former dispensation, can, with propriety, be called a “daily sacrifice.” The Saviour says, (Matt. v: 23, 24:) “Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” And then again, in Heb, xii: 9, 10, 15, 16, “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines : for it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace, not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle, By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But to do good, and to communicate, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
In the scripture quoted, we have the term sacrifice, concerning which the Apostle says; "Let us offer" it
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"continually," the same mode of expression precisely as in the Douay version of Daniel, where it is called " the continual sacrifice." But the Apostle not only enjoins upon us to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually," but also, “to do good, and to communicate; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” The Lord requires our effects under this dispensation, as really as under the former; and to claim to be of the household of faith, without a consecration of our substance to God, is utterly inconsistent with the principles of the Gospel; for it is the surrender of our allnot earthly treasures simply—but the interests of our whole bring to Christ, which constitutes the sacrifice, by which we make a covenant with God, and by virtue of which we are to receive in reversion, eternal life. In allusion to this subject says David; “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” (Ps. 1 : 3–5.)
The Lord promised the Jews, if they would obey His voice, He would make them a kingdom of Priests. This they refused to do. Hence the Lord chose the tribe of Levi exclusively to officiate in this capacity. But under this dispensation there is no privileged class of christians, who are thus exclusively honored. The entire Church constitute a kingdom of Priests; and the sovereign Head has granted to each, and to all, the privilege of presenting personally their own sacrifices to God.
But we return to inquire what is intended by the phrase, “How long the daily sacrifice ?" The Prophet Hosea says, (chap. iii : 4:) “The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice.” This prediction was fulfilled during the Babylonian captivity, at which time Daniel had the Vision under consideration.
Now, as there was no daily at this time in Jerusalem, and yet the inquiry is made: How long the daily? we infer that it was to be restored. On turning to Ezra i., we learn that Cyrus, king of Persia, issued a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, granting liberty to the Jews to “go up to Jerusalem," "and build the house of the Lord God of Israel." We learn from the second chapter, (v. 64,) that the number which returned under this decree, was 42,360. The work, however, of building the temple was hindered, until the reign of Darius, king of Persia,* in whose sixth year the house or temple is said to have been finished. F But it is evident the temple was not beautified or adorned, until the time of Artaxerxes ;I and although Ezra was permitted to go to Jerusalem in the seventh
year of Artaxerxes, about B.C. 458, yet, if we may credit Josephus, this did not take place until Nehemiah undertook to accomplish the work. Being at Shushan, the palace, and learning that his brethren in Jerusalem were in great affliction, and that the wall of the city was broken down, and her gates burned with fire; the desires of that holy man were enkindled for
* Ezra, iv: 5. + Ezra, vi : 15. Ezra, vii: 27.