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ments that I have ever met with, from any source whatever; and if I have not the truth, as it respects time—for on the two first points we exactly agree-I would as readily yield the palm of victory to Moses Stuart, the writer of this book, as any man I have any knowledge of at this time. To be conquered by such a writer, would be an honor my vanity would almost covet : yet I dare not yield the truth of God's word to any man, nor for any consideration whatever, however glorious it might be in the sight of my fellow-men, or gratifying to an unbelieving multitude. One thing I ask, and that will I seek after. If truth compels me to disagree with this writer, whatever I may write, may it be done in the same spirit as to me appears to possess the excellent writer of this little book before me.
On his first head or question, “ Are there many occult passages in prophecy which are pregnant with a double meaning ?”-I answer, very few, and with the writer I agree, “ that if such a principle be admitted, how is it possible to ascertain within what bounds it shall be confined.” By this, I do not understand the writer to mean, that there are no types, nor analogies in the Bible, which types and analogies were once prophecies; for instance, the destruction of the old world by water, which was a prophecy in the days of Noah, is by our Saviour applied as a type, or an analogy of the destruction of the world by fire. Again, the travel of the children of Israel through the wilderness into the land of Canaan is applied unto us, by Paul, as a sample : if we conduct as they did, we shall meet with like judgments. Therefore I am perfectly
agreed with the writer, that there is no double meaning to words in the prophecies of the Old and New Testament.
In his second part, as I have named it, “ Prophecy not intelligible until it is fulfilled," I am pleased to see our views so perfectly harmonize. I say with the writer, if God has revealed any truth, that truth may be understood; but I would not say, neither do I understand the writer of this book to say, that men will all see the truth and know it, and in all ages of the world, and at all times. No, for if that were the case, we should have no need of this book which he has written to teach us how to understand prophecy. Although God may have revealed things plainly and intelligibly, yet it may by us be rejected, or clothed in a mantle of mysticism, and so hid for ages, for aught I can see, and then brought to light by the diligent application of some of his servants. Surely, the writer will not deny this, for his object in writing this book is, as he says, to do away with an error, that has for years become almost or quite universal. So, you can see, we are happily and clearly agreed on this point.
His next, and third part: “ Designations of time in the prophecies.” On this point, his rule, which he has laid down on page 65, is perfectly right, and must, I think, stand the test. in all cases. “Every passage of Scripture, or of any other book, is to be interpreted as bearing its plain, and primary, and literal sense, unless good reasons can be given why it should be tropically (figuratively) understood.”
Thus far I can agree with the learned author; but here I must stop: his rules of interpretation are good, his general remarks on the nature and manner of prophecy I admire; but when he comes to apply those rules, I see neither reason nor common sense in the application.
I shall not follow him through all his arguments and explanations; but shall select a few. And first, his views of the little horn, in Dan. vii. 7, 8, 20, 21–26, meaning Antiochus Epiphanes, are wholly without evidence; not even a color of testimony can be brought from the Scriptures to prove that point. Yet he asserts it as though no one ever doubted it: this proves that his reading on that point has been very limited.
This horn does not belong to the Grecian kingdom, nor is it one of the four into which Grecia was divided. See Dan. vii. 7: “ Aster this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth : it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Now read the heavenly teacher. Daniel vii. 23: “ Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” After Daniel had given the account of the Grecian kingdom in the sixth verse, he says he saw in his vision another beast, which is explained to mean the fourth kingdom upon earth. Is it possible to prove that a third can be the fourth ? A third
may have four heads, but it is the same beast still. Here we have another one, different from all other kingdoms that were before it. Where was the wide difference between the Syrian and the other three kingdoms into which Alexander's was divided ? All arose in the same manner, all made war on each other, and each in its turn succeeded in its warlike enterprises. Neither one of them was able to subdue all the other three. Yet Daniel tells us that “three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots," and by the little horn, which our author calls Antiochus. Again, this kingdom was to have ten kings when this little horn should rise up: for he is to rise after them, and among them, and subdue three of them. This, then, cannot, by any fair construction, be applied to Antiochus.
This little horn was to make war with the saints, and prevail against them until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. See verses 21, 22. What kingdom? See verses 26, 27 : “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” It is a “ great kingdom,"
under the whole heaven,” and an “everlasting kingdom,” and, “all dominions serving and obeying him.” Now if the Jews mean the saints, as our author tells us, according to his
own showing, the Jews have not yet got the everlasting kingdom. See his own remarks, on page 139, on Acts i. 6, 7. And of course Antiochus is yet alive, making war, and prevailing against the Jews. No wonder our author complains against the English and American commentators. If he follows them, all their wisdom, and his too, is not able to extricate him from a very foolish dilemma. Let him apply this to the Roman kingdom, and all will be clear and natural.
We cannot avoid seeing, as I sincerely believe, that the kingdom which is given to the saints of the Most High at the destruction of the little horn, cannot be any kingdom possessed by the Jews at that time or at any time subsequent. If it is figurative, then the rules of our good brother will not apply; for it is not used in the 27th verse as a symbol or representation, but as an explanation of the 14th and 22d verses, by the heavenly visiter himself. See verse 16: “I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things."
Then by what stretch of imagination we can apply this little horn to Antiochus, is to me ten times more mysterious than the occult sense, of which the writer so justly complains. Why not then make the application where it belongs, to the fourth or Roman kingdom, and the little horn to Antichrist making war against the true saints, until the glorious appearing of the great God (Ancient of days) and our Saviour Jesus Christ, in the clouds of heaven? Surely there can be