« AnteriorContinuar »
believe it to be, I see not, in case of our referring the character of the wilful king to some power previ. ously mentioned, how we can avoid, upon every principle both of expression and grammar, referring it to the king of the Nortb* -Under this objection Mr. Whitaker urges another founded entirely upon his misconception of the general drift of the prophecy. According to
Mr. Faber's scheme, “the angel”, says he, “after " having given a most particular account of what " should happen under the successors of Alexander,
does, most unaccountably leave entirely unnoti“ ced all the great and interesting events, that have " taken place in the land of Judea from the time of “ the destruction of Jerusalem to the present day": Although the angel has so expressly declared, that he will tell Daniel what shall befall bis people in the latter days, Mr. Whitaker cannot divest himself of the notion that Judea is meant: whereas the country is no further considered throughout the whole prophecy than as connected with the people. As soon as the people are dispersed, the country is never once mentioned till the time of the end when the Jews begin to be restored; and then the country again makes its appearance, and we are told in striết harmony with many other prophecies that some great enemy of the Lord shall perish in Palestine between the seas at the era of their restoration. Hence it is plain, that, if the great and interesting events which Mr. Whitaker dwells on bad been
* The king of the north, mentioned in the first part of the vision, is, as all allow, quite a different power from the king of the north, mentioned in the second part of the vision.
noticed, the prophet would have departed from his plan. He makes exactly the same mistake in the course of a few passages more, and then he builds an argument upon it; which is the more extraordinary, as he cites the angel's declaration to Daniel, and even writes bis people in Italics.
This might surely have taught him, that the land of that people was not intended.
“ Another objection“, says he, “ Mr. Faber makes to the application of this pre“ diction to the Roman power, is that it makes the “ last prediction very little more than a mere
repetition of a former. But here the learned “ writer seems not to call to mind, that at the
beginning of the vision the angel expressly appri“ zed Daniel, that he was come to make him “ understand what should befall bis people* in the
latter days: in consequence of which the vision “ is localť in its subject, and ends with the delivers ance of the chosen people. Now being the “ former, and it being (according to Mr. Faber's
own statement) the great excellence of Daniel's “ prophecies, that they are strictly both local and
* This was the very thing that I did call to mind, that the people, not the land, was spoken of.
+ What inconclusive reasoning is this! Because the angel would teach Daniel what should befall his people in the latter days, therefore the vision must be local and confined to Judea, when the people were dispersed and had no longer any connection with that country! I suppose Mr. Whitaker will scarcely deny that the 328 and 33d verses treat of the persecutions of the primitive Christians, and that the 34th must be referred to the conversion of the empire in the days of Constantine. Was the vision local then? At least was its locality confined to Fudea?
chronological, “ chronological, the changing of the scene from " objection, that it cannot be made to accord with “ the chronological series of events in this conclu.
Judèa into Germany, and then into France, and " then nobody knows where*, as is necessary to “ this novel hypothesist, can never be admitted “ consistently with either his own rules of interpre“ tation, or his estimate of the prophet's accuracy.
And this not being admitted, what measure of
repetition is this, but what naturally results " from the purpose which the angel specifiedI? “ For what Mr. Faber calls his most conclusive
* I have before had occasion to notice the highly indecorous language in which Mr. Whitaker is wont to indulge himself. Had he read Bp. Newton's Commentary on this part of the prophecy, I am willing to hope that at least a sense of propriety would have induced him to express himself somewhat more respectfully. That eminent prelate, though I differ from him in my exposition of the wilfulking, yet in his remarks on the verses immediately preceding the first mention of that tyrant shifts the scene just as much as myself. It is true, his Lordship does not change it to "nobody knows where”, as Mr. Whitaker says I do; but he certainly changes it to France no less than myself, though not precisely in the same manner. He concludes his comment on the 35th verse with these words : “And we see even at this day, not to alledge other instances, " how the poor protestants are persecuted, plundered, and .66 murdered, in the southern parts of France.'
+ I have a great curiosity to see a Commentary on Dan, xi, constructed on Mr. Whitaker's principle of exclusive locality. Bp. Newton found it no less necessary to his own hypothesis to quit the land of Judea, within which Mr. Whitaker would confine us, than I did to my "novel hypothesis”.
# Which purpose Mr. Whitaker is determined shall be, to give a history of Judea, not of the Jews; although nothing can be more plain than the specification of the angel.
ding prophecy of Daniel : it will be sufficient to “ ask,
If, from the time of the Romans first invading Judea to their being driven from it, they were * not the power that ruled it, pray who was? but, “ if they were, must not a chronological bistory of “ what passed on that land notice them in the “ place it does*"? The reader will readily perceive, that Mr. Whitaker throughout confounds the people with the land.
How often must I repeat, and how often must I refer him to Bp. Newton's Commentary to convince him, that the prophecy in question is not a history of what passed in the land of Judea, any further than that land was in possession of the Jews? Accordingly its falling under the Roman power is distinctly mentioned; but, the Jews beng then dispersed, it was no longer an object of Daniel's concern; whence, neither its government by the Romans, nor their loss of it, is noticed. And, as for Mr. Whitaker's question, " Who were masters of Judea from the time when " the Romans gained it to the time when they lost " it, if the Romans were not"? I confess myself quite unable to discover its pertinancy. What the Roman government of Judea can have to do, in a chronological prophecy, with a power which is described as making its appearance after the persecutions of the primitive christians, after the conversion of the empire under Constantine, and after a second remarkable persecution resembling that of the primitive Christians* which I have supposed peculiarly to relate to the Reformation; I am as much unable to comprehend, although assisted by Mr. Whitaker's questions, as ever I was.
* Letter, p. 43, 44.
that I have
His third objectiont is to my assertion (which he thinks a very bold one) that the time of the end commences at the termination of the great period of 1260 years; but not one argument does he bring to back it. Indeed he is so totally silent on all that I have said on the subject, that I think he can scarcely have read the third chapter of my Dissertation. To that I beg to refer him. He pronounces indeed, that the time of tbe end and the last time are equivalent phrases; and that they both equally mean the wbole 1260 years: and this he would prove from St. John, who (he says) tells us that the last time is the time of Antichristi. St. John however, as
* It was on this ground, that I thought the second persecution of the men of understanding could not relate to the quarrels of the Consubstantialists and the Arians. Though I believe the Consub. stantialists to have been in the right, as Mr. Whitaker seems willing to allow, I can see no very great resemblance between their situation and that of the primitive Christians : whereas I see a most striking resemblance between the situation of the Reformers and that of the primitive Christians.
+ Letter, p. 45.
# St. John tells us no such thing. He says, that there were many antichrists then in the world, and that the spirit of the Antichrist was also then in the world; whence the disciples might know that it was the last time : but he never says, that the last time, in the sense in which he uses the phrase, namely that of the Christian dispensation, is the time of the Antichrist.
I have wondered that Mr. Whitaker has not brought forward Mr. Mede's argument to prove that the time of the end