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land fhould lie wafte. In a word, the design of the prophet is to fhew, that the Jews muft fubmit to the Meffiah, and receive the Gofpel, previous to the restoration which he describes; fo that the connection of his ideas is more cafily difcerned, by his leaving out the intermediate

events.

The prophet Daniel (xi. 5.--35.) gives an accurate detail of the treaties and wars betwixt the kingdoms of Egypt and Syria, from the partition of the Grecian monarchy among the fucceffors of Alexander the Great, down to Antiochus Epiphanes, whose hiftory he concludes ver. 35. He immediately proceeds (ver. 36.) to give an account of the great Antichrift, who should appear in the latter times of the church. But here the connection obviously appears to be the fimilarity of character. He fhews Antiochus Epiphanes as the greatest enemy of the true religion, who should appear under the Mofaic difpenfation, after his own time; he next points out Antichrist, as the greatest enemy to the true religion, who should appear under the Gospel difpenfation. It is not neceffary to suppose, that the latter fhould quickly fucceed the former. The prophet has fufficiently guarded against such a mistake, (chap. vii.) There he notes the time of the great Antichrift's appearance, by the revolutions of the four univerfal monarchies. He not only fhews the third diffolved,

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diffolved, of which the dominion of Antiochus Epiphanes made a part; but the fourth which fucceeded it, divided into feveral feparate independent kingdoms, among which arose the little horn prefiguring Antichrift.

V. Many of the prophecies have two events in view at the fame time. The prophets represent remote and more illuftrious events, in preceding and lefs important tranfactions, while the language happily conforms itself to both events. "It is, as it were, a robe of ftate for the one, "and only the ordinary accustomed dress of "the other." Making allowance for a mixture of hyperbole, it may be accommodated to the nearer event; in its plain and literal fenfe, it is applicable to the more remote event. Thus, Pfal. Ixxii. appears from the title to foretel the glory of Solomon's kingdom, but under that type adumbrates the fuperior glory of the Mesfiah's reign.

The prophecy of Joel (ii. 28.--32.) concerning the effufion of the Spirit, is applied to the apoftolical age, (Acts ii. 16.--21.); but from the connection of the paffage with what goes before, it seems to point likewise to a period ftill future, the converfion of the Jewish nation, which precedes the Millennium. Several prophecies concerning

(1) Hurl's Sermons, ix..

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cerning the fall of Babylon, and the return of the Jews from thence, particularly the prophecy contained in the 50th and 51ft chapters of Jeremiah, look forward to the fall of myftical Babylon, and the return of the Jews from their prefent difperfion. The prophecies of Ezekiel concerning Tyre, chap. xxvii. and of Nahum concerning Nineveh, feem to have an aspect to papal Rome; and that of Ezekiel, chap. xxviii. concerning the prince of Tyre, refers to the ruler of papal Rome. The prophecy of Isaiah (chap. xxii. 15.--25.) refpecting the expulfion of Shebna, and the inveftiture of Eliakim with the office of treasurer, points to the fall of Antichrift, and the visible establishment of Chrift's kingdom, as the confequence of it. One part of the prophecy is thus applied, (Rev.iii. 7.) and the sense of the other part is established by the connection. The authority of the New Testament directs to fuch a twofold meaning of prophecy. The expreflions used, Isaiah xlv. 23. "Unto me 66 every knee shall bow, and every tongue fhall "fwear," are applied to the effect of the Gospel on the hearts and lives of those who receive it, Phil. ii. 10. and to the fubmiffion of enemies as well as friends, before a throne of judgment, Rome. xiv. II.

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VI. It is customary with the prophets in defcribing the latter enemies of the church, to call them by the names of her former perfecutors. This, at first view, occafions a misapprehenfion of the prophet's meaning. When we find the actors in any particular fcene defcribed to be nations that have no longer an existence in the world, we are apt haftily to conclude, that the prophecy refpects the paft, not the future. But if by any of the rules already laid down, (for) inftance, the state of the Jews or the Millennium connected with the prophecy,) we learn, that it points to the latter ages, we ought to confider the names of the actors as a difguife, and referring the prophecy to its proper place, we fhall find that the fenfe is both intelligible and clear.

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That the prophets do make ufe of fuch dif guife, is evident, from the term Babylon being ufed in the Apocalypfe, to fignify Rome, and from the defcription of the fame city as fpiritually Sodom and Egypt.

This artifice was partly neceffary; for as the latter enemies of the church had no name or existence when the prophet wrote, as they derived their names afterwards from languages, having little or no affinity with that of the prophet, How could he convey to us their names

intelligibly

(1) Rev. xvii. and xviii. poffim,

(2) Rev. xi. 8.

intelligibly in his own language? It was an easy matter for the Spirit of God to have revealed the name of each, and for the prophet to have written them; but that name could only have had a certain fimilarity in found to the real name; it would have been readily referred to a Hebrew origin; and this would have involved the most attentive reader in inextricable difficulty'. But fuppofing this artifice not abfolutely neceffary, it was highly expedient. A certain degree of obfcurity is competent to prophecy, to prevent its interference with the completion, and to try the fincerity of those who believe it, by affording exercise to their time and talents, in difcovering its meaning. Now, the lowest degree of obfcurity is that which withholds the names of the perfons concerned, when their actions or fufferings are minutely described.

It is not always easy to investigate, nor is it perhaps material to know the reasons which induce the prophet to use the name of one ancient perfecutor in preference to that of another. But in general, he feems to have in view a certain resemblance

(1) Calling Cyrus by name, Ifa. xlv. will not overturn this argument. The affinity betwixt the Hebrew and the Perfian languages, as well as the actual existence of the name in both languages, rendered it abundantly intelligible; but neither of these circumstances can apply to the latter enemies of the church.

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