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every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
Are we thus purifying ourselves ? Are we striving to be Christ-like? Have we the same love to God? The same love to men? The same hatred to sin ? The same deadness to the applause of men? In short, do we set Christ before our eyes as our pattern and example? And are we, from beholding, changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of God? "He that saith, he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even as he walked." See 1 John ii. 6. See also Matt. xxv. 34—36. Here we learn who will enter into the kingdom of God.
Now comes the inquiry,“ Watchman, what of the night?" In what period of prophecy are we now? What are our “ soundings," in relation to the setting up of this kingdom? Are we in the kingdom of Babylon, under the "head of gold ?" No. That has passed long ago.--Are we in the Medo-Persian empire ? No. Long since that kingdom was numbered with things past. Are we in Grecia ? Certainly not. That too was numbered and finished more than two thousand years since. Are we in Rome in its undivided state, or in the “ legs of iron?" No. Long since that empire fell. Where are we, then? Down among the feet and toes. How long since those divisions came up which constitute the feet and toes ? Nearly fourteen hundred years! Almost fourteen hundred years we have travelled down in the divided state of the Roman empire. Where does the stone strike the image? Is it on the head ? No. Is it on the breast and arms ? No. Is it on the belly and thighs ? No. Is it on the legs ? No. Where then ? On the feet. Where are we now? In the feet. What takes place when the stone smites the image ? It is all broken to pieces, and becomes like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carries it away that no place shall be found for it. Then will this world be cleansed and the everlasting kingdom of God set up which shall never be destroyed. How far off, reader, do you think that event can be? What is to come next as the subject of prophecy? The stone. Are you ready? The Lord help thee to be awake.-Suffer not thyself to be lulled to sleep by the cry of, “ My Lord delayeth his coming."
Exposition of Daniel 7th Chapter;
OR, VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS.--BY G. STORRS.
In communicating instruction to the children of men, God is pleased to give "line upon line, precept upon precept—here a little, and there a little." The Saviour saith, John xvi. 12, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Revelation has been not only progressive, but the same truths have been repeated again and again, under different figures, emblems, and forins of speech. As a kind parent enforces important truths upon the minds of his offspring, illustrating and repeating to make the deeper impression, so our Heavenly Father labors to impress our minds with truths connected with, and having a bearing on, our eternal destiny, and necessary to establish the faith of his people, and inspire in them confidence in his word. He has given them waymarks to determine the truth of his word, and to mark the period of the world in which they are living, and to show them that their Heavenly Father was perfectly acquainted with all the road his church would have to travel to the end of the world, and the termination of all their labors and sufferings.
To illustrate. Suppose you were traveling a road with which you were unacquainted. You inquire of a stranger—he tells you, that road leads to a glorious city, filled with every good thing, governed by the most lovely, inild, and benevolent Prince that the world ever
saw; that in that city there was neither sickness, sor. row, pain, nor death. He then proceeds to tell you what you may expect to pass on the road, by which you may know he has told you the truth, and which will mark the progress you have made. First, then, he tells you, after leaving him, and travelling awhile, you will come to a monument that can be seen at a great distance ; on the top of it you will see a "lion" having “ eagle's wings ;"—at a distance beyond that, you will come to another monument, having on it "a bear" with “ three ribs in his mouth :"—passing on still, you will at length arrive at a third monument, on the top of which you will behold a “ leopard" having “ four wings of a fowl" and “ four heads :"—after that, you will come to a fourth, on which is a beast “ dreadful and terrible," with " great iron teeth" and "ten horns :"—and lastly, you will come to another place, where you will see the same beast, with this difference
three" of its " first horns" have been “ plucked up," and in the place of them has come up a peculiar horn, having "eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth." The next thing you will look for, after passing the last-mentioned sign, is the city of which I have told you.
With these directions you commence your journey. What do you look for first? The lion. At length you see it. That inspires in you some faith in the person's knowledge and truth who had directed you. Having passed that sign, the next thing you expect to see, as marked in the directions, is the bear. At length you come in sight of that. " There," say you, " is the second sign he gave me. He must have been perfectly acquainted with this road, and has told me the truth." Your faith increases as you travel on. What next do you look for? Not the city, certainly. “ No," say you, “ I look for the leopard." Well, by and by you behold that, in the distance. " There it is," you cry; “ now I know he has told me the truth, and it will come out just as he said." Is the next thing you look for now, the city? No—you look for that " terrible
beast" with "ten horns." You pass that, and say as you pass, “ How exactly the man who directed me described everything." Now your faith is so confirmed that you almost see the city ; "but," say you, "I have got one more sign to pass, viz. the horn' with ' eyes'—then the city comes next." Now hope is high, and your anxious eyes gaze with intense interest for the last sign. That comes in view, and you exclaim in raptures, “ There it is !" All doubt is now removed you look for no more signs—your longing eyes are fixed to gaze on the “ glorious city" next—and probably no man now, however wise he might profess himself, could make you discredit what your director had told you. "The city—the city," is now fixed in your eye, and onward you go, hasting to your rest.
Now, if we find, on examination, that all the events or signs that God has given us, which were to precede the judgment day and the setting up of his everlasting kingdom, have actually transpired, or come to view, what are we to look for next? Most clearly, the judgment of the great day! Let us, then, examine the chapter before us.
Verse 1. "In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions of his head, upon his bed : then he wrote the dream, [thus it became a part of the Scriptures] and told the sum of the matters."
V. 2 and 3. “ Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds [denoting commotions of the heaven strove upon the great sea, (waters, denoting “ people." See Rev. xvii. 15,) and four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another." The angel explains these four beasts to be “ four kings, verse 17, or four kingdoms, as you will see verse 23. “ The fourth beast is the fourth kingdom," &c.; which shows that the term king, in these visions, signifies kingdom.
V. 4. "The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings :" Babylon, as described in this vision. We have
already seen, chapter ii. 38, that Babylon was the first universal “ kingdom upon earth ;" aptly represented here by a lion—" the king of beasts," denoting the glory of that kingdom, and corresponding with the * head of gold" in the second chapter—the “ eagle's wings" denoting the rapidity of its conquests, and the soaring, pride of its monarchs. It is described by Habakkuk, chapter i. 6—8, "For, lo! I raise up the Chaldeans Babylon-they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat." See Isa. v. 26, 29, and Jer. iv. 7; also, Ezek. xvii. 3, 4. Daniel goes on to say—"I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, wherewith * it was lifted from the earth, [its glory departed,] and it was made to stand upon its feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it." This may refer to the humiliation of the proud monarch of Babylon, chapter iv. 31 -37, or to the cowardice of Belshazzar, who, instead of driving away his foes like a lion, shut himself up in the city, feasting and drinking with his lords, till he was killed, and the kingdom was given to the Medes and Persians.
V. 5. "And behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, [representing two lines of kings, one much longer than the other, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it, between the teeth of it; and they said unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”'
We have already seen that the Medo-Persian kingdom succeeded Babylon, and is clearly the kingdom here described. It was noted for cruelty and thirst of blood, and the nation is emphatically called "the spoiler." See Jer. li. 48—56. The three " ribs" in its mouth may denote the union of Media, Persia, and Chaldea. It subdued many and populous kingdoms. Ahasuerus, or Artaxerxes, reigned over 127 provinces. See Esther i. 1.".
V. 6. “ After this I beheld, and lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a
* See the marginal reading.