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horn, are to continue, till the Ancient of Days should sit, and the Son of Man come in judgment, and give the dominion to the people of the saints of the Most High. The conclusion, therefore, is irresistible, that as Popery and the Roman Empire are both to be destroyed together, before the dominion is given to the saints ; and as they are both to continue till the judgment shall sit, and Christ shall come in the clouds of Heaven, so his coming must be before the Millenium.
There are but two methods, by which to avoid this conclusion. The one is, by saying, as Dr. Maclaurin has done, that the coming of the Son of Man with the clouds of Heaven, applies to the ascension of our Lord to Heaven, which, apart from the forced meaning that it gives to the whole passage, and the violation of all chronological order, is utterly in violation of the meaning of the original word here employed to express his coming. It is never understood to signify ascent.
The other is, to deny that Daniel's vision refers to the great day of judgment, or to any visible coming of Christ at all. This the spiritualist must do, or give up the passage as teaching a pre-millenial advent. If he does so, then he must never quote this passage at all, in proof of a day of final judgment and manifestation of Jesus Christ. Mr. Faber has taken this ground, and affirmed that Daniel's description is all symbolical, and that therefore the judgment is to be allegorically explained, as being merely the providential inflictions of Divine vengeance, on Popery and the anti-Christian nations; and the coming of the Son of Man here spoken of, merely an invisible providential interposition of Divine power. Having affirmed the whole vision to be symbolical, he says that the symbols are taken from the day of judgment, and thus ingeniously claims to use it nevertheless, as descriptive of that day.
But this is altogether inadmissible ; for there is nothing in the fire or flame, or any other particulars in the description, which render it naturally or morally impossible to be understood in its plain, obvious, literal meaning, so as to require it, according to the law of interpretation applicable in such cases, to be regarded a smetaphysical or allegorical. Besides, the idea is absurd, that Daniel should borrow symbols from the judgment, a scene which he had never witnessed, and which, according to the spiritualists' own showing, had not been revealed to him. Such an idea is utterly inconsistent with the nature, origin, and character of symbolical language.
The passages in Revelations, such as the sixth chapter, and others which are quoted in proof of this position of Mr. Faber, are not conclusive. It is denied that the judgment scene is ever made a symbol.
It cannot be the case here ; for then must the kingdom of the saints of the Most High be symbolical too, and not real, which none will pretend ; and Mr. Faber particularly will not admit; for he affirms, that the kingdom is a kingdom here upon earth-a literal affair, which the saints are to secure, i. e. occupy, or possess -a very different thing from the dominion of grace in men's hearts.
Besides, this is to violate an essential principle of interpretation, and utterly to confound every attempt at explaining symbols ; for it is to make the antitype a symbol of the type, just the reverse of what is usual, and what Mr. Faber has taught.
What Daniel saw in vision we admit was all a scenical representation ; but the entire scenes of judgment, such as the casting down of the thrones, i. e. the pitching or setting them, the sitting of the Ancient of Days, his garments and his throne, the fiery stream before him, the ten thousand
times ten thousand saints, the opening of the books, and the coming of one like the Son of Man, with the clouds of Heaven, and all the other accompaniments of his presence, which were disclosed to him, were but the pictorial representation of the real and true judgment, the real and personal coming of the Son of Man, the real redeemed spirits of the just, and the real and terrible agents and instruments of vengeance, that shall attend upon him, when, at the time of the end, the heavens shall reveal him, and he shall come literally on the clouds of Heaven to restore all things.
As such they were understood and referred to by the apostles, and by Christ himself. Daniel does not predict a day of final judgment at all, if he does not here describe it; and all those who have come after him, and borrowed their descriptions of the judgment from him, have radically erred. We may also ask, if this be the case, where have we any proof at all, that there will ever be a day of judgment, in which Jesus Christ will be personally visible ? or there be any other kind of judgment, than the signal retributions of Providence ?
By the very same rule of interpretation on the spiritualists' own principles---which makes this passage in Daniel to symbolize the retributive dispensations of Providence, instead of its being a scenical representation of the great day of final judgment at the coming of Christ-we can get rid of all the evidence the spiritualist can adduce from the Bible, that there will ever be such a day. Let him produce any passage whatever, and by this same prophetical canon, which he adopts, we shall wrest it from him.
It is said that Christ speaks of Christ's literal coming, when he says, “then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven, and then shall all the tribes of
earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory." There is certainly nothing in this language, which makes it more likely to be literal, and not allegorical, than that in Daniel. Part of it is the very language of Daniel ; and the events referred to, can be shown. to be the very same spoken of by Daniel ; so that, if Daniel's prediction in the seventh chapter of the coming of Christ, is allegorical, so is Christ's prediction of the same in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthewand neither predict a day of judgment and visible coming.
The same may be said of Paul's prediction,t and even Acts, iii. 21, may be explained away. It is the easiest thing imaginable, to put an allegorical interpretation on it and others.
If Daniel's description of the judgment must be allegorically understood, there is just as much reason why any other should be. Thus, all the predictions of a judgment, may be resolved into mere shadowy displays of Divine power, in effecting great political or ecclesiastical changes, or great moral and spiritual reformations. By giving a figurative or allegorical meaning to Daniel's prediction of the advent of Jesus Christ, therefore,—which every one must do who denies that it will occur before the Millenium,-we are cut off from one of the principal sources of proof that there ever will be a day of judgment, and a literal coming of Jesus Christ at all. Who does not see the fallacy of such principles of interpretation ?
We must be consistent, and carry out our princi. ples of interpretation. If Daniel's judgment and coming of Christ be not literal, then are none literal
Matt., 24. 50.
f 1 Thess. 4. 15-17.
whose language is taken from him. But this is a conclusion from which the expectants of a Millenium before the coming of Christ will start. Nothing but the pre-conceived notion of such a Millenium, ever led any to imagine that Daniel's prediction must be allegorized
The truth is, there is but the one fair, consistent, and intelligible interpretation to be put upon it; and that is, that Daniel describes, as truly, a literal judg. ment, and a literal coming of Jesus Christ, as he does the literal destruction of the Pope, and of the Roman Empire : and these things he teaches shall both occur together,-both form events to be verified in "the times of restitution of all things," spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began. The coming of Christ is first in order. The very first epoch in the day of judgment, and the first terrible infliction of the vengeance of the Saviour returned to earth, will be the utter destruction of Popery, and of the Antichristian nations. The conclusion is, therefore, unavoidable, that HIS SECOND ADVENT WILL BE BEFORE THE MIL