Скачать 2.48 Mb.
BOOK OF THE PROPHET DANIEL
BY JOHN CALVIN
NOW FIRST TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL LATIN, AND COLLATED
WITH THE FRENCH VERSION, WITH DISSERTATIONS, NEW
TRANSLATION OF THE TEXT, AND COPIOUS INDICES,
BY THOMAS MEYERS, M.A.
VICAR OF SHERIFF-HUTTON, YORKSHIRE
CHRISTIAN CLASSICS ETHEREAL LIBRARY
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
The Prophecies Of Daniel are among the most remarkable Predictions of The Elder Covenant. They are not confined within either a limited time or a contracted space. They relate to the destinies of mighty Empires, and stretch forward into eras still hidden in the bosom of the future. The period of their delivery was a remarkable one in the history of out race. The Assyrian hero had long ago swept away the Ten Tribes from the, land of their fathers, and he in his turn had bowed his head in death, leaving magnificent memorials of his greatness in colossal palaces and gigantic sculptures. The Son of the renowned Sardanapalus, the worshipper of Assarac and Beltis, had already inscribed his name and exploits on those swarthy obelisks and enormous bulls which have lately risen from the grave of centuries. The glory of Nineveah, passed away, to be restored again in these our days by the marvelous excavations at Koyunjik, Khorabad, and Nimroud. Another capital had arisen on the banks of the Euphrates, destined to surpass the ancient splendor of its ruined predecessor on the banks of the Tigris. The worshipper of the eagle-headed Nisroch — a mighty leader of the Chaldean hordes — had arisen, and gathering his armies from their mountain homes, had made the palaces and halls of Nineve a desert, had marched southwards against the reigning Pharaoh of Egypt — had encountered him at Carchemish — hurried on to The Holy City, and carried away with him to his favorite capital the rebellious people of the Lord. Among them was a captive of no ordinary note. He was at that time a child, yet he lived to see this descendant of the hardy Chasdim grow great in power and fame — to hear the tale of the fall of Tyre, and “the daughter of the Zidonians,” and of the triumph over Pharaoh Hophra, whom modern researches have discovered in the twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt’s kings. At length the haughty conqueror returns, and dreams mysteriously. This forgotten prisoner becomes the only interpreter of wondrous visions of Empires about to arise and spread over distant centuries. The dreamer is at length gathered to his fathers, yet the interpreter lives on through the reign of the grandson, and explains a mysterious writing on the palace wall, amidst revelry which ends in the city’s overthrow. Cryus and his Persians, Darius and his Medes rise rapidly to power, and the Prophet rises with them — till envy throws the aged Seer into a lion’s den. But he perishes not till he has seen visions of the “future history of mankind. The triumphs of Pitasia and Macedon are revealed — the division of Alexander’s Empire — the wars of his successors — the wide-spread dominion of Rome — the overthrow of the Sacred Sanctuary by Titus — and The Coming Of Messiah to regenerate and to rule the world when the seventy weeks were accomplished.
The Roll of the Book, containing all these surprising announcements, has naturally excited the attention of the Scholars and Divines of all ages. Among the voluminous Comments of the laborious Calvin, none will be received by the British public with more heartfelt interest than his Lectures upon Daniel. The various illustrations of Daniel and the Apocalypse with which the press has always teemed, display the hold which these Divine Oracles have taken of the public mind. Various theories of interpretation have been warmly and even bitterly discussed. The Praeterist, and the Futurist, the German Neologian, and the American Divine, have each written boldly and copiously; and the public of Christendom have read with avidity, because they have been taught that these predictions come home to our own times, and to our modern controversies. Abstruse arguments and historical discussions have been rendered popular, through the expectation of seeing either Pope or Turk, or, perhaps, the Saracen in The Willful King, and The Little Horn. If Napoleon the First, or Napoleon the Second, if an Emperor of Russia, or a Pharaoh of Egypt, can be discovered in the King of the South, pushing at the King of the North — then the deep significance of the Prophecy to us is at once acknowledged, and the intensity of its brightness descends directly upon our own generation. If the “twelve hundred and ninety Days” of the twelfth Chapter be really years, then the blessing of waiting till “The Time of The End” seems to be upon us, since The French Revolution, and the waning of the Turkish sway, and the Conquests of Britain in the East, are then foretold in these “words” which have hitherto been “closed up and sealed.”
Whether any of these theories be true or false, they have exercised a mighty power over the imaginations of modern Writers on Prophecy, and have so attracted the minds of Theologians to the subject, as to give force to the inquiry, What was Calvin’s view of these stirring scenes? Without anticipating his Comments, it may be replied, that he disposes of the important question in a few lines. “In numeris non sum Pythagoricus,” is the expression of both his wisdom and his modesty. In attempting, however, a solution of these great problems in Prophecy, the opinions of The Reformers are most important, and among them all none stands higher as a deep and original thinker than the Author of these Explanatory Lectures. It is enough for this our Preface to remark, that the bare possibility of the contents of this Book corning home to the daily politics of Europe and the East, adds a charm and a zest to the following pages, which no infirmity in the Commentator can destroy.
In these Introductory Remarks, we shall allude to the present state of opinion respecting the Genuineness and Authenticity of the Book itself, touching upon some of the conjectures advanced since Calvin’s time to the present, and adverting to the skepticism of German Neology and the bold speculations of the amiable Arnold. In confutation of all Infidel Objections, we shall next give a general sketch of the History of Assyria and Babylon, as it has been lately disentombed by the labors of Mm. Botta and Layard, and rescued from the intricacies of the Cuneiform Inscriptions by Hincks and Rawlinson. By these means, the Nimrod Obelisk in the British Museum — the palatial chambers of Khorsabad and Koyunjik — the Winged Bull of Persepolis — the statue of Cyrus, Moorghab — and the magnificent sculpture of Darius at Behistun — all become vocal proofs of the truthfulness of Daniel’s predictions. A visit to the East India House in London will make us acquainted with the Standard Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar, containing a list of “all tire temples build by the king in the different towns and cities of Babylonia, naming the particular gods and goddesses to whom the shrines were dedicated: f1 a journey from Baghdad to the Bier’s Nimrod, would shew us every ruin to be of the age of Nebuchadnezzar:” the testimony of experience is here decisive. “I have examined the bricks in situ,” says Major Rawlinson, “belonging, perhaps, to an hundreds of towns and cities within this area of about 100 miles in length, and thirty or forty in breadth, and I never found any other legend than that of Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopalassar, king of Babylon. f2 These interesting researches into The Times Of Daniel will be followed by some criticism or The Book Of Daniel Here we might enlarge to an overwhelming extent, but we are necessarily compelled to confine our remarks to Calvin’s method of interpreting these marvelous Prophecies. It will next be desirable to point out how succeeding Commentators have differed from our Reformer, while we must leave the reader to form his own opinion of his merits when he has compared his views with those of his successors. We shall present him, however, with sufficient data for making this comparison, and by references to some modern Writers of eminence; and by short epitomes of their leading arguments, we hope to render this edition of these celebrated Lectures as instructive and as interesting as the limit of our space will allow.
AUTHENTICITY OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL
The Third Century Of Christianity had scarcely commenced, when the Authenticity of this Book was fiercely assailed by the vigorous skepticism of Porphyry; and it would be totally unnecessary to allude to so distant an opponent, had not his arguments been reproduced by the later scholars of Germany, and adopted by one of our noble spirits, whom in many things we delight to honor. Although the Jews admitted this Book into their Haiographa, and our Lord referred to its contents when predicting Jerusalem’s overthrow, yet these self-sufficient critics of our day have repeated the heathen objection which Jerome so elaborately refuted. If we inquire into the reason for the revival of such obsolete skepticism, we shall find it in the pride of that carnal mind which will not bow down submissively to the miraculous dealings of the Almighty. The Prophecies concerning the times of the Seleucidae and the Lagidae are found to be exceedingly precise and minute hence it is argued, “they are no prophecies at all — they are History dressed in the garb of Prophecy, written by some pseudo-Daniel living during their supposed fulfillment.” The Sacred words of Holy Writ become thus branded with imposture the testimony of the Jews and of our Lord to the integrity of the Sacred Canon is set aside, and the simple trust of the Christian Church both before and since the Reformation is asserted to be a baseless delusion. The judgment and labors of Sir Isaac Newton, the chronological acumen of Faber and Hales, are nothing but “the foolishness of the wise,” because Bertholdt and Bleek, De Wett, and Kirmis, have repeated the cry “vaticinia post eventurn!” And why this eagerness to degrade this Book to a fabulous compilation of the Macabian times? Simply because its reception as the Word of God would overthrow the favorite theories of the Rationalists respecting The Old Testament. We cannot undertake to reply to such objections in detail; we can only furnish the reader with a few references to those Writers by whom they have been both propagated and refuted. We shall first indicate and label the poison. The proscenium of Rosemuller a furnishes us with a succinct abstract of the assertions of Eichhornas in his Einleit. in das A. T., f3 of Bertholt in his Histor. krit. Einleit, f4 of Bleek in his Theolog Zeitschr., f5 and of Grissinger in his Neue, ansicht der auffatze im Buche Daniel. f6 The antidote to these conjectures is contained in Havernick’s article on Daniel, in Kitto’s Cyclopmdia of Biblical Literature, and also in his valuable “New Critical Commentary on the Book of Daniel.” f7
Professor Hengstenberg f8 of Berlin has ably refilled the Neologian objections of his predecessors the American reader will find the subject ably treated in the Biblical Repertory of Philadelphia; f9 and the English student may obtain an abstract of the points in dispute from the elaborate “Introduction” of Hartwell Horne. f10 The various theories of these Neologists imply that the Book was written during the Machabean period, by one or more authors who invented the earlier portions by mingling fable with history in inextricable confusion, and by throwing around the history of their own age the garb of prophetic romance! The reception of any such hypothesis would so completely nullify the whole of Calvin’s Exposition, that we feel absolved from the necessity of entering into details. No disciple of this school will even condescend to peruse these Lectures. It is enough for us to know, that these unworthy successors of the early German Reformers have been met with ability and research by Luderwalk, Staudlin, Jahn, Lack, and Steudel. The unbelief of a Semler, and Michaelis, and a Corrodi, will seem to the follower of Calvin the offspring of an unsanctified reason which has never been trained in reverential homage to the inspired. Word. The keenness of this perverse criticism has attempted to explain away two important facts; first, that Ezekiel mentions Daniel as alive in his day, and as a model of piety and wisdom, (
Happily there exists a strong conservative protection against the injury arising from such speculations. They are perfectly harmless to us when locked up in the obscurity of a foreign language and of a forbidding theology. But it grieves the Christian mind to find a writer worthy of being classed among the boldest of Reformers giving the sanction of his authority to such baseless extravagances. There are many points of similarity between the characters of Arnold and Calvin. Both were remarkable for an unswerving constancy in upholding all they felt to be right, and in resisting all they knew to be wrong. Both were untiring in their industry, and marvelously successful in impressing the young with the stamp of their own mental rigor. Agreeing in their manful protest against the impostures of priestcraft, they differed widely respecting the Book of Daniel. Our modern interpreter, in a letter to a friend, f13 writes as follows concerning “the latter chapters of Daniel, which, if genuine, would be a clear exception to my canon of interpretation, as there can be no reasonable spiritual meaning made out of The Kings of the North and South. But I have long thought that the greater part of the Book of Daniel is most certainly very late work, of the time of the Maccabees; and the pretended Prophecy about the Kings of Grecia and Persia, and of the North and South, is mere history, like the poetical prophecies in Vigil and elsewhere. In fact, you can trace distinctly the date when it was written, because the events up to the date are given with historical minuteness, totally unlike the character of real prophecy, and beyond that date all is imaginary.” It is not difficult to detect the leading fallacy of this passage in the phrase “my canon of interpretation.” This original thinker, with a pertinacity equal to that of Calvin, had adopted his own method of explaining Prophecy, and determined at all hazards to uphold it. As the writings of this accomplished scholar have been very widely diffused, it will be useful to notice the arguments which he has employed. His “Sermons on Prophecy” contain the dangerous theory, which has been fully and satisfactorily answered by Blake in his chapter on “The Historical Reality of Prophecy.” f14
Dr. Arnold’s statements are as follow Sacred Prophecy is not an anticipation of History. For History deals with particular nation, times, places, and persons. But Prophecy cannot do thief, or it would alter the very conditions of humanity. It deals only with general principles, good and evil, truth and falsehood, God and his enemy. It is the voice of God announcing the issue of the great struggle between good and evil. Prophecy then, on this view, cannot be fulfilled literally in the persons and nations mentioned in its language, it can only be, fulfilled in the person of Christ. Thus, every part is said to have a double sense, “one Historical, comprehended by the Prophet and his own generation, in all its poetic features, but never fulfilled answerably to the magnificence of is language, because that was inspired by a higher object the other Spiritual, the proper form of which neither the Prophet nor his contemporaries knew, but fill-filled adequately in Christ, and his promises to his people as judgment on his enemies. “It is History which deals with the Twelve Tribes of Israel; but the Israel of Prophecy are God’s Israel really and truly, who walk with him faithfully, and abide with him to the end.” Twice the Prophecies have failed of their fulfillment, first in the circumcised and then in the baptized Church. “The Christian Israel does not answer more worthily to the expectations of Prophecy than Israel after the flesh. Again have the people whom he brought out of Egypt corrupted themselves” and hence Predictions relating to the happiness of the Church, both before and since the times of the Messiah, have signally and necessarily failed. We cannot undertake the refutation of this general theory, we must refer the reader to the satisfactory arguments of Birks. We can only quote his clear exposition of the manner in which the Visions of Daniel confute these crude speculations — “Instead of a mere glimpse of the sure triumph of goodness at the last, we have most numerous details of the steps of Providence which lead to that blessed consummation. The seven years madness of Nebuchadnezzar, and his restoration to the throne; the fate of Belshazzar, and the conquests of the Medes and Persians; the rise of the Second Empire, the earlier dignity of the Medes, and the later pre-eminence of the Persians over them; the victories of Cyrus westsyard in Lydia, northward in Armenia, and southward in Babylon; the unrivaled greatness of his Empire, and the exactions on the subject provinces; the three successors of Cyrus, Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius; the accession of Xerxes, and the vast armament he led against Greece, are all predicted within the time of the two earlier Empires. In the time of the Third Kingdom a fuller variety of details is given. The mighty exploits of Alexander, his total conquest of Persia, the rapidity of his course, his uncontrolled dominion, his sudden death in the height of his power, the fourfold division of his kingdom, and. the extinction of his posterity; the prosperous reign of the first Ptolemy, and of the great Seleucus, with the superior power of the latter before his death; the reign of Philadelphus, and the marriage of Berenice his daughter with Antiochus Theus; the murder of Antiochus and Berenice and their infant son by Laodice; the vengeance taken by Euergetes, brother of Bernice, on his accession to the throne; his conquest of Seleucia, the fortress of Syria, and the idol gods which he carried into Egypt; the earlier death of Callinicus; the preparations of his sons, Seleucus, Ceraunus, and Antiochus the Great, for war with Egypt, are all distinctly set before us. Then follows the history of Antiochus. His sole reign after his brother’s death, his eastern conquests and recovery of Seleucia; the strength of the two rival armies. and the Egyptian victory at Raphia; the pride of Ptolomy Philopater and his partial conquests, with the weakness of his profligate reign; the return of Antichous with added strength after an interval of years, and with the riches of the East; his victories in Judea and the capture of Sidon; the overthrow of the Egyptian forces at Panium, the honor shewn by Antiochus to the Temple, and his care for its completion and beauty; his treaty with Egypt, the marriage of his daughter Clopatra with Ptolemy Philometor, and defection from her father’s cause; his invasion of the Isles of Greece; his rude repulse by the Roman Consul, and the reproach of tribute which came upon him through his defeat; his return to Antioch and speedy death, are all described in regular order. Then follow the reigns of Seleucus and Antiochus Epiphanes, given with an equal fitness of prophetic detail, and close the narrative of the Third Empire. Even in the time of the Fourth and last Kingdom, though more remote from the days of the Prophet, the events predicted are not few. We find there, distinctly revealed, the iron strength of the Romans, their gradual subjugation of other powers, their fierce and warlike nature, their cruel and devouring conquests, the stealthy policy of their empire, and its gradual advance in the direction of the East, southward and eastward towards the land of Israel, till it had cast down the noblest Kings, and firmly ingrafted its new dominion on the stock of the Greek Empire., We have next described its oppression of the Jews, the overthrow of their City and Sanctuary by Titus, the Abomination of Desolation in the Holy Place, and their arrogant pride in standing up against Messiah, the Prince of princes.” f15
If the latter portion of these predictions were really written previously to the, events, they must be inspired; and if a writer of the Maccabaean period could thus accurately predict the Conquests of Rome in the East, the whole question is decided there is no reason whatever why the events of the Second and Third Empire should not have been foretold as clearly as those of the Fourth. Thus the very existence of the Book before the Jewish Canon was closed is fact which proves all that is required. These Visions then become “the voice of Him who sees the end from the beginning, and pronounces in his secret, council, even on the destiny of the falling sparrow. They are designed to stoop to the earthly estate of the Church, while they exalt her hopes to the glory that shall be revealed . They range through everlasting ages; but they let fall in passing a bright gleam of light that discovers to us the ass’s colt, tied at the meeting of their ways, on which the Lord of glory was to ride into Jerusalem . Every step in the long vista of preparation lies before them, from the seven months reign of Smerdis and the marriage of Berenice with Antiochus, (<271102>Daniel 11:2-6,) to the seven months burial of (corpses) in days to come in the land of Israel, and the marriage supper of the Lamb . They touch, as with an wand, the perplexed. and tangled skein of human history, and it becomes a woof of curious and costly workmanship, that; bespeaks the skill of its Divine Artificer an outer hanging, embroidered by heavenly wisdom, for that glorious tabernacle in which the God of heaven will reveal himself for ever.” f16
THE DIVINES OF GERMANY
Throughout this Preface and the subsequent Dissertions the reader will find frequent reference to The Divines or Germany. Some of these have proposed explanations of our Prophet which appear to the English readers manifestly erroneous, that he may fancy we have spent too much space in confuting them. But he who would keep pace with the Theological Investigations of the day, may derive improvement from perusing the hypothesis of Bertholdt and De Wette, and rejoice that they have elieked the able replies of Havernick and Hengstenberg. In truth, the reader Of Daniel must put aside for a while the laudable prejudices which he has been taught to cherish from his earliest days, and descend into the arena where the contest is fiereest, — whether our Prophet was contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar or Antiochus. To many the question itself is startling, and that we may be prepared to meet it, thoroughly furnished with available armory, let us glance over the wide field of Continental Rationalism as far as it concerns the Authenticity of Daniel.
The system under review is a melancholy off-shoot from the teaching of Luther and his intrepid followers. They led men away from form, and ceremony, and imposture, to rely upon one Book as their Rule of Faith and Duty. They did more — they sifted the chaff from the wheat, and by discarding the Apocrypha, placed before the eager attention of mankind the pure word of heaven. Luther and Calvin held very distinct ideas about Revelation and Justification, and enforced very boldly their views of the only Books which were written by the penmanship of the Almighty. Theirs was a work of purification and of reconstruction on the assertion of the existence of a Divine Revelation, of its being contained in the Old and New Testaments, and of these documents being the only Inspired Records of what we are to believe, and how we are to live. In process of time, each Boole became the subject of separate study — its history, its criticism, and its preservation were respectively examined with intense eagerness — and a vast amount of information was collected, which was totally unknown to the Early Reformers. It soon became apparent that the Reformed Churches were living under a totally different state of things from theft described in the Old Testament. The events, for instance, of this Book of Daniel all seemed so mingled and so intertwined; the ordinary occurrences of every-day life are so interlaced with marvelous dreams and visions, and the conduct and passions of monarchs seem so singularly controlled by an unseen Mind, that the question occurs, Is all this literally true? Did it all actually come to pass exactly as it is recorded? Or, Is it allegorical, or a historical romance, or only partially inspired by Jehovah, and tinged in its style and diction with the natural exaggeration of Oriental imaginary? Such inquiries shew us how the mind seeks to fathom the mysteries of what is offered to its veneration, and have led to the conclusion, that the Sacred Books of the Hebrews are not all pure revelation, but that they contain it amidst much extraneous matter. f17 The writers to whom we refer have ever since the sixteenth century been attempting to define how much of the Hebrew Scriptures is the pure and spiritual Revelation of the Divine Mind to us, and how much is the unavoidable impurity of the channel through which it has been conveyed. With the names of some later critics, the modern Theologian is familiar. Gesenius, Wegscheider, And Rohr, yet retain a powerful influence over the minds of later students, while Schultz at Breslau, Gieseler at Gottingen, Allmann at Heidelberg, Bretschneider at Gotha, De Wette — lately deceased — at Basle, hare at Jena, and Weiner at Leipsic, are writers who worship irreverently at the shrine of human reason, and either qualify or deny the Inspiration of Revelation.
FALSE SYSTEMS OF SCRIPTURE EXPOSITION
An important change was necessarily made on the minds of the successors of the Reformers, by the more general spread of Classical Literature, and a far better acquaintance with Hebrew philology. Here, we must allow, that some of the disciples of Luther and Calvin were better furnished for the work of Interpretation than their more Christian-minded masters. Ernesti, the learned philologer of Leipsic, in 1761 laid down “The Laws of a wise Interpretation,” and has ever since been considered as the founder of a scholar like system of Scriptural Exposition. His principles are now universally admitted, viz., that we must make use of history and philology of the views of the period at which each Book was written, and of all those appliances which improved scholarship has provided in the case of the Classical Authors of Greece and Rome. Every attentive reader of German Theology must perceive, that too many of their celebrated Critics have rested in this outward appeal to mere reason and. research. Semler and Tittmann, Michaelis and Henke, have pursued this system of accommodation so far, that they have destroyed the very spirit and essence of a Divine Revelation. In the Prophets, and especially in Daniel, whom Semler includes among the doubtful Books, timre is a spiritual meaning only to be comprehended by the moral and religious faculties; and except this spirit be elicited, the merely outward form of prophetic dictation can effect no religious result. Let ROHR and Paulus sneer as they please, at the mysticism and pietism of the Evangelic Reformers, we must still contend, that without a spirituality similar to theirs, all comments are essentially lifeless and profitless to the soul of man. The may display erudition, but they will not aid the spirit which hungers and thirsts after righteousness on its way towards heaven.
Every student who desires to become familiar with these discussions, may consult with advantage the Dissertations of Hengstenberg, who has written fully and ably on The Genuineness of our Prophet. He has sketched, historically, the attacks which have been made, and has answered every possible objection. The impurity of the Hebrew, the words supposed to be Greek, the silence of Siraeh, the disrespect shewn by the Jews, and the position in the Canon of Scripture, are all ably discussed. The miracles have been called “profuse in number and aimless in purpose;” historical errors have been asserted, and statements called contradictory, or suspicious, or improbable; many ideas and usages have been said to belong to later times. These and similar arguments are used to shew the Book to be the production of the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, but they have been fully treated by this orthodox Professor at Berlin. He discusses most ably, and with the most laborious erudition, those marvelous Prophecies of this Sacred Book, which have necessarily provoked a host of assailants. He reminds us that in the earliest ages, Porphyry devoted his twelfth book to the assault upon this Prophet, and that we are indebted to Jerome for a knowledge of his objections as well as for their refutation. He asserted that the Book was composed during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes in Greek, “and that Daniel did not so much predict future events as narrate past ones.” f18 Though the imperial commands condemned his works to the flames, yet Eusebius of Caesarea, Methodius of Tyre, and Apollinaris of Laodicea, have ably refuted them. In later times, the first scholar-like attack upon the genuineness of various portions was made by J. D. Michaelis. Collins and Semler, Spinoza and Hobbes, had each condemned the Book after his own manner but it was left for Eichorn f19 to lead the host of those later theologians who have displayed their vanity and their skepticism, by the boastfulness of their learning and the emptiness of their conclusions. Hezel and Corrodi treat it as the work of an impostor; while Bertholdt, Griesinger, and Gesenius, have each their own theory concerning its authorship and contents. Other Critics have followed the footsteps of these into paths most dangerous and delusive.
Having replied to the most subtle objections against the Genuineness of these Prophecies, Hengstenberg proceeds to uphold the direct arguments in its favor. He first discusses the testimony of the author himself, and then enters upon its reception into the Canon of the Sacred Writings. He comments at full length on the important passage in Josephus contra Apion. 1:8 , and shews the groundlessness of every assertion which impugns its Canonical value. He next proves that the declaration of our Lord assumes the prophetical authority of the work, and traces its existence in pre-Maccabaean times. The alleged exhibition of these Writings to Alexander The Great and the exposition of their contents to the Grecian Conqueror of the East, form a singular episode in the midst of profound criticism. The incorrectness of the Alexandrine Version and its rejection by the Early Church, who substituted that of Theodotion for it, is turned into an argument against the Maccabaean origin of the original; for certainly, a composition of which the author and the translators were nearly contemporary, might be better translated, than one separated by an interval of many ages. Then the peculiar features and complexion of the original language point out the exact period to which the writing is to be assigned. The historical accuracy, the apparent discrepancies, and yet the real agreement with Profane Narratives, all strengthen the assertion, that the writer lived during the times of the Babylonian and Persian Monarchies. Another argument, as strong as any of the former, is deduced from the nature of the symbolism used throughout the Book. The reasonings of Hengstenberg have now received. additional confirmation from the excavations of Layard. The prevalence of animal imagery, rudely grotesque and awkwardly gigantic, is characteristic of Chaldean times, and bespeaks an era previous to the Medo-Persian Sculptures at Persepolis. Summing up his reasonings, the Professor quotes the observation of Fenelon: “lisez Daniel, denoncant a Balthasar la vengeance de Dieu toute prete a fondre sur lui, et cherchez dans les plus sublimes originaux de l’antiquite quelque chose qu’on puisse comparer a ces endroits la!”
ENGLISH PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOL
The speculations which we have hitherto discussed are not confined within the limits of unreadable German Neology they have been transfused into English Philosophy, and presented in a popular form to the readers of our current literature. In a learned and speculative Work, entitled “The Progress of the Intellect, as exemplified in the Religious Development of the Greeks and Hebrews,” the writer f20 has adopted the untenable hypothesis of the German Neologists. In his second section of a chapter on the “Notion of a supernatural Messiah,” he writes as follows; “During the severe persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, when the cause of Hebrew faith in its struggle with colossal heathenism seemed desperate, and when, notwithstanding some bright examples of heroism, the majority of the higher class was inclined to submit and to apostatize, an unknown writer adopted the ancient name of Daniel, in order to revive the almost extinct hopes of his countrymen, and to exemplify the proper bearing of a faithful Hebrew in the presence of a Gentile Tyrant. The object of pseudo-Daniel is to foreshow, under a form adapted to make the deepest impression on his countrymen, by a prophecy, half-allusive, half-apocalyptic, the approaching destruction of heathenism through the advent of Messiah. Immediately after the overthrow of the Four Beasts, emblematic of four successive heathen Empires, the last being the Macedonian with its offset, the Syrian; the kingdom would devolve to the ‘ Saints of the Most High,’ that is, to the Messianic Establishment of Jewish expectation, presided over by a being appearing in the clouds, and distinguished, like the angels, by his human form from the uncouth symbols of the Gentile Monarchies.” f21 He treats “Messiah” as a “title which hitherto confined to human anointed authorities, such as kings, priests, or prophets, became henceforth, specifically appropriated to the ideal personage who was to be the Hope, the Expectation, and the Salvation of Israel.” He discusses the Seventy Weeks as the fiction of the imaginary Daniel, and terms the accompanying predictions “adventurous,” and as turning out “as fallacious as all that had preceded them.” His fourth section on Daniel’s Messiah is, if possible, more wildly conjectural than the two preceding ones. Daniel’s idea, says he, of a supernatural leader called “Son of Man,” became afterwards “a basis of mystical Christology.” Those glowing passages of this Prophet, which fill the Christian mind with awe and delight, are to this theorist “the earthly or Messianic resurrection of pious Hebrews, which was all that was originally contemplated in the prediction.” In thus attempting to overthrow the Inspired authority of Daniel, he mingles the Books of Esdras and the Jewish Targum, and is eager to catch at ally Jewish fiction as if it were true interpretation of ancient prophecy. He alludes to puerile Rabbinical fables as really explanatory of the Divine Records, and mingles Zoroaster and Maimonides, Gfrorer and Eisenmenger, as of equal value in determining abstruse points of sound criticism! The sections with which we are concerned evince the greatest research and the crudest opinions all hurried together without the slightest critical skill or philosophical sagacity. With materials gathered together in the richest abundance, he has presented us with results which are alike baseless, futile, and injurious. Tobit and Papias, the Book of Baruch and the Book of Enoch, are all treated as on a level with the writings of Moses or Tacitus, Justin Martyr or a German Mystic! The public, too, are in danger of being imposed on by a show of learning and by long Latinized words and phrases, which merely disguise, under classical forms, ideas with which the well-read Divine is already familiar; at the same time, they give such an air of scholarship to these speculations, that the unlearned may be readily deceived by their showy rationalism. The whole work utterly fails in its attempt to explain the rites and symbols of Jewish worship, and to give the slightest explanation of the “theories” and “philosophies” of the Old Testament. The tendency is to reduce it all to mysticism and symbolism, and to any other “theosophy” which leads the mind away from the Christian assurance of one God, one Faith, and one Spirit.
THE RECENT EASTERN DISCOVERIES
The strongest of all possible arguments against these fallacious theories has lately been derived from Eastern discovery. Fresh importation’s of sculptured rock are daily arriving in Europe, from the sepulchers of those cities amidst which our Prophet dwelt. The more this new vein is worked, the richer it becomes. Are we to be told by Bleek that the writer of this Book transferred the events of which he was a spectator to the more ancient times of Assyria and Babylon? and that Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar were but fabulous characters, of which the original types were Antiochus and Alexander? f22 Are Eichhorn and Bertholdt to make Daniel another Homer, or Virgil, or AEschylus? Then let us appeal to the testimony of Mm. Botta and Layard let us visit the British museum, and under the guidance of Rawlinson and Hincks, let us peruse, in the arrow-headed characters, the history of the Monarchs of Assyria and Babylon, and observe how exactly those memorials of antiquity illustrate the Visions of our Prophet. The assistance which these excavations afford, for the elucidation of our subject, is too important to be passed over, and we must venture upon such arguments as may properly enter into a General Preface, while they vindicate the historical accuracy of the interpretation which Calvin has so elaborately set before us in the following Lectures.
ANCIENT ASSYRIAN REMAINS
The order of the Visions suggests the propriety of treating, first, The Ancient Assyrian Remains; then those of Babylon and Persepolis with such notices of the Egypt Of The Ptolemies as the connection of the history may require.
The earliest memorials of Assyria have not been preserved in the records of literature, but by durable engravings on marble and granite. Within the last fifty years the Pyramids of Egypt have been compelled to open their lips of stone to speak for God’s Word, and the Rosetta table suggested to Young and Champollion an alphabet by which they read on sarcophagus and entablature the history of the earliest dynasties of the Nile. What Lepsius and Bunsen have done for Thebes and Memphis, Dendera and Edfou, Layard and Rawlinson are now accomplishing for the long lost Nineveh, the majestic Babylon, and the elegant Persepolis. It has lately been revealed to astonished Europe, that a buried city lies, in all its pristine grandeur, beneath that huge mound which frowns over Mosul on the banks of the Tigris. Khorsabad and Koyunjik, Nimroud, and BEHISTUN, are now giving up their black obelisks, their colossal bulls, and their eagle-headed warriors, to become “signs and wonders” to our curious generation. In this general sketch we must avoid details, however interesting we can only allude to the first Assyrian monuments discovered by M. Botta, in 1843, f23 as containing a line of Cuneiform Inscriptions amid winged kings and their warlike chariots. They are deposited in the Louvre, and form the most ancient of its esteemed collections. The elegant volumes of Layard, and the more tangible proof of his untiring labors, now deposited in the British Museum, have thrown new light upon the prophetic portion of the Elder Covenant. Two-coned Conquerors, winged Chiefs, carrying either the gazelle or the goat, sacred trees, and their kneeling worshippers —
|Note: The translated text is provided only as a guide to the customer. If any conflict exists between the translated text and the English language version, the English language takes precedent|
Примечание: Перевод текста приведен только для Вашего удобства. В случае несоответствия перевода оригинальному тексту на английском...
|Aachen In French, Aix-la-Chapelle, the name by which the city is generally known; in Latin Aquae Grani, later Aquisgranum|
|This rich text version does not include all images. For a full version please view the pdf||This rich text version does not include all images. For a full version please view the pdf|
|This rich text version does not include all images. For a full version please view the pdf||Rich Text Version (rtf) – this version of the report has been produced in rtf format and all maps, tables and charts have been removed. A full version is available on this website in pdf format|
|Rich Text Version (rtf) – this version of the report has been produced in rtf format and all maps, tables and charts have been removed. A full version is available on this website in pdf format||[Version 1 (Jul 07 02). If you find and correct errors in the text, please update the version number by 1 and redistribute.]|
|Ebook version 0—please increment version number if you make corrections to this text. Thanks! The Toad exploring the world of lucid dreaming||The Institution of The Christian Religion, written in Latin, by master John Calvin, and translated into English according to the authors last edition|