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devout exercises; notwithstanding he had reason to believe, that his enemies would endeavour to surprise him, as in fact, they did: and that his being found alone in a consecrated place, would be interpreted and urged, as a breach of their law. But he gave them still greater advantage against him, by kneeling upon his knees: yet he acted with too composed a mind, to run into unnecessary danger; while, at the same time, he avoided none, that was the necessary consequence of doing his duty therefore, he must have looked upon kneeling as a very fit and becoming circumstance of prayer; for, had he thought the simple act of the soul a sufficient expression of his duty, he might have prayed either sitting or standing, or in some other posture more easy to himself; which would have furnished his enemies with no direct evidence, of what they were so desirous to prove. But he kneeled upon his knees, and prayed as he did aforetime, when he was used to omit no circumstance, that might help to enliven and support his devotion, or express the greatness of his humility and reverence towards God. Perhaps, being a prophet, whose mind was sometimes carried beyond the sphere of earthly and visible things, he had beheld with what order and solemnity God is worshipped in Heaven; of which, another prophet, Saint John, who was an eye-witness of it, has given us a description; at least, he had observed how men are led, as it were by instinct of nature, to do obeisance with their body, in presence of those who are their great superiors and benefactors; and being never used to approach an earthly king, the king of Babylon, without marks of high respect, much less would he appear before the KING OF KINGS, but with such behaviour, as is used to signify the highest degree of duty and reverence; nor content himself to offer to the Creator of soul and body, less homage than that of the whole man. He therefore kneeled upon his knees.
I have already made some general reflections on the prophet's religious course of life. But shall now propose a more particular observation, suggested by the text, concerning the frequency of his devotion in this respect, he followed the example of ancient piety, afforded by the royal psalmist; who, speaking of his own practice in this matter, says, Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud, and the Lord shall hear my voice." These seasons of David's prayer, evening and morning, and at noon, and the three times a day, when Daniel prayed and gave thanks, probably coincided with each other; and were the third, the sixth, and the ninth hours of the day; at the first and last of which, the daily sacrifice was offered in the Temple. These, therefore, were stated hours of prayer to all the worshippers of the true God, throughout the earth. And he who could have seen, as Moses did from the top of Pisgah, would have beheld them assembled together in spirit; offering their incense of prayer at the same time, and sending up, as it were, one voice to the throne of Grace. Of this custom, of observing the third, sixth, and ninth hours of the day, as hours of prayer, we meet with several instances in the New Testament. The first Christians received it from the Jewish Church; but observed it with reference to Christ, the true Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world: who was crucified about the third hour; glorified by mighty signs and
wonders in heaven and earth, about the sixth hour, or noon; and expired about the ninth hour: and these seasons of devotion, having been settled, as is supposed, by the Apostles, were called apostolic hours. At the time, indeed, when Daniel thus prayed and gave thanks, the Temple of Jerusalem being in ashes, the daily sacrifice was taken away; but the removal of this, did not make the prophet's devotion to cease; which, though regulated and directed by the Temple solemnities, while they were in being, was founded on a more ancient and unalterable law: and the ruin of the former, and the want of an established service, affected his prayers in another manner, than to make him less mindful and observant of them; for now, it was matter of constant and earnest supplication with him, in his zeal, for the glory of God, and benefit of mankind, that so great a blessing as a public and national establishment of the true worship might be restored. In the mean time, his own devotion, flowing from reason and not custom, held on the same even course through all changes. He did not, even in this time of danger, content himself with the morning and evening, and omit the more observable season of his noontide retirement: "He prayed and gave thanks as he did aforetime."
He prayed and gave thanks as he did aforetime; that is, not only as often, but with the same devotion of heart, the same dedication of his thoughts to God, as when he prayed in the greatest security. Had his mind been divided between his duty and his safety, he might have escaped what followed; for, as the next verse to the text informs us, 66 then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying, and making supplication before his God." Whatever measures they took to surprise him, he must have been wholly taken up with his devotion to be surprised at all.
I have now followed the prophet of the Captivity, as far as falls within the design of this discourse; which was to show, by his example, what courage and constancy in matters of duty, religion can inspire; and how attentive true religion ever is to the great duty of prayer. The regard that is due to the examples of good men, in this and other instances, is the greater, where they have been remarkable for wisdom and prudence, as well as for an unblameable conversation: and where their circumstances have been such, as to make the performance of their duty more hard to them, than it was to others. Let us therefore consider the importance of prayer to God; who, besides the examples of these wise and good men, have the precepts and pattern of our Lord to direct and animate our devotion. Let us be not less ready to practise our duty in a settled, than others have been in a suffering state of religion; but let us diligently and thankfully embrace the happier means of pure and spiritual worship, with which God now blesses his church; the opportunities of public and private prayer, amidst our brethren, in peace and security.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
ART. I.-The Sacred Calendar of Prophecy; or, a Dissertation on the Prophecies which treat of the Grand Period of Seven Times, and especially of its Second Moiety, or the latter Three Times and a Half. By GEORGE STANLEY FABER, B. D. Rector of Long Newton. In three volumes, 8vo. London: Rivingtons. 1828. 17. 16s.
(Continued from page 542.)
WE proceed with our Analysis. Respecting the true date of the 1260 years allotted to the tyranny of the little Roman horn, by three tests, namely, 1. The giving of the times, and the laws, and the saints of the Most High, into the hand of the western little horn; 2. The synchronical completion of the demonolatrous apostasy by the revelation of the lawless one as its head; and 3. The immediately consecutive rise of the eastern little horn;-the precise era is the year after Christ 604; and, therefore, the precise date of the seven times is said to be the year B. C. 657. Such being the subject of the 6th chapter, Book I., the seventh discusses the chronological arrangement of the latter times, -the last time or days, and the time of the end. We are taught that the latter times are the latter three times and a half, as contra-distinguished from the former three times and a half, and that they coincide with the period of the three apocalyptic woes; whilst the last time is the last period of the latter times, or the period of the third apocalyptic woe-trumpet: and the time of the end is a short period, which, synchronizing with that of the seventh vial, intervenes between the close of the latter three times and a half, and the commencement of the 1000 years, and which is estimated as comprehending the term of about one year,-the end itself, (for there is a difference between the end and the time of the end,) being the precise terminating point of the latter three times and a half.
The duration of the time of the end is mere conjecture; as to the probability of its correctness, we shall not venture to frame a conjecture. At the expiration of this time of the end, the 1335 years of Daniel, and the 1000 years of St. John, commence; and, according to Mr. Faber's calculation, the seventh vial will begin to be poured out in the year 1864, and will terminate in the year 1865. In his former Dissertation on the Prophecies, our author taught that the time of the end extended "through the seventy-five years, which intervene between the end of the 1260 days, and the beginning of the season of Millennian blessedness." (Vol. I. p. 103, edit. 1806.) He now confesses himself to have been in an error. (Book II. c. 3. p. 314.)
The Second Book of the Sacred Calendar presents us with a preliminary arrangement of the prophecies, which respect the great period of seven times, and is divided into four chapters; the first of which treats "of Christ's prophecy delivered from the Mount of Olives, as immediately connected with the period of the seven times, and as illustrating the chronology of the temporal judgment-day of the Roman Empire, and of the figurative advent of Christ at the close of the times of the Gentiles ;"-and the result of our author's investigation is, that our Lord's prediction does not stop short with the overthrow of Jerusalem, and with the then figurative coming of the Son of Man, but reaches from the apostolic age to the final consummation of all things.
Our author would get over the difficulty, which has perplexed the ingenuity of so many expositors, arising from the declaration of Christ, "This generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled," by maintaining that the original word yɛved does not mean that generation of men, who were contemporary with the apostles; but, according to its primary sense, a race, or family, or nation; so that our Lord declares, that the Jewish nation should never pass away or be dissolved, or lose its national existence, till the termination of all things, agreeably to the promise of perpetuity, bounded only by the duration of the world, made to Judah by Jeremiah, c. xxxi. 35, 36.
Though we would not confidently dispute the accuracy of Mr. Faber's interpretation of our Lord's remarkable prophecy, we doubt seriously whether the Roman eagles be "manifestly alluded to as gathered together to the putrid carcase of the Hebrew polity;" for, "wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together," may be nothing more than a proverbial phrase among the people of the East, expressing things inseparably connected by natural sympathies and affinities. "Her young ones suck up blood," says Job, "and where the slain is, there is she." To argue for an allusion to the Roman standards, savours more of refinement than of truth. We are not ashamed to acknowledge that Bishop Newton's Dissertation on this interesting portion of Holy Writ, is more agreeable to our views than the curious and plausible hypothesis of our learned author. The second chapter of the Second Book, upon the conversion of the Jews as connected with the fulfilment of the times of the Gentiles, or the coming in of the fulness of the Gentiles, (for the phrases are synonymous,) though ably argued and satisfactorily proved, contains little more than the doctrine of Bishop Newton on the same subject; for he, as well as Mr. Faber, teaches that the fulness of the Gentiles denotes their chronological rather than their ecclesiastical fulness; and "the important position," which Mr. Faber has appended
to this chapter in a note, is expressly stated in the text of the Bishop's Twentieth Dissertation, Part III.
Having finished his discussion of the Prophecies of our Lord and St. Paul, relative to the restoration and the conversion of the Jews, our author, in his third chapter of the Second Book, gives a summary view of the four predictions of Daniel, which treat of the great period of seven times, and particularly of the period of the latter three times and a half. But, as these visions are handled in detail in the four chapters of the Third Book, which form the first moiety of the second volume of the Sacred Calendar, we think it unnecessary to analyse Mr. Faber's summary view of the same; only we would advertise our readers, that in this portion of his learned work our author has endeavoured to fix the chronological arrangement of the 1290, and the 1335 prophetic days. The 1290 days he reckons from the capture of Jerusalem in the year 70, making them end in the year 1360, when Wickliffe began effectually to protest against the corruptions of popery; the 1335 days he would have to commence with the beginning of the period of blessedness after the termination of the 1260 days of St. John. And since the 1335 years of Daniel, and the 1000 years of St. John begin synchronically, the 335 years, which are the excess of one number above the other, and subsequent to the 1000 years, are deemed to be the precise time, which will be occupied in the gradual degeneration of the Millennians,-in the formation of the confederacy of Gog and Magog, and in the destruction of that confederacy in the great day of the battle of Armageddon. The concluding fourth chapter of the Second Book treats of the proper arrangement of the Apocalypse, which is intimately connected, as every one knows, with the four prophecies of Daniel, commencing with the commencement of the era of the metallic image, and extending to the final dissolution of the world. In this abstract arrangement our author has the wisdom to adopt the principle, on which the admirable Mede constructed his "Clavis Apocalyptica." But he objects, we think with equal wisdom, to some of the applications which that illustrious expositor made of the principle itself. The date of the 1260 years is said to commence with the sounding of the fifth trumpet, i. e. the first woe-trumpet, in the year after Christ 604 ; and will terminate, consequently, in the year 1864, with the earliest effusion of the seventh vial. The seven thunders are identified with, or are made at least the seven successive signals for the effusion of the seven vials, which were closely to follow the second woe of the Euphratian horsemen. But we must desist, as our limits compel us to pass to the remaining volumes of the work under review.
The Third Book embraces an exposition of Daniel's four predictions, relating to the period of the four successive empires, in as many