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tached and scattered in the others—that Daniel's predictions have not the air of history, for they require a knowledge of the history in order to be understood—that the character of prophecy varied with the exigencies of the Jewish nation, being brief and obscure when they were in prosperity, and more explicit when they needed consolation;- lastly, that the great difference between Daniel's prophecies and those of other prophets, is a difference of style: theirs are poetical and his prosaic; which of itself accounts for much that is objected to.
XIII. Our author next considers an objection raised by Porphyry, and echoed by his modern satellites, to wit: that all the clear, definite predictions in this book, which are verified by history, reach merely to Antiochus Epiphanes, while beyond that, nothing is foretold precisely, but the subversion of all thrones, the resurrection, and the reign of the Messiah; as if the writer expected these events to follow the death of Antiochus immediately. Why, it has been asked, this strange limitation, if not because the book was written during that king's reign?
Here, too, our author enters into a detail, affording new proofs of his learning and his critical sagacity. We cannot even help our readers to a rapid glance at his ingenious argument, but must content ourselves with stating very briefly the amount of it in two propositions.
1. Admitting the fact asserted, there would be no valid ground for the conclusions stated. The gift of prophecy was not a habitus infusus, subjected to the judgment and volition of the prophet, but a specific inspiration as to certain things, controlled and controllable by none but Him who gave it. It was very common for a Prophet's view to be confined to cer. tain periods, according to the exigencies of the chosen people. There was scarcely an event of moment, from the beginning of Jeremiah's ministry to the return of the captive Jews, which he did not explicitly foretell. Beyond that point, there is nothing definite. To Isaiah, the space between the return from exile and the Saviour's advent, seems to have been, as Dr. H. expresses it, a terra incognita, though so much before and after was revealed to him with wonderful distinctness. The transition from proximate to more remote events, too, so far from being an anomalous peculiarity of Daniel, was the ordinary usage of the Prophets. All of them studiously connect the deliverance from exile with the final deliverance of all God's people, and the temporal judgments threatened to the Jews, with the awful judgment of the last great day. A very obvious and familiar instance is our Lord's prediction of the downfall of Jerusalem.
2. The assertion, upon which the objection rests, is not a true one. The book does contain distinct predictions of events long posterior to the date assigned. The time of Christ's appearing, his death, and the destruction of Jerusalem, are all foretold in the ninth chapter. Our author also undertakes to vindicate the old interpretation of the golden image in the seventh chapter, which makes the last empire symbolized to be the Roman-in opposition to the new interpretation of Eichhorn and de Wette, according to which it was the Macedonian empire. In addition to other arguments, he cites the unanimous consent of Jews and early Christians; and proves, particuļarly from Josephus, that these prophecies were instrumental in exciting the rebellions of the Jews against the Romans.
XIV. Having despatched the weightier matters urged in opposition, our author closes this part of the subject by a summary settlement of several minor cavils, such as these-coincidences with the books of Maccabees-symptoms of the peculiar national pride of the Jews—the want of a moral — and the praises lavished upon Daniel himself. To the refuting of these arguments ten pages are devoted. We shall content ourselves with saying in as many words, that the author of Maccabees had read the book of Daniel—that the Jewish spirit complained of, runs through all the Scripturesthat a book which demonstrates that Jehovah is omnipotent and faithful to his promises, must have a moral—and that Daniel goes no further in self-praise than Paul or Moses.
The arguments, of which we have attempted to give something like an abstract, might justly be considered as determining the controversy. But our author, not contented with this negative demonstration, proceeds to adduce what he regards as positive proof of the correctness of his doctrine.
1. The first witness called, is the writer of the book himself. That he wished it to be regarded as the work of Daniel, is apparent from the use of the first person in so many cases, (vii. 28-viii. 2, 15, 27-ix. 2—x. i. This is indeed admitted, in relation to the last six chapters, even by those who argue that the first six must be from another hand, because Daniel is there mentioned in the third person.
That this by
no means follows, is evidenced by citations from the other Prophets. Hosea, in the first chapter, uses the third person, in the next two, the first. In the seventh chapter of Amos, that Prophet for the most part uses the first person; in the twelfth and fourteenth verses, he employs the third. To these may be added Isaiah xxxvi--Xxxix.and Ezekiel i. 1-3. The objection, that no reason can be given for the change of persons in the book of Daniel, has been answered by Gesenius, who states it as a general rule, with very few exceptions, that the first person is used in actual prophecy, the third in matters that are properly historical. This is apparent from the texts before referred to, and from the practice of the Apostle John, in his Gospel and A pocalypse. To add one other argument, is it not clear, that if the first six chapters were a forgery, their author would have carefully avoided the third person? Most minds will probably be satisfied with knowing, that the author of the book, whoever he was, has represented it as Daniel's composition. This, however, is not enough for a rationalist. Eichhorn and Bertholdt maintain that the writer no more designed it to be looked upon as Daniel's, than Cicero designed, the speeches, in his dialogues to pass for the ipsissima verba of the speakers introduced—and that the whole book is nothing but an innocent attempt to clothe plain history in a poetic or romantic garb, with a historical preface intended to give an air of reality to the contrivance. Does such a hypothesis need any refutation? It may in Germany, but not with us.
While these learned Thebans would persuade us, that the book of Daniel is a mere jeu d'esprit, Gesenius, de Wette, Bleek, and Kirms, hold it up to our abhorrence as a pious fraud—a deliberate attempt to palm a forgery upon the Jewish people as the work of Daniel, with the laudable design, indeed, of strengthening their faith and confirming their obedience. To any but a rationalist, the whole spirit, tendency, and aspect of the book, will give the lie to this poor calumny, even without the aid of that historical and critical proof which exists in such abundance.
2. A second argument in favour of our doctrine may be drawn from the reception of this book into the canon. This leads our author into an inquiry, as to the formation of the canon, which he pursues with much ability. In opposition to the neological opinion, that the canon was formed gradually, and not wholly closed till about 150 years before Christ, he maintains, that it was completed in the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, and the contemporary prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. This he proves from the direct testimony of Josephus, the Rabbins, and the fathers of the Church-from the fact, that after the date last mentioned, the sacred books are spoken of as forming one collection—from the threefold division spoken of before*—and from the strong presumption furnished by the nature of the case, the condition of the Jews returned from exile, and their pressing need of an authoritative compilation.
3. Not only does this book represent itself as Daniel's composition; not only was it received as such by Ezra and his inspired contemporaries. This is high authority, but we have higher still, that of Christ and his Apostles. It is worthy of remark, that the divine authority of no book in the Old Testament is more distinctly recognized in the New, than that of the disputed book in question. Nothing can well be more explicit than the words of Christ in Matth. xxiv. 15, “When ye shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.)” Our author enters at some length into the question, whether the words in the parenthesis are the words of our Lord or the evangelist. Upon this something depends, for accordingly as this point is determined, the word read has for its object the gospel of Matthew, or the prophecy of Daniel. Our author concludes that they were spoken by our Lord, for which he gives his reasons in detail. He then argues from the whole passage thus: Christ recognizes Daniel as a prophet, and speaks of reading him, as though his hearers were in possession of that prophet's writings, and moreover represents a passage from those writings as a prediction yet to be fulfilled. This is certainly strong proof, and we think that our author has successfully encountered all attempts to weaken it. To confirm his position that the Saviour regarded Daniel as a prophet, and his writings as authentic, he states, that the phrase, Son of Man, so constantly occurring, has an obvious reference to Dan. vii, 13—and that between such passages as Matth. x. 23, xvi. 27, 28, xix. 28, xxiv. 30, xxv. 31, xxvi. 64, John v. 27, on the one hand, and Dan. vii. 13, 14, 26, 27, on the other, there is a coincidence too striking to be thought fortuitous..
See page 52.
Dr. H. extends the parallel to the Epistles. We can do no more than mention the correspondent passages, 1 Pet i. 1012, he compares with Dan. xii. 8, 2 Thess. i. ii., with Dan. ix.—1 Cor. vi. 2, with Dan. vii. 22, ix. 18—Phil. ii. 9-11, with Dan. vii. 13, 14-Acts vii. 56, with the same. The allusion in Heb. xi. 33, 34, requires no comment.
Two neological difficulties here present themselves. Staüdlin suggests that all the allusions are to the last six chapters. True, but we have the clearest evidence that, in the time of Christ, the two parts were extant, and regarded as one book. Corrodi asks, why no use was made of Daniel to prove that Jesus was the Christ? Dr. H. replies, because his prophecies, with one exception, relate to the second advent, and that the one excepted passage has been actually cited in the very way suggested.
4. But we are not without proof that this book was actually extant before the days of the Maccabees. The leading witness of this fact is Josephus, whose account of Alexander the Great's visit to Jerusalem, is well known. Our readers will recollect that, in that narrative, the book of Daniel is expressly said to have been shown to the conqueror, who seemed much gratified with its alleged prediction of himself, and expressed his satisfaction by unwonted favours to the holy city and the Jewish nation.
The truth of this story has, of course, been questioned, and our author therefore enters into a detailed defence of it. We admire the ability with which he treats his subject, and concur in his conclusion, that the statement of Josephus is in itself highly probable, and abundantly confirmed by external evidence. He observes very justly, that it is not necessary for the support of his argument, to assert the truth of every thing said on the alleged occasion, by Alexander on the one hand, or the High Priest on the other. An attempt has been made to set aside the narrative, by sneering at the dreams there spoken of, as if the whole story was on that account a superstitious tale. But even admitting, that the High Priest merely flattered his redoubted guest, and that the latter merely gratified his vanity by listening to fictions, is it not still very likely that a book like that of Daniel, if it did exist, would be exhibited, to aid at least in carrying on the joke? Besides, the same fact is mentioned or alluded to, by Arrian, Pliny, and Hecatæus, of Abdera. And indeed, the supposition of some such occurrence appears necessary, to account for