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to this work; but as it appeared to be sufficient for our purpose to exhibit some of the most remarkable, we shall conclude our extracts from the Old Testament with the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's wonderful dream, and Daniel's


So clear and explicit are the prophecies of Daniel, that some persons who have wished for an occasion of invalidating their authority, have not scrupled to assert, that they were written after the events which they profess to foretell. Among these, Porphyry, who lived about the end of the third century after Christ, and the author of "the Scheme of Literal Prophecy considered," stand foremost. The latter hath collected every thing that, in the course of his reading, could be turned to the disparagement of the book of Daniel; but his two learned opponents, both of the same name, (Chandler) have solidly and clearly refuted his objections, or shown them to be mere cavils and direct falsities, groundless assertions, and wrong quotations.

And indeed it hath been proved to a demonstration, as much as any thing of the kind can be proved, by all the characters and testimonies, both internal and external, that the prophecies of Daniel, were written at the time the Scriptures say they were written; and he prospered

on account of these prophecies, Dan. 6, 28. ín the reigns of Darius the Mede, and of Cyrus the Persian; that is, between five and six hundred years before Christ.

Daniel's first prophecy, which may be accounted the ground work of all the rest, was his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.

This monarch, having subdued all his enemies, and firmly established his throne, was thinking upon his bed what should come to pass hereafter; what should be the future success of his family and kingdom: he afterwards dreamed of some- ¡ thing to the same purpose, which astonished, and so strongly affected him at the same time, that, awaking in confusion, he had but an imperfect recollection of it. He called therefore for the magicians and astrologers, and, as absurdly as imperiously, demanded of them, upon pain of death and destruction, to make known to him the dream, and the interpretation thereof. They answered, very reasonably, that no king had ever required such a thing; that it transcended all the powers and faculties of man; that God only could disclose it. But the pride of absolute power could not bear any reasonable controul; the king, greatly incensed, ordered all the magicians and wise men of Babylon to be destroyed.

Daniel and his fellows would have been involved in the same consequences, but by their joint and earnest prayers to the God of heaven, the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Dan. ii. 19: “and Daniel blessed the God of heaven." Daniel, thus instructed, was desirous of saving the lives of the wise men of Babylon, who were unjustly condemned. And he went unto Arioch, the captain of the king's guards, whom the king bad ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon, verse 24, and said unto him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.'

The captain of the guard immediately introduced him to the king, who inquired of Daniel, if he was able to make known the dream which he had seen. Daniel was far from assuming any merit to himself; but said, very modestly, that this secret, which the wise men, astrologers, magicians, and soothsayers, could not show unto the king, was not revealed unto him for any wisdom he had more than others; "but there is a God in heaven, that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days," verse 28. Daniel not only told the king what he saw in his dream, but also what he thought within himself before his

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dream, verse 29: "As for thee, Oh king! thy thoughts came into thy mind, upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and He that revealeth secrets maketh known unto thee what shall come to pass."

Nebuchadnezzar's dream was of a great image, verse 31: "This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before him, and the form thereof was terrible." It appears from ancient coins and medals, that cities and people were often represented by figures of men and women.

A great, terrible, human figure, was therefore not an improper emblem of human power and dominion; and the various metals of which it was composed, not unfitly typified the various kingdoms that should arise.

It consisted of four different metals; gold, and silver, and brass, and iron mixed with clay; and these four metals, according to Daniel's interpretation, mean so many kingdoms; and the order of their succession is clearly denoted by the order of the parts.

I. This image's head was of fine gold, which Daniel interprets, verse 38: "Thou art this head of gold;" thou, and thy family, and thy representatives. This prophecy therefore commenceth with the Babylonian kingdom, which was then subsisting, and was fitly represented by

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the head of gold, on account of its great riches; and Babylon for the same reason was called by Isaiah the golden city. And Daniel addresseth Nebuchadnezzar as a very powerful king: "Thou, Oh king! art a king of kings; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoeyer the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and fowls of the heaven, hath He given into thy hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all."

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II. His breast and his arms of silver, which Daniel interprets, verse 39; "After thee shall arise another kingdom, inferior to thee." It is very well known that the kingdom which arose after the Babylonian, was Medo Persian. The two hands, and the shoulders, saith Josephus, signify, that the empire of the Babylonians should be dissolved by two kings. The two kings were the kings of the Medes and Persians, whose powers were united under Cyrus, who was the son of one of the kings and son in law of the other; who besieged and took Babylon, and put an end to that empire; and on its ruins erected the Medo Persian, or the Persian, as it is most usually called; the Persians having soon

gained the ascendancy over the Medes. This empire is said to be inferior, as being less than

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