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more than commonly impressed by his word and miracles.

Remember in what form our Lord appeared among the Samaritans, a mere wayfaring man, a foot traveller; who, wearied with his journey, as such a one, sat

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by a well side which is still pointed out, with a few companions equally humble in appearance. This also was before his fame was noised abroad, before he was known through the length and breadth of the land for his miraculous cures. Under these circumstances the Samaritans acknowledged him as the Christ, the Saviour of the world; but the only time we find the Jewish multitude openly calling him the Son of David, was when he took upon him some degree of state, humble indeed, but still with something of the bearing of a king, and drew the public notice by the manner of his entrance into Jerusalem. The crowds then shouted, "Hosanna!" but, in a few short days, when they saw him despised and rejected by their rulers, the

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same voices cried aloud, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" These remarks are important, as they bring before us the proceedings of the Jews at this peculiar crisis, and afford instructive lessons for the present day. It is not easy, always, to draw the line of demarcation between the followers of Christ and the votaries of the world; but to Scripture we may refer on all occasions of doubt, and we shall find instruction there. Let us remember, that "the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth," John iv. 23, 24. The whole of this narrative should be studied by us, with earnest prayer for right discernment in all things; and let us be assured that all the devices of man to hinder the work of God shall fail.

Behold the temple of the Lord!
The work of God, by man abhorred,
Appearing fair and splendid;
It lifts its head in spite of foes,
And though a hostile world oppose,
The work will yet be ended.

A building this, not made with hands;
On firm foundations, lo! it stands,
For God himself has laid them:
The workmanship of God alone;
The rich materials all his own,
'Twas he himself that made them.

He builds it for his glory's sake;
Its solid frame no force can shake;
However men despise it:

And time, that other work destroys,
'Gainst this in vain its power employs,
The work of God defies it.

THE LAST VISION OF DANIEL.

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CHAPTER XIII.

THE LAST VISION OF DANIEL-HIS DEATH-CAMBYSES -DARIUS HYSTASPES.

DANIEL did not return to Palestine after the captivity. His great age, and the station he held at the Persian court, sufficiently account for this. He must have been about ninety years old. His influence at court, however, was not sufficient to prevent the enemies of the Jews from staying the building of the temple; but that event seems to have called him to exercise "the

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powerful weapon," as Bunyan calls it, all prayer." This painful interference might lead him to the solemn exercises of devotion, recorded Dan. x. 2, 3: "In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled."

A most solemn and remarkable revelation was then made to him. He was on the banks of the river Hiddekel, now called the Tigris, which shows that he was then residing at Susa, when the Lord Jesus Christ personally revealed himself to the prophet, in human form, clad in white linen, as the high priest on the solemn day of atonement. His form and appearance were radiant with glory: those with Daniel saw not this appearance, but an awful sense of the Divine presence was upon them; they trembled and fled. Then an angel encouraged him. Daniel was spoken to as a man 66 greatly beloved;" and a revelation was made to him of "that which is noted in the Scripture of truth." A solemn prophecy was communicated, not in vision, or in symbolic imagery, but in explicit terms, as to what should come to pass, though without

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mention of names, or specific statements of dates. This prophecy occupies Daniel xi. It may be considered as divisible into four parts. The first relates to the overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander, with the division of his empire, verses 2-4. The second details, with remarkable minuteness, the succession, intermarriages, and wars of the kings of Syria and Egypt, and notes that vile character Antiochus Epiphanes, verses 5-30. These kingdoms were ended by the Romans, whose conquests are noticed in the third place, and their putting an end to the daily sacrifice by the destruction of Jerusalem, verses 30-34. From that period the prophecy passes on to notice, in the fourth place, the anti-christian proceedings of the wilful king. This probably extends to times yet to come, and it seems plainly to relate to the same awful series of events to come to pass in the latter days, which are recorded in the Apocalypse, and in the prophecies of Ezekiel, respecting Gog. With reference to these events, we must be content to remain in ignorance, not fixing our attention upon them so as to allow our present efforts for good, or the discharge of our personal or relative duties, to be in the least weakened or impeded.

The prophetic communications to Daniel closed with what is recorded ch. xii., a solemn declaration of the coming of the Son of man, the blessed Saviour, and of the awful events by which it should be accompanied, see verses 1-3:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and

ever.

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In conclusion, three periods are mentioned as indicating the time when the course of events marked out in these prophecies should be finished. Many volumes have been written upon these periods, and probably many more will be written upon them before the whole course of events to which these visions refer have passed; but, after all, at present we can only safely conclude, as Bishop Newton did a century ago, "There are three different periods, and what is the precise time of their beginning, and consequently of their ending, as well as what are the great and signal events which will take place at the end of each period, we can only conjecture; time alone can with certainty discover."* Let us be thankful that similar clouds and darkness do not rest upon and obscure to us the scriptural doctrines and precepts which concern the salvation of our souls. And remember that the object of prophecy is not to gratify the curiosity of man, but to make known the Spirit of Jesus as the Spirit of prophecy, and to convince us that there is a Divine Providence as well as a Divine revelation, a God that directs and orders all the transactions of the world, and that this God, "who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake unto our fathers by the prophets, hath in these last times spoken unto us by his Son." The same assurance of mercy and glory which was given to the prophet, is given to every believer in this and in other ages, ver. 13: "Go thou thy way till the end be for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days."

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*If the reader wishes for further particulars as to the views generally entertained by commentators, respecting the great prophetic periods to which the prophet Daniel and the apostle John refer, he will find them in the Commentary published by the Religious Tract Society. Whether the number of "days" spoken of, is to be considered literally, as common days, or as expressing in prophetic language, days for years, is a question which is warmly debated: the majority of commentators incline to the latter opinion.

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