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are a testimony, a continual memorial of the redemption through the blood of Christ; one of them especially, by his own appointment,
“ shows the Lord's death till he come.” It is not, indeed, a sacrificial act; but it may truly be called " a sacrifice of a thanksgiving,” a “peaceoffering,” which is spiritually eaten before the Lord. When, therefore, the Saracens and Turks, by their victories and oppressions, broke up and dispersed the churches of the East, destroyed their sacred building, and dispersed the Christian priesthood, this prophecy was fulfilled.: and especially when Constantinople itself, the seat of “the prince of the host,” the protector and sovereign of the professors of Christ's religion--at least with respect to them that are without--when this metropolis of the Christian empire in the East was taken, and her churches turned into Mahometan mosques, then did the a little horn” take from the “ prince of the host” “ his continual offering, and cast down his sanctuary.”
It is said, in Daniel's account of the vision, “ And an host was given him against the continual offering,' because of transgression; and it cast down the truth to the ground, and practised and prospered.” “Host," we shall naturally suppose, means in this place the same as when it was used in a former verse, a “ host of stars," symbolical of the several orders of Christian pastors and ministers. “ An host," then, to be given to the little horn, implies, that he too should have his orders of teachers, who should oppose and supersede the Christian ministry; " casting the truth to the ground, and silencing their testimony" — the testimony that by their office they were compelled to bear continually to “ the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.” The host is said to be given against the “continual offering.". That continual memorial of the sacrifice of Christ, which was afforded by celebration of the holy mysteries of the Christian worship, though taken away from the prince of the Christians, when his sanctuary was cast down, was of course still kept up in the assemblies of the subdued Greeks. But effectually to counteract this testimony, these new teachers and conductors of the worship of Islam were appointed.
This success of falsehood against truth was owing, indeed, to the transgression of those who should have borne testimony to the truth, not by their office only, but by their doctrine and their lives. It is too clear, however, from the histories of the times, that to the great corruptions, both in doctrine and practice, among the bishops and clergy of the Eastern churches, the success of Mahometism is to be attributed; and that to this cause it is chiefly to be assigned, that the teachers of the Koran
supplanted the preachers of the Gospel, and by their art and policy converted to their faith such multitudes of those nations, over whom their temporal authority had already been extended by the sword. As the angel interprets, “ And through his policy also shall he cause craft to prosper in his hand.”* The institution of the various orders of Mahometan teachers was his “ policy.” The word may, perhaps, be understood in the sense of “ scheme," or," means of instruction.”+ By this policy he made “his craft,” or, as the word may be rendered, “ his imposture,” to prosper. Thus he became “magnified in his heart,” the boasting, successful teacher, proud of his superior knowledge, and of his victories over the silenced defenders of Christianity—thus“ by peace did he destroy many.” The peaceful dominion of the Mahometans over
the conquered provinces of the Eastern empire, was more destructive to the profession of Christianity than their conquering sword; and by their offer of temporal prosperity to their subjects, they were enabled to destroy it entirely in most parts of their empire.
The angel adds, “He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand.” Against the “prince of the host” he should prevail, but the Prince of princes is another person-" The Son of man, when he cometh in his kingdom;" he is “ the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Mahometism, therefore, it should seem, like popery, or, at least, like the antichristian power of the West, will survive till the coming of Christ, and will be a party in that great combination of foes, whom the Redeemer "consumes by the brightness of his appearing.” This is confirmed by the description given of the destruction of this "little horn;" “ He shall be broken without hands :" that is to say, not by human hands, or the instrumentality of man, as empires are usually overthrown; but this spiritual dominion meets its fate, when the stone cut out “ without hands” is dashed against the image, and reduces all the power of the wicked to dust: and we shall remember, that in Ezekiel's enumeration of the armies of Gog, the countries both of the Turkish and of the Persian empires, the two great branches of the Mahometan dominion, are clearly specified. What power or policy shall, on this occasion, combine together the nations, both of the Roman Catholic and of the Mahometan faith, we are not now to inquire; but the fact of such a combination seems to be predicted.
We have one further particular to attend to; the angel concludes by saying: “ And the vision of the evening, and of the morning, which was told, is true; wherefore, shụt thou up the vision, for it shall be for many days.”* “ The vision of the evening, and of the morning, which was told,” is what is mentioned to Daniel in the thirteenth
“ Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
-Or rather “freed,” or “vindicated,” by the just judgment of a righteous God; for this is a frequent sense in which the word “justified,” the term here employed, is used, especially in the prophetic parts of Scripture. Here the English reader should be informed, that what we render “ days,” is in the original, “ evening and morning.” Hence it is that the angel refers to it, as “ the vision of the evening and morning.” This, he admonishes Daniel,“ is true;" but the meaning, as he perhaps may intend to intimate, would not be disclosed for many ages.
“ Shut up the vision, for it shall be for many days.”
And it is, indeed, but very lately that this vision of the little horn has been at all understood: and whether we yet know enough to determine the dates here given, may justly be doubted; but we may feel the fullest assurance, that the requisite explanation will be one day supplied. The vision is meant to speak at the time appointed, and to give the needful information to the waiting people of God.
The substance of the question of “the first saint"
* Ver. 26.
appears to be, according to that interpretation which events have given to the prophecy,“ How long a period shall it be to the end of this vision,” concerning the triumphing of the Mahometan power over the churches of the East; the desolation brought upon them by their transgression; and especially, perhaps, over“ the pleasant land," where it has continued the abomination of desolation first planted by the Romans ? The Mahometan nations, it should seem, being the last of those who are to tread Jerusalem under feet; and it is by these the times of the Gentiles are to be fulfilled.
The answer to this question is, “ Unto 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be justified.” If we ask, what sanctuary? — the first answer that will suggest itself will be, The sanctuary of the prince, which is said in the prophecy to be cast down by the power symbolized by the little horn. To vindicate this sanctuary then, if our exposition be right, would be, to restore the Eastern churches, to vindicate them out of the hands of their polluters. This is the first answer that suggests itself; and I know but one besides. It may be, the Spirit of prophecy has in view the emphatic sanctuary on the holy hills of Jerusalem. The Mahometans now hold these sacred places in their possession; a Turkish mosque at this hour occupies the site of Solomon's temple, where the God of Israel was to put his name for ever. If this suggestion has given the right answer, then, at the period assigned, these holy mountains will be vindicated and restored to their rightful owners : and we know from other prophecies, that before the appearing of the Messiah, this sanctuary will have been put into the hands of the Jews : and what connexion there may be between the vindication