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Samuel Chandler on Daniel.) He rashly declared, in a letter, which he probably never intended to be published, (See his Life, Vol. II. p. 193.) 'I have long thought that the greater part of the Book of Daniel is most certainly a very late work, of the time of the Maccabees, and the pretended prophecy about the kings of Græcia and Persia, and of the north and south, is mere history, like the poetical prophecies in Virgil and elsewhere. In fact, you can trace distinctly the date when it was written, because the events up to the date are given with historical minuteness totally unlike the character of real prophecy, and beyond that date all is imaginary. These were just such arguments as Porphyry had used, Collins took up, and the infidel historian Gibbon adopted in writing to Bishop Hurd, and which the bishop, as well as Bishop Chandler, and Dr. Samuel Chandler before him had so fully met. (See the Correspondence in Bp. Hurd's Works, Vol. V. p.363-402.
Dr. Arnold was driven to this to defend his two, I must say very unsatisfactory Sermons on the interpretation of prophecy. By confounding the prophecies and the promises, he would really turn all the prophecies of Scripture into general promises or threatenings, to be fulfilled or not fulfilled according as the character of men or nations answered to the principles of good or evil. Sad it is that such a fancied theory should lead a Christian to set aside a part of the inspired word of God. The Lord of glory himself has given his solemn testimony, to Daniel the prophet, with the special admonition, whoso readeth let him understand. (Matt. xxiv. 15. Mark xiii. 14.) It is a token of the infidelity of our age, amidst all its boasted superiority, that even a real Christian should despise as uncertain what God calls the sure word of prophecy, to which he tells us that we do well to take heed. It gives one real sorrow to see that what was a special manifestation of God's goodness, just when all prophecy was about to cease for four hundred years, giving the prophecies of Daniel first in part in Chaldee, then the chief gentile language, to be a light to the gentiles, and next a minute historical' detail of events in Hebrew, to cheer the afflicted people of Israel, called on account of this literal clearness the Scripture of truth, the truth, Dan. x. 21 ; xi. 2, should be accounted by a Christian divine, under the fancy of a deep and subtle criticism, an apocryphal imposture.
The prophecy, it appears from Josephus, was shown by the High Priest to Alexander the Great at Jerusalem (Book xi. 8. 4, 5), even before its predictions were fulfilled. But thanks be to God, Dr. Arnold loved the Lord Jesus, and had infinitely better thoughts on the main things.
What reason all who love our Saviour have to unite in defence of his truth. When I look at the vigorous publications of open Infidels, Socinians, and Papists, and see the energy and strength with which they assail their respective opponents, it appears as if every minor and feebler error was grinding to pieces between the upper millstone of infidelity and the nether millstone of Popery, and leaving no place for half-way, indecisive, and doubtful characters.* Nothing but the rock of God's own truth can withstand the continual beating of the waves of error which roar on every side. And blessed be his name, Prophecy is his own truth; and it is not darkness, but a light shining in a dark place.
* The reader may see one specimen of this on the part of the Infidels, page 213—215. The Papist has the same energy. Speaking of the High Church formalists who boast in being Catholics, a writer in the Dublin Review for December 1844, says, “ Believing as we do, that the spirit we have described, which is one of the most odious and despicable formalism, (compared with which puritanism itself, were it the only resource, would become beautiful and attractive) has always been one of the chief characteristics of high Church Anglicanism, and that in close union with an infatuated self-complacency, which would be ludicrous were it not awfully revolting—believing all this, never can we permit an occasion to pass, whenever it presents itself, of denouncing, as energetically as we can, the lying counterfeit which would fain pass itself off as genuine and pure catholicism.” The scornful taunts of the Papists on such“ grave clergymen proposing to cure the deep-rooted evils of our social system by preaching in surplices on the immaculate purity of the Anglican Church, turning to the East in the creed, setting up gothic fittings, reading the prayer for the Church militant, the weekly use of the offertory," &c. however capable of full retort upon their own system, may shew not only how totally short of our real situation are any such outward alterations, but how they aggravate the evils which it was thought they might heal. This is ably proved in a valuable sermon on the unity of the Church just published by Archdeacon Hare.
The chief part of the present work has not before been published, but the Author has comprehended in it some smaller publications, partly out of print, or not to be had separately. He has several times been requested to reprint the Dangers of the Church, first published in 1839, and that pamphlet, with the substance of his sermon on the Dangers of London, is here included, with many enlargements, under the Second Part. A Visitation Sermon forms the foundation of the Third Part, and the substance of a Sermon, preached last year in courses of Prophetical Lectures at St. George's, Bloomsbury, forms the Fourth, while his Christian Blessing, preached at Edinburgh in 1844, is included in the Fifth part. All these subjects have one common design to assist Christians in guarding against dangers and fulfilling duties connected with the present situation of the Church and the world. The author has thus combined in one volume his past and present testimony on these subjects. He was the more induced to do this from having received many tokens of the good done by his Divine Warning, of which 8000 copies have been sold in about two years since its first publication.
While we thank God for the reprobation of dishonest subscription by the Convocation at Oxford, yet the signs of the times respecting a temporary triumph of Popery, correspond very much with the prophecies indicating the same thing. When we see that on February 13, in this year, 386 members of Convocation at Oxford refused to admit that an English Clergyman had been guilty of bad faith, who asserted, that in subscribing the Articles he renounced no one Roman doctrine; that 544 members of Convocation have published their thanks to the proctors for negativing a proposal to condemn Tract No. XC; that out of twenty-four colleges at Oxford, fifteen have Tractarian tutors ; that out of sixty-four tutors, only twenty-two are Anti-Romanists, and twenty-five are Tractarian, the remainder seventeen being neutral ; that it has been said by a Tractarian journal, apparently on good grounds, that out of 230 resident members of Convocation, only forty-eight were opposed to the views of Mr. Ward, and that in one large College of 188, only one voted against him, and that at Cambridge a Society so Papal as the Camden, should have gained such influence; what true Protestant can but be anxious for our Country. When we witness government at all risk of its stability, and after all past experience, while our beloved Queen has sworn in her Coronatian oath that Popery is idolatrous, withdrawing our many testimonies against it, and supporting its institutions, and favouring this idolatrous religion-true Christians cannot but discern the imminent danger of our country from revived Popery. The Lord graciously again deliver us. The Lord graciously strengthen his people to make a fresh protest at every cost against this abomination.