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entrance into thy throne: and we have found no way more fair and plausible than this; we have decreed, that none of thy subjects shall, for the space of thirty days, make any petition to any god or man, save to thee, ( king; that, by this means, they may be brought and inured to an awful and divine conceit of thy greatness, and may be encouraged to have access unto thee, for the more endearing of thee to them, upon the grant of their suits; and, if any man shall violate this decree, we have sentenced him to be cast into the den of lions.
VI. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Now, when Daniel knew that this writing was signed, which he well understood to be irrevocable, he, notwithstanding, continued his wonted devotions to his God; he, therefore, being in his house, not willing to conceal his pious exercises, opened the window of his chamber, to the south-west-ward, that he might, according to Solomon's word and the practice of God's people, look towards the Temple, though now demolished ; and, kneeling upon his knees, three times a day, at morning, noon, and evening, he prayed to God, and gave thanks before his God, as he had wont.
VI. 14 And set his heart on Daniel to deliver him. He bent all his thoughts, and laboured by all means possible, to deliver Daniel.
VII: 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, to shew me the blustering and unsteady state of all these earthly kingdoms and affairs, methought, the four winds of the heaven blew, and fought, as it were, together upon the great sea.
VII. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. And from that sea, which signifies the world, there arose four great beasts, diverse one from another; to represent those four great monarchies, whereby the kingdoms of the earth are swayed, which had and shall have different forms of administration,
VII. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: and I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. The First, which was the Babylonian Monarchy, was a lion, in respect of the power and fierceness thereof; but this lion had eagle's wings, to shew the incredible swiftness and speed of bis conquests. And I beheld, till those several regions and commands, wherewith the Babylonian had feathered himself, and furnished his empire, were plucked away, by the hands of the Medes and Persians; so as now, these wings of his sovereignty, being pulled and plumed, where with he formerly soared up, he was fain to
trust to his feet, and therein to find nis own weakness; whereby his courage was so abated, that, instead of the stoutness of a lion he was glad to take up with the weak heart of a man.
VII. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. The Second Monarchy, of the Persians, was figured by the second beast: it was like a bear, less noble and generous than the Babylonian; more slow and doll, but no less cruel; and it raised up one dominion of all those former kingdoms, united to the Babylonian Empire: and this devouring beast had three ribs in his mouth, to shew the torn and wasted remainders of all those king. doms, in all the three coasts of the known habitable world, which he hath greedily eaten up; to whom it was, by the just decree of the Almighty encharged, that he should rouse up himself, and destroy many nations, in revenge of those quarrels that God had against them.
VII. 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this, I beheld, and lo the Third Monarchy, of the Macedonian or Grecian, being presented by a leopard, succeeded; more fierce and subtle than that other of the Medes; which, by reason of the exceeding swiftness of dispatch, especially of Alexander the Great in his atchievements, had four wings attributed unto it: this great empire was divided, upon the death of Alexander, into four kingdoms; and, for the time, it was of great power, and large dominion.
VII. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth : it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it : and it had ten horns. After this, there was in my night visions represented unto me, the tyrannous Asiatic Kingdom, in the figure of a fourth beast, which was dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong: it had great teeth of iron, to signify those cruel pressures, wherewith it should tear and grind the distressed remainders of God's people; and it did accordingly exercise extreme tyranny over them, by devouring them, and crashing their bones in pieces, and stamping them under his feet; and this beast, as it could not, by reason of the many varieties which were found in this government, be figured by any one shape, so was it, in the fell and bloody disposition thereof, quite different from the former : and in this regiment, there shall ten kings succeed; which were represented by the ten horns of this beast.
VII. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots : and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. And I took good view of those ten horns, which signified the ten kings; and I saw one little horn, which came forth amongst the rest, and the last of the ten, which, in the coming up, defeated three of those ten : and, behold, in this horn, there were eyes of sharp understanding and quick conceit; but, withal, there was a mouth, which was full of blasphemy.
VII. 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. As in my vision I saw the erection and the standing of these great monarchical thrones, so I saw the casting of them down, by the long-suffering, yet just hand of the Almighty : for which purpose, I saw a glorious representation of his Judgment Seat; and therein was a majestical resemblance of the Judge, even the Eternal God, whose being was before all times; who was all compassed about with perfect purity and righteousness, signified by the whiteness of his garment and his hair ; bis throne was full of terror, even like to a fiery flame; and the wheels, on which it stood, were as a burning fire, to shew that his judgments will unavoidably find out his enemies, and consume them.
VII. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the books were opened. To the same purpose was there a representation of a fiery stream, issuing forth from before him ; signifying the execution of his vengeance upon his enemies: infinite numbers of glorious spirits stood before him, to wait upon his Majesty ; and, according to the forms of human judicature, there were laid open the acts and most certain records of those things, which had been done by these four beasts, but especially by the last of them.
VII. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. I beheld then, and I saw the last Monarchy, and that proud horn thereof, the last king of that rank, whose mouth had dared to speak those great blasphemies, called to reckoning for those notorious impieties, and himself destroyed, and cast into that unquenchable tire.
VII. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away : yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. As concerning the rest of those Monarchies, they had, by the just decree of this Judge, their dominions weakened, and in a sort extinguished; yet so, that they had some small remainders of a being, till the appointed time that God had set for the Romans, to put a full dispatch unto them.
VII. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. Moreover, I had, in my night visions, represented unto me one, like to Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, who is withal the Eternal Son of God; who, to shew his deity, came in the clouds of heaven to descend to the earth; and now, in the fulness of time, came to take our nature upon him, and to accomplish the great work of man's redemption; who presented himself before God the Father, as the Mediator betwixt him and mankind.
VII. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. And there was all power given him, in heaven and earth; and he was, by the eternal decree of God, appointed to be the glorious King of his Church for ever ; so as there can be neither any bounds, nor any term, of his dominion.
VII. 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I, Daniel, was much perplexed in my thoughts, at the consideration of these wondrous visions ; and was unquiet in myself, till L might attain to the interpretation thereof.
VII. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. I came therefore, methought, to one of those glorious angels, which stood about the throne, and inquired of him the meaning and purpose of these representations, &c.
VII. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. These great beasts, which are four, are the resemblances of Four Great Empires, which shall successively arise on the earth; the Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, Asian.
VII. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. But, at last, after all the persecutions and oppressions of violent enemies, the Church and Saints of God shall prevail, and shall have and enjoy the benefit of the perpetual and peaceable government of Christ, their King, for evermore.
VII. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast. Then was I earnestly inquisitive after the signification of the fourth beast. See verse 7, and 8.
VII. 21. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. I beheld, and that last horn, which was the last of the race of Seleucus, persecuted God's people exceedingly, and prevailed against them.
VII, 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth king, dom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. Thus he said, The fourth beast resembleth the fourth of these great imperial governments, which shall be worse to God's people than all the rest : this shall be the usurped kingdom of the posterity of Seleucus Nicanor, which, upon the extinction of the line of Alexander the Great, shall set up a new kingdom in Ba. bylon; and tyrannize most cruelly over the Church of God, the people of the Jews, and waste and destroy it to his utmost,
VII. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise : and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And the ten horns are ten several kings, which shall arise and suc: ceed, out of this stock, in this government; and the last of the ten, which shall be more cruel than his fellows, shall be that bloody king, Antiochus Epiphanes, who shall defeat and displace three kings, to make room for himself.
VII. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most lligh, and think to change times and lax's : and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. And he shall blasphemously and impiously oppose himself against the religion of the Most High God; and shall endeavour, all he can, to root out the Jewish people, and shall go about to change or abrogate their solemnities and their laws; and they shall, in the just proceedings of God, be given up into his hand, for the space of three years, and somewhat more.
VII. 26 Bui the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. But the powerful and righteous Judge of the World, who noteth all his wicked courses, shall soon call him to account, for all his cursed impiety and intolerable cruelty, and sball bring his kingdom to utter ruin.
VII. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominion's shall serve and obey him. And after this, the Son of God being exhibited upon earth, bis Church shall be enlarged, so as all the kingdoms and dominions upon earth shall submit themselves to the regiment of their God and Saviour.
VII. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me : but I kept the matter in my heart. Hitherto, I have related the speech, which the angel had with me, concerning these great affairs of the Church and the World; as for me, Daniel, my thoughts were much perplexed with the consideration of these wonderful visions, and my very countenance could not but bewray much trouble in my heart; but I did carefully lay up and meditate on all these dreadful representations.