Daniel 8

* Daniel's vision of the ram and the he-goat. (1-14) The

interpretation of it. (15-27)

1-14 God gives Daniel a foresight of the destruction of other

kingdoms, which in their day were as powerful as that of

Babylon. Could we foresee the changes that shall be when we are

gone, we should be less affected with changes in our own day.

The ram with two horns was the second empire, that of Media and

Persia. He saw this ram overcome by a he-goat. This was

Alexander the Great. Alexander, when about thirty-three years of

age, and in his full strength, died, and showed the vanity of

worldly pomp and power, and that they cannot make a man happy.

While men dispute, as in the case of Alexander, respecting the

death of some prosperous warrior, it is plain that the great

First Cause of all had no more of his plan for him to execute,

and therefore cut him off. Instead of that one great horn, there

came up four notable ones, Alexander's four chief captains. A

little horn became a great persecutor of the church and people

of God. It seems that the Mohammedan delusion is here pointed

out. It prospered, and at one time nearly destroyed the holy

religion God's right hand had planted. It is just with God to

deprive those of the privileges of his house who despise and

profane them; and to make those know the worth of ordinances by

the want of them, who would not know it by the enjoyment of

them. Daniel heard the time of this calamity limited and

determined; but not the time when it should come. If we would

know the mind of God, we must apply to Christ, in whom are hid

all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; not hid from us, but

hid for us. There is much difficulty as to the precise time here

stated, but the end of it cannot be very distant. God will, for

his own glory, see to the cleansing of the church in due time.

Christ died to cleanse his church; and he will so cleanse it as

to present it blameless to himself.
15-27 The eternal Son of God stood before the prophet in the

appearance of a man, and directed the angel Gabriel to explain

the vision. Daniel's fainting and astonishment at the prospect

of evils he saw coming on his people and the church, confirm the

opinion that long-continued calamities were foretold. The vision

being ended, a charge was given to Daniel to keep it private for

the present. He kept it to himself, and went on to do the duty

of his place. As long as we live in this world we must have

something to do in it; and even those whom God has most

honoured, must not think themselves above their business. Nor

must the pleasure of communion with God take us from the duties

of our callings, but we must in them abide with God. All who are

intrusted with public business must discharge their trust

uprightly; and, amidst all doubts and discouragements, they may,

if true believers, look forward to a happy issue. Thus should we

endeavour to compose our minds for attending to the duties to

which each is appointed, in the church and in the world.
Copyright information for MHCC