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till our whole country is thoroughly Christianized, and our world redeemed. We do not of course mean any collision with, or aggression upon co-ordinate branches of the Church; but still as a distinctive body, in friendship with other Christians, even the most conservative, but with just the same elevation above all depressive anxieties about their good opinion of our order and orthodoxy, as if they existed not.
The special theatre of this aggressive feature of Presbyterianism, is the middle class, where the power, and usually the numerical majority is found. For it is a fact, whatever be its philosophy, that just here has generally been the field of Presbyterian influence, and chief element of Presbyterian power. We by no means allow, that the gospel, according to Presbyterian and Calvinistic administration, is not adapted to the poor. But (possibly owing to our failure, sloth or mistakes, this field in many parts of the land is pre-occupied and nobly filled by other portions of the general church, to whom be all praise; and even if the gospel finds men in this condition, it very soon lifts them above it in the ascending social scale. On the other hand, we do not allow the royal taunt of the renegade Presbyterian, that our form of religion is not fit for a gentleman. William of Orange, a Calvinist and Presbyterian, would compare well as a Christian and a gentleman, with James VI of Scotland, and I. of England, this royal reviler of a system to which his native land owed then, and owes still, all its glory. Perhaps here too, we have erred, and have sometimes allowed ourselves to draw
“ Too rough a copy of the Christian face,
Without the smile, the beauty and the grace," and in our honest zeal against worldly conformity, may have neglected too much the æsthetic in man's nature, and the lovely and beautiful in Christian character. But still the fact is, that most of “the wise, and noble, and mighty of this world,” do not feel any special affinities, or desire of identification, with the doctrines of Calvinism, or the forms of Presbyterianism. We must take things and men as they are, and acquiesce in our dispensation, and a great and glorious dispensation it is, to occupy the ground and material for which our system, with its peculiarities and appliances has special adaptations, and which has always had special appetences and predispositions towards us. We must try to make Christians and Presbyterians of that class in our country, where activity and learning, and political power, and moulding influence are usually found, and thus to work both upwards and downwards in the social scale, along with all who in high and low places are engaged in the same work. And then again it is exceedingly significant and encouraging and admonitory, that our great field of operation as Presbyterians, the place of our strength and the land of our promise, is in the new and giant States of the West, the destined seat of power in our country, which under aggressive measures, wisely and energetically and patiently prosecuted by evangelical Christians, and by none more propitiously than by our body, promises to become as the garden of the Lord.
Let aggressive movements on the common enemy be our Watchword, “our country for the sake of the world,” our inspiration. We need not fear perils from excessive activities, while we preserve our sound Calvinism, and good taste, and common sense. It is a wise remark, marvellously verified by history in Church and State, in individuals and organizations, that " in the processes of properly conducted activities, sufficient Conservatism is usually generated.”
Whoever may be called to the special dispensation of Conservatism, keeping the world from moving too fast, and the church from too soon obeying the command of our ascending Saviour, holding back the wheels of advancement, ours is a different mission; one which falls in sweetly with the natural activities of our regenerated spirits; one imperatively demanded from some persons and bodies at present, by the circumstances of our age, and country, and world. Let us meekly, trustfully, and hopefully come up to this mission of aggressiveness, warring always and only with spiritual weapons, against every form of evil and anti-Christian power. Let us go forward, though Red Seas stretch before us, and Pi-hahiroths frown on either side. Let us go up and possess the land with all the Calebs and Joshuas of the times. Let us project our schemes of expansiveness on the large scale which Providence plainly leads us to construct, and our country's crisis demands. And having done our part in our day and generation to give our country to its rightful Sovereign, let us, in the use of gloriously adapted agencies, which reach “from Greenland's icy mountains to India's coral strand,” “ from the rivers to the ends of the earth,” do what in us lies to have our world, also, speedily and universally redeemed, regenerated and disenthralled by the spirit of the Gospel of the great God and our Saviour. We may die; our activities at farthest, will be put forth only for a
small period, for “the night cometh.” But principles live. Let us so labour, and live, and struggle, that when we are resting from our labours, our “works may follow us,” and our successors may bless and not blame us, as they take up what we leave of the great work God has given us to do.
Art. III.-INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF DANIEL.
§ 1. THE LIFE OF DANIEL.—Of Daniel little more is known, or can now be ascertained, than is recorded in this book. There are two other persons of this name mentioned in the Bible; a son of David, 1 Chron. iii. 1; and a Levite of the race of Ithamar, Ezra, viïi. 2; Neh. x. 6. The latter has been sometimes confounded with the prophet, as he is in the Apocryphal Addenda to the Septuagint.
Daniel, supposed commonly to be the same person as the author of this book, is twice mentioned by Ezekiel, once as deserving to be ranked with Noah and Job, and once as eminent for wisdom. “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” Ezek. xiv. 14. “Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel, and there is no secret that they can hide from thee.” Ezek. xxviii. 3. Whether this is the Daniel who is the author of this book, however, or whether this was some ancient patriarch whose name had been handed down by tradition, and whose name was assumed by the author of this book in later times, has been a question among recent critics, and will properly come up for examination under the next section in this Introduction.
Assuming now that the book is genuine, and that it was written by him whose name it bears, all that is known of Daniel is substantially as follows:
He was descended from one of the highest families in Judah, if not one of royal blood (Josephus' Ant. B. x. ch. x. $ 1.) His birth-place was probably. Jerusalem, (comp. ch. ix. 24, though it is not absolutely certain that this passage would
demonstrates not absprobably Sphus Ant. Damilies in Jord
Of his first years nothing is recorded. At an early age we find him in Babylon, among the captive Hebrews whom Nebu
chadnezzar had carried away at the first deportation of the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. He is mentioned in connection with three other youths, apparently of the same rank, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who, with him, were selected for the purpose of being instructed in the language and literature of the Chaldeans, with a view to their being employed in the service of the court. Dan. i. 3, 4. His age at that time it is impossible to determine with accuracy, but it is not improbable that it was somewhere about twelve or fifteen years. In ch. i. 4, he and his three friends are called “children," (ob.) “This word properly denotes the period from the age of childhood up to manhood, and might be translated boys, lads, or youth.” Professor Stuart on Daniel, p. 373. Ignatius (Ep. ad. Magn.) says that Daniel was twelve years of age when he went into exile; Chrysostom says that he was eighteen, (Opp. vi. p. 423); Epiphanius says tri valo; wv; Jerome calls him admodum puer. These are, of course, mere conjectures, or traditions, but they are probably not far from the truth. Such was the age at which persons would be most likely to be selected for the training here referred to. The design of this selection and training is not mentioned, but in the circumstances of the case, it is perhaps not difficult to conjecture it. The Hebrews were a captive people. It was natural to suppose that they would be restless, and perhaps insubordinate, in their condition, and it was a matter of policy to do all that could be done, to conciliate them. Nothing would better tend to this, than to select some of their own number who were of their most distinguished families; to place them at court; to provide for them from the royal bounty; to give them the advantages of the best education that the capital afforded ; to make an arrangement that contemplated their future employment in the service of the State, and to furnish them every opportunity of promotion. Besides, in the intercourse of the government with the captive Hebrews, of which, from the nature of the case, there would be frequent occasion, it would be an advantage to have native-born Hebrews in the confidence of the government, who could be employed to conduct that intercourse.
In this situation, and with this view, Daniel received that thorough education which Oriental etiquette makes indispensable in a courtier, (Comp. Plato, Alcib. § 37), and was more especially instructed in the science of the Chaldeans, and in speaking and writing their language. He had before evidently been carefully trained in the Hebrew learning, and in the
case, it is ng is not menferred to. De most likelyuth, Such "adi.
knowledge of the institutions of his country, and was thoroughly imbued with the principles of the religion of his fathers. An opportunity soon occurred of putting his principles to the test. Trained in strict religious principles, and in the sternest rules of temperance in eating and drinking, and fearing the effect of the luxurious living provided for him and his companions by the royal bounty, he resolved, with them, to avoid at once the danger of conformning to the habits of idolaters; of “polluting" himself by customs forbidden by his religion, and of jeoparding his own health and life by intemperate indulgence. He aimed, also, to secure the utmost vigour of body, and the utmost clearness of mind, by a course of strict and conscientious temperance. He obtained permission, therefore, to abstain from the food provided for him, and to make an experiment of the most temperate mode of living, ch. i. 8—14. “His prudent proceedings, wise bearing, and absolute refusal to comply with such customs, were crowned with the divine blessing, and had the most splendid results.” .
After the lapse of three years spent in this course of discipline, Daniel passed the examination which was necessary to admit him to the royal favor, and was received into connection with the government, to be employed in the purposes which had been contemplated in this preparatory training, ch. i. 1820. One of his first acts was an interpretation of a dream of Nebuchadnezzar which none of the Chaldeans had been able to interpret, the result of which was that he was raised at once to that important office, the governorship of the province of Babylon, and the head-inspectorship of the sacerdotal caste, ch. ii.
Considerably later in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, we find Daniel interpreting another dream of his, to the effect that, in consequence of his pride, he would be deprived for a time of his reason and his throne, and would be suffered to wander from the abodes of men, and to live among wild beasts, but that after a time he would be again restored. The record which we have of this, is found in a proclamation of the king himself, which is preserved by Daniel, ch. iv. In the interpretation of this remarkable dream, and in stating to the king—the most proud and absolute monarch of the earth at that time—what would come upon him, Daniel displays the most touching anxiety, love, and loyalty, for the prince, and shows that he was led to this interpretation only by the conviction of the truth. In view of a calamity so great, he exhorted the monarch yet to humble himself and to repent of his sins, and