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at court, Bossuet. who had largely imbibed the teachings of Madame Guyon and given her a certificate of othodoxy, suddenly became her most determined adversary.
Fenelon, who was not a court bishop, remained in her defence. He published a work called “Maxims of the Saints,” in which he draws attention to the difference between true and false mysticism and strenously advocates a true mysticism as the great need of the church. Then began the renowned controversy on Quietism with Bossuet. Instigated by the latter, whose extant letters show that he once fostered the worst phases of the belief he sought to destroy, the king sent the book of “Maxims” to the Pope and obtained its condemnation. Fenleon read his own condemnation from his episcopal pulpit at Cambray and made a full recantation. The disgrace into which Madame Guyon had fallen with those in high places, together with her imprisonment, caused her to be abandoned by those who had befriended her, yet the system she taught was matured, and “a new revelation was circulated among men in place of that which embodies the whole mind of God for our salvation. That system has been thus described : “God makes himself known to the soul by divine touches, by tastes, by gentle illapses, and ineffable sweetnesses. Men's affections being thus moved, the soul sinks into a delicious repose which rises above all delights, all ecstasies, all notions, all divine speculations—a state in which she knows neither what she feels nor what she is. A description this of one who is the dupe of his own feelings, rather than an intelligent believer in God and his Christ."*
The doctrines of mysticism became powerful weapons in the hands of the church against heresy. They inspired the persecutor with a firm belief in his own absolute infallibility and in the inviolability of his opinions. They condemned the heretic not only as guilty of error in judgment but of obdurate depravity of will. Many of the perpetrators of the atrocities in persecution doubtless believed they were doing God service, and following his special, personal inspiration, rather than the suggestions of fanaticism. Mysticism leads inevitably. to persecution
and intolerance, inasmuch as it substitutes the fanvies of an erratic mind for the truth of God. Fervors and ecstacies are made to stand in place of divine revelation; genius is the only inspiration; Jesus, Voltaire, Mosės, Spinoza are inspired alike, according to the creed of the new mysticism of the nineteenth century, and are alike moved by the divinity that resides within them. Paganism is placed on an equality with the religion of Jesus, and the faith that sustains the soul in its hour of direst calamity gives way to a religion which every man is able and meant to form for himself out of his own heart. Under the pretence of teaching higher truth, or an advanced theology which has proudly burst the swaddling bands of long ages of error, proffering a freer and more liberal belief, the mysticism of to-day endeavors to sap the foundations of faith and beguile unstable souls. The spirit of those who slew the prophets, of those who built monuments to their fierce spirit of persecution with the bones of their victims in France, in Spain, and in Italy, still lurks within the system which, smooth and shining as the scales of the serpent, creeps, in the guise of reason and liberality, into the hearts of those who scorn the safe though rugged paths of spiritual safety and assured triumph.
“The Mystic and Quietist literature of France was pre-eminently devout both in its tone and in its design. But it propagated those views to which may be ascribed the massacre of the Albigenses and of the Huguenots. It contributed more powerfully than any other teaching to annihilate, in the minds of men, that modest self-distrust by whịch the uplifted arm may be arrested before it falls in vengeance on those who dissent from our opinions. It fostered what we have before called the pride of belief—the pride of him who, believing that his own soul is a mirror reflecting the eternal verities of the divine intellect, considers it impious to doubt his own infallibility. .. The royal exterminators of the heretics were elevated by their destruction to an absolute and despotic power over every class and variety of their subjects. Those literary teachers, whose mysticism scattered the two prolific seeds of those persecutions, were therefore, in effect, the most fatal of all enemies to the growth of constitutional liberty in France.
It is of the deepest moment to mankind that, in the age and country of Lɔuis XIV., literature was faithless to her highest calling; that her great authors abandoned the free investigation of truth religious and of truth political; that the men of the seventeenth century abdicated that high office to the men of the succeeding age; and that Racine, Moliere, Bossuet and Arnauld abandoned the highest of all realms of merely human inquiry to the fatal ambition of Voltaire, Rosseau, Montesquieu and Beaumarchais. Seizing on that deserted province, those great writers assailed the ancient bulwarks of our faith in that divine power in whom we have our being, and in those human powers to which God himself has commanded us to be subject. They found those fortresses of France unprotected by any recent defences, and dilapidated by long neglect; and. ... the literature of the age of Louis XV. won a disastrous triumph, which might have been averted if the literature of the age of his predecessor had exchanged the debasing service of an idolized man for that service which we rejoice to accept as our perfect freedom.'
COWLES’S EXPOSITION OF DANIEL,ť
Many are of the opinion that the interpretation of prophecy is a peculiarly difficult task. This no doubt is in part true, yet we apprehend that it is no more difficult than the exposition of the parables of our Lord; and when as much talent is bestowed upon the one as has been upon the other, the main difficulties will have passed away, in as large a degree as they have from the parables. We hail with gratitude any effort which is adapted to bring to notice the main points of difficulty which exist in the writings of that most obscure book of the Old Testament,
fNotes on Ezekiel and Daniel. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
the prophecy of Daniel. In addition to the exposition of the text, the author has appended two dissertations, one to show wherein Mr. Miller was wrong in his celebrated attempt to prove the end of the world in 1843, the other is aimed at the system of interpretation which makes a day stand for a year in several passages in this book, and also in Revelation. But in laboring to show that a day does not stand for a year in several of the visions of Daniel, he places himself in antagonism to the mass of Biblical critics, both Jewish and Christian, and involves himself in inextricable difficulties. This shall be considered when we advance to the consideration of those passages to which this mode of exegesis is applied.
The points in this book which claim our especial consideration, may be classed under the following heads. 1. The vision of the great image. 2. The vision of the four beasts. 3. The vision of the three domestic animals.
1. The vision of the great image is recorded in chapter second. The image, as seen by the king was composed of four kinds of metals with an intermixture of clay in the fourth. As interpreted by Daniel, these metals symbolize four distinct kingdoms; thus expres :ed in the language of the prophet ;_" Thou O king, art the head of gold.”' - And after thee, shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee. And another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron : for as much as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise." History furnishes us with four great universal kingdoms : viz. Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. Biblical expositors with wonderful unanimity, have followed the course marked by the historian.
Mr. Cowles chooses a different path so far as the fourth is concerned ; which he thinks is the kingdom of Alxander's successors. Against this view, many things must be most obvious. 1. The successors of Alexander continued the domination of the Greeks over the East; and brass, not iron, is the symbol of the Greek as truly as silver was Persian, or gold the Chaldean. 2. No one of the successors of that great captain had a kingdom which is worthy to be considerd in the same category with Babylon, Persia and Greece. 3. No one of these kingdoms fills up the outline drawn by the prophet for the fourth kingdom. He says “as iron breaketh in pieces all these,”—the other metals, gold, silver and brass," shall it,"—the fourth kingdom, “break in pieces and bruise.” In the matter of strength this kingdom exceeds the other three. 4. His legs were of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. This fitly symbolizes Rome, which was all iron down to the days of Christ, but became weak after that period, and was mixed with a barbarian element which eventually subverted it; but it does not characterize either of the kingdoms into which the empire of Alexander was divided. 5. Daniel speaks of the fourth kingdom, as being one, whereas, the generals of Alexander, after many bloody wars, divided the empire into four kingdoms. 6. Daniel says, the stone that was cut out of the mountain struck the image upon his feet; but the kingdoms which succeeded Alexander's, were destroyed before Christ made his appearance. “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom. As Christ's kingdom was to be established in the days of “these kings,” it is absurd to suppose that the Greek kings were intended, as the last remains of these kingdoms were years before subdued by the Romans.
On the other hand, the Adventists take the opposite extreme, supposing that the kingdom symbolized by the stone, refers to one not yet established. This cannot be, for the following rea
1. The stone smote the image upon his feet. If iron be Rome, whatever is symbolized by smiting the feet, must take place while Rome is yet in existence. 2. In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom. By using the term “ these kings,” the attention is especially called to kings, before mentioned, but only four are alluded to, which by common consent are understood to be the kings of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. 3. Some have attempted to show that the term—" these kings”—has reference to the kingdoms symbolized by the toes of the image. Nothing is gained by this supposition. (1) Daniel says nothing of the kind. (2) The kingdoms which sprang into existence during the decline and fall of the Roman empire, were weak, feeble, and short-lived,