From Whitla’s introduction to Isaac Newton, Observations Upon The Prophecies Of Daniel and The Apocalypse Of St. John – Back to Table of Contents of the Introduction
HAVING now given you a sufficient summary of all the assumptions and arguments of the unbelieving critics, and of the so-called ” Modernist School ” of reinterpretes of Divine Revelation, we may begin the study of the prophecies in the book of Daniel with our minds undimmed by a single doubt about its date and genuineness.
We leave that part of the controversy behind us, and we leave to the Higher Critic and the Modernist his right to say, ” I do not believe in Daniel or in his book,” but we cannot refrain from replying to him : ” If you continue to affirm this in order to weaken the faith of others we demand that you must advance new arguments and discover to us somejacts to support your assumption, for every single statement which you have hitherto made has been fairly and squarely met.”
When I say we leave the controversy behind us, we shall ever have before our minds, as we proceed, the momentous conviction that the study of each prophecy affords in itself incontestable proof of the Divine origin of the work. The late Grattan Guinness, who with his talented wife had made a life-long study of Daniel, in the preface to his book entitled Light JOT the Last Days, states what we may fairly accept as an introduction to our own study of the subject :
“The prophecies of Daniel stand pre-eminent amongst all others in their evidential value. It is an astounding fact that not only does his brief book give a fore-view of twenty-five centuries of Jewish and Gentile history, including the first and second advents of Christ, but that it also 8 90 fixes the chronology of various episodes of the then unknown future with a simple certainty which would be audacious if it were not Divine.
“Would any man dare to foretell not only a long succession of events lying far in the remote future, but, in addition, the periods they would occupy? This Daniel has done, and the predictions have come to pass.”
The first chapter in the sacred book gives a narrative of what befell Daniel and his three companions at the Court of Babylon, of their education and training there. The second opens with the wonderful story of the forgotten dream of King Nebuchadnezzar which Daniel reproduces, and interprets with the solemn assurance that the revelation came to him directly from God Himself.
“Thou, O king, sawest and behold a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the aspect thereof was terrible. As for this image his head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them in pieces.