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Lecture Thirty-Ninth

I have written a short preface to this vision, which is here described for us in this eighth chapter, to enable you to comprehend its contents, and to perceive the object for which it was offered to the Prophet. As to the time, we must remember that the Prophet was informed of the victory of Cyrus and Darius while the Babylonian monarchy was still standing., and flourishing. Although Cyrus had already made great progress, and begun to lay waste the Chaldean territories, yet Belshazzar, as we have already seen, was carelessly enjoying his festivities. No one ever thought Cyrus would become the conqueror of so great a monarchy, for Belshazzar would not collect a great army to defend the boundaries of his kingdom. He thought he should repel all the endeavors of Cyrus as easily as possible; and the greater his violence the more King Belshazzar hoped to overthrow him. Now God wished to show his servant these future events. First of all, the immediate change is revealed; and next the calamity to follow ultimately is made known — -the calamity, I mean, of the Church under King Antiochus and his successors. The Prophet therefore says: —

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