8. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned into corruption, and I retained no strength.
8. Et ego relictus fui solus, et vidi visionem magnam hanc, et non fuit residuum in me robur1 atque etiam decor 2 meus eversus fuit super me, in me, ad corruptiones 3 et non retinui vigorem.
This language all tends to the same purpose -- to assure us that Daniel did not write his own comments with rashness, but was truly and clearly taught by the angel on all the points which he committed to writing, and thus all hesitation is removed as to our embracing what we shall afterwards perceive, as he is a faithful interpreter of God. He first states he saw a vision. He had said so before, but he repeats it to produce a due impression; he calls the vision great, to arouse our attention to its importance. He adds, he was deprived of all vigor; as if he had been rendered lifeless by the blast of the Spirit. Thus we gather the object of the exhibition of all these outward signs; they not only bring before us God speaking by the mouth of his angel, but they prepared the Prophet himself, and trained him to reverence. God, however, does not terrify his sons, as if our disquiet was with him an object of delight, but solely because it is profitable for us; for unless our carnal feelings were utterly subdued, we should never be fit to receive improvement. Tiffs necessarily requires violence, on account of our inborn perverseness; and this is the reason why the Prophet was reduced to this state of lifelessness. Even my comeliness, or beauty, or appearance, was turned to corruption; meaning, my deformity was similar to that induced by death. He adds lastly, I did not retain my vigor. He uses a variety of phrases to shew himself depressed by the heavenly blast, for but a slight amount of vitality remained, and he was scarcely preserved from actual death. We ought to learn to transfer this instruction to ourselves, not by the vanishing of our rigor or the changing of our appearance whenever God addresses us, but by all our resistance giving way, and all our pride and loftiness becoming prostrate before God. Finally, our carnal disposition ought to be completely reduced to nothing, as true docility will never be found in us until all our senses are completely mortified; for we must always remember how hostile all our natural thoughts are to the will of God. It afterwards follows; -- but I cannot proceed further to-day; I must delay my comment on the next verses till to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, as thou didst formerly appear to Daniel thy holy servant, and to the other prophets, and by their doctrine didst render thy glory conspicuous to us at this day, that we may reverently approach and behold it. When we have become entirely devoted to thee, may those mysteries which it has pleased thee to offer by means of their hand and labors, receive from us their due estimation. May we be cast down in ourselves and be raised by hope and faith towards heaven; when prostrate before thy face, may we so conduct ourselves in the world, as in the interval to become free from all the depraved desires and passions of our flesh, and dwell mentally in heaven. Then at length may we be withdrawn from this earthly warfare, and arrive at that celestial rest which thou hast prepared for us, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.