« PreviousContinue »
think, that the list, which Daniel and St. John give us, of those enemies of God, who are destined to fall at the close of the 1260 years is imperfect; we are obliged to conclude, that the antitypical Tyre, which Ezekiel represents as falling at the every same period or the period of the incipient restoration of Israel, is some one or other of those enemies. But how can the maritime Tyre be a fit type of any of those nations, when they are all (even according to my own interpretation) continental powers, and when their last expedition into Palestine (even according to my own opinion) is to be undertaken by land, because the decided superiority of the great naval state prevents them from undertaking it by sea ? :
To this I answer, that either a nation or a thing may be used as a type of direct opposites, according to the light in which they are viewed by the sacred writer who uses them. Thus the serpent and the lion are at once types of Christ and Satan, of the clean and the unclean : and yet no confusion arises from this circumstance, because the context always sufficiently shews the light in which the writer • views his type. When we are directed to look up to the serpent in the wilderness for salvation, we are in no danger of supposing that the devil is meant; we at once see plainly, that the wisdom of the serpent was the only characteristic in the mind of the Holy Spirit, and therefore that the serpent considered in that point of view was a fit type of
the the divine Wisdom, the eternal Logos. On the other hand, when the tempter appears under the form of a serpent, and when St. John styles the devil that old serpent, we are in as little danger of supposing that Christ is meant; we immediately see, that the bad qualities of the serpent were alone in the contemplation of the writer ; his perverted wisdom or his cunning whereby he deceiveth the whole world, the deadly malignity of his poison, and the subtilty with which he attacks his unsuspecting prey. In a similar manner, when Christ is styled the lion of the tribe of Judah; the courage, the strength, the activity, the generosity, of that animal are solely considered : and, when the devil is described as a roaring and a ramping lion going about in search of whom he may devour: the ferocity of the lion, his rapacity, his mode of lying in wait for his prey, the suddenness with which he springs upon it, the wonderful strength with which he holds it in his gripe, his prowling about in darkness, are as evidently his only properties which engage the attention of the writer *. This being
*" As clean and unclean animals are not realities of good " and evil, but only figures ; nothing hinders, but that, like “ other figures, they should signify differently, when under " some different acceptation : as the same object, according to “ every new direction of the light that falls upon it, will pro“ ject a different shadow.
“ My meaning will be best explained by some examples bor" rowed from the style of the Holy Scripture. Water, as a
the case, Tyre may be used as a type either of a great commercial nation of faithful worshippers, or of a great superstitious empire which drives an iniquitous traffic in indulgences, pardons, relics and such like trumpery ; just as the writer considers the vast commerce of ancient Tyre literally or mystically. In what light he does consider it in any particular instance, we must be taught by the context.
The context then in the present instance teaches us, that Ezekiel, in the description of his antitypical
" medium of purification, is a fit image of the Spirit of regene" rution in baptism, which washes away sin : but, in its capacity “ of overflowing bodies with its waves, it becomes a figure of " affliction, destruction, and even death itself. The same water, " which bore up the ark of Noah in safety, and exhibited a “ pattern of the salvation of the Christian church, destroyed “ the world of the ungodly. The light of the sun is beneficial “ to the whole creation, and is emblematic of that divine light “ of life, which enlightens every man that cometh into the “ world : but the parching heat of its rays is used in the para“ bles of Christ to express the fiery trial of persebution and tria “ bulation for the truth's sake.
" With the same variety of allusion, and without any danger “ of impropriety or confusion in the language of Scripture, " the lion, considered as a hungry and blood-thirsty beast of “ prey, is an image of the devil, who as a roaring lion walketh « about seeking whom he may devour. But, in regard to his strength, (« power, generosity, and the majesty of his countenance, he " is highly expressive of the regal character, and is therefore “ assumed to denote the power and majesty of Christ himself, “ the lion of the tribe of Jedah.” Jones's Works, vol. lii. p. 108. ; VOL. II.
Tyre, does not mean literal, but mystical, commerce: because the antitypical Tyre is some one of God's enemies who perish at the close of the 1260 years, and not one of those enemies holds the rank in the modern commercial world, that Tyre did in the ancient; they all being continental powers, and some state decidedly in opposition to them being the great maritime power of the day, and consequently (if literal commerce be considered) in that point of view being the antitype of Tyre likewise.
But one prophecy, relative to any given period, will always be best explained by other parallel prophecies relative to the same period. Do we find then, that any one of the powers, destined to fall at the close of the 1260 years and at the era of the restoration of the Jews, is elsewhere described under the same imagery that Ezekiel uses to depict the antitypical Tyre? If we do, the union of chronological coincidence and symbolical imagery will afford us as mach certainty as perhaps can be attained in these matters, that the antitypical Tyre is intended for the power thus perishing at the same era and thus similarly described.
Now it is remarkable, that St. John, as if to teach us the right interpretation of this typical prediction of Ezekiel, purposely uses the very same imagery to represent the downfall of the papal Babylon. If Tyre be exhibited as a great trading city in Ezekiel; so is Babylon in the Apocalypse. If the merchandise of Tyre be gold, silver, iron,
, all precious stones, purple, broidered work, fine linen, ivory, ebony, vessels of brass, the chief of all spices, cassia, calamus, honey, oil, balm, wheat, wine, wool, lambs, ramns, goats, horses, mules, precious clothes for chariots, horsemen, and the souls of men; so is the merchandise of Babylon gold, and silver, and precious stones, and pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyme wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. If the wares of Tyre filled many people, and enriched the kings of the earth; so the kings of the earth, those great ones who were the merchants of Babylon, waxed rich through the abundance of her de. licacies. If they of Persià, and of Lud, and of Phut, enrolled themselves in the armies of Tyre, and became her men of war; so the ten Roman horns gave for a season their strength and power to Babylon, and contributed all their force to uphold the empire of the beast. If Tyre proudly sit at the entrance of the sea, and her prince in the midst of the seas; so Babylon is the great whore, that sitteth upon many waters. If all the merchants and mariners of Tyre bewail her fall, saya ing, Whať city is like Tyre, like the destroyed in D 2