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son that, on coins and in sculpture, nations and cities positions, the Psalmist, in predicting Christ's suffering, were symbolically represented by a young woman sitting termed his enemies strong bulls of Bushan, the country on a throne, magnificently attired, and surrounded with most famous for its breed of kine. Psal. xxii. 12. emblems expressive of the qualities by which that nation. Many buils have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan was distinguished. Hence the Jewish prophets, in the have beset me round about. They gaped upon me discourses which they addressed to nations and cities, with their mouths as a ravening and roaring lion. In termed them daughters, and virgin daughters, in allusion like manner the prophet Amos, to mark the stupidity and to the above described symbol. Isa. xxii. 4. • I will brutality of the great men of Samaria who oppressed the weep bitterly,–because of the spoiling of the daughter people, reproved them under the name of Kine of Bashan, of my people.' Zech. ii. 7. • Deliver thyself, o Zion, chap. iv. 1. •Hear this word, ye Kine of Bashan, that that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.' Jer. xiv. are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor,' 17. • Let inine eyes run down with tears night and day, &c. Upon the same foundation the Israelitish nation
- for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a is spoken of as a beast of prey in Balaam's prophecy ; great breach. Jer. xlvi. 11. Go up into Gilead and take and hath the actions of a beast of prey ascribed to it. balm, 0 virgin, the daughter of Egypt. In vain shalt thou Numb. xxiv. 8. 'God brought him forth out of Egypt; use many medicines, for thou shalt not be cured.'
he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. He shall 7. In the ancient picture-writing, it would seem that eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their persons and things were represented by the figures of bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. 9. He the things to which they were metaphorically likened. couched, he lay down as a lion ; and who shall stir him Hence, in speaking of them, they were called by the up?' names of these things. For example, because anciently men were metaphorically likened to trees, (Cant. ii. 3. v. 15.), princes and great men, in the animated language
SECT. III.-Of the allegorical Manner of Writing. of the eastern nations, were called by the name of such When the custom, described in the preceding section, trees as were remarkable for their magnitude and beauty; of substituting the symbol, the levice, and the metaphor, and had the properties of these trees ascribed to them. for the thing signified thereby, look place, and the thing Thus the great men of Judah were called by Senna. signified obtained the name of the thing by which it was cherib the tall cedars of Babylon, and the common people signified, it was natural to describe the condition, the the choice fir trees thereof. Isa. xxxvii. 24. * By the qualities, and the actions of the thing signified, by the inultitude of my chariots am I come up to the sides of condition, the qualities, and the actions of its symbul. Lebanon, and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, Hence arose that species of composition which is called and the choice fir trees thereof.' Zech. xi. 1. Open thy allegory, because therein one thing was expressed, and doors, 0 Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. another entirely different from it was meant; and which, Howl, fir trees, for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty for reasons to be mentioned immediately, was of great are spoiled! Howl, 0 ye vaks of Bashan.' See also fame and use anciently among the eastern nations. In Isa. ii. 13–16. In like manner, Jeremiah calls the whole mentioning metaphors as the foundation of allegories, I people of a country a forest, chap. xxi. 14. “I will kindle am authorized by Quinctilian, who thus writes, lib. viii. c. a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things 6. “ Ut modicus atque opportunus translationis usus illusround about it.' The same prophet, speaking to Judah, trat orationem, ita frequens et obscurat et tædio complet : saith, chap. xi. 16. • The Lord called thy name a green Continuus vero in allegoriam et ænigmata transit." olive tree, fair and of goodly fruit. Hence Messiah is The Egyptians, who are supposed to have invented foretold under the idea of a branch of a tree. Jer. xxiii. picture-writing, are thought also to have invented the 5. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will allegorical method of communicating their sentiments. raise unto David a righteous branch.' Zech. vi. 12. But by whomsoever invented, it came early into general • Behold the man whose name is the branch,' and he shall use, and was greatly delighted in by the orientals, for the grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple following reasons :- 1. A well-formed allegory, by its of the Lord.' Suitably to the same idea, the place out striking images and vivid colouring, never failed, when of which this branch was to grow is thus described, understood, to make a strong impression on those to Isa. xi. 1. There shall come forth a rod out of the stem whom it was addressed. 2. Being a narration of things of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his root, and the which are objects of sense, and between which there is Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.'
a natural or supposed connexion, it was easily remem8. Anciently princes were metaphorically called shep- bered, and could be translated from one language into herds, and their subjects sheep, because the care which another with the greatest precision. 3. Professing to they took of their people resembled the care which shep- contain an important hidden meaning, those to whom it herds take of their flocks. 2 Sam. xxiv. 17. “I have was proposed were led by curiosity to search out that sinned, I have done wickedly ; but these sheep, what meaning. 4. The discovery of the meaning of an allehave they done ?' Homer likewise often calls his princes gory, as an exercise of one's mental powers, afforded great shepherds of the people. Among the Jews the priests also pleasure to the discoverer, especially if it contained a were called shepherds, because it was a part of their moral lesson useful for regulating life and manners : For office to teach the people the law. Ezek. xxxiv. 2. • Wo a person, by the discovery, being led to instruct himself, to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves; should he was spared the pain of having instruction forced upon not the shepherds feed the flock ?'—This phraseology him. 5. Allegory being a kind of speech which none passed from the Jewish into the Christian church. For but the learned understood, it was an excellent vehicle Christ is called the chief shepherd, and the ministers of for conveying to them the knowledge of such matters as the gospel are considered as subordinate shepherds em were thought improper for the common people to know. ployed by him to take care of the people. 1 Pet. v. 2. — These reasons led the priests, with whom the whole • Feed the rock of God;' ver. 4. · And when the chief learning of Egypt was lodged, to teach their religion, shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive the crown of glory their laws, and their politics, under the veil of allegory, which fadeth not away.
both to their own country men and to those strangers who 9. Because it is usual, in all languages, metaphorically came to be instructed in the wisdom of Egypt. And to ascribe to men the qualities of beasts, and to call them such well-informed strangers, on their return to their by the name of such beasts as they resemble in their dis- own country, in imitation of their teachers, communicat
ed the knowledge which they had acquired in Egypt to bol; secondly, The remote sense, concealed under the their disciples in allegories: by which means allegory literal sense, or under the visible symbol. Wherefore, came in a little time to be the most approved method of in every allegory, the first or literal sense is itself the instruction all over the east.
sign of the second or hidden meaning, called the figuraAllegories being in great repute when the Jewish tive sense of the allegory. And this figurative sense prophets were commissioned to instruct the people, and should be as distinctly represented by the literal sense of to foretell future events, it need not surprise us to find the allegory, as the literal sense is exhibited, whether by them delivering most of their prophecies in allegories; the verbal description, or by the visible symbol. Proespecially when we consider, that at the time these were perly speaking, therefore, the first or literal sense condelivered, it was proper to conceal the events foretold stitutes the body of the allegory, and the second or figuraunder the veil of allegory, that they might not be under- tive sense, its soul. In compositions of this kind, if stood till they were explained by their accomplishment.— rightly formed, the literal sense ought to be perfectly But, notwithstanding the ancient Egyptian allegory was plain, and the only exercise of one's ingenuity ought to attended with the advantages above-mentioned, its ex- lie, not in understanding the literal sense, but in finding treme darkness occasioned it to be laid aside after the out its concealed meaning. gift of prophecy ceased. A new species, however, hath Some of the ancient fables and parables exhibited been substituted in its room, better fitted to convey in- such striking representations and reproofs of the comstruction, because it is formed on symbols more obvious mon follies of mankind, that by their frequent applicathan those used in the ancient allegory. Of this new tion they became proverbs.
In allusion to this use of species the writings of the moderns furnish many beauti the parable, Habakkuk saith, chap. ii. 6. 'Shall not all ful examples, none of which need be mentioned here, in these take up a parable against him, and a proverb against regard they are generally known.
him ?' and, Micah ii. 4. • In that day shall one take up Of the ancient allegory there were four kinds :--1. The a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamenproper allegory; 2. The apologue, or fable ; 3. The tation.' parable ; 4. The enigma.
The proper Allegory was a discourse, in which the In the beginning of this section, the proper allegory condition, the qualities, and the actions of a person, or was said to be that in which persons and things, tothing, were represented by the condition, the qualities, gether with the accidents befalling them, are set forth by and the actions of the symbol, device, or metaphor, hy the name of the symbol used in picture-writing to rewhich it was represented in picture-writing. It was present them: and by such accidents as may naturally therefore a representation of real matters of fact under be supposed to befall that symbol. According to this feigned names and feigned characters.
account of the proper allegory, the symbols of which it The Apologule or Fable was a narration of speeches was composed, together with the accidents befalling and actions attributed sometimes to men, sometimes to these symbols, might be set forth in a verbal descripbrute animals, and sometimes to things inanimate, ac tion addressed to the ear, or by presenting the symbol cording to their natural or supposed qualities. But either to the eye of a person awake or to his imaginathese speeches and actions had no existence, except in tion while asleep. Hence of the proper allegory there the imagination of the author of the fable, who contrived were three kinds, of which it is proposed to treat sepa. them in the manner he judged fittest for conveying the rately. moral he had in view to inculcate. Of this kind was Jotham's fable of the trees going forth to anoint a king, Judges ix. 8; and Joash's fable of the thistle, which
A.-Of the Proper Allegory, as set forth in a Verbal desired the cedar to give his daughter as a wise to his
Description. son, 2 Chron. xxv. 18.
When the allegory set forth in a verbal description The Parable or Similitude was a discourse in which was intended to convey immediate information to the one thing was compared with another which had a re persons to whom it was addressed, it was commonly semblance to it; so that the thing compared was more formed on a symbol which was well known to belong to clearly understood by means of the qualities of the thing the persons or things which were the subjects of the alto which it was compared, and made a strong impression legory; and the circumstances and qualities of the symon the minds of the hearers. Of this kind were many bol, together with the accidents befalling it, were such of our Lord's parables. But although the apologue and as naturally suggested the designed information. Of parable were thus distinguished, we find them sometimes this species of allegory we have an example, Ezek. confounded with each other.
xxxii., where, because the dragon or crocodile was one Lastly, the Enigma or Riddle was a mysterious as of the well-known symbols by which Egypt was represemblage of different symbols, set forth either in a verbal sented in the ancient picture-writings, (Sect. 2. No. 2.), discourse, or by presenting the symbols themselves to the the pride of the kings of Egypt, and the mischiefs eye. Either way exhibited, the meaning of the assem which their insolence brought on the neighbouring nablage was so dark, that it required the greatest ingenuity tions, are allegorically represented by the actions of a to discover it. Of the verbal enigma, Samson's riddle dragon or crocodile ; and the destruction of the king. is an example. Of the symbolical enigma, Herodotus dom of Egypt is represented by the taking and killing hath recorded a remarkable instance, Hist. lib. iv. 128. of a dragon, and by the bringing it to land, and filling 130. where he tells us, that when Darius Hystaspes in all the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the whole earth vaded Scythia, the Scythian king sent him a present of with its flesh. Ver. 2. .Son of man, take up a lamenta. a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows. This Gobyras, tion for Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and say to him, one of Darius's generals, considering as an enigma, in- Thou art as a dragon in the seas, and thou camest forth terpreted in the following manner:—That unless the with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, Persians could fly through the air like birds, or hide and fouledst their rivers. Thus saith the Lord God, themselves in the earth like mice, or swim through the I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a comlakes like frogs, they should not return to their own pany of many people, and they shall bring thee up in country, but be slain by the arrows of the Scythians. my net. Then will I leave thee upon the land.- And
All allegories have two senses ; First, The literal sense will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upun exhibited in the verbal description, or in the visible sym- thee,' &c.
Because nations and cities anciently were represented In allusion to the same symbol, Isaiah foretold the on coins, and on sculptured stone, by the image of a restoration of Tyre to her former wealth, and pride, and young woman splendidly attired and seated on a throne, wickedness under the image of an harlot's resuming her (Sect. 2. No. 6.), the prophet Isaiah hath formed an al- former manners. Isa. xxiii. 15. ^ After the end of seventy legorical prediction on that emblem, in which he hath years shall Tyre sing as an hariot. 16. Take an barp, described the judgment and punishment of the Chal go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten ; deans for oppressing the Jews by the pulling down of a make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest tender and delicate virgin from her throne, and stripping be remembered. 17. The Lord will visit Tyre, and she her of her ornaments, and making her a slave, and forcing shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with her to perform the offices of a slave, and treating her all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the with the utmost indignity. Isa. xlvii. · Corne down and earth.' sit in the dust, ( virgin daughter of Babylon. There is In the ancient picture-writing, (Sect. 2. No. 4.), the no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt sun, moon, and stars, being used as symbols to denote no more be called tender and delicate. 2. Take the cities and kingdoms as well as princes and great men, millstones and grind meal; uncover the locks; make the temporary disasters of cities and kingdoms, in allubare the leg; uncover the thigh ; pass over the rivers. sion to these symbols, are in the prophetic writings re3. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea thy shame presented by the extinction of the sun and moon; and shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will not the destruction of the cities and states, by the falling of the meet thee as a man. As for our Redeem the Lord of stars from heaven. Thus Isaiah, foretelling the destrucHosts is his name. 5. Sit thou silent, and get thee into tion of Babylon by the Medes, saith, chap. xii. 10. • The darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans, for thou shalt no stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not more be called the lady of kingdoms. 8. Therefore hear give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going now this, thou that are given to pleasures, that dwellest forth, and the moun shall not cause her light to shine. carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I ain, and none else Chap. xxxiv. 4. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and know the loss of children,' &c.
all their hosts shall fall down as the leaf falleth off from Upon the same symbol Ezekiel, to make the Israelites the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.'-In like sensible of their sin in forsaking the true God and wor manner, the destruction of Egypt is thus allegorically shipping idols, hath formed an allegory, in which he re- described, Ezek. xxxii. 7.. When I shall put thee out, I presents God's choosing the Israelites to be his people, will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I and his giving them his statutes, under the idea of his will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not taking up a female infant, which, when born, had been give her light. 8. All the bright liglits of heaven will I exposed naked and helpless; his nourishing it till it grew make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, up; his making her his own by marriage, after her breasts saith the Lord.'— Joel also, upon the same symbols, hath were fashioned, and her hair was grown, Ezek. xvi. 4–8.; formed an allegorical prophecy concerning the overturnand then clothing her with fine raiment, and adorning ing of the Jewish state, and the destruction of the heathen her with costly jewels, so that the fame of her beauty idolatry. Chap. ii. 30. ‘I will shew wonders in the heawent forth among the heathen, ver. 9-14. But this be vens, and in the earth blood, and fire, and pillars of loved married wife, forgetting her obligations and vows, smoke. 31. The sun shall be turned into darkness and played the harlot, by making images of men, which she the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day worshipped with the flour, and the oil, and the honey of the Lord come. 31. And it shall come to pass, that wherewith her husband fed her, ver. 17. 19., and by whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be desacrificing the sons and the daughters which she had livered.”—These grand events our Lord hath foretold in brought forth to him, ver. 20.—This adultery she com the same allegorical language, Matt. xxiv. 20. mitted with the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Chal On the other hand, national prosperity is allegorically deans, ver. 26. 28.-Wherefore, in the same figurative represented by an increase of the light of the heavenly language, God thus addressed the Israelites :-Ver. 35. bodies : Isa. xxx. 26. . Moreover, the light of the moon O harlot, hear the word of the Lord. 38. I will judge shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun thee as women that break wedlock and shed blood are shall be seven-fold, as the light of seven days, in the day judged ; and I will give thee blood and fury in jealousy. that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and 39. They shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall healeth the stroke of their wound.' take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. 40. In picture-writing, tribes and nations being representThey shall also bring up a company against thee, and ed by the figures of the things which they carried in their they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through ensigns, (Sect
. 2. No. 5.), various allegorical prophecies with their sword.'
were formed on these symbols. Thus, because the AsOn the other hand, in allusion to the same symbol, the syrians, it is supposed, had the river Euphrates painted prosperity of a city or nation, after great affliction, is re on their standards, Isaiah foretells their invasion of Judea presented by a woman's cleansing herself from filth, and by an allegory formed on that symbol. Isa, viii. 7. • Beadorning herself with beautiful garments. Isa. lii. 1. hold the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the Awake, awake, put on thy strength, o Zion, put on river strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all thy beautiful garments, 0 Jerusalem, the holy city. 2. his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O and go over all his banks. 8. And he shall pass through Jerusalem, loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, 0 Judah, he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even captive daughter of Zion.'-In like manner, a nation ex to the neck.' pressing its joy for being delivered from oppression, is Sect. 2. No. 2. In picture-writing, a crocodile being represented by a woman's singing and shouting. Zeph. one of the symbols by which Egypt was denoted, Ezekiel iii. 14. 'Sing, o daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel ; be upon that symbol hath formed the following beautiful glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jeru. allegorical prophecy, chap. xxix. 2. 'Son of man, set thy salem, 15, The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against he hath cast out thine enemy; the king of Israel, even him, and against all Egypt. 3. Speak and say, Thus the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil saith the Lord God, Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh any more.'
king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst
• As for you,
of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and quire my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease I have made it for myself. 4. But I will put hooks in from seeding the fock. For I will deliver my flock from thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. The unto thy scales. 5. And I will leave thee thrown into people, thus neglected and spoiled by their rulers, God the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers : thou comforted in the same allegorical language, ver. 12. •I shalt fall upon the open fields, thou shalt not be brought will seek out my sheep, and I will deliver them out of all together nor gathered : I have given thee for meat to the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and beasts of the field, and to the fowls of heaven,' &c. to dark day : Ver. 14. I will feed them in a good pasture, ver. 17,
and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold Secr. 2. No. 7. In the ancient picture writing, men be; there shall they lie in a good field. In the mean being represented by the figures of the things to which time, to prevent the wicked among the Israelites from they were metaphorically likened, the Jewish prophets fancying themselves the objects of his love, God reproved have raised many allegories on that foundation. Thus, them in the same pastoral dialect ; ver. 17. because princes and great men were likened to trees, the O my flock, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I judge power of the Assyrian kings, and the greatness of their between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the heempire, are represented by Ezekiel in an allegory formed goats. 18. Seemeth it a small thing to you to have eaten on the qualities and circumstances of a tall cedar tree with up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your fair branches, among which all the fowls of heaven made feet the residue of your pastures ? And to have drunk of their nests; and under which all the beasts of the field the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your brought forth their young; and under its shadow dwelt feet? 19. But as for my flock, they eat that which ye all great nations, Ezek. xxxi. 3-9. Moreover, the de- have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which struction of the Assyrian empire is in the same allegory ye have fouled. 21. Because ye have thrust with side represented by the breaking of the boughs and the falling and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your of the branches of this cedar, and by the departing of the horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; 22. Therefore people of the earth from its shadow, ver. 10-14.
will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey, In like manner, nations being metaphorically compared and I will judge between cattle and cattle. 23. And I will to a forest, their desolation and destruction are repre set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, sented by the burning of a forest; as in the following even my servant David, a prince among them,' &c. On allegory, Ezek. xx. 46. “Son of man, set thy face to this allegory our Lord seems to have formed his parable wards the south, and prophesy against the forest of the of the sheep and the goats, in which he hath described the south field; 47. And say to the forest of the south, Hear general judginent, Matt. xxv, the word of the S.ord, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree : the flaming flame shall
B. Of the proper Allegory, as set forth in a Dream
or in a Vision. not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt therein. 48. And all flesh shall see that Having treated of verbal allegories, it remains to treat I the Lord have kindled it: It shall not be quenched. of those allegories which were set forth in symbols ac49. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! they say of me, Doth tually presented to the imagination of the prophet in a he not speak parables ?'-On this allegory our Lord's dream while asleep, or in a vision while awake. These expression, Luke xxiii. 31. • If they do these things in a allegorical dreams and visions, the persons who were sagreen tree, what shall be done in the dry ? seems to have voured with them communicated to their contemporaries been founded.
by word of mouth, and sometimes committed them to In allusion to the symbolical meaning of trees in pic- writing, for the instruction of posterity. In these, as in ture-writing, the introduction of the Israelites into Ca- other allegories, the persons or nations who were the subnaan, and their becoming a great nation in that land, are jects of them were designed, sometimes by their known represented under the allegory of a vine brought from symbols, whose figure was presented to the imagination Egypt and planted in Canaan, which took deep root and of the person who dreamed or who saw the vision, and filled the land : Psal. Ixxx. 10. "The hills were covered sometimes by arbitrary symbols, whose character, however, with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the and attending circumstances, were so formed as to lead to goodly cedars. 11. She sent out her boughs from the sea, their meaning. (the Mediterranean Sea), and her branches to the river, Of allegorical dreams formed on symbols which were (Euphrates). Why hast thou then broken down her generally known, that of Pharaoh, Gen. xli. 17. is a sig. hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck nal example. For, one of the symbols by which Egypt her ? The boar out of the wood doth waste it,' &c. was designed being an heifer, the seven years of great
Sect. 2. No. 7. b. Because in ancient times kings, and plenty which were to be in Egypt, were represented in magistrates, and priests, were metaphorically called shep aoh's dream by seven very fat and well-favoured kine, herds, on account of their care in governing, defending, which came up out of the Nile, and fed in an adjoining and instructing their people, the prophet Ezekiel hath, meadow; and the seven years of famine which were to upon this metaphor, formed a beautiful allegorical dis- succeed the years of plenty, by seven other kine, lean and course, in which he severely reproved the Jewish princes, ill-favoured, which also came up out of the river after the magistrates, and priests, for their negligence in the exe former; and the greatness of the famine, by the lean kine cution of their offices; for their enriching themselves and eating up the fat kine, and remaining as lean and illliving luxuriously at the expense of their people ; and favoured as at the beginning.–Nebuchadnezzar's dream, for their being at no pains to promote their happiness. Dan. iv. is another example of an allegorical representaEzek. xxxiv, 2. • Thus saith the Lord God unto the tion formed on a well-known symbol. For, princes and shepherds, Wo be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed great men being represented in picture-writing by trees, themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks ? the greatness of Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, and the 3. Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill benefits which the nations over which he reigned derived them that are fed; but ye feed not the flock ?' For this from the power of his kingdom, were represented by a unfaithfulness God threatened to punish the Israelitish tree which in his dream he saw growing in the midst of princes and priests severely; ver. 10. Thus saith the the earth, whose height reached to heaven, whose leaves Lord, Behold I am against the shepherds, and I will re were fair, and its fruit was much, affording meat for all.
The beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls appearance, it may perhaps be conjectured, that the vision of the air dwelt in the boughs thereof.' - In the same was an enigmatical representation of the attributes of the dream, the punishment which God was to inflict on that Deity exerted in the government of the world ; and that proud prince for his impiety and other sins, was allegori- that representation was formed by the union of a number cally represented by the hewing down of that great tree, of symbols, whose meaning those who understood the the cutting off of its branches, the driving away of the ancient picture-writing knew, but which we, whose knowbeasts from under it, and of the fowls from its branches. ledge of that sort of writing is extremely imperfect, cannot On this symbol our Lord formed his parable of the grain pretend to explain. of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field, It remains to observe, that in foretelling future events, whereby he allegorically represented the wide spreading especially those which were of an extensive nature, and of the kingdom of heaven, or gospel dispensation, and its at a great distance in point of time, the Spirit of God beneficial influence on the happiness of mankind : Matt. thought proper to make use of allegorical dreams and xiii. 32. • Which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when visions, rather than of plain verbal descriptions, for the it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh following reasons :-1. These dreams and visions, whea tree ; so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the ther formed on known or on arbitrary symbols, were nabranches thereof.'
turally so dark, even when accompanied with an interOf the allegorical dream formed on an arbitrary sym- pretation, as not to be distinctly understood till they bol, we have an example in the great and terrible image were explained by their fulfilment. This darkness 1 which stood before Nebuchadnezzar in his dream, re think was necessary to prevent unbelievers from pretendcorded Dan. ii. 31. and which, by the different materials ing that the prophecy, by exciting persons to do the of which it was composed, represented the four great things foretold, occasioned its own accomplishment.empires which were to rule the nations of the earth in 2. The images of which these allegorical dreams and succession.
visions were composed, being all objects of sight, they The head of this image, which was of fine gold, signi- made a much more lively and forcible impression on the fied the Babylonian empire; its breast and its arms minds of the prophets, than it was possible to do by of silver, signified the Medo-Persian empire; its belly words ; consequently, they could be more distinctly reand its thighs of brass, the Grecian empire ; and its legs membered, and more accurately related to others, than if of iron, and its feet part of iron and part of clay, the the qualities and actions of the persons represented by Roman empire in its different states. And whereas this the symbols in the dream or vision, had been expressed great image was broken in pieces by a stone, which was in a verbal description.-3. The facility with which the cut out of a mountain without hands, and which after representations in an allegorical dream or vision could wards became itself a great mountain and filled the whole be remembered, and the precision with which they could earth, that accident signified the utter destruction of be related in all their circumstances, rendered the transthese idolatrous kingdoms, to make way for a kingdom mission of them to posterity as inatters of fact easy. which the God of heaven was to set up, and which was And although the meaning of these dreams and visions never to be destroyed. The order in which these four was not understood by those to whom they were related, empires were to arise, and the peculiar qualities by which yet being of such a nature as to make a strong impresthey were to be distinguished, were shewed to Daniel sion on all to whom they were related, when they came himself, chap. vii. 2. in an allegorical vision, formed on to be explained by their accomplishment, the inspiration the arbitrary symbols of four beasts which arose out of the of the prophet who had the dream or vision was rendered great sea, after it was violently agitated by storms, and undeniable, and the sovereignty of God in the governwhose forms and qualities were different from any beasts ment of the world was raised beyond all possibility of known to exist. See an interpretation of that vision in doubt. my Truth of the Gospel History, p. 219.
The living creatures which Ezekiel saw in his vision, Sect. IV.-Of the Method of conveying Instruction chap. i. were still more monstrous, and unlike any thing
by significant Actions. in nature, than the beasts in Daniel's vision. Each of them had four faces, namely, the face of a man, of a lion, To render speech forcible and affecting, mankind, in of an ox, and of an cagle. Their feet were straight with all ages and countries, have been in use to accompany soles, like those of calves' feet. They had the hands of a their words with such gestures and actions as indicated man under their wings, and their appearance was that of the sentiments and feelings of their mind. This was burning coals of fire from which went flashes of light- the custom more especially in the first ages of the world, ning. They were accompanied with wheels of the colour when the primitive languages were not sufficiently coof beryl. Each wheel had a wheel within it, and their pious, and men's passions were under little restraint. rings were so high that they were dreadful, and had eyes Hence the eastern nations, whose imaginations were round about; and when the living creatures went, the warm, and whose tempers were lively, early delighted in wheels went; for the spirit of the living creatures was in this method of communicating their sentiments and feel. the wheels. The likeness of the firmament, which was ings; and even after their language became so copious stretched over the heads of the living creatures, was as as not to need that extrinsic aid, they still continued to the colour of chrystal. And above the firmament was express their sentiments in the same way. Nay, all the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire savage nations at this day express their strongest feelings stone; and upon the throne, the likeness of the appear- by accompanying their words with significant actions, ance of a man above upon it. His loins downward had which shews that the custom is founded in nature.the appearance of fire, like the bow that is in the cloud in The scriptures furnish many instances of this custom. the day of rain.
For example, to render promissory oaths more solemn This allegorical vision not being accompanied with an and binding, the person who sware the oath put his interpretation, its meaning cannot be determined with hand under the thigh of him to whom he sware : Gen. any certainty. Only, as the prophet in the conclusion xxiv. 2. Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his of his account of it says, ver. 18. This was the appear. house —Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh : ance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord;' and in- 3. And I will make thee swear by the Lord the God of sinuates, that the things spoken to him, which are men- heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou will not take tioned in the following chapters, proceeded from this a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites.'