« AnteriorContinuar »
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 persecution and tri“ 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 charaeter, and is therefore “ assumed to denote the power and majesty of Christ himself, “ the lion of the tribe of Jadah.” Jones's Works, vol, iii. p. 108.
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 then 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 much certainty as perhaps can be at. tained 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 Bubylon 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, rams, 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 Persia, 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, sayivg, What city is like Tyré, like the destroyed in
the midst of the sea ? so all the merchants and shipmasters of Babylon exclaim, weeping and wailing, What city is like unto this great city? If the king's are sore afraid on account of the overthrow of Tyre; so the kings of the earth, when they see the smoke of Babylon, stand afar off for fear of her torment, saying, Alas, Alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city, for in one hour is thy judgment come! If Tyre is to become a terror, and never to be any more; so Babylon is to be violently thrown down, and to be found no more at all. Lastly, as Ezekiel, by connecting the fall of the antitypical Tyre with the restoration of the Jews, plainly shews us, that he cannot mean the literal Tyre; and yet leaves it uncertain whether we are to understand her commerce literally or mystically: so St. John, while he effectually precludes the possibility of our mistaking the antitypical Babylon for the literal Babylon, chooses this city rather than Tyre, as a type of the power which he is describing, in order to shen us, that no common trade is intended, but some mystic trade for which the power in question was notorious; Babylon never having been, like Tyre, a commercial city, in the literal sense of the words.
Thus we see, that a power, destined to perish at the close of the 1260 years, and consequently at the era of the restoration of the Jews, is represented by St. John under the image of a great trading city; and that a power, likewise destined to perish
at the era of the restoration of the Jews, is represented by Ezekiel under the very same image of å great trading city : whence, I think, it must necessarily follow that the same power is intended by both those prophets. But that Babylon is the spiritual empire of the Papacy *, and that her traffic relates to the sale of relics and indulgences, to the gainful absurdities of purgatory, and to the pompously ridiculous worship of the Romish church, cannot reasonably be doubted : Tyre therefore, and her traffic, must mean the same monstrous superstition, and the same nefarious trade. As if indeed to give us a clear insight into the nature of this trade, both Tyre and Babylon are equally said to deal in the souls of men. · Ezekiel however does not only give us a most ample description of the antitypical Tyre, but likewise à no less ample and particular one of her prince; consequently, if I be right in supposing Tyre to mean the spiritual empire of the Papacy, the prince of Tyre must necessarily mean the Pope.
Do we find then, that the character of the Bishop i of Rome accords with the character of this prince?
The heart of the prince is so lifted up, that he
* The apocalyptic Babylon, or the great city, is the whole papal Roman empire, temporal and spiritual. Hence it is exhibited to us under the compound symbol of a harlot riding upon a sevenheaded and ten-horned beast : the harlot representing the spiritual Babylon, which is the same as the spiritual Tyre hero described by Ezekiel; and the beast, the temporal Babylon.