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of life or of knowledge ; and a beast, when called the old serpent, or worshipped.
“When a beast or man is put for a kingdom, his parts or qualities are put for the analogous parts and qualities of the kingdom; as the head of a beast, for the great men who preside and govern; the tail, for the inferior people who follow and are governed ; the heads, if more than one, for the number of capital parts or dynasties, or dominions in the kingdom, whether collateral or successive, with respect to the civil government; the horns on any head, for the number of kingdoms in that head, with respect to military power; seeing, for understanding and the eyes of men of understanding and policy ; . speaking, for making laws; the mouth, for a lawgiver, whether civil or sacred ; the loudness of the voice, for might and power ; the faintness thereof for weakness ; eating and drinking, for acquiring what is signified by the things eaten and drank; the hairs of a beast or man, and the feathers of a bird, for people; the wings, for the number of kingdoms represented by the beast ; the arm of a man, for his power, or for any people wherein his strength and power consist ; his feet, for the lowest of the people, or for the latter end of the kingdom ; the feet, nails, and teeth of beasts of prey, for armies, and squadrons of armies ; the bones, for strength, and for fortified places; the flesh, for riches and possessions; and the days of their acting, for years; and when a tree is put for a kingdom, its branches, leaves, and fruit signify as do the wings, feathers, and food of a bird or beast.
“When a man is taken in a mystical sense, his qualities are often signified by his action, and by the circumstances of things about him. So a ruler is signified by his riding on a beast; a warrior and conqueror, by his having a sword and bow; a potent man, by his gigantic stature; a judge, by weights and measures; a sentence of absolution or condemnation, by a white or a black stone; a new dignity, by a new name; moral or civil qualifications, by garments ; honour and glory, by splendid apparel ; royal dignity, by purple or scarlet, or by a crown; righteousness, by white and clean robes; wickedness, by spotted and filthy garments ; affliction, mourning, and humiliation, by clothing in sackcloth ; dishonour, shame, and want of good works, by nakedness; error and misery, by drinking a cup of his or her wine that causeth it; propagating any religion for gain, by exercising traffic and merchandise with that people whose religion it is; worshipping or serving the false gods of any nation, by committing adultery with their princes, or by worshipping them; a council a kingdom, by its image ; idolatry, by blasphemy; overthrow in war, by a wound of man or beast ; a durable plague of war, by a sore or pain ; the affliction or persecution which a people suffers in labouring to bring forth a new kingdom, by the pain of a woman in labour to bring forth a man child ; the dissolution of a body politic or ecclesiastic, by the death of a man or beast ; and the revival of a dissolved dominion, by the resurrection of the dead."
No. II.–Page 22.
ON THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. BY DR. KEITH.
“ Never, perhaps, in the history of man, were the times more ominous, or pregnant with greater events than the present. The signs of them are in many respects set before the eyes of men, and need not to be told; and they strike the senses so forcibly, and come so closely to the apprehension of all, that they may be said to be felt, as well as to be seen. The face of the sky never indicated more clearly an approaching tempest, than the signs of the times betoken an approaching convulsion-not partial, but universal. It is not a single cloud, surcharged with electricity, on the rending of which a momentary flash might appear, and the thunderbolt shiver a pine, or scathe a few lovely shrubs, that is now rising into view; but the whole atmosphere is lowering, a gathering storm is accumulating fearfully in every region, the lightning is already seen gleaming in the heavens, and passing in quick succession from one distant cloud to another, as if every tree in the forest would be enkindled, and the devastating tempest, before purifying the atmosphere, spread ruin on every side. Such is now the aspect of the political horizon. The whole world is in agitation. All kings on earth, whose words are wont to be laws, are troubled. The calm repose of ages, in which thrones and altars were held sacred, has been broken for a moment. Ancient monarchies, which seemed long to defy dissolution and to mock at time, pass away like a dream. And the question is not now of the death of a king, or even of the ceasing of one dynasty and the commencement of another ; but the whole fabric of government is insecure, the whole frame of society is shaken. Every kingdom, instead of being knit together and dreaded by surrounding states, is divided against itself, as if dissolution were the sure destiny of them all. A citizen king, the choice of the people, and not a military usurper, sits on the throne of the Capets. And, as if the signal had gone throughout the world, quick as lightning, nations, instead of advancing slowly to regeneration, start at once into life. And from the banks of the Don to the Tagus, from the shores of the Bosphorus to Lapland; and, wide Europe being too narrow a field for the spirit of change that now ranges simultaneously throughout the world, from the new states of South America to the hitherto unchangeable China, skirting Africa, and traversing Asia, to the extremity of the globe on the frozen North, there are signs of change in every country under heaven ; and none can tell of what kingdom it may not be told in the news of to-morrow, that a revolution has been begun and perfected in a week. Every kingdom seems but to wait for its day of revolt or revival. And the only wonder now would be, that any nation should continue much longer what for ages it has been ; or that the signs of the times should not everywhere alike be a striking contrast to those of the past."
No. III.- Page 28. THE VINTAGE, &c., JEREMIAH XXV. 15–38.- BY THE REV. J. W. BROOKS.
“Mr. Begg has an interesting exposition of it in his Connected View of the Redeemer's Advent, &c. According to him the prophet declares the relative order of a series of desolating judgments, from before the time of the publication of the prophecy, till the final destruction of Antichrist, under the figure of a wine-cup, which the prophet is directed to present to the nations in succession. He maintains that the order of succession is designed not only from the rotation in which the nations are mentioned, but from the circumstance of the same nations being in some instances made to drink twice, as in the case of Edom, ander its own name in ver. 21, and under the name of Dedan in ver. 23. The names Buz, (or, despised,) and Zimri, (or, my vine, or, my field,) he conceives to be mystic appellations of Israel. The king of Sheshach, who is to drink last, he infers from Jer. LI. 45, to be mystic Babylon, showing that though Jeremiah, in ch. LI., speaks of the literal Babylon in some places, yet that the general terms of the prophecy, both there and in ch. xxv, can only accord with the mystic Babylon.".
“I conceive, however, that Sheshach cannot mean here that Babylon which is represented in the Apocalypse as the harlot, and which is destroyed by the Beast that wages war with her ; but rather that beast who is the destroyer, and who is the last antichristian power destroyed. This appears the more probable from the fact, that after enumeration of the various parties who are to drink of it in succession, the next parties, and the last before Sheshach, are all the nations of the world : which agrees with the intimation given in the prophecies I have just cited from Ezekiel and Joel, of the vengeance that is to be poured out upon all the heathen,' or Gentile nations. And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another ; and all the kingdoms of the world which are upon the face of the earth, and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.'-ver. 26.
. “The passage in Jeremiah Li, 41, quoted by Mr. Begg as explanatory of the King of Sheshach, is as follows : 'How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised I how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!' Mr. Begg seems to consider the last sentence as exegetical of the former, in which opinion I entirely agree with him, and should be satisfied there to leave the matter. It may be useful, however, to the reader, as this name has given occasion to much discussion, to notice the opinions of learned men on the subject, which opinions may be classified under three heads : Jerome gives a cabalistic account of it after the Jewish manner, by substituting other letters of equal numerical value, till out of them he makes Babel; and he is quoted as authority for this signification of the word Sheshach by many subsequent writers, who enter not into his mode of deriving it. The second class includes those who say, as Mr. Scott does, that it evidently means Babylon, though it is not certain on what account it is so called.' This view is not more satisfactory, as to the origin of the term, than that of Jerome. The learned Selden appears to me to have given the true solution, and is followed by Calmet and some others. He says that Sesach was the name of one of the Babylonian deities, in honour of whom there was a feast which lasted five days, called Sacæa, like the Saturnalia among the Romans, after Saturn. The authority he gives for it is a fragment preserved by Athenæus, from Berosus the Chaldean. (See his work, 'De Diis Syris,' ch. xu.) Thus the prophet calls it, in the first instance, by the name of one of its tutelar deities, just as in ch. 1, 11, he calls it by the names of other of its gods. • Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces.' A writer in the
orning Watch, va III, p. 78, to whom I am indebted for the above reference to Selden, thinks that the name Meshach, given to Michael, was after this same deity; which is probable, if we compare Dan 1.7, with Dan iv. 8, by which it plainly appears that Daniel received his new surname after the manner of their god, Bel.
“ After alluding, in ver. 28, to the refusal of some to take the cup, (which can be nonc other than their determination to shut their eyes to the coming judg. ments, and to cry peace when a sword is coming,) the prophecy continues,* For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished ?'
“ The similitude used in ver. 32, of a great whirlwind,' leads me to observe that the reader will frequently find the suddenness, fierceness, and rapidity of thesc judgments couched under this figure of a whirlwind, in the prophets.• He shall take them away as a whirlwind,' &c.
“Multitudes of professors of religion are at this time under a delusion in regard to the nature of those events which are impending over the church of Christ. The generality are agreed that a great crisis is at hand, and likewise that we are on the eve of the Millennium; but the party just alluded to are disposed to think, that the period of prosperity to the church is to arrive without any previous season of tribulation ;--that we are to glide into it, as it were, by the instrumentality of our various institutions for evangelizing the heathen ; by means of which there will be a gradually increasing diffusion of Scriptural light, until the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Is. XI. 9.).”
No. IV.- Page 47.
ON DISOBEDIENCE TO PARENTS, &c.--BY TIIE REV. J. W. BROOKS. “In regard to disobedience to parents, it is a circumstance so commonly noticed by persons at all observant of the moral character of the age, as espe cially belonging to the present times, that it requires no further comment. Even our justice-rooms do not unfrequently witness instances of parents coming to complain of, and to ask protection against, their own children ; whilst those who have anything to do with the education of the poor must well know how defective it is, from the want of a spirit of obedience and subordination to the wishes of their parents. A great declension has been noticed in this respect in the course of the last half century, as compared with the times immediately preceding; but if we compare the present with patriarchal times, and consider the deference shown in those days to parents, the contrast will be more remarkable. Indeed, I fear it would now provoke the laughter of many, were they to be seriously reminded, that the sons and daughters of those days rose up before tlieir parents, and did them homage. Gen. xxxi. 31 ; 1 Kings xi. 19;-- and see also Lev. xix. 32, as regards the deference to elders generally. And though the Romans are described in Rom. I. 30, as being disobedient to parents, yet we have instances mentioned in heathen authors of filial piety and reverence, and of deference to age, which might put to the blush multitudes of the present generation of professing Christians. ... It is daily becoming more a maxim among professors of religion to leave their children to run after pleasures or amusements which they themselves condemn, and to suffer them also to go into any company; excusing themselves under
the notion, that it is wrong to thwart them in such matters, and that restraint may disgust them with religion. But surely this is being wiser than God. He approved Abraham because he commanded his children and his household after him;' (Gen. xvi. 17-19 ;) and when authority is not exercised, it is to be feared either that the welfare of the children's souls is not constantly kept in view, or that the mind is not really persuaded (though it affects to be so) of the evil of the company or pleasures deprecated. Parental authority is a talent for which all are responsible, both as regards its use and abuse; and surely a father or a mother never more legitimately exercises it than in keeping their children from that which they esteem an evil.
“ The next consideration I would affectionately submit to those who are mothers in Israel. They will admit that the head of every family is undoubtedly the man: in which view even the wife, though endowed with authority from him, is required to be subject to him. And women are not only reminded, under the Gospel, of the example of Sarah, 'who obeyed Abraham calling him, lord' (1 Pet. 111. 1–6); but they are required to submit themselves unto their own husbands, as unto the Lord.' (Ep. v. 22.) It has come to pass, however, that the propriety of such submission is, among carnal and worldly women, greatly questioned ; and I have been pained to hear even female professors of religion make a jest of that portion of the marriage service in which obedience is vowed, and treating the notion of the thing itself with anything but seriousness and reverence. Yea, I have known mothers openly inculcate on their daughters, that it would be the mark of a mean spirit in them, should they ever be married, not to contend for the mastery; and an excellent Christian woman once assured me, that she had been counselled by different females to resist marital authority; but never, in any instance, was counselled to submit to it. Now the genius of Christianity is such, that it has necessarily endowed women with a degree of liberty they did not enjoy before; but the two passages which I have quoted evince that it never intended to go to an opposite extreme : nor is it possible that any deviation from the precepts and spirit of the Gospel can take place without a series of evil consequences following. In this instance, I fear much of that spirit of disobedience which exists may be traced to it; for when children and servants perceive that individual in a house, whose duty it is first to show subjection, treat the notion of it, in their own case, with lightness, (to go no further,) must it not insensibly encourage a spirit of insubordination through all the downward gradations in which submission is required ? This is the more important in the wife, seeing that it is her province to train up the children of the family to show proper reverence and respect to the father, and to impress upon them, that he is the individual to whom all must be subject."