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light of a mere poetical description of a golden age. In the shadowy dispensation of the Mosaical law, a distinction was made between clean and unclean meats. Of the one the Jews were permitted to eat from the other they were required to abstain. Now it will be found upon examination, that the animals, whose flesh they were forbidden to taste, were usually typical of some vices practised by the idolatrous; and, pursuant to the type, they carefully withdrew from the fellowship and company of the antitype, the heathen nations. Thus, not to notice other prohibited animals, lions, wolves, bears, and leopards, were fit emblems of rapacity, cruelty, and persecution. Hence their flesh was forbidden in the Mosaical law; and hence Daniel uses some of them to symbolize the persecuting and idolatrous empires of the Gentiles*. On the other hand, the kinds of food, which the Jews were allowed to eat, were generally the flesh of certain animals emblematical of some virtue; as the ox, of patience and industry; the sheep, of meekness and innocence. Consequently, as wild and ravenous beasts were typical of the Gentiles, so tame and domestic animals were considered as proper symbols of the Church of God, at that time confined to the Jews. Nor is this the mere fancy of a visionary commentator: we have the express warrant of inspired authority for adopting such an opinion. When God was about to send St. Peter to the devout Roman centurion Cornelius, foreseeing his scruples, he condescended to remove them by a vision, manifestly explana
the Hebrew bard; Nonnus, and Pope. The Messiah of the latter is well known; the classical reader will find the passage of the former, to which I allude, in the 41st book of his Dionysiacs. The following is a translation of it:
The tawny lion for a while forgot
His nature, and with wanton gambols play'd
* See Dan. vii.
For the reasons of the seeming exception in Dan. viii, where two clean animals, the ram and the goat, are used to symbolize the Persian and Macedonian empires. See Bp. Newton's Dissert. xv.
tory of this very prophecy of Isaiah. The Apostle beheld a great sheet descending from heaven full of all manner of animals, both wild beasts and tame beasts, both reptiles and birds: and, while he was thus looking upon objects which must have been an abomination to a pious Jew, he suddenly heard a voice commanding him to kill and eat. To this command he objected, on the plea that he had never eaten any thing forbidden by the law, and therefore accounted profane and unclean: but he was charged in return not to presume to call that unclean, which God had cleansed. Now in this vision of St. Peter, no mention whatsoever is made either of the Jews or of the Gentiles, except under their types, the clean and unclean animals and yet he found no difficulty in understanding its meaning. He conceived it to import, as it undoubtedly does import, that henceforth the Jews and the Gentiles were to form only one Church: and accordingly baptized Cornelius without any further hesitation. Precisely the same is the meaning of this prophecy of Isaiah. It began to be fulfilled in the day of the first advent, when the converted Gentiles were added to the Apostles and to such other of the Jews as had embraced Chistianity. But this is only its inchoate and imperfect accomplishment: nor will it be altogether fulfilled, till the Gentiles shall have ceased to destroy throughout the whole of God's holy mountain, till both Judah and Israel shall be restored and converted, and till the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea *.
Accordingly the prophet goes on to inform us, that in that day the root of Jesse shall be an ensign unto the peo
The reader will find this point very fully and excellently discussed in the third lecture on the figurative language of the Holy Scriptures by the late Rev. W. Jones. It is worthy of notice, that the Law itself, no less than the Gospel, teaches us that the distinction between clean and unclean meats was allusive to the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles. "Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nations which I cast out before you-I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people; ye shall therefore put a difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean -and ye shall be holy unto me; for I, the Lord, am holy, and have severed you from other people that ye should be mine." (Levit. xx. 23.) Mr. Jones justly remarks, that "this passage puts the moral intention of the distinction. of meats out of dispute, and is indeed a direct affirmation of it: the people of God were to avoid unclean meats, as a sign that he had separated them from unclean, Gentiles to be holy unto himself.'
ples, that the nations shall repair unto him, and that his resting-place shall be glorious. Whether by this ensign we are to understand the manifestation of the Shechinah immediately before the destruction of Antichrist, to which distant nations will humbly repair, bringing along with them the dispersion of Israel; or the metaphorical unfurling of the banner of the cross, may perhaps admit of a doubt. The last idea however, namely that of a general diffusion of Christianity, is necessarily involved in the former. To this ensign both Jews and Gentiles will ultimately seek for the whole Israel of God, Ephraim as well as Judah, will be converted and restored; and the whole Gentile world, after the overthrow of the Antichristian faction, will embrace the profession of pure and vital religion*. In order as it were, that we may not mistake the restoration here predicted for the restoration from the literal Babylon, Isaiah carefully teaches us, that the Lord shall put forth his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his peoplet; and that, not merely from Assyria and other eastern regions, but likewise from the isles of the west, or the maritime regions of Europe. He moreover teaches us that Ephraim and Judah shall both be restored; that their former enmity shall be done away; and that henceforth they shall jointly form only one naAnd he adds certain circumstances peculiar to the final restoration of Israel. Edom, Moab, and Ammon, which had escaped out of the hand of Antichrist, are to become subject, both temporally and spiritually, I appre
* "When the ten tribes made a separation from Judah, Ephraim was looked upon as the principal tribe of that separation, and is often put for Israel, as that was a distinct kingdom from Judah. Thus the word is taken here; and the verse imports, that the quarrels and dissentions which used to be between those two rival kingdoms shall be quite at an end, and they shall both be governed by one king, the Messiah. We may further observe, that in most of the prophecies, when the general restoration of the Jews is foretold, Israel and Judah are joined together, as equally sharers in the blessing." Lowth's Comment. on Isaiah xi. 13.
"I take this part of the chapter," says Mr. Lowth very justly, "from the tenth verse onward, to foretell those glorious times of the Church which shall be ushered in by the restoration of the Jewish nation; when they shall embrace the Gospel, and be restored to their own country from the several dispersions where they are scattered. This remarkable scene of Providence is plainly foretold by most of the prophets of the Old Testament, and by St. Paul in the New." Comment. on Isaiah xi. 11.
Dan. xi. 41.
hend, to the house of Jacob *: the tongue of the Egyptian sea, or the widely overflowing Nile, is to be dried upt: and the river of Assyria, or the great river Euphrates, is to be smitten into seven streams, so that the ancient people of the Lord may pass over it dry-shod. In the symbolical language of prophecy, rivers denote bodies politic: whence the drying up of rivers signifies the overthrow of those bodies politic which they typify. Accordingly, in the parallel passage of Zechariah, this exhaustion of the mystical Nile and Euphrates is so explained ‡. We are taught, that these two political rivers are to be dried up, in order that there may be a highway for the remnant of Israel out of the land of Assyria: but, whether they will be dried up precisely at the same time, does not appear either from Isaiah or Zechariah. We may gather however from other prophecies which treat of the same subject, that the exhaustion of the Euphrates will precede the exhaustion of the Nile: though, how great an interval there will be between the two events, is no where definitely said. St. John informs us, that the Euphrates will be dried up under the sixth vial, that a way may be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun and he places the expedition and destruction of Antichrist subsequent to it, under the seventh vial, yet without making any mention of Egypt or the Nile. Daniel, on the other
* It is possible however that these nations ought to be understood mystically, as typifying the various members of the Antichristian confederacy. Such an interpretation of the passage is preferred by Mr. Lowth; and it accords no doubt with various prophecies that foretell the restoration of the Jews. "These people," says he, "were all borderers upon Palestine, and took all occasions to shew their spite and ill will against the Jews. Upon which account, in the prophetical dialect, they are often used in a general sense for the enemies of God's truth and people. The meaning therefore of the place is, that God's people should have a complete victory over their enemies, whether they be the associates of Antichrist, or of whatsoever other denomination." Comment. on Isaiah xi. 14.
†Both here, and in a succeeding prophecy (Isaiah xix. 5.), the Egyptian sea appears to mean the Nile, whether literal or symbolical, which, at the period of its overflowing, covers the country like a sea. (See Mr. Lowth in Loc.) This language is probably borrowed from the phraseology of the Egyptians themselves, who were wont, as we are informed by Diodorus Siculus, to style their river the Ocean. ‘Οι γαρ Αίγυπτιοι νομίζεσιν Ωκεανον είναι τον Tug' avlois rolaμov Neshov. (Bibl. Hist. L. 1. p. 12.) It is observable however, that Jeremiah in a similar manner calls the Euphrates the sea, when predicting the future state of Babylon in consequence of the manner in which it was taken by Cyrus. Compare Jerem. li. 42. with Bp. Newton's Dissert. x. vol. 1. p. 298, 309.
Zechar. x. 11.
hand, does not take any notice of the exhaustion of the Euphrates; but he gives a very minute account of the expedition of Antichrist, and represents his conquest of Egypt as being one of his very latest exploits. Hence it is plain, that, since the Euphrates is to be dried up previous to the expedition of Antichrist, and since Egypt is to fall into his hands during the course of that expedition, the two events, which Isaiah and Zechariah connect together, are not contemporary; though, how long the one will precede the other, can only be determined by the
As for the great river Euphrates, it symbolizes, as we may conclude very unequivocally from the Apocalypse, the Ottoman empire, of which Assyria was the cradle, and of which it still remains a principal province: and, by comparing the prophecy of St. John respecting its exhaustion with the parallel prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah respecting the same circumstance, we may determine, with perhaps as much certainty as matters of this nature are capable of, that the kings from the east mean the dispersed of Israel. St. John informs us, that the great river Euphrates will be dried up previous to the expedition of Antichrist, in order to prepare a way for the kings from the east: Isaiah and Zechariah concur in declaring, that both the Egyptian sea or the Nile, and the river by which name the Jews were wont simply and by way of eminence to speak of the Euphrates, will be dried up, in order that there may be a highway for the remnant of God's people from Egypt and from Assyria. Since then this exhaustion of the Euphrates, predicted alike by Isaiah, Zechariah, and St. John, is manifestly to take place in the last days, or during the tyrannical reign. of Antichrist; and since it is equally to prepare a way for the kings from the east, and for the remnant of Israel from the eastern region of Assyria: we seem to be compelled, as it were, to adopt the conclusion, that the kings from the east are the remnant of Israel.
That the river spoken of by Isaiah and Zechariah, is in those passages, no less than in many others *, the Eu
* See 1 Kings iv. 21.—Psalm lxxii. 8.—Psalm lxxx. 11. in which three passages, the dominions of Solomon are characterized, as extending from the river, that is the river Euphrates, to the sea and the uttermost parts of the