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As heaven, says he, is the abode of gods, so is Italy of kings. This may illustrate the visions in Rev. xvi. Was Italy or Rome, the political heaven of the Roman empire? The provinces were the earth, the sea, and rivers, over which this heaven ruled. The continental parts might be considered as its earth, the maritime parts as its sea, and those parts remarkably abounding with rivers night be considered as the rivers over which it ruled. Heaven, and power, and glory, are, in scripture, sometimes nearly synonymous. Matth. xxiv. 29, 30. When the Lord, by the prophet Haggai (chap. ij. 6, 7.) says, I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and . I will shake all nations ; it is easy to perceive that the heavens signify the governments, as it is also when our Lord says, The powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And thus in Isa. li. 16. The heavens which God plants, and the foundations of the earth which he lays, are the government and commonwealth of Israel, which were of his establishing when he said to Zion, thou art my people. And the view heavens and new earth which in Isa. Ixv. 17, God promises to create, signify a new government, a new kingdom and people; a new order of things, in the civil and ecclesiastical world, which is to take place when he sball reign before his ancients gloriously, and the present sun and moon shall be ashamed. Isa. xxiv. 23. To ascend to heaven, is to rise to the exercise of power, and to obtain rule and dominion, as all the interpreters of the Egyptian and Ethio. pian symbols agree. And thus is the symbol to be understood in Isa. xiv. 13, 14. To descend from heaven, is to act by a commission from heaven. Fire coming down from heaven we have seen to signify the wrath of the governing powers falling on the people.
Horns are the symbols of power and strength, and hence of kings and kingdoms, Ps. xviii. 2. Dan. vii. 7, 24. Zech. i. 18. And seeing that a beast which hath his horns broken has lost his chief power of defence, and of doing mischief; hence, when kingdoms and empires lose their strength and are overcome, they are thus represented, Dan. viii. 7. Jer. xlviii. 25. Horns, when on wild beasts, denote, not only power, but tyranny.
Horse. The horse being used, of old, chiefty for warlike expeditions, and not usually for riding and drudgery, he was made the symbol of war and conquest, of dignity, fame, power, and prosperity. A while horse is the symbol of joy and prosperity ; a black horse brings afiliction, dis..
asters, and anguish; and seems, in Rev. vi. 5. to be the symbol of famine; a pale horse denotes pestilence; a red horse signifies calamities by war, &c. Zech. i. 8. Rev. vi. 4.
HUNGER and THIRST are the symbols of affliction. · Deut. xxxii, 24. Rev. vii. 16.
JERUSALEM and Zion are often in scripture made the symbols of the church and kingdom of Jesus Christ, and they appear to be often used one for the other.
Incense is sometimes 'put to signify the prayers and praises offered to God. Mal. i. 11. Rev. 5. 8.
ISLANDS. All places to which men passed by sea, were; by the Jews, called islands; as also those places that were situated near the sea, convenient for foreign trade; and to which merchants resorted for traffic. Hence Dr. Lancaster, and Mr. Daubuz, say, Islands, symbolically, signify the riches, revenues, places or ways of trading, and treasures, of the matter about which the symbol is employed.
Key, signifies power, and trust committed. Isa. xxii. 22. Matth. xvi. 19. Rev. i. 19. iii. 7.
LAMP. This is the symbol of government, says Dr. Lancaster. It signifies also the law and word of God, prosperity, a successor, &c.
LEOPARD, as a symbol, is used in the prophecies (Jer. v. 6. xiii. 23. Dan. vii. 6. Rev. xii. 2.) upon account of three qualities, viz. cruelty, swiftness, and the variety of his skin. Among the Egyptians, the leopard was the symbol of a crafty, pernicious person.
LIGHT. Seeing that lights or luminaries direct and shew the way, and assist men in the perforinance of things, and without which they would not know what to do, or whither to go; and therefore may be said to govern them : 'hence all luminaries, in the symbolic language, signify the ruling powers. And seeing that the edicts and laws which proceed from the sovereign power, are for the direction of the conduct of the subjects, light becomes the symbol of these laws. Hence the Psalmist says (Ps. cxix. 105.) Thy word is a light unto my path. And in John, viii. 12. Jesus Christ is called the light of the world, and in Mal. iv. 2, the Sun of righteousness. Light: nings, being attended with destructive fire, are the symibols of those commands and edicts which occasion destruction to those who oppose them, and of the destructions themselves. 2 Sam. xxii, 15. Ps. cxliv. 6. Ezek. i. 13. Rev. iv. 5. viii. 5. xi. 19. xii, 13. xvi. 18.
· Sun, moon, and stars. Wherever the scene of government is laid, whether in a state or family, the sun, moon, and stars, when mentioned together, denote the several de. grees of power, or governors in the same. Thus in Joseph's dream, Gen. xxxvii. 10, the sun signified Jacob, as the head of the family; his wife was denoted by the moon, as next in authority and his sons by the stars. Thus in a kingdom, the king, or the sovereign power which he represents and exercises, is the sun; the next in power, the moon; whilst the inferior rulers and governors are the greater and lesser stars. Hence, when the kingdom of Egypt is threatened with ruin, the language is (Ezek. xxxii. 7,8.) When I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark ;. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord God.
And it must be remembered, that however extensive the scene in which a prophecy may be laid, though it may comprehend many kingdoms and states, the decorum of the symbols, or the fitness of things, requires, that there should be but one sun, and one moon, it being so in nature. See Isa. xxiv. 1, 21-23. Matth. xxiv. 29. Luke xxi. 25. Here though the carth is utterly broken down, and the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth are punished, and nations are distressed ; yet, there is but one sun, and one moon. See also Rev. viii. 12. xvi. 8.
When a king is not compared with his nobles and princes, but is considered by himself, or compared with other kings, a star may then be his symbol, as in Num. xxiv. 17. Isa. xiv, 13. I will eralt my throne above the stars, means, above all other sovereigns. As light is the symbol of joy and safety, so, on the contrary, darkness is the symbol of adversity and misery. Psal. cvii. 14. Jer. xiii. 16. xxxiv. 12. Matth. xxiv. 29. Rev. ix. 2. xvi. 10.
Whatever comes froin the rising of the sun, betokens, good. 2 Sam. xxii. 4. Hos. vi. 3. Isa. lviii. 8. Luke i. 78, 79. Rev. ii. 28.*
* The Natches once a very considerable Indian nation on the borders of the Missisippi, but extirpated by the French-were not strangers to the use of symbols. The princes of all their villages bore the name of suns; and there were not less than 500 of these, all subject to one common sovereign, called the great sun, who carried on his breast the image of the suid, from which he pretended to trace his origin. The
Lion. The symbol of a king, and is seldom to be understood in an ill sense, but when his mouth, or something is noticed, which betokens rapacity. Ps. xxii. 21. 2 Tim. iv. 17. Rev. v. 5.
Live. See under death and resurrection. • Locusts. As rising in vast companies, so as to darken the heavens, like a black cloud; as making a noise with their wings like the clashing of an army; as making a terrible havock in the countries where they fall; and causing great consternation and affliction to men, are the apt symbols of invading enemies. Joel, ij. Rev, ix. 3—11.
The time of their depredations is generally about five months, viz. part of April, May, June, July, August, and part of September. This seems alluded to, Rev. ix. 5, 10.
To MEASURE, to mete, and to divide, are the same, and signify taking possession of. Ps. Ix. 6. Isa. xviii. 2. Ezek. xl. Rev. xi. 1, 2.
MOUNTAIN. The governing part of the political world is represented by various symbols, according to the allegories used. If the allegory be fetched from the heavens, then the luminaries thereof denote the governing parts; if from animals, the head or horns; if from the earth, the mountains and hills, as the most lofty, strong, and conspicuous part of it, stand for kings and kingdoms, lords and great men. Isa. ii. 2. xli. 15. xlii. 15. Jer. li. 25.. Amos, iv. 5. Dan. ii. 35, 44, 45. Rev. vi. 11. viii. 8. xvi. 20.
Moon. See under light.
Mouth. The mouth, in a metaphorical sense, signifies the words which proceed out of it. Ps. lxxiii. 9. Isa. xlix.. 2. It may therefore stand for commands, decrees, &c. And hence, for a person to come out of the mouth of another, signifies to be constituted, appointed, and commanded to become an agent or minister under a superior power : and thus for a sword to proceed out of the mouth of the Lord, signifies, that the effects which are produced are from him, and of his appointing. The water which the dragon casts out of his mouth (Rev. xii. 15, 16.) are the persecuting laws of the persecutor, of whom the dragon is the symbol, &c.
NAKEDNESS, signifies sin or folly. Ezek. xvi. 36. In
inferior princes were considered as suns only in their particular villages. The national sovereignty was but one sun, called the great sun. Bossu's Travels through Louisiana.
2 Chron. xxviii. 19. it stands for idolatry. And, in many places, for poverty and misery, as the punishment of sing Jer. xlix. 10. Hos, ii. S.
NUMBERS. Seven, besides its usual signification, denotes an universality, as being a number of fulness and perfection, 1 Sam. ii. 5. Lev. xxvi. 24. Ps. xii. 6. And hence the seven seals, seven trumpets, &c. in the Apocalypse. Ten, according to the style of the scriptures, may mean several, indeterminately, Gen. xxxi. 7. Lev. xxvi. 26. Amos, vi. 9. Zech. viii. 23. And thus some understand the ten horns, Rev. xii. 3. xiii. l.as denoting an indeterminate number of monarchies; many.
Palms. Branches of the palm-tree are the symbols of joy, after victory, attended with antecedent sufferings, Rev, vii. 9.
RAIN (gentle) and Dew, are the symbols of truth, or wisdom: of the divine protection, or of the effusion of God's goodness, Deut. xxxii 2. Ps. Ixxii. 6. Amos, .vii. .16. It was hence that, among the Egyptians, the prophet, or the supreme of all their religious orders, carried in his hand, as a symbol of his office, in the solemn processions, a pitcher, as being the dispenser of learning, which is as wa ter, rain or dew, .to the soul. Tempestuous rain is a symbol of war, Ezek. xxxviii. 22.
Rainbow. This may be considered as a symbol of a covenant of mercy, Gen. ix. It has been thought a most apt symbol of peace, because its rundle is always turned from the earth, and it has no string. The ancients among the heathen always considered it as a symbol of good, and it may be especially so considered, because the attendant of pleasant and fruitful showers, Rev. x. 1.
RESURRECTION, when used symbolically, signifies a recovery of such rights and liberties as have been taken away, and a deliverance from bondage, persecution, and affliction, Isa. xxvi. 19. Ezek. xxxvii. 11-14. Dan. xii. 2. Rev. xi. 11.
RIVERS. See IVater.
SCORPION, on account of his constantly, moving his tail to strike, and because of the anguish his poison occasions, is the symbol of a wicked enemy, or mischievous person, Ezek. ii. 6. Rev. ix. 3, 10.
Ships, appear to signify the merchandize and treasure which they bring; and the men who navigate them, Isme ii. 16. xxiii. 2. Rey, viii. 9.