Page images
PDF
EPUB

SILENCE, metaphorically, signifies any ceasing from action. Thus (as it is in the Hebrew) Joshua said to the sun, Be silent--and the sun was silent, Josh. x. 12, 13. And thus silence from war is a cessation from acts of hostility, i Kings, xxii. 3. Isa. xv. 1 Jer. viii. 14.

SMOKE, considered as obscuring the sight, may, per. haps, signify gross errors, which darken the understand. ing. When considered as proceeding from incense offered to God, or in allusion to the cloudy pillar, Exod. xiii. 21. xiv. 19, 20, 24. it is generally the same as a cloud of covering, or protection, Isa. iv. 5. But if it is to be considered as proceeding from fire only, it then (as the Indian, Persian, and Egyptian interpreters agree) signifies diseases, anger, punishment, or war. And thus, in the scriptures, as smoke is, for the most part, the ad. junct of war and destruction, (Gen. xix. 28. Josh. viii. 20.) it is hence made the symbol of these evils, as in Isa. xiv. 31. Joel, ii. 30. Rev. ix. 2, 17, 18. xiv. 11. xviii. 9, 18, and most probably in chap. xv. 8. Daubuz, in his comment on Rev. ix. 2. observes that smoke, in the symbolical authors, though joined to incense, implies war. In several places it signifies the anger and judgments of God, 2 Sam. xxii. 9. Psal. xviii. s. lxxiv. 1. As unsubstantial, it is the symbol of that which is vain, frail, and perishing, Ps. xxxvii. 20. Isa. li. 6.

Sores or Ulcers are very analagous to the vices and guilt of the mind; to trouble and aftliction; and hence these affections of the body become the symbols of the state of the mind, and of the calamities which afflict men and nations, 2 Chron. vi. 29. Psal. xxxviii. 11. lxxvii. 2. Isa. i. 6. Rev. xvi. 2, 11.

STARs. See under Light.

Sting, is equivalent to the poison which it contains and transmits into the wound which it makes. In scripture, poison, lies, error, curses, and mischief, are synonymous, Psal. lviii. 3, 4. cxl. 3. i Cor. xv. 55, 56. Rev. ix. 10.

STONEs. The most ancient way among the Grecians of giving sentence in courts of judicature, was by black and white stones. They who were for acquittal cast into an 'urn a white pebble, and those who were for condemning a black one. And thus the people gave their votes in elections to offices. Hence a white stone became a symbol of absolution in judgment, and of conferring honours and rewards, Rev. ii. 17.

Sun. See under Light,

1

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

SWORD, is the symbol of affliction, war, persecution, and slaughter, Jer. v. 12. Ezek. v. 2, 17. xxi. 9. Matth. -X. 34, Luke ii, 35. Rev. ii. 16. xiii. 10. xix. 21.

TABERNACLE and Temple. On account of the tokens of the Divine presence, which resided, first in the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple of the Jews, these are made the symbols of God's peculiar presence and favour, Rev. xxi. 3. As consecrated to God; as the seat of instruction, and the repository of the divine laws; and as it was here that all Israel, in days of liberty, met for the purposes of worship, they became the symbols of God's visible church, Ps. xv. 1. Eph. ii. 21. 2 Thess. ii. 4. Heb. viii. 2. Rev. iii. 12. vii. 15. xi. 1, 19. xiii. 6. xv. 5, 6, 8. If the temple be shut, by an enemy's possessing the entrance, it signifies the suppression of the public profession of the truth, and of the public worship of God, Rev. x. 1, 2. But if it be open, it denotes religious liberty, ver. 19, and chap: xv. 5. And seeing that the high priest only had admission into the most holy place, where the ark of the covenant, and the other special symbols of the more immediate presence of God were to be seen, (Heb. ix. 7.) therefore, for the temple to be open, and its inmost recesses to be so disclosed, as for the ark of the covenant to be seen, is the symbol of the highest state of liberty and privilege, Rev. xi. 19.

Tail, in holy writ, signifies, symbolically, first, subjection under tyranny, Deut. xxviii. 13. Seeondly, those who are base, as the false prophets threatened in Isa. ix. 14, 15. or such as are of mean condition, xix. 15. Thirdly, when the tail of a creature, which is made the symbol of a tyrannical power, is noticed, it appears to signify the latter end of thât power; the period of its decline; or its declining state, as in Rev. ix. 10, 19. xii. 4. Thus Poole on Isaiah, vii. 4. says, of the two tails of the smoking firebrands, Rezin and Pekah, “ They are not whole firebrands, burning in the fire, but only small pieces or ends of them."

Teeth, are the symbols of cruelty; or of a devouring enemy, Deut. xxxii. 24. Psal. Ivii. 4. Dan. vii. 5, 7. Rev. ix. 8.

THRONE. The symbol of authority and power; of a kingdom, or government; or the principal seat of any thing, whether of iniquity and idolatry, or of a government; the capital city of a kingdom, Gen. xli. 40.

us to the rices fiction; and che symbol of es which a fhuis Xviii

, 11. lesai

pich it contain and kes. In script

are synonimin 56. Rer, ix. M

[merged small][ocr errors]

Tong the Grey dre, tras br li acguita/cants ere for conden gave their right stone became i

of conferring

[ocr errors]

1 Kings, i 37. Psal xi. 4. xciv. 20. cxxii. 5. Jer. iii. 17. Hag. ii. 22. Rev. ii. 13. xiii. 2. xvi. 10.

THUNDER, in Psal. xxix. 3. is called the coice of the Lord ; and, as coming from the ærial heavens, may well be considered as the symbol of such laws, decrees, orders, and counsels of the Almighty, as are enacted with terror, or which, in their proclamation, or execution and effects, cause terror and consternation, Ex. xix. 16. Ps. civ. 7. Rev. iv. 5. vii. 5. xi, 19.

THUNDER, as that which shakes and produces destructive effects, is the symbol of war; of revolutions and changes, in the affairs of states and kingdoms, Isa. xxix. 6. Hag. ii. 6, 7, 22. and this it appears to signify in Rey, viii. 5. X. 3. xi. 19. xvi. i8.

Time. As to ascertain the meaning of the different terms of time, in the symbolic language, is of very great importance, the more attention is due to it. Mr. Daubuz and Dr. Lancaster have brought forward a great deal of very important matter on this subject, which throws much light on it; and which should be well considered by those who would understand those prophecies in which terms of time are mentioned, and numbers given.* “ Days, “ months and years, (says Artemidorus) have not always “ their proper signification, for months are sometimes de. noted by years, and days too, and years and days by

months, and months and years by days. But that this “ may not become doubtful; when years are mentioned, “ if they be proportionable and suitable, they may be ac“ counted as years; if over many, as days; the same rule “ reciprocally for days; if less as months, let them be taken according to the present occasion." From these words it appears that, in the symbolical language, the aforesaid terms of time are symbolical ; and that the said terms are, in the same language, synonymous, as they are also in the oriental languages.

And thus, in the sacred writings, a day is sometimes put for a year: as in Numb. xiv, 84. Ezek. iv. 4, 6. This practice seems to bave risen, either from days and years being all one in the primitive state of the world, or else from the ignorance of men at first in settling words to express the determined spaces of time. A day with them

* * As what follows uuder this article has not been brought forward in the early editions of The Signs of the Times, though a great part of it appears in this, it may be proper, here, to present the reader with all that is thought needful on this subject.

[ocr errors]

sun.

to

-, decres acie 3 ution are X. 16. A:

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

was a year; three months a year; four months a year; six months a year, as well as the whole revolution of the

It is worth observing, that the Egyptians, from whom the symbolical language chiefly came, were in volved in this uncertainty, and gave the name of year several sorts of revolutions of time. John Malela, who in his work has copied more ancient authors, says, plainly, that they called a day a year. The day is a period, and revolution, and so it is an ÉVIGUTÓS, year.

From the same author, and several others (Diod. Sic. L. 1. p. 15. Plin. Nat. Hist. L. 7. c. 48.) it appears also that they accounted a month a year. Plutarch, (Vit. Num. Pomp.) and Diodorus, (L. 1. p. 16.) say, that four months, or a season, were called a year. As for the revolution of the sun, which is done in the space of time which we call a year, it was called by them a year of the sun, or in other words the year of God. Hor. Ap. Hieroglyph. V. L. 1. Hence a full year is called by Virgil a great year, Æn. L. iii. 284. and by Homer the year of Jupiter, II. B. 134.

Mr. Gibert shews, by the authority of Macrobius, Eudoxus, Varro, Diodorus, Pliny, Plutarch, St. Augustine, &c. that by a year the ancients meant the revolution of any planet in the heavens ; so that it consisted sometimes only of one day. Thus, according to him, the solar day was the astronomical year of the Chaldeans; and the boasted period of 473,000 years assigned to their observations is reduced to 1297 years, 9 months. See Dr. kees's New Cyclopædia, art. Chronology. Calmet, in his Dictionary, under the article Year, says, Some think, that from the beginning of the world to the hundred and sixtieth year of Enoch, they reckoned only by weeks.Some nations formerly made their year to consist of one month, others of four, others of six, others of ten, others of twelve. Some have made one year of winter, another of summer. The Hebrews always reckoned, he says, by weeks, as a memorial of the creation of the world in seven days. They had weeks of seven years each, at the term of which was the sabbatical year : also 'weeks of seven times seven years, terminated by the year of jubilee; and finally, weeks of seven days. Hence we may perceive the reasons why the sacred prophets might use the term day, to signify a month or a solar year, and the term year, for any lesser certain and established circle of time, whether a month, week, or day, according to the subject

irent og

have not as

se sometimes ars and doi s. But that

are mention chev marki F;

the same

s, let the

)

From o languages ad that the song Dus, as they

[blocks in formation]

day

with the

ought formally a great partei

reader with di

of their enigmatical prophecies, or the nature of the main symbols employed in their scenic predictions.

Terms of time being thus ambiguous among the ancients, they must, in the symbolical language, by the rule of proportion, be determined by the circumstances.

In pro hetical visions the events and objects are drawn in miniature, the duration, therefore, of the events must be represented in terms suitable to the symbols. Thus, if a vast empire persecuting the church for 1260 years was to be symbolically represented by a beast, the decorum of the symbol would require that the said time of its tyranny should not be expressed by 1260 years; because it would be monstrous to represent a beast ravaging for so long a space of time, but by 1260 days. And thus a day may imply a year, because, that short revolution of the sun, bears the same proportion to the yearly, as the type to the antitype.

Day in general (Com. on Rev. xi, 9.) may signify any appointed time which the Holy Ghost may extend to any length or revolution of time, as in Isa. xxxiv. 8. If the Holy Ghost hath pitched upon three days and an half, (in the case of the death of the witnesses) rather than any other symbolical term, or time, it is by reason of the symbol, a dead body, the Holy Ghost observing constantly the decorum of the symbols used, as much as may be, that the analogy of the symbols may be well observed.

TORCH, when considered only in respect of its burning, is the symbol of great anger and destruction, Zech. xii. 6.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILD, is a symbol of great endeavours to bring something to pass, not without great pain and difficulty. Isa. xxvi. 17, 18. lxvi. 7. Jer. iv. Si. Rev. xii. 2.— If the symbol be the bringing forth of a man child, it denotes the superior excellence, or perfection, of that which is produced or accomplished, Isa, lxvi, 7. Rev. vii. 5.

Tread. Signifies to overcome, and bring into subjection, Deut. xxxiii, 29. Psal. lx. 12. Isa. x. 6. Dan. vii. 23. Mic. i. 3. Rev. xi. 2. ?

Trees, according to their sizes, beauty, &c. are the symbols of men of superior stations and characters. Cant. ii. 3. Isa. x. 19. xli, 19. Ixi. 3. Ezek. xvii. 3, 23. xxxi. 9. Jer. vii. 20. Zech. iv. 3, 14. Rev. vij. 3. viii, 7. As trees denote great men, so boughs, branches, stems, and

« PreviousContinue »