« PreviousContinue »
thy tabrets and thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14. Thou art the anointed cherub that spreadeth a veil; and I have permitted thee: thou wast in the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire * thou
* The stones of fire.) An allusion to the Urim and Thummim. The Pope pretends to the same oracular infallibility of decision in the Christian church, that the Jewish high priest by his supernatural intercourse with God really possessed in the Levitical church. Josephus maintains, that the Urim and Thummin were the precious stones of the high-priest's breast-plate, which discovered the will of God by their extraordinary lustre, thereby predicting the success of events to those who consulted them : for, when these stones gare no extraordinary lustre, it was concluded that God did not approve of the matter in question. He adds, that it was 200 years, at the time of his writing, since these stones had left off shewing this lustre. Ant. L, iii., C. S.
It is possible however, that this passage may relate, not only to the oracular infallibility of the Pope, but likewise to his universal episcopacy. An expression, somewhat similar to that of walking up and down in the midst of the stones of fire, occurs in the Apocalypse. “ These things saith he, ihat holdeth the
seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of “ the seven golden candlesticks” (Rev. ii. 1.). That is to say, according to the explanation of Archdeacon Woodhouse, “ The supreme head of the Christian church is now in the " act of visiting and superintending. To the church oi “ Ephesus, with which he begins, be represents himself in " that character and office, as walking amidst his churches, " and directing and supporting their teachers” (Apoc. trauslated, p. 44.). Perhaps therefore the circumstance of the mystical Tyrian prince's zulking up and down in the midst of the
walkedst up and down. 15. Thou wast perfect * in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God, and I will destroy thee, O cherub that spreadest a veil, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic: therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee; and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee : thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
stones of fire may denote the universal episcopacy of the pretended vicur of Christ, who claims the right of superintending or wulking amidst all the churches. In this case, the
would be exactly parallel to that, wherein Daniel represents the little papal horn as having eyes like the eyes of a man. “ By its
eyes,” says Sir Isaac Newton, “it was a seer; and, by its “ mouth speaking great things and changing times and laws, “ it was a prophet-A seer, ET1920%05, is a bishop in the literal
sense of the word; and this church claims the universal " bishopric.” Observ, on Dan. C. 7.
* Thou wast perfect.] Thou wast Thummim : a sort of play upon the word Thummim, in its sense of perfection, not unusual among the sacred writers,
20. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying; 21. Son of man, set thy face against Zidon *, and prophesy against her, 22. And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, ( Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know, that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. 23. For I will send pestilence into her, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side ; and they shall know, that I am the Lord. 24. And unto the house of Israel there shall be no more a thorn which causeth to rankle, vor a sharp thorn that causeth to ulcerate, of all that are round about them that despised them: and they shall know, that I am the Lord God.
25. Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people
* Set thy face against Zidon.] If Zidon mean something different from Tyre, which perhaps is not very probable, we may suppose it to typify the smaller spiritually trading states in close connection with Rome ; such as the German ecclesiastical elettorates, cpiscopal principalities, and monastic baronics. I think however, that this distinction is a needless refinement. Tyre was the daughter of Zidon, and they are always represented as most closely connected together.
among whom they have been scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in the land which I have given unto iny servant, unto Jacob. 26. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God.
In the 26th chapter, Ezekiel undoubtedly speaks of the overthrow of the literal Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar; but, in the 27th and 28th chapters, he cannot otherwise than primarily, mean the literal Tyre and its prince, because their predicted overthrow is immediately connected with the restoration of Israel*.
Nor is this the only reason : the character of the prince is totally inapplicable to uny real sovereign of ancient Tyre. He is represented as having been once a faithful worshipper, and as having after wards apostatized ; as having been in the holy mountain and paradise of God; or the true church of upright believers; as having once been perfect in his ways; and as having at length defiled his sanctuaries by the multitude of his iniquities and the iniquity of his traffic, or, in other words, as having debased his originally pure worship of God by some iniquitous dealings which the prophet compares to a fraudulent and base trade. In all this we can perceive no resemblance to the character of the ancient Tyrian sovereigns. Whatever notions of the true God Hiram might have learned by his intercourse with Solomon, his kingdom by the universal consent of history was idolatrous from the very first *; and, whatever worship Hiram might pay to Jehovah, we have little reason to doubt that he mingled it with the worship of his national deities.
* See Ezek. xxviii. 24, 25, 36. Mr. Lowth, commenting on the passage there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, justly observes, that “ the following verse “ shews that this promise chiefly relates to the general resto“ ration of the Jews, when all the enemies of God's church and “ truth are vanquished and subdued ; often denoted in the " prophetical writings by the names of Edom, Moab, and other
neighbouring countries, who apon all occasions shewed their “ spite and ill will against the Jews.”
But, let this be as it may, it is of very ment to the present question; for the overthrow of Tyre and its prince, being (as I have already ob. served) manifestly connected with the restoration of Israel t which is yet future, cannot possibly relate, otherwise than primarily and very imperfectly, to the overthrow of the literal Tyre either by Nebuchadnezzar or Alexander which is long since past,
* See Herod. Hist. L. ii. C. 44. Ver. 23, 24.
+ See Chap. xxvii.