Page images
[ocr errors]

throws a yet stronger light on the subject: but the conclusion itself might have been equally drawn, had St. John never written the Apocalypse : and accordingly, we find that it actually has been drawn, not merely by Christian, but by Jewish, commentators. On the whole, we may safely venture to assert, that the vintage, described by Isaiah, is the same as the vintage predicted both by Joel and St. John: they equally relate to the overthrow of Antichrist and his associates.

I would not willingly be thought too refined and fanciful in what I am about to observe; yet, when we recollect the almost innumerable instances throughout the Hebrew Scriptures wherein proper names are chosen with a manifest allusion to their signification, it is not impossible that the Holy Spirit of God designed even the literal import of the names Edom and Bozra not to be overlooked. Edom then signifies red; and Bozra is the nearest proper name that could have been found to the Hebrew word that denotes a vintage *. Hence, in apparent allusion to the terms Edom and Bozra, our Lord is described as being red in his apparel, and as having his garments stained like him that treadeth in the wine-fat. This however may not be the whole that is inystically inteyded by these names. As the apocalyptic

* Botsra (17793) contains the same fundamental letters, and springs from the same root, as Botsir (72) a vintage. 3


dragon is said to be of a red colour, and to have seven heads and ten horns, because he acts through the instrumentality of the Roman beast whose distinguislıing colour whether pagan or papal hath always been red; and as the great whore is represented as being arrayed in purple and scarlet : so may the Roman confederacy of the last days, consisting (as we are plainly taught it shall consist) of the beast under his last or Carlovingian head, and his colleague the false prophet or papal horn, be denominated by the prophet Edam or red, not without a hidden reference to the same colour. In this case we may suppose Isaiah to ask, “Who is he " that cometh from the scarlet confederacy of Antichrist, with dyed garments from the vin

tage of his wrath? Wherefore art thou red in " thine apparel, and thy garments like him that “ treadeth in the wine-fat?" To which the Lord answers, “I have trodden the wine-press alone; " the tyranny, however diversified, whose peculiar “ badge is scarlet, hath long trampled upon iny “ church, hath been drunken with the blood of

my saints, and hath at length in one of its principal members openly defied me to my face: but

now my garments are sprinkled with the blood " of the Roman beast, and the false prophet; I

now, in my turn, am red in mine apparel; as

my enemies 'have shed the blood of saints and “ prophets, I have given them their own blood to “ drink, for they are worthy."


Whether the reader approve or disapprove of this conjecture *, is of little consequence, so far as the main position is concerned. That, which was previously said, is alone considered as the argument, by which the Roman Antichristian confederacy of the last days is shewn to be the mystical Edom of Isaiah.


[ocr errors]

The call of the Jews-The mystic birth of the

Jewish nation- A description of the Antichristian confederacy-Its overthrow--The scattering of such as escape--The restoration of the converted ten tribes--The glories of the Millennium.

Isaiah lxvi. 5. Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren, that hated

you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. 6. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies. 7. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. 8. Who hath heard such a thiny? who hath seen such things ? shall a country be brought forth in one day, or shall a nation be

The reader will find some remarks not very dissimilar to this conjecture in Mr. Lowth's Comment, on Isaiah xxxiv. 5. and lxiii. 1. VOL. I.



born at once? for, as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. 9. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth ? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. 10. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her : rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: 11. That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. 12. For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled


her knees. 13. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I confort you;


ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14. And ye shall behold, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like a herb * : and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his- servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

15. For behold, the Lord will come with fire to

* Your bones shall flourish like a herb.] “ You Jews shall

recover your ancient strength and beauty, and be renewed “ in as wonderful a manner, as if dry withered bones should

recover their youth and moisture, or as if the dead bones “ in a charnel house should have life and vigour infused into “ them. See Ezek. xxxvii, and Rom. xi. 15.” Mr. Lowth in loc.

+ Behold, the Lord will come with fire-to bring back his people.] This corresponds with the declaration of Daniel, that Juduh will be restored during a season of unexampled trouble


[ocr errors]

and his chariots like a whirlwind, to bring back his people in the fury of his anger, for his rebuke is with flames of fire. 16. For by fire the Lord will contend in judgment, and by his sword with all flesh: and many shall be the slain of the Lord *. 17. They, that sanctify and purify themselves in the gardens f after the rites of Achad I, in the midst of those who eat swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse §, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord. 18. For I know their works and their thoughts: and I come to gather


(See Dan. xii. 1.). It is proper however to observę, that Bp. Lowth translates the passage, To breathe forth his anger

in a burning heat ; supposing that I'vns does not here signify to render or to bring back, but to breathe, from iv).

* Many shall be the slain of the Lord.] “ This may be un" derstood of the battle of Armageddon (Rev. xvi. 14. xix. " 19.), where the armies of Satan and Antichrist are to be

vanquished by the Lamb and his followers-The Scriptures “ do in general declare, that there shall be a great destruce “ tion of Christ's enemies here upon earth, before the general

judgment or consummaiion of all things.” Mr. Lowth in loc.

+ They, that sanctify and purify themselves in the gardens.) An allusion to the ancient idolatrous grove-worship, so repeatedly stigmatized in the Old Testament. See Mr. Lowth's Comment. on Isaiah i. 29.

1 After the rites of Achad.] Achad or Adad was the chief god of the Syrians. (See Mr. Lowth and Bp. Lowth in loc.) He appears to bave been the Sun.' His name signifies Oné. See Selden de Dis Syris Synt. 1. C. 6.

§ The mouse.] " Jamblichus Syrus, in Phot. Cod. 94, “ reckons nice among the several sorts of animals by which


« EelmineJätka »