Page images

As these are the only representations which he is specially invited to “Come and see,” there is strong evidence derived from this circumstance, that these horsemen constitute the fourfold group of the whole prophecy. In chs. xii. and xiii. there is a second fourfold group which, on the ground of the omission of the special formula of invitation, as well as the identity of the second sense, is to be held a duplicate group to the above.

There is thus a double portraiture with four in each. Again, the plan or plot of the prophetical piece shows likewise four actors in it. Three enemies, during the course of it, oppress the future victor; and three enemies against one are

gathered together to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” The final catastrophe, as well as the opening and the course of the prophecy, manifests a fourfold group.

The prophecy opens with a horseman on a white horse, with three horsemen, who are to be presumed to be his antagonists, ch. vi. ; it closes with a horseman on a white horse, casting a beast, false prophet, ch. xix. 20, and a dragon, ch. xx. 10, into a lake of fire, which three, both on the ground of unity of design and identity in the second sense, are to be held symbols synonymous with the three horsemen with which the corrqueror is associated at the commencement.

The above instances comprise all the larger and fully developed specimens of symbolic painting.

The contemplation of these symbolical pictures shows that the disposition of the subject in a group of four is a law of the prophetic allegory, which is of

universal observance, and which is not departed from unless it be to double the quaternary, which is only to exemplify the principle of representation in another way.

The presentation of the subject, then, in a fourfold group, is evidently a fundamental and established law of symbolical composition, as manifestly appears from the rigid adherence of the prophets to this form of representation. The number Four sways and determines the symbolic prophet in the arrangement of his materials and the structure of his piece, to such an extent, that he never departs from it.




It will be ont of place to submit here any part of that proof which, as we conceive, demonstrates that the Revelation contains a double allegory, that is, two first representations developing the same subject in the second sense, or, in other words, two versions of the same subject, which is here a prophecy, each of which versions is couched in different but strictly synonymous symbols. This helongs to a different branch of the subject, which would require to be treated of in a separate volume.

At present, we confine ourselves to a plain statement of the twofold allegory.

Nevertheless, we found upon the simplicity of the representation itself in the double form as a strong reason in favor of the reality of the double version. It may justly be regarded as a thing impossible to occur that, in any allegory, but more especially in any

ymbolic allegory, two first representations should be educible, distinguished in either by at once uniformity and simplicity of design, which representations are yet not reduplications of each other. It


may reasonably be held impossible that a phenomenon such as this can ever occur.

If the present statement then exhibits a double representation or a twofold allegory, displaying at once simplicity and identity of plan and design in either form, the manifestation of those features may justly be held to be evidence that the representations displaying the same design contain the same sense.

We leave out of view at present the fact that the two sets of symbols into which the analysis of the prophecy resolves it, discover, when tested by hieroglyphic interpretations, a perfect identity of signification. This identity would be evidence of reduplication were there no plan, for if two sets of signs are synonymous, the communication which they make is certainly doubled. But there is a plan developed twice over which, if there be not reduplication, may justly be regarded as a phenomenon such as in a work of the length, complexity, and intricacy of the Revelation cannot be conceived to occur. The existence, then, in an allegorical composition of one plan twice developed is, in itself, evidence of the DOUBLE ALLEGORY. It may also be added that the circumstance that a plan is found twice devcloped is evidence that there is in truth such a plan itself, since it is hardly possible to conceive that there should be two plans which are the same, and which yet do not exist. If one plan is found in a book, it is much, and the discovery of it is strong evidence for its truth, since a satisfactory plan for a book can hardly be invented. But if two plans, which are the same, are found in it, the evidence in favor of the reality

of this plan is infinitely more than doubled. One fair plan might possibly be educible, but the discovery of two such plans may justly be held a thing altogether impossible. But the evidence will be rendered even still higher if there be ground to presume, as is the case with the Revelation, that the anthor does really give two plans. The evidence will be farther heightened if we add that unity of design and the quaternal structure must be found displayed in both the plans. The discovery of a plan, then, is an evidence of its existence, since a plan can hardly be invented. But the discovery of two plans which are the same for one work, more especially with the conditions above-stated attached to them, may be regarded as demonstrative evidence for the reality of this double plan, since it must be held as sheerly impossible to invent it.

Another reason for the double allegory we shall premise before proceeding to the statement of it.

The prophecy of the Revelation is delivered, as we assume, which may be very safely done, in ONE SEVEN-SEALED Book, the pictures in which, which sometimes pass from the purely pictorial state into the form of representations acted before the mind of the prophet, constitute the predictions. This containment of it in one Seven-Sealed Book clearly evidences its unity. But in the exhibition of the pictures of this book there is a division : a "silence about the space of half an hour," ch. viii. 1, divides the picturial representations, which come under the seventh seal, from those of the six preceding ones. Here,

« PreviousContinue »