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1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.
Tyre and the Daughter of Tyre;
The Saints the Spoilers of Britain in the Time of the End
Nebuchodonosor, or Nebuchadnezzar, as he is styled in the English Version, had begun to execute Yahweh's threats against Tyre by besieging and taking it; and they were completed by the catastrophe brought upon it by Alexander the Great. As this double event forms one of the most considerable passages in history, and as the Scriptures have given us several very remarkable circumstances of it, I shall, says Rollin, endeavor to write here, in one view, all that they relate concerning the city of Tyre, its power, riches, haughtiness, and impiety; the different punishments with which God chastised its pride and other vices; and at length its last re-establishment, but in a manner entirely different from the former.
Methinks, I revive on a sudden when through the multitude of profane historians which heathen antiquity furnishes, and in every part whereof there reigns an entire oblivion, not to say more, of the Almighty, the sacred scriptures exhibit themselves, and unfold to me the secret designs of God over kingdoms and empires; and teach me what ideas we are to form of those things which appear the most worthy of esteem, the most august in the eyes of men.
But before we relate the propehcies concerning Tyre, we shall here present the reader with a little abstract of the history of that famous city, by which he will be the better enabled to understand the prophecies.
Tyre was built by the Sidonians, 240 years before the foundation of the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, B. C. 1260; for this reason it is called by Isaiah the Daughter of Sidon. It soon surpassed its mother city in extent, power, and riches.
It was besieged by Shalmanezer, and alone resisted the united fleets of the Assyrians and Phœnicians; a circumstance which greatly heightened its pride.
Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre at the time that Ithobalus was king of that city, B. C. 572; but did not take it until thirteen years after. But before it was conquered, the inhabitants had retired with most of their effects, into a neighboring island, where they built a new city. The old one was razed to the very foundation, and has since been no more than a village known by the name of Palœ-Tyrus, or Ancient Tyre; but the new one rose to greater power than ever.
It was in this great and flourishing condition when Alexander, "from the land of Chittim," besieged and took it...
...Isaiah styles Tyre the Daughter of Sidon; and in another verse of the same chapter, the Daughter of Tarshish. Tyre was Sidon's daughter in the sense of being a colony of Sidonians; and she was the daughter of Tarshish, at the same time, because Tarshish was the parent of Tyre's wealth and glory, and power, "in the heart of the seas;" being "her trafficker through the multitude of all substances; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they furnished her fairs;" and "the ships of Tarshish were her chief traders in her market: and she was filled, and made very glorious, in the midst of the seas"-Ezek. 27:12, 25.
Tyre was likewise the emporium, or commercial centre, or capital, of the fleets of Tarshish. In view, therefore, of Tyre's destruction by the Chaldeans, the prophet says, "Howl, O ye ships of Tarshish; for your stronghold is destroyed." Tyre was the stronghold of the Mediterranean and other commercial navies...,
An attentive perusal of the prophecies concerning Tyre elicits a strong conviction that they have reference to something more than to Palæ Tyre, insular Tyre, and peninsular Tyre; that is, that the history of these three Tyres or of Tyre in these three relations, does not fulfil all that the Spirit intended by the words of the prophets. In other words, that in their testimony there was an enigma, a certain hidden wisdom, which was only represented in the manufacturing, commercial, and maritime relations, of the historical Tyre-that this was typical of a remoter Tyrio-Tarshish System originating from the Mediterranean traffic with the same countries.
Isaiah indicates that Tyre, in the full import of his prophecy, was not confined to the little isle off the Phoenician shore. This appears from ch. 23:6, where he says to Tyre, Pass ye over Tarshish; howl ye, O inhabitants of the isle! Is this your triumphant city; whose antiquity is of the earliest date? Her own feet shall carry her far away to sojourn; Chittim arise, pass over; even there thou shalt have no rest."
From this it would appear, that Tyre was to emigrate from the Phoenician isle to Italy; but was not to abide there permanently. Tyre in Italy was the Tyrio-Tarshish Traffic there. But it was to find no rest there. This implies that Tyre was to remove from Italy; and become Tyre in some other place: that is, that wherever the traffic originally peculiar to Tyre should settle itself as in a stronghold, there would Tyre, and the stronghold of Tarshish be.
Tyre was to carry herself away upon her own feet. Commerce and trade cannot be taken captive, and be compelled by a conqueror to locate itself where he pleases. They must flow in their own natural channels. A numerous, ingenious, and industrious population will export and import largely; and if it get the start of surrounding nations, it will become a great centre of attraction; and when, in its growth and prosperity, it developes into the old Phoenician similitude, there has Tyre carried herself upon her own feet; and not upon those of another. Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander might plunder her merchandise; but could not transfer her trafficking to Babylon or Macedonia. Tyre has been in Alexandria, in Venice, in Genoa, in Lisbon, in Holland, and lastly, in Britain, "far away" from her ancient home; and there "to sojourn," until she shall return over the Sea of Tarshish, to her fatherland, there to pursue a course more calculated to bless the world than she has hitherto done in her harlotry with all the kingdoms of the earth.
Who then is this daughter of Tyre, with whom we are contemporary?
The answer to this question is, that the only power extant of which the characteristics of the ancient Tyre are descriptive, is that of Britain. This will be seen by comparing the prophecies concerning Tyre with what exists in connection with Britain as a commercial and maritime community. We will here reproduce the leading characteristics which create a remarkable parallel.
1. Tyre was the mart of the nations; so is Britain;
2. Tyre was the mighty fortress of the sea; so is Britain;
3. Tyre's merchants were princes, and her traders, nobles of the land; so are Britain's, being, as the French say, "a nation of shop-keepers;"
4. Tyre was a Dispenser of Crowns; true also of Britain, as shown in her continental and Indian history;
5. Tyre was the Daughter of Tarshish as well as of Sidon; so is Britain the Daughter of Tarshish as well as of Tyre, and grandaughter of Sidon;
6. Tyre emigrated to, and, afterwards, beyond Chittim, and beyond the Sea of Tarshish, or Mediterranean, in and beyond which is now located the British power-the Ionian Islands, Malta, Gibraltar, and the British Isles;
7. Tyre was the stronghold of the ships of Tarshish, or ships trading to India and the coasts of the Mediterranean; so is Britain preeminently;
8. Tyre played the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth; this is true of Britain in a greater degree than of Tyre in the most brilliant period of her career;
9. Tyre was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants; who spread their terror through all the inhabitants of the earth; Britain's naval history shows that this is also true of her;
10. Tyre's wise men were the pilots of her state; so of Britain's, what is called "the Collective Wisdom," are the pilots and calkers, who navigate the vessel and stop the leaks;
11. The Tyrian and British trade are identical;
12. Tyre was the great workshop of her time; so is Britain;
13. Tyre was Queen of the Sea and military; so is Britain;
14. Tyre traded in slaves; so Britain, formerly to a great extent, and now in unskilled laborers;
15. Tyre's chief trafficker was Tarshish; so is Britain's;
16. Tyre boasted in the greatness of her wisdom, and her heart was lifted up because of her wealth; and she set her heart as a goddess, in the midst of the seas; this also is signally true of Britannia;
17. Tyre was a monarchy, whose king was bedizened with all the flashiness in which vain mortals delight; so is Britain-a commercial power tricked out in all the trappings of royalty;
18. Tyre ruled in Eden, the garden of God, and existed there at the time of her overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar; Britain's influence is also in the acsendancy there; and will yet rule there as potentially as Tyre; when the Russo-Assyrian, the Nebuchadnezzar of the Latter Days, shall confederate his forces to expel her from the land;
19. Tyre was a wide-spreading, covering protector-a protecting power; the position of Britain, whose covering protectorate spreads throughout the earth;
20. Great wealth and prosperity filled Tyre with violence; and through the multitude of her iniquities by the unrighteousness of her traffic, she prostituted her asylums; the same cause produces the same results in Britain; her factory system, unions, institutions, ecclesiastical merchandizings, supporting Mohammedanism, Hindooism, Popery, and so forth, for the sake of advantage-make the resemblance striking.
21. Tyre was a harlot; so is Britain; the Anglo-Hibernian Daughter of Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, and of all the Abominations of the earth.
The Royal Merchant-Power of Great Britain, then, for the twenty-one reasons adduced, is the Daughter of Tyre; the Mystical Tyre in her development beyond Chittim, far away to the westward of its ancient predecessor and parent in the world-wide commerce of the earth. The Spirit of Yahweh, in the prophets cited, spoke primarily of Old Tyre and her traffic; but enigmatically, mystically, spiritually, figuratively, or typically, of the Merchant-Power of Britain.
"The prophecy concerning Tyre" may be compared to a nut; this entire, consists of the hard outside shell, and the kernel within. To the eye of sense, the shell is alone apparent; and when handled by the flesh is too hard to crack: but to the mental eye, an unctuous kernel appears within. The old, historic Tyre is the broken nutshell; while the British power is the kernel of the prophecy; which is destined "for food sufficient for those who" shall hereafter "dwell before Yahweh."
The clerical commentators on prophecy, such as Rollin, Lowth, Newcome, Newton, &c., historians and bishops of the Apostacy, suck the shells only, and therefore fail to acquire the remotest flavour of the prophetic kernel. They can see nothing in the oracle beyond the events of a past antiquity; but God be thanked, what "the wise and prudent," in their own conceit, could not discern with all their lore, he has "revealed to babes"-a revelation that comes by a diligent study of the Scriptures, provided that the student utterly discard the traditions and authority of all papistical and protestant "divines;" if he defers to the opinions of these, they will mislead or perplex him in every case.
He must begin the study of the word by declaring his independence of them all; for they are only blind leaders of the blind, who cannot see of themselves, and ruin those that trust them.
Having ascertained the relations of things in these prophecies, we are prepared to discern the destiny appointed for the British power and dominion. It is shadowed forth in the destiny of Ancient Tyre. As it was with this power, so it is to be with Britain. To Britain, Yahweh saith,
"Thou hast sinned, therefore I will cast the as profane out of the mountain of God;
I will destroy thee, O Covering Protector, from Stones of Fire;
I will cast thee to the ground;
I will lay thee before Kings that they may look upon thee.
I will cause to go forth a fire out of thee which shall devour thee;
I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth,
Before the eyes of all that look upon thee:
All that know thee among the peoples shall be astonished at thee;
Thou wast calamities; and shalt be nothing during the Olahm."
Britain has sinned as did Tyre of old; and if the confessions of her Spirituals of Wickedness may be received as sincere in her late public fast, she acknowledges the charge, though she has not reformed.
"Her heart is lifted up because of her beauty;
And she has corrupted her wisdom by reason of her glory."
The British power will have to contend with the whole strength of Babylon; which will prevail against her so far as to expel her from Egypt, Jerusalem, and Palestine; and she will fall, not by Babylon the Great, but by "Stones of Fire;" and before the Great City is overthrown to rise no more.
These Stones of Fire, are Christ, the "Precious Stone;" and the Saints, the "Living Stones;" from whom a fiery destruction, the Jews being the channel, will stream forth against the Daughter of Tyre, or Britain; and all the Continental Kingdoms of the Earth and Habitable. These Stones of Fire are "the Kings" that shall look upon the Tyrian Harlot prostrate at their feet. They are Yahweh's Kings, who shall utterly abolish the empire of Britain.
They will reduce the nations of the British Isles to perfect subjection to the King of Israel then dwelling in Jerusalem. The Royal Family, the hereditary nobles, the orders of their Harlot Churches, her merchant-princes, legislators, and gentry, as the stars of the Tyrian heavens, will be cast to the ground; and deprived of all honour, wealth, position, and power, which will be appropriated by the victors.
The merchant-kingdom will be reduced to ashes by the judicial fires destined to devour her both within and without. The fall of such a rich and powerful state will be "calamities," or terrors, to all, commercially, financially, or in any other way, connected with her. Their hearts will fail them for fear, and anticipation of what shall break forth upon themselves. The Daughter of Tyre will become a dissolving view; the ships of Tarshish will howl for her departure; and the once powerful Harlot-Mistress of the Sea shall have no political existence "during the Olahm," nor beyond.
"Her traffic and her gain shall be holy to Yahweh;
It shall not be treasured nor shall it be kept in store;
For her traffic shall be for them that dwell before Yahweh,
For food sufficient and durable clothing."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come , March 1860