William Hewson.

Christianity in its relation to Judaism and heathenism : in three tracts : with lithographic illustrations and chronological tables online

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Online LibraryWilliam HewsonChristianity in its relation to Judaism and heathenism : in three tracts : with lithographic illustrations and chronological tables → online text (page 1 of 45)
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First — On the Winged Symbols of Assyrian Sculpture in the British
Museum, compared with the Cherubim of Ezekiel's Typical Prophecies.

Second — On the true Historic reference of JE-msH Prophecy.

JTiird — The Rise and Progress of Idolatry considered in the relation
op its predicted fall to the establishment of Messiah's everlasting

litlj Jffrt^flgmjj^it |Uustrations, anb (tbvonological tables.





simpkik & co., stationers' hall court; seeleys, fleet street;

hatch ard, piccadilly; nisbet, berners street.

york: marsh. whitby: newton.

edinburgh: paton & ritchie; w. oliphant & co.; andrew elliot.






As early as last May, and long before the first of these Tracts
was commenced, I had at the suggestion of a friend, prepared in
manuscript a brief notice on the subject, to be appended to the
Tract " Thy Kingdom Come," then preparing for publication by
Mr Marsh of York. The London artist to whom, with the manu-
script, I sent tlie original design in illustration thereof for coitcc-
tion, was taken seriously ill, and I could not proceed with the
pamphlet for Mr Marsh, in the absence of my manuscript, without
fear of confusion. I therefore commenced the illustration de novo
from another point of view, viz., assimilating the position of Eze-
kiel at Babylon to that of St Paul pleading the cause of God and
his people before the heathen on Mars Hill at Athens. In this
case I conceived a new form of illustration, designed from the
chenibic sculptures on the Propylseum at Khorsabad, and thoiight
to illustrate the jjrobable object of the Jifth leg on the sculptures as
a lever connected with the wings, to give the idea of motion on a
side vieio of the symbolism, contemplated as decorating the side of
an idol-car in motion.

To do this the more effectually I had working models made,
and conceived a series of designs for lithographic illustration.


Some of these 1 have now used for Mr Mjirsli's pamphlet, with new
manuscript continuance thei'cof. A desire to improve the oppor-
tunity for aftcr-thoTights afforded me by the unfortunate illness
of the London artist, (to whom I had applied, from his access
to the British Museum), will accoiint for the otherwise seemingly
needless tautology, and expense of having two Pamphlets printing
at the same time on partially the same subject.

The larger of the models I purpose for the British Museum,
with power to reprint these Tracts, wholly or in part, for a hand-
book to the Assyrian Sculptui'es, should the Trustees and Cura-
tors think it viseful for such a pvirpose.

My meaning is to give the right of publication, if thought
useful for proving the confinnation of Jewish prophecy from the
history of the past, as testified to by these Assyrian sculptures,
gratuitously to the persons who, by publication thereof on their
own account, may be in the most likely position to extend the
field of its usefulness. I would, however, reserve for the litho-
gi'aphers an interest in the illustrations, from the valuable aid I
have received from them in giving expression to my thoughts on
the subject. But from the value of the Assyrian SculjDtiu'es to the
British Museiim, and from the relation of the subject to the mis-
sion of Christianity for the regeneration of the world (from a cere-
monial and vain to a spiritual and truthful worship of God), I
should wish the Trustees and Curators of the British Museum, on
the one hand, and the Committee of the Society for Promoting
Christian Knowledge on the other, to have a right of reprinting it
for themselves, or of making any compilation therefrom which may,
in their judgment, seem more practically useful to themselves, yet
so as not to prejudice its being made useful to the cause of Chris-
tianity through the present medium of publication, reserving for
the Edinburgh Lithogi'aphei's an interest in the original designs,
as made their own by iinprovement in their hands.

It is with considerable misgiving that I have presumed thus to
invite the attention of the learned at the British Museum, and the
Publishing Committee of the Christian Knowledge Society, to any
thoughts of my own.

But the subject is one in which they have a peculiar interest.
This possibly may induce them to overlook the presumption of an
obscure individual seeking to avail himself of that interest, for test-
ing the trvithfulness and utility of the interpretation given to Jewish
prophecy in these Tracts. Without the countenance of such autho-
rities I can only anticipate failure, and on it I dare hardly presume.
For all the popular theoi'ies on Jewish prophecy are based upon a
foundation so different to that here assxtmed (on scriptural evidence)
to be true, that their advocates, with probably but few exceptions,
may regard this investigation as a novelty of doubtful service to
the cause of our religion. Yet, be that as it may, if I shall have
been blessed to renew successfully the inquiry opened by Professor
Lee* on these important subjects in a form for others to follow out
with happier effect and greater accuracy of detail, I desire no other
interest therein, and shall be thankful to God for the mercy.

To myself, of course, the foremost Tract, on the Nineveh
Sculptures, does scripturally seem to establish a prophetic connec-
tion between the heathen symbolism for the glory of Babylon in
the days of Nebuchadnezzar, and the cherubic emblems of Ezekiel's
typical vision respecting the throne of Messiah's earthly glory.
But if so really, then these facts must have an important influence
in determining the true historic reference of Jewish prophecy in
its relation to the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

For these facts are not only directly opposed to the poindar
tlieory of Jewish prophecy, which is based on eiToneous Jewisli

* Dr >S. Lee, late Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge.


tiaditioii.s, hut tlicy moreover confirm, in tlie .stroi)ge«t mauiier
from scripture, fairly and largely compared with scripture, the
soundness of the general principles laid down by the late Dr S. Lee
for the interpretation of Jewish prophecy.

He interpreted Kev. xix, 10, in the true spirit of its meaning,
compared with Liike xvi, 31, when ho represented all the teaching
of the Mosaic law, and of God's ancient prophets, as an insti'uc-
tion of ty2)ical import, realised with spiritual and everlasting effect
in Christ (Heb. x, 1-10, Matt, xxi, 37), and thenceforth made the
teaching of an immutable law in Christ's everlasting gospel (Rev.
xiv, G.)

From these facts we learn that the calling of Israel out of
Babylon, to which the promised restoration of the kingdom with
everlasting effect refers (Zech- ii, 7, Rev. xviii, 4) had respect to an
everlasting calling of all flesh out from a state of spiritual bondage
to the power of man's unsanctified human will, as bearing upon all
men individvially with destructive inflvience, both from within and
from without, until sanctified of God by gifts of gi-ace, enabling all
who do not presumptuously resist this calling to walk in "the
obedience of faith."

This calling of God in Chriat (i.e. by a way of holiness) was fii'st
made known to Abraham (John viii, 5Q) and to his seed as called
in Isaac (1 Cor. x, 4) and associated with two remarkable deliver-
ances from tlie power of the world — 1st, The Exodus out of EgA^it
in the days of Moses ; 2d, From Babylon in the days of Cyinis.

But it was predicted that this second deliverance should not
be realised in the fulness of the blessedness predicted, V7itll a change
skonkl be made in God'tfjirst covenant tvitk Israel ; after which the
glory of God's spiritual Israel should become everlastingly a light
to lighten the Gentiles.


Though the adverse curreut of popular opinion runs at present
strong against such an interpretation of Jemsh prophecy, still its
claims upon our attention are so all-important, that they cannot
be innocently overlooked (Rev. xxii, 18, 19.) Compare, v. 10, the
words "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book,ybr the
time is at liand,'' as wiitten in the apostolic age, with those (Dan.
xii, 4) of the angel to Daniel, as a message sent from God to cor-
rect erroneous notions of the predicted deliverance, when the time
for its commencement was nigh at hand, and the expectations of the
people high — " Shut up the words and seal the book, even to the
time of the end : many shall go to and fro, and knowledge shall be
increased." A fair comparison of these passages must shew the
positive danger of falling into false and injurious views of Christi-
anity, when refusing to believe (on the joint testimony of God's
word and ivorks, personified in Christ, E,ev. xi, 3-7) that all Jeioish
prophecy was fulfilled by the events of the apostolic age.

Hence I have thought it desirable to enter into a detailed scrip-
tural proof of tliis truth, to shew its practical value for the peace
of individuals, and for the welfare of Christian communities, as
identified with the salvation of the world in Christ. See John iii,
17, illustrated by John v, 39, 40, Matt, xsiii, 37-39, Jerem. li,
9, 10.

But, in doing this, remarks which were intended only for an
introduction to the first of these Tracts have extended themselves
into other two distinct Tracts. Of these. Tract 2d relates to the
true historic reference of Jewish Prophecy, and Tract 3d to the
rise of idolatry, in the relation of its fall to the establishment of
Messiah's cA^erlasting kingdom.


No. 1. Cherubic emblems of Assyrian Scvilptiire, designed from the existing
remains found at Khorsabad. First Tract, p. 2.

No. 2. Ezekiel's prophetic variation of the Assyrian Symbolism. First Tract, ^i. 2.

No. 3. Ezekiel's prophetic Symbolism applied to the outer east gate of the
Temple at Jerusalem, in illustration of Ezek. x, 1, 2. First Tract,
pp. 9, 10.

No. 4. Relation of the outer to the iimer east gate of the Temple at Jerusalem ;
on the supposition that the eight steps of the inner gates were as the
seven steps to the lower gates increased by the threshold of the Priests'
Comli. — Ezek. xl, 22, 27. Compare No. 8 from Josephus, in illustra-
tion of Second Tract, pp. 11, 40.

No. 5. Elevation of the Priests' Court, omitting the gates at the east front. Com-
pare Nos. 7 and 9 from Josephus, illustrating Second Tract, pp. 11,

No. 6. Boundary walls and pavements of the Temple, to illustrate the ^dsion of
Ezek. \'iii, 6-17, as seen by him through an imagined hole in the wall,
v. 7, 8. First Tract, pp. 4, 12.

No. 7- Elevation of the Temple, as described by Josephus, Antiq. viii, iii, 1-9 ;
Wars V, V, 1-7, omitting only the great outer court of the Gentiles.
Compare No. 5, and Second Tract, p. 39.

No. 8. The Comii of the Priests and Court of Lsrael, omitting the Coiu-t of the
Women, and varying the turretted form of the side-chambers between
the two east gates. Compare No. 4, and Second Tract, p. 40.

No. 9 as No. 8. Omitting the gates and wall of the east front, to shew the separ-
ate place towards the west, as standing on the upper pavement, and
higher up on the hill side. See No. 5.

No. 10. The Temple, in the proportion of its other measiu-ements to that of the
great outer Court typically measured by Ezekiel, as 500 reeds square,
liliisti-ating Seconds Tract, p. 38.

No. 11. Tlie Car of Juggernaut. — From the Saturday Magazine for August 11,
1832. Illustrating Second Tract, p. 46.

No. 12. Ancient Jerusalem, in its relation to the walls rebuilt by Nehemiah. —
Reduced from the Christian Knowledge Society's map. Illustrating
Second Tract, p. 32.

No. 13. Tlie Laver and its bases, illustrating the Second Tract, p. 61.

Exj)lanation of the Fifjures on the Map of A nclent Jerusalem.

1. TIio Sficcj) Oafr of Nehcni. iii, 1, on the south side of the towers of Meali ami


2. The Finh Gate of Zepli. l-]0 ; now the Yaffa Gate, or Gate of Bethlehem.

3. Tlie Old Gate of Neheni. iii, 6 ; xii, 39. This, being at least one gate against

the old Damascus road leading tu the territories of Ephraim, may
mean an older gate of Ephi-aim than that afterwards mentioned.

3' or 4. The Gale of Ephraim, Nehem. xii, 39. This was situated near " the
throne of the governor on this side the river" {i.e. the Euphrates), on
comparison of Nehem. iii, 7, that being the phrase there used to iden-
tify the same locality.

4 or 4'. The Neiv Gate of the higher Court (possibly the above-mentioned gate of

Ephraim, Nehem. xii, 39), called a gate of the Lord's house, Jerem.
xxxi, 10, as leading directly to the north-west entrance of the Lord's
house. Hence it was also called " the high gate of Benjamin, whieh was
by the house of the Lord," Jerem. xx, 2 ; and seems to have been "the
high gate i^ito the King's house,'' 2 Chron. xxiii, 20, as the Horse Gate
to the house of the Lord and to the King's house from the Damascus
road. — Compare 2 Kings xi, 16 with Jer. xxxi, 40 ; Nehem. iii, 28.

If the road from Damascus, in Nehemiah's day, approached Jeru-
salem in the forked form of two distinct streets (as on this copy from
the Society's map), then this may have been a gate of the northern wall
at the terminus of the Damascus road nearest to the temple, as the Gate
of Ephraim in 2 Kings xiv, 13, might have stood at the terminus of
the more western road, and only at a distance of about 400 cubits from
the Corner Gate or Fish Gate at the citadel.

5 & 5'. The Broad Wall. — This probably extended along both the north and

north-west sides of the temple enclosure. Tliis may refer to the
"Millo" built by David and Solomon. It may thus mean the filling
up of the valleys to obtain an enlarged area for the foundations of the
temple enclosure towards the north, and for uidting the upper and
lower cities. It might thus also involve a reference to the great
breadth of the lower cloisters of the temple.

6. The Tower of the Furnaces. — This I imaghie to have stood on the north

side of the broad w;xll, and on the site afterwards occupied by the
tower of Antonia.

6'. The miscalled Pool of Bethesda.

6". The miscalled Gate of St Stephen.

7. The Valley Gate of Neh. iii, 13. — This was the point from which one of

the two companies started at the dedication of the walls. — Neh. xii, 31 .

8. The Dung Gate of Neh. iii, 13, 14; xii, 31.— This was situated about

1000 cubits (S. and S.E.) distant from the VaUey Gate.

9. The Fountain Gate, between the Pool of Siloam and the King's Pool. —
Tliis was over against the stairs going up to the City of David. — Neh.
ii, 14 ; iii, 15 ; xii, 37.

10. The Water Gate, lying eastward of Mount Zion, and above the stairs up

to the city from the fountains.

1 1 . Course of the Tyropceon, from the VaUey of Gihon on the west, as extend-

ing along the south of Acra, to its junction with the Valleys of Hin-
nom and Jehoshaphat by the Pool of Siloam.

X. The " Beth-Millo" of 2 Kings xii, 20. — This probably represents the site
of the fort of Moimt Zion, in David's day, as one with the armoury of
Neh. iii, 19 (see Cant, iv, 4), and the Xystus, or Gymnasivun, and
House of Assembly, near the Water Gate, in later times.

M. The Gate MiphJcad of Nehem. iii, 31. — This I take to be the East Gate
of Ezekiel's vision, as the outer east gate of the temple properly so called,
in its relation to the East Gate or Golden Gate of mediaeval traditions
founded on the prophecy of Ezekiel's vision. For Mij^hJcad means
visited, and the idea seems to have reference to the people and temple
of God at Jerusalem being ^^sited of Messiah in the day of his incar-
nation.— Malachi iii, 1-4.

<; r-ci

EzelcieTs ])ro^iietic symlDoliSTii ap^pliei to tlie outer Ear,

tlie Temple at Jerusalem m illustration of Ezek. X.1,2.

\\ H.W^ Farlane, Litl,' Ed

N° 4.


Selation of the oictex to the mnex Hast ^ate of the Temple at Jcrirsaiem.

OTi the supposition that the 8 steps of the inner ,^ates were as the seven

steps to the lower ^ates increased hy the threshold of the Pnests Court

Ezehiel XL. 22, 21.

Elevation of th.e Priests Co^art, (

I tke ^ates at tlie East fioTit.

WH.irFaTlanp.LitY EdmT


BoTmiaiy walls seal jav^ineMs of tlie Temple to illustrate the vision of

'^IS.ldiihme Litli'

Vm. 6_n, as seen Ij him thxou^k an imagined liole m the wall. v. 7,8.


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The Temple m tie pojortion of its other measurements to that of


Wfl l.r=?auauc. Lvui? ta

^Teat outer Court, typically measirred lij EzeMel as 500 leeds so[uare.

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The Car of Ju^^eTnaut,

'Copied fTOffl tte SatuTday Ma^azme.

















Once (and I dare say it is not a solitary case) I was in the habit of
regarding, traditionally and without any careful investigation of
the question, the opening vision of Ezekiel's prophecy as a pure
spiritual vision of God enthroned on high in supernatural glory,
unapproachable by and unintelligible to man. But this should not
be, for it perverts the true spiritual instruction of the prophecy
into that of a vain and profitless superstition.

The imagery used by all God's prophets must have been drawn
from sources openly appreciable by the men of the generation to
which they were sent, otherwise their words would have been un-
intelligible ; yet we account them to have been sent with a mission
of God for the instruction of their fellow-beings.

It is not, therefore, reverential to interpret the figui-ative lan-
guage in which their typical or symbolic instruction was expressed
as if God's prophets had been divinely commissioned to use unin-
telligible means for conveying an instruction of professedly vital
importance to Israel, or at least to the spiritually minded of the
then Jewish nation.

Having now carefully compared this opening to Ezekiel's visions
of God with his vision of the oblation and temple at the end of his
book of prophecy, I have come to the conclusipn that the imagery
is not supernatural, but one of a mixed symbolism. For it repre-
sents, on the one hand, the Astro-theology of the ancient oriental
nations respecting " heaven as God's throne." But, on the other,
the symbolism is earthly and material, being borrowed from the
idolatry of the Assyrians and Egyptians respecting the Divine
government of the world being divided between gods many and
lords many, as a corruption of the primeval religion, which the

})iopln;t.s of the Jewish nation were continuously commissioned to

My proof is twofold — 1st. From the internal evidence of the
book ; 2d. From the confirmation given thereto by the recently
discovered sculptures brought from Mosul, or ancient Nineveh,
and coiTesponding to others found in the neighbourhood of Car-
chemish, or Circesium, by the mouth of the river Chebar, or Cha-
boras, where Ezekiel was amongst his captive brethren when he
saw these visions.*

We must remember that this was situated in the northern parts
of the plains of Shinar, and that Tell in the word Tell-abib (or
" Mound of the ears of coi-n'') means an artificial mound. It is
supposed to be " Thallaba," and from iii, 15, seems to have been
the place of Ezekiel's residence throvighout the series of his visions.

We are thus scripturally introduced to the prophet when receiv-
ing of God an instruction of Divine inspiration respecting the future
to Israel and Babylon, as he stood, B.c. 595 (like Paul upon the
hill of Mars at Athens, Acts xvii, 22-23), and beheld in amaze-
ment the colossal symbols of Babylonian pride by which the people
idolatrously worshipped an unknown God. For they seemingly
attributed their then great national glory to the idea that Israel's
God had come with his captive people to Babylon, and infused a
more powerful spii-it into the nation than that of their owti idols.

Though a later date (viz., B.C. 580) is in the margin of our
Bibles assigned to Nebuchadnezzar's decree (Dan. iii, 29), he was
fii'st inspired to worship the God of Israel, as more powerful than
his own God, when Daniel told him his prophetic dream and the
true interpretation thereof, B.C. 603. — Dan. ii, 46-49.

In the opening of Ezekiel's book of prophecy God is represented
as inspiring him in the land of his captivity with a prophetic in-
struction, the imagery of which is (as before observed) partly of an
Astro- theological origin, for " heaven t as God's throne," and partly
taken from the idolatrous symbols of Babylonian pi-ide and glory
with which he was there surrounded. But the idolatrous symbol
of Babylonian greatness, augmented by that of Egypt and Israel
made tributary thereto (Is. xix, 23-25 ; xxvii, 13 ; xxxv, 8, "with
John XV, 6) is modijied lyropheticaUy when made four-headed to
extend over the times limited in Daniel's prophecy on the power

* See Layard's Nineveh, pp. 282-2S4, on the Winged Bull at Arban.
+ See notes on Aphophis, &c. , p. 59.

of the Jewish Church vinder association with that of heathen
dominiou from the days of Nebuchadnezzar as the gohleu head of
the colossal image (Dan. ii, 38), and proljably the human head of
this four-headed symbol.

Thus the times prophetically ordained for the ingathering of the
Gentiles into one fold with Israel are represented as beginning in
the days of Nebuchadnezzar ; and under circumstances of the
Babylonian captivity, as ordained " for good," — Jerem, xxiv, 5.

But "the fulness of the Gentiles," or of the time apj)oiuted for
making the Gentiles spiritually and eternally one with Israel, by
the gift of the Holy Ghost, was to be the event which should
realise before men the establishment of God's new covenant with
Israel, by the cessation of the typical or Mosaic Dispensation.
For then, as it were, all the works of God should be subjected of
God to support the throne of Messiah's glory ; being thus sub-
jected in power unto Him, for the good of man whilst living in
the obedience of faith. — Rev. v, 13 ; Rev. xvi, 25-26. Hence the

Online LibraryWilliam HewsonChristianity in its relation to Judaism and heathenism : in three tracts : with lithographic illustrations and chronological tables → online text (page 1 of 45)