Sep 28, 2011

Gospel in the Stars XI

The Pierced Eagle

"The second Decan adds still further to the clearness and certainty of the meaning. This is the constellation of Aquila, the pierced, wounded, and falling eagle. It is but another picture of the grain of wheat falling and dying. The principal star in this constellation is of the first magnitude, and is the star by which the position of the moon—also a symbol of the Church—is noted for the computation of longitude at sea. Its name is Al Tair, which in Arabic means the wounded. The name of the second star in the same language means the scarlet-colored—covered with blood. The name of the third means the torn, whilst that of another means the wounded in the heel. It is simply impossible to explain how all these names got into this sign and its Decans, except by intention to denote the great fact of the promised Saviour's death.

The myths explain this eagle in different ways. Some say it is Merops, king of Cos, the husband of Ethemea, who lamented for his condemned wife, and was transformed into an eagle and placed among the stars. Some say it is the form assumed by Jupiter in carrying off Ganymedes, whilst others describe it as the eagle which brought nectar to Jupiter while he lay concealed in the Cretan cave by reason of the fury and wrath of Saturn. In short, pagan wisdom did not know what it meant, though holding it in marked regard. And yet, as Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it, and reigns in glory for its good—as He humbled himself in obedience to death that He might take to himself a glorious Church to serve the eternal Father in immortal blessedness—as He was really brought down into the cave of death, whence He was revived by heavenly virtues after the exhaustion of the fierce wrath of insulted sovereignty,—we can still see some dim reflections of the original truth and meaning even in these confused and contradictory fables.

The eagle is one of the biblical symbols of Christ. "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings and brought you unto myself" (Ex. 19:4), "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttered! over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the Lord alone did lead him" (Deut. 32 : 11, 12). The eagle is a royal bird, and the natural enemy of the serpent. It is elevated in its habits, strong, and swift. It is very careful and tender toward its young, and is said to tear itself to nourish them with its own blood when all other means fail. And here is the noble Eagle, the promised Seed of the woman, pierced, torn, and bleeding, that those begotten in His image may be saved from death, sheltered, protected, and made to live for ever.

But, as in the case of the Arrow, so also in this case, the figure will admit the further idea which takes in the proud sinner, pierced by the arrow of the Word and brought down into the humiliation of penitence, even to death and despair as to all his former hopes in himself. And until the high-soaring children of pride are thus brought down by the arrow of God's Word, and fall completely out of the heaven of their dreams, conformably to Christ's death for them, there can come to them no right life. Paul was alive without the law once, and a very high-soaring and bloodthirsty eagle; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and he died—died the death that could alone bring him to right life."

The Dolphin

"The third Decan of this sign is the beautiful cluster of little stars named Delphinus. It is the figure of a vigorous fish leaping upward. Taken in connection with the dying goat, it conveys the idea of springing up again out of death. Our great Sin-bearer not only died for our sins, but He also rose again, thereby becoming "the first-fruits of them that slept." As the Head and Representative of His Church, He is the principal Fish in the congregation of the fishes. Their quickening, life, and spiritual resurrection rest on His coming forth again after having gone down into the waves of death for their sakes. Put to death in the flesh, He was quickened by the Spirit, and in His quickening and resurrection all His people share. Their sins having been buried in His death, their life is by virtue of His resurrection, that "like as He was raised from the dead, so we should walk in newness of life," ever advancing toward a still more complete resurrection to come. The corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, but from that death there is a springing up again to the intended fruitfulness. Christ dies and rises again, and His people, slain in their old carnal confidence, absolved by His suffering of the penalty due to them, and planting themselves solely upon Him as their Lord and Redeemer, rise with him into the new, spiritual, and eternal life. The picture of the dying goat, with its after-part a living fish, implied this, but the nature of the transition could not be so well expressed in that figure by itself. Hence the additional explanatory figure of an upspringing fish, to show more vividly that the transition is by means of resurrection to a new life of another style. We thus have the vivid symbol of both the resurrection of the slain Saviour as the Head of the Church, and the included new creation of His people, who rise to their new life through His death and resurrection. In ancient mythology the dolphin was the most sacred and honored of fishes, doubtless because of its place among the ancient constellations, though the myths representing it are very different. It was specially sacred to Apollo, and its name was added to his—some say, because he slew the dragon; others say, because in the form of a dolphin he showed the Cretan colonists the way to Delphi, the most celebrated place in the Grecian world and the seat of the most famous of all the oracles. According to some accounts, it was a dolphin which brought about the marriage of the unwilling Amphitrite with the god of the sea, and for this it received place among the stars. The muddy waters reflect something of the original idea. Christ was the true Son of Deity. It was He who broke the Dragon's power by submitting to become the atoning Mediator. "In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." By His death and resurrection He has opened and shown the way by which His people come to the blessed city of which Jehovah is the light. By His mediation He has brought about a marriage between men in flight from their Lord and Him who loved them with a love that passeth knowledge. And in believing foretoken of all this His sign, as the Head of His people, was thus placed in the heavens, where it stands as another form of the parable of the buried corn of wheat rising in new life, of which all who are His are partakers."

Salvation Through Atonement

"Capricornus is thus the illustrious bearer and witness of the most vital evangelical truths. There is no more central or important doctrine of our holy faith than this, that the pure and sinless Son of God, having assumed our nature for the purpose, did really and truly take the sins of the world upon Him, and bore the agonies of an accursed death as the sacrifice and propitiation for our guilt. Whatever difficulty human reason may have in receiving it, it is the very heart and substance of the Gospel tidings, on which all the hopes of fallen man repose. "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day, that repentance and remission of sins might be preached in His name" (Luke 24:46, 47) This "first of all" Paul preached, and Christians received and held, "how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (i Cor. 15 : 3, 4). "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Heb. 2 : 14, 15). Hence the highest apostolic song on earth is that led off by the holy seer of Patmos: "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever;" whilst the saints in heaven, in devoutest adoration, fall down before the Lamb, and cry, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood" (Rev. i : 5, 6; 5:9).

And how cheering and confirmatory to our faith to see and know that what Prophets and Apostles have been testifying on earth the heavens themselves have been proclaiming for all these ages! How assuring to know that what we build our hope on now is the same that the holy patriarchs from Adam's time built on as their hope and joy! They believed and expected, and hung their faith and testimony on the stars, that in the fulness of time the Seed of the woman should come, and bow himself in death as the Sin-offering for a guilty world, and rise again in life and frnitfulness of saving virtues, whereby His Church should rise with Him, sharing at once the merit of His atonement and the power of His resurrection, and thus live and reign in inseparable union with himself in life and glory everlasting. Every September (December - SG) midnight of every year for all these centuries has accordingly displayed the sign of it in the middle of the sky, and held it forth to the eyes of mortals as the blessed hope and only refuge of a condemned world, at the same time that it marks the point of change in year and climate, and when the darkness is the greatest opens the southern gateway of the Sun.

Yes, this strange goat-fish, dying in its head, but living in its after-part—falling as an eagle pierced and wounded by the arrow of death, but springing up from the dark waves with the matchless vigor and beauty of the dolphin—sinking under sin's condemnation, but rising again as sin's conqueror—developing new life out of death, and heralding a new spring-time out of December's long drear nights—was framed by no blind chance of man. The story which it tells is the old, old story on which hangs the only availing hope that ever came, or ever can come, to Adam's race. To what it signifies we are for ever shut up as the only saving faith. In that dying Seed of the woman we must see our Sin-bearer and the atonement for our guilt, or die ourselves unpardoned and unsanctified. Through His death and blood-shedding we must find our life, or the true life, which alone is life, we never can have."

The Living Waters of Aquarius

John 7:37: "If any man thirst, let him come untj Me, and drink."

"One of the gladdest things in our world is water. In whatever shape it presents itself, it is full of interest and beauty. Whether trickling down in pearly mist from the fragrant distilleries of Nature, or rippling in merry windings through the grassy dell or shady grove; whether jetting from the rocky precipices of the mountain, or gathered into the rolling plains of ocean; whether sparkling in the ice-gem, or pouring in the cataract; whether coming in silver drops from the bow-spanned heavens, or forcing itself out in glassy purity from the dark veins of the earth; whether in the feathery crystals of the snow-flakes, or grandly moving in the volume of the ample river,—it is everywhere and always beautiful. Next to light, it is God's brightest element; and light itself is as much at home in it as in its own native sky. Sometimes, in some connections, it is the symbol of evil, but even there it is the expression of life and energy. Nor is it much to be wondered that in the hot Orient men were moved to deify fountains and erect votive temples over them, as though they were gracious divinities. The preciousness of bright, fresh waters to parched and needy man is beyond all compare. Where such waters come they bring gladness and rejuvenation, luxuriousness and plenty. Where they pour forth, sinking strength recovers, dying life rekindles, perishing Nature revives, a thousand delights are awakened, and everything rejoices and sings with new-begotten life.

Such an object in Nature could not fail to be seized by the sacred writers to represent the life-giving purity and regenerating power of divine grace and salvation. Accordingly, we find it one of the common and most lively images under which the Scriptures set forth the cleansing, renewing, and saving virtues that come to man in God's redemptive administrations. Thus the Spirit in Baalam's unwilling lips described the goodliness of Israel's tents " as the valleys spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign-aloes which the Lord hath planted, as cedar trees beside the waters." Thus when the inspired Moses began his song of God's grace to Israel's tribes, he said, " My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." The good man is " like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, whose leaf also shall not wither." The joy of Messiah's day is the opening of "a fountain to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." Ezekiel beholds the blessed influences of the sanctuary as issuing waters—waters to the ankles, waters to the knees, waters to the loins, waters to swim in—a river of waters. Jesus himself discoursed to the woman of Samaria of the saving benefits of His grace as "living water"water which slakes all thirst for ever. The people of God are likened to fishes, whose life-element is water. And so in the text the Saviour compares His redeeming virtue and grace to water, and says, " If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink."

In those signs, then, which the primeval patriarchs hung upon the stars as everlasting witnesses of God's gracious purposes to be achieved through the Seed of the woman, we would certainly expect to find some great prominence given to this same significant symbol. And as we would anticipate, so do we really find, especially in the sixth sign of Zodiac, which we now come to consider."

The Sign Of Aquarius

"Here is the figure of a man with a great urn upon his arm, from which he is pouring out from the heavens a stream of water which flows with all the volume of a swollen river. Mythology calls him Ganymedes, the bright, glorified, and happy One — the Phrygian youth so beautiful on earth that the great King and Father of gods carried him away to heaven on eagles' wings to live in glory with immortals. Some say that he came to an untimely death in this world; and the stories in general combine in representing him as the beloved and favorite of the divine Father, exalted to glory and made the chosen cup-bearer of the Deity. Classic art portrays him as a most beautiful young man, sometimes carried by an eagle, jometimes ministering drink to an eagle from a bowl which he bears, and again as the particular companion of the eternal Father. Amid all these earthly varnishes which paganism has daubed over the picture we still may see the sacred image shining through. The true Ganymedes is the beautiful Lord Jesus, "the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely." Cut off was He in His early manhood, but divinely lifted up again, borne away to heaven on unfailing wings, seated in brightness and glory beside the everlasting Father, loved and approved as God's only-begotten Son, made the sovereign Lord and Dispenser of grace and salvation, and by His merit procuring and pouring out the very "river of water of life." The urn He holds is the exhaustless reservoir of all the fulness of renewing, comforting, and sanctifying power. And the turning of that holy urn for its contents to flow down into the world below is the precise picture of the fulfilment of those old prophetic promises: "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring;" "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions " (Isa. 44 : 3 ; Joel 2 : 28) .

The name of the principal star in this sign —Sa'ad al Melik—means Record of the outpouring. The Coptic, Greek, and Latin names of the sign itself signify The Pourerforth of water, The exalted Waterman, as though specially to designate Him who says, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink."

Promise Of The Holy Spirit

"When Christ was about to leave the world He said to His followers, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. . . He will guide you into all truth. . . He will show you things to come. . . He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16). That promise included all the divine life-power issuing from the mediation of Christ for the illumination, regeneration, and salvation of men —all the renewing, cleansing, comforting, and energizing grace for the gathering of the elect and the bringing of believers to eternal life and glory. The Holy Ghost was in the world from the beginning, but here was the promise of a new and enlarged grant and endowment, to lift, nourish, and distinguish Christian believers. The same was gloriously fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when "suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and filled all the house where they were sitting; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." And when the Jews mocked and derided, the sacred explanation was that Jesus, being raised up again from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God, and having so received of the Father, was now the Giver and Shedder-forth of this marvellous power. He is thus presented to our contemplation as the glorified Pourer-forth from heaven of the blessed waters of life and salvation; in other words, the true Aquarius, of whom the picture in the sign was the prophecy and foreshowing. Wherever the Scriptures represent the Spirit and grace of God under the imagery of waters, the idea of unfailing supply and plenteous abundance is also invariably connected with it. Sometimes it is a plentiful rain; sometimes it is a voluminous fountain; sometimes it is a great river flowing with fulness that supplies a thousand life-freighted rivulets. Inspiration tells us that the rock smitten by Moses was the type of the smiting of Christ and the blessings proceeding from Him; but in that case the waters "gushed; they ran in dry places like a river." Isaiah sings: "The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams." Ezekiel's river was deep and broad, healing even the Dead Sea with the abundance of its flow. Zechariah says these heavenly waters flow out to both seas, and continue without cessation summer and winter alike. God's promise is, "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water;" which, as John Brentius says, "denotes the great plenteousness of the Word and eternal blessedness flowing from Christ the Fountain." And the same is characteristic of the picture in this sign. From the urn of Aquarius flows a vast, constant, and voluminous river. It flows in a bending stream both to eastward and westward, and enlarges as it flows. The imagery of the Scriptures and the imagery of this sign are exactly of a piece, and the true reason of the coincidence is, that both were meant to record and set forth the same glorious evangelic truths."

Sep 25, 2011

Gospel in the Stars X

Capricornus - Death and New Life

John 12 : 24: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone : but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."

"In connection with these words I continue the study of that evangelic record which we find written on the stars in the ancient astronomy.

As far as we have gone in these investigations, four signs of the Zodiac, with their accompanying Decans, have been discussed— Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. Eight more of these signs accordingly remain to be considered; and to these, in their order, I propose that we now direct our attention."

Order Of The Signs

"...these twelve signs of the Solar Zodiac divide themselves into three distinct groups, each group having its own distinct subject. The first group, consisting of the four signs which have already been before us, relates to the Person, Work, and Triumph of the illustrious Redeemer, with special reference to himself. The next succeeding group, consisting of Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries, with their several Decans, relates to the Fruits of His Work and Mediatorship—the formation, condition, and destiny of the Church, or that body of people spiritually born to Him through faith, and made partakers of the benefits of His redemptive administrations; whilst the third and last group relates to the final Consummation of the whole in the united glory of the Redeemer and the redeemed, and the exalted condition of things which the Consummation is to realize. All this will be more clearly brought out as we proceed. At present we make our entrance upon the second or middle group."

The Sign Of Cappicornus

"Here we have the picture of a fallen goat with the vigorous tail of a fishhalf goat and half fish.

It may seem singular and far-fetched to connect the text I have read with such a figure. A little consideration, however, will show that the subject-matter in both is in fact identical, though the particular imagery is entirely different. That of the text is the image which we had in Virgo, where the illustrious Son of the virgin is likened to a grain of corn or seed, denoted by Spica, the ear of wheat. It was necessary for this seed or grain of wheat to fall into the ground and die in order to reach its intended fruitfulness, which fruitfulness arises directly out of such falling and dying. The meaning of the passage is, that Christ was to die as a sacrifice, and that by virtue of His sacrificial death salvation was to come to man and the congregation of saved ones formed...As the phoenix was said to arise out of the ashes of its consumed predecessor, so the Church, or congregation of saints, rises out of the death of Christ, sacrificed for the sins of the world. This is everywhere the teaching of the Scriptures, and nowhere more pointedly and graphically than in this text. And when we translate this idea into the imagery of the fifth sign of the Zodiac, we find another very graphic and much older picture of precisely the same thing."

Type And Antitype

"First of all, we have here the figure of a goat. This is a sacrificial animal. God commanded the children of Israel, saying, "Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin-offering" (Lev. 9:31). So Aaron "took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin" (Lev. 9: 15). And of the goat of the sin-offering Moses said, "It is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord" (Lev. 10: 16, 17).

In the next place, this goat is fallen down in the attitude of dying. His one leg is doubled under his body, and the other is powerless to lift him up. His head is drooping and sinking in death. This is the identical falling and dying of Christ as the sin-offering to which He refers in the text. It is the same Seed of the woman, in the attitude and condition of a sacrifice for sin. Christ surely was "wounded for our transgressions" and "bruised for our iniquities." "He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken." As the Head of the flock He suffered in their stead, and laid down His life in sacrifice that they might live. And here, it is written on the stars from the earliest ages, and with a vividness of pictorial representation which no one can contemplate without realizing that the picture is intensely striking."

The names in this sign also point to the same thought and significance. Gedi and Dabih are the most prominent stars in this constellation; and in Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac these names mean, the cut-off, the hewndown, the sacrifice slain. Other stars in the same constellation have names of similar import, signifying the slaying, the record of the cutting off. Even the elements of the name of the sign as we still have it from the Latins, Capricornus, mean not only the goat, but atonement, sinking or bowed in death. And if there is any significance whatever in these celestial pictures, we have in this sign the symbol of sacrificial death, which is the exact idea of the text."

The Church

"But it is at the same time a picture of another kind of life, developed out of this sacrificial death, and vitally conjoined with it. The body of the fallen and dying goat terminates in the body and tail of a vigorous fish. The living fish thus takes its being out of the dying goat, and has all its life and vigor from thence. Accordingly, the Coptic name of this sign signifies the station or mansion of bearing. In addition to the falling and dying, it is the sign of a mystic procreation and bringing forth. That which is brought forth is a fish, which is again a familiar and well-understood sacred symbol.

When Jesus called and appointed His first ministers He said, "I will make you fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19). So when God said He will bring the children of Israel again into their own land, His word was, " I will send for many fishers, and they shall fish them" (Jer. 16: 15, 16). So in Ezekiel's vision of the holy waters the word was, "And there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither" (Ez. 47 : 1—9), Christ speaks of His saved ones as "born of water" (John 3:5). In the parable of the drag-net and in the miraculous draughts of fishes God's people are contemplated as fishes. Hence, in both Testaments fishes stand as the symbol of believers. "Fishes signify regenerate persons," says Dr. Gill. "Fish are those that are wrought upon and brought in by the Gospel, and are so called for six reasons," says Greenhill. "Fish are the men who have attained to life by the Messianic salvation," says Dr. Hengstenberg. The early Christians were accustomed to call believers Ichthues and Pisces—that is, fishes. In the name and titles of our Lord—"Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Saviour"—the initials in Greek form a word or name which signifies a fish, and hence the Fathers technically designated Christ as the mystic divine Fish, who in the waters of baptism begets the multitude of fishes—the congregation of His people. Christ is therefore at once the sacrificial goat of the sin-offering and the begetter of a body of reborn men, the Church, the congregation of the quickened and saved. The diction of the Scriptures thus answers exactly to the figure in this sign, which is the dying goat developed into a fish body."

The Mystical Union

"Even the great New-Testament doctrine of the Mystical Union of believers with their Saviour is here most strikingly signified. As men naturally are but reproductions and perpetuations of Adam, and live his life, so Christ's people are the reproduction and perpetuation of Christ, living His life. They are in Him as the branch is in the vine. They are repeatedly called His body, one with Him, "members of His body and of His flesh and of His bones." And so close and real is their life-connection and incorporation with Him that they are in a sense sometimes called "Christ." What, then, could better symbolize this than the sign before us? This goat and fish are one—one being, the life of the dying reproduced and continued in a spiritual product which is part of one and the same body. The goat of sacrifice sinks into a new creation, which is yet an organic part of itself. The image is grotesque, and has no prototype in Nature, but it is true, exact and graphic. The forgiveness and regeneration of men, and their incorporation with Christ, is something wholly above Nature—something altogether miraculous—which could not be adequately signified by any natural symbols; and so, as the double nature of the Redeemer himself was denoted by an arbitrary figure, half horse and half man, so the relation between Him as the Sin-bearer and His saved people, who live by virtue of His death, is denoted by another arbitrary figure, made up of a dying goat and a living fish. Nor is it in the power of human genius or imagination to devise another figure capable of setting forth mere simply and truly the great and glorious mystery."

The Myths

"The pagan myths concerning this sign correspond with these interpretations. This goat is everywhere regarded as Pan, Bacchus, or some divine personage. How he came to have the form of a goat is explained after this fashion: The gods were feasting near a great river, when suddenly the terrible Typhon came upon them, compelling them to assume other shapes in order to escape his fury. Bacchus took the form of a goat and plunged into the river, and that part of his body which was under the water took the form of a fish. To commemorate the occurrence Jupiter placed him in the heavens in his metamorphosed shape. The story is absurd, but through it shines something of the great original idea. It was to secure deliverance from the fury of God's wrath upon sin, and from the ruinous power of the Devil, that the Son of God took upon Him the form of a Sinbearer and Sacrifice, and in this character was plunged into the deep waters of death. It was by His taking of this form, and His sinking in death as our substitute and propitiation, that life came to those who were under the power of death, whereby they became a living part of Him, never more to be separated from Him. The myth is only a paganized and corrupted paraphrase of the original reference which the Spirit of sacred prophecy had written in the primeval astronomy, whence the whole conception originated.

Dagon, the half-fish god of the Philistines, and Oannes, the half-fish god of the Babylonians, also connect with this Zodiacal Capricornus, and have embodied in them the same original thought as well as figure. Philo tells us that Dagon means fruitfulness, the seed-producing; and so Christ is the Seed, the Corn of wheat, fallen and dying in the goat, but producing the living fish, the Church, which is the travail of His soul, the true fruit of His atonement. Eusebius says that Dagon was the god of husbandry, the god of seeds and harvests. Pluche says that Dagon among the Philistines was the same as Horus among the Egyptians; and Horus takes the character of the meek and silent Sufferer from whom comes the horn of blessing and plenty. Dagon had the human form in place of the goat, but that was only a further interpretation of the meaning; for the goat part of Capricornus stands for the Seed of the woman, and so is in reality the man Christ Jesus.

Berosus speaks of Oannes as likewise half man and half fish. Some of the ancient pictures of him still remain, in which he is figured as a great fish outside, but under and within the fish, and joined with it as its more vital interior, was a tall and vigorous man, standing upright in great dignity, with one hand lifted up as if calling for attention, and in the other carrying a basket or satchel as if filled with treasure. He is fabled as having risen out of the sea to teach the primitive Babylonians the secrets of wisdom, particularly the elements of culture, civilization, and law, organizing them into a prosperous commonwealth. An ancient fragment says of him: "He grew not old in wisdom, and the wise people with his wisdom he filled." The representation is throughout in full accord with what I have been saying of Capricornus. There is a coming up out of the deep in glorious life, and a blessed fruitfulness brought forth thereby, and that fruitfulness in the form of instructed, wise, and disciplined people. It is the fallen Seed of the woman risen up from death after having gone down into the invisible and unknown world, begetting and creating a new order among men—the dying Seed issuing in the believing body, the Church, in which He still lives and walks and teaches and blesses. The myth embodies the exact story of the sign."

Spiritual Conceptions

"Moreover, the very complexity of the figure of Capricornus, at first so confusing and hard to construe, conducts us into still further particularities of evangelic truth. As far as we have been looking at it, we see the literal death of one being issuing in the spiritual life of other beings, of whose new life He is the life. It is Christ in the one case corporeally sacrificed, and His people mystically resurrected to newness of life in the other. But along with this goes a reflex which it is important for us to observe, as it brings out some of the deep practical spiritualities of true religion. Of course, the rising of the fishes out of the dying goat implies the literal and potent resurrection of Christ himself as the Begetter and Giver of this spiritual resurrection to His people; for if He did not rise, then no preaching or believing would avail to bring us to life or salvation. But as we rise to spiritual life through the power of His resurrection, so there is also implied a dying with Him in order to rise with Him; for there is no resurrection where there has been no dying. We look for a resurrection of the body, because there is first a death of the body. And as God's people are partakers of a mystic or spiritual resurrection, there goes before it a corresponding death. That death out of which their new life comes through and in Christ is twofold. It is first a deadness in sin—existence indeed, but morally and spiritually a mere carcass, with no life-standing to the law or any practical spiritual life toward God and heaven—a life that is nothing but spiritual death and corruption under sentence of eternal death. In the next place, it is death to sin, both as to its penalty and power, a cessation of the mere carnal life and of further existence under condemnation. Now, the great office of religion, through the Seed of the woman and His sacrificial offering of himself to expiate our sins, is to bring death to this old life in sin and death, and by this wounding, slaying and putting off of the old man of corruption, to generate, evolve, sustain, teach and train the new man, which is renewed after the image of Christ's own resurrection, and which beams with better knowledge and true holiness. Christ corporeally dies for us, and we mystically die to the old death-life with, in, and by virtue of Him. We die to the death-penalty which holds us whilst in the mere carnal life, and put it clean off from us for ever, in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, by accepting Him and believing in Him as our Surety and Propitiation..."

Christ's Body

Refers to 1) The physical corporeal body of Christ, and 2) The mystical or spiritual body of Christ, composed of each believer (members)

"he is the head of the body, the church" (Col. 1: 18 and verse 24)

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." (Eph. 5: 23)

"So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." (Romans 12: 5)

The Arrow

"The first is Sagitta, the shot and killing arrow. It appears naked and alone. It has left the bow, and is speeding to its aim. It is a heavenly arrow, and He who shoots it is invisible. There is a majesty and a mystery it which startles and awes. It is the death-arrow of almighty justice, which goes forth from the throne against all unrighteousness and sin. It is that death-inflicting instrument which comes with resistless force and sharpness against a world that lieth in sin, and which pierces the spotless Son of God as found in the place of guilty and condemned man. The execution it does is shown in the fallen and dying goat. It is the arrow of divine justice and condemnation upon sin piercing through the body and soul of the meek Lamb of God, who agreed to bear our sins and answer for them.

In the thirty-eighth Psalm we have this very arrow of God sticking fast in the body of the mysterious Sufferer, wounding His flesh and His bones, and completely overwhelming Him. He is troubled and bowed down, as under a crushing burden. His heart panteth, his strength faileth, the light of his eyes fades out. Not only is he the persecuted object of man's hatred, but shut up within the strong bars of divine judgment. It was divine grace that prepared and shot that arrow against the person of the blameless One; but, being found in the room and stead of sinners, God's holy vengeance could not hold back for the sparing even of the only-begotten of the Father, so full of grace and truth. Christ came into the world to die for it; and toward this lowest deep His steps daily led Him as He looked onward to the harvest that was being sown amid these tears. It would seem almost as if the song of the Psalmist had been copied direct from what is thus pictured in these signs.

But this Arrow doubtless covers a further idea. There is a spiritual piercing and slaying in the case of those who come to new life in Christ, akin to the piercing and slaying of Christ himself. Sharp and hurtful words are compared to arrows. And of this character are the words of God as pronounced upon the wicked, judging and condemning them for their sins, bringing them down from their lofty self-security, and killing out of them the vain imaginings in which they live. Isaiah speaks of this sort of shaft or arrow in the Lord's quiver—the arrow of the Word—the arrow of conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment—a wounding and killing arrow which enters into men's souls, and makes humble penitents of them, that they may come to life in Christ. The death of Christ for our sins also takes the form of a word, preaching, testimony, and argument, even the preaching of the Cross, to kill the life of sin and to cause men to die unto it; so that the very arrow of sovereign justice which drank up the life of Christ as our Substitute and Propitiation passes through Him to pierce also those whose life in sin cost Him all this humiliation and pain; also killing them to that ill and condemned life that they may live the Christ-life as His renewed, justified, and redeemed children.

Thus the Arrow fills out precisely the same ideas which we find symbolized in the sign of Capricornus."

Union with Christ

1. Its nature
a) Legally and representativly
b) Vitally and actually connected

2. Its origin
a) By appointment (election/predestination)
b) By rebirth (joined to him by faith)

Eternal Vital Union Doctrine or "Two Seed" doctrine of Daniel Parker and the birth of the "two seeders" sect.

Ordo Salutis Connection

Union with Christ must come first, before there can be pardon, justification, cleansing, sanctification, etc.

Union with Christ is typified in various kinds of union among men. Union with Christ is like the union of husband and wife.

The relationship of conviction of sin to regeneration. Does conviction of sin, logically and chronologically, precede regeneration or new birth, or does it follow it?

If we say it follows it, as do the Hardshells, then we would be forced to say that anyone who feels convicted of his sin is a born again character. The problem with this view is that it makes unbelievers to be regenerated souls. For it is a plain truth that 1) many who come under conviction of sin never come to faith in Christ and 2) that there is often a large period of time between the experience of conviction and coming to trust Christ for salvation. In the bible, there is no such character as a regenerated unbeliever!

Conviction of sin is a preparation work for regeneration. The cleansing of the conscience from the guilt that is felt in conviction is what occurs in the new birth experience.

Men are killed in conviction of sin by the divine arrow of the word of God. In the case of the elect, he guarentees that this conviction will produce repentance, or complete change of heart (thinking). This conviction produces regeneration when he causes his gospel to be heard in a saving, transforming, and powerful manner, when it is believed. Christ is received as the Lord, Savior, and King, by the one coming to place his trust in Jesus. The ego is dethroned in conviction of sin. Christ sits enthroned in the heart, soul, and mind in regeneration and new birth.

Union with Christ must come first and this, according to scripture, occurs when one believes in Christ, when he gives his all to Jesus, and ascribes all his hopes to him, when he places his trust in him. Faith is joined with repentance in scripture, and a man who has savingly believed is one who has repented. Part of his repentance preceded his new birth, for contrition or conviction of sin, is the first step in the process of repentance.

Union with Christ does not occur in water baptism. Union with Christ must precede all good works.

Sep 21, 2011

Gospel in the Stars IX

Lyra the Harp

"In connection with this shooting of the Almighty's arrows against His enemies, when His right hand shall find them out and His wrath swallow them up, so that their fruit shall be destroyed from the earth and their seed from among the children of men, the twenty-first Psalm introduces a special celebration of God's exalted strength in the matter, and represents all His holy ones as singing and praising His power. So also in the Apocalyptic visions of the destruction of the destroyers of the earth, the four-and-twenty elders in heaven fell upon their faces and worshipped God, saying, "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned"— i. e. entered on Thy dominion. Accordingly, also, the first Decan of Sagittarius is the constellation of Lyra, the Lyre, the Harp, marked by one of the brightest stars in the northern heavens."

The Lyre Of Orpheus

"The harp is the oldest of stringed instruments of music. The ancients ascribed its invention to the gods. We find it named along with the organ, or shepherd's pipe, three hundred years before Adam died (Gen. 4: 21), and find a specimen of song to be sung to it dating back to the same period (Gen. 4: 23, 24). The most renowned performer on the harp or lyre in the classic myths is Orpheus, often identified with Apollo. He is called the father of songs and the particular helper of the Argonauts, the noble ones seeking for the Golden Fleece. He is not mentioned by this name by Hesiod or Homer, and subsequent writers place him far anterior to Hesiod and Homer, and mention all poets and singers as his children or the children of Apollo, to whom he stands in close relation. His art is everywhere associated with religion, prayer, prophecy, and all sacred services, teachings, and anticipations, especially with the joyous element in holy things. At the instance of Apollo and the Muses, it is said, God himself placed the Harp of Orpheus among the stars, where it has ever since been gladdening the celestial sphere with brightness and with song."

"The placing of that harp as the first Decan of Sagittarius connects pre-eminent gladness, joy, delight, and praise with the action of this great Archer with his bow and arrows. There is but one such sign in all the ancient constellations, and that is associated with the going forth of this double-natured Bowman aiming his arrows at the Scorpion's heart. It marks him in this particular attitude and act as the achiever of what is the sublimest glory of God and the sublimest joy of heaven.

People often smile and jest at the fabled power of the lyre of Orpheus, at which the rivers for the time forgot to flow, the wild beasts lost their savageness, the trees and rocks on Olympus moved from their places to listen, the ship of the Argonauts glided smoothly into the sea, the mountains became entranced, the dragon that guarded the Golden Fleece sank into sleep, the sufferers in the under-world for the moment lost their pains, and all the potencies of hell yielded homage. But when we connect that lyre with the action of this glorious Archer, and take that action in its true prophetic significance, as the inventors of these signs intended them, these smiles and jests subside, and a scene of glorious achievement opens to our view, which has been the burden of all the songs and prayers and hopes and joyful anticipations of an enthralled and suffering world from the time that Adam was driven out of Eden up till then. That glorious Archer, as he appears in this sign, answers to the Lamb as John beheld Him, standing, having seven horns and seven eyes—all the fulness of regal, intellectual, and spiritual power and almightiness—and in the act of lifting the titledeed of the alienated inheritance to take possession again of all that sin has disponed away. Heaven contemplated that act with awe, and grew breathless as it gazed, and a thrill went through the universal heart of living things. A new song broke forth from the living ones and elders around the throne of Deity, and rolled sublime through all the heavenly spheres, till afar in the depths of space the voices of angelic myriads took it up, and every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and upon the sea, and all things in these realms, were heard singing, and saying, "To Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion for the ages of the ages !" And this is the true lyre of Orpheus—the joy and gladness and jubilation of the universe at the fulfilment of the burden of all sacred hope and prayer embodied in the words, " Thy kingdom come—Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." We thus observe a depth, a splendor, a volume, a pathos, a universality of sacred ardor and poetic outpouring, as just as it is tremendous, and to which all the extravagances of the mythic records do not reach halfway.

With a wonderful appropriateness, then, which could hardly have come from the unaided powers of man, did the framers of these constellations select the brightest star in the northern heavens to represent this harp, and give to it the name of Vega, which signifies He shall be exalted, The warrior triumphant— the very name from which our own word victory has come—a name which the Apostle uses in its primeval and true connection where he challenges Death and Hades, triumphs over them, and cries his glad thanks "to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

In some of the old uranographies this constellation is marked by the figure of an eagle or hawk, the enemy of the serpent, who darts forth upon his prey from the heavenly heights with great suddenness and power; and this eagle is in the attitude of triumph, much as the Mexican eagle is presented victoriously grasping the serpent in its claws. It is the same idea, the triumphant overwhelming of the enemy. From this many of the modern atlases represent the figure of this constellation by an eagle holding the harp, or a harp placed over an eagle, expressing triumphant song springing from the eagle—that is, from the vanquisher and destroyer of the serpent. Whatever the variations of the figure, the same idea is retained, showing the true intention in the marking of this constellation, and the tenacity with which the original thought has clung to it in all ages and in all nations. It is the sign of the Serpent ruled, the Enemy destroyed, the triumphant fulfilment of the sublimest of hopes and sacred promises."

The Eagle - A Picture of God and Christ (and his people)

"Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself." (Exodus 19: 4)

"As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him." (Deut. 32: 11, 12)

"They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey." (Job 9: 26)

"Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?" (Job 39: 27)

"swift as the eagle flieth"

"Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Psa. 103: 5)

"...riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." (Prov. 23: 5)

The Ascension of the Eagle ---> The Ascension of Christ ---> The Rapture of Believers

"...things which are too wonderful for me...The way of an eagle in the air..." (Prov. 30: 18, 19)

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isa. 40: 31)

"As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle." (Eze. 1: 10; Rev. 4: 7)

"For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together." (Matt. 24: 28)

"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." (Rev. 12: 14)

Harp of Praise, Thanksgiving, and Song

"Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings." (Psa. 33: 2)

"Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God." (Psa. 43: 4)

"Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God." (Psa. 147: 7)

"Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp." (Psa. 149: 3)

"Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD." (I Chron. 25: 3)

"Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all." (I Chron. 29: 11)

Joy of Salvation

"O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory." (Psa. 98: 1)

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." (Rev. 15: 2)

"And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them." (I Kings 1: 39, 40)

"Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off." (Neh. 12: 43)

Jubilee Joy

-Called, in scripture, "THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD" (Isa 61:2), and "THE YEAR OF LIBERTY" (Eze. 46:17). Laws concerning it are in Le 25:8-55; 27:17-24; Nu 36:4.

Spurgeon on Psalm 89: 15

"'Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound'-- viz., of the trumpets sounded in token of joy at the great festivals, and chiefly on the first day of the seventh month, the feast of trumpets ( Leviticus 23:24 ), and on extraordinary occasions, especially after the yearly atonement, on the day of jubilee, the tenth day of the seventh month of the fiftieth year, proclaiming liberty to bondmen, and restoration of their inheritance to them that had forfeited it ( Leviticus 25:8-10 ). As the jubilee joy did not come till after the atonement, so no Gospel joy and liberty are ours till first we know Christ as our atonement. "In the day of the people's gladness" they blew the trumpets over their sacrifices, "that they might be to them for a memorial before God" ( Numbers 10:10 ). David and Israel brought up the ark of the Lord to Zion "with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet" ( 2 Samuel 6:15 ). In Numbers 23:21, Balaam makes it the distinguishing glory of Israel, "The Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them", (Compare Psalms 98:6 27:6 margin) --A.R. Fausset." (Treasury of David)

The word "jubilee" is derived from the Hebrew word jobel, which means "ram's horn"; since it was precisely that horn which was used as a trumpet, whose sound indicated to everybody the beginning of the jubilee year. The book of Leviticus (Lev. 25: 8-10) is the source which tells us of the significance of the jubilee year, a year of liberation which is at the end of seven weeks of years, the fiftieth year.

The word Jubilee also means to be jubilant or to exult.

"And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession." (Lev. 25: 8-13)

The experience of liberation is extremely joyous, as are times of child birth, victory, restoration, salvation, abundant harvest, youthful health and vigor, marriage, etc., and all these come together at once when Christ comes. It will be a time of liberation from death and every evil and enemy to our eternal well being. It will be a time of victory and restitution, of complete redemption. It will be when all the promised blessings are actually received. It will be the time of the "marriage supper of the Lamb," when the church becomes fully wedded to Christ.

"Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3: 21)

Present Joy of Saints

"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." (I Peter 1: 8)

"When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory..." (Psa. 28: 12)

Eternal Sorrow or eternal Rejoicing?
The Harp of Praise or the Fires of Perdition?

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." (John 16: 20-22)

The world rejoices now. It is evil rejoicing.

"Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it." (Isa. 5: 14)

"And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it." (Deut. 28: 63)

"Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth..." (I Cor. 13: 6)

"But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil." (James 4: 16)

The Joy of Saints in Coming Glory

"Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come." (Prov. 31: 25)

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." (Psa. 29: 2)

"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psa. 85: 6)

"For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psa. 30: 5)

"But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." (Isa. 65: 18, 19)

"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD." (Zech. 2: 10)

"...that I may rejoice in the day of Christ..." (Phill. 2: 16)

All Nature Rejoices

"Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice" (Psa. 96: 11, 12)

"The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof." (Psa. 97: 1)

"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God." (Isa. 35: 1, 2)

Ara - The Burning Pyre

"Still further is this signified in the second Decan, which the Arabs call Al Mugamra, the completing, the finishing, the making of an end of what was undertaken. The Hebrew uses the elements of the same word where it is said, "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me " (Ps. 138 : 8). The Greeks called it Ara, a word which the Latins used to denote a small elevation of wood, stone, or earth made for sacred purposes, particularly for sacrifices; hence an altar, and also a funeral-pile, whence we have in our charts the figure of an altar covered with burning fire to denote this constellation. The Greeks used the word ara sometimes in the sense of prayer, but more frequently in the sense of an imprecation, a curse, or the effect of a curse— bane, ruin, destruction. Personified, it was the name of the goddess of revenge and destruction. In Eschylus it is the name of the actual curse of O'Edipus personified. It connects directly with the Hebrew mara and aram, which mean a curse, utter destruction."

The Under-world

"In the latitudes in which these constellations were originally formed Ara was on the lowest horizon of the south. The regions beyond this were contemplated as the lower regions, the under-world, the regions of darkness, "outer darkness;" just as the regions toward the north pole are contemplated as the upper regions, the regions of light and heaven. And, singularly enough, these ara-fires burn downward, toward the dark and hidden abyss, toward the covered and invisible south pole. The whole significance of the name and figure thus connects with ultimate perdition, the completed curse, the sending into "the lake of fire."

In the Zodiac of Dendera the figure is different, but the idea is the same. There we have a throned human figure wielding the flail, the implement of threshing and bruising, and that figure at the same time set over a jackal, often identified with the dragon. Here is the unclean and cunning animal of darkness brought under dominion and judgment, threshed, bruised, punished. This throned and threshing figure has a name which signifies the Coming One, the same as in Scorpio. The meaning of the sign is therefore plain. The idea is, victory over the enemy, the thrusting of him into the regions of darkness, the threshing and bruising of him beneath the feet of the conqueror, the beating of him down into final punishment.

According to the Scriptures, the spoiling of Satan and his kingdom by the Virgin-born Son of God is to go on, step after step, to complete overthrow and final perdition. A curse was pronounced upon him at the beginning, fore-announcing that his head should be bruised under the heel of the promised Seed of the woman. Though a strong man aimed, a stronger than he was to come upon him, take from him his armor, and subdue all things unto himself, spoiling principalities and powers, triumphing over them. Christ tells us of "everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels." John, in his vision of what must shortly come to pass, heard the heavens resounding with the song, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren"—"the great Dragon, that old Serpent"—"is cast down." He also saw a messenger from heaven laying hold on the same, binding him and casting him into the abyss, whence he was finally "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone," where he "shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Such is the curse upon the great Enemy, and the finishing of him as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. And what we find thus written in the book is identical with what is pictured on the heavens in connection with Sagittarius. To some the idea may seem farfetched, and so different from ordinary thinking as to be almost absurd; but let them look at the facts as they are, and tell us what other conclusion is possible. What could be more complete than the correspondence of the two records?

The third constellation belonging to the sign of the Bowman is also very significant, and further determines the meaning to be as just expressed."

Fire and Perdition

"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (II Peter 3: 7)

"But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." (Psalm 37: 20)

"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe..." (II Thess. 1: 8-10)

"For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates." (Jer. 46: 10)

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." (Isa. 66: 13-15)

"Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people." (Deut. 32: 33)

"The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked." (Psa. 58: 10)

"Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?" (Amos 5: 18-20)

"The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 24: 50, 51)

The Dragon

"One of the most famous mythological creations in the history of human thought is the horrid serpentine monster called the dragon. Together with the serpent, and other things of the same repulsive and dangerous class, this is the universal symbol of evil—of some living power inimical to God and all good, and the just terror of all men. The Serpent stands for that form of the Evil One in which cunning, artifice, deceit, and malignant subtlety are the characteristics. The Dragon represents the same power armed, defiant, and putting forth in imperial forms, and devastating by force. The Serpent is the sly and creeping deceiver, smoothly gliding in to betray, insinuating his poison and destroying by stealth. The Dragon is the terrific oppressor, assailing with teeth and claws, armed all over with spikes, lifting speary wings and tail, spouting fire and fury, and rushing upon its prey with every vehemence of malignant energy. The Serpent and the Dragon are one and the same, only in different modes of manifestation. Hence the Devil is called "the Dragon, that old Serpent." Whenever the power of evil is clothed in political sovereignty, persecuting, tyrannizing, and oppressing, it is always the Dragon, or some rampant figure of destruction answering to it.

Among all nations we find this terrible image. Chinese and Japanese legend and art superabound with it. The pages of the classic poets of Greece and Rome teem with it. We find it in the religious books, traditions, and ideas of men of all classes, in all sections of the world, in all the ages. It is in the Old Testament, in the Apocrypha, and in the New Testament. Jews and Gentiles, Christians and heathen, civilized and savage, the Teutons, Scandinavians, and Celts of Europe, as well as the myriads of Asia and the remotest isles of the sea, alike have it, and connect with it the same family of ideas. And everywhere the vanquishing of this monster is the work of gods, heroes, and saints.

"Here is the Serpent in all forms of manifestation, and particularly the Dragon, wound about at least onehalf of the northern sky, his tail alone extending over the territory of "the third part of the stars." Here is the divine Hero, armed with bow and arrows, riding like St. George, and aiming his weapons at the heart of that Dragon's representative. Here is this precise symbol of the evil power in all his various shapes and attributes, and the great Son of the virgin revealed for his destruction, and going forth in His benevolent majesty to make an utter end of the terrible beast. In all the ages has this image been before the eyes of men in the primeval astronomy, pictorially portraying in the stars the very ideas that figure so conspicuously in their myths and traditions. And this, and this only, is the true original of all these ethnic conceptions—the true original by inspiration given.

And as Sagittarius goes forth in war against the enemy to complete upon him the curse, to make all clear and unmistakable the great constellation of the Dragon is added as a third explanatory side-piece, denoting exactly who it is that this mighty administration strikes, thus waking all the triumphant songs of heaven. It is the final fall of the Dragon-power before the arrows of the invincible warrior Seed of the woman. It is the ultimate victory fore-announced.

In the Apocalyptic visions of the consummation John beheld a great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, upon his head seven diadems, whose tail was drawing along the third of the stars of the heaven. He stood before the woman eager to devour her child as soon as born; but in spite of him that child was caught away to God and to His throne. And then came war in heaven: Michael and his angels warring with the Dragon, who was cast down, and all his angels with him. And then it was that the great voice of song was heard in heaven, because the Accuser, the great Adversary, was conquered and cast down. For a while his persecutions continued upon the earth, till the crowned Warrior on the white horse came, destroying his armies, chaining him in the abyss for a thousand years, and then consigning him and all his to the lake of fire, whence the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever (Rev. 12 : 19, 20).

Thus also the Psalmist sings: "God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth, breaking the heads of the dragons in the waters, breaking the heads of Leviathan in pieces" (Ps. 74).

Isaiah refers exultingly to the time when the Lord cometh forth out of His place to punish the workers of iniquity, and says : "In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the crossing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the Dragon," and calls upon all the people of God to sing when that day arrives (Isa. 26 : 27).

And when we lay these foreshowings of the holy prophets alongside of these pictures in the stars, who can question that we have one and the same story in both? In both we behold the same Dragon, the same worming of himself into the domain of God, the same spoliation of peace and good by his malignant power, and the same vastness and stretch of his evil influences and dominion. In both we have the same divine Hero, arrayed as an invincible warrior, going forth in conquering majesty against the Dragon, wounding him with His arrows, cleaving him with His sword, bruising and crushing him for his wickedness, annihilating his power, and consigning him to his deserved and everlasting perdition. The names, the actions, the implements, the results, and the common joy of the holy universe over the achievement, are one and the same in the constellations, in the Scriptures, and in the myths. Nor could all this possibly have been except from one original source, even the sacred promise and foreshowing of God, variously certified, and ever again repeated through His prophets, even from the foundations of the world.

The name of this great constellation is Draco, the Dragon, the trodden-on. The chief star has several ancient names, such as Al Waid, who is to be destroyed ; Thuban, the subtle ; Al Dib, the reptile. This was the pole-star from four to six thousand years ago, singularly answering to the scriptural designation of Satan as the god and prince of this world. To this day this star is still observed as a very important star to nautical men and the direction of commerce upon the seas, just as the Dragon power still largely prevails. The second star in this constellation is Rastadan, head of the subtle; the third, Etanin, the long serpent, the Dragon; another, Grumian, the deceiver; another, El Athik, the fraudful; another, El Asieh, the humbled, brought down; another, Gianser, the punished enemy. Roots corresponding to all these words are contained in the Hebrew Scriptures, where they are used in the senses here given.

What shall we say, then, to these things? Mythology says the Dragon is the power that guarded the golden apples in the famous Garden of the Hesperides, hindering men from getting them. Is not this the Devil, the old Serpent, the Dragon, who has thrust himself in to keep mortal men from the fruits of the Tree of Life? Mythology says this Dragon was slain by Hercules. And is not Hercules the astronomic sign of the promised Seed of the woman, the One to come as the Serpent-bruiser, and who stands pictured in his constellation with His foot on the head of the Dragon? Other myths represent the Dragon as guarding the sacred well, and slaying those who came to draw from it, but was slain by the arrows of Cadmus, who had to suffer for it, indeed, but by Minerva's aid freed the way to the well, and built there a noble city. But is not Cadmus the hero sent to seek his sister who was lost, and the same who was offered as the giver of victory to the people who should accept him as their commander; just as Christ is come to seek and to save that which was lost, through suffering and divinity vanquishing Satan, opening access to the sacred well of the waters of life, building about it the Zion of His Church, and conducting those who take Him as their Lord and King to the blessedness of triumph and everlasting peace? Ay, verily, these signs in the constellations are but another version of what was written by the prophets and set forth in the Scriptures as the true and only hope of man."

Misc. Scriptures

"Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps." (Deut. 32: 33)

"Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." (Psa. 91: 13)

"Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?" (Isa. 51: 9)

"snuffed up the wind like dragons"
"swallowed me up like a dragon"
"make a wailing like the dragons"

"...behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." (Rev. 12: 3, 4)

"...the dragon fought and his angels..." (12: 7)

Sep 19, 2011

Gospel in the Stars VIII

1. Review the significance of Scorpio, Serpent, Serpent Holder

a) the "serpent" and the "scorpion" are two leading figures of Satan
b) names of stars in scorpion, Ophiuchus, serpent

2) Aesculapius myth (Pronunciation: as-klee'-pee-uhs)
3) mono myth idea (original source), hero myths
4) proofs from scripture that Mazzaroth and the constellations tell the gospel
5) handout of the entire story of the gospel (short form)
6) constellation (decan) of Hercules
7) constellation of Sagittarius

Star Names in Scorpio

The constellation itself is called Akrab in Hebrew, the name of a scorpion, but also means the conflict or war. The Coptic name is Isidis, which means the attack of the enemy, or oppression. The Arabic name is Al Akrab, which means wounding him that comes. The brightest star, in the heart, the ominous red star, bears an ancient Arabic name of Antares, meaning the wounding. The scorpion's sting is called Lesath in Hebrew and means the perverse.

The star in the serpent, alpha, in the neck, is named Unuk, which means encompassing. Another Hebrew name is Alyah, the accursed. From this is Al hay (Arabic), which means the reptile. The beta star, in the jaw, names Cheleb in Arabic, or Chelbalrai, the serpent enfolding. The Greek name Ophiuchus, is itself from the Hebrew and Arabic name Afeichus, which means the serpent held.

The brightest star in Ophiuchus, in the head, is called Ras al Hagus (Arabic), the head of him who holds.

Other Hebrew names of stars, not identified, are Triophas, treading under foot; Saiph (in the foot of Ophiuchus), means bruised; Carnebus, the wounding; Megeros, contending. In the Zodiac of Denderah we have an enthroned human figure called Api-bau, the chief who comes.

Hercules, in the Zodiac of Denderah, the man is called Bau, which means who comes. In Arabic he is called Al Giscale, the strong one. The brightest star, alpha, in the head, is named Ras al Gethi, and means the head of him who bruises. The beta star, in the right arm pit, is named Kornephorus, and means the branch, kneeling. The star in the right elbow is called Marsic, the wounding. The star in the upper part of the left arm is named ma'asyn, the sin offering. The star in the lower part of the right arm is Caiam, or Buiam, punishing, and in Arabic means treading under foot.


Greek god, Asclepius, and his Roman counterpart Aesculapius

Aesculapius was the legendary Greek god of medicine, the son of Apollo. He was educated by the centaur Cheiron, who taught him the art of healing and hunting. His had skill in curing disease and restoring the dead to life.

He is commonly represented standing, dressed in a long cloak, with bare breast; his usual attribute is a club-like staff with a serpent (the symbol of renovation) coiled round it. He is often accompanied by Telesphorus, the boy genius of healing, and his daughter Hygieia, the goddess of health.

If you've ever been to a hospital or flipped through a phone book looking up a physician, you've seen the image: two serpents criss-crossed around a staff topped by a round knob and flanked by wings. This is known as the caduceus, and it has been the symbol of the American medical profession for nearly a hundred years -- a decidedly odd symbol for doctors, until you begin to investigate its underlying meanings.

The staff of Aesculapius is sometimes depicted as a single serpent coiled around a cypress branch.


"And still more fully is the Messianic work of the bruising of the Serpent's head set forth in the third constellation belonging to this sign. Here is the figure of a mighty man, down on one knee, with his heel uplifted as if wounded, having a great club in one hand and a fierce three-headed monster held fast in the other, whilst his left foot is set directly on the head of the great Dragon. Take this figure according to the name given it in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and you have a picture of Him who cometh to bruise the Serpent and "destroy the works of the Devil." In the head of this figure is a bright star, the brightest in this constellation, which bears the name of Ras al Gethi, which means the Head of him who bruises; whilst the name of the second star means The Branch knceling. The Phoenicians worshipped this man five generations before the times of the Greeks, and honored him as representing a saviour. Smith and Sayce trace the legend of him in Chaldea four thousand years ago. On the atlases he is called Hercules, So the Romans called him, but the Greeks called him Herakles, whom they worshipped and honored as the greatest of all their hero-gods, principally on account of his twelve great labors.

According to the mythic accounts, Herakles or Hercules was the god-begotten man, to whose tasks there was scarce an end. From his cradle to his death he was employed accomplishing the most difficult and wonderful of feats laid upon him to perform, and all in the line of vanquishing great evil powers, such as the lion begotten from Typhon, the many-headed Hydra sprung from the same parentage, the brazen-footed and golden horned stag, the Erymanthean boar, the vast filth of the Augean stables, the swarms of life-destroying Stymphalian birds, the mad bull of Crete which no mortal dared look upon, the flesh-eating mares of Diomedes, the queen of the devastating Amazons, the triple-bodied Geryones and his dog, the Dragon which guarded the apples of the Hesperides, and the three-headed snaky monster which kept the gates of hell.

Some have argued that the story of Herakles is a purely Greek invention, but it certainly dates back in all its essential features, in Egypt, Phoenicia, and India, to a time long anterior to the Greeks. By their own confession the Greeks did not even understand who or what Herakles was, or what was meant by all his great labors. They took him for the sublimest of the hero-gods, as the accounts came to them, and here and there, as in so many other things, appropriated all to their own country and people; but Aratus, who sung the song of the ancient constellations, and from whose song the Apostle Paul makes a quotation, speaks of Herakles as "An image none knows certainly to name, Nor what he labors for," and, again, as "The inexplicable image."

Ptolemy and Manilius refer to him in corresponding terms. They could not make out their greatest hero, or any meaning to his works! Not with them, therefore, did the mythic story of the powerful laborer originate. Its true original is in the ancient constellations of the primeval astronomy, which, like the Scriptures, pointed to the coming Seed of the woman to bruise, vanquish, and destroy the Serpent, and everything of the Serpent born or belonging to the Serpent's kingdom."

"A Picture of Christ"

"Stripped of its foul heathenisms and admixtures, we can easily trace throughout the myth all the outlines of the astronomic picture, and that picture anticipating the sublime work of the Virgin's Son, as depicted by the prophets and recorded in the Gospel, even the battering and vanquishing of Satan and all the powers of darkness. Christ is the God-begotten man. He it is that comes against the roaring satanic "lion" who "goeth about seeking whom he may devour." He it is that came into the world to strike off the heads of the great Serpent, lurking in the bogs to ravage and destroy. He it is who comes forth to free the world of all its monsters and hellish pests, and purge it of its vast uncleanness. He it is who had it laid upon Him to fight and slay the Dragon, and thus recover access to the fruits of the Tree of Life, though having to bear the whole weight of a guilty world in making the grand achievement. And He it is who "descended into hell," before whom the spirits of the under-world cowered; to whose power the king of perdition yielded; and who grasped the struggling triple-headed dragon-dog in charge of the infernal gates, and bore him off, "leading captivity captive." Wounded He was in the dreadful encounter—wounded in His heel, wounded unto death, yet living still; suffering also from the poisoned garment of others' sins, mounting the funeral-pyre to die of His own accord amid fires undue to Him, and thence ascending amid the clouds to immortal honor in heaven, with his foot for ever on the head of the foe.

The heathen in their blindness could not understand the story, and knew not what to make of the foreshowing; but in the light of God's fuller revelation, and of the facts attested by the Gospel, we read the origin and meaning of it all, and see how God has been all these ages proclaiming from the starry sky the glories, labors, sufferings, and triumphs of His only-begotten Son, our Saviour.

There is no character in mythology around which great and wondrous incidents crowd so thickly as around Herakles, and there is no character in the history of the world upon whom so much of interest and sublime achievement centres as upon Jesus Christ, the true Deliverer. With Him was the wielding of power unknown to any other man. To kill Him and to be rid of Him has ever been the intensest wish of all the Dragon brood, from the time Herod sought the young child's life even unto this present. With all sorts of ill and wrong was He smitten while He lived, and plotted against in all the ages by the jealous, obstinate, and quarrelsome goddess of false wisdom and serpentine intrigue against the will and word of Heaven."

"Thus, then, in this sign and its constellations, and in the myths founded on and associated with them, we have the precise picture presented in the text—the picture of the promised Seed of the woman treading on serpents, asps, dragons, and the whole brood of venomous powers—suffering and dying in the conflict, but in the end trampling all enemies in glorious triumph beneath His feet.

We wonder betimes what is to come of this unceasing conflict between right and wrong, good and bad, which we see raging around us in all things — this creeping in everywhere of scorpions and adders to sting and hurt—this twining and hissing of serpents and all horrid things—this everlasting toil, expenditure, and suffering for the better, which never seems to come. A glance at these constellations may serve to tell us, the same as promised in the Holy Book. There can be no deliverance without it, and long and oppressive must the struggle be. Many a serpent must first be strangled, many a hydra attacked, many a wild passion caught and slain, many a pang endured, many a sore reverse experienced. But the cause is secure. The victory must come at last. God and truth and right and good must triumph in the end. The Ophiuchus who holds fast will not lose his crown. The scorpion may sting the heel, but the foot will crush its head. The faithful wielder of the club of righteousness may be brought to his knee, but he shall yet lift up the instrument of his power in glorious success, strangle Cerberus, and bear off in triumph the apples of gold, whilst the great Dragon writhes through all his length with his head under the heel of the Conqueror. For from of old it stands written, "Thou shalt tread upon the serpent and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt Thou trample under foot."

Hero Myths

Every nation of antiquity as well as of modern times had or has some traditions of heroes of superhuman strength and power, and most of them are corruptions of the story of the hero of the starry message, the seed of the virgin.

The accounts of the twelve labours of Heracles are found only in the later writers, for Homer and Hesiod do not mention them. Homer only knows that Heracles during his life on earth was exposed to infinite dangers and sufferings...Homer mentions only one, viz. that he was ordered to bring Cerberus from the lower world.

Hesiod mentions several of the feats of Heracles distinctly, but knows nothing of their number twelve. The selection of these twelve from the great number of feats ascribed to Heracles is probably the work of the Alexandrines. They are enumerated in Euripides (Here. Fur.), Apollodorus, Diodorus Siculus, and the Greek Anthology (ii. 651), though none of them can be considered to have arranged them in any thing like a chronological order.

1. killing of the Nemean lion
2. destroying the Lernaean Hydra
3. capturing the Ceryneian Hind
4. capturing the Erymanthian Boar
5. cleaning the Augean Stables
6. killing the Stymphalian Birds
7. capturing the Cretan Bull
8. rounding up the Mares of Diomedes
9. stealing the Girdle of Hippolyte
10. herding the Cattle of Geryon
11. fetching the Apples of Hesperides
12. capturing Cerberus

Said Spurgeon:

"I tell you the Gospel of Christ is meant for the scum of the population! It is meant for the lowest of the low, for the worst of the worst. There is no den in London where the Savior cannot work! There is no loathsome haunt of sin too foul for Him to cleanse. The heathen dreamed of their Hercules that he cleansed the Augean stables by turning a river through them, and so washing away the filth of ages. If your heart is such a stable, Christ is greater than the mightiest Hercules—He can cause the river of His cleansing blood to flow right through your heart, and your iniquities, though they are a heap of abominations, shall be put away forever! Riches of love to sinners as such, and riches of pardon to sinners who repent are stored up in the Lord Jesus."

(Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit - Volume 13 - THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST, NO. 745)



"And in Thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies." (Psa. 45; 4, 5)

This psalm (Seiss) "relates to the loveliest of heroes in the loveliest of His aspects, offices, and relations to His people. This hero is none other than the promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His royal majesty and glory subsequent to His resurrection, and as to be hereafter revealed. When on earth He was despised and rejected of men, but here He is celebrated as "beautiful, beautiful, above the sons of man," endowed with every grace and invested with all authority and power. When on earth He was meek and non-resistant, not breaking so much as a bruised reed; but here He is contemplated and addressed as a mounted warrior, riding as a king, armed with bow and arrows, shooting down His enemies. His character here is that of the Mighty One, girding himself with honor and majesty, and going forth to victory. John, in his visions of the future, beheld "a white horse; and He that sat on him had a bow; and He went forth conquering and to conquer." It is the same divine Hero, in the same character, offices, and work, in both instances. He has a crown, a throne, and a cause—the cause of righteousness over against injustice, usurpation, and tyranny; which cause He enforces with invincible majesty. His former sufferings are now turned to aromatic perfumes upon Him. Out of the ivory palaces He is gladdened with the sound of the harp. And in glory and triumph He rides forth unto victory, hailed by the daughters of kings and worshipped by the queen at his right hand arrayed in the gold of Ophir.

In this sign we have again the double-natured Seed of the virgin, the Son of God as the Son of man. The figure is that of a mighty warrior with bow and arrows, riding prosperously. In all tongues he is named, as in our charts, the Archer, the Bowman, He who sends forth the arrow. In form he is the Centaur, the Piercer—not now, however, in connection with the Cross, far down toward the hidden regions, offering himself as a victim and sacrifice to satisfy the demands of justice, but lifted up on high, stationed on the path of the Sun, himself the Sun of Righteousness rising in His majesty.

The Greeks called him Cheiron, the Executer, the chief centaur, whom they described as "the righteous-dealing centaur," precisely as this Psalm represents the Horseman and Hero of whom it speaks."

"...with Cheiron everything noble, just, refined, and good was connected, even superhuman intelligence, dignity, and power. The artists in picturing him labored to blend the greatest beneficence and goodness with the greatest strength and majesty. And such is the description of the divine Hero of this Psalm.

According to the myths, Cheiron was the great teacher of mankind in heavenly wisdom, medicine, music, and all noble and polite arts, and from whom the most exalted heroes and the most honored of men received their tuition. And so it is said of this sublime King that every grace was poured upon His lips, and that He is the One specially blessed of God, whose name every generation shall remember, and whom the people, shall praise for ever and ever. The barbed arrows of this Archer are aimed at the heart of the Scorpion. It was sung of Cheiron,

"Midst golden stars he stands refulgent now,
And thrusts the scorpion with his bended bow."

And thus the "arrows" of the divine Hero of the text "are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies." His war is with the whole Serpent-brood, and His going forth is for their destruction. Whether we understand it of the moral and renovating power of the Gospel, or of the judicial administrations of the Son of man at the end of the present Gospel dispensation, or more naturally of both, it is the office and purpose in all the doings of the glorified Christ to pierce and wound the Serpent, to destroy all his works and power, and to disable him for ever. And this is shown in the sign, just as it is declared in the Gospel.

Some of the names in the sign express the further idea of graciousness and delight in connection with the action signified; which again accords with that saying ascribed to Christ in both Testaments: "Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips."

Swiftness is another idea included in these names; and hence of quick and resistless power, of which horses and horsemen are the biblical images, particularly in connection with the scenes of the great judgment which Christ is appointed to enact. And the coming again of Christ is everywhere described as being with great power and glory, quickly, suddenly, like the lightning's flash. His own word is, "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me;" "The great day of the Lord hasteth greatly;" "For when they shall say, Peace, peace; then sudden destruction cometh upon them."

Cheiron is sometimes represented as occupying Apollo's throne; and so the word to this royal Judge and invincible Warrior is, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre." In the Indian sacred books there is a tenth avatar predicted, when Vishnu, the second in the divine Triad, is to come as a man on a white horse, overthrowing his enemies and rooting out all evil from the earth. And so, according to the last book of the New Testament, when the King of kings and Lord of lords comes forth to the battle of that great day to overwhelm the Beast and the false Prophet and all their armies, He comes in the form of a man sitting upon a white horse, in righteousness judging and making war, the same as in Sagittarius.

Thus everything in and illustrative of this sign serves to identify it as a pictorial prophecy of our blessed Lord, answering in all respects to the representations given in the Scriptures. Grotesque and unevangelic as it may seem, it is a showing upon the stars of the same things, under the same images, that we find written concerning the glorified Redeemer in whom all our hopes are centred. He is the sublime Lord and King of salvation, with the two natures in one person, once humbled to death on the cross, but now exalted to glory in heaven. He is the wise, the true, the good, the righteous, who standeth for the defence and administration of righteousness against the Devil and all the powers of the Adversary. He is the mighty Warrior who rideth prosperously, with the bow and arrows of truth and judgment, ever aiming and speeding them at the heart of the foe, and never more giving over until He has carried everything through to everlasting victory, when Death and Hades, and all the powers and children of evil, shall have sunk for ever to their deserved perdition. And the Decans in this sign confirm and further illustrate what we thus read from it."

Misc. Scripture on Christ as the Archer

"God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows." (Num. 24: 8)

"For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them...I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy." (Deut. 32: 22, 23, 42)

"For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me." (Job 6: 4)

"For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore." (Psa. 38: 2)

"He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins." (Lam. 3: 12, 13)

"God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors." (Psa. 7: 11-13)

"Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them." (Psa. 18: 14)

"Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them." (Psa. 21: 12)

"Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee." (Psa. 45: 5)

"Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces." (Psa. 58: 7)

"But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded." (Psa. 64: 7)

"Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them." (Psa. 144: 5, 6)

"When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you..." (Eze. 5: 16)

"Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear." (Hab. 3: 9-11)

"And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning..." (Zech. 9: 14)