"My horn shall Thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn." (Psa. 92: 10)
"Many of the Jewish writers and the Jewish Targum ascribe the authorship of this psalm to Adam, the first man. The Jewish ritual appointed it as the special psalm for the Sabbath day. It celebrates, first of all, the glories and blessings of creation. It then anticipates a period of great apostasy, wickedness, and prosperity to the enemies of Jehovah. But beyond that it contemplates the speedy and invincible overthrow and destruction of the workers of iniquity, followed by a glorious Sabbath of everlasting righteousness and peace. And in connection with the violent scattering and perishing of the enemies of the Lord it particularly emphasizes a special and peculiar exaltation of the power and dominion of the Messiah, who speaks in the Psalmist, and says that His "horn" — His power, His active dominion—shall be "like the horn of an unicorn."
The Unicorn, Or Reem
"It has long been a question what animal is meant by the Reem, which is so often referred to in the ancient Scriptures, and which translators have generally called the unicorn. But modern research and discovery have served to clear up the subject in a manner entirely satisfactory. The reem is not a onehorned creature, like the rhinoceros, as has generally been supposed, but a pure animal of the ox kind, though wild, untamable, fierce, and terrible. Two passages prove that it was a great two-horned and mighty creature, now, so far as known, entirely extinct, but once common in North-western Asia, Assyria, and Middle Europe. Remains of it have of late years been discovered in the north of Palestine, and Caesar, in the account of his wars, describes it as being hunted in the Hercynian forest in his day. It was known as the primeval ox, or wild bull, different altogether from the bison or the great antelope, sometimes taken for it. It was a formidable animal, "scarcely less than the elephant in size, but in nature, color, and form a true ox." Its strength and speed were very great, and it was so fierce that it did not spare man or beast when it caught sight of them. It was wholly intractable, and could not be habituated to man, no matter how young it was taken. This fact is set out in the book of Job (39:9-12), where it is said: "Will the reem be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the reem with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labor to him? Wilt thou believe him that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?"
This animal was particularly distinguished for its great, outspread, sharp, and irresistible horns, to which the horns of ordinary oxen were not to be compared. Hence Caesar says, when a hunter succeeded in killing one, pitfalls being the chief means of capture, he made a public exhibition of the horns as the trophies of his success, and was the wonder and praise of all who beheld. Joseph (Deut. 33 : 17), in his superiority of power, is likened to the reem, of which his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were the two great horns which were to push the people to the ends of the earth. And to this mighty, untamable, and invincible primeval ox the Messiah compares himself in connection with the great judgment upon the wicked world; for then His horn shall be exalted like the horn of a reem. Toward His Church He is the Lamb, but toward the unsanctified world He finally becomes the terrible reem.
But, what is very marvellous, the picture which the Messiah appropriates to himself so exultingly in the text is precisely the picture which is presented in the sign of the Zodiac which now comes before us—the sign of Taurus, the first of the final quaternary in the celestial circle.
I have already explained that the twelve Zodiacal signs are arranged in three sets of four each, each set having a particular subject of its own in the grand evangelic history. In the first set we were shown the Seed of the woman in His own personal character and offices. In the second set we were shown the formation, career, and destiny of the Church. And in the third set, upon which we now enter, we are shown the great judgment-period and the completion of the whole mystery of God respecting our world and race."
"I may also remark here that it is a great mistake to conceive of the judgment-time as limited to a period of twenty-four hours. It is called "the day of judgment" only after the manner in which "the day that the Lord made the earth and the heavens " is spoken of as a day. The day of judgment is simply the period or time of the judgment. The common notion on the subject, which crowds up everything in one grand assize, is wholly at variance with the Scriptures, and a source of endless troubles to expositors in attempting to construe the very numerous and very diverse prophecies which refer to it. It can be clearly demonstrated, from the teachings of Christ and His Apostles, as well as from the ancient prophets, that everything does not end with the termination of the present Church period, and that the end or consummation itself includes a variety of administrations, in most of which the glorified saints are to take active part."
The Sign Of Taurus
"The names of this sign, in Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, Latin, and Greek, mean the same as the English name, the Bull. But the figure is not that of the common bull of any known class. The horns are greater and differently set from those of domestic cattle, whilst the toes also have horns. The attitude and energy displayed are likewise far fiercer and more nimble than the common ox ever shows. It is the reem of the text, the aurochs, the bull of yore, the fierce, mighty, and untamable wild bull of the primeval ages, and a most expressive symbol of Christ as the irresistible and angry Judge.
This terrific animal appears here in the intensest rage, dashing forward with swift and impetuous energy, and with his great sharp horns set as if to run through everything that comes in its way. The Egyptians called it by names signifying the Head, the Captain, the mighty Chieftain who cometh. The chief star in this sign is situated in the Bull's eye; and its name, Al Debaran, means the Captain, Leader, or Governor. The middle and hinder part of the enraged animal includes the body of the enthroned Lamb, out of which it seems to rise. It is also the direct opposite of the Scorpion, so that when it rises the Scorpion sets and disappears."
"His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh." (Deut. 32; 17)
"The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed." (I Sam. 2: 10)
"But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil." (Psa. 92: 10)
"Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us." (Psa. 44: 5)
"Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place." (Job 40: 12)
"And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth." (Isa. 63: 6)
"For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth." (Micah 1: 3)
"And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts." (Mal. 4: 3)
"In mythology this Bull was always accounted snow-white, the color of righteousness and royal judgment. According to some of the accounts, this form was assumed by Jupiter out of his passion for the beautiful Europa, whom he won by his gentleness and bore on his back across the seas to Crete. The god of the sea demanded that he should be offered in sacrifice, but because of his beauty the king preserved him. Afterward he became mad, and wrought great havoc and destruction among the Cretans, and could neither be caught nor tamed except by Herakles.
This story remarkably interprets with reference to Christ and His Church, and the anger with which He is to visit the wicked world after the Church of the first-born has been safely landed in heaven. The same becomes the more striking when we take in some other markings of the case.
Among the early nations there was a widespread idea connecting this Bull with the Deluge, and the Pleiades—the seven stars, the Doves, the peculiar star-cluster of "sweet influences "—with the ark of Noah and those saved by it in that great judgment. "The seven stars," which the Scriptures also connect with the Church (Rev. i : 16; 2:1), are on the back of this Bull, high up on his great shoulder. The Pleiades, according to the myths, were the seven daughters of Atlas, the upholder of heaven and earth, who, with their sisters, the Hyades, in this Bull's head, were placed in heaven because of their virtues and mutual sympathy and affection. They beautifully symbolize the saints securely supported by the terrible Judge, and who, together with the holy angels whom they are like, thus move with Him and His inflictions upon the guilty world."
The Sacred Prophecies
"And when we take this fierce and enraged aurochs as the symbol of the glorious Head of His redeemed people, particularly in those scenes of judgment upon the apostate and unbelieving nations after the saints have been taken away, we have before our eyes in the stars the very picture which Isaiah describes where he prophesies of "the world, and all the things that come forth of it," and says: "The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies. He hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. The unicorns [the reems, the precise animal which constitutes the figure in Taurus'] shall come down, and the bullocks with the bulls, and their land shall be soaked with blood. For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion" (34 : 2—8).
The Scriptures everywhere tell us of a period of indignation, when the Lord shall come forth out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; when He will no longer keep silence; when the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain (Isa. 26 : 20, 21). He is very longsuffering now. Men sin, but His judgment does not quickly follow upon transgression. Sin is added upon sin, and wickedness upon wickedness, and yet the Lord keeps silence, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But there is a limit to His forbearance. There is a time coming when He will tear in pieces, and there shall be none to deliver. His own word is: "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness ol the terrible. The earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger. Every one that is found shall be thrust through" (Isa. 13).
These are fearful comminations. And lest we should think that they refer only to the past, the New Testament repeats them, and tells us how "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" (2 Thess. i : 7-9); and how the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, will hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6: 12-17). Alas, alas, for the wicked, the unbelieving, and the impenitent when that day comes! For the horn of Messiah shall then be like the horn of the enraged aurochs, and there will be no escape from His fury."
"Very impressively also do we find the same still further signified in the constellation of the first Decan of this animated sign. This is one of the grandest of the constellations, and so beautifully splendid that when it is once learned it is never forgotten. When it comes to the meridian a very magnificent view of the celestial bodies presents itself above the horizon. It is specially celebrated in the book of Job, and is mentioned in Amos and in Homer. And because of its great magnificence the flatterers of conquerors like Nimrod and Napoleon selected it for association with the names of these men.
The figure is a giant hunter, with a mighty club in his right hand in the act of striking, and in his left the skin of a slain lion.
His left foot is in the act of crushing the head of the enemy. He wears a brilliant starry girdle to which hangs a mighty sword, the hilt or handle of which is the head and body of the Lamb. Concerning the idolatrous and the wicked, God hath said: "Behold, I will send for many fishers, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks; for mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double" (Jer. 16 : 16-18). And here is the great Captain and Prince of these hunters in full and mighty action. His name is Orion, He who cometh forth as light, the Brilliant, the Swift. The book of Job speaks of Him as invincibly girded, whose bands no one can unloose. Betelguese, a star of the first magnitude, flames on His right shoulder; and Betelguese means The Branch coming. Rigel, another star of the first magnitude, flames in His lifted foot; and Rigel means the Foot that crusheth. In His great belt are three shining brilliants, called the Three Kings, also Jacob's Rod (Isa. 11 : i), also the Ell and Yard, giving the rule of celestial and righteous measurement, just as it is said of the Rod and Branch from Jesse's roots, "Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins" (Isa. 11:5). In His left breast shines a bright star, Bellatrix, which means Swiftly coming or Suddenly destroying. The Arabs call Him Al Giauza, the Branch; Al Mirzam, the Ruler; Al Nagjed, the Prince. He is but another figure of the same invincible Avenger represented by the enraged aurochs—the horn of the Messiah exalted into the horn of the terrible aurochs."
Myths On Orion
"According to the myths, though full of con fusion and contradictions, Orion was the united gift of the gods, Jupiter, Neptune, and Mercury, and had power to walk the sea without wetting his feet, and surpassed in strength, stature, and handsomeness all other men. He is described as the greatest hunter in the world, who claimed to be able to cope with and conquer every animal on earth. Because of this claim, a scorpion sprang up out of the earth and gave him a mortal wound in his foot; but at Diana's request he was raised to immortality, and placed in the heavens over against the Scorpion. He is spoken of as skilled in the working and handling of iron, as having fabricated a subterranean abode for the god of fires, and as having walled in Sicily against the inundations of the sea, building thereon a temple to its gods. It is said of him that because he loved Merope her father put out his eyes while he was asleep on the sea-shore, but that, by raising himself on the back of a forgeman and turning his face to the rising sun, he recovered his sight, and went forth with great haste, rage, and energy to avenge the perfidious cruelty of his foes. He is said to have greatly loved the Pleiadic maiden, and that out of affection for her he performed the great work of clearing the country of all noxious wild beasts, bringing the spoils of his successes as presents to his beloved.
There is much rubbish and heathen uncleanness in some of the accounts, but the filthy waters nevertheless reflect the pure image. Christ was born of a woman, as some accounts allege of Orion; and he was at the same time the peculiar gift of Deity to our world, as alleged by other accounts of this hero of the constellation. He was indeed the greatest and sublimest of all men. He did claim to be able to destroy, and came into the world that He might destroy, all the mighty powers of evil and all the works of the Devil. On this account He was stung by the Scorpion of death. Because of His love for the Church He did sink into a deep sleep upon these shores of time, in which the light of His eyes was extinguished, but was restored to Him again by His lifting up from the grave. He was in the world, and passed through it without being wetted or soiled by its waters. He is indeed stationed in immortal glory as the everlasting plague, enemy, and destroyer of death. He it is who has made ready the lake of fire for the Devil and his angels. He is the Protector of the land of His Church, and the Builder of the temple of its worship and security. And so it is also appointed to Him to come forth in His mighty power and vengeance, to bring swift destruction upon His cruel foes, and to hunt out all the noxious wild beasts that infest the earth, that he may clear it for ever of their presence, bestowing all the fruits of His victories upon the Church which He has purchased with His blood."
"The second Decan of this illustrious sign carries forward the same idea to still further lengths. From beneath the down-coming foot of Orion, from under the feet of the rampant aurochs, and from before both, there flows out a great tortuous river, eastward and westward, and down into the regions of darkness in the under-world. Its name is Eridanus, the River of the judge. It is specially connected in the myths with a confusion in the management of the chariot of the Sun, by which heaven and earth were threatened with a universal conflagration, during which trouble the vain and obtrusive Phaeton was killed by a thunderbolt and hurled headlong into this river, in which his body burned and consumed with fire, whilst at the same time such burning heat fell upon the world that it dried up the blood of the Ethiops and turned vast sections into sterility and emptiness.
In Daniel's vision of the four beasts, and of God's judgment of them, we find this same River of the Judge. Having described the several world-monsters and their ill-doings, the Prophet says: "I beheld till the thrones were set, and the Ancient of days did sit: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream [a river of fire] issued and came forth from before him." It is the River of the Judge, for we read, "The judgment was set, and the books were opened." And the Prophet "beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame" (Dan. 7: 9—11).
So we also read in the Psalms (50: 3) : "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him;" "A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about Him " (97 : 3-5).
So again in Isaiah it is written: "Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire: and His breath as an overflowing stream (of fire). Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared: He hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it" (30: 27-33); "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. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many" (66: 15, 16). "Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire" (Nah. i : 5, 6).
And so, also, "when the Sen of man shall sit upon the throne of His glory" the nations which did not the works of faith and charity shall go away "into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels" (Matt. 25 : 3141). Nay, saith the holy Apostle, "The day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned" (2 Pet. 3 : 10).
Here, then, is the true Eridanus, and the fate of the proud and presumptuous Phaeton and all his usurped rule. The River of Fire, issuing from before Taurus and Orion, shall receive them and burn them up in unquenchable flames. The burning breath of the angry Judge shall sweep them headlong to "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev. 20: 14, 15).
These are very dark, painful, and terrifying presentations; but they are true pictures, exactly the same both in the Scriptures and in the constellations. They are given in these alarming terms and figures that wicked, careless, and indifferent people may take warning, turn away from their follies and sins, and flee to the refuge set before us in the blessed Gospel of Christ. And if any man have ears to hear, let him hear."