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KEY TO THE PLATE.
1. In the jovial company on the right hand, at the bottom of the print, you see Prodigalis, with his hair undressed, drinking defiance to all religious melancholy in a full bumper. 2. When money is gone, and his guilt is felt, you see him bare-headed, with his hand on his breast, like the publican, in a pensive frame, and on a solitary walk. 3. In the valley of dry bones you see his spiritual death, represented by a corpse before the watchman, and his being alarmed and awakened by the sound of a trumpet; the watchman shews the office of a minister ; his lantern denotes the watchman's light, which shines on the sinner.-4. You see Prodigalis, filled with fear and astonishment, going to the law of God to receive the force of the commandment, where sin revives and he dies, Rom. vii. 9.-5. He stands in the light of the law, in the filthy rags of his own righteousness, covering his face in token of shame; destruction, or Death, at one hand, Job. xviii. 12, and Satan accusing him on the other, Zech. iii. 1; and Moses pointing to the Law that he has broken, and accusing him of it, John v. 45.-6. The eye of Justice is on him, Exod. xiv. 24; his sins are in the light of God's countenance, Psalm xc. 8; and the sword of Justice is drawn to cut him down as a cumberer of the ground, Luke xiii. 7.-7. Having been taught the condemning power of the Law by God the Father, he goes to the Saviour on the Cross; where Satan attempts to blind his eyes, lest the death of Christ in the Gospel should shine into his heart, 2 Cor. iv. 4.-8. From thence he goes with the crown of loving kindness on his head, Psalm ciii. 4; the robe of righteousness on his back,
Isaiah lxi. 10; and with the palm of victory in his hand, indicating that he has overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, Rev. xii. 11.-9. He is represented in the fiery furnace of affliction, Isaiah xlviii. 10; with Satan blowing up anger, heat, and passion, as having the power of the air, Eph. ii. 2.-10. You see him in the waters of dejection and despondency, Satan suggesting desponding thoughts to his mind, with an intent to carry him away in the flood of despair, Rev. xii. 15.-11. He gets through the fire, and through the water, and out into a wealthy place, Psalm lvi. 12; where you see him at the front of gospel Zion, where the sheep rest at noon, Song i. 7; and where the evergreens flourish, Isaiah xli. 19.-12. His path being very crooked and rough, Isaiah xlv. 2; you see him halting, with one of Satan's fiery darts in his breast, Eph. vi. 16; his feet slip, Psalm xciv. 18; but he is not utterly cast down, because the Lord upholds him, Psalm xxxvii. 24. At last you have him in his crown, robe, and palm, ready to pass the valley of death's shadow under the light of the Lord, with the glorified Lamb in his view, having seven horns and seven eyes, Rev. v. 6. The colour of the Devil shews his dark proceedings; his lower parts his brutal actions; his wings his diligence in mischief; and his crooked tail the evil insinuations of sin, and the cursed sting of guilt. The in-and-out path to Heaven shews how crooked the path of tribulation appears to flesh and blood; and yet the first step of Prodigalis, after he has left the World, being almost perpendicular with the Lamb on the Throne, shews that the road will appear straight at last, when we appear filled with the fulness of Him who makes darkness light, and crooked things straight.