Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

vernments : and why may they not therefore with equal fitness and propriety be applied to one of the greatest and most memorable revolutions which ever were in the world, the fubversion of the Heathen religion, and establishment of the Christian, which was begun by Constanține the great, and was completed by his fucceffors ? The series of the prophecy requires this application, and all the phrases and expressions will easily admit of fuch a construction. And I bebeld when he bad opened the sixth seal, (ver. 12,) and lo, there was celouos peyas a great earth-quake, or rather a great concufion ; for the word in the original comprehends the shaking of beaven as well as of earth. The fame phrase is used by the prophet' Haggai (II. 6, 21.) concerning the first coming of Christ, I will shake the beavens and the earth : and this shaking, as the apostle saith, (Heb. XII. 27.) fignifieth the removing of those things which are skaken ;. and so the prophet Haggai himself explains it, I will shake the beavens and the earth, And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the firength of the kingdoms of the Heathen: And where was ever a greater concussion or removal, than when Christianity.was advanced to the throne of Paganism, and idolatry gave place to the true religion? Then fol.

low

low the particular effects of this general concussion, (ver. 12, 13, 14.) And the fun became black as fackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her, untimely figs when she is fhaken of a mighty wind: And the heavens departed as a scrole when it is rolled together; and every mountain and iland were moved out of their places. Ifaiah speaketh much in the same manner concerning Babylon and Idumea; (XIII. 10. XXXIV. 4.) For the stars of heaven and the consiellations thereof shall not give their light; the fun sħall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause ber light to shine: And all the host of beaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scrole; and all their host shall fall down as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree: And Jeremiah concerning the land of Judah, (IV. 23, 24.) I. bebeld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light: I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly: And Ezekielconcerning Egypt, (XXXII. 7.) And when I fhall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the fun with a cloud, and the moon hall not give her light: And Joel concerning

Jeru

F 4

Jerusalem, (II. 10, 31.) The earth fhall quake before them, the heavens shall tremble, the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining : the fun fall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come : And our Saviour himself also concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, (Matt. XXIV. 29.) The fun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give ber light, and the stars fhall fall from heavén, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Now it is certain, that the fall of any of these cities and kingdoms was not of greater concern and consequence to the world, nor more deserying to be described in such pompous figures, than the fall of the Pagan Roman empire, when the great lights of the heathen world, the fun, moon, and stars, the powers civil and ecclesiar , tical, were all eclipsed and obscured, the heathen emperors

and cæsars were slain, the heathen priests and augurs were exstirpated, the heathen officers and magistrates were removed, the heathen temples were demolished, and their revenues appropriated to better uses. It is cuftomary with the prophets, after they have de

scribed

(9) Euseb. Ecclef. Hift. Lib. Mort. Persecut. Cap. 33. &č, 8. Cap. 17, De Vita Conftant. Lib. I. Cap. 57. Lactantius de (1) Euseb. Ecclef. Hist. Lib.9.

Cap.

and every

fcribed a thing in the most symbolical and figurative diction, to represent the same again in plainer language: and the same method is observed here, (ver. 15, 16, 17:) And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men,

bond-man, and every free-man, that is Maximian, Galerius, Maximin, Maxentius, Licinius &c, with all their adherents and followers, were fo routed and dispersed, that they hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us ; expressions used, as in other prophets, (If. II. 19, 21. Hof. X. 8. Luke XXIII. 30.) to denote the utmost terror and consternation; Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that fitteth on 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 ? This is therefore a triumph of Christ over his heathen enemies, and a triumph after a fevere persecution; fo that the time and all the circumstances, as well as the series and order of the prophecy, agree perfectly with thisinterpretation. (9) Galerius, (1) Maximin, and (2) Licinius

made

Cap. 9, ió, II. De Vita (2) Euseb. de Vita Constant. Conft

. Lib. 1. Cap.59. Lactant. Lib. 2. Cap. 18. ibid. Cap. 49.

(3) Euseb.

made even a public confession of their guilt, recalled their decrees and ediets against the Christians, and acknowleged the just judgments of God and of Christ in their destruction.

C H A P.' VII.

[ocr errors]

AND after these things

, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow 'on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

2 And I faw another angel afcending from the east, having the feal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed : and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand, of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5

Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

« AnteriorContinuar »