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fore sealed in the day of expiation, the abominations done in the midst we may conceive that this sealing is thereof: and then the six men, like synchronical to the visions, which the angels of the first six trumpets, appear upon opening the seventh are commanded to slay those men 269 seal; and that when the Lamb had who are not marked. g Conceive opened six of the seals, and seen the therefore, that the 144,000 are visions relating to the inside of the sealed to preserve them from the sixth, he looked on the backside of plagues of the first six trumpets ; the seventh leaf, and then saw the and that at length, by the preaching four angels holding the four winds of the everlasting Gospel, they grow of heaven, and another angel as- into “ a great multitude which no cending from the east with the seal ' man could number, of all nations, of God. Conceive also, that the * and kindreds, and peoples, and angels which held the four winds tongues :" and at the sounding of
were the first four of the seven an- the seventh trumpet “ come out of 268 gels, who upon opening the seventh * the great tribulation with palms in
seal were seen standing before God; • their hands: the kingdoms of this and that, upon their holding the ' world” by the war, to which the winds, there was silence in hea- trumpet sounds, becoming the ven for half an hour; and that kingdoms of God and his Christ.” while the servants of God were For the solemnity of the great Hosealing, the angel with the golden sannah was kept by the Jews upon censer offered their prayers with in the seventh or last day of the feast cense upon the golden altar, and of tabernacles; the Jews upon that read the Law: and that so soon as day carrying palms in their hands, they were sealed the winds hurt the and crying Hosannah. earth at the sounding of the first
After six of the trumpet, and the sea at the sounding angels, answering to the six men of the second; these winds signify- with slaughter weapons, had sounding the wars, to which the first four ed their trumpets, the Lamb, in trumpets sounded. For as the first
For as the first the form of a mighty angel, four seals are distinguished from the came down from heaven clothed three last by the appearance of four Ćwith a cloud, and a rainbow was horsemen towards the four winds of
upon his head, and his face was heaven; so the wars of the first as it were the sun, and his feet as four trumpets are distinguished from pillars of fire," ---the shape in which those of the three last, the one being Christ appeared in the beginning of represented by four winds, and the this prophecy; "and he had in his other by three great woes.
hand a little book open,” the book In
of Ezekiel's visions, which he had newly opened; for he when the Babylonian captivity was received but one book from him that at hand, six men appeared with sitteth upon the throne, and he alone slaughter weapons; and a seventh, was worthy to open and look on who appeared among them clothed this book. And he set his right in white linen and a writer's ink- foot upon the sea, and his left foot 270 horn by his side, is commanded to on the earth and cried with a loud go through the midst of Jerusalem, ' voice, as when a lion roareth.” It and to set a mark upon the foreheads was the custom for the High Priest of the men that sigh and cry for all on the day of expiation, to stand in
8 Ezek. ix.
an elevated place in the people's 'sweet as honey, and as soon as I court, at the eastern gate of the had eaten it, my belly was bitter. priests' court, and read the Law to And he said unto me, Thou must the people, while the heifer and prophesy again before many peogoat, which was the Lord's lot, were ples, and nations, and tongues, burning without the temple. We and kings.” This is an introducmay therefore suppose him stand- tion to a new prophecy, to a repeing in such a manner, that his right tition of the prophecy of the whole foot might appear to John, as it were book; and alludes to Ezekiel's eatstanding on the sea of glass, and ing a roll or book spread open behis left foot on the ground of the fore him, and written within and house; and yet he cried with a loud without, full of lamentations and voice on reading the Law on the day mourning and woe; but sweet in of expiation.
And when he had his mouth. Eating and drinking *cried, seven thunders uttered their signify acquiring and professing; 'voices.” Thunders are the voice and eating the book means becomof a cloud, and a cloud signifies a ing inspired with the prophecy conmultitude; and this multitude may tained in it. It implies being inbe the Levites who sang with thun spired in a vigorous and extraordidering voices, and played with mu- nary manner with the prophecy of sical instruments at the great sacri- the whole book, and therefore sigfices, on the seven days of the feast nifies a lively repetition of the whole of Tabernacles : at which times the prophecy by way of interpretation; trumpets also sounded. For the and it begins not till the first protrumpets sounded, and the Levites phecy, that of the seals and trum- 272 sang alternately, three times at pets, is ended. It was sweet in every sacrifice. The prophecy there- John's mouth, and therefore begins fore of the seven thunders is no- not with the bitter prophecy of the thing else, than a repetition of the Babylonian captivity, and the Genprophecy of the seven trumpets in tiles being in the outward court of another form. “ And the angel, the temple, and treading the holy which I saw stand upon the sea city under foot; and the prophesyand upon the earth, lifted up his ing of the two witnesses in sack
hand to heaven, and sware by him cloth, and their smiting the earth 271 ' that liveth for ever and ever, that with all plagues, and being killed
· [after the seven thunders] there by the beast: but so soon as the
sound, the mystery of God should and the victory of Michael over the
his servants the prophets.” The in John's belly, by a large descrip-
And the angel
the and said, Go and take the little temple of God and the altar, and book, &c. And I took the little * them that worship therein, that book out of the angel's hand, and is, their courts with the buildings ate it up; and it was in my mouth thereon, viz. the square court of the
temple called the separate place, and as they will,” that is, with the the square court of the altar called plagues of the trumpets and vials of 274 the priests' court, and the court of wrath ; and at length they are slain, them that worship in the temple rise again from the dead, and ascend called the new court : “ but the up
but the up to heaven in a cloud; and then [great] court which is without the the seventh trumpet sounds to the temple, leave out, and measure it day of judgement. ' not, for it is given to the Gentiles, The prophecy being finished, John
and the holy city shall they tread is inspired anew by the eaten book, ' under foot forty and two months.” and begins the interpretation thereof This measuring has reference to with these words : “ And the temple Ezekiel's measuring the temple of of God was opened in heaven, and
Solomon : there the whole temple, there was seen in his temple the ark 273 including the outward court, was • of the testament.” By the ark, we
measured, to signify that it should may know that this was the first be rebuilt in the latter days. Here temple ; for the second temple had the courts of the temple and aitar,
" And there were lightand they who worship therein, are nings, and voices, and thunderings, only measured, to signify the build- ' and an earthquake, and great hail. ing of a second temple, for those that These answer to the wars in the are sealed out of all the twelve tribas Roman empire, during the reign of of Israel, and who worship in the the four horsemen, who appeared inward court of sincerity and truth: upon opening the first four seals. but John is commanded to leave out “ And there appeared a great wonthe outward court, or outward form 'der in heaven, a woman clothed of religion and church-government,
with the sun.” In the prophecy, because it is given to the Babylonian the affairs of the church begin to be Gentiles. For the glorious woman considered at the opening of the in heaven, the remnant of whose fifth seal; and in the interpretation, seed kept the commandments of they begin at the same time with God, and had the testimony of the vision of the Church in the form Jesus, continued the same woman in of a woman in heaven : there she is outward form after her fight into persecuted, and here she is pained the wilderness; whereby she quitted in travail. The interpretation proher former sincerity and piety, and ceeds down first to the sealing of became the great whore. She lost the servants of God, and marking her chastity, but kept her outward the rest with the mark of the beast; form and shape. And while the and then to the day of judgement, Gentiles tread the holy city under represented by a harvest and vintage. foot, and worship in the outward Then it returns back to the times of court, the two witnesses, represented opening the seventh seal, and in- 275 perhaps by the two feet of the angel terprets the prophecy of the seven standing on the sea and earth, pro- trumpets by the pouring out of phesied against them, and had power, seven vials of wrath. The angels like Elijah and Moses,
" to consume who pour them out, come out of the • their enemies with fire proceeding temple of the tabernacle; that is, 'out of their mouth, and to shut out of the second temple, for the • heaven that it rain not in the days tabernacle had no outward court. • of their prophecy, and to turn the Then it returns back again to the • waters into blood, and to smite times of measuring the temple and • the earth with all plagues as often altar, and of the Gentiles worship
ing in the outward court, and of the Africa, to which they had access by beast killing the witnesses in the land : and by the
land : and by the “isles of the sea,” streets of the great city; and in- they understood the places to which 277 terprets these things by the vision they sailed by sea, particularly all of a woman sitting on the beast, Europe: and hence, in this prophecy, drunken with the blood of the saints ; the earth and sea are put for the and proceeds in the interpretation nations of the Greek and Latin downwards to the fall of the great empires. city and the day of judgement.
The third and fourth beast of DaThe whole prophecy of the book, niel are the same with the dragon represented by the book of the Law, and ten horned beasts of John, but is therefore repeated, and interpreted with this difference : John puts the in the visions which follow those of dragon for the whole Roman empire sounding the seventh trumpet, and while it continued entire, because it begin with that of the temple of was entire when that prophecy was God opened in heaven. Only the given ; and the beast he considers things, which the seven thunders not till the empire became divided : uttered, were not written down, and and then he puts the dragon for the therefore not interpreted.
empire of the Greeks, and the beast for the empire of the Latins. Hence it is, that the dragon and beasts have common heads and common horns : but the dragon bath crowns only
upon his heads, and the beast only 276 Of the relation which the Prophecy upon his horns ; because the beast
of John hath to those of Daniel; and his horns reigned not before and the subject of the Prophecy. they were divided from the dragon :
and when the dragon gave the beast The whole scene of sacred pro- his throne, the ten horns received phecy is composed of three principal power as kings, the same hour with parts: the regions beyond Eu- the beast. The heads are seven phrates, represented by the two first successive kings : four of them were beasts of Daniel; the empire of the the four horsemen, which appeared Greeks on this side of Euphrates, at the opening of the first four seals. represented by the leopard and by In the latter end of the sixth head, the he-goat; and the empire of the (or seal,) considered as present in Latins on this side of Greece, repre- the visions, it is said, five (of the sented by the beast with ten horns. seven kings] are fallen, and one is, And to these three parts, the phrases and another is not yet come; of the third part of the earth, sea, and the beast that was and is rivers, trees, ships, star, sun, and * not (being wounded to death with 278 moon, relate. I place the body of a sword,) even he is the eighth, the fourth beast on this side of " and is of the seven :" he was there. Greece, because the three first of fore a collateral part of the seventh. the four beasts had their lives pro- The horns are the same with those longed after their dominion was of Daniel's fourth beast, described taken away, and therefore belong above. not to the body of the fourth: he
The four horsemen which appear only stamped them with his feet.
at the opening of the first four seals, By the earth, the Jews understood have been well explained by Mr. the great continent of all Asia and Mede; excepting that I had rather
continue the third to the end of ness, and the moon of Jewish cere-
or armies of invaders and rated. In Dioclesian's persecution rebels: and as such were the times “she cried, travailing in birth, and during all this interval. Hitherto paining to be delivered." And in the Roman empire continued in an the end of that persecution, by the undivided monarchical form, except victory of Constantine over Maxenrebellions; and such it is represent- tius, A. D. 312, "she brought forth ed by the four horsemen : but Dio- a man-child, (such a child as] was clesian divided it between himself "to rule all nations with a rod of 280 and Maximianus, A. D. 285 ; and iron,” a christian empire. And it continued in that divided state, her child,” by the victory of Contill the victory of Constantine over stantine over Licinius, A. D. 323, Licinius, A. D. 323, which put an was caught up unto God and to end to the heathen persecutions set his throne." And the woman, by on foot by Dioclesian and Maximi- the division of the Roman empire anus, and is described at the open
into the Greek and Latin empires, 279 ing of the fifth seal. But this divi- fled from the first temple into the
sion of the empire was imperfect, the wilderness, or spiritually barren emwhole being still under one and the pire of the Latins; where she is same Senate. The same victory of found afterwards sitting upon the Constantine over Licinius, a heathen beast and upon the seven mounpersecutor, began the fall of the tains; and is called “ the great city heathen empire, described at the which reigneth over the kings of the opening of the sixth seal: and the earth:” that is, over the ten kings visions of this seal continue till after who give their kingdom to her beast. the reign of Julian the apostate, he But before her flight“there was war being a heathen emperor, and reign- in heaven between Michael and the ing over the whole Roman empire. dragon,” the christian and the heaCHAPTER Xii. The affairs of the then religions :
" and the dragon, church begin to be considered at the ' that old serpent, called the devil opening of the fifth seal, as was said and Satan, who deceiveth the above. Then she is represented as
whole world, was cast out to the a woman in the temple of heaven, earth, and his angels were cast out clothed with the sun of righteous- with him.” And John heard a
* It may be needful to apprize the Reader, who may here, as in other instances, have observed a discrepancy in the expressions and collocation of the words between our English Version and the quotations of Sir Isaac Newton, that the Author com. monly quotes from the Greek Testament. ED.