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voice in heaven, saying, “ Now is Valens, A. D. 364, went from her

come salvation and strength, and into the eastern empire “ to make ' the kingdom of our God, and the war with the remnant of her seed," power of his Christ : for the ac- which she left behind her when she cuser of our brethren is cast fled: and thus the beast revived. • down.” “ And they overcame him CHAPTER XIII. By the next di- 282 by the blood of the Lamb, and vision of the empire, which was ' by the word of their testimony. between Gratian and Theodosius, * And they loved not their lives A. D. 379, the beast with ten horns ' unto the death. Therefore re- rose out of the sea, and the beast 'joice, ye heavens, and ye that with two horns out of the earth : ' dwell in them. Woe be to the (v. 11.) and by the last division there« inhabitants of the earth and sea, of, which was between the sons of

(or people of the Greek and Latin Theodosius, A. D. 325, “ the dragon

empires,) for the devil is come gave the beast his power and throne, 281 · down amongst you, having great and great authority." (v. 2.) And

' wrath, because he knoweth that the ten horns received power as " he hath but a short time.And kings, the same hour with the beast. ' when the dragon saw that he was At length the woman arrived at 'cast down” from the Roman throne, her temporal as well as spiritual doand the man child caught up thither, minion, upon the back of the beast,

he persecuted the woman which where she is nourished " a time, 'brought forth the man child : and and times, and half a time, from 'to her,' by the division of the Ro- the face of the serpent;" (xii, 14;) man empire between the cities of not in his kingdom but at a distance Rome and Constantinople, A. D. from him. She is nourished by the 330, were given two wings of a merchants of the earth, three times

geat eagle,” the symbol of the Ro- (or years) and a half, or 42 months, man empire, " that he might flee or 1260 days: and in these prophe

(from the first temple) into the cies days are put for years. During wilderness (of Arabia,) to her all this time the beast acted, and • place” at Babylon, mystically so she sat upon him ;” (xvii, 3;) that called. “ And the serpent, (by the is, reigned over him, and over the • division of the same empire be ten kings, “ who gave their power "tween the sons of Constantine the and strength (that is, their king

Great, A. D. 337,) cast out of his dom) to the beast;" and she was mouth water as a flood, (the west- drunken with the blood of the ern empire,) after the woman ; saints.” (xvii, 6.) By all these cirthat he might cause her to be car- cumstances she is the eleventh horn ried away by the flood. And the of Daniel's fourth beast, who reigned earth, (or Greek empire,) helped with a look more stout than his felthe woman, and the earth opened lows, and was of a different kind her inouth, and swallowed up the from the rest, and had eyes and a • flood,” by the victory of Constan- mouth, like a woman; and made tius over Magnentius, A. D. 353; war with the saints and prevailed and thus the beast was wounded to against them, and wore them out, death with a sword. And the and thought to change times and

dragon was wroth with the woman,' laws, and had them given into his 283 in the reign of Julian the apostate hand, until a time, and times, and A. D. 361; and by a new division of half a time. (Dan. vii, 19–25.) ) the empire between Valentinian and These characters of the woman, and

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little horn of the beast, agree per- beast, after he was wounded to fectly : in respect of her temporal death with a sword and had revived, dominion, she was a horn of the was deified, (as the heathens used beast; in respect of her spiritual to deify their kings after death,) dominion, she rode upon him in the and had an image erected to him; form of a woman, and was his and his worshipers were initiated in church, and committed fornication this new religion, by receiving the with the ten kings.

mark or name of this new god, or, The second beast, which rose up the number of his name. By killing out of the earth, was the church of all that will not worship him and the Greek empire : for it “ had two his image, the first temple, illumihorns like those of the Lamb,” and nated by the lamps of the seven therefore was a church

a church, and it Churches, is demolished, and a new spake as the dragon," and there temple built for them who will not fore was of his religion; and it worship him; and the outward court came up out of the earth, and by of this new temple, or outward form consequence in his kingdom. It is of a church, is given to the Gentiles, called also the false prophet, who who worship the beast and his wrought miracles before the first image: while they who will not beast, by which he deceived them worship him, are sealed with the that received his mark, and wor- name of God in their foreheads, and shiped his image. When the dragon retire into the inward court of this went from the woman to make war new temple. These are the 144,000 with the remnant of her seed, this sealed out of all the twelve tribes of beast, arising out of the earth, as- Israel, and called the two witnesses, sisted in that war, and “ caused the as being derived from the two wings earth and them which dwell there- of the woman while she was flying 285 in to worship (the authority of the into the wilderness, and represented first beast, whose mortal wound by two of the seven candlesticks. was healed ;' and to

" make an These appear to John in the inward image to him," that is, to assemble court of the second temple, standing a body of men like him in point of on Mount Sion with the Lamb, and religion. He had also power to

as it were on the sea of glass. give life (and authority) to the These are "

the saints of the Most image; so that it could both speak, High,” and “the host of heaven," ' and (by dictating) cause that all and “the holy people," spoken of by

(religious bodies of men,) who Daniel, as worn out and trampled 284 .

would not worship (the authority under foot, and destroyed in the
of) the image, should be (mysti- latter times by the little horns of his
cally) killed. And he causeth all fourth beast and he-goat.
men to receive a mark in their While the Gentiles tread the holy
' right hand or in their forehead; city under foot, God “gives power
and that no man might buy or sell, "to his two witnesses, and they
save he that had the mark or the

prophecy a thousand two hundred name of the beast, or the number and threescore days clothed in of his name ;" all the rest being sackcloth.” They are called the excommunicated by the beast with two olive trees, with relation to the two horns. His mark is *, two olive trees, which in Zechariah's and his name AATEINOY, and the vision, chap. iv, stand on either side number of his name 666.

of the golden candlestick to supply CHAPTER XIV, 1-6. Thus the the lamps with oil: and olive trees,

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present churches, Rom. xi. They down his Ecclesiastical History to supply the lamps with oil, by main- the reign of Dioclesian, he thus taining teachers. They are also

also describes the state of the Church. called the two candlesticks; which “ How great and what manner of 287 in this prophecy signify churches, 'glory, and liberty withal, the docthe seven churches of Asia being trine of piety due unto Almighty represented by seven candlesticks. God, preached in this world by Five of these churches were found Christ, hath obtained before the faulty, and threatened if they did persecution of our times, among not repent; the other two were all mortal men both Grecians and without fault, and so their candle- Barbarians ; it requireth a greater sticks were fit to be placed in the labor to declare then easily, for second temple. These were the the worthiness thereof, may be

churches in Smyrna and Philadel- accomplished of us. We have 286 phia.

They were in a state of tri- sufficient tokens thereof, in that bulation and persecution, and the * the clemency of the emperors toonly two of the seven in such a "wards the christians was so in

and so their candlesticks creased; to whom also they comwere fit to represent the churches in 'mitted the government of the affliction in the times of the second · Gentiles, and of the great favor temple and the only two of the se- they bore to our doctrine.” And ven that were fit. The two wit- a little after--" Who can worthily nesses are not new churches; they describe those innumerable heaps, are the posterity of the primitive · and flocking multitudes throughout church, the posterity of the two all cities, and famous assemblies wings of the woman, and so are frequenting the places dedicated fitly represented by two of the pri

' unto prayer; because of which mitive candlesticks. We may con- circumstances they, not contented ceive therefore, that when the first with the old and ancient buildings, temple was destroyed, and a new (which could not receive them,) one built for them who worship in have, throughout all cities, builded the inward court, two of the seven them from the foundation wide and candlesticks were placed in this new

ample churches.

These things temple.

thus prevailed in process of time, CHAPTERS II & III. The affairs of • and daily increased far and nigh; the Church are not considered during so that no malice could intercept, the opening of the first four seals. no spiteful fiend bewitch, no wight They begin to be considered at the ' with subtle sleight hinder at all, opening of the fifth seal, as was said as long as the benign and heavenly above; and are further considered · hand of God, upheld and visited at the opening of the sixth seal ; his people, whom as yet he worthily and the seventh seal contains the accepted. But after that our times of the great apostacy. And “affairs, through too much liberty, therefore I refer the epistles to the * ease, and security, degenerated seven churches unto the times of the from the natural rule of piety ; fifth and sixth seals : for they relate and after that one pursued another to the church when she began to ' with open contumely and hatred ; decline, and contain admonitions and when that we impugned our- 288 against the great apostacy then selves by no other than ourselves approaching

with the armour of spite and sharp

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* spears of opprobrious words, 80 candlestick out of its place, except ' that bishops against bishops, and ' thou repent. But this thou hast,

people against people, raised sedi- " that thou hatest the deeds of the . tion; last of all, when that cursed · Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”

hypocrisy and dissimulation had The Nicolaitans were persons, who ' risen even to the brim of malice : placed religion in abstinence from

the heavy hand of God's high marriage, abandoning their wives if judgement, after his wonted man- they had any. They are here called ner, (whilst as yet the ecclesiastical Nicolaitans, from Nicolas one of the companies assembled themselves

seven deacons of the primitive * nevertheless,) began softly by a church of Jerusalem ; who having a • little and a little to visit us, so beautiful wife, and being taxed with that the persecution that was raised uxoriousness, abandoned her, and against us took its first original permitted her to marry whom she • from the brethren which were pleased, saying that we must disuse • under banner in camp. Whereas the flesh; and thenceforward lived we were touched with no sense or a single life in continency, as his feeling thereof, neither went about children also. His followers after' to pacify God, we heaped sin upon wards embraced the doctrine of

sin, thinking like careless epicures, æons and ghosts, male and female,
• that God neither cared neither and were avoided by the churches

would visit our sins. And they till the fourth century; and the • which seemed our shepherds, lay- church of Ephesus is here com* ing aside the rule of piety, practised mended for hating their deeds. contention and schism among The persecution of Dioclesian themselves; and whilst they heaped began in the year of Christ 302, and these things, (that is, contention, lasted ten years in the eastern emthreatenings, mutual hatred, and pire and two years in the western. enmity, and every one proceeded To this state of the Church the ' in ambition much like tyranny second epistle, to the church of itself,) then, I say, then the Lord, Smyrna, agrees. I know (saith according to the saying of Jere- • Christ) thy works, and tribulation, miah, Made the daughter of Sion * and poverty, but thou art rich ; 290 obscure, and overthrew from above ' and I know the blasphemy of ' the glory of Israel :'”—by the them, which say they are Jews overthrow of his churches, &c. ' and are not, but are the synagogue This was the state of the Church

of Satan. Fear none of those before the subversion of the churches things which thou shalt suffer : in the beginning of Dioclesian's behold the devil shall cast some of persecution, and to this state of the you into prison, that ye may be Church agrees the first of the seven tried; and ye shall have tribulation epistles to the angel of the seven 'ten days. Be thou faithful unto churches,—that to the church in death, and I will give thee a crown Ephesus. “I have something a- of life.” The tribulation of ten

gainst thee (saith Christ to the days can agree to no other persecu

angel of that church) because thou tion than that of Dioclesian, it being 289 has left thy first love. Remember the only persecution that lasted ten

therefore from whence thou art years. By 'the blasphemy of them
fallen, and repent, and do the first which say they are Jews and are
works; or else I will come unto not, but are the synagogue of
thee quickly, and will remove thy Satan,' I understand the idolatry of

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the Nicolaitans, who falsely said the dragon's making war with the they were christians.

remnant of her seed, and the killing The Nicolaitans are complained of all who will not worship the of also in the third epistle, as men image of the beast,) “shall come that “ held the doctrine of Balaam, upon all the world, to try them 292

who taught Balak to cast a ' that dwell upon the earth,” and to 'stumbling-block before the children distinguish them; by sealing the one . of Israel, to eat things sacrificed with the name of God in their fore' to idols, and to commit (spiritual) heads, and marking the other with

fornication." a For Balaam taught the mark of the beast. Him that the Moabites and Midianites

overcometh I will make a pillar in tempt and invite Israel by their ' the temple of my God; and he women to commit fornication, and 'shall go no more out of it. And to feast with them at the sacrifice of ‘I will write upon him the name of their gods. The dragon therefore 'my God” in his forehead. So the began now to come down among christians of the church of Philadelthe inhabitants of the earth and sea. phia, as many of them as overcome,

The Nicolaitans are also com- are sealed with the seal of God, and 291 plained of in the fourth epistle, placed in the second temple, and go under the name of “the woman

The same is to be Jezebel, who called herself a pro- understood of the church in Smyrna, 'phetess, to teach and to seduce my which also kept the word of God's

servants (Christ's) to commit for patience, and was without fault. ' nication, and to eat things sacrificed These two churches, with their pos' to idols.” The woman therefore terity, are therefore the two pillars, began now to fly into the wilderness. and the two candlesticks, and the

The reign of Constantine the two witnesses in the second temple. Great, from the time of his con- After the reign of the emperor quering Licinius, was monarchical Julian, and his successor Jovian, who over the whole Roman empire. reigned but five months, the empire Then the empire became divided became again divided between Vabetween the sons of Constantine : lentinian and Valens. Then the and afterwards it was again united Church catholic, in the epistle to the under Constantius. To the affairs angel of the church of Laodicea, is reof the Church in these three succes- prehended as lukewarm, and threatsive periods of time, the third, fourth, ened to be “ spewed out of Christ's and fifth epistles, (that is, those to mouth.' She said that she was the angels of the churches in Perga- rich and increased with goods, and mus, Thyatira, and Sardis,) seem to · had need of nothing," being in relate. The next emperor was outward prosperity; “and knew not Julian the apostate.

' that she was (inwardly) wretched, In the sixth epistle, to the angel and miserable, and poor, and 293 of the church in Philadelphia, Christ “blind, and naked.”

blind, and naked.” She is theresaith : " Because (in the reign of the fore spewed out of Christ's mouth · heathen emperor Julian,) thou hast at the opening of the seventh seal : kept the word of my patience, I and this puts an end to the times of also will keep thee from the hour the first temple. • of temptation, which ” (by the wo- About one half of the Roman emman's flying into the wilderness, and pire turned christians in the time of

a Numb. sxv, 1, 2, 18; and xxxi, 16.

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