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love os the tructh that thy might be saved, therefore dnhCjod give them up to the efficacy of dctufmsjhat they JboulJ beleive A lye j that they al! might be damned who believed mt the truth , but h.id pleasure in wigatc-dusnrjfe ; those that preached the truth andDoclrines of Repentance^ and res mation^ they branded them with the name of Puritans>they hated them with a perfect hatred, they loved not blessing therefoic it is sar from them, it is the nature and common fashion of iupeiftition to leave men besotted in their owneRchgion.
Thi? may teach us to lookc ar it, as a ground of Faith/hat the Vfc I. Lord widgoe on to destroy the throne of the Beast 5 tor when God t. kech a (word into his hand, it is not his manner to put ic into his sheath againe,according to.that which A-nos frith Chap, 3.5. Shall on* take up a/hire from the Earth , and have takSn nothing at all ? noc,the Lord will either fubdiietheir spirits to unfeigned Repentance, or else he will £oe on insuring to insnare them till he have swept them like doting from the face of the Earth, For ivlxtlfratl turneth >mt to him that /mitt th him y then is not his anger turned aw,ty: but his kind is flretchid out si illJrai'..yX'l. 13. Therefore men cannot more dishonour,nor oppose the Lord then by seeking to underprop this sandy building.
The iccond use ot thi* \ oint may be to teach us all in the feare 2, of God,\v hat to doe whensoever we ^eele but dropsx>f wrath poWred upon ut. * you fee to whom it belonged! to be impenitent, to whom it belongeth to blalpheme cSe name oi the Lord, even to those that sitnpon the throne of the Beast,it is an Epifcopall sinne, an ' Hierarchical wickednesses beastly frame of spirit, for men whiles they are under Gods H*.nd to grow morefroward and dis- *1 contented and silled with indignation. If therefore the Lordafflift the whole state of the Country, with any drops of his displeasure, let us not cry cut up >n the Lord and his dealing, nor upon the Churches, but let our unthankful! hearts for his mercies, beire the burden, and iearne we to repent of our deeds,that know not how to keepe our selves close to the ordinances of</od, when we grow not thankfull nor fruicfull under fight-and liberties
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Rev E L. 16.12,13,14,15,16.
And the sixth Angell porcred out his Viall upon the great River Euphrates >and the water thereof was dryednp^ that the my of the Rings of the East might be prepare d^ &c%
N these verses the po wring out of the ViaR of the sixth Angel is described.
First by the subject upon which it is pow* redjthe River Euphrates,which is amplifyed by the adjunct of greatnesse, [ The great River Euphrates."]
Secondly, by the effects ofit which are two, ; ...
T.First the water thereof was dryed up,and that is amplifyed by the end which God aimed a,t in n[That the rraj of the Kings of the East might be prepared.']
2, Secondly,thc warrelike preparations unto a great battelljand those are described,
1 .By the principal! commanders in that preparation,and war, which arc said to be three C 1 he Devil!, the rBeafl, and the false Trophet.l 2.By
2.By the insti uments, and Ministers of it,who are certainc Ipirits,and they are described many waye?,as,
i.By their nature and quality \Vncleanespirits^
a.By their numbei [three J\
3.By,by their resemblance [Lik*Frog£fJ]
4-By their originall descent, which is threefold, C They come out of the mouth of the Dragon^ and out of the mouth of the Beafi9 and out of the mouth of the false Prophet. And that descent is amplified by the Cause of it, for they are the spirits of 'Devills.
5. They are described by their cffects,which are three-fold.
1.They worke miracles.
2. They goe forth to the Kings of the Earthen d of the worldjto gather them to the battell of that great Day of God Almighty, f<rr. 14.
3. They are efficacious and successefull herein, they doe gather them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon* Ve,l6»
3';?Thesc warlike preparations are described by the watchword which the God of Israel glveth unto his owne troopes, and t hat is a word of watchfiilnesse,behold I corneas a thiefe, blessed is he tint watcheth and keepeth his garments,least he walke naked,and they fee his (hame. Thus standeth the Text. • •
Now for the meaning of it : It is the more darkr^because it is, ( though not altogether ) yet in a great part to come j and such as shall seriously consider what is the meaning shalf happily) sind it no small difficulty to satisfy themselves, and much more to sitisfy other??yct(by the helpe olGod)letus endeavour to open, some siich part of the words, as we may be likely to sinish at this time. First what is meant by the river Euphrates > SecondIy,who are the Angels that powre out this Viall upon this river ? Thirdly, what is the drying up of this river? Fourthly, who are these Kings of the East f These things containe the principal! difficulties in the partes ofthis Viall^ other things may more easily be opened,if these things be premised and cleared.
liWhat is meant by the great river Euphrates.•Some of our tast interpreters (to whom God hath given most light in these spirituall inystcrit'<)doe understand ir, properly for the river that did runalongby thewallesof old Babylon in £haldca , which made the City impregnable, and yet by the stratagem of Cyrw.was dryed up3by turning the Course of the.streames to runne in other
channels channels, whereby the.channell before the City was dryed up. and the rcedes burnt by.the Souldiers, and the City sicked when m7!el/ba*.zjir was quaffing in the vessels of the Temple : this was foretold by Jeremy Chap 50.38. A drought is upon her waters^ and they stjaU be driedup, for it is the Land of graven Images^ and they aremad upon their I dolls. And .51.31,31. One pijlcfi:allrunto meete anothertandone messenger to me etc anoi hcr^ to flx tr the King of Baby Isa that his City is taken at an end y and that the paffcgis are (loppt'djund the reedes they have burnt with fre^ err. Now they that interprets Euphrates to be the fame river, doe understand that v/hen Cod calleth home his ancient people , he will dry up Ew pbrates before them, so that they may assault the surkifh monarchy 9 and recover their ancient inheritance out ot his band. The reason which they give of it is 3 1. Because they rend of no Nation for whom God dryed up any river* but oueJy loi the Israelites for whom he dryed up the red Sea, and the w ter R of Jordan, 2. They fay it hath been anciently tutetoia by the Prophec /irr.44.27. &51.10. & 63.II. In all which places God is described to have dryed up the waters, and riveis for them,thac as a pledge of the like power to be manisested roi them hereafter. 3. ( Say they ) the prophet Ifay ( Chap 59.20. alledged by the Apostle Pa:d Rom, 11.2(h) forctelleth the calling of t|ie levees, and if this stall fpcake not of their calling, it is spoken of no where in this booke,which isnot credible.
Now although their reasons arc not to be flighted, yet they doe not feeme to carry force enough to understand Euphrates literally, for Gods Hand may as wellbefeencindryingupthe metaphoricall rivers; Besides, Ifay 44.27. Doth properly lpcakc or Gods drying up the river Euphrates before Cyrus ^ which was thentoceme, but is not meant of this drying upintheTexr, which is to be many hundred ycares after, and for the two other places mentioned , Ifay 51. 10. & 63, 11 They onely recount what God had done for their Fathers of old* u hereupon they desire that he would not forfake them now, and so they arc reported of as ancient pÆges of his power for them, but not ss promises what he would doe for them afterward : Save onely as encouragements to their Faith5 to expect grc-t deliverances from the fame hand.
And for the third reason : It is not necessary that it should be fo:cto!d in this }latt9 or else not foretold inthisbooke : for the
whole whole 21, and 22 Chapters of this bookc doe hold it forth* which are events of the powring forth of the seventh Tw//, and not of this sixth.
If then it be not meant of the naturall xhtv^Suphratei^ of what then may it be understood ? There are some that understand it of something that is unto Rome, as Euphrates was to old Haby* loriy I shall tel you what I most incline unto, as sar as the Text will permit.
Some (ay it is rreant of Nations,and Tongues,and People, and Languages i for they are sometimes understood by waters .-but Eupbrateshbut one river among many,and therefore why mould it be meant of many Nations that mould sall off from Rome > I canuot well close with that, nor is it necessary that Euphrates should be a name given to any one Nation, unlesse it were some one that might lie neere Euphrates, which no Christian Nation doth. And others there are that doe understand by it another resemblance, as it was a meanest o convey much maintenance to old Babylon , and therefore conceive it meaneth all the revenewes of the Bishop of Romt whereby he is made iich,and wealthy -now Christian Kings (hall dry up this river Euphrates by taking away this kind of maintenance , and so by these Kings of the East they understand those Christian Kings, that (hall take away these revenewes 5 but neither can I well close with that interpretation 5 for you may consider it,that all these seven Vtalls vtt lateable to the seven Trumpets, though they sall out in different ages of that Church : The seven Trumpets brought in judgements upon Christian Rome ^ and these Via/Is are the plagues of God upon those very corruptions, which the Trumpets brought in:Now you (hall sinde that the efFccT of the sounding of the sixth Trumpet wa?, there were foure Angels loosed which were bound in the great river Euphrates, and those Angels were ready with an Army of two hundred thousand thousand ; and they by generail consent of all interpreters, are to be understood of the foure Families of the Turves, that were bound by some incumbrances at the river Eupbratesjbut afterward broke fourth upon all Christendome, and got Constantinople into their hands,and overwhelmed all s.Afta, And besides to understand the Kings of the East to be the 10 Christian Kings will not accord, for they are not seated E^stfrom Romcy or if some of them be, yet nothing neere the number of ten. Therefore there be that say, that the river E«^