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mon-wealths, troubles, tumults, uproars, and great alterations of states and kingdoms. The darkening of the sun, moon, and stars, and rolling together of the heavens, do by a metaphor in the scripture, fignify the wrath of God; which they being not able to endure, are said here to blush at, to cover themselves, to hide themselves, to be alliamed of themselves, to remove out of their places, no more to do their office, &c. For as birds do hiủe themselves, and thrust their heads into bushes, when the eagle cometh abroad: Anel as all beasts of the foreit do tremble, and couch in their dens, when the lion roareth; and as the subject doth hide himself, and dare not shew his head, with whom the King is displeased; • So here it is said, that the whole earth doth tremble, and all the celestial creatures are amazed and confounded with beholding the angry face of God against the world, in so much that they do as it were draw a. canopy over them, hide themselves under a cloud, and surcease to do their offices.
The darkning of the fun and moon, is taken in this sense in the second of Joel, and also in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. For there God promising and foretelling, that in the last days he would abundantly power forth of his Spirit upon all flesh (which is to be understood
of the plentiful preaching of the gospel in the apostles time, and the abundance of grace that was given with the same) addeth, that for the contempt of fo great grace and mercy, he would shew wonders in heaven above, and tokens in the earth beneath: blood and fire, and the vapour of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come. The meaniig of the prophet is, as Peter also doth expound it, that God from heaven will thew such apparent signs of his wrath against the world, that men should be no less amazed, than if the whole order of nature were inverted. And this was perform*ed, when as the Jews for the contempt of
Christ and his gospel, were most miferably destroyed by the Romans..
Even fo here, under the opening of the fixth feal God doth threaten, that for the murdering of his son Christ, and his apoftles, and innumerable Christians, he would bring strange judgments and extraordinary calamities upon the world, according as all history do fhew, that those times were full of bloodshed, commotions, famine, pestilence, and miseries of all sorts. I am not ignorant, that the darkening of the fun and moon, and the falling of the stars from heaven, are sometimes in this book put for the
obscurity and corruption of pure doctrine, and the falling away of the pastors of the church from their fincerity and zeal. But in this place the circumstances will not bear that sense:
First, Because here the darkening of the fun and moon, &c. is joined with an earthquake; the rolling together of the heavens, and the moving of mountains and islands out of their places, which argueth a most horrible confusion of all things.
Secondly, Because afterward in the eighth chapter, he doth of purpose speak of the corrupting of pure doctrine, and the falling away of the ministers, referring it to that chapter, as his proper place.
Thirdly, Because the kings and captains of the earth here immediately mentioned, would never have been cast into any such perplexities and horrors upon any corruption of doctrine and ministry, as we here read of. For commonly men are not any whit touched or moved with that, or fuch like things..
Lastly, Becaufe the scope and intention of the Holy Ghost, under the opening of this sixth seal, is to describe corporal, not fpiritual; visible, not invisible judgments; for be doth orderly and of purpose handle them in the next chapter. Now, whereas it is said in the last three
verses, that's the kings of the earth, and " the chief captains, and the mighty men, “and every bond-man, and every free-man 'hid themselves in dens, and amongst the Crocks of the niountains, and said to the
rocks and mountains, fall on us,' Rev. vi. 15,16,17, the sense and meaning of all is this, that these visible judgments should be sohorrible and extraordinary, that all sorts of men then living upon the face of the earth, thould even wish themselves buried quick, or that they might run into a mouse-hole, to hide themselves from the wrath of the Lamb. For being both outwardly terrified with the sensible judgments, and inwardly griped and tormented with the fury of their own consciences, they are at no hand able to endure it.
'T'HIS Chapter doth wholly appertain
I unto the opening of the sixth feal.. It sheweth generally, how God in the midst of all the troubles which happened under the opening of the sixth seal, yet did preserve his own church, and mercifully pro.. vide for his own people.
This seventh chapter may very fitly be divided into three parts. · First, It sheweth, that as God did most fearfully punish the world with visible and sensible judgments, as we have heard before: So now he would set upon them with invisible and spiritual plagues, which are of all others most grievous and intolerable.
Secondly, It sheweth the state and condi.
tion of the church militant here on earth, is as before was shewed under the opening of ir the fifth seal, the state of the church.tri
umphant in the heavens, namely, that it is fealed and fet in safety from all dangers.
I birdly, it fheweth the blessed and happy state of all God's elect, and their fervent praises and zealous worship of God, who thus mercifully did provide for their security in the midst of greatest perils and extremities. . . . And after that, I faw four angels stand on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the 'winds should not blow on the earth, nei
ther on the sea, neither on any green tree,' Rev. vii. 1.. i
These four angels are angels of darkness, or four devils, which is proyed by this rea-, fon, that they hold the four winds from blowing on the earth, that is, stop the