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I 6 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood, which the dragon cast out of his mouth. _ <

,17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her feed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the teftimony of Jesus Christ.

When the dragon was thus deposed from the imperial throne, and cast unto the earth, (ver. 13.) he still continued to persecute the church with equal malice, tho' not with equal power. He made several attempts to restore the Pagan idolatry in the reign of Constantine, and afterwards in the reign of Julian j he traduced and abused the Christiam religion by such writers as Hierocles, Libanius, Eunapius, and others of the fame stamp and character; he rent and troubled the church with heresies and schisms j he stirred up the favorers of the Arians, and especially the kings of the Vandals in Africa, to persecute and destroy the orthodox Christians. These things, as (8) Eusebius faith upon one of these occasions, some malicious . and

P 4. viJiæ and wicked demon, envying the prosperity of the church, effected. But the church was still under the protection of the empire, (ver. 14.)

and to the woman were 'given two wings of a great eagle. As God said to the .children of Israel, (Exod. XIX. 4.) Te have seen what I. did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles -wings, and brought you unto myself; so the church was supported and carried as it were on eagles wings: but the similitude is the more proper in this cafe, an eagle being the Roman ensign, and the two wings alluding probably to the division that was then made of the eastern and the western empire. In this manner was the church protected, and these wings were given, that flie might fly into the wilderness, into a place of retirement and security, from the face of the serpent. Not that st:e fled into the wilderness at this time, but several years afterwards; and there Jhe z's nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, that is three prophetic years and a half, which is the fame period with the thousand two -hundred


vidirc, et ma'ignus dæmon cc- perfidæ et dolofæ gentisgenera clesiie ft licitatem semper æore £ditus,,paivipendens quod sub fcrens, in nostram pernicienv imperatore impeiabat, Euchemach'inatiis est. Euseb. de Vita rium filium suum, sicut a plerisConstant. Li^. 2. Cap. 77,. que traditur, jam inde Christia{<)) Iatcrea comes. Stilicho, norum persecutionem a puero Va.idalorum inbeflis, ava'ræ, privateque nieditantem, in ioa- * and threescore days or years before^mcntioned. So long the church is to remain in a desolate and afflicted state, during the reign of Antichrist; as Elijah, (1 Kings XVII. XVIII. Luke IV. 25, 26.) while idolatry and famin prevailed in Israel, was secretly fed and nourished three years and six months in the wilderness. But before the woman fled into the wilderness, the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a food, (ver. 15.) with intent to wash her away. Waters in the stile of the Apocalyps (XVII, 16.) signify peoples and nations; so that here was a great inundation of various nations, excited by the dragon or the friends and patrons of the old idolatry, to oppress and overwhelm the Christian religion. Such appeared plainly to have been the design of the dragon, when (9) Stilicho, prime minister of the emperor Honorius, first invited the barbarous heathen nations, the Goths, Alans, Sueves, and Vandals, to invade the Roman empire, hoping by their means to raise his son Eucherius to the throne, who from a boy was an enemy to


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the Christians, and threatened to signalize the beginning of his reign with the restoration of the Pagan, and abolition of the Christian religion. Nothing indeed was more likely to produce the ruin and utter subversion of the Christian church, than the irruptions of so manv barbarous Heathen nations into the Roman empire. But the event proved contrary to human appearance and expectation ; the earth swallowed up the flood; (ver. 16) the Barbarians were rather swallowed up by the Romans, than the Romans by the Barbarians; the Heathen conquerors instead of imposing their own, submitted to the religion of the conquered Christians; and they not only embraced the religion, but affected even the laws, the manners, the customs, the language, and the very name of Romans, .so that the victors were in a manner absorbed and lost among the vanquished. This course not succeeding according to probable expectation, the dragon did not therefore desist from his purpose, (ver. 17 ) but only took another method of persecuting the true sons of the church, as.fwc mall fee in the next chapter. It is said that he went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus; which implies that at this time there was only a remnant, that corruptions were

• * greatly greatly increased, and the faithful were minified from among the children of men.


i Æ^ND I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads, and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his feat, and great authority.

3 And I saw one of his heads, as it were wounded to death j and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

6 And he opened his mouth in blasphe


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