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EARLY CHURCH

Ambrose
Ambrose, Pseudo
Andreas
Arethas
Aphrahat
Athanasius
Augustine
Barnabus
BarSerapion
Baruch, Pseudo
Bede
Chrysostom
Chrysostom, Pseudo
Clement, Alexandria
Clement, Rome
Clement, Pseudo
Cyprian
Ephraem
Epiphanes
Eusebius
Gregory
Hegesippus
Hippolytus
Ignatius
Irenaeus
Isidore
James
Jerome
King Jesus
Apostle John
Lactantius
Luke
Mark
Justin Martyr
Mathetes
Matthew
Melito
Oecumenius
Origen
Apostle Paul
Apostle Peter
Maurus Rabanus
Remigius
"Solomon"
Severus
St. Symeon
Tertullian
Theophylact
Victorinus

HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Steve Gregg
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins

E.P. Woodward
 

FUTURISTS
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any Particular Eschatology)

Henry Alford
G.C. Berkower
Alan Patrick Boyd
John Bradford
Wm. Burkitt
George Caird
Conybeare/ Howson
John Crossan
John N. Darby
C.H. Dodd
E.B. Elliott
G.S. Faber
Jerry Falwell
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
Murray Harris
Thomas Ice

Benjamin Jowett
John N.D. Kelly

Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
William Miller
Robert Mounce

Eduard Reuss

J.A.T. Robinson
George Rosenmuller
D.S. Russell
George Sandison
C.I. Scofield
Dr. John Smith

Norman Snaith
"Televangelists"
Thomas Torrance
Jack/Rex VanImpe
John Walvoord

Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM | MODERN PRETERISM | PRETERIST IDEALISM

John Hewlett

Commentaries and Annotations on the Holy Scriptures
 (1816 ; Five Volumes)

By John Hewlett
(1762–1844)

 

"Our Lord, whose second coming was the destruction of Jerusalem"

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/John_Hewlett.jpg

CLICK BELOW FOR PDF FILES:
VOL. I | VOL. II | VOL. III | VOL. IV | VOL. V

 

"28. Coming in his kingdom.]—Raphelius would have the verse thus translated: ' Shall not taste of death, till they shall see the Son of man going into his kingdom.' For he understands it of the disciples beholding Christ's ascension into heaven, 'where he took possession of his mediatorial kingdom, and which, without doubt, was a very proper proof of his coming again to judge the world. That the word signifies to ' go,' as well as to' come,' Raphelius proves from Acts xxviii 14; and Luke ii. 44. See note on chap. xvi. 5. Schleusner, also, has shewn that the verb admits of this double sense in the best Greek classics. The use may be supported by John v. 4; and Luke xxiii. 4'2. Nevertheless, the common translation is more natural and just, as appears from the parallel texts. Some understand this passage as relating to the transfiguration ; (see note on ch. xvii. 2.) and others apply it to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.— Dr. Macknight. Compare John xxi. 22. See, also, James v. viii. Gilpin paraphrases the verse; 'And though the Messiah's kingdom, added he, which throws so strong a light on the next world, may appear now at a distance; yet you may be assured, that it shall speedily be established, and in a great degree in the lifetime of some of you, who stand round me.'"  (Very interesting Modern Preterist book!  Fresh translations of Le Clerc, Grotius, Rosenmuller, Calmet, etc.)

 

 

REVELATION.

INTRODUCTION.

The opinions of pious and learned men have been very different respecting this divine book, from the time of Justin Martyr, who lived in the second century, and who appears to have admitted it as written by the apostle and evangelist St. John, to that of Martin Luther, who,' for more reasons than one,' as he asserts,' neither believed it to be a book of prophecy, nor of apostolical authority.' ' This opinion, which however erroneous, and which he afterwards reduced to a more diffident form, is so much the more laudable,' says Michaelis,' as the Apocalypse is a book, which Luther's opposition to the church of Rome must have rendered highly acceptable to him, unless he had thought impartially, and had refused to sacrifice his own doubts to polemical considerations.' See Wetstein, in Proleg. p. 181; and Micha'elis, vol. iv. p. 458.

Those, however, who may wish to trace its history in the Christian church, and to know who among the fathers admitted its authenticity, who doubted, who passed it over in silence, and who rejected it, till all doubts respecting it were banished from, the Romish church, by the Council of Toledo, A. D. 633, may consult Lardner's 6th volume, chap. 22, as well as the other parts of his learned work, which are there referred to, and Michaelis, vol. iv. ch. 33. § 2, 4.

Many commentators are of opinion, that this book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem; but probability

seems in favor of those learned writers, who refer it to the time of Domitian; or at least to the reign of Claudius, or Nero.

The following observations, on this subject, by Mr. Weston, (Sunday Lessons, part ii.) deserve notice. , ' If St. John wrote his Apocalypse in the days of Claudius, the scarcity predicted in the sixth chapter came to pass in mat emperor's reign, and the prophecy was accordingly fulfilled, and that shortly after its utterance. And again, in the sixth seal, (ch. vi. 12, &c.) we may discover the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus, which will suit nothing so late as Domitian and Trajan ; but agrees well with the words of our Lord, whose second coming was, the destruction of Jerusalem. However different the opinions of the learned have been with respect to the completion of the greater part of the prophecies, or their meaning; yet all will agree in these two, and that no time will do for them but the interval between Claudius and Titus. The famine which preceded the surrender of Jerusalem is totally inapplicable to chap. vi. 6,. where it is said, ' the wine and oil should not be hurt;' but in the distress of Jerusalem, this could not have been the case, therefore the scarcity in the reign of Claudius is the one, foretold in the Acts of the Apostles, ch. xi. 28; and Matt. xxiv. 7.'

It has been observed by Wetstein, and others, that the many forged Apocalypses, at an early period of the Christian church, confirm the, antiquity of the true one. Among others, the ancient writers mention the Apocalypse of Peter, of Paul, of Thomas, of Stephen, of Adam, of Abraham, and Ezra, all of which seem to have borrowed their title from the genuine Kevelation of St. John. The general testimony of antiquity is, that St. John was banished to Patmos in the reign of Domitian, for his stedfast adherence to the Christian faith. Accordingly, the author of this book informs the churches of Asia, (ch. i. ver. 9,) that he, their ' brother and companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that was called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.' It follows, that while there he was in the spirit, and saw those visions and divine mysteries, which are here revealed. Now, though we admit; with some learned commentators, that the tradition of St. John being banished to the isle of Patmos originated from this passage of the Revelation, yet it identifies the author of this book with the evangelist; or, at least, it shews what was the early, and generally received opinion of the ancients on this subject.

' This prophecy,' says Daubuz, p. 1051,' was designed as a standing monument for the church, to know what destinies attend it; and that, when men should suffer for the name of Christ, they might here find some consolation, both for themselves and the church: for themselves, by the prospect and certainty of a reward; for the church, by the testimony that Christ never forsakes it, but will conquer at last.' The reason of its obscurity is thus accounted for by Le Clerc on chap. xiii. 18. ' A great part of the predictions,' he observes, ' being about things, which were shortly to be fulfilled .by the Romans, and St. John speaking of these as the enemies of God, by whom they were also to be destroyed, it was not safe either for himself, or for others, to whom he communicated these prophecies, that the matter of them should be more clearly represented; lest the book, falling into the hands of the Romans, should be a means to enrage them.' ' The folly of interpreters,' says the illustrious Sir Isaac Newton, p. 251,' has been, to foretel times and things by this prophecy, as if God designed to make them prophets. By this rashness, they have not only exposed themselves,but brought the prophecy also into contempt. God gave this, ana the prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify men's curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things; but that after they were fulfilled, they might be interpreted by the event, and his own providence, not the interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things, predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument, that the world is governed by Providence.'

' If,' says Mr. Weston,' we were in possession of a complete and particular knowledge of the history of Asia, not only of great events, without person, or place, names, or dates, but of the exactest biography, geography, topography, and chronology, we might, perhaps, still be able to explain, and appropriate more circumstances recorded in the Revelations, under the emperors of the East, and the West, and in Arabia, Persia,'Tartary, and Asia, the seat of the most important revolutions with which the history of Christianity has ever been interwoven, and closely connected,' See, also, Michaelis, yol. iv. ch. xxxiii. sect. 6.

* Of the inspired author of the Revelation,' continues the writer last quoted,' we have another work, the Gospel of St. John, so totally different in style from the Apocalypse, that it must have been written at a very different period of his life. The one is beautiful, sublime, and figurative in a high degree, but incorrect. The other, the Gospel, simple, pure, unadorned, and very accurate. The one appears to be the work of a young man replete with fancy and imagination, and full of oriental images and ancient prophecies, thinking in Hebrew and writing in Greek; the other of an old man, relating plain facts in plain language, without ornament, and without allegory.' See further remarks on the style of the Apocalypse in Michaelis, vol. iv. ch. xxxiii. § 10.

This learned German professor, after noticing the declining authority of the Apocalypse in the Greek church, observes, * The Latin church, which was certainly less able to make new discoveries relative to a book addressed to seven com' munities in Asia Minor, and after the death of Jerome, was not very well qualified for critical inquiries, received the Apocalypse as a work undoubtedly canonical. We must conclude, therefore, that its reception in the church of Rome was rather the effect of accident, than the result of an impartial and deliberate examination. At that time, the popes and councils little imagined, that the Apocalypse would one day become a repertory, in which the rebels against their authority would find weapons to attack the church, from which they had apostatised; or they would hardly have canonised a work, from which the pope was to be proved the antichrist, and Rome the greaf apocalyptical whore.' Vol. iv. p. 493.

Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, about the middle of the third century, ascribes the book of Revelation not to John, the apostle; but rather thinks it the work of John, the presbyter of Ephesus. Such, also, was the opinion of Eusebius.

Caius, a presbyter of Rome, who lived in the former part of the third century, affirms, that the heresiarch, Cerinthus, was its author, and Dionysius of Alexandria admits that some persons, before his time, were of the same opinion, adding that Cerinthus forged the name of the venerable apostle to give his work credit and authority. Vid. Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. iii. cap. 28; or Lardner, vol. ii. p. 378, 379, from which it will appear, that the erroneous and voluptuous notions, which some of the Christian fathers supposed it contained, respecting the Millennium, operated as one cause for their rejecting it as a spurious production. See the Introduction to the Second Epistle of Peter.

It is not a little remarkable, that the churches of Asia, to which this divine book was originally addressed, should he the first to reject it, and the last to admit it into their canon ef Scripture.

For further information, and for the fanciful hypotheses of Eichhorn, Dupuis, and other critics, the reader may consult the Scholia of liosenmiiller, vol. v. p. 610—6S0.

CHAPTER I.

Ver. I. And he sent and signified it by his angel.]—In the style of prophecy, from which the expressions of this book are chiefly taken, every thing is called ' an angel,' that notifies a message from God, or executes the will of God. A prophetic dream is here ' an angel.' The pillar of fire that went before the Israelites, is called ' the angel of God.' (See Exod. xiv. 19 ; and compare the parallel texts.) The winds and flames of fire are ' angels' to us, when used by God, as voices to teach, or rods to punish. So that God is properly said to reveal by ' his angel, ' what he makes known either by voice, by dream, by vision, or any other manner of true, prophetic revelation.—Dr. Willoughby. See note on John v. 4.

4. Seven churcfies.]—See these churches enumerated, ver. 11.

4. Which is, end which was, and which is to come.]—The Hebrew letters, which compose the hallowed name, mif, * Jehovah, ' are expressive of time past, time present, and time to come. Vid. Maimonides, Mor. Nev.

4. And from the seven Spirits which are before his throne.]— Some have explained this of the seven arch-angels, and adduced it as an instance of invocation to them; but the Spirit of God may be symbolically represented by* the seven Spirits before the throne, ' more agreeably to the genius of this emblematical book. In the language of prophecy, ' seven' often expresses perfection; and, connected with angels, may be understood of the most perfect Spirit of God, the Author of all spiritual blessings.—Dr. Doddridge, and Lowtuan. See, also, Bp. Burnett; and Calmet's Diet. under the word' Seven.'

It was an ancient opinion of the Jews, that there were seven angels who ministered in the presence of God ; for the later Hebrews formed their notions of heaven from the most

 

magnificent palaces-of the Persian kings, before whom seven princes stood in constant attendance. Compare Tobit xii. 15. In the Targum of Jonathan on Genesis xi. 7, God is represented as speaking to the seven angels, who stand before him, and saying to them, ' Come hither.' This was preparatory to the confusion of tongues at Babel.—See IVetstein, and liosenmiiller.

5. The prince of the kings of the earth.]—See the parallel texts; and compare Matt. xxviii. 18, with the parallel texts there referred to.

6. Kings and priests.]—By a slight alteration, supported by many MSS. and printed copies, we may read, agreeably to the Syriac version, ' a royal priesthood;' that is,' a distinguished priesthood,'—See Wetstein, and Griesbach. Compare note on James ii. 8.

7. He cometh zcith clouds.]—Rather, ' he is coming with clouds,'or* on clouds;' i. e. he is coming with sovereign power and gloiy. See note on Dan. vii. 13; and compare Deut. xxxiji. 26; Ps. xviii. 9, 10.

7. Shall zrail because of him.]—The Jews, and all men, will lament at the last day, that he was treated with such indignity and cruelty when he dwelt on earth. Some render ' all the tribes of the land;' thus limiting the words to the Jews on their destruction by the Romans. See Matt. xxiv. SO; and compare Zech. xii. 10.—Abp. Newcome.

8. 1 am Alpha and Omega.]—The Rabbinical writers, with reference'to the Hebrew alphabet, used to say, ' From Aleph to Thau;' that is, from the beginning to the end. St. Joint adapts this expression to the Greek alphabet, the first and last letters of which are Alpha and Omega; because writing to those Jews who made use of the Septuagint, or Greek version of the Old Testament.

9. The isle that is called Patmos.]— Patmos is a small island in the Archipelago, now called Palmosa. It is mountainous, but moderately fruitful, especially in wheat and pulse, though defective in other commodities. The whole circumference of the island is about thirty miles; and on one of the mountains stands a town of the same name, having on the top of it a monastery of Greek monks; on the north side of the town, the inhabitants shew a house, in which, according to tradition, the Apocalypse was written; and, not far off, the cave where it was revealed, both places, of great esteem and veneration with the Greeks and Latins.—Dr. IVell's Geography of the Mew Testament, Part ii. p. 128.

Transportation to distant islands was at that time a common punishment. Small islands were fixed on for the purpose, and such as were almost deserted. Seriphus and Gyara, mentioned by Juvenal, were of this description. Vid. Sat. x. 170.

10. / was in the Spirit.]—This intimates, according to Rosenmuller, that the imagery of this divine book did not consist of real representations; but of visions that were presented to the author's mind. See note on ch. iv. 2.

11. The seven churches which are in Asia.]—These seven are particular^' addressed, because they were under St. John's immediate inspection; he constituted bishops over them; he was, as it were, their metropolitan, and resided much at Ephesus, which, therefore, was named the first of the seven. The main subjects too of this book are comprised in sevens; seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials. Seven was a mystical number throughout the Old Testament.

There are likewise in these addresses several characters which are peculiar to the church of that age, and cannot be so well applied to the church of any other age. Beside other arguments to prove that the state of these churches at that time is described, there is this plain one;—the last'state of the church is described in this very book as the most glorious of all; but the last state of the churches in these epistles, that of Laodicea, is represented (ch. iii. 17.) as ' wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.'—Ahp. Newcome.

11. Unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, 8cc.]—It has been observed by Wetstein, that these cities of Asia Minor are mentioned in the order in which they would be found by a traveller, who should visit them from the isle of Patmos. See the Map.

12. Seven golden candlesticks.]—Rather, ' sconces for lamps;' or,' a lamp made of pure gold, having seven branches, like the lamp in the holy-place in the temple.' See Exod. xxv. 31.

13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like, Sac.] —And as the priests, when they dressed the lamps, stood in the midst to light the middle and largest branches first; so I beheld a person in the midst of this lamp, as if trimming the branches, not in the appearance of an angel, but in a human form.—Dr. Willoughby.

The person here described is supposed, by Rosenmuller and others, to be Jesus Christ, represented under the most glorious symbols that the temple-service, and the language of the ancient prophets could furnish.

16. And he had in his rig/U hand seven stars.]—We may suppose that he held a rod, or staff in his right hand, on the top of which there appeared a constellation of seven stars. The Jews sometimes called their doctors, or teachers, ' stars,' because their office was to enlighten the people : so that this signified the bishops of the churches, as appears from veY. 20.

16. A sharp two-edged sword.']—' That is,' says Tertullian, (adv. Maricon, lib. iii. cap. xiv. p. 405.) rather quaintly, 'The word of God, rendered doubly sharp, by the two covenants of the law and the Gospel.' See the parallel texts.

18. The keys.]—A key was one of the ensigns of sovereign power. See note on Is. xxii. 22.

18. Of hell.]—'Afojj,' the place of departed souls after death.'

20. The mystery.1—That is, the emblematical sense, or symbolical meaning.

20. The angels of the seven churches.]—In every synagogue, there were ministers who had different employments assigned them. One called sheliach-zibbor; i. e.' the messenger, or angel of the synagogue,' who, standing before the ark, or chest, in which the Scriptures were kept, repeated the prayer cadiseb before and after the reading of the law. This was to be a person very eminent for learning and virtue. Sometimes, indeed, the chief ruler, or one of the elders of the synagogue, repeated this prayer, but most commonly the sheliach-zibbor did it. Hence it is, that the bishops of the seven churches of Asia are here called ' the angels of those churches;' because what the sheliach-zibbor did in the synagogue, that the bishop did in the church of Christ.

Chap. II. Ver. 1. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus, &c.]—Though these epistles to the seven churches have rather a literal, than a m}-stical meaning ; yet they contain excellent moral precepts and exhortations, commendations and reproofs, promises and threatenings, which may be of use to the church in all ages. The form and order of the parts will be found to he the same, almost in all the epistles. First, a command to write; then some character and attributes of the speaker, taken from the vision in the first chapter, and appropriated to the matter in each epistle; commendations, or reproofs, follow, with suitable promises and threatenings; and then in all the same conclusion,' He that hath an ear,' &c. The first epistle was addressed to the church of Ephesus, as it was the metropolis of the Lydian Asia, and the place of St. John's principal residence. According to Strabo, it was one of the best and most glorious cities, and*the greatest emporium, or trading port, of the Proper Asia. It is-called by Pliny one of the eyes of Asia, Smyrna being the other; but now, as several who have been on the spot relate, it is venerable for nothing but its rains. jibp. Neiccome.

' The angel of the church,' means the minister who presided over it. See the five following verses, and notes on ch. i. I ; and 20. Some think that Timothy, the first bishop of Ephesus, is meant; but Grotius is of opinion, that it was some person of Jewish extraction.

4'. Thou hast left thy first love.]—Not entirely left, or forsaken, thy first love; but suffered it to diminish. The Greek verb a^Tjxaj, may signify, that a remission of it had taken place. The love of Christ is here meant.

• 5. Remove thy candlestick out of his place.']—This threatening, addressed to a church much better than some others,makes it probable, that, like other denunciations, it was intended to awaken the rest. It intimates, how terrible a thing it would he to have the Gospel taken away from them. And has not their candlestick been removed out of its place, and the light of the Gospel taken from them ? Were they not ruined and overthrown by heresies and divisions within, and by the arms of the Saracens from without? And doth not Mabometanism still prevail and prosper in those countries, which were once the glory of Christendom? Are not their churches turned into mosques, and their worship into superstition ?—Dr. Doddridge, and Ahp. Newton.

6. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitaues, &c.]—The Nicolaitaus, or the Continentes, as they are sometimes called, placed religion in abstaining from marriage, and in abandoning their wives if they had any. They are called Nicolaitans, from Nicolas, one of the seven deacons of the primitive church of Jerusalem ; who having a beautiful wife, and being taxed with uxoriousness, abandoned her, and permitted her to marry whom she pleased. (Vid. Euscb. Eecles. Hist. lib. iii. cap. 29) From that/time, he lived a single life in continency, as did his children also. The Continentes afterwards embraced the doctrine of iEons and ghosts male and female, and were avoided by the churches till the fourth century. The church of Ephesus is here'commended fur hating their deeds.—Sir Is. Newton.

Abp. Newcome, however, remarks, that these sectaries considered impure practices as matters of indifference; and that it is by no means necessary to suppose, that Nicolas, the deacon mentioned Acts vi. 5, was the author of such a doctrine. See also the Introduction of Bcausobre and Leufaiit to their version of the New Testament.

Eichhorn, and others, are of opinion, that' Nicolaitans' is not a proper name; but an appellation descriptive of the corrupt influence, which these sectaries had with the people at large; for Nicolas is o vi-naiv \%ov,' one who overcomes the people.'

7. The tree of life.]—The significant emblem of immortal life, and meaning the same.—See Rosenmuller.

8. The angel of the church in Smyrna.]:—Some think that Polycarp is meant, who was the bishop of this city; but othersare of opinion, that it must relate to a person of an earlier period.

9- Rich.]—That is, rich in faith, grace, and good works.

9. The blasphemy.]—The arrogant and groundless claim of the persecuting Jews, who boasted, at this time, of being exclusively the people of God.

Though the power of the 'Jews to persecute the Christians was weakened after the taking of Jerusalem by Titus; yet their numbers in I he proconsular Asia must have made them formidable.—Abp. Newcome. •

The word,' blasphemy,'occasionally means scandalous abuse, calumny, or malediction, as it does here.—See Parkhurst.

10. Ye shall have tribulation ten days.]—It is generally thought, that this refers to the persecution under Domit.ian, which continued about ten years, and was begun when John, was banished into Patmos, and saw these revelations. Ir* Scripture language, ' ten' is used indefinitely for ' many.'

Others arc of opinion, that this refers to the Dioclesian persecution; and Sir Isaac Newton thinks, that throughout this* divine book, days are to be taken for years. ' •

11. Of the second death.]—Or, 'by the second death;' i. e. the death, or rather the punishment, misery, and degradatiorr©f the soul in a state of eternity.—See Wetstein, and note or* Pro v. xv. 10.

- 13. Satan's seat.]—The persecuting power and opposition is figuratively called d flpovoj ra *2,a.ra.va, ' the throne of Satan,' of 'the adversary's throne.'

13. Antipas.]-^The scanty records of ecclesiastical history furnish no information respecting this faithful martyr; but it is evident that he suffered death for the religion of Christ, andthere is a tradition, that he was shut up in a brazen bujlj like that of the tyrant Phalaris, and then burnt to death.—See Rosenmuller.

17. The hidden manna.]—This appears to have been the emblem of great happiness and worldly enjoyment. One of the three things, which the Jews thought that Elijah would restore to them, at his seeond appearance, was ' the pot of

manna,' which shews, that they regarded it as one of the greatest hlessings of life.—Tanchuma, fol. 83.

17. A white stone.]—This seems to allude to an ancient custom among the Romans, by which they cultivated and preserved a lasting friendship between particular persons, or families. The method of doing this was usually by a small piece of bone, or ivory, and sometimes of stone, shaped in the form of an oblong square, which they called a' tessera.' This they divided lengthwise into two equal parts, on each of which one of the parties wrote his name, and interchanged it with the other. By producing this when they travelled, it gave a mutual claim to the contracting parties and their descendants, of reception and kind treatment at each other's houses ; for which reason it was called the ' hospitable tessera.' Hence came the proverbial expression of' breaking the hospitable tessera,' which was applied to those who violated their engagements. Our translators, by rendering it' a white stone,' seem to have confounded it with the calculus, or small globular stone, which was made use of in balloting, and on other occasions. By this allusion, therefore, the promise made to the church of Pergamos seems to be to this purpose;—that the faithful among them should hereafter be acknowledged by Christ, and received into a state of favor and perpetual friendship. And to this sense the following words very well agree, which describe this stone, or tessera, as having in it ' a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it.' For as the name in the Roman tessera was not that of the person who wrote it, but of his friend who possessed it; so it was known only to the possessor, who doubtless kept it both privately and with great care, that no other person might enjoy the benefit of it, which was designed only for himself and family.—Dr. Ward, Dissert, p. 231.

Dr. Goodman thinks, that the allusion is to the token which was given to conquerors in the Olympic games, expressing their names, and the rewards to which they were entitled. It appears, also, that those victors who were honored with the tessera, were afterwards entitled, on the production of it, ttfasumptuous table furnished at the public expense, for life.—See Kosenmuller; and the Scholiast on Pindar, Olym. vii. 159

20. That woman Jezebel.']—'That is, some one resembling Jezebel. The Greek may be rendered,' thy wife Jezebel.'

23. Her children.]—Those who resemble her, by following her example.

24. This doctrine.]—The pernicious doctrine alluded to, ver. 20.

24. The depths of Satan.]—' The secret mysteries of Satan.' The Gnostics called their mysteries, profunda Dei; i. e. ' the depths of God:' whereas, they are here called more properly, ' the depths of Satan;' which may be interpreted, ' the deep designs of Satan.'

28. I trill give him the morning star.]—'I will give them so clear an understanding of the privileges, promises, and blessings of my Gospel, as if ' a day-star arose in their hearts,' 2 Peter i. 19. They shall see with great clearness, as by a bright light, the encouragement and certainty of their reward, and rejoice in hope that the end of their warfare shall be victory, and their victory shall be crowned with a glorious reward; for they themselves shall shine as ' the brightness of the firmament, and as stars for ever and ever. Dan. xii. 3.—Lowman.

' The morning-star,' also, may be considered as the significant emblem of joy and gladness; particularly such as spring up rri the heart of man from faith, and the practice of true religion.

Chap. III. Ver. 1. Dead.]—That is, dead to the true faith, to grace, and to good works.

4. Defiled their garments.]—A metaphorical expression for impure actions.. Compare Zech. iii. 3, 4; and Jude 28.

4. White.']—The emblem of holiness and purit}\ See the next verse.

7. The'key of David.,]^-The same sovereign power that was conferred on David. See note on ch. i. 18; and compare the parallel texts.

8. An open door.]—A favorable opportunity of propagating the true faith; The same metaphor is used by St. Paul, 1 Cor. xvi. 9.

10. The word of my patience.]—The precept, or advice re* specting the duty of patience, which I myself practised.

10. The hour of temptation.]—That is, ' the season of great trial.'

12. Will I make a pillar, &c.]—Few texts in the whole New Testament are more illustrated by antiquity than this. Great numbers of inscriptions are yet remaining, brought from the Grecian cities of Europe and Asia, and some from islands in the neighbourhood of Patmos, which commemorated the victories of eminent persons. Some of these pillars, or columns, stood near the temples of their deities, and others were placed in them, to signify that they were under the particular protection of the Gods; whose names therefore were inscribed on them, as also the names of the conquerors, and of the cities to which they belonged. The names of the generals were likewise added, by whose conduct the victory was gained.—See Dr. Doddridge^

Vol. v. P

Daubuz, however, is of opinion, that this is to be considered as the symbol of an eternal state to be enjoyed in the new1 Jerusalem.—See, also, Rosenmiiller.

14. The Amen.]—This is equivalent to ' He who hath truth;' or ' who cannot lie.' It is explained by the clause which immediately follows.

15. Neither cold nor hot]— That is, ' in a state of lukewarmness and indifference.' See the next verse.

17. Wretched, and miserable, &c.]—These epithets apply to the principles, character, and conduct of the Laodicean church, as is evident from the following verse.

Chap. IV. Ver. 2. I was pi the spirit, &c]—This form of expression means, to be under the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit. It is much illustrated by the view presented by Ezekiel, when he sat in the house among the elders, (Ezek. viii. 1.) who probably saw nothing but the prophet himself, as one in a trance, or ecstacy, or whose thoughts were so attentively fixed, as to be insensible of what passed around him. We are not, therefore, to imagine, that the person sitting on the throne, or the four animals, or the four and twenty elders, were real beings existing in nature; though they represented, in a figurative manner, things that did really exist. And though it is possible that aereal scenes might have been formed by divine power; yet it seems much more probable, that all that had passed, existed in the imagination of St. John. So that we are not to suppose, that there is in heaven an animal in the form of a lamb to represent Christ, and that there are such living creatures as are here described ; or that God himself appears in a human form, 8cc.—See Dr. Doddridge, Grotius, and Rosenmliller.

3. A rainbow.]—The token of God's covenant of peace with Noah and his posterity, and the fit emblem of his veracity. The allusion is to Gen. ix. 13—17- Compare Ezek. i. 28.

4. Four and twenty elders, 8cc.]—In this, and many other parts of the Revelation, there seems to be an allusion to the Levitical priesthood, and the splendid ceremonies of the templeworship. The Levites were divided into four and twenty families under so many heads.—See Wetstein; and compare 1 Chron. xxiv.

6. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal.]—This corresponded with the great molten sea, or laver, in the temple of Jerusalem, (1 Kings vii. 23.) which was •used for purifying those who attended the public worship there. A collection of transparent water before the throne of God might symbolically signify, that all things about him are pure.

6. Four beasts full of eyes.']—This ought to have been rendered ' four living creatures.' The word ' beast' not only degrades the signification; but the animals here mentioned have parts and appearances, which ' beasts,' properly speaking, have not. Besides, they are represented as rational in the highest sense. See Ezek. i. 5—10.

8. Holy, holy, holy.]—This anthem is that which Isaiah tells us he heard the seraphim sing, see Isaiah vi. 2, 3, and it is observable, that many other hymns recorded in this book are borrowed from the Old Testament*—Dr. Doddridge*

10. And cast their crowns before the throne.]—This Was the act of profound reverence, and an acknowledgment that they received every thing from Him.

Chap. V. Ver. I. I saw in the right hand, &c.]—-Future events are supposed by St. John, as well as by Daniel, and other prophets, in a beautiful figure, to be registered in a book for the greater certainty of them. This book is represented in the right hand of God, to denote, that as He alone directs the affairs of futurity; so He alone is able to reveal them* This book may also symbolically represent divine Providence, and the secret decrees of God. See the parallel texts, and compare Exod. xxxii. 32; Deut. xxxii. 34; and Ps. cxxxix. 16.

3. Thereon.]—Rather, ' therein.'

5. The Lion of' I he tribe ofJuda.]—An allusion to Gen. xlix, 9, where the tribe of Judah, from which our Saviour was descended, is represented under the symbol of a lion.

8. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, &c.]—Some understand by ' the four beasts,' or rather, as it should be translated, ' the four living creatures,' (see uote on ch. iv. 6.) the Christian church in the four corners of the world, or the whole body of the faithful. Others think that they are hieroglyphic cal representations of the angelic nature. But by ' the elders' are undoubtedly meant the choir of humble worshippers in the temple of God; whence it has been conjectured, that the elders are symbols df the old, and the creatures of the new church triumphant in heaven. They both, however, whatever we understand by them as Christians, fall down in humble reverence and adoration before the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of their worship; and that, not in an inferior kind of worship, as some would distinguish it, but in the posture of most profound adoration; in a devout prostration of their bodies before his holy presence, with the sacred instruments of praise,, which are signified by ' the harps ;' and with the consecrated odors of incense, which denoted their 'prayers.' If, then both

prayers and praises were offered up unto Jesus by the church, what more solemn worship could he directed to God the Father? And if he were entitled to the same worsliip as the Father, it is because he is partaker of the same nature; or else we must suppose, that the whole Christian church are instructed to become idolaters.

The doxology, or divine hymn, which was thus begun by the church to the honor of Christ, is in the second part carried on by the angels. Ver. It,' And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders,' (ver. 12,) ' Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.' In this the angels acknowledge, as the church had done, the infinite merits of the Lord Jesus, the Saviour and Redeemer of the world, who, as such, is worthy of all the homage and service, which the hosts of heaven can give him, throughout the endless ages of eternity.

This tribute of divine worship, thus begun by the church, and carried on by the angels, as constituting one assembly, is finished by the voice of the whole creation. Ver. 13, ' And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying : Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.' Here the two persons in the Godhead, the Father and the Son, are distinguished from each other, as they bore distinct parts in the economy of our salvation. But the very same degree of religious worship, the same honor and glory, are (as before, ch. iv. ver. 11.) ascribed tmto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, the partner of his throne and dignity, to signify that their essence is the same, and that they are to be worshipped and glorified as one and the same God for ever and ever; equally divine and equally eternal. The whole is closed by the church, as it began, with the lowest prostration before the everlasting Godhead. Ver. 14, f And the four beasts said, Amen, (so be it). And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever,' in testimony of their concurrence in those religious addresses, which the full choir of the redeemed have joined to send up as incense to their glorious Redeemer. May we devoutly exercise ourselves in the same religious addressesto the honor and glory of our God and Saviour, with his church militant here on earth, that we may be duly qualified to join in them with the angelic host, when we shall be admitted into the church triumphant in heaven!

Such is the evidence which the Scriptures afford us; and we cannot want stronger, or greater, to prove that this was the constant practice of the church in the age of the apostles; especially, as this last instance is recorded by him, who in the last chapter of his Revelation tells us, that an angel had rejected with al> horrence the offer he made of falling down to worship him, because he was his fellow-servant, and directed him to worship God only; for that to pay it to any one was to wrong God, who is a jealous God, and will not give his honor to-another. But the same homage had been refused before, and upon the same grounds. (Ch. xix, 10.) Might it not be, as some have conjectured, that the apostle mistook the angel, who shewed him these things, for the Lord Jesus Christ, in such an assumed ap.pearance, and therefore fell down to worship him ? Most assuredly he did not mean to be guilty of idolatry: the angel understood that he would be, if he persisted in this devotion; and yet he knew that it had been paid to the only-begotten Son of God, by the glorious inhabitants of heaven: the consequence is plain, that he was lawfully worshipped as God.

' Our sacred scriptures declare,' says Bp. Bull, 'and we profess to believe, a Messiah, or Christ, who is the Saviour of our souls; who is to us wisdom, and justification, and sanctification^ and redemption ; who hears the prayers of all that call upon his holy name, and therefore is omnipresent and omniscient, and knows the hearts of men; who is with his church throughout the world, defends and protects it, that neither the powers of the earth, nor the gates of hell, can prevail against it; who is placed on the throne with his Father, and sits there to be worshipped and adored by men, and angels, and archangels, and all the host of heaven, with divine worship and adoration ; and who, at the end of the world, shining in immense glory and majesty, surrounded with angels, his ministers, shall come to judge the world ; not only all the actions, but all the secrets of the hearts of men; shall bring them to light, awarding his enemies to eternal darkness, and rewarding his faithful servants with eternal glory. Can any one less than God do this? on could it ever have been said of any one, who was not God ?'— Jud. Eccles. Cath. p. 12.

8. Fials.2—Rather, ' censers, goblets,' or 'cups.'

From the many references given by the learned Wetstein, it appears that they were generally formed of gold, silver, or brass, and had not the least resemblance to what we call' vials.' These censers filled with odors, may be considered as suitable symbols of' the prayers of saints,' or of acceptable worship offered to God. Compare ch. viii. 3, 4.

Chap. VI. Ver. 2. 4 white horse.]—White horses were formerly used in triumphs in token of victory. To see a white horse in a dream was accounted a good sign by the Jews; and Astrampsychus says, a vision of white horses is an apparition of angels. One of those angels, which the Jews suppose to have the care of men, is said to ride by them, and at their right hand, upou a white horse.—Dr. Gill, in loc.

Vitringa obsefves, also, that white horses were used in the Roman triumphs. The bow is another emblem of victory. All the symbols contained in this verse, says Rosenmuller, relate to the description of an hostile army obtaining victory over the J«ws. The sight of white horses was considered as an omen of conquest by Virgil; (iEneid, iii, 537.) and was s& interpreted, by Servius. Some think, that the vision is prophetic of some particular event; others are of opinion, that it indicates generally the progress and success of the Roman arms; and Johannsen, a German critic, thinks it applicable to Christ himself, as the subduer of Judaism and paganism; on account of a similar description, (ch. xix. 11—16.) which cannot be referred to any one but Christ.—See Rosenmuller.

4. Another horse that was red,]—Lowman interprets this seal, of the judgments of God on the Jewish persecutors under Trajan and Hadrian, from A. D. 100, to A. JJ. 138, in which period the Jews are said to have had a thousand cities and fortresses taken, or destroyed, and 580,000 men slain.

Others consider ' a red horse' as the symbol of bloodshed, sedition, and civil war.

5. A blaek horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.]—A black horse, in the language of symbols, was a bad omen. See a passage in Suidas, quoted ex Poeta Oneirocritico.

Lowman interprets this third seal, of the dearth in the time of the Antonines, from A. D. 138 to 193, and produces passages from Tertullian and the Roman historians concerning the calamity, which the empire endured from scarcity during this period.

6. A measure of wheat for a penny.J—The penny was about seven pence halfpenny of our money; and this appears from Ta« citus,as well as from Matt. xx. % to have been the daily wages of a laborer. We learn, also, from other ancient writers, particularly Herodotus, Hippocrates, Diogenes Laertius, and Athenaeus, that the measure here spoken of, (x*tyiZ) was no more than was allowed to a slave for his daily food.

Others think, that tliis relates to the famine in the time of Claudius, spoken of in general terms, Matt. xxiv. 7 ; and expressly foretold by Agabus, Acts xi. 28.

6. Hurt not the oil and the wine.]-^-A scarcity of grain is foretold : attention to which event is raised by the creatures that had the face of a man, (ch. iv. 7-) because it peculiarly affects the human species. See the Introduction.

The regulations and laws framed about corn by Septimius and Alexander Severus, shew a preceding scarcity. The former of these emperors began his reign A. D. 201; and the latter, A.D. 222.—See Mede, Daubuz, Lotnnan, and Bp. Newton.

8. A pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death.]— The awful symbol of pestilence, which, according to the figurative style of the east, is called ' death.'

. 8. And hell followed with him.]—Instead of' hell,' we should rather read, 'hades,' or ' the grave,' signifying, that the pestilence would sweep away vast numbers.

8. And power was given unto them.]—i. e. To this angel called death, and the two before-mentioned.

8. Over the fourth part of the earth.]—That is,' over a quarter of the land of Judea.'

8. To kill with sword.]—By way of slaughter. This was the province of the first angel.

8. And with hunger.]—This the second angel was to execute. Great numbers, and even some of the priests, perished for want of food, as Josephus relates.

8. And with death.]—With pestilence, which generally follows famine. This belonged to the fourth angel to execute.

9. / saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain, &c.]—Lowman interprets this of the severe persecution of the Christians under Dioclesian, from A. D. 270 to A. D. 304, which lasted ten years, and was of all others the most extensive and cruel. The number of Christians who suffered death was so great, that the heathens boasted in an ancient inscription, that they had effaced the very name and superstition of Christianity.

Kosenmiiller and others understand it as relating to the destruction of the Jews, on account of their persecuting the Christians.

12—17. J beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, &c.]— Great changes and revolutions, according to the prophetic style, are expressed by great commotions in the earth and in the heavens. The same images and expressions are used by the other prophets concerning the mutations and alterations of religions and governments; and why may they not, therefore, with equal propriety and fitness, be applied to one of the greatest and most memorable revolutions that ever happened in the world, the subversion of the heathen religion, and establishment of the Christian, begun by Constantine the Great, and completed by his successors ? The series of the prophecy requires this application, and all the phrases and expressions will easily admit it. ' And I beheld wh£n he had opened the sixth seal, ver. 12, and lo, there was a great earthquake,' or rather, a great concussion; for the word in the original comprehends the shaking »f heaven as well as of earth. The same phrase is used, Haggai ii. 6, 21, concerning the coming of Christ; and this shaking, as the apostle saith, Heb. xii. 27,' signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken ;' and so the prophet, Haggai, explains it. And where was ever a greater concussion, or removal; than -when Christianity was advanced to the throne of paganism, and idolatry gave place to the true religion? Then follow the particular effects of this general concussion, ver. 12, 13, 14. Isaiah speaks much in the same manner concerning Babylon and Idumea, ch. xiii. 10; xxxiv. 4. And Jeremiah, concerning the land of Judah, ch iv. 23, 24. And Ezekiel, concerning Egypt, ch. xxxii. 7. And Joel, concerning Jerusalem, ch. ii. 31. And our Saviour himself also, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. xxi v. 29. Now it is certain, that the fall of any of these cities and kingdoms was not of greater concern and consequence to the world, nor more deserving to be described in such pompous figures, than the fall of the pagan Roman empire, when the great lights of the heathen world, the sun, moon, and stars, the powers civil and ecclesiastical, were all eclipsed and obscured, the heathen emperors and Caesars were slain, the heathen priests and augurs were extirpated, the heathen officers and magistrates were removed, the temples were demolished, and their revenues were appropriated to better uses. It is customary with the prophets, after they have described a thing in the most symbolical and figurative diction, to represent the same again in plainer language; and the same method is ob<served here, ver. 15, 16, 17. This period extends from A. D. 304, to 323.— Bp. Nercton.

Chap. VII. Ver. I. Four angelsholding the four winds, &c]—What follows in this chapter is a continuation of the sixth seal. It is a description of the state of the church in Constantine's time, of the peace and protection it should enjoy imder'the civil powers, and of the great accession that should be made to it, both of Jews and Gentiles. Four angels are ordered by another angel to restrain the four winds from blowing with violence in any part pf the world; to shew that these were halcyon days, in which the former wars and persecutions should Cease, and peace and. tranquillity "be restored for a season. Eusebius and Lactantius, who were contemporary writers, bear their testimony to the completion of this prophecy : and oneo f the medals of Constantine, having on the reverse, ' Blessed tranquillity,' is a confirmation of their testimony. By ' winds,' are signified calamities of any kind, as slaughter by war, pes» tilent diseases, and extreme poverty. Thus, the judgments of war upon Elam, are called ' the four winds of heaven,' Jer. xlix. 36; and li. 1, 2. ' I will raise up against Babylon a destroying wind; and will send untoBabylon fanners,'(that is, armies)'that shall fan her, and shall empty her land.' See also Jer. xviii. 17. So that these lour angels, holding the four winds, signified, their being in readiness to execute God's judgments, but withholding them till they knew his pleasure, which they received in the following verses.—Bp. Newton, and Lowrn.au. See, also, Mede's Clavis Apoc. Daubuz, and Rosenmuller.

21 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God."\—The bearing of a seal is a token of high office, either by succession,'or deputation, Gen. xli. 42; Esther viii. 2. Josephus gives several instances of this, lib. xi. cap. 6; lib. xii. cap. 14. Thus, in Aristophanes, the taking away of the ring signifies the discharging of a chief magistrate. —Burder's Orient. Gust.

The lord high chancellor of England is even now appointed by giving him the seals of office, and dismissed by taking them from him.

'3. Till we have sealed, 8cc.]—This sealing alludes to a tradition of the Jews, that upon the day of expiation all the people of Israel are sealed up in the books of life and death. For the Jews, in their Talmud, tell us that in the beginning of every new year, or first day of the month Tisri, the seventh month of the sacred year, three books are opened in judgment; the book of life, in which the names of those are written who are perfectly just; the book of death, in which the names of those are .written, who are atheists, or very wicked; and a third book, of those whose judgment is suspended till the day of expiation, and whose names are not written in the book of life, or death, before that day. The first'ten days of this month they call the penitential days; and all these days they fast and pray, and ar« very devout, that on the tenth day their sins may be remitted, and their names may be written in the book of life ; which day is therefore called the day of expiation. And upon this tenth day, in returning home from the synagogues, they say to one another, ' God, the creator, seal you to a good year!' For they -conceive that the books are now sealed up, and that the sen

tence of God remains unchanged to theend of the year. The same thing is signified by the two goats, on whose foreheads the high-priest yearly, on the day of expiation, laid the two lots inscribed, ' For God, and for Azazel,' God's lot signifying the people who are sealed with the name of God in their foreheads; and the lot Azazel, the'goat which was sent into the wilderness, representing those who receive the mark and name of the beast, and go into the wilderness with the great whore.—Sir Jsuac Newton. See notes on Levit. xvi. 7, 22 ; Is. xliv. 5 ; and xlix. 16.

4. And I heard the number of them which were sealed, &c.]— The number of those who were thus consecrated to God as his church and peculiar people was very great; a number that figuratively expressed many persons of all people and nations professing the Christian faith, and serving God in the worship of the Christian church, now the true Israel of God. This siugle passage, says Bossuet, may shew the mistake of those, who always expect the numbers in the Revelation to be exact; for it cannot be supposed there should be in each tribe twelve thousand elect, neither more nor less, to make up the number of one hundred and forty-four thousand. We are only to observe, in the numbers of the Revelation, a certain figurative proportion, which the Holy Ghost designs to point out to observation. As there were twelve patriarchs and twelve apostles, ' twelve' became a sacred number in the synagogue, and in the Christian church. This number of twelve' first multiplied into itself, and then by a thousand, makes one hundred and forty four thousand.—Lowman. See, also, Rosenmiiller.

5. Of the tribe of Juda, 8cc.]—It is very difficult to assign the reason of the order in which the tribes are placed; or the reason why one of the tribes is omitted ; the latter of which appears much more important than the former. This, however, is plain, that when Levi was mentioned for one tribe, it was necessary that, since twelve only were to be mentioned, one should be omitted. Some, indeed, have imagined that Dan was omitted, to express how detestable idolatry is in the sight of God; as the tribe of Dan was the first that fell into idolatry after their settlement in Canaan. See Judg. xviii. 30, SI.

Dr. Hammond assigns another reason, namely, that long before that time, the tribe of Dan, as the Jews themselves assert, •was destroyed, or ' brought very low;' and, indeed, ' the sons of Dan' are not numbered among the rest of the tribes, 1 Chron. ii, and following chapters.—See Wetstein, and Rosenmiiller. - 9. A great multitude, which no man could number.]—This certainly relates to the vast number of Gentiles of all nations, who were converted to Christianity.—See Eichhom, and Rosenmliller.

The imagery in this verse seems to be partly taken from the . feast of tabernacles. See Levit. xxiii. 3i—42 ; Deut. xvu 13 ; and compare John xii. 13.

10. Salvation to our God.]—That is,' we owe salvation to our God;' or,' the power of salvation belongeth to our God.*

13. What are these, Sec.]—Daubuz very properly ohserves, that this is not asked for want of information; but to excite proper attention.

15. And serve him day and night, &c.]—This is an allusion to the daily and nightly ministrations of the Levites; otherwise, there is no night in heaven.—Beza, in loc.

16. Neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.]—Our notions of comfort and inconvenience, of enjoyment and suffering, are in a great measure regulated by the climate in which we live. The Jews inhabiting the country of Palestine, represented hardships in general under the ideas of thirst, drought, a scorching sun, and a hot, suffocating wind ; while ' living fountains of waters,' (ver. 17.).refreshing shades, &lc . furnished them with images of pleasure, enjoyment, and repose.

Chap. VIII. Ver. 1. When he had opened the seventh seal, there teas silence, 8tc.]—The seventh seal, or period, is of much longer duration, and comprehends more events than any of the former seals. It comprehends indeed seven periods, distinguished by the sounding of seven trumpets. At the opening of this seal,' there was silence,' 8cc. This silence of half an hour is a sign that the peace of the church would continue but for a short season. It is an interval, or pause, as it were, between the foregoing and the succeeding visions. It is a mark of solemnity to procure attention, and to prepare the mind for great and signal events; and not without an allusion to a ceremony among the Jews: for, as Philo informs us, the incense used to be offered before the morning and after the evening sacrifice; and while the sacrifices were made, the voices, and instruments, and trumpets,sounded; but while the priest.went into the temple, all were silent, and the people prayed without to themselves. Now, this was the morning of the church, and therefore the silence precedes the sounding of the trumpets.—Sir Isaac Newton, and Bp. Newton.

3. And another angel came, 8cc.]—These visionary scenes in heaven prefigure things on earth; and these ceremonies of the temple represent the devotions of Christians, whose prayers are here represented as coming up in remembrance before God. Which is expressed in this judicial way, or agreeably to the' ceremony of the temple, by giving to this angel, as to a priest, much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar, which was before the throne, answering to the altar of incense, which was overlaid with gold, and stood before the sanctum sanctorum. (Exod. xl. 5.)—See Dr. H. More, in loc.

5. Fire of the altar^]—This lire of the altar denoted the anger of God.

7. And there followed hail and fire, 8tc.]—In describing the punishment which God inflicted on the Jews, the divine author has now recourse to the imagery taken from the plagues of Egypt, and that with the greatest propriety; for, as hardness of heart increased the punishment of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, so, also, for similar obduracy, the Jews experienced the severest judgments. Compare Exod. ix. 23—25;,and Ps. xi. 6.

8. And the second angel sounded.]—In the style of prophecy, a mountain signifies a-kingdom, and the strength of it, its metropolis, or capital city. Thus, the prophet Jeremiah foretels the downfal of Babylon, Jer. li. 25,' Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.' The prophet himself explains the literal meaning of these figurative expressions, ver. 27, ' Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz.' The plain meaning of the figurative expression, ' a burnt mountain,' seems also taught by the prophet, ver. 30, &c. ' They have burned her dwelling-places, her oars are broken. One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end, and that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire.'

• Great disorders and commotions, especially when kingdoms are moved by hostile invasions, are expressed in the prophetic style by carrying, or casting mountains into the midst of the sea.' ' Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea,' Ps. xlvi. 2. Waters are expressly made a symbol of people in this prophecy, ch. xvii. 15. ' And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.' The sea may well represent a collection of many people, or nations, into one body politic, or empire: and when a sea is considered as an empire, the living creatures in that sea will be the people, or nations, whose union constitutes that empire. And the prophet Ezekiel, by a like figure, describes the destruction of the inhabitants of Egypt, by the death of all the fish in the rivers, Ezek. xxix. 3, 8cc. ' Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I airf against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt. I will cause the fish of • thy rivers to stick unto thy scales : I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee, and all the fish of thy rivers.' These expressions seem explained by the prophet to this meaning: (ver. S.) ' Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast- out of thee.' The period described by this prophecy may be, when the northern nations invaded Italy, and when the capital of Rome was taken by Alaric, general of the Goths, who plundered if, and set it on fire; which calamity was followed by the spoil of the greatest part of Italy, from A. D. 379 to 412.—Lawman.

10. A great star.]—Some apply this to Genseric, who inr vaded Italy with three hundred thousand Vandals and Moors, and took Rome, A. D. 455.

Others think that Mahomet is meant, whose name signifies -' illustrious;' or Eleazor, the son of Annas the high-priest, who rejected the victims of the emperor. Vid. Joseph, de Bel. Jud. lib. ii. cap. xviii.

But Lowman refers it to the ravages of the Goths and Vandals, from A. D. 412, to A. D. 493, when the Roman empire was extinguished.

12.]—This verse is applied to the conquests and devastations of Odoacer, king of the Heruli, who put an end to the western empire, A. D. 47(3. The imagery represents great and extensive •calamities.

' Chap. IX. Ver. 2. Bjf reason of the smoke.]—As a great smoke hinders the sight, so do errors the understanding. He keeps to the allegory, says Grotius; for smoke takes from us the -sight of the stars; smoke, especially when proceeding from a fierce fire, is also a representation of devastation. Thus, when Abraham beheld the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen. • xix. 28, ' Lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.' The great displeasure of God is represented by the -same figurative expressions of smoke and fire. ' Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth; there went up a smoke ©ut of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.' Ps. xviii. 7, 8.—Lowman.

3. Locusts.]—Locusts abound in Arabia; and are a proper type of the numerous Arabs, or Saracens.—Abp. Nea'canie.-.

3. As ihe scorpions.]—'They had power, not so much to destroy men, as to torture, or inflict grievous calamities. See ver. 5, 10.—Abp. Newcome.

4. Hurt the grass, &,c.]—In this respect, they laid aside the natural qunlity of locusts. The Saracens spared the fruit-trees and the produce of the ground.—See Ockley, i. 25, in Low man; and Bp. Newton.

4. Which have not the seal of God.]—Corrupt and idolatrous Christians. Mahomet and his followers established their empire under the pretence of rooting out idolatrous worship.— Jos. Mede.

5. They should not kill them.]—Many individuals fell by the swords of these conquerors; but Daubuz asserts, that not one monarchy in Christendom quite perished by their incursions. They took neither Kome, nor Constantinople; in which they differed from the Turks, ver. 18, who subdued the Grecian empire.

Instead of'it was given, ' in this verse, the iEthiopic version supplies, ' a command was given,' that, &c.

5. Be tormented five months.]—The time in which these locusts were to torment men, seems an allusion to the time in which natural locusts are used to do harm, and after which they die. They are hatched, as Bochart observes, about the spring, and die"in the latter end of summer; which assigns about five months as the period of their existence. So that learned interpreter of Scripture understands the expressions in the 5th and 10th verses. The time of five months may probably mean, that the invasions of this people meant by the locusts, should be, tifter the manner of the locusts, during the summer months. This seems a more natural sense than a certain number of prophetic years, during which space of time their power should continue, as some interpreters have thought. If any have the curiosity to see an interpretation of these five months, for one hundred and fifty years, at the proportion of thirty days to a month, he may find it in Mr. Daubuz, and Waple, or in the works of the learned Jos. Mede.—Loimian.

8. As the hair of women.]—The ancient Arabs suffered their hair to grow, and did not cut it. See Mede and Daubuz, and compare 1 Cor. xi. 15 ; from which it appears that long hair in women was considered as highly ornamental.

8. The teeth of lions.]—An indication of their rapacity and power of destruction.

9. They had breast-plates, 8cc.]—We have here a second allusion to the scales which cover locusts, and an allusion also to the noise which they make when on the wing. The symbol far

ther denotes, according to Daubuz, rapid conquest.—Abp. Newcome.

10. Tails.]—The stroke of the scorpion is known to cause, exquisite pain, and it is probable, that by ' tails' in this verse, the inspired writer means to express, in a high style of metaphor, the miserable effects, which would continue to be felt from the invasion of these numerous tribes. See note on Exod. xxxiii. 23.

11. And they had a king over them.]—In this they differed from the natural locusts, who have no king; for it is an observation of Agar, Prov. xxx. 27, ' The locusts have no king; yet go they forth all of them by bands.'

11. Apollyon.]—That is, 'the destroyer.' It is a Greek word. See the -marginal reading.

14. The four angels which are bound, &c.]—The number ' four' is often used to denote an universality of the matters comprised; as in Jerem. xlix. 36, ' The four winds' signify all the winds. In Is. xi. 13, 'The four corners of the earth'denote all the parts of the earth; and Ezek. vii. 2, ' The four corners of the land' signify all parts of the land of Judea. It should seem then a very natural interpretation of the four angels, to understand them of the whole power of these destroyers, gathered together from the four corners, or every quarter of the land in which they dwelt; and spreading themselves towards the four winds, or the several parts of the earth-without restraint.—Lowman.

Mede thinks that there is a reference to the four sultanies, into which the Turks were divided, when they first passed the Euphrates a little before A.D. 1300. These kingdoms, were fixed at Bagdad, Iconium, Aleppo, and Damascus. In the ninth century, this people had left Scythia, and settled in Armenia.—Abp. Newcome.

15. For to slay the third part of men.]—' A third part' seem§ to mean not any precise, fractional portion, but a considerable part of the whole. Compare ch. viii. 12.

17. Jacinth.]—A precious stone, of a color between purple and blue. The Ottomans, from the time of their first appearance, have affected to wear warlike apparel of scarlet, blue, and yellow.—Daubuz.

Chap. X. Ver. 1. Another mighty angelclothed with a cloud.]—The imagery used in this verse is expressive of great power and majesty. A rainbow, the symbol of God's covenant and mercy, was on, or round his head; and his appearance was very glorious; for his face shone with a lustre like the brightness of the sun, and his feet with a splendor, as if they had been flame, or pillars of fire. 'To come in the clouds,' or * with the clouds of heaven, ' is a known symbol of divine majesty and power.

2. And he set his right foot upon the sea, &c.]—It was the custom for the high-priest, on the day of expiation, to stand in an elevated place, in the court of the people, at the eastern gate pf the priests' court, and to read the law to the people, while the heifer and the goat, which was the Lord's lot, were burning without the temple. We may therefore suppose him standing in such a manner, that his right foot might appear to John as it were standing on the sea of glass, and his left foot on the ground of the house; and that he cried with a loud voice, in reading the law on the day of expiation.—Sir Is. Newton.

2. On the earth.]—By ' the earth,' the Jews understood the great continent of all Asia and Africa, to which they had access by land : and by 'the isles of the sea,' they understood the places to which they sailed by sea, particularly all Europe: and hence, in this prophecy, the earth and sea are put for the nations of the Greek and Latin empires.—Id.

3. And when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.] —Thunders are the voice of a cloud, and a cloud signifies a multitude; and this multitude may be the Levites, who sang with thundering voices, and played with musical instruments at the great sacrifices, on the seven days of the feast of tabernacles; at which times the trumpets also sounded. For the trumpets sounded, and the Levites sang alternately, three times at every sacrifice. The prophecy, therefore, of the seven thunders is nothing more than a repetition of the prophecy of the seven trumpets in another form.—Id.

- 6. That there should be time no longer.]—Or, ' that time should be no longer.' This does not mean that time itself should be no more; in the original, %ft,v»j «x srai sri, is literally^ .' the time shall not be yet.' Some understand it, that the time of fulfilling the prophecy should be no longer delayed. See Hosenmuller. But both the intention of the prophecy and the literal meaning of the expression seem to agree better with Mr. Daubuz's interpretation. ' The angel in the vision declares upon oath, that the glorious state of the church shall not be as yet; but that, however, it would not be long to it: for in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall sound,' (that is, in the period of prophecy, to which the remainder of the book, yet un revealed, relates under the seventh trumpet)' the mystery of God shall be perfected, as he had declared to his prophets.'—Lowman. -. 9. Eat it up.]—That is, in the language of one of our excellent collects, ' read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest it.' Compare Jer. xv. 16. Our blessed Lord uses nearly the same form of metaphorical expression, when he speaks ot himself as the ' bread of life,' John vi. 35.

Lowman's paraphrase of this verse is, ' I accordingly took the little book out of the angel's hand, and deeply meditated on the contents of it; and found it to contain, in part, things of great consolation, and, in part, things that gave me great concern and sorrow.'

Chap. XL Ver. 1. A reed like unto a rod.']—This representation seems to be taken from the prophet Ezekiel's vision, (ch. xl.) in which he beheld a person:with a measuring-rod, taking the dimensions of the buildings of a temple, shewing the prophet in vision, the model, or plan of a new temple, to encourage the Jews to faithfulness in their religion, with the hopes of seeing the temple, and the true worship of God restored again. The temple and temple-worship was a proper figure of Christ's church, and of the spiritual worship instituted by him. It was, therefore, very proper to represent the state of the Christian church by similar figures. What is peculiar in this, and wherein it differs from Ezekiel's representation, is the direction to measure only the temple and inner court where the altar stood, but to exclude the other court. This signifies plainly enough, that, in this period of the church, but a small part should be.preserved in purity; that there would be some sincere and faithful worshippers, but they would be few in comparison with a greater and more numerous part of the church, which should be corrupted with the' doctrines of heathenism, and pollute the worship of God with idolatrous customs; as if the outward courts had been given up to the Gentiles to profane, while the few faithful worshippers of God, who adhere to the faith and worship taught in the word of God, shall be confined, as it were, within the inner court.—JLowman.

3. Two witnesses.]—This intimates, that as God raised up prophets in the ancient church, to bear witness against the idolatrous corruptions of religion, and to denounce the judgments of God against those who were guilty of them, so it should be in this corrupt state of the Christian church. These witnesses are said to be two, because two was the legal number of witnesses; and because, in the times of the ancient prophets, on great occasions, two were usually joined together, as Moses and Aaron in Egypt; Elijah and Elisha in the apostacy of the ten tribes ; Zerubbabel and Joshua after the Babylonish captivity. Such also was the order, in which the apostles were named and sent forth. See note on Matt. x. 2. This tests

Vol. v. o

mony of the witnesses being of equal duration with the apostacy itself, it cannot well be meant of any two particular persons; nor is there any reason to understand it of any two particular churches, or bodies of men, in perpetual succession. See Lowman and Dr. Doddridge. .

4. These are the two olive-trees, &c.]—This representation ot the candlesticks and olive-trees seems to be taken from the prophecy of Zechariah, ch. iv; in which Zerubbabel and Joshua are represented by two olive-trees on each side of the candlesticks, which empty oil through two golden pipes out ot themselves, ver. 11, 12, to express that Joshua and Zerubbabe should be protected by Divine Providence, to go through al1 the difficulties which lay in the way of finishmg the temple, and re-establishing the Jewish state.—Lowman.

6. These have power to shut heaven.]—What God does by Ins prophets, according to his word, is, according to the style o prophecy, said to be done by them. See Jer. I. 9, 10; and

Hos. vi. 5. _ , . <•

8. Their dead bodies shall lie, 8cc.]—The general meaning ot this passage is well expressed by Mr. Daubuz: ' The dead bodies of the witnesses shall lie throughout the extent, m the most conspicuous places, or in the chief and prmcipal parts ot the anti-christian jurisdiction.'

8. Sodom and Egypt.]—The lewdness of Sodom, and the crueltv of Egypt, are so strongly described m Scripture, that they are proper emblems of these evils m general: and the abominable wickedness of the church of Rome, m both these respects, is well expressed by these appellations.—Doddridge.

9. Three days and an Mf.]—This is not to be understood literally for so many natural days only. Can any man, says Mede, believe that the small space of three days and an halt is sufficient either for spreading the fame of the death of the witnesses, or for sending the messengers with gifts to and ho among the nations ? 'Yet the expression, Daubuz observes, is very suitable to the decorum of the symbol of a dead body, that will keep no longer unburied without corruption. 1 here seems, says Lowman, an allusion in the three days and halt to the time of our Saviour lying in the grave. Such was the humanity of the times in which Christ suffered, that they permitted his friends to lay his body in a grave; but such shall be the inhumanity of these persecutors, as to deny the rites ot burial. Why the time is signified by three days and an halt, weshallseefartheronver.i1. .-/'*.

11. Three days and an half.]—A day sometimes signifies a season/ or' an undetermined portion ot time;'* the day ot temptation in the wilderness' was ' forty years,' Heb. iii. 8, 9. Day and year are sometimes joined together, for season and time in • general, see Is. xxxiv. 8. So ' dies,' the Latin word for * day,' is used with elegance by the best authors, for time in general. In this place, Mr. Waple observes, it seems necessary that three days and an half, should be brought to agree with three times and an half, (see note on ch. xii. 14;) or twelve hundred and sixty days, and forty-two months. Thus, the time of the witnesses' sufferings will be in proportion to the time of their prophecy, which is to be a time of persecution.—See Lawman.

12. And Ihci) ascended up to heaven in a cloud.]—This form of expression denotes nothing jmore than great exaltation, grandeur, and power. Compare Matt. xi. 23; Luke x. 18; and Is. xiv. 13.

19. Was opened.]—A view of the Holy of Holies, which contained the ark, appeared ; perhaps in token that the day of judgment would open heaven to God's prophets and saints.— Abp. Newcome.

19. Lightnings, &t\]—These are symbols of God's temporal and eternal judgments inflicted on the opposers of his will.

Chap. XII. Ver. 1. A woman clothed, 8cc.]—It was a well-' known custom, at the time of this prophecy, to represent the several virtues and public societies, by the figure of a woman in some peculiar dress, many of which are to be seen on the Roman coins. In particular, ' Salus,' the emblem of security and protection, is represented as a woman standing on a globe, to represent the safety and security of the world under the emperor's care, as in a coin of Hadrian's: ' Globum pede calcans, significant, se imperante, prbi salutem publicam datam.' The consecration of the Roman emperors is expressed in their coins by a moon and stars, as in two of Faustina, to express a degree of glory superior to an)' on earth. Never was any image more expressive of honor and dignity than this in the vision, to stand in the midst pf a glory made by the beams of the sun ; and upon the moon, as above the low condition of this sublunary world;—to wear a crown set with the stars of heaven as jewels, is something more sublime than any thing by which the writers of antiquity have represented their societies, their virtues, or their deities. •

Mr. Daubuz thmks, that the sun may signify Christ; the moon the Holy Ghost; and the,twelve stars the twelve apostles. The imagery taken collectively, seems to mean the true Christian church.—See Lowman.

St.-Ambrose understands by the woman, the church; by the sun, Christ; by the moon, this world; and by the twelve stars,

the apostles. The Christian church, which was at Jerusalem and in Judea, Wetstein observes, is represented by the sun, the moon, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Compare Gen. xxxvii. Q, where the same symbols are used by Joseph in his dream, to represent his father, and mother, and brethren,

2. And she being with child.']—The propagation of the Holy Gospel, and the peculiar difficulties attending it, seem to be manifestly intended here.

3. A great red dragon.]—Supposed to be the emblem of heathen Rome. The seven heads may allilde to the seven hills on which the imperial city was built; and the ten horns may have reference to the ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire, on its dissolution, was divided. See ch. xvii. Q, 12.

4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven.]— That is, he subjected the third part of the princes and potentates of the earth to his power.

Shakspeare, speaking of the nobles, who were induced to espouse the interests of Mary, queen of Scots, says,

' And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
' To hear the sea-maid's music.'
 

' A star' means a distinguished personage, and it should be recollected, that it is still one of the principal insignia of nobility.

5. Caught up unto God, and to his throne.]—A highly figurative expression, denoting that he was under the peculiar protection of God. Perhaps there is an allusion to Joash, 2 Kings xi. 2, 3.

6. And the woman fled into the wilderness, &,c.]—The image, 6ays Rosenmiiller, is taken from the Virgin Mary's fleeing into Egypt with the infant Jesus. During the war of the Romans with the Jews, the Christians in Palestine were exposed, also, to great dangers: but they consulted their safety by flight, and retired, as Eusebius informs us, (Eccles. Hist. lib. iii. cap. 5.) chiefly to Pella in Peraea.

7. fhere was war in heaven, 8cc.]—The vision of the war in heaven, in the Apocalypse, represents the vehement struggles between Christianity and the old idolatry in the first ages of the Gospel. The angels of the two opposite armies represent two opposite parties in the Roman state, at the time which the virion more particularly regards. Michael's angels are the party which espoused the side of the Christian religion, the friends of which had, for many years, been numerous, and became \e:y powerful under Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor: tLe Dragou's angels are the party which endeavoured to support the old idolatry. And, in conformity with this imagery of the Apocalypse, the princes of Persia, in the book of Daniel, are to be understood, 1 think, of a party in the Persian state which opposed the return of the captive Jews, first after the death' of Cyrus, and again after the death of Darius ftystaspes. And the prince of Gra;cia is to be understood of a party in the Greek empire, which persecuted the, Jewish religion after the death of Alexander the Great, particularly in the Greek kingdom of Syria.—Bp. Horsley.

The meaning of this passage, says Dr. Clarke, is not literal, as if the devil had power to fight against the angels of God; but, according to the sublimity of the prophetic style, it must evidently be understood as a highly figurative description, how wonderfully the Gospel of Christ; prevailed in the primitive times, by the courage and constancy of the martyrs, against heathen idolatry, which was then supported by the powers of the whole earth. ,

The language and the imagery are borrowed from the oriental daemonology, with some allusion to the rabbinical notions of the Jews. See note on Jude 9.

8. Neither was their place found any more in heaven.]—That is, f They no longer found any room in heaven.' In other words, ' They were for ever after excluded from heaven.'

,Q. And the great dragon was cast out.]—Lowman understands this victory as referring to the prevalence of Christianity over heathenism in the empire, and also to the time, when an effectual stop was put to the Mahometan imposture in these western parts.

All this, says Abp. Newcome, is a visionary scene, presented to the mind of St. John. The meaning of the allegory seems to be, that, after a contest in the Roman empire, the champions of the Christian cause prevailed ; heathenism, or the religion of the empire, was abolished, and the Christian emperor, Constantine, gave a civil establishment to Christianity.

11. And'they loved not their lives unto the death.]—Rather, as Wakefield renders it, ' Neither spared they to expose their life even unto death.'

12. Hath but a short time.]—Meaning, perhaps, before the whole Roman empire shall be converted to Christianity.

14. Two wings of a great eagle.]—' To bear on eagle's wings,' is an allusion to the strength and swiftness of an eagle's flight, and well expresses the readiness and power with which God often delivers his church out of dangers. Some have imagined, that the two wings of an eagle are here designed to signify the eastern and western parts of the Roman empire; of which an eagle was the armorial ensign.

14. A time, and times, &c.]—When Pepin, king of France, armed the papacy with the temporal power of Rome, A. D. 756, (see Lawman, p. 145.) the true church remained in a depressed state for one year, and two years, and half a year; or for the famous period of 1260 years, repeatedly mentioned. Compare Dan. vii. 25.

Mede thinks, that this chronological interpretation is here introduced to explain the passage in Daniel, which otherwise would have been inextricably dark.

15, 16, 17. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water, &c.] —Waters, in the style of the Apocalypse, ch. xvii. 15, signify people and nations. (See Bp. Hurd's note on Nahum i. 8.) So that there was a great inundation of various nations, excited by the dragon, or by the friends and patrons of the old idolatry, to oppress and overwhelm the Christian religion. 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. 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 we shall see in the next chapter. It is said, that' he went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandment, ' &c. which implies, that at this time there was only a remnant left; that corruptions were greatly increased; and that' the faithful were minished from among the children of men.'—Sir Is. Newton, and Lawman.

' A flood of water may also in Scripture language be the significant emblem of affliction, persecution, and calamity. Shakspeare has,' a sea of troubles.' See note on Job xxii. 11.

Chap. XIII. Ver. 1. Ten crozms.']—*These may indicate the ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was divided, and over which the popes of Rome exercised sovereign dominion. See note on ch. xii. 3.

1. The name of blasphemy.]—Imperial and papal Rome have both arrogated to themselves blasphemous titles. The emperors affected to be called Divi, or' gods:' and ' vicegerent of Christ,' 'God upon earth,' and 'Vice-God,' are among the titles which the bishop of Rome: has assumed. See ver. 5. Vitringn, in Apocal. p. SQi-; and Daubuz, p. 581. Mede, and Lowman, by ' blasphemy,' understand idolatry. Many copies, instead of ' the name,' read ovopcflz, ' names, ' which seems preferable.— See Wetstein, and Griesbach.

2. And the dragon gave him his powei; 8cc.]—The power, and the metropolis of the Roman empire were delivered over to him. The beast succeeded to the same power as the dragon; that is, the Roman empire was divided into the ten monarchies of the beast.—Daubuz.

By ' the leopard,' St. Ambrose understands hypocrisy, on account of the different colors of that beast; by ' the bear,' cunning, and by ' the lion,' cruelty.

3. One of his heads, &c.]—Rome had been governed by kings, consuls, dictators, decemvirs, military tribunes with consular authority, and emperors. Compare ch. xvii. 10. The imperial form of government ceased in x\ugustulus, A. D. 475; and afterward, Rome became subject to the exarchate of Ravenna. —Abp. Newcome. See, also, Lowman.

5. Speaking great things and blasphemies^—Daubuz remarks, that the former may in general signify ' tyranny,' or the arrogauce and exultation which power produces; and the latter ' idolatry.'

7. It was given unto him to make war with the saints, &c.]— Who can make any computation, or even form any conception of the number of pious Christians, who have fallen a sacrifice to the bigotry and cruelty of Rome? In the war of the Albigenses and Waldenses, there perished of these poor creatures, in France alone, a million. From the first institution of the Jesuits to A. D. 1480; that is, in little more than thirty years, nine hundred thousand. In the Netherlands alone, the duke of Alva boasted, that he had dispatched to the amount of thirty-six thousand souls by the hands of the common executioner. In the space of scarcely thirty years, the inquisition destroyed, by various kinds of torture, one hundred and fifty thousand Christians. No wonder that the beast should, by these means, obtain an universal' power over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations,' and establish his dominion in all the countries of the western Roman empire; and that they should submit to his decrees and adore his person, except the faithful few, whose names, as citizens of heaven, are enrolled in the register of life. Let the Roman catholics boast, therefore, that theirs is a catholic and universal empire; this is so far from being any evidence of the truth, that it is the very brand infixed on it by the spirit of prophecy.—Jos. Mede, Doddridge, and Sir Is. Newton.

10. He that leadeth, 8cc.]—' He who leadetli others into captivity, shall be led captive himself.'

That the truly good will keep themselves uncorrupted by this idolatrous power, ver. 8 ; and that the cruelties exercised by these persecutors will be retaliated on them, are truths worthy of great attention. Here, or, in this matter, in resisting such an enemy, (see ver. 70 there is ample scope for the exercise of faith and patience in holy men. See Jos. Mede, p. 505; ver. 18; ch. xiv. 12 {' xvii. 9.— Abp. hlerccome.

11. Another beast.]—Dr. Doddridge interprets this of the religious orders of. the church of Rome, particularly that of the Jesuits, who had many of them temporal estates and jurisdictions added to their spiritual, and thus have greatly supported the papacy. These resembled wolves in sheep's clothing.

11. Two horns, &c.]—The regular and the secular clergy. These pretended to meekness; but exercised their authority in a terrible and irresistible manner.—Abp. Newcome.

13. Great wo?iders.]—Supposed to be an allusion to the pretended miracles of the Romish church. See the next verse.

15. And he had power, &c.]—This verse, it is probable, has a reference to the disgusting impostures, by which the people were led to suppose that images moved and spoke. There seems to be an allusion also to the images that were erected in honor of the Roman emperors, and worshipped by the people.

16. To receive a mark.]—The slavish subjection of persons of all ranks appears to be indicated by this expression.. It is well known, that anciently slaves were marked by their masters, soldiers by their generals, and votaries carried about them impressions, voluntarily made, to indicate the respective gods whom they worshipped. See notes on Isa. xliv. 5 ; xlix. 16; and Gal. vi. 17.

17. Might buy or sell.]—That is, ' might enjoy civil intercourse with mankind.'

Bp. Newton, and others, shew, that buying and selling were actually interdicted to those who disobeyed the apostolical see. The papal excommunications are referred to in this verse, and perhaps also the sale of indulgences.

18. Let him that hath understanding, &c.]—It was a practice among the ancients to denote names by numbers, of which many instances might be given, if it were necessary to prove it. It has likewise been the usual method in all God's dispensations of the Holy Spirit, to accommodate his expressions to the customs, fashions, and manners of the several ages. Since, then, this art and mystery was so much used by the ancients, it is less wonderful that the beast also should have his number; and there was an additional reason for this obscure manner of characterising him, iu the time of St. John, because no other

manner would have been safe. ' His number is six hundred threescore and six.' Several names might be cited which contain.this number: but it is evident that it must be some Greek, or Hebrew name; and with the name also, the other qualities and properties of the beast must all agree. The name alone will not constitute an agreement; all other particulars must be perfectly applicable, and the name also must comprehend the precise number, six hundred and sixty-six. No name appears more proper and suitable than that famous one mentioned by Irenajus, who lived not long after St. John's time, and was the disciple of Polycarp, the disciple of John. He says that the name Lateinos contains the number six hundred and sixtysix. ' Lateinos,' with ei, is the true orthography, as the Greeks wrote the long i of the Latins, and as the Latins themselves wrote in former times. No objection therefore can be drawn from the spelling of the name ; and the agreement is very extraordinary. For after the division of the empire, the Greeks and other Orientalists called the people of the western church, or church of Rome, ' Latins,' and they latinize in every thing; Mass, prayers, litanies, canons, decretals, bulls, are written in Latin. The papal councils speak Latin. Women themselves pray in Latin, nor is the Scripture read in any other language under popery, than Latin; in short, all things,are Latin; the pope having communicated his language to the people under his dominion, as the mark and character of his empire. They themselves, indeed, choose rather to be called Romans, and more absurdly still, Roman Catholics: and probably the apostle, as he has made.use of some.Hebrew names in this book, ch. ix; 11; xvi. 16; so might he in this place likewise allude to the name in the Roman language. Now, Romiitb is the Hebrew name for the Roman beast, or Roman kingdom, and this word, as well as Lateinos, contains the just and exact number of six hundred and sixty-six.

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It is truly surprising that there should be such a coincidence in both names, and in both languages. And, perhaps, no other word in any language whatever can be found to express both the same number, and the same thing.—Lowman.

See, also, Rosenmiitler, and Eichhorn, the latter of whom adopts the interpretation of Irena5us, and removes the objection of Bengel, who supposes that the appearance of that power, whose effects were to continue 1260 years, was to happen 666 years after the date of the Revelation; and Dr. Doddridge thinks this the grand key, by which the aera of the fall of Babylon is to be calculated, as it fixes the rise of the beast to the year 756, or thereabouts; when, upon the destruction of the exarchate of Ravenna, the pope became a temporal monarch; that is, in prophetic language,' a beast.' It is remarkable also, that the Roman numerals, DCLXVI, consisting of just six letters, which, by pairs, represent the three sixes, should compose the number mentioned in the text. Others ingeniously make out the same sum, by adding up the numeral letters in the words Vicaeivs Filii Dei, on the frontlet of the Pope's triple crown. Thus; V+i + C + I + V + I + L+i+i + D + I = 666.—See Abp. Newcome, and other fanciful conjectures in Lowman.

' Chap. XIV. Ver. 1. A Lamb.]—Rather,' the Lamb, ' for a great many copies and versions have the definite article prefixed. ' A Lamb' was the well-known symbol of Christ, and mount Sion may here be considered as an image of heaven.

1. An hundred forty and four thousand.]—These represent the true members of the Christian church, ch. vii. 4. They are, as Mede calls them, the legitimate and undegenerate offspring of the twelve apostles.—Abp. Newcome.

1. His Father's name written in their foreheads.]-^That is, bearing evident marks^of their belonging to the true God.

3. No man could learn that song.]—That is, no man can understand and practise the religion of heaven, but they who by a worthy disposition of mind, by an habitual love or truth and virtue, are qualified to be redeemed from the earth.—Dr. Clarke.

4. These are they which were not defiled with women.]— These persons were such as persevered in purity, not defiling themselves with any of those idolatrous corruptions, which are so properly called ' fornication,' and ' adultery,' in the ancient prophets. They did not forsake Christ and his true religion to join in the service, or worship of any idol. They were fixed in a constant purpose of following the directions of Christ, and the institutions of his Gospel, in whatever they taught, though contrary to the principles and practices in fashion, and though they were exposed to trouble and persecution on account of it. As the first-born and first-fruits, under the law, were holy and consecrated to God ; so were these persons redeemed from the rest of mankind, freed from the anti-christian corruptions of the church, to serve God according to the truth of the Christian religion, faith, and worship.—Lowman.—See, also, Vitringa, Mede, and Daubuz.

4. Firvins.]—-Not polluted with idolatty, nor addicted to heathen superstitions.

6. Another angel fly in the midst ofheaven.]—A messenger from the upper to the lower world, who was to publish to all people the unchangeable constitution of the Christian religion, which should remain always the same, in the truth of its doctrines, and in the certainty of its rewards and punishments. The flight of an angel admirably represents the swiftness of that progress by which the Gospel dispersed itself over the whole world.—Lowman, and Abp. Tilhtson.

8. Babylon]—Pagan Rome, perhaps, is meant by this appellation ; or Rome not yet freed from the idolatry and superstitions of paganism.

10. The wi,ie of the wrath of God.]—The wine of the wrath of God, and the cup of his indignation, are expressions taken from the language of the prophets. The portion assigned by the providence of God to men, is called the portion of their cap. It was not only customary to treat friends with a cup of wine, as a mark of affection ; but to execute also the sentence of death on offenders, by making them drink a cup'of wine, in which some strong poison had been infused. Such was the noted execution of Socrates by a cup of poison. The Scriptures mention ' a cup of blessing and consolation, ' and ' a cup of trembling and astonishment.' God speaks to the prophet Jeremiah, of the wine-cup of his fury, which he was to cause all the nations to drink.' Jer. xxv. 15.—Lowman.—See, also, Grotius.

10. Tormented with fire and brimstone.']—The same awful judgments are here threatened, which visited the wicked and abandoned cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

13. That they may rest.]—Rather,' Because they rest.' The particle iva, is here used for or;. Vid. Schleusner.

13. Their works do follow them.']—Wetstein quotes the following passage, by way of illustration, from Pirke Aboth, vi. 9- ' In the hour when a man departs from this life, neither gold, nor silver, nor precious stones, nor pearls, accompany him ; but the law and good works.'

14. In his hand a sharp sickle.]—From this verse to the twentieth, the destruction of Rome is declared under the symbols of harvest and the vintage, which, in the language of the ancient prophets, were the images of punishment and destruction. Compare Joel iii. 13; Is. xvii. 5; lxiii. 3; and Matt. xiii. 37—*0.—Rosenmiil/er.

15. Thrust in thy sickle, and reap.'\—As these expressions are taken from the prophet, Joel iii. 13,' Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get ye down, for the press is full, the fats overflow, for their wickedness is great;' the harvest and vintage are expressive of judgment. ' The harvest is ripe,' means the same thing as their wickedness is great, or their iniquity is fully ripe.—Lawman. See note on ver. 14.

20. A thousand and six hundred furlongs.]—Mede observes, that this is the extent of the pope's territory called the ' state of the church,' or ' St. Peter's patrimony,' from Rome to the river Po.

Others consider this passage as hyperbolical, meaning only a great extent of country.—See Hosenmiiller.

Chap. XV. Ver. 2. / saw as it were a sea of glass, &c.] —Some suppose the glass to represent the frail nature of this world, and the fire, the mixture of calamity and misery, to which they had been exposed, before they arrived at the state of security and happiness in which they then were.—See Dr. Doddridge.

Others are of opinion, that it is a poetical description of heaven, borrowed from the floor of Solomon's temple, 1 Kings vi. 30. Instead of' glass,' the original might have been better rendered by ' crystal.' Compare ch. iv. 6.

3. The song of Moses,and the song of the Lamb.]—A song celebrating their delivery and triumph by Christ, resembling that of Moses, Exod. xv.

5. The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.]—By this is meant the revelation of the divine oracles. Compare Exod. xxvii. 21; and Acts vii. 44.

8. With smoke.]—Some of the ancient fathers suppose that smoke here metaphorically represents the inability of the human mind to form any adequate conceptions of the glories of heaven.—See St. Ambrose, in loco.

Or, perhaps, the emblematical sense may be, that God will not make any further revelations of his divine will till our present ignorance, errors, and transgressions are removed.

Chap. XVI. Ver. 8. And the second angel poured out his vial.]—Mr. Pyle and Mr. Lowman agree in referring this to the great effusion of blood, in the holy wars, to recover Jerusalem from the Saracens. In this romantic project, which was set on foot by the pope, and pursued by the emperor, the king of France, our king Richard the First, beside other princes, and many prelates, about two millions lost their lives in the several expeditions that were undertaken between A. D. 1040 and 1190.

The reader will scarcely fail to associate the judgments mentioned ver. 2, and 3, with the plagues that were inflicted on Egypt. See the parallel text.

4. And the third angel poured out his vial."\—The judgments signified by this third vial, or cup, according to the order of the prophecies, will be the next remarkable judgment upon the followers of the beast, which, according to the order of time, must be about A. D. 1200, for a proportional number of the 1260 years of this period. The contents of this vial, or nature of the judgments signified by it, is shedding of blood, in recompence for the blood of the saints shed by the authority of the beast. This judgment is chiefly to fall on those parts of the western empire, which were the original seat of the beast's residence and dominion. Rivers and fountains of water may not unfitly signify the original countries, or seats of empire, in distinction to the provinces, as fountains are the original of rivers, which run in one common collection of waters into the sea. This may refer to the bloody wars between the Guelphs and Gibellines, or to the papal and imperial factions, by which the popes were driven out of Italy into Fiance, from A. D. 1200, to 1371. During this period, both these parties had joined in many persecutions, and in a violent war waged against the Albigenses. The inquisition was begun about A. D. 1216, and the council of Lateran established these severe and cruel methods of supporting the papacy. But God ' gave them blood to drink;' (ver. 6.) for a violent contest arose between the papal and imperial parties, about the right of presenting to ecclesiastical preferments ; so that almost all the cities in Italy were engaged in civil wars, and great multitudes were destroyed. In A. D. 1282, all the French in Sicily were Massacred. Thus were they who shed the blood of the saints punished by civil contentions and bloodshed. See Lowman, and Dr. Doddridge.

5. The angel of the wafers.]—Among the Jews there was an officer, who was a priest, appointed to take care of the wells, fountains, and ditches about Jerusalem, that the people might have water at the time of the public feasts. In the time of our Saviour, this office was held by Nicodemon ben Gorton, thought to be the JNicodeuius mentioned in the Gospel.
 

Dr. Lightfoot is of opinion, that there is a reference to this officer in the expression,' the angel of the waters.'—Bmder's Orient. Oust.

According to the oriental daemonology, angels presided over the different elements, and every powerful agent in the natural world. The divine author of this book, therefore, accommodates his language and imagery to popular notions, which were universal!y received, or at least understood. Vid. Hyde, Hist. Relig. Vet. Pers. cap. vi. p. 137 ; et cap. xii. See, also, the note on Matt. iv. 24.

6. For they are worthy.]—That is,' For they deserve this punishment.'

8. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun.]— The sun, says the illustrious Sir Isaac Newton, is put in sacred prophecy, for the whole species and race of kings in the kingdom, or kingdoms of the world politic, shining with regal power and glory. The darkening, smiting, or setting of the sun, is put for the ceasing of a kingdom, or for the desolation thereof, proportional to the darkness. And the scorching heat of the sun, for vexatious wars, persecutions, and troubles, inflicted by the king. Great troubles are often expressed in Scripture, by burning the inhabitants of the earth. ' Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and the)' that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left,' Is. xxiv. 6. The elegance and propriety of the expression, to ' scorch men with the heat of the sun, ' were well understood by the inhabitants of the hot, eastern countries, who well knew what great mischief hot and burning seasons often occasioned.

It is not material to inquire what particular effects of a scorching sun are the precise meaning of this prophecy; whether, for instance, famine, or burning up the fruits of the earth, or pestilential distempers, the effects of unwholesome seasons; or, more generally, some great affliction, as the prophet Isaiah explains a similar expression,' In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction,' ch. xxiv. 12.

10. Upon the seat of the beast.]—That is, upon his throne, or kingdom.

12. The great river Euphrates.]—It cannot be determined whether this is to be interpreted figuratively, or literally. Tartar nations may grow powerful at the period here foretold : or an invasion of Italy from the east may be predicted.

Mede says, that the converted Jews are meant by the kings from the east, p. 529.—Abp. Newcome. - ;^

Rosenmuller thinks, that the Tiber is meant by the Euphrates; unless the drying up of the river be the symbol of sudden and unexpected divine assistance, which seems more probable.

13. The beast.]—See ch. xiii. 1. One unclean spirit came out of each mouth.

Daubuz supposes that the secular clergy, the monks, and the religious knights are here symbolically described.

Others are of opinion, that these unclean spirits are symbols of the wicked arts and impostures, which fraudulent men practised, to impose on the credulous and ignorant. See the next verse.

15.1 come as a thief.]—That is,' unexpectedly,' or ' by surprise.' See the parallel texts.

15. Blessed is he that wutcheth, &c.]—Dr. Lightfoot thinks that this is an allusion to what the Jewish officer, called ' the man of the mountain,' (i. e. of the house of the Lord), used to do, when taking his round in the temple to examine the watch: if he met with any centinel asleep, he was at liberty to set fire to his garments.

16. Into a place calledArmageddon.']—Or,' the mountain of Megiddo,' because it was to be a place more remarkable for slaughter than Megiddo had ever been. Megiddo was a city belonging to Manasseh, from which they could not expel the Canaanites, when the kings of Canaan fought by the walls of Megiddo, Judg. v. 19. It was also famous for the defeat of Ahaziah and Joram, by Jehu, when both the kings of Judah and Israel were slain, 2 Kings is. 27. It was afterwards memorable for the death of king Josiah, who was killed by Pharaoh ]\Techo, king of Egypt, 2 Kings xxiii. 29. So that the mourning in the valley of Megiddo, is used as a proverbial expression by the prophet Zechariah, for a great mourning, Zech. xii. 11, 12—Lowman.

19. The great city was divided into three parts.]—' This remarkable, emblematical prophecy of a great city, or great state, being divided into three parts, has of late years been accomplished,' says Mr. King, (Morsels of Criticism, vol. iii. p. 3.56.) * by the most unprecedented event that had ever taken place in the world; that of the great state of Poland being actually divided and portioned out into three parts, or lots; and remaining no longer either a distinct state, or distinct kingdom in Europe.'

' And as this dread dividing of a great state into three parts, was declared, in the prophecy of the Revelations, to be the very sign whereby we should know that the seventh vial was begun to be poured out; and that the final destruction of dominion in Rome, and of the papal dominion in Rome, was at hand: so we have now lived to see even that subsequent dread event also come to pass.'

' It is too late, therefore, t<i be thinking of the application of the events of the present days to the emblematical descriptions of any of the other vials ; and especially as those who are fully acquainted with history, and will maturely consider, may perceive that the other vials have all of them now received the most complete fulfilment, in every point, in other days: a fulfilment, which suits the emblems of each exactly, and completely, in every the most minute respect; which those who attempt to apply the events of the present days either to the fourth vial, or to the fifth vial, or to any other except to the seventh vial, cannot make those events do.'

For other conjectures respecting the meaning of this prophecy, see Rosenmuller.

Chap. XVII. Ver. 1. The judgment of the great whore.']— Idolatry, in the ancient prophecies, is frequently called whoredom and fornication. The prophet Ezekiel interprets, being ' polluted after the manner of their fathers, and committing whoredom after their abominations,' by ' making their sons to pass through the fire, and polluting themselves with their idols,' ch. xx. 30, 31. Another prophet in like manner describes the propagation of idolatry by Tyre, which was spread every where with her great trade and commerce, in these remarkable words. ' She shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth,' Is. xxiii. 17. As it is agreeable to the prophetic style to represent cities in the figure of women, so it is to represent idolatrous and superstitious cities under the characters of prostitutes and harlots: ' Seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whoiish woman,' says the prophet Ezekiel, to Jerusalem, Ezek. xvi. 30; a fit expression to shew the evil of idolatry and superstition, and how hateful it is in the sight of God. By ' the great whore,' is signified the same as by Babylon in the 18th chapter; viz. Rome, called ' the great whore,' because of the different kinds of idolatry which she followed: and the meaning is,' I will explain to thee what is meant by Babylon, and by what ways God is about to exercise his judgments upon her.

4. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet.]—Purple -and scarlet were the colors of the imperial habit; the purple, in times of peace; and the scarlet, in times of war. it is well known, that these are the colors used by the popes and cardinals; so that to be raised to the purple, or to the scarlet hat, is used to express being made a cardinal. The use of jewels for *tate and magnificence, is too well known to be insisted on.

The golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness , of her fornication, may be an allusion to those philtres, or love potions, which prostitutes and lewd women used to prepare, for inflaming the passions of their gallants,; but which often disturbed their senses, and caused a temporary madness: or, it may refer more simply to the common effects of drunkenness and debauchery. Babylon is represented as ' a golden cup, that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunken ' of her wine, therefore the nations are mad,' Jer. li. 7. The disordered senses and understanding of a drunken man, the natural effects of a debauch, are a proper figurative representation of a disordered imagination in men, who are misled, by any methods of infatuation and deceit, into idolatry and gross superstition.—See Lawman.

See, also, Rosenmiiller on the first five verses of this chapter. 5. Mystery, Babylon the Great, 8cc.]—It has been observed by interpreters, that lewd women used to have their names written over their doors, and sometimes on their foreheads; and that criminals among the Romans had an inscription of their crimes carried before them. See, in Wetstein, a quotation from Seneca, as an authority, for this assertion. In the first sense, as Mr. Daubuz observes, ' This inscription will denote a public profession of what is signified by it;' or ' a public patronage of idolatrous doctrines and worship.' In the second sense, it will denote the crimes for which she is condemned, and was punished by the foregoing plagues.

Mr. Waple thinks, that this inscription is rather an allusion to the known inscription on the forehead of the high-priest, ' Holiness to the Lord:' (Exod. xxviii. 36—38.) by which is intimated, that this idolatrous, persecuting government was an antichristian church, of a temper and spirit quite contrary to the true worship of the one true God. This character cannot, with any propriety, be applied to ancient Rome; for she was rather a learner of foreign superstitions, than the mistress of idolatry to other nations, as appears in various instances. It may be concluded, therefore, that this part of the prophecy is sufficiently fulfilled, though there should be reason to question the truth of what is asserted by some writers, that the word ' mystery' was formerly written in gold on the front of the pope's mitre. Scaliger affirms this, on the authority of the , duke de Montmorency.

Francis le Moyne and Brocardus asserted the same, from ocular demonstration; and when king James objected this, Lessius could not deny it. If the thing be true, it is a wonderful coia

vOL v. R

cidence of the event with the letter of the prophecy: but it has been much controverted. It is fully ascertained, however, and no one of the Romish communion can deny it, that the ancient mitres were usually adorned with inscriptions.—Wolfius, Lowman, and Sir Isaac Newton.

8. That was, and is not, and yet is.]—This means, that the persecuting power, which soon displayed itself in the Christian church, ceased for a season, and then shewed itself again. Many MSS. and copies, instead of Kantsg tnv,' and yet is,' read xeu tagtrou, ' and is to come.' So, also, the S}"riac and Arabic versions. 5

Grotius, Mede, and Mill approve of this reading.

Eichhorn thinks that Nero is meant, the first Roman emperor that persecuted the Christians. Others apply it to Vitetlius.

10. Five are fallen.]—The forms of government by kings, consuls, dictators, decemvirs, and military tribunes with consular authority.—Abp. Newcome.

10. One is.']—The imperial form of government existed at the time when this Revelation was made. The seven kings are supposed to be, 1. Augustus; 2/Tiberius; 3. Caius Caligula; 4. Claudius; 5. Nero; 6. Galba; 7- Otho.

10. The other is not yet come.]—The dukedom of Rome under the exarchate of Ravenna. Abp. Newton, p. 701.

Others think that Otho is meant, agreeably to the enumeration in the last note.—See Rosenmiiller.

10. A short space.]—The exarchs of Ravenna exercised the powers of government only from A. D. 568, to A. D. 727.

11.]—The papal power is the eighth bead ; and yet is of the seven, because it wields the temporal, as well as the spiritual, sword.—See Lowman.

J 2. And the ten horns, &c.]—The ten horns in this representation are supposed to denote ten distinct kingdoms, that were to arise in several parts of the Roman empire, which the northern nations should canton out among themselves, and erect into new and distinct kingdoms. ' Ten,' in prophetic language, does not always means a precise number, but is used as a certain number for an uncertain, to express in general, ' several,' or ' many.' Vid. Glassii Philol. Sacr. lib. v. cap. 15. So that there seems no necessity for finding a precise number of ten kingdoms, or just so many different governments, neither more nor less, erected on the ruins of the Roman empire; in fact, in those times of disorder and confusion, they were shifting and variable: but that several new kingdoms

•were erected, when the northern nations divided the empire among themselves, is well known in history, and evident in the several distinct governments of Europe at this da}". Several interpreters have reckoned up the number often precisely, with the time when, and the places where they were erected;'from whom every one who pleases may satisfy his further curiosity. It may be sufficient here to mention the account given of them by the illustrious Sir Isaac Newton. 1. The kingdom of the Vandals and Allans in Spain and Africa. 2. The kingdom of the Suevians in Spain. 3. The kingdom of the Visigoths 4. The kingdom of the Allans in Gallia. 5. The kingdom of the Burgundians. 6. The kingdom of the Franks. °7 The kmgdom of Britain. 8. The kingdom of the Huns. a.ThekinffnLof the Lombards- 10- The kingdom of Ravenna.—See /I olfius, and Abp. Newcome. See, also, the note on Dan. vii. 24. 16. Shall eat her flesh.]—A strong, figurative expression' signifymg, < shall destroy her.' Compare Deut. xxxii. 42; and Jer. xxx. 16.

Chap. XVIII. Ver. 7. Lived deliriously]—The Greek verb, sr^vmn, means rather,' lived luxuriously, without any restraint on her appetites and passions.'

This, says Dr. Doddridge, may well represent the manner in which the Roman clergy have pampered themselves, and the effects which it has produced, to the scandal of the Christian profession m the eyes of all the world, as well as the idolatries which have been established and maintained to support that luxury. rr

11. Tfie merchandise of gold, &c.]—The articles of commerce here enumerated seem to be taken from Ezekiel eh xxvii where the destruction of Tyre is thus described by the Joss of its commerce.

13. Souls of men.]—A periphrasis for ' men' of different countries, who resorted to Rome for pardons, indulgences relics, a discharge from religious vows, &c. See the parallel texts on the three preceding verses.

22. The sound of a mill-stone, 8c&]—In the east they ground their corn with hand-mills, with which every family was provided, and this was one of the first employments in the morning. See note on Jer. xxv. 10; and the parallel texts on this verse and the next.

23. Sorceries.]—A general term for tricks, delusions, and impostures, particularly such as were practised, in ancient times, by means of ventriloquism. See notes on Deut. xviii. 11: 1 oam. xxviii. 8; and Is. xxix. 4.

Chap. XIX. Ver. I. Alleluia.]—The Hebrew expression for' Praise God.'

7. The marriage of the Lamb is come, 8cc.]—The ancient prophets describe the favor of God to his people, by the affection of a bridegroom. ' For as a young man marrieth.a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee,' Is. lxii. 5. The church is represented in the New Testament, under the same .similitude of a bride. ' For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ,' 2 Cor. xi. 2. As. marriages were used to be celebrated with great joy, the marriage of the Lamb with his church is a fit emblem, to shew the state of prosperity and happiness to which God will raise it, after all its sufferings, for the sake of truth and righteousness.—Lowman.

- 8. Is the righteousness.'}—l s the emblem, or symbolical representation, of the righteousness of saints.

9. And he saith unto me.]—'O ayysXos,' the angel,' must be the nominative understood here.

- 10. See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant.']—Or, more literally, ' See, am not I thy fellow-servant? and,' 8cc.—See Jiozeyer.

10. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy ,'\—The sense of this verse is plainly this : ' Direct thy acknowledgment for this important discovery, and that religious adoration which it inspires, to God only, who revealed it, and not to me, who am but thy fellow-servant in this office of bearing testimony to Jesus. 1 said, in bearing testimony to Jesus; for know that the spirit of prophecy, with which I am endowed, and by which I am enabled to foretel these great things, is but, in other words, ' the testimony of Jesus;' it has no other use, or end, but to do honor to him. The prophet, whether he be angel, or man, is only the minister of God to bear witness to his Son; and his commission is ultimately directed to this one purpose of mani-. festing the glories of his kingdom. In discharging this prophetic office, which thou admirest so much, I am then but the witness of Jesus, and so am to be considered by thee in no other light than that of thy fellow-servant.' It is evident from the expression, that it was here intended to give some special instruction to the apostle, whose misguided worship afforded the occasion of it. For, if the design of it had merely been to enforce ue general conclusion,' worship God,' the premises needed only have been,' I am the servant of God, as well as thou;' for from these premises it had followed, that therefore God, and not the angel, was to be worshipped. But the premises are not simply, ' I am th)' fellow-servant,' but also, ' I am the fellow-: servant of those who have the testimony of Jesus;' which clause indeed infers the same conclusion as the former: but, as not being necessary to infer it, (for the conclusion would have been just and complete without it) was clearly added to convey a precise idea of prophecy itself, as being wholly subservient to Christ, and having no other use, or destination. under its various forms, and in all the diversities of its administration, but to bear testimony to him. Therefore the angel says emphatically, in the explanation of that latter clause, ' For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy ;' or, as the sentence in our translation should have run, the order of its parts being inverted,' For the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.' It may not be pretended that no more was meant, than that the particular prophecy here delivered was in attestation of Jesus; for then it would have been expressed with that limita- , tion. The terms on the other hand are absolute and indefinite, ' the spirit of prophecy,' whence we cannot but conclude, that prophecy in general is the subject of the proposition. We have here then a remarkable piece of intelligence conveyed, to 1is, (incidentally indeed conveyed, but not therefore the less remarkable) concerning the nature and genius of.prophecy. These words are properly a key put into our hands, to open to , us the mysteries of that dispensation, which had in view ultimately the person of Christ, and the various revolutions of his kingdom. ' The spirit of prophecy is,' universally, ' the testimony of Jesus Christ.'—Bp. Hurd. See, also, Lawman.

12. A name written, that no man knew, &c.]—That is, perhaps, a name indicative of his divine nature, which no human understanding can ever fully comprehend. .

13. Dipped in blood.]—Or, 'stained with blood.' The blood of the impious and incorrigibly wicked must be understood. Compare Is. lxiii. 2, 3.

15. Shall rule them with a rod of iron.]—' To rule with a rod of iron,' is an allusion to an expression of the Psalmist, (Ps. ii. 9.) in which it is prophesied concerning the king, whom Jehovah had set upon his holy hill of Sion, that he should as easily break his enemies, and all their opposition, as a rod of iron could break in pieces a potter's vessel.—See Lowman.

16. On his thigh.]—Meaning that part of the body sear which the sword was suspended.—See Vitringa.

In Montfaucon, there is an inscription over the thigh, on the vest of one who is supposed to have been a conqueror in the Grecian games.—See Eisner.

There are also instances of inscriptions on the thighs of some statues.

17. Saying to all thefowls, 8cc.]—This is an imitation of a celebrated passage of Ezekiel, ch. xxxix. 17.

Chap. XX. Veb". 1. Having the keyand a great chain.]— This imagery appears to be borrowed from the Talmudic writers, and the apocrypnal books of the Jews.—See the curious quotationfr,in Wetstein, from Apocr. Enoch, and Gittin, f. 68.1.

The binding and the shutting up of Satan denote the weakness and restraint of the comparatively few persons not converted to Christianity; and, as Daubuz expresses it, shew, that the kingdom of Christ shall enjoy peace and purity of religion, without any disturbance from that old enemy working in the children of disobedience.

See, also, Lozoman, who says it is not improbable, that shutting up Satan in the bottomless pit, or abyss, may have a particular regard to the restraint on the power of Mahomedism, and effectually stop the prevalency of that imposture; as, before, opening the bottomless pit, had a principal regard to the rise and surprising progress of it, ch. ix.

4. And they lived.]—That is, ' they were prosperous and happy.' See note on Prov. xv. 10.

See Dr. Whitby's learned Dissertation on the Millennium, where it is shewn, that all these expressions may be well understood in a figurative sense; and that the prophecy respecting a thousand years may represent that happy state of the church on earth, in which the spirit of the ancient martyrs and confessors, as well as the superior sanctity of those times, seem to be revived.

See, also, Lowman's excellent Introduction to this chapter j and Rosenni'uHer, on ver. 3, 4.

5. The first resurrection.]—That is, rising from ' the death of sin to the life of righteousness,' (1 Pet. ii. 24-.) ' The only assurance that we can nave of a happy second resurrection,' says Abp. Leighton,' to a life of glory hereafter, is the first resurrection here to the life of grace.' Select Works, p. 246.

8. Gog and Magog.]—Supposed to be the Scythians and Tartars. See notes on Ezek. xxxviii. 2, 6'.

12. Stand before God.]—Many MSS, and ancient versions, read, ' stand before the throne,' which Griesbach admits into the text.

12. The books.]—Piscator considers these books as emblematical of God's omniscience.

Others are of opinion, that they represent the consciousness and memory of individuals.—Menochius, in loco.

14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.]—-la. other words, death was destroyed, and the corruption of the grave was no longer known. See 1 Cor. xv. 26, aud 54.

The special manner of the torment, that is, the very means, or instruments, designed by God for that purpose, says Daubuz, are not at all determined, or decided, by the symbols of fire and brimstone. These were considered by the divine writers as established symbols of utter destruction, first borrowed, it is probable, from the awful fate of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Compare ver. 10; and ch. xiv. 10; xix. 20. - -chap. XXI. Ver. 1. A new heaven, 8cc.]—This event will take place after the general resurrection and judgment. The new heaven and earth, and the new Jerusalem, (ver. 10.) are emblematical of the glory and happiness, which will be the reward and happiness of good men for ever.—See ch. xxii. 19; Dr. Doddridge, and Abp. Newcome.

1. And there was no more sea.]—It is probable that the sea here may be considered as the symbol of sorrows, storms, troubles, contentions, and calamities. See note on Job xxii. 11,

This circumstance, says Lowman, in the new heaven and pew earth, that' there was no sea,' is very proper to express in prophetic language, that in this happy state, there will be no turbulent, unquiet spirits, to be managed by the ambitious; and therefore, no fear lest any beast should again rise out of the sea. The most judicious writers among the rabbis understand ' new heavens/ and ' a new earth,' to mean a new state of happiness, in which former trials, sorrows, and calamities, shall be remembered no more.—See Maimonides, Mor. Nevoch. p. 268.

2. John.]—The name ' John,' should have been omitted, on the authority of many MSS, and most of the ancient versions.

16. And the height.]—This visionary city, when it descended to the earth, was seated on a visionary rock, or mountain, we may suppose, correspondent to its magnitude. So was Ezekiel's city, ch. xl. 2. Its square form was an emblem that it was stable- and immoveable; its magnitude denoted the great capacity of the true church of Christ, comprehending all nations. —See Vitringa.

The numbers here used, says Lowman, are evidently typical1; they are taken from twelve, the number of the apostles, multiplied by a thousand. The number of the members of the Chris*tian church was represented before (chap, vii- 4.) by one hundred and forty-four thousand; which is one hundred and forty-four, the square of twelve, multiplied by a thousand. So that this

manner of numbering will very properly signify a city, of which -faithful Christians are to be the happy citizens, and settled in* habitants; a city which shall have incomparably greater extent, more strength and beauty, than ancient Babylon, Rome, or any other seat of empire ever known in the world.

17. Of the angel.]—Meaning, that it was the measure used by the angel on this occasion.

19. A chalcedony.]—Lamy says, that it ought to be written * Carcedon,' a species of carbuncle so called, because it was brought from Carthage. But Epiphanius mentions a precious stone called Chalcedon, which is probably the same that is here meant.—See Wetstein, and Dr. Rees's Cyclopaedia, on ' Calcedony,' which is described as one of the least valuable of the precious stones, and considered as a species of the agate.

Daubuz endeavours to shew, that these gems were the same as those which adorned the breast-plate of the high-priest. See Exod. xxviii. 17—20.

20. Chrysoprasus.]—A kind of beryl, of a pale gold color.—*Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xxxvii. c. 20.

21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls.]—Grotius supposes, that the gates of the city were made of a fine marble, bright and shining as a pearl. But may not the prophecy design a very strong figure, and suppose pearls in all their beauty to be meant, large and firm enough to make the frontispiece of a gate? ' The street of the city' seems well understood by Grotius, of the forum, or place of public assembly, which is described as paved either with squares of gold, and crystals, or with crystal squares set in gold borders; than which, imagination cannot conceive any thing more rich and magnificent. It should not be forgotten, that the whole is a visionary scene. Compare the notes on Is. liv. 11, 12.

25. The gates of it shall not be shut.']—This denoted its perpetual peace, its exemption from all danger, and that all had the power of entering in, if they chose to exert it.

Chap. XXII..ver. 1. Water oflife.l—That is,' living,' or ' running water.' Compare Ezek. ch. xlvii.

Water, says Lowman, as it is necessary to the support of life, and as it contributes in great cities, especially in the hot, eastern countries, to the ornament of the place, and delight of the inhabitants, is a very proper representation of the enjoyment of ill things, both for the support and pleasure of lite. ' With Xxod,' says the Psalmist, ' is the fountain of life; thou shah make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.' Ps. xxxvi. 8,9. The figure of a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb, elegantly expresses the glorious immortality, which .all faithful Christians shall enjoy, in that state of perfect and endless happiness.

2. The tree of life.]—Rather, without the article, ' a tree of life;' i. e. a tree in full foliage and vigor. Dr. Owen supposes that there was but one tree, which the definite article, improperly supplied, here indicates; but there were three; one in the street, and one on each side of the river.

2. For the healing of the nations.]—See Ezek. xlvii. 12. There shall be no disease, or pain. What is here expressed figuratively, is expressed literally, ch. xxi. 4.—Abp, Newcome.

3. And there shall be no more curse, &c.]—This part of the description'of the New Jerusalem seems to point out to us, how much greater the happiness of this state will be, than the happiness of the first paradise was. In this state, the jaithful servants of Christ shall be in no danger of forfeiting their happiness, and of losing paradise, as our first parents did. In this paradisaical state, they shall be a kingdom of priests unto God for ever. This seems to describe a.state of happiness above the condition of this world, and only to be enjoyed in heaven.—Low man.

11.]—Lowman's paraphrase on this verse is,' The providence of God will indeed permit things to continue in this world, just as these prophecies represent the state of them. Men of evil principles and corrupt hearts will continue in acts of injustice and oppression, and will promote false religion and wickedness, notwithstanding all the cautions of religion, and the judgments of providence. Yet the cautions, directions, encouragements of these prophecies, and the judgments of providence foretold in them, will have a better effect on good minds, and lead to their perseverance in truth and righteousness.'

Mr. Daubuz justly observes, that, in the prophetical style, whether the thing be uttered in the past, or future tense, or in the imperative form, it is equal. So that to say, ' he who is unjust, let him be unjust still,' is equal to saying, he that is unjust will still be so, and will not be reclaimed, what persuasive reasons soever may be used for his recovery.

15. Dogs.]—That is, human beings who resemble dogs. Compare Matt. vii. 6; and Philipp. iii. 2.

16. The root.]—Grotius thinks, that by ' root,' we may here understand ' shoot,' and that the latter word,' offspring,' may be considered as explanatory of the former.

Or, ' the root' may be understood metonymically for that which proceeds from the root.—See Rosenmiiller.

16. The bright and morning star.]—Christ assumes the name of' the bright and morning star,' in general, on account of the brightness of that knowledge of salvation, which he taught (compare 2 Pet.i. 19.) and particularly on account of the promise of eternal life; as Lucifer, or the day-star, announces the rising of the sun.—Glassii Philolog. Sacr. lib. v.

17. The Spirit and the bride.]—That is,' The spiritual bride j1 as 'kmgdomand glory,' signify'glorious kingdom.'—See Pyle, and Lowman.

The Spirit, according to Doddridge, signifies the spirit of inspiration and prophecy; a sense which seems preferable.— Abp. Newcome.

20. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.]—We may here observe, says the learned and judicious Lowman, how St. John uses the expression ' the coming of Christ.' It seems to have a general meanmg, denoting any eminent instance of Christ's power, in the blessings of the church, or in the punishment of its enemies: the style of scripture, therefore, does not confine it to any one particular instance, as his coming to judgment. See notes on James v. 7.

WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID


"From this it would appear that the cause of their sufferings was the false charges brought against them by their heathen neighbours—charges that originated in deep hatred of the Christians for their rejection of paganism, with all the splendid festivals connected with pagan worship. Under these circumstances the populace might rise up at almost any time against the Christians, and visit upon them terrible suffering, or bring them before the magistrates, and demand the infliction of punishment upon them as violators of the laws. All this could take place without the issuing of an edict by a Roman emperor, and without the prosecution of the Christians as such on the part of the Roman governors. And something similar occurred at Rome in the time of
Nero. This wicked ruler, to destroy the rumour that he himself had set fire to Rome, attributed it, as Tacitus tells us, to a class of persons, "whom, hated for their crimes, the populace called Christians." Tacitus at the same time informs us that the punishment inflicted upon them was not so much on the charge of burning Rome as on account of their hatred of the human race,1 that is, their contempt of paganism, which, as Christians, they felt and showed. It is clear, then, that they suffered as Christians; yet Hilgenfeld has the coolness to tell us that in this Epistle " the persecution under Nero cannot be intended, because in it the Roman Christians only were persecuted, and indeed as incendiaries; accordingly, on account of a definite crime of which they were accused. In our Epistle, on the contrary, the Christians as such (wf Xpicrrtavol) are oppressed and ill-treated on account of their conduct in general, which was sought to be rendered suspicious as illegal and immoral" (we /ta/toTrotot).*

But how does Hilgenfeld know that the persecution under Nero was limited to the Roman Christians? Is it not in itself very probable that the example set by Nero would be followed by the pagans in various parts of the empire ?  So Suppose the Sultan of Turkey should institute a persecution of the Christians at Constantinople, how soon the example would be followed in the empire where the Mohammedans are in the ascendency ! Suetonius, in describing the times of Nero, says: " The Christians, a race of men of a new and wicked superstition, were punished."1 It is evident from his language that they were punished as Christians, nor does he limit this persecution to- Rome.

It does not appear from the Epistle of Peter that legal investigat'ons an<^ persecutions were instituted against the Christhe time tians as such; and in this respect the state of things to which reference is made in the Epistle is more suitable to the latter times of Nero (about A. D. 64 and after) than to the latter times of Trajan (A. D. 112 and after), when Pliny, as governor of Pontus and Bithynia, punished them on account of their Christian profession, even when he had ascertained that they were guilty of no crimes.1 The Epistle of Peter is addressed to the Christians of five provinces, of which Pliny, about A. D. 111-113, governed but two, Bithynia and Pontus. The other three were then under governors respecting whose treatment of the Christians we know nothing. Yet this Epistle represents the Christians of the five provinces suffering the same afflictions with the rest of the world (chap. v, 9), and makes no discrimination respecting provinces. This does not suit well the time of Pliny's governorship. Merivale remarks, respecting the reply of Trajan to Pliny : " Trajan carefully limits his decision to the particular case and locality."1

While we thus think it highly probable that the Epistle was written about A. D. 64 or 65, during the persecution under Nero, the references in it might suit some other persecution, not instituted by civil authority, but rather an outburst of pagan fanaticism against the Christians, such as is sometimes known in modern times in Mohammedan lands. The references to persecutions occupy but a small portion of the Epistle. Nor does it appear that there were many cases in which the Christians addressed were suffering the death penalty.

Hilgenfeld supposes the Epistle was written at Rome,4 about Hiigenteid's A. D. 113, by a Christian of that city, during the persedate absurd. cution Of the Christians of Bithynia and Pontus (described by Pliny the Younger, in his Epistle to Trajan'), to strengthen them in their sufferings. That is, the Epistle was forged in the name of the Apostle Peter, about forty-fiite years after his death, and was everywhere received throughout the provinces of Asia Minor. Its universal reception in these provinces is certain. For we find that it was used by Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, a disciple of the Apostle John (in his Epistle, written about A. D. 115); by Papias, bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia; was attributed to Peter by Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons (A. D. 177-202), who spent the earlier part of his life in Asia Minor; and it was admitted into the Peshito-Syriac version of the New Testament (made about A. D. 150), used in an adjacent region. The fact of its admission into this version is of great value, as the Second Epistle of Peter, that of Jude, the Second and Third of John, and the Apocalypse, were never received into it. We also know that it was received without doubt all through the ancient Christian world.

4 In this case it would be astonishing that the forger did not represent it as written from Rome, where it was well-known that Peter spent the last days of his life, instead of from the obscure Babylon. *


B.D. (Stat. Eliz.) 1796. Ord. deacon (Chester). Kept a school at Shackleford, Surrey. Morning Preacher at the Foundling Hospital, Apr. 5, 1797. Chaplain-in-ordinary to the Prince Regent, 1812. R. of Hilgay, Norfolk, 1819-44. At one time Professor of belleslettres at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Married (1) Aug. 2, 1782, Elizabeth Hobson, of Hackney, and had issue; (2) Caroline –. His children predeceased him. Author, Vindication of the Parian Chronicle; The Holy Bible with Critical, Philosophical and Explanatory Notes, 1812, in 3 vols., 'which will ever remain a monument of Christian zeal and erudition,' etc. Died Apr. 13, 1844, at 55, Hunter Street, Brunswick Square, London. Buried in the catacombs of the Foundling Chapel. (Pedigree, Lineage of Hewletts of Yetminster, from a relative; D.N.B.)


John Hewlett (1762 – 13 April 1844) was a prominent biblical scholar in nineteenth-century Britain.

Hewlett was born in Chetnole, Dorset to Timothy Hewlett. After becoming a minister, he was admitted as a sizar to Magdalene College, Cambridge.[1] After graduating, he established a school in Shackelford, Surrey. Around 1802, he sold the school and accepted the position of morning preacher at the Foundling Hospital in London. He was appointed rector of Hilgay, Downham, Norfolk in 1819 and served as professor of belles-lettres at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He is buried in the catacombs of the Foundling Chapel.

Hewlett published on classical art; his renowned Vindication of the Parian Chronicle (1789), discussed the Arundel marbles. After the death of George Gregory, he continued publishing a newly edited Bible serially. He published numerous books of sermons and theology as well as an Introduction to Reading and Spelling (1816). His most important work, however, was his edition of the Bible (1812), which included five volumes of commentaries (1816).[2]

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